Who was J. G. Averell? Emily Sibley Watson's son by her first marriage was born in 1877. He was a student at Rochester's Fort Hill School, then at St. Paul's School in Concord, N.H., finishing at Harvard University. Following his graduation in 1899, he returned to Rochester and worked intermittently in the architectural firm of Bragdon and Hillman. A course of advanced study in architecture at Harvard was followed by a European tour and then a position with Herbert D. Hale's Boston-based architecture firm.
Through letters and photographs sent to his mother from 1889 to shortly before his untimely death in 1904, we come to know the young man in whose memory the Memorial Art Gallery was founded.