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Henry W. Brinkman

St. Joseph Church, Damar - Rooks CountyArchitect. Born: April 30, 1881. Died: December 7, 1949.

Henry W. Brinkman was born on April 30, 1881 in the German province of Westphalia. His family immigrated to Decatur Illinois in 1882 and moved to Garnett, Kansas in 1883. In 1885 the family moved to the thriving German Settlement, Olpe in Lyon County Kansas, 10 miles south of Emporia.

In 1907 Brinkman graduated from the School of Architecture at Kansas State University.  While still in school Brinkman had designed two houses in Manhattan, Kansas. Following graduation Brinkman established his own firm in Emporia.

Brinkman’s family were devout Catholics and very involved in church affairs. Many believe this is why Brinkman specialized in the design of churches and similar facilities. Some of his church commissions include St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Olpe (1910); the Methodist Episcopal Church in Americus; and Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Damar (1912-1917).

Commissions for Brinkman’s work were steady until the Great Depression. In the late 1930s commissions increased once again due to the federally funded relief efforts of the New Deal. Brinkman worked on the Civic Auditorium in Emporia, as well as the high school in Hoisington.

After an active career, failing health caused Brinkman to retire from practice in January of 1948. He died at the age of 66 on December 7, 1949. 

Henry Brinkman designed buildings listed in the National Register

Entry: Brinkman, Henry W.

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: January 2013

Date Modified: July 2017

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