North Carolina. Property Tax System Study Committe.

Spokane and the Spokane country : pictorial and biographical : deluxe supplement (Volume 1) online

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began producing and refining oil. His partners were also men of
experience in the business and from the outset the firm became recog-
nized as leading factors in the development of the oil fields and in the
control of the trade. This was in 1881. The following year the
Standard Oil Trust was organized, and so important had the firm of
Rice, Robinson & Witherop become that they were offered every in-
ducement to join the newly organized corporation; but Mr. Witherop
who had the decisive voice in the management of the business, deter-

92 gfotm aaa. aasttfterop

mined to remain independent and for many years successfully fought
the trust in both the domestic and the foreign trade.

During the period Mr. Witherop was president of the Independ-
ent Oil Refiner's Association of Titusville, Pennsylvania, and as the
head of tliis association and as a member of the firm of Rice, Robinson
& Witherop, he prosecuted the fight against rebates which the rail-
roads were giving to the Standard Oil trust, and at the same time ex-
acting from the independents excessive rates for transportation to
seaboard. Such was the condition of affairs when he undertook tliis
great cause, but Mr. Witherop was equal to the occasion and single-
handed he fought the railroads for their discrimination in favor of the
Standard, and for a fair chance and square deal for the independents,
and he won, as usual. He not only obtained for the independent
refiners greatly more reasonable rates, but he stopped the rebating to
the Standard, and on this fairer basis of rates the independent oil
refiners have ever since competed favorably to themselves with the
trust, and owe their continued existence, to a very great extent, today,
to John W. Witherop. There are many other cases that he fought
out with the Standard trust, and fought well and won. One being
when the trust tried to freeze out Mr. Witherop's firm in Buffalo, but
in a short time he brought the trust to terms, and the business of the
independents was put on a profitable basis. This and many other
fights he won despite all the efforts of trust magnates to either force
the independent oil refiners into the combination or put them out of
business. At length, however, his health failed him and in 1891 he
sold his oil interests to his partners and in 1892 came to Spokane,
where he has during the past twenty years, with unremitting action
and determination, exerted his lifelong tendency of curbing the un-
lawful movements of the corporate powers.

Mr. Witherop was one of the pioneers in the great mining in-
dustry of the northwest, and as early as the year 1893 he penetrated
the wilds of the mountains of Washington, Idaho, Oregon and British
Columbia, riding on the back of a "cayuse" over the old Indian trails,
searching for some of the mineral wealth contained in those vast fields
of opportunity. In the early history of the Rossland Camp, in Brit-
ish Columbia, Mr. Witherop was one of the large owners of the
famous Josie mine, and was vice president and a trustee of the com-
pany then owning that property. The Josie adjoins the great Le
Roi mine, and is now operated by the Le Roi Company, a British
corporation. Mr. Witherop owns valuable and extensive mining in-
terests in various parts of the northwest, and he is a large owner of

3>oftn TO. TOttherop

real estate in Spokane and elsewhere, his most recent purchase being
the Elks' Temple, which is one of the largest and handsomest blocks
in the heart of the business section of the city.

On the 29th of September, 188.5, occurred the marriage of Mr.
Witherop and Miss Belle Rose Andrews, a daughter of William H.
and Rose (Eddy) Andrews, of Titusville, Pennsylvania. Her father
was for years a prominent figure in the republican party of that state
and for a long period served in the state senate and as chairman of the
republican state committee of Pennsylvania. For some years he has
resided in Xew Mexico, from which territory he is now a delegate to
congress. Mr. Witherop has never become actively engaged in poli-
tics, nor has he sought nor held public office. He prefers the quiet of
home life, and the association of a select circle of friends. His resi-
dence for eighteen years has been at West 2430 Pacific avenue.




©abrtr $. fenfetns

(HERE came to the northwest in an early day men of

T/fW P resc i ence » w ho were ahle to recognize something
W of what the future had in store for this great and
V}// growing western country. Recognizing the advan-
fcK^SYtJ^g) tages due to situation and natural resources, they
exemplified their faith and hope in their works and
upon that foundation builded their fortunes. Among the strong-
est of the enterprising men who saw in Spokane opportunities for
the future, David P. Jenkins was numbered. In the years which
have since followed he has not only gained prominence and success
for himself but has also contributed in notable measure to the up-
building and progress of the city of Spokane, and his name is in-
deed an honored one here and his work will remain as a monument
for generations to come.

David P. Jenkins was born on a farm near Mount Pleasant, Jef-
ferson county, Ohio, August 25, 1823, his parents being Israel and
Elizabeth (Horsman) Jenkins. The father was a native of Vir-
ginia but was an orthodox Quaker, and as his religious belief and
principles were in direct opposition to slavery, he left home in early
manhood and started on the trail over the Alleghany mountains,
crossing the Ohio river at Zane's Landing into a free territory. He
bought land and planned for the building of a cabin, after which
he returned to Virginia and further completed arrangements for
having a home of his own by his marriage. Two years later he
brought his wife to his claim in Ohio and as the years passed be-
came a prosperous farmer. By his first marriage he had eight chil-
dren, of whom David P. Jenkins was the youngest, and by a sec-
ond marriage there was born one son.

It was upon the old home farm in Ohio that David P. Jenkins
was reared, and the common schools of the neighborhood afforded
him his educational privileges, supplemented by a course in the Mount
Pleasant Seminary, a Quaker institution. He took up the study of
law when eighteen years of age in the office of General Samuel
Stokely, of Steubenville, Ohio, being there a fellow student with
Samuel Wilson, afterward a distinguished lawyer of San Francisco.

112 Babft ffi. ffenfeing

He completed his legal studies in the Law School of Cincinnati and
in the winter of 1844 was admitted to the bar, after which he en-
gaged in practice for some time in Cincinnati. Subsequently he was
located at Hennepin, Illinois, and at La Salle, that state, and was
making satisfactory progress in his profession when the Civil war
broke out. Governor Yates without his knowledge or consent com-
missioned him major of the First Illinois Cavalry, which was the
first cavalry regiment organized west of the Alleghany mountains.
Putting aside all personal and professional considerations he en-
tered the service and was with his regiment until it disbanded in
1862, when he returned to Illinois. The governor then authorized
him to assist in recruiting the Fourteenth Illinois Cavalry, of which
he was commissioned lieutenant colonel and during the greater part
of the succeeding three years he was in command of the regiment and
took part in many of the most important engagements and events
of the war until after the surrender of General Joseph E. Johns-
ton, when, at his request, he was discharged from the service.

On again entering the legal profession Mr. Jenkins practiced
for three years in Knoxville, Tennessee, and was afterward located
for a time in Logansport, Indiana, and in Georgetown, Colorado.
He came to Washington at the suggestion of Major General Milroy,
who at that time was United States Indian agent for the territory,
and for six years thereafter was a resident of Seattle. The reports
which reached him concerning eastern Washington, especially in
connection with the approaching completion of the Northern Pacific
Railway, led him in 1879 to visit this part of the state. He proceeded
up the Columbia river and thence overland and settled in Spokane,
where he became owner of one hundred and fifty-seven acres of valu-
able land, on which he built a home, thus being established as one of
the principal property owners at the beginning of the development
of the city. His keen sagacity enabled him to recognize the possibil-
ities here and appreciating something of what the future had in
store for this great and growing western country, he cast in his lot
with Spokane's settlers and has since been an active contributor to
its progress and improvement. His homestead covered the area
comprised within the boundaries of what are now Howard and Cedar
streets and extending from the Spokane river northward to a point
beyond Mallon avenue. Out of this district he gave to the city the
site of the present courthouse, comprising a full city block. He also
gave the ground for the old Spokane College but this reverted to
him when the school passed out of existence from lack of support.

3Babtb ffi. ffinfeing 113

He also gave the ground for the Plymouth Congregational church
and parsonage at the corner of Adams and Mallon avenue, although
he was not a member of the church. His daughter, Mrs. Rue, how-
ever, attends that church. The Jenkins Institute, which he estab-
lished, has already had liberal support from him and probably will
receive still more in the future. This school was founded by Colonel
Jenkins and meets a need in educational training. It offers voca-
tional courses, because young men must be specially trained to make
their way in the world. It is the object of the institute to make its
students efficient both in skill and character and to this end an ex-
cellent teaching force has been secured, all being men of experience,
who are experts in their various lines and who inspire as well as in-
struct their pupils. Colonel Jenkins gave to the school a permanent
endowment fund of fifty thousand dollars and the project is one
dear to his heart. Colonel Jenkins has always taken a great inter-
est in the Young Men's Christian Association and the Jenkins In-
stitute has back of it the spirit of that organization in its attempt to
surround boys at the critical and formative period of their lives with
such influences and aids as will develop a robust physical, mental and
moral manhood.

For a number of years Colonel Jenkins maintained a large farm
at Chewelah, Stevens comity, and there gave the land on which to
erect a high school, which has been called the Jenkins high school.
He also made a gift of five thousand dollars to establish a school
of domestic science, with the proviso that the city or other citizens
raise a similar amount.

On the 28th of November, 1849, Colonel Jenkins was united in
marriage at Granville, Illinois, to Miss Hannah Lobdell, the third
daughter of George A. and Almira Austin (Preston) Lobdell, of
that place. Mrs. Jenkins died in Ohio, in July, 1879. They had
three children: Annie M., who was born in Hennepin, Illinois, and
died in La Salle, that state, in 1858; George M., who was born in
Hennepin, and died in Spokane in 1904; and Emma F., who was
born in La Salle, Illinois, and is the wife of William H. Rue, who
came from Englishtown, New Jersey, and is now a resident of Spo-

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Online LibraryNorth Carolina. Property Tax System Study CommitteSpokane and the Spokane country : pictorial and biographical : deluxe supplement (Volume 1) → online text (page 6 of 16)