Leffland, Jules Carl (1854–1924)

By: Anne Alcorn

Type: Biography

Published: March 1, 1995

Jules Carl Leffland, architect, son of Carl Wilhelm and Julia Welhelmine (Olsen) Leffland, was born at Usserød, Denmark, on September 9, 1854. He attended public school and then went to the Institute of Technology of Copenhagen, where he received his architectural training. In November 1879 he married Emilie Sophie Struck of Copenhagen, whose father owned a famous resort hotel, the Horsholm, on the Baltic Sea. To this marriage were born seven children. The Lefflands were converted from Lutheranism to Presbyterianism before leaving Denmark.

Leffland immigrated to Texas in 1886 at the urging of a Bee County rancher and friend, Viggo Koehler. His first jobs involved moving homes from Indianola inland to Cuero after the devastating hurricane of 1886 (see HURRICANES). By 1910, from an office in Victoria, Leffland had designed and supervised the construction of at least eighty structures. He designed churches, schools, banks, city halls, hotels, and residences in an area from Wharton to Kingsville. Many of these structures are extant and document the growth and prosperity in the region between 1888 and 1910. Victoria, Leffland's adopted hometown, has numerous examples of the buildings he designed. Most of these structures are located in and around the Main Street area in the old part of town. Nazareth Academy (1904), a large, Alsatian-design church school, is readily visible across from City Hall on Main Street. The J. E. Ryan building (1910), Bianchi's Pharmacy (1910), and the Hauschild Cigar Factory (1918) are all brick commercial buildings designed by Leffland. Mitchell School (1901) and Victoria Colored School (1901) were commissioned at the same time and are similar in detail. Reverend Burrough's Cottage (1892), one of Leffland's earlier residential structures, is located on North Street. The Abraham Levytansky home (1898), the Leffland home (1900), and the J. V. Vandenberge home (1908), all large wooden residences in the heart of town, are typical Leffland designs with tripartite door and window arrangements, wrap-around porches, and double entrances on two sides. Shortly before his death at the age of seventy, Leffland became a citizen of the United States. He died on October 21, 1924, at his home in Victoria.

The Victoria Sesquicentennial "Scrapbook" (Victoria, Texas: Victoria Advocate, 1974).
  • Architecture
  • Architects
  • Peoples
  • Danes

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

Anne Alcorn, “Leffland, Jules Carl,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 01, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/leffland-jules-carl.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

March 1, 1995