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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 his official relations, universal satisfaction.

Though a firm Democrat in his political faith, Mr. O’Loughlin is respected by men of all parties. Mr. O’Loughlin was married at Lapeer, Michigan, November 28, 1867, to Miss L. Adell Hough; and they now have a fine family of nine children.

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