Wilbur Golden Jubilee

June 22, 1939

Submitted by Marge Womach

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

Page J through M 

James:  “The James Boys? Oh yes, they lived in Wilbur for a time and kept things lively a part of the time, too. They were not the notorious James Brothers of Missouri, however. Their parents established the James Hotel about 50 years ago. The sons, Arthur, Lew and Bill, each had a business here, the former having a livery stable for many years. Their sister, Nell, later Mrs Fish, was a dashing girl, after the style portrayed in typical western films. She was one of the pupils in the school taught by Mrs Flint, teacher of the original district school.” 

Jamisom:  William and Robert Jamison were among the most prosperous pioneers of the region between here and Grand Coulee. They were both long-time bachelors, but later they married, and both families lived in Wilbur after they retired. Mrs C W Kunz of Wilbur is the daughter of Mr and Mrs Wm Jamison, and Mrs Kenneth Knoll of Wellpinit is a daughter of Mr and Mrs Robert Jamison. Mrs Wm Jamison is dead, but Mrs Robert Jamison resides in Spokane. Both were ardent church workers while in Wilbur.” 

Jensen:  “About the turn of the century an enterprising young farmer brought his family to Wilbur—S P Jensen.  They had previously farmed in Klickatat County.  They bought and improved the farm one mile north of Wilbur Cemetery where the son, Roscoe, now lives. Another son, Albert, operates a large acreage near Mansfield, and the other adult son, Kenneth, farms near Medical Lake. The youngest son, Junior, is with the parents in Portland, Oregon, where they now live through the school year. Their daughter, Mrs Eugene Smith, is a resident of Grand Coulee.”  (Edit:  Roscoe Jensen was born Jan 29, 1902 and died May 18, 1991.) 

Johnson:  “Mr and Mrs Engle Johnson settled north of Wilbur in 1887. Their sons, John E, deceased, Lewis of Mondovi, and E E of Wilbur, all became successful farmers. Another outstanding pioneer family of that neighborhood was that of Mr and Mrs H C Anderson, who came in 1888. One of their daughters, Marie and their sons, Roy and Ray, still live near Wilbur.” 

Johnson:  “Mr and Mrs M E Johnson came directly to Wilbur from Sweden in 1893 and walked from here to their homestead in Plum Canyon, stopping to rest at the ranch of Levi Larrick. Mr Johnson had come to Washington Territory when a lad of 17, in the year 1880, working eleven years in the Palouse country and then returned to his native land for his bride. They made good with a very productive orchard and garden and delivered produce to Wilbur.  That was their home until his death in 1917.  The widow continued to operate the acreage with her son Leonard until 1932 when she retired and he went to take a position at Olympia. Two of her daughters graduated in Wilbur high school, Mrs Earl Warren and Mrs H M Roys of Olympia.  The daughter, Nellie Johnson, and son , Edwin Johnson, are in Spokane and another daughter, Mrs Dora Dale, is at Rockford.”  (Edit:  Michael E Johnson was born Sept 8, 1863 and died Apr 22, 1917. Leonard Johnson was born in 1911 and died in 1973. Earl Warren was born on Apr 5, 1893 and died Jan 23, 1957;  his wife Hulda Warren was born in 1897 and died in 1993. These burials occurred in the Wilbur Cemetery.) 

Johnston:  “Mr and Mrs Ed Johnston are among the first settlers of the region. Mr Johnston recalls the building boom of the nineties when 100 houses were under construction at one time. He is still following his trade of carpentry.”  (Edit: Ed Johnston was born Sept 3, 1864 and died Oct 2, 1954 and Sarah was born in 1868 and died in 1945. These burials occurred in the Wilbur Cemetery.)

Jones:  Tom Jones, father of Dr Spencer Jones, Wenatchee, Herbert Jones, Ferndale, Elmer Jones, Clyde Jones, Fred Jones and Ellsworth Jones, all of Wilbur, homesteaded near Sherman in 1883. The youngest son, Ellsworth, is now farming the land. The daughter in the family married Walter Accord, another pioneer. She is dead. Elmer recalls that when prankster students at Cortland Academy staged a fake war dance the entire community became panic stricken and thought the Indians were on the warpath. At that time he was alone on the Friedlander ranch and his parents were quite anxious about him for a while.  John Jones, brother of Tom, also settled near Sherman in 1882. he retired from farming in the early 90’s and went into a meat market here. He built the house now occupied by Luther Anderson. One son, Orville, lives in Spokane, and a daughter married Dr Homer Parrish, a brother of J M Parrish, pioneer merchant and banker.”

Jones:  “Mr and Mrs William Jones homesteaded west of here before they came to Wilbur in 1889. Mr Jones established the first harness shop in town and this was their home until the oldest son, John, was ready to enter Washington State College, Pullman. The mother went to Pullman to make a home for the children and Mr Jones spent most of his time at the ranch. Their son, William, Jr, returned after a few years and was superintendent of our schools for seven years. The oldest son, a prominent civil engineer, was drowned several years ago in Idaho while superintending a large project. He was also a Spanish-American and World War veteran. There were also another son, who died when young, and a daughter, Mary, who is also buried here. The whereabouts and present names of the daughters, Nellie and Anna, are not available, and the parents are both dead.”

Jump Family:  John Jump came from Missouri with his parents, Mr and Mrs Joseph Jump, across the plains in a covered wagon when a youth. They settled in the region northeast of here in 1882. In 1887 he married Miss Ida Ellen Crabtree, whose mother, Mrs Louisa Crabtree, had settled at Spangle in 1886.  The marriage of Mr and Mrs Jump was solemnized at Hartline.  They have lived about half a century on their Jump Canyon tract, where they produce choice vegetables and cultivate a productive orchard. They also grow hay on their tract. But the most unusual part of their horticultural ventures is the six walnut trees, five of which are bearing splendid black nuts. Another tree died as it neared its 40th year. All the others are still bearing annually and to a normal amount were planted the same year. Mr Jump successfully grew tobacco, and experimented with English walnuts and oaks but the venture was not a success. This couple have reared and educated ten children. They are Mrs Etta Miller, Addy; Mrs Carrie Andersen, Minnesota; Mrs Lillian Whitson, Miss Esther Jump and Mrs Ruth Mallery, in California; Mrs Mayme Swart, Oregon; Reuben Jump, Toppenish; Mrs Ida May Portugee, Mrs Margaret Anderson and Willie Jump, Wilbur. There are 16 grandchildren.” 

Jurgensen:  Gerhard Jurgensen came to America from his native land, Denmark, in 1872. He worked for a time in Iowa and from there moved his family to Nebraska, settling 75 miles north of Grand Island and within a short distance of Kearney, then a division point for the pony express. He housed his family in a sod house and farmed there until he came to Washington Territory, arriving at Sprague in April, 1884.  He investigated the surrounding region for homestead prospects and chose land within two miles of Wild Goose Bill’s ranch, taking up both a homestead and a timber claim. At the time of his arrival in Big Bend it was a vast sea of luscious, waving bunchgrass. Mr and Mrs Jurgensen were among the very earliest white persons to locate in the newly formed Lincoln County. They began to improve their land and Mr Jurgensen and his son, Holgar, helped to build roads while the mother gave the other children their rudimentary education in the home.  In 1887 when a school was established on the Bean place northeast of the Jurgensen ranch, Viggo was sent on horseback to school there.  Mr Jurgensen prospered steadily and by the turn of the century had acquired approximately 2,000 acres of land adjacent to the Condon ranch which had by that time become a municipality. Mr and Mrs Jurgensen left many monuments to their industry and their public spirit. Their three sons, Holgar, Viggo and Aage, are local wheat growers. One daughter, Mrs Peter Lyse, lives in Calgary, Canada, and another daughter, Mrs Agnesta Downey, in Spokane. Their sixth child, Sarah, who was Mrs Will Bogart, died several years ago.” 

Kennedy:  “The late R C Kennedy, a native of Ireland, who farmed in the district a few miles south of Wilbur over a period of years from his arrival in the Big Bend in 1901, developed his farm to a marked degree before he retired from active agricultural pursuits several years ago and bought town property. He was many years one of the most successful wheat growers of his district. His widow lives at their residence here. Their family of outstanding children included three sons and three daughters. Their main community worked centered on the church.”  (Edit: Robert C Kennedy was born in April 1854 and died in April 1939.  His wife, Emma J Kennedy was born in 1857 and died in 1941. Their burials were in the Wilbur Cemetery.) 

Kiner:  Frank and Ed Kiner located in the Union Valley neighborhood in 1891. Frank died several years ago and his widow is living with their daughter, Mrs Maurice Draper. Other children of Mr and Mrs Frank Kiner are Mrs Arthur Hardy, Medford, OR; Mrs Tom Johnston, Davenport; Mrs Ray Jonason, Los Angeles, CA; and Mrs Melvin Kiner, Govan.  Ed Kiner still lives in Wilbur. He is the father of Deputy Sheriff Harold Kiner, Davenport; Mrs A B Hansen, Wilbur; Mrs Owen McCord and Mrs A A Hill, Klammath Falls, Oregon; and Wm Kiner, Omak.  Fred Kiner, the third brother in this family to come west, arrived in 1892. His homestead about 20 miles southwest of here is farmed by Harvey Munson. The family later moved closer to Wilbur where their son, Glen, lived many years. They retired from the farm and lived in town, their property now belonging to C A Aten.  Both Mr and Mrs Kiner are deceased. Other children, beside Glen, who operates a stock ranch near Almira, are: Mrs Leonard Fish, of Michigan; Mrs Joe Haden, Deer Park; Mrs Byrle Crane, Meadows, Idaho; Mrs Royal Fish, Hunters.”  (Edit:  Frank Kiner was born in 1865 and died in 1932. Ed Kiner was born in 1870 and died in 1945. Fred Kiner was born in 1863 and died in 1916. These burials and other Kiners occurred in the Wilbur Cemetery.)

Kramer:  Frank Kramer, a foremost pioneer personality, came to Sprague in 18890. The rolling prairies from there to Wild Goose Bill’s place between the two low basalt bluffs were unfenced—in fact,, they were mostly un-surveyed—and sod had been turned only in a few scattered spots. Mr Kramer chose land a few miles west of Wild Goose Bill’s, and his son Emil now lives on the place. He took advantage of the right to file on a pre-emption and on a timber culture, besides the homestead, and increased his holdings until he owned at the time of his death in May, 1923, 3,000 acres. He was one of the first to build an attractive farm dwelling with large barns and other buildings. He held entirely to wheat growing and did not venture into experimental agriculture. His wife survived him by 14 years and became the wife of Dr McCormick, a Spokane physician. She was one of the most strikingly attractive women yet to have lived in this community. They reared four sons—Albert, an Almira business man; Edward, deceased; Eugene, an Almira farmer; and Emil, a Wilbur farmer.”  (Edit: Frank Kramer was born June 15, 1836 and died March 7, 1923 with burial in Wilbur Cemetery. Also buried in Wilbur were: Edward T Kramer, b. 11-15-1887 and d. 10-21-1926; Eugene J Kramer: b. 11-10-1889; d. 7-07-1967; Albert F Kramer: b. 10-10-1883; d. 4-10-1942.) 

Krause:  “One of the show places of the Big Bend is the large attractive farm house of the late pioneer, Henry Krause, where his widow still lives. The residence has 14 rooms besides bath and clothes closets, and a full basement. It is surrounded with fine barns and other buildings.  Mr Krause had a capital of $3,000, partly in cash, when he bought a pre-emption where the home was established in 1890. Thrifty management and excessive industry by this couple soon rewarded them and before his death in 1924 he had acquired 2240 acres. Mrs Krause divided 1280 acres between their eight children and to her remaining 960 acres has added 251 acres. She manages her home and her crops with hired help. Truly this couple, while not sod breakers, have a place on the pioneer roll.”

Kunz:  “Mr and Mrs John Kunz came from Oregon to the Sherman region in 1887. They had Thanksgiving dinner that year in the small frontier home of Mr and Mrs Walker Hudkins, and there was turkey on the menu, the bird being supplied by Mrs Jim Dungan. About 20 persons were crowded into the small room.  The Kunz family was temporarily housed in a deserted shack but on Christmas Day they moved to the substantial log house on their homestead north of George Sherman’s ranch. The house was 14 X 16 feet and stood many years near the modern house built later by Mr and Mrs Kunz.  In 1913 they retired from the farm and bought residence property in Wilbur. In addition to their land at Sherman they owned land near Calexico, California, and real estate in Los Angeles. In 1907, they began a second siege of pioneer life in the Calexico country, and there they had serious difficulty with the pests known as ground squirrels. For more than a quarter century they spent the summers here and the winters in Los Angeles. Mr Kunz died a few years after they celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary in 1924.  The family includes eight children, one of whom died at the age of six. Miss Maud Kunz lives with her mother in Wilbur. The others are Mrs Frank Hudkins, Mrs Leonard Naff, George and J N Kunz, all of this immediate vicinity; Mrs Repass Gollehon, Spokane; and another daughter at Calexico.  John Kunz was the first of four brothers to settle here. He was first joined by Mike, spoken of in another article. Next to arrive was Joseph, who came in 1901. He had taught school near Dayton many years and there he married Miss Mary McCall. Joseph became one of our better known Lincoln County teachers and farmers, and is now president of the Grain Growers Warehouse Co., a position he has held many years. The children of Mr and Mrs Joseph Kunz are C W Kunz, of Wilbur, and his twin sister, Mrs Archer Pugh, of Paulsbo; Claude Kunz, Seattle, and his twin sister, Mrs Jack May, of Cooper; and Fred Kunz, who farms near his parents.  The other Kunz brother is George Kunz, well-to-do wheat grower of near Creston.”  (Edit: There are 18 Kunz graves in the Wilbur Cemetery.)

LaFollette:  Millard, John and Silas LaFollette, closely related to the late Senator LaFollete of Michigan, and their father, Joseph LaFollette, settled on land between Wild Goose Bill’s ranch and the Grand Coulee in 1883. They were inexperienced in buying supplies for a  number of months and found themselves out of grub, a distressing situation with the nearest store at Spokane Falls, Sprague or Cheney. The eating tobacco even gave out. They were industrious and thrifty men and soon made rapid gain. They moved to the Medical Lake country in 1900, but they are a family that will not be forgotten.” 

Larrick:  “Mr and Mrs Levi Larrick were genuine pioneers, having crossed the plains with a mule team in 1880 to settle temporarily at Walla Walla. Their next move was to Bennewawa on the Snake River. They came to this immediate region in 1887 and bought lieu land—the acreage now being farmed by Ray Johnson.  While on the Snake River, Mr Larrick learned to speak the Chinook jargon fluently and became a friend of both Chief Joseph and Chief Moses. His ranch here was on the old Indian trail and the tribesmen often stopped for an exchange of conversation in Chinook with Mr Larrick. Wild Goose Bill, too, would occasionally stop to chat there. Mr Larrick acquired a section of land and some Wilbur property. He died several years ago. The only members of his family remaining are his son, Elmer, prominent stockman of near Clark, and his daughter, Mrs Harvey Gent, wife of a Republic farmer.”  (Edit: Levi A Larrick was born July 18, 1850 and died Sept 25, 1934. His wife, Jennie E, was born March 2, 1860 and died Sept 22, 1917. Son Elmer E was born in 1884 and died in 1958. These three are buried in the Wilbur Cemetery.)

Lewis:  Evan Lewis came to Wilbur in 1898 and was Wilbur’s first city plumber. He was in charge of installing the water pipes when the city water system was installed. He married Miss Clara Weisman in 1900. At the time of his death he had acquired several town lots and had built a six room residence. After several years of widowhood, Mrs Lewis married Wiley Haden.”  (Evan H Lewis was born Jan 11, 1860 and died June 20, 1910. Clara A Weisman Lewis Haden was born in 1879 and died in 1952. Dewire Haden was born in 1869 and died in 1958. Each is buried in the Wilbur Cemetery.)

Lewis:  Dr Lafayette Lewis brought his family from Tennessee to Washington Territory in 1885 to homestead land near the head of the Grand Coulee. Fortunately for the homesteaders of that area he continued the practice of his medical profession. Among his neighbors were Frank Roberts, Alex Roberts, the Lafollette family, the Scarboroughs, William and Robert Jamison, John and Jim White, the Petermans and the Humphreys. His brother, Judge Jesse Lewis, and his wife located not far from the homestead of Dr Lewis. Mr and Mrs Jesse Lewis were murdered on their farm in 1902.  Dr Lewis was postmaster of the Grand Coulee post office for some time. A large amount of mail from Okanogan went through this office. When the doctor first came to the territory wild game was so plentiful that on a two day hunt at Hartline he bagged 63 wild geese and it is related that on a four day hunt in the Okanogan mountains he brought in 18 deer and 6 mountain goats. He retired from the farm and the practice of medicine in 1900 to build a home in Wilbur, the house now being occupied by Mr and Mrs Guy Hansen. He served as city councilman and was a member of the Masonic lodge here. His wife, a traditional southern beauty, devoted her life to his and to their nine children, two of whom, David and Jesse Lewis, are located at the Grand Coulee Dam. His grand daughter, Mrs Helen Johnson of Mondovi, is state secretary of the rural letter carrier’s association. Dr Lewis was a Civil War veteran as was his brother Jesse, and their graves are two of those decorated each year by the American Legion.”  (Edit: Judge Jesse Lewis was born Dec 21, 1828 and died Dec 19, 1902, his wife, Penelope was born June 1, 1842 and died Dec 19, 1902. Dr Lafayette Lewis was born May 22, 1845 and died Feb 21, 1920. His wife, Matilda Rogers Lewis was born Sept 18, 1855 and died July 17, 1916. These burials are in the Wilbur Cemetery with other Lewis burials.)

Love:  “Attorney C M N Love did not reach Wilbur until Washington had been a state 17 years.  He has served the town as city attorney several terms and has been quite active in promoting the general welfare of the community. His attractive residence with its landscaped grounds adds much to the beauty of his neighborhood.” 

Lyse:  “The potential power of the falls at Spokane Falls had not been recognized and the Grand Coulee Dam had doubtless never entered anyone’s air castles when Mr and Mrs Neils Lyse, natives of Denmark, came to Sprague, Washington Territory in 1883. The next year, in company with his old country neighbor, G T B Jurgensen, he came to this vicinity and located on a farm near Wild Goose Bill’s ranch, and hired Mr Jurgensen and his son Holgar to turn the first acres of sod that year. Their son-in-law, William Lauritzen, located near them, and soon the family was settled in their prairie home miles and miles away from a railway. Their sons, Julius and Pete, established a meat market soon after Wilbur had a post office. In  a short time after that venture, Julius established a furniture store and undertaking business and Pete went into the general merchandise line. The parents, however, stayed on the farm until 1902 when they retired and bought the property now occupied by Ralph Green.  The frail pioneer woman was the mother of 12 children, 11 of whom reached maturity. Those of this family besides the above mentioned sons and daughter, who have lived in Wilbur, are—Mrs Pete Vancouer, wife of our first town marshal; Nels Lyse, Martin Lyse, Mrs David Thomson and Mrs Lydia Faldborg. The farm where Mr and Mrs Lyse lived for many years is now owned by Chester Armbruster. Mrs Lyse died in 1904 and Mr Lyse in 1910.”

Madsen:  “Mr and Mrs Frands Madsen have certainly put Wilbur on the map for the traveling public, having been in the hotel business here for 30 years. Mr Madsen came to Washington about 50 years ago and was on the coast several years before he came to Wilbur. There are many who have prior claim as pioneers, but in spirit none can excel this couple who have responded to Wilbur’s progress for almost 40 years. Mr Madsen, a good plumber, served the town as its first water superintendent. His first hotel was the two story frame house which he bought from the widow of Dr J N Star, then Mrs C K Weisman. That building burned and the Madsen’s built a large hotel on the main highway and it has been enlarged several times since.”  (Edit: Frands Madsen was born in 1867 and died in 1944. His wife Anna was born in 1877 and died in 1952. These burials were in the Wilbur Cemetery.)

Magee:  Thomas Magee, still a resident of Wilbur, filed on land south of here in 1883. A few years later he came to Wilbur and learned photography from the first photographer, a man named Smith. Contemporary with Mr Magee in the photography profession was Sylvester Houck who has many years been a large farmer and wealthy man in Idaho. Many of the old pictures in this paper were taken by Mr Magee.”  (Though no dates are provided, Thomas Magee was buried in the Wilbur Cemetery.)

Maier:  Dr F W Maier came here about the turn of the century as a partner of the late Seattle physician, Dr Wright, then practicing in Wilbur. Dr Maier faithfully attended the health needs of the residents of Wilbur and surrounding territory for almost forty years, with the exception of a few years spent in Colorado. Two year ago he sold his practice here to Dr W C Shearer and accepted a call as physician in the State Custodial School at Medical Lake. His two sons are associates in a medical-dental clinic in Denver, Colorado; Rollo as a doctor of medicine and Julian, doctor of dentistry.” 

Markey:  John Markey was another example of success in the Big Bend. He homesteaded near here in 1888, beginning with a capital of $25 cash. He was one of the first local men to own an automobile.”

Martin:  “Mr and Mrs Peter Martin—Grandpa and Grandma Martin—homesteaded at Sherman in 1888. Not only did they turn the sod and till the acres, but they beautified their home with poplar trees. One of these trees was transplanted when it was about eight feet tall to the farm of Nels Hagen where it grew like the mighty oak and shaded the Hagen cottage about 39 years.  The Martin’s have passed on, but their sons, Henry and Albert, are outstanding Lincoln County farmers and have remained in the neighborhood of their nativity. John Martin, a member of this family, was once a county commissioner. There are three daughters—Mrs Lizzie Mackey of Wilson Creek, Mrs Clara Norddy of Ferndale and Mrs Newt Speegle of Inchelium.”  (Edit: Peter Martin {1832 -1928} and his wife Aletta {1851-1928}, Henry T {1888-1966}, Annie {1892}, Emil {1894-1905}, Lela D {1889-1934}, and Albert Martin {1881-1959} were each buried in the Sherman Cemetery.) 

Matzger:  “Dr George N Matzger was Wilbur’s first dentist, coming here in the early 90’s, soon after he graduated from the Central University in Kentucky. He was a native-born Oregonian, however. He studied three years at Whitman College, Walla Walla, graduated from a business college in Portland, and also studied law one year before he enrolled in the Kentucky university.  Dr Matzger’s wife was a daughter of Mr and Mrs S L Wait, founders of Waitsburg.  One of Dr Matzger’s clients in Wilbur still wears a set of plates which he made in 1896. The doctor died many years ago. His widow, their son, Alvin, and their daughter, Mrs Willard E Taylor, live on the coast. Wait Matzger is teaching at Dayton, and Byron is deceased. The youngest daughter, Mrs Godfrey Thompson, lives in Wilbur.  Dr Jewett and Dr Chas Edwards were other pioneer dentists. The latter is the father of Grant Edwards, Port Angeles, Wash.; Mrs B L Taylor, Spokane; and Mrs Bernard Sorensen, Wilbur. Mrs Edwards lived here until recently. She is now Mrs L W Rogers of Grand Rapids, Mich.”

McCord:  “The late T W (Wes) McCord reached Spokane Falls, in 1882, coming from the state of Nebraska.  He filed his homestead and timber claim a few miles southeast of Wild Goose Bill’s ranch in 1883 and within a few years had acquired a total of 800 acres of land. He had only health, ambition and good management to back him. His son-in-law, Dave Haden, now lives on the homestead.  Mr McCord sawed wood near Spokane for six months when suddenly on the 20th of December, 1883, he realized he had but five days of grace to reach his homestead if he was to prove up on it. So he set out to walk that distance. He could not thumb his way and there was no highway crew to clear the snow from the trail. It took him three days to reach his homestead, and he had just time to rest up for his Christmas dinner of sourdough biscuits, dried apple pie and smothered jack rabbit. There were but a very few settlers then, and mostly bachelors, and there were only five white women within a radius of ten miles. One of Mr McCord’s neighbors was Jerry Hammer, a highly esteemed pioneer. In 1889 Mr McCord married Miss Gertrude Hire, a daughter of Mr and Mrs Frank Hire, who came to Washington in 1882 and eventually homesteaded between Creston and Wilbur. Mr McCord was a director of his rural school board for many years. He and Mrs McCord moved to Wilbur in the early year of the century, and for many year he was the efficient caretaker at the Wilbur Cemetery.  Mrs McCord was the first person to join the Christian Church in Wilbur when it was organized 30 years ago. Their family of four children is composed of Owen and Ivan McCord, Klammath Falls, Oregon, and Mrs Dave Haden and Mrs Albert Squire, Wilbur. Another early day settler not far from the McCord homestead was Jack Bean, who came in 1883. The first school of the region adjoined his farm and was known as the Bean school. Will and George Condon, sons of Wild Goose Bill, attended school there in the winter of 1887-1888, and rode horseback a distance of six miles twice daily.”  (Edit:  Thomas W McCord was born July 6, 1860 and died July 29, 1937.  His wife, Gertrude Hire McCord, was born Jan 15, 1872 and died June 14, 1936.  Owen McCord was born Feb 25, 1894 and died May 17, 1959. Ivan McCord was born Jan 6, 1904 and died Dec 22, 1988.  Zennie E Haden was born Dec 30, 1889 and died May 21, 1951.  Lela Squire was born Jan 4, 1900 and died Dec 23, 1972. Frank Hire was born Nov 28, 1841 and died Sept 21, 1907. His wife Mary was born in 1852 and died in 1933.  There are more than a dozen Bean graves also in the Wilbur Cemetery.) 

McGath:  “Mr and Mrs John McGath arrived in the Big Bend in December, 1895, and farmed 17 miles west of here for five years. Then they bought the 40 or more acres adjoining the Lippincott Addition to Wilbur and built the house now known as the A J Pierce place. Mr McGath engaged in the livery business here for several years and then went to Douglas county to farm. His widow, Mrs Rose McGath, lives here, as does their daughter, Mrs Charlotte Best. The sons, Roy and Paul, live in Almira.”  (Edit: Paul McGath was born Nov 5, 1888 and died May 24, 1955. Charlotte Mae Best was born in 1884 and died in 1963. A J Pierce was born in 1858 and died in 1936. Each of these burials was in the Wilbur Cemetery.)

McGovern:  James McGovern played a telling part in the history of Wilbur while he lived here. He left Wilbur about 25 years ago when he took office of US marshal and made Spokane his home.” 

McKay:   Donald F McKay is one of the earliest pioneers of the territory now included in Lincoln County. 1880 is the year in which he wended his way into the then uninhabited region and selected a homesite three miles southwest of where Creston now stands. It was difficult to make a living on the land in those days and he had to go out to other places to earn money to buy provisions. Mr McKay was born in Ontario, Canada.  His father, a native of Scotland, learned the trade of stone cutting. While our subject was still an infant, he was left fatherless and soon thereafter his mother died also. Being without funds, he had to work for a living even as a boy and have very little opportunity to attend school.  In 1892, Mr McKay married Miss Ida R Wonch, a resident of Medical Lake, and her death occurred in 1901.  The second marriage of Mr McKay was consummated when Sarah M Stambaugh, of Creston, became his wife. They have been leaders in their community since.” (Wilbur Register: Golden Jubilee) 

McKay:  James McKay was a very young man when he came here in 1890. He homesteaded in 1892 and started his acreage of productive wheat land which now numbers 3,000 acres. Mr McKay also bought the Farnsworth residence and has remodeled it into a modern apartment house. He married Miss Mary O’Brien (deceased). Their children included James (deceased), Miss Lettie McKay, Mrs Dave Oldenberg, Wilbur, and Mrs Harry Wilson of Waterville.”  (Edit:  Mary E McKay was born in 1875 and died in 1936. Lettie McKay was born in 1892 and died in 1983. These and other McKays are buried in the Wilbur Cemetery.)

McNeil:  Jack McNeil was a youth when he came here in 1886 to homestead not far from the little valley destined to become Wilbur. ‘I’ll never forget when I first saw the flat that was Wild Goose Bill’s ranch,’ Mr McNeil often said when recalling olden days. ‘I was looking for stray horses and stopped at the edge of the bluff at the north of town. I said, There is the prettiest place for a town I’ve ever seen. I’ll wager there’ll be one there, too!’  Mr McNeil prospered and retired from the farm to live in the town he had foreseen. He died a few years ago. His widow and their son, Jack Jr, live here. A daughter, Julia, is a nurse in training at Wenatchee.”

McNew:  “Mr and Mrs J B McNew settled in the Davenport country before they came here, locating in Washington in 1898. They lived south of here after 1909, where their sons, Lawrence and Leonard, still live. The McNew boys are active members of the American Legion post in Wilbur.”  (Edit: William Lawrence McNew was born in 1887 and died in 1969. Joseph Leonard McNew was born in 1893 and died in 1986. Both are buried in the Wilbur Cemetery.)

McPherson:  J McPherson, Wilbur State Bank president, and Mrs McPherson have not lived in Wilbur 50 years, but they deserve to be enrolled as factors in the town’s development.  Mr McPherson is a son of the late D K McPherson, a leader in pioneer days at Sprague and a man who helped to finance many Inland Empire institutions. J McPherson and his sisters, Miss Julia and Miss Kate, came to Wilbur 38 years ago. Mrs McPherson, a director in the bank, is prominent in Eastern Star work. She was formerly Miss Elizabeth Marsh, a member of a prominent Colfax family of early days.”

McQuarie:  “It was a long, long trail from New York to the Big Bend half a century ago, but William H McQuarie, native of the Empire state, covered the distance and arrived in Spokane County, in 1883.  He had also lived with his parents in Canada and Illinois and received the average rural school education. He served during the full Civil War period, engaged in several historic battles, two of which were the sieges of Vicksburg and Mobile. He was an active member of the pioneer R L McCook Post of the GAR established at Sherman soon after he homesteaded near Wilbur in 1884.  This post was thriving organization for several years. It was later moved to Wilbur and a hall was built, now very fittingly owned by the American Legion.  Mrs McQuarie, of real pioneer stock, carried on with her three small children when it was necessary for her husband to go out for work in the Palouse and older settled regions, for funds to maintain the family. She was one of the first to have poultry in this territory and the fresh eggs were in demand at the store in Sherman. She out-lived her husband several years, but was deprived of her sight some time before her demise a few years ago at the age of 90. There are two sons who survive—E D McQuarie of Chelan and Paul McQuarie, Entiat.”  (Edit:  William H McQuarie was born July 6, 1840 and died Aug 21, 1906. His wife Harriet was born in 1844 and died in 1934. A third McQuarie grave in Wilbur’s Cemetery, Minnie McQuarie, shows her birth in 1874 and her death in 1900.) 

Miller:  “Mr and Mrs P C Miller came here in 1902 and bought the farm now occupied by their son, Ben. This couple reared a family of fine citizens. They retired to Wilbur 20 years ago, where he died several years later. Mrs Miller is an active worker in St Paul’s Lutheran church.”   (Edit:  Peter C Miller was born in 1862 and died in 1931; his wife Mathilde was born in 1865 and died in 1945. Ben Miller was born in 1891 and died in 1974. These graves and many other Miller graves are found in the Wilbur Cemetery.)

Muir:  James A Muir, Spokane real estate dealer, was a young man when he came to Wilbur to work for the Big Bend Land company. He and his first wife, nee Mariam Roberts, were leaders in Wilbur society for many years.  The E J Hose house was built by them. Mr Muir, a brother of Mrs H E Hay, still spends much of his time in this territory, as does also Mrs Mariam Muir. Their two sons, Dr Creighton Muir and Robert Muir, are residents of California.”


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

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

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