George Grabe (1883-1949), Architect

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Columbus, Nebraska, 1909-1923, and Fremont, Nebraska, 1928-1948

George Grabe, ca. 1938.
George Grabe was born in Germany on February 28, 1883 and shortly thereafter immigrated to America with his family.[2] He moved to Blair, Nebraska as an 18-year-old, marrying Mabel Peak in 1905. Grabe then moved to Omaha to get his start in the construction business.[2] After living awhile in Aurora, he settled in Columbus to begin practicing architecture under the tutelage of Charles Wurdeman.[2] In 1914, Grabe formed a partnership with John Helleberg, Sr., taking over Wurdeman's long-standing business, in which Grabe had already been a partner for some time.[1] Helleberg had also previously been involved with Wurdeman.[1]

Grabe moved to Fremont in 1928 to begin working with A. H. Dyer, whose company he took over upon Dyer's death.[2] Grabe was a member of the Methodist Church, the Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce, the Eagles Lodge, the American War Dads, and the American Institute of Architects.[2] He had three daughters and one son; the latter was in the Navy, explaining Grabe's involvement in the American War Dads.[2] Grabe died October 24, 1949 in Fremont.[2]

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

Fremont, Nebraska, 1929, 1931, 1935-1936, 1939, 1940-1948

Educational & Professional Associations

1889-1899: Public School, Kilgore, Nebraska.[6]

1905-1916: International Correspondence School, Scranton, Pennsylvania.[6]

1909-1911: draftsman and architect, Charles Wurdeman, Columbus, Nebraska.[2]

1911-1914: architect and partner, Wurdeman & Grabe, Architects, Columbus, Nebraska.[6]

1914-1923: architect and partner, Grabe & Helleberg, Architects, Columbus, Nebraska.[1][a]

1928-1938: City Building Inspector, Fremont, Nebraska.[6]

1929-1948: architect and owner, George Grabe, Architect, Fremont, Nebraska.[b]

1938: Registered Professional Architect, Nebraska, A-43; February 8, 1938.[6]

Other Associations

1927-1928: employed Emiel J. Christensen, draftsman and designer.[9]

Buildings, Projects & Principal Works


Scribner Public School (1922-1923), Pebble at Main, Scribner, Nebraska.[6][7][8][c] (DD10-056)

Schoolhouse (1924) District No. 41, Dodge County, Nebraska.[8]

Schoolhouse (1926) District No. 5, Boone County, Nebraska.[8]

Schoolhouse (1926) District No. 35, Dodge County, Nebraska.[8]

Schoolhouse (1926) District No. 50, Dodge County, Nebraska.[8]

Schoolhouse (1927) District No. 11, Platte County, Nebraska.[8]

Schoolhouse (1927) District No. 26, Butler County, Nebraska.[8]

Cedar Rapids Public High School (1927), NW corner Dayton & F, Cedar Rapids, Nebraska.[4] (BO04-001)

Schoolhouse (1927) District No. 25, Dodge County, Nebraska.[8]

Addition (1927-1928), St. Anthony’s School, Cedar Rapids, Nebraska.[6]

Schoolhouse (1928) District No. 28, Colfax County, Nebraska.[8]

School Number 3 (1928-1929), Nance County, Nebraska.[6]

Inglewood School (1929), 140 Boulevard, Inglewood, Nebraska. (DD07-007)

Genoa High School (1929), ns Willard near N Park, Genoa, Nebraska. (NC03-098)

Kilgore Public School (1929), NW corner Steinbrecher & B, Kilgore, Nebraska. (CE09-001)

School (1929-1930), District of Wakefield, Wayne and Dixon Counties, Nebraska.[6]

Addition to Heating System (1931), Fremont Senior High School, Fremont, Nebraska.[5]

Wayne Municipal Auditorium (1934-1935), 222 N Pearl, Wayne, Nebraska.[3][6][12] (WY05-056) National Register narrative

Municipal Auditorium (1935-1937), ws Broad, Fremont, Nebraska.[3][6] (DD05:A-077) National Register narrative

Municipal Auditorium (1936), ns of Main, Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska. (SD02-005)

City Hall (1937-1938), Valentine, Nebraska.[6]

Oakland Municipal Building/City Hall (1941), Oakland, Nebraska. (January 24, 1941).[10][11]


Dodge County Community Hospital.[2]

Eagles Building.[2]


a. Succeeding Charles Wurdeman and the Wurdeman architectural business.[1]

b. Succeeding A. H. Dyer’s company, upon Dyer’s death.[2]

c. Architect of record, Grabe & Helleberg, Architects.


1. Columbus Telegram (July 24, 1914), 1.

2. “George Grabe Dies; Injured In Auto Crash,” Fremont Guide (October 25, 1949), 15:4.

3. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

4. From cornerstone (ed.).

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

6. Application for Registration to Practice Professional Engineering and Architecture, Nebraska State Board of Examiners for Professional Engineers and Architects, December 27, 1937. Nebraska State Historical Society RG081 SG2.

7. “Helleberg & Helleberg, Architects & Engineers,” TS ([Kearney, NE]: The firm, [1985]). Copy in Nebraska State Historical Society, Historic Preservation Division, Architect file.

8. George Grabe, The Passing of the Little Red Schoolhouse, (Fremont, Nebraska: Hammond Printing Company, 1928), 13-21.

9. “From the Files: Emiel J. Christensen, A-45,” The Nebraska Professional (May 1994), 5.

10. “Oakland Rose Above Disappointments to Attain Its New Hall,” Oakland Independent & Republican (January 24, 1941).

11. Oakland Independent & Republican [probably; see file] (January 27, 1941).

12. Jeff Barnes, 150@150: Nebraska's Landmark Buildings at the State's Sesquicentennial (Architectural Foundation of Nebraska, 2017).

Page Citation

D. Murphy, “George Grabe (1883-1949), Architect,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, December 18, 2014. Accessed, December 7, 2022.

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