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Cartwright, Carol Lohry; Shaffer, Scott; Waller, Randal / City on the Rock River : chapters in Janesville's history

13. Architects and builders,   pp. 227-248

Page 245

Watson, John
John Watson was a prominent contractor and bridge builder in Janesville. Born in England in
1826, he came to the United States in 1849 and to Janesville in 1855. He operated a hotel for a
time, then built bridges and culverts for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. In
Janesville, Watson built a store for J. J. R. Pease (not extant), the Jackman Block, and many
houses. (Portrait and Biographical AlLnbm 1889:650; Douglas and Hartung 1976:208; Brown
Home addresses:
102-108 N. Atwood Ave., Prospect Hill Historic District.
156 Prospect Ave., Prospect Hill Historic District.
Wray, James G.
Contractor James F. Wray was born in Janesville in 1848. After the Civil War, he pursued a
career in carpentry and building. In 1889, Wray formed a partnership with William H. Blair;
in 1892, the company added George Colling. But by 1896, each man was working independently.
Colling and Wray were partners once again around 1900, then Wray worked alone until 1913.
Only one building is directly associated with Wray, his own residence on Linn St. However, his
long career probably included many homes and commercial buildings in Janesville. (City
Home address:
104 Linn St., Old Fourth Ward Historic District.
Wright, John P.
John P. Wright was born in England and came to the United States in 1851. In 1853, the family
moved to Janesville and Wright took up carpentry as a youth. As a contractor, he helped build
the First Baptist Church and the First Congregational Church. (Commemorative Biographical
Record 1901:401-402)
Home address:
417 W. Racine St., Old Fourth Ward Historic District.
Other Builders
The following is a list of other builders who worked in Janesville during the historic period and
any buildings that are associated with them. The dates they worked in the city are taken from
Janesville City Directories.
George Barriage
John Boos
Nelson Cole
Charles Dailey
Joseph Denning
Edward Donohue
501 N. Parker Dr.
539 Harding St.
522 Cornelia St.
413 S. Second St.
447 N. Terrace St.
538 N. Pearl St.
711 School St.
221 S. Locust St.
Architects and Builders

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