Clarence Bagley.

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

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"He has engaged in the general practice of law, though to some extent he has made a
specialty of real-estate litigations. He has had a large volume of probate practice, but he
does not desire to make a specialty of any one line and has a broad and comprehensive
knowledge of jurisprudence in all its departments. He practices before all the courts, and
in 1896-97 was city attorney of Seattle. He is quick to master all the intricacies in a
case and grasp all the details, at the same time losing sight of none of the essential
points upon which the decision of every case finally turns. He has a ready flow of
language and as a speaker is fluent, forcible, earnest and logical, as well as convincing in
argument. His knowledge of the law, it must be conceded, is hardly second to that of
any other member of the bar of Washington. A man of sound judgment, he manages his
cases with masterly skill and tact, is a logical reasoner and has a ready command of
English. His powers as an advocate have been demonstrated by his success on many
occasions, and he is an able lawyer of large and varied experience in all the courts.
Thoroughness characterizes all his efiforts and he conducts all his business with a strict
regard to a high standard of professional ethics."

Mr. Rawson has ever been attractively situated in his home life. He was married
in January, 1884, to Miss Nellie F. French, a native of Maine and a daughter of Edwin
R. French, who was twice a member of the Maine senate. Four children have been born
to Mr. and Mrs. Rawson: Ralph F., ErroU W., Charlotte Stevens and Edward Chase.

The family are Unitarians in religious belief and Mr. Rawson was a member of the
board of trustees of the First Unitarian church of Seattle for fifteen years, was president


of the board for eleven years and chairman of the buildnig committee during the erec-
tion of the church on Boylston avenue. He also holds membership with the Alodern Wood-
men of America and the Woodmen of the World. His activities aside from his profession
have been directed along military and political lines. He became identified with the National
Guard in 1893, joining Company D, and was soon afterward appointed to the position
of sergeant major of the First Washington Regiment. As that office was in the
line of staff duty and he desired active work, he resigned just prior to the Spanish-
American war and reenlisted in Company D. 'His regiment was mustered into the United
States service and he had the distinction of being the first enlisted man sworn into the
service from the state of Washington. While acting as first sergeant in the Philippines
he received honorable mention for distinguished and meritorious service on five different
occasions. He was later promoted, to the second lieutenancy for his commendable gallantry
and capable work. With one exception, he participated in every engagement in which hi'^
company took part and he was also in many of the scouting expeditions. While engaged
m duty of that character he was forced to remain away from his company for so long
a time on two different occasions that he was reported dead among his comrades. He
took part in eighteen different engagements aside from his scouting work and remained
continuously on active duty witli his regiment until mustered out at San Francisco,
November i, 1899, with the rank of second lieutenant. Soon after his return to Washington'
he was appointed brigade inspector with the rank of lieutenant colonel and held Uiat
position until he became a meraber of the legislature.

The name of Colonel Rawson is equally well known in political circles. Since age
conferred upon him the right of franchise he has voted with the republican party and has
become a recognized leader in its ranks. In the fall of igoo he was made his party's
nominee for the ofiice of representative of the forty-first district. His opposition to the
bill increasing the salary of adjutant generals and decreasing that of the enlisted men won
him considerable publicity. While a member of the house he was also active in bringing
about the defeat of the administration bill. He has ever stood fearlessly for whar he
believes to be right, whether as champion or opponent of a measure. He was a strong
advocate of a bill providing for the return of the penalty "on city taxes to the city instead
of to the county, his efforts contributing largely to the passage of the measure. He was
made chairman of the committee on military affairs and a member of the committee on
appropriations, and while acting in the latter capacity was instrumental in wrecking some
of the unjust bills. He served also on the judiciary and horticultural committees and
was identified with much constructive legislation looking to the development of the state
and to the upholding of its high standards. His entire record has been one which com-
mands confidence and goodwill, for he has been faultless in honor, fearless in conduct and
stainless in reputation. His clear insight has made him master of many situations in which
he has become a manager or leader. He never deviates from a course which he believes
to be right between himself and his fellowmen, and the integrity of his purpose and his
action is unquestioned even by his strongest enemies. Life has been to him purposeful
and resultant and the success and honor ti which he has attained are well merited.


In tlie later years of his life Henry T. Eredes, who passed away on the 3d of May,
1912, lived retired but previously he had made extensive and profitable investments in real
estate, so that his property holdings returned to him a -gratifying income, supplying him
with all of the comforts and many of the luxuries of life. A native of Bedford, °Ohio,
he was born February 2, 1852, and was indebted to the public-school system of that city
for the educational privileges which he enjoyed. For fourteen years he resided in Lincoln,
Kansas, where he was engaged in banking and later he engaged in the cattle shipping
business, thereby laying the foundation of his fortunes. He arrived in Seattle in 1900
and devoted one year to the milling and lumber business, after which he became inter-
ested in real estate, operating along that line for a number of years as a member of


the firm of Bredes, Lebold & Cox. Ill health, however, forced him to retire from active
business but in the meantime he had made large investments in realty, his holdings
including the Normandie apartments, the largest fireproof apartments in the city. These
Mr. Bredes had erected and he derived therefrom a most gratifying and substantial
income. A short time prior to his death he donated to the city shrubbery to the value of
more than one thousand dollars, giving it to the park board to beautify the parking strips
and slopes near the Xormandie.

On the 28th of August, 1873, Mr. Bredes was united in marriage to Miss Ella M. King
and they became the parents of two daughters: Mabel S., now the wife of Albert T.
Thompson; and Flora A., the wife of William S. Walker. Both are residents of Seattle.
Mr. Bredes was a Mason and exemplified in his life the beneficent spirit of the craft.
He was one to whom opportunity came as a call to arms and he readily responded, win-
ning many victories. Although his residence in this city covered but twelve years, he
had become widely known to its leading citizens and his many suljstantial qualities had
firmly established him in their regard.


Tlie name of Lloyd Joseph Caswell is widely known in connection with the develop-
ment of Alaska and the northwest. In that connection he came often to Seattle and for
a period resided in the city. He was born in Middletown, Connecticut, in 1856, and his
life history covered the intervening period to the 7th of December, 1913. Reared in New
England, he was graduated from Yale University in 1876, completing a course in engineer-
ing with high honors. The nature of his studies decided the trend of his later life, for
through his entire career he was closely connected with large and important engineering
projects. He had an extensive acquaintance among .Alaska miners and business men and
in i<X)4 made a trip to the far northwest as locating engineer for the .Maska Central
Company, .^fter spending two years in that country lie returned to Seattle to accept a
liosition with the Oregon & Washington Railroad. He was again called to the north
by the Copper River people, having charge of all of the difticult building of railroads in
Alaska for that company. Not only could he solve intricate and involved engineering
problems but he could manage men. He spoke English, German, French and Spanish
fluently and he was thus able to direct the work of many laborers. After leaving the
Copper River work he became confidential engineer for the Southern Pacific Railroad
Company and had charge of estimates for purchases and improvements.

In 1886, in Gainesville, Texas, Mr. Caswell was married to Miss Minnie Etta X'innedge,
who survives him. His fraternal relations were with the Masons. He stood as a man
among men, his ability and powers gaining him respect and confidence. While greatly
concerned with the affairs of active business life, he was moreover of studious disposi-
tion and habits and read broadly and thought deeply. His powers as a linguist enabled
him to enjoy the I'cst that the literature of various countries afforded and his leisure
was largely devoted to the companionship which his library afforded him.


John Franklin Miller, a member of the Seattle bar since 1888, has probably had more
experience as a prosecuting attorney than any man in the state of Washington, havmg
been engaged in daily court work of this character for more than seven years, in winch
time he tried thousands of persons accused of crime. He is very successful in his pro-
fessional activities and his clear analysis of a case is always one of the potent elements
in his success.

Mr. Miller was born on Portage Prairie, near South Bend. St. Joseph county, Indiana,
June 9, 1862, his birthplace being the same farm upon which his father was born. He is


a son of I. Newton and Martha E. (Ritter) Miller, who were representatives of pioneer
families of St. Joseph county, the Millers coming from Virginia and the Ritters from
Pennsylvania. John F. Miller began his education in the village schools of New Carlisle,
Indiana, in the vicinity of which town his father had purchased a farm after leaving the
old homestead on Portage Prairie. Hard work and strict economy featured in his boy-
hood, during which he walked to school two and a half miles through the forests through-
out the severe winters, being frequently neither absent nor tardy during the school
year. In the summer months he labored on the farm and later he had the opportunity
of attending the high school at South Bend and also spending a year as a student in
Hillsdale (Mich.) College. He afterward became a law student in the Northern Indiana
Normal School at Valparaiso, Indiana, now the University of Valparaiso, from which he
was graduated in 1887 with the LL. B. degree. The following year he came to Seattle,
where he has since resided and practiced, the family home being maintained at No. 108
West Prospect street. From the beginning of his practice he has displayed notable skill
as a criminal lawyer. He prepares his cases with great thoroughness and care and is
withal a hard student. He seems almost intuitively to discover the points bearing upon
his cause and produces evidence that is ofttimes a surprise to his opponents. The first
public oflice he held was that of justice of the peace in Seattle precinct from 1889 until
1901. Before the expiration of his term Washington had been admitted to the Union
and he was elected the first prosecuting attorney after statehood was obtained, serving
in that position for four years. Thereafter, from 1905 until 1908. he was a deputy prose-
cuting attorney, handling many important cases. He has held other positions outside the
strict path of his profession, having been mayor of Seattle from 1908 until 1910, during
which period the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition was held and during which period
the American battleship fleet visited Seattle.

On the I2th of February, 1889, at Randolph Grove, near Bloomington, Illinois,
Mr. Miller was married to Miss Mary Elizabeth Stewart, a daughter of Robert and Eliza-
beth Stewart and a member of one of the families that -were among the first Virginia
settlers of central Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Miller have a daughter and son: Leah, a grad-
uate of the University of Washington ; and Stewart, now a cadet at the United States
Military Academy at West Point, New York.

In his political views Mr. Miller has always been a stalwart republican and a recog-
nized party leader in Seattle. In Masonry he has attained the Knights Templar degree of
the York Rite and the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite and is also a member of
the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, and he belongs also to the Independent Order of Odd
Fellows. He likewise holds membership with the Order of Yukon Pioneers and with the
Rainier Club, and his activities have contributed to the advancement of the city along
material, social and civic lines. The recognition of his ability has brought him municipal
honors and professional success and he stands today as one of the representative citizens
of the northwest.


Malcolm McFee has devoted his entire life to railroad construction, and as a contractor in
that industrial field has won substantial success. Since June, 1890, he has made his home
in Seattle and is now operating under the name of Henry & McFee, which was organized in
1905. He was born in Russelltown, Canada, November i, 1852, a son of John McFee,
whose birth occurred at Lochiel. Scotland. In early life he became a resident of Canada,
where he followed the occupation of farming, and in local affairs he took an active and
influential part. He retained his residence in Canada until called to his final rest in 1902,
at the remarkable old age of ninety-five years. His wife, who bore the maiden name of
Elizabeth Gordon, was born in Russelltown, Canada, a daughter of Daniel Gordon, who was
a pioneer settler and a neighbor of the McFee family, so that at the time of her marriage
Mrs. McFee took up her abode upon the farm adjoining her father's place and there spent



the remainder of her life. She was bora in 1828 and died in 1904, at the age of seventy-six
years. In their family were si.x children.

Malcolm McFee, who was the third in order of birth, attended the country schools
to the age of sixteen years and then crossed the threshold of business life, his first
employment being that of clerk in a store in Plattsburg, New York. He afterward served
as timekeeper for a contractor engaged in international railroad work and spent several
years in that way. Before he attained his majority, however, he had taken a subcontract
on railroad work, since which time his entire life has been devoted to railroad construction
and contracting, and his course has been marked by a steady advancement, winning him
substantial success and gaining for him a creditable position in his chosen field of labor.
In June, 1890, he arrived in Seattle and in 1905 entered upon his present relations as a
partner in the firm of Henry & McFee, railroad contractors and builders. They are
accorded a liberal patronage and their business is a substantial and growing one. Mr.
McFee is also a stockholder in several banks in the northwest and also in the White Bluft's
Investment Company, of which he is the secretary and a director. He is likewise a trustee
of the Dominion Contracting Company of \'ancouver and in all things keen discernment
and sound judgment have characterized his efforts and directed his success.

On the i6th of February, 1891, in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, Mr. McFee was united
in marriage to Miss Louise Nason, a native of Wisconsin and a representative of a very
prominent family in their section. Her father, Joel F. Nason, served as state senator for
a number of terms and was also a United States land officer. Mr. and Mrs. McFee have
four living children, three sons and a daughter, namely : John, who was born December
26, 1891; Joel N., whose natal day was September 15, 1893; Jean H., born June 8, 1895;
and Donald, whose birth occurred March 5, 1900.

]Mr. McFee exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the
republican party and his club relationship is with the Rainier and Earlington Clubs. He
attends the Bethany Presbyterian church and guides his life by its teachings. Honorable
principle characterizes him at every point in his career. He left home a poor boy and since
that time has based his advancement upon industry and integrity, winning his success along
lines that neither seek nor require disguise. He is now well established in business and his
course indicates that the field of opportunity is open to all that have the courage to
persevere therein.


James Raeside Stirrat, a man of well balanced capacities and powers, has long occu-
liied a central place on the stage of action as one of the foremost general contractors
of the northwest. His is the record of a strenuous life in which he has attained a large
measure of success, his business operations in tlie field of building calling him into various
cities and sections of the Pacific coast country.

Mr. Stirrat was born at Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland, on the 5th of December, 1865, a
son of George and Isabel (Raeside) Stirrat, both of whom are now deceased, having
passed away at the ages of eighty-five and sixty-five years respectively. The father was a
mechanic, engaged in the brick business. The son pursued his education in the schools
of Scotland and in his youth learned the trade of a joiner and cabinetmaker. He came
to the new world about 1887 and remained for a year and a half in New Jersey, working
at his trade in Morristown. His identification with Seattle dates from August, 1889. He
arrived in the city soon after the great fire and for about a year was employed at carpenter-
ing, after which he started out in business on his own account along that line. His first
contract was awarded him by E. O. Graves, for whom he erected a house on Jefferson
street, and while thus engaged he made the acquaintance of Herman Goetz, who was
building the chimneys. For a year Mr. Stirrat continued to build houses with Mr. Goetz
doing the stone work and masonry. It was then his attention was directed into another
department of contract work. At that time Seattle had no permanent improvements in
paving or similar work. At that time A. .\. Denny was conducting business under the


name of the Denny Clay Company and owned all of the property on Union street between
Seventh avenue and First street.

In the meantime the partnership between Mr. Stirrat and Mr. Goetz had been
formed and they became connected with the Denny Company in putting in the concrete
foundation on Union, between First and Second streets. This was their first experience
in that kind of work and they gained comprehensive and valuable knowledge along that
line. At that time the street railway was in the hands of M. F. Backus, who had been
appointed receiver, and Graves & Backus at about that date opened the Washington
National Bank. The firm of Stirrat & Goetz became acquainted with them and smce
that day have done all their banking business with them, covering a period of twenty-one
years. When the work of paving Pike from First to Seventh street was under contem-
plation, the firm of Stirrat & Goetz put in a bid but were not awarded the contract,
although they were given charge of the railroad building on that street. J^Ir. Backus
afterward engaged them to build the railroad line from Pike to Pioneer Square on Second
avenue. The next move in public improvements was the building of sewers and the firm
put in the first brick sewers on Washington street from Western to Fourth. They also
laid the first cement walks with concrete curbs on Highland Drive from Seventh to
Queen Anne avenue and laid the first water mains which were laid in the city under the
assessment plan.

The first property which the firm owned as an investment was acquired by them in
the summer of 1899 ^i"! was situated at the northeast corner of Seventh and Spring
streets. The purchase price was eighteen hundred dollars and it was then quite a struggle
for them to pay one-third, the balance to be paid in one and two years. They improved
the property by moving upon it two buildings purchased from the Independent Telephone
Company. They invested altogether about seven thousand dollars and in 1906 disposed
of the property for thirty-five thousand dollars. As the years went on Messrs. Stirrat
and Goetz supervised their contract work themselves, employing no foreman. One would
manage one job and the other would supervise another, aad they did their clerical work
and kept their accounts at night. They would work from seven o'clock in the morning
until si.x o'clock at night and that period was one of strenuous effort. They have continued
a general contracting business in all kinds of public improvements, paving, cement walks,
sewers, water mains, planking, etc. It was after they formed their partnership that they
discontinued to engage in the erection of houses and turned their attention to public im-
jjrovement work. Twelve years ago they figured on their first piece of asphalt work and
their first contract was the laying out of the Renton Hill addition, involving about a half
million dollars. The second year they did business to the amount of two million dollars
and from that time forward they constantly branched out, their contracts covering a wider
and still wider territory. They have done work as far east as Spokane, Yakima, and
Ellensburg and have taken important contracts in Tacoma and Bellingham, Washington,
and Vancouver, British Columbia, as well as in Seattle. From time to time they have
made judicious investments in Seattle propertj', at one time purchasing the Seattle Theater
for two hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars and selling it four years ago for two
hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars. Their business has constantly grown in volume
and importance and their interests have been carried forward to successful completion
liecause of their ready recognition of opportunities and the ability with which in business
affairs they have discriminated between the essential and the nonessential.

In Irvine, Scotland, on the 5th of April, 1892, Mr. Stirrat was united in marriage to
Catherine Cochran Neilson Bowman and to them have been born four sons : George Rae-
side, John Bowman, James Raeside and Roy. To their sons they have given liberal educa-
tional advantages, the eldest having pursued a course of study in the School of Finance
of the University of Pennsylvania, while John was graduated from the Culver Military
Academy on Lake Maxinkuckee, Indiana, in 1915. The younger sons are still attending
the schools of Seattle. Mr. Stirrat had been a resident of the new world for two years
before he returned to Scotland for liis bride. Her people were sugar refiners of Greenock,

Mr. and Mrs. Stirrat hold membership in the First Presbyterian church and he gives
his political allegiance to the republican party. When in Scotland in young manhood he


was connected with a military organization from which he received an honorable dis-
charget He is an active worker in several Scotch societies of Seattle, belongs to the
Caledonian Society and the Order of the Scottish Clans. Fraternally he is a prominent
Mason, having attained the Knights Templar degree in Seattle Commandery, while with
the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine he has crossed the sands of the desert. He likewise
belongs to the Rainier, Arctic and Golf Clubs and is a member of the Chamber of Com -
merce. He possesses a strong character which inspires confidence in others. What a
man does and what he attains depend largely upon his opportunities, but the well balanced
man mentally and physically is possessed of sufficient courage to venture where favoring
opportunity is presented, and Mr. Stirrat's judgment and even-paced energy have carried
him forward to the goal of success.

Online LibraryClarence BagleyHistory of Seattle from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 3) → online text (page 45 of 142)