Wilbur Golden Jubilee

June 22, 1939

Submitted by Marge Womach

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

Page N through S

Neal:  Robert Neal played an important part in the development of this region. He came to Washington territory in 1882 and located on wheat land in the fertile Sherman district, where he farmed four years. Then he took an orchard tract on the Columbia River a few miles upstream from the present site of the Grand Coulee Dam, cultivating 10 acres in 1886. He there grew small fruits and vegetables while his peach, pear, cherry, apricot and apple trees developed. Mr Neal would deliver his produce in good condition by wagon, covering a radius of 40 miles. He also filled large orders for shipment and carried on over a period of many years. In 1888 his tract produced one yam that weighed 14 pounds and in the same hill were enough other large tubers to total 25 pounds. Strawberries were, however, his star production.  He harvested one season 30,000 quarts of the most luscious ruby red berries off of four acres of ground, his net gain for them being $900. Mr Neal also experimented to a considerable degree and found that tobacco and cotton can both be propagated here. He was the first official horticulturalist of Lincoln County, succeeding himself several terms. Several years ago he bought property in Wilbur where his widow still makes her home. They reared and educated a large family. Mrs Neal, nee Miss Park, is of a prominent Davenport pioneer family. Her sister was the wife of Wilbur’s first postmaster, Court Wait.”  (Edit:  Robert Neal was born in 1852 and died in 1936. His wife, Louisa was born in 1863 and died in 1894. Their son Frank was born in 1887 and died in 1904. These burials and others occurred in the Wilbur Cemetery.)

Nestoss:  Henry Nestoss and his wife arrived in 1890 and located near Wilbur. They retired from farming many years ago and chose Spokane as their home until their death. Their son, Oscar, is one of our wheat growers, and their daughter, Mabel, is now Mrs Will Krause. The other daughter, Emma, is the wife of M C Hunter, and lives in California.” (Edit:  Henry Nestoss was born Dec 28, 1854 and died June 28, 1938; his wife Olive was born April 10, 1863 and died Dec 19, 1927. Oscar was born Aug 19, 1892 and died July 9, 1983. These burials were in the Wilbur Cemetery.)

Ney:  “One of the first homesteaders in the Hoss-Rinker neighborhood was Nick Ney, a very handsome bachelor who located in 1882.  His faith in the country brought several others from the east, including his sisters, who became the wives of Theodore Bodeau, Frank Kramer and John Hoss. In 1889 Nick married a sister of Mrs Charles Richter, these girls having crossed the Atlantic that Mr Ney might claim a bride. Mr Ney’s industry and sound business ability permitted he and his wife to retire and make their home in Spokane. Both are now deceased.” 

Nicholson:  John Nicholson, a Lincoln County pioneer, passed away many years ago but several of his contemporaries recall his interesting and colorful life. Born at sea of a Scotch father and a Norwegian mother, he was educated in the schools of Norway until 8 years of age at which time the death of his father made it necessary for him to discontinue his education. He served on ships of Norway, Spain and England before landing at Quebec. From Quebec he went to Detroit, Michigan and later worked as a laborer in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Missouri. In 1871 he drove a team on the Musselshell for General Custer. He pioneered in the Black Hills and in Montana—all this before reaching the Pacific coast in 1878. He engaged in business in Seattle for years before he decided to locate on a homestead an grow wheat. He selected land near what is now the town of Wilbur, filing in 1882. The land, however, was in dispute for 14 years, the controversy finally ending in favor of Mr Nicholason. He married Miss Carrie Anderson, daughter of Mr and Mrs Jacob Anderson, frontier homesteaders near Wilbur. About twenty-five years ago Mr and Mrs Nicholason and their five children moved to the coast and lived at Port Orchard until his death.”  (Edit: The listing for Wilbur Cemetery shows Carrie Nicholson born 1854 with death in 1914. With the same surname is Rena Nicholson, born 1899, d. 1902.) 

Nygaard:  “Not only was Ole Nygaard a homesteader of this territory in early days, but he built many of the Northern Pacific buildings and bridges, as well as many of the houses in Wilbur in the 80’s and 90’s.  He and John Bruhn, a well-remembered carpenter (brother of Mrs H N Hansen and of the late Pete Bruhn) worked together for several years. Mr Nygaard retired from carpentry only in recent years. He is one of our most prominent Danish citizens. His brother, Andrew Nygaard, is also well remembered although he passed away several years ago. He was a blacksmith and first worked in the John Robertson ship and later established a smithing plant of his own on the corner now occupied by the Wikkelsen Brothers garage.”  (Edit:  Andrew Nygaard was born Nov 27, 1858 and died June 18, 1914; Chris P Nygaard was born Nov 29, 1854 and died Apr 4, 1903; and Ole Nygaard was born in 1861 and died in 1941. These burials occurred in the Wilbur Cemetery.) 

O’Brian:  “It was 1885 when the Wm O’Brian family settled south of here. There were two daughters and three sons—Mrs Jas McKay, deceased; Thomas and William, local farmers, and Miss Agnes, who lives with them. The other son is a farmer at White Bluffs. This family has contributed much to the development of their community and to the territory as a whole.” {Edit: Some members of the O’Brien family that are in the Wilbur Cemetery are: Martin F (1870-1939), William J (1877-1956), and Thomas E (1883-1959) A Mrs William O’Brian died the last of November, 1926, at the age of 88 years.}

Oswalt:  “The late George Oswalt established the first hardware store in Davenport. Mrs Oswalt, recently deceased, lived in Wilbur most of the time after her husband’s death. Their son, E H Oswalt, local banker, has been city treasurer many years. His deceased wife was a daughter of Mr and Mrs J D Campbell.”  (Edit:  Eugene H Oswalt was born in 1887 and died in 1969. His wife, Janet A Campbell Oswalt was born in 1887 and died in 1925. Their burials occurred in the Wilbur Cemetery.)

Peffley:  “More than 50 years ago George Peffley located on land south of Wilbur and soon married Miss Lily Wainright, daughter of Mr and Mrs Wm Wainright, who came here from Missouri about the same time and who had the first restaurant in Wilbur. Mr Peffley’s mother came with him, but she died soon and she was one of the first three or four persons who died in Wilbur. His brother, Frank Peffley, editor and founder of the once widely circulated Creston News, now discontinued, and another brother, John Peffley, also were well known in Wilbur. Mr Peffley was a leading contractor for many years. One of the houses he built is now the home of Mr and Mrs J McPherson. When he retired, he moved to Olympia where his widow now lives. The only member of his family in this section now is Lloyd B Peffley, a son, Lincoln County Auditor. The three brothers—George, Frank and John, are now deceased.”  (Edit:  Sarah J Peffley was born in 1828 and died in 1902. D Frank Peffley was born in 1854 and died in 1936. There are nearly a dozen burial of Peffley members in the Wilbur Cemetery.) 

Petersen:  Simon Petersen and his wife homesteaded north of here as early as 1882. They, like their neighbors, suffered hardships but added to their holdings and improved their land, and were regarded as well-to-do by the time the railroad arrived. They reared and educated three sons and two daughters. One daughter, Mrs Alfred Anderson, is an active lodge and church worker in Wilbur, although she lives on a farm west of Govan.”  (Edit: Simon Petersen was born Aug 2, 1850 and died Dec 2, 1920. Anna Marie Petersen was born in 1861 and died in 1931. Katherine Andersen was born in 1889 and died in 1973. These burials occurred in the Wilbur Cemetery.) 

Pierce:  “The late A J Pierce homesteaded in 1897 and farmed many years before he retired to live adjacent to town, where his son ‘Happy’ now lives.”  (Edit: Andrew J Pierce was born in 1858 and died in 1936. His wife, Mary C Pierce was born in 1869 and died in 1936.) 

Portch:  Ed Portch was the first of the five Portch boys to come to the Sherman community, and he and his mother homesteaded there in 1884. The other boys, Giles, Dan, Will and Howard, arrived within four years after that date. Ed was employed at Wilbur in the winter of 1889-1890 but returned to farming. He again came to Wilbur and ahs been in the mercantile business here for 33 years. He is the last member of his family. He married Miss Dolly Fisher, whose parents, Mr and Mrs Milton Fisher, homesteaded near Sherman in 1887. She is deceased.  Their children are Ray Portch, Walla Walla banker; Mrs Ray Rost, Spokane; and Milton, who is employed by the Washington Water Power Co in Wilbur.  Mr Portch’s sister married Dennis Byrne, who homesteaded near Sherman in 1884. There were several children in the Byrne family among them Mrs Emmett Robertson, Wilbur; Mrs Nick Hale, Cheney; and Mrs Lester Speegle, Spokane.  Among Mr Portch’s early day neighbors were Elijah and Dave Speegle. Their sister was the first wife of Roland P Short, the parents of Paul Short who farms near Wilbur.  F A Hopkins, father of Bill Hopkins, located near Sherman at about the same time the Portch’s arrived.”  (Edit:  Many of the Portch burials occurred in the Sherman Cemetery. Mother Portch, Hannah N Portch, was born in 1829 and died in 1905. Edward A {1863-1949}, Giles M {1848-1932}, Daniel L {1850-1936}, William A {1871-1918}, J Howard {1867-1933}and Winnifred Byrne {1869-1928} were buried with other family members in the Sherman Cemetery. Two Portch burials occurred in the Wilbur Cemetery, Charles Wm Portch {1920-1983} and Wm Henry Portch {1955-1981}.

Rettkowski:  August Rettkowski arrived in 1889 and bought railroad land west of here. His business ability led him to acquire all of Section 9 and half of Section 10 in that township. He built a modern bungalow on the first land he purchased and that is now the home of his son, Harry. Another of his properties is the land on Sunset highway known to pioneers as the Harl Thompson place, which is the home of another son, Herbert.  There are two other sons, Arthur, who farms extensively at Reardan, and Irvin, who grows large fields of peas and wheat near Fairfield. The only daughter in the family is the wife of a Hartline farmer, Frank Odenrider.  Mrs Rettkowski lives in a large modern home on South Hill, in Wilbur. The above picture of Mr Rettkowski was taken in Germany befoe he came to America, and he is wearing the German military uniform of that day. He has been dead several years.”  (Edit:  August Rettkowski was born in 1865 and died in 1927. His wife, Emilia, was born in 1865 and died in 1949. Herbert was born in 1898 and died in 1976. Harry was born in 1903 and died in 1992. Erna Odenrider was born in 1893 and died in 1971; her husband Frank was born in 1890 and died in 1976. These were all buried in the Wilbur Cemetery.) 

Richardson:  B F Richardson bought railroad land four miles southeast of Wilbur in 1891. By 1904 he had acquired 1280 acres and had it all under cultivation. He was interested in purebred livestock and when Wilbur had its annual fairs and horses shown by Mr Richardson always were prize winners. He not only improved his farms but he built the large town residence now owned by Dave Wilson. A few years ago Mr and Mrs Richardson bought property at Opportunity and went into the poultry enterprise. Their farm home here is now the property of Wm Dreger. Of their family of several children, two still live here—Mrs August Warnecke and Kenneth Richardson.”  (Edit: Tombstones for Benjamin F Richardson [1868-1949] and his wife, Nellie F [1871-1955] are in the Wilbur Cemetery. Kenneth Richardson was born in 1909 and died in 1965 with burial in the Wilbur Cemetery)

Richter:  “Mrs Charles Richter, a resident of Wilbur, is the widow of one of the homesteaders of the 80’s.  They lived on their farm ‘at the top of the world’ on the ridge northwest of town, and their home could be seen for a distance of at least 12 miles. They retired more than 25 years ago and bought property in Wilbur. Mrs Richter is a member of St Paul’s Lutheran Church. Her husband died several years ago.” (Edit:  Charles Richter was born in 1851 and died in 1922. His wife, Margaret, was born in 1853 and died in 1939. These burials occurred in the Wilbur Cemetery.)

Ring:  Charles Ring, Sr, homesteaded here in 1887. IN 1893 he married Miss Edna McCuen, whose parents, Mr and Mrs John A McCuen, located here in 1891.  The wedding of Mr and Mrs Ring was solemnized by the pioneer priest, Father Dwyer, at Creston.  Mr and Mrs Ring had a part in the establishment of Sacred Heart church. He continued in active farming until his death in 1924.  His widow now lives in Seattle. Their sons, Will and Charles, are local farmers. Their other children are Mrs Dan Whipple, Lind, Mrs Harold Gubser and Harold Ring, Spokane. One daughter died a few years ago.”  (Edit:  Charles A Ring was born Feb 13, 1866 and died Apr 17, 1924. Edna Ellen McCuen Ring was born Aug 29, 1875 and died Apr 19, 1947. William Ring was born in 1895 and died in 1958. Charles A Jr Ring was born in 1902 and died in 1973. These burials occurred in the Wilbur Cemetery.) 

Rinker:  Samuel C Rinker came to the territory northwest of here in 1883. The wife and children remained on the desolate prairie while he sought employment elsewhere during the harvest season. But he began to till his homestead as soon as possible and he threshed his first crop by having horses tread the grain from the heads and hand-winnowing the chaff from the kernels. No wonder he consulted his neighbor John Hoss about a threshing outfit! Mr and Mrs Rinker are long-since deceased and their family is scattered. Valle Rinker, youngest son, remained a farmer here until about two and a half years ago when he bought a stock farm near Loomis.”  (Edit:  Samuel C Rinker was born June 1, 1844 and died Oct 11, 1912. His wife Calidonia was born June 12, 1853 and died Apr 13, 1932. Valle Rinker was born in 1891 and died in 1970. These burials and ten other Rinker graves are in the Wilbur Cemetery.) 

Ritter:  John Ritter, who was a pioneer depot agent for the Northern Pacific railway company, and Mrs Ritter, nee Myrtle Hall, a pioneer piano teacher here, will always be remembered by old timers.  They went to Spokane about the turn of the century and a few years later moved to Republic where he was a county officer for many years and Mrs Ritter continued her piano teaching. Republic is still their home. Johnnie was  a member of the Wilbur male quartet and of the band when that organization was often called to participate in political parades in Spokane and other places.” 

Robertson:  “It was in the month of September, 1882, that Mr and Mrs Wm Robertson homesteaded in the Brents region, about one and one half miles from the Sherman ranch which soon became the Sherman post office. Mrs Robertson, widow of this pioneer, recalls how she feared the Indians for they arrived not too long after the Spokane massacre for one to feel entirely safe. But her fears were hardly justified since Chief Moses and all his tribesmen were very friendly to the settlers.  She recalls that when they came here there was one family near Creston—that of Frank Brown, whose ranch was so near the butte that old-timers called that high knoll Brown’s Butte. The families of George and Frank Simons, and the Carpenter and Blackfan families were among their early neighbors.  Mrs Robertson’s husband established the first ferry boat on what is now state road No. 4  Mr and Mrs Robertson had nine children. Their daughters, Anna and Mary, are dead. Their sons, Charles, Dave and John, farm not far from the original homestead. A daughter, Mrs Grace Gibbs, lives at Grand Coulee; and three sons, Archie, Burt and Gordon, are Montana farmers. The mother still lives on the farm but Mr Robertson has been dead several years.” 

Roseman:  Joseph Roseman, who has been retired from active farming and living in Wilbur many years, came to this country in 1893.”

Scheibner:  Frederick M Scheibner came from Tennessee and located on land about seven miles northwest of here in 1887, and his family soon followed him. The son, William, was then twenty years old. He was detained to dispose of his father’s stock and farm machinery and did not reach the Big Bend until 1888, arriving with but $2.50 of his own money, and that amount was saved by going without several regular meals enroute to Washington territory. Young William borrowed a blanket and with another young homesteader set forth to get some work that he might have money to prove up on a homestead, and by his 21st birthday he had the initial amount needed to file on the land he had picked out.  William’s father and mother were of the most thrifty of the new Big Bend settlers. They cultivated their land with the aid of a family of five sons and three daughters.  The eldest, Charles is dead; Mrs John Jenkins, Fred Scheibner and Mrs Louise Adams live at Coulee City.  Mrs Adams was the widow of one of the early day Wilbur-Keller ferrymen, the late Ed Eckles. There are two of the sons in this region, William and Oswald. The other son, Henry, farms in Canada. It is the daughter, Lily, wife of Oscar Osborne, on whose farm is the famous town of Osborne at the Grand Coulee Dam.”  (Edit:  Frederick Scheibner was born March 23, 1833 and died July 5, 1906; his wife, Johannah E Scheibner, was born Feb 29, 1836 and died Sept 9, 1909. Their son William F was born in 1867 and died in 1943. Son Charles was born in 1862 and died in 1928. Oswald was born in 1877 and died in 1956.  Lanora A Jenkins was born in 1865 and died in 1952; her husband John was born in 1860 and died in 1934.  Lillie Scheibner Osborne was born in 1874 and died in 1958; her husband, Oscar F Osborne was born in 1857 and died in 1946. Edmund T Eckle was born in 1856 and died in 1924. These burials all occurred in the Wilbur Cemetery.)

Schroeder:  “A neighbor of Mr and Mrs Woods who arrived from Michigan in 1885, was the late Charles Schroeder, who proved one of the most successful wheat growers of this area. He early improved his homestead and bought additional lands and retired many years ago to make his home in Wilbur until death claimed him last year. He was bereaved of his first wife, his second wife survives him at his home here. Two os his sons are wheatgrowers south of Wilbur, Ray and Bruce Schroeder; another son, Will Schroeder, is farming in Alberta, Canada; one daughter, Mrs J E James, lives in Montana; and the other daughter, Mrs Henry Gerlach, is in Michigan. The eldest daughter, now deceased, was the wife of Edward Bandy, an extensive stock raiser of Montana. These are the children of the first wife. Their mother was one of the most industrious of pioneer women.” (Edit:  Charles Schroeder was born Aug 30, 1859 and died in 1938; his first wife, Rosa was born in 1864 and died in 1916; his second wife, Mae Olos, was born in 1877 and died in 1940. His sons, Ray, was born in 1892 and died in 1952;  and Bruce was born in 1892 and died in 1958. These burials and other Schroeder burials occurred in the Wilbur Cemetery.)

Sheffels:  Robert Sheffels, the pioneer, was born in 1856 in Rhenish, Prussia. In 1880, like a soldier of fortune, he set sail for America with only a few belongings and $20 in money. The voyage was a stormy one and the boat floundered. No lives were lost but no personal effects were saved. Thus the young immigrant reached the United States, a stranger in a strange land with no money and only the clothes he wore.  With courage and good health as his only assets, he set out for Washington Territory. Hitch-hiking was an unheard of art in those days and he worked his way across the continent with railroad construction crews. Mr Sheffels first established a saw mill on the Little Spokane River. This was  a portable plant and he soon moved it to the Hawk Creek Falls region. This mill produced lumber for many of the pioneer houses in this part of the county. In about 1885 Mr Sheffels filed on a homestead several miles northwest of Wild Goose Bill’s ranch, took a timber claim and made use of his pre-emption right. Like many other early settlers he was often discouraged and at one time when his brother, Herman, had worked a considerable time for him without pay, Robert offered to give him all of his land to cancel his debt to him. Herman did not want Big Bend land and returned to Germany.  In 1889 Mr Sheffels married Miss Theresa Bodeau, a native of Luxemburg, Germany. Soon after his marriage he bought the old Addington homestead and established a home. This is now the home of his son, Louis, and the ranch recently visited by the Crown Prince of Norway as an ideal wheat farm. This was their home until the children were grown. Then they built a residence in Wilbur and retired from the farm.  They owned 3,000 acres of choice land here and 3,000 in Montana. Their sons have added to these holdings and now farm 7,000 acres here and 7,000 in Montana.  Mr Sheffels was interested in mines and was at one time a heavy stockholder in the Jack Waitte mine but disposed of these interests at an advantageous time. He was also interested in the Farmers and Mechanic Bank in Spokane and was it president for several years. Wheat farming, however, was his life work and his greatest success. He did not diversify. His sons are carrying on in the same manner. The high yield of the Sheffels lands has been 35 bushels over a period of 50 years. The average yield for that time is estimated at approximately 20 bushels per acre.  One notable building on the Sheffels farm is the elevator built in 1920 with a capacity of 28,000 bushels.  Mrs Sheffels’ health failed when her children were small and after years of patient invalidism she passed away in 1931. Mr Sheffels died in 1933. One daughter, Catherine, died before the parents’ demise. The surviving children are: Robert, Jr, and Louis, Wilbur farmers; Henry, of Great Falls, Montana; and Elizabeth, now Mrs Victor Casebolt of Colfax.” Wedding photo in original (Edit: Robert Sheffels was born Nov 24, 1856 and died July 16, 1933; his wife Teresa was born April 21, 1877 and died Dec 20, 1931.  Robert C Sheffels was born Dec 4, 1899 and died Aug 9, 1948. Louis T Sheffels was born June 13, 1901 and died March 23, 1985. Teresa’s father, Theodore Bodeau was born in 1854 and died in 1933. These burials occurred in the Wilbur Cemetery.)

Shell:  “Mr and Mrs Nathan Shell came to Wilbur in 1898 that he might have charge of the carpentry work in the wagon making department of the J B Robertson blacksmithing shop.  Mr Shell also built several of the nicest houses in this section and followed this profession many years. At one time he was custodian of the popular free auto camp, and was for some time the efficient caretaker at the Civic Park. He is an honored member of the Odd Fellows lodge and Mrs Shell is a member of the Rebekah lodge. They had three daughters—Mrs W P Matthews, Tacoma; Maggie Shell, deceased; and Mrs Dan Hudkins, Reardan.”  (Edit: In the Wilbur Cemetery the only Shell grave is that of Maggie Shell, born 1885 and died 1933.) 

Sherman:  George Sherman homesteaded in the central part of that fertile territory called by his name in 1881. He had a small general store and was made the Sherman postmaster and held that position as long as the government maintained an office at that point.” (Edit:  The Sherman post office was officially established on May 2, 1884 with George W Sherman as postmaster for several years. In 1886 he relinquished his position briefly and then continued until 1898. The Sherman post office was not discontinued until Nov 15, 1905, by most accounts. The only marked Sherman grave in the Sherman Cemetery is that of:   ‘Dear Mother of S S Sherman; Nov 1, 1805-Jan 3, 1898’. ) 

Sherman: (Edit:  The Sherman Cemetery Association, Articles of Incorporation were file Oct 4, 1892. Signatures on this document are: Andrew J Stigenwalt, Henry F Warren, Charlie F Blackfan, Hubert Wynhoff and Geo W Sherman. Page 251 of Misc. 2 in Lincoln Co Auditor’s office.** Our Saviour’s Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sherman, Almira and Wilbur was filed July 12, 1899 with 3 trustees: H M Hansen, of Wilbur, DC K Weismann of Almira, and John Martin of Sherman. Interesting document, found in Lincoln Co Auditor’s Misc. B page 90.)

Shufelt:  Billy Shufelt has been gone from Wilbur many years but he and his wife are not forgotten by old-time Wilburites.  He was not only a homesteader, but was connected with the Big Bend Land company which did a flourishing business for many years. He was in the employ of that company at the time of his death about six years ago.”

Simons:  “Coyotes roamed the prairies and Indians rode single file over the Big Vend trails when George Simons and his brother, Frank, came to Washington Territory from California in 1880 in search of a suitable place to locate. They brought their families in 1881. George worked for the Northern Pacific at Cheney for a time and his wife cooked for the crew. They had one infant son, Will, who now says he was the real boss of the road crew as there were few white children in the region then. In 1883 George homesteaded seven miles north of Creston in the Brents territory, housing his family for a time in a tent, later in a log cabin. Indians were frequent visitors at their home but were friendly and pleased with their hospitality. Mrs Simons was  a remarkable pioneer personality. One of the hardships to be endured was the constant fear of rattlesnakes. On one occasion she found one in the cabin and had to drive a team and wagon, taking her small children with her, to the nearest neighbors, the Ziglers, two miles away. A niece of the Zigler’s, Lily Dayton, returned with her and the two women killed the reptile. Mr and Mrs Simons were the parents of 16 children, 14 of whom reached maturity. Mrs Hilary Kunz is the youngest of the family.  Will Simons recalls that he first went to school in a dugout about two miles from his father’s place on the Connett Newbill ranch, which is now owned by Charles Robertson. His schoolmates included the five Carpenter boys, Roy and Mabel Blackfan, Clarence Emerson and Luella Simons, who is now Mrs Grinstead of Opportunity. Miss Alice Harvey was the teacher.  George Simons served his neighbors one winter by carrying mail on skis from old Ft Spokane to Brents, a distance of 15 miles. The pioneers who were at Condon’s ranch then also got their mail at Brents. Mr and Mrs Simons died several years ago, leaving a fine family to carry on for them. Pictured above are the father and fifteen of his children, as follows: Back row, left to right, Mamie, Jeannett, Elmer, Ernest.  Second row, George, Fasco, Roscoe, Milton. Third row, Harry Carrie, Mr Simons, Olive, Will. Front row, Chester, Violet.”  (The Sherman Cemetery has a large listing of Simons burials, among which are George H Simons {1851-1913} and Elizabeth Jennett Apperson Simons {1859-1902}.)

Smart:  “The pioneer homesteader that inspired a national movement was W J Smart, father of Mrs John Bruce Dodds, Spokane, who was the originator of Fathers Day.  Mr Smart located on land a few miles east of here in 1887, the place now being occupied by Carl Hansen. He retired from farming in a few years and bought considerable town property and built several houses in Wilbur in the nineties. His latter years were spent at Spokane with Mrs Dodds.  Mr Smart’s stepson, J J Billingsley, who came with him to this region, was too young to homestead at first, but later took 80 acres adjoining his grandfather, Christopher Billingsley’s homestead where the senior Billingsley settled in 1887. Mr Billingsley now owns and lives on the grandfather’s homestead.”  (Edit:  Christopher Billingsley was born in 1810 and died in 1891 with burial in Wilbur Cemetery.  His tombstone is shared with Levesta Ann Billingsley, born 1814 and died 1899.  J Jesse Billingsley was born in 1872 and died in 1962.) 

Smith:  George E Smith settled seven miles northeast of here in 1890. His up-to-date farming methods attracted the attention of agricultural colleges and of the Washington Farmer. He was also noted for his splendid string of mules. He died soon after retiring several years ago.” 

Smith:  “(From Register, June 28, 1934) On July 21, Miss Mildred Smith, daughter of Northern Pacific Agent N A Smith and wife of Wilbur, will leave for Chicago to see the Century of Progress Fair, the guest of the Ipana toothpaste company. She was adjudged one of the three prettiest ‘smile’ girls in the country by the toothpaste concern and the firm will underwrite all her expenses to the fair. Miss Mildred will be accompanied by her mother to Chicago.  At the fair she will compete with the other two girls similarly honored, one from Virginia, the other from California, and if successful will continue to New York for a visit to the nation’s metropolis. Miss Smith is to be congratulated for the honor she has brought to Wilbur in the nation-wide contest. She has been an outstanding student at Washington State College and recently announced her betrothal to Tom Collins, of Everett, the marriage to take place next summer.”  (photo included in original)

Spangle:  “Mr and Mrs John Spangle homesteaded in 1887 in the Tipso region, northwest of town. Later they owned and operated the Liberty Theatre. Ed Spangle, brother of John, homesteaded in the same territory, and later retired to live in Almira. Their uncle founded the town of Spangle. Mr and Mrs John Spangle now own a prune orchard in California. Neighbors of the Spangle’s in the early days were the families of Edward Peterman, Sam Humphrey, J B Smith, J Henry Smith, Frank Roberts, Alex Roberts, Jack White and James White.  Also in that neighborhood was John Klobucher, who came in as a cook for the Northern Pacific crew while they were building the line to Wilbur. He saved his money and homesteaded.  Not so far away was the William Hurlburt family who came in 1884. The land they claimed is now owned by Et Geib and is located on the Wilbur-Grand Coulee highway. George Nash was in the same region by 1889. he married Miss Clara LaFollette who took a pre-emption in the same locality in 1889.” 

Squire:  Fred B Squire lived in Wilbur for several years at the close of his life, but his homesteading period was spent one-half mile from Almira, having located there in 1889, three years after he came to Washington Territory.  He worked in the Palouse and Walla Walla wheat harvests to earn enough to improve his homestead claim. He also worked as a clerk in J C Keller’s store and dealt in real estate. Mr Squire eventually acquired a large acreage some of which was orchard land on the Columbia in the region soon to be flooded. IN 1902 he was elected clerk of Lincoln County and several years later was re-elected to the same office. His eldest son, Herman, lives in Spokane. Other children are Albert, Wilbur; Mrs Jess Helseth, Spokane; Mrs Wayne Sparks and Fred Squire, San Francisco.”  (Edit: Five Squire burials occurred in the Wilbur Cemetery, though two have no records in city hall. Herman Squire was born Aug 20, 1893 and died July 16, 1990, with no records. His wife Ella was born in 1895 and died in 1924. Albert V Squire was born Jan 19, 1898 and died Nov 22, 1996; his wife Lela was born Jan 4, 1900 and died Dec 23, 1972.)

Stambaugh:  Isaah Stambaugh, deceased, located between Wilbur and Creston in 1882, and later made Creston his home. He died there several years ago.  Of a family of several children, three are in Lincoln County—Mrs Fred McKay and Otis Stambaugh at Creston and Mrs T H Hale at Wilson Creek. Soon after Isaah settled here his brother, George, also homesteaded and in the latter 80’s he and his wife established the first bakery in Wilbur. They later put in a general merchandise stock and Mrs Stambaugh became our first milliner. She also taught a subscription school. Their daughter is Mrs H M Robinson, wife of a missionary in China, and their son, Guy, once in the United States Department of Agriculture offices in Washington, D C, is a livestock farmer in Montana.”

Stauffer:  “Mr and Mrs W E Stauffer, parents of Reuben and Chester Stauffer, came to the Tom Walters region in March of 1893.  Mrs Stauffer was left a widow two years later but carried on with her small sons to help her. She worked in the field because the boys were too young to carry the load alone. The mother survived the frontier life and reached the age of 70 when she died 19 years ago. She had a daughter, Mary Cochran, of Medical Lake, and another son, Will Stauffer, deceased.”  {Edit:  William E Stauffer was born in June 23, 1854 and died Nov 4, 1895 from la grippe. Margaret Ann Stauffer was born in 1850 and died in 1920. Wilbert W Stauffer was born in 1884 and died in 1926. Chester was born in 1879 and died in 1950. Reuben was born in 1882 and died in 1960. Each was buried in the Wilbur Cemetery. William E Stauffer, burial in 1895 occurred in the Wheatridge/Fairview Cemetery, and was removed in 1920 to be re-interred with his wife Margaret. The tombstone at Wheatridge is four-sided and each person was buried apparently in a cross style. Lizzie and Elizabeth were sisters-in-law; infant John was the son of Samuel; and William was the brother of Samuel. Those graves remain in Wheatridge.  William Stauffer’s parents were Jacob Reesor Stauffer (Aug 8, 1828-Mar 19, 1914) and Maria Sandborn (Oct 18, 1853-Aig 1. 1918). Jacob and Maria were buried at Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada. Jacob and Maria had 5 known children: William, Nancy, Margaret, Samuel and Elizabeth.  The estate of Margaret Stauffer was reported in the 5-14-1920 news with Chas F & Wm W Stauffer as administrators.}

Steffey:    B F Steffey was born in Virginia in 1863. In early life he mastered the operation of saw mills, and in 1889 he emigrated to Washington and settled on a farm near Creston. In addition to operating the farm he devoted his time to drilling wells.  He also cut wood and hauled it 11 miles at $2.50 per cord in order to buy provisions. His wife was also a native of Virginia, and this couple were popular in the Creston community.”  (Wilbur Register: Golden Jubilee)  B F Steffey was born June 18, 1863 to Benjamin F and Nancy (Snavely) Steffey.  In 1887 Mr Steffey married Miss Margaret A, daughter of Henry and Elizabeth Widner, natives of Virginia. Mrs Steffey was born in 1870.  B F and Margaret Steffey were parents to the following children: Josephine, William Henry, Myrtle R, Nannie E and Lily. (details from 1904 History of Big Bend-p.309)

Stevenson:  “A family that lived here in the 90’s was that of the late Sam Stevenson, who established the historic Stevenson ferry. The widow, who survives, has been postmaster at Barry continuously for 46 years. Their family of several children is widely scattered.” (Edit:  Sanford Stevenson was born in 1845 and died in 1922. His wife, Rebecca was born in 1856 and died in 1947. They were buried in the Wilbur Cemetery.)

Stigenwalt:  Another family of distinction in that (Sherman) vicinity was the Stigenwalt Brothers who were active in the R L McCook GAR Post.  They also built a large house for that period.”  (Edit: Lewis Stigenwalt was born in 1867 and died in 1926; F Clyde was born in 1871 and died in 1926; Eltis Elzy was born 1869 and died 1902. Their father, Andrew was born April 24, 1839 and died June 30, 1913; and his wife, Samantha B was born Oct 12, 1836 and died Sept 17, 1897. These burials occurred in the Sherman Cemetery.)

Stookey:  Alfred Stookey came to this region in 1882 and settled a few miles southeast of here. His first wife died during the pioneer days and in the early part of this century he married Miss Alice Neal, sister of Judge Neal, pioneer attorney of Sprague and Davenport. His children were by his former marriage and their whereabouts are unknown, except that one son, Benton, and the widow are at Olympia.  Allen Stookey, brother to Alfred, located in the same territory in 1883. He was also an early day carpenter, skillful and exact in his work. His son, Will, is now in Spokane; a son, Seth, is deceased; and his daughter, Mrs Nola White lives in Wilbur. Two daughters are deceased, Mrs Chris Alderson and Mrs Carrie Howell. A third brother, Thomas Stookey, came in 1901. His widow died recently. City Marshal Frank Stookey is a son and Mrs Bernetta Reinbold a daughter. Another son, Kerus, operated the farm with his father, but now resides in Spokane. Two other daughters are Miss Loma, a graduate nurse in New York City, and Miss Maude, of Wilbur.” 

Stuart:  Julius L Stuart came to Wilbur in 1891 to have charge of the hardware department in the Hay store. He held that position until he moved to Wilson Creek in 1902.  His wife’s health was such that she could not take an active part in social activities, but Mr Stuart and his daughters, Nina and Natalie, were leaders. He  served as commander of the R L McCook GAR post.  Miss Nina was a piano instructor before she married Roland J Reeves, and Miss Natalie left Wilbur when she became the bride of A A Goldsmith.  The other daughter, Miss Marie, was  a retiring home personality and the son has been dead many years. Mrs Reeves is our city librarian and Mrs Goldsmith and Miss Marie live at Mabton.” 


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

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

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