Towns of Lincoln County, Washington

                                                                Submitted by Rella Gleaton

 

Origins, establishments, platting and naming.

ALMIRA, west of Davenport in west central Lincoln County, was founded in 1889, and named Davisine, for Charles C. Davis.  Mr. Davis owned the site and was the first merchant in the area. Later he sold part of his interest to Mr. Rodgers and Mr. Reed, who wanted to establish a town site. When signing the deed, Rodgers and Reed noticed that Almira was Mrs Davis’ first name and thus named the new town. Another story says the name of Mrs. Davis was chosen for the town by the chief engineer of the Northern Pacific Railway when Mr. Davis sold him a right-of-way across the property.  

BLUESTEM, south of Harrington in east Lincoln County, was platted in the early 1890s by Ulysses Sheridan Long who named it Moscow. The settlers later changed its name for the main wheat species raised in the area. A post office was established in 1906 and used until 1951. 

BRENTS, south of the Columbia River north of Creston in north central Lincoln County had a post office established in 1882, which was closed when a post office was established at Creston in 1890. Named for Judge Thomas H. Brents,  a local land owner  who was a territorial delegate to Congress in 1884 through 1887. A former name was Brent's Country.

CHAMOKANE creek begins southwest of Springdale in south central Stevens County, flowing east and southeast to the Spokane River between Long Lake and Little Falls. The eastern boundary of the Spokane Indian Reservation is defined by its southern course. The present name and an earlier name, Tshimakain, means "plain of the springs" in the Spokane Indian language. There was a post office at Chamokane from 1907 to 1911.

CRESTON, west of Spokane and south of the Columbia River in north central Lincoln County, was named by railroad personnel in 1889.  Its elevation of 2,462 ft. was the highest point or the crest on the route of the Central Washington Railroad. Before the railroad was built, the town name was Benson. The plat for the town was filed June 19, 1890, with incorporation on April 20, 1903. It became known in the county as the place where Harry Tracy, one of the Northwest's most notorious outlaws, met his death in  1902.(see Tracy story)

DAVENPORT, in the Big Bend Country west of Spokane in north central Lincoln County is the county seat.  Founded by a settler named Harry Harker, in 1880, he called it Cottonwood Springs. Other names were Harker's Place, Cottonwood, and Cottonwood Creek.  In 1881 John and Emma Nichols established the first building on Harker Street, which housed the post office, hotel , store and their residence.  J . C. Davenport of Cheney started a store on the hill above in 1881, calling it Davenport. In 1882, when the settlement was destroyed by fire, the people moved to Cottonwood Springs and changed the name to Davenport where they incorporated June 9, 1890. The Northern Pacific Railroad arrived in 1889.

DOWNS, southwest of Harrington in south central Lincoln County, was platted by Howard S. Amon on January 14, 1902 and named for P. I. Downs, assistant general superintendent of the Great Northern Railway Company.  Downs was killed in a train wreck in 1901.  

EARL, northwest of Harrington in central Lincoln County, was named for the first white settler, Robert Earl who arrived there in 1882. In 1884 a post office was established and given Mr. Earl's name. An orphan born in Illinois in 1835, he immigrated in 1846 to Linn County, Oregon. Farming in both Oregon and California before coming to Lincoln County, he raised wheat and was post master for many years. (Robert was born in Illinois in 1835 to Joseph Earl Sr. and Margaret Gibson Earl. The Earl family decided to come to Oregon Territory in 1845 with the Hackleman wagon train. Robert was the youngest of _*10*_ children. 2 Sisters, married remained in the East, never traveling to Oregon. Robert's Dad died on the trail to Oregon Territory in 1845. The Earl's stayed in Linnton, Oregon territory over winter in 1845. His brother William Earl, staked out claims in Linn county, OT shortly after arrival. In the early spring of 1846, the Earl family headed south to work their claims. Robert's Mother died due to a fall with her horse in *1850* and is buried on Knox Butte, Linn county, Oregon Territory. Details of those 5 wagon trains traveling in 1845 can be found in "the Brazen Overlanders of 1845". Robert Earl Bio appears on page 336 "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington", published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904. Robert was the youngest of a family of *10*, not 12. His wife's name is spelling many many ways. Robert Earl established and ran the post office from Oct 28, 1884 - March 20, 1892 (confirmed at Family search site). Robert was 15 by the time his mother died. He had been to the gold fields in California twice. He continued to work the claim established for his Mother. Upon reaching 21, Robert & Lourana married in 1852. When Robert turned 21, he and his brother William took care of the land paperwork. Use this link, go down to Earl, Robert, you will find a descendant posted a picture of Robert and his wife Lourana http://www.oregonpioneers.com/1845.htmAvis Reddaway  Salem, OR)

EDWALL, in the Big Bend country east of Harrington in east central Lincoln County, was named for Peter Edwall, an 1881 pioneer. The town was platted by him on May 19, 1892 and a post office established then which is still used.  

EGYPT, a region west of the Spokane River north of Davenport in northeast Lincoln County, is still known for miles around as Egypt country.. It was named by John Inkster, a seafaring man and world traveler, who thought it resembled portions of Egypt. A post office was established in 1892 and discontinued in 1910.

FAIRWEATHER, a community east of Davenport in northeast Lincoln County, was platted by John W. Still and William F. Hooker on September 23, 1882.  When the Northern Pacific Railway’s Pend Oreille division was in operation, H. W. Fairweather was associated with the company.  Fairweather as a town did not succeed and the town of Reardan was platted on the site In June of 1889. Its post office was used from 1881 until 1894. 

FISHTRAP, a 3-mile-long lake is northeast of Sprague in southeast Lincoln and southwest Spokane counties, was named for fish traps that Indians operated there in the early days. Other names are Fish Lake and Deep Lake. At Fishtrap a post office was established in 1906 continuing for 30 years until 1936.

FORT SPOKANE, at the mouth of the Spokane Rifer and situated on the Columbia River, was established in 1880 as Camp Spokane.  In 1882 it became a permanent post, growing with over 45 structures and was renamed Fort Spokane.  It was officially abandoned  in 1899 when the troops were called to fight in the Spanish-American War.

GOVAN, a farming community west of Spokane in northwest Lincoln County, was established as a railroad station in 1889 and on June 24, 1899, tens years later, it was platted  by Carrie Hesseltine as a town site. It was named for R. B. Govan, a construction engineer employed by Washington Central Railroad. In 1898, before the town was platted, it had a post office, which was ultimately closed in 1967.

GRAVELLE, southeast of Davenport in east central Lincoln County, was named for Alfred Gravelle who was born in 1854 in Montreal, Canada and came to the U. S. with his parents in 1865.   He arrived in Lincoln county in the late 1870s where he farmed.  On the former Seattle and Lake Shore Railway, this was sometimes known as Gravelle Station. The post office lasted but two years, from 1890 to 1892.

HARRINGTON, still is a prosperous wheat growing town in the Big Bend country southwest of Davenport in southeast Lincoln County. In 1879 this site was claimed as a homestead by Adam Luby.  Named for W. P. Harrington of Colusa County, California, a banker and land speculator who purchased 1,500 acres of land in 1883, with a Seattle banker Jacob Furth. Platted by Horace and Emily Cutter. The town was incorporated April 17 1902. In 1892 the Great Northern Railroad was built through the area.

HELLGATE, was situated near the Columbia River, 40 miles northwest of Davenport, 12 miles north of Wilbur,  the water rushed through a rock gorge, making a spectacular scene. A post office was established in 1898, lasting until 1914.  Hellgate is one of the small towns now covered by the back waters of Grand Coulee Dam creating the Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake.

HESSELTINE, six miles north of Wilbur in Lincoln county, was named for homesteader E. A. Hesseltine who raised wheat.  Hesseltine, became Wilbur's city attorney and police judge for many years, establishing the Wilbur Library in 1901.

IRBY is located on Crab Creek west of Odessa in southwest Lincoln County. Established as a ranch by John Irby in 1878, it was first called Irby's Ranch. The Irby family first immigrated from Tennessee in 1852 to the Vancouver area.  Ira Irby, a stock raiser and stock buyer, once served in the territorial legislature. (See our Ira Irby biography) When the property sold later to a company that set up a warehouse, the  name of the original owner was maintained

LAMONA, east of Odessa in south central Lincoln County, was established in 1890-91 by J. M. Newland when he opened a store there . When J. H. Lamona bought Newland's store in 1892 the name was changed.

LINCOLN, was originally located on the south bank of the Columbia River near the confluence of the  Spokane River.  Established in 1912, in 1939 the post office was terminated when this small town was flooded out by the placement of Grand Coulee dam.  The lumber mill near the original town relocated to the present site above the flooded site and it flourishes today with a new housing development.  It was named for Lincoln County.  

LITTLE FALLS, a tribal fishing area located on the Spokane River in Lincoln County, which were covered by water after the construction of Little Falls Dam in 1910 by a power company for crucial utilities.

LOTT, previously located on the Spokane River near the old DeTillion Bridge in north central Lincoln County, had a post office from 1902 through 1910. It was primarily a stage station with a road house on the route between Davenport and Hunters, in Stephens county. It was named for a well-known, local Indian resident.

MILES is located on the Spokane River two miles from its confluence with the Columbia River in north central Lincoln County.   In 1939, when the nearby town of Lincoln was flooded by Grand Coulee Dam,  most of its population moved to Miles, where a post office was established.  Named for Gen. Nelson A. Miles, U.S. army officer and Spanish-American war hero who commanded the military Department of the Columbia, Gen Miles was noted for accepting the surrender of Chief Joseph, leader of the Nez Perce, at Bear Paw, Montana, October 4, 1877, ending the Nez Perce War. There was a ferry at Miles on the Spokane River.

MOHLER, southwest of Harrington in southern Lincoln County, was named for Morgan Mohler, an early-day stage driver before the many railroads came into the region. It was established in 1895 and added a post office which lasted until 1964.

MONDOVI, a small community east of Davenport in northeast Lincoln County, was named by Elihu B. Gifford in 1881 when a post office was established. Moving from Mondovi, Wisconsin in May of 1878, Gifford came by wagon train to Spokane with about 40 others, later moving to this new settlement in Lincoln County. Gifford was also instrumental in naming Mondovi, Wisconsin for a town in northwest Italy, where in 1796, the French general Napoleon defeated Sardinian forces.

ODESSA, southwest of Davenport in southwest Lincoln County, was founded  by German immigrants who came from southern Russia in 1886. The name was given by railroad officials for Odessa on the Black Sea, because of the many settlers from Russia. Odessa was incorporated September 25, 1902.  

OMANS, a railroad siding in Lincoln County south east of Davenport, was constructed in 1900 as a wheat shipping point on land owned by a Mr. G. Oman.

PEACH, located at the mouth of Hawk Creek  on the Columbia River in north central Lincoln County, it was named for the many prosperous peach, pear, plum, apricot, apple and cherry orchards in the vicinity that were irrigated by Hawk Creek.  Originally called Orchard Valley, it was established February 11, 1898.  Fruit production began around 1900 and by 1917 there were 40 families.  One of a dozen towns flooded out by the placement of Grand Coulee Dam the on Columbia River, the citizens were bought out circa 1938. 

REARDAN, east of Davenport in northeast Lincoln County was originally named Capps or Capp's Place, for J. S. Capps, on whose land the post office was located. The town was renamed for the construction engineer, C. F. Reardon,  of the Central Washington branch of the North Pacific Railroad, the first railroad through Reardan.  It was June 13, 1889 when Mr. and Mrs. George A Fellows platted the town .

RIVER HOMES, on the Spokane River across from the mouth of Sand Creek in northeast Lincoln County,  is not shown on more recent maps. The community had a post office from 1911 to 1928.  At one time it consisted of orchards.

ROCKLYN, west of Davenport in central Lincoln County, is on the edge of a rough, rocky area which extends fifteen miles northwest to Creston. The name is for the town's location in the channel scablands of the area.  

SEATON'S FERRY, located near the northwest corner of Lincoln  County, was established circa 1908 and operated for many years by Sam Seaton.  It was propelled by the current pushing against its angled side.  Seaton sold the ferry and his lands for the Grand Coulee Dam site. Seaton received mail here from 1915 to 1919. 

SEVEN BAYS, north of Hawk Creek and south of Fort Spokane, is on the Columbia River.  A marina, a public boat launch, golf course and restaurant, make this newly developed area, with a new housing subdivision, a popular recreation area.

SHERMAN, northeast of Wilbur on Goose Creek in northwest Lincoln County, was named for the first postmaster, George W. Sherman, on whose land the town was located. Appointed postmaster on August 24, 1886, he served for fourteen years. Coming to Lincoln County in 1881, he had a large farm and was the leading merchant of the community

SPRAGUE, east of Colville Lake, now called Sprague Lake, southwest of Spokane in southeast Lincoln County. The first settler i the area was Patrick K Cumasky in 1869. An earlier name was Hoodooville, for a local character nicknamed Hoodoo Billy Burrow. Sprague was incorporated November 28, 1883. It was named by the Northern Pacific railroad for Gen. John W. Sprague, director of the railway, and general manager of the railroad's western division, who had served as Mayor of Tacoma. A few weeks after his death in December 1893, General Sprague was awarded the Medal of Honor on January 1894, for his battle courage and leadership at Decatur, Georgia, on July 22, 1862 when the 63rd Ohio Infantry of which he was colonel, defeated the enemy. The town has declined from the boom period during the days of railroad construction in the 1880s when the railroad made it their division headquarters.

SPRAGUE LAKE, between Sprague in southeast Lincoln County and Keystone in northeast Adams County, is six miles long  from the southwest to the northeast and is being fed by Cow Creek.  Formerly called Colville Lake and Lake Colville, the Indian name was Silkatkwu. In 1954, the USBGN approved the present name.  

TELFORD, a small community a north of Davenport in central Lincoln County, was named for M. A. Telford, a rancher. A post office was established on July 4, 1909. This railroad station has been known both as Telford and Fellows.  G. S. Fellow, of the Northern Pacific Railroad was an agent at Chelan and the station was called Fellows from 1890 to September 1916.

WAUKON, south of Reardan in east central Lincoln County, was named by railroad officials when the Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway was built although the name of origin is unknown.  In Aug 1894, W. L. Walker settled here, establishing a post office and a general merchandise store.

WILBUR, west of Spokane on Goose Creek in northwest Lincoln County, was founded in 1887 by Samuel Wilbur Condit.  Goosetown, the first name given, was for Sam Condit's nickname, Wild Goose Bill, and was the name of his trading post. The story goes that he shot a flock of geese he thought were wild geese, killing the neighbor's pets. Incorporated on August 11, 1890, the name was changed to Wilbur for Condit’s middle name. The Northern Pacific Railroad was laid through here in  1889. The first disastrous fire was October 1891 and the second on July 5, 1901, but the town rebuilt after both.

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 Towns of Lincoln county, Washington submitted by 

Rella Gleaton, to the WAGenWeb January 05, 2009.

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