Biographies of Architects, Designers, and Builders

Ernest J. Kump, Sr. (1888-1939)

Ernest J. Kump, Sr., was born in Brooklyn, New York, on March 29, 1888. He was raised in San Jose, California, and completed his education there at St. Joseph's College. Kump began his career in the building trades as a carpenter in the Bay Area, then moved to Bakersfield in 1910. There he undertook his architectural apprenticeship working for Jefferson & Griffith and Bemus & Clark. He received his license to practice architecture in 1912.

In 1914 Kump moved his office to Fresno, specializing in school architecture. The September 1916 issue of The Architect and Engineer of California printed a lavish review of Kump's work, noting that he had designed thirty-three schools in four years. Among them were Caruthers Union High School, Wasco Union High School, Orosi Union High School, Gustine Union High School, and Alta Grammar School. Most of Kump's schools no longer stand, though the old Frankwood School at Frankwood Avenue and Kings Canyon Road north of Reedley is now the Sherwood Inn.

Hoover HomeKump also designed over thirty homes. They have largely survived and are to be found in several Central Valley communities, including Fresno, Visalia, Tulare and Porterville. In Fresno, his Hoover Home on L Street (now demolished, shown on left) and Maracci Home on Van Ness Avenue (shown on right) areMaracci Home excellent examples of his earliest work. His most handsome residence from the early period is a 1917 stone bungalow in Reedley for the Reverend George Seubert. During the 1920s and early 1930s, Kump continued to be a major school architect in the Valley.

Ernest J. Kump, Sr., died tragically at the height of his career in Fresno on November 12, 1939, at the age of fifty-one.

©1996 John Edward Powell. All rights reserved.