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Whatcom County
Washington
Genealogy and History


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Armstrong, Walter S.

    Industrious, enterprising and capable, Walter S. Armstrong has worked his way steadily upward, winning success in the restaurant business, and for many years Bellingham has numbered him among its loyal citizens.  he was born in Benton county, Iowa, in 1878 and was a boy of eleven when his parents, Walter Scott and Helen A. Armstrong, came to the Pacific coast, establishing their home in Bellingham.  The father was an expert cabinetmaker and followed his trade for several years but in later life operated a ranch in Whatcom county.  Death summoned him in 1908, and the mother is now residing with the subject of this sketch.

    Walter S. Armstrong attended the public schools and for some time assisted his father in the cultivation of the farm.  He was next a grocery clerk and afterward learned the trade of a machinist but never followed it as a means of livelihood.  In 1901 he secured a position in a Bellingham restaurant and was thus employed for nine years, acquiring a thorough knowledge of the business.  In 1910 he was able to establish a business of his own, opening a restaurant on West Holly street, and in 1920 moved to the present location at No. 1220 Cornwall avenue.  His establishment has a frontage of forty feet and is one hundred and twenty-five feet in depth.  It is operated under the name of the Richelieu Cafe and seats one hundred and sixty persons.  The food is of high quality and the service in unexcelled.  Mr. Armstrong caters to a discriminating class of patrons and through wise management and tireless effort has built up a business of substantial proportions, furnishing work to twenty employes.

    In 1903 Mr. Armstrong married Miss Mabel Laube, a daughter of Charles Laube, one of the early settlers and well known hotel men of Bellingham.  To this union has been born a son, Robert W., aged four years.  Mr. Armstrong is a Knight Templar Mason and Shriner and a past exalted ruler of the local lodge of Elks.  He is also connected with the Loyal Order of Moose, the Modern Woodmen of America, and the Junior Order of American Mechanics.  He is a Rotarian, and in politics he is nonpartisan, regarding the qualifications of a candidate as a matter of prime importance.  He is a business man of high standing and his genial disposition and courteous bearing have won for him many steadfast friends.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 711


Atkinson, R. J. B.

    One of the conspicuous figures in agricultural circles in the vicinity of Ten Mile is R. J. B. Atkinson, who has gained an excellent reputation as a man of energetic habits and progressive methods.  His useful career has conferred credit on the community and his splendid qualities of character have won him the respect of the entire locality.

    Mr. Atkinson was born in Napierville county, in the province of Quebec, Canada, in 1857, and is a son of Abraham and Caroline (Struthers) Atkinson.  The former was a native of England, whence he came to America in early boyhood, and the latter was born in Canada, of Scotch antecedents.  Our subject secured his education in the publis schools, and he remained on the home farm for several years, also spending about two years in Vermont.  Later he went to Michigan, where he spent five years working in the woods and a year or two later came to Bellingham, where he was similarly employed.  He also did timbering in coal mines for a brief period.  In 1894 Mr. Atkinson went to Glen Echo and bought the rights to forty acres of raw land, which contained some good cedar timber.  He cleared this tract sufficiently to enable him to prove up on it, remaining there two years, and he then returned to Bellingham and bought a home on Meridian street, where he lived for four years.  At that time he also continued his logging.  For a while he was employed in shipbuilding and hewed out the keel of the ship Fulton.  He then located on a tract of land near his present farm, where he remained for a year or two, and in 1904 he bought the place where he now resides, moving there in the spring of 1905.  It was wild and uncleared land, only the cedar having been cut off, and the only highways to the locality were trails.

    Mr. Atkinson devoted himself closely to clearing and improving the tract and in the course of time developed a splendid farmstead, where he is still living.  About twenty acres of the land are cleared, the remainder being in pasture, and he is carrying on dairy and poultry farming, with success and profit.  He keeps six cows and has about seven hundred and fifty chickens, which number he intends to increase to two thousand.  He owns his own breeder and runs only high grade stock, while he raises all the feed and roughage necessary for his stock.  Mr. Atkinson also has a good bearing orchard for private use, and he and his family are very comfortably situated.

    On December 25, 1895, Mr. Atkinson was married to Miss Laura Allen, who was born in Fannin county, Texas, a daughter of William and Lydia (Mullins) Allen, the former of whom was a native of Arkansas and was a soldier in the Confederate army during the Civil war, while the latter was a native of Tennessee.  To Mr. and Mrs. Atkinson have been born nine children, namely: Alma, born in 1896, who is the wife of George Kometz, of Bellingham, and has two children: Arthur Allen, born in 1898, who is at home; Barnard True, born in 1899, who also is at home; Stella, born in 1901, who is the wife of B. Hindman and has a daughter, Bettie; Philip James, born in 1902, who is married and lives at Ten Mile; Robert William, who was born in 1904; and Gilbert Miles, Ruth Zella and Edgar Levi, all of them having been born in Whatcom county.

    Mr. Atkinson was formerly a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows but is not now actively connected with that order.  He is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and the Whatcom County Poultry Association.  Mrs. Atkinson is a member of the Meridian school board and of the Farm Bureau.  They are both vitally interested in everything pertaining to the progress and welfare of their community and earnestly support every measure for the advancement of the public good.  They move in the best social circles of the neighborhood and are deservedly popular among their associates.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 19-20 


Atwood, Seth A.

    Left an orphan at an early age, Seth A. Atwood has fought life's battles alone, and the exercise of persistent effort has developed his latent powers, enabling him to win and retain a place of leadership in mercantile circles of Bellingham.  A son of Solomon and Ursula Atwood, he was born May 15, 1875, in Iowa.  His parents lived on a farm, and both died before he reached the age of five years.  While attending the public schools he resided with various families, and in 1892, when a youth of seventeen, he went to Chicago.  He was employed as a grocery clerk in that city until 1894 and then returned to Iowa, following the occupation of farming for a year.  He was again a student during 1895-96, and on completing his education he came to Washington, joining his brother Frank, who had opened a wall paper store in Seattle after the fire.

    Seth A. Atwood was associated with his brother for five years and then became connected with the Star Paint & Wall Paper Company of Seattle.  A year later he was made vice president of the firm and in 1907 purchased its Bellingham branch, situated at No. 212 West Holly street.  The business was established at this location in 1894 and is one of the oldest in the city.  It occupies two floors of a building twenty-seven and a half by one hundred and fifty feet in dimensions, and under the expert guidance of Mr. Atwood the business has made notable strides.  He has seven clerks in the store and employs about twenty-five men to attend to the outside work.  He does fine interior decorating and carries a full line of wall paper, Sherwin & Williams paints, art goods, draperies, etc.  He has always maintained a high standard of service and each stage in the development of the trade is the result of deep thought and well matured plans.

    In 1905 Mr. Atwood was united in marriage to Miss Mary Donahue, of Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Richard, their only child, is eighteen years of age and is a student at St. Martin's College.  Mr. Atwood is allied with the republican party and his religious views are in harmony with the doctrines of the Catholic church, while his fraternal affiliations are with the Knights of Columbus and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.  In his business career he has made each day count for the utmost, concentrating his energies upon the attainment of a definite end, and his success is well deserved, for it has been honorably won.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 64


Austin, I. E.

    Mr. Austin was born at Chicopee Falls, Hampden county, Massachusetts, in 1884, and is a son of Arthur S. and Fanny (Winslow) Austin, the former a native of New Hampshire and the latter of Boston, Massachusetts.  The mother was descended from the Winslow family of Mayflower fame.  Arthur S. Austin, who was a lawyer by profession, came to Olympia, Washington, in 1888, and entered into a partnership with Judge Gordon, which was continued until 1891, when the partnership was dissolved, and Mr. Austin went to Oregon and then to California.  He is now practicing his profession in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He and his wife separated about thirty years ago, and she later became the wife of Melzar Granger, their marriage occurring in 1898 in Bellingham.  They lived on Lummi island during the remainder of their lives, the mother dying in 1921 and Mr. Granger in 1922.

    I. E. Austin secured his education in the public schools of Olympia and Seattle, also attending school to some extant after coming to Lummi island, to which he had come with his mother in the spring of 1898.  He learned the trade of a carpenter, which vocation he has followed through all the subsequent years.  He is an expert workman and has a splendid reputation, being painstakig and careful in everything he does.  For several years prior to 1918 he spent some time in Alaska, where he followed his trade, but since that date he has given his attention to his home place on Lummi island.  His mother established the summer resort about sixteen years ago, and Mr. Austin and his wife have carried it on, under the name of "Grange," managing it in such a manner as to win the confidence and good will of all who have ever stopped with them.  There are many things to recommend Lummi island as an ideal spot for vacationists, and the personal care and attention which Mr. and Mrs. Austin give their guests adds to the delight and pleasure of a stay at the "Grange."  They have accommodations for thirty-two people, and the pleasant, cool and shady grounds, overlooking the gulf, the comfortable and amply furnished cottages, as well as the various forms of amusement, make a stay there something not soon forgotten.

    In September, 1919, Mr. Austin was married to Miss Glenaro Sherwood, who was born in Hillsdale, New Brunswick.  She received a splendid education, attending the University of Fraderickton and graduating from the State Normal School at Bellingham and the University of Washington, after which she took a course in mathematics at the Colorado School of Mines.  She then engaged in teaching and was a member of the high school faculty on Lummi island when she was married to Mr. Austin.  Her father, Albert Sherwood, was engaged in the milling business in New Brunswick.  To Mr. and Mrs. Austin have been born two children, Ely Winslow and Arthur Miles.  Mr. Austin has long taken a good citizen's interest in the public affairs of his locality and is now serving as a justice of the peace, and is also a notary public.  he rendered efficient service as treasurer.  Fraternally he has been a member of Bellingham Lodge No. 56, Knights of Pythias, for eighteen years.  He is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and the Whatcom County Poultry Association.  mr. Austin is making plans to engage more extensively in the chicken business.  He relates many interesting facts concerning early conditions in this locality when he first came here.  Wild animals and fowls were numerous, ducks, brant and geese especially being found all over Lummi island, while deer were common.  He and his brother owned the first camera on the island, about 1899, and he has in his possession many valuable and interesting pictures, especially of those early days.  He is a man of pleasant and kindly address, friendly and genial, and among his fellow citizens he is accorded the highest measure of confidence and good will.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 252-253 


Axling, Conrad R.

    Competition in the automobile trade is exceedingly keen, but possessing an alert mind and much force of character, Conrad R. Axling is well able to cope with modern commercial conditions.  He is typically western and is coming rapidly to the fore in automotive circles of Lynden.  A native of South Dakota, he was born May 21, 1880, and was a boy of nine when his parents, Peter and Sophia (Wall) Axling, migrated to the state of Washington.  They settled on a ranch five miles northwest of Lynden and there spent the remainder of their lives.  The father passed away in February, 1923, and the mother's demise occurred in 1915.

    Conrad R. Axling attended the common schools of the locality and completed his studies in the high school at Bellingham.  He assisted his father in performing the arduous work of the farm and devoted his attention to agricultural pursuits until 1912.  He then became manager of the Lynden Cooperative Company and afterward resumed his activities as a ranchman.  He continued to cultivate the soil until 1922, bringing his land to a high state of fertility, and then became an employe of the Smith Motor Company of Bellingham.  He remained with that firm until 1925, when he returned to Lynden, and now has the local agency for the Chevrolet and Buick cars.  He is a good salesman and nothing escapes him concerning the automobile trade.  He is a tireless worker and under his wise management the business is making rapid strides.

    In 1905 Mr. Axling married Miss Edna Baldwin, of Michigan, and they have two children: Clifton C., who is employed by the Standard Oil Company; and Glenn D., a high school pupil.  Mr. Axling is identified with the Knights of Pythias and the Woodman of the World, while his political views are in accord with the tenets of the democratic party.  He was a member of the school board for fifteen years and has also filled township offices.  He is a man of high character and progressive spirit, endowed with all the qualities of the useful and desirable citizen, and his fellow townsmen are thoroughly appreciative of his worth.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 181


Axtell, William Henry, M.D.
Among the successful physicians of Whatcom county is Dr. William Henry Axtell, who is now practicing in the county seat. He was born April 18, 1863, in Tipton, Indiana. His father, Henry Axtell, was a native of Pennsylvania. His ancestors located in the United States when this country was numbered among the colonial possessions of England. Representatives of the name joined the American army at the time of the Revolutionary war and fought for the independence of the colonies. The father of our subject was a farmer by occupation and carried on agricultural pursuits until the outbreak of the Civil war, when he offered his services to the government, enlisting in the Union army. He died while in the service, on the 26th of February, 1863. His brother, William, and his brother-in-law, Jesse Whistler, were killed in the battle of Memphis, near Baton Rouge, while he himself died at Young's Point, Louisiana. The mother bore the maiden name of Harriet Ann Lewis, and was born in Indiana. She, too, came of Revolutionary stock and was of English descent. She still survives her husband, and is now living at the old home in Tipton, Indiana. In the family were two sons, one of whom, Marion Vickery Axtell, is a contractor of Tipton.
Dr. Axtell, of Whatcom, obtained his education in the public schools and was graduated from DePauw University, then known as Asbury University, of Greencastle, Indiana. He completed his course in 1889 and won the degrees of Bachelor of Philosophy and Master of Arts. Long prior to this time, however, he entered upon his business career. When only eleven years of age he left the public schools and went to work in a stave factory, driving a team and doing railroad work in that connection. In 1883 he joined his brother and purchased the business of the Tipton Transfer Company, changing the name to the Axtell Brothers' bus and dray line. In this way the Doctor earned enough to pay his college expenses. He was also express and transfer agent for the United States Express Company. After acquiring a good literary education to serve as the foundation upon which to rear the superstructure of his professional learning, he entered the Medical College of Ohio, at Cincinnati, where he remained from 1889 until the time of his graduation in April, 1891, with the degree of M. D.
Dr. Axtell located at once in Tipton, Indiana, where he began practice as a member of the firm of Newcomer, Dickey & Axtell. This relation was maintained until 1894, when he came to Whatcom, having since made his home in this city. He is a member of the American Medical Association and was one of the organizers of the Whatcom County Medical Society, of which he served as the president for one year. He also belongs to the Washington State Medical Association, and is interested in whatever tends to bring to man the key to that complex mystery which we call life. His reading has covered a wide scope and his investigations in his line have made him a particularly capable physician. He is now medical examiner for a number of fraternal organizations and for several life insurance companies, including the Massachusetts Mutual, the Prudential, the Connecticut Mutual, the Aetna, the National Life, the Bankers' Life, the State Life, the Pacific Mutual and the Provident Life Insurance Company. He is likewise surgeon for the Northern Railway & Improvement Company and Northern Pacific Railway and for other corporations, and in addition to all these he has an extensive private practice.
On the 11th of June, 1891, Dr. Axtell wedded Miss Frances Sevilla Cleveland, of Sterling, Illinois, a daughter of William A. Cleveland, a farmer and stock-raiser of that state. This marriage has been blessed with two daughters, Ruth and Helen Frances. The father exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the Republican party, and served as city health officer of Tipton for three years. He has, however, never been an office-seeker nor sought reward for his party fealty. He belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church, and is an enthusiastic worker in behalf of any movement for the benefit of his community. His time and attention are naturally most largely given to his professional duties, and therein he shows himself ably qualified to perform the arduous task which continually confronts the physician in his attempt to alleviate human suffering and prolong life. He has, moreover, a genial, kindly nature which is manifested in his ready and helpful sympathy.
A History of the Puget Sound Country Volume 1, Col. William F. Prosser, pub. 1903

Axling, John

    Mr. Axling is a native of Sweden, born February 3, 1868, and is a son of Peter and Sophia (Wall) Axling, also natives of Sweden. They came to the United States in 1869, stopping in New York, where the father was employed as a blacksmith for three years. In 1872 they went to South Dakota and took up a homestead in Union county, of which locality they were pioneers. They lived there until 1889, when they came to Lynden, Whatcom county, and bought one hundred and sixty acres in Delta township, known as the Jim Bertrand homestead. Twenty acres of the land was cleared and from the fact that this was the largest clearing in that entire neighborhood at that time, it was called "Bertrand Prairie." Here the father and his sons went to work at the tremendous task of clearing more land, clearing about two-thirds of the tract, and here the parents spent the remainder of their lives, the father dying February 23, 1923, and the mother February 4, 1915. To this worthy couple were born seven children, John, Philip, Mrs. Lydia Blomquist, Mrs. Mary Erickson, Conrad R., Joseph, who lives in Oregon, and Mrs. Edith Axlund.

    John Axling received his education in the public schools of South Dakota and remained at home assisting in the development and cultivation of the home farm. He is now the owner of sixty-one acres of good land, forty-five acres in cultivation. He milks fourteen cows, all good grade Guernseys, and keeps about six hundred laying hens. The cultivated land is devoted mainly to hay, grain and pasture, and, under his able management, yields bounteous crops from year to year. The farm is well improved in every respect and Mr. Axling has gained a well deserved reputation as a capable, up-to-date farmer. He is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and the Whatcom County Poultry Association, in both of which he is a stockholder. He has taken a deep interest in local public affairs and has served as a member of the Delta school board for sixteen years, in which position he has rendered effective service for education. In 1912 he was elected township clerk and has served in that office continuously to the present time. He has also served as assessor during that same period. He has been an earnest advocate of good roads and has built a number of the highways in his district of Delta township. He has been a witness of and participant in the wonderful transformation which has taken place and is deservedly proud of the part which he has taken in the development of the locality.

    Mr. Axling has twice been married, first in March, 1908, to Miss Viola Johnson, to which union on March 30, 1909, was born a son, Hilmer L., now a student in the Lynden high school. At the recent Northwest Washington fair he was high point man in cattle judging having judged four different breeds of cows. He also went as a member of a stock judging team to the State Agricultural College, at Pullman. Mrs. Axling died April 5, 1909, only a few days after the birth of her son, and in August, 1910, Mr. Axling was married to Miss Clara Peterson, who was born in Kansas, a daughter of P. A. and Christina (Jonson) Peterson. Her parents, natives of Sweden, came to the United States in 1869 and located in Brooklyn, New York, where they remained a year. In 1870 they went to Kansas, settling in McPherson county, where the father took up a homestead and timber claim, and also bought a tract of railroad land, being a pioneer in that locality. He applied himself closely and successfully to the operation of that land, and lived there until his death, January 8, 1913. His wife had passed away a number of years previously, on September 30, 1891. They were the parents of six children: Mrs. Mary Swelander, Mrs. Esther Hegberg, Mrs. Clara Axling, Mrs. Margaret Lindgren, and two who died in infancy. Mr Axling is a public-spirited citizen and withholds his cooperation from no movement which is intended to promote improvement in the community or better the public welfare. His methods have ever been progressive and he does not hesitate to adopt new ideas which he is convinced will be of practical value in his work. Owing to his close application to his business, his honorable methods and his splendid personality, he has attained a high place in the esteem and regard of his fellow citizens throughout his section of the county.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 801-802


Axton, Cricket Cynthia

    Cricket Cynthia Axton was born on the present farmstead and received her education in the schools of this locality.  On October 19, 1919, she became the wife of Albert S. Williams, who was born in Kirkland, King county, Washington, a son of Charles and Ida (Powell) Williams, the former a native of Indiana and the latter of Kansas.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 294-297

(Note: Cricket Cynthia Axton is the daughter of Milton C. and Emma (Frink) Axton.)


Axton, Luther Calvin

    Mr. Axton was born in Kentucky in 1834 and was reared and educated in that state.  On attaining mature years he moved to Missouri and eventually to Kansas.  There he bought a farm, which he operated for a number of years, and he was also engaged in the hotel business.  He served as a justice of the peace and was familiarly known as "Squire" Axton.  In 1883 he came to Whatcom county, locating first in Bellingham, where, being a carpenter and contractor, he erected a number of the early buildings during the two years that he lived there.  Among these was the home of the Reveille, the first newspaper in that place, which was owned by William D. Jenkins and Thomas Nicklin, both of whom were his sons-in-law.

    In 1885 Mr. Axton took up a homestead at Ten Mile, of which locality he was one of the first settlers, and here he at once entered upon the task of clearing the land and developing a permanent home.  The tract was covered with the primeval forest and wild game was numerous all through that section.  The only entrance was over the old Telegraph road, from which highway he built a private road to his land, about thirty acres of which he cleared and put under the plow.  He devoted himself indefatigably to his farm and before his death, which occurred at his home in 1909, he had the satisfaction of seeing the fruition of his plans and efforts, his farm being numbered among the best in this section of the county.

    Luther C. Axton was married to Miss Cynthia Ann Wheeler, a native of Indiana, in which state their marriage was celebrated, and her death occurred in 1918.  They were the parents of five children: Elvira, who was the wife of William D. Jenkins, is deceased; Milton C., who was interested in logging and in sawmills here and in Canada, was a native of Indiana, and he died in 1923.  Flora is the wife of Thomas Nicklin.  Two children died in early life, before the family came to Whatcom county.  Mr. Axton was a veteran of the Civil war and was a charter member of J. D. Stedman Post, Grand Army of the Republic, at Bellingham.  he was also a charter member of Bellingham Lodge No. 44, Free and Accepted Masons.  his war record was an honorable one, covering a period of three and a half years, a part of which time was spent in secret service.  Mr. Axton took an active interest in local public affairs, holding a number of township offices in the early days, and was a delegate to many conventions of the republican party, which he stanchly supported throughout his life.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 294


Axton, Milton C.

    Milton C. Axton was about twenty years of age when he came to Whatcom county, having been reared and educated in Kansas.  He remained on his father's farm until his marriage, though he never ceased calling that place home.  He was a man of splendid character and was a charter member of the Bellingham lodge of the Knights of Pythias.  He was married in Kansas to Miss Emma Frink, who was born and reared in Illinois, and her death occurred in 1893.  They were the parents of a daughter, Cricket Cynthia, who became the wife of Albert S. Williams; and they also adopted a boy, Jack King, a grandson of William D. Jenkins.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 294


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