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

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168 HISTORY OF SEATTLE

a member of the London staff of W. B. Peat & Company, one of the largest firms of
chartered accountants, and when in that connection was given charge of many important
cases in Great Britain and on the continent. In 1899 he crossed the Atlantic to the United
States to represent, as auditor and assistant general manager, the interests of a syndicate
of British capitalists in various transportation and trading enterprises in Alaska and the
Yukon territory, with Seattle as his headquarters. He organized the accounting systems
of these different concerns and traveled extensively over the northwestern part of the
continent in his official capacity, continuing to represent the syndicate until 1901. His final
report on this business was made to his principals in England at that time, after which he
returned to Seattle and in 1902 he opened his office as a public accountant. He stands high
in his profession, his ability gaining him prominence and winning for him the liberal
patronage now accorded him.

Mr. Shorrock believes that high professional standards should be maintained and
in 1903 he was active in securing the adoption of the certified public accountant's law in
the state of Washington. When that law went into effect he was appointed a member of
the state board of accountancy and was made its chairman. He is a fellow of the
American Association of Public Accountants; of the Society of Incorporated Accountants
and Auditors of England; and of the Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants.
He follows his chosen profession as a senior partner in the firm of E. G. Shorrock &
Company, with offices in the Central building, in Seattle. Merit has gained him his
advancement and his professional brethren and the public accord him a position of
distinction in the field of his chosen life work.



ISAAC N. JUST.



Isaac N. Just became one of the prominent representatives of insurance in the north-
west. He was a pioneer in introducing the Michigan Mutual and the Miller National
Insurance Companies into this section of the country and his efforts exceeded the most
sanguine expectations of those whom he represented. He was widely recognized as a
man of undaunted enterprise and became a valued citizen of Seattle, where he made his
home from 1901 until his death twelve years later.

Mr. Just was a native of Michigan, born July 17, 1850, and in that state he acquired
a good education, liberal advantages being afforded him. His early training qualified him
to assume responsibilities in the business world and for eighteen years he was connected
with banking interests in Michigan. He afterward devoted a few years to the insurance
business in that state, but in 1901 sought the broadening opportunities of the growing
west and came to Seattle to open an office for the Michigan Mutual and the Miller
National Insurance Companies. This was a new field for both companies and Mr. Just
had to take the initial step in building up the business, which he did in such a capable
and substantial manner that his work exceeded all anticipations. He secured a large
amount of business within a very short time and his efforts were most effective in furthering
the interests of the companies which he represented on the coast. He was a tireless
worker, writing risks on elevators, mills and grain exclusively, and he remained active
in the business until his death. He has been succeeded by C. H. Cole and the firm is
known as the Pacific Miller's Fire Insurance Company, but the company still gives to Mr.
Just credit for the establishment and development of the business in the northwest.

At Smyrna, Michigan, in 1876. Mr. Just was united in marriage to Miss Emma Spencer,
a native of New York, and they became parents of three children, of whom two are
living, Ethel J. and Myra B. Mr. Just was a member of the Commercial Club and was
in hearty sympathy with its purposes and plans for the upbuilding of Seattle, being greatly
interested and always active for the welfare of the city, in the future of which he had
great faith. He belonged to the Order of the Maccabees and to the Plymouth Congrega-
tional church and he worked untiringly to secure the erection of the fine large new church
edifice owned by that denomination. He acted as a member of the building committee,
was a trustee for a number of years and, in fact, was a most tireless worker in his efforts



HISTORY OF SEATTLE - 169

to advance the cause and widen the scope of its influence. Death called him September i,
1913. He laid down his work at the close of a life that covered sixty-three years — years
that were fraught with good deeds, characterized by honorable purpose and by successful
achievement. He was devoted to his family, counting the happiness of his wife and
children his first interest, and he was also most faithful and loyal in his friendships.



MILTON G. STURGIS, M. D.

Dr. Milton G. Sturgis, who has practiced his profession in Seattle since 1904 and
is now specializing in the field of surgery, has displayed superior ability and gained marked
distinction in his chosen calling. The width of the continent separates him from the
place of his nativity, for he was born in Auburn, Maine, January 28, 1878, his parents
being George Emerson and Annie T. (Tomlinson) Sturgis. Through one branch of the
maternal ancestry he was connected with the Andre family, to which belonged Major
John Andre, a British officer, who was shot as a spy during the Revolutionary war and
of whom it was said that he displayed such nobility of spirit that General Washington
wept when he signed the death warrant. On the paternal side. Dr. Sturgis is descended
from an ancestor who was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Supplementing a common-school education by a college course, Milton G. Sturgis
was graduated from Bates College of Maine with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in the
class of 1900 and in preparation for the medical profession attended the Harvard Medical
School and is numbered among its alumni of 1903. His professional degree was at that
time conferred upon him and soon afterward he came to the northwest, opening an office
in Seattle in 1904, since which time he has here practiced as a physician and surgeon. His
ability and conscientious work have brought him prominently to the front and in addition
to a large private practice he is acting as surgeon to the King County and Seattle City
Hospitals, after having previously served as assistant surgeon to the Seattle City Hospital.

On the 19th of October, 1904, in Seattle, Dr. Sturgis was married to Miss Sarah
Perkins, a daughter of George and Harriet Perkins. Their children are Isabel Andre and
Milton Gorham. Dr. Sturgis is connected with the Masonic fraternity and is well known
in club circles of the city as a member of the Rainier, University, Harvard College and
Automobile Clubs. Politically he is independent, holding to no party affiliation and bound
by no party ties. He is an advisory member of the American Legion and along strictly
professional lines he is a member of the American Medical Association and the Pacific
Northwest Surgeons Association. This indicates the trend of his thoughts, interest and
efforts and his broad investigation, wide study and varied experience have placed him
among the foremost surgeons of the northwest.



THEODORE NEWELL HALLER.

Theodore Newell Haller, who has practically spent his entire life in Washington, is
a capitalist and prominent business man, owning and controlling extensive realty holdings
in Seattle and the northwest. He is a native of Pennsylvania, his birth having there
occurred on the 4th of January, 1864. but he was only six months old when brought by
his father. Colonel Granville Owen Haller, to the northwest. Extended mention is made
of the family elsewhere in this volume.

During the father's residence in this state he made investment from time to time
in property, and Theodore N. Haller is now managing and is largely the owner of the
realty interests left by his father. In the control of his business affairs he displays keen
sagacity, unfaltering enterprise and sound judgment. The estate embraces some of the
fine business property of the city, including the Haller block, together with large tracts
of valuable farming land. Mr. Haller takes cognizance of every phase of the business,
studies conditions and so directs affairs that his success is constantly increasing. He
was qualified for life's practical and responsible duties by study at Portland, Oregon,



170 HISTORY OF SEATTLE

following a course in the public schools on the Sound and at the Peekskill Military
Academy on the Hudson, while eventually he entered Yale College. He then entered
upon the study of law, which he pursued under the direction of the firm of Burke &
Haller, the junior partner being his elder brother. His knowledge of the law is of
great assistance to him in the management of his business affairs but the latter are so
extensive that he has no time for active law practice.

Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise Mr. Haller has always voted
with the republican party and is thoroughly informed concerning the questions and issues
of the day, but does not seek nor desire political office nor honors. He has a wide
acquaintance in the west and the high regard of all who know him, and he is a typical
western man in the attributes of progress and enterprise and is cosmopolitan in the
breadth of his interests.



JAAIES M. FRYE.



During the later years of his life James M. Frye occupied the responsible position of
superintendent with the firm of Bebb & Mendel, arcliitects, of Seattle. He had a wide
acquaintance in Seattle, in which city he was born on the 22d of August, 1861, and there
spent his entire life. He acquired his education in the public schools and in the State
University and for a number of years after leaving school attended to the business interests
of his father, looking after his property. In 1500, however, he became associated with Bebb
& Mendel, architects, and was superintendent of all their large building operations until
May, 1904, when failing health compelled him to resign.

In 1887 Mr. Frj-e was united in marriage to Miss Loretta Ripley, a daughter of J. iVI.
Ripley, who came to Washington in 1882 from Watsonville, California. Before removing
to the coast he was a resident of Galena, Illinois, and after coming to Seattle he conducted
a hotel for a time but later retired from active business. To Mr. and Mrs. Frye were born
two children, Russell Marion and Ruth Louise. The family circle was broken by the hand
of death on the 14th of February, 1905, when the husband and father was called to his final
rest at the comparatively early age of forty-three years. He had a wide acquaintance in
Seattle, where his entire life had been passed, and he had been a witness of the growth of
the city from the days of its villagehood. Its history was familiar to him and among its
residents he had a circle of friends that was constantly growing. He displayed many sterling
traits that endeared him to those with whotri he came in contact.



J. ALEXANDER WAKEFIELD.

J. Alexander Wakefield, formerly an active member of the bar, but for many years
giving undivided attention to the real-estate business in Seattle, his offices being now
in the Alaska building, was born in Shelby county, Illinois, in 1855, his parents being
W. H. and Eliza J. Wakefield, who are now residents of Elma, Washington, aged respec-
tively eighty-four and seventy-nine years.

Reared in the state of his nativity, J. Alexander Wakefield completed his education
in the Illinois Wesleyan University at Blooiuington in 1878, being graduated with the
degree of Bachelor of Science, while later the Master of Science degree was conferred
upon him. In early manhood he engaged in teaching in the public schools and in the
imiversity. Having prepared for the practice of law, he devoted his attention for seven
years to that profession in Iowa before his removal to Seattle, where he has made his
home for about seventeen years, spending the greater part of the time on Queen Anne
Hill. Here, recognizing the opportunity for judicious real-estate investment, owing to
the growth of the city and the substantial development of the northwest, he has given his
attention to that line of business and has secured a large clientage. There is nothing that
escapes him concerning the realty market. He is able to place a correct valuation upon




JAMES II. FRYE



HISTORY OF SEATTLE 173

property and is tlicrefore able to direct the investments of his cHents. What he has
accomplished represents the fit utilization of the innate powers and talents which are his.
In Mapleton, Iowa, in 1882, Mr. Wakefield was married to Miss Lucy A. Cook, a
daughter of Benjamin Cook, of Penn Yan, New York, and they became the parents of
a daughter, Fannie B., who is now the wife of C. William Stender, of Seattle. The
religious faith of the parents is that of the Congregational church and Mr. Wakefield
also holds membership in the Masonic lodge. In politics his allegiance has long been
given to the republican party and in 1890 he served as superintendent of census in South
Dakota. Otherwise he has held no public offices but has concentrated his energies upon
his business affairs, wherein he has won not only success, but has also contributed to the
substantial development of the northwest.



WILLIAM F. VAN RUFF.

In 191 1, William F. Van RufT was appointed to the position of city attorney of
Seattle, which position he has since filled in a most creditable manner. He has lived in
this city since 1903, arriving here when a young man of twenty-five years. He was born
in Brooklyn, New York. October i, 1878, a son of J. W. Van Ruff, who removed with his
family to Louisville, Kentucky, during the early boyhood of his son, William.

The latter there' attended the public schools until 1888, when he removed to Summit,
New Jersey. There he again became a public school pupil and in the course of time
entered the high school, from which he was graduated with the class of 1895. He next
went to Chicago, where he attended the Illinois College of Law, completing his course
in that institution with the graduating class of 1903. The lure of the west was upon
him and he made his way at once to Seattle, where he began the practice of his profession,
remaining active in the work of the courts until 1907, when he was appointed law clerk
in the office of Scott Calhoun, corporation counsel, with whom he continued until 1910
in that capacity. He afterward served for a year as chief clerk in the office, or until
he was appointed by the corporation counsel to the position of city attorney. He is now
carefully safeguarding the public interests of the city in his present position and is
recognized as a ready and resourceful lawyer who is well versed in the principles of
jurisprudence, especially in matters relating to inunicipal rights.

In 1906, Mr. Van Rufif was united in marriage to Miss Essie Osse and they have one
son, Kenneth W. Mr. Van RufT is a Mason and is identified with several other fraternal
organizations, including the United Workmen, the Foresters and the Eagles. He chose
as a life work a profession in which advancement depends entirely upon individual merit
and ability and gradually he has made his way to a creditable place among the able young
lawyers of the city.



ELMER NICHOLSON, M. D.

Dr. Elmer Nicholson, enjoying a growing practice at Seattle, his business having
already assumed extensive proportions, is accorded rank with the men of broad learning
and experience in the profession in the northwest. He was born in Meeker county,
Minnesota, April 17, 1881, a son of Andrew N. Nicholson, deceased. The father was
born in Sweden and in 1870 came to the new world, settling in Minnesota, where he carried
on agricultural pursuits. He married Hannah Johnson, who was also born in Sweden
and came to the new world about 1870. They became the parents of thirteen children,
of whom eight are yet living.

Dr. Nicholson, who was the twelfth in order of birth, attended the public schools and
the high school in Meeker county, Minnesota, being graduated there when twenty years
of age. Having thus completed his more specifically literary course, he entered upon
preparation for a professional career by becoming a student in the medical department



174 HISTORY OF SEATTLE

of the University of Minnesota, from which he was graduated with the M. D. degree in
1905. From June of that year until June, 1906, he occupied the position of interne of
the Bethseda Hospital in St. Paul, after which he entered upon general practice at Minne-
apolis, where he continued for three years. In 1909 he removed to Brainard, Minnesota,
and in June, iQii, came to Seattle, since which time he has been engaged in general
practice, meeting with a notable measure of success in following his profession here.
He most carefully diagnoses his cases and his judgment concerning the outcome of disease
is very seldom, if ever, at fault. He belongs to the King County Medical Society and
the State Medical Association and thus keeps in touch with the advanced thought and
purposes of the profession. He is also a member of the American Medical Association.
Dr. Nicholson is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Seattle,
while his religious faith is indicated by his membership in the First Swedish Baptist
church. He belongs to the Swedish Business Men's Club and is interested in the advance-
ment of Seattle's interests. He resides at No. 1723 Summit avenue and has offices in the
Joshua Green building, where he has secured all the instruments and appliances necessary
to aid him in his professional duties.



GENERAL EDUARD POLONIUS EDSEN.

From the age of twenty years General Eduard Polonius Edsen has been identified
with the progress of the northwest. He was equipped with a liberal education at his
arrival on the Pacific coast but otherwise had no capital with which to start life in this
section of the country. Through the intervening period of years he has advanced steadily
step by step, never fearing to ventme where favoring opportunity has led the way, yet
never rashly passing beyond the bounds wherein effort is guided by sound judgment.
He is among the substantial citizens that Germany has furnished to the northwest. He
was born in Husum, Schleswig-Holstein, April 29, 1856, his father being Hinrich J.
Edsen, whose birth occurred in the same locality in 1825. He became a civil engineer
and an officer in the German army, serving in the war of 1848. He married Miss Lucie
J. Petersen, who was born in the village of Husum in 1831 and was descended from a
long line of military officers. Mr. Edsen passed away in 1866 at the age of forty-one
years, while his wife, long surviving him, died in 1900, in her seventieth year. They were
consistent Christian people, holding membership in the Lutheran church, and their substan-
tial qualities endeared them to all with whom they came in contact. Their family numbered
three sons and two daughters.

The advantages of public school and college instruction were accorded Eduard P.
Edsen in his youthful days, followed by the benefits of travel, in which way he spent
the succeeding four years. On the l8th of November, 1876, he reached Portland, Oregon,
and not long afterward secured a position on the farm of William Freels near the Sandy
postoffice in that state. While there employed he used every opportunity to increase his
knowledge of the English language. In March, 1877, he took up the business of salmon
fishing, which he followed for a year in Brookfield, Washington, and later he pursued
a course in a business college in Portland, while under private tutors he perfected himself
in English. For a time he was employed as a deck hand on the Columbia river, later
devote°d six months to work at the lumber business and in filling contracts for wood at
Walla Walla. In the spring of 1879 he found employment in Stahl's brewery and wholesale
liquor business in Walla Walla and his capability and enterprise won him advancement
through intermediate positions to that of general manager. About that time he made an
unfortunate investment which resulted in the loss of nearly all of his earnings. In 1881
he formed a partnership with V. D. Lambert for the conduct of a real-estate and insurance
business at Walla Walla, where he remained until 1883. In the summer of that year he
visited the Sound and in December took up his abode in Seattle. In January following,
he was admitted to the bar of the supreme court at Olympia and on the 4th of April, 1894.
was admitted to practice before the United States supreme court. His mastery of no
less than seven languages soon secured him the major portion of the foreign law busmess



HISTORY OF SEATTLE 175

of the city and he was soon recognized as a leading member of the Seattle bar and also
won prosperity through other business connections. Moreover, his acquaintance was
constantly broadening and his personal qualities won him favor with his associates. In
November, 1889, he formed a law partnership with the Hon. Will H. Thompson and Hon.
John E. Humphries under the style of Thompson, Edsen & Humphries and for eight
years that firm maintained a position among the foremost practitioners at the bar on
the Pacific coast. When the senior partner was chosen attorney for the Great Northern
Railway Company the partnership was dissolved and Mr. Edsen continued in practice
alone. He has made a close study of the law and his knowledge is broad and compre-
hensive. He is seldom, if ever, at fault in the application of a legal principle and his
ability is manifest in his able handling of a case in the courts and by his wise counsel.
A man of scholarly attainments, his literary efforts have attracted much more than
local attention, for he is a contributor to various magazines and papers in both prose and
verse. It is said that he shows particular ability in the latter in his mastery of the
dialects of the miners and other frontier people.

On the 1st of July, 1901, General Edsen was united in marriage to Miss Blanche
Marie Clark, and their home is an attractive country residence, Edenwild, in Kitsap
county. Mrs. Edsen is a daughter of Charles and Elizabeth (Sutton) Clark, both natives
of England. To Mr. and Mrs. Edsen have been born two sons and two daughters,
Eduard Primus Edsen, Marion Secunda Edsen, Vera Tertia Edsen and Clark Quartus
Edsen.

Aside from his professional connections General Edsen has figured prominently in
the public life of Seattle and in large measure has contributed to the upbuilding and
development of the city. His name is prominently known in connection with its military
and fraternal interests. In 1884 he organized Company D, of the First Regiment of
the National Guard of Washington, and became its first captain. An expert drillmaster,
that company, as well as Rainier Division No. 18 'of the Uniformed Rank of the Knights
of Pythias, which was organized by him in 1892, ranked among the best in the many
competitive drills held in Seattle, Tacoma and New Westminster, B. C, carrying oft prizes
at each meet. He has held the oftice-of assistant judge advocate general of the Washington
brigade, filling the position with distinction for a number of years, and was aide de camp
on the staff of Governor William A. Newell, with the rank of colonel. In 1878 he assisted
in organizing the Walla Walla Artillery, which is now the oldest military company in
the state, known as Company A, Second Regiment, N. G. W. General Edsen is also
identified with various fraternal organizations, including the Knights of Pythias; the
Knights of Malta; Knights of the Golden Eagle; United Ancient Order of Druids, of which
he is deputy supreme arch, the second highest officer in North America; Ancient Order
of United Workmen; Royal Arcanum; the Order of Chosen Friends; the four branches
of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he served for sixteen years as
president of the general relief committee, and for five years as department commander
of the Patriarchs Militant, with the rank of major general; and the Fraternal Order of-
Eagles, for which he wrote the rituals for the grand aerie and subordinate aeries, complete
with all its additional ceremonies, as well as the complete code of laws for the government
of the order named. In the last mentioned organization he held the highest office, that
of chief justice, with the rank of past grand worthy president. He is also a Scottish



Online LibraryClarence BagleyHistory of Seattle from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 3) → online text (page 21 of 142)