Basic Biographical Details

Name: David William Baxter
Born: 24 March 1874
Died: 13 November 1957
Bio Notes: David William Baxter was born in Dundee on 24 March 1874, the third and youngest son of James Lyall Baxter, master mariner and his wife Margaret Esplin, daughter of James Esplin, manufacturer. As his father was lost at sea at the age of forty in 1879 he was brought up by his mother and his grandparents: his great grandfather George Baxter, manufacturer, was a member fof the Baxter Brothers of Dens Works family.

David Baxter completed his school education at the newly opened Morgan Academy. He was articled to Alexander Johnston from 1889 to 1893 and remained as an assistant for a further year, attending classes at University College and the Technical Institute. In 1894 Johnston arranged Baxter's transfer to John Murray Robertson's office to gain more up-to-date experience, but at a chance meeting in Reform Street in 1896 told him that he had better come back as prospective partner. He became a full partner at the beginning of 1899. David Baxter designed all the work of the firm thereafter, also providing architectural services for his brother George, who was the city's water engineer, at Lintrathen and other sites as well as within the city itself. He was admitted LRIBA on 24 June 1912, proposed by William Fleming Wilkie and the Dundee Institute of Architects, which he had joined in 1910. He became sole partner in the practice on Johnston'e retirement about this time.

He married Sarah Jame Kidd, daughter of D Kidd, farmer, Wellbank. They had three sons, Douglas; David William and James Russell, both of whom became architects and were partners in Johnston & Baxter; and two daughters, Elizabeth Kidd Sommerville and Margaret Esplin.

David William Baxter senior subsequently set up a branch office in Blairgowrie from which he latterly practised almost exclusively, with a house at Rosemount, the Dundee practice being in the hands of David William Baxter Junior (born 1906) who became a partner in 1928. His younger brother James Russell, was in the practice for a time, but post-war practice in Dundee had little appeal for him and he emigrated to recommence practice on his own account at Kitimat, British Columbia.

The elder Baxter retired from active practice in 1954 and died at Pinewood on 13 November 1957. He was survived by his wife, three sons and two daughters. In person he was of average height, always very focussed and forthright in manner. Assistants remembered him as a very fast worker with an uncanny accuracy in estimating measurement in surveys. Although he lived on the edge of a golf course his only recreation was angling.

The practice continued as Baxter, Clark & Paul after James Clark and James Paul were taken into partnership in 1989.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 7Pinewood, Rosemount, Angus/Perthshire, ScotlandPrivate 1957Is Rosemount the name of the village or the house?
Item 2 of 7Blairgowrie, Perthshire, ScotlandBusiness 1957 
Item 3 of 7Reform Street, Dundee, ScotlandBusinessc. 1896  
Item 4 of 7Ashbank, Forfar Road, Dundee, ScotlandPrivate1912 *  
Item 5 of 749, Meadowside, Dundee, ScotlandBusinessBefore 19121954With short interval 1930 at Seagate. Not 45 as in BAL
Item 6 of 7Moy Villas/38, Forfar Road, Dundee, ScotlandPrivate19131914 
Item 7 of 7114, Seagate, Dundee, ScotlandBusiness1929 *1930 or 1931Temporary address while Scottish Provident Institute at 49 Meadowside was being modernised internally

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 5Alexander Johnston18891893Apprentice 
Item 2 of 5Alexander Johnston18931894Assistant 
Item 3 of 5John Murray Robertson18941896Assistant 
Item 4 of 5Alexander Johnston18961898ArchitectProspective partner
Item 5 of 5Johnston & Baxter18991954Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 1William Fleming Wilkie24 June 1912for Licentiateship - as President of the Dundee Institute of Architects

Buildings and Designs

This was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 511893Baxter Park Church  DundeeScotlandAs apprentice to Alexander Johnston
Item 2 of 511897John Robertson's Bond  DundeeScotlandBaxter working for Alexander Johnston as prospective partner
Item 3 of 511897(?)Morven LodgeBallater AberdeenshireScotlandAttribution on stylistic grounds: it was a Keiller house (Baxter working for Alexander Johnston as prospective partner)
Item 4 of 511897Scottish Provident Institution Buildings  DundeeScotlandBaxter working for Alexander Johnston as prospective partner
Item 5 of 51c. 1897Kilmaron CastleCupar FifeScotlandAdditions - Baxter working for Alexander Johnston as prospective partner
Item 6 of 511898Church and Church hall, ClepingtonClepington DundeeScotland 
Item 7 of 511898Panmure HotelMonifieth AngusScotlandBaxter working for Alexander Johnston as prospective partner
Item 8 of 511899Barnhill Convalescent HomeBarnhill DundeeScotlandExtensions
Item 9 of 511899Barry Golf Course and ClubhouseBarry AngusScotland 
Item 10 of 511899Errol fountain and market crossErrol PerthshireScotland 
Item 11 of 511899Errol Park House stablesErrol PerthshireScotlandAddition of octagonal top storey
Item 12 of 511899IslabankBarnhill DundeeScotland 
Item 13 of 51c. 189910-12 Ward Road  DundeeScotlandDesigned in personal capacity for his brother who was a water engineer
Item 14 of 511900Alyth Parish ChurchAlyth PerthshireScotlandNew organ case
Item 15 of 511900Foresters' Halls  DundeeScotland 
Item 16 of 511900TircarraBarnhill DundeeScotlandNew wing and two lodges
Item 17 of 511901James Keiller & Sons Factory  DundeeScotlandGateway and extensive additions
Item 18 of 511901Newport-on-Tay Parish Church and ManseNewport-on-Tay FifeScotlandExtension to church and new manse
Item 19 of 511901St Michael's Church  DundeeScotlandAddtions and alterations
Item 20 of 511902St Thomas ChurchBalgay DundeeScotland 
Item 21 of 51c. 1903Dundee Savings BankLochee DundeeScotland 
Item 22 of 511904Ardvorlich  DundeeScotland 
Item 23 of 511904Villa for Malcolm, Forthill RoadBroughty Ferry DundeeScotland 
Item 24 of 511905BalmyleWest Ferry DundeeScotlandRebuilding
Item 25 of 511906Dundee Savings BankHilltown DundeeScotland 
Item 26 of 511906Gagie Lodge, filters and aqueductGagie AngusScotlandAssisted his brother George with the architectural detail of filters and well tower
Item 27 of 511906Robertson's Bond, Candle Lane  DundeeScotland 
Item 28 of 511906Watson's Bond  DundeeScotland 
Item 29 of 51c. 1906James Keiller & Sons Shop  DundeeScotland 
Item 30 of 511907Beach Mission Church HallBroughty Ferry DundeeScotlandAddition of hall
Item 31 of 511907ClaremontWest Ferry DundeeScotlandAddition of eastern bay, including new entrance porch
Item 32 of 511907Loyal Order of Ancient Shepherds Building  DundeeScotland 
Item 33 of 511908Walls, turrets, etc, Stobsmuir waterworks and reservoir  DundeeScotlandAssisted brother in personal capacity
Item 34 of 511909Reservoir and Law Road Water Tower  DundeeScotland 
Item 35 of 51c. 1909Lintrathen  AngusScotlandLodge, gateway and other buildings
Item 36 of 511910Vernonholme house and lodge  DundeeScotland 
Item 37 of 51Before 1912South SchoolBroughty Ferry DundeeScotlandAdditions
Item 38 of 51Before 1912Victoria Church  Dundee?Scotland 
Item 39 of 51Before 1912West SchoolWest Ferry DundeeScotlandAdditions
Item 40 of 511913Dundee Savings Bank, Eastern Branch  DundeeScotland 
Item 41 of 511919Housing Estate for Corporation of Dundee, Strathmore Avenue Area  DundeeScotland 
Item 42 of 511925Cottage for J Cree, Blackness Road   DundeeScotland 
Item 43 of 511927Dundee Royal Infirmary, Maternity Hospital  DundeeScotland 
Item 44 of 511929House for John Cree, Glamis Drive  DundeeScotland 
Item 45 of 511930Dundee Royal Infirmary, Caird Cancer Pavilion  DundeeScotlandSE additions
Item 46 of 511930Premises of M Lowrie  DundeeScotland 
Item 47 of 51c. 1930Dudhope House  DundeeScotlandW extension
Item 48 of 511938Alexandra Street Housing Estate at AlythAlyth PerthshireScotland 
Item 49 of 511939Blairgowrie Public SchoolBlairgowrie PerthshireScotlandNew block
Item 50 of 511964Perthshire Caravan Company, toilet facilitiesMiddlebank, Errol PerthshireScotland 
Item 51 of 511966Westwood Public HouseEast Kilbride LanarkshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 2Bailey, Rebecca M1996Scottish architects' papers: a source book Edinburgh: The Rutland Press 
Item 2 of 2RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Builder22 November 1957  p924 - obituary
Item 2 of 2Dundee Courier and Advertiser*  Obituary in undated cutting (in DMW archive)

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Personal information from David Baxter
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v23 no1847