John W. Priest (1825-1859)
Priest, John W.
Birth/Death: b. 1825 – d. June or July 1859
Occupation: American architect
Location: New York, NY
Member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 1857-decease
Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) 1857
The American Institute of Architects Archives
John W. Priest was one of the thirteen founding members of the American Institute of Architects. His death is noted in minutes from the meeting of the AIA on 02 August 1859.
"Meeting held Aug 2nd 1859. Richard Upjohn in the Chair"
"…The President then announced the loss of John W. Priest who died on the 23rd day of August [sic]. In him, the Institute had lost one of its most valuable members; & the community one of the best of men. The discharge of this duty was doubly painful, it being the first death that the Institute had to record.
"Mr Upjohn felt assured that each and every member was deeply affected by this loss.
"Calvert Vaux then read the following Resolution, which was adopted.
"The Institute has been informed of the recent death of John W. Priest, one of its members, therefore resolved:
"That the Institute hereby expresses and desires to put upon record its sincere regret at the loss of one, who professionally and personally was highly esteemed by his brethren of this body."
Source: Record Group 509, Series 2, Minutes, Volume 1, pp. 65-66, The American Institute of Architects Archives, 1735 New York Ave. NW, Washington DC.
The death date of 23 August is evidently an error, since the announcement was made at the meeting of 2 August. Billion Graves Index online has a photograph of the marker for John Weller Priest at the Saint George Cemetery, Newburgh, Orange, New York. The transcription given is Born 6 Oct 1825, Died 24 Jun 1859. From the photograph, it is not clear whether the death date is Jun 24 or Jul 24. The last meeting of the AIA prior to the 2 August meeting was on 3 May, so 2 August would have been the first opportunity to announce the death whether it was in June or July.