Located east of Monroe, following the paths of the Great Northern Railway and the Scenic Highway up the Skykomish Valley, Sultan lies at the confluence of the Sultan and Skykomish Rivers. As early as 1870, placer miners worked along the banks of the Sultan River; Alonzo LOW started a small store (later abandoned). New gold discoveries in 1878 brought more prospectors to the area.
John NAILOR in 1880 took up a claim at the mouth of the Sultan River, providing goods and a stopping place for prospectors including HANSON, CONDON and LeBRANT. The first white woman in the area was Mrs. H. W. ILLMAN from Chicago.
In 1885, fifty people signed a petition asking that a post office be established in Sultan; John NAILOR was appointed postmaster, and the official name of the post office was "Sultan City". In 1886, John NAILOR established a ferry, and in 1888 he built the Pioneer Hotel.
James W. MANN, who came to the area in 1888, helped to build the first schoolhouse.
In 1889, W. B. STEVENS bought the Pioneer Hotel, and with his wife Agnes dedicated the first plat of the town (filed 1899), and witnessed by John CONWAY and John NAILOR. McDEVITT and DAVIS bought the store building, Dr. WARREN was the first physician and Miss Matie WARREN taught at the first school. STONE and EWING established a sawmill in 1890.
By 1891, Sultan City played an important role in the building of the railroad as a supply station employing (at times) over 800 men. This boom brought many new businesses to the area, including T. W. COBB and Company (merchants), SHEA Brothers (clothing and dry goods), Dr. M. L. YORK (dentist and barber), H. M. BAKER (real estate), B. F. McPHERSON (furniture dealer), D. B. LEWIS' Skykomish Hotel, E. M. TAYLOR's Sultan Hotel and the Sultan City Journal, founded by H. M. SHAW. In June, 1891, Rev. A. W. BOWER became the minister to the Congregationalist community.
The Bank of Sultan, a branch of the First National Bank of Seattle, was established in early 1892, with M. B. SOLNER as cashier. By March of that year, J. E. STONE of the Sultan sawmill gave an interview in which he declared that Sultan was "booming". George WEDDEKIND opened a law office. In October, Rev. McKEAN became pastor of the Methodist Church. MOFFETT and STONE opened a mill, and COBB and PAYNE were new merchants. A. W. HAWKS started the third general merchandise store, and McCREA and COBB a livery stable. CAMPBELL and O'LEARY opened a saloon.
In 1892, J. E. STONE was the first passenger on the new railroad. "Parson" BOWER became Justice of the Peace. BARCLAY and HERBST established a brick yard in June, 1893. Mrs. George MANN was elected School Director, and H. M. MEREDITH was named Commissioner of the U. S. Court.
Sultan City's post office was renamed "Sultan" in 1894. HOLMQUIST opened a shingle mill and G. W. JOHNSON and Son established a woodwork factory. In 1895, the Sultan Millsite and Improvement Company was formed to provide water power for the mills. George MANN was president, John NAILOR, vice president, A. W. BOWER and A. C. WILLIAMS, secretaries. KEEFE and PERKINS opened a mill.
Sultan was incorporated on june 10, 1905, with H. M. MEREDITH as mayor, Thomas W. MUSGROVE as clerk, Eli MARSOLAIS as treasurer and John F. WARNER, G. V. PEARSALL, E. A. BEEBE and George W. FOWLER as ccouncilmen. T. J. ATWOOD was marshal and A. L. PETERSON was street commissioner. Industries at the time of incorporation included the Sultan Loggging and Railroad Company, managed by U. K. LOOSE; a camp of the Wallace Lumber Company; the Creekwood Manufacturing Company; shingle mills owned by MURETT, the Superior Mill and ROBINSON and IDEMA; the Commercial Trout Company, managed by L. W. MAYHALL; the State Fish Hatchery, managed by Henry BALDRIDGE and the "45 Mine", managed by Nathan JONES.
In September, 1905, the Sultan Journal was succeeded by the Sultan Star, edited by John A. SWETT. The Star published a business directory for the area which included the following:
HOTELS - A. L. PETERSON (Sultan); G. V. PEARSALL (Pioneer)
GENERAL MERCHANTS - G. V. PEARSALL, John F. WARNER, William COOK, Eli MARSOLAIS
DRUGGIST - T. J. ATWOOD
PHYSICIANS - Dr. T. W. MUSGROVE, Dr. F. S. SANDBORG
ATTORNEY - E. T. BASCOM
BLACKSMITH - E. A. BEEBE
LIVERY - WELLINGTON and BALDWIN
BUTCHER - E. M. TAYLOR
SHOES - Joseph LePAGE
PLUMBING - J. C. HOLMES
BARBER - Louis RICHEL
STATION AGENT - H. DUREE
In 1926, F. E. ANDERSON was mayor of Sultan, and W. F. LEAVELL the city clerk. Rev. L. F. SMITH was pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church (established in 1892). Arthur E. BABCOCK was editor of the weekly Valley News. Dr. R. G. NELSON conducted the Sultan Hospital; J. S. ATWOOD was postmaster in 1926.
SOURCE - History of Snohomish County Washington, William Whitfield, editor; 1926