Elder, Timothy J.
Among the men of sterling qualities of character who for many years have occupied a conspicuous place in the esteem of the community, Timothy J. Elder is deserving a special mention. He was a native of Delaware county, New York, born in December, 1847, and was a son of William and Charity S. (Corbin) Elder, the former of whom was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and the latter in Delaware county, New York. The father was brought by his parents to the United states when he was four years of age and was reared in New York. He lived there until reaching manhood, when he was married and there reared his family. He was engaged in the sawmill and lumberyard business, floating his logs and lumber down the Delaware river to Philadelphia. In 1874 he moved to Kansas, where he was engaged in farming about ten years, and in 1884 brought his wife and children, consisting of two sons and six daughters, to King county, Washington. There he secured a large tract of land, of which eventually sixty-five acres were cleared. After remaining on that place until 1894 he came to Clearbrook, Whatcom county, and bought eighty acres of land, practically uncleared, only the finest timber having been cut off. Mr. Elder and his son cleared about sixty-five acres of this land, and the parents spent the remaining years of their lives here, the father dying in 1909 and the mother December 12, 1919.
Timothy J. Elder secured his education in the public schools of his native state and remained with his father until the latter's death. He and his brother, Joseph S., then operated the home place until September, 1920, when they sold it and moved to Ten Mile township, where they bought eighty acres of land. Here they conducted their business under the name of Elder Brothers. The land was partially cleared when they acquired it, but a vast amount of grubbing was required in order to get it in shape for the plow. They gave their attention mainly to dairy farming, in which they met with a very gratifying measure of success. They kept about thirty heard of Holstein and Jersey cattle, some of which were registered, and shipped their milk to Bellingham, where it was delivered. They also rented another farm, which they operated together, and they were regarded throughout the community as men of sound and discriminating judgment and of enterprising and progressive methods.
In 1879, in Kansas, Timothy J. Elder was married to Miss Laura M. Burroughs, who was born in Missouri, a daughter of George W. and Mary Katherine (Harris) Burroughs, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Missouri. Mrs. Elder died in King county, Washington, in 1890. To this union were born three children: Mabel is now the wife of J. P. Imburg, of Leavenworth, Washington, and is the mother of two children by her first husband, Harry Tyler. James W., who is connected with the Cascade Laundry at Bellingham, married Miss Hazel Ames, of Spangel, Washington, a daughter of O. W. and Elizabeth (McLean) Ames, who came to Washington about 1883. To James W. and Hazel Elder have been born two children, James W., Jr., and Timothy Raymond. Mary Eleanor is the wife of H. J. Ames, of Seattle, a brother of Mrs. James W. Elder, and they are the parents of four children.
Mr. Elder was deeply interested in everything pertaining to the welfare of his locality and while at Clearbrook was a member of the school board about fifteen years. Fraternally he was a member of Valley Lodge, No. 60, Independent Order of Odd fellows, in King county, and of the Knights of Pythias. He passed away at his home in Ten Mile township, February 10, 1926, honored and respected by all who knew him. He was a man of candid and straightforward manner, kindly and courteous in all his dealings with other people, and genial and friendly in his social relations. He stood on the right side of every moral issue and enjoyed to a marked degree the confidence and esteem of the entire community.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 918-919
Edward Eldridge, who is his generation was one of the most conspicuous personal factors in the development of the Bellingham community, was born in the important seaport town of St. Andrews on the North sea in Fifeshire, Scotland, December 7, 1829, and from the age of eleven years followed the sea, in time becoming a licensed navigator. At one time what came near to being a tragedy was averted by a spell of sickness, for he had signed on to go with Dr. Sir John Franklin's expedition in search of the north pole, but was in a hospital when the little fleet sailed away never again to return. His first trip to America was made in 1846, he then being a youth of seventeen, a member of the crew of a vessel carrying mahogany from Honduras. He later came inland and was for a time a sailor on the Great Lakes. When word of the gold strike in California aroused the spirit of adventure in the breasts of young men in all parts of the world he, with many other sailors, became interested. Meanwhile he had left the Great Lakes and again was sailing the seven seas, and when the vessel on which he was in service, the Tonquin, put in at the port of San Francisco in October, 1849, he signed off and followed the stream of gold seekers into the Yuba fields. He spent a year in the gold fields and then returned to the sea, signing on as second mate of the Tennessee of the Pacific Mail line in the coastwise service between San Francisco and Panama. On one of his trips in this service in 1851 he met Teresa Lappin and their marriage followed not long after their arrival in port. Following his marriage Mr. Eldridge resigned his mate's ticket and with his bride went into the gold fields about Yreka, but fickle fortune failed to favor him there and he presently decided to return to the sea, intending to take up mining in Australia. While waiting in San Francisco to complete detail of this plan he came in touch with Captain Henry Roeder, a former Great Lakes captain whom he had known when in service on the inland seas, and the latter persuaded him to abandon the sea and the Australian mining project which he had in mind and join with him in the timber development in which he had become engaged in the Bellingham Bay country. The prospect was alluring and it was thus that Edward Eldridge and his wife and baby girl in 1853 became numbered among the first settlers in Bellingham, locating at Captain Roeder's mill.
Mrs. Teresa (Lappin) Eldridge, who was born in Ireland, June 24, 1832, came to this county in 1850, landing at the port of New York. In the next year (1851), in response to the call being sent back east from California for young women to come out and help people [in] the new coast state, she joined a numerous party of young women who left New York, taking passage via the Isthmus, to become part of the wonderful new community then growing up at San Francisco. Edward Eldridge was the second mate of the vessel on which she made the trip up the coast from Panama, and, as noted above, they were married not long after their arrival in San Francisco and in 1853 settled at Captain Roeder's mill on Bellingham bay. Mrs. Eldridge was the first white woman to settle on that site, and she became a power for good in the new community. She endeared herself to all and her name will ever be held in precious memory there. With her, upon her arrival here, was her firstborn, a daughter, Isabella, who was born at Yreka, California, and who in the course of time married J. J. Edens, in his generation one of the forceful figures of the neighboring county of Skagit, and a state senator from that county, both now being deceased. Her first child born here was a son, Edward, named for his father. He was born in August 1855, one of the first white children born in the Bellingham settlement, and died when a boy of thirteen, in 1868. The next child, Alice, also born in Bellingham, married James Gilligan of Skagit county, and died in February, 1886. Then came Hugh, who is now the sole survivor of this interesting pioneer family. The honored pioneer mother died at her home in Bellingham, May 10, 1911, she then lacking about a month of being seventy-nine years of age. She had survived her husband for almost twenty years. Her funeral services were solemn and impressive, and it may be truly said that they were participated in by the entire population of the city, as business was suspended, flags were at half-mast and thousands lined the streets to gaze on the cortege and pay the last tribute of love and respect to the venerable lady.
Upon coming to Bellingham, Mr. Eldridge took up a donation claim of three hundred and twenty acres of land adjoining the claim of Captain Roeder and fronting on the bay, and in addition to his service in helping to erect and operate the big sawmill, he began to develop that tract, which as the community grew became a part of the town site and the foundation for the considerable fortune which rewarded Mr. Eldridge's enterprise and public spirit, creating an estate to which in time he was succeeded by his son, Hugh Eldridge, who has in many ways promoted and expanded it. Edward Eldridge, became one of the forceful factors in local development work along other lines, not only in lumbering, as a member of the firm of Bartlett & Eldridge, but in general commercial and industrial lines and in railroad building. At the time of his death he was the president of the Bellingham Bay National Bank, president of the Bellingham Bay Gas Company, president of the Bellingham Bay Land Company, president of the Bellingham Bay & Eastern Railway Company, a director of the Fairhaven & New Whatcom Street Railway Company and of the Puget Sound Loan, Trust & Banking Company, and president of the Bellingham Bay Water Company.
In civic affairs he also took a prominent and influential part and rendered public service in various capacities. He was a member of the territorial legislature from this district and the territorial constitutional convention at Walla Walla. Upon the adjournment of this convention, a Walla Walla paper, in summing up the capabilities of the various members, said of Edward Eldridge, "He was the Jeffersonian of the body on parliamentary tactics and in all things the Nester of the convention." In 1889 he was a member of the state constitutional convention at Olympia. When this convention met John Miller Murphy, editor of the Washington Standard published in Olympia, is giving a resume of the various members, said of Mr. Eldridge, "Who is this that comes from Hara, not with kingly pomp or pride but a great free son of nature, lion-souled and eagle-eyed? Edward Eldridge is indeed lion-souled in standing by his convictions and eagle-eyed in looking after the interests of his constituents. A better parliamentarian never sat in a legislative body." In 1892 he was a delegate to the Republican national convention held that year in Minneapolis and was ever one of the most influential leaders in the councils of that party in this district and state. In local offices he also did his part well, for he rendered service at one time and another as a member of the board of county commissioners, as county auditor and as county treasurer and also for some time was deputy collector of customs in this port. It has been written of Edward Eldridge's civil served that "he never wooed public office and responded to the call of his fellow citizens in the spirit of duty." Indeed, he might have had a brilliant political career but for his positive stand on all questions in which he believed, regardless of their popularity with the masses. He was an ardent believer in women's suffrage and about the first public man strongly to advocate it in Washington territory. This question was very unpopular at that time, particularly among the foreign element which in early territorial days was practically dominant. He therefore, devoted himself to his manifold business interests and his love of literature. It is said that he was a democrat up to the time news came verifying the report that Fort Sumpter had been fired upon. Then he repudiated the party as the author of rebellion and never returned to its ranks. As a republican he was not a bitter partisan, but a conscientious worker and a broadminded citizen.
Edward Eldridge died at his home in Bellingham October 12, 1892, he then being about two months under sixty-three years of age, and at his passing left a memory that long will be cherished in this community. Reference has been made above to his love of literature. His studious habits grew as his condition in life gradually became easier and he surrounded himself with one of the most thoughtfully selected private libraries in the state and with the contents of which he had a students' familiarity. This library constituted one of the chief attractions of his beautiful home and it has been a matter of unceasing local regret that not long after his passing this home, together with the library of thousands of choice volumes, was destroyed by fire. Following the passing of Mr. Eldridge the press of the state commented widely and in the most complimentary terms upon the character of his life and upon his service to the commonwealth. One of these commentators observed very fittingly that "every changing condition found him ready and in the forefront of progress. Whether is was a matter of personal enterprise or of public weal he was active, wide-awake, constructive all the time."Another observed that "the extent of his influence and work is almost immeasurable. There is practically no phase of the development of the Bellingham Bay district with which he was not closely associated, and his labors were of even greater extent, for his business connections reached out into other quarters and his activities touched the general interests of society, leaving their impress not only upon the development of the hour but upon future growth and greatness. To realize what were his early surroundings and his almost utter lack of youthful advantages and opportunities is to come to some understanding of the splendid work he accomplished - building a fortune, but building even better than that - a character that would bear the closest investigation and scrutiny and which shone most resplendent in the clear light of day."
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 10-16
Perhaps the most vivid impression gained by the visitor to this wonderful Sound region is that of the amazing "newness" of things. When one considers that all that has been effected here in the way of the great works of man has been accomplished within the period of the lives of men still vigorous and active in affairs, there is indeed cause for wonder. Visitors from the older settled sections of the east find it difficult to realize that this is so. The thought grown upon them and they presently begin dimly to realize that the apparently impossible has been accomplished - that practically within a single generation there has been built up here a community as complete and as stable as those in the coastal states on the other side of the country that have been two hundred years in the building, and it is while in contact or conversation with Hugh Eldridge that this impression is forced home with especial distinctness. Mr. Eldridge has observed and participated in this development practically from the beginning. His life and that of the community are synchronous. His mother was the first white woman on the scene in Bellingham bay. Into the family of his parents came one of the first if not the first white child (an elder brother, Edward, long deceased) born in the bay country. His father was a man of force and distinction in the formative days of the community and he grew up familiar with the latter's extensive operations, being an important personal factor in their extension, taking his part in civic affairs and in community building, so that ever since there has been a settled and orderly community here the name of Hugh Eldridge has been prominently identified therewith. Paraphrasing another, Mr. Eldridge properly may say: "All of this I saw and much of it I was," when reference is made to the development of Whatcom county.
Hugh Eldridge, postmaster of the city of Bellingham, a former auditor of Whatcom county, realtor, promoter and town builder and for many years one of the leading men of affairs in this region, is a native of Bellingham, born here when the place was but a sawmill site and logging camp on the bay. He was born December 14, 1860, and is a son of Edward and Teresa (Lappin) Eldridge, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work. Reared at Bellingham, Hugh Eldridge was educated in the local schools and when eighteen years of age became actively associated with his father's affairs, giving particular attention to agricultural and general community development. In 1886, when twenty-five years of age, he was elected auditor of Whatcom county, an expression of confidence on the part of the electorate in one of his years that he has never ceased to appreciate. By reelection he served in that important office until January, 1891, and then became one of the organizers of the Fairhaven & New Whatcom Street Railway Company, being one of the most active and influential promoters of the affairs of that organization. He was elected president of this company and thus continued until it was taken over by the General Electric Company in 1895. He then gave his undivided attention to the affairs of the considerable estate which had come into his hands following the death of his father in 1892, and the development of these interests has been his chief material concern since then. On July 1, 1898, Mr. Eldridge was appointed by President McKinley to serve as postmaster at Bellingham, and he continued to serve in that capacity for eighteen years or until 1916. In November, 1921, Mr. Eldridge again was appointed postmaster at Bellingham and he is now thus serving. He is an ardent republican and has for many years been recognized as one of the leaders of that party in this district, and he is a member of the local lodge of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.
On February 23, 1893, in Bellingham, Mr. Eldridge was united in marriage to Miss Dellisca J. Bowers, who died in March, 1910, without issue. On the 24th of June, 1922, Mr. Eldridge was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Clara Burleigh, the widow of Walter A. Burleigh of Seattle, Washington. For over sixty-five years Mr. Eldridge has been a resident of Bellingham, the oldest native-born son of that city, witnessing its development and taking an active part in all movements that have appertained to the progress and advancement of the community, and, as has been written of him by another commentator, "his substantial traits and kindly qualities have gained for him the warm and enduring regard of all with whom he has been associated from his boyhood to the present."
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 149-150
Among the progressive business organizations of northwestern Washington is numbered the Lynden Motor Company, of which Herman Elenbaas is the executive head. His father, James Elenbaas, was a resident of Michigan and in 1900 came to Whatcom county, Washington, with his wife and nine children, two of whom are deceased. He settled on a ranch situated three miles from Lynden and there his sons grew to manhood. Isaac chose a seafaring life, which he followed for seven years, and during four years of that period served in the United States navy. He also became an expert machinist and worked in the Detroit plants of the Packard and Pierce Arrow Motor companies. After coming to the state of Washington, Herman entered the employ of the Lynden Creamery Company and for ten years was manager of the business, while Peter remained on the farm. The three brothers are married and all are partners in the Lynden Motor Company, making their homes in the town.
The business was started in 1915 by Henry Haveman and was next acquired by R. Haveman. It was purchased by Herman, Isaac and Peter Elenbaas in 1918, and in 1922 the building was enlarged. It is one hundred and twenty-five by one hundred feet in dimensions, and the repair shop is exceptionally well equipped, containing the only solid tire press in the county outside of Bellingham. The company has the agency for the Dodge cars, Graham trucks, Goodyear tires and Exide batteries and employs seven experienced men. The members of the firm are young men of ability and high character, and as president of the company Herman Elenbaas has adopted a policy of fair and honorable dealing which commends itself to public confidence and support.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 868
Few citizens of this section of Whatcom county have made a deeper impression on the people with whom they have come in contact than has J. Elenbaas, of Lynden township, than whom a more whole-souled or public-spirited character it would be hard to find. As a result of his many estimable attributes of head and heart he is held in high esteem by all who know him, and his record is well worthy of perpetuation among those of the other leading citizens of this favored section of the country. Mr. Elenbaas is a native of Holland, born in 1859, and is a son of I. and Jenete (Broenoh) Elenbaas, both of whom spent their lives and died in that country, where they had followed farming pursuits. He received a good, practical education in the public schools of his native land and was reared to the life of a farmer, to which he devoted himself until 1893, when he emigrated to the United States, locating in Michigan, where he was employed on farms and in factories for almost nine years.
The severe extremes in temperature and in weather conditions in that state did not please him, and in 1900 Mr. Elenbaas came to Whatcom county, to inspect the country, with a view to locating here. The prospects satisfied him and in February, 1901, he brought his family to this county and at that time bought his present farm of fifty-two acres. The land did not present a very inviting appearance, being heavily covered with brush and timber, but he applied himself vigorously to the clearing and reclaiming of the tract, and now has fifty acres cleared and a large part of it ditch drained. He now also has a fine, modern house and a substantial barn and henhouses, the place being one of the most desirable in this locality. Mr. Elenbaas has likewise bought and sold a number of other properties, in the handling of which he has shown keen judgment and good business ability. He devotes his attention largely to dairy and poultry farming, in both of which lines he has met with encouraging success. He keeps sixteen good grade Holstein cows and about twelve hundred chickens, for which he raises practically sufficient feed on his farm.
In 1881, while still in his native land, Mr. Elenbaas was married to Miss Levina DeReght, who was born and reared in Holland and whose death occurred on the present homestead in 1904. To their union were born seven children: Martin, who lives at Lynden, is married and has three children; Ike, of Lynden, is married and has three children, as has Herman, who also lives at Lynden; Peter is married and has one child; Joseph, who now operates the home place for his father, was married to Stella Catherine Burns, and they have two children, Cerina and Renier. Mrs. Jennie DeYoung, whose husband is a minister in California, is the mother of seven children; Mrs. Nellie Heutink, of Delta, is the mother of three children. Peter was in the military service for a few months during the World war. Joseph saw active service throughout the war, having served overseas from December, 1917, to May, 1919. He took part in a number of the leading engagements of that struggle and was also in the army of occupation. With the exception of the period of his war service, he has spent practically all of his time on the home farm and is now carrying on the active operation of the place, permitting his father to take things more leisurely than formerly. Ike served for four years in the United States navy prior to the recent war, having been at Manila and other places in the far east during the Russo-Japanese war.
Mr. Elenbaas is a member of the Whatcom County Poultry Association and is deeply interested in all matters that relate to or affect the prosperity of the farmer. He supports all measures for the public good, and because of his consistent and upright life he has won a high place in the confidence and respect of his fellow citizens in Lynden township.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 742-743
Elliott, Joseph W.
Thoroughly imbued with western energy and enterprise, Joseph W. Elliott has aided materially in the development of the great salmon industry of the Pacific northwest, with which he has been closely and prominently identified for many years, and is widely known as general superintendent of the Alaska Packers Association, making his headquarters in Blaine. He was born in Fairfield, Solano county, California, in 1866 and comes of honored pioneer stock. His parents were James and Anna D. (Moore) Elliott, the latter a native of Iowa. The father was born in Ohio and in 1849 joined the rush of gold seekers to California, going by way of Cape Horn. After prospecting for a time he returned to the east and in 1858 started for the Pacific coast with his family. They took the overland route and barely escaped the Mountain Meadow massacre in Utah, passing through many dangers and undergoing many hardships before reaching the end of their journey. The father was engaged in mining at Marysville for a number of years and continued to follow that occupation until the close of his business career.
Joseph W. Elliott attended the public schools of California and afterward learned the machinist's trade, acquiring much skill in that line of endeavor. He advanced rapidly, becoming engineer of a brewery, and was later chief mechanic of a cannery. He entered the employ of the Alaska Packers Association in 1898 and spent four years in that country. He came to Blaine in 1903 as foreman of the Semiahmoo plant and in 1904 was transferred to the Port Roberts cannery. He was sent to the Anacortes plant a year later and during 1906-7 again had charge of the Port Roberts cannery. He returned to the Semiahmoo plant in 1908 and later to the Anacortes cannery. He was appointed manager of the business at Semiahmoo in 1911 and acted in that capacity for four years. In 1915, at the time of the death of P. J. Waage, Mr. Elliott was named as his successor and has since been general superintendent of the Puget Sound plants, a position of great responsibility and one for which he is eminently qualified by experience and ability. He is devoted to the interests in his charge and for twenty-eight years has faithfully served the association, doing much to expand the scope of its operations. He has secured twenty-six trap locations for the association, which operates eight boats on the Sound and employes one hundred men in the fishing department, also utilizing the services of fifty-five women. The payroll amounts to twenty-five thousand dollars per month and the output of the canneries of superior quality. It is shipped to all parts of the world and is also sold extensively in the United States. The Blaine plant has a capacity of twelve thousand case of seventy pounds each and the industry ranks with the largest of the kind in this country. Mr. Elliott is president of several fishing companies, all of which have profited by his administrative power and unerring judgment, and he is regarded as an authority on matters pertaining to the salmon business.
In 1890 Mr. Elliott married Miss Clara Haskins of California, and two children were born to them: Josephine, who is the wife of Howard McCue, of San Francisco; and Walter, who is also married and resides in that city. Mr. Elliott is connected with the Masonic fraternity and his political allegiance is given to the republican party. Along the path of opportunity open to all he has reached the goal of notable success and Blaine is proud to number him among its citizens.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 307-308
Ellsperman, George A.
George A. Ellsperman, one of Whatcom county's honored pioneers, is collector of the port of Sumas and is widely known, owing to his work in this branch of the government service, which covers a period of thirty-two years. A son of Charles and Mary Ellsperman, he was born September 21, 1865, and is a native of Bethalto, Madison county, Illinois. He attended the public schools and lost both of his parents before he reached the age of fourteen. Thus, early in life he was thrown upon his own resources and obtained work in a cooperage shop. He mastered the trade, which he followed in many sections of the country, and in 1888 came to the state of Washington. He purchases the San Juan Islander, a four-page weekly, which he conducted for a year, and was then called to public office, becoming the second county clerk of San Juan county. He also acted as clerk of the superior court and in 1894, during the Cleveland administration, was made deputy collector of the port at Blaine, Washington. When the republican party regained power through the election of William B. McKinley the subject of this sketch was one of the two democratic officials in the state who were retained in the customs department. He assisted in training the new force and after the change in the administration was stationed at Blaine for eighteen and a half years. For over three and a half years he has been collector of the port of Sumas, receiving his appointment from the late President Harding, and his work have been highly satisfactory. Calvin S. Coolidge is the seventh president under whom Mr. Ellsperman has served since he entered the employ of the federal government, and with the exception of two others he is the oldest in point of continuous service of the six hundred or more men in the customs department of this state. He has an expert knowledge of the work and has served the nation with rare fidelity.
On the 19th of May, 1892, Mr. Ellsperman married Miss Eva Viola Carey, of Friday Harbor, Washington, and three children were born to them. Winnifred, the eldest, is the wife of Forest Dunham and the mother of one child, a son. They reside in Oakville, Washington, and her husband is well known to lumbermen of the northwest as the patentee of the Dunham skyline for handling logs. George A., a successful dentist, is practicing in Bellingham and has a wife and two daughters. His brother, Harold C., is following the same profession at Okanogan, Washington, and is married and has one daughter.
Mr. Ellsperman has taken the thirty-second degree in Masonry and is a Noble of the Mystic Shrine. He was grand master of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows during 1901-2 and is also identified with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. He aided Samuel Hill in constructing the peace arch and his activities have been of a nature that has brought him a wide acquaintance. He has many sincere friends throughout the state and has worthily earned the honorable title of "self-made man," for from an early age he has fought life's battles alone and unaided.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 250-251
Ellwood, Thomas R.
Coming to Washington in territorial days, Thomas R. Ellwood had advanced with the progress of the state, never fearing that laborious efforts which is the basis of all success, and as one of the pioneer agriculturists and public-spirited citizens of Rome township he is widely known and highly respected. A native of England, he was born April 20, 1859, in Cumberland county, which abounds in lakes and streams and rolling farm lands and is one of the most picturesque and beautiful sections of that country. His parents were William and Margaret (Routledge) Ellwood, the former of whom reached the venerable age of ninety-two years, passing away in June, 1925, while the latter's demise occurred in 1919. Their lives were spent in England, and eight children were born to them, seven sons and a daughter, all of whom are living.
Thomas R. Ellwood attended the public schools of his native land, and after his education was completed he was employed along various lines. In March, 1884, when a young man of twenty-four, he responded to the call of the new world, and after his arrival in the United States he started for Tacoma, Washington. He spent some time in the Puget Sound country, finding employment in the lumber woods and in 1887 came to Whatcom and for about ten years worked in the woods, cutting timber by the cord. About 1888 he had purchased eighty acres of land in section six, Rome township, the tract being covered with timber and brush, and about 1897 he moved out to the ranch, on which he built a small house. He diligently applied himself to the task of developing the place, on which there is a fine grove of fir and cedar trees, and has cleared about twenty-five acres. He has a herd of six pure bred Jerseys and his principal crop is hay. He has made a thorough study of agricultural conditions in this region and knows the best methods of coping with them. His farm is well equipped and the work is systematically conducted.
On December 18, 1887, Mr. Ellwood married Miss Marilda Orchard, who was a native of Oregon, and their union was severed by her death on the 5th of March, 1905. She had become the mother of three children. The eldest, Mrs. Mary M. Condit, was born June 8, 1889, and makes her home in Oregon. She has two children, Maxine and Vivian, while Lawrence, the first born, is deceased. William M., the brother of Mrs. Condit, was born December 25, 1892, and resides in Los Angeles, California. He is married and has a son, Richard. Alice was born February 24, 1905, and is a graduate of the Harmony high school. In 1911 Mr. Ellwood was united in marriage to Miss Lena Wither, who was born in eastern Washington and passed away April 5, 1918. They became the parents of a daughter, Catherine Dorcas, who was born July 13, 1912, and is attending grammar school.
Mr. Ellwood enjoys the social side of life and is known to his many friends at "Tom." He possesses a generous, sympathetic nature and is constantly performing acts of kindness, being ever ready to aid those in need. He served for twenty-three years as school director and from the time the township was formed has acted as clerk of the board of supervisors. His long retention in the office is an eloquent testimonial to his worth, and no resident of the district has evinced a deeper interest in its welfare and progress.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 857-858
Elsbree, George M.
George M. Elsbree, who demise occurred March 17, 1926, was long identified with the work of tilling the soil, and his well directed labors resulted in the development of one of the productive farms of Acme township. He was born October 25, 1850, and was a native of Pennsylvania. His parents were George and Henrietta (Forest) Elsbree, the former of whom passed away in Ohio, while the latter's demise occurred in Pennsylvania.
George M. Elsbree attended the public schools of the Keystone state and there served an apprenticeship to the molder's trade, which he followed in the east until he reached his majority. He went to Kansas in 1871, locating at Fort Scott, and in 1883 journeyed to Indiana. He lived for eight years in the Hoosier state and in 1891 started for the Pacific coast. He spent two years in Snohomish, Washington, and in 1893 came to Whatcom county. He entered a homestead in Baker township and proved up on his claim, later purchasing a tract of seventy-one acres in Acme township. There were no roads in the district and pioneer conditions prevailed. Mr. Elsbree cleared twenty acres of the land, the balance being in pasture and timber. He brought the soil to a high state of development and also operated a well equipped dairy. He was an expert agriculturist and a firm believer in scientific methods, having thoroughly tested their value.
On May 11, 1883, Mr. Elsbree married Mrs. Mary Bauer, a native of Ohio and a daughter of John and Julia Bishop, both deceased. To Mr. and Mrs. Elsbree were born six sons: Frank, who is living in tacoma; Joseph, manager of the Milky Way Farm and a resident of Sumas; Emanuel, whose home is at Lake Stevens, washington; Guy, who conducts a garage at Acme; Forest, also a resident of Acme; and Byron, who was drowned when six and a half years of age. By her former marriage Mrs. Elsbree has two daughters: Mrs. Esther Osborn, who lives in the state of Indiana; and Mrs. Sarah Currie, of Spokane, Washington.
Mr. Elsbree was an adherent of the democratic party and his public spirit led to his service on the school board. His was a useful and upright life, crowned with the success which is the reward of well directed industry. He conscientiously discharged every duty and obligation and his kindly nature and intrinsic worth endeared him to many friends, who mourn his passing.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 811
The death of the late Carl Elsner removed from Whatcom county one of her substantial and highly esteemed citizens, and the many beautiful tributes to his high standing in the world of affairs and as a man and a citizen attested to the abiding place he had in the hearts and affections of his myriad of friends throughout this locality. He was a native of Germany, born on the 10th of September, 1858, and his death occurred on the 8th of December, 1922, at the age of sixty-four years. His parents, both of whom are deceased, never left the fatherland. He secured a good, practical education in the public schools of his native land and remained with his parents until 1883, when he came to the United States, locating in what is now called Berlin, Nebraska. Because of poor health he had been excused from military service in his native land, and on coming to this county he adopted out-door life, engaging in farming in Nebraska, to which he devoted himself there until 1899, when he came to Whatcom county, stopping at Fairhaven about a month. He then bought forty acres of land in Ten Mile township, comprising the present family home. Later he added twenty acres but afterward sold ten acres, so that the farm now comprises fifty acres of fertile and productive land. The tract was covered with stumps and brush and part of the land was under water, the only improvement on the place being an old house, which he fixed up and occupied for a time, later building the present comfortable and commodious home.
Conditions when Mr. Elsner first came here were far from encouraging, his experiences in the face of obstacles beginning before he even moved onto his land. They came here by the way of Everson, where they were held up for a time on account of the bridge there being washed out. However, he had the true pioneer spirit and bravely applied himself to the taks of clearing the land and getting it in shape for cultivation. It is now practically all cleared and the improvements which Mr. Elsner placed on the farm have made it a most valuable and desirable property. At first he carried on general farming operations but later devoted his attention mainly to dairying, for which purpose he kept a nice herd of good grade milk cows. Formerly they separated the milk, selling only the cream, but they now ship the entire product. Chickens have also proven a profitable enterprise, and for both poultry and stock the farm produces a sufficiency of hay, oats and green stuff. Mr. Elsner carried on his operations with sound judgment and discrimination, and his labors were rewarded with a very satisfactory measure of prosperity.
In 1882, in Germany, Mr. Elsner was married to Miss Emily Hagemeister, who was born in Germany and who still lives on the home farm in Ten Mile township. To Mr. and Mrs. Elsner were born twelve children, namely: Frank of Lynden, who is married and has five sons; Fred, who is married and lives in Seattle; Alfred, who remains at home; Albert, who died at the age of two weeks; Mrs. Magdalena Miller, of Ten Mile, who is the mother of seven children; Carl, of Ten Mile, who is married and has two children; Anna, who is the wife of E. Klander, of Ten Mile, and is the mother of two children; Minnie, who remains at home; John, of Idaho, who is married and has two children; and Henry, Rudolph and Walter, who are at home and who were born on the present farm, the other children all being born in Nebraska. Mr. Elsner was always deeply interested in everything pertaining in any way to the progress and welfare of his community, having served for many years as a member of the Greenwood school board, and also on the township board of the Ten Mile district, of which he was secretary. During his early days here he also served as a road boss. His religious affiliation was with the Lutheran church, of which he was a liberal supporter, while fraternally he was a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. He was a member of the Grange, and five of the children are now members of the Ten Mile Grange.
The beginning of Mr. Elsner's career was characterized by hard work and honest endeavor and he owed his rise solely to his own persistent and well directed efforts. He was universally recognized as a splendid citizen, of lofty character, sturdy integrity and unswerving honesty. During the pioneer period he shared fully the hardships and difficulties of those trying times. He was one of the sturdy figures upon whom the burdens of the new community fell, and he struggled devotedly with others in bringing about the resultant development. Hand and heart and purse were always open to the necessities of his neighbors, and the record of those years is one of tireless and unselfish devotion. He was a good husband and father, faithful and loving; a good citizen and friend, constant and reliable; a man in the fullest sense of the word, who at all times commanded the unbounded confidence and esteem of the entire community which was honored by his citizenship.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 273-274