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History of Seattle from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 3) online

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of the King County, Washington State and American Medical Associations, the Puget
Sound Eye & Ear Society and the Pacific Coast Eye & Ear Society. In 1914 he served
as secretary of the King County Medical Society. He is now a member of the staffs
of the King County and Seattle City Hospitals and is a member of the teaching staffs of
tlie Providence, Seattle General and City Hospitals.

On the 29th of June, 1910, Dr. Swift was married to Miss Florence Hilda Schricker.
who was born in Seattle, September 24, 1885. She was graduated from Smith College with
the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1907 and she is a member of the Oriental Club of
Smith College, the Delta Gamma sorority of the University of Washington, the American
Collegiate Alumnae of Seattle, the Smith College Club and the Woman's L^niversity Club
of Seattle.

Dr. Swift has membership in the Seattle Athletic Club, belongs to the Seattle Chapter
of the Sons of the American Revolution, is a past captain of the Native Sons of Wash-
ington, belongs to Theta Chapter of the Phi Beta Pi and is a member of the Elks and
Masonic lodges.


Miles P. Benton, deceased, engaged in business as a partner in the Benton-Herald
Desk & Safe Company. He came to Seattle on the 25th of June, 1890, from Helena, Mon-
tana, but was a native of Iowa, his birth having occurred in Scott county, October 2, i860.
He was indebted to the public school system for his educational opportunities, and after
liis textbooks were put aside he spent many years with different railroad companies. For
a time he was connected with the Great Northern and later he became general passenger
vni. Ill— .-i-


and freight agent for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad at Seattle. The last few
years of his life were spent in connection with the safe and lock trade. He was asso-
ciated with the Norris Safe & Lock Company, first located at Second and Union streets
and later at Nos. 317 and 319 Third avenue South, the firm erecting the building at that
point. Later Mr. Norris took over the safe and lock company and Mr. Benton the desk
department of the business, after which he was joined by Edward Herald in a partnership
that was continued under the name of the Benton-Herald Desk & Safe Company until
tlie death of the senior partner on the 14th of November, 1913. In that connection they
built up a business of large and gratifying proportions. They ever realized that satisfied
customers are the best advertisement, and their earnest eft'orts to please their patrons
brought them a constantly growing patronage.

In Helena, Montana, Mr. Benton was united in marriage to Miss Ida Belle Vergy, a
native of southeastern Iowa, and they had two children, Ruth Miles Benton and Glenn O.
Yergy. Mr. Benton was a prominent Mason, attaining high rank in the order and becom-
ing a member of the Mystic Shrine. He belonged also to the Rainier Club, the Seattle
Athletic Club and the Golf Club, and he had membership in the Chamber of Commerce.
He was a public-spirited citizen, and his faith in the welfare and in the future of Seattle
was unwavering. He loved the northwest with its equable climate and many advantages,
and he put forth every effort in his power to further its interests and upbuilding. Men
who met him in a business way found him thoroughly reliable and trustworthy; his
friends knew him as a true and loyal companion, and in his family he was a devoted
husband and father.


Edwin Piatt Rorison, architect and builder, was born at Pittsfield, Washtenaw county,
Michigan, September 27, 1859, a son of John Lee and Susan E. (Piatt) Rorison, the
former a native of New York and the latter of Michigan. He is a great-grandson of
Alexander Rorison, who was born at Castle Douglas, Scotland, and came to America about
1760, settling in Northumberland county, Pennsylvania. He became a ranger in the Indian
wars and a soldier in the war of the American Revolution. Mr. Rorison is also a great-
grandson of Caspar Yost, who was born in Germany, and came to the new world in 1760,
settling in Northumberland county. Pennsylvania. He served with the rank of major in a
Pennsylvania regiment in the Revolutionary war. Mr. Rorison is also a great-great-
grandson of Captain Israel Piatt, who was born in New York, and was likewise an officer
in the war for independence.

Reared in his native state, Edwin P. Rorison attended the grammar and high schools
and the State Normal School at Ypsilanti, Michigan. He learned the carpenter's trade in
early life and engaged in general contracting from 1880 until 1803, when he w-as made
superintendent of construction for the Michigan state board of education, occupying that
position until 1897. In the latter year he became superintendent for Nettleton & Kahn,
architects of Detroit and Ann Arbor, Michigan, continuing in that connection through
1899. In 1900 he accepted the position of superintendent with George D. Mason, an archi-
tect of Detroit. Two years later he became superintendent for the Trussed Concrete Steel
Company of Detroit, occupying that position in Chicago in 1903, while in 1904 and 1905 he
was at the plant of the Solvay Process Company of Detroit for the Trussed Concrete Steel
Company. On the 4th of November of the latter year he arrived in Seattle, where he
became superintendent for the General Engineering & Construction Company. In 1906 and
1907 he was thus engaged on the Waldorf apartments and other fine buildings of the city.
In 1908 he built the Washington Children's Home, of which the firm of Spalding &
Umbrecht were the architects. From 1909 until 1914 he was engaged in genera! contracting
with S. M. McCollough, and in April, 1914, he entered into partnership with F. F. Weld,
civil engineer, with offices at No. 1703 Hoge building.

On the 15th of December, 1886, in Ypsilanti. Michigan, Mr. Rorison was married to
Miss Clara C. Coleman, a daughter of John and Clarice (Thompkins) Coleman. Their


only child is Wilfred E. Rorison, who is at home. The parents are members of the \\"est-
minster Presbyterian church of Seattle and Mr. Rorison is a Mason, belonging to Phoenix
Lodge, No. 13, F. & A. M., of Ypsilanti, Michigan, and to Excelsior Chapter, No. 25,
R, A. M., also of that place. His military record covers service with the Michigan state
troops from 1877 until 1881. His political allegiance has long been given the republican
party, and his indorsement of its principles is the expression of his firm belief in their
worth as factors in good government. He comes of ancestry whose loyalty in citizenship
was well attested by active service in the wars of the country, and the same spirit of
fidelity is manifest in his devotion to the welfare of city and state.


Hon. Kenneth Mackintosh, judge of the superior court of King county, to which oftice
lie was elected in November, igi2, was born in Seattle in 1875, a son of Angus Mackintosh,
of whom mention is made elsewhere in this work. Liberal educational opportunities were
accorded him, of which he made good use. He is a graduate of Stanford University of
California and of the Columbia Law School, and was admitted to practice at the bar of
Washington following his graduation from the latter institution. He has much natural
ability, but is withal a hard student and is never contented until he has mastered every
detail of his cases. He believes in the maxim, "there is no excellence without labor," and
follows it closely. While in active practice he was never surprised at some unexpected
discovery by an opposing lawyer, for in his mind he weighed every point and fortified him-
self as well for defense as for attack. He was not an orator to the extent of swaying
juries by his eloquence, but there are few lawyers who win a larger percentage of their
cases before either judge or jury than did Judge Mackintosh, who convinced by his concise
statements of law and facts rather than by word painting, and so high was the respect for
his legal ability and integrity that his assertions in court were seldom questioned seriously.
In 1905 he was chosen prosecuting attorney of King county, and for two terms filled that
position. In November, 1912, he was elected judge of the King county superior court and
is now serving upon the bench, his course being characterized by a masterful grasp of
every problem presented for solution. His interest and activity in public affairs are indi-
cated in the fact that he was made chairman of the Municipal Plans Commission having
charge of the plans prepared by Virgil G. Bogue for a proposed civic center and other


Benjamin Walsh Pcttit, the subject of this sketch, and his twin brother, Henry
McEwen Pettit (perhaps the best known birdseye view artist in America), were born
February 26, 1867, at Rock Island, Illinois. They belong to a family whose name has been
identified with the annals of American history since the early colonial period, and prior to
discovery of the western continent it figured quite conspicuously in the affairs of the
European countries in which the several branches had their origin. On the paternal side
the subject is of French descent, and on the maternal Scotch-Irish. The first of the Pettits
to leave France for a home in the new world settled in Maryland in the year 1642. They
appear to have reared large families which spread to various parts of Maryland and other

William Pettit, the great-grandfather of the subject of this review, was born in the
state of Maryland and in his young manhood married Anna McEwen, daughter of James
McEwen, a native of Ulster, Ireland, who came to this country at an early day and settled
in Pennsylvania. Among the children of William and Anna Pettit was a son, Henry, whose
birth occurred in Bellefontaine, Pennsylvania, in 1800, and who. like his father, was by
profession a civil engineer. He married Mary Beall, whose father, William Beall, a
banker of Frederick, Maryland, was a son of Elisha Beall and grandson of Nathaniel


Beall, all born in Maryland, where the family originally settled on coming to America in
1648. The first of the Bealls to leave Scotland and come to this country appear to have
been two brothers, Ninian and John Beall, who made settlement in the Maryland colony
some time in the year indicated and became widely known as daring pioneers and fearless
Indian fighters. From these brothers the Bealls in America descended. Nathaniel Beall,
mentioned above, married Anna Murdock, daughter of Rev. George Murdock, who was
appointed rector of Rock Creek church, in what is now the District of Columbia, by
George III, king of England. Their son, Elisha Beall, was captain in the Maryland line at
the breaking out of the Revolutionary war and served with distinction in a regiment in
which Lloyd Beall, a kinsman, was colonel, the brigade being commanded by Resin Beall,
another relative. It is a matter of record that in Captain Elisha Beall's company there
were seventeen privates of the name of Beall, all more or less closely related. The Bealls
were all planters and became well-to-do and influential citizens, a number acquiring con-
siderable wealth and rising to positions of honor and trust in their native state.

As already indicated, Henry M. Pettit was a civil engineer and to him fell the duty,
in 1828, of doing the engineering work on the old Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, the first road
of the kind ever constructed. Hon. Charles Carroll, of Carrollton, Maryland, one of the
signers of the Declaration of Independence, is said to have thrown the first shovel of earth
in this important and far-reaching enterprise, and from the beginning of the work until its
completion to the Pomt of Rocks, when work was suspended, Henry M. Pettit was engi-
neer in charge. Later he was employed by the government to superintend the engineering
of the old National Road, originally intended to connect Washington city with the Missis-
sippi river, but which was only completed from Cumberland, Maryland, to Vandalia, Illinois,
notes of which, with full description of route traversed, incidents, etc., are still in posses-
sion of the family.

Henry M. Pettit was an alumnus of Canonsburg College, of Pennsylvania, and a man
of fine mind and high intellectual attainments as well as one of the most expert civil engi-
neers of his day. He was likewise prominent in Masonic circles, active in political and
public affairs, and during a strenuous career exercised a wholesome influence among all
with whom he was associated, and made the world better by his personality and his labors.
The family of Henry M. and Mary (Beall) Pettit consisted of eight children, the
second of whom was William Beall Pettit, the father of B. W. Pettit. He was born in
Cumberland, Maryland. September 10, 1834, and was a brother of Dr. Henry M. Pettit, of
Carrollton, Missouri. Having learned the milling business with his grandfather, William
B. Pettit went west when a young man, locating at Rock Island, Illinois, where he met and
on the 15th of October, 1863, married Miss Emily Louisa Coldy. Of this union there were
seven children, among whom were two pairs of twins. Beside his twin brother, mentioned
above, Benjamin W. Pettit has a brother, Edward Ward Pettit, who is city clerk and
municipal judge at Juneau, Alaska, and who has also served as clerk of the United States
court in the first district of Alaska.

Benjamin Walsh Pettit was educated in the grammar schools of Rock Island and in
the Bryant & Stratton International Business College at Davenport, Iowa, receiving his
diploma from the latter in 1884, when seventeen years of age. In January, 1885, he became
an employe of Henry Dart's Sons, wholesale grocers of Rock Island, with whom he
remained until 1889. In November of that year he came to Seattle, arriving here on the
25th, just five months and nineteen days after the great fire. He was first employed as
stenographer by George E. M. Pratt, an attorney, with whom he remained until he went
with Dexter Horton & Company, bankers, December 22, 1889, as clearing house settling
clerk. In September, 1891, he was made manager of the Seattle Clearing House, two years
after its organization, succeeding Abram Barker, its first manager, and as well had other
duties at the bank. He resigned that position in 1899 to take the position of head paying
teller and custodian of the cash for Dexter Horton & Company, now the Dexter Horton
National Bank, made vacant by the election of R. H. Denny to the vice presidency at the
time of the death of his father, A. A. Denny, who was president. The latter was the
leader among the founders of the city in 1851 and R. H. Denny is the youngest member
of the founders' party.

Benjamin W. Pettit was a charter member of Seattle Chapter of the American Insti-


tiite of Banking, serving on tlie first board of governors and as the first treasurer. In 190S
lie was chosen a delegate to the national convention of the American Institute of Banking
at Providence, Rhode Island, and was instrumental, together with L. H. Woolfolk, assistant
cashier of the Scandinavian-American Bank, in bringing the national convention to Seattle
in 1909. In that year he was elected president of the local chapter, and thus became the
head of the entertaining of the national convention that year. In 1910 he was chosen a
delegate to the national convention of the American Institute of Banking at Chattanooga,
Tennessee. He was also one of the organizers of the Madrona Hill Improvement Club,
serving as its secretary and treasurer.

On the 14th of October, 1891, Mr. Pettit was united in marriage to Miss Anna Cecelia
Kahlke, of Rock Island, Illinois. She is a native of New Orleans and a daughter of P. N.
and Anna (Schmidt) Kahlke, the former born near Hamburg, Germany, in 1837, and the
latter at Stettin, Germany, in 1846. They came to the United States in early life and were
married at Rock Island, Illinois, September 28, 1865. They recently celebrated their golden
wedding anniversary and it was a most enjoyable occasion with all of the family present.
Mr. and Mrs. Pettit were the parents of four children, naniely : Eloise Marie, Benjamin
Walsh, who died in infancy; Helen; and Henry McEwen.

In politics Mr. Pettit is a republican and his military service covers connection with
Company A of the Si.xth Regiment of the Illinois National Guard from 1888 until 1890,
inclusive, during which time he was on duty with his company during the strike riot at
Spring Valley, Illinois. He is an active member of the First Baptist church of Seattle,
and a member of the board of deacons. He is a Mason, belonging to .'\rcana Lodge,
No. 87, F. & A. M., in which he was entered February 25, 1895, passed April 22 and raised
June 24, 1895. He served as master of his lodge in 1901. He is also a member of the
Sons of the American Revolution. He has made a hobby of collecting historic clippings
and pictures of Seattle, has perhaps as fine a collection as there is in existence, and fre-
quently gives lectures upon historic topics before different clubs and societies.


One of the foremost representatives of the printing and publishing business in Seattle
is Alonzo A. Sherman, the president of the Sherman Printing & Binding Company and
also president of the Bungalow Publishing Company. Acquainted with every feature of
the trade, he has been instrumental in building up a business of large and gratifying pro-
portions, notwithstanding the fact that he began the enterprise in 1907 upon a borrowed
capital of fifty dollars. He was born in Ottawa, Illinois, April 8. 1864, a son of Joseph
and Cecelia A. Sherman. His grandparents removed from Johnstown, Pennsylvania, to
Illinois, in the '30s, settling at Ottawa, which was then the terminus of the Illinois &
Michigan canal. They passed through Chicago on their way westward, thinking it would
never be more than the military post which it was at that time.

The family removed from Illinois to Iowa during the boyhood days of Alonzo A.
Sherman, who pursued his education in the grade and high schools of Eddyville, Iowa, and
afterward was apprenticed to the printer's trade. May 23. 1878, in the office of his uncle,
John T. Sherman, at Grinnell, Iowa. He had gained thorough and comprehensive knowl-
edge of the business during tlie five years of his connection with that office ere he removed
to Chicago in 1883. He has been employed as a printer on all of the important Chicago
dailies, working in that way until 1890, when he sought the opportunities offered in the
northwest and made his way to Spokane, becoming connected with the Spokesman-Review.
In 1896 he arrived in Seattle and entered upon active association with the Post-Intelli-
gencer. Ambitious to begin business on his own account, he borrowed fifty dollars in
1907, and with that capital opened a small printing office which he has since developed and
which he has incorporated under the name of the Sherman Printing & Binding Company,
the annual output of whicli represents over one hundred thousand dollars. The business
has enjoyed an almost phenomenal growth and yet an analyzation of its success shows this
to be the result of the close ajipHcation, indefatigable effort and business enterprise and


discernment of the man who has ever stood at the head. Branching out along the same
line, Mr. Sherman has become the president of the Bungalow Publishing Company and the
publisher of the Daily Produce News.

In Chicago, Illinois, in 1884, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Sherman and Miss
Barbara Fannie Perham, a daughter of George H. B. and Betsy Perham. Their children
are: Samuel P., the vice president of the Sherman Printing & Binding Company; Florence
May, the wife of Warren O. Preston; and Mrs. Myrtle (Sherman) MacKnight, who has
a little daughter, Dorothy Jean MacKnight.

Mr. Sherman has never become connected with many lodges or secret organizations,
but is a member of the Tribe of Ben Hur. His activities have been put forth along other
lines, and he is now a member of the publicity and industrial bureau of the Chamber of
Commerce. He is also a member of the Commercial Club, and his identification with
those organizations indicate his deep interest in the welfare of the community, in its sub-
stantial upbuilding and in its adherence to high standards of civic virtue. Along the line
of his trade he has become connected with the International Typographical Union and with
the United Typothetae of America. He also belongs to the Seattle Press Club, the Seattle
Ad Club, the Seattle Automobile Club and the Seattle Yacht Club, associations which indi-
cate much of the nature of his interests and recreation and are the expression of his
social spirit.


John Stewart Brace, a representative business man and influential citizen of Seattle,
has won a substantial measure of success as a member of the firm known as the Brace
& Hergert Mill Company. His birth occurred in Canada on the 19th of August, 1861, and
he comes of English descent. His ancestors participated in the Revolutionary war, his
great-great-grandfather, William Brace, who was living in Vermont at the time of the
beginning of the struggle for independence, serving as lieutenant throughout the conflict.
His son. Bannister Brace, was born in 1764 and removed to Auburn, New York, where
Harvey Brace, the grandfather of our subject, was born. In the year 1829 Harvey Brace
removed to Toronto, Canada, where he became a manufacturer of edged tools. Thence he
made his way to Goderich, Canada, and there continued in the same line of business. It
was there also that he wedded a Miss Fischer, a lady of German ancestry. Late in life
Harvey Brace went to the home of his son, Lewis John Brace, in Spokane, Washington,
where he passed away at the age of eighty-one years, respected and honored liy all.

Lewis John Brace, the father of John S. Brace, was born in Goderich, Canada, in
1836, and there wedded Miss Mary Gibson, a native of Ireland, who had resided in Canada
from the age of five. Lewis J. Brace engaged in the lumber business and in contracting,
constructing public buildings, bridges and roads. He was queen's magistrate in the town
of Wingham for many years. When he removed to Spokane he became largely interested
in stock raising and later in the lumber industry. On retiring from active business he
removed with his family to Seattle.

John Stewart Brace was the eldest son and was educated in the public schools of
Ontario. When seventeen years of age he joined his father in manufacturing lumber and
in 1883 went with his parents to Spokane. Since that time he has devoted his attention to
the lumber business exclusively. He spent five years with the Spokane Mill Company and
in association with his father conducted a mill outside of Spokane. In October, 1888, he
came to Seattle and soon won recognition as one of its representative citizens, being elected
a member of the city council in 1892 and serving thus for two years. He acted as superin-
tendent of the Western Mills until 1895, in which year, in partnership with Frank Hergert,
he leased the property, and the two gentlemen met with such marked success in the man-
agement of the business that four years later, in 1899, they purchased the plant and
organized the Brace & Hergert Mill Company. The concern has steadily grown under
their able direction and they have long been numbered among the prosperous and enter-
prising business men of Seattle. Mr. Brace was also largely responsible for the actual
building of the Lake Washington canal and is still president of the Lake Washington

Pm«- jSStBmJiji^,gj "^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^l






Canal Association. He it was who had a street platted around Lake Union wide enough
to accommodate a railroad, and he was likewise instrumental in inducing the Northern
Pacific Railway Company to build their line around Lake Union.

In i8qo Mr. Brace was united in marriage to Miss Kate Frankland, a native of Provi-
dence, Rhode Island, and a daughter of James Frankland, who came of English ancestry.
Their children are five in number, namely: Maude, Mary, Dominick, Benjamin and Alice.
The religious faith of the family is that of the Episcopal church. Mr. Brace is a trustee
of the Cliamber of Commerce and an active member of the Canadian, Arctic and Rainier

Online LibraryClarence BagleyHistory of Seattle from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 3) → online text (page 103 of 142)