Walter F. Wilson (1892-1970), Architect

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Lincoln, Nebraska, 1938-1965
Walter Wilson, ca. 1937.

Walter F. Wilson was born on October 1, 1892, in Lincoln.[5] He got one Bachelor's Degree from the University of Nebraska and subsequently went to Columbia University to get his Bachelor of Architecture. The next year, he joined the firm of Ellery L. Davis in 1919, becoming a partner in 1921 when the firm became Davis & Wilson. Though Wilson focused on the business side of the firm, he was still an expert on Georgian architecture and designed many Lincoln houses. He retired in 1965. Wilson was married to Katharine, with whom he eventually shared a daughter and two grandchildren. In June 1953, Wilson became a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects. Fleshing out his civic life, Wilson served for ten years each on the Lincoln Planning Commission and the Lincoln Zoning Board. He also was a member of the board for the University of Nebraska Foundation, and he was a charter member of the Lions Club for thirty years. In the year preceding his death, he volunteered with the International Executive Service Corps in Iran.[1][2][3]

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

Lincoln, Nebraska, 1938-1959, 1961-1965

Educational & Professional Associations

1910: Baccalaureate, Lincoln High School, Lincoln, Nebraska..[6]

1910-1914: Bachelor of Arts, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska.[6]

1910-1913: part-time draftsman, Ferdinand Fiske, Architect, Lincoln, Nebraska.[5][6]

1914: draftsman, Fiske & Dieman, Architects, Lincoln, Nebraska.[5]

1914-1917: Bachelor of Architecture, Columbia University.[6]

1915: summer employment with Clinton E. Russell, Architect, New York.[6]

1916-1917: summer and part time employment, Dennison & Hirons, Architects, New York.[6]

1917: summer employment with Berlinghof & Davis, Architects, Lincoln, Nebraska.[5][a]

1918-1920: architect and superintendent with Ellery Davis, Architect, Lincoln, Nebraska.

1921-1965: architect and partner, Davis & Wilson, Architects, Lincoln, Nebraska.[3]

1937: Registered Professional Architect, Nebraska, A-2, November 23, 1937.[6]

1947-1951: architect member, State Board of Examiners for Engineers and Architects.

1957-1959: architect and president, Davis & Wilson, Lincoln, Nebraska.

1960-1963: architect, and president of Davis & Wilson, Lincoln, Nebraska.

1964-1965: architect and chairman of the board, Davis & Wilson, Lincoln, Nebraska.

1965: retired.[3]

Buildings & Projects

See Davis & Wilson, Architects, Lincoln, Nebraska.

Honors & Awards

1917: AIA Medal for Excellence in Scholarship, Columbia University, New York.[5][b]


a. In his application for registration, he gives his 1917 employment as Ellery Davis.[6]

b. He also received a copy of the book, Mont Saint-Michel and Chartes.[5]

c. In AIA, 1962, Wilson lists the Miller & Paine Department Store (1945), the University of Nebraska Men’s Dorms (1954), Security Mutual Life Insurance Home Office (1956), Pershing Municipal Auditorium (1957), and Gold & Company Department Store and Garages (1958) as principal works.[5]


1. “Lincoln Architect New AIA Fellow,” Sunday World-Herald (April 12, 1953), 14F:1.

2. “Architect W. F. Wilson Dies At 77,” Lincoln Star (June 29, 1970), 11:4, 11:7.

3. James H. Stange (1930-____), Architect. “Davis Design: Design Excellence since 1912,” Preservation Association of Lincoln, Brown Bag Lecture Series, Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln, May 13, 2003.

4. AIA Historical Directory of American Architects: A Resource Guide to Finding Information About Past Architects. [accessed 20100810]

5. American Institute of Architects, comp., American Architects Directory Second Ed. (New York: R. R. Bowker Co., 1962), 769, accessed April 4, 2010,

6. "From the Files," The Nebraska Professional (December 1997).

Page Citation

D. Murphy, “Walter F. Wilson (1892-1970), Architect,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, February 10, 2015. Accessed, September 27, 2022.

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