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Male, US, born 1866-03-02, died 1944-04-22

Associated with the firms network

Hudson and Munsell, Architects; Locke and Munsell, Architects

Professional History


Partner, Locke and Munsell, Architects, Los Angeles, 1900-1901. (See Los Angeles, California, City Directory, 1900, p. 552.) The firm operated in Room #212 of the Potomac Building in Los Angeles. (See Los Angeles, California, City Directory, 1901, p. 1226.)

Partner, Hudson and Munsell, Architects, Los Angeles, CA, 1902-1930s; from at least 1929 until 1931, the firm of Hudson and Munsell occupied leased quarters at 714 West 10th Street Room #631. (SeeLos Angeles, California, City Directory, 1930, p. 2463.)

Principal, William A.O. Munsell, Architect, Pasadena, CA, 1932- . Munsell had his office at 35 South Raymond Avenue , Room #319. (SeePasadena, California, City Directory, 1932, p. 899.) This city directory (p. 481) listed his profession as "City Judge and architect." The Pasadena, California, City Directory, 1933, p. 419, indicated that Munsell was a City Judge in San Marino, CA, where he lived. Being an architect, Munsell would have had very little work during the nadir of the Depression, and so his second career as a judge would have come at an opportune time.

Professional Activities

Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA), Southern CA Chapter. Member, Los Angeles Allied Architecture Association.



William A.O. Munsell lived in a series of towns in OH, MO and KS during his childhood. From c. 1866-1870, his family resided in the following cities with rough dates: Coldwater, OH (c. 1866), North Star, OH (c. 1867); Norborne, MO, (c. 1873), Rock Port, MO (c. 1876-03/1880), and Kidder, MO (c. 06/1880). In 1891, he had settled in Denver, CO, as noted in the Quaker periodical, Christian Worker, 07/23/1891, p. 475. After William left home, his family lived in the State of OR.

He lived at the intersection of Avenue 64 and Elgin Street, on the southeast corner, in 1900. (See Los Angeles, California, City Directory, 1900, p. 552.) The 1900 US Census had his family and him residing on Crescent Street in Los Angeles. (See, Source Citation Year: 1900; Census Place: Los Angeles Ward 1, Los Angeles, California; Roll: 88; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0001; FHL microfilm: 1240088, accessed 05/05/2017.)

In 1910, William Munsell resided in South Pasadena, CA. (See Los Angeles, California, City Directory, 1910, p. 1059.) The Los Angeles, California, City Directory, 1917, p. 1484, indicated that he lived in Pasadena in that year.

By 1920, Munsell lived at 1970 El Molino Avenue in San Marino, CA. See, Source Citation Year: 1920; Census Place: San Marino, Los Angeles, California; Roll: T625_118; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 583; Image: 630, 05/05/2017.)

Munsell and his wife, Julia, lived at 2405 Ridgeway Road in San Marino, CA in 1932-1933. (SeePasadena, California, City Directory, 1932, p. 899.)

He died at age 78, and was buried in Forest Home Cemetery, Milwaukee, WI.


His father was Elmore Yocum Munsell (born 02/1838 in OH), his mother, Ariadne (Addie) Goodwin Farrington Munsell (born c. 12/1857 in NH). Elmore was a physician and, perhaps, an oculist. They married on 07/02/1871 in Carroll, MO.

William was the eldest son of four children. His sisters were: Allie Munsell (born 07/21/1867 in North Star, OH), Ladessa Munsell Burroughs (born 01/13/1873 in Norborne, MO), Blanche Munsell (born 03/25/1880 in Rock Port, MO). He also had a younger brother, Paul Munsell (born 08/08/1890 in Wichita, KS-d. 08/1972 in Longview, WA).


Munsell married twice. He wed Octavia S. Winder (born c. 1870) on 06/25/1891 in Sedgwick, KS. Her father, Abner G. Winder (1835-1906), was a horticulturist, her mother, Eunice Wood Winder (1837-1907), supervised the household.

He married Julia V.K. Wilkes Munsell (1870-1955) on 08/13/1903 in Chicago, IL. Julia may have been born in WI.


He and Julia had one daughter, Elizabeth Munsell Eberle (1897-1979).

Biographical Notes

William Munsell was named for his paternal grandfather, William A.O. Munsell (born 1812 in Fletcher, OH-d. 1902 in Cameron, MO), a pioneer farmer in the State of OH and Methodist Episcopal clergyman. He married Deborah Gray (1818-1849), and they had four children, two of whom, Levi S. Munsell and Elmore Y. Munsell, became physicians, who, at times, practiced together. (See Joseph B. Thoburn, A Standard History of Oklahoma, [New York and Chicago: American Historical Society, 1916], vol. 5, p. 1998)

The architect William Munsell was also an artist, and was a member of the Society of Independent Artists and the Laguna Beach Art Association. He had works in the collections of the Los Angeles Museum; Scottish Rite Cathedral, Los Angeles; San Marino City Hall; and the Hospital for Tubercular Soldiers, Soldiers' Home, Los Angeles, CA.

Associated Locations

PCAD id: 873

857 Roanoke Road House, San Marino, CASan MarinoCA
Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE), Lodge, San Pedro, Los Angeles, CA1909Los AngelesCA
Bloomer, A.F., House, Los Angeles, CA1910San MarinoCA
Briggs, Mary L., House, Los Angeles, CA1912Los AngelesCA
Chatsworth Methodist Church, Women's Club Building, Chatsworth, Los Angeles, CA1912Los AngelesCA
City of Los Angeles, Fire Department (LAFD), Engine Company #29, Station #1, Los Angeles, CA1910Los AngelesCA
County of Los Angeles, Detention Home, Los Angeles, CA1910Los AngelesCA
County of Los Angeles, General Hospital, Administration Building, Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles, CA1909Los AngelesCA
County of Los Angeles, Hall of Records Building #1, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA 1908Los AngelesCA
Gartz, A.F., House, Altadena, CA1908AltadenaCA
Gillett, G.G., House, Los Angeles, CA
Guasti, Secondo, House, West Adams, Los Angeles, CA1910Los AngelesCA
Kissam, Jonas Butler and Cornelia Burrows, House, Los Angeles, CA1906-1907Los AngelesCA
Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), 79th Street School, Los Angeles, CA1924Los AngelesCA
Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), 95th Street School, Los Angeles, CALos AngelesCA
Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), Murchison Street School, Los Angeles, CA1924-1925Los AngelesCA
Masonic Building, Blue Lodge, Los Angeles, CA1907Los AngelesCA
Natural History Museum, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, CA1913Los AngelesCA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Saint Anthony's Church #1, Long Beach, CA 1902-1904Long BeachCA
Stewart, Will H., House, Alhambra, CAAlhambraCA
Terminal School District, School, Los Angeles, CA1904Los AngelesCA
Thom, Cameron Erskine, House Project, West Adams, Los Angeles, CA1905Los AngelesCA
"Citation for Los Angeles Masonic Temple", Architect and Engineer of California, 83, 10/1897. "Gartz, A.F., House, Altadena", Architect and Engineer of California, 75, 04/1908. Gebhard, David, Winter, Robert, "Exposition Park", Architecture in Los Angeles A Compleat Guide, 257, 1985. Gebhard, David, Winter, Robert, Los Angeles An Architectural Guide, 239, 1994. "Plans for new school building", Los Angeles Daily Journal, 6, 07/21/1904. "Guasti, Secondo, House, West Adams", Los Angeles Daily Journal, 2, col 1-2, 01/13/1910. "Thom, C.E., House, Plans", Los Angeles Daily Journal, 2, col 2, 09/29/1905. "Elks Club plans, San Pedro, CA", Los Angeles Daily Journal, 2, col 1, 11/19/1909. "Plans for Hall of Records, Los Angeles", Los Angeles Daily Journal, 1, 02/04/1908. "Elks Club, San Pedro", Los Angeles Times, 1, 02/20/1910. "Los Angeles County Detention House plans", Los Angeles Times, 8, 06/19/1910. "Masonic Temple great building", Los Angeles Times, 1, 09/29/1907. "Plans for Elks Club Lodge, San Pedro, CA", Los Angeles Times, 24, 01/23/1910. "Stewart, Will H., House plans", Los Angeles Times, 12, 04/19/1908. "Hudson and Munsell prepare plans for 79th Street School, Los Angeles", Southwest Builder & Contractor, 54, col 2, 9/19/1924. "Murchison Street School contracts with costs", Southwest Builder and Contractor, 49, col 2, 03/14/1924. "Murchison Street School plans", Southwest Builder and Contractor, 50, col 3, 07/04/1924. "95th Street School Addition", Southwest Builder and Contractor, 53, col 1, 12/19/1924. "Murchison Street School call for construction bids", Southwest Builder and Contractor, 54, col 1, 11/14/1924. "Plans for women's club building", Southwest Builder and Contractor, 13, col 1, 08/19/1912.