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

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trials and hardships and enduring many privations while en route. They had three serious
encounters with raiding bands of hostile Indians, which necessitated the travelers seeking
new trails, as they were driven from the usual beaten paths. However, they finally arrived
at their destination with no greater loss than that of some of their live stock. After
reaching Helena, Mr. Sutter became acquainted with a prominent and successful mining
man of that period — Patrick Smith — and with him followed mining in Alder Gulch and
other points near Helena until the following spring, when an expedition was formed for
further travel and exploration. This he joined and finally reached Walla Walla. W'ash-
ington, in 1865. After a brief period there spent he removed to Olympia, traveling by way
of the Columbia river and Portland, and in the fall of the same year he reached Seattle,
which was then a place of very limited population, containing only a few houses, while the
other inhabitants lived in tents. He was a friend of Mr. Yesler and other old settlers who
have now passed away. After a short stay in Seattle, during which time he lived in a
tent, he reengaged in mining pursuits, becoming interested in mines in Idaho, Montana,


Washington, Oregon, New Mexico and other western mining states. During this period,
which extended until 189J, he accumulated througli his partner, Tim Foley, a fortune ex-
ceeding three hundred and fifty thousand dollars, which with other interests amounted to
over one million dollars ; but the laws which were enacted in 1873, changing the American
bimetallic system of finance and affecting the base metal mining industries, were the direct
cause of his financial ruin. There were many thousands who came to grief by this un-
American act, which was enacted by the Briton leaders of the republican party, which was
in full control of the house and senate. This legislation had been instigated by the financiers
of London and the Bank of England and resulted in the demonetization of silver, in which
metal Mr. Sutter's mining interests were largely invested. The effects of this legislation
made the mining of silver ore unprofitable and resulted in the loss of almost his entire
fortune. Mr. Sutter says the bill which caused this havoc was engineered through the
senate by John Sherman and through the house by Mr. Hooper of Massachusetts, April
19, 1872. Ernest Seyd, of London, England, was sent over to America in 1872 with several
hundred thousand dollars by the bondholders of England and Holland (the banking classes
of those countries) to demonetize silver, which act destroyed the American bimetallic sys-
tem of finance and finally through America it was forced on the world. As the result
of this bill one of America's great natural wealth producing resources is lying idle and
millions of dollars of mining and milling machinery are going to ruin, while millions of
miners have been put out of employment, seeking work elsewhere and compelled to take
low pay for their labor when employed. The financial system of England was gotten up
by Lord Liverpool and became a law about 1818. Its further purpose was to reduce the
prices paid on farmers' and miners' produce from twenty-five to more than thirty per cent
and workingmen's wages were also thereby reduced. The western states today have vast
ledges of base metals which under the bimetallic system of financing, in force until 1873,
would today give employment to over three million men at liigh wages and several million
more would be needed to supply them with all kinds of goods to carry on this great
sulphide mining industry. This would largely reduce the vagrancy and the overcrowding
of cities by men seeking employment. The manipulators could not bring about financial
depression as they do now or make millions at their will as they can do it any time when
they desire. They could not then control the volume of money, as there would be over
three million miners at work taking the base metal from the mines to the smelter and the
latter would send the precious metal or bullion to the mints and thence to the treasury of
the United States, while the lead, copper, zinc and other by-products would be consumed
through the channels of trade, as it was prior to 1873. If the producing masses, the
farmers, mechanics, miners, manufacturers and their employes and other laboring masses
wish to share greater returns from their labors, which mider a changed condition would
be about twenty-five per cent more than they now receive, they must go down the line
shoulder to shoulder and elect men to congress who will repeal the unfair and unjust
Sherman and Hooper bills of 1873 by which they and the toiling masses are robbed day
by day of the above percentage. When this act is repealed, it will in time free the produc-
ing and toiling masses of the world from the burden whicli the bill of Lord Liverpool in
1818 and the action of the English moneyed class and their pawnshop system of finance
has from time to time put on them by controlling the volume of money and thus controlling
the prices of commodities and labor when it is to their advantage to do so.

In 1899, with the little remnant that he had saved from his fortune, Mr. Sutter left
Spokane and came to Seattle, where he established what is known as the Oregon House,
a hotel and workingmen's home at No. 123 Second avenue. South, and known as Robert
Abraham property, for working people, renting rooms and lodgings at reasonable rates,
and since that year he has successfully conducted the business, which now affords him all and
more than he requires for his needs. However, he is still deeply interested in mining and
financial questions and is thoroughly informed on all matters pertaining to those subjects.
It is his earnest wish and hope that legislation may be provided, as before mentioned,
whereby the mining interests will be developed along profitable lines and that wealth may
lie obtained from the. actual mineral resources instead of from bonds, commercial paper,
rte. During his activity in mining he held interest in sixty groups of properties, exceeding
in value one million dollars, and he had a wide acquaintance wth financiers from the


Pacific to the Atlantic and also with a number of capitalists of London, England. He made
a great number of trips abroad and had dealings of a large financial nature with the
stockholders of the Bank of England on many occasions. He likewise has a wide
acquaintance with prominent United States government officials and members of the United
States senate and was a personal friend of the late President Harrison. He also has
known personally Hons. John Sherman, Henry Teller, Ed Wolcott, Senator Jones and
Senator Stewart of Nevada, Presidents Harrison and McKinley and Hon. Belford and
Hooper of the house of representatives, as well as Dick Bland, who was the first man that
had the courage to fight the English class pawnshop system of financing and the London
and New York moneyed combines. The bills introduced by him to restore the American
bimetallic system of financing stayed the destruction of the great sulphide or base metal
mining industry from 1873 until 1893, when finally the Sherman bill did its deadly work.
He was an American democrat and stood for Americanism at all times.

During his prospecting days in Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado Mr. Sutter had
a great many encounters with the Indians and on one occasion all the others of his party
were killed by the red men. He had nothing left but his horse and his rifle to aid him
to safety and while he was traveling he had nothing to subsist upon save berries and such
game as he could secure. On twelve different occasions he has been wounded by the
Indians and has had many narrow escapes with his life. On one expedition on Indian
Creek, in the Black Hills of Dakota, the party with which he was traveling was ambushed,
losing many of their number. They also had encounters with the Indians at French Gulch,
Big Rapids, Deadwood and near Custer City. Mr. Sutter belongs to the Commercial Club
and to the Roman Catholic church. His life history, if written in detail, would furnish a
story more interesting and thrilling than that of any tale of fiction. He knows every phase
of Indian warfare and the modes of living of the red men and there is no question con-
nected with the mining industry of the west with which he is not familiar. He feels that
the final act which brought disaster to the mining industry was the passage of the John
Sherman bill in 1893. A courageous spirit, however, has prompted him in his course since
the loss of his fortune gained in the mines and Seattle numbers him among her substantial
and valued citizens.


The work of W. A. Mears as manager of the transportation bureau of the Chamber of
Commerce has been of distinct value and worth to Seattle and in this connection he has
taken cognizance of the needs and opportunities of the city and has looked beyond the
exigencies of the moment, recognizing probable future conditions and preparing to meet
them. Mr. Mears spent his youthful days in Madison, Wisconsin, but is a native of the
Mohawk valley of New York, his birth having occurred in Fultonville, October 3, 1849. His
father, W. A. Mears, was born in Elbridge, New York, and became a lumber merchant
of Madison, Wisconsin. In that state, in 1862, he became first assistant quartermaster

W. A. Mears, Jr., is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and when his school
life was ended returned to the east, where he entered into active connection with railway
interests, having charge when but nineteen years of age of pier No. 3 East river (Coenties
slip) at New York city, where was handled all the down town freight of the New York
Central & Hudson River Railway. In that connection he superintended the unloading and
delivery of all freight for down town merchants, the unloading and reloading into vessels
freight of all descriptions for foreign and coastwise shipment, as well as the loading of
freight for western shipment, having under his immediate direction from one to three
hundred freight handlers. He afterward spent a summer at Athens, New York, in handling
New York city freight for the same road, and his experience in those connections brought
to him intimate knowledge concerning the best manner of handling freight and shipping it.
Thus he learned the first lessons that qualified him for his present duties.

Mr. Mears, however, found that his health was not adequate to the demands made upon





him physically and, resigning his position, he went to St. Louis in 1872 and entered the
employ of one of the largest wholesale grocery houses of that city. During his connection
therewith he advanced from shipping clerk to department manager and in 1880 he removed
to Albion, Nebraska, where he established and conducted a lumber and grain business,
meeting with fair success. The development of his trade led to the establishment of a
number of grain elevators and lumber yards, his points of trade being Albion, St. Edwards,
Cedar Rapids and Petersburg, Nebraska. In 1888, however, he sold out to his partners.

While a resident of Albion, Mr. Mears devoted his leisure time to the study of law and
in 1887 was admitted to the bar. but has practiced only before courts and commissions in
transportation cases. His residence in the northwest dates from 1889, at which time he
took up his abode in Spokane and began speculating in real estate, there remaining until
1804, when he went to Portland, Oregon, in which city he was for two years manager for
the Spencer-Clarke Company, now the Kelley-Clarke Company, conducting the largest
grocery brokerage business in the northwest. He afterward engaged in the grocery broker-
age business on his own account and later was chosen secretary of the Oregon Wholesale
Grocers Association. In 1897 he became secretary to the transportation committee of the
Portland Chamber of Commerce and was also secretary of the North Coast Jobbers &
Manufacturers Association during its existence. The latter body handled all freight mat-
ters of mutual interest for the cities of Portland, Seattle and Tacoma. Mr. Mears also
occasionally acted as correspondent for leading papers of the United States and all recog-
nized that he was most thoroughly informed concerning grain, milling, grocery and freight
matters. He has been prominently connected with suits heard before the Interstate Com-
merce Commission and the Railroad Commission of Oregon, as well as tlie Public Service
Commission of Washington.

In November, 1907, Mr. Mears became interested in the Acme Mills Company, manu-
facturers of flour and cereals at Tacoma, and in October, 1908, arrived in Seattle to accept
the position of manager of the transportation bureau of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce,
which position he has filled with credit to himself and satisfaction to the bureau, which
is one of the most important in the city. It deals with all forms of transportation and has
been successful in practically every suit filed before the Interstate or Public Service Com-
missions. It has been an active factor in reducing the rates both on freight and express
and in extending the free delivery limits of express companies. It has caused the regula-
tion of sleeping cars and sleeping car service according to a system introduced by the
bureau. It has also caused the expedition of the delivery of freight out of the city, which
work has been made practically perfect, being one of the most perfect systems in the
United States. The bureau exercises supervision over every transportation facility —
railroad, steamship, express, sleeping and dining cars, switching cliarges and facilities and
refrigeration service. It has also been active in procuring additional steamship service to
the eastern coast and foreign ports. Mr. Mears is the author of a pamphlet entitled "Seattle
—One of the Freest Ports in the World" and issued by the Seattle Chamber of Commerce.
This pamphlet has been sought by all the Chambers of Commerce and Commercial Associa-
tions in the world and is a remarkable exposition of Seattle and its water facilities. Col-
leges and universities have also sought it and in the writings of professors of Yale, Harvard
and other universities it is frequently quoted. There is not a statement in it Mr. Mears is
not able to verify. He has been watching and studying transportation for twenty years,
has been connected with freight interests for forty-five years and is well qualified to speak
as an authority upon such subjects. His book shows the comparative cost to a ship of six
thousand tons, with a thirty-foot draft, remaining in port six days, discharging and loading
cargo as follows: San Diego, $482.65; San Pedro, $451.00; San Francisco, $1,279.90; Port-
land, $465.00; Seattle, $126.20; and Vancouver, B. C, $230.00.

In 1888, in St. Louis, Missouri, Mr. Mears was united in marriage to Miss Annie Otclia
Whipple, a representative of an old American family of English descent and the daughter
of a Confederate officer under General J. E. B. Stuart. Her demise occurred on the 4th of
December, 191 3. She was very prominent in literary work and was known in the west
under the nom de plume of "Lady .Mbion" as a writer of ability, being a frequent corre-
spondent for the newspapers.

In his political views Mr. Mears has always been a stalwart republican since casting


his first presidential vote for U. S. Grant. He has been a member of the Sons of the
American Revolution, the National Geographic Society, the Archaeological Association of
America and a director and officer of the Seattle branch of that association. He is also
an officer of the National Historical Society. Throughout his life he might be characterized
as a student, for he is continually studying along various lines and he has his own trans-
lations of the old classics. It has been study which has given him comprehensive and
thorough knowledge of all transportation questions and he turns from such to literature
or science as a matter of recreation. It is a dull mind that does not respond to the touch
of his thought, to the play of his fancy, to the force of his logic. He has many traits
admirable and worthy of all praise. The universality of his friendships interprets for us
his intellectual hospitality and the breadth of his sympathy, for nothing is foreign to him
that concerns his fellows or touches the world's progress and improvement.


Jeremiah Donovan, formerly roadmaster for the Oregon-Washington Railway & Navi-
gation Company, with headquarters at Seattle, is a native son of County Cork, Ireland, and
in that country attended the national schools to the age of sixteen years, when he crossed
the Atlantic, becoming a resident of Elmira. New York. There he worked in a brickyard
for six months, after which he went to Springfield, Illinois, and spent a year and a half in
the coal mines. He was next employed as a track laborer on the Toledo, Wabash & West-
ern Railroad for a year, at the end of which time he went to Missouri and worked with
a section gang. Eventually he was made foreman of the section force for the Northern
Missouri Railroad and continued in that capacity for five years. His next promotion made
him roadmaster at Wells, Minnesota, for the Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad and later he
engaged with the Canadian Pacific Railroad Company as roadmaster on the construction of
its line between Winnipeg and Moosejaw, Canada. He served in that capacity until 1887,
when he Ijecame general roadmaster of the Chicago, St. Paul and Kansas City Railroad, so
serving until 1892, when he was appointed road supervisor of the Illinois Central Railroad,
filling that position until 1897, when he came to Seattle and was made roadmaster of the
Columbia & Puget Sound Railroad. For nine years he acted in that capacity, after which
he became roadmaster of the Oregon-Washington Railway & Navigation Company, but he
is now living retired.

Mr. Donovan is a communicant of the Catholic faith. His study of the political situa-
tion of the country has led him to indorse the principles of the republican party, which he
supports by his ballot at the polls, but he does not seek nor desire office, for he has always
led a busy life and has found no time for active participation in political affairs.


L. Heritte is a consul of the Repuljlic of France, having charge of the vice-consulate
at Seattle with consular jurisdiction in the state of Washington and in Alaska.

Son of the late Ernest Heritte, a well known French diplomatist and of Louise Viardot,
a celebrated composer — at present a captive in Germany, where she was surprised by the
breaking out of the war — L. Heritte pursued his education in the schools of his native
country and upon graduation won the degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science
and Doctor of Law. He has been for thirty years in the French diplomatic and consular
services, is the author of several works and speaks a number of foreign languages.

He married about ten years ago Marcelle de Joannis de Pagan, who belongs to one of
the oldest families of the south of France, and they have a now four year old daughter,

Consul L. Heritte has been sent by his government to Seattle, especially to give more
importance to the vice-consulate, it being intended to transform same into a consulate


because of the growing importance of the state of Washington and Alaska. It is certainly
very pleasant for him to know that his etiforts here have been appreciated by his country-
men to such an extent that they are contemplating some very large undertakings which will
affect the state of Washington most favorably in the field of commercial exchanges, for it
is now purposed to establish some important Franco-American companies who will control
trade between the two countries. The indications are that there will be a great advance
in shipping between France and the ports of Washington when the Canal is opened again.
Had it not been for the slides that took place along the Canal, this great shipping industry
would now be well under way.

Consul L. Heritte expresses great admiration for the mentality of the western American
people, their enterprising spirit and progressiveness and for the astounding growth of
Seattle, which is not only in its own way one of the finest cities of the world but will
undeniably become a future commercial center provided the necessary home industries and
manufactories are properly increased and fostered, making Seattle not only a harbor of
transit but also a center of production.

Consul L. Heritte came in May, 191 5, to Seattle, where he is very popular and an
honorary member of most of the prominent clubs of the city. He is a very enthusiastic
hunter and fisherman and has hunted big game in India, Africa and China. A gentleman
of marked culture, his experiences have been wide, and Seattle is fortunate in claiming
him among its present citizenship.


Charles A. Eaton was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, October 15, 1864. His lather,
B. O. Eaton, who was a farmer and land dealer in Wisconsin for a number of years, after-
ward removed to Colorado and became interested in mining in that state, where he spent his
remaining days, his death occurring about 1876. He was a member of the Federal army
during the Civil war and participated in a numljcr of important engagements. In the
family were four sons and four daughters.

The youngest, Charles A. Eaton, pursued his early education in the public schools and
afterward attended Ripon College at Ripon, Wisconsin, where he took a special course.
He started in the business world in connection with his brother, H. E. Eaton, owning
and operating a flour mill at Wentworth, South Dakota, but they lost their mill by fire in
1885. Charles A. Eaton then went to St. Paul, where he became connected with the elec-
trical business as a representative of the Thompson-Houston Electric Company, with which
he remained for a number of years. He then went to West Superior and rebuilt the
electric works at that place, after which he was influenced to return to the old firm of
Thompson, Houston & Company. The lure of the west, however, w-as upon him, and he
came to Washington, building and installing the electric works at North Yakima. Later
he assisted his brother-in-law, W. E. Black, in installing an electric plant at Pullman, Wash-
ington, and at length he located on the coast, becoming a resident of Bellingham, where he
remained until his removal to Seattle. Here he was made foreman of the Auxiliary Fire
Alarm System, owned at that time by L. S. J. Hunt, and later he was induced to accept
an appointment with the Commercial Lighting Company of Tacoma, where he remained
for about eighteen months. Later he was appointed foreman of the Northwest Fixture
Electric Company, with which he remained for eight years, but in 1907 he resigned his
position and entered the electrical contracting business on his own account, forming a
partnership with S. G. Hepler under the name of the Arrow Electric Company. They have
since been active along that line and their business has now reached gratifying proportions.
In 1911 Mr. Eaton, associated with W. P. Perrigo and others, organized a company to build
an electric road from Kirkland to Monroe, but on account of the stringency of the times,
through which the entire country has suffered, work on this project has been stopped
indefinitely, although tlie company had spent about ten thousand dollars in the engineering
work, in grading and in securing the right of way.

In 1891 occurred the marriage of Mr. Eaton and Miss MoUie I. Merwin, at Ballard,


Washington. She is a daughter of E. J. and Maggie E. Merwin, of North Yakima, her
father having been a wholesale furniture dealer to the time of his death, which occurred
a few years ago. Mr. Eaton belongs to the Masonic fraternity and also has membership
with the Woodmen of the World. His political indorsement has ever been given to the
republican party and in matters of citizenship he is at all times public-spirited and pro-
gressive. For many years he has made his home in Seattle, which, during this period,
has grown from a town to a city of metropolitan proportions and opportunities. He has
always had faith in its future because of its delightful climate and other advantages, and

Online LibraryClarence BagleyHistory of Seattle from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 3) → online text (page 126 of 142)