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

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New York to Seattle in 1904 to assist in the supervision of tlie building of St. James'
cathedral. He was associated from 1905 until 1910 with W. M. Somervell, during which
period the firm designed and erected the new Providence Hospital, Hotel Perry of Seattle
and St. Joseph's Hospital at Bellingham, Washington. Since 1910 Mr. Cote has practiced
independently, designing the Swedish Hospital, the Sunset Club and many fine residences,
including the homes of Dr. Alfred Raymond, A. C. Clark, Arthur Bixby, Dr. Frederick
Bentley and C. L. Hibbard.

The military chapter in tlie life record of Mr. Cote covers service with the Naval
Reserves of the Massachusetts Stale Militia. His social nature finds expression in his
membership in the Rainier and College Clubs of Seattle, and he is an active member of
the Seattle Fine Arts Society and of the American Institute of Architects. In his pro-
fession he has been actuated by a laudable ambition to attain the highest possible skill and
efficiency, and his career has been characterized by a steady progress that has won him a
place among the eminent architects of the northwest.



WILLIAM B. SEVERYNS.



William B. Sevcryns, conducting business at Seattle as a niemlier of the Martin &
Severyns Company, dealers in stocks and bonds, in which connection he is holding the
office of president, and who is further known as a member of the Seattle bar. having been
admitted to practice in 1912, was born in Belgium, November 28, 1887, a son of J. H. and
Mary (Francois) Severyns, who in the year 1888 crossed the Atlantic with their family and
settled in Nebraska. In 1894 they removed westward to the coast, establishing their home
in San Diego, California, where their son William became a pupil in the public schools,
completing the work of successive grades until he became a hi.gh school student. In 1900,
regarding his education completed, he removed to Prosscr, Washington, where he turned
his attention to general farming, which he followed until 1904, but it was his desire to
enter professional circles and he left the farm, removing to Seattle, where he matriculated
in the University of Washington for the study of law, being graduated therefrom in 1912
with the LL. B. degree. In that year he was admitted to the bar and opened an office in
Seattle, where he has since engaged in practice. His clientage is steadily growing and in
the meantime he has become identified witli another business interest of importance, having
been joined by George R. Martin in organizing the stock and bond firm operating under the
name of the Martin & Severyns Company, of which he is the president.

On the 7th of July, 1913, in Seattle, Mr. Severyns was united in marriage to Miss
Frances Margaret Martin. He is a Scottish Rite Mason and is a memlier of tlie .Mpha



966 HISTORY OF SEATTLE

Tau Omega. His political allegiance is given to the republican party, while his religious
faith is that of the Presbyterian church. He is a young man of marked enterprise, of firm
purpose and of laudable ambition and these qualities are continually promoting his success.
He stands for that which is best in community life and for the individual and his sterling
traits of character have gained for him high regard and warm friendships.



CAPTAIN JAMES W. KEEN.

.As a representative of maritime interests Captain James W. Keen is widely known in
the northwest, although he is now living retired. His identification with the shipping interests
of this secti.on of the country dates almost from the earliest development of trade relations in
this section. In early boyhood he went to sea and every phase of seafarin.g life is familiar to
him.

He was born on the west coast of England, April i, 1842. His father, Thomas E. Keen,
was a native of Scotland, and was born at sea in 1802 while his father, Colonel Thomas
E. Keen, was returning from the w-ar in Egypt, where he had served as a member of the
Forty-second Islanders. Thomas E. Keen, Jr., was united in marriage to Mary Ann Fisher,
also a native of Scotland. She came of a family noted for longevity, having' an Uncle who
died at the remarkable old age of one hundred and fifteen years, while her sister. Lady
Jessie Pelly, died at the age of one hwidred and seven. It was a notable fact that all of the
family were accorded a very long life or else died in infancy.

James W. Keen acquired a common-school education and when very youn'g went to sea,
being a youth of but sixteen when, in 1858, he became an apprentice on the ship Laubouchere,
on which he served until 1863, leaving the ship at Victoria, British Columbia. He then went
to the Caribou country of British Columbia and returned that fall with eight hundred dollars.
He wisely invested his capital, purchasing an interest in the sloop Red Rover, with which
he freighted around Puget Sound with occasional trips north as far as Fort Simpson and
Lost river, trading with the Indians. It was a dangerous business in those days, as a man's
life was not safe north of Nanaimo. However, lie continued coasting and running passengers
to mill ports, and he also carried the mail between Port Townsend, Port Angeles, Dungeness
and Victoria. He likewise piloted an occasional vessel to mill ports or to Nanaimo. His first
piloting of any note was in the spring of 1865, when he took the schooner Pacific, commanded
by Captain John Gage, from Victoria to Nanaimo and returned with the ship Elious, Captain
Greenleaf, from that point to Port Angeles. In the winter of 1865 he began running the first
ferry between Seattle, Freeport and Port Blakeley with the sloop Kate .'Alexander. He was
afterward employed on different coastwise vessels before the mast, serving as second and first
mate.

In the spring of 1868 Captain Keen went to Sitka. .Alaska, as master of the trading
schooner Pioneer, and later the trading schooner Sweepstake. In the winter of 1868-69
he was pilot on the United States steamship Saginaw, Captain Richard W. Meade, during the
Kake Indian disturbance. As a punishment to the Indians who had murdered two white
men, the Saginaw burned four of their villages. On the 25th of November, 1869, he entered
the United States revenue cutter service as pilot on the steamer Lincoln, remaining in that
service until 1879, on different vessels, both steam and sail. Still later he spent five year.s
on the United States revenue cutter Wolcott, and other cutters with which he was con-
nected were the Lincoln, Perry and Reliance, which were sailing craft, and Wolcott, Bear,
Thetis, Grant and Corwin, which were steam craft. He took the Corwin on its first trip
to Alaska and took the Wolcott on both its first and last trips to Alaska, that vessel being
wjecked in Uyak bay within five miles of where the steamer Bertha was burned. After
he resigned from the government service in 1879 'le continued as pilot on special trips of
government vessels. As an illustration of how piloting paid in those days, he
received ten hundred and fifty dollars for piloting the United States Steamship
.Alaska on a trip and a half, ending at Sitka. He was nineteen days under way, thirty-three
days on board ship and six weeks away from home at Skagit City. Captain Keen was next
on the United States fish commission steamer, Albatross, commanded by Captain Turner,



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HISTORY OF SEATTLE ■ 969

and later became pilot on the United States Steamship Mohican, Captain Ludlow, sailing to
all parts of Alaska. In 1897 he was again on the Albatross, Captain Jett Moser, in Alaska
waters, and was permanently employed in 1903 on the U. S. Grant from Puget Sound to
Alaska. He was always under orders of the treasury department and was transferred tem-
porarily but was returned to the Grant. In the spring of 1906 he was ordered to the United
States revenue cutter Rush, on which he remained until she was sold. He then placed on
uiiassigned duty on March i, 191 5, and retired as master mate on coast guard service.

There were many interesting experiences which occurred during the period of his sea-
faring life. On the 7th of August. 1868, he started on a trip up the Chilcat river with W. H.
Seward, formerly of Lincoln's cabinet, to w'itness the total eclipse of the sun and to act as
Mr. Seward's interpreter. He was known to the Indians as "Father of the Beavers," or,
Sacatekeyish, literally, "Beavers' Father." After acting as Seward's interpreter during the
meeting with the Chilcat Indians, Seward's vessel, the steamer Active, on August 9, towed
him to Point Retreat at the head of Admiralty Island. Another event worthy of note in the
history of Captain Keen brings forth the fact that he was the means of settling the boundary
dispute between Great Britain and the United States. The former country claimed that the
Hudson's Bay Company had unfurled the British flag on the Alaskan coast at the beginning
of their operations in British Columbia. Captain Keen, who had worked for the Hudson's Bay
Company and had been familiar with the Alaskan coast service from 1863, made affidavit that
the claim of the Hudson's Bay Company was false and it was this testimony that decided the
dispute.

.■\fter leaving the revenue service in 1879, Captain Keen bought one hundred and si.xty
acres of land on the Skagit river, near Skagit City, and converted this into a good farm,
although always holding himself in readiness to do pilot work. In 1886 the levee of the river
broke and his losses in twenty-four hours amounted to si.x thousand dollars, including forty-
four head of stock. This convinced him that he would quit farming at the earliest oppor-
tunity and he finally sold out in the fall of 1899. He superintended the erection of the hrst
six big barns in that section.

On the 13th of April, 1871, Captain Keen was married at Port Townsend, Washington, to
Miss .\nnie Gage, a daughter of George Gage, of Huntington, Canada. She died April 30,
1910, leaving three children : Mrs. L. A. Le Ballistcr, the widow of Captain Eugene Le
Ballister, of whom mention is made elsewhere in this work; Grace E., the wife of John
Spurger, the director of the Seattle orchestra ; and Crosby E., who is mining in Alaska.

On the I2th of October, 1910, at Juneau. Alaska, Captain Keen wedded Miss Ann Clare, a
daughter of Richard and Maria Clare, and a native of Mona Center, Ontario. She was reared
in Dundalk and was a missionary at Juneau when she met and married Captain Keen. The
Captain and his wife are members of the Presliyterian church and he has conformed his life
to its teachings. He has long been identified with the Masonic fraternity and demitted from
Mount Baker Lodge, No. 36, to Mount Juneau Lodge, No. 75. He also belongs to Seattle
Harbor, No. 16, of the Association of Masters, Mates and Pilots. In politics he is a repub-
lican but his only active service along political lines was when he was farming on the
Skagit, where he did much toward keeping the farmers in the republican fold. His life
record, if written in detail, would present many a most interesting and thrilling experience.
He has been connected with navigation interests of the northwest almost from their incep-
tion and sailing the seas and the inland waters, as he has done, has brought him compre-
hensive knowledge of the country. He is known as the pioneer pilot of the Puget Sound
and Alaskan waters and of him Governor Henry Kinkade of .Alaska said that Captain Keen
was the only walking encyclopedia of Alaska in existence.



CAPTAIN GEORGE W. HILL.

Captain George W. Hill, deputy sheriff and bailiff of Department No. i of the superior
court at Seattle, was born in Quincy, Illinois, June 21, 1844, a son of Thomas L. and Xancy
(Carr) Hill. His early education was acquired in the public schools of Chester, Illinois,
which he .attended until June, 1861, when, at the age of seventeen years, he joined the



970 HISTORY OF SEATTLE

United States navy and was assigned to duty on the ram Queen of the West. Later he
was on the Dick Fulton and still later on the T. A. Homer, all of which were transports.
Captain Hill was connected with the quartermaster's department and was mustered out in
July, 1S65, having for four years done faithful service in defense of the Union.

After the war was over Captain Hill followed stcamboating on the Ohio and Mississippi
rivers as engineer until 1872. when he went to Fort Worth, Texas, where he became a
locomotive engineer on the Texas-Pacific Railroad, running on that line for three years.
He was then elected a member of the city council of Fort Worth and served in that capacity
for four years. He next engaged as engineer with the fire department for three years, at
the end of which time he left the south and came to the Sound country, settling in Seattle,
where he became chief engineer on the fire boat Symphony. After two years spent in that
position he became an engineer on the Pacific Coast Steamship Line and a year later he was
made chief engineer on the Hatch Brothers steamers, sailing along the Pacific coast for a
year and a half. At the end of that period he became an engineer for the North American
transportation Company and took the first three stern wheel boats to Alaska, operating them
up and down the Yukon river for fourteen years, after which he retired and came to Seattle.
In 1912 he was elected port warden of Seattle and a little later became deputy sheriff and
bailiff of the superior court. Department No. i, which position he now fills.

In New Albany. Indiana, in July, 1865, Captain Hill w-as tmited in marriage to l\'Iiss
Jeannette D. Dempster and they have become the parents of three children : Whitmore D.,
who is L'nited States boiler inspector at Galveston, Texas, and is now forty-two years of
age ; William A., aged thirty-two, serving as clerk of the superior court of Seattle ; and
Mrs. C. L. Heddy, also living in this city.

Captain Hill belongs to the Marine Engineers and fraternally is well known, having
membership with the Masons, the Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias and the Grand
Army of the Republic. His political allegiance has always been given to the republican
party, which was the defense of the Union during the dark days of the Civil war and has
always been the party of reform and progress. His religious faith is that of the Methodist
church and his life has conformed to tlie standards which it inculcates. He has made a
creditable record in his chosen field of labor and now, at the age of seventy-onQ years, still
remains active in business, displaying botli loyalty and efficiency in the discharge of the
duties of his present office.



HENRY HECKMANN.



Henry Hcckmann, a well known and popular dealer in wood and coal, who started
business in a very humble way and has amassed a modest fortune, is now thoroughly enjoy-
ing tlie good things of life and occupies a fine home at No. 508 Twentieth avenue. South.
There, owing to his hospitable spirit, he keeps open house for all his friends and in addition
to this property he is the owner of manj' lots in Seattle. Starting out with practically
nothing, he has become a man of affairs and upon his pay roll are the names of those
whose salaries aggregate more than three hundred dollars per week.

Mr. Heckmann is a native of Germany, born July 15, 1863. He acquired his education
in that country, but affirms most positively that he is a citizen of the United States and
believes that he is a resident of the most beautiful and satisfying city in the world except
Chicago. Leaving his native land in early manhood, he made his way to New Jersey and
was in the employ of the Singer Manufacturing Company for a period of two years. From
there he went to Texas, wdierc he was employed for a year, and in 1884 he arrived in
Seattle. He has never had occasion to regret his determination to become a resident of
this city, for here his course has been one of steady progress. He was employed as a
laborer for two or three years, but found this unsatisfactory as he could make no sub-
stantial advancement. He therefore began contracting on his own account, doing all kinds
of excavation work, and through following that business he obtained the capital that finally
led him into the fuel business. Since then he has been engaged in dealing in coal and wood
and has developed a trade of large proportions, having secured many patrons, so that his



HISTORY OF SEATTf.E !»71

annual income is a very substantial one. In additiun to his other interests he Liecanie one
of the organizers and directors of the German-American Bank, now the German-American
Mercantile Savings Bank.

Mr. Heckmann was married ni Seattle in 1891 to Miss Tina Brunt, a daughter of
Ernest Brunt, of Springfield, Missouri. Their children are: William, now a bookkeeper
hi the German-American Mercantile Savings Bank ; Carl ( )., who is engaged in business
with his father ; and Amelia, at home.

The religious faith of the family is that of the Catholic church and in politics Mr.
Heckmann is a republican, taking the ordinary interest of a business man in the political
situation. He belongs to various German societies of the city and is a member of the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows and also of the Commercial Club. He has a wide
acquaintance among Seattle's residents and his circle of friends is an extensive one.



CHARLES F. EGGERT.



Charles F. Eggert is the pioneer shoe merchant of Seattle, now connected with the
trade, and is at the head of the largest business of this character in the city. Along tin-
legitimate lines of commercial activity he has made steady advancement and now occupies
a notable position on the plane of affluence. He was born September 6, 1848, in Stephenson
county, Illinois, a son of Henry Eggert, a native of Germany, who came to America in
rS-'o. Settling first in Michigan, he afterward became a pioneer of Stephenson county,
Illinois, and in 1856 moved to Kansas, where lie successfully carried on business as an
agriculturist until his death, which occurred in that state. His wife, who bore the maiden
name of Wilhelmina Freitag, was a native of Hanover, (Germany, and crossed the Atlantic
on the same sailing vessel on which her future husband was a passenger. They met while
aboard that ship and the acquaintance thus formed was consummated in marriage. They
became the parents of four sons, all of whom arc now living. The eldest, Henry W.
Eggert, served for three years in the Civil war as a member of the Twelfth Kansas Infantry
and is still a resident of Lawrence, Kansas. Fred is a resident of Portland, Oregon, where
he has been in the shoe business for the past thirty years and is a very successful mer-
chant. C. L. Eggert, the other brother, is a building contractor now residing at Hood
River, Oregon.

The youngest is Charles F. Eggert, who ac(|uire(l his early education in the country
schools of Kansas, where his parents had removed when he was but eight years of age, and
afterward continued his studies at Lawrence, Kansas. The family were pioneer settlers
in Kansas and Charles F. Eggert passed his early life upon the home farm, his time largely
being spent as a barefooted boy plowing corn. He started out independently in life at the
age of si.xtecn years, at which time he secured a clerkship in a clothing store at Lawrence,
Kansas, his salary being first but six dollars per month and board. He was employed by
others until he reached the age of twenty years, when he embarked in merchandising on
his own account in association with his brother, Fred Eggert, establishing a general store
at Lawrence, Kansas, which they owned and operated jointly for five years. Charles F.
Eggert then disposed of his interest to his brother and removed to Oregon, settling in
Marion county, where he began farming, remaining there for thirteen years. On the
expiration of that period he came to Seattle on the Sth of March, 1889, and established a
wholesale shoe house in partnership with his brother Fred and George F. Raymond under
the firm style of Raymand, Eggert & Company. They conducted a wholesale trade in
shoes, boots and rubber goods, this being the first wholesale house of that character estab-
lished in Seattle. Their store was located at the corner of Railroad avenue and Marion
street until the time of the fire, when their establishment was destroyed, entailing a loss
of forty thousand dollars that was only partially covered by insurance. With characteristic
courage and determination they started anew in business as retail shoe dealers, purchasing
a small shoe store in North Seattle, then known as Belltown. The business was there con-
ducted for fifteen months, after which the brothers dissolved their partnership with Mr
Raymond and on the ist of .August. i8no, removed to 807 Second avenue, where they



972 HISTORY OF SEATTLE

resumed operations under the name of the Eggert Shoe Company, Incorporated. The
business was there conducted for twenty-two years and for ten years prior to the expira-
tion of that period they also conducted their present store at No. 1309 Second avenue.
Being compelled to give up their former location, their two stores were consolidated and
the business has since been conducted at 1309 Second avenue, where they have the largest
shoe business in the city, employing on an average of twenty-five salespeople. They are
the pioneers in the shoe trade in Seattle and throughout the entire period they have main-
tained an unassailable reputation as progressive and reliable merchants.

On the I2th of July, 1872, in Lawrence, Kansas, Mr. Eggert was united in marriage to
Miss Nettie B. Shanklin, a native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and a daughter of Major
Henry Shanklin. To them have been born four sons and a daughter, namely : Henry L.,
Carl H., Jerry P.. Joseph S. and Emily Elizabeth. The sons are now all connected with
the store and conduct the business, the father being virtually retired. The daughter is
the wife of Charles F. Bishop, a real estate dealer of Seattle. The family residence is at
No. 1524 Seventh avenue.

In his political views Mr. Eggert has always been a stalwart republican since age con-
ferred upon him the right of franchise but has never sought nor filled public office. He
attends the Christian Science church. In business circles he has made for himself a most
creditable name and place. Coming to the city in the spring of 1889, only a few months
had passed when the business which he had established was destroyed by fire, necessitating
a second entry into Seattle's commercial circles. From that point forward, however, he
has made steady progress, overcoming difficulties and obstacles by persistency of purpose,
indefatigable energy and honorable dealing. The name has ever stood as a synonym foi*
enterprise and commercial integrity in the business circles of Seattle.



JOHN G. SCURRY.



No history of the northwest would be complete without mention of John G, Scurry,
who was a prominent civil engineer, actively connected with the development of the rail-
way sj'Stems of this section of the country. Thus it was that he aided in shaping the annals
of the northwest and previously he had written his name upon the pages of history as
a veteran of the Civil war. He was born at Lynchburg, Virginia, September 21, 1845, and
received liberal educational advantages, being graduated from the University of Virginia
and from Johns Hopkins University. He was a young man in his teens at the time
of the outbreak of hostilities between the north and south, but true to his loved South-
land, he enlisted, becoming a private of the Eleventh Virginia Regiment. He was advanced
to the rank of sergeant and served throughout the entire war with the Confederate army.
When the war was over, having qualified for the profession of civil engineering, he
assisted in locating the Southern and Union Pacific Railway lines and afterward marked
out the route of the Northern Pacific through Washington. His work was ofttimes of a
most difficult and arduous nature, but he was always ready to solve the most intricate
lirofessional problems. Later he became city engineer of Seattle under Mayor Moran,
occupying that position at the time of the great fire in June, 1889, and during his tenure
of office the present city water system was inaugurated. During the last fifteen years
of his life his time was largely spent in reconnaissance work on the Olympic peninsula
and in Alaska, where he located the Copper River & Northwestern Railway, one of the
greatest engineering accomplishments of the age, and also the Alaska Central, which is
now known as the Government Road. He ranked high in his profession, having a
thorough knowledge of all the scientific and practical phases of the business, liis promi-



Online LibraryClarence BagleyHistory of Seattle from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 3) → online text (page 119 of 142)