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Title: Lyman's History of old Walla Walla County, Vol. 1

Author: William Denison Lyman

Release date: September 8, 2014 [eBook #46807]

Language: English

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Old Walla Walla County


Walla Walla, Columbia, Garfield
and Asotin Counties

By W. D. LYMAN, M. A., Lit. D.



















Old Walla Walla County

(Embracing Walla Walla, Columbia, Garfield and Asotin Counties.)



A land of scenic charm, of physical interest, of fertile soil and ample resources, of climate in which living is a delight, of two great rivers and many impetuous tributaries, of mountain chains with rich and varied hues and contours of stately majesty,—such is the imperial domain included in that portion of the State of Washington lying east of the Columbia River and south of the Snake. While this region has distinctive physical features, it yet has a sufficient family resemblance to the other parts of Eastern Oregon and Eastern Washington to indicate a common origin. We may therefore properly take first a general view of this larger area. The greater part of the vast Inland Empire of Northeastern Oregon and Eastern Washington consists of rolling prairies, sometimes fairly hilly, with extensive "flats" in various parts, and low-lying, level valleys bordering the numerous streams. These valleys are usually quite narrow, the three marked exceptions being the broad valleys of the Walla Walla, Umatilla, and Yakima, the two latter being outside of the scope of our story. The Inland Empire varies in elevation above sea-level from about three hundred and fifty feet on the Columbia River to about nine thousand at the highest summits of the Blue Mountains. The larger part of the cultivated portions ranges from eight hundred to two thousand feet. The variations in elevation have a remarkable effect on temperature and rainfall, the former decreasing and the latter increasing very rapidly from the lower to the higher levels. The atmosphere throughout this region is ordinarily very clear, and the majestic sweep of the Blue Mountains and the wide expanses of hills and dales and flats lie revealed in all their imposing grandeur with vivid distinctness.

As there is a general physical similarity in the different parts of this entire Columbia Basin, so has there been a common geological history. Broadly speaking, the upper Columbia Basin from near Spokane on the north to Wallowa on the south is volcanic in origin. The scope of this work does not permit any detailed discussion of the geology of the region, but it is of interest to refer to the fascinating little book of Prof. Thomas Condon, formerly of the Oregon State University, on the "Two Islands." Professor Condon was the first systematic student of the geology of the Northwest, and during his active career, extending[2] from about 1855 to 1890, he accumulated a large and valuable collection of fossil remains as data from which to infer the stages in the geological history of the Northwest. One of his working hypotheses was that there were two islands as the first lands in what is now the Northwest. These were the Blue Mountain Island and the Siskiyou Mountain Island. Later geologists have not entirely accepted all the details of Professor Condon's hypothesis, though they regard his general reasoning as sound. It is generally believed now that there was a very early uplift, possibly a third island, in what is now the Okanogan, Methow, and Chelan highlands and mountains. At any rate, there is a general concurrence in the opinion that the oldest land in this part of the continent was those very regions where the two or perhaps three islands are supposed to have risen. The Chelan region and thence a vast sweep northeast and then southeast toward Spokane is of granite, andesite, and porphyry, the primeval crust of the earth. Again on the south, the core of the Blue Mountains, especially in the vicinity of Wallowa, is limestone and granite. All these formations are very ancient. On the other hand, the volcanic regions are comparatively recent, and those compose practically all the central parts. This area between those two ancient formations, the part covering the four counties of our present story being in the very heart of it, seems to have undergone almost every possible dynamic influence, fire, frost, and flood. Apparently it was a deep basin between the earlier elevations and was the scene of stupendous volcanic and seismic energy. Then it was covered with water and for ages a great lake extended over much of what is now the Walla Walla Valley and the valleys of its tributaries and the lower courses of the other streams, as the Touchet and Tucanon. When the water had drained off, there succeeded an age of ice and frost, with disintegration by cold and even some glaciation. Probably there were several alternating eras of fire and frost and flood. The Yakima Indians have a fantastic tale of the formation of these lakes and from them the Columbia River, which may have some basis of scientific fact. They say that in the times of the Watetash (animal people, before the Indians) a monstrous beaver, Wishpoosh, inhabited Lake Kachees, now one of the sources of the Yakima. Wishpoosh had the evil habit of chewing up and cutting to pieces all the trees as well as other animals in his reach. Speelyi, the chief God of the Mid-Columbia Indians, endeavored to make way with this destructive monster, but succeeded only in wounding him severely and making him so angry that he laid around him with furious energy and soon burst the rocky barriers of the lake. The water flowing out streamed over the country and formed the Upper Yakima. The deluge was checked by the mountain ramparts of the Kittitas Valley, as we know it, and thus was formed a great lake over all that valley. But the raging beaver finally tore out that barrier also and the flood passed on into the Yakima Valley, making another lake over the whole region where Yakima now is, but it was stayed for a time by the ridge just below the Atahnum of the present. In like manner that barrier was torn out and the accumulation of waters swept on to the vast level region where the Snake and Columbia, with the lesser streams of the Yakima and Walla Walla, unite. Thus, a large part of the region which we shall describe in this history was a lake. But the infuriated Wishpoosh was not yet content, and by successive burstings of barriers the Walla Walla lake was emptied through the Umatilla highlands, then the Cascade Mountains themselves were parted, and the chain of lakes was opened[3] to the ocean, the Columbia River itself being the connecting stream. Wishpoosh having reached the ocean making havoc among the whales and all other objects of creation, when Speelyi at last pierced him to the heart and his monstrous carcass was cast up on Clatsop Beach. There Speelyi cut him into fragments and of him made the various Indian tribes.

Whatever may be the facts in regard to Wishpoosh, it is quite obvious that considerable areas of the lower level parts of the Columbia basin and the tributary valleys are lake beds. While the soil has all the indications of having been washed from the hills and mountains and then settled in the lakes, it is plain also that it was originally the product of fire. For the soil of this region is essentially volcanic. In the parts which have the larger rainfall, the decaying vegetation of ages upon ages has covered the volcanic ash with a deep, rich loam. In other places the action of glaciers grinding and dumping the triturated marls and clays of the mountains has resulted in the deposit of heavy white and blue clays. In yet other parts erosion of the volcanic rocks by wind and rain and frost, together with the wash of the streams at flood stage, has left great beds of gravel. Through successive strata of these varying materials there have burst at intervals new volcanic eruptions. These in turn, worn away by sun and wind and frost and stream, have been blown and washed over the earlier strata and have formed a new blanket of the richest soil. This process of successive stages of volcanic outflow, disintegration, wash deposit, glacial dumping, dust drift, growth and decay of vegetation, has gone on through the ages. The result has been that the greater part of the Inland Empire has a soil of extraordinary depth and fertility. Analysis has shown that it possesses the ingredients for plant food to an unusual degree. It is said to have an almost identical composition with the soil of Sicily. That fair and fertile island was made by the volcanic matter blown out of Mount Etna, covered by decayed vegetation and worked over by frost and sun and rain until it became almost an ideal region for grain production. Two thousand years ago Sicilian wheat-fields fed the hungry multitudes of Rome, and the same fields still produce a generous quota of food products. Soil experts expect a similar history in this country.

In no part of the Columbia basin have the processes of soil creation been more active than in the parts of the Old Walla Walla County of this history. Beginning with the Columbia River on the west we find as soon as we have passed the margin of river sand, which in a few places has encroached upon the customary volcanic covering, that the soil, though dry, is susceptible of the highest cultivation and with water is capable of producing the finest products in the greatest profusion. Almost every mile from the river eastward towards the mountains seems to increase the blanket of loam upon the underlying volcanic dust, until upon the foothills of the Blue Mountains there is a soil hard to match anywhere in the world, a mingling of volcanic dust, loam, and clay, a strong and heavy soil, not difficult to work, and retaining and utilizing moisture with remarkable natural economy. Throughout this region the soil is of extraordinary depth and there seems to be no limit to its productiveness. There is a cut forty feet deep through a hill near Walla Walla, in which the same fertile soil goes down to the very bottom. It is of lighter color when first opened to the light, but with exposure turns darker and after a year or two of cultivation possesses the same friability and productiveness as the top soil. Wells have been bored in the Eureka Flat region[4] where over a hundred feet of soil have been pierced without the drills even touching rock. In such soils the process of sub-soiling can go on almost indefinitely with continuous preservation and renewal of productiveness.

The climate of the region covered in this work has the general character of that of the Inland Empire as a whole. As compared with the portions of Oregon and Washington west of the Cascade Mountains, the climate of our section is drier and has the seasons more distinctly marked, hotter in summer and colder in winter. The average yearly temperature is, however, higher than that of the sea-coast, and much higher than that of the Atlantic states of the same latitude. The average of Walla Walla is about that of Virginia, though in the latitude of Wisconsin and Maine. On account of lower altitude the climate of the greater part of this section, especially the portions on the large rivers, all the way from Asotin to Wallula, is warmer than that of the parts of the state north of Snake River. The weather reports of Walla Walla ordinarily run from four to eight degrees higher than those of Spokane. The spring season opens from two to four weeks earlier than at Spokane or Colfax and the difference is even greater compared with Pullman.

Perhaps no part of the Inland Empire, unless it be the Horse Heaven and Rattlesnake Mountain section of Benton County, is so peculiarly the native home of that most dramatic atmospheric phenomenon, the Chinook wind. Scarcely can anything more interesting be imagined than that warm winter wind. No wonder that the native red man, with his superstitious awe of Nature's tokens of love or wrath, idealized this heavenly visitant, opening the gates of summer in midwinter chill and gloom and wooing the flowers from their dark abodes even while the heavy snows still crown the mountain peaks and pile the timbered flanks of the hills with their frozen burdens. A long wintry period, two or three or four weeks in January or February, may have sent the great blocks of ice down the big rivers, there may be a foot of snow upon the plains and much more in the mountains and the breath of the north may wrap all Nature in chill and gloom, when suddenly some afternoon the frozen fog will lift, a blue-black band will be visible along the southern horizon, the white tops of the mountains will begin to be streaked with dark lines, there seems to thrill through the atmosphere a certain rustle of expectancy, night drops with a rising temperature, during the night the snow begins to slip from the trees and slide off the roofs, and with the morning, rushing and roaring, here comes the blessed Chinook, fragrant with the bloom of the south, turning the snow and ice into singing streams, calling the robins from their winter retreats, and bidding the buttercups push from their heads the crust of winter and open their golden petals to greet the sun. The Klickitat myth is to the effect that there were originally two sets of brothers, one of the Walla Wallas from the north, the other the Chinooks from the south. The fathers of the two lived with their respective sons upon the shore of the Columbia near the present Umatilla. The Walla Walla were the cold wind brothers, coming down the river from the north, freezing the streams and whirling the dust in vast clouds. At one time they challenged the Chinook brothers to a wrestling match and threw them all and killed them. The chilly brothers had it all their own way for a long time after that, and they made the lives of the poor old father and mother of the vanquished Chinooks a burden. No sooner would the old man go out in his canoe to fish than the implacable Walla Walla brothers would blow with their[5] icy breath, crusting the water with ice and compelling the old man to hurry half frozen to the shore. But a deliverer was at hand, for one of the fallen Chinooks had left a son. His mother had taken him to the lower river, and there he had grown up with only the one thought of avenging his father and uncles. When he had become grown and so strong that he could pull up huge fir trees and toss them around like straws, he felt that his time had come. Going up the river he slept one night near the stream now called the Satus, and a curious depression in the hills can be seen there now which the Indians say was his sleeping place. After his night's rest he went on to the home of his grandparents. He found them in a most deplorable state, half-starved and half-frozen. Young Chinook washed the grime and filth from the old folks and from it came all the trout now found in this region. Then transforming himself into a little creature he crawled into the stern of his grandfather's boat and bade the old man put forth for fish. At once the hateful Walla Wallas swept down from the north to blow on the old man, but for some mysterious reason could never reach him. Striving desperately in vain they saw the explanation when suddenly Chinook rose to giant size and challenged them to wrestle. The God Speelyi now appeared to judge the combat. One after another the cold wind brothers were thrown. Chinook, more merciful than they had been, did not kill them. But Speelyi declared that they should henceforth lose their power and could blow only at very rare intervals and that Chinook should be the lord of the land. However, Speelyi decreed that he should blow on the mountain peaks first as a token that he was coming.

The meteorologists tell us that the Chinook wind is not, properly speaking, an ocean wind, though when there is a Chinook in the interior there is a warm wind with rain on the coast. They say that the Chinook is due to dynamic heating or atmospheric friction. When there is a low barometer on the coast and a high over Nevada and Utah, as is very common in winter, the high pressure will descend upon the low and raise the temperature at a regular rate of about seven degrees to a thousand feet of descent. This accounts for the fact that the Chinook strikes the mountains sooner than the valleys. During the prevalence of a Chinook, as shown by the weather reports, the thermometer will usually be higher at Walla Walla than at Portland or Astoria. It has been as high as seventy degrees in January during a big Chinook. As can be imagined, snow will vanish like a dream under a wind of such temperature, or even one at fifty degrees or fifty-five degrees, which is more common.

A few general statistics as to the average records at Walla Walla may be of interest. The average annual temperature as shown by official records during thirty-one years is fifty-three degrees. The average for January is thirty-three degrees; for July and August, seventy-four degrees. The lowest ever recorded was seventeen degrees below zero, and the highest was 113 degrees. The average rainfall is 17.4 inches. The average date of the last killing frost of spring is March 30th, and the first of autumn is November 7th. The average number of clear or mainly clear days is 262, of cloudy is 103. The prevailing wind is always from the south, and the highest velocity ever recorded was sixty-five miles per hour. There is an average of eight thunder showers in a year. The other parts of the four counties included in this history have essentially the same climate as Walla Walla. There is, however, a regular decrease of temperature and an increase[6] of rainfall from the west to east. Recent records of the Weather Observer at Walla Walla, giving a comparison of various stations, show extraordinary differences in rainfall according to elevation and proximity to the mountains. Thus, the average precipitation, including melted snow, for some years past, has been at Kennewick, 6.46 inches; at Lowden, 11.18; at Eureka, 14.35; at Walla Walla, 17.37; at Milton, 19.50; at Dayton, 22.14; and at the "intake," only fourteen miles from Walla Walla, but at an elevation of twenty-five hundred feet (Walla Walla being nine hundred and twenty), and at the entrance to the mountains, it was, in 1916, 47.93. The natural rainfall is sufficient for all the staple grains and fruits in all parts except the areas in the west and north bordering the Columbia and Snake rivers. In those semi-arid tracts irrigation is necessary, and the same means of artificial moisture is practiced for a succession of vegetables and small fruits and alfalfa in considerable parts of the other valley lands. One of the interesting and important features of Walla Walla is the fine system of spouting artesian wells. There are now over thirty of these wells in the Walla Walla Valley, the largest having a flow of twenty-five hundred gallons per minute, sufficient to irrigate a half section of land. Owing to the immense snowfall on the Blue Mountains, ranging from ten to fifty or sixty feet during the season, a large part of the slopes and valleys below seems to be sub-irrigated and also to be underlaid by a great sheet of water. Hence it seems reasonable to expect that artesian water will be found in other places. In general it may be said that the climate of the sections considered in this work is eminently conducive to health, wealth, and comfort. It is a happy medium between the extreme dryness of the Great Plateau and the extreme humidity of Western Washington; as also between the rather muggy and enervating climate of the South and the biting cold of winter and prostrating heat of summer of the belt of northern states east of the Rocky Mountains. If we may judge by a comparison of the native races, as well as by the "bunch-grass" horses and cattle, the "bunch-grass" boys and girls will be on the road to becoming superior specimens of humanity. Thus far there is too much of a mixture of the human stock to make scientific comparisons.

Old Walla Walla County shares with other parts of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia, the distinction of joint ownership of one of the sublimest systems of waterways on the globe. This system consists of the Columbia and its tributaries. The Columbia itself washes the western verge of Walla Walla County for a distance of only about sixteen miles. Yet, in this short distance the great stream sustains its reputation as belonging in the front rank of scenic rivers. Although the region around the junction of the blue, majestic Columbia and the turbid and impetuous Snake is regarded as a desert in its native condition, yet on one of the bright, still days of spring or autumn views of such grandeur looking either up or down can be obtained that no appreciative observer would ever say "desert." The azure and gold and russet and purple that play upon the mountains and islands looking up river, or upon the Wallula Gateway looking down, with the mile-wide majesty of the river in the midst, must be seen to be understood. No words of description can do justice to those scenes.



An inspection of the map will show that Snake River touches a much larger rim than the greater stream. For it borders each one of the four counties, for a total distance of about a hundred and fifty miles. For this entire space Snake River is swift and turbid, having an average fall of about three feet to the mile. Nevertheless, it is navigable the whole distance during six or eight months in the year. The immense volume of these two big rivers is not generally understood by strangers. The Columbia is less than half as long as the Mississippi, yet it is but slightly inferior in volume to the "Father of Waters," and far surpasses any other river in the United States. Its maximum flood stage at Celilo in the flood of 1894, the greatest on record, was estimated at one million six hundred thousand second feet, while the maximum of the Snake, just above its mouth, was about four hundred thousand. We shall have occasion later to speak of the steamer traffic upon these rivers and the improvements, past and prospective, by the Federal Government. Suffice it to say here that as that phase of early history was among the most important, so it is plain that the future will bring on a new era of water-borne traffic, and that with it will come a new era of production. Nearly all the tributaries of the two big rivers flow from the snow banks and the canons of the Blue Mountains. Though conveying in the aggregate during the flood season an immense volume, the tributaries are too swift for navigation. They supply abundant water for irrigation where needed, and each is a superb trout stream. The largest, the Grande Ronde, is in truth an Oregon river, for its main supplies come from the Grande Ronde and Wallowa valleys, but it crosses the corner of Asotin County and enters Snake River within that scenic country. The Grande Ronde is a powerful stream and for varied scenes of wild grandeur and gentle beauty, it is not easily matched. The Wallowa Basin (the "Far Wayleway" of Longfellow's Evangeline) is sometimes called the Switzerland of the Inland Empire. Of the historic interest of that region which thus finds its exit through one of the counties of Old Walla Walla, we shall speak again. The next affluent of the Snake River below the Grande Ronde is Asotin Creek, a small stream and yet one of the busiest and most useful for it is the source of the water supply of that fair and productive region around Clarkston and extending thence to Asotin City. Some distance below Clarkston is the Alpowa, also a historic stream. Yet another stage and about half way between the Grande Ronde and the mouth of Snake River we find one of the most charming in appearance as well as most attractive to the fishermen of all the Blue Mountain streams, the Tucanon. This also is invested with historic interest, as we shall see later. Below the mouth of the Tucanon the previously lofty, almost mountainous, shores of Snake River rapidly drop away and the vast expanse of arid plain stretches away toward the crests of the Blue Mountains. No more tributaries of the Snake River enter, and with another stage that most interesting point in the history of this turbulent and historic river is reached—its mouth, and its individuality is lost in the mighty sweep of the Columbia. A few miles below the junction the most historic and in some respects most beautiful of the small tributaries of the Columbia streams in through the verdant meadow and overhanging willows, the Walla Walla. The events which have made the place of entrance, as well as many other places on the course of this stream famous in the history of the Northwest, will become manifest as our story proceeds.

In the great semicircle of one hundred and fifty miles in which Snake River borders our four counties, there are frequent profound canons through which the snow-crested mountains from which the streams issue can be seen. The observer who has made that long journey and reaches the open prairie at the mouth of the Snake will behold with wonder and delight the distant chain, all in one[8] splendid picture, of which he had before seen broken glimpses through the rifted canon walls or up the sources of the foaming creeks. But whether in broken glimpses or in their grand unity, the Blue Mountains possess a unique charm and individuality. While not so bold and aiguillated as the Cascades, and while there are no peaks standing in lonely sublimity to compel the vision of the traveller, like Mount "Takhoma" or Mount Adams or Mount Hood, the Blue Mountains are not inferior in many of the features of mountain charm to their greater brothers. The marvelous coloring is perhaps the most distinctive of these features. While most mountains are blue, these are blue blue. They are all shades of blue, according to the hour and the month and the season—blue, indigo, ultramarine, violet, purple, amethyst, lapis lazuli, everything that one can think of to denote variations of blueness. "Blue Mountain" is a real name. The French voyageurs of the fur-traders were the first to note the characteristic blue, and according to Ross Cox, began at once to say, "Les Montagnes Bleues." Another characteristic feature of these mountains is the fact that they do not so much constitute a range or chain, like the long, narrow, regular Cascade Range, as a huge mass with prongs radiating from something like a central axis which might be considered the great granite and limestone knot of peaks about Wallowa Lake, of which Eagle Cap is the loftiest, over nine thousand feet in elevation. On account of this ganglionic structure there are many radiating canons from the long ridges and plateaus to the lower levels. The views from the open ridges and rounded summits down these canons constitute a scenic gallery of contours and colorings which may challenge comparison with even the views of the loftier and bolder Cascades.

The value of the Blue Mountains in condensing the moisture of the atmosphere and dropping it upon the plains below in rain and snow can hardly be conceived unless we reflect that without this vast reservoir of salvation to all growing things the Inland Empire would be a desert. Nor could it even be irrigated, for in the absence of the Blue Mountains there would be no available streams for distribution. Wonderful indeed is it to consider how the ardent sun of the Pacific lifts the inconceivable masses of invisible vapor from the ocean and the west wind carries them inland. The coast mountains constitute the first condenser of that vapor, and almost constant rain during half the year with a predominance of clouds and fogs at all times prevails along the ocean margin of Oregon and Washington. The Cascade Range lifts its stupendous domes and sentinel-like cliffs to catch the vapor that still sweeps inland and to feed the greedy rootlets of their interminable forests and to clothe the heights with perpetual snow and ice. But those vast demands fail to exhaust the limitless resources of the sky, and there are yet remaining infinite treasures of moisture floating eastward. And so the next great suppliant for the vital nourishment of all life stands with uplifted, appealing hands, our wide-extended and clustered uplift of the Blues. Nor do they appeal in vain, as the fertile prairies and benches with their millions of bushels of grain and their far-reaching cattle ranges and their orchard valleys and their countless springs can testify.

Whether from the standpoint of the forester or the farmer or the stockman or the gardener or the orchardist or the fisherman or the artist or the poet, the Blue Mountains constitute one of the great vital working facts, the very framework of the life of Old Walla Walla County. We shall discover that they are not[9] simply a picture gallery, but that the history of this region is fairly set within this stately frame.

With these necessarily hurried and fragmentary glances at the physical scene of the story, we shall be prepared to bring the human characters upon the stage.




Any history of any part of America would be incomplete without some view of the aborigines. Such a view is due to them, as well as to the accuracy of statement and the philosophical perspectives of history. Such a view is required also by justice to the natives themselves. The ever westward movement of American settlement has been marked by trails of blood and fire. Warfare has set its red stains upon nearly every region wrested from barbarism to civilization. This has been in many cases due to flagrant wrong, greed, and lust by the civilized man. It has been due also to savage cruelty by the barbarian. Perhaps more than to wrong by either party, it has been due to that great, unexplained and unexplainable tragedy of human history, the inability of either party to comprehend the viewpoint of the other. And yet, most of all, it has been due to that inevitable and remorseless evolution of all life by which one race of plants, animals, and human beings progresses by the extermination of others. Perhaps the philosophical mind, while viewing with pity the sufferings and with reprobation the crimes and irrational treatment forced upon the natives by the civilized race, and while viewing with equal horror the atrocities by which the losers in the inevitable struggle sought to maintain themselves—if to such a philosophical mind comes the question who was to blame for all this seemingly needless woe—must answer that the universe is mainly to blame, and we have not yet reached the point to explain the universe.

We have found in the preceding chapter and shall find in succeeding chapters frequent occasion to refer to events in connection with Indians. Our aim in this chapter is rather to give an outline of locations of different tribes, to sketch briefly some of their traits as illustrated in their myths and customs, and to state the chief published sources of our knowledge in regard to these myths and customs. The history of Indian wars, which also includes other incidental matter about them, will be found in the last chapter of Part One of this volume.

The literature of Indian life is voluminous. Practically all the early explorers from Lewis and Clark down devoted large space to the natives. The pioneer settlers knew them individually and some of them derived much matter of general value which has been preserved in brief newspaper articles or handed down in story and tradition. Out of this vast mass a few writers have formed groups of topics which serve well for those generalizations which a bird's-eye view like this must be content to take. Foremost among the writers dealing with the subject in a large way is Hubert Howe Bancroft. Although his great work on the history of the Pacific Coast has been severely and sometimes justly censured, yet it must be granted that, as a vast compendium of matter dealing with the subject, it is monumental and can be turned to with confidence in the authenticity of its sources and in the general accuracy of its statements of fact, even if not always in the breadth of its opinions or the reliability of its judgments.

Her deerskin robe, decorated with beads, elk teeth and grizzly-bear claws, is worth over one thousand dollars


In Volume One, Chapter Three, of Bancroft's "Native Races," there is generalized grouping of the Columbian native tribes which may well be accepted as a study of ethnology, derived from many observations and records by those early explorers most worthy of credence. These general outlines by the author are supported by numerous citations from those authorities. The Colombians occupied, according to Bancroft, all the vast region west of the Rocky Mountains lying between the Hyperboreans on the north and the Californians on the south. They are divided into certain families and these families into nations, and the nations into tribes. There is naturally much inter-tribal mingling, and yet the national and even tribal peculiarities are preserved with remarkable distinctness. Beginning on the northern coast region around Queen Charlotte Island are the Haidahs. South of them on the coast comes the family of the Nootkas, centered on Vancouver Island. Then comes the family of the Sound Indians, and still farther south that of the Chinooks. Turning to the east side of the Cascades, which more especially interests us, we find on the north the Shushwap family, embracing all the inland tribes of British Columbia south of lat. 52°, 30´. This group includes the Okanogans, Kootenais, and others of the border between British Columbia and Northeastern Washington and Northern Idaho and Northwestern Montana. Then comes the Salish family, in which we find the Spokanes, Flatheads, Pend Oreilles, Kalispels, and others as far south as the Palouse region. There we begin with the family of Sahaptins, the one which particularly concerns us in Old Walla Walla County. Numerous citations in Bancroft's volume indicate that the early explorers and ethnologists did not altogether agree on the subdivisions of this family. It would seem that the groups have been somewhat arbitrarily made, yet there was evidently considerable effort to employ scientific methods by study of affiliations in language, customs, treaty relations, range, and other peculiarities. In general terms it may be said that the different writers pretty nearly agree in finding some six or eight nations, each divided into several tribes. These are the Nez Perces or Chopunnish, the Yakimas, the Palouses, the Walla Wallas, the Cayuses, the Umatillas, the Wascos, and the Klickitats. The tribes are variously grouped. The modern spelling appears in the above list, but there is a bewildering variety in the early books. This is especially true of Palouse and Walla Walla. The former appears under the following forms: Palouse, Paloose, Palus, Peloose, Pelouse, Pavilion, Pavion and Peluse. The word means "Gooseberry," according to Thomas Beall of Lewiston. Our familiar Walla Walla, meaning, according to "Old Bones," the Cayuse chief, the place where the four creeks meet, the Walla Walla, Touchet, Mill Creek, and Dry Creek, appears as Oualla-Oualla (French), Walla Wallapum, Wollow Wollah, Wollaolla, Wolla-walla, Wallawaltz, Walla Walle, Wallah Wallah, Wallahwallah, Wala-Wala, and Wollahwollah. For Umatilla we find Umatallow, Utalla, Utilla, and Emmatilly. Cayuse has as variants, Cailloux, Kayuse, Kayouse, Skyuse, Cajouse, Caagua, Kyoose, and Kyoots. Doctor Whitman's station, now known as Waiilatpu, appears in sundry forms, as Wyeilat, Willetpu, Wailatpui, and Wieletpoo. Some odd names are found in Hunt, "Nouvelles Annales des Voyages," where it is stated that the Sciatogas and Toustchipas live on Canoe River (apparently the Tucanon) and the Euotalla (perhaps the Touchet), and the Akaitchis "sur le[12] Big-River," i. e., the Columbia. The tribe at the junction of the Columbia and Snake was the Sokulks, apparently a branch of the Walla Wallas. It would seem that the Cayuses occupied mainly the middle Walla Walla region including Mill Creek, the Umatilla, the upper Walla Walla, and across the high lands to the Umatilla River, while the Walla Wallas were from the vicinity of the junction of Dry Creek, the Touchet, and the Walla Walla River to its mouth. It appears that the most of the region now composing Columbia, Garfield, and Asotin counties was occupied by Nez Perces. All the tribes were more or less on the move all the time, to mountains, plains, and rivers, according to the season and variations in the food supply. The Sahaptin family seem to have been in general of the best grade of Indians. Lewis and Clark found the Nez Perces a noble, dignified and honest race, though they say that they were close and reserved in bargaining. Generally speaking, the inland Indians were far superior in physique and in mental capacity to those of the Sound or the lower Columbia. Townsend in his "Narrative" goes so far as to say that the Nez Perces and Cayuses were almost universally fine-looking, robust men. He compares one of the latter with the Apollo Belvedere. Gairdner says that the Walla Wallas were generally powerful men, at least six feet high, and the Cayuses were still stouter and more athletic. Others remarked that very handsome young girls were often seen among the Walla Wallas. With them doubtless, as with other Indians, the drudgery of their lives and their early child-bearing made them prematurely old and they soon lost their beauty.

There seems to have been much variation among these natives as to personal habits and morality. The Nez Perces and Cayuses are almost always described as clean, both of body and character. Palmer in his "Journal," says that the Nez Perces were better clad than any others, the Cayuses well clothed, Walla Wallas naked and half-starved. The last statement seems not to correspond with the observations of Lewis and Clark. Wilkes says that "at the Dalles women go nearly naked, for they wear little else than what may be termed a breech-cloth, of buckskin, which is black and filthy with dirt." About the same seems to have been true of the Sokulks. But among the Tushepaws and Nez Perces and Cayuses the men and women often wore long robes of buffalo or elk-skin decorated with beads and sea-shells. Farnham speaks of the Cayuses as the "Imperial tribe of Oregon, claiming jurisdiction over the whole Columbia region."

The chief wealth of the tribes of Old Walla Walla County was in horses. Doctor Tolmie expressed the supposition that horses had come from the southward at no very long time prior to white discovery. It is well known that a prehistoric horse, the hipparion, not larger than a deer, existed in Oregon. Remains of that creature have been found in the John Day Basin. But there is no evidence that there was a native horse among the Indians of Oregon. Their "Cayuse horses," to all indications, came from the horses of California, and they, in turn were the offspring of the horses brought to Mexico and Southern California by the Spanish conquerors. At the time of the advent of the whites, horses existed in immense numbers all through the Columbia Valley. It was not uncommon for a Walla Walla, Umatilla, Cayuse, or Nez Percé chief to have bands of hundreds, even thousands. Canoes were a highly esteemed possession of the Indians on the navigable rivers, and they had acquired marvelous skill in handling them. The[13] lower Columbia Indians spent so much time curled up in canoes that they were distorted and inferior in physique to the "bunch-grass Indians."

Like all barbarian people the Indians of the Columbia Valley were next door to starvation a good part of the time. They gorged themselves when food was plentiful, and thus were in distress when the bounty of Nature failed, for there was no accumulated store as under civilized conditions. Their food consisted of deer, elk, and other game, in which the whole Blue Mountain country with the adjoining plains abounded, and of salmon and sturgeon which they obtained in the Columbia and Snake rivers by spearing and by ingenious weirs. They also obtained an abundance of vegetable food from the camas and couse which were common, and in fact still are in this region. Rather curiously, considering the fertility of this Walla Walla County, there are very few wild berries, nuts, or fruits. The huckleberry is practically the only berry in large quantities and wild cherries the only kind of wild fruit.

Such were the physical conditions, hastily sketched, of the natives of Old Walla Walla County. Their mental and moral characteristics may be derived in a degree from the events narrated in the pages which follow. In their best estate they were faithful, patient, hospitable, and generous. In their worst estate, in which the whites more usually found them, they seemed vindictive, suspicious, cruel, and remorseless. Too many cases of the former type occurred to justify any sweeping condemnation. One of the finest examples of Indian character in its better light is shown by an event in this region narrated by Ross Cox in his "Adventures on the Columbia River." The party of trappers of the Northwestern Fur Company, of which Cox was one, was on its way from Astoria to "Oakinagan," as he calls it—a company of sixty-four in eight canoes. When at a point in the Columbia about equidistant between the mouth of the "Wallah Wallah" and that of the Lewis (Snake), a number of canoes filled with natives bore down upon their squadron, apparently without hostile design. But within a few minutes the Indians evinced the purpose of seizing the canoes of the whites and plundering them by violence. It was soon give and take, and arrows began to fly. Pretty soon one of the company, McDonald, seeing an Indian just at the point of letting fly an arrow at him, fired and killed the Indian. A struggle ensued, but the whites broke loose and defended themselves sufficiently to reach an island, which must have been the one nearly opposite the present Two Rivers. It was a gloomy prospect. Cox says that they had pretty nearly given up hope of escaping, and had written farewell notes which they hoped might reach their friends. It was a dark, gloomy night in November, with a drizzling rain. During the night the party saw signal fires on the shore to the northwest, followed by others to east and west. Soon after a large band of ravens passed over, the fluttering of whose wings they could hear. This had a most depressing effect on the superstitious Canadians, and one of them declared that the appearance of ravens at night was an infallible sign of approaching death. Mr. Keith, one of the Scotchmen, seeing the gloomy state of their minds and wishing to forestall the effect, instantly joined the conversation, declaring that while there was such a general fear of a night flight of ravens, yet it never worked disaster unless the flight was accompanied by croaking. But when ravens passed over without croaking, they were a harbinger of good news. Much relieved, the Canadians regained their nerve and shouted out, "you are right, you are right! Courage![14] There is no danger!" The beleaguered band on their dismal retreat waited for the dawn, making all preparations for resistance to the death. Early in the morning the party crossed to the north bank of the river, and there waited developments. A large force of Indians soon appeared, well armed, and yet ready for a parley. The whites sent forward their interpreter, Michel, to indicate their willingness to parley. A group of thirty or forty of the relatives of the dead Indians advanced chanting a death song, which, as they afterwards learned, was about as follows: "Rest, brothers, rest! You will be avenged. The tears of your widows shall cease to flow, when they behold the blood of your murderers; and your young children shall leap and sing with joy, on seeing their scalps. Rest, brothers, in peace; we shall have blood."

The events which followed this lugubrious song cannot be better told than by following the vivid narrative of Cox:

"They took up their position in the center; and the whole party then formed themselves into an extended crescent. Among them were natives of the Chimnapum, Yackaman, Sokulk, and Wallah Wallah tribes. Their language is nearly the same; but they are under separate chiefs, and in time of war always unite against the Shoshone or Snake Indians, a powerful nation, who inhabit the plains to the southward.

"From Chili to Athabasca, and from Nootka to the Labrador, there is an indescribable coldness about an American savage that checks familiarity. He is a stranger to our hopes, our fears, our joys, or our sorrows; his eyes are seldom moistened by a tear, or his features relaxed by a smile; and whether he basks beneath a vertical sun on the burning plains of the Amazonia, or freezes in eternal winter on the ice-bound shores of the Arctic Ocean, the same piercing black eyes, and stern immobility of countenance, equally set at naught the skill of the physiognomist.

"On the present occasion, their painted skin, cut hair, and naked bodies, imparted to their appearance a degree of ferocity from which we boded no good result. They remained stationary for some time and preserved a profound silence.

"Messrs. Keith, Stewart, LaRocque, and the interpreter, at length advanced about midway between both parties unarmed, and demanded to speak with them; upon which two chiefs, accompanied by six of the mourners, proceeded to join them. Mr. Keith offered them the calumet of peace, which they refused to accept, in a manner at once cold and repulsive.

"Michel was thereupon ordered to tell them that, as we had always been on good terms with them, we regretted much that the late unfortunate circumstance had occurred to disturb our friendly intercourse; but that as we were anxious to restore harmony, and to forget what had passed, we were now willing to compensate the relations of the deceased for the loss they had sustained.

"They inquired what kind of compensation was intended; and on being informed that it consisted of two suits of chief's clothes, with blankets, tobacco, and ornaments for the women, etc., it was indignantly refused; and their spokesman stated that no discussion could be entered into until two white men (one of whom should be the big red-headed chief) were delivered to them to be sacrificed, according to their law, to the spirits of the departed warriors.

"Every eye turned on McDonald, who on hearing the demand, 'grinned horribly[15] a ghastly smile'; and who, but for our interposition, would on the spot have chastised the insolence of the speaker. The men were horrified, and 'fear and trembling' became visible in their countenances, until Mr. Keith, who had observed these symptoms of terror, promptly restored their confidence, by telling them that such an ignominious demand should never be complied with.

"He then addressed the Indians in a calm, firm voice, and told them that no consideration whatever should induce him to deliver a white man to their vengeance; that they had been the original aggressors, and in their unjustifiable attempt to seize by force our property, the deceased had lost their lives; that he was willing to believe the attack was unpremeditated, and under that impression he had made the offer of compensation. He assured them that he preferred their friendship to their enmity; but that, if unfortunately they were not actuated by the same feelings, the white men would not, however deeply they might lament it, shrink from the contest. At the same time he reminded them of our superiority in arms and ammunition; and that for every man belonging to our party who might fall, ten of their friends at least would suffer; and concluded by requesting them calmly to weigh and consider all these matters, and to bear in recollection that upon the result of their deliberation would in a great measure depend whether white men would remain in their country or quit it forever.

"The interpreter having repeated the above, a violent debate took place among the principal natives. One party advised the demand for the two white men to be withdrawn, and to ask in their place a greater quantity of goods and ammunition; while the other, which was by far the most numerous, and to which all the relatives of the deceased belonged, opposed all compromise, unaccompanied by the delivery of the victims.

"The arguments and threats of the latter gradually thinned the ranks of the more moderate; and Michel told Mr. Keith that he was afraid an accommodation was impossible. Orders were thereupon issued to prepare for action, and the men were told, when they received from Mr. Keith the signal, to be certain that each shot should tell.

"In the meantime a number of the natives had withdrawn some distance from the scene of deliberation, and from their fierce and threatening looks, joined to occasional whispers, we momentarily expected they would commence an attack.

"A few of their speakers still lingered, anxious for peace; but their feeble efforts were unavailing when opposed to the more powerful influence of the hostile party, who repeatedly called on them to retire, and allow the white men to proceed on their journey as well as they could. All but two chiefs and an elderly man, who had taken an active part in the debate, obeyed the call, and they remained for some time apparently undecided what course to adopt.

"From this group our eyes glanced to an extended line of the enemy who were forming behind them; and from their motions it became evident that their intention was to outflank us. We therefore changed our position, and formed our men into single files, each man about three feet from his comrade. The friendly natives began to fall back slowly towards their companions, most of whom had already concealed themselves behind large stones, tufts of wormwood, and furze bushes, from which they could have taken a more deadly aim; and Messrs. Keith and Stewart, who had now abandoned all hopes of an amicable termination, called for their arms.


"An awful pause ensued, when our attention was arrested by the loud tramping of horses, and immediately after twelve mounted warriors dashed into the space between the two parties, where they halted and dismounted. They were headed by a young chief, of fine figure, who instantly ran up to Mr. Keith, to whom he presented his hand in the most friendly manner, which example was followed by his companions. He then commanded our enemies to quit their places of concealment, and to appear before him. His orders were promptly obeyed; and having made himself acquainted with the circumstances that led to the deaths of the two Indians, and our efforts towards effecting a reconciliation, he addressed them in a speech of considerable length, of which the following is a brief sketch:

"'Friends and relations! Three snows only have passed over our heads since we were a poor miserable people. Our enemies, the Shoshones, during the summer stole our horses, by which we were prevented from hunting, and drove us from the banks of the river, so that we could not get fish. In winter they burned our lodges by night; they killed our relations; they treated our wives and daughters like dogs, and left us either to die from cold or starvation, or become their slaves.'

"'They were numerous and powerful; we were few, and weak. Our hearts were as the hearts of little children; we could not fight like warriors, and were driven like deer about the plains. When the thunders rolled and the rains poured, we had no spot in which we could seek a shelter; no place, save the rocks, whereon we could lay our heads. Is such the case today? No, my relations! it is not. We have driven the Shoshones from our hunting-grounds, on which they dare not now appear, and have regained possession of the lands of our fathers, in which they and their fathers' fathers lie buried. We have horses and provisions in abundance, and can sleep unmolested with our wives and our children, without dreading the midnight attacks of our enemies. Our hearts are great within us, and we are now a nation!'

"'Who then, my friends, have produced this change? The white men. In exchange for our horses and for our furs, they gave us guns and ammunition; then we became strong; we killed many of our enemies, and forced them to fly from our lands. And are we to treat those who have been the cause of this happy change with ingratitude? Never! Never! The white people have never robbed us; and, I ask, why should we attempt to rob them? It was bad, very bad!—and they were right in killing the robbers.' Here symptoms of impatience and dissatisfaction became manifest among a group consisting chiefly of the relations of the deceased; on observing which, he continued in a louder tone: 'Yes! I say they acted right in killing the robbers; and who among you will dare to contradict me?'

Hotel Dacres

Grand Hotel



"'You all know well my father was killed by the enemy, when you all deserted him like cowards; and, while the Great Master of Life spares me, no hostile foot shall again be set on our lands. I know you all; and I know that those who are afraid of their bodies in battle are thieves when they are out of it: but the warrior of the strong arm and the great heart will never rob a friend.' After a short pause, he resumed: 'My friends, the white men are brave and belong to a great nation. They are many moons crossing the great lake in coming from their own country to serve us. If you were foolish enough to attack them, they would kill a great many of you; but suppose you should succeed in destroying all that are now present, what would be the consequence? A greater number would come next year to revenge the death of their relations, and they would annihilate our tribe; or should not that happen, their friends at home, on hearing of their deaths, would say we were a bad and wicked people, and white men would never more come among us. We should then be reduced to our former state of misery and persecution; our ammunition would be quickly expended; our guns would become useless, and we should again be driven from our lands, and the lands of our fathers, to wander like deer and wolves in the midst of the woods and plains. I therefore say the white men must not be injured! They have offered you compensation for the loss of your friends: take it; but, if you should refuse, I tell you to your faces that I will join them with my own band of warriors; and should one white man fall by the arrow of an Indian, that Indian, if he were my brother, with all his family, shall become victims to my vengeance.' Then, raising his voice, he called out, 'Let the Wallah Wallahs, and all who love me, and are fond of the white men, come forth and smoke the pipe of peace!' Upwards of one hundred of our late adversaries obeyed the call, and separated themselves from their allies. The harangue of the youthful chieftain silenced all opposition. The above is but a faint outline of the arguments he made use of, for he spoke upwards of two hours; and Michel confessed himself unable to translate a great portion of his language, particularly when he soared into the wild flights of metaphor, so common among Indians. His delivery was generally bold, graceful, and energetic. Our admiration at the time knew no bounds; and the orators of Greece or Rome when compared with him, dwindled in our estimation into insignificance.

"Through this chief's mediation, the various claimants were in a short time fully satisfied, without the flaming scalp of our Highland hero; after which a circle was formed by our people and the Indians indiscriminately: the white and red chiefs occupied the center, and our return to friendship was ratified by each individual in rotation taking an amicable whiff from the peace-cementing calumet.

"The chieftain whose timely arrival had rescued us from impending destruction was called 'Morning Star.' His age did not exceed twenty-five years. His father had been a chief of great bravery and influence, and had been killed in battle by the Shoshones a few years before. He was succeeded by Morning Star, who, notwithstanding his youth, had performed prodigies of valor. Nineteen scalps decorated the neck of his war horse, the owners of which had been all killed in battle by himself to appease the spirit of his deceased father. He wished to increase the number of his victims to twenty; but the terror inspired by his name, joined to the superiority which his tribe derived by the use of firearms, prevented him from making up the desired complement by banishing the enemy from the banks of the Columbia.[1]

[1] The Indians consider the attainment of twenty scalps as the summit of a warrior's glory.

"His handsome features, eagle glance, noble bearing, and majestic person, stamped him one of Nature's own aristocracy; while his bravery in the field, joined to his wisdom in their councils, commanded alike the involuntary homage of the young, and the respect of the old.

"We gave the man who had been wounded in the shoulder a chief's coat; and[18] to the relations of the men who were killed we gave two coats, two blankets, two fathoms of cloth, two spears, forty bullets and powder, with a quantity of trinkets, and two small kettles for their widows. We also distributed nearly half a bale of tobacco among all present, and our youthful deliverer was presented by Mr. Keith with a handsome fowling-piece, and some other valuable articles.

"Four men were then ordered to each canoe, and they proceeded on with the poles; while the remainder, with the passengers, followed by land. We were mixed pell-mell with the natives for several miles: the ground was covered with large stones, small willows, and prickly-pears; and had they been inclined to break the solemn compact into which they had entered, they could have destroyed us with the utmost facility.

"At dusk we bade farewell to the friendly chieftain and his companions, and crossed to the south side, where we encamped, a few miles above Lewis River, and spent the night in tranquillity.

"It may be imagined by some that the part we acted in the foregoing transaction betrayed too great an anxiety for self-preservation; but when it is recollected that we were several hundred miles from any assistance, with a deep and rapid river to ascend by the tedious and laborious process of poling, and that the desultory Cossack mode of fighting in use among the Indians, particularly the horsemen, would have cut us off in piecemeal ere we had advanced three days, it will be seen that, under the circumstances, we could not have acted otherwise."

And now we most turn to another phase of Indian life and character which is most worthy of record, and one in which more than anywhere else they show some of those "touches of nature which make the whole world kin." This is that phase exhibited in myths and superstitions. Here we shall find, as almost nowhere else, that Indians are, after all, very much like other people. In this portion of this chapter the author is incorporating portions of articles written by himself for the American Antiquarian.

Like all primitive men, the Oregon Indians have an extensive mythology. With childlike interest in the stars and moon and sun and fire and water and forests, as well as plants and animal life and their own natures, they have sought out and passed on a wealth of legend and fancy which in its best features is worthy of a place with the exquisite creations of Norse and Hellenic fancy, even with much of the crude and grotesque. Yet it is not easy to secure these legends just as the Indians tell them. In the first place few of the early explorers knew how or cared to draw out the ideas of the first uncontaminated Indians. The early settlers generally had a stupid intolerance in dealing with Indians that made them shut right up like clams and withhold their stock of ideas. Later the missionaries generally inclined to give them the impression that their "heathen" legends and ideas were obstacles to their "salvation," and should be extirpated from their minds. Still further the few that did really get upon a sympathetic footing with them and draw out some of their myths, were likely to get them in fragments and piece them out with Bible stories or other civilized conceptions, and thus the native stories have become adulterated. It is difficult to get the Indians to talk freely, even with those whom they like and trust. Educated Indians seem to be ashamed of their native lore, and will generally avoid talking about it with whites at all, unless under exceptional conditions. Christianized[19] Indians seem to consider the repetition of their old myths a relapse into heathenism, and hence will parry efforts to draw them out. In general, even when civilized, Indians are proud, reserved, suspicious, and on their guard. And with the primal Indians few can make much headway. The investigator must start in indirectly, not manifesting any eagerness, and simply suggest as if by accident some peculiar appearance or incident in sky or trees or water, and let the Indian move on in his own way to empty his own mind, never suspecting any effort by his listener to gather up and tell again his story. And even under the most favoring conditions, one may think he is getting along famously, when suddenly the Indian will pause, glance furtively at the listener, give a moody chuckle, relapse into stony and apathetic silence—that is the end of the tale.

Our stories have been derived mainly from the reports of those who have lived much among the Indians, and who have been able to embrace the rare occasions when, without self-consciousness or even much thought of outsiders, the natives could speak out freely. There is usually no very close way of judging of the accuracy of observation or correctness of report of these investigators, except as their statements are corroborated by others. These stories sometimes conflict, different tribes having quite different versions of certain stories. Then again the Indians have a peculiar habit of "continued stories," by which at the teepee fire one will take up some well known tale and add to it and so make a new story of it, or at least a new conclusion. As with the minstrels and minnesingers of feudal Europe at the tournaments, the best fellow is the one who tells the most thrilling tale.

One confusing condition that often arises with Indian names and stories is that some Indians use a word generically and others use the same word specifically. For instance the native name for Mount Adams, commonly given as "Pahtou," and Mount Rainier or Tacoma, better spelled "Takhoma," as sounded by the Indians, really means any high mountain. A Wasco Indian once told the author that his tribe called Mount Hood, "Pahtou," meaning the big mountain, but that the Indians on the other side of the Columbia River applied the same name to Adams. A very intelligent Puyallup Indian says that the name of the "Great White Mountain" was "Takhoma," with accent and prolonged sound on the second syllable, but that any snow peak was the same, with the second syllable not so prolonged according to height or distance of the peak. Mount St. Helens was also "Takhoma," but with the "ho" not so prolonged. But among some other Indians we find Mount St. Helens known as "Lawailaclough," and with some Mount Hood is known as "Yetsl." Still other names are "Loowit" for St. Helens and "Wiyeast" for Hood. Adams seems to be known to some as "Klickitat." "Koolshan" for Baker, meaning the "Great White Watcher," is one of the most attractive of Indian names and should be preserved. There is "Shuksan" or "The place of the Storm Wind," the only one of the northwestern peaks which has preserved its Indian name. In reference to "Takhoma," a Puyallup woman told the writer that among her people the name meant the "Breast that Feeds," or "The Breast of the Milk White Waters," referring to the glaciers or the white streams that issue from them. On the other hand, Winthrop in "Canoe and Saddle," states that the Indians applied the name "Takhoma" to any high snow peak. Mr. Edwin Eells of Tacoma has written that he derived from Rev. Father Hylebos of the same city the statement that the name[20] "Takhoma" was compounded of "Tah" and "Koma," and that among certain Indians the word "Koma" meant any snow peak, while "Tah" is a superlative. Hence, "Tahkoma" means simply the great peak.

We find something of the same inconsistencies in regard to the Indian names of rivers. Our maps abound with supposed Indian names of rivers and yet an educated Nez Percé Indian named Luke, living at Kamiah, Idaho, says that the Indians, at least of that region, had no names of rivers, but only of localities. He told the author that "Kooskooskie," which Lewis and Clark understood to be the name of what we now call the Clearwater, was in reality a repetition of "Koos," their word for water, and they meant merely to say that it was a strong water. On the other hand we find many students of Indian languages who have understood that there were names for the large rivers, even for the Columbia. In the beautiful little book by B. H. Barrows, published and distributed by the Union Pacific Railroad Company, we find the name "Shocatilicum" or "Friendly Water" given as the Chinook name for the Columbia. It is interesting to notice that this same word for "friendly water" appears in Vol. II, of the Lewis and Clark Journal, but with different spelling, in one place being "Shocatilcum" and in another place "Chockalilum." Reverend Father Blanchet is authority for the statement in "Historical Magazine," II, 335, that the Chinook Indians used the name "Yakaitl Wimakl" for the Lower Columbia. A Yakima Indian called William Charley gives "Chewanna" as still another Indian name for the Columbia.

We have many supposed Indian names for God, as "Nekahni," or "Sahale," but Miss Kate McBeth, long a missionary among the Nez Perces, records in her book about them that those Indians had no native name for the deity. Of these Indian myths many deal with the chief God, as "Nekahni," "Sahale," "Dokidatl," "Snoqualm," or "Skomalt," while others have to do with the lesser grade of the supernatural beings, as the Coyote god, variously named "Tallapus," "Speelyi," or "Sinchaleep." Others may treat of "Skallalatoots" (Fairies), "Toomuck," (Devils), or the various forms of "Tomanowas" (magic). A large number of these myths describe the supposed origin of strange features of the natural world, rocks, lakes, whirlpools, winds and waterfalls. Some describe the "animal people," "Watetash," as the Klickitats call them. Some of the best are fire-myths. These myths seem to have been common among all Indians of the Columbia Valley.

In the preceding chapter we have given two of the best Indian myths, that of Wishpoosh and that of the Chinook Wind. We insert here two stories of a very different nature, derived from the same investigator as the two preceding, Dr. G. B. Kuykendall of Pomeroy, Washington.

There is a legend among the Yakima Indians which seems to have the same root in human nature as the beautiful Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, showing the instinctive desire of people on earth to bring back the spirits of the dead, and the impossibility of doing so. This myth sets forth how Speelyi and Whyama the eagle became at one time so grieved at the loss of their loved ones that they determined to go to the land of the spirits and bring them back. The two adventurers journeyed for a long distance over an unbroken plain, and came at last to a great lake, on the farther side of which they saw many houses. They called long and vainly for someone to come with a boat and ferry them over. But there was no sign of life and at last Whyama said that there could be no one[21] there. Speelyi insisted, however, that the people were simply sleeping the sleep of the day and would come forth at night. Accordingly, when the sun went down and darkness began to come on, Speelyi started to sing. In a few minutes they saw four spirit men come to the bank, enter a boat and cross the lake to meet them. It seemed not necessary for them to row the boat, for apparently it skimmed over the water of its own accord. The spirit men, having landed, took Whyama and Speelyi with them in the boat and began their return to the island of the dead. The island seemed to be a very sacred place. There was a house of mats upon the shore, where music and dancing were in progress. Speelyi and Whyama begged leave to enter, and feeling hungry, they asked for food. The spirit land was so much less gross than the earth that they were satisfied by what was dipped with a feather out of a bottle. The spirit people now came to meet them dressed in most beautiful costumes, and so filled with joy that Speelyi and Whyama felt a great desire to share their happiness. By the time of the morning light, however, the festivities ceased and all the spirit people became wrapped in slumber for the day. Speelyi, observing that the moon was hung up inside the great banquet hall and seemed to be essential to the ongoings of the evening, stationed himself in such a place that he could seize it during the next night's meeting. As soon as night came on the spirits gathered again for the music and dance. While their festivities were in progress as usual, Speelyi suddenly swallowed the moon, leaving the entire place in darkness. Then he and Whyama brought in a box, which they had previously provided, and Whyama, flying swiftly about the room caught a number of the spirits and enclosed them in the box. Then the two proceeded to start for the earth, Speelyi carrying the box upon his back.

As the two adventurers went upon their long journey toward the earth with the precious box, the spirits, which at first were entirely imponderable, began to be transformed into men and to have weight. Soon they began to cry out on account of their crowded and uncomfortable position. Then they became so heavy that Speelyi could no longer carry them. In spite of the remonstrances of Whyama, he opened the box. They were astonished and overwhelmed with grief to see the partially transformed spirits flit away like autumn leaves and disappear in the direction from which they had come. Whyama thought that perhaps even as the buds grow in the spring, so the dead would come back with the blooming of the next flowers. But Speelyi deemed it best after this that the dead should remain in the land of the dead. Had it not been for this, as the Indians think, the dead would indeed return every spring with the opening of the leaves.

The Klickitat Indians, living along the Dalles of the Columbia, have another legend of the land of spirits. There was a young chief and a girl who were devoted to each other and seemed to be the happiest people in the tribe, but suddenly he sickened and died. The girl mourned for him almost to the point of death, and he, having reached the land of spirits, could find no happiness there on account of thinking of her.

And so it came to pass that a vision began to appear to the girl by night, telling her that she must herself go into the land of the spirits in order to console her lover. Now there is near that place one of the most weird and funereal of all the various "memaloose" islands, or death islands, of the Columbia. The[22] writer himself has been upon this island and its spectral and volcanic desolation makes it a fitting location for ghostly tales. It lies just below the "great chute," and even yet has many skeletons upon it. In accordance with the directions of the vision, the girl's father made ready a canoe, placed her in it, and rowed out into the great river by night to the memaloose island. As the father and his child rowed across the dark and forbidding waters, they began to hear the sound of singing and dancing and great joy. Upon the shore of the island they were met by four spirit people, who took the girl but bade the father return, as it was not for him to see into the spirit country. Accordingly the girl was conducted to the great dance house of the spirits, and there she met her lover, far stronger and more beautiful than when upon earth. That night they spent in unspeakable bliss, but when the light began to break in the east and the song of the robins began to be heard from the willows on the shore, the singers and the dancers began to fall asleep.

The girl, too, had gone to sleep, but not soundly like the spirits. When the sun had reached the meridian, she woke, and now, to her horror, she saw that instead of being in the midst of beautiful spirits, she was surrounded by hideous skeletons and loathsome, decaying bodies. Around her waist were the bony arms and skeleton fingers of her lover, and his grinning teeth and gaping eye-sockets seemed to be turned in mockery upon her. Screaming with horror she leaped up and ran to the edge of the island, where, after hunting a long time, she found a boat, in which she paddled across to the Indian village. Having presented herself to her astonished parents, they became fearful that some great calamity would visit the tribe on account of her return, and accordingly her father took her the next night back to the memaloose island as before. There she met again the happy spirits of the blessed and there again her lover and she spent another night in ecstatic bliss.

In the course of time a child was born to the girl, beautiful beyond description, being half spirit and half human. The spirit bridegroom, being anxious that his mother should see the child, sent a spirit messenger to the village, desiring his mother to come by night to the memaloose island to visit them. She was told, however, that she must not look at the child until ten days had passed. But after the old woman had reached the island her desire to see the wonderful child was so intense that she took advantage of a moment's inattention on the part of the guard, and, lifting the cloth from the baby board, she stole a look at the sleeping infant. And then, dreadful to relate, the baby died in consequence of this premature human look. Grieved and displeased by this foolish act, the spirit people decreed that the dead should never again return nor hold any communication with the living.

As showing still another phase of Indian imagination, the stories of the "Tomanowas Bridge" of the Cascades may well find a place here.

This myth not only treats of fire, but it also endeavors to account for the peculiar formation of the river and for the great snow peaks in the near vicinity. This myth has various forms, and in order that it may be the better understood, we shall say a word with respect to the peculiar physical features in that part of the Columbia. This mighty river, after having traversed over a thousand miles from its source in the heart of the Rocky Mountains of Canada, has cleft the Cascade range asunder with the cañon 3,000 feet in depth. While generally[23] very swift, that portion of the river between The Dalles and the Cascades, of about fifty miles, is very deep and sluggish. There are moreover sunken forests on both sides of the river, visible at low water, which seem plainly to indicate that at that point the river was dammed up by some great rock slide or volcanic convulsion. Some of the Indians affirm that their grandfathers have told them there was a time when the river at that point passed under an immense natural bridge and that there were no obstructions to the passage of boats under the bridge. At the present time there is a cascade of forty feet at that point. This is now overcome by Government locks. Among other evidences of some such actual occurrence as the Indians relate is the fact that the banks of the river at that point are gradually sliding into the river. The prodigious volume of the Columbia which here rises from fifty to seventy-five feet during the summer flood and which, as shown by Government engineers, carries as much water as the Mississippi at New Orleans, is here continually eating into the banks. The railroad has slid several inches a year at this point toward the river and requires frequent readjustment. It is obvious at a slight inspection that this weird and sublime point in the course of this majestic river has been the scene of terrific volcanic and probably seismic action. One Indian legend, probably the best known of all their stories, is to the effect that the downfall of the great bridge and consequent damming of the river was due to a great battle between Mount Hood and Mount Adams, in which Mount Hood hurled a great rock at his antagonist, but falling short of the mark the rock demolished the bridge instead. This event has been made use of by Frederick Balch in his beautiful story, "The Bridge of the Gods," the finest story yet produced in Oregon.

But the finer, though less known legend, which unites both the physical conformation of the Cascades and the three great snow mountains of Hood, Adams, and St. Helens, with the origin of fire, is to this effect. This story was secured by Mr. Fred Saylor of Portland.

According to the Klickitats there was once a father and two sons who came from the east down the Columbia to the vicinity of where Dalles City is now located, and there the two sons quarreled as to who should possess the land. The father, to settle the dispute, shot two arrows, one to the north and one to the west. He told one son to find the arrow to the north and the other the one at the west and there to settle and bring up their families. The first son, going northward, over what was then a beautiful plain, became the progenitor of the Klickitat tribe, while the other son was the founder of the great Multnomah nation of the Willamette Valley. To separate the two tribes more effectively Sahale reared the chain of the Cascades, though without any great peaks, and for a long time all things went in harmony. But for convenience' sake Sahale had created the great tomanowas bridge under which the waters of the Columbia flowed, and on this bridge he had stationed a witch woman called Loowit, who was to take charge of the fire. This was the only fire in the world. As time passed on Loowit observed the deplorable condition of the Indians, destitute of fire and the conveniences which it might bring. She therefore besought Sahale to allow her to bestow fire upon the Indians. Sahale, having been greatly pleased by the faithfulness and benevolence of Loowit, finally granted her request. The lot of the Indians was wonderfully improved by the acquisition of fire. They[24] now began to make better lodges and clothes and had a variety of food and implements and, in short, were marvellously benefited by the bounteous gift.

But Sahale, in order to show his appreciation of the care with which Loowit had guarded the sacred fire, now determined to offer her any gift she might desire as a reward. Accordingly, in response to his offer, Loowit asked that she be transformed into a young and beautiful girl. This was effected and now, as might have been expected, all the Indian chiefs fell deeply in love with the beautiful guardian of the tomanowas bridge. Loowit paid little heed to any of them, until finally there came two magnificent chiefs, one from the north called Klickitat, and one from the south called Wiyeast. Loowit was uncertain which of these two she most desired, and as a result a bitter strife arose between the two, and this waxed hotter and hotter, until finally, with their respective warriors, they entered upon a desperate war. The land was ravaged, all the beautiful things which they had made were marred, and misery and wretchedness ensued. Sahale repented that he had allowed Loowit to bestow fire upon the Indians, and determined to undo all his work in so far as he could. Accordingly he broke down the tomanowas bridge, which dammed up the river with an impassable reef and put to death Loowit, Klickitat and Wiyeast. But, he said, inasmuch as they had been so grand and beautiful in life, he would give them a fitting commemoration after death. Therefore he reared over them as monuments the great snow peaks; over Loowit what we now call Mount St. Helens, over Wiyeast the modern Mount Hood, and above Klickitat the stupendous dome of what we now call Mount Adams.

And now it is a matter of much interest to learn something of the chief original sources and the most reliable investigators of these myths. This survey is necessarily incomplete. The endeavor is to name the students and writers of myths as far as possible. This search goes beyond Old Walla Walla and covers Old Oregon.

First in the natural order of the investigators and records of Indian myths come the early explorers and writers of Old Oregon. Most of these give us little on the special subject of myths, though they give much on the habits, customs, occupations, and implements of the natives. The earliest explorer in Oregon, so far as known to the author, to give any native legend, is Gabriel Franchere, who came to Astoria with the Astor Fur Company in 1811. In his narrative, upon which Irving's "Astoria" is largely based, we find a fine story of the creation of men by Etalapass, and their subsequent improvement by Ecannum. Franchere says that this legend was related to him by Ellewa, one of the sons of Concomly, the one-eyed Chinook chief, who figures conspicuously in Franchere's narrative. Of valuable books of the same period of Franchere, are Ross Cox's "Adventures on the Columbia River," and Alexander Ross' "Adventures on the Columbia," both of which contain valuable references to the customs and superstitious ideas of the natives, though not much in the way of myths. Ross gives an interesting myth of the Oakinackens (Okanogans as we now say) about the origin of the Indians or Skyloo on the white man's island, Samahtumawhoolah. The Indians were then very white and ruled by a female spirit, or Great Mother, named Skomalt, but their island got loose and drifted on the ocean for many suns, and as a result they became darkened to their present hue. Ross gives also an account of the belief of the Oakinackens in a good spirit, one of whose names is Skyappe, and a bad spirit, one of whose names was Chacha. The chief deity of those Indians seems to have been the great mother of life, Skomalt, whose name also has the addition of "Squisses." Ross says that those Indians change their names constantly and doubtless their deities did the same.



Of valuable books a few years later than those just named, one especially deserving of mention is Dr. Samuel Parker's "Exploring Tour Beyond the Rocky Mountains," the result of observations made in 1835 and 1836. This, however, contains little in the way of mythology. Capt. Charles Wilkes, the American explorer of the early '40s, gives a very interesting account of a Palouse myth of a beaver which was cut up to make the tribes. This is evidently another version of the Klickitat story of the great beaver, Wishpoosh, of Lake Cleelum. One of the most important of the early histories of Oregon is Dunn's, the materials for which were gathered in the decade of the '40s. With other valuable matter it contains accounts of the religious conceptions of the Indians, and here we find the legend of the Thunder Bird of the Tinneh, a northern tribe. In this same general period, though a little later, we find the most brilliant of all writers dealing with Oregon; that is, the gifted scholar, poet and soldier, Theodore Winthrop. His book, "Canoe and Saddle," has no rival for literary excellence and graphic power, among all the books which have dealt with the Northwest. The book was first published in 1862, and republished fifty years later in beautiful form by John H. Williams of Tacoma. "Canoe and Saddle" commemorates a journey from Puget Sound across the mountains and through the Yakima and Klickitat countries in 1854. It contains several fine Indian stories, notably that of the Miser of Mount Tacoma, and that of the Devil of the Dalles. Winthrop does not state from whom directly he secured the second of these myths, but no doubt from the Indians themselves, though the peculiar rich imagination and picturesque language of Winthrop are in evidence throughout the narration. The tale of the Miser of Mount Tacoma is attributed by Winthrop to Hamitchou, an Indian of the Squallygamish tribe.

At about the some time as Winthrop's, occurred the visit and investigations of James G. Swan, whose book, "The Northwest Coast," was published in 1857. In this is found the creation myth of the Ogress of Saddle Mountain, relating the issuing forth of Indians from eggs cast down the mountain-side by the Ogress. Many years ago Rev. Myron Eells told the writer a variation of that story, which has appeared in sundry forms and publications, being the story of Toulux, the South Wind, Quootshoi the witch, and Skamson the Thunder Bird. In addition to the legend of the Thunder Bird, Swan gives many items of peculiar interest. Among these we find his idea that certain customs of the Indians ally them with the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. His final impression seems to be, however, that they are autocthonous in America. He refers to the observation of General George Gibbs of the similarity of Klickitat myths to those in Longfellow's Hiawatha. He also refers to the beeswax ship of the Nehalem. In connection with the thought of Indian resemblance to the Ten Lost Tribes, it is worth noticing that this has come forth from various directions. Miss Kate McBeth has expressed the same in connection with the Nez Perces. It was also a favorite idea with B. B. Bishop, one of the earliest builders of steamboats on the Columbia, who lived many years at Pendleton, Oregon. He told the[26] writer that the Indians at the Cascades had a spring festival with the first run of salmon. They would boil whole the first large salmon caught, and have a ceremony in which the whole tribe would pass in procession around the fish, each taking a bit. They exercised the utmost care to leave the skeleton intact, so that at the end it had been picked clean but with not a bone broken. Mr. Bishop thought that this was a survival of the Jewish idea of the Paschal Lamb.

Among the great collectors of all kinds of historical data in what might be called the middle period of Northwest history and not exactly belonging to any one of the specific groups, is H. H. Bancroft, already referred to in the first part of this chapter. In his "Native Races," are found many myths, with references given, but these mainly deal with Mexican, Central American, and Californian Indians. He refers to Holmburg's ethnological studies in German as containing valuable matter in regard to our Northwestern Indians. Harmon's Journal, with its reference to the Tacullies of British Columbia and their legend of the Musk Rat, is also named. In the same connection we find reference to Yehl the Raven, an especial favorite of the Indians of British Columbia and the upper part of Puget Sound.

From what may be termed the first group of narrators of native tales, we may turn to those that may be called the scientific ethnologists. We are indebted to Dr. Franz Boas, himself the foremost of the group, for the list of these professional students of the subject. These men took up the matter in a more scientific and methodical way than the travellers and pioneers and have presented the results of their work in form that appeals to the scholar, the work of trained investigators, seeking the facts and giving them as exactly as possible, not affected by the distortions and exaggerations common to unscientific observers. They were all connected with the Smithsonian Institute, and their work was mainly under the Government.

The Bibliography as given by Doctor Boas, is as follows:

Edward Sapir, Wishram Texts (publications of the American Ethnological Society, Vol. II).

Leo J. Frachtenberg, Coos Texts (Columbia University contributions to Anthropology, Vol. I).

Leo J. Frachtenberg, Lower Umpqua Texts (Ibid., Vol. IV).

James Teit, Traditions of the Thompson Indians (Memoirs of the American Folk-Lore Society, Vol. VI). (This is not Washington, but practically identical with material from the interior of Washington.)

James Teit, Mythology of the Thompson Indians (Jesup North Pacific Expedition Publications, Vol. VIII).

James Teit, The Shuswap (Ibid., Vol. II).

Franz Boas, Indianische Sagen von der Nord-Pacifischen Küste Amerikas.

Franz Boas, Mythology of the Indians of Washington and Oregon (Globus, Vol. LXIII, pp. 154-157, 172-175, 190-193).

H. J. Spinden, Myths of the Nez Percé (Journal of American Folk Lore, Vol. XXI).

Louisa McDermott, Myths of the Flathead Indians (Ibid., Vol. XIV).

Franz Boas, Sagen der Kootenay (Berlin Society for Anthropology, Ethnology, etc., Vol. XXIII, pp. 161-172).


Livingston Farrand, Traditions of the Quinault Indians (Publications of the Jesup North Pacific Expedition, Vol. II).

Franz Boas, Chinook Texts (Bureau of Ethnology, Government Printing Office, 1894).

Franz Boas, Cathlamet Texts (Ibid.).

James Teit, Traditions of the Lilloost Indians (Journal of American Folk-Lore, Vol. XXV).

Jeremiah Curtin, Myths of the Modocs (Little, Brown & Co.).

To these may be added, as of special value, the studies of Prof. Albert S. Gatchett among the Modocs, found under the title, "Oregonian Folk-Lore" in the Journal of American Folk-Lore, Vol. IV, 1891, Houghton, Mifflin & Co. The other volumes of the Journal of American Folk-Lore from 1888 to 1913 contain valuable matter.

Doctor Boas found a treasury of information in an old Indian named Charlie Cultee, at Bay Center in Willapa Harbor, Wash., and from that source derived the material for the most scientific and uncolored study of Indian lore yet given to the public. These appear in the Chinook Texts of Doctor Boas. In this is a fine story of the first ship seen by the Clatsops. This is found also in H. S. Lyman's History of Oregon. In Professor Gatchett's book are found some of the finest fire myths and fish myths of the Northwest.

Following the groups of the explorers and the professional ethnologists, may come the larger body of miscellaneous collectors and writers, who, through local papers and magazines and published books, as well as personal narration, have rescued many quaint and curious gems of Indian mythology from oblivion and through various channels have imparted them to the slowly accumulating stock.

Those no longer living may properly appear first. Of comparatively recent students no longer living, Silas Smith of Astoria was of the best. His father was Solomon Smith of the Wyeth Expedition, while his mother was Celiast, daughter of the Clatsop chief Cobaiway. Through his Indian mother Mr. Smith obtained much interesting matter, much of which was preserved by H. S. Lyman in his history of Oregon, and in articles in the Oregonian, Historical Quarterly, and other publications. H. S. Lyman was also an original investigator, deriving his data mainly from Silas Smith and from a group of Indians who formerly lived at the mouth of the Nekanicum. These stories appear in his history of Oregon and in a group contained in the "Tallapus Stories," published in the Oregonian. Another intelligent and patient investigator was Rev. Myron Eells, who lived for many years on Hood's Canal. Many years ago the author heard from him legends from the Indians which he derived directly from the natives, such as the Thunder Bird, the Flood around Mount Tacoma (which he thought colored by the story of Noah in the Bible), and others. In the book by Mr. Eells, entitled "Ten Years' Missionary Work in Skokomish," he gives a valuable description of the "Tomanowas." In various numbers of the American Antiquarian Mr. Eells has valuable articles as follows: "The Religion of the Twana Indians," July, 1879; "Dokidatl, or the God of the Puget Sound Indians," November, 1884; "The Indians of Puget Sound," May, 1888, and March, 1890.

Prominent among the scholars and lecturers of Oregon is the great name of Thomas Condon, for a long time in the State University, and the earliest student in a large way of the geology of the Northwest. He was interested in Indian[28] myths as in almost everything that had to do with man and nature. The legend of the "Bridge of the Gods," already given in this chapter, particularly appealed to him. One of the notable students of both the geology and anthropology of the Northwest was George Gibbs, who came to Oregon as a Government geologist in 1853. In his report on the Pacific Railroad in House of Representatives Documents of 1853-4, he gives the first published version, so far as we can discover, of the "Bridge of the Gods." He tells the story thus: "The Indians tell a characteristic tale of Mount Hood and Mount St. Helens to the effect that they were man and wife; that they finally quarreled and threw fire at one another, and that St. Helens was victor; since when Mount Hood has been afraid, while St. Helens, having a stout heart, still burned. In some versions this story is connected with the slide which formed the Cascades of the Columbia." Mr. Gibbs also gives some Yakima legends.

One of the most distinguished of all the literary pioneers of Old Oregon was Samuel A. Clark. In his "Pioneer Days in Oregon" are several interesting legends well told. In this we find the legend of the Nahalem, with Ona and Sandy and all their tribulations. We find here told also the story of the Bridge of the Gods, in which Hood and Adams are represented as the contending forces, having been originally the abutments of the Bridge of the Gods. But the most noted contribution of Mr. Clark to this legend was his poem called, "The Legend of the Mountains," referring to the fabled bridge, which appeared in Harper's Magazine of February, 1874. This represents Mount St. Helens as a goddess for whom Hood and Adams contended, hurling huge stones at each other and finally breaking down the bridge. The story of the bridge became the most noted of all native myths, being related to practically every traveller that made the steamboat trip down the Columbia.

Let us now turn to those discoverers and writers of Indian myths who are still living. The majority of these are from the nature of the case adaptors and transcribers, rather than original students. But some among them are entitled to the place of genuine investigators. Among these a foremost place must be accorded to Fred A. Saylor of Portland. He was for several years editor of the Oregon Native Son, and for it he wrote a number of stories which he derived directly from the Indians. A student of these stories from boyhood, he has accumulated the largest collection of matter both published and unpublished of anyone in the Northwest. This collection is preserved by him in fourteen large scrap books, and constitutes a treasury of valuable data which it is to be hoped may soon appear in a published form for the delight and profit of many readers. Among the legends of which Mr. Saylor is entitled to be regarded as the discoverer are these: "The Legend of Tahoma"; "Why the Indian Fears Golden Hair," or, "The Origin of Castle Rock;" "Speelyi, or the Origin of Latourelle Falls, and the Pillars of Hercules;" "Thorns on Rosebushes;" "The Noah of the Indians;" "The Strange Story of a Double Shadow;" "The Legend of Snake River Valley;" "A Wappato Account of the Flood;" "The Last Signal Fire of the Multnomah;" "The Legend of the Willamette;" "The Love of an Indian Maid;" "Enumpthla;" "Coyote's Tomb;" "Multnomah." The last named has been presented by students on the campus of the State University and also at the Agricultural College of Oregon.

Of investigators known to the author, none seems more worthy of extended and favorable mention than Dr. G. B. Kuykendall of Pomeroy, Wash. He was[29] for a number of years the physician for the Yakima Reservation at Fort Simcoe. He began his work of collecting in 1875, deriving his knowledge directly from the Indians. His authorities were almost entirely old Indians, for from such only could he secure narrations of unadulterated character. His first published writings were in the "West Shore," of Portland, in 1887. His most mature contribution, which may indeed be considered the best yet given to the public, is found in Vol. II, of the "History of the Pacific Northwest," published by the North Pacific History Co., of Portland, in 1889. This is an admirable piece of work, and students of the subject will find here a treasure of native lore. The following is the list of stories given by Dr. Kuykendall in that work: "Wishpoosh, the Beaver God, and the Origin of the Tribes;" "Speelyi Fights Enumtla;" "Speelyi Outwits the Beaver Women;" "Rock Myths;" "Legend of the Tick;" "Mountain Lake Myths;" "The Origin of Fire;" "Water Nymphs;" "Wawa, the Mosquito God;" "Origin of the Loon;" "Castiltah, the Crayfish;" "Wakapoosh, the Rattle Snake;" "The Tumwater Luminous Stone God;" "The Wooden Fireman of the Cascades;" "Contest Between the Chinooks and Cold Wind Brothers;" "Speelyi's Ascent to Heaven;" "Coyote and Eagle Attempt to Bring the Dead Back from Spirit Land;" "The Isle of the Dead."

Another original investigator and the author of an unique and picturesque book devoted exclusively to Indian myths, is W. S. Phillips of Seattle, well known by his non-de-plume of "El Comancho." The book by Mr. Phillips is "Totem Tales." Mr. Phillips says that he gathered the matter for "Totem Tales" from the Puget Sound Indians and from Haida Indians who had come south. This work was mainly done about twenty-five years ago. He verified much of his matter by comparing with Judge Swan, and by the stories acquired by Doctor Shaw, who was at one time Indian agent at Port Madison, and whose wife was one of the daughters of old Chief Sealth (Seattle). He derived matter for comparison also from Rev. Myron Eells. The chief Indian authority of Mr. Phillips was old Chisiahka (Indian John to the Whites), and it was a big tree on the shore of Lake Union that suggested the idea of the "Talking Pine," which the author wove so picturesquely into the narrative. Mr. Phillips has also published the "Chinook Book," the most extensive study of the jargon language yet made. To the others he has added a most attractive book entitled, "Indian Tales for Little Folks."

Another present day investigator, whose work is especially worthy of mention is Rev. J. Neilson Barry, an enthusiastic and intelligent student of every phase of the history of the Northwest. In Chapter III of Volume I of Gaston's "Centennial History of Oregon," Mr. Barry gives a valuable contribution to Indian legends.

Yet another original student is Miss Kate McBeth of Lapwai, Idaho, who with her sister lived for years among the Nez Perces, performing a most beneficent missionary work for them. In her book, "The Nez Perces Since Lewis and Clark," may be found the Kamiah myth, and a few others derived directly from those Indians. Mention may well be made here also of a Nez Percé Indian named Luke, previously referred to, living at Kamiah, who has a very intelligent knowledge of all kinds of Indian matters. Miss McBeth says that the Nez Perces do not like to discuss generally their "heathen" stories and customs. In connection with the Nez Perces it may be stated that Yellow Wolf of Nespilem is an authority on the myth of the Kamiah Monster.


Still another enthusiastic student of Indian legends is Lucullus V. McWhorter of North Yakima. He is an adopted member of the Yakima tribe, and has been of incalculable benefit to the Indians in instructing them as to their rights, in presenting their cause to the Government, and in making known their needs as well as some of their wrongs to the general public through voice and pen. He has made a specialty in recent years of organizing the Indians and taking them to "Round-Ups" and "Frontier Days." A recent pamphlet by him on the treatment of the Yakimas in connection with their water rights is an "eye-opener," on some phases of Indian service and Indian problems. Mr. McWhorter has gathered a large amount of matter from the Indians, in which is material for three books: "Traditions of the Yakimas;" "Hero Stories of the Yakimas;" "Nez Percé Warriors in the War of 1877." Among the proteges of Mr. McWhorter from whom he tells me much of interest could be derived, are Chief Yellow Wolf of the Joseph Band of Nez Perces, and Mrs. Crystal McLeod, known to her people as Humishuma, or Morning Dove, an Okanogan woman of unusual beauty and intelligence and well instructed in the English language. Her picture appears in this work from photographs taken by Mr. John Langdon of Walla Walla.

Any reference to any phase of Oregon would be incomplete without mention of John Minto, one of the most honored of pioneers, one of the noblest of men, and one of the best examples of those ambitious, industrious, and high minded state builders who gave the Northwest its loftiest ideals. Mr. Minto was a student of the Indians and discovered and gave to the world various Clatsop and Nehalem legends. Hon. E. L. Smith of Hood River, Ore., well known as an official and legislator of both Oregon and Washington, and a man of such character that all who ever knew him have the highest honor for him in every relation of life, has made a lifelong study of the natives and has a great collection of myths both in mind and on paper. He is one of the most sympathetic, tolerant, and appreciative of investigators, one whom the Indians of the Mid-Columbia trust implicitly. He has written little for publication in comparison with what he knows, and it is to be hoped that his stores of material may be brought within reach before long. Worthy of mention as a general student of the geography and language of the Indians is Mr. John Gill of Portland. While he has not made a specialty of myths, he has studied the habits and language with special attention, and his dictionary of the Chinook jargon is one of the most valuable collections of the kind.

It is proper to mention here several who are well versed in native lore, yet who have not given their knowledge of legends or myths to the public in book or magazine form. The most conspicuous, indeed, of this group is no longer living. This was Dr. William C. McKay, a grandson of the McKay of the Astor Fur Company, who lost his life on the Tonquin. The mother of Doctor McKay was a Chinook "princess." He was a man of great ability and acquired a fine education. He lived for years, in Pendleton, Ore., where he died some time ago. In the possession of his children and grandchildren there is undoubtedly valuable material and if it could be reduced to written form it would furnish matter of great interest. Certain others of Indian blood may be properly added here who could give material for interesting narrations. Among these are Henry Sicade and William Wilton, living on the Puyallup Reservation near Tacoma, Samuel[31] McCaw of Yakima, Wash., and Charlie Pitt of the Warm Springs Agency in Oregon.

This summary of Indian stories and their investigators is necessarily incomplete. One of the hopes in including it in this work is that it may lead to added contributions. As we contemplate the beauty and grandeur of Old Oregon, which includes Washington and Idaho and a part of Montana, and the pathos, heroism and nobility of its history, and as we see the pitiful remnant of the Indians, we cannot fail to be touched with the quaint, the pathetic, and the suggestive myths and legends that are passing with them into the twilight. In our proud days of possession and of progress we do well to pause and drop the tear of sympathy and place the chaplet of commemoration upon the resting place of the former lords of the land, and to recognize their contributions to the common stock of human thought.




Of all events in early American history influential in their bearing upon the territorial development of the United States, the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 must be accorded the foremost place. Until that event the United States, in spite of the fact that it had gained independence, was essentially European in its habit of thought and colonial in its aspirations and outlook. A few seers indeed recognized the possibilities of continental expansion. The doctrine of "manifest destiny" had held the glowing vision of the place in history which might be wrought by a continent, or at least the dominating parts of it, under the control of the same race of men who had redeemed the Atlantic seaboard from the wilderness and successfully maintained against the greatest empire of the world the proposition that "Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed." The author of those words had seen more clearly perhaps than any other the world vision of a great American democracy, independent of Europe and yet by reason of geographical position as well as political ideals and social aspirations, the natural mediator among peoples and the ultimate teacher and enlightener of mankind.

When, therefore, as a result of the political revolution of 1800 and the permanent establishment of the democratic conception in the leadership of American politics, Thomas Jefferson found himself invested with the enormous responsibility of framing policies and measures for the new era, one of his foremost aims was to turn the face of the nation westward. Having long entertained the idea that the true policy was to secure such posts of vantage beyond the Alleghenies as would lead by natural stages to the acquisition of the country beyond the Mississippi, even to the Pacific, he was alert to seize any opening for pursuing that truly American policy. He did not have long to wait. At the time of his inauguration the stupendous energies of the French Revolution had become concentrated in that overpowering personality, Napoleon Bonaparte. Holding then the position of first consul, but as truly the imperial master as when he placed the iron crown of the Lombards upon his own head, "the man on horseback" perceived that a renewal of the great war was inevitable and that Austria on land and England at sea were going to put metes to his empire if human power could do it. Nothing was more hateful to Napoleon than to let French America, or Louisiana, slip from his grasp. But he had not the maritime equipment to defend it. England was sure to take it and that soon. Monroe, the American envoy, was in Paris fully instructed by President Jefferson what to do. All things were ready. The man and the occasion met. The Louisiana Purchase was consummated. For less than three cents an acre, a region now comprising thirteen states or parts of states, estimated at over five hundred and sixty-five million acres, equal in extent to all Europe outside of Russia and Scandinavia, became part of the United States.



When that great event was consummated and one of the milestones in the world's progress upon the highway of universal democracy had been set for good, the next step in the mind of Jefferson was to provide for the exploration of the vast new land. The westward limits of Louisiana were not indeed defined by the treaty of purchase otherwise than as the boundaries by which the territory had been ceded by Spain to France, and those boundaries in turn were defined only as those by which France had in 1763 ceded to Spain. Hence the western boundary of Louisiana was uncertain. Although subsequent agreements and usages determined the boundary to be the crest of the Rocky Mountains as far south as Texas, Jefferson seems to have thought that the entire continent to the Pacific ought to be included in the exploration, for he saw also that the destiny of his country required the ultimate union of Atlantic and Pacific coasts, as well as the great central valley. From these conceptions and aims of Jefferson sprang that most interesting and influential of all exploring expeditions in our history, the Lewis and Clark exploration from St. Louis up the Missouri, across the Rocky Mountains, and down the Snake and Columbia rivers to the Pacific Ocean. Jefferson had contemplated such an expedition a long time. Even as far back as December 4, 1783, in a letter to George Rogers Clark, he raised the question of an exploration from the Mississippi to California. In 1792 he took it up with the American Philosophical Society, and even then Meriwether Lewis was eager to head such an expedition. In a message to Congress of January 18, 1803, before the Louisiana Purchase, Jefferson developed the importance of a thorough exploration of the continent even to the Western Ocean. With his characteristic secrecy, Jefferson was disposed to mask the great design of ultimate acquisition of the continent under the appearance of scientific research. In a letter to Lewis of April 27, 1803, he says: "The idea that you are going to explore the Mississippi has been generally given out; it satisfies public curiosity and masks sufficiently the real destination." That real destination was, of course, the Pacific Ocean, and the fundamental aim was the continental expansion of the then crude and straggling Republic of the West. Considering the momentous nature of the undertaking and the possibilities of the unknown wilderness which it was to cover, it is curious and suggestive that Lewis had estimated the expenses at $2,500, and Jefferson called upon Congress for that amount of appropriation. An explorer of the present would hardly expect to go out doors on that scale of expense. Jeffersonian simplicity with a vengeance!

The scope of our book does not permit any detailed account of the preparations or of the personnel of the party. Suffice it to say that the leader, Meriwether Lewis, and his lieutenant, William Clark, were men of energy, discretion, courage, and the other necessary qualities for such an undertaking. While not men of education or general culture (Clark could not even spell or compose English correctly) they both had an abundance of common sense and in preparation for their mission gained a hurried preparation in the essentials of botany, zoology, and astronomy such as might enable them to observe and report intelligently upon the various objects of discovery and the distances and directions traversed.

Jefferson's instructions to Captain Lewis give one an added respect for the intelligence and broad humanity of the great democrat. Particularly did he enjoin[34] upon the leader of the party the wisdom of amicable relations with the natives. The benevolent spirit of the President appears in his direction that kine-pox matter be taken and that its use for preventing smallpox be explained to the Indians. All readers of American history should read these instructions, both for an estimate of Jefferson personally, and for light they throw on the conditions and viewpoints of the times.

The number in the party leaving St. Louis was forty-five. But one death occurred upon the whole journey, which lasted from May 14, 1804, to September 23, 1806. Never perhaps did so extended and difficult an expedition suffer no little. And this was the more remarkable from the fact that there was no physician nor scientific man with the party and that whatever was needed in the way of treating the occasional sicknesses or accidents must be done by the captains. While to their natural force and intelligence the party owed a large share of its immunity from disaster, good fortune surely attended them. This seems the more noticeable when we reflect that this was the first journey across a wilderness afterwards accentuated with every species of suffering and calamity.

The members of the party were encouraged to preserve journals and records to the fullest degree, and from this resulted a fullness of detail by a number of the men as well as the leaders which has delighted generations of readers ever since. And in spite of the fact that none of the writers had any literary genius, these journals are fascinating on account of the nature of the undertaking and a certain glow of enthusiasm which invested with a charm even the plain and homely details of the long journey.

The first stage of the expedition was from St. Louis, May 14, 1804, to a point 1,600 miles up the Missouri, reached November 2. There the party wintered in a structure which they called Fort Mandan. The location was on the west bank of the Missouri, opposite the present City of Pierre. The journey had been made by boats at an average advance of ten miles a day. The river, though swift and with frequent shoals, offered no serious impediments, even for a long distance above Fort Mandan.

After a long, cold winter in the country of the Mandans, the expedition resumed their journey up the Missouri on April 7, 1805. Of the interesting details of this part of their course we cannot speak. Reaching the headwaters of the Missouri on August 12, they crossed that most significant spot, the Great Divide. A quotation from the journal of Captain Lewis indicates the lively sentiments with which they passed from the Missouri waters to those of the Columbia: "As they proceeded, their hope of seeing the waters of the Columbia rose to almost painful anxiety; when at the distance of four miles from the last abrupt turn of the stream, they reached a small gap formed by the high mountains which recede on either side, leaving room for the Indian road. From the foot of one of the lowest of these mountains, which rises with a gentle ascent for about half a mile, issued the remotest water of the Missouri. They had now reached the hidden sources of that river which had never before been seen by civilized man; and as they quenched their thirst at the chaste and icy fountain—as they sat down by the brink of the little rivulet which yielded its distant and modest tribute to the parent ocean—they felt themselves rewarded for all their labors and difficulties. *  *  * They found the descent much steeper than on the eastern side, and at the distance of three-quarters of a mile, reached a handsome, bold creek of cold,[35] clear water running to the westward. They stopped to taste for the first time the waters of the Columbia."

After some very harassing and toilsome movements in that vast cordon of peaks in which lie the cradles of the Missouri, Yellowstone, Snake, Clearwater, and Bitterroot rivers—more early reaching starvation point than at any time on the trip—the party emerged upon a lofty height from which their vision swept over a vast expanse of open prairie, in which it became evident that there were many natives and, as they judged, the near vicinity of the great river, which, as they thought, would carry them in short order to the Western Ocean of their quest. They little realized that they were yet more than six hundred miles from the edge of the continent. Descending upon the plain, they made their way to the Kooskooskie, now known as the Clearwater River. As judged by Olin D. Wheeler in his invaluable book, "On The Trail of Lewis and Clark," the explorers crossed from what is now Montana into the present Idaho at the Lolo Pass, and proceeded thence down the broken country between the north and middle forks of the Kooskooskie, reaching the junction on September 26. The camp at that spot was called Canoe Camp. There they remained nearly two weeks, most of them sick through overeating after they had sustained so severe a fast in the savage defiles of the Bitter Roots, and from the effects of the very great change in temperature from the snowy heights to the hot valley below. At Canoe Camp they constructed boats for the further prosecution of their journey. They left their thirty-eight horses with three Indians of the Chopunnish or Pierced-Nose tribe, or Nez Percé as we now know them.

With their canoes they entered upon a new stage of their journey, one easy and pleasant after the hardships of the mountains. Down the beautiful Kooskooskie, then low in its autumn stage, they swept gaily, finding frequent rapids, though none serious. The pleasant-sounding name Kooskooskie, which ought to be preserved (though Clearwater is appropriate and sonorous), was supposed by the explorers to be the name of the river. This it appears was a misapprehension. The author has been told by a very intelligent Indian named Luke, living at Kamiah, that the Indians doubtless meant to tell the white men that the stream was Koos, koos, or water, water. Koos was and still is the Nez Percé word for water. Luke stated that the Indians did not regularly have names for streams, but only for localities, and referred to rivers as the water or koos belonging to some certain locality.

After a prosperous descent of the beautiful and impetuous stream for a distance estimated by them at fifty-nine miles (considerably overestimated) the party entered a much larger stream coming from the south. This they understood the Indians to call the Kimooenim. They named it the Lewis in honor of Captain Lewis. It was the great Snake River of our present maps. The writer has been told by Mr. Thomas Beall of Lewiston that the true Indian name is Twelka. Still another native name is Shahaptin. The party was now at the present location of Lewiston and Clarkston, one of the most notable regions in the Northwest for beauty, fertility, and all the essentials of capacity for sustaining a high type of civilized existence. The land adjoining Snake River on the west is Asotin County, one of the components of our history. The party camped on the right bank just below the junction, and that first camp of white men was nearly opposite both Lewiston and Clarkston of today. They say that the Indians[36] flocked from all directions to see them. The scantiness of their fare had brought them to the stage of eating dog-meat, which they say excited the ridicule of the natives. The Indians gave them to understand that the southern branch was navigable up about sixty miles; that not far from its mouth it received a branch from the south, and at two days' march up a larger branch called Pawnashte, on which a chief resided who had more horses than he could count.

The first of these must be the Asotin Creek, unless indeed they referred to the Grande Ronde, which is the first large stream, but is considerable distance from the junction. The Pawnashte must have been the Salmon, the largest tributary of the Snake. The Snake at the point of the camp of the explorers was discovered to be about three hundred yards wide. The party noticed the greenish blue color of the Snake, while the Kooskooskie was as clear as crystal. The Indians at this point are described as of the Chopunnish or Pierced-Nose nations, the latter of those names translated by the French voyageurs into the present Nez Percé. According to the observations of the party, the men were in person stout, portly, well-looking men; the women small, with good features and generally handsome. The chief article of dress of the men was a "buffalo or elk-skin robe decorated with beads, sea-shells, chiefly mother-of-pearl, attached to an otter-skin collar and hung in the hair, which falls in front in two queues; feathers, paints of different kinds, principally white, green, and light blue, all of which they find in their own country. The dress of the women is more simple, consisting of a long skirt of argalia or ibex-skin, reaching down to the ankles without a girdle; to this are tied little pieces of brass and shells and other small articles." Further on the journal states again: "The Chopunnish have few amusements, for their life is painful and laborious; and all their exertions are necessary to earn even their precarious subsistence. During the summer and autumn they are busily occupied in fishing for salmon and collecting their winter store of roots. In the winter they hunt the deer on snow-shoes over the plains, and towards spring cross the mountains to the Missouri for the purpose of trafficking for buffalo robes." It may be remarked here parenthetically that there is every indication that buffalo formerly inhabited the Snake and Columbia plains. In fact, buffalo bones have been found in recent years in street excavations at Spokane. What cataclysm may have led to their extermination is hidden in obscurity. But at the first coming of the whites it was discovered that one of the regular occupations of the natives was crossing the Rocky Mountains to hunt or trade for buffalo.

Soon after resuming the journey on October 11, the explorers noted with curiosity one of the vapor baths common among those Indians, which they say differed from those on the frontiers of the United States or in the Rocky Mountains. The bath-house was a hollow square six or eight feet deep, formed in the river bank by damming up with mud the other three sides and covering the whole completely except an aperture about two feet wide at the top. The bathers descended through that hole, taking with them a jug of water and a number of hot rocks. They would throw the water on the rocks until it steamed and in that steam they would sit until they had perspired sufficiently, and then they would plunge into cold water. This species of entertainment seems to have been very sociable, for one seldom bathed alone. It was considered a great affront to decline an invitation to join a bathing party.

The explorers seem to have had a very calm and uneventful descent of Snake[37] River. They describe the general lay of the country accurately, noting that beyond the steep ascent of 200 feet (it is in reality a great deal more in all the upper part of this portion of Snake River) the country becomes an open, level, and fertile plain, entirely destitute of timber. They note all the rapids with sufficient particularity to enable anyone thoroughly familiar with the river to identify most of them. They make special observation of the long series of rapids commonly known now as the Riparia and Texas Rapids, and below these observe a large creek on the left which they denominate as Kimooenim Creek. This is rather odd, for that had already been noted as the native name of the main river. A few miles further down they pass through a bad rapid but twenty-five yards wide. Of course, it must be remembered that the time was October and the river was about at its lowest. This was the narrow crack of the Palouse Rapids, which, however, is not so narrow as they estimated, even at low water. At the end of this rapid they discovered a large river on the right, to which they gave the name of Drewyer, one of their party, their mighty hunter in fact. This was a many-named stream, for it was later the Pavion, the Pavillion, and at the last the present Palouse, the equivalent, we are told again by Thomas Beall, for gooseberry. The principal rapids below the entrance of the Palouse are known at present as Fishhook, Long's Crossing, Pine Tree, the Potato Patch, and Five Mile. Five Mile looked so bad to them that they unloaded the canoes and made a portage of three-quarters of a mile. At a distance below this, which they estimated as seven miles, they reached that interesting place where the great northern and southern branches of the Big River unite. They were then at the location of the present Village of Burbank. Many interesting events and observations are chronicled of their stay at that point. Soon after their arrival a regular procession of 200 Indians from a camp a short distance up the Columbia came to visit them, timing their approach with the music of drums, accompanied with the voice. There seems to have followed a regular love-feast, both parties taking whiffs of the friendly pipe and expressing as best they could their common joy at the meeting. Then came a distribution of presents and a mutual pledging of good will.

The captains measured the rivers, finding the Columbia 960 yards wide and the Snake 575. From their point of observation across the continued plain they noted how it rose into the heights on the farther side of the river. They had already taken into account the far distant mountains to the south, our own Blue Mountains, which they thought about sixty miles distant, just about the right estimate. It is to be hoped that it was one of the perfect days not infrequent in October and that the azure hues of those mountains which we love today were before them in all their rich, soft splendor. They noted in the clear water of the river the incredible number of salmon. The Indians gave them to understand that frequently in the absence of other fuel they burned the fish that, having been thrown upon the bank, became so dry as to make excellent fuel. These Indians were of a tribe known as Sokulks. According to the description they were hardly so good-looking a people as the Chopunnish, but were of mild and peaceable disposition and seemed to live in a state of comparative happiness. The men, like those on the Kimooenim, were said to content themselves with a single wife. The explorers noted that the men shared with their mates the labor of procuring subsistence more than is usual among savages. They were also very kind to the aged and infirm. Nor were they inclined to beggary. All things considered, these[38] Sokulks at the junction of the big rivers were worthy of much esteem. Captain Clark made a journey up the Columbia, in the course of which he made sundry interesting observations on the Indian manner of preparing salmon for preservation, as well as for present use. At one point he entered one of the mat houses. He was immediately provided with a mat on which to sit and his hosts proceeded at once to cook a salmon for his repast. This they did by heating stones, and then, bringing in the fish in a bucket of water, they dropped in the hot stones in succession till the water boiled. After sufficiently boiling the salmon, they placed it before the captain. He found it excellent. He noticed that many of these Indians were blind in one or both eyes and had lost part of their teeth. The first of these unfortunate conditions he attributed to the glare of the water on their unshaded eyes, and the second to their habit of eating roots without cleansing them from the sandy soil in which they grew. It would appear from the topography of the journal that Captain Clark went a short distance above the present site of Kennewick, for he was near the mouth of a large stream flowing from the west, which the Indians called the Tapteal, but which later became known as the Yakima, also a native name. While on land during this trip, the party got grouse (or what we now call prairie chickens) and ducks, and also a "prairie cock, about the size of a small turkey." This was evidently a sage hen. It is recorded that they saw none of that bird except on the Columbia. While camped at the junction of the rivers, the men were busily engaged in mending their clothes and travelling outfits and arms, and otherwise preparing for the next stage of the journey. One very interesting feature of the stay here was the fact that one of the chiefs with one of the Chimnapum, a tribe further west, provided the party with a map of the Columbia and the nations on its banks. This was drawn on a robe with a piece of coal and afterwards transferred by some one of the explorers to a piece of paper. They preserved it as a valuable specimen of Indian delineation.

On October 18, the party packed up and pushing off into the majestic river, proceeded downward toward the highlands, evidently what we call the Wallula Gateway. In the general journal, called the Edition of 1814., in which the contributions of all the party are merged, there seems to be some confusion as to the mouth of the Walla Walla River. The record mentions an island near the right shore fourteen and one-half miles from the mouth of Lewis' River and a mile and a half beyond that of small brook under a high hill on the left, "seeming to run its whole course through the high country." This evidently must be the Walla Walla River, though it can hardly be called a "small brook," even in the low season, and it flows quite distinctly in a valley, though the highlands begin immediately below. They also say: "At this place, too, we observed a mountain to the southwest, the form of which is conical, and its top covered with snow." This is obviously incorrect, for Mount Hood, which is the only snow mountain to the southwest visible anywhere near that place, cannot be seen from near the mouth of the Walla Walla, except by climbing the highlands. On the next day, October 19, the party was visited by a chief of whom they saw more and tell more on their return. This was Yelleppit. They describe him as a "handsome, well-proportioned man, about five feet, eight inches high and about thirty-five years old, with a bold and dignified countenance." His name is preserved in a station on the[39] S. P. & S. Railroad, located just about at the place where the party met the chieftain.

After the meeting with Yelleppit, the party once more committed themselves to the downward rushing current of the Columbia, and passed beyond the range of our story. Of the interesting details of their continued journey down the river and the final vision of the ocean, "that ocean, the object of all our labors, the reward of all our anxieties," we cannot speak.

Having spent the winter at Fort Clatsop, about ten miles from the present Astoria and nearly the same distance from the present Seaside, they left Fort Clatsop for their long return journey, on March 23, 1806. They saw many interesting and important features of the country on the return, which they failed to note in going down. Among these, strange to say, was the entrance of the Willamette, the largest river below the Snake. The return was made as far as the "Long Narrows" (The Dalles) with the canoes, but at that point they procured horses and proceeded thence by land. They passed the "Youmalolam" (Umatilla) and then entering the highlands, were again within the area of "Old Walla Walla County." Reaching the country of the "Wallawollahs," they again came in contact with their old friend, whose name appears in that portion of the journal as Yellept. They found him more of a gentleman than ever. He insisted on his people making generous provision for the needs of the party, and gave them the valuable information that by going up the Wallawollah River and directly east to the junction of the Snake and Kooskooskie they might have a route full of grass and water and game, and much shorter than to follow the banks of Snake River. Accordingly crossing from the north bank of the Columbia, which they had been following, they found themselves on the Wallawollah. They do not now describe it as before as a "small brook," but as a "handsome stream, about fifty yards wide and four and a half feet in depth." They got one curious misapprehension here which was held later by explorers in general in regard to the Multnomah or Willamette. They understood from the Indians that the Willamette ran south of the Blue Mountains and was as large as the Columbia at the mouth of the Wallawollah, which they say was about a mile wide. They infer from the whole appearance, as the Indians seem to explain it, that the sources of the Willamette must approach those of the Missouri and Del Norte. One quaint and curious circumstance is mentioned at this stage of the story, as it has been, in fact, at various times. And that is the extravagant delight which the Indians derived from the violin. They were so fascinated with the sound of the instrument and the dancing which accompanied it that they would come in throngs and sometimes remain up all night. In this particular instance, however, they were so considerate of the white men's need of sleep that they retired at ten o'clock.

On the last day of April, 1806, the party turned their horses' heads eastward up the Wallawollah River across sandy expanses, which, however, they soon discovered to improve in verdure and in groves of trees. Having followed the main stream fourteen miles, they reached "a bold, deep stream, about ten yards wide, which seems navigable for canoes." They found a profusion of trees along the course of this creek and were delighted to see all the evidences of increasing timber. This stream, which they now followed for a number of miles, was evidently the Touchet, and the point where they turned to follow it was at the present Town[40] of Touchet. Their course was up the creek for about twelve miles to a point where the creek bottom widened into a pleasant country two or three miles in width. This presumably was the fertile region beginning a mile or so east of the present Lamar, and extending thence onward to Prescott and beyond. The party made a day's march of twenty-six miles and camped at a point, which according to the figures of the next day, would have been near the present Bolles Junction. One rather quaint incident appears at this point in the narration, to the effect that when encamped for the night, three young men of the Wollawollahs came up with a steel trap which had inadvertently been left behind. The Indians had come a whole day's journey to restore this. This exhibition of honesty was so gratifying that the narration affirms that: "Of all the Indians whom we have met since leaving the United States, the Wollawollahs were the most hospitable, honest, and sincere."

Resuming the march the next day the explorers noted at a distance of three miles a branch entering the creek from the "southeast mountains, which, though covered with snow, are about twenty-five miles distant, and do not appear high." That branch must have been our Coppei, which joins the main creek at our pleasant little City of Waitsburg. Having proceeded a total distance of fourteen miles from the previous night's camp, the travellers found themselves at a point where the main creek bore to the south toward the mountains from which it came, and where a branch entered it from the northeast. This spot was evidently the site of Dayton, and the branch from the northeast which they now followed was the Patit. The next day they crossed the Kimooenim, which is the same that they had designated the Kimooenim Creek on their descent of Snake River in the fall, being, curiously enough, as already noted, the same name that they had already understood to be the Indian name of Snake River. The stream was evidently the Tucannon. From the Tucannon the course led our adventurers over the high, fertile plains near to the "southwest mountains" to a ravine "where was the source of a small creek, down the hilly and rocky sides of which we proceeded for eight miles to its entrance into Lewis' River, about seven miles and a half above the mouth of the Kooskooskie." This creek was the Asotin and therefore the point where they again reached Snake River was that grand and picturesque place where the attractive town of Asotin is now located.

The explorers having crossed the river were beyond the jurisdiction of this volume, and even of the State of Washington, being within that of Idaho, and hence we cannot follow them further on their return journey. We must content ourselves, in this farewell glance at this first, and in many respects, the most interesting and important of all the early transcontinental expeditions, with saying that the effects were of momentous, even transcendent value to the development of our country. Without the incorporation of Old Oregon into the United States, we would in all probability not have got California, and without our Pacific Coast frontage, think what a crippled and curtailed Union this would be! We would surely have missed our destiny without the Pacific Coast. The Lewis and Clark expedition was one of the essential links in the chain of acquisition. The summary of distances by the party is a total of 3,555 miles on the most direct route from the Mississippi at the mouth of the Missouri, to the Pacific Ocean, and the total distance descending the Columbia waters is placed at 640 miles.



President Jefferson did not exaggerate the character of this expedition in the tribute which he paid to Captain Lewis in 1813, when he expressed himself thus: "Never did a similar event excite more joy throughout the United States; the humblest of its citizens have taken a lively interest in this journey, and looked with impatience for the information which it would furnish. Nothing short of the official journals of this extraordinary and interesting journey will exhibit the importance of the service, the courage, the devotion, zeal, and perseverance, under circumstances calculated to discourage, which animated this little band of heroes, throughout the long, dangerous, and tedious travel."

Though many additional valuable discoveries of this land where we live were made by later explorers, Lewis and Clark and their assistants may justly be regarded as the true first explorers. They were, moreover, the only party that came purely for exploration. Later parties, though making valuable explorations, did such work as incidental to fur trade. With the completion of this great expedition, therefore, we may regard the era of the explorers completed and that of the fur-hunters begun.




With the great new land between the Mississippi and the Pacific Ocean opened to the world by the Lewis and Clark expedition, the question came at once to the active, pushing, ambitious spirits of America and England, what shall we do with it, and what can we make of it? The rights of the natives have usually had little concern to civilized man. His thought has been to secure as rapidly and easily as possible the available resources, to skim the cream from the wilderness ahead of all rivals. Two great quests have commonly followed discovery of a new land; that for the precious metals, and that for furs. Gold and silver and precious stones have always had a strange fascination, and the search for them and the wars of conflicting nations for possession of their sources of supply have constituted the avenues of approach to some of the greatest changes of history. The search for furs, while not making so brilliant and showy a chapter in history as that for gold and jewels, has had even profounder effects upon the march of exploration and conquest and the formation of states.

Now, it must be remembered that though the Lewis and Clark expedition was the first to cross our part of the continent and to give the world any conception of the interior and its resources within the area composing the western half of the United States, yet the coast line had been known for many years, and the region around Hudson Bay and thence northward to the Arctic Ocean and westward to the Pacific had also been traversed some years earlier. Oregon had long been a lure to the explorers and fur-hunters of all nations. There had taken shape before the discoverers of the age of Columbus the conception of a Northwest passage through the new continent to Asia. Strange to say, they did not realize at first the surpassing importance of a new world, but thought of it mainly as an impediment to the journey to the land of the "Great Cham" and other supposed magnates of the Orient. Hence the vital thing was to find a way through the intercepting land. Only eight years after Columbus landed on San Salvador, the Portuguese, Gaspar Cortereal, had announced that sailing westward from Labrador he had discovered the connecting strait between the Atlantic and the waters that bordered eastern Asia. Out of that supposed discovery the idea of the Strait of Anian grew and for two centuries persisted in the minds of mariners. It was while searching for Anian that Juan de Fuca, just a century after the first landing of Columbus, entered that strait which now bears his name. Along the western edge of California and Oregon during that same century, the English flag was borne by the Golden Hind of Francis Drake. Later Spanish explorers, Cabrillo and Ferrelo, and Vizcaino and Aguilar, had made their way up the Oregon coast and there is some reason to believe that the last-named had looked upon the mouth of the Columbia. Following that earlier era of discovery, there was a long[43] interval. Spain, England, France, Holland, Austria, Germany, and Italy were absorbed in the gigantic wars growing out of the Reformation, and their ships almost entirely disappeared from the Pacific. But during the latter part of the seventeenth century there was initiated that vast movement in eastern Europe and northern Asia which shaped and will yet more shape the policies and destinies of the world. Peter the Great, one of the world figures, started to lead Russia out of barbarism. Then was began that glacier-like movement of the "Colossus of the North" toward the open waters of two continents which will no doubt never end until the political world comes to a condition of stable equilibrium. The successors of Peter pursued the same march for warm water and open ports. A series of explorers made their way across Siberia. In 1728 and 1741 Vitus Bering, one of the true "Vikings of the Pacific," made his daring and significant voyages with the aim of realizing Peter's great conception of the Russian acquisition of the shores of the Pacific by sailing eastward from Asia to America. In his last voyage, after having gone as far south as Oregon, and then turned north along the Alaskan coast, the heroic Bering was cast upon the desolate island which bears his name, and there in the cold and darkness of the Arctic winter he died. His men found during that winter that the sea-otters of the island had most beautiful furs, and they clothed themselves with the skins of those animals. Returning in the spring in rude boats constructed from the fragments of their wrecked ship to Avatscha Bay, these survivors of Bering's voyage made known to the world the possibilities of the use of these treasures of the animal world. That was the beginning of the Russian fur-trade. A new era in history was inaugurated. Within a few years an enterprising Pole, Maurice de Benyowski, conveyed a cargo of furs from Kamchatka to China. That country was then the great market for furs, and the success of Benyowski's venture suggested to others the enormous possibilities of the business. The great girdle of volcanic islands beginning a little east of Kamtschatka and extending northeast and then southeast, known now as the Aleutian Islands, and the Alaskan coast and thence southward to Oregon and California, were found by Russians, Spaniards, and English to abound in fur-bearing animals, of which the sea-otter was most available immediately upon the coast, though it was soon known that the beaver, the fox, and many others existed in great numbers further inland.

In connection with the eager search along the coast some of the most famous of all explorers steered their course. Among them was James Cook, one of the most manly and intrepid of all that long line of navigators who bore the Union Jack around the "Seven Seas." Cook's great series of voyages, beginning in 1776 and lasting several years, and extending through all parts of the Pacific, were designed primarily as voyages of discovery. But while in Alaskan waters his men secured many sea-otter furs. They did not fully realize their value until they reached China some time later and saw the huge profit on furs in that market. Now there was in Cook's service a certain very interesting American sailor, John Ledyard. Ledyard was a genuine Yankee, keen, inquisitive, and observing. He noted the possibilities of the fur-trade in Oregon and Aleutian waters, and determined that as soon as he could reach his own home country he would interest his countrymen in sending their own ships upon the quest. That was just when the Revolutionary war was in progress and several years elapsed before Ledyard was in America. When there he lost no time in getting into communication with leading[44] Americans. Among others he greatly interested Thomas Jefferson. Here then we have a most important chain of sequences. Cook, Ledyard, Jefferson, English and American rivalries and counter aims and claims on the Pacific coast of America—a whole nexus of related events out of which the fabric of great history became woven. Within a few years the race for possession of Oregon by sea was on. Earlier than Cook, Heceta, the Spaniard, had sailed along the Oregon coast and looked into the mouth of the Columbia. But after Cook came a long line of Spanish explorers whose names appear upon our present day maps, Bodega, Camano, Fidalgo, Galiano, Valdez, and many more. Then came another group of Englishmen, Portlock, Dixon, Meares, Barclay, Douglas, Colnett, and, most prominent of all, Vancouver. But to us, more important than any other of the nations whose banners were carried along the western coast, was the new republic, the United States of America. The Stars and Stripes were flying on the Pacific. Robert Gray in the Lady Washington, and John Kendrick in the Columbia Rediviva had been placed in command of an expedition by certain enterprising merchants of Boston in the very same year of the construction of the American constitution. In 1788 they reached the coast of Oregon. That was the initiation of the American fur-trade. Those were the great days of that business. A ship would be fitted out with a cargo of trinkets and tobacco and tools and blankets, and sail from Boston or New Bedford or Marblehead or New York for its three years' round-up of the seas. The Indians had not yet learned the value of furs. On one occasion Gray secured for a chisel a quantity of furs worth $8,000. The cargo of trinkets and tools and blankets out and the cargo of furs in, the next stage of the voyage was from Oregon to Canton, in China, where the cargo of furs was displaced by one of tea and nankeen and silk, and then the ship would square away for her home port, a three-years' round-up. The glory, the fascination, and also the danger of the sea was in it. Fortunes were sometimes made in a single voyage—and also sometimes lost. For ships and crews were sometimes lost by wreck or savages or scurvy. Yet in spite of disasters the game was so fascinating that during the period from 1790 to 1818 there were 108 American vessels, twenty-two English and several French and Portuguese vessels regularly engaged in the business on the Oregon coast. Profits were sometimes immense. Dixon, an English trader, says that during the years 1786 and 1787 5,800 sea-otter skins were sold for $160,700. Sturgis states that he knew a capital of $50,000 to yield a return of $284,000.

The fur-trade on the coast was naturally first in the order of growth. But exploration of the interior would naturally follow when the great results of the sea-trade were known. Moreover, it most be remembered that the fur-trade had been pursued with great assiduity and success in Canada and even Louisiana long years before Gray and Vancouver were contesting for the discovery of the "River of the West," or the solution of the mystery of Juan de Fuca. As the Spaniards were the first to try to grasp the treasure of precious stones and metals in the New World, so the French were the pioneers in the attempted exploitation of the treasure of the furs. Monopoly by kingly favor was the chief method of driving out rivals and monopolizing advantages in those days. An American railway or iron master has a feeble grip on the bounty of a state or nation compared with the grip of a Seventeenth Century royal favorite. Way back in the early part of that century, Louis XIII and his minister, Richelieu,[45] granted concessions to De Monts, Pontgrave, Champlain, Radisson, Crozat, and others. Later, La Salle, Joliet, Hennepin, D'Iberville, and still later the Verendryes and many more had similar monopolies from Louis XIV and Louis XV. The regions of the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence and the Mississippi were the fields of these great concessionaires. But England was not inactive all that time. In the desperate rivalry of Gaul and Briton for supremacy in America, the Fleur-de-lis was lowered before the Cross of St. George and North America became British instead of French. The fur-trade, one of the chief prizes of contest, fell to English monopolists. Long before the final decision on the Plains of Abraham when Montcalm fell before Wolf, Charles II had granted to Prince Rupert a charter to the Hudson's Bay Company. That gigantic organization, which later had so intimate a relation to Oregon, was established in 1670 with a capital of 10,500 pounds. Besides the vast enterprises connected directly with the fur-trade, this company carried on many great geographical expeditions. But this great monopoly could not, even with all its privileges, entirely prevent rivalry. In 1783, the French and Indian wars and the American Revolution now being past, a new organization arose, destined to bear a vital part in northwest history. This was the Northwestern Fur Company. One of its leading partners, Alexander Mackenzie, discovered in 1789 the river which flows to the Polar Sea and which fittingly bears his name. Four years later he made even a more notable journey from the upper Athabasca waters across the mountains and down the Pacific slope to a point on what was later known as Cascade Inlet. There he proclaimed his journey by painting upon a rock the inscription: "Alexander Mackenzie, from Canada by land, the twenty-second of July, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-three." That was only a year after Gray discovered the Columbia River and Vancouver circumnavigated the island which bears his name.

Thus we see that from both sea and land the fur-traders were converging upon Oregon. It was emerging from the mists of myth and romance into the light of modern conditions. The rivalry between the Hudson's Bay Company and the audacious Northwesters who had ventured to break into their monopoly became keen and indeed sanguinary. Pitched battles were fought and lives lost. The bold and aggressive Northwesters pushed to the western side of the Rockies and in 1807 David Thompson, one of the most admirable of all the early explorers of any of the rival nations or companies, began to establish posts at various strategic points upon Columbia waters. During several years beginning with 1807 he located trading stations on Lake Windermere near the head of the river, on the Spokane at the Junction with it of the Little Spokane, and on the Pend d'Oreille and Coeur d'Alene lakes.

While the Northwesters were thus posting themselves at some of the vantage points of Oregon, the Americans were not idle. The reader who desires an extended view of the fascinating theme of the American fur-trade should consult that foremost book on the subject by Gen. H. M. Chittenden of Seattle, to which we here make our acknowledgments. What was to become the American trade began indeed with Frenchmen and Spaniards before the independence of the United States. In 1764 Pierre Liguest and Auguste Chouteau founded St. Louis, which became the center of all trading operations for many years. The Treaty of Paris of 1763 had as a matter of fact already delivered all the country west of the Mississippi to Spain, but the Frenchmen did not yet know it. In 1800[46] the Louisiana Territory again became French, and three years later, by a happy juxtaposition of statesmanship and good fortune, it passed from French to American control. Then immediately followed, as already narrated, the Lewis and Clark expedition with its momentous results. After St. Louis became an American town the fur-trade was still largely in the hands of French and Spanish traders established there during the possession by their respective governments. Of these the most prominent were Pierre Chouteau, Jr., a Frenchman, and Manuel Lisa, a Spaniard. The first expedition to the Far West was that of Lisa in partnership with William Morrison, an American of Illinois, and Pierre Menard, a Frenchman, also living in Illinois. One interesting feature of this expedition is that it occurred in the same year with the first of David Thompson. Another is that on the way the party met John Colter who had been one of the Lewis and Clark party, but on the return had decided to stop in the wilderness to trap and explore. He was on his way to the settlements, but was induced to return to the Rocky Mountains with the party. In connection with Colter we may very properly digress a little, for he was one of the typical adventurers of that period and some of the events of his career in the wilderness cast a vivid light upon the conditions of those times. Lisa proceeded with his party to the mouth of the Bighorn River and there established a fort. Desiring to notify the Indians of the arrival of the party, Lisa sent Colter all alone on a journey of several hundred miles to the Crows on Wind River and to the Blackfeet at the Three Forks of the Missouri. On this journey Colter became an unwilling participant in a battle between those two contending tribes. He was on the side of the Crows, and after rendering efficient aid to his side in winning a victory, was severely wounded in the leg. Nevertheless, nothing daunted, he set forth across the ranges of towering, snowy peaks to reach Lisa's fort. He succeeded in the solitary and desperate undertaking, and in the course of it discovered Yellowstone Lake and the geyser region which now makes the Yellowstone Park one of the wonders of the world. Returning to the mountains, Colter was captured by the savage and cruel Blackfeet. Wishing to have a little sport with their hapless victim, the Indians stripped him and asked him if he was a fast runner. From his knowledge of their customs he understood that he was to be put up in a race for life against several hundred Indians. He gave them to understand that he was a poor runner, though as a matter of fact he was very fast. Accordingly they gave him several hundred yards start on the open prairie with the Jefferson fork of the Missouri six miles distant. Away he sped with the whole pack behind him like a band of wolves, with the war-whoop ringing over the plain. With his naked feet torn and bleeding from the cactus Colter soon outdistanced most of the pursuers, but half way across the plain, glancing over his shoulder, he saw that one swift Indian armed with a spear was gaining on him. With the violence of Colter's exertions the blood was streaming from his nostrils down the front of his body, and just as the Indian was almost within striking distance Colter suddenly stopped and turned, a ghastly spectacle, with extended arms. The Indian was so disconcerted with the unexpected move that in endeavoring to wield his spear he lost his footing and fell. Instantly picking up the spear Colter pinned his assailant to the ground and on he went again toward the river. The foremost of the pursuing Indians, finding their expiring comrade, paused long enough to set up a hideous howl and then rushed on. But Colter, though[47] almost at the limit of his strength, drove himself on to the river ahead of the band, and breaking through the copse of cottonwoods which skirted the stream he plunged in. Just below was a small island against which drift had lodged. Diving beneath the drift Colter managed to find a crack between the trees where he might get his head in the air. There he remained undiscovered all night while the savages were shrieking around like so many devils. In the early morning he let loose from the drift and floated and swam a long ways down the stream, and when day fairly broke had got beyond the immediate vicinity of his enemies. But in what a horrid plight! Stark naked, with no food and no weapons for game, the soles of his feet pierced thick with the cruel spikes of the cactus! Yet such is the endurance of some men that in seven days during which his only subsistence was roots dug with his fingers, Colter made his way to Lisa's fort. "Such was life in the Far-West." The story was told by Colter to Bradbury, who narrated it in his book, "Travels in North America." Irving used it in his "Astoria," and it also appears in Chittenden's "American Fur-trade."

One of the partners of Lisa in the Missouri Fur Company, Andrew Henry, in 1810 built a fort on the west side of the Great Divide on a stream afterwards known as Henry's Fork, a branch of Snake River. It was near the present Egin, Idaho, and was the first structure built by white men upon Snake River or any of its tributaries.

We have given the extended narration thus far of fur-traders prior to any actual entrance by any of them into the region treated in this work, in order that the nature of the business and the manner in which all parts of Oregon were involved might become clear. We now bring upon the scene still another enterprise which came yet closer to our own region. This was the Pacific Fur Company of John Jacob Astor. This first of the great business promoters of our country was born in Germany, and coming to New York in 1784 began his great career as a fur merchant. Having made a fortune in the business almost entirely by operations in Canada, Astor conceived the project of a vast emporium upon the Columbia to which should converge the trade in furs from all the region west of the Rocky Mountains and south of the region definitely occupied by the Northwestern Fur Company. He contemplated also a lucrative business with the Russians centered around Sitka and Kodiak on the north, and the Spaniards on the south. It was a noble enterprise and worthy of all success. It would have had a most important bearing upon the progress of American enterprise and settlement in Oregon and might have materially changed certain chapters in history. That it failed of full accomplishment was due to various untoward circumstances, of which the chief were: first, Astor's own error of judgment in selecting the majority of his partners and employees from Canadians and also selecting captains for his first two ships who were not qualified for their important task; and second, the War of 1812. It will be remembered that the Northwesters of Canada were thoroughly located upon the Athabasca and had crossed the Divide and as early as 1807 had built posts on the upper Columbia and Spokane and on the lakes in what is now Northern Idaho. Astor no doubt anticipated a strenuous contest with those bold, ambitious Canadians, but his own highly successful enterprises thus far had been with Canadians and he knew them well qualified. He reasoned that he could make it well worth their while to be loyal to him and to the company to which he admitted them. It is probable[48] that all would have worked as he calculated had not the war with Great Britain defeated all his well-laid plans.

The part of the great Astoria enterprise which more especially comes within the scope of our story is that of the journey of the land party across the Rocky Mountains and down the Snake and Columbia rivers, and the subsequent establishment of forts and trading posts. The land division was under Wilson Price Hunt of New Jersey, the partner second in command to Astor himself. He was one of the comparatively few Americans in the company and seems to have been a man of the highest type, brave, humane, enterprising, and wholesouled, worthy of a place at the head of those Jasons of the Nineteenth Century who sought the golden fleeces of the Far-West. Both divisions got under way in 1810, the land division from Montreal in July, and the sea division in September. The latter, however, reached the promised land of the Columbia first, for after a tragic entrance of the mouth of the river, the Tonquin with the party on board brought to in Baker's Bay on the north side of the river on March 25th. Astoria was founded on April 12, 1811. A few months later, owing to the criminal obstinacy and bad judgment of Captain Thorn, the Tonquin with all her crew but one (from whom the story is derived) was captured by Indians and then blown up at a place presumably Nootka Sound or near there on the west side of Vancouver Island.

Hunt, with three other partners, McKenzie, Crooks, and Miller, after having collected and fitted out a party of such miscellaneous material as they could find at various places between Montreal and St. Louis, left the latter place on October 21, 1810, and reaching a stream called the Nadowa, near the present site of St. Joseph, Mo., stopped for the winter. Resuming the long journey on April 21st of the next year, the party reached the abandoned Fort Henry on October 8th. They were now on the headwaters of Snake River. Down that wild stream they ran a losing race with oncoming winter. For before they reached the present vicinity of Huntington, Ore., the December snows fell thick upon them. McKenzie and McLellan with seven of the strongest men went ahead of the main party, and reaching the vicinity of the present Seven Devils country made their way after twenty-one days of struggle and peril through the great canyon of Snake River to its junction with the Clearwater, the site of the present Lewiston and Clarkston. They had a clear idea then of their location by a knowledge of the experiences of Lewis and Clark. They were then within the area of our four counties of this history and had no trouble in making their way, though in midwinter, down the Snake, then at its lowest stage and not difficult to navigate, to that most interesting spot, the junction of the Snake and Columbia. Thus the advance party on this historic journey, the first of the fur-traders, though later than the Lewis and Clark expedition, reached the Columbia. With their canoes floating upon its broad waters they had an easy and pleasant journey, after their former desperate straits, to the rude stockade of Astoria, which they reached on January 18, 1812. The main party had a more distressing time. After nearly starving and freezing they turned toward the mountains from the present Huntington and must have very nearly followed the course of the present railroad from that point to the Grande Ronde. They were at just about the limit of endurance when on December 30th, looking down from their snowy elevation they saw far below them a sunny valley, looking to the winter-wasted refugees like a vision of paradise. Thither hastening they found several lodges of Indians who took pity on their forlorn and destitute state and provided them with food and fuel. Irving gives with his graphic pen a brilliant narration of the celebration of New Year's day in this valley of salvation for this party. Rested and recuperated by these few days in the Grande Ronde, they essayed their last tussle with the mountains by scaling the snowy heights between their resting place and the Umatilla. Reaching that warm and beautiful valley they found that their deliverance was at hand, for there they took a two-weeks' rest. On January 21st, having started again, they beheld before them a blue flood nearly a mile wide hastening toward the sunset, evidently the "Great River." Their journey afoot down the river to the Cascades and thence in canoes to Astoria was a soft and gentle exercise after the arduous struggles though the mountains.



Such was the inauguration of the Pacific Fur Company in this country. While amid such suffering the Americans were endeavoring to launch their great enterprise, the Northwesters were employing great energy and skill in planting themselves upon the upper river. They, too, looked for new fields to conquer. In July, 1811, the redoubtable David Thompson appeared at Astoria expecting to file a claim on the lower river for his company. He was too late by three months, for Astoria had been founded in April. The Scotchmen of the Astoria Company fraternized with their countryman, but to David Stuart, one of the American partners, this was not pleasing. Hastening his preparations he hurried on his journey up the river. At the mouth of Snake River he found a British flag upon a pole and on it a paper claiming the country in the name of Great Britain. It was obvious to Stuart that there would be a contest between his company and the Northwesters. He wished to secure certain strategic points as far inland as possible and accordingly he pressed on up the Columbia to the mouth of the Okanogan, estimated to be five hundred and forty miles above Astoria. There on September 2nd, Stuart planted the American flag and started the construction of a post, the first American structure within the present State of Washington.

Of the interesting and varied events in the Okanogan and Spokane countries Alexander Ross and Ross Cox, clerks in the Astor Company, have given the most complete data. These events, important as they were, are outside the scope of our story. We will simply say that the rivalry between the Astorians and the Northwesters came to a sudden climax by the War of 1812. Misfortune dogged the course of the Astor Company. Hunt had gone from Astoria to Sitka in the second ship from New York, the Beaver, and had started a profitable business with the Russians, but on the return to the Columbia, the captain of the Beaver, finding his ship damaged by a storm, insisted on going to Honolulu, though Hunt's presence was sorely needed at Astoria. At Honolulu Hunt received the evil tidings of the wreck of the third ship, the Lark. With the cargo of the Beaver conveyed to Canton, while Hunt was wasting his vitally important time at Honolulu, the same timid captain, Sowles, lost all the best chances of the market, both for selling his furs and buying Canton goods. Thus the whole voyage was a failure. After an intolerable delay, Hunt chartered a vessel with which he left the Sandwich Islands and reached Astoria August 20, 1813.[50] more than a year from the time of his departure. But his return was too late. The Scotch partners had sold the company out to the Northwesters.

Such was the untoward end of the vast undertaking of John Jacob Astor. The Americans were down and out. The Britishers were in possession of the fur territory of Oregon. By the Joint Occupation Treaty of 1818, both English and Americans were privileged to carry on business in Oregon, but the effect of the downfall of the Astor Company was to place the country in the hands of the Northwesters. That company had two great aims: first, to get rid of American rivalry; second, to prevent the entrance of the Hudson's Bay Company. Having accomplished the first purpose, they set about the second. The upshot of that was the final coalescence of the two companies in 1821 with the name of the Hudson's Bay Company, but with the members of the younger company on equal terms, and as far as Oregon was concerned, with the advantage of profit in the hands of the partners of that company. And now for twenty-five years the Hudson's Bay Company, thus reorganized, lorded it over Oregon.

During all the years from the time of the entrance of the Pacific Fur Company through the struggle between it and the Northwesters and then the united fortunes of the Northwesters and the Hudson's Bay Company down to American ownership in 1846, Walla Walla and the rest of the region which now composes the scene of our history were prominent in the affairs of the fur-traders. Perhaps the most valuable narrative by any of the Astor Company of entrance into the Walla Walla County, is that by Alexander Ross, one of the clerks, in a book of which the full title is, "Adventures of the First Settlers on the Oregon or Columbia River." In this narrative Ross tells of their first journey into the interior, beginning July 22, 1811. Describing the passage of the Cascades and the "Long Narrows" (The Dalles) and the Falls (Celilo) he mentions a river which he calls the Lowhum (Des Chutes), then the Day (John Day), then the Umatallow (Umatilla). He describes here a "large mound or hill of considerable height," which from its peculiar form they called Dumbarton Castle. This was doubtless the curious rock just east of Umatilla, noticeable to all travellers by steamer. Passing through the "colonnade rocks," the party soon found themselves at a bluff where there "issues the meandering Walla Walla, a beautiful little river, lined with weeping willows." Here they found a great concourse of Indians, "Walla-Wallas, Shaw Haptens, and Cajouses, altogether 1,500 souls." Some were armed with guns and some with bows and arrows. Their chiefs rejoiced in the names of Tummatapam, Quill-Quills-Tuck-a-Pesten, and Allowcatt. The plains were literally covered with horses, of which there could not have been less than four thousand in sight of the camp. Passing beyond the Walla Walla, the party reached the junction of the two big rivers, noting the difference in color of the two. Noting also the fine salmon fishing, where, however, Ross observed that not so many salmon can be captured in a day as on the Copper Mine River or in Kamtschatka. They soon reach the Eyakema (Yakima), and here they note that the landscape at the mouth of that river surpassed in picturesque beauty anything that they had yet seen. They are surprised at being overtaken at that point by three Walla Walla Indians on horseback who brought to them a bag of shot which they had accidentally left at the preceding camp,—an evidence of honesty similar to that experienced by Lewis and Clark among the Walla Wallas. From the "Eyakema" this party proceeded up the river to[51] Okanogan, where, as already related, they built the first structure erected by white men in the present State of Washington.

It gives some conception of the hardihood of the traders of that time to note that Ross remained entirely alone at "Oakanacken," while the rest of the party went northward 350 miles to find a new fur region. During their absence of 188 days Ross secured from the Indians 1,550 beaver skins for 35 pounds, worth in Canton (China) market 2,250 pounds!

One of the most characteristic incidents of the life of that time is found in an account given in the narratives of Cox, Ross, and Franchére, about the Indian wife of Pierre Dorion, a hunter in one of the parties which had been located in the Blue Mountains south of Walla Walla. Following Franchére's account of this, it appears that while a party of Northwesters of which he was one were on their way in 1814 up the Columbia to cross the mountains into Canada, while they were in the river near the mouth of the Walla Walla, they heard a child's voice from a canoe call out: "Arretez donc, Arretez donc!" (Stop! Stop!) The woman with her two boys were in an canoe trying to overtake the party. Halting, they discovered that this pitiful little group were all that remained of the trappers that had been located among the Snake Indians. According to Madame Dorion's story, while they were engaged in trapping in January, the trappers had been attacked one by one by the Indians and all murdered. Securing two horses the brave woman mounted her boys upon them and started for the Walla Walla. In the bitter cold they could not proceed and having no other food, the woman killed the horses and after spending the rest of the winter in the mountains made her way with the children to the Walla Walla, where the Indians treated them with kindness and placed them where they might find the boats of the white men. Think of the endurance and faithfulness of the woman who could win such a fight for life for her children.

Ross Cox gives an interesting account of his journey from Astoria to Spokane in 1812. He too commends the "Wallah Wallah" Indians for their honesty and humanity. He describes the immense numbers of rattlesnakes around the mouth of the Wallah Wallah, and—a more pleasing theme the appearance of the mountains which he says the Canadians called from their color, "Les Montagnes Bleues." From what Cox says in this same connection, it appears that the name Nez Perces was a translation into French from the name Pierced-Nose, which had already been applied to the Indians up Snake River by Lewis and Clark.

The most important event in this stage of the history was the founding of Fort Walla Walla, at first called Fort Nez Perces. This was founded in 1818 by Donald McKenzie. This efficient and ambitious man will be remembered as one of Astor's partners, one who accompanied Hunt on his great journey and had been one of the most active and influential in the sale of Astoria to the Northwestern Company. Having been for ten years prior to his connection with Astor a member of the Northwestern Company, he felt more at home with it, and upon its establishment in practical possession of the fur trade of Oregon. McKenzie became one of its most faithful and useful managers. McKenzie seems to have been opposed by his associates in his desire to establish a post on the Walla Walla. But with a keen eye for strategic places and with a sagacity and pertinacity unequalled by any of them, he forced all to his views. Orders came from headquarters that he be allowed the needful men and equipment,[52] and in July, 1818, with ninety-five men and our old friend Ross as his second in command, he set to work in the construction of the fort at the point half a mile above the mouth of the Walla Walla, long known in the annals of the Columbia during both British and American possession. At that spot the foundation of the fort may still be seen, and just abreast of it is the present landing of the Wallula ferry. The structure consisted of a palisade of timbers 30 inches wide, 6 inches thick, and 20 feet high. At the top were loop-holes and slip-doors. Two bastions and water tanks holding 200 gallons still further guarded against both attack from Indians and danger of fire. The enclosure was 100 feet square, and within it were houses built of drift logs, though there was one of stone. Subsequently adobe buildings were added, and some of those remained in some degree of preservation till the great flood of 1894.

From Fort Walla Walla, as it came to be known within a few years, McKenzie carried on a great and profitable trade to the Snake country and the Blue Mountains. At one of his encampments while having a force of only three men, and with a very valuable stock of furs and goods, a crowd of piratical Indians tried to rush the ramp and plunder the whole establishment. McKenzie with his usual nerve seized a match and holding it over a keg of powder declared that if they did not immediately clear out, he would blow them all up. They cleared out and left him in possession. It is said that Archibald McKinley performed a similar exploit at Walla Walla.

Many interesting things could be told of this historic fort. Gardens were started, cattle brought to feed on the meadow land of the Walla Walla, and by the time that the missionaries and immigrants began to come in the '30s and '40s the lower Walla Walla bore a homelike and civilized appearance. Other pasture and garden regions were added, one of the most extensive being that now known as Hudson's Bay, the location of the "Goodman Ranch," about fifteen miles southwest of the present City of Walla Walla.

Our limits forbid space for all the other fur enterprises and companies aside from the two important companies already described. There were, however, three Americans who come within the range of our story whose careers were so interesting and important that we cannot omit mention of them. These were Jedadiah Smith, Nathaniel Wyeth and B. L. E. Bonneville. The first named was a member of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, of which W. H. Ashley was founder. The main operations of the company were on the Upper Missouri, Green River, and around Great Salt Lake. Smith, however, made several remarkable journeys far beyond the earlier range. He was a very unique character, a devout Christian and yet one of the boldest of traders and discoverers. He might be said to have carried the Bible in one hand and his rifle in the other. He usually began the day with devotions and expected his men to be present. Yet he pushed his business and discoveries to the limit. His first great trip was in 1826. He proceeded from Great Salt Lake to the Colorado, thence across Arizona and Southern California, to San Diego, a route unknown to whites before. After going up and down California hundreds of miles he crossed the mountains and deserts eastward the next summer, following a more northern route abounding in perils and hardships. In 1827 the journey to California was repeated almost immediately upon his return from the first. In the spring and summer of 1828, he struck out on an entirely new course. This was up the[53] Sacramento and northwesterly across the lofty ranges of Southern Oregon to the Umpqua on the Oregon Coast. There, with his nineteen men he did successful trapping, but a difficulty with the Indians resulted in the massacre of the whole party except himself and three others. Those three being separated from the leader, he made his way in utter destitution and with great suffering to the Hudson's Bay Fort at Vancouver. Dr. John McLoughlin, the chief factor, with his usual generosity supplied the survivors of this disaster with their vital necessities and sent a well-armed party to secure the valuable furs of which the Umpquas had robbed them. Most of the furs were brought to Vancouver and McLoughlin paid Smith $20,000 for them. Remaining in Vancouver till March, 1829, Smith made his way up the Columbia to the Flathead country and thence along the Rocky Mountains to the Teton range on the Upper Snake River. This vast series of routes by Jedadiah Smith through Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado, was the most extensive that had yet been taken and did more than any other to give a comprehensive view of what became the west third of the United States. In 1831, lamentable to relate, this truly heroic and enterprising master trapper was killed by Comanche Indians on the Cimarron desert.

Nathaniel Jarvis Wyeth and Benjamin Louis Eulalie de Bonneville were practically contemporary, and in their adventurous careers crossed each other's trails. Wyeth was born at Cambridge, Mass., and from the traditions of the family should have been a graduate of Harvard College. He was, however, so eager to enter some active career that he did not complete a college course. He became quite fascinated with the utopian ideas about Oregon given to the world by Hall J. Kelley, and in 1832 he started upon a grand enterprise toward the setting sun. He had conceived a general plan of a vast emporium of American business in furs and salmon, similar to that of Astor. With an ardent imagination and yet great practical good sense, Wyeth had the material for an empire builder. That he failed to fulfil his grand design was due partly to sheer bad luck, but mainly to the invincible monopoly of the Hudson's Bay Company. The work of Wyeth was, however, an essential link in the great chain which finally led to American ownership of Oregon. The first trip of Wyeth was in 1832. He crossed the mountains in company with Sublette, a noted trapper of the Rocky Mountain Company, and after some disasters with the Indians, he traversed the Blue Mountains and reached Fort Walla Walla (the present Wallula) in October. Pierre Pambrun was the Hudson's Bay Company's agent at Walla Walla and he received the destitute and nearly famished Americans with lavish hospitality. After recuperating a few days at Walla Walla, Wyeth descended the Columbia, with unabated enthusiasm, expecting to find the ship which had left Boston in the spring, well laden with stores already waiting his arrival. But alas for human hopes! When he reached Fort Vancouver he learned that his vessel had been wrecked. His men had already suffered much and lost faith in the lucky star of their employer and asked to be relieved from further service. He was compelled perforce to grant their request, for he had no money. Spending the winter in and around Vancouver, treated by McLoughlin with utmost kindness, and acquiring much knowledge and experience, but no money, the indomitable Yankee determined to return and raise another fund and challenge fate and his rivals again. February, 1833, found him again at[54] Walla Walla. Thence he pursued a devious course to Spokane and Colville, across the Divide, down the mountains to the Tetons on the Upper Snake, where he fell in with Bonneville. First planning to go with Bonneville to California, Wyeth suddenly decided to return to Boston and make ready for an immediate new expedition to Oregon. He made an extraordinary voyage down the Bighorn and finally down the Missouri to St. Louis in a "bull-boat." Safely reaching Boston in November, he brought all his contagious enthusiasm to bear on certain moneyed men with the result that he organized a new company known as the Columbia River Fishing and Trading Company. A new vessel, the May Dacre, was outfitted for the voyage around Cape Horn to Oregon.

Again with new men and equipment and with such experience from his former journey as made success seem sure, Wyeth started on his new expedition from St. Louis on April 3, 1834. One interesting feature of this journey was that two conspicuous scientists, Thomas Nuttall and J. K. Townsend, and the advance guard of the missionaries, Jason Lee and party of the Methodist Church, accompanied the party. But even though better equipped than before and though seemingly having the sanction of both Science and the Church to bless his aims, the same old ill-fortune seemed to travel with him. He had brought, under a contract made on his return the year before, a valuable stock of goods for the Sublettes of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, and now when on reaching their rendezvous he made ready to deliver the goods brought with on much toil and expense, the Sublettes refused to receive them. Their company was, in fact, at the point of dissolution. Though Wyeth had the forfeit money that they had put up with the contract, that was small recompense for his labor of transportation. But nothing daunted, the stout-hearted promoter declared to the Sublettes, "I will roll a stone into your garden which you will never be able to get out." In fulfillment of his threat he prepared to invade their territory by building a fort in which to store the rejected goods and from which to send his trappers to all parts of the upper Snake. The fort thus established was the famous Fort Hall, the most notable fort on the whole route, in the near vicinity of the present Pocatello. In spite of delays, the party seems to have travelled with unparalleled celerity, for leaving Fort Hall they reached the Grande Ronde on August 31st, a date at which previous parties had hardly reached the head of Snake River. In the Grande Ronde the party again encountered Bonneville. Three days more saw them at Walla Walla, and on September 2d, Wyeth was once more at Vancouver. Here came misfortune number two. He had expected to find the May Dacre already in the river with a good haul of salmon which they planned to salt and take east on the return trip. But the vessel reached Vancouver the next day after Wyeth's own arrival, too late for any effective fishing that year. She had been struck by lightning and had lost three months' time in repairs. With indefatigable energy, Wyeth inaugurated his plans. He sent a detail of men to Fort Hall with supplies. He conducted an extensive trapping expedition to Central Oregon up the Des Chutes River. He built Fort William on Sauvie's Island. If anyone ever deserved success, Wyeth did. But Doctor McLoughlin, though the kindest of men and though personally wishing every success to Wyeth, could not forget that he was responsible to the Hudson's Bay Company. He underbid Wyeth for the Indian trade and headed him off at every turn in opening new regions. Nothing but a purse as long as that of the Hudson's Bay Company's could have stood the pressure. Worst of all, a pestilence broke out among the Indians from which they died like flies and from which some of Wyeth's own men perished. The Indians attributed the scourge to the evil "Tomanowas" of the "Bostons" and absolutely boycotted them. The brave fight was lost. Bad luck and the Hudson's Bay Company were too much for this all-deserving Yankee. Wyeth threw up his hands, sold out to the Hudson's Bay Company for what they would give, yielding to them possession of his cherished Fort Hall, which became one of their most advantageous posts, and made his way, baffled but by no means disheartened, to his New England home. With his downfall it became clear that no ordinary force could dispossess the great British Company from its vantage ground in Oregon.



But meanwhile Bonneville was upholding the Stars and Stripes as valorously, but not more successfully than Wyeth. Bonneville was a Frenchman who came to New York in his youth, and who had most influential friends, and had also the extreme good fortune of attracting the favorable notice of Washington Irving and becoming the hero of one of the most fascinating books of that leading American writer, "Bonneville's Adventures." Through this introduction to the reading public, greedy in those days for tales of the romance and adventure of the Far-West, Bonneville acquired a fame and vogue and became invested with a certain glamour beyond that of any of the fur-traders of Old Oregon. By the favor and influence of Thomas Paine, Bonneville became a West Point appointee and graduated in 1819. When La Fayette came to America in 1825 Bonneville was detailed to accompany the "Hero of Two Continents" on his tour of the States. Greatly pleased with his young compatriot, La Fayette took him back to France on his return, and for several years the young French-American was a member of the household of that great man. Returning to the land of his adoption and resuming his army connections, Bonneville became absorbed with the idea that he might gratify both his love of adventure and of money by entering the fur trade in the Far West. Securing from the War Department an appointment as a special explorer of new lands, and investigator of the Indian tribes, he was also allowed to make a personal venture in the fur trade.

H. H. Bancroft in his "Pacific Coast History" viciously attacks Bonneville as well as Irving who immortalized him. General Chittenden in his "History of the American Fur Trade in the Far-West" defends both in a very spirited and successful manner.

The series of expeditions undertaken by Bonneville extended over the years 1832-5. Those years were replete with adventure, hardship, romance of a sort, but very little success in the quest of furs. In the course of those years the adventurous army officer traversed and retraversed the country covered by the water-sheds of the Snake River and its tributaries, Green River and the Colorado, the Great Salt Lake Basin, and down the Columbia. One of the most valuable journeys of his party was through the Humboldt Basin, across the Sierras and into California, a new route somewhat similar to the earlier one of Jedadiah Smith. That, however, was commanded not by Bonneville himself, but by I. R. Walker, Bonneville's most valued assistant. The most interesting part of Bonneville's expedition to the inhabitants of Old Walla Walla County was his winter trip from the Grande Ronde to the "Wayleway" (Wallowa), down the Snake to the present vicinity of Asotin, thence across the prairies[56] of what is now Garfield and Columbia counties, to Walla Walla. He describes that region as one of rare beauty and apparent fertility and predicts that it will sometime be the scene of high cultivation and settlement. Reaching Fort Walla Walla, he was received by Pierre Pambrun with the same courtesy which that commandant had bestowed on Wyeth, but when he tried to secure supplies for his depleted equipment, Pambrun assured him that he would have to draw the line at anything which would foster the American fur-trade. Like Wyeth, Bonneville discovered to his sorrow and cost that he was "up against" an immovable wall of monopoly of the hugest and most inflexible aggregation of capital in the western hemisphere. He could not compete at Walla Walla. Descending the Columbia River he found the same iron barrier of monopoly. He too threw up his hands. The American fur-traders were at the end of their string. They retired and left the great monopoly in undisputed possession.

Thus ends, in American defeat, this first combat for possession of Oregon. Another combat and another champion for the Americans was due. Exit the trapper. Enter the missionary. Another chapter—and we shall see what the new actor could do and did do on the grand stage of Oregon history.




In the preceding chapter we learned that the various attempts of American trappers and fur companies to control the fur trade of Oregon failed. The Hudson's Bay Company was too firmly entrenched in its vast domain to be loosened by any business of its own kind. Nor would there have been any special advantage to the United States or the world in dislodging the great British company and substituting an American enterprise of the same sort. The aims and policy of all fur companies were the same: i. e., to keep the country a wilderness, to trade with the natives and derive a fortune from the lavish bounty of wild animal life. The Hudson's Bay Company was as good as any enterprise of its type could be. The unfortunate fact was not so much that it was the British who were skimming the cream of the wilderness, as that the regime of any fur company was necessarily antagonistic to that incoming tide of settlers who would bring with them the home, the shop, the road, the church, the school, in short, civilization. Hence the necessary policy of the great fur company was to discourage immigration, or, in fact, any form of enterprise which would utilize the latent agricultural, pastoral, and manufacturing resources of Oregon. This policy existed, in spite of the fact (of which we shall see many illustrations later) that individual managers and officers of the company were often of broad and benevolent character and predisposed to extending a cordial welcome to the advance guard of American immigration. A few stray Americans had drifted to Oregon and California with the hope of inaugurating enterprises that would lead to American occupation. In general, however, the land beyond the Rockies was as dark a continent as Africa.

But in 1832 a strange and interesting event occurred which unlocked the gates of the western wilderness and led in a train of conditions which made American settlement and ownership a logical result. In 1832 a party of four Indians from the Far West appeared at St. Louis on a strange quest—seeking the "White Man's Book of Life." Efforts have been made by certain recent writers to belittle or discredit this event, for no very apparent reason unless it be that general disposition of some of the so-called critical school of investigators to spoil anything that appeals to the gentler or nobler emotions, and especially to appose the idea that men are susceptible to any motives of religion or human sympathy or any other spirit than the mercenary and materialistic. But there can be no question about the journey of these four Indians, nor can there be any reasonable doubt that their aim was to secure religious instruction for their people. The details of the journey and the nature of the expectations of the tribe and of the envoys might of course be variously understood and stated, but the general statements given by reliable contemporary authorities are not open to doubt.


To what tribe the Indians belonged seems uncertain. It has been stated by some that they were Flatheads and that tribe, though quite widely dispersed, had their principal habitat in what is now Northern Idaho and Northwestern Montana. Miss Kate McBeth, for many years a missionary to the Nez Percé Indians, and located at Kamiah and then at Lapwai, near Lewiston, thought that three of the Indians were Nez Perces and one a Flathead. Nor is it known how those Indians got the notion of a "Book of Life." Bonneville states in his journal that Pierre Pambrun, the agent at Fort Walla Walla, taught the Indians the rudiments of Catholic worship. Some have conjectured that the American trapper, Jedadiah Smith, a devout Christian, may have imparted religious instruction. Miss McBeth formed the impression that their chief hope was that they might find Lewis and Clark, whose journey in 1805-6 had produced a profound effect on the Nez Perces. It is interesting to note that Clark was at the very time of this visit of the Indians the superintendent of Indian affairs at St. Louis. He has left no statement as to the location of these Indians, though he referred to the fact of their visit to several passers who have recorded his statements. The first published account of this visit appeared in the New York Christian Advocate, of March 1, 1833. This was in the form of a letter from G. P. Disoway, who had charge of the removal of certain Indians to a reservation west of St. Louis. In his letter Disoway enclosed one from William Walker, an interpreter for the Wyandotte Indians. Walker had met the four Indians in General Clark's office in St. Louis. He was impressed with their appearance, and learned that General Clark had given them some account of the origin and history of man, of the coming of the Savior, and of his work for the salvation of men. According to Walker, two of the Indians died in St. Louis. As to whether the others reached their home he did not know.

Walker's account was confirmed in a most valuable way by George Catlin, the noted painter and student of Indian life. He was making a journey up the Missouri River on one of the first steamers to ascend that stream to Fort Benton. In the Smithsonian Report for 1885 can be found Catlin's account, as follows: "These two men, when I painted them, were in beautiful Sioux dresses which had been presented to them in a talk with the Sioux, who treated them very kindly, while passing through the Sioux country. These two men were part of a delegation that came across the mountains to St. Louis a few years since, to inquire for the truth of the representations which they said some white men had made among them, that our religion was better than theirs, and that they would all be lost if they did not embrace it. Two old and venerable men of this party died in St. Louis, and I travelled 2,000 miles, companion with these two fellows, toward their own country, and became much pleased with their manners and dispositions. When I first heard the objects of their extraordinary mission across the mountains, I could scarcely believe it; but on conversing with General Clark on a future occasion, I was fully convinced of the fact." Rather curiously Catlin speaks of these Indians as being Flatheads or Nez Perces, as though the two tribes were identical.

From a statue on the Witherspoon Building, Philadelphia


The letter of Disoway in the Christian Advocate was discussed in the Illinois Patriot of October, 1833, together with the statement that the subject had excited so much interest that a committee of the Illinois Synod had been appointed to report on the duty of the churches. The committee went to St. Louis and conferred with General Clark, receiving from him a confirmation of the report. When this pathetic story, together with the stirring appeal of the committee, had reached the Christian people of the country, it produced a profound impression, although, quite curiously, the little book by Lee and Frost of the first Methodist Mission, which passed through St. Louis in 1834, and whose members conferred with Gen. Clark, refers rather slightingly to the event. The decades of the '20s and '30s were a time of deep religious sentiment. It was the beginning of the Missionary movements of the century. To the sensitive souls of the time this unheralded call from the Far West seemed a veritable Macedonian cry. From it sprang the Christian Missions of Oregon. And the missionaries were the advance guard of immigration. And the immigration decided that the American home-builder and farmer should own Oregon, rather than that the British fur-trader and the Indians should keep it as a game preserve and fur depot. It would indeed be too much to say that American ownership of Oregon would not have resulted, if it had not been for the missionaries. But it may safely be said that the acquisition would have been delayed and that there would have been many more chances of failure, if the missionaries had not fitted into the evolution of the drama just as and just when they did. The missionary period was an essential one, coming between that of the fur-traders and that of the immigrants.

While the scope of our undertaking requires us to confine our narration mainly to the area covered in this history, yet in order to preserve the historical continuity and to exhibit the forces which led to subsequent developments, we must enlarge the picture enough to include glimpses of the mission locations outside of Walla Walla.

The first of the Christian Crusaders to respond to the Macedonian call from Oregon was a party under Jason Lee of the Methodist Church. This party came to Oregon in 1834 in company with Nathaniel Wyeth, the American trader, of whose bold and worthy, and yet unsuccessful undertakings we have spoken in Chapter Four. Reaching Vancouver, the missionaries presented themselves to Doctor McLoughlin, the chief factor. He met them with every expression of generous goodwill and advised them to locate in the Willamette Valley rather than among the tribes from whom had proceeded the Macedonian call. As a result, Lee with his assistants, located at Chemawa, near the present Salem, Ore. From that mission sprang the first permanent American settlement, the native name of which was Chemeketa, place of Council, or peace-ground. The missionaries gave it the Bible equivalent, Salem, a proceeding of more piety than good judgment. The Willamette University of the present is the offspring of the school started by the missionaries for the Indian children, and within a few years modified so as to meet the needs of the white children. For that earliest mission, like the later, discovered that this great work, after all, must be for the white race, not for the Indians.

The next year after the coming of the Lee party, another movement was initiated which was destined to have a most intimate connection with Walla Walla. For in 1835, the man who became the first white man, aside from the fur trappers and traders, in the Walla Walla Valley, left his home in New York for Oregon. This was Dr. Marcus Whitman, who, more than any other one man, put Walla Walla on the map of the world. In 1835, Doctor Whitman, in[60] company with Dr. Samuel Parker, set forth on a reconnaissance to determine the advisability of locating a mission among the Indians from whom had gone the Macedonian call. Reaching Green River, the outlook seemed so encouraging that it was decided to part company; Doctor Parker continuing westward with Indians who had met them at Green River, while Doctor Whitman, the younger and more active of the two, returned to his home in Rushville, N. Y., and there organized a missionary band.

As a result of Doctor Whitman's return, a party consisting of himself and his bride, Narcissa Prentiss, and Rev. H. H. Spalding and his newly wedded bride, Eliza Hart, set forth in 1836 for Oregon. With them was William H. Gray as secular agent and general manager. With the party also were two Indian boys who had accompanied Doctor Whitman the year before on his return from Green River. Of this bridal journey of 4,000 miles, most of it on horseback, our space permits only a few hurried views. Aside from the momentous results in the history of Oregon and the United States, the story is one of heroism and devotion which has few parallels, and the record closes with a martyr's crown for Marcus and Narcissa Whitman.

Among the precious relics in Whitman College, is Mrs. Whitman's diary of the journey, and also that of Mrs. Spalding. That of Mrs. Whitman was made by herself from notes on the way and was sent from Vancouver to her parents upon the completion of the journey. Its heading is as follows:

"Narcissa Whitman's Diary of a Missionary Tour West of the Rocky Mountains performed 1836. Being the first white female ever beyond the mountains on the continent. The journey was performed on horseback—a distance of 4,000 miles. She, in company with her husband, Marcus Whitman, M. D., and H. H. Spalding and wife, left the state of New York for this tour in February of 1836—travelled through a part of Pennsylvania, Ohio—and finally arrived at St. Louis in Missouri. Here they joined the Fur Company that crosses the mountains every year—and were also joined by Messrs. Suturly [Saturleé in Mrs. Spalding's diary] and Gray—missionaries to the West. Matters thus arranged they all left St. Louis in March—for the 'far West.' The further particulars of the journey may be learned from the following extracts from her journal taken on the way."

Following this heading is a letter addressed to her parents, dated Vancouver, October 20, 1836, in which she says that the journal covers the journey from the "Rendezvous," and that while at Vancouver she had been so situated that she could copy her notes taken on the way. The party had crossed the Great Divide on July 4th, and on that day celebrated the natal day of the country, and as they looked down the long vista westward, seem to have felt that they would claim possession of that western land in the name of the American Union and the Church of Jesus Christ. They had reached the "Rendezvous" on Green River July 6th. After several days there, refitting and resting and conferring with Indians, they resumed the next great stage of the march with a detachment of the Hudson's Bay Company, under Mr. McLeod, bound for Walla Walla.

It was July 18, 1836, when they set forth under these new auspices. A company of Flathead and Nez Percé Indians also travelled with them. It appears from the diary of Mrs. Spalding that the Nez Perces were very anxious that[61] the party accompany them, but as they apparently wished to hunt on the way it was manifestly necessary that the party go with the traders. One chieftain, Mrs. Spalding says, concluded to go with them, though it would deprive him of the privilege of securing a supply of meat for the winter. Mrs. Whitman tells of the tedious time which Doctor Whitman had with his wagon. This was one of the notable features of his journey. Some have asserted that he was the first to drive a wagon from the Missouri to the Columbia. This is only partly true. Ashley, Smith, Sublette, Bonneville, and other trappers, had driven wagons to the Black Hills, and to other points, but none of them had gone so far west as Whitman, with a wagon. But when he reached "Snake Fort," near Boise, generally known as Fort Boise, he left his wagon. In 1840 Robert Newell went clear through the Blue Mountains and reached Walla Walla. However, Doctor Whitman deserves all praise for his energy and persistence in pushing his "Chick-chick-shaile-kikash," as the Indians called his wagon, even to Fort Boise, and he may be very justly called one of the first wheel-track-makers. It is interesting and pathetic to see how Mrs. Whitman craved some of her mother's bread. During part of their journey they had an exclusive diet of buffalo meat. Occasionally they would have berries and fish. They had several cows with them and from them had some milk, which was a great help. They had to shoe their cattle (presumably with hide, though it is not so stated) on account of sore feet. With the cows were two sucking calves, which, Mrs. Whitman says, seemed to be in excellent spirits, and made the journey with no suffering, except sore feet. Soon after passing a point on Snake River, where the Indians were taking salmon, Mrs. Whitman bade good-by to her little trunk which they had been able to carry thus far, but were now compelled to leave. It is truly pathetic to read the words in her journal.

"Dear H. (This was her sister Harriet, to whom she is especially addressing the words): The little trunk you gave me has come thus with me so far and now I must leave it here alone. Poor little trunk! I am sorry to leave thee. Thou must abide here alone and no more by thy presence remind me of my dear Harriet. Twenty miles below the falls on Snake River, this shall be thy place of rest. Farewell, little trunk. I thank thee for thy faithful services, and that I have been cheered by thy presence so long. Thus we scatter as we go along." A little later it appears that Mr. McKay rescued the trunk. Mrs. Whitman shows that she had quite a sense of humor by recording that when she found what Mr. McKay had done her "soliloquizing about it last night was for naught."

The journal contains quite a glowing account of the beauties of Grande Ronde Valley, then of the toilsome, zigzag trail out of it into the Blue Mountains westward. On August 29th, the party stood upon the open summit, from which they saw the Valley of the Columbia. "It was beautiful. Just as we gained the highest elevation and began to descend the sun was dipping his disk behind the western horizon. Beyond the valley we could see two distant mountains, Mount Hood, and Mount St. Helens." The latter of those mountains was Adams, not St. Helens. Our missionary band were now in sight of their goal. It was not, however, till September 1st, that they actually rode into Walla Walla. In fact, part of the company, including the Spaldings, did not reach the fort till September 3d. It was a thrilling moment to that devoted little band. It seemed to them almost equal to what it would to one of us moderns to enter Washington[62] or Paris or London. Think of the journey of those two women, those brides, three thousand miles from St. Louis to Walla Walla, five months and mainly on horseback. As they drew near the fort, both horses and riders became so eager to reach the end of the journey that they broke into a gallop. They saw the first appearance of civilization in a garden about two miles from the fort. That garden must have been nearly upon the present location of Wallula. As they rode up to the fort, Mr. McLeod (who had gone ahead to prepare for their coming), Mr. Pambrun, the commandant, and others, came forth to meet so new and remarkable an addition to the population of Walla Walla. Mrs. Whitman has the enthusiasm of a child in describing the chickens, turkeys, pigeons, hogs, goats, and cattle, which latter were the fattest that she ever saw and then she goes into ecstasies over the breakfast of salmon, potatoes, tea, bread, and butter, and then the room in the fort with its comfort after all their hardships. The officers of the fur company treated them with the utmost courtesy and consideration. Such was that momentous entrance of the missionaries and of the first white women into Fort Walla Walla, September 1, 1836.

The next chapter in the story of the Whitman party was their journey to Vancouver, the emporium of the Hudson's Bay Company. Leaving Walla Walla by boat on the 7th of September, they reached the "New York of the Pacific," as Mrs. Whitman says they had been told to consider it, on the 14th. Mrs. Whitman in her journal the admiration of the party for the beauty of the river, more beautiful, she says, than the Ohio, though the rugged cliffs and shores of drifting sand below Walla Walla looked dismal and forbidding. They found much to delight them at Vancouver,—the courtesy and hospitality of Doctor McLoughlin and his assistants, the bounteous table, with feasts of salmon, roast duck, venison, grouse and quail, rich cream and delicious butter, a picture of toothsomeness which it makes one hungry to read; the ships from England moored to the river brink, and the well-kept farm with grain and vegetables, fruits of every sort, grapes and berries, a thousand head of cattle, and many sheep, hogs, and horses—a perfect oasis of civilized delights to the little company of missionaries, worn and homesick during their months on horseback across the barren plains and through wild mountains.

Doctor Whitman and Mr. Spalding, leaving their wives in the excellent keeping of the Hudson's Bay people at Vancouver, returned, in company with Mr. Gray, to the Walla Walla country to decide upon locations. They had expected, so Mrs. Whitman says, to locate in the Grande Ronde, the beauty and fertility of which had been portrayed in glowing colors by returning adventurers and fur-traders. But discovering as they passed through that it was so buried in the mountains and so difficult of access from the rivers and the regular routes of travel, they fixed upon Waiilatpu (Wielitpoo, Mrs. Whitman spells it) for one post and Lapwai for another. The Whitmans became established at Waiilatpu, "the place of rye grass," six miles west of the present Walla Walla; and the Spaldings at Lapwai, two miles up the Lapwai Creek, and about twelve from the mouth of the Clearwater, the present site of Lewiston. A few months after the location at Waiilatpu, on March 4, 1837, a beam of sunshine lighted in the home of the Whitmans, in the form of a daughter, Alice Clarissa, the first white child born west of the Rockies and north of California. The Indians were extraordinarily pleased with the "little white papoose," or "Cayuse temi" (Cayuse girl), and if[63] she had lived, the tragedy of a little later might not have occurred. In a letter preserved at Whitman College, from Mrs. Whitman to her sister and husband, Rev. Lyman P. Judson of Angelica, N. Y., dated March 15, 1838, the mother says: "Our little daughter comes to her mother every now and then to be cheered with a smile and a kiss and to be taken up to rest for a few moments and then way she goes running about the room or out of doors, diverting herself with objects that attract her attention. A refreshing comfort she is to her parents in their solitary situation." With her parents so needing that child, fairly idolizing her and their very lives wrought up with hers, it is too sad to relate that on June 23, 1839, the bright, active little creature wandered out of the house while the mother was engaged in some household task, and took her way to the fatal river that then ran close to the mission house, though it now has a new channel a quarter mile away. Missing little Alice Clarissa, Mrs. Whitman hastened to the river, with a sinking dread, and there she saw the little cup where the child had dropped it. This mutely told the heart-breaking tale. An Indian, diving in the stream, found the body, but the gentle and lovable life, the life of the whole mission, was gone. The faithful and devoted father and mother had one less tie to life. The patient resignation with which the anguished parents endured this infinite sorrow shows vividly what strength may be imparted by the real Christian spirit.

Both Doctor Whitman and Mr. Spalding were indefatigable workers and quickly created civilized conditions upon the beautiful places where they had planted their missions. That of Mr. Spalding was outside of the territory covered by this history, and we therefore devote our larger attention to the mission at Waiilatpu. It should, however, be said that from the standpoint of results among the Indians, Mr. Spalding accomplished more than any of the missionaries. This may be accounted for in some part by the superior characters and minds of the Nez Perces, among whom he was so fortunate as to have cast his lot. They seem to have been of the best Indian type, while the Cayuses in the vicinity of Waiilatpu were turbulent, treacherous, and unreliable.

Doctor Whitman was of powerful physique and familiar from boyhood with the practical duties of farm and mill. He could turn his hand to almost anything in the way of construction. The same was true of Mr. Gray, who spent part of his time at Waiilatpu and part at Lapwai, though he returned in 1837 to the east in search of new helpers. But within a few months the Whitmans were comfortably housed, and every year saw some improvement about the buildings and land. Seed for grain, and fruit trees were secured at Vancouver, and stock was provided also. The Waiilatpu farm consisted of a fertile belt of bottom land of about three hundred acres between the Walla Walla River and Mill Creek, with an unlimited range of low hill and bench land covered with bunch-grass, which furnished the finest of stock feed almost the whole year round. Doctor Whitman was himself a practical millwright and soon had a small sawmill equipped about twenty miles up Mill Creek, while adjoining the mission house he laid out a mill dam, the lines of which can still be seen. The water for the mill pond was supplied from Mill Creek by a ditch which followed nearly the course of the ditch of the present time. The mill was a grist mill and located at the western side of the pond, and within a few steps of the mission house and the "mansion," as they called the large log building erected a few years after their arrival for the accommodation of the frequent visitors, especially after[64] American immigrants began to come. Toiling incessantly, the missionary doctor and hero was rewarded by seeing his mission brought in a surprisingly brief time to a condition of profitable cultivation. T. J. Farnham who came with the so-called "Peoria party" in 1839, says of Whitman's place: "I found 250 acres enclosed and 200 acres in good cultivation. I found forty or fifty Indian children between the ages of seven and eighteen years in school, and Mrs. Whitman an indefatigable instructor. It appeared to me quite remarkable that the doctor could have made so many improvements since the year 1836; but the industry which crowded every hour of the day, his untiring energy of character, and the very efficient aid of his wife in relieving him in a great degree from the labors of the school, enabled him, without funds for such purposes, and without other aid than that of a fellow-missionary for short intervals, to fence, plow, build, plant an orchard, and do all the other laborious acts of opening a plantation on the face of that distant wilderness, learn an Indian language, and do the duties, meanwhile, of a physician to the associate stations on the Clearwater and Spokane." Joseph Drayton of the Wilkes Exploring Expedition of the United States Navy, visited Waiilatpu in 1841. He says of the mission: "All the premises looked comfortable, the garden especially fine, vegetables and melons in great variety. The wheat in the fields was seven feet high and nearly ripe, and the corn nine feet in the tassel." Had not Doctor Whitman possessed great physical strength, as well as determination and energy, he could not have endured the excessive toil which was the price of his rapid progress. Senator Nesmith, who came to Oregon in the immigration of 1843, said in the hearing of the author of this work: "Whitman had a constitution like a sawmill." Another old timer said of him that he had the energy of a Napoleon. Some old timer has said that Whitman used to ride in a day to the present site of Lewiston, from Waiilatpu, about ninety miles. He would do it by changing horses several times. He was hard on horses, and when someone remonstrated on the ground of cruelty, the doctor replied: "My time is worth more than the horse's comfort."

As has been stated, Mr. W. H. Gray went east in 1857 for reinforcements. The next year he came again to Oregon with a valuable addition. Besides the addition to his own life of a bride, Mary Dix (who was one of the choice spirits of Old Oregon, and during many years a center of life and light in the new country) there were three missionaries, each also with a newly-wed wife. These were Revs. Elkanah Walker, Cushing Eells, and A. B. Smith. Mr. Cornelius Rogers accompanied the party. Reaching Walla Walla, the new arrivals were assigned to new stations, Messrs. Eells and Walker to Tschimakain, near the present City of Spokane, while Mr. Smith went to Kamiah, about sixty miles east of the present site of Lewiston. Mr. Rogers and the Grays went to Lapwai. There seem never to have been more faithful and devoted missionaries than were these of the four missions of Waiilatpu, Lapwai, Tschimakain, and Kamiah. Yet, it could not be said that they were successful in turning any considerable number of natives to Christianity. The Nez Perces at Lapwai and other stations established by Mr. Spalding, notably the one at Alpowa, were most amenable to Christian influences, while the Cayuses in the Walla Walla Valley were least so. In contemplation of the apparently scanty progress, the Missionary Board at Boston decided to discontinue the missions at Waiilatpu and Lapwai, to discharge Messrs. Spalding, Gray, Smith, and Rogers, and to send Doctor Whitman to the Spokane country.



While these difficulties were harassing the missionaries, very important events were taking place in national life. The slavery and the tariff questions had become firebrands in domestic politics. The questions of annexation of Texas, of the occupation of Oregon, of possible trouble with Mexico over the former, and with England over the latter, were threatening corresponding chaos in foreign affairs. Doctor Whitman, reticent and sagacious, saw clearly that his chosen aim of leading the natives to civilization and Christianity was rapidly sinking in importance in comparison with the question of the white race in the new land, and of the ownership of this great region. In 1842 the Ashburton treaty with England settled the Northeastern boundary and the supposition was that it would also settle the Oregon question. But when the treaty was signed on August 9th, it appeared that the question of Oregon was left unsettled. In a message of August 11th, President Tyler explained to the Senate that so little probability of agreement existed that it was thought not expedient to make that subject a matter of negotiation.

While the Ashburton treaty was pending, the first real immigration, though a small one of 112 persons, came to Oregon. In it, among several of the most notable of the old Oregonians, was A. L. Lovejoy, a young New England lawyer, a man of energy and ambition, destined to play a conspicuous part in Oregon history. When the party reached Whitman's Station on the Walla Walla, they delivered to him letters from the United States and discussed with him the pending treaty and the danger that it might draw the line so as to leave Oregon to Great Britain, or at least to make the Columbia River the boundary, placing the entire Puget Sound Basin and the mountains and plains eastward to the river in possession of Great Britain. Seeing the imminence of the danger, Whitman determined upon a supreme effort. He decided to make a mid-winter journey East with three aims in view: to present to the Government the situation and the vital need of preserving Oregon for the United States; to try to aid in forming and guiding an immigration to Oregon; and to settle affairs of the mission with the Board at Boston. He asked Lovejoy to go with him. It looked like a desperate undertaking, but Lovejoy, an athletic, ambitious young man, agreed to go.

At this point comes in the bitterly disputed "Whitman Controversy." It is not within the scope of this work to undertake an argumentative treatment of this question. The question at issue, if rationally considered, is rather the extent of the services of Doctor Whitman in "saving Oregon to the United States." Mrs. F. V. Victor, Elwood Evans, Prof. E. G. Bourne, and Principal W. I. Marshall have, more than others, presented arguments in favor of the contention that Doctor Whitman had no important part to play in the great political drama of Oregon, while the claim that he had large political aims and bore a conspicuous part in influencing the final result has been supported in books written by Dr. O. W. Nixon, Rev. William Barrows, Prof. William Mowry, and Rev. Myron Eells. The final book by the last named, the "Life of Marcus Whitman," is, in the judgment of the writer, the final and unanswered and indeed unanswerable word on the subject. The author of this history has given in the Washington Historical Quarterly of April, 1917, his reasons for thinking the statements of Professors Bourne and Marshall inaccurate and their arguments inconclusive. The fact[66] acknowledged by all is that Whitman made a ride during the fall and winter of 1842 and succeeding months of 1843, which for daring, heroism, and fortitude has few parallels in history. The question of controversy is, what did he make such a journey for? His critics say that it was in consequence of the decision of the Missionary Board to discontinue his mission on the Walla Walla. Mrs. Victor and Principal Marshall are the only ones among these critics who have achieved the distinction of attributing base or selfish motives to Whitman. They have held forth the idea that he, foreseeing the incoming of immigrants, wanted to maintain the station at Waiilatpu in order to raise vegetables and other supplies to sell at a high price. Whether a motive of that sort would lead a man of Whitman's type to take that desperate ride in mid-winter through the Rocky Mountains, at peril of life a dozen times over from Indians, freezing, and starvation, is a question which different people would view differently, according to their way of estimating the motives which determine men's actions. Perhaps people whose estimate of human nature, based possibly on their own inner consciousness of motives, is that selfish gain is the leading motive, would agree that the hope of cornering the vegetable market at Waiilatpu was an adequate cause of Whitman's ride. To some people it would seem likely that the mainspring of his action was some great national and patriotic aim and that while he wished to maintain the mission, his great aim was to convince the Government of the value of Oregon and to help organize an immigration which would settle the ownership of Oregon in favor of his country. At any rate, he went. That much is undisputed.

Practically the only account of that memorable mid-winter ride from Waiilatpu to St. Louis is from A. L. Lovejoy, the sole white companion of Whitman. Whitman himself was, like most heroes, a man of few words. He told various friends something of his experiences in Washington and Boston, and told to associates and wrote a few letters to friends about the immigration of 1843, but he seems to have been very reticent about the "Ride." Mr. Lovejoy wrote two letters about that journey, one dated November 6, 1869, which is found in W. H. Gray's History of Oregon, and one addressed to Dr. G. H. Atkinson and used by him in an address on February 22, 1876. This letter so vividly portrays the character of this undertaking as it comes from the only witness besides Whitman himself, that we deem it suitable to incorporate it here.

"We left Waiilatpu October 3, 1842, traveled rapidly, reached Fort Hall in eleven days, remained two days to recruit and make a few purchases. The doctor engaged a guide, and we left the Fort Uinte. We changed from a direct route to more southern, through the Spanish country, via Salt Lake, Taos and Santa Fe. On our way from Fort Hall to Fort Uinte we had terribly severe weather. The snows retarded our progress and blinded the trail, so we lost much time. After arriving at Fort Uinte, and making some purchases for our trip, we took a new guide and started for Fort Uncumpagra, situated on the waters of Grand River, in the Spanish country. Here our stay was very short. We took a new guide and started for Taos. After being out some four or five days we encountered a terrific snowstorm, which forced us to seek shelter in a deep ravine, where we remained snowed in for four days, at which time the storm had somewhat abated, and we attempted to make our way out upon the highlands, but the snow was so deep and the winds so piercing and cold, we were compelled to return to[67] camp and wait a few days for a change of weather. Our next effort to reach the highlands was more successful; but, after spending several days wandering around in the snow without making much headway, our guide told us that the deep snow had so changed the face of the country that he was completely lost and could take us no further. This was a terrible blow to the doctor, but he was determined not to give it up without another effort.

"We at once agreed that the doctor should take the guide and return to Fort Uncumpagra and get a new guide, and I remain in camp with the animals until he could return, which he did in seven days with our new guide, and we were now on our route again. Nothing of much import occurred but hard and slow traveling through deep snow until we reached Grand River, which was frozen on either side about one-third across. Although so intensely cold, the current was so very rapid that about one-third of the river in the center was not frozen. Our guide thought it would be dangerous to attempt to cross the river in its present condition, but the doctor, nothing daunted, was the first to take the water. He mounted his horse; the guide and myself shoved the doctor and his horse off the ice into the foaming stream. Away he went, completely under water, horse and all, but directly came up, and after buffeting the rapid foaming current, he reached the ice on the opposite shore a long way down the stream. He leaped from his horse upon the ice and soon had his noble animal by his side. The guide and myself forced in the pack animals, and followed the doctor's example, and soon were on the opposite shore, drying our frozen clothes by a comfortable fire. We reached Taos in about thirty days, having suffered greatly from cold and scarcity of provisions. We were compelled to use mule meat, dogs and such other animals as came in our reach. We remained at Taos a few days only, and started for Bent's and Savery's Fort, on the head waters of the Arkansas River. When we had been out some fifteen or twenty days we met George Bent, a brother of Governor Bent, on his way to Taos. He told us that a party of mountain men would leave Bent's Fort in a few days for St. Louis, but said we would not reach the fort with our pack animals in time to join the party. The doctor, being very anxious to join the party so he could push on as rapidly as possible to Washington, concluded to leave myself and guide with the animals, and he himself, taking the best animal, with some bedding and a small allowance of provision, started alone, hoping by rapid travel to reach the fort in time to join the St. Louis party, but to do so he would have to travel on the Sabbath, something we had not done before. Myself and guide traveled on slowly and reached the fort in four days, but imagine our astonishment when on making inquiry about the doctor we were told that he had not arrived nor had he been heard of. I learned that the party for St. Louis was camped at the Big Cottonwood, forty miles from the fort, and at my request Mr. Savery sent an express, telling the party not to proceed any farther until we learned something of Doctor Whitman's whereabouts, as he wished to accompany them to St Louis. Being furnished by the gentleman of the fort with a suitable guide, I started in search of the doctor, and traveled up the river about one hundred miles. I learned from the Indians that a man had been there who was lost and was trying to find Bent's Fort. They said they had directed him to go down the river and how to find the fort. I knew from their description it was the doctor. I returned to the fort[68] as rapidly as possible, but the doctor had not arrived. We had all become very anxious about him.

"Late in the afternoon he came in very much fatigued and desponding; said that he knew that God had bewildered him to punish him for traveling on the Sabbath. During the whole trip he was very regular in his morning and evening devotions, and that was the only time I ever knew him to travel on the Sabbath.

"The doctor remained all night at the fort, starting only on the following morning to join the St. Louis party. Here we parted. The doctor proceeded to Washington. I remained at Bent's Fort until spring, and joined the doctor the following July near Fort Laramie, on his way to Oregon, in company with a train of emigrants."

In the life of Whitman by Myron Eells, there is a summary of the events which immediately followed, so well adapted to our purpose that we quote it here as resting upon the authority of Mr. Eells, whom we regard as a writer of undoubted candor and accuracy.

"When Doctor Whitman arrived at St. Louis he made his home at the house of Doctor Edward Hale, a dentist. In the same house was William Barrows, then a young school teacher, afterward a clergyman and author of Barrows' 'Oregon.'

"Reaching Cincinnati, he went to the house of Doctor Weed. Here, according to Professor Weed, he obtained a new suit of clothes, but whether he wore them all the time until he left the East or not is a question. Some writers speak of him as appearing in buckskins, or something akin to them, afterwards both at Washington and Boston. Some, as Dr. S. J. Parker, say he was not so dressed. It is just barely possible that both may be true—that he kept his buckskins and buffalo coat and occasionally wore them. It is quite certain that he did not throw them away, as according to accounts he wore his buckskins in returning to Oregon the next summer.

"The next visit on record was at Ithaca, New York, at the home of his old missionary friend and fellow traveler, Rev. Samuel Parker. Here, after the surprise of his arrival was over, he said to Mr. Parker: 'I have come on a very important errand. We must both go at once to Washington, or Oregon is lost, ceded to the English.' Mr. Parker, however, did not think the danger to be so great, and not for lack of interest in the subject, but because of other reasons, did not go. Doctor Whitman went alone, and reached Washington.

"The doctor, or his brother, had been a classmate of the Secretary of War, James M. Porter. Through him the doctor obtained an introduction to Daniel Webster, then Secretary of State, with whom he talked about Oregon and the saving of it to the United States, but Mr. Webster received him very coolly, and told him it was too late, as far as he was concerned, for he had considered it, decided it, and turned it over to the President, who could sign Oregon away or refuse to do so. Accordingly Doctor Whitman went to President Tyler, and for some time they talked about Oregon. Even the Cabinet were called together, it is said, and an evening was spent on the subject. The objection was made that wagons could never be taken to Oregon and that consequently the country could never be peopled overland by emigrants, while the distance around Cape Horn was altogether too great to think of taking settlers to the country that way. In reply to this, Doctor Whitman told of the great value of the country and of his plans to lead an emigration through with their wagons the next summer. He stated that he had taken a wagon into Oregon six years before to Fort Boise, that others had taken one from Fort Hall to Walla Walla, and that with his present knowledge, having been over the route twice, he was sure he could take the emigrant wagons through to the Columbia. The President then said that he would wait, before carrying the negotiations any further, until he could hear whether Doctor Whitman should succeed, and if he should there would be no more thought of trading off Oregon. This satisfied the doctor.



"He then went to New York to see Mr. Horace Greeley, who was known to be a friend of Oregon. He went there dressed in his rough clothes, much the same that he wore across the continent. When he knocked at the door a lady came, Mrs. Greeley or a daughter, who, on seeing such a rough-looking person, said to his inquiries for Mr. Greeley, 'Not at home.' Doctor Whitman started away. She went and told Mr. Greeley about him and Mr. Greeley, who was of much the same style and cared but little for appearances, looked out of the window, and seeing him going away, said to call him in. It was done, and they had a long talk about this Northwest Coast and its political relations.

"From New York Doctor Whitman went to Boston, where the officers of the American Board at first received him coldly, because he had left his station for the East without permission from them, on business so foreign to that which he had been sent to Oregon to accomplish. Afterwards, however, they treated him more cordially.

"From Boston he went to New York State and visited relatives. Then taking with him his nephew, Perrin B. Whitman, bade them good-by and left for Missouri. While there he did all he could to induce people to join the emigration for Oregon, then went with the emigration, assisting the guide, Captain Gantt, until they reached Fort Hall, and aiding the emigrants very materially. Fort Hall was as far as Captain Gantt had agreed to guide them, and from that place Doctor Whitman guided them or furnished an Indian guide, so that the emigrants reached the Columbia River safely with their wagons."

The incoming of the immigration of 1843 was a determining factor in the settlement of the Oregon question. There can be no question that Doctor Whitman performed a conspicuous service in organizing and leading that immigration. It is true, however, that many influences combined to draw that company of frontiersmen to the border of civilization and to give them the common purpose of the great march across the wilderness. The leading motives perhaps were the desire first to acquire land in what they thought would prove a paradise and second to carry the American flag across the continent and secure ownership of the Pacific Coast for their country. Perhaps no one ever so well expressed the mingled motives of that advance guard of American possession as did James W. Nesmith, father of Mrs. Levi Ankeny of Walla Walla, who was himself a member of the immigration and later became one of the conspicuous builders of Oregon and of the nation. Senator Nesmith's account is as follows, given in an address at a meeting of the Oregon Pioneer Association:

"Without orders from any quarter, and without preconcert, promptly as the grass began to start, the emigrants began to assemble near Independence, at a place called Fitzhugh's Mill. On the 17th day of May, 1843, notices were circulated through the different encampments that on the succeeding day, those who contemplated emigrating to Oregon would meet at a designated point to organize.[70] Promptly at the appointed hour the motley groups assembled. They consisted of people from all the States and Territories, and nearly all nationalities; the most, however, from Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri and Iowa, and all strangers to one another, but impressed with some crude idea that there existed an imperative necessity for some kind of an organization for mutual protection against the hostile Indians inhabiting the great unknown wilderness stretching away to the shores of the Pacific, and which they were about to traverse with their wives and children, household goods, and all their earthly possessions.

"Many of the emigrants were from the western tier of counties of Missouri, known as the Platte Purchase, and among them was Peter H. Burnett, a former merchant, who had abandoned the yardstick and become a lawyer of some celebrity for his ability as a smooth-tongued advocate. He subsequently emigrated to California, and was elected the first Governor of the Golden State, was afterward Chief Justice, and still an honored resident of that state. Mr. Burnett, or, as he was familiarly designated, 'Pete,' was called upon for a speech. Mounting a log, the glib-tongued orator delivered a glowing, florid address. He commenced by showing his audience that the then western tier of states and territories was overcrowded with a redundant population, who had not sufficient elbow room for the expansion of their enterprise and genius, and it was a duty they owed to themselves and posterity to strike out in search of a more expanded field and more genial climate, where the soil yielded the richest returns for the slightest amount of cultivation, where the trees were loaded with perennial fruit, and where a good substitute for bread, called 'La Camash.' grew in the ground, salmon and other fish crowded the streams, and where the principal labor of the settler would be confined to keeping their gardens free from the inroads of buffalo, elk, deer and wild turkeys. He appealed to our patriotism by picturing forth the glorious empire we would establish on the shores of the Pacific. How, with our trusty rifles, we would drive out the British usurpers who claimed the soil, and defend the country from the avarice and pretensions of the British lion, and how posterity would honor us for placing the fairest portion of our land under the dominion of the Stars and Stripes. He concluded with a slight allusion to the trials and hardships incident to the trip, and dangers to be encountered from hostile Indians on the route, and those inhabiting the country whither we were bound. He furthermore intimated a desire to look upon the tribe of noble 'red men' that the valiant and well-armed crowd around him could not vanquish in a single encounter.

"Other speeches were made, full of glowing descriptions of the fair land of promise, the far-away Oregon, which no one in the assemblage had ever seen, and of which not more than half a dozen had ever read any account. After the election of Mr. Burnett as captain, and other necessary officers, the meeting, as motley and primitive a one as ever assembled, adjourned, with 'three cheers' for Captain Burnett and Oregon. On the 20th of May, 1843, after a pretty thorough military organization, we took up our line of march, with Captain John Gantt, an old army officer, who combined the character of trapper and mountaineer, as our guide. Gantt had in his wanderings been as far as Green River, and assured us of the practicability of a wagon road thus far. Green River, the extent of our guide's knowledge in that direction, was not half-way to the Willamette Valley, then the only inhabited portion of Oregon. Beyond that we had not the slightest[71] conjecture of the condition of the country. We went forth trusting to the future, and would doubtless have encountered more difficulties than we experienced had not Doctor Whitman overtaken us before we reached the terminus of our guide's knowledge. He was familiar with the whole route and was confident that wagons could pass through the cañons and gorges of Snake River and over the Blue Mountains, which the mountaineers in the vicinity of Fort Hall declared to be a physical impossibility.

"Captain Grant, then in charge of the Hudson's Bay Company at Fort Hall, endeavored to dissuade us from proceeding farther with our wagons, and showed us the wagons that the emigrants of the preceding year had abandoned, as an evidence of the impracticability of our determination. Doctor Whitman was persistent in his assertions that wagons could proceed as far as the Grand Dalles of the Columbia River, from which point he asserted they could be taken down by rafts or batteaux to the Willamette Valley, while our stock could be driven by an Indian trail over the Cascade Mountains, near Mount Hood. Happily Whitman's advice prevailed, and a large number of the wagons with a portion of the stock did reach Walla Walla and The Dalles, from which points they were taken to the Willamette the following year. Had we followed Grant's advice and abandoned the cattle and wagons at Fort Hall, much suffering must have ensued, as a sufficient number of horses to carry the women and children of the party could not have been obtained, besides wagons and cattle were indispensable to men expecting to live by farming in a country destitute of such articles.

"At Fort Hall we fell in with some Cayuse and Nez Percé Indians returning from the buffalo country, and as it was necessary for Doctor Whitman to precede us to Walla Walla, he recommended to us a guide in the person of an old Cayuse Indian called 'Sticcus.' He was a faithful old fellow, perfectly familiar with all the trails and topography of the country from Fort Hall to The Dalles, and, although not speaking a word of English, and no one in our party a word of Cayuse, he succeeded by pantomime in taking us over the roughest wagon route I ever saw."

In that immigration were nearly a thousand persons, among them several families whose members and descendants have borne honorable parts in building the region of Old Walla Walla County and the part of Umatilla County adjoining, in Oregon. In the belief that among the readers of this work may be many now living in the counties covered by this story, who can trace their ancestry to the blood royal of that great immigration and that a list of its names would have a permanent value in such a record as this, we incorporate here a list of the names of all the male members of the train over sixteen years of age, as secured by J. W. Nesmith at the time of the organization of the train. His list included some who turned back or went to California, or died on the way. We quote from the "History of the Willamette Valley," by H. B. Lang:

"The following list contains the names of every male member of that great train over the age of sixteen years. It was prepared by J. W. Nesmith when the train was organized, and was preserved among his papers for a third of a century before given for publication. All reached the Willamette Valley, except a few, the exceptions being designated by marks and foot-notes:


Applegate, Jesse
Applegate, Charles
Applegate, Lindsay
Athey, James
Athey, William
Atkinson, John[2]
Arthur, Wm.
Arthur, Robert
Arthur, David
Butler, Amon
Brooke, George
Burnett, Peter H.
Bird, David
Brown, Thomas A.
Blevins, Alexander
Brooks, John P.
Brown, Martin
Brown, Oris
Black, J. P.
Bane, Layton
Baker, Andrew
Baker, John G.
Beagle, William
Boyd, Levy
Baker, William
Biddle, Nicholas[4]
Beale, George
Braidy, James
Beadle, George
Boardman, ——[2]
Baldridge, Wm.
Cason, F. C.
Cason, James
Chapman, Wm.
Cox, John
Champ, Jacob
Cooper, L. C.
Cone, James
Childers, Moses
Carey, Miles
Cochran, Thomas
Clymour, L.
Copenhaver, John
Caton, J. H.
Chappel, Alfred
Cronin, Daniel
Cozine, Samuel
Costable, Benedict
Childs, Joseph[2]
Clark, Ransom
Campbell, John G.
Chapman, ——
Chase, James
Dodd, Solomon
Dement, Wm. C.
Dougherty, W. P.
Day, William[3]
Duncan, James
Dorin, Jacob
Davis, Thomas
Delany, Daniel
Delany, Daniel, Jr.
Delany, William
Doke, William
Davis, J. H.
Davis, Burrell
Dailey, George
Doherty, John
Dawson, ——[2]
Eaton, Charles
Eaton, Nathan
Etchell, James
Emerick, Solomon
Eaker, John W.
Edson, E. G.
Eyres, Miles[3]
East, John W.
Everman, Niniwon
Ford, Nineveh
Ford, Ephriam
Ford, Nimrod
Ford, John
Francis, Alexander
Frazer, Abner
Fowler, Wm.
Fowler, Wm. J.
Fowler, Henry
Fairly, Stephen
Fendell, Charles
Gantt, John[2]
Gray, Chiley B.
Garrison, Enoch
Garrison, J. W.
Garrison, W. J.
Gardner, Samuel
Gardner, Wm.
Gilmore, Mat
Goodman, Richard
Gilpin, Major
Gray, ——
Haggard, B.
Hide, H. H.
Holmes, Wm.
Holmes, Riley, A.
Hobson, John
Hobson, Wm.
Hembree, Andrew
Hembree, J. J.
Hembree, James
Hembree, A. J.
Hall, Samuel B.
Houk, James
Hughes, Wm. P.
Hendrick, Abijah
Hays, James
Hensley, Thomas J.[2]
Holley, B.
Hunt, Henry
Holderness, S. M.
Hutchins, Isaac
Husted, A.
Hess, Joseph
Haun, Jacob
Howell, John
Howell, Wm.
Howell, Wesley
Howell, G. W.
Howell, Thomas E.
Hill, Henry
Hill, William
Hill, Almoran
Hewett, Henry
Hargrove, Wm.
[73]Hoyt, A.
Holman, John
Holman, Daniel
Harrigas, B.
James, Calvin
Jackson, John B.
Jones, John
Johnson, Overton
Keyser, Thomas
Keyser, J. B.
Keyser, Plasant
Kelley, ——
Kelsey, ——
Lovejoy, A. L.
Lenox, Edward
Lenox, E.
Layson, Aaron
Looney, Jesse
Long, John E.
Lee, H. A. G.
Lugur, F.[4]
Linebarger, Lew
Linebarger, John
Laswell, Isaac
Loughborough, J.[4]
Little, Milton[2]
Luther, ——
Lauderdale; John
McGee, ——[2]
Martin, Wm. J.[2]
Martin, James
Martin, Julius[3]
McClelland, ——[2]
McClelland, F.[2]
Mills, John B.
Mills, Isaac
Mills, Wm. A.
Mills, Owen
McGarey, G. W.
Mondon, Gilbert
Matheny, Daniel
Matheny, Adam
Matheny, Josiah
Matheny, Henry
Matheny, J. N.
Mastire, A. J.
McHaley, John
Myers, Jacob
Manning, John
Manning, James
McCarver, M. M.
McCorcle, George
Mays, William
Millican, Elijah
McDaniel, William
McKissic, D.
Malone, Madison
McClane, John B.
Mauzee, William
McIntire, John[2]
Moore, Jackson[4]
Matney, W. J.
Nesmith, J. W.
Newby, W. T.
Newman, Noah
Naylor, Thomas
Osborn, Neil
O'Brien, Hugh D.
O'Brien, Humphrey
Owen, Thomas A.
Owen, Thomas
Otie, E. W.
Otie, M. B.
O'Neil, Bennett
Olinger, A.
Parker, Jesse
Parker, William
Pennington, J. B.
Poe, R. H.
Paynter, Samuel
Patterson, J. R.
Pickett, Charles E.
Prigg, Frederick
Paine, Clayborn[3]
Reading, P. B.[2]
Rodgers. S. P.
Rodgers, G. W.
Russell, William
Roberts, James
Rice, G. W.
Richardson, John
Richardson, Daniel[3]
Ruby, Philip
Ricord, John
Reid, Jacob
Roe, John
Roberts, Solomon
Roberts, Emseley
Rossin, Joseph
Rivers, Thomas
Smith, Thomas H.
Smith, Thomas
Smith, Isaac W.
Smith, Anderson
Smith, Ahi
Smith, Robert
Smith, Eli
Sheldon, William
Stewart, P. G.
Sutton, Dr. Nathan'l
Stimmerman, C.
Sharp, C.
Summers, W. C.
Sewell, Henry
Stout, Henry
Sterling, George
Stout, ——
Stevenson, ——
Story, James
Swift, ——
Shively, John M.
Shirly, Samuel
Stoughton, Alex
Spencer, Chancey
Strait, Hiram
Summers, George
Stringer, Cornelius
Stringer, C. W.[3]
Tharp, Lindsey
Thompson, John
Trainor, D.
Teller, Jeremiah
Tarbox, Stephen
Umnicker, John
Vance, Samuel
[74]Vaughn, William
Vernon, George
Wilmont, James
Wilson, Wm. H.
Wair, J. W.
Winkle, Archibald
Williams, Edward
Wheeler, H.
Wagoner, John
Williams, Benjamin
Williams, David
Wilson, Wm.
Williams, John[2]
Williams, James[2]
Williams, Squire[2]
Williams, Isaac[2]
Ward, T. B.
White, James
Watson, John (Betty)
Waters, James
Winter, William
Waldo, Daniel
Waldo, David
Zachary, Alexander
Zachary, John

[2] Turned off at Fort Hall and went to California.
[3] Died on the route.
[4] Turned back at the Platte.

"There were in Oregon at the time the train arrived the following individuals, a few names, possibly, having been omitted from the list, and the list not including the various missionaries named elsewhere:

Armstrong, Pleasant
Burns, Hugh
Brown, ——
Brown, William
Brown, ——
Black, J. M.
Baldro, ——
Balis, James
Bailey, Dr.
Brainard, ——
Crawford, Medorem
Carter, David
Campbell, Samuel
Campbell, Jack
Craig, Wm.
Cook, Amos
Cook, Aaron
Connor, ——
Cannon, William
Davy, Allen
Doty, William
Eakin, Richard
Ebbetts, Squire
Edwards, John
Foster, Philip
Force, John
Force, James
Fletcher, Francis
Gay, George
Gale, Joseph
Girtmann, ——
Hathaway, Felix
Hatch, Peter H.
Hubbard, Thomas J.
Hewitt, Adam
Horegon, Jeremiah
Holman, Joseph
Hall, David
Hoxhurst, Weberly
Hutchinson, ——
Johnson, William
Kelsey, ——
King, ——
Lewis, Reuben
Le Breton, G. W.
Larrison, Jack
Meek, Joseph L.
Matthieu, F. X.
McClure, John
Moss, S. W.
Moore, Robert
McFadden, ——
McCarty, William
McKay, Charles
McKay, Thomas
McKay, William C.
Morrison, ——
Mack, J. W.
Newbanks, ——
Newell, Robert
O'Neil, James A.
Pettygrove, F. W.
Pomeroy, Dwight
Pomeroy, Walter
Perry, ——
Rimmick, ——
Russell, Osborn
Robb, J. R.
Shortess, Robert
Smith, Sidney
Smith, ——
Smith, Andrew
Smith, Andrew, Jr.
Smith, Darling
Spence, ——
Sailor, Jack
Turnham, Joel
Turner, John
Taylor, Hiram
Tibbetts, Calvin
Trask, ——
Walker, C. M.
Warner, Jack
Wilson, A. E.
Winslow, David
Wilkins, Caleb
Wood, Henry
Williams, B.

The men in these lists, with their families, constituted the population of Oregon in 1843, aside from the Hudson's Bay Company people."

Doctor Whitman himself wrote several valuable letters referring to the[75] immigration of 1843. The most important of these was one to the Secretary of War, inclosing a proposed bill for a line of forts across the plains to defend immigrations. This letter has such an important bearing on the whole story of Whitman and his connection with the immigration and the acquisition of Oregon that it is incorporated here. And we would submit to the reader the difficulty which any candid critic would experience in examining this letter and then denying Whitman's part in "saving Oregon to the United States." Whitman's letter was found among the files of the War Department, with the following endorsement:

"Marcus Whitman inclosing synopsis of a bill, with his views in reference to importance of the Oregon Territory, War. 383—rec. June 22, 1844."

Portions of the letter follow:

"To the Hon. James M. Porter,

Secretary of War.

"Sir: In compliance with the request you did me the honor to make last winter, while in Washington, I herewith transmit to you the synopsis of a bill which, if it could be adopted, would, according to my experience and observation, prove highly conducive to the best interests of the United States generally, to Oregon, where I have resided for more than seven years as a missionary, and to the Indian tribes that inhabit the immediate country. The Government will now, doubtless for the first time, be apprised through you, or by means of this communication, of the immense immigration of families to Oregon which has taken place this year. I have, since interview, been instrumental in piloting across the route described in the accompanying bill, and which is the only eligible wagon road, no less than three hundred families, consisting of one thousand persons of both sexes, with their wagons, amounting to 120,694 oxen, and 773 loose cattle.

"The emigrants are from different states, but principally from Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois and New York. The majority of them are farmers, lured by the prospect of bounty in lands, by the reported fertility of the soil, and by the desire to be first among those who are planting our institutions on the Pacific Coast. Among them are artisans of every trade, comprising, with farmers, the very best material for a new colony. As pioneers, these people have undergone incredible hardships, and having now safely passed the Blue Mountain Range with their wagons and effects, have established a durable road from Missouri to Oregon, which will serve to mark permanently the route of larger numbers each succeeding year, while they have practically demonstrated that wagons drawn by horses or oxen can cross the Rocky Mountains to the Columbia River, contrary to all the sinister assertions of all those who pretended it to be impossible.

"In their slow progress, these persons have encountered, as in all former instances, and as all succeeding emigrants must, if this or some similar bill be not passed by Congress, the continual fear of Indian aggression, the actual loss through them of horses, cattle and other property, and the great labor of transporting an adequate amount of provisions for so long a journey. The bill herewith proposed would, in a great measure, lessen these inconveniences by the establishment of posts, which, while having the possessed power to keep the Indians in check, thus doing away with the necessity of military vigilance on the[76] part of the traveler by day and night, would be able to furnish them in transit with fresh supplies of provisions, diminishing the original burdens of the emigrants, and finding thus a ready and profitable market for their produce—a market that would, in my opinion, more than suffice to defray all the current expenses of such posts. The present party is supposed to have expended no less than $2,000 at Laramie's and Bridger's Forts, and as much more at Fort Hall and Fort Boise, two of the Hudson's Bay Company's stations. These are at present the only stopping places in a journey of 2,200 miles, and the only place where additional supplies can be obtained, even at the enormous rate of charge, called mountain prices, i. e., $50 the hundred for flour and $50 the hundred for coffee; the same for sugar, powder, etc.

"Many cases of sickness and some deaths took place among those who accomplished the journey this season, owing, in a great measure, to the uninterrupted use of meat, salt and fresh, with flour, which constitute the chief articles of food they are able to convey on their wagons, and this could be obviated by the vegetable productions which the posts in contemplation could very profitably afford them. Those who rely on hunting as an auxiliary support, are at present unable to have their arms repaired when out of order; horses and oxen become tender-footed and require to be shod on this long journey, sometimes repeatedly, and the wagons repaired in a variety of ways. I mention these as valuable incidents to the proposed measure, as it will also be found to tend in many other incidental ways to benefit the migratory population of the United States choosing to take this direction, and on these accounts, as well as for the immediate use of the posts themselves, they ought to be provided with the necessary shops and mechanics, which would at the same time exhibit the several branches of civilized art to the Indians.

"The outlay in the first instance would be but trifling. Forts like those of the Hudson's Bay Company, surrounded by walls enclosing all the buildings, and constructed almost entirely of adobe, or sun-dried bricks, with stone foundations only, can be easily and cheaply erected. *  *  *

"Your familiarity with the Government policy, duties and interest render it unnecessary for me to more than hint at the several objects intended by the enclosed bill, and any enlargement upon the topics here suggested as inducements to its adoption would be quite superfluous, if not impertinent. The very existence of such a system as the one above recommended suggests the utility of post-offices and mail arrangements, which it is the wish of all who now live in Oregon to have granted them; and I need only add that contracts for this purpose will be readily taken at reasonable rates for transporting the mail across from Missouri to the mouth of the Columbia in forty days, with fresh horses at each of the contemplated posts. The ruling policy proposed regards the Indians as the police of the country, who are to be relied upon to keep the peace, not only for themselves, but to repel lawless white men and prevent banditti, under the solitary guidance of the superintendents of the several posts, aided by a well-directed system to induce the punishment of crime. It will only be after the failure of these means to procure the delivery or punishment of violent, lawless and savage acts of aggression, that a band or tribe should be regarded as conspirators against the peace, or punished accordingly by force of arms.


"Hoping that these suggestions may meet your approbation, and conduce to the future interest of our growing country, I have the honor to be, Honorable Sir,

"Your obedient servant,

"Marcus Whitman."

It may be added that Whitman was so thoroughly interested in the idea of the line of forts across the continent that he wrote another communication to the Secretary of War from Waiilatpu in 1847, October 16th, only about six weeks before his murder, setting forth with similar force and clearness the wisdom of such a system.

During the four years that followed the coming of the "Great Immigration," the mission at Waiilatpu was a center of light and help to the incoming immigrations. Many incidents have been preserved showing the industry, fortitude, and open-handed philanthropy of the Whitmans. The earlier immigration usually stopped at Waiilatpu, coming across the country in the vicinity of the present location of Athena and Weston and down Pine Creek to the Walla Walla. The immigrants were always short of provisions and generally had no money. To have a stock of provisions at all equal to emergencies put a tremendous strain on Doctor Whitman, and nobly did he meet the needs. Among many instances of the helping hand of the missionaries are two given in Eells' life of Whitman which we give as illustrative of many that might be given.

"Among the immigrants of 1844 was a man named Sager, who had a family consisting of his wife and seven children, between the ages of infancy and thirteen. The father died of typhoid fever on Green River, and the mother sank under her burdens when she reached Snake River and there died. The immigrants cared for the children until they reached Doctor Whitman's, but would take them no farther. The doctor and his wife took the strangers in at first for the winter, but afterward adopted them and cared for them as long as they lived.

"Mrs. C. S. Pringle, one of these children, afterwards gave the following account of this event. It was written in answer to a charge made by Mrs. F. F. Victor that the doctor was mercenary, making money out of the immigrants: 'In April, 1844, my parents started for Oregon. Soon after starting we were all camped for the night, and the conversation after awhile turned upon the probability of death before the end of the journey should be reached. All told what they would wish their families to do in case they should fall by the way. My father said: 'Well, if I should die, I would want my family to stop at the station of Doctor Whitman.' Ere long he was taken sick and died, but with his dying breath he committed his family to the care of Captain Shaw, with the request that they should be left at the station of Doctor Whitman. Twenty-six days after his death his wife died. She, too, requested the same. When we were in the Blue Mountains, Captain Shaw went ahead to see about leaving us there. The doctor objected, as he was afraid the board would not recognize that as a part of his labor. After a good deal of talk he consented to have the children brought, and he would see what could be done. On the 17th day of October we drove up to the station, as forlorn a looking lot of children as ever was. I was a cripple, hardly able to walk, and the babe of six months was dangerously ill. Mrs. Whitman agreed to take the five girls, but the boys must go on (they were the oldest of the family). But the 'mercenary' doctor said, 'All or none.' He made arrangements to keep[78] the seven until spring and then if we did not like to stay, and he did not want to keep us, he would send us below. An article of agreement was drawn up in writing between him and Captain Shaw, but not one word of money or pay was in it. I had it in my possession for years after I came to the (Willamette) Valley, having received it from Captains Shaw. Before Captain Shaw reached The Dalles he was overtaken by Doctor Whitman, who announced his intention of adopting the seven, on his own responsibility, asking nothing of the Board for maintenance. The next summer he went to Oregon City and legally became our guardian, and the action is on the records of Clackamas County. Having done this, he further showed his mercenary nature by disposing of our father's estate in such a way that he could not realize a cent from it. He exchanged the oxen and old cows for young cows, and turned them over to the two boys to manage until they should grow to manhood; besides this, he gave them each a horse and saddle, which, of course, came out of his salary, as we were not mission children, as the three half-breeds were that were in the family. After doing all this he allowed the boys opportunities to accumulate stock by work or trade. Often he has said to us, 'You must all learn to work, for father is poor and can give you nothing but an education. This I intend to do to the best of my ability.'

"Another incident with an immigrant is here related, given almost in the words of the narrator, Joseph Smith, who came to the country in 1846. He says: I was mighty sick crossing the Blues, and was so weak from eating blue mass that they had to haul me in the wagon till we got to Doctor Whitman's place on the Walla Walla River. Then Mother Whitman came and raised the wagon cover and says, 'What is the matter with you, my brother?' 'I am sick, and I don't want to be pestered much, either.' 'But, but, my young friend, my husband is a doctor, and can probably cure your ailment; I'll go and call him.' So off she clattered, and purty soon Doc. came, and they packed me in the cabin, and soon he had me on my feet again. I eat up a whole band of cattle for him, as I had to winter with him. I told him I'd like to work for him, to kinder pay part of my bill. Wall, Doc. set me to making rails, but I only made two hundred before spring, and I got to worryin' 'cause I hadn't only fifty dollars and a saddle horse, and I reckoned I owed the doctor four or five hundred dollars for my life. Now, maybe I wasn't knocked out when I went and told the doctor I wanted to go on to Webfoot and asked him how we stood; and doctor p'inted to a Cayuse pony, and says, 'Money I have not, but you can take that horse and call it even, if you will.'"

It is worth noticing that though Mr. Smith says "Mother" Whitman, she was only thirty-eight at the time.

But at that time, the very year of the final consummation of the great work of Whitman, the treaty of 1846, giving Oregon up to latitude 49° to the United States, a consummation which must have made the brave hearts of the heroic pair thrill with joy and gratitude, the shadow was approaching, the end was near. The crown of heroism and service must be still further crowned with martyrdom. Even since the death of little Alice, the Indians at Waiilatpu had seemed to lose in growing measure the personal interest which they had manifested. With the coming of constantly growing immigrations and the apparent eagerness of the whites to secure land, the natives felt increasing suspicion. The more thoughtful of them, especially those who had been in the "States" and had seen the countless[79] numbers of the "Pale-faces," began to see that it was only a question of time when they would be entirely dispossessed. Again, the unavoidable policies of the Hudson's Bay Company were hostile to the American settler. While as kind and courteous to the missionaries as men well could be and helpful to them in their religious labors, it was a different matter when it came to settlers swarming into the country with the Stars and Stripes at the head of wagon trains and with the implements of husbandry in their hands. The Indians were predisposed for many reasons to side with the company. With it they did their trading. It preserved the wild conditions of the country. The French-Canadian voyageurs and coureurs des bois were much kinder and more considerate of the Indians than the Americans and intermarried with them. Besides those general causes of hostility to the Americans, there were certain specific events during that period of doubt and suspicion which brought affairs to a focus and precipitated the tragedy of the Whitman Massacre. Some have believed that the murder of "Elijah" (as the whites called him), the son of Peupeumoxmox, the chief of the Walla Wallas, apparently a fine, manly young Indian, was a strong contributory cause. The young brave had gone to California in 1844 and while near Sutter's Fort had become involved in a dispute with some white settlers and had been brutally murdered. The old chief Peupeumoxmox had brooded over this dastardly deed, and though there is no evidence that he had any part in the massacre, there was deep resentment among the Indians of the Walla Walla Valley and no doubt many of them were in the mood to apply the usual Indian rule that a life lost demanded a life in payment. Apparently the most immediate influence leading to the massacre was due to an epidemic of measles which swept the valley in 1847. Doctor Whitman was indefatigable in ministering to the sick, but many died. The impression became prevalent among the Indians that they were the victims of poison. This idea was nurtured in their minds by several renegade Indians and half-breeds, of whom Lehai, Tom Hill, and Jo Lewis were most prominent.

Seeing the gathering of clouds about the mission and the many warning indications, Doctor Whitman had taken up the project of leaving Walla Walla and going to The Dalles, a point where he had in fact at first wished to locate, but had been dissuaded by the Hudson's Bay Company officials. The story of the massacre has been many times told and may be found in many forms. We can but briefly sketch its leading events. Mr. Spalding of Lapwai was temporarily at Waiilatpu, and on November 27, 1847, he and Doctor Whitman went to the Umatilla in response to a request for medical attention. Feeling uneasy about affairs at home, Doctor Whitman returned on the next day, reaching Waiilatpu late at night. On the following day, the 29th, while engaged with his medicine chest, two Indians, who seem to have been leaders in the plot, approached him, and while one, Tilaukait, drew his attention by talking, the other, Tamahas, struck him with a tomahawk. He fell senseless, though not yet dead. Jo Lewis seems to have directed the further execution of the cruel conspiracy and soon Mrs. Whitman, shot in the breast, fell to the floor, though not dying for some time. She was the only woman slain. There were in all fourteen victims of this dreadful attack. Several escaped, Mr. Spalding, who was on his way back from the Umatilla, being one of them. After several days and nights of harrowing suffering, he reached Lapwai. There were forty-six survivors of the massacre, nearly all women and children. Many of these are said to have been subjected to cruelty[80] and outrage worse than death, though it may be noted that some of the few living survivors of the present date deny the common opinion. They were ransomed by Peter Skeen Ogden of the Hudson's Bay Company, and transported to the Willamette Valley. The full story of the war which follows belongs in the succeeding chapter.

So ended in darkness, but not in shame, the mission at Waiilatpu. The peaceful spot six miles west of Walla Walla, in the midst of the fair and fruitful valley, is marked with a granite monument on the summit of the hill, and a grave at the foot. There the dust of the martyrs rests in a plain marble crypt upon the surface of which appear their names. It is indeed one of the most sacred spots in the Northwest, suggestive of patriotism, devotion, self-sacrifice, suffering, sorrow, tragedy, and final triumph. In November, 1916, the remains of W. H. Gray and Mary Dix Gray, his wife, were removed from Astoria and placed in the grave at Waiilatpu. As associates from the first of the Whitmans, and engaged in the same arduous struggle for the establishment of civilized and Christian institutions in this beautiful wilderness, they are fittingly joined with them in their final resting place.

By reason of priority in time as well as its connection with immigration and public affairs, and also its tragic end, and perhaps, too, the controversies that have arisen in connection with it, the Whitman Mission has secured a place in history far more prominent than that of any other, either east or west of the Cascade Mountains. But it should not be forgotten that within a short time after the incoming of white settlers, all the leading churches sent missionaries into the Northwest, both for the Indians and whites. Next in point of time after the Methodist missions of the Willamette Valley and the Presbyterian and Congregational missions of the Upper Columbia and Snake rivers, came the Catholic. It should be understood that in speaking of that church as third in time, we speak of the era of the beginnings of settlement. For it should be remembered that there had been visiting Catholic priests among the Hudson's Bay posts long prior to the coming of Jason Lee, the first of the Protestants. The French-Canadians were almost universally of Catholic rearing, and the officers of the company encouraged the maintenance of religious worship and instruction according to the customary methods. There were not, however, any regular permanent Catholic missions until a little after the Protestant missions already described. The inauguration of regular mission work by the Catholic Church grew out of the planting of a settlement at Champoeg on the Willamette by Doctor McLoughlin during the years from 1829 on. Quite a little group of retired Hudson's Bay Company men, French-Canadians with Indian wives and half-breed children, became located on the fertile tract still known as French Prairie. So well had the settlement thrived that in 1834, the year of the arrival of Jason Lee in the same neighborhood, an application was made to Doctor Provencher, Vicar Apostolic of Hudson Bay, to send a clergyman to that point. Not till 1837 could the request be fulfilled. In that year Rev. Modeste Demers went to the Red River, and the following year, in company with Rev. Francis N. Blanchet, resumed the journey to Oregon. In the progress of their journey they stopped at Walla Walla for a day. Reaching Vancouver on November 24, 1838, they entered with zeal and devotion upon their task of ministering both to the whites and Indians. Remaining at Vancouver till January, 1839, Father Blanchet started on a regular course of visitations, going first to the settlement on the Willamette where there were twenty-six Catholic families and where the people had already constructed a chapel. Next he visited Cowlitz Prairie, where there were four families. These stations were, of course, outside of the scope of the present work, but reference to them indicates the time and place and manner of starting the great series of Catholic missions which soon became extended all over Oregon. While Father Blanchet was at Cowlitz, his fellow worker, Demers, started on an extended tour of the upper Columbia region. In the course of this he visited Walla Walla, Okanogan, and Colville, starting work among the Indians by baptizing their children. From that time on Father Demers or some one of the Jesuit priests made annual visits to Walla Walla, adding children by baptism each year. In the meantime another of the most important of the Catholic missionaries, and the one to whom the world is indebted for one of the best histories of Oregon missions, was on his way. This was Rev. Father Pierre J. De Smet. In March, 1840, he set out for Oregon from the St. Joseph Mission at Council Bluffs, journeying by the Platte River route. On June 25th he reached Green River, long known as a rendezvous of the fur-traders. There he held mass for the trappers and Indians. Referring to this in a subsequent letter he writes thus: "On Sunday, the 5th of July, I had the consolation of celebrating the Holy Sacrifice sub dio. The altar was placed on an elevation, and surrounded with boughs and garlands of flowers; I addressed the congregation in French and in English and spoke also by an interpreter to the Flatheads and Snake Indians. It was a spectacle truly moving for the heart of a missionary to behold an assembly composed of so many different nations who all assisted at our holy mysteries with great satisfaction. The Canadians sang hymns in French and Latin, and the Indians in their native tongue. It was truly a Catholic worship. The place has been called since that time by the French-Canadians, la prairie de la Messe."



After a week at the Green River rendezvous, Father De Smet with his Indian guides resumed the journey westward by way of the Three Tetons to the upper waters of Snake River. While at Henry Lake he climbed a lofty peak from which he could see in both directions and while there he carved on a stone the words: "Sanctus Ignatius, Patronus Montium, Die Julii 23, 1840." That was as far west as Father De Smet went at that time. After two months among the Flatheads about the head of Snake River, he returned to St. Louis in the last part of the year. One point of interest in connection with this return, as showing the disposition of the Indians to seek religious instruction, is that a certain Flathead chief named Insula who accompanied Father De Smet to St. Louis, had gone to Green River in 1835 to meet missionaries. It is stated by Rev. Father E. V. O'Hara in his valuable "Catholic History of Oregon" that Insula was much disappointed to find, not the "black-gowns" as he had expected, but Doctor Whitman and Doctor Parker on their reconnaissance. It is probably impossible to determine just what distinction between different denominations of Christians may have existed in the Indian mind, but it may be recalled that Whitman and Parker while at Green River deemed the outlook so encouraging that they decided that Whitman should return to the "States" for reinforcements, while Parker went on with the Indians and made an extensive exploration of the entire Oregon country. Father De Smet returned to the Flathead mission in 1841 and in 1842 proceeded to Vancouver by way of the Spokane. In the course of the journey[82] he visited all the principal Indian tribes in the Kootenai, Pend Oreille, Coeur d'Alene, and Spokane countries. In the progress of this journey he made a brief visit at Walla Walla. Returning to the East after twenty-five months of missionary service in Oregon and then spending some time in Europe, he returned with quite a reinforcement in the ship "L'Infatigable" in 1844. The ship was nearly wrecked on the Columbia River bar, and of the experience De Smet gives a peculiarly vivid description. He deemed the final safe entrance due to special interposition of Divine Providence on account of the day, July 31st, being sacred to St. Ignatius. Father De Smet was a vivid and interesting writer and a zealous missionary. He greatly overestimated the number of Indians in Oregon, placing them at a hundred and ten thousand and in equal ratio estimated the converts at numbers hardly possible except by the most sweeping estimates.

The Catholic missions were gradually extended until they covered points in the entire Northwest. The bishop of Oregon was Rev. Francis N. Blanchet who was located near Salem. In 1845 and 1846 he made an extensive tour in Canada and Europe for the purpose of securing reinforcements. As a result of his journey and the action of the Holy See the Vicariate was erected into an ecclesiastical province with the three Sees of Oregon City, Walla Walla, and Vancouver Island. Rev. A. M. A. Blanchet was appointed bishop of Walla Walla, and Father Demers bishop of Vancouver Island, while Bishop F. N. Blanchet was promoted to the position of archbishop of Oregon City. Bishop A. M. A. Blanchet reached Fort Walla Walla on September 4, 1847, having come with a wagon train by the usual emigrant road from St. Louis. This might be regarded as the regular establishment of Catholic missions in Walla Walla. The bishop was accompanied to Walla Walla by four oblate fathers of Marseilles and Father J. B. A. Brouillet as vicar general, and also by Father Rousseau and Wm. Leclaire, deacon. Bishop Blanchet located among the Umatilla Indians at the home of Five Crows. The mission was fairly established only a few days prior to the Whitman Massacre. Bishop Blanchet went to Oregon City after the massacre and by reason of the Indian war he found it impossible to return to Walla Walla. He established St. Peter's Mission at The Dalles, and there he remained till September, 1850. During that year there came instructions from Rome to transfer the bishop of Walla Walla to the newly established diocese of Nesqually. The diocese of Walla Walla was suppressed and its administration merged with that of Colville and Fort Hall in the control of the archbishop of Oregon City.

That event might be considered as closing the missionary stage of Catholic missions in Walla Walla, though Father Brouillet remained into the period of settlement and in conjunction with Father Arvidius Junger, founded the Catholic Church at Walla Walla of what may be called the modern period. There was during the period of the Hudson's Bay Company and of the Indian wars, a location at Frenchtown, known as St. Rose Mission. There was a little church building there until a few years ago.

With the period of Indian wars it may be said that the missionary era ended and after that sanguinary interim the modern period began in Walla Walla.

Archbishop Francis N. Blanchet, 1838
Rev. J. B. A Brouillet, 1847 Bishop Modeste Demers, 1838
Bishop A. M. A. Blanchet, 1847




In the preceding chapter we have narrated the Whitman Massacre. It was followed by the first of the succession of wars which desolated Old Oregon for about eleven years. During that time Walla Walla, as well as the other parts east of the mountains, was swept clean of white settlers. Not till the public proclamation of opening Eastern Oregon by General Clarke in 1858 and the beginnings of immigration in the next year can the epoch of Indian wars be said to have ended.

The war following the Whitman Massacre may be taken as the starting point of this chapter. Great praise most be accorded to the Hudson's Bay Company's people for promptness and efficiency in meeting the immediate emergency. Dr. John McLoughlin, with whom we have become acquainted in earlier chapters, had retired from the company and made his home at Oregon City. This truly great man, a man for whom no commendation seems too strong in the minds of the old-timers, had been deciding during the years following the advent of the missionaries that American possession of Oregon was inevitable and that in order to ally himself with the future he should become an American. His humane and liberal policy toward the American immigrants was disapproved by the company in London, and in 1844 James Douglas was appointed to succeed him. The good doctor thereby not only lost what was then and in those conditions a princely salary, $12,000 per year, but was charged by the company for the large supplies which he had advanced to the Americans, who in many cases were unable to pay. Moving to the Falls of the Willamette where he had taken up a valuable claim, he started the process of naturalization. But after the Treaty of 1846, his claim was contested by the representative of the Methodist Mission, Rev. A. F. Waller, and the first territorial delegate to Congress, Samuel R. Thurston, was chosen largely on the platform of hostility to the Hudson's Bay Company and the British in general, and he secured a provision in the Congressional land law debarring anyone who had not acquired his final naturalization from holding a donation claim. This law deprived Doctor McLoughlin of the main part of his property. It was a cruel blow. He said with grief and bitterness that he had intended in good faith to become an American citizen, but found that he was rejected by the British and not received by the Americans and was practically a man without a country. It may truthfully be said that he died of a broken heart. It is gratifying to remember that the Oregon Legislature, recognizing the injustice, made amends by restoring his land claim. But this action came too late to do the "Old King of Oregon" any good. We have digressed to make this reference to Doctor McLoughlin, inasmuch as his change of location and condition occurred just prior to the Oregon Treaty and the Whitman Massacre. James Douglas,[84] the new Chief Factor, while not at all equal in breadth and philanthropy to Doctor McLoughlin, was an energetic and efficient manager. Upon learning of the tragedy at Waiilatpu he immediately dispatched Peter Skeen Ogden to rescue the survivors. As narrated in Chapter Five, Ogden performed his duty with promptness and success, and as a result the pitiful little company, almost entirely women and children, were conveyed to the Willamette Valley, where nearly all of them made their homes. A number of them are still living in different parts of the Northwest.

When the tidings of the massacre reached the Willamette Valley, then the chief settlement in Oregon, there was an immediate response by the brave men who were carrying in that trying time the responsibility of the government of the scattered little community. And yet the situation was a peculiar and difficult one. The formal treaty placing Oregon within possession of the United States had legally set aside the Provisional Government. But Congress was absorbed, as it frequently has been, in furthering the little schemes of individual members, or in promoting the progress of slavery or some other tyrannical and corrupt interest, and hence had done nothing to establish a territorial government. In the emergency the Provisional Government assembled on December 9th and provided for a force of fourteen companies of Oregon volunteers to move immediately to the hostile country. Every feature of equipment had to be secured by personal contribution, and the services of the men were purely voluntary. It was a characteristic American frontiersmen's army and movement. Several men well known in Walla Walla and vicinity took part in this campaign. The commander of the force was Cornelius Gilliam, an immigrant of 1845 from Missouri. His son, W. S. Gilliam, was one of the best known and noblest of the pioneers of Walla Walla County. He was truly one of the builders of this region. Daniel Stewart, Ninevah Ford, William Martin, and W. W. Walter were among the citizens of the Walla Walla country and adjoining region who were in that historic army of the Cayuse war. While we shall not usually load this work with lists of names or other purely statistical matter, yet in the belief that the list of volunteers in the Cayuse war may have a permanent reference value to possessors of this volume, we are including here such a list derived from the "History of the Pacific Northwest," published by the North Pacific Publishing Co. of Portland in 1889:

First Company, Oregon Rifles: Captain, Henry A. G. Lee; first lieutenant, Joseph Magone; second lieutenant, John E. Ross; surgeon, W. W. Carpenter; orderly sergeant, J. S. Rinearson; first duty sergeant, J. H. McMillan; second duty sergeant, C. W. Savage; third duty sergeant, S. Cummings; fourth duty sergeant, William Berry; privates, John Little, Joel McKee, J. W. Morgan, Joseph B. Proctor, Samuel K. Barlow, John Richardson, Ed Marsh, George Moore, Isaac Walgamot, Jacob Johnson, John Lassater, Edward Robeson, B. B. Rodgers,—— Shannon, A. J. Thomas, R. S. Tupper, O. Tupper, Joel Witchey, G. W. Weston, George Wesley, John Flemming, John G. Gibson, Henry Leralley, Nathan Olney, —— Barnes, J. H. Bosworth, Wm. Beekman, Benjamin Bratton, John Balton, Henry W. Coe, John C. Danford, C. H. Derendorf, David Everst, John Finner, James Kester,—— Pugh (killed by Indians near the Dalles in a skirmish),—— Jackson (killed in a skirmish near the Dalles), John Callahan; Alex McDonald[85] (killed by a sentry, who mistook him for an Indian at the camp on the east side of the Des Chutes). Forty-eight men.

Second Company: Captain, Lawrence Hall; first lieutenant, H. D. O'Bryant; second lieutenant, John Engart; orderly sergeant, William Sheldon; duty sergeants, William Stokes, Peter S. Engart, Thos. R. Cornelius, Sherry Ross; Color-bearer, Gilbert Mondon; privates, A. Engart, Thos. Fleming, D. C. Smith, W. R. Noland, Jos. W. Scott, G. W. Smith, A. Kinsey, John N. Donnie, A. C. Brown, F. H. Ramsey, S. A. Holcomb, A. Stewart, Wm. Milbern, A. Kennedy, Oliver Lowden, H. N. Stephens, P. G. Northrup, W. W. Walter, J. Z. Zachary, Sam Y. Cook, J. J. Garrish, Thos. Kinsey, J. S. Scoggin, Noah Jobe, D. Shumake, J. N. Green, J. Elliot, W. Williams, John Holgate, R. Yarborough, Robert Walker, J. Butler, I. W. Smith, J. W. Lingenfelter, J. H. Lienberger, A. Lienberger, Sam Gethard, John Lousingnot, A. Williams, D. Harper, S. C. Cummings, S. Ferguson, Marshall Martin.

Third Company: Captain, John W. Owen; first lieutenant, Nathaniel Bowman; second lieutenant, Thomas Shaw; orderly sergeant, J. C. Robison; duty sergeants, Benj. J. Burch; J. H. Blankenship, James M. Morris, Robert Smith; privates, George W. Adams, William Athey, John Baptiste, Manly Curry, Jesse Clayton, John Dinsmore, Nathan English, John Fiester, Jesse Gay, Lester Hulan, Stephen Jenkins, J. Larkin, Joshua McDonald, Thomas Pollock, J. H. Smith, S. P. Thornton, William Wilson, Benjamin Allen, Ira Bowman,—— Currier, George Chapel, William Duke,—— Linnet, T. Dufield, Squire Elembough, Henry Fuller, D. H. Hartley, Fleming R. Hill, James Keller, D. M. McCumber, E. McDonald, Edward Robinson, Chris. Stemermon, Joseph Wilbert, T. R. Zumwalt, Charles Zummond.

Fourth Company: Captain, H. J. G. Maxon; first lieutenant, G. N. Gilbert; second lieutenant, Wm. P. Hughes; orderly sergeant, Wm. R. Johnson; duty sergeants, O. S. Thomas, T. M. Buckner, Daniel Stewart, Joseph R. Ralston; privates, Andrew J. Adams, John Beattie, Charles Blair, John R. Coatney, Reuben Crowder, John W. Crowel, Manly Danforth, Harvey Graus, Albert H. Fish, John Feat, Andrew Gribble, Wm. Hawkins, Rufus Johnson, John W. Jackson, J. H. Loughlin, Davis Lator, John Miller, John Patterson, Richard Pollard, Wm. Robison, Asa Stone, Thos. Allphin, Wm. Bunton, Henry Blacker, Wm. Chapman, Samuel Chase, Sam Cornelius, James Dickson, S. D. Earl, Joseph Earl, D. O. Garland, Richmond Hays, Goalman Hubbard, Isaiah M. Johns, S. B. Knox, James H. Lewis, Horace Martin, John McCoy, James Officer, Henry Pellet, Wm. Russell, John Striethoff, A. M. Baxster, D. D. Burroughs, Samuel Clark, John M. Cantrel, Asi Cantrel, Albert G. Davis, S. D. Durbin, Samuel Fields, Rezin D. Foster, Isaac M. Foster, Horace Hart, Wm. Hock, Wm. A. Jack, Elias Kearney, James Killingsworth, Isaac Morgan, N. G. McDonnell, Madison McCully, Frederick Paul, Wm. M. Smith, H. M. Smith, Jason Wheeler, John Vaughn, Reuben Striethoff, Wm. Vaughn, Wm. Shirley.

Fifth Company: Captain, Philip F. Thompson; first lieutenant, James A. Brown; second lieutenant, Joseph M. Garrison; orderly sergeant, George E. Frazer; duty sergeants, A. Garrison, A. S. Welton, Jacob Greer, D. D. Dostins; privates, Martin P. Brown, William A. Culberson, Harrison Davis, James Electrels, William Eads, Alvin K. Fox, William J. Garrison, William Hailey, John A. Johnson, J. D. Richardson, Martin Wright, William Smith, E. T. Stone,[86] John Thompson, H. C. Johnson, Joseph Kenny, Henry Kearney, Jacob Leabo, Daniel Matheny, William McKay, John Orchard, John B. Rowland, John Copenhagen, Bird Davis, John Eldridge, John Faron, C. B. Gray, Robert Harmon, James O. Henderson, Green Rowland, William Rogers, Thomas Wilson, William D. Stillwell, William Shepard, Alfred Jobe, T. J. Jackson, Jesse Cadwallader, Andrew Layson, J. C. Matheny, Adam Matheny, Charles P. Matt, James Packwood, Clark Rogers.

McKay's Company: Captain, Thomas McKay; first lieutenant, Charles McKay; second lieutenant, Alexander McKay; orderly sergeant, Edward Dupuis; duty sergeants, George Montour, Baptiste Dorio, David Crawford, Gideon Pion; privates, John Spence, Louis Laplante, Augustine Russie, Isaac Gervais, Louis Montour, Alexis Vatrais, Joseph Paino, Jno. Cunningham, Jno. Gros, Louis Joe Lenegratly, Antoine Poisier, Antoine Plante, Pierre Lacourse, Ashby Pearce, Antoine Lafaste, Nathan English, Charles Edwards, Gideon Gravelle, Chas. Corveniat, Antoine Bonanpaus, Nicholas Bird, Francis Dupres, William Torrie, Thomas Purvis, A. J. Thomas, J. H. Bigler, Mango Antoine Ansure, Narcisse Montiznie, Edward Crete.

English's Company: Captain, Levin N. English; first lieutenant, William Shaw; second lieutenant, F. M. Munkers; orderly sergeant, William Martin; duty sergeants, Hiram English, George Shaw, Thomas Boggs, L. J. Rector; privates, Jackson Adams, L. N. Abel, William Burton, Joseph Crauk, John Downing, Thos. T. Eyre, R. D. Foster, Alexander Gage, Thomas Gregory, G. W. Howell, Fales Howard, J. H. Lewis, N. G. McDonald, James Officer, Joseph Pearson, Jackson Rowell, William Simmons, Lewis Stewart, Charles Roth, Daniel Waldo, George Wesley, William Vaughn, L. N. English, Jr., Nineveh Ford, Albert Fish, A. Gribble, Samuel Senters, Thomas Wigger, Richard Hays, Wesley Howell, Richard Jenkins, G. H. March, William Medway, J. R. Payne, Benjamin Simpson, Alexander York.

Martin's Company: Captain, William Martin; first lieutenant, A. E. Garrison; second lieutenant, David Waldo; orderly sergeant, Ludwell J. Rector; duty sergeants, William Cosper, Fales Howard, Joseph Sylvester, Benjamin Wright; privates, J. Albright, H. Burdon, T. J. Blair, Joseph Borst, George Crabtree, Joseph Crauk, Wesley Cook, Samuel Center, John Cox, John Eads, Parnel Fowler, S. M. Crover, John Kaiser, Clark S. Pringle, Israel Wood, Lewis Stewart, Pleasant C. Kaiser, Thomas Canby, Sidney S. Ford, William Melawers, A. N. Rainwater, B. F. Shaw, Wm. Waldo, Silas G. Pugh, G. H. Vernon, Isaiah Matheny, Thomas T. Eyre, John C. Holgate.

Shaw's Company: Captain, William Shaw; first lieutenant, David Crawford; second lieutenant, Baptiste C. Dorio; orderly sergeant, Absalom M. Smith; duty sergeants, George Laroque, Vatall Bergeren, George W. Shaw, Charles McKay; privates, John H. Bigler, O. Crum, Joseph Despont, William Felix, Xavier Plante, Eli Viliell, F. M. Mankis, Antonio Plante, Charles Edwards, Andrew Heeber, Xavier Gervais, David Jones, John Pecares, Samuel Kinsey, Joseph Pearson, William Towie, Peter Jackson, Alexander Laborain, William McMillen, B. F. Nichols, Hiram Smead, William Marill, Francis Poiecor, George Westley.

Garrison's Company: Captain, J. M. Garrison; first lieutenant, A. E. Garrison; second lieutenant, John C. Herren; orderly sergeant, J. B. Kaiser; duty sergeants, George Crabtree, George Laroque, Joseph Colester; privates, E. Biernaisse, Thomas R. Blair, John C. Cox, Joseph Despart, Caleb M. Grover, Isaiah Matheny, John Picard, William Philips, Henry Barden, Silas P. Pugh, Isaac Wood, Penel Fowler, Andrew Hubert, Daniel Herren, Xavier Plante, Vitelle Bergeron.


This building was upon the site now covered by the garage erected in 1917 by the Stone estate. The picture is reproduced from a crayon sketch made by Lizzie Hungate (Mrs. H. A. Gardner), when a young girl in St. Paul's school. The building was of cottonwood logs and remained on the original site until 188—, when it was removed by C. W. Phillips, who designed keeping it as a historical relic, but the cottonwood logs soon decayed.


Colonel Gilliam, though having had no military education, had the American pioneer's capacity and fertility of resources, and conducted his midwinter campaign with courage and energy. As already noted, Peter Skeen Ogden of the Hudson's Bay Company, had ransomed the captives of Waiilatpu long before even the scantily equipped regiment of Oregon volunteers could take the field. But even though the first necessity, that of rescuing the captives, had been filled, the command felt that the situation compelled a definite campaign and the capture and bringing to justice of the murderers. Hence Colonel Gilliam pressed on his march as rapidly as possible. On the last day of February, 1848, he crossed the Des Chutes River to a point where hostile Indians had already taken a stand. A battle ensued the next day, resulting in the defeat of the Indians and a treaty of peace with the Des Chutes tribe. Pressing on toward Walla Walla, the command was checked at Sand Hollows in the Lower Umatilla River Valley, by a strong force of Indians in command of Five Crows, a Cayuse chief. This chieftain claimed the powers of a wizard and declared that he could swallow all the bullets fired at him by the whites. Another brave called War Eagle, or Swallow Ball, made equal claims to invulnerability. The two chiefs undertook to demonstrate their wizard powers by dashing out in front of the volunteers. Tom McKay, who was the stepson of Doctor McLoughlin and was then the captain of a company composed mainly of French Canadians, could not withstand the challenge and sent a bullet from his trusty rifle through the head of Swallow Ball. At the same time Charles McKay sent a companion ball into the supposedly invulnerable anatomy of Five Crows, wounding him so severely that he was out of the war henceforth. After a desultory series of engagements, the Indians retreated and Colonel Gilliam's command pushed on to Waiilatpu, which point they reached on March 2d. At the desolate spot they discovered that the remains of the martyrs of the Whitman Mission had been hastily interred by the Ogden party, but that in the interval of time coyotes had partially exhumed them. They reverently replaced the sacred remains in one large grave, covering them with a wagon box found on the ground. Them in that abandoned place the bones of the martyred band remained unmarked for many years. As now known to all residents of Walla Walla, a monument was reared upon the hill overlooking the scene of the tragedy, and the remains were reinterred and covered with a marble slab inscribed with the names of the victims of the massacre. A lock of long fair hair was found near the ruined mission which there is every reason to think was from the head of Mrs. Whitman. It is now preserved among the precious relics in the museum of Whitman College.

With the volunteers was Joseph L. Meek, one of the Rocky Mountain trappers who had settled in the Willamette Valley and had become prominent in establishing the Provisional Government of Oregon in 1843. He now with a few companions was on his way across the continent to carry dispatches to Washington announcing the Whitman Massacre and urging the Government to make immediate provision for a proper territorial government. Meek had come thus far with the troops, but now passed beyond them on his difficult and dangerous[88] journey. It may be added that with much hardship from cold and near starvation he reached St. Louis in the extraordinarily short time of seventy-two days.

The dilatory and scheming Congress and administration was roused by the Whitman Massacre to some sense of the needs of far-away Oregon. A great struggle ensued over the slavery question in which Calhoun, Davis, Foote, and other southern senators made determined efforts to defeat the prohibition of slavery in Oregon. They were overpowered by the eloquence of Corwin, the determination of Benton and the statesmanship of Webster, and on August 13, 1848, the bill to establish a territorial government for Oregon with slavery prohibited passed Congress. President Polk appointed Joseph Lane governor, Joseph Meek marshal, and William B. Bryant judge in the new territory. Not till March 3, 1849, did they reach their stations and take up their duties. Of all the history of the great congressional discussion with the momentous national questions involved, there is a graphic account by Judge Thornton, while Benton in his "Thirty Years in Congress" gives a vivid and illuminating view.

Meanwhile the little army of Oregon volunteers were engaged in a long-drawn and harassing series of marches and counter marches in search of the guilty murderers. An adobe fort, called Fort Waters, from Lieut. Col. James Waters, was built at Waiilatpu. The Cayuses had counted upon the help of the other tribes, but the Nez Perces and Spokanes repudiated their murderous kindred, and the Yakimas took an attitude of indifference. Peupeumoxmox of the Walla Wallas, though having more of a real grievance against the whites than any other Indian on account of the brutal murder of his son, as related in the preceding chapter, did not actively aid the hostiles. He played a wily game, and was justly regarded with suspicion by the command.

In the midst of the tangle and uncertainty, and the scattering of the guilty parties in all directions, Colonel Gilliam decided to make an expedition northeasterly to the Tucanon and Snake rivers in the hope of encountering and destroying the main force of the hostiles and bringing the war to a conclusion at one blow. Reaching the mouth of the Tucanon, a few miles below the present Starbuck, the colonel was outgeneraled by the wily Indians who gave him to understand that the Indian camp was that of Peupeumoxmox. Taking advantage of the delay the Cayuses drove their large bands of stock into the Snake River and made them swim to the north bank. The main body of Indians succeeded in getting away with their valuable stock. The Palouses were doubtless aiding and abetting them. Disappointed in his aims Colonel Gilliam gave the order to return to Walla Walla. Upon reaching the Touchet in the near vicinity of the present Bolles Junction, the Indians made a rush for the Touchet River in the evident hope of entangling the troops at the crossing. A desperate encounter took place, the hardest, and in fact the only real battle of the year, in which the whites fought their way through the stream and made their way to the Walla-Walla. Reaching Fort Waters at Waiilatpu on March 16th, it was determined by a council of war that Colonel Gilliam should go to The Dalles with 160 men in order to meet and escort a supply train to the Walla Walla, while Lieutenant-Colonel Waters should take command at the fort. On the way, just having crossed the Umatilla, Colonel Gilliam while in the act of drawing a rope from a wagon accidentally caught it in the trigger of a loaded gun. The weapon was discharged and the commander was instantly killed. This was a most lamentable[89] loss, for Colonel Gilliam was not only an efficient commander, but was one of the best of the Oregon pioneers, with the capacity for a most useful career in the new land. Lieutenant-Colonel Waters became colonel in command upon the announcement of the death of Colonel Gilliam. He undertook at once a march to Lapwai under the belief that the murderers were harbored among the Nez Perces. Nothing definite was accomplished by this expedition. According to the assertions of the Nez Perces Telaukaikt, one of the supposed leaders of the Whitman Massacre, had fled. The Nez Perces delivered a number of cattle and horses which they said belonged to the Cayuses. The attempt to seize the murderers themselves being seemingly futile, Colonel Waters returned again to the fort at Waiilatpu. It had now become evident that the condition did not justify the retention of a regiment in the Cayuse country. Governor Abernethy, still acting as head of the Provisional Government of Oregon, decided to recall the main body of troops. A small force under Major Magone was sent to Chimakain, the mission near Spokane where Eells and Walker were located, in order to bring that missionary band to a place of safety. It was found by Major Magone that the Spokane Indians had been faithful to their teachers and had guarded them from danger. Few things more thrilling have been narrated in the hearing of the author than the accounts given by Mr. Eells and Mr. Walker, and above all by Edwin Eells, oldest son of Father Eells, of the conditions under which that devoted group existed for some days when it was thought that the hostile Indians were on the way to Spokane to destroy them. On one evening hearing an awful powwow and hullaballoo from a crowd of mounted Indians and seeing them rapidly approaching in the dim light, Father Eells went out bravely to meet them, thinking it likely was the dreaded marauders, to discover in a moment that it was their own Spokanes, armed for their defence.

Escorted by the company of volunteers, the missionaries of Chimakain went to the Willamette Valley where the Walker family made their permanent home, while Father Eells with his family remained twelve years and then returned to the Walla Walla country to found Whitman College and to make his home for a number of years at Waiilatpu.

While Major Magone was thus engaged in caring for the last of the missionaries, Capt. William Martin was left at Fort Waters (Waiilatpu) with fifty-five men to look out for the interests of immigrants who might enter the country and to keep a vigilant eye upon the movements of the savages. This Captain Martin, it may be remembered by some readers, took up his residence at Pendleton in 1880 and was long a leading citizen of that city. One of his sons now lives at Touchet in Walla Walla County and one of his grandsons, of the same name as himself, became one of the most noted athletes at Whitman College and now occupies a place as physical director in a large eastern university. Another small force in command of Lieutenant Rogers was stationed at Fort Lee at The Dalles. But as to further operations in the field they seemed to be at an end. The Cayuses scattered in various directions, and other Indians, while making no resistance to the whites, gave them little or no assistance. Finally in 1850 a band of friendly Umatillas pursued a bunch of Cayuses under Tamsaky or Tamsucky to the headwaters of the John Day River and after a severe struggle killed Tamsaky and captured the most of his followers.

The last act in the tragedy was the execution of several Indian chiefs who had[90] voluntarily gone to Oregon City and had been seized and subjected to trial as being the murderers of the Whitman party. There is a very unsatisfactory condition of testimony about the real guilt of this group of Indians. The Cayuse Indians claimed, and many of the whites believed that one only of the five who were hung on June 3, 1850, was guilty. As a concluding glance at this grewsome event, the reader may be interested in the following official declaration of innocence of those Indians.

"Tilokite—I am innocent of the crime of which I am charged. Those who committed it are dead, some killed, some died; there were ten, two were my sons; they were killed by the Cayuses. Tumsucky, before the massacre, came to my lodge; he told me that they were going to hold a council to kill Doctor Whitman. I told him not to do so, that it was bad. One night seven Indians died near the house of Doctor Whitman, to whom he had given medicines. Tumsucky's family were sick; he gave them roots and leaves; they got well. Other Indians died. Tumsucky came often. I talked to him, but his ears were shut; he would not hear; he and others went away. After a while some children came into my lodge and told me what was going on. I had told Tumsucky over and over to let them alone; my talk was nothing; I shut my mouth. When I left my people, the young chief told me to come down and talk with the big white chief, and tell him who it was, that did kill Doctor Whitman and others. My heart was big; 'tis small now. The priest tells me I must die tomorrow. I know not for what. They tell me that I have made a confession to the marshal that I struck Doctor Whitman. 'Tis false! You ask me if the priests did not encourage us to kill Doctor Whitman? I answer no, no."

"Monday, 11:30 o'clock—I am innocent, but my heart is weak since I have been in chains, but since I must die, I forgive them all. Those who brought me here and take care of me, I take them all in my arms, my heart is opened."

"Quiahmarsum (skin or panther's coat)—I was up the river at the time of the massacre, and did not arrive until the next day. I was riding on horseback; a white woman came running from the house. She held out her hand and told me not to kill her. I put my hand upon her head and told her not to be afraid. There were plenty of Indians all about. She, with the other women and children, went to Walla Walla, to Mr. Ogden's. I was not present at the murder, nor was I any way concerned in it. I am innocent. It hurts me to talk about dying for nothing. Our chief told us to come down and tell all about it. Those who committed the murder are killed and dead. The priest says I must die tomorrow. If they kill me, I am innocent."

"Monday, 11:30 A.M.—I was sent here by my chief to declare who the guilty persons were; the white chief would then shake hands with me; the young chief would come after me; we would have a good heart. My young chief told me I was to come here to tell what I know concerning the murderers. I did not come as one of the murderers, for I am innocent. I never made any declarations to any one that I was guilty. This is the last time that I may speak."

"Kloakamus—I was there at the time; I lived there, but I had no hand in the murder. I saw them when they were killed, but did not touch or strike any one. I looked on. There were plenty of Indians. My heart was sorry. Our chief told us to come down and tell who the murderers were. There were ten; they are killed. They say I am guilty, but it is not so; I am innocent. The people do not understand me. I can't talk to them. They tell me I must die by being hung by the neck. If they do kill me, I am innocent, and God will give me a big heart."

Courtesy of Mr. Michael Kenny



"Monday, 11:30 A.M.—I have no reason to die for things that I did not do. My time is short. I tell the truth. I know that I am close to the grave; but my heart is open and I tell the truth. I love every one in this world. I know that God will give me a big heart. I never confessed to the marshal that I was guilty, or to any other person; I am innocent. The priests did not tell us to do what the Indians have done. This is my last talk."

"Siahsaluchus (or Wet Wolf)—I say the same as the others; the murderers are killed; some by the whites, some by the Cayuses, and some by others. They were ten in number."

"Monday, 11:30 A.M.—I have nothing more to say; I think of God. I forgive all men; I love them. The priests did not tell us to do this."

"Thomahas—I did not know that I came here to die. Our chief told us to come and see the white chief and tell him all about it. The white chief would then tell us all what was right and what was wrong. Learn us (how) to live when we returned home. Why should I have a bad heart—after I am showed and taught how to live? My eyes were shut when I came here. I did not see, but now they are opened. I have been taught; I have been showed what was good and what was bad. I do not want to die; I know now that we are all brothers. They tell me the same Spirit made us all."

"Monday, 11:30 A.M.—Thomahas joined With Tilokite. My heart cries my brother was guilty, but he is dead. I am innocent. I know I am going to die for things I am not guilty of, but I forgive them. I love all men now. My hope, the priest tells me, is in Christ. My heart shall be big with good."


Henry H. Crawford,

Sergeant, Co. D, R. M. R.

Robert D. Mahon,

Corporal, Co. A, R. M. R."

Following the close of the Cayuse war there was a lull in hostilities during which several white men came to the Walla Walla country or near it, with a view to locating. In Col. F. T. Gilbert's valuable history of Walla Walla and adjoining counties, published in 1882, we find the data for a summary of the earliest settlers as follows:

The first settlers of all were William C. McKay, son of Thomas McKay (who himself was the stepson of Dr. John McLoughlin) and Henry M. Chase. These men were located on the Umatilla River in 1851 at a point near the present Town of Echo. Doctor McKay later became a resident of Pendleton where he was well known for many years. In 1852 Mr. Chase went with Wm. Craig to the Nez Percé country near Lewiston where he entered the cattle business. In 1855 he went to the region of the present Dayton and a short time later to Walla Walla. He lived in Walla Walla a number of years and was well known to all old-timers. He lived upon the property now the site of St. Paul's School. Louis Raboin, a Frenchman, though an American citizen, was in the Walla Walla country a number of years beginning in 1851. In 1855 he located at what is now[92] the Town of Marengo on the Tucanon. P. M. Lafontain came to the region in 1852 and located a claim adjoining that of Mr. Chase, near the present Dayton, in 1855. Lloyd Brooke, George C. Bumford, and John F. Noble came to Waiilatpu in 1852, and in the following year established themselves there in the cattle business. There they remained till driven out by the War of 1855. A. P. Woodward was a resident of the Walla Walla country during the same period. It is proper to name here Wm. Craig who had been a mountain man a number of years and became located among the Nez Percé Indians at Lapwai in 1845. From him Craig Mountains took their name. He was an important personage as interpreter and peace-maker among the Nez Perces during the great war later. There were several men drifting through the country employed as laborers by Mr. Chase and by the cattle-men at Waiilatpu.

There was at that time quite a settlement on the Walla Walla around what is now known as Frenchtown, about ten miles from the present city. These were Hudson's Bay Company men. We find in the list of names several whose descendants lived subsequently in that region, though they mainly left during the Indian Wars and did not return. There were two priests among them, Fathers Chirouse and Pondosa, and they were assisted by two brothers. James Sinclair had at that time charge of Fort Walla Walla on the Columbia. Though the region was then in possession of the United States, the Hudson's Bay Company had not yet delivered up its locations.

During this lull a very important event occurred. On March 3, 1853, the Territory of Washington was created and Isaac I. Stevens was appointed governor. The first Territorial Legislature laid out sixteen counties. Among them was Walla Walla County. That was the first "Old Walla Walla County." That it was much more extensive than the area especially covered by this work will appear when the boundaries are given, thus: "Beginning its line on the north bank of the Columbia at a point opposite the mouth of Des Chutes River, it ran thence north to the forty-ninth parallel." It therefore embraced all of what was then Washington Territory east of that line, which included all of present Idaho, about a fourth of present Montana, and about half of what is now Washington. That was the first attempt at organized government in Eastern Washington. The county seat was located "on the land of Lloyd Brooke," which was at Waiilatpu. The Legislature further decreed: "That George C. Bumford, John Owens, and A. Dominique Pambrun be, and they are hereby constituted and appointed the Board of County Commissioners; and that Narcises Remond be, and hereby is appointed sheriff; and that Lloyd Brooke be, and is hereby appointed judge of probate, and shall have jurisdiction as justice of the peace; all in and for the County of Walla Walla." These appointees with the exception of Mr. Owens (who lived near the present Missoula), were residents of the region of Waiilatpu and Frenchtown. That county organization was never inaugurated, and it remains as simply an interesting historical reminiscence.

In March, 1855, another most notable event occurred, the first in a series that made much history in the Northwest. This was the discovery of gold at the junction of the Pend Oreille River with the Columbia. The discoverer was a French half-breed who had previously lived at French Prairie, Ore. The announcement of the discovery caused a stampede to the east of the mountains and inaugurated a series of momentous changes.


Governor Stevens had entered upon his great task of organizing the newly created territory by undertaking the establishment of a number of Indian reservations. The necessities of the case—both justice to the Indians and the whites, as well as the proper development of the country whose vast possibilities were beginning to be seen by the farsighted ones—seemed to compel the segregation of the natives into comparatively small reservations. The history of the laying out of these reservations is an entire history by itself. There has been controversy as to the rights and wrongs of the case which has been best treated by Hazard Stevens in his "Life of Governor Stevens" (his father) in defence, and by Ezra Meeker in his "Tragedy of Leschi" in condemnation. Suffice it to say that the reservation policy was but faintly understood by the Indians and occurring in connection with the gold discoveries and the entrance of whites, eager for wealth and opportunity, it furnished all the conditions requisite for a first-class Indian war. Doubtless the great underlying cause was, as usual in Indian wars, the perception by Indians that their lands were steadily and surely passing out of their hands.

In 1854 and 1855 a general flame of war burst forth in widely separated regions. There can be no question that there was an attempt at co-operation by the tribes over the whole of Oregon and Washington. But so wide and so scattered was the field and so incapable were the Indians of intelligent unity of action that the white settlements were spared a war of extermination. The centers of warfare were the Rogue River in Southern Oregon, a number of points on Puget Sound, especially Seattle and vicinity, and White River Valley.

In May, 1855, Governor Stevens with a force of about fifty men reached Walla Walla for a conference with the tribes. The best authorities on the conference are Hazard Stevens, then a boy of fourteen, who accompanied his father, and Lieutenant Kip of the United States Army. This meeting at Walla Walla was one of the most interesting and important in the annals of Indian relationships with the United States Government. There seems some difference of opinion as to the exact location of the conference. It has generally been thought that Stevens' camp was at what is now known as "Council Grove Addition," near the residence of ex-Senator Ankeny. When General Hazard Stevens was in Walla Walla some years ago he gave his opinion that it was in the near vicinity of the residence of Mrs. Clara Quinn. William McBean, a son of the Hudson's Bay Company agent at Fort Walla Walla during the Cayuse war, who was himself in Stevens' force, as a young boy, told the author nearly thirty years ago that he believed the chief point of the conference was almost exactly on the present site of Whitman College. It appears from the testimony of old-timers that Mill Creek has changed its course at intervals in these years, and that as a result the exact identification is difficult. It seems plain, however, that the Indians were camped at various places along the two spring branches, "College Creek" and "Tannery Creek."

With his little force, Governor Stevens might well have been startled, if he had been a man sensible of fear, when there came tearing across the plain to the northeast of the council ground an army of twenty-five hundred Nez Perces, headed by Halhaltlossot, known to the whites as Lawyer. After the Indian custom they were whooping and firing their guns and making their horses prance and cavort in the clouds of dust stirred by hundreds of hoofs. But as it proved, these spectacular performers were the real friends of the Governor and his party and[94] later on their salvation. Two days after, three hundred Cayuses, those worst of the Columbia River Indians, surly and scowling, made their appearance, led by Five Crows and Young Chief. Within two days again there arrived a force of two thousand Yakimas, Umatillas, and Walla Wallas. The "Valley of Waters" must have been at that time a genuine Indian paradise. The broad flats of Mill Creek and the Walla Walla were covered with grass and spangled with flowers. Numerous clear cold steams, gushing in springs from the ground and overhung by birches and cottonwoods, with the wild roses drooping over them, made their gurgling way to a junction with the creek. Countless horses grazed on the bunch-grass hills and farther back in the foothills there was an abundance of game. No wonder that the Indians, accustomed to gather for councils and horse-races, and all the other delights of savage life, should have scanned with jealous eyes the manifest desire of the whites for locations in a spot "where every prospect pleases and man alone is vile."

It became evident to Governor Stevens that a conspiracy was burrowing beneath his feet. Peupeumoxmox of the Walla Wallas and Kahmiakin of the Yakimas were the leaders. The former was now an old man, embittered by the murder of his son Elijah, and regarded by many as having been the real fomenter of the Whitman Massacre. Kahmiakin was a remarkable Indian. Winthrop, in his "Canoe and Saddle," gives a vivid description of him as being an of extraordinary force and dignity. Governor Stevens said of him: "He is a peculiar man, reminding me of the panther and the grizzly bear. His countenance has an extraordinary play, one moment in frowns, the next in smiles, flashing with light and black as Erebus the same instant. His pantomime is great, and his gesticulations many and characteristic. He talks mostly in his face and with his hands and arms." He was a man of lofty stature and splendid physique, a typical Indian of the best type. This great Yakima chief saw that his race was doomed unless they could check White occupancy at its very beginning. Restrained by no scruples (as indeed his civilized opponents seldom were) he seems to have conspired with the Walla Wallas and Cayuses to wipe out Stevens and his band, then rush to The Dalles and exterminate the garrison there; then with united forces of all the Eastern Oregon Indians sweep on into the principal settlements of the whites, those of the Willamette Valley, and wipe them out. Meanwhile their allies on the Sound were to seize the pivotal points there. Thus Indian victory would be comprehensive and final. Preposterous as such an expectation appears now to us, it was not, after all, so remote as we might think. Six or seven thousand of these powerful warriors, splendidly mounted and well armed, if well directed, crossing the mountains into the scattered settlements of Western Oregon and Washington might well have cleaned up the country, with the exception of Portland, which was then quite a little city and in a position which would have made any successful attack by Indians hopeless.

But the Nez Perces saved the day. Halhaltlossot perceived that the only hope for his people was in peace and as favorable reservation assignments as could be secured. He nipped the conspiracy in the bud. Hazard Stevens gives a thrilling account of how the Nez Percé chief went by night to the Governor's camp and revealed the conspiracy. He moved his own camp to a point adjoining the whites and made it clear that the hostiles could accomplish their aims only in the face of Nez Percé opposition. This situation made the conspiracy impotent.

Lewis McMorris

J. J. Rohn

Dr. John Tempany

Michael Kenny

Joseph McEvoy



Not all, however, of the Nez Perces approved the tactics of Lawyer. There was a powerful faction that favored the Yakimas, Cayuses, and Walla Wallas. While Governor Stevens had been gradually bringing the main body of the Nez Perces to consent to a treaty assigning certain reservations to them, and was flattering himself that with the aid of Lawyer he was just about to clinch the deal, there was a sudden commotion in the council, and into the midst there burst the old chief Apashwayhayikt (Looking Glass). He had just been on a raid against the Blackfeet, and hearing of the probable outcome of the Walla Walla Council, had made a ride of 300 miles in seven days. With his little band of attendants he came racing over the "bench" on which "Garden City Heights" is now located, and with scalps of several slaughtered Blackfeet dangling from his belt he rushed to the front, and fixing his angry and reproachful eyes upon his tribesmen he broke forth into a harangue which Hazard Stevens was told by some Indians began about thus: "My people, what have you done? While I was gone you sold my country. I have come home and there is not left me a place on which to pitch my lodge. Go home to your lodges. I will talk with you." Lieutenant Kip declares that though he could not understand the words, the effect was tremendous and the speech was equal to the greatest bursts of oratory that he had ever heard. The council broke up and the nearly accepted treaty went to naught.

With great patience and skill Stevens and Lawyer rallied their defeated forces and, in spite of the opposition of Looking Glass they secured the acquiescence of the main body of the Indians to three reservations. These were essentially the same as now known: the Yakima, the Umatilla, and the Nez Percé. In case of the last, however, there was a lamentable and distressing miscarriage of agreement and perhaps of justice. William McBean, already mentioned as a half-breed boy employed by Governor Stevens, stated to the author many years ago that he discovered that the general impression among the Nez Percé Indians was that by accepting the treaty and surrendering their lands in the Touchet, Tucanon, and Alpowa countries, they would be assured of the permanent possession of the Wallowa. Now, if there was any region more suitable to Indians and more loved by them than another, it was that same Wallowa, with its snowy peaks, its lakes and streams filled with fish, its grassy upland with deer and elk, its thickets and groves with grouse and pheasants. The understanding of the "Joseph band" of Nez Perces was, according to McBean, that the loved Wallowa was to be their special range. Upon that supposition they voted with Lawyer for the treaty and that was the determining influence that secured its passage. But twenty years later, white men began to perceive that the Wallowa was also suitable to them. With that lack of continuity in dealing with natives in face of a demand for land by whites which has made most of our Indian treaties mere "scraps of paper," the administration (that of Grant) forgot the understanding, the Indians were dispossessed, and the Nez Percé war with the very people who had saved Stevens in 1855 was precipitated in 1877. Young Joseph (Hallakallakeen) led his warriors in the most spectacular Indian war in the history of this country, as a result of which his band was finally overpowered and located on the Nespilem, a part of the Colville reservation. Kamiakin had seemed to agree to the treaty at Walla Walla. But he was only biding his time. Governor Stevens, having, as he thought, pacified the tribes by that group of treaties, proceeded on a similar mission to the Flatheads in Northern Idaho. There, after long discussion,[96] a treaty was negotiated by which a million and a quarter acres was set aside for a reservation. The next move of the Governor was across the Rocky Mountains to Fort Benton.

But what was happening on the Walla Walla? No sooner was the Governor fairly out of sight across the flower-bespangled plains, which extended 200 miles northeast from Walla Walla, than the wily Kamiakin began to resume his plots. So successful was he, with the valuable assistance of Peupeumoxmox, Young Chief, and Five Crows, that the treaties, just ratified, were torn to shreds and the flame of savage warfare burst forth across the entire Columbia Valley.

Hazard Stevens, in his invaluable history of his father, gives a vivid picture of how the news reached them in their camp, thirty-five miles up the Missouri from Fort Benton. Summer had now passed into autumn. A favorable treaty had been made with the Blackfeet. On October 29th the little party were gathered around their campfire in the frosty air of fall in that high altitude when they discerned a solitary rider making his way slowly toward them. As he drew near they soon saw that it was Pearson, the express rider. Pearson was one of the best examples of those scouts whose lives were spent in conveying messages from forts to parties in the field. He usually traveled alone, and his life was always in his hand. He seemed to be made of steel springs, and it had been thought that he could endure anything. "He could ride anything that wore hair." He rode 1,750 miles in twenty-eight days at one time, one stage of 260 miles having been made in three days. But as he slowly drew up to the party in the cold evening light, it was seen that even Pearson was "done." His horse staggered and fell, and he himself could not stand or speak for some time. After he had been revived he told his story, and a story of disaster and foreboding it was, sure enough.

All the great tribes of the Columbia plains west of the Nez Perces had broken out, the Cayuses, Yakimas, Palouses, Walla Wallas, Umatillas, and Klickitats. They had swept the country clean of whites. The ride of Pearson from The Dalles to the point where he reached Governor Stevens is one of the most thrilling in our annals. By riding all day and night, he reached a horse ranch on the Umatilla belonging to William McKay, but he found the place deserted. Seeing a splendid horse in the bunch near by, he lassoed and saddled him. Though the horse was as wild as air, Pearson managed to mount and start on. Just then there swept into view a force of Indians who, instantly divining what Pearson was trying to do, gave chase. Up and down hill, through vale, and across the rim-rock, they followed, sending frequent bullets after him, and yelling like demons. "Whupsiah si-ah-poo, Whupsiah!" ("Kill the white man!") But the wild horse which the intrepid rider bestrode proved his salvation, for he gradually outran all his pursuers. Traveling through the Walla Walla at night Pearson reached the camp of friendly Nez Percé Red Wolf on the Alpowa the next day, having ridden 200 miles from The Dalles without stopping except the brief time changing horses. Snow and hunger now impeded his course. Part of the way he had to go on snow-shoes without a horse. But with unflinching resolution he passed on, and so now here he was with his dismal tidings.

The dispatches warned Governor Stevens that Kamiakin with a thousand warriors was in the Walla Walla Valley and that it would be impossible for him to get through by that route, and that he must therefore return to the East by the Missouri and come back to his territory by the steamer route of Panama. That[97] meant six months' delay. With characteristic boldness, Governor Stevens at once rejected the more cautious course and went right back to Spokane by Coeur d'Alene Pass, deep already with winter snows, suffering intensely with cold and hunger, but avoiding by that route the Indians sent out to intercept him. With extraordinary address, he succeeding in turning the Spokane Indians to his side. The Nez Perces, thanks to Lawyer's fidelity, were still friendly, and with these two powerful tribes arrayed against the Yakimas, there was still hope of holding the Columbia Valley.

After many adventures, Governor Stevens reached Olympia in safety. Govornor Curry of Oregon had already called a force of volunteers into the field. The Oregon volunteers were divided into two divisions, one under Col. J. W. Nesmith, which went into the Yakima country, and the other under Lieut.-Col. J. K. Kelly, which went to Walla Walla. The latter force fought the decisive battle of the campaign on the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th of December, 1855. It was a series of engagements occurring in the heart of the Walla Walla Valley, a "running fight" culminating at what is now called Frenchtown, ten miles west of the present City of Walla Walla.

The famous battle of the Walla Walla, being so conspicuous and so near the present city, is worthy of some detail. The report of Col. J. K. Kelley is as follows:

"On the evening of the 8th inst., I gave you a hasty report of our battle with Indians up to the close of the second day's fight, and then stated that at a future time I would give a more detailed account of all transactions that occurred since the march from the Umatilla River. Owing to active engagements in the field, and in pursuit of the Indians, I have not hitherto had leisure to make that report.

"As soon as it was dark on the evening of the second, I proceeded with my command from Fort Henrietta to Walla Walla, having left a detachment of twenty-five men, under command of Lieutenant Sword, to protect the former post. On the morning of the third we encamped on the bank of the Walla Walla River about four miles from the fort; and, proceeding to the latter place, I found it had been pillaged by the Indians, the buildings much defaced and the furniture destroyed.

"On the morning of the fourth, a body of Indians was observed on the opposite side of the Columbia, apparently making preparations to cross the river with a large amount of baggage. Seeing us in possession of the fort, they were deterred from making the attempt, when I sent a small detachment down to a bar making into the Columbia immediately below the mouth of the Walla Walla, and opposite to where the Indians were, with directions to fire upon them and prevent the removal of their packs of provisions. The width of the river at this place is about 250 yards; and a brisk fire was at once opened upon the Indians, which was returned by them from behind the rocks on the opposite shore. No boats could be procured to cross the river in order to secure the provisions or to attack the body of Indians, numbering about fifty, who had made their appearance on the hill north of Walla Walla, who, after surveying our encampment, started off in a northeasterly direction. I at once determined to follow in pursuit of them on the following day.

"Early on the morning of the fifth I dispatched Second Major Chinn, with 150 men, to escort the baggage and packtrains to the mouth of the Touchet, there[98] to await my return with the remainder of the forces under my command. On the same morning I marched with about two hundred men to a point on the Touchet River about twelve miles from its mouth, with the view of attacking the Walla Walla Indians, who were supposed to be encamped there. When I was near to and making towards the village, Peupeumoxmox, the chief of the tribe, with six other Indians, made their appearance under a flag of truce. He stated that he did not wish to fight; that his people did not wish to fight; and that on the following day he would come and have a talk and make a treaty of peace. On consultation with Hon. Nathan Olney, Indian agent, we concluded that this was simply a ruse to gain time for removing his village and preparing for battle. I stated to him that we had come to chastise him for the wrongs he had done to our people, and that we would not defer making an attack on his people unless he and his five followers would consent to accompany and remain with us until all difficulties were settled. I told him that he might go away under his flag of truce if he chose; but, if he did so, we would forthwith attack his village. The alternative was distinctly made known to him; and, to save his people, he chose to remain with us as a hostage for the fulfillment of his promise, as did also those who accompanied him. He at the same time said that on the following day he would accompany us to his village; that he would then assemble his people and make them deliver up all their arms and ammunition, restore the property which had been taken from the white settlers, or pay the full value of that which could not be restored; and that he would furnish fresh horses to remount my command, and cattle to supply them with provisions, to enable us to wage war against other hostile tribes who were leagued with him. Having made these promises, we refrained from making the attack, thinking we had him in our power, and that on the next day his promises would be fulfilled. I also permitted him to send one of the men who accompanied him to his village to apprise the tribes of the terms of the expected treaty, so that they might be prepared to fulfill it.

"On the sixth, we marched to the village and found it entirely deserted, but saw the Indians in considerable force on the distant hills, and watching our movements. I sent out a messenger to induce them to come in, but could not do so. And I will here observe that I have since learned from a Nez Percé boy who was taken at the same time with Peupeumoxmox, that instead of sending word to his people to make a treaty of peace, he sent an order for them to remove their women and children and prepare for battle. From all I have since learned, I am well persuaded that he was acting with duplicity, and that he expected to entrap my command in the deep ravine in which his camp was situated, and make his escape from us. We remained at the deserted village until about one o'clock in the afternoon; and seeing no hope of coming to any terms we proceeded to the mouth of the Touchet with a view of going from thence to some spot near Whitman's Station, where I had intended to form a permanent camp for the winter.

"On the morning of the seventh, Companies H and K crossed the Touchet, leading the column on the route to Whitman's Valley, and when formed on the plain, were joined by Company B. A few persons in front were driving our cattle; and a few were on the flanks of the companies and near the foot of the hills that extended along the river. These persons, as well as I can ascertain, were fired on by the Indians. Immediately all the companies except A and F (who were ordered to remain with the baggage) commenced an eager chase of the Indians in sight. A running fight was the consequence, the force of the Indians increasing with every mile. Several of the enemy were killed in the chase before reaching the farm of La Rocque, which is about twelve miles from the mouth of the Touchet. At this point they made a stand, their left resting on the river covered with trees and underbrush, their center occupying the flat, as this place was covered with clumps of sagebrush and small sand knolls, their right on the high ridge of hills which skirt the river bottom.



"When the volunteers reached this point, they were not more than forty or fifty men, being those mounted on the fleetest horses. Upon these the Indians poured a murderous fire from the brushwood and willows along the river, and from the sage bushes along the plain, wounding a number of the volunteers. The men fell back. The moment was critical. They were commanded to cross the fence which surrounds La Rocque's field, and charge upon the Indians in the brush. In executing this order, Lieutenant Burrows of Company H was killed; and Captain Munson of Company I, Isaac Miller, sergeant-major, and G. W. Smith of Company B, were wounded. A dispatch having been sent to Captain Wilson of Company A to come forward, he and his company came up on the gallop, dismounted at a slough, and with fixed bayonets pushed on through the brush. In the course of half an hour Captain Bennett was on the ground with Company F; and, with this accession, the enemy was steadily driven forward for two miles, when they took possession of a farm house and close fence, in attempting to carry which Captain Bennett of Company F and Private Kelso of Company A were killed.

"A howitzer found at Fort Walla Walla under charge of Captain Wilson, by this time was brought to bear upon the enemy. Four rounds were fired, when the piece bursted, wounding Captain Wilson. The Indians then gave way at all points; and the house and fence were seized and held by the volunteers and the bodies of our men recovered. These positions were held by as until nightfall, when the volunteers fell slowly back and returned unmolested to camp.

"Early on the morning of the 8th the Indians appeared with increased forces, amounting to fully six hundred warriors. They were posted as usual in the thick brush by the river, among the sage bushes and sand knolls, and on the surrounding hills. This day Lieutenant Pillow with Company A and Lieutenant Hannah with Company H were ordered to take and hold the brush skirting the river and the sage bushes on the plain. Lieutenant Fellows, with Company F, was directed to take and keep the possession of the point at the foot of the hill. Lieutenant Jeffries with Company B, Lieutenant Hand with Company I, and Captain Cornoyer with Company K, were posted on three several points on the hills, with orders to maintain them and to assail the enemy on other points of the same hills. As usual, the Indians were driven from their position, although they fought with skill and bravery.

"On the ninth, they did not make their appearance until about ten o'clock in the morning, and then in somewhat diminished numbers. As I had sent to Fort Henrietta for Companies D and E, and expected them on the tenth, I thought it best to act on the defensive and hold our positions, which were the same as on the eighth, until we could get an accession to our forces sufficient to enable us to assail their rear and cut off their retreat. An attack was made during the day on Companies A and H in the brushwood, and upon B on the hill, both of which[100] were repulsed with great gallantry by those companies, and with considerable loss to the enemy. Companies F, I, and K also did honor to themselves in repelling all approaches to their positions, although in doing so one man in Company F and one in Company I were severely wounded. Darkness as usual closed the combat, by the enemy withdrawing from the field. Owing to the inclemency of the night, the companies on the hill were withdrawn from their several positions, Company B abandoning the rifle pits which were made by the men for its protection. At early dawn on the next day, the Indians were observed from our camp to be in possession of all points held by us on the preceding day. Upon seeing them, Lieutenant McAuliffe of Company B gallantly observed that his company had dug those holes, and that after breakfast they would have them again. And well was his declaration fulfilled; for in less than half an hour the enemy were driven from the rifle pits, and had fled to an adjoining hill which they had occupied the day before. This position was at once assailed. Captain Cornoyer with Company K and a portion of Company I, being mounted, gallantly charged the enemy on his right flank, while Lieutenant McAuliffe with Company B, dismounted, rushed up the hill in face of a heavy fire, and scattered them in all directions. They at once fled in all directions to return to this battlefield no more; and thus ended our long-contested fight.

"I have already given you a list of the killed and wounded on the first two days of the battle. On the last two days, we had only three wounded, whose names you will find subjoined to this report. J. Fleming of Company A, before reported as mortally wounded, has since died. I am happy to state, however, that Private Jasper Snook of Company H, reported by me as mortally wounded, is in a fair way to recover. The surgeon informs me that all the wounded in the hospital are now doing well. The loss of the enemy in killed, during the four days, I estimate at about seventy-five. Thirty-nine dead bodies have already been found by the volunteers; and many were carried off the field by their friends and comrades. So that I think that my estimate is about correct. The number of their wounded must, of course, be great. In making my report, I cannot say too much in the praise of the conduct of the officers of the several companies and most of the soldiers under my command. They did their duty bravely and well during those four trying days of battle. To Second Major Chinn, who took charge of the companies in the bush by the river, credit is due for his bravery and skill, also to Assistant Adjutant Monroe Atkinson for his efficiency and zeal as well in the field as in the camp. And here, while giving to the officers and men of the regiment the praise that is justly due, I cannot omit the name of Hon. Nathan Olney, although he is not one of the volunteers. Having accompanied me in the capacity of Indian agent, I requested him to act as my aid, on account of his admitted skill in Indian warfare; and, to his wisdom in council and daring courage on the field of battle, I am much indebted and shall never cease to appreciate his worth.

"Companies D and E having arrived from Fort Henrietta on the evening of the tenth, the next morning I followed with all the available troops along the Nez Perces' trail in pursuit of the Indians. On Mill Creek, about twelve miles from here, we passed through their village, numbering 196 fires, which had been deserted the night before. Much of their provisions were scattered along the wayside, indicating that they had fled in great haste to the north. We pursued them until it was too dark to follow the track of their horses, when we camped[101] on Coppei Creek. On the twelfth we continued the pursuit until we passed some distance beyond the station of Brooke, Noble and Bumford on the Touchet, when we found the chase was in vain, as many of our horses were completely broken down and the men on foot. We therefore returned and arrived in camp on yesterday evening with about one hundred head of cattle which the Indians left scattered along the trail in their flight.

"On the eleventh, while in pursuit of the enemy, I received a letter from Narcisse Raymond by the hands of Tintinmetzy, a friendly chief (which I enclose), asking our protection of the French and friendly Indians under his charge.

"On the morning of the twelfth, I dispatched Captain Cornoyer with his company to their relief. Mr. Olney, who accompanied them, returned to camp this evening, and reports that Captain Cornoyer will return tomorrow with Mr. Raymond and his people, who now feel greatly relieved from their critical situation. Mr. Olney learned from these friendly Indians what we before strongly believed, that the Palouses, Walla Wallas, Umatillas, Cayuses, and Stock Whitley's band of Des Chutes Indians were all engaged in the battle on the Walla Walla. These Indians also informed Mr. Olney that, after the battle, the Palouses, Walla Wallas, and Umatillas had gone partly to the Grande Ronde and partly to the country of the Nez Perces, and that Stock Whitley, disgusted with the manner in which the Cayuses fought in the battle, has abandoned them and gone to the Yakima country to join his forces with those of Kamiakin. We have now the undisputed possession of the country south of the Snake River; and I would suggest the propriety of retaining this possession until such time as it can be occupied by the regular troops. The Indians have left much of their stock behind, which will doubtless be lost to us if we go away. The troops here will not be in a situation for some time to go to the Palouse country, as our horses at present are too much jaded to endure the journey; and we have no boats to cross Snake River and no timber to make them nearer than this place. But I would suggest the propriety of following up the Indians with all possible speed, now that their hopes are blighted and their spirits broken. Unless this be done, they will perhaps rally again.

"Today I received a letter from Governor Stevens, dated yesterday, which I enclose. You will perceive that he is in favor of a vigorous prosecution of the war. With his views I fully concur.

"I must earnestly ask that supplies be sent forward to us without delay. For the last three days none of the volunteers, except the two companies from Fort Henrietta, have had any flour. There is none here, and but little at that post. We are now living on beef and potatoes which are found en cache; and the men are becoming much discontented with this mode of living. Clothing for the men is much needed as the winter approaches. Tomorrow we will remove to a more suitable point, where grass can be obtained in greater abundance for our worn-out horses. A place has been selected about two miles above Whitman's Station, on the same (north) side of the Walla Walla; consequently I will abandon this fort, named in honor of Captain Bennett of Company F, who now sleeps beneath its stockade, and whose career of usefulness and bravery was here so sadly but nobly closed.

"Very respectfully, your ob't serv't,

"James K. Kelly,

"Lieut.-Col., Com'g Left Col."


A most bitterly disputed feature of this battle was the killing of Peupeumoxmox. It has been esteemed by many as nothing short of murder. The author of this work found difference of opinion among the old-timers formerly resident in Walla Walla, as Lewis McMorris and James McAuliffe, as to the rights and wrongs of the case. The former narrated a ghastly story as follows: The Indian chief having been taken prisoner with several followers was under guard. In the hottest of the fight they undertook to escape. The guards shot them down. The body of the old chieftain was mutilated. His ears were cut off and put in a jar of whiskey in order to preserve them, and subsequently they were nailed to the State House at Salem. But, according to McMorris, the whiskey in the jar disappeared. It was believed by the soldiers that a certain lieutenant had taken it for beverage purposes, and it was common for someone in camp to bawl out at night when he could not be identified, "Who drank the whiskey off of Peupeumoxmox's ears?" This event, while so repulsive, casts a certain light on the conditions. Perhaps a fuller view can be obtained by quoting the official superintendent, Joel Palmer, as follows:

"We arrived near the camp (Walla Wallas) just before night (the 5th of December), and were met by Peupeumoxmox and about fifty of his men with a white flag. They asked for a talk. We halted (Colonel Kelly's command) and demanded what he wanted. He said peace. We told him to come with us and we would talk. He said no. We then told him to take back his flag and we would fight. He said no. We then told him to take his choice—go back and fight or come and stop with us. He chose the latter. We retained him until the next day. We tried to come to an understanding, but could not. We still retained him as a prisoner, with four of his men who came along with him. The next morning, the seventh, a large force attacked us as we left camp. In trying to escape from their guard during the seventh, they were killed."

As presenting the other view of the subject, we quote from Colonel Gilbert as follows:

"An important event transpired that day which it would be more proper to designate as a disgraceful tragedy enacted, that is omitted from this official report. The following is an account of it, as given to the writer by Lewis McMorris, who was present at the time and saw what he narrated. *  *  * The combatants had passed on up the valley, and the distant detonation of their guns could be heard. The flag of truce prisoners were there under guard, and everyone seemed electrified with suppressed excitement. A wounded man came in with his shattered arm dangling at his side, and reported Captain Bennett killed at the front. This added to the excitement, and the attention of all was more or less attracted to the wounded man, when some one said, 'Look out, or the Indians will get away!' At this, seemingly, every one yelled, 'Shoot 'em! Shoot 'em!' and on the instant there was a rattle of musketry on all sides.

"What followed was so quick, and there were so many acting that McMorris could not see it in detail, though all was transpiring within a few yards of, and around him. It was over in a minute, and three of the five prisoners were dead; another was wounded, knocked senseless and supposed to be dead, who afterwards recovered consciousness, and was shot to put him out of misery, while the fifth was spared because he was a Nez Percé. *  *  * All were scalped in a few minutes, and later the body of Yellow Bird, the great Walla Walla chief, was[103] mutilated in a way that should entitle those who did it to a prominent niche in the ghoulish temple erected to commemorate the infamous acts of soulless men. Let us draw a screen upon this affair that has cast a shadow over the otherwise bright record of Oregon volunteers in that war, remembering, when we do so, that but few of them were responsible for its occurrence."

Following this decisive victory of Colonel Kelly and his command, in December, 1855, on the Walla Walla, a second regiment of Washington volunteers was despatched for Walla Walla in the summer of 1856 in command of Col. B. F. Shaw. On July 17, 1856, Colonel Shaw gained a brilliant victory over the allied forces of the savages in the Grande Ronde. While this important campaign was in progress, Governor Stevens had his hands full in Western Washington. The little settlement at Seattle had been nearly destroyed. Many of the settlers in the scattered settlements on the sound had lost their lives, their homes were destroyed and their stock driven off. In the spring the Klickitat Indians had made a sudden dash upon the settlements on the Columbia River between the White Salmon and the Cascades. A certain young lieutenant, afterwards somewhat distinguished, fought his first battle at the latter point. It was Phil Sheridan. In spite of these absorbing events in Western Washington and at the Cascades, Governor Stevens, realizing the vital importance of holding the allegiance of the Nez Perces, proceeded to Walla Walla for another council. His location was about two miles above the camp of 1855. Shortly after his arrival, Col. E. J. Steptoe of the regular army made camp at the location of the present fort.

And now came on the second great Walla Walla council. The tribes were fathered as before, and were aligned as before. The division of Nez Perces under Lawyer stood firmly by Stevens and the treaty. The others did not. The most unfortunate feature of the entire matter was that Colonel Steptoe, acting under General Wool's instructions, thus far kept secret, refused to grant Stevens adequate support and subjected him to humiliations which galled the fiery Governor to the limit. In fact, had it not been for the vigilance of the faithful Nez Perces of Lawyer's band, Stevens and his force would surely have met the doom prepared for them at the first council. The debt of gratitude due Lawyer is incalculable. Spotted Eagle ought to be recorded, too, as of similar devotion and watchfulness. Governor Stevens afterward declared that a speech by him in favor of the whites was equal in feeling, truth, and courage to any speech that he ever heard from any orator whatever.

But in spite of oratory, zeal, and argument, nothing could overcome the influence of Kamiakin, Owhi, Quelchen, Five Crows and others of the Yakimas and Cayuses. Nothing was gained. They stood just where they were a year before. The fatal results of divided counsels between regulars and volunteers were apparent.

The baffled Governor now started on his way down the river, but not without another battle. For, as he was marching a short distance south of what is now Walla Walla City, the Indians burst upon his small force with the evident intention of ending all scores then and there. But Colonel Steptoe established a rude stockade fort on Mill Creek in what is now the heart of the present Walla Walla City, and went into winter quarters there in 1856-57. Governor Stevens returned to Olympia and launched forth a bitter arraignment against Wool. The latter, however, was in a position of vantage and issued a proclamation commanding all[104] whites in the upper country to go down the river and leave the Cascade Mountains as the eastern limit of the white settlement. Thus ended for a time this unsatisfactory and distressing war. To all appearances Kamiakin and his adherents had accomplished all they wanted.

But this was not the end. Gold had been discovered in Eastern Washington. Vast possibilities of cattle raising were evident on those endless bunch-grass hills. Although there was as yet little conception of the future developments of the Inland Empire in agriculture and gardening, yet the keen-eyed immigrants and volunteers had scanned the pleasant vales and abounding streams of the Walla Walla and Umatilla and Palouse, and had decided in their own minds that, Wool or no Wool, this land most be opened. In 1857 the Government, as already noted, decided on a change of policy and sent Gen. N. S. Clarke to take Wool's place. General Clarke opened the gates, and the impatient army of land hunters and gold hunters began to move in. Meanwhile, Colonel Wright and Colonel Steptoe, though formerly they had closely followed Wool's policy, now began to experience a change of heart. Out of these conditions the third Indian war, in 1858, quickly succeeded the second, being indeed its inevitable sequence.

Three campaigns marked this third war. The first was conducted by Colonel Steptoe against the Spokanes and Coeur d'Alenes, and ended in his humiliating and disastrous defeat. The second was directed by Major Garnett against the Yakimas, resulting in their permanent overthrow. The third was conducted by Colonel Wright against the Spokanes and other northern tribes who had defeated Steptoe. This was the Waterloo of the Indians, and it ushered in the occupation and settlement of the upper Columbia country.

The Steptoe expedition, the first of that series of campaigns, was one of the most disastrous in the history of Indian warfare. When the command had reached a point near Four Lakes, probably the group of which Silver Lake is largest, a formidable array of Indians met them, all the hosts of the Spokanes, Pend Oreilles, and allied tribes. Seeing the dangerous situation into which they were running, Steptoe gave the word to retreat.

The force turned back and that night all seemed well. But at 9 o'clock the next morning, while the soldiers were descending a cañon to Pine Creek, near the present site of Rosalia, a large force of Indians burst upon them like a cyclone. As the battle began to wax hot the terrible consequences of the error of lack of ammunition began to become manifest. Man after man had to cease firing. Capt. O. H. P. Taylor and Lieutenant Gaston commanded the rear-guard. With extraordinary skill and devotion they held the line intact and foiled the efforts of the savages to burst through. Meanwhile the whole force was moving as rapidly as consistent with formation on their way southward. Taylor and Gaston sent a messenger forward, begging Steptoe to halt the line and give them a chance to load. But the commander felt that the safety of the whole force depended on pressing on. Soon a fierce rush of Indians followed, and, when the surge had passed, the gallant rear-guard was buried under it. One notable figure in the death-grapple was De May, a Frenchman, trained in the Crimea and Algeria, and an expert fencer. For some time he used his gun barrel as a sword and swept the Indians down by dozens with his terrific sweeps. But at last he fell before numbers and one of his surviving comrades relates that he heard him shouting his last words, "O my God, my God, for a sabre!"


But the lost rear-guard saved the rest. For they managed to hold back the swarm of foes until nightfall, when they reached a somewhat defensible position a few miles from the towering cone of what is now known as Steptoe Butte. There they spent part of a dark, rainy, and dismal night, anticipating a savage attack. But the Indians, sure of their prey, waited till morning. Surely the first light would have revealed a massacre equal to the Custer massacre of later date, had not the unexpected happened. And the unexpected was that old Timothy, the Nez Percé guide, knew a trail through a rough cañon, the only possible exit without discovery. In the darkness of midnight the shattered command mounted and followed at a gallop the faithful Timothy, on whose keen eyes and mind their satiation rested. The wounded and a few footmen were dropped at intervals along the trail. After an eighty-mile gallop during the day and night following, the yellow flood of Snake River suddenly broke before them between its desolate banks. Saved! The unwearied Timothy threw out his own warriors as a screen against the pursuing foe, and set his women to ferrying the soldiers across the turbulent stream.

Thus the larger part of the command reached Fort Walla Walla alive.

With the defeat of Steptoe, the Indians may well have felt that they were invincible. But their exultation was short-lived. As already noted, Garnett crushed the Yakimas at one blow, and Wright a little later repeated Steptoe's march to Spokane, but did not repeat his retreat. For in the battle of Four Lakes, on September 1st, and that of Spokane Plains on September 5th, Wright broke forever the power and spirits of the northern Indians.

The treaties were thus established at last by war. The reservations, embracing the finest parts of the Umatilla, Yakima, Clearwater, and Coeur d'Alene regions, were set apart, and to them after considerable delay and difficulty the tribes were gathered.

With the end of this third great Indian war and the public announcement by General Clarke that the country might now be considered open to settlement, immigration began to pour in, and on ranch and river, in mine and forest, the well-known labors of the American state-builders and home-builders were displayed. The ever-new West was repeating itself. Almost immediately upon the tidings of General Clarke's proclamation, a motley throng of prospective miners, cowboys, pioneer merchants, promoters and adventurers of all kinds began to pour into the "Upper Country." The fur-traders, foreign missionaries, scouts, and advance guard of pioneers were passing off the stage and the modern builders were coming. The varied activities and enterprises of these builders of the foundations during the decades of the '60s and '70s, which may be styled the first division of the era of modern times will compose Part Two of this volume.







In an earlier chapter we have narrated the first attempts by the first Legislature of Washington Territory, in 1854, to establish Walla Walla County. It consisted of the entire territory east of a line running north from a point on the Columbia River opposite the mouth of the Des Chutes River, practically at the present Fallbridge. Thus the county included all of the present Eastern Washington, with the entire present State of Idaho and about a fourth of Montana. The only settlement in that vast area was around Waiilatpu and Frenchtown. Though officers for the proposed county ware appointed, they did not qualify and the proposed county never completed its organization. Then came on the Indian wars, lasting till Colonel Wright's decisive victory at Spokane in August and September, 1858, closed that era. Following that event General Clarke's proclamation opened the "Upper Country" to settlement. Not till the spring of 1859, however, did Congress ratify the treaties for the three reservations, Nez Percé, Umatilla, and Yakima. But almost immediately upon General Clarke's proclamation the impatient immigration began to enter the Walla Walla Valley. We may consider the immigrants of 1858 and 1859 as the vanguard of permanent settlement. Yet, it should not be forgotten that several names of permanent importance are found in the annals of 1851-55, during the period between the Cayuse war and the Great War of 1855-58. Those names appeared in the chapter on the Indian Wars.

A number of the pioneers of 1858-59 had been connected with those wars, either as members of the United States army or as volunteers. Others came from Oregon and California, full of the restless spirit of the country and time, eager for the possibilities of a new land. Those first locations were mainly in the near vicinity of the present City of Walla Walla, with a few on the Touchet. While it is hardly possible to avoid some omissions, we will endeavor to present a list of those who, most of them with families, settled in the years named, a few coming even prior to 1858. Some of them, it may be stated, came and "looked" and then returned for family or equipment and came back in a year for a permanence. A few here given left the country after a few years, and others were simply transients. But in general they with their families became essential factors in the upbuilding life of the region. Among them were business men and professional men, but the majority were stockmen. It was not realized that the general body of upland was adapted to grain production. The first settlers generally sought locations convenient to water, with bottom land where they thought grain and vegetables might flourish, but with the range of luxuriant bunch-grass as the essential consideration. Apparently the first to become actually established[110] in permanent locations were Thomas Page, James Foster, Charles Russell, J. C. Smith, Christian Maier, John Singleton, and Joseph McEvoy, all in the near vicinity of Fort Walla Walla. That fort, it should be understood, was the one of the present location, laid out in 1857, following the first American fort of the name in the city limits of Walla Walla on Mill Creek near the American Theater of today. Among the pioneer business men of the same time were three worthy of special note whose coming inaugurated the business history of Walla Walla. These were Dorsey S. Baker, Almos H. Reynolds, and William Stephens. Worthy of special mention in this connection is Mrs. Almos H. Reynolds, the first white woman to reside in the Walla Walla Valley, after the period of the Whitman Mission. Mrs. Reynolds, nee Lettice Millican, was a member of the immigration of 1843, lived during childhood and youth in Oregon, was married to Ransom Clark and came with him in 1855 to a donation land claim on Yellowhawk Creek. Driven from their home by the Indian War of 1855, Mr. and Mrs. Clark returned to Oregon, and there Mr. Clark died in 1859. With remarkable fortitude and courage, Mrs. Clark returned at once to complete residence and make proof on the valuable claim, the Government having cancelled the lapse of time covered by the wars. In 1861 Mrs. Clark was married to Mr. Reynolds and the remainder of the lives of both was spent in the city which they did so much to advance.

In connection with the reference to the Ransom Clark donation land claim, it is of interest to record the fact that there were five such claims established in the Walla Walla Valley. To those not familiar with the early history of Oregon it may be well to explain that the Provisional Government in 1843 provided that each American citizen in Oregon might locate 320 acres of land, or each married couple might have double that amount. That offer was one of the great incentives to immigration, though it would, of course, have been nugatory if the United States had not got the country. When Oregon was acquired by the United States that law was confirmed by Congress. The law lasted but ten years after the acquisition of Oregon, and almost all the locations under it were in the Willamette and Umpqua valleys. There were a few, however, in the Cowlitz Valley and on the north side of the Columbia and on streams entering Puget Sound. Mr. and Mrs. Clark were the only locators who came here from the Willamette Valley purposely to locate a donation claim. There were, however, three former members of the Hudson's Bay Company who located donation claims in the vicinity of Frenchtown. These were Louis Dauney, Narcisse Remond (or Raymond it appears on the Land Office map), and William McBean. In addition to those four donation claims, the United States Government allowed the American Foreign Missionary Society a square mile of land at the Whitman Mission, and in 1859 Cushing Eells purchased their right and established himself upon the claim. The St. Rose Mission also had a filing at Frenchtown, but did not complete proof.


Built in 1859, and occupied by Mrs. Clark, then a widow, and her three children, who are now living in Walla Walla and who appear in the picture; Charles W. Clark, Lizzie Clark (Mrs. B. L. Baker), and William S. Clark]


A number of names of the "advance guard" will be found in this chapter under the heads of county and city officials. In order, however, to present all in one view, we are giving here as complete a list as possible of the settlers of 1857-58-59. It is derived in part from the record in "Historic Sketches" by Col. F. F. Gilbert, and in part from the records of the Inland Empire Pioneer Association, supplemented by personal inquiry by the author. It is inevitable that a name here and there should be omitted and the author and publishers will appreciate any further information from pioneer sources.


John F. Abbott
H. C. Actor
Charles Albright
Milton Aldrich
Newton Aldrich
C. R. Allen
F. M. Archer
Wm. H. Babcock
Chester N. Babcock
D. S. Baker
S. D. Baldwin
W. A. Ball
Joseph Bauer
Charles Bellman
Wm. Bingham
A. A. Blanchard
Mrs. Elizabeth J. Blanchard
P. J. Boltrie
E. Bonner
D. D. Brannan
E. H. Brown
H. N. Bruning
James Buckley
John Bush
John Cain
J. M. Canaday
C. H. Case
J. Clark
Ransom Clark and sons
Charles and William
Mrs. Ransom Clark
George E. Cole
J. M. Craigie
Louis Dauney
George Delaney
W. S. Davis
N. B. Denny
J. M. Dewar
James Dobson
Jesse Drumheller
N. B. Dutro
N. Eastman
R. A. Eddy
Cushing Eells
W. L. Elroy
S. H. Erwin
Edward Evarts
J. H. Fairchild
Wm. Fink
J. Foresythe
James W. Foster
J. Freedman
James Fudge
James Galbreath
S. S. Gilbreath
Thomas Gilkerson
W. S. Gilliam
Braziel Grounds
Ralph Guichard
W. R. Hammond
Joseph W. Harbert
Solomon Hardman
Martin H. Hauber
Daniel Hayes
Samuel E. Hearn
Joseph Hellmuth
H. H. Hill
Henry Howard
Thomas Hughes
Lycurgus Jackson
Samuel Johnson
James Johnston
Wm. B. Kelly
Robert Kennedy
Michael Kenny
James Kibler
L. L. Kinney
Wm. Kohlhauff
J. M. Lamb
Samuel Legart
A. G. Lloyd
J. C. Lloyd
Francis F. Loehr
James McAuliffe
Wm. McBean
M. C. McBride
Robert McCool
Thomas McCoy
Joseph McEvoy
J. W. McGhee
Neil McGlinchy
Wm. McKinney
Lewis McMorris
Wm. McWhirk
Christian Maier
John Mahan
John Makin
John Manion
Pat Markey
S. R. Maxson
John May
Wm. Millican
R. G. Moffit
Louis A. Mullan
Lewis Neace
James O'Donnell
John O'Donnell
Robert Oldham
Frank Orselli
Thomas P. Page
A. D. Pambrun
Edward D. Pearce
Jonathan Pettyjohn
John Picard
Francis Pierrie
George T. Pollard
P. Powel
I. T. Reese
Mrs. C. Regan
R. H. Reighart
A. H. Reynolds
R. A. Rice
Thomas Riley
A. B. Roberts
A. H. Robie
J. J. Rohn
Charles Russell
[112]Mrs. Louisa Saunders
Louis Scholl
Mrs. Elizabeth Fulton Scholl
Marshall Seeke
J. M. Sickler
John M. Silcott
J. A. Sims
Charles Silverman
John Singleton
J. C. Smith
S. D. Smith
H. H. Spalding
Wm. Stephens
B. F. Stone
Frank Stone
Christian Sturm
T. J. Sweazea
W. J. Terry
John Tempany
Augustus Von Hinkle
W. W. Walter
A. G. P. Wardle
R. Warmack
John Welch
E. B. Whitman
Jonas Whitney
Mrs. M. A. Wightman
W. W. Wiseman
Thomas Wolf
F. L. Worden

As it was becoming evident that Walla Walla possessed the resources and attractions for drawing and sustaining a large population of the best American citizenship, the Legislature of the territory passed an act on January 19, 1859, to provide a government for Walla Walla County. Meanwhile, however, the limits of the county had been greatly reduced, for in 1858 Spokane County had been laid out and this embraced the larger part of the vast area covered by the first Walla Walla County. In 1859, Klickitat County (spelled Clikatat in the Act), embracing the area between the Columbia River and the Cascades, was erected. By these two acts Walla Walla County was reduced to the area south of Snake River and east of the Columbia. Or it would have been so reduced, if the organization of Spokane County had been practically accomplished. But it was not, and in 1863, the new Territory of Idaho was established by act of Congress, and at about the same time Stevens County in Washington was laid out, covering Eastern Washington east of the Columbia and north of Snake River, and including the abortive County of Spokane. Not till 1879 did Spokane become a separate county. It is interesting to note also that with Stevens the County of Ferguson was created, including what now composes the counties of Kittitas, Yakima, and Benton. In the general shuffle of time and fate the name of Ferguson has disappeared, but Stevens still remains to perpetuate geographically (there is little need historically) the name of the doughty and invincible first Governor of Washington Territory, though the land area covered by the name has been greatly reduced by the successive subtractions of Whitman, Spokane, Adams, Franklin, Grant, Lincoln, Okanogan, Chelan, and Ferry counties.

By the act of 1859 referred to, the necessary officers of Old Walla Walla County were established as follows: County Commissioners, John Mahan, Walter R. Davis, and John C. Smith (better known as Sergeant Smith); Sheriff, Edward D. Pearce; Auditor, R. H. Reighart; Probate Judge, Samuel D. Smith; Justice of the Peace, J. A. Sims. Commissioners Mahan and Davis met at Walla Walla on March 15, 1859, and to fill vacancies left by the non-acceptance of the auditor and sheriff, appointed James Galbreath for the former and Lycurgus Jackson for the latter position. At a meeting of the commissioners on March 26, 1859, they found it necessary to make changes again in the personnel of county officers. As a result the following assumed office in their respective places: E. H. Brown, probate judge; Lycurgus Jackson, assessor; Neil McGlinchy county treasurer; and William B. Kelly, superintendent of schools.

The next stage in the political evolution of the county was the appointment of a date for general election. This was set for the following July. The county[113] was divided into two voting precincts, Steptoeville, and Dry Creek. The former seems to have included the region centering around the United States Fort Walla Walla, and thence down Mill Creek to the Walla Walla. There was a general habit of designating the region around the fort as Steptoeville, a clumsy and illogical name, for it is not euphonious nor would it seem that it would have been popular, for certainly the officer who met such disastrous defeat at the hands of the Spokane Indians did not bring great glory to the Stars and Stripes nor great security to possible settlement. Fortunately the name was not preserved. The election place in "Steptoeville" was appointed at the house of W. J. Terry but that was subsequently changed to "The Church at Steptoeville." The only church here at that time seems to have been a Catholic church built at some time in 1859 on the location of the subsequent McGillivray house, afterward occupied by Jacob Betz, near the present home of George Welch. The "church," we may say in passing, consisted of poles stuck in the ground and covered with shakes. It had no floor and its only seating facilities consisted of one bench. J. A. Sims, Wm. B. Kelly, and Wm. McWhirk were the judges and Thomas Hughes the clerk for the election in "Steptoeville" precinct. In Dry Creek precinct, which seems to have included all the rest of the county to the east and north, the election board consisted of E. Bonner, J. M. Craigie, and Wm. Fink. The clerk was W. W. Wiseman. The polling place was at the residence of J. C. Smith. That was the first real election in Walla Walla County or anywhere in Eastern Washington, though there had been "kind of" an election in 1855 among the few settlers around Waiilatpu and Frenchtown. It is worth noting that the retiring board of commissioners had two meetings prior to the election. One of these was on June 6th, and at that meeting it was voted to pay $20.00 per month for the rent of a building for a courthouse and to impose a tax of seven mills. At a meeting on July 2d the resignation of James Galbreath was presented and Augustus Von Hinkle was appointed for the vacancy. At the same meeting the name of Waiilatpu was substituted for Steptoeville.

The election of July seems to have duly occurred, but apparently the records have been lost. That officers were duly chosen appears from the fact that on September 5th the new board of commissioners met and determined their terms of service: Charles Russell, one year; John Mahan two years and Wm. McWhirk three years. The following incumbents of county offices were elected: I. T. Reese, auditor; Lycurgus Jackson, sheriff; Neil McGlinchy, treasurer; Thomas P. Page, assessor; C. H. Case, surveyor; J. M. Canaday, justice of the peace. I. T. Reese was granted $40.00 per month for the building used as the courthouse, and that building was nearly opposite the present courthouse. The county hired the upper story, the lower being a saloon. On November 17, 1859, the board of commissioners voted to locate the county seat at the point first named "Steptoeville," then Waiilatpu, but now by their vote duly christened Walla Walla. Thus, on November 17, 1859, the "Garden City" officially entered the world under the name by which the Indians at the junction of the Big Rivers introduced themselves to Lewis and Clark, the first white explorers, and preserved, though with many changes of spelling, through the era of the Hudson's Bay Company, and by that company applied to the fort on the Columbia. Now by the action of the first elected board of county commissioners the musical name was attached to the newly established town of 1859. It is worthy of notice[114] that the name is commonly supposed to mean the "Valley of Waters," referring to the numerous springs in the vicinity of the city. The author has been told by "Old Bones," an Indian of the Cayuse tribe who lived for many years near Lyons' Ferry on Snake River and was known to all old-timers, that the name was understood by the natives to signify that section of country below Waiilatpu, "where the four creeks meet;" viz., the Walla Walla, Touchet, Mill Creek, and Dry Creek. The Walla Walla above that point was commonly known to the Indians as "Tum-a-lum." The sound "Wall" is common in Indian words all over the Northwest as Willamette, Wallula, Wallowa, Waiilatpu, or, as some got it, Wallatpu. Many poetical and some prosaic accounts have been given of the origin of the name. Among others, Joaquin Miller, "Poet of the Sierras," insisted that when the French voyageurs first looked down from the Blue Mountains ("Les Montagnes Bleues" in their Gallic speech) upon the fair fertile valley, they exclaimed: "Voila, Voila!" (Behold, behold!) and thus the name became fixed. This fantastic idea is, however, easily disproved by the fact that Lewis and Clark, who entered the country by Snake River, got the name from the Indians on the Columbia near the mouth of the Walla Walla. In the same connection, while speaking of the local names used by the aborigines, it is of interest to observe that the commonplace appellation of Mill Creek for the beautiful stream which flows through Walla Walla City has supplanted a far more fit and attractive native name. It is somewhat variously pronounced and hence spelled. Rev. Henry Spalding gives it as Pasha. Thomas Beall of Lewiston gives it as Pashki. Others have gotten the sound as Paskau, or Pashkee. It seems to signify "sunflower." Mr. Beall regards the name as applying rather to the tract of land extending a mile or two above Walla Walla where the sunflower is very frequent than to the creek itself. Another mellifluous name said to be used by some of the natives is "Imchaha." It is truly regrettable that so common a name as Mill Creek should have become fastened upon so attractive a feature of the city.

As indicated above, the location of the United States Fort Walla Walla was largely determinative of the location of the city. The first business of the region arose for the purpose of providing supplies for the fort. Several of those whom we have named in the "Advance Guard" were directly connected with that business. An example is found in Charles Russell who was connected with the quartermaster's department of the fort, and seeing the heavy burden of transporting supplies from the Willamette Valley determined to test the valley land. Accordingly he sowed eighty acres to barley at a point north of the fort on what later became the Drumheller place. It yielded fifty bushels to the acre. In the same season Mr. Russell raised a hundred acres of oats on the place which he soon after took up on the creek which bears his name. That might be regarded as the inauguration of agriculture in this vicinity though it should be remembered that Dr. Whitman twenty years before had raised prolific crops of all kinds at Waiilatpu. Wm. McWhirk was the first merchant in Walla Walla. He erected a tent for a store in the spring of 1857 at a point near what is now the corner of Main and Second streets. During the fall of the same year, Charles Bellman set up another tent store at the point occupied by the Jack Daniels saloon for many years at the site of the present "Togs." Apparently the old-timers are at variance as to the builder and location of the first actual building. Some have asserted that Wm. McWhirk erected, in the summer of 1857, a cabin on the north[115] side of Main Street, nearly where the Farmers' Savings Bank now stands, and that in the fall of the same year Charles Bellman put up a structure a little east of that at about the point of the Young and Lester florist location. In April, 1858, Lewis McMorris erected a slab and shakes structure for Neil McGlinchy on about the present southwest corner of Main and Third. Various rude buildings appeared in 1858, some for residences, some for saloons (which we regret to record seems to have been a very active line of business at that time). These were constructed by James Galbreath, W. A. Ball, Harry Howard, Michael Kenny, William Terry, John Mahan, James Buckley, and Thomas Riley. The first building with floor, doors, and glass windows was erected by Ralph Guichard and Wm. Kohlhauff at the point now occupied by the White House Clothing Store at the northwest corner of Main and Third.

At that time there were two rival locations: one at the point started by McWhirk, McGlinchy, and Bellman, and the other at a cabin built by Henry Howard, known as the "half-way house;" i.e., half-way to the fort. Spirituous refreshment seems to have been much appreciated by the gallant defenders of their country at the Fort Walla Walla of that time, and a half-way house was quite a desirable accessory of a trip to "town." As we have already noted, there was a difference of opinion as to the name of the town, but that of Walla Walla finally prevailed over all rivals. On November 17, 1859, the commissioners laid out the town with the following boundaries: Commencing in the center of Main Street at Mill Creek, thence running north 440 yards, thence running west one-half mile to a stake, thence running south one-half mile to a stake, thence running east one-half mile to a stake, thence running north to the place of commencement; 160 acres in all.

The town government was organized by the appointment of a recorder, I. T. Reese, and three trustees, F. C. Worden, Samuel Baldwin, and Neil McGlinchy. The town was surveyed by C. H. Case, providing streets eighty feet wide running north and south, and one hundred feet wide running east and west. The lots were laid out with a sixty-foot front and a depth of 120 feet. They were to be sold for $5.00 each, with the addition of $1.00 for recording, and no one person could buy more than two of them. Ten acres also were set aside for a town square and the erection of public buildings, but this was reduced to one acre.

The first lots sold were those taken by I. T. Reese and Edward Evarts, both in block 13, the sale being recorded November 30, 1859. On December 22d, of the same year, 150 acres of land was surveyed into town property for Thomas Wolf and L. C. Kinney, the former soon selling his interest to the latter.

The original plat of the town is not now in existence, having been destroyed, probably by the fire of 1865. The earliest survey on record is a plat made in October, 1861, by W. W. Johnson, which purports to be a correction of the work of C. H. Case.

On November 5, 1861, the board declared the survey made by W. W. Johnson to be official, and W. A. George was employed as an attorney to secure for the county a preemption title to the land on which Walla Walla was built. W. W. Johnson was appointed to take steps to secure the title at the Vancouver land office, but he did not do so, and thus the effort of the county to secure the site failed. This ended what might be called the embryonic stage in the municipal life of Walla Walla, and we find the next stage to be actual incorporation.


The City of Walla Walla was originally incorporated by an act of the Territorial Legislature, passed on January 11, 1862. By the provisions of said act the city embraced within its limits the south half of the southwest quarter of section 20, township 7 north, range 36 east, of the Willamette meridian. The charter made provision also for the election, on the first Tuesday in April of each year, of a mayor, recorder, five councilmen, marshal, assessor, treasurer and surveyor, all vacancies, save in the offices of mayor and recorder, to be filled by appointment by the council, which was also given the power of appointing a clerk and city attorney. No salary was to attach to the offices of mayor or councilman until the population of the city had reached one thousand individuals, when the stipend awarded these officers was to be fixed by an ordinance enacted by the council. The charter designated the following officers to serve until the first regular election under said charter: Mayor, B. P. Standefer; recorder, James Galbreath; councilmen, H. C. Coulson, B. F. Stone, E. B. Whitman, D. S. Baker, and M. Schwabacher; marshal, George H. Porter. The council assembled on the 1st of March to perfect its organization, when it developed that Mr. Schwabacher was ineligible for office, as was also Mr. Coulson, who proved to be a non-resident. Mr. Stone presiding, the council proceeded to fill the two vacancies by balloting, and James McAuliff and George E. Cole thus became members of the council, S. F. Ledyard being appointed clerk. The council again met, pursuant to adjournment, on the 4th of the same month, when Mr. Cole was chosen chairman; Edward Nugent, city attorney; and Messrs. McAuliff, Whitman and Stone were appointed to prepare a code of rules for the government of the council.

Four hundred and twenty-two votes were cast at the first election, held April 1, 1862, the following being the result: Mayor, E. B. Whitman; councilmen, J. F. Abbott, R. Jacobs, I. T. Reese, B. F. Stone and B. Sheideman; recorder, W. P. Horton; marshal, George H. Porter; attorney, Edward Nugent; assessor, L. W. Greenwell; treasurer, E. E. Kelly; surveyor, A. I. Chapman; clerk, S. F. Ledyard. On the 11th of April, W. Phillips was appointed councilman in place of J. F. Abbott, while in the succeeding year it appears that H. Hellmuth had been appointed in the place of B. F. Stone. The recorder resigned in January, 1863, his successor, J. W. Barry, being chosen at a special election held on the last day of that month. H. B. Lane succeeded Mr. Greenwell as assessor; on April 11, 1862, Henry Howard was appointed treasurer, and W. W. DeLacy, surveyor, while in January, 1863, H. B. Lane was noted as clerk. The city revenue for the first six months aggregated $4,283.25, of which sum liquor and gaming licenses contributed $1,875. When it is remembered that this was at the height of the gold excitement, this last item may be well understood.

During the last quarter of the year the revenue of the new city was $2,714.19, but so large were the expenditures that the opening of the year 1863 found in the treasury a balance of less than five dollars. The value of property in the city was assessed in 1862 at $300,000, the succeeding year witnessing the increase of the same to $500,000.

Such may be regarded as the establishment of Walla Walla City up to the time of incorporation. During the period from January 19, 1859, the appointment by the Legislature of the Territory of officers for the county, down to the date of the incorporation of the city, the county organization had been launched after the [117]typical American fashion. The two only absolutely sure things in this world—death and taxes—were established. It is certain that there were deaths in that time, and at the meeting of the county commissioners on May 7, 1860, a tax levy of seven mills was voted. At the same meeting the county was redivided into voting precincts for the coming election in July. It gives some conception of the points of the beginnings of settlements to note that the precincts were as follows: Walla Walla, Dry Creek, Snake River, East Touchet, and West Touchet. Coppei Creek was the dividing line between the two last-named precincts. The following extract from Colonel Gilbert's "Historic Sketches" will give a view of conditions:

"At this election the question of whether a tax for building a courthouse and jail should be levied, was submitted to the people, and though, as before stated, no returns are on file, a negative vote is indicated from the fact that neither were built at that time, prisoners being sent to Fort Vancouver for incarceration. From their official bonds it appears that the following named were the successful aspirants for office at the election of July, 1860:

Auditor and Recorder—James Galbreath.
Sheriff—James A. Buckley.
Surveyor—M. J. Noyse.
Assessor—C. Langley.
Coroner—Almiron Dagget.
Justice of Peace, Walla Walla—William J. Horton.
Justice of Peace, Dry Creek—John Sheets.
Justice of Peace, East Touchet—Horace Strong.
Justice of Peace, West Touchet—Elisha Everetts.
Justice of Peace, —— —— —William B. Kelly.

"No footprint of transactions coming under supervision of the board while this set of officers were acting, prior to October 12, 1861, remains, and we are forced to skip the intervening time, and commence again with the latter date. A county election had occurred in July, 1861, and W. H. Patton, S. Maxson and John Sheets appear at this time as the board of commissioners. November 5th, Sheriff James Buckley, who was ex officio tax collector, was appointed county assessor in place of S. Owens, who, having been elected in 1861, failed to qualify. On the 8th of the same month a contract was given Charles Russell to build a county jail at a cost of $3,350. He finished the work in 1862, was paid $6,700 in script for it, and in 1881 re-purchased the same building from the county for $120, and, tearing it down, moved it out to his ranch.


"Up to 1861, there had been nothing of special moment, calculated for inducing emigration to settle in the vicinity of the Blue Mountains. There was unoccupied land enough in various parts of the United States to prevent its soil from being much of an inducement, and, at that time the agricultural portion of Eastern Washington was supposed to exist in limited quantities. There was, practically, no market for farm products, as they would not pay the expense of shipment, and, outside of the garrison, its employes and dependents, there was no one to purchase them; still a few people had found their way into the country from[118] Oregon, in 1859 and 1860, with stock, and had taken up ranches along the various streams. Very few came to locate with a view of establishing a home here, their purpose being to graze stock for a few years and then abandon the country, raising some grain in the meantime for their own use, and possibly a little to sell, if anybody should wish to buy. Had the military post been abandoned in 1860, but few whites would have remained east of the Cascades, and stock raising would have been the only inducement for any one to remain there."

Perhaps in no other way can we give so perfect a view of the Walla Walla of 1861 as by extracts from the first issue of the Washington Statesman. The beginning of the paper was itself one of the most notable events of the time. It was not only the first newspaper in Walla Walla, but the first in the whole vast region between the Missouri and the Cascade Mountains. We are indebted to Dr. Frank Rees for the opportunity to use the priceless treasure of a complete file of the paper for the period from the first number, November 29, 1861, through the remainder of that year and those following. We find at the heading of this paper that it was issued every Friday morning and that N. Northrop, R. D. Smith and R. R. Rees were the editors and proprietors, and that the office was on Main Street, Walla Walla, W. T. The rates of subscription were $5.00 per year, $2.50 for six months, and 25 cents for a single copy.

We quote here several paragraphs from the opening editorial:

"We send forth this morning, with our congratulations, the first number of the Washington Statesman, and respectfully solicit the attention of the people of Walla Walla and county to its pages. From a careful consideration of the demands of the people to whom we shall look for support in sustaining a weekly newspaper at this point, we feel warranted in the conviction that we are inaugurating an enterprise which will be a means of vastly enhancing the development, prosperity, and permanent interests of this most favorable section of the upper country, and which, conducted with prudence and economy, will be reasonably remunerative to its projectors.*  *  *

"That a weekly publication, devoted to the various interests of the country, containing all the news which may be gathered from different quarters, is essentially needed in the Walla Walla Valley, we premise no permanent resident will deny; this admitted, we have no misgivings as to the disposition of the people to come forward and promptly sustain an enterprise so materially calculated to further their own interests as a community. Hence, we expect at least that every man who is fortunate enough to possess a home in this beautiful valley will at once subscribe for the Statesman, and pay for it in advance. Home pride will prompt every man to do thus much for the benefit of the vicinity in which he has chosen his residence, even if he already has more papers than he finds time to read."

Following this introduction the editorial points out the special need of the farmer, the stockraiser, the merchant, and the mechanic in the existence and support of such a paper.

The editorial then proceeds to indicate its policy as follows:

"As indicated in our prospectus, the Statesman will be independent on all subjects. By independent we do not mean neutral; but, when occasion requires, we shall express our views fearlessly upon all subjects legitimate for newspaper discussion; and in doing this, we shall be our own advisers and regulate our own[119] business in our own way. The Statesman will not be devoted to the interests or claims of any political party; but ignoring partisan measures, will adhere to and support those measures which in our judgment are best calculated to preserve and perpetuate the bonds of our national union, under whose yet waving and revered flag alone we hope for success. *  *  * Arrangements will soon be completed for obtaining all the items of news from the different leading points in the mines, and from various places within this territory and Oregon bearing relations to us commercially or otherwise. *  *  *

"The coming season with us at home will be an auspicious one. Adding to the importance of the developments which must immediately follow in the train of an immigration to the upper country in extent unparalleled, the course and progress of which our people should all be made aware of—adding to this the mighty results developing in the East, it can readily be seen that material is afforded for making up a paper which will be indispensable to the people of this section, as well as those of the territory at large.

"We shall liberally distribute copies of this number in the different sections where we desire the paper to circulate; and we take the present occasion to request the people generally of this valley and the upper country to call and furnish themselves with copies for distribution in their several neighborhoods, thereby lending us a hand in obtaining a subscription list as early as possible."

We find most of the news items in this first number of the Statesman to pertain to the mines in Idaho. There is a correspondence between Henry M. Chase and Capt. E. D. Pearce in regard to certain captive children in the hands of the Indians. The tone of this correspondence shows something of the strenuous conditions of those days of war and pioneer settlement.

The most notable local event apparently was the Firemen's ball, given by the members of the Union Hook and Ladder Company at the Walla Walla Hotel. This news item declares that the ball was a successful and brilliant affair and that the smiling faces and social congratulations of the large number of ladies and gentlemen present well attested how eminently successful had been the efforts of the firemen to render the occasion in every respect a pleasant one. The mottoes displayed in the room were quite interesting as showing what the ambitious firemen of that first period wanted to set forth as guiding them. The motto of the Union Hook and Ladder Company was "We Destroy to Save." There were several mottoes from Portland and The Dalles fire companies, as follows: "Willamette No. 1, Conquer We Must;" "Multnomah No. 2, On Hand;" "Columbian No. 3, Always Willing;" "Young America No. 4, Small, but Around;" "Vigilance Hook and Ladder Company, We Climb;" "Dalles Hook and Ladder Company, We Raze to Save."

Another local item of some interest is to the effect that the Robinson Theatrical Troupe had been performing in the city for several weeks, almost every night having crowded houses and appreciative audiences. A little description is given of the new theater, which it states is situated in the lower part of town, but a short walk from the business part of the city. The city editor exhorts all the people in town to patronize this theater for the sake of spending a pleasant evening.

Another item of historic interest is the statement that orders have been forwarded to Lieutenant Mullan instructing him to send back his escort of one[120] hundred United States soldiers, who had been laying out the great road known as the "Mullan Road." The party at that time was in the Bitter Root Mountains, and it was considered impracticable for them to cross those mountains in the winter season.

Although, as will be seen from the date of this paper, the time was the opening of the Civil war, yet it is noticeable that there was a great scarcity of information in regard to that great event. The latest news of any kind from the East is dated November 15th, just two weeks before the date of publication of the paper.

Another news item is to the effect that on account of an unpardonable delay in the arrival of material, press, and fixtures, from The Dalles, the publication of the first issue was delayed beyond expectation. The proprietors seem to feel very bad over this delay.

The advertisements in this first number of the Statesman are of great interest. Among a number beyond our space to quote here we find an entire column devoted to the wholesale and retail business of Kyger & Reese. They seem to have been prepared to deal in almost every conceivable object of need in the way of clothing, groceries, hardware, crockery, drugs, medicines, books and stationery, as well as some supply of the spirituous refreshments which were so much desired at that time. We find several advertisements of stage companies; among others the Walla Walla and Dalles Stage Company, which advertises to make the run between the two places in two days. Miller and Blackmore were the proprietors. We find also the advertisement of Abbott's Livery, Sale and Exchange Stables on Main Street. The Oregon Steam Navigation Company advertises the steamers Julia, Idaho, and Tenino, running between Portland and the Nez Percé mines with portages at the Cascades and The Dalles. The fare from Portland to The Dalles was $8.00, with an extra charge for portage at the Cascades. Animals from Portland to The Dalles were $5.00. The fare from Des Chutes to Wallula was $15.00. A number of names prominent later on in the legal and medical history of Walla Walla, appear in the advertising columns. Among the physicians we find L. C. Kinney, L. Terry, R. Bernhard, J. A. Mullan, L. Danforth, and I. H. Harris. Among the lawyers we find W. A. George and I. N. Smith. We find a very small advertisement by D. S. Baker, in which the strong point is of a fire-proof, brick building. That was the only fire-proof, brick building in Walla Walla at that time.

By way of comparison with the present cost of living, it is of some interest to give the Walla Walla prices current as appearing in that issue of the Statesman. The following are the items:

Bacon—Per lb., 25c.

Flour—Per hundred, $5 to $6.

Beans—Per lb., 12c to 15c.

Sugar—China, 18c to 20c; New Orleans, 23c to 25c; Island 20c to 22c; crushed, 26c.

Rice—Per lb., 18c to 20c.

Dried Apples—Per lb., 20c to 25c.

Yeast Powders—Per doz., $4 to $6.

[121]Candles—Per lb., 60c.

Soap—Hill's, per lb. 17½c; Fay's, 16c.

Tobacco—Per lb., 60c to $1.

Nails—Per lb., 16⅔c.

Butter—Fresh Rolls, per lb., 75c; Oregon, 50c.

Eggs—Per doz., $1.

Oats—Per lb., 2½c to 3c.

Wheat—Per bushel, $1.25 to $1.50.

The reader of that first issue of the Statesman would readily arrive at the conclusion that business was booming in Walla Walla and that there was a demand for almost all of the commodities common in any new and active community. The philanthropist is somewhat pained indeed to observe the large amount of attention paid to the liquor business in its various forms. The Nez Percé mines and the various stage lines seemed to demand a large share of attention, both in advertising and in news items. After all, people are very much the same from generation to generation and we can readily infer that what the people of Walla Walla were in the '60s, their children and grandchildren are largely the same in this year of grace, 1917.

In the early history of the territory before government was organized to protect life and punish criminals, the miners organized courts of their own to try those who committed any crime within the camp, but there were no courts to try the criminals whose work was outside of the miner's camp. As a result crime flourished in the towns that supplied the camps and on the road between the town and the camp.

There were organized bands of criminals who plundered the merchant in the town, the packer and the stage on the road, and the miners to and from the different camps. The members of these organizations had pass words by which they could make themselves known to each other, routes along which they operated, stations where members of the gang were located. They also had members in every camp and town engaged in various occupations, trades and callings. Stage stand tenders and sometimes the drivers themselves were members of the gang, and when organized government was established they succeeded in getting themselves elected to the office of sheriff, marshal, etc. These men knew when every pack train started, what it had, where it went and how much gold dust it brought back on its return; watched every stranger and learned his business; took notice of every good horse; knew of the departure of every stage, the number of passengers and the probable treasure carried. The lone traveler was robbed of his horse by a false bill of sale. The returning packers were held up, robbed and sometimes murdered. The stage was stopped, the passengers ordered out and relieved of all their money and other valuables. Frequently the Wells Fargo box containing thousands of dollars would be among the prizes taken from the stage.

One of the most noted of these road agents was Henry Plummer. He came of a good family, was gentlemanly in bearing, dignified in deportment, of strong executive ability and a fine judge of human nature. While a young man he drifted west, became a successful gambler and acquainted with various phases of a criminal's life. In the spring of 1861 he came to Lewiston, Idaho. This town was then the head of navigation on the Snake River, had a population of[122] several hundred, among whom were thieves, gamblers, escaped convicts and criminals of all kinds. These he organized into a band of highwaymen, to operate on the road between Walla Walla, Washington, and Orofino, Idaho, directing the operations from Lewiston which was a midway ground. Two sub-stations were located, one at the foot of Craig Mountain, east of Lewiston, and the other west, at the junction of Alpowai and Pataha creeks. These were called "shebangs" and were the rendezvous of a band of robbers. Soon robberies and murders on this road were common, but the respectable, law abiding citizens were in the majority and they soon organized themselves into a law and order body, which made the operations of the robber gang dangerous and unprofitable.

The mines at Orofino were soon worked out. This, together with the citizen's organizations and the fear on the part of Plummer of being exposed for crimes committed by him while in California, caused him to flee from Idaho and go to Montana. Upon his arrival there he apparently desired to reform and live the life of a law abiding citizen. He married a nice young woman and entered upon an honorable means of earning a living. But he was a criminal by nature, environment and practice and not strong enough, had he desired it, to break with his old associates and habits and like all criminals was haunted by fear of detection.

When he left Idaho a companion by the name of Cleveland went with him. They were together when Plummer was married near Fort Benton and they both a little later went to Bannack. He and Cleveland had a bitter quarrel over the young lady who married Plummer. This, together with his fear of his associates in crime, made him suspicious and in a saloon brawl a short time later he shot Cleveland. This started him again on a carnival of crime that has no parallel in the history of the Northwest, and just as he had organized the criminals when in Idaho, he again organized them in Montana on a much larger scale. These men were bound by an oath to be true to each other and were required to perform such service as came within the defined meaning of their separate positions in the band. The penalty of disobedience was death. If any one of them, under any circumstances, divulged any of the secrets or guilty purposes of the band, he was to be followed and shot down at sight. The same doom was prescribed for any outsider who attempted an exposure of their criminal designs, or arrested any of them. Their great object was declared to be plunder in all cases, without taking life if possible, but if murder was necessary, it was to be committed. Their password was "innocent." Their neckties were fastened with a sailor's knot, and they wore mustaches and chin whiskers. Plummer himself was a member of the band.

The duties of these men may be gained from the work assigned them as revealed by one of their number. Henry Plummer was chief of the band; Bill Burton, stool pigeon and second in command; George Brown, secretary; Sam Burton, roadster; Cyrus Skinner, fence, spy and roadster; George Shears, horse-thief and roadster; Frank Parrish, horse-thief and roadster; Hayes Lyons, telegraph man and roadster; Bill Hunter, telegraph man and roadster; Ned Ray, council-room keeper at Bannock City; George Ives, Stephen Marshland, Dutch John (Wagner), Alex Carter, Johnny Cooper, Buck Stinson, Mexican Frank, Bob Zachary, Boone Helm, Clubfoot George (Lane), Billy Terwiliger, Gad Moore, roadsters.


But Plummer soon ran his course. He was captured and had to pay the penalty for his crimes. "Red" Yager, a member of Plummer's gang, was hanged by a vigilance committee. Before his execution he made a confession, giving the names of all the members of the band and stating that Plummer was the leader. Plummer, with two others of the organization, were at Bannock. No trouble was experienced in arresting the other two, one being captured in a cabin, the other stretched out on a gambling table in a saloon. But great care had to be exercised in the arrest of the leader of the band, who was cool-headed and a quick shot. Those detailed to capture him went to his cabin and found him in the act of washing his face. When informed that he was wanted he manifested no concern but quietly wiped his face and hands. He announced that he would be ready to go within a short time, threw down the towel and smoothed out his shirt sleeves, then advanced toward a chair to get his coat, but one of the party, by great good fortune, saw a pistol in the pocket and replied, "I will hand you your coat," at the same time taking possession of the pistol. Otherwise Plummer would likely have killed one or all of those attempting to capture him. He, with the other two criminals arrested were escorted in the bright moonlight night to the gallows which Plummer himself had erected the year before and used in the hanging of a man, he being at that time sheriff. As they appeared in sight of the gallows the other criminals cursed and swore, but Plummer was begging for his life. "It is useless," said one of the vigilantes, "for you to request us to spare your life, for it has already been settled that you are to be hung." Plummer then replied, "Cut off my ears, cut out my tongue, strip me naked, let me go. I beg you to spare my life. I want to live for my wife, my poor absent wife. I want to settle my business affairs. Oh, God." Then falling upon his knees, the tears streaming from his eyes, and with his utterance choked with sobs, he continued: "I am too wicked to die. I cannot go bloodstained and unforgiven into the presence of the Eternal. Only spare me and I will leave the country." But all this was to no purpose. His time had come and the leader's stern order, "Bring him up," was obeyed. Plummer, standing under the gallows, took off his necktie, threw it to a young man who had boarded with him, saying, "Keep that to remember me by," and then turning to the vigilantes, he said, "Now, men, as a last favor, let me beg that you will give me a good drop." The favor was granted and Plummer, one of the most noted outlaws ever known to the Northwest, was no more.




The two essentials of a city seem to be: first, a location in a region of such resources as to attract and provide industries for the maintenance of an incoming and ever increasing population; and, second, such a location as will be a natural point of exchange of commodities with more or less distant centers of production, and as a corollary of this, feasible facilities of transportation. Four towns were started in the "Upper Country" in the early sixties, which were to stand these tests of a city location. They were: Walla Walla, Umatilla, Wallula, and Lewiston. The obvious disadvantage of the first was that it was not on navigable water, and water carriage was then the cheap and convenient way of conveying any large amounts of freight or passengers. Its countervailing advantage, and the reason why by common consent settlers sought it in preference to the river towns was that it was right in the center of resources. While the first settlers had no conception of the future of agriculture and horticulture, it was clear that a region near enough the mountains to be easily accessible to timber, and abounding in streams of the purest water, with infinite grazing resources, was a paradise to the stockman. And while with the first influx of settlers in 1858, 1859, and 1860, there was not yet any knowledge of the event which within a few months was to transform the entire history of the Inland Empire, i. e., the discovery of gold in Idaho, yet the minds of the people of the time were quivering with the feverish anticipations of fortune engendered by the California mining history. Hence the settlers in Walla Walla in 1860 were right on the qui vive for "big things." Such reasons, together with the very important fact that the United States Fort Walla Walla was located there (for the same reasons of grass, water, and timber) were potent in determining the growth of the largest town. Umatilla and Wallula had the very marked advantage of water transportation to a limitless degree, but on the other hand, the arid climate and the barren soil (barren without irrigation, of which nothing was conceived at that time), and distance from the timber counter-balanced the advantage. If it had then been fully realized, what we now know, that Lewiston combined nearly all advantages, with no disadvantages, the site at the junction of the Snake and Clearwater would have seemed to possess unequalled attractions. But Lewiston was at that time so far up Snake River and so remote from general apprehension as a center of production that Walla Walla had an easy lead in attracting incoming settlers.

In 1859 and 1860 the chief lines of business, as already indicated, were cattle-raising and supplying the Fort. The suitability of this country to stock-raising was obvious to the fur-traders of the Hudson's Bay Company regime, and they had quite a number of cattle at Fort Walla Walla (Wallula), at "Hudson's Bay,"[125] near the present Umapine, and at the near vicinity of what is now Touchet. Doctor Whitman brought with him several head of cattle and even two calves across the plains in 1836 and afterwards secured more from Doctor McLoughlin at Vancouver. In the early '50s, Messrs. Brooke, Bumford, and Noble located at Waiilatpu for the same business, while H. M. Chase and W. C. McKay on the Umatilla in 1851 started in the same kind of enterprise. From these various sources the idea had become disseminated that Walla Walla was the place for the cowboy. That was inaugurated the first movement which, interrupted for a period by gold excitement, was resumed with even greater energy as the demands of the mines for provisions became known, and for a number of years was the dominating interest of Old Walla Walla County.

The stock business was, however, interwoven in a curious and interesting way with all the other lines of enterprise. Especially was this true of the mining and transportation interests. The three were dovetailed together by reason of the fact that food and pack trains were vital necessities of the mines.

The mining history of the "Upper Country" began in the spectacular way usual with discoveries of the precious metals. Colonel Gilbert tells a fantastic tale of the train of circumstances which led to the first prospecting tour into what became the great gold field of Central Idaho. This tale involves E. D. Pearce, who, as we have seen, was one of the early office-holders of Walla Walla County. He is described as a man of somewhat imaginative and enthusiastic character, quick to respond to the calls of opportunity. He had been in the gold mines of California before coming to Walla Walla, and while there had become acquainted with a Nez Percé Indian who in some way had drifted into that region. This Indian impressed Mr. Pearce with his dignity and intelligence and excited his interest in a romantic story of his home in the mountain fastnesses of Idaho. He declared that he, with two companions, while encamped in the mountains had seen in the night a light of surpassing brilliance, like a refulgent star. The Indians regarded the distant glow with awe, deeming it the eye of the Great Spirit. In the morning, however, plucking up sufficient courage to investigate, they discovered a glittering ball like glass embedded in the rock. They could not dislodge it from its setting and left it, thinking it a "great tomanowas." Pearce became impressed with the thought that the Indians had found an enormous diamond of incalculable value, and he determined that, if ever the opportunity was afforded, he would seek its hiding place. Accordingly, having reached Walla Walla after many wanderings, he bethought himself of the diamond and organized a company of seven men, whose names with the exception of that of W. F. Bassett, do not seem to be recorded in the account. They made their way in 1860 into the wild tangle of mountains on the sources of the Clearwater. The party were looking for gold, but Pearce had the diamond in mind. Indians coming in contact with the party became suspicious and ordered them out. Pearce, however, pretending to obey orders, induced a Nez Percé squaw to guide the party into the heart of the mountains of the north fork of the Clearwater. There, Bassett, while prodding around in the soil of a small creek, discovered shining particles. Gold! It was only a few cents worth, but it was enough. That was the first discovery of gold in Idaho. The place was the site of the Oro Fino mines. Extracts from a former account written by the author, in which are incorporated items from the Washington Statesman will indicate the[126] progress of the discovery and the effects on the newly-started town of Walla Walla.

"After washing out about eighty dollars in gold, the party returned to Walla Walla, making their headquarters at the home of J. C. Smith on Dry Creek, and finally so thoroughly enlisting his interest and co-operation that he fitted out a party of about fifteen men, largely at his own expense, to return to the new gold fields for the winter. Sergeant Smith's party reached the mines in November, 1860, arousing the antipathy and distrust of the Indians, who appealed to the Government officers for the protection of their reserve from such encroachments. A body of soldiers from Fort Walla Walla started out for the mines, with the intention of removing the interlopers, but the heavy snowfall in the mountains rendered the little party of miners inaccessible, so they were not molested. During the winter the isolated miners devoted their time to building five log cabins, the first habitations erected in Oro Fino, sawing the lumber by hand. They also continued to work for gold under the snow, and about the first of January, 1861, two of the men made a successful trip to the settlements, by the utilizing of snow-shoes, while in March Sergeant Smith made a similar trip, taking with him $800 in gold dust. From this reserve he was able to pay Kyger & Reese of Walla Walla the balance due them on the prospecting outfit which had been supplied to the adventurous little party in the snowy mountains. The gold dust was sent to Portland, Ore., and soon the new mines were the subject of maximum interest, the ultimate result being a "gold excitement" quite equal to that of California in 1849, and within a few months the rush to the new diggings was on in earnest, thousands starting forth for the favored region."

The budding City of Walla Walla profited materially by the influx of gold-seekers, who made their way up the Columbia River and thence moved forward to Walla Walla, which became the great outfitting headquarters for those en route to the gold country. At this point were purchased provisions, tools, camp accoutrements and the horses or mules required to pack the outfits to the mines. Through this unforeseen circumstance there was now a distinctive local market afforded for the products of the Walla Walla country, and the farmer who had produce of any sort to sell might esteem himself fortunate, for good prices were freely offered. Nearly all the grain that had been produced in the country was held, in the spring of 1861, in the mill owned and operated by Simms, Reynolds & Dent, the total amount being less than twenty thousand bushels. This surplus commanded a high price, the farmers receiving $2.50 per bushel for their wheat, while at the mines the operators were compelled to pay $1 a pound for flour manufactured therefrom. The inadequacy of the local supply of food products was such that, had not additional provender been transported from Oregon, starvation would have stared the miners in the face. This fact gave rise to the almost unprecedented prices demanded for the products essential to the maintenance of life. New mining districts were discovered by the eager prospectors and all was hustle and activity in the mining region until the fall of 1861. In November of that year many of the miners came to Walla Walla for the winter, bringing their hard-earned treasure with them and often spending it with the prodigality so typical of the mining fraternity in the early days.

Although many of the diggings yielded from six to ten dollars per day, many[127] of the operators feared the ravages of a severe winter and fully realized the animus of the merchants at Oro Fino, who refused to sell their goods, believing that starvation would ultimately face the miners and that they could then secure any price they might see fit to demand. In November of the year noted, the prices at Oro Fino were quoted as follows on certain of the necessaries of life: flour, $25 per 100 pounds; beef, 30 cents per pound; coffee, not to be had; candles, not for sale; and bacon and beans, exceedingly scarce. That the prospectors and miners should seek to hibernate nearer civilization and take refuge in Walla Walla was but natural under the circumstances.

During the rush to the mining districts, both in 1861 and 1862, Walla Walla was the scene of the greatest activity; streets were crowded; the merchants were doing a thriving business, and pack trains moved in a seemingly endless procession toward the gold fields. The excitement was fed by the glowing reports that came from the mining districts, and the natural result was to augment the flood of gold-seekers pouring into the mining districts in the spring of 1862, as will be noted later on. As an example of the alluring reports circulated in the latter part of 1861, we may appropriately quote from the Washington Statesman of that period. From an editorial in said publication we make the following extract:

"S. F. Ledyard arrived last evening from the Salmon River mines, and from him it is learned that some six hundred miners would winter there; that some two hundred had gone to the south side of the river, where two streams head that empty into the Salmon, some thirty miles southeast of present mining camp. Coarse gold is found, and as high as one hundred dollars per day to the man has been taken out. The big mining claim of the old locality belongs to Mr. Weiser, of Oregon, from where $2,680 were taken on the 20th, with two rockers. On the 21st, $3,360 were taken out with the same machines. Other claims were paying from two to five pounds per day. Flour has fallen to 50 cents per pound, and beef, at from 15 to 25 cents, is to be had in abundance. Most of the mines supplied until first of June. Mr. L. met between Slate Creek and Walla Walla, en route for the mines, 394 packs and 250 head of beef cattle."

In the issue of the Statesman for December 13, 1861, appears the following interesting information concerning the mines and the inducements there offered:

"The tide of emigration to Salmon River flows steadily onward. During the week past, not less than two hundred and twenty-five pack animals, heavily laden with provisions, have left this city for the mines. If the mines are one-half so rich as they are said to be, we may safely calculate that many of these trains will return as heavily laden with gold dust as they now are with provisions.

"The late news from Salmon River seems to have given the gold fever to everybody in this immediate neighborhood. A number of persons from Florence City have arrived in this place during the week, and all bring the most extravagant reports as to the richness of the mines. A report, in relation to a rich strike made by Mr. Bridges of Oregon City, seems to come well authenticated. The first day he worked on his claim (near Baboon gulch) he took out fifty-seven ounces; the second day he took out 157 ounces; third day, 214 ounces, and the fourth day, 200 ounces in two hours. One gentleman informs us that diggings have been found on the bars of Salmon River which yield from twenty-five cents to two dollars and fifty cents to the pan, and that on claims in the Salmon River,[128] diggings have been found where "ounces" won't describe them, and where they say the gulches are full of gold. The discoverer of Baboon gulch arrived in this city yesterday, bringing with him sixty pounds of gold dust, and Mr. Jacob Weiser is on his way with a mule loaded with gold dust."

Within the year more than one and one-half millions of dollars in gold dust had been shipped from the mining districts—a circumstance which of itself was enough to create a widespread and infectious gold-fever. Anticipating the rush for the mines in the year 1862, a great deal of livestock had been brought to the Walla Walla country in the latter part of 1861, while the demands for food products led many ranchers to make provisions for raising greatly increased crops of grain and other produce to meet the demands of the coming season.

The winter of 1861-2 was one of utmost severity, and its rigors entailed a gigantic loss to residents throughout the eastern portion of Washington Territory—a section practically isolated from all other portions of the world for many weeks. It has been said that this "was the severest winter known to the whites on the Pacific Coast." The stock in the Walla Walla country perished by the thousands, the animals being unable to secure feed and thus absolutely starving to death. From December to March the entire country here was effectually hedged in by the vast quantities of snow and the severely cold weather. Not until March 22d do we find the statement in the local newspaper that warm rains had set in and that the snow had commenced to disappear. One result is shown in the further remark that "Occasionally the sun shines out, when the sunny side of the street is lined with men." The loss of stock in this section during that memorable winter was estimated at fully one million dollars, hay having reached the phenomenal price of $125 per ton, while flour commanded $25 per barrel in Walla Walla. It may not be malapropos to quote a list of prices which obtained in the Oro Fino mining region in December, 1861: bacon, fifty to sixty cents per pound; flour, twenty-five to thirty dollars per 100 weight; beans, twenty-five to thirty cents per pound; rice, forty to fifty cents per pound; butter, seventy-five cents to one dollar; sugar, forty to fifty cents; candles, eighty cents to one dollar per pound; tea, one dollar and a quarter to one and a half per pound; tobacco, one dollar to one and a half; coffee, 50 cents.

In view of subsequent gold excitements in Alaska, how familiarly will read the following statements from the Washington Statesman of March 22, 1862: "From persons who have arrived here from The Dalles during the week, we learn that there were some four thousand miners in Portland fifteen days ago, awaiting the opening of navigation to the upper country. Hundreds were arriving by every steamer, and the town was literally filled to overflowing." Under date of April 5th, the same paper gives the following pertinent information: "From one hundred and thirty to one hundred and forty passengers, on their way to the mines, come up to Wallula on every steamer, and the majority of them foot it through to this place (Walla Walla)." By the last of May it was estimated by some that between twenty-five and thirty thousand persons had reached or were en route to the mining regions east of the Cascades, but conservative men now in Walla Walla regard that a great overestimate. The merchants of Walla Walla profited largely through the patronage of the ever advancing column of prospectors and miners, but the farmers did not fare so well, owing to the extreme devastations of the severe winter just passed. Enough has been said to indicate the causes which led to the rapid settlement and development of Eastern Washington and Oregon—an advancement that might have taken many years to accomplish had it not been for the discovery of gold in so romantic a manner. The yield of gold reported through regular channels for the year 1862 aggregated fully seven million dollars, and it is certain that several millions were also sent out through mediums which gave no record.



In February, 1862, food products and merchandise commanded the following prices at Florence: flour, $1 per pound; bacon, $1.25; butter, $3; cheese, $1.50; lard, $1.25; sugar, $1.25; coffee, $2.00; tea, $2.50; gum boots per pair, $30; shovels, from twelve to sixteen dollars.

That year of 1861 was a great year in the annals of Walla Walla County. Cattle drives, gold discovery, hard winter, Civil war! The last named stupendous event was shared by the pioneer communities on the Walla Walla and its tributary streams, but it affected them in a unique manner. This was nothing less than the period of the Vigilantes. While this organization was due to a variety of conditions, the state of affairs which led to its existence grew out of the conflict of opinions about the war. Yet it must be said that the character of population that flowed into Walla Walla after the gold discoveries and the establishment of the town as the leading outfitting place for the mines was a suitable seed-bed for the growth of conditions which at sundry times and places in the West have produced vigilance committees. This peaceful and law-abiding "Garden City" of 1917, a center of homes and educational institutions, conspicuous for morality, intelligence, and comfort, was in the '60s about as "tough" a collection of human beings as could be found. It was indeed a motley throng that poured in as the mining excitement grew and spread. The best and the worst jostled each other on the dusty and unsightly streets with their shacks and tents and saloons and dance halls. Philanthropists and missionaries and educators were represented by Revs. Eells, Spalding, Chamberlain, Berry and Flinn, Father Wilbur, Bishop Scott, Father Yunger, and Bishop Brouillet. Some of the noblest and most liberal-minded and honest of business men, some of whom continue to this day, gave character and standing to the commnunity and laid foundations upon which the goodly superstructure of the present has been reared. We have but to call up the names of Baker, Rees, Moore, Paine, O'Donnell, Whitman, Guichard, Reynolds, Stone, Jacobs, Johnson, Isaacs, Sharpstein, Abbott, Reese, Boyer, McMorris, Stine, Thomas, Drumheller, Painter, Ritz, Kyger, Cole, and others too numerous to mention, among the business men of that time, to know that the best was then in existence. Old timers delight to tell how John F. Boyer was intrusted by miners with sacks of gold-dust while they were gathering supplies and packing for new ventures, with never a receipt or stroke of pen to bind him, yet never a dream that he would fail to restore every ounce just as he received it. But the men of this type, some with wives of the same high type (though most of them were young men without families), were daily and nightly jostled by the miscellaneous throng of gamblers, pickpockets, highway robbers, hold-ups, and prostitutes who ordinarily fatten on the gold-dust bags and belts of the miners assembled at their yearly supply stations. Strange stories are told about the number and variety and unique names and characters of the various "joints" in the Walla Walla of the decade of the '60s. In some newspaper a few years ago appeared an alleged reminiscence of a visitor to Walla Walla, in which he tells[130] of going to a saloon, in which the floor was covered with sawdust. That was usual enough, but the odd thing was that each patron received with his drink a whiskbroom. Puzzled as to the purpose of the latter, the visitor waited for developments. He soon discovered that the whiskey was so strenuous as to be pretty sure to induce a fit, and the use of the broom was to sweep off a place on the dirty floor to have a fit on, after which the refreshed and enlightened (?) patron of the place would return the broom and proceed on his way.

Such were the mongrel conditions of life during the first years of the Civil war. It is not surprising therefore, that such a juxtaposition of forces should have caused a perfect carnival of crime, and that out of it as a defence by the decent elements of the community should have arisen the organization of the Vigilance Committee.

Two incidents prior to the formation of the Vigilantes indicate the uneasy condition induced by the presence of the soldiers at the fort and the considerable number of southern sympathizers in the community. In the Washington Statesman of April 19, 1862, we find an account of a riot at the theater out of which a correspondence arose between Mayor E. D. Whitman of Walla Walla and Col. Henry Lee, commander of the post. This is also made the subject of editorial comment and from this comment we glean the following paragraphs as showing the state of mind at that time.

"We publish today an interesting correspondence between Mayor Whitman and Lieut. Colonel Lee, growing out of the recent unfortunate affray at the theater and the conduct of some of the soldiery since that event. *  *  * On the part of the citizens who were engaged in the affray, notwithstanding the fact that officers of the law had been suffered to be stricken down and their authority contemned and boldly set at defiance, we are satisfied they cherished no disposition to aggravate the difficulty either by word or deed. Remaining within the limits of the city, they have peaceably and quietly pursued their accustomed business. Not so the soldiers. Cherishing unjustifiably an excited and hostile disposition, they imitated the unwarrantable conduct of their fellows on the night in question, by parading our streets with an armed force, thus exhibiting a total and wanton disregard for law and civil authorities. The mildest terms that can be applied to this procedure must characterize it as a high-handed outrage upon the rights of the people of this city, and a gross insult to the dignity and authority of their laws."

The editorial proceeds to score Colonel Lee severely for his answer to the protestations of Mayor Whitman. It appears in brief that a group of soldiers had gone to the theater and made so much disturbance as to nearly break up the program and in an attempt to put them out one of the soldiers was killed. The next morning a band of from seventy-five to one hundred soldiers came armed into the town and seized the sheriff and took possession of the street. Colonel Lee, in his statement of the case, disclaimed all responsibility and declared that the man who killed the soldier was a notorious criminal named "Cherokee Bob." The colonel sarcastically expresses surprise that the citizens of Walla Walla did not take interest enough in the matter to have Cherokee Bob arrested, and he states that he himself would heartily co-operate in any attempt to enforce law and order. He says that he will answer for the good conduct of the men under his command if the mayor will do the same for the citizens of the town. He[131] declares that his men will not disturb the citizens if they are let alone. Mayor Whitman, in responding to this, declares that the soldiers initiated all the trouble by their incivility at the theater and that when an attempt was made by the proper peace officers to enforce order the fracas ensued in which three citizens, including two peace officers, were wounded, one mortally, and one soldier was killed and one wounded. This seems to have been the most serious affray in that part of the history of the old town. It, like other events of the kind, seems to have been mixed up somewhat with the war conditions of the country, a good many of the people of the town being southern sympathizers and regarding the soldiers as representatives of the National Government.

About a month later, another affray took place which is described as follows in the columns of the Statesman:

"On last Saturday afternoon, while the convention for the nomination for county officers was in session in this city, an affray occurred between a soldier belonging to the garrison and a citizen named Anderson residing some miles from this place in Oregon. Offensive words were passed between them, when Anderson seized a stone and threw it violently at the soldier, striking him on the head and felling him prostrate to the ground. Citizens who witnessed the act denounce it as unjustifiable and cowardly. The city marshal was present but for reasons best known to himself did not arrest the offender. Anderson was intoxicated and quarrelsome and should have been arrested. Another officer of the law immediately issued a warrant, but in the meantime Anderson had escaped. There was quite a gathering of soldiers present who were aware of the above facts, some of whom even saw and read the warrant. On the same evening an armed company of soldiers marched through our streets, took possession of our city, and surrounded the jail building in which the marshal was at the time attending to his duties. They demanded his arrest and threatened to effect it before they left the city. Shouts of "hang him," "He's a damn secessionist" and other mob-like expressions were used. It was to all intents and purposes a mob and the crowd were becoming excited and boisterous, when Captain Curry approached the spot and succeeded, after a short controversy, in getting them into line and marched them back to their quarters. We understand Anderson has left for Salmon River. On Monday morning the marshal tendered his resignation to the council, a meeting of which body was immediately held and another officer appointed."

The editor proceeds to comment upon the fact that while the marshal seems to have been grossly derelict in his duty, there was no reason to charge the officers or the citizens of the town with being secessionists and that the idea of conspiring against the garrison was "all bosh." He charges that the soldiers were frequently drunk and objects of danger to the people of the town.

It is interesting to notice that in the same issue of the Statesman, June 28th, the regular Union ticket for the election to take place on July 14th appears and has for its motto, "The Union Must and Shall be Preserved."

It is evident from the Statesman as well as from the recollections of old-timers that there was a very strong secessionist influence in Walla Walla at that time. The general attitude of the Statesman is interesting to the historian because it represents so large a class of the citizens of the United States at that time. While the paper is uncompromisingly for the Union, it is mortally afraid of the[132] question of emancipation and of anything like "nigger equality." Its tone toward President Lincoln is rather critical and in several cases it charges him with being swayed by abolitionists. As time went on the Union sentiment became more and more pronounced. Mr. F. W. Paine gives us an anecdote which shows the tension in the year 1863, as follows:

In 1863 Delazon Smith and Dave Logan were candidates respectively on the democratic and republican tickets in Oregon for representative to Congress. They met to speak in the vicinity of Milton, a commnunity which at that time was intensely democratic. A number of Walla Walla republicans, among whom were Mr. Paine and Charles Painter (and all who knew Mr. Painter will recall that although one of the kindest of men and best of neighbors, he was an intense republican and not at all averse to fighting for his opinions) went to Milton to lend their encouragement to the republican side. Reaching a sort of public house in the vicinity, they waved a flag which they had taken along and finally put it up on a corner of the building. The proprietor coming out and discovering it, inquired of Mr. Paine if it were his, to which Mr. Paine made answer that although the flag was not his, it had come with the company of which he was a member, and he presumed it was the intention to let it remain where they had put it until they were ready to take it down themselves. The proprietor then demanded that it should be taken down. The republicans replied that that flag would not go down as long as there was a man left who had put it there. A fracas seemed imminent and in fact began when the proprietor of the house, whose valor seems to have been considerably of a spirituous nature, backed out and the flag remained.

Besides the influence of divided politics, and the friction between the soldiers and the citizens, besides all the general lawlessness of that period of miners, cowboys, and Indians, there was a special feature of the times which aided in leading to the formation of the Vigilance Committee. This was the existence of organized bands of thieves and cattle-rustlers all over the Northwest. The ramifications of these groups of law-breakers extended from California to Montana and Idaho. The recently published book by Ex-Governor W. J. McConnell of Idaho, in regard to early times in the mines of Northern Idaho and the Boise Basin, the Magruder murder, and the operations of the Vigilantes in those sections, with many other similar incidents, gives a vivid picture of the times of horse-thieves, cattle-thieves, and gold-dust thieves. In fact, as it was an era of thieves and highwaymen of all sorts, so it was also an era of vigilance committees over the same era as a necessary defense against desperadoes. Judge Thomas H. Brents, as his friends well knew, had a fund of hair-raising stories of his own experiences as an express rider during that period. Another man well known around Walla Walla and throughout Eastern Oregon as an express rider during the same time was no less a person than Joaquin Miller, "The Poet of the Sierras."

A number of incidents scattered through the columns of the Statesman in 1863, 1864, 1865, indicate the kind of events which led directly to the formation of the Vigilantes. For instance, in the issue of May 2, 1863, is an account of the discovery of about a hundred horses which were cached away in a mountain valley at the head of the Grande Ronde River. It was believed by those who discovered them that they had been driven there by a bunch of "road agents"[133] who had been hung at Lewiston a few months before. In the issue of the Statesman of June 20th of the same year, there is an item about the recovery of seventeen stolen horses on Coppei Creek near Waitsburg by a vigilance committee. In the next number is an item to the effect that the same men that had stolen the seventeen horses came back and ran away six more, and sent word back that they had the horses on the north side of Snake River and they dared the owners to come over for them. They said that there were seven of them and they had three revolvers each and they would be glad to see company. The farmers of Coppei organized a well armed force and crossed the river. They discovered the horses and took possession of them, but the vainglorious road agents were nowhere in sight.

In the Statesman of April 14, 1865, we find the first definite account of the operations of the Vigilantes. It appears that a certain individual called "Dutch Louie" had been taken, according to his account, from his bed by Vigilantes at the hour of midnight, and hanged until he was nearly dead, in order to make him testify against someone whom he did not want to name. It appears at the same time that there was an anti-Vigilantes organization which took possession of another man who was in the habit of coming to town and getting "d. d.," and tried to compel him to give evidence against the Vigilantes. In the next issue of the Statesman there is an account of the pursuit of cattle thieves who had run away sixty cattle from the Wild Horse Creek, and had come to a halt on Mill Creek three miles above Walla Walla. Mr. Jeffries followed them with a posse of citizens and found some of the cattle, and according to the story one of the thieves was hung by the Vigilantes, although the paper intimates that the story of the hanging was without foundation. In the same issue there is an account of Mr. Samuel Johnson (and he was well known for many years as one of the prominent citizens of the Walla Walla country) having lost sixty head of cattle out of his band and following them by a trail from the Touchet to a point on the Columbia River sixty miles above Priest Rapids. The same paper also has an item about the "skeedaddling" of thieves, and it gives a suggestion that there is a point beyond which endurance ceases to be a virtue, and that the farther these worthies "skeedaddle" the less chance there will be of their being found some morning dangling at a rope's end.

The Statesman of April 21, 1865, contains an account of some regular "hangings" by the vigilance committee. It seems that on the Sunday morning previous, a man named McKenzie was found hanging to a limb near the racetrack, which at that time was a short distance below town. It appeared from reliable testimony that he was implicated in the theft of the cattle stolen from Mr. Jeffries. During the same week, two men named Isaac Reed and William Wills, were caught at Wallula, charged with stealing horses, and they traveled the same road as McKenzie. Before taking their final jump-off, they acknowledged that they were members of a regular band who had a large number of stolen horses on the Columbia somewhere above Wallula, and that there had just been a fight among the members of the band, in which one had been killed. During the same week the famous hanging of "Slim Jim" was consummated from a tree which still stands in the southern part of town. He was charged with having assisted "Six-toed Pete" and Waddingham to escape from the county jail. The author of this work derived much of his information in regard to the period of the[134] Vigilantes from Richard Bogle and Marshall Seeke, both well known for many years in Walla Walla, now deceased, but all who were residents of the town during 1864 and 1865 are sufficiently familiar with the events of the time. They do not, however, seem to be inclined to talk very much about it. The general supposition is that the most prominent citizens of Walla Walla were either actively or by their support concerned in the organization. They had secret meetings and passed upon cases brought before them with great promptness, but with every attempt to get at the essential facts. In case they decided that the community would be better without some given individual, that individual would receive an intimation to that effect. In case he failed to act upon the suggestion within a few hours, he was likely to be found adorning some tree in the vicinity of the town the next morning. Although to modern ideas the Vigilantes seem rather frightful members of the judiciary, yet it is doubtless true that that swift and summary method of disposing of criminals was necessary at that time and that as a result of it there was a new reign of law and order.

The most famous of all the cases during that period, was that of Ferd Patterson. This famous "bad man" had begun his career in Portland by killing a captain in the Union army, as a result of an encounter which took place in one of the principal saloons of that city. This man, Captain Staple, lifted his glass and cried out, "I drink to the success of the Union and the flag!" Patterson was a southerner and when all the men about him lifted their glasses he threw his down exclaiming, "The Union and the flag be damned!" The other men cried out to Captain Staple, "Bring him back and make him drink!" The captain turned to follow Patterson, who was upon the stairs, and at the instant a revolver shot rang out and the captain fell with a bullet in his heart. Patterson, however, was acquitted on the ground of self-defense. In fact, like other professional "bad men," he was skilled in getting his opponent to draw first and then with his great quickness he would send a deadly shot before the opponent could pull his trigger. After several similar instances, Patterson came to Walla Walla and was located for a time at what is now called Bingham Springs. It was a station at that time on the main stage line between The Dalles and Boise, and had a good hotel, bath-house, and other conveniences for travelers. On a certain day there appeared at Bingham Springs the sheriff of Boise, whose name was Pinkham. Pinkham was a strong Union man and Patterson, as we have seen, just the reverse; and the two parties at that time were so well balanced that it was just a turn of the hand which would hold supremacy. Meeting Patterson one day, as he was just emerging from the bathing pool, Pinkham slapped him in the face. Patterson said, "I am alone today without my gun, but one of these days I will be fixed for you and settle this matter." Pinkham replied, "The sooner the better." A few days after this, Patterson walked up and slapped Pinkham. Both men drew their revolvers, but Patterson's shot took effect first, and another man was added to his long score. The brief item in respect to this Pinkham affray appears in the Walla Walla Statesman of July 28, 1865.

Some weeks passed by and Patterson came to Walla Walla where he was supported mainly by various light-fingered arts and gambling games in which he was an adept. It was considered by many that he was too dangerous a man to have in the community, but it was a very difficult matter to get any evidence[135] against him. Very few dared to incur his enmity. Finally, a man named Donnehue, who was a night watchman in the town, took upon himself to try, convict, and execute the famous gambler all in one set of operations. It appears from the account given by Richard Bogle that between eight and nine o'clock on February 15, 1866, Patterson had entered his barber shop, which was then situated on Main Street, between Third and Fourth, as it would be at the present time. While the barber was engaged upon the countenance of the gambler, Donnehue entered and stood for some little time watching the operation, and just at the moment of completion of the combing of his hair, about which the gambler was very particular, Donnehue suddenly stepped up and shouted, "You kill me or I'll kill you." And at the same moment he let fly a bullet from his revolver. Patterson, who was a man of magnificent physique, although mortally wounded, did not fall but endeavored to reach his own gun; and while doing so, and in fact having gotten out upon the street, Donnehue emptied the revolver into the staggering form of his antagonist. Patterson died within a few minutes and Donnehue was arrested at once without resistance upon his part, and taken to jail. He was never tried, but soon after left town, with his pockets lined with gold dust, according to reports. It was generally supposed for many years that the Vigilantes had passed upon Patterson's case and had appointed Donnehue to execute their sentence in the only way that could be done without loss of somebody else's life. We are informed, however, by one of the most reliable old-timers in Walla Walla, a man still living, that the Vigilantes did not pass upon Patterson's case and that his death was pure murder on the part of Donnehue. However that may be, there is no question but that the community drew a long sigh of relief when it was known that Ferd Patterson had been retired from active participation in its affairs. With the death of Patterson, and the close of the Civil war, and still more as a result of the beginnings of farming, it may be said that the era of the Vigilantes came to an end. They gradually disbanded without anyone knowing exactly how or why, and by degrees there came to be established an ever-growing reign of law and order in Old Walla Walla.

As constituting a vivid narrative in the history of the Vigilantes, we include here a historic sketch by Prof. Henry L. Tolkington of the State Normal School of Idaho. It appeared in the Lewiston Tribune of August 19, 1917. It will constitute a part of a book now in preparation by Professor Tolkington entitled "Heroes and Heroic Deeds of the Pacific Northwest."

While the conclusion does not occur within the limits of Old Walla Walla County, it is a part of the same story and is intensely characteristic of those times.




In previous chapters we have presented the facts in relation to the first attempt at organization of Walla Walla County in 1854, prior to the period of great Indian wars. We took up again the reorganization and development in 1859 with the incoming of permanent population. We also mentioned the first charter and the inauguration of permanent city government. In the chapter dealing with the beginnings of industries we showed the first locations at the different points which have become the centers of population in the four counties.

It remains in this chapter to take up the thread with the growing communities and the government over them which composed the old county down to 1875, when Columbia County was created, embracing what are now the three counties of Columbia, Garfield and Asotin, and thus reducing Walla Walla County to its present limits. After that we shall trace the story of the successive subtractions of Garfield from Columbia and then Asotin from Garfield.

The authorities to which we have had recourse are first the county records, so far as available; second, the files of the newspapers covering the periods; third, Col. F. F. Gilbert's Historic Sketches, published in 1882, to which frequent reference has been made and which seems in general to be very reliable; and fourth, the memory of pioneers still living or from whom data were secured prior to their death. In respect to the public records it may be said that a destructive fire on August 3, 1865, of which an account is given in the Statesman of the 4th, destroyed the records, though the more important ordinances and other acts of city and county government had appeared in the Statesman and from that source were replaced.

The most important events in the political history were connected with, first, the county, its legislative and local officers, and the chain of circumstances going on to county divisions; second, the city government and the movement of laws and policies through various reorganizations to the present; and third, the place occupied by the old county in relation to state and national affairs.

In the way of a general view of political conditions in the period from the creation of county offices by the Legislature of the Territory on January 19, 1859, through the period of war, it may be said that the prevailing sentiment was at first strongly democratic. The majority of the settlers in Old Oregon, from which had come a large proportion of the earlier comers to Walla Walla, were from Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, with quite a sprinkling from Tennessee and Kentucky and democratic views preponderated in the sections from which the majority came. With that strange inconsistency which has made American political history a chaos for the philosopher and historian, that early democratic element here and elsewhere was in general bitterly opposed to "abolitionists and black republicans."[137] While a great majority of them did not favor slavery and to a considerable extent had left slave states to get rid of it, yet they were mortally afraid of "nigger equality." When the war broke out there was a considerable element that were carried so far by their hatred of abolitionists that they even became rank "Secesh." That, however, was a temporary sentiment. The feeling of union and the preservation of an undivided nation gradually asserted itself, and by the time the war was half through democrats as well as republicans stood firmly on the platform of the maintenance of the Union. One of the best expressions of that sentiment is found in the resolutions of the democratic convention on May 23, 1863, reported in the Statesman of the 30th. We had these expressions: "That the democracy are unalterably attached to the union of these states." "That the right of secession is not reserved to the States." "That the Federal Government has a right to maintain the constitution and enforce the laws, if need be, by force of arms, and so far as the acts of the present administration tend to these desirable ends, it has our cordial support and no further." Then as an offset, the fourth resolution declares: "That the democracy of Washington Territory view the declared intention of such men as Horace Greeley and Charles Sumner—who desire the prosecution of the present civil war for the abolition of slavery, and who utterly scout the idea of any peace which is not founded on the condition that the social fabric of the insurgent states is to be totally uprooted—with abhorrence."

A good evidence of this is the inability of men brought up with certain views and prejudices to grasp the logic of events. Then as since, "there are none so blind as those that won't see." That sentiment was also well shown in the continuance of the campaign of 1863, in which Geo. E. Cole of Walla Walla was democratic candidate for Territorial Delegate. An editorial in the Statesman of June 5, 1863, commends Mr. Cole as a Union man and a democrat. In the same issue appears the resolutions of the Clarke County Democratic Convention which had been adopted in substance by the territorial convention which nominated Mr. Cole, and to which the democrats of Walla Walla pledged themselves at a ratification meeting on July 11th. As showing the stamp of thought prevailing at that time in the party, it is of interest to read these resolutions:

"Resolved, That the democracy (of Clarke County) are for the Union, and the whole Union, and in favor of the vigorous prosecution of the efforts of the Government in crushing the present unholy and wicked rebellion, when such efforts are not actuated by any other motives than a single desire to maintain the honor and dignity of the nation and enforcement of the laws. That we are opposed to the conclusion of any peace involving in its terms the acknowledgment of the so-called Southern Confederacy, and that we hereby pledge ourselves, come weal or woe, in life and death, now and forever, to stand by and defend the flag of our country in its hour of peril."

It is indeed one of the most significant evolutions in American history; that of the gradual passing over from a support of slavery by the larger part of the democratic party to a stage where they no longer supported that "sum of all villainies" and yet had a profound hatred of "abolitionists," to the point where they perceived that the maintenance of the Union was the great essential, whether slavery was lost or saved, and yet further to the point, which many reached, of an unflinching support of Abraham Lincoln in his abolition as well as Union[138] policies. It is all an exhibition of the evolution of nationalism, to which free labor is essential. And in that evolution, the West has borne the larger part. The sentiment of state pride, the local prejudices and narrow vision common in the older states and which in the South became intertwined with slavery and produced economic and political deformity and arrested development, was shuffled off when people of East and North and South and Europe all joined to lay the foundations of genuine American states in new regions unhampered and undistorted by caste and prejudice. This state of affairs in the West prepared the way for a new democracy, a national democracy, a genuine democracy for all men. The transformation of Walla Walla politics was simply a sample of a movement taking place all over the country. As a result, during the decades of the sixties and seventies, many former democrats, notably some who had been brought up in Missouri and other slave states, finding the democratic party, as they thought, still a laggard on progressive issues developed by the war and reconstruction, left the party and joined the republicans. Doubtless the Statesman may be taken as a good exponent of the prevailing democratic views in Walla Walla. It was strong for the Union, but was horribly afraid of "abolitionists." When W. H. Newell acquired the paper in November, 1865, he adopted the policy of supporting President Johnson against Congress. The republican party steadily gained, and in subsequent decades Walla Walla County, as all other parts of the states of Washington and Oregon, became overwhelmingly republican. By the progress of the same evolution, progressive politics have had a powerful hold upon the people of these states, as well as of the entire Pacific Coast, and the support given to democratic candidates, state and national, in 1916, is a thoroughly logical development. The people have been consistent, though party names have not.

One of the interesting facts not generally realized is that Walla Walla County in the sixties contained so large a part of the population of the territory. In the Statesman of December 30, 1864, we find a report from Edwin Eells, enrolling officer of the county, in which it appears that the draft enrollment in Walla Walla County was 1,133, while in the entire territory it was 4,143.

A few figures at various times in the sixties will be found of interest.

The vote for Territorial Delegate in 1863 by counties was as follows, as given in the Statesman of August 22:

  George E. Cole,
J. O. Raynor,
Chehalis   22     21  
Clallam 45 27
Clarke 173 100
Clickitat 25 37
Cowlitz 39 57
Island 72 31
Jefferson 148 120
King 68 93
Kitsap 130 99
Lewis 63 77
Pacific 11 90
Pierce 95 106
Sawamish 36 19
[139]Skamania 48 35
Snohomish 35 30
Spokane 56 12
Thurston 132 171
Wakiakum . . . 12
Walla Walla 398 140
Whatcom 32 56
  —— ——
Total 1,628 1,333

A few figures at various times in the sixties will be found of interest. In the county election of June, 1864, we find the following vote by precincts:

Precinct Democratic Republican
Walla Walla   287     149  
Lower Touchet 11 33
Upper Touchet 41 49
Snake River 2 7
Wallula 1 12
Pataha 2 10
  —— ——
Total 344 260

The Statesman of September 9, 1864, says that nine-tenths of the immigrants coming in at that time were Democrats.

That claim was not quite realized, however, in the election of June 5, 1865, for the republican candidate for Territorial Delegate, Arthur A. Denny, received 336, while the democrat, James Tilton, had 406.

Though the population was small and scattered there were many intricacies involving county and city politics. Into those details we cannot go. Doubtless some of them would best rest in oblivion.

We incorporate here, as valuable for reference, the list of legislative choices and of the chief county officers beginning with 1863 and extending through all elections prior to county division in 1875.


Daniel Stewart, joint councilman; S. W. Babcock, F. P. Dugan, L. S. Rogers, representatives; W. S. Gilliam, sheriff; L. J. Rector, auditor; C. Leyde, assessor.


J. H. Lasater, attorney; Alvin Flanders, joint representative; A. L. Brown, F. P. Dugan, E. L. Bridges, representatives; W. G. Langford, councilman; J. H. Blewett, probate judge; James McAuliff, treasurer; W. H. Patton, assessor; Charles White, surveyor; H. D. O'Bryant, commissioner; A. J. Theboda, coroner.



B. L. Sharpstein, councilman; D. M. Jessee, R. Jacobs, R. R. Rees, H. D. O'Bryant, T. P. Page, representatives; James McAuliff, treasurer; H. M. Hodgis, assessor; W. G. Langford, superintendent of schools; T. G. Lee and H. A. Livingston, commissioners.


W. H. Newell, councilman; J. M. Vansycle, joint councilman; W. P. Horton, E. Ping, J. M. Lamb, P. B. Johnson, B. F. Regan, representatives; H. M. Chase, probate judge; A. Seitel, sheriff; J. H. Blewett, auditor; J. D. Cook, treasurer; C. Ireland, assessor; C. Eells, superintendent of schools; S. M. Wait, W. T. Barnes, and A. H. Reynolds, commissioners.


Daniel Stewart, councilman; N. T. Bryant, joint councilman; D. Ashpaugh, J. H. Lasater, John Scott, A. G. Lloyd, E. Ping, T. W. Whetstone, representatives; N. T. Caton, attorney; R. Guichard, probate judge; James McAuliff, sheriff; H. M. Chase, auditor; A. Kyger, treasurer; A. C. Wellman, assessor; J. L. Reser, superintendent of schools; C. C. Cram, Francis Lowden, I. T. Reese, commissioners.


Fred Stine, councilman; C. H. Montgomery, joint councilman; N. T. Caton, O. P. Lacy, E. Ping, C. L. Bush, John Bryant, and H. M. Hodgis, representatives; I. Hargrove, probate judge; B. W. Griffin, sheriff; R. Jacobs, auditor; R. R. Rees, treasurer; W. F. Gwynn, assessor; A. W. Sweeney, superintendent of schools; D. M. Jessee, W. P. Bruce, and S. L. King, commissioners.


E. Ping, councilman; W. W. Boon, joint councilman; R. G. Newland, J. B. Shrum, P. M. Lynch, John Scott, A. G. Lloyd, and H. M. Hodgis, representatives; T. J. Anders, attorney; R. Guichard, probate judge; G. F. Thomas, sheriff; R. Jacobs, auditor; R. R. Rees, treasurer; S. Jacobs, assessor; A. W. Sweeney, superintendent of schools; Charles White, C. S. Bush, C. C. Cram, commissioners.

This was the last election prior to county division. The elections after that event will appear in chapter one of part three.

In the early times they seem to have had a frank and outspoken and energetic manner of writing about each other, and the inference is plain that they talked in a similar way. Each man had ready access to his hip pocket, and was commonly qualified to support his views by force of arms when necessary. We find as a sample a discussion between Sheriff E. B. Whitman and certain critics in the Statesman of May 30 and June 13, 1863. It pertains to the arrest of one Bunton. An address signed by sixty-nine residents of the Coppei appears in the earlier issue. In it is charged that a flagrant and wilful murder had been committed by[141] William Bunton on the person of Daniel S. Cogsdill and that Sheriff Whitman made no effort to arrest Bunton, and when, at the instance of citizens, Deputy Hodgis arrested Bunton, and delivered him to Whitman that the latter was too merciful to the prisoner to put him in jail; "but at the request of Bunton put him in charge of a lame or a crippled man, with, as we believe, the intention of his escape." They therefore declare that they have no protection when the high and responsible office of sheriff is filled by the friends of murderers and thieves. They therefore recommend that the commissioners should remove said Whitman and appoint "Deputy Hodgis or some other good man."

Sheriff Whitman makes in reply a lengthy and moderate explanation, the main point of which was that the county jail was so insecure that by the advice of Judge Wyche he put Bunton in the hands of J. O. Putman, one of the signers of the above statement, and that after some trouble Bunton got away. In the issue of June 13, the citizens returned to the attack with renewed energy, and this brought from Mr. Whitman a vitriolic response. He begins: "Editor Statesman: As your columns seem to be at the disposal of parties who may wish to belch forth personal slander, persecution, malignity, and falsehood, it is but just that the party vilified should have the opportunity of replying through the same medium. Upon reading the article, dated at Coppei, I thought I would let the matter rest upon its own merits, as the style and manner in which it is written shows that it originated from a vindictive, mischievous, and depraved appetite for notoriety, which at times controls men of depraved tastes." Among the sixty-nine signers of the document were some who were, as also Sheriff Whitman himself was, among the most worthy of the foundation builders, and who now all rest in honored graves. We are giving the incidents here as a historical curiosity, and as showing how men's minds were keyed up in those days of war and vigilantes to a high pitch.


One of the most exciting political questions of the sixties was that of annexation of Walla Walla County to Oregon. We find in the Statesman of October 20, 1865, a report of a mass meeting of October 18, at which resolutions were passed advocating the annexation and inviting the people of Oregon, through their Legislature, to unite in the movement, and also calling on the representatives and senators from Oregon and the Territorial Delegate, A. A. Denny, to use all honorable means to induce Congress to take that action. They mention, which is historically interesting, that the people of Oregon in accepting their Constitution had done so with the understanding that the line should follow the natural boundary of the Columbia and Snake rivers. The convention also censured Judge J. E. Wyche, judge of the First Judicial District of Washington Territory, located at Walla Walla. The committee composing the resolutions consisted of J. H. Lasater, A. Kyger, and Drury Davis. J. H. Blewett introduced a resolution calling on President Johnson to remove Judge Wyche. The resolution was lost. A committee consisting of A. J. Cain, A. L. Brown, and H. P. Isaacs was appointed to draft petitions, one to Congress and the other to the Oregon Legislature, looking to the execution of the plan.

In the same issue of the Statesman a call appears for a meeting to "take such[142] steps as they may deem proper to frustrate the designs of those who would saddle upon the people of this county a proportion of the debt of the bankrupt State of Oregon, with her peculiar institutions."

It is asserted that Anderson Cox was the prime mover in the annexation project, though his name does not appear in the report in the Statesman. The Oregon Legislature was nothing loth to add this desirable section to the limits of the mother state and duly memorialized Congress to that effect. Years passed by, and in 1875, just after county division had been effected, Senator J. K. Kelly of Oregon introduced a bill providing for the submission of the question to the people of Walla Walla and Columbia counties. This bill failed, as did also one to the same effect in the House by Representative LaFayette Lane of Oregon. The failure of the annexation plan produced additional activity in projects looking to statehood. There was during that period (and it has not entirely ceased to this day) a good deal of friction between the Walla Walla section and the Puget Sound section. The former had early commercial and political relations with Portland of a far more intimate nature than with the Sound. The majority of the leading business men were from Oregon. The common feeling was that the Sound was very selfish and narrow in its dealings with the eastern section, desiring its connection mainly for taxation purposes. It was largely from that feeling that annexation projects arose. The Sound, on the other hand, had accused the Walla Walla section of being disloyal to the state and seeking local advantage. Opposition in the territory therefore delayed action. According to statements made by Hollon Parker to the author a number of years ago, he himself made a special trip to Washington to head off the movement. At any rate, it was never carried. Walla Walla County had at the time of the presidential election of 1876 a sufficient majority of Democrats to have toppled the slight scale by which Hayes held the presidency over Tilden, and if the county had been in Oregon Tilden would have had a majority and the Electoral Commission would never have been created, and quite a section of national history would have had another version.

In 1865 the Territorial Delegate was Arthur Denny of Seattle. The Statesman refers to him as the "Abolition Candidate." Passing on to 1867 we find national, state, and local affairs of a very strenuous nature. Perhaps the insertion here of extracts from a book written by the author sometime ago will convey a clear view of the course of events in the elections of 1867 and 1869.


A review of the political situation in 1867 shows that there was an extraordinary interest and activity in the ranks of both the democrats and the republicans. The principal point of contest and interest was in the selection of a delegate to Congress, each party having a number of aspirants for the important office. The people east of the Cascades felt that they were entitled to have a candidate selected from their section of the territory, inasmuch as the honor had hitherto gone to a resident of the Sound country. From the eastern section of the territory were five democrats and two republicans whose names were prominently mentioned in this connection, and while the republican convention for Walla Walla County sent an uninstructed delegate to the territorial convention, a vigorous[143] effort had been made in favor of the candidacy of Judge J. E. Wyche. At the county democratic convention the delegates chosen were instructed to give their support to W. G. Langford, of Walla Walla, so long as seemed expedient. They were also instructed to deny their support to any candidate who endorsed in any degree the project of annexing Walla Walla County to Oregon. In the territorial convention Frank Clark of Pierce County received the nomination of the democracy for the office of congressional delegate, the balloting in the convention having been close and spirited. The republican territorial convention succeeded in running in the proverbial "dark horse," in the person of Alvin Flanders, a Walla Walla merchant, who was made the nominee, defeating three very strong candidates.

Owing to the agitation of the Vigilance question, referring to diverging opinions of the citizens as to the proper method of administering justice, the politics of the county were in a peculiarly disrupted and disorganized condition, and the Vigilance issue had an unmistakable influence on the election, as was shown by the many peculiarities which were brought to light when the returns were fully in. The democrats of the county were particularly desirous of electing certain of their county candidates, and it is stated that the republicans were able to divert many democratic votes to their candidate for delegate to Congress by trading votes with democrats and pledging their support to local democratic candidates. The fact that such bartering took place is assured, for while the returns gave a democratic majority of about two hundred and fifty in Walla Walla County for all other officers, the delegate received a majority of only 124. This action on the part of the Walla Walla democrats secured the election of the republican candidate, whose majority in the territory was only ninety-six.

The result of the election in the county, held on the 3d of June, was as follows: Frank Clark, the democratic candidate for delegate, received 606 votes, and Alvin Flanders, republican, 482 votes. The other officers elected were as follows: Prosecuting attorney, F. P. Dugan; councilman, W. H. Newell; joint councilman (Walla Walla and Stevens counties), J. M. Vansycle; representatives, W. P. Horton, E. Ping, J. M. Lamb, P. B. Johnson and B. F. Regan; probate judge, H. M. Chase; sheriff, A. Seitel; auditor, J. H. Blewett; treasurer, J. D. Cook; assessor, C. Ireland; surveyor, W. L. Gaston; superintendent of schools, C. Eells; coroner, L. H. Goodwin; county commissioners, S. M. Wait, D. M. Jessee (evidently an error in returns, as W. T. Barnes, a democrat, was elected), and A. H. Reynolds.

The sheriff resigned on November 7, 1868, and on the same day James McAuliff was appointed to fill the vacancy. A. H. Reynolds resigned as commissioner, in May, 1869, Dr. D. S. Baker being appointed as his successor. Of the successful candidates noted in the above list, all were democrats except P. B. Johnson, J. D. Cook, C. Eells, S. M. Wait and A. H. Reynolds.

Again in this year was there to be chosen a delegate to Congress, and the democracy of Walla Walla County instructed their delegates to the territorial convention to insist upon the nomination of a candidate resident east of the Cascade Range—the same desideratum that had been sought at the last preceding election. In the convention F. P. Dugan, J. D. Mix, B. L. Sharsptein and W. H. Newell, of Walla Walla, were balloted for, but the nomination went to Marshall F. Moore, ex-governor of the territory.


The republican nomination was secured by Selucius Garfielde, surveyor-general of the territory. The names of two of Walla Walla County's citizens were presented before the convention, Dr. D. S. Baker and Anderson Cox. The nomination of Garfielde proved unsatisfactory to many of the party adherents and dissention was rampant. The disaffection became so intense in nature that a number of the most prominent men in the party ranks did not hesitate to append their signatures to a circular addressed to the "downfallen republican party," said document bearing fifty signatures in all. On the list appeared the name of the delegate in Congress and the chief justice of the territory. The circular called for a radical reorganization of the party, charged fraudulent action in the convention and made many sweeping assertions. This action provoked a strong protest, and the disaffected contingent did not nominate a ticket of their own, and Mr. Garfielde was elected by a majority of 132. He received in Walla Walla County 384 votes, while his opponent, Mr. Moore, received 740.

According to all data available, the political pot boiled furiously throughout the territory as the hour of election approached. Lack of harmony was manifest in both parties, and, as before, the chief interest centered in the election of a delegate to represent the territory in the Federal Congress. Those office-holders who were most vigorously protestant and visibly disaffected were summarily removed from office in January of this year by the President of the United States, this action having been recommended by the congressional delegate, Mr. Garfielde, who thus drew upon himself still greater dislike and opposition. A change in the existing laws made it necessary to elect a delegate again this year, and a strong attempt was made to defeat Mr. Garfielde, who was confident of being returned to office. There could be no reconciliation of the warring elements in the republican party. The republican territorial convention of 1869 had appointed an executive committee, whose personnel was as follows: Edward Eldridge, M. S. Drew, L. Farnsworth, P. D. Moore, B. F. Stone, Henry Cook and J. D. Cook. In February a circular was issued by Messrs. S. D. Howe, A. A. Manning, Ezra Meeker, G. A. Meigs, A. A. Denny and John E. Burns, who claimed to have constituted the executive committee. The convention as called by the regular committee met in April and renominated Mr. Garfielde. The recalcitrant faction presented the name of Marshall Blinn in the convention, the bolters not being strong enough to hold a separate convention, but hoping to gain sufficient votes to prevent the nomination of Garfielde.

The democratic convention was far more harmonious, the nomination going to Judge J. D. Mix, one of the most honored citizens of Walla Walla, and one enjoying a wide acquaintance throughout the territory. The campaign developed considerable acrimony between the factions of the republican party, but the results of the election showed that the disaffected wing gained but slight popular endorsement. Six thousand three hundred and fifty-seven votes were cast in this election, representing a gain of 1,300 over the preceding year. Garfielde was elected, securing a majority of 736 over Mix, the total vote for Blinn being only 155. Upon the question of holding a constitutional convention there were 1,109 votes cast in opposition, and 974 in favor.




By reason of the change in the law the county election also was held a year earlier than usual, occurring June 6, 1870. The democracy was victorious in the county, electing their entire ticket with the exception of superintendent of schools. For delegate James D. Mix received in his home county 670 votes, while Selucius Garfielde had 527. The officers elected in the county were as follows: Prosecuting attorney, N. T. Caton; councilman, Daniel Stewart; joint councilman (Walla Walla, Stevens and Yakima counties), N. T. Bryant; representatives, David Aspaugh, James H. Lasater, John Scott, A. G. Lloyd, Elisha Ping and T. W. Whetstone; probate judge, R. Guichard; sheriff, James McAuliff; auditor, H. M. Chase; treasurer, A. Kyger; assessor, A. C. Wellman; surveyor, A. H. Simmons (he was succeeded by Charles A. White, who was appointed to the office May 1, 1871); school superintendent, J. L. Reser; coroner, L. H. Goodwin; county commissioners, C. C. Cram, F. Louden and I. T. Rees.

The officials elected in the county this year did not assume their respective positions until the succeeding year. The officers elected in the preceding year had been chosen for a term of two years, and they contended that the change in the law of the territory which made it necessary to hold the election in 1870, instead of 1871, did not invalidate their right to hold office until the expiration of their regular term. The matter was brought into the courts for adjudication, in a test case, the prosecuting attorney-elect against the incumbent of the office at the time of the last election. In July James W. Kennedy, judge of the first district, rendered a decision in favor of the defendant, holding that officers elected in 1869 retained their positions until 1871, thus reducing the term of the officials last elected to one year.


One of the burning questions at all times in political life has been the County Courthouse. As the county dedicated its first courthouse in the year 1867, it is incumbent that we make a brief reference to the same at this juncture. As early as 1864, the grand jury had made a report on this matter, and from said document we make the following pertinent extracts: "We, the grand jury, find that it is the duty of the county commissioners to furnish offices for the different county officers. This we find they have not done. Today the offices of the officers are in one place, tomorrow in another, and we hope at the next meeting of the board of county commissioners that they will, for the sake of the integrity of Walla Walla County, furnish the different county officers with good offices." Notwithstanding this merited reproof, no action of a definite character was taken by the board of commissioners until a meeting of March 11, 1867, when it was voted to purchase of S. Linkton a building on the corner of Alder and Third streets, the same to be paid for in thirty monthly installments of $100 each. A further expenditure of $500 was made in fitting up the building for the use of the county, and thus Walla Walla County was able to hold up a dignified head and note with approval her first courthouse. That the structure was altogether unpretentious and devoid of all architectural beauty it is perhaps needless to say. The executives of the county were at least provided with a local habitation.

Though the housing of the county was a lame affair a number of years passed before there was any permanent action. During nearly all elections from 1869 on we find a vote on two general questions: a constitutional convention and a courthouse. In 1869 there was a vote of 24 for, and 286 against a constitutional convention.


The interval of elections was changed following the election of 1869, so that the next occurred on June 6, 1870. That of 1872 took place on November 5th.

In August, 1870, the City Council deeded to the county the block of land on Main Street on which the permanent courthouse was built. In the election of 1872 the vote in favor of building a courthouse was 815 to 603. A vote, as usual, was taken on constitutional convention, with the result of 57 affirmative and 809 negative.

Since the majority had expressed their desire for a courthouse the commissioners in February, 1873, set on foot the arrangements for plans, and those presented by T. P. Allen were accepted. These called for a brick structure with stone foundation, two stories, dome, main part with an ell. Meanwhile various schemes for inducing the commissioners to locate farther from the center of town by offering land, with a view to enhancing the values of land adjoining, were under consideration. After having turned down several such plans and pronounced in favor of the block donated by the city, the commissioners rather suddenly changed their decision and accepted four blocks between Second and Fourth streets, a quarter mile north of Main Street. A first-class ruction arose over this decision. Changes were made in the plans also, by which the building was reduced in size and dignity. Finally, as Gilbert says, with some degree of keenness, "the last act, and under the circumstances, the most judicious one, was not to erect the building at all."

After this the courthouse plans rested awhile, and no action was taken until after county division. The question of constitutional convention, however, kept pegging away, and in the election of 1874, the result was similar to that of previous elections, 24 for, and 236 against.

It will be found of value to incorporate here the list of Territorial Delegates and Governors. Walla Walla was well represented in the list, both before and after county division, as also both before and after statehood.


1857—I. I. Stevens, democrat.

1859—I. I. Stevens, democrat.

1861—W. H. Wallace, republican.

1863—George E. Cole, democrat—from Walla Walla.

1865—A. A. Denny, union.

1867—Alvin Flanders, union—from Walla Walla.

1869—Selucius Garfielde, republican; J. D. Mix, of Walla Walla, democratic candidate.

1870—Selucius Garfielde, republican.

1872—O. B. McFadden, democrat.

1874—Orange Jacobs, republican; B. L. Sharpstein, democratic candidate, Walla Walla.

The next election came in 1876 and there was a considerable falling off in the vote on account of county division in the previous year. It may be worth noting that the total vote of Walla Walla County in each election was as follows: 1857, 39; 1859, 164; 1861, 361; 1863, 590; 1865, 742; 1867, 1,088; 1869, 1,124; 1870, 1,201; 1872, 1,555; 1874, 1,549.


In the election of 1876, the total vote was 938. It is also interesting to note that in every single election up to the time of county division and in fact to 1878, when T. H. Brents of Walla Walla was the candidate, the county went democratic, and that, as we shall see later, the republicans carried most elections after that date to the present time.


1853-6—I. I. Stevens.

1857-8—Fayette McMullan.

1859-60—W. H. Wallace.

1862-5—William Pickering.

1866-7—George E. Cole.

1867-8—Marshall F. Moore.

1869-70—Alvin Flanders.

1870-2—E. S. Salamon.

1873-9—E. P. Ferry.

Three of the above incumbents of the gubernatorial chair were Walla Walla men: Cole, Flanders, and Salamon.

In 1869 Philip Ritz of Walla Walla was United States Marshal. S. C. Wingard, for many years one of the most honored of the citizens of Walla Walla, was United States attorney in 1873, and associate justice in 1875-82. After his long service under the Federal Government he made his home in Walla Walla until his death at an advanced age.


Turning now from the county and its relations to the territorial and national Government, to Walla Walla City, we may for the sake of topical clearness repeat a little of what was given in earlier chapters.

By act of the Legislature of January 11, 1862, Walla Walla became an incorporated city, with the limits of the south half of the southwest quarter of section 20, township 7 north, range 36 east. The charter provided for the election, on the first Tuesday of each April, of a mayor, recorder, five councilmen, marshal, assessor, treasurer and surveyor. All vacancies were to be filled by appointment of councilmen, except mayor and recorder. The council also had the power to appoint a clerk and attorney.

The first election under the charter occurred on the first day of April, 1862, at which election the total vote was 422. In the Statesman of April 5 there is a criticism in rather mild and apologetic terms for the loose and careless manner in which the judges allowed voting. The assertion is made that men who were well known to reside miles out of the city were allowed to vote. Not over three hundred voters, according to the paper, were bona fide residents. A well considered warning is made that such a beginning of city elections will result in a general illegal voting and ballot-box stuffing. In the Statesman of April 12 is a report of the first council meeting on April 4. At this first meeting the votes of the election of the first were canvassed, showing that out of the 422 votes, E. B. Whitman had received 416. The recorder chosen was W. P. Horton, whose vote[148] was 239 against 173 for W. W. Lacy. The councilmen chosen, whose votes ran from 400 to 415, were I. T. Rees, J. F. Abbott, R. Jacobs, B. F. Stone and B. Sheideman.

George H. Porter was chosen marshal by a vote of 269, with 136 for A. Seitel and 17 for A. J. Miner. E. E. Kelly was the choice for treasurer by the small margin of 219 to 200 for D. S. Baker. The assessor was L. W. Greenwell by 413 votes. A. L. Chapman was chosen surveyor by 305 against 119 for W. W. Johnson. S. F. Ledyard was appointed clerk by the council, B. F. Stone was chosen president of the council at the meeting of April 10.

One of the first questions which the council had to wrestle with, as it has been most of the time since, was revenue and the sources thereof. The saloon business being apparently the most active of any at that time became very naturally the foundation of the revenue system. People supposed then, as many have since, that they could lift themselves by their boot straps and that a traffic which cost a dollar for every dime that it brought into the treasury was essential to the life of the town. However, a "dry town" at that day and age and in a place whose chief business was outfitting for the mines and serving as a home for miners off duty, would have been so amazing that the very thought would have been sufficient to warrant an immediate commitment for lunacy. If the spirits of the city authorities and citizens of that date could return and see the Walla Walla of 1917, with not a legal drop of intoxicating fluid, it is safe to say that "amazement" would but feebly express their mental state. According to the revenue ordinance of that first council, a tax was to produce about a third, and licenses and fines the remainder of the city income. During the first six months the total revenue was $4,283.25, and the licensing of liquor sales and gambling tables amounted to $1,875. Tax amounted to about $1,430. The rest of the revenue was from fines. We may note here by way of comparison that in 1866 the city revenue was $15,358.97, of which $9,135.13 was from licenses.

The year of 1862 was one of great activity. A. J. Cain laid out his addition, though the plat was not recorded till the next year. The Statesman of October 18th gives a glowing account of the improvements, stating that fifty buildings had been completed during the summer and that thirty more were in progress of construction. Most of these were no doubt flimsy wooden structures, but it is mentioned that the buildings of Schwabacher Brothers and Brown Brothers & Co. had been nearly completed. At the head of Second Street A. J. Miner was erecting a planing mill, and a sash and door factory. Beyond the city limits Mr. Meyer had put up a brewery (this afterwards developed into the Stahl brewery on Second Street). In Cain's addition, where there had been only eight houses, the number was more than doubled. As a matter of fact, though there was much improvement at that time, our fair City of Walla Walla of the present, with its elegant homes and trees and flowers and broad verdant lawns, with paved streets and bountiful water supply, would not recognize the ragged, dusty, dirty, little shack of a town of which the Statesman was so proud in 1862. The ease with which the people of that time have adjusted themselves to all the conveniences and elegancies of the present day, shows something of the infinite adaptability of human nature, and still more it shows that the foundation builders of the pioneer days had it in them to create all the improvements of later days. Raw as Walla Walla must have looked in the '60s, the essential conditions were there which have made our later age; rich soil, water, good surrounding country, industry, taste, brains, home spirit, good citizenship—and a certain reasonable amount of time. There we have all the elements that wrought between the Walla Walla of 1862 and that of 1917.

Courtesy of F. W. Paine



Early Walla Walla had the usual experience with fires, such occurring on June 11, 1862; May 8, 1864; August 3, 1865; and July 4, 1866. As a result of the first, Joseph Hellmuth undertook to organize a fire department. His public spirit was not very cordially supported, but subscriptions to the amount of $1,600 were received, and by advancing $500 himself, he secured an old Hunneman "tub" engine.

The most destructive of these early fires was that of August 3, 1865. The Statesman of August 4th gives a full account of it, estimating the loss so far as obtained at that time at $164,500. The paper adds $20,000 for loss not then reported. The heaviest losses were sustained by the Dry Goods Company of S. Elias & Brother, by the store and warehouse of C. Jacobs & Co., and by the Bank Exchange Saloon and dwelling house of W. J. Ferry. The building used for courthouse, with the county and city records, was destroyed. In 1863, a fire company was organized, Fred Stine being the leader in the enterprise.

Perhaps the most vital feature of a growing city is pure and abundant water supply. Walla Walla was fortunate in early days in the presence of a number of springs of pure cold water. But though that supply was abundant for a small place, increasing demands made some system of distribution imperative. There was also need for sufficient pressure for fire defense.

While the water system was at first a private enterprise, it became public property in due course of time, and hence it is suitable to begin the story in this chapter.

In 1866 and 1867 four of the most energetic citizens of the town took the initial steps in providing a system of water distribution. H. P. Isaacs, J. C. Isaacs, A. Kyger and J. D. Cook obtained a charter in 1866 and the next year established at a point near the present Armory Hall a plant consisting of a pump, a large tank, and a supply of wooden pipe. It almost makes one's bones ache in these effete days to think of the amount of labor which the pipes for that pioneer water system demanded. The pipe consisted of logs bored lengthwise with augurs by hand. It would not comport with the dignity of a historical work to suggest that the whole proceeding was a "great bore," but it was duly accomplished and the pipes laid. Water was derived from Mill Creek, but the system seems to have been somewhat unsatisfactory to the projectors, and Mr. Isaacs entered upon a much larger undertaking, that of establishing reservoirs in the upper part of town. It was not until after the date of county division that the reservoir system was fully installed. In 1877 the reservoirs were built on both sides of Mill Creek, one on what is now the property of the Odd Fellows Home and the other in the City Park. These reservoirs were filled from the large springs and for some years supplied the needs of the town. Mr. Isaacs is deserving of great praise for his unflagging energy in endeavoring to meet that primary need of the town. The corporate name of Mr. Isaacs' enterprise was the Walla Walla Water Company. The controlling ownership was ultimately acquired by the interests represented by the Baker-Boyer Bank, and Mr. H. H. Turner became secretary[150] and manager. That, however, was long subsequent to county division and the further history of the water system belongs to another chapter.

We perhaps should interject at this point the explanation that although chapters preceding this have been carried to the present date, we are bringing the political history of the city to the stage of county division only in order to harmonize with that of the county, and that point in case of the county constitutes a natural stage by reason of the marked change in all political connections occasioned by the division.

Among miscellaneous events having political connections may be mentioned that omnipresent and usually disturbing question of the fort. We have earlier spoken of its first location at the point now occupied by the American Theater, right in the heart of the city, and its removal in 1857 to the present location. It was maintained at full strength until the close of the Indian wars and then during the period of the Civil war there was a full supply of men and equipment. At times, as already narrated in an earlier chapter, there was much friction between civilians and the military. The merchants and saloon-keepers, however, considered the presence of the Fort very desirable from a pecuniary standpoint. There were in those early days, as there have been more recently, an element in the city that attached an exaggerated importance to the presence of the soldiers as a business matter, while there was also another sentiment which became the most persistent and inherited one in the history of the town; that is, the sentiment that while the officers and their families composed the social elite, the common soldiers were taboo. This was perhaps the nearest to a caste system ever known in the free and unconventional society of Old Walla Walla. Between those two viewpoints, the business and the social, there was the larger body of citizens who shrugged their shoulders over the whole question, deeming it unimportant either way. But when by order of Colonel Curry the Fort was abandoned, save for a small detachment, in the winter of 1865-6, there went up a great protest, and all the machinery, congressional and otherwise, was set in motion, as has been so familiar since down to the present date, to secure orders for the maintenance of the post.

No results were attained, however, and the Fort remained abandoned, until 1873.

Congress had, in fact, passed a law in 1872, for the sale of the military reservation, authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to cut it up into blocks and lots and dispose of it as his judgment warranted. The tract was surveyed and laid out by instructions from Washington. But as a result of the famous Modoc war in Southern Oregon, the view prevailed at headquarters that the rehabilitation and reoccupation of Fort Walla Walla would be wise. Accordingly, in August, 1873, six companies were established at the Fort, and from that date for nearly forty years the military was a constant factor in the life of this section.

The expenditures were very considerable. It is estimated in Gilbert's Historic Sketches of 1882 that the Fort was then purchasing annually about 10,000 bushels of oats, 5,000 bushels of barley, 500 tons of hay, 200 tons of straw, 500 barrels of flour, besides large quantities of meat, wood, and other supplies. Perhaps the most excited and acrimonious discussions, public and private, in newspapers and otherwise, have dealt with the retention of the Fort, or with[151] some phase of its life. Most of the features of the story came at a date long after county division.

Another event of that period, not strictly political, yet belonging to the public life of the community, was the completion on June 1, 1870, of the telegraph line between Portland and Walla Walla, via Wallula. This line was built by the O. S. N. Company. The office was at the southwest corner of Third and Main streets, and James Henderson was first operator. Mayor Stone sent this message to Mayor Goldsmith: "To the Mayor of Portland: Greeting. Allow me to congratulate you upon the completion of the telegraph that places the first city of Washington Territory in direct communication with the first city of Oregon, and to express the hope that it is but the precursor of the iron rail that is to unite us still more indissolubly in the bonds of interest and affection."

A prompt response in like spirit came from Mayor Goldsmith of Portland.

Another event of importance, which also prepared the way for infinite political maneuvers and back-room deals was the establishment in 1871 of the Walla Walla Land District. As first constituted, the district embraced all of the territory east of the Cascade Mountains. Some appointees came from the East to fill the various positions, though the majority of them were local men, usually of the highest character. In this, as in other departments of government depending to some degree on the favor or otherwise of members of Congress, there has been a certain proportion of pie-counter politicians who have kept up a regular procession toward the land office.

William Stephens, registrar, and Anderson Cox, receiver, were the first in the office, opening the doors on July 17, 1871. P. B. Johnson followed Mr. Stephens in 1875 and J. F. Boyer became receiver in 1872. Better men could not have been found in the Inland Empire.

Such may be regarded as the essential events to the limits of our space in the history of Walla Walla County and City to the time of county division. We have already given the tabulation of county officials, as well as that of those of the Territorial Delegates and Governors, together with such others as especially belonged to this region. We incorporate here a list of city officials to the same date.



Mayor—George Thomas.

Council—W. A. Ball, I. T. Rees, Fred Stine, B. Sheideman, Wm. Kohlhauff, O. P. Lacy.

City Clerk—A. L. Brown.


Mayor—C. B. Whiteman.

Recorder—W. P. Horton.

Marshal—W. J. Tompkins.

Treasurer—H. E. Johnson.

Assessor—O. P. Lacy.

Council—Fred Stine, I. W. McKee, Cal P. Winesett, Geo. Baggs, John J. Ryan.



Mayor—James McAuliff.

Recorder—O. P. Lacy.

Marshal—E. Delaney.

Assessor—M. Leider.

Treasurer—H. E. Johnson.

Surveyor—W. L. Gaston.

Council—C. P. Winesett, I. T. Rees, Wm. Kohlhauff, J. F. Abbott, W. Brown.


Mayor—James McAuliff.

Recorder—Lewis Day.

Treasurer—H. M. Chase.

Council—J. F. Abbott, Fred Stine, H. Howard, Wm. Kohlhauff, A. Kyger.


Mayor—Frank Stone.

Recorder—O. P. Lacy.

Marshal—E. Delaney.

Treasurer—H. E. Johnson.

Assessor—J. E. Brown.

Surveyor—A. H. Simmons.

Council—James Jones, W. S. Miner, Thos. Tierney, P. M. Lynch, Thos. Quinn.


Mayor—Dr. E. Shiel.

Recorder—W. P. Horton.

Marshal—E. Delaney.

Treasurer—H. E. Johnson.

Assessor—J. M. Rittenhouse.

Surveyor—A. H. Simmons.

Council—J. F. Abbott, H. M. Chase, G. P. Foor, Wm. Kohlhauff, N. T. Caton.


Mayor—E. B. Whitman.

Recorder—W. P. Horton.

Marshal—E. Delaney.

Treasurer—H. E. Johnson.

Assessor—M. W. Davis.

Surveyor—A. L. Knowlton.

Council—R. Jacobs, P. M. Lynch, N. T. Caton, G. P. Foor, Frank Orselli.


Mayor—E. B. Whitman.

Recorder—O. P. Lacy.

Marshal—John P. Justice.

Treasurer—H. E. Johnson.

Assessor—M. W. Davis.

Surveyor—A. L. Knowlton.

Council—Sig. Schwabacher, N. T. Caton, M. C. Moore, I. H. Foster, John Stahl.

Courtesy of W. P. Winans




Mayor—E. B. Whitman.

Recorder—I. D. Sarman.

Marshal—John P. Justice.

Treasurer—H. E. Johnson.

Assessor—M. W. Davis.

Surveyor—A. L. Knowlton.

Council—M. C. Moore, N. T. Caton, I. H. Foster, Wm. Neal, John Fall.


Mayor—James McAuliff.

Marshal—John P. Justice.

Recorder—O. P. Lacy.

Treasurer—C. T. Thompson.

Assessor—J. B. Thompson.

Council—F. G. Allen, Z. K. Straight, Wm. Kohlhauff, Ed C. Ross.


Mayor—James McAuliff.

Marshal—John P. Justice.

Recorder—J. D. Laman.

Treasurer—F. Kennedy.

Assessor—S. Jacobs.

Council—O. P. Lacy, Ed C. Ross, M. Belcher, J. D. Laman, Wm. Kohlhauff.


Mayor—Jas. McAuliff.

Marshal—John P. Justice.

Treasurer—H. E. Holmes.

Assessor—S. Jacobs.

Council—G. P. Foor, Wm. Kohlhauff, A. H. Reynolds, O. P. Lacy, M.


It remains in this chapter to speak of the events leading to the division of Old Walla Walla County. The first movement in that direction originated at Waitsburg. That active place, in the center of one of the fairest and most fertile tracts in all this fertile region, had come into existence in 1865. We find an item in the Statesman of June 30, 1865, to this effect: "Waitsburg is the name of a town just beginning to grow up at Wait's Mill on the Touchet. The people of that vicinity have resolved to celebrate the coming 4th, and are making arrangements accordingly. W. S. Langford of this city has accepted an[154] invitations to deliver the oration. "In 1869 a sentiment developed that the large area south of Snake River, 3,420 square miles, was too large for a single county, and that it was only a question of time when there must be another county. Not seeming to realize that if such event occurred the natural center must be farther east than Waitsburg, the citizens of the "Mill Town" pushed vigorously for their project of division, with their own town as the seat of a new county. A petition signed by 150 citizens was conveyed to Olympia by a delegation who presented it to the Legislature. Though their effort failed it served to keep the plan of division alive, and with a rapid flow of immigration into the high region of the Upper Touchet, the movement for a new county constantly grew. We have already spoken of the early locations on the Touchet and Patit. In 1871 and 1872, there became a concentration of interests which made it clear that a town would develop. It became known as Dayton from Jesse N. Day. Here was a location more suitable geographically than Waitsburg, and sentiment rapidly gathered around Dayton as the natural vantage point for a new county. Elisha Ping was chosen to the Territorial Council in 1874 to represent Walla Walla County, and as a citizen and prominent land owner of Dayton he became the center of the movement.

The first boundary proposed called for a line running directly south from the Palouse ferry on Snake River to the state line, thus putting Waitsburg just within the new county. This was not acceptable to that place. If it could not be the county seat, it preferred to play second fiddle to Walla Walla rather than to Dayton. Mr. Preston went to Walla Walla to represent the Waitsburg sentiment. As a result a remonstrance against county division was prepared and forwarded to the Legislature. Representatives Hodgis, Lloyd, Lynch and Scott took positions in opposition to division. A. J. Cain and Elisha Ping conducted the campaign from the standpoint of Dayton. It became a three cornered combat in the Legislature. The Walla Walla people, as almost always is the case in a growing county, though it is very poor and selfish policy, opposed any division. The Waitsburg influence was for division provided it could have the county seat but otherwise opposed, and the Dayton influence was entirely for division with the expectation that Dayton would become the county seat. Like most county division and county seat fights, this was based mainly on motives of transient local gain and personal advantage, rather than on broad public policy for the future. But so long as human nature is at such a rudimentary stage of evolution it would be too idealistic to expect otherwise. But whether with large motives or small, the final outcome, as well as the subsequent divisions by which Garfield and Asotin were laid out, was for progress and efficiency. Walla Walla interests were overpowered in the Legislature and a bill creating Ping County was duly passed. This, however, encountered a snag, for Governor Ferry vetoed it. Another bill, avoiding his objections, naming the new county Columbia, was finally passed and on Nov. 11, 1875, Columbia County duly came into existence, embracing about two-thirds of Old Walla Walla County, being bounded by Snake River and the state line on the north, east and south, and by Walla Walla County on the west.

The history of the erection of Garfield and Asotin counties will belong properly to a later chapter, and with this final view of old Walla Walla County as it had existed from 1859 to 1878, we pass on.




It is but trite and commonplace to say (yet these commonplace sayings embody the accumulated experience of the human race) that transportation is the very A. B. C. of economic science. There can be no wealth without exchange. There is no assignable value either to commodities or labor without markets.

New communities have always had to struggle with these fundamental problems of transportation. Until there can be at least some exchange of products there can be no real commercial life and men's labor is spent simply on producing the articles needful for daily bread, clothing and shelter. Most of the successive "Wests" of America have gone through that stage of simple existence. Some have gotten out of it very rapidly, usually by the discovery of the precious metals or the production of some great staple like furs so much in demand and so scarce in distant countries as to justify expensive and even dangerous expeditions and costly transportation systems. During nearly all the first half of the nineteenth century the fur trade was that agency which created exchange and compelled transportation.

After the acquisition of Oregon and California by the United States there was a lull, during which there was scarcely any commercial life because there was nothing exchangeable or transportable.

Then suddenly came the dramatic discovery of gold in California which inaugurated there a new era of commercial life and hence demanded extensive transportation, and that was for many years necessarily by the ocean. The similar discovery in Oregon came ten years later. As we saw in Chapter Two of this part there came on suddenly in the early '60s a rushing together in old Walla Walla of a confused mass of eager seekers for gold, cattle ranges, and every species of the opportunities which were thought to exist in the "upper country." As men began to get the measure of the country and each other and to see something of what this land was going to become, the demand for some regular system of transportation became imperative.

The first resource was naturally by the water. It was obvious that teaming from the Willamette Valley (the only productive region in the '50s and the first year or two of the '60s) was too limited a means to amount to anything. Bateaux after the fashion of the Hudson's Bay Company would not do for the new era. Men could indeed drive stock over the mountains and across the plains and did so to considerable degree. But as the full measure of the problem was taken it became clear to the active ambitious men who flocked into the Walla Walla country in 1858, 1859, and 1860, and particularly when the discovery of gold became known in 1861, that nothing but the establishment of steamboats[156] on the Columbia and Snake rivers would answer the demand for a real system of transportation commensurate with the situation.

To fully appreciate the era of steamboating and to revive the memories of the pioneers of this region in those halcyon days of river traffic, it is fitting that we trace briefly the essential stages from the first appearance of steamers on the Columbia River and its tributaries. To accomplish this section of the story we are incorporating here several paragraphs from "The Columbia River," by the author: The first river steamer of any size to ply upon the Willamette and Columbia was the Lot Whitcomb. This steamer was built by Whitcomb and Jennings. J. C. Ainsworth was the first captain, and Jacob Kamm was the first engineer. Both of these men became leaders in every species of steamboating enterprise. In 1851 Dan Bradford and B. B. Bishop inaugurated a movement to connect the up-river region with the lower river by getting a small iron propeller called the Jason P. Flint from the East and putting her together at the Cascades, whence she made the run to Portland. The Flint has been named as first to run above the Cascades, but the author has the authority of Mr. Bishop for stating that the first steamer to run above the Cascades was the Eagle. That steamer was brought in sections by Allen McKinley to the Upper Cascades in 1853, there put together, and set to plying on the part of the river between the Cascades and The Dalles. In 1854 the Mary was built and launched above the Cascades, the next year the Wasco followed, and in 1856 the Hassalo began to toot her jubilant horn at the precipices of the mid-Columbia. In 1859 R. R. Thompson and Lawrence Coe built the Colonel Wright, the first steamer on the upper section of the river. In the same year the same men built at the Upper Cascades a steamer called the Venture. This craft met with a curious catastrophe. For on her very first trip she swung too far into the channel and was carried over the Upper Cascades, at the point where the Cascade Locks are now located. She was subsequently raised and rebuilt, and rechristened the Umatilla.

This part of the period of steamboat building was contemporary with the Indian wars of 1855 and 1856. The steamers Wasco, Mary, and Eagle were of much service in rescuing victims of the murderous assault on the Cascades by the Klickitats.

While the enterprising steamboat builders were thus making their way up-river in the very teeth of Indian warfare steamboats were in course of construction on the Willamette. The Jennie Clark in 1854 and the Carrie Ladd in 1858 were built for the firm of Abernethy, Clark and Company. These both, the latter especially, were really elegant steamers for the time.

The close of the Indian wars in 1859 saw a quite well-organized steamer service between Portland and The Dalles, and the great rush into the upper country was just beginning. The Senorita, the Belle, and the Multnomah, under the management of Benjamin Stark, were on the run from Portland to the Cascades. A rival steamer, the Mountain Buck, owned by Ruckle and Olmstead, was on the same route. These steamers connected with boats on the Cascades-Dalles section by means of portages five miles long around the rapids. There was a portage on each side of the river. That on the north side was operated by Bradford & Company, and their steamers were the Hassalo and the Mary. Ruckle and Olmstead owned the portage on the south side of the river, and[157] their steamer was the Wasco. Sharp competition arose between the Bradford and Stark interests on one side and Ruckle and Olmstead on the other. The Stark Company was known as the Columbia River Navigation Company, and the rival was the Oregon Transportation Company. J. C. Ainsworth now joined the Stark party with the Carrie Ladd. So efficient did this reinforcement prove to be that the transportation company proposed to them a combination. This was effected in April, 1859, and the new organization became known as the Union Transportation Company. This was soon found to be too loose a consolidation to accomplish the desired ends, and the parties interested set about a new combination to embrace all the steam boat men from Celilo to Astoria. The result was the formation of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company, which came into legal existence on December 20, 1860. Its stock in steamboats, sailboats, wharfboats, and miscellaneous property was stated at $172,500.

Such was the genesis of the "O. S. N. Co." In a valuable article by Irene Lincoln Poppleton in the Oregon Historical Quarterly for September, 1908, to which we here make acknowledgments, it is said that no assessment was ever levied on the stock of this company, but that from the proceeds of the business the management expended in gold nearly three million dollars in developing their property, besides paying to the stockholders in dividends over two million and a half dollars. Never perhaps was there such a record of money-making on such capitalization.

The source of the enormous business of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company was the rush into Idaho, Montana, and Eastern Oregon and Washington by the miners, cowboys, speculators, and adventurers of the early '60s. The up-river country, as described more at length in another chapter, wakened suddenly from the lethargy of centuries, and the wildness teemed with life. That was the great steamboat age. Money flowed in streams. Fortunes were made and lost in a day.

When first organized in 1860, the Oregon Steam Navigation Company had a nondescript lot of steamers, mainly small and weak. The two portages, one of five miles around the Cascades and the other of fourteen miles from The Dalles to Celilo Falls, were unequal to their task. The portages at the Cascades on both sides of the river were made by very inadequate wooden tramways. That at The Dalles was made by teams. Such quantities of freight were discharged from the steamers that sometimes the whole portage was lined with freight from end to end. The portages were not acquired by the company with the steamboat property, and as a result the portage owners reaped the larger share of the profits. During high water the portage on the Oregon side at the Cascades had a monopoly of the business and it took one-half the freight income from Portland to The Dalles. This was holding the whip-hand with a vengeance, and the vigorous directors of the steamboat company could not endure it. Accordingly, they absorbed the rights of the portage owners, built a railroad from Celilo to The Dalles on the Oregon side, and one around the Cascades on the Washington side. The company was reorganized under the laws of Oregon in October, 1863, with a declared capitalization of $2,000,000.

Business on the river in 1863 was something enormous. Hardly ever did a steamer make a trip with less than two hundred passengers. Freight was offered in such quantities at Portland that trucks had to stand in line for blocks, waiting[158] to deliver and receive their loads. New boats were built of a much better class. Two rival companies, the Independent Line and the People's Transportation Line, made a vigorous struggle to secure a share of the business, but they were eventually overpowered. Some conception of the amount of business may be gained from the fact that the steamers transported passengers to an amount of fares running from $1,000 to $6,000 a trip. On April 29, 1862, the Tenino, leaving Celilo for the Lewiston trip, had a load amounting to $10,945 for freight, passengers, meals, and berths. The steamships sailing from Portland to San Francisco showed equally remarkable records. On June 25, 1861, the Sierra Nevada conveyed a treasure shipment of $228,000; July 14th, $110,000; August 24th, $195,558; December 5th, $750,000. The number of passengers carried on The Dalles-Lewiston route in 1864 was 36,000 and the tons of freight were 21,834.

It was a magnificent steamboat ride in those days from Portland to Lewiston. The fare was $60; meals and berths, $1 each. A traveler would leave Portland at 5 A. M. on, perhaps, the Wilson G. Hunt, reach the Cascades sixty-five miles distant at 11 A. M., proceed by rail five miles to the Upper Cascades, there transfer to the Oneonta or Idaho for The Dalles, passing in that run from the humid, low-lying, heavily timbered West-of-the-mountains, to the dry, breezy, hilly East-of-the-mountains. Reaching The Dalles, fifty miles farther east, he would be conveyed by another portage railroad, fourteen miles more, to Celilo. There the Tenino, Yakima, Nez Percé Chief, or Owyhee was waiting. With the earliest light of the morning the steamer would head right into the impetuous current of the river, bound for Lewiston, 280 miles farther yet, taking two days, sometimes three, though only one to return. Those steamers were mainly of light-draught, stern-wheel structure, which still characterizes the Columbia River boats. They were swift and roomy and well adapted to the turbulent waters of the upper river.



The captains, pilots, and pursers of that period were as fine a set of men as ever turned a wheel. Bold, bluff, genial, hearty, and obliging they were, even though given to occasional outbursts of expletives and possessing voluminous repertoires of "cusswords" such as would startle the effete East. Any old Oregonian who may chance to cast his eyes upon these pages will recall, as with the pangs of childhood homesickness, the forms and features of steamboat men of that day; the polite yet determined Ainsworth, the brusque and rotund Reed, the bluff and hearty Knaggs, the frolicsome and never disconcerted Ingalls, the dark, powerful, and nonchalant Coe, the patriarchal beard of Stump, the loquacious "Commodore" Wolf, who used to point out to astonished tourists the "diabolical strata" on the banks of the river, the massive and good-natured Strang, the genial and elegant O'Neil, the suave and witty Snow, the tall and handsome Sampson, the rich Scotch brogue of McNulty, and dozens of others, whose combined adventures would fill a volume. One of the most experienced pilots of the upper river was Captain "Eph" Baughman, who ran steamers on the Snake and Columbia rivers over fifty years, and is yet living at the date of this publication. W. H. Gray, who came to Waiilatpu with Whitman as secular agent of the mission, became a river man of much skill. He gave four sons, John, William, Alfred, and James, to the service of the river, all four of them being skilled captains. A story narrated to the author by Capt. William Gray, now of Pasco, Wash., well illustrates the character of the old Columbia River navigators. W. H. Gray was the first man to run a sailboat of much size with regular freight up Snake River. That was in 1860 before any steamers were running on that stream. Mr. Gray built his boat, a fifty ton sloop, on Oosooyoos Lake on the Okanogan River. In it he descended that river to its entrance into the Columbia. Thence he descended the Columbia, running down the Entiat, Rock Island, Cabinet, and Priest Rapids, no mean undertaking of itself. Reaching the mouth of the Snake he took on a load of freight and started up the swift stream. At Five-mile Rapids he found that his sail was insufficient to carry the sloop up. Men had said that it was impossible. The crew all prophesied disaster. The stubborn captain merely declared, "There is no such word as fail in my dictionary." He directed his son and another of the crew to take the small boat, load her with a long coil of rope, make their way up the stream until they got above the rapid, there to land on an islet of rock, fasten the rope to that rock, then pay it out till it was swept down the rapid. They were then to descend the rapid in the small boat. "Very likely you may be upset," added the skipper encouragingly, "but if you are, you know how to swim." They were upset, sure enough, but they did know how to swim. They righted their boat, picked up the end of the floating rope, and reached the sloop with it. The rope was attached to the capstan, and the sloop was wound up by it above the swiftest part of the rapid to a point where the sail was sufficient to carry, and on they went rejoicing. Any account of steamboating on the Columbia would be incomplete without reference to Capt. James Troup, who was born on the Columbia, and almost from early boyhood ran steamers upon it and its tributaries. He made a specialty of running steamers down The Dalles and the Cascades, an undertaking sometimes rendered necessary by the fact that more boats were built in proportion to demand on the upper than the lower river. These were taken down The Dalles, and sometimes down the Cascades. Once down, they could not return. The first steamer to run down the Tumwater Falls was the Okanogan, on May 22, 1866, piloted by Capt. T. J. Stump.

The author enjoyed the great privilege of descending The Dalles in the D. S. Baker in the year 1888, Captain Troup being in command. At that strange point in the river, the whole vast volume is compressed into a channel but 160 feet wide at low water and much deeper than wide. Like a huge mill-race this channel continues nearly straight for two miles, when it is hurled with frightful force against a massive bluff. Deflected from the bluff, it turns at a sharp angle to be split in sunder by a low reef of rock. When the Baker was drawn into the current at the head of the "chute" she swept down the channel, which was almost black, with streaks of foam, to the bluff, two miles in four minutes. There feeling the tremendous refluent wave, she went careening over and over toward the sunken reef. The skilled captain had her perfectly in hand, and precisely at the right moment, rang the signal bell, "Ahead, full speed," and ahead she went, just barely scratching her side on the rock. Thus close was it necessary to calculate distance. If the steamer had struck the tooth-like point of the reef broadside on, she would have been broken in two and carried in fragments on either side. Having passed this danger point, she glided into the beautiful calm bay below and the feat was accomplished. Capt. J. C. Ainsworth and Capt. James Troup were the two captains above all others to whom the company entrusted the critical task of running steamers over the rapids.


In the Overland Monthly of June, 1886, there is a valuable account by Capt. Lawrence Coe of the maiden journey of the Colonel Wright from Celilo up what they then termed the upper Columbia.

This first journey on that section of the river was made in April, 1859. The pilot was Capt. Lew White. The highest point reached was Wallula, the site of the old Hudson's Bay Fort. The current was a powerful one to withstand, no soundings had ever been made, and no boats except canoes, bateaus, flatboats, and a few small sailboats, had ever made the trip. No one had any conception of the location of a channel adapted to a steamboat. No difficulty was experienced, however, except at the Umatilla Rapids. This is a most singular obstruction. Three separate reefs, at intervals of half a mile, extend right across the river. There are narrow breaks in these reefs, but not in line with each other. Through them the water pours with tremendous velocity, and on account of their irregular locations a steamer must zigzag across the river at imminent risk of being borne broadside on to the reef. The passage of the Umatilla Rapids is not difficult at high water, for then the steamer glides over the rocks in a straight course.

In the August Overland of the same year, Captain Coe narrates the first steamboat trip up Snake River. This was in June, 1860, just at the time of the beginning of the gold excitement. The Colonel Wright was loaded with picks, rockers, and other mining implements, as well as provisions and passengers. Most of the freight and passengers were put off at Wallula, to go thence overland. Part continued on to test the experiment of making way against the wicked-looking current of Snake River. After three days and a half from the starting point a few miles above Celilo, the Colonel Wright halted at a place which was called Slaterville, thirty-seven miles up the Clearwater from its junction with the Snake. There the remainder of the cargo was discharged, to be hauled in wagons to the Oro Fino mines. The steamer Okanogan followed the Colonel Wright within a few weeks, and navigation on the Snake may be said to have fairly begun. During that same time the City of Lewiston, named in honor of Meriwether Lewis, the explorer, was founded at the junction of the Snake and Clearwater rivers.


While the river traffic under the ordinary control of the O. S. N. Company, though with frequent periods of opposition boats, was thus promoting the movements of commercial life along the great central artery, the need of reaching interior points was vital. The only way of doing this and providing feeders for the boats was by stage lines and prairie schooners. As a result of this need there developed along with the steamboats a system of roads from certain points on the Columbia and Snake rivers. Umatilla, Wallula, and Lewiston became the chief of these. And in the stage lines we have another era of utmost interest and importance in the old time days.

J. F. Abbott was the pioneer stage manager of old Walla Walla. It is very interesting to note his advertisements as they appear in the earliest issues of the Washington Statesman. But he began before there was any Statesman or paper of any kind between the Cascade Mountains and the Missouri River. For in 1859[161] he started the first stages between Wallula and Walla Walla. In 1860 he entered a partnership with Rickey and Thatcher on the same route. In 1861 a new line was laid out by Miller and Blackmore from The Dalles to Walla Walla. The stage business went right on by leaps and bounds. In 1862 two companies started new lines, Rickey and Thatcher from Walla Walla to Lewiston through the present Walla Walla, Columbia, Garfield and Asotin counties, and Blackmore and Chase between Wallula and Walla Walla. During the next two decades the stage business became one of the great factors in the growth of the whole vast region from Umatilla eastward into the mining regions of Oro Fino, Florence, Boise Basin, and ultimately into Wyoming and Utah.

The most prominent manager on the longer routes and one of the most prominent and useful of all the business men of early Walla Walla, was George F. Thomas. He laid out a route from Wallula to Boise by way of Walla Walla and the Woodward Toll Gate Road over the Blue Mountains.

In 1864 there came into operation the first of the great stage systems having transcontinental aims and policies. This was the Holladay system. That period was the palmy time for hold-ups, Indians, prairie-schooners, and all the other interesting and extravagant features of life, ordinarily supposed to be typical of the Far-West and so dominating in their effect on the imagination as to furnish the seed-bed for a genuine literature of the Pacific Coast, most prominent in California with the illustrious names of Bret Harte and Mark Twain in the van, and with Jack London, Rex Beach, and many more in later times pursuing the same general tenor of delineation. The Northwest has not yet had a literature comparable with California's, but the material is here and there will yet be in due sequence a line of story writers, poets and artists of the incomparable scenery and the tragic, humorous and pathetic human associations of the Columbia and its tributaries, which will place this northern region of the Pacific in the same rank as the more forward southern sister. Indeed we may remark incidentally that the two most prominent California poets, Joaquin Miller and Edwin Markham, belonged to Oregon, the latter being a native of the "Webfoot State."

The amount of business done by those pioneer stage lines was surprising. In the issue of the Statesman of December 20, 1862, it is estimated that the amount of freight landed by the steamers at Wallula to be distributed thence by wheel averaged about a hundred and fifty tons weekly, and that the number of passengers, very variable, ran from fifty to six hundred weekly. As time went on rival lines became more and more active and rates were lowered as competition grew more keen. The author recalls vividly his first trip from Wallula to Walla Walla in his boyhood in the summer of 1870.

The steamer was jammed with passengers who disembarked and made a rush for something to eat in the old adobe hotel on the river bank at the site of the old Fort Walla Walla. There were a dozen or so stages, the driver of each vociferating that on that day passengers were carried free to Walla Walla. It is asserted that on some occasions competition became so hot that the rival stage managers offered not only free transportation, but free meals as a bonus. Whenever one line succeeded in running off competitors the rates were plumped right back to the ordinary figure. In view of the wagon traffic of that period it is not surprising that sections of the road are yet worn several feet deep and that for years there were four or five tracks. They never worked the roads, but[162] depended purely on nature, Providence, and the movement of teams to effect any changes. With the somewhat strenuous west winds which even yet are sometimes noticed to prevail on the lower Walla Walla it is not wonderful that a good part of the top dressing of that country has been distributed at various points around Walla Walla, Waitsburg, Dayton, "and all points east." How regular teamsters got enough air to maintain life out of the clouds of dust which enveloped most of their active moments is one of the unexplained mysteries of human existence.

The closing scene of the stage line drama may be said to have been the establishment in 1871 of the Northwestern Stage Company. It connected the Central Pacific Railroad at Kelton, Utah, with The Dalles, Pendleton, Walla Walla, Colfax, Dayton, Lewiston, Pomeroy, and "all points north and west." During the decade of the '70s that stage line was a connecting link not only between the railroads and the regions as yet without them, but was also a link between two epochs, that of the stage and that of the railroad.

It did an extensive passenger business, employing regularly twenty-two stages and 300 horses, which used annually 365 tons of grain and 412 tons of hay. There were 150 drivers and hostlers regularly employed for that branch of the business.


But a new order was coming rapidly. As the decades of the '60s and '70s belonged especially to the steamboat and the stage, so the decade of the '80s belonged to the railroad. It is one of the most curious and interesting facts in American history that during the period between about 1835, the coming of the missionaries and the period of the discoveries of gold in Idaho in 1861 and onward, there was an obstinate insistence in Congress, especially the Senate—a great body indeed, but at times the very apotheosis of conservative imbecility—that Oregon could never be practically connected with the older parts of the country, but must remain a wilderness. But there were some Progressives. When Isaac I. Stevens was appointed governor of Washington Territory in 1853 he had charge of a survey with a view of determining a practical route for a northern railroad.

It is very interesting to read his instructions to George B. McClellan, then one of his assistants. "The route is from St. Paul, Minn., to Puget Sound by the great bend of the Mississippi River, through a pass in the mountains near the forty-ninth parallel. A strong party will operate westward from St. Paul; a second but smaller party will go up the Missouri to the Yellowstone, and there make arrangements, reconnoiter the country, etc., and on the junction of the main party they will push through the Blackfoot country, and reaching the Rocky Mountains will keep at work there during the summer months. The third party, under your command, will be organized in the Puget Sound region, you and your scientific corps going over the Isthmus, and will operate in the Cascade range and meet the party coming from the Rocky Mountains. The amount of work in the Cascade range and eastward, say to the probable junction of the parties at the great bend of the north fork of the Columbia River, will be immense. Recollect, the main object is a railroad survey from the headwaters of the Mississippi River to Puget Sound. We must not be frightened by long tunnels or enormous snows, but must set ourselves to work to overcome them."


Growing out of the abundant agitation going on for twenty years after the start given it by Governor Stevens, the movement for a Northern Pacific Railroad focalized in 1870 by a contract made between the promoters and Jay Cooke & Company to sell bonds. It is interesting to recall that Philip Ritz of Walla Walla, one of the noblest of men and most useful of pioneers, was one of the strong forces in conveying information about the field and inducing the promoters to turn their attention to it. In fact Messrs. Ogden and Cass, two of the strongest men connected with the enterprise, afterwards stated that it was a letter from Mr. Ritz that drew their favorable attention to the possibilities of this country. Work was begun on the section of the Northern Pacific Railroad between Kalama on the Columbia and Puget Sound in 1870, but the financial panic of 1873 crippled and even ruined many great business houses, among others Jay Cooke & Co., and for several years construction was at a stand still. In 1879 the Northern Pacific Railroad Co. was reorganized, work was resumed and never ceased till the iron horse had drunk both out of Lake Superior and the Columbia River.

One of the most spectacular chapters in the history of railroading in the Northwest was that of the "blind pool" by which Henry Villard, president of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Co., obtained in 1881 the control of a majority of the stock of the N. P. and became its president. The essential aim of this series of occult finances was to divert the northern road from its proposed terminus on Puget Sound and annex it to the interests centering in Portland.

In 1883 the road was pushed on from Duluth to Wallula and thence by union with the O. R. & N. was carried on down the Columbia. The feverish haste, reckless outlay, and in places dangerous construction of that section along the crags and through shaded glens and in front of the waterfalls on the banks of the great river, constitute one of the dramas of building. Even more spectacularly came the gorgeous pageantry of the Villard excursion in October, 1883, in which Grant, Evarts, and others of the most distinguished of Americans participated, and in which Oregon and the Northwest in general were entertained in Portland with lavish hospitality, and in which Villard rode upon the crest of the greatest wave of power and popularity that had been seen in the history of the Northwest. But in the very moment of his triumph he fell with a "dull, sickening thud." In fact even while being lauded and feted as the great railroad builder he must have known of the impending crash. For skillful manipulations of the stock market by the Wright interests had dispossessed Villard of his majority control, a general collapse in Portland followed, and the Puget Sound terminal was established at the "City of Destiny," Tacoma. Not till 1888, however, was the great tunnel at Stampede pass completed and the Northern Pacific fairly established upon its great route.

Since the completion of the main line of the N. P. R. R. it has sprouted out feeders in many directions. The most interesting and important of these to the Walla Walla Valley is the Washington and Columbia River Railroad, commonly known in earlier times as the Hunt Road. That road was started as the Oregon and Washington Territory R. R. by Pendleton interests in 1887. Mr. G. W. Hunt, a man of great energy and ability, and possessed of many peculiar and original views on religion and social conditions as well as railroads, came to the Inland Empire at that time and perceiving the great possibilities in this region, made a contract to construct the line. Finding within a year that the projectors[164] were not succeeding in raising funds Mr. Hunt took over the enterprise. In 1888-90 he carried out a series of lines from Hunt's Junction, a short distance from Wallula, to Helix and Athena and finally to Pendleton in Umatilla County, Ore., and to Walla Walla, Waitsburg and Dayton, with a separate branch up Eureka Flat, that great wheat belt of Northern Walla Walla County. The hard times of the next year so affected Mr. Hunt's resources that he felt obliged to place his fine enterprise in the hands of N. P. R. R. interests. But it still retained the name of Washington and Columbia River Railroad and was operated as a distinct road. The first president following Mr. Hunt was W. D. Tyler, a man of so genial nature and brilliant mind as to be one of the conspicuous figures in Walla Walla circles during his residence in this region and to be remembered with warm friendship by people in all sorts of connections, afterward living in Tacoma until his lamented death. He was followed by Joseph McCabe who was a railroad builder and manager of conspicuous ability and who continued at the head of the line until he was drawn to important railroad work in New England. The third president of the road was J. G. Cutler who ably continued the work so well begun. In 1907 the line was absorbed by the Northern Pacific and has since that date been managed as a section of that line. Mr. Cutler continued for a time as the general manager until failing health compelled his retirement and to the deep regret of a large circle of friends and business associates he died within a few months of his retirement. S. B. Calderhead, who had been during the presidencies of Mr. McCabe and Mr. Cutler the traffic manager of the original road, became the general freight and passenger agent of the division in 1907 and continues to hold the position at this time. The road has been extended to Turner in the heart of the barley belt of Columbia County. It does an extraordinary business for the amount of mileage and population. Within the year of the completion of the lines to Dayton, Pendleton, and the Eureka Flat branch, a total mileage of 162.73 miles and with a scanty population at that date of 1890, the road conveyed about forty thousand tons of freight into the regions covered and carried out about a hundred and thirty thousand tons of grain and 20,000 tons of other freight.

The other transcontinental line in which the Walla Walla country is especially interested is the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company's line. This acquired the Walla Walla and Columbia River line in 1878 and the property of the O. S. N. Co. in 1879. Henry Villard was the great organizer of the O. R. and N. line, which was a portion of the Union Pacific system, covering the territory between Huntington and Portland. Of Villard's operations in this connection with the N. P. R. R. we have already spoken. Although the attempt to divert that system down the Columbia proved a failure, the O. R. and N. R. R. has become one of the great systems of the United States, and as a part of the present Oregon and Washington system it performs a vast commercial service in the regions covered by its lines. By the acquisition of the Walla Walla and Columbia River R. R. (Dr. Baker's road) and the O. S. N. Co. lines and steamboats (for that was mainly a river system) the O. R. and N. R. R. succeeded practically to the whole pioneer system of steamboats and stage lines of the previous era. It has become a vast factor in the commercial life of the Columbia River region and by its branches north and west has become a competitor with the Northern Pacific and Great Northern systems throughout the state. Its chief lines in the[165] counties covered by this work are that from Pendleton to Spokane, going right through the heart of the region, with branches from Bolles Junction to Dayton and Starbuck to Pomeroy. It joins with the N. P. R. R. in a line from Riparia on the north side of the Snake River to Lewiston, by which the splendid country centering around that city is reached and by which the equally beautiful and productive region of Asotin and Garfield counties on the west and south of Snake River are indirectly touched. To reach that highly productive region the company maintains several steamers which ply during the proper stage of water and convey millions of bushels of grain from Asotin and other points down the river to railroad connections. One of the important developments of the line is the Yakima branch, extending from Walla Walla to that city and projected, as is supposed, to ultimate connections on Puget Sound and possibly through the Klickitat country about the base of Mount Adams to Portland, tapping an entirely new country of great and varied resources. In 1914 the main line between Portland and Spokane was constructed down the Snake from Riparia to Wallula.

The Northern Pacific and Oregon-Washington railroads have not far from the same mileage in these counties, the latter somewhat larger, and do approximately the same amount of local business. A general estimate by one of the best informed railroad men of Walla Walla is that the combined receipts for freight in Walla Walla County alone—the present county—for the last year was about one million dollars for outgoing and about six hundred thousand dollars for incoming freight.


We have reserved for special consideration the most interesting and from the historical standpoint the most important of all the railroads of Walla Walla, the Walla Walla and Columbia River, Doctor Baker's road. The history of this enterprise is most intimately connected with the development of this region. It is not only a rare example of the growth of a local demand and need, but constitutes a tribute to the genius of its builder, one of the most unique and powerful of all the capable and original builders of the "Upper Country."

To trace the movements leading to the creation of this vital step in the commercial evolution of Walla Walla, we must turn to the files of the Washington Statesman. In the issue of May 3, 1862, we find the leading editorial devoted to urging the need of a railroad. It notes the fact that Lewiston and Wallula are endeavoring to divert the trade from Walla Walla and that with $500,000 invested in the city, as much more in the country, and with crops yielding $250,000, besides stock, the people of Walla Walla cannot rest content with the exorbitant expense of freighting by teams to and from the river. It says bitterly that those engaged in freighting have thought it a fine thing to get from twenty dollars to one hundred dollars per ton for carrying freight in from Wallula. It urges people to bestir themselves and provide a railroad, which, it declares, if it cost $750,000 or even $1,000,000 to build, will save that amount in the next ten years.

The issue of June 7 returns to the charge, dealing in more specific figures, estimating the probable expense of the thirty miles of road not to exceed[166] $600,000. It appeared from this article that the Legislature of the previous year had granted a charter for the purpose, and as the editor urges, the people have but to take advantage of the opportunity open to them to secure the results.

The Statesman of August 23, 1862, gives the provisions of that charter with the list of those named in it. The names of these men are worthy of preservation, as showing the personnel of the most active business forces of that date. They are as follows: A. J. Cain, E. B. Whitman, L. A. Mullan, W. J. Terry, C. H. Armstrong, J. F. Abbott, I. T. Reese, S. M. Baldwin, E. L. Bonner, W. A. Mix, Charles Russell, J. A. Sims, Jesse Drumheller, James Reynolds, D. S. Baker, G. E. Cole, S. D. Smith, J. J. Goodwin, Neil McGlinchy, J. S. Sparks, W. A. George, J. M. Vansycle, W. W. DeLacy, A. Seitel, W. A. Ball, B. F. Stone, J. Schwabacher, B. P. Standifer, S. W. Tatem, W. W. Johnson and "such others as they shall associate with them in the project."

It is worth noting that in the issue of September 6th, an item is made of the fact that fares to The Dalles have been lowered, being $10 to The Dalles and only 50 cents from there to Portland. It is declared in the item that that is a scheme of the Navigation Company to crush out opposition. The opposition line of that year was in control of Doctor Baker, who was associated in the enterprise with Captain Ankeny, H. W. Corbett, and Captain Baughman. Their steamer on the lower river was the E. D. Baker and on the upper river the Spray. Doctor Baker had previously undertaken a portage railroad at the Cascades, but had been compelled to retire before the O. S. N. Co. So for the new undertaking they were obliged to use stages over the five miles of portage between the lower and the upper Cascades. The Spray and the Baker, it may be said, carried on a lively opposition but in the Statesman of March 21, 1863, we find that the O. S. N. Co. had bought out the line and once more monopolized the traffic. Affairs and time were both moving on and we find valuable data in three successive issues of the Statesman, December 20 and 27, 1862, and January 3, 1863. That of December 20th repeats the names given in the charter and some further provisions of that document. Among other requirements was that forbidding the railroad to charge passengers over 10 cents per mile or over 40 cents per ton per mile for freight. Comparison shows how the world has changed. Railroads in this state at present cannot charge more than three cents a mile for passengers, and as for freight, when we remember how we "kick" now at exorbitant freight rates, and yet remind ourselves that the rate on wheat from Walla Walla to Portland is $2.85 per ton, or less than twelve mills per ton mile, we realize the change. But it must be remembered that building a railroad in 1863 in the Walla Walla country was a very different proposition from the present. The Statesman figures that even if traffic did not increase there would be a weekly income for the road of $2,400 or about one hundred and thirty thousand dollars a year. Allowing the cost to be $700,000, with interest at 10 per cent or $70,000 a year, there would be a margin of $65,000 per annum for operating and contingencies. "Who is there," demands the Statesman, "amongst our settled residents that cannot afford to subscribe for from one to ten shares of stock at $100 per share?"

In the paper of December 27th, another editorial urges citizens to attend a meeting the next week to consider the vital subject.

The meeting duly occurred on the last day of December, 1862, and is reported[167] in the Statesman of January 3, 1863. The meeting was called to order by E. B. Whitman and W. W. Johnson acted as secretary. Mention is made of a letter from Capt. John Mullan stating that there was a prospect of securing from two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to three hundred thousand dollars worth of stock in New York. A group of men at money centers was appointed to act as commissioners for receiving subscriptions for stock. A committee consisting of W. W. Johnson, W. A. Mix, and R. R. Rees was appointed to draw up articles of association and by-laws for the company. On March 14th a meeting was held to listen to the report of the committee.

It appears from the issue of April 11, 1863, that a new opposition steamer, the Kius, had made her first trip from Celilo to Wallula, beating the Spray by an hour. Fares had been cut again, being only $3.50 from Celilo to Wallula. The following number of the Statesman notes the interesting item that the Kius had made a trip the previous week to the mouth of the Salmon River on the Snake, and proposed to continue investigations with a view to determining the practicability of a regular route. In the paper of April 25th is an editorial deprecating the "cut-throat competition" on the river, pointing out the fact that heavy stocks of goods had been imported under previous rates and that the carrying in of freight at ruinous rates will embarrass the regular merchants under the old rates. In the same issue announcement is made of the important fact that the railroad portages of the O. S. N. Co. at both the Cascades and The Dalles had just come into operation. By May 9th, it appeared that another rapid change in freight rates had taken place, both lines receipting freight from Portland to Lewiston at $25 per ton. For some time the rate from The Dalles to Wallula had been $3 per ton. But a little time passed and the omnipresent O. S. N. Co. bought out the opposition boats Iris and Kius, and up the rates went with another jump. The figures were:

Freight— Portland to The Dalles $15.00 per ton
  Portland to Wallula 50.00 per ton
Portland to Lewiston 90.00 per ton
Passage— Portland to The Dalles 6.00
  Portland to Wallula 18.00
Portland to Lewiston 28.00

Meanwhile development in the mines and on the stock ranges and farms and even in horticulture was going on apace. But the railroad enterprise hung fire and several years passed by without results. The community seems to have been waiting for the man with the brains, nerve, resolution, and resources to lead and take the risk. The man was there and he had all the requisites from his first entrance to Walla Walla in 1839 except the resources. This was no less a man than Dr. D. S. Baker. During the years of agitation he had been prospering in business and by 1868 was coming into a position where he could see his way to take the initiative in what he had recognized all the time as the great next step in the growth of the Walla Walla country, as well as one in the advancement of his own personal fortunes. The thought of a sort of community ownership had never left the minds of the original promoters although they had failed to come to a focus. On March 23, 1868, there was a meeting which was the outcome of[168] a second era of popular discussion. That meeting eventuated in the actual incorporation of the Walla Walla and Columbia River Railroad. The incorporators were D. S. Baker, A. H. Reynolds, I. T. Reese, A. Kyger, J. H. Lasater, J. D. Mix, B. Scheideman, and W. H. Newell. They planned to place $50,000 of stock in the city, $200,000 in the county, and $100,000 with the O. S. N. Co. An act of Congress of March 3, 1869, granted a right of way and authorized the county commissioners to grant $300,000 in aid of the road, subject to approval of the people by special election. The election was set for June 21, 1871. Expressions of public opinion made it so clear that the proposal would be defeated at the polls that the order for election was revoked. The incorporators of the road now made a proposition that in case the people of the county would authorize an issue of $300,000 in bonds, they would build a strap-iron road within a year, would place the money from down freights in the hands of the county commissioners as a sinking fund, allow the commissioners to fix freight rates, provided they were not less than $2 per ton nor so high as to discourage shipping, and secure the county by first mortgage on the road. An election was held on September 18, 1871. A two-thirds majority was required out of a total vote of 935, and the proposition was lost by eighteen. Thus the second attempt at a publicly promoted railroad for Walla Walla went glimmering.

Doctor Baker now felt that the time had arrived for pushing the enterprise to a conclusion by private capital. A new organization with the same name was effected, of which the directors were D. S. Baker, Wm. Stephens, I. T. Reese, Lewis McMorris, H. M. Chase, H. P. Isaacs, B. L. Sharpstein, Orley Hull, and J. F. Boyer. Grading was begun at Wallula in March, 1872.

Meanwhile many rumors and proposals as to railroad building were in the air. In 1872 the Grande Ronde and Walla Walla R. R. Co. was incorporated, and a survey made thirty-six miles to the Umatilla River. But there the movement ceased. A very interesting project came into existence in 1873 for the Seattle and Walla Walla R. R., and in the prosecution of plans for this, A. A. Denny and J. J. McGilvra visited this region and held public meetings in Walla Walla, Waitsburg, and Dayton. Five directors, S. Schwabacher, W. F. Kimball, Jesse N. Day, W. P. Bruce, and W. M. Shelton were appointed to represent this section. Great enthusiasm was created, but the project, feasible though it seemed and backed though it was by reliable men, never got beyond the stage of agitation. Another enterprise which occasioned great public interest was the Portland, Dalles, and Salt Lake R. R. designed as a rival to the O. R. & N. system. That never got beyond the promotion era. The most interesting locally of these incipient railroads was the Dayton and Columbia River R. R. incorporated in August, 1874. Its proposal was to build a narrow gauge from Dayton to Wallula via Waitsburg and Walla Walla. The plans contemplated a boat line to Astoria with railroad portages at Celilo and the Cascades. That would have been a great enterprise, but it was beyond the resources of its promoters, and it died "a-bornin'."

While these gauzy visions were flitting before the minds of the people of old Walla Walla County, Doctor Baker was going right on with his own road, in the peculiarly taciturn, quiet and unremitting manner characteristic of him. In March, 1874, the road was completed from Wallula to the Touchet, the first eight miles with wooden rails, capped with strap-iron. Maj. Sewall Truax was[169] the engineer in charge. Strap-iron rails were laid on the "straightaway" sections as far as Touchet, with T-iron on the curves and heavier grades. The expense of getting ties and iron was very great and the execution of the work was costly and harassing. Nothing but Doctor Baker's pertinacity in the face of many obstacles carried the work to a successful conclusion. An attempt to run tie timber down the Grande Ronde River to the Snake and thence to Wallula proving unsuccessful, the doctor turned to the Yakima. That effort proved the winning card, but the cost was great. The ties cost over a dollar apiece at Wallula.

But from the first the road justified its cost and demonstrated its utility. In the year that it was completed to Touchet over four thousand tons of wheat was carried out and 1,126 tons of merchandise was brought in. In January, 1875, Doctor Baker proposed to the people of the county that he would complete the road to the city if $75,000 were subscribed to the capital stock. A meeting was held at which it was decided impossible to raise that sum. The company returned with another proposition; i. e., that they would complete the road if the people would secure a tract of three acres for depot grounds and right of way for nine miles west of town, and subscribe $25,000 as a subsidy. After much wrestling and striving this proposal was accepted. On October 23, 1875, the rails were laid into Walla Walla and during the remainder of that year 9,155 tons of wheat were hauled over them to the river.

Thus that monumental work (monumental considering the times and resources available, though of course of small extent compared with the railways of the present) was brought to a triumphant conclusion.

A peculiar condition arose in the next year after completion which has historical bearings of much interest. According to the account as given by Col. F. T. Gilbert the advance of rates from $5 per ton to Wallula to $5.50 caused a revolt on the part of shippers, although the haul by team before was more than twice as much. Shippers urged the county commissioners to put the wagon road in good condition as a weapon to curb railway monopoly. As the directors of the road did not reduce rates, a movement ensued in the Grange Council looking to boycotting the railroad. The feasibility of a canal from Waiilatpu to Wallula was considered. Some wheat and some merchandise were transported by teams at $5 per ton. A movement was started at Dayton to haul freight to the mouth of the Tucanon, where the O. S. N. steamers might pick it up and carry to Portland for $8 per ton. It cost $4.50 to reach the boats. That was the state of affairs which produced Grange City at the point where the Walla Walla-Pendleton branch of the O. W. R. R. now leaves the main line between Spokane and Portland. It was thought at one time that Grange City might become quite a place. One interesting feature of that period was the construction of a steamer named the Northwest at Columbus by the firm of Paine Brothers and Moore and its operation on the Snake River for about two years. The Northwest did a fine business, but like its predecessors was absorbed by the O. S. N. Co.

It was discovered after sufficient experience that teams could not compete with the railroad and the attempts at that method of transportation were abandoned.

In the year 1876, the O. S. N. Co. received at Wallula 16,766 tons of freight,[170] of which 15,266 came by rail and 1,500 by teams. It delivered for conveyance to Walla Walla 4,054 tons, of which all but 513 was conveyed by rail. Doctor Baker's ownership and management of the Walla Walla and Columbia River R. R. was brief but profitable, for in 1878 he sold out a six-seventh interest to the O. R. & N. Co. The remaining seventh was sold to Villard when he bought the O. R. and N. properties.

The pioneer chapter of railroading in Walla Walla was ended. Whatever the personal idiosyncracies of Doctor Baker and whatever may have been thought as to his aggressiveness in business, it becomes evident with the retrospect of history that he was a far seeing, sagacious, energetic, and successful business man and that his career in Walla Walla was one of its greatest constructive forces.


It remains in this chapter only to take a glance at the next great stage in transportation. We have spoken of the old steamer lines as composing the first of those stages, the stage lines the second, and the railroads the third. The fourth may be called the new era of water transportation. This era is as yet only dawning, but it is obvious that the opening of the Columbia and Snake rivers to traffic by means of canals and locks and improvement of channels will create a new development of production and commerce. As far back as 1872 Senator Mitchell of Oregon brought before Congress the subject of canal and locks at the Cascades. The matter was urged in Congress and in the press, and as a result of ceaseless efforts the people of the Northwest were rewarded in 1896 with the completion of the canal at the Cascades. While that was indeed a great work, it did not, after all, affect the greater part of the Inland Empire.

Its benefits were felt only as far as The Dalles. The much greater obstructions between that city and the upper river forbade continuous traffic above The Dalles. Hence the next great endeavor was to secure a canal between navigable water at Big Eddy, four miles above The Dalles, and Celilo, eight and a half miles above Big Eddy. It is of great historic interest to call up in this connection the unceasing efforts of Dr. N. G. Blalock of Walla Walla to promote public interest in this vast undertaking and to so focalize that interest backed by insistent demands of the people upon Congress as to secure appropriations and to direct the speedy accomplishment of the engineering work necessary to the result. Like all such important public matters, this had its alternating advances and retreats, its encouragements and its reverses, but patience and perseverance and the strong force of genuine public benefit triumphed at last over all obstacles. It is indeed melancholy to remember that Doctor Blalock, of whose good deeds and public benefactions this was but one, passed on before the improvements were completed. But it is a satisfaction to remember, too, that before his death, in April, 1913, he knew that the appropriations and instructions necessary to insure the work had been made. In fact, the work continued from that time with no pause or loss.

The Celilo Canal was completed and thrown open to navigation in April, 1915. In the early part of May the entire river region joined in a week's demonstration which began at Lewiston, Idaho, and ended at Astoria, Oregon.[171] Nearly all the senators, representatives and governors in the northwest attended. Schools and colleges had a holiday, business was largely suspended, and the entire river region joined a great jubilee. A fleet of steamers traversed the entire course from Lewiston down, 500 miles. Lewiston, Asotin, and Clarkston were hostesses on May 3; Pasco, Kenewick, Wallula and Umatilla on May 4; Celilo, where the formal ceremonies of dedication occurred, and The Dalles, May 5; Vancouver and Portland May 6; Kalama and Kelso May 7; and Astoria May 8, and there the pageant ended with a great excursion to the Ocean Beach.

As expressing better in the judgment of the author than he could otherwise do, the profound significance of that great step in the history of the commercial development of this section and as giving a view of the historic sequences of old Walla Walla County, he is venturing to incorporate here an address delivered by himself on May 4 at Wallula in connection with that celebration:

Officials and Representatives of the National and State Governments, and Fellow Citizens of the Northwest:

It is my honor to welcome you to this historic spot in the name of the people of the Walla Walla Valley; the valley of many waters, the location of the first American home west of the Rocky Mountains and the mother of all the communities of the Inland Empire. On the spot where we stand the past, the present and the future join hands. Here passed unknown generations of aborigines on the way from the Walla Walla Valley to ascend or descend the Great River, to pass in to the Yakima country, or to move in either direction to the berry patches or hunting grounds of the great mountains; here the exploring expedition of Lewis and Clark paused to view the vast expanse of prairie before committing themselves to what they supposed to be the lower river; here flotillas of trappers made their rendezvous for scattering into their trapping fields and for making up their bateau loads of furs for sending down the river. On this very spot was built the old Hudson's Bay fort, first known as Nez Percé, then as Walla Walla; here immigrants of '43 gathered to build their rude boats on which a part of them cast themselves loose upon the impetuous current of the Columbia, while others re-equipped their wagon trains to drive along the banks to The Dalles. Each age that followed, the mining period, the cowboy period, the farming period, entered or left the Walla Walla Valley at this very point. Here the first steamboats blew their jubilant blasts to echo from these basaltic ramparts, and here the toot of the first railway in the Inland Empire started the coyotes and jackrabbits from their coverts of sagebrush. Wheresoever we turn history sits enthroned. Every piece of rock from yonder cliffs to the pebbles on the beach, fairly quivers with the breath of the past, and even the sagebrush moved by the gentle Wallula zephyr, exhales the fragrance of the dead leaves of history.

But if the past is in evidence here, much more the present stalks triumphant. Look at the cities by which this series of celebrations will be marshalled and the welcome that will be given to the flotilla of steamers all the way from Lewiston to Astoria. Consider the population of the lands upon the river and its affluents, nearly a million people, where during the days of old Fort Walla Walla the only white people were the officers and trappers of the Hudson's Bay Company.

But if the present reigns here proudly triumphant over the past, what must we say of the future? How does that future tower! Where now are the hundreds,[172] there will be thousands. Where now are the villages, will be stately cities. We would not for a moment speak disrespectfully of the splendid steamers that will compose this fleet by the time it reaches Portland; but we may expect that after all they will be a mere bunch of scows in comparison with the floating palaces that will move in the future up and down the majestic stream.

Therefore, fellow citizens of the Northwest and representatives of the National Government, I bid you a threefold welcome in the name of the past, present and future. And I welcome you also in the name of the commingling of waters now passing by us. While this is indeed Washington land on either side of the river, this is not Washington's river. This shore on which we stand is washed by the turbid water of Snake River, rising in Wyoming and flowing hundreds of miles through Idaho and then forming the boundary between Idaho and Oregon before it surrenders itself to the State of Washington. And, as many of you have seen, half way across this flood of waters we pass from the turbid coloring of the Snake to the clear blue of the great northern branch, issuing from the glaciers of the Selkirks and the Canadian Rockies nearly a thousand miles away, augmented by the torrents of the Kootenai, the Pend Oreille, the Coeur d'Alene and Spokane, draining the lakes, the snow banks, the valleys and the mountains of Montana and Idaho. And two or three miles below us this edge of river touches the soil of Oregon, to follow it henceforth to the Pacific. This is surely a joint ownership proposition. And, moreover, this very occasion which draws us together, this great event of the opening of the Celilo Canal, is made possible because Uncle Sam devoted five millions of dollars to blasting a channel through those rocky barriers down there on the river bank. It is a national, not simply a Northwest affair.

But while we are thus welcoming and celebrating and felicitating and anticipating we may well ask ourselves what is, after all, the large and permanent significance of this event. I find two special meanings in it: one commercial and industrial, the other patriotic and political. First, it is the establishment of water transportation and water power in the Columbia Basin on a scale never before known. Do we yet comprehend what this may mean to us and our descendants in this vast and productive land? It has been proved over and over again in both Europe and the United States that the cost of freightage by water is but a fraction, a fifth, a tenth, or sometimes even a fifteenth of that by land—but, note this is under certain conditions. What are those conditions? They are that the waterways be deep enough for a large boat and long enough for continuous long runs. The average freight rate by rail in the United States is 7.32 mills per ton mile. By the Great Lakes or the Mississippi River it is but one-tenth as much. Freight has in fact been transported from Pittsburgh to New Orleans for half a mill a ton a mile, or only a fifteenth. Hitherto, on account of the break in continuity in the Columbia at Celilo, we have not been able to realize the benefits of waterway transportation. The great event which we are now celebrating confers upon us at one stroke those benefits. Not only are the possibilities of transportation tremendous upon our river, but parallel with them run the possibilities of water power. It has been estimated that a fourth of all the water power of the United States is found upon the Columbia and its tributaries. By one stroke the canalization of rivers creates the potentialities of navigation, irrigation and mechanical power to a degree beyond computation. Our next great step must be[173] the canalization of Snake River, and that process at another great stroke will open the river to continuous navigation from a point a hundred miles above Lewiston to the ocean, over five hundred miles away. Then in logical sequence will follow the opening of the Columbia to the British line, and the Canadian Government stands ready to complete that work above the boundary until we may anticipate a thousand miles of unbroken navigation down our "Achilles of rivers" to the Pacific. Until this great work at Celilo was accomplished we could not feel confidence that the ultimate end of continuous navigation was in sight. Now we feel that it is assured, the most necessary stage is accomplished. It is only a question of time now till the river will be completely opened from Windemere to the ocean. We welcome you, therefore, again on this occasion in the name of an assured accomplishment.

The second phase of this great accomplishment which especially appeals to me now is the character of nationality which belongs to it. While this is a work that peculiarly interests us of the Northwestern States, yet it has been performed by the National Government. Uncle Sam is the owner of the Celilo Canal. It belongs to the American people. Each of us owns about a ninety millionth of it and has the same right to use it that every other has. This suggests the unity, the interstate sympathy and interdependence, which is one of the great growing facts of our American system. In this time of crime and insanity in Europe, due primarily to the mutual petty jealousies of races and boundaries, it is consolation to see vision and rationality enough in our own country to disregard petty lines and join in enterprises which encourage us in the hope of a rational future for humanity. It is a lesson in the get-together spirit. Every farm, every community, every town, every city from the top of the Rocky Mountains and from the northern boundary to Astoria shakes hands with every other this day. And not only so but every state in the Union joins in the glad tribute to something of common national interest. But while we recognize the significance of this event in connection with interstate unity we must note also that the Columbia is an international river. It is, in fact, the only river of large size which we possess in common with our sister country, Canada. About half of it is in each country. Its navigability through the Canadian section has already been taken up energetically by the Canadian Government. Think of the unique and splendid scenic route that will sometime be offered when great steamboats go from Revelstoke to Astoria, a thousand miles. Scenically and commercially our river will be in a class by itself.

Such are some of the glowing visions which rise before our eyes in the welcome with which we of the Walla Walla Valley greet you. I began by a threefold welcome in the name of the past, present and future. I venture to close in the name of the native sons and daughters of Old Oregon. There are many of these within the sound of my voice. Perhaps to such sons and daughters a few lines of "Our Mother Oregon" may come with the touch of sacred memory. Let me explain that Old Oregon includes Washington and Idaho, and in composing these lines I used the name "Our Mother Oregon" to include our entire Northwest:

Where is the land of rivers and fountains,
Of deep-shadowed valleys and sky-scaling mountains?

[174]'Tis Oregon, our Oregon.
Where is the home of the apple and rose,
Where the wild currant blooms and the hazel-nut grows?

'Tis Oregon, bright Oregon.
Where are the crags whence the glaciers flow,
And the forests of fir where the south winds blow?

In Oregon, grand Oregon.
Where sleep the old heroes who liberty sought,
And where live their free sons whom they liberty taught?

In Oregon, free Oregon.
What is the lure of this far western land,
When she beckons to all with her welcoming hand?

It is the hand of Oregon.
Oh, Oregon, blest Oregon,
Dear Mother of the heart;
At touch of thee all troubles flee
And tears of gladness start.
Take thou thy children to thy breast,
True keeper of our ways,
And let thy starry eyes still shine
On all our coming days,

Our Mother Oregon.


In closing this chapter we may express the conviction that while this fourth era of transportation—a new period of steamboat traffic—is surely coming, though yet but in its dawn, there is now taking shape still a fifth era of transportation. This is to be nothing less than an era of good roads and transportation by auto trucks as feeders to steamboat lines. The most conspicuous fact at the time of publication of this work in this section as in the country at large is the movement in the direction of good roads as the logical sequence of the development of automobiles. This movement will inevitably become coupled with that of improvement of rivers as of cheap water transportation. With this improvement of rivers will be another sequence, that is, the creation of cheap electric power.

We are at the dawn of a day in which the two most vital needs of mankind, after production, that is, transportation and power, are to be provided at a low degree of cost not hitherto conceived of. As a backward glance in our own section it is well nigh incredible to call up that the cost of transporting a ton of freight by steamer with portages at certain points from Portland to Wallula has run from $10.00 to $60.00, and from Wallula to Walla Walla, by wagon, from $8.00 to $20.00 or $30.00, and by the first railroad from $4.00 to $5.50, while at the present time the railroad rate (which we think is high) on wheat from Walla Walla to Portland is $2.85 per ton, and only $1.65 by steamer from Wallula to Portland. Our imaginations are strained almost to the breaking point when we recall that experience on improved rivers in Europe and the older America shows that by continuous improved rivers, supplemented by good roads, it may cost not to exceed a dollar, possibly not more than half a dollar from Walla Walla to Portland. That new era is near at hand.





We have given in the first chapter of this volume a view of the physical features, geological formation, and climate of this region. It was obvious from that description that the Walla Walla country, like most of Eastern Washington, Northeastern Oregon, and even Northwestern Idaho, would be thought of at first inspection as a stock country. The army of early immigrants that passed through on their way to the Willamette Valley saw the upper country only at the end of the long, hot, dry summers, when everything was parched and wilted. It did not seem to them that any part would be adapted to agriculture except the small creek bottoms. They could, however, see in the oceans of bunch grass, withered though it was by drought, ample indications that stock to almost limitless extent could find subsistence.

Hence with the opening of the country in 1859 the first thought of incoming settlers was to find locations along the creeks where a few acres for garden and home purposes might be found, and then a wide expanse of grazing land adjoining where the real business might be conducted. The first locations from 1859 and until about 1870 denote the dominance of that idea. We have already noted the beginnings of stock raising during the Hudson's Bay Company regime and the period of the Whitman mission. We have seen that Messrs. Brooke, Bumford and Noble started the same industry at Waiilatpu in 1851 and later on the Touchet and maintained it until expelled by Indians in 1855. H. M. Chase laid the foundations of the same on the Umatilla in 1851 in conjunction with W. C. McKay, and later upon the Touchet near where Dayton is now located. J. C. Smith on Dry Creek in 1857 had the same plans.

The incoming of settlers in 1859 and 1860 and the location of the Fort induced a mercantile class to gather in the vicinity of that market. When gold discoveries set every one agog with excitement, the first effect was to create a line of business almost entirely adapted to supply miners' needs. The second effect speedily following was to lead thoughtful men to consider the region as a suitable location for producing first hand the objects of demand. Stock was foremost among those demands. The Indians already had immense droves of "cayuse" horses, and considerable herds of cattle. Many cattle were driven in in 1861. The hard winter of 1861-2 caused severe loss to cattle raisers, but so well were the losses repaired that it was reported in 1863 that there were in the valley, including the Touchet region, 1,455 horses, 438 mules, 1,864 sheep, 3,957 cattle, and 712 hogs. According to the Statesman 15,000 pounds of wool were shipped out in that year. Sheep increased with extraordinary[176] rapidity. The valley became a winter feeding ground and the sheep were driven in from the entire Inland Empire. The Statesman asserts that in the winter of 1855-6 there were 200,000 head in the valley. They were worth at that time only a dollar a head. From that time on the stock business in its various branches became more definitely organized and shipments to the East and to California went on apace. It was not, however, for some years that the importation of blooded stock for scientific betterment was carried on to any considerable degree. It would be impossible within our limits to give any complete view of the leading promoters in the different lines. Practically every settler in the country had some stock. Those who may be said to have been leaders during the decade of the '60s in introducing stock into the various pivotal points of the old county may be grouped under some half dozen territories, which have later become the centers of farming sections and in several instances the sites of the existing towns.

This list cannot in the nature of the case be exhaustive, for, as already noted, every settler had more or less stock. In naming some rather than others, we would not wish to be making any invidious comparisons, but rather selecting a few in each pivotal place, who came in earliest and had the greatest continuity of residence and the most constructive connection with the business. Naturally first in order may be named the vicinity of Walla Walla City as it has become, and the region adjoining it on the south into Oregon.

Perhaps typical of the larger stockmen of the earliest period were Jesse Drumheller and Daniel M. Drumheller. The former of the brothers came first to Walla Walla from The Dalles with the United States troops in the War of 1855-6, as manager of transportation. When the wars were ended he settled on the place now owned by Charles Whitney. Subsequently he made his home for many years on the place west of town known to all inhabitants of the region. The younger brother came to the region in 1861 and located at what is still known as Hudson's Bay, and from that time on the two were among the foremost in driving stock in from the Willamette Valley and in extending their ranges in all directions. Like so many others they were wiped out in the hard winter of 1861-2, but nothing daunted, recognizing the superior adaptability of the region they renewed their drives and within a few years had stock, at first horses and cattle and then sheep, ranging from Couse Creek in Umatilla County to the Snake River. One of their greatest ranges was just north of the present Freewater and westward to the present Umapine and Hudson's Bay. Besides the Drumhellers some of the most prominent stockmen in that region ranging along the state line were John Bigham, W. S. Goodman, the Fruits, Girards, Shumways, Ingalls, and Fords. Nineveh Ford was one of the most noted of early Oregon pioneers and coming in that early day into the upper country became one of the permanent builders of Umatilla County. The Berry and Cummings families were a little farther north. Among the leaders in introducing a high grade of horses and cattle and later on in farming on a large scale, as well as connected with every public interest of importance, were the Resers, of whom the second and third generations are present-day leaders in all phases of the life of their communities. Their places were in the fertile foothill belt southeast of Walla Walla. In the same general section were many others whose main dependence at first was cattle, but who entered into the raising of grain[177] earlier than those in other sections, by reason of the manifest advantages in soil and rainfall. Among such may be named Daniel Stewart, Christian Meier, Stephen Maxson, Thomas McCoy, S. W. Swezea, Orley Hull, Philip Yenney, Brewster Ferrel, James M. Dewar, the McGuires, Sheltons, Copelands, Barnetts, and Fergusons. Two of the prominent business men living in town might be mentioned as interested in stock raising and doing much to promote it, Dr. D. S. Baker and John Green. Among the most prominent pioneers in the section on Mill Creek, who afterwards were leaders in grain raising, but like all others turned their first attention to stock, were Robert Kennedy, W. S. Gilliam, James Cornwell, J. M. Lamb, Joseph Harbert, E. G. Riffle, W. J. Cantonwine, David Wooten, Thomas Gilkerson, J. Kibler and a little later several leading families, those of Evans, Thomas, Kershaw, Lyons, and Aldrich.

Another great section of the cattle ranges was on Dry Creek and northward over the hills to and beyond the Touchet. Among the earliest settlers in that region whose first business was stock raising, but who afterward became pioneers a second time by entering into grain raising were Jonathan Pettyjohn, W. W. Walter, John Marion, J. C. Smith, S. H. Erwin, A. A. Blanchard and the Lamars. At a somewhat later date, but among the most important of all the cattle men of the valley, now known and honored by all in his advanced age, is Francis Lowden, whose ranges were in the middle and lower valley, and whose son, Francis, Jr., has become one of the leading meat market men in the Inland Empire. Mr. Lowden imported the first high-grade cattle, Shorthorns, and that was in 1864. Another growing center, at first for stock, then for farming, then for fruit, and finally for towns, was the upper Touchet, of which Waitsburg, Dayton, and Huntsville have become centers. As we have stated earlier, some of the first locations were made on the Touchet. The first settler at the junction of the Touchet and Coppei was Robert Kennedy in 1859, but the next year he moved to his permanent place near Walla Walla. During 1859 and the few years following there were located, at first engaged in cattle raising, but soon to branch out into farming, A. T. Lloyd, J. C. Lloyd, A. G. Lloyd, G. W. Loundagin, George Pollard, James Woodruff, Isaac Levens, Joseph Starr, Luke Henshaw, Martin Hober, Jefferson Paine, Philip Cox, W. P. Bruce and Dennis Willard.

Farther up the Touchet, going on to the Patit and beyond in the vicinity of the present Dayton, Henri M. Chase and P. M. La Fontain had located before the great Indian wars, as already related. In the second stage of settlement, beginning in 1859, F. D. Schneble and Richard Learn upon the present location of Dayton, and near by Elisha Ping, J. C. Wells, Thomas and Israel Davis, S. L. Gilbreath (Mrs. Gilbreath was the first white woman to live in Columbia County), Jesse N. Day, Joseph Ruark, Joseph Boise, G. W. Miller, John and James Fudge, and John and Garrett Long, may be regarded as most distinctively the pioneers in the stock business, proceeding on within a few years to the usual evolution into farming and other branches of growing communities.

The region of what is now Garfield and Asotin counties had an early history similar to that of the Walla Walla, Mill Creek, Touchet, Coppei, and Patit regions, though not so complete. Settlers entered during that same stage of the '60s and sought stations on the creeks from which desirable cattle ranges extended. One of the earliest of all settlers of the old Walla Walla County was Louis Raboin at the point on the Tucanon now known as Marengo. Raboin might justly[178] be called a pioneer of the pioneers, not only in stock raising, but in everything. Governor I. I. Stevens, in his report of railroad explorations, mentions him as located with his Indian wife and six children on the Tucanon, and the possessor of fifty horses and many cattle, and as having four acres of land in which potatoes and wheat were growing. The governor calls him Louis "Moragne'." According to Gilbert that name, from which Marengo was derived, had a curious origin. It seems that Raboin had been, like almost all the early French settlers of the Inland Empire, engaged in the trapping business. He was of a lively, active disposition and known by his comrades as "Maringouin" (mosquito). This cognomen became corrupted by the English-speaking people and finally became "Marengo."

Incoming settlers, seeking water courses for homes and bunch-grass hills and prairies for stock ranges after the usual fashion, were not long in discovering the best locations on the Pataha, Tucanon, Alpowa, and Asotin, and small spring branches, and cabins and cattle began to diversify that broad expanse through which Lewis and Clark had wandered in 1806, and with which Bonneville and other fur hunters of the '30s were delighted.

It was fully equal to the Touchet, Walla Walla, and Umatilla, with their tributaries toward the west. The advance guard upon the Pataha and the vicinity where Pomeroy now stands were Thomas Riley, James Rafferty, James Bowers, Parson Quinn, J. M. Pomeroy, from whom the town was named, Daniel McGreevy, and the brothers James and Walter Rigsby, Joseph S. Milan, Henry Owsley, Charles Ward, and Newton Estes.

Among the streams on which early settlements were made was the Alpowa, the pleasant sounding name of which signified in Nez Percé "Spring Creek." H. M. Spalding, the missionary, made a station there among the natives of the band of Red Wolf and in 1837 or 1838 planted apple seeds from which some trees still exist. Timothy, famous in the Steptoe campaign, in which he saved the command from destruction and was afterwards rewarded after the usual fashion of the white race in dealing with Indians by being deprived of a country, was located on the Alpowa. His daughter was the wife of John Silcott of Lewiston, one of the most noted of early settlers.

Asotin Creek, with its tributaries, at the eastern limit of the region of which this history treats, is another section with a distinctive life of its own. It is one of the most beautiful and productive sections of this entire area, but being a little to one side of the sweep of travel and settlement, having no railroads to this day, was later of settlement than the other sections. Jerry McGuire is named as the first permanent settler on the Asotin, though there were several transients whom we will name later.

We will emphasize again that we are not trying here to name all the settlers of these sections, but rather those who from continuity of residence and subsequent connections become most illustrative of that first stage of settlement.

Jonathan Pettijohn is the man shown in the picture.


A great impetus was given to the systematic development of the various branches of the stock business by the entrance of certain firms of dealers during the decade of the '70s. In Colonel Gilbert's history of Walla Walla and other counties he presents valuable data secured from the foremost of these dealers, as also one of the foremost of all the citizens of Walla Walla, William K. Kirkman. After having been engaged in Idaho and California in the cattle business, in the course of which time he operated more or less in and out of Walla Walla, Mr. Kirkman took up his permanent residence here in 1871. He formed a partnership with John Dooley and from that time until the lamented death of the two members of the firm they were one of the great forces in the organization of the industry of marketing both livestock and dressed meat. From the valuable data secured by Colonel Gilbert from Mr. Kirkman and from Mr. M. Ryan, Jr., another prominent dealer, we gather the estimate of 259,500 cattle driven out of the Inland Empire during the period from 1875 to 1880. Prices were variable, ranging from $9 to $25 per head, usually $10. W. H. Kirkman, son of W. K., relates this interesting incident. He was, as a boy, riding with his father on the range, when they encountered a number of extra fine fat cattle, and the father, looking over them with delight said, "Look there, my boy, every one of them is a $20 gold piece!" It might be added that those same cattle now would be worth $100 apiece. It is surprising to see from the exhibit given in the figures the large number of dealers operating in the country at that time. There were no less than forty-five firms or individuals engaged in shipping, mainly to Eastern markets, though a considerable amount went to California, Portland, or Puget Sound.

It is of interest to see the enumeration by the assessor of the quantity of stock given at two different dates following 1863, for which the figures have already been given. In 1870 the assessment rolls show the following: Horses, 5,787; mules, 1,727; cattle, 14,114; sheep, 8,767; hogs, 5,067. In 1875 a great change occurred of which we shall speak at length, that is the division of the county, by which Walla Walla County was reduced to its present limits. We may, therefore, take that year as the proper one for final figures on the old county. The year 1875, according to the assessor, had the following livestock population: Horses, 8,862; mules, 401; cattle, 17,756 (there were 22,960 the previous year); sheep, 32,986; hogs, 8,150.

We find various local items strewn through the files of the Statesman dealing with stock which are worthy of preservation. In issue of January 10, 1862, mention is made of a steer handled by Lazarus and brother, which weighed, dressed, 1,700 pounds.

A few weeks later it is stated that a cow and calf were sold for $100. That will be remembered as the winter of the extreme cold weather. There are numerous items speaking of suffering and loss of stock. It was well nigh exterminated in some quarters. But it did not take long to change appearances, at least in the cattle that lived through the winter, for an item in the number of June 14 speaks of the fattest cattle and best beef that the editor had ever seen, and of the fact that large herds of cattle were going to the mining regions of Salmon River and South Fork. It is estimated in the issue of October 25, 1862, that 40,000 head of cattle had been brought into the East-of-the-mountain country during the year.


It appears that during the summer of 1862 a race track was laid out by Mr. Porter at a point on the Wallula Road three miles west of town, known as the Pioneer Race Course. A race is reported in the Statesman of September 27, in which a roan mare won a purse of $100 from a cream horse. That perhaps may be considered the beginning of the Walla Walla Fair.


The sheep business seems to have moved on apace during those early years, for in the paper of May 23, 1803, we learn that A. Frank & Co. had just shipped 10,000 pounds of wool to Portland, and expected to ship 7,000 more in a short time. Among the most prominent sheep men whose operations have covered a field in many directions from Walla Walla is Nathaniel Webb, one of the honored pioneers. In recent times, operating especially in the Snake River region, leading sheep raisers have been Davin Brothers, Adrian Magallon, and Leon Jaussaud, all Frenchmen.


From stock we turn to farming as the next great fundamental industry to take shape. We have already noted the fact that there was little comprehension of the great upland region, rolling prairies and swelling hills, as adapted to raising grain. Yet we know that Doctor Whitman had demonstrated the practicability of producing all standard crops during the ten years of his residence at Waiilatpu. Joseph Drayton of the Wilkes Expedition speaks with surprise of his observations there in 1841, seeing "wheat in the field seven feet high and nearly ripe, and corn nine feet in the tassel." He also saw vegetables and melons in great variety. The Hudson's Bay people had fine gardens near Wallula, at the time of the arrival of the Whitmans in 1836, and later on at the Touchet and on Hudson's Bay, as it is now known, southeast of Walla Walla. They had abundant provision also for dairy and poultry purposes.

Hence farming and gardening and fruit raising had been abundantly tested in the more favorably situated locations long prior to the founding of Walla Walla. With the establishment of the Fort at its present location, Capt. W. R. Kirkwood laid out a garden, the success of which showed the utility of that location. The next year Charles Russell, then the wagon master at the fort, tested the land north of the post, afterwards owned by Mr. Drumheller, with eighty acres of barley, securing a yield of fifty bushels to the acre. He raised 100 acres of oats on the place which he afterwards took up on Russell Creek. The location must have been on the land now owned by O. M. Richmond, and there is remarkable evidence of the productiveness of that land in that it has produced nearly every year to the present. It is worth relating that after Mr. Russell had sowed the oats the Indians were so threatening that he abandoned the place, and cattle ate the growing grain so closely that there seemed no hope of a crop. But in June, the Indians having withdrawn, Mr. Russell went out and fenced the field, the oats sprung up anew and yielded fifty bushels to the acre. In the same year of 1858, Walter Davis seeded 150 acres to oats at a place on Dry Creek. The Indians warned him to leave, but a squad of soldiers went out and cut the oats for hay. In 1860 Stephen Maxson raised a fine crop of wheat on the place on Russell Creek still owned by his descendants.

Perhaps the operations of Messrs. Russell, Davis, and Maxson may be considered the initiation of the grain production in the Inland Empire. Probably there would have been but a slow development had not the discovery of gold stimulated the demand for all sorts of agricultural products.

In 1863 a few experiments on the higher land began. Milton Evans has told the author that in that year he tried a small piece of wheat a few miles northeast[181] of Walla Walla, but that it was a complete failure, and hence the impression already common was confirmed that the upland was useless, except for grazing. In 1867, however, John Montague raised a crop of oats, over fifty bushels to the acre, on land apparently afterwards part of the Delaney place northeast of town. Even that was not generally accepted as any proof of the use of the uplands. Some of the old-timers have said to the author that they seemed determined that grain should not grow on those lands.

But with the rapid influx of settlers and the flattering returns from the trade in provisions with the mines, the more desirable places in the foothill belt, and then on the benches and plains and then on the hills, were taken up, and by 1875 it was generally understood that a great wheat belt extended along the flanks of the Blue Mountains all the way from Pendleton to Lewiston, with a somewhat variable width upon the plains. Not until another decade was it understood that the grain belt covered the major part of what now composes the four counties of our story.

We find in the valuable history of Colonel Gilbert, to which we have made frequent reference, so good a summary of certain essential data in respect to the development to date of publication in 1882 of that great fundamental business of wheat raising, in which are included also certain allied data of importance, that we insert it at this point in our narrative.

"An agricultural society was organized in July of this year, 1866, by an assemblage of citizens at the courthouse, on the 9th of that month, when laws and regulations were adopted, and the following officers chosen: H. P. Isaacs, president; A. Cox and W. H. Newell, vice presidents; J. D. Cook, treasurer; E. E. Rees, secretary; and Charles Russell, T. G. Lee, A. A. Blanchard, executive committee. For the fair to be held on the 4th, 5th and 6th of the ensuing October, the last three gentlemen became managers and the following executive committee: H. P. Isaacs, J. D. Cook, J. H. Blewett and W. H. Newell.

In 1867 the grain yield of the Blue Mountain region exceeded the demand, and prices that had been falling for several years left that crop a drug. It was sought to prevent an entire stagnation of agricultural industries, by shipping the surplus down the Columbia River to the seaboard. Freights on flour at that time were: From Wallula per ton to Lewiston, $15; to The Dalles, $6; to Portland, $6; and the following amounts were shipped:

To Portland, between May 27 and June 13, 4,156 barrels; to The Dalles, between April 19 and June 2, 578 barrels; to Lewiston, between April 18 and May 14, 577 barrels; total to June 13 by O. S. N. Company, 5,311 barrels.

The same year Frank & Wertheimer shipped from Walla Walla 15,000 bushels of wheat down the Columbia, thus starting the great outflow of bread products from the interior.

In 1868 Philip Ritz shipped fifty barrels of flour from the Phoenix mills in Walla Walla to New York, with the following result: (It was the first of Washington Territory products seen in the East.)

First cost of flour, $187.50; sacks for same, $27.00; transportation to San Francisco, $100.00; freight thence to New York, $107.80; total cost in gold, $422.30; profit realized on the transaction, $77.46, or $1.55 per barrel.

Wheat had fallen to 40 cents per bushel in Walla Walla because of the following scale of expenses of shipping to San Francisco:


Freight per ton to Wallula, $6.00; thence to Portland, $6.00; thence to San Francisco, $7.00; drayage, $1.50; commission, $2.00, $3.50; primage and leakage, $1.00; bagging, $4.50, $5.50; total expense to San Francisco, $28.00.

In 1869 there was a short crop, due to the drought and want of encouragement for farmers to raise grain. June 14, a storm occurred of tropical fierceness, during which a waterspout burst in the mountains, and sent a flood down Cottonwood Cañon that washed away houses in the valley. In consequence of the short crop, wheat rose to 80 cents per bushel in Walla Walla, and flour to $5.50 per barrel. In November hay brought $17 per ton, oats and barley 2 cents per pound, and butter 37½ cents.

Having traced agricultural development from its start and through its years of encouragement, till quantity exceeding the home demand had rendered it a profitless industry in 1868 and 1869, let us glance at the causes leading to a revival of inducements for tilling the soil in the Walla Walla country. It should be borne in mind that the farmers in the valley and along creeks nearer the mines than this locality, were supplying the principal mountain demand, and the only hope left was to send produce to tide water and thus to the world's market. What it cost to do this had been tried with practical failure as a result. This shipping to the seaboard was an experimental enterprise, and there was not sufficient assurance of its paying to justify farmers in producing quantities for that purpose, consequently not freight enough of this kind to warrant the Oregon Steam Navigation Company in putting extra steamers or facilities on the river to encourage it. The outlook was, therefore, gloomy. This was a state of things which caused an agitation of the railway question, resulting in the construction of what is more familiarly known as Baker's Railroad, connecting Walla Walla with navigable waters. The building of this road encouraged the farmers to raise a surplus, it encouraged the Oregon Steam Navigation Company to increase the facilities for grain shipment, it caused a reduction of freight tariffs all along the line and made it possible for a farmer to cultivate the soil at a profit. Something of an idea of the result may be gathered from an inspection of the following exhibit of increase from year to year, of freights shipped on Baker's Road to Wallula en route for Portland. Between 1870 and 1874, down freights shipped yearly at Wallula did not exceed 2,500 tons. In 1874 Baker's Road had been completed to the Touchet, and carried freight from that point to Wallula at $1.50 per ton. In 1875 it was completed to Frenchtown and charged $2.50. Walla Walla rates averaged $4.50.

Freight tonnage from Touchet in 1874 to Wallula aggregated 4,021 tons; in back freight, 1,126 tons; from Frenchtown in 1875 to Wallula, 9,155 tons; back freight, 2,192 tons; from Walla Walla in 1876 to Wallula, 15,266; back freight, 4,043; from Walla Walla in 1877 to Wallula, 28,806 tons; back freight, 8,368 tons; from Walla Walla in 1878 to Wallula, 35,014 tons; back freight, 10,454." Such are Colonel Gilbert's statements.

The estimated wheat production in the entire upper country in 1866 was half a million bushels, of which half was credited to the Walla Walla Valley. From that time on to the present there has been a steady development of wheat raising throughout the region south of Snake River, as well as north and throughout the Inland Empire.

Thirty-two horses. Combined harvesting and threshing. Ground too hilly for tractors.


In the decade of the '70s there came to Walla Walla a man destined to leave upon the entire region the impress of one of the most remarkable characters in far vision, noble aims, and philanthropic disposition that ever lived within the State of Washington. We refer to Dr. N. G. Blalock. Eminent in his profession, his ceaseless industry and progressive aims did more perhaps than any other single life to broaden and advance all phases of the section in which he lived and wrought. He was the pioneer in wheat raising on large scale, as well as in many other lines of activity and experiment. Making, though not retaining, several fortunes, his life work was to mark out the way for others less venturesome, to follow to success not alone in the acquirement of wealth, but in the nobler and more enduring products of education, philanthropy, patriotism, public service, and genuine piety. Coming to Walla Walla in 1872 and entering at once upon an extensive medical practice, Doctor Blalock had a vision of the future as well as the capacity to utilize at once the varied opportunities offered by the soil, the climate, and the location. He saw the splendid wild acres of land by the thousands lying in all directions and determined to make a thorough test of its adaptability to raise wheat on a large scale. He made a bargain for a tract of 2,200 acres six miles south of Walla Walla for a price of ten bushels of wheat per acre, to be paid from the first crop. The expense of breaking so large a body of land was great, but the first crop yielded thirty-one bushels per acre, a sufficient demonstration of the capacity of the land.

In 1881 the crop on the tract averaged thirty-five and one-fourth bushels, while 1,000 acres of it yielded 51,000 bushels. The acreage and the yield, very carefully ascertained, was reported to the Government and stood then, and probably does yet, as the largest yield from that amount of land ever reported. Even more remarkable yields, but on smaller areas, have been known. Milton Aldrich produced on his Dry Creek ranch, on 400 acres, an average of sixty-six bushels of wheat and the next year there was a volunteer crop of forty bushels. Recently in the same vicinity Arthur Cornwell obtained an average of seventy-three bushels per acre. A hundred and ten bushels of barley per acre have been grown on the Gilkerson ranch on Mill Creek.

An item of historic interest may be found in an estimate of cost made for a special number of the Union during the first years of the industry by Joseph Harbert, one of the most prominent pioneers and successful farmers in the valley. The crop was on 400 acres, which yielded 10,000 bushels of blue-stem wheat. At fifty cents per bushel for the crop, this will be seen to represent a profit of about two thousand three hundred dollars from land worth $12,000, or nearly twenty per cent. from which, however, should come wages of management.

The land was summer fallowed in 1894 and valued at thirty dollars per acre. The estimate is in a locality where water and material to work with are reasonably convenient. The land is not very hilly and comparatively easy to work. The report is as follows:

Itemized Expenses Crop Mos.
In. Pd.
Inst. Total
Planting, 90c per acre $ 360.00 20 $ 60.00 $ 420.00
Harrowing, 11c per acre 44.00 . . 7.83 51.83
Plowing, second time, June, 1894 360.00 18 54.00 414.00
Harrowing before sowing 44.00 16 5.87 49.87
500 bu. seed wheat, highest market price 250.00 . . . . . . 250.00
[184]Cleaning seed wheat 9.00 15 1.12 10.12
125 lbs. vitriol at 6c 7.50 . . .94 8.44
Using vitriol on wheat 8.00 . . 1.00 9.00
Sowing, October, 1894, 15c per acre 60.00 14 7.00 67.00
Harrowing after sowing, 11c 44.00 . . 5.14 49.14
Cutting, $1.00 per acre 400.00 4 13.33 413.33
4,400 sacks, $49.00 per M 215.60 . . 7.18 222.78
Thirty pounds of twine, 33⅓c 10.00 . . .33 10.33
Threshing 10,000 bushels, 4½c 450.00 . . 15.00 465.00
Hauling to railroad, 2½c per sack 110.00 . . 3.66 113.66
Warehouse charges to Jan. 1, 1896 120.00 . . . . . . 120.00
  ——— ——— ———
Total cost $2,492.10 . . $182.40 $2,674.50

It may be added that estimates of cost by a number of prominent farmers in the period of 1890 and thereabouts, indicated that the expense of sowing, seeding, harvesting, and putting into the warehouse, ran from twenty-one to forty cents a bushel, varying according to locality, yield, and other conditions.

At a usual price of fifty or sixty cents a bushel, there was not a large margin above the interest on investment, maintenance of stock, machinery, improvements, and taxes. Nevertheless the farmers of this section felt every encouragement to continue, unless it were in the evil harvest year of 1893-4, when the price ran about twenty-five to thirty-five cents a bushel, and when rains, floods, strikes, and general calamity threatened to engulf, and did actually engulf some of the best farms. It is a historical fact that had it not been for the liberality of the banks in the four counties south of Snake River, which held obligations from a large number of the best-known farmers, there would have been widespread disaster. Thanks to the banks, as well as to the persistence and fortitude of the farmers and the solid resources of the country, these counties emerged from those years of depression with less injury and repaired their losses more quickly than any other section of the entire Northwest, or perhaps of the whole country.

It may be added in connection with cost of wheat raising, that within the years since the opening of the present century there has been an enormous outlay by farmers in all kinds of farm machinery, the combines having become the usual means of harvesting, and traction engines for the combines and to some degree for plowing having superseded horse power. But cost of labor and general rise of prices have pushed up expenses, until now the most of farmers would estimate the cost of a bushel of wheat at fifty cents or more, some say even a dollar. As an offset to this there has come a great advance in price, insomuch that the farmers of Walla Walla and its sister counties have become the lords of the land. One of the most pleasing results of this new order of things is that the farmers, being almost entirely free from debt, have begun to build comfortable and even elegant homes, both on the farms and in the cities and to surround themselves with the conveniences of life, as automobiles, and to spend money in travel and luxuries which make some of the old-timers, accustomed to the deprivations of pioneer days, open their eyes with wonder, and possibly even disapproval. It is not observable,[185] however, that the young folks on the farms have any backwardness in utilizing the good things of life which are the logical consummation of the foresight and industry of parents and grandparents. It is probable that no people in the United States have more reliable and steady incomes and greater sources for all the needs and enjoyments of life than do the farmers of old Walla Walla County.

The experience of other sections was similar to that of the region immediately around Walla Walla. The first thought was of stock ranges, with such small patches of farming land adjacent to the creeks as might supply the family needs. It is stated that Elisha Ping and G. W. Miller raised crops of wheat and oats on the present site of Dayton in 1860. For the oats they received seven cents a pound and for the wheat two dollars a bushel. The location of the subsequent Dayton became a regular station on the stage line from Walla Walla to Lewiston, and that fact led J. M. Pomeroy, a little later the founder of the town named for him, to raise a crop of barley for horse feed. That was in 1863. As time passed on, and especially after the founding of flouring mills by S. M. Wait, there came a general movement to raise grain crops on the hills and plains and it was discovered, as a little earlier around Walla Walla, that the entire region was the very home land for grain. Within a few years it was found that barley of especially fine quality and heavy yield was one of the best crops, and Columbia County has become the center of barley production. Almost the entire county, with the exception of the timbered mountain belt, has become a grain field. Within recent years the region around and particularly east of Dayton has become the leading center of corn production.

Garfield and Asotin counties repeated the experience of Walla Walla and Columbia; first stock ranges, then a few acres along the creeks as an experiment, soon the breaking up of the rich sod on the high plains and flats; and within a few years, a perfect ocean of waving grain over the greater part of the area. The first settlers already named in the section of this chapter on stock raising were the pioneers also in the wheat business, as the Rigsby brothers, J. M. Pomeroy, James Bowers, Parson Quinn, and others. Garfield and Asotin counties are in general more elevated than Walla Walla and Columbia, and their frontage on Snake River is more abrupt. This has given rise, first to a margin of ideal fruit and garden land between the river and the bluffs, which in case of Asotin is of considerable breadth, and in case of both of them has raised the question of conveying grain from the high plateaus to the river. In some places this has given rise to contrivances which are a great curiosity to strangers, the "grain-chutes" and "bucket lines," as devices to lower the grain from warehouses on the precipitous bank, sometimes eighteen hundred feet above the steamer landing. There is not yet a railroad on the south bank of Snake River, and water transportation is the only available means of getting the vast quantities of grain from those high prairies near the river to market.

Items appear in the various issues of the Statesman during the first years of its existence in regard to grain raising which possess great historical interest. An editorial appears in the issue of February 1, 1862, urging farmers to go into grain raising extensively and declaring that all the indications point to a demand from the mines for all kinds of farm products.

An advertisement for supplies at the Fort on July 19 calls for 375 tons of[186] oats, 100 tons of oat straw, and 1,200 cords of wood. Mention is also made in the paper of the farm of J. W. Shoemaker a short distance below the garrison, where grain to the value of $3,000, and garden produce to the value of $1,500, was raised.


One of the most important features of industry allied to grain production was flour milling. The first flour mill was erected in 1859 by A. H. Reynolds in partnership with J. A. Sims and Capt. F. T. Dent, the latter being a brother of Mrs. U. S. Grant. It was located on the land then owned by Jesse Drumheller, now part of the Whitney place. In the issue of March 29, 1862, is an advertisement of the Pasca Mills by Sims and Mix, which must have been the same mill built by Mr. Reynolds. In 1862 Mr. Reynolds built another mill, known as the Star Mill, on the Yellowhawk, near the present residence of his son, H. A. Reynolds. This was subsequently acquired by W. H. Gilbert. Mention is made in the Statesman of August 2, 1862, of the flour mill of J. C. Isaacs. Apparently this is a confusion in name of the brothers, as the author is credibly informed that the mill opened at that time was the Excelsior mill built by H. P. Isaacs, subsequently the leading mill man of the Walla Walla country and one of the leaders in all forms of enterprise. The name Excelsior was later replaced by North Pacific. It was located on the mill race, whose remains still cross Division Street and was actively employed until about 1895. There is an advertisement in the Statesman of March 21, 1863, to the effect that Graham flour and corn meal were being turned out at Mr. Reynolds' mill. In the number of March 31, 1865, is the announcement that Kyger and Reese, who were among the most extensive general merchants in Walla Walla, had leased the water power and site of E. H. Barron just below town on Mill Creek and were making ready to install a first-class mill, having three run of four-foot burrs and a capacity of 150 barrels a day. The firm were also establishing a distillery. It would seem that the latter manufactory was in larger demand than the former, for it was completed sooner. The mill, however, began grinding in October of that year. That mill became the property of Andrew McCalley in 1873, and after his death in 1891 was maintained by his sons until the property was lost by fire in 1897. One of the most important mills of the valley was that built by Messrs. Ritz and Schnebly about a quarter of a mile below the McCalley mill, known first as the Agate and then as the Eureka, conducted for some time by W. C. Painter, then sold to Welch and Schwabacher, and in turn disposed of by them in 1880 to Dement Brothers, and managed up to the present time by F. S. Dement. The mill is now known as Dement Brothers' mill and is one of the most extensive in the Inland Empire, making a specialty of choice breakfast cereals and through them as well as its high-grade flour carrying the name of Walla Walla, Wash., around the globe.

The mills on the Touchet speedily followed those on Mill Creek. S. M. Wait, from whom the beautiful little city at the junction of the Touchet and the Coppei took its name, was the pioneer mill man as well as the founder of the town. The Statesman of June 2, 1865, mentions the fact that Mr. Wait's mill was just open and that it was one of the best equipped in the country and produced a grade of flour equal to the best from Oregon. A town soon began to grow at the location of the mill. Mr. Wait sold the mill to Preston Brothers and the stock to Paine Brothers and Moore of Walla Walla. The latter firm acquired an interest in the mill, but subsequently disposed of all their holdings to Preston Brothers, under whom the mill became one of the largest mill properties in the Northwest, being connected with large mills at Athena, Ore., and elsewhere, and under the more recent management of Messrs. Shaffer, Harper, and Leonard, conducting one of the most extensive milling lines in the country.


First rolling mill on the Pacific coast. Erected in 1862. Capacity two hundred and fifty barrels. Many mills were erected before this, but this was the first to introduce rollers instead of the old mill stone.


Mr. Wait inaugurated also the milling business in what is now Columbia County. Going to that region in 1871 where Jesse N. Day, from whom Dayton was named, had been endeavoring since 1864 to launch a town with but scanty success, Mr. Wait proposed to build a mill, provided inducements were offered. Mr. Day accordingly agreed to give five acres of land as a site, with a block of land for residences, and upon that Mr. Wait and William Metzger proceeded to launch the milling business at Dayton. In building that mill, with a brick building for a store and a planing mill, Messrs. Wait and Metzger laid out about $25,000, a large amount for those days. At the same time the Dayton Woolen Mill was undertaken, A. H. Reynolds being chief owner, F. S. Frary the secretary and manager and Mr. Wait the president of the company. The woolen mill had a land site of seven acres donated by John Mustard and a building was erected at a cost of $40,000. The new town of Dayton was booming in consequence of these investments. The flour mill proved a great success and with various changes of ownership is now one of the great mill properties of the country, but the woolen mill, from which so much was expected, did not prove a financial success and was closed in 1880. It is rather a curious fact that no one of the woolen enterprises in the Inland Empire has met with large success except that at Pendleton, Ore., the success of which has been so great that it is a puzzle that others have mainly failed.

The great development of wheat raising in what is now Garfield County led, as elsewhere in the region, to flouring mills. The pioneer mill at Pomeroy was started in 1877 by W. C. Potter and completed the following year by Mr. Pomeroy.

Three miles above Pomeroy and for some years a rival to the lower town was Pataha City. It was on land taken up at first by James Bowers in 1861 and acquired in 1868 by A. J. Favor, who undertook a few years later to start a town. In pursuance of his plans he offered land for mill sites, and as a result J. N. Bowman and George Snyder constructed a mill in 1878. Subsequently John Houser became the great mill man of that entire section and his mill became one of the most widely known in the Inland Empire. He made a specialty of shipping flour to San Francisco for the manufacture of macaroni, the large percentage of gluten in the wheat of that region fitting it especially for that use. The son of Mr. Houser, Max Houser, going to Portland in about 1908, has become known the world over as the most daring and extensive wheat buyer on the Pacific Coast and has acquired a fortune estimated at six millions. The pioneer flouring mill of Asotin was built in 1881 at the town of that name by Frank Curtis and L. A. Stimson. The town itself upon one of the most beautiful of locations on Snake River, with the magnificent wheat fields of the Anatone flats on the high[188] lands to the south and west, and a superb belt of fruit land extending down the river and broadening out at Clarkston, was laid out in 1878.

Other mills were established at later dates, of which the most extensive were the mill at Prescott, erected by H. P. Isaacs in 1883, the City mill on Palouse Street in Walla Walla, built in 1898 by Scholl Brothers; Long's mill, a few miles below Dayton; the Corbett mill at Huntsville.

In summarizing grain raising as the leading industry of old Walla Walla County it may be said that for several years past the total production for the four counties has been about 12,000,000 bushels per year. The value has, of course, varied much according to price. It is conservatively estimated that the value of the grain crops, including flour and feed in various manufactured forms for 1916, was approximately $15,000,000.


As grain raising put a finer point upon industry than its predecessor, stock raising, so in turn the gardens and orchards have yet more refined and differentiated the forms of industry and the developments of life in the growing communities of our story. As already related these lines of production had been tested by the Hudson's Bay Company and by the missionaries, Whitman and Spalding. It was, therefore, to be expected that even in the first years of settlement some attempts would be made to start orchards and gardens. The first nursery in Walla Walla seems to have been laid out in 1859 on the Ransom Clark donation claim on the Yellowhawk. In 1859 trees were set out on the J. W. Foster place. It is said that Mr. Foster brought his trees here on muleback over the Cascade Mountains. We are informed by Charles Clark of Walla Walla that most of Mr. Foster's trees were secured from Ransom Clark. In 1860 A. B. Roberts set out an orchard within the present city limits of Walla Walla on what later became the Ward place. In 1861 a notable step in fruit raising was taken by the coming of one of the most important of all the great pioneers of the Inland Empire. This was Philip Ritz. We find in the Statesman of December 5, 1861, announcement that Mr. Ritz had arrived with a supply of trees from his nursery at Glen Dale near Corvallis, Ore., and that the trees were for sale at the store of John Wright. Subsequent items in the Statesman furnish an interesting exposition of the progress of both gardens and orchards. The Statesman was wide awake as usual to the needs of the country and did not fail to exhort the citizens of Walla Walla to prepare for the demand which it was sure would come. On March 29, 1862, mention was made of the fact that green fruit, presumably apples, from the Willamette Valley, was selling for from twenty to fifty cents per pound. The paper expresses surprise that farmers are so slow about setting out trees. On June 21, 1862, it was announced with much satisfaction that scarcely had the snow from that extremely cold winter melted before there were radishes, lettuce, onions, and rutabagas brought in from foot hill gardens, and that there were new potatoes in the market by June 14th. The issue of July 26th notes the fact of green corn in abundance and that of August 2d declares that the corn was equal to that of the Middle Western States, and that fine watermelons were in the market. August 16th is marked by thanks to G. W. Shoemaker for a fine watermelon and the statement that there were others to come that would weigh forty pounds.[189] In the number of August 30th it appears that Mr. Shoemaker brought to the office a muskmelon weighing eighteen pounds, and in the same issue is an item about a 103-pound squash raised by S. D. Smith. John Hancock is credited on September 6th with a watermelon of thirty-three pounds. Complaint is made, however, in the same number, of the fact that there is a meager supply of apples, plums and pears from the Willamette, and that the apples sell for twenty-five cents apiece, or fifty cents a pound. The Statesman of September 27th has the story of Walter Davis of Dry Creek sending a squash of a weight of 134½ pounds and twelve potatoes of a weight of twenty-nine pounds to the Oregon State Fair at Salem. Lamentable to narrate it appears later that these specimens of Walla Walla gardening disappeared. The Statesman indulges in some bitter scorn over the kind of people on the other side who would steal such objects. In an October number mention is made that James Fudge of Touchet had brought in three potatoes weighing eight pounds. In the Statesman of December 20th is an item to the effect that Philip Ritz has a large assortment of trees and shrubs at the late residence of J. S. Sparks. It is also stated that Mr. Ritz is going to try sweet potatoes. In the issue of January 17, 1863, is the statement that Mr. Ritz had purchased land of Mr. Roberts for a nursery. In successive numbers, beginning February 28th, is Mr. Ritz's advertisement of the Columbia Valley nursery, the value of the stock of which is stated at $10,000. It seems to have been an extraordinary stock for the times, and the enterprise and industry of Mr. Ritz became a great factor in the development of the fruit business as well as many other things. There are several interesting items later on in 1863, showing that gardening, particularly the raising of onions, was advancing rapidly. In the spring of 1865 A. Frank & Co. shipped 40,000 pounds of onions to Portland. In the Statesman of July 4, 1863, it is stated that John Hancock had corn fifteen feet high. During 1863 and 1864 there was much experimenting with sorghum. T. P. Denny is mentioned as having brought a bottle of fine sorghum syrup, and it is stated that Mr. Ritz was experimenting with Chinese and Imphee sugar cane. Mr. Ritz was succeeding well with sweet potatoes, and a fine quality of tobacco was being produced. The biggest potato story was of a Mechannock potato from Mr. Kimball's garden on Dry Creek, which weighed four and one-half pounds. In several numbers in September, 1863, mention is made of delicious peaches brought in by A. H. Reynolds.

In short, it was well demonstrated that conditions were such that it might be expected that Walla Walla would become, and it has for some years been known as, the "Garden City."

In the '60s and '70s a considerable amount of land south and west of Walla Walla was brought into use for gardening, and in various directions orchards were set out. One of the finest was that of W. S. Gilliam on Dry Creek. Everything looked encouraging for fruit raising at that early day, but in 1883 there came a bitter cold day, twenty-nine degrees below zero, far colder than ever known at any other time in Walla Walla, a most disastrous dispensation of nature, for many orchards, especially peaches and apricots, perished.


Broadly speaking, it may be said that there are five regions in Old Walla Walla County which have become important centers of fruit raising and intensive[190] farming in general, since fruit raising, gardening, dairying, and poultry raising have to varying degrees gone right along together. The first in age and extent is the region immediately around Walla Walla; the second that of Clarkston and down the Snake River to Burbank; the third that on the Touchet from Dayton to Prescott; the fourth the long narrow valley of the Tucanon; and the fifth that on the lower Walla Walla from Touchet and Gardena to the Columbia and thence through Attalia and Two Rivers to Burbank at the mouth of Snake River. There are, of course, some excellent orchards and gardens in portions not covered in this enumeration, and it is also proper to say that the most productive and compact single body of country is that portion of the Walla Walla Valley south of the state line extending to Milton, Ore.

It is impossible within our limits to describe these different areas in detail. Each has some distinctive features. The youngest and least developed is that of the lower Walla Walla and the Columbia River. By reason of great heat and aridity and long growing season, that region is peculiarly adapted to grape culture and melon raising. Alfalfa produces four and five cuttings and the prospect for successful dairying is flattering. The expense of reclaiming the land and maintaining irrigating systems is high, but when fairly established it may be expected to be one of the most attractive and productive sections.

The Walla Walla section has had the advantage of time and population and in the nature of the case has become most highly developed. In garden products Walla Walla asparagus, onions, and rhubarb may be said to be champions in the markets of the country. One of the important features of Walla Walla gardening is the Walla Walla hothouse vegetable enterprise on the river, five miles west of the city, conducted by F. E. Mojonnier. This is the largest hothouse in the Inland Empire and, with one exception, in the entire Northwest. It has two and a half acres under glass and does a business of thousands of dollars with the chief markets north and east.

In orchards Walla Walla, while not in general in the same class for quantity with Yakima and Wenatchee, has the distinction of possessing two of the largest and perhaps most scientifically planted and cultivated orchards in the entire state; the Blalock and the Baker-Langdon orchards. The latter contains 680 acres of apples, is on sub-irrigated land of the best quality, and may be considered the last word in orchard culture. The manager, John Langdon, reports for 1917, 200,000 boxes, or about three hundred car loads, worth on cars at Walla Walla, at present prices, about three hundred thousand dollars. It is anticipated that when in full bearing at the age of twelve to fourteen years, the yield will be 1,000,000 boxes. Doctor Blalock was the great pioneer in fruit raising, as in grain-raising, on a large scale. The story of his carrying on the gigantic enterprise with inadequate resources to a triumphant conclusion, though not himself being able to retain possession, is one of the greatest stories in the Inland Empire.

The Touchet belt may be said to be distinguished by its special adaptability to high grade apples of the Rome Beauty and Spitzenberg varieties as well as by the extraordinary and profitable production. In that belt are two orchards which while not remarkable for size have had about the most remarkable history of any in the state. These are the Pomona orchard of J. L. Dumas and that of J. D. Taggard between Waitsburg and Dayton. There are a number of other orchards of high grade in the Touchet Valley, and it may be anticipated that within a few years that rich and beautiful expanse will be a continuous orchard. Conditions of soil and climate make it ideal for apple-raising.




The valley of the Tucanon, a ribbon of fertile soil deep down in the timbered heights of the Blue Mountains and lower down its course surrounded by the wide flats and benches of Garfield and Columbia counties, is the natural home for berries and "truck" of all sorts. The strawberries and melons are of the finest. The sparkling stream—one of the finest fishing streams by the way affords limitless opportunity for easy and economical irrigating and the soil is of the best, even in a region where good soil is no curiosity.

The Snake River section, extending down the western and southern bank of the river from Asotin, with frequent breaks on account of the bluffy shores, its largest expansion being at Clarkston, with considerable areas at Alpowa, Kelly's Bar, Ilia and other points, is a unique region. We shall speak at greater length of the Clarkston and Asotin regions, but it may be said in general terms that the long narrow belt of land bordering the river, having its counterpart on the opposite side in Whitman County, has long been recognized as the very homeland of the peach, apricot, nectarine, grape, berries of all sorts, and melons. It is of low elevation, from seven hundred and fifty feet at Asotin to about four hundred at Page. It is almost semi-tropical in climate, its products getting into market nearly as early as those from Central California. Injurious frosts in blossom time are almost unknown. The soil is a soft warm friable volcanic ash with loam surface. Though there is no railroad and not even continuous wagon roads on the river bank, there are numerous points of approach down the valleys and coulees entering the river, and the stream itself affords water navigation for large steamers about half the year, and for small boats at all times. With the system of canalization now in contemplation by the Government the river will become continuously navigable throughout the year and will possess infinite possibilities both for power and navigation. It should also be stated here that Asotin County has a larger acreage in fruit trees than any other of the four counties.


While we shall speak of certain special features of each section in our descriptive chapter covering the present time, we may properly give here a summary of recent production for the four counties.

The reader is asked to recall the earlier figures in order that he may form a proper conception of the change wrought. We present here the figures preserved in the office of the Commercial Club of Walla Walla for the year 1916. They are given in round numbers, but may be considered reliable and conservative.

Production, 1916 Value to Growers
Wheat—11,000,000 bushels $12,100,000
Barley—1,300,000 bushels 910,000
Corn—250,000 bushels 200,000
Alfalfa—140,000 tons 1,800,000
Apples—1,000,000 boxes 1,000,000
[192]Prunes—5,000 tons 200,000
Cherries—800 tons 80,000
Onions—260,000 sacks 322,500
Asparagus—500 tons 50,000
Miscellaneous, including hay other than alfalfa, vegetables other than onions and asparagus 600,000
Livestock, dairy products, poultry, wool, flour and chop 8,000,000
Total agricultural, horticultural, and stock products 25,262,500

The United Staten census report for 1910 gives a population for the four counties of 49,003. H we allow for 10 per cent increase in 1916, we shall have approximately fifty-four thousand people in Old Walla Walla County. The year 1916 represents, therefore, a gross income of nearly $468 for each man, woman, and child in the area. This, it most of course be observed, is the income from the soil, and takes no account of the earnings of the manufacturing, mercantile, professional, and laboring classes. It is safe to say that few regions in the United States or the world can match such an income representing the absolute increase in wealth taken right from the earth. It is no wonder that the farmers of our four counties have automobiles and household luxuries galore, and when harvest time is over take trips to California, Honolulu, or "back East," or, before the war, to Europe. It is of interest to add here the approximate areas in cultivation in the four counties. It was reported in 1916 as follows:

Grain lands, in hearing and in summer-fallow—
Walla Walla County 500,000 acres
The other counties 500,000 acres
Fruit lands—
Asotin County 3,500 acres
(Note: An underestimate of Asotin County.)
Walla Walla County 2,690 acres
Columbia County 1,045 acres
Garfield County 525 acres


We have confined our attention thus far to what might be regarded as the natural fundamental industries of stock raising, farming, and horticulture.

But along with those essential industries to which the country was naturally adapted, there went of necessity some mercantile and manufacturing enterprises. Later on the professional classes became interrelated to all the others. While the region covered by our four counties is not naturally a manufacturing country, yet from the first there have been those whose tastes and interests have lead them to mechanical pursuits. In a growing community where the foundation products are those of the soil and yet where the building arts are in constant demand there must necessarily be some manufacturing. Most of the enterprises of that nature in this section have been connected either with building materials or with agricultural implements. Saw-mills came in almost with the[193] dawn of civilized life. Hence we are not surprised to find that the first pioneer in Walla Walla, Dr. Marcus Whitman, built a sawmill. That mill was on Mill Creek, apparently nearly where the present Shemwell place is located. As is not known to many there was a small saw-mill on the grounds of the United States Fort. The flume ran nearly along the present course of Main Street and the mill was on the northern edge of the military reservation opposite Jesse Drumheller's residence. Doubtless it was those mills which gave our beautiful creek its unfortunate name, in place of the more attractive native name of Pasca or Pashki, "sunflower."

The Statesman of December 13, 1861, notices the building of a saw-mill on the Coppei by Anderson Cox, one of the foremost of the early citizens of Walla Walla, who also had large interests in and around Waitsburg. Another prominent old-timer, W. H. Babcock, is reported in the issue of June 2, 1865, as having purchased a saw-mill on the Walla Walla. One of the earliest sawmills, built at the close of 1862, was on Mill Creek in Asotin. There were various little mills in the timber land of the Blue Mountains. In the '80s Dr. N. G. Blalock and a little later Dr. D. S. Baker inaugurated the business of fluming from the mountains to Walla Walla. In the case of the former this was a calamitous business venture, but the latter with his usual sound judgment made a great success of the enterprise.

The most extensive lumbering business of Walla Walla in the earlier days was that still known by the corporate name of the Whitehouse-Crawford Co. This company was founded in 1880 by Messrs. Cooper and Smuck. In 1888 G. W. Whitehouse and D. J. Crimmins became chief owners, though Mr. Cooper retained his connection with the business. In 1905 J. M. Crawford acquired the business, being joined by his brother J. T. Crawford, in 1909. The business has become very extensive, having numerous branches, with the general name Tum-a-Lum Lumbering Co. There have been established in more recent years the Walla Walla Lumber Co., the Oregon Lumber Co., and the Bridal Veil Lumber Co., all doing large lines of business.

A large amount of capital has been invested in the manufacturing of agricultural machinery. The most extensive establishment in these lines in Walla Walla was the Hunt Threshing Factory founded in 1888 by Gilbert Hunt and Christopher Ennis, who purchased the machine shop of Byron Jackson, which became the property of Mr. Hunt in 1891. The special output of the factory was the "Pride of Washington Separator," but subsequently iron work and belting and wind mills and other lines were added. Owing to financial difficulties precipitated by the hard times beginning in 1907 this great establishment, which employed from seventy-five to a hundred men, was obliged to close its doors.

For a number of years the northwestern branch of the Holt Harvester Works, of which Benjamin Holt was manager, was located in Walla Walla. It conducted an immense business, particularly in the "side-hill" harvester and in tractors. The main northern house is now located in Spokane, while the Walla Walla branch is managed by E. L. Smith and Co.

Among the other manufacturing enterprises worthy of larger notice than our space permits may be named the Brown-Lewis Corporation, the Ringhoffer Brothers Saddle-tree Factory, the Webber Tannery, the Washington Weeder Works, the Walla Walla Iron Works, and the Cox-Bailey Manufacturing Co.,[194] now succeeded by separate enterprises of the two partners. From a historical point of view the iron foundry conducted by J. L. Roberts during the decade of the '90s was one of the most conspicuous industries. The foundry business was later conducted by the Hunt Company.

It will give a view of the distribution of business houses and industries to insert here the tabulation of these on file in the Commercial Club office.


Accountants (public) 4
Apartment houses 8
Architects 3
Banks 5
Bakeries 6
Barber shops 20
Bowling alleys 2
Blacksmith shops 10
Bottling works 2
Coal and wood yards 7
Contractors and builders (all kinds) 33
Dentists 20
Doctors—a—physicians and surgeons 27
b—Osteopaths 6
c—Chiropractors 3
Dressmakers and fitters 24
Electricians 5
Electric light plants 1
Garages 14
Gas plants 1
Hospitals and sanatoriums 3
Hotels 4
Lawyers 24
Liveries—a—horse 3
b—Auto 3
Machine shops 5
Moving picture theaters 4
Newspapers 4
Painter and paper hangers 4
Plumbing shops 4
Pool and billiard halls 6
Photograph galleries 4
Printing offices 4
Real estate dealers 31
Restaurants 22
Rooming houses
Shoe repair shops 6
Tailor shops 12
Tin shops 3
Undertakers 3
Veterinarians 4




Commission (fruit and produce) 4
Grain dealers 19
Groceries 2
Alfalfa mills 2
Brick yards 1
Broom factories 1
Candy factories 4
Cement or concrete stone manufacturing 1
Cereal mills 2
Cigar factories 4
Cold storage plants 1
Creameries 2
Cheese factories 2
Feed mills 2
Flour mills 3
Foundries 3
Fruit drying plants 2
Ice manufacturers 1
Laundries 3
Lumber yards 9
Monument manufacturers 2
Green houses 3
Packing Houses—Meat 1
Fruit 3
Pickle works 1
Sash and door factories and planing mills 3
Stone quarries 1
Tile factories 1
Vinegar manufacturers 2
Wagon and vehicle manufacturers 2
Warehouses (grain) 4
Saddle tree factory 1
Self Oiling Wheel & Bearing Co. 1


Automobile 12
Book and stationery 3
Cigar 21
Clothing 7
Confectionery 3
[196]Department 3
Drug 8
Dry goods 8
Electrical supply 3
Flour and feed 3
Furniture 4
General 2
Grocery 35
Hardware 6
Harness and saddlery 6
Implement 5
Jewelry 5
Meat 5
Millinery 8
Shoe 8
Variety—5 and 10 cent 2
Ladies' suits and cloaks 2

Perhaps no one business fact is so good a commentary on the financial condition of a community as the bank deposits.

The banks of Walla Walla have had during the year 1917 an average of seven million dollars deposits. On January 1, 1918, deposits exceeded eight millions.

As we shall see, the banks of the other cities of the district have similar or even greater amounts in proportion to population. It would doubtless be safe to estimate the bank deposits of the four counties at eleven million dollars, or over two hundred dollars per capita.

As a means of indicating the financial status of Walla Walla, with Garfield and Columbia counties, the following clipping from a local paper of October 16, 1917, will be of permanent value:

"Announcement of the official allotment of Liberty loan bonds to each bank in the Walla Walla district comprising Garfield, Columbia and Walla Walla counties, was made for the first time last evening by P. M. Winans, chairman of the executive committee, following receipt of a telegram from the Federal Reserve Bank at San Francisco, giving the total minimum and maximum allotments for this district. As soon as these figures were learned the allotments for each of the fourteen banks in the district were figured on a basis of deposits at the last federal call.

"The minimum allotment for the district was placed by the Federal Reserve Bank at $1,483,000 and the maximum allotment at $2,457,842. From the way the campaign has been going it will require every energy to raise the minimum, which is 50 per cent more than the allotment for the district for the first Liberty bond issue.

"This time Walla Walla County alone must subscribe $1,044,000 or as much as the entire district subscribed for the first loan. The City of Walla Walla must subscribe $874,000 to report the minimum desired. Columbia County must subscribe $240,000 and Garfield County $199,000."



The official allotment which each of the fourteen banks of the district was expected to subscribe among its customers, follows:

Walla Walla—
First National Bank $235,000
Baker-Boyer National Bank 243,000
Third National Bank 109,000
Peoples State Bank 135,000
Farmers Savings Bank 152,000
Touchet State Bank, Touchet 7,000
First State Bank, Prescott 12,000
First National Bank, Waitsburg 121,000
Exchange Bank, Waitsburg 30,000
Columbia National Bank, Dayton 146,000
Broughton National Bank, Dayton 85,000
Bank of Starbuck, Starbuck 9,000
Pomeroy State Bank, Pomeroy 132,000
Knettle State Bank, Pomeroy 67,000

It may be added that the amount actually subscribed exceeded the maximum, being $2,647,000.


One feature of constant interest in any growing American community is the annual county fair. As a yearly jubilee, a display of products, and a general "get-together" agency, this characteristic feature of American rural life is entitled to a large place. It co-ordinates industries, creates enterprise, kindles ambition, and promotes the spirit of mutual helpfulness in pre-eminent degree. The Walla Walla fairs have had essentially the familiar features of all such institutions; i. e., the exposition of agricultural, horticultural, and other products. Since the fairs have been held at the present grounds south of the city, the exhibition of livestock and the horse racing features, and in the three prior years to the date of this work, the "Pioneer Days," have become leading events and have drawn thousands of visitors from all parts of the country.

The first fairs were somewhat broken and irregular.

Apparently the germ of our county fairs was the establishment of a race course on the flat west of town running around the hill adjoining what is now the Coyle place, by George H. Porter. In the Statesman of October 18, 1862, is quite a flaming advertisement of the races. They were to last four days, October 30th to November 2d. There were to be purses of $100, $50 and $150 for winners, with 20 per cent for entries. Buckley's Saloon was to be headquarters for making entries. Admission was to be 50 cents. The proprietor seems to have been somewhat on the order of a "bad man," as he later became involved in a murder case.


On July 9, 1866, an agricultural society was organized, of which the officers were: President, H. P. Isaacs; vice presidents, Anderson Cox, and W. H. Newell; treasurer, J. D. Cook; secretary, R. R. Rees; executive committee, Charles Russell, T. S. Lee and A. A. Blanchard. Under the management of this society the first county fair was held on October 4, 5 and 6, 1866.

Another organization, known as the Washington Territory Agricultural, Mining, and Art Fostering Society, undertook the maintenance of fairs in 1870. In September of that year the first of a series was held until 1873. Finding that the grounds were too far from the city they were sold and the fairs discontinued.

In 1875 C. S. Bush laid out a racetrack at the place where Watertown now exists, and there a fair was held in October of that year. That place was for many years the location of races and fairs and public gatherings of all sorts.

During that same year of 1875 the first definite organization looking to promoting immigration was organized, and a thirty-page pamphlet was published setting forth the attractions of the Walla Walla Valley for business and residence.

As years passed increasing interest in the annual meets led to an attempt to give them a permanent character, and in 1897 the Fruit Growers Association, of which Dr. N. G. Blalock was president, undertook to finance and manage the fairs with a degree of system which had not hitherto prevailed. The first fair under the auspices of the Fruit Growers was held in the courthouse. The two succeeding were held in Armory hall. In 1900 a pavilion was erected on Second Street and for several years the annual fairs were held at that place. As an illustration of the character of the fairs of that stage of history we are incorporating here an account of the fair of 1900, taken from the October number of the Inland Empire magazine:

"The Fourth Annual Fruit Fair of the Walla Walla Valley was held in the City of Walla Walla October 1 to 7 inclusive, and was in every way the most successful and satisfactory exposition ever attempted in Southeastern Washington. This was true as to the financial aspect of the fair, as to the attendance and as to the quality of fruit on display.

"Nature was responsible for the latter feature of the success of the fair, as she is responsible for much that goes to make up the category of the virtues of the Walla Walla Valley. Give our agriculturists and horticulturists a year with a well regulated rainfall, and frost which considerately stays away when not wanted, and they will with diligence and careful culture produce grapes, pears, apples and most every kind of fruits and vegetables of such quality and size as are seen in no other part of the Union.

"In 1899 the fair continued six days, but this year a full week was given, and the attendance exceeded that of previous years by over three thousand paid admissions. The visitors were not restricted to Walla Walla and the immediate vicinity; fully one thousand came from Waitsburg, Dayton and other neighboring towns, and 500 from Pendleton, Milton, Athena, and various points in our sister state. The scope of the fruit fair is broadening and exhibits are received from an ever increasing extent of territory.

"From a financial point of view, the officers of the exposition have every reason to be congratulated. The gross proceeds of the fair were something over seven thousand dollars, and about eleven hundred dollars of this is profit, and is deposited as a nest egg for the fair of 1901. This is the first year in the history of the fairs that any material profit has resulted in dollars and cents. Last year $80 was taken in over and above expenses, and the year before nothing. Better management is responsible for this result, and a more thorough appreciation of the requirements of the fair.




"T. H. Wagner's military band, of Seattle, furnished music for the fair, giving concerts every afternoon and evening.

"Mrs. Jennie Houghton Edmunds was the vocal soloist, and Herr Rodenkirchen, who is known to fame in the East and West, was their cornet soloist.

"One of the special features of the programme of the fair was an Indian war dance. A score of bucks and half dozen squaws from the Umatilla Reservation were the performers, and their presence recalled to many of the visitors the days when the proximity of redskins was a consummation devoutly to be dreaded.

"The woman's department was this year under the direction of Mrs. John B. Catron, and formed the most interesting and tasteful display at the fair. A part was devoted to collections of Indian curios and relics, and this department was always crowded with visitors. Lee Moorehouse of Pendleton has on exhibition many of his photographs of Indians and scenes on the Umatilla Reservation, pictures which even now are of interest, and which fifty years hence, when the development of the country has crowded the redskins further to the wall, will be of great historical value.

"More than ever before have the people of this valley appreciated the value of fruit fairs and industrial expositions. Here the farmers and those interested in the various lines of agriculture and horticulture have an opportunity to see the results of each others' labors and profit by their experience. They are encouraged by the success of others, and obtain suggestions which are invaluable in their work. They learn in what direction the efforts of their neighbors are being exerted, and keep in touch with the development of the various agricultural pursuits.

"The Belgian hare exhibit, prepared by S. C. Wingard and E. A. Coull, was a feature not before seen at these fairs. This exhibition, with its hundreds of dollars' worth of valuable imported specimens of Belgian hares and fancy stock, was perhaps the most valuable at the fair, and of the greatest interest because of its novelty. Belgian hare culture is yet in its infancy, and the gentle long-eared creature was the center of attraction for those who wished to know more of these animals which are monopolizing so much attention among breeders of pet stock.

"The railroads doing business in Walla Walla took a most active interest in the fair. Two pretty and unique booths were erected and they proved among the attractive features of the event.

"The Northern Pacific and Washington & Columbia River railways took the cue of the Boxers and a pretty pagoda was designed. The structure was erected near the band pavilion and was provided with seats and accommodations for the ladies and children. The pagoda was built of native woods and finished with moss brought from Tacoma for the purpose. The work was artistically done. At night a number of colored electric lights gave a finishing touch[200] to the scene. The design was largely the idea of Manager McCabe and Passenger Agent Calderhead, of the Washington & Columbia River Railway.

"The booth of the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company was located near the main entrance and it was neatly planned. A commodious square booth was finished and trimmed with grains and fruits taken from the company's experimental farm near the city. The ceiling was made of a variety of handsomely colored wools in the unwoven state, blended together with artistic effect. The walls of the booth were hung with pictures, and chairs and reading offered rest and entertainment to all. The booth was in charge of General Agent Burns and C. F. Van De Water."

The officers of the association for 1900 were as follows: W. A. Ritz, president; C. F. Van De Water, secretary; O. R. Ballou, superintendent; Mrs. J. B. Catron, superintendent of the woman's department.


The Fair assumed different aspects in different years, sometimes taking on as the predominant interest the exhibition of fruit and vegetables, and at other times stock and machinery. At still other times the "horse race" was the dominant feature.

In 1903 a new organization was effected known as the Walla Walla Race Track Association. At a meeting of a number of the leading men of the city and county, of which Judge T. H. Brents was chairman, the following were elected trustees of the association: W. S. Offner, Joseph McCabe, R. B. Caswell, James Kidwell, Wm. Hogoboom, John McFeeley, Chris Ennis, W. G. Preston and Frank Singleton. Under the auspices of the association the first of a new series of fairs was held in the autumn of 1903 at the present location upon the land known as the "Henderson" tract, purchased by the association. The name of the association became changed to the Walla Walla County Fair Association. In 1906 the pavilion still used was erected. In 1907 the dominant interest was the "Harvest Festival," the chief features of which were carried out within the city. This will be remembered as quite a gorgeous pageant. J. J. Kauffman was duly crowned as King Rex, and Hattie Stine became queen of the carnival as Queen Harriet. Both coronations were signalized by spectacular parades and general hilarity which made that celebration the most memorable of the series. In 1908, August 8th, a greet disaster occurred at the Race Track, the destruction by fire of the barns, together with several valuable horses, entailing severe loss both to the association and to several individuals, especially Wm. Hogoboom. In the same year the street railway line was extended from the city to the grounds. As indicating the personnel of the association of that period, it will be valuable to present here the names of the officers and trustees: T. H. Brents, president; Grant Copeland, vice president; R. E. Guichard, secretary; trustees, E. Tausick, M. Toner, W. A. Ritz, Sam Drumheller, Mordo McDonald, J. H. Morrow, J. G. Kidwell, Frank Singleton, Wm. Hogoboom, C. L. Whitney, B. F. Simpson, Ben C. Holt, J. P. Kent, J. Smith, and Wm. Kirkman. Throughout the period to the present the association has been an incorporated organization, with the stock distributed widely among the farmers and business men of the community. Judge Brents continued as president until 1914, when bodily infirmity[201] forbade further continuance, and his lamented death soon followed. Robert Johnson became secretary in 1907 and in 1909 W. A. Ritz became manager, being chosen president in 1914 upon retirement of Judge Brents. Messrs. Ritz and Johnson became so closely identified from that time on as to be associated with every feature of the history of the Fair. The woman's department was conducted with equal efficiency during the same period by Mesdames J. B. Catron, W. A. Ritz, and W. D. Lyman.


In 1913, feeling that the common routine had rather palled, the managers decided to inaugurate a new order of things, and as a result the "Frontier Days" came into existence, with its spectacular displays of "bulldogging," relay races, stage-coach races, cowboys, cow-girls, Indians, etc., one of the last stands of the Wild West. In spite of the great success of these exhibitions as a means of drawing crowds and creating interest, the frontier days were not a financial success. After the meeting of 1915, the Fair Association decided not to continue, and hence there was no fair of any kind upon the grounds in 1916. There was conducted, however, a Merchants' Carnival upon the streets which while perhaps tame in comparison with its predecessors served to signalize the autumn season and to create a period of good fellowship and community enjoyment. During 1915 and 1916 the question of purchase of the Fair Grounds by the county became one of the especial subjects of local politics. A general spirit of caution and economy prevailed, and the proposition failed of a sufficient vote in the election of 1916. The grounds remain, therefore, in possession of the County Fair Association, and it is just to the members of the association to say that the thanks of the entire community are due them for their patriotism and genuine life in maintaining at a financial loss this important feature of community progress.

With the cessation of the regular Fair there was a lively demand in every direction for something that would keep the Queen Mother of the Inland Empire upon the map as an autumn amusement center. In response to this public call, George Drumheller, the greatest wheat farmer of the Inland Empire (and for that matter doubtless the greatest individual wheat farmer in the world, having about twenty thousand acres of wheat land), rose to the occasion and prepared a program for a new exhibition, "The Pioneer Pow-wow." The personnel of the management was as follows: George Drumheller, managing director; O. C. Soots, secretary; Tom Drumheller, arena director; Bill Switzler, assistant arena director; John Neace, Jim McManamon, and George Marckum, judges; A. G. Busbee, chief announcer; Ben Corbett, assistant announcer.

As a permanent record of the Pow-wow we are incorporating here the summary of it as given in the Walla Walla Bulletin at the close of the events:

"After three days of some of the finest riding, roping and feature cowboy work ever in the West, the first annual Pioneer Pow-wow came to a close last night. The Pow-wow was a success from every standpoint; so successful, in fact, that plans will be made for a second and greater Pow-wow next year, probably to be put on under management of a new county fair association, for which the event this year was a benefit.


"Yesterday's great show in the arena and on the track at the fair grounds eclipsed, if possible the performances of the two preceding days, and the large crowd which filled the grand stand until there was not a reserved seat left and overflowed the north bleachers was brought to its feet time and again with excitement.

"All in all the Pow-wow program for the three days was voted by nearly all who saw it the finest Wild West show ever staged here, and the success of the enterprise reflects great credit upon George Drumheller, well known farmer and stockraiser of the valley, who managed the show, and upon Sec. O. C. Soots, secretary of the Commercial Club, who acted as secretary for the enterprise, as well as upon each one of the other officials.

"A feature of the program yesterday afternoon was the cowboys' relay race, in which the crowd was probably more interested than in any other event. Nep Lynch was the winner and by defeating Drumheller can lay claim to the championship of the world in this event.

"When Drumheller's horse got away from him for an instant on the second change yesterday the race was changed from a neck and neck contest between Drumheller and Lynch to an easy victory for the latter. On Friday Lynch was also victor, while on Thursday Drumheller came in ahead by a length.

"The cowboys' bucking contest for the Pow-wow went to Yakima Canute, and the choice of the judges after the finals yesterday proved popular with the crowd who gave the clever rider a big hand. The prize $250 saddle and $2.50 cash goes to the winner of this event.

"The three riders who were chosen for the finals yesterday were Leonard Stroud, Yakima Canute and Dave White, and they drew as mounts for the final bucking events Sundance, Culdesac and Speedball, respectively. The three animals are probably the toughest buckers in the world. Sundance tossed a rider over his head Thursday, while Culdesac had a record of two down for the Pow-wow. Speedball also had proved one of the hardest to ride. All three riders showed great skill, although White was forced to pull leather when the halter rope was jerked out of his hand.

"Another relay feature that was popular with the crowd during the entire Pow-wow was the cow-girls' relay race. Mabel De Long was the winner, with Donna Card and Josephine Sherry second and third. Miss De Long proved unusually skillful on the change and frequently jumped from one horse to another without touching the ground.

"Both the steer-roping and bulldogging was the greatest ever seen here. Tommy Grimes was the first with a total time of 63¾ seconds for two throws, while Jim Lynch took the bulldogging contest with a total time of 63¾ seconds for two throws. Lynch's time yesterday afternoon, twenty-one seconds, is one of the fastest records ever made for this event.

"One pleasing feature of the Pow-wow this year was that not a single cowboy or animal was seriously hurt during the entire three days. This was not because the show was more tame than before, because such was not the case, but was due partly to good fortune and more to the skillful management throughout.



"A feature of yesterday's program was the drill given by Maj. Paul H. Weyrauch's battalion of field artillery. The battalion, about three hundred strong, executed a review in the arena, passing in front of Major Weyrauch, reviewing officer. The boys made a great showing for the short time that they have been in training, going through their maneuvers like clock work. Major Weyrauch and his men were given a great hand by the audience and the most impressive moment of the day came during the drill, when the band played "The Star Spangled Banner," the soldiers stood at attention, and the great crowd rose to its feet as one man, with the men standing bare-headed until the last strains of the national anthem had died away.

"A. G. Busbee, who had been the efficient chief announcer at the Pow-wow for the three days, gave the spectators yesterday a thrilling exhibition of bulldogging at the close of yesterday afternoon's bulldogging contest. Busbee, clad in his full Indian regalia, downed one of the steers in front of the grandstand. He declared afterwards that he could have won the event if he had been allowed to enter. Officials of the Pow-wow needed Busbee as announcer and refused to run any risks of his being laid out.

"George Drumheller, managing director of the Pow-wow, said last night that he was not yet in a position to say how successful the Pow-wow had been financially, but that he hoped to at least break even, and possibly clear a little for the benefit of the fair association.

"'It's play with us.' he said. 'The boys like it and it gives them something to talk about during the winter. The people supported the show well, and I hope something of the kind can he arranged again next year.'"

One of the most pleasing features of the Pioneer Pow-wow, as well as of the
Frontier Days preceding was the prominence given to the pioneers. In 1915 a log-cabin was erected on the fair grounds as a typical pioneer rest home during the period of the fairs. This was the rallying place of the gray haired sires and mothers of the valley, and significant and beautiful were the reunions of the "Builders" of old Walla Walla at that point. At the Pioneer Pow-wow the address to the pioneers was given by Governor M. C. Moore, last territorial governor and one of the most honored of the pioneers. His address at the gathering of 1917 was so fitting and constitutes so complete a retrospect of the history of the region that we believe it will be seen with deep regard by the pioneers in this history.

We therefore take from the columns of the Walla Walla Union the report, as follows:

"These pioneer meetings are significant events; they afford opportunity for meeting old friends. They are occasions for retrospection and reminiscence. We live over again in memory, 'the brave days of old.' We recount the courage, the lofty purpose, the sacrifices of the early settlers, not only of those still living, but of those who have crossed the Great Divide."

These words, taken from the speech of ex-Governor Miles C. Moore, delivered at the Pioneers' barbecue meeting at the fair grounds yesterday noon, explain the significance of the Pioneer Pow-wow to the early settlers of this country, to whose memory the big fall celebration is dedicated. That the sturdy old plainsmen appreciated the honor was evident by their numbers and the hearty manner in which they participated in this event. Hundreds of them were present and all pronounced the juicy beefsteaks served by the Royal Chef Harry Kidwell, to be near-perfect.


The pioneers' program was short but filled with interest and the social time that followed was hugely enjoyed. Judge E. C. Mills made a short address and vocal solos were rendered by Mrs. F. B. Thompson and A. R. Slimmons and a reading by Mrs. Thomas Duff. Mrs. A. G. Baumeister was chairman of the committees in charge.

Ex-Governor Moore's address, coming from one of the most prominent northwest pioneers, was the feature of the program, and was most interesting to the early settlers. It is given in full as follows:

"Walla Walla is proud to act as host today to the pioneers and feels she is entertaining old friends.

"Many of you came here long years ago and saw the city in its earliest beginnings; saw it when it was only a frontier trading post—an outfitting point for miners bound to the mines of Pierce City, Orofino and Florence in Northern Idaho and to Boise in Southern Idaho—all new camps. A little later Kootenai in British Columbia, and the mining camps of Western Montana became the Mecca of the gold seeker.

"Many of them outfitted here and were followed by pack trains laden with supplies. Many of you will remember the tinkle of the mule bell which the pack mules followed in blind obedience.

"All day long these pack trains filed in constant procession through the streets of the busy little city, bound on long journeys through the mountains to the various mining camps.

"Indians, gaudy with paint and feathers, rode their spotted, picturesque cayuse in gay cavalcades along the trails leading to town to trade for fire water and other less important articles of barter.

"Covered ox wagons laden with dust begrimed children and household goods 'all the way from old Missouri,' ranchmen, and cowboys in all their pristine swagger and splendor helped to make up the motley throng that filled the streets. The cow-girl who rides a horse astride had not then materialized.

"The packers and many of the miners came here to 'winter' as they expressed it in those days. They spent their money prodigally and unstintingly in the saloons, in the gambling and hurdy-gurdy houses, and in the spring would return to the source for fresh supplies of gold.

"Some of the more successful would return to the States and all expected to when they had 'made their pile.' None of us had any idea of making this a permanent place of residence or of being found here fifty years later. As youngsters we sang with lusty voices:

'We'll all go home in the spring, boys,
We'll all go home in the spring.'

Later as the years went by and we did not go, there was added by the unsentimental, this refrain:

'Yes, in a horn;
Yes, in a horn.'

"This describes conditions existing in old Walla Walla fifty years ago, or in the decade between 1860 and 1870, and are some of the moving pictures painted on the film of my brain when in the fall of 1863 I wandered, a forlorn and[205] homesick lad, into this beautiful valley. Friends and acquaintances I had none, except the two young men who came with me from Montana.

"My resources were exceedingly slender, and the question of how meal tickets were to be obtained was much on my mind. That was fifty-four years ago—and like many of you present here today I watched the years go by with gradually increasing faith in the country's resources; a faith that ripened into love for the beautiful valley, its people and its magnificent surroundings. Walla Walla all these years has been my home, her people became my people, her interests were my interests. It is hoped you will pardon these personal allusions but after all history is defined as 'the essence of innumerable biographies.'

"It is a goodly land—a fit abode for a superior race of people, a race to match its mountains, worthy of its magnificent surroundings.

"Along in the early '60s, stockmen from the Willamette Valley, attracted by the bunch grass that grew in wild luxuriance over all the hills and valleys of this inter-mountain region, brought horses and cattle and established stock ranches along the streams. Later it was discovered that grain would grow on the foothills, and that the yield was surprisingly large. The wheat area was gradually widened and land supposed worthless grew enormous crops. Now wheat has everywhere supplanted the bunch grass and the Inland Empire sends annually about sixty-five million bushels to feed a hungry world.

"Walla Walla in the early '60s was a town of about two thousand inhabitants and the only town between The Dalles and Lewiston. Now this region is filled with cities and towns and villages, dotted all over with the happy homes of a brave, enterprising, peace-loving, law-abiding people.

"Many of us have seen the country in its making, have helped to lay the foundations of the commonwealth, have seen the territory 'put on the robes of state sovereignty,' have seen it become an important unit in the great federation of states, have recently seen its young men pour forth by thousands to engage in a war not of our making but in the language of President Wilson, 'that the world may be made safe for democracy.'

"These pioneer meetings are significant events; they afford opportunity for meeting old friends. They are occasions for retrospection and reminiscence. We live over again in memory 'the brave days of old.' We recount the courage, the lofty purpose, the sacrifices of the early settlers not only of those still living, but of those who have crossed the Great Divide.

"They were a sturdy race; they braved the perils of pioneer life, and 'pushed back the frontiers in the teeth of savage foes.' We are old enough now to begin to have a history. In fact, this Walla Walla country is rich in historic interest, and inspiring history it is. Lewis and Clark passed through it on their way to and from the coast. Whitman established his mission here in 1836 and eleven years later gave up his life as the last full measure of his devotion to the cause he loved so well. Other missionaries and explorers saw it and were impressed with its fertility and the mildness of its climate. Indian wars raged here, and it was here, almost on this spot, that Governor Stevens held the council and made treaties with 5,500 Indians.

"No other part of the northwest has such a historic background. All this will continue to be an inspiration to the people who are to reside here.

"Wherever the early settler built his cabin, or took his claim, he left the[206] impress of his personality. These personal experiences should be woven into history and it is hoped that Professor Lyman in his forthcoming history of old Walla Walla County will include many of these personal memorials.

"The restless impulse, the wanderlust implanted in the race, the impulse that carried the first wave of emigration over Cumberland Gap in the Alleghenies and down the Ohio to Kentucky, 'the dark and bloody ground,' swept over the prairies of Illinois and Iowa, across the Mississippi and Missouri. Here it halted on the edge of the Great American Desert, until the gold discovery in California in '49 gave it new impetus and it swept on again. These indefatigable Americans crossed the Great Plains, they climbed the Rocky Mountains, they opened mines, they felled forests, tilled the land, developed water powers, built mills and manufactories, filling all the wide domain with 'the shining towers of civilization.'

"The liberal land laws of the Government—giving a homestead to each man brave enough and enterprising enough to go out and occupy it, the mines it offered to the prospectors were the powerful factors that gave us population and led to the development of the country.

'All honor to the pioneers—

'They have made this beautiful land of ours
To blossom in grain and fruit and flowers.'

"Many of them have passed to a well earned rest. May the living long remain to enjoy the fruit of their labors.

"Walla Walla has been pleased to have you here today and hopes to see you all again at future Pow-wows. Her good wishes go with you wherever you may be."

There have been various interesting and valuable exhibitions in Walla Walla in recent years which are entitled to extended mention, but the limits of our space compel us to forego details. One of the most conspicuous of these has been the "corn-show," maintained by the O.-W. R. R. management. "Farmer" Smith has been conspicuous in these shows, other experts in corn production, as well as in the allied arts of the use of corn in cookery and otherwise, have been in attendance, banquets have been held attended by some of the chief officials of the railroad company, and a public interest has been created already bearing fruit, and sure to be a great factor in agriculture in the future. A hearty tribute is due the O.-W. R. R. for the broad and intelligent policy which has led to this contribution to the productive energies of this region.


To those who were in Walla Walla at the "Pageant of May" in 1914, that spectacle must ever remain as incomparably the most beautiful and poetical exhibition ever given in Walla Walla. Indeed it may well claim precedence over any spectacle ever presented in the Inland Empire. It was in all respects in a class by itself. It was conducted under the auspices of the Woman's Park Club. The Pageant consisted of two movements, diverse in their origin and nature and yet interwoven with such artistic skill as to demonstrate rare poetical ability and inventive genius on the part of the author, Mr. Porter Garnett of Berkeley, Cal.




This event was of such entirely exceptional character and so well set a pattern for possible future occasions and created such interest in the minds of all who witnessed its beautiful scenes in the park, that the author feels confident that the readers of this volume will be glad to read the Foreword and the Introduction as given in the book prepared by Mr. Garnett and inscribed by him with this graceful dedication:


The foreword is as follows:


The history of "A Pageant of May" is briefly told.

In November, 1913, the Woman's Park Club, which, in 1911, inaugurated an annual May Festival, conceived the idea of holding a pageant in our city.

Correspondence with the American Pageant Association led to the inviting of Mr. Porter Garnett of Berkeley, California (one of the directors of the association), to come to Walla Walla for a conference. Mr. Garnett arrived on March 26th. On the 30th, having in the meantime selected City Park as the most suitable site, he submitted the outline of "A Pageant of May." It was officially approved on March 31st, and the work of preparation was begun.

Since the construction of a pageant is usually a matter of many months it seems proper, in this case, to call attention to the fact that within a period of seven weeks Mr. Garnett has written the text of "A Pageant of May," designed the costumes and properties, invented the dances, selected the music and rehearsed a cast of over three hundred.

Grateful acknowledgment is made of the assistance of the Commercial Club and of the many citizens of Walla Walla who have given so generously of their time and talent, insuring the success of the "introduction of pageantry in the Northwest."

Grace G. Isaacs,
Mabel Baker Anderson,
Lydia P. Sutherland,
Mary Shipman Penrose,
Marie A. Catron,

Executive Committee for the Pageant,

Woman's Park Club.

Mr. Garnett's Introduction, interpreting the Pageant, is presented in these words:


Although May festivals are held in almost every community, it is in the agricultural community, such as this of Walla Walla with its vicinage of fertile acres, that the celebration of spring—the season of renewal—is most appropriate.

A Pageant of May is a May festival and something more. In it, instead of restricting the ceremonies of the more or less hackneyed forms, an effort has been made to utilize the traditional material and to import into it certain elements of freshness and fancy.


The intention has been not so much to give an exhibition as to afford the community an opportunity for self-expression. The real purpose of the pageant is to remind the people of Walla Walla that since they owe their existence to the soil, spring should be for them a season of sincere and spontaneous rejoicing. It should not be necessary to cajole them into celebrating this season which brings in bud and blossom an earnest of the harvest to come. They should not only be willing but eager to make merry on the Green and to dance around the May-poles. They should remember that the earth which gives them sustenance is not their servant but their mistress and that without her generous gifts they would be poor indeed. A pageant of May offers them an opportunity to pay their homage to Earth the Giver whom the Greeks personified and worshipped as the goddess Demeter (Ceres).

In the Masque of Proserpine, which forms the first part of the pageant, the return of spring is treated symbolically. The myth upon which the masque is built has, on account of its peculiar appropriateness, been used at various times and in various ways to celebrate the season of rebirth, but the present adaptation with its free use of comedy is entirely original. It has been necessary, of course, to take many liberties with the accepted versions, notably the excision of that part of the myth which deals with Ceres' wanderings in search of Proserpine. Those who may be desirous of reading the myth in its most charming form are referred to the translation of an Homeric hymn which Walter Pater incorporated in his essay, Demeter and Persephone, contained in his volume "The Greek Spirit."

The second part of the pageant is based upon the traditional English May Day celebrations. The traditions, however, are by no means strictly followed for there seems to be no justification for a rigid adherence in America to customs which are essentially English. I have used Robin Hood and his Merrie Men because, through literature, they have been made the heritage of all English-speaking people; I have, however, omitted the Morris-dance because, in America, it has no significance whatever.

Since it is hoped that the pageant will be interpreted throughout in a spirit of gaiety; since the participants will be expected to forget (as far as possible) that there are any spectators, the spontaneity which is difficult to attain rather than the expertness which is comparatively easy, will be looked for in the May-pole and other dances. To Mrs. E. R. Ormsbee's able direction is due whatever measure of success may be achieved in this regard. The Dance of the Seeds and the Dance of the Fruits and Flowers owe the charm of their form and detail to the inventive fancy and skill of Miss Rachel Drum.

In both the Masque and the Revels realism has been scrupulously avoided because in the author's opinion realism on the stage is inartistic and futile. There is no reason why a pageant—whether of the historical or festival type—should not be consistently expressed in terms of beauty.

To this end the masque feature has been employed as affording the best possible means by which the note of beauty may be introduced. I believe that the introduction of the masque feature in all pageants, by increasing the gap which already exists between formal and creative pageantry and the familiar tawdriness of the street-fair and carnival, would do more to raise the standard of pageantry than any other single thing.

The text of A Pageant of May has been reduced to the simplest possible terms. It contains no were lines than were necessary to unfold the plot and deliver the message. The lines, moreover, have been uniformly written with the fact in view that they were to be delivered and delivered in the open air. Syllables that open the mouth have been more important therefore than poetic embellishments. As far as possible pantomime has been used to reveal the story. A Pageant of May is not intended for closet reading, and if the reader who did not see its realizement in action on the four-acre stage in Walla Walla's city park finds it somewhat jejune he is asked to bear that fact in mind.

I cannot leave unexpressed my grateful acknowledgments to the members of the Costume Committee who have worked most efficiently under the direction of Mrs. A. J. Gillis, the designing of the children's costumes being admirably done by Miss Helen Burr and Mrs. W. E. Most. To the chairman and members of the other committees, and to the organizers and chaperones of the various groups I am indebted for the invaluable assistance which they have rendered. Finally, I would take this opportunity to express[209] my gratitude to the women of the Executive Committee who, putting aside every consideration of personal convenience, have labored indefatigably for the success of the pageant and the benefit of the community.

P. G.

Walla Walla, Washington.
May 14, 1914.




While the eastern parts of the United States and pre-eminently New England, above all the State of Massachusetts, have assumed, and to considerable degree justly, that they hold priority in education, yet the people of the Far-West may rightfully claim that within the past dozen or twenty years they have made such gains in educational processes and results as to place them in the front rank. The report of the Russell Sage Foundation a few years ago that for all 'round efficiency the schools of Washington State were entitled to first place in the United States, was not surprising, though gratifying to those familiar with the extraordinary growth in equipment and teaching force during the last decade. As is well known, several western and Pacific Coast states outrun all others in freedom from illiteracy, having practically no permanent residents of proper age and normal faculties unable to read and write. It is one of the glories of American democracy, and in fact the logical consequence of self-government in this or in any country, that the craving for knowledge and power and advancement exists in the masses. Thus and thus only can democracy justify its existence. In the West, and perhaps even most intensely in the Pacific Coast states, the ambition to succeed, the spirit of personal initiative, the feelings of independence and equality, were the legitimate product of the pioneer era.

Jefferson School
Green Park School Lincoln School
Washington School Sharpstein School


The state builders, the offspring of the immigrant train, the homesteaders of the Walla Walla country, were, like other westerners, anxious to bequeath to their children better opportunities for education than they in their primitive surroundings could command. Hence they had hardly more than satisfied the fundamental necessities of location, shelter, and some means of income than they began to raise the question of schools. In the earliest numbers of the Washington Statesman the pioneer newspaper of the Inland Empire, beginning in 1861, we find the question of suitable school buildings raised. But that was not the beginning. It is interesting to recall that Doctor and Mrs. Whitman were constantly active in maintaining a school at Waiilatpu, not only as a missionary enterprise for the Indians, but, as time went on, for the children of the immigrants, who gradually formed a little group around the mission. Then after the long period of Indian wars and the establishment of the United States garrison in its present location, there was provision made in 1857 for teaching the children of the garrison together with a few stray children in the community. The teacher of that little group was Harry Freeman of the first dragoons, Troup E. The building used was on the garrison grounds. Among the children were several well known later in Walla Walla and the state, as James and Hugh McCool and their sister Maggie, afterwards Mrs. James Monaghan, mother of the gallant Lieutenant Monaghan, who lost his life heroically in the Samoan Islands and for whom a commemorative monument stands at the southern end of the Monroe Street bridge in Spokane. In that first little company of school children were Robert Smith, Mrs. Michael Kenny, and the Sickler girls, one of whom is now Mrs. Kyger. The first school within the limits of Walla Walla was conducted in 1861-2 by Mrs. A. J. Miner in a private house at about what would now be Alder and Palouse streets. Another pioneer teacher was J. H. Blewett.


Prior to 1862 there had been no public school organization. The scholastic needs of the children had been recognized, however, in the first permanent organization of the county on March 26, 1859, by the appointment of Wm. B. Kelly as superintendent of schools. At the election of July 14, 1862, J. F. Wood was chosen superintendent, and District Number 1 was organized, a room rented, and a teacher appointed. Progress seems to have lagged, however, until the fall of 1864, in which year the census showed a school population of 203, though of that number only ninety-three were enrolled. A meeting on December 12th of that year voted to levy a tax of 2½ mills for the erection of a building. Dr. D. S. Baker donated the land now occupied by the Baker School and a building was erected at a cost of $2,000, the first public school building in the Inland Empire. In 1868 a second district numbered 34 was organized in the southwestern part of town at the corner of Willow and Eighth streets. That building with some additions served its purpose till 1879, and in that year the Park Street building, in use for a number of years, was put up at a cost of $2,000. Districts number 1 and 34 were consolidated by the Legislature in 1881 and the board of directors consisted of the directors of the two districts. As a matter of record it is worth while to preserve the names of that board: H. E. Johnson, D. M. Jessee, B. L. Sharpstein, N. T. Caton, Wm. O'Donnell, and F. W. Paine. E. B. Whitman was clerk.

By vote of the district on April 29, 1882, a much more ambitious plan of building was adopted, one commensurate with the progress of the intervening years, and a tax of $17,000 was levied for the purpose of erecting a brick building. That building accordingly was realized on the Baker School ground, in which many of the present "grave and reverend seigniors" of Walla Walla had their first schooling. Not until 1889 was there any high school work in Walla Walla. In that year Prof. R. C. Kerr, who was city superintendent, met the few pupils of high school grade in the Baker School building. In the following year those pupils were transferred to the Paine School, now known as the Lincoln School, which had been erected in 1888.


The first high school class was graduated in 1893. Up to 1900 there was a total number of high school graduates of eighty. New buildings have been[212] added from time to time and new courses established, with suitable equipment and teaching force. Perhaps we can in no way better indicate the growth of the schools of Walla Walla County and city, than by incorporating here a report prepared by County Supt. G. S. Bond in 1900 for a history of Walla Walla by the author of this work, and contrast with it the last report of City Supt. W. M. Kern. While Walla Walla and adjoining communities have not been considered as of rapid growth, compared with some other parts of the state, a perusal of these reports, seventeen years apart, will give the present citizen some conception of the changes in that short period.

Professor Bond's report follows: "It is the primary object of the writer, in preparing this statement, to present to the public a brief recital of the present condition of the educational facilities of Walla Walla County, rather than attempt to give any account of the history and growth of those facilities. Were it even desirable to do so, it would, for two reasons, prove a somewhat difficult undertaking. The records compiled by the earlier school officers are quite incomplete, if compared with present requirements, and the subdivision of the original county into the present counties of Columbia, Garfield, Asotin and Walla Walla occasioned many changes in the various school districts, and led to a complete re-districting and re-numbering. This, the records in the county superintendent's office show, was done between the years 1879 and 1886.

"In 1891, the county superintendent, by order of the county commissioners, brought together in one book the plats and boundaries of the various districts, numbered consecutively from one to fifty-three. Since that date, to meet the requirements of the constant increase in population, many changes in boundaries have been made and thirteen new districts have been formed, making a total of sixty-six. Six of these are joint with Columbia County.

"The subdivision of the county into sixty-six school districts brings nearly every section within easy range of school facilities. Especially is this true of the eastern and southern portions where the county is most densely populated. With but few exceptions these districts have good, comfortable schoolhouses, furnished with modern patent desks, and fairly well supplied with apparatus. Six new schoolhouses were built, and a considerable amount of furniture was purchased last year.

"A movement which is receiving considerable attention and which is proving of great service to the county is the establishment by private enterprise, entertainment or subscription of district libraries. About twenty have received their books which are eagerly read by both pupils and parents. Others are preparing entertainments to raise a library fund. It is greatly to be hoped that our Legislature may pass some law at this session to encourage the district library. It is one of the measures most needed to improve our rural schools.

"Another feature that is proving of benefit to the country schools is common school graduation. An opportunity to take an examination for graduation is given at various time, to eighth grade pupils in any of the schools. The diplomas admit to high school without further examination. Many take pride in having finished the common school course, and are inducted to remain in school much longer than they otherwise would.

"Eight districts are at present maintaining graded schools. There seems to[213] be a growing sentiment in some of the more densely populated sections to gather together their pupils for the superior advantages of the graded schools. Walla Walla (No. 1) provides an excellent four-year high school course. No. 3 (Waitsburg), also has a high school department.

"Were all the schools in session at the same time there would be required a force of 116 teachers. The districts employing more than one teacher are: Walla Walla—30, Waitsburg—7, Prescott—3, Seeber—3 and Dixie, Wallula, Harrer and Touchet—2 each. Of those employed at this time, 7 hold life diplomas or state certificates, 18 normal diplomas, 25 first grade certificates, 21 second grade, and 15 third grade. Twenty applicants failed last year. If the present crowded condition of the Walla Walla and Waitsburg schools continues next year it will necessitate an increase in the teaching force of five or six at the former place and of one at the latter.

"The Teachers' Reading Circle was reorganized in January, and meetings have been arranged for the more central points throughout the county. The sessions are well attended, the exercises carefully prepared. About fifty teachers have purchased one or more of the books and enrolled as members. All teachers have free access to a library of about seventy-five volumes, treating principally on theory and practice, or the history and philosophy of education.

"Our school districts never began a year on a more solid financial basis than they did the present one. Fifty-one of the sixty-six had a good balance to their credit in the hands of the county treasurer. A comparison of the last financial statement with that of previous years is given to mark the increase.

Receipts   1897   1898   1900
Balance in hands of county treasurer $9,521.43 $9,279.24 $25,838.81
Amount apportioned to districts by county supt. 32,104.54 56,210.31 58,574.66
Amount received from special tax 11,761.62 26,346.81 26,503.99
Amount from sale of school bonds 500.00 1,410.00 500.00
Amount transferred from other districts ........ ........ ........
Amounts from other sources 131.54 82.69 2,212.15
  ———— ———— ————
Total $54,019.13 $93,347.05 $113,629.61
Expenditures 1897 1898 1900
Amount paid for teachers' wages ........ $47,278.95 $38,691.71
Amount paid for rents, fuel, etc. $38,027.39 10,697.78 13,653.06
Amount paid for interest on bonds 2,578.00 2,645.55 4,301.00
Amount paid for sites, buildings, etc. ........ 2,902.68 32,152.61
Amount paid for interest on warrants 4,113.75 5,649.78 1,650.94
Amount reverting to general school fund 2.75 ........ ........
Amount for other districts ........ ........ 12.86
  ———— ———— ————
Total $44,721.89 $69,173.94 $90,962.18
Balance on hand 9,297.24 24,173.11 22,667.43


"The hard times experienced two or three years ago materially affected teachers' wages in this county. The average amount paid male teachers, according to the annual report of the county superintendent in 1898, was $56.57; for female teachers, $39.54. For 1900, male teachers, $62.50; female teachers, $52.40. There seems however, to be dawning a brighter future for the conscientious teacher. Rigid examinations for two years have lessened the competition from those who entered the work only because they had no other employment; the districts are able to hold longer terms and pay larger salaries now. The minimum salary this year is $40, other rural districts pay $45 and $50. Salaries in the graded schools are from fifty-five to one hundred dollars per month. The average length of term in 1898 was 6½ months; the average from 1900 is 7¾ months.

"The estimate in the county superintendent's annual report for 1898 places the total value of schoolhouses and grounds at $162,080; of school furniture; $15,317; of apparatus, etc., $3,871; of libraries, $1,690. Amount of insurance on school property, $79,605; of bonds outstanding, $45,300; warrants outstanding, $41,274. The last enumeration of children of school age shows 4,275 resided in the county on June 1st; of these 3,621 were enrolled in the public schools, and made an average daily attendance of 2,076.

"For 1900, schoolhouses and grounds, $194,060; furniture, $16,350; apparatus, $4,000; libraries, $2,450; insurance, $100,650; bonds outstanding, $75,300; warrants outstanding, $82,721.16; children of school age, 4,767; children enrolled, 4,102; average daily attendance, 2,322. Such was the report of the county superintendent in 1900. Now we present the report of city superintendent, W. M. Kern, for year ending in 1917:

Enrollment Boys   Girls   Total
Elementary schools 1,280 1,234 2,514
High school 428 393 821
Night school 46 81 127
  ——— ——— ———
Total 1,754 1,708 3,462
Transfers to high school 17 26 43
  ——— ——— ———
Total actual enrollment 1,737 1,682 3,419
Deduct night school 46 81 127
  ——— ——— ———
Actual enrollment, grade and high school 1,691 1,601 3,292

Teachers in city schools, 101; valuation of property of city schools, grounds and buildings, $790,000; equipment, $72,000.

"Over seven thousand children of school age reside in Walla Walla County, according to the 1917 school census, completed yesterday. The census shows a total population of school children of 7,331. Of this number 3,928 live in the city school districts and the rest in the other districts of the county.



"The number of children in the county this year is almost identical with that of last year, 1917 showing a decline of two. Last year's figures showed 7,333, as against 7,331 this year. In the city there was a decline in the number of children, the census this year being 3,982 as against 4,000 last year. The county districts, however, showed a gain of sixteen.

"The city school census of 1917 shows the following:

Number of pupils receiving diplomas—
  Boys Girls Total
Green Park 21 12 33
Baker 12 11 23
Sharpstein 17 40 57
Jefferson 17 17 34
Washington 8 6 14
  —— —— ——
Total, grades 75 86 161
High school 44 55 99
Per cent of attendance—
Grades   98.17
High school 98.10 "

As will have been seen, Professor Kern's report gives a view of the buildings and other successive additions to the facilities of the public schools of Walla Walla City. Similar development has taken place in Waitsburg, Prescott and Touchet, as will be seen from the following. It may be added that the smaller places, and the country districts also, have experienced a like improvement.


Waitsburg has maintained excellent schools for many years. We have presented some facts in regard to the earlier schools of the place, and are giving here a view of present organization and equipment.

At this date the board of education consists of Messrs. N. B. Atkinson, J. A. Danielson, and W. J. Taylor. Miss Mary Dixon is clerk. The faculty consists of the following: Superintendent, James H. Adams; high school, principal and instructor in science and athletics, B. B. Brown; instructor in English, Edna McCroskey; instructor in Latin and German, Freda Paulson; instructor in mathematics, Ione Fenton; instructor in history, Elizabeth Nelson; instructor in domestic science and art, Gladys Persels; instructor in manual training and mechanical drawing, Earl Frazier.

The Central School contains the grades, eight in number, Anna Goff being principal.

Waitsburg is provided with three excellent buildings valued as follows: high school, $20,000; Central School, $25,000; Preston Hall, $35,000. The last named is the pride of the Waitsburg School system. It is, in fact, a structure and an instrumentality of unique interest. It was the gift of W. G. Preston, one of the most conspicuous of the pioneers of Walla Walla County. It was the result of the philanthropic impulse as well as the practical good judgment of its donor, for Mr. Preston had formed the impression during his busy and successful career[216] that a knowledge of the manual arts was vital to the average boy and girl. The building was completed in 1913 and was provided with the most perfect equipment for manual instruction which the space would allow. During the past year there were enrolled in the manual training course, thirty-four boys, in the sewing course thirty-five girls, and in the cooking course, thirteen girls. There is also a well-equipped gymnasium in the building. The campus on which the high school and Preston Hall stand contains five acres of land, about half of which is covered with a grove, while the athletic field occupies the remainder of the open space.

Some other valuable data we derive from the information kindly supplied by Superintendent Adams. We find, as an interesting point worthy of preservation for future comparison, that the average salary during the past year paid the male teachers was $1,308.75, and that of the female teachers was $746.25. Included in these averages are the superintendent and principals. The total enrollment during 1916-17 was: boys, 216, girls, 208. Percentage of daily attendance was 95.1 for the boys and 95.3 for the girls. The number in the high school was: First year, 48; second year, 30; third year, 28; fourth year, 18; a total of 124. The school library contains the following number of volumes: high school, 700; grades, 400.


Prescott, while not a large town, is an ideal home town in the midst of a magnificent and extensive farming country, and conducts an amount of business quite beyond the ordinary volume for its population. The county tributary to Prescott produces about seven hundred thousand bushels of grain annually, and here is grown the famous blue-stem wheat, the highest grade milling wheat produced in the Northwest. The land here yields from twenty-five to forty bushels of wheat per acre. Crop failures are quite unknown. The laudable pride and ambition of the people has led them to the construction of so fine a school building as to be a source of wonder and admiration to all visitors. In this elegant building there is sustained a high school department of four years curriculum, with four teachers and, during the past year, forty pupils. Part of the building is occupied by the grades. The value of the school property is estimated at fifty-four thousand dollars, the most of which is included in the high school building. Situated upon a slight eminence overlooking the fertile and beautiful Touchet Valley, with the vast sweep of the wheat covered hills closing it in, this Prescott school building presents an appearance which many large towns might envy. During a number of years past a succession of peculiarly well qualified teachers have devoted themselves to the progress of the Prescott schools, and as a result have lifted them to a status which has been indicated in the high grades which the pupils have attained in higher institutions and the efficiency which they have shown in business engagements upon which they may have entered. Prescott obtains its water supply from the snow-capped Blue Mountains, lying twenty miles to the east. Thus being assured of a perpetual supply of pure water. Prescott is noted for its healthfulness.




Descending the Touchet about twenty miles we reach its junction with the Walla Walla, and there we find another of the fine little towns which border that beautiful and historic stream.


The Town of Touchet is at a lower level, only 450 feet above sea level, and by reason of that and of its more westerly situation it has higher temperature and less rainfall than any other of the Touchet towns. It is consequently an irrigated fruit and alfalfa section. The splendid Gardena District on the south and the productive lands in the Touchet and Walla Walla bottoms north and east and at their junction, give the town a commanding location. It is accordingly an active business center, with several well stocked stores, a bank, an attractive church of the Congregational order, and a number of pleasant homes.

The pride of the place, however, like that of Prescott is the school building. This is a singularly attractive building, built for the future, though well utilized in the present. The valuation of school property in the Touchet District is $27,500, practically all represented in the high school building with its equipment. There is a total enrollment of 203 pupils with eight teachers. There are forty pupils in the high school, and a four year course is provided.


The following statistics from the report of the state superintendent for 1917 will indicate the general condition of the schools of Walla Walla County. These figures are for the school year 1915-16.

  Male Female Total
Number of census children, June 1, 1916 3,646 3,706 7,352
Number of pupils enrolled in public schools 3,122 2,838 5,960
Average daily attendance 2,466 2,237 4,703
Total number of teachers employed 218
Average salary paid high school teachers $ 990.10
Average salary paid grade teachers 788.45
Average salary of superintendents, principals, and supervisors 1,328.00
Number of children over six years of age not attending school 600
Number of children between the ages of five and fifteen years not attending school 32

From every point of view it may be said that the schools of Walla Walla County (as will be seen in later chapters the same is true of Columbia, Garfield, and Asotin counties) have kept pace with the general progress of the regions in which they are located.


From the public schools we turn to the various private institutions. Foremost of these, and indeed in many respects the most unique and distinctive[218] feature of Southeastern Washington, both from a historical and existing viewpoint, is Whitman College. This institution grew out of the mission at Waiilatpu, with its brave and patriotic life and tragic end. After the period of Indian wars, beginning with the Whitman Massacre in 1847 and continuing, with some interruptions, till 1858, there occurred a return to Waiilatpu, one of the constructive events in our history. In 1859 Father Cushing Eells came from Forest Grove, Ore., where he had spent some years as a teacher, to the Walla Walla country, with a view to a new enterprise of a very different sort from that which had led Whitman, Spalding, and Gray in 1836, and Eells, Walker, Smith, and Rogers in 1838 to come to Oregon. The first aim was purely missionary. The twenty and more following years had demonstrated the fact that this country was to be a home missionary field, instead of foreign. It was clear to Father Eells that the educational needs of the boys and girls of the new era must be regarded as of first importance. Standing on the little hill at Waiilatpu and viewing the seemingly forsaken grave where Whitman and his associates had been hurriedly interred twelve years before, Father Eells made a vow to himself and his God, feeling as he afterwards said, "The spirit of the Lord upon him," to found a school of higher learning for both sexes, a memorial which he was sure the martyrs of Waiilatpu, if they could speak, would prefer to any other. That vow was the germination of Whitman Seminary, which grew into Whitman College.

In pursuance of his plans, Father Eells acquired from the foreign missionary board the square mile of land at Waiilatpu allowed them as a donation claim and there he made his home for several years. It was his first intention to locate the seminary at the mission ground, but as it became obvious that the "city" would grow up near the fort six miles east, he decided that there was the proper place for his cherished enterprise. The years that followed were years of heroic self-denial and unflagging labor by Father and Mrs. Eells and their two sons, Edwin and Myron. They cut wood, raised chickens, made butter, sold vegetables, exercised the most rigid economy, and by thus raking and scraping and turning every energy and resource to the one aim, they slowly accumulated about four thousand dollars for their unselfish purpose. On October 13, 1866, the first building was dedicated. It was on the location of the present Whitman Conservatory of Music. The building was removed to make way for the conservatory and now composes part of Prentiss Hall, a dormitory for young men. The land on which Whitman Seminary and subsequently the college was located was the gift of Dr. D. S. Baker.

Space does not allow us to enter into the history of the seminary, but the names of those longest and most efficient in its service should be recorded here. Aside from Father Eells and his family, Rev. P. B. Chamberlain, first pastor of the Congregational Church, with Mrs. Chamberlain and Miss Mary A. Hodgden, were the chief teachers during the time of beginning. Later Prof. Wm. Marriner and Capt. W. K. Grim were the chief principals. Associated with the latter was Mr. Samuel Sweeney, still well known as a business man and farmer, and the only one of the seminary teachers still living in Walla Walla, aside from the author of this work, who was for a short time in charge of it in 1878-9. In 1883 the second great step was taken by the coming of Dr. A. J. Anderson, who[219] had been for several years president of the State University at Seattle. The history of Doctor Anderson's connection with Whitman College and the general educational interests of Walla Walla and surrounding country constitutes a history by itself worthy of extended notice. He was ably assisted by his wife, one of the finest spirits of early days in Walla Walla, and by his sons Louis and George, the former of whom became later one of the foremost teachers in the expanded college and is now its vice president. With the coming of Doctor Anderson the seminary was raised to college rank with new courses and added teaching force. In the same year of 1883 a new building was erected which served as the main building for nearly twenty years. For the purpose of raising money for further development Father Eells made a journey to the East at that time. Although he was becoming advanced in years and the work was trying and laborious, he succeeded nobly in his aims, securing $16,000 and laying the foundations of friendships which resulted later in largely added amounts. During the eight years of Doctor Anderson's presidency Whitman College, though cramped for funds and inadequately provided with needed equipment, performed a noble service for the region, laying broad and deep the foundations upon which the enlarged structure of later years was reared. Some of the men and women now holding foremost places in every branch of life in the Northwest, as well as in distant regions, were students at the Whitman College of that period.

After the resignation of Doctor Anderson in 1891 there was a period of loss and uncertainty which was happily ended in 1894 by what might be considered the third great step in the history of the college. This was the election to the presidency of Rev. S. B. L. Penrose, a member of the "Yale Band" of 1890 and during the three years after his arrival the pastor of the Congregational Church at Dayton. Of the monumental work accomplished by Doctor Penrose during the twenty-three years of his presidency, we cannot here speak adequately. Suffice it to say that while Whitman is still a small college in comparison with the state institutions of the Northwest, the increase in buildings, endowment, equipment, courses and instructors has been such as to constitute a chapter of achievements hard to match among the privately endowed colleges of the United States. We have spoken of three great events in the history of the college, the founding of the seminary by Father Eells, the establishment of the college by Doctor Anderson, and the assumption of the presidency by Doctor Penrose. It remains to add a fourth of the great events. This was the raising by Walla Walla and vicinity of the accumulated debts of a series of years caused by the heroic efforts to keep pace with necessary improvements while resources were still scanty. Due to those conditions the college was heavily encumbered and much handicapped as a result. In 1911 an offer of large additions to the endowment was made by the General Education Society of New York, on condition that all debts be raised. This led to a campaign in 1912 for the funds needed for that purpose. This may truly be called a monumental event, both for the permanent establishment of the college upon a secure foundation, as well as a remarkable achievement for Walla Walla. For though the city and county are wealthy and productive, yet to lay right down on the counter the sum of $213,140.30 was notable and the gift was rendered more remarkable in view of the fact that about[220] eighty thousand dollars had just been raised for the Young Men's Christian Association, that churches were raising contributions for expensive buildings, that costly school buildings had just been erected, and that the need of a new high school and a new courthouse building was becoming agitated. It may be added that within a year the burning of St. Mary's Hospital precipitated a call for large contributions to replace it. This was duly accomplished in the erection of one of the best hospitals in the Northwest. It is probably safe to say that the amount put into public buildings, together with contributions to the Young Men's Christian Association, the college, and the hospital, during a period of about three years, exceeded a million dollars—a noteworthy achievement even for a wealthy community, and one demonstrating both the liberality and resources of Walla Walla. From the standpoint of Whitman College it may be said that aside from the indispensable aid which this large contribution afforded, there was another result of the campaign equally valuable. This was the commensurate interest felt by the community in the college and all its works. Up to that debt-raising campaign there had been an indifference and in some quarters even a certain prejudice which crippled the efforts of the college management. With the raising of the debt there was a new sense of harmony and community interest which will bring immeasurable advantage to the future both of the college and the community.

As a matter of permanent historic interest it is well to incorporate here the names of trustees and faculty, as given in the catalog for 1917.


The president of the college, ex-officio, William Hutchinson Cowles, A. B., Spokane, 1919; Allen Holbrook Reynolds, A. M., Walla Walla, 1919; Louis Francis Anderson, A. M., Walla Walla, 1918; Park Weed Willis, M. D., Seattle, 1920; John Warren Langdon, Walla Walla, 1917; Miles Conway Moore, LL. D., Walla Walla, 1918; Oscar Drumheller, B. S., Walla Walla, 1917; Edwin Alonzo Reser, Walla Walla, 1920.

Numbers indicate the years in which terms of trustees expire. The election takes place at the annual meeting in June.


President, Miles Conway Moore, LL. D.; treasurer, Allen Holbrook Reynolds, A. M.; secretary, Dorsey Marion Hill, Ph. B.


Stephen Beasley Linnard Penrose, D. D., president and Cushing Eells professor of philosophy; Louis Francis Anderson, A. M., vice president and professor of Greek; William Denison Lyman, A. M., Nelson Gales Blalock professor of history; Helen Abby Pepoon, A. B., professor of Latin; Benjamin Harrison Brown, A. M., Nathaniel Shipman professor of physics; Walter Andrew Bratton, A. B., dean of the science group and Alexander Jay Anderson professor of mathematics; James Walton Cooper, A. M., professor of Romance languages; Howard Stidham Brode, Ph. D., Spencer F. Baird professor of biology; Edward Ernest Ruby, A. M., dean of the language group and Clement Biddle Penrose professor of Latin; Helen Louise Burr, A. B., dean of women; Elias Blum, professor of the theory of music; William Hudson Bleakney, Ph. D., professor of Greek; William Rees Davis, A. M., Mary A. Denny professor of English; Walter Crosby Eells, A. M., professor of applied mathematics and drawing; Raymond Vincent Borleske, A. B., director of physical education; Charles Gourlay Goodrich, M. S., professor of German; Frank Loyal Haigh, Ph. D., professor of chemistry; Arthur Chester Millspaugh, Ph. D., professor of political science; Thomas Franklin Day, Ph. D., acting dean of the philosophy group and acting professor of philosophy; Frances Rebecca Gardner, A. B., acting dean of women; William Ezekiel Leonard, A. M., acting professor of economics and business; Walter Cooke Lee, A. B., associate librarian; Milton Simpson, A. M., acting associate professor of English; Harriet Lulu Carstensen, A. M., assistant librarian; Alice Popper, instructor in French and German; Margaret Lucille Leyda, A. B., instructor in English and physical training for women.

Billings Hall, Department of Science The Gymnasium
Whitman Memorial Building
Reynold's Hall, Young Ladies Dormitory McDowell Hall, Conservatory of Music


The catalog shows also that at the present date the college owns equipment, buildings, and grounds to the value of $466,091.40 and endowment funds to the amount of $684,247. The expenses for the session of 1915-16 were $88,892.92. The enrollment of students in the literary departments for 1916-17 was 312, and in the conservatory of music 289.

The graduates of the college who have received bachelor's degrees during the years 1886-1917 aggregate about four hundred and twenty-five. The large majority of these have received their degrees during the seven years ending with the latter date. Classes were very small up to about 1910. Since that time the number of seniors has been from twenty-five to forty. Besides those who have graduated with the regular college literary and scientific degrees, a large number have graduated from academic, normal and conservatory courses.

We are indebted to Mr. W. L. Stirling of the board of trustees of St. Paul's School for Girls for the sketch here subjoined.


Saint Paul's School was opened in September, 1872, as a day school for girls by the Rev. Lemuel H. Wells, a missionary of the Protestant Episcopal Church, who had come to Walla Walla the previous year and organized Saint Paul's Church.

Seeing the need of a girls' school, a board of trustees was selected consisting of the Rev. Lemuel H. Wells, John S. Boyer, Philip Ritz, B. L. Sharpstein, A. B. Elmer, Judge J. D. Mix and John Abbott. Funds were obtained in the East and a frame building was erected near the corner of Third and Poplar streets.

The school prospered, and it was decided to make it a boarding school. More money was raised in the East and in Walla Walla, more land was purchased and a dormitory was built.

In September, 1873, it was opened as Saint Paul's Boarding and Day School for Girls, with Mrs. George Browne as principal. Mrs. Browne was succeeded[222] by Miss Henrietta B. Garretson (who later became Mrs. Lemuel H. Wells) and the Rev. J. D. Lathrop, D. D.

In the earlier days of the school, pupils from Idaho, Montana and Eastern Oregon frequently paid their tuitions in gold dust, and there were a few cases where payment was even made in produce, such as flour, and potatoes. One parent paid in cattle, which remained on the ranch and multiplied until they paid for an addition to one of the school buildings.

The school was successfully maintained until the year 1885, when it was closed. It was reopened in 1897 under Miss Imogen Boyer, as principal. It was incorporated September 14, 1897, by E. B. Whitman, Rev. Francis L. Palmer, B. L. Sharpstein, W. H. Upton, and J. H. Marshall, Rev. F. L. Palmer being chosen its first president.

In 1899 a new site was purchased on Catherine Street, and a new three story building erected named "Appleton Hall." The trustees at that time were Bishop Wells, The Rev. Andreas Bard, B. L. Sharpstein, Levi Ankeny, R. F. Smitten and W. H. Upton. Miss Imogen Boyer was principal, and so continued until her resignation in 1903. Under Miss Boyer's administration the school increased substantially in prestige and in the number of pupils in attendance.

In 1903 Miss Caroline F. Buck was elected principal, and by formal agreement between Bishop Wells and the board of trustees the school was thenceforth to be conducted as a diocesan school of the Protestant Episcopal Church.

In 1904 Miss Buck was succeeded by Rev. Andreas Bard, as principal.

In 1906 funds were secured by Bishop Wells for the erection of a new three story brick dormitory named "Ewing Hall" which greatly increased the accommodations for boarders and materially assisted in the growth of the school.

In 1907 Rev. Andreas Bard resigned and was succeeded by Miss Anna E. Plympton, who remained until 1910. Miss Nettie M. Galbraith was then elected principal, and under her able administration, assisted by Miss Mary E. Atkinson, as vice principal, the school has grown rapidly year by year until it is now the largest, as well as the oldest school for girls in the State of Washington, and probably in the entire Northwest.

In 1911 Bishop Wells secured additional funds for the purchase of the Sharpstein property adjoining the school grounds to allow for expansion in the near future. The acquisition of this fine property 200 feet by 200 feet gave the school a frontage of 543 feet on Catherine Street, one of the finest pieces of property in the city.

In 1916, Bishop Herman Page, of Spokane, succeeded Bishop Wells as president of the board of trustees; the other members of the board at that time being Rev. C. E. Tuke, George A. Evans, W. A. Ritz, Dr. F. W. Rees, H. G. Thompson, Dr. H. R. Keylor, J. W. Langdon and W. L. Stirling.

The need of increased accommodation for boarders being imperative, Bishop Page undertook to raise the sum of $10,000 to $12,000 for a new building provided $5,000 additional should be subscribed by the people of Walla Walla. This was done and a new fire proof brick building was erected in 1917, containing assembly hall, gymnasium and dormitories, and named "Wells Hall" in honor of Bishop Wells, who had founded the school in 1872 and had ever since been its most constant and devoted supporter. Even with its new equipment the school[223] at once became crowded to its capacity, there being fifty boarders, as well as a large number of day scholars, and plans are being considered for another new building.

Although the school now has an annual budget of nearly twenty thousand dollars, it has never been entirely self-supporting, being without endowment, and always having given the greatest possible service at a very moderate charge. The raising of an adequate endowment fund is contemplated as soon as circumstances will permit.

The school offers a systematic and liberal course of study, maintaining kindergarten, primary, intermediate, grammar, grade, academic and music departments, also special post graduate, business, and finishing courses. The course includes eight years in the elementary school, completed in six or seven years when possible, and four years in the academic department. There is also an advanced course offered for irregular students and for those graduated from the high schools and academies.

The instructors are Christian women, and it is the aim of the school to administer to the individual needs of girls; to aid in their moral, intellectual and physical development by offering them the advantages of a well ordered school and the wholesome influence of a refined home. The scholarship of Saint Paul's is attested by the fact that Eastern and Western examiners of leading educational institutions have expressed their willingness to accept its graduates without examination. Saint Paul's covers a wide field, having had among its boarders in recent years scholars from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Panama and Alaska.

The location of the school is exceptionally fine, the grounds extensive, well laid out and shaded, and the buildings, four in number, are spacious, well constructed and conveniently arranged and equipped.


The Catholic Church has maintained two academies, one for boys and one for girls, for a number of years. These were founded early in the history of Walla Walla. In 1864 the Sisters of Providence opened the doors of a school for girls on the location where St. Mary's Hospital now stands. Rev. J. B. A. Brouillet was at that time at the head of the local church and the school was officially under his oversight. In 1865 St. Patrick's Academy for boys was opened. This was on the site of the present Catholic Church, and the first teacher was H. H. Lamarche. He acted as principal for fifteen years. In 1899 notable changes occurred in the academy. In that year fine and noteworthy exercises in its dedication occurred under charge of Rev. Father M. Flohr. The presence of Bishop E. J. O'Dea added to the interest of the occasion. In August following three brothers from San Francisco arrived to take charge of the academy. In honor of St. J. B. De La Salle, founder of the congregation to which those brothers belonged, the name of the academy was changed to De La Salle Institute. It opened in September, 1899, with 100 pupils. The numbers and influence of this institute have steadily increased. The teachers at the present are: Brother[224] Luke, director; Brothers Damien and Daniel, teachers. The number of boys enrolled is eighty.

The school for girls, founded in 1864, as stated, developed into St. Vincent Academy, and as such it has occupied a position of great influence and usefulness ever since its foundation. Every facility for academic study, with special attention to the varied accomplishments of music, drawing, painting, and decorative work, as well as the practical branches in needle work, in stenography, and in typewriting, is afforded by St. Vincent's Academy. Extracts from the current reports indicate the present conditions.

The Sister Superior in charge of the academy is Sister Mary Mount Carmel. There are six teachers employed at the present time. The enrollment consists of 164 girls and fourteen small boys.


Walla Walla has become known as an educational center, and in addition to the public schools, and private institutions within the city, there is still another outside the city limits entitled to interest. This is Walla Walla College at College Place, a flourishing suburb of the city. The college is under the direction of the Seventh Day Adventists. It was founded by that denomination in 1892 upon land donated by Dr. N. G. Blalock and has been maintained by contributions from the membership of the church and tuitions from the students. In connection with it there is a well conducted hospital. There is a beautiful and commodious main building, besides the other buildings needful to provide for the large number of students who come from elsewhere and make their home at the college. From the current catalog we derive the following exhibit of the managers and faculty.


William W. Prescott, 1892-94; Edward A. Sutherland, 1894-97; Emmett J. Hibbard,1897-98; Walter B. Sutherland, 1898-1900; E. L. Stewart 1900-02; Charles C. Lewis, 1902-04; Joseph L. Kay, 1904-05; M. E. Cady, 1905-11; Ernest C. Kellogg, 1911-17; Walter I. Smith, 1917-.


C. W. Flaiz, College Place, Wash.; H. W. Decker, College Place, Wash.; F. S. Bunch, College Place, Wash.; H. W. Cottrell, Portland, Ore.; J. J. Nethery, College Place, Wash.; J. F. Piper, Seattle, Wash.; G. F. Watson, Bozeman Mont.; F. W. Peterson, College Place, Wash.; E. C. Kellogg, College Place, Wash.


C. W. Flaiz, chairman; E. C. Kellogg, secretary; F. W. Peterson, treasurer.





Walter Irvine Smith, president, mathematics and astronomy; Elder O. A. Johnson, Bible and ecclesiastical history; Elder F. S. Bunch, Bible and pastoral training; George W. Rine, history and public speaking; Winifred Lucile Holmden, ancient and modern languages; J. Alvin Renninger, English and Biblical literature; Clara Edna Rogers, rhetoric; Bert Bryan Davis, normal director, psychology and education; William Miller Heidenreich, German; Arthur C. Christensen, chemistry and biology; George Kretschmar, physics and mathematics; A. Wilmar Oakes, director of music, violin, orchestra and chorus; Grace Wood-Reith, pianoforte and voice; Estella Winona Kiehnhoff, pianoforte, voice and harmony; ——, stenography and typewriting; William Carey Raley, bookkeeping and accountancy; Win S. Osborne, art.


Charles Oscar Smith, grades seven and eight; Grace Robison-Rine, grades five and six, intermediate methods; Rosella A. Snyder-Davis, grades three and four, manual arts; Anna Aurelia Pierce, grades one and two, primary methods.


Frank W. Peterson, superintendent; Glen R. Holden, printing; Wm. B. Ammundsen, carpentry; Philip A. Bothwell, baking; Mrs. R. D. Bolter, dressmaking; Mrs. F. W. Vesey, cooking.

The catalog shows an enrollment of 293 pupils.

From a historical and educational standpoint there is no more interesting institution under private control than the


That community of beautiful homes and intelligent citizens, of which much more will be said in other parts of this work, has always recognized the value of education, and it is not surprising to find a demand in the early days for a more advanced type of education than that afforded by the common schools. During the first part of the decade of the '80s that demand eventuated in the appointment by the United Presbyterian Church of Rev. Joseph Alter in 1884 to go to Eastern Washington as a general organizer of home missionary and educational work. The church founded by Mr. Alter secured Rev. W. G. M. Hays as its pastor in 1886. Being filled with the spirit of the need of higher education and encouraged by ample evidence of probable support of a first-class academy, Doctor Hays became a steadfast advocate of such an undertaking and on September 14, 1886, the church building was opened for the meeting of the first classes, Prof. J. G. Thompson being placed in charge of the work. At that time the academy had no corporate existence and no board of trustees. But in 1887 the infant institution was adopted by the synod of Columbia of the United[226] Presbyterian Church of North America and became regularly incorporated with its first board of trustees consisting of the Revs. Hugh F. Wallace, W. G. Irvine, W. A. Spalding, W. G. M. Hays, and J. H. Niblock, and Messrs. A. W. Philips, David Roberts, E. F. Cox, T. J. Hollowell, and J. E. Vans. In May, 1887, in pursuance of the plans of the board, a joint stock company was organized to conduct the academy. Six thousand dollars was raised, of which $4,000 was devoted to a building and the remainder to supplementing tuition as a means of maintenance. During the ten years following the founding, Doctor Hays, Rev. W. R. Stevenson, and Miss Ina F. Robertson made journeys east for the purpose of securing funds for building and endowment. As a result of the last campaign of Miss Robertson, funds were secured for an excellent building which was erected in 1896. During the entire term of its existence Waitsburg Academy received the respect and support of the community, and its teachers were men and women of the highest type.

The principals with their terms of service were these: J. G. Thompson, 1886-9; T. M. McKinney, 1889-90; W. G. M. Hays, 1890-1; Ina F. Robertson, 1891-4; and Rev. J. A. Keener, 1894, to the termination of the life of the institution. For rather sad to relate Waitsburg Academy, in spite of all its excellent work and a growing body of alumni enthusiastic in its support, found itself in the situation which has confronted practically all such educational institutions in the West. When high school instruction was undertaken at Waitsburg it was found that the interest and desire to support that public system was so general that the support of the academy fell off, and though the people of the community had no sentiment other than of commendation, yet their first interest was in the public school system. As an inevitable sequence the academy found it wise to disband. Its building was sold to the district and there the public school work of part of the city is conducted. The academy, though disbanded, had performed a great mission, and the present excellent high school, as well as the general culture and intelligence apparent in the beautiful little City of Waitsburg, may be attributed in large degree to the noble work of the academy.

We have elsewhere given a general view of the public school systems of the county, and in that the schools of Waitsburg appear. But there is one feature of the schools of Waitsburg already named so unique and interesting as to call for further special mention. This is Preston Hall, connected with the high school. This beautiful and well-equipped building was the gift of one of the noblest and most philanthropic citizens of the Inland Empire, a man of whom old Walla Walla County, and particularly Waitsburg, may well be proud. This was W. G. Preston. This big-souled and big-brained builder of the large affairs of his community, had a deep sense of the value of practical industrial training for the growing youth of the land. Carrying out his favorite idea he gave about twenty-six thousand dollars for the creation of a building, with suitable equipment for the best type of industrial education, as well as gymnastic training. While this was but one of the many contributions to the advancement of the community in which the Preston family lived so long and so well, it is perhaps the one which will be most wide-reaching in influence and the one which will perpetuate most effectively the influence of its donor.

Before leaving the subject of the schools it may be suitable to note the[227] fact that the schools in what was old Walla Walla County, as well as the narrower limits which now retain the name, have during the past ten or fifteen years shown a great tendency to build more beautiful and better equipped houses. This has been due partly to the increase in wealth and culture and to the general recognition that the old bare unlovely and forsaken-looking schoolhouses of the earlier times are an affront to the progressive spirit of a time which is demanding the best for the boys and girls, but much of the motive power of this great improvement must be attributed, in Walla Walla County, to the last two superintendents of schools, Mrs. Josephine Preston and Paul Johnson. During the eight years of service of these two efficient public officials the idea of the rural school as a community center and a focus of social life has gained a hold on public interest and support truly wonderful. A debt of gratitude is due these and other incumbents of the same office in the other counties covered by this work in inaugurating a new era in school architecture and beautification of grounds. The influence of this on coming generations for character, patriotism, and efficiency, as well as artistic taste and general culture, will be incalculable. It is fitting that special note be made here of the fact that in the smaller towns of Walla Walla County, Prescott, Touchet, Dixie and Attalia, the school buildings represent large outlay and contain the best modern features. If there is one thing more than another in which the people of this section may take satisfaction, it is the school system, both town and rural.

There is another institution in Walla Walla of rare interest, which while not educational is allied with that branch of social progress. We refer to the Stubblefield Home. From Mr. C. M. Rader, one of the trustees, we derive the following account of this noble institution.


To Joseph Loney Stubblefield and his good wife Anna, are indebted the children and widows who in the past have been, or in the future may become members of this home. In early life Mr. and Mrs. Stubblefield experienced the hardships incident to poverty. They emigrated from Missouri in the early '60s and settled about seven miles southeast of Walla Walla, where by most frugal habits and great industry they accumulated, for the early days, a considerable fortune. The wife died in 1874 without issue. She and her husband often talked of the great need of a home for caring for aged widows and orphan children and the wife said she wanted her money to be used for such purpose. She left no will, except as it was impressed in the heart of her husband.

On November 16, 1902, six months after making his will, Joseph L. Stubblefield died at the age of seventy-eight years. By the thirty-first clause of this will he left about one hundred and thirty thousand dollars, the bulk of his accumulations, for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a home for "fatherless or motherless and indigent children, and worthy elderly indigent widows, residents of Washington and Oregon." This fund was willed to R. M. Dorothy, E. A. Reser and Cary M. Rader, who were named as trustees to manage the fund and the home to be established. These trustees were appointed to serve for life, unless any should resign or be removed. The successors of these trustees under[228] the terms of the will are to be appointed by the county commissioners of Walla Walla and Umatilla counties, acting jointly but by and with the consent of the two trustees remaining on the board. A second wife, whom Mr. Stubblefield had amply provided for, attempted to break the will by proceedings in court, but the will was fully sustained both in the Superior and Supreme courts of Washington.

Numerous citizens interested themselves in an attempt to secure the location of the home near Walla Walla and raised a donation of something more than ten thousand dollars to assist in purchasing a suitable site. The trustees purchased the present grounds consisting of forty acres about one mile southeast of the City of Walla Walla and there on November 16, 1904, exactly two years after the death of Mr. Stubblefield, with appropriate ceremonies, the home was formally opened with Alphonso R. Olds as superintendent and his wife Etta C. Olds as matron.

The home remained under the very efficient management of these good people for eight years. On their resignation, occasioned by ill health, Luther J. Campbell and wife Maggie were appointed respectively as superintendent and matron, and have since been in charge of the institution. R. M. Dorothy, in 1912, resigned as trustee and was succeeded on the board by Francis M. Stubblefield, a nephew of Joseph L. Stubblefield. These are the only changes of officials connected with the institution.

The home rapidly filled after the opening and there has since rarely been a vacancy for any considerable time. The number of members in the home is usually close to twenty-five and of these most are children. There have never been more than three widows in the home at one time. The children are taught to work and soon become quite expert for children—the boys as gardeners and the girls at household duties. In 1915 a team of three girls from the home won a prize at the Walla Walla County Fair and also at the State Fair as experts in canning fruits and vegetables. The children attend school at the Berney Graded School.

The fund left by Mr. Stubblefield, by judicious handling, has about doubled and is at present mostly invested in wheat lands, which furnish sufficient income to defray all expenses.


As elsewhere in this work we speak first of the institutions located in Walla Walla City itself. By reason of priority of settlement the institutions of all sorts growing around that point were representative of the entire region and hence belong as truly to the parts which subsequently were set aside for other counties. We shall elsewhere endeavor to give similar brief views of the churches of the other parts of the region covered by our story. As will be obvious to the reader, the limitations of space compel us to consider the churches as a whole, important as they are in the life of the community, without dwelling upon details, significant and inspiring as they often are. Practically all the leading Christian denominations have been represented in Old Walla Walla. The Methodist seems to have been the pioneer among the Protestant denominations, though the Catholic was first to provide a place of worship. It was in 1859 that a structure of piles driven into the ground and covered with shakes was prepared for worship by the Catholics of the little community on Mill Creek. The location was near the present lumber yard on Third Street and Poplar. In 1860 the Methodists built the first regular building on the corner of the present Fifth and Alder. That church had various vicissitudes, for it subsequently moved to Second and Alder and was used for a time as a house for the hosecart of the fire department. Later on it received a second story and became the "Blue Front," still later burned.

Congregational Church
White Temple Baptist Church Central Christian Church
Presbyterian Church


We give here a sketch of the early history of the Methodist Church, not with the desire to overemphasize that denomination at the expense of others, but that by reason of its pioneer nature it was peculiarly typical of the first days. We take this from a historical report prepared by J. M. Hill and E. Smith and presented at the conference at Walla Walla on February 7, 1900. This report contains so much interlocking matter of different kinds as to give it a permanent value:

"On page seventy-four of Rev. H. K. Hines' Missionary History of the Pacific Northwest, we find that the first sermon preached west of the Rocky Mountains was delivered by Rev. Jason Lee at Fort Hall, on Sunday, July 27, 1834. And in a book entitled Wild Life in Oregon, on pages 176-7, we will find that the first Methodist sermon preached at or near Walla Walla was by the Rev. Gustavus Hines, on May 21, 1843, at Doctor Whitman's mission, six miles west of this city. Rev. Gustavus Hines also preached at Rev. H. H. Spalding's Lapwai mission, on Sunday, May 14, 1843.

We find that the first Methodist Episcopal Church organization that was perfected in Walla Walla, or in that part of the country known as Eastern Oregon or Eastern Washington, was in 1859, and at that time the Walla Walla Valley was just commencing to be settled up with stock raisers and traders. The Town of Walla Walla was the principal or most important point, the United States military post being located here, and this place having become the wintering place for miners, packers and freighters from the mines north and east of this country.

The Oregon conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, having jurisdiction over the church work in this section, took up the matter of supplying it with the gospel, and at the annual conference held at Albany in August, 1859, appointed Rev. J. H. Wilber as presiding elder of this field, calling it the Walla Walla circuit, which took in most of that part of the country east of The Dalles, Oregon, comprising the Grande Ronde, Walla Walla, Snake River and Columbia River valleys as far north as the British line and east to the Rocky Mountains, and appointed Rev. G. M. Berry as pastor for Walla Walla circuit.

Brother Wilber and Brother Berry at once started for their field of labor. They came to Walla Walla and commenced the work by holding meetings at different places, at the homes of some of the people and at times in the old log courthouse at the corner of Main and Fifth streets. Soon after taking up the work Brother Wilber and Brother Berry decided to organize a class at Walla Walla, and on Monday, October 11, 1859, met and organized the first class in the district; also held their first quarterly conference. The quarterly conference was called to order by the presiding elder, Rev. J. H. Wilber, and opened with singing and prayer. The pastor, Rev. G. M. Berry, was appointed secretary of the meeting. The following named brothers were elected as the first board of stewards:[230] S. M. Titus, William B. Kelly, John Moar, A. B. Roberts and T. P. Denney. A. B. Roberts was elected as the recording steward.

In January, 1860, the class decided to build a church in the Town of Walla Walla, and appointed a building committee to undertake the work, consisting of the pastor, Rev. G. M. Berry, Brother Thomas Martin and Brother John Moar. At a meeting held in April, 1860, the committee reported that they had selected for a church site lots 6 and 7, block 10, at the corner of Alder and Fifth streets, and that Rev. G. M. Berry had made application to the Board of County Commissioners asking them to donate the lots to the church. At a meeting held on May 21, 1860, the first board of trustees of the church of Walla Walla was appointed, being Brothers T. P. Denney, S. M. Titus, John Moar, Thomas Martin and William B. Kelly, and on May 22, 1860, lots 6 and 7 of block 10 of the original Town of Walla Walla were transferred to the above named trustees for the church by the Board of County Commissioners of Walla Walla County.

The building committee—the pastor, Rev. G. M. Berry, as its chairman—with the few members, at once took up the work of building the church, which was completed in the fall of 1860. It was the first church of any denomination built in Walla Walla, and was built at a cost of $1,046.52, with unpaid bills to the amount of $131.02. These items are taken from the report of the auditor of accounts of the building committee as reported at the third quarterly conference, held at Walla Walla on June 24, 1861, by Andrew Keys, auditor. The pastor, Rev. G. M. Berry, had practically been Sunday-school superintendent as well as pastor ever since the organisation of the class until the church was completed. We fail to find any record of the dedication of this church.

The Oregon annual conference of 1861 created the Walla Walla district and appointed Rev. John Flinn as presiding elder and pastor of Walla Walla. At the Oregon annual conference, held in 1867, the Walla Walla district was divided into one station and four circuits, viz.: Walla Walla Station, Walla Walla, Waitsburg, Grande Ronde and Umatilla circuits.

In 1868, the class having become strong, and desiring a new location for their church building, the board of trustees procured lots on the corner of Poplar and Second streets, bought on May 30, 1868, from W. J. and Abell Arner for $250.00, and deeded to the following named trustees: H. Parker, T. P. Denney, J. L. Reser, Joseph Paul and John W. McGhee. The old church was moved to the new location, repaired and enlarged, and a parsonage was fitted up just east of the church, facing on Popular Street.

At the Oregon annual conference, held at Eugene, August 5 to 9, 1869, all of the membership and appointments formally denominated Walla Walla Station, Walla Walla Circuit and Dry Creek were formed as one charge and called Walla Walla Circuit, to which Rev. John T. Wolfe was appointed as pastor and Rev. Charles H. Hoxie as assistant pastor.

Rev. James B. Calloway was presiding elder of the district, and on September 18, 1869, called together at Walla Walla all of the official members of the new circuit and organised the first quarterly conference, electing the following board of trustees: Charles Moore, T. P. Denney, D. M. Jessee, M. Emerick, Benjamin Hayward, A. H. Simmons, M. McEverly, William Holbrook and Oliver Gallaher. At the Oregon annual conference, held at Vancouver, on August 25, 1870,[231] Walla Walla City was again made a station, separating it from the Walla Walla Circuit, and Rev. H. C. Jenkins was appointed as pastor.

Early in the spring of 1878, under the leadership of the pastor, Rev. D. G. Strong, the class undertook the erection of a new church building. The old church was sold to Mr. J. F. Abbott for $250.00 and moved off the lots, and through the efforts of the pastor and his board of trustees, consisting of B. F. Burch, J. E. Berryman, M. Middaugh, John Berry and O. P. Lacy, together with the faithful members and friends, the new church was completed at a cost of about $10,000, receiving from the church extension society of the church a donation of $1,000 and a loan of $500. The loan in due time was paid back. After the completion of the new church, Rev. W. G. Simpson was the first pastor and Brother E. Smith was the first Sunday-school superintendent. For some reason not on record the church was not dedicated until August, 1879. The collection and services at the dedication were in charge of Bishop Haven, he being the bishop of the annual conference held at Walla Walla August 7 to 12, 1879.

It having been discovered in 1883 that the board of trustees had never been incorporated under the laws of the Territory of Washington, the quarterly conference directed that articles of incorporation should be prepared. B. L. and J. L. Sharpstein, attorneys, were employed to prepare incorporation papers, and on February 9, 1883, they were signed and acknowledged by the following board of trustees: Donald Ross, C. P. Headley, S. F. Henderson, J. M. Hill, H. C. Sniff, H. C. Chew, E. Smith and G. H. Randall, and filed with the territorial auditor and the auditor of Walla Walla County. At the first meeting of this board of trustees they elected the following officers: J. M. Hill, president; Donald Ross, secretary; C. P. Headley, treasurer.

During the summer of 1887, the class, under the leadership of the pastor, Rev. Henry Brown, with the ladies of the church and the trustees, consisting of J. H. Parker, C. P. Headley, S. F. Henderson, J. M. Hill, H. C. Sniff, H. C. Chew, G. H. Randall and E. Smith, undertook the building of a new parsonage, and with the bequest of $500 from the estate of our departed brother, E. Sherman, designated by him to be used for a new parsonage, and $596.47 raised principally by the efforts of the ladies' parsonage committee, a two-story, seven-room parsonage was erected on the grounds of the old parsonage, facing Poplar Street, and this was turned over to the board of trustees free of debt and fairly well furnished.

During 1887, through the efforts of Rev. J. H. Wilber, a small church was built in the eastern part of the city and called Wilber Chapel. Brother W. J. White donated a lot for that purpose, $300 being received from the Church Extension Society, part of the balance being subscriptions from friends, but the greater part being given by Rev. J. H. Wilber himself. The church cost $1,500 and was deeded to the trustees of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Walla Walla, viz.: J. H. Parker, J. M. Hill, C. P. Headley, S. F. Henderson, H. C. Sniff, H. C. Chew, G. H. Randall and E. Smith. The church was sold to the German Lutheran Society for the sum of $1,600 on September 5, 1892, returning to the board of the church extension about $400 due them in principal and interest. The dedication of Wilber Chapel was by Rev. N. E. Parsons, presiding elder, assisted by Rev. J. H. Wilber and Rev. Henry Brown. During 1894 the church, under the leadership of Rev. V. C. Evers, the pastor, with the trustees, enlarged the present[232] church by extending it to the north line of the property, increasing the seating capacity of the church with lecture room to 525 persons.

Our church property at this time is free from debt and consists of:

One church building and lot, value $11,500.00; one parsonage and fraction of lot, value $2,000.00; total $13,500.00.

The following are the names of the pastors of Walla Walla and time of service: 1859 to 1861, Rev. George M. Berry; 1861 to 1863, Rev. John Flinn; 1863 to 1865, Rev. William Franklin; 1865 to 1866, Rev. James Deardoff; 1866 to 1867, Rev. John L. Reser; 1867 to 1869, Rev. John T. Wolfe; 1869 to 1870, Rev. C. H. Hoxie; 1870 to 1872, Rev. H. C. Jenkins; 1872 to 1873, Rev. J. W. Miller; 1873 to 1874, Rev. S. G. Havermale; 1874 to 1875, Rev. G. W. Grannis; 1875 to 1876, Rev. S. B. Burrell; 1876 to 1878, Rev. D. G. Strong; 1878 to 1880, Rev. W. G. Simpson; 1880 to 1882, Rev. G. M. Irwin; 1882 to 1883, Rev. A. J. Joslyn; 1883 to 1884, Rev. W. C. Gray; 1884 to 1885, Rev. J. D. Flenner; 1885 to 1886, Rev. D. G. Strong; 1886 to 1889, Rev. Henry Brown; 1889 to 1892, Rev. W. W. Van Dusen; 1892 to 1896, Rev. V. C. Evers; 1896 to 1899, Rev. W. C. Reuter; 1899 to 1900, Rev. Lee A. Johnson.

The following are the names of the presiding elders of Walla Walla district and time of service: 1859 to 1861, Rev. J. H. Wilber; 1861 to 1864, Rev. John Flinn; 1864 to 1866, Rev. Isaac Dillon; 1866 to 1869, Rev. J. B. Calloway; 1860 to 1870, Rev. W. H. Lewis; 1870 to 1874, Rev. H. K. Hines; 1874 to 1878, Rev. S. G. Havermale; 1878 to 1882, Rev. D. G. Strong; 1882 to 1885, Rev. W. S. Turner; 1885 to 1886, Rev. Levi L. Tarr; 1886 to 1888, Rev. N. E. Parsons; 1888 to 1892, Rev. D. G. Strong; 1892 to 1898, Rev. T. A. Towner; 1898 to 1900, Rev. M. H. Marvin."[5]

[5] In article quoted the name Wilber appears a number of times but it should be noted that the correct spelling is Wilbur.


In 1861 the Catholics built their first permanent house near the present site of St. Vincent's Academy. Bishop Blanchet was present during that period and Father Yunger became pastor. He was succeeded by Rev. J. B. Brouillet, who first came to the Walla Walla country as a missionary to the Indians in 1847.

Connected with the Catholic Church are St. Vincent's Academy and De La Salle Institute, described elsewhere, besides St. Mary's Hospital, founded in 1870 and now established in one of the most perfect buildings in the Northwest.

While our limits do not permit details in regard to each of the churches of Walla Walla, we wish to incorporate a sketch of the early Episcopal Church, for the reason that it casts such as vivid light upon the early days as to give it a special historic value. This sketch was prepared by Edgar Johnson, one of the Whitman College class of 1917, as a research study in his history course and in the judgment of the author is worthy of a place in this volume.


According to the old adage, "Well begun is half done," this church completed half its work in its earliest period. The history of all churches when finally established in a civilized community is much the same. But what was the history of this church before Walla Walla became civilized?

Completed January 1, 1918.


This is the atmosphere I have to picture; the condition of the times as it reflected on the growth of the church, and the condition of the church as it reflected on the growth of civilization in this city.

From the historical data accompanying this review, it will seem that St. Paul's Church was first begun by services held by a traveling missionary, Bishop Morris. The church did not take on definite unity, however, until 1871, when it was placed under the care of Rev. L. H. Wells, a comparatively young missionary from the East. In September, 1871, the first services were held in the building (now gone) on Third Street, between Poplar and Alder streets. This building served as a combined courthouse, hall, church; and the basement housed Stahl's Brewery.

At the time of Bishop Wells' arrival in Walla Walla, this city boasted of one thousand inhabitants, while Eastern Washington had seven thousand settlers. At this date, it would strike us that the little city of one thousand would band itself together to protect themselves from the Indians. But fifteen years or more had passed since the last of the Indian wars, and the wealth of the mines of Idaho and Washington found its way into the city and aided in the carousals of its "short-time" owners. For the uninitiated, the center of the street, or open doorways were the safest stops in the city. The Vigilantes ruled as a secret power behind the throne. Suspicion was fixed upon every law-abiding citizen by those who lived to break the law, as a member of this band.

The wives of several saloon-keepers were members of the church; and one wife succeeded in converting her husband. But inability or lack of desire to learn a new trade, always drove the new convert back into his old business. After efficiently illustrating back-sliding methods thrice over, this particular saloon man never appeared upon the church rolls again. He furnished, however, the material for a story which emphasizes the uncouthness of the times. He maintained a flourishing saloon on the corner of Third and Main streets, and one evening a miner from the Florence District showed up with his nuggets and gold dust. After treating the house several times, he began searching for more amusement. Finally, thinking that the mirror behind the bar might prove a worthy object at which to pelt gold nuggets, he began firing. Needless to say, he smashed it into bits and then careening up to the bar, he simply asked: "How much do I owe?" The saloon-keeper recovered several hundred dollars' worth of nuggets from the floor and after removing the board floor from the saloon succeeded in washing out $200 more from the gold dust which had been lost throughout the previous period. This became an annual event and never failed in bringing a hundred dollars or so.

In 1872 the bishop started his day school, following this in 1873 with a boarding school for girls. In this year a fire burned them out entirely and a larger building was constructed. The life of the bishop was not an easy one. He lived in his little cabin next to the church and whenever a new girl came to the boarding school, he would be forced to give up some of his furniture for the new girl. He was finally reduced to sleeping on a cot, with his overcoat for a coverlet. It was very difficult to keep the coat from falling away during the night; and when another girl came and the couch was needed for her room, the bishop having received no new furniture, built himself a box and filled it with straw, in which he slept and in which he had no difficulty in retaining his overcoat as a comforter.


Gold dust and nuggets were the medium of exchange and the church and school both had gold-weighing scales. Many people carried little scales with them in morocco cases. Gold dust was generally carried in buckskin sacks about a foot in depth and about three inches wide, and many people left them lying about the front porch in disguised covering, as the safest place to keep them from thieves and renegade Indians. Three grades of gold found its way into Walla Walla. These were the Eldorado, Florence and Eagle Creek, so named from the district in which they were mined. Merchants kept on hand small round stones with streaks of all three grades in them, by which to measure the dust, as the three grades were worth different amounts of money.

It was in this atmosphere that the church began, truly, in a missionary district. Yet it grew, and mainly through the spirit of co-operation of the other churches in the territory. At this time there were also the Methodist, Congregational, Presbyterian and the United Brethren churches. Bishop Wells recently told me of the kindness of the United Brethren minister. One day while walking down the street, he was hailed by this minister who was on horseback. The old minister opened the conversation: "Young man, I've been watching you, and so have my congregation. It strikes us that you've seen city life and I'm only a country preacher. If you will take care of my congregation, you may have the church and I'll go into the country, where I can do some good." Naturally, the offer was accepted.

In 1877 the new church was erected, and it still stands. This was built on the corner of Third and Poplar streets. The lumber for it was hauled from Touchet, where there was a mill. One difficulty presented itself, however, and that was that the lumber obtainable from there was very short. But the long haul from Wallula made better lumber almost prohibitive, and the church was built from lumber cut in this vicinity and planed at Touchet.

Even at this date, forty years ago, Walla Walla was little more than a frontier town. The Joseph wars broke out as result of the white man's raid on their land. A few years previous to this the Government had sent out men to see what could be done for the Indians. The white men were open in their statements that they intended to get the Indians' lands. The Joseph war was followed by the Bannock war. In the latter, Walla Walla was seriously threatened, the Indians coming up through Pendleton and striking near the foothills of this city. A very pretty tale is told regarding a Pendleton sheep man and his dog Bob. The Indians murdered the herders, killed many of the sheep and went on their way. The owner stayed in Pendleton fearing to go to his flocks, and did not go near them until a week or two had elapsed. When he did find them, he discovered that the dog Bob had not only gathered all his own sheep into the flock, but had collected more stray sheep from other flocks that had become lost, than the Indians themselves had killed. Furthermore, he had only killed two small lambs for his own sustenance.

Recitation of early events, and incidents could go on forever. And also it is hard to shape a series of stories, and a few simple historical facts, into an interesting history. But the foregoing gives the reader an idea of the times into which the missionary was forced to introduce the Christian teachings. A glance at Walla Walla today, called often the City of Churches, and then the retrospective glance into the '70s, shows the results of the influence which began work at that[235] early date and by its everwidening influence succeeded in civilizing this Northwest.


Of the many worthy and powerful preachers of early Walla Walla it may be said that four seem to stand out beyond all others in the minds of pioneers. These are Cushing Eells, missionary, educator, school builder, and all-round saint; John Flinn, a man of somewhat similar type, patient, tireless in good deeds, saintly and unselfish; J. H. Wilbur, one of the big figures of early days; and P. B. Chamberlain, first pastor of the Congregational Church and first principal of Whitman Seminary. Each of these men had his peculiarities, some amusing, some pathetic, all interesting and inspiring. Old-timers, even those not at all given to walking the straight and narrow way, had profound regard for those militant exponents of the gospel. Father Wilbur had worked at the blacksmith's trade before entering the ministry and had muscles of iron and a heart as tender and gentle as ever beat. He was of giant strength and not at all times a non-resistent. It is related that once in Oregon before he came to Walla Walla, some rowdies persisted in disturbing a camp meeting which he was conducting. After warning them a time or two in vain he suddenly descended from the platform, keeping right on with the hymn in stentorian voice, swooped down on the two rowdies, seized them in his brawny hands, knocked their heads together a few times and almost shook the breath out of them, singing all the time, until it was plain that they would interrupt no more services, then returned to the pulpit, going right on as though nothing had happened.

Mr. Chamberlain was a man of very different appearance, small, delicate, refined in tone and speech. At first meeting one had little conception of his tremendous energy and iron will. He was a man of electric oratory and swayed pioneer audiences in his little church or in the groves at public gatherings as few men in Walla Walla ever have. He was, however, a genuine Calvinist in his theology, an intense Sabbatarian, and felt called on to attack secret societies and supposedly unorthodox churches with conscientious severity. Thus, though he was admired and respected by all, he could not maintain a working church. As showing something of the character of the man, we include brief extracts from entries made by him in the records of his church, pertaining to his first church building. The building was completed in 1866 at a cost of $3,500, most of which was Mr. Chamberlain's own money. Of it he says: "So it now stands consecrated to God, as all property should be. I leave it with Him, to be refunded or not as He may, at some future time, move the hearts of the children of men to desire to do." On July 13, 1868, two days after the fire, he writes: "God has put His own final construction upon the last part of the foregoing record. Last Saturday, between twelve and two, our pleasant church was entirely destroyed by fire, the fire originating in a neighbor's barn, situated within a few feet of the church. Thy will, not mine, be done." It is gratifying to record that the Methodists at once offered to share their house with their stricken neighbors and that within a few months the generous contributions of the people of Walla Walla enabled Mr. Chamberlain to gather his congregation again on the same place, corner of Second and Rose, and there the Congregationalists continued to worship under several[236] pastorates until during that of Rev. Austin Rice in 1900 the present building on Palouse and Alder streets was erected.

During the past few years a number of fine church buildings have been erected, of which the Christian, the Presbyterian, the Baptist, the Marvin Methodist, and the First Methodist, may be especially named.

A distinguishing feature of present church life may be said to be the degree to which it has taken hold of municipal and political questions, reforms, and problems of practical life. In that respect the present churches of Walla Walla are essentially modern. Besides the churches named above, the United Brethren, Lutheran, German Methodist, German Congregational and Christian Science Churches, maintain influential organizations, and the Salvation Army is active and useful.


Somewhat similar to the churches in philanthropic aims and to considerable degree composed of the same type of members are the fraternal orders.

If Walla Walla and its kindred communities may be regarded as the homes of schools and churches, they may in equal degree be regarded as the homes of lodges. Almost all the fraternal orders usual in American cities are found here. As in case of the churches we find ourselves compelled by the limitations of space to accord too brief attention to these important and popular organizations.

The Masonic order has been for many years represented by an active membership, having two lodges, one chapter, a commandery, and a chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star. The first lodge was Walla Walla No. 7, which came into being October 19, 1859. At that date a dispensation was granted to C. R. Allen, Braziel Grounds, A. B. Roberts, H. N. Bruning, T. P. Page, Jonas Whitney, Charles Silverman, J. Freedman, and R. H. Reigert. Not till September 3, 1860, was the lodge organized. A. B. Roberts was the first Worshipful Master; J. M. Kennedy, senior warden; B. Scheideman, junior warden; T. P. Page, treasurer; W. B. Kelly, secretary; C. A. Brooks, senior deacon; J. Caughran, junior deacon; W. H. Babcock, tyler. In the summer of 1864 the lodge built a home at the corner of Third and Alder streets. But this building was destroyed by fire in 1866, and for many years following the lodge held its sessions in the Knights Templar hall in the Dooley Block. For several years past the upper story of the Motett Building on Alder Street has been used as a Masonic lodge room.

The Odd Fellows have been represented in Walla Walla since 1863, and it is a matter of historic interest to record that the first dispensation to organize a lodge of Odd Fellows in Walla Walla was granted in that year to A. H. Purdy, James McAuliff, W. B. Kelly, L. A. Burthy, and Meyer Lazarus. With additions from time to time there have come into existence three lodges, one encampment, one canton, and two lodges of the Daughters of Rebekah. One of the notable institutions of the Odd Fellows is the Home on Boyer Avenue. This is an institution covering the state and now is housed in two commodious and attractive buildings with accommodations for a large number of old people and orphan children. The home is located upon five acres of fertile and wholesome land secured from H. P. Isaacs. The first building of wood was constructed in 1897 and opened for use in December of that year. The second building of brick was constructed in 1914. There are many shade and fruit trees upon the grounds of the home, and it is truly an attractive and beneficent place. The order has also a fine hall on Alder Street.


The "St. Paul of the Northwest." Missionary to the Indians, 1838-47. Afterward teacher and preacher, and founder of Whitman College.


Perhaps most rapid in growth of all the orders in Walla Walla has been the Elks. The Walla Walla lodge of Elks No. 287 was organized August 10, 1894, with fifteen members. The first member to fill the place of Exalted Ruler was Judge W. H. Upton, known for many years as one of the most scholarly, intellectual and capable of the lawyers and jurists of the Inland Empire. His death in 1906 was a great loss, deeply deplored by many circles, not alone in fraternity organizations, in which he was conspicuous, but in all lines of social and professional life. After a slow growth of a number of years the fraternity took on swift development and at the date of this publication the membership exceeds six hundred. The lodge possesses one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, dedicated with a series of appropriate ceremonies and entertainments on May 23, 24, and 25, 1913. The Elks have led many movements for public betterment, as the municipal Christmas trees, park benefits and other benefits, Red Cross campaigns, and other endeavors of philanthropic and patriotic service. One of the recent enterprises of the lodge was the establishment in 1916 of Kooskooskie Park on Mill Creek, fourteen miles above Walla Walla. There in the beautiful shade along the flashing crystal waters of our creek (Pashki the stream ought to be called), the Elks and their friends are wont to disport themselves at intervals in the hot season, as their four-footed prototypes their "totem" of prehistoric times, were accustomed to do. The present Exalted Ruler is C. S. Walters. There is regular publication called The Lariat, issued every new moon by the secretary, Fred S. Hull.

Of what may be called the great standard fraternities the next to be noted is the Knights of Pythias. It is an interesting historical fact that Walla Walla was the first location of a lodge of that order on the Pacific Coast north of San Francisco. That pioneer lodge was known as Ivanhoe Lodge No. 1. Its early records are not available, but it continued in existence till 1882, in which year it surrendered its charter and went out of existence, to be succeeded by Columbia Lodge No. 8, instituted on October 23d of that year. Of the new lodge the first Past Chancellor was S. A. Deckard, and Chancellor Commander W. N. Gedders. The lodge has been maintained with vigor and success to the present date.

Of what may be considered the more specialized and limited organizations there have been and are a number: The Young Men's Institute and Knights of Columbus, Catholic organizations; Woodmen of the World, Modern Woodmen of America, Royal Arcanum, Women of Woodcraft, and National Union, insurance fraternities; and of more miscellaneous character the United Artisans, the Pioneers of the Pacific, the Degree of Honor, Ancient Order of Hibernians, American Yeomen, the Foresters of America, the Rathbone Sisters, Ladies of the Maccabees, Ancient Order United Workmen, Loyal Order of Moose, Improved Order of Red Men, Degree of Pocahontas, Good Templars, Sons of Hermann, Fraternal Order of Eagles, and Order of Washington.

Here as elsewhere throughout our country, and worthy here as everywhere of profound respect, is a post of the Grand Army of the Republic. This was chartered March 12, 1881, and the names appearing upon the charter are these:[238] John H. Smith, J. F. McLean, P. B. Johnson, J. M. Coolidge, R. P. Reynolds, Abram Ellis, James Howe, J. A. Neill, O. F. Wilson, H. O. Simonds, Samuel Nulph, Charles Heim, Isaac Chilberg, A. D. Rockafellow, William Leislie, F. F. Adams, F. B. Morse, R. M. Comstock, and Ambrose Oldaker. The first commander of the post, known as Abraham Lincoln Post, No. 4, G. A. R., was John H. Smith. In April, 1886, the A. Lincoln Relief Corps, No. 5, was established, with twenty-five charter members, Mrs. Jane Erickson being president. Fittingly included with the two previously named posts are the United Spanish War Veterans and the Sons of Veterans.

There are found in Walla Walla also, of more recent date, the Park Association, one of the most important and influential of all in the beautification and sanitation of the city, the Gun Club, Isaac Walton Club, Golf Club, Anti-Tuberculosis League, and several Reading and Art clubs which have played important parts in ministering to the recreation, the health, the intellectual life, and the artistic taste of the people of Walla Walla and the region adjoining. It is to be regretted that the limitations of space forbid including here the many interesting details of these various organizations.

The Walla Walla Commercial Club occupies so commanding a place in the business life of this entire region and has such connections with similar organizations throughout the entire Northwest and even in the nation at large as to be worthy of a history of its own.


The Commercial Club came into existence in 1885. It was represented in that year by delegates to an Open River meeting in The Dalles. For a number of years it was suggestive and mutually stimulating to its small membership, rather than possessing any regular organization. It met irregularly both in time and place. In 1904 John H. McDonald became secretary, but the organization was not such as to provide for a secretary who could devote his entire time to it, and hence there was not then a real commercial club in the modern sense. But a new era began with the appointment in 1906 of A. C. Moore as the first regular and exclusive secretary. Mr. Moore had come to Walla Walla in 1888 and had been up to 1906 engaged in the O. R. & N. R. R. office. With his entrance into the secretaryship of the club new and broader plans for publicity and expansion by new memberships were begun. In 1908 the first of a series of regular publicity campaigns was begun. That was a time signalized by the seaboard cities of California, Oregon, and Washington—Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Tacoma, Astoria, Everett and Bellingham—with special efforts to attract immigration and new enterprise. It was the publicity era par excellence.

Tom Richardson and C. C. Chapman of Portland accomplished wonderful things in that city and in Oregon. Both became well known in Walla Walla, where they were greatly admired and where their enthusiasm imparted such an impulse to the Commercial Club as to lead to a new organization with the special aim of advertisement and general publicity. It may be said that the real history of the club as a definite organization begins at that time, 1908.

The articles of incorporation are as follows:




The name of this corporation, and by which it shall be known, is "Walla Walla Commercial Club."


The time of existence of this corporation shall be fifty years from the date hereof.


The purposes for which this corporation is formed shall be to establish, equip, acquire, keep and maintain club rooms with the usual and convenient appliances of a social club; to engage in literary, educational and social pursuits and to provide ways and means therefor, and for the development of the physical and mental capacities of its members, and others, and for their social advantage, improvement and enjoyment in connection therewith; to advance the prosperity and growth of the City of Walla Walla and of the State of Washington, to encourage the establishment of manufactories and other industries; to seek remunerative markets for home products, and to foster capital and protect labor mutually interested in each others welfare; to collect and disseminate valuable agricultural, manufacturing and commercial information; to extend and develop trade agriculture, merchandise, banking and other lawful business pursuits, and to do any and all things necessary for the accomplishment of these purposes.


The principal place of business of said corporation shall be at Walla Walla, Walla Walla County, State of Washington.


The members of this corporation may be individuals, co-partnerships or corporations. It shall have no capital stock, and shares therein shall not be issued. The interest of each member shall be equal to that of any other, and no member can acquire any interest which will entitle him to any greater voice, vote, authority or interest in the corporation than any other member. The corporation may issue membership certificates, which certificates shall be assignable under such provisions, rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the by-laws of the corporation. Memberships in the corporation may be terminated by voluntary withdrawal, by expulsion and by death, and the loss of membership through any such causes and the incidents thereto shall be governed by the by-laws of the corporation.


The number of trustees of this corporation shall be nine, and the names of the trustees who shall manage the affairs of the corporation until the second Thursday in April, 1909, are F. W. Kaser, H. H. Turner, F. S. Dement, W. H. Kirkman, J. M. Crawford, B. C. Holt, J. C. Scott, C. F. Nosler and J. P. Kent, all of whom reside at Walla Walla, Washington.

The first election provided for in the foregoing articles occurred on the second Thursday of April, 1909, and resulted in the election of the following officers and trustees: J. C. Scott, president; J. H. Morrow, vice president; George E. Kellough, treasurer; A. C. Moore, secretary; L. M. Brown, assistant secretary (publicity). Trustees: J. C. Scott, J. H. Morrow, George E. Kellough, O. Drumheller, J. M. Crawford, F. S. Dement, R. H. Johnson, F. W. Kaser and E. C. Burlingame.


Standing Committees: Freight and Transportation—B. C Holt, H. B. Strong, Oscar Drumheller, Fred Glafke and John Smith.

House Committee: T. M. McKinney. Geo. Struthers, H. A. Gardner, F. S. Dement and J. P. Kent.

Membership: W. H. Meyer, A. C. Van Dewater, J. M. Crawford, W. H. Paxton and O. M. Beatty.

Reception and Entertainment: T. M. Hanger, P. M. Winans, H. H. Turner, R. E. Allen and W. A. Ritz.

Auditing: C. S. Buffum, J. G. Anderson, R. H. Johnson, E. C. Mills.

Library and Property: J. W. Langdon, J. J. Kaufman, J. H. Morrow, J. G. Frankland and C. M. Rader.

Manufactories and New Industries: F. W. Kaser, H. H. Turner, J. M. Crawford, W. B. Foshay and L. M. Brown.

The membership given in the handbook of 1910-11 includes 377 individuals and firms. The club had been, up to 1908 housed in the Ransom Building, now the Grand Hotel, but in that year of reorganization, made arrangements with the city for the present quarters in the City Hall. Large sums of money were raised during the "Publicity Era," about $20,000 each year. Mr. A. C. Moore continued to act as secretary until 1912, but in 1908 L. E. Meacham became publicity manager, which post he retained until 1910, when he was succeeded by L. M. Brown. Mr. Brown became secretary in 1912, upon the resignation of Mr. Moore, and he in turn was, succeeded in 1914 by Mr. O. C. Soots, the present secretary.

The next epoch of the history of the Commercial Club may be said to have begun with the adoption of the bureau system at a special election in April 8, 1915. The essential provisions of the new system may be found in excerpts which follow from the amended by-laws of the club:


Section 1. The membership of this organization shall be also formed into three main divisions, according to the expressed preference of each member, for the purpose of dividing the work of the organization into departments or bureaus, these bureaus to be designated as follows:

1. Civic and Publicity.
2. Commercial and Industrial.
3. Horticultural and Agricultural.

All members who fail or neglect, within a reasonable time, to express their preference as to bureau affiliation, shall be assigned to the several bureaus by the President in such proportion as may most nearly equalize the total membership of the several bureaus.

Section 2. After a member of the Club shall have expressed his preference as to bureau affiliation, or shall have been assigned to bureau affiliation by the President, his affiliation shall be conditional upon his election to such bureaus by an affirmative vote of a majority of those present at any meeting of the Bureau Committee.

Section 3. Subject to these By-Laws, each bureau shall have general charge of all matters relating to the general lines of work included in such bureau.

Section 4. The work of each bureau shall be under the immediate direction of a Bureau Committee of not less than five, consisting of the Chairman, who shall have been designated Vice-President in charge of the Board of Trustees, and not less than four others selected from the membership represented in that bureau by him in conjunction with the President and from nominees of double the required number made by the membership of the bureau.

Section 5. The standing and special committees of the Club shall be classified under the several bureaus according to the nature of their duties by the Board of Trustees upon the advice of the President and Secretary. Until other assignments are made by the Board of Trustees, the committees shall be classified under the several bureaus as follows:



Civic and Publicity Bureau—Municipal and County Affairs; Publicity; Conventions; Expositions.

Commercial and Industrial Bureau—Entertainment; Good Roads; Investigation and Endorsement; Manufacturers; Frontier Days; Freight and Transportation.

Horticultural and Agricultural Bureau—Horticulture; Agriculture; Live Stock; By-Products; General Farming; Fruit Growers.

Section 6. The President, with the advice of the Vice-Presidents of the respective bureaus, shall appoint annually the standing committees of the Club included within the several bureaus. He shall appoint standing committees on Membership, Finance, House, and such special committees as may be found necessary. Each bureau shall have at least one member on the Finance Committee.



Section 1. The authority of this organization shall be vested in a Board of Trustees numbering nine (9).

Section 2. There shall be elected in every year of even numbers four Trustees, one from each bureau and one from the Membership Council. There shall be elected in every year of odd numbers five Trustees, one from each Bureau, and two from the Membership Council, these Trustees to serve for two years each. Provided, that at the first election there shall be elected nine Trustees, two from each Bureau and three from the Membership Council, of whom five, three from the Bureaus and two from the Membership Council receiving the highest votes shall serve until the election in 1917 and four, one from each bureau and one from the Membership Council receiving the next highest vote shall serve until the annual meeting of 1916. All of the provisions of Article VI shall apply to the special election held on the 8th day of April, 1915, to be known as the first annual meeting under these By-Laws.

The first president under the bureau system was a man whom all people of the city delight to honor and whose appointment as commander, with rank of Major of the First Battalion of Field Artillery, N. G. W., is recognized by hosts of friends throughout the state as an eminently fit employment of ability, patriotism and energy. This first president was Maj. Paul H. Weyrauch. Mr. O. C. Soots has continued to fulfill his functions as secretary with conspicuous ability.

The present personnel of officers and trustees is thus: E. L. Smalley, president; K. Falkenberg, vice president, Civic and Publicity Bureau; O. M. Beatty, vice president, Commercial and Industrial Bureau; John W. Langdon, vice president, Agricultural and Horticultural Bureau; F. S. Dement, treasurer; O. C. Soots, managing secretary. Directors: E. L. Smalley, F. S. Dement, J. A. McLean, J. W. Langdon, O. M. Beatty, K. Falkenberg, Fred Glafke, Louis Sutherland, O. T. Cornwell.


This is one of the largest and most influential organizations in the city. As compared with its brother organizations in the seaboard cities or in Spokane, it was late in formation. A community like Walla Walla, a rich agricultural region,[242] does not seem to be the natural home for labor unions. The commercial and manufacturing and mining cities are the natural locations for these organizations. But in process of time the skilled laborers of Walla Walla were drawn by natural evolution into the great circle of organized labor.

The Cigar-makers', the Carpenters' and the Painters' unions were the first in the field. They came into existence in 1900.

Other groups rapidly followed and at the present time there are seventeen unions. The meeting places and times and the officers of each union are indicated by their published directory:


Trades and Labor Council—Meets every Friday evening in Labor Temple. S. S. Stovall, president; L. F. Clarke, secretary.

Carpenters & Joiners. Local 1214—Meets in Labor Temple every Wednesday night. A. V. Murphy, president; O. D. Keen, financial secretary; C. R. Nelson, recording secretary; C. A. Tompkins, treasurer.

Printing Pressmen, Local 217—Meets second Wednesday of each month in Labor Temple. William Potgether, president; A. L. Anger, secretary.

Journeymen Plumbers—Meets in Labor Temple every second and fourth Thursday of each month. Harry Harter, president; W. G. Collins, recording secretary; Fred Bowman, financial secretary.

Painters, Paperhangers and Decorators—Meets first and third Monday evening of each month at Labor Temple. H. R. McCoy, president; O. K. Sweeney, recording secretary; H. J. Burke, financial secretary; Charles Hazlewood, treasurer.

Bricklayers' Union—Meets in Labor Temple first and third Tuesdays of each month. Louis Hermish, president; Wm. F. Taylor, financial secretary; Russell Taylor, corresponding secretary; George Root, treasurer.

Meat Cutters' Local—Meets first Monday of month in Labor Temple. H. N. Kettleson, vice president; A. McLeod, financial secretary; Theodore Maskeyleny, treasurer.

Musicians' Protective Union—Meets in Germania Hall second Sunday of each month. M. A. Power, president; H. S. Buffum, secretary.

Teamsters—Meets at Labor Temple second and fourth Mondays. Walter Elliott, president; Frank Dunnigan, financial secretary; Frank Lansing, corresponding secretary.


Building Trades Council—Meets every Friday night at Labor Temple. F. J. Myers, president; James Grindle, secretary.

Allied Printing Trades Council—Meets in Labor Temple second Wednesday of each month. R. C. McCracken, president; Charles Francke, secretary.

Typographical Union No. 388—Meets last Sunday of each month in Labor Temple. H. F. Heimenz, president; J. M. Baldwin, financial secretary; Al Berg, recording secretary.

Electrical Workers—Meets first and third Wednesdays at Labor Temple. E. M. Cruzen, president; Mitchell Anderson, secretary-treasurer.

Journeymen Barbers—Meets first Thursday of every month in Labor Temple. N. J. Nicholson, president; H. S. Graves, secretary.

Woman's Union Card and Label League—Meets in Labor Temple the first Tuesday of each month, at 2.30 P. M. Mrs. L. F. Clarke, president; Mrs. J. A. Lyons, secretary, Mrs. O. K. Sweeney, treasurer.

Culinary Alliance, Local 626—Meet first and third Wednesdays in Labor Temple. Will Williams, president; Charles Miller, financial secretary; Fred Kenworthy, recording secretary; William Bowden, treasurer.

Theatrical Stage Employes and Moving Picture Operators—Meets at Labor Temple first and third Sundays. J. A. Duggar, president; Frank Wright, vice president; Carl Crews, secretary; Blain Geer, treasurer.

Sheet Metal Workers—Meets at Labor Temple second and fourth Mondays each month. O. L. Demory, president; C. C. Shafer, secretary.

Hod Carriers, Building Laborers—Meets at Labor Temple every Thursday. Conrad Knopp, president; Fred Breit, financial secretary.

Cigar-makers' Union—C. M. Golden, president; George Surbeck, secretary.

The general management of these unions is delegated to the Trades and Labor council, in which each union is entitled to three representatives. The comparatively quiet and comfortable conditions in Walla Walla have not induced radical action by the unions and they have been a regularizing and balancing force of efficacy in their own lines and usually an influence for harmony in industrial life.

The organ of the unions is the Garden City Monitor, published by L. F. Clarke and Jesse Ferney. A special number of the Monitor appears annually on each Labor Day. It is worthy of all praise, both from the editorial and the typographical standpoints.

The membership of the Walla Walla unions now is about five hundred.



The largest and in many respects most important organization in the four counties is the Farmers' Union. This great organization is national in its aims and membership. Washington and Northern Idaho constitute one unit of the National, and in turn it is divided into county units, either single counties, as the large ones of the state like Yakima or Whitman, or by grouping, as in the smaller. Our counties belong in the latter category, and we find the Tri-County Union of Walla Walla, Columbia, and Garfield. Of this union G. M. Thompson of Dayton is at this date president, and A. C. Moore of Walla Walla is secretary. In the Tri-County Union there are eight local unions. They appear, with the secretary of each in this enumeration: Waitsburg No. 1, W. D. Wallace; Prescott, No. 2, O. V. Crow; Dayton, No. 3, Roy Ream; Mayview, No. 4, C. W. Cotton; Pomeroy, No. 10, W. J. Schmidt; Walla Walla, No. 27, W. J. McLean; Starbuck, No. 119, E. W. Powers; Central, No. 145, J. E. Tueth. As will be seen, Waitsburg has the distinction of being the premier union in point of time. It was organized in May, 1907, the first president being N. B. Atkinson, and the first secretary. J. A. Enochs.

The total membership of the Tri-Sate Union is about six hundred. That of the Walla Walla Local is about one hundred and fifty.

Intimately related to the Farmers' Union is the Farmers' Agency. While the officers are entirely distinct, the membership is practically identical, since the provisions of membership require any who own stock in the agency to belong to the union. Any farmer, however, may market his grain with the agency. At the present day Hon. Oliver Cornwell is president of the Agency, and the secretary is Eugene Kelly. As first organized and conducted for several years under the presidency of Hector McLean, the Agency was an information bureau only. But when Mr. Cornwell became president he entered upon the large task of creating out of it a genuine co-operative grain buying organization. After some years of experiment and adjusting, at times with very strenuous conditions, the effort was wholly successful and the Agency became a coherent organization, backed by the united force of the Farmers' Union and by the main weight of the farming community of Walla Walla. The primary object of the Agency is to co-operate to advantage in the marketing of crops. The local Walla Walla Agency has come to be a tremendous factor in the wheat market. Its existence has been abundantly justified by its success during these recent years in maintaining steady markets and in securing to its members all possible advantages.

Aside from the immediate business aim of marketing crops through the Agency, the Farmer' Unions, both in their local capacity and in the Tri-County organization, have come to be one of the great forces in the political and social life of the region. Questions of roads and bridges, taxes, public buildings, state educational and penal institutions, problems affecting transportation and the labor market and labor union questions, have been subjects of discussion and recommendation at the regular weekly meetings. Lectures from time to time by recognized experts in the various problems involved have been presented and public men in state and county positions have been glad to consider with the unions the subjects relating to their functions.




It is safe to say that any measures agreed upon by the Farmers' Unions are pretty certain to become the action of the body politic in the different counties. Once each quarter, and sometimes oftener, there are meetings of the Tri-County Union, at which the larger problems of farm life are considered, and in connection with which appetizing banquets prepared by the skillful hands and fine artistic taste of the wives and daughters bring joy and gayety and good fellowship to all concerned.

To many of the readers of this volume, and in years to come to their children and grandchildren, the most significant of all the organized associations of their home country is the


This association was formed in 1900, largely under the initiative of Dr. N. G. Blalock. While there has been little machinery or formality about it, its yearly meetings for renewing the old ties have been among the most anticipated and cherished of all in the minds of many of the builders, the fathers and mothers of the Inland Empire. While the main membership has been in Walla Walla County or her daughter counties, it is not confined to that county, and a number of members live in Umatilla County, Oregon, and in Whitman, Adams and Franklin counties on the north side of Snake River.

The officers of the association chosen at the first meeting were: Dr. N. G. Blalock, president; W. P. Winans, A. G. Lloyd and Ben Burgunder, vice presidents; Marvin Evans, secretary; Levi Ankeny, treasurer; W. D. Lyman, historian. These officers were almost constantly re-elected, until the lamented deaths of Doctor Blalock, Mr. Winans, and Mr. Lloyd. Ben Burgunder was chosen president to succeed Doctor Blalock, and at the present time F. M. Lowden, Joseph Harbert and W. D. Wallace are vice presidents.

With the feeling that the members of the association and many others will be glad to read some of the proceedings and to see the list of members as a matter of permanent reference, we close this chapter with the excellent accounts given in the Walla Walla Union of October 15, 1904, and June 2, 1911, of the annual meetings of those years.


About one hundred and fifty of the pioneers of Southeastern Washington and Northeastern Oregon, sturdy men and women, who have seen the country grow from a desolate looking waste of sagebrush and sand to one of the beauty spots of the Northwest—men and women who had not only seen this take place, but had helped, and are still, many of them, helping in this wonderful evolution—people who thirty or forty years ago were neighbors, though living many miles apart, met yesterday and sat down to the festive board loaded with the good cheer provided by the devoted pioneer women of this city in honor of the occasion.


The crowd assembled in the Goodman Building and there registered and received their badges, after which they marched to the banqueting rooms. There[246] were many hearty handshakes as these old neighbors met, and the scene was one of glad reunion. There were the more elderly who had come here in the prime of life and whose gray hairs and wrinkled cheeks recalled the energy and vitality that had been spent in building up a new country. There were the younger men. those whose memories of older lands are but indistinct visions, and who have grown up with the country. But all had the common bond of acquaintance dating far back, a friendship tried and found worthy in the strife of many years.


Flowers in profusion in the banquet hall told of the interest and devoted preparation of the pioneer ladies for this great annual event. The long tables in the room were laden with an abundance of every delicacy of the season. Before beginning the feast all stood with bowed heads while Rev. J. W. McGhee returned thanks, after which the edibles were enjoyed by the happy throng, reminiscences adding much pleasure to the occasion.

Dr. N. G. Blalock, as toastmaster, at the close of the banquet, made a short address of welcome to the pioneers and spoke with much feeling in commemoration of people who had blazed the way to the present civilization and offered a tribute to their noble heroism and the deeds of courage and self-sacrifice.


The toastmaster introduced as the "Pioneer Indian War Veteran" of the association, Hon. A. G. Lloyd of Waitsburg. Mr. Lloyd gave a brief account of campaigning in 1855 in the Yakima Indian war. In one instance the volunteers were caught in a snowstorm and were cut off from supplies at The Dalles and were reduced to a small amount of flour and some tobacco. They furnished their own clothes and horses and could not draw on the Government supplies as there were none to draw on. Mr. Lloyd closed with the patriotic remark, "But we only did our duty and no more."


Capt. P. B. Johnson responded to "The Pioneer Newspaper Business." He related the anecdote of the adopted child which replied to the boasts of other children that it had no papa and mamma, that "Your papa and mamma are yours because they have to be, mine are mine because they want to be." He referred to the younger pioneers being pioneers because they had to be.

Captain Johnson said that when he had an opportunity to come here from Arizona he looked up the location on the map and expected to find fruits and fields similar to those in the same latitude east, but when in 1864 he arrived at Wallula, by steamer, he saw a vast extent of sagebrush and nothing more. He then read from Bancroft's history some interesting items showing the contrast of forty years. A weekly mail had been established between Walla Walla and Portland. The town contained 800 inhabitants. The only reference to the agricultural possibilities of this valley was the fact that some man had succeeded in raising a fine quality of sorghum which produced an excellent quality of syrup.


Of the county officers that year the following are still alive and citizens of this city: Councilman, Daniel Stewart; sheriff, W. S. Gilliam; treasurer, James McAuliffe.


Captain Johnson compared the advanced conditions of the present civilization, with the start of the country newspaper and the paper of today. "The news item at the early stage was the local news, births, marriages, deaths and the few other happenings; the editorials were devoted to national and territorial affairs and to my contemporary, the Statesman, across the street. I am out of the business, but I believe that the little four-page paper of those days had more influence than the large papers of today. My happiest days were when I was running a little country newspaper."


"The Pioneer Business Man," was responded to by Benjamin Burgunder, a retired merchant of Colfax. "The work of the pioneer merchant was not all glory. Our patrons all claimed that we sold our goods too high. In the early days we had to go to San Francisco to buy our goods, then they came by water to Portland, by steamer from Portland to the lower Cascades, thence to the upper Cascades by rail, then again by steamer to The Dalles, from The Dalles to Celilo by rail and again by steamer to Wallula. From there they were brought by ox teams and pack horses to the interior. In some instances in the mines goods were carried on the backs of men. In one case it cost me just 60 cents per pound to deliver my goods at their destination. But those were times when we got dollar prices. I lost $25,000 once in developing the interests of the Northwest by trusting mining men."

Mr. Burgunder paid a high tribute to Rev. H. H. Spalding, pioneer missionary, as one who had done more than any other for the development of the Northwest.


J. F. Brewer responded to "Pioneer Farming." "Farming in the Willamette Valley was first done by the crudest methods. I remember raking the grain that my father cradled. Later the mowers and reapers came and the header evolved from these. I came to Walla Walla in 1862. All south of the place was a barren sagebrush plain, and only one house, a stage station, in this region as far as I knew. In other parts of the valley there were a few farmers, all on the creeks. I remember the remark of Mr. Swezea, a prominent pioneer farmer, 'Your sons and mine may see railroads here but we never shall.'"

Miss Nettie Galbreath recited "The Pioneers," a poem, which was received with hearty applause.


Rev. Henry Brown responded to the "Pioneer Minister." "I came to Walla Walla in 1886, by way of Pasco. There had been a fire and about all there was[248] left was safe which I was told belonged to the county, Pasco being a county seat. Several men with loaded guns were guarding the safe. At night I rented a wood shed, put my family in it and loaded two guns that I had and prepared to guard my family, thinking I had reached a land of ruffians and toughs. Father Wilbur, the pioneer missionary of the Methodist Episcopal Church, happened to be there; he asked what I was doing with my guns."


"Colville Reminiscences," was responded to by W. P. Winans. "One of the interesting features of that time was the social courtesies. A dance was given at the cantonment, to which every person in the valley, at least 400, was invited. The large hall was decorated with flags, banners and sabers. Immense chandeliers were formed of sabers, a candle being placed on the point of each saber. The effect was very unique. The guests were refreshed with all they could eat and drink. On New Year's Day we Americans drove to Angus McDonald's to make a call. He insisted on us staying to dinner. He entertained at that time in all 130 persons. We had no salads, but we had a good dinner."

"In 1870 I heard the first Protestant sermon; it was preached by Rev. Cushing Eells. I took up the first collection in the Colville Valley, with which Father Eells bought a Bible, which is now in the Congregational Church at Chewelah."


Harry Reynolds responded to the "Pioneer Women." "The sublime sacrifice on the part of woman made by the pioneer women is unique in history. Those women were not fleeing from persecution or punishment, but were sacrificing the comforts of civilization for their devotion to duty and home. They represent the purest home life of America; the best womanhood. The pioneer women are the builders of the Inland Empire."


"If we are not pioneers because we wanted to be and wear different colored ribbons, we have one advantage, we came at a tender age," said W. H. Kirkman, responding to "Pioneer Sons." "I came when I was two years old and brought my father and mother along with me. This valley was a barren waste of land then; now it is the finest valley the sun shines on; all honor to the pioneers."

"I remember when the Village of Seattle boasted of being as large as Walla Walla; now, Seattle is the third city of the coast. Again all honor to the pioneers who have wrought such changes."


"Pioneer Education" was responded to by Professor Lyman. "I could draw contrasting pictures of the privations, rude homes and dangers on one side and the triumph of civilization on the other side of the line of pioneers, the log schoolhouse with the puncheon floor of the early days, with the well-equipped buildings of today. But is there more heart, soul and energy now than then?"





The old officers were re-elected to serve for 1904-05: President, Dr. N. G. Blalock; first vice president, James McAuliffe; second vice president, Milton Evans; third vice president, A. G. Lloyd; secretary, Marvin Evans; treasurer, Senator Levi Ankeny; historian, Prof. W. D. Lyman.

A committee on necrology was appointed, consisting of Professor Lyman and Marvin Evans.

The third Thursday of September was appointed as the permanent day for holding the annual meeting of the Inland Empire Pioneer Association. The limit of eligibility was extended from 1875 to 1880.

The following were among those present:

Pioneers of 1843—Daniel Stewart.

1845—Mrs. N. A. Jacobs, George Delaney, A. C. Lloyd, W. W. Walker.

1846—Charles Clark.

1847—Mrs. W. C. Painter, Elizabeth J. Scholl.

1849—J. Pettyjohn, F. M. Lowden, J. M. Gose.

1850—Samuel Kees, Lizzie Kees, Mark A. Evans, John McGhee.

1851—E. T. McNall.

1852—Eva Coston, Charles Lampman, Mrs. Jackson Nelson, C. C. Cram, Solomon Cummings, Hollon Parker, Peter Meads, Rebecca J. Meads, Nat Webb, John F. Kirby, Jennie Lasater, A. Wooton, Mrs. A. J. Colvin, Mrs. S. M. Cram.

1853—J. N. McCaw, Angeline Merchant, W. D. Lyman, Mrs. Catherine Ritz, J. F. Brewer, A. McAlister, Catherine McAlister, Evaly Fleetch, Jacob Kibler, Mrs. M. H. Kirby, C. R. Frazier and wife.

1854—Nellie Gilliam Day, James McEvoy, Mrs. Nat Webb, D. Wooton.

1855—Alice E. Chamberlain, L. L. Hunt, John Rohn.

1857—William Clark, Clare E. Cantonwine.

1858—George W. Brown, E. H. Massam, William Coston.

1859—W. P. Winans.

1860—Philip Yenney, H. C. Chew, Thomas Gilkerson, C. F. Buck.

1861—Charles H. Gregory, Mrs. N. E. Rice, A. J. Evans, Mrs. Araminta J. Evans, M. Evans, J. L. Hawley, Mrs. Mary Ernest.

1862—Mrs. E. E. Kellogg, Christine Winans, William Glasford, Ben Burgunder.

1863—H. A. Reynolds, Isabella Kirkman, W. J. Cantonwine.

1864—Anna Stanfield, P. B. Johnson, William Stanfield, Sallie Stanfield, Hettie Malone, W. D. Paul, M. A. Caris and wife, George Dehaven, Caroline Ferrel.

1865—Daniel Garrecht, James McInroe, S. F. Bucholz, J. A. Beard, Mrs. George Dehaven, John Sanders.

1867—Louis Scholl.

1868—Maggie Clark, W. H. Kirkman, J. W. Frazier, Marvin Evans.

1869—Charles Painter, Mrs. W. C. Prather, D. C. Ingraham, Mina Evans.


1870—Joseph Merchant, F. A. Garrecht, Z. K. Straight and wife.

1871—Alice McEvans, George H. Starrett, Mrs. S. J. Pettyjohn, B. A. Herrold.

1872—N. G. Blalock.

1873—F. S. Gowan, Mrs. F. S. Gowan.

1874—Julia Brown, Mrs. N. W. Dunnington.

1875—D. D. Earp, Chris Seibert, Victor Schaffer.

1876—J. F. Bucholz, George Whitehouse.

1880—M. G. Parr.

Unknown date—Mr. and Mrs. W. P. Nuttall, G. W. Loundagin and wife, Theodore Wolf and wife, Joseph Braden.


(From Walla Walla Union of June 2, 1911).

Though Father Time's blade has cut with remorseless sweep, and though the pioneers of the Walla Walla Valley have fallen before its swing, the attendance at the annual reunion of the pioneers yesterday was greater than has ever been known.

More than two hundred people who came to the Northwest before railroads were built attended the annual meeting of the Inland Empire Pioneer Association at Whitman College yesterday.

Honoring for the twelfth time Dr. N. G. Blalock, the Pioneer Association yesterday re-elected him its president. Marvin Evans was also chosen to fill the office of secretary for the twelfth successive time. Doctor Blalock and Mr. Evans both sought to refuse, but the overwhelming sentiment forced them to accept the positions.

"I feel that I shall not be with you again," said Doctor Blalock, "but if I can do any good while I am living, I am willing to do so. My health is such that I can do but little; but while life lasts I am ready to serve you, if you desire it. I had hoped to retire, but being an American, I must sacrifice my personal desires to the will of the majority."

Hotly scoring the features of the meeting a year ago, Solomon Rader made the first address of the day.

"Political whitewash, the seeking of coal mines and the passing of two-gallon demijohns are out of place at a pioneers' reunion. Last year we had all three, this year I trust we will have none. I believed last year, when I made my farewell address, that I would not live to be present at this meeting, but I am here, and I feel twenty years younger than a year ago."

Mr. Rader carried his remarks into a prohibition talk, and reviewed the focal situation, stating he believed that the votes of women might change affairs. Doctor Blalock then stated that he believed it the duty of all women to vote and that the pioneer woman should be first of all to cast her ballot. He introduced Mrs. Lulu Crandall of The Dalles, who spoke on "How We Preserve History at The Dalles."

She told of the acquisition of the old surgeons' quarters of the old Fort Dalles, how they had been furnished, and how the relics of pioneer days were preserved there. An historical society has been organized, which is supported[251] by three classes of members: Active, who are members of the state historical society; associate, who are not members of the state organization; and honorary, those who made history in early days. The first two classes of members pay annual dues of $2. The plan, stated Mrs. Crandall, is working nicely.

C. R. Frazier of Dixie was called upon, and his address, read by the secretary, follows:

"Fellow members and friends of the Walla Walla County Pioneer Association:

"As a member of the Walla Walla Pioneer Association I appreciate very much the fact that I again have the privilege to attend another one of this society's annual meetings and to meet with fellow members and friends of our association. To meet old pioneer friends and to talk over old times with them is something that affords me genuine pleasure. Certainly as long as I am able to get about you'll always find me in attendance at the annual meetings of this association.

"The few brief things I wish to say at this gathering I have had written out for when I attempt to talk at such gatherings as this one I find that my memory is not as good as it used to be and it is hard for me to say anything in a connected way.

"For forty-seven years I have been a resident of the Walla Walla Valley. As I have expressed myself many times before I think our valley, its climate and resources considered, is one of the greatest countries in the world. For years on my farm at Dixie I have been a producer of a varied line of farm products, not the least of which was much choice fruit and also several varieties of nuts. My orchards were not purchased ready made and I might say that I was the original planter of every tree on my place. During late years a picture of one of my apple trees has appeared in many newspapers and magazines throughout the world because it is a tree that holds a record for producing in one season as much as 126 boxes of fine apples. I will admit that I am proud of that old apple tree.

"While I have always been a hard worker I feel that the Walla Walla Valley has been kind to me and mine. I first made the trip across the plains from the east in 1853. This time, as a boy driving cattle, I made California. After spending a short time in California I returned east to my old home in Sullivan County, Mo. In 1863, with my earthly possessions consisting of my young wife and two children, a team of oxen and a somewhat delapidated vehicle that might be called a wagon I left Nebraska for the old Oregon country. Travelling over the old well known trails it was a long journey before we reached the Walla Walla Valley. On the trip across one of my children was born; other mishaps, more or less the result of fording streams and hitting the rough spots on the trail, also fell to our lot, but with us all such accidents were accepted as a matter of course and we didn't waste much time grieving about them. Our little caravan on its journey west was headed for Vancouver, but when it hit Meacham Mountains one fine fall day in the year 1864 and we had an opportunity to see the beautiful Walla Walla Valley I decided right there and then that I would travel no farther and that the Walla Walla Valley would be quite good enough for me.

"Reaching Walla Walla we found a town of some eight hundred people;[252] I moved on up to the Dayton country and soon had located a claim near Dixie. I'll never forget such families as Longs, Lambs and Locks whom we came up with in our new home. Right from the start they were kind to us and helped us to get started in a country that was new to us. After we once got a start with a cow and some chickens the rest was comparatively easy. In the old pioneer days in this valley neighbors were very kind to one another.

"But perhaps I have said enough. I do not wish to tire you. In concluding I will say that this gathering is one that I esteem a great occasion; as it affords me an opportunity to meet many of my old friends and a chance to talk over old times with them it is a gathering I would not miss for anything. Thanking you very kindly for listening to my few brief remarks, I remain,

"Yours truly,

"C. R. Frazier."


In an interesting and instructive talk, Prof. W. D. Lyman told of the introduction of apples and cattle into the Northwest. He stated that the first apple trees known to have been planted in the Northwest were grown from the seeds planted by Doctor Whitman and Reverend Spalding at Waiilatpu and Alpowa. "The first trees of any consequence, however, were planted in the Willamette Valley in 1847 by Henderson Llewellan, who brought 700 small trees from Ohio in a crude wagon that had been fitted out to carry the trees. The wagon in which the trees were packed, in boxes, was heavy and time and again Llewellan was urged by his comrades to abandon the wagon, but he had an idea that fruit would grow well in the new Northwest country and he would not give up his travelling nursery. The trees, which were apple, pear, peach and cherry, were planted and it is recorded that most of them grew, and from this first small orchard grew the great fruit industry of the Northwest.

"The introduction of cattle into the Inland Empire, while as important in the results created, is more picturesque historically. The Hudson's Bay Company had a few cattle here as early as 1830, but they were very scarce, so scarce that Doctor McLoughlin made a rule against killing them. Marcus Whitman brought sixteen head of cattle with him when he first came to this country, while in 1838 Doctor Eells brought in fourteen head. These were only the small beginnings and were confined mostly to this immediate vicinity.

"The general cattle business of the Northwest was developed largely by the efforts of W. A. Slacum, who was sent to this country in 1836 by the United States Government to ascertain some of its resources and size it up generally. While in this country Mr. Slacum talked with the different American settlers and came to the conclusion that the introduction of cattle would do more toward securing a foothold for the United States than anything else. The hard part of it was to secure cattle. The Hudson's Bay Company would not sell their stock, even to their own people, but rented it out. In 1843 Ewing Young came to the Northwest from California, where he was known as a cattle rustler, and finding that his reputation had come along with him, settled in the Chehalem Valley, where it was his intention to make liquor and sell it to the Indians and wandering white men. He was, however, persuaded by Slacum and Doctor McLoughlin, who also saw the importance of securing cattle for this country, to go to California and bring a drove of cattle to Oregon. This drive took place in the years of 1837 and 1838. Young started from California with 700 head of cattle and arrived in the Willamette Valley with 800 head.




"The second great cattle drive started in 1839 with a group of Americans, eager to develop their own interests and the interests of the United States in this section of the country. Under the leadership of John Gale they built a small schooner called "The Star of Oregon," in which after many difficulties, they arrived where San Francisco is now located and after trading their schooner for 300 cows, took what money they had and purchased 1,200 cattle, 3,000 sheep and 600 horses. The sheep were purchased by the dozen, while the horses brought from three to six dollars a head. Consider the hardship these few men went through, bringing these animals that long distance under those conditions.

"The introduction of fruit and cattle into the Inland Empire meant much to the early settlers and meant vastly much more to the present generation."


Following this address, Vice President Ben Burgunder called attention to the fact that Kettle Falls, on June 23d, would celebrate the anniversary of its discovery by David Thompson. Delegates from the association were asked; and Pres. N. G. Blalock was authorized to appoint whoever he saw fit. Ben Burgunder volunteered to act as a delegate, and any others who can go, will be made delegates.

Election of officers was then taken up, and despite his protests, Doctor Blalock was re-elected. The other officers elected are: first vice president, Ben Burgunder of Colfax; second vice president, A. G. Lloyd of Waitsburg; third vice president, Natt Webb; secretary, Marvin Evans; treasurer, Levi Ankeny; historian, W. D. Lyman.

The association then adjourned to Reynolds Hall, where a dinner was served by Miss Burr, and the tables were presided over by young ladies of the dormitory. The banquet was most successful, about two hundred sitting down to the repast.

A number of short talks then followed, President Blalock calling upon the members of the association for brief addresses.

"I came here thirty-two years ago," said Rev. John LeCornu, "and at that time I knew nearly everyone. Now I know hardly anyone. I used to go where I pleased across corners, but it's all fenced now. Where there were formerly stables on Main and Alder streets, are now big buildings; and where we then drove through dust or mud, we now have pavements. Schoolhouses, everything, have grown in numbers. We have grown, and we will continue to grow."

A. G. Lloyd of Waitsburg, second vice president of the association, expressed his pleasure of being present. He had been in the valley for more than fifty years.

W. P. Winans, who has been in the northwest for fifty-two years, made a brief talk, stating that fifty-two years ago yesterday he was on the Arkansas River, headed for this country.


"These reunions are the pleasantest times in life. Not only for the present, but the future reminiscences of them, bring us pleasure, and I trust they will continue as long as we have pioneers."


Pres. S. B. L. Penrose of Whitman College, was then called upon for an address, and extended an invitation for the association to make its permanent meeting place at Whitman College. By rising vote, this was accepted.

"The college is a pioneer, it was founded by pioneers, and its existence will be fresh a thousand years hence, when we are all forgotten. The association cannot, I think, do better than to link its existence with this institution, whose life will be endless; and I extend to you an invitation to hold your future meetings at the college."

Cal Lloyd was the next speaker, and he expressed his pleasure at being present, and his hope that he would see every member at the next meeting.

H. A. Reynolds expressed a desire to have the word pioneer defined, and to have an organization, separate from the present one, for the sons and the daughters of pioneers.

"You cannot make a man a pioneer by legislation, any more than you can make a Grand Army of the Republic man. I was born here, but do not claim to be a true pioneer."

"I am not that kind of a pioneer," stated W. H. Kirkman, "for when I was two years old, without a quaver or misgiving, I took my father by one hand and my mother by the other, and faced boldly to the west, leading them to Walla Walla.

"The pioneers have laid here the foundation for the greatest civilization the world has ever known; and it is for them to enjoy, as fully as possible, the fruits of their labors."

"I too, used to know the country and every man in it," said William Rinehart, formerly of Union, Oregon, but now of Walla Walla. "At Union I was secretary of the Pioneers' Association; and we had enjoyable reunions, much like this one. I enjoy them, and trust I will be able to attend many yet."

Following the reading of the resolutions, which were unanimously adopted, members of the association were given an hour's ride about the city in automobiles.

The attendance was more than two hundred, the largest in the history of the organization, according to old timers who have been in constant attendance.


Following is the report of the resolutions committee, composed of Prof. W. D. Lyman, A. G. Lloyd and W. S. Clarke:

"Resolutions of the Inland Empire Pioneer Association, June 1, 1911.

"Resolved: That we recognize with deep gratitude to Providence this opportunity which our gathering gives us for renewing the old friendships and making new ones.

"Resolved: That the hearty thanks of the association be extended to President[255] Penrose and to the officers of Whitman College for the use of Memorial Hall; and to Miss Burr, manager of Reynolds Hall, for the delicious banquet provided; and to the young ladies for their service upon the tables.

"Resolved: That we heartily thank the members of the Whitman College Glee Club for the beautiful vocal selections which added so pleasant a feature to the occasion.

"We also thank the staff of the local newspapers for their presence and interest in this meeting; and we recognize in their reports an indispensable means of bringing the aims and work of the society before the public.

"We thank the president, other officers and committee of arrangements for the preparations and completion of this meeting, which will occupy so attractive a place in our memories.

"Resolved, in conclusion: That we would urge upon the members of this association the desirability of preparing and giving to the historian biographical data to the end of fulfilling one of the great aims of the association, the preservation of matter otherwise liable to be lost.

"We incorporate herewith our heartfelt recognition of those of our members who have passed on since our last meeting."

Death has been active in the list of pioneers during this brief period.

The association recognizes the loss of these valued friends and members of the ranks the inevitable movement of time and the fulfillment of lives nobly spent and of influences which have done much to make this country what it is.

The association extends its condolence to the members of the families bereaved through these deaths, and joins with them in the sentiments of joy and pride which their good deeds most impart to all whom their lives have reached.

The following is a list of those included in the number: Mrs. Kate L. Butz, Amos Cummings, William Coston, Mrs. M. E. Ernst, Mrs. Chas. Lampman, Mrs. E. H. Massam, L. P. Mulkey, Mrs. Lydia Olds, Mrs. Martha A. Payne, Dale Preston, William Stanfield, James J. Gallaher, Mrs. Hollon Parker, Joseph McCoy, Mrs. Martha Lovell, Jesse Cummings.

Members of the Inland Empire Pioneer Association are: Mr. and Mrs. A. L. Ring, Dollie Auker, Harry Gilbert, John A. Taylor, William Glasford, G. A. Evans, C. H. Kaseberg, A. G. Murphy, Thomas Gilkerson, Henry Chew, America DeWitt, Oliver DeWitt, J. J. Rohn, Mrs. Chris Sturm, Henry Ingalls, D. Wertheimer, D. H. Irvin, Mrs. Mary Irwin, John McCausland, Mr. and Mrs. H. H. Hungate, Mr. and Mrs. R. C. Dunlap, Ben Burgunder, John Tempany, G. W. Bowers, Mrs. Isabella Kirkman, Levi Malone, Robert Kennedy, Mrs. J. C. Smith, Mrs. C. W. Reser, Miss Reser, Mrs. R. R. Rees, Fannie Hall, Mrs. J. W. Foster, N. G. Blalock, Mrs. E. A. Edwards, T. J. Hickman, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Harbert, Mrs. Alexander Johnson, Mrs. E. Lewis, Mrs. Mary Jett, S. W. Smith, Mrs. Esther Smith, Mr. and Mrs. W. Thomas, Mrs. J. L. Robinson, Mrs. J. J. Morrison, George Dehaven, Mrs. Mehala Dehaven, Joseph McEvoy, Mrs. J. W. Cookerly, Mrs. Kate Henderson, John Braden, Joe Braden, Mrs. J. F. Brewer, Mrs. S. A. Stanfield, Mrs. Lucy Buff, Mrs. Dora Walker, Mrs. D. H. Coffin, Mrs. Mary McCoy, Natt Webb, Eliza Jane Webb, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Harbert, Mrs. A. T. Bedell, Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Cornwell, Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Cantonwine, C. R. Frazier, P. Lightle, Mr. and Mrs. R. J. Weidick, Mrs. Jessie[256] Jones, Mrs. B. L. Sharpstein, Mrs. Frank Sharpstein, Mrs. Addie Upton, Mrs. Charles Painter, J. C. Painter, Mr. and Mrs. L. L. Hunt, L. F. Anderson, Mrs. D. S. Baker, Charles McEvoy, Mr. and Mrs. H. S. Hart, Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Evans, Mrs. Margaret Dovell, Mr. and Mrs. Woodson Cummings, Agnes L. LeVine, Mrs. Kominsky, Peter Meads, John Hodges, Mr. and Mrs. James Cummins, Hampton Huff, Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Malloy, Mr. and Mrs. H. L. Cauvel, Robert Cummings, J. A. Ross, F. A. Ross, Mrs. Rose Winans, Lulu Crandall, Mr. and Mrs. William Hardese, Mr. and Mrs. R. C. McCaw, Doctor and Mrs. Probst, Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Clark, William Preston, D. G. Ingraham, Mr. and Mrs. A. G. Lloyd, W. Manning, S. E. Manning, J. A. Beard, Agnes Beard, Mrs. J. P. Denn, J. C. Lloyd, J. H. Pettyjohn, Mrs. Kate Pettyjohn, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Rinehart, Caroline Ferrel, W. D. Lyman, A. M. McAllister, Dorsey Hill, Marvin Evans, Mr. and Mrs. B. F. Halter, W. P. Winans, Mr. and Mrs. C. L. Whitney, Thomas Mosgrove, Perry J. Lyons, W. S. Offner, Sidney Coyle, Mrs. Sarah Coyle, C. B. Lane, Frances E. Lane, Mr. and Mrs. John LeCornu, Mr. and Mrs. A. M. McLellan, H. V. Grubb, Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Reynolds, W. H. Kirkman.




The newspapers of any region must always be given prominence in any history of it as being one of the great constructive forces as well as constituting the indispensable record of events. Besides these fundamental functions, there is usually found in connection with the press of a new region a group of men alive to the needs and opportunities and hence concerned in those varied interests which always take shape in new places. Add to this the fact that generally there are found among newspaper men odd, unique, and entertaining characters, and we evidently have all the material for one of the most interesting sections of any history. Walla Walla has had, even more than most places, several unique and marked personalities among her "knights of the quill." In dealing with them, as with other parts of this work, we feel regretfully the pressure of the inexorable limits of space and are compelled thereby to omit the portrayal of some of those amusing, odd, and racy characters and events which might enliven the sober pages of history.

We have had occasion to refer many times to the Statesman as authority for early events and have also said something of its first appearance and early management. Appearing under the names of Washington Statesman and Walla Walla Statesman, it continued for many years to fulfill its mission in the Walla Walla country and more than any other may be considered as the historic paper of this section. The Statesman had a kind of a double origin. For in September, 1861, two brothers, W. N. and R. B. Smith, set on foot an enterprise through the acquisition of an old press from the Oregon Statesman and sent it to Walla Walla. Rather curiously, apparently without knowledge of the other design, N. Northrop and R. R. Rees started a similar enterprise only two days later. They had obtained a press of the Oregonian, and it was doubtless the first press in the Inland Empire, after that used by Rev. H. M. Spalding at Lapwai. Discovering each other's plans the two parties speedily coalesced and began the publication of the Washington Statesman. The first issue appeared on November 29, 1861. The editors and proprietors are announced as N. Northrop, R. B. Smith and R. R. Rees. We have given in an earlier chapter copious extracts from the first number. Several numbers in April, 1862, were on brown and yellow paper, for which profuse apologies are offered. On May 10, the editor has the following quaint "kick": "Our patrons, in sending us gold dust on subscriptions, or otherwise, will confer an especial favor by making a proper allowance for the weight of the sand. We can't make those who buy the dust of us believe that the sand is as valuable as the gold; nor do we believe it, either. Besides, in disposing of the dust, we are compelled to see it 'blowed' and[258] 'magnetized' until it is properly cleaned, and the result is that that which we receive for $5 sometimes dwindles down to $2.50."

By the retirement of Mr. Smith in January, 1862, and by the death of Mr. Northrop in February, 1863, the Statesman became the property of R. R. Rees, but in association with his brother, S. G. Rees, whose name appeared for the first time in the issue of October 11, 1862. In the number of May 9, 1863, the firm name appears as R. R. and S. G. Rees. In the number of September 2, 1864, the name Walla Walla Statesman was substituted for Washington Statesman, but without comment.

The firm name of R. R. and S. G. Rees was continued till November 10, 1865, when a notable change occurred. Wm. H. Newell became proprietor. In the paper of that date he makes his debut in an editorial which indicates his strong personality and his fine command of good English. It is a just tribute to Major Rees to say that his management of the Statesman, like that of the many other enterprises which made him one of the conspicuous figures in early Walla Walla, was broad, intelligent, and patriotic.

Mr. Newell was a character, bold, energetic, caustic, and as a writer, incisive and forceful. It is related that once having a joint debate with Judge Caton, he began by saying: "Fellow citizens, it is a disagreeable task to skin a skunk, but sometimes it has to be done. I am going to skin N. J. Caton." Judge Caton reached for his hip-pocket and the meeting broke up in a general row, though it does not appear that any one was seriously hurt. The Statesman under Mr. Newell was democratic in politics and during the embroglio between President Johnson and Congress it was an active supporter of the former. It is said by some that its attainment of the place of United States official paper in the territory was due to that support. In 1878, the Statesman became a daily, the first in the Inland Empire. But on November 13th, the active, scheming mind of the editor was stilled by death. After a month's interval, Frank J. Parker, a son-in-law of Newell, and himself as unique a character as the former editor, began his long career as a journalist. The daily was somewhat in advance of the times and was discontinued within a short period but in February, 1880, was again undertaken, not to be discontinued so long as the Statesman was a separate paper. Colonel Parker owned the Statesman till June, 1900, in which year it went into the hands of the Statesman Publishing Co., Dr. E. E. Fall being the leading member of the company.

During a large part of that portion of the career of the Statesman Walter Lingenfelder was editor in chief. He was a man of much journalistic ability, and later entered upon a brilliant literary career in New York.

The Walla Walla Union was the next newspaper to attain a permanent standing in Walla Walla. This was the uncompromising radical republican organ and was the natural counterpart of the Statesman. It was founded in 1868 by a group of strong supporters of Congress in the great reconstruction struggle then in progress.

The first number appeared on April 17, 1869. H. M. Judson was the editor, but the policy of the paper was under the control of a committee consisting of P. B. Johnson, E. C. Ross, and J. D. Cook. Within a short time R. M. Smith and E. L. Heriff became the owners of the paper and E. C. Ross became editor. In 1878 Capt. P. B. Johnson succeeded Mr. Ross as editor, and with his entrance[259] into the field of journalism there began one of the most forceful and influential careers in the journalism of Walla Walla. Captain Johnson was a man of intense and dominating personality and possessed much ability with the pen. His politics were those of the stalwart republicans. He had been a soldier and officer of the Civil war, and the great conflict had so burned its traces upon his mind that it was difficult for him to think in terms of patience of any other policies than those which had saved the Union and freed the slave. He acquired the property control of the Union and until 1890 was sole owner and proprietor. In that year he disposed of his interest to Charles Besserer, who had for some time been publishing the Walla Walla Journal. And as soon as we name Charles Besserer old-timers will at once recognize the fact that we have arrived at the uniquest of the uniques. Nature broke her mold at that point and never made another of the same kind. German by birth, though as he once told the author, of Spanish origin, well educated in his home land, a soldier in the Crimea, in the Civil war in this country, and in various Indian wars, fulfilling at various times the functions of manager of a bakery, a distillery, and a hotel, a postmaster, a justice of the peace, a sheep man, a farmer, and finally an editor, Mr. Besserer maintained under all circumstances his characteristic self. He wielded a trenchant pen and though his obituaries were sometimes of a type to add pangs to the thought of approaching death on the part of citizens of old Walla Walla, he had a high conception of the responsibilities of journalism and of the requisites of a well managed newspaper. In 1896 the ownership of the Union passed from Mr. Besserer to Herbert Gregg and Harry Kelso. It was conducted by them as a bed-rock republican paper and disposed of three years later to J. G. Frankland, Lloyd Armstrong and Bert La Due. After conducting the paper with success for a year the firm disposed of it to a group of leading republicans, among whom was D. B. Crocker. J. Howard Watson, well known over the state as a brilliant writer, for some time a correspondent of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, was installed as editor in 1900 and held his place with conspicuous editorial ability until failing health compelled him to retire. He made his home for a time on a beautiful place on Lake Chelan, but finally succumbed to an untimely death from tuberculosis. Mr. Watson was succeeded in 1902 by A. F. Statter, a man of many accomplishments, who conducted the Union with great ability for several years and then became private secretary to Sen. Levi Ankeny, from which post he attained a national position, becoming assistant secretary of the treasury in 1907. Eugene Lorton followed Mr. Statter as managing editor in September, 1903. In 1907 a marked change occurred in the status of Walla Walla newspapers, for in that year the Union and Statesman were brought under the one control and ownership of the Washington Printing and Book Publishing Co., with Percy C. Holland, who had been for some time connected with the Union, as manager. For sometime after the merger, Carl Roe acted as editor of the Union, which continued as a morning paper, while the Statesman, still an evening paper, was edited by Seth Maxwell. During several years following Dr. E. E. Fall became one of the chief owners and the manager of the Union, and there were a number of editorial writers and city editors of variable and some of them of transient careers. Among them was Walter Lingenfelder already mentioned in connection with the Statesman, who has become prominent in the East; Scott Henderson, who subsequently became assistant attorney-general[260] of the state; Wm. Guion, who was known as a capable editor and brilliant writer, and Harold Ellis, now city editor of the Bulletin. While those changes were in progress, a new afternoon daily, destined to be a great factor in subsequent journalistic history, had been launched by Eugene Lorton. This was the Walla Walla Bulletin, and its first number appeared on February 12, 1906. Another stage of importance occurred in 1910. In that year the publication of the Statesman was discontinued. That pioneer paper, a monument to the enterprise and capacity of Major Rees, and later of W. H. Newell and Colonel Parker, having had many ups and downs, but entitled to the leading place among the journals of the Inland Empire, thus closed its career after forty-nine years of active participation in the foundation period of Walla Walla.

Dr. E. E. Fall still continued as manager of the Union, but in December, 1912, he disposed of his interests to Berton La Due and D, W. Ift, while John H. McDonald acquired the ownership of Mr. Ankeny's share of the paper. In 1916 Mr. McDonald disposed of his share in the company to E. G. Robb. At the date of this publication the Union is therefore the property of Messrs. La Due, Ift, and Robb. Of the many who have been connected with the Union it may be said that Mr. La Due is the dean in service, having been connected with it for eighteen years. Most of the others have had brief tenures. The Washington Printing and Book Publishing Company are not only providing a first-class newspaper in the Union, but do an immense printing business of the best grade.

The Walla Walla Bulletin, founded, as we have seen, by Eugene Lorton in 1906, was acquired by John G. Kelly, formerly of Omaha, Neb., on February 1, 1910. Under his management the Bulletin has become one of the successful and influential daily newspapers of the Northwest. It is an independent newspaper. It has always stood for definite purposes and for the advancement of the general good as against special interests. It has been the leader in many movements for public betterment, notably the commission form of city government for Walla Walla, adopted in 1911, and for state-wide prohibition, which attained a sweeping triumph in both 1914 and 1916. The Bulletin appears every afternoon except Sunday and has the full leased wire reports of the Associated Press. The Sunday morning edition has the full leased wire report of the United Press Association. The independent policy of the Bulletin backed up by its superior news including telegraph, local news and correspondence from nearby towns, together with a splendid distribution service, has brought to it the largest circulation of any publication in Southeastern Washington and Northeastern Oregon. The Bulletin has a strictly modern mechanical plant. A site for a permanent home has been secured at the northwest corner of First and Poplar streets and there a first class modern newspaper building will soon be erected.

The Statesman, the Union, and the Bulletin may be regarded as the leading general newspapers of Walla Walla. But a number of others have been founded with more specialized aims which have played important parts for comparatively limited time, yet are well worthy of a place in a historical record. A brief item about each of these is due to history.

The Spirit of the West was founded by J. M. Ragsdale in 1872. Charles Humphries assisted as editorial writer. He was succeeded in turn by L. K. Grimm and Charles Besserer. Mr. Besserer becoming owner in 1877 changed the name.[261] to Walla Walla Watchman, to be changed in turn to Walla Walla Journal. The Journal in time, as already noted, became merged with the Union, and for a time the paper, known as the Union-Journal, was under the ownership of Mr. Besserer.

Mr. M. C. Harris was for a time concerned in newspaper ventures, publishing the Morning Journal in 1881 and the Daily Events in 1882. In the latter year also appeared the Washingtonian, published by W. L. Black, an accomplished writer, who also conducted Town Talk.

In April, 1894, W. F. Brock started the Garden City Gazette and in the next year J. J. Schick brought out the Watchman. In the Garden City Gazette Mr. Brock undertook the establishment of a distinctively local and social department, which Mr. Schick carried on into the Watchman. In 1900 the owners of the Union, Messrs. La Due, Frankland, and Armstrong, acquired the plant of the Gazette and the Watchman and continued the publication under the name of the Saturday Record.

In 1898 Walter Lingenfelder and C. H. Goddard started the Argus. This paper had the avowed aim of exposing abuses and humbugs and grafts, and fulfilled its mission by causing cold chills on the part of many who were conscious of belonging in those categories. It became ultimately the sole property of Mr. Lingenfelder, but he left it to become associated with Doctor Fall in the Union.

In 1900 A. H. Harris brought out an excellent monthly, maintained for several years, known as the Inland Empire.

In 1916 there was founded at Walla Walla, as a democratic campaign advocate for the re-election of President Wilson and Governor Lister, the Walla Walla Democrat. The managers were Charles Hill and Ernest W. Lanier. Russell Blankenship and W. D. Lyman were regular editorial contributors during the campaign. The triumph of the cause in the election of both the democratic President and democratic governor was a sufficient encouragement to Mr. Lanier to maintain the publication, and it is accordingly continued with vigor and success. At the present date Mr. Fred H. Butcher is associated with Mr. Lanier in the ownership and management of the Democrat. They maintain a well equipped printing establishment, in which they make a specialty of embossed printing.

The first issue of the Garden City Monitor (weekly) was dated October 10, 1908. This paper was established by Jesse Ferney to represent the interests of union labor in Walla Walla and Southeastern Washington. It has been the official organ of the Walla Walla Trades and Labor Council since its inception. In 1910 L. F. Clarke purchased a half interest in the paper. Ferney & Clarke, the publishers, have endeavored to make the paper progressive yet represent the conservative rather than the radical forces of union labor. A feature of the publication is an illustrated annual edition appearing on Friday before Labor Day each year.

One of the notable publications of Walla Walla, filling a field not occupied by any other, is the monthly Up-To-The Times Magazine. This valuable publication was founded in November, 1906, by R. C. MacLeod, and he has been editor and manager to the present date. Mr. MacLeod is entitled to great credit for his faith in the appreciation of a community which ordinarily would hardly be regarded as possessing sufficient population to justify a monthly magazine.

The aim of the magazine is to secure greater efficiency in education, agriculture,[262] commercial, and industrial life. It also maintains a department devoted to historical and pioneer subjects. Today, the magazine, independent of any subsidy from any source, is the only publication of its kind in the interior Northwest. Its success has been due to the steady maintainance of high literary as well as business ideals.

The importance of Up-To-The-Times as a publication may be inferred from the fact that it has paid for printing to one firm of Walla Walla printers the sum of $40,000, and that its half tone cuts of local scenes and industrial and agricultural life have called for an expenditure with a Spokane engraving house of $5,000. The cuts accumulated during the years of its existence constitute by far the most extensive and valuable collection of pictorial matter in this section of the state.

The field of Up-To-The Times is some eight counties of Washington and Oregon, but it may be noted that it has subscribers and readers in many other parts of the United States and Europe. The staff of the magazine at the present date consists of Mr. MacLeod as editor and manager, and A. F. Alexander, as secretary and circulation manager. There are a number of regular correspondents and contributors in Walla Walla and elsewhere.

In addition to the publications in Walla Walla City, this is the proper place to name the pioneer papers of the other towns of the old county. We turn first of all to Waitsburg in respect to its leading paper.


This has been the leading paper and most of the time the only paper of Waitsburg for a period of thirty-nine years. This paper originated in a joint-stock company formed in 1878, a number of local business men feeling that the little community should have a weekly spokesman. The first editor was B. L. Land and the first issue appeared in March, 1878. A few months later the plant was leased to D. G. Edwards, and later to J. C. Swash. The following year C. W. Wheeler was induced to lease the plant and he liked the work so well that the next year—1880—he purchased the property from the stockholders. Under the influence of C. W. Wheeler the Times became an influence in the community and in Walla Walla and Columbia counties. The paper continued under the management of Mr. Wheeler until 1900 when he leased the plant to two of his sons—E. L. and Guy Wheeler—so that he might enjoy a well-earned rest from the grind of newspaper work and take up the work of traveling lecturer for the Woodmen of the World fraternity, that he might be able to fulfill his desire to travel in the West extensively. These two sons having been practically raised in a printing office, were able to take entire charge of the paper. A couple of years later E. L. Wheeler, the older son, purchased the paper and plant from his father, and has been sole editor and proprietor since.

The Times boasts of one of the finest country plants in the state at the present time, owning its brick building and being equipped with modern presses, two magazine intertype type-casting machines, electric and water power and all other conveniences of present day journalism.

Not since the day that C. W. Wheeler took charge of the paper has the Times missed an issue.


In politics the Times is republican.

There was published for a short time in Waitsburg a democratic weekly, the Gazette. Its first issue appeared on June 29, 1899. R. V. Hutchins was proprietor and editor. In the next year C. W. McCoy acquired the Gazette, but in less than a year he in turn sold out to J. E. Houtchins, by whom the paper was conducted for some years, to be discontinued in 1905.

The pioneer newspaper of Dayton, while it was still in Walla Walla County, was the Dayton News, founded in September, 1874, by A. J. Cain. In April, 1878, county division having come in the meantime, E. R. Burk began publication of the Chronicle, still one of the leading papers of Columbia County. H. H. Gale was first editor. In 1879 O. C. White became owner of the Chronicle. In 1882 T. O. Abbott started the publication of the Democratic State Journal. It was designed to maintain the banner of democracy in Columbia County which had been lost when the Dayton News plant was destroyed by fire in 1882.

The first newspaper in what is now Garfield County was established at Pomeroy on April 12, 1880, by F. W. D. Mays, and named the Washington Independent. The Pomeroy Republican came into existence March 4, 1882, founded by Eugene T. Wilson, who admitted F. M. McCully to an equal partnership two months later. The ambitious little Town of Pataha became also the home of a newspaper, the Pataha Spirit. Its founder was G. C. W. Hammond and its first issue was in January, 1881. The next year it came into the hands of Dr. J. S. Denison and Charles Wilkins. Both the Pomeroy Republican and the Pataha Spirit were republican in politics, the Independent being generally true to its name, though inclining to democratic and populistic views.

The publications named may be regarded as the pioneers in the parts of the old county now comprising the three counties outside of Walla Walla. During the years following county division a number of others came into existence and now represent the press of their respective towns, and of them we shall make mention under the different counties.

The quest for journalistic history in the present Walla Walla County outside of Walla Walla City and Waitsburg leads us to the editorial sanctum of the Walla Walla Spectator of Prescott, presided over by Charles H. O'Neil, a native son of the "Valley of Waters," and a leading spirit among the pioneers and "Boosters" as well as the newspapermen of this section. The Spectator was established November 22, 1902. Mr. O'Neil has followed the occupation of printer during almost his entire business life, having spent a number of years in the printing establishments of Walla Walla before entering upon his independent venture. The Spectator has performed a service of conspicuous importance for the rich farming region in which it is located by helping organize public sentiment in the direction of community enterprise and civic advancement. As a result of these enlarged ideals through the schools, church, business men, and homes of the town, as well as the part borne in the same direction by the Spectator, Prescott has become somewhat remarkable, for a town of its population, for its high community spirit.

The veteran journalist of the west end of Walla Walla County is R. C. Julian of Attalia. Mr. Julian has been connected with several newspaper enterprises and at the present time is the owner and manager of the Wallula Gateway, the Attalia News-Tribune, and the Helix Advocate, at Helix, Ore. The Wallula[264] Gateway was launched on December 25, 1905, by Harter and Julian. After a few months Mr. Julian bought out his partner and has since conducted the paper alone. On May 11, 1907, he started the Touchet Pioneer, selling it after a year to A. M. Cummins. After sundry ownerships, the Pioneer became the Touchet-Gardena Empire, and is at the present time published by Ferney and Clarke of Walla Walla. The Attalia News-Tribune was the successor of the short-lived Two Rivers Tribune, which was started in 1908 by A. B. Frame to "boom" the land project at Two Rivers. The plant of the latter paper was secured by D. D. Swanson, formerly of Minneapolis, and in May, 1909, he entered upon the publication of the News-Tribune at Attalia. After three months Mr. Swanson retired, disposing of his establishment to Messrs. Cummins and Julian. Within another short period Mr. Julian became the sole owner and has so continued to this day. Looking still further, Mr. Julian started yet another weekly journal at Helix, Ore., the Helix Advocate. Having disposed of it in 1915 to J. J. Lewis, Mr. Julian reacquired possession in August, 1917, and thus is now the sole proprietor of the three weeklies.




A special interest always attaches to the legal, judicial and medical representatives of any country, and especially a new country. The lawyers and judges necessarily play so large a part in the creation of laws and the founding of institutions that their history is well nigh co-extensive with the development of their country. The physicians are so vital an element in the home life and the general conditions of their communities, that their history also comes near being a history of these communities.

We are presenting here several special contributions from representatives of these classes of citizens. We have had occasion at many points in the progress of this history to name prominent representatives of the bench and bar, and of the medical profession.

We present first a sketch of the early Walla Walla bench and bar by one of the foremost lawyers of the city, who is himself also a member of a family which has, perhaps, been more closely identified with the bench and bar of this section of the state than any other. We refer to the Sharpstein family, and we have the privilege of here presenting this article by John L. Sharpstein:

The intention is not to make this matter relating to the first judicial district of the Territory of Washington such a complete history as would be demanded if it were written more exclusively for the use and information of attorneys. The judicial system which existed in the Territory of Washington prior to its admission as state possessed some characteristics which in the present time would be regarded as peculiar. There were originally three district courts established under the acts of the Congress of the United States, and which were known as territorial district courts. These courts had jurisdiction of all matters, both civil and criminal, other than probate causes and each county in the territory had its own probate judge who was not necessarily a lawyer. The peculiarity referred to above was the fact that the Supreme Court was composed of the judges who were the district judges, so that the same judge who presided in the trial of a case in the lower court also participated in its final decision in the territorial Supreme Court.

As originally constituted there were three judicial districts in the Territory of Washington. The first judicial district consisted of all of Eastern Washington. Subsequently Eastern Washington was divided and a new district was created which was known as the Fourth Judicial District, with its presiding judge resident at the City of Spokane. The District Court in the First Judicial District was organized at Walla Walla on June 4, 1860. Judge William Strong, who afterwards became a practicing attorney at Portland, Ore., was the presiding judge. The first attorneys admitted to practice in this court were Edward S.[266] Bridges and Otis S. Bridges. They were admitted on June 4, 1860. John G. Sparks was the next attorney admitted to practice, and the date of his admission was June 5, 1860. W. A. George was admitted on April 15, 1861, and his practice at the bar in Eastern Washington probably covered more years than that of any other attorney who has ever practiced in this jurisdiction.

At the organization of the court a grand jury was impanelled and included in the members of that grand jury were W. S. Gilliam and Milton Aldrich, both of whom afterwards became prominent in both business and political affairs in Walla Walla County, and were among the most useful and respected citizens of that community.

As originally constituted the territorial District Court comprised all of Eastern Washington, but by division the territorial jurisdiction was gradually reduced so that the southern half of Eastern Washington practically constituted the first district at the time of the admission of the territory as a state. After the first organization of the court and the appointment of Judge Strong, among the presiding judges were E. P. Oliphant, James A. Wyche, James K. Kennedy, J. R. Lewis, S. C. Wingard and William G. Langford. William G. Langford was the last judge prior to the admission of the state. Judge Wyche, Judge Kennedy and Judge Wingard after their retirement from the bench made their homes in Walla Walla City, and were useful and respected members of that community until the dates of their respective deaths.

While the systems prevailing prior to the admission of the state in the territorial courts permitting the judge who tried the case to be a member of the Supreme Court on the hearing of the case on appeal would seem to be peculiar, it was not so unsatisfactory in its results as one would be inclined to think it might have been.


We next present a contribution from Judge Chester F. Miller, of Dayton, long and intimately identified with the legal practice and with the court decisions of this section. We have had occasion to refer to Judge Miller many times in the course of this history, and we have had the privilege of enrolling him among the advisory board for the work. Anything from his pen is of exceptional value. His contribution follows here:


The district court of Walla Walla County, with jurisdiction over all of the eastern part of the territory, was created by the Legislature in 1860, and made a part of the First Judicial District of the territory. Judge William Strong of Vancouver then presided over this court, and held his first term at Walla Walla on June 4, 1860. In 1861, James E. Wyche was appointed judge of the district, took up his residence in Walla Walla and thereafter held regular terms in that place. The territorial judges succeeding him were James K. Kennedy in 1870, J. R. Lewis in 1873, Samuel C. Wingard in 1875, and William G. Langford in 1886.



The only resident attorneys appearing of record at the first term of court held in Walla Walla were Andrew J. Cain and Col. Wyatt A. George. There may have been other mining camp lawyers in Walla Walla at that time, but they did not remain long enough to become identified with the courts or the early history of this section. William G. Langford, James H. Lasater and James D. Mix came in 1863, Benjamin L. Sharpstein in 1865, Nathan T. Caton in 1867, Thomas H. Brents in 1870, Thomas J. Anders in 1871, John B. Allen and Charles B. Upton in 1878 and Daniel J. Crowley in 1880. Although these lawyers resided in Walla Walla, and were more closely identified with the history of that county, yet they should be mentioned here, for the reason that they followed the judge around the circuit of the old first judicial district, and practiced in the district courts of Eastern Washington, as fast as they were created by the Legislature. The court practice in those days was very different from what it is now. When Judge Wingard was appointed in 1875, he held court in Walla Walla, Yakima and Colville. Afterwards Dayton, Colfax and Pomeroy were added to the court towns. Court was held two or three times each year in each town, and usually lasted for two or three weeks. The judge was followed around the circuit by the members of the bar above mentioned. They took their chances of picking up some business at each term, and on account of their experience and ability were usually associated with local counsel on one side or the other of each case. There was no preliminary law day, and the attorneys had to be ready on a moment's notice to argue the motions and demurrers, and get their cases ready for immediate trial. Stenographers and typewriters were unknown, and the lawyer prepared his amended pleadings at night with pen and ink, and in the morning proceeded with the trial of his case. Law books were few and far between; a good working library consisted of the session laws, "Bancroft's Forms," "Estee's Pleadings," and a few good text books. Supreme Court reports were unknown in this section of the country, and the case lawyer had not yet come into existence. In the argument of legal questions, decisions of the courts were seldom mentioned, but the lawyers depended upon their knowledge of the principles of the law, and their ability to apply those principles to the facts of the case on trial. There were no specialists in different branches of the law in those days and the successful lawyer was able to take up in rapid succession, with only one night for preparation, first an important criminal case, then a complicated civil jury case, and then an intricate equity case. There may be at this time abler lawyers in some one branch of their profession, than were this pioneer bar, but for a general knowledge of all the branches of the law, and readiness in applying the fundamental principles of the law to their particular case, without having reference to the court reports, the pioneer lawyer was far in the lead of the modern practitioner. This method of practice made big, broad and ready men; the little lawyer drifted in and soon drifted out; only the big ones remained, and they made their mark both in law and in politics. In those days, when there were no railroads, no daily newspapers, no moving picture shows, or other places of amusement, the people from far and near came to town during court week and regularly attended its session, enjoying the funny incidents coming up during the trials, and listening attentively to the eloquent speeches of the able lawyers.

The District Court for Columbia County was created in 1878, and in June of that year, Judge Wingard held his first term in Dayton. In addition to the Walla Walla lawyers above mentioned, the following members of the local bar were in attendance at that time: Andrew J. Cain, Robert F. Sturdevant, Wyatt[268] A. George, Morgan A. Baker, Mathew W. Mitchell, Thomas H. Crawford, John T. Ford, William Ewing and John D. McCabe, of Dayton and William C. Potter and Joseph H. Lister of Pomeroy.

Judge Wingard was red headed, a little dyspeptic, somewhat irritable at times and usually wore a shawl around his shoulders, while occupying the bench. He was much given to imposing fines on lawyers, jurors and witnesses who came in late, but generally remitted them after he had cooled off. He was always kind to the young, inexperienced lawyer, giving him good advice, and extending a helping hand when the young fellow was lost in his case and grasping for a straw. He was more exacting with the older lawyer and quickly became impatient when one of them tried to mislead him as to the law. However, he was a good judge, honored and respected by all, and administered the law as it appeared to him, without fear of being recalled.

Andrew J. Cain was probably the pioneer lawyer of Southeastern Washington, and made his first appearance as a clerk in the quartermaster's department, at the time the treaty was concluded by General Wright with the Indians, at Walla Walla in 1858, and assisted in preparing the terms of this treaty. He practiced in Walla Walla from 1860 until 1873, when he came to Dayton and soon afterwards founded the Dayton News, Dayton's pioneer newspaper. He had full charge in the Legislature of the bills creating the present County of Columbia, is frequently mentioned as the father of that county, and was its first county auditor. He was always considered an able and well equipped lawyer, not particularly eloquent, but very forcible in his speech, and was quite successful while engaged in the practice. He died in 1879.

Col. Wyatt A. George was born in Indiana in 1819, and after serving in the Mexican war, came to the coast during the gold excitement of 1849. He followed the mining camps until 1860, when he settled in Walla Walla, practicing there until the District Court was established in Dayton in 1878, when he removed to that town. He practiced in Dayton for ten years and then went to Pomeroy for a short time, then to Colfax, and afterwards returned to Walla Walla, where he died without means, his last wants being administered by the members of the bar, with whom he had practiced for so many years. His knowledge of the law was wonderful, and he was often referred to as a walking law library, and by many as "Old Equity." He seldom referred to a law book, yet his knowledge of the principles and reasons of the law, and his familiarity with the technical system of pleadings then in vogue, was such that he seldom entered a case, without interposing a demurrer or motion against the pleading of his adversary, and always demanded and collected terms before allowing them to plead over. He was perhaps the ablest common lawyer in the territory, and was very successful in his practice. The old colonel with his tall, slender form, his white beard, his stove pipe hat and cane, was noticeable in any gathering, and he always believed in maintaining the dignity of his profession in the manner of his dress and his bearing on the street. The colonel wasn't much of a joker, but had a sense of dry humor about him, which sometimes cropped out, and was much appreciated by his associates. There was a drayman in Dayton in those days, known as "Old Jake," who drove a pair of mules to his dray. His mules were attached and he employed Colonel George to claim them as exempt. The previous Legislature in describing the property exempt to a teamster, had unintentionally[269] omitted the word "mules," and Judge Wingard held against the colonel. After studying the statute for a moment, the colonel remarked to the judge that the members of the late lamented Legislature had evidently overlooked mules, but that it was the first time in the history of the world that a mule had been overlooked by a set of jackasses.

Judge Sturdevant came to Dayton in 1874, and was soon elected prosecuting attorney of the first judicial district. He was the first probate judge of Columbia County and its prosecuting attorney for many years. He was a member of the constitutional convention, and the first judge of this judicial district after we became a state. He practiced law in Columbia County until a few years ago, when he removed to Olympia, but occasionally comes back for the trial of some case and recalls old memories. The judge was of a very genial disposition, always ready to lay aside his work and tell a good story, yet withal he was a splendid lawyer, trying his cases closely and generally with success, and even yet in his old age, he retains his knowledge of the law, his cunning and his ready wit, and bids fair to practice law for many years to come.

Morgan A. Baker was a young man when he came to Dayton from Albany, Ore., in 1877. He was a good office lawyer and a safe adviser. He was somewhat diffident in court, but usually tried his cases well. As a politician and manager of the old democratic party in this county, he was in a class by himself. He practiced here for thirteen years and was very successful in his profession and in a financial way. He removed from here to Seattle and afterwards returned to his first home at McMinville, Ore., where he died a few years ago.

The other local lawyers who were present at the first term of court, did not remain here long. M. W. Mitchell is still living at Weiser, Idaho. Tom Crawford located at Union, Ore., and attained considerable political prominence in that state.

In 1879, David Higgins and James Knox Rutherford came to Dayton. Higgins was an elderly man, and somewhat hard of hearing; he never had to amend his pleadings, because no one could read his writing; he had a very good knowledge of the law, and is principally remembered as the man who broke the first city charter. He afterwards located at Sprague where he died many years ago.

Rutherford was prosecuting attorney for several years and assisted John B. Allen in the prosecution of Owenby, McPherson and Snodderly, the most celebrated murder trials of this part of the state. Rutherford went from here to Whatcom, and when last heard from was working at his old trade as a paper maker at Lowell, Wash.

In 1880, Melvin M. Godman and John Y. Ostrander located in Dayton. Judge Godman was then a young lawyer, from Santa Clara, Cal., but was very successful from the start, and soon attained prominence in his profession. He was acknowledged by all, as one of the greatest trial lawyers in Eastern Washington. He was an eloquent advocate, with a good knowledge of the law, forcibly presenting the strong points of his own case, and quick to discover the weak points in his opponent's case, and turn them to his own advantage. He was twice a member of the Legislature, a member of the constitutional convention, the second superior judge of this district, an unsuccessful candidate for supreme judge, congressman and governor of the state, and at the time of his death was chairman of the Public Service Commission. He was one of the[270] great men of the state. John Y. Ostrander was the son of Dr. Ostrander, and born in Cowlitz County, but came to Dayton from Olympia. He was a good lawyer for a young man; was red headed and a natural fighter, and even when he lost his case, he gave his opponent good reason to remember that he had been in a lawsuit.

In 1881, Elmon Scott was admitted to practice in the courts of this district, at Dayton, and located at Pomeroy, where he became prominent in his profession, and when we became a state, he was elected to the Supreme Court, doing honorable service for twelve years. He then retired from practice and is now living quietly at Bellingham, enjoying a well earned competency. In 1883, Mack F. Gose took his examination at Dayton and also located at Pomeroy, where he developed into one of the most successful lawyers in Eastern Washington. He served for six years on our supreme bench, where he justly earned the reputation of being one of the greatest judges our state has yet produced. Judge Gose delved deeply into the law and his thorough knowledge of its fundamental principles was responsible for his great success upon the bench. The judge is admired by his acquaintances and worshiped by his friends in Garfield County, where he spends his summers on his ranch at Mayview.

In 1884, Samuel G. Cosgrove located at Dayton and was admitted to practice in the courts of the territory, but soon removed to Pomeroy. He was a veteran of the Civil war, an orator and an excellent trial lawyer. His predominant characteristics were ambition and perseverance, never losing sight of his goal until by persistent efforts he had reached it. He was a member of the constitutional convention and finally achieved his life long ambition to be governor of Washington. It is to be regretted that he did not live to enjoy the fruits of his life long work.

Much might be said of these three men, but their history is a part of the history of the state; they put Pomeroy on the map, and gave it the reputation of having produced more prominent men than any small town in our state.

During the year 1886, Charles R. Dorr and James Ewen Edmiston, both of whom had read law in Dayton, took the examination and were admitted to practice. Charlie Dorr was an orator and a student and quickly took his place among the leading lawyers, and it was often said that he was the most brilliant young lawyer in this part of the state. With him ambition reigned supreme, and this coupled with natural industry and backed by that drive power which causes men to do things worth while, would have made him a power in this state, had he lived a few years longer. He was prosecuting attorney for two years, and took his place among the campaign orators of the state. His death in 1892, after six years of practice, was the cause of much regret.

James E. Edmiston in private life was a quiet unassuming gentleman, loved and respected by everyone. As a lawyer he was successful from the start, and soon built up a large practice. His knowledge of men and his ability to judge them as they are, gained from his experience as a teacher, a minister and a business man, prior to his taking up the law, made him a dangerous opponent in the trial of cases in court. He was well founded in the principles of the law, was a convincing speaker and had great weight with a jury. He filled the office of prosecuting attorney for two years, with credit to himself. His death in 1900, while yet in the prime of life and the midst of his usefulness, was a great loss to the community. It can be truly said, that a better, kinderhearted man than J. E. Edmiston, never lived.




The history of this state cannot be written without referring many times to the lawyers mentioned in this paper. A senator, a congressman, a governor, many judges of the Supreme and Superior courts, and all have made good in the positions to which they were called. Southeastern Washington has been the training ground for many great men.

The present bar of Columbia, Garfield and Asotin counties are mostly home products, but they are good lawyers, upholding the honor of their profession, and full of promise, and will undoubtedly follow in the footsteps of their predecessors, and help write the future history of our great state.

The representative of bench and bar in old Walla Walla County who has attained the most distinguished rank in office, having been a member of the State Supreme Court of Washington, as well as possessing high rank in the regard of multitudes of his fellow-citizens, is Judge Mack F. Gose of Pomeroy. He also, like the other contributors, belongs to a prominent pioneer family, and also a family of lawyers. He too is on our advisory board.

We have the pleasure of presenting here a special sketch by Judge Gose, including a narration by him of a case of peculiar interest and importance, the case of old Timothy, the Nez Percé hero of the Alpowa:


On a broad fertile plain on the Snake River near the mouth of the Alpowa Creek, about 1800, there were born two Nez Percé children of the full blood, a boy and a girl, named Timothy and Tima, who, upon attaining the age of manhood and womanhood, became husband and wife and remained such until the death of the wife which occurred in 1889. Timothy, the subject of this sketch, passed on about a year later. He was a chief of the Nez Percé tribe and, from the time of his birth until his decease, dwelt at the place where he was born.

He was converted to Christianity by the Reverend Spalding, and became a licensed preacher. There was born to Timothy and Tima as issue of their marriage four children, three sons and a daughter: He-yune-ilp-ilp, or Edward Timothy, Jane Timoochin, Estip-ee-nim-tse-lot, or Young Timothy, and Amos Timothy who died during childhood. Edward was twice married. There was born to his first wife a daughter Pah-pah-tin, who married Wat-tse-tse-kowwen. To them was born a daughter Pitts-teen. The issue of his second marriage was daughter Nancy Tse-wit-too-e, who was married to Rev. George Waters, an Indian of the Yakima tribe. The issue of this marriage was two daughters, Ellen and Nora. Jane Timoochin was twice married. To her was born a son, William, the issue of her first marriage. To William was born a daughter named Cora. To Young Timothy was born a daughter Amelia, who had a son named Abraham. The living issue of Timothy and Tima at the time of the death of the latter was Jane Timoochin, Pitts-teen, Ellen, Nora, Cora and Abraham. The second husband of Jane Timoochin was John Silcott, a prominent and much respected citizen of the State of Idaho, with whom she lived until her death in 1895. In 1877 Timothy filed his declaration of intention to become a citizen of[272] the United States. A year later he filed a homestead entry on the tract of land upon which he was born, and had continued to reside. In 1883 he made final proof as a naturalized citizen of the United States, and a year later received his letters patent. No record evidence of his naturalization has been found, but there is abundant evidence that he voted at least once and that he was a taxpayer.

A reference to the dates given will show that Timothy was a lad four or five, perhaps six, years of age when the Lewis and Clark party made its memorable voyage down the Snake River in 1805 and stopped at the Indian village where he resided. The writer has heard it stated by a friend of Timothy that he claimed to remember seeing these white men. There can be but little doubt that he was old enough to have an occurrence so strange to him indelibly stamped upon his memory. From early manhood until his death Timothy was a good man, whether measured by the white skin or the red skin standard. He early adopted the habits of civilized life, and was a friend of the white race. History records that he was instrumental in saving the lives of General Steptoe and his command. Gen. Hazard Stevens in the life of his father, the eminent Gen. Isaac J. Stevens, relates that Timothy attended the great Indian council held at Walla Walla between Governor Stevens and many Indian tribes in 1853, at which time and place a treaty was concluded, and that "the morning after the council, being Sunday, he (Timothy) preached a sermon for the times and held up to indignation of the tribe and the retribution of the Almighty those who would coalesce with the Cayuses and break the faith of the Nez Perces." Like Lawyer, the head chief of the Nez Percé tribe at the time this council was held and the treaty was made, Timothy loved to dwell in peace. They alone among all the chiefs there assembled saw the folly of fighting the white man.

The remains of Timothy rest in an unmarked grave on the banks of Snake River—the spot of his birth, his life and his death. Efforts have been made to secure Congressional recognition of his worth to the white man when he was struggling to make a settlement in the Northwest in the heart of a country peopled by thousands of Indians, many of whom were hostile to our race. So far the effort has been unavailing. It is said that there were but two pictures in Timothy's simple cabin home—one of George Washington, the other of himself. This may excite the derision of those who know nothing of the simple, honest, Christian, loyal character of Timothy; but to those who know his history it seems not an improper linking of two names: one great and loyal to all that was right and just; the other, obscure as measured by white skin standards, but also loyal to right and justice as he understood the Christian teaching.

With this sketch of Timothy and a proper understanding of the prominent part that he played in several of the momentous events of history in this section, the reader will see the interest which gathers around a noted law case connected with the land upon which he filed near the junction of Alpowa Creek with Snake River.

A summary of the case is as follows:

The patent through which Timothy acquired the legal title to his homestead recites that the land shall not be sold or incumbered for a period of twenty years. Despite this limitation, Timothy and Tima, in June, 1884, about two months after the patent had been issued, executed an unacknowledged lease of the land to John M. Silcott for a term of ninety-nine years. The expressed consideration[273] for the lease was a nominal sum, payable yearly. In April, 1890, Silcott assigned an undivided one-half interest in the lease to L. A. Porter. In March, 1892, he assigned the remainder of the lease to Richard Ireland. In March, 1902, Silcott conveyed his interest in the land to Ireland by a deed of quitclaim. In October, 1903, Ireland and wife conveyed their interest in both the land and lease to William A. White and Edward A. White. In March, 1904, Porter assigned his interest in the lease to W. J. Houser and Ross R. Brattain, and at the same time conveyed to them certain fee interests in the land which he had purchased from certain of the heirs of Timothy and Tima.

In May, 1904, Houser and Brattain entered into a contract with White Brothers, above mentioned, whereby they agreed to convey to them the Porter interests, both fee and leasehold.

About 1903 or 1904 Charles L. McDonald, a lawyer residing and practicing his profession at Lewiston, in the State of Idaho, purchased the inheritances of Cora, the granddaughter of Jane, and Abraham, the grandson of young Timothy, and of Noah, the father of Abraham. The other interests were claimed by White Brothers. They also claimed the one-sixth interest inherited by Cora.

As an outgrowth of the facts stated, intricate and prolonged litigation followed. Mr. McDonald commenced a suit against White Brothers, alleging that the lease was invalid on two grounds: First, because the lease was unacknowledged, and second, because the patent to Timothy should have contained a five-year non-alienation clause in accordance with the act of Congress of March 3, 1875. He also asserted title to the entire fee in the land acquired as he claimed through conveyances from all the heirs of Timothy and Tima. He did not claim to have acquired the inheritances of Silcott or of the heirs of Edward, but his contention was that Silcott and Jane had not been legally married and that Edward had not married.

At the trial it was established that in early times living together in the manner usual between husband and wife constituted a legal marriage, according to the Nez Percé tribal custom. It was also established that, according to the same custom, either spouse was at liberty to separate from the other and at once take a new mate; thus giving legality to both the divorce and second marriage. From the evidence offered the court found that Edward was twice married; that there was living issue of both marriages, and that Silcott and Jane were legally married. It was shown that Rev. James Hines, an Indian preacher, licensed but not ordained, performed the marriage ceremony between Silcott and Jane about the year 1882, at some place on the Alpowai Creek, in the then Territory of Washington. Mr. McDonald's contention that only ordained ministers could perform the marriage ceremony and that a ceremonial marriage without proof that a marriage license had been procured was invalid, was held to be without merit.

The evidence showed that the actual consideration for the lease was that Silcott should support Timothy and Tima during their natural lives; that he did so, and that he gave them a decent burial was amply proven. Under the laws of Washington an unacknowledged lease of real property for more than a year is not valid. The Whites relied upon permanent and valuable improvements and the long continued possession of their predecessors under the lease as constituting both laches and estoppel against the right to assert the invalidity of the lease. Touching this aspect of the case it was shown that the land was unfenced and[274] covered with sage brush, except about one acre which had been used as an Indian garden when the lease was made; that the land then had a value of five dollars per acre; that in the fall of 1890 Silcott and Porter plowed, cleared and leveled about sixty acres and planted it to fruit trees; that the next spring they planted about twenty acres to alfalfa; that in the fall of 1903 White Brothers planted about twenty acres additional to orchard; that water had been carried to the land for irrigation by those claiming under the lease, and that at the time of the trial (about 1906) the orchard was in good condition and the land of the value of $20,000.

Both the trial court and the supreme court took the view that the heirs were guilty of laches, which precluded setting aside the lease, they having permitted those claiming under it to have the undisturbed possession of the land for more than twenty years. It was also held that, in view of the valuable improvements placed on the land by those who in good faith believed the lease to be valid, it would be doing violence to the plainest rules of equity to permit those who have remained passive when it was their duty to speak, to be rewarded for their inattention to their legal rights. Upon these principles the lease was sustained. Mr. McDonald was adjudged to be the owner of the one-sixth interest inherited by Cora and the one-third interest inherited by Abraham and his father, Noah, making an undivided one-half of the fee simple title. White Brothers were adjudged to be the owners of the remaining fee interest composed of the inheritances through Edward and of John Silcott, all, however, subject to the ninety-nine-year lease. The marriages and heirships were proven by the testimony of Indian witnesses.

The case was tried at Asotin. One old Indian testified that he was born there and that he owned the town and adjoining land. In testifying to the first marriage of Edward, he caused some merriment by saying that he was busy as usual when it happened and gave little attention to an incident so trivial in his busy life. Edward Reboin, whose father was a Frenchman and whose mother was a Nez Percé Indian, was used as an interpreter. He testified to the customs of marriage and divorce among the Nez Percé Indians. He said in early times two marriage customs were recognized and followed. The simplest one has been stated. The other was to have a wedding feast, attended by the relatives and friends of the young couple; following which the happy pair betook themselves to the tepee of the husband and they twain became husband and wife.

The trial of the case consumed several days. The court permitted wide latitude in the presentation of the evidence. Several white men and many Indians gave testimony on the various phases of the case. Among others, Mr. R. P. Reynolds, now a resident of the City of Walla Walla, made oath that he was well acquainted with Timothy; that he explained the lease to him before he signed; that the actual consideration for the lease was that Silcott should support Timothy and Tima during the natural life of each thereof; that he did so and that he gave each of them a decent burial. The examination of an Indian witness through an interpreter is an interesting experience. The Indian carries his traditional stoicism to the witness stand. There he is as impassive as a piece of marble. Neither by sign nor act does he give any indication of the working of his mind to the examiner. His answer to one question rarely suggests another question. The examiner works his way in the dark as best he may. This experience[275] is particularly true of cross-examination. It has been said that cross-examination is an art. Some artist may have seen the light in cross-examining an Indian, but to the writer the Indian has been a man of mystery.


From the bench and bar we turn to the medical profession. It is hard to express the debt of gratitude which these pioneer communities owe to their physicians. Among those who have completed their work and passed on, the minds of all people of old Walla Walla would turn with profound respect and veneration to Dr. N. G. Blalock as justly entitled to be called the foremost citizen of this section, and among the foremost of the State of Washington. Conspicuous among the great physicians who have passed away, Dr. John E. Bingham would be called up by all the old-timers as a man of extraordinary ability, great attainments in general knowledge, and a skillful and successful practitioner. Many others, gone and still living, have made noble contributions to the upbuilding of the region covered by our story, but limits of space forbid special mention.

Among the living representatives of the medical profession undoubtedly the man whose name would come at once to the minds of all in his section of our field is Dr. G. B. Kuykendall of Pomeroy. We have had occasion frequently in these pages to refer to this foremost of the physicians of his section of the state. Prominent both by reason of his medical ability and his peculiarly genial and attractive personality, Dr. Kuykendall has also been one of the leading historical students, and one of the especially gifted writers in this section of our field. In this chapter we give a contribution by this well-known and well-loved physician of Garfield County:


Forty years as a measure of the earth's geological changes, or of the history of the world, are as but a moment—as the lightning's flash or the fall of a meteor. The same lapse of time in the life of a physician, during the early settlement of the Inland Empire, seems long when viewed in retrospection. A sketch of those forty years would be a vitagraph of the most active period of his life and also the panorama of the building of an empire.

Four decades ago, the larger part of all this country was a wilderness—a typical western frontier.

In those days, when the physician started out in the country to visit his patients, he rode over a region covered with tall grass, swept into wavy undulations by the western winds. As far as the eye could see there were but few human habitations; and seldom a fence to mar the landscape or obstruct the way.

The doctor's mode of travel then, on medical trips, was usually on the "hurricane deck of a cayuse horse," and his armamentarium was carried in the old-time saddle or pill bags. Often the jolting and jostling of the bottles therein caused the effluvium of ether, valerian and other odoriferous medicaments to exude and make the air redolent with their perfume. We had to carry our medicines with us, and a pretty good supply of them, too; for we never knew what we should find or how many sick we might meet before our return.

In the pioneer days of this country, the "settlers" had small houses and but[276] few conveniences as we now know them. Mostly they lived in domiciles of one room, and there were few indeed that had more. When sickness came it always found them unprepared.

Dust, flies and impure water were the curse of the sick, and made it impossible to give then proper sanitary environments. Dust in those days was much worse than now, as roads were then in the making by the easiest and quickest route. They passed up and down the bunch-grass hills and across the sage plains, the soft, ashy soil being ground into dust of prodigious depth by "single-track" summer travel. Freight wagons, incoming settlers and caravan trains kept the roads so dusty that the traveler was greatly inconvenienced.

Homesteaders at first procured water from the little gulches near their homes or from shallow wells of seepage water. In either case, it was nearly always impregnated more or less with alkali and loaded with organic matter. The result was that every year, after the country had a considerable population, typhoid (then called mountain fever) appeared, and every summer and fall there were numerous cases. People, then, had not been educated to the necessity of proper care of the body and knew scarcely anything of disease germs, antiseptics or sanitation. Bath rooms, hot and cold water in the home, existed only in memories of the past or dreams of the future.

Many times when I was called to a country home to see a patient, to dress a wound or reduce and dress a fracture, I frequently went out to a hole in the ground dignified by the name of well, to wash the dust from my face and hands. We got along almost "any old way" those days, and did not seem to mind so very much the inconveniences either.

In those days we did not have telephone lines running everywhere over the country and to nearly every home, as now. When a member of a pioneer family suddenly became sick, or when someone had been "bucked" from a horse and got a leg or arm broken, or the baby had a collection of wind crosswise in its stomach and was howling "loud enough to raise the rafters," then there was a sudden demand for someone to go, from three to twenty-five miles, for the doctor. They could not step to a phone and call him up and ask advice, or request him to start at once. The program was to rout out the hired man or one of the boys, or send to a neighbor, and have him saddle a horse and start to town for the physician.

It is remarkable how much worse green plums and cucumbers affect the internal apparatus of a "kid" in bad weather, and what a predilection colic has for attacking the "in'ards" of a baby on dark, stormy nights. It always seemed to me that the children of the early settlers passed by the "moonshiny" nights and selected the very worst possible weather for their birthdays. This seems to be one of the inscrutable arrangements of providence, and bears indisputable testimony to the early age at which human perversity begins.

In those days the time required to get word to the doctor and secure his attendance was so great that the patient sometimes died or recovered before the physician could possibly reach him. During all this time the patient and friends were kept in an agony of uncertainty and suspense.

In retrospection, some of my long, hard night drives through darkness, freezing cold, snowdrifts, rain, slush or mud, are still like memories of a horrible nightmare.

There have been several epidemics that swept over the country since the beginning[277] of its settlement. The first was smallpox. It is a remarkable fact that many physicians diagnosed the disease as chickenpox, until it began to slay many of its victims. There was at that time quite a controversy among the physicians and a part of the people in regard to the nature of the disease.

In the spring of 1888, epidemic cerebro-spinal meningitis appeared in Garfield County and the surrounding country. It came suddenly and the symptoms were so violent, and the results in many cases were so rapidly fatal that it created consternation among the people. The physicians over the country generally had not previously met the disease nor had any experience with it, and were puzzled both as to diagnosis and treatment. The writer had, during the epidemic, an experience that was enough for a lifetime. The disease prevailed more or less for about two years. In Garfield County there were a large number of cases on the upper and lower Deadman Creek, Meadow Gulch, Mayview, Ping, along the Snake River and in Pomeroy and Pataha. It is probable that Garfield County, in proportion to its population, had more cases than any county in the state.

The attacks of the malady were of all shades of severity and the symptoms of the greatest diversity. It attacked, for the most part, young persons from the age of three to twenty years, but there were numerous cases older and younger. In some instances the person was taken instantly, while apparently in ordinary health, with agonizing pains in the head and spine, with or without vomiting, and in a few minutes he became wildly delirious, with convulsions, muscular contractions, rigidity of the neck, head drawn far back, and was soon unconscious; and in some cases, died within a few hours. In other cases, the patient lingered on for many weeks or even months, halting between life and death, with excruciating agony, only at last to die, worn out and reduced to a skeleton. Others slowly emerged from their desperate condition to regain complete health, while others were left partially paralyzed, with distorted and shrivelled limbs or impaired mental powers.

I witnessed many harrowing scenes among my meningitis cases, and when the epidemic was past, I fervently thanked God and wished I might never again have to pass through a similar experience.

Following up the meningitis scourge, there came along soon afterwards a notable epidemic of influenza or la grippe. The symptoms it produced were very characteristic of and came near to answering the description of epidemic "Russian influenza," graphically pictured in old medical works. Whole communities were prostrated in a few hours. It seemed to spread through the medium of the atmosphere, and was also very contagious, passing from person to person. Many were stricken and overpowered almost or quite as suddenly as the meningitis cases, while some exhibited meningeal tendencies that made the diagnosis doubtful at first.

I remember of going to Ilia to see a patient with the disease, and before getting back home I had been called to prescribe for seventeen persons; and a few days later I took the disease myself.

The effects of this epidemic were manifest for years, there being left in its wake a multitude of cases of enlarged and suppurating cervical glands, otitis media (suppuration of the middle ear), weakened lungs, bronchitis, and a number of cases of tuberculosis.


Before the country was fenced up, when the roads were few and settlements sparse, the doctor's trips were occasionally very lonely. When going out into remote parts after nightfall, traveling an unfamiliar road and uncertain as to where it led, without a house, fence or sign of human habitation in sight, I have been startled by the weird, doleful howlings of the coyote or the melancholy hootings of the prairie owl. At such times there came over me an undefined feeling of loneliness, not real fear, but perhaps it was that instinctive dread of darkness and danger at night that has come down to us from savage and superstitious ancestors of past ages. Be that as it may, the sight of a candle or lamp gleaming across the prairie, from some settler's window, had a most welcome and cheering effect. Even the barking of a dog or the noise of domestic fowls, or any sound indicating the proximity of human beings tended to enliven the gloom and make home seem nearer.

Thirty or forty years ago we never dreamed that we should ever drive over the country in an automobile. We considered ourselves pretty "well fixed" when we had a good top buggy and a nimble team with which we could make eight or nine miles an hour. In the fine weather of spring and early summer, if there happened to be no need of special haste, it was often a real pleasure to drive out through the country. When the air was redolent with the perfume of flowers and growing vegetation, or sweet with the perfume of new mown hay, the blue sky above, the distant pine-covered mountains, the rolling, grass-covered hills and prairies, all formed a combination well calculated to exhilarate and give delight.

But night visits in the winter time, during cold, stormy weather, were altogether different, when, with darkness there was snow and mud, or strong wind and hard freezing, and the physician had to plod his way slowly along, sitting chilled through and through, feet almost frozen, hands and fingers so benumbed they could hardly clasp the lines—no play of the imagination could make it seem a pleasure trip. It was far worse, however, when there were added to these conditions the feelings and emotions caused by the consciousness that off in a little pioneer cabin on the prairie, or in some gulch, or up in the mountains, there was a patient that was lying at the point of death, with wild delirium or low muttering and stupid mental wandering, or some woman shrieking in agony and praying to God to send her relief from the suffering she was enduring to give life to another, while friends distracted were waiting and wishing the doctor would come. Spurred by these reflections I have often plied the whip and automatically pushed on the lines, to help my horses, my mind running ahead to my destination. As disagreeable as were the outward circumstances, often the state of mental torture and suspense were worse than the physical discomfort.

In those days, the physician had ample time to think while on his long trips in the country, particularly when patients presented no serious symptoms, or when returning home. Often on such occasions, I have looked up at the starlit sky and the myriads of scintillating worlds therein, and thought of the vastness of the universe, and of the aeons of ages since all these blazing worlds were set floating in space. Then came the thought of the immensity of the distance to even the nearest fixed star, and of the vast stretches of the illimitable universe beyond; and of the worlds in the outer confines of space beyond the Milky Way or the Pleiades, whose light took thousands of years to reach the earth. Then would come the thought, "Why all this stupendous illimitable, incomprehensible aggregation[279] of worlds?" "Are any of the planets of these glowing orbs inhabited by intelligent beings?" "If not, why do they exist at all?" Thus my thoughts have run on and on, until cold, darkness, discomfort and almost everything else have been forgotten and lost in my contemplations, and time passed almost unperceived as I traversed the miles in solitude. At other times my thoughts would run upon the problems of human existence, the connection between mind and matter, the mystery of life and death.

Traveling on a moonlit night along the breaks of Snake River, Tucanon or Alpowa, watching the silvery lights and dark shadow along the escarpments and basaltic walls that border these streams and make such grand and beautiful scenery, I pictured to my mind this country when fresh from the hands of the fire gods, a seething, sizzling mass of molten basalt. Then I thought of the long years of its cooling, the gradual crumbling of the rock and the formation of the soil, the appearance of plant and animal life, and of the tropical and semi-tropical climate that must have existed; and of the wonderful extinct animals that once inhabited our hills and valleys; of the hairy mammoth, the three-toed horse and the other strange beings that roamed through the forests that one time were here.

As I looked far down into the wonderful gorge through which Snake River flows, and contemplated the many centuries it must have taken to cut the great channel, it gave me a more comprehensive conception of how the author of the universe operated in creation.

Back in the days when we drove buggies or rode horseback, we had time on the road to do a lot of thinking, as well as of freezing and scorching, or plodding through snow, mud or dust.

A physician trained in thought is sure to thresh out in his mind while on the road, during the day or night, many knotty problems in the isms, ologies and pathies of medical practice; and when serious sickness claims his attention, and is pressing for his best endeavors, he will search all the treasure houses of his memory for everything that he has ever read or heard of in relation to similar cases. Often the time was wearisome, roads were long, and waiting for pay for services was long, and all this longness tended to make a shortness of the pocket-book.

When in the midst of weary night vigils, or when nearly worn out and exhausted by loss of sleep, or when chilled to the bone by cold and exposure, I have thought that if ever any one was justified in taking a stimulant to "brace up," it is the overworked physician. While I never took any kind of stimulant or narcotic, I have felt like making some allowance for the hard driven doctor who occasionally took something to brace him up and deaden his sensibility to cold and fatigue.

One of the worst combinations a doctor had to meet was a deep snow, dense fog and unbroken roads. If added to this there was intense cold, the trip was to be dreaded. One would be about as well off in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, without a compass, as in such a snow and fog. Whether one looked up, down or any other direction, the appearance was all the same—it was one blank, impenetrable, misty-white. If a man turned around and once missed his bearings, he was lost indeed. There were instances, those days, where persons were caught out in the darkness and wandered around all night on a forty-acre tract, utterly[280] bewildered. One who has been lost in one of those foggy snows will never forget his sensations and feelings.

Time has wrought many changes since the days of the early settlement of the country. Places that were reached only with the greatest difficulty and sometimes with peril, we now drive up to on smooth roads of easy grades. Where we could scarcely get to a cabin on horseback, one now drives up with ease in an automobile to a beautiful modern home.

Where it used to take many hours or a whole day to make a visit, the same distance can now be made in an hour or even in minutes. The telephone, good roads, automobiles and new discoveries and advances in medical science, surgery and pharmacy, have revolutionized medical practice.

Riding out today, over on Snake River, out in the Deadman country, up on the Pataha Prairie, up to Peola or the Blue Mountains, over on the Tucanon or toward Lewiston or Dayton, one still sees here and there the reminders of "old times" and "old timers." Here are the relics of old cabins, where the pioneers first had their homes.

Memory goes back to a desperate case of typhoid fever here, or of pneumonia or other disease over there. There come up memory pictures of scenes of anxiety, suffering and suspense and then of recovery, or possibly death.

Over yonder stood the home of an early pioneer. In that house was born a son or daughter that today is leading in business and society; the father and mother are sleeping in one of the cemeteries of the county. A few are still lingering, old and feeble, waiting for the final summons. Back in the mountains, where today we go gliding along in automobiles on summer outings, there are still seen the fading sites of the sawmills, pole and shingle mills that were operated there in early days. These remind me of broken legs and arms, of wounds and accidents, and of serious sickness that happened between thirty and forty years ago. The places where the old mills stood are marked by little clearings now overgrown with weeds and brush, with here and there a few slabs, dim in piles of sawdust, and scattering stumps. The old mills are gone and the people who owned and ran them have died or left the country.

As I write these hasty reminiscences, I wonder if thirty-five or forty years from now will bring as many changes to this country as the same length of time in the past.

What wonderful improvements the science of medicine the past forty years have brought! What additions to our knowledge of the cause of disease, of disease germs and how to combat them, of serums, opsonins, vaccines and of physiological chemistry! What advances have been made in the knowledge of antiseptics and preventative medicine, and what great strides in surgery and the treatment of wounds! What a vast field has been opened up in the study of internal secretions of the ductless glands and their relation to the well-being of the human physical system.

What will be the state of medical science forty or fifty years from now? Will physicians make their country calls in airplanes, soaring over hills and plains high in air? In pioneer days anxious ears strained for the sound of the gallop of the doctor's horse; later the patter of horses' feet and the rattle of the buggy denoted the approach of medical aid; now the gleam of the motor car lights announce that relief is near. A few years hence, mayhap, anxious ones awaiting awaiting[281] the doctor will be made aware of his coming by the whir of the airplane motor and anxiously view his approach through powerful binoculars. Even now the most rosy dreams of our trail-making fathers have been far surpassed. That vast expanse of sage and sand that formed a large part of the Columbia River Valley will have become the garden and granary of Northwestern America.

But the beautiful homes, fertile fields, green expanses of alfalfa, the fruit-laden orchards, the cities and towns, schools, churches, factories, mills and marts of industry, will, to those who never saw the country in its original wildness, have little to tell of the toils, struggles, waiting and weariness that were the cost of this marvelous transformation.







Beginning in 1876 with reduced area, but with rapid growth and with encouraging outlook in all lines, Walla Walla County entered upon what might be described as the third stage of her growth, that from county division to statehood in 1889.

It is of interest to note a few statistics of the period of transition. In 1870 the population of the Old County was 5,102. In 1877, the reduced county showed a population, according to the assessor, of 5,056, while Columbia County had, by the assessor's report of the same year, 3,618. By the report of 1875, still the Old County, the assessed valuation was $2,792,065. In 1876, the valuation of the reduced county was $2,296,870. There were reported at the same time 5,281 horses, 239 mules, 11,147 cattle, 13,233 sheep, 4,000 hogs, 1,774 acres of timothy, 700 acres of corn, 2,600 acres of oats, 6,000 acres of barley, 21,000 acres of wheat and 700 acres of fruit trees.


The political subject of greatest general interest was Statehood and a Constitutional Convention leading thereto. The project of annexation to Oregon was by no means dead. Senator Mitchell of Oregon continued the efforts made by Senator Kelly. A considerable local interest, supported by the Walla Walla Union, and its able editor, P. B. Johnson, still urged annexation. One favorite idea, which has taken shape from time to time since, was to join Eastern Oregon with Northern Idaho into a new state. In the Congressional session of 1877-8, Delegate Orange Jacobs requested a bill for introducing Washington to statehood with the three counties of Northern Idaho added. But no action was taken by Congress. In spite of that the Territorial Legislature in November, 1877, passed a law providing for an election to be held April 9, 1878, to choose delegates to a convention to meet at Walla Walla on June 11, 1878. Up to that time, as we have seen, repeated attempts to secure a vote for a convention had failed in Walla Walla. The act of the Legislature provided that the convention should consist of fifteen members from Washington, with one, having no vote, from Idaho.

In pursuance of the announcement the election was duly held, though with the scanty vote of 4,223, not half the number of voters in the territory. The convention duly met at Science Hall in Walla Walla, and W. A. George of that city, one of the leading lawyers as well as one of the most unique characters of the Inland Empire, acted as temporary chairman.


The permanent organization consisted of A. S. Abernethy of Cowlitz County as president, W. B. Daniels and William Clark as secretaries, and H. D. Cook as sergeant-at-arms. After a lengthy session the convention submitted a constitution which was voted upon at the next general election in November. Though a considerable majority was secured, exactly two-thirds, the total vote of 9,693 fell considerably short of the vote cast for delegate, and it seems to have been generally interpreted in Congress as evidence that the people of the territory did not consider the time ripe for statehood. The whole matter was, therefore, indefinitely postponed.

That same election of 1878 was notable for Walla Walla in several respects. Two citizens of the city were rival nominees for the position of congressional delegate, Thomas H. Brents for the republicans and Nathan T. Caton for the democrats. It was the first election in which the republicans won in Walla Walla County. Mr. Brents had a majority of 146 in the county and 1,301 in the territory. The political tide had turned and from that time to the present the republicans have been, on any ordinary issue, overwhelmingly in the majority. In 1880 Mr. Brents was again chosen delegate, this time against Thomas Burke, the democratic candidate, and by a majority of 1,797. During the first term Mr. Brent endeavored to induce Congress to confer statehood upon the territory but unavailingly. Still again in 1882 Mr. Brents was honored, and with him also Walla Walla, and in fact the territory honored itself in the re-election of one of its most useful and popular citizens, by another term as delegate. During the six years of Mr. Brents' incumbency the territory was making tremendous strides. The projection of the Northern Pacific and Oregon Short Line Railroads, the sale of Doctor Baker's railroad in 1879 to the O. R. & N. R. R., the Villard coup d'état in 1883 made the decade of the '80s the great building period for the territory and for Walla Walla. It was evident that there was abundant justification for the creation of a new state. Mr. Brents kept the subject alive in Congress up to and through 1885, when his term expired, and he was succeeded by one of the most brilliant and popular politicians and lawyers ever in the territory, C. S. Voorhees. Mr. Voorhees, son of the "Tall Sycamore of the Wabash," was, of course, a democrat, and though at that time quite young, exercised a large influence both at home and at the capital. He was twice chosen Delegate, in 1884 and 1886. In 1888 the office returned to Walla Walla and to the republican party. In that year John B. Allen began his distinguished career at the national capital. He had held the position of United States attorney, succeeding Judge Wingard, from 1875 to 1886. In the latter year he removed to Walla Walla, and his career from that time on was a part of the history of his home city and of the territory and state.

As we have seen, E. P. Ferry was governor at the time of county division in 1875. He held the office until 1880. W. A. Newell was the next governor holding the position for four years, when Watson C. Squire received the appointment, retaining the place till 1887. Following came Eugene Semple for two years. The period of statehood was now near at hand, and it may well be a matter of pride and interest to Walla Walla that by appointment of President Harrison the last territorial governor was a citizen of this place, Miles C. Moore. Governor Moore had left his home in Ohio in 1860 hardly more than a boy, and after some adventures in Montana, had reached Walla Walla in 1862, to become from that time onward one of the most eminent citizens as well as one of the foremost business men of the community and of the Northwest. It was recognized throughout the territory that the appointment was exceedingly fitting from the standpoint of capacity to fulfill the duties of the office, and was also a suitable compliment to the historic city and mother county of Walla Walla. Although Governor Moore's term was short, it possessed the unique interest of covering the transition from territoryhood to statehood of what in general judgment is destined to become one of the most important commonwealths of the Union, and hence it cannot in the nature of the case be duplicated by any other term.





The Enabling Act of Congress, approved by President Harrison on February 22, 1889, had the unique distinction of being the only one providing for the erection of four states at once. These were Washington, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Montana. As indicating the fundamental basis on which the four states rest, the reader will be interested in the following provisions of the Enabling Act:

"And said conventions shall provide by ordinances irrevocable without the consent of the United States and the people of said states:

First. That perfect toleration of religious sentiment shall be secured, and that no inhabitant of said states shall ever be molested in person or property on account of his or her mode of religious worship.

Second. That the people inhabiting said proposed states do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within the boundaries thereof, and to all lands lying within said limits owned or held by any Indian or Indian tribes; and that until the title thereto shall have been extinguished by the United States, the same shall be and remain subject to the disposition of the United States, and said Indian lands shall remain under the absolute jurisdiction and control of the congress of the United States; that the lands belonging to citizens of the United States residing without the said state shall never be taxed at a higher rate than the lands belonging to residents thereof; that no taxes shall be imposed by the states on lands or property therein belonging to or which may hereafter be purchased by the United States or reserved for its use. But nothing herein, or in the ordinances herein provided for, shall preclude the said states from taxing as other lands are taxed, any lands owned or held by any Indian who has severed his tribal relations, and has obtained from the United States or from any person a title thereto by patent or other grant, save and except such lands as have been or may be granted to any Indian or Indians under any act of Congress containing a provision exempting the lands thus granted from taxation; but said ordinances shall provide that all such lands shall be exempt from taxation by said states so long and to such extent as such act of Congress may prescribe.

Third. That the debts and liabilities of said territories shall be assumed and paid by said states respectively.

Fourth. That provision shall be made for the establishment and maintenance of systems of public schools, which shall be open to all the children of said states and free from sectarian control."


In accordance with the Enabling Act, the Constitutional Convention of Washington Territory met at Olympia, July 4, 1889. The constitution prepared during the fifty-day session was ratified at the polls on October 1, 1889. Of the seventy-five members of the convention three represented Walla Walla, two were from Dayton, and one from Pomeroy. It may be safely said that every one was a man in whose knowledge and judgment his fellow citizens could repose confidence, while the personal character of each was such as to secure the hearty affection of his community. The entire convention, in fact, was a body of whom the state has always been proud, and being to a peculiar degree the result of popular choice the election of such men is a convincing evidence of the worth and capacity of democratic institutions. Not the least of the counties to be congratulated on their choices were those composing Old Walla Walla.

The members of the convention from Walla Walla included two of the foremost lawyers of the territory, Judge B. L. Sharpstein, whose long life left a legacy of good deeds to his city and state and whose foremost position at the bar has been maintained by his sons, and D. J. Crowley, one of the most brilliant lawyers ever known in the state, whose residence in Walla Walla was short, though his influence was great. His early death was a great loss to the state. Dr. N. G. Blalock, the "Good Doctor," honored and loved perhaps beyond any other man in the history of Walla Walla, was the other representative of his county. It was a source of just pride to Doctor Blalock that he was the author of the provision forbidding the sale of school land at less than ten dollars per acre. By this and other allied provisions the school lands have been handled in such a way as to provide a great sum for the actual use of the children of the commonwealth, instead of being shamefully squandered by culpable officials, as has been the experience in some states, notably our sister state of Oregon. Judge Sharpstein and Doctor Blalock were democrats in political faith, but neither was a partisan. Mr. Crowley was a republican.

S. G. Cosgrove of Pomeroy was the representative of Garfield and Asotin counties, one of the best of men and one of the ablest lawyers of his section, later elected governor of the state, but dying almost immediately after his inauguration, to the profound regret of men of all parties. He was an independent republican in politics. He had been a college classmate and intimate friend of Vice President Fairbanks. The delegates from Columbia County were M. M. Godman, a democrat, one of the leading lawyers and foremost politicians of the state, subsequently a member of the Public Service Commission of the State, and R. F. Sturdevant, a republican, also a lawyer of high ability and well proven integrity, afterwards the superior judge of this district.

By the twenty-second article of the Constitution the legislature was so apportioned that Asotin and Garfield counties constituted the Sixth Senatorial District entitled to one senator and each was entitled to one representative in the House; Columbia became the Seventh District, having one senator and two representatives; and Walla Walla composed the Eighth District with two senators, and in the House three representatives.

The first legislature of 1889-90 had in its senate, from our four counties, C. G. Austin of Pomeroy for Garfield and Asotin; H. H. Wolfe of Dayton for Columbia; Platt Preston of Waitsburg and George T. Thompson of Walla Walla for Walla Walla. The representatives were: William Farrish of Asotin City for[289] Asotin and Garfield; H. B. Day of Dayton and A. H. Weatherford of Dayton for Columbia; and J. M. Cornwell of Dixie, J. C. Painter of Estes, and Z. K. Straight of Walla Walla for Walla Walla County.

That first legislature enacted that the senate should henceforth consist of thirty-four members, and the house of seventy-eight; that the counties of Garfield, Asotin, and Columbia should constitute the Eighth Senatorial District, entitled to one senator; that the counties of Franklin and Adams, and the Third and Fourth wards of the City of Walla Walla, and the precincts of Wallula, Frenchtown, Lower Touchet, Prescott, Hadley, Eureka, Hill and Baker, of Walla Walla County, should constitute the Ninth Senatorial District, entitled to one senator; that the First and Second wards of the City of Walla Walla, and the precincts of Waitsburg, Coppei, Dry Creek, Russell Creek, Mill Creek, Washington, and Small, should compose the Tenth Senatorial District, entitled to one senator; that Asotin should constitute the Eighth Representative District with one representative; Garfield, the Ninth with one representative; Columbia, the Tenth with one; the First and Second wards of Walla Walla City, with the precincts of Waitsburg, Coppei, Dry Creek, Russell Creek, Mill Creek, Washington, and Small, the Eleventh District with one representative; and the Third and Fourth wards of Walla Walla City, with the precincts of Wallula, Frenchtown, Lower Touchet, Prescott, Hadley, Eureka, Hill, and Baker, the Twelfth District with one representative.

Such was the induction of the State of Washington into the Union, and the representation of our four counties in the first Legislature. We shall give later the delegations to subsequent legislatures, with the lists of county officers.

Politics in the new state bubbled vigorously at once and during the twenty-seven years of statehood Walla Walla, Columbia, Garfield, and Asotin have played their full parts in state affairs. To enter into an extended account of state politics is beyond the scope of this work. We can speak of it only at its points of contact with our county history.

In the first election of United States senators November, 1889, John B. Allen of Walla Walla, and Watson C. Squire were chosen, the former drawing the four-year term, which entitled him to the place until March 4, 1893. The senatorial election of 1893 was one of the most extraordinary in the history of such elections and involved a number of distinguished men in this section of the state. The fundamental struggle was between the adherents of John B. Allen of Walla Walla and George Turner of Spokane, both republicans. It became a factional fight of the bitterest type. One hundred and one ballots were taken unavailingly and then the Legislature adjourned sine die, with no choice. The last ballot records the names of two citizens of Walla Walla, one of Dayton, and one now, although not then, a citizen of Walla Walla. The Walla Walla candidates were John B. Allen with fifty votes, lacking seven of a majority, and Judge B. L. Sharpstein. The Dayton name was that of J. C. Van Patten, and the name of the present citizen of Walla Walla was Henry Drum, now warden of the penitentiary.

Upon the failure of the Legislature to elect, Governor McGraw appointed John B. Allen to fill the vacancy. Proceeding to Washington Mr. Allen presented his case to the Senate, but in that case, as in others, that body decided and very properly, that the state must go unrepresented until the Legislature could perform[290] its constitutional duties. It is safe to say that that experience, with similar ones in other states, was one of the great influences in causing the amendment to the Constitution providing for direct election by the people. The spectacle of the Legislature neglecting its law-making functions to wrangle over the opposing ambitions of senatorial aspirants, fatally impaired the confidence of the people in the wisdom of the old method of choice. That amendment may be regarded also as one of the striking manifestations of American political evolution, in which there has come a recognition of the danger of legislative bodies, chosen by popular suffrage, becoming the tools of personal or corporate interests instead of the servants of the people who chose them, and by which, in consequence, the evils of popular government are being remedied by being made more popular.

Two other citizens of Walla Walla have represented the state in the National Congress, and several others have been willing to. These are Levi Ankeny and Miles Poindexter, the latter having begun his political career at Walla Walla, but having removed to Spokane and become superior judge there before entering upon his term as congressman in 1909 and senator in 1911, to be re-elected in 1916. Senator Ankeny, one of the most prominent of the permanent citizens of Walla Walla, and one of the greatest bankers in the Northwest, being president of eleven banks in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, was elected senator in 1903 and served until 1909. He was deservedly popular throughout the section in which he lived, for his broad and generous business methods as well as for his general character. During the hard times of the '90s, in which many of the farmers of Walla Walla and Columbia counties were next door to ruin, it is remembered that Mr. Ankeny could have acquired by foreclosure of his immense loans lands whose value is now tenfold the amount of the mortgages of those hard times. But by aiding and encouraging the struggling farmers of that time and neglecting the advantage which he himself might have gained he kept them upon their feet and thus conferred an immeasurable benefit not only upon individuals, but upon the country as a whole. During Mr. Ankeny's term in the Senate extensive improvements were made in the buildings at Fort Walla Walla.


Another of the leading political connections of Walla Walla County with the state was the penitentiary. This institution was removed from Seatco to Walla Walla in 1887. The county commissioners at that time were F. W. Paine, Francis Lowden, and Platt Preston. These men, and particularly Mr. Paine, felt that not only from the standpoint of the state, for desirability of location and economy of subsistence, but from the fact that constructive works might be operated which could be of benefit to the farmers of the region, this change of place would be wise. The most distinctive features of labor have been the brick yards, which did a very large and profitable work for many years and were discontinued in 1900 to allow the management to put the main force upon the jute mills, for the making of grain bags and rugs and other fabrics. This system of constructive labor by the inmates of the penitentiary is to be attributed largely to the intelligent business conceptions as well as philanthropic interest in the men by Mr. F. W. Paine and Mr. W. K. Kirkman. They had formed the impression that for the sake of health of mind and body in the prisoners systematic labor was a necessity, and also that the products of that labor might go for to lighten the burdens of tax payers. Their theory has been triumphantly vindicated by the history of the penitentiary. Not at all times in the thirty years of its existence has the institution been conducted in the interest either of reclamation of criminals or of saving expense to the state. As in all such cases there have been times when the main aims were political rather than penal or economic, and there have been still more times when the other party said they were, even when governors, boards, and wardens were doing their best in the public interest.


Warden's Residence Work Shops
Administration Building
The Hospital The Jute Mill

The wardens in order of service, several of them being citizens of Walla Walla, and about an equal number coming from other parts of the state, have been John Justice, F. L. Edmiston, John McClees, J. H. Coblentz, Thomas Mosgrove, J. B. Catron, Frank Kees, F. A. Dryden, Charles Reed and Henry Drum.

There have been a number of tragic events in the history of the penitentiary of which perhaps the most thrilling was the attempted escape of a large number of prisoners during the wardenship of Mr. McClees in 1891. At that time it was the practice to run a train of flat cars to Dixie to get clay for the brick yards. Two desperadoes conceived the idea of capturing a train as it went through the gate, loading a number of prisoners on it, running to Dixie, there turning loose on the farms, getting horses and provisions, and striking out for the mountains. It was a bold, well-conceived project and came near execution. A number of prisoners were "in" on the scheme, and at the given signal, several who were experienced engineers and firemen performed their part of the plot by seizing the locomotive. At the same instant the two ringleaders by a bold dash seized Warden McClees and walked him toward the gate, commanding him on pain of instant death to order the opening of the gates and the clearing of the track for the passage of the train. The warden preserved most extraordinary nerve, even while the two ruffians were holding over his head knives which they had snatched up from the kitchen. In the instant he called out to Phil Berry, one of the guards on the wall, whom he knew to be a dead shot, "Be cool, Phil, take your time!" Even while the two knives were in the very act to strike, Berry's rifle cracked twice in succession, and the leaders fell on either side of the warden, each with a bullet in his heart. About the quickest work of the kind ever known here or elsewhere. The fall of the leaders disconcerted the whole program, and after a few moments of intense excitement the guards got control of the situation, and the affair was all over.

Another of the desperate events was the case of Warden J. H. Coblentz. He was an appointee of Governor McGraw and was the most conspicuous example of a purely political appointment. After a slashing career in which he endeavored to dictate the politics of the county purely in the interest of himself and his clique he found himself on the verge of exposure for irregularities in his accounts. Governor McGraw with other state officers came to Walla Walla to investigate, and while they were in the penitentiary office conducting the investigation, Coblentz, seeing that conviction was inevitable and knowing that if he himself became an innate of the penitentiary along with the prisoners whom he had abused, his life was not worth a nickel, anticipated the verdict, and snatching up a pistol, put it to his head and fell dead in the presence of the governor.

It is no disparagement to the earlier wardens—for the conditions probably did not make earlier action feasible—to say that Mr. Reed and Mr. Drum have[292] represented a new order in the history of the penitentiary. Both have been students of criminology, are thinkers and philanthropists, and have inaugurated advanced methods which have placed the Washington penitentiary in the front rank of well conducted institutions of its class.


Turning now from state connections to matters local to Walla Walla County it may be said that there was during the period of 1875-89 a marked tendency to that political conservatism which is apt to characterize a growing agricultural community. Walla Walla, like Portland, has been since its first era more of the Eastern type than of the characteristically Western. The general tendency has been, in politics as in business, to play safe and not make reckless experiments. This attitude is denominated wisdom or moss-backism by different parties very much according to their viewpoint, and especially whether they are "in" or "out." The great "isms" which swept the country in the '80s and '90s, populistic movements as represented by Bryan and other great leaders, in general received the cold shoulder from Walla Walla. That statement should be qualified to considerable degree, however, by the fact that the combination of democrats, populists, and silver republicans, carried several elections, and that even the republican leaders very largely accepted the doctrine of "16 to 1."

There were also, even in conservative Walla Walla, many enthusiastic followers of Governor John R. Rogers, "Wheat Chart" Jones, Judge Ronald, and that most brilliant and spectacular of all the politicians of the period, the "pink-whiskered" James Hamilton Lewis, whose great abilities, even under the outward guise of certain "airs" and "fopperies," have been conceded by his critics and detractors down to the present date of his distinguished service as senator from Illinois. It is remembered, however, by men of both parties that at a certain historic joint debate in Walla Walla on October 22, 1898, even the brilliant "Dude Lewis" was somewhat seriously "beaten up," metaphorically speaking, by Wesley L. Jones, and that the former somewhat lost prestige as a result, and that the latter was launched by that event upon what has proved to be a continuous service in Congress as representative and senator from 1899 to the present date.

A few figures of elections during that period will be found of interest. In 1889, Ferry, republican candidate for governor, the first under statehood, received in Walla Walla County 1,433 votes to 1,186 for Semple, the democratic candidate. In 1892 McGraw, republican, had 1,211 to 1,322 for Snively, democrat. There were a few votes for Greene and Young in the latter election, so that the total vote in 1892 was 2,897, as against 2,619 in 1889.

The presidential vote of 1892 shows that Walla Walla County cast for the highest republican elector 1,362 ballots and for the highest democratic 1,313, with a few for the people's party and prohibitionists, a total of 2,889. In the presidential election of 1896, the republican vote was 1,596, the people's party (fusion of democrats, populists and silver republicans) had a vote of 1,652, while there were a few prohibitionists and gold democrats, a total of 3,349. Comparing these figures with those of 1908 and 1916, the following interesting results appear: in 1908. Bryan, 1,660; Taft, 2,843; a few for others, so that the total was 4,676;[293] for governor, Pattison, democrat, 1,881; C