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Born: 8/30/1886, Died: 1/12/1980

Jesse L. Stetler was born in Reading, PA, the son of Henry M. and Mary E. Hiltebeitel Stetler and a descendant of Christian Stetler, a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He graduated from Muhlenberg College in 1909 and continued at the University of Pennsylvania in a special two-year course, earning his Certificate of Proficiency in 1911. When the University of Pennsylvania's General Alumni Catalogue was published in 1917, Stetler reported that he was employed by the Stetler, Mingel Company, back in Reading, but by 1922 he had returned to Philadelphia and established Stetler & Deysher, with Harvey Deysher, a real estate developer formerly employed as treasurer of the Lifter Stetler Company. This partnership survived for nearly seven years, with Stetler establishing an independent office under his own name in 1929. Early on he specialized in apartment houses, designing the Walnut Park Hotel in Philadelphia in 1928, and the Kentwell Hall Apartments at 6640 Sprague Street in Philadelphia in 1929.

According to his obituary, during the Depression, Stetler changed his focus to the design of "private homes along the Main Line." From 1944 to 1946 he also served as assistant chief architect with the Federal Housing Administration for Eastern Pennsylvania and the State of Delaware. Retiring from the practice of architecture, Stetler followed in 1946 with an appointment as superintendent of Lower Merion Township Building Regulations, remaining at that position until 1952 when he joined the Lower Merion Township Planning Board. From 1956 until 1961 he continued in public service as secretary of property and supplies in Montgomery County, PA.

Written by Sandra L. Tatman.

Clubs and Membership Organizations

  • Pennsylvania Society of Architects
  • American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Philadelphia Chapter, AIA
  • Pennsylvania Sons of the Revolution

School Affiliations

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Muhlenberg College


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