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

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Piles was successful and he remained in Snohomish until friends persuaded him to go
to Spokane, but he spent only six months in that city. He could not remain content away
from Puget Sound. As he expressed it, "he was lonely for the water, missed it all the
time." Seattle welcomed the brilliant young man in the winter of 1886, and his rise
until he reached the United States senate is a matter of history. From the time of his
arrival here he has been a recognized factor at the bar. Only a comparatively brief period
had elapsed before he achieved a state wide reputation as an able, forceful and eloquent
lawyer. He was called to the office of city attorney, which he filled for one term, and
previous to this he was assistant prosecuting attorney in one of the judicial districts of
the territory. These were the only two offices he ever held, or to which he aspired until
he was elected to the United States senate in 1905. About a year before William McKinley
and W. J. Bryan made their historic campaign for president, when the question of a gold
or silver standard was the one great political issue. Mr. Piles was appointed general
counsel for the Oregon Improvement Company, which position he continued to fill until
his election to the senate. He became active in politics a short time after taking up his
residence in Washington and so continued for a period of more than twenty years.

His law practice was mostly confined to large corporation business and his reputation
as an eminent lawyer naturally brought him into political prominence. His career in the
senate was honorable to himself and to the state. One term was all he desired, and, as
he was eager to return to his law practice, he declined to again become a candidate. In
the practice of law in Seattle he was first associated with J. T. Ronald, now superior
court judge, afterward with A. F. Burleigh, now of New York city, later with George
Donworth and with James B. Howe, his firm being now Piles. Howe & Carey.

On the 15th of September, 1891, Senator Piles was united in marriage to Miss Mary
Ellen Barnard, of Henderson, Kentucky. She was a lady of rare beauty and charm of
manner and was a favorite in Washington social circles. She passed away November 23,
1913, and at her death letters were received by Mr. Piles from eminent men and women
of the national capital, expressing their high appreciation of her worth, her intellect, her
liberal education and sweetness of chara ter. Mrs. Piles was a woman of unusual beauty
of character as well as of person and t! e highest encomiums were passed upon her by a
host of friends here and in different pa.-ts of the country. The children of this marriage
are, Ross Barnard, Ruth Lillard and Sam, Jr., aged respectively, twenty-two, twenty and
seventeen years.

Senator Piles is a member of various fraternal organizations, including the Knights
of Pythias, the Woodmen of the World, Ancient Order of United Workmen. Royal
Arcanum and the Elks. He is also a member of the Rainier Club of Seattle, the Union


Club of Tacoma and the Cascade Club of Everett, Washington. In summing up his
career we note that he is regarded as a remarkable man, brilliant, learned and resourceful.
The son of a worthy family that was impoverished by the Civil war, he so directed his
reading in early youth that at the age of sixteen years he was admitted to the bar,
following training by private tutors. He then determined to go west and make his own
way in the world. After leaving his native state he taught country school for a number
of winters. In his schools he always organized a debating club and always attracted the
best debaters, doctors, lawyers and other professional men, and meeting them in oratorical
combat, he developed the power which has made him so brilliant a speaker at the present
time. In the senate Mr. Piles had the record of never having failed to land anything.
-Mthough a stanch republican, by virtue of his southern birth and ties and kinship and
friendship, he had the democratic senators always ready to support him in any plan or
project which he introduced or fostered in behalf of his state. His support was never
given to a question until after he had carefully considered every phase of it and then he
never faltered until he accomplished his purpose. He has done much for his home city.
He secured the appropriation for the Alaska-Yukon Exposition and his successful fight
for the Lake \^■ashington canal has meant much to Seattle. The securing of the magnificent
life-saving ship Snohomish was in answer to the appeal of the citizens of Washington
after the series of terrible shipwrecks and attendant loss of life on the Straits of Juan de
Fuca. There was no life-saving ship stationed on the straits and Mr. Piles secured one
of the finest in any waters, naming it Snohomish in honor of the town in which he had
started upon his successful career fn life and for which he will always maintain a tender
sentiment. Such in brief is the history of one who, without assistance, started out in life
for himself. Well descended and well bred, from the beginning of his career he held to
high ideals, cherished a laudable ambition and ever sought the fruition of his hopes. A
distinguished lawyer, he has been equally a student of statecraft and of the great political,
economic and sociological problems of the country and on all such has kept abreast with
the best thinking men of the age. His grandmother on the paternal side was a niece of
John C. Calhoun and on the maternal side he traces his ancestry to John Cotton, the
celebrated Puritan divine.


No history of Seattle would be complete were there failure to make reference to
Richard Holyoke, who in pioneer times was identified with the lumber industry and after-
ward with the banking interests of the city. In other ways, too, he contributed to its
material development and his life work was of worth to the community. Mr. Holyoke
was born in New Brunswick September i, 1832, and passed away on the nth of March,
ign6. The days of his boyhood and youth were passed in New Brunswick and he lived
for a short time in Wisconsin and California before coming to Seattle in i860. It seemed
that the work of progress and improvetnent had scarcely been begun in this section of
the country at the time of his arrival, and indeed it was the hardy, adventurous pioneer
spirits who braved the early conditions here in order to establish homes and use the
natural resources of the country in business. Mr. Holyoke became a lumberman and
followed that occupation on Puget Sound for a number of years, living at Seabeck for
fourteen years. Success attended him in his undertakings. He was led to assist in estab-
lishing the National Bank of Commerce on account of his extensive acquaintance with
lumbermen and a recognition of the needs for such an institution, and was elected its
first president. The new undertaking prospered and was a valuable factor in community
life. He built the Holyoke block in 1889 and became the owner of much property in
the city, for he had great faith in Seattle and did not hesitate to make investment in real
estate here. In 1896 he removed to a farm in Skagit county, Washington, but a short
time prior to his death took up his abode in Bellingham.

On October 20, 1870, Mr. Holyoke was married to Miss ."Xnua M. Hammond, a daugh-
ter of Abraham and Margaret (Turney) Hammond, natives of New Brunswick, where


they passed their entire lives. To this union was born a son, Richard, Jr., and a daughter,
Marion, who died when thirteen years old. Both Mr. and Mrs. Holyoke held member-
ship in the First Baptist church, in which he served as an officer for years. He was a
man of domestic tastes, never interested in clubs, preferring always to devote his time
to his home and the interests of his family. In the work of the church, too, he was
actively and helpfully interested and he did all in his power to further the moral progress
of the community. His life measured up to high standards. His record covered seventy-
three years — years fraught with good deeds and characterized by honorable purposes.


The late Angus Mackintosh was one of the empire builders in the state of Wash-
ington. He was one of Seattle's pioneers, coming to this state in 1870, and here for many
years was active in real-estate deals, the milling industry, commercial enterprises, bank-
ing, railroad promotion and other matters, all of which have contributed toward the
greatness of the state.

Mr. Mackintosh was a Canadian by birth. He was born in Caledonia, Prescott
count}', Ontario, June 23, 1839, a son of Norman and Christy (Morrison) Mackintosh,
natives of Scotland. He made use of such educational facilities as were provided in his
home town and when but fifteen or si.xteen years of age began teaching in order to earn
the money which he needed for a college course. The serious purpose to succeed in life
showed itself earl^' in his youth and such successes and honors as came to him resulted
entirely from his own efforts. After having acquired the means, Mr. Mackintosh attended
McGill College and then went to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he graduated from a
commercial academy in 1862. Shortly afterward he enlisted for service in the Union
army, being attached to the commissary department, with which he was connected until
sickness compelled him to abandon his position in 1863. He was subsequently engaged in
the lumber business in Michigan for a few years.

The year 1870 marks the advent of Mr. Mackintosh in Seattle. The prospects and
opportunities of the west had strongly appealed to him and induced him to make his way
here. He engaged in real-estate dealing and also gave considerable attention to abstract
work. Being clear-headed and readily making himself master of conditions as they existed,
he was successful. He was instrumental in forming a number of commercial companies
and also established a mill on the water front, which, however, with considerable other
property that he owned, was destroyed by fire. Nothing daunted, Mr. Mackintosh con-
tinually extended his interests. In the meantime he founded the Merchants National Bank,
of which he was the largest stockholder and president, and shortly afterward organized
the Seattle Lumber & Commercial Company, with a capital stock of ten thousand dollars.
He was the sole directing genius of this enterprise, which by its returns gave evidence of
his great ability and wise foresight. The Seattle Lumber & Commercial Company under
his management paid dividends of ten per cent monthly for five years and after passing
through the great fire had a surplus capital of one hundred thousand dollars. In 1884
Mr. Mackintosh was instrumental in founding the Safe Deposit & Trust Company, of
which he was the president and the principal stockholder and which soon became one
of the leading banking institutions of the state. They owned the building and safe deposit
vaults, which were equal to any to be found in eastern cities. Mr. Mackintosh readily
saw the necessity of such an institution in Seattle and not only furnished the general
public with the needed facilities but made capital of his foresight. In railroad work he
was equally enterprising. He was one of the promoters and trustees of the Walla Walla
Railroad and of the Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern Railroad. In short his various enter-
prises were great factors in the upbuilding of the state and in developing its resources
and its financial strength.

In 1S05, as the result of default of payment by an individual to whom a large loan
had been made during the absence of Mr. Mackintosh and without his consent or advice,
the Merchants National Bank was obliged to suspend business. With the other stock-



holders he lost heavily and afterward suffered still further from incompetent adminis-
tration of the bank's affairs under the receivership. In the following year he made a trip
to Alaska in the hope of recuperating some of his financial losses but the expected suc-
cess did not come to him in the far north. The unfortunate turn of affairs in the Mer-
chants National Bank weighed heavily upon him, although there was not the slightest
reason for self-reproach, and Mr. Mackintosh remained more or less of an invalid until
his death, in July, 1904.

In December, 1871, Mr. Mackintosh was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Pee-
bles, a daughter of Hugh and Emeline Peebles. She was born in Otsego county, New
York, and was of Scotch-Irish descent. Her mother was a native of Vermont. Mrs.
Mackintosh was also one of the early arrivals in Seattle, coming here in 1866. She
taught school in Chehalis and also in this city and was the first woman to act as enroll-
ing and engrossing clerk in the house of representatives at Olympia. She performed
her duties so well that she received the public thanks of the house through Speaker
George H. Stewart, December 2. i86g. Mr. and Mrs. Mackintosh had two children : Ken-
neth, now judge of the superior court of King county; and Gertrude E.

Mr. Mackintosh was one of the thoroughly public-spirited and patriotic men of his
times. He was liberal in his views and although not a member of any church, sup-
ported the Methodist Episcopal organization. He gave his adherence to the republican
party, valiantly upholding its principles and candidates and contributing generously to the
cause. It is the more praiseworthy that he never sought public office for himself. He
was a Knights Templar Mason and served as first eminent commander of Lodge No. 2
of Seattle. He had previously been a member of the order in Saginaw, Michigan. He
also belonged to the Rainier Club and was a member of the Ancient Order of United
Workmen. Mr. Mackintosh was one of those hardy types of pioneers, of unflagging
industry and energy, who did much toward the progress of civilization in this state. A
number of valuable enterprises were the children of his creative brain, and he helped to
lay the cornerstone upon which stands today the magnificent structure of this great com-


For a quarter of a century George Fletcher Cottcrill, of Seattle, has devoted much of
his time to some form of public service and for the greater part of his work has received
no compensation save the consciousness that he has promoted the moral and civic progress
of his city and state. He has long been recognized as the leader in this state of the forces
opposed to the liquor traffic and in 1914 his continued efforts were crowned with victory
as the prohibition law was adopted. He has been identified with many other movements
for the betterment of mankind. During the two terms that he was a member of the
state senate he was influential in securing the passage of much progressive legislation and
as mayor of Seattle stood firmly for the public ownership and regulation of public utilities
and the strict enforcement of the law. He has been and still is a most important factor
in upholding high moral standards and in making conditions in the state conform to such
standards. Professionally he is a civil engineer and has accomplished much important
work along that line but his greatest interest is in the advancement of reform movements.

A native of England, George F. Cotterill was born in Oxford, November 18, 1865, a
son of Robert and Alice (Smith) Cotterill, the former a gardener. Eight children were
born to them in England, three of whom passed away in that country. In April, 1872,
the family sailed for the new world as passengers on the Cunard steamer Samaria as the
father had been much pleased with the United States and the opportunities which it offered
when he had visited this country three years previously. They reached Boston in May and
after residing for a short time successively in that city and in West Newton, Massachusetts,
they removed to Montclair, New Jersey, where they lived for twelve years, the father
working first as a gardener and afterward conducting a small business as a florist. Four
children were born to him and his wife after their emigration to this country but three

Vol. ITI — 2


of the number died in infancy or childhood. The six children who survived, four sons
and two daughters, attended the excellent schools of Montclair and George F. Cotterill
made such rapid progress in his studies that when but fifteen years of age he was
graduated from the high school with valedictorian honors. He had greatly enjoyed the
study of languages, literature and Iiistory and hoped to become a member of the legal
profession as he believed that the practice of law would prove both congenial and profit-
able. However, he had studied so intensely that his health was impaired, a fact noted
by James Owen, the count}' engineer of Essex county. New Jersey, and one of the directors
of the Montclair schools, who said to him : "George, you have studied long enough. What
you need is good air, plenty of exercise and a chance to grow. I am going to start a crew
Monday morning to survey a railroad line the other side of the mountain. Be ready at
seven o'clock at my office. I want you to carry the rod." Thus he took his first step in
civil engineering and as the years have passed he has advanced steadily in that profession,
gaining a fair measure of material success and an enviable reputation for ability and suc-
cessful achievement.

It was three years later when his father, Robert Cotterill, found it possible to carry
out a long cherished wish to establish the family home upon the Pacific coast. Immediate
decision in this regard was forced upon him by the illness of his eldest son, Hedley, then
twenty years of age, and with his two sons, Hedley and George, the latter then a youth
of eighteen, he started for the Pacific northwest. The younger son hoped that he might
secure engineering emplo}'ment with the Northern Pacific Railway, then under construc-
tion with headquarters at Portland, Oregon, and there he remained while his father and
brother continued the journey to Puget Sound. He waited three weeks for a position
only to learn that all work on the Cascade division had been abandoned, and about the ist
of October, 1884, he took the boat for Kalama and proceeded thence by train to Tacoma.
His entire cash capital of twenty-five cents was expended for a place in which to sleep
and in the morning he walked several miles out to the home of friends on a forest ranch
now included in the suburbs of the city. During the next three months he "hustled" around
Tacoma doing odd jobs at surveying or anything else that offered. Difficulties and obstacles
confronted the family at every turn. Hedley found employment in Seattle, but the father
visited practically every location around the Sound without being so fortunate. The
brother's health did not improve, however, in fact became worse as the rainy season
approached, so that his physician ordered him "back to the old home." On Thanks-
giving day of 1884 the father and two sons met at Tacoma, there to say goodbye. The
father and Hedley took the train east, while George remained in the northwest, and the
brother passed away a few weeks after reaching home. The father resumed his old
business as a florist in Montclair, New Jersey, where he remained for two years, but in
1887 he brought his wife and youngest son, Roland W., now secretary of the park board
of Seattle, to the west, the family settling on a ranch about twelve miles east of Seattle on
Lake Sammamish, which our subject had secured in the meantime. The town of Redmond
has since grown up near that site. The father continued to reside there for more than
twenty years, living the congenial, simple ranch life, but at length illness compelled him
to abandon farming and in 1908 he located in Seattle, making his home with our subject
until a few days after Christmas of that year, when he passed away at the age of seventy-
four. His widow survives and continues to make her home with our subject.

After his father and brother had left for the east in 1884, George Cotterill remained
alone in Washington and was dependent entirely upon his own resources. His capital
consisted of but eight dollars and winter was coming on with no engineering work in
sight. However, he found a chance to do housework in the home of an old bachelor who
had formerly been a Northern Pacific engineer. After a month his employer, Mr. White,
decided to break up housekeeping and Mr. Cotterill accepted an invitation extended by
Captain Coding to make a trip to Seattle on his little towboat Lucy for a visit there with
Robert Moran and his brothers, who had come from Montclair, New Jersey, several years
before. The intended visit developed into a decision to remain and he has since made
his home in this, the Queen City of Puget Sound, and has been prominently identified with
its development. For a few weeks, until an engineering opportunity offered, he remained
with Moran Brothers as bookkeeper and resided at the home of Robert Moran.


The first work which Mr. Cotterill did along engineering lines was measuring and
Ijlatting a seat diagram for the new Frye Opera House. Soon afterward he became back-
Hagman on a survey for the Columbia & Puget Sound Railway and thus it was that he
made his entrance into the Washington forests. He proved competent in his new position
and was speedily advanced to leveler and topographer. On his return to the city in
March. 1885, he became an employe of Whitworth & Thomson, doing survey work in
Seattle and the surrounding country. In the summer of 1883 he was employed as transit
man on the first surveys of the Seattle. Lake Shore & Eastern Railway and as draughtsman
did work on the preliminary maps, in the employ of F. H. Whitworth. With R. H.
Thomson he worked on the surveys and construction of the first section of the permanent
sewer system of Seattle and upon the project of the Grant street bridge to the head
of the bay. He aided in the survey work which first divided the present site of West
Seattle into five-acre tracts, and in January, 1886. he went into the wood;, of Kitsap
county, and with only a compass and chain and with loggers as helpers, he designed and
staked out the townsite of Sidney, now Port Orchard, the county seat of that county.

When work was resumed on the Cascade division of the Northern Pacific in May,
1886, Mr. Cotterill secured the position for which he had waited three weeks in Portland
in 1884. He was made transit man under J. Q. Barlow, the locating engineer, and although
he had not yet attained his majority he did responsible work and gained valuable experi-
ence in the relocation of the main line and in locating and building the wonderful switch-
back line over the Cascade summit. He gained, too, more than his salary for in the outdoor
life he developed a physique that made him an athlete in strength and appearance. He
then returned to the Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern Railroad enterprise, serving on the
location and construction of the line in 1887 and 1888, and also he was engaged profes-
sionally in the prospecting and opening of the coal mines at Oilman and Grand Ridge.
He started in business on his own acount when, in December, 1888, he formed a partner-
ship with R. H. Thomson and Clarence L. White 'for the general practice of surveying
and engineering in Seattle. The patronage of the new firm grew as time passed on and
their ability was demonstrated in the excellent work executed by them. When Mr. Thom-
son became city engineer of Seattle in 1892 he appointed Mr. Cotterill as an assistant and
through the succeeding eight years the latter was a most active and helpful factor in
promoting the welfare, upbuilding and progress of the city. He had a large part in the
designing and supervision of the building of the sewer system. He revised and established
the system of street namin.g and numbering. His most important work perhaps was in
connection with the securing and construction of the great Cedar river gravity water
supply system. It was he who proposed a plan then unknown and unique — the pledging
of its future receipts to the extent of one million two hundred and fifty thousand dollars
for the financing of the enterprise. His plan created much discussion and was made an
issue in the special election of 1895. It was then that Mr. Cotterill first became known
as a public speaker and writer, for he became the champion of the plan which he had

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