North Carolina Architects and Builders - A Biographical Dictionary

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Bain, William Carter (1839-1920)

William Carter Bain (January 8, 1839- July 8, 1920) was a prolific and adaptable contractor who epitomized the energetic entrepreneurship of the post-Civil War well into the 20th century. Bain began as a small-town artisan, served in the Confederate army, and became a regional builder and manufacturer. Adapting successfully to changing times during a...

Berry, John (1798-1870)

John Berry (August 18, 1798-January 11, 1870) was a Hillsborough brickmason who became one of the most respected builders in the antebellum Piedmont. Berry was one of the first native North Carolina artisans to establish a large, long-lasting, and supra-local practice. Although his work concentrated in his native Orange County, he began early in...

Briggs and Dodd (ca. 1850-1868)

Briggs and Dodd was a building and manufacturing partnership formed in the antebellum era by two builders, Thomas H. Briggs, Sr., and James Dodd, in Raleigh. At one time the two were next door neighbors. They took on construction of several important Raleigh houses, including some planned by architect William Percival. In addition to...

Briggs, John D. (1856-1934)

John D. Briggs (April 5, 1856-June 23, 1934), member of a Raleigh family long active in construction, was a contractor, architect, and engineer responsible for many industrial buildings including several American Tobacco Company and Liggett and Myers warehouses in Durham. He was one of six sons of Thomas H. Briggs, Sr., the respected and...

Briggs, Thomas Henry, Sr. (1821-1886)

Thomas Henry Briggs, Sr. (1821-1886), builder and manufacturer, worked in Raleigh during a long career that extended from the antebellum period into the 1880s. With James Dodd, he formed about 1850 the company of Briggs and Dodd, contractors and manufacturers of building components. The firm constructed some of the city's most stylish and complex...

Coffey Family (1890s-1960s)

John William Coffey (1869-1960) and his son, John Nelson Coffey (1902-1988) were among the leading builders in Raleigh during much of the twentieth century. Although the elder Coffey practiced on his own for several years, the Coffeys are especially well known in Raleigh as the firm of John W. Coffey and Son, formed in...

Collier, Isaac J. (b. ca. 1810)

Isaac J. Collier (b. ca. 1810) was a cabinetmaker, carpenter, and contractor who worked in Chatham and Orange Counties from the 1830s into the 1850s, often in partnership with other artisans. Like many small-town and rural woodworkers, he combined trades in furniture making and building. He was one of several antebellum local artisans who...

Cosby, Dabney (1779-1862)

Dabney Cosby (August 11, 1779-July 8, 1862), a native of Virginia, had a long and distinguished career as a "brick builder" in Virginia and North Carolina. When he was about sixty years of age, he moved to North Carolina, and he practiced there until his death in 1862. His shop was among the largest...

Ellington, Royster, and Company (1878-1894)

Ellington, Royster, and Company (1878-1894) was a contracting and building supply business established in 1878 by Leonard H. Royster (1840- 1912), a native of Raleigh, and William J. Ellington (1849-1919), originally from Chatham County. Their partnership became one of Raleigh's largest contracting and building supply businesses during the post-Civil War period. Royster, who began...

Fogle Brothers (1871-1932)

Charles A. Fogle (1850-1892) and Christian H. Fogle (1846-1898), partners in the contracting firm known as Fogle Brothers, were leading builders during an era of major industrial and urban growth in Winston and Salem (present Winston-Salem), constructing a large proportion of the factories, civic and commercial buildings, and housing for the burgeoning manufacturing towns Charles...

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