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Whatcom County
Washington
Genealogy and History


Biographies

 

Di-Do

 


Dickinson, Merville C.
Perhaps no one business enterprise or industry indicates more clearly the commercial and social status of a town than its hotels. The wide-awake, enterprising villages and cities must have pleasant accommodations for visitors and traveling men, and the foreign public judges of a community by the entertainment afforded to the strangers. In this regard Hotel Byron, of which Mr. Dickinson is manager and one of the proprietors, is an index of the character and advantages of Whatcom, for the hostelry will rank favorably with those of many a larger place, and its genial proprietors neglect nothing that can add to the comfort of his guests.
Mr. Dickinson was born on the 15th of October, 1870, in Rose, New York. His father, Robert Darwin Dickinson, was a native of the Empire state and was of English descent, but the family was founded in America in colonial days, the first representatives of the name in this country having come to the new world as early as 1700. When the country became involved in war with England, there were Dickinsons who joined the continental army and fought for independence. Robert D. Dickinson was engaged in the commission business in New York for many years. He wedded Harriet Ferris, also a native of that state, and who came of good old Revolutionary stock. Her ancestors sought a home in the new world prior to the time that the Dickinsons came. They were of Welsh-Holland origin. The father of our subject died in 1881 and his wife passed away in 1892. They were the parents of three children: H. L., who is engaged in the real estate business in Whatcom; Carrie J., who also resides in this town; and Merville C., whose name introduces this review.
In the public schools of his native state the last named obtained his education, continuing his studies until 1885. He afterward engaged in teaching for one year in Rose, New York, and in May, 1887, he arrived in the northwest, making his way to the Wood River valley in Idaho. For three years he was employed as a salesman in a general mercantile store, and in the year 1890 came to Washington, settling in Fairhaven, where he turned his attention to the general brokerage business. In June, 1902, he joined Mr. Wright and purchased the Byron Hotel of Whatcom. Mr. Dickinson is the secretary and manager of the company, while Mr. Wright is its president. This is the most complete and modern hotel north of Seattle. Its present proprietors have practically entirely rebuilt the place, and it is tastefully furnished and supplied with all modern equipments for carrying on the business and promoting the comfort of their guests.
Mr. Dickinson is a stanch Republican in politics, and takes an active part in promoting the growth and insuring the success of the party. He never fails to attend the county conventions, having always been a delegate since the time he became a voter. He cast his first vote in Fairhaven, and the same year was sent as a delegate to the county convention. He has assisted materially in promoting many industrial enterprises in Whatcom and in this section of the country, and is now interested in a number of business affairs of importance bearing on the industrial and commercial development of the northwest. Fraternally he is equally prominent and popular and is now connected with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, in which he is serving as secretary. He also belongs to the Hoo Hoos and to the Cougar Club. Mr. Dickinson is a young man possessed of the enterprising, progressive spirit so characteristic of the west, and his labors have already made him an important factor in Whatcom and have brought him a creditable degree of success.
A History of the Puget Sound Country Vol. 1, Col. William F. Prosser, Pub. 1903

Dickson, E. S.

    For many years E. S. Dickson was a resident of Whatcom county, and he was numbered among the active and enterprising farmers of his community. His life was one of signal usefulness and honor and his memory linked the pioneer epoch, with its primitive surroundings, with this later era of prosperity and achievement. He proved himself a man of forceful personality, sound convictions and mature business judgment, and the success which crowned his efforts was well merited. Mr. Dickson was a native of the state of Tennessee, born on the 22d of July, 1849, and was a son of Hiram and Nancy (Smith) Dickson, both of whom were also natives of Tennessee. The family moved to Missouri in 1855 as pioneers and the father bought nine hundred acres of land, to the improvement and cultivation of which he devoted the remainder of his life, his death occurring there about 1912. He long survived his wife, whose death occurred in 1862. They were the parents of six children. The subject's paternal great-grandfather, Douglas Dickson, came to this country from Scotland about 1800, settling first in North Carolina, where he later went to Tennessee and established a permanent home. E. S. Dickson secured his education in the district schools of Missouri, and he remained under the paternal roof until 1878, when he came to Walla Walla, Washington, by emigrant train. He homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land, to the improvement and cultivation of which he applied himself until 1897, when he sold his farm and went to Skagit county, where he operated rented land for about two years. He then came to Whatcom county and bought forty acres of land in Delta township, about four miles west of Lynden. The land, which at that time was practically covered with timber and brush, is now nearly all cleared and under a high state of cultivation, the soil being well adapted to the raising of hay and grain. In 1905 Mr. Dickson built a substantial and commodious barn and in 1910 a comfortable and attractive home, the farm, with its improvements, now being a valuable and desirable property. Mr. Dickson gave considerable attention to dairying, keeping eight good milk cows, and in the management of the ranch he exercised splendid judgment and discrimination.

    Mr. Dickson was married October 21, 1883, to Miss Mary Brown, who was born in Missouri, a daughter of Napoleon and Willy (Selene) Brown, both of whom were natives and lifelong residents of Missouri, where they owned a five hundred acre farm. They were the parents of three children. Mrs. Dickson's paternal grandfather, Arabia Brown, came to this country from Ireland in an early day, settling first in Tennessee but later going to Missouri. He was a highly educated man and was successful in his business affairs, amassing a considerable fortune. Her maternal grandfather, Martin Selene, was a native of Germany. He came to the United States about 1800 and located in New Orleans, where he became a successful merchant. His death occurred there in 1835. Mrs. Dickson is well educated, having been graduated from the Cape Girardeau Normal School, Missouri, in 1883, after which she taught school for ten years in Missouri and two terms in Washington. To Mr. and Mrs. Dickson were born six children, namely: Carroll R., May Lee, Mrs. Dora Meeker, Osa, deceased, Clarence and Max. The last named, who lives in Seattle, is a veteran of the World war, having served overseas for one year as a member of the Aviation Corps.

    As a man of ability, sturdy integrity and usefulness, and as a citizen representative of the utmost loyalty Mr. Dickson well merited the consideration of his fellowmen, and his life record is deserving of a place in this publication, which mentions those who have sustained the civic and material prosperity of Whatcom county. He was kindly and generous in his attitude toward all benevolent objects, while his genial and friendly manner commended him to the good favor of all with whom he came into contact.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 332-333


Diehl, Hugh W.

    No man occupies a more enviable position in commercial circles of Bellingham than does Hugh W. Diehl, who has achieved notable success as a dealer in automobiles and for many years has devoted his attention to this line of business. He was born at Mattoon, Illinois, in 1880 and was but ten years of age when his parents, John and Minnie Diehl, came with their family to Bellingham. His father was an expert carpenter and his work was of much value in connection with the upbuilding of the town, which was then a small settlement.

    Following his graduation from the Bellingham high school Hugh W. Diehl entered the bicycle business, with which he was connected for ten years. After the decline of that industry he turned to the automobile business and was the first exclusive Ford dealer in the city, while he now enjoys the distinction of being the pioneer in this line in the state. In 1909 he organized the Diehl Motor Company in association with Charles Simpson, and this relationship was continued until 1922. Mr. Diehl then purchased the interest of his partner and has since controlled the business, filling the office of president. Its first home was on Holly street and larger quarters were later secured at No. 206 Prospect street. In 1914 the business was moved to its present location at the corner of Dock and Champion streets. The building is one hundred and ten by one hundred and twenty-six feet in dimensions and two stories in height. The shop contains the most modern equipment and the firm employs fifty men, eighteen of whom are skilled mechanics. The company has the local agency for the Lincoln and Ford cars and sells from five to seven hundred machines per year. Mr. Diehl is an aggressive business man, endowed with exceptional ability, and has perfected one of the largest organizations of the kind in this part of the country. He has a highly specialized knowledge of the automotive trade and has founded his success on concentrated effort and honorable business methods.

    In 1910 Mr. Diehl married Miss Elizabeth Sowders, a daughter of Lee Sowders, one of the early settlers and building contractors of Bellingham. The children of this union are Robert and Dorothy, aged respectively twelve and nine years. Mr. Diehl belongs to the Rotary and Country Clubs and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, and is a republican in his political views. He has aided in pushing forward the wheels of progress in Bellingham and the welfare and advancement of his city is a matter in which he takes much personal pride. He has a wide acquaintance in the county and his genial personality and sterling worth have drawn to him an extensive circle of steadfast friends.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 131


Dinkel, J. A.

    One of the leading dairy and poultry farmers of Whatcom county is J. A. Dinkel, the owner of a fine, well improved farm in Ten Mile township. His has been an eminently active and useful life, but the limited space at the disposal of the biographer forbids more that a brief mention of the leading events in his career. He is a man of marked influence in local public affairs and is thoroughly in sympathy with all movements for the improvement or advancement of the community, where he has always been regarded a a man of sterling honor and worth.

    Mr. Dinkel was born in Germany and is a son of John and Magdalena (Klenk) Dinkel, farming folk, who never left their native land. Our subject secured a good education in the public schools of his native country and remained there until he was fifteen years of age, when he immigrated to the United States, landing at New York city. He then went to Trenton, New Jersey, to visit relatives, and for two years was employed in rolling mills there, after which he went to the woods of Michigan, where he was engaged in lumbering for five years. At the end of that time he came to California, locating first in San Francisco and later in the Sacramento valley, where for six months he was employed at various occupations. During the ensuing fifteen years he was engaged in logging in Sierra county, California, and in 1889 he came to Whatcom county, locating on a homestead south of Samish lake. The land was very heavily timbered, and he remained there for three years, clearing a couple of acres, and then returned to California, remaining there until his marriage in 1896.

    On his return to Whatcom county Mr. Dinkel located on his present farm of forty acres in Ten Mile township, where he has since remained. His land was a veritable wilderness when he bought it, no attempt at clearing it ever having been made, but he went to work energetically and in the course of time developed a good and productive farm, on which he has made many permanent and substantial improvements. When he came here the only highway to his place was a mere trail and he was compelled to construct a road from the Smith road to his land. Wild animals were numerous and on more than one occasion he drove bears and deer from his garden. He has about twenty acres of land cleared and has erected a nice set of farm buildings. During his first years here he had a rather hard time of it, his only income being derived from outside work as a woodcutter. He is devoting himself chiefly to the dairy business, having ten good grade cows, and he raises sufficient grain, hay and other feed, as well as corn for ensilage. He also has a nice run of laying hens.

    In 1896 Mr. Dinkel was married to Miss Alice V. Ball, who was born and reared in Sierra county, California, a daughter of William V. and Maressa I. (Vaughn) Ball, both of whom were natives of Tennessee, from which state Mr. Ball went to California during the historic gold rush of 1849. To Mr. and Mrs. Dinkel have been born five children, namely: Maressa I., who married Silas F. Murray and lives east of the mountains, and they have two children; Florence E., who married Charles Zipser, of Berkeley, California, and is the mother of one child; one who died when nine days old; Grace M., who is teaching school near Fort Klamath, Oregon; and Virginia, who is in high school. The three eldest daughters are all graduates of the State Normal School at Bellingham.

    Mr. Dinkel is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and the Whatcom County Poultry Association, as well as of the Grange, while fraternally he is a charter member of Wahl Camp, Modern Woodmen of America. He has long taken an active and interested part in local public affairs, having in the early days, under the old law, served for two years as road supervisor. He has served for seven years as a member of the board of supervisors, and he also served for eleven years as a member of the Harmony school board, being recently elected for another term. He is a man of generous and kindly impulses, giving liberally to worthy benevolent objects, while in all his social relations he is genial and friendly, and he richly merits the high place which he holds in the confidence and respect of the entire community.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 33-34


Doan, Thornton F.

    No review of the development of Whatcom county and of this section of the great state of Washington in general would be complete lacking some reference to the distinctive part taken in that development by Thornton F. Doan, Bellingham architect. Mr. Doan has been a practicing architect in Bellingham for more than twenty-five years, and the impress of his activities is everywhere visible in the works that properly may be classed under the head of modern improvements, not only in that city but throughout this section of Washington generally. His craftsmanship has been particularly evident in the architecture of educational institutions throughout this region since the days not so long ago when the schools were lifted from "the little red school house" stage of their being to the present admirably established standing as fitting houses for the education of the youth, for his books reveal that he has been the architect for no fewer than fifty-six modern school buildings in the state of Washington. He also was the architect for the new Skagit county court house, a piece of monumental architecture of which the people of that flourishing county are quite proud. Another distinctive piece of architecture designed by Mr. Doan was the somewhat notable club house of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks at Anacortes, a building which is recognized as the finest Elks club building in any city of six thousand population in the United States. Incidentally, it also may be said that the Anacortes lodge of the Elks order has the largest enrollment of any town of the size in the country. The spacious dormitory building of the State Normal School at Bellingham is another example of Mr. Doan's craftsmanship which bears something of a monumental character, and there are many other buildings, public, commercial, industrial and residential, which unmistakably manifest the painstaking care which he has taken to reflect honor upon his profession, on of the most recent of these outstanding works being the Pacific College dormitory building at Forest Grove, Oregon, which he designed in 1924.

    Thornton F. Doan was born in the interesting old village of Windfall in Tipton county, Indiana, November 25, 1866, and is a son of John and Elizabeth (Perry) Doan, both of whom were born in Kentucky, members of pioneer families in the Blue Grass state and both now deceased. They became residents of Indiana in 1857. An earnest and an apt student, Mr. Doan early became a school teacher and for thirteen years followed that profession. He received his pedagogical degree from the Arkansas State Normal School at Mount Nebo, majoring in mathematics, and from 1892-95 served by appointment as principal of the high school in De Valls Bluff, Prairie county, Arkansas. During this period of his professional service in the school room Mr. Doan was devoting his vacations and other leisure time to the study of the art and science of architecture, and in 1900, attracted to the promising field opening out for that profession in this section of the great northwest country, he came to Washington and became a resident of Bellingham, which ever since has been his home. For something more than three years after taking up his residence here Mr. Doan served as an engineering draftsman and designer in the office of J. J. Donovan and then opened an office of his own. He has since been carrying on his business independently, being one of the best known architects in the state, and he is now president of the Washington State Society of Architects.

    On August 22, 1894, at Swifton, Arkansas, Mr. Doan was united in marriage to Miss Lillian Terry, who was born in that state, a daughter of Thomas and Dilia Terry. To their union two sons were born, Lyman and Lester, the latter of whom was born in 1901, and died in 1910. Lyman Doan, born in 1911, is still pursuing his studies. Mr. and Mrs. Doan are members of the Garden Street Methodist Episcopal church and have ever taken an interested and helpful part in the general good works and social and cultural activities of their home town and of the community at large. Mr. Doan has been a member of the Bellingham Chamber of Commerce since 1902 and is a charter member of the locally influential Rotary Club with a record of not having missed a meeting of that club since Washington's birthday in 1919. He is also affiliated with the local lodges of the Knights of Pythias and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 159-160


Dodd, Theo

    Theo Dodd, head of the Dodd Lumber & Shingle Company of Bellingham, proprietors of a fine mill plant at Silver Beach, Lake Whatcom, at the junction of the railways, is one of the best known and most energetic young manufacturers in this section of the state. He is a native of the Dominion of Canada but has been a resident of Washington since the days of his boyhood and has been established in business at Bellingham long enough to be included among the prominent business men of that city. Mr. Dodd was born at Nanaimo, British Columbia, in 1894 and is a son of John and Mary Louise (Mullick) Dodd, both natives of England, who came into Washington from British Columbia in 1908, locating at Seattle, whence a year later they came into Whatcom county, establishing their home at Blaine, where Mrs. Dodd died in 1911. John Dodd, a machinist of many years' experience, is now living in California.

    Theo Dodd was about fifteen years of age when he came to this country with his parents in 1909. After further schooling at Blaine he went to Vancouver and there, during the years 1911-13, pursued a course in civil engineering. Upon his return to Blaine he was employed in the shingle mill there and became a thoroughly skilled craftsman in that line, continuing thus engaged at Blaine until 1917, when he transferred his connection to the shingle mill at Wickersham, going into the office of the plant there as bookkeeper. In the next year he was made manager of the mill and after a year of executive and administrative experience there came to Bellingham in 1919, organized the Dodd Lumber & Shingle Company and bought the plant of the Upright Shingle Company, a concern that was established here in 1902, the year before Bellingham adopted its present corporation name. Upon taking over this old established mill Mr. Dodd entered upon a course of reconstruction and rehabilitation and has succeeded in bringing the plant up to the highest standard of modern requirement, the mill now being up-to-date in every respect. This company has a three hundred foot frontage on Silver Beach, at the junction of the three railways, and is admirably situated. The plant operates full time, running three shifts, and employs around fifty persons. A specialty is made of fancy and dimension shingles, the latter being cut in standard sizes, and the company's products enter the market from Texas to Baltimore, the quality both of material and workmanship recommending them highly to the trade.

    In 1915, at Blaine, Mr. Dodd was united in marriage to Miss Runie Barderson of that place, and they have three children: Theo, Jr., Larus and Betty. Mr. and Mrs. Dodd are republicans and take a proper interest in the general civic and social affairs of the community. Mr. Dodd is a member of the local lodge of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 937


Dodson, L. T.

    L. T. Dodson, one of the venerable citizens of Bellingham, has lived in the Pacific northwest for more than a half century, at all times keeping pace with the development and progress of the region, and through his well directed labors along mercantile lines he acquired a competence which now enables him to live retired in Bellingham, which numbers him among its honored pioneers. A native of Missouri, he was born in 1849 and his parents were George R. and Louisa (Dameron) Dodson, the former a native of Kentucky and the latter of North Carolina. They migrated from the south to the middle west and the father was one of the early settlers of Missouri, in which he was engaged in farming for many years.

    The public schools of his native state afforded L. T. Dodson his educational advantages and his youth was devoted to agricultural pursuits. In 1874 he came to the Pacific coast and for seven years was engaged in the cattle business in Oregon. On the expiration of that period he opened a store in Heppner, Oregon, of which he was the proprietor for seven years, and then came to Washington. He was one of the pioneer merchants of Fairhaven, now a part of Bellingham, and engaged in the clothing business in association with M. C. McDougal. In 1893 they merged their interests with those of George E. Gage, a well known merchant of Sehome, and the business was then incorporated as the McDougal-Gage Company. In 1900 Mr. Gage acquired the stock of the senior member of the firm, which then became the Gage-Dodson Company, with L. T. Dodson as president and George E. Gage as secretary-treasurer. In 1906 they moved to a better location, opening an attractive store at No. 203 West Holly street, and successfully conducted the business for many years, dealing exclusively in men's furnishings. Mr. Dodson continued as the executive head of the firm until January, 1924, when the business was reorganized as the Gage-Dodson Clothing Company, Inc., with George Dodson as president, Victor Roth, vice president, Harley Dodson, treasurer, and Floyd Shannenberger, secretary. The firm is one of the oldest in the city and has always borne an unassailable reputation for business enterprise and reliability. The business has met the constantly changing conditions of the commercial world, keeping well abreast of the times, and its officers have always been men of ability and high standing.

    In 1878 Mr. Dodson married Miss Ella Miner, a daughter of Ellis Miner, an Oregon pioneer, who came to the Pacific coast by the overland route in 1865. To this union were born three children: George, head of the Gage-Dodson Clothing Company; Ava, the wife of Dr. W. D. Stevenson, a prominent physician of Seattle; and Harley, also an officer in the business with which his father was so long associated. Mr. Dodson owes allegiance to no party and invariably votes for the man whom he considers the best fitted for the office to which he aspires. Measured by the standard of usefulness, his life has been a very successful one, and his friends are legion.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 258-259


Dolan, John H.

    Business enterprise in Bellingham finds a worthy representative in John H. Dolan, the owner of a first class cafe and one of the city's self-made men. A son of James and Marie Dolan, he was born January 7, 1893, and is a native of Ludington, Michigan. His father died in that state and in 1902 the mother came to Fairhaven, now known as Bellingham. The subject of this sketch was then a boy of nine, and his education was acquired in the local schools. His first commercial venture was in the meat business, with which he was connected for four years, and in 1913 he opened a restaurant in the city. Later he engaged in this business in other parts of Washington, also going to California, and in 1920 returned to Bellingham. He has since been the proprietor of Dolan's Cafe, which is situated at No. 1207 Cornwall avenue and which seats sixty-five persons. He is skilled in the culinary art, and the fine dinners for which the restaurant is noted are prepared by his own hands. He is also an astute business man and through good management and high class service is rapidly building up a large and desirable clientele.

    On November 2, 1916, Mr. Dolan was united in marriage to Miss Esther Cole, of Centralia, Washington, and they have two sons: John H., Jr., and Jerome Walter. Mr. Doland is a Mason and has taken the Fifteenth degree in the Scottish Rite. He is also connected with the Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Benevolent Order of Elks. He is a tireless worker and a young man of progressive spirit and fine character, known to his many friends as "Jack."

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 411


Dolstad, Paul O.

    One branch of the government service about which little is known to the general public but whose work is of great importance is that of border customs inspectors. There are many of these stations scattered along the boundary lines between this country and our northern and southern neighbors, and among the several in Whatcom county is the Lynden customs office, in charge of Paul O. Dolstad, who, because of his long and creditable record, enjoys the fullest measure of confidence on the part of his superior officers and is well known in this community as a fearless and honest official. Mr. Dolstad was born in La Crosse, Wisconsin, on the 10th of June, 1886, and is a son of O. and Louisa Dolstad, both natives of Norway. They came to the United States about 1883, locating in Wisconsin. There the father established a sash and door factory, which he operated until 1898, when he came to Tacoma, Washington. In the following year he located in Seattle, where he and his wife now reside. They became the parents of nine children, all of whom are living.

    Paul O. Dolstad received his education in the public schools of La Crosse, Wisconsin, and Seattle, Washington. He then went to work as a shingle weaver around Seattle, Kent and other places, after which for about a year he worked on coastwise steamers, running to Alaska. At the end of that period he entered the navy department as a civil employe, serving at Port Townsend under Lieutenant Wyckoff from September 1, 1906, to March 16, 1908, being in charge of the hydrographic department. He has continued in the government service continually since, serving in the customs department. He was first sent to the customs office at Laurier, Washington, where he remained for fourteen months, being stationed at various places along the northeastern Washington border until May, 1909, when he went to Seattle, and on September 5, 1909, he was sent to Blaine. He was at the latter place until March 20, 1914, when he went to Sumas, and on December 21, 1920, he was ordered to the station at Lynden, where he has served to the present time.

    This is one of the old stations of Whatcom county, having been established in an early day. J. R. Vail was in charge of the office in 1909, and in 1912 the station was abolished, two motorcycle patrolmen being appointed to watch the border, one being stationed at Blaine and the other at Sumas. Their duties were not especially onerous, as in those days not over one hundred and fifty vehicles crossed the border in a year. However, on December 21, 1920, the station was reestablished, with Mr. Dolstad in charge, and at first he was alone, excepting for his wife, who was then officially appointed an inspector. In 1921 he was given an assistant, Mr. Rae, and Mrs. Dolstad has also been a regularly appointed inspector during the past three years. The business of the station is primarily that of clearing vehicles going to and coming from Canada, in addition to which they also patrol the road and border, watching for smugglers of dope, liquors and other goods subject to duty or prohibited. In his patrol work Mr. Dolstad uses an automobile. An idea of the business of the office may be gained from the following figures, showing the number of vehicles from this station for the years ending June 30: 1921, one thousand five hundred; 1922, six thousand twenty; 1923 sixteen thousand thirty-one; 1924, thirteen thousand five hundred and twenty-nine; 1925, fourteen thousand three hundred and eighty-three. The number of people passing through the station for the year ending June 30, 1925, was forty-one thousand four hundred sixty-seven. The import collections are very light, but penalties imposed for violations of the law amount to a considerable sum. It is thought that this station will eventually be moved to the border on the Guide Meridian road.

    On July 10, 1918, Mr. Dolstad was married to Miss Blanch E. Goodrick, who was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a daughter of Harry M. and Annie M. Goodrick, the former of whom is deceased, while the mother is now living in Bellingham. To Mr. and Mrs. Dolstad have been born two children, Harriet Pauline and Harold Clark. Mr. Dolstad has been a member of the Knights of Pythias since 1910, when he joined the lodge at Blaine. Later he belonged to the order at Sumas but is now affiliated with the lodge at Lynden. During the World war Mr. Dolstad was detailed on special government service, being connected with the investigation of draft evaders. He owns the customs office, which he rents to the government, and also owns his home, which adjoins the office. Mrs. Dolstad, who has proven an efficient and capable customs officer, first came to Whatcom county in January, 1898, locating at Bellingham, where her father had a lumber mill at Lake Whatcom, which he operated up to the time of his death in 1924. He also operated the Whatcom Saw Works at Bellingham. Mrs. Dolstad received her elementary education in the public schools, was a graduate of the State Normal School at Bellingham and then attended the University of Washington, after which she taught school for several years in this county, including two years at Northwood and three years in Bellingham. While closely devoted to his official duties, Mr. Dolstad is at the same time interested in the affairs of the community in which he lives and supports in every possible way the various measures which are advanced for the improvement of the public welfare. Genial and friendly in his social relations, he enjoys a wide acquaintance, and he holds to a marked degree the respect and confidence of the entire community in which he lives.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 79-80


Donovan, John Joseph
Patrick Donovan and Julia O'Sullivan were both born in Ireland and came to America when young. They settled in New Hampshire, where they were married and spent their lives in useful activity. Mr. Donovan was foreman on a railroad in New Hampshire and lived to the age of seventy-three years, while his wife died when forty-two. Of their children, Daniel P. is with the Northwestern Life Insurance Company at Boston, while the daughters, Kate E., Margaret and Julia, are living in the New England states.
John Joseph Donovan was born to these parents at Rumney, New Hampshire, September 8, 1858. He enjoyed an elementary training in the common schools of the state and in 1877 graduated from the State Normal School, after which he taught in the public schools of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. But the latter occupation was only a means to an end, and we soon find him a student in the polytechnic school at Worcester, Massachusetts, where he graduated in the civil engineering department in 1882, valedictorian of a class of thirty-one. In July of the same year he came west and obtained employment with the Northern Pacific Railroad, construction work on which was then going on in Montana. His advancement was rapid; he began as a rodman, then leveler, and in six months was made assistant engineer. J. Q. Barlow, a classmate of Mr. Donovan, was assistant engineer in charge of adjacent work. In September, 1883, occurred the notable event of the connection of the main line of the Northern Pacific at Gold Creek, Montana, and in order to be present at the celebration of the driving of the golden spike, Mr. Donovan rode nearly all night. Henry Villard, the president of the Northern Pacific, had gathered a number of prominent men to witness this event, among them being General Grant and William M. Evarts, besides a number of Indian chiefs and several companies of soldiers, altogether a party which filled five long Pullman trains. After the completion of the celebration the trains moved on the Puget Sound, crossing the Snake river of ferry boats at Ainsworth, thence to Portland and around to Tacoma on the line as it now exists. Two months later, having completed the construction work on a number of truss bridges, Mr. Donovan came to Washington and began work on the Cascade division of the Northern Pacific, at a point fifteen miles east of the town of Prosser, whose founder was colonel Prosser, on the Yakima river. He was at work on the division as engineer of track and bridges, locating engineer and engineer-in-charge, until July, 1887. During this time he was also engineer on the Cascade tunnel, and was the engineer in charge of the Cascade division west when, on June 1, 1887, the final connection of the Northern Pacific switchback across the mountains was made, by which it was no longer necessary to send trains around by the way of Portland. The month following this important work he took the first vacation he had allowed himself since his graduation, making a trip to Alaska and then to New England. About this time the Northern Pacific was building a large number of branch lines to the various mining camps of Montana, and in September, 1887, he was given charge of these lines, which were completed in the spring of the following year.
Mr. Donovan then returned east to get his life-companion, and on his return to headquarters at Helena, Montana, was offered a position as chief engineer of several enterprises centering on Bellingham Bay in Washington, upon which he severed his connections with the Northern Pacific Railroad and has since been identified with Bellingham Bay. Up to this time he had his residence in Tacoma, but in December, 1888, he brought his wife to the incipient village of Fairhaven and built a house in what was then almost a wilderness. There was no store of any description or a graded street, and for the commonest necessity they had to take a rowboat for Whatcom, the connecting road through the forest, where Front street now runs, being almost impassable. The companies for which Mr. Donovan was engineer set to work with a vim to develop this new town, building a railroad, opening a coal mine on Skagit river, platting the townsite, constructing wharves and pushing forward other necessary enterprises. Fairhaven was organized as a city in 1890, Mr. Donovan being a member of the first and second city councils; as chairman of the sewerage committee he called in Benezette Williams, the sanitary expert of Chicago, to plan the sewer system. Mr. Donovan was the chief engineer for the Fairhaven Land Company, for the Skagit Coal & Transportation Company, and for the Fairhaven & Southern Railroad. In 1890 the Fairhaven & Southern Railroad made plans for a line from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Portland, Oregon, and east to Spokane, and when eighty miles were complete and in operation and the rest surveyed, J. J. Hill purchased the road for the Great Northern. Mr. Donovan then retired from this enterprise, and after a short trip to the Atlantic coast returned to act as engineer for the tide land appraisers and for two new companies formed by Montana capital in 1891, the Blue Canyon Coal Mining Company and the Bellingham Bay & Eastern Railroad Company, the latter company gradually extending its lines until they reached from Fairhaven, through Whatcom, Lake Whatcom, and thence to Wickersham, where it connected with the Northern Pacific Railway, and in 1902 it was purchased by the last named company. In 1898 Mr. Donovan was made general superintendent and chief engineer of the Bellingham Bay & British Columbia Railroad, and immediately began surveys for the extension of the road eastward; it now has forty miles in operation, fifteen under construction, and nearly three hundred miles under survey. The district about Bellingham Bay is being rapidly developed, and companies under Mr. Donovan's direction are prospecting for coal and other minerals, and also developing a great water power. In addition to these varied and important interests, Mr. Donovan is vice president of the Lake Whatcom Logging company and the Larson Lumber company, and is an officer in the Fairhaven Water Company, the Copper River Oil & Mining Company, and the Bellingham Bay Transportation Company.
Mr. Donovan is not connected with any secret organizations, but is a member of the American Society of Engineers and the Montana Society of Engineers; also of the Cougar Club, the Fairhaven commercial Club, and is president of the Whatcom Commercial Club. He has been actively interested in hospital work, and was on the building committee of the new St. Joseph's Hospital on Elk street. He has been a resident of Whatcom since 1900, and his home is on Garden street. In 1888 he was married to Miss Clara I. Nichols, of Melrose, Massachusetts, and a daughter of J. S. and Elizabeth Nichols, of Haverhill, New Hampshire. Their three children are Helen, aged thirteen; Jack, aged eleven, and Phil, aged nine. Mr. Donovan votes with the Republican party, and is a member of the Catholic church.
A History of the Puget Sound Country Volume 1, Col. William Farrand Prosser, pub. 1903

Donovan, John Joseph

    Mr. Donovan was born at Rumney, New Hampshire, September 8, 1858, and his parents, Patrick and Julia (O'Sullivan) Donovan, were both natives of Ireland.

    After the completion of his high school course John J. Donovan entered the New Hampshire State Normal School, from which he was graduated in 1877, and for three years engaged in teaching in his native state and also in Massachusetts.  He was then able to pursue the study of civil engineering in the Polytechnic Institute at Worcester, Massachusetts, from which he received the B. S. degree in 1882, winning valedictorian honors in a class of thirty-one, and later received the full degree of C. E.  About the time of his graduation the Northern Pacific Railway Company was completing its transcontinental system and applied to the engineering school at Worcester for two men of technical knowledge.  John J. Donovan and J. Q. Barlow were chosen and at once went to Montana.  They were placed in adjacent fields and Mr. Donovan's first duties were those of rodman of a surveying party far in advance of the western terminus.  At the end of a month he was made leveler and six months later was promoted to the position of assistant engineer of construction.  He celebrated his twenty-fifth birthday by attending the impressive ceremony arranged by Henry Villard, president of the Northern Pacific system, in honor of the completion of the road by connection of the eastern and western divisions at Gold Creek, Montana.  Mr. Villard's guests were taken to Gold Creek in five Pullman trains and included such distinguished personages as President Ulysses S. Grant, William M. Evarts, English and German noblemen financially interested in the road, eminent engineers and railway officials, a number of Crow Indian chieftains, cattlemen from neighboring ranches, several companies of United States soldiers and a group of newspaper correspondents.  All night Mr. Donovan rode over lonely trails to reach Gold Creek and he remembers the ceremonies on that occasion as among the most impressive he has ever witnessed.  He then returned to camp and after completing some important bridge truss work was transferred to Washington, where his duties connected him with the construction of the Cascade division of the Northen Pacific as engineer of tracks and bridges, locating engineer and engineer in charge.  His first work was about fifteen miles east of the present town of Prosser and later as one of the engineers of the Cascade tunnel project he ran surveys for that great bore, crossing the mountains alost daily throughout the winter when twenty feet of snow lay upon their summits.  On June 1, 1887, the zigzag track of the switchback, which invariably precedes the tunnel on large projects, was completed, thus enabling the Northern Pacific to carry passengers to the coast over its own lines.  At that time Mr. Donovan had charge of the western half of the Cascade division and a month later, when granted a vacation, he visited Alaska and also his old home in the east.  In September, 1887, he returned to the west to take charge of the construction of a number of lines then being built by the Northern Pacific to connect important mining camps with the main line in Montana.  Upon the completion of that work in 1888 he again went to New England and when he returned to Helena, Montana, in the same year he was accompanied by his bride Clara Isabel Nichols of Melrose, Massachusetts.

    Mr. Donovan's engineering achievements attracted widespread notice and his professional services were sought by important corporations then being established on Bellingham bay.  From Helena he went to Tacoma and in December, 1888, arrived at Fairhaven which later became a part of Bellingham.  The town consisted of a few dwellings standing in the midst of dense forests and the total population of Bellingham bay was not more than five hundred.  The road between Fairhaven and Whatcom was impassable and travel from one point to the other was entirely by rowboat.  Under the direction of Mr. Donovan as chief engineer the companies with which he was associated soon wrought marked changes, his being the dominant force in this important work.  As chief engineer of the Fairhaven Land Company, the Skagit Coal & Transportation Company and the Fairhaven & Southern Railway Company he supervised the building of a railroad, the opening of coal mines on the Skagit river, the platting of the town site of Fairhaven and the construction of its wharves.  Fairhaven was organized as a city and public improvements of importance were inaugurated and carried to completion.  Mr. Donovan served for two terms on the city council, acting as chairman of the street and sewer committee.  The Tacoma-Montana Syndicate, headed by Nelson Bennett, financed the above mentioned projects and in 1890 began work on a line starting at Vancouver, British Columbia, and extending south to Portland, Oregon, and east to Spokane, Washington.  The surveys were going on and eighty miles of the road had been completed when the line was acquired by the Great Northern system.  On February 14, 1891, tracks of the Canadian section from New Westminster met the American line from Fairhaven at the boundary at Blaine with appropriate ceremonies.  Mr. Donovan introducing the lieutenant governor of British Columbia to the governor of Washington.  Mr. Donovan was responsible for the failure of the Great Northern Railway to acquire the Bellingham Bay & Eastern road, which went to the Northern Pacific, and the other road to the St. Paul.  He believed Bellingham would prosper more with railroad competition.  His action resulted in Bellingham being served by three transcontinental lines, giving it the same competitive rates as Seattle.

    After his retirement as chief engineer Mr. Donovan once more visited the Atlantic coast.  On his return to the west he became engineer for the tide land appraisers and was afterward chief engineer of the Blue Canyon Coal Mining Company and the Bellingham Bay & Eastern Railway Company, formed by Montana capital in 1891.  The railway company gradually extended its lines, opening up the country from Fairhaven to Wickersham, past Lake Whatcom, and in 1902 sold the road to the Northern Pacific, which now enters Bellingham over this line.  In 1898 Mr. Donovan was made general superintendent and chief engineer of the Bellingham Bay & British Columbia Railway and immediately began the survey work for the extension of the line to Spokane.  He acted in that capacity for eight years and during that time the corporation and its auxiliaries devoted much time and capital to prospecting for coal and other minerals and to developing valuable water power at Nooksack Falls.  The plant was subsequently sold to Stone & Webster, of Boston, and the railway passed into the hands of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad.

    Mr. Donovan became recognized as one of the foremost civil engineers in the west and was identified with the profession until 1906.  He has since given his attention to the lumber business and in this field of activity has also achieved notable success.  In 1890 he had become associated with Julius H. Bloedel, vice president of the Fairhaven National Bank, one of the two local institutions which survived the financial panic of 1893.  They were the pioneers in handling logs from camps on Lake Whatcom and the knowledge gained in this work over a period of six years caused them to engage in the lumber industry.  In August, 1898, Peter Larson, Julius H. Bloedel and J. J. Donovan purchased one hundred and sixty acres of timber on South bay and formed the Lake Whatcom Logging Company, each acquiring a third interest in the business, of which Mr. Larson was made president.  Mr. Donovan became vice president and Mr. Bloedel acted as manager.  Their combined capital amounted to six thousand dollars, which was soon exhausted, and they were then obliged to borrow the sum of twelve thousand dollars.  In 1900 they organized the Larson Lumber Company, with J. H. Bloedel as president, and in 1901 started Mill A at Larson, and Mill B in 1907.  In 1913 an option was secured on the old Bellingham mill, then controlled by the Bellingham Bay Improvement Company.  It was built in 1893 and had been in operation for about nineteen years.  The remodeled the plant, adding a sash and door factory, and at the request of the government at the time of the World war erected a box factory, which was destroyed by fire in 1924 but has been rebuilt.  They now have a thoroughly modern plant, operated by electrical power, and in 1925 extended the wharf and installed a new hammerhead crane for handling freight.

    In 1913 the business was reorganized and the present style of the Bloedel-Donovan Lumber Mills was adopted.  Mr. Bloedel has since been president of the corporation and is at the head of the sales department, also directing the activities of the mills.  For twelve years Mr. Donovan has filled the office of vice president and has charge of the operation of the railways and camps.  In 1917 the company acquired a mill and logging plant at Skykomish and in 1920 purchased large logging properties in Clallam county, Washington.  The corporation had two sawmills, two shingle mills and two lath mills at Larson, where it has a force of more than five hundred men, and owns a large shingle mill at Blanchard, Washington, logging camps at Alger, Saxon, Skykomish, Beaver and Clallam river with five railways, aggregating about ninety miles.  The firm bought valuable timber lands in Skagit and Whatcom counties, becoming the owner of twelve hundred million feet of timber, all in solid blocks.  This was purchased from one hundred different owners and none of it was acquired from the government, railroad companies or by filing scrip.  Its Clallam holdings are much larger.  All of the mills are thoroughly up-to-date and efficient.  Offices have been established in Los Angeles, New York city, Chicago and Minneapolis and the company has agents in cities throughout the country, maintaining its headquarters in the Henry building of Seattle.  Since 1913 one-half of the output of the mills has been sent to its destination by water and for several years the company has been one of the three largest producers of lumber and shingles in the United States.  The business has kept pace with the progress of the west, meeting the constantly changing conditions of the modern commercial world, and the principles of honor, quality, strength and service have led its founders ever forward to greater efficiency and sounder development.  The firm name is known from coast to coast and the confidence of thousands of loyal patrons is its most valuable asset.

    Starting with a force of forty, the company now utilizes the services of more than two thousand white men, with men of family, American citizens and ex-service men given preference.  A few Japanese are employed on one of the remote railways, being employed there when the road was purchased by the company.  The payroll of the company amounts to about ten thousand dollars per day.  During the formative period in the history of the concern the earnings of its employes averaged two and one-half dollars for a ten-hour day and they now average over five dollars for eight hours' work.  The firm has always been just, considerate and sympathetic in the treatment of its employes and has been rewarded by their harmonious cooperation, goodwill and devotion to the business.  The employes of the company were provided with industrial insurance before the passage of the present state law to that effect and the majority of the men have always had steady work.  They have received good wages and have never been burdened with fines, nor asked to patronize company stores.  There are none.  The camps are supplied with many comforts and every effort has been made to provide the men with the best living conditions.  As a result the company has won the confidence and loyalty of its workers and from 1898 until 1926 there has been but one serious strike, which occurred in 1919, when the American Federation of Labor endeavored to organize the laborers in the service of the lumber corporations of the northwest.  Owing to the activities of agitators several hundred of the men laid down their tasks in the mills of the company.  However, the mills were not closed, work continuing with never less than three hundred men employed.  But the strike proved a failure at the end of two months and the striking employed returned to their work.  The firm has aleays adhered to its "open shop" policy and throughout the period of its existence has paid union wages or better.  It has had an eight-hour day since March, 1918.  In 1919 the Bloedel-Donovan Lumber Mills organized its own shop committee, now composed of twenty-six men, chosen by the employes by a secret ballot.  An election is held every three months and no man is eligible to office more than twice.   This committee confers with the directors of the company every month and all discuss plans for the betterment of both the firm and its employes.  This plan has been in operation for six years and has proven of great benefit to all concerned.  During the business depression of 1921 the men voluntarily offered their services at a reduction in order to assist the corporation and when necessity compelled the firm to repeatedly lower their wages and dispense with half of the force there was no dissatisfaction.  With a perfect understanding of existing conditions, all remained true to their employers and when the market improved their pay was twice raised by the firm.  That its members are men of exceptional wisdom, foresight and administrative power is demonstrated by their success in the upbuilding of this great industry and they also established the Bloedel Donovan Timber Company, a more recent organization, which owns standing timber in Clallam county.  Mr. Donovan is vice president of the corporation, also of the Columbia Valley Lumber Company, which operates a number of retail yards east of the Cascades, and likewise serves the First National Bank of Bellingham in the same capacity.

    Mr. Donovan was married April 29, 1888, in Somerville, Massachusetts, to Miss Clara Isabel Nichols and they have become the parents of three children.  Helen Elizabeth, the eldest, was born in 1889 and is a graduate of Smith College and Columbia University.  She was studying music in Berlin, Germany, at the time of the outbreak of the World war.  In 1921 she became the wife of Leslie Craven of Chicago, who is counsel for the Western Railways.  Mr. and Mrs. Craven are the parents of two daughters; Elizabeth Page, who was born in December, 1922; and Frances, whose birth occurred in April, 1924.  John Nichols was born in 1891 and in 1913 received the B. S. degree in civil engineering from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute.  He was a civil engineer in the employ of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company for a year and is now general logging superintendent for the Bloedel-Donovan Lumber Mills at Bellingha, being in active charge of all field operations.  In September, 1914, he was married in this city to Miss Geraldine Goodheart and they now have two children: Patricia, born in 1920; and John J., whose natal year was 1923.  Philip, born in 1893, completed a course in mechanical engineering at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1915 and acted for several years as purchasing agent of the Bloedel-Donovan Lumber Mills.  He is now engaged in the automobile business in Bellingham.  In July, 1916, he married Miss Hazel Hart Prigmore, a daughter of the late Judge Prigmore, of Seattle.  They have two children, Robert Hart and Arnold Metier.

    Mr. Donovan is an influential member of the Catholic church.  He has taken the fourth degree in the Knights of Columbus and has held high offices in that order.  He is allied with the republican party and has long been a recognized leader in political circles of his part of the state.  He has never consented to become and office holder, yet it would have been possible for him to secure almost any position that he might desire, so great is the confidence reposed in his ability and public spirit.  He was chairman of the state commission of forest legislation under appointment of Governor Hay, which commission was characterized as "twelve of the strong men of the state," and in 1894 was named by Governor McGraw as a member of the first state highway commission, for which he has since been an untiring worker, striving earnestly to promote good roads.  He was a member of the state board of charities and corrctions for some time and for years served in an advisory capacity to St. Joseph's Hospital of Bellingham.  He was one of the trustees of the State Normal School for eight years and was a member of the board of fifteen freeholders which framed the charter of the city of Bellingham when Fairhaven and Whatcom united.  This charter proved so satisfactory that later the people twice rejected the idea of a commission form of government, regarding the old charter as more efficient and up-to-date.  Mr. Donovan is a member of the National Municipal league for Civic Reforms and seved on the local executive committee in the fight for prohibition.  Bellingham was one of the first cities of the state to espouse the temperance cause and was dry for six years before the state prohibition law was passed, being the only seaport that went dry by men's votes and remained dry through three elections up to the time of the enactment of national prohibition.  Mr. Donovan belongs to the Bellingham Golf & Country Club and the Twentieth Century Club of this city and the Rainier Club of Seattle.  He is a life member of the Navy League and National Security League.  He is president of the Washington State Chamber of Commerce, while he has also twice filled that office in the Bellingham Chamber.  He is a member of the American Historical Society, the National Geographic Society, life member of the American Irish Historical Society and of the American Society of Civil Engineers.  He was one of the organizers of the Montana Society of Engineers, with which he is still connected.  He is vice president of the Pacific Foreign Trade Council and took a foremost part in the proceedings of the National Foreign Trade Council during the Seattle convention.  He is also a member of the Pacific Logging Congress, of which he was president from 1913 until 1915.  Mr. Donovan is widely recognized as an authority on matter pertaining to the lumber industry and in 1925, spent four months abroad, during which he had an opportunity to study conditions in ten European countries.  He has been president of the Washington Good Roads Association.  He is a facile writer and a frequent contributor of timely articles on vital subjects to the press.  Actuated by humanitarian motives, he has instituted progressive ideas in connection with the mills and camps which have been generally adopted by other large corporations and his individuality has been indelibly impressed upon every line of endeavor which has engaged his attention.  Bellingham has no citizen who has been more keenly alive to the city's needs and possibilities or who has persisted with greater energy and success in attaining them.  His activities have touched life at many points and his efforts have been productive of great good.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 5-9


Donovan, John Nichols

    Among the young men of enterprise, ability and determination to whom Bellingham looks for its future development and progress, none bears a higher reputation than does John Nichols Donovan, prominently identified with the logging industry and a member of one of the foremost families of the city. He was born in Bellingham in 1891 and is a son of John Joseph and Clara Isabel (Nichols) Donovan, who have lived in this city since 1888. The father has played a leading role in the development of the lumber industry of Washington, also achieving distinction in the field of civil engineering. A detailed account of his life is published elsewhere in this volume.

    John N. Donovan attended the Phillips Exeter Academy at Andover, Massachusetts, and completed his education in the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, from which he was graduated in 1913 with the degree of Civil Engineer. For about a year he was employed in a professional capacity by the Northern Pacific Railroad Company and was later efficiency engineer for the Bloedel Donovan Lumber Mills at Bellingham. Since 1921 he has been general logging superintendent for the firm, which operates one of the largest industries of the kind in the Pacific northwest, and his technical knowledge and skill, supplemented by keen business sagacity, are proving of much value to the corporation.

    In 1914 Mr. Donovan was married, in Bellingham, to Miss Geraldine Goodhart, a daughter of J. W. Goodhart, a prominent resident of the city, and they have two children: Patricia and John Nichols Jr. Mr. Donovan gives his political allegiance to the republican party and his religious views are in harmony with the teachings of the Catholic church, of which he is a faithful communicant. He is connected with the Knights of Columbus and the Rotary Club, and with Sigma Psi and Alpha Tau Omega, college fraternities. He loyally supports every project for Bellingham's advancement, and his record reflects credit upon the city as well as upon an honored family name.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 523


Donovan, Patrick

    Mr. Donovan (John Joseph) was born at Rumney, New Hampshire, September 8, 1858, and his parents, Patrick and Julia (O'Sullivan) Donovan, were both natives of Ireland.  The mother was born in County Kerry and the father's birth occurred in County Cork.  He had few opportunities to secure an education and in 1852 resolved to seek his fortune in the United States.  He obtained employment with the Boston, Concord & Montreal Railroad, which was then extending its line through New Hampshire, and merit won him promotion to the position of foreman.  He afterward purchased a farm near Plymouth, New Hampshire, and engaged in agricultural pursuits for several years.   After his retirement he moved to Plymouth and there spent the remainder of his life.

    He was married at Concord, New Hampshire, in July, 1856, to Miss Julia O'Sullivan and seven children were born to them, namely: John Joseph; Katherine, who lives in Plymouth; Dennis, who died in infancy; Mary Agnes, who married George Lynch, of Lancaster, New Hampshire, and has passed away, while her husband is also deceased; Julia Teresa, the wife of F. F. Blake, of Plymouth, who was elected a member of the New Hampshire legislature; Daniel P., who was general agent for the Northewestern Mutual Life Insurance Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and passed away at Boston, Massachusetts, in 1911; and Margaret, the wife of A. N. Gilbert, who served as mayor of Berlin, New Hampshire, and was a well known architect of that state, also doing business in Massachusetts.

 


Donovan, Philip L.

    As a member of one of the foremost families of Bellingham, Philip L. Donovan occupies an enviable place in social circles of the city, and he is also numbered among its enterprising young business men. For several years he was prominently identified with the logging industry but is now a dealer in automobiles. He was born in Bellingham on the 16th of October, 1893, and is a son of John Joseph and Clara Isabel (Nichols) Donovan. His father is one of the pioneer lumbermen of Whatcom county and a man of superior business ability who has long been classed with the industrial leaders of the Pacific northwest. A detailed account of the family is published elsewhere in this volume.

    Philip L. Donovan supplemented his public school education by a course in the Worcester Polytechnic Institute of Massachusetts, for which he studied mechanical engineering, and was graduated with the class of 1915. For four years he was purchasing agent for the Bloedel-Donovan Lumber Mills, being connected with the logging department, and in the fall of 1918 embarked in the logging business on his own account. He was thus engaged for six years and on April 16, 1924, purchased the business of Charles R. Simpson, becoming agent for the Maxwell cars. Later he added the Chrysler machines but discontinued these lines in April, 1925, and secured the agency for the Hudson, Essex and Cadillac cars, of which he is the distributor in all parts of Whatcom county except the Sumas district. Mr. Donovan is assisted by three capable salesmen and maintains a well equipped repair shop, in which he employs five experienced mechanics. He is a close student of everything pertaining to the automotive trade and his technical knowledge is supplemented by keen sagacity and administrative power -qualities inherited from his father. His sales are increasing rapidly and the outlook of the business is very encouraging.

    In 1916 Mr. Donovan married Miss Hazel Hart Prigmore, whose father was one of Seattle's distinguished jurists, and they have two sons, Arnold M. and Robert W. Mr. Donovan is a Catholic in religious faith and belongs to the local council of the Knights of Columbus. He is president of the Bellingham organization of Boy Scouts and in 1925 served the Kiwanis Club of this city in a similar capacity. He is a popular member of the Bellingham Golf & Country Club and one of the energetic workers of the Chamber of Commerce, of which he is a trustee. He is a junior member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and casts his ballot for the candidates of the republican party. He lends the weight of his support to every worthy public project, and his record sustains the high reputation which has ever been borne by the family.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 804-805


Dorr, William Earl

    A fine ranch in Marietta township is the property of William Earl Dorr, a typical westerner and a member of a pioneer family that has been represented in this locality for a period of forty-three years. He was born April 22, 1885, at Wiser Lake, Whatcom county, and his parents were William H. and Ida (Frost) Dorr, the latter a native of New Jersey. The grandfather, Ebenezer Dorr, was a native of New York and as a young man migrated to the west, locating in Iowa. He took up government land in that state, of which he was one of the early settlers, and in later life moved to Whatcom county, Washington. His son, William H. Dorr, was born in Iowa and in 1882 arrived in Seattle, Washington. A year later he entered a government claim near Lynden and on the land he built a trapper's home of cedar logs. In order to reach that remote section he journeyed by canoe up the Nooksack river and then took the trail to Lake Wiser. By persistent effort he cleared the land of timer and brought it under the plow. As the years passed he reaped the full harvest of his labors, and he remained on the place until his demise in 1921. The mother is still living.

    William E. Dorr was educated in his native county, attending a primitive school house constructed of logs hewn by his father, while the desks were made by each family in the district. In 1916 he entered business life, operating a line of automobile stages from Lynden to Bellingham and also between Ferndale, Bellingham and Blaine. Possessing executive force and excellent judgment, he was successful in the venture and at the end of nine years was able to retire. He sold the business in June, 1925, and purchased a tract of three acres, situated on the bay shore in Marietta township. His farm is small but will improved and highly productive. His home contains eight rooms and is provided with all modern conveniences. He brings to his occupation an intelligent, open and liberal mind and a keen interest in all modern agricultural developments.

    On September 21, 1909, Mr. Dorr married Miss Bessie Constant, a native of Missouri and a daughter of Edward and Nancy Constant. To Mr. and Mrs. Dorr have been born four children: Philip, Priscilla, William Henry and Robert. Mr. Dorr preserves an independent course in politics, placing the qualifications of a candidate above the narrow limitations of partisanship, and is a man of broad and liberal views and fine character, esteemed and respected by all with whom he has been associated.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 187


Douglas, John Walter

    The life history of John Walter Douglas is a record of successful achievement and indicates what may be accomplished by tenacity of purpose and unceasing effort, when guided by enterprise and sound judgment. He has made his home in Acme township for more than a quarter of a century and has developed one of its finest farms. He was born October 1, 1876, in Ontario, Canada, and his parents, William and Isabel (McHattie) Douglas, are both deceased. The father was also born in the province of Ontario and the mother was a native of Scotland.

    John W. Douglas was educated in the public schools of Ontario and spent his youth in the Dominion. In 1899 he came to Whatcom county and worked for some time in the lumber camps near Acme. When he had accumulated sufficient capital he purchased a tract in the township and is now the owner of one hundred and twenty acres of fertile land. His well tilled fields yield abundant harvest, and he also operates a dairy. His place is improved with good buildings, and his methods of farming are both practical and progressive.

    In 1909 Mr. Douglas married Miss Mabel E. Stephens, a daughter of Thomas H. and Mary F. (McDaniel) Stephens. Her father was born in England, and in 1884 he entered a homestead in Acme township, which was then a frontier district containing only a few settlers. Mr. and Mrs. Douglas have three children: Donald, a high school student, and Myrtle and Marjorie, who are attending grammar school. Mr. Douglas is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and casts his ballot for the candidates of the republican party. He filled the position of road boss and for three years has been a member of the school board. He is always ready to serve his district when needed and possesses those sterling qualities which never fail to arouse admiration and win respect.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 764


Dowling, George

    George Dowling, one of the substantial and progressive dairymen of the Custer neighborhood and formerly engaged in the greenhouse business in Westminster, is a native of England but has resided on this side of the Atlantic for more than twenty-five years. He was born July 1, 1855, in the Cheddar parish of Somertshire, England, in the neighborhood of the village of Cheddar in a district famous for the manufacture of the celebrated Cheddar cheese. His parents, George and Elizabeth (Marshall) Dowling, also natives of that district, spent their entire lives in England. The father, a farmer, was a son of George Dowling, whose father also was George, a name that has persisted in the family for many generations, and which in the present is borne by two of that name, one of Mr. Dowling's sons, now residing in Westminster, also being a George Dowling.

    Reared in his home place, George Dowling of Whatcom County grew up as a farmer, associated with his father, and as a young man diversified his labors by employment during the winters on government works. He became a farm manager and after seven or eight years engaged in business on his own account as a market gardener in the vicinity of Newport, England. In 1892 he came across the water on a prospecting trip into Canada and in 1899 moved with his family and homesteaded a quarter section of land in the Ethelbert district in Manitoba. He proved up on that place and remained there for six years, when he disposed of his holdings there and went to Westminster, British Columbia, where he bought a tract of fifteen acres (now included within the city limits) and engaged in market gardening", following the processes with which he had become familiar in England and producing many garden products that were new and in some instances hardly welcome to his new customers. This was particularly true of an English variety of cucumber that grew to a length of from eighteen to twenty-four inches and which he had much difficulty in convincing the Westminster people was an edible product. Mr. Dowling remained at Westminster until 1912 when, on the crest of the "boom" then exciting the people there, he disposed of his greenhouses to advantage and came to Whatcom county, buying an "eighty" in the near vicinity of Custer, where he established his home and has since been living, he and his family being quite pleasantly situated there. One of the things Mr. Dowling has done to improve that place since he took it over was to move the dwelling house to a more advantageous position with respect to the fine view to be obtained from that site. He also erected a new barn and made other substantial improvements. When he took the place but twenty acres of it had been cleared. He has cleared another twenty and now has a model dairy farm there, with a good herd of registered Jerseys and has for some time been making dairying his chief vocation. in 1922 Mr. Dowling had an experience with a bull which he had raised that he never will forget, for in the unequal struggle with the animal he received hurts of a permanent character. The bull turned on him and certainly would have killed him had not his faithful dog been attracted to the scene and so diverted the attention of the maddened animal as to permit Mr. Dowling to make his escape.

    Mr. Dowling has been twice married. In 1876 he wedded Miss Harriet Rossiter, who died in 1880, leaving- three children, Charles Dowling, who is still in England, engaged in gardening at Newport; Rose, who died when thirteen years of age; and George, who died in infancy. In 1884 Mr. Dowling married Miss Elizabeth Phillips, who was born in Wales, and to this union seven children have been born, namely: John, who is married and is now living at North Bend, connected with the operations of the Canadian Pacific Railroad; George, now living in Westminster; Lizzie, who married John McKensie of Westminster and has six children; Albert, who is farming in the Westminster district; Harry, who is an engineer engaged in timbering operations; and Annie and Nina at home. John McKensie, Mr. Dowling's son-in-law in Westminster, is a veteran of the World war with a record of overseas service with the Canadian forces. Though he was in some of the heaviest action of the war, and the Canadians certainly had their share of the brunt of battle, he apparently bore a charmed life and came through unscathed.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 386-387


Doyle, Benjamin F.

    This vital, progressive age is one that demands of men distinctive initiative power if they are to attain success worthy the name, and in addition to this power is required self-reliance, determination and consecutive application in the pursuit of a definite purpose. All these attributes have been exemplified in the career of Benjamin F. Doyle, who has gained success and prestige in the agricultural world and who is distinctively the architect of his own fortunes. Mr. Doyle was born in Schuyler county, Illinois, on the 27th of February, 1863, and is a son of George Washington and Susan F. (Corbin) Doyle, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Illinois. The father was a farmer by vocation and was a man of sterling character, who commanded the respect of his fellow citizens. He died in December, 1869, and his wife passed away in October, 1872. They were the parents of ten children, namely: Martha, deceased, William Herbert, James P., deceased, John, Ellen, deceased, Nancy, deceased, Benjamin F., George M., Lucy and Fannie, deceased.

    Benjamin F. Doyle is indebted to the public schools of his home neighborhood in Illinois for his educational training. He remained in that locality until 1878, when he went to Trinidad, Colorado, where for two years he was employed as a cook in hotels, later following that same occupation in New Mexico. He then went to Arizona and from there went to Salt Lake City, where for a few months he worked for the Oregon Shortline Railroad. He was next at Portland, Oregon, for a few months and then went to California, where he remained about eighteen months. In 1884 he returned to Portland and in the following year went to Tacoma, Washington, where he worked at hop picking for Ezra Meeker, the most noted pioneer of the northwest, whose farm was located at Puyallup. He then returned to Tacoma, where he was employed as a cook for eighteen months, and also cooked for the workmen who built the state asylum at Steilacoom, Washington.

    In 1887 Mr. Doyle came to Whatcom county and filed on one hundred and sixty acres of land two miles east of Sumas. The tract was covered with timber and undergrowth and to the clearing of this land he at once applied himself with vigor, after building a small log house, which is still standing. He has lived on this place continuously to the present time, having cleared about forty-five acres of the land, and has developed a splendid farm. He has given special attention to dairying and has at times milked as many as thirty cows. At the present time, however, he keeps only six cows. Hay and grain are his principal crops, though he also raises some sugar beets. A part of the land is now leased and he is taking things more leisurely than in former days, being in comfortable financial circumstances and able to enjoy the fruits of his years of earnest and unremitting labor. During his entire career here there was only one break in his devotion to his farm work, when, in November, 1897, he went to the Klondike gold fields, where he remained until July 4, 1900. In addition to his home farm, he also owns three hundred and twenty acres of land in Franklin county, eastern Washington.

    Mr. Doyle has never married, and his niece, Mrs. Jessie Capronia, keeps house for him. She has a son, Grant A. Capronia, who is now a student in the Sumas high school. Mr. Doyle has been a good citizen, giving earnest support to all measures for the advancement or improvement of the community and giving generously to all worthy benevolences. Kindly and hospitable, he has long held an enviable place in the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 513-514


 

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