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

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nence being attested by his contemporaries and colleagues.

On the 17th of September, 1876, in the home of her parents, at the corner of Third
and James streets in Seattle. Mr. Scurry was united in marriage to Miss Nellie May
Terry, who was one of the five children of Charles C. and Mary Jane (Russell) Terry, of
whom mention is made elsewhere in this work. Mr. and Mrs. Scurry had a family
jf four children: Matthew E., of Seattle; Charles T., living in Aberdeen, Washington;



Virginia, the wife of Dr. W. W. Council, by whom she has two children, Nancy and
Mary Lee; and Betsy, the wife of Abraham Van Vechten, by whom she has three chil-
dren, Betsy Schuyler, Emilie and Virginia. The elder son, Matthew E., was married
in Seattle, December 17, 1902, to Miss Rebecca Brace and they have three children, John
Brace, Rebecca and Elizabeth. The younger son, Charles Terry, wedded Harriet Frances
Allen, of Olympia, on the i8th of April, 1908, and has two children, Harriet Virginia
and Charles Allen.

It w-as in 1870 that Mr. Scurry came to Seattle. He always had great faith in the
city and was active in promoting its interests in every possible way. He w-as called to
his final rest on the 14th of July, 1915, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. W. VV. Council,
at 1635 Forty-fifth avenue southwest. He had gained a large circle of friends during
his residence in Seattle and the substantial qualities of his character were borne out by
the consensus of public opinion.


Matthew Edward Scurry, sales manager for Fischer Brothers, wholesale grocers, has
been connected with this house for eighteen years and is acquainted with every phase of
the business, while the responsibility for successful management devolves upon him in
large measure. He was born June 2, 1877, at Third avenue and James street in Seattle,
his parents being John G. and Nellie M. Scurry. He is a grandson of C. C. Terry,
who came to Alki Point in 1851. The father, John G. Scurry, a native of Lynchburg,
Virginia, served for four years in the Eleventh Virginia Regiment in the Confederate
army, participating in the campaign of northern Virginia. He was a civil engineer of
note and located the principal transcontinental railroads in the early days of railroad
building. He was city engineer of Seattle at the time the present plans for the water
works were instituted.

Matthew Edward Scurry was a pupil in the public schools of Seattle and throughout
his active life has been identified with the wholesale grocery business, spending eighteen
years in the house of Fischer Brothers, during which time he has worked his way
upward through intermediate positions until he is now sales manager. Industry, inde-
fatigable effort, reliability and enterprise have been the crowning points in his career.

On the 17th of December, 1902, Mr. Scurry was united in marriage to Miss Rebecca
Brace, a daughter of L. S. and Mary Brace, who came to this state from Goderich, Ontario,
taking up their abode among the pioneer settlers of Spokane county about thirty years
ago. Our subject and his wife have three children, namely: John Brace, Rebecca and
Elizabeth, who are twelve, nine and seven years of age respectively.

In his political views Mr. Scurry is a republican but has never been an oflice seeker.
Fraternally he is connected with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. He has
gained a wide acquaintance through commercial and social relations and his many sub-
stantial qualities, genial disposition and unfailing courtesy have gained for him the warm
friendship of many with whom he has been brought in contact.


The Denny-Renton Clay & Coal Company was incorporated in July, 1905, and is
accounted one of the foremost business enterprises of the northwest. The present corpo-
ration, which has developed from an old-time enterprise, has throughout the period of
its existence maintained an unassailable reputation for the integrity of its business methods
and for its progressiveness. Tracing back the history of the development of the clay
industry, it will be seen that the Puget Sound Fire Clay Company was organized in June,
1889, with W. R. Forrest as president ; Charles E. Plimpton as secretary ; and William
M. Calhoun as treasurer. These gentlemen were to hold office for six months and the
Vol. ni— 43


business was capitalized for one hundred thousand dollars. At that time the company
owned a forty-acre tract of clay and coal lands situated on the Green river, near Black
Diamond, and also ten acres of land at Van Assalts, five acres of which were suitable for
factory purposes. Joseph Sants became general manager of the new company and was
the only man having a practical knowledge of the clay industry, in which he had had
experience in Ohio. After six months the following officers were elected : W. R. For-
rest, president; George W. Kummer, secretary and treasurer; and Joseph Sants, general
manager. The company, recognizing the fact that it had underestimated its financial
requirements, called a meeting to discuss ways and means to meet its obligations with
the result that on the company's payrolls appeared the names of fifty-three stockholders,
who were widely scattered. A small plant was built with two very small kilns twenty-
four feet in diameter and sewer pipe became the principal product, a force of thirty men
being employed. In the early days the company worked under a great handicap as it
was difficult to market the product and as extensive strikes were in force in some of
the clay mines, which forced the company to close its plant for six months. The com-
pany became indebted to Hon. A. A. Denny to the sum of fifty thousand dollars and to
Jacob Kamm, of Portland, Oregon, to the sum of five thousand dollars, with other indebt-
edness of about fifty thousand dollars. Air. Denny then made a proposition to take
over the plant, pay all indebtedness and pay a suitable amount for the stock. The arrange-
ment was concluded and thus on the ist of April, 1892, the Denny Clay Company came
into existence with A. A. Denny as president; O. O. Denny, vice president; and Charles
L. Denny, treasurer and assistant manager. It will thus be seen that the stock of the
company was largely in control of the Denny family, the only other stockholders of the
Puget Sound Fire Clay Company, under which name the business operated, being William
M. Calhoun and George W. Kummer. The capital stock was increased to two hundred and
afterward to three hundred thousand dollars. There was no change in the official roster
until the death of A. Denny, who was succeeded in the presidency by O. O. Denny.

On the 5th of July, 1905, however, the Denny Clay Company passed out of existence,
its properties being purchased by the Denny-Renton Clay & Coal Company, the former
stockholders retiring save Mr. Kummer, who afterward disposed of his interest in 1906.
Under the control of the Denny Clay Company the works had been largely increased and
the scope of manufacture was broadened in 1893 to include vitrified paving brick, which
was the first product of that character manufactured on the Pacific coast or, in fact,
west of the Missouri river. That article brought fame to the company and the business
grew rapidly. Afterward the company took up the manufacture of pressed brick, or face
brick, fire brick, fire clay specialties, drain tile and fireproofing, manufacturing everything
in clay wares save pottery. The business was most successfully conducted. The company
acquired large land holdings at what was called Kummer, the site of the first land owned
by the parent company, near Black Diamond, and also at Taylor, a point about thirty-five
miles distant from Seattle, on the Columbia & Puget Sound Railroad. At the latter place
extensive mines in clay and coal were opened and a large plant was built, the Denny
Clay Company employing as many as seven hundred men.

In July, 1905, the Denny-Renton Clay & Coal Company was incorporated with a capital
stock of one million dollars, absorbing the Denny Clay Company and the Renton Clay
Company. They manufacture clay products, including vitrified paving brick; vitrified
pipe for sewers; brick for buildings and mantels; partition tile and flue lining; terra
cotta ; the conduit in which electric cables are carried ; drain tile and fire brick. In 1909
the capital stock was increased from one to two and a half million dollars and the
company furnishes employment to nine hundred and fifty workmen, while the annual
payroll amounts to approximately one million fifty thousand dollars. The officers of the
company are: Moritz Thompson, president; E. J. Mathews, vice president and secretary;
J. C. Ford, second vice president ; R. R. Spencer, treasurer ; and F. W. Shillestad, assist-
ant secretary and assistant treasurer. Their factories are located at the following places :
The architectural terra cotta and the sewer pipe factories at Van Assalts ; the vitrified
brick and pressed brick factory at Renton the sewer pipe and hollow ware factory at
Taylor ; another sewer pipe factory at Image, Washington ; and a sewer pipe and clay
products factory at Portland, Oregon. Their paving brick plant is the largest unit plant


of its kind in the world. The development of the business has required much thought and
the expenditure of large sums of money and the products of the factory have been
shipped as far as fifteen thousand miles, or to South America, and to many intermediate
points covering various sections of North America. This is one of the most important
industrial enterprises of the city and has been an element in bringing about the industrial
activity upon which Seattle's present greatness and prosperity have been built.


Dr. Frederick Albert Slyfield is one of the leaders in the northwest in the fight that is
being waged against tuberculosis and as medical director of the Pulmonary Hospital of
Seattle, at Riverton Heights, has done work of great value to the city. Previous to coming
to Seattle he was bacteriologist to the state public health laboratory of North Dakota, and in
igo8 and igog he was state bacteriologist of Iowa, in which capacities he did much to pro-
mote the public health. He was born on the 22d of September, 1885, in London, England,
a son of Rev. Frederick A. and Julia Chapman (Jory) Slyfield. The father, who was a
Congregational minister for thirty-five years, labored principally in England but died in
Platteville, Wisconsin, in April, igi4.

Dr. Frederick A. Slyfield received an excellent general and professional education, and
his thorough preparation for his life work has had much to do with his marked success in
his profession. He received the Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North
Dakota and in igog the State University of Iowa conferred upon him the degree of Doctor
of Medicine. In igil he was made licentiate of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edin-
burgh, Scotland, and in that same year was house surgeon of the Royal Infirmary of
Edinburgh. During the years igo8 and igog he was state bacteriologist of Iowa and in
that work gained an insight into the possibilities of public service open to the scientist and
physician. In igii and 1912 he practiced medicine and surgery in Grand Forks, North
Dakota, and while living in that state in addition to his private practice he served as
bacteriologist to the state public health laboratory. On the ist of July, igi2, he arrived in
Seattle and began the practice of his profession. In the same year, however, he was made
physician to the Pulmonary Hospital of Seattle, and later medical director, a position which
he still holds. He devotes his entire time to the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis,
as the hospital with which he is connected was established and is maintained solely for the
care of tuberculous patients. He devotes himself unsparingly to his work and through
constant study keeps informed as to all of the developments in the methods of treating
tuberculosis and has made the Pulmonary Hospital of Seattle rank with the best institutions
of the kind. He is a member of the North End Medical Society of Seattle, of which he
has been secretary for the last three years; of the King County Medical Society; and of
the Washington State Medical Society; and he is also a fellow of the American Medical
Association. He is highly respected by his colleagues because of his proven ability and his
wide knowledge of medical science. He owns his attractive residence at No. 6023 Brooklyn
avenue, opposite Coweu Park, and maintains an office in the Cobb building.

Dr. Slyfield was married on the 7th of June, igi5, in Seattle, to Miss Anna Barkley
Eastland, a daughter of Thomas E. and Florence (Martin) Eastland. Her father is agent
for the Travelers Insurance Company, and her mother is a well known writer of short
stories and magazine articles and is also the author of several juvenile books of merit.
She is a member of the Authors League of America and of the Writers Club and her name
is to be found in "Who's Who in America."

Dr. Slyfield is a member of the University Presbyterian church and supports all move-
ments seeking the moral advancement of his community. He is connected with the Masonic
order and the Elks, and he is also a member of the Nu Sigma Nu medical fraternity. While
living in North Dakota he was a member of the board of education and since coming to
Seattle has manifested his interest in all things relating to the welfare of his city by
identifying himself with the Seattle Commercial Club, the Seattle Municipal League and
the Young Men's Business Club. This same public spirit has been manifest in his work


in connection with the Pulmonary Hospital of Seattle, and he has not thought any effort
on his part too great if it would result in greater efficiency in treating tuberculosis or in
preventing its spread. Although he is still young in years he has accomplished much, and
his thorough training, energy and progressiveness insure still greater achievement in the


Robert Tait Hodge, serving for the third term as sheriff of King county, was born
in Dumbarton, Scotland, March 17, 1875. His father, William Hodge, was also a native
of that country and engaged in business as a wholesale and retail dealer in groceries,
teas and wines in Dumbarton, having the oldest house in western Scotland. He was a
councillor for many 3'ears and was always active in business affairs. He died May 30.
1890, and for a number of years was survived by his wife, who bore the maiden name
of Margaret Dingwall and who died in Dumbarton in 1903, at the age of seventy-three
years. The family trace their ancestry back to the time of the invasion of Scotland by
the Danes. Mr. and Mrs. Hodge were the parents of sixteen children, of whom eleven
are living. One of these, Dr. Ronald Dingwall Hodge, an older brother of Robert T.
Hodge, was commissioned a lieutenant in the medical corps and is now serving with the
British army in the present war. He is a prominent physician of Glasgow. Robert T.
Hodge has twenty-seven direct relatives in the war and four have lost their lives in this
international struggle. Another brother, William Hodge, has succeeded to the father's
business, which he conducts at No. 2 Church street and No. i Castle street, Dumbarton,
under the name of William Hodge, grocer and wine merchant.

Robert Tait Hodge was reared in his native city, where he was graduated from the
grammar school in 1886 and from Dumbarton Academy in 1887 with tlie Bachelor of Arts
degree. After leaving the academy he entered upon a seafaring life as an apprentice
bound for three years, during which period he made three trips around the Horn. On
the last voyage he contracted yellow fever and when he had recovered he made his way
to Tacoma, where for four months he was employed in a cracker factory. He afterward
secured a situation as a farm hand and followed agricultural pursuits for eighteen months.
Later he entered the employ of the Great Northern Railwaj' Company, driving a freight
train in teaming over the mountains for construction work in 1891 and 1892. He next
took up prospecting and mining at Black Diamond, Monte Cristo and in British Columbia,
following mining successfully for eleven years, during which period he acquired consider-
able valuable mining property. He has done all scrts of work in connection with the
development of the mines from driving mules to managing mining operations as owner.
On the 28th of February, 1903, he was appointed deputy sheriff and assistant prosecuting
attorney of King county and served in that capacity for five and one-half years, during
which period he made his home at Black Diamond. In 1908 he was elected to the office
of sheriff and is now serving for the third term. In that year he removed to Seattle,
where he has since made his home. His record in office is second to none who have occu-
pied the position in King county. His duties are promptly, fearlessly and impartially dis-
charged and he has done much to bring about better conditions in Seattle and throughout
the county.

Mr. Hodge has four sons : William, Allan, Donald Grant and Robert T. The family
residence is at No. 1522 Thirty-fifth avenue. In politics Mr. Hodge is independent, voting
according to the dictates of his judgment rather than as the result of party ties. He is a
Mason, belonging to the blue lodge at Black Diamond, and his religious faith is that
of the Presbyterian church. In early life he had all the assistance which his parents could
give him in the way of providing him with opportunities for an education and in other
directions, and when he reached the new world he had quite a little sum of money to aid
him in starting out, but later he met with misfortune, as through misplaced confidence
in a supposed friend he was robbed of his entire savings. He then had to start out in
business anew and his success is due to his own efforts. His life has been varied and he
has had many trying and sometimes thrilling experiences but through all he has held



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to high standards and now occupies an enviable position in public regard, his course
proving his loyalty to the interests of his county, his every effort being for the benefit
and betterment of the community in which he lives.


Glenvillc A. Collins, consulting mining engineer, was born at Clark's Falls, Connecticut,
September 21, 1882 and in both the paternal and maternal lines is descended from old Ameri-
can families. His father, Francis W. Collins, who came of English and Welsh ancestry
represented in the Revolutionary war, was a farmer by occupation and was also associated
with educational interests in the community in which he lived. He wedded Alice V. Bur-
dick, a native of Rhode Island, now living in Denver, Colorado, where she occupies a very
prominent position in club and other circles, being president of the National Housewives
League of Colorado. Since the death of her first husband she was married in 1892 to
C; M. Lillie She comes of a family of English lineage, founded in .'Kmerica during the
early part of the seventeenth century and represented in the Revolutionary and Civil wars.
In early boyhood Glenville A. Collins became a resident of Denver, Colorado, where
he attended the common .schools. He also pursued his education at Friend's School, Provi-
dence, Rhode Island, and at Colorado College at Colorado Springs, where he took a course
in mining engineering. His educational training was concluded in 1901 and, he entered
upon active work in civil engineering as chainman on the Santa Fe Railroad. Later he served
as transitman and as assistant engineer on various other western railroads and subsequently
worked as deputy United States mineral surveyor in New Mexico for a period of two
years, during which time he served as assessor of Santa Fe county for one term. He
then took a position as engineer on the Oregon Railroad & Navigation Company on the
Columbia river, followed by two years as assistant engineer of the Washington State Com-
mission under Halbert P. Gillette. Going to Alaska, he spent a season in examining prop-
erties, after which he was engaged in locating the railroad in Oregon from Grants Pass
to Crescent City in the summer of 1907. He was one of the original promoters of that road,
which was later taken up and built by Twohy Brothers, formerly of Spokane. Entering the
employ of the Kilbourne & Clarke Company, he acted as assistant engineer for a year and
through the two succeeding years was sales manager for the Moran shipyards, now the
Seattle Dry Dock & Construction Company. Severing that connection, he became manager
of large mining property at Wallace, Idaho, with a consulting practice at Spokane, Wash-
ington, and from there he returned to Seattle, where he has since engaged in practice as
a consulting engineer. His business has been of an important character such as building
the light and power project on Vashon island, owned by Mr. Collins and local capitalists,
who are operating under the name of the Vashon Liglit & Power Company, wliich company
serves more than five thousand people and of which Mr. Collins is president and a director.
He is also consulting engineer for the Murray Iron Works of Burlington. Iowa, and he
has a large clientage in Seattle as a mining and consulting engineer. His business has
taken him to all parts of the western hemisphere, where he has acted as expert in passing
upon mining properties. Advancing steadily in his profession, he now occupies a position
of prominence and each forward step in his career has brought him a broader outlook and
wider opportunities.

On the 22d of May, 1904. at Colorado Springs. Mr. Collins was united in marriage to
Miss Enid L. Jones, a native of Idaho and a daughter of Thomas B. Jones, one of the
operators of the Vindicator mine at Victor, Colorado. The children of this marriage are
Grenold and Richard.

Mr. Collins is a popular citizen, standing high in public regard in Seattle. He is a
member of St. John's Lodge, F. & A. M., having been admitted from Montezuma Lodge,
No. I, at Santa Fe, New Mexico. His membersliip associations, however, are largely in
the line of his profession. He belongs to the .\merican Institute of Mining Engineers, in
which he was honored with the position of president in 1915-16. He is a member of the
Pacific Northwest Society of Engineers and of the Engineers Club of Seattle, and in 1912


he attended the American Mining Congress in Spokane as a delegate appointed by the
president of Peru to represent the government at that session. His thorough technical
training, his constant study and his broad experience enable him to speak with authority
upon many questions of mining and civil engineering and his labors have led to the substan-
tial development of the country's natural resources and the growth of many business enter-


Max G. Schmidt, who is manager of the Georgetown branch for the Union Savings &
Trust Company, has succeeded in building up the business of that branch to gratifying
proportions and is recognized as an efficient and progressive banker. He was born in Bur-
lington, Iowa, on the 29th of May, 1867, a son of George W. Schmidt, a native of Germany,
who died in 1895 at the age of sixty-seven years. He was a retail grocer and was success-
ful in business. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Klobach, was also a
native of Germany and died in 1904 at the age of seventy-four years. Both came to this
country in youth and their marriage occurred in Burlington, Iowa.

Max G. Schmidt attended the common schools of Burlington and after finishing his
education was made assistant secretary of the Burlington Water Company, which position
he held for a year. He then entered the National State Bank of Burlington and remained
with that institution for fifteen years, being employed in all departments during that time
and thus gaining a thorough knowledge of the various phases of banking. In 1901 he
came to Seattle and accepted a position in the First National Bank, with which he remained
for three years. He then entered the employ of the Union Savings & Trust Company,
which he has since represented. He served as assistant cashier of the institution under

Online LibraryClarence BagleyHistory of Seattle from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 3) → online text (page 120 of 142)