Henning H. Henningson (1879-1958), Engineer

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Omaha, Nebraska; active, 1917-1953

DBA: Henningson Engineering Company, Engineers, Omaha, Nebraska

Henning H. Henningson was born in Jewell, Iowa, February 18, 1879.[3] He terminated his early education after the seventh grade. Following a brief tour in the Infantry of Iowa during the Spanish-American War, he applied for entrance to Iowa State College (now University) and was rejected because of his limited schooling. After unsuccessful appeals to the college, he appealed the school’s ruling to the governor of the state, claiming a right as a taxpayer to attend a state-supported school. The governor concurred and in 1902 Henningson was admitted to Iowa State.[1][4:3] He became a member of Tau Beta Pi and graduated with honors in electrical engineering in 1907.[2:9][3:51][4:3]

Following graduation, Henningson was hired as an apprentice engineer at Westinghouse in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he met his future spouse, Rose Philson. Soon he was assigned “to run its Omaha office.”[4:4] He was employed by Westinghouse, running its Omaha facility for several years, leaving in 1911 to become a salesman for Alamo Engine & Supply Company in Omaha. He rose to sales manager in 1913.[3:52][4:4]

In 1917 Henningson founded Henningson Engineering Company, Engineers in Omaha, with offices at 12th and Harney Streets.[4:5] The company, which employed 12 persons in 1917 [4:5], experienced rapid growth with projects across the state. Much of its early work involved municipal utilities, including power and light plants, and water, storm sewer and sanitary sewer systems. The firm prospered through rural electrification work in the 1930s, and military contracts in the 1940s. In 1946 Henningson took on partners Willard Richardson and Charles Durham, and in 1950 the firm became known as Henningson Durham & Richardson, Architects & Engineers.[4][5] “H. H.” Henningson retired in 1953 and died of Parkinson’s disease September 29, 1958.[4:14]

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.

Educational & Professional Associations

1902-1907: B.S.E.E., Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.[4:3]

1907-1911: apprentice engineer, Westinghouse, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Omaha, Nebraska.[4:3-4]

1911-1913: salesman and sales manager, Alamo Engine & Supply Company.[4:4]

1917-1950: founder and president, Henningson Engineering Company, Omaha, Nebraska.[4:4-13]

1950-1953: engineer, Henningson Durham & Richardson, Omaha, Nebraska.[4:13-14]


1. Gary Johansen, “Where the Calls Mean Business,” Omaha World Herald, Magazine of the Midlands (February 5, 1978), 11.

2. Charles W. Durham, Henningson, Durham & Richardson, Offering Professional Design Services Since 1917 (Omaha, Nebraska: The Newcomen Society in North America, April 20, 1978), An address delivered to the members.

3. Bob Reilly, ed., LUCKY, The Story of the Durhams and HDR (Omaha: Barnum Press, 1998).

4. HDR, History of Excellence: 90th Anniversary, 1917-2007 (Omaha: HDR, 2007), accessed January 16, 2013, http://www.hdrinc.com/sites/all/files/assets/about-hdr/history-of-excellence-book.pdf

5. HDR Timeline, [2010], accessed January 16, 2013, http://www.hdrinc.com/sites/all/files/assets/about-hdr/hdr-timeline.pdf

Page Citation

Alan Eastman and D. Murphy, “Henning H. Henningson (1879-1958), Engineer,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, January 27, 2015. http://www.e-nebraskahistory.org/index.php?title=Place_Makers_of_Nebraska:_The_Architects Accessed, May 25, 2020.

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