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Topic: Pioneers

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Butler, Maude Eliza Kimball (1880-1963)

Maude Eliza Kimball Butler, born 1880, was a pioneer teacher-educator who devoted her life to public service and her family, a fidelity she inherited from her mother and bequeathed to her children and...

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Cayton, Horace (1859-1940)

Horace Cayton was the African American publisher of the Seattle Republican, a newspaper directed toward both white and black readers and which at one point had the second largest circulation in the ci...

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Central Themes of Washington History: Land, Cities, Women -- a Talk by Brewster Denny

This file contains a talk given by Brewster Denny (1924-2013) to the Pioneer Association of the State of Washington on November 2, 1996. Brewster Denny was the great grandson of Seattle pioneer Arthur...

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Columbia Maternal Association

The Columbia Maternal Association -- the first women's club in what is now Washington state -- was organized in 1838 by the wives of six pioneer missionaries. Only two of the women were mothers at the...

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Colville Valley (1870s-1880s): A 1928 Memoir by Thomas Graham

In 1928, Thomas Graham (1868-1946) wrote a series of articles in the Colville Examiner titled "50 Years Ago," recounting his experiences and observations as a teenager in the Colville Valley. His fami...

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Comeford, James Purcell (1833-1909)

James Purcell Comeford first arrived in Snohomish County in 1872 and ran a trading post on the Tulalip Reservation for six years. He founded Marysville in 1878, naming it after his wife Maria. He buil...

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Conklin, Mary Ann (1821-1873) aka Mother Damnable

Mary Ann Conklin ran Seattle's first hotel, the Felker House, at Main Street and 1st Avenue S. Her profane vocabulary and fiery temper earned her the moniker "Mother Damnable" which later transmuted i...

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Cook, Mortimer (1826-1899)

Mortimer Cook (1826-1899), born in Mansfield, Ohio, founded the town of Bug on the northern shore of the Skagit River in 1885 and soon renamed it Sedro. His lasting legacy was building the first dryin...

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Cowley, Michael M. (1841-1915), Spokane pioneer

The author of this People's History, Benjamin H. Kizer, was a Spokane lawyer acquainted with local pioneer Michael M. Cowley. Cowley worked as a sutler (an Army storekeeper) and prospector, settled at...

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Daniel Drumheller: Good Genes and a Bit of Luck

The writer of this article on Daniel Drumheller was Norman Bolker, a retired physician in Spokane who was interested in western history. This story of one immigrant's battle with disease originally ap...

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Davis, James S. "Cashup" (1815-1896)

Randall A. Johnson wrote this article about Palouse pioneer James S. "Cashup" Davis in 1968 for The Pacific Northwesterner, the quarterly publication of the Spokane Westerners Corral. Johnson was born...

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Denny, Arthur Armstrong (1822-1899)

Arthur A. Denny is considered the leader of the party of immigrants who first landed at Alki (West Seattle) in 1851 and then founded the city of Seattle in 1852. On February 15, 1852, after a period a...

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Denny, David Thomas (1832-1903)

David Thomas Denny was the first member of the Denny Party (led by his older brother Arthur) to arrive in the future city of Seattle in 1851. He staked a claim to the future site of Seattle Center and...

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Denny, Orion O. (1853-1916)

Orion Denny, the first white boy born in Seattle, made careers both on the water and on the land. The son of Seattle pioneers Arthur Denny (1822-1899) and Mary (Boren) Denny (1822-1912), Orion worked ...

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Denny Party on the Oregon Trail by Dorothea Nordstrand

This account of the Denny Party's journey to the Pacific Northwest from Illinois was written by Dorothea Nordstrand (1916-2011). Nordstrand writes: When I started school in 1921 at the old Green Lake ...

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Doc Maynard: Seattle Pioneer by Dorothea Nordstrand

This account of the stubborn, original, and generous life of the important Seattle pioneer Doc Maynard (1808-1873) was written by Dorothea Nordstrand (1916-2011).

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Dorothea Nordstrand recalls homesteading years (ca. 1911-1919) in Tiger, Pend Oreille County

In this People's History, Dorothea (Pfister) Nordstrand (1916-2011) recalls her childhood years living in a log cabin in Pend Oreille County. The Pfister family homesteaded near Tiger for about a deca...

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Dorothea Nordstrand tells of the family's historic return to Tiger, Washington, in 2003.

In this People's History, Dorothea (Pfister) Nordstrand (1916-2011) tells the story of her family's historic return to Tiger, Washington, on October 3, 2003. Dorothea was born near Tiger in 1916, the ...

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Dorothea Nordstrand tells the story of Dandy, a Pend Oreille County horse in the 1910s

In this People's History, Dorothea (Pfister) Nordstrand (1916-2011) tells the story of a horse with a mind of his own. This very strong-minded horse lived with the Pfister family near Tiger in Pend Or...

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Dr. Henry Smith's Letter from Snohomish County (December 1863)

Seattle physician Dr. Henry A. Smith (1830-1915) figures prominently in early Seattle history as a doctor, a writer, and a farmer. He has been credited with transcribing Chief Seattle's famous 1854 sp...

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Edson, Edward (1860-1944)

Edward "Ed" Edson was a settler in Lynden, located in Whatcom County, who made numerous contributions to the town's early development. He operated the City Drug Store in Lynden for more than 50 years...

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Eli Mapel (or Maple): Pioneer Recollections, 1902

This essay is the complete text of an autobiographical essay by Seattle pioneer Eli Mapel (or Maple) (1831-1911), the son of Jacob Mapel (or Maple) (1798-1884). Eli arrived in Seattle on October 12, 1...

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Emory C. Ferguson Recalls Early Days in Snohomish County

Often referred to as the patriarch of Snohomish, Emory C. Ferguson (1833-1911) was a pioneer who followed the same routes as many early adventurers who came West in the late 1850s. He first searched f...

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Evergreen Washelli Cemetery

Seattle's original Washelli Cemetery was Seattle's second municipal cemetery, established on the site of Capitol Hill's present Volunteer Park in 1885. The present Evergreen Washelli Cemetery straddle...

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