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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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Northwest County and Padilla-area pioneer
profiles: Wells, Tillinghast, Ball

Ed Wells dies at farm home near LaConner; Was deputy Warden at State Penitentiary two years, sheriff here 8 years, Died at 72
(A.J. Tillinghast)
A.J. Tillinghast opened the Tillinghast Seed Co. in LaConner in 1885, the oldest retail seed company in the Northwest. Photo courtesy of Ed and Ruth (Tillinghast) Dalan; she represents the third generation of the family.

Mount Vernon Daily Herald, undated August 1932
      A funeral cortege, estimated to be a mile and a half long, followed the bier of Ed Wells, pioneer Skagit farmer and county official, from LaConner to the mausoleum in this city, following final rites at the Kern chapel Sunday afternoon at 2 o'clock.
      Profuse floral offerings bespoke the further esteem of the well known pioneer man, fitting tribute to whom was paid by Rev. A. W. Wilson, pastor of the United Presbyterian church in this city, who characterized Mr. Wells as being "friendly, fearless, firm and fair" in all his dealings. Gilbert Wilson and Oliver Noce, accompanied at the organ by David Wilson, sang "In the Garden" and "No Night There." Pallbearers were J.K. Stewart, Charles E. Gaches, George Dunlap, P. H. Dunlap, 5. W. Vaughan, and P. L. O’Brien. Honorary pallbearers were Charles A. Nelson, C. T. Caulking, A.A. Bray, A.I. Dunlap, Thomas Smith and Andy Mitchell.
      Mr. Wells died at l:30 Friday morning [Aug. 12, 1932] in his LaConner Flats farm home which he had built only a few years ago. He had not been in the best of health for several years, but was up and about the early part of the morning Thursday.
      Born in New Brunswick, April 23, 1860, Mr. Wells came to Skagit County fifty years ago. He worked for a short time with his father, Judah Wells, on the farm at Ridgeway, going from there to work for J. A. Davis in a blacksmith shop at LaConner; He later opened a shop of his own, taking in as partner Wm. Handke.
      His election to the office of mayor of LaConner was the beginning of an unusual record of] public service. He was next elected to the city council. Following that he was named deputy warden of the state penitentiary, a position which he held for two years. Returning to Skagit County Mr. Wells was made deputy -sheriff for four years and then deputy county treasurer for four more years. In 1908 he was selected sheriff [and served during the time of the 1914 Sedro-Woolley bank robbery]. Following eight years of serving in that capacity he joined the sheriff's office force at King County, where he served as one of the chief criminal deputies
      Surviving are the widow, a sister of the late Mrs. Louisa A. Conner; three daughters, Mrs. Ina Nelson, Mrs. Marie Sharfenberg and Mrs. Theresa Dunlap; one son, Paul Wells, Mount Vernon; and two brothers, Hiram Wells of Mount Vernon and Seeley Wells of Seattle.

A.G. Tillinghast of Tillinghast Seed Co.
Puget Sound Mail (LaConner), Aug. 3, 1972, Pioneer Edition
      Alonzo G. Tillinghast, pioneer Northwest seedman and founder of the Tillinghast Seed Co. of LaConner, was born in Pennsylvania in September of 1844 and with his cousins E.A. Sisson and Rienzi E. Whitney came to the Skagit area in the summer of 1872. They spent the first winter on Bay View Ridge in a cabin on a farm which later belonged to Adam Huff.
      The three cousins formed Tillinghast, Whitney and Sisson Company and started diking 200 or 300 acres of land, with their first patch of ground only about 10 or 20 acres in size. In 1877 A.G. Tillinghast went back to LaPlume, Pennsylvania and married Emma Bailey, who had taught school in Scranton. They lived in Pennsylvania for 5 years and then moved to Padilla in 1882.
      Mrs. Tillinghast was postmistress at Padilla and her husband raised cabbage seed and started a little store known as the A.G. Tillinghast Postoffice Seed store. He sent his first seed back to his brother Isaac Tillinghast's seed store in LaPlume. Late he expanded continuously and also raised seed for D.M. Ferry Co.
      Francis Tillinghast was born at Padilla in 1886 and the family and seed business moved to LaConner in 1890. The first Tillinghast came to Providence, Rhode Island, with the Rogers Williams colony.

R.H. Ball asserts youths were great soldiers in the 1860s and will be again; Veteran says it was boys fought Civil War
(Richard H. Ball)
Richard H. Ball

Seattle newspaper, April 12, 1917
      "It was the boys who fought the civil war, and it's not remarkable that the boys are the ones who are enlisting now," said Richard H. Ball, veteran of the Eighty-third Ohio, Company D, yesterday. And he produced an old war time photograph of the vintage of '62. "I ran away from home before I was 18 and enlisted, and my folks didn't see me until I came home wounded. And there were lots of kids younger than I was in our regiment and in every other. Let me tell you, the kids were the sinews of the nation then, and they are now. I was worth more in ten minutes then than I am in two weeks now, so far as soldiering was concerned."
      Mr. Ball is a Skagit county farmer who now makes his home in Seattle, at 910 Stewart Street. Also he is a very active man today, the owner of some fine harness horses and of a fine farm where he located forty years ago in Skagit County. He was wounded in a charge before Vicksburg in '63, but later rejoined the regiment, under Sherman, and was in the war to the end, taking part in the capture of Fort Blakeley, Alabama, on the day that Lee was surrendering. The last cannon shot of the war was fired at that engagement.
      "Don't underestimate the boys," said Ball, "for it's the youngsters who make the real soldiers. They it before and you can depend on them again. We will come to be just as proud of the boys of '17 [World War 1] as we have been of the young fellows of '61 and '62.

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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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