Who's Who of Early Snohomish
AVERILL, Earl : the “Earl of Snohomish,” he was the first Washingtonian in Baseball Hall of Fame. Began playing for Snohomish Pilchuckers, a team formed in the 1920s. Cycled through many West Coast teams with atmospheric names: the Everett Gulls, Bellingham Tulips, San Francisco Seals. Then played for Cleveland Indians 1929-1939, Detroit Tigers 1939-1941, and the Boston Braves 1941. In 1933 he was on the All-Star Team with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig - a bright spot of news during the Depression years. After his baseball career, Averill returned to Snohomish and worked in the floral industry (Averill Floral) and operated the Earl Averill Motel from 1950-1970. Averill Field was converted to a skate park in the early 2000s, but there's a field at Pilchuck Park now dedicated in his name. Called Past Time Ball Park pre-1903, near North Lincoln Street, then sold to build homes so Harvey built Harvey Park between Great Northern Depot and wagon bridge. b. 1902; d. 1983. Wikipedia
BARNES, Lafayette : photographer active in Snohomish 1888-1891 and Everett 1897. (Company names: Barnes & Evans, Siewert & Barnes.) Born in Iowa in 1863. The Snohomish Eye noted on Sept.1, 1888: "Messrs. Barnes & Evans will soon open their photograph gallery in Ferguson's new building on Second & D Streets." Barnes died at Oroville, Cal. on December 5th, 1951.
BAKEMAN, C.H. : came to Snohomish in 1883 from Wisconsin. He opened a furniture and wagon shop and built the first buggy in the county, though there were no roads to use it on. Had large storefront on Ave C with a stock of "$20,000 of elegant furniture." Owned several large tracts of land, including an addition to the city. City Council member.
BOBO, Lonnie E. : Photographer in Snohomish (City Studio) 1932 and1933-35 (Bobo’s Studio); Everett (Everett Photo Co, 209 Clark Bldg), 1935. Born in 1888, died July 30, 1940; buried at GAR Cemetery, Snohomish. An item in The Everett Herald on March 27, 1937 notes that Bobo sold his Snohomish studio to B.A. Kleppinger of Nebraska.
BONAPARTE, Chief Napoleon of the Snohomish People : The Sounder
CADY, Edson T : original land claim near today's Cady Park. Born 1828 in Utica, New York. He was the proud owner of a “boisterous” steamboat named The Minnehaha, which he used to freight supplies to early Snohomish River settlers and logging camps. The boat also served as the post office (and Edson the postmaster) from 1861-1863. After co-founding Cadyville, and selling his land claim to Woodbury Sinclair in 1864, he explored and established a route through the North Cascades to today’s Okanogan. Cady Pass, previously home to a fire lookout and now a hiking trail, is named after him
CATHCART, Isaac : the “wealthiest man in Snohomish County,” at one time. He developed real estate, logged the now eponymous south Snohomish hillside (Cathcart/Clearview - originally called The Hill, settlers arrived in 1920s) and had nearly 5000 acres under production near Lake Beecher. County treasurer, logger, merchant, hotelkeeper, bar owner. Came in 1869 as a laborer, then built Exchange Hotel offering “bed, board, billiards, and bar” in 1872(?). Or bought Atheneum building 1878, unclear. Atheneum building from 1876. Started his own logging business in 1878. By 1890, owned 5,000 acres and worth $200,000. He lost all his holdings in the 1895 depression, taken by creditors.
CHIROUSE, Eugene Casimir : Priest Point named after him. The Sounder
DESELLE, David : "A native son of Snohomish county is R. David DeSelle, resident of the Snohomish district. Mr. DeSelle was born in Mukilteo, Jan. 5, 1885. A progressive farmer himself, Mr. DeSelle has contributed much to the growth of the agriculture and dairy industries in Snohomish county. He was active in the forming of the Snohomish County Fruit Growers Association. He also helped to start the first farm loan association in the county and was interested in the establishment of the first cow testing station. Dave, as his friends know him, also assisted in organizing the Snohomish and Island Counties Dairymen's Association. Dave is active in his support of the good roads movement and largely because of this fact, went into the state legislature in 1923. He long has been interested in the Grange and served his local Grange as its Master. He has been a resident of the Snohomish area since he was a child in 1890 and he has lived his entire life in the county. In the early days Mukilteo was the seaport of Snohomish county. Snohomish was the most active river port on the entire Puget sound. DeSelle's father settled on 59 acres of ground on the lagoon south of the Mukilteo lighthouse that he purchased in 1879. It was the lure of the big city which took the family to Snohomish. There was the county seat, a bank, churches, lodges, about 2,000 people and 42 saloons. Besides, it was the home of DeSelle's uncle (his mother's brother) and the stories of the prospects of this booming metropolis were too good to ignore. DeSelle's principal business has always been farming. He's lived on the same acreage since the family's move to Snohomish, although not always in the same home. That move, by the way, was made on the "Mable" [steamboat], which continued to serve the river port on regular schedule until the early 1900s. Among his early recollections are those of the "upstart" town of Everett. For a number of years — 1904 to 1912 — his principal source of cash income was the sale of fresh vegetables to Everett housewives. The land route from Everett to Snohomish was south on Broadway to Lowell and on to Larimer's Corners. The route wound across the marsh to the bicycle tree and thence to Snohomish. His regular market place — if there was any such thing — was at the corner of Colby and Everett avenues which he recalls as "an area full of stumps. You just wheeled the wagon between them." Wetmore avenue, he recalls, was the first street in town to have concrete sidewalks — "the only decent place to walk in town." His principal hobby is the taming of the Pilchuck river as it passes along his acreage. It's a never-ending battle, he says, with the river doing its worst to carry DeSelle land away, even as DeSelle struggles to keep it for his own use. Neither admits the other is making any headway, for that pioneer spirit seems to be as determined as the river." - StumpRanchOnline
EBEY, Colonel Isaac : well-respected and admired, he was the first white settler on Whidbey Island and a farmer actively involved in local politics. Fort Ebey, named after him, was built on the Snohomish River in 1855 by volunteer militia, amidst ongoing native conflict. Ebey himself was murdered by a group of Salish natives on a hot summer evening in August 1857. The group arrived by canoe, seeking vengeance for the death of one of their chiefs and 27 others. Ebey awoke to a dog barking and went out to investigate. He was shot and beheaded, and his home ransacked. His wife and children fled to the blockhouses, which you can still visit on his original homestead, now a National Historic Reserve on Whidbey Island. b. 1818; d. 1857.
ELWELL, Simon : in 1875, he was appointed hogreef. Hogreef or hogreeve is a now obsolete term and town office, meaning the man responsible for "seizing all hogs running at large." He had to manage the prevention or appraising of damages done by stray hogs. Buried in GAR Cemetery. b. 1842.
EVANS, Frank M. : photographer partner to Barnes. Born in Minnesota, 1864.
FERGUSON, Emory C. : town founder. Born March 5, 1833 in Westchester County, NY, the fourth of seven children to Samuel S. and Maria (Haight) Ferguson. He was apprenticed as a carpenter at 16 and served four years, then was lured westward in 1854 by the prospect of gold. He spent time panning in the Fraser River Valley, then retreated to the Puget Sound. He worked as a carpenter-by-trade in Steilacoom, until deciding to homestead along the Snohomish River. Aged 27, he moved into his prefab home in March 1860 and started a store. Considered the town founder, he platted the site in 1872 and served as its mayor in the early years then became interested in politics and real estate development. He was “ready to serve drink or food, in his capacity of bartender, to hand out mail, as postmaster, to disperse justice [as probate judge and Justice of the Peace], to transact business for the county [as county commissioner and county auditor], or to discuss affairs of the territory as legislator.” He sold his mercantile interests in 1884 to his brother, pivoting to real estate and loans in the 1890s and selling lots from his townsite. His real estate office was across the street from the stucco Old City Hall. He had a common-law Indian wife and child, but left them to marry Lucetta Gertrude Morgan on July 11, 1868, daughter of Hiram D. and Mary Morgan. They had four children. The Tribune wrote “his promising son and charming daughters show he is a kind and wise father, as well as a patriot and shrewd business man.” He died in 1911 and was buried in Snohomish’s GAR cemetery.
FOBES - Hill and Fobes Building in Everett: 1806 Hewitt Ave (1901-1902)
FOLSOM, Albert : town's first physician and surgeon. Co-founder of the Atheneum, with friend Eldridge Morse. Moved to Snohomish in November 1876. Often worked on pioneers gratis. "Folsom was a nephew of Salmon P. Chase of Ohio, a U.S. senator, Secretary of the Treasury for Lincoln and later Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Folsom was also related to Captain Joseph L. Folsom, who designed the Presidio of San Francisco before the Gold Rush and went on to make a killing in California investments. The doctor's academic pedigree was even more impressive than Morse's, having been schooled at Philips-Exeter Academy and then at Harvard, where he received his medical degree and studied with both scientists and naturalists. Folsom was older and had traveled and worked in many areas of the country. He served as an Army surgeon with Robert E. Lee in New Orleans at the end of the Mexican-American War and afterwards in California and Arizona. After eight years, he resigned his commission and returned to Harvard for graduate studies, earning the highest degree, diploma ad eundem, there after immersing himself in three advanced lines of study. After that, he traveled in Europe and returned to California, where he worked for the new U.S. Secret Service, sailing to Panama. We have not yet found a story about why he gave up a very promising career and moved out the very corner of his world, but it must be a fascinating tale." -Skagit River Journal
GANNON, Patrick : known as "Pat the Watchman," worked for 16 years at the crossing of Ave D. and the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad. He "faithfully guarded wagons, then buggies, and now autos and trucks from the oncoming trains" from a little cabin and "his waving cane and lantern are familiar sights." He was replaced by an automated signal in 1926.
HARVEY, John : early pioneer. Born 1828 in Modbury, Devonshire County, England; died 1886. Growing up he dreamed of coming to America: at 21, he boarded a ship bound for San Francisco. He worked in gold fields until sailing north to Alki Point (the precursor to Seattle) in 1852. He received a 160 acre Donation Land Act claim that included today’s Seward Park along the shore of Lake Washington. Harvey invested in his property and built a house, barn, fencing, and raised cattle on his land. He left for 6 months to live in a blockhouse during the Indian Wars of 1855-56. When he returned to his claim, his buildings had been burnt and his cattle slaughtered. (The war officially lasted only one day with only two reported fatalities, yet nearly every settler-built building outside of the village of Seattle was burned.) He decided to leave and set up a shop at the mouth of the Snohomish River, but he ended up losing everything again, including a boat this time, at the hands of hostile Native Americans. Still interested in the Snohomish area, he bought Egbert Tucker’s land claim in 1859 and served on Snohomish County’s first Board of Commissioners. He and his wife Christina Noble had one child, Noble George Harvey. The Harvey family still owns 80 of the original 160 acres and operates Harvey Airfield. Noble donated property to start the Cascade Mill (which burned down twice) and the fire was too close to comfort so he built a new home in 1911 farther away.
HORTON, Gilbert D. : photographer who traveled by boat, with a darkroom built into the cabin. Active in Snohomish 1888. Opened Horton Brothers store selling art and stationery in Burns Block.
IVERSON, O.B. :
JACKSON, Charles F. : son of D.B. Owned and donated property that is today’s Carnegie Library. b. 1855; d. 1920.
JACKSON, H.F. : founder of Snohomish Eye in 1882. Married into the Bakeman family.
JACKSON, Daniel B. : owner of steamship company from Penobscot, Maine. Captain Daniel Bachelder Jackson, a "shipping magnate" of the early Puget Sound. He owned the Northwestern Steamship Company and ran boats between Port Townsend, Seattle, Everett, and Snohomish. He was a pretty big deal back in the day and even has a street named after him in Seattle (Jackson St 😉). In 1875, at the foot of today's Maple Ave, Captain Jackson built a wharf which allowed for steamboats to dock and load/unload supplies, building materials, and trade goods for early Snohomish-ites. Jackson family all built flamboyant homes - Ulmer Stinson formerly a Jackson house. Jackson bought steamships, the Idaho ran on Snohomish, then used for emergency hospital in Seattle.
JAMIESON, William : a logging camp cook who loved to play his fiddle. He had a homestead claim on a bluff south of Snohomish and built a shack there. Travelers on the river below often heard the squeaky wails of his fiddle at nightfall. The spot became known as Fiddler’s Bluff. Jamieson shot himself and was buried in the “potter’s field” of the Snohomish Pioneer Cemetery. His friend William Hughes, who lived in the small white house next to the Alcazar Theater, inherited his canoe and fiddle. He also fashioned a handcarved cedar marker for his friend’s grave with the epitaph “Born in Misery, Lived in Misery, Died in Misery.” (Found by Chuck Rice at the SPC, circa 1940s.)
LOW, John V. & Lydia : members of the 1851 settling party at Alki Point. Parents of Mary Low Sinclair, they followed her and her husband to Snohomish and secured a homestead in NE Snohomish in 1872. Their gravestones, dilapidated and decaying in the Snohomish Pioneer Cemetery, triggered a 1998 courtcase between the city and Low family descendants.
MARKS, Thomas E. : a "pioneer realtor" from Canada who moved to Snohomish in 1888. He worked as an accountant and city clerk, then took up real estate and later logging. He owned the Marks Building and several ranches in the county. There is also a "Tom Marks Road" in N Snohomish - perhaps hinting to the location of his ranches - and a Tom Marks House on Ave D. b. 1868; d. 1924.
MORGAN, Hiram D. : father-in-law of E.C. Ferguson.
MORGAN, Benjamin H. :
MORGAN, Alonzo :
MORSE, Eldridge : lawyer and publisher, later a community leader in Snohomish. Born February 14, 1847 in Wallingford, Connecticut to a family of sailboat captains on the Great Lakes. He enlisted in the Union Army at 18 and was trained to be a doctor because he spoke Latin. The army transferred him to San Francisco and he explored up the coast around 1868, finding his way to the town of Snohomish. He vowed to come back. He moved to the Midwest and taught school while finishing a law degree. He married one of his students, Martha Ann Turner, in 1872 and the couple, plus her sister and brother moved to Seattle. Moved to Snohomish in spring of 1873. His wife died in 1876 and he raised their son Edward C. alone. He bought a printing press in 1876 and became editor of the Northern Star newspaper. Had a library and was called the county’s philosopher, invested in the town's cultural potential. He remarried to Fanny Oliver in 1882, then divorced. They had one son Oliver who shot himself while hunting about 1900. He married Alice Matthews in 1888, with whom he had 1 daughter and 4 sons on a ranch near Fiddler's Bluff. She died in 1900 and Morse moved back into town. StumpRanchOnline
OTTEN, John : born in Hanover, Germany 1853; died in Hood River, OR 1916. Pioneer merchant with dry goods stores in Snohomish (almost - defaulted on his loan and building went to Marks), Boise, and Hood River, OR. Married to Frances.
PACKARD, Clayton H. : born 1859, came to Snohomish in 1871 with father Myron W. Clayton. Founded the Eye 1882-97, then Morse took over. "Outdoorsman, ardent Hunter, free thinker." Developed O&B mine on Silver Lake trail. Married JH Plaskett 1884. Suffered in Panic of 1893 and shut down paper. Returned to WA and worked in Everett as a secretary, and Hoquiam as a newspaper reported, but suffered accident paralyzing his right arm and leg. In 1931, living the last of his days at the Home for Union Printers in CO. "A noted Snohomish City editor himself, having published the Snohomish Eye from 1882-97. After eight years here, his parents moved back to Wisconsin and then lived in Skagit valley but Clayton founded the Eye, switching roles with Eldridge Morse; Morse employed him before at the Northern Star. An outdoorsman, Clayton was also an ardent hunter, a Free-Thinker, and issued physical challenges to the competing publishers. From 1891-93 he took on a partner, George E. MacDonald, a famous editor of Free-Thinker journals. In MacDonald's 1931 autobiography, he wrote that Packard shut down the Eye after suffering financially through the Depression that started in 1893. Packard nearly lost his life on a windjammer that was blown ashore, leaving him a castaway among the Indians. He moved back East to work for The Truth Seeker journal. After returning again to Washington — possibly around the time he wrote this eulogy, he was in an accident that permanently paralyzed one of his legs and his right arm. By 1931 he was an inmate at the Home for Union Printers in Colorado Springs." -Skagit River Journal
PACKARD, C.F. : brother to Clayton, born in Wisconsin in 1868 and brought to Snohomish by his parents in 1871. Returned to the East Coast for school in 1879, then back to Snohomish again in 1883 and went to work for his brother in the printing trade. Tried logging, but went instead into the shingle business in July 1889.
PARAMORE, Lew : President of the Snohomish Bicycle Club formed in 1898. He decided to attract even more bicycle tourists by chopping an arch through a rotting cedar tree and the iconic Bicycle Tree was born. Also the first person in the county to own a car!
PATRIC, John : a writer for National Geographic, Reader's Digest, and his own publications. His mother Emma was the town library; his father Arthur was a merchant. He led an eccentric life. b. 1902; d. 1985. Wikipedia
PILCHUCK, Jack & Julia : Pilchuck Jack & Julia were a Native American couple who lived in a house on the Pilchuck River in Snohomish. Ferguson gifted them 5-acres just below today’s Three Lakes Bridge. Jack passed away in 1903, after being hit by a train while walking on the trestle near Cathcart. Julia died in 1923 of smallpox. Julia made baskets and sold clams and salmon to support herself. Well-known in Snohomish community. Son Peter Jack, born 1875, worked as a logger but died early at age 32 after falling from a bridge in Snohomish and breaking his back. He left a wife, Hattie, and children.
RINALDO, Theodore : cult leader, farmer at Eden Farms in Snohomish. Ranker Story
SINCLAIR, Woodbury & Mary Low : born in Kenduskeag, Maine, Woodbury Sinclair (1825-1872) learned the trade of copper, then came west to run a mill in Port Madison, Kitsap County. Serving as the school district clerk, he met and married Mary Low (1842-1911), a teacher who had come west with the Denny Party as a child. In 1864 they moved to Snohomish after purchasing the Cady claim and set up the town’s first store. Only a month after arriving, their infant son Alvin passed away. They would have two more children: Clarence and Mabel. Mary Low started teaching in her home, welcoming a mix of white and native children. She often served as a translator, having learned the indigenous languages from the children she taught. Her husband died a few years later and, lacking a burial spot, Mary donated 3 acres of land along the Snohomish River as the first public cemetery (1876). Snohomish Women's Legacy
SMITH, Victor Hugo : the first cashier of the first bank in Snohomish County. He worked at J. Furth & Co, which merged with the First National Bank of Snohomish in 1888. (Followed by Snyder.) He had moved west from Iowa in 1883 for work with the Puget Sound National Bank. He moved to Snohomish to help lead its bank in 1887-1889, then returned to Seattle. He was a prominent real estate investor, platting and selling lots in Snohomish (the V. Hugo Smith Addition, 1889) as well as in the city of Seattle. As president of the Peninsular Land & Building Company, he financed and built Seattle's Flatiron Building (Triangle Hotel) in 1910. He was a treasurer of the Green Lake Electric Railway (1889). b. ~1854; d. 1927. [Grandson sent books and ephemera to me, 1/2023]
SNYDER, William : William M. Snyder was born in Galena, Illinois in 1853. He came to Snohomish in May 1888 "just to look around" and visit his wife's relatives. He loved what he saw and stayed. He worked as the cashier at the First National Bank of Snohomish, then as its president from 1921 til his death in 1936. He built the Snyder house in 1888. He described the style of his house as "North Dakota Renaissance." It was built with an impressive 22 rooms, 5 fireplaces, and a 3rd floor ballroom. The original water supply was a 40ft well beneath the kitchen, lined with white brick. There was a pump house and cow barn, later replaced by the rear wing seen today.
STEWART, William P. : an early pioneer in Snohomish. Stewart was born a free Black man in Illinois in December 1839. He enlisted in the 29th U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment, Company F during the Civil War. He was 25 years old, 5’11” tall, and listed his occupation as “farmer.” Stewart became extremely sick while fighting in the trenches at Petersburg, VA. He was excused and served the rest of his time as a cook’s assistant. After the war’s end, Stewart found work in the lumber industry and married Elizabeth Thornton, the sister of one of his infantry comrades. The couple welcomed their first and only child, Vay, one year later. In the spring of 1889, Stewart, his family, and his father-in-law moved to Snohomish, where he purchased a homestead along today’s Old Snohomish-Monroe Road. He joined the local military veteran post and started a dairy farm. His son Vay was a mailman, delivering to rural Snohomish homes. Stewart died in December 1907 from a stomach-related illness, likely contracted during his service in the army. He was buried in the G.A.R. Cemetery just west of town. His wife Eliza joined him there in 1929.
STINSON, Ulmer : one of the most successful pioneer lumbermen. Born in Kennebec County, Maine. Worked in woods til 27, then headed west in 1864. Settled at Port Gamble, then heard of good prospects in Snohomish. Married Christina Stewart in Maine in 1856 and had 3 children George Edgar, Charlotte E. and Maretta E. He developed a farm at Frenchy's Slough known as Stin's Ranch. Developed a valuable log booming ground through removing snags and employing Chinese labor to deepen the channel. By 1889 he employed 25 men in lumber business and timber and farm lands covered 1500 acres. Residence at Ave C and Third an early Snohomish showpiece.
STOCKER, Ed : farmer, arrived in 1911. Previously owned fields now used by soccer organization.
TEIGEN, Chrissy : model and TV host, whose parents ran a tavern in Snohomish called Porky's. She was a Snohomish High School cheerleader. Wikipedia
TRONSRUD, Ralph : proprietor of the town's first gas station, in the little red building. A few years later, he added a hydraulic lift to service cars and business boomed. In the 1940s, he opened a larger station at the corner of 2nd and Maple. He was also an avid baseball player and credited with opening the baseball field that previously occupied the site of today’s skate park.
TUCKER, Egbert : Tucker’s 1859 claim south of the river crossing would become John Harvey’s. Born in Kentucky; died in California in 1912. On some maps, the Tucker/Harvey claim is shown as Kwehtlamanish, a winter village of the indigenous Snohomish people.
TUCKER, Willis D. : Snohomish County executive and editor/publisher of Snohomish Tribune in 1950s-60s. President of the Snohomish Chamber of Commerce. b. 1922; d. 2000. Wikipedia
WHITE, J.S. : a native of New Hampshire, became well-known architect and builder in Snohomish. Learned his trade in Topeka, KS. Came West in 1884. "Architect and buildere of nearly every building of note in the city. Among the residences built by him are those of E.C. Ferguson, O.E. Crossman, Mrs. Sinclair, H.C. Comegys, H.D. Morgan, etc. Among the business blocks and fittings put up by him are Wilburs, Burns, A.M. Blackman's, Otten's store, Burton & Thorntons, Plaskett's hotel, part of the Blackman block, Methodist Church, and many others. He never charges for plans. His work is faultless, and speaks for itself."
WILBUR, Lot : a pioneer druggist from Minnesota, came to Snohomish in 1875 and operated a store on the same site of today’s brick Wilbur Block. Known for several formulas, including “Ferguson’s Asthma Cure” which purportedly did just that. Also popular were his “Puget Sound Blood Purifier” and Stomach Bitters - empty bottles of which can still be found today by collectors. Married to Jennie. His personal home was on a hill where the Old Poier Chevrolet building now sits.
WORK, John : a fur trader sent by the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1824 to chart the area now known as Snohomish County. He referred to the primary river and the people who lived along it as the “Sinnahamish.” He was actually referring to the Sdoh-doh-hohbsh people.