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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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Lyman origins and families,
Part Two: original Lyman families, pre-1900

(Bud Meyers Sr.)
Charles Gordon "Bud" Meyers Sr., when he was guiding a client on a fishing trip in 1939.

The Flynn and Meyers families
     After Henry Cooper died on April 8, 1888, four months before his daughter Henrietta was born, his widow, Clara (Bartlett) Cooper, was left with some cash after their 1887 land sale to Klement, but when hard times soured the local economy while the nationwide Depression set in here in 1892-93, she was forced to sell off lots at several times for prices as low as $2 or $5.
      On Dec. 22, 1889, Clara married a second time to their friend and neighbor, Charles Flynn, at the Cooper home, with Judge Charles von Pressentin doing the honors. The family soon moved to Flynn's farm on Cockreham Island. Henrietta wrote in her 1951 application to the Territorial Daughters of Washington, "When I was three years old, [we moved to the Flynn Farm] who homesteaded the land [on Cockreham Island], later known as the Snider [or Snyder] farm and it was here I spent many happy years of my life. Mother and Dad Flynn sold their property and returned to our original home in Lyman when I was twelve." We do not yet know who rented the Cooper home during that interim period of 1891-1900, but perhaps it was during that period that the home was moved north, further away from the river, for the third time.
      Meyers remembers fondly the story about how the Flynn family reacted after they were trapped in their home on Cockreham Island during one of the big 1890s floods, probably the one in 1897 that literally destroyed the original townsites of old Sauk City, Hamilton and Sedro.
      "When the big flood hit, the water rose very quickly and the family climbed through a crawl space into the attic," he recalled Henrietta saying. From his father's handwritten notes, Bud shared "One of grandmother's favorite details to the story was that Clara had been preparing pies and had put the pastry in pie plates that were on a table in the pantry. At a point when my grandmother was peering down through the crawl space opening to watch the rising water, she saw the pie shells (or maybe pastries) float out of the pantry and away. The family stayed holed up in the attic for three days until they were rescued by an Indian who steered his canoe through the living room window, helped them down from the attic, and took them to high ground. Referring to Flynn's choice of his original building site, the fellow asked Charlie if, before he built there, he had noticed all the sticks and driftwood lodged high up in the branches of the surrounding trees (an obvious sign of prior flood levels). Then he said, 'Did you think the Indians put them there?'"
      Bud's mother, the late Maxine Meyers, recalled that most of the Flynns' cattle and sheep drowned and the Cooper children remembered seeing many of their carcasses entangled on the barbed wire fences. When Clara and Flynn moved back to the Lyman house, they had lost everything, the barn and cattle to the flood and Henrietta was broken hearted because her little lamb had been killed.
      Charles Roughton and his wife, Ened, both enjoyed sharing a memory of a test that occurred in the Cooper family regarding Charles's grandfather, Max Roughton. Elizabeth May Cooper, Clara's first daughter, decided to marry Simpson Maxwell Roughton in Mount Vernon, WA on Nov. 4, 1903. There survives no record of how Clara reacted to Max and his heritage. Max's father, James Richard Roughton, served in the Civil War as a confederate, as did his grandfather. Clara Bartlett's two brothers, Emerson and Bartemus Bartlett, both died as they served in the Civil War as Yankees.
      Around the turn of the century, the Flynns adopted a fourth child, Clifford, who arrived in Lyman via a sort of "orphan train" as a small boy. When asked at school which surname he preferred to use, Cliff decided that he wanted to be called Cooper like his brother and sisters. He married Ona Cooper, a daughter of Henry's brother, Tobias and Bertha (Duffy) Cooper, in an unknown year. Coincidentally, he died the same day as his sister Elizabeth Cooper Roughton, on Sept. 9, 1952, after he lived in Bellingham for two decades; Lizzie helped care for him in his latter years.
      Henrietta and Frank "Curly" Meyers married on Jan. 2, 1908, after building the house where Bud Meyers Jr. now lives next to the old Klement House. Frank was one of those pioneers who learned from the School of Hard Knocks how to survive. He arrived in Lyman at age 18, just before the turn of the 20th century and soon found a logging job.
      Meanwhile, the old Cooper house stood until the 1930s, sometime before the federal government flood control program of 1937 that attempted — mostly unsuccessfully, to shore up the riverbank. A 1937 panorama photo of the concrete blocks set into the shoreline shows that the house was gone. The late Sonny Jordan of Sedro-Woolley lived in the Cooper house with his family when he was a small child. Bud Meyers Jr. recalled, "Sonny told me they rented it for $3 a month but were only too happy to move out since the walls were made of unlapped boards through which winter winds whistled. The Flynns had neither heart nor dollars to move the house again, so they let a flood wash it away." Henrietta Meyers bought the Klement house in 1922 and eventually Clara and Charles moved into it. Clara died in 1936 and Charles in 1939.

(Otto Klement)
Otto Klement, circa 1900. Photo courtesy of Bud Meyers Jr.

24 families on record in Lyman area through 1900
      Max and Mary (Albertine) Prevedell and their young family were one of two immigrant (Austria) families who initially farmed south of river in the Happy Valley/Day Creek area, but who lost their farms in the three great floods of the mid-1890s. The Prevedells originally moved to the Skagit Valley in 1895 from Vancouver Island in search of home and farm land. As a Sept. 24, 1953, Courier-Times article recounted, "they knew nothing of the treachery of yearly floods, which twice devastated their home. They spent one night in barn loft, another on an improvised raft set up on stakes above water, and then moved across the river to Lyman in canoes rowed by Indians." They bought a farm on tableland on the hill due north of Lyman, on 80 acres owned by Otto Klement, where they built a small farm house and initially cleared a small area with great difficulty.
      Altogether, they raised eight children there on the hill that was eventually named for them. At first the family cleared land by hand, with pick and shovel and sheer determination, and then used donkeys and horses and later used powder to uproot and burn a stand of first-growth fir and cedar, as many did in those days when a glut often occurred on the cedar market. The family started a small dairy and Max worked at sawmills around Lyman.
      The chief difficulty Max faced was building a road along the hillside to drive his horse and buggy, the chief mode of travel in the early days. He later served as road commissioner and helped build roads to and from Lyman that were paved highways in 1953. Most of the family's food came from their home garden and fruit came from their growing orchard, as Max took on fruit-growing as hobby. He grafted his own apples — seven kinds on one tree, pears, cherries, plums and even peaches, and the family raised their own beef, pork, chickens and cured hams and bacon. Together, they built a new home on the farm in 1908, which still stood in 1953 and was then operated as a beef cattle ranch by Max and Mary's oldest son, Frank Prevedell. Mary died on July 2, 1942, at age 74, and Max died on June 28, 1949, age 88.
      The other Happy Valley family who moved to Lyman after the floods was headed by Alfred "Alf" Albertine (Mary Prevedell's brother) and his wife, Mary (Menngini). They followed Max's family from Nanaimo to Happy Valley in April 1897. Since there was only a crude wagon road east from Burlington along the south shore of the Skagit, they had to pack in through the woods. Alf recalled in a Nov. 4, 1956, Bellingham Herald article, "There was no town then, just a few houses where the [Day Creek] post office is now." Mrs. Mary Albertine recalled that the 1897 flood was the worse one, "no one downed, but we lost a lot of cattle. The whole area was covered with water." In 1900, they also moved across the river and bought a farm just west of where the Lyman Park and Cemetery are today. The railroad bisected their property. Alf died on April 17, 1958, age 87, and Mary on June 23, 1957, age 80. When we drove by the old house in June 2008, we noticed that it is for sale.

(Tobias Cooper store interior)
Interior of Tobias Cooper's grocery store on Main Street. Photo courtesy of Sally Sloan Munck, a Cooper family descendant.

      Peter W. Trueman was born in England in 1864 and emigrated to Canada in 1883, where he lived until 1888, when he moved to Seattle and soon to old Sauk City, which was the entry point on the Sauk River for the trek up to the Monte Cristo mines. Like everyone there, he suffered through fire and floods and in the early 1890s he set up a logging camp between the Skiyou and Utopia districts, west of Lyman. In 1898 he bought land just east of Lyman and built a house that still stands north of the railroad tracks. He also bought the land south of the tracks where the old baseball field stood and the U.S. Army camps and the CCC camp.
      In 1895 he married Mrs. Emma Ries, the widow of another early pioneer, Nicholas Ries, and adopted her four children. They had three more children together. On Oct. 12, 2002, the editor attended the 100th birthday of Mary Albertine Trueman McDougle, the widow of William Trueman, who was a nephew of Peter Trueman. William's father, Fred Trueman, followed his brother from England and settled in Birdsview in 1904, before moving to Lyman in 1908. He worked at the Hightower and Kirby Skagit Mill for 32 years. Mary Trueman McDougle and her son, William "Harold" Trueman, lived on the original property until she passed away on Jan. 6, 2004, at age 101, and Harold still lives on the farm. Historian John Conrad eulogized Fred at the August 1959 Skagit County Pioneer Picnic by noting that he promoted the pioneer monument at the entrance to LaConner while he was association president in 1925. Fred died in 1959 and Peter died in 1942. Bud Meyers Jr. recalls that Fred's wife, Mary, was also born in England and that she had a heavy Cockney accent.
      We know very little about Nicholas Ries, but we learned quite a bit about his brother, Frank, from our research. Frank and Nicholas Ries moved here from Wisconsin in an unknown year in the 1880s. Frank was a famous old timer in Sterling, Sedro and Lyman. He owned saloons in Sterling and new Sedro from 1886-90, one of which was in the famed Hotel Sedro. When Birdsey Minkler came downriver from Birdsview in the late 1880s, he became a partner with Frank Ries in a sawmill on property on or near where the Truemans later settled. We hope that a descendant can help us fill in the profile of the brothers. According to Louis Jacobin's 1921 book, With the Colors, a son of Frank and Josephine Ries, served in the U.S. Navy during World War I in 1917-1918. Ernest H. Ries, one of the Ries boys who Peter adopted, served in the U.S. Army in 1917-19. Frank Ries died in 1937 and Josephine died in 1934.

(Exterior of Cooper store)
Front of Tobias Cooper's store, which now serves as the Lyman post office. Photo courtesy of Bud Meyers Jr.

      George F. Robinson was related to the Cooper family because when he lived near them back in Quebec, where he married Janet "Jennie" Cooper, sister of the Coopers who we profiled above. George was born June 3, 1879, in Valleyfield, Huntingdon County, Quebec, and Jennie was born March 25, 1869 (or 1871), in La Guerre, Huntingdon County, Quebec. They were married Oct. 30, 1902, in Mona Cottage, Valleyfield. They followed Jennie's brothers to Lyman in 1913, after she gave birth to sons Alex and George D. "Doug" Robinson.
      Jennie died of a cerebral hemorrhage June 9 1915. Their neighbor, Josephine Hightower, was widowed when her husband, John T. Hightower — a partner in the Skagit Mill, died on Jan. 17, 1917, at age 52. George and Josephine married in an unknown year between 1920-30.
      With the help of descendant Sally Sloan Munck, we know that the Duffy family lived in the Lyman area before 1900. Bertha Duffy was born in June 1873 in Oregon and on September 14, 1895, she married the Lyman grocer Tobias Cooper. Her parents were John Duffy and Elizabeth R. (Stiere) Duffy, and a Morris Duffy (probably her brother) was witness. From other pioneer accounts we know that Morris lived near the Leggett family. A John Duffy was included in the list of 1878-era upriver pioneers in the 1906 Illustrated History. And there was a Duffy & Egan saloon in Lyman in 1906. Bud Meyers Jr. recalls that his "Aunt" Emma Duffy was probably a sister-in-law of Bertha. She had two boys, George and Henry "Hank" Duffy and she later lived on a farm west of Sedro-Woolley, which is now the site of the convalescent center. We hope that a reader can tell us more about this family.
      Terry Reece, a descendant of the large Reece family who mostly settled near Darrington, informed us that his grandfather, Daniel Lewis Reece, was the namesake of Reece Road in Lyman and that he built quite a few homes in Lyman in early 1900s. We, as well as Terry, hope a reader will know more about this family.

(Main Street Lyman)
      This photo shows a view of Main Street where we are looking north towards the railroad tracks. The building in the far back on the left stood where the Lyman Tavern is today. Cooper's grocery store is on the southeast of the corner on the right. Photo courtesy of Mike Aiken, a Minkler descendant.

      Michael O. Pence later became the mayor of Hamilton for several terms and died there in March 1962 at age 100, but a July 12, 1931, Bellingham Herald article noted that he was an early pioneer in Lyman and had originally owned the Fred Linden home on "River Street" that burned that week. In Carol Bates's 1991 book, Hamilton 100 Years, Bess Luton noted that Pence was born in Cherokee County, Alabama, on Oct. 8, 1891, and that he came to the upper Skagit area in 1891, hearing of wonderful opportunities with his skill as a carpenter. He and T.S. Eichholtz ran and won as mayor of Hamilton on alternate terms for many years until both refused to run again. He married twice, first to an unknown woman and then to Anna E. Cochrane in 1915.
      One of the least recorded early Lyman pioneers was Frank A. Dyer, which is surprising since he platted what is now downtown Lyman, north of Klement's original plat, in 1897. A New York native and a sternwheeler captain, he was enumerated in the 1885 Territorial Census along with Grace Dyer, his "mate;" his son Frank, who was a fireman; and his younger son, Fred. That census also answered a mystery question. On Klement's 1887 plat, the creek that curls around Bud Meyer Jr.'s house on the bluff was called "Esterbrook Creek," and the name is also spelled Easterbrook on other documents. After reading the 1885 survey, we wonder if the creek was named for a woman named Stell Easterbrook, who was the purser on one of Dyer's unnamed steamboats and lived with the family that year. Dyer's family was not listed on subsequent censuses, but in the 1910 Federal Census, an Albert E. Dyer and family were listed in the Grasmere area of Concrete. We hope that a reader will know more about the family and his role in Lyman. Streets in Lyman and Sedro-Woolley are named for the family.
      We have searched for the origins of the place name, Jones Creek, and in the 1885 Territorial Census, we found F.B. Jones and his wife, Ida, enumerated in the Lyman area. We hope that a reader will know more about this family and the naming of Jones creek and nearby Graham Creek.

(George Arnold)
George Arnold

Eastern Utopia and Minkler Lake-area pioneers
      Henry Cooper Leggett, Henry Cooper's cousin, homesteaded south of Child's Spur and Minkler Lake in 1880 and he became a successful farmer with little public record. His surname was also spelled Legget in some early records. His wife, the widow Mary (Lohman) Wulff, came to Skagit county in the spring of 1885 from New York City, with her minor children, Christian and Louisa, and maternal cousins, Herman Behrens and Fred Daesner. Also arriving with them was Margaret Bruns, who soon married Valentine Adam. Mary's first husband died in New York City in 1874 and she also lost two brothers who were tugboat captains and died in an accident in New York Harbor in 1874. Fred's brother Henry had preceded them to the Northwest in 1883 and the Daesner brothers later opened the Bellingham Bottling Works sometime after Henry took out a timber claim near Birdsview in the 1880s.
      Herman's brother, Adolph Behrens, preceded his brother to the valley in 1880 and was the first paid mailman to the upriver section. In letters he urged his cousins and brother to follow him. After they arrived, he immediately played matchmaker with his good friend Henry Cooper Leggett and the widow Wulff, and the spark struck almost immediately, as they married at Adolph's home in Birdsview on May 17, 1885. Herman remained in Skagit County and farmed near Birdsview and became one of the key city fathers of the new town of Hamilton. Adolph tried his hand in the Klondike Gold Rush and then returned to Seattle where he became a very successful real estate salesman and raised a family on Queen Anne Hill with his wife, Hannah, the daughter of King County and Skiyou pioneer Jeremiah Benson. Herman died in Hamilton in 1930 and Adolph died in Seattle in 1933.
      In an interview with the Courier-Times, published Dec. 22, 1938, Mary Leggett recalled, "My husband, Henry Leggett, was the first noble grand of the Odd Fellows Lodge in Mount Vernon (with cousin Henry Cooper and Sedro-pioneer David Batey as the fellow organizers). 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." Henry died on Aug. 17, 1923, at age 79 and Mary died on Oct. 21, 1946, just 27 days short of her 100th birthday. After her 90th, her birthdays became an annual Utopia affair featured in local newspapers.
      After homesteading (certificate dated 1888) 160 acres on Lot 3, Section 18, Township 35, Range 6 East, the Leggett farm eventually grew to 210 acres. The Oct. 7, 1897, Mount Vernon Record reported that, "Mr. Leggett is constructing a new residence, one of more prosperous ranchers on River." Like his cousin to the east, he made a living by "stump-farming" (see Dan Royal's Stump Ranch website) around felled trees and raising dairy cattle on pasture land that was flooded on a regular basis. Chris Wulff recalled that he and his siblings seldom ventured very far from home because milking time was at 5 p.m. sharp daily, with mandatory attendance.
      Chris Wulff began farming with his stepfather in 1900 and in 1913 he married Nora Snider, of the Cockreham Island family. He built a family home west of his parents, on the northern bank of the Skagit, and after several floods he moved to a spot about halfway up the Minkler Road on the way to the lake. When the writer was a child, their hulk of a house was the favorite haunt of mischievous neighbor kids after Chris moved to Sedro-Woolley in 1953 as a widower. Floods were not the only danger, however, in the very early days. In a June 29, 1939, Courier-Times interview, Chris recalled,

(Henry Cooper Leggett)
Henry Cooper Leggett. Photo courtesy of Jan Chapman, a descendant of the Leggett, Wulff and Nicholls families. We hope that descendants of other families who we profiled will share copies of their family photos. We do not need your originals.

      Albert Arnold and I were coming home by horseback from Good Templars lodge at Lyman. I had a lantern in my hand. About a mile this side of Lyman the horses wouldn't go farther, started shying and going backward. After much urging, they started when I heard something alongside my horse. I reached down my lantern and saw a cougar. He jumped over a big spruce log in road. Next day we went back with Lon Swafford and found deer tracks there where he had chased it. Many times Maurice [maybe Morris?] Duffy, Albert and I walked to Sedro, danced most of the night and then walked home again.
      Nora died in 1929 at age 43 and Chris died in 1955 at age 84. Henry and Mary's daughter, Matilda "Tillie" was born in 1886 and she married Walter Nichols. They farmed part of the Leggett farm together, starting in 1913, followed by their son George (deceased) and his wife, Doris, who still lives on the old farm. The only child of Walter and Tillie still living is Owen "Nick" Nichols, now age 92. Ella, the widow of Nick's brother Ray Nichols, now lives in an assisted-care home in Burlington.
      George Arnold was a West Virginia native who was the only one of his brothers to enlist for the Union cause in the Civil War. He fought under General Grant at Vicksburg and was in General Sherman's march to the sea. He married Marry Nutter (Davis), a widow with 3 children and they had three more together. They moved to Cass county, Missouri and then to Seattle in 1872, where he experienced failure twice after building a sawmill with Al Spalding on Gamble Creek and later in the mining business. In 1883 they moved their family to Lyman, which he noted was then only the site of Klement's trading post for barter with Indians.

(Mary Wulff Leggett)
Mary Wulff Leggett. These charcoal portraits were drawn by an itinerant artist. You can examples of the similar drawings of the Hart and Batey family at the Sedro-Woolley museum. We hope a reader will share similar drawings of other Skagit pioneer families.

      According to the 1906 Illustrated History, he filed a homestead of 160 acres and made a farm of it and leased the hop ranch after A.R. Williamson died. (We have not yet determined exactly where his ranch was, so we hope that a reader might know.) At that point, there were still no roads; only a trail passed in front of his house. He cleared much of his land with six yoke of cattle and brought the first horses to Lyman. He then raised hops on his own cleared place and then became a major Skagit County producer, twice making $15,000 from the hops. Like others who farmed near the north shore of the Skagit, Arnold was severely challenged by the great floods of the 1890s. The Nov. 19, 1896, Skagit County Times reported that his neighbors who were also flooded out included George Kindy, Morris Duffy, Tom Conway, Tobias Cooper and a Mr. P. Gibbins, who lost about 1.5 million feet of logs at his logging camp and his skid roads, which washed out.
      James M. Young also lived in the Utopia-Lyman area and came to the upriver region as a logger in the 1878-79 period, as reported in the 1906 Illustrated History. In the 1885 Territorial Census, he was enumerated as living with his brother, R.H. Young, also an Irish immigrant, and by 1910 he was listed as living near Clear Lake. He was cited several times for his Hamilton-area logging camp that he set up with partner William Byers in the late 1880s and 1890s. On early maps, his claim was marked as Young's Cut-Off on the river, "below Lyman." Norman Boyd, one of the sons of Birdsview pioneer L.A. Boyd, described the place in a early-1890s letter to his sister, Nellie:

      Everything went along pretty well with the raft until we got to the island in the river below Lyman's where the river divided, going around the island. This was called Younger's [actually Young's] Cutoff. When the river was low, as it was this time of year, it was very dangerous. To take the main channel, there were log jams, so it was safer in this case to take the outside channel, which was shallow and had riffles. Neither way was safe. Moreover, as we were passing through those rapids, there was a big uprooted tree whose roots were imbedded down in the river mud, and its top floating out in the river. The current would pull it under the water, then it would come back up again, high out of the water, so up and down it went, making a dangerous suction. The raft kept drifting towards this tree, in spite of all efforts to turn it aside. Just as the raft got within a few feet of this treetop, it kicked up out of the water, just missing the raft by only a few feet. Had it hit, the whole family would have perished.
The road that originally ran along the river, through the original business district of Lyman, was called the James Young/Cape Horn Road.

(Wulff house and car)
      Chris Wulff's house on Minkler Road, and family in the car. Photo courtesy of the late William Wulff.

      Heinrich Holtkamp was born on Feb. 22, 1847, and at age 23 he walked from Hopsten to Bremen, Germany, where he worked for two years to earn his passage on a sailing vessel to the United States. His grandson William Holtcamp visited Hopsten 20 years ago and found family gravestones in the cemetery there and the village church had his family name on a brass plate on one of the pews. After he arrived in the U.S. in 1872 he proved to be a hard worker and worked his way across the country to California. In 1875 he was a blacksmith in a Denver silver mine and then he operated a repair shop with a friend in San Francisco. Somewhere down there he heard about the possibility of owning land in Washington territory.
      Eventually he landed in Skagit county sometime in 1878 and explored upriver until he found that he could buy timber rights to land between what would become the townsite of Lyman and Minkler Lake to the west. Old surveying records from the early 1880s indicate that he squatted on a small piece of land in section 16 of Township 35 north, Range 6 east, which is just east of Lyman on a bend of the river on the way to Hamilton. Then in the ledger of timber sales for Whatcom county we found a reference to a C.H. LeBallister selling logs on Dec. 4, 1882, from a logging camp 1/2 mile west of the Lyman post office known as the "old Holtcamp camp." That record also shows that he Americanized his name by then, changing his first name to Henry and changing the "K" in his last name to "C". We do not know exactly when he moved down to the Sterling area but it may have been in 1882 or before. He became a blacksmith for logging camps in the Sedro, Woolley and Sterling area and four generations of the family have lived on the old homestead on the Holtcamp Road.
      We also include here William Heffron, even though he did not technically live in Lyman. Heffron obtained a post office on May 7, 1891, for his little village near Day Creek on the southern shore of the Skagit and directly across from Lyman. The two villages were connected by a simple ferry. William moved his family to the northern shore sometime after 1900.

Cockreham Island
(Polly Roughton Davis)
This photo shows Polly Adelaide Roughton and her father, Dr. Thomas Hopkins Roughton. She was the wife of Harvey Davis.

      On the Cockreham Island side, the namesake for the island was Robert Edmund Cockreham, who chose to preempt a 160-acre homestead, sight unseen, on the oft-flooded lowlands east of Lyman while still living in Tennessee. He learned about the farming possibilities of the Skagit Valley in 1881 when Tennessee-native Rev. B.N.L. Davis returned to the state to marry Robert's daughter, 19-year-old Doliska. Davis arrived at the Skagit River in 1873 and was the first settler to preempt a claim upriver from future-Mount Vernon, and he leased out Williamson's hop farm, west of Lyman, in 1879.
      Robert's first wife, Caroline, died after they had two children, and he then married her sister, Sarah Williams. They had five more children together before she died, and he married a third wife, Clatinda (or Clarinda) Bradford, and they had three children together, for a total of ten. Robert survived all three wives. The family came from Tennessee in 1882 via the newly constructed Southern Pacific Railroad to San Francisco and then by steamship to Seattle. The family laid out a private cemetery on the island, with a stand of cedar, spruce and vine maple around the graves of the Cockrehams and the neighboring Smith family. The Cockrehams, with their neighbors, the Smiths, Flynns and Adams, eventually built a dike on the north shore of the Skagit but it proved to be unsuccessful in the floods of the 1890s and is still being debated today in 2008.
      Robert died at age 82 in 1916, after living there 34 years. His son George established a grocery business in Hamilton, Cockreham & Morell, with a neighbor, Ike Morell. His son Rufus was associated with Ike's brother Sam in the City Meat Market of Hamilton, and also farmed the family ranch on Cockreham Island. We have never established the relation between this family and the Cochrehams who were enumerated near Hamilton in the 1892 state census: James and Mary Cochreham and children and his father, G.N. Cochreham; both father and son were born in Scotland.
      Martin L. Smith was born in 1849 in Indiana and later moved to Iowa, before coming to Cockreham Island in 1875, according to the Sept. 24, 1953, Sedro-Woolley Courier-Times. We know the genealogy of his family because of his granddaughter Nancy Smith Brownlee. In 1888, Martin married Nancy Smith of Tennessee, who moved here earlier to live closer to her sister Bertie, who married Rufus Cockreham. Nancy, who later bought land on the island, recalls that the Smith farm was next to the original Cockreham school, and that her father, Emmitt Smith (1891-1966), attended there before moving over to the Lyman school in the early 1900s.
      Martin Smith sold out his homestead in 1884 to James R. H. "Harvey" Davis, another Tennessee native and the brother of Rev. B.N.L. Davis. He then bought what was later known as the Snider (or Snyder) farm on the western end of the island. Martin died in 1913 and Nancy died in 1916 and Emmitt continued farming on the Island after their deaths before moving to Lyman later on.
      Davis was especially hard to profile because he seldom appears in the public records that we researched. Historian Dick Fallis discovered that in the early 1870s, Rev. Davis was appointed as a traveling missionary in Kansas and he and Harvey moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1873. They first landed at the bustling sawmill town of Port Gamble, on Puget Sound, and found ready work at the mills there for a few months, then made their way to the Skagit River. Those readers who have read the extensive Journal section on Otto Klement know that he logged at Port Gamble that same year and then paddled across Puget Sound in a canoe later that year. Did he meet the Davises there? Did they follow him? Oddly, none of the principals ever established a connection.

(George Cockreham)
George Cockreham

      As Fallis noted, when the brothers came to the jams on the Skagit at the site of future Mount Vernon, they initially planned to trek upriver, but the Rev. Davis decided to stake a claim at the rock cliff on the site on the southern side of the river that is now called Hoag Hill, east of Riverside. Harvey preempted a claim beside his brother's, but, as noted above, he bought Martin Smith's original farm on Cockreham Island in 1884 and he and his wife, Polly Adelaide (Roughton), raised their family there until his death in 1921. We learned the latter fact when we were contacted by descendants of the Davis family who contacted us after reading our initial draft of this story. Debbie and Diane Davis are great-granddaughters of Rev. Davis and we will soon share their extensive genealogical research of the family.
      About 20 years ago, Ened Roughton met a woman named LaVerne Cave Davis in California, who was married to one of Harvey's unnamed grandsons. Mrs. Davis was very interested in genealogy, but Ened lost touch over the years. If she or any other Davis descendants read this story, we hope they will contact us. Harvey and Polly had three children. Maurice (not to be confused with our old friend and Sedro-Woolley policeman Maurice Davis) went on to become the first upriver auto deliveryman for Cockreham & Morrell and other businesses in Hamilton and he later moved to Seattle. Another son, Chauncey settled in South Bend, Washington, and became the Superintendent of Schools. His wife, Helen Matson Davis, was known for writing the Washington State song, "Washinton My Home." They also had a daughter named Myrtle.
      The Daniel Snider family will be more fully profiled in a separate story in the future. Researching them has been difficult because their surname is alternately spelled Snider and Snyder, sometimes in the same record. Daniel's brother changed his name to Snyder, as did some of Daniel's children. We will use the spelling of Snider because that is from the records of North Carolina, where Daniel was born and where he volunteered in the Army of the Confederacy during the Civil War. Lucky for us, descendants such as Jan Nichols Chapman and the late Bill Wulff have kept extensive records.
      After Daniel was shot in the chest as a Confederate soldier in a battle at Frayser's Farm in Virginia on June 29, 1862, he returned to his Haywood County farm and married Rachel Elizabeth Brendle. They moved to Jackson County, N.C., in 1884 and raised eight children there. Harriet, their first born, married Edwin McClure and they moved to Washington state sometime before the 1892 State Census enumerated them and their five children as living near Hamilton. Matthew "Matt," the sixth child, followed his sister in November 1897 with a railroad ticket from Sylva, N.C. to Hamilton with a "ticket as long as my arm with all transfers in the large cities included." We will post the hilarious story of his trip in a future article, which will also include his tenure as a logging-locomotive engineer, his acquittal on a murder charge and his conversion to being a preacher later in life.
      Daniel and Rachel decided to follow some of their children to the Skagit Valley in 1905 and they bought the farm that Charles and Clara Flynn had cleared on Cockreham Island. Daniel died in 1915 and Rachel decided to move to Sedro-Woolley to live with her son Aaron, their fourth child. She died in 1931 after becoming a great-great-grandmother.

      Readers have asked about the origin of the place names, Childs Creek and Childs Spur. The records do not cover this but we assume that both places were named for the logging camp of the Childs brothers. Articles from 1897 newspapers noted that George Childs of Montana joined his brother Joseph A. Childs and that they opened a sawmill in Burlington. Joseph returned to Michigan, where the family was from, but George stayed on and he and a Mr. Casey opened logging camps in various areas, including upriver and at Alger, and the Casey-Childs sawmill in old Sedro near the original Clear Lake bridge. George's son Stanley sold the mill to George G. Johnson in 1953, nine years after his father died. We hope that a reader can correct us if we inferred incorrectly. In Dennis Thompson's book, Logging Railroads of Skagit County, he noted that Ed English's early logging railroad system served a small unnamed mill near Childs Spur in 1906. He also profiled the Faber Logging Company, which was incorporated in April 1920 by George W. Childs and E.e. Boyd, with C.E. Bingham (banker in Sedro-Woolley), John J. Peth (LaConner farmer) and B.R. Lewis (Clear Lake Mill) as significant stockholders.
      Although this next note concerns events after the period of 1872-1900 that we covered in this story, it answers a question that several readers have asked about when a paved road extended to Lyman. The late Maxine Meyers recalled that her husband, Bud, was a waterboy for the crew that dug out the road and paved it. Sure enough, a later article noted that the Minkler Highway was completed from Cokedale Junction to Lyman on May 12, 1921, and Bud was born in 1911.
      If you are a descendant of a family who settled in the Lyman area before 1900 and if you cannot find them in our capsule biographies above, that is because we have little or no genealogical information about them. We welcome any information you can provide about them, and copies of any documents, articles or photos; we do not need your originals. We ask the same for descendants of the any of the families whom we profiled and we welcome correction if we printed anything incorrectly. We also want to thank Carol Bates of Hamilton for the many hours she spent in compiling Lyman Cemetery records and editing the fine record that is available through the Skagit Valley Genealogical Society
      These are some of the families we would especially like to hear from: Shellhammer; Hightower; Beasley; Lisherness; McDougle; Parker; Daniel L. Reece; Roe; Swan; Wiseman; King, McConnell, Roe (school teacher/principal). We would also like to find any information about J.T. Hightower before he joined C.R. Wilcox, Ed English, Wyman Kirby and Elmer C. Million on Feb. 10, 1906, to incorporate the Skagit Mill Co. — the operating company, and the Highland Timber Co., the holding company. The Mill extended north to Pipeline Road, named for the water pipeline from Jones Creek.
      In connection with that mill, we would also like any information about Harley A. LaPlant, the longtime manager. In the spring of 1936, the mill workers union asked for a pay raise of five cents an hour and the owners refused. Although the mill railroad continued sending loggers into the woods for the next two years, the railway closed in 1938 and the extensive mill, which straddled present Hwy 20, was dismantled in 1939. Bud Meyers Jr. recalls the family story that when his parents, Bud and Maxine Meyers, returned from their honeymoon in 1939, he discovered that the mill was in pieces and that he no longer had a job. His father, Frank "Curly" Meyers, was a foreman at the mill.
      Other families we are researching, some of whom may have settled before 1900, include: Bryson, Cabe, Healy, Hooper, Kirkpatick, Ledbetter, Lennox, McCalib, McCracken, McDougle/McDugle (and the related Atwells), Metcalf, Price, Rhodes, Wiseman. Are you a descendant of another family whom we might have missed?

Return to Part One: Indian villages, homesteaders Valentine Adam and Henry Cooper, Lorenzo Lyman post office, Otto Klement Trading Post, town plat 1887.

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Story posted on June 28, 2008, last updated July 22, 2008
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