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Phil Olmstead Valley Pioneer Called–Resident of Valley for 61 Years Passed Wednesday From Heart Attack–Had Distinguished Ancestors
Philip S. Olmstead, 73-year-old resident of the Kittitas Valley for nearly 62 years, died suddenly at his farm home Wednesday morning [March 23, 1938] from a heart attack. Death came to him without warning about 9:30, shortly after he had conferred with D. W. Brunson, local auctioneer, about a sale which he was contemplating next week, after which he planned to retire from active farming.
Mr. Olmstead was born in Ottawa, Illinois, the 14th day of February in 1865. He came to the Kittitas Valley in 1876 with his parents and had made his home in this locality for 61 years. He was the son of Samuel B. Olmstead and Sarah Yale Olmstead, who made the trek across the plains to Oregon in ’69. From there they went to Seattle where his father and his father’s cousin were affiliated in business.
In 1876 the family moved to the Kittitas Valley and took over the homestead where he lived his life amongst a host of friends and neighbors who held him in deep affection and respect. Phil Olmstead had background and numbered among his forebearers General Samuel Parsons and Richard Olmstead of Revolutionary War fame and also Captain Richard Olmstead, one of the founders of the American Colonies.
In the early days he was a freighter and drove the Squaw Creek trail from The Dalles with others whose first trips were with merchandise for the Shoudy store, one of the landmarks of Ellensburg. These trips, however, were made over the Durr Road which afterwards became the property of the county and subsequently the Yakima-Ellensburg Road.
Mr. Olmstead was one of the men who made the first cruise of the county and his experience and knowledge was utilized when he was selected as one of the appraisers of lands under the Highline. He was a long time and valued member of the directors of the Ellensburg Water Company where his sound business judgment and attention to detail were much appreciated. He was a past president of the Kittitas Valley Pioneers Association and was a leading factor in the organization of this body.
With his death the line came to an end, as his father, mother, brother, and a sister have all died. Funeral arrangements have not as yet been announced. [IOOF Cemetery]
Contributed by: Shelli Steedman