Cecil Calvert Coursey (1898-1956), Architect

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Cecil Calvert Coursey, 1938
North Platte, Nebraska. 1929-1956

DBA: C. C. Coursey, Architect

Coursey was born July 12 or 13, 1898 at Topeka, Kansas.[5][7] He attended the Commercial Art School, the American Correspondence School, and the American School of Art, all in Chicago. Coursey's home was Topeka, Kansas, but he came to North Platte, Nebraska, in 1928, from Amarillo, Texas, where he was chief draftsman for Rittenberry & Carter. He opened his North Platte office in June, 1929.[2][3][4][7]

Coursey is said to have designed approximately 400 public and religious buildings, including the National Guard Armory, St. Mary’s Hospital, the administration building at the airport, and the Paramount Theater, all in North Platte, and the Elks Lodge Building in Ogallala. He designed the Methodist churches in Broken Bow and Grant, the Lutheran churches in Dalton, Paxton and Roscoe, the McPherson County High School at Tryon, and the Chase County High School in Imperial.[5]

Coursey was married to Lena Keiser at Alliance, Nebraska, in 1921, and had two daughters from that union. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, Platte Valley Lodge 32 AF&AM, Rotary Club, American Legion, American Institute of Architects, BPOE 985, Eagles, Last Man’s Club, and a veteran of World War I.[3][4][5][16] He died at North Platte, November 18, 1956.[5]

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

BX01-220 9510-14-34 1w.jpg
Times Herald Building (1930), Alliance. (State Historic Preservation Office)

Compiled Nebraska Directory Listings

North Platte, Nebraska, 1938-1956

Educational & Professional Associations

1916: Topeka, Kansas High School.[7]

1916-1918: Commercial Art School, Chicago, Illinois (no degree).[7]

1916-1917: apprentice draftsman for Richard E. Schmidt, Carden & Martin, Chicago, Illinois.[4]

1917-1918: American Correspondence School, structural engineering.[16]

1917-1919: draftsman, Inland Steel Company, Indiana Harbor, Indiana.[4][7: lists 1919-1920]

1918-1919: U. S. Navy.[16]

1919-1920: locomotive fireman, CB&Q Railroad, Alliance.[4]

1920-1922: architectural draftsman, Kansas State Architect’s office, Topeka, Kansas.[4][7: lists 1921-1923]

1921: employed in the shops of the AT&SF Railroad at Topeka, Kansas.[4]

1922: architectural draftsman inspector, AT&SF Railroad, Topeka, Kansas.[4][7: lists 6 months in 1923]

1922-1923: 18 months as draftsman for W. N. Bowman Company, Denver, Colorado.[4][7: lists 5 months in 1923]

1923: six months the architectural superintendent for the Masonic Temple, Troy, Kansas.[4][7: lists 1923-1924]

1923-1925: American Correspondence School, architecture and structural engineering, Chicago, Illinois (no degree).[7]

1924-1926: architectural draftsman and supervisor, Guy A. Carlander, Architect, Amarillo, Texas.[4][7]

1926-1928: chief draftsman and supervisor, William C. Townes, Architect, Amarillo, Texas.[4][7]

1928-1929: architectural draftsman, Rittenberry & Carter, Architects, Amarillo, Texas.[4][7]

1929-1956: architect and owner, C. C. Coursey, Architect, North Platte, Nebraska.[2][4][7][16]

1935: FHA inspector.[4]

1938: Registered Professional Architect, Nebraska, A-29; November 29, 1938.[7]

1942-1945; building supervisor, squad boss, architectural designer on four projects in WW II.[16]

1956: last directory listing as an architect in North Platte, Nebraska.[a]

Other Associations

1942-1956: employed Robert L. Murphy, first as draftsman, then architect.

Methodist Episcopal Church of Grant (1951-1955). (D. Murphy)

Buildings & Projects

West Wing (1928), St. Josephs Hospital, Alliance. (SHPO)
St Patrick’s Catholic Church (1930), Paxton. (D.Murphy)
Irrigation HQ Building (1937), Bridgeport. (SHPO)
DM200307 SF-027 2w.jpg
Trinity United Evangelical Lutheran Church (1950), Paxton. (D. Murphy)
McPherson County High School (1952-1953), Tryon. (D. Murphy)

Chase County High School (1922), 10th & Wellington, Imperial, Nebraska.[5][c]

East Wing (1925), St. Josephs Hospital, Alliance, Nebraska.[1][11]

West Wing (1928), St. Josephs Hospital, Alliance, Nebraska.[1][11]

Alliance Motor Company Garage (1929-1930), 2nd & Laramie Ave, Alliance, Nebraska.[18]

Additions to Drake Hotel (1929-1930), Alliance, Nebraska.[19]

Alliance Times-Herald Building (1930), 114 E 4th, Alliance, Nebraska.[4][11][18] (BX01-220)

St Patrick’s Catholic Church (1930), NE corner 4th & Walnut, Paxton, Nebraska.[1][4] (KH05-021)

Paramount Theater (1930), 222 E 5th, North Platte, Nebraska.[4][5][13]

M. H. Robineau hse (1931), Sidney, Nebraska.[3]

Paxton High School addition (1931), Paxton, Nebraska.[1][3]

Alterations to and completion of interior, Lincoln County Courthouse and Jail (1931-1932), North Platte, Nebraska.[4][20][b]

St. Mary’s Hospital (1935), North Platte, Nebraska.[4][5][13][16]

Irrigation HQ Building (1937), Bridgeport, Nebraska.[1][14] (MO04-077)

Addition (1939), Perkins County High School, Grant, Nebraska.[4][8]

St Josephs Hospital Nurses Home (1939), Alliance, Nebraska.[4][11]

North Platte Water Works (1940), NE corner 7th & Chestnut, North Platte, Nebraska.(LN06-631)

Office Building (1941), Platte Valley Power & Irrigation District, North Platte, Nebraska.[16]

Maloney Cox Kuhns Funeral Home (before 1942), 102 N Dewey, North Platte, Nebraska.[4]

Electrical work (1948), Chappell High School, Chappell, Nebraska.[17]

St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church (1948-1949), rural Keith County, Nebraska.

Trinity Lutheran Church (1948-1950), Dalton, Nebraska.[5][10]

Administration Building (1949-1952), Lee Bird Field, North Platte, Nebraska.[5][15][16] (LN00-235)

Trinity United Evangelical Lutheran Church (1950), Paxton, Nebraska.[5]

Addition (1950), Vocational Ed Building, Chase County High School, 10th & Wellington, Imperial, Nebraska.[17]

Methodist Church (1951), Broken Bow, Nebraska.[16]

Methodist Episcopal Church of Grant (1951-1955), west Grant St, Grant, Nebraska.[5][8]

Methodist Church (1952), Chappell, Nebraska.[16]

McPherson County High School (1952-1953), Tryon, Nebraska.[5][12] [16]

First Methodist Church (1953), Broadway & S 11th, Broken Bow, Nebraska.[5][9]


National Guard Armory (n.d.), North Platte, Nebraska.[5]

Ogallala High School (n.d.), Ogallala, Nebraska [1]

Elks Lodge Building (n.d.), Ogallala, Nebraska.[5]

Chappell Library (n.d.), 289 Babcock Ave, Chappell, Nebraska.[4]

Lutheran Church (n.d.), Roscoe, Nebraska.[5]

Maywood Auditorium-Gymnasium (n.d.), Maywood, Nebraska.[14]


a. This is the year of Coursey’s death; the firm was succeeded by Robert Lyle Murphy (1914-1994), Architect.

b. Coursey’s entry in Who’s Who, Reference [4], states that he “designed” the Lincoln County Courthouse, but the building is the work of George A. Berlinghof (1858-1944), Architect, 1921-1924. The interior was left unfinished in 1924, even though several offices occupied some of the space. Coursey did prepare plans for the completion and finishing of the interior in 1931. See Barbara Beving Long, "Lincoln County Courthouse" in Reference [20].

c. The date here refers to the original building, which precedes Coursey’s tenure in Nebraska. The obituary [5] may refer to additions or other work. This building was demolished in 2001.[DM]


1. “Cecil Calvert Coursey,” Sara M. Baldwin and Robert M. Baldwin (eds) Nebraskana (Hebron, Nebraska: Baldwin Co., 1932), 276.

2. “Mr. Coursey, Architect Locates in North Platte,” North Platte Evening Telegraph (June 12, 1929), 2:3.

3. North Platte Evening Telegraph (April 30, 1931), 4:2.

4. “Cecil Calvert Coursey,” Who’s Who in Nebraska (Lincoln: Nebraska Press Association, 1940), 764.

5. “Architect’s Services Set,” North Platte Telegraph-Bulletin (November 19, 1956), 1.

6. “Services Held For Architect,” Lincoln Star (November 23, 1956), 20:3.

7. “Cecil Calvert Coursey,” Application for Registration to Practice Professional Engineering or Architecture, Nebraska State Board of Examiners for Professional Engineers and Architects, Lincoln, November 20, 1937. Nebraska State Historical Society, RG081 SG2 [typed note on application concerning experience: “The above statements are from memory and approximate.”].

8. Dates from Perkins County Diamond Jubilee, 1887-1962, Souvenir Album, N.P.: n.p., n.d., n.p.

9. Dates from Gardner, Phillip K. (comp), How Our Hundred Happened, Broken Bow Centennial Edition, N.P.: [Custer County Historical Society], n.d., n.p.

10. Cheyenne County History Book Committee, History of Cheyenne County, Nebraska, 1986 (Dallas: Curtis Media Corp., 1987), 50-52.

11. Dates and details from Centennial Committee (comp), City of Alliance and Box Butte County, Nebraska (Dallas: Curtis Media Corp., 1988), entry B93; entry B39.

12. Dates and details from Schroeder, Betty Neal Rodewald (ed), McPherson County Facts, Families, Fiction (Callaway: Loup Valley Queen, Charles & Donna Myers, 1986), 227-30.

13. Date and details from Beckius, Jim, North Platte: City Between Two Rivers [Images of America Series] (Chicago: Arcadia Publishing, 2002), 55, 60, 97, 120.

14. Nebraska Historic Buildings Survey information; Jill Dolberg to D. Murphy, email, November 15, 2008.

15. Department of Aeronautics plans, Nebraska Historic Buildings Survey information; Jill Dolberg to D. Murphy, email, December 12, 2008.

16. American Institute of Architects, comp. American Architects Directory First Ed. (New York: R. R. Bowker Co., 1956), 111, accessed March 3, 2010, http://communities.aia.org/sites/hdoaa/wiki/Wiki%20Pages/1956%20American%20Architects%20Directory.aspx

17. Tom Kaspar, comp. Inventory of architectural records in the archives of Davis Fenton Stange Darling, Architects, Lincoln, Nebraska. 1996. Nebraska State Historical Society, RG3748, Box 16.

18. “To Let Contract on Large Building,” Alliance Times Herald (November 29, 1929), 1:4.

19. “Plans Completed for Addition to the Drake Hotel,” Alliance Times Herald (November 29, 1929), 1:5.

20. Barbara Beving Long, "Lincoln County Courthouse, LN06-063," National Register of Historic Places Registration Form (Des Moines, Iowa: Four Mile Research Company, November 12, 1989).

Page Citation

D. Murphy, “Cecil Calvert Coursey (1898-1956), Architect,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, April 28, 2013. http://www.e-nebraskahistory.org/index.php?title=Place_Makers_of_Nebraska:_The_Architects Accessed, December 9, 2018.

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