North Carolina. Property Tax System Study Committe.

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York has furnished to the state of Washington, his birth occur-
ring in Rome, September 6, 1838, and in 1846, he accompanied
his parents, George and Eliza (Paine) Comstock, on their removal
to Wisconsin, which at that time was largely an undeveloped
wilderness. The family settled in Summit township, Waukesha
county, and there amid the usual scenes and conditions of pioneer
life James M. Comstock was reared, pursuing his early education
in the district schools and aiding in the work of the home farm
through the summer months. He later had the advantage of
educational training in Carroll College at Waukesha and when the
Civil war broke out he enlisted in the First Wisconsin Cavalry,
which he joined on the 14th of August, 1861, his service cover-
ing three and one-half years. He went to the front as a private
and was mustered out with the rank of captain. He did duty as
provost marshal on the staff of General E. M. McCook, of the First
Division Cavalry Corps, Army of the Cumberland, at the battle of
Chickamauga. Later he participated in the winter campaign in east-
ern Tennessee, in which righting occurred nearly every day. In Feb-
ruary, 1864, he was sent with about two hundred and fifty men from
east Tennessee over the Blue Ridge mountains into the valley of the
Hiwassee river to the town of Murphy, located in the southwestern

20 Jatneg iff. Comgtotfe

part of North Carolina, and from there he was sent to old Fort Hem-
bries for the purpose of gathering up Confederates on furlough.
The command then returned to east Tennessee and joined Sherman's
army on the campaign to Atlanta and remained with that command
until the surrender of Atlanta. During this campaign he partici-
pated in the battles of Buzzards Roost, Resaca, Dallas, Kenesaw
Mountain and Peach Tree Creek. He accompanied General McCook
on his raid to the rear of Atlanta and after that movement was com-
missioned by General George H. Thomas to return to Nashville,
Tennessee, and reorganize, mount and equip all of the dismounted
cavalry to be found in that locality. He had succeeded in getting
about two hundred men when the Confederate general, Joe Wheeler,
came up to a point within six miles of Nashville and for a period of
twenty days kept the whole northern force chasing him until they
finally succeeded in driving him across the Tennessee river. Mr.
Comstock's command then returned to Nashville but shortly after-
ward the Confederates, under the command of General Forrest, made
another raid into the southern portion of the state and again the
Union troops drove them back into Alabama. Mr. Comstock next
rejoined his regiment at Cartersville, Georgia, whence he was sent to
Louisville, Kentucky, where the term of his enlistment expired in
December, 1864. He then returned to his Wisconsin home and in
January, 1865, reenlisted and was recommissioned captain of Com-
pany F of the First Wisconsin Cavalry. He then went to Nashville
but was unable to join his regiment, which was on campaign duty in
Alabama and Georgia.

When mustered out at the close of the war Captain Comstock
settled at Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, where he carried on general mer-
chandising until 1872. He then removed to Algona, Iowa, and con-
tinued in that business for eighteen years, during which period he
took a very prominent part in the affairs of the city, serving for a
number of years as a member of its council, while for one term he
filled the office of mayor. He also acted as a member of the school
board until he left Iowa, about 1890, and was for years president of
the Northern Iowa Normal school, which was located at Algona.

Mr. Comstock first visited Spokane in 1884 as the guest of A. M.
Horton, who was then editor of The Chronicle. In January, 1889,
he again reached this city, arriving at about 11 o'clock in the morn-
ing. Before 4 o'clock in the afternoon of the same day he had pur-
chased property on Main street, having determined to locate per-
manently. In July of the same year he returned here, bringing with

ffamefl jffl. Comgtocfa 21

him R. B. Patterson, with whom he had formed a partnership under
the firm style of Comstock & Patterson. They opened a retail dry-
goods store, renting a room in the Crescent building, on Riverside
avenue, just east of the Review building. Their entire stock was
placed in the new building on the evening of August 3, 1889, and on
the next day the entire business section of the city was destroyed by
fire. The flames advanced to within a block of their new store and
were there checked, leaving the establishment of Comstock & Patter-
son as the oidy dry-goods store in the city. The business grew very
rapidly, the firm prospering in their undertakings, and as the coun-
try developed they extended the scope of their activities by the estab-
lishment of a wholesale department. In 1904 the Spokane Dry
Goods Company was organized and took over the entire business, Mr.
Comstock remaining as vice president of the company. The retail
branch is conducted under the name of The Crescent and is one of
the most complete department stores in the west. From the begin-
ning the project has proven a remunerative one and at the present
writing they are erecting a large addition to the retail store. The
Spokane Dry Goods Company also has a mammoth wholesale build-
ing of its own on the railroad tracks, erected a few years ago. The
labors of Mr. Comstock have constituted a most important element
in the growth and expansion of the trade, for his judgment is sound,
his sagacity keen, and his industry and enterprise unfaltering. The
officers of the Spokane Dry Goods Company are also the owners of
the Dry Goods Realty Company, which owns and controls all of the
property and buildings of the former organization.

On the 29th of March, 1866, Mr. Comstock was united in marriage
to Miss Elizabeth Annis, a daughter of Chauney L. and Lydia
(Allen) Annis, of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. They have two chil-
dren : Josie, the wife of Eugene A. Shadle, of Spokane, and May, at
home. Mr. Comstock finds pleasure and recreation in several frater-
nal associations. He is a past commander of Sedgwick Post, G. A. R.,
and was assistant acting adjutant general of the department of Wash-
ington and Alaska, under Commander Norman Buck, in 1896. He
is also president of the Northwestern Veteran's Association and he
belongs to Tyrian Lodge, No. 96, F. & A. M. His religious faith is
that of the First Unitarian church, in which he has served as a trustee
for more than twenty years. The worth and value of his public serv-
ices in Spokane are widely acknowledged. He served as a member
of Spokane city council from May, 1894, to May, 1899, and during
that time was president of the council for three years. Mr. Com-

22 Jameg Jtt. Comatotfe

stock was a persistent advocate of the use of water meters from the
time he entered the city council to the close of his administration as
mayor, in fact was almost absolutely alone in the advocacy of the use of
meters for a number of years. At the present time the city council
have adopted what Mr. Comstock advocated at that time and have
come to see the wisdom and advantages of installing such a system. In
May, 1899, he was elected mayor for a term of two years, during which
period he instigated and, through his intelligent and persistent efforts,
completed many improvements, such as paving Sprague and First
avenues and the following streets from the Northern Pacific right of
way to the river, Monroe, Lincoln, Post, Wall and Stevens, River-
side avenue having been paved while he was president of the council.
The water system was greatly improved and enlarged during this

In 1910, accompanied by Mrs. Comstock and their daughter, he
spent three months in Japan, studying the agricultural, economic,
manufacturing and financial interests of the empire. During that
time they visited all of the leading cities from Nagasaki on the south
to Nike on the north. In his travels through Japan, Mr. Comstock
noted especially the great advancement that nation is making, particu-
larly in their economic, manufacturing, railroad and ship building
interests. He found the Japanese a peaceful people and their history
during the past four hundred years shows that they have had only
two wars with foreign nations, one with China and one with Russia.
In Mr. Comstock's opinion should trouble occur between the United
States and Japan, it will be the fault of the United States govern-
ment, as Japan's slogan is: "Peaceful commercial relation with all

The family residence is at No. 1106 Ninth avenue and one of its
attractive features is its large and well selected library. Mr. Corn-
stock is a man of scholarly attainments and of much literary ability,
and has delivered and prepared many lectures and readings. One in
particular, a comparison between General Grant and Frederick the
Great, has been delivered on many occasions and has awakened wide-
spread attention throughout the country. He has also been a close
student of Shakespeare for many years, devoting much time not
only to the reading of the plays but to everything bearing upon the
subject, and he claims, with many others, that Shakespeare never
wrote what is accredited to him. His reading and study has at all
times covered a wide range and on the social, political and economic
questions of the day he keeps abreast with the best thinking men of

lames ffl. Comstocfe


the age. He finds his companionship among people of kindred tastes
and interests. His career has heen remarkably successful, chiefly
by reason of his natural ability and his thorough interest in a busi-
ness in which as a young tradesman he embarked. There is one point
in his career, covering twenty-two years in Spokane, to which all the
old settlers refer, and that is whether as a wholesale merchant or in
other relations of life, Mr. Comstock has always been the same genial,
courteous gentleman, whose ways are those of refinement and whose
word no man can question.

Vvv, u^^g

JHtcfjael iH Cotolep

jICHAEL M. COWLEY, a retired capitalist, is one
of the best known men in eastern Washington, and
the consensus of public opinion places him in a prom-
inent position among those whose lives have won for
them the respect, good-will and confidence of their
fellowmen. He has remained in the Pacific coast
country since the spring of 1862 and for some years prior to that
time was a resident of the west. He has thus long lived in a district
where men are rated not by wealth but by worth and where the oppor-
tunity is open for each individual to prove his worth. Coming to
America practically empty-handed, he advanced step by step, as the
way was open. He always watched for favorable opportunity and
in the later years of his business activity he was a prominent figure in
banking circles in Spokane. He now resides at 1128 Pearl street,
and the fruits of his former toil supply him with all of the comforts
and some of the luxuries of life.

The family name indicates his Irish nativity and ancestry. He
was born in Rathdrum, County Wicklow, Ireland, May 9, 1841, his
parents being Hugh and Bridget (Byrne) Cowley. The father was
the owner of general mercantile stores in several different localities
of that country and won success through well directed business inter-
ests. A love of adventure and the opportunities which he believed
were to be secured in the new world led Michael M. Cowley to leave
the Emerald isle when fifteen years of a&e and embark on a sailing
vessel for America, where he arrived after a voyage of forty-nine
days. He landed at New York city and proceeded thence to Roches-
ter, New York, where he was employed by a relative in a grocery
store at eight dollars per month. Two years were thus passed and
he then started for California but as his funds were not sufficient to
carry him all the way he proceeded only as far as Leavenworth, Kan-
sas, where a United States military expedition was outfitting for the
reinforcement of General Albert Sidney Johnston in the suppression
of the Mormon disturbances. Mr. Cowley entered as teamster and
was later given clerical work in connection with the expedition, while
subsequently he was promoted to a position in the sutler's department
at higher wages. He thus traveled across the plains and over the

28 jflitftael jW. Cototep

mountains with the expedition to Benicia, California, and as the orig-
inal object of the trip had been accomplished the troops were sent to
different posts in the west. Mr. Cowley was sent to Bead's Crossing
in Colorado, afterward Fort Mojave, and remained in charge of the
sutler's stores until the outbreak of the Civil war in 1861.

Mr. Cowley permanently took up his abode on the Pacific coast
in the fall of that year, settling at Portland, Oregon, and in the spring
of 1862 went to a mining camp at Florence, Idaho, where he engaged
in mining until the early part of 1864. He also followed merchandis-
ing at Wild Horse Creek, in the Kootenai mining regions, and at
Bonner's Ferry, Idaho. On the 4th of July, 1872, he settled at Spo-
kane Bridge on the Spokane river, about seventeen miles east of the
falls, the place being then known as Kendall's Bridge, and later as
Cowley's Bridge. He continued to conduct a store at that place and
at the same time operated the bridge and executed government con-
tracts for furnishing supplies to Fort Coeur d'Alene. Mr. Cowley
has been identified with the upbuilding of Spokane since the year of
the great fire, entering financial circles here as cashier in the Traders
National Bank. His capability for the management of important
financial interests was soon manifest and after five years he was elected
to the presidency of the bank in which he continued until 1906. when
he resigned and retired from active life. He still remains a director
of the bank, however, and president of the Savings society.

Mr. Cowley was married to Miss Annie Connelly, who was born
in Ireland and passed away in Spokane, November 24, 1907, leaving
two daughters, Mary Frances and Eleanor B. The former is now
the wife of J. F. Reddy, of Medford, Oregon, and has a son and two
daughters, while Eleanor B. Cowley became the wife of James Smyth,
of Spokane, and has one son and one daughter.

Mr. Cowley belongs to the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks,
at Spokane, also to St. Aloysius church. He is one of the few men
living who have been identified with the settlement of northeastern
Washington and the region known as the Inland Empire from the
earliest times. He belongs to the little group of distinctively repre-
sentative business men who have been the pioneers in inaugurating
and building up the chief industries of this section of the country.
He early had the sagacity and prescience to discern the eminence
which the future had in store for this great and growing district, and
acting in accordance with the dictates of his faith and judgment he
has garnered in the fullness of time the generous harvest which is the
just recompense of indomitable industry, integrity and noteworthy

(: ^Vmy^ /*yt«sy



fame* Jitonagfjan

INSEPARABLY interwoven with the history of
Spokane is the name of James Monaghan, who
from the time that he first arrived here in frontier
days down to the present time, has left his impress
upon the substantial development and upbuilding
of the western empire. Today he is a leading factor
in financial circles and at different times he has been closely associated
with the mining interests and railroad building of the northwest.
His birth occurred in Belturbet, Ireland, September 22, 1839, his
parents being Jolm and Mary Ann (O'Riley) Monaghan of that
place. He was the youngest of three children and was only three
years of age when left an orphan. He afterward made his home with
his maternal grandparents until seventeen years of age, when the
interesting reports which he heard concerning the United States led
him to sever home ties and cross the Atlantic to the new world. He
took up his residence with his brother, a New York physician, with
whom he remained for some time but he heard the call of the west
and in 18.58 made the trip to the Pacific coast by way of the isthmus
of Panama, reaching Vancouver on the Columbia river in May. His
financial condition rendered it imperative that he gain immediate em-
ployment and he secured a position in connection with the operation
of a ferry on the Des Chutes river near The Dalles, Oregon. He
was also employed in connection with the sailboats of the Upper
Columbia, which in those days controlled the traffic, and he secured
a position on the Colonel Wright, which was the first steamboat that
sailed on the Columbia from Wallula to Calilo. He was also con-
nected with the operation of a ferry across the Spokane river about
twenty-one miles below the present city of Spokane, and finally pur-
chasing it, continued in that business until 186.5, when he built the
bridge over the river, which is now known as the La Pray bridge,
named in honor of Joseph La Pray, who purchased it from Mr. Mon-
aghan. While thus engaged Mr. Monaghan planted the first apple
trees in Spokane county. His name is associated with many of the
"first events" and his labors have given impetus to various lines of

32 James; Jtlonaghan

activity which have constituted the foundation upon which the pres-
ent progress and prosperity of the city and county rests.

Since first coming to Washington Mr. Monaghan has spent prac-
tically his entire time in this state. In 1869 he became identified with
the business interests of Walla Walla and while living there in 1871,
was married. Immediately afterward he removed to what is now
Chewelah, in Stevens comity, although at the time there was no town
and the work of settlement had scarcely been begun in that part of
the state. He purchased land from the Indians and conducted a trad-
ing business, ultimately founding the town. In 1873 he became a
merchant of Colville, then the principal town of northeastern Wash-
ington and also secured the government contract for handling mails
and furnishing supplies to the troops. His activity later included pub-
he service of an important character. He filled the office of county
superintendent of schools, county commissioner and justice of the
peace, discharging his duties with a promptness and fidelity that won
him the commendation of all concerned. He also made arrange-
ments with the quartermaster's department for moving supplies and
equipment from Colville down the Columbia river to Foster Creek,
now Bridgeport. When the survey of the river was made by Lieu-
tenant Symonds, of the United States army, the name of Monaghan
Rapids was given to that portion of the stream near the mouth of the
Nespelem river. He made the transfer of the government property
and supplies from the army camp at Lake Chelan across the coun-
try to the site of Fort Spokane, and finding Walla Walla a more
convenient place from which to conduct his business operations he
removed his family to that city, which had been the early home of
his wife. The frontier post of Spokane was established in 188*2 and
Mr. Monaghan became the post trader, and at the same time be-
came associated with C. B. King. Both were equally interested;
Mr. Monaghan conducted the store at Fort Spokane and Mr. King
the store at Fort Sherman, on Lake Coeur d'Alene. In 1883, fol-
lowing the discovery of the mines, he was associated with Mr. King
and others in putting on the first steamers on the Coeur d'Alene and
also laid out the city of that name. The following year they built
the first wagon road from Kingston to the Murray mining camp and
also made the original survey for an electric road from Coeur d'Alene
to Spokane. Selling his interests to D. C. Corbin and others in 1886,
Mr. Monaghan then returned to Spokane, where the family home
has since been maintained, although at different times business in-
terests have called him into other districts. He was one of the or-

Jameg Jflonaghan 33

ganizers of the corporation which in 1888 began the building of the
Spokane Falls & Northern Railway, having the line surveyed the
following year, after which Mr. Monaghan sold his interest to Mr.
Corbin. He was also one of the original owners of the Cariboo Gold
Mines in British Columbia, personally superintending the work and
was president of the company until 1898, when he sold his stock. The
financial panic of 1893 caused him severe losses but with indomitable
courage and energy he has recovered from these and is today one
of the substantial citizens of Spokane, where in financial circles he
is well known as a director of the Union Trust Company and also
of the Traders National Bank.

It was on the 30th of November, 1871, in Walla Walla, that Mr.
Monaghan was married to Miss Margaret McCool, a daughter of
Robert and Margaret McCool, and a native of Donnamore, County
Donegal, Ireland. She was born August 12, 1852, and her death
occurred in Spokane, April 22, 1895, her loss being deeply deplored
by many friends as well as her immediate family, for her attractive
social qualities and kindly spirit had endeared her to all who knew
her. Mr. and Mrs. Monaghan were the parents of six children:
John Robert, born in Chewelah, March 26, 1873, and who died near
Apia, Samoa, April 1, 1899; Margaret Mary, whose birth occurred
in Colville, January 31, 1876; Ellen Rosanna, who was born at Fort
Spokane, November 12, 1885. James Hugh, who was born in
Spokane November 10, 1888; Agnes Isabel, born November 9, 1891,
in Spokane; and Charles Francis, who was also born in this
city, August 12, 1894.

In the development of Spokane James Monaghan has taken a
most active and helpful part and is still alert to the opportunities of
promoting the growth and substantial improvement of the city. He
was one of the fifteen freeholders who drafted the new charter of
Spokane in 1891 and was chosen city commissioner. He came to the
west when the Indians were more numerous than the white settlers,
when hardships and dangers were the lot of every pioneer but he
recognized the opportunities of the new country with its undeveloped
resources and taking advantage of these he has steadily advanced
in the business world, making a most creditable record in the manage-
ment of his affairs and in the attainment of success as the years have
gone by. At the same time he has been closely associated with the
public life of the community in the support of projects and measures
for the general good and he stands today as one of those sturdy
citizens who have been the builders of the great state of Washington.


^ynuu-^ id^

(/ c


3fofm Robert Jfflonagfjan

18^^18 CRISIS evei * tends to brin M' out the true character-
^2 Si 2 istics of an individual : it will show the weakness of

^2 /\ ^2 one ana " tn e strength of another, for the sj>irit of
Cy * ■> CO courage responds wherever there is need. We are
jta JS^fc^SK uC ' e< ^ *° * n ' s t ,ram of reflection through contemplating
the life record of John Robert Monaghan, whose
valor and nobility of character have placed his name on the roll of
heroes of whom America has every reason to be proud. He had been
reared upon the frontier where men were rated by their true worth
and where the best and strongest in men is brought out and devel-
oped. His birth occurred at Chewelah, Stevens county, Washington,
March 26, 1873, his parents being James and Margaret (McCool)
Monaghan, of whom mention is made elsewhere in this volume. His
parents desired to give him superior educational advantages under the
auspices of the church to which they belonged, but the facilities for
Catholic instruction were limited in Washington in those days, so that
the boy at the age of eleven was sent to the school of the Christian
Brothers — St. Joseph Academy, at Oakland, California. He at-
tended that school and also another brothers' school in Portland, Ore-
gon, until the Jesuit Fathers established Gonzaga College in Spo-
kane in 1887. He was then enrolled as one of the first eighteen
students and after four years spent in that institution he took the ex-
amination held in Spokane in 1891 for the Military Academy at West
Point and the Naval Academy at Annapolis, receiving the highest
percentage in each of these examinations, so that he was entitled to
make his choice of appointments. Although it was his original wish
to go to West Point, he generously waived that preference in favor
of the next applicant, the son of an old army officer who heartily de-

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