He was trained in Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, and following a year of advanced study in Europe, returned to his New England home to begin practice.
Although successful in his work, Mr. Willcox was ambitious to become a member of a larger and more progressive community, and in 1907, in company with William J. Sayward, arrived in Seattle, unheralded and unknown, ready to open an office for practice. Although business at that time was at a low ebb, the firm of Willcox & Sayward carried on work five years, when Mr. Sayward decided to seek work elsewhere, and in later years became a successful and prominent architect in Atlanta, Ga.
Mr. Willcox also participated in municipal affairs. He was one of the first to realize the importance of a City Plan for Seattle, became its earnest advocate, and after being appointed to the Municipal Commission, worked closely in association with Mr. Bogue, expert engineer, and author of the City Plan.
Entering a new field of endeavor in 1922, Mr. Willcox moved to Eugene, Oregon, to become head of the State School of Architecture, and in his courageous departure from the usual methods of teaching won the affectionate regard of his students and many who knew him.
Meantime in Seattle Mr. Willcox became interested in the local Chapter of the A.I.A. and after serving as Secretary, then President, was elected the first delegate to an Institute Convention. Equally active in the national organization, he served successively on the Board of Directors and as Vice President, and in 1910 was raised to Institute Fellowship.