Clarence Bagley.

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

. (page 8 of 142)
Online LibraryClarence BagleyHistory of Seattle from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 3) → online text (page 8 of 142)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

in the destiny of the city was unbounded and his entire business career was a practical
demonstration of his confidence in the city's resources and growth.

In i860 was celebrated the marriage of Alfred Lee Palmer and Lydia Butterworth,
of Andrew, Iowa, and they became the parents of two children: Alice, who died in infancy;
and Carrie, who was a graduate of the University of Washington and studied law under
her father's direction, being the first woman admitted to the bar in this state. She mar-
ried John B. Denny, but both have passed away, leaving two children : Harold ; and .'\nna,
who is the wife of C. A. Gay, by whom she has a son and two daughters. On the j/th of


September, 1870, Mr. Palmer married Miss Rocelia A. Chase, of Maquoketa, Iowa, a
daughter of Royal B. Chase, a capitalist dealing in farm lands. She is a descendant
of Ira Chase, who was a member of Washington's army in the Revolutionary war.
Mrs. Palmer was educated in the Rockford (111.) Female Seminary, now Rockford
College, and by her marriage she became the mother of seven children. Frank
J., who is a resident of Seattle, was married in 1904 to Miss Francis Kaylor, of Iowa,
and they have two children, Rogene and Geraldine. Hattie P. is the wife of Donald B.
Olson, who is now superintendent of the Monroe Reformatory but makes his home in
Seattle, and they have three chilldren, Donald B., Jr., Kenneth B. and Jeannette. Don H.,
who is a graduate of the University of Washington and the Rush Medical College of Chi-
cago, is engaged in the practice of medicine in Seattle. In 1914 he held the ofifice of
president of the King County Medical Society. He was married September 3, 1902, to
Miss Maude Gruwell, and they have two children, Dorothy and Rex. Leet R. was a stu-
dent of the Pullman Agricultural College and the Minnesota Agricultural College and is at
present engaged in farming in Arlington, this state. He was married at Barry, Illinois,
to Miss Alza Smith, of that place, in March, 1904, and they have three children, Alfred
Lee, Catherine Rocelia and Richard. The next member of the family, Lee C. Palmer,
is proud of the fact that he is a native of Seattle. As soon as he completed his studies
he associated himself with his father in the real estate business and is so engaged at the
present time. He was married in Seattle, June 14, 1910, to Miss Olive R. Powles, a
daughter of J. B. Powles, a Seattle commission merchant, and they have two children,
Lee C, Jr., and Marylee. Ben B. Palmer is a graduate of the University of Washington
and continued his education in the University of Pennsylvania. He is now associated
with the ^tna Life Insurance Company. Esther Rocelia, the youngest of the family, is
an alumna of the University of Washington.

The family is prominently known socially and Mr. Palmer was recognized as one of
the most prominent members of the Masonic fraternity in Seattle, having held the office
of eminent grand commander of the Knights Templar for the state of Washington and
having for some time the distinction of being the oldest living past grand commander in
the state. Mrs. Palmer is past grand matron of the state of Washington in the Order of
the Eastern Star and she is also a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Mr. Palmer was also a member of Stevens Post, G. A. R., and likewise belonged to the
Military Order of the Loyal Legion. He held membership in the Chamber of Commerce
of Seattle and could be depended upon to cooperate in all of the work undertaken by that
body to further the commercial, industrial and civic development of his city. During the
period of his residence here he commanded the respect and enjoyed the goodwill of his
fellow citizens, who recognized his public-spirited devotion to the general good and his
hearty support of those activities which had featured most largely in the city's upbuilding.
He was in his seventy-ninth year when he passed away on the 19th of August, 1914, a citizen
whom Seattle could ill afTord to lose. His demise was the occasion of much sincere grief
and resolutions were passed by all of the fraternities and clubs to which he belonged. His
memory is cherished by his many friends and the influence of his life is still potent.


J. Compton & Company opened offices in Seattle as financial brokers in 1887, dealing
in mortgage loans, stocks and bonds. The members of the firm are three brothers, Samuel,
Jasper and Wesley Compton, who came to Seattle in the summer of 1887 from Des Moines,
Iowa, opening offices in the one story frame building then at the northwest corner of Second
avenue and James street, where the Butler Hotel now stands. The firm was associated
with many of the leading enterprises of the city. They procured and owned a franchise
for an interurban electric line, the objective point of which was Everett, and it was then
proposed to extend the line from Ballard north. This franchise was subsequently sold by
them to the Seattle Electric Company and the line covers practically the route originally
proposed when the franchise was granted.


Perhaps the most conspicuous act of this firm was associated with the sale of the
first bond issue of three hundred thousand dollars of the new state of Washington. These
bonds were purchased by Coffin & Stanton, of New York citj-, at three and one-half per
cent interest and sold for one-eighth of one per cent premium. Elisha P. Ferry, the first
governor of the territory, was also the first governor of the state. Bonds were submitted
from various eastern and middle western states, including New York city, Boston and
Chicago, the bidders sending their personal representative, who was present when the
bids were opened, J. Compton representing the firm of Coffin & Stanton. The bids were
opened at noon in the office of Governor Ferry, in a two-story building in Olympia, there
being no state capitol at that time. It is remembered that Governor Ferry, in his quick,
nervous way of transacting business, promptly, without a moment's hesitancy, declared
the bid of Coffin & Stanton — at par plus one-eighth of one per cent premium, bearing three
and one half per cent interest per annum — to be the best bid, and demanded a bond of
twenty-five thousand dollars for the faithful performance of the purchase of the bonds
by Coffin & Stanton, which bond was at once provided in Seattle.

The following is a copy of the original bid as submitted by J. Compton & Company.

Olympia, Wash., March 15, i8go.
Hon. T. M. Reed, Auditor of State, Olympia, Wash.

The undersigned Coffin & Stanton, of New York City, herewith submit the following
bids for such of the bonds of the state of Washington as will now be issued in conformity
with the provisions in the annexed printed notice for bids to be opened at 12 o'clock noon,
of March 18, 1890.

1st bid for .05% bonds, will pay $1.0683/100 and accrued interest

2nd bid for .04% bonds, will pay $1.0228/100 and accrued interest

3rd bid for .03 65-100 bonds, will pay $1,001/2 and accrued interest

4th bid for .03 50/100 bonds, will pay $i.ooj/g and accrued interest

Should a certified check or bond be required, either in New York City of Olympia for the
faithful performance of the conditions of the above bid, or any one of them the same will be
fortlicoming. Respectively submitted for

Coffin & Stanton, New York City.
By .T. Compton & Co., Seattle, Wash.


Francis M. Guye, a Seattle capitalist, whom death called on the 25th of May, 1908.
was born in Indiana on the 7th of January, 1832, and was therefore in the seventy-seventh
year of his age at the time of his demise. He accompanied his parents on their removal to
Madison county, Iowa, when he was eight years of age. His educational advantages were
quite limited but all through his life he made good use of his opportunities and in the school
of experience learned many valuable lessons. When nineteen years old he left home and on
horseback crossed the plains to California, where he engaged in mining until 1857. He then
went to British Columbia and was on the Fraser river for about two years. In 1859 ''^
arrived in Seattle, then a frontier village that in fact was nothing more than a lumber
camp, and the most farsighted could not have dreamed that it would become the progressive
metropolitan center that it is today. Mr. Guye engaged first as a timber cruiser for the
Fort Madison Mill Company, then in logging at Port Orchard and afterward followed log-
ging at Swift Cove and Colby, completing his efforts in that line of work in the spring of
1880. It was in that year that he went into the mountains for the benefit of his health
and at the summit of the Cascades in Snoqualmie Pass he discovered a rich vein of Besse-
mer iron ore, three samples of which analyzed as follows :

Iron Silica Phosphorus Sulphate

1—69:39 2.72 .03s .042

2—71:17 1.30 ' , .039 .005

3—^8-56 2.73 .035 .019


\ -

Mr. Guye also later found other rich ore on Middle Fork and in all he made claim
to over four hundred acres of land. In 1884 he and his wife paid for their patents. Mrs.
Guye remained in Seattle, while Mr. Guye was at the claims and she conducted a rooming
house in order to make the money to pay his expenses and meet the cost of surveys and
patents on the claims. They put forth earnest and self-denying effort to gain their start
but his rich discoveries settled the question of success for them. In the same year in which
he made the discovery of iron ore Mr. Guye also found coal west of the Newcastle mines
of a superior quality and there located six hundred and forty acres of coal bearing lands
which has never been worked, nor have the iron mines, so that there is a great supply
of wealth yet to be taken from their mines. After 1884 Mr. Guye did not again actively
engage in business, his capital being then sufficient to supply him with all of the comforts
and many of the luxuries of life.

On the 2ist of March, 1872, Mr. Guye was married to Mrs. E. W. Plimpton, whose
first husband was killed in the Civil war. On account of her health she came to Seattle
in 1870, bringing her two little sons with her. She bore the maiden name of Dunn and
is a native of Oxford county, Maine. Her living son, Charles E. Plimpton, was educated
at the State University at Seattle and for years was clerk in the courthouse and also
served as deputy clerk but is not now engaged in business.

Mrs. Guye has taken a most active and helpful part in the life of the city. She
assisted in raising the money for the First Congregational church organization in Seattle
and was enrolled as its ninth member. The breadth and nature of her interests is further
indicated in the fact that she is a member of the Historical Society, a member of the
Woman's Christian Temperance Union, of the Pioneer Auxiliary, the Elderblooms and
the Geographical Society. She possesses a most wonderful collection of minerals and is
authority on the same, readily recognizing all kinds of ore deposits. Working side by
side with her husband she contributed to his notable success and she has been most gen-
erous with her means in support of organizations which have to do with the benefit and
progress of the race.


Edwin Gardner Ames has been a resident of the northwest since October, 1881, in which
year he came to Washington as an employe of the Puget Mill Company. He has continu-
ously been connected with that corporation through all the intervening years and advancing -
steadily step by step now occupies a position of exceptional prominence in connection with
the lumber industry of this part of the country. There is little connected with the trade
with which he is not familiar. He knows the business in principle and detail and his success
has been the logical sequence of his indefatigable energy and intelligently directed activity.
He came from a state where for many years the lumber industry of the country centered,
being a native of Maine. His birth occurred in East Machias, that state, on the 2d of July,
1856, his parents being John K. and Sarah (Sanborn) Ames, both representatives of old
English families, although the ancestors have lived in this country through several genera-
tions. In the paternal line they were mostly seafaring men but the father turned his
attention to the lumber business and became one of the prominent representatives of the
trade in the Pine Tree state.

Edwin Gardner Ames was reared in his native town and in Providence, Rhode Island,
pursuing his education in the public schools of both cities, finishing a high-school course
in 1875. The time which he spent with his father in his boyhood and the active assistance
which he rendered him as the years went on thoroughly acquainted him with the lumber
trade in his youth. He also worked for some time in a general mercantile establishment
at Machias but his eyes turned with longing to the west as a consequence of the favorable
reports which he had heard concerning business opportunities on the Pacific coast. In 1879,
therefore, he made his way to San Francisco, where he spent two years as collector in the
employ of the firm of Pope & Talbot, one of the large lumber firms on the coast. In
October, 18S1, he arrived in Washington in response to a call from the Puget Mill .Company.


Li 'u'.cO:


He was originally employed as timekeeper in their mill at Port Gamble but step by step
advanced as he gave proof of his ability, efficiency and trustworthiness. In time he was
made business manager and in that position still continues, with headquarters in the general
offices in Seattle. The Puget Mill Company is one of the largest concerns of its kind
operatuig in the United States, and as business manager Mr. Ames has become widely
known as a prominent figure in connection with the lumber industry of the country, for,
acquainted with every phase of the business and adding to his broad knowledge, administra-
tive ability and executive force, he is contributing in large measure to the success of the
company which he represents, and occupies a place of well deserved prominence in connection
with the lumber trade of the northwest. As his ability became recognized, his cooperation
was sought along various lines and he is now a director and vice president of the Seattle
National Bank, a director of the Metropolitan Bank of Seattle and a trustee of the Wash-
ington Savings & Loan Association. For a number of years he has been president of the
Pacific Lumber Inspection Bureau, he was made a director of the Pacific Coast Lumber
Manufacturers Association and has various other interests of importance.

On the 17th of October, 1888, Mr. Ames was united in marriage to Miss Maud Walker,
a daughter of William Walker, of Seattle and Port Gamble. They are prominently known
in the social circles of the city in which they reside and Mr. Ames is a familiar figure in
some of the leading clubs of this city, holding membership in the Rainier, Arctic, Seattle
Athletic, the Commercial and the Metropolitan Clubs. He also belongs to the Union Club of
Tacoma, while fraternally he is a prominent Mason, having attained the Knights Templar
degree in the York Rite, the thirty-second degree in the Scottish Rite, and having crossed
the sands of the desert with the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. Politically he is a republican
and for eleven years filled the office of county commissioner in Kitsap county. Otherwise
he has neither sought nor held public office, his interest in public affairs being merely that of
a good citizen, for he prefers to concentrate his energies upon his business activities and his
close application, sound judgment and unremitting energy have been the salient features in
a most successful and commendable career. The west is indeed a land of opportunity and
when men bring to it ambition and a willingness to work, the outcome is sure. Mr. Ames
stands as a splendid example of the fact that the door of success swings wide to a
fiersistent, honorable demand.


John Speed Smith is connected with the federal service at Seattle as chief naturaliza-
tion examiner and has made an excellent record for accuracy, efficiency and systcmatiza-
tion in his work. He was born in Madison county, Kentucky, February 2, 1861, a son of
Dr. Curran Cassius Smith, now deceased, who was a prominent physician of Kentucky
and a native son of that state, as was his father. The great-grandfather was a North
Carolinan and the great-great-grandfather a Virginian. The family originally came from
England during colonial days, settlement being made in Virginia. Soon after the close
of the Revolutionary war the family was founded in Kentucky, representatives of the name
settling in what is now Madison county, although that section of the state was still a part
of Virginia at the time and was called Finn Castle county. Dr. Curran C. Smith became
a widely known physician and surgeon and in other connections was prominent in the com-
munity in which he lived, serving for a number of years as internal revenue collector, receiv-
ig his appointment frorn Andrew Johnson. He married Sallie Williams Goodloe, a daugh-
ter of Judge William Clinton Goodloe, who for many years was a circuit judge of Ken-
tucky and was very active and prominent not only in judicial connections but also in
political circles. The Goodloes were also an early colonial family and ranked among the
leading residents of Virginia and of Kentucky.

In the family of Dr. and Mrs. Curran C. Smith were six children, of whom five were
daughters. John Speed Smith, the only son, was educated in the public schools of his
native state and in the preparatory department of Central University at Richmond. Kentucky,
but he did not graduate. His early life was spent upon the plantation owned by his father,


who for over fifty years was engaged in its supervision in addition to his medical practice.
On leaving the parental roof John Speed Smith entered mercantile circles, clerking in a
general store in his native county, after which he became a commercial traveler for a large
Louisville house, following that calling until the fall of 1882, when he accepted a position
as clerk in tlie United States pension bureau at Washington, D. C, in September, 1882.
His service in that connection was so satisfactory that he was soon advanced to the position
of special examiner and was appointed first clerk of the board of pension appeals. He
was made special examiner of pensions and assistant chief of examination at the pension
bureau, which position he held until 1907. On the 13th of November of that year he was
appointed by Charles J. Bonaparte, then attorney general of the United States, to his present
position as chief naturalization examiner and assigned to Seattle with Andrew J. Balliet,
assistant United States attorney, in charge of naturalization with headquarters at Seattle,
the district comprising the four states of Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Montana. This
was one of the first offices of its kind in the United States, having been established under
act of congress on June 29, 1906, this act revoking former laws governing naturalization,
and empowering supervision over naturalization through its courts, by the United States

The new act empowered the then secretary of commerce and labor to make such rules
and regulations as he deemed necessary for the proper execution of the provisions of this
act. Field service organization, under authority of this act, was under the jurisdiction
of the department of justice until July, 1909, at which time it was transferred to the
department of commerce and labor. A. J. Balliet retiring from the position of assistant
United States attorney in charge of naturalization, Mr. Smith as chief naturalization
examiner was placed in entire charge of this service in the district already named. Pre-
viously, from November, 1907, he had held the position of chief examiner at Seattle
in connection with Balliet. On the 4th of Alarch, 1913, congress created the department
of labor and the naturalization service was transferred to that department, since which
date it has been made a bureau under the direction of the secretary of labor. Mr. Smith
as chief examiner also had entire charge of this work in his district. He organized the
entire field service and from one filing cabinet which in the beginning comprised all
the necessary requirements the office equipment grew to such proportions that several
large rooms are now required for filing cabinets alone. Mr. Smith, while having several
assistants, gives each and every case in his department, where citizenship by an alien
is desired, his personal supervision and has one hundred and sixty-four courts where
naturalization cases are conducted. He also takes a personal and heartfelt interest in the
case of each applicant for citizenship and has done much work for their education on
American government and civic matters. In 1912 he was instrumental in having the Young
Men's Christian Association of Seattle hold classes on civics, giving free schooling to
aliens on the essentials of good citizenship. This has proven of great benefit and the classes
have been most successfully conducted. He has also succesfully interested the old and
new citizens in the observance of American day, originally started in Philadelphia, Penn-
sylvania, and observed July 4, 191 5. On that occasion many notable speakers, including
the mayor, the governor and others, delivered memorable addresses. In politics he is a
republican, but not an aggressive partisan, and ever places the general welfare above parti-
sanship and the public good before personal aggrandizement.

On the 17th of November, 1909, in Washington, D. C, Mr. Smith married Mrs. Katie
Norwood, a native of the District of Columbia. Fraternally he is connected with the
A'lasons and is a past master of Centennial Lodge. No. 14, F. & A. M., of Washington, D. C. ;
a past high priest of Lafayette Chapter, No. 5, R. A. M., of Washington; a member of
Adoniram Council, No. 2, R. & S. M., of Washington; and a member of Seattle Com-
mandery. No. 2, K. T. He was grand pursuivant of the Grand Lodge of the District of
Columbia and for more than ten years was a very active representative of Masonry in the
nation's capital. He also holds membership with the Sons of the American Revolution,
having transferred his membership from Washington, D. C, to the state of Washington.
He belongs to the First Presbyterian church and his life in all of its phases and connections
has been guided by high and honorable principles, making his service of great worth to
his fellowmen. His experience in the field department of the pension bureau served as the


steppingstone to higher things. No political influence was used to win him his present
position, but tact, knowledge and ability gained him advancement and he is now filling a
federal office of large possibilities and heavy responsibilities. He does not merely go
through the routine of the work of his office, but lives up to the spirit as well as to the
letter and uses his opportunities to advance the standards of American citizenship when
bringing its powers to the alien.


Guy A. Richardson, superintendent of railways for the Puget Sound Traction, Light
& Power Company, is a man of marked executive force and of notably keen business dis-
cernment. His administrative ability, too, is an element in his successful management of
the important interests which are under his direction, making him one of the foremost
business men of Seattle. He was born in Boston. Massachusetts, in May, 1882, a son of
Charles E. Richardson, After attending the public schools he continued his education in
the Mechanics Art high school, from which he was graduated in 1900. Starting in the
business world, he became a helper in the shops of the Boston Elevated Railway, there
remaining for seven months, after which he became a motorman. Later he served suc-
cessively as fireman, as oiler and engineer and afterward was promoted to assistant in the
electrical engineering department, where he served until 1904, when he resigned and entered
the employ of the Boston & Northern Railway Company, being given charge of the car
repairing department. He served in that position until the spring of 1905, when he went to
Calumet, Michigan, where he became assistant superintendent of the Houghton County

Online LibraryClarence BagleyHistory of Seattle from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 3) → online text (page 8 of 142)