The following data is extracted from History of the Pacific Northwest, Oregon and Washington, 1889.
ISAAC CATHCART. - In the gentleman whose name heads this brief memoir, we have a leading and worthy citizen of Snohomish county. He is one of the men whose success in life has been mainly achieved in the county in which he now lives, by the exercise of economy, industry and business integrity, guided by intelligent financial ability. he is now in affluent circumstances, though twenty years ago he was a poor man. What he has came gradually through those years as the result of correct business calculations, and not by chance or the favorable turn of Fortune's wheel.
Mr. Cathcart was born in Fermanagh county, Ireland, in 1845, and is therefore in the prime of life, being now forty-three years of age. He is the son of Issac F. and Charlott (Bushfield) Cathcart. He resided in his birthplace until nineteen years of age. He then concluded to emigrate from that ill-fated Green Isle, and came via New York to Patrolia, Canada West, where he spent the following two years. He then came to Michigan, and for eighteen months found employment in the forest of that state. At the end of that period he concluded to seek his fortune in the Golden West. Coming to Missouri, he ascended the river of that name to Fort Benton, Montana, form whence he walked to Helena, and from the latter place via the same conveyance to Wallula Junction, Washington Territory, making the distance he had walked six hundred and forty miles. He immediately proceeded down the Columbia to Portland, Oregon, where he took passage on board the steamer Active for Port Townsend, where he arrived in September, 1868, his early possessions amounting on his arrival in the above place to the munificent sum of eleven dollars. After a short stay in Port Townsend, Mr. Cathcart came to Snohomish, and for four years foundem0loyment in the logging camps along the Snohomish river.
In 1873 he engaged in business in the latter city, and in that year built the well-known and popular Exchange Hotel. A few years later he erected the large two-story frame building known as Cathcart Opera House, the lower part of which he occupies as the leading general merchandise store in the city of Snohomish. The capital Mr. Cathcart possessed on arriving at Port Townsend has by his usual ability and sagacity been augmented until now he owns no less than 3,500 acres of valuable land in Snohomish county, together with a large amount of property in the city of Snohomish, besides his mercantile business. Mr. Cathcart is one of the best known loggers on the Snohomish river, and is also largely engaged in farming. In politics our subject is a strong and consistent Republican, and in the fall of 1882 was elected on that ticket county treasurer of Snohomish county, a position he held for four years.
In personal appearance Mr. Cathcart is a large, fine looking man, as his portrait which appears in this work would indicate. For such men as Mr. Cathcart is Washington indebted for her present prosperity and future success.
He was united in marriage in Seattle to Miss Julia J. Johns, a native of Ohio, August 8, 1876. They have a family of three children: Isaac C., Lizzie M., William and Amy (deceased).
Source: History of the Pacific Northwest, Oregon and Washington, 1889