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Guide to the Bentley, Merman, and Skogstad Architectural Drawings, 1918-1935 MSS 070, Micro 25

Guide to the Bentley, Merman, and Skogstad Architectural Drawings, 1918-1935

MSS 070, Micro 25

Summary Information

Abstract
An architectural design firm of La Crosse, Wis., called variously Bentley and Merman, Merman and Skogstad, and Otto Merman Architect. The architects involved were Percy D. Bentley (1885-1968), Otto A. Merman (1890-1935) and Herbert W. Skogstad (d. 1929). Bentley was a La Crosse native who attended the Armour Institute in Chicago. During his brief practice with Merman in La Crosse, the two designed a large number of distinguished Prairie School residences. After Bentley’s departure in 1919, former assistant and partner Otto A. Merman associated with Herbert W. Skogstad from 1922-1929. Skogstad was a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the nature of commissions expanded after this partnership was established to include work for local institutions and businesses as well as residences. Merman continued the practice solo after Skogstad’s death in 1929 until his death in 1935. The microfilmed records are of architectural drawings of buildings designed by these professional associations consist of nearly 300 projects, just over half of which are residential in type. Another quarter of the designs were for commercial buildings, the remaining quarter for public buildings and schools. Most projects were commissioned for locations in La Crosse and other Wisconsin cities with a few in Minnesota and one each in Iowa and Indiana.
Collection Title
Bentley, Merman, and Skogstad Architectural Drawings
Date of Materials
1918-1934
Creator
Bentley & Merman (La Crosse, Wis.).
Creator
Merman & Skogstad (La Crosse, Wis.).
Call Number
MSS 070, Micro 25
Amount
0.7 cubic feet
Physical Description
7 rolls of 35 mm microfilm
Language of Materials
English
Repository
La Crosse Public Library Archives

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Bentley, Merman, and Skogstad Architectural Drawings, MSS 070, La Crosse Public Library Archives, La Crosse, WI

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Historical Note

Percy Dwight Bentley was born in La Crosse, Wis., in 1885. He studied at Ohio Wesleyan University as a member of the non-graduating class of 1907. In September of 1906, Bentley entered Chicago’s Armour Institute and again in September of 1909.

Between 1907 and 1910, Bentley worked in La Crosse for Wells Bennett as a draftsman when not in school. In 1910, he formed a brief partnership with William Bajari, hiring Otto Merman as a draftsman. Both Merman and Bentley left La Crosse around 1913 or 1914 and headed for the Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, area where Bentley became associated with Charles Hausler for about a decade. He returned to La Crosse periodically and he and Merman formally announced their partnership in La Crosse at the end of December 1917.(1) Their offices were at 210 Linker Building.

By 1921 Bentley had moved to St. Paul permanently until he later moved to Eugene, OR, about 1939. His architectural work, along with that of other architects, was honored by the Roswell, NM, Chamber of Commerce and Museum. The Chamber honored “a group of progressive American architects who lived and designed in the period 1900-1920.”(2) Bentley died in Eugene in Feb. 1968.(3) His obituary said he was a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright and noted some residential structures of his design, such as 1634 King St., 1212 and 1222 Cass St., and 2425 Main St. Certainly Bentley’s legacy is his influence of the Prairie Style on residential architecture in the early twentieth century in La Crosse.(4)

Otto A. Merman was also born in La Crosse, Wis., in April 1890. He received his early training in the offices of architects Parkinson & Dockendorff from about 1907 to 1910. He moved to Minneapolis for a short time and returned to La Crosse to form a partnership with Percy Bentley. When Bentley moved permanently to St. Paul in about 1919, Merman assumed the practice. Merman began to specialize in public buildings, particularly schools.

In 1922 Merman associated with Herbert W. Skogstad until Skogstad’s death in 1929 at 39 years of age.(5) Merman continued to design many public buildings as well as some commercial and residential buildings. Otto Merman died at age 45 in June 1935.(6)

Resources consulted:

1 “Bentley & Merman New Designers Here: Percy Bentley in Partnership with Local Man,” La Crosse Tribune, Dec. 27, 1917, p.2. 2 “Bentley Work Recognized: Former City Architect Feted by Roswell, N.M.,” La Crosse Tribune, Jan. 23, 1957. 3 “Architect P. D. Bentley Dies at 83,” La Crosse Tribune, Feb. 8, 1968. 4 Rausch, Joan H. and Richard Zeitlin, Historic La Crosse: Architecural and Historic Record: A Summary of an Intensive Survey Report, (Architectural Researches, Inc. and Historical Resources, Inc.: 1984), p. 14. 5 “Funeral Services of H. W. Skogstad to be on Monday,” La Crosse Tribune, Sept. 15, 1929, p. 6. 6 “Otto Merman, Prominent as Architect, Dies,” La Crosse Tribune, June 3, 1935, p. 1.

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Scope and Contents

An architectural design firm of La Crosse, Wis., called variously Bentley and Merman, Merman and Skogstad, and Otto Merman Architect.

The largest number of projects are for La Crosse, Wis., but other Wisconsin cities are represented, as well as Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota. Other cities that have a fair amount of representation are Wisconsin cities Galesville, Sparta, West Salem, and in Minnesota, Winona. Some unidentified client projects are filmed at the end of the seventh roll.

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Arrangement

Almost 300 project drawings are included on these seven reels of microfilm, and are arranged by state, therein alphabetically by city name and include the date of the design. For cities with more than one project, such as La Crosse, the business name or person who commissioned the project are listed alphabetically under that city’s name.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

La Crosse Public Library Archives 2004 June

800 Main St.
La Crosse, Wisconsin, 54601
(608) 789-7136
archives@lacrosselibrary.org

Access to Materials

Materials in this collection are available for patron use.

Acquisitions Information

(Accession No. 2004-13) Purchased through regular Special Collections materials budget, 2003, from the Wisconsin Historical Society. WHS Micro 1107 P95-1756 through P95-1762

This microfilm was produced by the Wisconsin Historical Society in 1987.

Processing Information

Processed by Anita Taylor Doering, June 2004, based on a WHS finding aid by Fritz Knoble

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Bentley & Merman (La Crosse, Wis.).
  • Merman & Skogstad (La Crosse, Wis.).

Personal Name(s)

  • Bentley, Percy Dwight, 1885-1968
  • Merman, Otto A.
  • Skogstad, Herbert W.

Subject(s)

  • Architects--Wisconsin--La Crosse
  • Architecture, Domestic
  • Architecture--Designs and plans
  • School buildings

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OCLC Number

17271287

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Collection Inventory

 (Series 1) Wisconsin 

Reel

Alma: Tenney (Harry) house, 1930 

1

Antigo: Inter-State Oil Company, 1930 

1

Arcadia: Maurer (Emil) house, 1921 

1

Beaver Dam: Cities Services Oil Company, 1928 

1

Beloit: Board of Industrial Education-Vocational School, 1925, 1934 

1

Cashton 

Reel

City of Cashton High School, 1926 

1

Klinker Brothers, 1930 

1

Rudolph (Frank) house, 1930 

1

Store building, 1929 

1
Reel

Chaseburg: Chaseburg Co-operative Creamery Company, 1931 

1

Coon Valley: Moen (A. T.) house, 1925 

1

Crystal Lake: Dahl (Harry) house, 1923 

1

Eau Claire: Tri-State Ice Cream Corporation, 1927 

1

Eau Galle: Town & Waterville School District 1, undated 

1

Elroy: Leist (A. M.) house, 1926 

1

Ferryville: Rutter (Hiram) house, 1926 

1

Fountain City: Fugina (Paul) house, 1930 

1

Galesville 

Reel

Bank of Galesville, 1924 

1

Boy Scouts, 1934 

1

City of Galesville Library, 1920 

1

Gale College, 1925 

1

Hurley (R. F.) house, 1920 

1

Powell (J. J.) house, 1924 

1
Reel

Hillsboro: Robinson (Henry) house, 1926 

1

Janesville: Inter-State Oil Company, 1920 

1

La Crosse 

Board of Education 

Reel

Board of Education Building, 1920 

1

Central High School, 1925 

1

Franklin High School, 1930-1931 

1

Hamilton School, 1926 

1

Hogan School, 1920-1921 

1

Jefferson School, 1930 

1

Lincoln School, 1923-1927 

1

Logan High School, 1927, 1933 

1

North Branch School, 1923 

1

Roosevelt School, 1931-1932 

1

Washburn School, undate 

1

Washington School, 1926, 1932 

1

Webster School, 1927 

1

Board of Park Commissioners 

Copeland Park 

Reel

Comfort station (plan #450), April 1924 

1

Wading pool (plan #875), June 1934 

1

Myrick Park Zoo 

Reel

Monkey Island (plan #669), April 1929 

1

Waterfowl and water plant enclosure "duck pond" (plan #730), September 1930 

1

Animal cage and raccoon pit (plan #730), September 1930 

1
Reel

Pettibone Island bath house (plan #483), May 1925 

1

Riverside Park 

Reel

Wendell A. Anderson Memorial orchestra shell (bandshell) (plan #708), April 1930 

1

Anderson Memorial seating (plan #854), December 1933 

1

City of La Crosse 

Reel

Comfort station and employment office (plan #433), April 1924 

1

Market Square shed building, 1922 

2

Vocational school, 1923 

2

Miscellaneous, undated 

2

County of La Crosse 

Reel

Treasurer's Office, 1920 

2

Old People's Home (Hillview), 1935 

2
Reel

Advance Bedding Company, 1927 

2

Allan's Store, 1932 

2

Arenz (A. N.) house, 1924 

2

Arenz Shoe Company, 1921, 1925, 1927 

2

Auto Club of Western Wisconsin, 1924 

2

Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) Club, 1921 

2

Bartl (Joseph) house, 1927 

2

Batavian National Bank, 1919-1920 

2

Bannen (W. E.) house, 1924 

2

Bayer (John) house, 1925 

2

Becker (Nick) house, 1933 

2

Benton Electric Company, 1921 

2

Buetler (Joseph) house, 1928 

2

Bicha (J. C.) house, 1928 

2

Board of Industrial Education (vocational school), 1929 

2

Boehm (Henry) house, 1927 

2

Borresen (Lilly) house, 1931 

2

Boyer (J. W.) house, 1927 

2

Boy Scouts, undated 

2

Bruha (Arthur) house, 1921 

2

Burgess (Frank) house, 1933 

2

Burton (Abby) house, 1925 

2

Burton (George) house, 1922 

2

Byers (Mark) house, 1921 

2

Callaway (Charles) house, 1921 

2

Cameron (M. D.) house, 1923 

2

Cameron Motor Car Company, 1922 

2

Cities Service Oil Company, 1926 

2

Colman (C. E.) house, 1929 

2

Dahl (Harry) house, 1929 

2

Derr (E. H.) house, undated 

2

Dietz (Frank) house, 1921 

2

E. R. Barron Company, 1929, 1932 

2

Eagan (R. L.) house, 1927 

2

Erickson (Emil) house, 1922 

2

Euler (Charles) house, 1931 

2

Evans (James) house, 1928 

2

Evanson (Clarence) house, 1929 

2

Federal Baking Company, 1931 

2

Felton (J. C.) house, 1927 

2

First Congregational Church, 1922 

2

Fox Brothers Auto, 1930 

2

Fritz (Emil) house, 1933 

2

Funk (A. P.) house, 1933 

2

Funk estate, 1933 

2

Funke (Albert) house, 1920 

2

Gaspard (Lillian) house, 1931 

2

G. Heileman Brewing Company, 1933-1934 

2

Gannett (C. P.) - Waterloo Hotel, 1925, 1927 

2

Gateway City Bank, 1933 

2

Gatterdam (John) house, 1934 

3

Gelatt (P. M.) house, 1926, 1929 

3

George Tire Company, 1927 

3

Grandview Hospital, 1919, 1925 

3

Gray (R. H.) house, 1929, 1931 

3

Gundersen (G.) house, 1927, 1930 

3

Hamilton Lodge, 1922 

3

Hengel (N. J.) house, 1930 

3

Hixon (F. P.) house, 1919, 1924 

3

Hofweber (J. L.) house, 1921 

3

Hogan (J. J.) Incorporation, 1920 

3

Holmes MacWillie Tire Depot, 1927 

3

Horner, 1933 

3

Immanuel German Lutheran Church, 1927 

2

Independent Dry Cleaners, 1933 

3

Jehlen (Dominic) house, 1921, 1929 

3

Jehlen's Market, 1932 

3

Katz (August) house, undate 

3

Keizer (Lester) house, 1925, 1931 

3

Kindley (John) house, 1925 

3

Klick (Albert) house, 1919 

3

Klosheim (Mary) house, 1930 

3

Knights of Pythias, 1920 

3

Koch (Gus) house, 1933 

3

Kroner (Fred) Hardware, 1932 

3

Kroner (William) house, 1927 

3

Kruse (Fred) house, 1922 

3

Kutzborsky (August) house, 1924 

3

Labor Temple, 1925 

3

La Crosse Country Club, 1922 

3

La Crosse Hospital, 1932 

3

La Crosse Interstate Fair Association, 1923-1924 

4

La Crosse Knitting Works, 1931 

4

La Crosse Lutheran Hospital, 1923, 1926, 1927 

4

La Crosse Normal School, 1926 

4

La Crosse Refrigerator Company, 1930 

4

La Crosse State Teachers College, 1934 

4

La Crosse YMCA, 1930 

4

La Crosse YWCA, undated 

4

Laux (William) house, 1928 

4

Law (D. S.) house, 1929 

4

Leithold Piano Company, 1919 

4

Linker Realty, 1919, 1921 

4

Lorrilard Company, 1921 

4

Lovold (Russell) house, 1929, 1933 

4

Lyden Brothers, 1933 

4

Macmillan (D.G.) house (1222 Cass St.), 1918 

4

McBain (R.) house, 1931 

4

Meir Certified Home, 1929 

4

Meister (Seymour) house, 1922 

4

Miller (Fred) house, 1922 

4

Mississippi Valley Service Co., 1928, 1930 

4

Modern Laundry & Dry Cleaning Company, 1928 

4

Moen Photo Service, 1930 

4

Molzahn (Theo) house, 1921 

4

Montague (W. A.) house, 1927 

4

Montgomery Ward Company, undated 

4

Moore (C. M.) house, 1931 

4

Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, 1932 

4

National Gauge & Equipment, 1927-1929 

4

Nelson (Bernt) house, 1921 

4

New Process Cleaning Company, 1929 

4

Newberg (Harry) house, 1932 

4

Northern Engraving Company, 1924 

4

Ott (Ben) house, 1921 

4

Ott (Will) house, 1924-1925 

4

Oyen (Leighton) house, 1928 

4

Palmer (C. L.) house, 1926 

4

Papenfuss (John) house, 1924 

4

Pavella (Steve) house, 1929-1930 

4

Perfect Oil Company, 1928-1929 

4

Rainbow Garden Association, 1927 

4

Ratz (Otto) house, 1922 

4

Rau (Carl) house, 1922-1923 

5

Richmond (J. E.) house, 1928 

5

Riverside Bottling Works, 1928 

5

Rohr (E. A.) house, 1929 

5

Rorh (Elmer) house, 1928 

5

Rus-Art Oil Company, 1931 

5

Salzer Seed Company, 1933 

5

Schaefer Cleaning Works, 1922 

5

Schilling estate, 1932 

5

Schlabach (Otto) house, 1926 

5

Schnegerger and Ford, 1922 

5

Schneeberger (George) house, 1924 

5

Schultz (Emil) house, 1923 

5

Schultz Dry Cleaning Company, 1928 

5

Schultz (George) house, 1922 

5

Schwalbe (Ed) house, 1920 

5

Schwalbe (Frank) house, 1920 

5

Scott (Argyle) house, 1918 

5

Security Holding Company, 1920 

5

Security Savings Bank, 1933 

5

Sisson (Frank) house, 1923 

5

Sjolander (H. J.) house, undated 

5

Sjolander (J. H.) house, 1928 

5

Skarr (Olaf) house, 1922 

5

Skogstad (H. W.) house, 1934 

5

Sletten (Andrew) house, 1934 

5

Sletten McKee Company, 1927 

5

Smedal (E.) house, 1929 

5

Spence McCord Drug Company, 1931 

5

State Bank, 1926 

5

Steinmetz and Hart, 1919 

5

Stephan (Peter) house, 1929 

5

Stoddard Hotel (C Baker Estate), 1925 

5

Stokke Oil Service Station, 1933, 1934 

5

Tausche Hardward Company, 1920 

5

Terminal Warehouse Company, 1933 

5

Trane Corporation, 1922-1925, 1927, 1930 

5

Tri-State Ice Cream Corporation, 1919, 1927 

5

United States Bureau of Fisheries, circa 1931 

5

Vernhulst, Incorporated, 1928 

5

Walker (William) house, 1922 

5

Wiltinger (Joseph) house, 1929 

5

Zeratsky (A. W.) house, 1928 

5
Reel

Lake Chetek: Hansen (J. J.) house, 1920 

5

Lake Mills: United States Bureau of Fisheries, 1931 

5

Madison 

Reel

Kruse (Fred) house, 1923 

5

MacMillan (D. G.) house, 1928 

5

Perfect Oil Company, 1929 

5

Rupp (C. E.) house, 1928 

6
Reel

New Lisbon: Christmann Brewing Company, 1934 

6

Newry: Christensen (H.) house, 1920 

6

Onalaska: Oak Forest Sanatorium, 1931-1932 

6

Ontario: Hansen (H. H.) house, 1922 

6

Portage: Cities Service Oil Company, 1926 

6

Reserve: Gundersen (H.) house, 1925 

6

Soldiers Grove: Sorenson (V. K.) house, 1934 

6

Sparta 

Reel

City of Sparta Central Ward School, 1932 

6

East Primer School, 1932 

6

Jewett (A.) house, 1920 

6

Lanham (Maurice) house, 1932 

6

Letson (S. C.) house, 1932 

6

Meyer (W. M.) house, 1932 

6

Seidel (G.) house, 1920 

6

Sparta Co-operative Oil Company, 1934 

6
Reel

Stoddard: St. Mathews Lutheran Church, 1934 

6

Tomah 

Reel

Smith (Roy) house, 1927 

6

South Western Wisconsin Gas Company, 1933 

6

Viroqua 

Reel

Brown (B. C.) house, 1932 

6

Clark (C. M.) house, 1922 

6

Clark (C. V.) house, 1926 

6

Smith (Melville) house, 1924 

6

Vernon County Asylum, 1927, 1933 

6
Reel

Watertown: Inter-State Oil Company, 1928 

6

West Salem 

Reel

Friell (Grover) house, 1921 

6

Jeffries house, 1926 

6

Masonic temple, 1932 

6

Swarthout (E. C.) house, 1929 

6

Trimbell (D.) house, 1919 

6

Village of West Salem, 1925 

6

Wakefield & Jeffers, 1919 

6

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 (Series 2) Indiana 

Reel

Rochester: United States Bureau of Fisheries, 1934 

6

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 (Series 3) Iowa 

Reel

Charles City: Rolfing (R. C.) house, 1926 

6

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 (Series 4) Minnesota 

Caledonia 

Reel

Blexrud (H. J.) house, 1919 

6

City of Caledonia 

Reel

High school, 1934 

6

Wading pool, undated 

6
Reel

Gengler (Leonard) house, 1934 

6

Lutheran church, 1926 

6

Dakota 

Reel

Hunt (E. D.) house, 1929 

6

Hunthaven, 1932 

6

Koller (Joseph) house, 1930 

6

Phillips (George) house, 1929 

6
Reel

Dresbach: Reithold (Fred) house, 1921 

6

Helgaland (north Pettibone Island, La Crosse, Wisconsin): Gundersen (A.) house, 1918 

6

Homer: Roesner (L. G.) house, 1928 

6

Houston: Lutheran church, 1924 

6

Wabasha 

Reel

Adkins (Joe) house, 1929 

6

Foley (J. R.) house, 1931, 1933 

6

Johnson (Nels) house, 1929 

6

Replogle (Mrs. W. H.) house, undated 

6

Winona 

Reel

Beyerstedt Amusement Company, 1932 

6

Choate (C. A.) house, 1929 

7

Erickson Baking Company, 1923 

7

Fish (W.) house, 1931 

7

Griesel (F. C.) house, 1924 

7

Horton (Frank) house, 1927 

7

Johnson (Nels) house, 1930 

7

Leicht (Emil) house, 1929-1930 

7

Miginiss (F. J.) house, 1928 

7

Ryan (Willard) house, 1928 

7

Seitz (Emil) house, 1922 

7

Siebrecht Floral Company, 1922 

7

Steffen (S. A.) house, 1929 

7

Stott (E.) house, 1920 

7

Wisconsin Railway, Light & Power Company, 1923 

7

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Reel

Miscellaneous clients (unidentified) 

7