Romulus Cornelius Archer Jr. (1891-1968)

by Tamia Green

Romulus Cornelius Archer Jr. was born on March 11th, 1891 in Norfolk, Virginia to Romulus Clark Archer Sr. and Mary Elizabeth. Romulus Clark Archer Sr. worked as a plaster contractor. Romulus had six siblings in which he was the oldest. Archer Jr. attended Norfolk Mission College in 1908 up until 1910 where he transferred to the International Correspondents in Scranton Pennsylvania where he would take up classes in architecture. He then furthered his professional studies at Columbia University in 1918. After completing his studies at Columbia University, Archer Jr. married Louse Williams. Lousie Williams was a teacher and a renowned civil rights activist. Louise Williams was from Durham, North Carolina.

Romulus Jr. enlisted in the United States Army on March 11th, 1918 as a private in the Engineers Section. He received training at Camp Sherman in Ohio from March to May. Then on June 9th, 1918 Romulus Jr. traveled to New York where he would be deployed to Blondefountaine, France. In France, Romulus was not on the front lines however his squad served as support for Infantry and Artillery units. Romulus Jr’s deployment in France lasted a little over eight months after completion he arrived back in the states. His discharge was described as honorable after serving in the Army for a little over one year. His official discharge date was April 8th, 1919.

After being discharged from the Army, Archer Jr. focused on his architectural work. He served as part of the U.S. Treasurer Architect in 1921. Archer Jr. went into full private practice the same year in Washington D.C.; however, he relocated to the upper-class suburbs of Washington D.C where he received his official practicing license in 1926 for the region of Washington D.C., making him one of the only two African Americans in private official practice in the architectural field in the region. In 1964, Archer Jr. won the “Citizen of the Year” within the body of The Young Men’s Christian Association for his exceptional service in offering apprentice opportunities for budding architects. Some of Romulus Jr. works include churches, rental buildings, as well as commercial structures. He majored in Architectural designs of ecclesiastics and served as the treasurer of the Washington D.C.’s National Technical Association for quite some time. Unfortunately, In 1948 Archer jr’s early wife Louise Williams passed. Later, Archer Jr. married again. This, time he married Nettie Archer who passed in 1965. Archer Jr. did not have any children prior to his passing.

Archer Jr. passed at the age of 77 while receiving care at Beverly Nursing Home on the 29th of November in 1968. Archer jr’s funeral took place at Florida Avenue Baptist Church. His final resting place was Arlington National cemetery. 


Ancestry. “Romulus Cornelius Archer Jr.,” Ancestry, 2020

Archer (1891-1968) – Find A Grave…” Find a Grave,

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