Location: La Conner Washington

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...

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Biography of John O. Rudene

JOHN O. RUDENE. – This owner of a very productive farm two miles from La Conner, Washington, on the Swinomish flat, whose name appears above, is a native of Sweden, having been born there in 1850. At the age of twenty-three he came to America, locating in Iowa, until his removal across the continent to the Pacific coast in 1876. He selected a farm near La Conner, buying one hundred and eighty-one acres, to which he has since added two hundred. This fine body of land he has reclaimed from its original wild growth, and has reduced to cultivation. The deep, fine alluvium is astonishingly prolific. Oats and barley may be depended upon for from seventy to eighty bushels per acre; and an average of ninety-five bushels for a field of eighty acres has been obtained. hay yields four tons, and is a profitable crop, usually selling for from ten to twenty dollars. Fruit, particularly the hardier kinds, such as apples, yield too heavily for the strength of the trees. Cabbages and root crops are immense. This now productive place was entirely raw when its present owner first saw it, not a claim having been taken upon the section. His success in making it productive shows something of the future lying in wait for the thousands of farms like it to be made on the coast side of the...

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Vanishing Towns and Old Settlements of Washington

Of towns that once had the promise of a great future, Whatcom is one. It was named after a chief of the Nooksack, whose grave is a mile above the Bellingham Bay coal mine. For a short time during the Fraser River furore it had 10,000 people, and a fleet of vessels coming and going. The order of Douglas, turning traffic to Victoria, caused all the better portion of the buildings to be taken clown and removed thither. The single brick house erected by John Alexander remained, and was converted to the use of the county. Eldridge’s Sketch, MS., 31-2; Coleman, in Harper’s Magazine, xxxix. 796; Waddington, 8-9; Rossi’s Souvenirs, 156-7. After this turn in the fortunes of Whatcom it remained uninhabited, except by its owners and the coal company, for several years, or until about 1870, when the N. P. R. Co. turned attention to Bellingham Bay as a possible terminus of their road, and all the available land fronting on the bay was bought up. In 1882 the agent of a Kansas colony, looking for a location, fixed on Whatcom County and town, and made arrangements for settling there 600 immigrants. The owners of the town site agreed to donate a half-interest in the town site to the colonists, but refused after the latter had complied with the stipulations. New Whatcom was thereupon laid off on the...

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Biography of George B. Calhoun, M.D.

GEORGE B. CALHOUN,M.D. – There are but few men better known or more highly respected in the medical profession on Puget Sound than Doctor Calhoun, an excellent portrait of whom appears in this history. He is a native of New Brunswick, and was born October 19, 1837, his parents being John and Mary (Brewster) Calhoun. When he was but a small boy, he moved with his parents to the sunny South, locating in Maryland. His father, being a shipowner and seafaring man, was stricken, while on a voyage to the Bermudas, with yellow fever, from which he died. Our subject, with his widowed mother, then moved to East Boston, and a few years alter was placed in the excellent Horton Academy, Nova Scotia, where he remained until 1857. He was then sent to the university at Glasgow, Scotland, and after five years’ constant application was awarded his degree, standing near the head of his class. In 1862 he returned to America. After traveling two years for pleasure, he entered the United States army as assistant surgeon, remaining in that capacity until June, 1865. In August of the latter year, he came via the Nicaragua route to the Pacific coast, and in June, 1866, took charge of the marine hospital at Port Angles. But, Congress designating Port Townsend as the port of entry, Doctor Calhoun took up his residence in...

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Biographical Sketch of Fred D. Cleaves

FRED D. CLEAVES. – Although among the young men, Mr. Cleaves has for a number of years held responsible public positions. He was born in Stockbridge, Wisconsin, in 1852, residing in that village and at Fond du Lac until ten years of age, and coming in 1864 to this coast with his father’s family. Here is one of the few cases in which we find one of the early settlers returning to the East. After a year’s residence at Whidby Island, and two years at Albany, Oregon, the elder Cleaves recrossed the plains to his old home in Wisconsin. The change gave young Fred a better opportunity for education; but upon reaching man’s estate he still remembered the Pacific coast, and gradually drifted hither. Two years he stopped in Colorado. Finally coming up to Puget Sound, he began professional work, as teacher of penmanship at White River, and in 1880 made his home at La Conner, teaching there a few years. He found more agreeable employment, however, as clerk in the store of B.L. Martin, and afterwards for L.L. Andrews. While in the latter position, he was elected on the Democratic ticket as county treasurer of Skagit county one year, and re-elected in1884. He was also appointed clerk of the district court by Judge Greene, and was continued in this position by Judges Jones, Boyle, Burke and Hanford. He...

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Biography of Bedford L. Martin

BEDFORD L. MARTIN – In the features of Mr. Martin we see another of those who passed through the fire and hardships of our Civil war. Born in Arkansas in 1847, he was bereft of both parents at the age of four years, and was taken to Indiana and brought up by an uncle. At the age of seventeen he enlisted in Company A, Tenth Indiana Cavalry, and served in the hard campaigns subsequent to 1863. At Hollow Gap he was in the charge where two hundred and fifty men were shot down from his regiment. At Nashville, he was taken prisoner, and spent four months and a half in Andersonville and other prison pens, being finally paroled at Lake City, Florida, so reduced in flesh as to weight but seventy-two pounds. After a month in the Union hospital at Jacksonville, and another at Annapolis, he was stationed at Fort Chase, Ohio, and was honorably discharged in August, 1865. After the war he led a wandering life for some years, seeking the best state in the union for a permanent home. He was stock-raising in Kansas, and was also in California, Georgia and Colorado. By the year 1871 he had passed through Portland to Puget Sound, locating a homestead at Steilacoom. In 1872 he was at Olympia, and afterwards at Seattle, but found a suitable location with J.C. Conner...

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Biography of Hon. John McGlynn

HON. JOHN McGLYNN. – This influential resident and proprietor of the well-known hotel that bears his name in La Conner, Washington, and whose portrait appears in this history, is a man fitted by nature with qualities that insure success, and which are held in especial esteem among men. With manners suave, a disposition to accommodate, and generous promptings towards his fellows, he greets the stranger, the customer of the friend in a manner indicating the kindness of his own feelings, and which seldom fails to leave with the recipient a desire to do a favor. This is a happy faculty and gives it possessor a respect and friendship among men that is bounded only by the extent of his acquaintance. Mr. McGlynn is a native of the province of Connaught, Ireland, and first saw the light of day May 10, 1845, and is the son of Patrick and Catherine Juckein McGlynn. When he was some seven years of age he came with his parents from that unhappy island to the United States, and located at Hamilton, Ohio, and three years later moved to Carroll county, Indiana, where he was educated and employed on his father’s farm until 1872. In that year he concluded to come West, and selected Washington Territory as his future home. Shortly after his arrival he was appointed in this territory as Indian agent for the...

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