Wallace L. Dow

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Wallace L. Dow, often known as W.L. Dow, was an architect of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

He has been referred to as the "Builder on the Prairie" and was "considered the premier architect of South Dakota in the late 19th century."[1]

Wallace L. Dow was born in Croydon, New Hampshire on September 21, 1844, the son of Hial and Lura Powers Dow. Dow was educated in local schools and at the Powers Institute. He learned the carpentry and building contracting trade from his father, and worked in the plumbing and heating trades in the early 1860s in Massachusetts. He returned to New Hampshire and formed his own contracting and building supply manufacturing company. He then studied architecture under his uncle, Edward Dow, an architect, in Concord, New Hampshire.

Wallace Dow moved to Pierre, South Dakota, in 1880. In February, 1881, Dow was appointed by the governor to the board responsible for building the territorial prison in Sioux Falls. Dow was chairman of the prison construction board for four years. He moved to Sioux Falls in 1882. Following completion of the prison worked as an architect. He designed many public buildings, and played an important role in development of the construction stone industry in the state.[2][3]

He worked also as Wallace LeRoy Dow and as Wallace Dow and Sons.

Dow married Lois M. Whipple of Croyden, New Hampshire, in 1865. Their three children were Edward W. Dow, Baron C. Dow, and Annie H. Dow.[2] Dow died in Sioux Falls July 6, 1911.

A number of Dow'sworks are listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.[4]




  1. ^ "Dayton House Architecture: Wallace L. Dow". 
  2. ^ a b Robinson, Doane (1904-01-01). History of South Dakota. B. F. Bowen. p. 1477. 
  3. ^ The Granite Monthly: A Magazine of Literature, History and State Progress. J.N. McClintock. 1911-01-01. p. 288. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  5. ^ John Burrows (November 5, 1980). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: First Baptist Church of Vermillion / First Baptist Church" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved July 13, 2016.  with nine photos from 1980
  6. ^ a b c Hufstetler, Mark (December 2007) [July 1998]. "South Dakota's Railroads" (PDF). South Dakota State Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved April 22, 2016. 
  7. ^ a b Tierney, James Fallows and John. "Romanesque on the Plains: The Look of Sioux Falls". Retrieved 2016-08-28.