Mathes, Edward T.
Edward T. Mathes, ex-mayor of Bellingham, former president of the Washington State Normal School and for years one of the well known merchants of that city, slao widely known throughout the northwest as a lecturer, has been a resident of Bellingham for more than twenty-five years and there are few men in this section of the state who have a wider acquaintance than he. Mr. Mathes was born in the village of Fulton, Kalamazoo county, Michigan, and is a son of Barnard and Angeline (Fritz) Mathes, the latter of whom was born in the state of Ohio. Barnard Mathes was an Alsatian, who came to this country with his parents when but a child.
Reared in Michigan, Edward T. Mathes was given a good education and, early evincing an unusual aptitude for study, was sent to Heidelberg University at Tiffin, Ohio, where he majord in history and where he was definitely prepared for teaching. Upon leaving the university he went to Kansas and was made principal of the schools of Wathena, Doniphan county. After two years of service there he took a year of special work in Wichita University and was then called to the position of superintendent of schools at Lyons, county seat of Rice county, Kansas, from which place in 1896 he went to Lewiston, Idaho, to become a member of the faculty of the Idaho State Normal School, where he remained until in 1899, when he resigned that position and came to Bellingham to accept the presidency of the Washington State Normal School. For over fifteen years Mr. Mathes continued to serve in that capacity, aiding materially in the development of the school system in this state. In 1914 he resigned that position and opened a book store in Bellingham. When this country entered the World war in 1917 Mr. Mathes was serving as a member of the executive committee of the Young Men's Christian Association in the state of Washington and he rendered effective service in promoting the organization of an efficient unit of the Y for was service work. In a secretarial capacity he left for overseas duty in connection with the association's activities in the war area and was made regional director in charge of the Fourth region, working among the American soldiers brigaded with the British army. For fifteen months Mr. Mathes remained overseas, returning in September, 1919.
In December following he was elected mayor of Bellingham and in this executive capacity rendered effective public service for four years. Meantime, in response to calls from various parts of the state and throughout the northwest country, he had been lecturing and upon the completion of his term of office he sold his book store, retired from business and has since been devoting his time largely to his lectures.
In December, 1892, at Wichita, Kansas, Mr. Mathes was united in marriage to Miss Helen L. Jones and to this union three children have been born, Virginia, born in 1898, was graduated from the State Normal School and died in 1917; Paul, born in 1900, died in 1902; and Homer, born in 1904, was graduated from the high school at Bellingham, later attended Pullman College and is now employed in an architect's office in Seattle. Mrs. Mathes was born in Chautauqua county, New York, and was a daughter of James Chapin and Elizabeth Coffin (Hussey) Jones. Her mother died in New York when Mrs. Mathes was but a child, and she and her father went from that state to Kansas, settling in Wichita, where she grew to womanhood and was married.
Mr. and Mrs. Mathes are members of the Presbyterian church. For twenty years or more he has been a ruling elder of the congregation with which he is affiliated. He is a charter member of the Twentieth Century Club of Bellingham and is also a charter member of the locally influential Rotary Club of that city. In politics he is a democrat while his wife is a republican. In 1920 and again in 1924, he was a candidate for the office of governor of directors of the Y. M. C. A., serving for over twenty-two years.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 74-77
Ethel Mathewson, who conducts the popular Mathewson's Millinery at Bellingham, as attracted an extensive patronage to her establishment not only by reason of her skill as a designer but because of her marked ability as a business woman. Born at Portage, Wisconsin, she is a daughter of Frank and Alice (Thompson) Mathewson, who were natives of Ohio and Rhode Island, respectively. When still very young she began learning the millinery business with the firm of Way & Merrill at Pardeeville, Wisconsin, and subsequently was employed by various other millinery concerns, specializing in the designing of hats. It was in 1922 that she traveled westward across the continent to Whatcom county, Washington, and took up her abode at Bellingham, where she entered the millinery conducted by Mrs. Grace Belford, who had established herself in business in the Exchange building about 1920. About two years later the millinery was moved to the Alaska building. In January, 1925, Miss Mathewson purchased the Belford shop, which has since been known as Mathewson's Millinery. She carries the popular millinery lines, including the Gray-Bel, which she handles exclusively. Miss Mathewson specializes in made-to-order hats and is very successful in her chosen field of endeavor.
In Bellingham, her adopted city, Miss Mathewson has won an extensive circle of warm and admiring friends. She is a student of Christian Science and is a member of the Business Women's Club.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 659
Matthews, C. W.
Among the well known and influential pioneers of Whatcom county was the late C. W. Matthews, who, after a useful and successful life, passed on to a higher plane of action. When he and his wife came here, forty-five years ago, they found a wooded country, and were compelled to clear the land before a crop could be raised, but he was a man of courage and far-sightedness, and underwent the hardships and trials of a pioneet life in order that those who came after him might reap the benefits of the homestead which he created. His career and the history of this locality during the subsequent years were practically the same, for he took an active part in the development of this district and was long recognized as one of the leading men of the community.
Mr. Matthews was born in Delaware county, New York, on the 15th of November, 1840, and his death occurred on the 21st of January, 1916, in the seventy-sixth year of his age. He was a son of Thomas and Sarah Jane (Gregory) Matthews, lifelong residents of New York state. He received his educational training in the district schools of his home neighborhood, and then learned the carpenter trade, at which he was employed until the outbreak of the Civil war, when he enlisted in the New York Volunteer Infantry, his company being commanded by Capt. John Clark. He served until the close of the war and was wounded in the engagement at Hilton Head, South Carolina. In 1866 he was married and then truned his attention to farming, which he followed there until 1874, when he moved to Illinois, where he remained about three years. His next move was to Kansas, and at the end of two years he made the trip by prairie schooner to Wyoming, reaching that state, July 23, 1880. Locating at Miner's Delight, he obtained work in the mines but about a year later again turned his face westward, traveling by railroad to San Francisco, California, and thence by boat to Port Townsend, Washington, arriving at Bellingham, Whatcom county, July 2, 1881. Soon afterward Mr. Matthews filed on one hundred and sixty acres of land in Ferndale township and applied himself with energy to the task of clearing it and getting it ready for cultivation. In 1884 he built the first house on the place, being compelled to wait a long time for lumber, there being no sawmills in that locality. He cleared eight acres of the land, created a splendid homestead and devoted himself indefatigably to its operation during the remainder of his active years, the ranch being now managed by his widow. About 1905 Mr. Matthews bought twenty acres of cleared land adjoining his place, and thus had one hundred acres in cultivation. It is fine land and through all the years of his operations here Mr. Matthews so managed the rotation of crops and the care of the soil as to realize handsome returns for his labor. He was a man of cool-headed judgment, wise discrimination and sound commonsense, and the prosperity which crowned his efforts was well merited. In 1908 Mr. Matthews built a substantial and commodious barn and in 1909 erected the splendid, modern house in which the family still lives, and a fine silo, where provision is made for winter feed. At one time he ran a large dairy, and Mrs. Matthew now keeps five cows. Modern farm machinery, including a tractor, is employed in the cultivation of the farm and in every respect the Matthews place is considered one of the best, as it is one of the oldest farms in the western part of Whatcom county.
On December 25, 1866, Mr. Matthews was married to Miss Angelica Shaver, who was born in Delaware county, New York, November 2, 1850, a daughter of James W. and Julit (Davis) Shaver. The father was born, lived and died in Duchess county, New York, and the mother, who was born in Delaware county, New York, died in Jacksonville, Mississippi. To Mr. and Mrs. Matthews were born eight children: Mrs. Cora McClanahan, who was born in New York state, now lives in Vancouver, Britich Columbia, and is the mother of three sons, Abner, Wesley, who has a son, Wesley Boyd, and Cassius Martin; Orrie, who was born in New York, now lives with his mother and operates the home ranch; Mrs. Juliet McClanahan, born in New York, now lives at Langley Prairie, and is the mother of three sons, Leonard, Cecil and Sylvester; James, born in Kansas, is married and is the father of four daughters, Grace, Anna Claire, Ruth, and Laura May; Lyman, born in Washington, is married and has a daughter, Eunice; Mrs. Jennie Isaacson was born in Washington; Sheridan, born in Washington, is married and has six children, Shirley, Lyle, Billie, Phyllis, Ted (deceased) and Ned, twins. Billie, born in Washington, enlisted for the World war in Company F, Sixth Battalion, Twentieth Engineers, was sent overseas on board the "Tuscania," which was torpedoed at sea, February 5, 1918, and he was killed, being the first boy from Whatcom county to lose his life in the World war.
Mrs. Matthews is one of the few real pioneers of this locality still remaining, and she talks in a very interesting and entertaining manner of the early days in this locality, when it was practically a solid wilderness, with not even a well-defined path, and when one had to be on the constant lookout for wild animals, such as the bear and the cougar, which roamed the forests at will. It required real courage to remain here and create a home under such conditions, but she has never regretted coming to the west. Mr. Matthews was a worthy example in all that constituted true manhood and good citizenship and none stood higher than he in the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens. His career was characterized by duty faithfully performed, by faithfulness to every trust reposed in him, by industry, thrift and wisely-directed efforts, which resulted in the accumulation of a liberal share of this world's goods, besides earning a reputation which was never clouded by unworthy acts.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 650-651
The true western spirit of progress and enterprise is exemplified in the lives of such men as Lyman Matthews, one of Whatcom county's honored native sons, whose energetic nature and laudable ambition have enabled him to conquer adverse circumstances and advance steadily on the road to prosperity. Such a man is a credit to any community, for his career has been ordered according to the highest standards of honor and integrity, and he stands high in the esteem of his fellow citizens. Mr. Matthews was born on the old Matthews homestead near Ferndale, Whatcom county, on the 18th of May, 1882, and is a son of Charles W. and Angelica Matthews, who are referred to at length on other pages of this work. He was educated in the Anatole school in Ferndale township, and after completing his studies he went to work in the timber camps in Whatcom county, following that work here for several years. He then went to British Columbia, where he was employed for several years, and then returned to Whatcom county. In 1920 Mr. Matthews bought eighty acres of land in Delta township, the tract being densely covered with timber and brush, and to the clearing of the land he devoted his energies. He now has about twenty acres cleared and under cultivation, his main crops being hay, grain and potatoes. He keeps seven good milk cows and is making preparations to embark in the chicken business on an extensive scale. A comfortable house was on the farm with Mr. Matthews bought it and in 1921 he built a good barn, in addition to which he has made other substantial improvements, enhancing the value of the farm, which is now a very desirable property.
In 1913 Mr. Matthews was married to Miss Inez Jordal, a native of Iowa and a daughter of Nels and Carrie (Christensen) Jordal, the former of whom was a native of Norway and the latter of Wisconsin. Nels Jordal came to Whatcom county in 1899 and engaged in farming, which vocation he has followed to the present time. His wife died January 17, 1924. They became the parents of five children, all of whom are living, namely: Inez, Bryan A., Mrs. Hassie May Nyquist, Blanche, who teaches school in Oregon, and Arthur Howard. Mr. and Mrs. Matthews are the parents of a daughter, Eunice, who was born December 24, 1913, and is now in school. Mr. Matthews is a man of great energy and industry, idleness being entirely foreign to his nature, as has been evidenced by the splendid progress made by him in the development and cultivation of his ranch. He is an experienced logger and during the past five years has, during the periods when relieved from farm work, been engaged in hauling logs from the Canadian boundary to the Iverson mill, keeping four good draft horses for this purpose. During the course of an honorable career he has been successful in all that he has undertaken and has at all times enjoyed the confidence and good will of those with whom he has been associated either in a business or social way.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 356
It is not an easy task to describe adequately a man who has led a very active and busy life and who has attained a position of relative distinction in the community with which his interests are allied, but biography finds its most perfect justification, nevertheless, in tracing and recording such a life history. It is, then, with a feeling of satisfaction that the writer essays the tasks of touching briefly upon the details of such a record as has been that of Jacob Matz, who was born in West Prussia, Germany, on the 3d of August, 1848, and is a son of Andrew and Mary (Panzke) Matz, also natives of Germany. The family came to the United States in 1869, settling in Minnesota, where the father engaged in farming for many years, or until his retirement, when he moved to Waseca, where he passed his remaining days, his death occurring about 1901. He was survived by his widow, whose death occurred in 1913. Of the eleven children who blessed their union, four are now living. Jacob, Joseph, Andrew and Ignacius. Jacob Matz received a good education in the public schools of his native land and accompanied his parents on their removal to the United States in 1869. He remained in Minnesota three years and then came to Washington, landing at what is now the city of Bellingham, November 21, 1872. He took up a preemption claim to one hundred and sixty acres in section 9, Ferndale township, and in 1873 filed on a homestead of one hundred and fifty acres located on the Nooksack river, on sections 4 and 9, of the same township and close by his first tract. This was all brush and swamp land and presented a not very inviting appearance but Mr. Matz went to work and by hard and unremitting toil cleared about two hundred acres of the land, to the cultivation of which e applied himself until 1912, when he sold the ranch and retired from active business affairs. He bought a lot in Ferndale on which he erected a very attractive and comfortable house and here is now enjoying that rest and leisure to which his former years of toil so richly entitle him. To Mr. Matz belongs the distinction of being one of the first half dozen men to begin farming operations in Whatcom county in 1873. He and his brother, who lived on the opposite side of the river each had a calf and broke them to work. One of them would row across the river, the calf swimming alongside the boat, and they they would yoke them together and put them to work in the field. During those early days many hardships and privations were endured but the pioneers had the vision of the future which encouraged them and kept them at their tasks, the later-day results proving the soundness of their judgment and vindicating their faith in Whatcom county.
Mr. Matz was married, November 1, 1876, to Thekla Fleming, a native of Germany and a daughter of Mathias and Rosalia (Kahnke) Fleming. Her parents also were natives of Germany, where they were reared and married, and in 1854 they brought their family to this country, settling in Wisconsin, of which state they were pioneers. The father devoted his attention to farming, in which he met with gratifying success, and eventually he retired and moved to Princeton, Wisconsin, where he lived until his death, in 1878. He was survived many years by his wife, whose death occurred in 1903. Of the eleven children born to them, seven are now living, namely, John, Mathias, Eva, Susan, Thekla, Katherine and Justina, all in the East excepting Mrs. Matz and Susan, who live in Bellingham, Whatcom county. Mr. and Mrs. Matz are the parents of three children: Joseph, who lives in Bellingham, was married to Miss Ida McDermott and they have six children, Anna, Mary, Frances, Joseph A., Agnes and Ignacius; Josephine S., who lives on a part of the homestead, is the wife of T. P. Reilly and they have eight children, Mary B., James B., John T., Cecilia T., Teresa P., Maurice J., Loretta V. and Patricia H.; Albert, who lives in Ferndale, was married to Miss Eva M. Diedrich and they have three children, Paul M. and twins, Reginald F. and Regina G. Mr. Matz is a member of the Pioneer Society of Whatcom County and is one of the oldest living pioneers of this county. He served one term as a trustee of the society and the following year was elected president. He also served one year as treasurer and is now a member of the board of trustees. He is still an active man despite his years and takes a keen interest in everything affecting the welfare and prosperity of his community. He has always been a generous man in his attitude toward benevolent and charitable objects and in all essential ways has proven himself a worthy citizen of his locality. Because of his long and honorable career, his fine public spirit, his splendid character and his friendly manner, he has ever stood high in the respect and esteem of all who know him.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 573-574
Among the up-to-date and progressive citizens of Lynden township, Fred Mauer has attained a high place in public esteem, for he has not only created a fine and productive farm, but his enterprising spirit has led him to establish other lines of business which have also proven successful. Because of his accomplishments and his marked business ability, as well as for his fine personal character, he is eminently entitled to representation among the leading men of his community. Mr. Mauer was born in Germany in 1865 and is a son of Gotfried and Sophia (False) Mauer, both of whom were lifelong residents of the fatherland, where they passed away, the father dying when our subject was sixteen years of age. Gotfried Mauer was a man of considerable prominence in his locality, being a forest overseer and having thirty-three thousand acres under his supervision.
Fred Mauer received a good education in his native land, attending the public schools, this being supplemented by four years of special work, by appointment, in a "Real" school. Then for a time he was employed in a tile and pipe factory, after which he worked on a railroad, and also learned telegraphy. In May, 1892, Mr. Mauer came to the United States, on his honeymoon trip, and went direct to Creston, Iowa, where relatives of his wife were living. There he obtained work on a railroad section gang, working thus for five years, and then, desiring to become established on his own account, he came to Lynden township, Whatcom county, and bought eighty acres of land near Everson. The land had been burned over but was still heavily incumbered with logs and brush. He at once entered upon the task of clearing this tract and now has about thirty acres in cultivation, the remainder being devoted to pasture. When he came here there were no roads leading to his land, but he built one himself, and this enterprising spirit has been evidenced in all of his operations. He is giving considerable attention to the dairy business, keeping eleven good grade cows, for which he raises his own feed, and he is making preparations to go extensively into the chicken business. Soon after locating here, Mr. Mauer discovered a bed of fine clay on his property and, having a technical knowledge of tile and brick making, he conducted some experiments along that line with the clay. He was satisfied with the results but did nothing further until 1917, when he engaged in the making of brick and drain tile, as well as building blocks, establishing the Hampton Clay Works, which has a capacity of three thousand tile and ten thousand bricks per day, which is practically all sold to the local trade. He has installed electric power and employs several men besides his sons, who give valuable assistance in the operation of the mill. He has also established a shingle mill, with a capacity of from eight thousand to ten thousand a day, but he runs this mill only to supply orders, carrying but a small stock of shingles. He is a mechanical genius, building his own kiln and the splendid home in which he lives, and making many other permanent and substantial improvements on the place, which is now numbered among the valuable and desirable farms of this locality.
Mr. Mauer was married in Germany, in 1892, to Miss Auguste Neuhold, a native of that county, and their trip to the United States was their honeymoon. Mrs. Mauer has been a true helpmate to her husband, who she has encouraged and assisted in every possible way. They are the parents of six children, namely: Alfred, who lives in Aberdeen, Washington; Bernard, who had three years of service with the Three Hundred and Sixty-first Infantry Regiment, both during and after the war; Annie, who is the wife of Charles Harvey, of Seattle, and has three daughters, Hazel, Loraine and Muriel; Elizabeth, who lives in Seattle; and Albert and Adolph, who remain at home.While Mr. Mauer has never held or sought public office, he has been an earnest worker for the advancement and improvement of his community, cooperating with his fellow citizens in every possible way to that end. He is a member and liberal supporter of the Lutheran church. Genial and friendly, courteous and accommodating, he has won a high place in the esteem and confidence of his fellow citizens, who respect him for what he is and for his accomplishments.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 356-357
Meek, J. F.
Among the citizens of Ten Mile township who by their indomitable efforts, marked business ability, fine public spirit and strength of character have won a high place in public esteem, none takes precedence over the subject of this sketch, who for a number of years has been an important factor in the development and progress of this section of the county. J. F. Meek was born in Aristook county, Maine, and is a son of Adam and Rebecca (Watson) Meek, the latter of whom was born in New Brunswick and is now living in Bellingham, Whatcom county, at the advanced age of ninety-three years. Adam Meek was born in Ireland, of sterling old Scotch-Irish stock, and after living a number of years in Maine he went to Elk River, Minnesota, where he was engaged in farming until 1900, when he came to Whatcom county, buying a home in Bellingham, where his death occurred in 1907.
J. F. Meek secured his education
in the public schools of Maine and Minnesota, going to the latter state in 1872. He remained there for sixteen
years and then, in the spring of 1888, came to the Pacific coast, stopping successively at Seattle, Tacoma and
Kle Cle Elum, looking over the country. He then went to the Big Bend country, where he took up
a preemption of one hundred and sixty acres, which he proved up, and then returned to Cle Elum, where he was employed
in various occupations about one and a half years. He next went to Seattle, where he remained a short time, after
which he spent six months in Auburn. In 1890 he came to Whatcom county and engaged in logging at Samish lake, driving
oxen and tending hooks in the logging camps until about 1891, when he bought ten acres of land in Ten Mile township,
the nucleus of his present fine farm. Later he bought ten acres adjoining his first purchase and still later bought
thirty acres more in the same neighborhood. Of the home farm he has about eleven acres cleared, the remainder being
in pasture, while he also has about eleven acres of the last tract cleared. When he came here the land was all
covered with virgin timber and comparatively little settlement had been made in this vicinity. The nearest highway
was the Smith road, which was hardly more than a trail, and the Guide Meridian road was about a mile and a quarter
from his place. During those early years Mr. Meek contributed of his time and labor in the construction of roads
and in every possible way helped to improve local conditions. In those days his principal occupations were dairying,
getting out shingle bolts and clearing the land, so that he had little time for leisure or idleness. In recent
years he has turned his attention more to the chicken business, having over a thousand laying hens, and also keeps
four good grade milk cows. His well cultivated fields produce all necessary feed for stock and chickens, and he
is making a splendid success of his farming operations. He has made many fine improvements on the place, which
he has brought up to a high standard of excellence, and now has a very attractive and desirable home.
In the fall of 1890, in Minnesota, Mr. Meek was married to Miss Alice Eaton, who was born and reared in that state, a daughter of William and Hattie (Roberts) Eaton, both of whom are still living in Minnesota. Her father is a veteran of the Civil war, during which he took part in a number of the most important battles and campaigns. To Mr. and Mrs. Meek have been born three children: Roy, who married Miss Violet Edens and lives on the Smith road, specialized in manual training and taught school, but is now engaged in carpentering. He is the father of two children, Bettie and Geraldine. Mildred, who is the wife of Edward Gannon, is a graduate of the State Normal School at Bellingham and taught for nine years. Mr. Gannon is now principal of the grade school at North Bend. They have one child, Jack. Gladys is the wife of Charlie Peters, a contractor foreman, and they have three children, Gilbert, Robert and Wayne.
During all the years of his residence in this locality, Mr. Meek has cooperated with his fellow citizens in every effort to improve local conditions, and he has been honored with a number of official positions. In 1892 he was made road supervisor, serving for two or three years, and in 1905 became road boss of district No. 3, serving three years. He has been deeply interested in educational affairs and served for eleven years as a member of the Victor school board. He helped to organize a Sunday school at the Victor schoolhouse, which finally developed into a Methodist Sunday school. He was the first man to put gravel on the Guide Meridian road, thus starting a movement which culminated in the final improvement of the road to its present excellent condition. He was one of the organizers of the organizers of the Laurel Creamery, of which he was secretary for several years. He is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and the Whatcom County Poultry Association and is president of the Poultrymen's Hatchery, a cooperative associating which owns a plant in Bellingham, with a capacity of one hundred thousand ducks per hatch. Politically Mr. Meek is a staunch supporter of the republican party and has served for twenty-five years as the committeeman for his district. Fraternally he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in 1889 having joined Lodge No. 57, at Waterville, Washington, and he now belongs to Rising Star Lodge No. 202, at Bellingham, of which he is noble grand. He is also a member of Bellingham Encampment No. 43, and of Bellingham Lodge No. 57, Daughters of Rebekah. Progressive and enterprising in his methods, he has not only been successful in advancing his individual affairs but has also shown a fine spirit of mutual cooperation with his neighbors and fellow citizens, so that he is rightfully assigned to a place in the front rank of the representative men of his locality.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 339-340
The United States can boast of no better or more law-abiding class of citizens than the great number of Norwegians who have found homes within our borders. Many of them came to this country with limited financial resources, but, imbued with a sturdy independence and a laudable ambition to succeed, they have taken advantage of the wonderful opportunities existing here and gradually, step by step, have risen to places of prominence in various lines of activity. Of these, none is more deserving of notice among the successful farmers of Whatcom county than Albert Megard, of Ferndale township, where he is well known and highly esteemed. Mr. Megard was born in Norway on the 30th of December, 1877, and is a son of Andrew and Anna (Olson) Megard, who also were born and reared in Norway. The father died in 1909 and the mother is still living on the old place in that country. To this worthy couple were born nine children, Pauline, Bertine, Mary, deceased, John, Eric, Albert, Marie, Anna and Maren.
Albert Megard attended the schools of his native land and completed his education in the schools of this country. He was an ambitious lad and, desiring a better opportunity for advancement than existed in Norway, he emigrated to the United States, landing in this country on May 2, 1893, when only a few months past fifteen years of age. He first located in Montana, where he lived about eighteen months, and then went to Minnesota, where he was employed on farms until his marriage, in 1903. After that important event, with his wife he went to Chehalis, Lewis county, Washington, where he was employed for about a year. He then came to Bellingham, where he lived about eight years, and during that time became the owner of a home there. In 1910 he bought forty acres of land near Laurel, in Ferndale township, cleared and improved it and in a short time had created a good farm and a comfortable home. He cultivates about thirty-two acres, raising mostly hay, grain and potatoes, and has met with a very gratifying measure of prosperity. He also gives considerable attention to poultry and has built two fine chicken houses, in which he keeps about six hundred hens, from which he derives a nice income. He has eleven good grade Guernsey and Holstein cows and also some young stock and two horses. He is a progressive farmer, up-to-date in his ideas and methods, and has a fine equipment of modern machinery. The general appearance of his place indicates him to be a man of good taste and excellent judgment, and he has gained the esteem and admiration of his fellow citizens, who have recognized in him a man of genuine worth and character.
On November 3, 1903, Mr. Megard was married to Miss Anna Nelsen, at Moorehead, Minnesota. She is a native of Norway and a daughter of Niels and Bertha Nelsen, natives of Norway, where the father is still living, the mother having died in 1891. To them were born five children, Christine, Nels, deceased, Anna, Louis and Peter. Louis is now a resident of Whatcom county, the other children, besides Mrs. Megard, remaining in their native land. Mr. and Mrs. Megard are the parents of four children: Alvin, born August 24, 1904, is at home; Agnes, born August 3, 1906, is a graduate of the Laurel high school and is now employed in an office in Bellingham; Bernice, born January 12, 1915, and Louis, born August 20, 1917. Mr. and Mrs. Megard are members of the Bethlehem Lutheran church, at Bellingham. They are hospitable and friendly, genial and kindly in their social relations and generous in their support of all worthy benevolent or charitable objects. Because of their success, their upright lives and their fine community spirit, they have many friends.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 655-656
Ole Melseth, who died at his farm home in Mountain View township in the fall of 1924 and whose widow still is making her home there, was of European birth but had been a resident of this country and of the state of Washington for almost a quarter of a century. He was born in Aalesund in the province of Trondhjem in the kingdom of Norway on January 21, 1876, and was a son of Magnus and Olave (Fause) Melseth, farming people, the former of whom died in 1882, leaving a widow and three children, a daughter and two sons. Ole Melseth was six years of age when his father died and he early was thrown pretty largely on his own resources for a livelihood. He remained with his mother, farming and fishing, until he was twenty-four years of age and then, in 1900, the year following his marriage, came to the United States and proceeded on out into Washington, locating at Seattle. There he secured employment with the Preston-King Lumber Company and began working in the logging camps and was thus engaged for four years, at the end of which time, in 1904, he returned to his native land and was gone for about eighteen months, during which time he helped to rebuild his old home town, Aalesund, which had been practically destroyed by fire.
Upon his return to Seattle Mr. Melseth resumed his labors in the lumber camps and was thus engaged until 1907, when he and his family took up their residence in Whatcom county, settling on a tract of fifty-six acres of land he had bought in Mountain View township, the place where his widow now is living. This was uncleared when he took hold of it and he had the difficult task of clearing and improving the place, a task which in time he had pretty well completed and had developed there a good piece of property, all but about twenty-acres of the place now being cleared and under cultivation. To his original holding Mr. Melseth added by purchase an adjoining tract of forty acres and had come to be regarded as one of the substantial farmers and dairymen of that neighborhood, even as he was one of the pioneers, for when he located there the highway had not yet reached his place and his outlet was the old woods trail. Mr. Melseth died on September 11, 1924, and at his passing left a good memory, for he had done well his part in general community development.
It was in June, 1899, in their native Norway, that Ole Melseth and Hannah Raistad were united in marriage, the ceremony taking place at the bride's home in Orstkog. Mrs. Melseth is a daughter of Han and Jensina (Grevstad) Raistad, who were farming people in Norway, the latter still living. Since the death of her husband Mrs. Melseth has continued to make her home on the dairy farm which she had helped her husband to develop and, with her son, Helmar Melseth, is carrying on operations there quite successfully, the products of their well equipped dairy being handled through the agency of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association. They also have a well equipped and well stocked poultry yard and are connected with the Poultry Association. A thriving young orchard on the place is a valuable asset to their holdings and they are doing very well. Besides the son, Helmar, born in 1900, Mrs. Melseth has five daughters - Jennie, Olga, Marie, Hilda and Emma, the last three named still at home, the last two still in school. Jennie was graduated from the State Normal School in Bellingham and is engaged in teaching at Lyman in the neighboring county of Skagit. Olga is employed in a commercial establishment in Bellingham. Mrs. Melseth has ever given earnest attention to the general social affairs of her community and for three years rendered public service as a member of the local school board. The Melseth home place is located on rural mail route 1 out of Blaine and the family is quite pleasantly situated there.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 819-820
Merriam, George W.
George W. Merriam, who has been a resident of Whatcom county during the past forty-four years, is now enjoying the evening of his life in well earned retirement, making his home at Bellingham. He was born in a Michigan logging camp, April 20, 1855, his parents being James C. and Rosannah (Parker) Merriam, who were natives of Cleveland, Ohio, and Buffalo, New York, respectively. He was still an infant when they left the Wolverine state, where the father had been engaged in logging, and took up their abode at Cleveland, Ohio.
In the latter place James C. Merriam followed the trade of carpentering until his removal to Missouri, whence he afterward made his way to Illinois. Having suffered the loss of a foot, he was incapacitated for military service in the Civil war. Eventually he and his wife went to Kansas, at the urgent solicitation of their son George, remaining residents of the Sunflower state until 1882, when they came to Whatcom county, Washington. Here the father was employed as a millwright in the colony mill. In 1890 he received serious injuries in a fire which destroyed the dry goods establishment conducted by his son under the name of Hayes & Merriam at Bellingham and by reason thereof remained in an invalid condition up to the time of his death, which occurred about 1900. His wife lost her life in this disastrous fire and her tragic end not only brought sorrow to the hearts of her loved ones but was deeply deplored by all who knew her.
George W. Merriam attended school in Missouri for two years and then accompanied his parents on their removal to Illinois, where he continued his studies. A sturdy, self-reliant little lad, he began providing for his own support at the early age of ten years by peddling various commodities. When a youth of twelve he worked in the harvest fields for half wages and a year later was given full wages. At the age of fifteen he left the parental roof and made his way westward to Kansas with ox teams, and he subsequently made two trips with cattle from Wichita, Kansas, to Texas. Longing to see his parents, he persuaded his father and mother to join him in the Sunflower state, where the family took up homestead claims and continued to reside until 1882, when they disposed of their property holdings and journeyed to the wester coast, taking up their permanent abode in Whatcom county, Washington, as noted above. Both father and son began working in the colony mill, and to the latter belongs the distinction of having knot-sawed the first shingle in this county.
George W. Merriam first conducted a saloon at Bellingham in association with John Hayes and in 1887 opened a dry goods store under the firm name of Hayes & Merriam. The establishment was rebuilt after the fire of 1890, but Mr. Merriam disposed of his mercantile interests two years later. He had conducted his saloon in addition to the dry goods store, and he continued in the liquor business in partnership with John Hayes until prohibition went into effect in Washington. There after he spent about seven years in the service of the Pacific-American Fisheries at Bellingham, where his is now living retired.
In 1888 Mr. Merriam was united in marriage to Miss Jane Spedding, a native of England, who arrived at Bellingham, Washington, in 1887. They became the parents of a daughter, Mrs. Rose Southern, who passed away leaving two sons, Clarence and William Southern. Mrs. Jane (Spedding) Merriam departed this life on the 17th of February, 1908, and a decade later, in 1918, Mr. Merriam was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Jennie Foltz, who had spent the first thirty-eight years of her life in her native state of Wisconsin. She came to Bellingham, Washington, on the 19th of September, 1906, and for a number of years was matron over the girl employees of the Pacific-American Fisheries.
Mr. Merriam gives his political support to the republican party, believing that its principles are most conductive to good government. He has reached the age of three score years and ten, and he has witnessed the wonderful development of Whatcom county through a period covering more than four decades.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 81-82
Merrill, Howard J.
Howard J. Merrill, a member of one of the old and prominent families of Blaine, is widely known as a customs broker and has also extended his operations to the lumber industry, in which he has likewise achieved success. He was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1888 and is a son of J. G. and Gertrude L. (Stewart) Merrill, the latter a native of St. Johns, New Brunswick. The father was born in the state of New Hampshire and cast his lot with the pioneers of Minnesota. He came to Blaine in 1886 and two years later brought his family to this locality, in which he operated a sawmill for some time. He was subsequently connected with the Alaska Packers Association, and he is spending the sunset period of life in the enjoyment of a well earned rest.
Howard J. Merrill was an infant when the family home was established in Blaine, and his education was acquired in its public schools. Before reaching his majority he became a customs broker and has since continued in the business, being exceptionally well informed on everything pertaining thereto. He has built up a large organization and conducts the only enterprise of the kind in Blaine. He also figures prominently in the lumber business as president of the Saginaw Shingle Company, which cuts one hundred and eighty thousand shingles per day and furnishes employment to twenty-four men. He has the fine perspective and executive capacity of the man of large affairs and in the operation of the mill has secured a high degree of efficiency.
In 1911 Mr. Merrill married Miss Maude Copestick, of Seattle, and their children are Elizabeth and Enid. In 1917 Mr. Merrill responded to his country's call to arms and was assigned to duty in the quartermaster's department. He was honorably discharged in April, 1919, and resumed his business activities in Blaine. He belongs to the local post of the American Legion and to the Forty and Eight Club, the social branch of that organization. He is nonpartisan in his political views, regarding the qualifications of a candidate as a matter of first importance, and his fraternal associations are with the Eagles and the Elks. Endowed by nature with keen mentality, Mr. Merrill has made good use of his opportunities, accomplishing everything that he has undertaken, and his progressive spirit and commendable traits of character have established him high in public esteem.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 402-403
Among the strong and influential citizens of Whatcom county the record of whose lives has become an essential part of the history of this section is Charles Meyer, who has exerted a beneficent influence throughout the community where he resides. His chief characteristics are keenness of perception, tireless energy, honesty of purpose and motive and every-day common sense, which have enabled him not only to advance his own interests but also to contribute largely to the material and moral advancement of the community where he lives. Mr. Meyer was born in the city of New York in 1860 and is a son of Bernard and Alka (Buss) Meyer, both of whom were natives of Germany. The father came to the United States when he was eighteen years of age and the mother at the age of twenty-one years, and their marriage occurred in Stephenson county, Illinois. In the latter place the father engaged in the grocery business, subsequently moving to Grundy county, Iowa, where he engaged in the same line of business. Some years later he moved to the northwestern part of that state, where his death occurred in 1903.
Charles Meyer received his educational training in the public schools of Stephenson county, Illinois, and accompanied his father to Iowa, in which state he lived until 1902, engaging in farming and in the operation of a restaurant part of the time. He then went to South Dakota, where he was engaged in farming for about a year, and while living there he bought forty acres of land in Lynden township, Whatcom county, Washington. From South Dakota he came to Whatcom county, this state, and was engaged in farming for about four years, at the end of which time, in 1907, he came to Lynden. For a while after coming here he worked as a wheelwright, but in 1908 he moved onto his land and built a house. The land had been logged over but was densely covered with brush and stumps. He has cleared about twenty acres, the remainder being devoted to pasture, and has made many fine improvements on the place, which is now a very comfortable and attractive farmstead. He carries on a general line of farming and also gives some attention to dairying, keeping five good grade milk cows, for which his fields produce sufficient feed, hay and grain being his principal crops. He is methodical and up-to-date in all his operations and has met with a very gratifying measure of success.
Mr. Meyer has been twice married, first, in 1884, to Miss Minnie Meyer, who was born in Germany and was brought to the United States in babyhood. She was a daughter of Richard and Reka (Feldman) Meyer, natives of Germany, the latter of whom is now living in Lynden, the father having died in Iowa in 1901. To Mr. and Mrs. Meyer were born eight children, namely: Mrs. Ollie Manus, of Lynden, who is the mother of four children; Bernard, of Twin Rivers, Washington; Richard, of Grant county, Minnesota; Mrs. Reca Bruse, of Grant county, Minnesota, who is the mother of three children; Henry, of Oso, Washington, who is married and has two children; Harry, of Lynden, who is married and has one child; Cecil, who remains at home; and one who is deceased. The mother of these children died February, 20, 1923, and in 1924 Mr. Meyer was married to Mrs. Hannah Mansen, who was born in Germany and had been in this country but a short time prior to her marriage. Mr. Meyer is a member of the Baptist church, to which he gives liberal support, as he does to all worthy benevolent objects. His career has been a busy and useful one and in all the relations of life he has proven signally true to every trust. Public-spirited and broadminded, he cooperates with his fellow citizens in all good works for the welfare of the community, and he has won and retains an enviable place in the confidence and respect of all who know him.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 419-420
Meyer, W. H.
Among the productive industries essential to Bellingham's growth and prosperity is that of the Western Woodworking Company, of which W. H. Meyer is the executive head, and for seventeen years he has ably and successfully guided its destiny. He was born November 6, 1878, in Red Wing, Minnesota, in which state his parents, W. H. and Meta Meyer, settled in pioneer times, his father embarking in the sash and door business.
The year 1905 witnessed the arrival of W. H. Meyer, Jr., in Seattle, Washington, and soon afterward he went to San Francisco, California. He spent a short time in the Golden state and in April 1906, came to Bellingham. The Western Woodworking Company was established at Dock and Laurel streets in 1906 by G. W. Meyer and E. C. Schumacher, who purchased the business of Dowd & Hallett and started with a force of about six men. In 1924 the plant was moved to No. 1604 Elk street, now State street, on which the company has a frontage of two hundred and seventy-five feet, and the property comprises about seven acres of land. The sawmill has a capacity of twenty-five thousand feet of lumber per day and the firm has constructed a dry kiln which has a capacity of three hundred thousand feet per month. The company manufactures showcases, etc., and the plant is equipped for interior work of all kinds. The firm is noted for its fine cabinet work and has about forty employes. Since the death of his brother, G. W. Meyer, in July, 1909, the subject of this sketch has been president of the company, and the other officers are R. H. Meyer, vice president; A. L. Meyer, secretary; and F. E. Meyer, treasurer. All are business men of high standing and are thoroughly acquainted with the line of work in which they specialize.
Mr. Meyer combines a capacity for detail with broad vision and administrative power and in the operation of the industry has secured maximum efficiency at a minimum expenditure of time, labor and materials. He is deeply engrossed in his work, for which he reserves all of his energies. In politics he maintains an independent course, regarding the qualifications of a candidate as a matter of first importance. A man of liberal views and tolerant spirit, he typifies the progressive tendency of the age and occupies a secure place in the esteem of Bellingham's citizens.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 406