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

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lived on into her ninety-second year. She was a remarkable woman in many ways and
a great student of history, but Scottish and church history in particular. Her memory
was undimmed up to the time of her last sickness, a short time before her death. Her
keen perception of mankind was remarkable. She knew people like an open book after


1 « r<'.i''-'S i



having a few moments' conversation with them. She iniierited the love of books from
her father, who had a rare collection of the valuable works of his time.

The Gosnells are an old English family, dating back to or before the reign of King
John, though the name has been spelled indifferently in a number of ways — Gosnell, Gosnall,
Gosneld, Gosnald, Gosnold and so on. Their habitat was mainly Suffolk and Norfolk, in
East Anglia. They seemed to have been a race of respectable, well-to-do country squires,
who never with one exception aspired to public life or honors. Some seven or eight cen-
turies ago one of them sat in the British parliament. During the Civil war, in the reign of
Charles I, though Tories and Church of England people, they took the side of Cromwell,
and as a reward for this service after the Restoration their estates were confiscated. It
was at this time that one branch of the family settled in West Cork in the south of Ireland,
where their descendants still are, and from which place, Skiberreen, the Doctor's grand-
father, came to America about one hundred years ago and settled in Quebec. It is inter-
esting to know that two of his ancestors, Bartholomew and John, under Sir Walter Raleigh,
founded the first colony on the east coast of British America.

The immediate subject of this sketch received his early education (there were no pub-
lic schools in those days) in Queljec and while still quite young acquired from iiis uncle
the art of sign writing, painting and decorating, in which line in western Ontario he pur-
sued contracting for some time. Although quite successful in his business, at the age of
twenty-nine he turned his attention to the study of medicine, for which he had a natural
aptitude. The mechanical instinct probably gave him a fondness for surgery, as an important
branch of the medical profession. He graduated from the Detroit College of Medicine in
1888. After a short term of hospital work. Dr. Gosnell came to the great west and located
at Willapa, Pacific county, Washington, where he remained until July, 1895. From there
he removed to Ilwaco at the mouth of the Columbia, where he followed his profession until
1901. The arduous labors involved in a country practice which extended over the greater
part of Pacific county decided him to take up city practice. Before entering upon this,
however, he devoted a year to postgraduate work, attending lectures and doing work in
some of the leading hospitals in the east.

Returning west. Dr. Gosnell took up his aljode in Bellingham and resided there about
eighteen months. He removed from there to Seattle and since that time has followed his
profession here with excellent results. He has endeavored to keep abreast of the times
in medicine and surgery, something which demands unremitting study, and has thus been
enabled to keep in touch with the most modern thought, methods and theories of practice.
He has been particularly successful in surgery. As opportunity offered Dr. Gosnell has
made investments in property and has large realty holdings botli in tlic state of Washington
and in the province of British Columbia.

Dr. Gosnell was fourth of a family of six children, of whom four brothers are living.
His eldest brother lives in the middle west of Canada. He inherited the mechanical genius
of the family in a large extent and has many ingenious inventions to his credit. His next
oldest brother, by fate of fortune, followed farming and stock raising, at which he was
successful and is now retired and lives near Victoria, British Columbia. His youngest
brother has for a long time been identified with the civil service and literary life of British
Columbia and has written extensively on the history and resources of the country. On the
4th of March, 1896, Dr. Gosnell married Miss Belle Campbell, of Alvinston, Ontario,
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Campbell of that place. They were among the early
pioneers of western Ontario, coming from Argjdeshire, Scotland, in 1858.

Dr. Gosnell has offices at 905-906 Joshua Green building. In politics he has been a
republican and identified himself with the progressive movement in 1912, but has not been
an active worker in the ranks of recent years, his time being taken up almost entirely with
his professional duties. He is very much interested in certain phases of social politics, if
the expression may be used, and among other things has strongly advocated the establish-
ment of farms for the reformation of dipsomaniacs, drug fiends, hopelessly unemployed,
and certain classes of criminals who have been the victims of circumstances rather than
by nature vicious. So far his efforts have not met with success, but greater attention is
being paid to the question in the state as a consequence. Dr. Gosnell belongs to Seattle
Lodge, No. 164, A. F. & A. M., and to Columbia Lodge, No. 2, A. O. U. W. He is likewise

Vol. Ill— 25


a member of the Canadian Club of Seattle, of the Caledonian Society, Clan MacKenzie,
O. S. C, and is an adherent of the First Presbyterian church. One may judge by these con-
nections the nature of his interests and activities outside of his practice. Along profes-
sional lines his membership is with the King County Medical Association, the Washington
State Medical Association and the American Medical Association. He chose as a life work
a calling in which advancement depends entirely upon individual merit, and where success
is based upon scientific knowledge, close application to duty, careful and keen diagnosis
and the element of human sympathy.


William A. Marmont, a representative of marine interests, actively connected with the
freighting business between Seattle and British Columbia, is now conducting operations
under the name of the Star Steamship Company, of which he is the president. He was
born in Chicago, Illinois, December 4, 1868, and is a son of Captain Thomas A. and Margaret
M. Marmont. He pursued his education in the public schools of his native city until 1882,
when his parents removed with the family to Seattle and he continued his studies here for
a short time. Later a removal was made to Bellingham, Washington, where he remained
a public school pupil to the age of sixteen years, when he started out to earn his own living,
securing employment on the steamship George E. Starr, operating on the Puget Sound.
He was first a coal passer and later fireman and after a year and a half he secured a position
as fireman on the J. B. Libbey, serving for a year. He was afterward employed on other
boats in the same capacity until 1889, when he took a further forward step in his business
career, becoming engineer on the Saranac, which was owned by his father. He afterward
served as engineer on various other vessels until 1906, when, with the capital which came
to him as the result of his industry and economy, being saved from his earnings, he bought
out the Star Steamship Company. In 1907 the business was incorporated and Mr. Marmont
was elected president, which office he has since filled. In 1906 the company owned three
steamers, the La Conner, Dredger No. i and the Fidalgo. In 1912 they lost the Dredger
No. I, which was replaced with the Rapid Transit, and they also own the Transport.
They conduct a general freight business between Seattle and British Columbia and used
the Fidalgo between Seattle and La Conner, Washington, that vessel having been built
previously for that run, being a flat bottomed boat. The company employs thirty men and
is doing a good business.

Mr. Marmont was married in Portland, Oregon, on the 1st of August, 1901, to Miss
Margaret Howell, and they have become the parents of five children: Nan, Helen and
Thomas William, all attending Immaculate Conception school ; and William Alfred and Paul.

The religious faith of the family is that of the Catholic church, and in his political
views Mr. Marmont is a republican. Starting out in life in a very humble capacity he has
steadily worked his way upward and is now at the head of a growing and profitable business.


C. B. White, attorney at law, with offices in the L. C. Smith building in Seattle, was born
in Ada, Ohio, March 14, 1884, a son of E. E. and Wilda (Sink) White, both of whom were
also natives of the Buckeye state. The father was superintendent of the public schools
of Ada, Ohio, and was a graduate of the Ohio Northern University of that place. He was
admitted to the bar in his native state and in June, 1801, came to Washington, settling at
New Whatcom, now Bellingham. There he resumed the profession of teaching as superin-
tendent of the schools of that city. Beginning in 1900 he followed the practice of law,
in which he continued active up to the time of his death in 1906. He was a member of
the board of trustees of the Bellingham Normal School at the time of his demise and ever
manifested the deepest and most abiding interest in education. For a considerable period


he survived his wife, who passed away in 1895. In the family were but two children, tlie
elder being Harold E., who is now engaged in the shingle business in Edison, Washington.

C. B. White began his education in the public schools of Bellingham when his father
was superintendent there. He afterward entered the University of Washington in 1902 and
completed a four years' course, being graduated in 1906 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts.
In 1908 he was accorded the degree of LL. B. He was admitted to the bar in the same
year and entered upon the practice of law and also did clerical work in the law office of
F. J. Carver. Later he was law clerk with Judge J. T. Ronald, subsequently entered the
office of the corporation counsel of the city of Seattle, and in 1914 was employed as general
attorney for the National Surety Company of New York. He has been actively engaged in
the practice of law in Seattle since 1908 and is now accorded a good clientage.

On the 15th of November, 191 1, Mr. White was united in marriage to Miss Lillian Eraser,
her father being James H. Eraser, a fruit grower of North Yakima, Washington. In politics
Mr. White has always been a republican, voting and working for the best interests of the
party. He is too busy in his profession to take many vacations and is ever found most
loyal to the interests of his clients. He has been practically reared in Seattle, witnessing its
rapid and substantial growth, and among its population he has many warm friends and an
extended circle of acquaintances.


Oscar Louis Willett, a prominent and prosperous citizen of Seattle, where he lias resided
continuously for the past eleven years, is actively engaged in the practice of law as a
member of the firm of Willett & Oleson and also has numerous other interests. His birth
occurred in Welton, Eflingham county, Illinois, on the iitli of March, 1881, his parents being
Volney and Louisa Willett, tlie former a native of Columbiana county, Ohio, while the latter
was born and reared in Mattoon, Illinois. The Willett family, while evidently of French
origin, the name being anglicized from Ouellette, came from England to New York in the
colonial days. Colonel Willett is one of New York's Revolutionary heroes. The grandfather
of our subject was born in Virginia, and an uncle, E. H. Willett, was killed in the battle
of Shiloh. The father, grandfather and five uncles of Mrs. Willett participated in the Civil
war. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Volney Willett have had at least one (and in most
instances more) ancestor, in the direct line, in every war in which this country was ever
engaged. Volney Willett crossed the plains with an ox team in 1859 and remained in
California as a miner and rancher for five years, or until 1864. He was a member of one
of the companies which California raised at the outbreak of the Civil war, but which were
never taken out of the state, owing to the fear of rebel sympathizers, Indians and Mexicans.
He remained with his command from 1861 until 1864 and was promoted to the rank of first
lieutenant, his commission being signed by Leiand Stanford. His demise occurred on the
24th of March, 1898, when he had attained the age of sixty years. Mrs. Willett, who still
survives, became the mother of ten children, six of whom are yet living.

Oscar L. Willett, the youngest of the seven sons born to his parents, began his education
in a common school near the family home in Effingham county, Illinois. Subsequently he
spent one year at Hayward College, of Fairfield, Illinois, which institution was destroyed
by fire in 1899 and was not rebuilt. Later he devoted four years of forty-eight weeks each
to study in the National Normal University of Lebanon, Ohio, and also pursued post-
graduate work in higher mathematics in Chicago University. He won the degree of Bachelor
of Science in 1902, that of Bachelor of Laws on the Tith of June, 1902, and that of Bachelor
of Philosophy on the 14th of February, 1903. On the 17th of October, 1902, he was admitted
to the bar in Illinois. On the 15th of March of the following year he arrived in Seattle
and the next day opened a law office in the Epler block in association with his brother,
the firm being known as Willett & Willett. In the fall of 1903 the offices were moved to
the Washington block on First avenue, where Oscar L. Willett remained until the spring
of 1909, when he established himself in the Central building. In April. 191 1, he removed to
the Lyon building and associated himself with Frank Oleson, ex-secretary of the board of


public works of Seattle and ex-prosecutiiig attorney of Wahkiakum county, the firm having
since been known as Willett & Oleson. They now occupy seven rooms and do only high-
grade work, enjoying a constantly increasing clientage. They have successfully handled
a large number of important suits in the courts of Washington, Alaska and Oregon, in
the local federal courts, in the circuit court of appeals and the United States supreme court.
The firm of Willett & Oleson is the only one in Seattle and, so far as known, in the state
of Washington, that has never obtained a divorce. The copartnership agreement contained
the provision that the members of the firm would not accept divorce cases.

Mr. Willett platted and owns the unsold portions of Willett's Alder Grove Addition
to West Seattle and O. L. Willett's Addition to Seattle. He is likewise the owner of prop-
erty in the automobile district which has been improved by the erection of the largest
building for automobile purposes in Seattle. He acted as president of the Northern Cod
Fish Company, owning and operating the schooner Fortuna until February, 1915, when he
sold his interest therein; is president of the Sugar Loaf Banana Company, owning five
thousand acres of banana land in Central America, of which five hundred acres are now
planted and producing; and is also a stockholder in the Lucky Knock Mining Company
and the owner of a splendid antimony mine in Okanogan county. Li the management of
his various important interests he has manifested a degree of business sagacity and fore-
sight that has insured the successful outcome of every undertaking.

At Lewiston, Idaho, on the 12th of September, 1905, Mr. Willett was united in marriage
to Miss Georgetta Pemberton, a daughter of George and Susan Pemberton. the former
being for a quarter of a century the leading merchant of Forest City, Illinois.
'Georgetta (Pemberton) Willett was educated in the Forest City schools, Hedding
College of Abingdon, Illinois, in Plowe's Conservatory of Music at Peoria, Illinois, and
also under the late Emil Liebling of Chicago. She is one of Liebling's graduates on the
piano and has gained recognition as an accomplished musician. Our subject and his wife
have two children, namely: Madeline Muriel, who was born on the 8th of August, 1906;
and O. L., Jr., .whose birth occurred July i, 1912.

Mr. Willett gives his political allegiance to the republican party but has always been
too busy to seek or desire either elective or appointive offices. In 1898 and 1899 he served
in Cuba during the Spanish-American war, being a member of Company E, Ninth Illinois
Volunteer Infantry. He was detached on service as provost charge clerk for the Seventh
Army Corps, under Major Harrison, provost marshal of the corps. In 1902 he acted as
second sergeant in the Ohio militia. Fraternally he is identified with the Independent
Order of Odd Fellows and since 1906 has been past grand of Golden Link Lodge, No.
150, of Seattle. Prior to that year he held in succession the offices of conductor, vice
grand and noble grand of the lodge. He likewise belongs to Eureka Masonic Lodge in
Seattle and is a member of Fortson Camp of the Spanish-American War Veterans, in
Seattle. Oscar L. Willett has attained an enviable position in professional and business
circles for one of his years and his career will undoubtedly be one of continued distinction
and honor.


Andrew S. Nilson is engaged in the shipbuilding industry in partnership with N. M.
Kelez and comes from a country where that industry constitutes one of the important
activities and sources of revenue to the people, for he is a native of Norway, born September
27, 1858. His parents were Nels and Ragnhild Anderson, both natives of Norway, where
the mother is still living at the advanced age of eighty-four years.

Reared in his native country, Andrew S. Nilson followed the sea for seven years and
his life upon the ocean wave brought him broad and varied experiences and interesting
knowledge of the various countries and peoples. He came to America from China in 1882
and on the 24th of July, of that year, began shipbuilding at Seattle, which was then a
comparatively small town, having little industrial or commercial importance outside of the
lumber and shipbuilding interests. He entered business on his own account in 1887 and in


191 1 established his present plant at the foot of Massachusetts street. The firm is engaged
principally in building new boats and their plant is equipped for the construction of vessels
of five hundred tons. Mr. Nilson has built the Teye, the Chickamauga, the Warrior and
many large barges, including two of two thousand tons for the Pioneer Sand & Gravel
Company. The thoroughness of the work, the reliable manner in which he executes contracts
and the energy and systematic purpose which he displays in carrying on his business have
brought to him substantial and growing success.

In 1906, in Seattle, Mr. Nilson was married to Miss Hannah Hendrickson, and they have
one son, August Joseph, born November 18, 1907. That Mr. Nilson is deeply interested in
Seattle's welfare and progress is indicated in his membership in the Commercial Club and
in the Chamber of Commerce, and wherever he is known he is recognized as a public-
spirited citizen who puts forth every possible effort to advance the welfare of his city. He
belongs to the Knights of Pythias and to the Sons of Norway and has many friends in
those organizations. In politics he is a republican, but, while believing firmly in the principles
of the party, has never been an office seeker. He was naturalized in 1895 and since securing
the right of franchise has kept well informed on the questions and issues of the day. Mr.
Nilson came to America in limited financial circumstances when a young man, but he
possessed industry and determination, valuable elements in the attainment of success, and
gradually he has worked his way upward. He arrived in Seattle when it was a village and
has witnessed its development to a great metropolitan center with its ramifying trade
interests reaching to all parts of the world. He relates many interesting incidents of the
early days and with the history of the city is largely familiar.


Dr. John Brown Manning, a physician of Seattle, was born in Boston, Massachusetts,
June 3, 1879, a son of Melville Malcolm and Delia (McClure) Manning, natives of Boston,
Massachusetts, and Bristol, Maine, respectively. He prepared for college at Adams Academy,
Quincy, Massachusetts, and afterward entered Harvard College, graduating in 1903 with the
S. B. degree. He completed a course in the Harvard Medical School with the class of
1906, winning his professional degree, and for twenty months was connected with the medical
and surgical service of the Worcester (Mass.) City Hospital. The following year he was
graduated from the Boston Children's Hospital and in July, 1009, he came to Seattle, where
he has since engaged in practice, specializing in the diseases of children. He is a member
of the King County Medical Society of Seattle, of vifhich he was secretary in 1912, and he
is on the visiting staff of the Orthopedic Hospital.

On the 15th of July, 1914, at Seattle, Dr. Manning was married to Miss Mary Hannah
Te Roller, a daughter of Heine and Nell A. Te Roller, of Seattle, the former a resident of
this city for a quarter of a century. Dr. and Mrs. Manning hold membership in the Pilgrim
Congregational church and he belongs to the College Club of Seattle, and to the Aesculapian
Club of Boston, Massachusetts.


As a contractor Harley Kyes became well known at various points in the northwest and
the public nature of his work made him a valued factor in advancing progress. He was
born in New York and in 1883 came to Seattle. He then engaged in the contracting business
and was awarded the contracts for erecting the waterworks in various towns and cities
all over the state. He was especially efficient in that field of labor and readily adapted his
work to the specific requirements and thus met the financial conditions in the towns where
he erected plants.

In 1884, in Seattle, Mr. Kyes was united in marriage to Miss Mattie W. Wade, a
daughter of Morgan and Judith L. (Long) Wade. The maternal grandfather, William


Long, was a native of Pennsylvania and became a pioneer of several western sections. He
lived for a time in Indiana and later in Iowa and thence traveled overland to Salem,
Oregon, in 1862. The year 1869 witnessed his arrival in Washington, at which time he
settled at Chambers Creek, Pierce county, while still later he went to Snoqualmie, King
county, where he followed farming for a considerable period. Eventually, however, he put
aside business cares and took up his abode in Seattle. Morgan Wade, the father of Airs.
Kyes, was born in Indiana. His wife went to Oregon in 1867 and came to Washington in
1869, sailing by boat from New York and across the Isthmus with her three girls to join
her father in 1867. Her daughters are now Mrs. Alice Hinkleman, Mrs. Enola Luark and
Mrs. Mattie W. Kyes. Mrs. Wade still makes her home with her daughter, Mrs. Kyes.

To Mr. and Mrs. Kyes were born three daughters and two sons, Mrs. Donna M. Hilliard,
Mrs. Sybil K. Parker, Kenneth A., Carolyn and Harley P., the last named being now
deceased. The family circle was broken by the hand of death when, on the 26th of August,
1912, Mr. Kyes passed away. He had lived a busy and useful life and in his demise the
family lost a devoted husband and father. Mrs. Kyes still makes her home in Seattle, where
she has lived from an early epoch in the development of the city. She is now a member of
the Pioneers Association and also of the Auxiliary, and her daughters are all members of
the Daughters of Pioneers, while the son is a member of the Native Sons of Washington.



William Martin, an active member of the Seattle bar since 1890, was born March 24,
1864, near Kewanee, Illinois, but the following year was taken by his parents to Wis-
consin, the family home being established on a farm near Mount Horeb. He remained
in that locality until he entered the University of Wisconsin for the completion of his
more specifically literary course. He was graduated from that institution with the class
of 1889, winning the degree of Bachelor of Letters. Having determined upon the practice
of law as a life work, he then began studying with that end in view and was graduated
as a law student with the class of 1890, being admitted to practice before the supreme

Online LibraryClarence BagleyHistory of Seattle from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 3) → online text (page 69 of 142)