Roy W. Mulhausen
Roy Winfield Mulhausen (1889-1974) moved to San Benito, Texas in 1919 where he worked for a land developer. Before that, the Nebraska native lived in Oklahoma City while working for a lumberyard where he built doors. He first moved to Texas in 1914 and worked for a Dallas architect named Lewis E. Frantz. By 1916, after returning to Oklahoma and marrying his wife, Grace, Mulhausen moved to Waxahachie, Texas where he designed a 3-story sanitorium. This would be the first and only building individually attributed to Mulhausen, though it has since been demolished.
It is possible that Mulhausen met Birger A. Elwing while working in land development. The two architects would go on to design schools throughout Hidalgo, Willacy, and Cameron counties. These schools included Raymondville School, the current location of the Willacy County Historical Museum, and Donna Central Elementary School, now named LeNoir Elementary School. Their most notable design would be the Baxter Building in Harlingen. This would also be the last building the two men designed together.
Mulhausen declared bankruptcy and liquidated his assets in Harlingen in 1928, a year after breaking from Elwing and setting up his own firm in the Baxter Building. Soon after, he and his family returned to Oklahoma City and eventually settled in Oregon where he worked in a wholesale food distribution company.
Raymondville School was built in 1924 and designed by Elwing & Mulhausen. Design included arcade windows and red brick. Today, the building is home to the Willacy Historical Museum.
Donna Central Elementary School (1925) was the result of a special bond election. It is situated on the corner of Main St. and Scobey Ave. and is the school district's oldest standing structure. Elwing & Mulhausen designed the school in a Mediterranean style with a red brick exterior and a trim of molded concrete. The school was renamed twice, once in 1965 when it served as a junior high facility until 1985. The school is now known as J. P. LeNoir Elementary School. (See also Birger Elwing.)
The Baxter Building (now the Baxter Lofts) located in Harlingen was the Valley's tallest building at the time of its construction in 1927. It was projected to cost $150,000 to build the nine-floor structure.
The Baxter Building was the last project that Elwing & Mulhausen designed as a firm. Shortly after, Mulhausen established his own firm located on the eighth floor of the Baxter Building. He filed for bankruptcy the following year, resulting in him relocating to Oklahoma City with his family soon after. (See also Birger Elwing.)