Frederick L. Clark (1829- ), Architect-Builder

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Boston, Massachusetts, Sioux City, Iowa, and Dakota City, Covington and Omaha, Nebraska

Frederick L. Clark was born in Boston, Massachusetts on April 7, 1829. Clark began his architecture and building career in Boston as an apprentice, after which he worked independently. In 1856, at the age of 27, he moved to Dakota City, Nebraska Territory, and set up practice there for one year before settling in Covington, running his architecture business out of there and Sioux City, Iowa. He is said to have built the first brick dwelling in the city.[1]

In 1870, Clark built the Cheyenne Agency for the U.S. Government, and a year later designed all of the buildings at the Winnebago Agency in Nebraska.[1] Clark continued his business in Sioux City until 1876, whereupon he moved to Omaha and was employed by the Union Pacific Railroad car department for four years. In 1881 he became a draftsman for the railroad, a position he held for the rest of that decade.[1]

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.

Elevation studies for Dakota County Courthouse, ca. 1856 (Nebraska State Historical Society)

Educational & Professional Associations

____-____: served a seven-year apprenticeship as architect-builder, Boston, Massachusetts.[1]

____-1856: architect-builder, Boston, Massachusetts.[1]

1856: architect-builder, Dakota City, Nebraska Territory.[1]

1857-1876: architect-builder, Covington, N.T. and Sioux City, Iowa.[1]

1876-1880: with the car department, Union Pacific Railroad Company, Omaha, Nebraska. [1][e]

1881-1889: draftsman, Union Pacific Railroad Company, Omaha, Nebraska.[1][4][f][g]

Buildings & Projects


Project for a hotel bldg (after 1857), Dakota City, Nebraska Territory.[2]

G. E. R. Kirk house (after 1857), Sioux City, Iowa.[1][a]

Cheyenne Agency (1870), [on the Cheyenne River, west bank of the Missouri River, Dakota Territory].[1][b]

Winnebago Agency Buildings (1871), near Winnebago, Thurston County, Nebraska.[1][c]


George Wescott Store (n.d.), Dakota City, Nebraska.[2]

Project for a Dakota County Courthouse (n.d.), Dakota City, Nebraska Territory.[2][d]


a. Hailed as the first brick building constructed there.[1]

b. In the role of builder; this is probably the Cheyenne River Agency.[1]

c. In the role of architect.[1]

d. Plans, alternative elevations, full-size details; ink and wash on paper; F. L. Clark, architect, Covington, Nebraska. MS256.[2]

e. First listing in Omaha City Directory, 1880-1882, listed as a carpenter for the Union Pacific Railroad.

f. First listing as a draftsman for the Union Pacific Railroad, 1883-1884 directory.

g. In 1888 he was listed as an architect, with no affiliation, then, in 1889 he appears again as draftsman for the Union Pacific. 1889 is his last appearance in the directories.


1. A. T. Andreas, History of the State of Nebraska (Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1882), 1:761.

2. Augustus T. Haase Collection, Nebraska State Historical Society Archives, MS256, July 16, 1975.

3. NeHBS file D009:23-3 and copies of original blue prints in fax file

4. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.

Page Citation

D. Murphy, “Frederick L. Clark (1829- ), Architect-Builder,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, October 18, 2018. Accessed, December 9, 2018.

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