Wyatt Cephas Hedrick, architect and engineer, was born in Chatham, Virginia, on December 17, 1888, the son of Washington Henry and Emma Cephas (Williams) Hedrick. He received a bachelor of arts degree from Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia, in 1909 and an engineering degree from Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia, in 1910. He worked as an engineer for Lane Brothers in Alta Vista, Virginia, from 1910 to 1913, when he was hired by the Stone and Webster Engineering Corporation of Boston as a construction engineer for the company's Dallas office. He headed his own construction company in Fort Worth from 1914 to 1921, when he became a partner in the architectural firm Sanguinet and Staats, which had offices in Fort Worth and Houston.
In 1925 Hedrick opened his own architectural practice with offices in Fort Worth, Dallas, and Houston. The next year, after Sanguinet and Staats retired, he also bought the remaining interest in their practice. From the 1920s through the 1950s he had an active nationwide practice, and at one time his was considered the third-largest architectural firm in the United States. Hedrick produced buildings in a wide range of historical and modern styles. Among his best-known works are the Shamrock Hotel in Houston (1949), the Sterick Building in Memphis, Tennessee (1930), and the Medical Arts Building in Fort Worth (1926). Hedrick also produced a large body of Moderne buildings in Fort Worth, including the Worth Theater (with Alfred C. Finn, 1927), the Lone Star Gas Company Building (1929), the Hollywood Theater (with Finn, 1930), the Texas and Pacific Terminal and Warehouse (1931), Will Rogers Memorial Center (1936), and City Hall (1938) (the last two in association with Elmer G. Withers). He also designed scores of schools and facilities for various universities, including Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas Christian University and Texas Wesleyan College in Fort Worth, and the University of North Texas in Denton.
Hedrick married Pauline Stripling on June 12, 1917; the couple had one daughter. They divorced in 1922. He married Mildred Sterling, on December 17, 1925; with her he had two daughters. Hedrick was a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Institute of Architects, the Texas Society of Architects, the Scottish Rite and the Shrine, the Elks Club, the Dallas Athletic Club, the Houston Club, the Petroleum Club, and the Dallas, Houston, and Rivercrest Country clubs. He died in Houston of a heart attack on May 5, 1964, and was buried in Fort Worth.
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Judith Singer Cohen, Cowtown Moderne: Art Deco Architecture of Fort Worth, Texas (Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1988). Houston Post, May 6, 1964. Jamie L. Lofgren, Early Texas Skyscraper: A History of the Skyscraper Style (M.A. thesis, University of Texas at Austin, 1987). Sanguinet and Staats-Hedrick Collection, Architecture and Planning Library, University of Texas at Austin. Who's Who in America, 1960–61. Deborah M. Liles, Wyatt Cephas Hedrick: Builder of Cities (M.A. thesis, University of North Texas, 2008).
Texas in the 1920s
Upper Gulf Coast
Dallas/Fort Worth Region
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Hedrick, Wyatt Cephas,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 17, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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