Biography of William R. Powell
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

WILLIAM ROBERT POWELL is a Cleveland architect, and by education and experience is deeply versed in both the ancient and modern technique of the art. His offices are in the Rose Building, and he is a native of Ohio.

He was born at Radnor, in Delaware County. His father was John Powell, a native of Lianafan, Breconshire, Wales. The grandfather was owner of three small farms in Breconshire, but in 1845 sold his property and with his wife and two children came to America, landing at Philadelphia. After a short time he proceeded westward by wagon and team to Newark, Ohio, where he opened a general store. His goods bought in New York were brought west by canal and lake. He conducted a successful business there for two years, then moved with his family to Radnor, Ohio, where he continued as a merchant.

His two children were John and Margaret Powell. John Powell acquired his first advantages in the schools of Wales, and afterward attended public schools at Newark, and also Ohio Wesleyan University at Delaware. He was a teacher, and later became associated with his father in business at Radnor, a village located on the old Indian trail that passed through Delaware County. He conducted his business there until his death in 1902. John Powell married Sarah L. Watkins, who was born at Radnor, Ohio, in 1846. Her father, William Watkins, a native of Lianervil, Wales, came to America as a young man and located in Delaware County, Ohio. He was a pioneer in that district, and established his home on the old Indian trail where he purchased a tract of timberland. He was a cabinet maker by trade, and used his skill in making furniture, since all furniture was then made by hand, and he also did much building construction as a carpenter. Mrs. John Powell was one of eleven children, and is the only one now surviving. She became the mother of four children, named William Robert, John Watkins, David Harvey and Edward K.

William Robert Powell was well educated, first attending the public schools at Radnor, then spending two years in the Oberlin Preparatory School and two years in the Case School of Applied Science at Cleveland. Following that he was graduated from Columbia University, and then spent two and one half years as a student in the School of Fine Arts at Paris. On returning to America he located at Cleveland, where as an architect he has gained a high standing in his profession. He is a member of the Beta Theta Pi college fraternity and Hiram Lodge of Masons at Delaware.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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