George Washington Burkhead (1858-1931), Architect

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Sioux City, Iowa, 1893-ca.1923

DBA: G.W. Burkhead or Geo. W. Burkhead

George Washington Burkhead was born on November 26, 1858 in Urbana, Iowa. his parents were John W. and Elizabeth Amanda (Ferguson).[5] He began his career as a builder, then opened an architectural office in Sioux City in the 1890s. He practiced in Sioux City the rest of his life, designing buildings there and in nearby Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota communities.[4] Burkhead was married to Clara Lee, with whom he had two daughters, Myrtle and Mary, and a son, George M. He was later married to Adyline Trumbaur (elsewhere mistaken as Angeline), and had two daughters, Ruth and Naomi, and a son, Gerald W.[3][5] In 1923, he had six employees and did an average of half a million dollars worth of construction work per year.[7] He was active in local civic affairs, and died at his home on May 2, 1931.[4][5]

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.

Ponca Carnegie Library, 1911 (D. Murphy)

Educational & Professional Associations

1893-1900: Burkhead & Reese, Architects, Sioux City, Iowa.[5][7]

1900-____: G.W. Burkhead, Architect, Sioux City, Iowa.[5][7]

Buildings & Projects


Residence of Dr. Jim Talcott (1907), Crofton, Nebraska.[6]

Remodel of residence for Andrew Ring (1907), Hawarden, Iowa.[6]

Residence for A. Weinhandt (1907), Emerson, Nebraska.[6]

Residence for J.A. Langan (1907), 1415 Summit Ave., Sioux City, Iowa.[6]

Field-Carnegie Library (1908) Odebolt, Iowa.[8]

Ponca Carnegie Library (1911), 200 2nd, Ponca, Nebraska.[1][2][a] (DX08-015) NRHP form and photos (in Ponca Historic District)

Burkehead house (1913), Sioux City, Iowa.[4]


Mount Sinai Temple (aka United Orthodox Synagogue) (n.d.), 1320 Nebraska St., Sioux City, Iowa.[2][5]

Baker House (n.d.), SD Route 48, Alcester, South Dakota.[2][5]

First National Bank (n.d.), Randolph, Nebraska.[4]

Masonic Temple (n.d.), Emerson, Nebraska.[4]


a. Local sources list only “Burkhead, Sioux City, Iowa.”[1]


1. State Library Commission files.

2. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

3. 1920 United States Census, s.v. “George W. Burkhead,” Sioux City, Woodbury County, Iowa, accessed through "".

4. Entry in Henry F. Withey, and Elsie Rathburn Withey, Biographical Dictionary of American Architects (Deceased) (Los Angeles: New Age Publishing Company, 1956); (Facsimile edition, Hennessey & Ingalls, Inc., 1970), 95.

5. “George Washington Burkhead,” January 14, 2008, accessed December 15, 2016.

6. “Sioux City,” The Improvement Bulletin (May 18, 1907), 20. Accessed through Google Books on December 15, 2016.

7. “George W. Burkhead,” Three Quarters of a Century of Progress 1848-1943 (1923), 175-185. Accessed through on December 15, 2016.

8. “Library News of the State,” Quarterly of the Iowa Library Commission Vol. 5 (Des Moines, Iowa: 1905-1908), 30. Accessed through Google Books on December 15, 2016.

Other Sources

"AIA Historical Directory of American Architects: A Resource Guide to Finding Information About Past Architects", accessed December 14, 2016.

Sioux City Museum online pdf file, undated and unattributed. Accessed on December 15, 2016.

Page Citation

D. Murphy, “George Washington Burkhead (1858-1931), Architect,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, September 30, 2014. Accessed, August 8, 2022.

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