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Leverette A. Pratt (1849-1924)
Prominent architect during early history of Bay City, MI.

1915 biography. (Added Sep., 2007)

The History of Michigan by Charles Moore (1915)


Leverett A. Pratt. The best examples of Bay City architecture, both in public and business structures is a credit to his splendid professional skill and ability of Leverett A. Pratt, whose reputation as an architect is pre-eminent in the city, and his name is well known in various parts of the state.

Leverett A. Pratt was born December 16, 1849, in Scio, Allegheny County, New York, a son of N. C. and Eliza (Bushnell) Pratt. His father was a lumber merchant and shipper, later moved to Pennsylvania, where he engaged in coal mining, and later in mercantile lines, and from Pennsylvania moved to Ohio, and about 1870 to Bay City, Michigan, where he again resumed the lumber trade and continued it until his death about 1903. The mother died about 1901. Of the five children in the family, four of whom are now living, Mr. L. A. Pratt was the fourth.

His early education was very limited and was acquired in the public schools in New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. It is by reliance upon his native talents and by thorough experience and a studious attention to the business in hand that he has risen to this present successful position. Having learned the trade of carpenter in early life, he began business as a master carpenter in Bay City in 1869, and since 1870 has been practicing the profession of architecture, and for many years has devoted all his time to that work. He was associated for more than thirty years with Walter Koeppe, a noted architect, who retired about three ago and returned to his old home in Germany, where he died in 1912. Mr. Pratt is now head of the firm of Pratt, Bickel & Campbell, whose offices are in the Crapo Block. It would require a long list to indicate even the more important results of Mr. Prattís skill as an architect. They include the Bay City City Hall, the Presbyterian church, the Masonic Temple, the Crapo Block, and all the Catholic churches and institutions of that city.

In politics Mr. Pratt has been a staunch Republican since he reached his majority, but has had little time for politics either as a vocation or as an avocation. He is affiliate with the Masonic Order through the Blue Lodge, Chapter, Commandery, and Consistory, is a past commander of the Bay City Knights Templars, and is also affiliated with the Elks.

On December 27, 1874, Mr. Pratt was married in Waterloo, New York to Miss Ida Towsley, a daughter of Alonzo and Lora (Lee) Towsley. Her father was in the stone business in that state, and operated large quarries there until his death in 1898.

Mr. And Mrs. Pratt are the parents of a son and a daughter: Lora Lee is the wife of Fisher A. B. Wenk, of Buffalo, New York, where her husband is cashier in the Buffalo Branch of the John Hancock Life Insurance Company. The son is Jesse F. Pratt, now about thirty-four years of age and who is a mechanical engineer.

Mr. Pratt is of English descent. He has for years been very attentive to his business and seldom takes a vacation, almost the only exception to that rule being an occasional visit to his daughter in Buffalo.

1904 patented cement posts. (Added Oct., 2009)

Water & Sewage Works, Vol. 26, January-June, 1904

Pratt's Cement Posts.

In a recent number of Municipal Engineering will be found a description of Pratt's cement fence post, which promises to be a valuable business proposition for one who will take the trouble to show its strength and its durable qualities to the railroads, interurban and steam, and to the farmers, who are greatly in need of a post which will not rot or disintegrate and which will be strong engough to perform its duty. These are the characteristics of well-made cement posts reinforced with steel. Mr. Leverette A. Pratt, Bay City, Mich., announces that he is now ready to sell county and State rights for the sale of his posts. Some drawings and photographs showing its structure will be found on an advertising page of this number of Municipal Engineering.


They are constructed of concrete, having a small wood core which is trussed with a No. B galvanized wire, this wire being looped to receive each strand of the wire fencing, making a strong and handsome post. They will not Rot, Burn, Corrode or Lift with the frost. A perfect post for railroads, farms, and general purposes. Requiring no large plant for their manufacture, they can be made to compete with wood. Moulded in galvanized iron flasks, on end. Filled with proper concrete composed of sand, gravel or broken stone with cement. MIXED WET and POURED so that all interstions are filled, making a firm, non-porous stone, having a smoothly finished surface. HUNG UP TO DRY, remaining in that position until perfectly cured for the market, thus avoiding all handling and reduing the labor and space for curing to a minimum.

Fig. 1 shows the post with wire fencing attached.
Fig. 2 illustrates the post with boards forming the fence.
Fig. 3 shows the trussed core, a section and the complete post.

These post are protected by good, liberal patents in the United States and Canada. State rights are now for sale. First come first served. For further information address the undersigned.


Inventor and Owner
Bay City, Mich.

Additional Notes.

  • 1886-7 Bay City Directory:
    - Pratt, Leverette A., (Pratt & Koeppe), res 1004 8th.
    - Pratt & Koeppe (Leverette A Pratt, Walter Koeppe), Architects 5 Bank Block.
  • 1894 -- Leverette A. Pratt, Grand Architect, present at laying of corner stone of the new City Hall and Masonic ceremonies. [Transactions of the Grand Lodge of Free Masons, 1894]
  • 1896 Bay City Directory:
    - Campbell, Emil E., draughtsman Pratt & Koeppe, bds 709 N. Sheridan.
    - Campbell, James I, draughtsman Pratt & Koeppe, bds s e cor Michigan ave and 31st.
    - Koeppe, Walter (Pratt & Koeppe), bds 1000 6th.
    - Pratt, Leverett A. (Pratt & Koeppe), res 1004 8th.
    - Pratt & Koeppe (Leverette A. Pratt, Walter Koeppe), Architects 5 Bank Block.
  • 1904 - Patent, Fence-post, cement: L.A. Pratt, #796,751, Apr. 28. [Annual Report of the Commissioners of Patents, 1904]
  • 1915 - Mrs. Ida Pratt, member of the Anne Frisby Fitzhugh chapter in Bay City, Mich. [Daughters of the American Revolution Contenental Congress, 1915]
  • 1921 - Mr. Pratt offices listed at 514 Crapo Bldg., Bay City, MI. [Michignan Engineer, Vols. 39-40, 1921]
  • 1924 - Mr. Pratt died Nov. 27, 1924, buried at Elm Lawn Cemetery, Bay City, MI. [St. Josepsh church history]
Related Pages/Notes

Leverette A. Pratt
(click to enlarge)
Related Notes & Pages
None at this time.
People Referenced
Busnell, Eliza (mother)
Campbell, Emil E.
Campbell, James I.
Koeppe, Walter
Pratt, Jesse F. (son)
Pratt, Lara L. (dau.)
Pratt, Leverette (subject)
Pratt, N.C. (father)
Towsley, Alonzo
Towsley, Ida (wife)
Lee, Lora
Wenk, Fisher A.B.
Wenk(Pratt), Lora Lee Mrs.
Subjects Referenced
Allegheny Co., NY
Ann Frisby Fitzhugh Soc.
Bay City, MI
Buffalo, NY
Cement post, patent
City Hall
Crapo Block
John Hancock Ins.
Knights Templar
Mosonic Temple
Municiple Engineering
Presbyterian church
Pratt, Bickel, Campbell
Scio, NY
Waterloo, NY
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.