William F. Gernandt (1872-1943), Architect

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Marysville, Kansas, 1903-1906; Fairbury, 1906-1912; and Omaha, Nebraska, 1912-1923

W. F. Gernandt, 1914 (Omaha Bee)
William F. Gernandt was born in September 1872 in Germany, and immigrated to the U. S. in 1881, when his family settled in Omaha.[10][11][66] He married Leta around 1897, and their son John was born in 1898.[10][11][c] He worked as a carpenter and foreman for contractors in Omaha "and for twenty-one years he worked hard to attain his ambition--to become an architect." He commenced practice as an architect as well as builder in Marysville, Kansas, in 1903 and gained considerable work there into 1906.[124][125][126] He later embellished this period, describing it as: "he was able to leave for the east to study for his chosen profession....After a course of study in which he perfected himself in architecture, he came back to Nebraska and made his start in a new career at Fairbury." [66][124] He practiced in Fairbury from 1906 to 1912, then moved his practice to Omaha in 1912, designing county courthouses, schools, and other projects throughout Nebraska and in surrounding states. William and Leta relocated to San Diego, California, first appearing in the San Diego city directory in 1926. In 1937 they moved to Monrovia in Los Angeles County, where he died September 26, 1943.[23]

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.

Polk County Courthouse, 1921, Osceoloa (D. Murphy)

Compiled Nebraska Directory Listings

Omaha, Nebraska, 1890-1905

Fairbury, Nebraska, 1909-1912

Omaha, Nebraska, 1912-1923

Educational & Professional Associations

1892-1903: carpenter, Omaha, Nebraska.[10][e]

1903-1906: architect and builder, Marysville, Kansas.[124][139][ao]

1906-1912: architect, Fairbury, Nebraska.[10][13][69][aa]

1909: architect, Hastings (?), Nebraska.[p]

1912-1923: architect, Omaha, Nebraska.[66][z]

1926-1943: resided in California, first in San Diego to 1937, then in Monrovia, California.

Other Associations

1910: employed Dalbert Simpson, Fairbury, Nebraska.[13][27][29][f][h]

1914-1915: employed his son John W. Gernandt, Omaha, Nebraska.[66][b][am]

Buildings & Projects

1903-1906, Marysville, Kansas

After working for two decades as a carpenter and contractor's foreman in Omaha, Gernandt and his family settled in Marysville, Kansas from 1903 to 1906, where he advertised himself as "W. F. Gernandt, Marysville's New Architect and Builder." He designed schools, commercial buildings (including a theater), and residences before 1906.

Yaussi building and theater (1903-1904), Marysville, Kansas.[134]

Remodeling the front of the Schmidt block (1903), Marysville, Kansas.[138]

Cigar factory and store building for H. E. Wiedemeyer (1903), Marysville, Kansas.[137]

Seven-room cottage for Professor J. G. Ellenbecker (1904), Marysville, Kansas.[135]

House plans for George T. Smith (1904), Marysville, Kansas.[133]

Remodeling of State Bank Building (1904), Hanover, Kansas.[129]

New bank (1904), Marysville, Kansas.[130]

Emanuel Lutheran Church (1904), on state line north of Marysville, Kansas.[132]

"Big store building" (1905), Hanover, Kansas.[131]

1906-1912, Fairbury, Nebraska

After working for two decades as a carpenter and contractor's foreman in Omaha, Gernandt settled in Fairbury in southeastern Nebraska to begin his architectural practice in 1906. In a half-dozen years he designed four county courthouses in Nebraska along with banks, schools, churches and residences throughout Nebraska as well as in Kansas. He returned to Omaha in 1912.

St. Michaels Catholic Church (1906-1908), Fairbury, Nebraska.[17][49][t] (JF04-23)

Hotel for Boone Hotel Company (1906-1907), Fairbury, Nebraska.[22][45][r]

Bonham Bank (1906), Fairbury, Nebraska.[22]

W.F. Gernandt house (1906-1907), 1016 D Street, Fairbury, Nebraska. (JF04-12)

Residence for C. B. Diehl (1907), Stratton, Nebraska.[66][120][al]

Six-room stone and brick school (1907), Chester, Nebraska.[24]

Fairbury Hospital and Sanitarium (1907-1908), Fairbury, Nebraska.[18][47][122]

First Methodist Church (1907-1908), Davenport, Nebraska.[19][25][127][d] (TY07-005)

Clay Center County High School (1908), Clay Center, Kansas.[128][an]

Fairbury Planing Mill (1908), Fairbury, Nebraska.[46][s]

Church of Christ (1908), Chester, Nebraska.[19] (TY06-32)

Hebron school (1908), Hebron, Nebraska.[20][53][x]

School (1908), Bruning, Nebraska.[20]

Remodeled store fronts (1908), Fairbury, Nebraska.[21][48]

Five "store-room buildings" for H. E. Evans (1908), Fairbury, Nebraska.[48][u]

Two-story bank building (1908), Deshler, Nebraska.[50]

Alterations to W. H. Snell's store (1908), Fairbury, Nebraska.[50][v]

Citizens Bank building (1908-1909), Jewell, Kansas.[50]

Four-room addition to N. W. Ward school (1908), Fairbury, Nebraska.[51]

Project for courthouse (1908), North Platte, Nebraska.[52][62][68][w]

Andrew Coleman house (1908-1909), 501 Lavelle, Diller, Nebraska.[6] (JF02-004) National Register narrative

Post office building (1909), Cambridge, Nebraska.[41]

Cambridge High School (1909), Cambridge, Nebraska.[43][66][o]

First National Bank of Cambridge (1909), Cambridge, Nebraska.[44][q]

W. H. Faling House (1909), 606 Parker, Cambridge, Nebraska.[1][66] (FN03-051) Photo Coll R742.5-111 National Register narrative

Mankato High School (1909), Mankato, Kansas.[39][66]

Public school (1909), Randall, Kansas.[39]

Wathena High School (1909), Wathena, Kansas.[42][61][66]

Davenport High School (1909), Davenport, Nebraska.[54] Image

Office building for B. J. McLucas Lumber Co. (1909), Fairbury, Nebraska.[55]

Brethren church (1909), Carleton, Nebraska.[56]

Store buildings for Dr. Brewer (1909-1910), Beloit, Nebraska.[29][30][41][h][l]

Dawson County Courthouse (1909-1910, 1913-1914), northwest corner 8th & Washington, Lexington, Nebraska.[5:85][6][14][28][30][66][73][g] (DS07-030) National Register narrative

Residence for E. J. Kelso (1909-1910), Carleton, Nebraska.[30][58][y]

Residence for Dr. H. C. Brock (1909-1910), North Platte, Nebraska.[30][59][j]

Swanton Public School (1909), Swanton, Nebraska.[60]

Stromsburg High School (1910), Stromsburg, Nebraska.[8][35][66]

Osceola High School (1910), Osceola, Nebraska.[27][29][30][66][f]

Store building for E. B. Woods (1910), York, Nebraska.[29][30][h][i]

"Bungalow residence" for Dr. H. C. Brock (1909-1910), North Platte, Nebraska.[30][59][j]

Residence for E. J. Kelso (1909-1910), Carleton, Nebraska.[30][58][]

Clay County State Bank (1910), Edgar, Nebraska.[30][38]

Three-room addition of school house (1910), Chester, Nebraska.30]

District school (1910), Helvey, Nebraska.[30][34][k]

Goff (Kansas) high school (1910), Goff, Kansas.[30][140] Image

Phelps County Courthouse (1910-1911), northwest Corner 6th Ave. & West A, Holdrege, Nebraska.[5:78][6][29][33][66] (PP04-013) National Register narrative

Remodeling building for bank for A. G. Collins (1910), Hebron, Nebraska.[34]

Remodeling Methodist Church (1910), Falls City, Nebraska.[34]

Remodeling bank for Thomas P. Price (1910), Diller, Nebraska.[34]

Remodeling residence for H. W. Keyes (1910), Indianola, Nebraska.[34]

Doniphan Public School (1910), Doniphan, Nebraska.[35][n]

Bank building for Judge John C. Hogan and A. J. West (1910), Belleville, Kansas.[36]

Pawnee County Courthouse (1911-1912), Pawnee City, Nebraska.[3][5:78][6][66] (PW06-054) National Register narrative

Merrick County Courthouse (1911-1915), southeast corner 18th & 16th Ave., Central City, Nebraska.[5:86][6][66] (MK02-003) National Register narrative

1912-1923, Omaha, Nebraska

Gernandt practiced another dozen years from Omaha, Nebraska, continuing to gain major public commissions including six more county courthouses and schools across the state. A local newspaper commented upon his presence in Fairbury on business in 1913, noting that he had several “modern school buildings” under construction in Nebraska and Kansas.[15]

Clarkson High School (1913), Clarkson, Nebraska.[71][ab]

Addition and alteration to Tilden Public School (1913), Tilden, Nebraska.[63][66][71][z][ab]

Burchard Public School (1913), Burchard, Nebraska.[72][123]

Belleville High School (1913), Belleville, Kansas.[66][74]

Bungalow for W. A. Noel (1913), Rockwell City, Iowa.[75]

Western High School (1913), Western, Nebraska.[66][118]

Deshler Lutheran High School and Business College (1913), Deshler, Nebraska.[66][119] Image

St. Paul's German Lutheran Church, parish house, and school (1913-1914), later Clair Memorial United Methodist Church, 2443 Evans St., Omaha, Nebraska.[7][66][67][76][ac] (DO09:0227-001)

Disrict No. 1 School - Steele City Public School (1913-1914), Steele City, Nebraska.[37] (JF12-022) National Register narrative

Webster County Courthouse (1914), 225 W. 6th St., Red Cloud, Nebraska.[2][5:84][6][66] (WT07-104) NHRP National Register narrative

School and gymnasium (1914), Barnes, Kansas.[77]

Gothenburg Carnegie Library (1914-1916), Gothenburg, Nebraska.[77] Image

Project for German Lutheran Church (1914), Beatrice, Nebraska.[77][82][af]

Craig High and Grade School (1915), southeast corner Morford & Burt, Craig, Nebraska.[78][79][80][84][ae] (BT02-004)

Three fireproof schools (1915), Lawrence, Kansas.[66][80][81][85][87][ad]

Lutheran Hospital (1915), York, Nebraska.[3][12][83][a]

Lawrence (Nebraska) Public School (1915), Lawrence, Nebraska.[86]

Roland High School (1915), Roland, Iowa.[88][89][90][ag]

Project for hospital for Danish Lutheran Church (1915), Fremont, Nebraska.[89][91]

Bethany Public School (1915), Bethany Heights (now 1540 N Cotner Blvd, Lincoln), Nebraska.[32][90]

Moving Picture Theater (1915), Rockwell City, Iowa.[92][ah]

Poland Public School (1915), Poland, Iowa.[70]

Boxholm High and Grade School (1916), Boxholm, Iowa.[93]

Irwin Public School (1916), Irwin, Iowa.[94]

Havelock High School (1916-1917), Havelock (now 6224 Logan Ave, Lincoln), Nebraska.[31][95]

Public Grade School and alteration and addition to a school for Nebraska City (1917), Nebraska City, Nebraska.[96][ai]

Beemer High and Grade School (1917), Beemer, Nebraska.[96][98][aj]

Napier Public School (1917), Napier, Iowa.[99][ak]

Auditorium and school for German Lutheran Church (1917), Papillion, Nebraska.[100]

Clay County Courthouse (1917-1919), south side Fairfield near Alexa, Clay Center, Nebraska.[6][9][97][105] (CY01-004) National Register narrative

Consolidated School (1917-1918), Straham, Iowa.[9][101]

Remodeling of Grand Hotel (1918), Nebraska City, Nebraska.[102]

Hotel and Moving Picture Theater for Paul Wuppor(1918), Beemer, Nebraska.[103]

Boone Consolidated School (1918), Boone, Iowa.[104]

Valley County Courthouse (1919-1921), northeast corner 16th & L, Ord, Nebraska.[2][5:91][6][106] (VY04-001) National Register narrative

Polk County Courthouse (1920-1922), northwest corner State & Nebraska, Osceola, Nebraska.[5:93][6][107] (PK01-004) National Register narrative

Public garage for Charles D. Birkett (1920), 24th to 25th and Marcy Street, Omaha, Nebraska.[108]

Ord City Hall/Fire Dept (1921), northeast corner 16th & N, Ord, Nebraska.[[#References|[109] (VY04-061)

Uehling School (1922), Uehling, Nebraska.[64]

Sarpy County Courthouse (1921-1923), 122 E. 3rd St, Papillion, Nebraska.[5:92][6][110] (SY08-017) National Register narrative

First Lutheran Church (1921-1922), Papillion, Nebraska.[111]

Building Number 3 ("annex") for Masonic and Eastern Star Home (1922), Fremont, Nebraska.[112]

Jail and residence for Clay County (1922), Clay Center, Nebraska.[112]

Masonic Children's Home (1922), Osceola, Nebraska.[113]

Richardson County Courthouse (1923-1925), northeast corner 18th & Harlan, Falls City, Nebraska.[5:93][6][114] (RH03-069) National Register narrative

Anderson Apartments (1924), 701 S 24th St, Omaha, Nebraska.[4][7] (DO09:0122-042) National Register narrative

Boys' Dormitory Building (1922-1923), Evangelical Lutheran Teacher Seminary, Seward, Nebraska.[65][115]

Administration Building (1924), Evangelical Lutheran Teacher Seminary, Seward, Nebraska.[8]

1926-1943, California

William F. and Leta Gernandt relocated to California by 1926, settling first in San Diego and later in Los Angeles County. It is presently unclear whether he actively pursued an architectural practice there, although the U. S. Censuses of 1930 and 1940 continued to identify Gernandt as an architect.

William F. and Leta Gernandt House (1926), 5002 Canterbury Drive, San Diego, California.[26]


Residence for C. M. Hurlburt (pre-1914), Fairbury, Nebraska.[66]

Residence for R. W. McHale (pre-1914), Fairbury, Nebraska.[66]


a. Trenton Building Company (Ernest Rokahr), Contractors, Lincoln, Nebraska.[12]

b. W. F. and Leta Gernandt's son John Williams Gernandt was born October 21, 1897 and died February 5, 1979 in Los Angeles, California. His WWI draft registration card noted his occupation as draftsman and employer as Nebraska Power Company.[116][117]

c. The 1900 federal census notes the name of Gernandt's wife as Lizzie; the 1905 Kansas state census lists her as Elizabeth, and the 1910 federal census notes Gernandt's wife as Leda. Probably all names refer to the same woman, as both the 1900 and 1910 censuses indicate their marriage occurred in 1897. Later her name is consistently listed as "Leta."[10][11]

d. Improvement Bulletin of March 9, 1907 notes: "Davenport, Neb.--W. F. Gernandt is preparing plans for a church for the M. E. society. It will be frame with seatings for 450. Cost, $8,500." The Marshall County News of Marysville, Kansas, noted that the Davenport church would be built by a Marysville contractor, William Schoeneshoefer, and that "The plans...were made by Architect W. F. Gernandt, formerly of Marysville." The Marysville paper listed the planned church as "a new fifteen thousand dollar frame church building."[25][127]

e. William F. Gernandt is listed in Omaha city directories as early as 1890 as a gas fitter, laborer, and most often as a carpenter, sometimes working on car repair for Union Pacific Railroad. From 1890 to 1897, he shared a household with William Gernandt, presumably his father, who had similar occupations and also worked for U.P.R.R. The 1900 U. S. Census includes in Omaha the household of William and Pauline Gernandt, probably William F.'s parents. They were both born in Germany, married around 1870, and immigrated in 1881. Between 1890 and 1905, Omaha directories listed up to seven male Gernandts in a pair of seemingly interlocking households.

f. Improvement Bulletin of March 12, 1910 lists "Osceola, Neb.--Gernandt & Simpson, architects, Fairbury, Neb., have prepared plans for a 2story brick high school building, 76x87, for the board of education...There will be a brick foundation, press and pavers' brick, Bedford stone, tin roof, metal cornice, d.s. and plate glass, Acme plaster, steam heat, maple flooring, yellow pine finish, boilers, cementing, hollow tile, iron beams, metal lath, plumbing, heatings [seatings?] for 500, ventilators, etc. The old blackboards will be used. Cost $28,000. Bids will be received about April 15." American Contractor of June 4, 1910 notes the school project was "Postponed temporarily."[27][30]

g. Improvement Bulletin of December 18, 1909 notes: "Lexington, Neb.--W. F. Gernandt & Co., architects, Fairbury, Neb., have prepared plans for a court house, 80x88, to cost $100,000....It will be of concrete and steel construction, 3-story, in the French renaissance style, with Bedfor [sic] stone trimmings. Construction will be started at an early date." Fairbury Journal in January 1910 reported that Gernandt was in Lexington “looking after business matters.”[14][28] However, the public vote to finance construction of the court house was not held until 1912 and construction occurred in 1913-1914. The awarding of contracts was announced in American Contractor of April 12, 1913.[73]

h. In the February 6, 1909 edition of Improvement Bulletin, Gernandt advertised "Architectural draftsman wanted by W. F. Gernandt, architect, Fairbury Neb., one who can letter and trace neatly, and able to do general office work, including perspectives if possible. I wish to secure the services of a young man who is willing to work, and advance, and who is sober and honest. Write at once, giving exact qualifications, references, and minimum salary expected."[57]

Early in 1910, Dalbert Simpson joined Gernandt's practice in Fairbury. The Osceola High School project listed "Gernandt & Simpson, architects, Fairbury," implying that they were partners. However, the business relationship of the two men was litigated between 1910 and 1915, culminating in a decision by the Nebraska Supreme Court that Simpson failed to proved their association constituted a partnership. The ruling indicated that early in 1910 Gernandt hired Simpson, who had previously worked for a Kansas City architectural firm, at a salary of $24 per week. After a period of a few months, the men were unable to reach written agreement as to the terms of their association and Gernandt discharged Simpson, who sued on the basis that they were partners and Gernandt could not discharge him. Two trials in Lancaster District Court found for Simpson, but on appeal the Nebraska Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the lower court on the basis that Simpson's testimony alone was insufficient to establish a partnership existed, finding: "It seems clear that the minds of these parties never met upon any agreement of copartnership." Among the projects cited by Simpson as property of the purported partnership were the Phelps County Courthouse, store buildings in York, Nebraska and Beloit, Kansas, and the school in Osceola, Nebraska.[27][29[f]

Simpson born in Ohio in 1872, the year of Gernandt's birth in Germany. In the 1900 U. S. Census Simpson was identified as a carpenter in Bedford City, Iowa. In 1910 Simpson, his wife Stella, and their three children resided in Fairbury. The 1910 U. S. Census listed Simpson as a machinist in an iron works at that time. In 1920, 1930, and 1940, the Censuses consistently identified Simpson as an architect, employed by a "railway company," and residing first in Chicago, then in Oak Park, Illinois. Santa Fe Magazine of December 1914 mentions Simpson as an assistant architect for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad.[121]

i. American Contractor of June 4, 1910 notes that a $12,000 business building for E. B. Woods of York was being "Postponed until fall 1910 or 1911."[30]

j. Improvement Bulletin of February 20, 1909 details "plans [that] are in preparation for a bungalow residence for Dr. H. C. Brock."[59] American Contractor of June 4, 1910 mentions progress on a $6,000 residence in North Platte, Nebraska for Dr. H. C. Broch [sic], for which "Foundation [is] in."[30]

k. American Contractor of June 4, 1910 describes the district school for Helvey, Nebraska as "1 sty. $1,000....Plans in progress; will soon be completed. Frame, asbestos shingles, shingle roof, pine finish, pine & cement floors, lavatories, water closets."[30]

l. American Contractor lists "Business Buildings: 2 sty. & bas. 44x88. $12,000. Beloit, Kansas...Entire contract let..."[30] Improvement Bulletin of August 21, 1909 describes the project in considerable detail: "Beloit, Kan.--Dr. Brewer will let the contract in December for spring construction of a 2-story brick store and office building, 44x88, to cost $12,000. It will have local stone foundation, gray pressed brick, Bedford and artificial stone, asbestos roof, brick and stone cornice, plate glass, acme plaster, hot water heat, maple and tile flooring, oak and yellow pine interior finish, boilers, cementing, decorating, electric lights, hollow tile, iron beams and shutters, marble, metal ceiling, metal or wire lath, plumbing, screens, skylights, storm sash and tiling. W. F. Gernandt, architect, Hastings, Neb."[41]

m. American Contractor of July 9, 1910 lists the Hebron bank remodeling as a $10,000 project.[34]

n. American Contractor of September 10, 1910, lists "Doniphan, Nebr.--Public School; 2 sty. 64x62. $16,000. Architects W. F. Gernandt & Co., Fairbury, Nebr....Plans in progress; bids will soon be received. Brick, stone trim., struct. & archt. iron, yellow pine finish, plumbing."[35]

o. Improvement Bulletin of August 21, 1909 the issuance of a contract to erect a 2-story brick high school for Cambridge, Nebraska, to cost $25,000: "It will have concrete foundation, buff, pressed and paving brick, artificial stone, metal and stone cornice, d. s. and plate glass, Acme plaster, steam heat, yellow pine flooring and interior finish, boilers, artificial blackboards, cementing, electric lights, hollow tile, iron beams, metal lath, and ventilators. W. F. Gernandt, architect, Hastings, Neb."[43]

p. Several published references to Gernandt projects in 1909 list his location as Hastings, while others of the same period continue to note Fairbury as his home. It is currently unclear whether he was considering a relocation to Hastings, had a branch office, or the listings are simply erroneous.(E. Zimmer)[41][43]

q. Improvement Bulletin of September 4, 1909 mentions "Cambridge, Neb.--The First National Bank has let contracts for a building to cost about $8,000. W. F. Gernandt, architect, Fairbury."[44]

r. Improvement Bulletin of May 18, 1907 lists under "Hotels and Hospitals": "Fairbury, Neb.--W. F. Gernandt, architect, has plans for a new hotel to be erected by the Boone Hotel Co. Cost, $50,000."[45]

s. Improvement Bulletin of January 11, 1908 includes among "Mills and Factories": "Fairbury, Neb.--W. F. Gernandt, architect, has plans for a 2-story planing mill, 142x50, for the Fairbury Planing Mill Co. Hollow tile backing, concrete stone face, slow burning construction, gas and electric fixtures, gravel roof, hard plaster and plate glass. Coat, $20,000."[46]

t. Improvement Bulletin of May 23, 1908 reported among "Churches": "Fairbury, Neb.--The cornerstone was laid for the Catholic church. Cost, $22,000....W. F. Gernandt, architect. Ford Bros. Co., Minneapolis, will furnish the glass and Phillips & Co., of Dubuque, Iowa, the pews."[49]

u. Improvement Bulletin of May 16, 1908 indicates "Fairbury, Neb.--W. F. Gernandt has awarded the general contract to T. A. Johnson for five 2-story brick store-room buildings, 80x140, for H. E. Evans. Cost, $16,000."[48]

v. Improvement Bulletin of November 7, 1908 notes that Gernandt "has prepared plans for W. H. Snell, Tacoma, Wash., for double store fronts and alterations to his store" in Fairbury, Nebraska. "The cost will be $3,000. The construction will comprise enamel white brick, Bedford stone, galvanized and copper cornice, plate, prism and art glass, oak flooring and finish, iron, steel and Kawneer sash bars."[50]

w. Improvement Bulletin of July 25, 1908 notes that "North Platte, Neb.--W. F. Gernandt, architect, Fairbury, Neb., has drawn plans for the new courthouse, 100x110, 2-story, fireproof."[52] In 1914 Gernandt attended a meeting in North Platte of boosters of a new courthouse for Lincoln County, provided estimates as to cost, and even showed an initial design.[68]

Gernandt was still pursuing the commission a decade after he began, as the North Platte Tribune reported on July 29, 1919 "W. F. Gernandt, an architect of Omaha, was in conference with the county commissioners yesterday relative to plans for the proposed new court house." The article notes that Gernandt brought along his plans for the courthouse in Clay Center (for Clay County) which cost $275,000, "but the county commissioners informed him that the...levy...would not create sufficient funds for so costly a building," hoping to keep the total cost around $200,000.[62]

Lincoln County Courthouse in North Platte was built in 1919-1924 and designed by George A. Berlinghof.

x. Improvement Bulletin of August 15, 1908 notes that the Hebron school project was "indefinitely postponed owing to some irregularity in the bond election."[53] In January of 1909, the magazine noted "Hebron, Neb.--W. F. Gernandt, architect, Fairbury, Neb., is preparing plans for an $18,000 schoolhouse."[54]

y. Improvement Bulletin of February 20, 1909, describes "Carleton, Neb.--Plans are being prepared for a frame bungalow for E. J. Kelso, to cost $4,000. Press brick basement, walls with hollow tile building blocks for backing, wall ties, artificial stone, gas machine outfit, plumbing, hot water heating, hard wood finish and floors. Will be ready for bids Feb. 23. W. F. Gernandt, architect, Fairbury, Neb."[58]

z. Gernandt's relocation from Fairbury to Omaha is indicated by a notice in the Omaha World Herald of April 1, 1913 inviting sealed proposals for an addition and alterations to the public school building in Tilden, Nebraska, which indicates that the plans and specifications were "prepared by W. F. Gernandt, architect, 513 Karbach Bldg, Omaha, Nebr." A lengthy advertisement for Gernandt in the Sunday World-Herald of October 18, 1914 notes "he came here two years ago." The advertisement also lists a number of his previous projects.[63][66]

aa. The Omaha Daily Bee of June 10, 1906 includes an illustrated advertisement for Gernandt which reads: "The above picture shows a portion of the interior of one of the most up-to-date Architectural offices in the west and recently opened for business by W. F. Gernandt, the well known Architect and Superintendent, at Fairbury, Neb. Mr. Gernandt wishes to make himself known throughout the west, to future builders who which to obtain the very best Architectural services, covering nearly all classes of building construction. Special attention given to out of town business. Correspondence solicited."[69]

ab. American Contractor of April 5, 1913 includes notices of Gernandt projects identifying him as based in Fairbury (for Clarkson High School) and in Omaha (for Tilden High School) on the same page. Within a period of a few months, a dozen Omaha entries are interspersed with five Fairbury entries. That magazine routinely provided updates on a single project and probably the Fairbury entries were updates on projects that began in 1912 or before, when Gernandt officed there, while the preponderance of Omaha entries reflected his relocation, presumably during 1912.[71]

ac. American Contractor of repeatedly identified A. F. Gauger of St. Paul, Minnesota as the architect for St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Omaha through the summer of 1913, then reported on September 13, 1913: "Bids being too high, were rejected; may take new figures." The same magazine on September 27, 1913 again reports on the project with Gernandt as the architect, adding "[Note change in architect]."[76]

ad. American Contractor of July 25, 1914 mentions: "Lawrence, Kans.--Three Schools: Each 2 sty. & bas. 88x62. $20M ea. Archt. W. F. Gernandt...Plans in progress. Brk. & stone." On Oct. 3, 1914, the magazine noted that the Lawrence "Bonds declared illegal; will resubmit the question in the near future." By February 1915, bids were being sought and by May 1, 1915, American Contractor announced that contracts had been let.[80][81][85][87]

ae. American Contractor of July 25, 1914 reports regarding the school project for Craig, Nebraska that: "Bids rejected; will revise plans and adv. for bids soon." By October 10, 1914, that magazine was reporting that bids were being sought.[80][84]

af. American Contractor notes on November 14, 1914 that the project to build the Gernandt-designed German Lutheran Church in Beatrice was "Abandoned."[82]

ag. In 1915, American Contractor mentioned Gernandt designing high schools for Roelyn and Roland, Iowa, as well as Roland, Nebraska. M. M. Eggland was cited as the secretary to the Board of Education in all three towns, indicating a single project. Roland, Iowa is in Story County, near Ames, whereas there appears to be no town in Nebraska by that name. Roelyn, Iowa is a small community in Webster County near Fort Dodge. Probably Gernandt's project was for Roland, Iowa. [89][90]

ah. American Contractor of September 25, 1915 describes "Rockwell City, Ia.--Moving Picture Theater: 1 sty. & bas. 22x110. $5M. Archt. W. F. Gernandt...Omaha, Nebr. Owner G. L. Meholin, Rockwell City. Plans in progress. Brk. & stucco, struct. iron."[92]

ai. American Contractor of January 27, 1917 lists two Gernandt projects for Nebraska City public schools, a two-story grade school with an estimated cost of $26,000 and "School (alt. & add.): $7,000."[96]

aj. American Contractor of February 24, 1917 notes regarding the Beemer High and Grade School: "Bids too high; spec. to be revised. Original bidders to refigure."[98]

ak. American Contractor of June 9, 1917 includes a note from Gernandt noting that in the bidding for the Napier school, half of the contractors requesting plans and specifications did not ultimately bid. He urges that contractors who find they will not be able to bid, return the plans sets to the architect "that he may have the use of them for other bidders, thereby saving the continued expense of preparing additional sets of plans when unnecessary."[99]

al. Improvement Bulletin of July 27, 1907 notes: "Stratton, Neb.--C. B. Diehl will erect a 10-room house."[120]

am. Listed as an apprentice, Omaha City Directory, 1915.

an. The Times of Clay Center, Kansas, reported in January, 1908 that Gernandt was "in the city" (Clay Center) "consulting with the trustees of the county High school relative to the new county High school building."[128]

ao. Early in his tenure in Marysville, Gernandt advertised "Are You Going to Build? Then see W. F. Gernandt, Marysville's New Architect and Builder. For the latest designs and best arranged buildings of all description. Plans and Specifications Free with every contract until July 1st, 1903." Gernandt's offer of free architectural services suggests the contacting element of his business was more significant (or lucrative) at that time than his architectural work.[139]


1. Plans on file Nebraska State Historical Society.

2. Data recorded from the cornerstone.

3. Postcard in photo file, Nebraska State Historical Society Postcard Collection, P340.

4. Landmarks, Inc., Steele City School (1912), Steele City, Nebraska (JF12-022) An Inventory of Historic Omaha Buildings (Omaha: City of Omaha and Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission, 1980), 56.

5. Oliver B. Pollak, Nebraska Courthouses: Contention, Compromise, and Community [Images of America Series] (Chicago: Arcadia Publishing, 2002), [725.1.P771n].

6. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

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

8. Tom Kaspar, comp. Inventory of architectural records in the archives of Davis Fenton Stange Darling, Architects, Lincoln, Nebraska. 1996. Nebraska State Historical Society, RG3748, Box 16.

9. The American Contractor (March 23, 1918), 60.

10. 1900 United States Census, s.v. “William Gernandt,” Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska; 1910 United States Census, s.v. “Wm F. Gernandt,” Fairbury, Jefferson County, Nebraska, Both accessed through HeritageQuestOnline.com.

11. 1905 Kansas State Census, s.v. "W.F. Gernandt," Marysville, Kansas, accessed through Ancestry.com. Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009.

12. Rokahr Family Collection, Nebraska State Historical Society archives, RG3584, S.2, f.1. .

13. “W. F. Gernandt,” Fairbury Journal (January 28, 1910).

14. “W. F. Gernandt,” Fairbury Journal (January 21, 1910).

15. “W. F. Gernandt,” Fairbury Journal (July 11, 1913).

16. “W. F. Gernandt,” Fairbury Journal (March 30, 1906).

17. “W. F. Gernandt,” Fairbury Journal (November 23, 1906).

18. “W. F. Gernandt,” Fairbury Journal (October 18, 1907).

19. “W. F. Gernandt,” Hebron Journal (August 21, 1908).

20. “Arch. W. F. Gernandt,” Fairbury Journal (July 17, 1908).

21. “W. F. Gernandt,” Fairbury Journal (October 16, 1908).

22. “W. F. Gernandt,” Fairbury Journal (October 18, 1907).

23. Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1940-1997 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000.

24. Improvement Bulletin (January 19, 1907), 24; (January 26, 1907), 21.

25. Improvement Bulletin (March 9, 1907), 22; (October 19, 1907), 23.

26. WEB Register of Designated Historical Resources, City of San Diego, California, s.v. "William F. and Leta Gernandt House." Accessed May 7, 2016. https://www.sandiego.gov/sites/default/files/legacy/planning/programs/historical/pdf/register.pdf

27. Improvement Bulletin (March 12, 1910), 32.

28. Improvement Bulletin (December 18, 1909), 24.

29. "Dalbert Simpson, Appellee, v. William F. Gernandt, Appellant," in Reports of Cases in the Supreme Court of Nebraska, (January Term, 1915), 98:330-333. Accessed May 9, 2015. https://books.google.com/books?id=JsgEAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA330&lpg=PA330&dq=gernandt+v.+simpson&source=bl&ots=a-hP_LH_3N&sig=v1zB-ozpsm7WJl9_5FOymAdns-0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwietfaNls7MAhXr44MKHf7fAJwQ6AEIHTAA#v=onepage&q=gernandt%20v.%20simpson&f=false

30. The American Contractor (June 4, 1910), 77.

31. Date on cornerstone, southwest corner of building, "1917."

32. Information on cornerstone, northeast corner of building.

33. "Sealed Proposal Advertisements" for "a County Court House Building...at Holdrege, Phelps Co., Nebraska," in American Contractor (May 14, 1910), 60; (May 21, 1910), 37.

34. American Contractor (July 9, 1910), 50.

35. American Contractor (September 10, 1910), 21.

36. American Contractor (August 27, 1910), 19.

37. Recorded on the cornerstone. Also see Steele City Press (July 11, 1913): 1; (October 3, 1913): 1; and (January 2, 1914): np.

38. Improvement Bulletin (May 14, 1910), 26.

39. Improvement Bulletin (June 5, 1909), 30.

40. Improvement Bulletin (August 29, 1909), 24.

41. Improvement Bulletin (August 21, 1909), 24.

42. Improvement Bulletin (June 5, 1909), 31.

43. Improvement Bulletin (August 21, 1909), 22.

44. Improvement Bulletin (September 4, 1909), 28.

45. Improvement Bulletin (May 18, 1907), 23.

46. Improvement Bulletin (January 11, 1908), 20.

47. Improvement Bulletin (March 21, 1908), 19.

48. Improvement Bulletin (May 16, 1908), 26; (November 7, 1908), 26.

49. Improvement Bulletin (May 23, 1908), 25.

50. Improvement Bulletin (November 7, 1908), 26; (February 20, 1909), 24.

51. Improvement Bulletin (June 13, 1908), 26; (June 20, 1908), 24.

52. Improvement Bulletin (July 25, 1908), 27.

53. Improvement Bulletin (August 15, 1908), 24.

54. Improvement Bulletin (January 2, 1909), 23 and "Proposals. School Building Davenport, Nebraska" (call for sealed proposals), 34.

55. Improvement Bulletin (February 20, 1909), 24.

56. Improvement Bulletin (January 2, 1909), 28.

57. Improvement Bulletin (February 6, 1909), 36.

58. Improvement Bulletin (February 20, 1909), 58.

59. Improvement Bulletin (February 20, 1909), 28-29.

60. Improvement Bulletin (March 20, 1909), 24.

61. Improvement Bulletin (March 20, 1909), 25.

62. "Architect Consults Commissioners," in North Platte Semi-Weekly Tribune, (July 29, 1919), 1.

63. "Notice to Contractor" in Omaha World Herald, (April 1, 1913), 10.

64. "Notice to Contractors" in Omaha World Herald, (June 2, 1922), 19.

65. "Notice to Contractors" in Omaha World Herald, (March 25, 1923, 21.

66. "W. F. Gernandt, Architect," in Omaha World Herald, (October 18, 1914), E-8. Also published in Omaha Daily Bee (October 25, 1914), 11-A. Latter version accessed May 16, 2016, through "Chronicling America" website of Library of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn99021999/1914-10-25/ed-1/seq-11/#date1=1836&index=0&rows=20&words=ARCHITECT+architects+GERNANDT+Gernandt&searchType=basic&sequence=0&state=&date2=1922&proxtext=gernandt+architect&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=1

67. "Lay Cornerstone of This Church Today," in Omaha World Herald, (December 21, 1913), 5-D. Illustrated. Accessed May 16, 2016, through "Chronicling America" website of Library of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn99021999/1913-12-21/ed-1/seq-35/#date1=1836&index=2&rows=20&words=architect+Gernandt&searchType=basic&sequence=0&state=&date2=1922&proxtext=gernandt+architect&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=1

68. "Court House Project Thoroughly Discussed," in North Platte Semi-Weekly,(April 24, 1914), 4.

69. "Cut This Out, and Save It" (Advertisement for W. F. Gernandt),Omaha Daily Bee, (June 10, 1906), "Half-Tone Section" 2. Accessed May 16, 2016, through "Chronicling America" website of Library of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn99021999/1906-06-10/ed-1/seq-14/#date1=1836&index=5&rows=20&words=Architect+Gernandt&searchType=basic&sequence=0&state=&date2=1922&proxtext=gernandt+architect&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=1

70. Evening times-Republican (Marshalltown, Iowa), (May 31, 1915), 2.

71. American Contractor (April 5, 1913), 107.

72. American Contractor (June 28, 1913), 24, 87.

73. American Contractor (April 12, 1913), 21.

74. American Contractor (June 14, 1913), 26.

75. American Contractor (June 14, 1913), 87.

76. American Contractor (July 26, 1913), 79; (August 2, 1913), 109; (August 9, 1913), 82; (September 13, 1913), 79; (September 27, 1913), 23.

77. American Contractor (May 30, 1914), 84D.

78. American Contractor (May 16, 1914), 94.

79. American Contractor (June 27, 1914), 85, 87.

80. American Contractor (July 25, 1914), 83.

81. American Contractor (October 3, 1914), 40.

82. American Contractor (November 14, 1914), 20.

83. American Contractor (November 14, 1914), 21.

84. American Contractor (October 10, 1914), 19.

85. American Contractor (February 13, 1915), 67B.

86. American Contractor (March 27, 1915), 21.

87. American Contractor (May 1, 1915), 106.

88. American Contractor (May 22, 1915), 21.

89. American Contractor (July 3, 1915), 109.

90. American Contractor (July 17, 1915), 28.

91. American Contractor (August 14, 1915), 24. Project "Abandoned."

92. American Contractor (September 25, 1915), 16, 74.

93. American Contractor (January 22, 1916), 19; (April 1, 1916), 42.

94. American Contractor (March 4, 1916), 40; (August 12, 1916), 96 ("High Grade School Building"--Call for proposals).

95. American Contractor (April 1, 1916), 42; (September 23, 1916), 86.

96. American Contractor (January 27, 1917), 19.

97. American Contractor (March 17, 1917), 87.

98. American Contractor (February 24, 1917), 20.

99. American Contractor (March 10, 1917), 78A; "Contractors Who Fail to Bid," (June 9, 1917), 21.

100. American Contractor (June 16, 1917), 30.

101. American Contractor (November 3, 1917), 74.

102. American Contractor (June 29, 1918), 31.

103. American Contractor (July 13, 1918), 34.

104. American Contractor (July 27, 1918), 35, 59.

105. American Contractor (August 10, 1918), "Court House Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment" (call for sealed proposals), 27.

106. American Contractor (September 29, 1919), 60H; (December 13, 1919), 59.

107. American Contractor (February 14, 1920), 58; (March 6, 1920), 88K; (March 27, 1920), 81E; (June 18, 1921), 74G; (July 16, 1921), 80B.

108. American Contractor (April 24, 1920), 85.

109. American Contractor (April 16, 1921), 78G.

110. American Contractor (September 24, 1921), 69.

111. American Contractor (December 24, 1921), 71; (July 22, 1922), 61.

112. American Contractor (February 11, 1922), 71; "Children's Home Annex. Fremont, Nebr." (call for sealed proposals), (May 6, 1922), 43.

113. American Contractor (March 4, 1922), 85.

114. American Contractor (April 8, 1922), 73.

115. American Contractor (November 11, 1922), 60.

116. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line], s.v. John William Gernandt. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.

117. Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1940-1997 [database on-line], s.v. John Gernandt. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000.

118. Jennifer K Honebrink and Chris Jensen, Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture Inc.,Reconnaissance Level Survey For: Saline County Historic Resource Survey and Inventory, 2015, for Nebraska State Historical Society, 2015, 85.

119. "Lutheran High School and Business College," J. Sterling Morton and Albert Watkins, History of Nebraska, 2nd ed., ed. and revised by Augustus O. Thomas, James A. Beattie, and Arthur C. Wakeley. Lincoln, NE: Western Publishing and Engraving Co., 1918, 776.

120. Improvement Bulletin (July 27, 1907), 23.

121. Santa Fe Magazine (December 1914), 84.

122. “The New Hospital,” Fairbury Journal (November 20, 1908). 1

123. School Board Journal (July 1913), 61.

124. Marshall County (Marysville, Kansas) News (May 8, 1903), 1; The Advocate and Democrat (Marysville, Kansas) (May 8, 1903), l.

125. Marshall County (Marysville, Kansas) News (March 30, 1906), 3.

126. "Gernandt Prospering at Fairbury," The Advocate and Democrat (Marysville, Kansas) (August 30, 1906), l.

127. "Gets Good Contract," Marshall County (Marysville, Kansas) News (July 26, 1907), 1.

128. The (Clay Center, Kansas) Times (January 16, 1908), 5.

129. The Advocate and Democrat (Marysville, Kansas) (November 24, 1904), 3.

130. The Advocate and Democrat (Marysville, Kansas) (September 29, 1904), 8.

131. Marshall County News (Marysville, Kansas) (August 4, 1905), 3.

132. Marshall County News (Marysville, Kansas) (June 10, 1904), 1.

133. The Advocate and Democrat (Marysville, Kansas) (February 11, 1904), 3.

134. The Advocate and Democrat (Marysville, Kansas) (November 5, 1903), 1.

135. The Advocate and Democrat (Marysville, Kansas) (February 25, 1904), 3.

136. The Advocate and Democrat (Marysville, Kansas) (October 8, 1903), 1.

137. The Advocate and Democrat (Marysville, Kansas) (October 8, 1903), 1.

138. The Advocate and Democrat (Marysville, Kansas) (September 24, 1903), 5.

139. The Advocate and Democrat (Marysville, Kansas) (May 15, 1903), 4.

140. The Advocate and Democrat (Marysville, Kansas) (July 15, 1909), 3.

Page Citation

E. F. Zimmer and D. Murphy, “William F. Gernandt (1872-1943), Architect,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, November 14, 2017. http://www.e-nebraskahistory.org/index.php?title=Place_Makers_of_Nebraska:_The_Architects Accessed, August 11, 2022.

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