Mifflin Emlen Bell (1846-1904), Architect

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Chicago, Illinois and Washington, D.C.

Mifflin E. Bell was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and moved to Bloomington, Illinois with his parents in 1853. In about 1869, he entered the architectural field in Chicago, working for A. H. Piquenard. After Piquenard’s death in 1876, he formed a practice in Springfield, Illinois with W. F. Hackney. He was named Supervising Architect of the U. S. Treasury in 1883, a position he held until about 1889.[3][6][7] His brother, Charles E. Bell, also an architect, apprenticed with him, possibly during the planning of the U.S. Post Office in Council Bluffs, Iowa, 1884.[4] In 1885, Bell became a Fellow of the AIA for his achievements in architecture.[2]

This page is a contribution to the publication, Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. See the Format and contents of Nebraska architect entries page for more information on the compilation and page organization.

U. S. Post Office, Nebraska City (1885-1889). (NeSHPO)

Buildings & Projects

U.S. Post Office (1884), Council Bluffs, Iowa, 1884.[4]

U. S. Post Office (1885-1889), 202 S 8th, Nebraska City, Nebraska.[1][5][a] (OT06:A-005) National Register narrative


a. The National Register narrative incorrectly attributes this building to "W. E. Bell."


1. Oliver B. Pollak, Nebraska Courthouses: Contention, Compromise, and Community [Images of America Series] (Chicago: Arcadia Publishing, 2002), 120.

2. AIA Historical Directory of American Architects: A Resource Guide to Finding Information About Past Architects. http://communities.aia.org/sites/hdoaa/wiki/Wiki%20Pages/ahd1002911.aspx [accessed 20100413]

3. Henry F. Withey, A.I.A., and Elsie Rathburn Withey, Biographical Dictionary of American Architects (Deceased) (Los Angeles: New Age Publishing Company, 1956). Facsimile edition, (Hennessey & Ingalls, Inc., 1970), 48.

4. Biographical History of Pottawattamie County (Iowa) (Lewis Publishing Co., 1891), 485-86.

5. Omaha Daily Herald (November 6, 1885), 4.

6. “Mifflin E. Bell’s Career,” New York Times (October 31, 1883), accessed July 25, 2013, http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F50A14FF3B5F15738DDDA80B94D8415B8384F0D3

7. “Mifflin E. Bell,” 1881 History of Sangamon County, Illinois (Chicago: Inter-State Publishing Company, 1881), 640, accessed through Roots Web on July 25, 2013, http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ilmaga/sangamon/1881bios/bell_mifflin.html

Other Sources

“Bell, Mifflin,” Pacific Coast Architecture Database, University of Washington, accessed July 25, 2013, https://digital.lib.washington.edu/architect/architects/5369/

American Architect & Building News 84:1486 (June 18, 1904), 93.

Page Citation

D. Murphy, “Mifflin Emlen Bell (1846-1904), Architect,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, July 25, 2013. http://www.e-nebraskahistory.org/index.php?title=Place_Makers_of_Nebraska:_The_Architects Accessed, September 28, 2022.

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