Jump to Navigation

Herman McClure Hadley

Born April 13, 1850, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Married: Etta J. Warden, January 10, 1878. Died: October 1, 1904, Topeka, Kansas.

Herman McClure Hadley was born April 13, 1850 near Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Only 15 months later, the Hadleys moved with their infant son to New York City. The family moved 50 miles away to a farm in Brewster when he was six. To save money in preparation to attend a university, Hadley began teaching school in 1869. Hadley had saved $100 when he entered Cornell University in the fall of1871, to study architecture. Along with his university studies, he continued working to earn more money to pay his tuition. During his last two years of college he created design drawings for New York Condensed Milk Company. On June 15, 1876, Hadley graduated first in his class earning his a bachelor’s degree in architecture, one of the first American architects with a university degree.

After graduation, Hadley was hired by New York Condensed Milk Company as architect and superintendent of buildings and machinery. He remained there until spring 1877 to prepare to leave for Kansas. On December 25, 1877, Hadley arrived in Topeka, and found employment as a school teacher for the remainder of the winter. Just 16 days after his arrival, on January 10, 1878, he married Etta J. Warden of Elgin, Kane County, Illinois.

That March the Hadleys moved to a farm in Jackson County where they remained until March 1880. The Hadleys moved to Topeka where Herman would establish an architectural firm in the Crawford building. Throughout his early years Hadley consulted with and often worked with architect Selby H. Kurfiss. Francis W. Cooper joined the firm as an associate architect around 1888 or 1889. In 1902 H. M. Hadley was awarded second prize in the architecture division at the Louisiana Purchase Exhibition in St. Louis, Missouri.

Hadley’s architectural style relied heavily on the Late Victorian styles, specifically Queen Anne and Romanesque. Examples of Hadley’s early work include an Episcopal Church in North Topeka, M.A. Pond’s Business College, the T.S. Lyon Home, the Meriden schoolhouse, the G.F. King store block in Holton, the home of A.A. Hurd (attorney for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway), the James B. Haydon Home, and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Hotel and Depot in Newton. Hadley’s commissions listed in the state register and National Register include the Hulse-Daughters House, the Union Block in Jefferson County, the Harshbarger Home, the Wolfe/Jansen Home, and the Topeka Rapid Transit Railway Company. The Topeka State Hospital Administration Building, demolished in 2010, was one of Hadley’s picturesque Queen Anne commissions. He also assisted with the design and detail work of the Kansas State Capitol.

Hadley’s 24-year career ended with his death on October 11, 1904, in Topeka, after a month-long illness. He was 54 years old.

Entry: Hadley, Herman, McClure

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: March 2013

Date Modified: June 2013

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.