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Schnebly, Philip Henry – Obituary

The Kittitas Valley lost another of its well known pioneers Sunday [October 17, 1926] when Philip Henry Schnebly passed away after an illness that extended over a period of more than three years. Death came at 7 o’clock Sunday, morning but was not unexpected, as Mr. Schnebly had suffered an acute sinking spell Friday.

Coming here from Oregon, his birthplace, in 1872, Mr. Schnebly became one of the most important growers of beef cattle in the state, both stock and acreage mounting into the thousands. For a number of years, however, his livestock interests have been handled by his six sons. He retired in 1909.

The funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday from the family residence at Eighth and A streets. The Rev. E. Leslie Rolls, rector of Grace Parish, will officiate, and the pall bearers will be friends of the deceased of long standing. They include: John J. Sharp, John N. Faust, Ben Shelton, D. W. S. Ramsay, J. C. Sterling, and C. C. Churchill.

The lives of Mr. Schnebly and his family have been closely associated with the development of the Northwest. Mr. Schnebly was born October 8, 1852, near Oregon City, Ore. He was a son of David J. and Margaret (Painter) Schnebly, who were married in Oregon after crossing the plains by ox team. David J. Schnebly purchased from the founder and published the Oregon Spectator, the first newspaper in the Northwest, and years later when he came to Ellensburg he published the Ellensburg Localizer, which has been succeeded by the Evening Record.

In 1861 the elder Mr. Schnebly moved his family to Walla Walla, where he farmed, and also operated a toll bridge across the Spokane River. He died in Ellensburg in 1901 at the age of 84 years.

Philip H. Schnebly came to Ellensburg in 1872 after having been a student at the Forest Grove Seminary, Oregon, and at Whitman College. He immediately became interested in the livestock industry, taking up government land, and with the other pioneers of that day drove cattle across the Cascades to Seattle to market. As the valley developed he became known as one of the foremost stockmen in the state, with more than 2,000 head of cattle, 2000 acres of Meadow land and many thousands of acres of range land.

On November 12, 1877, Mr. Schnebly was married to Miss Eliza F. Cooke, who also is a pioneer, having been born at Independence, Ore., a daughter of Charles P. and Susan Cooke. She is a descendant of a prominent Colonial family that was represented in the Revolutionary War and War of 1812.

Six sons and four daughters survive Mr. Schnebly in addition to his wife; Fred C. Schnebly, Miss Lillian Schnebly, J. J. Schnebly, P. D. Schnebly, Mrs. John Paul, Frank Schnebly, Mrs. Chester C. McGranahan, Rufus and Robert Schnebly, all of Ellensburg, and Mrs. John Howell of Yakima; a brother, Charles P. Schnebly, and a sister, Mrs. John B. Davidson, also reside in Ellensburg. There are 19 grandchildren.

Contributed by: Sheli Steedman

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