Walla Walla architect William Patrich Clancy was born in Winneconne, Wisconsin on March 4, 1866. Reportedly his family moved to Walla Walla around 1885 when William was a teenager. At this time any specific formal architectural training that Clancy may have had is unknown. Instead he most likely picked up building skills from his father, James, a carpenter. While his two older brothers followed in their father’s footsteps, William took a different approach to building and tried his hand at architecture. By 1900, at the age of 34, his is listed in the Walla Walla City Directory as an architect.
His known projects are limited and include the C.A. Mott Building #1 (1905); and his own house at 383 S Palouse St (1906). He also designed a version of the Walla Walla County Jail facility (1908), but it unclear if his design was the final structure that was built.
Around 1908, Clancy formed a partnership with builder John “Jack” M. Mulvain (alt. spell. Mulvane). Although Mulvain was a carpenter by trade, the two marketed themselves as architects, but they took on buildings projects as well. Know project under their collaboration include St. Patrick Rectory (1908); the Mill Creek Foot Bridge (1908); an addition to the Odd Fellows Hall (1909); the Ennis House (1049 E Isaacs Ave, 1912); and the Moore Schoolhouse in Ferndale, Oregon.
Clancy was heavily involved in the Knights of Columbus fraternal organization, serving as chancellor (1905) and District Deputy (1906). He also served as President of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (1905) and was active in the Democratic Party.
After being ill for several months his first wife, Lydia, died in June 1907. Around 1914, at the age of 48, he remarried. Clancy and his second wife, Anna Grace, remained in Walla Walla until 1918 when they moved to Seattle. While Clancy is listed his profession as an architect, no known work by him outside of Walla Walla has been found. Anna Grace died in 1923 and by 1930, Clancy had moved to the mining town of Black Diamond where he served as a carpenter.
Clancy died in Seattle at the age of 68 on September 16, 1934. He is buried at the Mountain View Cemetery in Walla Walla.
By Michael Houser - State Architectural Historian, Feb 2021