Discover your family's story.

Enter a grandparent's name to get started.

Start Now

Biography of Hon. Alphonso Fowler Learned

HON. ALPHONSO FOWLER LEARNED. – Mr. Learned, whose travels and services abroad have taken him extensively over the world as an able representative of the American nation and flag, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1838. He spent a precocious boyhood in the schools of that city, – “The Athens of America,” – and at the age of sixteen was an alumnus of Comers College. Preferring the sea, however, to further bookish confinement, he became cabin boy on a full-rigged ship, returning as able seaman. In 1857 he came on the clipper ship Sierra Nevada to San Francisco, and as mate on the bark Goldhunter, sailed to Port Townsend, Washington Territory. There he entered the mercantile business with his uncle, E.S. Fowler, but in 1862 went to Shanghai as superintendent for the large tea importers, Russel & Co. He returned in 1871, and continued in business with E.S. Fowler until the death of the latter in 1879. Much time was spent after this in San Francisco in the newspaper business, and six years in the internal revenue department. Coming back once more, he accepted a position as bookkeeper for the Alaska Mill & Mining Company; but the offensive climate induced his speedy return. He thereupon opened a real-estate and insurance office, and conducts a large business in this line. In the political world, Mr. Learned has been a prominent figure. He has held a position on the city council. He pushed Judge Hastings to the narrow majority of one vote as candidate for treasurer of Jefferson county. Six years he held the position of consul to Nicaragua, and was...

Biography of Col. Henry Landes

COL. HENRY LANDES. – The subject of this sketch is prominent and noteworthy, even among the foremost self-made men of the great and growing Pacific Northwest, – a section so progressive and promising that it has attracted the most vigorous minds and the ablest men throughout the country. He was born in a small town in Germany on the 8th of October, 1843. In 1847 his father and family emigrated to Kentucky, Henry being then four years old. There the boy grew almost to the years of manhood, and developed in a marked degree the spirit of adventurous ambition which led him on the 1st of October, 1861, to break away from the restraints of school and enlist in a Kentucky Federal regiment of infantry, being then but eighteen years old. In that regiment he served his country faithfully and well for over three years, covering nearly the whole period of the war of the Rebellion, and participating in all the principal battles from Shiloh to the capture of Atlanta. He was honorably mustered out of the service of the close of his term. The close of the war left him with his love for adventure intensified; and, like many another young man, he started out to seek fame and fortune single-handed, without prestige or assistance, but with a courage and industrious determination that amply equipped him to grapple with fortune. Naturally enough he turned his face towards the new El Dorado of the West. Arriving on the Pacific coast, he proceeded to the gold fields of British Columbia, then famous and alluring. There he delved laboriously but unsuccessfully...

Biography of J. J. H. Van Bokkelen

J.J.H. VAN BOKKELEN. – We constantly find among those that are here present lives of such incident and fullness, that any sketch must be so meager as to be well-nigh worthless. The active career of Mr. Von Bokkelen, covering more than half a century, is one of them. He inherits his name and much of his rugged mentality from an old Holland family on his father’s side, which at the time of the entrance of the French and flight of the King came to New York. There the grandfather became one of the first physicians, settling in the old Bowery, he having been in Holland physician to the King’s household. During the war of 1812 his father continued the active reputation of the family by making a hazardous voyage with one Captain Main to Japan for a load of saltpeter for Uncle Sam, running the gauntlet of two British war ships on the return voyage by the Cape of Good Hope. His father during the balance of his life followed a shipping and commercial business. On the mother’s side our subject is of a hardy sea-faring Welsh family, that came to New York in 1867, his grandfather on his mother’s side being the third licensed pilot in New York; and during the Revolutionary war he was most famous for piloting the French fleet into the bay. His early recollections extend to the visit of Lafayette, whom he saw at the house of his grandmother, whither the great Frenchman had come to present her with a golden anchor in commemoration of the services of her husband. His active and lively...

Biographical Sketch of Wilhelm Otto Roesch

WILHELM OTTO ROESCH. – The brewery of Pendleton, Oregon, is operated by Mr. Roesch, a man who has had long experience in all the processes of manufacturing the beverage. Born in Germany in 1855, he came to America in1870, working in a brewery. He followed the same business in San Francisco in 1874; at Steilacoom in 1886; at Portland until 1888. At Port Townsend he built a brewery for himself, running it two years. At Heppner, in 1880, he operated his own brewery one year. In 1882 he returned to Germany, marrying Miss Anna Rapps. Returning to Oregon, he is now at Pendleton, operating his own brewery. He has three children, Freda, Wilhelm Lewis and Herbert...

Biography of Francis W. Pettygrove

FRANCIS W. PETTYGROVE. – The greatest respect and admiration is due the memory of the men and women who came to the Pacific Northwest when it was the home of Indians, and mountain men and a few traders, almost as wild, to plant homes and lay the foundation of the empires of Oregon and Washington, now so prosperous, and in fact fast verging into the garden spots of the union. They dared much when they accepted the role of pioneers. Among those who came in the earlier emigrations was the gentleman whose name heads this brief sketch. He was a native of Maine, having been born at Calais in that state, in 1812. From that time until 1842 his time was taken up in securing an education, and in fitting himself for an active, useful and honorable future career. In the latter year he accepted an offer of a mercantile firm in the East to bring to Oregon a stock of goods, open up a store and act as their agent. After getting the merchandise on board of the ship Victoria, he set sail in her for the far-off West via Cape Horn and the Sandwich Islands. On his arrival at the islands, he transferred his goods to the bark Farna and not long thereafter found himself in the Columbia, the vessel having anchored near Vancouver. There he was compelled to remain for some two weeks on account of lack of transportation facilities for getting his goods up the Willamette to Oregon City, his ultimate destination; when he secured the services of a small schooner from the Hudson’s Bay...

Biographical Sketch of Alfred A. Plummer, Jr.

ALFRED A. PLUMMER, Jr. – This gentleman, of whom we present an excellent portrait, is the son of the pioneer whose sketch appears above, and was born in Port Townsend September 7, 1856. As a boy he received a sound practical education at the public school of the place, and as a young man entered into mercantile business, and has become a leader in business enterprises. In 1881 he inaugurated a business at New Tacoma, but eighteen months later returned to his native city, and after a time established with D.W. Smith and J.D. Fitzgerald the Port Townsend Foundry & Machine Company, one of the most important enterprises in the city, having a capital of twenty-one thousand dollars, and being operated under the able management of our subject. It turns out excellent work, and is the forerunner of many great enterprises of a like nature. In a public capacity Mr. Plummer has been at the fore, having held the office of county commissioner of Jefferson county for four years, and having also been a member of the city council. He was married in 1881 to Miss Katie, daughter of N.D. Hill. Five children were born to them, three of whom are now living. Mr. Plummer has recently met with a very sad affliction. On July 28, 1889, death robbed the happy home of its most precious jewel. The wife and mother, Mrs. Plummer, was twenty-nine years old at the time of her...

Biography of William H. Whittlesey

WM. H. WHITTLESEY.- This popular young gentleman, who has brought to our coast a business capacity and enthusiasm of progress which augers well for the city in which he has made his home, was born in Virginia August 8, 1858, and is a son of the gallant Major Joseph H. Whittlesey of the United States Army. The mother, Kate K. Fauntleroy, belonged to one of the first families of the Old Dominion. The son William, of whom we write, remained in the south while his father, the major, was transferred to the Department of the Columbia, having command of Fort Dalles; and his grandfather, General Fauntleroy, was in command at Vancouver, and later at Benicia, California. Upon the outbreak of the Civil war, the family returned to their old home; and after this fearful political storm was over, and the year of 1872 reached, our subject, now become an ambitious youth, went to Princeton College, graduating with honor four years later, then being but eighteen years of age. Repairing to Washington City, he entered the Columbia Law School, securing a legal education, and also filling a position as clerk in the War Department at the Capitol. Seeking a career at the West, he came to Leadville, Colorado; and, being admitted to practice in the supreme court of the state, he entered upon professional work. With the facility of the Western man, he also engaged in mining. In 1882 he saw the greater opportunities upon our coast, and came to Puget Sound, stopping at Whatcom and later at Seattle. In 1885 he selected Port Townsend, Washington Territory, as his future...

Biography of James Seavy

JAMES SEAVY. – This representative gentleman of Washington is, as we have noted in the case of many of the leading citizens of that state, a native of Maine, having been born at Thomaston, of the old Pine-tree state (Maine), January 11, 1825. Receiving an ample practical education at the public school and academy of his native town, he maintained himself during his early manhood by teaching and farming. In 1854 he undertook the labor, almost unheard of in his community, of bringing his family by sea to the Pacific coast, accomplishing the voyage around Cape Horn in the bark W.T. Sayward, and reaching San Francisco in September. In December of the same year he came up the coast, finding a location at Port Ludlow. He was book-keeper for the great mill at that place, and was also sought for public trusts, serving as county commissioner and as representative from Jefferson county. In 1860 he changed his residence to Port Townsend, a city well known to him by reason of a short stay there previously as teacher of the school. In that place he engaged in mercantile business with Hon. L.B. Hastings. In 1862 he was appointed postmaster, the duties of that position gradually absorbing much of his attention as the years went by; and he was retained until 1879, thus filling one of the longest terms on record. In 1862 he was also appointed clerk of the district court, and with the exception of the years included in the incumbency of Judge Dennison served until 1887. In 1867 he was elected auditor of Jefferson county, and was re-elected...

Biography of Hon. James G. Swan

HON. JAMES G. SWAN. – Hon. James G. Swan was born in Medford Massachusetts January 11, 1818.He came to San Francisco via Cape Horn in 1850. He came to Shoalwater Bay in 1852, which was then a part of Oregon, and remained till 1856,when he went East as private secretary to Governor Isaac I. Stevens, Delegate to Congress at Washington, District of Columbia. He returned to the territory in 1858, and settled in Port Townsend. In 1862 he was appointed teacher in charge of the Makah Indian Agency at Neah Bay, and remained till 1866, having charge of the government property during the war. He rendered effective service in keeping peace among the Indians, and in protecting the Agency from incursions of foreign Indians from British Columbia. At the close of the war of the Rebellion, when the Confederate steamer, Shenandoah was destroying our whalers in the Arctic ocean and Behring Sea, the people of Puget Sound were in daily apprehension of the rebel cruiser destroying the lighthouse at Cape Flattery, the agency buildings at Neah Bay, and the town and mills on Puget Sound. there were no tug-boats nor steamers on the Sound as at present; and the sight of one excited general remark. One afternoon the smoke of a large steamer was discovered from the tower of the school building at Neah village, approaching from the north. It was supposed to be the Shenandoah coming to destroy the government property. George Jones, the agency farmer, asked Mr. Swan what they should do. “Climb up the flagstaff and nail the flag to the masthead,” said Mr. Swan. “I...

Biography of Capt. Henry L. Tibbals, Sr.

CAPT. HENRY L. TIBBALS, Sr. – One of the most active men of whom Port Townsend, Washington, boasts is the captain whose name appears above. He has done much to make that city, and merits the recognition and wealth which its rapid growth awards him. He was born in Middleton, Connecticut, on December 18, 1829. His parents were in good circumstances; but at the age of ten he took the responsibility of shipping as cabin boy on a brig, at seven dollars and a half per month. From that time forth, nearly half a century, his life has been spent upon the sea or salt water. At the age of twenty he was master of a brig on a voyage to the West Indies, and until 1849 was mate or master in active sailing. In that year he came around Cape Horn to San Francisco in charge of the sailing vessel Draco. Returning East, he came out in 1853 on another cruise, reaching San Francisco the next season, and thence went to Australia in charge of the bark What Cheer. In 1856 he arrived at Puget Sound as sailing master of the revenue cutter Jeff Davis, and was stationed with her at Port Townsend one year. Then, leaving the water, he opened a hotel, and in 1858 built the Pioneer Hotel on the present site of the Cosmopolitan. He conducted this house greatly to the credit of the city, and with good pecuniary returns, for twelve years. Retiring from the hotel in 1871, he built the Union wharf and became agent for the Pacific Mail Steamship Company. After six...
Page 3 of 41234

Pin It on Pinterest