Stiles Ezra Maxon (1849-1914), Architect

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Council Bluffs, Iowa, 1879-1887; Omaha, Nebraska, 1888-1893; Portland, Oregon, 1892-1900

D.B.A. S. E. Maxon & Company, Architects

Stiles Ezra Maxon was born on July 28 1849, in New York.[9] Maxon was married to Eliza Lane in Howells, New Jersey in 1870; together they had seven children.[14] Maxon was listed in the U. S. Census of 1880 as an architect in Council Bluffs, Iowa.[13][b] He was a Clerk in Council Bluffs for the Office of the Supervising Architect of the U. S. Treasury in 1887.[6] The next year Maxon, while maintaining his Iowa office, opened an architectural practice in Omaha, where he partnered with L. J. B. Bourgeois and Henry C. Cooke in 1890-1891. By 1892 he relocated to Portland, Oregon, where he was working as an architect in 1900. He died on October 6, 1914, and is buried in Pendleton, Oregon.[4][5][7][9]

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.

Joel N. Cornish House (Lynn Meyer)

Compiled Nebraska Directory Listings

Omaha, Nebraska, 1888-1893

Educational & Professional Associations

c. 1878-1887: architect, Council Bluffs, Iowa.[8][13][22[b]

1887: clerk, Office of Supervising Architect, U.S. Treasury Department, Council Bluffs, Iowa.[6]

1888-1893: architect, Omaha, Nebraska.

1888-1893: architect and principal, S. E. Maxon & Company, Omaha, Nebraska.[c]

1890-1891: architect and principal, Maxon, Bourgeois & Cooke, Omaha, Nebraska.

1892-1900: architect, Portland City, Oregon.[5][11]

Buildings & Projects

Masonic Temple (pre-1885), Council Bluffs, Iowa.[19]

Four school houses (pre-1885), Council Bluffs, Iowa.[19]

Shugart block (pre-1885), Council Bluffs, Iowa.[19]

Empkie Hardware Company building (pre-1885), Council Bluffs, Iowa.[19]

Opera house (pre-1885), Council Bluffs, Iowa.[19]

Bradley agricultural building (pre-1885), Council Bluffs, Iowa.[19]

Proposal (unsuccessful) for Lancaster County Courthouse (1885), Lincoln, Nebraska.[12][d]

Plans for Pottawattomie County Courthouse (1885), Council Bluffs, Iowa.[19][20][d][e]

Superintendent of construction of U. S. government building (1885), Council Bluffs, Iowa.[15]

Joel N. Cornish House (1886), southwest corner 10th & Williams, Omaha, Nebraska.[8] (DO09:0117-005)

Residence for George Rudio (1887), Madison Street, Omaha, Nebraska.[20]

Walnut Hill School (1888), 4370 Hamilton, Omaha, Nebraska.[1]

Homestake Mining Company Building (1888), Deadwood, South Dakota.[21]

A. W. Askwith House (1888), Council Bluffs, Iowa.[3]

Brick school-house (1889), LeMars, Iowa.[16]

Fremont County Courthouse (1889), Sidney, Iowa.[23]

Adams County Courthouse (1889-1890), Corning, Iowa.[18]

House (1891), 3049 Redick Ave., Omaha, Nebraska.[2][a] (DO09:0242-006)

Monona County Courthouse (1891-1892), Onawa, Iowa.[17]

Proposal for improving acoustics of Hall of Representatives of Oregon State Capitol (1892), Salem, Oregon.[24]

Large Brick Building for Oregon State Deaf Mute School (1894-1895), Salem, Oregon. [10][25]


a. Listed as Mason in NEHBS and Omaha Architects Database.

b. Five of the Maxon children were born by the time of 1880 Census. The three oldest (ages 9, 7, and 5) were all born in New Jersey, while the two youngest (2 and under age 1) were born in Iowa, suggesting Maxon's arrival in Iowa occurred by 1878.[13]

c. In association with John H. Kent (from city directory), and residing in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

d. Omaha Bee listed four architectural offices that submitted plans in the initial round of solicitations for Pottawattomie County (Iowa) Court House: S. E. Maxon of Council Bluffs, Eckel & Mann of Saint Joseph, Missouri, F. M. Ellis of Marshalltown, Iowa, and E. E. Myers of Detroit, who was said to have submitted three different sets. [12]

e. An Omaha newspaper in 1885 praised Maxon's proposed design for the Pottawattomie County courthouse (Council Bluffs, Iowa), listing several of his previous projects and describing him as "a practical mechanic, having learned the carpenter's trade when a boy and having been since that time a heavy contractor in the large cities of the east, and studied architecture under the best masters of the east."[19]


1. Landmarks, Inc., An Inventory of Historic Omaha Buildings (Omaha: Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission, 1980), 191.

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

3. "Council Bluffs," The Inland Architect and News Record 12:3 (October, 1888), 29. Accessed via, February 4, 2016.

4. 1860 United States Census, s.v. “Stiles E. Maxon,’’ Grafton, Rensselaer County, New York, accessed via MyHeritage Library Edition, February 4, 2016.

5. 1900 United States Census, s.v. “Stiles E. Maxon,” Portland City, Multnomah, Oregon, accessed via MyHeritage Library Edition, February 4, 2016.

6. “Official Register of the United States, 1887; Registry of Employees of the Treasury Department,” Federal Register (1907), 60. Accessed via MyHeritage Library Edition, February 4, 2016.

7. “S. E. Maxon,”, March 18, 2010, accessed February 4, 2016,

8. "Notice to Contractors," Omaha Daily Bee (August 16, 1886), 7:5.

9. "Late S.E. Maxon Buried," Daily East Oregonian (October 8, 1914), 8.

10. "Committee Report," Twelfth Biennial Report of the Oregon School for the Education of Deaf Mutes, State of Oregon, Frank C. Baker State Printer (1895).

11. Portland, Oregon city directory, 1894 & 1895.

12. "The New Court House," Omaha (Nebraska) Daily Bee (February 3, 1885), 7.

13. and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line], s.v. "Stiles E. Maxon." Lehi, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010.

14. New Jersey, Marriage Records, 1670-1965 [database on-line], s.v. "Stiles E. Maxon." Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2016.

15. "Northwestern Items. Iowa," Sioux City (Iowa) Journal (March 21, 1885), 1; "Brieflets," Sioux City (Iowa) Journal (March 27, 1885), 2.

16. "Proposals for the Erection of a School-House," Sioux City (Iowa) Journal (June 12, 1889), 8.

17. "Notice to Contractors," Sioux City (Iowa) Journal (May 15, 1891), 6.

18. "Start Move to New Court House," Adams County (Corning, Iowa) Free Press (August 11, 1955), 1.

19. "Council Bluffs--Additional Local News...The Court House Question," Omaha (Nebraska) Bee (February 2, 1885), 7.

20. "Minor Mention," Omaha (Nebraska) Daily Bee (October 7, 1887), 6.

21. "Personal Paragraphs," Omaha (Nebraska) Daily Bee (August 21, 1888) 6.

22. Advertisement for "S. E. Maxon, Architect and Superintendent...Council Bluffs, Iowa" and "Established 1879," Omaha (Nebraska) Daily Bee, (July 11, 1889), 6.

23. "Personal Paragraphs," Omaha (Nebraska) Daily Bee (November 10, 1889) 6.

24. "To Remedy the Acoustics. Architects Submit Plans for the Remodeling of the Hall of Representatives in the Capitol," Statesman Journal (Salem, Oregon) (January 6, 1892), 4.

25. "Most Elegant Plans--Fifteen Architects Compete for the Mute School Plans," Statesman Journal (Salem, Oregon) (March 2, 1894), 4.


Attribution and citation for the Cornish House courtesy of Patrick Thompson, architectural historian, Restoration Exchange Omaha; email to D. Murphy, January 5, 2017.

Page Citation

D. Murphy & E. F. Zimmer, “Stiles Ezra Maxon (1849-1914), Architect,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, August 12, 2020. Accessed, September 22, 2020.

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