Harry Winfield Meginnis (1877-1943), Architect
Harry Winfield Meginnis was born September 23, 1877 in Maquoketa, Iowa, where his early employer and eventual partner, F. C. Fiske, was raised and attended school a generation earlier. Meginnis worked for his father, a contractor, in Maquoketa, then worked in Iowa, Nebraska, and Indiana early in his architectural career. He settled in Lincoln in 1915 where he was involved in long and productive partnerships, and numerous civic organizations. He was married to Edith Wright on June 20, 1917, and they had one son, Harry W. Jr. The architect died February 22, 1943.
- 1 Compiled Nebraska Directory Listings
- 2 Educational & Professional Associations
- 3 Buildings & Projects
- 4 Notes
- 5 References
- 6 Page Citation
Compiled Nebraska Directory Listings
Lincoln, Nebraska, 1904-1910, 1915-1942
Educational & Professional Associations
1884-1895: Grammar and High School, Maquoketa, Iowa.
1895-1896: Steinman’s Institute, Dixon, Illinois.
__-__: European travel and study, Atelier work, various studies in art institute, Art studies with private teachers, etc. while engaged in various offices.
1900: architectural draftsman, Josiah L. Rice, Clinton, Iowa.
1914-1915: partner, Brookie (True L.) & Meginnis, Indianapolis, Indiana.
1917-1919: instructor in engineering drawing, University of Nebraska.
1938: Registered Professional Architect, Nebraska, March 8, 1938; A-51.
Buildings & Projects
1900-1910 (Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Lincoln, Nebraska)
Meginnis worked as a draftsman in both the Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Lincoln, Nebraska offices of architects Charles Dieman and F. C. Fiske, beginning around 1900 in Iowa and then spending most of the decade in Lincoln. The Lincoln city directories began listing him as an architect with that firm by 1907. Individual projects associated with the partnership can be found on the pages for Dieman & Fiske (the Iowa office) and Fiske & Dieman (the Lincoln office).
In the 1907-1909 period, while Meginnis was still residing in Lincoln and employed by Fiske, he may have been establishing connections in Indianapolis, where he moved in 1910. Sources of the 1940s noted he worked ca. 1907-1909 with the "firm of DuPont & Hunter, architects, Indianapolis." Henry H. Dupont and Frank B. Hunter (1883-1958) were listed in the 1907 Indianapolis directory as partners, but the next year had separate practices.
1910-1914 (Indianapolis, Indiana)
Meginnis worked a few years in the office of H. L. Bass & Co. in Indianapolis, first as a draftsman and then as an architect. Herbert L. Bass (1877-1926) was a native and lifelong resident of Indianapolis and designed a wide range of prominent buildings in his birthplace. Meginnis partnered briefly in 1914 with True L. Brookie (1883-1958), an Indianapolis architect. The partners were credited with libraries in Rockville and Kinklin, and Brookie designed several Carnegie libraries for other Indiana communities.
1915-1924 (Lincoln, Nebraska)
Meginnis returned to Lincoln in 1915 and resumed his work with F. C. Fiske, but as a partner, not an employee. Fiske & Meginnis had a very productive decade producing a wide range of projects including residences, public schools, and commercial buildings in Lincoln and throughout the region. See the page on Fiske & Meginnis for a listing of their buildings, many of which are still in daily use.
1925 (Lincoln, Nebraska)
In 1925, the firm of Fiske & Meginnis, Architects accepted into partnership Edward G. Schaumberg, who had been a draftsman in that office the year before. The new partnership was listed in the Lincoln city directory for that single year as Fiske, Meginnis & Schaumberg. The next year Fiske resumed a solo practice, while his younger partners continued as Meginnis & Schaumberg, Architects. See the page on Fiske, Meginnis & Schaumberg for their projects of 1925.
1926-1943 (Lincoln, Nebraska)
Meginnis & Schaumberg, Architects designed a wide range of buildings in Lincoln and Nebraska including tall office buildings, large and small schools, and many residential buildings, before Harry Meginnis' death in 1943. Schaumberg continued to practice under the name Meginnis & Schaumber into the 1950s. See the page on Meginnis & Schaumberg, Architects for their projects.
a. Last registered 1943.
d. Plans prepared by city engineering department, with assistance from Fiske & Meginnis.
f. Meginnis is listed continuously in the Lincoln city directories from 1903-1910, advancing from draftsman to architect in the office of Fiske & Dieman. Yet Who's Who in Nebraska of 1940 states Meginnis was working with the Indianapolis firm of DuPont & Hunter in 1907-1909, then was employed by H. L. Bass & Co., Indianapolis architects, from 1909-1914. Indianapolis city directories do not list Meginnis until 1911. From 1911-1913 he was identified as a draftsman for H. L. Bass & Co., then in 1914 he as listed as an architect with that firm, and in 1915 he was again listed as an architect, but without a stated affiliation. His connection with True L. Brookie may have only lasted a few months in 1914, when several of their joint projects were listed in Construction News. An advertisement in the Lincoln Daily News of January 4, 1915 announced the partnership of Fiske & Meginnis in Lincoln, and described Meginnis as "not a stranger to Lincoln, having lived here four or five years prior to 1910." It goes on: "The past five years he has been in the east, most of the time in Indianapolis, where he has been practicing his profession."
g. Construction News lists several residences and libraries in 1914 by "Brookie & Meginnis" of 541 Lemke Annex, Indianapolis. The partnership apparently commenced at mid-year as Brookie was consistently listed separately as late as April 1914, at that same address. Their association only lasted a few months, as Brookie again was listed separately on numerous projects in 1915.
1. Obituary, Lincoln Star (February 23, 1943), 14.
2. "Harry Meginnis Dies while attending SAR Meeting," Lincoln Star (February 23, 1943), 1.
3. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
4. AIA Historical Directory of American Architects: A Resource Guide to Finding Information About Past Architects, accessed May 25, 2010, http://communities.aia.org/sites/hdoaa/wiki/Wiki%20Pages/ahd1029932.aspx
5. Application for Registration to Practice Professional Engineering and Architecture, Nebraska State Board of Examiners for Professional Engineers and Architects, December 20, 1937. Nebraska State Historical Society RG081 SG2.
6. Who's Who in Nebraska, 1940, 720.
7. Lincoln city directories, 1903-1910, 1915-1942.
8. Indianapolis city directories, 1911-1915.
9. "New Firm," (announcement of Fiske & Meginnis partnership), Lincoln Daily News (January 4, 1915), 2.
10. Construction News (July 4, 1914), 15.
11. Construction News (October 10, 1914), 17.
12. Construction News (May 2, 1914), 17.
13. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.
14. Ancestry.com. Florida Death Index, 1877-1998 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. S.V. "True Livingston Brookie."
15. "Herbert L. Bass (Nov. 13, 1877-Apr. 8, 1926)," in The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis, edited by David J. Bodenhamer & Robert G. Barrows, (Indiana University Press: 1994), 310.
E. F. Zimmer and D. Murphy, “Harry Winfield Meginnis (1877-1943), Architect,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, April 5, 2017. http://www.e-nebraskahistory.org/index.php?title=Place_Makers_of_Nebraska:_The_Architects Accessed, September 25, 2022.
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