view all images ( of 3 shown)

Male, born 1885-02-22, died 1928-10-03

Associated with the firms network

Bittman, Henry W., Architect and Engineer; Witt, W.H., Company

Professional History


Structural Engineer, Henry W. Bittman, Architect, Seattle, WA, c. 1918. Principal, W.H. Witt Company, Engineers, Seattle, WA, 1923-1928;



B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, 1910. WItt co-wrote a B.S. thesis entitled "The Design of a Steel Arch for Spooner Street Viaduct." Witt co-wrote the thesis with Frank Cnare. ("Cnare" was the last name typed on the cover and cover page.) The introduction to the thesis stated: ""At the present time, Spooner street crosses the Illinois Central Railway on a reinforced concrete arch of seventy feet span with a vertical clearance of 22' 6". As a study in Arch design it was determined to design first, an arch rib and second a spandrel braced arch of the same span as the present structure." (See Frank Cnare and William H. Witt, "The Design of a Steel Arch for Spooner Street Viaduct," B.S. Thesis, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1910.)

Cnare would go on to obtain a patent for a "Plotting Device for Engineers" and work with the WI StateHighway Commission.

College Awards

The University of Wisconsin Badger yearbook of 1911 indicated that Bill Witt was from Marshfield. and was awarded the Civil Engineering Iron Cross. He was a member of the Monastics, and played Basketball, “W.” (2) (3), being the Captain his senior year. He was the Class Secretary his sophomore year and , Class President in his junior term. He was also the Chairman of the Pipe Committee, and other student groups.



William Henry Witt, Sr., was a civil engineer born in Marshfield, WI. The Witt Family arrived in Marshfield in the early 1According to 1900 US Census and the 1905 Wisconsin State Census, William lived with his parents and eight brothers and sisters in Marshfield, WI. (See, Source Citation Year: 1900; Census Place: Marshfield, Wood, Wisconsin; Roll: 1825; Page: 25B; Enumeration District: 0148; FHL microfilm: 1241825, accessed 12/01/2015 and Source Information, Wisconsin, State Censuses, 1895 and 1905 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2007, accessed 12/01/2015.)

In 1910, at age 25, William continued to lived with his family on Arlington Avenue in Marshfield, although the US Census did not indicate his profession. (See, Source Citation Year: 1910; Census Place: Marshfield Ward 4, Wood, Wisconsin; Roll: T624_1742; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0198; FHL microfilm: 1375755, accessed 12/01/2015.) He moved to the State of Washington sometime between 1910 and 1918. According to William H. Witt, Jr., his father traveled back to Marshfield, WI, to visit his parents periodically, introducing him to farm life. (See William H. Witt, Jr., "Christian Witt," "Marshfield History Book 1 - W," p. 501, accessed 12/01/2015.)

In 1918, he and his wife lived at 2712 East 54th Street in Seattle, and remained there through 01/1920, at least, according to the US Census of that year. (See, Source Citation Year: 1920; Census Place: Seattle, King, Washington; Roll: T625_1925; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 66; Image: 544, accessed 12/01/2015.) The Witts owned their own residence and had a mortgage at the time.

In 1928, he and his family resided at 2221 13th Avenue North in Seattle.

At age 43, Witt died while driving an automobile across a railroad crossing just north of Dieringer, WA on 10/03/1928. He and two companions in his vehicle, en route to a hunting trip, died instantly when Northern Pacific Train No. 413 collided with them. (See "Rites Are Planned for Crash Victims," Seattle Times, 10/04/1928, p. 38.)


His father was Christian Witt (born c. 11/1854 in West Prussia, Germany-d. 1938 in Marshfield, WI), who worked as a farmer in the Marshfield area. His mother, Wilhelmine (Seraka) Witt (born c. 08/1854 in Germany), managed a large household consisting, in 1905, of six sons and three daughters.(The 1900 US Census anglizized his mother's name to "Wilhelmina," while the 1905 Wisconsin State Census erroneously referred her as "Philomena.") Christian and Wilhelmine, according to the 1900 Census, married c. 1882, and Christian soon thereafter departed for America. Wilhelmine followed him the following year.

Wilhelmine and Christian's children included: John (born c. 09/1883 in WI), William H., Henry (born c. 07/1885 in WI), Herman (born c. 02/1888 in WI), Edward (born c. 06/1890 in WI), Amanda (born c. 01/1892 in WI), Theodore (born c. 09/1883 in WI), and Alma (born c. 08/1897 in WI). The 1900 US Census indicated that Christian and Wilhelmine (anglicized to "Wilhelmina") had had 11 children in total, 9 of whom were alive in that year. Her grandson, William H. Witt, Jr., wrote this of Wilhelmina: "Grandmother Wilhelmina was an essential partner in the household, making most of her clothes and baking eight loaves of bread every other day, and coffeecake for Sunday." (See William H. Witt, Jr., "Christian Witt," "Marshfield History Book 1 - W," p. 501, accessed 12/01/2015.)

According to the US Census of 1900, Christian supplemented his farm income by working in the winter in nearby factories. In 1900, he was a foreman in a veneer factory and, five years later, as a log scaler, someone who assesses the volume of lumber a tree will yield as well as its quality.


He married Margaret Lois Hills on 11/16/1911 in Chicago, IL. (See Source Information Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index, 1871-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011,accessed 12/01/2015.) Margaret was born c. 1888 in WI.


At this death in 1928, William H. Witt left behind three children. Robert (born c. 1912 in WA), William H., Jr., (born c. 11/1919 in WA) and Priscilla Witt Andrews. William Henry Witt, Jr., graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard University, and became a World War II pilot in the Army Air Forces, 1941-1945. Priscilla married John Andrews a US Navy pilot who was killed while fighting in the Pacific Theatre during World War II.

Biographical Notes

According to his 09/1918 World War I draft registration card, Witt was tall with a medium build, hazel eyes and brown hair. (See, Source Citation Registration State: Washington; Registration County: King; Roll: 1991889; Draft Board: 02,accessed 12/01/2015.)

PCAD id: 5139