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Skagit River Journal

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Padilla pioneer Edgar A. Sisson

(Sisson family)

Sisson Golden Wedding Anniversary observed
Pioneer Skagit Couple Wedded Fifty Years
Mount Vernon Daily Herald, Undated May 1926
      The Golden wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. E. A. Sisson. Skagit county pioneers, was celebrated at their home in Anacortes with a family reunion, May 31. The entire family, with the exception of one brother-in-law, Frank Wright of Anacortes, who is now in Alaska was present. The family consists of two daughters and one son, and their families, Mr. and Mrs. John H. Wilson and sons, Carroll, Wilson, Calvin and Martin; Mr. and Mrs. Frank Wright and son Donald, and daughter Frances; Mr. and Mrs. Grant Sisson and son, Darrell and daughter Miriam. Mr. and Mrs. Sisson were united in marriage at the home of Mrs. Sisson's brother, Albert Learner on Pleasant Ridge, May 31. 1876, by the Rev. B.N.L. Davis, pioneer Baptist minister of Skagit and Whatcom counties. Only nine of forty or fifty early settlers who attended the service are living now. They are Mr. and Mrs. Archie Siegfried, Mrs. Oscar Rudene, Mrs. Martha Scott, James O'Laughlin; Mrs. L.A. Conner, Seattle, Mr. and Mrs Clarence Babbour, Ballard, and Clarence White of Los Angeles. Mr. Sisson is now seventy-seven years old. He was born in Pennsylvania and came to Washington, then a territory, in 1872. Mrs. Sisson came west from Iowa, where she was born more than a year prior to Mr. Sisson. The married life of the couple has been spent in Skagit county on the farm at Padilla and in Anacortes.

Edgar Sisson, pioneer, dies
Long illness fatal to beloved Skagit man, was 84 years old
Mount Vernon Daily Herald, Undated March 1933
      Edgar Allen Sisson, one of the grand old men of Skagit County, passed away at his home at 1619 Eighth Street in Anacortes Saturday evening at 7:50. He had been confined to his bed for the past year. He was 84 years of age.
      Death after a prolonged illness ended a residence in the county of 61 years. During that time the scholarly pioneer farmer, legislator, and public spirited citizen endeared himself to many.
      Edgar.A. Sisson, the son of Arnold C. Sisson and Isabel (Green) Sisson, was born at LaPlume, Pennsylvania, October 27, 1849. His father was a native of Connecticut, and his mother of Pennsylvania. He received a common school education, later attending Bucknell University and Cornell University at Ithaca, New York.
      Coming West by way of San Francisco, Mr. Sisson arrived at LaConner aboard the Steamer J.B. Libby December 10, 1872. He formed a partnership with the late A. G. Tillinghast and the late R. E. Whitney in the work [text missing] 500 acres diked in and put under cultivation in this project. Mr. Sisson retired from active farming in 1909.
      He was married on May 31, 1876, to Miss Ida Learner who taught the first Pleasant Ridge school at the age of 15 years, later becoming the first teacher in the LaConner schools. Mr. Sisson was a member of the 1913 state legislature, standing high in the councils of the Republican party. He was also county commissioner from the first district for six years; serving as chairman for four years.
      Joining the Skagit County Pioneer Association in 1904, he served as secretary for four years and as president for one year. Later he was elected president of the State Pioneer Association for a one-year term. A man of Christian character and kindly bearing, E. A. Sisson was one of the most beloved and popular citizens of Skagit County. Surviving are the widow, Mrs. Ida Sisson; three children, Grant C. Sisson of Bay View, Mrs. John Wilson of Edison and Mrs. Frank Wright of Anacortes; and seven grandchildren.
      Funeral services were held at the Presbyterian church in Anacortes Tuesday afternoon at 1 o'clock, followed by interment in the Bay View cemetery. Rev. A. W. Wilson of the Mount Vernon Presbyterian church officiated, assisted by Rev. J.C. Reed of the Anacortes Presbyterian church. Illo Whitney of Anacortes sang "Dry Those Tears" and "Going Down the Valley," and Mrs. Ins Nelson of LaConner sang "The Christian's Good Night," accompanied by Mrs. Frank L. Giles. Active casket-bearers were Alfred Polson, Mount Vernon; Fred Kelso, Bay View; I.W. Alexander, LaConner; Charles Nelson, Pleasant Ridge; A. I. Dunlap, LaConner; and Frank N. White, Summit Park.
      Honorary casket-bearers were Nick Bessner, Fred G. Abbey, David Campbell, Sam Williams, Will Walter, A.S. Schmidt, J. D. Carroll, H.H. Soule, E.P. Barker, James Hayton, Tom Lockhart and Elmer Axelson.

John Conrad obituary notes at 1973 Pioneer Picnic
(Edgar A. Sisson)
Edgar A. Sisson

      The father [E.A. Sisson] came out from Pennsylvania in 1872, and together with cousins A.G. Tillinghast and R.E. Whitney took up adjoining claims on the salt water flats east of Padilla Bay in the present Whitney area. Here they reclaimed some 500 acres and are credited with the first large scale diking project on Puget sound. The soil and climate appeared to be adapted to see growing and the successful outcome of the venture was a big boost to the entire lowland area and it received wide publicity, especially on its cabbage seed production. Tillinghast carried on with seed growing and marketing "since 1875." He moved his business from Padilla to LaConner in 1890 where the seed firm still continues a the "oldest seed house in the Northwest."
      That same year the [Seattle & Northern] railroad was built through Whitney's new island farm and he moved over there, leaving Sisson the remaining one out of the original three settler neighbors of 1872. In 1876 Mr. Sisson married Miss Ida Leamer, 19, a native of Iowa, who at 15 had taught her first assignment at Pleasant Ridge school, the later became the first teacher in LaConner school where one of her pupils was Herbert Conner, son of John S. and Louisa Ann Conner, the town's namesake. Mr. & Mrs. Sisson took an active part in all social and civic affairs and were both charter members of the Skagit County Pioneer Association. E.A. was president of the association in 1914-15, also served later as memorialist. He was elected to the state legislature for the session of 1913 as representative and served as county commissioner later from the First District for two terms. He had also served as president of the state Pioneer Association at an earlier date.

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Story posted on May 13, 2009. . . Please report any broken links so we can update them
This article originally appeared in Issue 48 of our Subscribers-paid Journal online magazine

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