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

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and his fraternal connection is with the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen of
America. He is popular in military and social circles, while in his profession he is win-
ning for himself a position that is enviable.


Torkel L. Monson, of the Monson Advertising Company of Seattle, was born in
Norway, October 17, 1872. His father. Anton Lippestad, also a native of the land of
the midnight sun, followed contracting and building throughout his entire business life,
winning success in his undertakings. He died in 1878. His widow, who bore the maiden
name of Caroline Anderson, is now a resident of Tonsberg, Norway.

Torkel L. Monson, an only son, was educated in the schools of his native country
until he reached the age of fifteen years, when he sailed for America with his uncle,
J. C. Monson, who some j^ears before had come to the new world and served as a soldier
in the Fifteenth Wisconsin Infantry during the Civil war. The early part of his life was
devoted to general agricultural pursuits, while later he became an orange grower of Redlands,
California, being the first citizen to erect a business block in that place. In 1890 he re-
moved to Port Townsend, Washington, where he passed away in 1899, having lived retired
during the period of his residence in that citv'.

Torkel L. Monson was the protege of his uncle during these years and his adopted
son, being legally given his name. He was accorded excellent educational privileges, study-
ing in Clark county, Washington, and at the Willamette University at Salem, Oregon,
pursuing his course to the age of eighteen. He entered business life in the position of a
janitor at Port Townsend, and while there became acquainted with Francis L. Miller,
county surveyor of Jefferson county, a tenant of the building. Through this acquaintance-
ship he secured a position in the office of Mr. Miller and during three years spent in that
connection learned surveying and map drafting, which profession he followed for about a
year thereafter. He next entered the field of journalism, becoming associated with the
Port Townsend Leader, a daily paper, on the reportorial staff, remaining in that associa-
tion for eighteen months, when he removed to Anaconda. ^Montana, securing work in the
Anaconda Smelters. After a few months he became proof reader on the Anaconda Stand-
ard and was advanced to the position of city editor, filling that office for a period of three
years. During his first journalistic venture he was correspondent at Port Townsend for the
Daily Telegram of Seattle. He returned to Port Townsend at the earnest solicitation of
his uncle, and upon his arrival there in 1898 his uncle had a position awaiting him in
the Merchants Bank, where he continued for five years, during which period he thoroughly
learned the banking business. While thus engaged he purchased an interest in the Daily


Call of Port Townsend and in 1904 took charge of the paper as manager and editor. While
conducting the paper in 1905 he organized the Port Townsend Commercial Club and
became its first secretary, contributing much toward the accomplishment of its purposes.
At the same period he was correspondent for the Seattle Times, the Tacoma Ledger, Port-
land Telegram, the 'Frisco Bulletin, the Victoria Times and the Vancouver World, and
also conducted his own paper, but in the spring of 1907 sold his entire interests there and
removed to Seattle, where he engaged in the publicity and advertising business, since con-
tinuing in this line with good success. In July, 1913, he became editor of the Commercial
Club Bulletin, and chairman of the press and publicity committee. He was also made
secretary of the Mount Baker Park Improvement Club. He is now conducting a growing
and profitable business under the name of the Monson Advertising Company, which is a
broad gauge advertising concern employing modern methods and origmal ideas, ihe
firm supplies complete or advisory service embracing planning, writing, illustrating and
placing Mr. Monson is in thorough touch with the spirit of the times as manifest^ in busi-
ness life and his originality enables him to bring into public recognition the enterprises with
which many of his patrons are associated.

On the 23d of April, 1900, occurred the marriage of Mr. Monson and Miss Amelia
Louise Ecklund, the wedding being celebrated at Port Townsend, Mrs. Monson was born
in Sweden and was a daughter of P. A. Ecklund, of Seattle. By her marriage she became
the mother of two children : Karl C, born September 14. 1901 ; and Verrelle A., born April
28 1906 Both were born at Port Townsend. The wife and mother passed away at Seattle,
March 7, 1910, and on the 3d of March, 1915, Mr. Monson was married to Miss tlsie
Margaret Larson, a native of Wisconsin, and a daughter of James Larson, of Seattle.
Mr Monson is fond of all manly athletic and outdoor sports and from 1895 until 1900 he
held the record for the northwest for quarter mile sprinting and also made a wondertul

record at long distance running. , , , , • j „„„^

In politics he is a democrat where national issues are involved but casts an independ-
ent local ballot. Fraternally he is connected with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks
at Port Townsend and served as esquire of the lodge. He is a Protestant in religious faith
and he belongs to both the Seattle Ad Club and to the Seattle Commercial Club, which indi-
cates his interest in the welfare and progress of the city. He is an enthusiastic supporter
of Seattle and the Puget Sound country, recognizing its wonderful resources and possi-
bilities, while his efforts are proving an element in contributing to the advancement of the
district. Coming to a land unhampered by caste or class he has worked his w-ay steadily
upward and is now accounted one of the representative business men of his adopted city.


S Richard Peck, president of the Pacific Optical Company, has by reason of his abil-
ity won decided success since coming to Seattle in 1901. He established his business here
upon borrowed capital but his skill soon won him recognition and a hberal and c°ns antly
growing patronage has been his almost from the beginning. The width of the continent
Separates him from his birth place, for he is a native of Portland, Maine, born in July
1867 His father, John W. Peck, was born at Stamford, Connecticut, and was educated in
New York city. Later he removed to Portland. Maine, where he became an employe of the
New York Central Railroad Company. In 1883 he migrated to the west, settling a Tacoma
where he became freight agent for the northwest territory, representing the New York
Central Railroad. He continued in that position for twenty-eight years, or until 1911,
when he retired from active business, spending his remaining days m the enjoyment of
well earned rest until death called him in 1913. ,, , .^ .

S Richa d Peck was a pupil in the public and high schools of New ^ork city and
following his graduation he entered the employ of the Tiffany Jewelry Company as an
apprentice in the watch department, there remaining for six ^^^ ^n the exp^ra^on o^
that period he went to Tacoma, where he became manager for the P^^f^ ?1™;^°"^
Company, which he thus represented until 1896. In that year he returned to the Atlantic


seaboard, establishing his home at Charlotte, North Carolina, where he operated an optical
store until 1901, when he came to Seattle and established the Pacific Optical Company
openmg his offices in the Collins block. He had to borrow two thousand dollars with which
to start in busmess but has since conducted a wholesale optical business, winning success
as president and owner of the Pacific Optical Company. In 1910 he removed to the Leary
building, where he now occupies a suite of six rooms and employs thirteen people He is
thoroughly conversant with every phase of the optical business and has built up an excellent
trade upon the Pacific coast, controlling a business of large and profitable proportions

In New York city, in July, 1889, Mr, Peck was united in marriage to Miss Juanita
Le Cato, and they have a daughter, Juanita, who is a graduate of the University of

The family attend Trinity church and Mr. Peck in his political views is a republican
He belongs to the Credit Men's Association and his social nature finds expression in his
membership m the Rainier and Country clubs of Seattle and the Union Club of Tacoma.
He is an enthusiastic advocate of the Pacific northwest, its opportunities and possibilities
and has firm faith in its future. To this end he cooperates in all the public movements
for Its upbuilding and improvement and manifests the qualities of public-spirited citizenship.


Upon the history of Seattle's moral progress as well as of her material development
the name of John Sanford Taylor is deeply impressed. He stood for all those things
which count most in city upbuilding and never lost sight of the high principles which
should govern man in his varied relations of life. He thus came to an honored old age
and when he had passed the eighty-fifth milestone on life's journey passed to the home

Mr. Taylor was a sturdy Scotsman and had many of the sterling characteristics of
the sons of the land of hills and heather. He was there born February 18, 1830, and
during his infancy was brought by his parents to the new world, the family home being
established in Montreal, Canada, where the father and mother passed away about 1839.

John S. Taylor was thus left an orphan at the age of nine years and was placed in
the Ladies Benevolent Institute, where he remained until he reached the age of ten
years, when he went to live in the home of Allen McDermit, with whom he continued
until he reached his majority, residing much of that time in Canada. His wages for the
ten and one-half years of hard labor which he put in with Mr. McDermit were only
forty-two dollars. He had very little opportunity to attend school, but through reading
and experience and contact with his fellowmen he added continually to the sum total of
his knowledge and gained broad general information. He made his initial step in the
business world as a chopper in the lumber woods and his industry and fidelity gained him
promotion until at the age of twenty-six years he was superintendent of a sawmill. He
next embarked in the manufacture of lumber on his own account at Saginaw, Michigan,
and was thus engaged for many years. He went from Saginaw to Duluth, Minnesota,
where he built a large sawmill and continued in the manufacture of lumber for eight

At the end of that time Mr. Taylor made a pleasure trip to Seattle and immediately
felt the lure of the west, for he recognized the natural resources and advantages of the
country and felt that ultimately a great empire would be builded upon the Sound.
Returning to his former home, he disposed of his property and immediately after again
came to this city, where he arrived on the 13th of February, 1889. Soon Seattle benefited
by his investment of sixty thousand dollars in business and property here. He built a
sawmill and a planing mill and also purchased a portable sawmill, together with the
other necessary buildings, securing all the equipment needed for the conduct of a large
lumber business. His enterprise was successfully conducted for a number of j'ears, but
in 1895 there came a landslide in which seventy-five acres of land moved down into the
lake, washing away his large plant and destroying sixteen dwelling houses. His losses


■ \ T^! ■



were thus heavy, yet he still retained the ownership of considerable other property. He
afterward built a sawmill at Rainier Beach, with a capacity of forty thousand feet of
lumber per day, it being fully equipped for the manufacture of lath and shingles. Around
the mill grew up a little settlement to which was given the name of Taylor's Mill, and
it was there that Mr. Taylor was living at the time of his death. He was a very
prominent figure in the development of Rainier Valley and his life work was an element
in the growing industrial enterprise of Seattle.

On the 20th of June, 1853, in Glengarry county, Canada, Mr. Taylor was united in
marriage to Miss Jeanette Louthian, who was born in that county, March 4, 1833, and is
of Scotch lineage. Mr. and Mrs. Taylor became the parents of four children: William
D., now a resident of Seattle; David P., of Seattle; Alargaret, the wife of M. R. Metcalf,
of St. Paul, Minnesota; and John S., living in Seattle.

For many years Mr. and Mrs. Taylor were leading and influential members of the
Methodist Episcopal church, in which he served as trustee and for a third of a century
was superintendent of the Sunday school. They had not long been residents of Seattle
when there was talk of building a new church. At that time they resided not far from
the present site of the Grace Methodist Episcopal church and Mr. Taylor furnished the lum-
ber to be used in the erection of the new house of worship. He has largely been
the builder of five different churches, including one mission, aiding generously toward the
work of building two churches and a mission in Michigan, the Grace Methodist church at
Duluth and the Grace Methodist church in Seattle. Until 1907 the last named church
had no pews, using chairs, but in 1907 Mr. Taylor equipped the church with pews. It
was from that church that Mr. Taylor was buried when on the 25th of June, 1915. he
passed away. He had reached the age of eighty-five years and it was only m the last
few months of his life that he was unable to leave home. In fact he was an ardent
base-ball enthusiast and until his last illness, accompanied by Mrs. Taylor, eighty-two
years of age, he was a daily attendant of the games. Seattle recognized in him a public-
spirited citizen and one who had great faith in the city, seeking at all times to further its
pro<^ress along substantial lines. His work was manifestly resultant and among those
with whom business or social relations brought him in contact he was held in the highest
regard As the day with its morning of hope and promise, its noontide of activity, its
evenin- of completed and successful effort, ending in the grateful rest and quiet of the
night, so was the life of John Sanford Taylor, who in his later years was affectionately
termed "Grandpa" Taylor by all who knew him.


John Sherman Robinson, a successful representative of the legal fraternity in Seattle,
has here practiced his profession during the past four years, and is now a member of the
firm of Bronson. Robinson & Jones, having offices in the Colman building. He vv-as born
in Mansfield, Ohio, on the 17th of December. t8So, and is a son of Samuel and Caroline
Robinson. Following his graduation from the Mansfield high school he entered the Univer-
sity of Michigan, which institution conferred upon him the degree of Bachelor of Arts m
1003 During the next year he acted as an instructor in the Michigan Military Academy and
from 1904 until 1907 served as superintendent of schools at Bessemer Michigan.

Having determined upon the practice of law as a life work, Mr Robinson entered
Columbia University and in 1910 won the degree of LL. B. During his college days he
won considerable recognition as an athlete, serving as captain of the Umversity of Mid.,gan
track team in 1O03. From 1908 until 1910 he acted as associate edi or of t^^ Columbia
Law Review. In August, 1910, he began the practice of law in Seattle and on the ist o
January 1913, went into partnership with Ira Bronson. In January, lOM. H. B. Jones
was admitted to the firm and with them he has since been associated under the firm style
Tf Bronson, Robinson & Jones. An extensive and lucrative d-entage has ->; -orded
them as they have demonstrated their ability in handling impor ant legal interests. Mr.
Robinson also acts as president and director of the Vulcan Manufacturing Company.

Tol. in— 2 3


When a student at the University of Michigan, Mr. Robinson joined the Alpha Delta
Phi fraternity and while at Columbia University became a member of the Phi Delta Phi.
He is also a popular member of the College Club, the Rainier Club, the Seattle Athletic
and Seattle Yacht clubs. Politically he is a stanch republican, loyally supporting the men
and measures of that party. In the city of Seattle he enjoys an enviable reputation as a
rising young attorney and is highly esteemed in both social and professional circles.


Mrs. Mary Snow, living in Seattle, was born May 13, 1853. in Barberville, Kentucky,
and was married in Little Rock, Arkansas, on the i6th day of September, 1874, to George
D. Snow, whose birth occurred in Greenfield, Massachusetts. May 29, 1851. The year
following their marriage, in 1875, they came to Seattle from Little Rock, and here Mr.
Snow accepted a position as telegraph operator in the employ of James Lyons, manager
of the Western Union. When Mr. Lyons left. Mr. Snow was given the position of manager
and served as such for many years. He also held the position of city electrician for some

To Mr. and Airs. Snow were born six children, Seattle being the birthplace of all
of them. Katie May died at the age of two. Edwin R. has been connected with an
automobile mail delivery for a number of j'ears. Edna is the wife of Jack Eraser, who,
with his brother, operates a large dairy ranch near Enumclaw, King county, Washington.
Stacy, a stenographer, was for six years in the employ of the Seattle Dry Goods Company;
was with the Park Board for five years and is now secretary for Mrs. Hugh R. Rood of
the Washington Hotel & Improvement Company. Irene is the wife of R. E. Snyder, state
manager for the Yeomen, and they reside in Des Moines, Washington. They have three
children, Virginia Rose, Margaret Edna and Lois Marie. Laure is the wife of H. A.
Selland, who is engaged in business as a decorator and painter in Portland, Oregon, and
they have one son, Robert R.

Mrs. Snow was early left to provide for her five children and, having been liberally
educated, she began teaching in the country schools of Washington. Later she took up
the profession of nursing, which she followed for twenty years, thus providing not only
for the material needs of her children, but also giving to them the advantage of good
educational training. She deserves much credit for what she has accomplished and her
course merits the sincerest gratitude and love of her family. A resident of Seattle from
the early days, she is now a member of the Pioneers' Association and has a wide acquaint-
ance among the early settlers who esteem her highly for her many admirable traits of


Gary B. Peavey, a resident of Seattle, Washington, for twenty-eight years, was born
in Penobscot county, Maine, September 20, 1849. He engaged in the lumber business at the
age of fifteen and followed that line for five years in Maine, when he made his way west
to Cameron county, Pennsylvania, where he was engaged in the lumber business with
Peck, Barrows & Company, of Lock Haven, for three years, hauling and driving logs to the
sawmills at Williamsport, Pennsylvania. He then came west to St. Anthony, now East
Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he was engaged with Butler & Walker in lumbering on
the upper Mississippi river above Pokegama Falls, delivering the logs in the Minneapolis
boom. At that time the Chippewa Indians were very troublesome and in some cases they
drove the men out of their camps, took their supplies and killed their oxen and enjoyed
themselves while the good things lasted at the expense of the lumbermen who showed the
white feather. Mr. Peavey took a contract to haul and drive forty million feet of logs from
the Mille Lacs lake on Rum river to the Anoka boom and found the Indians had driven
out the loggers who had started logging there before him and taken their supplies and would


not allow them to drive what logs they had hauled. But he put in his camp and hauled
the logs and drove them, as well as the old logs, into the lioom without any trouble from the
Indians. This was the first drive of logs ever taken out of the Mille Lacs lake, which is
the source of the Rum river in Mille Lacs and Aitkin counties, Minnesota. He then bought
a sawmill at Royalton and in company with A. C. Wilson manufactured pine and hardwood
lumber for several years, furnishing a large amount of oak timber for the dam across the
Mississippi river at St. Cloud. They cut their supply of pine logs on the Platte and Sullivan
lakes and along the Platte river in Morrison county and their hardwood from the west side
of the Mississijjpi river. Mr. Peavey then sold out to Mr. Wilson and came west, arriving
on the i/th of August, 1888, in Seattle. Washington, where he was engaged in building
barges for transporting building material for the upbuilding of the burned city for several
3'ears. Subsequently he was engaged in locating timber lands for the Great Northern Rail-
road Company for several years, later buying fifty thousand acres of timber lands for the
Sound Timber Company of Davenport, Iowa. He also purchased about thirty thousand acres
for D. M. Robbins of St. Paul, Minnesota, and several thousand acres for other large land-
holders and bought and sold timber lands and land script for several years at 503 New
York block in Seattle. Afterward he built a sawmill at West Seattle and conducted a manu-
facturing and retail business until 1912, when he sold out the business and has since been
looking after his other property in and around Seattle. He has been a Master Mason for
forty-four years and a republican for a similar length of time.


George P. Listman has for nine years been a member of the civil service commission
of Seattle, his long continuance in the position being incontrovertible proof of his fidelity
and ability in the ol'fice. He has also been active along other lines of i)ublic moment,
making him a well known citizen and one whose work has been of value to the district. A
native of Hartford, Connecticut, he was born August 14, 1868, of the marriage of Conrad
and Barbara (Thomas) Listman, the former of German birth, while the latter was a native
of France.

George P. Listman attended the common schools, but broad experience in his profession
and in public office have added greatly to his knowledge, making him a well informed
man. In early life he learned the printer's trade and after coming to Seattle, on the 24th
of March, 1898, he acted as pressman on the Post-Intelligencer for one year. On the loth
of August, 1899, he established his present business at its present site. Jackson street, and
"The Trade Printery," is today one of the well known concerns of the kind in the city.
He has developed a large and profitable business, owing to the excellence of the work done,
the reliability of his methods and his enterprising spirit. It is said of him that his word is
as good as any man's bond.

His activities along other lines have been equally pronounced and have resulted in far-
reaching benefit. In the year 1907, through appointment of Mayor William Hicktnan
Moore, he became conn.ected with the civil service commission, of which he has now
been president for about four years, making a splendid record in that connection. He
has always been an able exponent of organized labor, fighting its battles, and has nearly
always been victorious. He has succeeded in securing the adoption of many measures
and many amendments favoring organized labor, some of which, while seemingly of minor
importance, have been of great benefit. He has served the cause of organized labor in
city and state; was president of the Labor Temple Association, of which he is now the
treasurer; has been president of the Central Labor Council; and was appointed a delegate,
by the Washington State Federation of Labor, to the American Federation of Labor,
asking that the honor be conferred upon him when that organization met in Seattle, as
he could not leave his business to attend national meetings elsewhere.

On the 19th of April. 1893, Mr. Listman was married to Miss Hannah G. O'Brien, a
daughter of John O'Brien, engaged in railway construction. They have had two children,
Init lost their daughter Loretta. Their son, Louis Evans, is at home. Mrs. Listman belongs


to the Catholic church and Mr. Listman has become a convert to that faith. He belongs

Online LibraryClarence BagleyHistory of Seattle from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 3) → online text (page 63 of 142)