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Whatcom County
Genealogy and History





Philo, Edwin M.

    Edwin Morris Philo, son of Charles D. and Hannah E. Philo, was born in Alden, Iowa, in 1858.  From Iowa his parents moved to Missouri for a time, then returned to Iowa for a period of five years.  They then went overland by team and wagon to Minnesota, where they settled on a farm.  There Edwin taught school, and clerked in stores in nearby towns.

    It was here that in 1882, he was married to Miss Mary Arbuckle, to which union in 1884, a son was born and named after his grandfather, Charles D. Philo.

    Shortly after the son was born, Mr. Philo became interested in the Pacific Coast, and in 1885, leaving his wife and child until he had definitely located a new home, he and some friends started west.  Arriving in Tacoma, they took the boat to Seattle, where the real estate men offered many bargains in hillside logged-off land, where now the heart of the city stands.  But Mr. Philo and his friends were not much impressed with the prospects of that section, so they decided to go on to Whatcom County, where a friend in Minnesota, by the name of Maltby had started a small mill in the little town of Lynden.

    Arriving in Whatcom, they continued by stage over the old Telegraph Road to Nooksack Crossing, ferried over the river and proceeding down the north bank, arrived in Lynden in July 1885.  Much impressed with the country and the friendly pioneer spirit that greeted them, they looked up their friend Mr. Maltby, who gave them work in the mill.  Satisfied with his surroundings, Mr. Philo bought property and built a small house at what is now 7th and Front Streets.  He then sent for his wife and son, who arrived in November, 1886.  The family at once fell in with the friendly spirit and helpful, generous tone of the pioneer community, and soon found a permanent and respected place in the settlement.

    With new homeseekers coming in, and new mills providing ample supplies of lumber, Mr. Philo found steady work as a carpenter.  One old landmark that Mr. Philo helped to build, was the Judson Store and Opera House, in its day a very striking structure.  In later years it was modified and is now occupied by the Farmer Mercantile Company.  He also purchased a piece of river bottom below the town which he improved, and there the family resided for a number of years.

    In 1912, Mr. Philo sold the farm and moved to a new house on east Front Street, where the family continued to live until he retired, a few years before he passed away in February, 1925.  Mrs. Philo and her son continued to live at the family home, which became a gathering place for the many pioneer friends, who often enjoyed the hospitality and open-heartedness of the pioneer home.  Mrs. Philo felt keenly the rapid changes that came with the automobile, and often remarked it rushed life so, that her friends rarely had time to stay long enough for a real visit.

    Mrs. Philo passed away in 1930, leaving her only son, Charles, who at this writing fills an honorable and respected place in the social and business life of the thriving city of Lynden.  By his marriage to Miss Lena Spearin, two old pioneer families of the Sound country were joined together, both of which occupy frontline positions in the ranks of the early builders of this section of Washington.  

Skqee Mus, R. E. Hawley, pub. 1945, pgs. 183-184

Pike, Harvey O.

    Harvey O. Pike, well known farmer in the vicinity of Everson, Whatcom county, may justly bear the title of self-made man, having by hard and unremitting effort worked his way from a modest beginning to an admirable and influential position among the successful men of his locality. The success attained in his enterprises has been due to his persistence, integrity and excellent judgment, which qualities have brought him also the universal esteem and respect of his community. Mr. Pike is a native of the state of Iowa, born on the 6th of October, 1877, and is a son of Charles and Armenia (Daly) Pike, the latter of whom was a native of Ohio. Charles Pike was born and reared in New York state, whence he went to Iowa about 1852. He engaged in farming, which vocation he followed there until 1878, when he went to Minnesota, which was the family home until 1907, at which time he sold his land there and came to Whatcom county. On arriving here he bought thirty acres of land one mile east of Everson, which he cleared of the heavy growth of timber and brush which covered it, and there he spent the remainder of his days, dying April 4, 1925, in the ninety-third year of his age. His wife is still living, at the age of eighty-seven years. They were the parents of nine children, all of whom excepting one are living, namely: Edith, Frank, Sherman, deceased, Roxie, Winifred, Harvey O., Homer and Lloyd.

    Harvey O. Pike was about a year old when the family moved to Minnesota and in the public schools of that state he secured his education. He came with his parents to Whatcom county and remained with them until his marriage, when he located on ten acres of land which he had purchased, located about a mile east of Everson, and where they are now living. In the development and cultivation of this place Mr. Pike has been far more than ordinarily successful. His principal field crops are hay, grain and peas, of which he raises fine crops. In other lines of effort he also has met with very gratifying success. He has two and a half acres in berries, of which one acre in 1924 gave the remarkable yield of six tons, and in 1925 one acre of beans yielded seven tons. Having fully demonstrated the adaptability of his land to berries, he is going to plant several acres more to that product. He also gives considerable attention to dairying, keeping ten good grade Holstein cows and ten head of young stock. Mr. Pike also owns twenty acres of land adjoining the home place, and he and his brother Lloyd own a forty-acre farm in partnership, on which land they have a large, bearing cherry orchard.

    On January 2, 1914, Mr. Pike was married to Miss Florence Connor, who was born in Ludington, Michigan, a daughter of Thomas and Florence (Hill) Connor, the former of whom was for many years identified with sawmills. Both parents are deceased, the mother dying in 1897 and the father in 1900. They have five children, of which number Mrs. Pike is the youngest. To Mr. and Mrs. Pike have been born five children, namely: Frank, born February 26, 1915; Kenneth, born July 26, 1917; Roland, born July 10, 1920; Edith, born November 2, 1922; and Teddy, born November 2, 1924. Mr. Pike is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association, while fraternally he is a member of Nooksack Camp, Modern Woodmen of America. He take a good citizen's interest in the public affairs of his locality and is serving as a school director. He is recognized as a splendid citizen, being one of his locality's leading men of affairs progressive in all that the term implies, and is a man of lofty character and sturdy integrity. He has been a consistent advocate of wholesome living and is outspoken in his opposition to everything detrimental to the welfare of his community. Because of his business ability, fine personality and friendly manner, he has won a high place in the esteem and confidence of the entire community in which he lives.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 323-324

Pinckney, William H.

    William H. Pinckney, was born in Michigan in 1843 and is of English stock. The immigrant ancestor left his home in Yorkshire in 1649 and aided in the early colonization of American. His father, Joshua B. Pinckney, was one of the distinguished officers of the Black Hawk war and in 1832 was colonel of the Second Regiment of militia. He married Hannah Mills, a native of New Hampshire and of Scotch lineage. She was also of pioneer stock, and both the Pinckney and Mills families were represented in the Continental army by gallant soldiers who aided in winning American independence. Joshua B. and Hannah Pinckney went to Michigan at an early period in the history of that state and in 1856 started for Iowa with their family of six children. They drove across the country with two teams of oxen and settled on the Big Sioux river in 1857. They migrated to the Pacific coast in 1873 and settled in western Washington when this was a frontier district. Their sons, Charles and John M., remained in Iowa and both engaged in Indian warfare.

    At Elk Point, South Dakota, in 1873, William H. Pinckney married Miss Anna Jackson, whose grandfather was a cousin of General Andrew Jackson, and in the same year they journeyed westward to Seattle, Washington, by way of the Union Pacific Railroad. Mr. Pinckney bought a forty acre tract adjacent to the town site of Semiahmoo, now Blaine, and lived on the place until the winter, when he revisited Iowa. In 1877 he returned to Washington, spending a year in Whatcom county, and in 1878 located in Seattle. He was one of the early real estate dealers of that city, opening an office in the old Union block, where he remained until the building was destroyed by the memorable fire of 1889. He continued his operations in Seattle for several years and then sold the business to the well known real estate firm of West & Wheeler. He was a member of the police force of Seattle for four years, acting a night captain for a time, and he also built four residences in the city. He was a leader in many large development projects and handled what was known as the Pleasant Valley addition, in which he built a road at a personal cost of four hundred and seventy-five dollars. He did much to improve and beautify Seattle, which he left in 1893 to take up his abode on a ranch at Semiahmoo. For several years he operated the place, devoting his attention to general farming, and after selling the ranch came to Blaine, where he has since made his home. His real estate activities have been a source of great benefit to the town, and he also sold fire insurance, prospering in both lines of business. Having reached the venerable age of eighty-two years, he is enjoying a well earned period of leisure, and no resident of the community occupies a higher place in the esteem of its citizens.

    Mr. Pinckney is an independent republican and has filled public offices of trust and responsibility. He was justice of the peace for some time and was later elected police judge of Blaine, holding that position for several years. While at Sioux City, Iowa, he enlisted in Company E of the Northern Border Brigade, in August, 1862, following the Indian massacres in that region, and afterward joined Company L of the Seventh Iowa Volunteer Cavalry, under Captain S. P. Hughes, serving in all for two and a half years in upper Missouri. He belongs to Reynolds Post, No. 32, G. A. R., which he joined at Blaine in 1913, having previously been a member of Stevens Post of Seattle, and is also identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.    

    His son John J. Pinckney, was born August 9, 1875, at Elk Point, South Dakota, and attended the public schools of Seattle, where he afterward read law. He was admitted to the bar in 1903 and opened an office in Blaine, where he has since practiced. He is the possessor of a keen, analytical mind, and years of experience and intensive study have ripened his ability, bringing him a large and lucrative clientele. He never enters a court room without preparation as thorough as time and means render possible, and he wins a large percentage of his cases, convincing by his concise statement of the law rather than by word painting. He acts as city attorney and is counsel for the Home State Bank of Blaine. He is secretary and a trustee of the Blaine Investment Company and is also a successful orchardist, owning a valuable fruit farm of eight acres. he specializes in the production of fine cherries for which this region is noted, and his property is situated near the town.

    On June 29, 1904, Mr. Pinckney was united in marriage to Miss Grace M. Scaman, a native of Blaine, and they have become the parents of a daughter, Dorothy, at home. Mr. Pinckney is an adherent of the republican party and his contribution to the general good covers service on the city council of Blaine. He is a Mason and is also identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. He has progressed through the medium of his own efforts and what he has accomplished represents the fit utilization of his time, talents and opportunities. Mr. Pinckney typifies the enterprising spirit of the west and is a man whom to know is to esteem and admire.

  History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 491-492

Piper, Eva C. (Livingston) Leonard

    The name of this estimable lady is a familiar one in Ferndale township, Whatcom county, where she has maintained her home since 1913, and the brief record of her life embodied in the following lines will be read with interest by her many friends and acquaintances who have learned to prize her for her admirable character and useful life, and for her splendid influence, which has always been exerted for the good of the community and those around her.

    Mrs. Eva C. Piper was born in the city of New York and is a daughter of Charles and Eda (Valliers) Livingston, the latter being a native of Marseilles, France. Her father was born under the English flag at sea, the family locating in New York state about 1850. They engaged in farming, but Charles Livingston followed the occupations of carpenter, blacksmithing and wagon maker, in which he was engaged up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1890. His wife had died when her daughter, Mrs. Piper, was but a baby.

    Eva C. Livingston attended the public schools of her native city, and also took a course in a short time. Her education was completed in the high school at Quebec, Ontario, Canada, where she was graduated, and then for a number of years she engaged in teaching school. At the age of fourteen years, she became the wife of Frank Leonard, and to this union were born six children, three of whom died in infancy, while Ioylana died at the age of fourteen years, Myrtle at the age of three years, and Valasta at the age of five years. Mr. Leonard died in 1896, and on November 2, 1904, his widow became the wife of J. R. Piper, their marriage taking place at Huron, South Dakota, where they had a large stock and grain ranch. They were very pleasantly and comfortably situated and lived there until 1910, when, because of the failure of Mr. Piper's health, they sold the ranch and began traveling. During the course of their travels, they visited every state in the Union excepting Nevada and the territory of Alaska.

    On July 17, 1913, they came to Whatcom county, Washington, and bought one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 15, Ferndale township, known as the David Feenhouse place, which has been the family home continuously since. After locating on the farm, they cleared forty-five acres of it, and developed it into a fine, well improved and profitable farm. Mr. Piper died here December 25, 1921, and Mrs. Piper has continued the management of the property. One hundred acres of the land is cleared and under cultivation, being devoted to diversified crops, and among the improvements made on the place was a new set of farm buildings, which were built in 1914. There are on the place twenty-two good Holstein cows and a pure bred bull. Mrs. Piper now has the farm leased on shares and is taking life leisurely, spending a good deal of her time in travel. She is a lover of good books, having a large and well selected library including the old classics and the best of current literature, and she is a well informed and cultured lady. Honored and respected by all there is today no woman in the locality who occupies a more exalted position in the circles in which she moves. She is a lady of unusual tact and soundness of judgment; these and other commendable attributes, coupled with her kindliness and gracious personality, have rendered her popular with all classes and she has won and retained a host of friends wherever she is known.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 628-631

Piper, F. Stanley

    Imagination is a priceless crystal in the vision of the man who achieves, and it is this quality that has brought F. Stanley Piper to the fore in business circles of Bellingham, which bears many notable evidences of his creative talent and skill as an architect. A native of England, he was born in Hull, Yorkshire, July 7, 1883, and his parents Edwin and Sarah Piper, are both deceased. His father was a government contractor and a business man of high standing.

    F. Stanley Piper attended a private school at Plymouth, England, and when seventeen years of age was graduated from Blundell's College at Tiverton, Devonshire, completing a course in architecture. He returned to Plymouth and began his professional career with the firm of King & Lister, A. R. I. B. A., well known architects of that city, continuing in their employ for several years. In 1907 he made the voyage to the United States and after his arrival in this country journeyed to the state of Washington, securing a position in the office of a Seattle architect. In 1909 Mr. Piper established a business of his own, selecting Bellingham as the scene of his activities, and time has proven the wisdom of his choice, for in this locality he has found a splendid field for the expression of his art. Among the finest examples of his architectural skill are the home of the Herald, the Bellingham National Bank, the Northwest Hardware building, the Zobrist building, the Fine Arts and Donovan buildings, St. Luke's Hospital and St. Paul's church; the buildings which house the Bellingham Country Club, the Kulshan Club and the Washington Cooperative Egg & Poultry dealers Association, the Columbia school building, the Grand and Egyptian theaters of Bellingham, and the Anacortes public library. Mr. Piper remodeled the First National Bank building of this city and also designed the palatial residences of Mrs. Frank Deming, Robert Forbes, Dr. A. McRae Smith, Stuart Deming, James Scott, Daniel Campbell, Walter Henderson, H. B. Sewall and many other people of wealth. Although a scholar in his craft, thoroughly acquainted with the various styles and distinctive periods of architecture, he shows an unusual power of modifying and combining the qualities composing them and his work is the expression of a high and enduring art, manifesting splendid adaptation to specific needs.

    In Boonville, Missouri, April 30, 1913, Mr. Piper was united in marriage to Miss Minnie H. Bell, who presides with charm and dignity over their beautiful home. Mr. Piper casts his ballot for the candidates of the republican party and his religious views are in accord with the teachings of the Episcopal church. He is a Kiwanian and along the line of recreation is connected with the Bellingham Yacht and Country Clubs. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects and also the Devon & Exeter Architectural Society of the Royal Institute of British Architects. Mr. Piper is a distinguished representative of his profession and Bellingham in indebted to him for much of its architectural adornment.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 206

Plaster, G. L.

    A list of Whatcom county's honored and successful families would be incomplete were there failure to make specific mention of G. L. Plaster, a well known farmer and representative citizen of Ferndale township, whose life has been one of honor, industry and public spirit, resulting in good to everyone with whom he has come in contact. He has won success because he has persevered in pursuit of a worthy purpose and today he occupies an enviable position in the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens throughout Whatcom county.

    Mr. Plaster was born in Bellingham, Whatcom county, Washington, on the 5th of February, 1863, and is a son of John H. and Louise Plaster, the latter of whom was also born and reared in Bellingham. The father was a native of Kentucky but at the age of seven years, in 1839, accompanied the family on their removal to Texas, where he lived about ten years. In 1849 he took the overland route to California, traveling with ox teams, and he remained in the Golden state until about 1860. His next move was to Whatcom county, Washington, and he pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres of land in Ferndale township, on which he lived until 1862, when he homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land on Nooksack river, one and a half miles south of Ferndale, there residing until his death, which occurred April 16, 1898. An energetic and capable man, he made a success as a farmer; stood high in public esteem and served as the first territorial judge of Whatcom county. His wife passed away in 1868. To this worthy couple were born ten children. G. L., Emma, Mary, May, Frank, Annie, Norbert, John, Rudolph and one that died in infancy.

    G. L. Plaster received his educational training in the public schools of Bellingham and Ferndale and remained at home until his marriage, when he took over the operation of his father's ranch, which he ran until the latter's death, at which time, on the division of the estate, he received forty acres. To this he later added twenty-one acres, but subsequently sold ten acres, so that he is now the owner of fifty-one acres of good land. He has given his close and undivided attention to the operation of this land, which he devotes to a general line of crops, principally hay, grain and sugar beets. He also gives considerable attention to dairying, keeping twenty head of high grade Jersey cattle and a pure bred bull. The fine bottom land which composes the major part of his farm is extremely fertile and produces bountiful crops under Mr. Plaster's intelligent and painstaking management. He is methodical and up-to-date in all his affairs and has won a high reputation as a capable and enterprising agriculturist. He has made a number of fine improvements on his farm, keeps everything in good order and possesses one of the choice farms of his section of the county.

    On July 7, 1884, Mr. Plaster was married to Miss Rosa Waldo, who was born in Yolo county, California, a daughter of John William and Susan (Miller) Waldo, the former a native of Indiana and the latter of Iowa. Mrs. Plaster's grandfather emigrated to California in 1849, the trip being made by ox team, and on his way across the plain the party had a narrow escape from massacre by the hostile Indians. He mined in California for many years, but later took up a homestead and devoted himself to its operation until his death. Mr. and Mrs. Plaster are the parents of five children: Warren, born in 1885, died on July 18, 1925. Maude A., born in 1887, became the wife of F. C. Graves and the mother of four children, namely: Lee, born April 22, 1906; Frank, born May 2, 1909; Bert, born July 9, 1913; and Charlotte, born March 27, 1922. Albert H., born in 1889, died in 1918. Rodney married Hilda Erz. Nellie became the wife of Edward King and the mother of three children; Corwin, born February 10, 1916; Edward, born June 30, 1918, and Wetzel, born August 11, 1921.

    Mr. Plaster is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association. He is a man of sound business ideas, clear-headed in his judgment and definite in his actions, so that he has long enjoyed a reputation as one of the most progressive and influential farmers in his section of Whatcom county.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 582-585

Polinder, G. J.

    G. J. Polinder is a living example of what may be accomplished by the foreign-born citizen in this republic by industry, perseverance and thrift, even under discouraging circumstances, and he now rests secure in the respect and esteem of all who know him, because of the high ideals and honest motives which have actuated and controlled his life. Mr. Polinder was born in Holland on the 26th of September, 1862, and is a son of Kryn and Geertje (Draayer) Polinder, who were farming folk in that country, and both of whom are now deceased, the father's death occurring in 1881. Our subject attended the public schools in his home community and then worked at various employments until 1882, in the spring of which year he emigrated to the United States, going direct to Nebraska. There he worked at different occupations until 1888, when, soon after his marriage, he bought eighty acres of land, which he farmed for twelve years, grain being his main crop. In 1900 he went to Kansas, where he remained about a year, and then came to Whatcom county and soon afterward bought his present farm of eighty acres in Lynden township. About twenty acres of the land were cleared, and he has cleared the remainder, developing a fine and productive farm. The original buildings were a small frame house and one unpretentious barn, and he has replaced these with a fine, modern house and a substantial and commodious barn. He is applying his energies chiefly to dairy farming, keeping from thirty to thirty-five high grade Holstein cows, and for the past seventeen years he has kept a registered sire. He raises excellent crops of hay and grain and some sugar beets, and about thirteen years ago he put out the first field of alfalfa in this district. It made a good stand and is still producing good crops.

    On January 3, 1888, Mr. Polinder was married to Miss Johanna Mary Meyer, also a native of Holland, and a daughter of Frederick and Johanna (Cwart) Meyer, both natives of that country, where they passed away. To Mr. and Mrs. Polinder have been born the following children: Fred, of Lynden, who is married and has four children; Gerrit, also of Lynden, who is married and has one child, and who was in the United States service for about two months during the World war; Mrs. Johanna Landhal, of Bellingham; Gertie, who is the wife of B. C. Vandergriend, of Lynden; Mrs. Mary Meeboer, of Lynden; and Kryn, who rents and operates a part of his father's farm.

    Mr. Polinder is enterprising and progressive in his methods and his success has been well deserved, because of his earnest efforts along well directed lines. He owns altogether one hundred and seventy-five acres, the greater portion of which he now rents to his sons, practically all of the land being cleared and improved. He was one of the organizers of the Lynden Creamery and was a member of its board of directors for fifteen years, or up to the time it was sold to the Dairymen's Association. He has taken a deep interest in educational affairs and served for several years as a director of the Riverside school district. He is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association, and his religious affiliation is with the First Reformed Christian church at Lynden, to which he gives his earnest support. He has been notably successful in his individual affairs, but he has not permitted the material affairs of life to interfere with his obligations to the community and to his neighbors. Because of his excellent attributes, he has long held an exalted place in the confidence and respect of his fellowmen and is rightfully numbered among the representative citizens of his locality.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 257-258

Porter, Edward C.

    Edward C. Porter, formerly and for years a well known cement contractor and highway builder, now living on the Norman place in the immediate vicinity of the village of Custer, is a native of Whatcom county and his interests ever have centered here. He was born on a pioneer farm in the Custer neighborhood, October 18, 18889, and is a son of James A. Porter, who is still living here and concerning whom further and fitting mention is made elsewhere in this work, he being one of the pioneers of Custer township.

    Reared at Custer, E. C. Porter was educated in the local schools and was associated with his father in the latter's farm and dairy operations until his marriage at the age of twenty-two, when he engaged in dairying at Ballard, a suburb of Seattle, where he remained for about two years, or until January, 1915, when he returned to the home place at Custer and for a year lived there. He then engaged in the paving business and was for several years thus employed, doing much work at Blaine and also on the highway between Deming and Acme. He likewise established a cement plant and was for some time engaged in the manufacture of cement pipe and concrete blocks. He then resumed farming, taking a half interest in a reclamation project at Lake Terrill in Mountain View township, and in 1925 established his home at his present place of residence, the old Norman place in the near vicinity of Custer.

    It was on August 25, 1912, at Bellingham, that Mr. Porter was united in marriage to Miss Merle Norman, and they have five children: Harriet, Margaret, Marion, Ruth and Edward Charles. Mrs. Porter was born in South Dakota and is a daughter of Charles R. and Rosa M. (Beach) Norman, the latter of whom was a native of Massachusetts and died June 20, 1922. Mrs. Norman's childhood was spent in Massachusetts. Her parents moved with their family to Michigan and her education was finished in the university at Ann Arbor in that state. She became a teacher and was for seven years thus engaged, teaching in South Dakota at the time of her marriage. The late C. R. Norman, who died at his farm home in the vicinity of Custer, December 14, 1921, was born in the city of Ashtabula, Ohio, and became one of the pioneers of Whatcom county. His parents were natives of England and were married after quite a romantic adventure. At the very time his mother, Mary Ann Taylor, was crossing the Atlantic with her parents there was in another sailing vessel a young, ambitious and energetic man working his passage over. His vessel was in a violent storm and he was rescued by the ship on which she was sailing. They had known each other but slightly in England, but neither knew the other was crossing to America. They were again separated, to meet once more some years later and tell their stories to each other, and on August 12, 1849, they were married. Thirteen children were born to them, one of whom, Charles R., after finishing his education at Iowa University, went to South Dakota to teach and took up a homestead. He was married in that state and remained there until 1891, when he came to the coast and became one of the first permanent settlers on Lummi island, opening a store there. He also taught school. In 1898 he moved to Fairhaven and was threreafter engaged in the mercantile business at that place until 1912, when he established his home on the farm in the immediate vicinity of Custer, an eighty acre tract, and there spent the remainder of his life, having been one of the substantial and useful citizens of that community. To him and his wife were born five children, Mrs. Porter having four brothers, and the family is well established here.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 813-814

Porter, James A.

    Among the pioneers of the Custer neighborhood there are few who have a better or wider acquaintance than has James A. Porter, one of the homesteaders of Custer township and the proprietor of a fine place of two hundred and twenty-five acres one mile from Custer, on which he has made his home for many years. Mr. Porter has been a resident of this county for more than forty years and is thus thoroughly familiar with local conditions, having observed and participated in the development of this region. He is a native of the old Bay state and a member of one of its colonial families, being a representative in the eighth generation of Porters who have resided in Massachusetts. He was born in Hampshire county, that state, January 30, 1859, and is a son of Edward Cobb and L. Abigail (Cleveland) Porter, both of whom also were born in Massachusetts and the latter of whom died in New York in 1879. The late Edward Cobb Porter, who died at his home in this county in June, 1899, was for years engaged in farming in Massachusetts and also carried on a mercantile business there. In 1885, two years after his son James located here, he closed out his interests in the east and came to Whatcom county, homesteaded a tract of land in section 11 of Custer township and here spent his last days. He was an early member of the the board of commissioners in and for the county of Whatcom.

    Reared in Massachusetts, James A. Porter was educated in the schools of Worthington and Williamsburg and was for a while located in New York. After he attained his majority he became attracted to the possibilities for young men in the west and went to Colorado, reaching Buena Vista by rail. From that point he proceeded by ox team and horseback to the point then occupied by the crew engaged in the survey of the proposed Denver & Rio Grande railroad into Utah and was for a while employed in that survey, then being carried on between Salt Lake City and Ogden. He later was for some time engaged in engineering operations, setting up sawmills in the timber lands there, and then went into the Wood River country in Idaho, from which he subsequently came out to the coast country, arriving at Portland in the fall of 1882, he then being twenty-three years of age. From there he proceeded to Tacoma and in the spring of 1883 came to Whatcom county and preempted a quarter of a section of land in section 11 of Custer township. Entry had been made of the other quarters of this section and the four entrymen pooled their issues in such fashion as to begin their clearing in the center, thus forming a certain community of interest of a most agreeable sort and creating a common nucleus for the development of that particular square. Mr. Porter came in by the Sehome landing and made his way by horseback over the old trail to the lands on which he had decided to settle in what was then a wilderness, for at that time but little permanent development work had been done and his tract was an untouched piece of timber land, with wild game still abounding in the woods. The last elk shot in that district had been taken by hunters just prior to his arrival, but there still were numbers of bears, deer, wild cats and the like and there was no lack of good hunting for some time thereafter. In the fall of 1888 Mr. Porter married and established his home on that place. Prior to that time and after the arrival of his father here he had resided with his father on the latter's homestead. He cleared the greater part of his quarter section, improved it and then disposed of it to advantage. Beginning in 1898 he bought other lands and now has, as noted above, a fine farm of two hundred and twenty-five acres, where he has resided since 1900. One hundred acres are under cultivation, the remainder being devoted to dairy uses. Mr. Porter has a fine herd of fifty or more dairy cattle, with a registered Jersey herd leader, and is constantly grading this herd to a higher standard. He is a member of the Whatcom County Dairy Association, and his activities are conducted in accordance with approved methods.

    It was on September 12, 1888, in Custer township, that Mr. Porter was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Jones, who three years prior to that date had come here from New York with her mother. They have six children, namely: E. C. Porter, now living at Custer, who married Merle Norman and has five children; Josephine, who married W. L. Hawkins and is living in Bellingham; Byron H. Porter, who is associated with his father in the latter's agricultural operations; Dixie B. Porter, who also remains at home and is a teacher at Custer; James A. Porter, Jr., who is now living in Pullman, attending college; and Philip R. Porter, who is at home, associated with his father in the latter's farm and dairy operations. Mrs. Margaret Porter was born in Wyoming county, New York, and is a daughter of James A. and Clarice (Hale) Jones, the latter of whom died January 16, 1926. Mrs. Porter's father died when she was but a small child and her mother later married C. H. Bannister [Bannester] and in April, 1885, became a resident of whatcom county, where she resided until her death, having been one of the oldest resident of the county. Mr. Porter is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and of the Modern Woodmen. He is independent in politics and from the beginning of his residence here has been an active and influential figure in local civic affairs. He was a member of the board of township supervisors and helped to organize the township and from time to time has otherwise served the public in one or another local capacity.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 145-146

Post, Orin D.

    There is no phase of pioneer life in Washington with which Orin D. Post is not thoroughly familiar, and his achievements in the real estate field have constituted a vital force in the upbuilding of Sumas, while at the same time he has won the merited reward of well directed labor. He was born December 14, 1878, on the present site of Seattle, and his parents were Daniel W. and Lucy (Olmstead) Post, the latter a native of Roseburg, Oregon. The father was born in Iowa and migrated to Oregon in pioneer times. Later he moved to King county, Washington, settling in the district where Seattle is now located, and there passed away in 1880. His widow married M. W. Rogers and in 1883 they came to Sumas by way of the Cariboo trail. There were but two settlers here at the time of their arrival, and Mr. Rogers preempted a homestead, hewing a farm out of the wilderness.

    In this frontier settlement Orin D. Post spent his youth, attending one of the primitive school houses of that period, and at the age of thirteen he began working on his uncle's farm. He was afterward employed in a shingle mill and in 1905 was appointed postmaster of Sumas, filling that office for nine years. While acting in that capacity one of the first postal savings banks in the state was opened here and the rural route was also established. Mr. Post likewise installed the international money order station, and he was one of the most capable men ever chosen to fill this position. He was cashier of the Sumas State Bank for two years and in 1915 purchased the business of the Sumas Realty & Investment Company. He has since continued in this field of activity and also writes insurance. He has done much important work along development lines and many transfers of property have been effected through his agency. His word is always to be relied upon, and the business has kept pace with the growth of the city. He has also made judicious investments in farm lands and is the owner of a fine fruit ranch near the town.

    On September 23, 1903, Mr. Post married Miss Carrie S. Fry, a native of Tennessee. Her father, John L. Fry, came to northwestern Washington in 1887, casting in his lot with the pioneer farmers of Whatcom county, and is now living retired in Sumas. Arlene, the only child of Mr. and Mrs. Post, resides at home. Mr. Post is a stalwart adherent of the republican party and has been the recipient of many important trusts, all of which have been discharged with fidelity and ability. He has served on the town council, as justice of the peace and as United States commissioner, and is now a member of the local school board, doing all in his power to advance the cause of education. Along fraternal lines he is identified with the Masons, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. He was a great hunter as a boy, when the country was full of big game. His uncle was constantly on the alert for bears, which stole many of his pigs. On one occasion Mr. Post joined his cousin in a bear hunt and succeeded in wounding the animal. The bear emitted a cry of pain and in his fright Mr. Post dropped his gun. He started to climb the nearest tree but his his cousin seized his legs and neither was able to reach a place of safety. Bruin, however, ran in the opposite direction, and a few days later the young hunter discovered that his shot had proved fatal, finding the body of an extra large brown bear. Mr. Post was one of the prime movers in starting and maintaining the Sumas Roundup, which is now held every year and is famous throughout the west. He is a typical mountaineer, possessing the strong physique and study qualities of those who have lived close to the heart of nature, and is friends are legion.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 667-668

Potter, August

    August Potter is the popular and efficient postmaster of Van Zandt and an enterprising young merchant whose progress has been commensurate with his industry and ability. He was born October 30, 1891, and is a native of Ohio. His parents, M. S. and Ollie (Dodge) Potter, migrated to Washington in 1906, settling in Whatcom county, and the father purchased a quarter section in the vicinity of Van Zandt. He brought the land to a high state of productivity and followed agricultural pursuits until his demise in 1918, while the mother passed away in 1916.

    August Potter received a public school education, and he was fifteen years of age when the family came to northwestern Washington. He aided his father in tilling the soil and then started out for himself, working for six years in lumber camps. He handled milk for six years, and in 1922 he embarked in merchandising at Van Zandt, purchasing the business of Mrs. C. E. Potter, who had opened the store in 1920. He has a large and carefully selected stock of general merchandise and is recognized as an honest dealer whose word is always to be relied upon. His business is conducted according to up-to-date methods and his trade covers a wide area.

    On October 31, 1910, Mr. Potter married Miss Mae Elizabeth Hamilton, a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, and a daughter of  J. E. and Armittie (Porter) Hamilton. Mrs. Potter is one of a family of fourteen children, eleven of whom survive. Her parents came to Whatcom county in February, 1900, and settled on a farm near Deming, which property is still their home. Mrs. Hamilton has twenty-six grandchildren, and in their society she renews her youth. Mr. and Mrs. Potter have two children: Keith, who was born October 30, 1920; and Oliver, born September 5, 1923. Mr. Potter is a stanch adherent of the republican party and for three years was road overseer. He ably discharged the duties intrusted to his care and has made an equally creditable record in the office of postmaster. He gives his best efforts to every task that he undertakes and his energy and stability of character are well known to the residents of Van Zandt, who speak of him in lauditory terms.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 794

Potter, Henry B.

    Henry B. Potter, one of the pioneer business men of Blaine, received no assistance at the outset of his career, and his success has been commensurate with his industry and ability. He was born October 12, 1852, in Nova Scotia, Canada, and his parents, Jeremiah and Sophia (Chute) Potter, were also natives of that province. He was reared on his father's farm and attended the public schools of that locality. He was employed along various lines and through the exercise of economy and self-denial accumulated sufficient capital for an independent venture, establishing a broom factory in St. Paul, Minnesota. He spent ten years between Wisconsin and Minnesota and in 1888 came to Washington, locating at Blaine. Soon afterward he embarked in the undertaking business, in which he has since continued, and his is one of the oldest and most reliable establishments of the kind in this section of the county. The equipment is thoroughly modern and the service adapted to every need. He is recognized as an expert mortician and draws his patronage from a wide area.

    In 1892 Mr. Potter married Miss Mary Brown, of Kansas, and the children of this union are Mabel Idelle and Herbert B., residents of Seattle. Both were students at the State University of Washington, and the son also attended a normal school and a business college. During the World war he served for a year in France with the American Expeditionary Force and is now conducting an employment agency.

    Mr. Potter belongs to the Blaine lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and has been a member of the organization since 1878. He is an adherent of the republican party and for six years served on the town council, doing much constructive work during that period. Throughout his life he has been a tireless worker and although he has reached the age of seventy-three years is still active in business affairs, retaining the priceless possession of physical and mental vigor. He has always dealt honorably with his fellowmen and has a wide circle of loyal friends, enjoying the esteem, confidence and good will of all with whom he has been associated.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 283


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