Ben Legg

Bad Ben Legg

By Erica Maniez, Museum Director / Winter 2004 (corrected, extended and edited in 2012)

Hunting Party

Hunting party featuring Ben Legg at the front right [IHM photo 2004-24-1]

On March 29, 1920, the headline of the Seattle Daily Times blared, “Issaquah Ducks for Cover as Shots Fly!” The subtitle read, “Bad Ben Legg Has Aim That Matches Heart.” In less than ten words, the newspaper implied that Legg was not only a bad person, but also a poor shot. It would not be the last time that the press condemned him. The moniker Bad Ben Legg was not wholly deserved. Family members say that Legg was actually a kind, soft-spoken man, a loner who knew hardship during his life in the rough mining town that was early 20th Century Issaquah.

Like many of Issaquah’ early residents, Ben Legg was the son of immigrants. His father, Robert Legg, came to the United States from England in 1869. He married Jane Anderson, and they settled in Ohio. The first Mrs. Legg died in 1888. Four months later, Robert Legg remarried, to a woman named Jenny Fynes. She was roughly half his age, the cousin of his first wife. On April 5, 1889, their son Benjamin was born in North Lawrence, Ohio.

In 1890 the family moved to the town of Gilman, Washington (today’s Issaquah). Robert Legg bought a lot in town where he built a house. Legg also filed a land claim on a quarter section of land high on Squak Mountain. He worked in the coal mines, along with his sons. When he wasn’t working or proving up his property, he could be found at Burke’s Store, reciting his poetry, or down at the bar.

Jenny Fynes Legg was in frail mental health by 1900. Several times she was admitted to the Washington State Hospital for the Insane. In this era, mental illness was seen as a personal failing rather than an illness. Between his wife’s illness and his own outside pursuits, Robert Legg found it difficult to provide sufficient care for the children. Over the course of several years, the five youngest children were removed from the home by order of the juvenile court. Jenny died in October 1908.

In 1910, Ben Legg was living with his father and his youngest brother George in the family home on Mill Street (today’s Sunset Way). Ben was working as a sawyer, and his father was doing odd jobs. In 1911 or so, Legg relocated to Stanwood, Washington. Stanwood was similar in size to Issaquah, and like Issaquah, it had an active lumber industry. It was probably a job that drew Legg to the Stanwood to begin with. In 1912, Ben Legg married Olive Conners, a Stanwood girl who’d been working at one of the town’s hotels. The young couple moved to Seattle, where their first child, a daughter, was born in 1914. Two years later, Olive was pregnant with the couple’s son when she developed a rare liver condition that killed both her and the child. Ben’s daughter went to Stanwood to live with her grandparents.

Ben Legg

Ben Legg (detail of hunting photo 2004-24-1)

During this era, Ben and his brothers were supporters of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a labor organization active in the Pacific Northwest between 1905 and the 1920s. The IWW, or Wobblies, campaigned to unionize lumberjacks and mill workers of the northwest. In addition to the marks their logging boots left on the floor of the house on Mill Street, one or more of the Legg boys inscribed the initials of the IWW on the chimney in the attic.

It is not known exactly when Ben Legg got involved in the IWW, but he was certainly a member on November 5, 1916, when he and roughly 150 other Wobblies boarded the Verona, a boat headed to Everett. The Wobblies planned a peaceful protest. Everett’s Sheriff McRae and his deputies met the boat at the dock, and called out that the boat couldn’t land there. The Wobblies aboard replied, “The hell we can’t!”

Who fired the first shot is still debatable, but at the end of the barrage, four IWW members were dead, a dozen more were injured, and an untold number had fallen overboard. (For more information about the Everett Massacre, check out Historylink.org). Jack Leonard Miller, another Wobbly who was on the Verona that day, recorded Legg’s role in the Massacre in a handwritten account held at the UW. Two of the Sheriff’s deputies were also dead, although it was later determined that one of them was killed by friendly fire. When the Verona arrived back at the dock, the Wobblies aboard — including Ben Legg — were shocked to find themselves under arrest for first degree murder. The men who stood trial were in jail for more than 6 months. Although the charges were eventually dropped, Legg would have lost his rental home and his job. Upon release, he returned to Issaquah.

In the 1920 census, Ben Legg was listed as a widower, and was living in Issaquah with his father and younger brother, Arthur. All three worked as miners. After his wife’s death, Legg became something of a loner, although he was constantly accompanied by his adoring dog. Legg worked alternately in the woods and the mines, and was known to make moonshine with his brothers.

On March 28 of 1920, Legg had reportedly been drinking moonshine when he set out after his neighbor, Tom Hall. There is no explanation for Legg’s grudge with Hall, although the two apparently had a long-running feud. Legg supposedly emerged from his home at about 11 AM with his Winchester rifle in the crook of his arm. He fired two shots at Hall as the man fled his home, both of which missed their mark. Legg then followed Hall through town, shooting randomly. A bullet entered William Evans’ home and missed Mrs. Evans by 18 inches.

Another bullet struck the power station building (next door to the Grand Central Hotel). Legg reportedly stopped to threaten a Native American child who was walking along Mill Street with a companion. Both boys took off at a run and Legg fired into the distance, missing them. Legg also took a shot at Bert Hoye, missing him as well. Then, according to the Daily Times, Legg stopped in his tracks at the sight of a dog; the paper claimed that Ben Legg’s rage drained away then, due to his affection for canine companions. Bert Hoye disarmed Legg and led him home to be put to bed.

At 2 PM, King County Sheriff Matt Starwich and two deputies arrived to investigate. Legg fled his home at their arrival. They gave chase and spotted Ben crossing the creek, about to disappear into the trees beyond. They shot Legg twice, in his arm and just above his right hip. Their quarry was then easily apprehended.

On their way to the county hospital at Georgetown, Legg told Starwich, “Well, Matt, you would have been within your rights if you had killed me and I don’t see why you didn’t.” Presumably Ben’s injury healed he didn’t suffer any dire consequences from his arrest.

In 1930, Ben Legg was still living in Issaquah, alone. We can assume he had canine companionship although the federal census did not take pets into account. He lived on Mill Street, probably in the family home where he spent most of his life, and was out of work. In 1942, Legg bought a small property with a cabin on it, on the shoulder of Grand Ridge. He lived there until his death in 1960.

It is clear from the historical records and family tales that Ben Legg’s first forty years were filled with hardship and loss. The press branded him “bad” in 1920 and the name stuck. But was he really bad? In the newspaper account, there is no mention of the town marshal (who was at that time either Burn Mullarkey or Jack Chalfa, both longtime residents of Issaquah) attempting to apprehend Legg. Consider also that Bert Hoye was hiding from Legg at one moment, and leading the man home to put him to bed the next. In 1920, Issaquah was a community of just under 800 people. In a town that small, people were acquainted with each other, and with each other’s quirks, tendencies and shortcomings. Although the reader may draw his or her own conclusions, evidence suggests that most of the townspeople in Issaquah did not consider Ben Legg to be malicious, just one of their own, having a bad day.

Sources include: Seattle Daily Times, March 29, 1910; U.S. Federal Census records for 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930; the Washington State Birth Record, 1907-1919; the Leggs of Issaquah, a family tree; and correspondence with Patricia Gilbert, Legg descendent. The Issaquah Press for the week following the one man shoot-out is difficult to find. If you have a copy of the April 2, 1920 Issaquah Press, or more information about Ben Legg, please let us know!

Dinner for the Servicemen

Women of Issaquah in WWI

Dinner for the Servicemen

Dinner for the Servicemen, circa 1943-45. From left to right are: Mildred Paulson, Lulu Smart, Bonnie Castagno, Barbara Sellers, Avis Yourglich, Joanne Boni Karvia, Mabel Miles, and Ethel Inger. (IHM 2000.18.7)

By Erica Maniez, Museum Director / Summer 2003

After the United States entered World War II on December 7, 1941, many of Issaquah’s young men left town to serve in the military. Women stayed behind to tend victory gardens, run family businesses, volunteer as airplane spotters at the Issaquah Volunteer Fire Department Hall – and to serve in roles traditionally reserved for men. Women’s roles during World War II were significant and diverse.

Many women played an important role in the war effort by taking the jobs vacated by men who went overseas. More than six million women worked in defense plants and offices. Many from Issaquah and the surrounding area found wartime employment at the Boeing Company. Among them were Jo Garner, Helen Hailstone and Betty Brault. Betty worked as a riveter on airplane wings. Viola White Petersen remembers, “After graduation from high school, I got a job as a mechanic at Boeing Aircraft. There were lots of women working in war plants but, considering my mechanical skills and for the good of the country, that fall I left to go to school at the University of Washington.”

Daughters as well as sons joined the military and died in service to their country. During World War II, more than 350,000 women served in women’s divisions of the military, among them several of Issaquah’s young women.

Juanita Risdon joined the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service), the women’s division of the Navy. WAVES worked stateside so that Navy men were free to fight overseas. In addition to traditionally female secretarial and clerical jobs, WAVES were also assigned to other duties including aviation, intelligence, and communications.

Agda Peltola, daughter of Herman Peltola, joined the SPARS. This women’s reserve of the Coast Guard took its name from the Coast Guard’s motto, Semper Paratus (“always ready”). Lynnette McDonald joined the Women’s Army Corps, and her progress through basic training was recorded in several issues of the 1944 Issaquah Press.

Elizabeth Erickson joined the Woman Air Force Service Pilots (WASP). These women received extensive flight training and relieved men of their non-combat duties. Among other things, they ferried new fighter planes to Europe so that fighting men would not have to leave the front lines to do so. This proved to be an appealing vocation for young women whose early years were filled with news coverage of Amelia Earhart’s daring flights – and eventual disappearance.

Erickson, a graduate of Issaquah High School and the University of Washington, reported for duty at Sweetwater, Texas in January of 1944. Tragically, four months later she was killed in a mid-air collision over Texas. Thirty-seven other women died in service to their country, but never received military recognition. Because they are still considered civilians, the U.S. Army did not even provide military burial. Erickson’s name is inscribed on the monument to Issaquah’s war dead that stands in Memorial Field.

World War II brought around changes in the typical roles of women. Issaquah’s women, like their sisters across the nation, took the opportunity to serve their country in new ways.

This information came from research done in preparation for the newest IHS exhibit, Issaquah in Wartime. The exhibit opeed at the Gilman Town Hall on July 4 and closed November 11, 2003. The article was published in the the Summer 2003 edition of Past Times

Martin Monohon circa 1900

Biography of Martin Monohon

This is the background of Martin Monohon from Clarence Bagley’s History of King County Volume II pages 866, 869 and 870. Monohon is the namesake of the lumber milling community that thrived on the eastern shore of Lake Sammamish for many years.

Martin Monohon circa 1900

Martin Monohon (1820-1914), ca. 1900 [Public domain photo courtesy Seattle Post-Intelligencer]

Martin and Isabella ( Speer ) Monohon, the former a native of Crawford County, Indiana, while the latter was born in that part of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, in which the City of Pittsburgh is now situated.

Martin Monohon went to Iowa in 1847 and was married in Des Moines, that state. For about five years he was the proprietor of a livery stable in that city, then called Fort Des Moines. In 1852 he sold most of his horses, keeping four of the best, and also retaining some of the strongest wagons. Thus well outfitted he started on the long and arduous journey to the Oregon country. Mr. Monohon went over the old Barlow route and endured many hardships and privations while crossing the plains but arrived safely at his destination. Locating near Roseburg, in Douglas County, he filed a donation claim of six hundred and forty acres, consisting of timber and prairie land, and he cleared and developed the place, which was devoted to general farming and stock raising. During the ’50s he volunteered for service in the Rouge River Indian war in southern Oregon, in which his brothers-in-law, James and William Speer, also fought as volunteers.

During the ’50s Mr. Monohon carried the United States mail from Roseburg, Oregon to Eureka, California, and had to ward off many Indian attacks while engaged in that hazardous occupation. In 1863 he sold the ranch in Douglas County, Oregon and went to Idaho, where he engaged in mining and also conducted a livery stable in Silver City. In 1866 he located his family in Oregon City so the children could attend schools there.

In 1871 he brought them to Seattle, making the trip on the steamer Gussie Telfair. For a few years he cultivated leased land in the vicinity of Georgetown, King County and from there removed to the McGilvra place at the end of Madison Street on Lake Washington.

In 1877 he took up a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres near Issaquah in this county, and built thereon a log house. He then applied himself to the strenuous task of removing the heavy timber from his place, clearing most of the ranch, and he devoted his attention chiefly to the raising of stock, spending the remainder of his life on the farm.

He represented Douglas County in the first state legislature of Oregon; was a member of the school board for several years and served as road supervisor, ably discharging the duties of those offices. His upright, useful life was terminated in 1914, and Mrs. Monohon passed away in 1911. They were the parents of six children: Mrs. Asenath Baunton, who is survived by four children, Charlotte. Robert, and Ernest and Harold, twins living in Seattle; Augustus, also deceased; Mrs. Emma Brown, a resident of Renton; Lee; Cassius, who has passed away; and Frank Lincoln, of Renton.

From History Of King County, Washington by Clarence B. Bagley, publised by The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago–Seattle, 1929.Now in Public Domain. This material was typed and submitted to the web site by Eric Erickson
Added June 10, 2000

Martha and James Bush

Biography of James W. Bush

This is the background of James W. Bush from Clarence Bagley’s History of King County Volume III pages 856-858. As of 2002, members of the Bush family continue to reside on parts of the family’s homestead, east of today’s Pickering Place shopping center.

Martha and James Bush

Martha Bush and her husband James. [IHM photo 2002.16.1]

The old pioneers who, having finished their tasks, have passed on to higher scenes of action, seldom receive the measure of credit which they deserve from the present generation for the splendid work which they accomplished. It required courage and stamina of a high order to enter a new country and there wrest from the primeval forest a farm and create a home, and thus contribute to the foundation of the present civilization.

James and Martha Bush.
Among the pioneers of King County was numbered James W. Bush, who was one of the first settlers in Squak Valley, coming at a time when it was literally a jungle, the haunt of wild animals and frequented by hostile Indians. He was a man of mettle, however, and in the course of time realized a commensurate reward in the splendid homestead which he created and in the gratitude and appreciation of his children.

Mr. Bush was born in Tioga County, Pennsylvania, in 1825 and was the son of William and Rebecca (Hotchkiss) Bush, also a native of Pennsylvania. His father was a farmer and on his land the first oil in Pennsylvania was discovered.

When James W. Bush was a small child the family moved to Erie County, New York, where in the public schools he obtained his education. When seventeen years of age he started out to make his own way in the world and went to Buffalo, New York. Later he went to New Orleans, Louisiana, and was there employed in cutting cordwood for Mississippi river steamers. At the outbreak of the Mexican war he enlisted and served until its close, for which he received from the government a land warrant. He took a land grant where now stands the city of Chicago, but later relinquished it. In 1850 he crossed the plains to California, traveling with a horse team and covered wagon, and there engaged in gold mining. After a few years’ search for the yellow metal, he went overland to Lind County, Oregon, in 1852, where he engaged in farming until 1859, when he went to Seattle. Soon afterward he bought land at Georgetown, on the Duwamish River, in what is now part of Seattle, and there followed farming until May 4, 1864, when he sold the place and came to Squak valley, where he traded a yoke of oxen for one hundred and sixty acres of land. One acre was cleared and had on it a small log cabin, which he occupied a few years, and then built a good log house. He devoted his efforts closely to clearing his land, a task of no mean size, and also worked in the logging camps on Puget Sound during the summers. In the course of time his entire farm was cleared and developed into a good, productive homestead, and there he spent his remaining years, his death occurring in 1894.

In 1854, at Lind County, Oregon, Mr. Bush was united in marriage to Miss Martha Stewart, a native of Indiana, whose death occurred in April, 1922. They had six children, namely:

Mrs. Mary S. Prue, who was born in Lind County, Oregon and whose husband is a native of Rhode Island, has three children, Mrs. Bertha Baxter, Mrs. Edna Anderson and Edgar.

William Robert, who was born in Benton County, Oregon, is married and has had nine children, Robert, Mrs. Myrtle Horrocks, Richard, Mrs. Ethel Forsey, Mrs. Eva beach, Mrs. Gladys Pickering, deceased, Floyd, Mrs. Hazel Buntrock and Mrs. Thelma Workman.

Andrew Jackson, who was born in Oregon and now lives at Falls City, Washington, is the father of three children, Leroy, Mrs. Elva Pauley and Phillip.

Mrs. Emily Darst, who was born in King County, Washington, is the mother of five children, Mrs. Inez Gunderson, Ralph, Clyde, Mrs. Emily Walker and Dallas.

Mattie was also born in King County.

John Allen, who was born in Issaquah, is married and has six children, Percy, Mrs. Agnes Rankin, Mrs. Martha Cutsworth, James, Viola, and John.

James W. Bush was a man of public spirit, who took a deep interest in everything affecting the progress and prosperity of his section of the county, and rendered effective and appreciated service as a member of the Board of County Commissioners for three years, and as road supervisor for several years.

He was a member of the Pioneers Association of Washington, and was regarded as one the representative men of his community, commanding the uniform confidence and respect of his fellowmen, who esteemed him for his genuine worth as man and citizen. His son William Robert Bush, is an prominent and active member of the Grange in this county and was the organizer of the Grange at Issaquah in 1913, serving as master of that society.

The old homestead is still nearly all owned by the Bush family, the most of whose members are living in the vicinity. They are worthily sustaining the prestige of the family name and are numbered among the loyal and progressive citizens of King County.

From History Of King County, Washington by Clarence B. Bagley, publised by The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago–Seattle, 1929.Now in Public Domain. This material was typed and submitted to the web site by Eric Erickson
Added January 15, 2002

Biography of Herbert S. Upper

This is the background of Herbert S. Upper from Clarence Bagley’s History of King County Volume III. Herbert S. Upper platted Upper’s 1st and 2nd additions to Issaquah on both sides of the railroad right of way in the vicinity of Gilman Village and the Visitors Center.

Herbert S. Upper platted Upper’s 1st and 2nd additions to Issaquah on both sides of the railroad right of way in the vicinity of Gilman Village and the Visitors Center. He also platted property in Ravensdale southeast of Maple Valley.

When the natural resources of the northwest were still largely unclaimed and undeveloped Herbert S. Upper made his way to Seattle and became an investor in timber lands. From that time forward his business career has been characterized by an orderly progression that has brought him to the rank with the capitalists of Seattle. He also is a dealer in real estate and there is little concerning property values with which he is not acquainted.

A native of Ontario, Canada, he was born at Villa Nova, November 5, 1869, his father being a banker of St. Thomas, Ontario. In that city the son was reared and supplemented his public school training by a college course. The tales which reached him concerning the golden west with its opportunities stirred his ambition and aroused in him the determination to try his fortunes on the Pacific coast. He was still in his teens when he made his way to the territory of Washington, at which time Seattle contained a population of about seventeen thousand. He felt the stir of life and progress here, recognized the advantageous geographical situation of the city and believed that it would be a favorable place to locate. His first investments were in timber lands.

From time to time he kept adding to his holdings and has owned perhaps more of that kind of property than any man of his age in the state. His judgment seemed to be infallible as to timber values and he readily recognized the fact that the lumber industry must ultimately become one of the chief sources of activity and business prosperity in the west. His sound judgment has been rewarded in the growing value of his holdings and has won him place among the capitalists of Seattle. In this connection it has been written of him; “He has always invested with a safe margin and was one of the fortunate few who weathered the storms of the financial stress of the early ‘ 90s, when the most solid financially were none to secure”. And he exhibited his great confidence in the ultimate outcome of this period and the general stability of the country when he was the only one who would take mortgages on timber lands and other real estate.

Mr. Upper also dealt extensively in city property, both residences and business houses. He has laid out many additions to Seattle and cities and towns both in King County and other counties and has built a great many residences. His business has steadily increased and is now carried on on a very large scale. Not only has Mr. Upper operated in timber and in real-estate but has turned from those lines, perhaps more as a recreation than a business, to farming, owning several thousand acres of land. He delights in the development of crops, the clearing of land and in the raising of stock and is recognized as one whose judgment concerning horse flesh is seldom, if ever, at fault and there can always be found some fine specimens of choice stock on his ranch east of Lake Washington. Although he enjoys a spin in his automobile, in spirit he breathes the lines of a poet:

“Can any pleasure in life compare With a charming drive in open air? A spirited horse of royal breed With just a little more style and speed Than any you meet, and it matters not If his gait be pace or a swinging trot.”

Because of this trait of his character it was but natural that Mr. Upper became one of the organizers of the Seattle Riding Club and id efficient service therein as its president during its existence.

Mr. Upper belongs to the Rainier and Country Clubs and to the Seattle Athletic Club. He is a member of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce and cooperates in all of its plans and measures for the upbuilding and benefit of the city or to promote progress along any line of public benefit. He is also a member of the First Baptist Church. He stands ready at all times to further measures and movements for the general good and his efforts have been potent forces in the material, social, political and moral development of the community.

From History Of King County, Washington by Clarence B. Bagley, publised by The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago–Seattle, 1929.Now in Public Domain. This material was typed and submitted to the web site by Eric Erickson
Added October 27, 2000

1893 Biographical Sketch of Ingebright. A. Wold

From Illustrated History of the State of Washington, by Rev. H. K. Hinds, D.D.

I. A. Wold, the founder of the town of Inglewood, Washington, has for several years been connected with various interests in King county. A brief sketch of his life is herewith given.

I. A. Wold was born in Norway, November 27, 1841, son of Andrew and Barbara (Delathmit) Wold. He came to America in 1864, landing in Quebec in June. Shortly afterward he went to Chicago, whence he directed his course to San Francisco, where he spent one year. He then came to Seattle, Washington, arriving here in June, 1866. He opened a shoe establishment on Commercial street, and some time later removed to Yesler avenue, where he did an extensive business, furnishing shoe supplies to smaller dealers throughout the Sound country.

Mr. Wold, in company with his two brothers, Peter and L. A. Wold, and with J. J. Jones, bought 160 acres of land in the Squak valley, for which they paid $5,000. This was in 1867. In 1868, they planted half an acre in hops, purchasing the required two thousand plants from Ezra Meeker, of Puyallup. These were the first hops ever raised in King county. From time to time they have planted more until now they have fifty acres in hops. In 1891 they built a hop house. L. A. Wold had been managing the place for the company, and it was not until the spring of 1868 that the subject of our sketch came here. Shortly afterward he took up a claim where the town of Gilman now stands, his claim comprising 160 acres. He got title to this tract of land under the preemption law. It was not, however, until five years later that he secured his title. After securing his title he returned to the hop ranch, where he lived until 1887. That year the railroad was built into Gilman, and the following year the first coal was shipped from the mines of this place. In 1887 Mr. Wold returned to his pre-emption claim, and in the fall of 1888 platted the town of Inglewood, the town site covering forty acres. The mines know as the Gilman mines were named in honor of a Seattle capitalist, and by general consent the town is now known by the same name. The post office has still another name, Onley, there being already a post office by the name of Gilman in this State.

Mr. Wold was married January 1, 1893, to Amelia Walter, a native of Denmark.

Source: Illustrated History of the State of Washington by Rev. H. K. Hinds, D.D., published by the Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1893. Now in the Public Domain.

Note: This document has been typed in literally as originally printed. The manuscript seems to contain a couple of mistakes. For example, the town’s post office was known as “Olney” rather than “Onley.” Bagley’s History of King County reports that the Wolds paid $500 for their Squak Valley acreage – not $5,000 as reported here. (Issaquah: Early History – From Bagley’s History of King County.)

Additional Note from Eric Erickson: The platted town of Inglewood was a plat only and no town by that name was formed. The Plat became the town of Gilman in 1892 and the name was changed to Issaquah in 1899– The Plat of the Town of Inglewood should not be confused with the Plat of Englewood which is on the East side of Lake Sammamish about 1/2 way between Issaquah and Redmond. (where the Englewood Hill Road intersects with E. Lake Sammamish Parkway N. E.)

Henry H. Tibbetts

Tibbetts Family: Henry’s Branch

By Erica Maniez, Museum Director / Spring 2002

Henry H. Tibbetts

Henry Harrison Tibbetts, circa 1900. [IHM photo 2002.1.4]

Most people in Issaquah, especially history buffs, recognize the name George Washington Tibbetts, but few knew of his brother. Henry Harrison Tibbetts has remained all but invisible. Lavera Mitchell, Henry Harrison Tibbetts’ granddaughter, generously shared the following family photos and stories with the Issaquah History Museums.

Henry Harrison Tibbitts came west from Missouri with his brother, circa 1875. Henry’s wife, Arianna accompanied him along with two of his three eldest children, Georgianna and Frank. Their oldest child, Jenny, had already left the family to join the circus. She later became a traveling vaudeville performer, performing in make-up and elaborate costumes.

The family first settled in Oregon, where Georgianna married a barber named John Mallies. Another son, Arthur, was born to Arianna. When Arthur was three, the family moved to Squak Valley. Their home was near today’s intersection of 56th Street and E. Lake Sammamish Boulevard. Pearl, their youngest daughter, was born there in 1884.

Pete and Pearl McCluskey


Wedding portrait of Pete McCluskey and Pearl Tibbetts McCluskey, circa 1905. [IHM photo 2002.1.3]

In the 1880s, Tibbetts worked as the first mail carrier in the area. His route took him from Newcastle to North Bend. One winter a fierce storm brought more than four feet of snow. The snow was frozen solid, and Tibbetts had to drive his mail carriage on top of the drifts. Tibbetts was 91 when he passed away in 1926; Arianna had died in 1914 at age 70.

All of Henry and Arianna’s children married, some more than once. Arthur Tibbetts married three times. His third wife was 31 years his junior. Frank married and had two children, Irving and Georgia. Frank and Irving operated the Issaquah Sand and Gravel Company.

Jenny Tibbetts

Jenny Tibbetts, H.H. Tibbetts’ eldest daughter, circa 1880. [IHM photo 2002.1.10]

Pearl Tibbetts married Pete McCluskey, the son of Irish immigrants. Their sense of fun is evident in one family photo of the couple wearing each other’s hats and grinning. They had two children, Marvin and Lavera. Sadly, both Pete and his son Marvin died in 1935. After their deaths, Pearl worked in a WPA sewing room in Renton. Lavera, now the owner of her father’s Model T Ford, left school each day to pick her mother up. She was one of the few girls at school who had her own car, which gave her a respected status among her schoolmates.

Lavera McCluskey Mitchell still lives in Issaquah, still in the house in which she was born. This is quite a feat, given that the construction of I-90 and other factors required that the house be moved twice.

Information in this article derived from interviews with Lavera McCluskey Mitchell, Issaquah Press obituaries, census information, and the writing of Carmen Ek Olsen. Our thanks to volunteer Monita Horn for her obituary research. If you have information about your, or another, pioneer family in Issaquah that would like to share, please contact the Museum Director at 425/392-3500.

Issaquah Kiwanis 75 Years

75 Years of Service: History of the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah

Issaquah Kiwanis 75 Years

By David Jepsen (first 50 years) and Dan Anderson (next 25 years)

The recap of our 75 years of service is being presented in two sections.The following begins the history of the first 50 years of the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah, as first printed in the Golden Anniversary Program 1929-1979, after which is our own Dan Anderson’s recollection of the most recent 25 years 1979-2004. Enjoy!

 

By David Jepson

Preface

When I volunteered at a Kiwanis meeting one year ago to write a history of the Issaquah Kiwanis Club, I had little idea of the size of the commitment I had taken on. Two factors turned my good-natured promise into a project of rather numbing proportions: the volumes of research material that would be available, and the endless continuation of heart warming, important and sometimes astonishing events that took place in the Issaquah Kiwanis Club.

When the club was organized August 15, 1929, the other clubs in Issaquah had to start sharing front-page space in the Issaquah Press. M.A. Boyden, a charter member, and later his son C.J., who together published and edited the Issaquah Press for 28 years, made this historical sketch possible. Hardly a week went by in 28 years that Kiwanis didn’t make the front page of the four-to six-page weekly.

By reading these articles, some of them lengthy, it became obvious that the history of the Issaquah Kiwanis Club was a history of Issaquah. Leon Kos, Don Anderson and I could hardly turn one of the yellowed newspaper pages without being amazed, amused and humbled by the historical events that were replaying before our eyes. Each one of them became dear to us and consequently, we said to ourselves, they must be included in this work. Of course, that was not possible. Too much happened.

Credit is also due to the long-time members of this club who are still alive. Chuck Fallstrom loaned his scrapbook from the year he was president in 1957. A.J. Peters and Fallstrom wrote a 16-page club history of their own and gave it to me. Conversations with them, Frank Castagno and others will, I hope, enable me to capture the “spirit” of the past, as Don Anderson puts it.

If names are missing from the following pages that you feel should have been included, I am sorry. Credit to everyone is impossible.

But the men who built this club that are not mentioned here will not care. They know that Kiwanis owes them nothing, and that Issaquah owes them nothing.

The greatest benefactors of 50 years of community service are the Kiwanians themselves. The birth of the Kiwanis Club was a rebirth of the men who formed it. They were born again to share love and serve in a way that sometimes bordered on Christ like.

Before August 1929, the economic condition of the country was healthy. The devastating depression that would hit very soon was impossible. Issaquah businessmen had it pretty good, growing business, good families, everything within their own lives well in order. But that was it; they didn’t look beyond the small spheres of their own existence.

Kiwanis changed that. The charter members of this club learned first hand that others didn’t have it so good. When Kiwanians went to the schools to provide milk and lunch and slickers for the patrol, they witnessed shortages of money, supplies and other educational tools. Members who worked with the county’s meager welfare program were undoubtedly horrified by the depravity of some county residents.

Kiwanis members enjoyed a new life of travel. Interclubs to Seattle, Snoqualmie, Enumclaw, Auburn, Renton and Vancouver B.C. provided travel and social opportunities not thought practical before on the state’s rather dubious highways.

Friendships were made, some that are together to this date. Business grew with business friendships. Everywhere you turn you see what Kiwanis did for the members as the members were doing for Issaquah.

So, please, do not feel slighted if a father, grandfather or friend was left out of this history. It is not meant to honor the handful who stand out over 50 years, but to every single last one of the men who wore the big K in Issaquah since August 15,1929.

They wouldn’t want it any other way.

Historical setting

American life seemed simple and without strife in early 1929. President Herbert Hoover, who campaigned for “an American Dream,” was finishing his first year of the only term he’d serve. Babe Ruth was hitting homeruns out of Yankee Stadium almost daily. Charles Lindberg was touring the country – ever popular not 15 months after he flew The Spirit of St. Louis across the Atlantic Ocean. And crossing the Atlantic in the other direction were 150,000 Europeans entering this country annually, they, too, looking for Hoover’s American Dream.

In Issaquah, political issues were mostly economic, and all were signs of prosperity. Debate over building the Mercer Island Bridge and expansion of what is now I-90 waged on. The county wanted to build a canal linking Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish so it might open to ferry and other water traffic. Also, the county asked to build a road around Lake Sammamish. Mayor John Fischer was calling for a new City Hall and Postmaster John H. Gibson was asking the Feds for money to expand mail routes. The business community was looking for ways to replace the business lost by the close of the many exhausted coalmines in Issaquah a few years earlier. Miners and their families who bought goods every payday had moved to other towns where the coal veins ran thick.

One year later Issaquah and the rest of the United States changed drastically – for the worse. On October 23, 1929, while Issaquah Kiwanians were planning their upcoming Charter banquet, the stock market crashed. Within days prices on the New York stock exchange fell in value about $26 billion and headed downward steadily for the next 18 months. Between 1929 and 1933 unemployment increased from less than five per cent of the nation’s work force to nearly 30 percent.

The farmer was hurt more than any other economic sector as farm commodity prices dropped at twice the rate of manufactured items and durable goods. Dairy, beef and wheat farms that had served the American farmer well during the last 100 years, were turned over to banks and other investors who had loaned the farmers money. Millions of Americans out of jobs became transients wandering the country looking for work.

Hoover had promised a “chicken in every pot,” but few were to be found. One southwest newspaper photographed a scrawny, hungry looking woman wearing an old ragged overcoat. In her hands was an even scrawnier chicken that had been dead for some time. “They promised me a chicken in the pot, and now I got mine,” the woman said.

On January 22, 1930 Kiwanis International was 15 years old. At that time there were 1,840 clubs and 102,000 members.

This is the America in which the Issaquah Kiwanis Club was born. Maybe it was meant to happen this way. Maybe it was a gift from above. And maybe it was just coincidence. But the Issaquah Kiwanis Club saved Issaquah a lot of grief during the great Depression. Food, clothing and financial assistance programs, which might not have been available otherwise, were run by Kiwanis and appreciated by the rural citizens who were hurt most by the economic chaos of the 1930s.

From birth to charter

How many dreams turn into reality? What is it that forces a dream from the hazy depths of the psyche and plops it coldly on the table of reality? Doing.

The dream of a Kiwanis Club in Issaquah could have been the dream of one or all of the 32 charter members. The dream could have belonged to F.L. Grimes, the first president, or J.R. Stephenson, the first vice president. A.J. Wold, the hardware dealer, could have been the man with the dream. No matter, because F.L. Grimes stirred up enough interest in forming a club that 40 men on June 11, 1929 made their way through the muddy sidewalk less streets of downtown Issaquah to the Black Pot Tavern. Waiting for them there was then District Lt. Governor Clint S. Harley. Harley had with him a petition, to be signed by Issaquanians as proof that interest in forming a club was genuine. This allowed the district to send for a Kiwanis International field representative, who then was in Hollywood, California.

On August 15 that field rep arrived and met with the club’s 32 members to be. The first meeting was uneventful in comparison to events that would take place for the next 50 years, but nevertheless, a club was born and its first officers elected (listed elsewhere in this publication). Before adjourning, members agreed to meet each Wednesday at noon.

A Rabbi drove 150 miles for the club’s next meeting, which was Wednesday, August 28, at the Horchover Cafe and Hotel. All the charter members, plus 18 from the University Kiwanis Club, attended. The University club was Issaquah’s sponsoring club. Until Issaquah could gather momentum, it relied heavily on their brothers from U town. As a matter of fact, the University club provided Issaquah’s first 12 programs.

For the next eight weeks, the charter members scurried about in an effort to give the club more than a name. The first ladies’ night was September 11 at the Strafford Park on west Lake Sammamish, which now is Vasa Park. More than 50 Kiwanians and their wives dined and danced past midnight. Warren Butler, secretary of the Tacoma club, told members the value of a smile with public service. “Give a smile rather than a frown, a cheerful word rather than one of bitterness. Be sympathetic in sorrow and remember that there are hidden woes in every life and if there were no shadows, there would be no sunshine.” A week later another guest speaker said, “Men are too prone to quit, to give up activities, especially with regards to public work and service.” On November 13 the most “important event in the annals of Issaquah”took place. The Issaquah Kiwanis Club received its charter at a banquet at Grange Hall. “Covers were laid for 180,” some of whom traveled from California, Vancouver B.C. and all of Washington. The Issaquah club was presented flags; the American flag by an International trustee and the British flag by a district trustee from the Vancouver B.C. Club. The International trustee said, “The acceptance of this charter constitutes Issaquah as a full-fledged club, now sailing under their own flags and compass, and charting their own course. Up to this point they have been sponsored by the University Club; now they are on their own resources.”

Early programs

It is fair to say that the Issaquah Kiwanis Club was primarily a social club for the first year of its existence. It took most of the charter members’ resources to organize social events, which were many. Nary a month went by that a ladies’ night with dinner and dance did not take place at the Strafford Park. High-powered interclubs were frequent also. Members and wives thought nothing of driving to Enumclaw, Renton, Tacoma, Seattle and Vancouver B.C. for an evening interclub. Banquets were held to honor the Issaquah High School football team, boy scouts, girl scouts and schoolteachers. The weekly meetings at the Horchover were also time consuming. Lining up guest speakers, many of whom had to drive long distances, was a chore. Club committees, such as agriculture, youth and church (all required by Kiwanis International) took time to get rolling.

Also preventing the development of service projects in 1929 and ’30 was that Issaquah sponsored the Snoqualmie Kiwanis Club when it was chartered on March 12, 1930. Issaquah, just a pup itself, guided Snoqualmie by providing programs, organizing elections and committees, and educating the Snoqualmieites about Kiwanis International. The club was not without service projects, however. Boy Scouting was the club’s first interest. Besides the periodic banquets, the club stepped up its scout support when it was asked by the scouts for $180, no drop in the bucket. The club pledged the money, but it took almost six months to raise. Scouting and Kiwanis have been partners ever since, and in 1979, the club still supports a scout group.

The same relationship can be drawn between Kiwanis and the school patrol. In October 1932, Kiwanis raised the money to provide slickers and caps for the patrol boys, which were presented at a dinner in their honor. School patrol has been supported partially by Kiwanis ever since, and since 1970, the club has paid for a day of fun at Seattle Center for what is now a rather large contingent of patrol boys and girls.

But the depression, which by 1932 had hit full force, would not allow the charter members to sit on their social duffers. There were hungry mouths to feed, children to clothe and unemployed men to put to work. The Great Depression made this club, forced it to vitality. The Issaquah Kiwanis Club was the food basket of the valley. Dr. Dana Hillery, who joined Kiwanis in 1933 and was Issaquah’s number-one doctor until he retired in 1975, exemplified the sacrifices of club members during the Depression. He provided medical services in return for a chicken or half dozen eggs. When school started every year Hillery immunized first-grade students, free of charge. Hillery was on call seven days a week. No one was turned away.

A.J. Peters, banker and charter member, would loan money on a handshake. Many a business in Issaquah would have gone bankrupt during the Depression if it hadn’t been for Peters. It mattered not that most of the borrowers already owed the bank money, for Peters believed that a loss of a business was a loss to Issaquah. To tabulate just how much money Peters loaned during the Depression would require an extensive research project. One thing is known. More money was loaned than was paid back. When Peters left the banking business some years later, he paid out of his own pocket the still outstanding loans he’d made on a handshake.

But Hillery and Peters were not alone during the breadbasket years. The entire club would work all during the night preparing food baskets each Thanksgiving and Christmas. Here, some credit goes to the club leaders. J.R. Stephenson and A.L. Wold could organize a work party with vigor of military leaders. They also led the drive that provided hot lunches and fresh milk in the schools.

Little bit of craziness

All work and no play makes for very boring history, and there was nothing boring about an Issaquah Kiwanis Club meeting. Craziness is the best word for some of the club’s programs, which took some of the sting out of the depression. Here are a few examples.

At an evening dinner in April 1930, the members were like kids, playing pranks on each other, jumping on tables and generally having a good time. A note in the newspaper the next day said, “The high jinks staged by the Issaquah Kiwanis Club last evening was about the foolishest foolishness yet attempted by that august body.”

In November 1930, members must have gotten a big laugh out of this short gem from a guest speaker. “As a man eatest, so is he; if your diet is of meat, you become beefy; if your diet is fish you become slimy; if your diet is nuts you become nutty; but if your diet is milk and eggs you become healthy and cocky and crow all over the world.”

In December 1932, A.J. Peters organized a debate, which would forever answer the all-important, earth-shaking question: Is the pig more beneficial to humanity than the hen? The blue ribbon went to the hen.

Amos and Andy, the nationally syndicated radio program in the 1930s, was the victim of Kiwanis buffoonery in January 1933. Two members hooked up a loudspeaker in the White Swan Restaurant, wired to a microphone on the restaurant’s second floor. From up there two members replayed their own version of Amos and Andy, “to the delight of everyone present.”

Members would break, without a second thought, unbreakable Kiwanis traditions. The epitome of this occurred in June 1934, when the club made Mrs. Minnie Schomber, still living in Issaquah, an honorary member as a “thank you” for providing musical programs since the club had been formed.

If this didn’t raise Kiwanis International eyebrows, nothing would.

At Beaver Lake, a favorite outing, Clint Brady storeowner, married John Fischer former mayor, in a mock marriage in January 1935. Brady in a tux and Fischer in white gown were walked to the altar, ready to burst with laughter. Lee Hepler, a car dealer, conducted the ceremony and Ted Kinnune was the ring bearer. The marriage would never work, said most of the fifty who attended.

And the guys would sing. And they would sing. There is probably nothing those gents like more. Many times, especially when guest speakers failed to show, the 32 hearty souls would sing for the entire meeting, rattling the walls and dinner plates. Old Kiwanis tunes like “We Build,” “Onward in Kiwanis,” “We Come a Band of Brothers,” and “Onward Christian Soldiers” were pounded out on the piano by Mrs. Schomber or Frances Crelly.

Not all the programs were this lively; some were informative. The quality of the programs is reflected in the club’s attendance records. Attendance averaged about 90 percent from 1929 to 1933, and in 1934 the club had 10 consecutive months of perfect attendance. Programs on agriculture, business, taxes and music were frequent. Quite often, guest speakers failed to show, so members filled the gaps. They would speak about the problems in their own lives, or tell what Kiwanis meant to them. Articles printed in the International Kiwanis magazine were discussed. Travel fascinated the club. Anyone who traveled any farther than Montana was asked to speak. Immigrants from Europe, Japan, China and Russia were very popular programs.

On November 10, 1932 the news hit national papers, Franklin D. Roosevelt swept the presidential election, ousting Hoover, 264 electoral votes to 82. Democrats also swept most elections in the House and Senate and on that day, Issaquah Kiwanis listened to a guest speaker from Germany. The Immigrant spoke of the depression there, caused by World War I, but that things were getting better with a new leader — Adolf Hitler.

Kiwanis and politics

The rise of the Issaquah Kiwanian meant the rise of the Issaquah businessman, thus constituting a viable political force. Unlike the Kiwanis clubs of today, clubs in the ’30s and ’40s spoke out. Public Affairs and Business Standards were two early committees, and with a publicity committee to get the word out. Members were fined $1 if they didn’t register to vote. In April 1932, Andy Wold was quoted to have said, “We need to run government from the top on down with less money.” C.W. Peterson and W.W. Pickering created a taxpayers’ association calling for reapportionment of the tax structure. The Mercer Island Bridge project received public support at a June ’38 meeting. When the club was two months old it petitioned Postmaster John H. Gibson, a charter member, for an improved mail schedule. In March 1930 headlines read: “Postmaster adds mail routes.” And with little disagreement the club voiced support for school levies and bonds whenever there was one on the ballot.

One public issue caused dissension among members, developing the playfield. The privately owned field that is now Memorial Field was rundown, and the owner was behind on the taxes. Rem Castagno, a member, led the fight to save the field, while Ted Kinnune was forced the play the bad guy. It was his bank that had the note on the property. The club had procrastinated taking a stand on the issue, and on December 28, 1932, charter member George M. Clark told the club just what he thought of that shirk of responsibility. Not long after that, the club supported saving the playfield.

Clark made his plea for the playfield at the installation banquet of President Walter E. Biles. His speech was an assessment of the clubs first three years. After complimenting the club, he was a little hard on the guys.

He praised them for maintaining membership in the face of the depression and members moving away (A.J. Peters to Seattle) and business conflicts among the members.

Interclubs, ladies’ nights and other banquets were frequent, and wonderful fellowships with neighboring towns had been made, he said. Club service projects such as patrol boys, scouts, welfare assistance and school faculty support were progressing well.

Then he accused the club of “errors of omission.” It failed to support the playfield, which Clark said was vital to the beauty and healthy growth of the city. The club lacked definite, concrete objectives and attempted programs too broad for such a young club.

The club might have taken on a little bit more than it could chew, but it did pretty well, thank you. And it was making a reputation for itself as a doer.

In January 1934, the Issaquah, South Tacoma and Puyallup clubs were honored as the most outstanding in the district. The University Club, obviously proud of its little brother across Lake Washington, honored Issaquah as the most outstanding club in the district for community purpose. Also, individual Kiwanians were making names for themselves, highlighted by the election of A.L. Wold to District Lieutenant Governor, the club’s first.

Even the International boys in Chicago had something to say about Issaquah. They listed 20 Kiwanis Clubs, from the 1,862 in the world, whose names were most difficult to pronounce. Three from this area made the list, Snoqualmie, Enumclaw and, you guessed it, Issaquah.

The Forties and the War

By 1940 new faces could be found among the old timers, most notably the Castagno brothers. The younger brothers of Rem, a charter member, joined the gang. They were Frank and Merv, both doers. The Castagnos owned Issaquah-Renton Auto Freight, and it was one of that company’s trucks that hauled members and their wives to interclubs, picnics and fishing trips. Fifty men and women piled in the back of a one-ton truck, drinking, singing and joking all the way.

The old service projects were still there, but some new ones were added, namely the Issaquah Labor Day celebration and parade, a two-day event that involved the entire town. Kiwanis was the backbone of the event for more than 30 years, which included a parade float of its own. Plus, the club sponsored a Labor Day Queen.

In recent memoirs Chuck Fallstrom, a member, recounts the 1952 Labor Day Parade. In 1952 during Bert Dahl’s presidency, the club built a beautiful float with a tall center post gaily decorated with blue and white bunting. The theme, “A Tower of Community Service by Kiwanis.” The problem was that the designers forgot to measure the height of the telephone and electric cables crossing the streets. The float caught the crossing cable and the Kiwanis tower fell. The float finished looking more like a wounded duck than a tower of strength.

World War II played a big part in Kiwanis programs. The drive for Savings Bonds never ended and the Issaquah Press provided a weekly tabulation of how much money Issaquah raised. For three years the club earned the distinction of 100 percent contribution from its members.

The Great Scrap Metal Drive in September 1942 was probably the club’s biggest war effort. More than 150 tons of metal were collected in less than 24 hours. The club was so organized that it managed to convince almost every merchant in town to close their doors for a day so that they could help in the collection. Teachers dismissed students from class so they could also help. Lee Hepler, Hans Forester, the Castagnos, Dana Hillery and “Doc” Anderson, and others were the leaders. The scrap was hauled in Issaquah-Renton Freight trucks. Scrap metal drives were taking place all over the country including the Northwest, but Issaquah’s was so impressive that the Seattle Times wrote about them.

One sad note: On February 20, 1945, John H. Gibson, charter member, past president, mayor of Issaquah and Issaquah postmaster for 35 years dropped dead in a place that he’d spent hundreds of hours over the previous 15 years – at an Issaquah Kiwanis meeting. He was 81. Not enough can be said about Gibson, who gave more than 50 years of his life to Issaquah. Andy Wold said it best. He called Gibson, “the youngest old man I’ve ever known.”

Post war activities

Between 1940 and 1960 the club was cooking with activity. A benefit dance raised $173 for rain parkas for the Issaquah High School football team. Another dance raised money for the March of Dimes campaign. They raised $1,085 for repairs and painting of the Community Church. They printed warning signs and slow signs near the school. A little league baseball team had new uniforms thanks to Kiwanis. A clothing bank was established for the “war salvage drive.”

A $100 scholarship was awarded to the most outstanding high school student who planned on entering a school of agriculture. A “Chinese Auction” and a “Kangaroo Kourt” were held to raise money for the Memorial Stadium Fund, which resulted in the building of the blockhouse and bleachers at Memorial Field. That blockhouse will soon be the Issaquah Senior Citizens Center. Banquets for the schoolteachers and the football players and their dads were held religiously every year. A Halloween party was also sponsored by Kiwanis.

A club favorite was bringing Santa Claus to town, usually in the disguise of Bill Bergsma, a member. More than 200 youngsters could be counted on to show up, and Kiwanis had a present and a handful of candy for each of them. The town Christmas tree was put up and decorated by Kiwanis. Members Clifford Johnson, not to be confused with Clifton Johnson, Andy Wold and others were the Issaquah Library Committee. On February 14, 1946, the library opened, the first in Issaquah. The newspaper said, “the library was made a reality by the energetic action of the Kiwanis Club.”

Another energetic work party involved cleaning and painting the old Firemen’s Hall in 1947. It had sat unused for several years, neglected. Kiwanians spruced it up so that the Boy Scouts would have a meeting place. Jo Jo Juniors, a club of youths between 9 and 12, was sponsored by Kiwanis.
Money for all these projects was raised in many ways, but the most outrageous was “Kiwanis Follies,” a variety show held at the high school in the late 1940s and early ‘50s. The show was produced, directed and performed by members and their wives. The wives, who did a great deal of work for banquets and interclubs, get a lot of credit for the Follies show. Painting sets, sewing costumes and making absolute fools of themselves on stage came second nature. Skits, dance routines, singing and magic acts were all part of the fun. Richard Erickson, Allan Peterson, and Clifford Johnson led the way.

Gibson Hall and the heavyweight challenger

A place to meet had always been a pain in the posterior for the club. The first meeting place was in a large closet at the Horchover Hotel and Cafe, whose owner was a charter member. That was too small so the club held meetings at the White Swan Restaurant on the old Sunset Highway east of town. The Masonic and Grange halls and the Community Church and Fasano’s Restaurant were used as meeting places also. Usually, the meals were prepared by the ladies who were caretaking whatever building they were using at the time. Later, meetings were held at the Skysport Restaurant, which sat on land that is now the Skysports airfield. It was here that the idea of a Kiwanis Hall was born, recalls Chuck Fallstrom.

One footnote: The club met Wednesday at noon for the first few years of its existence, but switched to Tuesday nights for almost 40 years. The club has now returned to meeting noon Wednesdays.

Kiwanis was involved with the building of Gibson Hall from the beginning, but its hold was no stronger than the other service clubs and church groups in town, all of which provided volunteers to do the building in 1949. The Castagnos, Lee Hepler, Harold Stonebridge, Steve Somsak, Bill Bergsma, Ted Erickson, A.I. Garner, Einar Mattila, and Ted Stonebridge were some of the Kiwanians who helped build the log clubhouse.

By late spring of ’49, work on the clubhouse had slowed to a standstill. Other than a handful of Kiwanians, most of the volunteers lost interest in the project. Funds were low for completing the building, which by this time appeared to be headed nowhere. More than $2,000 was needed to get the project going. The discussion at a club meeting to provide the money went something like this. Mike Shane, a member, is discussing what the proposal is. While he’s talking, another member quietly circulates some bank notes. Before Shane could finish his short pitch to save the clubhouse, $2,500 worth of notes had been signed by the members. Kiwanis hasn’t let go of Gibson Hall since.

In 1954 at the club’s 25th anniversary banquet, the sly Kiwanians burned the Gibson Hall mortgage. A note on the name: John H. Gibson, whose Issaquah exploits have already been detailed, received the honor of having the hall named after him. J.R. Stephenson chose that name in a name-the-town-hall contest. The prize was a new wristwatch, which Stephenson didn’t want and asked that the money be used for youth activities.

Gibson Hall was the heaven the Kiwanians were looking for and they met there (except for a few months when they didn’t have a cook) from 1949 to 1975, when they moved to the Holiday Inn, the present meeting place. While at Gibson Hall, the members ate delicious, meals prepared for eight years by Laura Castle.

In 1957 the club entered the world of professional boxing. It sponsored the training camp for a professional fighter, Pete Rademacher, the 1956 gold medallist in the heavyweight division of the Olympic boxing competition. Jack Hurley, Seattle boxing promoter put together the fight that would be the only one of its kind in professional boxing history. Rademacher, in his first pro fight, was matched against Floyd Patterson, undefeated heavyweight champion and the most awesome fighter in the heavyweight division.

August 5, 1957, was officially declared Pete Rademacher Day in Issaquah. Crowds were always found watching the young heavyweight challenger training at Memorial Field. Build up for the fight never ended. Rademacher was a heavy underdog but he could punch and had good ring sense for such a young fighter.

The bout was held at Sicks Stadium in Seattle. Many Kiwanians watched in amazement as Rademacher floored the champion in the second round. The surprise on their faces turned to anguish after Patterson picked himself off the canvas and beat the devil out of Rademacher. By round six, Rademacher had been on his backside seven times and the referee kindly stopped the fight.

The Sixties

The 1960s were winding down years. This is not to say that the Kiwanians weren’t active because the guys worked hard as usual. Let’s just say fewer men did more work. Some of the old projects were still going, like Labor Day Parade, annual Santa Claus visit, the pancake breakfast that supported little league, and the Halloween party. Kiwanis sponsored a Babe Ruth baseball team that won the league championship in 1968.

Sad note: Dee Sherrill, a very active Kiwanian who managed the Seattle-First National Bank, died April 13, 1965 from injuries received in a fire a month earlier. Dee was stripping paint from his bathroom walls with some sort of flammable liquid. A light bulb dangling from a cord plugged into the ceiling fell and ignited the liquid, splashing the burning death all over Dee.

In 1968, Issaquah Kiwanis had its first district governor candidate. Earl Robertson, a transfer from the West Seattle Club, ran for the post, but lost. He tried again in 1972 with better success.

In 1968 the Issaquah community had its last Labor Day parade, which for the last two years had been reduced from a two-day to a one-day celebration. Kiwanis had little to do with it in those years. As Frank Castagno put it: “We were tired. We had been doing it for 30 years and we were tired of not seeing our friends over the holidays.” Other community groups tried to pick up the slack, but could muster little effort without the workhorse Kiwanians.

In 1969 there was no Labor Day celebration for the first time in more than 30 years. In 1970, Salmon Days was born, including the Kiwanis Salmon Bake at Gibson Hall. The Chamber of Commerce gets credit for the idea but most Chamber board members were Kiwanians.

Also gone was the annual teachers’ banquet. The last one was in 1957. The school faculty had become too large for what was now a dwindling membership. Santa Claus stopped coming to town after 1970. The project that had been run by Kiwanis for 11 years was taken over a few years later by the Chamber of Commerce.

Little research material is available on the 1970s. It’s almost as if service club news lost its appeal to the newspapers. Fewer and fewer articles appeared, and seldom were they on the front page. The Chamber and Jaycees received most of the ink. Jaycees do this, Jaycees do that. Seldom was the big K found in The Press. Then, one week, there it was. Kiwanis made front-page headlines. But alas, it was the ultimate insult: “Kiwanians hear about Jaycees”

Participation in the club dropped to an all time low by the mid 1970s. Sometimes, fewer than five members were attending the weekly meetings. Allegedly the board briefly entertained a motion to disband the club, participation had dropped so low. But the club veterans wouldn’t hear of that.

Of course, the club put itself back on its feet. In 1979, the Issaquah Kiwanis Club is as active as ever. A detailed account of current projects and activities can be found elsewhere in this publication. We can say that the club received honorable mention from Kiwanis International for outstanding service projects in 1978.

Credit for bringing the club back around to its present status goes to many members, so no attempt here will be made to name them. But the energy and enthusiasm that keeps the club going, and the energy and enthusiasm needed to maintain that momentum for another 50 years, can be drawn from one source: History. The History of the Issaquah Kiwanis Club is now Tradition, embedded deeply by the many hundreds of men and women who for the last 50 years believed public service was really self service. That by helping others we help ourselves. That by trying to make a better community we become better human beings. A woman at a club banquet said once that it was the wife’s role to make a better Kiwanian of her husband. We’ll take that one step further. It’s a Kiwanian’s job to become a better human being. As Charlie Walker, 1930 district governor, said: “What manner of man is he who can live up to the objectives of Kiwanis?”

by Dan Anderson

As eloquently described in David Jepsen’s 50 Years of Service: History of Issaquah Kiwanis published in 1979 on the occasion of our 50th anniversary celebration, the history and achievements of Issaquah have in very large measure been those of lssaquah Kiwanis! The library system, mail delivery, development of the school district, hot meals and milk for school kids, Memorial Field, CEI, the first Boy Scout sponsorship, Gibson Hall, Salmon Days, for example, were sparked and executed by Issaquah Kiwanis. The only civic organization with real effectiveness for several decades was Kiwanis. And, in short, it should be noted that this parallel continues as evidenced by the fact that our large active membership of movers and shakers constitutes a Who’s Who of Issaquah, including, for example, school board members and School District administration, business leaders, city administration including City Council members, ex-mayor, City Administrator, and leaders in the dental, medical, legal/judicial professions, and managers of our fire and police services.

What follows here is intended as a summary of events of significance in our third quarter century preceded by a dramatic and pertinent series of events in the mid ’70s. The mid ’70s was definitely a period of severe doldrums for the club. Some thought was given to forfeiting our charter. There were some occasional social events such as “spaghetti feeds” organized by Frank and Bonnie Castagno, and the club turned out to work hard for the Salmon Days bake so that we did maintain a budget for our service commitments; but club meetings were somber and without singing and often attended by only 5 or 6 members.

Then, with that background, the drama began in 1977 and 1978. Leon Kos, Vern Dwight, and David Jepsen joined the club and Leon, particularly, recruited tens of great new members. Dan Anderson, 1978-79 president, brought “Hail Kiwanis” to the club and encouraged vigorous singing of the American and Canadian anthems. Frequent interclubbing and sponsoring of other clubs occurred. Birthdays were celebrated with festive candles. Later, when Bill Klein rejoined the club, a double quartet of barbershop singers was formed under his direction; and countless performances were given by them at other clubs, nursing homes, hospitals, and for private parties throughout the region making our club famous as “the singers club.”

One further event makes up the dramatic prelude to our third quarter century; Leon Kos and Vern Dwight “invented” the strange, then, concept of an auction for a fundraiser. Many thought it was hare-brained, and so we added, at Frank Castagno’s urging, a free wine tasting event to assure a decent attendance. Members worked hard to obtain auction items, the attendance was good, and the project was financially a moderate success and socially a great party.

With this group of events coupled with 1979 Golden Anniversary enthusiasm, club membership, attendance, and spirit soared; and the club became and has continued to be one of the most important and honored service clubs in the region.

So with that prelude, the third quarter century of service began with Dan Anderson (1978-79) and Leon Kos (1979-80) as the beginning presidents receiving the Kiwanis Diamond Award for recognition as the District’s Outstanding Club in 1979. In 1979 our high school scholarship program was initiated with Bill Kinnish chairing the project. Four $1,000 awards were given to recognize scholarship and service; and the program continues. Leon Kos was president and caused the sponsoring of a second Issaquah Kiwanis Club, the Issaquah Valley Kiwanis morning club. We had already sponsored the Snoqualmie Valley club, and, in subsequent years, we sponsored or cosponsored Providence Point, Sammamish, and Newcastle clubs. Altogether our clubs make up a major portion of our Eastside Kiwanis division and constitute a very important service network.

In 1980-81, Ernie Smith’s first of two presidencies, our budget for service to the community had grown to over $12,000! At about the same time, John Williams decided to create a sheltered workshop for handicapped people; and as a Kiwanis project, the old laundry building off East Sunset was renovated, repaired, and converted into what very successfully became CEI (and now AtWork) and is renowned through the region for providing opportunities of learning, training, independence, and livelihood-earning to its countless clients. In those same days our Board meetings were held at the Foothills Restaurant, which was owned by Board member, Bob Wells. The Foothills was later renovated into The Roost and is now Pogacha.

It has been observed that as our club grew in membership and in its fundraising budget, it changed and became somewhat less of a hands-on service club to one that tended more to earn money and then provide financial assistance to needful people and projects. If true, this probably parallels similar changes in the country and in our region. Issaquah was changing from a small, hemmed-in town without freeway connections, where most of the people were involved with most of the other people and the town was where we spent most or all of our time and energy, to a large, metro-connected bedroom community where a majority of residents spent most of their time elsewhere.

A striking example, however, of continuing hands-on experience for the club was the Jim Busch bicycle repair project. For years the club collected a large number of donated bicycles, most of which were sadly in need of repair and parts. Jim repaired, rebuilt, and polished them into fine working order. The club then distributed them to needful kids who would not otherwise be able to own a bike.

Interclubbing with other clubs in the region has been a dominant activity for the club, and an interesting Round Robin of interclubs throughout King County was achieved in 1979 for the purpose of raising pledges for Home Health Care in return for Dan Anderson running the Greek Marathon. This Round Robin netted over $3,000.

Other interclubs with international aspects were a trio of trips to British Columbia. In the first we were invited by the Campbell River Club to fly up for a salmon fishing and BBQ meeting with them. Bob Wells, Dan Danielson, Kyle Anderson and others provided a fleet of small planes, and we caravanned there for a great event that created some good friendships between the clubs’ members.

In a subsequent year we did a joint interclub with the Seattle Industrial Kiwanis Club to go to Harrison Hot Springs for a weekend of meetings and social events. Earl Robertson, our Past Pacific Northwest District Governor, provided our transportation in his large RV. The clubs were expected to provide evening entertainment and the Issakiwanian Players performed the classic “Little Nell” It brought the house down. The audience stood and stomped and insisted that the players repeat the entire play! Credits: Little Nell was big Bob Davey, Lloyd Bourdon was the villain, Dave Kingery was the father and Leon Kos played the sheriff.

In 1981-82 Lloyd Bourdon was president and was starring in Village Theatre’s “Sound of Music.” The club bought the house one evening and after a cocktail reception hosted by Bob Catterall at his Eastside Realty offices, the theatre was filled with Kiwanians and their friends. At about that time, the club began its long term and continuing sponsorship of Village Theatre’s Kidstage program wherein kids up to college age write, produce, and perform musical plays. The youthful cast and support staff also design and build their own sets and learn the importance of working together in the synergy of creating a musical show. The club’s service budget rose to over $14,000 that year, and Leon Kos was the Division’s Lt. Governor.

The following year’s president (1982-83) was John Whitaker, now a Life Member and Director Emeritus, and the budget increased to over $16,000. John was followed by President Bob Davey in 1983-84, and there were 73 members in the club. The club supported the Food Bank and the renovation of the historic Train Depot that year, and also approved of having the incoming 1st and 2nd Vice Presidents co-chair the Salmon Days BBQ fundraiser.

In the following Dave Kingery year (1984-85), our budget again increased with improved efforts in the Salmon Days BBQ and annual Auction, to $20,000. The first Key Club was sponsored and organized at Issaquah High School and one at Liberty soon followed it.

During the Don McGinnis year of 1985-86, history was made! Jerry Bushnell and Pete Jarvis successfully moved the club to actively support the Kiwanis International position regarding women membership, and local women, including Linda Ruehle, were soon recruited. When Linda was officially inducted in 1987, she was immediately a very active and effective member and was soon nominated into the chairs and became our (and one of International’s) first woman president. Other early women members (not forgetting the honorary Minnie Schomber in 1934) were Shelly Moffat, Karen Taylor Sherman, and Ruth-Marie Fesler.

With our growing service budget, it was and is difficult to grasp the scope and number of recipients of Kiwanis assistance. For example, in Jerry Bushnell’s year (1986-87), just a partial list included scholarships, Business Week Camp, Boy Scouts, School Patrol, Special Olympics, Head Start, flags put up on holidays, Self Help Hard of Hearing, LBI Scholarships, Rainbow Lodge, Camp Sambica, Jewish Family Services, CEI, Christmas Baskets, Seniors transportation (van insurance), Historical Society, Food Bank, Volunteer Bureau, Cedar Hills Alcohol Treatment Center, etc.

In 1987-88 when Wayne Price was president, our service budget increased again to $22,000, and our membership, with 16 women, increased to 83.

Walt Cassidy was president in 1988-89 and Salmon Days income increased another $1,000. Another fundraiser ($2,900) was the building of an elaborate playhouse patterned after the Alexander House and raffling it off to the public.

In 1989-90 Jack Alton was president, and his 1st Vice President was John Baima. Our service budget rose to $34,000 and Jack quickly went on to be Lt. Governor. In great sadness John began suffering from a mysterious malady diagnosed by Jerry Bushnell as an unusual brain tumor. John was unable to take his well-earned president’s chair, and he died that year (1990) among his multitude of Kiwanis friends. It was part of a double tragedy because we were also to lose beloved, almost-charter member, club mentor, and our first Director Emeritus, Frank Castagno. His life was particularly long and full, and his death was a well-earned, calm and peaceful one, again among his and Bonnie’s countless friends. In honor of these two outstanding members, funds were raised to build the Gibson Park picnic shelter in their memory. Also to be remembered are Dick Nieman, past president and Issakiwanian Singer, and Ken Miller our outstanding secretary for many years.

Linda Ruehle’s presidency was 1990-91, and our membership climbed to 100 and the service budget was almost $36,000! Among her many achievements that year was the Board’s decision to support the proposed Issaquah Community Center by a pledge of $25,000. This donation was later increased by the club’s gift of a large passenger van for their special transportation needs. Also in 1990, John Whitaker and Dorothy Knitter created the summertime Kiwanis Farmers’ Market at Gibson Hall. It has since grown to be a regionally important regular event at Pickering Farm, managed now by the City’s Parks & Recreation Department.

In Ray Harbolt’s year our membership was 102, and a great deal of work was accomplished in repairing, remodeling, and modernizing Gibson Hall. Dave Bush spearheaded these efforts, and he received good help and cooperation from several ambitious and willing members. One satisfying result was that in the following year, Gibson Hall income totaled over $10,000 and became a valuable community asset for private and public functions.

Dick Nieman’s presidency in 1992-93 saw membership rise to 106, and Salmon Days grossed $14,047.32.

The following year (1993-94) was Lyn Hanshew’s and with her live-wire leadership of our 108 members, the Key Clubs flourished and became very important assets to their respective schools’ campus and student service projects. The new Sammamish club was successfully sponsored, and Lyn quickly went on to become an outstanding Lt. Governor of the Division.

1994-95 was Debbie Berto’s year, and, among her many accomplishments, it seemed to be a year of fine-shaping for many organizational aspects of the club; many procedures were polished and documented, and many established programs and policies were carefully, systematically analyzed, evaluated, and organized into better form and substance.

Steve Bennett’s year of 1995-96 saw the beginning of a new significant perennial fund raising project. Steve Drew located a used circus tent available at a bargain price and the Board agreed to its purchase. A committee was formed to store, maintain, deliver and erect-on-demand, and take it down on a rental per event basis. The committee’s first project after temporary storage in Anderson’s extra garage was to erect the much-needed Gibson Hall storage shed (at a cost exceeding that of the tent itself!). The tent project continues to be a regular source of funds for its rental and is manned and womaned by an energetic crew of experts who efficiently erect it in about an hour. The tent has also been a valuable asset for use in Kiwanis functions such as providing sheltered eating space for our Salmon Days customers.

Not only were women energetic members for the tent crew, but in 1995 when we lost both first tenors of the Issakiwanian Singers, Bill Klein rearranged all his barbershop music to include women’s voices. Thus, the group continued its success as a “coed” group.

Jack Claver was president in 1996-97 and for many years managed the rentals and maintenance of Gibson Hall. Finally, as president, he won board approval to replace the Gibson Hall roof. Gibson Hall had its own budget from its rental income and could well afford the expense.

Regarding Kiwanis support of important local performing arts, the Kiwanis connections with the Village Theatre, and later with the Issaquah Chorale, have always been strong and mutually supportive, including, for example, shared directors on their trustee boards. The relationship with Village Theatre bore fruit in 1997-98 when energetic Cathi Champion, Village Theatre’s successful head of public and community relations, became club president. She forged a new character of relationship between Issaquah’s Main Street and Kiwanis. Also, in her year, cut short by her recruitment to a Paul Allen organization position, our first Hixson Award was presented to Life Member Dan Anderson. In that year Village Theatre, having the third largest subscriber base in the Northwest, built its new first class theatre with a Kiwanian heading its Building Committee

Tori Brown, 1st Vice President, relieved Cathi in the summer of 1998 and served an exceptionally long and successful term as president until Gary Techentien’s term began in 1999-2000. It was during Gary’s term that the District Convention was held in Victoria BC, and the club’s officers and others attended the conference aboard a private yacht escorted part of the way by a U.S. Navy trident submarine. Our participation in the sponsorship and concessions selling at the Concerts on the Green began that year and has since become an important service by and a fundraiser for the club. Sandi Collins and Gil Drynan have continued to energetically manage the club’s participation in the concerts.

In our turn-of-the-century year, Jerry Tuttle was at the helm and steered the club through very successful Auction and Salmon Days projects. Relay-for-Life to raise funds for cancer research was a huge success and was chaired by Marilyn Boyden. Chuck Hawley, a transferee member from Bridgeport, Connecticut, was honored for his 40 plus years of service and perfect attendance, along with Ray Jones who was honored for his many years of exemplary service by their receiving Hixson Awards.

2001-02 was Ernie Smith’s second year of service as president of the club. His first term was twenty years earlier! Salmon Days was a success, the Auction netted almost $35,000, and Concerts on the Green raised $2800. The social committee was reformed and organized a pair of Christmas cruises, following the Christmas Ships, on the Andersons’ boat.

In Jackie Roberts’ year of 2002-03, a great deal of careful, systematic updating and documenting of the club’s policies, programs, projects and procedures was undertaken. She leaves office with a beautifully complete manual of what the club does and exactly how it is done. She also leaves the presidency with a large budget surplus because of the ingenious and persevering efforts of Fred Butler in managing the Auction to a $60,000 plus income! The social committee this year was active in stimulating additional fellowship among the members with a well-attended bowling night, a Mariners’ ballgame night, and a repeat of the Christmas Ships cruises with the Jarvis and Andersons boats taking part in the festive parade. The social committee then capped off the year with a great Kiwanis family picnic at the Jarvis home, grounds, and gardens.

Finally, it needs to be noted that the history and achievements of this great club are most importantly made by the hundreds of members we have had over the past quarter-century who make their efforts and contributions tirelessly and reliably week after week. There are many names that should be mentioned without which there could not be a successful club. It is impossible to list them all, but they include names like Rollie, Rowan, Klein, Konarski, Polly, Gil, Barb, Barry, Connie, Michele, David, Ed, and so many more. And to those in our past, those members now, and the many who will follow, we sing “Hail Kiwanis” and God bless us all!

Our Presidents
1929-30 Frank L. Grimes
1930-31 J.R. Stephenson
1931-32 Walter E. Biles
1932-33 Andrew L. Wold
1933-34 Lee R. Hepler
1934-35 Ray J. Schneider
1935-36 Leonard Miles
1936-37 A.J. Peters
1937-38 Allan Peterson
1938-39 James Moffatt
1939-40 Hans Forster
1940-41 John Fischer
1941-42 Frank Castagno
1942-43 Dr. Dana R. Hillery
1943-44 Tony Walen
1944-45 Rem Castagno
1945-46 Mel Krumbah
1946-47 Irwin N. Rummelin
1947-48 Clifford M. Johnson
1948-49 Jesse W. Brooks
1949-50 Irving O. Dalbotten
1950-51 Bert F. Dahl
1951-52 John Hefferline
1952-53 Hector LaChance
1953-54 Mike Shain
1954-55 Estes “Dee” Sherill
1955-56 Mervyn Castagno
1956-57 Charles M. Fallstrom
1957-58 Harry R. Brockway
1958-59 Myron Wheeler
1959-60 Tom R. Deerlng
1960-61 Stanley Volwiler
1961-62 Douglas F. Moore
1962-63 James G. Tamporeous
1963-64 Charles S. Powers
1964-65 Donald W. Cochrane
1965-66 Robert K. Waitt
1966-67 Bill Evans
1967-68 Les I. Blain
1968-69 Wally Dash
1969-70 Bill Bentley, Bruce Forbes
1970-71 Clifton Johnson
1971-72 Glenn R. Webber
1972-73 Harold Tate
1973-74 Robert L. Windom
1974-75 Ronald C. Prosise, Tom Kelly
1975-76 Gary Winslow,
John A. McConaghy
1976-77 Edwin R. Hall
1977-78 Jack Daughters
1978-79 Dan T. Anderson
1979-80 Leon Kos
1980-81 Ernie Smith
1981-82 Lloyd Bourdon
1982-83 John Whitaker
1983-84 Bob Davey
1984-85 Dave Kingery
1985-86 Don McGinnis
1986-87 Jerry Bushnell
1987-88 Wayne Price
1988-89 Walt Cassidy
1989-90 Jack Alton
1990-91 Linda Ruehle
1991-92 Ray Harbolt
1992-93 Dick Nieman
1993-94 Lyn Hanshew
1994-95 Debbie Berto
1995-96 Steve Bennett
1996-97 Jack Claver
1997-98 Cathi Champion
1998-99 Tori Brown
1999-00 Gary Techentien
2000-01 Jerry Tuttle
2001-02 Ernie Smith
2002-03 Jackie Roberts
2003-04 Gil Drynan

Our Lieutenant Governors
1936-37 Andy Wold
1972-73 Don Raybuck
1975-76 Wally Dash
1981-82 Leon Kos
1991-92 Jack Alton
1995-96 Lyn Hanshew

Our District Governors
1972-73 Earl Robertson

1929 Club Officers
Frank L. Grimes, President
J. Ross Stephenson, Vice President
Andrew L. Wold, Secretary
Theodore Kinnune, Treasurer
Al J. Peters, District Trustee

1929 Membership
Eric J. Anderson
Paul Benson Joe Lewis
Walter E. Biles
Moses A. Boyden
Remo Castagno
George M. Clark
Monte H. Clarke
Fred P. Cussac
John Fischer
Hans Forster
Frank L. Grimes
Art Haynes J.
Lee R. Hepler
Harold Horchover
Carl Jacobson
Chas. E. Kinnune
Theodore Kinnune
Paul W. Knoernschild
George S. Maness
Leonard Miles
Henry A. Payne
Al Peters
Claus Peters
Will Pickering
Ed. J. Powell
Joe A. Reynolds
Oscar Shobert
Ross Stephenson
Lon Strafford
C.J. Sween
John Thompson
Andrew Wold
Daniel Yarr

2003-2004 Club Officers
Gil Drynan, President
Joan Probala, President-Elect
Fred Butler, Vice President
Polly Sablan, Secretary
Jim Konarski, Treasurer
Jackie Roberts, Past President

Directors
David Bangs
Steve Cozart
Michele Forkner
Glenn Hall
Peter Jarvis
Rollie Kiefel
Levi Peterson
Martia Swanson

Life Members
Ed Squifflet
Chuck Hawley

Directors Emeritus
Dan Anderson — Life Member
Ray Jones — Life Member
Leon Kos — Life Member
John Whitaker — Life Member
Jack Alton — Life Member

2003-2004 Members
Jack Alton
Dan Anderson
Ed Authier
Michael Bainbridge
Judi Baker
James Balkman
David Bangs
Eileen Barber
Jerry Belur
Steve Bennett
Debbie Berto
Sandra Bishop
Marilyn Boyden
Mark Buick
Jim Busch
Fred Butler
Levi Cannon
Walt Cassidy
Jack Claver
Sandi Collins
Wes Collins
Bill Conley
Steve Cozart
Jennifer Cupp
Nancy Davidson
David Draveling
Gil Drynan
Stan Favini
Barry Feder
Heidi Feider
Connie Fletcher
Michele Forkner
Richard Gaines
Dag Garrison
Abraham Ghorbanian
Glenn Hall
Ray Harbolt
David Harris
Rowan Hinds
Tina Huff
Loretta Hunt
Peter Jarvis
Ray Jones
Barbara Justice
Penny Kahn
Lynn Kenyon
Rollie Kiefel
Bob Kimberly
Judd Kirk
Debra Rowley
Bill Klein
Dorothy Knitter
James Konarski
Leon Kos
Brian Lawson
Carmen Malsbury
Melissa Mason
Anne McGill
Leroy Miller
Frederick Mock
Joshua Moore
Ka Nelson
Leslie Ogden
Mary Ann Ottinger
Levi Peterson
Cornell Petrisor
Joan Probala
Ameé Quiriconi
Jackie Roberts
Shirley Roberts
Judy Rogers
Linda Ruehle
Polly Sablan
Mary Scott
Kathy Skripek
Mike Skripek
Ernie Smith
Ed Squifflet
Suzanne Suther
Darrell Swanson
Martia Swanson
Mike Swistak
Gary Techentien
Hank Thomas
Terrie Thomson
Frank Troutman
Jerry Tuttle
Lyle Whitcomb
Rebecca Wilder
Stephanie Wilder
Ruth Winbauer

Academic Scholarships Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank
The American Cancer Society Issaquah Historical Society
Aquatic Therapy for Disabled Persons The Issaquah Senior Center
AtWork Jewish Family Services
Boyer Children’s Hospital Junior Achievement
Camp SAMBICA Just for Fun Fair
Childcare Resources Key Clubs – Issaquah & Liberty High Schools
Community Center Youth Scholarships Mountain to Sound Environmental Education
Compassion House Participation for Youth Justice
Concerts on the Green Providence Marianwood
Eastside Baby Corner Reach for the Sky July
Eastside Domestic Violence Reading Program
F.I.S.H. Relay for Life
Friends of Youth Mentor Program Salmon Days
Head Start Scout Programs
HOBY Scholarships Special Olympics
Issaquah Alps Trails Spelling Bee
The Issaquah Chorale The Village Theatre’s Kidstage
Issaquah Church & Community Services Young Life
Issaquah Community Teaching Garden Youth Wall of Fame

 

Anna Marjavie and George Pedro

The Morgan Family of Issaquah

By Diane Dambacherand Erica Maniez/ Winter 2005

Members of the Morgan Family were well known to residents of early Issaquah. Dave Morgan built, owned and operated the Triple X restaurant, a popular local hangout. Dave’s wife Anna Pedro Morgan was one of the town’s two telephone operators for 23 years, connecting calls for everyone in town. Their son Ivor recently shared his memories, stories and family photographs with us.

Ivor’s father, Dave Morgan, worked in both of Issaquah’s key industries, logging and mining, just as his father had before him. Morgan was born in Wales to Joseph and Esther Morgan and immigrated to the United States in 1907.

Ivor’s mother, Anna Pedro, was born in Issaquah to two immigrants. Her father George came to the United States from Slovakia. Along the way, he received a last name fabricated by the immigration officers at Ellis Island. Pedro found work at the Issaquah mines. Among his duties was caring for the mules that worked there.

Anna Marjavie and George Pedro

Anna Marjavie Pedro and spouse George Pedro stand outside their Issaquah home. Mrs. Pedro was a “mail order bride” from Slovakia. Per their grandson, Ivor Morgan, George Pedro immigrated from Slovakia and wrote back to his local Bishop to see if the Bishop could find a woman who was willing to come to America and marry George sight unseen. Anna Marjavie responded, and the couple were married in Issaquah soon after she arrived. [IHM photo 2004-43-2]

After some time, Pedro decided that he needed a wife and wrote a letter of inquiry to a Catholic priest in Slovakia. He asked the priest to choose for him three potential candidates for matrimony, and to see if any of his choices would be willing to come to the United States to marry him, sight unseen. One young woman,
named Anna Marjavie, “took the bait,” as Ivor Morgan puts it. She came to this country with $10.15, and no English language skills. While at Ellis Island, some other women conned her out of $10. She spent the remaining fifteen cents on peanut brittle, which she ate during her rail trip across the country. When she reached Seattle, she was penniless, but somehow managed to convey to the station agent in Seattle that she wished to go to Issaquah. The station agent arranged a ride by horse and buggy, and so Anna traveled to Issaquah by way of Renton. George Pedro must have met with her satisfaction, because the couple was married shortly after her arrival in Issaquah. Anna Pedro was the eldest of their four children.

Dave Morgan married Anna Pedro in 1913. Their son Ivor was born on July 29,1914 -the first day of World War I. At the time of Ivor’s birth, his parents lived in Pacific Coast Coal Company housing, below the coal bunkers on Mine Hill.

Later his father worked in Monohon at the lumber mill, and Ivor remembers walking to Monohon to meet his father as he walked home from work. Ivor describes his father as a hard worker and a patriot who loved the American flag.

Anna Pedro Morgan began working for the telephone company after her sister, Suzie Pedro Krall, left the post and asked Anna to take overfor her. For the next 23 years, Anna worked as the town’s telephone operator. In addition to connecting calls, Anna was responsible for controlling the fire siren and for placing grocery orders for the Issaquah stores. Ivor acted as a messenger for those residents who did not have a telephone. He made ten or fifteen cents per message.

Joseph and Esther Morgan

Joseph and Esther Morgan inside their home in Issaquah. Joseph’s parents both came from immigrant mining families. Joe and Esther’s son Ivor graduated from Issaquah High and went on to become a doctor. [IHM photo 2004-43-1]

From very early on, Ivor invested a lot of energy into his education. During his 13 years of schooling in Issaquah, he was never absent from school, nor was he tardy. In fact, he can still remember the names of all of his Issaquah schoolteachers. Besides attending to his studies, Ivor also played basketball, baseball, and ran track.

After he graduated from Issaquah High School in 1933, his father sent him to the University of Washington. He went on to earn a medical degree from George Washington University and complete an internship at Harborview. During his career, he practiced medicine ata private practice in North Seattle, at an Arab-American oil company in Saudi Arabia, and at a blood bank and kidney center. He also worked as the staff doctor at a fire department and a police department.

Ivor Morgan passed away on June 16, 2005. His children have donated his doctor’s bag and medical kit to the Issaquah History Museums.

This article was published in the Winter 2005 edition of Past Times.