Wells D. Butterfield

by A. K. Hoagland.

Wells D. Butterfield was a Detroit architect with a specialty in churches.


Wells D. Butterfield (1859-1936) was born in Algonac, Michigan, and established an architectural practice in Detroit beginning in 1891. He specialized in churches, designing at least 65 of them in Michigan, including the Methodist Episcopal church at Traverse City, Congregational churches at Wyandotte and Armada, and Methodist churches at Richmond, Farmington, and Highland Park. His expertise in ecclesiastical architecture was probably the reason he was hired to design the church in Laurium. He later specialized in school buildings, designing six grade schools in Highland Park and a number of schools in Detroit.1 He also designed the Lottie L. Gassette Memorial Library at Albion College. Constructed in 1902, it was a handsome Classical Revival-style building.2 In 1915, Butterfield’s daughter Emily joined him in his practice, which became known as Butterfield & Butterfield.3



  1. Withey, Biographical Dictionary, 101-2.
  2. Withey, Biographical Dictionary, 101-2.
  3. Withey, Biographical Dictionary, 101.