Clarence Bagley.

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

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Mr. Van Asselt was born in Holland, April ii, 1807, and came to the United States in
1847, being the first man from his section of his native country to emigrate to the new
world. He first went to New Jersey, where he remained for nine months, and thence
proceeded westward to St. Louis, Missouri, where he spent five months. At the end of
that time he became a resident of Iowa, where he worked in a sawmill for ten months, and
later he removed to Illinois, living in that state until 1850, when he returned to Iowa.

Attracted by the opportunities of the growing northwest, he left the Mississippi valley
for Oregon in company with James Swafford, Dr. T. T. Wright, John and James Thornton,
Humphrey Long, Jacob Wagner and Charles Henricks. They traveled with two ox teams
and wagons and endured many hardships en route, as they made their way over the long,
hot stretches of sand and through the mountain passes. At length, however, they reached
the Willamette river and stopped at Oregon City on the 21st of September, 1850. Soon
afterward Mr. Van Asselt made his way across the Willamette river to the Tualatim, where
he engaged in making shingles until the following spring. In April. 1851, he went to the
gold fields of California in the northern part of the state, and during five weeks and a
half there spent he and the others of the party each made one thousand dollars. Mr. Van
Asselt and four companions then returned to the Willamette valley in June, 1851. They
met L. M. Collins, who had a claim on the Nisqually river near Puget Sound. He was
accompanied by Hill Harmon, Jacob and Samuel Maple, and they all spoke so enthusias-
tically of what they had learned from Indians of the Sound country that Mr. Van Asselt,
Mr. Thornton and Mr. Henricks started for that district. After accidentally shooting
himself Mr. Van Asselt remained at St. Helen, Oregon, for a month, while the others
continued on their journey, and later he joined them at Nisqually. He explored the
country on horseback and on foot, traveling over Thurston and Pierce counties, but the
country did not suit him and just as he was about to return to Oregon Mr. Collins ofifered
to take him to land that would suit him forty miles down the Sound.

Accompanied by Samuel and Jacob Maple, Mr. Van Asselt and Mr. Collins then started,
on the ]2th of September, 1851, and two days later reached the mouth of the Duwamish
river, after which they went up the river to White and Black rivers. All selected claims
on the present sites of Georgetown and Vanasselt. Not a white man was living in King
county at the time, Indians occupying the town site of Seattle. With great difficulty they
got their stock and household goods to their claims and soon afterward the Dennys, Terrys,
and others at Alki Point made locations in the vicinity of Seattle. Nine weeks after the


first claim stakes were set there were nine houses built between Alki Point and Mr. Van
Asselt's claim. The trials and hardships which the early settlers had to endure were
innumerable and the treachery of the Indians was great. The red men continually stole
from the white settlers, who naturally resented it, and on the 28th of October, 1855, the
famous White river massacre occurred. All of the white people fled to Seattle and within
twelve hours the only white persons alive in King county outside of Seattle, were Mr. Van
Asselt, Samuel Maple, Dr. Grow and Frank Grow. They remained at home until October
29, sleeping in the woods, and then fled to Seattle. The Indians burned their houses and
barns and stole all their stock. In fact, the treacherous red men burned every building
from the head of White river to the mouth of Duwamish river. Then followed the famous
Indian war on the Sound, nor until 1857 was peace restored.

The Duwamish and White river settlers then returned to their homes, Mr. Van Asselt
being the first to again occupy his claim. He had everything to do over again, beginning
anew in all the work necessary to the development of a claim. When all was finished he
left his family on the claim and sought work in the Willamette valley in order to earn
money with which to fix up his home again. After five months he returned to his claim
and the years then went by peacefully, his labors attended with good results. He continued
actively in farm work until 1882, when he left his claim and removed to a farm in the
Hood river valley between The Dalles and Portland, Oregon. There he resided with his
family until 1889, when he established his home in Seattle.

It was on the 12th of October, 1862, that Mr. Van Asselt wedded Miss Jane Maple, a
daughter of Jacob Maple and a sister of Samuel Maple. They lost one daughter and their
surviving children are: Dr. J. H. Van Asselt and two daughters.

The town of Vanasselt was named for him whose name introduces this review. He
was charitable to the poor, was a man of fine character, of sterling integrity and high prin-
ciples and did most valuable work in connection with the early settlement and development
of King county and this part of the state, braving the hardships, dangers and privations
of pioneer life. He blazed the trail and helped build the first road from Seattle across
the Cascade mountains to Ellensburg. He aided in planting the seeds of civilization here
and his work still continues to bear fruit.


William Harbaugh White, concentrating his efforts upon civil law practice, is most
skillful in handling his cases and has won a favorable position at the bar. Pennsylvania
claims him as a native son, while he comes of Scotch-Irish ancestry, the family having been
founded in America by Hughey White, who left the north of Ireland and established his
home near Jamestown, Virginia. The great-grandfather on the paternal side was born
in the Old Dominion, as was the grandfather, John White, and the family was represented
in the ranks of the colonial army during the Revolutionary war. John White removed to
Washington county, Pennsylvania, and there occurred the birth of J. W. F. White, who
passed his entire life in the Keystone state. He filled the office of justice of the common
pleas court of Allegheny county for many years and was serving on the bench when his
life's labors were ended in death November 6, 1900, being then eighty years of age. In
early manhood he wedded Mary Thorn, also a native of Pennsylvania, and she too was
descended from an old Virginia family that sent its representatives to join the colonial
army at the time of the struggle for independence. Both Mr. and Mrs. White were con-
sistent members of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he served for many years
as an official. He attended the first republican convention and assisted in organizing the
party in his section of the state, where he was a recognized leader in public affairs.

William Harbaugh White was one of a family of si.x children and was born in
Scwicklej', Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, November 11, 1859. He supplemented his
public-school training by study in Allegheny College of Pennsylvania, from which he was
graduated with the class of 1880. Following in the professional footsteps of his father,
with whom he began his law reading, he afterward spent two years as a law student in


the office of Slagle & Wiley, of Pittsburgh, and following his admission to the bar in 1882
he engaged in practice in that city for a time. In 1888 he was elected a member of the
Pennsylvania legislature, in which he served for one term, and soon afterward he removed
to the northwest, attracted by the rapid growth and the developing opportunities of this
section of the country.

Mr. White has always remained alone in law practice in Seattle, save for the period
from 1893 to 1895, when he was a member of the law firm of Pratt & White. He con-
centrates his efforts upon civil law and has been legal representative of a number of impor-
tant corporations. He is a wise counselor and is equally able in the presentation of a case
before the courtSt where he is found prepared, it being his custom to carefully study every
question with a thoroughness that leaves him well qualified for defense as well as attack.
He aided in organizing and building the Seattle Central Railroad and has further extended
his efforts in business circles by becoming a stockholder in various corporations and
business enterprises. He possesses keen sagacity and in matters of business judgment is
seldom, if ever, at fault.

In 1887 Mr. White was united in marriage to Miss Kate Erwin, a native of Sewickley,
Pennsylvania, and to them were born three daughters, Kathryn, Esther and Emma. Theirs
is one of the attractive and hospitable homes of the city. The parents are members of the
Baptist church, in which Mr. White has served as trustee, and he also belongs to the
Woodmen of the World, the Independent Order of Foresters, the Modern Woodmen of
America and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. He has given earnest support to
the republican party since age conferred upon him the right of franchise and in 1900 was
made the republican nominee for prosecuting attorney. For more than a quarter of a cen-
tury he has lived in the northwest and as "time tests the merit of all things," so it has
proven the ability of Mr. White in his law practice and his progressiveness in citizenship.
His professional duties have never been allowed to so monopolize his time as to exclude
his participation in matters relating to the general welfare, for he has ever fully recognized
and met the duties and obligations of citizenship.


Arthur L. Kempster, manager of the Seattle division of the Puget Sound Traction,
Light & Power Company, was born in Canfield, Illinois, in 1872, a son of Thomas L.
and Martha M. (Hopkins) Kempster, both of whom passed away in 1898. The father
was a native of London, England, and the mother of Oswego, New York. Mr. Kempster
was an architect by profession and became identified with building interests in the north-
west on bringing his family to the coast in 1885.

Arthur L. Kempster, who was then a lad of thirteen years, lived in British Columbia
until 1887 and at the age of fifteen years came to King county, Washington, where he has
since resided. His education was acquired in the public schools of Chicago, Illinois,
and of Victoria. In 1891 he entered the service of one of the early street car systems
in the capacity of office boy and since that time has remained in active connection with
transportation work. He was advanced to the position of cashier and later to bookkeeper.
In 1895 he was appointed auditor and secretary, acting in that dual capacity until 1900.
During that period the Seattle Consolidated Street Railway Company passed out of
existence, being succeeded by the Seattle Traction Company, which afterward became a
part of the Seattle Electric Company. Mr. Kempster remained with the new corporation
as superintendent of transportation until 191 1, when he was advanced to the position of
general superintendent. A year later he became manager and is now occupying that
position of marked responsibility and trust. His management includes supervision over
the street railways, the light and the power furnished by the company in Seattle and the
water power plants at Electron, White River and Snoqualmie, the coal mine at Renton
and also the Diamond Ice & Storage Company of Seattle.

In 1903, at Seattle, Mr. Kempster was united in marriage to Miss Anna M. Church.
a daughter of E. M. Church, a pioneer settler of King county, who is now living retired



at his country home at Orcas Island. Mrs.' Kempster was born at lola, Kansas, and by
her marriage has become the mother of a daughter, Elizabeth Church.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Kempster are prominently known in the social circles of the city.
Mr. Kempster has membership with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and is well
known in club circles, belonging to the Rainier, the Earlington Golf, the Seattle Golf,
the Seattle Yacht and the Arctic Clubs. He is also a member of the Commercial Club
and of the Chamber of Commerce and is imbued with that public spirit which seeks the
welfare and improvement of the city along civic lines.

ADOLPH O. LOE, M. D., F. A, C. S.

Dr. Adolph O. Loe was born in La Crosse, Wisconsin, a son of O. E. Loe and Martha
(Garden) Loe, early settlers of that state. The father was a successful farmer and was
also active in connection with political and civic affairs of La Crosse, where he filled
various public offices in a most acceptable and creditable manner. To him and his wife
were born eight children, four sons and four daughters.

Adolph O. Loe, the youngest son, obtained a high school and university education in
Minneapolis and prepared for a professional career as a medical student in the University
of Minnesota, from which he was graduated with the M. D. degree in 1897. For a year
he was interne in the Ramsey County Hospital of Minnesota, gaining broad and valuable
practical experience such as can be obtained only in hospital work. He then became asso-
ciated with Drs. Engstad and Westeen of Grand Forks, North Dakota, for one year at
the Grand Forks Hospital. Together with Dr. Holt, of Crookston, Minnesota, he built
and conducted a private hospital containing forty rooms. He came to Seattle in the
spring of 1901. He has taken several trips to leading eastern clinics, making it his aim
and purpose to keep in touch with the advanced thought of the profession and its .scien-
tific researches and investigations. He is a member of the King County Medical Society,
the Washington State Medical Association and the American Medical Association, is a
Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and is one of the trustees of the State
Medical Library. At the present writing he is chief surgeon at the city hospital and his
ability has gained wide recognition, which places him with the able and distinguished
representatives of his calling in this city. At one time he was connected with the German
American Bank as director. His office is in the Cobb building.

On the 27th of December, 1900, in Crookston, Minnesota, Dr. Loe was united in mar-
riage to Miss Olive Twedten, a native of Wisconsin and a daughter of Mr. and Mrs.
A. O. Twedten, representing an old and prominent family of the Badger state. The
Doctor and his wife have two children, Ralph and Ruth, both born in Seattle. The par-
ents are members of Holy Trinity English Lutheran church and Dr. Loe has several fra-
ternal associations. In Masonry he has attained high rank and is a Mystic Shriner. He
also belongs to the College Club and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and he has
membership in the Chamber of Commerce and the Seattle Automobile Club. The nature
of his interests is thus indicated as well as his means of recreation. In politics he is a


Charles W. Casler, manager of the Ballard branch of the Union Savings Bank &
Trust Company and thus well known in financial circles, was born in Louisville, Kentucky,
December 27, 1874. His father, J. S. S. Casler, a native of West Virginia, has spent the
greater part of his life in Kentucky, where he is now living at the age of seventy-five years.
His wife, a native of that state, passed away in 1893 at the age of fifty-one.

In the schools of his native city Charles W. Casler pursued his education and afterward
followed railroading in early life, being connected with the offices of the Chesapeake, Ohio &


South Western road at Louisville, which afterward sold out to the Illinois Central Rail-
road. A-Ir. Casler remained with the latter company and spent two years in that service in
Chicago, but, attracted by the opportunities of the northwest, arrived in Seattle in 1898.
He has been identified with banking interests since 1902, in which year he entered the
Scandinavian-American Bank at Ballard as paying teller, his identification with that insti-
tution continuing until 1907, at which time he opened the Ballard branch of the Union
Savings Bank & Trust Company and has since been in charge. He is especially qualified
for the conduct of a successful banking business in this vicinity, as most of the business
is done with lumber and shingle mills and Mr. Casler is thoroughly familiar with the
trade, as he learned the lumber and shingle business from every angle by actual experience
in that line of work, having been associated with the Kellogg Shingle Company for some
time. Under his guidance the Ballard branch of the Union Savings & Trust Company has
become a profitable undertaking, a substantial business being there conducted. The bank
is capitalized for six hundred thousand dollars. In addition to his interests therein, Mr.
Casler is the owner of a wheat ranch in eastern Washington and city property.

In 1903 Mr. Casler was united in marriage to Miss Luella Fetterly, a native of Canada,
and they have one child, Brannon, born in Seattle, August 4, 1907.

For a quarter of a century Mr. Casler has resided in Seattle and has a wide and
favorable acquaintance among its citizens. He was elected police judge of Ballard in
1902 and would hold court in the morning before opening the bank. He was also one of
the organizers of the first Ballard fire department and acted as its secretary and treasurer
for two years. He has various fraternal relations, being connected with the Masons, the
Elks, the Woodmen of the World and the Royal Arcanum. He is a member of the Sal-
mon Bay Improvement Club, of which he was president for some time and is now vice
president. He is also a member of the Seattle Commercial Club. In politics he is a demo-
crat, while his religious faith is that of the Presbyterian church. While he is identified
with various fraternal organizations and clubs, he spends the greater part of his leisure
time at home, finding his greatest happiness in the enjoyment of the company of his family
and friends. He is fond of fishing and hunting and largely turns to those sports for
recreation. He now resides at No. 3306 Seventy-first street, at which point he has one
of the finest views on Puget Sound.


For a number of years Dewitt Clinton Brawley was classed among the representative
citizens and business men of Seattle and his death was a distinct loss to the community.
He has been intimately associated with several of the leading industries of the locality
and his talent and genius as a financier and business manager resulted in the prosperity
of these enterprises. His career was marked by integrity, efficiency and honor and no
word of detraction was ever heard from those who knew him well.

Mr. Brawley was born near Meadville, Pennsylvania, on the 3d of May, 1842, and
was descended from one of the early and honored families of Crawford county. His
grandfather, James Brawley, was a native of Eastport, Pennsylvania, and while engaged
in government service assisted in the survey of western Pennsylvania. William Brawley,
the father of Dewitt Clinton Brawley, was the first white child born in Crawford county
and there remained until after his marriage to Miss Jane Stewart, a native of Erie county,
Pennsj'lvania, by whom he had five children. He was a farmer and miller by occupation
and his was a busy and useful life. Both he and his wife were prominent members of
the Methodist church and in community affairs he was active, serving for forty years as
justice of the peace in his township. He died at the age of seventy-four years and his
wife, surviving him, passed away at the age of ninety-one.

Dewitt Clinton Brawley was educated in the common schools and about the time
that he attained his majority the noted Drake oil well was discovered within twenty miles
of his home. In the period of oil excitement which followed he and his brothers assisted
in the construction of oil rigs. Later they began operating on their own account and


soon success attended their efforts, their best results being obtained at Moody's Gulch
and at Pit Hole. In 1879 William R. Brawley, who was a partner of Dewitt Clinton
Brawley in all of his business ventures, came to Seattle and purchased coal and timber
lands in this section of the country. In 1882 he was joined in this state by Dewitt Clinton
Brawley, but soon afterward the latter returned to the east to settle up their business
affairs and then again came to Seattle in 1889. They became largely interested in farm
lands. During the great fire of 1889 they met with severe losses. After the rebuilding
of the city they established a brickyard and many of the brick buildings of the city
were erected from the product of their plant. They also dealt in real estate and platted
the Brawley addition, which was one of the old residential districts of Seattle. In 1887
the brothers were fortunate investors in oil property near Bowling Green, Ohio, becoming
by purchase the owners of the famous Ducat well, which yielded a flow of two hundred
barrels of oil per hour. About eighteen months later they sold this well to the Standard
Oil Company and retired from that line of business. During the time of the financial
panic of 1893, in which many of the substantial citizens of the northwest lost their prop-
erty, the Brawley brothers were great sufferers but succeeded in meeting their obligations
and saving much of their property.

In 1880 Dewitt Clinton Brawley married Miss Ella R. Thomas, a daughter of George
Thomas, of Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania, a prominent farmer and pioneer manufac-
turer in that part of the state. They became the parents of two children, Lee J. and Ruth.
On the 14th of March, 1900, Mr. Brawley was called from the scene of earth's activities
but his memory is still enshrined in the hearts of his many friends. As a young man
he became identified with the Masonic fraternity and he exemplified its helpful and benef-
icent principles in his every-day life. He was a member of the Baptist church, a man
of firm convictions, honest purpose, kindly nature and upright conduct. Mrs. Brawley
died December 9, 1900. She was a very prominent and active worker in the church. Both
Mr. and Mrs. Brawley were among the organizers of the Baptist church at Third and
Cedar streets, in Seattle, and Mrs. Brawley was one of the organizers of the old Market
Street Baptist church. She was also one of the first members of the First Baptist church
and became a most prominent member in its various activities. She was likewise greatly
and helpfully interested in the Young Women's Christian Association, to which she gave
much time. Her daughter, Ruth, died October 7, 1911, at the age of eighteen years.

Lee J. Brawley, the only surviving member of the family, was born in Seattle, Sep-
tember 6, 1883. He is a graduate of the Seattle high school and for two years attended
the University of Washington, graduating from Leiand Stanford University of California
in 1906 with the Bachelor of Arts degree. Upon his return from California he engaged
in the real estate business under Herbert S. Upper and has been so connected since
that time. After the death of his father and his uncle, W. R. Brawley, their estates were
organized as the Brawley Estate Company and Lee J. Brawley took up its management,
while still continuing his work with Mr. Upper.

He is a member of the New Seattle Chamber of Commerce, the Rainier, .Arctic, and
Seattle Athletic clubs. In politics he is a republican but not an active worker in party
ranks, and his religious faith is evidenced in his membership in the First Baptist church.
The business qualifications of the father also find expression in the son and his ability
is bringing him to a prominent position in the ranks of the young business men of Seattle.


In the death of Paul Singerman, Seattle lost a valued and representative citizen.
He was born in Poland Russia. February 9, 1849, and was therefore sixty-six years of
age when, in August, 191 5, he was called to his final rest. In 1869, when a young man
of twenty years, he came to the United States and, making his way across the plains to
California, he settled at Santa Cruz, where he engaged in merchandising until 1874, when
he disposed of his interests there and came to Seattle, finding here a little straggling
frontier village. He established the first clothing store in the city, calling it the San


Francisco store, its location being at Jackson and Commercial streets. He afterward re-

Online LibraryClarence BagleyHistory of Seattle from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 3) → online text (page 38 of 142)