Finding Ancestors wherever their trails led at Genealogy Trails History Group

Whatcom County
Genealogy and History





Pratt, Armieger H.

    Armieger H. Pratt, who has for a number of years been successfully engaged in the real estate business at Bellingham, has resided within the borders of Whatcom county for a period of forty-three years and has therefore been a witness of its remarkable development and progress. His birth occurred in Boston, Massachusetts, on the 5th of September, 1852, his parents being William Davis and Helen (Howe) Pratt, natives of Bristol, England, who immigrated to America in the '40s of the past century and settled in Boston. The father, who was a sea captain, at one time had a line of ships of his own out of Bristol. It was about 1858 that he abandoned a sea faring life and removed to Oswego, New York, after which he was a sailor on the Great Lakes until the time of his enlistment in the Union army in the latter part of 1861. Two years later he became sick and was discharged. Recovering from this illness, he reenlisted and served until the cessation of hostilities. His son, William H. Pratt, enlisted in the Union army at the age of eighteen years and served throughout the period of the war, receiving several serious wounds. The latter spent nine months in Andersonville prison and was paroled just before the end of the conflict. When the war was over, William Davis Pratt, broken in health, returned to Oswego, New York, where he spent the remainder of his life in retirement passing away in 1876. He gave his political support to the republican party and attended the services of the Episcopal church. William D. and Helen (Howe) Pratt were the parents of three sons and two daughters, namely: Thomas, Elizabeth, William H., Ella and Armieger H. The wife and mother departed this life in 1856 and in the following year William D. Pratt was again married, his second union being with Mary Sweeney, a native of Nova Scotia. To them were born three children: Thomas and Mary, who died in infancy; and Sarah Jane, who is the wife of John Cole and now resides at Oswego, New York.

    Armieger H. Pratt acquired his education at Oswego and there embarked in the produce and commission business at the age of eighteen. Several years later his brother, William H. Pratt, became associated with him in the enterprise, which they continued together until 1883, when A. H. Pratt made his way to Washington, settling in Whatcom county as a young man of thirty-one. His first work here was in connection with securing the right-of-way on the Bellingham Bay & British Columbia railroad. Subsequently he turned his attention to the contracting business, which claimed his time and energies until 1889, when he entered the express and ice business in partnership with John Stenger. He was thus active until about 1903, when he entered the real estate field, in which he has remained continuously to the present time, having an office in the Pratt building on Elk street, Bellingham. He has an intimate knowledge of property values and is thoroughly familiar with the realty upon the market. Mr. Pratt has negotiated many important transfers and is accorded an extensive clientage, for his vision is broad and his judgment sound in relation to those matters which claim the attention and demand the energies of the successful real estate man.

    On the 16th of December, 1872, Mr. Pratt was united in marriage to Harriet Hall, a daughter of Alexander and Margaret (Simpson) Hall, the former born in Belfast, Ireland, of Scotch parentage, and the latter a native of Oswego, New York. Mr. and Mrs. Pratt became the parents of three children: William D., Hariett E., and Elizabeth May, who is deceased. Mr. Pratt is a republican in his political convictions. He made a commendable record as councilman during the years 1900 and 1901 and has also served as road overseer and school director in Woodlawn township (district 31), which was named by him and his wife. Both are consistent members of the Presbyterian church, of which Mr. Pratt has been a deacon for many years. He is also a worthy exemplar of the teachings and purposes of the Masonic fraternity and has served as master of the blue lodge. In 1884 he was a member of the Knights of Labor. His has been an upright and honorable life in every relation and the circle of his friends is a wide one.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 142-143

Pratt, A. M.

    It is a well authenticated fact that success comes not as the caprice of chance but as the legitimate result of energy, wll applied, unflagging determination and the exercise of sound common sense.  A. M. Pratt evidently understood that fact early in life, for from the beginning he directed his feet along the well beaten paths of those who had won in the battle of life along legitimate lines.  As the result of his efforts he is now in very comfortable circumstances and is numbered among the enterprising and successful farmers of his locality.  Mr. Pratt is a native of Allegan county, Michigan, his birth occurring on the 30th of April, 1856, and he is a son of J. S. and Mary (Crane) Pratt. His father was a natvie of New England, whence he went to Michigan in 1830, being a pioneet of the locality where he settled, and there he devoted his attention to farming.  His wife was a natvie of Vermont, and their marriage occurred in Michigan, to which state her family also had moved in an early day.

    A. M. Pratt was reared on his father's farm and attended school only until the age of ten years.  When he was five years old his father died and thereafter the family had a hard struggle to get along.  Out subject had three brothers, the eldest of whom, Elisha, was a soldier in the Union army during the Civil war.  A. M. Pratt left home at the age of ten years and secured a job as water boy with a railroad construction gang, at a wage of twenty-five cents a day and board.  When he was twelve years of age he went to work on a farm, following that occupation for twelve years.  He then bought a small farm in Michigan, which he ran until 1886, when he went to Nebraska, where he remained for four years, and then went to Colorado, where from 1891 to 1906 he was engaged in fruit farming.  In the latter year he came to Whatcom county and went to work in the Hunter mill as night man, and here he made a record of eight hundred consecutive nights with only one night off.  In 1910 he bought his present farm, the purchase including forty acres, of which he afterward sold twenty acres.  About one acre of the land was cleared, but he has devoted himself steadily to the improvement of the place and now has ten acres cleared and in cultivation.  He is giving his attention very largely to the chicken business, keeping about one thousand White Leghorn hens, of the Hollywood strain, in the handling of which he has met with pronounced success.  He has a nicely situated farm and the improvements effected by him have made it a very attractive and comfortable home.

    In 1882, in Michigan, Mr. Pratt was married to Miss Lonie Chambers, who was a native of that state and who was engaged in teaching school prior to her marriage.  They are the parents of four children: Fay S., who lives at Drayton Harbor, is married and has seven children.  Doona is the wife of Frank Reasoner, of Algier, and they have two children.  Fern is the wife of Harry Jenkins, city electrician of Bellingham, and they have three children.  John, who lives at Yakima, enlisted for service in the World war but while waiting for his examination was taken sick with pneumonia and was sent home.  On his recovery he enlisted again and was made a corporal.  He assisted in the discharge of the Spruce Division at Vancouver.  A. M. Pratt is a member of the Whatcom County Poultry Association and has been a member of the Modern Woodmen of America since 1887.  His prominence in the community is the legitimate result of his genuine merit and ability, and in every relation of life his excellent character has won for him an enviable reputation.  He is genial and friendly in his social relations and has a host of warm and loyal friends.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 316-317

Pratt, Will D.

    Since his return from overseas service in the World war in 1919 Will D. Pratt has served as secretary of the board of education at Bellingham, Whatcom county. He was born at Oswego, New York, in 1874, his parents being Armieger H. and Harriett (Hall) Pratt, the former a native of Boston, Massachusetts, and the latter of Oswego, New York. The family is of Scotch and English extraction.

    A. H. Pratt, the father of Mr. Pratt of this review, was engaged in business as a commission merchant in the east prior to coming across the continent in 1883. In the following year the other members of the family joined him in Whatcom county, Washington. The father first located at Sehome Junction and erected the Pratt property which still stands on Elk street. During the years 1885 and 1886 the mother taught in the old White schoolhouse. A. H. Pratt took up a ranch six miles above Ferndale and with the assistance of his son Will cleared eighteen or twenty acres of the place, residing thereon for five or six years. On the expiration of that period he moved into Bellingham, where he was engaged in various lines of endeavor, eventually turning his attention to the real estate business, in which he continued to the time of his retirement and in which field of activity he gained a gratifying measure of success.

    Will D. Pratt, who came to Whatcom county as a boy of ten, attended the old high school at Bellingham, and after putting aside his textbooks he spent one summer as circulating agent for the Reveille. Subsequently he taught school at Roche Harbor for one year and next was an instructor in the city schools for a similar period. Thereafter he was appointed assistant postmaster of Bellingham under Hugh Eldridge, and he made a very creditable record in this office during his twenty and one-half years of service. At the time of the World war Mr. Pratt resigned his position to go overseas as a Y. M. C. A. secretary and remained in France for one year. Following his return to the United States in 1919 he was elected secretary of the board of education at Bellingham, which position he has filled most acceptably to the present time.

    In 1901 Mr. Pratt was united in marriage to Miss Edna Byron, who was born at Linneus, Maine, and obtained her early education at Portland, that state. She accompanied her father and mother on their westward removal to Bellingham, Washington, about 1889, attended the old Whatcom high school and remained under the parental roof until her marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Pratt and the parents of a daughter, Betty Jeanne.

    Mr. Pratt gives his political allegiance to the republican party and both he and his wife are Methodists in religious faith, belonging to Garden Street Methodist Episcopal church. He is a trustee of the Young Women's Christian Association and a director of the the Young Men's Christian Association. Fraternally he is affiliated with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and with the Masons. He belongs to all the York Rite bodies of Masonry, being past master of the blue lodge, past high priest of the Royal Arch chapter and eminent commander of the Knights Templar Commandery. Mr. Pratt also has membership in the Kiwanis Club and he is widely recognized as a public-spirited, enterprising and progressive citizen of the community in which he has now made his home for more than four decades.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 69

Prentice, J. H.

    Among the men who are making history in the Pacific northwest is numbered J. H. Prentice, one of the capable officials of the Bloedel Donovan Lumber Mills and for nearly a quarter of a century an influential factor in the affairs of this well known corporation. He was born March 10, 1881, in Saginaw, Michigan, and his parents were John A. and Charlotte Prentice. His father located at Spokane, Washington, in 1889 and established a shingle mill on the present site of the Great Northern depot. Later he returned to Michigan and was engaged in the lumber and shipping business in Saginaw for several years, being one of the foremost business men of that city. He moved to Seattle in 1899 and lived there until 1920, when he moved to Bellingham, where he passed away in 1921. The mother's demise occurred in 1924.

    J. H. Prentice received a public school education, and his first position was with the Michigan Bell Telephone Company, with which he remained until 1899. He then came to Washington and entered the Seattle offices of the Sunset Telephone & Telegraph Company. He was afterward associated with the Griffin Chemical Company but severed his relations with that concern at the end of a year and in February, 1902, came to Bellingham, joining the Larson Lumber Company. It was organized in 1900 by Peter Larson, Julius H. Bloedel and John J. Donovan, who built a mill at the town of Larson on Lake Whatcom.  In 1910 Mr. Prentice was made secretary of the company, and on the 1st of April, 1913, a reorganization was effected, at which time the present style of the Bloedel Donovan Lumber Mills was adopted. He still acts in this capacity and has worked earnestly and effectively to further the interests of the corporation. He possesses executive force as well as a capacity for detail and is thoroughly informed on matters pertaining to the lumber industry. The other officers are Julius H. Bloedel, president; and John J. Donovan, vice president. They have extensive timber holdings in Skagit and Whatcom counties and their logging camps are situated at Alger, Saxon and Clallam. They have three sawmills and also operate two shingle mills, furnishing employment to hundreds of men.

    In 1910 Mr. Prentice married Miss Anna Faelten, of Boston, Massachusetts, and they have three children: Thomas, Adele and Roma. Mr. Prentice is an Episcopalian in religious faith and his political allegiance is give to the republican party. The exercise of effort has developed his latent powers and in achieving success he has also gained the respect, confidence and good will of his fellowmen, for high principles have guided him in the varied relations of life.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 525

Pressentin, Paul V.

    Paul V. Pressentin, local distributor for the studebaker automobile at Bellingham and one of the leading dealers in the automobile business in this section of the northwest, has been a resident of this region since the days of his childhood, having formerly been for years a merchant in the neighboring county of Skagit, so that he has a wide acquaintance throughout this section of the state. He was born in Michigan, February 11, 1874, and was not yet three years of age when in January, 1877, his parents, Charles and Wilhelmina (May) von Pressentin, came with their family to this section of the then Territory or Washington and settled at Birdsview, then in Whatcom county. Charles von Pressentin became one of the substantial and influential pioneers of that section and when in 1883 the movement was inaugurated to create for Skagit a separate civic entity by slicing all the southern half of Whatcom and making a new county he was one of the foremost promoters of the enterprise. The tract of government land at Birdsview, for which he got title in May, 1877, was so heavily timbered that before it finally was cleared no fewer than ten million feet of logs had been sold from it. Mr. von Pressentin also profited somewhat by the discovery of gold on Ruby creek, which created a stampede in that direction that led to the organization of the Ruby creek district in 1880 and the platting of Ruby City, which at the time the plat was filed was under twenty feet of snow. However the dreams of metropolitan expansion entertained by its projectors never were realized and the once promising settlement now exists only as a memory of the pioneers. Charles von Pressentin, the pioneer, died in March, 1924, when seventy-five years of age and his widow is now residing at Birdsview. It is interesting historically to recall that she had the first cook stove seen on the reaches of the Skagit river.

    Reared on that pioneer timber tract in the Birdsview neighborhood, Paul V. Pressentin grew up familiar with the conditions that faced the men who conquered the wilderness and the memories of his youth carry back to many a scene in which Indians and wild game figured most conspicuously. He continued on the home place until 1895, the year in which he attained his majority, when he became established in general mercantile business at Marblemount up the Skagit and there continued for twenty-four years or until 1919, when he sold his store and retired to Sedro Woolley, where for two years he made his home and then the lure of business called him to further commercial activities and on May 25, 1923, he bought the local agency for the distribution of the Studebaker automobile at Bellingham and has since been engaged in business here, with an admirably equipped establishment and sales rooms at 104 Prospect street.

    Mr. Pressentin has been twice married. In 1898 he wedded Miss Bertha Kunde, who was born in Kansas and died in 1911, leaving four daughters and a son: Dorothea, the wife of H. N. Walker, now of Alaska; Laura, living in Alaska; Wilhelmina May, the wife of Emil Malmquist of Bellingham; Alice, the wife of Jack O'Rourke of Oregon; and Paul, Jr., at home with his father. In 1913 Mr. Pressentin married Miss Nellie Nelson, who was born at Bailey's Harbor, Door county, Wisconsin, and who has been a resident of Washington since 1913. To them two children have been born, Bernice, and Lyle. Mr. and Mrs. Pressentin are republicans and take a proper interest in local civic affairs. During the many years of his residence in Marblemount Mr. Pressentin served continuously, a period of twenty-four years, as postmaster of that place and during that period was also clerk of the school board. He was a frequent delegate to state and district conventions and gained a wide acquaintance in party circles throughout the state. He is a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 440-441

Prouty, J. D.

    A prominent and well known citizen of the vicinity of Ten Mile is J. D. Prouty, who has led and eminently honorable and useful life, achieving a marked degree of success, and at the same time has been a loyal citizen of the community of which he is a pioneer. He came to this county forty-three years ago, and thus has been a witness of and a participant in the wonderful transformation which has taken place here during the subsequent eventful years.

    Mr. Prouty was born in Knox county, Illinois, in 1869, and is a son of E. S. and Emma (Reed) Prouty, the former of whom was a native of New York state and the latter of Pennsylvania. The father was a veteran of the Civil war, having taken part in some of the most important battles and campaigns of that great struggle. The family came to Whatcom county in 1883, the father buying forty acres of land on the old Telegraph road, known as the old Hudson Bay place, and to him belonged the distinction of establishing the first post office in the county, which he called "Yager." He was enterprising and energetic and at one time ran four stores in the township. He lived on that farm until about 1910, at which time he had cleared about two-thirds of the land. He and his wife are both now deceased. They were true pioneers, their first home being a small log cabin, but later a comfortable and commodious home was built, of hewed logs. When they first landed at Bellingham they came up the bay in a scow, which could not approach the shore, and Mr. Prouty had to hire an Indian to take them ashore in his canoe.

    J. D. Prouty received a good public school education and remained with his father until he had attained his majority. He then turned his attention to mining and prospecting and made two trips to Alaska. On his return home he engaged in logging and later entered the employ of the Silver King Mining Company, of British Columbia, with which he remained for six years. In 1903 he bought forty acres of land, comprising his present farm. Very little clearing had been done on the tract, and he applied himself closely to the improvement of the place, thirty-five acres of which are now cleared and in cultivation. Mr. Prouty gives his attention to dairy and poultry farming, in which he has met with splendid success. He keeps from eight to ten good grade cows and is planning to run one thousand laying hens. He is enterprising and progressive in his methods and the improvements which he has made on the place are all permanent and substantial in character. The fertile and productive fields produce all the necessary feed for the stock, and Mr. Prouty is now very comfortably situated, his place affording a striking contrast to the conditions that existed when he first came to this locality. Among other things, he recalls that in the early days they did all their trading at Bellingham and that it required two full days with an ox team to make the round trip. Wild animals and game fowl were abundant, and in many other ways it was a typical frontier scene.

    On January 26, 1900, Mr. Prouty was married to Miss Louie Smith, who was born in Iowa, a daughter of R. P. and Mary (Huff) Smith, with whom she came to Whatcom county in 1892. To Mr. and Mrs. Prouty have been born six children, namely: Wilfred M., of Lynden, who is married to Berta Tupper and has one son, Donald; Wallace, also of Lynden, who is married to Dorothy Kiegel; Wiley and Wayne, twins; Warren and Wesley. Mr. Prouty is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and is deeply interested in everything affecting the welfare and prosperity of the farmers of the community. He is a good business man, exercising splendid judgment in all that he does, and he has gained a fine reputation as a man of sagacity and discrimination. Friendly and affable in his social relations and courteous and accommodating with his neighbors, he enjoys the respect and good will of all who know him.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 18-19

Purdy, Ernest W.

    Behind every successful business organization lies the energy, the vision, the intelligent direction and the determination of some one man.  Amoing the old and reliable financial institutions of northwestern Washington is the First National Bank of Bellingham, which reflects the character and integrity of Ernest W. Purdy, who for more than thirty years has safely guided its destiny.  He was born in New Brunswick, Canada, and is a son of Achelaus and Catharine Purdy.  Having lost his mother when a child, he was reared by his grandfather, John Fattis, who was a farmer and lumberman of New Brunswick and who served as a member of the house of commons for many years.  He attended the Sheffield grammar school until he reached the age of seventeen years and then accepted a clerkship in a grocery store conducted by his uncle at St. John, New Brunswick, where he remained until 1883.

    That year witnessed the arrival of Mr. Purdy in the northwest.  He settled at Port Gamble, Washington, where he engaged with the Puget Mill Company as general utility man under E. G. Ames, now vice president of the Seattle National Bank, but at that time in charge of the office of the mill company.  After three years spent in that connection Mr. Purdy became bookkeeper for the same company at their mill at Utsaladdy, Washington, where he remained until 1890.  That year witnessed his arrival in Bellingham, where he formed a partnership with H. S. Connor under the firm style of Connot & Purdy for the conduct of a real estate business, which they carried on for two years.   he then sold his interest and established a reail coal yard, which he conducted for one year, after which he was appointed to the office of county treasurer to fill out an unexpired term covering a year.  At the end of that period he was elected to the office and served for the full term of two years.  Upon retiring from the position he engaged with the banking firm of Graves & Backus as manager and in 1897 purchased an interest in the business, thus becoming a partner, at which time the firm name was changed to Graves, Backus & Purdy.  In 1899 the two other members purchased the interest of Mr. Backus and the firm became Graves & Purdy, the bank being continued under that style until 1904, when they obtained a charter and incorporated the business under the style of the First National Bank, of which Mr. Purdy has since been the president.  The latter's associate officers are J. J. Donovan (vice president) and Alexander M. Muir (cashier).  The First National Bank of Bellingham is capitalized for five hundred thousand dollars and has a surplus of one hundred thousand dollars, while its deposits are approximately four million dollars and are the largest in the northwestern part of Washington.  From the beginning the bank has enjoyed a most prosperous existence owing to the fact that it has carefully safeguarded the interests of depositors and has contributed to the business development of the district by the extension of its credit to a point that has not interfered with its safety.  In 1907 the present home of the bank was purchased and alterations were made in the building, which is now provided with the full equipment of the modern banking institution.  The methods of the institution are founded on a broad basis of cooperation and the spirit behind its service is one of helpfulness.  With a keen insight into business affairs and situations and a broad grasp of the intricate details of finance, Mr. Purdy is well qualified for the duties of president, which he has ably discharged since 1904, and the policy which he has followed in this connection is one which carefully safeguards the interests of depositors and stockholders and at the same time promotes the growth of the bank.  The institution has become a clearing house of business science and a vital force in the development of this section of the state.  Mr. Purdy is not only at the head of one of the strongest and most substantial financial concerns in the northwest but has also been a director of all of the Stone & Webster properties in Bellingham since their inception and is now a director of all their principal interests throughout the state.  He is president of the Bay Improvement Company and the Bellingham Securities Syndicate.

    In October, 1889, occurred the marriage of Mr. Purdy and Miss Marcella V. Storey at Victoria, British Columbia, and they are the parents of three daughters: Mildred, Phyllis and Beatrice.

    Mr. Purdy is a member of the Bellingham Golf and Country Club and of the Cougar Club, two of the leading social organizations of the city.  His high standing in financial circles and the position which he occupies in the regard of his colleagues and contemporaries is indicated in the fact that he was honored with the presidency of the Bankers Association of Washington in 1912.  He is also a director in the Federal Reserve Bank.  He has progressed through the medium of his own efforts, and judged by the standard of usefulness, his life has been a very successful one.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 56-59

Pyeatt, Henry J.

    The history of western Whatcom county was made by the pioneers; it was emblazoned on forest trees by the strength of sturdy arms and a gleaming ax and written on the surface of the earth by the plow. They were strong men and true who came to found a new community - those hardy settlers who built their first plain domiciles, grappled with the giants of the forest and from the wilderness evolved the fertile and productive fields which now mark the landscape. To establish a home amid such surroundings, and to cope with the many privations and hardships which were the inevitable accompaniments of such a life, demanded invincible courage and fortitude, strong hearts and untiring hands, and the names and deeds of the early pioneers should be held in perpetual reverence by those who now enjoy the fruits of their toil.

    Among these "old timers" of Whatcom county is Henry J. Pyeatt, who is now spending the later years of his life in comfortable retirement in Lynden, working only as he pleases to while away the time. He was born in Arkansas in 1854 and is a son of John and Ada M. (Tenant) Pyeatt, both of whom also were natives of that state and the former of whom died when our subject was but a small boy. The maternal grandfather, Thomas H. Tenant, was a pioneer Methodist preacher in Arkansas, and one of his sons, John Tenant [Tennant], was one of the earliest settlers at Ferndale, Whatcom county, where he conducted one of the first real estate offices in that locality. About the time of the Civil war our subject's family moved to Kansas, where he received his education, attending three months each year at a school three miles from his home. Before and after this three mile walk he put in his time at farm work, so it is hardly likely that he lacked for physical exercise. He was the sole support of his mother and sister and he bravely did his part. He subsequently went to Texas, where he remained for two years , and then returned to Kansas, where he remained until 1883, when he came to Ferndale, Whatcom county, and went to work for his uncle, John Tenant. In that year he and his mother took up homesteads in Delta township, which they proved up. Mr. Pyeatt relates that in 1888, when the time came for him to go to Bellingham to prove upon his land he found a six foot fir log across the road on the way down. He had no time to spare, and hastily unhitching his horses he led them around the obstruction, then took down the wagon and passed it piece by piece over the log, putting it together again on the other side, and proceeded on his way, arriving at Bellingham just in time.

    At that time there were no roads in this locality and all the family provisions had to be carried in from Ferndale. During their first six months here their nearest neighbor was three miles away. Wild animals and birds were plentiful and the pioneer table did not lack for choice fresh meat. The land was heavily timbered, and on our subject's land was some of the finest cedar in this section to the county, but in 1884 a forest fire swept through it and spoiled the best timber. The young growth and brush was so thick that a man could hardly swing an ax, but in the course of time these conditions were conquered and eventually Mr. Pyeatt cleared eighty acres of his tract, besides doing a good deal of draining, and a fine and fertile farm was developed out of the wilderness. Mr. Pyeatt devoted his attention mainly to dairying, in which he met with splendid success. In 1920 he practically retired from active affairs and has since been living in Lynden.

    In 1887 Mr. Pyeatt was married to Miss Laura J. Ferguson, who was born in New York state, a daughter of Benjamin Ferguson. She came to Whatcom county in 1883, and her death occurred in 1909. To Mr. and Mrs. Pyeatt were born eight children, namely: Bayard A., who lives on the home place and is married and has two children; Ada J., who keeps house for her father; Alvin L., who is married and who enlisted for service in the World war and was in training camp when the armistice was signed; Ina R., who is the wife of H. E. Fritz, of Lynden, and has two children; Ralph H., who is married and lives in Lynden, and who was also in military training camp when the armistice was signed; Preston T. who is married and had one child, now deceased, and who was in training camp when he was taken with the "flu," which disabled him from further service; and Esther J. and Paul G., who are at home. Mr. Pyeatt has always been deeply interested in the progress and welfare of his community, especially in educational affairs, and he rendered effective service as a member of the Woodland school board. He also served several times as road supervisor. His religious membership is with the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he has long been active. During his early years here he donated many days' labor to the building of roads, and relates that on one occasion he and two neighbors put in sixty-three days on the construction of the road to Ferndale. At one point they ran into eighty rods of water and induced the county commissioners to appropriate two hundred dollars for a bridge over that place, which netted about a dollar and a half a day for the three men. Mr. Pyeatt is a man of sterling character, candid and straightforward in all his relations with his fellowmen, and his influence has always been on the right side of every moral issue. He has been a potent factor in the affairs of his community for many years and his unremitting efforts for the public welfare have been recognized and appreciated by his fellow citizens, among whom he enjoys the highest measure of confidence and regard.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 923-924

Pynor, W. J.

   The gentleman whose name heads this paragraph is widely known as one of the enterprising merchants of North Bellingham, where he has lived for a number of years and has been prominently identified with the commercial interests of the western part of Whatcom county.  His well-directed efforts in the practical affairs of life, his capable management of his business interests and his sound judgment have brought him large rewards for the labor he has expended and he holds an enviable place in the estimation of his fellow citizens.  Mr. Pynor was born in Iowa on the 22nd of February, 1866, and is a son of Robert R. and Susan Jane (Shutters) Pynor, natives of Ohio.  The mother was born December 23, 1835, in Pickaway county, Ohio, a daughter of David W. and Hester Ann (Argo) Shutters.  Her father, who was born in Ohio in 1816, died in 1837, and her mother, who was born in Ohio, June 5, 1818, was married, in 1841, to James Shreve.  She had gone to Illinois with her mother in 1839, in order to be near her grandmother Argo.  The locality where they went was on the frontier of civilization in those days, and the family menu consisted largely of elk meat, the dried breasts of prairie chickens and maple sugar, of which they had barrels.  They wore homespun clothes and went ten miles to church every Sunday in a lumber wagon.  Susan Jane Shutters was married, November 23, 1854, to Newton P. Wright, and two years later they moved to Greene county, Iowa, of which locality they were pioneer settlers, thirty miles from the nearest postoffice and sixty miles from the grist mill at Des Moines.  They were thus compelled to live on what they could raise, their diet consisting mainly of corn bread, all kinds of vegetables, and elk meat, fresh in winter and dried for summer use.  The men hunted the elk on snow shoes.  The animals would break through the crust of the snow and then the men and dogs would run them down and kill them, often bringing in two or three at a time on a hand sled.  They would thaw out the carcasses in front of the big fireplace, so they could skin them.  Prairie chickens were plentiful and were trapped by the dozens, the breasts being salted and dried for summer use.  Crab apples and wild plums were made into butter and jam.  For lights, they scraped out the inside of a turnip, in the center of which they stood a stick wrapped around with cloth.  They then filled the turnip with coon oil and lighted the cloth, the oil being replenished as it burned out.  The men frequently caught as many as six coons in one night.  They used the skins for clothing in the long, cold winters, and the women folks would render out the fat in big kettles, this being their only resource for light.  In 1862 Mr. Wright enlisted for service in the Civil war and rose from the ranks to the captaincy of his company, in which capacity he was serving when killed, October 5, 1864, at the battle of Allatoona, Georgia.  On April 18, 1867, Mrs. Wright became the wife of Robert R. Pynor, who was a veteran of the Civil war, and to this union were born four children: W. J. Nettie, who died in infancy; Robert Francis, and Leila M.  The father died April 17, 1909.  In 1879 the family had moved to Spokane, Washington, where they lived until 1916, when they came to Whatcom county, where the mother now lives, at the advanced age of ninety years.  She is one of the grand old ladies of her community and, because of her gracious personality and her strength of character, she has long held an enviable place in the affection of all who know her.

    W. J. Pynor received his education in the public schools of Iowa and Spokane, Washington.  After leaving school he hired out as a cowboy on the ranges of eastern Washington, and followed that occupation about ten years.  In 1890 he bought one hundred and sixty acres of land in Spokane county, and followed farming for three years.  In 1893 he erected a store building in Spokane and engaged in the general mercantile business, to which he devoted himself until 1911, when he sold out and came to Bellingham, Whatcom county.  In 1913 he bought two acres of land in North Bellingham, about six and half miles north of Bellingham, and there he built a fine concrete store building and large warehouses, fifty by eight and forty by sixty feet in size respectively.  Here he has established and still conducts a general merchandise store, carrying a large and complete line of dry goods as well as hardware, grain and feed.  He carries a ten-thousand-dollar stock, has three delivery trucks and does a monthly business of from six to seven thousand dollars.  He owns a very attractive and comfortable home and is also building a fine bungalow for rent.  He is a man of more than ordinary business acumen, sound judgment and keen discrimination, and has long been recognized as one of the leading citizens in the western part of the county.  He is a member of Spokane Camp No. 99, Woodmen of the World.

    Mr. Pynor was married January 1, 1897, to Miss Jessie B. Truitt, who was born in Minnesota, a daughter of J. Clinton and Rosalia (Kruegel) Truitt.  Her parents are natives of Ohio and Michigan, respectively, and are now living in North Bellingham.  Mr. and Mrs. Pynor are the parents of five children: Myrle, who is a graduate of the high school and the State Normal School at Bellingham; Allan, a high school graduate, now assisting his father in business; Jessie, also a graduate of the high school, and Milton and Mariah, twins, who are attending the public schools.  Mr. Pynor is a man of untiring energy, up-to-date in his ideas and progressive in his methods.  He is public-spirited in his attitude towards all movements or measures for the betterment of the community and gives his support and influence to the right side of every moral issue.  Genial and friendly, courteous and accommodating, he has a wide acquaintance throughout this section of the county and a host of warm and admiring friends, who esteem him for his genuine worth.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 647-648


Visit the National Genealogy Trails Site
©Genealogy Trails