James Ralph Webster (1871-1939), Architect

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Omaha, Nebraska, 1909-1939
James Webster, ca. 1938.

DBA: James R. Webster

James Ralph Webster was born in Illinois on July 14, 1871. He studied at Purdue University before entering architectural practice, first in Wooster, Ohio, then in Steubenville, Ohio, before moving to Omaha, where he practiced for thirty years. Webster had a wife, Harriet, and in 1920 had one daughter, Ethel, who then was 18 years old. Webster died in Omaha on February 9, 1939.[2][3][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.

Compiled Nebraska Directory Listings

Omaha, Nebraska, 1921-1925, 1938

Educational & Professional Associations

1888-1889: Preparatory Class, Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana.[3]

1889-1893: Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana.[3]

1893-1900: active practice as an architect, Wooster, Ohio.[3]

1900-1907: active practice as an architect, Steubenville, Ohio.[3]

1909: draftsman, Fisher & Lawrie, Architects, Omaha, Nebraska.[c]

1910: draftsman. Joseph P. Guth, Architect, Omaha, Nebraska.

1911-1920: architectural draftsman, George B. Prinz, Architect, Omaha, Nebraska.[3]

1920-1921: architect and partner, Bollard & Webster, Architects, Omaha, Nebraska.[6][7][a][b]

1921-1927: James R.Webster, Architect, Omaha, Nebraska.[3]

1927-1939: draftsman, George B. Prinz, Architect, Omaha, Nebraska.[3][c]

1938: Registered Professional Architect, Nebraska, A-9; January 4, 1938.[3]

Buildings & Projects


Ten residences (ca. 1893-1900), Wooster, Ohio.[4]

Two Ward school buildings (ca. 1893-1900), Wooster, Ohio.[4]

County jail (ca. 1893-1900), Wooster, Ohio.[4]

Sheriff’s residence (ca. 1893-1900), Wooster, Ohio.[4]

Grandstand and other county fair buildings (ca. 1893-1900), Wooster, Ohio.[4]

Two country school buildings (ca. 1893-1900), Wooster, Ohio.[4]

Preserving factory and several other minor buildings (ca. 1893-1900), Wooster, Ohio.[4]

Wooster University Library Building (ca. 1893-1900), Wooster, Ohio.[4][d]


Ward School Building (ca. 1900-1907), Steubenville, Ohio.[4]

High School Building (ca. 1900-1907), Steubenville, Ohio.[4]

Fire Engine House (ca. 1900-1907), Steubenville, Ohio.[4]

LaBelle Iron Works Office Building (ca. 1900-1907), Steubenville, Ohio.[4]

Ohio Valley Clay Company Factory (ca. 1900-1907), Steubenville, Ohio.[4]

Glass Factory (ca. 1900-1907), Hollensee, West Virginia.[4]

Numerous other residences, duplexes, store and apartment buildings (ca. 1900-1907), Steubenville, Ohio.[4]

Ward School Building (ca. 1900-1907), Mingo Junction, Ohio.[4]

High School Building (ca. 1900-1907), Mingo Junction, Ohio.[4]

City Hall and Fire Station (ca. 1900-1907), Coshocton, Ohio.[4]


Store and Office building for F. D. Mead (ca. 1920-1927), Omaha, Nebraska.[4]

Garage for J. L. Baker (ca. 1920-1927), Omaha, Nebraska.[4]

Store Building for A. L. Huff (ca. 1920-1927), Omaha, Nebraska.[4]

Three residences for A. L. Huff (ca. 1920-1927), Omaha, Nebraska.[4]

Remodel store building into a motion picture theatre (ca. 1920-1927), Red Oak, Iowa.[4].

Residence (ca. 1920-1927), Red Oak, Iowa.[4]

Three store building remodels (ca. 1920-1927), Plattsmouth, Nebraska.[4]

Residence (ca. 1920-1927), Plattsmouth, Nebraska.[4]

Motion picture theatre remodel (ca. 1920-1927), Nebraska City, Nebraska.[4]

Residence (ca. 1920-1927), Nebraska City, Nebraska.[4]

Duplex (1922), 3413-15 Cass, Omaha, Nebraska.[1] (DO09:0214-022)


a. Partner, Donald C. Bollard.[6]

b. “The architectural practice formerly carried on under the firm name of Bollard & Webster, 520 Paxton Building, Omaha, Neb., will be conducted in the future by James R. Webster at the same address.”[7]

c. First Omaha directory listing, 1909; last listing, 1939.

d. In association with Simmons & Fellows, Architects, Chicago, Illinois.[4]


1. City of Omaha Planning Department, Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission, Database, Query on Architects, May 20, 2002; courtesy of Lynn Meyer, Preservation Planner.

2. AIA Historical Directory of American Architects: A Resource Guide to Finding Information About Past Architects, accessed August 10, 2010, http://communities.aia.org/sites/hdoaa/wiki/Wiki%20Pages/ahd1047554.aspx

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

4. Letter to State Board, November 27, 1937 (on George B. Prinz letterhead), attached to reference 3.

5. 1920 United States Census, s.v. “James R. Webster,” Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, accessed through HeritageQuestOnline.com.

6. “Personals,” American Architect 117:2310 (March 31, 1920), 412, accessed August 29, 2013 through Google Books http://books.google.com/books?id=nGIgAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA412&lpg=PA412&dq=%22donald+c+bollard%22+architect&source=bl&ots=ZJc-yrUfJa&sig=_CtyFV5DyjJvJA21_t8P19Kagfk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=WHkfUoFcsKDIAcSNgOgF&ved=0CEAQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=%22donald%20c%20bollard%22%20architect&f=false

7. Architecture 43:4 (April 1921), 135, accessed August 29, 2013, http://booksnow1.scholarsportal.info/ebooks/oca1/9/architectureprof43newyuoft/architectureprof43newyuoft_bw.pdf

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Page Citation

D. Murphy, “James Ralph Webster (1871-1939), Architect,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, April 7, 2015. http://www.e-nebraskahistory.org/index.php?title=Place_Makers_of_Nebraska:_The_Architects Accessed, September 29, 2022.

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