Location: Olympia Washington

Biography of Francis H. Cook

FRANCIS H. COOK, – Mr. Cook was born in Marietta, Ohio, in 1851. He went with his parents to Iowa at the age of twelve. His father was a farmer, and have his attention to agriculture and to sawmilling; but it was decided to make a printer of the boy. He was accordingly apprenticed to work at the cases in the office of the Harrison County Union, a paper owned and edited by Judge Henry Ford, who was also sitting on the bench of the northwest district of Iowa. The journal changed proprietors quite frequently, young Cook remaining through the two administrations succeeding Judge Ford’s; but, at the next call for a change, he and another ambitious young man embraced the opportunity to buy the Union themselves, conducting it a year and a half. But feeling the need of a more complete intellectual equipment, the young journalist sold out his share and attended Iowa State University. His studies there were cut short at the end of the second year by the failure of the man to whom he had sold, making his notes worthless. He had, however, fifteen dollars, earned at Iowa City; and with this for capital he set forth at the age of nineteen to see the world. His printer’s trade gave him employment. There is never so care-free a traveler as the compositor; and young cook...

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Biography of A. H. Chambers

A.H. CHAMBERS. – This wealthy and influential resident of Olympia is a native of Washington Territory, and a son of one of the earliest pioneers, his parents having crossed the plains to Oregon in 1844. Andsworth was born near Olympia, at Chambers Prairie, June 25, 1851. He began his career at the early age of twelve as a herder of stock, and continued in this business until nineteen years of age, acquiring thereby a knowledge of life and of practical affairs which has been of great value. At the above age, in partnership with his father, he successfully established a butcher business at Olympia, and in 1881 enlarged it by the purchase of his father’s interest, conducting it himself for the following eight years. In the spring of 1889, he disposed of his retail business, and now confines himself to stock-raising and the wholesale butcher business. In 1888 he erected the beautiful building which bears his name, a view of which, together with his own portrait, appears in this work. Although beginning with small means, Mr. Chambers early mastered the art of attending to his business with close attention, and has thereby gained a competency, never, however, resorting to miserly, avaricious methods, nor relying upon fortune, nor taking advantage of his fellow-man. There is no more enterprising citizen in the capital city, nor indeed in the state, than A.H....

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Biography of Hon. William F. Keady

HON. WM. F. KEADY. – “The pen is mightier than the sword;” and the editor is greater than the captain. He is not simply a gossip and talker, but a thinker. The man who has grown up in a newspaper office can make his way in the world wherever a way is possible, and becomes a pillar in society. This is the case with Mr. Keady, who was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, in 1821. He learned the printer’s trade, and entered the printing office of the Iroquois Journal at Middleport, Illinois, in 1852. Within six months he was half owner of the paper, and at length purchased the entire interest. He conducted this publication four years, until the formation of the Republican party, of which he became an active supporter. Having conducted his paper as a Democratic organ, he found it necessary now to sell it out, but continued living in Middleport until 1867. Entering the newspaper business once more, he purchased a half interest in the Kankakee Gazette, staying with it two years, and, after a short residence in Iroquois county, purchased a job office in Kankakee, Illinois, and published The Times continuously for twelve years. In 1881 he felt the drift towards the Pacific coast, and upon reaching Olympia, and observing its beautiful residences and extensive views, felt no inclination to go farther, but there set...

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Biography of Hon. Charles H. Mason

HON. CHARLES H. MASON. – Mr. Mason was born at Fort Washington, on the Potomac river, Maryland, in 1830. At the age of seven, with his widowed mother, he removed to Providence, Rhode Island. He graduated in 1850 with distinguished honors at Brown University, and was admitted to the bar of Rhode Island in 1851. On the election of President Pierce, he was recommended by the Rhode Island bar for the office of United States district attorney for that state. On the declination of the secretaryship of Washington Territory by Major Farquaharson, in September, 1853, Mr. Mason received the appointment and arrived in the territory in October, and continued in office until his death. It was, however, as acting governor of the territory through several critical periods that he distinguished himself, and endeared himself to our people. His first gubernatorial services were from March 26, 1854, to December 1st of that year. Again, when Governor Stevens went to the Blackfoot Council at Fort Benton, from May 12, 1855, he acted as governor until January 19, 1856. It was during this time that the Indian war was inaugurated; and his administration during the trying months of October, November and December was marked with energy, decision and wisdom. He immediately called for volunteers. He wisely and promptly separated the friendly from the hostile, humanely treating all Indians as friendly who were...

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Biographical Sketch of Alexander C. McClelland

ALEXANDER C. McCLELLAND. – The present registrar of the United States land-office at La Grande, Oregon, is a native of Indiana, having been born there in 1842. He received his education at the Berlin High School, Wisconsin, and in 1863 came west to Montana as a gold-seeker. He found the employment of his intellectual acquisition more profitable, however, and for a number of years engaged in school-teaching and educational work in the Willamette valley. In 1867 we find him in the mines at Baker City, looking after “lodes” and “leads,” and also in 1870 engaged in the stock business with his present partner, B.W. Bartholomew. In 1874 he was married to Miss Mary, the only daughter of the pioneer David J. Chambers, of Chambers Prairie. Engaging in business at Olympia with A.H. Chambers, three years were spent until a change to the dryer climate of Baker county became necessary from considerations of health. In 1879 he sold his stock ranch, and located the next year at Island City, following such pursuits as were suited to the condition of his health. He is at present residing at La Grande, having been appointed as head of the land-office of that district by President...

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Biography of Hon. Robert C. Hill

HON. ROBERT C. HILL. – Mr. Hill, one of the most responsible men of Washington, and a pioneer of an early day, was born in Hatboro, Pennsylvania, September 14, 1829, the son of Doctor John Hill, his mother’s maiden name having been Eliza L. Davis. At the age of seven he moved with his parents to Philadelphia, and received his education at the excellent grammar and high schools of that city. He entered upon a business career as clerk in a wholesale dry-goods store in the city, and followed that occupation four years. In 1848 he removed with his parents to New Jersey. In 1850, with his father and two brothers, he came to the new empire on the Pacific shore, making the trip via Panama, and arriving in San Francisco on board the steamer New World in July. In partnership with his father he opened a lumber yard at that city, and a year later tried the fortunes and vicissitudes of life in the mines, but shortly afterwards accepted a position as manager of the ranch of his brother in Sonoma valley. Seeking for something better to the north, he arrived at Whidby Island in February, 1853, and found located there his brothers Nathaniel D. and Humphrey, who had located in the fall of 1852. He took an adjoining place, and with them went to the Indian war....

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Biography of A. B. Rabbeson

A.B. RABBESON. – Mr. Rabbeson, who observes that “he was born of rich but honest parents” at New York in 1824, was devoted from his youth to the most interesting and desperate adventures. Nevertheless, he was always delivered from his perils just at the right time, and lives to-day in hale age at Olympia. His boyish adventures began not many years after the death of his father in 1833. His step-father he did not like, and consequently left home. We find him out in Canada, soon at New York City with his grandparents and attending school, but within a few months on a coasting ship to Florida, where, with two mutinous sailors, he left ship and wandered through Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky to Cincinnati, where his companions left him to shift for himself. Making his way to Columbus, Ohio, he obtained steady work, but also found and read the biography of a Rocky Mountain man, which fired his mind with a burning youthful desire to go West and try it for himself. Nevertheless, it was not until after more wanderings in Canada, a short period at buffalo, a trip on the lakes, and a few years in the old West, – Ohio and Illinois, – that he finally got his feet on the Oregon trail; for it was mythic Oregon which was his lure. The autumn of...

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Biography of Theodore C. Van Epps

THEODORE C. VAN EPPS. – Mr. Van Epps, a portrait of whom is placed among the illustrations of this work, is one of the best known men in Washington’s capital city. He was born in New Scotland, eight miles west of Albany, New York, February 15, 1847, and is the son of Charles and Angelica (Vedder) Van Epps, both of whom were born in New York of Holland parentage, his mother being a cousin of ex-President Martin Van Buren. His great-grandfather was from Holland, and founded the town of Amsterdam in New York State. At the age of six Theodore moved with his parents to Davenport, Iowa, and in that city received his education. In 1867, having spent one year at St. Louis, he found employment as a school-teacher in Muscatine, Iowa. In the autumn of 1868 he moved to Cass county, Nebraska, and located a homestead on which he lived until 1875. In that year he crossed the mountains to Washington, selecting Olympia as his future home, and purchasing with S.C. Woodruff as partner the stationery store of A.J. Burr & Co. In 1881 Mr. Van Epps purchased his partner’s interest, and continued the business, conducting one of the largest and most successful book, stationery and notion stores to be found on the Sound. In February, 1889, he sold his store to is son, W.A. Van Epps, for...

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Biography of Conrad G. Saylor

CONRAD G. SAYLOR – Among the pioneers to the Pacific Northwest, and especially to the “classic shades” of Yamhill county, Oregon, none enjoyed a greater measure of esteem than the gentleman whose name is the title to this memoir. He was born in Martinsville, Indiana, October 6, 1818, and in that state resided until he was twenty-two years of age, when he came west to Iowa. In the latter state he learned the brickmaking and brick-laying trades, which he followed in various sections, first as employe’, then as contractor and builder. Among the numerous buildings which were constructed under his supervision, and which attest his skill as a master mechanic, might be named the county courthouse at Council Bluffs, Iowa, which has been for forty years the special pride of the citizens of that place. He was united in marriage to Miss Mary A. Black at Iowaville, November 3, 1842, the fruits of their union being five children, three of whom survive. Influenced by the reports concerning the Pacific Northwest, he resolved in 1852 to start for the Occident, beginning the journey in the spring of that year. Among the many who left their Eastern homes for far-off Oregon, there are but few whose experience on the plains was much more fraught with sadness than his. The family, at starting, was unbroken save by the death of a son...

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Biography of George D. Shannon

GEORGE D. SHANNON. – This well-known contractor, banker and successful farmer is a man whom Nature fitted with qualities that inevitably guide their possessor to success. He was born in what is now Schuyler county, New York, December 20, 1832, and is the son of Thomas and Mehitable (Corwin) Shannon. At the age of sixteen he entered upon business for himself, and with an abundance of self-reliance began railroading, following that and other employments until 1854. Soon afterwards he came to St. Paul, Minnesota, accepting employment for a large lumber company. In 1858 he was appointed superintendent of construction of its first train, which, in 1860, he was conductor of its first train, – the first passenger train ever run west of the Mississippi in Minnesota. He followed railroading in that state until 1868, and subsequently engaged in railroad contracting in New York, Indiana and Wisconsin, completing large works on different roads in many of the Eastern states. In 1870 he came to Olympia and accepted the position of superintendent of construction for the Northern Pacific on their line from Kalama to Tacoma. In 1873 he purchased his present valuable farm containing eleven hundred acres, ten miles from Olympia, Washington Territory, all of which he maintains in a high state of cultivation, and has improved with a beautiful home, in which he is glad to entertain in his most...

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Biography of Edward Thomas Young

EDWARD THOMAS YOUNG. – Young’s Hotel, at the capital of Washington Territory, is a conspicuous building, well known to the traveling public and to the members of the legislature, and is the pride of the city. Its proprietor, whose name it bears, is a native of London, England. He was born in 1846. At an early age he crossed the water and lived with his parents at Newcastle, Canada. Subsequently he went to Bruce county, near Lake Huron, where he worked at the carpenter’s trade and general building, and acquired the means to cross the continent. He came with a brother, William, to Santa Barbara, and there still further increased his capital by strict attention to contracting and building. Sickness, however, set him afloat once more; and in Oregon he found employment as bridge builder on the Oregon and California Railroad. Advancing northward, he reached Olympia in 1869. He still continued his trade of house and general building, and in 1872, after a brief sojourn in Old Tacoma, started the restaurant and bakery at Olympia, afterwards known as the New England Bakery and Restaurant, conducting it with such satisfactory results as to warrant him in enlarging his business by the lease of the Tacoma Hotel. Three years and eight months of operating that house enabled him to make the building his own by purchase; and he has since kept...

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Biography of Hon. Robert F. Sturdevant

HON. ROBERT F. STURDEVANT. – Mr. Sturdevant is known as the pioneer lawyer of Dayton, Washington, and is one of its most enterprising citizens. His birthplace was Warren county, Pennsylvania; and the date was November 18, 1841. About eighteen months after that important event in his history, his parents moved to Iowa, and settled in Lee county. There they remained until 1854, when they removed to Clark county, Wisconsin. There Robert attended school, and in 1860 began the study of law. He was engaged in professional study and practice till 1873, when, in company with his father and mother and wife, he came to Washington Territory. Their first home was at Olympia. The parents returned to Wisconsin the next year; and Mr. Sturdevant with his family removed to Dayton. There was no lawyer in the city at that time; and Sturdevant’s was the first attorney’s sign. In 1875 Columbia county chose the pioneer lawyer her probate judge, thus making him the pioneer at the bench as well as at the bar. In 1878 he was elected prosecuting attorney on the Republican ticket, for the first judicial district of the territory. He served in that office for two years. He has also served as mayor of Dayton, and was a member of the constitutional convention of Washington Territory. Always ready to forward the interests of Dayton, he has used his...

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Biography of John W. Waughop, M.D.

JOHN W. WAUGHOP, M.D. – The subject of this sketch was born in Tazewell county, Illinois, October 22, 1839, and is now in his fiftieth year. His early life was that common to boys on a Western farm, working in the summer and going to school in the winter. By the aid of private instruction, he prepared for and entered Eureka College, at Eureka, in his native state. Before the close of his college course, the war of the Rebellion broke out; and those whose memory runs back to that time can never forget the fire of patriotism and enthusiasm which swept over the land. The flames burnt brightest perhaps in those centers of learning where the feeling was intensified by the warm blood and generous impulses of youth; and Eureka College, like many a more famous one, sent out its devoted little company of student soldiers under command of a favorite professor. Young Waughop formed one of this gallant band, and with it took part in some of the bloodiest battles of the war, among others Shiloh and Donelson. Towards the close of the war his health became impaired; and, as the active service of the Army of the West had ceased, he sought and obtained a position in the hospital service, a field offering great attractions to those contemplating the study of medicine, the young man’s chosen...

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Biography of Samuel Coulter

Samuel Coulter was born in Tyler county, Virginia, August 20, 1832, and is a son of Samuel and Sarah (Rodes) Coulter. His father’s parents were natives of Wales and at an early day settled in Virginia, while his maternal ancestors came from England. At the age of four years he lost his father and soon thereafter the family moved to Van Buren county, Iowa. When be reached the age of twelve his mother died, after which he went to live with his half brother, Capt. B. L. Henness, who now resides near Mt. Tabor, Oregon, who kindly offered him a home and such educational advantages as the place afforded. In 1850 he drove an ox team across the plains to Oregon, arriving at Oregon City on the 12th of September, 1850, his entire possession at the time outside of a scanty wardrobe being two dollars in money. But he was not discouraged and soon after his arrival he secured employment and in April, 1851, was able with six others to purchase a wagon and six yoke of oxen and complete outfit for the mines, it being reported at the time that good mines had been discovered near Yreka, California. The excitement caused by the discovery of gold in California was then most intense, and young Coulter determined to try his fortune in this direction. His mining venture was rewarded...

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Biography of William H. Saylor, M.D.

William H. Saylor, M. D., was born in Wapello County, Iowa, August 17, 1843. His parents were Conrad G. and Mary A. (Black) Saylor. In 1852 he was brought by his parents across the plains to Oregon, and in the fall of that year arrived in Portland. In the succeeding spring the family went to Olympia, Washington Territory, remaining there until the summer of 1854 when they removed to a farm which his father had purchased in Rock Prairie. Here our subject lived until the breaking out of the Indian war of 1855 when the family, removed for protection to Fort Henness, on Grand Mound Prairie, residing there until hostilities were practically at an end in the fall of 1.856, when they returned to Oregon, settling at McMinnville. During the first years of his life here he performed the duties of clerk in his father’s store, meanwhile attending school at the old college building, within whose walls so many of the prominent men of Oregon have obtained the greater portion of their education. During the summers of 1861-2-3 he was engaged in mining at Oro Fino, Salmon River and Boise mines, and the remaining portions of these years attended school at the Willamette University. Even at this time he had resolved to become a physician. The life he was leading and the prospects it held out to him by...

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