Location: Skagit County WA

Biographical Sketch of Michael McNamara

MICHAEL McNAMARA. – This prominent resident of Skagit county was born in Woodstock, Canada, in 1848. His early years, however, were spent in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and at Chicago, where he completed his growth and education at Chatham, Canada. In 1865 he came overland to California, and the next year reached Puget Sound, finding employment ten years in the logging camps. In 1876 he was able to set up a business of his own, keeping a hotel at Stanwood, and three years later building his present commodious hotel, the Ruby House, which is first class in every respect. His own residence at Mount Vernon, Washington, built in 1887, is one of the finest on the Sound outside of Seattle. Mr. McNamara is married and has three...

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Biography of William Munks

WILLIAM MUNKS. – Mr. Munks, an excellent portrait of whom is placed in this history, is a veteran of several wars, as well as a pioneer, trapper and scout in the early days of the Pacific coast. He is to-day one of the most widely known men on Puget Sound, being often called “king of the Fidalgo Island” as he was the first white man to locate on its shores. It was then a part of Whatcom County, Washington Territory, but is now included in the boundary of Skagit. Mr. Munk was the first white man that lived within the present confines of the latter county, and was born in Canton, Ohio. At the early age of six years he suffered the loss, by death, of his father. Upon the breaking out of the war with Mexico, he enlisted in the Fifteenth Infantry, United States volunteers, under General (then Colonel) George W. Morgan, with whom he remained until the close of hostilities. The military record of the family is rather bright, his grandfather having served in the war for independence, his father in the war of 1812, and his only brother following the fortunes of Sherman on his march to the sea. In 1849 he left the East to seek his fortune in the far West. After hunting and trapping for a time on the western slope of the...

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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...

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Biographical Sketch of Myron W. Packard

MYRON W. PACKARD. – This leading citizen of the lower Sound was born in Madrid, St. Lawrence County, New York, in 1830. At the age of twenty-three he left his native place, where he was in the mercantile business, coming as far west as Illinois, and in the same year journeyed on to River Falls, Wisconsin. That was his home for seventeen years, three of which were spent in the Union army, from which he was mustered out as a quartermaster-sergeant. In 1870 he came to Washington Territory, bringing his wife and family of five children, and located on White River, engaging in the mercantile business. Regarding Snohomish a more eligible business point, he removed thither in the summer of 1871, and engaged in the same business until 1879, when he returned to Wisconsin, but was detained no longer than till the year 1882. Returning to our coast he found a location on Skagit river. There he remained until 1885, when he once more went to Snohomish, and with his son in 1887, by purchase and building, opened his present fine store, where he is doing a successful business. Mr. Packard has secured the confidence of the people, and has served the county as probate judge, auditor and treasurer. He was also a member of the first board of trustees of Snohomish, and still holds that position. He is...

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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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Thomas, Thelma Gwendolyn Erdman Mrs. – Obituary

Thelma Gwendolyn Thomas, 92, of Baker City, died Feb. 1, 2005, at her home. Private family interment will be Friday at Mount Vernon Cemetery in Mount Vernon, Wash. She will be laid to rest next to her husband, Bus. Thelma Gwendolyn was born on Sept. 25, 1913, at St. Louis to Alexander and Clair Erdman. She was raised and educated at Denver. Thelma met and married Louis “Bus” Thomas in 1935. Shortly after that they moved to Los Angeles. They had one son, Ron. Thelma and Bus owned and operated a printing and calendar binding business. She was always known as a very hard worker and she was loved by everyone who knew her. She enjoyed fishing, camping, gardening and canning, sewing and knitting. She loved raising and showing her Norwegian elkhounds, which received many trophies and blue ribbons. They moved to Burlington, Wash., in 1980 to retire close to Ron, who was living there. Bus died in 1984. Thelma remained in Washington until the mid 90s when she moved to North Powder and then to Baker City two years ago. Thelma was living at Settlers Park when she died. She enjoyed all of the people and the activities there. Survivors include her son and wife, Ron and Jennie Thomas of North Powder; a brother, Curtis Erdman of Mesa, Ariz.; and four grandchildren. She was preceded in death by...

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Hovde, Judith Ann Robertson Mrs. – Obituary

Baker City, Oregon Judith Ann Hovde, 60, of Baker City, died Sept. 22, 2004, at her home. There will be a celebration of Judy’s life at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Calvary Baptist Church, 2107 Third St. Pastor Ed Niswender will officiate. Friends are invited to join the family for a time of sharing in the fellowship hall after the service. Judy was born on Feb. 20, 1944, at Mount Vernon, Wash., to Walter and Viola Andersen Robertson. She was a 1962 graduate of Eisenhower High School at Yakima, Wash. She went on to earn her nursing degree from Emmanuel Hospital in Portland. Being a compassionate, loving, gentle person, her career in nursing was very well-suited to her. She worked for Dr. Eugene Kazmierski’s practice in Portland for 21 years until her retirement in 1999. She and her husband, Art, traveled to Baker City to visit her close friend and Judy fell in love with the people and the valley. They moved to Baker City as soon as she retired and loved every minute being here. She was an avid reader and loved animals and her flowers. She would spend many hours tending them and often helped out her friend, Jeanne Schroder at Baker City Floral. She was a devout Christian and faithfully worshiped at Calvary Baptist Church where she and Art were members. Judy was grateful for the support...

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Biography of Hon. Jesse B. Ball

HON. JESSE B. BALL. – Twenty miles up the Skagit river, in the heart of one of the richest timber sections of Washington, is Sterling, a thriving young city, with high hopes for the future. The founder of the place is the man whose name appears at the head of this sketch. Mr. Ball is a pioneer of 1853, having crossed the plains in that year and stopped at Downieville, where he worked a short time for a company of miners, – his only work for anybody but himself on this coast. His career has had the restless activity and energy characteristic of our people. At Nevada City and other points he was engaged in mining for two years. At Oroville he was in the stock business for nine years. Taking advantage of the no-fence law, he then spent three years at Honey Lake valley, in the same pursuit. In 1867 he came to Puget Sound, and in 1868 farmed for a year on the Nisqually bottoms. Logging and lumbering near Steilacoom engaged his attention until 1878. It was in that year that he came to Whatcom (now Skagit), and started the town of Sterling. Here he kept a store and logging camp. A year ago he sold his store and his timber lands, and confined himself to farming and real estate, owning several sixty and seventy acre tracts...

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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 Dr. Horace P. Downs

DR. HORACE P. DOWNS. – Doctor Downs is one of those highly educated gentlemen who have deliberately chosen a new country in which to exercise abilities that are ever in demand in the older communities. He was born in Freedom, New Hampshire, in 1840. The family made a number of removals. It was at great Falls that he received his first comprehensive instructions; and at Exeter he pursued his academic course, and graduated from the medical department of Bowdoin College in 1865. Entering at once upon the practice of his profession, he chose a location at Tamworth, New Hampshire, and three years later secured a lucrative practice at Charlestown, which has since been incorporated with Boston, Massachusetts. In 1878 he determined to transfer his interests to the Pacific coast, and selected a home in that part of Whatcom county which has now been delimitated and named Skagit. In 1880 he was elected commissioner of the old county, and in the autumn of 1883 was appointed by the legislature as one of the three commissioners to segregate and organize the new county. At the special election following, he was chosen auditor, and by re-election still holds this office. He also served on the committee to make a settlement of affairs relating to the two counties. He is a Republican in politics. In business relations Doctor Downs has been prosperous, and...

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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 Hon. Harrison Clothier

HON. HARRISON CLOTHIER. – The subject of this short sketch was born in Corinth, Saratoga county, New York, on the 9th of July, 1840, and is the son of Ebenezer K. and Lucy Clothier. He remained in the place of his birth until 1868, with the exception of three years spent in New Jersey and in Troy, New York. Then he put into execution the advice of Horace Greeley, and emigrated to Wisconsin. After a short time there he journeyed on to Minnesota, where he devoted his time to farming in the summer and teaching in the winter. In 1872 he began merchandising in Farm Hill, Minnesota, under the firm name of Clothier & Divine. There he continued for two and a half years. In May, 1875, he started for Oregon, stopping for a short time in San Francisco on the way, and going first to the Sound, where he worked at harvesting during the summer at La Conner. Then pursuing his original design, he came on to the Webfoot state, and established himself first as “the village master of a little school” on Howell Prairie. In November, 1876, Mr. Clothier went to Mt. Vernon, and there united with Edward g. English in a merchandising business, having a capital of less than fifteen hundred dollars, and founded the town of Mt. Vernon in March, 1877. The firm has continued...

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Biographical Sketch of George E. Hartson

GEORGE E. HARTSON. – The subject of this sketch, editor and proprietor of the Skagit News, was born in Troy, New York, in 1855. While but an infant his parents made a new home in Wisconsin, and nine years later in Iowa. In 1869 they came to California, but almost immediately continued their travels up the coast, coming to a final halt at Coupville, Washington Territory. Young Hartson accompanied them, and at this place made such good use of the public school as to be able at the age of seventeen to engage as teacher; but in 1872 he made a permanent home near Mount Vernon, Washington Territory, purchasing land a mile distant and farming, and in the interim of his new labors plying his old profession as school teacher. He was promoted by the popular voice in 1882 to the position of school superintendent of Skagit county, which he held till 1886. In 1885 he purchased the Skagit News, a paper devoted to the interests of Mount Vernon and Skagit county in particular, and to the Sound at large. With what success he has conducted it, the public already knows. In connection with his newspaper office, he accommodates the public by keeping a stock of books and stationery. He was married in 1879 to Miss Matilda Gates, an accomplished young lady and the daughter of the substantial business...

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Biographical Sketch of Patrick Halloran

PATRICK HALLORAN. – The map makers are kept busy by the geographical changes of the Pacific Northwest; and the general public is often far behind the times in learning of the new towns springing up everywhere. The corner postoffice becomes a city; and the old farmhouse suddenly becomes a small town with store, and hotel. The water front of Puget Sound begets a new village almost every day. One of these places is Edison; and one of the principal men in the place is Mr. Halloran. He came as a logger in 1876 to the Sound, but in 1879 took up his present claim, and has made of it a most productive farm. Hay, at two and a half tons per acre, timothy seed, of which he produces three or four tons per annum, and twenty tons of oats, constitute the output of his farm. His hay crop is about two hundred and thirty-five tons per year. He finds local market for all his produce, selling hay at an average of twelve dollars per ton. His fields net him fifteen dollars per acre. He has a hopeful outlook for his city, and as a resident believes it a good place for anyone who is sober, industrious and tends strictly to his own business. In 1886 Mr. Halloran was elected county commissioner, and was re-elected in 1888. He has wisely...

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