Brief Bios of Washington Senators and Representatives

Discover your
family's story.

Enter a grandparent's name to get started.

choose a state:
Start Now

John S. Baker was born in Cleveland, Ohio, Nov. 21, 1861, and removed to Tacoma in 1881.

L. B. Clough was born in Waterbury, Vermont, May 12, 1850. He removed to Vancouver, Washington Territory, in 1877, and engaged in fruit raising. He was elected sheriff in 1884, and served two years. In 1888 he was elected representative from Clarke County, but the legislature not assembling, he was elected state senator.

Henry Drum was born in Girard, Macoupin County, Illinois, in 1857, and educated at the Illinois State University. He removed to Hebron, Nebraska, where he was a banker, and also engaged in stock raising until 1883, when he removed to Tacoma, where he, with Walter J. Thompson, purchased the Bank of New Tacoma, which was reorganized as the Merchants’ National Bank, of which he was, when elected to the senate, vice-president. He was president of the school board of Tacoma, and was elected mayor in 1888, serving one year; and was director in several commercial enterprises.

A. T. Farris was born in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, which he left in 1867, and removed, to Washington in 1883, where he engaged in hardware business at Pullman. He was elected to the legislature in 1888, and state senator in 1889.

C. E. Forsythe was born in Pennsylvania, in 1850, and received a common school education, with an apprenticeship at carpentering. In 1875 he removed to Hood River, Oregon, but settled in Kelso, Washington, where he taught school. He was elected county auditor in 1880, on the republican ticket, serving four years; was also clerk and deputy clerk of the district court. Subsequently engaged in real estate and acquired a comfortable fortune.

O. D. Gilfoil was born at Rhinebeck, New York, July 8, 1863. He was brought up on a farm, but worked himself up to a railroad contractor. In Washington he built bridges and constructed other works on the Lake Shore, Seattle, and Eastern R. R. He was the youngest man in the senate.

H. E. Houghton, who migrated from Wisconsin to Washington, was about fifty years of age, and had been a state senator in Wisconsin. He was several times city attorney of Spokane Falls, where he was member of the law firm of Houghton, Graves, and Jones.

Jacob Hunsaker was a native of Illinois, about forty-four years of age. In 1846 his parents emigrated to Oregon, and he obtained his education at Pacific University, after which he taught school in Oregon and Washington. He went to Peru and spent a year on the Challas, Lima, and Oroya R. R., in the employ of Keith & Co., returning in 1873 to Thurston County, where he married a daughter of Hon. A. J. Chambers of Olympia, and finally settled in Klickitat County, as a merchant and farmer. He was county commissioner for four years.

E. B. Hyde was born in Utica, Winnebago County, Wisconsin, Jan. 13, 1849, and resided on a farm until he was thirty years of age. He removed to Washington in May 1881, settling at Spokane Falls. He was the first marshal of that city, holding the office four terms; was a member of the city council two years, and held other minor offices. His business was real estate and banking. He was a delegate from Washington to the Chicago republican convention, which nominated Benjamin Harrison for president.

J. H. Jones of King co. was born in England in 1857, soon after which his parents removed to the U. S., settling in Pennsylvania. He was a coal-miner in Pennsylvania, and on removing to Washington, in 1885, again engaged in coal mining. He was elected to the legislature in 1888, and the state senate in 1889.

W. H. Kneeland was born in Lincoln, Maine, Dec. 11, 1848. He secured an education by alternate study and teaching. In 1869 he engaged in lumbering in Pennsylvania, and in 1876 became interested in the oil regions. About 1880 gas wells were discovered in the northern end of the petroleum belt in the state of New York, and he conceived the idea of converting the gas to practical use. To this end he organized a company with half a million capital stock, and constructed the Empire gas line, with over 100 miles of pipe, and with about 8,000 patrons. In 1882 he sold out all his property, and removed to Washington, engaging in lumber business in Mason County. He was unfortunate, losing all his capital, but afterwards partially recovering from his losses.

Henry Landes was born in Germany in 1843, but emigrated thence with his parents in 1847. In 1861 he enlisted in a union regiment, serving through the war. At its close he removed to Washington, went to the mines of British Columbia, was appointed Indian trader at Neah Bay reservation for six years, after which he established himself in business at Port Townsend. He held various city offices, and was member of the board of commissioners to locate the government buildings, the territorial penitentiary, and the site of deaf, mute, blind, and feeble-minded schools. He founded the First National Bank of Port Townsend in 1883, of which he was president; was a projector of and director in the Port Townsend Southern R. It. company, and president of the Olympus water company, besides being colonel of the national guard of Washington.

John C. Lawrence was born at Mount Gilead, Morrow County, Ohio, in 1861. His father dying when he was young, he removed with his mother to eastern Washington in 1878. He was county superintendent of schools, and member of the territorial board of education; also for one term superintendent of public instruction. Later he engaged in real estate business.

J. H. Long was born near Columbus, Ohio, Nov. 27, 1845, and removed to Iowa with his parents in 1860. In 1864 he drove an ox-team to Boise City, Idaho, as payment for his board en route, and in 1865 made a further remove to Lewis County, Wash. He was elected county assessor in 1869, treasurer in 1873, member of the legislature in 1877, and joint councilman of Lewis and Thurston Counties in 1881. He began life in Washington as a farm hand, but became a proprietor, and engaged in cheese making in several places, also in milling, being president of the Chehalis Flouring Mill Company, and in stock raising. He married in 1868 a daughter of Stephen Hodgden, a pioneer of 1849. His daughter married Wm B. Allen, a banker of Tacoma.

F. H. Luce was born in Wisconsin, May 23, 1859. He studied medicine, but removed to Washington in 1887, and engaged in real estate and banking at Davenport, Lincoln County.

Thomas Payne of Skagit County, was born in New York City in 1855, and removed to Washington in 1882. He was a telegraph operator, having charge of Mount Vernon station.

J. M. Snow was a civil engineer at Waterville, and about 35 years of age.

N. H. Owings was born in Indianapolis, Dec. 21, 1836, and educated at a seminary in that city. He graduated from the law school of the Northwestern Christian University, and commenced practice in Indianapolis. When the rebellion occurred, he enlisted in the Clay Guards in Washington City to guard the white house, and served 60 days, when he was honorably discharged. He was appointed by Lincoln a general staff-officer, with the rank of captain, and served on the staff of Grant and Sherman, receiving one promotion and two brevets, resigning in 1865 with the rank of Lieut-Col. He was appointed special agent of the post office department, and subsequently asst superintendent. On the 5th of Feb., 1877, he was appointed secretary of Washington territory, and held the office four terms.

W. J. Parkinson was born in Ireland, May 10, 1844, removing with his parents to New York in 1845. He prepared for college at Wilbraham Academy, Massachusetts, and later attended the Wesleyan University at Middleton, Connecticut, and Columbia Law School in New York City. He was a member of the famous 44th Ellsworth regiment of New York Volunteers in 1861, after which he was clerk in the private office of the secretary of war. In 1866 he was admitted to practice at the bar in New York. Removing to Kansas, he was elected attorney of Labette County in 1867. Subsequently he became principal of a seminary in North Carolina, but returned to Saratoga County, New York, and was vice-president of the county agricultural society in 1887-8, and stumped the state of New York for Harrison and Morton in 1888.

Platt A. Preston of Walla Walla County was born in Saratoga County, New York, in 1837. He removed to Omaha, Nebraska, in 1853-4, where he was employed by the Omaha and Nebraska Ferry Company. In 1860-1 he went to Colorado, Montana, and Idaho, and in 1866 settled at Waitsburg, Washington, where he engaged in milling and merchandising with his brother, W. G. Preston, and S. M. Wait, and also in farming and stock-raising. He was elected to the territorial legislature, and was mayor of Waitsburg for several years.

W. V. Rinehart of King County was born in Clinton County, Indiana, in 1836. He resided in Oregon for many years, and served in the 1st Oregon Cavalry, 1862-5, being commissioned captain and major. In 1883 he removed to Seattle.

B. A. Seaborg, from Pacific County, was born of Swedish parents, at Wasa, on the coast of Finland, July 29, 1841, removing to the U. S. in 1867, and to Astoria, Oregon, in 1873, whence he again removed to Ilwaco, on the north side of the Columbia in 1880. Here he formed the Aberdeen packing company, and established a salmon cannery, as well as one at Gray Harbor and Bay Centre. He was interested in transportation and other enterprises for the public benefit. In 1883 he was elected commissioner of Pacific Company. He was appointed pilot commissioner by three successive governors, and elected school director of his district.

George F. Thompson of Walla Walla was about 40 years of age, and a lawyer by profession. He had resided in the territory for 12 years, and had held the offices of prosecuting attorney, probate judge, and mayor of the city of Walla Walla.

L. P. Thompson was born in Jamestown, Chatauqua County, New York, in 1827, and received a common school education. In 1848 he migrated to Chicago, whence in 1849 he went to Sacramento, California. Observing that Oregon lumber was in great demand, he went to Milwaukee, Oregon, spending two years in alternate lumbering and mining. In 1852 he removed to Steilacoom and built a mill near Fort Nisqually, which he operated until the Indian war of 1855, when he held a commission in the regular army and later in the volunteer service in the quartermaster’s department. He was a member of the first legislative assembly of Washington Territory; served in the Indian department several years; introduced hop-growing north of the Columbia; was an incorporator and director of the Merchants’ National Bank of Tacoma; a director of the Washington National Bank and president of the Farmers’ and Merchants’ Bank of King County, and was an extensive hop-grower at Sumner.

B. C. Van Houton was about 38 years of age and a successful businessman of Spokane Falls, being president of Citizens’ National Bank, and auditor of Spokane County for two years.

Samuel Vestal was born in Clinton County, Ohio, in 1845, and removed to Washington in 1872. He taught school in Cowlitz County until 1876, when he engaged in merchandising at Kalama, being elected county treasurer the same year, and re-elected in 1878 and 1880. In 1879, his store being consumed by fire, he formed a mercantile partnership with H. C. Comegys, and together they removed to Snohomish, where he was elected to the state senate.

H. H. Wolfe of Columbia County was a native of Ohio, engaged in merchandising and farming at Dayton, Washington. He had been a long time in the territory.

Alexander Watt was born in Jefferson County, Ohio, in 1834, immigrating to California with his parents in 1849. He mined and prospected for gold in every territory of the northwest and in British Columbia, finally settling in Yamhill County, Oregon, where he married and followed farming. In 1879 he removed to Spokane County, Washington, and was elected county assessor in 1888, and state senator in 1889.

John T. Whalley was born near Manchester, England, in 1856, and came to the U. S. in 1871, settling in Illinois where he had relatives. In 1873 he again migrated, this time to Oregon, where he was employed on farms in Yamhill and Washington Counties for one year, when he began a course of study, graduating at Forest Grove in 1881. During this time he supported himself by laboring during vacations, or teaching. At the end of the course he went east and studied two years at Yale Divinity School, and one year at Andover Theological Seminary, after which he was settled at Lawrence, Massachusetts, for three years. He then returned to the west and resided at Colfax, Washington, with the intention of engaging in raising blooded cattle and horses.

Eugene T. Wilson was born at Madison, Wisconsin, Dec. 11, 1852. At the age of 13 years his parents removed with him to Montana. In 1876 he came to Columbia County, Washington, and served in the Indian war of 1877 as 1st Lieut of Idaho Volunteers. In 1881 he established the Pomeroy Republican, afterwards the East Washingtonian, which he sold out, and in 1883, in company with F. M. McCully, purchased the Columbia Chronicle of Dayton. This also was disposed of in 1887 to O. C. White, its original proprietor. In 1985-6 he served as clerk of the legislative council; and in 1887 removed to Ellensburg, where he took charge of a mercantile establishment, which was consumed by fire in 1889. He was a member of the city council of Ellensburg.

William D. Wood was born in Marin County, California, Dec. 1, 1858. He resided there on a farm, and by labor earned the means to educate himself at the Napa Collegiate Institute, and by teaching paid his expenses at the Hastings Law School of S. F. He also became a skilled stenographer. In 1882 he removed to Seattle, and the same year he was elected probate judge of King County. He was president of the Wood brothers’ Land and Trust Company, and made real estate investments and improvements at Green lake near Seattle.

C. F. Wooding was a native of Michigan, about forty years of age, and a banker at Aberdeen. He was also engaged in improvements at Gray Harbor.

The members of the House of Representatives were known as follows:

Alexander Allen, born in Scotland in 1842, emigrated thence with his parents in 1849, settling in Wisconsin. He served in the 24th Wisconsin Regiment during the war. In 1875 he came to Washington, first residing in Port Madison, but removing to Seattle. By occupation a ship builder, he was made superintendent of the Seattle dry dock company.

F. W. Bird, aged about forty years, was a locomotive engineer, who had followed his calling in King County for 15 years; but had seen the want of building material in Seattle, and turned his attention to the manufacture of brick.

John T. Blackburn was born in Yorkshire, England, Aug. 14, 1844, and was apprenticed to a horticulturist. He emigrated to Illinois in 1867. In 1873 he married Miss J. P. Giddings, niece of Joshua R. Giddings of Ohio, and in 1884 removed to Vashon Island, Puget Sound, where he engaged in farming. He was appointed postmaster at Vashon in 1885, and notary public in 1887. In 1888 he was elected to the legislature, which did not assemble.

C. T. Blackburn was born in Illinois and served in the union army, where he was known as the baby of Gen. Harrison’s brigade. In 1879 he removed to farm in Washington.

H. Blair was born on a farm in Polk County, Missouri, Sept. 19, 1855, where he resided until he came to his majority, when he voted for a republican president. In 1877 he removed to Vancouver, teaching school in Clarke County, and studying medicine. He graduated from the medical department of the Willamette University in 1883, after which he began the practice of his profession and settled in Bickleton, 1886.

George Bothell of King co. was born in Clarion County, Pennsylvania, in 1844, and served during the war of the rebellion in the 135th Pennsylvania Infantry and 14th Pennsylvania Cavalry, being captured by Early’s forces, July 4, 1864. He came to Washington in 1879, and engaged with his brother in logging and shingle making at Bothell, at the head of Lake Washington.

Josiah S. Brown was born March 6, 1845, in the parish of Burton, Sunbury County, in New Brunswick. When 9 years of age he removed to Aroostook County, Maine, where he lived on a farm, and attended the district school. He served through the civil war, being in almost all the famous battles of the rebellion, was wounded, and was but twenty years of age when mustered out in 1865. In 1867 he joined the engineer battalion of the U. S. army, and came to the Pacific coast in 1868, serving in five states and territories, and being wounded in the Modoc war, and specially mentioned for gallantry. After this last service he came to reside in Spokane County, Washington, on a farm. He was a delegate to the republican territorial convention at Ellensburg in 1888, and to the republican state convention at Walla Walla in 1889.

George Browne was born in Boston in 1839, and was an employee of a bank in Wall Street, New York, before the war broke out. During the war he was a staff officer; after its close, he began making investments in different localities, and in 1887 settled in Tacoma, where he became one of the incorporators of the Tacoma and St Paul Lumber Company, and one of the owners of the Fern Hill Motor Railway.

W. O. Bush, son of George W. Bush, the colored pioneer of Washington, was born in Missouri in 1832. He was a successful agriculturist, his exhibits of wheat at the centennial exposition in 1876 taking the premium over all other wheat in the world. His certificate was deposited in the state library at Olympia.

A. K. Clarke was born in Windsor County, Vermont, in Dec. 1849. In 1862 he joined a Vermont regiment, and was in the battle of Gettysburg before he was 14 years old. He served throughout the war, and after the war began attendance at a military university; but the habit of active life was too strong, and he entered the regular army in 1866, serving in Indian wars for 20 years, his last fighting being in the Nez Perce war of 1877. He was discharged in 1879 from Fort Coeur d’Alene, and settled at Rockford, in Spokane County.

John Cleman was born in Lane County, Oregon, in 1855, and removed to a stock farm in Yakima County, Washington, in 1865. There he spent his life; married, had children, improved his land, and never engaged in politics. His friends sent him to the first state legislature.

S. S. Cook, also born in Oregon, in 1854, represented Clarke County, where lie had resided 10 years. He was a stonemason, and had contracts in Seattle.

James M. Cornwall was born in Orange County, Indiana, Aug. 7, 1834, and reared on a farm, in Edgar County, Illinois. At the age of 18 he started with an elder brother to cross the plains. James settled on a land claim a few miles west of Portland, and farmed it for ten years, having in the mean time married Miss Mary A. Stott. In 1860 he visited Oro Fino mines, and examined the Walla Walla valley with reference to settlement, taking up land near Dry creek for a cattle rancho. That winter, the severest in the history of the country, killed off all his stock. In 1868 he purchased a farm 9 miles from Walla Walla, where he made his home. He was elected joint representative of Whitman and Walla Walla Counties in 1881.

Henry B. Day was born in Tazewell County, Virginia, in 1830. He removed to Wisconsin in 1847, and to Oregon in 1851. In 1859 he took cattle into the Walla Walla country, afterwards mining in Montana, trading and packing until 1870, when he turned his attention to sheep raising and business generally, settling at Dayton.

E. B. Dean was born in Iroquois County, Illinois, in 1842, and reared on a farm. He served in the 18th Iowa infantry during the rebellion. His occupation is that of a brick mason.

M. S. Drew was born in Machias, Washington County, Maine, in 1827. He migrated to Minnesota when 18 years of age, and in 1852 came to the Pacific coast, via Panama isthmus. Two years later he settled at Port Gamble in the employ of the Puget Mill Company, where he remained, except when serving two years as collector of customs for Puget Sound district, under Grant’s administration.

A. H. Eddy was born at San Jose, California, in 1853. Reversing the usual rule, he moved eastward to Illinois, Texas, Colorado, returning to California and practicing as a physician. In 1881 he came to Washington, and engaged in contracting and building.

John J. Edens, from Skagit County, was born in Marshall County, Kentucky, in 1849, and removed to Knox County, Missouri, at the age of 12 years. He joined the state militia in 1861, and in 1802 enlisted in the 10th Missouri Cavalry at St Louis, being in 14 battles. In 1867 he went to Denver, and in engaged in contracting and freighting. In 1871 settled at Guemes in Skagit County; has held several county offices, and was once elected joint representative of Skagit and Snohomish Counties.

William Farriste was born in Richibucto, New Brunswick, in 1835, of Scottish parents, and engaged in lumbering and mercantile pursuits in that country. He removed to Washington in 1878, where he again engaged in lumbering, and was never in any political office.

J. W. Feighan was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1844, but removed to Kentucky. He graduated at Miami University in Ohio, in 1870, and studied law in the Cincinnati Law School, graduating in 1872. He had previously been in the service of his country from 1862 to the end of the war of the rebellion. He was prosecuting attorney of Lincoln County, Kansas, for six years, and was commander of that department of the grand army of the republic; and ran for congress on the republican ticket in the 2d district of Kentucky in 1878. He came to Spokane Falls in 1887, and was for a short term city attorney.

G. H. Flummerfell was born July 31, 1863, in Delaware, Warren County, New Jersey. He studied telegraphy and bookkeeping, holding various positions after the age of 19; was local agent of the N. P. H. H. at Hawley, Minnesota, and in 1885 located at Pasco, Washington, in the same capacity, where he remained fur three years. Becoming interested in cattle raising he removed Aitapia in the same county where he attended to his stock and acted as telegraph operator for the railroad company.

Charles E. Foster was born in Bristol, Maine, Sept. 3, 1814. At the commencement of the war he enlisted in the 32d Massachusetts Volunteers, served through the war. In 1864 President Lincoln issued orders for 12,000 men who had followed the sea, and who were in the Army, to be transferred to the Navy. Foster having a seafaring knowledge was transferred, and was with Farrgut on the U. S. sloop-of-war Richmond, and honorably discharged in 1865. After this he followed the sea for 12 years, removing to Washington with his family in 1877, settling at South Bend, on Shoalwater bay, where he erected a hotel.

J. E. Gandy was born at Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, in 1847. He served through the war as a private in the Union army, and at its close was commissioned a surgeon in the regular army. He came to Washington in 1875, and practised medicine at Spokane Falls.

J. D. Geoghegan was born in Galway, Ireland, about 1843, and at 3 years of age landed in New York, where he attended the public school. In 1862, being then in St Paul, Minnesota, he enlisted, served through the war, and in 1866 was commissioned in the regular army. He resigned in 1869, came to the Pacific coast, and served in the Modoc and Nez Percé Indian wars, since which he has resided at Vancouver, where he is in provision and grocery trade.

Charles Gilchrist was born in Scotland, in 1841, and educated there. At 20 years of age he migrated to Canada, and began farming; afterward mined in Nevada and California; and finally made a fortune in lumbering at Washoe, after which he returned to Scotland. In 1878 he came to Washington, and purchased a sawmill at Centralia, where he founded the Lewis County Bank, of which he became president.

Frederick J. Grant was born at Janesville, Ohio, Aug. 17, 1862, and graduated at La Fayette College, Pennsylvania, in 1883, when he removed to Seattle, and was for 5 years editor of the Post-Intelligencer. He was elected a member of the Walla Walla state convention of Sept. 4, 1889.

S. G. Grubb was born in Meadville, Pennsylvania, in 1834, educated at the Meadville Normal School and Alleghany College, and taught school. By trade he was a mason. He enlisted as a private during the war, and was promoted to 2d lieutenant at Chickamauga. In the march to the sea he was ordnance officer for the artillery of the 14th army corps. After the war he engaged in lumbering in northern Michigan, and in 1884 removed to Washington, where he took a homestead claim.

Harry Hamilton was born at Muncie, Indiana, in 1859, where he lived on a farm until 1883. The following year he settled upon a tract of land in what was then Stevens County, Washington, 35 miles from Conconully, and engaged in stock raising.

L. C. Herren was born in North Carolina, in 1856, educated at Firmin University and Wakeforest College, and graduated at Greensboro Law School in 1880. He was collector of internal revenue of the 11th division of North Carolina in 1882; came to Washington in 1884, and was elected to the legislature in 1888.

A. S. Hewitt was born in the state of New York, in 1853. He came from Ohio to Washington in 1877, and was for many years a locomotive engineer, helping to organize the order of brotherhood of locomotive engineers. He engaged in real estate business upon the rapid rise of Tacoma, in which he was extremely fortunate.

W. H. Hughes was 35 years of age, and a native of New York, who came to Washington in 1874. Residence Seattle.

Chandler Huntington was born in Multnomah County, Oregon, Feb. 24, 1849. His parents removed within the same year to Monticello, on the Cowlitz River, where he has resided on a stock farm ever since. He was son of H. D. Huntington, member of the first territorial legislature.

R. H. Hutchinson was born at Dixon, Lee County, Illinois, in 1859, where he resided until 21 years of age, receiving a good education. He taught school, mid studied law, being admitted to practice in 1887, when he removed to Washington.

George H. Judson was born in Thurston County, Washington, in 1859, and removed to Whatcom County, which he represented in 1870. He graduated from the Seattle University in 1882, with the degree of B. S., and engaged in surveying and engineering.

Stephen Judson was born in Prussia, in 1837, his parents emigrating with him to the U. S. in 1843, and settling at Galena, Illinois. In 1833 they crossed the plains with an ox-team, and entered Washington by the Nachess pass, residing since that time continuously in Pierce County. He was sheriff of the County from 1861 to 1869; was elected to the lower house of the territorial legislature in 3871, 1873, and 1881; was County treasurer one year, and trustee of the Steilacoom asylum for the insane.

George Kandle was born in Savannah, Missouri, in 1831, and immigrated with his parents to Portland, Oregon, the same year. In 1852 they removed to Washington, and finally settled 13 miles south of Steilacoom, in 1865. In 1871 he removed to Tacoma, and took charge of a general merchandise store. He was four times elected county auditor, and in 1878 began real estate and insurance business. He was a member of the board of trustees of the Steilacoom asylum for the insane, and a member of the city council.

William K. Kennedy was born in Chicago, in 1851, of Scotch-Irish parentage, and educated there. He removed from Iowa to Washington, and settled near Ritzville.

J. A. Kuhm was born in Pennsylvania, in 1841, was a lawyer by profession, came to Washington about 1869, and had served several terms in the territorial legislature.

A. B. Lull was a physician, residing at Port Angeles.

John McReavy was born in the state of Maine, in 1840. He had resided for several years in the territory, and was a merchant at Skokomish. He was a member of the constitutional congress,

William J. Meade was born in Busti, Chautauqua, New York, in Sept. 1836, brought up on a farm, educated at Jamestown Collegiate Institute and College, taught school, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1881. In 1883 he came to Washington, and practised law in Tacoma. In 1884 was elected town clerk, and held the office until 1889. He was also a member of the Fidelity Title Insurance and Abstract Company, and clerk of the Tacoma school district for 3 years, and a member of the Tacoma board of health.

G. Medcalf was a native of Canada, thirty-seven years of age, a butcher by occupation, at Montesano, and had resided many years in the territory.

D. B. Minkler was born in Wisconsin in 1849, and bred a farmer. In 1874 he came to Wash., settling in Skagit, in lumbering business, in 1877.

G. W. Morse was born in Brunswick, Maine, in 1830, and his father being a shipbuilder, had sailed all over the globe. He came to Washington, about 1864, helped build the General Harney, one of the first vessels built on Puget Sound, and ran a trading vessel from Olympia to Alaska. He settled finally at Oak Harbor, on Whidbey Island.

W. R. Moultray was born in Steelsville, Crawford County, Missouri, in 1852, and obtained a good business education. He came to Washington with his father in 1872, and worked at common labor and contracting for four years. He then purchased a trading post at Nooksack crossing, and carried on a profitable business for a year, when he began hop growing, which he found remunerative. He married Miss Lizzie Walker in 1877.

E. D. Nash was born in Chautauqua co., New York, in 1836, but resided in Missouri from 1858 to 1883. He served in the 12th Missouri cavalry as major during the rebellion. He came to Washington in 1883, and engaged in milling and merchandising.

J. G. Megler was born in Germany, in 1838, came to the U. S. in 1848, attended school in New York City, learned the trade of a tinsmith, and went to Cairo, Illinois, in 1853. When the war was in progress he entered the gunboat service as paymaster’s clerk, was promoted to mate and ensign, and was in the battles of Shiloh, Fort Henry, Donelson, and Vicksburg. After the war he came to Washington, and engaged in the business of canning salmon.

L. B. Nims was born in Wattsburg, Erie County, Penn., in 1836, removing, when three years old, to Wisconsin. He engaged in teaching, but the Pike’s peak gold fever drew him westward, and for several years he drifted about in all the Pacific states and territories, returning home and entering Ripon College, Wisconsin, in 1862, where he remained two years. In 1884 he removed to Washington from Minnesota, settling in Chehalis County, erecting a hotel in Cosmopolis, near the mouth of the Chehalis River.

W. S. Oliphant was born at Olive Green, Noble County, Ohio, in 1849, and bred a farmer. He came to Washington, in 1880, and was elected to the legislature of 1888, which did assemble.

B. R. Ostrander was born in Ohio, in 1813, and removed to a farm in Illinois, in 1855. He served in the civil war, and was mustered out as orderly sergeant, Company H., 83 Illinois Volunteers, in July 1865, after which he attended Lombard University in Galesburg, and married in 1870. Subsequently he was engaged in lumber and grain business for eleven years, in Illinois, and dealt in lumber two years in Colorado, removing to Washington in 1883, and engaging in raising blooded stock.

Joseph C. Painter came to Washington in 1850 from St Genevieve County, Missouri. At the breaking out of the war he returned east, and served in the union army to the close of the contest.

J. T. Person was born in White County, Tennessee, in 1856, removing to Missouri in 1859, and residing on a farm. He came to Washington in 1881, settling at Endicott, and engaging in merchandising.

Oliff Peterson of Pierce County was born in Knox County, Illinois, in 1848, removing in 1857 to Des Moines, Iowa. Before he was fourteen years of age he enlisted in the 20th Regiment of Iowa Volunteers, and served as a private to the close of the war, being wounded several times. After the war he was a contractor in Iowa. In 1875 he came to Washington, settling in Pierce County, where he had, in 1889, 1,800 acres, and was engaged in hop and hay raising and dairying, besides owning property in Tacoma. He was for several years warden of the insane asylum at Steilacoom.

E. R. Pickerell was born on a farm in Porter County, Indiana, in 1858. He attended a seminary at Stewartsville, Mo., the academic schools of the Missouri State University, and afterwards the law school, and was admitted to the bar in 1883. In 1884 he came to Washington, locating at Palouse City, where, with W. D. Irwin, he founded the Palouse News, but soon after sold out his interest and confined himself to the practice of his profession. He was a delegate to the convention of 1888, and chairman of the committee on permanent organization.

Alfred A. Plummer was born in Port Townsend, Sept. 7, 1856, being the son of A. A. Plummer, the pioneer settler of that place. He was county commissioner for four years, and was business manager of the Port Townsend foundry and machine company when elected to the legislature.

Isaac N. Power was born in Olympia, March 16, 1852, and removed to Whidbey Island when one year old, residing there until 1876, when he entered the medical department of the Willamette University at Salem, Oregon, from which he graduated in 1877. He became associated with Dr Minor of Port Townsend in the Marine Hospital, but removed in 1878 to La Conner, and later to Noah Bay. After five years of practice he took a course of lectures in the Pacific Medical College of San Francisco, and in 1883 located in Ellensburg.

Bruce F. Purdy was born in Salem, Oregon, in 1854, and removed to Washington in 1875, where he engaged in farming and stock raising. His parents were from Ohio.

Marcy H. Randall was born at Ames, Montgomery County, New York, in 1842, migrated to Wisconsin with his father in 1849, was educated at Carroll College, Waukesha, and was for seine years domiciled with his elder brother, Alex. W. Randall, who was governor of Wisconsin, and P. M. general under President Lincoln. In 1861 enlisted in Chicago in the 12th Illinois Infantry, was commissioned as captain in Company A, U. S. colored troops, resigned in 1865 on account of ill health, and removed to Montana, where he followed mining and stock raising until 1886, when he came to Washington, locating on a stock farm near Kettle Falls.

Alexander Robertson was born in Hamilton, Canada, in 1844, and came to Washington in 1879, settling near Stanwood, and engaging in farming and stock raising. He served through the war of the rebellion in the union army, having his eyes seriously injured in the service.

Francis J. Retch was born in Albany, New York, Feb. 15, 1863, was educated at the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and at the Dresden Polytechnic School in Europe. On returning home he went into the lumber trade in Wisconsin, and removed in 1888 to Washington, where he was secretary of the Seattle lumber manufacturing company on the Portland branch of the N. P. It. R.

W. C. Rutter was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, in 1854, was brought up on a farm, received a liberal education, being specially devoted to mineralogy and mining science. He came to Washington in 1887.

John P. Sharp was born in Harrison County, Ohio, in 1842, removed with his parents to Missouri in 1848, and to Oregon in 1852, settling in Lane County. Afterwards spent some years in eastern Oregon and Idaho, and married Miss Rowland of Yamhill County, Oregon, in 1865, removing to and settling on a farm in Yakima County, Washington. He was elected county commissioner in 1876, and again appointed to the office to fill a vacancy, and was a school director and road supervisor.

Amos F. Shaw was born in Franklin, New Hampshire, in 1839, and lived on a farm until 1859, when he went to the then unorganized territory of Dakota, and was elected a member of the provisional legislature that met at Sioux Falls in the winter of 1859-60. Enlisted in the union army in 1862, and served three and a half years; was sheriff of Clay County, Dakota, from 1866 to 1869, was secretary of the territorial council in 1869, member of the house of representatives in 1871 and 1875, and of the council in 1881. He came to Vancouver in the autumn of that year, bought and cleared land, and planted a prune orchard. Returning to Dakota in 1884, was appointed warden of the penitentiary, and served two years. Returned to Washington in 1887, and formed a company to raise and pack prunes.

V. A. Shinn came to Washington from the eastern states in 1884, was a druggist, and about 35 years of age.

P. K. Spencer was born in Warren County, Indiana, in 1849, received a high school education, and graduated in 1873 from the Indianapolis business college. He went to Kansas the same year, engaging in mercantile pursuits, and from there came to Washington in 1880, being employed as a clerk in a store for four years. He was appointed auditor for Lincoln County, and elected for two succeeding terms. Was elected joint representative for Lincoln, Douglas, Adams, and Franklin Counties in 1888.

George H. Stevenson was born in Iron County, Missouri, in 1857. He came to Washington in 1882, settling at the Cascades. He was elected county auditor in 1882 and 1884; joint representative from Skamania, Clarke, and Cowlitz Counties in 1886; was appointed inspector of customs to succeed A. L. Sharpstein, but declined to qualify, fearing to jeopardize his seat in the legislature. He was in the fishery business.

Zebulon E. Straight was born in Wayne County, New York, in 1840, removed to Wisconsin in 1846, to Iowa in 1860, and to Minnesota in 1861, where he learned the trade of watchmaker and jeweler. In 1870 he came to Washington, establishing himself in Walla Walla City. He was three times elected to the city council, and was a member of almost every political convention held in his town in 18 years, including the state convention of 1889.

J. E. Tucker of San Juan County was born in Ohio, about 1839, and came to Washington in 1881, settling on a farm at Friday Harbor. He was a lawyer by profession, and served during the war in the 50th and 69th Ohio refits. He was probate judge of San Juan County.

John C. Turner was born in California in 1853, had an academic education, and the trade of a cabinet-maker. He went to Oregon in 1877, residing for three years in Portland and The Dalles, removing to Colfax in 1880. In 1883 he became deputy auditor and recorder, and in 1885 was appointed to fill the place of auditor made vacant by the death of his principal, being elected to the office in 1887. He married a daughter of John Boswell of Colfax. He resided at the time of his election on a 1,000 acre farm, 4 miles S. E. from Colfax.

A. H. Weatherford was born in Putnam County, Missouri, in 1853, went to Oregon in 1864, and came to Washington in 1871, residing in Columbia County until 1880, when he went to Wasco County, Oregon, where he held the office of commissioner. In 1886 he returned to Washington, and was elected representative from Columbia County in 1888.



MLA Source Citation:

Bancroft, Hubert H. Bancroft Works, Volume 31, History Of Washington, Idaho, and Montana, 1845-1889. San Francisco: The History Company. 1890. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 20 August 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/washington/brief-bios-of-washington-senators-and-representatives.htm - Last updated on Aug 20th, 2013


Categories:
Topics:

Contribute to the Conversation!

Our "rules" are simple. Keep the conversation on subject and mind your manners! If this is your first time posting, we do moderate comments before we let them appear... so give us a while to get to them. Once we get to know you here, we'll remove that requirement.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Newsletter Signup

We currently provide two newsletters. Why not take both for a run?

Genealogy Update: We send out this newsletter whenever we feature a new, or significantly updated, collection or database on our website.

Circle of Nations: We send out this newsletter whenever we feature a new (or significantly updated) Native American collection or database on our website.

Once you've clicked on the Subscribe button above you'll receive an email from us requesting confirmation. You must confirm the email before you will be able to receive any newsletter.