Sunday, March 10, 2013

Henry M. Patterson (1856-1928)

First Presbyterian Church, designed by Henry Patterson.
By Richard I. Gibson

Architect Henry Martin Patterson was born at Savannah, Ohio, May 5, 1856, of Scotch ancestry. His father, John Patterson, a native of Aberdeenshire in Scotland, came to America in 1835, settled in New York and moved to Ohio in 1837, where he worked as a carpenter and builder. Henry’s mother, Christiana (Lawson) Patterson, a native of the lowlands of Scotland, came over in 1837. John and Christiana met and were married in this country, and had ten children, of whom Henry Martin was the seventh. John was an ardent abolitionist and his house was a station of the Underground Railway before the Civil War.  Henry M. Patterson was educated in the public schools of Ohio and Savannah Academy. He learned the carpenter's trade and worked at it in Ohio until 1881 and in that year he moved to Butte.

 A. J. Gibson, prominent Missoula architect, got his start in Patterson’s Butte office, where both worked as carpenters in 1884. Patterson's first office, in the middle 1880s, on his own and teamed with Whitman & Whitney ("Carpenters, Etc.") appears to have been located on the north side of the alley between Broadway and Granite Streets, "2 east of Montana." It was behind the Congregational Church, whose site is occupied today by the Carpenters Union Hall today. Patterson roomed there as well. But about 1889 he established his architect's office in the Thornton Block; he lived in the Caplice Block. By 1895 Patterson had his own home on the up-scale West Side at 209 N. Alabama, moving in a few years up the block to 223 N. Alabama (still standing). After about 1900, his office was in the Owsley Block until 1902-03 when he moved to Seattle, a brief stop on his way to southern California.

Patterson was the first architect to become a member of the Montana Society of Engineers. He married twice; his first wife, married in 1883, was Theresa Anna Scott, of Savannah, Ohio, who bore him twins, Charles and Bessie. They were born in 1886, and their mother died when they were a month old. In 1891 he was married to Miss Jeannette Willamson Andrews, of Chillicothe, Ohio. Patterson was active in the Presbyterian Church in Butte and in 1901 he was appointed to represent Montana in the national executive committee of the Sunday School union. He was also a patron of baseball teams in Butte.

Patterson arrived in southern California about 1905, where he specialized in churches, although he also designed at least one theater, and hotels, residences, and other buildings. He died in Los Angeles October 20, 1928.

Partial list of Butte and southwest Montana buildings designed by Patterson, in whole or part:

Public library, Presbyterian Church, Inter-Mountain building, old Silver Bow Block, Broadway theater, Murray hospital, Mantle building. William Andrews Clark Jr. mansion, Curtis Music Hall, Lynch & Major's building, Columbia Gardens pavilion, Bowes block (destroyed by fire in 1889), Deer Lodge county court house at Anaconda, Good Templars Lodge, Hamilton Block, Stephens Block, Neuberg home (411 W. Broadway), 635 West Granite, 112 S. Main, original Thornton Hotel (53 E. Broadway), 123-125 N. Main, Kenwood Block.

Among the numerous buildings Patterson designed in Southern California, two of the most notable are the First Congregational Church in Long Beach and the Immanuel Presbyterian Church on Wilshire Boulevard. Additional photos can be found here.

Resources: Progressive Men of the State of Montana (1901); The Architect & Engineer magazine, Nov. 1928; Historic Uptown Butte by John DeHaas, Jr., 1977; Butte city directories. Photo by Richard Gibson.

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