THE PIONEER BOOK

OF SKAGIT COUNTY WASHINGTON

AN ALPHABETICAL LIST OF

OVER 4000 EARLY RESIDENTS WHO

DIRD BETWEEN 1926 AND 1955

Edited By

Claudia Ebsworth

And Mildred Collett

Skagit Valley Genealogical Society

P.O. Box 715

Conway, WA 98238

Copyright 1989 by Skagit Valley Genealogical Society

P.O. Box 715 Conway, WA 98238

all rights reserved

Printed, published and distributed by the Publications Committee of the Skagit Valley Genealogical Society, which is a non-profit organization interested in the preservation of genealogical materials and family research, organized in January 1987.

In honor of the Pioneers of Skagit County

And to the memory of the late Betty Mitchell Diaz Fellion,

the first President of our Organization

And in commemoration of the Centennial Anniversary of

the State of Washington

PREFACE


This book was published with the hope it would help family historians in the search of information on ancestors who settled Skagit County during its early settlement.

Credit goes to Sharon Johnson and Janet Armbrust for the suggestion to compile this list and for getting the project underway in the summer of 1988. Hours were spent copying old issues of the Skagit Argus containing reports of the annual Pioneer Picnic and lists of the pioneers who had died that year. Additional copies of Skagit Valley Herald were obtained by Mildred Collett so that our list would be as complete as possible. Thanks to Edna Bainter for loaning a hand copier for this project, to Claudia Ebsworth and Arnold Stewart diligently entered over 4,000 names as well as matching dates, places, ages. The issues and entries were proofed carefully by members of the Pioneer Book Committee so that accuracy was assured. Editing, alphabetizing and printing utilized computer software and much time and patience. Claudia Ebsworth thanks her husband for much needed technical support in this project.

Additional research, editing and writing was by Mildred Collett and Claudia Ebsworth. There was much needed encouragement from SVGS President Vera Stuber, and members of the board. Mildred invested hours of research on the economics of producing this book so that we could afford to publish. Thanks, too, for the collating members who will go unnamed, and to Mildred for rounding up these eager helpers.

Thanks also goes to Eunice Darvill, director of the Skagit County Historical Museum; Dick Fallis, former president of the Skagit County Historical Society and historian for the Pioneer Association; and Laurel Treiber, secretary of the Pioneer Association. Thanks to Skagit County Historical Society for permission to use the map from the book Skagit Settlers and for their permission to use their 19th century photograph of the Pioneer Picnic. Thanks to Burlington, Mount Vernon, Anacortes Libraries, The University of Washington Libraries, the Anacortes Museum, and the Skagit County Historical Museum and their staff for assistance in researching this book.

Additional thanks to the publishers, editors and staff of the Skagit Valley Herald and Skagit Argus for their assistance in obtaining the lists and other valuable information. We hope one day they will see the necessity to preserve their old issues on microfilm for the benefit of future generations.

 

HISTORY OF THE PIONEER LIST

A pioneer association was formed in Skagit County, Washington around the turn of the century. By some accounts, the first pioneer picnic sponsored by this pioneer association was held in Sedro Woolley in about 1904. Each year since then annual picnics have been held celebrating the original pioneer families and surviving pioneers of Skagit County.

The original premise was to organize the pioneers who were involved in the early settlement of the county in 1875 or earlier. The purpose was to preserve the information about the county's establishment. A reunion of many of the original pioneers was held in June of 1891 at Skagit City at a site that has since washed into the Skagit River. There are some accounts that this may have been one of the early pioneer picnics and others that this early picnic was perhaps the catalyst for the formation of the Pioneer Association. A fine photo from this early picnic is included in this publication thanks to our Skagit County Museum located in La Conner. It is believed that many who attended, unfortunately, did not officially register their participation.

It is generally believed that those pioneers whose names were read at the pioneer picnic annually had lived in the county as least 40 years. Others listed were family of pioneers or county officials and their families. Rules may have varied from year to year. Whatever the specific rules may have been, these people are honored as Skagit County's original pioneers and their descendents.

Picnics are still held annually on the first Thursday in August at La Conner's Pioneer Park. This became the permanent site officially at a 1920 meeting. Prior to 1920 the local cities of Anacortes, Burlington and Mt. Vernon have all hosted the celebration of our local pioneers. The pioneer lists are no longer a major emphasis of the Pioneer organization, but they are of obvious value to the family historian.

INTRODUCTION

(Please Read Before You Begin)

NEWSPAPER SOURCES: When the annual Pioneer Picnics were held in years past, a list of pioneers from the Skagit County who had died that year was read by the historian of the Association to memorialize and honor them. This list was then published in the local paper. The lists ran chronologically by date of death. Each list consisted of names, places and dates; in some issues ages were included as well as, occasionally, the span of years the pioneer resided in the county. We have taken these chronological lists obtained from The Skagit Valley Herald and The Skagit Argus and with the aid of a computer database program have alphabetized them to make it easier to locate your pioneer ancestor.

PLACE NAMES: The place of death is generally listed rather than the place of residence. If both were indicated in the original, the place of death will appear first and the place of primary residence afterwards in parentheses. Any additional explanations are endnoted on page 73.

ISSUE ENTRIES: Every effort has been made to enter each pioneer as found in the original issues. Endnotes are provided as necessary for clarity. An asterisk (*) will appear if the original entry appears to be incorrect. The most common errors found in these newspaper issues were encountered when a name was listed in the introduction of the article as being of a distinguishing age or length of residence, but when the same individual was listed with his or her date of death the name or other facts were printed differently. If the entry was apparently in error, and this error would place the name out place for the researcher to locate, an attempt was made to correct the error. Both the entry in error and the correction will appear and each will be endnoted or listed accordingly. There are over 4,400 entries in this listing. The researcher will need to look for female ancestors under the title Mrs. as well as her first name since often the first names or initials may have been those of her husband. Other titles such as Captain, Doctor, Judge and Miss are parenthesized after the first names or initials.

ISSUE DATES: Each list began with deaths recorded on August 1 of the previous year and covered through July 30 of the issue year. i.e., the 1941 issue contained recorded deaths from August 1, 1940 until July 30, 1941. Therefore, when no month or day was provided, the entry indicates a two year range, i.e., 1926-7, which actually spans 12 months, from August 1926 to July 1927 (midyear to midyear).

ENDNOTES

1. There are conflicting spellings of surname in original. Both appear in this list.

2. No death date is provided in original.

3. The 1946 issue indicates 73 years residence.

4. Both first and christian names are spelled in two different ways in the original.

5. Different middle initial indicated in another portion of original. Probably same pioneer.

6. Listed out of sequence at the end of January in 1940 issue.

7. This is probably the correct spelling of entry. Both spellings appear in this list.

8. Original lists both Alexander Beach and Concrete for place of death.

9. No day indicated. Listed between February 2 and 10.

10. Listed out of sequence with March 6th entries in original.

11. A probable entry. An extra comma appears within the name. Both possibilities appear in this list.

12. Both cities listed as death place for pioneer.

13. Possible interpretation. An extra comma or missing name appears in article.

14. Also listed as Gustave A.

15. Also listed in article as Richmond Heights.

16. Difficult to read some letters in original.

17. Listed out of sequence with deaths at end of September.

ABBREVIATIONS

AK

Alaska

Ana

Anacortes

AZ

Arizona

B.C.

British Columbia, Canada

Burl

Burlington

C

Circa (About)

CA

California

HI

Hawaii

Hgts

Heights

Hwy

Highway

ID

Idaho

IL

Illinois

IA

Iowa

MD

Maryland

MT

Montana

Mt

Mount

N

North

NV

Nevada

NM

New Mexico

OK

Oklahoma

OR

Oregon

R

River

Res

Reservation

RFD

Rural Free Delivery

SW

Sedro Woolley

VA

Virginia

WI

Wisconsin

BIBLIOGRAPHY AND SUGGESTED READING

An Illustrated History of Skagit and Snohomish Counties: Their People, Their Commerce and Their Resources. Interstate Publ. Co, 1906.

Barrett, Helen, Sternwheelers and the Skagit River.

Channel Town Press, Aug. 2, 1978.

Dwelley, Charles M., Editor, Skagit Memories.

Fallis, Dick and Skagit County Centennial Committee, Skagit Centennial Almanac, 1883-1983.

Puget Sound Mail, Centennial Issue, July 5, 1973, LaConner, WA.

Sampson, Chief Martin, Indians of Skagit County.

Sebring's Skagit County Illustrated, Mt. Vernon, WA. Dec. 1902.

Skagit County Historical Society, Skagit Quarterly Magazine; August, 1986.

Willis, Margaret, Editor, The Buildings of Old Skagit County: Ten Self-Guided Tours.

Willis, Margaret, Editor, Chechacos All, The Pioneering of Skagit, 1973, 1974, 1981.

Willis, Margaret, Editor, Skagit Settlers: Trials and Triumphs, 1975, 1977, 1981.