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Whatcom County
Genealogy and History





Weide, S. A.

    Among the active and enterprising farmers of Whatcom county stands S. A. Weide, of the Nooksack valley, where he owns and operates one of the splendid farms of that fertile valley. His record is one of hard and indefatigable industry, wisely directed, and his efforts have been rewarded with a fine measure of prosperity, so that he is now able to take things more leisurely than in former years. Mr. Weide is a native of Johnson county, Missouri, born on the 29th of July 1853, and is a son of John and Missouri (Kinsey) Weide, the latter of whom was a native of Virginia. The father was born and reared in Prussia, Germany, whence he came to the United States in 1843, settling in Missouri, and he was a pioneer in his section of the state, where the population was composed principally of Indians. He was a cabinetmaker by trade and followed that vocation for a time, later taking up farming. He remained a resident of Missouri until within a few years of his demise, moving to Virginia, where his death occurred about 1905. His wife died there in 1903. Of the eight children born to them, the following are living: Mrs. Nannie M. Roberts, who still resides in Missouri; S. A., the subject of this sketch; Jonathan, who lives in Kansas City, Missouri; and Thomas E., of New Castle, Pennsylvania.

    S. A. Weide is indebted to the public schools of his native state for his educational training. He remained at home until his marriage, when he settled down to farming on his own account, owning one hundred and twenty acres of land in Johnson county. He carried on farming operations there until 1889, when he sold his place and came to Washington. He first located on Orcas island, where he bought forty acres of land, which he cultivated for six years, and then went to Bellingham, where he was engaged in teaming until 1899. He then came to the Nooksack valley and bought forty-five acres of land, to which he later added an adjoining tract, the farm being located three miles west of Sumas. The land was covered with timber and no roads had yet been opened up in that locality. He applied himself vigorously to the clearing of his land, built a small house, and in the course of time developed a splendid farm home. He now has sixty acres cleared and producing abundant crops. He and his son John own Sixty-five acres between them, and they are numbered among the successful and prosperous farmers of the locality. The principle field crops are hay and grain, with some sugar beets. Mr. Weide gives considerable attention to dairying, keeping eighteen good grade cows, from which he derives a comfortable income. The first house was replaced in 1910 by a new and better one, and that in turn by a modern and attractive home in 1923. The barn and silo were built in 1918, enough corn being raised on the farm for ensilage purposes.

    In March, 1880, Mr. Weide was married to Miss Lillie E. Gibbs, who was born and reared in Michigan, a daughter of George and Lucina Comstock (West) Gibbs, the former a native of England and the latter of Maine.  Mr. Gibbs was a farmer in Missouri and later moved to Iowa, where he followed the same occupation until 1886, when he came to Washington, locating on Orcas island, San Juan county. He was the first man to cultivate bulbs in the state of Washington. Both he and his wife are now deceased. To Mr. and Mrs. Weide have been born four children, namely: George W., born February 27, 1881, who is married and has four children; Mrs. Blanche Harkness, who is the mother of four children - George, Bonnie D., Mary and Jimmy; John A., born in October, 1891, who is married and has a daughter; and Mrs. Mable L. King, who lives in Sumas. Mr. Weide is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and the Whatcom County Potato Growers Association. He is a strong advocate of improved roads and good schools and gives his support to all movements for the betterment of the general welfare. He is a genial and friendly man, generous in his giving to worthy objects, and has long held a high place in the confidence and esteem of all who have come in contact with him.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 482-483

Weidkamp, Theodore

    Theodore Weidkamp has long enjoyed prestige as a leading citizen of his community, and as an official against whose record no criticism has been uttered. His prominence is the result of genuine merit and ability, and in every relation of life his many excellencies of character have won for him an enviable reputation. Theodore Weidkamp was born in Nashville, Washington county, Illinois, on the 4th of October, 1874, and is a son of Henry and Magdalena (Schober) Weidkamp, the father a native of Germany and the mother of Bohemia. He came to the United States in the early '60s and located in Illinois, where he ran a flouring mill. He afterward went to Kansas for a year, and then to Colorado, where he remained four years, having a market garden and a dairy. In 1883 he came to Whatcom county and homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres in Delta township, five miles northwest of Lynden. That locality was then totally unimproved, there being practically no roads, while the land was densely covered with brush and stumps. The men walked to their new location, the women coming by canoe from Lummi. Mr. Weidkamp entered at once the herculean task of clearing the land and in the course of time found himself in possession of a good farm. In 1884 he built a log house on the place, one of the few of the early houses that is still standing and occupied, being now owned by P. J. Delp. It is almost completely covered by beautiful ivy and honeysuckle vines. Henry Weidkamp lived in that house during the remainder of his life, his death occurring there about 1895. He was survived a number of years by his widow, whose death occurred in 1910. They were the parents of seven children.

    Theodore Weidkamp received his education in the Delta school and remained at home until his marriage, after which he worked out for about a year. He then moved onto twenty acres of the homestead and is still living there. In 1900 he bought twenty acres of land close by and in 1920 added forty acres, so that he is now the owner of eighty acres, of which he has thirty-five acres in hay and grain, raising good crops. He keeps a number of good cows and has been very successful in all of his operations, being methodical and up-to-day in everything he does.

    On September 21, 1898, Mr. Weidkamp was married to Miss Minnie McPhail, who was born in Nashville, Tennessee, daughter of J. B. and Ellen R. (Ball) McPhail. Mrs. Weidkamp's father was a farmer and came to Washington in 1896, buying eighty acres of land in Delta township, to the operation of which he devoted his efforts until his death March 14, 1925. He is survived by his widow, who is still living in Delta township. They were the parents of five children, namely: Mrs. Dradie Dunbar, Mrs. Mary E. Kulp, Mrs. Sarah Cameron, Mrs. Minnie Weidkamp and J. T. To Mr. and Mrs. Weidkamp have been born seven children: Theodore Milton, born March 18, 1899; Willard, June 16, 1900; Harold, March 12, 1903, who married and has a son, Theodore III, born March 30, 1925; Ervin, born February 2, 1911; Vernon, born January 5, 1918; Beryl, born December 3, 1920, and Ira, born July 12, 1923.

    Politically, Mr. Weidkamp has been a lifelong supporter of the republican party and has taken a commendable interest in all public affairs affecting his community. In 1920 he was elected a member of the board of supervisors of Delta township, and is also chairman of the board of school trustees of Delta township, of which he has been a member for six years. He belongs to the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association. Among his fellow ranchers he is considered a progressive and enterprising business man, thoroughly in touch with modern ideas and energetic in carrying out his plans. Genial and friendly in his social relations, he was a wide acquaintance throughout this section of the county and has a large circle of warm friends, who esteem him for his genuine worth as a man and a citizen.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 765-766

Weihe, Robert M.

    Robert M. Weihe, president of the Royal Baking Company of Bellingham and one of the veteran bakers of this particularly well favored corner of the United States, has engaged in business here for more than thirty-five years. He is of European birth but has been a resident of this country since the days of his boyhood. He was born in Germany, April 5, 1868, and was fourteen years of age when in 1882 he came to this country, settling in Sioux City, Iowa, where he grew up, attended public school and there learned the baker's trade. In 1888, as a journeyman baker, he came to the coast and was employed at San Diego, California. In 1890 attracted by the good word then going out regarding the rapid development of the settlements on the bay he came here and in association with Charles Neff started a bakery in a building adjoining the Sehome Hotel, later moving to a more desirable building on High street, operating under the name of the Bellingham Bay Bakery.

    Upon the dissolution of that partnership Mr. Weihe set up another establishment under the name of the Columbia Bakery, and thus continued for fourteen years, at the end of which time he sold out. In 1909 he resumed business, which in 1924 was incorporated as the Royal Baking Company, with Mr. Weihe as president and treasurer of the company and his son, Fred A. Weihe, as secretary. Lloyd Wilkie also is interested in this company, which has a fine new building of concrete construction at Elk, Iron and Iowa streets and which also maintains an uptown retail store. The bakery occupies a two-story building covering ground space of one hundred and fifty by two hundred and eighty-five feet and is equipped with the latest standard appliances designed for modern baking operations. The company employs twenty or more persons in this establishment and its products are widely distributed throughout the fine trade area centering in Bellingham.

    In 1891, the year following his arrival in Bellingham, Mr. Weihe was united in marriage to Miss Marie Bowman of Tacoma and they have two children: Fred A., the secretary of the Royal Baking Company; and Louise, the wife of Lloyd Wilkie, who also is a member of this company. The Weihes are republicans and have ever given proper attention to local civic affairs. Fred A. Weihe is a member of the Bellingham Chamber of Commerce and of the Rotary Club.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 749

Weir, George H.

    George H. Weir, a dealer in automobile replacement parts, has devoted his life to mechanical pursuits and is classed with Bellingham's successful business men. He was born in 1879 at Sacramento, California, and his parents, T. J. and Ellen Weir, were natives of Scotland. They arrived in San Francisco in 1876 and settled in Sacramento. The father was a marine engineer and did much important work along the line of his profession.

    The public schools of his native city afforded George H. Weir his educational opportunities, and in his youth he learned the shipbuilder's trade. He possessed a special aptitude for the work and soon became recognized as an expert. In 1906 he located in Seattle and embarked in business as a builder of marine and gas engines. He was thus engaged until the United States entered the World war, when he was appointed government inspector of all ships built at Seattle, Anacortes and Bellingham, and filled that important post until the restoration of peace, rendering valuable service to the nation in its time of need. After the war Mr. Weir transferred his business to Bellingham and for a time was engaged in automobile wrecking. He is now a wholesale and retail dealer in automotive replacement parts and conducts a prosperous and rapidly growing business. He also hold an unlimited license to engineer vessels propelled by gas, fluid, naphtha or electric motors.

    On October 22, 1907, Mr. Weir married Miss Arla A. Powell, a native of Michigan and a daughter of George W. and Mary (Phillips) Powell. They settled in Tacoma, Washington, in 1882, and the mother passed away in 1913. Mr. Powell was one of the pioneer building contractors of that city and contributed materially toward its improvement. He followed that business until 1902 and then was engaged in ranching for some time. He moved to Seattle in 1916 and is now living retired, making his home in Bellingham with Mr. and Mrs. Weir, who have two daughters; Rema Aileen, and Lyro Claudia. By his first union Mr. Weir has two sons: George Henry, a marine engineer living in Seattle; and Allen Thomas, an expert auto mechanic, who is married and resides in Oakland, California.

    Mr. Weir supports the republican ticket at national elections but casts an independent local ballot where the only question for consideration is the qualification of the candidate for the duties of the office which he seeks. Along fraternal lines he is identified with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Junior Order of United American Mechanics and the Society of Architects and Marine Engineers. He has won success on his own merits and stands deservedly high in the esteem of his fellowmen.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 739-740

Wellman, Henry L.

    Henry L. Wellman, well known and well established merchant jeweler at Bellingham, with an admirably stocked place of business at No. 1308 Cornwall avenue, is of English birth and came to this side of the Atlantic but twenty years ago. For several years he was located in British Columbia and then came down to Washington, and after residing for a time in Seattle he located at Bellingham, where he since has been content to make his home. Mr. Wellman was born in the city of London, October 22, 1885, and is a son of Leonard and Margaret Ann (Sancto) Wellman, the latter of whom died in 1919. Leonard Wellman is now a resident of the city of Vancouver, where he has resided since 1906.

    Reared in London, Henry L. Wellman has good educational advantages and was early apprenticed to learn the art and mystery of the jeweler's craft, serving a seven years' apprenticeship to that calling and becoming a thoroughly well trained and competent goldsmith, watchmaker and general jeweler, with proper training also in the fine art of the lapidary. In 1907, after attaining his majority, he determined to try his fortune of this side of the Atlantic, and he came out to the Pacific coast, locating at Vancouver. For three years he was employed there in a jewelry store and then, in 1910, opened a store of his own in that city. Three years later, in 1913, he moved to Seattle, from which city in 1915 he moved to Bellingham, where he became employed as a general jeweler. He was thus engaged until in 1918, when he opened his present store, and he has since been numbered among the substantial and progressive merchants of the city. Mr. Wellman has a well stocked and admirably appointed place of business and makes a specialty of the finer points of his craft in watch repairing and diamond setting, meeting with excellent success. He is a member of the locally influential Kiwanis Club and is also affiliated with the Masonic order.

    In 1915, at Tacoma, Mr. Wellman was united in marriage to Miss Gertrude May Prowse, and they have two children: Dorothy Evelyn, born in 1917; and Leonard Prowse Wellman, born in 1919. The Wellmans are pleasantly situated in Bellingham and take an interested and helpful part in the city's general social activities. Mrs. Wellman was born at Chilliwack in British Columbia, a daughter of Robert W. Prowse, and she is a member of one of the old families of the dominion, the Prowses having become established on Prince Edward island generations ago. Her particular branch of the family has been represented in British Columbia since the days of the pioneers there.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 182-185

Wells, Ernest F.

    Ernest F. Wells, who has served as principal of the Whatcom high school since the fall of 1923, is one of the most progressive and enterprising young citizens of Bellingham. His birth occurred at Framingham, Massachusetts, on the 19th of June, 1888, his parents being Fred R. and Maude Wells, the former a native of England, while the latter was born in Maine. Following the completion of a high school course in Massachusetts, Ernest F. Wells spent one year in Dartmouth College of Hanover, New Hampshire, and then for three years continued his studies at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, where he specialized in pedagogical work, and he was graduated with the degree of Master of Arts in 1910. While attending the latter institution he became a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. His initial experience as an educator was acquired at the Lincoln high school of Seattle, with which he was connected for a period of seven years as athletic coach, head of the mathematics department, boys' adviser, vice principal and principal of the evening school. The United States having become involved in the World war, he entered military service in 1917, attended the First Officers Training Camp and was attached to the Sixty-fifth Coast Artillery when honorably discharged from the army in 1919. He then resumed his work at the Lincoln high school of Seattle, where he remained until the fall of 1923, when he came to Bellingham, where he has served as principal of the Whatcom high school to the present time.

    On the 1st of January, 1914, Mr. Wells was united in marriage to Ina W. Cherry, a native of Pilot Rock, Oregon, whose father was an early pioneer and cattle rancher of that state. She pursued a high school course at Pendleton, Oregon, subsequently attended the University of California and became a member of the Alpha Psi Delta fraternity. By her marriage she has one son, Jack Cherry Wells, who was born in 1921.

    Mr. Wells gives his political allegiance to the republican party and is a Congregationalist in religious faith. He is a member of the board of directors of the Rotary Club, while his wife is the president of its ladies' organization. He is also a director and past service officer of the local post of the American Legion and captain of the Bellingham company of the National Guard, and he had charge of the entire festival parade in 1925. Mr. Wells is likewise president of the Bellingham sector of the Officers Reserve Corps. He is affiliated with the Masons and the Elks and is held in high esteem in fraternal as well as in the social, civic and educational circles of his adopted city.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 322

Welsh, R. A.

    The most valuable citizens of a community are those who by securing the success of their own undertakings place the means of a livelihood within the reach of others, to whom occupation is thus furnished. Of this type is R. A. Welsh, one of the pioneers in the development of the great salmon industry of the Pacific northwest and widely known as the founder of the Bellingham Canning Company, whose destiny he has successfully guided for more than twenty years. He began his business career with no assets save youth, determination and intelligence and is a self-made man in the highest and best sense of the term.

    Mr. Welsh is a native of England. He was born in Liverpool, October 23, 1864, and received a public school education. In 1882, when eighteen years of age, he responded to the call of the wild and gained a start in life by working on a Canadian farm, afterward taking up land in the vicinity of Moosejaw. He followed the occupation of farming for some time and in 1888 entered the employ of the Canadian Pacific Railroad Company, becoming station agent at Regina. In 1891 he embarked in the commission business at Vancouver, British Columbia, and in 1897 started a salmon cannery on the Fraser river. He sold the business in 1901 to the British Columbia Packers Association and had charge of their Puget Sound interests until 1904, when he organized the Bellingham Canning Company, of which he was since been the president. He secured a lease of the plant of the Washington Packing Company with the option to buy and a year later bought the lease from the bank by which it was held, subsequently purchasing the land.

    In 1913 Mr. Welsh built the present plant, which has a frontage of two hundred feet on the bay and several acres in the rear, being obliged to level Dead Man's hill before beginning the work of construction. He has a six-line plant with a capacity of thirty-two hundred cases per day, and the company operates its own traps. Mr. Welsh purchased the holdings of Mrs. P. S. Cook on Strawberry bay, Cypress island, and other property and has a dozen or more fine fishing locations. He was the first man on the sound to operate a fish meal plant in connection with a cannery, and his well matured plans have resulted in many other innovations of value. He has a highly specialized knowledge of the salmon industry and has kept the firm not only in line with but also in the lead of its competitors, creating a business of extensive proportions. It was built upon the secure foundation of commercial integrity and typifies his progressive spirit and administrative power. The company employs one hundred and twenty-five persons on water traps and steamboats, utilizing the same number in the plant during the busy season, and sells its output through jobbers and brokers.

    In 1893 Mr. Welsh married Miss Mary E. Lindsay, a daughter of Daniel and Ellen (Nicholson) Lindsay, the latter a native of England and a descendant of William Penn. Mr. Lindsay was a native of Scotland and in 1862 settled in Victoria, British Columbia. Mr. and Mrs. Welsh have two children: Doris, who is the wife of Norman Hill, a member of one of the old families of Port Townsend; and Robert A., Jr., a student at the Leland Stanford University of California. Mrs. Welsh was a director of the local Red Cross organization for many years and has been very active in religious, philanthropic, social and civic affairs. She was one of the founders of the detention hospital and has been chairman of its board of directors. She was a leading spirit in the movement which resulted in the establishment of the Tulip Festival, an annual floral celebration unsurpassed in beauty by any city in the country, and also aided in forming the local Young Women's Christian Association.

    Mr. Welsh was chairman of the Whatcom county Red Cross committee for three years during and the World war did much to promote the success of the various drives. He is an ardent advocate of the Boy Scout movement and has been chairman of the Bellingham council for several years. For ten years he has been a director of the Chamber of Commerce and is a charter member of the Bellingham Golf & Country Club, of which he is also a director. He is a Rotarian and along fraternal lines in connected with the Masons and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He casts his ballot for the candidates of the republican party and is a faithful member of St. Paul's Episcopal church of Bellingham, contributing liberally toward the fund for the building of this fine edifice. In 1885, while a resident of Canada, he participated in the Riel rebellion and through personal experience has gained an intimate knowledge of frontier life in the northwest, when this vast empire bore little evidence of the civilization of the present day. His labors have constituted a vital force in constructive development and evolution and his prosperity has been honorably won and used for worthy ends.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 385-386

Welter, Joseph

    Joseph Welter is one of the self-made men to whom Bellingham is indebted for the upbuilding of its commercial interests, and for more than thirty years he has occupied a commanding position in mercantile circles of the city. A native of Germany, he was born in 1862 and came to the United States as a young man. He wisely sought the opportunities of the west and resided for some time in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He arrived in Whatcom, Washington, in 1890 and five years later embarked in the furniture business in association with Henry Thiel, who became the senior partner. The first home of the business was on Holly street and in 1900 more commodious quarters were secured on Elk street. In 1905 the business was moved to its present location at No. 1312 Commercial street, occupying three floors of the building, and the store has a frontage of one hundred and twenty-five feet. The firm of Thiel & Welter specializes in furniture for the home, carrying everything needed for the furnishing of the modern dwelling, and is one of the largest concerns of the kind in the northwest. Its members are progressive business men of ripe experience and exceptional ability, and their success has been built upon the secure foundation of honor and integrity.

    In 1897 Mr. Welter was united in marriage to Miss Anna Donakowsky, of Whatcom, and Herbert, their only child, is attending school. Mr. Welter is a stanch adherent of the republican party but has never sought public office, preferring to discharge the duties of citizenship in a private capacity. He is a loyal American and lends the weight of his support to every project for civic growth and betterment. His heart is in his work and he brings to his daily tasks an enthusiasm and belief in their importance that make it possible for him to keep up with the spirit of the age with all of its complexities.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 390

Wertman, Florence E.

    Florence E. Wertman, one of the successful representatives of the teaching profession in Whatcom county, has been engaged in educational work at Bellingham since 1909 and has served as principal of the Columbia school during the past four years. Her birth occurred at Freeport, Illinois, her parents being John and Sarah (Ault) Wertman, who were natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio, respectively. The father came of French-German lineage, while the mother was of Scotch descent. By trade John Wertman was a carriage maker.

    Florence E. Wertman left her native state for Nebraska at an early age. After the completion of a high school course at Sioux Falls, South Dakota, she matriculated in the State Normal School at Spearfish, South Dakota, from which she was graduated. Subsequently she returned to Illinois for university work in Chicago, where she specialized in pedagogy. Going back to South Dakota, she first engaged in teaching at Whitewood and later at Lead, that state. The year 1909 witnessed her arrival at Bellingham, Washington, where she became a teacher in the Columbia school and subsequently spent a number of years as an instructor in the Roeder school. Thereafter she was made school principal at Silver Beach, thus serving until she returned to the Columbia school at Bellingham, of which she has been principal for the past four years. An experienced, able and successful educator, her efforts have been a factor in the intellectual development of the community.

    In politics Miss Wertman maintains an independent attitude, believing that the qualifications of a candidate are of more importance than his party affiliation. In religious faith she is a Baptist. She has membership in the Business and Professional Women's Club and enjoys an extensive and favorable acquaintance in Bellingham and Whatcom county.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 663

Weseman, Fred

    The honored subject of this sketch, now one of the older and practically retired farmers of his locality, has lived to see this section of the county develop from a primeval forest, inhabited by wild animals and a few settlers, to its present magnificent prosperity, elegant homes, fertile farms and thriving towns, and he has played no small part in this transformation. His early life here was marked by the hardest sort of toil, but during the years he made steady advancement and is now numbered among the prosperous and successful farmers of Whatcom county. Fred Weseman was born in Germany in 1848 and was there reared and educated to the age of thirteen years, his studies being completed after he came to this country. When he was three years old his father was killed in a stone quarry, and in 1861 his mother brought her three children to the United States, locating in Wisconsin, where she spent her remaining years.    

    Fred Weseman remained in Wisconsin, being employed at various occupations, until 1882, when he came to Whatcom county and homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land, which was densely covered with timber and brush. Of this tract he sold eighty acres in 1890. When he came here no roads had been built in this locality, irregular trails being the only highway, and the woods were filled with wild animals, such as bears, deer and cougars. Mr. Weseman was compelled to pack in all of his goods and provisions, and he began life here with practically no conveniences of any sort. His first work was the erection of a typical small log cabin of that period, with its wooden, clay-lined chimney, after which he entered vigorously upon the work of redeeming the land. He has now cleared forty acres of the tract, most of the remainder being devoted to pasture. He gives his attention chiefly to dairying, for which purpose he keeps thirteen good Guernsey milk cows, some of which are registered animals. He raises sufficient grain and roughage for his stock and has done exceedingly well in this line of work. He also has a nice bearing orchard of pears, plums and apples, a part of which crop he markets. He has made many permanent and substantial improvements on his place and has a very comfortable and attractive ranch home.

    In 1890 Mr. Weseman was married to Miss Minnie Roth, who was born and reared in Watertown, Wisconsin, a daughter of Carl F. and Wilhimina (Buth) Roth, the latter of whom was born in Germany, coming to the united States in 1857. Both of these parents died in Wisconsin. to Mr. and Mrs. Weseman have been born two children: Carl, who remains at home and is managing his father's ranch; and Adela, who is the wife of William P. Patrick and the mother of two children. Carl is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association. Mr. and Mrs. Weseman have always been deeply interested in educational affairs and both have rendered effective and appreciated service as members of the school board. Mr. Weseman has through all the years of his residence here stood staunchly for all that is best in community life, cooperating with his fellow citizens in measures for the advancement of the community along various lines. It is a far cry from the conditions of the early days, when he first came here, to present conditions, and he tells many interesting reminiscences of pioneer days. Money was scarce and for several years he worked in the lumber camps in the summer months, spending the winters in the clearing of his land. He did his own cooking and was compelled to pack his provisions long distances, going to Semiahmoo, by the way of Dakota creek. But those days are past and he is now enjoying the leisure to which his former years of toil so richly entitle him. Because of his sterling character, fine public spirit and friendly disposition, he occupies a high place in the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 285-286

Wessel, C. H.

    Among the favorably known and representative citizens of Ten Mile township is C. H. Wessel, who has by his indomitable enterprise and progressive methods contributed in a material way to the advancement of his locality and during the course of an honorable career has met with success in his individual affairs, being a man of energy, sound judgment and honesty of purpose.

    Mr. Wessel was born in 1871, in Madison, Wisconsin, and is a son of Chris and Louise (Hugo) Wessel, both natives of Germany. The father came to the United states when he was about twenty years of age and became engaged in farming in Wisconsin, where and his wife are still living. Our subject attended the public schools of his home neighborhood but is largely self-educated, having always been a close and studious reader and keeping in close touch with the great issues of the day. He remained on his father's farm until he was about twenty-two years of age, when he started out on his own account. A few years later he went to Iowa, where he was engaged in farming and was variously employed for six years.

    In 1907 Mr. Wessel came to Everett, Washington, where he remained about eight months, when he went to La Conner's Flats, in Skagit county, remaining there about a year, and in November, 1908, he came to Whatcom county and bought forty acres of land in Ten Mile township, to the improvement and cultivation of which he has since closely devoted his energies. When he acquired the land a couple of acres had been cleared and an old house stood on the place. He has persevered in his efforts to develop the tract and now has about seventeen acres of the land cleared, while thirteen acres are in pasture, ten acres having been sold. Practically all the work on the place has been done by him, and he now has a very attractive and desirable farm. He has devoted his attention mainly to dairying, keeping a nice herd of good grade milk cows, and he has met with well deserved success in his individual affairs. He is now building a modern residence which will add materially to the value of the property.

    In 1898 Mr. Wessel was married to Miss Frieda Kruse, who was born in Germany, a daughter of William and Dorothea (Koch) Kruse. The Kruse family came to the United States in 1883, and both parents are now deceased. To Mr. and Mrs. Wessel have been born five children, namely: Zilpha, a graduate of the State Normal School at Bellingham, who is now engaged in teaching east of the mountains; Irene, who is also a teacher; Mrs. Margaret Schafer, of Bellingham; and Lillian and William, who are at home. Mr. Wessel is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association. He is an alert, public-spirited man, keenly interested in everything affecting the welfare of the community, and among those who know him he is held in high esteem because of his excellent qualities of character.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 16-17

West, Harry

    Daniel Kilcup, Harry West and George Rehberger:  These three men were products of the Fraser River Gold Rush, and afterward were associated in various occupations around New Westminster and Ft. Langley (Canada).  Previously, George Rehberger had been with the boundary survey.  All three married halfbreed sisters who were of the old Feledow family that settled at Ft. Langley about 1845, and were servants of the Hudson's Bay Company.  Harry West and George Rehberger cam over to Whatcom about 1862 to work for the Bellingham Bay Coal Company, West as a millwright, and Rehberger as a carpenter.

    Later, in 1863, they persuaded Daniel Kilcup to bring over his two yoke of oxen to haul logs for the sawmill at Whatcom Creek Falls.  He drove these oxen over the old Indian trails from Ft. Langley to Nooksack Crossing, and thence by the Whatcom Trail to Bellingham Bay.  When the coal mines closed down sometime afterwards, these three men set out to locate homesteads.  Now Kilcup, when he came over the old Langley trail, had noticed a considerable piece of prairie land in what has since been called the Timon District, so they explored that section and decided to settle there.  This was in the late sixties.  For some time all three men continued to work in Whatcom, but in 1873, when the mill burned down, Kilcup moved his family to the homestead, followed by the Wests and Rehbergers in 1878, after the coal mines closed permanently.  These three families formed the nucleus of the Timon community.  

Skqee Mus, R. E. Hawley, pub. 1945, pgs. 178-179

West, John A.

    John A. West, one of the valuable citizens whom Canada has furnished to the United States, was long identified with the drug trade in various parts of the country but is now devoting his attention to agricultural pursuits, operating a fine ranch in the vicinity of Deming, Whatcom county. He was born August 27, 1854, in Chatham, Ontario, and his parents were Edmund W. and Christie (Campbell) West, the latter also a native of that province. Alexander Campbell, the maternal grandfather, was a native of scotland, and Henry West, the grandfather in the paternal line, settled in Ontario about 1820, casting in his lot with the pioneer agriculturists of that region. His son, Edmund W. West, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and also followed the occupation of farming as a life work. In May, 1855, he migrated to Michigan and purchased land in Ionia county, where he spent his remaining years.

    John A. West was reared on his father's farm and attended the public schools of Michigan. He was subsequently a student at the Detroit Medical College for a year, completed a three years' course in the California College of Medicine and Surgery and was graduated from the National Optical College at St. Louis, Missouri. He practiced for a few years in Detroit, Michigan, and for a considerable period was connected with the drug trade of that city, later engaging in pharmaceutical work at New Buffalo, Michigan. He was next a traveling salesman, representing one of the well known drug houses of the country, and was subsequently a resident of Crawford county, Arkansas. In 1901 Mr. West came to Deming, Washington, and for ten years was in the employ of Orr Brothers, having charge of their drug department. While acting in that capacity he purchased a tract of thirty-one acres adjoining the town, and in 1917 he established his home on this land, which he has since cultivated. He raises many varieties of fine fruit and is also engaged in the poultry business. His work is carefully planned and systematically performed, and he has made many improvements on the place, receiving good returns from his efficiently directed labors.

    In 1900 Mr. West married Miss Mary Boren, a native of Mississippi, and two children were born to them. Edmund B., the elder, is a traveling salesman and makes his home in Deming. Christina is the wife of John H. Sherrin, of Deming, who is filling the position of state fire warden, and they have two children. Mr. West votes the democratic ticket, and he is serving as justice of the peace, while for fifteen years he has been a notary public. Along fraternal lines he is identified with the woodmen of the World. His life has been well spent, devoted to useful lines of activity, and although he has passed the Psalmist's allotted span of three score years and ten, he is still vigorous in mind and body, deriving true happiness and contentment from the performance of his daily tasks. He is keenly interested in everything that touches Deming's welfare and advancement, and his fellow townsmen speak of him in terms of high regard.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 40-41

Westergreen, Albert P.

    Conspicuous among the representative farmers and dairymen of Whatcom county stands Albert P. Westergreen, of Nooksack township, a man who has not only shown himself a good citizen and able business man, but who gave evidence of his patriotism and loyalty during the troublous days of the World war. Mr. Westergreen was born on the old Westergreen homestead, in section 24, range 4 east, Nooksack township, five and a half miles east of Nooksack, on the 1st of May, 1896, and is a son of Gust and Selma (Soderquist) Westergreen, both of whom were natives of Sweden. The father, who was born in 1864, came to the new world in 1884, first locating in Manitoba, Canada, where he remained but a few months, coming next to Washington, where for a time he was employed on railroads. He spent a summer in the fishing business in Alaska and on his return again worked on the railroad in Whatcom county and was also in the woods for a time in the employ of P. Gillis & Sons. In 1888 he took up a homestead  of one hundred and sixty acres, comprising the land now owned by his son, Albert P. He cleared this land and cultivated it until 1920, when he sold it to our subject and bought eighty acres of land two miles north of Everson, where he is now living. To them were born six children, namely: Mrs. Janet Huntly, Mrs. Freda Larson, Albert P., Willie, Anna and Mrs. Ellen Sealund. Further details of the life of Gust Westergreen will be found in a personal sketch of him which appears on other pages of this work.

    Albert P. Westergreen secured his education in the South Pass school, in Nooksack township, and remained at home until October 3, 1917, when he enlisted for service in the World war and was sent to Camp Lewis, Washington. He remained there for eight months and then was sent to Camp Green, North Carolina, where he remained for four months. He was then sent overseas as a member of Hospital Corps No. 30, with which unit he stayed during the entire period of his overseas service. He was at Coblenz, Germany, with the army of occupation and was eventually returned home, being honorably discharged July 3, 1919. Mr. Westergreen bought the old homestead from his father and has since devoted himself closely to its management and operation. He is a thoroughly practical farmer, having been reared to that vocation, and has achieved splendid success since operating on his own account. He keeps twenty-one head of cattle, some of them pure bred, and two good draft horses. He devotes his cultivated land to grain, hay and root crops, and his efforts have been rewarded with bountiful harvests.

    Mr. Westergreen was married, January 14, 1920, to Miss Ella Knudson, who was born in Snohomish county, Washington, a daughter of Albert and Nickolina (Steen) Knudson, both of whom were natives of Norway. Her parents came to the United States in 1890, Mr. Knudson homesteading a tract of land at Granite Falls, Snohomish county, Washington, where they lived until 1906, when he sold that place and bought fifty acres in Ten Mile township, Whatcom county, and there his death occurred April 14, 1906. His widow subsequently became the wife of John Gardene. To Mr. and Mrs. Westergreen have been born two children: Richard A., born October 27, 1921; and John Gustav, born July 29, 1924. Mr. Westergreen is a member of the American Legion, belongs to the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and has performed effective and appreciated service as a member of the board of directors of the South Pass school. Personally he is candid and straightforward in all his relations with his fellow citizens, is genial and friendly in his social intercourse and is public-spirited his supported of all measures for the advancement of the community welfare. These commendable qualities have won for him an enviable position in the confidence and good will of all who know him.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 607-608

Westergreen, Gust

    None of the people who make up our cosmopolitan population have better habits of life than have those who came came originally from Sweden - the qualities of thrift, stability, honor and soundness of judgment forming their principal basic elements - and wherever they have settled they have become important factors in the affairs of their respective communities. Of this excellent race come Gust Westergreen, one of the early settlers and successful farmers of Nooksack township. Mr. Westergreen was born in Sweden on the 11th of February, 1864, and is a son of John and Anna (Erickson) Westergreen, both of whom spent their lives and died in their native land, the father dying at the age of seventy-five years and the mother when ninety-three years old. They were the parents of three children, the subject of this sketch, and Emma and August, both of the latter being deceased.

    Gust Westergreen secured his education in the excellent public schools of his native land and then went to work in the woods, following that occupation until 1884, when, at the age of twenty years, he came to America. He first located in Manitoba, Canada, where he remained for a few months, and then, in August of that year, he came to Washington and went to work for the Northern Pacific Railroad. A year later he went to southern Oregon and entered the employ of the Southern Pacific Railroad, with which he remained about six months. He then returned to Seattle and soon afterward sailed for Alaska, in the fishing business. After spending one summer in that occupation, he came back to Washington and again went to work for the Northern Pacific Railroad, between Sumas and Nooksack, remaining at that work about a year, at the end of which time he went into the lumber woods as an employee of P. Gillis & Sons. In 1888 Mr. Westergreen took up a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres in section 24, range 4, east, in Nooksack township, and at once went to work at the formidable task of clearing the land of the timber and brush which encumbered it. He met with innumerable obstacles in the early days on that homestead, one of the big drawbacks being the entire absence of roads in his immediate vicinity, so that it was necessary for him to pack in his stove and other furniture and stores. In the course of time he cleared thirty-five acres of that tract and carried on his farming operations there with very gratifying success until 1920, when he deeded the ranch to his son, Albert Philip, and bought eighty acres of timber and brush land in section 13, two miles north of Everson. He has twenty acres of this land cleared an in cultivation and has created a very comfortable home here, where he is still living. He carried on a diversified system of farming, raising the crops commonly planted in this locality, and also keeps a number of good milk cows.

    Mr. Westergreen was married, January 9, 1893, to Miss Selma Soderquist, who was born in Sweden and who was orphaned in babyhood by the death of both of her parents. She came to the United States in 1892. Her death occurred September 20, 1922. To Mr. and Mrs. Westergreen were born six children, namely: Mrs. Janet Huntley, who is the mother of seven children - Lewis, Laura, Lillian, Lester, Dewey, Geneva and Delbert - and lives at Camas Valley, Oregon; Mrs. Freda Larson, who lives on a ranch near Everson and is the mother of two children, Philip and Lawrence; Albert P., who is represented in a personal sketch on other pages of this work; Willie and Anna, who died in infancy; and Mrs. Ellen Sealund, who lives on a twenty-acre farm three miles east of Everson. All of these children were born on the old homestead in Whatcom county. Mr. Westergreen is a very public-spirited man and has supported every measure advanced for the betterment of the community, being especially interested in good schools and improved roads. He was one of the organizers and a charter member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association. He has held worthy prestige in agricultural circles and has been regarded as a substantial man of affairs, wielding a potent influence among those with whom his lot has been cast, having won definite success and having shown what a man of right principles, honesty of purpose and determination can accomplish by persistent effort. He stands "four square to every wind that blows" and is eminently deserving of the high position which he occupies in the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 292-293

Westerland, N. A.

    It is under the pressure of necessity that the best and strongest traits in the individual are brought out and developed, and unqualified commendation is deserved by the man whose dauntless spirit enables him to rise superior to circumstances, bending them to his will. Of this type is N. A. Westerland, who has overcome many handicaps and is now at the head of a large news agency, ranking with Bellingham's substantial business men.

    A native of Sweden, Mr. Westerland was born in 1873 and was but seven years old when his parents, M. A. and Bettie G. Westerland, settled in Michigan. The father was a laborer, and he died in 1892, when the subject of this sketch was a youth of nineteen. The latter was the eldest of five children and assumed the burden of providing for the family. He first worked in sawmills and later conducted a bowling alley at Frankfort and other towns in Michigan, also filling the position of freight agent with the Ann Arbor Railroad Company. He came to Bellingham in October, 1906, and was local freight agent for the Northern Pacific Railroad. He afterward had a sandwich and ice cream stand at Silver Beach and when fire destroyed the place he rented another. Subsequently he established a pool room in Bellingham and in 1913 bought the city agency of the Post-Intelligencer of Seattle. Later he acquired the agencies for the Times and Star and also established a messenger service. Meeting with success in the venture, Mr. Westerland decided to become and independent news dealer and now has the Bellingham agency for all of the leading magazines, selling over fifteen thousand each month. He also handles the Seattle Times and Star, the Portland Oregonian, the Tacoma Ledger, the Vancouver Sun, the Los Angeles Times and the Bellingham Herald. He sells twenty-five hundred papers daily and has ten news routes in the city, furnishing supplies to about twenty-five boys. He is an enterprising merchant and a tireless worker, devoting many hours a day to the business, which is one of extensive proportions.

    In 1902 Mr. Westerland married Miss Myrtle E. Mills, formerly a teacher in the public schools of Michigan. Her father, Le Roy Mills, was an agriculturist and a member of one of the pioneer families of the Wolverine state. To this union have been born three children; Marion, Nils and Hallie, all of whom are residing with their parents. Mr. Westerland casts his ballot for the candidates of the republican party and his fraternal connections are with the Eagles and the Knights of the Maccabbees. He has made his home in Bellingham for nearly twenty years and his many friends in the city speak of him in terms of high regard.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 689-690

Westlund, A. G.

    Whatcom county has been especially fortunate in the character of her pioneers, who in many instances have been of the Scandinavian race - that race which appears to delight in difficulties, so successful have they been in overcoming them. These people have been brave, strong-armed, far-seeing, law-abiding citizens, patriotic and true to their adopted land and conscientious in the discharge of their every duty toward their fellowmen. Among this number in A. G. Westlund, who was born in Sweden on the 26th of February, 1862, a son of John and Kaysa Olson, farming folk who spent their lives in that country. The father was also a millwright, and he was a man of fine character and upright life. They were the parents of seven children, of which number three are now living.

    A. G. Westlund received his education in the public schools of his native land, where he remained until 1882, when, at the age of twenty years, he emigrated to the United States. He first located in Minnesota, where he remained about five years. In 1887 he went to Spokane, Washington, where he lived for two years, and in the fall of 1889 he came to Whatcom county and soon afterward bought twenty acres of land in Delta township. The tract was incumbered with a dense mass of brush and stumps, but he courageously went to work and cleared the land, on which he built a house in 1890. He was successful in the operation of the place, and in 1915 he bought twenty acres additional, which he also cleared and put into cultivation. He raises fine crops of hay and grain and keeps four good cows, some young stock, and about four hundred and fifty laying hens. He has made many good improvements on the place, which in appearance compares favorably with any other farm in the community. He is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and the Whatcom County Poultry Association.

    In 1890 Mr. Westlund was married to Miss Fredrica Johnson, who also was born in Sweden, being a daughter of John and Christina (Gudholm) Johnson, the former of whom left his native land and came to the United States in 1880. He located in Minnesota, where he spent the remainder of his life, his death occurring at Redwing in 1905. The mother died in her native land in 1879. To this worthy couple were born eleven children, six of whom are now living. Mr. and Mrs. Westlund are the parents of two children: Milton, born October 11, 1900, was married to Miss Hilda Henderson, a native of this state; and Hartwig, who was born April 6, 1903, married Miss Virgie Clark and lives in Bellingham. Mr. Westlund has been of the highest type of progressive citizen, and the cause of humanity never had a truer friend than he. His integrity and fidelity have been manifested in every relation of life and he has always had the welfare of his community at heart, giving his support to all measures calculated to advance the best interests of the locality. His plain, rugged honesty, open-hearted manner and fine business judgment have gained for him the unbounded confidence and good will of all who have come in contact with him.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 150-151

Wetzel, J. W.

    A list of Whatcom county's honored and successful residents would be incomplete were there failure to make specific mention of J. W. Wetzel, well known farmer and representative citizen, whose life of industry, honor and public spirit was terminated by death on the 14th of February, 1926, when he was in the seventy-sixth year of his age. He won success because he persevered in the pursuit of a worthy purpose, gaining thereby a well merited reward, and no man in the community stood higher than he in public esteem.

    J. W. Wetzel was born in Germany on the 12th of July, 1850, and was a son of Caspar and Mary (Detbarn) Wetzel, who were lifelong residents of that country. He attended the public schools in his home neighborhood and was reared on his father's farm, and he subsequently spent three years in the army, during two years of which period he was an officer. Then for a time he was employed in the home of a wealthy family, and in 1882 he immigrated to the United States, locating in Chicago. He went to work on the railroads and in the stockyards, and in 1883 he turned his attention to farming in Illinois, working as a farm hand for about ten years. Mr. Wetzel then devoted his attention to agricultural pursuits on his own account, renting different farms, the last one of which comprised two hundred acres, and in January, 1904, he came to Whatcom county and entered upon land which he had purchased during a visit here the year previous. He made the change because of the health of his children. His farm included seventy acres of good land, only about two acres of which had been cleared when he bought it, and this cleared land was badly overgrown. He devoted himself with untiring energy to the improvement of his property, clearing about twenty acres thereof, and he also had a fine set of farm buildings and other improvements, so that the place ranked with the best in the locality. When he came here general conditions in the locality wee not very advanced. The Guide Meridian road had just been graveled, but the East  and West road was only a trail. A few years prior to his death Mr. Wetzel also bought a good piece of bottom land. He carried on general farming operations but gave special attention to dairy and poultry farming, in which he was very successful.

    Mr. Wetzel was twice married - first in Germany, to Miss Nannie Kirchner, who died in her native land, leaving one son, Fred, who is now married and lives in Bellingham. On January 10, 1895, Mr. Wetzel was married to Miss Augusta Hollatz, who also was born in Germany, a daughter of Michael and Rosa (Miller) Hollatz, who were likewise natives of the fatherland, where both died, the mother passing away when Mrs. Wetzel was but a young girl. In 1889 the latter came to the United States and made her home with her brother at Bloomington, Illinois. To Mr. and Mrs. Wetzel were born three children, namely: Irma, who is the wife of F. D. White, of Ferndale, and the mother of four children - Crawford, Maude, Billy and Gorden: George A., who remains at home and is operating the home farm; and Mrs. Hazel Russell, of Ferndale, who has two children, Manley and George.

    Mr. Wetzel's career was characterized by faithfulness to every task to which he applied himself, and this undoubtedly constituted the key to his success. He was a busy man, and his close devotion to his work accomplished much. Preeminent among his qualities was that sound judgment ordinarily called common sense. A thoroughly practical man, self-reliant, firm and resolute, he was not underestimated by the people, who had long since learned to appreciate his splendid qualities of character.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 37-38


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