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Skagit River Journal

of History & Folklore
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The most in-depth, comprehensive site about the Skagit

Covers from British Columbia to Puget Sound. Counties covered: Skagit, Whatcom, Island, San Juan, Snohomish & BC. An evolving history dedicated to committing random acts of historical kindness
Noel V. Bourasaw, editor (bullet) 810 Central Ave., Sedro-Woolley, Washington, 98284
Home of the Tarheel Stomp (bullet) Mortimer Cook slept here & named the town Bug

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Biographies and obituaries of Skagit county
Pioneers and their descendants: A

Continually updated, last time: April 22, 2011
      You will find the type of story in brackets [ ] behind the file link. [Bio] indicates a Journal story link. [Obit] leads to an obituary on this page. If you have suggestions for people you want to read about, please email us and we will add them to the list. Meanwhile, just click on the link and it will take you to the obit for each person, along with our notes, if we have more information, or a link to another page that will tell you more about him or her. Please note that if a woman was the descendant of a pioneer family, her link will be listed under the first letter of both her maiden name and her married name at the time of her death. And please email us if you have family memories or copies of documents or photos you would like us to include. We never ask for your originals.

Eddie Adams, Clear Lake and Sedro-Woolley
Sedro-Woolley Courier-Times , Oct. 23, 1952
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We recently visited our newest sponsor, Plumeria Bay, which is based in Birdsview, just a short walk away from the Royal family's famous Stumpranch, and is your source for the finest down comforters, pillows, featherbeds & duvet covers and bed linens. Order directly from their website and learn more about this intriguing local business.

      Edwin Oliver Adams, Sedro-Woolley businessman, passed away at the Memorial hospital last Saturday, Oct. 18, following a long illness. Funeral services were held in Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic church Wednesday, Oct. 22, followed by interment in the family plot, Seattle.
      E.O. Adams was born in Fresno, Calif., Nov. 28, 1879, and came to Skagit county at the age of 11 years. He married Miss Reina Fredericks in Clear Lake, April 5, 1903. Mr. Adams was a veteran member of the Eagles lodge of Anacortes and of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Sedro-Woolley. He was a pioneer shingle weaver in this area, having held the state record as a packer years ago as a young man.
      Surviving are hi wife, Reina; two daughters, Mrs. Maxine [husband Carleton] Sumner of Sedro-Woolley and Mrs. Violet [husband Bernard] Sumner of Seattle; a niece, Janet Richardson who lives at the Adams home; a nephew, Edwin Richardson of Bremerton; also one uncle living in Bremerton and several others living in Colorado.
      Adams had been in business here for about 50 years. For many years he was associated with Jimmy Blackburn at the B&A [saloon and pool room]; later he was a partner of [Jimmy's son] Everett "Ikey" Blackburn at the same place, and several years ago, he purchased with Ford Cook the tavern which is now known as the Old Timer's Inn. Later Cook purchased the Wixson Club and Adams' son-in-law Carleton Sumner became associated with him. Sumner will continue to operate the tavern.
      Ed. note: In the April 6, 1899, Skagit County Times, we find that Ed Adams, shingle packer at the McMaster & Waite mill in Clear Lake, set the world record for packing shingles: 7,000 in 57 minutes. The mill itself set a record, using a 10-block and hand machine, the crew cut 6.9 million shingles in 25 working days. Ed came from one more of the two dozen families who moved here in the 1880s and '90s after leaving Lincoln, Kansas.
      In an old November 1911 newspaper, we learn that bandits held up Jimmie Blackburn's saloon at the corner of Metcalf and State [later called the B&A] and forced Jimmie's partner Eddie Adams to throw up his hands. A gun battle ensued and a posse of Marshal Jasper Holman, Ford dealer Len Livermore, realtor Charlie Wicker, miner B. D. Vanderveer, and realtor Harry Devin chased down the miscreants. Both were captured and one was wounded.
      In Maude Wood's 1913 Polk Directory, we found an interesting note that he was a partner of a man named L.B. Staley in a saloon on Northern avenue near Metcalf. This was news to us. That would have to be near James Gray's Palace Saloon and the Keystone Hotel and Saloon on the south side of the tracks. We hope a reader knows more. Finally, from Ed's family tree we know that he was a polydactyl, meaning he had six toes on one or both feet. Check in here weekly for more useless trivia and genealogy.

Walter Henry Adams, Hamilton and Sedro-Woolley
Probably Sedro-Woolley Courier-Times , July 29, 1948
      .Funeral services for Walter Henry Adams, resident of Sedro-Woolley, route 3, were held this afternoon at the Methodist church in Hamilton Mr. Adams died July 25 at Matthews General hospital, Burlington.
      Born August 1, 1890, at the family home between Lyman and Hamilton, Walter Adams was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Valentine Adam, pioneer residents of the Lyman-Hamilton community. Mr. Adams had lived in that district ever since.
      The Rev. Philip Warmanen officiated at funeral services and at interment in the family plot in Hamilton. Surviving are Mr. Adams's wife, Beatrice; a daughter, Mrs. Betty McCalib of Hamilton; three brothers, [Valentine Adam Jr.] of Bremerton, Ralph of Oakland, Calif., and Herman of Startup, Wash.; a sister, Mrs. Charlie Jordan of Lyman; and a granddaughter.
      Ed. note: We do not know when Walter changed the spelling of his name to Adams. His brother Valentine retained the Adam spelling. His father emigrated from Rhenish Bavaria to the U.S. in 1872 and worked across the country until arriving on the Skagit river sometime in 1877-78. He homesteaded the site of future Lyman and proved up on it before trading it to Henry Cooper in 1883. He worked for nearby neighbor A.H. Williamson in his hop fields and then farmed for himself and raised cattle and hogs after clearing his ranch. He married Walter's mother, Margaret, an emigrant from Hanover, Germany, in 1885 and they had six children altogether.

Homer Grant Alwood, Bow, Sedro-Woolley and Bellingham
Born Zwolle, Louisiana, Jan. 17, 1908; Died Bellingham, Dec. 8, 2006
Family Obituary

(Homer Alwood)
      Homer G. Alwood, age 98 of Bellingham, passed away Dec. 8, 2006. He was born Jan. 17, 1908 in Zwolle, LA to John C. Freemont Alwood & Virginia Kate (Walters) Alwood. Homer was a resident of Sedro-Woolley for over 60 years. He moved to Bellingham and married his wife Thelma over 20 years ago.
      He worked as a millwright processing lumber, and was very skilled at his trade. He was quite a dancer in his earlier years, often escorting his nieces to dances. Homer was always sharp and had a great sense of humor and a positive good attitude. He and his wife Thelma were devoted Mariner's fans. Homer loved adventures and enjoyed road trips and the outdoors. Homer will be remembered by all those who loved him, as he was so loyal to his many family and friends.
      Homer was preceded in death by his wife, Audrey, in 1985; grandson Kirk; and step-sons Denny & Kenny. He is survived by his wife, Thelma Alwood; daughters Virginia (Ron) Leitner of Mt. Vernon and Sharon Chacksfield of San Diego, CA; step-sons Darrell (Sherrie) Alwood of Everson and Duane Alwood of Vashon Island, WA; grandchildren Sean, Carrie, Denice, John, Mark, and Chris; great-grandchildren Ben, Luke, Trinity, Lillian, and Ashley; and numerous nieces and nephews.
      Memorials may be made to Birchwood Presbyterian Church, 400 Meadow Brook Ct., Bellingham, WA 98226. Visitation will be held at Westford Funeral Home on Wed., Dec. 13 from 3-5 PM. Funeral Services will be held at Westford Funeral Home on Thur., Dec. 14 at 11 AM with Rev. Bud Lee officiating. A reception will follow across the street at Westford's Broadway Hall. Graveside Services will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery.
      [Ed. note: From a personal view, Homer was really a grand fellow. Age may have slowed him physically and his hearing might have suffered, but the wit he was known for from his prime years was still in evidence last summer. He had us in stitches with stories of the chicken house that exploded and the bunnies and his na´ve days when he first worked at a sawmill, and he had a marvelous story about the prostitute-murder in Bow that was the cause celebre of Bow seven decades ago. As we have noted before with centenarians, he claimed at first that he didn't remember all that much. Sure, Homer; then you talked our legs off. We'll all miss you.]

Karl Atterberry, Utopia and Anacortes
Anacortes American, Feb. 22, 2006
      Karl M. Atterberry, 95, a resident of Anacortes, died on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2006, at the San Juan Rehabilitation and Care Center. He was born on May 3, 1910, in Child's Spur, Wash., to Ernest and Nettie Atterberry. He grew up on Minkler Lake near Lyman. On June 25, 1938, he married Beulah Mae Cole of Anacortes, his beloved wife of 67 years.Karl retired from Scott Paper Company in 1972. He and Beulah enjoyed their retirement, including many years as snow birds to Yuma, Ariz.
      Karl was raised in a Christian home, and he and Beulah were longtime members of the Anacortes Christian Church. He was a kind and gentle man to all who knew him. Karl dearly loved his family and found joy in the simple things, such as camping, gardening, exercising, reading, sitting in the sun and eating fresh fruit. He was a lifelong advocate for the worker and social class equality. He was a beloved child of God and will be deeply missed. The family wishes to thank Dr. Stalsbroten and his staff, the San Juan Center family, and Julie Zermeno for their special skills and compassion.
      Karl was preceded in death by three brothers, Maurice Atterberry, Robert "Bud" Atterberry and Earl Atterberry; and one sister, Elsie Johnson. He is survived by his precious wife, Beulah; daughter and son-in-law, Marilyn and Stan Sandvik of Oak Harbor; son and daughter-in-law, Ernest and Nancy Atterberry of Anacortes; special daughters, Marian Law and Peggy Myers; grandchildren Steven Sandvik of Mercer Island, Gary and Carin Sandvik of Encinitas, Calif., Sheryl and Tracy Nicholas of Oak Harbor, Sheila and David Ryan of Stanwood and Bryon Karl and Becca Atterberry of Edmonds; great-grandchildren, Chloe and Erik Sandvik, Kristina Mae and Jake Ryan, Brenna and Kellen Karl Sandvik and Dillon and Devon Atterberry; sisters Lois Cole of Antelope, Calif., and Ruth Lewis of Anacortes; sisters-in-law Cinde Atterberry and Elsa Atterberry of Anacortes; special sisters Muriel Huggins of Forks and Helen Healy of Everett; and his many nieces and nephews, who gave him great love and devotion.
      A memorial service is at 11 a.m., Friday, Feb. 17 at the Anacortes Christian Church in Anacortes. Remembrances may be made to the Anacortes Christian Church, 1211 M Ave., Anacortes, WA 98221. Arrangements are in the care of Evans Funeral Chapel and Crematory, Anacortes. To share memories of Karl, please sign the online guest register at

Lois Elizabeth (Atterberry) Cole, Utopia and California
Sacramento Bee, Feb. 22, 2006
      Lois Elizabeth (Atterberry) Cole, age 99, of Citrus Heights, CA, passed away peacefully on December 1, 2007. She was born on April 12, 1908, in Hamilton, Washington to Ernest and Nettie (Jones) Atterberry. She was preceded in death by her husband Willis Cole; brothers Earl, Maurice, Karl and Robert Atterberry; sisters Elsie Johnson and Ruth Lewis.
      Lois is survived by her sons; Dennis Cole of Roseville, his wife Connie, Jon Cole of Palm Springs, Florida, his wife Alta and her daughters Lyla Potter of Citrus Heights and Sylvia Willis, her husband Jack of Citrus Heights; grandchildren Michele and Gary Stewart of El Dorado Hills, Carrie and Terry Whitlow of Mesa, AZ., David and Mary Potter of Danville, Shari and Trent Well of Antelope, Kelly and Larry Asher of Antelope and Jennifer and Todd Harvey of Roseville; eight great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild; sisters-in-law Beulah Atterberry and Cinde Atterberry of Anacortes, WA.; cousins Muriel Huggins of Forks, WA. and Helen Healy of Everett, WA.; and many nieces and nephews. Lois enjoyed a happy life spending time with her family and friends. Her happiest moments were spent with her grandchildren and great grandchildren. All friends and family are welcome to celebrate Lois' wonderful life on Saturday, January 26, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at 2971 Capetanios Drive, El Dorado Hills. Donations in remembrance of Lois may be made to the SPCA. [Courtesy of Sylvia Willis and Todd Zersen.]

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Story posted on Sept. 1, 2003, last updated April 22, 2011
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