Davenporters of Note: E.S. Hammatt

Edward Seymour Hammatt was born in Geneseo, Livingston County, New York on September 8, 1856, to Edward Rumney Hammatt and Eliza H. Phelps. He studied architecture at Lehigh University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After he completed his studies, he spent four years with leading architects from the firms of Ware & Van Brunt of New York and four years with H.J. Hardenberg & Napoleon LeBrum in Boston.

Upon arriving in Davenport in 1883 he opened an architectural office in the Whitaker Building which was built by John H. Whitaker.

Whitaker Building on the southwest corner of 3rd and Brady Street.
Times-Democrat, June 6, 1974, page 14.

E.S. Hammatt married Carrie Rathbone Barris, the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Willis H. Barris, on June 7, 1888.

Marriage Return of Edward S. Hammatt and Carrie Rathbone Barris.

He died on August 24, 1907, after an illness of four years which begun with a gradual onset of paralysis which was later termed, paralysis agitans. Throughout his 24 year career, he demonstrated artistic talent and “enthusiastic devotion to his profession”. His office remained in the Whitaker Building until ill health spurred him to close. Mr. Hammatt’s resilience against his illness was evident because even when he was no longer able to work at his office, he continued to direct his draughtsman from home. In the months prior to his passing, he had concluded plans for the Hotel Monte Colfax in Colfax, Iowa, the remodeling plans of Miss Alice French’s home, and considerable changes to the Putnam block (“E.S. Hammatt to take a Rest”, page 7).

“E. S. Hammatt’s Life and Work.” The Davenport Democrat and Leader, August 26, 1907, page 8.

E.S. Hammatt not only was a well-known architect in Iowa but also of the west. He has been recognized in many National Register of Historic Place records for the buildings he designed. His accomplishment extend farther than his creative works. He was an active member of many clubs and organizations that benefited from his dedication and unflagging service.

Clubs & Organizations

  • Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, and a member of the Iowa chapter
  • Vestryman of Grace Cathedral
  • Member of Trinity Lodge, A.F.& A.M.
  • One of the organizers and always interested members of the Contemporary Club
  • Four years a member of the Irrawadi Canoe Club
  • A long and active member of the Davenport Outing Club
  • An indefatigable worker for the Academy of Sciences, on its publication committee, and for four years president of the Academy
  • He was many years secretary of the Sons of the Revolution of Iowa

Evidence of his prolific career can be found throughout the Quad Cities and the state of Iowa.

Examples Of His Work

  • Trinity Episcopal Church, Davenport (1874)
  • Episcopal churches in Creston, Mapleton, Washington, Oelwein, Boone, Algona, Ottumwa, Spencer, and other Iowa cities and towns
  • Kemper Hall, Griswold College, Davenport (1885)
  • St. Katherine’s classrooms and dormitory, Davenport (1885)
  • Connor House, 702 12th Street, Rock Island (1888)
  • Edward Edinger House, 1626 W 26th Street, Davenport (1890)
  • Lincoln School, 7th Avenue & 22nd Street, Rock Island (1893)
  • Old Main, Augustana College, Rock Island (1893)
  • Entrance gates at Oakdale Memorial Gardens, Davenport (1895)
  • Black Hawk Watch Tower [2nd] Inn (1897-1915)
First album of the city of Davenport, Iowa
First album of the city of Davenport, Iowa
First album of the city of Davenport, Iowa
Trinity Church and Guild
Davenport Democrat, Wednesday, April 29, 1885
St. Katharine’s School
Old Main
The “Inn” Black Hawks Watch Tower
Davenport illustrated : Saengerfest Souvenir, July 1898

(posted by Cristina and Kathryn)


“E.S. Hammatt’s Life And Work,” Davenport Democrat and Leader, August 25,1907, 8.

“E.S. Hammatt to take a Rest.” The Davenport Democrat and Leader, February 20, 1907, 7.

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