Clarence Bagley.

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

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Roland C. and Doratha.

In politics Mr. Fluhart is independent, voting according to the dictates of his judg-
ment without regard to party ties. He was a charter member of the Arctic Club ; was
secretary of the Washington State Mining Association for three years; is a member of
the Commercial Club and the Order of the Golden West; and in a large measure is inter-
ested in the welfare and upbuilding of his community. In his early manhood he aided
in the support of his widowed mother, and he has made his own way in the world, winning
success through his industry and perseverance.



JOSEPH BULLEN ALEXAXDER.

Joseph Bullen Alexander, a leading attorney of Seattle practicing as senior member
of the firm of Alexander & Bundy, has long been prominent in professional circles here,
serving at one time as assistant attorney general of the state. His birth occurred at Eau
Claire, Wisconsin, on the 21st of November, 1870, and there he completed his public-school
education. In 1890 he entered Colby College of Waterville, Maine, and four years later
received the degree of Bachelor of Arts from that institution. During the years 1895



228 ; HISTORY OF SEATTLE

and 1896 he pursued a law course at the University of Wisconsin, which conferred upon
him the degree of Doctor of Laws. In the latter year he began the practice of law at
Hayward, Sawyer county, Wisconsin, and in 1898 was elected probate judge of that
county. On the 29th of June, 1898, he was united in marriage to Miss Jessie M. Bunker,
of Waterville, Maine. In the same year he also received from Colby College the honorary
degree of Master of Arts.

In 1900, following the expiration of his term as county judge of Sawyer county, Wis-
consin, Mr. Alexander came to Seattle, being here associated with the law firm of
Kerr & McCord during the next two 3'ears. In 1902 he commenced the practice of law
independently and five years later was appointed assistant attorney general of the state
of Washington under Attorney General John D. Atkinson. He served in that capacity
until 1910, making a highly creditable and commendable record. In 1907 he formed a
law partnership in Seattle with Edward W. Bundy, under the firm name of Alexander
& Bundy, which association has been maintained to the present time. They are engaged
in general practice and represent numerous lumber and timber interests. As a lawyer
Mr. Alexander is sound, clear minded and well trained. The limitations which are
imposed by the constitution on federal powers are well understood by him. With the long
line of decisions from Marshall down, by which the constitution has been expounded,
he is familiar, as are all thoroughly skilled lawyers. He is felicitous and clear in argument,
thoroughly in earnest, full of the vigor of conviction, never abusive of his adversaries,
imbued with highest courtesy and a foe worthy of the steel of the most able opponent.

Mr. Alexander has taken an active part in political affairs during the greater part of
the time since coming to Seattle, being prominent in the work of the Young Men's
Republican Club of King county until 1912, when he became an independent. He belongs
to the Zeta Psi, a college Greek letter fraternity; Phi Delta Phi, a law fraternity; Key-
stone Lodge, No. 263, A. F. & A. M. ; the Seattle Athletic Club; the Rainier Club, the
Metropolitan Lumberman's Club, and the Order of Hoo Hoos. His residence is at No.
1417 Thirty-eighth avenue, in Seattle.



IRA JAMES WEBSTER.

Ira James Webster, commercial photographer of Seattle, occupies commodious quarters
in the Arcade block, while he is called for professional service to all parts of the state.
He was born in Portland, Michigan, October 31, 1870, a son of James M. and Mary (Bailey)
Webster. The father was a farmer and manufacturer and it was he who made the first
folding seats for use in school ever manufactured in the United States. The Bailey family
is of English descent, the grandfather of I. J. Webster having been a native of London,
England, where he was prominent in musical circles. In fact all of the Baileys have
been renowned in music.

Ira James Webster attended the grammar and high schools of Portland, Michigan, and
Columbia College of Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was born on a farm but a few
years afterward the family removed to the town of Portland, but still later returned
to the farm. From an early age he was interested in photography and by the time he had
reached nineteen he had gained a well established reputation for superior work in that
art. At that time he joined Nelson N. Stevens, a lifelong friend, in making a tour through
the United States, taking views and doing other photographic work. They visited every
state in the Union and the excellence of their art enabled them to win notable success.
Not only did they make money but found the experience of travel most pleasurable, the
two young men enjoying life to the full, for they were unmarried and carefree and entered
upon all the experiences that came with rich zest. Finally in 1899 they reached Seattle,
and after looking over the city, both decided that it was the most beautiful spot they
had ever seen. It was this that led them to establish their home and business in the
metropolis of the Puget Sound country and they opened a little studio in one room, but the
superior nature of their work was speedily recognized and brought to them such a patron-
age that they were obliged to rapidly increase their facilities. They now have very com-



HISTORY OF SEATTLE 229

modious quarters in the Arcade block, with every modern appliance and equipment for
doing expert photographic work. They have a number of employes and are kept constantly
busy by the demands made upon them. Not only have they reached the head of their
profession in Seattle but also do work all over the state and elsewhere. Both men pos-
sess in marked degree the artistic spirit and love of the beautiful which enables them
to at once recognize the value of any structure or bit of landscape as a photographic
subject, and their familiarity with every mechanical phase of the art supplements their
appreciation of the beauty of form, color and grouping.

On the 1st of May, 1898, at Lewiston, Idaho, Mr. Webster was united in marriage
to Miss Dora E. Eastburn, her father being Benjamin Eastburn, an agriculturist of Oregon.
Mr. Webster gives his political allegiance to the republican party and fraternally is iden-
tified with the Royal Arcanum. He also belongs to the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary
Club and the Tillikums. Mr. Webster knows the country as few men know it and his
reminiscences concerning his travels and his broad general information make him an enter-
taining companion.



WILLIAM H. PARSONS.



William H. Parsons is well known in financial circles in Seattle, being vice president
of the Dexter Horton National Bank. Thoroughness characterizes him in all his under-
takings and when he entered banking circles he made it his purpose to acquaint himself
with every phase of the business, so that he became well qualified for the onerous duties
of bank management. He has lived for some years in the northwest, but is a native of
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, where his birth occurred July 12, 1865, his parents being Elijah
D. and Julia A. Parsons.

In the public schools of his native city William H. Parsons passed through consecu-
tive grades until graduated from the high school and at the age of eighteen years entered
Markham's Academy at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he remained to the age of twenty
years. He then returned to Oconomowoc and made his initial step in the business world
as the associate of his father, who was the proprietor of a mercantile establishment and
grain elevator. He assisted his father for a time and later was admitted to a partnership,
which connection continued for si.x years. He tlien went to Lyon county, Minnesota,
where he entered upon a commercial career as proprietor of a mercantile and department
store, in which undertaking he was associated with his brother, F. E. Parsons, under the
firm style of Parsons Brothers. That connection was maintained until 1895, when, attracted
by the development of Alaska, he went to Dawson City, in the Yukon, and became gen-
eral manager for and one of the stockholders of the Ames Mercantile Company of San
Francisco, operating the Alaska branch of their house. They had there one of the
largest wholesale mercantile undertakings in .'\laska and conducted it for five years. Mr.
Parsons then sold his interests and came to Seattle, but not long afterward returned to
Alaska to become manager of a branch of the Washington-.'Maska Bank at Fairbanks.
He continued there for five years, at the end of which time he again came to Seattle
and was elected to the office of vice president of the Washington Trust Company. When
that institution consolidated with the Dexter Horton National Bank he became vice presi-
dent of the latter institution and also of the Dexter Horton Trust and Savings Bank.
Long experience in the field of finance has acquainted him with its most important problems
and he is now bending his efforts to administrative direction and executive control. He
had charge of the first bank in the interior of Alaska and during the five years in which he
was at the head of the business he shipped thirty millions of gold dust and bullion to
Seattle.

Mr. Parsons was married, in Marshall, Minnesota, in July, 1891, to Miss Ella Web-
ster and they became the parents of two children : Rosamond, nineteen years of age, now
attending the University of Washington: and William, twelve years of age, who is a
public-school pupil.

Mr. Parsons votes with the republican party and is identified with a number of the



230 HISTORY OF SEATTLE

most prominent clubs of the city, including the Rainier, Seattle Athletic, Arctic, Seattle
Automobile, Highlands and the Seattle Golf Clubs. He belongs to the Chamber of
Commerce and he stands for progress and improvement along all the lines which have
to do with civic virtue and civic pride in Seattle. He is a business man whose constantly
expanding powers have brought him into important relations and today he is one of the
foremost figures in the financial circles of the Sound country.



ROBERT ERNEST HAHN.

At the period which witnessed the arrival of Robert Ernest Hahn in the northwest
the most farsighted could not have dreamed of the prominence and prosperity Seattle
would attain. For many years thereafter he was actively engaged in the painting and
decorating business, having one of the pioneer establishments of this kind in the city.
A native of Germany, he was born in Saxonj-, March 13, 1841, and on emigrating to
America when sixteen years of age made his way to Chicago. He had previously accjuainted
himself with the trade of weaving but after reaching Chicago there learned the business
of painting and paper hanging. He spent two years in that city and then made his way
westward to California, attracted by the gold mining interests of that state. He came
to Washington in 1868 and located at the corner of First avenue and Pike street, this city.
There he established himself in business as a painter and decorator and continued in
business for a number of years. He afterward settled upon a farm at Newsack, Washing-
ton, where he resided until 1902, when he returned to Seattle and erected a fine residence
on Beacon Hill, after which he lived retired, enjoying in well earned rest the fruits of
his former toil. Such was his condition that he was enabled to enjoy all of the comforts
and many of the luxuries of life amid most pleasant surroundings. One is reminded of
the words of the poet :

"How blest is he
Who crowns in shades like these
A youth of labor
With an age of ease."

Mr. Hahn was married in Newsack on the 226 of December, 1891, to Miss Amelia
Schneider, who was born in Bristol, Rhode Island, and came to Washington in i8qo.
Five children were born to this marriage : Ernest, now living in Vancouver, British
Columbia ; Flora, August, Helen and Elsie, all at home. The family still own the
property at First and Pike streets, which Mr. Hahn held for thirty years. As time
passed on he owned considerable property in Seattle, making additional purchases as
opportunity offered, for he had great faith in the future of the city and believed that it
would grow rapidly — a belief that found justification with the passing of time. Mr.
Hahn had attained the age of seventy-four years when death called him and for almost
forty-three years had lived in Seattle, so that every phase of the city's development and
growth was familiar to him. He was well known not only to the German-American
residents but to many others in Seattle and wherever known his sterling worth gained
him high regard.



HENRY A. THOMPSON.



Henry A. Thompson, who has charge of the interests of the United States Rubber
Company at Seattle and Tacoma, is one of the leaders in the commercial and industrial
expansion of Seattle, where he makes his home, and is held in the highest respect there
as a business man and a citizen. He was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 11, 1882, but has
spent the greater part of his life in Seattle as he was brought to this city in November




ROBERT E. HAHX



HISTORY OF SEATTLE 233

of that year by his parents, Thorwald and Louise Thompson, both of whom are now fifty-
four years of age. They are still living in this city.

Mr. Thompson of this review attended school in Seattle and Tacoma and when fourteen
years of age entered the employ of the Washington Rubber Company, with whom he re-
mained until they sold to the United States Rubber Company in 1903. At that time they
had branches at Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Tacoma and Spokane. In 1896, when he
became connected with the Washington Rubber Company, it was the only rubber companv
in the city and its annual business amounted to about one hundred thousand dollars. At
present there are many concerns dealing in rubber in Seattle and the United States Rubber
Company alone does a million dollar business annually, wliich indicates the remarkable
growth in the rubber industry within the last twenty years. Mr. Thompson has risen
rapidly from one position to another of greater imjjortance and in igii and 1912 had charge
of the Portland branch of the United States Rubber Company, in 1913 and 1914 was man-
ager of their Spokane branch and since September 15, 1914, has had charge of the com-
pany's interests in Seattle and Tacoma. The two branches of which he has charge do an
excellent business and his record as manager is a thorouglily creditable one. He also owns
stock in the company.

Mr. Thompson was married in 1904 to Miss Mary Jane Edgerton, of Seattle, and they
have four children: Harriett, whose birth occurred on the 25th of September, 1905; Mar-
garet, born April 6, 1909; Catherine, October 7, 1910; and Virginia, August 24, 1914. All
of the children are natives of Seattle with the exception of Catherine, who was born in
Spokane.

Mr. Thompson is a republican but has never taken an active part in politics. He is
prominent in fraternal and club circles of the city, belonging to the Ionic Lodge, A. F.
& A. M., to the Scottish Rite Consistory, to Nile Temple of the Mystic Shrine, the Rotary
Club, the Seattle Athletic Club, the Arctic Club and the United Commercial Travelers. No
movement whose purpose is the expansion of the city along business or commercial lines
lacks his heartiest support and cooperation and he is an active member of the Chamber
of Commerce, the Employers Association and the Manufacturers Association. He is a
representative of the younger generation of business men wdiose energy and aggressiveness
promise so much for the future development of the city.



CHARLES JACKSON SMITH.

Important and extensive are the business interests to the control of which Charles
Jackson Smith has bent his energies with the result that development has followed and
success has accrued. He is now identified with a number of the leading corporations of
Seattle. He was born in Nicholasville, Kentucky, on the 13th of March, 1854, a son of
Charles Fountain and Quintilla A. (Jackson) Smith. His paternal grandfather was of
English lineage and the grandmother of Irish and Italian parentage. His maternal grand-
father was also English, while his wife came of an old French Huguenot family.

Charles J. Smith pursued his education in private and public schools of Kansas City,
Missouri, and afterward attended Blackburn University at Carlinville, Illinois, where he
won the Bachelor of .-Xrts degree in 1870, He took his place among the wage earners as a
clerk in the mechanical department of the Missouri River, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad and
from that point the steps in his orderly progression are easily discernible, for his close
application, ability and trustworthiness won him promotion from time to time. Advancing
from his initial clerkship, he became chief clerk of motive power for the same company,
was afterward clerk in the auditor's office and subsequently became acting auditor for the
road. His next advance made him assistant auditor of tlie Missouri River, Fort Scott &
Gulf Railroad, and later he was connected in a similar capacity with the Leavenworth,
Lawrence & Galveston Railroad, the Atchison & Nebraska Railroad and the Kansas City,
St. Joe & Council Bluffs Railroad. Further business progress brought him to the position
of assistant comptroller of the Oregon Railroad & Navigation Company and the Oregon
Improvement Company. He has since been comptroller and secretary of the Oregon



234 HISTORY OF SEATTLE

Railroad & Navigation Company and the Oregon Improvement Company, manager of the
former and manager and receiver of the latter. He became general manager of the Pacific
Coast Company in 1897 but resigned the following year. He has other important financial
interests, being president of the Dexter Horton Trust & Savings Bank; president of the
Central Coal Company; vies president of the Washington Securities Company; and presi-
dent of the Pacific Shipping & Fuel Company. Throughout his business career he has
displayed the ability to coordinate and unify seemingly diverse interests, bringing them into
a harmonious whole, and his well defined plans, carefully executed, have brought success
to the important corporate interests with which he is connected,

Mr. Smith's activities have not been confined alone to those things which have brought
about individual prosperity. He has given time and energy to matters of public concern,
serving for three years as a member of the school board of Seattle, for three years as a
member of the park board and for about twenty years as vice president and one of the
trustees of the Chamber of Commerce, in which connection he has been a potent element
in guiding the destinies of the city in its commercial and industrial connections and in its
improvement according to modern ideas of municipal adornment. He was also chairman of
the grounds and building committee of the Alaska- Yukon Exposition from 1907 to 1909.

In Kansas City, in 1880, Mr. Smith was married to Miss Elizabeth McMillan, a daughter
of John McMillan, who removed from London, Ohio, to Bloomington, Illinois, and thence
to Kansas City, Missouri. The children of this marriage are : Myra Q., the wife of H. W.
Salmon, Jr.; Elizabeth A., the wife of Geoflfrey Winslow; Charles H., who married Jane
Swindell ; and Prescott K. and Katherine, both at home.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith are members of the Presbyterian church. He was a charter mem-
ber of the Arlington Club of Portland, Oregon, and is now identified with the Rainier,
College and Golf Clubs of Seattle. His political indorsement is given to the republican
party and he is conversant with all of the vital questions and issues of the day. He has
never been unmindful of the duties of citizenship nor of his obligations to his fellowmen.
At the same time he has carefully controlled and directed his business affairs, and each
forward step has brought him a broader outlook and wider opportunities until he is now
an active factor in the ownership and management of some of the most important corporate
interests of the northwest.



HERBERT S. UPPER.



When the natural resources of the northwest were still largely unclaimed and unde-
veloped Herbert S. Upper made his way to Seattle and became an investor in timber lands.
From that time forward his business career has been characterized by an orderly progression
that has brought him to rank with the capitalists of Seattle. He is also a dealer in real
estate and there is little concerning property values with which he is not acquainted. A
native of Ontario, Canada, he was born at Villa Nova, November 5, 1869, his father being
a banker of St. Thomas, Ontario. In that city the son was reared and supplemented his
public school training by a college course. The tales which reached him concerning the
golden west with its great opportunities stirred his ambition and aroused in him the deter-
mination to try his fortunes on the Pacific coast. He was still in his teens when he made
his way to the territory of Washington, at which time Seattle contained a population of
about seventeen thousand. He felt the stir of life and progress here, recognized the ad-
vantageous geographical situation of the city and believed that it would be a favorable
place to locate. His first investments were in timber lands. From time to time he kept
adding to his holdings and has owned perhaps more of that kind of property than any
man of his age in the state. His judgment seemed to be infallible as to timber values and
he readily recognized the fact that the lumber industry must ultimately become one of the
chief sources of activity and business prosperity in the west. His sound judgment has been
rewarded in the growing value of his holdings and has won him place among the capitalists
of Seattle. In this connection it has been written of him : "He has always invested with a
safe margin and was one of the fortunate few who weathered the storms of the financial



HISTORY OF SEATTLE 235

stress of the early '90s, when those most solid financially were none too secure. And he
exhibited his great confidence in the ultimate outcome of this period and the general stabil-
ity of the country when he was the only one who would take mortgages on timber lands
and other real estate. Mr. Upper has also dealt extensively in city property, both residences
and business houses. He has laid out many additions to Seattle and cities and towns both
in King and other counties and has built a great many residences. His business has steadily
increased and is now carried on on a very large scale."

Not only has Mr. Upper operated in timber and in real estate but has turned from those
lines, perhaps more as a recreation than as a business, to farming, owning several thousand
acres of land. He delights in the development of crops, the clearing of land and in the
raising of stock and is recognized as one whose judgment concerning horse flesh is seldom,
if ever, at fault and there can always be found some fine specimens of choice stock on his
ranch east of Lake Washington. Although he enjoys a spin in his automobile, in spirit
he breathes the lines of the poet:

"Can any pleasure in life compare
With a charming drive in the open air?
A spirited horse of royal breed
With just a little more style and speed
Than any you meet, and it matters not
If his gait be pace or a swinging trot."

Because of this trait of his character it was but natural that Mr. Upper became one of
the organizers of the Seattle Riding Club and did efficient service therein as its president
during its existence.

Mr. Upper belongs to the Rainier and Country Clubs and to the Seattle Athletic Club.
He is a member of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce and cooperates in all of its plans
and measures for the upbuilding and benefit of the city or to promote progress along any
line of public benefit. He is also a member of the First Baptist church. He stands ready
at all times to further measures and movements for the general good and his efforts have
been potent forces in the material, social, political and moral development of the community.



FRED ELLSWORTH WEYMOUTH.

Fred Ellsworth Weymouth, president of the Weymouth Construction Company, has
been identified with various phases of Seattle's history and her upbuilding, and his long
acquaintance with her history, as well as the prominent part which he has taken in furthering
public progress, marks him as one of the representative citizens of the state. He



Online LibraryClarence BagleyHistory of Seattle from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 3) → online text (page 28 of 142)