The following data is extracted from History of the Pacific Northwest, Oregon and Washington, 1889.
JOHN PATTISON. - The subject of this sketch was born in Albany, New York, in 1859, and is the son of John and Elizabeth Pattison. His father was a Union soldier during the war of the Rebellion. He lived at home until he was fourteen years old, being educated in the city public schools. In 1873 he went to Silverton, Colorado, and engaged in mining for six years with varying though reasonable success. he went from there through Arizona and New Mexico, looking for a better mining location, and spending about two years in that country, making money, but at heavy expense. He came from there to Colfax, Washington Territory, in April 1882. He worked for about two years with the construction party in building the Palouse branch of the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company from Palouse Junction, on the Northern Pacific Railroad, to Colfax, being employed in the position of commissary. He secured an interest in the Colfax Hotel, and was one of the proprietors of that house for two and a half years, jointly with Joseph Ryan.
He was married on the 7th of June, 1885, to Miss Mary C. Cairns, daughter of Reverend James Cairns, present pastor of the Colfax Baptist church, and financial agent of Colfax College. He sold his interest in the hotel to Mr. Ryan in August, 1886, and engaged in the real-estate, loan and insurance business.
Mr. Pattison was the regular Republican candidate for coroner of Whitman county in 1884, and was elected by a majority of eight hundred, the largest majority ever thrown to a candidate on a party ticket in the country.
Mr. Pattison has an intimate acquaintance throughout Whitman county and Eastern Washington, which enables him to place loans for outside parties so as to procure the best security in all cases, and has built up a large trade by the absolute safety of all such investments.
Source: History of the Pacific Northwest, Oregon and Washington, 1889