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George P. Washburn

Architect (1846-1922)

Doniphan County Courthouse

George P. Washburn of Ottawa, Kansas was one of the leading architects in the state at the turn of the 20th century. He studied architecture in Quincy, Illinois at Bryant & Stratton's Commercial College and came to Kansas in 1870. He worked in Kansas City, Missouri as a carpenter and an architect for a time before setting up his own architecture practice in Ottawa in 1882. In 1885 he became the architect for the Kansas State Board of Charities. Washburn was also one of several architects that designed Kansas' Carnegie Libraries.

Although Washburn designed all types of buildings, including residential, he is best known for his courthouses having designed a total of 13. During the 1890s he designed the Johnson, Franklin, Miami, Atchison, and Woodson County courthouses. In 1901 his son joined the firm and it became George P. Washburn & Son. Together, father and son designed the Anderson, Neosho, Doniphan, Kingman, Harper, and Butler County courthouses.

Washburn's buildings were not often representative of one architectural style, but rather a combination of the prevailing aesthetics of the time. He developed different combinations of Richardsonian Romanesque. Queen Anne, Classical Revival and Beaux Arts and the result was eclectic.

In 1910 George Washburn went into semi-retirement and his son-in-law, Roy Stookey joined the firm with his son. Washburn died in 1922 and the firm became Washburn & Stookey.

Find George P. Washburn buildings listed in the National Register.

Entry: Washburn, George P.

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: March 2011

Date Modified: August 2018

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.