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(Seattle & Northern 1890)

Skagit River Journal

of History & Folklore
Subscribers Edition Stories & Photos
The most in-depth, comprehensive site about the Skagit.

Covers from British Columbia to Puget Sound. Counties covered: Skagit, Whatcom, Island, San Juan, Snohomish & BC. An evolving history dedicated to committing random acts of historical kindness
Noel V. Bourasaw, editor (bullet) 810 Central Ave., Sedro-Woolley, Washington, 98284
Home of the Tarheel Stomp (bullet) Mortimer Cook slept here & named the town Bug

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John Conrad's obituary notes for 1963

Prepared for the August 1963 Skagit County Historical Association Pioneer Picnic
including pioneers and their descendants
who passed away from August 1962 to August 1963

      These files are derived from notes that John Conrad compiled annually from 1949-73 and then read in condensed form at the picnic itself and published with collected photographs in the Puget Sound Mail newspaper, which is no longer published. [See Conrad's biography at: this Journal website.] The Mail published a special Pioneer Edition annually for the August picnic. Many can be viewed on microfilm at the Suzallo Library at the University of Washington, but many burned in various LaConner fires. If you have copies of any of them, please email us. We would like to read the issues and include the pioneer profiles that were included each year with the lists. This section will eventually have more than a thousand names of pioneers and descendants. We would appreciate it if you would pass it along to friends and family who are genealogists so that they can consider subscribing and eventually read Conrad's notes of all 25 years when he served as memorialist. Thank you.
      These are Conrad's handwritten notes, which we have transcribed and only lightly edited for clarity and spelling before being coded into web language. The list is organized by general area of the county. The names of those who passed away from the picnic of August 1962 to that of August 1963 are in bold. Information in [ ] is for clarification, correction or research of the individuals, towns or families that has been conducted by the Skagit River Journal. Some of the latter information in brackets is from the Skagit Valley Genealogical Society Index to Funeral Home Records, a most valuable aid. [See this web link for how to obtain it]. If we post burial information, you can assume the person died in 1963 unless we specifically state 1962 inside the brackets. Blue underlined links indicate stories about the pioneers elsewhere in our webpages. One of the most valuable aspects of Conrad's research is that he includes Indian families who were here at the time of the pioneers and emphasizes their impact on the county. We would appreciate it if you would pass it along to friends and family who are genealogists so that they can consider subscribing and eventually read Conrad's notes of all 25 years when he served as memorialist. Thank you.

Highlights of this year's list:
      Naming of Mann's Landing and Ball's Camp (later Sterling), first landfill in the county, early bridge, dike and road builders, plats of LaConner and Bay View, naming of LaConner, the origin of Sharpe's Corner and March's Point, first fish processor in Anacortes, the Swedish pioneers via Iowa, first rural postal route in the county, the early days of Atlanta (Samish island).

Sedro-Woolley area including Prairie and north, and the Lakes area south of the Skagit
(Territorial Daughters covered wagon 1939)
Martha Wicker and Anna Hoehn and the Territorial Daughters dressed in nineteenth century clothes and rode covered wagons for the 1939 4th of July parade, just as most of them did as children 60 years before

      Mrs. Martha Wicker, [84, born Oregon, died in 1962], whose busy life story was featured in the Courier-Times just 16 days before her sudden death at 84 years, was the widow of Charles Wicker, who came to Skagit county in 1884. He worked first on a farm at LaConner, then located in Sedro-Woolley, where he built up a large real estate business that is still in the family. The Wickers platted the original Sedro-Woolley cemetery. [Ed. note: Martha was the daughter of Albert W. and Clara Hight. He came to Sedro in 1894 to install machinery in the Hart-Batey sawmill, after owning mills in Centralia and Ballard. We are preparing a full profile on Charles J. Wicker and his family for publication this fall, but for now, here is an amusing story about how Charlie and his partner ran into some trouble when they built their first cabin in 1884.]
      Just 12 days after Mrs. Wicker's passing, Mrs. Anna Hoehn, [83, born Iowa], of Sedro-Woolley died. She was daughter of Vinton "Vin" and Olive McFadden and the widow of Frank Hoehn, who ran an early day livery stable, later a garage. The passing of Mrs. Hoehn and Mrs. Wicker reminds us of so many of the early day moves west. Both came out from Chillicothe, Iowa, a little village near Ottumwa from whence came C.J. Chilberg in 1871 to settle on Pleasant Ridge. Neighbor Wicker followed in 1884, Mrs. Hoehn's parents, the McFaddens, in 1886. Mrs. Magnus Anderson, a friend of the Chilbergs, had come in 1873 and followed by her uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. John Anderson (and cousin Jenny), plus a young nephew, Charles Conrad, and a sister, Mrs. John Swanson, all departed from Chillicothe [together]. [Ed. note: Mrs. Hoehn was the wife of Frank J. Hoehn, the upriver pioneer who rode with Buffalo Bill and brought the first team of horses to Sedro in 1889 . She was the daughter of Plin V. McFadden, who was a pioneer from Iowa along with Charles J. Wicker. Those two men homesteaded next to each other north and east of Sedro and Woolley. Both Mrs. Wicker and Mrs. Hoehn were members of the Territorial Daughters of Washington, a unique historical group that started in 1936. You can read the full TD story and you will find there the link to a story about how you or someone in your family might qualify for that group, which still meets monthly from September to June.]
      Ella Fredlund, [78, born Washington], who died at Nookachamps, was a daughter of William Dale, who came to Skagit county at age 22 in 1874, locating on Fidalgo Island where he successfully operated a lumber business. Then later he decided to homestead on Samish Flats where he farmed. In 1889 he started serving two terms as county assessor, then again two more terms, 1898-1902, back when only two-year terms were allowed. He built a shingle mill in Burlington in 1890, then another one in Mount Vernon three years later.
      Brief notes: Miss Minnie Dunlap, [73, died in 1962], Adams was a daughter of the James Dunlap of early day Ehrlich and Montborne, being born in Walker Valley when it was surrounded by virgin forests. William James "Will" Johnstone, [64, born Washington], was assistant postmaster in Sedro-Woolley for 29 years. Businessmen on our list include George Stephenson, [76, born England, died 1962], who ran a grocery store at Clear Lake for 41 years. Schoolteacher Miss Nellie Morrow, [81, born Iowa, died in 1962], taught over 40 years in Sedro-Woolley. See the Colvin notes under Mount Vernon for the old Sedro-Woolley marshal.

Upper Skagit river area from Skiyou to the Cascades
and the south-river area east of Clear Lake
(Fred Fellows 1949)
Fred Fellows, 1949

      Wade Buller, [90, born Pennsylvania], came as a child of 13 years to Marblemount with his mother and two brothers in 1888, traveling by steamer to Hamilton, then upriver by canoe to Ruby Creek during the [1880 period] gold rush. Wade became a blacksmith, following the trade most of his life. [Ed. note: Tootsie Clark, the octogenarian proprietor of Skagit River Resort and Clark's Cabin who has a tremendous sense of humor, is Wade's niece. She and her family were honored two years ago as the family of the year at the annual Pioneers Picnic. You can read about her and their Skagit River Resort-Clark's Cabins at this website from our old domain; it also includes stories from her father and uncle's time. Caution: links in the stories at our old website do not work. You will have to return here to find the proper links. We will update this story in the fall of 2004.]
      Fred Fellows, [83, born Illinois], came to Burlington almost 60 years ago as a railroad telegrapher but soon took up banking as cashier, first in Sedro-Woolley and then Burlington. In 1912, together with John Hightower and G.A. Minkler, formed the Lyman State Bank. In 1945, they moved the bank to Sedro-Woolley as Skagit Valley State Bank. In June 1956 this was acquired by National Bank of Commerce and operated as the Sedro-Woolley branch with Fellows continuing as manager. He retired in 1959 after 53 years of active banking in the county. [Fred Slipper, an octogenarian, former banker and a historian in his own right, loves to tell the story of how C.E. Bingham, and his sons after him, used their political leverage to keep Fellows or any other competing banker off their turf in Sedro-Woolley. He came in through the back door, using his own political juice, and now there seems to be a bank on every corner in town.]
      In mid-December, Mrs. Charlotte Jarvis Duffy, [81, born Illinois, died 1962], died at Sterling. She was the widow of Morris Duffy, old settler and county road boss of early days upriver at Lyman. Together with the death of Mrs. Wicker and Mrs. Hoehn, it marked the passing of three Territorial Daughters members in Sedro-Woolley in 26 days.
      Mrs. Alice Jackman Leggett was born on Sept. 12, 1887, in Van Horn — east of Concrete, and died on Sept. 2, 1962. [Ed. note: She was a resident of Concrete and was a daughter of Andrew and Mary Ann (Harry) Jackman; Jackman Creek near Van Horn is named for her family. Her second husband was George Leggett (died 1958), son of the very early Lyman-Hamilton pioneer, Henry Cooper Leggett, who was born in Canada and came to the upper Skagit river in the mid-1870s. Her first husband was Arthur H. Thompson. We have all these supplemental notes because one of Alice's relatives, Shirley Williams, shared an extensive file of documents about the Jackman, Leggett, Napoleon and Boone families, all of whom were interrelated. Shirley — one of our very helpful subscribers, and her husband, Hal, graduated from Concrete High School and travel up here to a summer cottage frequently. Alice's burial information is at Lemley Mortuary, burial card L3-21-068, buried Sedro-Woolley cemetery, plot 10-24-32.]
      Don Luton, [49, died in 1962], was born and raised at Hamilton, kin of old pioneer William Munks, who was the first permanent settler on Fidalgo Island, also first merchant and postmaster there. [Marshal Ed Luton was mysteriously murdered in 1929 after breaking up a moonshine party and he was awarded posthumously a few years ago the state medal of honor for a police officer dying in the line of duty. We plan to publish a story about Marshal Luton in early 2005.]
      Also a descendant of an old Virginia family was Puget Fulk of Sedro Woolley. His grandparents traveled through the Allegheny mountains in the early 1800s to settle the great Ohio Valley, which Col. George Roger Clark had brought under the American Flag with his expedition of 1778. [At that time,] all lands to the upper Mississippi river were secured for settlement, so the Fulks located in Indiana. Puget's father, Dave Fulk, came to Fidalgo Island in 1874 and was one of the first homesteaders in the Lake Campbell area. Dave later farmed on the flats at Whitney, then bought a farm upriver at Sauk where he spent the remainder of his life. [See biography of David Fulk at page 781, Illustrated History of Skagit and Snohomish Counties, published 1906 — then living at Padilla.]
      Eugenia Cupples Bergstedt was the first white child born in upper Baker River, parents were the C.M. Cupples, who homesteaded there in early 1880s. The peaceful little valley amid the virgin timber has now been stripped and covered by the new power-dam lake water.
      Also born near big timber was Peter Larsen, [actually Peter Louis Larson, 87, born Missouri, died in 1962], namesake of his father, on the old family farm upriver at Sauk.

Mount Vernon and southwest Skagit county
      A mother and daughter on our list is Mrs. Mary Mann, [85, born Washington, died 1962], of Fir, and Mamie Mann, 65, of Seattle, who died only six weeks apart. Both were born at Fir, the place that was originally called Mann's Landing. Mary Mann's was a daughter of Joe Lisk who homesteaded in 1875. Her father died and later, her stepfather — J.B. Ball, went upriver to Sterling to homestead and in 1878 started a logging camp and store with a post office. They later moved back to the old home place at Fir and their old original home still stands, soon to be razed. Mamie Mann's grandfather, Orin Mann, died at an early age in the East and her grandmother Mann married Orin's brother, Charles H. Mann, who came to Skagit county in 1876 and homesteaded, started a general store on the land with a post office. He was the first postmaster from 1876 to 1893 and called the town Mann's Landing, where steamboats landed with freight, mail and passengers. The three younger Mann boys were Frank, husband and father of daughters Mary and Mamie; George, who ran old hotels at old Fir and later at Milltown; and Bert, who clerked and helped run the C.H. Mann store. [Conrad noted that Bert is in the photo of Mann's store that ran in the August 1963 memorial edition of the Puget Sound Mail.]
      The daughter of a pioneer Mount Vernon postmaster was Mrs. Lena Mecartea, [72, born Washington], whose parents were the Edson Phipps. He is credited with being the first rural mail carrier in the county with Route 1 out of Mount Vernon; [those] first routes were organized by the Seattle Daily Post-Intelligencer.
      Arthur Storrs died down in California at age 94. He was the last son of pioneer Dennis Storrs, who in 1875 filed on land on the west bank of the river south of present Mount Vernon, having arrived on Puget sound a year earlier. A huge jam of logs reaching some four miles past his place nearly to Avon had existed as long as Indians could remember and Dennis headed a committee that completed the giant task of clearing the river in three years. [One of the fine RootsWeb project sites online is the 1911-12 Polk Directory tax list, which lists Arthur as having $660 of listed personal property, above the average at that time.]
      Mrs. Hazel MacNeil, [73, born in California], was widow of Tom MacNeil, old time Mount Vernon contractor who built many bridges, roads and buildings including the present Skagit county courthouse [built 1923] and the later Island county courthouse in Coupeville.
      Grace Ropes Schnebele, [70, born Massachusetts, died 1962], remembered well the days that her folks ran the well known Ropes Bookstore in Mount Vernon for so long. Her mother and Grace were faithful attendants at our picnic for years until her mother's passing four years ago.
      Elmer Nord spent the best part of his life around Conway blacksmithing and horseshoeing. Many farmers from far areas of county brought plowshares and horses to his shop for his excellent workmanship.
      Nellie I.P. Lee of Conway was a sister to Peter Lee who was on last year's roll. Their father was Ole N. Lee who settled on land north of Conway in 1876. Throughout her life Nellie gave freely to many unannounced charities and was always a willing community worker. Her first schooling was in the old Skagit City school across the river from her home. Nellie had lived her entire 86 years on the old family homestead, and the house still stands near the dike and the Great Northern tracks. You can always tell it because of the beautiful widow's walk.
      Joy Busha, 63, was born in the little community of Cedardale below Mount Vernon, then when he was grown started a gas station and general merchandise store at Allen, where the new Interurban station was called Roray. His motto was "Gas with Joy," and he built up a solid name with customers for miles around and folks in towns came out to purchase articles they were unable to find in their home stores. In 1956 he was elected as Second District County Commissioner and had served six years by his untimely death in February.
      John Colvin, 70, of Fredonia, was born in west Mount Vernon, the son of Charles Colvin. The latter is well remembered by earlier residents. Charles served many terms as marshal on the police force in turn in both Sedro-Woolley and Mount Vernon.
      Brief notes: Edward Eddy, [71, born Oregon], furniture dealer in Mount Vernon. L.G. Nyhus, [77 born South Dakota], who was principal at Conway 34 years and helped organize the fine grade school there. Schoolteacher Mrs. Margaret Hunter, [81, born Canada], of Mount Vernon, taught many years in the county. Fred Morelan, [78, born Washington], of Mount Vernon, first modern sheet metal shop there. Arnt Moen, [83, born Norway], came to Fir island at turn of the century. Maggie McLeod, [86, born Canada, died 1962], was the widow of Kenneth McLeod who for many years was road and dike boss down near Milltown where they had built up a highly improved farm. Mildred Leaf Ellis, 61 and a Skagit city area native, and across the river, Louis Gunderson, son of Ole. Stella Branigan, [81, born in Indiana], was the widow of Verne Branigan, prominent old Mount Vernon lawyer who was active in promoting the YMCA project there. Erston Noftsinger's father was Rev. J.E. Noftsinger of Mount Vernon. Evelyn Packard Jones, [69, born Washington], was daughter of Warren Packard, former Mount Vernon and LaConner banker.

LaConner, the Flats, Pleasant Ridge, Swinomish reservation
      Nita Siegfred was a daughter of Lewis Siegfried, who had followed his sister and husband, the J.S. Conners from Missouri, from Missouri to LaConner, the town name for his sister in [1870]. From Conrad's 1956 notes
      LaConner name changed from Swinomish to LaConner in Mar. 29, 1870 by James J. Conner in honor of his sister-in-law. Platted LaConner in Whatcom County Aug. 6, 1872, witnessed by John S. Conner and a Mr. Stacey.
Lewis farmed for many years a mile north of town. His brother Archie had platted the town of Bay View in 1884.
      Two members of the Samuel Thomas Valentine family are listed, Sam and Mamie passing on only three weeks apart. Their parents came west to LaConner in 1882 from Indiana. Mrs. Valentine was born Martha Grant, her father and General/President U.S. Grant being cousins (in fact they were playmates when young). The grandparents moved from Virginia to Indiana in 1845. When young Sam grew up he learned to be an engine jacketer for railroads and when he came to LaConner took up tinsmithing, opening a hardware business. He set up the first McCormick binder in the county in an oat field at the north end of Swinomish Reservation flats. Two years later in the spirited election of 1884, which saw LaConner lose to Mount Vernon [and give up the temporary county seat], Mr. Valentine ran for sheriff but lost to James O'Loughlin [LaConner hotel-owner and Indian agent]. Two years later, in 1886, he accepted the job of deputy sheriff under newly elected L.L. Andrews and moved his family and hardware store to the new county seat. By the way, that original site in Mount Vernon is now washed into the river. In 1890, Valentine moved back to LaConner, then filed on the only tract of land left on Pleasant Ridge, 40 acres, walking all the way to Mount Vernon to file. He had built a pre-emption cabin on the place previously. Mr. Valentine carried on the tinsmith trade till his old age, working in conjunction with Polson and Dunlap hardware stores.
      One of our Pioneer Association's best helpers, who was honored on this platform last year for his services, is missing here today with the passing of Jacob Wilson "Jake" Vaughn, [77, born Indiana]. He came to LaConner when a small boy with his parents, the L.W. Vaughns. Their grocery store was started and he later became a partner. Jake was an unusually selfless civic worker and acted as town park superintendent. For 48 years he had been treasurer of his Masonic Lodge and had been town treasurer and councilman [of LaConner]. He was a charter member of our historical society.
      Well known LaConner farmers: Anton Swanson, [80, Sweden], came at turn of the century, started meat business with brother Axel by peddling to farmhouses. Hand-built their retail shop in 1908 north of present Puget Sound Mail building, then moved to larger place. Anton retired to his own farm. Morris Jensen had neighboring farm. He first worked as hired man for owner Frank Conner, proved his worth to the owner who let Jensen rent when Conner retired.
      George Jost's, [84, born Germany, died 1962], first job was on the Pete Downey farm on Swinomish flats. When he bought his farm on Dunbar road near Avon it was only a narrow trail between huge cedar stumps and he went to work at once clearing it by hand between jobs such as diking and dam building and on the nearby Henry Dannemiller farm. George was one of the very few "rugged individualists" left nowadays and felt proud that he had never accepted an unearned dollar during his successful life.
      Mrs. Marie Johnson, [92, born Norway], of LaConner, was widow of Jordan Johnson, early day cabbage seed grower just north of town. Despite a handicap through the loss of a leg when young, he was a very ambitious man. In those days sawdust from the mills burned as a waster so Jordan made a deal with the LaConner sawmill in the south end to haul all mill refuse through town to his place for several years. A large slough was filled and neatly covered with dirt, thus making a a longer and handier field to work, possibly the first landfill in Skagit county.
      George Dan, 84, of Swinomish Reservation, was born on Camano island, but had spent over 75 years here. He could remember when he was a little child, seeing the many large schooners, some the largest in the world, that tied up to big docks in Utsalady to load lumber from the large Puget Mill Company [part of Pope and Talbot from Port Gamble] located there. [Pope and Talbot bought the remains of the old Cranney and Grennan mill there in 1890 after it went bankrupt.]
      Other native descendants on the roll are "Spike" [Theodore Richard, 58?] Edge of Swinomish who had a talent for wood carving. He and father Alexis helped carve the Swinomish totem pole and Spike was training a few young boys in the almost forgotten art. William Moses, another old native, was born 86 years ago on the Suiattle river in Skagit county near Sauk Prairie where he spent most of his life.
      Rossie Jane Lockhart's, [86, born Tennessee], death reminds us of the Sam Lockhart family who came here in 1886 from Iowa when Rossie's husband Tom was 16 years old and they purchased a place on Swinomish Flats near the Jennings farm. Both Sam and son Tom were active citizens and the former was a road supervisor in his district for many years when gravel roads were taking the place of muddy roads for horse and buggy travel and many taxpayers worked out poll taxes with their teams and wagons, hauling several miles from gravel pits or from scows bringing gravel in from a distant beach. Power was all by hand shovels.
      The last surviving member of the old Andrew Osberg family, Rose Stratton, is on our list. Her folks followed Mrs. Osberg's brother, the Honorable J.O. Rudene, to Skagit county, in the late 1870s and settled on land north of LaConner on Swinomish slough. [That is] now called the Gaches place, [having been sold] out to the Hulbert estate about 1905.
      Brief notes: Mildred Safstrom Frostad of Wenatchee, daughter of old Rexville blacksmith. Lena Tjersland, [92, born Norway], spent 3/4 of century on Pleasant Ridge where husband Ben farmed in Beaver Marsh below her brother, Tom Roseland, early LaConner blacksmith. Miss Anna Petterson, schoolteacher in Bellingham and LaConner 47 years. Another government official was Alfred Mozart Nelson, [67, born Sweden], who had served two terms as mayor of LaConner, retiring last year.
      Also see the Chilberg/Anderson/Conrad notes in the Sedro-Woolley section under Mrs. Anna Hoehn.

Anacortes, Fidalgo Island, Padilla and Bay View areas
      Wallace Sharpe, 76, who served as our Association President in 1946, was born on Fidalgo Island on the old farm of his father, Thomas Sharpe, who came there in 1875. At that time there was no road off of the island and any trip to LaConner by horses required fording the Swinomish Slough at low tide on a sand bar near that town and the first wooden swing span bridge was built further north near Whitney Island in 1892 when Wallace was only five years old. But he had much to do with bridges and roads later in life when he was elected county commissioner from First District in 1926 and in the next 34 years he served 26 years in that office, possibly a record in the state. Wallace was not a conformist and at times took a courageous stand for what he thought was right for the public. One project of which he was quite proud was the colorful new LaConner bridge here in our midst with its approach passing through our park. He retired two years ago and last year was missing the first time from our annual meetings.
      Harry Elmer March was a son of early settler H.A. March for whom March's Point is named. His father left New York City in 1853, 110 years ago, by boat, then walking across the Panama Isthmus, carrying a gun on his person that is still in the family possession. He went on up to the Fraser river gold rush [in 1858], and then back to Whatcom where his old friend James Kavanaugh was appointed U.S. Deputy Marshall and March became his first deputy. They both filed claims on adjoining places on Fidalgo Island in 1866 but did not move their families down till 1869. March's U.S. Patent, signed by President U.S. Grant in 1972, is still in the family possession. The elder March was educated as a horticulturist in New York and had the only cauliflower seed-growing business west of Long Island, NY. He died in 1905 after serving as a county fruit inspector [does not say if that was in Skagit county.] Harry, the son, started as a deck hand and fireman on the old steamer Utsalady and later was chief engineer and master marine engineer on Puget sound boats. The March farm now is mostly occupied by Shell Refining. [The colorful Rainbow Bridge was under construction during the August 1956 Pioneer Picnic.]
      Mrs. Josephine Matheson, oldest pioneer on rolls at 105, widow of Capt. J.A. Matheson, who came to Anacortes in 1891 from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and saw opportunity to establish codfish industry here. He built schooner Lizzie Colby, made annual trips to Bering sea, returning with up to 200,000 fish; his was first such catch to enter Puget sound and he established the first fish processing plant in Anacortes. Without refrigeration, all fish salted down on board, ship required a good sized crew through winter to package for market, providing steady work. After 20 years, smaller catches and foreign imports led him to sell and make other investments. He died in 1938.
      Mrs. Dorothy Archer was a granddaughter of Shadrach Wooten who came to Fidalgo Island in 1863, exactly 100 years ago. He first settled at Fidalgo, married a native, then homesteaded at Secret Harbor on Cypress Island. He spent a big part of his life on Guemes Island. His wife was a member of the Samish tribe and they have many descendants.
      Ella Pickens's, [88, born Tennessee], parents, Tom Giles and wife, settled on Fidalgo island in the Lake Campbell area in 1889 when the biggest boom in county's history was on and railroads were being built or contracted for in all directions. One was built from Anacortes past the Lake Campbell area, where Pickens located, but when finished it only ran one round trip.
      For over 60 years Mrs. Albertine Anderson kept her neat little home directly below Mount Erie and overlooking Lake Campbell. On the occasion of her 90th birthday, just a few weeks before her death she was the subject of a write-up in the Seattle Times on her active and useful life doing her housework. Around the turn of the century her husband John was well known around LaConner flats where he worked for various farmers, using his gasoline-powered launch to travel on weekends from where he walked to his Lake Campbell home. About 1908, returning to LaConner at dark, he decided to sleep on boat, tied up at dock. As it was a chilly night, he kept his motor running to provide heat. The gas fumes from the engine caused his death and Tina was left a widow with three small children to provide for on her little farm.
      Mrs. Minnie Smith, 94, of Anacortes, came west from Massachusetts in 1904. She was a direct descendant of Richard Warren and John Alden, but her ancestors were Loyalists, and because of this political separation were forced to move to Nova Scotia at the time of the American Revolution in 1775.
      Herman Axelson was son of Axel Axelson who came to the county in 1890, building dikes for R.E. Whitney for 3 years, then raising cabbage seed successfully for years. Herman's mother was Sarah Williamson, daughter of James and Elizabeth Williamson, both of whom came here as mere children of eight and three years. James grew up at Dungeness, then came to LaConner flats where he helped dike the town of LaConner and also was the first settler at the north end of the original John Peth farm. Herman farmed many years in Beaver Marsh.
      Old Bay View early day residents were Tom Finch, [59, born Washington], LaVina Weyrich, [88, born Canada]; , Lydia Black, Sarah Stone; [93, born Connecticut, died 1962]; Hazel Jorgenson, [70, born Washington]; and Stella "Grandma" Kiderlin, [86, born Missouri]. Kiderlin died just two weeks after her home church, of which she had been a member for 58 years, had observed its 75th anniversary.
      Brief notes: George W. Krebs, [90, born Indiana], of Anacortes, was a Great Northern Railway agent there for 45 years, where he served seven terms of the Chamber of Commerce and was the oldest living past president of that organization. Andre Arneson, [53, born Washington, died 1962], grocery man at Lake Erie. Mrs. Amy Reed, owned an operated an Anacortes drug store while J.A. Bell ran a machine shop there.

Burlington and northwest Skagit county
      Mrs. Anna Johanna Knutzen, [76, born Minnesota], of Burlington was raised at Bay View, being a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. [no first name] Sorenson. Her mother preceded her by six months this year on our roll. Her husband, George Knutzen was a partner in the large family business, Knutzen Bros. General Merchandise store in Burlington with brothers Harry and Ed. Ed passed on just two weeks ago, six days later than Anna. Knutzen Bros. had at one time a theatre in the building, also had one of the first and largest automobile agencies for many years in Skagit county.
      Lloyd Allen died up at Point Roberts. He was born on Samish Island where his father Bill started a hotel in 1883 in the thriving little town of Atlanta, about where the Stewart home now stands. There was also a mercantile store, school and other places of business. The little spring there provided plenty of good water as the pioneers were frugal and brought water home in containers. A dock nearby served boats, which brought in supplies and mail regularly. The place was livelier perhaps than it is today.
      William Henry Schumaker, [69, born Washington], of Edison, past association president, charter member of Historical Association and museum board, helped promote the Bow cemetery near where he lived. Father Nick Schumaker learned shoemaking trade in Germany, left for U.S. at 21, came to LaConner 1878, worked at J.S. Conner farm until 1880. Then filed homestead on Samish flats becoming one of the first to dike land there, took two years to grow any kind of crop.
      Nels Anderson Ringseth, [80, born Norway], ran the Avon General Merchandise Store many years and kept his old bookkeeping methods and credit system. He really believed in his fellow man and retired only a few years ago.
      Burlington folks remember Mrs. Josephine Scott who was such a capable nurse and administrator when she owned and operated the big hospital there. [The hospital was originally named Granny Matthews, famed teacher at Hickson school and shrewd investor in Samish-area timberland.]
      On the Skagit lowland farms 50 years ago and earlier, hay was a big business and so were some of the hay baler operators. One of the most popular old balers was Edgar Lyman Hake, [76, born Washington], of Edison who ran a long run each season through, when farmers could wait with their well cured hay stored in large shocks or stacks and some in barn mows for later bailing. He first had horse power and then steam power.
      Effie Childs, [90, born Michigan], of Burlington, had been member of her Methodist church for 63 years and was a member of the Rebekahs since 1895, including serving as First District President.
      Brief notes: Mrs. Minnie Witham, whose husband had operated old time shoe repair shop in Burlington. William Francis Gorman, [74, born Michigan], longtime postmaster in Burlington until recent retirement. Husband and wife Richard E. Calling, [79, born Kansas], son of Olaf Calling of early Avon, and Tillie Curry Calling, [77, born South Dakota]. Rev. John Lawrence Teeter, [84, born Nebraska], minister. Earl E. Johnson, [63, Washington], son of Rev. John Johnson, who preached at Pleasant Ridge and Field, near Allen. Harold M. "Dutch" Munro, [63, born Washington, died 1962], of Burlington was for many years a fire chief in town where he operated a restaurant. Fred Erickson, [93, born Sweden, died 1962], who died in Tacoma, came to North Avon in the 1890s and farmed there until retiring 13 years ago.

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Story posted on Oct. 17, 2002, and last updated on August 1, 2004
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