Marcus Leach (1838-1920), Architect
Marcus Leach was born in March 1838 in New York. He was recorded as the fifth of ten children of Hiram and Mariah Leach in the 1850 census. Hiram was a laborer. Marcus was listed as a farm laborer in Bradford, Illinois in the 1860 census and as a carpenter in Etna, Iowa in 1870. He worked as an architect in Beaver City and in Wymore, Nebraska, and then beginning around 1892, began a practice in Lincoln. For a few years in the early twentieth century, he was involved a productive partnership with F. J. Plym as Leach & Plym on projects including school houses. Leach was married to Alice and they had three children by 1870--John, Clara, and Homer. Leach was last listed as residing in Lincoln in 1911; by 1912 he had "moved to Marshalltown, Ia." He resided with his daughter-in-law, widow Sarah J. Leach, in Iowa Falls, Iowa at the time of his death in 1920. He was interred at Hazel Green Cemetery in Ackley, Iowa. 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
Wymore, Nebraska, 1882-1891
Lincoln, Nebraska, 1893-1912
Educational & Professional Associations
1870: carpenter, Etna, Iowa.
1880: architect and builder, Beaver City, Nebraska.
1882-1891, architect & builder, Wymore, Nebraska.
ca. 1892-1911: architect, Lincoln, Nebraska.
1920: architect, Iowa Falls, Iowa.
Buildings & Projects
1882-1891 (Wymore, Nebraska)
Opera House Block (1882), Wymore, Nebraska.
Phoenix Block [later, Union Block] (ca. 1889-1892), McCook, Nebraska.[from W. H. Cole Collection, CG89, file . . .]
ca. 1892-1900 (Lincoln, Nebraska)
1900-1903 (Lincoln, Nebraska)
See Leach & Plym, Architects for the partnership's Nebraska projects.
1904-1911 (Lincoln, Nebraska)
Two-story brick block, 25x142', for C. L. Burr (1904), Lincoln, Nebraska.
Wanneta Bank (1907), Wanneta Falls, Nebraska.
Implement warehouse for G. A. Morehouse (1907), Belvidere, Nebraska.
Brick hotel for George L. Smith (1909), Ulysses, Nebraska.
Four-unit stuccoed frame residence for Robert B. Suter (1909), 1617-1623 E Street, Lincoln, Nebraska. Extant 2018.
Addition to brick commercial building for paperhanger William H. Green (1909), 1527 O Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.
Brick commercial building for C. D. Campbell (1910), 127-131 South 16th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.
Frame residence for Charles H. Rohman (1910), 1435 L Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.
Adams Express Building (1910), 342 North 7th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.
a. School Board Journal of September 1899 lists "Lincoln, Neb. A new $8,000 ward school. Plans drawn by Architect M. Leach." In 1902 that Journal published a small elevation for "New Central School, Lincoln, Neb." showing the building which stood south of the original Lincoln High School at S. 15th and M Streets and was called McKinley School.
b. Improvement Bulletin of February 1899 notes: "York, Neb.--Campbell & Bros., of Lincoln, have the contract to erect the opera house for Huffman & Son, of New York, from plans by M. Leach, architect, of Lincoln. It will be of stone and brick, and will cost $12,000."
c. In 1899, Nebraska State Journal advertised for bids on a school building in Lincoln, with plans and specifications available in Marcus Leach's office. The site mentioned (by legal description) corresponds with 26th Street between H and Randolph Streets. According to Yost's abstract of the Lincoln Board of Education minutes, in 1900 the board requested plans and bids for a $7,000 school at 26th & H Streets. Leach's were adopted but all of the bids were over $7,000 so there was no further action. In 1902 a contract was awarded on a bid of $9800 for Randolph School on South 26th Street (H to Randolph). Probably Leach's design was used as no mention was made of re-soliciting plans.
d. The Stephens' house was described in Improvement Bulletin as a "two-story modern residence," estimated to cost $3,500. It is extant at 201 S. 28th in Lincoln (2018). Berge's house was estimated to cost $5,000.
e. Improvement Bulletin reported: "Wilcox, Neb.--Marcus Leach, architect, Lincoln, has plans for a 2-story business building, 50x140, for C. J. Hulquist. Brick, stone and reinforced concrete...Cost, $18,000."
f. Improvement Bulletin reported: "Benkelman, Neb.--B. Franklin, of McCook, Neb., will erect a bank and store building here, 1-story, 50x65, to cost $10,000. Marcus Leach, architect, Lincoln."
g. James A. Devore purchased Lot 8, Block 1, Capitol Addition by Lancaster County deed 95:346. Nebraska State Journal reported on July 23, 1899 that "the fine two-story colonial residence of George W. Berge is going up...On E between Eighteenth and Nineteenth." The newspaper added that "J. A. Devore is to erect a fine colonial residence on E street also, one brlock father east...It will be a little after the style of Mr. Berge's house, the same architect making the plans for both."
1. Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.
2. Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.
3. Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.
4. 1880 United States Census, s.v. “Marcus Leach,” Beaver City, Furnas County, Nebraska, accessed through HeritageQuestOnline.com.
5. Lincoln City Directories; also 1900 United States Census, s.v. “Marcus Leach,” Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska, accessed through HeritageQuestOnline.com.
6. 1910 United States Census, s.v. “Marcus Leach,” Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska, accessed through HeritageQuestOnline.com. 7. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.
8. Ancestry.com. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.
9. Improvement Bulletin (February 18, 1899), 11.
10. School Board Journal (January 1899), 392; (September 1899), v. 59, 478; (October 1902), v. 25, no. 4, 11 (elevation).
11. Carl Yost, comp "Abstract of Lincoln Board of Education minutes," TS, ca. 1930, 90 (1900) and 100 (1902). Lincoln Public Schools Archives.
12. Improvement Bulletin (June 24, 1899), 20:4, 19.
13. City of Lincoln Building Permit #3012 and associated application, "frame stucco res[idence]" on Lot 4, Block 184, Original Plat; estimated cost $5,000.
14. City of Lincoln Building Permit #3459 and associated application, "Brick addition...25x50" on Lot 6, Block 60, Original Plat; estimated cost $3,000.
15. City of Lincoln Building Permit #3534 and associated application, "brick bldg.--tile & Brk" on Lot 18, Block 60, Original Plat; estimated cost $9,000.
16. City of Lincoln Building Permit #3665 and associated application, "brick bldg.--tile & Brk" on Lot 18, Block 60, Original Plat; estimated cost $9,000.
17. City of Lincoln Building Permit #3903 and associated application, for Lots 6 & 7, Block 31, Original Plat; estimated cost $6,000.
18. "Business Buildings...Wannetta Falls, Neb.," Improvement Bulletin (June 1, 1907), 24. Two-stories, $10,000.
19. "Notice of contractors," (Lincoln) Nebraska State Journal (September 29, 1909), 9.
20. Wymore, Nebraska city directories.
21. Improvement Bulletin (December 24, 1904), 21.
22. "Business Buildings," Improvement Bulletin (October 5, 1907), 24.
23. Improvement Bulletin (November 7, 1908), 27.
24. "Business Buildings," Improvement Bulletin (April 3, 1909), 26.
25. "Wymore. Specifications of its Building Boom and Other Booms," (Lincoln) Nebraska State Journal (July 6, 1882), 3.
26. "Notice to Contractors," (Lincoln) Nebraska State Journal (June 14, 1899), 7.
27. (Lincoln) Nebraska State Journal (July 23, 1899), 10.
E. F. Zimmer, “Marcus Leach (1838-1920), Architect,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, May 2, 2022. http://www.e-nebraskahistory.org/index.php?title=Place_Makers_of_Nebraska:_The_Architects Accessed, September 27, 2022.
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