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Biography of Capt. J. D. Dammon
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CAPTAIN J.D. DAMMON. – This pioneer of the Kittitass valley was born in Seabeck, Maine, June 22, 1825. In 1843 he removed to Wisconsin, then a territory, living in Dane and Monroe counties. In the spring of 1859, he went with others to Colorado. Denver was then a small place of a few tents and log huts. At Arrapahoe and on Clear creek he engaged in blacksmithing; then with his partner, R.S. Kingman, he bought the Bob Tail Lead in Gregor’s gulch, from which millions of dollars have since been taken; but his partner sold it for $300 during Mr. Dammon’s absence. He went back to Wisconsin in 1859, and in 1861, at the outbreak of the war, raised a company of one hundred and five men and took them to Camp Barstow at Jamesville, Wisconsin, to be incorporated in the Third Wisconsin Cavalry, and was commissioned captain of Company A of the same regiment, Colonel William A. Barstow commanding. In May of the same year, he was quartered at Leavenworth, Kansas, with the whole regiment. Here he was detailed with his company on duty between the fort and the city. Three weeks later the regiment was mounted; and Dammon was appointed provost marshal of Donovan county. On the march thither he was prostrated by sunstroke, and was granted a furlough to return to Wisconsin and recover. In September he came back to Leavenworth, and at Fort Scott rejoined his regiment.
In March, 1863, he resigned his commission on account of ill health and went back to Wisconsin where he lived until 1870. After a few years in Iowa in the hotel and mercantile business, he set out for Washington Territory (1871) with horse teams, but stopped for the winter in Utah, arriving in Yakima county in 1872. Mr. Dammon built the first sawmill in this county, and the second gristmill. His first home was up in the mountains, where his first daughter was born. The house was roofed with hearth and had no floor except the ground, and was a very rude structure, as there was as yet no lumber for building purposes. He came down the next summer and located the place where he now lives, about two and one-half miles of Ellensburgh. This property comprises two hundred acres of excellent land, on which he has a fine residence, six hundred fruit trees and some very fine stock and a dairy.
He still runs the same gristmill he constructed when he first came, although it has been enlarged and changed to the roller process. The mill is situated on a race taken out of the Yakima river. Mr. Dammon was married first to Miss Mary Cushing who died in 1865, leaving three boys. He was then married to his present wife, Miss Sabrina June, in Wisconsin. They have one boy and one girl living.
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