Skagit River Journal
(Howard Stumpranch) Howard Royal and his family's Birdsview Stump Ranch
of History & Folklore
(bullet) This page originated in our Free Pages (bullet) Covering from British Columbia to Puget Sound. Washington counties covered: Skagit, Whatcom, Island, San Juan, Snohomish.

(bullet) An evolving history dedicated to committing random acts of historical kindness (bullet) The home pages remain free of any charge.  (bullet) Please pass on this website link to your family, relatives, friends and clients.
(bullet) Site founded Sept. 1, 2000. Passed 5 million page views, 2011; passed 800 stories in 2012 — Mailing: (bullet) Noel V. Bourasaw, founder(bullet)  Sedro-Woolley, Washington, 98284 where Mortimer Cook started a town & named it Bug
(Click to send email)

Territorial Daughters, 1930s
I Remember column, Chapter One

(1939 picnic)
      This is a photo of those members who gathered for the annual August picnic at the VanFleet homestead in 1939. Many of the women who shared their memories in the article below would have attended. Can you help us identify any of these women?

From the Sedro-Woolley Courier-Times, Dec. 8, 1938
(Susie Alverson 1953)
Susie Alverson at the editor's birthday party in Utopia, 1953

      The information in [ ] is clarification or information from our research about the members who shared their memories for the article.

      Here are some reminiscences cited by members of the Territorial Daughters of Washington in response to roll call at one of their November meetings.
      Susie [Osterman] Alverson: I remember my first school. In a picture I have of it I am the only child in the front row who had shoes and stockings on. [Ed. note: See the Osterman story at our exclusive story at this website about the family hotel in old Woolley.]
      Mary [Wulff] Leggett: My husband, Henry Leggett, was the first noble grand of the Odd Fellows lodge in Mount Vernon. He served two terms. We lived on the farm where I now live and he walked back and forth to all those meetings, a distance of 16 or 17 miles. I remember when the river was the only highway and the canoe the only method of transportation. (Mrs. Leggett is 92 years old.) [Ed. note: wife of Henry Cooper Leggett, pioneer between Utopia and Lyman.]
      Anna [Lederle] Burmaster: We came from Kansas to Tacoma, where we stayed for six months, then we moved up here to the old Goodyear place. [Ed. note: Burmaster descendant Christine Bigelow explained that in 1896, Anna Lederle married pioneer John Herman Burmaster whose namesake road is in the Skiyou district. He was born in Germany in 1869 and when he was six months old, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Burmeister, emigrated to Wisconsin. He moved here in 1889 and homesteaded on the south side of Burmaster road near the corner of the Hoehn road. Anna's son Lawrence Burmaster worked in the Lederle shoe store on Metcalf street and later married Marie Larson. He later owned his longtime shoe repair shop on Metcalf street and then Ferry street. Together they had three children, Carl, Mary Ann and Charles.]
      Minnie Lederle Batey: I remember when we left the ranch and moved to town. [Ed. note: daughter of Skiyou pioneer Joe Lederle, in 1910 she married John Henry Batey, son of the pioneers David and Georgiana Batey. He was for a long time the bridge tender on the original railroad trestle bridge that still spans the Skagit river between Sedro-Woolley and Clear Lake. Built in 1889 by the San Francisco Iron Co. for the Seattle Lake Shore & Eastern line, it originally had a swing section to allow passage by taller steamboats that once carried most of the freight upriver.]
      Eva Van Fleet Beebe: I remember when we moved to the ranch. The house was built of hand hewn timbers and split cedar. [Ed. note: Eva was the daughter of Emmett and Eliza Van Fleet who became the first homesteaders at Skiyou in May 1880. See the Emmett and Eliza Van Fleet family profile.]
      Nellie Canavan: In the old days the roads were very bad and most of them made of puncheon. Travel between the towns was a terrible ordeal. I have lived in the same place for forty-eight years. [Ed. note: one of the most interesting spinsters to live in the area, she was the daughter of 1890 pioneers from Lawrence, Kansas. She lived in Prairie with her bachelor brother Edward. Their home was very near the original Joseph and Annie Hoyt mill and house]
      Jessie Stafford Cockreham: I remember when we had the big flood and we were still living across the river from Marblemount [probably 1897, the flood that washed away Sauk City]. Supplies were washed away and we had to live on cornmeal without salt for two days. [Ed. note: daughter of pioneer Sauk packer Alex Stafford and wife of George Cockreham, son of the pioneer family of Cockreham Island upriver from Lyman.]
      Ida [Fritsch] Doucette: The first years we were here we lived in a log house. We were very frightened of the first Indians we saw. [Ed. note: daughter of hardware store owners Frank and Theresa (Galle) Fritsch, and wife of centenarian Joseph Doucette, who built a house on west State street in 1895, which still stands.]
      Emily [also spelled Emillie] Duffy: I lived in Seattle when I was young. A girl friend told me she was bringing someone to see me, and this someone turned out to be Princess Angeline, daughter of Chief Seattle.
      Ella Carson Day: When I was very young and lived in Olympia, I remember playing tennis on the grounds of the first Territorial Capitol building.
      Grace Garrison Evans: I, too, remember the old Territorial Capitol building and I played around it often when I was a child. [Ed. note: wife of Sedro-Woolley Courier-Times publisher Frank Evans.]

(Washington Territory capitol building)
Washington Territory capitol building.
See research below.

      Mary Doucette: My mother said she was so frightened of the first Indian she ever saw that she ran until she was out of his sight. [Ed. note: the only one of the group still living.]
      Alma Russell Ellingwood: Mother, father and myself arrived in Lowell, near Everett, in May 1883, and we lived on a forty-acre ranch two miles above Lowell. Getting groceries up to the place was our hardest problem as they had to be brought by canoe and then carried on my father's back up to the house.
      Josephine Hutchinson Ford: I lived in Mount Vernon when I was small. We used to come to Sedro-Woolley to visit my uncle and aunt. I remember that the streets in both towns were in very bad condition.
      Anna McFadden Hoehn: When I was small my brother became very ill. My uncle rode the horse to Mount Vernon to get a doctor. On the return trip the doctor rode the horse to save time, and my uncle walked. [Ed. note: wife of Frank J. Hoehn, the pioneer from 1889 who rode for Buffalo Bill and brought the first team of horses to Sedro. She was the daughter of Plin V. McFadden, pioneer from Iowa along with Charles J. Wicker.]
      Belle Baldridge Seidell: My family settled at Hamilton in the year 1886. [Ed. note: daughter of Hamilton pioneer William Baldridge, Belle married Fred W. Seidell, son of Arthur C. Seidell who built the Seidell building in Woolley and was a civil war veteran.]
      Ethel Van Fleet Harris: I remember when Eva and I went to school together, and I usually ran on ahead of her. One morning we heard a cougar scream not far from us and this time I stayed behind Eva.
      Emma Hart: I was born on our place on Hart's Island in the year 1893 and I have lived there ever since. [Ed. note: Joe Hart came in 1878. Emma never married. See the story of the four British bachelors who settled future Sedro.]
      Anna [Eyre] Harrison: A dance was quite an event in the early days in the country. We had to drive through a stretch of tall timber and there was danger of falling trees when the wind was blowing. It was the custom then to take all the children to the dance. [Ed. note: The wife of James Madison Harrison of Skiyou, state legislator, farmer and drainage expert. She was a daughter of Frederick Eyre, a telegrapher who in 1892 built the first rural telephone line in Skagit county and in 1906 was elected county assessor.]
      Teresa Fritsch Snow: When I was seven years old my dad sent me to town to buy some meat. I lost the quarter under the sidewalk and had to go home without the meat. [Ed. note: daughter of hardware store owners Joseph and Effie May Fritsch and wife of Hal Snow.]

(1939 4th of July)
Two Territorial Daughters members dress as Indians and take up bows and arrows during the 1939 4th of July celebration in Sedro-Woolley.

      Susan Batey Fuller Taylor: I remember the day of the great freeze. My mother and I became stranded away from home and father had to come and get us with a sled. [Ed. note: daughter of pioneers David and Dr. Georgiana Batey, her first husband died in the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. See the story of the four British bachelors who settled future Sedro. She was also the first white child born in the immediate Sedro area.]
      Ruby McRae Taylor: I remember when oxen were used in the logging camps. [Ed. note: she may have been the daughter of Taylor McRae, who built the Grand Central Hotel in 1899 where Metcalf street now extends through south of State street. Or she could be the daughter of the McRaes from the district of their name, west of Woolley and south of the F&S Grade Road. Maybe a reader can help?]
      Rose Thompson: When I was small the friendly Indians would come into the house unasked, sit for awhile, then walk out without a word.
      Martha Hight Wicker: I remember when a fire broke out in my dad's mill. All the men were away picking berries at the time. The few women in camp managed to get to the whistle and blew it; the men heard and got there in time to save the mill from burning. I First went to school in Ballard at age 8, where my father had a mill. When we moved here, my first teacher was J. W. Faulkner, brother of my Ballard teacher. [Ed. note: daughter of Albert W. and Clara Hight. He came to Sedro in 1894 to install machinery in the Hart-Batey sawmill, after owning mills in Centralia and Ballard. She married realtor Charles J. Wicker.]
      Grace Waikle: I remember being very naughty one day. My aunt shook a broom at me threateningly; it broke and she had to sweep with the broken stub for the rest of the week. [Ed. note: Grace was a longtime teacher at Franklin and Central schools and was the daughter of Avon pioneers Henry Waikle and schoolteacher Cornelia Watt.]
      Elna Anderson: My aunt told me that when she used to address letters to my people out here she wrote on the envelope: "Wash. Terr."
      Elgie Lillpop: In January of 1890 I saw my first team of oxen. [Ed. note: daughter of Jethro and Katherine (Cooper) Jones, wife of Thadeus Lillpop.]
      Mabel Hart Meins: My father came to Washington Territory in 1877. In 1904 we moved to Crescent Bay to the home my grandfather had built of hand-hewn timbers.
      Mrs. Eliza Russell: We were five weeks on the road from Boston to Seattle in 1883. We later settled on the Snohomish river above Lowell.
      A. Albertha Curry: When I taught school at Edison years ago, Tipp Conn was one of my pupils. [Ed. note: wife of W. Harvey Curry, owner of Curry Furniture on Metcalf street and onetime mayor of Sedro-Woolley.]

Washington Territory capitol building
      The Washington Territory capitol building was built in Olympia in 1856 as a "temporary" building. Back then, Vancouver and Steilacoom were major contenders for the capitol location. In an election in 1889, the year that Washington became a state, two new contenders — Ellensburg and North Yakima, both vied to become the capitol location but Olympia won again. In 1894, when the country was deep in the Depression that started a year earlier, the foundation was laid for a new capitol building in Olympia. Lawmakers finally decided that a new capitol would be too expensive, so the capitol was moved to what had originally been constructed as the Thurston county courthouse until the county money ran out. That building is now called the Old Capitol and in 1901 it replaced the structure in the photo above. Interestingly it was not until 1958 that the state legislature made the capitol location permanent by consolidating all state agencies in Olympia.

Other Territorial Daughters stories and background reading:

Story posted on May 7, 2003 and last updated September 2016
Please report any broken links so we can update them

Getting lost trying to navigate or find stories on our site?
Read how to sort through our 800-plus stories.
Return to the new-domain home page
Links for portals to subjects and towns
Newest photo features
Search entire site
Looking for something special on our site? Enter name, town or subject, then press "Find" Search this site powered by FreeFind

    Did you find what you were seeking? We have helped many people find individual names or places, email if you have any difficulty.

    Tip: Put quotation marks around a specific name or item of two words or more, and then experiment with different combinations of the words without quote marks. We are currently researching some of the names most recently searched for — check the list here. Maybe you have searched for one of them?


(bullet) See this Journal Timeline website of local, state, national, international events for years of the pioneer period.
(bullet) Did you enjoy these stories and histories? The process continues as we compile and collaborate on research about Northwest history. Can you help? Remember; we welcome correction, criticism and additions to the record.
(bullet) Please report any broken links or files that do not open and we will send you the correct link. With more than 800 features, we depend on your report. Thank you.

If you would like to make a donation to contribute to the works of this website or any of the works of Skagit County Historical Society and Museum. We thank you up front. While in your PayPal account, consider specifying if you would like your donation restricted to a specific area of interest: General Funds, Skagit River Journal, Skagit City School, Facilities, Publication Committee, any upcoming Exhibit. Just add those instructions in the box provided by PayPal.

Please sign our guestbook so our readers will know where you found out about us, or share something you know about the Skagit River or your memories or those of your family. Share your reactions or suggestions or comment on our Journal. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to visit our site.

Currently looking for a new guestbook!

View My Guestbook
Sign My Guestbook
Email us at:
(Click to send email)
Mail copies/documents to Street address: Skagit River Journal c/o Skagit County Historical Society, PO Box 818, 501 S.4th St., La Conner, WA. 98257