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Skagit River Journal

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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

The Goodell family of Vermilion, Ohio
— and early settlers of Washington Territory
Continued — Part 2

(We are updating this entire section. Can you help?)
(2 Phoebes)
      This photo still hangs in the Roeder home in Bellingham. It shows Phoebe Goodell Judson with her great-great granddaughter, baby Phoebe Elizabeth Bolster, and Phoebe's antique spinning wheel. You can also see the photo in the front window of the Lynden Pioneer Museum. Baby Phoebe was the mother of Sharon Griemsmann of Bellingham, the keeper of Judson memorabilia.

The Indian War
      When the Goodells arrived in Oregon Territory in 1851, settlers there were still wary of venturing north of the Columbia, partly because of tales about the Whitman massacre four years earlier. On Nov. 29, 1847, members of the Cayuse Indian tribe slaughtered Dr. Marcus Whitman and his wife Narcissa and 12 other white settlers and missionaries at the Wailatpu Christian mission on the Walla Walla River in what would become southeast Washington Territory. The fear of being trapped in a remote area dissuaded many families from moving north. Eight years later, Indians in the new territory again struck back over appropriation of their lands. General Isaac I. Stevens arrived in the fall of 1853 as the new governor of the territory and high on his list was settlement of the Indian problem. Stevens appointed a 45-year-old Indian named Leschi and his brother Quiemuth as chiefs of the Nisqually tribe, thinking that Leschi would accept terms of land cession. This website provides a good summary of the Indian War that broke out all around Puget Sound and around the Cascade Mountains.
      Unfortunately, in December 1854, the Treaty of Medicine Creek became the turning point and initiated the clash between Chief Leschi and Governor Stevens. The treaty relegated the Native Americans to a small parcel of the land they had previously enjoyed fully; high, forested land that was incompatible with their lifestyle. According to oral tradition, Chief Leschi refused to sign the treaty, stormed out of the negotiations and left Governor Stevens furious.
      Up until the negotiation of the Treaty of Medicine Creek between the United States and the Nisqually and neighboring tribes, Chief Leschi had gained a reputation as a good friend of the settlers. He is credited with possibly saving the lives of the settlement planted by George Washington Bush [actually George Bush, with no Washington middle name — see endnote] and Colonel Simmons. According to tradition, Leschi and 12 members of his tribe helped in the harvest of the Bush crop and this is what sustained the settlement during that critical first winter.
      J. W. Goodell [Jotham Jr.], a Washington Territory pioneer, tells of an encounter he and 3 other very young lads had with Chief Leschi in 1855, during the Indian War period. In this encounter, the lads actually "attacked" the Chief and a band of his men. When the Chief saw that they were only young boys, he laughed heartily and drove off without giving further attention to the youths. Mr. Goodell recalled Chief Leschi as a kindly-dispositioned man who "caused me grief when he was legally strangled at Fort Steilacoom." Owen Bush, son of George Washington Bush, also spoke of Chief Leschi's character; "Leschi was as good a friend as we ever had. He told me before going to war that the Indians would not hurt any of the settlers and advised us to stay on our farms." . . .
      War followed and, at its official end on August 5, 1856, Governor Stevens admitted and rectified the fact that the Native Americans had been given a very unsatisfactory reservation. However, despite the settlement, Governor Stevens pursued prosecution of Chief Leschi for what the military considered war time matters which were outside the jurisdiction of civil courts. Leschi had turned himself in to Colonel Wright of the U.S. Army who refused to hand him over to Governor Stevens. The governor promptly established a reward of 50 blankets for the Chief's deliverance, reportedly because he "symbolized the spirit of Indian resistance to white settlement."

      In 1855, settlers around Grand Mound built one fort and settlers around Claquato — where Phoebe and Holden and her in-laws had moved, built another. Jotham lived at the Grand Mound stockade and Anna lived with the Judson clan at the Claquato fort. We are unsure where all the Goodell children lived during the war or if they were split between the two locations. Maybe the older boys helped their dad survey and build at Grand Mound. The Grand Mound settlers called their stockade, Fort Henness, named for Capt. Benjamin L. Henness, a local settler. A monument marks the spot today across from the cemetery on Mound Prairie. More than 240 adults and children from 30 families occupied Fort Henness for 16 months from the spring of 1855 to the summer of 1856. That time had to be one of the most exciting periods of 16-year-old Edward's life. In My Goodell Family, Ethel Goodell Clark explained that the men and boys began by digging a rectangular trench 100 x 130 feet and four feet deep. They cut trees that were 12-16 inches in diameter, sawed them into 16 feet lengths, and then lined them up vertically on the outer edge of the trench. A second-story wall was attached at the top, with 3-4-foot overhang, and gun-barrel holes were bored at regular intervals. Each family lived in a lean-to built against the outer walls. The men dug a well in the meeting room at the center of the fort, which also included a school room and barracks for single men.
      When the full-scale Indian war broke out in October 1855, Edward's older brother Melancthon, then 19, enlisted in Company B of the Washington Volunteers under Captain Gilmore Hays. He served three months as a private and then in January he signed up with the Second Regiment as a Second Sergeant, serving six more months until the end of hostilities. Phoebe learned to shoot a rifle while living in the Claquato stockade and Edward, then 16, probably became a marksman, too. Melancthon Goodell's life, however, changed the most as a result of the war.
      Rebecca Euphemia Byles was one of the people living in the close quarters of the stockade at Fort Henness. Her father and uncle brought their families to Washington Territory from Kentucky in the fall of 1853 in what was known as the Biles-Longmire wagon train, the first train over the new emigrant road over Naches Pass, north of the Columbia. Jotham Weeks Goodell was a leader of the Washington settlers who subscribed nearly $1,200 for the road in hopes it could be started before the $20,000 appropriated by the U.S. Congress was sent through normal, slow channels. Two road-building crews started hacking the road out of dense forest from both the west and east but they abandoned the project in September. The Longmire-Biles train was not informed in time and they continued north of the Columbia from Umatilla, Oregon, and Walla Walla, assuming that the trail was cleared. In her novel, Nothing in Life is Free, Della Gould Emmons chronicled their struggle through the forest, where they nearly starved until a supplier appeared with a pack train, unaware that the building crew had gone home. Melancthon caught the eye of Rebecca Byles, who was the niece of train co-captain James Biles and daughter of Rev. Charles Byles. On June 7, 1858, the couple eloped on a horse, with Rebecca holding tight as her beau galloped towards a friendly minister. Their fathers gave chase, Rev. Byles especially incensed since Rebecca was only 17. But they finally turned back and the couple continued on to Bawfaw, the present town of Boistfort, where a minister married them. Melancthon had already leased acreage elsewhere in Lewis County and farmed there until 1860.
      The Indian War also seemed to have a profound effect on Phoebe. In Ideal Home she described how she slowly transformed from the wife and mother on the Oregon Trail who was deathly afraid of Indians into the settler wife at Grand Mound and Claquato who grew to accept Indians as her neighbors and then adopted an Indian boy. She felt sad over the hanging of Leschi as the scapegoat for the settlers' anger over the lives lost in the various confrontations. Over the rest of her life she would prove to be a good friend of Indians and vice versa and she adopted several half-breed children who were caught between the two societies.

The family members find new homes after Jotham's death
(Jotham Goodell)
Jotham Goodell as an older man at age 50, not long before his death. Courtesy of David Bigler
      This family that endured so much together over nine years was suddenly fractured in November 1859. Jotham Weeks Goodell suffered a bad stroke and lived only a few days, passing away on November 19. Within five years, his widow and all his children but one moved away from Grand Mound. Phoebe wrote in Ideal Home that her mother, Anna, moved to Forest Grove, Oregon, west of Portland, to "educate her boys," Henry, Jotham Jr. and Edward. Edward's next oldest sister, Emeline, married a neighboring farmer, Levi L. Gates, who took up a donation claim in nearby Claquato, and she died much too young at age 27 in 1864. After the Indian wars, Phoebe and Holden Judson sold their farm and moved to Olympia, where they rented while Holden served in the territorial legislature and then owned a general store. Mary Michaelson researched and discovered that Holden's business was the old Olympia meat market, which was located at what is today 110 Capitol Way. We originally thought it odd that Phoebe mentions her father's death only briefly in her book but Mary reminded me that Karen Rinnert Parsons has a letter from the time that included the news that Phoebe had a newborn to care for — her son George, when her father died. We know from the Presbytery's minutes of 1859 that Jotham's death severely affected the Presbytery and that they had to wait until a new minister arrived to carry on business. Jean Bluhm researched and found that, even though the church went 17 years without a minister, Henry N. Stearns kept the Congregation together and hosted services until the Presbytery appointed a full-time minister.
      The young-marrieds, Melancthon and Rebecca, moved to Grand Mound in 1960 and had four children there. We know only that they homesteaded, but we do not know if they took over Jotham and Anna's donation claim; Anna may have sold it outright. In 1870 they moved to Greenwood, a small town five miles east of Elma in what was then Chehalis County and is now Grays Harbor County. They had four more children there and he turned out to be an able businessman. He was a dealer in lumber and real estate and he served two terms as [the original] Chehalis County sheriff and two terms as assessor. In 1883 the family moved to Montesano, where he served as mayor and represented the area in the territorial legislature for one term. When we researched early elections in the territory, we were surprised that Melancthon ran for election on a Democratic ticket, starting in 1859. But we were also surprised to find something not reported elsewhere, that Jotham also stood for election as a territorial representative in 1855, but as a Whig. We do not know the results of the election. Perhaps he retained his old political affiliation from Ohio.
      After Mary Weeks Goodell Meloy's husband died down in Gresham, Oregon, in 1862, she was courted by Henry N. Stearns, who platted the town of Claquato back in 1857. Jean Bluhm reports that they had known each other from the original wagon train west. She married him on Sept. 6, 1863, in Forest Grove, possibly at her mother's home, and then the couple lived in Claquato until their deaths. The years 1863-64 brought grief to the family. William Bird and Anna Maria Goodell had moved up and down the sound, from Port Townsend to Whatcom. Although he originally had a successful stage business for a couple of years, as we noted above, he preferred the sea and in the summer of 1863 he enjoyed some success shipping lumber and other goods between Victoria, on Vancouver island, and the Olympic Peninsula. Then, in November, he moved the family from Whatcom to Port Angeles, where he had been hired for a job on land again and he bought a small house. Victor Smith, the U.S. Customs Collector, made a power play in 1862 and used his connections with the Abraham Lincoln administration to wrest the customs office away from Port Townsend. He hired William as a customs officer and his first assignment was to be tender of the lighthouse near the mouth of Valley Creek. But on the evening of Dec. 16, a logjam in a lake upstream broke apart, causing a torrent of water to flow down the creek. The water appeared without warning at the house where William was working and he and his assistant drowned in the melee that followed. We have a copy of his widow's letter to her parents back east. She returned to Ohio with their children; their son, F.A. Goodell, became a noted steamer captain on the Great Lakes.
      On July 21, 1861, Edward Goodell married Catherine "Kitty" Owens in Forest Grove. She was born in Missouri, the daughter of another wagon train family (read more about her and their marriage in the Edward Goodell feature: ). The 1870 federal census of Forest Grove shows that they had three children, ranging in age from six years to two months; their names were Charlotte, George, and Laura. We hope that one of his descendants will read this article and email us. In that same census, Anna was living at another address in Forest Grove with her son Henry. In a section of the Ideal Home book that is very vague regarding a timeline, Phoebe described visiting her mother in Forest Grove, probably in the early fall of 1871: "I was longing to see my mother, who had been ill with nervous prostration for several years" Anna, who was 61 that year, may have never completely recovered emotionally from the death of her son, William Bird, and daughter, Emeline, within five years after the death of Jotham, but that is just speculation.

Phoebe finds her Ideal Home, compliments of James A. Patterson,
and we find a connection to the impeached president

(Judson home)
This was the Judson family "town" house on Front Street in Lynden.
      By the spring of 1870, Phoebe and Holden Judson and their young family lived in a small cabin near the "big jam" on the Nooksack River in Whatcom County. After 17 years of waiting, she had found her Ideal Home and they arrived there because of a catalyst from Tennessee. Phoebe explained in Ideal Home that, back in the mid-1860s, Holden invested in real estate in the original town of Whatcom on Bellingham Bay, which was founded by Henry Roeder.Roeder migrated to the West Coast from Vermilion in 1850 as a '49er gold miner and wound up on Bellingham Bay in search of a location for a sawmill. His bride, Elizabeth Austin, also from Vermilion, migrated west in the same wagon train in 1854 with William Bird and Anna Maria Goodell. She and Phoebe were friends from back home. Roeder sailed down to Olympia and married Elizabeth and moved her up to the little village of Whatcom that was clustered around the sawmill that Roeder and Russell V. Peabody built on Whatcom Creek the year before.
      James Alexander Patterson was a Whatcom County pioneer who claimed squatter's rights on a quarter section of land near the Nooksack River between Whatcom and Blaine. He could not homestead the land until it was surveyed and that was a few years off. Patterson was a native of the old south, where he had been a member of an aristocratic Tennessee family. While researching the photo collection of the late author Percival R. Jeffcott, at the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies in Fairhaven, we discovered that Patterson moved to Whatcom County in about 1860. Both Phoebe and other writers referred to him as Col. Patterson, without a first name. I originally confused James with William Patterson, who also homesteaded between Blaine and Lynden, but that was another settler. Many landed gentry took on the honorific title of Colonel in those days after the Civil War, and that was apparently the case with Patterson. Although several sources, including his daughters' obituaries, claim that Patterson was a West Point graduate, Reg Rittenberg, Patterson's great-great-grandson, could not authenticate the claim, and Reg's extensive research has supplemented and enhanced the Patterson story that has been presented in bits and pieces up until now. Patterson was born in 1812 or 1813 in Greenville (probably nearby Cedar Creek), Tennessee, the second of six children of Andrew Patterson and his first wife, Susanna Trotter.

James Alexander Patterson's
family connection to impeached
President Andrew Johnson

(James A. Patterson)
James A. Patterson, ourtesy of the Percival R. Jeffcott collection, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Fairhaven
      In her book, Ideal Home, Phoebe Goodell Judson made a connection between Patterson and the impeached 17th U.S. president, Andrew Johnson, "Two of his brothers were senators, and a niece presided as first lady of the White House, as the wife of Andrew Johnson." She went on to explain that Johnson was orphaned as a child, then became a street urchin because his mother was reduced to poverty, and was educated by his wife, whom Phoebe identified as Patterson's niece. Although she got the part mainly right about Johnson's childhood, she was confused about his wife.
      We are always interested in connections like this one, so we will briefly explain and correct the record. Johnson was born in North Carolina and his father died when he was three. After he and his mother were mired in poverty while he was a child, he apprenticed to a tailor at age ten and was eventually able to support his mother. After working at several tailor shops, a tailor in Greeneville, Tennessee hired him, and he moved his mother and stepfather there to live with him. He also soon met Eliza McCardle, the daughter of a shoemaker, and they married in 1827, after which the couple had five children in the years up to 1852. Johnson proved to be a very able debater and soon rose through the local and state political ranks as a Whig and champion of the common man. He served five terms as a U.S. representative from Tennessee, returned to be elected governor for a term and then was elected to the U.S. Senate. While there he gained national attention as the father of the Homestead Act, which was especially important to pioneers in the Pacific Northwest. In 1864, Democrat Johnson was tapped by President Abraham Lincoln to replace Vice President Hannibal in his second term. Eliza Johnson was ill and avoided any public appearances after Johnson assumed the presidency following Lincoln's assassination.
      That is when the Patterson family came into the White House picture. Back in Tennessee, the Johnsons' eldest child Martha married David Trotter Patterson in 1855. Tennessee was the only southern state to ratify the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, so the state was readmittted to the Union in 1866 and Patterson was elected U.S. Senator, succeeding his father-in-law. James A. Patterson was Senator Patterson's brother, so the First Lady Phoebe referred to was certainly his niece, and she did act as First Lady, but only as a replacement because her mother was so ill. Martha Johnson Patterson and her married sister both took turns representing her mother at public functions, a challenging role, indeed, when Johnson was impeached by the House but then escaped conviction by the Senate by only one vote. [You can also read the other connection between a Northwest family and the impeachment: the Ewings of Mount Vernon.] When we interviewed Reg Rittenberg, we learned that James may have married back in Tennessee but was either widowed or divorced before he moved west. Regardless of whether James was married, Reg learned from a Patterson relative that James fathered a daughter and that David and Martha Patterson raised her after he moved west.

      We learned from the obituaries that Patterson moved west to California during the '49er gold rush, and one item in the family history hints that he may have served in the Mexican War, which ended the year before. He may not have been an argonaut, however. We infer that he engaged in the stock-raising business in California, his lifelong profession. He then moved to the Northwest during the Fraser River gold stampede of 1858, again marketing cattle during the excitement. He may have been associated with Roeder and Mortimer Cook, the founder of Sedro, in their supply-packing business to the gold-bearing sandbars near Fort Hope, British Columbia. We wonder indeed if Patterson moved north after meeting Roeder and/or Cook down in California where both men were merchants. He next appeared in 1859 as the namesake for Fort Patterson, one of the Snoqualmie River stockades from the Indian War that had been abandoned three years before. In her book, Fall City, In the Valley of the Moon, Margaret McKibben Corliss explained that Patterson soon realized that the fort was a perfect mountain outpost for his cattle and his hired Indians as he drovered cattle, horses and sheep across the Cascades to stockyards in Seattle. The cattle were then shipped off to hungry miners and settlers in California at a considerable profit.
      In 1860, he settled in Whatcom County and staked out a claim on the Nooksack River, where he cleared the land and raised cattle that he drovered up to the Cariboo district of British Columbia. The gold rush there that began in 1860 attracted miners for a longer time than on the Fraser and cattlemen on both sides of the Cascades profited. The obituaries report that Patterson became "one of the most colorful figures in the early days of the county." He joined with partner Reuben Bizer in a stock-raising business and the two men built a small cabin alongside the Nooksack on Patterson's squatter's claim, the cabin that the Judsons took over.
      Sometime in 1862, Patterson took an Indian wife, as Bizer also did four years later. Rittenberg shared a family story that Patterson met his bride while he continued trading down at Snoqualmie. Elizabeth, or Lizzie, as he called her, was 19 years old, the daughter of Patkanim, the chief of the Snoqualmie tribe who competed with Chief Sealth of the Duwamish for jurisdiction over ancestral Indian land on Puget Sound. They apparently married at Snoqualmie Falls, possibly in a tribal ceremony. For those who follow the anglicized names of Indians, Rittenberg reports that in his family genealogy, the chief's name was Pat Kanim, as some other sources also spell it, and his daughter was known as Elizabeth Kanim. Over the next few years, Patterson continued raising and marketing beef cattle and also started a dairy along the Nooksack River.
      In the late 1860s, Patterson approached Henry Roeder and beseeched his friend to help him find someone who could care for his two motherless daughters. Knowing that Patterson traveled regularly to Olympia by sternwheeler, Roeder referred him to Phoebe and Holden. Over the following months, after the Judsons met Patterson through Holden's Olympia store, they all became good friends and he asked them a special favor. After having two daughters with Patterson, Elizabeth left her family with the aid of hired hand Indian Ned and went to live with an Indian band in British Columbia near Chilliwack, northeast of Sumas. Following their marriage, Patterson apparently treated Elizabeth more as a slave than a wife and helpmeet and tended to be tyrannical. Although some sources suggest or imply that she just abandoned the girls, we now know from research that she visited her daughters after leaving the family. She still loved them and wanted to visit them more, but after her first trip back, she died of tuberculosis on an unknown date at Chilliwack.
      [Update: In conjunction with the first conference of Phoebe Goodell descendants in Lynden in 2006, extensive research has revealed that the Judsons effectively moved to Whidbey Island in April 1866 and lived there most often until moving to Whatcom County in 1870. Phoebe and Holden had a fifth child there named Carrie, who succumbed to whooping cough after just a month and was buried in an unmarked grave in the Sunnyside cemetery there. The second annual Friends of Aunt Phoebe reunion is scheduled for April 2007 in Coupeville.]
      After meeting the Judsons, Patterson asked Phoebe to take the girls into her home, but Phoebe demurred until he also offered the Judsons his cabin and the acreage on which he squatted. The Judsons had already exercised their donation claim but they could file a pre-emption claim on Patterson's quarter-section and homestead it when the land was surveyed. And that is where Phoebe found her "Ideal Home." Holden sold his store and moved the family up to the Patterson farm sometime before the 1870 federal census was enumerated during that summer and included the Patterson girls as part of the Judson family at ages eight and five. The Judsons raised Dolly Patterson Rittenberg and Nellie McDonald and they thrived with the family, escaping the stigma of many other children of Caucasian fathers and Indian mothers. In fact, they were both honored with the silver Old Settlers Cup at the annual Old Settlers picnic in 1938, after marrying and raising their own families in Whatcom County. The girls continued to refer to Phoebe as "ma." We have always wondered where Patterson went after he transferred the land and Rittenberg answered that he found a very likely name recorded in the 1880 federal census, located in an interesting city — Forest Grove, Oregon. Did Patterson influence Edward's move up to the Skagit River the year before? Stay tuned. Rittenberg also reported a family story that Patterson was subsequently murdered while living in Oregon, but that is unconfirmed.

Phoebe's widowed mother joins the Judsons and their ideal home becomes the town of Lynden
      Mary Michaelson and Karen Parsons have found a letter from Phoebe that leads them to conclude that Phoebe's mother lived with them before 1872, and another hint from Phoebe's book indicates that she arrived in October 1871. We know that Anna died on Dec. 10, 1881. In Ideal Home, Phoebe wrote in Chapter 50. "She remained with us ten years and two months, until her death." Phoebe's description of her mother's travel north in Ideal Home is a bit confusing, as is the whole timeline of that period. She says only that "My brother Edward conveyed us over the rough way in his comfortable carriage, and at Whatcom we found Mr. Judson waiting us with a mattress for a bed in the canoe; and thus we comfortably conveyed her to our home on the Nooksack." That could be read to mean that Edward took them all the way to Whatcom on his carriage after ferrying across the Columbia, but we know that to be impossible. The other answer is that she compressed the time by linking two clauses together in the sentence, and the reader begs for a connector. The only road north of Olympia was a very crude military road that was more of a widened trail, blocked with deadfall trees every few miles and a mass of potholes. There was no such thing as a passable wagon road that connected what became Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties. That would not have been a logical ride for a woman in Anna's condition, especially not in a fashionable carriage. We suspect that they either took a steamboat north from Portland to Seattle and then boarded another to Whatcom, or at least boarded a steamboat from Olympia to Whatcom after following the tortured trail north from Monticello. We will tell more about Phoebe and her ideal home in a separate upcoming story, but for now you should know that she named the town that formed around their cabin, Lynden, after a line in her favorite poem, Hohenlinden, about a Linden tree. The name was attached to the U.S. post office and Holden was the postmaster. Although Phoebe wrote in Chapter 41 that the year was 1874, Mary Michaelson researched and discovered that the post office was established in 1873.
(Anna Goodell)
Anna Goodell as an older woman. Courtesy of David Bigler
      Phoebe's younger brother Henry also moved up to Whatcom County in an unknown year and lived there until his death in Bellingham on April 30, 1905. He was the tender of the Hannegan ferry and was a justice of the peace for a time. Charlotte, the tenth child of eleven, appears to have led a very hard life. But we must keep in mind that we have only read negative accounts about her. Like others who did not conform to the norm of her day, she could have been condemned for thoughts and actions that would not raise an eyebrow today. We do know that Charlotte married three times and that Phoebe eventually took the three youngest of Charlotte's seven children into her home and raised them, another example of how Phoebe was generous to children in need. The youngest Goodell child, Jotham Jr., moved from Oregon back to southwest Washington and he logged in various places before settling down in the town of Lebam in Pacific County, where he became the first postmaster on May 26, 1890. The odd name for the town was his choice, the reversed spelling of his daughter Mabel's name. Lebam was a prosperous sawmill and farming district town for nearly three decades and he died there in 1914.
      Holden Judson died on October 26, 1899, a few months after the Judsons' 50th wedding anniversary. Phoebe was a widow for 26 years. She passed away in Lynden on Jan. 16, 1926, at age 94. Mary Michaelson recently took me for a drive around town to see the places that the Judsons called home. We stopped at a relatively new skating rink that sits on the edge of a slope that rose from the original bend of the river. This was the site of Phoebe's "Ideal Home" that she finally found in 1870 after 17 years of searching in Washington Territory. Mary explained that the original rink burned in the 1890s and the owner told her that when he rebuilt, he found what he thinks were the steps up to the cabin where Phoebe and Holden lived when they first arrived on the river. We then visited the fine Katz bookstore downtown on Front Street. She showed us across the street where the old Judson Opera House used to stand on the northwest corner of 5th and Front streets, just steps away from the woodframe house that Holden and a helper soon built — when the Patterson cabin soon proved to be too small. Holden's general store was on the ground floor of the Judson Opera House. Mary pointed out that "Phoebe and Holden's house was perhaps mid-block and the later J.C. Penney store was next door to that lot, to the south. The person who bought the property [decades later, after Phoebe's death in 1926] made a decision to move the house off the lot to Grover Street [a block behind] at the same time that the J.C. Penney was erected."
      The transportation of his mother is the end of any record we have found for Edward Goodell in the period either before and after his unsuccessful store venture on the Skagit River from 1879-81. All we know is that he returned to Forest Grove, farmed and owned a hardware store. He died there on Aug. 15, 1886. We await feedback from his descendants. Henry Stearns died on Jan. 14, 1892. Mary Weeks Goodell Stearns died Jan. 26, 1909. Meanwhile, in upcoming three chapters we will profile Phoebe's daughter Mary, who married Edward McTaggart, one of the founders of Edison; then Phoebe herself, and finally the 1850 odyssey that Jotham Weeks Goodell and his family took west from Vermilion, Ohio.

      We especially want to thank the historical experts at the Lewis County Historical Society and Museum. We asked Clark McAbee, the director, to submit our draft manuscript to history experts in Lewis County and they provided many suggestions and corrections that helped us insure accuracy. Clark is assisted by Karen Johnson, and volunteer historians Margaret Shields and Margaret Langus operate the research library, where they have volunteered four days a week for more than twenty years. We strongly suggest that you check in there, in the former Northern Pacific Railway depot located in Chehalis, Washington, whenever you visit the area. Their advice and the advice from the Goodell descendants and from Mary Michaelson has made this a collaborative venture and we hope we can correct the record in some places where we have found inaccurate details.

Endnotes from above

George Bush
      Several sources refer to him as George Washington Bush, but the experts at the Lewis County Historical Society informed us that there is no documentary evidence that Washington was his middle name. Perhaps he adopted that middle name after settling in the territory or perhaps an early writer added it. [Return]

Early Whatcom settlers
      For full profiles on Roeder and other Whatcom pioneers in the 1850s, see this Journal website. [Return]

Fraser River gold rush
      You can learn more about the short-lived gold rush in 1858 on the Fraser River of British Columbia at this Journal site, which includes columns written by Bellingham author June Burn. [Return]

Impeachment of President Johnson
      In this Journal feature, you can read about William C. Ewing, the founder of the Skagit News newspaper in Mount Vernon in 1884. His grandfather, Senator Thomas Ewing Sr., was a trusted counsel to President Johnson and Johnson unsuccessfully appointed him to the post of Secretary of War before the impeachment proceedings. Ewing's father, Gen. Thomas Ewing Jr., was the legal counsel for Dr. Samuel Mudd, who was accused of conspiring with John Wilkes Booth to assassinate Abraham Lincoln. Mudd was convicted but Ewing saved him from the death penalty. When Johnson was subsequently impeached, Thomas Ewing Sr. advised Johnson's legal team behind the scenes and Ewing's law partner was lead counsel. [Return]

      Return to the story of the Goodell family trek west. Part one includes: how Edward and Phoebe are related; Jotham's marriage and preaching in Canada; Vermilion, Ohio; the family's trek west via Utah by covered wagon train, 1850-51; arrival in Oregon; family moves to Washington Territory; Phoebe and Holden Judson arrive; William and Anna Maria Goodell arrive; settling in at Grand Mound.

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Story posted on Oct. 18, 2005, last updated Aug. 14, 2006 . . . Please report any broken links so we can update them

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(bullet) Read about how you can order CDs that include our photo features from the first five years of our Subscribers Edition. Perfect for gifts.

You can read the history websites about our prime sponsors
Would you like information about how to join them?

(bullet) Jones and Solveig Atterberry, NorthWest Properties Aiken & Associates: . . . See our website
Please let us show you residential and commercial property in Sedro-Woolley and Skagit County 2204 Riverside Drive, Mount Vernon, Washington . . . 360 708-8935 . . . 360 708-1729
(bullet) Schooner Tavern/Cocktails at 621 Metcalf Street in downtown Sedro-Woolley, across from Hammer Square: web page . . . History of bar and building
(bullet) Oliver Hammer Clothes Shop at 817 Metcalf Street in downtown Sedro-Woolley, 82 years.
(bullet) Joy's Sedro-Woolley Bakery-Cafe at 823 Metcalf Street in downtown Sedro-Woolley, 82 years.
(bullet) Check out Sedro-Woolley First section for links to all stories and reasons to shop here first
or make this your destination on your visit or vacation.
(bullet) Are you looking to buy or sell a historic property, business or residence?
We may be able to assist. Email us for details.
(bullet) Peace and quiet at the Alpine RV Park, just north of Marblemount on Hwy 20
Park your RV or pitch a tent by the Skagit River, just a short drive from Winthrop or Sedro-Woolley

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