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

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been a most important element in the improvement of the city. Under his direction unsightly
vacancies have been converted into attractive residential districts. He has built over one
hundred residences and several of- the large buildings of the city, and his work is credit-
able, adding much to the attractiveness of Seattle. He has also negotiated various other
important realty transactions and, wisely directing his business affairs, has met with a sub-
stantial measure of prosperity. In addition to his other interests he has been connected
with the mining of iron in the northern part of Wisconsin. He became one of the organizers
of the University State Bank and had charge of it for the first year, but resigned in order
to give his attention to his private business interests.

In 1873, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Mr. Nichols laid the foundation for a happy home
life in his marriage to Miss Josephine Woolley, a daughter of Joseph Woolley, a native of
Canada, as is Mrs. Nichols. In his political views Mr. Nichols has ever been a stalwart
republican and while in Minnesota served as a member of the city council from 1884 until
1888, resigning in the latter year preparatory to his removal to the Pacific coast. In 1862
he entered the sutler's department of the Twenty-ninth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry,
with which he remained until 1865. He was all through the siege of Vicksburg under
Grant and in the Red River campaign. Fraternally he is a Mason and a Knight of Pythias.
He belongs to the Commercial Club and is interested in all of its practical projects for the
upbuilding and improvement of Seattle. He has lived in this city since before the fire and
has therefore been a witness of the greater part of its growth. He has a wide acquaintance
among its substantial residents and the part which he has played in its development entitles
him to rank with its representative men.



JOHN F. REED.



Jolm F. Reed, attorney at law, was born at Richmond Mills, Ontario county, New-
York, upon what was originally a part of the homestead of his great-grandfather, Phillip
Reed, who removed from Rutland, Vermont, to western Ontario county about 1798. In
1804 Phillip Reed erected upon his homestead a substantial brick house, the centennial
of the erection of which was celebrated by the family several years ago. John A. Reed,
father of John F. Reed, was a successful farmer, and was always active in politics, serving
as supervisor and assessor in his home locality throughout the greater part of his life. He
was also active as an advocate of all matters of civic improvement and his worth as a citizen
was widely acknowledged. He died in the year 1898 at the age of seventy-five. His w^ife,
the mother of John F. Reed, bore the maiden name of Eveline Ashley, and was born at
Richmond, Ontario county, New York, a daughter of Noah Ashley, one of the old settlers
of that section of the country; she passed away in 1894, at the age of of sixty years. Both
the paternal and maternal ancestors of John F. Reed were New Englanders of English
descent, and were represented in the Revolutionary war and also in the War of 1812.

Of a family of ten children all reached the age of maturity and seven are now living.
John F. Reed, the sixth in order of birth, pursued his early studies at the country school
and later took a college preparatory course in the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary at Lima,
New York, from which institution he graduated in 1891. He later entered the Syracuse
University, at Syracuse, New York, and completed his collegiate course in 1895, winning
the Bachelor of Arts degree. Before finishing his college course he took up the study of
law, and later pursued his studies in the office of Judge Benton of Rochester, New York,



HISTORY OF SEATTLE 863

who was afterward elected surrogate and later judge of Monroe county, New York. He
also studied under the direction of Merton E. Lewis, who was at that time mayor of Roch-
ester, New York. Mr. Reed came to Seattle in the year 1896, and entered the law office of
shank & Smith. He was admitted to the practice of lav/ in the state of Washington m the
year 1898, and entered at once upon the active work of the profession, in which he has
since been successfully engaged, having now a clientage of gratifying proportions that
connects him with much of the important legal work in Seattle and vicinity. The thorough-
ness with which he prepares his cases, as well as the clearness, cogency and strength of
logic of his arguments brings him a great measure of success. Before coming to the state
of Washington, Mr. Reed was married to Miss Harriet A. Blackmer, who was a native of
Richmond, Ontario county. New York, and whose parents were descendants of the early
settlers of that section.

Along strictly professional lines he is identified with the Seattle Bar Association and
the Washington State Bar Association. In politics Mr. Reed is a republican, hut lias never
sought nor held office. He is a member of the Arctic Club, Commercial Club and Municipal
League, associations that indicate much of the nature of his interest in activities outside of
his profession. Shortly after moving to Seattle he joined the Westminster Presbyterian
church, in the work of which he is actively and helpfully interested, serving as a member
of the board of elders and as clerk of session.

Spending his youth upon a farm to the age of twenty-one years, his early training was
that commonly received by farmer boys. He became imbued with the desire to enter
professional circles and from his earnings on the farm and as a teacher was able to defray
the expenses of his preparatory and university courses. Gradually working his way upward,
his progress has been continuous in the field of professional activities and he now occupies
an enviable position among Seattle lawyers.



FREDERICK G. SIMPSON.

Frederick Grant Simpson, treasurer, general manager and chief engineer of the Kil-
bourne & Clark Manufacturing Company, has gradually advanced in his business connec-
tions as the result of constantly expanding powers that are an indication of indefatigable
eiTort, sound judgment and close application. Mr. Simpson is a native of Wisconsin, his
birth Iiaving occurred in Oshkosh, November 3, 1874. his parents being J. M. and Eva L.
(Grant) Simpson. The father of Mrs. Simpson was a first cousin of President U. S.
Grant. Following the removal of tlie family to Chicago, Frederick G. Simpson attended
the ])ul)lic schools of that city until 1885, when he went with his parents to Edgar, Nebraska,
and there pursued a high school course until graduated with the class of i88y.

He then secured a position as telegra|)h operator in the employ of the Burlington Rail-
road, going within a few months to Superior, Wisconsin, as manager of the telegraph
office of the Northern Pacific Railroad. He commenced at this time the study of electrical
enginefring, following the course of study set forth by the University of Wisconsin.

In October, 1891, he came to Seattle as telegraph operator for the Northern Pacific
Railroad, but was shortly afterwards transferred to their engineering department in con-
nection with the construction of Stampede tunnel, with which he was identified until 1893,
when he was sent back to Seattle to act as night dispatcher, remaining in that position for
six months. At the expiration of that period he engaged with what is now the Pacific
Coast Company at their mines near Newcastle and Franklin, Washington, being connected
with their engineering department and also with their telegraph offices for two years.

He afterward returned to Seattle and engaged with the Union Electric Company as
electrical engineer in their commercial department until 1900. In that year he was appointed
to the same position by the Seattle Electric Company, successors to the Union Electric
Company, but resigned his position in 1903 to accept the office of general manager of the
Ballard Electric Company. He continued in that connection until 1905, resigning to become
chief engineer of the Kilbourne & Clark Company, engineers and manufacturers. During



864 HISTORY OF SEATTLE

this period he was also retained as consulting electrical engineer by the city of Tacoma, the
South Bend Electric Company and various other corporations and interests.

In 1910 his company was reorganized and Mr. Simpson became secretary, treasurer
and general manager. Their interests are now conducted under the name of the Kilbourne
& Clark Manufacturing Company; they do a general electrical engineering business and
manufacture radio telegraph apparatus. Theirs is the largest firm of the kind in the
United States.

Since 1908 Mr. Simpson has made two or three trips annually to New York, attending
lectures in his line of work at various eastern colleges. During the years 1913, 1914 and
1915 he spent nine months in the navy yard laboratory in New York on special work, thus
becoming particularly well qualified for the business which engages his attention.

His research and experimental work has resulted in numerous inventions in connec-
tion with wireless telegraphy, as well as other electrical appliances. He has solved many
difficult professional problems and has come to be regarded as an expert authority in the
line of his chosen profession. He is now a Fellow of the Institute of Radio Engineers, and
a member of other scientific societies.

On the nth of June, 1896, in Seattle, Mr. Simpson was united in marriage to Miss
, Martha A. Gill, sister of Mayor Hiram Gill. They have one daughter, Helen M., who is a
student in the University of Washington.

Mr. Simpson exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures
of the Republican party. He is a member of the Elks, the Royal Arcanum, the Engineers
Club, the Seattle Athletic Club and the Arctic Club. He also belongs to the Mount Baker
Park Club, the Chamber of Commerce, the Commercial Club and the Mount Baker Park
Improvement Club, of which he is the president. These associations indicate his deep
interest in affairs relative to the upbuilding of his city and the promotion of general progress
along all linc^ that aft'ect the general interests of society or promote the welfare of his
city.



DAVID NEVINS BAXTER.

David Nevins Baxter, a man of most scholarly attainments and displaying marked abil-
ity along many lines of activity, came to be known as one of the distinguished and honored
residents of Seattle, to which city he came from Rutland, Vermont, in the year 1887. He
was born in Burlington, Ohio, in September, i860, and was a direct descendant of Governor
Bradford, the first governor of Plymouth colony. He represented a family honored and
distinguished. His father, John Nevers Baxter, was a prominent banker of Rutland, Ver-
mont, and a very influential citizen. He was selected to represent the Green Mountain
state at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, and figured in many public connections.
He married Sarah F. C. Coffin, a descendant of one of the original owners of the Island
of Nantucket.

David N. Baxter was accorded most liberal educational privileges. He spent three
years in study in Germany, four years as a student of Exeter Academy and devoted three
years to a collegiate course at Harvard, being graduated therefrom with the class of 1883
upon the completion of a course in law. He removed from Rutland, Vermont, to Seattle
in March, 1887, and intended to practice his profession but found that already the profes-
sional ranks in this city were overcrowded. He then turned his attention to the banking
business, and in company with George Heilborn, Leigh Hunt and Charles Kittinger organ-
ized the Guarantee Loan & Trust Company, of which he became the cashier, continuing in
that position while the company existed. He afterward accepted the secretaryship of the
Washington National Building & Loan Association. He thus figured continuously and
conspicuously in connection with the financial interests of the city and in other ways he
was prominent in business circles, becoming one of the directors of the Seattle Brewing
& Malting Company and a large investor in mines and other properties.

In New York in June, 1888, Mr. Baxter was married to Miss Jessie Busselle, of New
York city, and to them were born three children: Mrs. Ruth Bartells ; John Nevers, now
deceased; and Constance B. The death of Mr. Baxter occurred May 5, 1903, at the com-



HISTORY OF SEATTLE 865

paratively early age of forty-two years. His political indorsement was given to the repub-
lican party and he was one of the organizers and most enthusiastic supporters of the
Seattle Athletic Club. He was also a member of the Episcopal church, of which he served
for a time as vestryman. His social qualities were such as won for him popularity from
the days of his boyhood to the time of his demise. While a university student he made
an enviable record in athletics as well as in his classes. He played well and worked well
and it was in this concentration upon the interests of the moment that the secret of his
success and advancement was found. He put forth every effort to accomplish his purpose
in any direction and his labors were therefore far-reaching and resultant. The northwest
with its limitless opportunities attracted him and from the time of his arrival until his
demise he was an important factor in those interests and activities which lead to the up-
building of the city along material, social and moral lines.



SOMERS H. SMITH.



Somers H. Smith, a member of the Seattle Bar since 1906, who is engaged in general
practice and also acts as secretary and attorney for the Grand Trunk Pacific Company, was
born in St. Louis, Missouri, September i, 1883, his parents being George Carson and Jennie
(.Prosser) Smith, who are now residents of New York city. The ancestral history of the
family is traced back to an early period in the settlement and development of the new
world. There are English, Irish and Scotch strains in the family and the patriotic spirit
of his ancestors was manifest by service in the Revolutionary war. The father was very
prominently identified with the Westinghouse interests and with several of the big rail-
road companies. He became general manager of the Missouri Pacific Railway and of the
Delaware & Lackawanna Railway Company and his interests have extended to many parts
of the world. He is now connected with very large water projects involving the expendi-
ture of millions of dollars and he ranks among the most notable figures in railway, water
and financial circles. In various connections the family have left their impress upon not
only the commercial and financial history of the country but also upon its esthetic features
and art life. A sister of Somers H. Smith is Mrs. Olivia Cornelius, a well known contribu-
tor to a number of the leading magazines and tlic author of five books. A son of the family,
George Carson Smith, is a graduate of Cornell University and of the Ecole des Beaux .^rts
of Paris and is now devoting his time to architecture in New York city. Another son, War-
ren Prosser Smith, is identified with the firm of Jolin Parks & Sons, one of the leading real
estate firms of New York city.

Somers H. Smith, reared in Michigan, attended the Adrian high school and the State
University at Ann Arbor, from which he was graduated with the class of 1906, winning
the LL. B. degree. The same year he came to Seattle, where he has since continued in
active practice. His advancement has been continuous. He chose as a life work a calling
in which progress is essentially the outcome of individual effort, merit and ability and in
which' influence counts for little or naught. For a time he was associated with the firm
of Herr, Bayley, Wilson & Smith and afterward became the associate of Messrs. Piles &
Howe, but for several years he has been alone in practice. He does not specialize particu-
larly in any line but his ability has connected him with important litigation and the consensus
of public opinion ranks him with the foremost lawyers of the northwest. He is now sec-
retary and attorney for the Grand Trunk Pacific Company and he has other important
professional connections.

In March, 1913, Mr. Smith was united in marriage to Miss Lydia Roe, a daughter of
Mrs. Ellen Roe, of North Dakota. During his lifetime her father was identified with edu-
cational interests both as teacher and preacher. Mr. and Mrs. Smith have one son, George
Carson.

In those associations which have much to do with the social nature and life of the
individual Mr. Smith has become well known, holding membership with the Delta Upsilon,
with the Rainier Club and the Seattle Athletic Club. He is also an interested member
of the Chamber of Commerce and is in hearty sympathy with its plans and projects for the



866 HISTORY OF SEATTLE

city's upbuilding and improvement. In politics he is an active republican, has represented
his party in a number of conventions and vifas elected a member of the state legislature
in 191 1. His interests are broad and he is concerned in all those vital questions which have
an effect upon the material welfare of the city and upon national concerns. Broad reading
and investigation have made him familiar with many of the most important problems of the
day and he is often found in those gatherings where men of intelligence are met in the dis-
cussion of important questions.



ARTHUR E. WILLIAMS.



Artliur E, Williams, chief clerk in the city light department of Seattle, was born in
the town of Renton, Washington, on the lOth of May, 1878. His father, James Williams,
was a native of Staffordshire, England, born on the 9th of April, 1846, and was descended
in both the paternal and maternal lines from good old English stock. He was reared
and educated in his native country and acquired a thorough technical training in civil and
mining engineering, to which work he devoted his after life. In 1868, soon after attaining
his majority, he bade adieu to friends and native country and sailed for America, wishing
to enjoy the benefits of opportunities offered in the new world. He iriade his way to the
coal mines of Pennsj-lvania, where he found employment in the line of his profession, and
a few years later he entered tlie service of the Union Pacific Mining Company at Laramie.
\\'yoming, where he occupied a responsible position for several years. The year 187,3
witnessed his arrival in Washington, at which time he settled at Renton, King county.
There he entered the employ of the Oregon Improvement Company, having charge of the
mines there and at Newcastle until 1883, when his health forced him to resign, after
which he lived practically retired until his death on the 17th of January, igoo. He was
prominently connected with the development of many of the coal mines in this section,
including the Cedar Mountain and Issaquah mines in King county. He also owned and
operated the South Prairie Mines in Pierce county and he stood as one of the foremost
representatives of the northwest. A contemporary writer has said of him:

"Such was the standing attained by the subject of this memoir in connection with the
development of the industrial activities of the state, such his prestige in the line of his
profession as a civil and mining engineer, and such the esteem which he commanded by
reason of his honorable life and sterling character, that it is in justice due that he be ac-
corded distinctive recognition in this compilation. In his death King county lost a valuable
and worthy citizen, while in the attractive village of Renton, where he long maintained
his home, the community felt a sense of personal bereavement when he was thus called
to his reward, after a life of earnest endeavor and unswerving honor in all its relations.
Mr. Williams was a man of exemplary habits, of the highest business integrity, was a good
citizen and a loving and indulgent husband and father, being signally true in all the rela-
tions of life and commanding unqualified confidence and esteem on the part of all who
knew him. In politics he exercised his franchise in support of the principles and policies
of the republican party and his religious faith was that of the Protestant Episcopal church,
of which he was a communicant and a devoted churchman. Fraternally he was promi-
nently identified with the time-honored order of Free and Accepted Masons, having held
membership in St. Andrew's Lodge. No. 35, in Renton."

Mr. Williams returned to England on four different occasions and on one of these
trips wedded Miss Lizzie P. Black, a native of Walsall, Staffordshire, England. Soon
afterward he sailed with his wife to the United States and they became parents of
seven children, of whom five yet survive ; Gertrude, now the widow of Joseph Feek, of
Renton ; Sidney J. and Arthur E. ; Florence, who is a graduate of Whitworth College and
is the wife of Herbert Haigh, of Healdsberg, California; and Edith M., the wife of Van E.
Williams, of Tacoma, Washington. The family have long occupied a prominent position
in the social circles of Seattle and all are communicants of the Protestant Episcopal church.

Sidney J. Williams was born in Renton, .^pril 10, 1877, and after attending public
schools became a student in the Washington State University, where he pursued both




JAMES WILLIAMS



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HISTORY OF SEATTLE 869

the literary and law courses, being graduated from the law department with the class of
1901, while on the 6th of June, of that year, he was admitted to the bar. He is now prac-
ticing in Seattle as a member of the firm of Blake & Williams, and has gained a prominent
position in the profession. He is also interested in the production of pure milk as president
of the Pure Milk Dairy of Seattle and of the Maplewood Farm Company at Renton. On
attaining his majority he joined the Masonic fraternity of which his father had long
been an active representative. He is also identified with tlic Knights of Pythias and the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and in both the Masonic and Odd Fellows lodges has
filled office. He votes with the republican party, but does not seek nor desire office, pre-
ferring to concentrate his energies upon his law practice and other interests.

-Arthur E. Williams, the second son, attended the public schools of Renton and the
Seattle high school, while later he pursued a course in electrical engineering at the State
College of Pullman, Washington, where he was graduated with tlie class of 1903. For
the following year and a half he followed his chosen work of electrical construction and
in December, 1904, was employed in the construction and operation of the municipal lighting
and power plant of Seattle. In 1907 he was placed in charge of the commercial depart-
ment as contract agent, a position which he still holds, proving most capable in that con-
nection. He is a member of St. Andrew's Lodge, No. 35, F. & A. M., and of Knights of
Pythias at Renton. He is regarded as a worthy representative of a prominent pioneer family
and already has gained a creditable position in the l)usiness circles of his city.



ARCHIBALD STEWART DOWXEV.

Archibald Stewart Downey, who is a well known and successful civil engineer of Seattle.
was born in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, in 1874, a son of William Stewart and Lydia
(St. John) Downey. He is an alumnus of Cornell University, having graduated from the
College of Civil Engineering of tliat institution with the degree of C. E. in 1896. He has
since devoted his time to the practice of his profession. For two years, in i8q8 and 1899,
he served as second lieutenant in the First United States Volunteer Engineers. In 1899
he located in Seattle and as the years have passed he has advanced steadily in his chosen
profession. In 1909 he organized the A. W. Quist Company, building contractors, of which
he is still a member.

Mr. Downey was married in Seattle on the i8th of May, 1910, to Miss Emma Louise
Collins, a daughter of John and Mary Ann Collins. Her father was one of the pioneers
of Seattle and was prominently identified with its early history and ui)building. Mr. Downey
is a republican but has never held public office, as his professional work has demanded his
entire time and attention. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Methodist
churcli. Socially he is well known and belongs to the Rainier Club, the University Club,
the College Club and the Seattle Golf Club, while along strictly professional lines he is
associate,d with the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Pacific Northwest Society



Online LibraryClarence BagleyHistory of Seattle from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 3) → online text (page 106 of 142)