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(S and N Railroad)

Skagit River Journal

of History & Folklore
Subscribers Edition
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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Part Two: Clothier becomes political force
and English gains power as Mount Vernon grows

(Harrison Clothier)
Harrison Clothier, soon after arriving in the valley

      As the decade of the 1880s dawned, 30-year-old Edward G. English took on more responsibility for the Mount Vernon partnership as the company delved extensively into three areas of business: the original store, logging in the river valleys and satellite operations upriver. As Clothier's attention spread out all over the county, English succeeded him as postmaster in 1881. Otto Klement was also a very active partner with the two men by then. In that same year, the three partners opened a trading post at Lyman, where the logging operations were centered. In his memoirs, Klement said that it "consisted of a store, post office, hotel and saloon, all housed under one roof, and had become the hangout of the motley population."
      The C&Estore had grown and the partners hired promising young clerks to run that business day to day. One of those was Edward K. Matlock, who was sickly in the Midwest and purchased a ticket for Puget Sound, arriving in Skagit County in 1881 to seek a more moderate climate. He made a start towards independent business by clerking for Clothier & English, until 1887, when he opened a drug store in Mount Vernon. He also made his mark in county politics, elected as county treasurer in 1886 and reelected in 1888. In 1890 he sold insurance, researched titles and bought and sold real estate.
      Two more logging camps opened at the north end of town that year, owned by Oliver Anderson and Messrs. Moore and Densmore. Those camps were not immediately profitable, however, as the price for logs slid to only $4 per thousand board-feet. That cycle would be repeated all over the county over the next decades. The price spiked suddenly whenever towns down south burned, such as 1889 when Seattle, Ellensburg and towns all over the state seemed to burn down monthly (all those in 1889). In the year 1882 the town started changing socially, too. The I.O.O.F. lodge, or the Odd Fellows, was launched on October 14 and prominent lodge leaders from all over the state arrived by sternwheeler for the ritualistic birth, including Governor William A. Newell. The principal officers of the new Lodge No. 23 were cousins who migrated from Canada to Lyman, via the goldfields of California and Nevada: Henry Cooper Leggett became Noble Grand and Henry Cooper became vice grand. Another important lodge opened in Skagit City about the same time, the Freemasons, under the leadership of Whidbey Island and Skagit pioneer Thomas P. Hastie, but that lodge moved to Mount Vernon by 1889. In 1910, they built their grand lodge on the third street in town, named Second Street, east of Main; that lodge was razed in 2003.

Clothier and English launch logging operations
(Mud Lake logging)
Photo courtesy of Dennis Thompson's Logging Railroads book. Caption: "The Mud Lake [near Clear Lake] Camp of Ed English. This was nearly the end of the days for oxen. These two facing photographs are the only known record of this early operation, and represent the difficulty of tracing Mr. English's early ventures. Photo courtesy of Nina McDonald [of Clear Lake]." As an old-time logger once explained, when logging was on the flat land near the shore of a river, the raw strength of oxen was very useful for dragging logs to the camps near the water. When logging proceeded up the hills and gullies, horses were preferable.

      Those hardy young men who stayed around needed to make a living and Clothier and English soon provided jobs. While Clothier was upriver, English scouted out likely locations for logging. By 1882 they had dozens of men out in the woods and they also had another camp on the Samish River delta. The Millett & McKay operation based in Burlington was one of the most extensive logging companies in the Puget Sound basin but English was learning the basics of the industry that he would dominate in the first two decades of the 20th century.
      In the first issue of William C. Ewing's Skagit News newspaper of March 1884, Ewing reported that Clothier & English had 16 men and a cook at a camp above Lyman. This was one of the narrowest points of the Skagit river valley and was packed with cedar and fir that was in great demand. J.W. Kinney was in charge and in just one day the men hauled 43,000 board-feet of logs.
      A report in the April 15, 1884, issue noted that Clothier & English contracted to furnish 500,000 feet of logs to the Bellingham Mill Company for $6 per thousand. Archie Boyd, a son of L.A. Boyd, a homesteader who moved here from Nebraska and became the first upriver schoolmaster, recalled the company's logging operations of that period:

      Clothier and English were partners in several different projects at that time. English was one of the first loggers around Mt. Vernon, and logged all over Skagit County for many years. At this time, he was logging across Blarney Lake [now sadly misspelled Barney], so Pa got employment there for a while. To get the logs out of the woods and hauled to the landing, English had rigged up a rack of sorts, by cutting good straight poles and securely fastening them to the ties, which made an imitation railroad track [a contraption introduced by Millett & McKay two years earlier]. He had flatcars which had wheels with deep flanges on both sides to straddle these wooden rails and keep the wheels on the pole tracks. The flatcars went down on their own gravity, with brakes to halve the speed, and a man who rode the load to apply them when necessary and to stop the load at the landing, where the logs were dumped. It took seven yoke of oxen (two to the yoke) to pull the flatcars back to the railways again.
      Clothier and English were partners in several different projects at that time. English was one of the first loggers around Mt. Vernon, and logged all over Skagit County for many years. In 1882, he was logging across Blarney Lake [now sadly misspelled Barney], so Pa got employment there for a while. To get the logs out of the woods and hauled to the landing, English had rigged up a rack of sorts, by cutting good straight poles and securely fastening them to the ties, which made an imitation railroad track [a contraption introduced by Millett & McKay two years earlier]. He had flatcars which had wheels with deep flanges on both sides to straddle these wooden rails and keep the wheels on the pole tracks. The flatcars went down on their own gravity, with brakes to halve the speed, and a man who rode the load to apply them when necessary and to stop the load at the landing, where the logs were dumped. It took seven yoke of oxen (two to the yoke) to pull the flatcars back to the railways again.
      The C&E woods crews there along the Nookachamps creek rivaled the C&E crews up in the Samish river region in size and for volume logged. Klement cruised the timber tracts upriver, estimating the total of board feet for potential customers, and William Brown, the founder of the future town of Bow, cruised for Patrick McCoy, who was in charge of the holdings of W.H. Miller of Wisconsin, and did all the location work for Clothier & English in the western parts of the county. Another upriver pioneer who was destined to be one of the key Marblemount pioneers, an Englishman named William Barratt, came to Seattle in 1884 and he was soon hired by Clothier & English to drive a logging team for their logging company. While working for them he homesteaded in the Sauk river area and moved to his famous house on the east side of the Skagit, just below the junction with the Cascade river. Maine-native Samuel S. Tingley also became a key timber cruiser for C&E. Tingley, who first came to the Puget sound in 1859, settled on the North fork in 1867 and then established a blacksmith shop in Mount Vernon in 1880 while cruising upriver forest stands on the side.
      The Illustrated History includes a couple of tidbits that put both the C&E logging and business income in perspective. Their company hit a snag, as it were, in 1885, when a wave of the most destructive forest fires in "white-man history" hit the Northwest and Clothier and English were the greatest sufferers. The entire Puget sound country was wrapped in a pall of smoke until September 26th, when drenching rains and southerly gales put out the fires. And we find that the C&E operation was still in its infancy compared to the other major logging players in the area, and especially compared to English's operations of 20 years later. The Oct. 6, 1885, issue of the Skagit News reported a summary of the logging business for the year 1885, "which gives a total output of 204,000 feet of logs per day, divided among the following camps . . ." The firm of Jackson & Duncan led in daily output and C&E ranked 10th out of the 10 major companies, with a daily output of 18,000 board feet. Another item in the book includes the wealthiest companies and individuals in the county that year, ranked by their tax payments of more than $5,000. Mrs. [Louisa Ann] Conner ranked the highest by far with $60,563 paid; next was Ball & Barlow of Sterling with $36,073 paid; C&E was ninth on the list with $13,202 paid.
      At the same time, the News reported: "Dissolution of Partnership. Partnership existing between Otto Klement, Harrison Clothier and Edward G. English, doing business at Lyman, Skagit county, under the firm name of Klement & Co. dissolved by mutual consent. All debts to be paid to Klement at Lyman and he has assumed liabilities of the firm." Clothier and English apparently decided to concentrate on their downriver investments and by that time, Klement was King of Lyman.

The town grows quickly in 1884-85
      Records from the county auditor's files for 1885 show a sudden spike in population for the county as a whole. The 1906 Illustrated History noted: "The total population of Skagit County was given as 2,816, of which 2,618 were white, 170 half breeds, 26 Chinamen, and 2 negroes. There were 1,835 males and 1,081 females. The voting population was 1,509, and in this number were 428 women, for it must be remembered that at that time woman suffrage prevailed under territorial laws. The number of married people was 825." Indians were numerated separately and those totals are not available, but it is worth noting that this is the first year that the total of Caucasians exceeded Otto Klement's estimate of 2,000 Indians living in the Skagit valley when he arrived in 1873.
      Families were moving to town in larger numbers, so a new school was needed to replace the crude school on Kimble's land. In 1880, that school gave way to a new woodframe structure that was located on a bench of land nearer to town and near the new home of Dr. Horace P. Downs. Downs came to the townsite in 1878, after his wife discovered the county while on a trip out West. He was the first man in town with a sparkling academic pedigree, in this case from Bowdoin, and he moved here after a 15-year practice in Boston. Downs got his hands dirty during floods that inundated his property and he was appointed a territorial tidelands appraiser; he and Clothier would be teammates in many political battles.
      By 1884, the school census showed an enrollment of 45, including 19 boys and 26 girls, with Charles Henry Kimble as clerk of the district and E.D. Davis as teacher. The town was slow to shed it rowdy image, however, and the first church organization did not appear until 1884. Up until then, spiritual needs and weddings were administered by a traveling Baptist missionary from Tennessee named B.N.L. Davis who arrived in the Skagit valley in 1873, the same year as Klement. He and his brother Harvey were as active as farmers, up in the Riverside district, and Davis also entered county politics later on. The Baptists did not build a church in town until 1889. Methodists began meeting in 1886 and they built a church in 1890, followed soon by the Christian church, so those three were pioneer churches of town.
      Another doctor who would make quite a mark arrived in 1883, Dr. Hyacinth P. Montborne, and within a year he advertised a "hospital," which was actually a small clinic in his wooden building on Front street. The year 1884 was also marked by several "first" businesses. William C. Ewing, a descendant of one of the most prominent political families in the country, moved to Mount Vernon and launched the first newspaper, the Skagit News. Clothier welcomed this needed addition to the town and initially provided Ewing space in the loft over the store free of charge. Messrs. McNaught and Tinkham were the first lawyers in town that year, Messrs. Moody and Hendricks opened the first meat market, Yik Lung opened the first laundry and L.B. Knauss opened the first barber shop.
      Clothier and English were out of the hotel business per se, by then. After Klement moved his base of operations to Lyman, George Moran moved to town in 1881 after logging in Whatcom County and bought the Mount Vernon Hotel. He was joined by George V. Brann, who came to town after running logging camps in the Skagit valley and on Whidbey Island. Brann continued the hotel until he sold it in 1890 and went into the retail liquor business.
      That hotel may actually have been an amalgamation of three hotels over the years. The original structure was probably very modest and could well have been the Schott family's hotel in the late 1870s. Then the 1906 Book noted that "The excitement attending the mining discoveries on Ruby creek made the year 1880 one of much growth in the lthe little town, but the mining resources did not prove to be stable and the collapse of the excitement left a dead calm again brooding over the forests of Skagit. A new hotel, however, known as the Mount Vernon hotel, had been erected by Clothier, English & Klement during the busy season." Then, Moran and Brann took over. Author Tom Robinson has spent some time triangulating the location of various early buildings, using the slim file of photos and notes we have discovered, and he had concluded that the hotel was to the north of the Clothier & English store and could have extended partway into what is now the eastern onramp to the bridge.
      Michael McNamara, who had moved south to Snohomish county and tried to run a hotel and saloon at Centerville [Stanwood] from 1880-82, was back at the Ruby House by 1884. He may have been enticed to move when the bottom fell out of the gold rush.
      In that year, three sternwheelers regularly traveled upriver, the Quincy, Glide and Washington, each semi-weekly. The first issue of the Skagit News, on March 4, 1884, reported that the steamboat, Bob Irving, brought up eighteen tons of freight for Clothier & English "on the Sunday's trip. The boat will run twice a week from Seattle to Mukilteo, Utsalady and the Skagit River." One of the passengers on a steamboat that June was the former mayor of Santa Barbara, California, who was on his way to explore a timber claim just east of the town of Sterling, the only upriver village of any size. No one knew it then, but Mortimer Cook would soon establish a village named Bug — and then Sedro, which would compete with Mount Vernon and even surpass it briefly in 1889 when three railroads chose to cross at that point upriver, two years before the railroad came to Mount Vernon.
      That year also marks the end of the key partnership that dated back to the beginning of the town. The April 8, 1884, edition of the Skagit News included a legal advertisement for the Dissolution of Partnership "existing between Otto Klement, Harrison Clothier and Edward G. English, doing business at Lyman, Skagit County, under the firm name of Klement & Co., dissolved by mutual consent. All debts to be paid to Klement at Lyman and he has assumed liabilities of the firm. None of the partners ever recorded the reasons for the split but they appeared to be amicable as Klement returned to retail business in Mount Vernon later in the decade.
      The Odd Fellows made quite a splash on April 27, 1885 when they opened their new two-story wooden hall at the southeast corner of Washington and First streets, where the Lido Theater later replaced it. It quickly served as the first public town hall, the courthouse for a short time and as the meeting place of all the churches. The whole town celebrated as the steamer Glide brought up poobahs from all over the state and especially the grand lodge in Seattle, along with forty Odd Fellows and Rebekahs that they picked up on a side trip to LaConner. The Arrow came from Utsalady with more celebrants and the Josephine brought a contingent from Snohomish City. Another reason for showing off and celebrating was the recent move of the county seat from LaConner to Mount Vernon, but to understand that whole process, we have to go back a few years and look at Harrison Clothier's politics.

Clothier sticks his toe in politics and helps the county split
      In the election of November 1880, Clothier was elected auditor of Whatcom County — which at that time included all of Skagit valley, the first step towards his future profession in sales and management of real estate. His popularity is evident from the election results when he won 136-16, and especially surprising because he was a Democrat in an area dominated by Republicans. Just after returning from the mining-area trading post, he moved again, this time to county seat at Whatcom, for two years. That explains why English replaced him as postmaster at Mount Vernon. In 1882, Clothier was defeated by Orrin Kincaid, Republican, for Territorial representative, in a very close vote.
      You can read in the recollections by George Savage about Clothier's role in the split of Skagit County from Whatcom County in the fall of 1883. Savage provides one especially amusing incident but did not note the year, which we assume to be 1883: "Two years later, I was sent again, along with Clothier. This time, the steamer got stuck in the mud at Munks Bay, so we took the ship's boat, and rowed all night to get to Bellingham. We reached there at ten in the morning. A man named [Milton B.] Cook, also came along to get a saloon license. He was so soft, he could not row, but he did offer plenty of stimulation, to keep up others energy. I refused his bottle."
      In April 1884, the Skagit News reported the first signs that Clothier had worn himself out the year before: "Harrison Clothier, Esq., has returned from southern California, where he has spent a month or so in rest and recreation. He says the indications promise an abundant harvest, but that the market for breadstuffs is lower than it has been for years, and that the lumber yards have large supplies on hand." But he apparently came back strong because he was elected along with Isaac Dunlap and John L. Edens and Harrison Clothier as the first county commissioners and they met Feb. 4, 1884, in LaConner for the opening session before moving the seat of government to Mount Vernon. The first proposition heard was for a county road from LaConner toward the county seat.
      In the book, Skagit Memories, we learned that removal of snags and jams from the mouth of the Skagit and the south fork was a major issue that first year of county formation and at a meeting at Skagit City in June 1884, Dr. George Calhoun acted as chairman and Clothier was secretary. At least 80,000 acres, including prime timberland were subject to flooding east of the south fork, on Fir Island and the delta, Swinomish flats, Beaver and Olympia marshes and the township then known as Nookachamps. By July 12, the committee had raised $2,000 by July 12, and the channel was proposed to be freed from snags, opened into Deep slough, and a sheer boom was to be placed opposite the head of the slough. The Skagit News of September 30 noted that dynamite was used for blowing out logs, possibly one of the first instances of using the explosive in the county. The Oct. 14 issue reported that: two million feet of logs were swept out of the river in the biggest flood of settlement times, forming a new log on the south fork. A later issue reported that an unnamed government snag boat removed snags from Lyman to the mouth, but that work was not complete.

Captain Decatur and the new Mount Vernon sawmill
      In 1886, while on another visit to California, Clothier was nominated and elected probate judge of Skagit County, with his home precinct recording a vote of 176-10 in his favor. He was then elected to the Territorial legislature in 1888. In 1889, while Washingtonians were preparing for statehood and planning for the adoption of the new constitution, Clothier was selected by Skagit County to represent the 17th district in the first state legislature.
      In between those elections, a new arrival made quite an impact on the little town on the waterfront and his timber operation focused Clothier's attention back onto Mount Vernon. Capt. David F. Decatur arrived on a steamboat in December 1887 and sort of answering the town fathers' prayers.
      At a public meeting on April 16, 1887, a group of businessmen incorporated the Skagit Sawmill and Manufacturing Co. Joining the town founders, Harrison Clothier and E.G. English, were Dr. H.P. Downs, Otto Klement, Jasper Gates, G.E. Hartson, E.K. Matlock and Orrin Kincaid. A total of 400 non-assessable shares were subscribed at $50, so the company was originally capitalized at $20,000 value. Over the winter the corporation was inactive but by June 1888, the officers decided that newcomer Decatur had the right stuff, so they committed $2,700 to purchase a site on the waterfront.
      Decatur made a deal with the corporation to operate the mill for five years but by 1891 he sold out to the town founders who took on operating partners, Dunham & Collins. There was apparently some friction between Decatur and the town establishment because we find in court records that on March 30, 1891, D.F. Decatur sued the town of Mount Vernon, Mayor Harrison Clothier and the council for taking ten feet off the north side of his home grounds without condemnation.
      Author Dennis Blake Thompson studied the slim English paper record for his book, Logging Railroads of Skagit County, in 1989. He came to the same conclusion as we have, that the appointment of Ed English to the board of the Skagit Sawmill in 1887 marked the beginning of a future timber empire that eventually encompassed sites all over Skagit and Snohomish counties.

Clothier and English dissolve partnership in 1891
(Logging locomotive)
Photo courtesy of Dennis Thompson's Logging Railroads book. Caption: "The first locomotive English got after oxen days, or so the story goes. Showing her Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern ancestry, No. 5 strikes a pose with her admirers. Photo courtesy of Bill Mason."SLS&E was the forerunner of the Northern Pacific, which ran from Seattle to British Columbia, inland through Snohomish, Sedro-Woolley and Sumas.

      Clothier made a business move without English in 1890 when he platted the town of Bessemer with Mount Vernon attorney E.C. Million. The partners promoted the plat as a steel-making center for processing iron ore from Iron Mountain on the south side of the Skagit. Bessemer was located within a mile of the town of Birdsview on the north shore of the river. The business, however, faded out of sight quickly as did both the towns of Bessemer and Birdsview.
      Author Tom Robinson agrees that, at the beginning, Clothier was the senior partner in the business with English. But by the 1880s, English appears to have taken the lead. The 1906 book, Illustrated History of Skagit & Snohomish Counties reported that "They continued in the mercantile business until in 1891 Mr. Clothier withdrew." By then their store was probably more an afterthought than a main business. The 1906 Book noted that downtown-booster Jasper Gates erected one of the four new brick buildings downtown in 1890, which brought sudden changes in the middle of the railroad boom period. Then the July 13, 1891, fire burned 15 business buildings and two homes in the "oldest business section." So the fire could well have been the determinant for the partners splitting up. We have no sign that there were hard feelings between the two friends because Clothier did not begin losing money in his businesses until after 1891.
      Clothier was mayor of the town in 1891 and planned to run for state treasurer on the Democratic ticket in 1892. But then, County Treasurer, the Rev. B.N.L. Davis, died very unexpectedly in May 1891, and Clothier was appointed to succeed him, serving until January of 1893. At that time, he went to Anacortes to operate a sawmill. The 1906 Book noted that his mill cut the lumber for two large canneries on Fidalgo Island and in another season he traveled to the mines of the Kootenai country of British Columbia. From January 1893 to 1895, Clothier derived most of his income from real estate interests as the nationwide Depression deepened, but he remained manager of the Anacortes sawmill until January 1899, at least on paper, according to William Farrand Prosser, in A History of the Puget Sound Country (1903, hereafter the Prosser Book).
      Back in Mount Vernon in the early years of the decade, the coming Depression provided considerable challenge to Clothier and the other Mount Vernon town fathers. In the Mount Vernon Record of Oct. 7, 1897, we found a legal notice of a sheriff's sale, for the state of Washington and First National Bank of Mount Vernon vs. various combinations of Harrison Clothier and Ed English, E.W. Pollock (Eldon Pollock, Decatur's son-in-law and builder of the Lincoln Theater), Paul Polson, George Gaches, William Brownrig, Gilbert Hansen, William Harbert, E.C. Million and Ella Million, Alice Ashcraft (administratrix of estate of Frank Ashcraft, deceased). Judgment was $10,200, payable at 7 percent interest.
      Earlier that decade, Clothier foreclosed on two other famous pioneers. Back in 1891, he foreclosed on Capt. L.A. Boyd's Nookachamps homestead for a mere $100 judgment. About the same time, Mortimer Cook borrowed money from Clothier at dangerously high interest rates and was caught cash-poor in 1893 as banks nationwide closed by the hundreds. Clothier and the Holbrook family of Woolley eventually called in the mortgages on both the Cook Ranch and his store at Sterling, which led him to seek his fortune in the Philippines. He died there on Nov. 22, 1898.
      The Prosser Book noted that Clothier returned to Mount Vernon from Anacortes in January 1899, when he was appointed deputy assessor for Skagit County after the election of Assessor William Dale that November. He served four years under Dale and during the first term of Fred F. Willard.
      The 1898 election also marked Clothier's change of political party. As the 1906 Book noted, Clothier was a consistent Democrat up to that campaign, but he did not support the fusion of his party with the Populists. Like many others, he could not abide William Jennings Bryan and his Free Silver platform.
      From then on, Clothier's health declined. In the summer of 1906 he traveled to California for health reasons for the third time and he died at age 66 on Oct. 16, 1906, shortly after returning. The Freemasons oversaw his funeral; he joined that order at the Utsalady lodge in 1880. The 1906 Book noted that the combination of his health and "unfortunate circumstances" around the time of the nationwide Depression made great inroads into his financial interests and he was unable to actively participate as he did while younger. Every store, factory, school and government building suspended business for the funeral.

English logging activity post-1891
(Ed English)
This is the 1930 obituary photo of Edward G. English. We hope that a reader will have a scan or copy of a better photo and that an English family member will have documents or articles to share with us.

      We still seek more records about Ed English's business activities after he bought out his partner in 1891 and we are researching all over the state in hopes of sharing original-source information with readers. Dennis Thompson shared some of our frustration in his Logging Railroads book: "His early activities were so numerous that the historian is bewildered by lack of documentation and vague media reporting. . . ." We quote just a bit from the Thompson book to provide an overview of the operations until the turn of the 20th century:
      The mercantile trade did not dominate the men's [Clothier and English] interests for long for they almost immediately began a venture into the logging business. The result was Clothier and English Logging Company operating at Barney Lake on the Nookachamps and at Samish in 1882.
      English was named a member of the board of directors for the Skagit Sawmill and Manufacturing Company in 1887, and a year later the company sold out to Clothier and English and Ed English was made president. Four years later English himself purchased the interests of his partner, Harrison Clothier. Perhaps due to his advancing age, Clothier's prominence in local affairs thereafter diminished.
      By 1894, Ed was operating with another logger, this time under the name of English and McCaffery Logging Company. This firm was incorporated Feb. 12, 1896, with a capital stock of $15,000, by E.G. English, Thomas McCaffery and E.C. Million.
      March 1899 found English and McCaffery building a logging camp near Lyman, and by May 25 employed seventy-five to one hundred men there. The same year English completed a fine new home on South Second Street in Mount Vernon.
      Between 1877 and 1900, Ed English participated in logging operations near Camano City, Silvana and Lakewood, all in Snohomish County. To this day a location sign on the Bulington Northern Railroad near Lakewood proclaims, "English." In Skagit County his efforts were felt in Lyman, Hamilton, Clear Lake, Sedro-Woolley, Conway and Mount Vernon. His logging in the Lyman-Hamilton area was to last for many years. . . .
      On April 5, 1901, a company was formed in Seattle, which was to become a household world in Skagit County for over half a century. E.G. English, W.H. McEwan, A.F. McEwan and E.C. Million formed the English Lumber Company on a capital stock of $10,000. The new firm purchased the English and McCaffery Logging Company, it's logging outfit" and 1,700 acres of timberlands located four miles east of Fir (Conway). The McEwans were involved in the Seattle Cedar Lumber Company E.C. Million appears to have been a financial backer.

      We encourage you to seek out Thompson's book, which was reprinted in a second edition earlier this decade, and vintage copies of the first edition are available on the Internet. You can read more about our research into English in the linked article below about his kidnapping and his obituary. In addition, when we do find more original sources, we will post a story about English's logging operation through his death in 1930 and the dissolution of his various companies — including the Puget Sound & Baker River Railroad — in the 1950s.

Return to Part One

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