Clarence Bagley.

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

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He came to Seattle in 1903 from Walla Walla, Washington, to which place he removed
in 1874 upon leaving Minnesota. He was liorn in Alsace, France, October 3, 1844, and
in his boyhood days was brought to America in 1849, the family home being established
in Utica, New York, where he remained until he went to Minnesota. There he lived
for a considerable period, but in 1874 came to Washington. He spent almost three decades


in Walla Walla and then removed to Seattle. During his active business career he was
connected with mercantile interests as a representative of the Schwabacker Company, with
which he continued for thirteen years. He then became vice president of the company,
serving for two years, and at one time they were owners of three different stores which
were being successfully conducted. Mr. Merchant owned stores in other places but
eventually withdrew from active connection with trade interests and removed to Seattle,
where he began operating in real estate, continuing in that line until his death, which
occurred on the 22d of June, 1914, when he was sixty-nine years of age.

Mr. Merchant was married in Walla Walla in 1874 to Mrs. Angeline (Friend) Curry.
Her grandfather obtained a large donation claim in Oregon in pioneer times and was
very extensively engaged in farming throughout the remainder of his days. He was
a very active man in his community, making his home near Wheatland, Polk county,
where he remained until called to his final rest. Mrs. Merchant arrived in Oregon in
i8s3 and in Walla Walla in 1859, when that district was opened up to settlement. She
came with Major E. L. Massey, her stepfather, who secured lands with Mexican war
grants. He came from Georgia in 1853, making his way around Cape Horn. He married
Mrs. Friend, who had accompanied her father, Ben Golson, when, as captain of an over-
land train, he made his. way to the northwest, crossing the plains in 1853. She had four
children whom she took with her to Oregon. She afterward married and removed to
Walla Walla with her husband, Mr. Massey. and her people lived in Walla Walla through-
out the remainder of their days.

To Mr. and Mrs. Merchant were born four children but the two daughters have
passed away. The sons, Frank and William, are both residents of Seattle, and it was
the latter who introduced the first automobiles into Alaska, taking the Ford car there.

Mr. Merchant was a public-spirited man, interested in the welfare and upbuilding of
the community in which he lived. He was a member of the Episcopal church and his
name was ever an honored one in the community in which he lived, for his word was
as good as his bond. In fact he had many estimable qualities worthy of all praise. His
political allegiance was given to the republican party and in 1893 he was elected to the
state legislature, where he made so creditable a record that he was reelected in 1895.
He gave earnest consideration to each question which came up for settlement and left
the impress of his individuality upon the laws enacted during his connection with the


Samuel Merritt Brackett, a Harvard man now engaged in law practice in Seattle,
was born in Limerick, York county, Maine, on the 12th of March. 1881, a son of George
and Sarah (Roberts) Brackett, the former a native of Maine and the latter of Iowa.
His great-great-grandfather was a soldier of the Revolutionary war and lies buried in
the home cemetery near Limerick, as does the great-grandfather, the grandfather and the
father of our subject.

Reared in the middle west, Samuel Merritt Brackett completed a classical course in
the University of Iowa in 1902, winning the Bachelor of .Arts degree. He devoted two
years to the study of law in the University of Iowa and later entered the Harvard Law
School, where by special permit he completed the three years' course in two years and
was graduated LL. B. with the class of 190J. He came to Seattle in 1907 and entered
the ofike of Walker &.Munn as a law clerk. On the dissolution of the firm he joined
George Ladd Munn in a partnership that still exists and they are today recognized as
foremost lawyers of Seattle, having a large clientage, so that they are heard in con-
nection with many important cases that come before the courts.

On the 9th of June, 1910, at Jefferson, Iowa, Mr. Brackett was united in marriage
to Miss Grace M. Milligan, by whom he has one child, Mary Louise, who is two years
of age. He is a republican in his political views and a popular and valued member of
the Young Men's Republican Club, the Seattle Athletic Club, the College Club and the
Municipal League. He likewise belongs to the Phi Delta Plii. a legal fraternity. His


activities touch the general interests of society and all those things which feature most
largely in the public lifa of a community. He is ever ready and willing to aid in a
project for the public good and at all times is actuated by the spirit of progress and


Prescott Oakes, president of the Roslyn Fuel Company of Seattle, was born in Port-
land. Oregon, October 25, 1880, a son of Thomas Fletcher and Abby Rogers (Haskell)
Oakes. The father was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1843 and in 1878 became vice
president and general superintendent of the Kansas Pacific Railroad. The following
year he accepted the general superintendency of the Kansas City, Fort Scott & GuH Rail-
road and the Kansas City, Lawrence & Southern Railroad. In 1S80 he was made vice
president and general manager of the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company with
headquarters at Portland, and from 1888 until 1893 he was vice president and general
manager and later president of the Northern Pacific Railway Company. From 1893 until
1896 he was receiver for that corporation. He has thus figured prominently in railway
circles for many years and has done much to improve transportation facilities in the
west. Walter Oakes, brother of Prescott Oakes, was graduated from Harvard University
with the class of 1887 and after two years spent in the employ of the Kansas City, Fort
Scott & Gulf Railway Company, he made his way westward to Tacoma in 1889 and was
with the Puget Sound & Alaska Steamship Company for a year. Later, in connection
with Charles E. Peabody, he organized the Alaska Steamship Company, with which he
was associated until 1906, when he sold his interest in that corporation and organized the
Roslyn Fuel Company, opening coal mines at Roslyn, Washington. He built up a strong
organization and a good business for the company, of which he was president and treas-
urer until his death in August, 191 1.

Prescott Oakes, to whom liberal educational advantages were accorded, is a Harvard
man of 1904, in which year he won his Bachelor of Arts degree at Cambridge. Early
in his business career he was identified with coal mining interests in West Virginia, being
associated with the engineering department of the Davis Coal & Coke Company in West
Virginia from 1904 until 1907. He then transferred his operations to the northwest and
was with the Northwestern Improvement Company in Montana in 1907 and 1908. In the
latter year he became connected with the Roslyn Fuel Company and succeeded his brother
Walter as president and treasurer in 191 1. Previous experience along that line well qualified
him to undertake the duties which thus devolved upon him and he has since carefully
directed the interests of the company, success attending his efforts in large and gratifying

Mr. Oakes is a republican in his political views and is well known in club circles as a
member of the University, College and Seattle Golf Clubs of Seattle, and the Tacoma
Country and Golf Club. He possesses unfaltering determination, combined with the
spirit of western enterprise and progress, and throughout his career has been actuated by
steady advancement undeterred by the obstacles and difficulties which always arise in
business connections.


Frederick Joseph Carver, attorney at law of Seattle, was born in Hamilton county,
Nebraska, December 18, 1876. His father, William J. Carver, was one of the early settlers
of Nebraska and filled the office of county treasurer of Hamilton county for two terms.
His wife, Mrs. Flora Carver, was a daughter of Major Skelton of the Seventh Indiana

Their son, F. J. Carver, attended the country schools, the public school at Broken Bow
and the Aurora high school, after which he entered Wesleyan University at Lincoln, Ne-




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braska, and prepared for the bar as a law student in the Nebraska State University and
in the National University at Washington, D. C, where he won the degrees of LL. B. and
LL. M. His entire life has been devoted to the practice of his chosen profession. He was
admitted to the bar in the District of Columbia in April, 1903, and immediately afterward
came to the state of Washington, being admitted to practice in the courts of this state in
May of the same year. He then opened an office in Seattle and by hard work, manifest
in the ability to cope with intricate law problems, he has won his success. In no profession
does advancement depend more largely upon merit and ability. Aside from his professional
interests he is a director and attorney for the Northern Bank & Trust Company and is
president of the State Bank of Charleston.

On the loth of May, 1909, Mr. Carver was married at Hope, Idaho, to Miss Dorothy
Knapp, a daughter of Dr. William Knapp, who was formerly superintendent of the asylum
for the insane at Lincoln, Nebraska, for a number of years, Mr. and Mrs. Carver have one
child, Robert Nichols. They hold membership in St. Mark's Episcopal church at Seattle
and Mr. Carver has membership relations with fraternal and social organizations, belonging
to Arcana Lodge, No. 87, F. & A. M., while in Scottish Rite Masonry he has attained the
thirty-second degree. He is also a member of Nile Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. He also
belongs to the Seattle Athletic Club and to Thygerson Camp of the Spanish-American war
veterans. He did active duty in the war vyith Spain in the Philippine Islands, as a member
of the First Nebraska Volunteer Infantry and thus aided in writing a new and significant
chapter in American annals. No one doubts his stalwart republicanism in national politics
but in local and state politics he considers the capabilities of the candidates rather than
party affiliations. He is a broad-minded man, looking at significant questions from a
rational standpoint and reaching his conclusions after hard and logical thinking. He has
mastered the lessons of life day by day until his post-graduate work in the school of experi-
ence has placed him with the men of learning and ability and he figures prominently
among the representatives of the Seattle bar.


Harry Byrne, president and general manager of the North Coast Electric Company,
engaged in the wholesale distribution of electrical supplies, was born at Newport, Ken-
tucky, October 27, 1877, a son of Peter and Louise (Farrell) Byrne.

Harry Byrne began his work in connection with the electrical business as early as
1892, when he became an apprentice along that line, working at nights after attending
school in the daytime. He continued active in that way until 1899. when he went to Chi-
cago, where he entered the employ of the Western Electric Company. In 1901 he was
sent by that corporation to open and manage an office at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After
two years spent in Milwaukee, he went to Indianapolis, Indiana, as district manager for
the Bullock Electric Manufacturing Company and for the Wagner Electric Manufacturing
Company of Cincinnati and St. Louis. In 1904, the Bullock Company was absorbed by the
Allis-Chalmers Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Mr. Byrne was transferred to New
York for that company as special representative and for the next ten years he traveled
extensively in that capacity both in the United States and Europe, gaining a very wide
experience in the electrical field. He then come to Seattle to seek his fortune on the Pacific
coast and organized the North Coast Electric Company, of which he was elected the presi-
dent. This company is a local one and the management is firmly convinced that Seattle is
the natural distributing point for merchandise for the northwest and Alaska, and sees great
possibilities in the future.

The company is engaged in the wholesale distribution of electrical supplies, their con-
stantly and rapidly growing trade now covering a wide territory ; and it has brought a
large volume of business to Seattle which formerly went to eastern cities. Previous expe-
rience of a very broad and beneficial nature well qualified Mr. Byrne to take up the control
and management of this business, which he has since successfully conducted.

In Chicago on the 17th of October, 1901, Mr. Byrne was united in marriage to Miss
Vol. Ill— 34


George Elizabeth McDonald, a daughter of John and Henrietta (Shirley) McDonald, and
their children are Harry and George Shirley Byrne.

Mr. Byrne holds membership in the Rainier and Athletic Clubs of Seattle, and the
Engineers Club of New York. His interest and activities have always been along the line
in which he is now engaged, and in which he has attained more than local prominence,
together with a gratifying measure of success.


Clemens James France, devoting his attention to the general practice of law, has
long since reached a point where he no longer finds it necessary to seek clients but where
a liberal professional support is accorded him, his ability ranking him with leading repre-
sentatives of the Seattle bar. He was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, January 22, 1877,
a son of the Rev. Joseph H. and Hannah France. The mother is now deceased. The
father maintains his home at Naples, New York, but is most of the time upon the lec-
ture platform. He is a great-grandson of the famous Captain Thomas Boyle, of Maryland,
who was one of the most brilliant and distinguished United States naval officers in the
War of 1812. A model of his principal warship, the Chasseur, which was fitted out espe-
cially for him by his admiring friends in Baltimore, is in the rotunda of the finest public
building of that city, the Municipal building, and with the model of the ship there appears
a memorial record of Captain Boyle's many heroic exploits for his country.

Dr. France, of whom one of the New York papers said, "He is a striking' figure
in the great Presbyterian church and his life presents an interesting study," was born
and educated in Washington, D. C, and was graduated from Columbian, now the George
Wasliington, University with the highest honors. The degree of Bachelor of Arts was
conferred upon him, while later he received from his alma mater the degree of Doctor
of Divinity. Upon his graduation he was made valedictorian of his class and was awarded
the Greek, Latin and oratorical medals. As a representative student of the First Dis-
trict high school of Washington, in competition with students from three other high
schools, he won a scholarship in the university and upon his graduation therefrom he
received a special medal in recognition of the honor which he had conferred upon the
school by the high standard of his excellence and efficiency in his work. He became
private tutor for the children of Sir Edward Thornton, the British ambassador, and
afterward pursued a course in the law department of the Columbian University, from
which he won the B. L. degree. For a year thereafter he practiced law in Kansas City,
Missouri, and later was a member of the editorial stafif of the Kansas City Journal of
Commerce. He next became professor in the William Jewell College near Kansas City
and pursued a theological course there. After being ordained he filled the pulpits of
some of the largest churches in the leading cities of the country, being recognized as
a brilliant divine, and he is regarded as one of the finest speakers upon the lecture plat-
form today. Following his graduation from the law school he was united in marriage
to Miss Hannah F. James, a daughter of Colonel William James, United States internal
revenue collector of Richmond, Virginia. Mrs. France received the Master of Arts degree
from the Baltimore Female College. She took a most active part in church work, espe-
cially in connection with the mission field.

Clemens James France, to whom liberal educational advantages were accorded, was
graduated from Hamilton College of Clinton, New York, with the degree of Bachelor
of Arts, after which he pursued a three years' post-graduate course in Clark University
at Worcester, Massachusetts, specializing in psychology and philosophy, receiving there
the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, with a supplemental degree at Hamilton College of
Master of Arts. Early in his professional career his attention was given to educational
work and he became the head of the department of science in the Jacob Tone Institute
at Port Deposit, Maryland. For one year he was connected with the public schools of
Baltimore, Maryland, and then studied law in that city, being graduated from the Balti-
more Law School at the conclusion of the three years' course, winning the Bachelor of


Law degree. For two years he practiced in that city and then came to Seattle, where he
arrived in September, igo8. He was first associated with the then prominent law firm of
Hughes, McMicken, Doble & Ramsay and later was with the firm of Ballinger. Ronald,
Battle & Tennant. After two years, however, he formed a partnership with Frank P.
Helscll, with offices in the Burke block, where he has built up a fine general law practice.

Mr. France was one of the founders of the Municipal League of Seattle and has
been active in its affairs. He was president for the first two years, succeeding Hugh
Caldwell, who occupied the position for the first three months. On the ist of May, 1915,
Mr. France w'as appointed attorney for the port commission to succeed Harold Preston,
an important post in which he is more than making good.

On the 22d of February, 1906, at Canandaigua, New York, Mr. France was united
in marriage to Miss Annie Edith Lapham, a daughter of David G. and Emily W. Lapham.
Her father was for years a judge of the courts of New York. Mrs. France was for
two years president of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae and is president of the
Women's University Club. She is a Vassar graduate and is a brilliant, intellectual woman,
recognized as a leader along those lines which demand the powers that come from higher

In politics Mr. France is a progressive. He belongs to the Theta Delta Chi, a college
fraternity, but his interest and his activities center most largely in his law practice and
in his oflncia! duties. His devotion to his clients' interests is proverbial and the capability
and the integrity of his service in public office are above question.


Livingston Boyd Stcdman, the junior member of the firm of Hastings Si Stedman,
lawyers, has for over twenty years been an active representative of the legal profession
in Seattle. The firm is the oldest established in the city and enjoys the highest reputa-
tion. Mr. Stedman was born in Dorchester, now a part of Boston, Massachusetts, Feb-
ruary 2, 1864, his parents being Daniel B. and Susan L. (Boyd) Stedman. The Stedmans
are an old New England family, the first American ancestors having settled in Massa-
chusetts in the seventeenth century. Mrs. Susan L. Stedman was a daughter of Rev.
George and Elizabeth (Livingston) Boyd, of Philadelphia, and a granddaughter of Rob-
ert H. Livingston, a Revolutionary officer. She was a grandniece of the distinguished
Roliert R. Livingston and also of Philip Livingston, one of the signers of the Declaration
of Independence.

Livingston Boyd Stedman attended Matlicr school at Dorchester and the Roxbury
Latin school in order to prepare for college. In 1887 he was graduated from Harvard
as Bachelor of Arts and then attended the Harvard Law School for two years. He took
his Master of Arts degree in 1890 and after coming to Seattle was admitted to the bar
of the state in September, 1890. He had come to this city in August of that year and
was engaged in practice with Colonel John C. Haines, until the demise of the Colonel in
1892. Thereafter he became a member of the legal firm of Hughes, Hastings & Stedman
and in September, 1893, with Mr. Hastings, formed the firm of Hastings & Stedman,
which is the oldest now existing law firm in the city. Mr. Stedman is gifted with an
analytical mind and readily grasps the salient points in the most intricate legal problems.
His reputation was soon established and much important litigation was intrusted to liis
care. .'Vs the years passed he came more and more to the fore and is today considered
one of the most successful members of the bar.

It was on the 29th of April. 1891, that Miss Ann Bonneville Leiper became the wife
of Mr. Stedman. She is a daughter of Thomas Irvine Leiper, of Chester, Pennsylvania,
and bore her husband the following children: Daniel B., Lewis L. and Livingston B., Jr.

Mr. Stedman has not to any extent entered political affairs but has always been an
enthusiastic champion of advancement and progress. He supports all worthy public en-
terprises and contributes his full share toward the progress of the city. He belongs to
that distinguished organization known as the Sons of the Revolution, is a member of the


Harvard Club, the Golf Club and the University Club, and was president of the Seattle
Bar Association in 1914. He is not only one of the foremost lawyers of Seattle but
has become one of its most valuable citizens and loyally acclaims himself a man of western
enterprise and western interests. He is highly honored because of his accomplishments
and the qualities of his character which have made possible his success.


Loren Grinstead is a member of the law firm of Trefethen, Grinstead & Laube, of
Seattle, and has continuously engaged in the practice of law since his admission to the bur
in 1905. He is a native of Missouri, his birth having occurred in Blythedale, Harrison
county, on the 27th of February, 1880, his parents being Albert L. and Mary Ellen Grinstead.
In the year 1888 the family removed to the northwest and Loren D. Grinstead became a
student in the State Normal School at Cheney, Washington, from which he was graduated
in 1902. In 190.3 he became a resident of Seattle. His choice of a profession as a life work
fell upon the law and in preparation for practice at the bar he entered the University of
Washington, which conferred upon him the LL. B. degree upon his graduation with the
class of 1905. He at once entered upon active practice in this city. In 1910 the firm of
Trefethen & Grinstead was organized and on the admission of a third partner in 1915 the
firm style of Trefethen, Grinstead & Laube was assumed. They are accorded a gratifying
clientage which has connected them with much important litigation. At the outset of his
career Mr. Grinstead learned the necessity for thorough preparation and never enters the
court without being fully prepared to present his cause in the strong, clear light of sound
reasoning, based upon the fact and the law.

On the 2d of June, 1909, in Seattle, Mr. Grinstead was married to Miss Edna Tileston
Gullixson, a daughter of H. F. Gullixson, and they have become the parents of two chil-
dren, Loren D., Jr. and Edward Tileston.

In his political views Mr. Grinstead is a republican and the public offices which he has
filled are those of assistant chief clerk in the house of representatives at Olympia in 1907
and chief clerk in the lower branch of the legislative assembly in 1909 and again in 191 1.
His loyalty to his country was manifest during the Spanish-American war, when he became
a private of Company A, First Washington Infantry, United States Volunteers, with which
he remained until the following year, being actively engaged in service in the Philippines
during the insurrection on the islands. The same spirit of fidelity characterizes him in all
of his relations to the public welfare and he is a stalwart champion of many interests which
are of value and worth to city and state.

Online LibraryClarence BagleyHistory of Seattle from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 3) → online text (page 94 of 142)