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Whatcom County
Genealogy and History





Leach, Ralph H.

    Established in Bellingham for more than twenty years, Ralph H. Leach, manufacturer and retailer of jewelry in that city and one of the best known craftsmen in his line in the northwest, has long held a high place in local commercial circles. Mr. Leach was born at Brewer, a suburb of the city of Bangor, Penobscot county, Maine, November 29, 1883, and was but an infant when in the next year his parents, Fred H. and Hannah B. (Jackson) Leach, both members of colonial families in New England, came west with their family and located at Los Angeles, California. Fred H. Leach was a manufacturing jeweler, and under his competent instruction his son, Ralph, was thoroughly trained in the art of the jeweler's craft. In 1898 Mr. Leach came to Washington and opened a retail jewelry store in Seattle.

    On April 5, 1905, Ralph H. Leach arrived in Bellingham, and upon taking up his residence here he became employed in the L. L. Berens jewelry establishment. He was thus connected until 1913, when he opened a store of his own, starting in a room in the Mason building. He gave his particular attention to the manufacturing end of the business and this was developed to such proportions that within ten years the need of larger quarters compelled him to seek a new location. On January 1, 1923, he opened his present well equipped and admirably appointed establishment at No. 1334 Cornwall avenue and has since been engaged in business at that place with a well stocked store and an able staff of skilled craftsmen, operating the only manufacturing jeweler's shop in the town. Mr. Leach has for years made a specialty of the manufacture of jeweled insignia buttons and emblem buttons for festival and other purposes, and in 1925 he made five thousand buttons for the Victoria crystal carnival. He has for years been manufacturing the well known Tulip button, and when the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks held their state convention in Bellingham he filled the order for five thousand special buttons for that memorable occasion. His special Elks buttons and emblems have been sold in all parts of the United States and are worn by thousands of the members of that popular fraternal organization. His factory is equipped for the manufacture of any form of special jewelry and the products of his plant enter into the jewelry trade generally throughout the northwest.

    On February 12, 1908, in Bellingham, Mr. Leach was united in marriage to Miss Carrie L. White, a daughter of S. J. White, one of the pioneers of Bellingham, who has been a resident here since 1887. They have a son, Ralph S. Leach, who is associated with his father in the latter's jewelry business. The Leaches are republicans and have ever taken a proper interest in local civic affairs as well as in the general social activities of their home town. Mr. Leach is one of the active members of the local Rotary Club and of the Chamber of Commerce, is a Scottish Rite thirty-second degree Mason and a Noble of the Mystic Shrine and is also affiliated with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 41

Leavitt, Herbert Everett

    Coming to Whatcom county during the pioneer epoch in its history, Herbert Everett Leavitt has experienced all of the phases of frontier life, and many years of toil have been expended on the development of his fine ranch, which is situated in the vicinity of Maple Falls. A native of Canada, he was born March 18, 1865, at Melbourne, in the province of Quebec, and his parents, Albert and Mary (Wood) Leavitt, were also natives of the Dominion. The family is of English origin, and John Leavitt, the American progenitor, came to the new world as a passenger on the Mayflower. Dudley Leavitt, the father of Albert Leavitt, was a native of New Hampshire and his father served in the Revolutionary war, valiantly defending the rights of the colonists.

    Herbert E. Leavitt received a public school education and afterward mastered the carpenter's trade, which he followed for some time in Truckee, California. He arrived in Whatcom, Washington, in 1887, when twenty-two years of age, and obtained work as a carpenter. In 1888 he took up a homestead in Columbia township in a wild and isolated region and in those early days was obliged to pack his supplies from Bellingham, a distance of thirty miles, often bearing upon his back a burden of one hundred and thirty-five pounds. There was an abundance of game and he has killed fifty-five deer and two bears on his ranch, on which his son Herbert shot a wildcat in 1924. Mr. Leavitt has cleared and improved his place, building a good home and substantial farms and purchasing modern farm implements to facilitate the work of the fields. His tasks are systematically performed and his fertile land yields abundant harvests. For several years he operated a blacksmith shop at Maple Falls and was also the proprietor of the Bellingham Bay Chop House, which was opened in 1901. He conducted the Maple Falls Hotel and was later the owner of the Mount Baker Hotel. He also engaged in merchandising and displayed business acumen and executive force in the control of his interests.

    In 1897 Mr. Leavitt married Miss Ada McDonald, a native of Minnesota and a daughter of Andrew an Martha McDonald, who came to Whatcom county in 1884. Mr. McDonald entered the second homestead in columbia township and spent nine weeks on the task of transporting his worldly possessions to his claim, being obliged to carry everything upon his back, as there were no roads in those early days. To Mr. and Mrs. Leavitt were born fourteen children, but Tellis William, Mary Olive, Ida May, and Onie Isadore are deceased. Of the ten who survive Martha Ada is the eldest. She was married to Horace Cunningham, of Everett, Washington, and they have three daughters. Luella Matilda is the wife of Joseph Kaffrey of Columbia township and the mother of two sons. Albert Everett has a wife and son and lives at Maple Falls. Clarence Oaky is also married and makes his home in Bellingham. Rosie Bertha was united in marriage to Joseph Kosa, of Kendall, and they have one child, a son. Lillie Belle is the wife of Irvin Raughan, of Whatcom county, and they are also the parents of a son. The others are: Herbert Leon, John James, Pearl Violet and Dollie Liberta Leavitt, all of whom are at home.

    Mr. Leavitt is connected with the Royal Neighbors, with which his wife is also affiliated, and his political views are in accord with the tenets of the republican party. He has been the recipient of important trusts, all of which he has faithfully fulfilled. He was chosen road supervisor and served on the school board for a considerable period. He was afterward made constable and for twenty-four years was retained in that capacity, making a fine record in the office. Mr. Leavitt has a high conception of duty and honor and his interest in the public welfare has been manifest in tangible efforts for the general good.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 659-660

Lees, Miss Florence E.

    Miss Florence E. Lees, principal of the Lincoln school, has been connected with the educational interests of Bellingham for thirty years and is widely known in educational circles throughout the state. Miss Lees was born in the city of Hastings, Barry county, Michigan, and is a daughter of Isaac B. and Lucina (Bierce) Lees, the latter born in New York, and a member of one of the old families of the Empire state. The late Isaac B. Lees, whose last days were spent in Bellingham, was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and was a building contractor, a vocation he followed at Hastings, Michigan, until 1894, when he came to Bellingham, where the remainder of his life was spent, his death occurring here in April, 1912. The first of the Lees family to come to Bellingham was Miss Fannie E. Lees, who is 1891, in response to the call then going back east for competent teachers to enter the service of the schools in this state, came to Whatcom county and was made principal of the Columbia school in Bellingham, where she continued to serve for nine years. In 1900 she was given the chair of the mathematics in the high school and thus continued to serve, an effective members of the city's teaching staff, for fifteen years, or until her retirement in 1915. For six years prior to her arrival here she had been a teacher in the Michigan schools.

    Reared at Hastings, Michigan, Miss Florence Lees was graduated from the high school in that city, and supplemented this by a course in the Michigan High School Normal and was engaged in teaching in her home state until 1894, when she came here with her parents and was employed as teacher of the fourth grade in the Columbia school. From 1894 to 1896 she was principal of the Washington school and in 1903 was made principal of the Lincoln school. When Roeder school was built she was made principal of that unit and thus continued to serve until her resignation in 1911 to take a vacation and to secure a bit of relaxation from the routine of the schools. Going to the eastern part of the state Miss Lees took up a one hundred and sixty-acre homestead claim in Grant county and with her brother and sister settled down to prove up on the same. This was successfully accomplished and her brother and sister now are occupying that place, a well improved irrigated farm. In 1921 Miss Lees resumed her connection with the Bellingham schools and has since been serving as principal of the Lincoln school, a valued factor in the city's admirable school system. Miss Lees is a member of the Protestant Episcopal church and has ever given her earnest and thoughtful attention to parish affairs as well as to the general social and cultural activities of the city and community at large, helpful in promoting all movements designed to advance the common welfare. She resides at 511 East Holly street and is quite pleasantly situated there.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 282-283

Lehman, Charles and George

    Among the practical and successful farmers of the Nooksack valley, none takes precedence over the Lehman brothers, whose splendid farm is numbered among the best in that locality, owing to their indomitable efforts, directed by sound and discriminating judgment. The elder of the brothers, Charles Lehman, was born in Chicago, Illinois, a son of Charles and Minnie (Knock) Lehman, both of whom were born and reared in Germany. In 1869 they came to the United States and located near Chicago, where for a while the father was employed in brickyards. Later he rented thirty acres of land and engaged in market gardening, supplying the retail trade and also retailing his own produce from wagons. He successfully followed that business until 1901, when he sold out and came to Whatcom county, buying one hundred and twenty acres of land in the Nooksack valley, a few acres of which were cleared, and he devoted himself closely to the improvement and cultivation of that place until his death, which occurred in 1908. His wife passed away in 1910. They were the parents of ten children, namely: Mrs. Lizzie Zamzow, of Nooksack; Mrs. Ida Meyer, of Chicago, Illinois; Charles; Edward, who is married and lives on the home farm; Mrs. Lena Munson, of Seattle; Mrs. Rose McGrath, who lives in Nooksack; George; Walter, who died when he was thirteen years old; and Benjamin and Willie, both deceased.

    The junior Charles Lehman was educated in the public schools of Chicago and on leaving school devoted his energies to assisting his father in the gardening business. He accompanied his parents on their removal to Whatcom county in 1901 and after coming here spent the summers in work in the logging camps and the winters in sawmill work. In 1907 he bought a tract of one hundred and twenty acres one and a half miles east of Nooksack, it being mainly rough stump land, and at once began clearing it off. He now has about twenty-five acres in cultivation, the remainder of the land being devoted to pasturage. He has since admitted his brother George to a partnership in the ranch and together they run a successful dairy business, keeping twelve good grade cows and several hundred chickens. Charles Lehman's experience in market gardening has stood him in good stead here, and he has shown ripe judgment in his operation of the farm. He raises choice potatoes and also has an acre in gooseberries. Three years ago the Lehman brothers set out twenty acres of cherry trees, of the sour, or pie, variety, and this orchard is one of the finest of its age in the county, now producing several tons of fine fruit yearly. The trees are carefully cultivated and fertilized, and in a few years this will be one of the show orchards of Whatcom county. In all of their operations they believe in intensive farming, in order to secure maximum results, and they have gained a high reputation because of their methods and accomplishments. In 1903 they built a fine barn and are now well able properly to care for their stock and products. Both are members of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association. Though very busily occupied in their farm work, they never neglect their duty to the community and give their earnest support to every progressive enterprise or measure, and their hospitality and friendliness have brought them well deserved popularity.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 843-844

Lehmann, Emil T.

    Emil T. Lehmann, of Lawrence township, resides in the vicinity of Everson and devotes his attention to the occupation of farming, owning one of the desirable ranches of this locality. A son of Emil T. and Augusta Lehmann, he was born in 1865 and is a native of Stockholm, Sweden. In 1849 the father joined the rush of gold seekers to California, spending five years in the mining district of that state, and in 1854 he returned to Sweden. He was married soon afterward and lived in the city of Stockholm until 1884, when he again crossed the Atlantic. He spent some time in chicago and then came to the Pacific coast, locating in Seattle, Washington. There he met death in a street car accident in 1901. The mother passed away in Chicago.

    Mr. Lehmann was educated in his native city and in 1880, when fifteen years of age, came to the United States. For three years he was a sailor on the Great Lakes and after abandoning a seafaring life became a street car employee, working for the West Chicago Street Car Company. In 1889 he came to the northwest, coming first to Whatcom county in search of a homestead, but when the fire department was formed in Seattle he entered that branch of municipal service. Mr. Lehmann next entered a homestead in Mason county, Washington, and proved up on his claim, which he afterward sold. He returned to Seattle and later built the first home on the north side of Green lake. He was engaged in farming in San Juan county, Washington, for twenty years and in 1923 moved to Whatcom county, buying a tract of eighty acres in Lawrence township. He cleared twenty acres of the land and has brought it to a high state of development. Broad experience has taught him the most effective methods of cultivating the soil, and his dairy is modern and sanitary. His is also a poultryman, and he receives good returns from his well directed labors.

    In 1891 Mr. Lehmann married Miss Nettie Nelson, a native of Fillmore county, Minnesota, and seven children were born of their union, namely: Arthur, who is living in San Juan county; Edith, the wife of William McLaughlin, who also make his home in that county; Jennie, who married Henry Weddle, of Orcas Island; Carl E., who also lives on that island; Ralph, at home; Henry, who resides on Orcas island; and Edward, at home. Mr. Lehmann is an adherent of the republican party. He has always evinced a deep interest in public affairs and has cooperated in many plans and projects fro the general good. He has had a varied and interesting career and the story of his life is a record of earnest effort, directed into worthy channels.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 493-494

Leine, Helge

    Among the highly respected men of Whatcom county, none stands higher in public esteem than does Helge Leine, of Ferndale township, where he is living in a comfortable and attractive home. He is a native of Norway and is a son of Helge and Annie Leine, both of whom were also natives of Norway, in which country they spent their entire lives, both now being deceased. The son was educated in his native land and remained at home until 1880, when he became the husband of Bertha Ostrum, a daughter of Ivan and Maret (Lein) Ostrum. In the year following their marriage they came to the United States, settling first in Minnesota, where they lived for three or four years. Then they went to North Dakota, where they took up a homestead near Cooperstown, which they improved and developed into a good farm, and that was their home until 1903, when they came to Washington. For a time they lived at Everett, Snohomish county, and after a few years came to Ferndale township and bought forty acres of land which they developed into a very good farm. Here Mr. and Mrs. Leine are now living and are very comfortably situated, their cozy home in the timber being one of the most attractive in this locality. Mr. Leine keeps some chickens and a few cows and raises a full line of vegetables. He also has in season a beautiful and luxurious flower garden.

    To Mr. and Mrs. Leine were born two children: Henry, who is now a prosperous photographer in Seattle; and Marie, who took a course in a business college in Bellingham and attended an academy at Parkland, near Tacoma, and is now living with her parents. They are very popular in the community in which they live, moving in the best social circles and possessing gracious qualities which commend them to the esteem and confidence of those with whom they come in contact.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 932

LeValley, Earl E.

    Earl E. LeValley, manager of the Bellingham plant of the Columbia Valley Lumber Company and one of the most widely experienced lumbermen in this section of the state, was born in Park Falls, Price county, Wisconsin, in 1892, a son of Thomas and Gertrude (Pake) LeValley, the former born in Canada and the latter in Wisconsin. Earl E. LeValley finished his education in Valparaiso (Ind.) University, graduating there in business administration in 1911, after which he became employed in the office of the Roddis Lumber & Veneer Company in his home town, Park Falls. In 1913 Mr. LeValley came to Cashmere and entered the employ of the Columbia Valley Lumber Company as manager of its plant and offices there. He managed that yard until 1923 when he came to Bellingham to manage the yard when the Columbia Valley Lumber Company bought out the  Bloedel-Donovan Lumber Mills. This company was incorporated in 1911 and has come to be recognized as one of the largest general dealers in lumber in the northwest, with yards in many cities in Washington. The Bellingham plant of the company is located at 1615 State street, where it occupies a frontage of four hundred feet, and handles everything in the building trades. In March, 1923, the company took over the yards of the Bloedel-Donovan Lumber Company at Bellingham and its present realty holdings there now cover several acres. It also operates a flourishing sash and door factory on Ellis street. J. H. Bloedel is the president of this company, J. J. Donovan is the vice president and W. C. Miller is the general manager.

    In 1915, two years after his arrival in Washington, Mr. LeValley was united in marriage to Miss Margaret G. Mossop of Skykomish and they have two daughters, Marjorie Jean and Eloise Ann. Mr. and Mrs. LeValley are republicans and take a proper interest in general civic affairs, as well as in the general social activities of the city. Mr. LeValley is an active member of the Chamber of Commerce and a director of the Rotary Club, is a Royal Arch Mason and an Elk and is affiliated with the Hoo-Hoos, a lumbermen's fraternity.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 763

Levien, Carl

    The present solid prosperity that characterizes Whatcom county may be attributed largely to her pioneers. In the days of her settlement, when a wilderness was the only welcome tendered the strangers who came here, little to encourage and much to discourage fell to their lot. But these sturdy men who came to their new home with a determination to succeed, and who worked persistently and honestly, became later the prosperous and honored citizens of this locality. In this class stands Carl Levien, who after years of honest and successful effort is now living retired in Blaine, enjoying a well deserved rest from the strenuous labors which marked his career after arriving in this locality. Mr. Levien was born in the north of Germany on the 29th of December, 1857, and is a son of Fritz and Sophie (Warnke) Levien, both of whom also were natives of the fatherland, where they spent their lives and died. They were the parents of six children: Carl, Henry, August, Louise, Johanna and Fred, the four last named of whom are deceased.

    Carl Levien secured his education in the public schools of his native land and then learned the trade of a harness maker, which he followed until August, 1882, when he came to the United States. On arriving here, he went direct to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he remained about fourteen months, at the end of which time he went to work with logging crews in the woods of Wisconsin. He was thus employed for about seven years and then, in June, 1889, came to Whatcom county, Washington, and bought forty acres of land in Delta township, seven miles east of Blaine. The tract was densely covered with timber and brush, and after erecting a log cabin he entered upon the laborious task of clearing it. He created a good farm and lived there for five years, when he sold the place and moved to Custer township, near Blaine, where he bought thirty acres of land, also covered with timber, and again entered upon the task of carving a farm out of the wilderness. He succeeded in developing a splendid homestead, to the cultivation and improvement of which he devoted himself for twenty-six years, or until 1919, when he sold the place and moved to a comfortable home in Blaine, where he is now living.

    On September 17, 1882, Mr. Levien was married to Miss Mary Hostrup, who was born in Germany, a daughter of Andrew and Anna (Slynks) Hostrup, both of whom were natives of Germany and came to the United States in 1885. They located in Washington and here spent the remainder of their lives, the father dying in 1901 and the mother in 1910. They were the parents of two children: Mary (Mrs. Levien), and Anna. To Mr. and Mrs. Levien have been born nine children: Henry, Andrew, Fred, Charles, Anna, August, deceased, Herman, deceased, August and Mary. Herman enlisted for service in the World war and was killed October 5, 1918, in the Argonne offensive. Mr. Levien is a man of splendid personal qualifications, genial and friendly in manner, interested in all public questions affecting the welfare or prosperity of his community and supporting all worthy benevolent object. Because of these qualities he has long enjoyed an enviable standing in the confidence and esteem of the entire community.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 540-541

Lewis, Alex

    The demise of Alex Lewis, one of the sterling pioneers of Whatcom county, was greatly regretted by all who knew him, his tragic death, on August 2, 1898, removing from the community one of its foremost and best liked citizens. He possessed a splendid personality, was a man of kindly and generous nature, exercised sound business judgment in all of his affairs and took a public-spirited interest in everything relating to the welfare of the community in which he lived. Genial and friendly in his social relations, he won a host of warm and loyal friends, among whom his memory still remains as a blessed benediction. Mr. Lewis was a native of the state of Maine and a son of Cyrus Lewis, whose ancestors came to this country from England in the Mayflower and settled in New England. He was educated in the public schools of his native state, and at the outbreak of the Civil war he enlisted in *Company A, Thirty-sixth Regiment, Maine Volunteer Infantry, with which he served until the battle of Gettysburg, where he was captured. He was for some time a prisoner in the notorious Andersonville prison pen, suffering from hunger and other privations, and was exchanged and sent home at the close of the war. Afterward he became a ship carpenter, which vocation he followed until 1880, when he came to Washington, locating in Cowlitz county, where he bought a small ranch and also served as postmaster. In 1883 he came to Whatcom county and took up a homestead of eighty acres in Delta township, seven miles northwest of Lynden. He cleared off and ditched thirty acres of this land, onto which he moved after his marriage, in 1890, and remained there until his death. He was hard-working, energetic and persevering and created a good home, in which he took justifiable pride. On August 2, 1898, he and his eldest son, Perley A., were killed in a railroad accident at Blaine.

    Mr. Lewis was married, in 1890, at Bellingham, Whatcom county, to Miss Dora B. Osborn, who was born in Kansas, a daughter of William and Mary A. (Lower) Osborn, the former of whom was born in Pennsylvania and the latter in Missouri. Her father emigrated to Kansas in 1861 and took up a homestead, being a pioneer of his locality. He continued to operate his farm there until 1883, when he came to Bellingham, Washington, and took up a preemption claim in Ten Mile township. He later sold that place and moved into Bellingham, where his death occurred April 28, 1898, at the age of seventy-seven years. Mrs. Osborn passed away in 1875. They were the parents of six children, all of whom are living, namely: Mrs. Magdalena Hungerford, John H., Randolph, Oliver, Dora B., and Mrs. Cora C. Whittington, who lives in Oklahoma, all of the other children being residents of Washington. To Mr. and Mrs. Lewis were born five children, namely: Perley A., Columbus and George W., all deceased; Marietta, who was graduated from the Lynden high school and from the State Normal School at Bellingham, afterward taught school for five years and is now attending college at Corvallis, Oregon; and Mrs. Martha B. Gustavson, who is the mother of a son, George, born October 21, 1923. In June, 1901, Mrs. Lewis became the wife of Robert A. McLeod, who was a native of the isle of Lewis, Scotland, born in December, 1859, and whose death occurred April 18, 1923. To this union were born four children, namely: Hugh R., born June 30, 1902, who is at home; Jessie C., born August 5, 1904, who lives in Bellingham; James H., born November 17, 1907, also at home; and William D., born November 14, 1910, who is a student in high school.

    In 1895 Mrs. McLeod had purchased forty acres of land in Delta township, about ten acres of which were cleared, and about twenty-five acres of this land are now in cultivation. A good barn was built in 1895 and in 1913 a fine, modern home was erected. Mrs. McLeod has eight good grade Jersey cows and farms the land mainly to hay and grain, a part of the tract being reserved for pasture. She is a woman of tact and sound business judgment and manages her affairs in a manner that has gained for her the commendation of all who know her. She is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association, the Whatcom County Poultry Association and the Farmers Mutual Telephone Company. She is friendly and hospitable and is a very popular member of the circles in which she moves.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 936-937



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