. . .from Genealogy Trails
Sketch of Thurston County
It is not
purposes of this brief historic sketch to detail
the events connected
the early voyages of discovery to the Northwest,
the basis upon which Spain, Great Britain and
the United States
claims to the Northwest Coast.
51st degree, with all adjacent islands; Spain
claimed to the 55th
by right of discovery; Great Britain asserted no
exclusive right to
portions of the coast, but maintained that the
voyages of Drake, Cook.
and Vancouver to the coast; the overland voyages
of Mackenzie and
followed by the formation of establishments
within the territory
a right of joint occupancy with other states,
leaving the right of
do minion in abeyance."
At the outset
the United States' claim was two-fold: First, in
its own right, based
the discovery of the Columbia river by Captain
Gray; the exploration of
river by Lewis and Clark, followed by
settlements by its citizens upon
banks. Upon the principal that the discovery of
a river followed by
of occupancy, secured A right to the territory
such river drained, the
States asserted claim to the territory west of
the Rocky Mountains
between 42 and 51 degrees north, subject,
however, to the rights of
of prior discoveries of islands and lauds upon
the coast. Second, as
successor to France.
of 1803, the United States acquired the right of
continuity of the
west of the Mississippi river to the Pacific
Ocean, of the breadth of
province, its north line being the boundary
between the Hudson's Bay
and the French provinces in Canada. Negotiations
between the United
and Great Britain were commenced early in the
century; the war of 1812
Astoria, captured during that war, had been
restored. In 1818. the
was slightly changed by the convention which
permitted a joint
of the territory by citizens and subjects of
both nations, really a
by the nations themselves, for they but agreed
that they would not
the citizens of the other, nor gain any right or
claim by virtue of the
by their own citizens. On the 22nd of February,
1819, the United
by the Florida treaty, acquired front Spain all
that nation's rights to
upon the Pacific Coast north of 42nd degree
north latitude. In 1824 and
the United States and Great Britain had
respectively concluded treaties
Russia by which 54 degrees 40 minutes north
latitude was established as
south boundary of Russian possessions on the
In 1827 the joint occupancy treaty was renewed,
with the modification
either nation could abrogate it by giving twelve
months' notice. The
question continued to be agitated until June 15,
1846, the United
Senate advise; President Polk to accept the
treaty of limits then
By that treaty 49 degrees north was fixed as the
northern boundary. But
treaty of 1846 proved but a temporization, not a
settlement. It yielded
Great Britain all of Vancouver Island, but was
vague as to water
The indistinct recognition of the possessory
rights of the Hudson Bay
Puget Sound Agricultural Companies, almost
wholly in Washington, left
for controversy. In 1859, war was imminent,
growing out of dispute as
sovereignty as to San Juan Island. This
difficulty was temporized by a
joint occupancy A special treaty enabled the
United States to secure by
the extinguishment of the possessory rights of
the Hudson Bay Company
Puget Sound Agricultural Company. Not until
1872, by the award of the
Emperor, was the water boundary adjusted and the
What was known as the provisional government of
Oregon was organized in
1845, and all that country north of the Columbia
River formed a single
known as Vancouver District. Sir James Douglas,
M. T. Simmons and John
were the first County Commissioners. Douglas was
connected with the
Bay Company and Simmons came into the country in
the year 1844, with a
Lewis County was organized in 1846, and embraced
all the territory
north of the Columbia river and west of the
Cowlitz River. Dr. W. T.
of Nisqually, was elected the first
In April, 1845, at Washougal, Mrs. M. T. Simmons
gave birth to the
white child born north and west of the Columbia
River. In March, 1846.
James McAllister gave birth to a son, the first
born in the Puget Sound
In the Summer of 1846, Mrs. Sidney S. Ford gave
birth to a daughter,
first American girl born north and west of the
Columbia River. The
after became Mrs. John Shelton
The first marriage recorded in the Colony was at
New Market, Puget
at the house of Mr. Davis, on the 6th day of
July, by Judge Simmons,
Daniel F. Kinsey to Miss Ruth Brock of the
In August of 1847, Jesse Ferguson, Col. Simmons,
Frank Shaw, E.
A. B. Rabbeson, Gabriel Jones, A. D. Carnefix
and John Kindred formed a
for the purpose of building a sawmill at New
Market, named the Puget
Milling Company. The site was the northwest part
of the Lower Falls.
mill was completed during the winter of that
On August 24, 1847, a trail was made between
Smithfield (Olympia) and
In the Fall of 1847, there arrived in this
section Thomas M. Chambers
his sons, David, Andrew, Thomas J. and McLain,
also a Mr. Brail and
The last election held in Lewis County under the
in 1848, when Levi Lathrop Smith was elected
Representative to the
Provisional Legislature and A. B. Rabbeson was
elected Sheriff. Mr.
did not live to enter upon the duties of his
office. While in a canoe
his way to New Market in August he was seized
with an epileptic fit and
This was the first recorded death of an American
in this section.
Mr. Smith was a partner of Edmund Sylvester in
joint claims owned, by
Under the partnership clause of the land laws of
the occupancy of claims by each party for the
benefit of the firm was
permissable. Smith resided on the Smithfield
claim and Sylvester
occupied a prairie farm
near the Sound. Thus, upon the death if Smith,
Sylvester, as the
of the firm, became owner of the present site of
the City of Olympia.
moved thereon and built the first hotel. It was
16x24, built of logs
contained two rooms.
Rev. Pascal Ricard and a small party of Oblat
missionaries in June,
established the St. Joseph Mission, on the site
of the present city
on the east of Budd's Inlet. The Mission
continued for several years.
the name by which the point has since been
known, and which name is now
to Olympia's splendid playground—Priest Point
Park. Another settlement
made about this time almost directly across the
inlet from Priest Point
Samuel Hancock. This claim later became the
property of Conrad
The Territorial Government of Oregon was
established on August 14.
and included all the Pacific possessions of the
United States north to
32nd parallel, this line being fixed by treaty
between the United
and Great Britain.
The development of this section of the Oregon
territory was greatly
soon after its organization by the gold
discoveries made in California,
caused a stampede from the Northwest, and
considerably reduced the male
who preferred to try their fortunes in the gold
fields rather than
the pursuit of fortune along slower bill more
certain lines. Farms were
in many cases crops were not planted, or, if
planted, were left
After the arrival of Governor Lane to assume the
duties of his office
first Governor of Oregon Territory, Judicial
districts were proclaimed
Judges assigned in two, but the third Judicial
Lewis County, was left without an official
clothed with authority to
protection in all the territory north of the
The first American vessel owned by Washington
from Olympia, on Puget Sound, and was called the
Orbit. She arrived at
on New Years day. 1850, and loaded with piles
for San Francisco. Her
v;ere Messrs. Sylvester, Jackson, Moore, Shaw
The first Legislature under Oregon Territorial
Government convened at
City, July, 1849. Lewis County was then included
in a Representative
Council district with Clatsop County (now
Oregon), and was represented
Samuel T. McKean, of Clatsop, as Councilman, and
M. T. Simmons, as
The session continued one hundred days.
Thomas W. Glascow settled on a claim at what is
known as Ebey's
Whidby Island, in 1848. and after some
preliminary work returned to New
(Tumwater) and induced A. D. Carnefix and A. B.
Rabbeson to return to
new home with him. At the head of Hood's Canal,
which they desired to
while on their way, they found Indians, many of
whom had never beheld a
man. Though Carnefix returned home at the head
of the Sound, Rabbeson
Glascow continued their voyage and in July
reached the new home of the
About this time there was held in this vicinity
a council of Puget
Indians, called together by the Chief of the
Snoqualmies, Patkanim. The
of this meeting was to induce all the Sound
Indians to combine and
the white settlers. Patkanim was the leader in
the effort to bring
hostilities. He urged that it was only a matter
of a short time when
whites would outnumber the Indians, and the
latter would then be
to a land where the sun never shone, and would
there be left to die.
of the great arguments used by this crafty
statesman and warrior,
was that by conquering the whites the Indians
would acquire a large
This war-like spirit was strongly opposed by the
Indians from the Upper
who felt quite friendly to the whites. This
pacific attitude of the
about the head of the Sound was due to the fact
that the stronger
on the lower Sound had made war on the weaker
ones and made slaves of
of the Indians that they took captives. The
presence of the white in
about Smithfield and New Market had proved a
protection to their Indian
More than this the whites had thus far proven
in their dealings with the Indians and thus had
the "King George" or
Men" won their confidence.
This opposition to hostilities came near causing
a fight on the council
Rabbeson and Glascow, seeing that it. would be
unsafe to remain in the
left, the latter abandoning his claim.
In the Spring of 1849, a party of Snoqualmie
Indians made an attack on
Hudson Bay Company's fort at Nisqually, in which
Leander C. Wallace was
and two men, Lewis and Walker, were wounded.
From accounts derived from various sources the
following appear to be
facts: A force of Snoqualmies visited the fort,
ostensibly to settle a
with the Nisqually tribe. There appears to have
been a force varying
to several accounts, from 100 to 150. Patkanim
was within the fort
with Dr. Tolmie, the Agent, while the gates were
closed against the
Indians. Wallace, Lewis and Walker, visitors at
the fort, together with
Chas. Wren, outside the fort, noticed hostile
demonstrations on the
of the Indians, and apprehending danger,
retreated towards the gates.
reached it and tried to enter, but was prevented
from within. The
of a gun at this time precipitated an attack. It
was fired into the air
a guard on the inside, preparatory to reloading,
and was used as a
for the attack. A volley was then fired from the
fort and the Indians
Wallace was the first white man killed by
Indians on Puget Sound. The
were induced for a consideration of eighty
blankets, to deliver up the
for trial. This method of dealing was strongly
resented by Governor
as it could be construed as putting a premium
rather than a punishment
However, before he could prevent it the deal,
which had been authorized
an Indian Agent for this district, had been
consummated and six
Indians given up by the crafty Patkanim.
At a special term of court held in Ft.
Steilacoom the six prisoners
indicted, tried, and two convicted, who were
leaders in the attack. The
four were acquitted. A vast conclave of Indians
were present at the
which occurred the day following conviction.
States court held North of the Columbia River.
It was convened on the
day of October, the trial continued through the
second day and upon the
day the two Indians were suspended, as mute
object lessons to the
that the law must be respected. Some of the
jurors who participated in
trial traveled two hundred miles from their
homes to reach the court.
summary justice then dealt out could be well
used as object lessons for
at this trial. The prosecution was conducted by
Judge Alonzo A. Skinner
the Court assigned David Stone, then Prosecuting
Attorney for the Third
District to defend the Indians.
Sylvester, who by
death of his partner, had become sole owner of
the claim they had
at the head of Budd's Inlet, in 1850, laid off
the claim as a town site
named it Olympia. The name suggests the idea
that even in this remote
with rude environments, there were those
conversant with the classics.
name was bestowed by Charles H. Smith, who
together with Mr. Simmons,
that year established a store in the new
settlement, at the corner of
and Second Streets. The name was doubtless
suggested by the beautiful
spread out before them at the head of the Sound,
where to the North the
Range was visible and to the East old Rainier
reared his majestic head.
At this period,
the methods of living by the inhabitants were
most primitive. Little in
way of household necessities had reached the new
were not missed by these hardy pioneers.
and those fancy articles which appealed to the
Indians were dealt in at
time. However, in 1852, George A. Barnes opened
a general merchandise
at the West end of First Street, from which time
business assumed more
proportions. Later business houses were opened
by A. J. Moses, J. G.
Sam Coulter, L. Bettman, Goldman &
Rosenblatt, and Louisson &
As Olympia was the only town on the Sound a
customs house was
here in 1851.
receipt of news
the discovery of gold on Queen Charlotte's
Island, this year, a
was chartered by Samuel Williams, J. Colvig,
William Billings, S. D.
Charles Weed, S. S. Ford and three Sargent
Brothers to go to the new
The schooner was wrecked on the East side of the
island, plundered by
Indians and the gold- seekers taken prisoners.
They were rescued by a
cutter and troops from Steilacoom and returned
home after two months'
The year 1852
in fair condition with brighter prospects, for
coal had been discovered
sawmills had been established on the Sound, and
these industries had
a few shipments to be made to San Francisco, the
beginning of a trade
was destined at a later date to grow to such
constituted the Northern part of the Territory
of Oregon, was isolated.
of the towns and settlements were five hundred
miles from the seat of
and under such conditions the settlers here
received little attention
consideration from the Territorial Legislature,
though at this period
was considered that Lewis County, that section
north of Cowlitz County,
a little over three hundred inhabitants, of
which 180 were citizens.
in 1851 and in 1852 a new County was created to
include the territory
of the Cascade Mountains and north of the
Cowlitz divide. The new
was named Thurston, after Samuel R. Thurston, a
who had been elected to Congress by the factions
opposed to the Hudson
Company. Thurston died at sea April 9, 1851,
while returning from the
Capitol His remains were buried at Acapulco.
though they were afterward
to Salem, Oregon, and buried, marked with a
stone bearing this
"Here rests Oregon's delegate, a man of genius
and learning, a lawyer
and statesman, his Christian virtues equaled by
his wide philanthropy.
acts are his best eulogium."
creating the new County of Thurston an election
was held in June. 1852,
which the following officers were elected: A. J.
Simmons, Sheriff; A.
Poe. County Clerk; D. R. Bigelow, Treasurer; R.
S. Bailey, Assessor;
Sylvester. Coroner; A. A. Denny, S. S. Ford and
David Shelton, County
The records of
of the County Commissioners, shows the following
The tax levy
4 mills for County purposes. 1 1/2 mills for
schools, 1 1/2 mills
and $1 poll tax.
T. F. McElroy
were appointed Justices of the Peace.
and Wm. Packwood was authorized to establish a
ferry on the Nisqually
as follows: Skagit precinct. Whidby Island and
all islands north. Port
precinct, territory north of Hood's Canal on the
west side of the
Duwamish precinct, east side of Sound north of
Puyallup River and all
of Hood's Canal to the parallel of the north
parallel of the Puyallup
on west side of Sound. Steilacoom precinct,
territory north of
River to the Puyallup on the east side of the
Sound and thence due west
mouth of Nisqually River to the parallel of the
mouth of the Puyallup.
precinct, territory south of Steilacoom
precinct contained districts 1 and 2; Duwamish
was designed as one
Skagit precinct, one district; Port Townsend
precinct as one district.
The first term
Court was convened at Olympia this year and
Elwood Evans, D. R.
Quincy A. Brooks and S. H. Moses were admitted
\V. Wiley printed the first newspaper published
in Thurston County. It
called the Columbian and the first issue
appeared on September 11, 1852.
opened this year and was taught by David L.
to feel the absolute necessity for a division of
the territory and
to be set aside from Oregon. Agitation along
these lines resulted in a
for a convention to meet at Monticello November
25, 1852. Monticello
then a considerable settlement on the Cow- lit/
to this convention M. T. Simmons. S. D. Ruddle,
S. P. Moses, Adam
Q. A. .Brooks and C. H. Hale.
The result of
was that Congress was memorialized to create the
Territory of Columbia
of that portion of Oregon lying north and west
of the Columbia River.
was no opposition on the part of the people of
Oregon to this
and the result was that the new territory was
created by an Act signed
the President on March 3, 1853. Congress,
however, overruled the people
the matter of a name for the new territory, and
inasmuch as there was
a District of Columbia, it was decided to honor
the Father of His
hence the Territory of Washington.
A school house
in the Fall of 1852 on the now northwest corner
of Sixth and Franklin
Olympia. The structure was a frail one and
succumbed under a heavy
of snow during the winter. It was rebuilt later.
The tide of
set in quite strong, and demand for lumber
increasing, a mill was built
New Market by Ira Ward, N. Barnes and S. Hays,
with a daily output of
feet per day.
new Territorial Government became effective, the
created the Counties of Pierce, King, Island and
Jefferson, all out of
County, leaving the latter to include only the
present Counties of
Chehalis and Mason.
his inauguration, appointed Isaac I. Stevens as
Governor of the new
Chas. H. Mason, Secretary; J. S. Clendennin,
Attorney; J. Patton
Anderson. Marshal; Edward Lander, Chief Justice;
Victor Monroe and O.
McFadden, Associate Justices.
act was to cause a census to be taken, and a
population of 3,965 was
of which 1682 were voters.
in 1853 were very unsatisfactory for the
residents of the Sound region.
this time connection was made with Portland by
means of a stage which
Olympia every Tuesday, connecting with boats on
the Columbia. Later,
B. F. Yantis and A. B. Robbeson formed a
partnership for the purpose of
a stage line, and advertised to put their
passengers through in twelve
In 1853 the
County began to be developed. A little coal was
mined, a bed of natural
was discovered on Budd's Inlet, and hewed timber
was quoted at 16 to 18
per cubic foot, shingles $4.50 to $5.00 per
thousand and cordwood $4.00
route over the Cascades led to a public meeting
being held in Thurston
and a committee appointed to view out a route,
and a road through the
Natchez pass was the result, which was a means
of greatly stimulating
In the Summer
of 1853, a
taken for Thurston County showed a population of
996. The first grand
petit jurors were drawn at this time.
on November 25, 1853, five months and nineteen
days from St. Paul.
Charles H. Mason had already arrived.
the new Governor to the Sound were Colonel
William Cock, Shirley
D. R. Bigelow, Geo. A. Barnes, H. A.
Goldsborough, Jno. M. Swan. C. H.
Judge B. F. Yantis, Judge Gilmore Hays, Jno. G.
Parker, Quincy A.
Dr. G. K. Willard, Col. M. T. Simmons, Capt.
Clanrick Crosby. Ira Ward,
Biles, Joseph Cushman, S. W. Percival, Edwin
Marsh. R. M. Walker, Levi
James Offut, J. C. Head, W. Dobbins, Isaac Hawk,
Rev. Geo. F.
Jared S. Hurd, H. R. Woodward, B. F. Brown, and
The arrival of
was the most momentous event that had occurred
in the history of
and on his appearance in the garb of a hardy
frontiersman he was given
hearty welcome and reception at the Washington
Hotel (now standing) at
corner of Main and Second Streets, and when, a
little later Governor
delivered a lecture, giving the results of his
explorations for a
transcontinental route, the enthusiasm of the
pioneers was boundless.
the Governor, he issued ; proclamation
establishing election districts,
appointing January 30. 1854. as the time for
holding an election for
to Congress, and members of the Legislature,
which was to meet in
The Governor appointed M. T. Simmons Indian
Agent for the Puget Sound
and sent him to visit the various tribes, and
bear a message of
from the White Father.
The first political campaign in Thurston County
was an exciting one, in
three parties participated, the Democratic, Whig
and Union. The
nominees on the respective tickets were as
Democratic—For Councilman, D. R. Bigelow and S.
D. Ruddell; for
L. D. Durgin, George Gallaher, David Shelton and
A. J. Chambers.
Union—For Councilman, D. R. Bigelow and B. F.
A. W. Moore, F. W. Glascow, S. S. Ford, and
James H. Roundtree.
Whig—For Councilman, B. F. Yantis and E. J.
Allen: for Representatives,
Ward, C. H. Hale, J. L. Brown, Gallatin
After a short but hard-fought campaign the
following were elected:
B. F. Yantis and D. R. Bigelow; Representatives,
L. D. Durgin, David
Ira Ward, and C. H. Hale.
Judge Columbus Lancaster was elected first
Delegate to Congress.
Upon convening of the Legislature in a small
two-story building on Main
between Second and Third, the Governor delivered
an able message, in
he predicted a brilliant future for the new
territory, much of which
already been realized; urged County and school
organization and the
of a militia. He dwelt on the importance of
extinguishing the Indian
and the claims of the Hudson Bay and Puget Sound
settling the boundary line of the British side,
and advised the
to memorialize Congress for the appointment of a
the survey of the lands, and advocated many
other salutary measures
were promptly adopted by the Legislature except
a militia. This proved a bad oversight as later
two years later the Indians became hostile.
Governor Stevens purchased Block 84, Olympia,
for his future home, and
tract of ten acres in what is now known as Maple
Park. He also
for the purchase of the north half of the Walker
Olympia and Tumwater.
Governor Stevens, amid his other duties, worked
with zeal on the
of his exploration for the Northern
transcontinental route and was
by Capt. McClellan (afterwards Gen. Geo. B.
McClellan) and others.
Stevens' offices were in two one-story buildings
on the West side of
Street, between Second and Third Streets.
The Governor reported to Secretary of War
Jefferson C. Davis on his
and later received peremptory orders to bring
his operations along
lines to a close, which he did, but not without
at a later day. The opposition with which
Governor Stevens met in this
was doubtless due to the eagerness of the future
President of the
Confederacy for a Southern transcontinental
The acts of the first Legislature affecting
Thurston County was that of
Chehalis County out of the southwest part of the
former and Sawamish
of the northwest section, thus materially
reducing the area of
The name of the latter County was afterward
changed to Mason, after the
Secretary of the Territory.
Also a road was ordered located between Olympia
and Shoal water Bay;
Cathlamet to S. S. Ford's in Thurston County;
Olympia to the mouth of
Columbia River, and Olympia to Monticello.
The Legislature also appointed County officers
for the various
and the following were assigned for Thurston
S. S. Ford, David J. Chambers and James
McAllister; Auditor, U. E.
Sheriff, Frank Kennedy; Assessor, Whitfield
Kertley; Probate Judge,
D. Ruddle; County Treasurer, D. R. Bigalow;
Evans; William Plumb, Nathan Eaton and Joseph
Broshears, Justices of
Stephen Ruddle declining the Probate Judgeship,
Joseph Cushman was
in his place.
measures protecting the school interests in the
matter of public lands;
the license fee for retailing liquor at $100 for
six months, and
alleys at $25 per annum, and accepted a report
from Thos. J. Chambers,
had been appointed to mark out a quarter section
of land for the
of a County seat to be the most valuable
unclaimed land within the
of the County. Mr. Chambers reported in favor of
section 19, township
range 1 West,
The tax rolls
a valuation of $418,140 and the rate of taxation
was fixed at 3 mills.
authorized the construction of a bridge across
the Bay on the Eastside
a cost of $500, and one across the Skookumchuck,
for which they
$1,000. The former bridge was built at a cost of
$1,500, $1,000 being
for that purpose.
Up to this time
provision had been made for County offices and
records were kept in a
temporary manner. The Commissioners now
authorized a contract for a
House to cost not to exceed $1,200 and ordered
the Auditor to procure
books for the records.
At the election
tickets were in the field, Free Soil, Democratic
There were no
involved and the battle was fought along the
lines agitated in the
The straight Democratic County ticket was
elected, as follows:
B. L. Henness, Stephen Guthrie, Wm. P. Wells;
Shelton, S. S. Ford, John Low; Probate Judge,
Joseph Cushman; School
D. R. Bigelow; Auditor, U. E. Hicks; Treasurer,
Wm. Rutledge; Sheriff,
B. Rabbeson; Assessor, Wm. Packwood; Coroner, A.
J. Baldwin. J. Patton
who had come to the Territory as United States
Marshal, was elected as
Stevens returned East, spending much of his time
at the National
in the interests of his Territory. Much of the
legislation secured for
was due to his efforts, which included needed
amendments to the land
and the creation of the office of Surveyor
General, and making
for surveys and mail service.
Stevens and his
left New York City for the Territory September
20, 1854, and arrived at
new home in December. A pen picture of the
impression gained by the
upon their arrival, as described by General
Stevens, showed conditions
they then prevailed:
"It was a
day. It had rained considerably. The road from
Tumwater to Olympia was
deep in mud and threaded a dense forest with a
narrow track. With
raised at the idea of seeing the Capital and
chief town of the
the weary travelers toiled up the small hill in
the edge of the timber,
the summit and eagerly looked to see the new
metropolis. Their hearts
with bitter disappointment as they surveyed the
dismal and forlorn
before them. A low, flat neck of land, running
into the bay, down it
the narrow, muddy track, winding among the
stumps, which stood thickly
either side twenty small wooden houses bordered
the road, while back of
on the left and next the shore were a number of
Indian lodges, with
canoes drawn up on the beach, and Indians and
dogs lounging about." The
mentioned is where the Masonic Temple now
stands, opposite the new
building. The site of the Indian camp is now
Columbia Street, between
and Fourth. There were only one or two buildings
above, or south of
Street. The public square was a tangle of fallen
timber. Main street
in Giddings' wharf, which was left high and dry
at low tides."
It is not a
that the Governor's family were appalled at the
appearance of their
home, accentuated as it was by the hardships of
the trip from the East,
latter part of which is thus described:
The party took
a point named Rainier), manned by Indians,
crossed the Columbia and
a few miles up the Cowlitz to Monticello, where
they spent the night.
daylight the next morning the Governor and
family embarked in one
while the trunks and baggage followed in
another, and pushed up stream
a swift current. There were in the canoe the
Governor, his wife and
children, the nurse and a crew of four Indians,
two on each end. It was
dark, drizzling day, with frequent showers. The
passengers sat upon the
of the canoe upon plenty of Indian mats and well
wrapped in blankets,
except for the strained and irksome position
were fairly comfortable.
Indians, urged by promises of extra pay, paddled
vigorously. At the
(and it seemed that nearly all the stream was in
rapids) they laid
their paddles, and, standing up, forced the
canoe ahead with poles,
which they wielded with great skill and
vigor. It was dark when
Cowlitz Landing, thirty miles from Monticello."
narrative, here quoted, as a vivid description
of the methods of travel
this section at that time:
We walked ankle
to a small log house, where we had a good meal.
Here we found a number
rough, dirty-looking men, with pantaloons tucked
inside their boots,
so much hair upon their heads and faces that
they all looked alike.
tea we were shown a room to sleep in, full of
beds, which were for the
I was so worn out with the novel way of
traveling, that I laid down on
narrow strip of bed, not undressed, all my
family alongside on the same
The Governor sat on a stool near by, and,
strange to say, slept sound
the long, dismal night. lie had been shown his
bed up through a hole on
of the shanty. He said one look was sufficient.
Men were strewn as
as possible on the floor in their blankets. The
steam generated from
wet clothes, boots and blankets was stifling.
One small hole cut
the roof was the only ventilation. As soon as
breakfast was over the
morning, we mounted a wagon without springs and
proceeded on our
There surely were no worse roads in the world
than this. The horses
down deep into the mud every step; the wheels
sank to the hub, and
had to be pried out. "We forded rivers, the
water coming above our
ankles in the wagon. Many big, deep holes they
would jump over, making
run quick, when the wagon would jump across,
shaking us up fearfully.
one of these holes the horses fell down, and we
stuck fast in the mud.
were taken from the wagon by men of our party,
plunging up to their
in mud, and carrying us out by sheer force of
their strength. After
us upon a fallen log, the horses were, with
difficulty, extricated from
mud. After another long day's tiresome travel we
stopped at a log house
the following day through a drizzling rain, with
the roads all but
At Saunders Bottom, where the Town of Chehalis
now stands, the mud was
deep for two miles. This day the party made 25
miles. The travelers
Olympia the next day, after 30 miles' travel,
upon a somewhat better
Such were the hardships endured by those looking
for new homes in the
Northwest, but harder yet were the experiences
of those reaching here
way of the Natchez Pass, as many were coming
An idea of the
during this period, may be gleaned from the
following market report,
in the only paper printed in the Territory at
flour, $10 per 100 pounds; pork, 20 cents;
butter, $1 per pound;
$4 per bushel; eggs, $1 a dozen; beets, $3.50
per bushel; sugar, I21/o
coffee, 18 cents; tea, $1; molasses, 75 cents;
salmon, 10 cents. Sawed
for $20 per thousand; cedar, $30; shingles,
$4.50; piles, per foot, 5
8 cents; square timber, per foot, 12 to 15
1854, W. B.
established a stage line between Olympia and
Cowlitz via Grand .Mound,
Olympia on Tuesdays and Fridays of each week. At
Cowlitz, near the
site of Toledo, it made connections with boats
for Monticello and
Olympia to Grand Mound, $3.50; to Cowlitz,
W. W. Miller
built a saw
the latter part of 1854 on the East side of
Budd's Inlet, a short
below the town, and the old Masonic hall was
built on the site of the
pretentious Temple of today. In this old
building the Legislative
of 1855 was held. Edward Giddings built a wharf,
300 feet long, at the
of Main Street, which was used for many years.
Later it was extended to
water and was used until the Government deepened
the channel for a
approach to the town.
In 1855, Samuel
had been appointed Assessor, reported the
valuation of taxable property
$396,825, and a levy of 4 mills was made. The
County debt, at the same
amounted to $4,388.29.
upon the Legislature of 1855 was that of
permanently locating the seat
Government. Hon. Arthur A. Denny was a member of
the House from King
and spoke as follows upon the subject:
do now what I have not done before: I propose to
say now what I have
heretofore said to anyone (if my memory serves
me) relative to my views
this location question. I now for the first time
announce my purpose to
for the location of the territorial capital at
or near Olympia; and for
vote upon this question I shall briefly assign a
"Justice to all
the territory require at our hands patient and
careful investigation as
the proper place at which to locate the
Territorial capital. Its
should be central both as to its geographical
position, as well as to
center compared with our population. In my
investigation of this
I have arrived at the conclusion that Olympia is
center than any other point I have heard
mentioned during the
on this subject, and that it is also nearer the
center of our present
If, Mr. Speaker, you take Thurston County, with
its population and add
to the Counties north, there will be found a
clear and decided majority
the population of our Territory in those
Counties. If you will take
from the northern Counties and unite her with
the Counties south. then
will show a still more decided majority south.
Thus it is clearly
that Olympia is about the center of population
in this Territory. It is
easily accessible from all parts of the
Territory as any place which
been named during the pendency of this question,
or that could have
named. It is at the head of navigation at a
point the farthest inland,
from all Counties north by all manner of
watercraft from steamer down
the Indian canoe. It is in a direct line from
the Counties south to the
north, of the Territory. If you travel from the
northern to the
Counties, you must go through Thurston or travel
out of your course. If
you travel from the southern to the northern
Counties you have to pass
Thurston. Then as to the particular location—the
site is clearly
the land selected is elevated and overlooks the
placid waters of Puget
for many miles to the northward. The scenery is
grand and imposing—to
north the Coast Range is seen looming up in the
distance. Mount Olympus
out in bold relief amidst the hundreds of less
elevated peaks in the
of no other place combining anything like the
claims, all things
to the Territorial capital as does this
immediate vicinity; hence I
most willingly give my support to the bill under
so. I am influenced by no motives of a pecuniary
character—I own no
lots or landed estate in Thurston County and
such is the poor estimate
my vote or influence that I have not had even
the offer of an oyster
from the good citizens of Olympia as an
inducement for either."
Even as early
question of prohibition was, to some extent,
agitated. This year the
submitted the question of the manufacture and
sale of ardent spirits to
vote of the people of the Territory at the next
election in July. Quite
vigorous campaign was had, Elwood Evans being
appointed Chairman of the
Committee, who issued a call upon temperance
people to form societies.
was called for April of this year. The Whig
convention was held May 5,
the Free Soil convention May 26. At the election
Thurston County gave
Patton Anderson, Democratic candidate for
Delegate to Congress nine
Wm. Cock was elected Councilman ; R. M. Walker,
C. B. Baker, D. J.
Representatives; T. F. Berry, Surveyor;
Assessor, W. B. D. Newman;
J. S. Broshears; Fence Viewer, B. M. Walker;
Lieutenant Colonel, Joseph
Major, J. K. Kurd.
The vote of
will give the reader a practical idea of how the
throughout the County: Three hundred and
seventy-three votes were cast
follows: Olympia precinct, 260; South Bay, 18;
Black Lake, 15; Yelm
18; Grand Mound, 39; Miami, 9; Coal Bank, 18.
Prohibition received a
of 14 votes in this County, but failed to carry
in the Territory.
1855, a two
school building was erected to replace the one
that had been crushed by
a few years previously. This building has served
as a school house originally, it was so used for
years; from 1871 to
it was the Court house, and latter became a
newspaper office. It has
been moved off the property at Sixth and
Franklin and is now occupied
a lodging house.
A history of
is almost exclusively a story of Indian
troubles. All the serious
that Thurston County experienced in this regard,
or during which much
was felt, was during this year. Reports were
coming to Olympia of
in the White River valley, which aroused
considerable apprehension. The
tribes were the troublesome element, and it was
presumed then, and has
been accepted as reasonably certain, that they
were encouraged in their
by the Hudson Bay Company, which, in this way,
hoped to discourage
The first overt
in Thurston County, and from which trouble may
be said to date, was
in 1854. when a Kake (a Northern tribe) Indian
was killed by a man
Burke, both of whom worked for H. L. Butler, at
the Northern Indians frequently visited the head
of the Sound and
depredations. The acts at least became so
flagrant that Commander
Swartout, then in command of what United States
navy there was in these
was notified. On November 20th, he made an
attack upon their camp at
Gamble. About thirty were killed and twenty
wounded, their camp and
destroyed. The remainder were taken to Victoria.
This act but served to
the appetite of the Indians for revenge.
The Indians on
including those on the Straits, numbered about
8,000, divided into many
his administration, outlined a very wise and
pacific policy toward the
and one which he devoted himself to actively and
of which were:
upon a few reservations and encourage them to
cultivate the soil and
2. To pay for
in annuities of blankets, clothing, and stable
articles during a long
of years, rather than in money.
3. To furnish
teachers, farmers and farming implements,
blacksmiths and carpenters,
shops of their trade.
disputes among them.
5. To abolish
6. To stop, as
the use of liquor.
7. They were to
of hunting and fishing on vacant lands.
8. That at some
when they were deemed fitted for it, the
reservations were to be
to them in severally,
County was held on McAllister Creek, a mile
above its mouth, on the
The Indians, to
of 650, assembled, and Governor Stevens made an
address, at once
and appealing, in which he made plain to the
Indians his policy as
above, and invited their co-operation.
The treaty was
section by section, and the Indians given every
opportunity to discuss
After which, there being no objections, the
treaty was signed by
I.I. Stevens and the Chiefs, Delegates and
Headmen on the part of the
Provisions and presents were then delivered to
the Chiefs, who divided
among the Indians.
Following is a
1. The Indians
lands in Thurston, Pierce and parts of Mason and
King to the United
2. Set off as
Squaxon Island, containing about 1280 acres; a
square tract of two
near and south of the mouth of McAllister Creek
and another equal tract
the south side of Commencement Bay, with
accessible roads to and
and hunting on other than claimed lands.
hundred dollars to be paid in annuities in
staple and useful
Thirty thousand two hundred and fifty dollars to
be expended in placing
Indians on their reservations.
to remove the Indians when the interests of the
Territory demanded, by
the Indians for improvements.
to pay personal debts.
for arbitration of differences by the
on penalty of forfeiture of annuity.
Agency and instruction in useful trades for
Indians outside of the United States, and
forbade foreign Indians
on the reservations except by consent of the
Leschi, an intelligent and designing Indian, who
has since been
by having a Seattle park named for him, being
the third. The first
was Qui-ee-muth, Leschi's brother. Both these
Indians met death as a
for their treachery.
On October 14,
Governor Mason issued a proclamation, stating
conditions and called for
enrollment of two Companies, and Vancouver and
Olympia were named as
was called the Puget Sound Mounted Volunteers,
which elected officers
follows. Captain, Gilmore Hays; First
Lieutenant, Jared S. Hurd; Second
Wm. Martin; First Sergeant, Joseph Gibson;
Second Sergeant, H. D. Cock;
Sergeant, Thomas Prather; Fourth Sergeant.
Joseph "White; First
Joseph S. Taylor; Second Corporal, Whitfield
Kirtley; Third Corporal,
T. Wheelock; Fourth Corporal, John Scott.
The people were
in receiving arms that were expected at that
time, which necessitated a
by Surveyor General Tilton to Seattle with a
view to securing arms from
Decatur, a sloop of war, and the revenue cutter
Jefferson Davis, both
in the harbor. He was successful to the extent
of securing 30 muskets,
carbines, 50 holster pistols, 50 sabers and
belts and 3500 ball
Nathan Eaton, a settler in Thurston, was
authorized by Acting Governor
to organize a Company of Rangers, which was
officered as follows: First
James McAllister; Second Lieutenant, James
Tullis; Third Lieutenant. A.
Poe; First Sergeant, John Harold; Second
Sergeant. Chas. E. Weed; Third
W. W. Miller; Fourth Sergeant, S. Phillips;
First Corporal, S. D.
Second Corporal, Thos. Bracken; Third Corporal,
S. Hodgdon; Fourth
White River valley on October 20, 1855.
A Company was
Mound Prairie and tho citizens then built a
blockhouse for protection.
Company was also formed on Chambers Prairie.
it was deemed wise to hold a reserve force and
four more Companies were
for. By the terms of this call, Lewis, Thurston,
Pierce and Samamish
to furnish one Company to enroll at Olympia.
This Company enrolled 110
and elected the following officers: Captain,
Geo. B. Goudy; First
W. B. Affleck; Second Lieutenant, J. K. Hurd;
First Sergeant. Francis
Second Sergeant, A. J. Baldwin; Third Sergeant,
F. W. Sealy ; Fourth
Sergeant, James Roberts. Jos. "Walraven. E. W.
Austin. Hiel Barnes and
of families were built in this County, one on
Chambers Prairie and one
Mound Prairie. Business was practically
suspended in town and claims
abandoned in the country. Men were either
preparing to leave for the
of the trouble or were engaged in the erection
of forts and stockades
left home on
24th, to seek the wily Chief of the Nesquallys,
Leschi, who was the
of much of the trouble and hostile attitude of
many of the natives, but
found he had gone to the "White River Valley,
and the troops
started in pursuit. At Puyallup Crossing,
Captain Eaton, Lieutenant
and Connell. together with a friendly Indian,
went ahead of their
to have a conference with the Indians. The
Indians, with characteristic
professed friendship. Upon returning to camp,
McAllister and Council
fired upon and killed. An Indian rode to the
McAllister claim and told
the family of McAllister's death and helped them
to the fort on
A few days later Cols. A. B. Moses and Joseph
Miles were killed. It was
the murder of these men that Leschi was
on the East side of the mountains visited the
Sound Indians, and by
argument incited the natives on this side to
were perpetrating outrages here and there, and
thus were families
and forced to take refuge in Olympia A town
meeting was held, at which
Cock was chosen chairman and Elwood Evans,
secretary. After discussing
situation it was resolved to build a stockade.
Rev. J. F. Devore, R. M.
and Wm. Cock were constituted a committee to
proceed at once on works
defense, and, if necessary, to detain the brig
Tarquina. then in the
as a means of refuge.
and a sable cloud lay low over the little town,
the bodies of
Moses and Miles were brought in, and during a
dismal fall of rain, the
community bared their heads in grief over the
mortal remains of their
martyrs. The three young men were buried on
A stockade was
Fourth Street, from bay to bay. with a block
house at the corner of
on which was placed a cannon.
measures. Actual fighting occurred only in the
White and Puyallup
and in December, the Militia Companies were
An attack on
January 26, 1856. an 1 Governor Stevens then
issued a proclamation
for six Companies, two of which were to enroll
of the Sound at this time: was barely 4,000
souls and all the male
fit to bear arms had been and were now devoting
their time and energies
defense, rather than in the pursuit of their
occupations; they were
and discouraged, and were receiving little or no
help from the
respond was officered as follows: Captain,
Gilmore Hays; First
A. B. Rabbison ; Second Lieutenant. Wm. Martin ;
Ruth; Sergeants, A. J. Moses, D. Martin, M.
Goddell; Corporals, N. B.
J. L. Myers, F. Hughes. H. Horton.
A Company of
elected officers as follows: Captain, B. L.
Henness; First Lieutenant,
C. Blanken- ship; Second Lieutenant, F. A.
Godwin; Sergeants, Jos.
man. W. J. Yeager, Henry Laws, Jas. Phillips;
Corporals, Wm. E, Kady,
Hicks, S. A. Phillips, H. A. Johnson.
On February 8
a company of miners and sappers under Captain
Jas. A. White; U. E.
First Lieutenant; McLain Chambers, Second
Lieutenant; D. J. Hubbard, C.
Marcus McMillan, H. G. Parsons, Sergeants,
Corporals, Isaac Lemon, Wm.
Wm. Mengle. This Company was organized to cut
guard stock, etc.
March 1, issued a call for too more men for
service under Major Hays,
headquarters in Olympia. and in April a block
house was built,
to accommodate the whole population, on a site
now known as Capital
The spot is indicated by a stone, erected by the
Daughters of the
Revolution, to mark the end of the Oregon trail.
The Indians now
of the unavailing struggle, although a Peace
Commission composed of M.
Simmons and Ed. C. Fitzhugh, appointed by the
Governor to treat with
Indians, was unable to bring about satisfactory
results. But the
were disbanding and the soldiers returned home,
subject to call and
finally mustered out in August. The horses,
stores, etc., were sold at
auction. An incident which shows the
characteristic integrity and
for honor prevalent among the pioneers is here
given. An officer of one
the volunteer Companies had captured a mule in
Grand; Ronde Valley.
in the service, he rode it home to Olympia. and
turned it in. He
to bid it in and own it, but the highest bid was
$475 and the faithful
volunteer, impoverished by ten months' military
service, was unable to
meet, the raise.
and block houses had been built in Thurston
County by settlers as
Stockade at Cochran's, Skookumchuck; stockade.
Fort Henness, Grand
Prairie; stockade at Goodell's, Grand Mound
Prairie; block house,
Prairie; block house, Nathan Eaton's. Chambers
Prairie , two block
Chambers Prairie; block house at Ruddell's,
Chambers Prairie; stockade
Bush's. Bush Prairie; block house at Rutledge's,
Bush Prairie; two
houses in Tumwater; block house at Doffelmeyer's
Forts and block
in Thurston County by the Volunteers were: Block
house at Skooknmchuck,
Miller. Tenalquot Plains; Fort Stevens, Yelm
Prairie; block house at
Chambers Prairie; block house and stockade at
the Federal troops in Thurston County.
themselves creditably. Though a sturdy type of
the Western pioneer,
had subjected themselves to strict discipline.
All captured property
turned over or accounted for. No case of wanton
killing of Indians had
At the close of
the settlers justly felt that the murderers
among the Indians should be
and subjected To punishment. In this they were
firmly supported by
Stevens. In a letter to Col. Casey, the Governor
asked his assistance
your aid in apprehending Leschi, Qui-ee-muth,
Kitsap, Slahi and Nelson,
other murderers, and to keep them in custody
awaiting a warrant from
I have to
that I do not believe that any coxmtry or any
age has afforded an
of the kindness and justice which has been shown
towards the Indians by
suffering inhabitants of the Sound during the
recent troubles. They
in spite of the few cases of murder which have
eminently law-abiding, a just and forbearing
people. They desire the
of the Indians to be punished, but they
complain, and they have a right
complain, if the Indians, whose hands are
steeped in the blood of the
go unwhipped of justice."
between the Governor and the military as to
wether any promise of
had beer, made to the Indians when they
delivered themselves up to
Col. "Casey claiming that to attempt. to hold
any on a charge of murder
be a violation of good faith. The Governor
positively controverted the
of protection to the Indians, as he had received
Col. Wright that he had made no terms with them
and promised them no
The Governor, relying upon this statement made
to him by Col. Wright,
tin- presence of creditable witnesses, refused
to receive and take
of a party of about 100 Sound Indians until the
claiming that Leschi and the others had
committed murders in time of
in a barbarous way, when their victims were
nnaware of danger.
were arrested and indicted and received by Col.
Casey for custody at
Steilacoom, whereupon the Governor took charge
of the other Indians and
them to their reservations. At the first trial
of Leschi the jury
but at a subsequent trial he was convicted. The
case was appealed to
Supreme1 Court, where the judgment of the lower
court was affirmed and
murderer was sentenced to be hanged on January
22, 1858, at Port
Petitions were circulated for pardon and
numerous remonstrances were
with the Governor, but the Governor declined to
interfere. Time for the
passed and Leschi still lived. A committee,
appointed by indignant
inquired into the cause for delay. The report of
interference by the military authorities at Fort
censured the Sheriff of Pierce County. At a
session of the Supreme
February 12, 1858, Leschi was resentenced to
hang February 19. Sheriff
was ordered to carry out the order of the court.
In the absence of the
Deputy Mitchell went, with a posse of twelve
men. to Steilacoom, where
sentence was carried out and Leschi was made to
pay the penalty of his
Yelm Jim who
with the murder of Wm. White in March, 1856,
came to trial April, 1859.
was found guilty and was sentenced to be hanged.
Before the time set
the execution arrived, however, two Indians came
to Olympia and
to the crime. Yelm Jim was pardoned.
Qui-ee-muth, Leschi's brother, was captured near
Yelm and brought to
Governor's office in Olympia late at night. The
Governor stationed a
over the Indian, with strict orders for
protection until morning, when
prisoner would be removed to Steilacoom. About
daylight, while the
slept, a man burst into the room, shooting the
Indian in the arm and
stabbing him. The deed was done and the assassin
gone before the guard
thoroughly aroused. The man making the attack
was not identified, and
testimony could be found against anyone. The
however, that Joseph Bunting, son-in-law of
McAllister, committed the
thus revenging the death of McAllister.
As has been
the Indians, in their hostilities toward the
settlers, were much
by the Hudson Bay Company. During the war there
lived in the country
of Steilacoom, a number of ex-employees of the
Company, who had Indian
and half breed children. It was reported to the
Governor that these men
giving aid and comfort to the Indians. The
Indians who killed White and
in Thurston County, were tracked straight to the
houses of these men,
when asked concerning it, admitted the fact, but
denied any knowledge
the Governor ordered these men to remove either
or Olympia, until the end of hostilities, where
they would be harmless
the interests of the settlers. Accordingly
twelve of them moved in.
had taken out their first papers and had located
donation claims. A few
who had not distinguished themselves by
assisting, or even been
with, the worthy settler in resisting the
Indians, here saw a chance
serving their own purposes, and incited these
men to resist the
order in the courts, and in the meantime return
to their claims, which
of them did. On learning this, the Governor
ordered them arrested and
turned over to Col. Casey at Port Steilacoom.
sued out a writ of habeas corpus. To forestall
an effort on the part of
conspirators to seriously impair the plans of
his administration, the
declared martial law on April 3. The prisoners
were brought to Olympia
incarcerated in the old block house en the
public square. Judge
whose place it was to hear the proceedings,
plead illness, and asked
Lander, whose district included Thurston County,
to hear the habeas
cases. Lander hastened to Steilacoom and opened
court May 7. The
had urged the Judge to adjourn court until
Indian troubles were over,
must necessarily be soon, and all trouble thus
averted. But Lander
proceeded to open court, whereupon Col. Shaw
walked into court and
arrested the Judge
and the officers of his court and brought them
to Olympia, where they
and the time for holding court in his own
district having arrived, he
court on the 14th, and summoned the Governor to
The Governor ignored the order and accordingly
United States Marshal
W. Corliss proceeded to the Governor's office to
arrest him. The
and his party, however, after failing to execute
their errand, were
from the office by a party composed of Major
Tilton, Capt. Cain, Jas.
Q. A. Brooks, R. M. Walker, A. J. Baldwin, Lewis
Ensign, Chas. E. Weed
J. L. Mitchell.
the Town and Judge Lander hearing of their
approach, adjourned court,
in company with Elwood Evans, went to the office
of the latter and
themselves in. Captain Miller, with his men,
approached, and finding
barred, remarked: "I will here add a new letter
to the alphabet, let
rip," and kicked in the door and arrested the
occupants of the room.
was released at once. Lander was held in
honorable custody until the
Much was made
by the enemies of Governor Stevens to injure him
A mass meeting was held in Olympia on the public
square (now Capita'
which was presided over by Judge B. F. Yantis,
J. W. Goodell,
which heartily endorsed the course of the
Governor in declaring martial
martial law was promulgated May 24 and Lander
held court in July
The Governor appeared in court by counsel
disclaiming any disrespect to
Court, was fined $50, which he paid, and the
incident was closed.
At the election which occurred in July, Thurston
County elected the
Democratic ticket, except Sheriff, which was as
follows: Councilman, J.
Wiley; Representatives, B. L.
C. B. Baker, J. A. Longmire, Daniel Kiper, G. C.
Rutledge; Auditor, Wm. "Wright; Assessor, T. W.
Glascow; Treasurer, G.
Coroner, H. D. Morgan. Isaac
Hays, on the "Whig ticket, defeated Samuel
Coulter. The Democratic
ticket was opposed
by the Whigs and Free Soldiers.
The Puget Sound
a private school, was organized this year by
Rev. J. F. Dillon, a
minister, assisted by his wife.
The end of the
confidence restored among the settlers, who had
returned to the pursuit
their avocations. Settlers had returned to their
claims without fear.
first threshing machine was brought into the
County and a cabinet and
factory was opened in town.
J. M. Swan
claim adjoining the Sylvester tract, on the East
side of the bay, which
known for many years as Swantown.
Company was incorporated by the Legislature of
1857. Under the terms of
charter the road was to commence at one of the
passes in the Rocky
between the Territories of Washington and
Nebraska and connecting with
road passing through Minnevta and Nebraska as
the Company might select,
to the Sound. The following residents of the
I. I. Stevens, C. H. Mason, E. Lander, Geo.
Gibbs, B. F. Kendall, Wm.
R. M. Walker. W. W. Miller. W. H. Wallace,
Lafayette Balch, M. T.
Elwood Evans, A. A. Denny, David Phillips, Alex
Abernethy, J. P.
Jas. Tilton, E. H. Fowler, S. D. Howe, E. C.
Fitzhugh, Walter Crockett,
H. Davis, C. C. Pagett, Jno. R, Jackson, Seth
Catlin, Wm. Strong, Wm.
Sumner Barker, Wm. Kelly, Ira Patterson, H. D.
Huntington, N. Ostrander
B. B. Bishop.
the appointing of a Board of Commissioners with
authority to build a
across the Western arm of Budd's Inlet. Wm.
Cock, Edwin Marsh, W. W.
Wm. McLean, J. K. Kurd, Jos. Cushman, S. W.
Percival and Elwood Evans
the Commission. The report favored a bridge 1803
feet long, with a
at an estimated cost of $3000.
At the March
term of the
Commissioners the election precincts of Coal
Bank, Rabboson's Prairie,
Prairie and Miami were abandoned and the
territory attached to
precincts. This was due, in a great extent, to
the depopulating of the
by the Indian War.
that the country showed a falling off in
population. Olympia continued
improve and a number of small industries were
started in 1857.
The rate of
mills for County purposes.. 1 for court, 1 for
territorial, and 2 mills
On July 13 the
occurred. The opposition to the Democrats of the
year before had united
the name of Republican. The Democrats carried
the election, losing only
School Superintendent and Prosecuting Attorney.
The following officers
elected: Representatives W. W. Miller, Stephen
Guthrie, B. F. Shaw. C.
Baker, T. W Glascow; Joint Representative, W. M.
Morrow; Probate Judge.
K. Willard; Assessor, J. R. Smith; County
Commissioner. James Biles;
Superintendent. G. P. Whitworth; Prose eating
Attorney, C. C. Hewitt;
C. II. Hale.
delegate to Congress this year, and Fayette
McMullan was appointed to
his place as Governor. McMullan arrived in
September and was
A contract was
Pacific Mail Steamship Company to carry the mail
from San Francisco to
operated on Puget Sound by A. B. Rabbeson,
plying between Olympia and
blew up when leaving the wharf at the latter
place, October 15
The year 1858
by the Frazier River excitement. Settlers in
Washington and Oregon
abandoned their claims in quest of riches, as
ten years before
had attracted them.
of tidewater and the only town north of the
Columbia, was an outfitting
for the miners. Wells Fargo & Co.
established an office in Olympia
year, with T. M. Reed as agent.
The election of
in the choice of the entire Democratic ticket as
W. Miller; Representatives, E. Sylvester, B. L.
Henness, Wm. Rutledge
M. Hawk, Jas. Longmire, Oliver Shead;
Prosecuting Attorney, B. P.
County Commissioner, Jas. Cornell; Treasurer, G.
K. Willard; Auditor,
Lane; Sheriff. G. C. Blankenship; Assessor, Wm.
Martin; Coroner, A. J.
As early as
of a transcontinental railroad began to be
actively agitated. A meeting
held in Masonic Hall, September 29th, and
Congress urged to make a land
to the Northern Pacific Railroad. At this
meeting Elwood Evans presided.
began to attract attention and two nurseries
were established in the
A postal agent
in the fall of this year and arranged for the
mail steamer Constitution
on Monday instead of Friday. Connections were
made at San Francisco by
overland mail reached Olympia from St. Louis in
In May of 1859
called a special election to vote a 4-mill tax
to build a new
It was hoped to derive a revenue of $5,000,
$2.500 to be applied to
indebtedness. The proposition was decidedly
At the election
Democrats and Republicans had tickets in the
field, the former being
For Councilman, Jas. Biles; Representatives. B.
L. Henness, G. K
Oliver Shead, A. S. Yantis, Chas. E. Weed, Levi
A. J. Chambers; Assessor. Jno. Chambers.
Secretary C. H.
in July of this year, at the age of 29. He was
universally loved and
County received a decided impetus at this time
and resulted in much
the earlier settlers.
Scott visited Olympia. he having come to the
Northwest in connection
the international boundary question.
At the session
this year a bill was introduced removing the
Capitol from Olympia to
which passed the house by a vote of 19 to 9, but
met defeat in the
by one vote.
In the winter
as a result of frequent fires, the first steps
toward protection were
by. the organization of the Alert Hook and
Ladder Company—Foreman. C.
Williams; 1st Assistant, J. L. Head; 2d
Assistant, H. D. Morgan;
T. M. Reed; Secretary, A. J. Moses; Treasurer.
W. G. Dunlap.
The Puget Sound
was chartered this year, with the following
officers: D. R. Bigelow,
G. A. Barnes Vice President; Rev. B. C.
Lippincott, President and
The town of
January 29, 1859. the election to be held in
April following. The Act
G. A. Barnes, T. F. McElroy, Jas. Tilton, Jos.
Cushman and Elwood Evans
Trustees. Jos. Cushman was elected President of
At the April
Warbass, Geo. A. Barnes Edwin Marsh, W. D.
Dunlap and Isaac Lightner
elected Trustees. Geo. A. Barnes was elected
President and Richard Lane
of the Board. Dr. Warbass declined to serve and
Elwood Evans was
at the intersections of Second, Third and Fourth
Streets with Main
The old blockhouse on the square was fitted up
for a jail.
A reaction from
of the previous years was experienced in 1860.
The war cloud was
large in the East, and helped to a degree the
depression. The Capitol
was again agitated in every County, which,
together with a heavy
on the previous year's boom valuations, did not
help to relieve the
County Treasurer, T. F. McElroy was appointed to
fill the vacancy.
At this time
by four religious denominations : Methodist,
Presbyterian, Catholic and
At the election
the realignment in political parties began, as a
result of the war
though the Democrats elected most of their
ticket. The following County
were elected for the ensuing year:
Representatives, D. L. Phillips, B.
Ruth, B. L. Henness, U. G. Warbass, Gilmore Hays
and C. H. Hale;
Wm. Billings; School Superintendent, R. M.
Walker; Auditor, Richard
Treasurer, Win. Wright; Commissioner, S. S.
Ford; Probate Judge, R. M.
Walker; Assessor, A. W. Sargent.
this year steps were taken toward the erection
of a capitol building. A
was appointed and bids called for. The matter
went by default, however,
no satisfactory bids were received.
year showed a population of 1439 for Thurston
County—967 males, 522
Real property valuation was £942.990;
daily mail contract between Olympia and
this year started by John Miller Murphy as a
Republican paper and the
and Democrat was sold by Wiley & Furste to
the main town by a footbridge early this year.
elected in 1860: G. A. Barnes. Elwood Evans. W.
G. Dunlap. Isaac
Edwin Marsh. Wm. Billings was elected Marshal
and D. R. Bigelow, Police
convened it was quite apparent that Portland,
Oregon, was taking part
Washington Territory's Capital fight, in her own
interests. Under the
influence brought to bear the bill for removal
to Vancouver passed both
and was approved. However, it was discovered,
after adjournment of the
that the bill had no enacting clause, and, as
enrolled, bore no date At
session of the Supreme Court at Olympia, a plea
as to the jurisdiction
the Court, in one case, was entered. This
brought the question squarely
the Court. The plea was overruled, and Olympia
has since remained the
south part of Thurston County to Lewis County.
In July the
location was submitted to the people with the
following result: Whole
of votes cast 2315. of which Olympia received
1239, Vancouver 639,
253. Scattering votes went to Port Townsend,
Walla Walla and Seattle.
In 1861 the
offered, as a bonus for the location of the
County seat at Tumwater, a
amount in lumber, shingles, labor and land. C.
Crosby and wife filed
the Commissioners a bond in the sum of $4000.
conditioned on the
of a deed for four blocks of land. At the same
session Olympia offered
donate the public square to the County on
condition that the County
to the people at the annual election following,
Olympia received 344.
104. West Olympia 4. Up:>n a delivery of a
conveyance of the public
to the County a call was made for bids for
200,000 bricks, with which
build a jail.
attaching of a
of Thurston County to Lewis. Commissioner Biles
was disqualified from
though by failure of his successor to qualify,
Mr. Biles presided at
next meeting of the Board, fixing a rate of 7
mills for school, court
extended the terms of County officers to two
years, hence only
to the legislature and County Commissioners were
elected this year.
B. F. Ruth, A.
Wm. Cock and Win. McLain were elected
Representatives. G. W. Miller and
W. French were elected Commissioners.
In the Summer
of 1861 A.
Poe established the Overland Press in Olympia.
Rev. B. C.
year assumed charge of the public school in
At the Spring
Evans, T. M. Reed, B. Harned, A. Frankee and S.
W. Percival were
Trustees R. Lane was chosen Clerk, Wm. Billings,
Marshal, and W. G.
military post at Steilacoom. which occurred this
year, some uneasiness
felt due to the prevalent idea that the absence
of troops might
the Indians to resume hostilities. But the year
closed with bright
for the County. Of 53 post offices in the
Territory, Thurston County
Early in 1862
of a Courthouse was agitated. During the
discussion of the matter it
discovered that the County had no title to the
public square, which it
been reserving for County purposes. It will be
recalled that a few
previously, after Tumwater had offered a bonus
for the location of the
seat there, that Olympia made a deed to the
County for the public
(bounded by Sixth. Seventh, Main and Washington
Streets. Later it was
that Edmund Sylvester had donated this to the
city for park purposes
hence the conveyance by the city to the County
At the May term
this year they purchased property on the
northeast corner of Union and
streets, which had formerly been used for school
purposes, and awarded
contract to B. Harned to fit up the building for
F. M. Sargent
County Treasurer and S. W. Percival was
appointed to fill the vacancy.
in the choice of the following : Joint
Councilman, 0. B. McFadden;
Wm. McLain, T. Hunt, H. Kandle, Jas. Longmire;
Sheriff. R. W. Moxlie;
A. W. Moore; Treasurer, S. W. Percival;
Surveyor, Edwin Marsh;
B. F. Dennison; Commissioner, S. D. Ruddell.
News of the
I. Stevens, who was shot in the battle of
Chantilly on September 1, was
in Olympic October 18. Proper memorial services
were held here.
Up to October
$2,210.08 had been raised in Thurston County to
aid the Federal cause.
In 1862 B. F.
of marked ability, though combative and
vindictive, had become
of the Overland Press. In a December issue he
charged a man named
Howe with burning the buildings of the Puget
in Lewis County. Later Howe met Kendall at the
corner of Main and Third
Olympia, and during a controversy struck Kendall
with a switch he was
Kendall ran, Howe following, for a short
distance, then turned and
four shots at his pursuer, one entering
the left side
proved a serious but not fatal wound. Kendall's
version, as published
his own paper, gave offense to Howe's friends,
and on January 8, 1863,
son entered Kendall's office and asked to see
him privately. The two
to an adjoining room, when a pistol shot was
heard and Howe came from
room saying. "I shot him in self defense." The
young man was put under
for his appearance for trial, but he later
disappeared. The case was
when some time afterward the news of Howe's
death reached Olympia. The
used by the assassin was one belonging to a
official, which gave some color to the belief at
the time that Kendall
was the victim
of a plot among political enemies.
year: G. A. Barnes, Jos. Gushman, Jas. Tilton,
C. E. Williams, W. G.
R. Lane, Clerk; H. M. McGee, Magistrate; W. B.
Gosnell, Marshal. Dunlap
soon after election and David Phillips succeeded
begun to be
in quite extensively in and about Olympia, the
output finding ready
at good prices.
In 1863, being
only a Legislative ticket, a Commissioner and
Probate Judge were
The Unionists defeated the Democrats, with the
following result: Repre
C. Crosby. H. D. McGee, \Vm. McLain;
Commissioner, Joseph Gibson;
Judge, P. M. Sargent.
At the Town
Cushman, C. E. Williams, B. Harned, S. Holmes
and Wm. Mitchell were
Trustees; R. Lane, Clerk; P. M. Sargent,
Magistrate, and John Sealy.
W. J. Yeager succeeded the latter later.
The Fall of
Judson was elected teacher of the public school
and was authorized to
from the scholars, or parents, a sum sufficient
to make his salary $80
month and for an assistant at $120 per quarter,
in addition to the $50
by law. The only examination to which teachers
were submitted at this
was that made by a committee of the Town Board.
The year 1864
was one of
quiet, little transpiring of sufficient
importance to chronicle A
mail contract direct to Portland was awarded
At the election
and Democrats placed tickets in the field. The
result was a victory for
Republicans, losing only their candidate for
Crosby, S. D. Ruddle, P. M. Rhodes; Sheriff, J.
J. Dunlap; Auditor, R. Lane; Treasurer, S. W.
The Fourth of
celebrated this year, at the close of which a
Lincoln and Johnson Club
organized, and notwithstanding the fact that the
people had no vote for
of President, the political interest was
A slight flurry
the latter part of 1864 by the report that gold
had been discovered in
Nachez Pass, about 70 miles from Olympia. This
its quota of gold-seekers, who soon returned to
L. D. Durgin, Jesse Chapman, H. M. McGill, A. J.
Clerk, R. Lane; Treasurer, Jesse Chapman;
Marshal, J. L. Head;
F. M. Sargent.
was passed by this Board.
instructed to build a reservoir about a spring
on the northeast corner
Main and Fourth streets and establish a pump for
the convenience of the
public. This spring, which furnished pure and
cold water had long been
village institution, and this corner a gathering
place in the evening
alike politics and village gossip were
4, 1864, the telegraph was completed to Olympia.
dispatch was sent by the Territorial executive
to President Lincoln. It
its reply were the first messages sent between
this Territory and the
Office, Olympia, Sept. 5, 1854. To His
Excellency Abraham Lincoln,
of the United States:
day sends her first telegraphic dispatch
greeting yourself, Washington
and the whole United States, with our sincere
prayers to Almighty God
his richest blessings, both spiritual and
temporal, may rest upon and
the Union of our beloved country, that His own
omnipotent power may
protect and defend the President of the United
States, our brave army
gallant navy, our Congress, and every department
of the National
For and on
1864. Gov. Pickering, Olympia, W. T.:
yesterday received and will be published. A.
For the first
contract was made this year with J. P. Judson;
for the two succeeding
with D. J. Ilubbard as principal.
patriotic fervor the news which reached the West
of the success of the
armies. The news of Lincoln's assassination was
received here, as
throughout the United States, with sincere
In the Summer
wagon road across the Cascade Mountains was
completed. This had long
a dream of the pioneers on both sides of the
mountains. Thurston County
contributed $800 toward the project and every
means was resorted to to
the project. Even the ladies of Olympia had put
their hands to the
and on July 4 gave a Calico Ball, turning the
proceeds. $120. over to
At the election
Thurston County polled 362 votes, Denny
(Republican) for delegate to
receiving 220 votes, and Tilton (Democrat) 142.
ticket was elected as follows: Councilman, S. S.
McLain, G. W. Miller, S. D. Ruddell;
Commissioners, A. Tilley, W. S.
School Superintendent, D. R. Bigelow; Coroner,
the National House of Representatives, visited
the Sound in July of
year and addressed the people of Olympia.
The close of
the business affairs of the Sound region in good
condition. Demand for
was activ,; itt good prices.
Up to this time
had far exceeded the female in number. In view
of this fact A. S.
conceived the idea of chartering a vessel and
bringing to the Sound
large number of women. On receiving notice from
Mercer that the ship
was s'.ion to leave Boston, with a large
passenger list, Olympia
a committee, consisting of Klwood Evans and
wife, D. R. Bigelow and
T. F. McElroy and wife, T. M. Reed and wife,
Francis Henry and wife,
Barnes and wife. James Biles and wife, Henry
Winsor and wife. to
and provide for the newcomers. Homes in the
County were found for 80,
the 300 that arrived.
owing to a decision of a California Court that
the export of lumber and
cut from U. S. lands must be taxed $2.50 per M.
Tax levy this
mills for County, 2 for School and 2 1/2 mills
for road purposes.
Owing to a lack
public schools opened this year. For the purpose
of running a private
Misses Biddings and Slocum leased the school
year: Chas. "Weed, U. E. Hicks. .F. R. Wood, B.
F. Yantis, Robt. Frost.
E. Hicks was elected Treasurer; R. Lane, Clerk;
W. J. Yeager. Marshal.
levied a tax
school purposes of 1 1.2 mills and purchased a
hand fire engine.
the field at the election in 1866. The split in
the Republican party
due to the disaffection between President
Johnson and Congress.
Change in the
resulted in the election of the Democratic
ticket with the exception of
for Sheriff. The following County officers were
Jas. Longmire, B. F. Ruth, F. Henry; Sheriff. J.
H. Kellett; Auditor,
F. Turpin; Probate Judge, C. P. Judson;
Treasurer, I. Lightner;
gave away to a water system that was installed
$800 toward the Swantown bridge, and provided
bounties for the
animals: Wildcat $1, Coyote $2.50, "Wolf $4,
Cougar $5, grown Bear $2,
S. S. Ford,
Sr., who was
joint Councilman with Lewis County, died this
year. In the election to
the vacancy Wm. H. Mitchell defeated Geo. A.
Barnes by 23 votes.
On December 20,
stores at the lower end of Main Street, were
flooded by the highest
that had been known up to that time.
was organized this year and formally took
possession of the new hand
A. J. Baldwin was foreman.
year: Geo. A. Barnes, T. M. Reed, Isaac
Lightner, B. Harned, A. J.
T. M. Reed was elected Treasurer and Richard
L. P. Venen was
elected principal of the district school.
occurred in 1861 and resulted in the selection
of the following
Wm. McLane, Councilman; F. Henry, Ira Ward and
J. E. Baker,
J. H. Kellett, Sheriff; A. W. Cairnes, J. M.
Shotwell and Jas. Dunlap,
P. Turpin, Auditor; I. Lightnerf Treasurer; D.
R. Bigelow, Probate
and School Superintendent.
election of McLane for the Council, which was
again referred to the
and Mr. Longmire lost.
In November of
T. Gunn and J. N. Gale, commenced the
publication of the Olympia
as a Republican paper, the Washington Standard
having been drawn into
Democratic field during the political evolutions
now taking place. The
Tribune was also established by Chas. Prosch
this year were: F. Henry, G. A. Barnes, Albert
Robb, J. G. Parker, J.
On November 15
death of M. T. Simmons, who lived in Lewis
County. His death was
as a great loss. He had been identified with the
history of the Sound
from the first, and was highly regarded as an
A contract was
E. L. Finch to build a new Swantown bridge.
this year, the population of the southeast
corner of the County having
to justify it.
The session of
of 1868 was a most acrimonious one. Personal
altercations within and
the legislative halls made a very lively town
out of the Capital, then
village of 500. So bitter was the feeling that
personal encounters were
in the saloons and about the town of Olympia.
Westside was completed this year.
L. P. Venen was
of the district school, assisted by Misses
Slocum and Mary O'Neal as
to serve for the year as follows: 6. K. Barnes,
Wm. Mitchell, C. E.
Benj. Harned, C. H. Hale. Richard Lane was
elected Clerk and Mr.
year discovered that they were being
systematically robbed by the wily
who were taking animal scalps wherever they
might be found and cashing
over Thurston County's counter. The practice was
stopped by rigid
At the August
Commissioners ordered the Auditor to advertise
for bids for a two-story
on the corner of the public square was razed
this year and the lumber
it put upon the streets.
Territory there was established at Olympia as
the Capital a Territorial
for which Congress had made an appropriation.
But the first town
was established in 1869. On January 1, 1869, D.
B. Finch, a wealthy
man, commanding the old Eliza Anderson, running
between Olympia and
donated to the Lodge of Good Templars of this
city what was then known
the Olympic building on the site now occupied by
the K. of P. hall, on
that the Lodge would maintain a library and free
reading room. The
were complied with and the first town library
opened July 19th. The
first librarian to take charge was John B.
Allen, a young attorney just
who was one of the first U. S. Senators from the
State of Washington.
Allen, telling his early experiences, related
that the Lodge, having
in part of his salary, he was given an old
silver watch, in lieu
In a trip down the bay later Mr. Allen met with
an accident and the old
went to the bottom of Budd's Inlet. Thus, the
librarian was illy
for his labors.
indication of real
values it might be stated that in February.
1869, C. J. Allen sold five
of land adjoining the Capital grounds for $5000.
This is now known as
Early this year
took the contract to build a timber jail 16x20,
two cells, on the
property, Union and Washington Streets.
Clark were awarded a contract to build a Town
Hall on Fourth Street,
Washington and Franklin. The building was
completed November 26, and
by ball and supper. The ground floor rooms were
occupied for municipal
while a hall, with ante room above, was utilized
for many years as ball
theater, etc. With other relics of the past the
Town Hall, so familiar
the "old tinier." is no more, as such, but has
passed into private
and was recently torn down.
In the Spring
Columbia River and Puget Sound Railroad Company
desired a terminus on
Sound. A committee, composed of 0. B. McPadden,
C. II. Hale, Joseph
S. D. Howe, James Biles, G. W. French, H.
Hartley, Clanrick Crosby, A.
Chambers, W. H. Mitchell, C. C. Hewitt, P. D.
Moore and J. II. Cleale
appointed to solicit for donations of land to
induce the company to
its terminus on Budd's Inlet.
Society at the
was revolutionized after the inauguration of
President Grant. As many
the inhabitants of the small community were
Federal employees, the new
made many changes.
At the County
1869 the full Republican ticket was elected, as
follows: Councilman, J.
Representatives, L. A. Treen, W. Packwood;
Commissioners, G. A. Barnes.
Crosby, S. Hodgdon; Sheriff, Wm. Billings;
Auditor, A. A.
Probate Judge, D. R. Bigelow ; School
Superintendent, D. R. Bigelow;
F. W. Brown; Coroner, C. Wood.
her assessed valuation in the last year by
$123,267 and was $911,129.
$1000 for a bridge across the inlet to Tumwater.
This amount was
by private subscription to $3266.
The growth of
made an imperative demand for a definite
location of streets and the
so ordered. Cattle were restrained from running
at large and a tax of
was put upon each dog.
activity this year and saw mills were kept busy
meeting the demand.
The first bank
be erected in the Territory of Washington was
commenced this year by G.
Barnes, who for several years conducted a
banking business here.
were G. A. Barnes, F. Henry, S. W. Percival, R.
Frost, J. M. Murphy; S.
Percival, Treasurer; R. Lane, Clerk.
of the public school this year, assisted by Mary
O'Neil. Mr. Hoover
practice;! law, an.l became a wealthy capitalist
showed a population of 1203 for Olympia and 2246
in the County.
contained 206. By way of comparison it may here
be stated that at this
Seattle contained 1142, with 2164 inhabitants in
King County. Olympia
a public school of 75 pupils, taught by two
teachers; fully 75 more
were taught in private schools.
March 1, 1870,
the County $1333 for the public square, which
the town had deeded to
County in the early days, when the County seat
question was agitated.
the deed then given was invalid this settlement
was reached, and the
paid to assist the County in building a
Courthouse at the corner of
and Sixth Streets.
At the Town
the following Trustees were elected: F. Henry,
A. A. Phillips, B.
C. C. Hewitt, Levi Shelton.
At the County
following were chosen: Councilman, L. P. Smith;
Representatives, D. R.
Wm. Billings; Auditor, A. A. Phillips;
Commissioners, Wm. McLane, Ira
Wm. James; Treasurer, L. G. Abbott; Assessor, W.
M. White; Probate
A. R. Elder; School Superintendent, D. R.
operating a sash and door factory between Second
and Third streets,
the West end of Swantown bridge.
of the Northern Pacific Railroad terminus at
Olympia was the cause of
real estate activity in 1870. In April T. I.
McKenny and Geo. Barnes
the town site of Puget City, this County. Later
the plat was vacated.
C. B. Mann was
of the district school this year.
A franchise was
the Washington Water Pipe Manufacturing Company
to lay pipe and supply
inhabitants with water.
Wm. H. Cushman
Town Clerk to fill a vacancy.
The Barnes Hook
Company was organized to supplement the Fire
In September of
Olympia and vicinity was visited by the most
violent earthquake ever
here before or since. The fact that the
prevailing style of
was one and two-story frame buildings saved
This year the
Olympia experienced their first disappointment
relative to the location
the Northern Pacific terminus, which it was now
reported would be
on the Columbia River. A committee, headed by E.
P. Ferry, was
to confer with the railroad officials as to the
best terms on which
connection could be had at Olympia. Little was
gained by the conference.
Blinn, C. II. Hale. A. J. Miller, James
Pattison, E. Marsh, G. A.
W. H. Mitchell, C. Crosby, J. M. Murphy and E.
P. Ferry organized a
with a capital of $400,000 capital to construct
a branch of the
Pacific Railroad. It petitioned for 1337 acres
of the mud flats
that the Des Chutes channel should be opened. It
was the intention to
possession of these and offer them to the
Northern Pacific Railroad
on condition that their terminus be located on
Budd's Inlet, but the
did not receive favorable action by Congress,
In 1871 the
Northern Pacific Railroad terminus was the
Company had been apprised of the effort to
secure the tide lands and
them to the Railroad Company. General Sprague of
the Company replied by
blanks necessary for making the donation
recommended that the citizen property owners on
Budd's Inlet donate
their holdings to the Northern Pacific on
condition that it would build
operate a railroad into Olympia before January
1. 1875, and locate the
before May 1, 1872. This most remarkable
proposition did not meet with
favor with all classes, many feeling that if the
Company desired to
here they would come anyway; if not, no
reasonable bonus would be an
working during the Summer in the Cowlitz Valley,
and expected to have
miles built from Kalama by October 2, and
connection made with the
was within 15 miles of Olympia. and still the
matter of terminus was an
On Christmas day Olympia citizens experienced
great relief when a
was received over the signatures of Goodwin and
Sprague by Marshal
accepting the proposition of the Branch Railroad
Company, stating that
Northern Pacific Company would comply with the
first condition by
a railroad to be located before May 1 next,
connecting the Columbia
with a point on the navigable waters of Budd's
Inlet. They also asked a
of way from Bush Prairie. This seemed to the
expectant citizens of
that Budd's Inlet was to be the "Western
terminus of the Northern
Pacific Railroad. To many then living this
seemed a realization of
hopes which they had entertained since they
emigrated here in the early
Their real estate holdings were to assume a
value that meant to them a
And, indeed, on this vague promise real estate
did go to fabulous
but little changed hands.
Building in and
was reasonably active, and considerable progress
was made along the
of general improvement. At Tumwater D. Barnhart
had installed a
factory, and Leonard & Cooper were also
operating a sash and door
at the same place. To add to the general tension
of expectancy, the
report of discovery of gold in the Black Hills
Ben Harned and A. H. Stelle were elected School
Directors. N. Crosby
effected this year for the purpose of the
advancement of agricultural
though it was short lived.
On the death of
County Commissioner, G. W. French was chosen to
fill the vacancy.
In this year
Miss Churchill, two Eastern ladies, leased the
old Court House on Union
Washington Streets and started a Young Ladies'
a newspaper plant was brought from Port Townsend
and the Puget Sound
was started. This was the organ of the Federal
Henry, S. W. Percival, John M. Murphy, A. H.
Mary O'Neil and Mary Post taught the public
Owing to the
hope that Olympia would be H railroad terminus,
the year 1872 opened up
much activity. Streets and bridges were
improved, a fire alarm system
while building was active rents were very high.
The fact that a
Ira Bradley Thomas was in Olympia buying up land
seemed significant. In
he had secured title to several thousand acres
on the East side of the
"While still in pursuit of his business he died
In this year
revolt against the so-called Federal ring.
Selucius Garfield, a man of
ability and a magnificent orator, on the
Republican ticket, was
for Delegate to Congress by 0. B. McFadden, on
the Peoples' ticket.
ticket was elected as follows: Councilman, Wm.
F. Yan- tis. Ira Ward, Frank Henry; Auditor, A.
A. Phillips; Sheriff,
J. Grainger; Surveyor, D. S. B. Henry; School
Superintendent, C. A.
Pro- bate Judge, J. M. Lowe; Coroner, I. V.
A vote on the
a State Constitution was defeated, 54 to 141.
Third and Main, was built this year.
the following officers were elected: Mayor, W.
Ward, A. J. Burr, B. Bettman; Second Ward, M.
Blinn, T. F. McElroy;
Ward, J. S. Dobbins, D. S. B. Henry; A. A.
Phillips, Clerk; K. W.
Treasurer; A. R. Elder, Magistrate; J. J.
year, Olympia and vicinity was visited by a
in little actual damage.
As the year
1872 drew to
close it became evident, even to the most
sanguine, that the Northern
Railroad Company was not going to keep faith
with Olympia, but proposed
locate the terminus of its road at a point lower
down on the Sound. As
time had arrived for some evidence of good
faith. Marshal Blinn wrote
Messrs. Goodwin and Sprague, asking when the
line would be located.
replied: c'The line of railroad runs to the East
side of Budd's Inlet
the Billings or Wylie donation claim, sections
25, 26, 35, 36, township
range 2 West, and a point will be selected on
one of these claims for a
and passenger depot, where said line will
a time until it was evident the road was being
continued through Yelm
serve to throw some light on the. inside history
of the location of the
of the first transcontinental line to reach the
Included in the
of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company were
men who composed the Lake
and Puget Sound Land Company. They were
sufficiently strong in the
company to dictate its policy. The railroad
company was not interested
town sites; the land company was—so they had
sent a man West to secure
to lands at the prospective terminus. That man
was Ira Bradley Thomas,
before mentioned. After having secured title to
large tracts on Budd's
died. Thus, considering the time that would be
consumed in probating
estate of Mr. Thomas, with the law's delays,
this land was withdrawn
the market indefinitely. Time was all in all.
The result was that in
to realize their financial expectations the Lake
Superior & Puget
Land Company secured lands a few miles from Old
Tacoma. and went into
Northern Pacific directorate and located the
terminus of the Northern
On what seeming
circumstances do great things depend. Had Ira
Bradley Thomas lived but
a short time longer, in all probability Olympia
would have been the
of the Northern Pacific Railroad, and the site
of the present City of
still a wilderness.
briefly sketched, is the history of Thurston
County. First, as a part
the Territory of Oregon, and later an integral
part of the fast-growing
of Washington. It was the intention of the
compiler of this volume to
merely the pioneer history of the County. The
line of demarkation
early history and the later was arbitrarily
fixed by the Society of
County Pioneers, which made eligible those who
had taken up residence
the County before 1872. Though the people who
came to Washington
in the early 70's seem as "Che Chacos" to the
pioneers of '49 or '50,
the line as fixed by the Society seems a
conservative placing of time
mark the difference between old and new. The
laying of the foundation,
a few sturdy pioneers, of a great commonwealth
to be, who, after a life
of privation and hardship, were laid to rest in
the soil of the new
giving way to a young and sturdy race of new
comers, no longer
but "early settlers," until the year 1872
arrived, which closed the
and all later arrivals must fall under the head
of "Che Chacos."
1873 to 1889. that period during which
Washington remained a Territory,
and Thurston County made slow progress. The
location of a railroad
terminus at Tacoma detracted greatly from the
head of the Sound.
Seattle made a start
and has experienced a phenomenal growth, which
in a way, too, affected
since admission of the Territory as a State in
1889, Olympia and
County has experienced a steady improvement. The
ability to command
attention in Congress, has resulted in
appropriations for the
of the harbor, which has always been a deterring
Notwithstanding frequent attempts to move the
Capitol, it seems at last
a fixture, the State's
investments here precluding the possibility of a
change. But what is of
importance, the difficulties of transportation
in and out of Olympia
to a great extent been, or are being, overcome.
The Northern Pacific,
years of neglect, saw a territory in the
Southwest that could no longer
ignored and the Tacoma and Grays Harbor branch
of that road resulted.
this writing the Oregon & Washington Railway
is making preparations
connect the Capital City with their line, with
further possibilities of
transcontinental connection in the near future.
fireproof buildings are taking the place of
the old frames, paved
are being actively extended and u spirit of
enterprise has been the
result of the advent of the new blood that is
to take up the fight
where the pioneer,
after a hard fought battle, for which his
successors delight to honor
memory, laid down his burden and entered into
Source: Early History of Thurston County,
Washington By Georgiana
of Geneology Trails