Biography of A. Arthur Guilbert
A. Arthur Guilbert, whose high rank and undeniable skill as an architect enables him to command a most liberal patronage and the evidence of whose ability is found in many of the leading structures of this city, was born in Racine, August. 8. 1869, a son of Albert W. and Celia M. (Pease) Guilbert. The father, also a native of Racine, was a son of Albert W. Guilbert, who was born on the isle of Guernsey and who in 1838 arrived in Racine, ere the admission of the state into the Union and ere the little village which is now the County seat and a populous manufacturing center had entered in any way upon its period of modern development and progress. In an early day he was a sea captain, commanding a vessel engaged in the coffee trade. In his later years he retired and was known as one of Racine’s capitalists. Albert W. Guilbert reared in Racine, became manager for the Western Union Telegraph Company and so continued for many years. Eventually he became connected with the J. I. Case Threshing Machine Company and remained with that corporation until his death. His wife, who has also passed away, was a daughter of Henry and Mary (Warburton) Pease, who were pioneer settlers of Albany, Illinois.
A. Arthur Guilbert after attending the public and high schools of Racine, from which he was graduated with the class of 1888, became a student in Lehigh University of Pennsylvania and still later matriculated in the University of Michigan. In further preparation for a professional career he entered the Chicago School of Architecture, from which he was graduated in 1901. Well qualified by broad and thorough training, he returned to Racine and entered upon the active practice of his profession. Monuments to his skill and ability are to be seen on every side, for his firm designed the McMynn school, the Welsh Methodist Episcopal church, the First Methodist church the Grange Avenue Methodist. church, the First National Bank building, the Commercial Savings Bank building, the N. D. Pratt school, Elks Club House, Racine Country Club, park refectories, the No. 1 and No. 6 engine houses and many other public buildings, together with a large number of fine residences. His work is of the highest class, combining the elements of comfort, utility and artistic workmanship. At one time he was in partnership with Herbert B. Rugh under the firm style of Guilbert & Rugh and after the dissolution of that partnership he was joined in 1906 by E. B. Funston who sold out in 1915. Since that time Mr. Guilbert has been alone in business but employs several assistants. He is today accounted one of the foremost architects of the state, and is a member of the architects’ arbitration committee of the state board of control.
In 1895 Mr. Guilbert was married to Miss Bessie M. Bull, a daughter of Stephen Bull, who was one of Racine’s most distinguished citizens and business men. The children of this marriage are: F. Warburton, nineteen years or age, who is a talented musician and is now a student in Princeton University; Gordon McKenzie, seventeen years of age, who is attending the Hill School at Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and Ellen Katherine Kellogg, seven years of age.
Mr. Guilbert has attained high rank in Masonry, belonging to lodge, chapter, council, commandery, consistory and the Mystic Shrine. He is also identified with the Elks and is very popular and prominent in club circles, having membership in the Somerset Club, the Country Club, of which he was president during 1915 and 1916, the Wisconsin State Golf Association of which he is now president, the University Club of Milwaukee and the Racine Commercial Club. He belongs to the Episcopal Church and in politics maintains an independent course. Broad study has made him thoroughly familiar with the great scientific principles which underlie his profession, as well as with every practical phase of the business. He is familiar with the best examples of ancient and modern architecture as seen in the notable places of Europe and he is quick and skillful in adapting any idea to modern American needs. Ruled by more than ordinary intelligence, his progressive spirit is guided by good judgment and he has been a persistent, resolute and energetic follower of his profession.