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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. An evolving history dedicated to the principle of 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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Rare early Sedro-Woolley newspaper
Skagit County Times, Sedro-Woolley, Dec. 5, 1891

(Northern avenue)
This 1899 Darius Kinsey photo, looking south from the site of P.A. Woolley's sawmill, shows the triangle where three railroads crossed and Northern avenue running horizontal, east-to-west, across the top third. We can see the Seattle Lake Shore & Eastern train to the right, coming from Seattle to Sumas, and the Seattle & Northern train on the track along Northern avenue, running from Ship Harbor upriver to Hamilton. At the right or west end of Northern avenue, you can see a two-story building, which was the Keystone Hotel, and beside it is the one-story Gem Saloon; both are mentioned in this story. Click on the photo to the see the much larger version that shows a lot more area and details.

      This is the first rare old issue from which we have transcribed notes. Historian Deanna Ammons has shared copies of newspapers found by an unnamed source when he was remodeling his house locally. We will soon be transcribing many more issues that you can see at this website. This particular issue is possibly the most important one ever found so far because it completely opened our eyes and the eyes of other researchers who relied on incorrect information about two key points of Woolley history: the first mayor of the town and the consolidation of the villages of Sedro and Woolley. Before finding this, we assumed after reading more than a dozen books and documents that consolidation was not seriously addressed until 1898. All the sources were wrong. This is why it is so important for our readers to share photo copies of any old newspapers that they have in their family collections, especially those before 1920. All but a handful of the annual volumes have burned in various fires. Please email if you can help. When you see information in [ ], we have either corrected spelling or provided more information about the person mentioned from the extensive research we have conducted for ten years.

General column for Saturday, Dec. 5, 1891
(This is the first time we knew that the original newspaper was published on Saturday instead of Thursday)

City council meeting:
Planking the streets


Local Mention:
Daily local timetable:

Legal notices:
These two men advertised in this newspaper

Friday evening's entertainment:
      Last evening's entertainment in Rita hall, by the "Ora Et Labora" club was well attended, and the program was carried out successfully. The essay by Mrs. George Rouse was received with much favor and showed much labor in composition. The tableaux were all excellent, the red lights showing the subjects in fine effect. That of the three Graces, Faith, Hope and Charity, by Mrs. Peterson, Mrs. Ruel and Miss [Kate] Woolley being especially well received and encored.
      Mrs. Lorraine Woolley, though suffering from a severe cold, rendered "The Fire at Nolans" in a pleasing style. The subjects for Mrs. Jarley's wax works did not all materialize and the amusing scene was cut much too short. But the bonnet was there and Mrs. Woolley showed herself possessed of much ability as an elocutionist and manager. Joan of Arc at the Stake by Miss Woolley was loudly applauded and the effect very fine. The [Swedish] dance by the four little girls was received with rounds of applause and heartily encored. Following the program came coffee and doughnuts, many remaining, and all were served abundantly. There was also an auction of Christmas goods made by the ladies.

Advertisement for J.M. Moore General Store
Anacortes, some representative prices, page 1

Campaign for Dec. 8, 1891 election
Election notice:
(Woolley map)
This map was drawn in 1891 by the man who platted both Sedro and Woolley, Albert G. Mosier. Click on thumbnail for full map that shows both new Sedro and Woolley.

      Mayor-elect W.M. Guse proclaims that "according to statutory laws there will be an election held in said town at the usual place of meeting of the council on the Eighth day of December, 1891, at which election there shall be elected: mayor, five councilmen, one treasurer. Attested to by Phil L. Woolley, Clerk.
      [Ed. note: Guse elected mayor when town of Woolley was incorporated on May 11, 1891. In 1890, we find William M. Guse in the R. L. Polk & Co. city directory of Fairhaven. He was then the manager of The Capital Sample Rooms, which may have been a display room for traveling salesmen or it could have been a saloon. His home was on the northeast corner of Harris and 10th. That is the only notation about him except for a William Guse from Wisconsin in that time period who we found on the internet. The family genealogist had no further information.]
Citizen's party ticket
      For mayor: W.M. Guse; treasurer, W.T. Odlin; councilmen [former clerk for Mortimer Cook's general store, about this time he became the sole employee of the Bingham & Holbrook bank in new Sedro on Third street], Norris Ormsby, W.H. Cook [no relation of Mortimer Cook from Sedro], W.D. Robertson, F.A. Douglass [early Woolley druggist who came here from Kansas in 1890], Phil L. Woolley.
People's party ticket
      For mayor: W.M. Guse; treasurer, W.T. Odlin; councilmen, Norris Ormsby, [David].E. Moore [Mr. Moore died here on Nov. 20, 1919. From his obituary we learned that he moved to the Sterling district in 1888 and acquired an undetermined patch of land north of present Hwy. 20 soon thereafter and Moore street was named for him. Two of his children was Mrs. Nellie [Jack] Palmateer and Mrs. Lillie Larrabee of Sedro-Woolley. His widow remarried and became Mrs Mary Seaman. We hope a family member will contact us.], Ad W. Davison [Pennsylvanian who came here in 1890 after quarrying limestone on San Juan island. Owned one of the first mills here, later an auto business and ran the stagecoach from Woolley to Mount Vernon], William Doherty [Doherty built the Keystone Hotel on Northern avenue across from the depot soon after 1890, one of the first four businesses in Woolley; in 1894, he took on partner Jim Gray in the Keystone Saloon; died in 1906], Henry Husch [also spelled Hosch, Henry C. Hosch owned the Gem Saloon next door to the Keystone; his brother Charles owned the Racket Store where the Whidbey Island Bank now stands on Ferry and Puget].
Independent party ticket
      For mayor: W.M. Guse; treasurer, J.A. Dorman; councilmen, Norris Ormsby, D.E. Moore, Ad W. Davison, William Doherty, Henry Husch.
Union party ticket
      Union party ticketFor mayor: P.A. Woolley. [We note here that the first three tickets were submitted after a vote by representatives of the party. Clerk Woolley wrote that his father's name was put in nomination another way.] Yesterday a petition was signed by the required number of voters was filed with the clerk placing the name of P.A. Woolley in nomination for mayor, as the Union candidate. [These were signatories of the petition, an excellent illustration of how the early businessmen and settlers of the town cleaved between the power brokers.]
      J.A. Dorman, F.J. Sullivan, O.S. Paulson, John G. Hoehn, J.L. Lepava, F.J. Hulen, H.H. Coalley, W.H. Austin, William Garrard, Thomas McLaughlin [was also constable of Sedro], D.E. Wright, John Hollen, W.C. Rumsey, I.J. Stiles [railroad depot agent, first master of the local Masons Lodge when formed in 1893 and postmaster at the turn of the century], W.C. Still [can't read the name clearly], N.P. Beebe, Aaron White, W.H. Cook, Charles E. Lyon, James Gardner, J.A. Mudget, A. Wolfe, J.W. Thomas, T. Keefe, G.S. McMillan.
      Norris Ormsby, H.C. Hosch, J.R. Smith [could be J. Henry Smith, attorney who had his office in the Cole building in Woolley], R.H. Churchill, W.A. Churchill, W.T. Odlin, A.W. Swain, A.B. Ernst, J.H. McCullum, Joe Baker, E.D. Johns, F.D. Johnson, Smith & Bechtle, J.T. Fannan, Lewis Kirkby, J.C. Kirkby [brothers from Kansas], John Dill, Peter Johnson, J.B. Smith, J.D. Sanders, J.L. Sanders, J.W. Sanders, George Ratchford [blacksmith], John Gibson [J.C. LaPlant hinted that he was a family friend of the Woolleys, namesake of Gibson street], Thomas B. Carr [Palace Saloon]. Signed at Woolley on Dec. 4, 1891.

This week's nominations
      This places four tickets in the field. It is very complimentary to Mr. Guse, our present mayor, that he is on three of the four tickets for re-election. Norris Ormsby, at present councilman, is nominated on all the tickets for another term and will probably win without opposition. Let the voters act with intelligence for the sake of good government and with as little prejudice as possible.

County Central Democratic Club
      On Tuesday evening the democrats of Sedro and Woolley gathered in Rita hall as per call of the president. A club was organized to be known as the Skagit County Central Democratic Club, and from this main organization auxiliary clubs will be organized in every precinct in the county.
      Thomas Smith was chosen chairman of the meeting and A.B. Ernst secretary. A constitution was offered by A.W. Salisbury, read section by section, amended and adopted as a whole as amended.
      The following officers were elected:
      Thomas Smith, president; W.M. Guse, vice-president; C.E. Bingham, treasurer; A.B. Ernst, secretary. As executive committee the following were elected: J.A. Dorman, C.E. Bingham, T.B. Carr, W.S. Alexander, William Woods.
      Finance committee, W.M. Guse, W.D. Robertson, Mr. Huntley, G.T. Gregory, W.A. Sparks. Membership Committee, H.J. McCallum, W.H. Cook, N. Ormsby, J.W. Peak [name also spelled as Peake].
      Regular meetings will be held the first Tuesday of each month, and the place of meeting will be announced hereafter.

Election of Dec. 8, 1891
      Ed. note: we bet you expect us to tell you who won in the election. We would love to but we have not yet found the newspaper of December 12, 1891, that would have posted the results. We will have to post the results that were noted in the 1906 Book. But we warn you: the results in the book for the May 11, 1891, election are incorrect.
      Results of May 11, 1891: Mayor, William Murdock [either this is wrong or Murdock dropped out and Mayor Elect William H. Guse took his place. Stay tuned; we are still checking]; treasurer, William Doherty; counilmen, Norris Ormsby, David E. Moore, George Gregory, Mr. Goosie [sic]; clerk, Philip L. Woolley.
      Results of Dec. 8, 1891: Mayor, Philip A. Woolley; clerk, Rev. Rouse; treasurer, William Doherty; councilmen, Philip Woolley, William Cook, Norris Ormsby, [W.D.] Robertson.

City Attorney's decision re: consolidation of Sedro and Woolley
In a separate story

Logs of early newspapers

Story posted on Dec. 20, 2003
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