New Orleans History -- Lake Pontchartrain
Friday, July 12, 2024
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The New Orleans Museum of Art is located in City Park at One Collins C. Diboll Circle.

Diboll, Collins Cerre', well-known Architect, and member of the firm of
Diboll, Owen & Goldstein, New Orleans, La., was born at New Orleans, La.
July 23., 1868; son of Jason Torrey and Elizabeth Halsey (Copes) Diboll,
the former of whom was born July 3, 1829, at Wilkesbarre, Pa., and died at
New Orleans March 12, 1877; grandson of Dr. J. S. and Mary A. Copes, the
former of whom was born Dec. 9, 1811, near Lewes, Del., and died March 8,
1885 at New Orleans; Mary A., the wife, was born April 4, 1812, and died
Jan. 4, 1865, at New Orleans; great-grandson of Rev. Joseph and Jenny
Wilkins (White) Copes, who were married in 1791, and the former of whom was
born Oct. 3, 1765, at Broad Creek Hundred, Sussex county, Del.;
great-great-grandson of Thomas Copes, large landholder in Broad Creek
Hundred, Sussex county, Del., and born either at that place or in Henrico
county, Va., about 1735; great-great-great-grandson of Daniel Copes, (known
as Daniel the Scot or Daniel the Covenanter), of Scottish parentage, who
settled in Accomac or Henrico county, Va., about the year 1700. Thomas
Copes and wife were noted for their force of character, education and
religious faith, the influence of which was felt by the community in which
they lived. Rev. Joseph Copes, born Oct. 3, 1765, was pastor of the United
Presbyterian churches of Lewes, Coolspring, and Indian River, Del. A son
of Thomas Copes became a large land and mill owner of that section. His 3
sisters married into Kentucky families, 2 wedding brothers of the name
Wingate, near Lexington, and the other a Mr. Allen. In 1795 Joseph Copes
was ordained a ruling elder in Broad Creek church at Laurel, Del. He
represented many non-residents in business affairs, and had frequently to
appear for them in court, where he was recognized and distinguished for his
legal knowledge and business ability. He was sought also as a public
speaker in times of political contests. His death occurred April 6, 1822.
Rev. Joseph Copes, by his marriage with Jenny Wilkins White, reared and
left 9 children, 5 daughters and 4 sons. The eldest, Isaac, was ensign in
the infantry regiment of Col. Samuel Bayer Davis, at the defense of Lewes
against the bombardment by the English fleet under Commodore Beresford.
The second son, Thomas, moved to St. Charles, Mo. and became wealthy. He
was one of the founders of St. Charles college. His death occurred in
Texas, in the year 1849. Joseph S. Copes, born Dec. 9, 1811, at Lewes,
Del., and grandfather of the subject of this sketch, graduated in medicine
at Jefferson college, Philadelphia, in 1833. He migrated to the Yazoo
(Miss.) Valley in 1834. It is said that he was a total abstainer
throughout life, and that he founded the first Recabite society in his
native state. At the age of 20 he held the chair of assistant professor of
chemistry, never before held by an undergraduate. At the age of 21 he was
honored by Gen. David Hazzard with the commission of port physician of
Delaware Bay. Later he was one of the founders of Mississippi State
Agricultural society. He removed to Jackson in 1839, where he actively
engaged in establishing Sharon college. He was also a director in Oakland
college. He occupied the office of inspector of the state penitentiary,
and was a pioneer in the development of the cotton industry in that state.
Dr. Copes was the author of the Mississippi state vaccine law, and took an
active part in organizing and building the first Presbyterian church at
Jackson, Miss. While vice-president of the Mississippi state medical
society, he represented that body, in 1846, at New York, and aided in
establishing the American Medical association. During his residence in New
Orleans he served as president of the school board, administrator of the
University of Louisiana, and commissioner of the New Orleans house of
refuge, where he effected the employment of boys in manufacturing,
especially coarse shoes. During a number of years Dr. Copes occupied the
position of president of the New Orleans academy of sciences. In 1851, on
the creation of the board of physicians and surgeons for the government of
the Charity hospital, Dr. Copes became a member of the board and had charge
of some crowded wards of the hospital while cholera and typhoid fever were
raging during that year and the next. In 1853, upon the invitation of Gov.
Foote of Mississippi, he went to the relief of that state, after a 4-months
day and night struggle with the yellow fever epidemic in New Orleans. In
addition to his other conspicuous talents and abilities, he was noted for
his fluency in both writing and speaking, and contributed largely to
medical journals by able articles on surgery, medicine, and hospital
management. During some years prior to his death he represented the New
York Life Insurance Co. as state agent for Louisiana. Dr. Copes was an
intimate friend of the late Dr. B. M. Palmer, in whose church--the First
Presbyterian--Dr. Copes long occupied the office of elder. Dr. Copes died
in New Orleans March 8, 1885. Jason Torrey Diboll, father of Collins
Cerre' Diboll, came south in the late 50's. His superior education
influenced him in his taste for teaching, and during a number of years he
successfully followed this vocation. He married Elizabeth Halsey Copes,
eldest daughter of Dr. J. S. Copes. His death occurred March 12, 1877.
Collins Cerre' Diboll was born July 23, 1868, in the city of New Orleans,
where he now resides. He was educated in the public schools of the city in
which he was born, and in is early youth determined that he would follow
the profession of Architecture. Having lost both parents before reaching
the age of 12 years, he was guided in his course largely by the advice of
his guardian, the late Frederick Wing, who was noted for his integrity and
business ability, as well as for his gentle and loving character, and was
beloved by all who knew him. At the age of 16 years, young Diboll found a
position with Muir & Fromherz, among the most prominent building
contractors in the city, and during the succeeding 4 years the young man
devoted his days to work on the large buildings being erected by this firm,
in order to gain a practical knowledge of the ground work of his chosen
profession. At night he attended the Tulane Architectural classes
conducted by Prof. William Woodward, of Boston, Mass., who now lives in New
Orleans, and who has left the imprint of his knowledge upon many of the
young men in the Southern metropolis. In 1889 Mr. Diboll, wishing to
extend his experience, went to Dallas, Tex., which at that time was
enjoying a period of unprecedented prosperity. After passing 2 years
successfully and profitably in that city, there began a season of financial
disturbance from which Dallas suffered severely, and it became apparent
that in all probability it would be several years before a reaction came.
Not willing to await the turn of the tide, Mr. Diboll decided, in 1892, to
visit New York, and there investigate at close range the latest methods
employed in the erection of large and important buildings. After remaining
2 years in New York City, in the spring of 1894, he returned to New Orleans
for a brief visit, intending to return to New York when the results of the
financial panic of 1893 had passed. During this visit his friends
influenced him to remain in the city, and this resulted in his forming a
partnership with the late G. M. Togerson, architect of the New Orleans
exposition of 1885. After a short association with Mr. Togerson, in Feb.,
1895, Mr. Diboll became associated with Mr. Owen, under the firm name of
Diboll & Owen. The last named member of the firm is a graduate of the
Massachusetts institute of technology, and at that time had just concluded
his studies at that institution. This latter association has never been
disturbed. In 1907 the firm admitted Mr. M. H. Goldstein, and at that
time the firm name became and has since remained Diboll, Owen & Goldstein.
Mr. Goldstein also is a graduate of the Massachusetts institute of
Technology, and a student of the Academy of Rome. This firm has and does
now enjoy the confidence of a large and substantial clientele, and has, in
the course of its career designed many of the most substantial, commodious
and artistic structures in the city, among which may be mentioned the
following: The Carnegie library, Canal-Louisiana Bank & Trust Co.,
Metropolitan bank, Municipal office building, Pythian temple, Academy of
the Sacred Heart, St. Joseph's academy, Prytania Street Presbyterian
church, First Methodist church, Restoration of St. John 's church
Carondelet Street Evangelical church, Salem Evangelical church,
Mergenthaler Linotype Co., Barnett-Schaeffer-Connor, Inc., Restoration of
St. Louis cathedral, and other work of the better class in all parts of the
city. This firm has designed buildings, especially churches, throughout
Louisiana and as far west as Portland, Ore., and Kansas City, Mo. Mr.
Diboll is a member of the board of deacons, Prytania Street Presbyterian
church; secretary-treasurer board of commissioners Fink asylum; board of
directors charity organization, executive committee public school alliance;
Pickwick club, Chess, Checkers and Whist club; Louisiana Chapter, American
Institute of Architects. Mr. Diboll married Miss Mary Jessie Blocker,
eldest daughter of Dr. E. B. and Frances Asbury (Ware) Blocker, of
Marshall, Tex., and 3 children, all of whom are living have been born to
their union, namely: Frances Louise, Eugene Burrus, Collins Cerre', Jr.
Mrs. Diboll is a lineal descendant, or relative of some of the earliest
colonial families, among whom may be mentioned the Blockers of Edgefield
District, S. C.; Butlers of Culpepper, Va.; Wares of Georgia, and Jemmisons
of Alabama. Mrs. Diboll is a talented musician, and was honored as the
only amateur vocalist from the South to successfully pass the jury of
prominent musicians, headed by Theodore Thomas, of the Chicago World's Fair
in 1893. This achievement prompted the management of the Woman's building
to extend her an invitation to appear in concert among the most prominent
musicians then in Chicago from all parts of the country. Soon after this,
she was requested to go to Houston, Tex., to take the management of the
choir of Shearn Memorial church. The sacred music of this church became so
attractive that the building had to be enlarged to accommodate the
congregation. After remaining a year in Houston, Mrs. Diboll (then Miss
Blocker) was invited to accept the chair of vocal music of the Summer
Chautauqua at Monteagle, Tenn., and there accomplished the most successful
vocal season in the history of the Chautauqua. After having become
resident at New Orleans Mrs. Diboll sang during several years in the
Prytania Street Presbyterian church. She has been a member of the most
prominent amateur musical organizations of New Orleans during the past 18
years. Mrs. Diboll took an active part in the organization of the Young
Women's Christian association in New Orleans, and is a member of the board
of directors of that institution. She selected as her special work in
connection with this organization. the management of the lunch room, and
this feature has been an unqualified success from the opening day.

Louisiana: Comprising Sketches of Parishes, Towns, Events, Institutions,
and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form (volume 3), pp. 511-515. Edited
by Alcée Fortier, Lit.D. Published in 1914, by Century Historical