Marriage unites David Denny and Louisa Boren on January 23, 1853.

  • By Walt Crowley
  • Posted 1/01/2000
  • Essay 2027

On January 23, 1853, King County's first Justice of the Peace, Dr. David S. Maynard (1808-1873) issues the new King County's first marriage license and presides at the wedding of Seattle pioneers David T. Denny (1832-1903) and Louisa Boren (1827-1916).

Maynard had married a couple on November 19, 1852 -- John Bradley and Mary Relyea of Steilacoom -- before King County was established on December 22, 1852. It was perhaps this technical point that led historian Clarence Bagley to write that David and Louisa's wedding was King County's first.

David and Louisa Denny settled on the future site of Seattle Center, and David spearheaded numerous civic and business projects that promoted the development of Lake Union, the University District, and the Licton Springs area. They remained married until Denny's death in 1903. Louisa died a widow 13 years later -- still known to pioneers as the "sweet briar bride" for her first garden in Seattle.


Clarence Bagley, History of Seattle (Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1916); Bagley History of King County, Washington (Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1929); Gordon Newell, Westward to Alki (Seattle: Superior Publishing, 1977); The Columbian, November 27, 1852, p. 3.

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