John Anderson, a substantial farmer and successful dairyman, is owner of a well kept place in Mountain View township, near Ferndale, where he has been since 1890, a period of more than a third of a century. When he settled there the highway into that district had not been established and he had to haul his stuff in over the old woods trail on a sledge, his wife walking behind. His initial investment in land proved profitable, for he is a good farmer, and after he cleared the land and brought the place under cultivation he raised grain crops running to one hundred and fifty bushels to the acre, so rich was the virgin soil on that timber tract. By later purchase Mr. Anderson added to his holdings until now he is the owner of a fine place of one hundred acres and is recognized as one of the substantial men of the community.
Mr. Anderson was born in the Allund district of Finland, October 17, 1859, and is a son of Andrew Lindquist and Breta Humber, also natives of Finland. The former was a well-to-do farmer, the proprietor of a place of six hundred acres, and they spent all their lives in that country. When thirteen years of age John Anderson, son of Andrew and Breta, "took to the sea" and for fifteen years was thereafter employed as a sailor, sailing the seven seas and during that time visiting every important port in the world. In 1887 he came to the United States, Michigan being his objective. Six months later he went to Wisconsin but not finding things to his liking there came on to the coast and located at Seattle, where he was employed as a bridge carpenter for three years and where, in December, 1890, he was married. Earlier in that year he had bought a "forty" in the woods in Whatcom county, a tract adjoining that on which he now makes his home, and immediately after their marriage he and his wife came in to take possession of this place and establish their home on it. There still were bears and other wild animals in the woods at that time and while they were getting the house in order it was no uncommon thing for a bear or a wildcat to come uncomfortably close as if investigating what was going on. After he cleared and improved that place Mr. Anderson bought an adjoining tract of twenty acres and later purchased the tract of thirty acres on which his present comfortable home is located. He also acquired another tract, bringing his present holdings up to one hundred acres, most of which is cleared and developed. Of late years Mr. Anderson has been giving his attention principally to dairying and he has an excellent herd of Jerseys and Holsteins, besides fifteen head or more of fine horses. The poultry industry also has attracted him and he has about a hundred chickens on the place. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson are members of the Mennonite church and have ever given their interested attention to the church work and other good works. They are independent in their political views but stand for progress in local civic affairs.
On December 20, 1890, in Seattle, Mr. Anderson and Minna Lundber were united in marriage. Mrs. Anderson is a native of Finland, born in the same district as her husband. She has two brothers, both former sea captains, and a sister still living in the old country. Her parents, Leander and Eva (Berkleund) Lundber, spent all their lives in their home country. Her father was captain of his own sailing vessel in coastwise service in the Baltic and in the gulfs. To Mr. and Mrs. Anderson two sons were born, John Felix and Charles Enor. The latter was graduated from the Ferndale high school and is now assisting in the operation of his father's farms. John Felix Anderson, who died on a railway train, September 8, 1923, while serving as a postal clerk on the run between Seattle and Blaine, had been engaged in the railway mail service for eleven years. He was born in 1893 and was graduated from the Bellingham high school when fifteen years of age, one of the most alert students in the history of that school. In 1922 he married Miss Ella Hefland, who survives him.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 825-826.
The office of biography is not to give voice to a man's modest estimate of himself and his accomplishments, but rather to leave upon the record the verdict establishing his character by the consensus of opinion on the part of his neighbors and fellow citizens. The life of John Axling, one of the early pioneers and successful farmers of Whatcom county, has been such as to elicit just praise from those who know him best, and today he stands as a creditable representative of one of our greatly respected old families. Mr. Axling is a native of Sweden, born February 3, 1868, and is a son of Peter and Sophia (Wall) Axling, also natives of Sweden. They came to the United States in 1869, stopping in New York, where the father was employed as a blacksmith for three years. In 1872 they went to South Dakota and took up a homestead in Union county, of which locality they were pioneers. They lived there until 1889, when they came to Lynden, Whatcom county, and bought one hundred and sixty acres in Delta township, known as the Jim Bertrand homestead. Twenty acres of the land was cleared and from the fact that this was the largest clearing in that entire neighborhood at that time, it was called "Bertrand Prairie." Here the father and his sons went to work at the tremendous task of clearing more land, clearing about two-thirds of the tract, and here the parents spent the remainder of their lives, the father dying February 23, 1923, and the mother February 4, 1915. To this worthy couple were born seven children, John, Philip, Mrs. Lydia Blomquist, Mrs. Mary Erickson, Conrad R., Joseph, who lives in Oregon, and Mrs. Edith Axlund.
John Axling received his education in the public schools of South Dakota and remained at home assisting in the development and cultivation of the home farm. he is now the owner of sixty-one acres of good land, forty-five acres in cultivation. He milks fourteen cows, all good grade Guernseys, and keeps about six hundred laying hens. The cultivated land is devoted mainly to hay, grain and pasture, and, under his able management, yields bounteous crops from year to year. The farm is well improved in every respect and Mr. Axling has gained a well deserved reputation as a capable, up-to-date farmer. He is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and the Whatcom County Poultry Association, in both of which he is a stockholder. He has taken a deep interest in local public affairs and has served as a member of the delta school board for sixteen years, in which position he has rendered effective service for education. In 1912 he was elected township clerk and has served in that office continuously to the present time. He has also served as assessor during that same period. He has been an earnest advocate of good roads and has built a number of the highways in his district of Delta township. He has been a witness of and participant in the wonderful transformation which has taken place and is deservedly proud of the part which he has taken in the development of the locality.
Mr. Axling has twice been married, first in March, 1908, to Miss Viola Johnson, to which union on March 30, 1909, was born a son, Hilmer L., now a student in the Lynden high school. At the recent Northwest Washington fair he was high point man in cattle judging having judged four different breeds of cows. He also went as a member of a stock judging team to the State Agricultural College, at Pullman. Mrs. Axling died April 5, 1909, only a few days after the birth of her son, and in August, 1910, Mr. Axling was married to Miss Clara Peterson, who was born in Kansas, a daughter of P. A. and Christina (Jonson) Peterson. Her parents, natives of Sweden, came to the United States in 1869 and located in Brooklyn, New York, where they remained a year. In 1870 they went to Kansas, settling in McPherson county, where the father took up a homestead and timber claim, and also bought a tract of railroad land, being a pioneer in that locality. He applied himself closely and successfully to the operation of that land, and lived there until his death, January 8, 1913. His wife had passed away a number of years previously, on September 30, 1891. They were the parents of six children: Mrs. Mary Swelander, Mrs. Esther Hegberg, Mrs. Clara Axling, Mrs. Margaret Lindgren, and two who died in infancy. Mr Axling is a public-spirited citizen and withholds his cooperation from no movement which is intended to promote improvement in the community or better the public welfare. His methods have ever been progressive and he does not hesitate to adopt new ideas which he is convinced will be of practical value in his work. Owing to his close application to his business, his honorable methods and his splendid personality, he has attained a high place in the esteem and regard of his fellow citizens throughout his section of the county.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 801-802.
CHARLES H. BARRETT
The men who push forward the wheels of progress are those for whom satisfaction lies ever in the future and who labor continuously, finding in each transition stage an incentive to further effort. Charles H. barrett, well known farmer of Ferndale township, is one whose well-directed and persistent efforts have gained for him a position of prominence in the locality honored by his residence. He was born at Benton Harbor, Michigan, on the 9th of October, 1867, and is a son of Charles and Caroline (Wolcott) Barrett, the former a native of New York state and the latter born in Derinda, Illinois. The father went to Michigan in 1851, when sixteen years of age, and located at Benton Harbor, of which locality he was a pioneer. He secured a tract of land, clearing off sixty-five acres of heavy timber, and lived there until 1869, when he went to Illinois. Three years later he bought one hundred and seventy-one acres of land in Rush township, Jo Daviess county, Illinois, and there developed a fine homestead and remained until 1905, when he came to Bellingham, Washington, with his son. His death occurred here October 3, 1907, and he was survived by his widow, whose death, occurred in April, 1919. Of the twelve children who blessed the union of this worthy couple, seven are now living: Mary Ellen, Charles H., Eliza Ann, George N., Clarence A., Orpha and Aura.
Charles H. Barrett was educated in the public schools of Illinois and remained at home until about 1893, when he went to Nebraska and located on a ranch. After a year he sold it and went to Iowa, locating on a farm near Laurens, where he remained until December, 1905. He then came to Whatcom county and in the spring of 1906 bought fifty-one acres of land on the Blaine highway, in Ferndale township. The tract was practically all covered with stumps and brush, but he exerted energetic efforts and soon began to get the land under the plow. He now has about half of the acreage cleared, and he raises fine crops of beans, potatoes and berries. He also keeps from eight to ten good cows and about fifteen hundred laying hens. He has worked hard since coming to this farm but has been rewarded with very satisfactory returns and is numbered among the prosperous and enterprising farmers of Ferndale township. In 1911 Mr. Barrett erected a well arranged, modern and comfortable residence and in 1919 built a substantial and commodious barn. He has the best of equipment for use in all departments of his farm work.
On March 6, 1890, Mr. Barrett was married to Miss Mattie Way, who was born and reared in Illinois, a daughter of G. D. and Elizabeth (Unthank) Way. Her paternal grandfather was a physician and was a pioneer of the state of Indiana. Jonathan Unthank, her maternal grandfather, was a Quaker minister at Fountain City, Indiana and was also engaged in the mercantile business there before the Civil war. He took an active part in the pre-war efforts to free the slaves, and he also assisted Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe in shaping the story of "Uncle Tom's Cabin." G. D. Way was a farmer in Illinois, where he spent practically his entire life, retiring a few years before his death, which occurred at Stockton, that state, in 1906. His widow died in California about 1908. They were the parents of ten children, five of whom are now living: Mattie, Mrs. W. M. Sprowl, W. M., F. R. and Josephine. To Mr. and Mrs. Barrett have been born six children: Rola, who is a graduate of the Ferndale high school and of the State Normal School at Bellingham, is now teaching in the Ferndale schools; Hazel became the wife of W. L. Willey and is the mother of two children - Kenneth, born December 12, 1919; and Dorothy, born August 16, 1921. Bernice, who was graduated from the Ferndale high school and the State Normal School, taught for five years and is now the wife of D. C. Wootton; Harley F. is a high school graduate. Wilbur, also a graduate of the high school, earned a scholarship and is now attending the State Agricultural College at Pullman. Cecille is now in high school.
Mr. Barrett has always been a strong friend of education and an earnest advocate of good roads. he was mainly instrumental in securing the establishment of a high school at Ferndale and in many other ways has shown a deep interest in the welfare and advancement of the community. He and his wife are members of the Grange and he is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and the Whatcom County Poultry Association. Mr. Barrett is a good business man, energetic and progressive, and bears a high reputation throughout the community as a substantial man of affairs and a public-spirited citizen. he is affable and friendly in manner and has a large circle of loyal friends.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 131-132.
PAUL F. BIEHLE
By a life consistent in motive and action and because of his many commendable personal qualities, Paul F. Biehle, of Nooksack township, has earned the sincere regard of all who know him. He comes from an ancestry that distinguished itself in this country's service, and in his own career he has exemplified the essential elements of good citizenship, standing at all times for all that is best in community life. Mr. Biehle is a native of Nebraska, born on the 28th of April, 1888, and is a son of C. W. and Minnie (Provitz) Biehle, the father a native of Wisconsin and the mother of Nebraska. The subject's grandfathers on both sides were veterans of the Civil war, having fought with the Union forces, and later both took up homesteads in Stanton county, Nebraska, of which locality they were pioneers. His paternal grandparents both died in that state. C. W. Biehle went to Nebraska in 1863, when but eleven years of age, and lived there until 1891, when he came to Washington, settling on thirty-four acres of land which he bought near Strandell, about one mile south of Everson, in Nooksack township. The land was covered with timber and brush, but he went to work clearing it and in the course of time created a good farm, on which he lived until March, 1921, when he retired and moved to a small farm in Everson. To him and his wife were born five children, namely: Arthur, Mrs. Ella Provitz, Paul F., Hugo, deceased, and Otto. An adopted son, Johnnie, died July 30, 1924. Otto Biehle enlisted for service in the World war in September, 1917, and was sent overseas in the following month, serving there until May, 1919, as a member of the Twentieth Engineer Corps.
Paul F. Biehle received his education in the Roeder school, near Everson, and from that time until his marriage he assisted on the home farm and also worked on neighboring farms. In 1921 he bought one hundred and twenty acres of land, two and a half miles northeast of Nooksack, only a few acres of which had been cleared. He devoted himself indefatigably to the clearing of the tract and the completion of desired improvements and has now a well improved and up-to-date ranch. He is devoting himself very largely to dairying and the chicken business, from both of which he derives a very satisfactory income. In 1924 he built a chicken house, twenty by fifty feet in size, and the following year erected another house, twenty by one hundred and ten feet in size. He keeps about twelve hundred laying hens and nineteen head of cattle, besides two good draft horses. He has thirty-five acres of cleared land under cultivation, the remainder being devoted to pasture and timber. His main field crops are hay, grain and peas, which he uses largely as feed for his stock.
On May 30, 1917, Mr. Biehle was married to Miss Eileen Willard, who was born in Jefferson county, Iowa, a daughter of George R. and Phoebe (Bickford) Willard, the former a native of Port Henry, New York, and the latter of Jefferson county, Iowa. The father was a cattle man, riding the ranges of Montana for fifteen years. He came to Washington in 1900 and bought five acres of land near Everson, where he is now living. To him and his wife were born seven children, namely: Eileen, Frances, Herbert, deceased, Agnes, Albert, Nelia Josephine, deceased, and Orville. Mr. and Mrs. Biehle are the parents of two children: Margaret, born January 9, 1920; and George William, born February 18, 1922. Mr. Biehle is a member of Everson Camp No. 435, Woodmen of the World, and he and his wife are members of Everson Lodge No. 522, Neighbors of Woodcraft. Mr. Biehle's well directed efforts in the practical affairs of life, his capable management of his business interests and his sound judgment have brought him well deserved prosperity, and his life demonstrates what may be accomplished by a man of ambition and energy who is not afraid to work. He has supported every measure for the advancement of the best interests of the community and his genial and friendly disposition has gained for him the esteem and regard of all who have come in contact with him.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 274-275.
EDWIN H. BRUNS
This well known citizen is an excellent representative of the better class of farmers in Whatcom county and comes of an ancestry that was an honored one here in pioneer days. When this region was covered with an almost interminable forest of great trees and the woods filled with wild animals, he and his people came west and began to carve homes from the primeval forests, to assist in building schools and churches and to introduce the customs of civilization in the wilderness. They were genuine pioneers, willing to endure hardships in order that they might redeem the soil. It has been this spirit that has caused the great west to be reclaimed, until today the old east looks to it with admiration and respect.
E. H. Bruns was born near Chicago, Illinois, on the 21st of December, 1865, and is a son of B. H. Bruns, a native of Westphalen, Germany, born February 22, 1823, and whose death occurred September 24, 1909, when in the eighty-seventh year of his age. The father was reared and educated in his native land and on July 4, 1843, at the age of twenty years, he came with his father and other members of the family to the United States. One of the chief incentives for the family emigration was the fact that he had reached the age of compulsory military service in Germany, and the only way to evade it was by leaving the country. The party, eight in number, took passage on a sailing vessel, which required nine weeks and four days to make the passage to New Orleans, and during the voyage Grandfather Bruns died and was buried at sea. The party proceeded to Illinois, locating at Dunkel's Grove, eighteen miles from Chicago. B. H. Bruns was a tailor by trade, going from house to house, and whenever his services were required he stayed at that house until his work was done. Later, sensing the greater needs of the people, he became a sash and door maker, and also made coffins. In April, 1870, he left Chicago and came to Whatcom county, Washington, with Governor Solomon's party, and located the land now owned by the family. He then returned to Illinois and on the first day of the ensuing November started with his family for their new western home. They traveled by rail to San Francisco, thence by boat up the coast to Portland, Oregon, where he hired a farmer's light wagon, into which the party of seven, with their most necessary baggage, crowded, and they drove to Olympia, the journey requiring a week. The subject's uncle had established a home on Fidalgo island and thee the members of the family remained almost two months while the older members came onto the homestead and built a house, into which the family moved February 22, 1871. Mr. Bruns bought one thousand and twenty-two acres of "offered" land on Birch bay, comprising the present Bruns land, for which he paid one dollar an acre. This land had been to some extent occupied during the Frazier gold excitement, the former tenants leaving two small log cabins, but the Bruns family were among the very first permanent settlers in this locality. On the north side of Semiahmoo lived a man named Harris, who had an Indian wife and several children. He tried to dissuade Mr. Bruns from settling near him, as he wanted to be alone, but eventually the two families became well acquainted and he proved a good friend.
To B. H. Bruns and his wife were born four children, namely: Wilhemina S., who became the wife of E. P. Julien and died in 1923; F. A., who lives at Semiahmoo; Mrs. Emma A. Morgan, of Semiahmoo; and E. H., the immediate subject of this sketch. B. H. Bruns was a man of fine public spirit and contributed in every possible way to the development of his locality and the advancement of its best interests. With his neighbors he helped to build the first log school house in the district, and they also constructed desks, benches and other requisite furniture. He was a man of rugged character, sterling integrity and a neighborly and hospitable spirit that gained for him the respect and good will of the entire community. His never-failing interest in the welfare of his neighbors, his generous attitude toward all worthy causes, his success and his likable character elicited the admiration of all, and his death, in 1909, was a cause of sincere regret throughout his wide circle of friends and acquaintances.
E. H. Bruns, who now controls and operates five hundred and sixty-eight acres of the old homestead, was reared here and received his education under the somewhat unfavorable conditions which existed in those early days. He was compelled to walk four miles to his first school at California creek, where about ten pupils were in attendance. Later he walked three miles to another school at Drayton bay; then, at the age of sixteen years, he was sent to a private school at Ferndale, which he attended for five months. In 1883 he had six months of attendance at the territorial university, and in 1886 he attended a semi-private school at Birch bay for five months. He worked hard for his education, which has through the subsequent years been liberally supplemented by much close and thoughtful reading, which, with his keen observation of men and events, has made him a man of wide and accurate information. He has three hundred acres of his land cleared and in cultivation, almost one hundred and eighty acres of his holdings being tide land. He has spent practically all his life on the home farm, assisting his father up to the latter's death, and is numbered among the enterprising and successful farmers of the locality. He carries on a diversified system of farming, raising the usual field crops and vegetables, and he keeps some sheep, a good herd of dairy cows and a fine flock of Barred Plymouth Rock chickens. The farm is well improved in every essential respect and is a most desirable property.
On April 20, 1892, Mr. Bruns was married to Miss Jane Shields, who was born at Manson, Calhoun county, Iowa, a daughter of Henry and Sophia (Herbst) Shields, who are referred to at length in the sketch of R. J. Shields, on other pages of this work. Sophia Herbst was born in Lubtz, Mecklenberg, Germany, September 20, 1832, and died August 25, 1925. On October 2, 1851, she was married to Henry Shields, who preceded her to the United States. Mrs. Bruns arrived in this country in 1876, when five years old, and received her education in the public schools of this country. She came to San Francisco by rail, going thence by boat to Bellingham, Washington, being transported from the steamer to the shore in an Indian canoe. To Mr. and Mrs. Bruns were born four children, namely: Gladys, who became the wife of Walter Cowderoy, of Blaine; E. Bernhardt, who lives on the home place and who was married to Miss Gold Burr, of Iowa; Elaine, who became the wife of P. J. Shintaffer, of Semiahmoo, and has two children; and Helen, who is unmarried and lives in Bellingham. Mr. Bruns has always taken a deep interest in everything pertaining to the progress and welfare of the community in which he lives, having served two terms as township supervisor and several terms as a member of the school board. He is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and the Whatcom County Poultry Association. A man of splendid character, steady and industrious habits, fine public spirit and a likable personality, Mr. Bruns has long enjoyed an enviable standing among the enterprising and influential men of his locality.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 215-216.
CARL E. CAULKINS
Carl E. Caulkins, a prosperous ranchman of Maple Falls township, has lived in this section since it was a frontier district and his labors have constituted a vital force in its development. He was born in 1861, and is a native of Bad Axe county, Wisconsin. His parents were Elijah and Fannie (Hoxsie) Caulkins, the former a native of New Hampshire, while the latter was born in Warren county, Pennsylvania. They were Wisconsin pioneers and the father was a Union veteran, serving with the First Wisconsin Battery. In 1890 Elijah Caulkins came to Whatcom county and took up a claim in the Maple Falls township, paying for the property with script. Through patience and industry he brought the land under the plow and eventually became the owner of a productive farm, on which he spent the remainder of his life. He responded to death's summons in 1912, and the mother, who has reached the advanced age of eighty-seven years, is residing with the subject of this sketch. To their union were born six children: Ella, the wife of Myron Dunlap, of Iowa; Carl E.; Ordell Hoxsie, whose home is in Bellingham; Herman, a resident of Everett, Washington; Estella, at home; and Glen, of Cashmere, this state.
Carl E. Caulkins was educated in the public schools of his native state and on starting out in life for himself chose the career of an agriculturist. In 1888 he sought the opportunities of the Pacific northwest and came to Washington, taking up a homestead on Maple creek, below Silver lake. He was the second white settler in the district, which was then a wilderness, and the streams were filled with fish, while cougars, bears and deer roamed through the dense forests. He zealously applied himself to the task of developing his land and has transformed the virgin soil into a fertile farm, supplied with many modern conveniences and improved with good buildings. He is also operating the homestead on which his father settled, and he ranks with the most progressive agriculturists of this part of the state. Mr. Caulkins is a republican in his political views and at the time the township was formed he was elected supervisor. He filled the office for three years and during that period much constructive work was accomplished. He is a typical pioneer, endowed with the qualities which are essential in the development of a new district, and in the course of an active, useful and upright life he has won many loyal, sincere friends.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, p. 886.
JAMES McL. CROMBIE
One of the productive farms in the vicinity of Bellingham is the property of James McL. Crombie, for eighteen years a resident of this locality and a self-made man in the best sense of the term. He was born December 18, 1874, in Fort Glasgow, Scotland, and his parents, Thomas and Margaret (McLochlan) Crombie, are both deceased. In their family were ten children: Daniel, who makes his home in Scotland; James McL., John, Mary and Sarah, all of Scotland; Agnes, who has passed away; Elizabeth, who still lives in her native land; Robert, a resident of Ontario, Canada; and Thomas and Margaret, both deceased.
For eight years, Mr. Crombie attended the schools of Fort Glasgow, and after completing his studies he served an apprenticeship to the carpenter's trade. He worked in the shipyard at Fort Glasgow until 1901 and then came to the United States. He lived first in Syracuse, New York, going from there to Buffalo, and later to Toronto, Canada. Subsequently he returned to Buffalo and in 1908 came to northwestern Washington. He purchased a tract of twenty acres near Bellingham, ten acres of which had been cleared. He now has thirteen acres under cultivation and owns some of the richest soil in this section of the county. His farm produces hay, vegetables and fruit in abundance and he has also found poultry raising a profitable industry. He still works at his trade at intervals and has acquired the skill that results from years of practical experience.
Mr. Crombie was married, January 20, 1903, in Buffalo, New York, to Miss Elizabeth S. Thomas, whose father was shipping clerk for a large business corporation of that city. To their union were born three children: James, who aids his father in the operation of the homestead; Douglas, who died in 1921 as the result of an operation; and Annie, a student who resides with her parents. Mrs. Crombie is an officer in the Salvation Army and her husband and son are members of the local band of that organization. Mr. Crombie joined the Independent Order of Odd Fellows which in the east and is a republican in his political convictions but has never sought public office. Modest and unassuming, he has performed his duty as it appeared to him, and his genuine worth is recognized and appreciated by all with whom he has been associated in the varied relations of life.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, p. 910.
Edward Edson was born in Hancock county, Iowa, August 30, 1860, living during his childhood with his parents in southwestern Iowa, southeastern Nebraska, northwestern Missouri, and northeastern Kansas, in the order named until 1873. In the spring of that year the family moved to a homestead claim in Smith county, Kansas. The subject of this sketch left Kansas in August, 1882, spending one year in Wyoming. In October, 1883, he landed at Whatcom, (now Bellingham) Washington, where he made his home until January, 1891, when he removed to Lynden, where he bought the pioneer drug store established by F. S. Wright in 1888. He has conducted the store up to the present time, (April 1926) taking in his son, Gale M. Edson, as a partner about four years ago, under the firm name of Edson & Edson.
It is not practicable to mention Mr. Edson's political and religious beliefs, as they are constantly being modified by what seems to be further knowledge. He feels that his sincere and unalterable opposition to war and militarism in any guise is a more worthwhile service to society than any other with which he might be credited.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, p. 708.
OSCAR L. FOSS
Over four decades have been numbered with the past since Oscar L. Foss first came to the wilderness country of northwestern Whatcom county. Upon his arrival here this section of the state was largely an undeveloped region, awaiting the awakening touch of the sturdy pioneers, and as one of the settlers who led the van of civilization into this favored locality he is clearly entitled to representation in the permanent record of his county. Mr. Foss was born at Athens, Somerset county, Maine, in 1859, and is a son of Jacob and Mary (Foss) Foss, both of whom also were natives of that state, where they spent their lives and died. They were the parents of nine children, six sons and three daughters.
Oscar L. Foss attended the public schools of his home neighborhood and the Classical Institute at Waterville, Maine. He then started westward, stopping first in Iowa, where he visited with relatives, and next went to Fort Robinson, Nebraska, where he obtained employment in the government store. At that time, 1879, it was a rough country in every respect, this fort really being for a few years one of the outposts of the Indian country. From there Mr. Foss went to California, where he spent about a year in the mines, and then went to Seattle, Washington, where he spent a few months. In the spring of 1883 he came to Lynden, homesteading one hundred and sixty acres of land, comprising the northwest quarter of section 8, in Delta township, about eight miles west of Lynden. This was virgin land, densely covered with timber and brush, without a road or trail within a distance of four miles. Mr. Foss moved onto the place at once, beginning the clearing of the land, and "bached" there until 1890. He worked out during the summers and gave his attention to the clearing of the land in the winters. He continued to live there until 1901, by which time he had cleared about ten acres and had cut and slashed much more. His first home was a small cabin, which was later replaced by a comfortable and well built house. In 1901 Mr. Foss came to his present farm, which comprises eighty acres of land, five acres of which were cleared when he bought it, and about twenty-five acres are now cleared and in cultivation. He is carrying on dairying operations, keeping a nice herd of good grade milk cows, and is meeting with well deserved success. His place is well improved and he exercises sound judgment in his management of the farm, being accounted one of the most enterprising and progressive farmers of his locality.
In 1890 Mr. Foss was married to Miss Ida Elliott, who was born at River Falls, Wisconsin, a daughter of George and Oliva (Hammond) Elliott. Her father was a native of Boylston, Massachusetts, and was a pioneer settler in Wisconsin, where he acquired a fine farm. His wife was a native of Yarmouth, Maine, and accompanied her family to Whatcom county in 1884. Here they homesteaded a tract of land and spent their remaining days, the mother dying in 1903 and the father in 1913. To Mr. and Mrs. Foss have been born five children, namely: Leslie, who died in boyhood; Mary, who became the wife of Paul Barbo, of Bellingham; Cecile, of Bellingham; Shurman, deceased; and Noble, who is married and lives in Deming. Mr. Foss is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association, while fraternally he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He has long been actively interested in public affairs, having served as clerk of the school board of the old school district at Sunrise from it organization, a period of fourteen years, and he was also the first teacher in the first school established there. He served for one year as a member of the board of supervisors in Custer township and served as road supervisor for a number of years in both Delta and Custer townships. He is public-spirited and lends his support to any cause that has for its ultimate object the betterment of his community along material, civic or moral lines. Because of these things and his forceful personality, he has long occupied an enviable place in the esteem of his fellow citizens.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 444-445.
WILLIAM HENRY FOUTS
The late William Henry Fouts, who died at his home in Bellingham January 25, 1924, in the eighty-first year of his age, was one of the real pioneers of Whatcom county, an influential factor in the general life of the community during settlement days here, and had seen the wilderness brought under man's subjection and made over into a region of orderly government and firmly established communities. He was a college man, educated for the law, but did not follow that profession. When he reached the settlements here on the Bay in 1873 no public school system had been organized and he taught what properly may be regarded as having been the first public school in what is now the city of Bellingham, and thus the first in Whatcom county, in a little building that stood on what now is the corner of Clinton and D streets. Among the pupils in that pioneer school were Victor and Henry Roeder, the Jenkins children, Hugh Eldridge, Lewis Hoffercamp and sister, the Kellogg children, Billie Gardner, Frank Peabody and his own children.
In 1875 Mr. Fouts was elected superintendent of schools of Whatcom county, which at that time included the territory comprised within the present county of Skagit (erected in 1883) and his influence on the social life of the settlements in that capacity and his earnest efforts in behalf of the budding schools undoubtedly had a great deal to do with the creation here, even from the beginning, of orderly processes of social development that have been reflected in the whole after development of the community. He was also one of the early merchants in the settlement and for some time served as postmaster, his store thus becoming the general center of the growing community. His energetic wife at the same time was doing her part in community work, keeping a boarding house and doing what she could as a helpful feminine influence in the growing community, ministering to the sick and in other ways active in social service - a true pioneer helpmate to her husband and a neighborhood benefactor. With proper thrift she invested the earnings from her boarding house in eleven acres of land constituting a part of the Peabody estate and as the town grew the greatly increased value of this holding mounted until it came to be a quite ample material reward for her foresight. This able pioneer mother died September 5, 1915, in Bellingham, one of the oldest continuous residents of the county. She was able to look back with quiet gratification upon the work that has been accomplished here during the forty-two years and more of her residence in the Bay country.
The late William H. Fouts was born in the city of Zanesville, Ohio, in 1843, and was but an infant when his parents moved to the then Territory of Iowa and settled at Hopeville, between Osceola and Mr. Ayre, in Clarke county in the south central section of what shortly afterward (in the spring of 1845) was admitted to the Union as the state of Iowa. His father became a merchant in the village of Hopeville and he there was reared. He was given a college education, with a view to taking up the practice of law, but instead engaged in mercantile business with his father. In 1871 he came to Washington Territory with his family, having meanwhile married in Iowa, and he and his wife had two little daughters and one son when they came here. He first located in Olympia, where for two years he was engaged in teaching school, and in 1873 he came to the Bay settlements, secured the old Pickett house and opened a general store on what was then called Division street, at that time the principal thoroughfare of the settlement, between what now are C and D streets. Presently he was appointed postmaster and thus the whole settlement soon came to have a personal acquaintance with the new merchant and mail agent, as well as with his wife, who helped him tend store and at the same time directed the affairs of the boarding house which she set up not long after their arrival here. In 1874 Mr. Fouts was elected superintendent of the schools of Whatcom county and in this capacity traveled far and wide among the settlements in this northwestern section of the state, his jurisdiction covering not only the territory comprised within the present confines of Whatcom county but extending south as far as Snohomish. He also taught in Snohomish county. He was retained as county superintendent until the middle 80's and during that long incumbency rendered invaluable service in the establishment of a definite system for the operation of the rapidly developing schools. With his training in law he also proved himself a helpful citizen, acting in an advisory capacity in the adjustment of many a question under dispute. Mr. Fouts' mercantile and realty interest occupied his attention during the period of his activity here and after his retirement he continued to make his home in Bellingham where, as noted above, he died in January, 1924, and at his passing he left a good memory, for he had been one of the helpful pioneers of the community.
It was October 31, 1863, in Iowa, that Mr. Fouts was united in marriage to Miss Martha Sullivan, who preceded him to the great beyond some nine years. Of the seven children born to this union five survive, one son, Walter Fouts of Bellingham, and four daughters, namely: Clara, who married John H. Stenger, also a member of one of the pioneer families of Whatcom county; Rilla, who married Thomas Penny; Grace, who married Perry Sears, now living in Arizona; and Edith, who married George Dress.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 301-302.
A well improved ranch in Deming township pays tribute to the care and labor bestowed upon the place by its owner, Herman Fry, who has long been numbered among the substantial agriculturists of Whatcom county. He was born in September, 1878, in Moline, Illinois, and was but three years old when his parents, Abner and Sarah Jane (Gamble) Fry, went to Arkansas. The mother passed away in that state, in which the father was engaged in farming for many years, subsequently settling in Snohomish county, Washington. He purchased a home in Arlington and there spent the remainder of his life.
Herman Fry was educated in the public schools of Arkansas and remained in that state until he reached the age of twenty-four years. In 1902 he came to Whatcom county, Washington, and for six years followed the occupation of shingle weaving. In 1907 he bought a tract of thirty-seven and a half acres in Deming township and has since concentrated his attention upon agricultural pursuits. His land was covered with stumps, also containing some standing timber, and all of it has been cleared and brought to a high state of productivity. The work is facilitated by modern labor-saving devices and his home contains many of the conveniences of a city dwelling. His buildings are well constructed and his dairy is thoroughly sanitary and completely equipped. He also raises poultry and from these two industries derives a substantial income.
In 1907 Mr. Fry married Miss Magdalene Zobrist, a native of Kent, Washington. Richard, their only child, saw service in France as a member of the American Expeditionary Force and is now living in North Dakota. Mr. Fry is an influential member of the Grange and his political allegiance is given to the republican party. He was a member of the school board for a considerable period and for several years acted as road supervisor. He has faithfully discharged every trust reposed in him and has clearly demonstrated his worth as a citizen.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 885-886.
PETER T. GIARDE
In every community death is ever taking its toll from the living, and in the passing of Peter T. Giarde on January 11, 1916, Lawrence township lost one of its progressive agriculturists and a broadminded, public-spirited citizen, whose unselfish disposition and kindly nature drew to him many sincere friends. A native of Norway, he was born in 1864 and when a youth of eighteen responded to the call of the new world. He lived in Wisconsin for a time and migrated from that state to Minnesota. He next went to Canada and for several years was employed as a cook in mining camps. He wisely decided to invest his savings in land and in 1903 came to Whatcom county, purchasing a tract of sixty acres in Lawrence township. Through arduous labor he removed the stumps from his place, clearing twenty acres, and as the years passed the soil became rich and arable. He built a good home and remained on the ranch until his demise, constantly adding improvements to his property. His standards of farming were high and as agriculture progressed as a science he advanced with it.
In 1888 Mr. Giarde was united in marriage to Miss Gena Langaas, also a native of Norway. She went to Michigan as a girl and later to Minnesota, where she was married. They were the parents of seven children. Bertha, the eldest, is the wife of Frank Strum, of Bellingham, and the mother of three children. Paul is engaged in ranching near the homestead and has been called to public office, serving as supervisor of Lawrence township, while he was formerly a member of the school board. He married Miss Lois Collins, and they have a family of three children. Edward, the second son, is a resident of Auburn, Washington. Gilbert is operating a farm in this district and has a wife and child. The others are: Ella, at home; and John and George, twins.
Mr. Giarde was an earnest member of the Lutheran church, with which the members of his family are also affiliated, and his political allegiance was given to the republican party. He was elected township supervisor, filling that position for a number of years, and also served on the school board for some time. He had the welfare of his district deeply at heart and was always ready to further any plan for its improvement. He was scrupulously honest in all his dealings with his fellowmen and left to his family the heritage of a good name - a possession which is more to be desired than great wealth.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 577-578.
MARGARET (NEWELL) GRANT
Mrs. Margaret (Newell) Grant, the widow of Robert Smith Grant, has been a resident of Bellingham since 1915. She is a native of Murray county, Minnesota, and a daughter of Robert Newell, who was born in Scotland and immigrated to the United States just before the outbreak of the Civil war. He became a member of Company K, United States Infantry, from Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, New York, and being still very young he was made messenger bearer to Abraham Lincoln. His Scotch accent was so pronounced that Lincoln said: "Go a bit slowly, boy, so that I can catch you." Robert Newell served in the army for more than three years and after the close of hostilities between the north and the south located in Boston, Massachusetts, where he met the girl whom he afterward made his wife and who had come on a visit to this country from her native Scotland. From the Bay state he made his way westward to Madison, Wisconsin, and thence removed to St. Paul, Minnesota. He was employed as foreman by the Great Northern Railroad Company when the road was only one hundred and ten miles long. Mr. Newell became a prominent factor in public affairs and for one term represented his district in the Minnesota state legislature. Subsequently he was in the service of the Great Northern Railroad Company in the capacity of foreman at Williston, North Dakota. He was a worthy exemplar of the teachings and purposes of the Masonic fraternity, gave his political allegiance to the republican party and belonged to the Grand Army of the Republic. His death occurred on the 11th of November, 1895.
Margaret Newell spent her girlhood in St. Paul, Minnesota, and there acquired her education. She accompanied her parents on their removal to North Dakota and assisted in the organization of the first church in that section, while her sister became the pioneer school teacher there. The church which she was instrumental in organizing is now the largest in the state. Margaret Newell gave her hand in marriage to Robert Smith Grant, a native of Scotland, and thereafter resided at Willmar, Minnesota, until her removal to Buffalo, New York. There the couple remained for three years, and they subsequently spent eighteen years in New York city, Robert S. Grant being superintendent of engineers in the service of the Northern Steamship Company. About 1890 Mr. Grant made his way to the western coast, locating in San Francisco, California. His widow came to Washington in 1915 and took up her abode at Bellingham, where she has since maintained a modern rooming and boarding house. He home is at No. 1200 Garden street. Mrs. Grant adopted the child of her sister, Mary, whom she has reared from infancy and who is a graduate of the Whatcom high school. She is a consistent and devoted member of the Presbyterian church and has gained an extensive circle of warm friends during the years of her residence at Bellingham.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 135-136.
CAPT. LOUIS HENSPETER
Captain Louis Henspeter, a navigator of many years' experience in local waters, is now mate of the Milwaukee, owned by the Chicago, Milwaukee & st. Paul Railroad Company, and was formerly in the service of the Gilkie Brothers Tug Company of Anacortes. He is a member of one of the pioneer families of Whatcom county and has been a resident here, now living in Bellingham, since the days of his boyhood, a period covering more than fifty-five years. He has been in the service of the sea since the days of his young manhood and is familiar with every foot of the waters in the wonderful roundabout archipelago and throughout the sound and the straits. Captain Henspeter is a native of Illinois, born in Will county, that state, in the year 1856, and is a son of Henry and Dorothy (Herbst) Henspeter, who in 1868 came with their family to the then Territory of Washington and after a brief residence at Steilacoom came up into Whatcom county and settled on a homestead tract in the Birch Bay neighborhood, being among the pioneers of that section of the county. Henry Henspeter was a good manager and a good farmer, and as he prospered in his affairs he added to his holdings until he became one of the large landowners of that part of the county. On that place he spent his last days, his death occurring in 1918. His wife died in 1914. The farm which he built up there in the wilderness still is in the possession of the family.
Louis Henspeter was twelve years of age when he came into this region with his parents in 1868, and he grew up familiar with the many trials and hardships incident to the development of a farm in a timber wilderness. The sea presently attracted him, and instead of remaining on the farm he took to sea service and before he was twenty-five years of age was a licensed marine engineer. He studied other phases of navigation and in 1874 secured his master's papers and ever since has been engaged in navigating the waters hereabout. He was for some time the owner of three tugs - the Phantom, the Dispatch and the Columbia. For seven years Captain Henspeter was mater of a passenger vessel plying between Seattle and Bellingham, the Island Belle; was captain in turn of the Prosper and the Puritan in the Bellingham Tug & Barge Company service, and from 1922 until July, 1925, was a master in the service of the Gilkie Brothers Tug Company, operating in local waters and concerning which well established concern further mention is made elsewhere in this work. Since July, 1925, he has been mate on the Milwaukee.
On January 19, 1886, at Sacramento, California, Captain Henspeter was united in marriage to Mrs. Mary A. Hernan, who was born in that city, a daughter of Loreen and Fidelia Sperry, the former a native of Wisconsin and the latter of New York. To this union three children were born - two daughters, Lulu and Viola, deceased; and a son, Freddie, also deceased. Captain and Mrs. Henspeter reside at No. 359 South Forest street and are pleasantly situated there. Mrs. Henspeter is one of the active members of the Whatcom Falls Club and is otherwise interested in the general social activities of the city. Captain Henspeter is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He is widely known in marine circles up and down the coast and has a well established record as a careful navigator.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 814-817.
Ernest Krenz, one of the successful farmers and public-spirited citizens of the northwestern part of Whatcom county, who has been summoned to higher scenes of action, was one of the best liked men in his community, for he was not only a man of marked business ability but possessed a strong social nature and by his genial and kindly attitude toward those about him won the confidence and respect of everyone. Mr. Krenz was born in Germany on the 20th of September, 1855, and was a son of F. and Wilhelmina (Krenz) Krenz, both of whom also were natives of that country. They came to the United States in 1876, locating on a farm near St. Paul, Minnesota, where they spent the remaining years of their lives.
Ernest Krenz secured his educational training in the public schools of Germany and had about attained his majority when he came to the United States. He remained in Minnesota about eight years and then went to Richmond, Wisconsin, where for about twelve years he was connected with a lumber mill. He then returned to Minnesota and was engaged in farming for about five years, or until 1902, when he came to Whatcom county and bought the present homestead of forty acres. When he acquired the land it was covered with trees, stumps and brush, to the removal of which he applied himself with such vigor that in a few years he found himself the possessor of a well improved and productive farm. About thirty-five acres of the land are now cleared, the remainder being devoted to pasture. Here Mr. Krenz devoted himself to general farming and dairying until his death, which occurred in 1919. He was a good business man, candid and straightforward in all his relations, and at all times enjoyed the unbounded respect and esteem of all who had dealings with him. The gratifying measure of prosperity which crowned his efforts was richly merited, for he had devoted himself indefatigably to his work, doing well whatever he undertook and gaining a fine reputation for his enterprise and progressive spirit.
On June 8, 1884, Mr. Krenz was married to Miss Louise Schwertzer, who was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1866, and who came with her family to the United States in 1882, the wilds of this region presenting a marked contrast to the advanced civilization of her native city. But she was courageous and proved a true helpmate to her husband, whom she assisted and encouraged in all his efforts. Her parents, Henry and Augusta (Krenz) Schwertzer, came to this locality in the same year as did the subject of this memoir, with whom they made their home, and here they passed away. To Mr. and mrs. Krenz were born four children, namely: Franz and Annie, who died in infancy; Elsie, who remains at home with her mother; and Walter, who lives on the home farm. He was married to Miss Evelyn Brokaw and they have four children, Ernest, Orvil, Esther and Verna. Mrs. Krenz secured a good education in the public schools of her native land, being about sixteen years of age when she was brought to this country. She is a woman of splendid character, kindly and friendly in her social relations, and has a host of warm and admiring friends. Since her husband's death she has, with the assistance of her son Walter, carried on the operation of the home farm, possessing good business ability and sound judgment.
Mr. Krenz was a worthy example in all that constituted true manhood and good citizenship and none stood higher than he in public confidence and regard. He possessed the deepest and most helpful public spirit and was a man of sound views on public questions. He earnestly cooperated with his fellow citizens in the promotion of all measures for the advancement of the public welfare and wielded a wide and beneficent influence throughout the community in which he lived.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 394-395.
DAVID and GEORGE P. LONG
George P. Long, a well known and progressive young dairyman of Mountain View township, is a native son of Ferndale township, having been born on the place adjacent to his own November 25, 1895. He is a son of David and Mary A. F. (Long) Long, the latter still living in Mountain View township. She was born in Illinois and is a daughter of Charles and Mary Jane (Partridge) Long, the latter also born in that state. Charles Long, one of the honored homesteaders of Whatcom county, whose last days were spent here, was a native of England who was married in Illinois, later lived in Kansas and then came to Washington and homesteaded a quarter section of land in Mountain View township, where he and his wife spent the remainder of their lives.
The late David Long, who died at his home in Mountain View township, July 13, 1921, at the age of seventy-two, was born in the vicinity of Galena in northwestern Illinois and was early orphaned. His parents were natives of Ireland. Reared in the Galena neighborhood, when quite young he began working in the mines of that section and when the Civil war came on enlisted in behalf of the Union, serving until the close of the war. He became an engineer, skilled in the operation of stationary engines, and was thus engaged for years in the coal fields of Illinois, Pennsylvania and Kansas, from which latter state he came to Washington and located at Seattle. Some time later he came to Whatcom county and after prospecting about a bit took over half of the homestead claim that had been entered by his father-in-law, Charles Long, and settled down to farming, in due time developing there a good piece of property. In this connection it may be stated that these two families of Longs are not of blood kinship. The farm tract on which David Long established his home was uncleared and unimproved and he had the task of bringing it under cultivation, but this he accomplished and at the time of his death had a well improved and profitably cultivated place. A part of his original holding he had sold to advantage but still owned sixty-three acres, his operations there being chiefly confined to dairying. Mr. Long took an interested part in the general affairs of the community, was a member of the local grange of the Patrons of Husbandry, for many years a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and was a director of the Farmers Mutual Telephone Company. To him and his wife were born seven children, two daughters and five sons, and the family is well established in this county.
Reared on the home farm in Mountain View township, George P. Long had two years in high school and early became an active factor in the labors of developing and improving the home place, working in association with his father until the latter's death, and since then has been carrying on operations on his own behalf, occupying the farm adjacent to his old home place. Mr. Long is regarded as one of the energetic and progressive young dairymen of the neighborhood and has an up-to-date plant. His herd leader is a registered Jersey and his present excellent herd is being continually graded up. In addition to his own place he has in charge the operations on his mother's place, the two combining very well. Mr. Long is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and is doing his part in extending the interest of the aggressive and useful organization. He also is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.
On October 20, 1920, at Blaine, Mr. Long was united in marriage to Miss Maude Louise Shintaffer, who was born in the city of Vancouver and is a daughter of James and Margaret Shintaffer, both now deceased. To Mr. and Mrs. Long one child was born, Beverly June, who lived but three days. Mr. and Mrs. Long have a pleasant home and take a proper part in the general social activities of the community in which they reside.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 842-843.
James McDonald is one of the prosperous ranchmen of the Bellingham district and a true and loyal citizen of the land of his adoption. A native of Ireland, he was born August 13, 1879, and his parents, John and Bridget McDonald, are both deceased. He received a public school education and in 1907 came to Whatcom county, in which his brother, Peter J. McDonald, had settled in pioneer times. In 1909 the subject of this sketch went to Alaska and for a time was a resident of that country. He returned to Washington in 1911 and has since owned and operated the ranch of his brother, which he purchased from the latter's widow. The farm contains twenty-nine and a half acres of fertile land and is well improved. Mr. McDonald has a fine orchard and is also engaged in dairying. He carries on his labors scientifically and keeps well informed on all modern developments relating to his line of work.
In 1912 Mr. McDonald was united in marriage to Miss Kate Larkin, also a native of Ireland. He is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and his political allegiance is given to the democratic party. He brings to his daily tasks energy, enthusiasm and intelligence, upon which he has based his success, and a pleasing personality and genial disposition have won him many friends throughout the township.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, p. 891.
William McLeod, one of the finest types of the pioneer citizen, has contributed his share toward the building of many of the large railroad systems of the west, and in later life his energies have been given to the occupation of farming. He is the owner of a valuable ranch in the vicinity of Bellingham and for more than thirty years has resided within the borders of Whatcom county. A native of Scotland, he was born December 11, 1855, and was reared and educated in that country. When eighteen years of age he sailed for Canada, making the voyage in company with his parents, Donald and Christina McLeod, who settled in Quebec. The father was engaged in farming in that province until 1889, when he came to Whatcom, Washington, and in this city Mr. and Mrs. McLeod spent the remainder of their lives, making their home with the subject of this sketch.
William McLeod spent the period of his boyhood in one of the rural districts of Scotland, and the nearest school was situated seven and a half miles from his father's farm, so that he was obliged to walk a distance of fifteen miles each day while pursuing his studies. After reaching the Dominion he became a railroad employee and aided in building the line of the Sherbrook, Easter Township & Kennebec system. In 1876 he obtained a position in the construction department of the Portland & Ogdensburg Railroad, with which he was connected when the track was being laid in New York state, and afterward was employed in sawmills in Vermont. In 1880 Mr. McLeod came to the west and assisted in building the line of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad in Colorado. During 1881-82 he worked on the Oregon Short Lines and in the spring of 1884 engaged in mining in that state. He next aided in constructing the road of the Northern Pacific and in 1899 went to Alaska, where he spent a year, working on the line of the White Pass Railroad, which was then being constructed. Meanwhile, in 1891, Mr. McLeod had purchased eighty acres of wild land in the vicinity of Lynden, and he diligently applied himself to the arduous task of clearing the place. He prepared the soil for the cultivation of crops and eventually developed a productive farm. He sold the property in 1910 and bought a tract of twenty-four and a half acres, on which he has since made his home. He brings to his occupation a true sense of agricultural economics and never allows a foot of the land to be unproductive. He has erected substantial buildings for the shelter of grain and stock and his farmhouse is one of the most modern and attractive in this locality, being provided with city water, electric light and many other conveniences. He has a herd of registered Jersey cattle and the products of his dairy are of high quality. He keeps four hundred hens and adds considerably to his income by the raising of poultry. He is a firm believer in scientific methods and keeps well informed on all new developments along the lines in which he specializes.
In 1909 Mr. McLeod was united in marriage to Miss Margaret McIntosh, who is also a native of the land of the hills and heather, and who came to the United States during her girlhood. Mr. McLeod casts his ballot for the candidates of the republican party and is a member of the Whatcom County Associations of Poultrymen and Dairymen. Honest, industrious and God-fearing, he possesses the admirable qualities of the Scotch race, and judged by the standard of usefulness his life has been a very successful one.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 928-929.
GEORGE W. MERRIAM
George W. Merriam, who has been a resident of Whatcom county during the past forty-four years, is now enjoying the evening of his life in well earned retirement, making his home at Bellingham. He was born in a Michigan logging camp, April 20, 1855, his parents being James C. and Rosannah (Parker) Merriam, who were natives of Cleveland, Ohio, and Buffalo, New York, respectively. He was still an infant when they left the Wolverine state, where the father had been engaged in logging, and took up their abode at Cleveland, Ohio.
In the latter place James C. Merriam followed the trade of carpentering until his removal to Missouri, whence he afterward made his way to Illinois. Having suffered the loss of a foot, he was incapacitated for military service in the Civil war. Eventually he and his wife went to Kansas, at the urgent solicitation of their son George, remaining residents of the Sunflower state until 1882, when they came to Whatcom county, Washington. Here the father was employed as a millwright in the colony mill. In 1890 he received serious injuries in a fire which destroyed the dry goods establishment conducted by his son under the name of Hayes & Merriam at Bellingham and by reason thereof remained in an invalid condition up to the time of his death, which occurred about 1900. His wife lost her life in this disastrous fire and her tragic end not only brought sorrow to the hearts of her loved ones but was deeply deplored by all who knew her.
George W. Merriam attended school in Missouri for two years and then accompanied his parents on their removal to Illinois, where he continued his studies. A sturdy, self-reliant little lad, he began providing for his own support at the early age of ten years by peddling various commodities. When a youth of twelve he worked in the harvest fields for half wages and a year later was given full wages. At the age of fifteen he left the parental roof and made his way westward to Kansas with ox teams, and he subsequently made two trips with cattle from Wichita, Kansas, to Texas. Longing to see his parents, he persuaded his father and mother to join him in the Sunflower state, where the family took up homestead claims and continued to reside until 1882, when they disposed of their property holdings and journeyed to the wester coast, taking up their permanent abode in Whatcom county, Washington, as noted above. Both father and son began working in the colony mill, and to the latter belongs the distinction of having knot-sawed the first shingle in this county.
George W. Merriam first conducted a saloon at Bellingham in association with John Hayes and in 1887 opened a dry goods store under the firm name of Hayes & Merriam. The establishment was rebuilt after the fire of 1890, but Mr. Merriam disposed of his mercantile interests two years later. He had conducted his saloon in addition to the dry goods store, and he continued in the liquor business in partnership with John Hayes until prohibition went into effect in Washington. There after he spent about seven years in the service of the Pacific-American Fisheries at Bellingham, where his is now living retired.
In 1888 Mr. Merriam was united in marriage to Miss Jane Spedding, a native of England, who arrived at Bellingham, Washington, in 1887. They became the parents of a daughter, Mrs. Rose Southern, who passed away leaving two sons, Clarence and William Southern. Mrs. Jane (Spedding) Merriam departed this life on the 17th of February, 1908, and a decade later, in 1918, Mr. Merriam was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Jennie Foltz, who had spent the first thirty-eight years of her life in her native state of Wisconsin. She came to Bellingham, Washington, on the 19th of September, 1906, and for a number of years was matron over the girl employees of the Pacific-American Fisheries.
Mr. Merriam gives his political support to the republican party, believing that its principles are most conductive to good government. He has reached the age of three score years and ten, and he has witnessed the wonderful development of Whatcom county through a period covering more than four decades.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 81-82.
GEORGE A. MILTON
The United States has no better citizen than those whom Canada has contributed to this country. Honest, industrious and capable, they strengthen the best interests of every community in which they are found, and in this classification belongs George A. Milton, a pioneer business man of Bellingham and for thirty-six years the leading tailor of the city. He was born August 24, 1867, in the province of Ontario, and his parents were George A. and Margaret (Donald) Milton, the former of whom was connected with sawmill operations, also following the occupation of farming.
After the completion of his high school course George A. Milton, the immediate subject of this sketch, served an apprenticeship under a Canadian tailor and later studied the art of cutting in New York city. On March 17, 1891, he arrived in Fairhaven, now a part of Bellingham, Washington, and opened a small shop on Harris avenue. His was one of the first establishments in that locality, in which he remained for fourteen years, and in 1905 he moved the business to the Bacon & Nells building on Cornwall avenue, securing the second floor. His shop has a frontage of fifty feet and is twenty-five feet deep. He employs five experienced tailors but does all of the cutting and fitting himself and is an acknowledged expert in his line, possessing that inventive genius and artistic skill which constitute the highest expression of sartorial work. His establishment is patronized by Bellingham's leading citizens and would do credit to a city of metropolitan proportions.
Mr. Milton was married March 2, 1896, to Miss Dora E. Westfall, of Washington, and they have two sons: D. Kenneth, who is married and is connected with the logging business in British Columbia; and George A. Jr., who is serving in the United States navy. Mr. Milton belongs to the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and is also a Rotarian. He exercises his right of franchise in support of the candidates and measures of the democratic party and is serving for a second term on the Bellingham school board, while in the '90s he was a member of the Fairhaven school board. His ability, integrity and public spirit are well known to the residents of this community and have met with a rich return of personal regard, as well as a substantial measure of individual prosperity.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 796-797.
Imbued with the courageous spirit and hardy qualities of the true pioneer, James Oakes performed well his part, contributing toward the development and utilization of the agricultural resources of Whatcom county, and an upright, useful life of quiet devotion to duty won for him a high place in the esteem of his fellowmen. He was born November 4, 1845, on Prince Edward island, Canada, and was a son of Samuel Oakes, a native of Ireland. In his youth he crossed the United States border and lived for a time in Pennsylvania. He went to Michigan in 1877, when the forests were filled with valuable timber, and was one of the early lumbermen of that state, in which he remained until the decline of the industry. In 1897 he joined the tide of immigration to the west and settled in Whatcom county, Washington. He acquired forty acres of land in Mountain View township, which was then a frontier district, and diligently applied himself to the task of clearing the place and preparing it for the production of the crops best adapted to the soil and climatic conditions of this region. He was an untiring worker and through efficient methods and good management brought his land to a high state of development, adding modern improvements from time to time.
In 1881, while living in Michigan, Mr. Oakes married Miss Sarah Granger, who was born December 9, 1848, in the state of New York, and they became parents of four sons, but Frank, the third in order of birth, is deceased. Fred, the eldest member of the family, is a bachelor and lives on the homestead with his brother Abel, who has also remained single. Earl Melzar is associated with his brothers in the operation of the home farm, to which eighty acres have been added, and in 1911 a fine residence of nine rooms was erected on the property. The house contains the modern conveniences of a city dwelling and the work of the farm is facilitated by the latest equipment and labor saving devices. Eighty acres of the place are under cultivation and a herd of registered Holsteins is kept for dairy purposes. The rance ranks with the best in the township and the sons are ably continuing the work begun by the father, keeping pace with the progress of agriculture as a science.
James Oakes responded to the final summons October 1, 1921, and on November 8, 1924, his widow passed away. He was a devoted husband and father, a public-spirited citizen and a man of many friends. He was an adherent of the republican party and along fraternal lines was connected with the Foresters and the Knights of the Maccabees. Earl M. Oakes is affiliated with the Fraternal Order of Eagles and is also allied with the republican party, while all of the sons are valued members of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, p. 674.
The history of Whatcom county is not a very old one. It is the record of the steady growth of a community planted in the wilderness scarcely more than half a century ago and which has reached its magnitude of today without other means than those of unceasing industry. The people who redeemed it were strong-armed, hardy sons of the soil who hesitated at no difficulty and were not appalled at hardships. Their resultant efforts have been fully appreciated by those who came at a later period and builded on the firm foundation which they laid. Among these old pioneer is Edward O'Neil, one of the best and most favorably known citizens of Lynden township, who has long been closely identified with the community now honored by his citizenship. Mr. O'Neil was born in Columbia county, Wisconsin, in August, 1854, and is a son of Francis and Rose O'Neil, the latter of whom died when her son Edward was but twenty months old. Francis O'Neil was born in Ireland in 1812 and was reared in Scotland. He came to the United States with his family, locating first in Wisconsin, and in 1867 he moved to northwestern Iowa, where he remained until his death.
Edward O'Neil secured his education in the public schools of Wisconsin and Iowa, attending school about three months each year. He remained on his father's farm until 1874, when he came to the present site of Lynden, Whatcom county, and during the ensuing eleven years he worked in the woods around British Columbia and Puget sound. In the late '70's he homesteaded a tract of land in Lynden township, of which his present farm is a part. While continuing his work in the woods, he returned to his land from time to time until he had proved it up, and in 1883 he located permanently on this place. His first trip to this tract was on foot over the old Telegraph trail by way of Everson. The land was densely covered with timber and brush and the surrounding woods were filled with wild animals, such as bears, deer, wild cats and cougars, and so bold were they that at one time a cougar killed a heifer belonging to Mr. O'Neil's brother-in-law. During his first year here Mr. O'Neil had to go to Bellingham to trade and, there being no roads, he had to pack in his provisions. Indeed, he made the first trail leading to his land. The second year after he came here a Mr. Hawley opened a small store at Lynden, which was a great accommodation to the settlers in this locality. Mr. O'Neil spent many days in hard and unremitting toil before his land was in shape for cultivation, but in the course of time he developed a good farm and a comfortable home. He now has about forty acres cleared, the remainder being in timber. During his second year on the place he was burned out by a forest fire, but he immediately began to rebuild. He has made many splendid improvements on the farm, including a good set of buildings, and now has a very attractive place. He has carried on general farming operations, in connection with which he has kept a good herd of milk cows, and is now engaged in the chicken business, both of which lines are profitable in this section of the state. Mr. O'Neil is enterprising and up-to-date in his methods and has attained a very comfortable station in life as the result of his persistent and well directed efforts.
On August 23, 1883, Mr. O'Neil was married to Mrs. E. (Walker) Lewis, who was born in upper Canada, a daughter of James and Margaret (McMillan) Walker, both of whom were born in Ireland, though the father was reared in Scotland. The daughter came to the United States with the family in 1875, locating in Lynden township, where her brother, James L. Walker, homesteaded a tract of land on what is now the Haynie place. Her father homesteaded land in British Columbia. She made her home with her brother, and during her first year here she did not see another white woman. She was a real pioneer, having been the first woman to come into Lynden over the Benson trail. She had come to Nooksack with Mr. Caldwell, the mail carrier, and on the way from Nooksack to Lynden, by canoe, she was compelled to walk more than a mile around a big jam which had formed in the river. To Mr. and Mrs. O'Neil have been born five children, namely: Edward, who is married and lives at Fullerton, California; Grace and Allie, who are at home; Mrs. Etta Price, who lives on the home farm and is the mother of a son, Billie; and Loren, at home. By her former marriage Mrs. O'Neil became the mother of two daughters - Annie, who is the wife of Henry Karnon, of Seattle; and Mary Jane, who died at the age of fourteen years. Mr. O'Neil is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and the Whatcom County Poultry Association. Measured by the true standard of excellence, he is an honorable, upright gentleman, true to himself and to others, and his influence in the community has always been potent for good. Generous and big-hearted, kindly in disposition, he has never lacked for friends, and he is held in high esteem generally in this community.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 97-98.
JAMES H. PASCOE
James H. Pascoe, who has been in the service of the Bellingham Coal Mines Company, Incorporated, of Bellingham, in the capacity of general superintendent, since February, 1919, has been engaged in mine work from the age of twelve years and is thoroughly familiar with every phase thereof. His birth occurred at Marshfield, Oregon, in 1875, his parents being James and Jessie (Nelson) Pascoe. The latter was still but a child when in 1863 she accompanied her father, Alexander Nelson, across the plains by ox team from Illinois to California. Mr. Nelson was engaged in farming in the San Joaquin valley prior to going into the mines. It was in the Golden state that his daughter Jessie became the wife of James Pascoe, who made his way from the east to San Francisco via Cape Horn in 1868. Two children were born to the couple at Summerville, California. James Pascoe worked in the mines of that state until 1874, when he went to the Eastport mines in Oregon, where his son and namesake and also another daughter were born to him and his wife. Mrs. Jessie (Nelson) Pascoe departed this life in 1878. It was in 1889 that James Pascoe left Oregon for Colorado, taking up his abode at Leadville, where he passed away in November of the same years.
James H. Pascoe, whose name introduces this review, spent the first twenty years of his life in the state of his nativity. When a lad of twelve he obtained employment as trapper or door boy in the mines, and eight years later, when a young man of twenty, he entered the metal mines at Nevada City, California, where he remained for two years. He next spent one year in the metal mines of Montana and in 1899 returned to Oregon on a visit. Going back to California, he remained in that state until the spring of 1900, when he came to Washington and thereafter worked in the Wilkeson mines for about six months. Subsequently he was employed in various other mines of this state and then again made his way to Oregon, while on the 9th of September, 1903, he once more started for California. Next he worked in the mines at Hastings in southern Colorado and thence went to St. Louis, Missouri, where he arrived at the time of the exposition. Leaving the latter city, he went to the Illinois coal fields at Belleville and remained in the mines of that state for six years. He acted as mine examiner at Superior Mine No. 3, at that time the largest in the world. In July, 1909, Mr. Pascoe returned to the Fairfax mines in Washington, where he was employed as fire boss and mine foreman for one year. While in Illinois he took up the study of Mining with the International Correspondence School and completed a course in mining engineering. Desiring to broaden his experience, he went into the Roslyn mines as shot lighter and three months later became assistant foreman, while subsequently he was made humidity man, experimenting with the humidity of mine air to combat coal dust problems. Thereafter he served as foreman of Mine No. 5 at Roslyn for three years. On the 1st of February, 1915, he was transferred to No. 7, a larger mine, of which he remained foreman for a period of four years or until the 1st of February 1919. At the latter date he came to Bellingham, where he has since represented the Bellingham Coal Mines Company as general superintendent, and his efficient services in this connection are highly appreciated by the corporation.
On the 14th of January, 1904, Mr. Pascoe was united in marriage to Mary Myer, of Belleville, Illinois. They are the parents of a son and daughter, namely: Clarence W., who is a student in the State College of Washington at Pullman; and Florence M., who is attending the Behnke-Walker Business College of Portland, Oregon. In politics Mr. Pascoe is a stanch adherent of the republican party, while his religious faith is that of the Presbyterian church. A worthy exemplar of the teachings and purposes of the Masonic fraternity, he is a Scottish Rite Mason who has been senior warden in the blue lodge, also belongs to the Mystic Shrine and is now serving as president of the Northwestern Shrine Club at Bellingham.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 127-128.
G. L. PLASTER
A list of Whatcom county's honored and successful families would be incomplete were there failure to make specific mention of G. L. Plaster, a well known farmer and representative citizen of Ferndale township, whose life has been one of honor, industry and public spirit, resulting in good to everyone with whom he has come in contact. He has won success because he has persevered in pursuit of a worthy purpose and today he occupies an enviable position in the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens throughout Whatcom county.
Mr. Plaster was born in Bellingham, Whatcom county, Washington, on the 5th of February, 1863, and is a son of John H. and Louise Plaster, the latter of whom was also born and reared in Bellingham. The father was a native of Kentucky but at the age of seven years, in 1839, accompanied the family on their removal to Texas, where he lived about ten years. In 1849 he took the overland route to California, traveling with ox teams, and he remained in the Golden state until about 1860. His next move was to Whatcom county, Washington, and he pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres of land in Ferndale township, on which he lived until 1862, when he homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land on Nooksack river, one and a half miles south of Ferndale, there residing until his death, which occurred April 16, 1898. An energetic and capable man, he made a success as a farmer; stood high in public esteem and served as the first territorial judge of Whatcom county. His wife passed away in 1868. To this worthy couple were born ten children. G. L., Emma, Mary, May, Frank, Annie, Norbert, John, Rudolph and one that died in infancy.
G. L. Plaster received his educational training in the public schools of Bellingham and Ferndale and remained at home until his marriage, when he took over the operation of his father's ranch, which he ran until the latter's death, at which time, on the division of the estate, he received forty acres. To this he later added twenty-one acres, but subsequently sold ten acres, so that he is now the owner of fifty-one acres of good land. He has given his close and undivided attention to the operation of this land, which he devotes to a general line of crops, principally hay, grain and sugar beets. He also gives considerable attention to dairying, keeping twenty head of high grade Jersey cattle and a pure bred bull. The fine bottom land which composes the major part of his farm is extremely fertile and produces bountiful crops under Mr. Plaster's intelligent and painstaking management. He is methodical and up-to-date in all his affairs and has won a high reputation as a capable and enterprising agriculturist. He has made a number of fine improvements on his farm, keeps everything in good order and possesses one of the choice farms of his section of the county.
On July 7, 1884, Mr. Plaster was married to Miss Rosa Waldo, who was born in Yolo county, California, a daughter of John William and Susan (Miller) Waldo, the former a native of Indiana and the latter of Iowa. Mrs. Plaster's grandfather emigrated to California in 1849, the trip being made by ox team, and on his way across the plain the party had a narrow escape from massacre by the hostile Indians. He mined in California for many years, but later took up a homestead and devoted himself to its operation until his death. Mr. and Mrs. Plaster are the parents of five children: Warren, born in 1885, died on July 18, 1925. Maude A., born in 1887, became the wife of F. C. Graves and the mother of four children, namely: Lee, born April 22, 1906; Frank, born May 2, 1909; Bert, born July 9, 1913; and Charlotte, born March 27, 1922. Albert H., born in 1889, died in 1918. Rodney married Hilda Erz. Nellie became the wife of Edward King and the mother of three children; Corwin, born February 10, 1916; Edward, born June 30, 1918, and Wetzel, born August 11, 1921.
Mr. Plaster is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association. He is a man of sound business ideas, clear-headed in his judgment and definite in his actions, so that he has long enjoyed a reputation as one of the most progressive and influential farmers in his section of Whatcom county.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 582-585.
J. D. PROUTY
A prominent and well known citizen of the vicinity of Ten Mile is J. D. Prouty, who has led and eminently honorable and useful life, achieving a marked degree of success, and at the same time has been a loyal citizen of the community of which he is a pioneer. He came to this county forty-three years ago, and thus has been a witness of and a participant in the wonderful transformation which has taken place here during the subsequent eventful years.
Mr. Prouty was born in Knox county, Illinois, in 1869, and is a son of E. S. and Emma (Reed) Prouty, the former of whom was a native of New York state and the latter of Pennsylvania. The father was a veteran of the Civil war, having taken part in some of the most important battles and campaigns of that great struggle. The family came to Whatcom county in 1883, the father buying forty acres of land on the old Telegraph road, known as the old Hudson Bay place, and to him belonged the distinction of establishing the first post office in the county, which he called "Yager." He was enterprising and energetic and at one time ran four stores in the township. He lived on that farm until about 1910, at which time he had cleared about two-thirds of the land. He and his wife are both now deceased. They were true pioneers, their first home being a small log cabin, but later a comfortable and commodious home was built, of hewed logs. When they first landed at Bellingham they came up the bay in a scow, which could not approach the shore, and Mr. Prouty had to hire an Indian to take them ashore in his canoe.
J. D. Prouty received a good public school education and remained with his father until he had attained his majority. He then turned his attention to mining and prospecting and made two trips to Alaska. On his return home he engaged in logging and later entered the employ of the Silver King Mining Company, of British Columbia, with which he remained for six years. In 1903 he bought forty acres of land, comprising his present farm. Very little clearing had been done on the tract, and he applied himself closely to the improvement of the place, thirty-five acres of which are now cleared and in cultivation. Mr. Prouty gives his attention to dairy and poultry farming, in which he has met with splendid success. He keeps from eight to ten good grade cows and is planning to run one thousand laying hens. He is enterprising and progressive in his methods and the improvements which he has made on the place are all permanent and substantial in character. The fertile and productive fields produce all the necessary feed for the stock, and Mr. Prouty is now very comfortably situated, his place affording a striking contrast to the conditions that existed when he first came to this locality. Among other things, he recalls that in the early days they did all their trading at Bellingham and that it required two full days with an ox team to make the round trip. Wild animals and game fowl were abundant, and in many other ways it was a typical frontier scene.
On January 26, 1900, Mr. Prouty was married to Miss Louie Smith, who was born in Iowa, a daughter of R. P. and Mary (Huff) Smith, with whom she came to Whatcom county in 1892. To Mr. and Mrs. Prouty have been born six children, namely: Wilfred M., of Lynden, who is married to Berta Tupper and has one son, Donald; Wallace, also of Lynden, who is married to Dorothy Kiegel; Wiley and Wayne, twins; Warren and Wesley. Mr. Prouty is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and is deeply interested in everything affecting the welfare and prosperity of the farmers of the community. He is a good business man, exercising splendid judgment in all that he does, and he has gained a fine reputation as a man of sagacity and discrimination. Friendly and affable in his social relations and courteous and accommodating with his neighbors, he enjoys the respect and good will of all who know him.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 18-19.
JAMES M. RAPER
All honor is due those sturdy pioneers who braved the hardships and dangers of frontier life and planted the seeds of civilization in hitherto undeveloped regions. Of this type was James M. Raper, for thirty years a resident of Rome township and one of the first to develop its rich agricultural resources. He was a gallant Union soldier, a good citizen and a man of high moral character, respected and admired by all with whom he was brought in contact. Mr. Raper was a son of John and Anne (Hayes) Raper and was born in Wayne county, Indiana, in 1845. His father was also a Hoosier and was born September 4, 1815. The paternal grandparents migrated from Virginia to Indiana in 1806, traveling in an oxcart, and were among the earliest settlers of Wayne county. They established their home in the midst of a forest, and there John Raper spent his life, developing one of the finest farms in the county.
James M. Raper was educated in the public schools of Indiana and aided his father in the work of tilling the soil. When a youth of sixteen he tried to enlist in the Union army but was rejected owing to his age. He was accepted in June, 1861, becoming a member of Company K, of the Seventeenth Indiana Mounted Infantry, a unit of Wilder's Brigade, of Civil war fame, and remained in the service until August, 1865, never faltering in the performance of his duties. After the restoration of peace Mr. Raper returned to Indiana and served an apprenticeship to the carpenter's trade, which he followed for a number of years as a journeyman. After his marriage he embarked in the contracting business at Frankfort, Indiana, and was thus engaged for about five years, doing much important work as a city builder. In 1884 he came to Whatcom county, Washington, and homesteaded a quarter section of Rome township, in which he was among the first to take up land. The hills were crowned with dark green forests and nature presented a wild and beautiful aspect. In 1888 he built a home of logs which he had hewed, and his widow is still residing in this house, which is one of the oldest in the county. He also constructed the floor of hewn logs, as no lumber could be obtained in the locality in those early days, and he obtained three windows and two doors for the dwelling by carrying them on his back for a distance of four miles, most of the journey being uphill. His land was covered with brush and trees and he was obliged to exert every effort to clear the place and prepare the soil for the growing of crops. Mr. Raper was a man of determination and energy and overcame many obstacles and difficulties, eventually transforming the place into a productive farm, to which he was constantly adding modern improvements. He planted a fine orchard and raised many varieties of fruit in addition to vegetables and grain. He was an expert agriculturist and his progressive spirit made him a leader in the farming community of his district, to which he rendered valuable service. He continued to operate the homestead until January, 1914, when he was removed from his sphere of usefulness, and his death was deeply mourned by a wide circle of sincere friends as well as the members of his family, for he possessed a lovable nature and was one of the most companionable of men.
At Westport, Illinois, October 15, 1879, Mr. Raper was married to Miss Mary Hanes, who was born in Port Jackson, that state. She was educated at the Vincennes University of Vincennes, Indiana, and taught several terms of school in Lawrence county, Illinois, before her marriage to Mr. Raper. Her parents were Samuel and Mary A. (Goff) hanes, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter a Kentuckian. Mr. hanes was one of the early settlers of Illinois and engaged in farming on a large scale, owning six hundred and forty acres of valuable land. He also operated a grist mill in that state and was the proprietor of a general store. In 1865 he went to Indiana and for several years conducted the old American Hotel at Vincennes. He was a capable business man of the highest reputation and won success in all of his undertakings. He was called to his final rest in March, 1870 and Mrs. Hanes passed away in 1878. To their union were born eight children. Mr. and Mrs. Raper became the parents of four children. The eldest, Mrs. Edna Bean, was born May 10, 1883, in Frankfort, Indiana. Her husband is connected with the state fish hatcheries and owns a fine ranch situated just outside the city limits of Bellingham. They have a family of three children: Cyril, who was born March 6, 1905; Florence Marie, born October 6, 1906; and Truman, whose birth occurred on the 7th of June, 1909. Rollie F., born in Bellingham, October 14. 1888, is a bachelor and resides with his mother. J. Morton, born February 2, 1891, is also unmarried and has always lived on the homestead. He aids his brother Rollie in operating the ranch, and they are also associated in the logging business. George Raper, the youngest son, was born November 11, 1892, and passed away in December, 1921, when twenty-nine years of age.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 631-632.
JAMES K. P. REED
Of the surviving pioneers of Whatcom county there are few names better known than that of James K. P. Reed, veteran of the Civil war and one of the honored octogenarians of the county, now living retired in Bellingham, where he has made his home for more than twenty-five years. Coming here in 1872, he became a homesteader in Ten Mile township, and his interests have ever centered here, having witnessed the development of this now flourishing community from the days when the wilderness held sway here. When in a reminiscent mood he has some very interesting tales to tell of the days when the forest was king and when its depths wild animals had their lairs and the white man contended with the Indian for the favorite hunting and fishing grounds.
Mr. Reed is a native of the old Keystone state, born in Erie county, Pennsylvania, in 1845, but his parents were New Yorkers and of colonial families. When he was twelve years of age his parents moved with their family to Knox county, Illinois, where he was living in the spring of 1861 when the Civil war broke out. Though only seventeen years of age he enlisted in 1862 in behalf of the Union cause; was accepted and went to the front as a soldier with Company I of the One Hundred and Second Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, with which command he was serving when six months later he was given an honorable discharge by reason of disability incurred in service and returned to his home. His father was a wagon maker and for some time he was employed at the same vocation, working in connection with his father, and during that time he also rendered public service as deputy constable under his father, who was constable of the township. In 1869 Mr. Reed went to Iowa and was there employed in the coal mines until in 1872 when, attracted by the good word then coming east concerning the desirability of lands for settlement in this section of the northwest country, he came to Whatcom county, Washington, and homesteaded a tract of land in Ten Mile township, settling down to the task of clearing the same and making a farm of it. He aided others in clearing their land, working for some time for Edward Eldridge, and he was also connected with logging operations, but after his marriage in 1885 he established his home on his farm in Ten Mile township and there remained until his retirement in 1899, when he removed to Bellingham, where he since has made his home, he and his wife now residing at 1415 J street. Not long after taking up his residence in Bellingham Mr. Reed was janitor of the old Central school for two years, and was for a time janitor of the Columbia school, but of late years he has been practically retired from active labor.
It was on May 21, 1885, at the home of the bride in Ten Mile township, that Mr. Reed was united in marriage to Miss Minnie Norling, and they have two children: Esther, who is the wife of Percy Ross of Bellingham and has a son, Melvin; and Artrude Reed, now living in California, who married Mary Hull and has a son, Artrude, Jr. Mrs. Minnie Reed was born in the kingdom of Sweden and was sixteen years of age when her father, Eric Norling, disposed of his affairs there and with his family came to Washington and settled on a homestead farm in Ten Mile township, Whatcom county, in the same neighborhood in which Mr. Reed had his farm. Upon his retirement from the farm Eric Norling moved to Everson and there his last days were spent. Two of Mrs. Reed's sisters still are living there. Mrs. Reed is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and for years has been one of the active members of the Woman's Relief Corps. Mr. Reed is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, with which patriotic organization he became identified during his stay in Iowa more than fifty years ago, and in former years was affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 846-849.
JEROME B. and IRA ROBINSON
Ira Robinson, a well known horticulturist of Mountain View township, living near Ferndale, must be accounted as one of the pioneers of Whatcom county for he has been here for more than fifty years and has thus been a witness to and a participant in the development of this region. Though but a child when brought here by his father, he was an observant lad and little that went on in the Bay district during those stirring days of settlement escaped his alert attention, so that when in a reminiscent mood he has many an interesting story to tell of that period, of his school days in the old pioneer school at Fort Bellingham and of his labors in helping to develop a timber farm, fighting the wild creatures of the woods, helping in the laborious operations of the lumber camps and otherwise aiding in planting the seeds of civilization here. For fifteen years Mr. Robinson was a telegraph operator, not only working as dispatcher but as lineman and he has some good stories to tell of his experiences in those days and of the often almost heartbreaking trials attending the maintenance of an open line in times of timber fires.
Mr. Robinson was bereft by death of his mother when he was but three years old. There were three other boys in this family. The mother died in Seattle in 1872, not long after the arrival of the family there. The father brought his motherless children up the coast the same year and they were reared by kindly neighbors, "living about" as best they could until the father presently established a home on his land. It was a hard life, as anyone who has lived here for fifty years can testify, but they boys got through somehow and became useful men. Charles J. Robinson, the eldest, is now in the service of the Pacific-American Fisheries on Lummi island. Ira is the second. Elmer C. Robinson, the third son, died at Bellingham in 1918. Frank Robinson, the youngest, died at Anchorage, Alaska, in 1920.
Jerome B. Robinson, one of the pioneers of Whatcom county and father of these sons, was a Hoosier, born in Elkhart, Indiana, and was living there when the Civil war broke out. He enlisted in behalf of the Union and went to the front, serving until the close of the war, being honorably discharged when twenty-one years of age. Upon the completion of his military service he cast in his lot with the pioneers of Iowa and in that state presently was married to Miss Elizabeth Roland, who was born at Canton, Ohio, and whose parents had become pioneers of Iowa. In the fall of 1871 Jerome B. Robinson closed out his holdings in Iowa and made preparations for the long and toilsome trip across the plains to the coast country. With his wife and their four small sons he came through to San Francisco by ox team and then by boat, via Victoria, went to Seattle, where in the spring of 1872 his wife died. In June of that same year he came on up to the Sehome landing and placed his four boys in the household of D. E. Tuck at Fort Bellingham, where for five years or more they were hospitably cared for. He began working in the settlements as a carpenter and in the logging camps and in 1878 entered his claim to a quarter section homestead tract in the Ferndale neighborhood. In 1880 he built the Ferndale Hotel, a picture of which may be found elsewhere in this work, and also built and conducted the "hall" shown in that picture. With his two oldest sons he established his home on his land and there his last days were spent, his death occurring in 1888.
Ira Robinson was born in Iowa, February 8, 1869, and was thus but three years of age when brought here by his father and placed in the Tuck household at Fort Bellingham. When his father settled on the homestead in the Ferndale neighborhood he went there to live and thus grew up familiar with the details of clearing a timber farm. He "worked around" in other capacities and in time became a telegraph operator, a line which he followed for fifteen years or until in 1893, when "hard times" caused a temporary suspension of the activities in which he was engaged and he then returned to Ferndale and took up shingle weaving, working thus in Whatcom and adjacent counties until 1911, when he settled on the place on which he now is living. Mr. Robinson took over a tract of forty acres, but has since sold half of it, having now a well improved place of twenty acres, principally devoted to berry culture (chiefly raspberries). He has become recognized as one of the leading horticulturists in the county. He also gives considerable attention to poultry raising and is doing well. Mr. Robinson has ever given a good citizen's attention to local civic affairs and for four years was treasurer of Mountain View township.
Mr. Robinson has been married twice. In 1896, in Bellingham, he wedded Miss Elizabeth Maes, who had come here from Michigan and who died in 1911. By that union Mr. Robinson has six children: Raymond, a veteran of the World war, is now employed in the fisheries, Willard H., also a World war veteran, is still in military service, stationed at Fort Russell, in Wyoming. Howard is employed in the fisheries here; Roland is at Excursion Inlet, Alaska. George is on the home farm with his father; and Jane, who married Alvin Dees, is now living in Aberdeen. In 1914, in Mountain View, Mr. Robinson married Miss Christina Frederickson and to this union three children have been born, Gertrude, Pearl and Henry. Mrs. Robinson is a native of the kingdom of Norway, where her parents still live. She has two brothers and a sister in this country.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 809-810.
Every country of Europe has contributed to our national growth, the people who have come to our shores being adventurous, independent, self-reliant and liberty loving. Thus it is that we have drained Europe of much of its best blood, and the result has been to stimulate our growth and development almost beyond calculation. In this class is Kaspar Sailer, one of the best known farmers and dairymen in the vicinity of Everson. He was born in Bavaria, Germany, on the 29th of April, 1862, and is a son of Raphael and Annie Sailer, both of whom also were natives of Bavaria. The father came to the United States in 1886, coming direct to Whatcom county, where he homesteaded forty acres of land on the Nooksack river. Soon afterward he bought forty acres adjoining, and to the farming of this eighty acre tract he devoted himself closely during the remainder of his life, his death occurring in 1903. His wife had died in Germany in 1870. They were the parents of two children - the subject of this sketch and a sister, Sophie, who died in her native land.
Kaspar Sailer secured his education in the public schools of Germany and then served four years in the German army. In 1888 he came to the United States, locating on the Nooksack river, near Everson, where he acquired eighty acres of land. He remained there until 1916, when he sold that place and bought a sixty acre tract of partly cleared land, a half mile east of Everson. He finished clearing this land and has since devoted his energies to its cultivation, in which he has been rewarded with a very satisfactory measure of success. He built a fine, modern house in 1919, and about that same time erected a large and commodious barn and a silo. He gives considerable attention to dairying, keeping twenty-five head of pure bred and good grade Holstein and Jersey cattle. He raises good crops of hay and grain and also raises corn for ensilage. He is an up-to-date farmer, does thoroughly whatever he undertakes and has gained an enviable reputation because of his enterprise and progressiveness. The ranch, which is located on the main highway to Sumas, is well improved in every essential respect and presents a most inviting appearance, Mr. Sailer being justifiably proud of what he has accomplished here.
Mr. Sailer was married, August 23, 1902, to Miss Lena Nieche, who was born
in Nebraska, a daughter of Karl and Nettie Nieche, both of whom were natives
of Germany, whence they came to the United States about 1872. They settled
in Nebraska, where the father followed the carpenter's trade up to the time
of his death, which occurred in December, 1922. His wife passed away in February,
1919. They were the parents of eight children, all of whom are living, namely:
Mrs. Minnie Dickman, who lives in Nebraska; Mrs. Annie Grimm, who lives in
Everson, Washington; Mrs. Cardena Homlet, who lives in Nebraska; Adolph,
of Nebraska; Lena, the wife of the subject; Mrs. Mary Greer, who lives in
Bellingham; Wilhelm, of Nebraska, and George, who lives in Concrete, Whatcom
county. To Mr. and Mrs. Sailer have been born three children, namely: Augusta,
September October 7, 1904; Nettie, born September
10 8, 1905, and Karl, born May 15, 1912, all of whom were
born on the river ranch near Everson. Mr Sailer is a member of the Whatcom
County Dairymen's Association, in the operations of which he takes a deep
interest. He is a public-spirited man, giving his earnest support to every
movement for the advancement of the community along all normal lines. He
is a liberal giver to all local benevolent or charitable objects and is widely
known throughout this section of the county as a man of splendid habits and
sterling character. He is friendly and genial in his social relations and
holds an enviable place in the esteem and confidence of his fellow
Note: Records of Trinity Lutheran Church spell the surnames as SEILER and NAISCHE.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 595-596.
JOHN F. SHETLER
Among the strong and influential citizens of Whatcom county the record of whose lives have become an essential part of the history of this section, is John F. Shetler, who has exerted a beneficial influence throughout the community where he resides. His chief characteristics are keeness of perception, a tireless energy, honesty of purpose and motive and every-day common sense, which have enabled him not only to advance his own interests, but also to largely contribute to the moral and material advancement of the county. John F. Shetler is a native of Indiana, where his birth occurred on the 24th of February, 1854, and he is a son of Hezekiah and Nancy Ann (Sutton) Shetler, the former born in Pennsylvania in 1821, and the latter in Indiana, April 8, 1827. They brought their family to Washington on October 7, 1882, and spent the remainder of their days in Whatcom county, the father dying September 24, 1886, and the mother January 16, 1900. They were the parents of nine children, namely: George F., deceased, Aaron J., John F., Mrs. Julia A. Argo, Jacob M., William Henry, Marshall M., Mary Ellen, deceased and Etta Isabel. Hezekiah Shetler was a hard and industrious worker and was progressive in his methods. He and his sons cut the first lumber and shingles by steam power in Whatcom county, the sawmills prior to that time having been operated by water power. They also cut and donated the lumber used in the building of the first church in Ferndale. In these and many other ways Mr. Shetler was an important and appreciated factor in the early development of his section of the county and he enjoyed to a marked degree the esteem and confidence of his fellow citizens.
John F. Shetler was educated in district schools of Kansas, where the family lived for a number of years prior to coming to Washington. After leaving school he ran cattle there until the family came to the coast in 1882. He has been identified with Whatcom county continuously from that time to the present and has done his part in the great work of transformation that has taken place here. All the men in the family took up homesteads of one hundred and sixty acres each in the Ten Mile district, all of the land being heavily covered with timber. They built a sawmill on Deer creek and here sawed the timber from their land. Here they established their homes, followed general farming and stock-raising, and lived there until about 1900. In that year John F. Shetler bought the interests of the other heirs in his mother's estate and lived on that place two years longer. During the following five years he worked in a sawmill, his wife doing the cooking for the crew, and at the end of that time he bought thirty acres of land on the highway, one mile south of the county farm. He cleared and now farms it, raising great crops of hay. He is a good manager, an indomitable worker and exercises sound judgment in all his operations, so that the success which has rewarded his efforts has been well earned. At the same time he has gained the hearty respect and the unbounded confidence of his fellow citizens, who have recognized in him the essential qualities of good citizenship. Mr. Shetler had a number of unusual experiences during his early years in this country, some of which bordered on the thrilling. Soon after he came here he started through the woods one day, when he heard a blood-curdling noise, which he at first thought was the scream of a panther. As he had no gun with him, he picked up a big club and expected to have to battle for his life, but to his joy the animal proved to be a loon. At that time many wild and vicious animals roamed through the forests of this locality and a person was hardly safe without a trusty weapon. He possesses a rose bush that was planted in 1882 by Charles Cowden. Mr. Shetler has taken it with him on his various moves over the state, and it is now growing nicely on his present place. It is the oldest blooming rose bush in Whatcom county and he prizes it highly.
In Kansas, August 15, 1882, Mr. Shetler was married to
Mrs. Angelia Bentley, who was born in Fulton county, Illinois, daughter of
Robert and Nancy Elizabeth (Berry) Boyer. The father was a native of Ohio
and the mother of Indiana, but their last years were spent in Illinois. Mrs.
Shetler was first married in 1875 to David Bentley, who was born December
4, 1848, and they had four children, Charles, Nathan, Minnie and Thomas,
the last named being deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Shetler have one child, Leota,
who ws born in Whatcom county, and was married, August 17, 1901, to John
L. Dickerson, and they are the parents of four children, Birdie, John, Ernestine
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 598-599.
THOMAS H. STEPHENS
Thomas H. Stephens, who passed away April 19, 1926, had experienced every phase of pioneer life in the west and was long numbered among the leading agriculturists of Acme township. He was born November 27, 1851, in Portsmouth, England, and many members of the family served in the British navy. His parents were Thomas H. and Elizabeth (Edlin) Stephens, the former of whom fought in the Crimean war. The father was a ship carpenter, and in 1856 he settled in Ontario, Canada, where he spent the remainder of his life, while the mother also passed away in that province.
Mr. Stephens was educated in the schools of the Dominion and in May, 1870, when a young man of nineteen, came to the States, locating in Chicago. He worked on railroads and steamboats in Illinois, Minnesota, Wyoming and Utah, also spending some time in Salt Lake City, and in November, 1874, went to California. He lived for a few years in the Golden state and next engaged in mining in the Black hills of South Dakota. Eventually he returned to California and in 1881 made his way to Portland, Oregon. He went from that city to Spokane, Washington, and thence to California. In May 1884, he came to Whatcom county and entered a homestead in the Nooksack vally, in which he was the fourth settler. In all directions were dense forests of dark green pines, and in this isolated district he established a home. His wife had also taken up a claim in the same locality before her marriage, and their combined holdings amounted to three hundred acres of land. Mr. Stephens cleared his farm and enriched the soil, bringing it to a high state of development. From time to time he added improvements to his place and finally transformed it into one of the finest ranches in the township, keeping pace with the scientific progress of agriculture.
On July 21, 1887, Mr. Stephens married Miss Mary F. McDaniel, who was born in Indiana and has passed away. She was a daughter of William and Elizabeth (Elrod) McDaniel and came to Acme township in July, 1884. Mr. and Mrs. Stephens were the parents of two daughters, Mabel E., the elder, was the second white child born in the Nooksack valley. She is the wife of John W. Douglas, one of the well known ranchmen of Acme township, and they have three children: Donald, Myrtle and Marjorie. Anna is the wife of Hubert S. Morell and resides on the homestead.
Mr. Stephens was inducted into the Masonic order at Bellingham in 1885 and was identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows since March 16, 1877. He was allied with the republican party and served for years on the school board. True to every relation in his live and faithful to every duty, he was highly regarded by friends and neighbors, who mourn his passing.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 740-741.
MARIUS VANDER GRIEND
The gentleman to a brief review of whose life and character the reader's attention is herewith directed is among the favorably known and representative citizens of western Whatcom county. He has by his indomitable enterprise and progressive methods not only attained a large measure of success in his own material affairs but has contributed largely to the advancement of his community. He is widely known as a man of unswerving honesty, sound judgment and indomitable industry and stands deservedly high in the esteem of his fellow citizens. M. Vander Griend was born in Holland in 1872 and is a son of M. and Adriana (Vaandrager) Vander Griend, both natives of Holland and both of whom are now deceased, the father dying in 1913 and the mother April 10, 1925. In 1885 the father brought his wife and nine children to the United States, locating in South Dakota, where for three years he was engaged in farming, and then located south of Lincoln, Nebraska, where he bought one hundred and sixty acres of land, also renting much additional land. He had for years been interested in Washington and Oregon but never understood why land in these states was so cheap. He made a trip out here in 1898 and looked the country over but did not move here until 1901, when he bought one hundred and twenty acres, about half of which was cleared, all being cleared at this time. Two children were born to him and his wife in this country, there thus being eight sons and three daughters in the family.
M. Vander Griend the immediate subject of this sketch, secured his education partly in the public schools of his native land and partly in the schools of South Dakota and Nebraska. He came to Lynden in 1899 and when the rest of the family arrived he helped his father clear the land and improve the property, remaining with the latter until his marriage, when he located northwest of Lynden, on the Guide Meridian road, in Delta township. He had forty acres across the road from the home farm, a part of the old Lauckhart homestead, all of which was wild land when he bought it, but which he cleared and then sold to his brother. He is now the owner of fifty acres of fertile bottom land, on which he has a man who runs the place for him on an equal share basis. He keeps twenty-five milk cows and is making preparations for the housing of one thousand chickens. The farm produces an abundance of hay and grain, and is also splendid potato land. Mr. Vander Griend is likewise the owner of an eleven acre place in town, where he keeps twelve cows, retailing the milk and cream, in which business he has been very successful.
In 1903, at Lynden, Mr. Vander Griend was married to Miss Augusta Schuyleman, who was born in Holland and was brought to the United States when six years of age. She received a good education and taught school for a number of years prior to her marriage. Her parents are both deceased, the father dying January 1, 1902, and the mother in 1908. To Mr. and Mrs. Vander Griend were born three children, namely: Adriana and Maurine, who are students in the State Normal School at Bellingham; and Ward, who is in high school. Mr. Vander Griend has long been active in local public affairs, having served for several terms as assessor and as road overseer. He was a member of the board of directors of the old Lynden Creamery and is a member of the board of directors of the Northwest Washington Fire Association, of which he has been president. He is a member of the First Christian Reformed church, of which he was one of the organizers and to which he gives liberal support, and is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and the Whatcom County Poultry Association. He is a public-spirited citizen and witholds his cooperation from no movement which is intended to promote public improvement. Genial and friendly in all his social relations, he easily makes friends, and he stands high in popular esteem and confidence.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 324-325.
An enumeration of the enterprising and representative German-born citizens of Whatcom county would be incomplete without specific mention of Gottlieb Waschke, of Ferndale township, for since casting his lot with us he has stamped the impress of his individuality upon the community, for while laboring for his own advancement he has not neglected his duties to the public in general, but has always supported such measures as make for the public welfare. He was born in Germany, March 10, 1854, and is a son of Michael and Marie (Nagorny) Waschke, both lifelong residents of the fatherland, having died and been buried on the same day in October, 1866.
Gottlieb Waschke was educated in the public schools of his native land, and after completing his studies he went to work on river dredges, following that line of work for several years. He then went to work in a sugar factory, where he remained until 1881, when he emigrated to the United States. He located first in Detroit, michigan, where he remained over a year, and then went to Minnesota. For three years he was employed in railroad car shops, after which he turned his attention to farming on one hundred and sixty acres of Minnesota land, which he had bought in 1886. He followed agricultural pursuits there for fourteen years and then, selling that place, came to Bellingham, Whatcom county. After looking over the country, he bought one hundred and sixty acres of land in Ferndale township, which was covered with brush and stumps. He at once set himself to the task of clearing the land and getting it in shape for cultivation. Eighty acres were eventually cleared and he cultivated it for several years. He then sold part of the land, but retained enough for his purposes. He kept thirty-six milk cows, for which he raised hay and grain, as well as potatoes and a general line of vegetables for his own use. Later he sold another part of the farm and is now owner of fifty acres of fine land, which is rented and operated by his son. During the years of his residence here, Mr. Waschke has set an example for steady and persevering labor, under adverse conditions ofttimes, and for intelligent and well-directed efforts along a definite line. His sturdiness and integrity long ago won for him the sincere respect of his neighbors and fellow citizens and today no man in this section of the county holds a higher place in public confidence and esteem. Now, as the result of his former years of earnest and unremitting toil, he is able to spend the golden sunset years of his life in peace and plenty.
In 1882 Mr. Waschke was married to Miss Bertha Matzke, also a native of Germany, and a daughter of Gottlieb Matzke, a native of Germany, who came to the United States in 1905 and lived here until his death, which occurred in 1911. His wife passed away in 1918. to Mr. and Mrs. Waschke have been born the following children: John, Gustav, Ernie, Lizzie, Henry, Ida, Elzie, Bertha, Marie and William. There are also twenty-six grandchildren. Mr. and Mrs. Waschke are earnest and faithful member of the German Lutheran church in Bellingham, to which they give liberal support, as they do to all worthy benevolent and charitable objects. Genial, kindly and hospitable, their home has always been open to their neighbors and friends and they have enjoyed a well deserved popularity throughout the community in which they live.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 679-680.
ROBERT M. WEIHE
Robert M. Weihe, president of the Royal Baking Company of Bellingham and one of the veteran bakers of this particularly well favored corner of the United States, has engaged in business here for more than thirty-five years. He is of European birth but has been a resident of this country since the days of his boyhood. He was born in Germany, April 5, 1868, and was fourteen years of age when in 1882 he came to this country, settling in Sioux City, Iowa, where he grew up, attended public school and there learned the baker's trade. In 1888, as a journeyman baker, he came to the coast and was employed at San Diego, California. In 1890 attracted by the good word then going out regarding the rapid development of the settlements on the bay he came here and in association with Charles Neff started a bakery in a building adjoining the Sehome Hotel, later moving to a more desirable building on High street, operating under the name of the Bellingham Bay Bakery.
Upon the dissolution of that partnership Mr. Weihe set up another establishment under the name of the Columbia Bakery, and thus continued for fourteen years, at the end of which time he sold out. In 1909 he resumed business, which in 1924 was incorporated as the Royal Baking Company, with Mr. Weihe as president and treasurer of the company and his son, Fred A. Weihe, as secretary. Lloyd Wilkie also is interested in this company, which has a fine new building of concrete construction at Elk, Iron and Iowa streets and which also maintains an uptown retail store. The bakery occupies a two-story building covering ground space of one hundred and fifty by two hundred and eighty-five feet and is equipped with the latest standard appliances designed for modern baking operations. The company employs twenty or more persons in this establishment and its products are widely distributed throughout the fine trade area centering in Bellingham.
In 1891, the year following his arrival in Bellingham, Mr. Weihe was united in marriage to Miss Marie Bowman of Tacoma and they have two children: Fred A., the secretary of the Royal Baking Company; and Louise, the wife of Lloyd Wilkie, who also is a member of this company. The Weihes are republicans and have ever given proper attention to local civic affairs. Fred A. Weihe is a member of the Bellingham Chamber of Commerce and of the Rotary Club.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, p. 749.
GEORGE A. WILLEY
The career of George A. Willey has been closely identified with the history of Whatcom county, for here he has spent over forty years of his useful, industrious and honorable life, beginning his career here in the pioneer epoch of the county, and throughout the subsequent years he has been closely allied with its interests, and upbuilding. His life, being one of unfailing activity, has been crowned with success, and at the same time he has won and retained the confidence and good will of all who know him, because of his upright character, fine public spirit and genial friendly manner. Mr. Willey is a native of the state of Maine, born on the 29th of July, 1850, and he is the scion of sterling old Yankee stock, his parents, John and Mary (Densmore) Willey, also having been natives of that state, while his ancestors, on both paternal and maternal lines, came from England, and some of his forebears were soldiers in the war of the Revolution. John Willey was a farmer in his native state, and also was a carpenter contractor. His death occurred at Millbridge, Maine, in 1861, and his wife died about 1870. Of the six children born to them, three are now living, namely: Veranus, who lives in Millbridge, Maine, and is married and has a son, Harvey; George A; and Julie, who lives in Connecticut.
George A. Willey was educated in the public schools of his native state and on leaving school went to sea, following the life of a sailor for six years. He then returned to the old home and remained on the farm until 1880, when he came to Washington, locating at Fort Gamble, where he was employed as a millwright in a sawmill for six months. Then for two months he was in San Francisco, after which he went to Tacoma, Washington, where he remained for two years. In 1882 Mr. Willey came to Ferndale, Whatcom county, and took up a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres on the Nooksack river, in Delta township. He was a pioneer of that immediate locality, and his land was densely covered with timber and brush, to remove which required a prodigious amount of hard and consecutive labor. He has about fifty acres of the place cleared and in cultivation, and he also planted about ten acres of fruit trees, including apples, cherries, plums and peaches. He keeps ten good grade cows, and he has made many fine improvements on the place, including a substantial and well arranged set of farm buildings. By the exercise of sound judgment and discrimination in all of his business affairs, he has achieved a very gratifying measure of success and is now numbered among the enterprising and progressive farmers of his section of the country.
Mr. Willey has been twice married, first, in 1879, to Miss Lena Wilson, a native of Maine, and they became the parents of a daughter, Lena, who died in 1922. Mrs. Lena Willey died in California in 1881, and in September, 1894, Mr. Willey was married to Miss Jessie O'Neil, who was born and reared in Seattle, Washington. To them have been born five children, namely: Mrs. Mabel A. Martin, of Sumas, Washington, who is the mother of three children - Paul A., Constance E. and Glen A.; Mrs. Florence G. Chapin, who is the wife of Herbert Chapin and has a daughter, Virginia Lee, born April 18, 1925; Evelyn D., who lives in Lynden; and Marion B. and Jessie C.
Herbert Chapin was born at Marion, Michigan, July 21, 1895, and is a son of Wallace and Edith (Call) Chapin, the former of whom was a native of Wisconsin, while the latter was born in Michigan. When Herbert was a child of but three years the family came to Washington, and he received his education in the schools of this state. On the outbreak of the World war he became intensely interested in the struggle, and after the United States entered the war he enlisted in the navy, July 14, 1917, and served until after the close of the conflict, receiving an honorable discharge February 2, 1919. He is now residing with his father-in-law on the home farm, of which he has taken active charge. He is a wide-awake, up-to-date farmer, thoroughly understands his work and does well whatever he undertakes. He is a genial and friendly man in his social relations, courteous and accommodating toward his neighbors, and is held in the highest esteem throughout the community.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, p. 944-945.
GEORGE W. WORTHEN
No citizen of Lynden township, Whatcom county, enjoys in a larger measure the respect and admiration of his fellow citizens than does George W. Worthen, who by his own unaided efforts worked his way from a modest beginning to a position of independence and influence in the community where he lives. His life has been one of unceasing industry and perseverance and the systematic and honorable methods which he has followed have contributed to his popularity. Mr. Worthen was born in West Charleston, Vermont, in 1862, and is a son of C. F. and Mary L. (Boyd) Worthen, both of whom were natives of New Hampshire, and both of whom are now deceased. They had celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. The father was a farmer by vocation and had lived in Lynden since 1905. He was a veteran of the Civil war, having served as a private in Company H, Fifteenth Regiment, Vermont Volunteer Infantry. To him and his wife were born the following children, namely: C. W., who was killed in 1901 while at work in a logging camp; George W.; S. W., of Lynden; Alfred, who died in 1902; Edward, who died in 1903; Ethel, who died in 1905; Ralph, who died in 1904; Leona; Viola, who is the wife of George Gustin, of Lynden; and Edith, the wife of Irving Kimball, now living in New York state.
George W. Worthen attended the public schools of his native town and remained on the home farm until he was twenty-five years of age. He then came to Whatcom county, arriving here February 12, 1887, and during the first two summers he worked in Lynden, although living with his brother, C. W., in Delta. In the winter after his arrival he returned to Vermont, intending to stay there, but soon changed his mind and came back here in 1888 with his brother, S. W. Worthen. In the fall of that year he again returned to his eastern home, remaining there until September, 1890, when he once more came to Whatcom county and bought sixty acres of land in Delta, later also buying twenty acres adjoining his first purchase, the land having been a part of the C. W. Worthen homestead. Timber, brush and swamp characterized this land, but he immediately went to work to clear the tract and to ditch and drain it. The land was extremely wet and soft and the first ditch was a small one, dug by hand. Later the main ditch was put through the property and named the Worthen ditch and was officially entitled county ditch No. 1. Some idea of the density of the brush in this locality may be gathered from the fact that three men, after slashing one day along a one mile stretch, found it easier to go home by a round-about way than to return through the brush. Bears, deer and some beavers were seen in those days, the deer often grazing with the cattle in the fields. Hay grew well on the cleared land, but Mr. Worthen often cut hay when standing ankle deep in water, and had to remove the hay by hand, the ground being too soft to sustain oxen. Indeed, the condition of the soil was such that a long pole could be thrust its full length, into the ground by hand.
Mr. Worthen made many permanent and substantial improvements on his place and also bought eighty acres more adjoining, but sold this tract in 1910. In that same year he moved to Lynden village and bought one hundred and sixty acres in this township. The land was encumbered with brush and stumps, a large part of which is now slashed and is used for pasture, one hundred head of young cattle being pastured there last year. The tract is all ditched and fenced. The land is soft but has good natural drainage. During the years since he came to this locality Mr. Worthen has contributed many days of work on the roads and ditches of the community. After his marriage he lived on his brother's place for a few years and then built a good house on his own land, residing there until moving into Lynden. During the first two years after coming here he and his brother, C. W., did some contracting and carpenter work, and he states that he helped to clear off what is now a part of the Lynden townsite.
In 1893 Mr. Worthen was married to Miss Trina M. Tobiassen, who was born in Iowa, a daughter of A. and Torie (Andersen) Tobiassen, both of whom were natives of Norway. The father came to the United States in 1864, locating in Iowa, where he remained until 1885, when he and a son came to Delta, Whatcom county, at which time the mother and her daughter Trina and a son went to Nebraska and took up a homestead, filing preemption and tree claims. Mrs. Worthen came to Whatcom county in 1890. To her belongs the distinction of having been the first graduate from Wilson's Business College, in Lynden, which was the first commercial school in Whatcom county. To Mr. and Mrs. Worthen have been born six children, namely: Minnie M., who is the wife of Dr. Walter Muenscher, who is a member of the faculty of Cornell University, and has three children; Howard O., of Delta, who is married and has two children; Elsie, who is a graduate student at Cornell University; Julia, who died in infancy; one unnamed, who died in infancy; and Mary, who is a student in the State Agricultural College, at Pullman.
Mr. Worthen has long taken an active and effective part in local public affairs, having served for several terms on the election board while living in Delta and was a member of the election board in Lynden from 1910 to 1923. He has been a persistent booster for the Lynden fair and was a member of the board of directors of the old Lynden Creamery. He has been deeply interested in educational affairs and for many years rendered appreciated service as a member of the school board at Delta. He was a member of the Grange. Mr. Worthen retains many interesting recollections of the early days here and possesses three valuable and interesting photographs of scenes in Lynden in 1888-89. He was a passenger on the first mail stage that made the trip through from Bellingham to Lynden. They started from Bellingham before daylight and, traveling by way of Ten Mile, reached Everson about dusk. If all the recollections of these old pioneers could be collected into one volume for permanent preservation, what a wealth of early history would be preserved for later generations. Mr. Worthen has done his full part in the reclamation of the wilderness in Whatcom county and his efforts have not been in vain. He is now comfortably situated and is in a position to enjoy the leisure to which his former years of toil entitle him. Because of his record, his splendid personal character and his genial disposition, he is held in high esteem throughout the community.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 290-291.
Fred Zobrist, Acme's pioneer merchant, is also classed with the foremost agriculturists of the township, and his success is doubly creditable owing to the fact that it has been won through the stimulating friction of battling with difficulties. He was born in Switzerland in 1859, and his parents were Peter and Magdalene (Brawent) Zobrist. He was educated in his native land and when a young man of twenty-two joined the tide of immigration to the United States. He lived for some time in Indiana and went from that state to Ohio. He came to Whatcom county, Washington, in 1886 and made a payment on a relinquishment of eighty acres at Custer. He was expecting funds from Ohio but failed to receive the money and at the end of three months was forced to abandon the property after clearing some of the land, as he was unable to complete the payments.
Mr. Zobrist then went to Seattle and when he reached that city had only a quarter left. He secured a room at the old Swiss Hotel and obtained a position as pantry boy at the New England Hotel. He started at fifteen dollars per month and his salary was soon increased to forty dollars monthly, owing to his familiarity with the work. He was afterward employed in a dairy, and after he received the money due him from Ohio he returned to Custer, offering to complete the payments on the land. The man holding the property had doubled the price and Mr. Zobrist withdrew his offer, threatening to file suit unless the amount of the first payment was returned to him, which was done. In 1886 he preempted a quarter section at the head of Lake Whatcom, near the present site of the town of Park, and proved up on the land, which he cultivated for three years, also owning a store which was patronized by the early settlers of that locality. He then bought a relinquishment of one hundred and sixty acres where the town of Acme is now situated and then homesteaded it, and he opened the first store in this locality. He carries a fine line of general merchandise and is always prepared to supply the needs of customers. He gives to patrons good value for the amount expended, being satisfied with a reasonable profit on his sales, and through wise management and honest methods has built up a large trade. In the early days he transported his supplies across Lake Whatcom by rowboat and thence by packhorse to his store at Acme. Mr. Zobrist is one of the largest landholders in the township, owning more than eight hundred acres, and raises the crops best adapted to this region. He reserves a considerable portion of the land for pasture and operates three dairies. He specializes in blooded Holsteins and has one hundred and twenty-five head of fine cattle. The products of his dairies rank with the best in the county and their quality is the direct result of system and science in their preparation. He has made his private property a public asset and ranks with the most progressive and successful agriculturists in the county.
In 1887 Mr. Zobrist married Miss Mattie A. Custer, a native of Indiana, and eight children were born to them: Ida, the wife of Oscar Everetts, of Tacoma; Gertrude, who as united in marriage to Ross McDonald, of Seattle; Esther and Fred, at home; Paul, whose home is in Acme; Mildred, the wife of Dr. Guy Beesley, a prominent dentist of Port Angeles, Washington; Herbert, who is a civil and electrical engineer and a graduate of the University of Washington and is now in Seattle; and Ralph, who is taking a course in art at the State University.
Mr. Zobrist is an accomplished linguist, speaking German, French and English, with fluency, and is also able to converse in the Swedish, Dutch and Italian languages. He is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and in politics is a republican with independent tendencies. He served on the school board for a considerable period and for sixteen years was postmaster of Acme, performing his duties with customary thoroughness and efficiency. He never undertakes a task unless he considers it worthy of his best efforts and has left the impress of his individuality upon his work, possessing all of the qualities of the leader. He has an intimate knowledge of pioneer life in northwestern Washington and his conversation spans the past in interesting reminiscences. Mr. Zobrist numbers his friends by the hundreds and the most envious cannot grudge him his success, so honorably has it been won and so worthily used.
History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, pps. 788-789.
Back to Biography Index
Back to Whatcom GenWeb main page