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Biographical Sketch of Michael McNamara

MICHAEL McNAMARA. – This prominent resident of Skagit county was born in Woodstock, Canada, in 1848. His early years, however, were spent in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and at Chicago, where he completed his growth and education at Chatham, Canada. In 1865 he came overland to California, and the next year reached Puget Sound, finding employment ten years in the logging camps. In 1876 he was able to set up a business of his own, keeping a hotel at Stanwood, and three years later building his present commodious hotel, the Ruby House, which is first class in every respect. His own residence at Mount Vernon, Washington, built in 1887, is one of the finest on the Sound outside of Seattle. Mr. McNamara is married and has three...

Biography of William Munks

WILLIAM MUNKS. – Mr. Munks, an excellent portrait of whom is placed in this history, is a veteran of several wars, as well as a pioneer, trapper and scout in the early days of the Pacific coast. He is to-day one of the most widely known men on Puget Sound, being often called “king of the Fidalgo Island” as he was the first white man to locate on its shores. It was then a part of Whatcom County, Washington Territory, but is now included in the boundary of Skagit. Mr. Munk was the first white man that lived within the present confines of the latter county, and was born in Canton, Ohio. At the early age of six years he suffered the loss, by death, of his father. Upon the breaking out of the war with Mexico, he enlisted in the Fifteenth Infantry, United States volunteers, under General (then Colonel) George W. Morgan, with whom he remained until the close of hostilities. The military record of the family is rather bright, his grandfather having served in the war for independence, his father in the war of 1812, and his only brother following the fortunes of Sherman on his march to the sea. In 1849 he left the East to seek his fortune in the far West. After hunting and trapping for a time on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains, he came onto Oregon, and then proceeded to the mines of Northern California, where he followed mining with good success until 1855, during which time he took part in two Indian wars, and had many skirmishes with the...

Biography of James O’Laughlin

JAMES O’LOUGHLIN. – This gentleman, whose portrait adorns the opposite page, is one of the representative men of Skagit County, Washington. He is a native of Ireland, thus making Skagit, as every county in the United States indebted to the emerald Isle. County Clare was the region of his birth; and the time was April 9, 1844. Before he was three years old, his parents crossed the ocean to this land of liberty, bringing their nine children with the. They located at Lyons, New York, but in 1856 went to Lapeer, Michigan. There the boy James learned the tinsmith’s trade. After the completion of his apprenticeship, he clerked in a hardware store nine years. In 1870 he removed to Yankton, Dakota, where he lived one year. In the following year he set forth with his family to cross the continent. Coming to Puget Sound via San Francisco, he made his first pause at Port Townsend in May, 1871. Thence he proceeded to Seattle and in December of that year established himself at La Conner. He worked at his trade there till 1877. Then, having purchased one hundred and sixty-four acres of land near the town, he devoted himself to farming. His neighbors having inveigled him into political life, he was elected in the fall of 1880, to be sheriff and assessor of Whatcom County. At that time, Whatcom included Skagit. He was thrice elected to that office, serving six years in all. In 1885 e was appointed inspector of customs under H.F. Beecher, having his station at La Conner. That post he held eighteen months, giving, as in all...

Biographical Sketch of Myron W. Packard

MYRON W. PACKARD. – This leading citizen of the lower Sound was born in Madrid, St. Lawrence County, New York, in 1830. At the age of twenty-three he left his native place, where he was in the mercantile business, coming as far west as Illinois, and in the same year journeyed on to River Falls, Wisconsin. That was his home for seventeen years, three of which were spent in the Union army, from which he was mustered out as a quartermaster-sergeant. In 1870 he came to Washington Territory, bringing his wife and family of five children, and located on White River, engaging in the mercantile business. Regarding Snohomish a more eligible business point, he removed thither in the summer of 1871, and engaged in the same business until 1879, when he returned to Wisconsin, but was detained no longer than till the year 1882. Returning to our coast he found a location on Skagit river. There he remained until 1885, when he once more went to Snohomish, and with his son in 1887, by purchase and building, opened his present fine store, where he is doing a successful business. Mr. Packard has secured the confidence of the people, and has served the county as probate judge, auditor and treasurer. He was also a member of the first board of trustees of Snohomish, and still holds that position. He is a Republican, and the father of the editor of the well-known journal, The...

Biography of John O. Rudene

JOHN O. RUDENE. – This owner of a very productive farm two miles from La Conner, Washington, on the Swinomish flat, whose name appears above, is a native of Sweden, having been born there in 1850. At the age of twenty-three he came to America, locating in Iowa, until his removal across the continent to the Pacific coast in 1876. He selected a farm near La Conner, buying one hundred and eighty-one acres, to which he has since added two hundred. This fine body of land he has reclaimed from its original wild growth, and has reduced to cultivation. The deep, fine alluvium is astonishingly prolific. Oats and barley may be depended upon for from seventy to eighty bushels per acre; and an average of ninety-five bushels for a field of eighty acres has been obtained. hay yields four tons, and is a profitable crop, usually selling for from ten to twenty dollars. Fruit, particularly the hardier kinds, such as apples, yield too heavily for the strength of the trees. Cabbages and root crops are immense. This now productive place was entirely raw when its present owner first saw it, not a claim having been taken upon the section. His success in making it productive shows something of the future lying in wait for the thousands of farms like it to be made on the coast side of the mountains. Mrs. Rudene, Bessie J., a daughter of W. Wallace, the well-known pioneer, came with her parents to Oregon in 1845, and in 1850 located with them at Olympia, removing the next year to Whidby Island, and becoming one of...

Thomas, Thelma Gwendolyn Erdman Mrs. – Obituary

Thelma Gwendolyn Thomas, 92, of Baker City, died Feb. 1, 2005, at her home. Private family interment will be Friday at Mount Vernon Cemetery in Mount Vernon, Wash. She will be laid to rest next to her husband, Bus. Thelma Gwendolyn was born on Sept. 25, 1913, at St. Louis to Alexander and Clair Erdman. She was raised and educated at Denver. Thelma met and married Louis “Bus” Thomas in 1935. Shortly after that they moved to Los Angeles. They had one son, Ron. Thelma and Bus owned and operated a printing and calendar binding business. She was always known as a very hard worker and she was loved by everyone who knew her. She enjoyed fishing, camping, gardening and canning, sewing and knitting. She loved raising and showing her Norwegian elkhounds, which received many trophies and blue ribbons. They moved to Burlington, Wash., in 1980 to retire close to Ron, who was living there. Bus died in 1984. Thelma remained in Washington until the mid 90s when she moved to North Powder and then to Baker City two years ago. Thelma was living at Settlers Park when she died. She enjoyed all of the people and the activities there. Survivors include her son and wife, Ron and Jennie Thomas of North Powder; a brother, Curtis Erdman of Mesa, Ariz.; and four grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Bus; and her sister, Letha. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one’s choice through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834. Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker...

Hovde, Judith Ann Robertson Mrs. – Obituary

Baker City, Oregon Judith Ann Hovde, 60, of Baker City, died Sept. 22, 2004, at her home. There will be a celebration of Judy’s life at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Calvary Baptist Church, 2107 Third St. Pastor Ed Niswender will officiate. Friends are invited to join the family for a time of sharing in the fellowship hall after the service. Judy was born on Feb. 20, 1944, at Mount Vernon, Wash., to Walter and Viola Andersen Robertson. She was a 1962 graduate of Eisenhower High School at Yakima, Wash. She went on to earn her nursing degree from Emmanuel Hospital in Portland. Being a compassionate, loving, gentle person, her career in nursing was very well-suited to her. She worked for Dr. Eugene Kazmierski’s practice in Portland for 21 years until her retirement in 1999. She and her husband, Art, traveled to Baker City to visit her close friend and Judy fell in love with the people and the valley. They moved to Baker City as soon as she retired and loved every minute being here. She was an avid reader and loved animals and her flowers. She would spend many hours tending them and often helped out her friend, Jeanne Schroder at Baker City Floral. She was a devout Christian and faithfully worshiped at Calvary Baptist Church where she and Art were members. Judy was grateful for the support offered by her church. She loved people and always had a kind word to say. Judy was an amazing example of how to live joyfully. She will be greatly missed by all. She is survived by her husband, Art Hovde...

Biography of Hon. Jesse B. Ball

HON. JESSE B. BALL. – Twenty miles up the Skagit river, in the heart of one of the richest timber sections of Washington, is Sterling, a thriving young city, with high hopes for the future. The founder of the place is the man whose name appears at the head of this sketch. Mr. Ball is a pioneer of 1853, having crossed the plains in that year and stopped at Downieville, where he worked a short time for a company of miners, – his only work for anybody but himself on this coast. His career has had the restless activity and energy characteristic of our people. At Nevada City and other points he was engaged in mining for two years. At Oroville he was in the stock business for nine years. Taking advantage of the no-fence law, he then spent three years at Honey Lake valley, in the same pursuit. In 1867 he came to Puget Sound, and in 1868 farmed for a year on the Nisqually bottoms. Logging and lumbering near Steilacoom engaged his attention until 1878. It was in that year that he came to Whatcom (now Skagit), and started the town of Sterling. Here he kept a store and logging camp. A year ago he sold his store and his timber lands, and confined himself to farming and real estate, owning several sixty and seventy acre tracts of land near the town. In politics Mr. Bail is a Republican, and has been postmaster of his town for many years. In the early days of California, he was something of an Indian fighter. He was part owner of...

Biography of George B. Calhoun, M.D.

GEORGE B. CALHOUN,M.D. – There are but few men better known or more highly respected in the medical profession on Puget Sound than Doctor Calhoun, an excellent portrait of whom appears in this history. He is a native of New Brunswick, and was born October 19, 1837, his parents being John and Mary (Brewster) Calhoun. When he was but a small boy, he moved with his parents to the sunny South, locating in Maryland. His father, being a shipowner and seafaring man, was stricken, while on a voyage to the Bermudas, with yellow fever, from which he died. Our subject, with his widowed mother, then moved to East Boston, and a few years alter was placed in the excellent Horton Academy, Nova Scotia, where he remained until 1857. He was then sent to the university at Glasgow, Scotland, and after five years’ constant application was awarded his degree, standing near the head of his class. In 1862 he returned to America. After traveling two years for pleasure, he entered the United States army as assistant surgeon, remaining in that capacity until June, 1865. In August of the latter year, he came via the Nicaragua route to the Pacific coast, and in June, 1866, took charge of the marine hospital at Port Angles. But, Congress designating Port Townsend as the port of entry, Doctor Calhoun took up his residence in the latter place, and established the present marine hospital of that city, acting as physician until 1876, when he began the practice of his profession in Seattle. In 1870 he was elected on the Republican ticket to represent Jefferson and...
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