George Anthony Colby "G.A.C." Smith (1836-1886), Architect

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Lincoln, Nebraska, 1878-ca. 1883


DBA: G.A.C. Smith

George Anthony Colby Smith was born in New London, New Hampshire on October 26, 1836. When Smith was thirteen years old, his parents moved to Washington, D. C. so that his father, Caleb B. Smith, could work as a librarian in the State Department. When he was eighteen years old he was engaged in government service as draughtsman and architect. Until 1875, he spent most of his time in Washington, and in that year went to Dover, Delaware, and put up the post office there. Smith came to Lincoln in January, 1878, to take charge of the government buildings. Here, he superintended the completion of the post office.[1][b] He later moved to Chicago, where, in 1885, he became a charter member of the Western Association of Architects.[2:301] Smith died on January 9, 1886 at the age of 49 in Chicago, Illinois.[6]

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.

Compiled Nebraska Directory Listings

Educational & Professional Associations

1860: draughtsman, Washington D.C.[3]

1877: Superintendent of Repairs, Supervising Architect's Office-First Comptroller's Office, United States Treasury Department. Port Huron, Michigan.[8][a]

1878: Superintendent of Repairs of public buildings, United States Treasury Department, Washington, D.C., boarding at Commercial Hotel, Lincoln, Nebraska.[9]

1880-1883: architect and partner, Smith & Tyler, Architects, Lincoln, Nebraska.

1881: Superintendent of Repairs of Public Buildings, Supervising Architect's Office-First Comptroller's Office, United States Treasury Department. Lincoln, Nebraska.[4][5][a]

1883: Superintendent of Repairs, Office of Supervising Architect-First Comptroller's Office, United States Treasury Department. Dubuque, Iowa.[7][a]

1885: architect, Chicago, Illinois.[2:301]

Buildings & Projects

1880-1883 (Lincoln, Nebraska)

Following completion of Lincoln's federal Courthouse and Post Office, Smith partnered with his "master mechanic" on the federal building, James Tyler, accomplishing numerous commissions during their few years together. See Smith & Tyler, Architects for an account of the work of their partnership.

Undated

Commercial Hotel (n.d.). [5]

Notes

a. Residences were in Nebraska, Iowa, and Michigan while working for Treasury Department located in Washington, D.C. [5][7][8]

b. Smith lived on a farm in the Yankee Hill Precinct, adjacent to Lincoln on the west. During floods, he could be cut off from the city except by telephone, according to a report of 1881.[10]

References

1. A. T. Andreas, History of the State of Nebraska (Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1882), 1079.

2. Industrial Chicago: The Building Interests Vol. 1 (Chicago: Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1891), accessed August 2, 2012, http://libsysdigi.library.uiuc.edu/oca/Books2008-03/industrialchicag/industrialchicag01good/industrialchicag01good.pdf

3. 1860 United States Census: Washington Ward 4, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: M653_103; Page: 306; Image: 306; Family History Library Film: 803103. Accessed through Ancestry.com.

4. Ancestry.com. U.S., Register of Civil, Military, and Naval Service, 1863-1959 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.

5. “Inhabitants, Business Firms, Manufactories, Educational and Institutions of Lincoln, 1878-79” Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

6. Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, Deaths Index, 1878-1922 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

7. Ancestry.com. U.S., Register of Civil, Military, and Naval Service, 1863-1959 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.

8. Ancestry.com. U.S., Register of Civil, Military, and Naval Service, 1863-1959 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.

9. Brown's Directory to the Inhabitants, Business Firms, Manufactories, Educational and Social Institutions of the City of Lincoln [Nebraska], George Bee Brown, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1878.

10. "A Good Joke on Col. Smith," (Lincoln) Nebraska State Journal (March 29, 1881), 4.

Other Sources

Census Year: 1880; Census Place: Yankee Hill, Lancaster, Nebraska; Archive Collection Number: T1128; Roll: 9; Page: 1; Line: 7; Schedule Type: Agriculture. Accessed through Ancestry.com.

Page Citation

D. Murphy and E. Zimmer, “George Anthony Colby "G.A.C." Smith (1836-1886), Architect,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, January 18, 2018. http://www.e-nebraskahistory.org/index.php?title=Place_Makers_of_Nebraska:_The_Architects Accessed, May 25, 2020.


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