Olof Z. Cervin Papers

MSS 77

0.2 linear feet (1 box)


Cervin, Olof Z. (Olof Zakarias), b. 1868.


English, Swedish


There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Access points:

Cervin, Anders, 1823-1900.
Cervin, Emma, 1834-1910.
Cervin, Louisa E.
Cervin family.
Cervin & Horn Architects (Firm)
Cervin, Horn & Stuhr Architects (Firm)

Architects--Illinois--Rock Island.
Architecture, Domestic--Illinois--Rock Island.
Architecture—Illinois--Rock Island.
Augustana College and Theological Seminary (Rock Island, Ill.)--Students.
Augustana College and Theological Seminary (Rock Island, Ill.)--Faculty.


Finding aid prepared by:

Kelsey O'Connell, 2009


Augustana College Special Collections
Thomas Tredway Library
639 38th Street
Rock Island, Illinois 61201

Custodial History
Biographical Sketch
Scope and Content
System of Arrangement
Related Materials
Container List


Materials collected by the Augustana College Library staff over an unknown period of time.



Olof Z. Cervin

Olof Zakarias Cervin was born on October 18, 1868 in Paxton, Illinois.  His father, Anders R. Cervin, was a professor at Augustana College, and when the College moved to Rock Island, Illinois in 1873 the Cervin family moved there as well.  Olof graduated from Augustana College in 1887, and went on to study architecture at Columbia University.  After working as an architect in various cities, Olof returned to Rock Island and established his own architecture firm on April 1, 1896.

Olof Cervin and Benjamin A. Horn were partners in the firm until 1925 when they added a third: William Stuhr.  Horn left the firm in 1928. Olof Cervin designed several buildings in Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline, Illinois, including schools, churches, and factories.  During World War I, Cervin designed four hundred houses to accommodate the growing wartime workforce in the Rock Island /Moline area.

Olof Cervin married Ruth Theodora Engberg in 1909; together they had three children: Bodwin, David, and Ruth.

Anders R. Cervin

Anders Richard Cervin was born on April 20, 1823 in Kristianstad, Skaane, Sweden. In 1847 he graduated with highest honors and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Lund University. After graduation, Cervin taught for six years at the College of Helsingborg. In 1856, Cervin moved to Galesburg, Illinois to help his brother-in-law edit the Hemlandet newspaper.  He then returned to Sweden to teach in Kristianstad and take theological courses at Lund University.  Cervin and his wife immigrated to the United States in 1864.

In 1868, Anders Cervin accepted a call to teach at Augustana College in Paxton, Illinois (where his brother-in-law was the College President).  He taught mathematics, Greek, and the natural sciences; he also assisted with courses in Swedish and theology. Cervin edited the periodical Augustana in 1875.

Cervin taught at Augustana College for ten years until poor health forced him to retire in 1878. He passed away on January 5, 1900 in Rock Island, Illinois. He had four children: Anders Emanuel, Olof Zakarias, Josef Ebenezer, and Louisa Elisabeth.



This collection contains publications by Olof Z. Cervin (mostly photocopies), photocopies of materials about Olof Z. Cervin, and photocopied information about Cervin family members Anders R. Cervin, Emma Cervin (Olof’s aunt), and Louisa E. Cervin.



The Olaf Z. Cervin papers collection is arranged in two series:

Series I:  Olof Z. Cervin (b. 1868), 1894-1983

Series II.  Cervin family materials



Box 1

Series I:  Olof Z. Cervin (b. 1868), 1894-1983

Publications, 1894–1933

“Columbia College.” The Augustana Journal, October, 1894
“Historic Styles in the Architecture of the United States.” The Augustana Journal, February, 1895
“The Small Community Hospital.” The Modern Hospital, Vol. XVIII, No. 3, March and May, 1922
“The Housing of Staff and Employees.” The Architectural Forum, December, 1922
Advertisement for Cervin & Stuhr Architects. Rockety-I, 1933

Architectural projects, 1925–1983

A Walking Tour of 1918 Government Housing brochure, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency
House Plans by Cervin & Horn Architects for the United States Housing Corporation
Woodson House, Temple, Texas
Residence of Olof Z. Cervin house plans
“Cervin, Horn, & Stuhr Architects: Rock Island, Illinois.” Rock Island Argus, December 31, 1925
Murphy, David. “Swedish-American Romanticism: Cervin’s Church at Wakefield, Nebraska.”  Architecture Nebraska Volume 4. 1983.

Photocopies of published materials about Olof Z. Cervin, 1918–1946

Series II:  Cervin family materials, 1900

Materials pertaining to Anders R. Cervin,  Emma Cervin, and Louisa E. Cervin

Postcard to Professor L. W. Kling
“Emma Cervin: A Pioneer Mother”
Jones, L. E., “Music of the Masters of the Aged”
Obituary for Louise Cervin


Olof Z. Cervin with wife, Ruth Theodora, and their children, Bodwin, David, and Ruth
Mrs. A. R. Cervin (Anders’ sister)
Dr. Anders R. Cervin
Mrs. Olof Cervin and children
Olof Z. Cervin
“The Cervins”

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