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

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\\'ashington's native sons, his birth having occurred at Port Madison, August 27, 1873.
His father, Charles Swanberg, was a pioneer of the northwest, having come to the Puget
Sound country in 1865. He then engaged in shipbuilding at Port Orchard and later
removed to Port Madison, where he continued in shipbuilding until 1870, when he turned
his attention to the millwright's trade, which he followed continuously until his death
in the year 1890. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity. When in Ireland he
married Miss Mulcahy and they became the parents of five children, namely Annie M. ;
Charles F., who acts as bookkeeper and cashier for the Elliott Bay Dry Dock Company;
Carrie M. : J. Frank, of this review; and J. H., of Seattle.

Spending his boyhood and youth in Washington, J. Frank Swanberg attended the
public schools of Port Blakeley to the age of fourteen years, when he took up the machin-
ist's trade.' In 1892 he came to Seattle and went to sea as engineer for the Pacific Coast
Steamship Company, running on their various boats until 1909, when he resigned and
established the Marine Pipe & Machine Works, of which he is still manager. In Sep-
tember, 1910, he took over the Elliott Bay Dry Dock Company, which was owned by



HISTORY OF SEATTLE 941

Ward & Burns, ik- was then elected president and lias continued as the chief executive
officer of the business. They do general shipbuilding and repair work and in addition
Mr. Swanberg is president of the Puget Sound Boiler Works. His entire life has been
devoted to industrial interests and his activity, intelligently directed, has brought to him
a comfortable competence.

On the 20th of August, iyo4, in Seattle, Mr. Swanberg was united in marriage to
Miss Thelma Campbell. In his political views Mr. Swanberg is a republican and always
votes for the men and measures of the party but does not seek office. He belongs to
the Arctic Club and is well known as a representative citizen of the northwest, where
his entire life has been passed, so that he has been an interested witness of the changes
which have occurred here and the transformation tliat has been wrought as the years
have passed. His life has been well spent and those who know him entertain for him
warm regard as a reliable business man and as a friend and citizen.



JOHN MILTON THATCHER.

John Milton Thatcher is a recognized leader of the republican party in King county,
being one of its active workers for twenty-six years. He is, however, serving for the
first time in public office, being now assessor of King county, for which position he was
nominated without opposition. In fact he was solicited to accept the office by those who
recognized his fitness for the work entailed. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Mr. Thatcher
was born April 23, 1866, a son of John M. Thatcher, who was likewise born in that state,
where his father had settled in early pioneer times. The family comes of English ances-
try. John M. Thatcher, Sr., was one of the early traders on the western frontier and
operated a wagon train between Westport, now Kansas Cit\', Missouri, and Santa Fe,
New Mexico. He was born in 1834 and met with a tragic death when but thirty-one years
of age. He had married Frances Castleman Sullivan, a native of Kentucky and a daughter of
James Sullivan, a descendant of General John Sullivan, one of the six great generals
of the Revolutionary war, Mrs. Thatcher being his great-granddaughter. She is still living
at the age of eighty-one years and maintains a residence at Kansas City, Missouri, although
she is now living with her daughter, Mrs. Mary Kitchen, the wife of Ralph L. Kitchen,
of Omaha, Nebraska. In the family were five children, of whom three are living : John
Milton, Mrs. Kitchen and William E., the last named a resident of Swink, Colorado.

John Milton Thatcher pursued his education at Reading and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
At the last named place he attended the Lehigh university, from which he was graduated
with the class of 1885. He started out in life on his own account when twenty-one years
of age, becoming connected with railroad work on the Missouri Pacific at Kansas City
in connection with the traffic department. He was associated with railroad and steam-
ship business from 1885 until 1900 and in the latter connection represented the Union
Pacific at Portland, Oregon. He was chosen by the company to make a trip to the orient
as special agent for the steamship and railway company to give instructions to their
agents in the orient. Again he was sent on a similar mission, his two trips covering a
period of several years. He came to Seattle in 1891 in connection with the railroad and
steamship business and took up his abode permanently in this city in 1807. From 1898
until 1914, he was employed in the offices of the county treasurer and county assessor and
in 1914 was elected to the position of county assessor. He had previously served as assist-
ant county treasurer. In politics he has always been a republican and has ever been
an active party worker through the past twenty-six years but this is the first public
office for which he was ever nominated and elected. While he had done official service
before, it was through appointment and he had never sought to be elected to any posi-
tion. However, those wlio knew him solicited him to become a candidate and he was
nominated without opposition.

Mr. Thatcher has been married twice. In Denver, Colorado, in 1889, he wedded
Miss Jacqueline Henrietta Elizabeth Van Hekeren, a lad}- of Holland Dutch descent and the
only daughter of Sir John Van Hekeren of Sydney, Australia, who was the most prominent



942 HISTORY OF SEATTLE

physician of that place. By this union there were two children : Abremine Frances, who
was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1890; and Herbert, whose birth occurred in Portland,
Oregon, in 1893. On the 10th of September, 1907, in Seattle, Washington, Mr. Thatcher
married Miss Pluma M. Wheaton, a native of Michigan and a daughter of Calvin Wheaton,
representing an old pioneer family of the Wolverine state. Her mother was an Oliver
and also an old settler of Michigan. Mr. and Mrs. Thatcher reside at No. 1608 Thirty-
ninth street, North.

Mr. Thatcher was reared in the Episcopal church but the family are Congregationalists,
now connected with Plymouth church of Seattle. In early manhood Mr. Thatcher was
a member of the Craig Rifles at Kansas City, Missouri, and served as captain of Com-
pany G, with which he was connected for two years. In Masonry he has attained high
rank, being now a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason and a member of the Mystic
Shrine. He also belongs to the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of
Pythias and the Royal Arcanum. His life experiences have been wide and varied, for
he has traveled to all parts of the world and has gained much valuable knowledge con-
cerning many lands and their peoples. Difficulties and obstacles have also featured in
his career at times but through all he has maintained a .genial disposition, is ever pleasant
and courteous and has a host of friends throughout Seattle and wherever he is known



JOHN MILTON EDDY ATKINSON.

At the time of his death John Milton Eddy Atkinson was engaged in the general insur-
ance business in Seattle. He had been actively identified with business affairs of the city for
a number of years and had also contributed toward shaping the public life of the community
in local office and as one of the state legislators. He was born in Boston on November 25,
1853, and was but four years of age at the time of his father's death. His mother subse-
quently removed to Eureka, California, to live with her parents, going to that state when her
son John was but four years of age. She afterward married a Mr. Wood and in 1861 they
came to the Puget Sound country, establishing their home at Port Discovery. Mr. Wood
was the owner of the Port Discovery mill.

John M. E. Atkinson was educated under private instruction during his early years but
afterward returned to California to live with his grandparents and attended school in San
Francisco. When his education was completed and his textbooks were put aside he was given
charge of the company's store at Port Discovery and thus made his initial step in the business
world. Throughout his entire career he was faithful, reliable, energetic and progressive and
step by step he climbed upward.

In 1875 Mr. Atkinson was united in marriage at Port Townsend to Miss Tuolumne
Calhoun, a daughter of Rufus Calhoun, who went to California in pioneer times and there
engaged in mining for about thirteen years. In 1866 he removed to Port Townsend. Wash-
ington, and again went to sea, he having followed a seafaring life before being attracted to
the gold fields. As a captain he sailed for many years and was one of the well known
navigators of this part of the country.

While residing at Port Discovery Mr. Atkinson was elected to the territorial legislature
from Jefferson county in 1877 and served for one term. The following year he went to
Newcastle to take charge of the store and accounts of the Newcastle Coal Company, with
which he was thus associated for a decade. In the meantime he was made agent when the
business was reorganized and changed to the Oregon Improvement Company, and as a.gent he
had charge of all of the outside affairs of the company at that point. He also filled the
position of postmaster while at Newcastle and for a long time after leaving there, for the
government refused to accept his resignation. It was in October, 1888, that he sent in his
resignation in order to become vice president and general manager of the Lake Shore &
Eastern Railway Company, and in order to better discharge his duties he removed to Seattle.
With the interests of that city he was thereafter identified until death terminated his labors.
On the 1st of January, 1889, he purchased Mr. Wall's interest in the firm of Wall & Campbell,
at which time the firm became Campbell & Atkinson. Their business was being conducted




TOHX M. !•:. ATKIXS(J.\'



HISTORY OF SEATTLE 945

along gratifying lines until the disastrous fire of that year swept over the city and destroyed
their establishment. Mr. Atkinson then purchased Captain Taylor's interest in the firm of
Taylor & Burns in 1890, thus organizing the firm of Burns & Atkinson, general insurance
agents. The connection was maintained until the death of Captain Burns, after which the
business was reorganized under the firm style of J. M. E. Atkinson & Son. Since the death
of the senior partner the son has carried on the business. In the field of general insurance
they secured a large clientage and their business reached extensive proportions which made
their annual income a gratifying one.

Mr. Atkinson was pleasantly situated in his home life. By his marriage there were born
six children : Morton Eddy, now living in Seattle ; Sarah E., the wife of J. W. Augustine ;
Carrie, the wife of Bruce Shorts; Lydia P., deceased; Mrs. Julian Morrow; and Rufus
Calhoun, who yet conducts the insurance business in Seattle. AH are yet residents of this
city, with the exception of Mrs. Morrow, who makes her home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The family circle was broken by the hand of death when, on the 22d of April, 1914, Mr.
Atkinson passed away. The community recognized in his passing the loss of one of the repre-
sentative residents of the city. His political allegiance was given the republican party and in
1894 he was elected city treasurer, which position he filled for one term. Fraternally he was
connected with the Masons and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, and he belonged
also to the Seattle Athletic Club. He was a most public-spirited man and his cooperation
could always be counted upon to further any plan or measure for the general good. Those
who knew him esteemed him highly for his personal worth, for his business ability and for
his devotion to the general good.



CHARLES JORGEN SMITH.

C. J. Smith, making the practice of law his real life work, has at the same time been
connected with real-estate activities and with various industrial and commercial concerns
of Seattle which have contributed to the material development and upbuilding of the
city. Success in life depends in large measure upon opportunity, but the strong man is
he who does not fear to venture where favoring opportunity points the way, determining
the value of each advantage by sound judgment and keen discrimination. Such is the
record of Mr. Smith, who dates his residence in Seattle from 1889. He had previously
resided in Chicago after coming to the new world from Norway, his native land. He
was born at Sandefjord, the famous summer resort of Norway, on the 12th of July, 1861.
a son of Christen Jorgen and Anna Elizabeth (Engebreght) Smith. For more than
thirty-five years the father occupied a position in the revenue service of Norway and for
a number of years, or until his death, was general revenue inspector of the port of Sande-
fjord. He had very brilliant literary attainments and spoke eight different languages.
After thirty-five years spent in the revenue service his country gave evidence of appre-
ciation of his faithfulness by presenting him a gold medal. His death' occurred when he
had reached the age of seventy-four years. He was twice married, his second wife, the
mother of Charles Jorgen Smith, being a daughter of one of Norway's wealthy farmers
and a sister of one of the most prominent and successful architects of that country.

Their eldest child, Charles Jorgen Smith, was ten years and six months of age at
the time of his father's demise. He was a little lad of five summers when his father
placed him under tuition of a governess. When he was eleven years of age his common
school education was finished and when fifteen years of age he graduated and received
his diploma from an agricultural college in the district of his birthplace. At the age of
seventeen years and six months he graduated with special honor from Norway's Astro-
nomical and Nautical College, located in the city of Frederickstad, whereupon he became
second officer of an English sailing ship and the following year arrived in Boston, Massa-
chusetts. In 1881 he attended a private college in Bangor, Maine, where he obtained
further education in English, and later in Chicago, Illinois, he studied architecture and
building construction. In the early spring of 1889 he arrived in Seattle and in 1890 entered
upon the study of law, continuing his reading during the years 1891, 1892 and 1893 under



946 PIISTORY OF SEATTLE

the direction of W. W. Moore, a former Wall street attorney. His studies in jurisprudence
were later continued in the Seattle Law College, conducted by the Hon. Edward Judd,
after which he was examined and admitted to practice by the supreme court of the state
of Washington in the May session of 1909.

During the period of his residence in Chicago Mr. Smith had been engaged m the
building trade and was foreman for the Pullman Company, which was then erecting
steel buildings. He placed in position, in connection with the alterations being made in
the old sandstone buildings at the corner of Randolph and State streets, the first steel bay
windows in the cit}'. Later for two years or more he was the construction foreman having
charge of the steel erection on the Auditorium building. Mr. Smith came to Seattle prior
to the great fire of June 6, i88g, and, learning of the splendid opportunities of the city,
he immediately engaged in the real estate business, in which he continued until admitted
to the bar. He also extended his efforts to other activities which have been elements in
the material development of the city. During the early part of the '90s he organized
what was known as the Washington Tanning Company, which operated until the build-
ing in which the business was carried on, at the south end of Lake Union, was destroyed
by fire. He also assisted in the organization of the Yukon-Alaska Transportation Com-
pany and the Washington-Alaska Fish Company. In the year 1907 he purchased a section
of land, near Prosser, now known as Valley Heights orchard tracts, in which district,
after the United States reclamation service had furnished the necessary surveys, he expended
the sum of more than seven thousand dollars in placing a large siphon, of an inside
diameter of eighteen inches, nearly a mile through the country, also doing other necessary
work connected therewith for irrigation purposes. In that locality he still has considerable
real estate and he also has large realty holdings in Seattle. He is likewise a stockholder
in the Northwestern Wagon Wheel Company of Bellingham, Washington, and is a joint
owner, with several other Seattle citizens, of several valuable tracts of land located in
southwestern Alaska, which were especially selected by him because of their adaptability
for fishery locations.

At the same time, since his admission to the bar, Mr. Smith has continued in the
practice of law and his mental alertness, his resourcefulness and his natural power of
analysis have constituted strong elements in his growing success. He has comprehensive
familiarity with the principles of jurisprudence and has been connected with many impor-
tant litigated interests. The thoroughness with which he prepares his cases is one of
the elements of his success and his devotion to his clients' interests is proverbial,' yet
he never forgets that he owes a still higher allegiance to the majesty of the law.

It was in Seattle on the 26th of September, 1903, that Mr. Smith was united in mar-
riage to Miss Hilda Marie Nelson, a daughter of Solomon Nelson, and a direct descendant
of a family that, in the early history of Sweden, emigrated from Greece, where the name
was originally Mullser. This family is noted for the brilliance of its military record.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith have become parents of four children: Hjordis Carloa, C. J., Jr.,
Kiert Servie and Thorgny Hjorvard.

The parents attend the Methodist Episcopal church and Mr. Smith is identified with
various fraternal, club and social organizations, having membership with the Modern
Woodmen of America, the Scandinavian Brotherhood of America, the Seattle Commer-
cial Club and the State Bar Association. He became a member of the National Order
of Good Templars in Chicago in 1881 and has retained his connection with the organization
to the present time. For several years during the '90s he was the president of what
was known as a very meritorious organization — the Gospel Temperance Union, which
held its meetings in the Chamber of Commerce quarters in the Pacific block during the
period that the late Mr. Proach was president of the Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Smith is a strong advocate of democracy. He believes it to be the most efficient
form of government known and that in a true democracy the highest aim and purposes
of the human race are possible of attainment. He is a strong believer in absolute pro-
hibition, both state and national; has constantly advocated the adoption of the prohibition
amendment to our constitution and, together with the Woman's Christian Temperance Union,
put forth special effort to have the prohibition clause inserted as early as 1889. In the
year 1897, on the ground that it was of special importance to protect the fishing industn,-.



HISTORY OF SEATTLE 11-17

he succeeded in liaving the legislature that year enact certain prohibitory measures
for the protection of the fishing industry, and several things that he recommended to the
committees on fisheries, in both house and senate, now constitute the gist of the statutes
governing the industry in this state. Mr. Smith has ever been a close student of public
problems and his influence has ever been on the side of justice, right, progress and improve-
ment. He has never looked at any question from . a narrow or contracted standpoint ;
on the contrary his viewpoint is broad and his discrimination keen. He has the faculty
of eliminating the nonessential from the more important points of any issue and his
opinions are the logical deduction not only from the fact but from the possibilities of
the case.



ALMARIN T. DRAKE.



Almarin T. Drake, who in igio was appointed finance committee clerk of the city
council, has since occupied that position and during the five years of his incumbency has
made a most creditable record in office for efficiency and fidelity. He has also strongly
displayed the spirit of initiative in the conduct of his official duties. He was born in
Des Moines, Iowa, December 9, 1879, a son of Edward P. Drake, a native of Massa-
chusetts, who went to Iowa in T876. In the paternal line the ancestry can be traced
back to Sir Francis Drake, of England. His mother's people, the Trowbridges, were
descended from Mayflower ancestry. In early life Edward P. Drake was a locomotive
engineer but for the past twenty-five years has been connected with the United States
postoffice department and is now retired. He is also a prominent Mason, having attained
the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite, while for a number of years he was grand
marshal of the order in Iowa. He married Sarah Elizabeth Hartman, who was of
German lineage and a native of Missouri. She died in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1894, at the
age of thirty-eight years, leaving a family of three children : Almarin T. ; Edward P.,
now a prominent musician of Seattle ; and Myrtle E., who remains in Des Moines.

Almarin T. Drake was educated in the public and high schools of his native city,
being graduated on the completion of the high school course in the class of 1896. He
afterward secured employment with the Des Moines Union Railway Company, controlling
the terminal of the Wabash, the Chicago Great Western and the Chicago, Milwaukee &
St. Paul Railway companies. He filled different positions of a clerical nature until 1898.
when with the outbreak of the Spanish-American war he enlisted in the Fifty-first Iowa
Volunteer Infantry and saw active service in the Philippines. He was transferred to
the signal corps on account of being a telegraph operator and participated in the Malolos
campaign, also in the Lawton expedition and the campaign at Laguna de Bay. In October.

1899, he returned to the United States and again made his way to Des Moines, where he
resumed his former position with the railway company. In April, 1900, he became a
citizen of Spokane, Washington, where he remained for si.x months, during which period
he occupied the position of bookkeeper with the Spokane Ice Company. In November.

1900, he removed to Wallace, Idaho, where he remained until Au.gust, 1902. occupying
a clerical position with the Standard Mining Company.

While there residing Mr. Drake was married on the 12th of September, 1901, to
Miss Elizabeth A. Levekc, a native of Des Moines, Iowa, who was his classmate in the
high school. In August, 1902, they came to Seattle, where Mr. Drake obtained a clerical
position with the Northern Pacific Railway Company, remaining in that connection until
October, 1904, when he accepted a position in the office of the city comptroller under
John Riplinger. He served as auditor and filled that position during the remainder of
Mr. Riplinger's term as comptroller and for two terms under H. W. Carroll, the present
comptroller. In March. 19TO. he was appointed finance committee clerk of the city council
and has since occupied that position to the satisfaction of all who know aught of his service.
He is systematic, thorough and painstaking and his work has received the strong endorse-
ment of all who have had anything to do with the affairs of the office.

In politics Mr. Drake is a republican and has always been an active party worker
since age conferred upon him the right of franchise. Fraternally he is connected with



948 ■ HISTORY OF SEATTLE

the Elks and the Royal Arcanum and he belongs also to the Seattle Athletic Club. Mr.
and Mrs. Drake have a daughter, Vivian G., who was born in Seattle in 1905 and is with
her parents at their attractive home at No. 928 Thirty-fourth street, which property Mr.
Drake owns. When he started out for himself he had a capital of one hundred and
seventy-five dollars and the success that has since come to him is attributable entirely
to his own efforts. He has occupied various positions of responsibility and has ever been
found most loyal to the trust reposed in him.



DANIEL J. McLEAN.



Daniel J. McLean was a prominent contractor of Seattle and many important buildings
in the city stand as monuments to his energy and ability. He was not only very successful



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