Wilbur Golden Jubilee

June 22, 1939

Submitted by Marge Womach

(The Golden Jubilee Edition contains more than the biographical items selected herein.)

Page A through E 

Alderson:  King Alderson pulled his coat collar up high when he stepped off the Central Washington train on his arrival from Texas. Though it was April 1, 1890, the snow was still seven feet deep where it had drifted on the north side of the hills. He had come to visit his brother, Chris Alderson, a pioneer school teacher who had come a year or two previously. The brother, Chris, had quite a part in writing the matter published in the first issue of the Register.  King rather liked the Big Bend despite the frigid reception it gave him and after a few years of baking sourdough biscuits and frying his own bacon, he went back to Texas for his bride, a young widow, Mrs Bonnie Bell McGee, and on their return they established a real home. This couple reared and educated two daughters and one son—Mrs Robert Bandy and Joe K Alderson, of Wilbur, and Mrs Clarence Phillips, of Goldendale, Wash.  The picture above shows the pioneer having a ride on the Columbia River—not  aboard the new ferry,  nor the barge Paul Bunyan—but on a raft of legs. Of a retiring nature, Mr Alderson has kept himself in the background while having a large and important place in the development of his community. He retired from the ranch a few years ago and he and his wife have since made their home in their neat cottage on Cole street. The night King arrived in Wilbur he could not contact his brother and paid 75 cents at the old James Hotel for the privilege of sleeping on a small cot and for his breakfast the next morning.” (Edit:  William King Alderson was born in 1861 and died in 1959. Ada Belle Alderson was born in 1877 and died in 1951.  Christopher Alderson died Oct 4, 1900 at the age of 36; his wife Emma was born Oct 27, 1873 and died at the age of 28 yrs 11 mos and 20 days. Christopher and Emma’s infant Launnie is also buried in the Wilbur Cemetery.)

Alexander:  “The Columbia River Milling company’s mill had been grinding out flour only a short time when A Alexander arrived to work in that plant, Jan 26, 1891, coming to the Big Bend from his native state, Illinois. The mill was established by J McPherson’s father, D K McPherson, a leading pioneer of Sprague, in partnership with John G Stevens. By 1895 Mr Alexander was made president-manager and that year began exporting his flour to China. In 1896 both McPherson and Stevens sold their interests in the business to Mr Alexander.  In 1908 Mr Alexander installed a mill and warehouse at Hartline and still operates the warehouse in that town. The Wilbur mill and the several warehouses have furnished a payroll the year around to about a dozen men even through the depression, in drought years and in war times, over a period of nearly fifty years.  Mr Alexander served the town as mayor for half of the time of its incorporation and declined renomination when he quit that office. When he was made mayor the town’s indebtedness was $16,000 plus some deficiency warrants. Twelve year later his splendid management had wiped out all debts, and even through that period of almost universal financial failure throughout the nation, Mr Alexander kept the municipal budget balanced, with no bond issues. The streets were maintained and improved, the lighting system enlarged, and the water system extended.  During his administration Civic Park was taken over from the original sponsors, the Women’s Civic Improvement Club, and the city made improvements on the plot. Also during Mr Alexander’s term of office the municipal farm was drained and many additional acres salvaged for cultivation and pasturage.  Elected to the Wilbur school board he virtually lifted the district out of the quagmire of debt into solvency.  He refused to run for either mayor or school director in 1935.  Besides his milling interests Mr Alexander has acquired a large acreage of wheat land in the Wilbur and Hartline districts.  He has been a great factor in the Masonic lodge and in the activities of the Republican party, and today is one of our most active citizens. Mrs Alexander is a sister of the late Governor M E Hay, and has taken part in  the Eastern Star and in the Civic Club when her health permitted her to do so.  Mr and Mrs Alexander have reared and educated two sons and three daughters. Our present city clerk and clerk of our school board, Marion E Alexander, is the youngest in their family and the only one who chose Wilbur as his home after maturity.”  (Edit: Alexander Alexander was born Feb 1, 1862 and died March 18, 1951. His wife, Jennie E, was born Apr 9, 1870 and died Sept 1, 1954. Marion E Alexander was born Oct 16, 1907 and died May 6, 1974. These burials occurred in the Wilbur Cemetery.) 

Allen:  “Mr and Mrs Will Allen. Few persons settled in the Big Bend earlier that Mr and Mrs Will Allen, who located in Corbett Draw in 1880.  They later lived on a ranch not far from the McCord homestead and there they reared their children. Frank, a son, lived in Oregon; a daughter, who became the wife of John Markey, is deceased, as is the won, Will; and Mrs Dora Miller resides in Looking Glass, Oregon.”

Altizer:  J C Altizer is not on the list of pioneer homesteaders but he did pioneer after a fashion, having been one of Lincoln County’s first rural mail carriers, working out of Wilbur. He and his lively stepping ponies would cover the old primitive dirt roads in a cart or a sleigh during the first years of his service. Of course, the auto took the place of the horse before ‘Cap’ retired. His service to this community in that capacity covered enough miles to encircle the globe several times.” 

Anderson:  “Mr and Mrs Andrew Anderson farmed here many years before they retired to live in town. They have been prominent Big Bend citizens about 40 years. Mr Anderson ahs great faith in the Big Bend soil and thinks it will produce wheat under more adverse weather conditions than will any other land, and he should know for more than one season he has had a 40-bushel per acre yield in his fields. Mr Anderson and his four sons, Arthur, Alfred, Carl and Pete and two grandsons are members of the Big Bend lodge IOOF and their three daughters are also leaders, Mrs George Miller and Mrs Dave Robertson, of the Sherman region, and Mrs Charles Tussler of Mason City, Iowa.”  (Edit: Andrew Andersen was born 1860 and died in 1951, with burial in Wilbur Cemetery. His wife, Krestine was born 1862 and died in 1939. Alfred W Andersen was born in 1886 and died in 1961; Peter C was born in 1891 and died in 1984; Arthur L was born in 1894 and died in 1958.)

Bahr:  Robert Bahr, who has one of the finest homes and best furnished farm residences of the region came here when a young man in 1891 with his widowed mother. Not only does he own a large acreage of good wheat land but also has town property. Mr and Mrs Bahr are prominent in lodge and other town activities. They have three daughters and two sons—Mrs Arthur Gerl of Wilbur; Mrs H Telefson of Oregon; Mrs Donald Naff of Davenport; and Clarence and Eugene Bahr, Wilbur farmers.”  (Edit:  Robert Bahr was born in 1879 and died in 1961; Clarence born 1911 and died 1994; and Eugene born 1910 and died 1963. Each is buried in Wilbur Cemetery.)

Bandy:   R H Bandy came from North Carolina with his family to locate only a few miles from Wilbur in 1888.  Mr Bandy and his neighbor, Roland P Short, were the first farmers to venture the raising of sheep in connection with wheat farming. He retired from active farming many years ago and bought residence property in town, now the home of Mr and Mrs A B Foley. He was an active Mason.  Mr Bandy and his first wife reared and educated four sons and a daughter. George Bandy, a graduate of Washington State College, was a druggist here many years. Edward Bandy is an extensive stock grower in Montana; Dr Gaither Bandy has practiced medicine in the south many years; Mrs Mary Johnson, deceased, was the wife of another pioneer, Frank Johnson, also deceased; Robert, the native Washingtonian, farms a vast acreage near Wilbur.  George continues his residence in town. Mr Bandy married a second time several years after the death of his first wife. The second Mrs Bandy was the widow of James Sorensen, and a daughter of Mr and Mrs B Pedersen, prominent pioneers of Wilbur. Mrs Bandy resides here with her son, Bernard Sorensen. Another son, Arthur Sorensen, lives in Chicago, and the youngest son, Norman, is employed in Yakima.”  (There are at least eleven Bandy graves  and seven Sorensen graves in the Wilbur Cemetery, Robert H Bandy was born in 1856 and died in 1935.)

Bender-Odenrider:  “In 1888 the Thomas Bender family and a young man named Henry Odenrider came to the Big Bend. The next year Miss Clara Bender married Henry Odenrider and came to Wilbur to live 14 years while Mr Odenrider was employed in the Columbia River Mill. He later took up farming, eventually settling near Govan, where he lived until his death several years ago. Mr Odenrider invented a weeder that was used by several of his neighbors. His widow lives in Wilbur and members of their family and of the Bender family are leaders of the Govan, Almira and Hartline regions.”  (The Wilbur Cemetery has the burial of three Bender members: Joseph C; Edward E; and Anna.  Clara Bender Odenrider was born in 1871 and died in 1944. Henry Odenrider was born July 15, 1854 and died in 1926.)

Birchill:  “Mr and Mrs Edward Birchill (Nettie Birchill) landed at Spokane in 1887 and filed on a homestead in the Sherman region. They also used one of the other two rights for taking land and bought wheat land in the Broadax region. Later they sold their homestead to the late Ty Robertson. Mrs Birchill, who has lived in Wilbur some years, still owns the Broadax acres. She has reared a family of fine men and women. John Birchill is one of our outstanding wheat growers as is also one of the daughters, Mrs Clara Kramer. The Birchill family has been a factor in the Lincoln County development.”  (Edit: Nettie Birchill was born Dec 30, 1861 and died Aug 23, 1948. Her son Henry was born July 7, 1897 and died Feb 8, 1933. Mrs Clara B Birchill Kramer was born Feb 9, 1895 and died Aug 31, 1969. These burials occurred in the Wilbur Cemetery.) 

Bodeau:  Theodore Bodeau, deceased, father of Alfred, Ernest and Orlando Bodeau and Mrs Chester Armbruster, settled on land west of Condon’s ranch as early as 1881. In 1891 he retired from farming to establish a hardware business in Govan, then a thriving village, but when that place decided not to grow into a municipality, Mr Bodeau returned to farming and remained with that business until his death a few years ago.  The same year that Washington Territory was admitted to the Union, Mr Bodeau was married to Miss Catherine Ney, one of the three sisters of Nick Ney, whom Mr Ney persuaded to cross the Atlantic and this continent to make their permanent homes.”  (Edit: Theodore Bodeau was born in 1854 and died in March 1933. Catherine Ney Bodeau was born in 1861 and died in 1931. Alfred {1891-1986}, Ernest {1894-1973} and Orlando {1899-1984} were also buried in the Wilbur Cemetery.) 

Brock:  “Mr and Mrs John Brock were on board the first passenger train that came from Spokane to Davenport, in February of 1889. They homesteaded and experienced all of the hardships of their day. After Mr Brock died, his wife moved to Wilbur. She was a beloved personality, interested in her church, the Rebekah lodge and the Grange. She died about two years ago. Her son, Elsworth, farms the old place; Mrs Geo Smart, a daughter, lives here; her son, Orville, is in the Spokane Valley; and her other daughter is Mrs Roy Draper, of Pullman.”  (Edit:  George Smart was born Jan 1866 and died in 1931; his wife was Mable Smart. George is buried in the Wilbur Cemetery.)

Brown:  Frank Brown, now deceased, brought his family from his farm at the foot of Brown’s Butte, near Creston, to Wilbur 50 years ago. He located in the Crab Creek region as early as 1879. When he came to Wilbur he and a man named Fitch established Wilbur’s first hardware store. This family left for California decades ago. The oldest son, a prominent educator in Honolulu, has twice visited Wilbur in recent years. Mitchell Ring, another pioneer, whose widow still lives in Wilbur, was employed in the Brown-Fitch store.”  (Edit:  Mitchell Ring was born Nov 6, 1851 and died May 15, 1905. His wife, Elizabeth, was born in 1853 and died in 1944.) 

Brown:  William Edward Brown came to homestead four miles from Condon’s ranch in 1885. His widow, now Mrs James Belcher, recalls the first three months they spen in the Big Bend. It was necessary for her to stay alone with her little boy and a tiny baby while Mr Brown hauled lumber from Sprague with which to build a house. He thought he had made her temporarily comfortable in a small dugout on land adjacent to their own homestead that some discouraged settler had abandoned. But the underground abode proved uninhabitable and she moved outside to withstand the wind and sun rather than to endure the musty cave. The shack which Mr Brown first built was in turn replaced by a more comfortable home which still stands.  Mr Brown died about the turn of the century and Mrs Brown married James Belcher, who, while an early resident of Wilbur, was not one of the first settlers. He, too, has passed away and Mrs Belcher lives with her daughter, Mrs Pauline Riplinger. Her son, Ed Cardwell, is a prominent Almira business man. Another son, William Brown, resides at Waterville. Mrs Belcher is a charger member of the Neighbors of Woodcraft in Wilbur.”  (Edit: William Edward Brown was born Aug 30, 1857 and died Sept 16, 1899, per his tombstone. ‘Husband of Alma A Brown’.  James F Belcher was born 1871 and died in 1937; Alma A Belcher was born in 1861 and died in 1955. These three burials are in the Wilbur Cemetery.) 

Bump:  “Mr and Mrs Fred Bump are both genuine pioneers. Mr Bump came here about a half century ago to be in charge of a farm implement business that was a branch of the Spokane Falls business established by his uncle, G O Bump.  After this business was discontinued Fred was a clerk for J M Parrish, who by that time had enlarged his stock and made his general store into a department store. Mr Bump was an early day city councilman. He brought his bride here soon after coming to Wilbur. Before her marriage she held a position as bookkeeper in Spokane.  Mr and Mrs Bump retired from active affairs several years ago. They have three daughters—Mrs Helene Dalas, an artist in Winnipeg, Canada; Miss Lucille Bump and Mrs Marion E Alexander , of Wilbur. The latter two operate the Drug Shop.” (Edit:  Frederick T Bump was born in 1857 and died in 1941. Mary Annette Bump was born in 1866 and died in 1963. Lucile was born June 11, 1899 and died Jan 25, 1996.  Marion E Alexander was born in 1907 and died in 1974. These burials occurred in the Wilbur Cemetery.) 

Campbell:  A S Campbell and his brother, Neil Campbell, Jr, came to Washington Territory in April of 1885 and their parents, Mr and Mrs Neil Campbell, Sr, joined them here on Christmas Day that same year.  They selected land on the Columbia River flats near Clark. They had to take ‘squatter’s right’ for a time as homesteads could not be filed at that time, for land north of township No. 28 was not then surveyed.  They were joined the next year by John Campbell, brother of the first arrivals, who brought his young wife with him.  These staunch personalities set about to improve their land and to aid in the development of the region.  They helped to build roads and establish schools, and with other improvements on the then primitive situation. They first centered their interests on grazing herds of cattle, and when the sale of cattle brought funds, they planted orchards and begun to grow fruit and wheat.  John Campbell and family retired from the farm about the turn of the century.  Neil Campbell Jr remained a bachelor and still lives on the place where his father located 54 years ago.  A S Campbell married Miss Lucy Cox, daughter of Mr and Mrs Milo Cox, homesteaders of the mid-eighties. This couple reared and educated eleven children, two of who are deceased, and the others are leaders in lodge, grange and club work.”  (Edit:  Neil Campbell was born in 1867 and died in 1946 with burial in the Wilbur Cemetery.)

Chism:  “One of the pioneer families to provide a teacher for the early day school in Wilbur was the Chism family. Miss Laura Chism, now Mrs J Carter of Spokane, taught several years here in the nineties. Her brother, Will Chism, was an active church worker.” (The three Chism graves in the Wilbur Cemetery were:  Elizabeth, who died Apr 18, 1898 at the age of 71 yrs 6 mos and 23 days; W G, who died Oct 27, 1904 at the age of 84 yrs 7 mos 20 days; and Michael T, born Sept 16, 1860 and died Apr 1, 1901. Laura Chism received certification to teach with the completion of the May examination in 1891 at Sprague.) 

Clark: Mrs Lucinda Clark came to the Big Bend in 1888 with her husband, Todd Clark, to take a pre-emption of land at Sherman, and later on the Columbia near the present Keller crossing. The ferry became known as the Clark Ferry so named for Mr Clark. Mrs Clark recalls the days when her husband operated a placer mine along the river, panning as much as $1,500 worth of god in one week. A post office and school house were added to the community which likewise was known as Clark. She boarded the miners, sometimes as many as thirty-six, and the school teachers one of whom was Miss Edna Forrey. It was at this Clark school that Clyde Pangborn, famous world flyer, received the rudiments of the ‘three R’s.’  In later years Mr and Mrs Clark bought the Crockett homestead six miles east of Wilbur. Following the death of her husband, Mrs Clark has made her home in Wilbur with her daughter, Mrs Lee Johnston. Other children include Mrs Tom Comer, Wenatchee; Mrs Joe Comer, Cue and Glen Clark of Colville.”  (The graves in Wilbur Cemetery include Mrs Lucinda Clark, b. Dec 23, 1858 and d. Apr 30, 1955; Cue C Clark, b. Jan 22, 1877 and d. Mar 30, 1966; and nine other Clark burials.)

Cline:  “The parents of Mrs Robert Sheffels, Jr, deserve to be mentioned in these columns—Dr and Mrs Cline—who farmed in the community between Wilbur and Sherman more than 40 years ago, and who contributed much to their neighbors. His professional service and Mrs Cline’s work as a practical nurse meant much to those in need. Both are deceased.” 

Connery:  Tom Connery was another of the very earliest homesteaders, and in 1893 he bought a place that is now the home of Mr and Mrs Vic Lauritzen. The land had been originally homesteaded by a man named Faldborg, a relative of the well known pioneer bachelor, the late Charlie Faldborg. The latter was an uncle of the late Peder Faldborg.” 

Cox:  “Mr and Mrs Milo Cox located northeast of the Condon ranch in 1886. The son, Charles, died many years ago but the three daughters are living—Mrs A S Campbell, wife of the pioneer Clark orchardist; Mrs Arthur Wolfe, of Sherman, with whom the mother makes her home; and Mrs Luella Wolfe, of California.” 

Crouch:  “The George Crouch family deserves mention as pioneers though they moved to California many years ago. The oldest daughter, Mrs Gertrude Morris, whose husband was a pioneer Tipso mail carrier, and her brother, Elbert Crouch, recently visited this town. Mr and Mrs Morris’s marriage was the first solemnized in the Christian church in Wilbur shortly after its completion.” 

Cuddeback:   Peter W Cuddeback was born in Illinois in 1843. IN 1861 he crossed the plains with his family to California. For some time after his arrival at the Golden Gate he was engaged in the training of wild horses, but later turned his attention to freighting and farming.  He came overland to Walla Walla in 1879. In the fall of that year he was in Spokane and the following year he came to Lincoln County.  He homesteaded about three miles southwest of Creston. His capital consisted of three cayuses, a wagon, and his own indomitable pluck.  He made frequent trips to Walla Walla for supplies. As the country developed, he became one of the substantial citizens and a booster for his community.” (Wilbur Register: Golden Jubilee)

Cushman:   Isaac Cushman.  It is impossible to adequately portray Isaac Cushman in a thumbnail sketch. Born in Vermont, as a descendant of Robert Cushman, who arrived in America one year after the landing of the Mayflower, and a grandson of Holmes Cushman, a member of General Lafayette’s staff during the Revolution, he maintained the character of his splendid ancestry.  Mr Cushman was a normal school graduate and teaching was his first employment. He was intrigued by engineering and followed that profession through most of the 70’s, working in the mines of Nevada, California and Idaho. In 1882 he was a mechanic for the OR & N railway at The Dalles, Oregon. He decided on agriculture as a permanent vocation and in 1883 came to homestead near Wilbur. His three sisters located on claims near him. Miss Harriet Cushman became one of the most prominent educators of eastern Washington. A graduate of Oberlin College, Ohio, she taught for some time in Honolulu but returned to fill high positions in the leading educational institutions of the Northwest. For many years she was a member of the faculty at the University of Idaho.  Mr Cushman built a large log cabin on his homestead, furnished it attractively and installed a well selected library. His home was a social center and a favorite rendezvous of the pioneer Wilbur Shakespearean club. He also served Lincoln County as its representative in the state legislature. A personal fastidiousness made him presentable under all conditions and his sense of humor rendered him an enjoyable companion to young and old.  Mrs Bessie Dalton recalls his chuckle over a certain small volume, ‘The Human Man and the Bull Calf,’ and his correct pronunciation of the vowel ‘a’.  His favorite sport was hunting wild geese with his pal, J H Robertson. They camouflaged their blinds with wheat and bagged dozens each fall. He did remarkably well as a farmer and retired about 25 years ago to live in California until the time of his death. His farm is now owned by August Rux. The influence of Mr Cushman and his sisters is still felt in Wilbur today.” (Edit:  Isaac Cushman, age 75, a former pioneer of the Wilbur district and a state representative in the early 90’s, died at his home at San Diego, CA, in February of 1926.)

Draper:  “One of the best loved pioneer persons was Mrs Oliver Draper, better known as Grandma Draper, who lived to be 91 years old. With her husband and their two youngest sons, Oren and Burt, she came west in 1880 and located south of Wilbur. IN 1907 she and her husband bought land at Texline, Texas, and were away for a few years. They grew homesick for the Big Bend, however, and returned to locate at Govan. Mr Draper died in 1918 and Mrs Draper continued her residence in their home until her death in 1932. Three other sons, Major, Warren and T B Draper, followed their parents and brothers to Wilbur in later years. Of the three, T B remains as one of the successful wheat growers in the Union Valley region, and his sons, Maurice and Ward, are also farmers and leaders in the same district.” (Edit:  Photo of Grandma Draper in original. Oliver Draper was born in 1835 and died in 1918; Esther Jane (Grandma) was born in 1841 and died in 1932.  These being 2 of the 15 Draper graves in the Wilbur Cemetery.)

Dunham:  “Dr Edward Dunham practiced medicine here and had a drug store in 1889 and lived in Wilbur until 1898 when he moved to Creston. Dr Dunham also took land near Wilbur. He and his wife are long since deceased, but Mrs Dunham’s daughter by a prior marriage, Ms Charles Watson, lived near Creston.” 

Dwinnell:  Milton Dwinnell, deceased, lived on the coast some time before he located here, but his real estate holdings became extensive and included considerable town property. His widow lives part time in Wenatchee and part time at Grand Coulee. Their children are Mrs Charles Pike and Mrs Clarence Kauffman, Wenatchee; Cecil, a forester in New York state; Rolf, a Spokane business man; and Wayne, at Grand Coulee. Mr Dwinnell’s mother, Mrs Mershone, was one of the early settlers in Plainview region.”  {See Wheatridge Cemetery file for data on Lucius B Dwinnell, brother of Milton. Lucius died July 20, 1894, age 26.  The estate of Milton Dwinell was  filed in Lincoln Co, probate file #3566, filed on June 18, 1935. It contains the will of Milton Dwinell, who died May 26, 1935 at Wenatchee, County of Chelan; he resided in Wilbur. Milton’s wife was Vesta J Dwinell and their children were: Vesta M Pike (Wenatchee), Rolf L Dwinell (Spokane), Merle L Kauffman (Wenatchee), Cecil L Dwinell (Buffalo, NY) and Wayne Dwinell (Grand Coulee, WA).  Milton’s estate contained 630 acres, and  residence and business properties. Emily R Mershon appeared on the 1902 census at age 63, single, born Ohio.}

Edwards:  “One of the foremost families in the Sherman region in the latter nineties was the D C Edwards family who bought the land where the pioneer Courtland academy once stood. They are now at Great Falls, Montana, and their family is scattered in Washington and Montana.” 

Ettenborough:  Mr and Mrs L Ettenborough located on Big Bend land in the very early days and in the latter 90’s they purchased the old James Hotel. Their sons were athletic stars on Wilbur teams. One son, Max, is now a member of the Spokane police force, and another son, Joe, was killed doing police duty in the Everett IWW riot. One daughter, Mrs Mary Allen also lives in Spokane but the present addresses of other members of the family are not known.”  (Edit:  Four Ettenborough graves are recorded in Wilbur Cemetery: Adeline Ann {1857-1924}, James Marion {1879-1938}, Joseph Alonza {1881-1917}, and Louis Napoleon {1849-1936}.) 


Wilbur Golden Jubilee Biographies, Wilbur, Lincoln Co.,Washington,

submitted to the WAGenWeb by Marge Womach, April 21, 2008.

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