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Whatcom County
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Quackenbush, Captain Jay L. and Louis B.

    Louis B. Quackenbush, a prominent and successful Bellingham pioneer, has been a resident of the city during the past thirty-six years, and in 1908 he built the Quackenbush dock and warehouse, which he has operated continuously to the present time. His birth occurred at Owosso, Michigan, in February, 1868, his parents being Captain Jay L. and Sarah (Wait) Quackenbush. The father erected the first building on Holly street in Bellingham and from that time never lost faith in the city and its future greatness, as was manifested by his earnest efforts to promote its progress and his advocacy of the building of the fine city hall which is today one of the adornments of Bellingham. In all things he demonstrated the same spirit of loyalty and patriotism which he displayed when his service on southern battlefields during the Civil war won him the rank of captain.

    A native of Montgomery county, New York, Captain Quackenbush was born December 29, 1827, and at an early age went to New York city, where he secured a position in a large clothing house, which he held until he reached the age of twenty. He then moved to Owosso, Michigan, and in that state took up the study of law, being admitted to the bar when he was thirty years of age. Opening an office, he engaged in practice in Owosso until the outbreak of the civil war, when he responded to the country's call for troops and raised a company, of which he was chosen captain and which was mustered in as a part of the Eighth Michigan Volunteer Infantry. He was an ardent believer in the preservation of the Union and deeply regretted that the condition of his health obliged him to resign before the close of the war.

    After receiving an honorable discharge Captain Quackenbush resumed the practice of law in Owosso, Michigan, where he remained until 1868, when he sailed for California, around Cape Horn. After visiting San Diego he decided to locate there and returned to Michigan to complete his arrangements for establishing his home on the coast. He resided in San Diego until 1874, when he went to Portland, Oregon, where he was engaged in business until 1885. His next move was to the new city of Vancouver, British Columbia, where he conducted important and profitable business undertakings until the big fire which completely destroyed the city in 1887, losing all his property in that conflagration. He then moved to Whatcom, now Bellingham, and through strenuous effort managed to secure a lot and thereon erected the first building on Holly street, at the corner of Dock, calling the structure the Holly block. There were logs and stumps all around; in fact, the building was practically in the woods, so the he was the pioneer in developing what is today one of the finest thoroughfares of the city. He was also connected with public interests in other ways, serving several times as a member of the city council of Sehome and New Whatcom, and at the time of the erection of the present city hall he was one of the first to advocate the plan, exerting every possible effort to secure a building worthy of what he believed the city would be. There was no feature of city improvement at all practical that he did not support, and his labors were far-reaching and beneficial. About five years prior to his demise, which occurred May 26, 1906, Captain Quackenbush contracted grip, from which he never fully recovered, and thereafter he spent the winter months in California. He was for half a century an exemplary member of the Masonic fraternity, exemplifying in his life the beneficent spirit of the craft, and he was also a member of Washington Commandery of the Loyal Legion. His political support was given to the democratic party. A contemporary biographer said of him: "He was a man in whom the call of opportunity or of duty found ready response and no civil need sought his aid in vain."

    Captain Quackenbush was married in 1859 to Miss Sarah J. Wait, and they became the parents of three children, as follows: Douglas J., who died in infancy; Louis B., of this review; and Gladys A., the wife of Dr. G. M. Harris, a practicing dentist of Bellingham. Mrs. Sarah J. Quackenbush still survives and makes her home at Bellingham, where she enjoys an extensive and favorable acquaintance.

    Louis B. Quackenbush, whose name introduces this article, acquired a public school education in his youth and also pursued a course of study in a business college at Portland, Oregon, from which he was graduated. He was but fourteen years of age when in 1882 he started out in the business world as a shipping clerk for the Thompson De Hart Hardware Company, with which he continued for eight years, constantly advancing during that period. He then came to Bellingham, in 1890, and was associated with his father, Captain Jay L. Quackenbush, in the real estate business until 1895, when he entered the employ of the Frazzell Hardware Company as inside manager, remaining with that firm for two years. The succeeding three years were spent as buyer for the Morse Hardware Company, after which he lived retired from business until 1908, when he erected the Quackenbush dock and warehouse, which he has operated to the present time. It is a one story and basement structure, one hundred and sixty-five by one hundred and twenty-five feet, and is situated on the waterway at Chestnut street and Central avenue. The activities of Mr. Quackenbush as proprietor of this very popular warehouse have constituted an important factor in the development of the Island trade. He is also manager of the Quackenbush estate, which in 1914 erected the Quackenbush block, a fine two story store and office building at the northwest corner of Holly and Cornwall streets.

    On the 8th of February, 1893, in Bellingham, Mr. Quackenbush was married to Miss Hattie T. Crowe, of Bellingham, a daughter of Thomas M. Crowe, who was an early settler of Whatcom county and was successfully engaged in the contracting and building business during his active career. Mr. and Mrs. Quackenbush are the parents of two sons. Claude Fulton, a graduate of the University of California, is now professor of mechanical engineering in the Oakland School of Technology. During the period of the World war he served in the ordnance department with the rank of lieutenant and at the time of the signing of the armistice was the operator of a railroad gun built for the German offensive. L. Stanley Quackenbush, the younger son, is an art student in the University of California.

    In politics Mr. Quackenbush maintains an independent attitude, supporting men and measures rather than party. He holds membership with the Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce, the Loyal Legion and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. The following is an excerpt from a biography of Mr. Quackenbush which was published in 1917: "He has always been a parton of good clean sport and is quite a noted athlete. For many years he was the champion long distance runner on the Pacific coast and for eight years held the amateur championship as a single scull oarsman at Portland for the Pacific coast. In the '90s he was a member of the Willamette Rowing Club of Portland, Oregon, and the Portland Rowing Association and also has membership in the Tacoma Athletic Club. At present he has his own gymnasium in his home, where he still indulges in physical training. He recognized the immense value as well as the pleasure to be derived therefrom and he has done much to further good clean sport on the Pacific coast."

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 98-99

Quimby, George W.

    Among the old and honored citizens of Whatcom county who because of their long and useful lives are deserving of specific mention in the history of this county, stands George W. Quimby, who after an active and interesting career is now making his home with his son Fred, in the vicinity of Everson. He is a man of strong and forceful personality, who has made an indelible impress on the lives of those with whom he has come in contact, and no man in his community enjoys to a greater extent the admiration and respect of the people generally. Mr. Quimby is a native of Wisconsin, born in 1842, and is a son of O. A. and Emmanda (Crippen) Quimby, both of whom were natives of Vermont. The father was a blacksmith by trade and was a man of eminently respectable standing in his community.

    George W. Quimby had but little opportunity for attending school but he had an ambition for learning and throughout his life has been a close and studious reader, and he is consequently a well informed man. At the age of nineteen years he enlisted for service in the Civil war, in which he served five years and two months, his last regiment being the Thirty-second Wisconsin. He had a splendid war record, among his special services being that of a scout under General Sherman on the march from Atlanta to the sea. He last served under General Howard, and because of his splendid service he was promoted to the rank of captain, in which capacity he commanded a company of colored troops. He took part in a number of important battles and campaigns and since the war he has written a history of the "march to the sea." On his return to civil life Mr. Quimby returned to Wisconsin and devoted his attention to farming. Eventually he went to South Dakota, where he took up a homestead, on which he lived about one and a half years, at the end of which time he went to Nebraska and engaged in the real estate business along the frontier. Then, moving father south, he started the town of Verdigre, Nebraska, in which enterprise he was successful. After remaining in Nebraska about ten years, Mr. Quimby, in 1898, came to Whatcom county, locating in Bellingham, where he remained about four years, during which time he carefully inspected the various sections of the county, looking for a location that suited him, for he was a that time practically retired and wanted a place of pleasant and convenient surroundings in which to reside. He afterward located near Lynden, where he lived for three or four years, or until his wife's death, in 1918, after which he lived with his children until about 1923, when he lost his sight, since which time he has made his home with his son Fred.

    Mr. Quimby was married in 1865 to Miss Mary E. Stevenson, a daughter of George Stevenson, who was born in Germany and who was the captain of one of Stephen Girard's ships. Mrs. Quimby died in 1918.  To Mr. and Mrs. Quimby were born seven children, namely:  Mrs. Rosina Cleveland, deceased; Mrs. Manie Beck, deceased, who left two children; Mrs. Maud Smith, of Bellingham, who is the mother of four children; Fred, who is married and is living on the present home place, and is the father of three children; Walter, who is married and is living in British Columbia; Willard, of Bellingham, who is married and has seven children; and Mrs. Verdie Parker, of Lynden, who is the mother of three children. There are also eleven great-grandchildren.

    Mr. Quimby has always taken an active part in public affairs in the various communities where he has lived, and while living at Creighton, Nebraska, he served as justice of the peace. On one occasion, during a trial, one of the lawyers was especially annoying to the court. Finally, the justice adjourned court for five minutes in order to "lick" the lawyer, preferring to do that rather than fine him for contempt of court. The lawyer and the justice were ever afterward good friends. Also while living in Creighton, Mr. Quimby acted for a while as editor of a newspaper. He belongs to that class of substantial citizens who, while their lives may not show any meteoric qualities, always, by their support of the political, moral and social status for the general good, promote the real welfare of their respective communities. Fidelity of purpose, keenness of perception, unswerving integrity and sound common sense have been the marked characteristics of his makeup, and these qualities, together with his genial and friendly manner, have won for him the sincere respect and esteem of all who know him.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 378-379


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