William LaBarthe Steele, Jr. (1907-1980), Architect

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Omaha, Nebraska, 1931-1974

William LaBarthe Steele, Jr. was born on August 25, 1907 in Sioux City, Iowa. He was the son of William, a well-established architect, and Maryana Steele. He was married in 1940 to Virginia Mullen and had three children: a daughter Sidney, and sons William LeBarthe III and John. Employed by his father’s firms and others, Steele Jr. soon became a respected architect in Nebraska as well. He was a member of Omaha’s City Planning Commission and City Building Review Board in addition to his work in many Omaha architectural firms.[2] Steele Jr. died on June 18, 1980 in Omaha at the age of 72. [3][7]

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

Omaha, Nebraska, 1938-1974

Educational & Professional Associations

1927-ca.1931: student, Iowa State College, Ames, Iowa.[8]

1931-1935: draftsman, Kimball, Steele & Sandham, Architects, Omaha, Nebraska.

1935: head draftsman, Steele & Hilgers, Architects.[2]

1935-1936: student, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska.[2]

1936-1941: head designer and superintendent, Kimball, Steele & Sandham, Architects, Omaha, Nebraska.[2]

1938: Registered Professional Architect, Nebraska, July 19, 1938, expired December 31, 1980, A-70.[6]

1941-1946: government construction projects.[2]

1946-1956: architect and partner, Steele, Sandham & Steele, Architects, Omaha, Nebraska.[2]

1956-1963: architect and president, Steele, Sandham & Weinstein Company, Architects, Omaha, Nebraska.[2]

1964-1969: architect and partner, Steele, Weinstein & Associates, Architects, Omaha, Nebraska.[2]

1970-1971: architect and president, Steele & Associates, Architects, Omaha, Nebraska.[2]

1972-1973: vice-president, McGaugh Marshall McMillan & Backlund, Architects, Omaha, Nebraska.

1974: senior architectural consultant, McGaugh Marshall McMillan & Backlund, Architects, Omaha, Nebraska.

1975-1979: Not listed in Omaha city directory.

1980: Listed as retired in Omaha city directory.

Principal Works

Most of Steele's work was done while serving as a partner in a series of related architectural firms. See Steele, Sandham & Steele; Steele, Sandham & Weinstein Company; Steele, Weinstein & Associates; and Steele & Associates for more associated buildings and projects.

St. Vincent’s Home for Aged (1952), Omaha, Nebraska.[2]

Agronomy Science Building – Keim Hall (1952), University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska.[2]

Synagogue (1953), Omaha, Nebraska.[2][b].

St. Philip Nero Church (1954), Omaha, Nebraska.[2]

Jefferson School (1954), Omaha, Nebraska.[2]

Benedictine Seminary (1956), Elkhorn, Nebraska.[2]

Student Health Center (1958), University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska.[2]

Federal Building and Court House (1958-1960), Omaha, Nebraska.[2]

Behlen Laboratory of Physics (1961-1965), University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska.[2][a]

Pius X Church (1964), Tulsa, Oklahoma.[2]

Honors & Awards

1954: AIA Award of Merit, St.Vincent's Home for Aged.[2]

1954: Hospital of Month, Modern Hospital Magazine, St. Vincent's Home for Aged.[2]


a. Architect of record, Steele, Sandham & Weinstein Company.[2]

b. Steele, Sandham & Steele supervising architects; Kivett & Meyers, architect of record.[2]


1. Biography in Nebraska State Historical Society file (The Prairie School in Iowa, Wilson & Robinson, Iowa State Un. Press, Ames, 1977) FIX

2. The AIA Historical Directory of American Architects, s.v. “Steele Jr., William L.,” (ahd1042847), http://public.aia.org/sites/hdoaa/wiki (accessed April 5, 2017).

3. “Steele, William L.” Omaha World-Herald (June 20, 1980): 36:2

4. Lincoln Evening Journal (June 10, 1961): 1.

5. “Dedication Program,” December 2, 1965. In Behlen Manufacturing Company collection, Nebraska State Historical Society, MS1595 Box 5.

6. State of Nebraska Board of Engineers and Architects, “Professional license results: William L Steele Jr.,” Accessed September 10, 2013. http://www.ea.ne.gov/search/search.php?page=details&lic=A70

7. Ancestry.com. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.

8. Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.

Page Citation

D. Murphy, “William LaBarthe Steele, Jr. (1907-1980), Architect,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, April 5, 2017. http://www.e-nebraskahistory.org/index.php?title=Place_Makers_of_Nebraska:_The_Architects Accessed, December 3, 2022.

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