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Charles Eldridge

Charles Eldridge, a Chimacum, promiently connected with dairying, one of the largest wealth producing industries of western Washington, was born December 14, 1875, in Jefferson county, a son of William Eldridge, a native of Canterbury, England, who came to America in the fall of 1856 and made his way westward to Washington with William Bishop, a pioneer settler of Jefferson county. He took up a government claim and continued his residence on the old home place to the time of his death, which occurred in 1902, when he was seventy- two years of age. His place, known as the Juanita Farm, embraces two hundred and thirteen acres and is one of the ideal dairy ranches of the state, stocked with thoroughbred Holstein cattle, being among the highest bred in the world. His entire attention was devoted to dairying and the breeding of pure Holstein stock. He was a pioneer in this undertaking in the northwest and established the value of the industry as a source of livelihood for many citizens of this section of the Pacific coast. He wedded Mary Ann Bishop, a daughter of Thomas Bishop, and she is still Hving in this state. In their family were the following named: Mrs. E. E. Thompson, William, Charles, Mrs. Walter Arey, Frank, James, Mary. Alfred and Lisle. All were born on the old homestead in Jefferson county and of these Mary is now deceased.

Charles Eldridge obtained his education in the schools of Chimacum and has spent his entire life in dairying and farming, succeeding his father in that business. Prior to his father's death he was general manager of the place. He is the owner of a large number of prize cattle, including Nena Newman Cornucopia, granddaughter of Margie Newman and holding the world's record for milk pro- duction for one, seven and thirty-day tests as a junior three year old and with a record for seven days of twenty-nine and a half pounds of butter. Among other notable cows of his herd is Aagie Newman Cornucopia, an aged cow, holding the world's record for one, seven and thirty day tests in milk production and having the state record for her age--twenty-four pounds of butter in a week. She is also the only cow in the world that has given one hundred pounds of milk in one day with her first calf. Margie Newman is the champion milk cow of the world. She is registered under No. 76342. In one day she gave one hundred and thirty- six and a half pounds of milk, in seven days eight hundred and ninety-six and a half pounds and in thirty days three thousand five hundred and fifty-five pounds. The Eldridge ranch embraces three hundred and twenty acres, on which are seventy-five head of prize cattle, and Mr. Eldridge won a number of the junior championships at the San Francisco Exposition. His place is supplied with well equipped buildings, providing every possible care for the stock and for the scien- tific handling of dairy products. The name of Eldridge has become a synonym for progressiveness in connection with dairy interests and Mr. Eldridge as well sustains an unassailable reputation for reliability in his business transactions.

In 1896, in Chimacum, Mr. Eldridge was married to Miss Lottie Grace Chill- man, a native of Washington and a daughter of William Chillman, who was of English birth and became a pioneer settler of Kitsap county, Washington. Mr. and Mrs. Eldridge have become the parents of the following children : Ruth, Dorothy, Charles, William, Lillian and Vivian, all of whom were born on the old family homestead that has been a landmark in Jefiferson county for more than a half century. Their residence is one of the finest in the county and is ideally located.

Fraternally Mr. Eldridge is connected with the Knights of the Maccabees and his religious belief is indicated by his membership in the Methodist Episcopal church. He casts an independent ballot, giving his support to those candidates whom he considers best qualified to fill the offices in question.

Source: Washington, west of the Cascades; historical and descriptive; the explorers, the Indians, the pioneers, the modern; (Volume 2); by Herbert Hunt; Publisher: Chicago, Seattle, etc., The S. J. Clarke publishing company; 1917.

Deb Nelson, Webmaster and County Coordinator