Clarence Bagley.

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

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Carl P. Stevens, northwestern manager for the Westinghouse Lamp Company, of Seat-
tle, owned by the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company, with general offices
at 1261 Broadway, New York, is a man who possesses in large measure that quality which
has been termed commercial sense. He has energy, enterprise, initiative and executive abil-
ity and is thus successfully controlling the interests under his guidance. He was born in
Wayne, Maine, April 7, 1883. His father, J. Putnam Stevens, is the present imperial
potentate of the Mystic Shrine at Portland, Maine, and is a very prominent Mason. He
was born in November, 1851, in the state in which he still makes his home and for thirty
years he was the Maine representative of the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Com-
pany. He married Julia A. Wayne, who was also a native of Maine and died in 1900, at
the age of forty-six years. Both Mr. and Mrs. Stevens were identified with old New
England families that have figured prominently in connection with the history of that
section of the country. The father was related to General Israel Putnam, of Revolutionary


war fame. In the maternal line C. P. Stevens is connected with the Wing family that
was among the earliest settlers of Massachusetts, arriving there in 1650.

Carl P. Stevens acquired his early education in the public schools of Maine and after-
ward attended the University of Pennsylvania, his liberal training thus well qualifying him
for success in later life. For a number of years he followed civil engineering on the
Atlantic coast. In the year 1909 he made his way westward to Seattle and for three years
was employed by the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad Company. In 1912 he
entered upon his present business relations as manager of the Westinghouse Lamp Com-
pany of Seattle owned by the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company of Pennsyl-
vania. This branch has been operated since April, 1913, doing a wholesale business exclu-
sively, amounting to about one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars per year, over a
territory covering western Washington. The Westinghouse Lamp Company, a three million
dollar corporation, has branches all over the United States and is doing a large exporting
business. Mr. Stevens is assisted in the office by a very competent man, S. J. Shearson,
who has lived in Seattle since 1894. He is a native of Omaha, Nebraska, and has followed
every branch of the electrical business. He sold Westinghouse products before entering
the employ of the company and is now correspondent at the Seattle office. The Westing-
house Lamp Company carries the largest stock of incandescent lamps in the northwest and
under the capable and wise direction of Mr. Stevens the business is steadily growing.

In August, 1907, in Boston, Massachusetts, Mr. Stevens was married to Miss Margaret
Chatfield, and they have two children: Williston J., who was born in Boston, June 23,
1908; and Robert H., born in Seattle, January 26, 1912. In his fraternal relations Mr. Stevens
is a Mason, belonging to Deering Lodge, No. 183, F. & A. M., at Portland, Maine, Greenleaf
Chapter, No. 2, R. A. M., St. Albans Council, No. 8, R. &. S. M., all of Maine, and Kora
Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., of Lewiston, Maine. He likewise belongs to the Rotary Club of
Seattle. In politics he is a non-partisan, voting according to the dictates of his judgment.
He finds that business affairs make full demand upon his time and energies and he prefers
to leave office-seeking to others. He is, however, interested in vital questions and issues
of the day and cooperates in all those plans and projects which have to do with the develop-
ment of the best interests of the city in which he makes his home.


Dr. P. Clifton Irwin, physician and surgeon of Seattle, was born at South Salem,
Ohio, February 17, 1876, a son of James C. Irwin, who was likewise born in that state,
where for a long period he successfully conducted business as an agriculturist and mer-
chant but has now passed away. He was a son of William Irwin, a native of Indiana, who
in the days of Ohio's early settlement made his way with a caravan of ox teams to Ohio.
He came of Scotch ancestry. The great-great-grandfather of Dr. Irwin was a soldier of
the Revolutionary war and settled in Colfax, Indiana. In the latter years of his life James
C. Irwin, the father of the Doctor, removed to Topeka, Kansas, establishing his home there
in 1884. In that city he was very successfully engaged in the hardware business until death
terminated his activities in 1888 when he was fifty years of age. He was a Civil war vet-
eran, serving with the Forty-first Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and after the expiration of his
first term he reenlisted and was entering upon the fifth year of his service when the war
closed. His father, William Irwin, was a major in the Civil war. James C. Irwin married
Ella McClure, a native of Iowa and a daughter of William McClure, of Ohio, who was of
Scotch-Irish descent. Her father was also a veteran of the Civil war, going to the front
with a regiment from Kossuth, Iowa, and meeting his death in 1866 as a result of wounds
received. Mrs. James C. Irwin survives her husband and now makes her home in Fair-
field, Iowa. She was the mother of five children, all of whom are living.

Dr. Irwin, the eldest, pursued his education in the public schools until graduated from
the high school of Mediapolis, Iowa, with the class of 1893. He afterward attended the
Kossuth (la.) Normal, from which he was graduated in 1895. and then, in preparation for
his professional career, entered the Bellevue Hospital Training School of New York, in


which he studied for two years. He next entered the army hospital in 1898 and did service
during the Spanish-American war in the fever camps of Florida. He also served for a year
on the transport ships and put his theoretical knowledge to the practical test in active pro-
fessional duty for the government. He was graduated from the State University of Iowa
in 1904 with the M. D. degree and afterward spent one year as an interne in the State Uni-
versity Hospital at Iowa City. He afterward located for practice at What Cheer, Iowa,
where he remained for about four years, during which period he served as health physician
for six months. In September, 1908, he arrived in Seattle, where he entered upon the
active practice of his profession, in which he has since continued. During this period, in
1913, he did post-graduate work in the Presbyterian Hospital at Chicago and in the Tulane
University Hospital at New Orleans, Louisiana. He devotes his attention to the general
practice of medicine and surgery and is a member of the King County Medical Society
and the Washington State Medical Society. He also belongs to the Iowa State and the
American Medical Associations and thus keeps in touch with the advanced thought and
onward march of the profession.

On the 20th of November, 1913, Dr. Irwin was married in Seattle to Miss Oda Devine,
a native of Wisconsin who was reared, however, in this city. She is a daughter of Charles
P. Devine, one of the early settlers here, and they now reside at No. 1606 Thirty-ninth

In politics Dr. Irwin is independent, voting according to the dictates of his judgment.
He has made his own way in the world from the age of thirteen, acquiring his education
as the result of determination which led him to earn the funds necessary to enable him to
pursue his college courses. It is therefore meet that his labors should be attended with
the substantial success which he is now enjoying. In addition to his practice he is the
secretary of the Dairy Farms, Incorporated, of Yakima. He is a prominent member of the
Spanish-American War Veterans' Association and is acting as surgeon for that organiza-
tion. He is also a member of the First Presbyterian church of Seattle. His is an upright
character and manly purpose has actuated him at all points in his career, his perseverance,
determination and worth bringing him to a creditable place in the regard of his fellowmen
as well as in professional circles.


John Wesley Van Brocklin, deceased, was a prominent contractor, evidences of
whose handiwork are seen in some of the finest structures of the city. He was born in
Lewis county. New York, in 1837, and was a young man of twenty-two years when in 1859
he went west to Pike's Peak. He afterward several times crossed the plains and in
1864 he returned to his old home and was married. He then again made his way west-
ward, leaving his wife in the east, but in 1866 returned and took his wife with him to his
western home. They were accompanied by her brother Hiram, who was killed, however,
by the Indians.

Eventually Mr. Van Brocklin located in Montana and built the first smelter ever
constructed in that state, its location being at Glendale. He afterward installed other
smelters there and was actively identified with the early development of the mining indus-
try in Montana. Still later, after coming to Seattle, he went to Alaska and built concen-
trating works at Juneau. He was an expert millwright and also a carpenter by trade
and his ability along varied lines made him a most useful factor in any locality in which
he lived.

In 1S82 Mr. Van Brocklin removed with his family from Butte, Montana, to Seattle,
and here engaged in contracting, erecting many buildings including private residences
and public structures. He was the superintendent of construction on the King county
courthouse, which was completed in 1891, and took great pride in his work. He devoted
all his active life to building and his eft'orts proved a tangible element in the development
of the city. As opportunity came for judicious investment he purchased real estate and




was the owner of considerable property in Seattle. He also had great faith in the city
and many years ago predicted that it would become a great metropolitan center.

In 1864, in Jefferson county, New York, Mr. Van Brocklin was united in marriage to
Miss Helen M. Campbell, and they became the parents of two sons, Hiram L. and Franklin H.,
born in Virginia City, Montana, in January, 1867, and June, 1868, respectively. They
were educated in the high school at Butte, Montana, and in the University of Washing-
ton, which they attended for two years. Hiram also has a medal from Yesler College
given him by Henry Yesler in 1884. He spent two years in a machine shop, and was
then appointed to the position of deputy in the county auditor's office, in which capacity
he served for eight years, while since 1896 he has been connected with the Seattle post-
office. For twelve years he was a foreman of the mailing division, was superintendent
of the second class mail department for five years and since April, 1914, has been assistant
cashier. His identification with the postoflice thus covers almost twenty years and his
record has ever been most creditable and honorable. He was married in Seattle, in 1893,
to Miss Phoebe Woodhouse, a native of England, and to them have been born two chil-
dren, Hannah May and Hiram Lester, Jr. Franklin H. Van Brocklin, the second son, was
married in Seattle, in 1892, to Miss Charity Langdon, and they have four children, Wil-
liam P., Edith, Frances and Dorothy. After the death of Mrs. Helen Van Brocklin, Mr.
Van Brocklin wedded her sister, Mrs. Candace Van Dusen, in 1876. They had no chil-
dren of their own but reared an adopted daughter, Helen, who is now the wife of Wilber
McClain, of Seattle.

The death of Mr. Van Brocklin occurred March 18, 1900, and in his passing the com-
munity lost a representative and valued citizen. In politics he was a consistent republican
and served for some time on the board of public works. Fraternally he was a Mason
and in his life exemplified the beneficent spirit of the craft, which recognizes the brother-
hood of mankind and all of the relations and obligations involved therein.

The pioneer days in Montana were fraught with many perils, probably the most dan-
gerous was the reign of terror of the road agents, which however culminated with the hang-
ing of Jim Slade by the vigilantes at Virginia City, mentioned quite prominently by Mark
Twain in "Roughing It," Mr. Van Brocklin being one of the jury in that famous trial.


James Delmage Ross, a member of the board of public works of Seattle since 1911 and
superintendent of lighting, was born in Chatham, Ontario, November 9, 1872. his parents
being W. McKenzie and Maryanne (Wilson) Ross. The father was born in Tarbet by
Tain, in Ross-shire, Scotland, and came to America at the age of eighteen years. The
mother was born at Morpeth, Ontario, and is of Irish descent.

J. D. Ross attended the public schools and the collegiate institute at Chatham, Ontario,
until graduated with the class of 1890. He took up the profession of school teaching when
nineteen years of age but afterward turned his attention to electrical work. He has been
an enthusiastic student of all branches of science since his childhood days and the habits
of the scholar are firmly fastened upon him. He is constantly investigating some new
line or adding to his knowledge concerning a well established science and his researches
and investigations have brought to light various valuable truths. He went north into the
Arctic regions of inland Canada in the winter of 1898, crossing Peace river and the McKen-
zie river country, proceeding thence westward through a country which at that time was
largely unexplored and on across the Rocky mountains to the Pacific in the winter of 1899.
He made this a prospecting trip and at the same time had hopes that he might regain his
health, lost through tuberculosis, in this outdoor life. This had the desired effect and he
arrived in Seattle in 1901, after which he was connected with various kinds of electric work
until the beginning of 1903, at which time he entered the employ of the city of Seattle as
electrical engineer in connection with the design, construction and operation of the city's
municipal light and power plant, a project which is now serving forty-one thousand accounts
or half of the citizens of Seattle, beside providing all street lighting. The value of the


plant is five million dollars, the receipts over one million dollars per annum and there is an
annual surplus of over a quarter of a million dollars. The plant is now being trebled in
size by the addition of water and steam power and constitutes one of America's greatest
electric plants and systems, giving the cheapest rates in America. Seattle is America's best
lighted city due to this plant. The plan of the system has been worked out to its present
splendid completion by Mr. Ross, who has dictated its policy since its inception, although he
says that the credit for the conception of the plant and its establishment belongs to its
originator, R. H. Thomson, then city engineer. Mr. Ross, however, took up the project
after its establishment and his work has been the successful engineering and management
which has made the plant one of the greatest of its kind in the country. His work has
been of a most important and responsible character. He has studied the problems that
have arisen from every standpoint and, recognizing the fact that cheap power is a city
builder, he has so developed the lighting and power plant that it has been an immense fac-
tor in Seattle's growth and at the same time has brought notable and gratifying financial
success. Mr. Ross' official connection therewith was that of assistant city engineer and
chief electrical engineer for the city of Seattle from 1903 until 191 1, and since 191 1 has been
that of superintendent of lighting and member of the board of public works of the city
of Seattle. He has demonstrated the advisability of municipal ownership of public utilities
by making the power and lighting plant a most profitable concern.

On the 19th of June, 1907, at Charing Cross, Ontario, Mr. Ross was united in marriage
to Miss Alice M. Wilson, a representative of a family of Scotch and Irish descent and a
daughter of George Wilson, of Charing Cross. Their religious faith is that of the Presby-
terian church and Mr. Ross is a member of the Commercial Club. His membership rela-
tions, however, are largely with those whose activities are directed into the same channels
in which he has put forth his efforts. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Elec-
trical Engineers, a member of the Engineers Club and of the Sons of Jove. He also belongs
to the Municipal League and he stands for all that has value in relation to the city's
upbuilding and improvement. With broad scientific knowledge and wide experience he
has worked along practical lines for the accomplishment of his ideals and in his chosen
field of labor has reached a notable position of distinction.


William D. Chandler is one of the best newspaper men of the northwest. Having started
out in this field of labor as a carrier, laudable ambition has prompted his continuous
progress, which has been accomplished through close application and unremitting industry.
He was born in Jefferson, Greene county, Iowa, October 18, 1877, son and namesake of
William D. Chandler, Sr., a native of Wisconsin. His mother, who bore the maiden name
of Carolyn Reinhart, was born in Olympia, Washington, a sister of C. S. Reinhart, supreme
court clerk, and a daughter of ex-Senator Reinhart of Whatcom county.

William D. Chandler obtained his education in the public schools of Iowa until he
reached the age of twelve years, when he accompanied his parents on their removal west-
ward to Washington and resumed his studies in the public schools of Whatcom, passing
through consecutive grades to the high school. It was in the year 1890 that the family
arrived in this state. His father engaged in the grocery business in Iowa but in Whatcom
county owned and operated a shingle mill for a time, while later he entered the government
service. William D. Chandler, Jr., however, became interested in the newspaper business,
making his initial step in that direction by carrying papers for the Bellingham Reveille.

After breakfast he labored over the office subscription books and from lunch time
until evening, and sometimes far into the evening, did reportorial work. Finally he was
able to eliminate the work as carrier and office clerk and became a full fledged reporter.
At the end of two years he purchased a half interest in a country newspaper in Ferndale,
known as the Ferndale Record, but after a short career as a country editor sold out and
returned to The Reveille. A few months later he became connected with the Post-Intel-
ligencer of Seattle, remaining on that paper for about a year, while later he spent a brief


period on the Seattle News. He was afterward associated with the Morning Times as
assistant city editor for seven months, when that paper was discontinued and he was sent to
Bellingham as a reporter on the American and Reveille, both of which papers were owned
by the Times Printing Company of Seattle. He remained in active association with those
papers for about four years, during which time he was promoted to the position of editor
of both. At the expiration of four years the company sold both papers and Mr. Chandler
was transferred to Seattle as city editor of the Times of this city. He continued in that
position until the fall of 1915, when he was appointed managing editor. He is today one
of the best newspaper men of the northwest because of his long connection with the busi-
ness and the ability which he displays in that field.

On the I2th of September, 1907, Mr. Chandler was married in Seattle to Miss Eliza-
beth A. James, and they have one child, Mary Jane, who was born January 17, 1915. Mr.
Chandler belongs to the Earlington Golf Club and the University Club and is also an honor-
ary member of Zeta Chapter of the Sigma Delta Clii. His political allegiance has always
been given to the republican party.


Walter R. Fobes, who at the time of his death was manager of the Fobes Supply
Company in Seattle, was born in Olean, New York, in 1876, his life record covering the
intervening years until the 23d of May, 1915, when he was called to his final rest. He pur-
sued his education in the schools of the Empire state and when a young man of twenty
years sought the opportunities offered in the growing northwest. He made his way to Seat-
tle in i8g6 and joined the firm of Fobes Brothers & Niles, dealers in typewriters, bicycles
and kindred goods. He remained with that firm for three years or until 1899, when the
partnership was dissolved. He then went to Los Angeles, California, where he remained
for a year but at the end of that time returned to Seattle and accepted the position of
manager with the Fobes Supply Company, whicli his brother had established. There he
remained until his death and was active in directing the affairs of the business, which he
studied from every standpoint of conservation, equipment and sales. His carefully managed
interests proved a strong element in advancing the success of the undertaking.

On the 1st of June, 1902, Mr. Fobes was united in marriage to Miss Jeanne V. Lister, of
Seattle. He was a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks but aside from this
had no fraternal or club relations, preferring to give his leisure hours to his family and
friends. He held friendship inviolable and many there were who entertained for him the
warmest regard.


Daniel F. Buckingham, secretary and general sales agent of the Roslyn Fuel Company,
was born in Milford, Connecticut. January 16, 1878, a son of Frank P. and Sarah J. Buck-
ingham. After attending the public schools until graduated from the high school he con-
tinued his education in the Hopkins grammar school at New Haven, Connecticut, com-
pleting his course in 1895. Still later he matriculated at Yale University, where he was
graduated with the class of 1898. He then engaged in civil engineering with the Chicago,
Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, with which he remained for eight months, removing thence
to Mexico, where he became employed in his professional capacity by the Mexican Inter-
national Railroad Company, being associated with that company for a year and a half. He
then became connected with the early survey work on the western extension of the Chi-
cago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway and spent a year in that connection. He next went
to Farmington, Minnesota, as roadmaster, having charge of the construction of the rail-
road until 1905, when he was transferred to Seattle as purchasing agent. He continued
with the railroad company until 191 1, when he resigned and became assistant sales manager
with the Roslyn Fuel Company. In that position he continued until 191 2, when he became


secretary and general sales agent, which is his present position. In this connection he is
active in directing and developing an important business and has become well established
as one of the enterprising and progressive young business men of the city.

Politically Mr. Buckingham is a stanch republican, while his religious faith is that of
the Episcopal church. He also belongs to the University Club, the College Club, the Seattle
Athletic Club, the Engineers Club and the Tacoma Country Club. His interests, as thus
indicated, are broad and varied and touch upon many activities that have direct bearing
upon the welfare of the district in which he lives. In manner he is always affable and
genial and his substantial qualities and unfailing courtesy have gained him warm regard
among his manv friends.


John Rosene, of Seattle, is known for the very extensive and highly successful
enterprises which he has conducted in connection with the development of the natural
resources of Alaska. His operations there have dated from the year 1890, when he took
the leading part in organizing the Northwestern Commercial Company, a concern which .
yielded large returns to its stockholders and which, though originally capitalized at
only twenty-five thousand dollars, grew to a capital of three million when it began the
gradual distribution of its assets to its shareholders, selling portions of its holdings and
distributing the cash to the stockholders, until now it is about to close its affairs and

Online LibraryClarence BagleyHistory of Seattle from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 3) → online text (page 95 of 142)