Arthur Randall Dean (1869-1949), Architect

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Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1893; Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1890-ca. 1940

Arthur Randall Dean was born on February 5, 1869 at Mount Vernon, New Hampshire, the seventh child of Reverend Samuel Chase and Augusta Abbot Dean’s eight offspring.[3][4:1-4][8][15] The Dean family moved to Nebraska in 1872. Arthur was a decorated high school and college athlete, an avocation he continued through 1894 in Chicago.[4:1-4][5] Arthur attended Doane Preparatory School and a semester of Doane College in Crete, Nebraska before moving to Minneapolis to begin his architecture career.[5][9][10][11] By 1894, Arthur was working for various firms in Chicago, where he would work the remainder of his career. During the late 1890s, Arthur and his brother George were members of The Eighteen, a mealtime club and extension of Steinway Hall, a group of Chicago architects including Frank Lloyd Wright.[1:30][c][d] In 1903, Arthur and his brother George formed their own firm in Chicago, called Dean & Dean, Architects, which Arthur continued for decades after George’s death.[12] The brothers have been referred to locally as "the College Architects", due to their master plan and impact on Doane College's campus.[9][16]

Arthur Dean married Emma Quinby Fuller of Ashland, Nebraska on September 18, 1901.[4] Emma was a prominent academic musician, who studied at the University of Nebraska, the Doane College Academy, Wellesley College, the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, and taught at both the University of Illinois and the American Conservatory of Music.[2] They had two sons, Arthur Fuller, born in 1908, and Louis Abbott, born in 1912.[4][15] Both sons became architects.[6] Arthur Dean died on November 13, 1949 in Chicago.[14]

Dean campus plat.jpg
Map of Doane College Campus (1927), Crete, Nebraska. (Dean & Dean)

This page is a contribution to the publication, Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. See the format and contents page for more information on the compilation and page organization.

Educational & Professional Associations

1884: preparatory student, Doane College Preparatory Academy, Crete, Nebraska.[4:4-5]

1885: student, Village School, South Bend, Nebraska.[4:4-5]

1886-1888: preparatory student, Doane College Preparatory Academy, Crete, Nebraska.[4:4-5]

ca. 1897-ca. 1899: member of The Eighteen, a mealtime club and extension of the Steinway Hall group of Chicago architects that included Frank Lloyd Wright, Chicago, Illinois.[1:30][c][d]

ca. 1889 -1890: college student, Doane College, Crete, Nebraska.[4:5]

1890-1893: draftsman, William Ellery Channing Whitney, Architect, Minneapolis, Minnesota, is hired as the superintendent for Minnesota State Building, World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, Illinois.[4:5]

ca. 1894-ca. 1898: student and designer, doing “night work with private instruction under engineers, artists and architects,” reportedly working in four other Chicago, Illinois firms.[4:5][c]

1900: listed in the Chicago city directory as Arthur R. Dean, Architect, Chicago, Illinois.[b]

ca. 1900-1901: draftsman, Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge, Architects, Chicago, Illinois.[4:5][a]

1901-1903: chief superintendent, Pond & Pond, Architects, Chicago, Illinois.[4:6]

1903-1919: partner with brother, George Dean, in the firm Dean & Dean, Architects until George’s death in 1919, Chicago, Illinois.[4:6][7]

1920-ca. 1940: sole partner in firm of Dean & Dean, Architects after George’s death, Chicago, Illinois.[4:6][7]

Nebraska Buildings & Projects

From George’s death in 1919 onward, Arthur ran the Dean & Dean firm on his own. See the Dean & Dean page for the buildings George and Arthur designed on behalf of the firm.


a. He worked with the Boston firm on their new construction in Chicago.[4:5]

b. Neither of the Deans were listed in 1880, 1885, or 1892 Chicago directories.[13]

c. Arthur is casual with the dates here, listing associations in numbers of years rather than by giving exact dates.[4:5]

d. Steinway Hall was the name of a Chicago building and, as a result, the moniker of the group of associated architects who worked, congregated, and many of whom lived in the building.[1:29-30] Those architects, at various points in time, included Frank Lloyd Wright, Henry Webster Tomlinson, Irving K. Pond, Allen Bartlit Pond, Walter Burley Griffen, Adamo Boari, Birch Burdette Long, and at least several more.[1:30] George and Arthur Dean were involved in an eighteen-member subgroup of Steinway Hall called The Eighteen. As explained by Harold Allen Brooks in The Prairie School, "As it was impracticable for all kindred souls to join the group at Steinway Hall, a mealtime club was formed which lasted for several years." Brooks then quotes Frank Lloyd Wright, who described The Eighteen in the following way: "Before long a little luncheon club formed, comprised of myself, Bob Spencer, Gamble Rogers, Hardy and Cady, Dick Schmidt, Hugh Garden, Dean, Perkins, and Shaw, several others; eighteen in all. We called the group the "Eighteen"...The little luncheon round-table broke up after a year or two."[1:31] Brooks adds, "To the ten participants mentioned by Wright can be added six others, the second Dean brother...Alfred Granger, Arthur Heun, Myron Hunt, and Irving and Allen Pond." Brooks also includes this quote by Thomas E. Tallmadge: "An ideal artistic atmosphere pervaded the colony in the old lofts of Steinway Hall."[1:31]

c. Brooks does not give specific dates here; instead, he says the mealtime gatherings happened in the “late eighteen-nineties,” and lasted "several years." [1:31]


1. Harold Allen Brooks, The Prairie School (Norton, 1996), 27-44, 56-63, 336-352.

2. James Herbert Kelley, ed. The Alumni Record of the University of Illinois. (Urbana-Champaign: University of Illinois, 1913): 696. Accessed February 20, 2019 through Google Books,

3. Abbot M. Dean, Summary of Dean Family History. TS. SA01-8 form

4. Dean, Arthur Randall, “Life of Arthur Randall Dean,” TS. (July 1933): 7pp. Copy in Doane College Archives.

5. “Doane College Notes: George R. Dean obituary,” The Vidette-Herald (December 18, 1919): 5:1-2. Copy in Doane College Archives.

6. Liz Dean to Penny Chatfield, handwritten letter (April 1, 1978), in NSHS file.

7. Henry F. Withey & Elsie Rathburn Withey, “Dean, George S.” Biographical dictionary of American Architects (deceased) (Los Angeles, New Age Pub. Co.: c. 1956).

8. “Dean Family [RG4194.AM]” History Nebraska. Accessed October 15, 2019 via

9. “Old Grad Speaks Up,” The Crete News (July 30, 1931) Copy in Doane College Archives.

10. “Wholesome Advertising for Crete,” The Crete News (July 2, 1931): 1. Copy in Doane College Archives.

11. “Doane College News,” The Crete News (April 30, 1931). Copy in Doane College Archives.

12. “George Robinson Dean” Accessed October 15, 2019 via

13. “Streets & Directories” Accessed October 17, 2019 via /tools/streets-and-directories

14., “Arthur Randall Dean” Obituary Index, 1800s-current [database on-line]. (Lehi, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2019.) Accessed October 24, 2019.

15. Janet Jeffries, “Dean Family Tree” (Lehi, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2019.) Accessed October 24, 2019 via

16. "Map of Doane College Campus, Crete, Nebraska.” (June 30, 1927; Revised January 20, 1928). Copy in Doane College Archives.


We gratefully acknowledge Janet Jeffries, cultural historian and past archivist at Doane College, for sharing her extensive research on the Dean family for the Dean pages.

Page Citation

D. Murphy and Lydia Allen, “Arthur Randall Dean (1869-1949), Architect,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, November 26, 2019. Accessed, September 24, 2023.

Contact the Nebraska State Historic Preservation Office with questions or comments concerning this page, including any problems you may have with broken links (see, however, the Disclaimers link at the bottom of this page). Please provide the URL to this page with your inquiry.