Lewis Publishing Company.

A volume of memoirs and genealogy of representative citizens of the city of Seattle and county of King, Washington, including biographies of many of those who have passed away online

. (page 66 of 87)
Online LibraryLewis Publishing CompanyA volume of memoirs and genealogy of representative citizens of the city of Seattle and county of King, Washington, including biographies of many of those who have passed away → online text (page 66 of 87)
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ing circle of friends.


All persons residing at or near the town of Ballard must necessarily
know the gentleman above named, as he is the pioneer merchant of the place.
When he first came here Ballard was an unknown quantity, still w^aiting to
be evolved from nothing, like many another of the now striving cities of the
west. This was not so long ago, it is true, but as he was one of the first on
the ground and located, as the pharse goes, he is entitled to the name of
early settler and as such will figure in the history of the place. A fe^^'
words, therefore, about Ballard's oldest merchant will not be out of place in
a volume dc\'oted to the representative men of King county. His ancestor.s-
were residents of New York state for some generations back, and his father
did business as a mechanic at Oswego. The latter was a contractor, and in






connection witli his father erected a number of large buildings at various
places. Some time during the fifties he secured an important contract which
necessitated a trip to Ottawa, Illinois, and a somewhat prolonged stay in
that section of the state. Eventually he returned to New York, and was
accidentally drowned in 1870 while working for the government as superin-
tendent of the break-water at Oswego; his boat was swamped while making
a trip to the light house in a heavy storm, and a heavy overcoat which he
wore at the time prevented him from swimming satisfactorily. He married
Maria I. Todd, ivho bore him three children and is ncnv making her home
at Ballard.

William M. Curtiss, the genial merchant with whose affairs this sketch
is concerned, was bom at Ottawa, Illinois, April 24, 1858, during the temp-
orary residence of his parents above mentioned. While still an infant he
was taken to New York, and grew to maturity in that state, where he re-
ceived a meager amount of schooling- during his boyhood. He did work in
difiterent lines of a miscellaneous character until his twentieth year had been
completed, when he learned the tinner's trade, which has since furnished
his chief occupation. In 1882 he left his old home for the distant west and
.spent four years at Fargo and Jamestown, South Dakota. Having heard
much of the young city growing up on Puget Sound he decided to cast his
lot with the state of Washington, and in 1886 made his first appearance at
Seattle. Business was dull at that time, and work in the skilled trades be-
mf scarce Mr. Curtiss devoted his attention for some time to building small
boats. In a short time, however, he embarked in mercantile business at
North .Seattle, but this venture was of brief continuance, and after the store
was disposed of Mr. Curtiss purchased a lot, which now constitutes a part
of the site 01 Ballard. In September, 1889, he built a shack and started a
tinshop, which proved to be the nucleus for the future mercantile interests
of Ballard and has since grown in importance with the development of the
town and surrounding country. During the year following his humble be-
ginning Mr. Curtiss laid in a stock of goods in his line, and in the fall erected
that part of his present building which faces on Second avenue. There was
prosperity and steady growth from the beginning, and the end of twelve
years found Mr. Curtiss in possession of a commodious building, with floor
space one hundred feet square and containing the largest stock of its kind in
the city. He deals in tinware, stoves, pumps, sashes, doors and other ar-
ticles in that line, and is not only the oldest but the most successful and poj)-
ular of the merchants who have found lodgment in the incipient city of Bal-
lard. A shop well fitted with every facility for making re]:)airs and looked


after by competent workmen is an important adjunct of the regular mercan-
tile department. Aside from his regular business Mr. Curtiss has paid some
attention to mining, and has made some investments in that line which
promise well for the future.

In 1891 Mr. Curtiss was married to Amanda Van Patten, who is quite
popular in social circles, being a member of the ladies' clubs at Seattle and
Ballard and a Daughter of Rebekah. Mr. Curtiss also takes interest in fra-
ternal affairs and holds membership in various orders, including the Odd
Fellows, Rebekahs, Workmen and Woodmen of America. He is indepen-
dent in politics, with Republican leanings, is a member of the board of edu-
cation, the Chamber of Commerce and served two years in the city council.


The law has ever attracted to its ranks a certain class of men gifted with
keen perception and logical minds, men who, by nature or training, or both,
are peculiarly fitted to deal with the problems which arise among their fel-
lows. In reviewing the prominent members of the King county bar we find
the name of Charles F. Whittlesey, who is a member of the firm of Booth,
Whittlesey & Hanford, a prominent abstract compan\-.

Mr. Whittlesey was born in Fort Warren, New Mexico, on the 19th
of August, 1855, ^"d on both the paternal and maternal sides is descended
from prominent old famih'es. John Whittlesey, the progenitor of the pa-
ternal branch in America, came to this country form Cambridge, England,
in 1635, locating in Saybrook. Connecticut, and there his son Joseph was
born on the 15th of January, 167 1. His son, also named Joseph, was born
in that city on the 20th of May, 1722, and during the Revolutionary war
.served as an adjutant quartermaster of a Connecticut regiment. He was
made a prisoner [)y the British during that struggle. His son, John Baldwin
Whittlesey, was born in Saybrook, November 26, 1782, and became the
grandfather of our subject. He became a Presbyterian minister in the state
of New York, and his death occurred there on the loth of September, 1833,
at the age of fifty-one years. He married Nancy Hotchkiss. a daughter of
Lemuel and Penelope Hotchkiss

Josq)h Hotchkiss Whittlesey, the father of our subject, was Ixnn in
Avon, New York, August 22, 1822. and was a graduate of West Point.
During the Mexian war he was made a second lieutenant, and for gallant
service at the battle of Buena Vista, in which he served under General Tav-
lor. he was made a first lieutenant. During the Civil \\ar he also served his


country as a Ijrave and loyal soldier, having- command of a regiment in the
Army of the Potomac. He was with his regiment at the siege of Yorktown,
and was taken prisoner at Winchester, Virginia, but on account of disability
was soon afterward paroled and exchanged. For a time thereafter he was
engaged m recruiting volunteers for the Union army throughout Pennsyl-
vania, New York and New Hampshire. He was afterward professor of
military science in Cornell University and was next made treasurer of the
soldiers' home at Washington, D. C, serving in the latter position for five
years. The year 1884 witnessed his arrival in Seattle, but after a residence
here of only two years he was called to his final rest, passing away on the ist
of August, 1886, at the age of sixty- four years. He married Miss Catherine
Knox Fauntleroy, a descendant of an old French family of Virginia. Moore
Fauntleroy, the founder of the family in America, came to this country from
Scotland, locating in Frederick county, Virginia. He was of French de-
scent. The maternal great-grandfather of our subject, Charles Fauntle-
roy, was a member of the supreme bench of the Old Dominion, was also a
member of the Virginia legislature, and was a general in the Revolutionary
war, having charge of a Virginia brigade. So great was his sympathy for
the cause of the colonies that he disinherited a son who espoused the British
cause. His daughter married Charles Magill, who was a colonel on General
Washington's staff, while another daughter married Charles M. Thurston,
who was also a member of Washington's staff in that memorable struggle.
To Mr. and Mrs. Whittlesey were born two sons, William H. and Charles

Charles F. Whittlesey was educated by private tutors during his early
years, and later became a student in the Princeton College, in which institu-
tion he was graduated in 1874. His professional education was received in
Columbian College at Washington, District of Columbia, in which he was
graduated in 1876, and from that time until 1881 he followed liis cliosen pro-
fession in the capital city. In the latter year he took up his abode in Colo-
rado, where he was a member of the legal profession for three years. Since
1883 he has been a resident of the state of Washington, spending the first
year in Whatcom, and since 1884 he has made his home in Seattle. After
his arrival in this city he turned his attention principally to land law and
assisted in forming the abstracts for King county, which his company now
owns. His name is a familiar one in political and professional circles
throughout this section of the state, and by reason of his marked intellectual
activity and superior ability he is well fitted to aid in molding the policy of
the state, to control general interests and from public opinion. Mr. Whitt-


lesey has been a life-long Democrat, and for two terms, of two years each,
he served his county as its treasurer. He was appointed by Governor George
Semple as regent of the University of Washington, and was serving in that
capacity when the territory was admitted into the Union.

On the 23d of July, 1886, in Seattle, Mr. Whittlesey was happily mar-
ried to Miss Susana DeWolf, a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, and a
daughter of Captain Frederick S. DeWolf, who served as a captain of Con-
federate forces during the Civil war, and is now a resident of Seattle. The
union of our subject and wife has been blessed with two daughters, Charlotte
DeWolf and I .aura DeWolf. The family reside in a pleasant home in Seat-
tle, where thev dispense a gracious hospitality to tlieir many friends. Mrs.
Whittlesey is a member of the Second Presbyterian church of this city.


George X. Gilson, chairman of the board of county commissioners of
King countv and a representative business man of the city of Seattle, en-
gaged in the sale of engineers' supplies, is a native of Port Jefferson, Long-
Island, being born on the ist of April, 1862. He is of English descent,
and his ancestors came to this country before the Revolutionary war. His
father, George F. Gilson, was born in Buffalo, New York, and was there
inarried to Miss Sarah Pedwick, of Long Island, and five children were born
to them in the Empire state. In 1875 ^^^ came to Seattle, Washington, being
accompanied on the journey by his wife and three children, George N. ; An-
nie now the wife of William Good; and Theresa, the wife of Henry C. Wood.
The remaining two children joined them on the Pacific coast in 1879. Re-
ligiously the father was an Episcopalian and the mother a Methodist, and both
have passed away, the latter dying on the 25th of February, 1890, and the
former on the 28th of April, 1895. They were people of the highest in-
tegrity and worth, and enjoyed the respect and esteem of all who had the
pleasure of their acquaintance.

George N. Gilson was but seventeen years of age when he accompanied
his parents on their removel to Washington, and after his arrival in this
state he resumed his studies in the Washington State University. After
putting aside his text books he went to sea, serving first in the engineer's de-
partment, but afterward became a master, and for seventeen years was on
the sea, during which period he sailed around the world. For a number of
years after returning to this state he was engaged in the iron business, and
al.so invested largely in city property. In January, 1900. he incorporated the


Engineers' Supply Company, of which he is now the president and manager.
He is progressive in his methods, industrious and persevering, and has man-
aged his interests so as to win for himself a name among the substantial busi-
ness men of the northwest. During his residence in Seattle he has erected
many homes, and has been thoroughly interested in the development of this
region, doing all in his power for its progress and advancement.

Mr. Gilson was happily married in 1890, when Miss Florence E. Hick-
man became his wife. She is a native daughter of the Golden state. To
this union have been born two daughters, Florence Edna and Ruth Serena.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Gilson are members of the Methodist church, in which he
has served as a trustee for many years. Socially he is a meml^er of the
Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, of the Woodmen of the World
and of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. A life-long Republican, he
has been the choice of his party for many positions of honor and trust. For
four years he served as a member of the city council of Seattle, and during
that time was active in promoting the work of grading Front street. In
1898 he was elected a member of the board of county commissioners of King-
county, and was later made its president. He is a genial, kind-hearted and
affable gentleman, and takes just pride in handing down to his posterity the
fact that he was captain of the first passenger steamer that sailed from this
port. This vessel was named the Hornet, and made the voyage to Port
Orchard and other ports on the Sound.


To the energetic natures and strong mentality of such men as the Hon.
Ellis Morrison are due the success and ever increasing prosperity of the Re-
publican party in Washington, and in the hands of this class of citizens there
is ever assurance that the best interests and welfare of the party will be con-
served, resulting in a successful culmination of the highest ambitions and
expectations entertained by its adherents. Given to the prosecution of active
measures in political affairs and possessing the earnest purpose of placing
their party beyond the pale of possible dimunition of power, the Republican
leaders in this state are ever advancing. Certainly one of the most distin-
guished leaders of the party in the state is Ellis Morrison, who throughout
his life has been a loyal citizen, imbued with patriotism and fearless in de-
fense of his honest convictions. He has served as speaker of the house of
representatives in Washington, but is not alone prominent in political circles,
being also regarded as one of the leading business men of Seattle, where, as a
dealer in stocks, bonds and mortgages he is widely known.


Ellis Morrison was born in Butler county, Pennsylvania, on the 20th of
May, 1850, and is of Scotch lineage, the family having been established m
Massachusetts four generations ago. He pursued his advanced studies,
after completing the work of the public schools, in the Pennsylvania Military
College, in which he was graduated with the class of 187 1 as a civil engineer.
Later* his alma mater conferred upon him the degree of master of civil en-
gineering, and for ten years he was the city engineer of Newcastle, Pennsyl-
vania, where he built the city water works. He also had charge of the con-
struction and inauguration of water works in varimis other cities, including
works at Greencastle and Wabash. Indiana. Sharon and Corry, Pennsyl-
vania, Warren and Defiance, Ohio. Mr. Morrison studied law in Newcastle,
Pennsylvania, during the years 1873-74-75, and was admitted to the Law-
rence county bar on May 3. 1875; he is now a member of the King county
bar in Washington, but has never engaged in the practice of his profession.
On the i8th of February, 1900, Mr. Morrison arrived in Seattle and
has since been engaged in the brokerage business and in dealing in bonds
and mortgages. He has met with very gratifying success. Seattle's im-
portance as a business center is constantly increasing and is drawing to the
city men of marked business and executive force from all sections of the
country. Among this number Mr. Morrison is prominent. He has also
engaged in dealing in real estate, and has platted several additions to the city
in West Seattle, covering hundreds of acres. Thus lie has contributed to
the improvement and upbuilding of the city, and at the same time has pro-
motetl his individual prosperity.

On the 1st of July. 1875. Mr. Morrison was united in marriage to Miss
Sarah Ann Llewellyn, a nati\-e of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and they now
have three children. Phillips. Llewellyn and Ellis. Mr. Morrison has erected
a nice home at 1315 Terry avenue, where the family are pleasantly located.
Mrs. Morrison is a valued member of the Christian church, while our subject
is a member of the grand lodge of Ancient York Masons of the state of
Pennsylvania. He is also a Knight Templar, is past master and honorary
member of Mahoning Lodge No. 243, Newcastle, and a member of the
grand lodge of Pennsylvania, and of Seattle Commandery No. 2, Knights
Templar. Strongly endorsing Republican principles, he has long been a
recognized leader of his i)arty. both in Pennsylvania and in Washington.
From 1880 until 1885 he was a member of the legislature of the state of
Pennsylvania, and in 1892 was elected to represent his district in the state
legislature of Washington, serving as speaker of the house in 1895. With
comprehensive knowledge of parliamentary law, he presided over its deliber-


ations in a dignified manner, his course being- marked by the utmost fairness
and impartiaHty. He is now a member of the council of the citv of Seattle
and chairman of the Republican state central committee. Mr. Morrison is
easily approachable, showing- courtesy to all with whom he comes in contact,
and is a companionable, genial gentleman, and has a host of warm friends.
In his home he is an indulgent father and a kind and devoted hus])an(i. and
his genuine worth and many virtues are widely recognized. He ne\-er acts
except from honest motives, and in all his varied relations in business affairs
and in social life has maintained a character and standing that ha\e im-
pressed all with his sincere and manh' purpose to do by others as he would
have others do by him.


Since 1893 the roll of the leading- business men of Seattle has included
the name of Christian A. Kindred, and none have been more highly respected.
Certainly none are more deeply interested in all things pertaining- to the ad-
vancement and prosperity of the city, and his iniluence has always l)een found
upon the side of progress and improvement. He is a native son of Indiana,
hi^ birth occurring in Jackson county, on the 3d of November, 1870. and he
is of German descent. His father, Daniel Kindred, nobly served his coun-
try during the great Civil war. and as a companion on the journey of life
chose Miss Mary Ramie. After their marriage they removed from Indiana
to Smith county. Kansas, where they became well known farming i)eople,
and there they reared a family of thirteen children, six sons and sexen daugh-
ters, all of whom are still living. The parents are devout members of the
Free Methodist church, and throughout their entire lives have f(^llo\\ed its
helpful teachings, doing all in their power to spread the cause of Christi-
anity among their fellow men.

Christian A. Kindred spent the days of his boyhood and youth on his
father's farm in Smith county, Kansas, and to its public school system he is
indebted for the educational privileges which he was permitted to enjoy in
his early life. In 1893 he cast in his lot with the citizens of Seattle, where he
has since been engaged in the wood and coal business at his present location.
He began his operations here in a small way, but by undaunted perseverance
and honorable methods has gradually risen to a prominent place in the busi-
ness world, being now the owner of the extensive grounds (mi which his yards
are located. Employment is furnished to sixteen men at the wood camp,
while in Seattle six teams are kept constantly at work delivering wood and


coal to his many customers. He is a man of integrity and marked fidelity
to the duties of life, and Seattle numbers him among her representative
citizens. In his social relations Mr. Kindred is a member of the Ancient
Order of United Workmen, of the Woodmen of the World and of the Inde-
pendent Order of Odd Fellows, while his political preference is with the
Socialists. He is well known and enjoys a distinctive popularity in the city
which for a number of years has been his home and field of labor, and has
unbounded faith in Seattle and in its growth and its advancement to a posi-
tion of still greater relative importance as one of the industrial and commer-
cial centers of the west.


Great rewards are always in store for the man who has the foresight
to recognize the future value of undeveloped regions, and. furthermore.
has the necessary courage to be the pioneer in building up the resources of
the place. The city of Ballard in King county. Washington, is an example
of a locality which has been lying for years with its wealth untouched and
only awaiting the coming of the promoter to make of it one of the leading-
commercial centers of the west. And Mr. Vernon is one of those who came
when it was an insignificant place in the commercial world and exploited its
resources until it is now a thriving city. When he came here there w-ere
only about two hundred inhabitants in the town, but his judgment told
him there were excellent prospects for the future here, and through hard
times and all he has never lost faith in the ultimate greatness of Ballard.

William H. Vernon is the son of W. H. and Marv (Downing) Ver-
non, who both passed their lives in England; the former was interested in
a brewery for awhile and later in farming. William w^as born in that fam-
ous city of Sheffield, England, on July 3, 1839. He had no opportunities
in youth to gain an education and throughout his life has had to pick up the
information and culture by dint of hard labor which come to the more
favored as a mere circumstance of youth ; but he has been a diligent student
to this very day and is not so backward as some who have made less use of
their opportunities. He w^as a boy when he first engaged in the mercantile
business. But the memorable Black Friday in financial circles in 1866 threw
him, as it did thousands of others, dowai from the heights of success and
caused him a loss of twenty-five thousand dollars. In the fall of 1879 he
decided to come to America. For a short time he was located in Minnesota,
where he did Aeiy well, and then went to Dakota and engaged in the stock

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business, where he remained for eight years. Ever since coming from Eng-
land he has had an eye on the future of the Sound country, and about this
time he decided the opportunity had come for him to cast in his lot with the
country. He at once engaged in the real estate and insurance business and
is the oldest dealer in that line in the city, and he has profited by his long
continuance in the business He has had the best interests of the city at
heart and has done much to induce various manufacturing concerns to locate
here. He has also aided in building up the place, and owns a number of
residence properties. Mr. Vernon represents a number of the leading in-
surance companies, and is acting as agent for many non-resident property
owners, attending to their loans and their general business. In 1900 he and
his brother-in-law, Mr. Lee, and his son, William H., started the Palace of
Sweets in Seattle, and they have built up a good trade and are now manu-
facturing to a considerable extent.

Mr. Venion is independent in politics, but he has held the position of jus-
tice of the peace for four years and police judge for two years. He married in
England Miss Alary Lee, a daughter of John and Martha (Sellers) Lee,
both living in Shefiield, England, and she was also a native of that country.
They have nine children, three sons and six daughters. Arthur is an en-
gineer on Ihe Great Northern. Edith May is the wife of John Taylor and
resides in England. William Horace is interested, as mentioned before,
with his father in the Palace of Sweets. The others are Grace, Rose, Frank,
Vemie, Lilly and Dora.


Eustace B. Scott, secretary, treasurer and manager of the Seattle, Eve-

Online LibraryLewis Publishing CompanyA volume of memoirs and genealogy of representative citizens of the city of Seattle and county of King, Washington, including biographies of many of those who have passed away → online text (page 66 of 87)