Louis Vaughan (1853-1923), Architect & Inventor

From E Nebraska History
Revision as of 12:06, 26 August 2021 by DMurphy (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
Blair, Nebraska, 1891-1922

d.b.a.: Lou Vaughan & Co., Vaughan & Vaughan, Lou Vaughan.

Louis Vaughan was born in September 1853, in Wisconsin. He worked as a carpenter, architect, inventor and patent attorney in Blair, Nebraska. He was married to Ella (nee Sager) in 1885. In 1886 he lost a leg in a shotgun accident, but he worked as a builder and architect and traveled to job sites throughout his life. Ella and Louis had one son, Burl Byron. Vaughan also conducted an insurance business in Blair from the late 1890s until 1904, when he sold the business and worked briefly as a draughtsman in an Omaha architect's office.[31] An extensive practice as a patent attorney apparently occupied much of his attention in his later years. He died in Blair at age 69 on January 6, 1923.[1][2][4][5][6][39][e]

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

Blair, Nebraska, 1893-1895, 1902-1903, 1907, 1909, 1913, 1915, 1917

Educational & Professional Associations

1880: carpenter, Blair, Nebraska.[1]

1881-1882: Contractor & builder with L. H. Newell as Lou Vaughan & Co., Blair, Nebraska.[9]

1884-1885: Contractor & builder as Lou Vaughan, Blair, Nebraska.[10]

1887-1888: Contractor & builder as Vaughan & Vaughan with W[illiam]. C. Vaughan, Blair, Nebraska.[11]

1891: Draughtsman and Solicitor of Patents, Blair, Nebraska.[14][c]

1891-1922: architect, Blair, Nebraska.[2][15][f]

Buildings & Projects

Constructed "main part of Crowell Memorial Home," initially the private residence of Mr. & Mrs. C. C. Crowell (1884), Blair, Nebraska.[39]

A "fine large residence" for A. P. Howe (1888), "opposite the West Ward school building," Blair, Nebraska.[12]

Superintendent for construction, Washington County Courthouse (1889-1890), Blair, Nebraska.[13][c]

Blair Fire Department engine house (1891), Blair, Nebraska.[15]

Harry Rohwer farmhouse (1891), "on Moore's creek, north of the Rolf house," probably in vicinity of Fort Calhoun, Nebraska.[16]

I. O. O. F. hall (1892), Blair, Nebraska.[8]

Blair school house (1893), Blair, Nebraska.[17]

"Banker Rix's new house" (1894), Fort Calhoun, Nebraska.[18]

Addition to Postmaster Wilkinson house (1896), "on the old Andrews ranche, near Ft. Calhoun," Nebraska.[19]

Sas Bros. brick department store (1896-1897), Blair, Nebraska.[20][21][41]

Fort Calhoun City Hall (ca. 1897), Fort Calhoun, Nebraska.[22]

Remodeling and repairing J. W. Mayle block (1897), Blair, Nebraska.[23]

Remodeling and adding story to J. B. Adams' residence (1897), Blair, Nebraska.[42]

Dodge County Bank (1899), Hooper, Nebraska.[3][45][b]

J. W. C. Kline residence (1899), corner of Grant and Second Streets, Blair, Nebraska.[26][43]

Henry Ruwe residence (1899), South Street, Blair, Nebraska.[27][44]

One-story frame Opera House for Frank Brooks and others (1899), Blair, Nebraska.[44][46]

Remodeling and enlarging Frank Skinner residence (1899), Blair, Nebraska.[47]

Mrs. Joe (Vickie) Johnson residence (1900), West Colfax Street, Blair, Nebraska.[24][48]

C. C. Crowell, Jr. residence (1900), Blair, Nebraska.[49]

I. C. Eiler house (1901), Blair, Nebraska.[25]

Carl Stroeger residence (1901), Blair, Nebraska.[50]

Plans for remodeling George Heller's dwelling (1902), Blair, Nebraska.[51]

Dr. F. B. Monroe residence (1902), Seattle, Washington.[52][g]

Frame dwelling for Z. S. Doane (1902), Fairfax, South Dakota.[53]

Two-story frame school house and town hall (1902), Naper, Nebraska.[54]

Repair and remodel residence of D. Z. Mummert (1903), Blair, Nebraska.[28]

Two-story frame dwelling for John Schmahling (1903), Blair, Nebraska.[55]

Store for Judge Hopewell (1904), Tekamah, Nebraska.[30]

Superintending erection of a residence for W. A. Bennett (1906), New York City.[32][d]

Frame bungalow for Thos. T. Osterman (1909), Blair, Nebraska.[33]

"plans for a fire house, city council chamber and bastile along side the present [city] hall (1913), Fort Calhoun, Nebraska.[34]

Bungalow for Mr. & Mrs. John Blaco (1915), Kennard, Nebraska.[35][36]

Two-story Home State Bank building with upper story Masonic lodge (1915), Kennard, Nebraska.[36][37]

Remodeling of the Mattthiesen Building form Masonic Temple Craft (1922), Blair, Nebraska.[38]


a. Not found in federal census in Nebraska in 1910.

b. Improvement Bulletin of 1899 notes that "Lou Vaughan, architect, of Blair, Neb., has prepared plans for a bank and office building for the Dodge County Bank. It will be 2-story and basement, 100-foot front, of Omaha pressed brick, Kasota and Portage stone...Cost complete, $7,000."[3]

c. "Lou Vaughan, Draughtsman and Solicitor of Patents." published a note in 1891 "The new court house is completed. You will now find me at my office, ready to bring to your service in the preparation of plans and specifications for buildings, or in soliciting patents for new inventions, the results of several years hard study and practical experience. Office with Attorney David."[14]

d. A Blair newspaper mentioned in 1906 "Lou Vaughan is in New York City superintending the erection of a residence for W. A. Bennett, a former Blairite, a dozen or fifteen years ago secretary of the Blair Horse Collar Manufacturing Co., and later proprietor of the Clinton Hotel. It is reported that Bennett has made a stake since leaving Blair and is in affluent circumstances, all of which his many friends will be glad to hear."[32]

e. Vaughan's obituary in Blair's Pilot-Tribune mentions that at the time of his marriage to Miss Ella Saeger in 1884, "he was erecting the main part of Crowell Memorial Home, then the private residence of Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Crowell and family." He was described as a Blair resident from 1869 and as "a man of much ability and an architect who has designed many buildings in Blair and Washington county, and his work will stand as a monument to him in years to come. He was a great reader, thinker and student and a conversationalist to whom it was a pleasure to listen."

f. The building trades journal Improvement Bulletin in 1897 published "The Outlook" of prospects in the construction field for the upcoming year, based on interviews with "a large number of the architects and engineers throughout its territory." Nebraskans including F. A. Henninger of Omaha, H. T. J. Fuehrman of Grand Island, James Tyler & Son of Lincoln, and Lou Vaughan of Blair were among the 44 individuals and firms responding. Vaughan opined: "The prospects for this year, while not flattering, are rather improving, and with the undoubted success of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition' I look for a general loosening up of Western business, especially the building interests."[40]

g. Improvement Bulletin announced in 1902 "Seattle, Wash.--Dr. F. B. Monroe, 533 17th av., has had plans prepared by Lou Vaughan, architect, of Blair, Neb, for a 2-story frame dwelling, 38x50, to cost $5,000. Will have plate and art glass, hard plaster, furnace, bath, electric bells and light, two grates and mantels, plumbing, screes, etc."[52]


1. 1880 United States Census, s.v. “Lewis Vaughan,” Blair, Washington County, Nebraska, accessed through HeritageQuestOnline.com.

2. 1900 United States Census, s.v. “Low Vaughan,” Blair, Washington County, Nebraska, accessed through HeritageQuestOnline.com.

3. "Hooper, Neb.," Improvement Bulletin (September 2, 1899), 14; The Post-Tribune (Blair, Nebraska) (July 27, 1899), 1.

4. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census[database on-line, s.v. "Louis M. Vaughan." Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.

5. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line], s.v. "Louis Vaughan." Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.

6. Ancestry.com. U.S., Find a Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line], s.v. "Louis Vaughan. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.

7. "Louis M. Vaughan," The Enterprise (Blair, Nebraska) (January 11, 1923), 1.

8. The Pilot (Blair, Nebraska) (February 18, 1892), 5 (col. 1: entry "Are you going to build this season?" by "Lou Vaughan, Architect'); (col. 3: brief article noting "Lou Vaughan will draws the plans and supervise the construction" of an I.O.O.F. building "where the old building stood before the fire"); (col. 3: "Inventors," entry from "Lou Vaughan, Solicitor of Patents" recommending his services in filing patent applications).

9. "Miscellaneous," The Pilot (Blair, Nebraska) (March 3, 1881), 1.

10. Advertisement, The Pilot (Blair, Nebraska) (November 27, 1884), 1.

11. "Advertisements...Vaughan & Vaughan, Contractors and Builders. Drawings prepared and specifications written for buildings or patents..." The Pilot (Blair, Nebraska) (October 6, 1887), 3.

12. "Local," The Pilot (Blair, Nebraska) (May 10, 1888), 3.

13. "Supervisors Proceedings," Blair (Nebraska) Courier (November 9, 1888), 2; list of claims allowed by Washington County Supervisors includes "Lou Vaughan supt., court house...$116.12," (August 23, 1890), 8.

14. Note, Blair (Nebraska) Courier (March 14, 1891), 8.

15. "Notice to Builders," The Pilot (Blair, Nebraska) (September 3, 1891), 1.

16. "From Fort Calhoun," The Pilot (Blair, Nebraska) (September 17, 1891), 1.

17. "Bids on school house were opened..." The Pilot (Blair, Nebraska) (July 13, 1893), 5.

18. "From Fort Calhoun," The Pilot (Blair, Nebraska), (October 25, 1894), 1.

19. "Lou Vaughan has just completed some very pretty plans..." The Pilot-Tribune (Blair, Nebraska) (February 20, 1896), 1.

20. "Notice to Builders," The Pilot-Tribune (Blair, Nebraska) (September 24, 1896), 5.

21. The Weekly Leader (Blair, Nebraska) (September 26, 1896), 1 (col. 5).

22. "From Fort Calhoun," The Pilot (Blair, Nebraska) (March 29, 1897), 1.

23. "Notice to Contractors," The Pilot-Tribune (Blair, Nebraska) (August 12, 1897), 4.

24. The Pilot (Blair, Nebraska) (November 19, 1900), 3 (col. 2).

25. "Notice to Contractors," The Pilot (Blair, Nebraska) (July 25, 1901), 3.

26. The Pilot-Tribune (Blair, Nebraska) (June 1, 1899), 1 (col. 5).

27. The Pilot-Tribune (Blair, Nebraska) (July 6, 1899), 1 (col. 5).

28. "Notice to Builders," The Pilot (Blair, Nebraska) (March 2, 1903), 2.

29. The Pilot-Tribune (Blair, Nebraska) (May 14, 1903), 1 (col. 4).

30. The Pilot-Tribune (Blair, Nebraska) (April 7, 1904), 1 (col. 4).

31. Blair (Nebraska) Courier (September 21, 1904), 1; Blair (Nebraska) Democrat (March 2, 1905), 5.

32. The Pilot (Blair, Nebraska) (June 27, 1906), 4 (col. 2, 3).

33. "Notice to Contractors," The Tribune (Blair, Nebraska) (June 30, 1909), 4.

34. The Tribune (Blair, Nebraska) (May 28, 1913), 7 (col. 4).

35. The Enterprise (Blair, Nebraska) (April 16, 1915), 5 (col. 2).

36. The Pilot (Blair, Nebraska) (April 21, 1915), 8 (col. 3).

37. The Enterprise (Blair, Nebraska) (June 4, 1915), 3 (col. 1); "Kennard," The Pilot (Blair, Nebraska) (July 21, 1915), 3.

38. "Call for Bids," The Enterprise (Blair, Nebraska) (December 7, 1922), 1.

39. Obituary, The Pilot (Blair, Nebraska) (January 10, 1923), 2 (col. 3); "Lou Vaughan Died at His Home Saturday," The Pilot-Tribune (Blair, Nebraska) (January 11, 1923), 1.

40. "The Outlook. Architects and Engineers Tell the Improvement Bulletin of the Prospects for the Season of 1897," Improvement Bulletin (March 20, 1897), 8.

41. "Business Buildings...Blair, Neb.," Improvement Bulletin (March 20, 1897), 16.

42. "Residences...Blair, Neb.," Improvement Bulletin (March 20, 1897), 28.

43. "Residences...Blair, Neb.," Improvement Bulletin (June 10, 1899), 16.

44. "Residences...Blair, Neb.," and "Theaters and Halls...Blair, Neb.," Improvement Bulletin (July 8, 1899), 16.

45. "Business Buildings...Blair, Neb.," Improvement Bulletin (August 5, 1899), 11.

46. "Theaters and Halls...Blair, Neb.," Improvement Bulletin (September 2, 1899), 13.

47. "Residences...Blair, Neb.," Improvement Bulletin (October 28, 1899), 16.

48. "Residences...Blair, Neb.," Improvement Bulletin (December 8, 1900), 16.

49. "Residences...Blair, Neb.," Improvement Bulletin (December 22, 1900), 18.

50. "Residences...Blair, Neb.," Improvement Bulletin (March 23, 1901), 20.

51. "Residences...Blair, Neb.," Improvement Bulletin (April 5, 1902), 22.

52. "Residences...Seattle, Wash.," Improvement Bulletin (May 17, 1902), 22.

53. "Residences...Fairfax, S. D.," Improvement Bulletin (October 4, 1902), 22.

54. "Educational...Naper, Neb.," Improvement Bulletin (October 11, 1902), 17.

55. "Residences...Blair, Neb.," Improvement Bulletin (August 8, 1903), 20.

Page Citation

E. F. Zimmer & D. Murphy “Louis Vaughan (1853-1923), Architect & Inventor,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, June 28, 2021. http://www.e-nebraskahistory.org/index.php?title=Place_Makers_of_Nebraska:_The_Architects Accessed, November 26, 2022.

Contact the Nebraska State Historic Preservation Office with questions or comments concerning this page, including any problems you may have with broken links (see, however, the Disclaimers link at the bottom of this page). Please provide the URL to this page with your inquiry.