Finding Ancestors wherever their trails led at Genealogy Trails History Group


Whatcom County
Washington
Genealogy and History


Biographies

 

Ri-Rob

 


Richard, Maria E. (Adams)

    For twenty-six years Mrs. Maria E. Adams Richard has been identified with the teaching staff of the Bellingham city schools, and there are few persons in this section of the state who have a wider or a better acquaintance in education circles than she. For years her talents have been exercised in behalf of the backward and superior children in the city schools, at present in charge of the special or opportunity department of the Roeder school, and it is generally agreed in the community that her services in behalf of the children of this grade have been of incalculable value. Mrs. Richard is a native daughter of the Hawkeye state, born in the village of Hesper on the Minnesota border in Winneshiek county in northeastern Iowa, and is a daughter of Jokum and Sophia Adams, the former of whom died when she was but a child. Both parents were natives of Norway, members of that considerable Norwegian colony that formed the basic elements of the population of northeastern Iowa and southeastern Minnesota. Her widowed mother married Ole Henning and after residing in Tacoma for a time became a resident, more than twenty-five years ago, of Bellingham, where for years Mr. Henning was connected with the lumber and milling industry. Mrs. Henning died here May 18, 1904, and her husband survived her for more than twenty years, his death occurring January 2, 1925.

    Marie E. Adams was but a child when the family residence was changed from Iowa to the neighboring state of Minnesota, where she grew to womanhood. She was graduated from the high school in Rushford, Minnesota, and was engaged as a teacher in the district schools of her home county for several years, and a teacher in the city schools of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, for three years, or until failing health prompted her to go south. She was a teacher in Florida for five years in a special industrial school for colored children in connection with the Episcopal church. While thus engaged she met and in 1892 married Francis Marion Richard, a Confederate veteran and owner of an orange plantation in the neighborhood of Jacksonville. In 1899 Mrs. Richard rejoined her mother, who in that year became a resident of Bellingham, and was engaged as a teacher in the primary grade of the old Fairhaven school. Her husband acquired interests here and his time thereafter was divided between Bellingham and Florida.

    After twelve years in the primary schools of Fairhaven, Mrs. Richard was transferred to the North Side, where she entered upon her long period of useful service in behalf of the backward and supergraded children, this service beginning in the Columbia school in 1911. She taught one year in Columbia. The following year she was given a year's leave of absence, which was spent in Florida with Mr. Richard. Upon her return, she took up the same work in the Roeder building. She has been connected with Roeder school ever since, teaching the ungraded or opportunity room. During her long period of service in this connection hundreds of such children have come under Mrs. Richard's training and her influence in their lives has been helpful beyond all estimate. Since living in Bellingham she has by summer schools and extension courses graduated from the four years' course of the Bellingham State Normal School.

    Mrs. Richard resides at 1515 I street and is quite pleasantly situated there. She is the owner of a fine tract of orchard property across the river from Jacksonville, Florida. She is an active member of the Grade Teachers League of the state of Washington, is affiliated with the other educational bodies of the county and state and is widely known in teaching circles throughout the northwest. She is a member of the Protestant Episcopal church and had long been giving service in the local parish as head of the senior department of the Sunday school and teacher of the Bible class. Her connection with the general social and cultural activities of the city and community at large has long been established and for years she has been recognized as one of the potent personal factors in the promotion of all movements designed to advance the common welfare in the community of which she has for so long been a useful and influential member. In 1926 she finished forty years of service in the schools of the country, twenty-six of which have been spent in the Bellingham schools.

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


Richards, Roland C.

    Roland C. Richards, a veteran of the World war and one of the well known young business men in Bellingham, manager of the Star Market on Harris avenue, has resided here since the days of his boyhood, a period of twenty-five years and more, and is thus thoroughly familiar with conditions here. He was born in Antigo, Langdale county, Wisconsin, November 21, 1894, and is a son of Llewellen and Mary Richards. The latter died in Wisconsin. In 1900, when he was but six years of age, Roland C. Richards came west with his father and was here reared, receiving his education in the Bellingham schools. His father later returned to Wisconsin and is now living in that state. Mr. Richards' first employment here was as a driver for a meat wagon and he gradually acquired a thorough knowledge of the retail meat business as applied to the fine trade area centering in Bellingham. When this country took a hand in the World war in 1917 he enlisted and went into the army as a member of Company I, of the Seventy-sixth Infantry, with which command he was connected until mustered out some time following the close of the war. In 1921 he was made manager of the Star market, 1106 Harris avenue, and has since been thus engaged. This is one of the oldest continuously operated meat markets in this section of the state, having been located at that stand for more than thirty-five years.

    On June 30, 1921, Mr. Richards was united in marriage to Miss Frances Bloom, daughter of Frank Bloom, a member of one of the pioneer families of Lynden, this county, and they have a son, Roland C., Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Richards are republicans, interested in local civic affairs and in the general progress of the community. Mr. Richards is a member of the local post of the American Legion and is also affiliated with the Knights of Pythias and with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 732


Richardson, Henry L.; Rev.    

    Rev. Henry L. Richardson has by his indomitable enterprise, progressive methods and forceful individuality contributed in a very definite way to the advancement of his community during the course of an honorable career and has gained an enviable standing among his fellow citizens. He was born at Glen Cove, Long Island, New York, on the 20th of November, 1873, and is a son of Henry and Martha A. (Lowther) Richardson, the latter of whom was born at Whittlesea, Cambridge, England, and died June 1, 1922. The father was born at Castle-on-Tyne, England, and was reared and educated in that locality. In 1872 he came to the United States, locating on Long Island, where he lived until 1884, when he came to Whatcom county, locating at Bellingham, where he followed his trade, that of contractor and builder. He was a fine carpenter, thoroughly understood construction work, and erected many of the best buildings in the early history of Bellingham, among which were the Old Colony mill, and the old Episcopal and Baptist churches. In 1885 he preempted one hundred and sixty acres of land at Alki, but had a hard time getting to his land. The Guide Meridian trail was so badly filled up that he could not follow it and he has compelled to go around by the old Telegraph trail as far as possible and then pack in his stuff from there. Being unable to find water on the Alki place, in 1887 he located on his present seventy acres, on which are three springs. When he took possession there was a small log cabin on the place and about three acres of the land had been cleared, the remainder being covered with large first growth fir trees. At that time the cost per acre of clearing the land was fifteen dollars to slash, one hundred dollars to log and one hundred dollars to take out the stumps. Mr. Richardson brought some stock to his place in 1887, being compelled to go to Lynden and then come back by the way of the old Strache road. He has lived on the place continuously since taking possession of it and now has the seventy acres all cleared and in a fine, productive condition. In the early days all trading was done at Bellingham and while living at Alki it was necessary to pack in with horses. Mr. Richardson and two sons, including Henry L., built three-quarters of a mile of road to the present place, the Guide Meridian road being opened up in 1889. At that time wild game was abundant, deer, bear, cougar, rabbits,  pheasant and grouse being common. Mr. Richardson took a prominent and influential part in the early activities of this section of the county.  For many years he was a prominent member of the First Methodist Episcopal church at Bellingham, serving as pastor, while Mrs. Richardson played the organ, and Henry was janitor and sang in the choir. He was particularly interested in educational affairs and served six years as a school director of the Laurel district. Later he and Henry cleared the land on which the consolidated school was built. He was a stockholder in the old Laurel Co-operative Creamery. Though well advanced in years, he is still interested in the general progress of the community and is numbered among the grand old men of the locality honored by his citizenship.

    Henry L. Richardson attended the public schools of Long Island and after coming to Whatcom county continued his studies at the Anatole school, four and a half miles from his home, which distance he was compelled to walk. He then entered the high school at Bellingham, his credits permitting him to enter at the middle of the sophomore year. During his high school course he remained in Bellingham through the week, returning home at the week end. Later he attended the University of Washington, at Seattle, where he took the course in pharmacy, in which he was graduated in 1896 with the Ph. D. degree, and continued his studies there in 1899, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He was taking work leading to the Master's degree, and at the same time was teaching in the South Park school, but resigned and went to the Ithaca Conservatory of Music, at Ithaca, new York, where he was graduated in 1902. He then started on a postgraduate course, but because of a typhoid fever epidemic which broke out he returned home in 1903. He opened a studio in the First National Bank building at Bellingham, where he taught voice, and at the same time became director of the choirs at the First Methodist Episcopal and the First Presbyterian churches. He returned to the home ranch in 1905, remaining there two years, during which time he taught in the school near by. In 1907 Mr. Richardson joined the conference of the Methodist Episcopal church and was appointed to the pastorate of the church at Nooksack. This was a circuit, including also the church at Acme. Later he was appointed to Indian mission work, in which he spent two years. In 1911 he was sent to the Simpson Avenue church in Hoquiam, where he served from September to the following May, when he went east and spent the summer visiting his father's relatives. On his return he was appointed pastor of the church at Laurel and Weiser Lake, where he remained a year, and was then two years at Startup, Snohomish county. His next appointment was to Sultan, and during that period he taught science and music and directed athletics in the Munroe high school. The next year he was pastor of the church at Gold Bar and also did school work for two years. In 1920, because of his father's advancing years, he resigned his ministerial work and returned to the home farm, where he has since lived. He has filled the pulpit at Acme three years, since which time he has been the pastor of the Federated church at Sumas. He is a cultured and well educated man, an eloquent and forceful speaker, and possesses a personality that has made its impress on all with whom he has come in contact, his pastorates being marked by increased interest in church activities on the part of the congregations and a growth in memberships. Mr. Richardson is now giving his attention mainly to dairy farming, in which he is meeting with marked success. He keeps about twenty milk cows, some of which are registered stock, and also has a nice flock of laying hens and some good hogs. The ranch is well improved in every respect and has a good bearing orchard. Mr. Richardson is a thoroughly practical man, does well whatever he undertakes and has gained a good reputation as a farmer, as well as preacher.

    On October 4, 1904, Mr. Richardson was married to Miss Lucy E. Green, who was born at Brookfield, Connecticut, a daughter of Professor Herbert W. and Mary (Smith) Green, the latter of whom, also a native of Brookfield, died in 1897. Professor Green, for many years very prominent and well known as a vocal instructor at Carnegie Hall, New York, died in September, 1924. To Mr. and Mrs. Richardson were born six children, namely: Mary J., who is teaching at Van Zandt; Mildred, who is teaching at Twisp; Grace; Myrom (sic); Herbert and George, twins.

    Mr. Richardson is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and the Whatcom County Poultry Association. He has taken an active interest in local public affairs, having served as township clerk three years and as assessor two years. He has earnestly cooperated with his fellow citizens in the support of all measures calculated to advance the progress of the community or better the general welfare in any way. Genial and friendly, kindly and courteous, he has a wife acquaintance throughout this section of the county and enjoys an enviable standing in the confidence and esteem of all who know him.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 600-605


Riddle, Jasper M.

    Jasper M. Riddle, a public service contractor, whose specialty is street paving and sewer construction, is a pioneer in that line in Bellingham, where he has been a resident for nearly forty years. Born in Venango county, Pennsylvania, March 23, 1866, he was but two years of age, when in 1868 his parents, Marion C. and Mary Cathryn (Looker) Riddle, the former a veteran of the civil war, moved with their family to Houston county, Minnesota, making the trip by covered wagon, behind an ox team. He grew up in a pioneer region and recalls that his formal schooling aggregated but about nine months. When ten years of age he began work as tender of a ferry boat and when eleven was employed in a logging camp, cooking for a gang of forty men, his mother having taught him the rudiments of cooking. He was employed in lumber camps in the Superior country until he was seventeen, when he went to Minneapolis and got a job as conductor on a street car, afterward working for a while along the same line in Anoka, Minnesota. In June, 1887, the year in which he attained his majority, Mr. Riddle came to the Vancouver country and engaged in logging operations at Port Moody. In the spring of the next year he married and came to the Bay settlements, locating at Whatcom in May, 1888. There he and his wife began housekeeping in a cabin which stood in the block in which they now are living in a fine modern house, 2423 Cherry street, Bellingham.

    Upon his arrival here Mr. Riddle began working for the contracting firm of Bell & McDaniels and in the fall of that year went to work in the old Colony mill. In the spring of the next year he transferred his services to the Decan shingle mill and was there employed as a filer for eight years, at the end of which time became one of the organizers of the Badger Mill Company. A year later he disposed of his interest in that enterprise and became connected with the city street department, a line which presently opened the way for his operations as a contractor on public works, his first job in this connection having been the construction of plank sidewalks on Elk and James streets. Ever since then Mr. Riddle has been engaged on public works, - general street paving, sidewalk and sewer construction, and has also from time to time carried out contracts in house building. Once he had a partner who underbid on a job while he was making a trip east and he "went broke" filling the contract, but he resumed operations, undaunted by failure, continuing independently thereafter for some time, when he formed another business combination under the firm name of Riddle & Hawkins. In addition to his extensive operations in street, sidewalk and sewer construction in the city, Mr. Riddle has built almost forty miles of highway in this county and is widely known as a contractor, being the oldest in his line continuously engaged in business here. Recently Mr. Riddle bought the old Whatcom county courthouse and is rehabilitating the same for presentation to the local council of the Junior Order of United American Mechanics, of which he has been a member since September 30, 1889, with the proviso that it shall be preserved by that body as a perpetual memorial of the past.

    It was on April 10, 1888, at Westminster, that Mr. Riddle was united in marriage to Miss Effie M. Bean, who was born in the state of Vermont. They have five daughters: Nellie, wife of E. G. Schenck of Bellingham; Georgia Willa, who died at the age of eighteen years; Annie M., widow of Morris J. Brooks; Edna Grace, wife of George Arnot of Bellingham, and Inez Elizabeth, wife of Frank Aldridge, Jr., of Bellingham. Mr. Riddle is a member of the Bellingham Chamber of Commerce and of the Kiwanis Club, and is widely known in local fraternal circles. He is a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason, an encampment Odd Fellow, and Elk and a Moose and is likewise affiliated with the Junior Order of United American Mechanics, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Woodmen of the World and the Sons of Veterans. He is a past state counsellor of the Mechanics and a national representative of that order, and is also a past master of the Workmen, a past commander of the Woodmen and a past dictator of the Moose.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 593-594


Ripley, Frances Ball; M.D.

    Endowed by nature with keen mentality, and possessing strength of purpose as well as the capacity for hard work, Dr. Frances Ball Ripley has steadily advanced in the medical profession and is recognized as one of the able physicians of Bellingham. She is a native of Iowa, and in 1904 she was graduated from the Herring Medical College of Chicago. She chose Davenport, Iowa, as the scene of her professional activities and for six years maintained an office in that city. In 1920 she joined the staff of the Michigan State Homeopathic Hospital, on which she served for a year, and since 1921 has been a resident of Bellingham. She enjoys an enviable reputation as a specialist in women's diseases and has built up a large practice. She has always made her professional duties her first consideration and is most thorough and conscientious in her work.

    Dr. Ripley is a member of the Whatcom County and Washington State Medical Societies, the Homeopathic State Medical Society and the American Medical Association. She is deeply interested in both the humanitarian and scientific phases of her profession, inspiring confidence and respect in her patients, and her ministrations to the sick have been attended by excellent results.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 787


Ristine, Charles F.

    Charles F. Ristine, street commissioner of Bellingham, has devoted many years to this branch of public service and is exceptionally well qualified for this important office. He was born in Iowa, February 12, 1864, a son of John F. and Susannah (Sowders) Ristine, who were natives of Pennsylvania. They were pioneer settlers of Clinton county, Iowa, and there Charles F. Ristine attended the public schools. He was reared on his father's farm and followed agricultural pursuits until he reached the age of twenty-one.

    For a few years Mr. Ristine was engaged in railroad work in Iowa, and he then went to Colorado. In 1888 he came to Old Whatcom, Washington, and was connected with street work for some time, afterward securing a position in a mill. He subsequently purchased a shingle mill, which he operated for seven years, and in 1907 he entered the employ of the city of Bellingham as inspector of streets. He filled the position for ten years and on the expiration of that period was made road inspector for Whatcom county, acting in that capacity for eight years. In 1924 he received his present appointment from Mayor Kellogg, and he is giving to the city the services of an expert. He is devoted to the interests in his charge and his work is thoroughly appreciated.

    Mr. Ristine gives his political allegiance to the republican party and is well informed on all matters of public moment. He has a wide acquaintance in the county, in which he has resided for nearly forty years, and public opinion bears testimony to his worth.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 88-89


Ristine, Frank E.

    With efficiency as his watchword, Frank E. Ristine has steadily worked his way upward in the business world, and as manager of the stone and crushing plant at Kendall, he is successfully conducting important interests. He was born October 30, 1867, and is a native of Harrison county, Missouri. His parents were Joseph H. and Angeline (Tarwater) Ristine, the former a native of Illinois and the latter of Missouri. The father was a carpenter and followed that trade for many years, becoming an expert craftsman.

    The family migrated to Colorado in 1880, when Frank E. Ristine was a boy of thirteen, and after his education was completed he engaged in mining and construction work at Salida. Under the able direction of his father he had learned the carpenter's trade and in 1906 became connected with building activities in Seattle, Washington. He followed his trade in that city for two years and in 1908 entered the employ of the Superior Portland Cement Company, working for four years at Concrete, Washington. He was then transferred to the Olympic Portland Cement Company at Bellingham, where he was stationed for a year, and in 1913 was placed in charge of the Balfour quarry in Columbia township, of which he has been superintendent, and is now directing the labors of forty-five men. The plant is supplied with the most modern equipment, having a maximum capacity of five hundred tons of crushed lime stone per hour. Mr. Ristine has an expert understanding of every phase of the industry and results prove that he is the right man for the position.

    In 1895 Mr. Ristine married Miss Rosie Crosson, of Pennsylvania, and five children were born to them, but two are deceased. Those who survive are: Ella, the wife of George W. Johnson, master mechanic of the Bellingham plant of the Portland Cement Company; Virginia, the wife of Willis Wells and the mother of two children; and Joseph, who has a wife and child and is assisting his father in business. Mr. Ristine is a Royal Arch Mason and is also connected with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. In politics he is nonpartisan and his outlook upon life is broad and liberal. He is devoted to the interests in his charge and merit has placed him in his present office of trust.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 664


Ritchie, W. C.

    The prosperity and substantial welfare of a town or community are in a large measure due to the enterprise and foresight of its citizens. It is the progressive, wide-awake men of affairs who make the real history of any locality and their influence in shaping and directing its varied interests is difficult to estimate. W. C. Ritchie, for a number of years one of Ten Mile's successful farmers, and now actively connected with the work of the county dairymen's association, is one of the enterprising spirits who have contributed to the welfare and prosperity of his community, and he is well deserving a specific mention in a history of this section. Mr. Ritchie was born in North Carolina on the 17th of July, 1870, and is a son of M. W. and Rebecca (Rodgers) Ritchie, both of whom also were natives of that state. The father was a blacksmith by trade. When the subject of this sketch was but a small lad the family moved to Kentucky, where they remained about eight years, and then went to Minnesota, where the father died. The mother died in Missouri.

    W. C. Ritchie secured his education in the public schools of Kentucky and Minnesota, and he then learned the trade of a blacksmith, and also became an expert engineer, being employed for a number of years as an engineer on the Great Northern Railroad in Minnesota. He was always in touch with farming, living on a farm during part of his early life. In 1906 he came to Whatcom county, locating in Bellingham, where he built and set up the machinery for his brother's mill. He also ran a locomotive for a lumber company for several years. In 1907 he bought his present farm of fifteen acres, to which he later added twenty acres. The original tract was covered with a heavy growth of timber, which was cut off for his brother's mill at Alki, and eventually he got that tract entirely cleared, while the twenty acres tract is all slashed. He has developed his farm into one of the best ranches of its size in this locality, and he is here devoting his efforts mainly to dairy farming, keeping six milk cows and four head of young stock. He raises his own feed and has so managed the place as to derive a nice income therefrom. Being an expert mechanic, he has frequently been called upon to do repair work in logging camps, and is also a truck repairman, in addition to which he does a good deal of blacksmithing. About 1921 Mr. Ritchie began hauling milk to Bellingham for the dairy association, for which purpose he employed two trucks, collecting milk from parts of Ten Mile, Van Dyke, Lawrence and Rome townships, and he hauls more milk to this station than does any other man.

    On June 16, 1895, Mr. Ritchie was married to Miss Susannah Meisel, who was born in Minnesota and whose parents are deceased. To Mr. and Mrs. Ritchie have been born ten children, namely: Mrs. Esther Welch, of Bellingham, who is the mother of two children; Jennings; Leonard, of Renton, who is married and has one child; Lloyd; Alton, who died at the age of thirteen months; and Max, Ione, Wilfred, Ruth and Arthur. Mr. Ritchie has been active in local affairs, having been a member of the school board for about six years, while he has been a member of the board of supervisors for three years, being at this time chairman of the board. He was formerly a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias. He is keenly alive to every opportunity for improving local conditions, an evidence of which was his sinking of a well, four feet in diameter and one hundred and thirty-six feet deep, on his place. He installed an electric pump and supplied water to three of his neighboring farmers, a service greatly appreciated, as this neighborhood was very dry. He possesses to a marked degree all the essential elements of good citizenship, and because of his fine public spirit and his splendid record since coming to this locality he has won and retains an enviable standing here.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 354


Roberts, Fred G.

    Fred G. Roberts is closely identified with the fisheries industry of the northwest and for ten years Bellingham has claimed him as a citizen. He was born in 1863 and is a native of Illinois. His parents were Thomas M. and Mary C. Roberts, the former a dealer in live stock. The son received a public school education and afterward took up the study of law. He mastered the principles of jurisprudence and at Galena, Illinois, was admitted to the bar. He practiced there for a short time and then went to Chicago, becoming connected with the grain business. He was thus engaged until 1916, when he came to Bellingham, and has since been associated with the Pacific American Fisheries Company.

    In 1889 Mr. Roberts married Miss Mary Tothill, of Galena, Illinois, and to this union has been born a son, Thomas T. He is connected with the Chicago Trust Company and has a wife and family. Fred G. Roberts is a thirty-second degree Mason and Shriner and his political allegiance is given to the republican party.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 782


Roberts, Griffith

    Griffith Roberts, who formerly followed the profession of engineering, is now a well known merchant of Kendall, Washington, and has creditably filled a number of public offices. He was born in 1875 in La Crosse county, Wisconsin, and his parents, Robert B. and Ellen (Griffith) Roberts, were natives of Wales. He was reared on his father's farm and attended the public schools of the Badger state. He received his higher education in Lake Forest University of Illinois and was graduated with the class of 1900, winning the degree of Civil Engineer. He followed that profession in the middle west for a time and then came to northwestern Washington, locating in Bellingham. He was engaged in engineering work for a number of years and then entered the shingle business. Since 1914 he has been engaged in general merchandising at Kendall, handling flour, feed, groceries and dry goods. He has closely studied trade conditions and is always prepared to supply the needs of the public. He is an honest dealer and under his capable management the business has enjoyed a rapid growth.

    In 1904 Mr. Roberts was united in marriage to Miss Bertha Hack, of Wisconsin, and they have five children: Robert, William, Elinor, Lloyd and Douglas. Mr. Roberts belongs to the Bellingham lodge of Elks and is a republican in his political views. He is township treasurer and has been postmaster since coming to Kendall. He has been township clerk and supervisor and also performed valuable public service as a member of the school board. Mr. Roberts has been a constant and untiring worker for the good of his community, faithfully discharging every trust reposed in him, and his worth as a citizen is uniformly conceded.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 768


Roberts, P. W.

    One of the functions of a work of this character is to take recognition of those citizens of the county of Whatcom who stand distinctively representative in their chosen spheres of endeavor, and in this connection there in eminent propriety in according consideration to P. W. Roberts, who is one of the successful and enterprising farmers of the Sumas valley and a man who has long enjoyed to a marked degree the respect of his fellow citizens. Mr. Roberts is a native of the state of Indiana, born on the 8th of March, 1862, and is a son of William and Clara (Harper) Roberts, both of whom were natives of Switzerland county, Indiana. The father was a farmer by vocation, but as a side line he ran a store boat on the Ohio river. Both parents died in their native state. They had thirteen children, of which number eight are living.

    P. W. Roberts attended the public schools in his native county, and at the age of thirteen years he went to work on neighboring farms. When seventeen years old he moved to Iowa, where he worked for two years. He was industrious and economical of his financial resources, so that at the end of that time he was able to buy a team of horses, and he engaged in farming on his own account on a tract of rented land. He was thus occupied for two years and then, in 1883 went to Nebraska and took up a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres in Holt county, of which locality he was a pioneer. He broke the prairie sod with oxen, made many improvements, created a good farm and lived there until 1900, when he came to Whatcom county. After inspecting this locality, he bought eighty acres, four miles east of Sumas, built a small house and then set himself to the task of clearing the land, which was covered with timber and brush. After living there two years he bought sixty acres close by, a few acres of which had been cleared. He now has fifty-three acres of this land cleared and in cultivation and has developed it into a splendid farm. In 1911 Mr. Roberts built a good barn and in 1923 erected a fine, modern house. His land is fertile and well cultivated and he raises fine crops of hay, oats and peas. He also has a nice berry patch and a good, bearing orchard. He likewise keeps a number of milk cows, which he has found a very desirable auxiliary to the farm.

    In 1882 Mr. Roberts was married to Miss Mary Hamilton, who was born and reared in Indiana, a daughter of Weaver Hamilton, now deceased. To Mr. and Mrs. Roberts were born five children: Ralph, who was born in Nebraska, was graduated from high school and from a normal school in Indiana and is now teaching school in Vancouver, Washington. He is married and is the father of seven children. Eugene, also born in Nebraska, was graduated from high school and taught school for three years but is now living on the eighty acre farm which he bought from his father. He is married and has three children. Ray, born in Nebraska and now living in Sumas, is a high school graduate. He is married and has two children. Fay, who was born in Washington, is married and lives in California; and Mrs. Alma Busser lives in California and is the mother of a daughter. Mr. Robert's mother had the honor of attending school under the instruction of Edward Eggleston, author of  "The Hoosier Schoolmaster."

    Mr. Roberts is an active member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association, of which he was one of the organizers and a charter member. He is an earnest advocate of the best educational facilities and of improved roads, which he believes are vital to the welfare of any community. He has been a close observer of modern methods and is a student of whatever pertains to his life work, and he has therefore met with encouraging success. He is proud of his state and of the community in which he lives, being zealous for their progress and prosperity. Because of his fine public spirit, excellent character and friendly disposition, he has won and retains to a marked degree the respect and esteem of all with whom he has come in contact.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 599-600


Roberts, Richard P.

    The name of Richard P. Roberts is entitled to specific mention in a work of this nature, for he had long been one of the active and influential citizens of his section of Whatcom county. Mr. Roberts was born at San Pablo, Contra Costa county, California, on the 10th of August, 1863, and he is a son of Pierce and Jane (Clancy) Roberts. His mother, who was a native of Dungarvan, County Waterford, Ireland, came to this county and located in San Francisco, California, where she met and became the wife of Pierce Roberts. Her death occurred in 1876. Pierce Roberts was a native of Louisiana, where his family owned a large plantation, on which they raised cotton, sugar cane and other southern products. During the early '50's he came to California with the rush of gold seekers, making the long overland trip, and in that state he spent the remaining years of his life.

    Richard P. Roberts attended a parochial school at Berkeley, California, until he reached the age of thirteen years, when he went to sea. He followed that occupation for seven years, leaving the sea when he was twenty years old, at which time he was a second mate, an unusual position for a boy of that age. He then engaged in salmon fishing in Puget sound and later turned his attention to the logging business. In 1905 he bought twenty acres of land, the nucleus of his present fine farm, and to this he added from time to time until he now owns one hundred acres of fertile and well improved land. In the course of time he turned the management of the farm over to his sons, but on the outbreak of the World war he again assumed the active operation of the land so as to permit them to enter the service of their country. When he acquired the land it was densely covered with timber and brush, but great strides have been made in the improvement of the tract during the subsequent years, about forty acres being now cleared and in cultivation, while the remainder is largely devoted to pasturage. Mr. Roberts carries on general farming operations, and the place is well stocked with milk cows, pigs and chickens. For many years he gave his attention to the raising of certified seeds, and he is now producing certified barley and Blue Bell peas, in the handling of which he has met with excellent success, there being a ready market for his seeds, the superiority of which has been well established and generally recognized.

    In 1891 Mr. Roberts was married to Miss Emma Henspeter, who was born in Laporte, Indiana, a daughter of Henry and Dora (Herbst) Henspeter. Her father came to the coast in 1848 and engaged in mining in northern California and southern Oregon, later returning to Illinois. He was married in 1854, and he subsequently went to Indiana, where he engaged in the sawmill business until 1870, when he came to Washington, stopping first at Olympia. Later he went to Fidalgo island, and in 1871 he located at Semiahmoo, or Birch Bay, where he bought three hundred and twenty acres of land, for which he paid one dollar an acre. Mrs. Roberts received part of her schooling in this community but completed her advanced studies in Seattle. She died November 23, 1925. To Mr. and Mrs. Roberts were born three children: Pierce, who lives on his father's farm, has been active in the public affairs of his community and is now serving as township supervisor. He is a veteran of the World war but owing to defective eyesight, which prevented him from entering the active military service, he was assigned to the equally important work of getting out spruce lumber for airplanes, being located most of the time at Port Angeles. Ivo, who resides at home, was in the officers' training camp at the University of Washington and later was at the non-commissioned officers training school at Bellingham. Vera is now teaching school at Blaine.

    Mr. Roberts has for many years taken an active part in local public affairs, having served many terms as township supervisor and for thirty years as a member of the school board, while he is now serving as assessor. Fraternally he is a member of the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen of America. He is also a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and the Whatcom County Poultry Association. Mr. Roberts is able to relate many interesting incidents of the early days in this section of the country, and among his prized possessions is a picture taken about 1889, showing a logging scene, with oxen, at what is now Walnut street, near Northwestern avenue, in Bellingham. He has ably and effectively done his part in the progress and improvement of this community and has proven himself a splendid citizen, and his support has always been given to every measure for the advancement of the public welfare. Genial and affable in manner and generous in his attitude toward all worthy benevolences, he is eminently deserving of the enviable position which he holds in the confidence and good will of all who know him.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 69-70


Robinson, E. J.

    Mr. E. J. Robinson and his family, consisting of his wife and five children, Kenneth, Ivy, Jennie, Pauline and Emily, came from Pennsylvania, and arrived in Lynden in 1883.  The following year, he and Captain C. M. Maltby purchased an upright muley sawmill from Moran Bros., in Seattle, and shipped it on the steamer Pearl.  When the Pearl arrived at Ferndale, a bad blizzard was blowing, and fearing he might become frozen in the ice of the upper river, the captain refused to go any further up stream, and unloaded the outfit on the river bank.  There being no way to transport the mill directly to Lynden the owners were compelled to take it by way of the Nooksack Crossing.  Securing two ox teams and a team of horses, they loaded the outfit on two sleds and pulled it the twenty miles to the Crossing, and finding the river frozen over, they took the risk, and crossed on the ice.  Then following the old road down the north side of the river, they finally transported the mill to its location at Lynden.

    The Robinson-Maltby Mill was the first mill north of the Nooksack, and the second north of Whatcom.  It cut most of the lumber used in early construction after 1884, and marked the end of early pioneer log-construction in the Lynden district, as well as the beginning of the important lumber industry that continued for three decades.  

Skqee Mus, R. E. Hawley, pub. 1945, pg. 180


Robinson, Ira and Jerome B.

    Ira Robinson, a well known horticulturist of Mountain View township, living near Ferndale, must be accounted as one of the pioneers of Whatcom county for he has been here for more than fifty years and has thus been a witness to and a participant in the development of this region. Though but a child when brought here by his father, he was an observant lad and little that went on in the Bay district during those stirring days of settlement escaped his alert attention, so that when in a  reminiscent mood he has many an interesting story to tell of that period, of his school days in the old pioneer school at Fort Bellingham and of his labors in helping to develop a timber farm, fighting the wild creatures of the woods, helping in the laborious operations of the lumber camps and otherwise aiding in planting the seeds of civilization here. For fifteen years Mr. Robinson was a telegraph operator, not only working as dispatcher but as lineman and he has some good stories to tell of his experiences in those days and of the often almost heartbreaking trials attending the maintenance of an open line in times of timber fires.

    Mr. Robinson was bereft by death of his mother when he was but three years old. There were three other boys in this family. The mother died in Seattle in 1872, not long after the arrival of the family there. The father brought his motherless children up the coast the same year and they were reared by kindly neighbors, "living about" as best they could until the father presently established a home on his land. It was a hard life, as anyone who has lived here for fifty years can testify, but they boys got through somehow and became useful men. Charles J. Robinson, the eldest, is now in the service of the Pacific-American Fisheries on Lummi island. Ira is the second. Elmer C. Robinson, the third son, died at Bellingham in 1918. Frank Robinson, the youngest, died at Anchorage, Alaska, in 1920.

    Jerome B. Robinson, one of the pioneers of Whatcom county and father of these sons, was a Hoosier, born in Elkhart, Indiana, and was living there when the Civil war broke out. He enlisted in behalf of the Union and went to the front, serving until the close of the war, being honorably discharged when twenty-one years of age. Upon the completion of his military service he cast in his lot with the pioneers of Iowa and in that state presently was married to Miss Elizabeth Roland, who was born at Canton, Ohio, and whose parents had become pioneers of Iowa. In the fall of 1871 Jerome B. Robinson closed out his holdings in Iowa and made preparations for the long and toilsome trip across the plains to the coast country. With his wife and their four small sons he came through to San Francisco by ox team and then by boat, via Victoria, went to Seattle, where in the spring of 1872 his wife died. In June of that same year he came on up to the Sehome landing and placed his four boys in the household of D. E. Tuck at Fort Bellingham, where for five years or more they were hospitably cared for. He began working in the settlements as a carpenter and in the logging camps and in 1878 entered his claim to a quarter section homestead tract in the Ferndale neighborhood. In 1880 he built the Ferndale Hotel, a picture of which may be found elsewhere in this work, and also built and conducted the "hall" shown in that picture. With his two oldest sons he established his home on his land and there his last days were spent, his death occurring in 1888.

    Ira Robinson was born in Iowa, February 8, 1869, and was thus but three years of age when brought here by his father and placed in the Tuck household at Fort Bellingham. When his father settled on the homestead in the Ferndale neighborhood he went there to live and thus grew up familiar with the details of clearing a timber farm. He "worked around" in other capacities and in time became a telegraph operator, a line which he followed for fifteen years or until in 1893, when "hard times" caused a temporary suspension of the activities in which he was engaged and he then returned to Ferndale and took up shingle weaving, working thus in Whatcom and adjacent counties until 1911, when he settled on the place on which he now is living. Mr. Robinson took over a tract of forty acres, but has since sold half of it, having now a well improved place of twenty acres, principally devoted to berry culture (chiefly raspberries). He has become recognized as one of the leading horticulturists in the county. He also gives considerable attention to poultry raising and is doing well. Mr. Robinson has ever given a good citizen's attention to local civic affairs and for four years was treasurer of Mountain View township.

    Mr. Robinson has been married twice. In 1896, in Bellingham, he wedded Miss Elizabeth Maes, who had come here from Michigan and who died in 1911. By that union Mr. Robinson has six children: Raymond, a veteran of the World war, is now employed in the fisheries, Willard H., also a World war veteran, is still in military service, stationed at Fort Russell, in Wyoming. Howard is employed in the fisheries here; Roland is at Excursion Inlet, Alaska. George is on the home farm with his father; and Jane, who married Alvin Dees, is now living in Aberdeen. In 1914, in Mountain View, Mr. Robinson married Miss Christina Frederickson and to this union three children have been born, Gertrude, Pearl and Henry. Mrs. Robinson is a native of the kingdom of Norway, where her parents still live. She has two brothers and a sister in this country.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 809-810


Robinson, Leigh E.

    Leigh E. Robinson, one of the foremost educators of northwestern Washington, has to his credit a fine record as principal of the Mount Baker union high school at Deming and for eight years has been the incumbent of this important position. He was born December 23, 1882, and is a native of Cedar Falls, Iowa. His parents, W. A. and Henrietta L. (Bradley) Robinson, were Iowa pioneers, settling in that state in 1863, and the father was a well known contractor of Cedar Falls. Both have passed away.

    Leigh E. Robinson prepared for his profession in the Iowa State Teachers College and was graduated with the class of 1904. He first taught at Ridgeway, Iowa, afterward at Craig, Montana, and was later at Palouse and Sunnyside, Washington. He was next in the United States customs service, going first to Seattle, and from 1909 until 1917 was stationed at Blaine, Washington. In the latter year he was made principal of the Lawrence school and in 1918 came to Deming as superintendent of the consolidated district. He was a leading spirit in the project for the building of the new school, which he has made a model institution, and his achievements in this connection have attracted much favorable notice. Mr. Robinson is an experienced educator with a natural talent for the work, and the district was fortunate in securing the services of a man of his keen intelligence and progressive ideas.

    The Mount Baker union high school district was formed in December, 1922, and embraces two hundred and twenty-five square miles, extending in a northwesterly direction from the Skagit county line at Wickersham and following the Nooksack river and its branches to a point three miles from Lynden. It comprises the following districts: Wickersham No. 62; Saxon No. 8; Acme No. 69; Blue Mountain No. 70; consolidated No. 321, composed of the old Welcom (sic) and Bell creek districts; consolidated No. 317, consisting of the old Van Zandt district; the Deming and Lawrence districts; Hopewell No. 21; Everson No. 19; and Roeder district No. 38. This is the largest area in the county, and the district contains no incorporated towns.

    The new high school building was completed in September, 1925, at a cost of one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars, and was planned with the object of rendering service to the entire community. It has a well equipped gymnasium and the auditorium will seat seven hundred persons. A night school is maintained for the benefit of workers and the cafeteria is conducted by the advanced home economics class, good meals being furnished at the very moderate price of twenty cents. A landscape gardener was employed to beautify the grounds, which cover fifteen acres, and a tract of three acres has been reserved for demonstration farms, while the athletic field contains a quarter of a mile tract. This institution is maintained with the assistance of the state and federal governments through the enactment of the Smith-Hughes law.  One hundred and eighty-five students are enrolled and pupils are brought to the school in the three district busses, while three busses are also operated from other points. Thorough courses of study are offered in English, science and agriculture and sixteen units are required for graduation. The list of teachers is as follows: P. C. Dickey, instructor in agriculture; Frank Hatley, whose work covers manual training and physical education for boys; Pearl Hutchinson, in charge of the department of home economics; Lucile Manard, teacher of English and Spanish; Mrs. Stella Mennell, instructor in mathematics  and general science; Thelma Myer, who has charge of classes in science and physical education for girls; Bernice Randall, at the head of the commercial department; and Ruth Roberts, who specializes in English and history. All are well qualified for their chosen lines of work, and the school ranks with the best in the state.

    In 1911 Mr. Robinson married Miss Christine Bjornson, of Blaine, Washington, and the children of this union are Leigh Edward, Jr., and Phyllis. Mr. Robinson is a republican in his political convictions and is well informed on all matters of public moment. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity and to the Eastern star, with which Mrs. Robinson is also affiliated. He is likewise connected with the Knights of Pythias and his wife is one of the Daughters of Rebekah. Aspiring to high ideals of service, he has passed far beyond the ranks of the many, taking his place among the successful few, and his efforts have been directed along steadily broadening lines of greater usefulness.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 497-498


 BACK-- HOME

Visit the National Genealogy Trails Site
©Genealogy Trails