Andrewartha, John (1839–1916)

By: Christopher Long

Type: Biography

Published: November 1, 1994

John Andrewartha, architect and civil engineer, was born on August 25, 1839, in Falmouth, Cornwall, England, the son of William Guy and Mary Elizabeth Andrewartha. After attending primary school he trained as an engineer in the Royal Navy. On June 11, 1860, he married Jemima Louisa Whillier; the couple had twelve children, seven of whom survived to adulthood. In 1865, with his wife and other members of his family, Andrewartha moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where he worked as an architect and engineer. He moved to Austin, Texas, in 1881 in the hope that he would be chosen to design the new Capitol. Although he failed to secure the commission, he elected to settle in Austin and set up practice as an architect and civil engineer. In 1883 he was commissioned to design a building for the Daily Statesman (see AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN), but the project fell through because of financial problems at the paper. In 1884 he designed the new Austin City-County Hospital (razed 1929). The imposing Queen Anne style structure, located at 1405 Sabine Street, was the first public hospital in Texas. Andrewartha's residential work included a number of large houses, among them the Henry Hirschfeld house (1885; now listed in the National Register of Historic Places), and the Louis N. Grissom house (1898; razed). He was also responsible for the design of the Montopolis bridge across the Colorado River (destroyed by flooding in 1935) and St. John's Home for Negro Orphans (1911, burned 1956). Andrewartha died in Austin on November 7, 1916, and was buried there in Oakwood Cemetery.

Vertical Files, Austin History Center. Roxanne Williamson, Austin, Texas: An American Architectural History (San Antonio: Trinity University Press, 1973).
  • Architecture
  • Architects
  • Peoples
  • English

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Christopher Long, “Andrewartha, John,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 20, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994