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William Mitchell

William Mitchell

Served as Mayor 1938-1940
Served as Town Marshal in 1923

William Mitchell

William Mitchell, who served as both Mayor and Town Marshal of Issaquah.

William C. Mitchell was born in England in 1889. At the age of 20 he immigrated to the United States, and within a few years had married another English immigrant named Beatrice Mary Cobbeldich. The couple lived in Montana, where their three children Edith, Beatrice, and Roslyn were born. Circa 1918, he was working as the shift boss at Pittsmont Mine, in Butte, Montana.

By 1923, the Mitchell family had moved to Issaquah, where William C. Mitchell served as town marshal. Their youngest child Marion was born in Issaquah in 1924. Beatrice Mitchell died in 1929.

In 1930, Mitchell was employed driving a road grader, most likely employed by the County in the construction of Sunset Highway.

Major crime during this period consisted primarily of burglaries to both home and business. On December 12, 1923 the Grange Mercantile Store was broken into after the front door was pried open. Clothing in boys sizes were taken, as well as a considerable amount of other merchandise including candy and cigarettes. The store posted a $100.00 reward for the capture of the culprits.

On December 20, 1923 burglars again struck. This time the Alexander Blacksmith Shop was the victim. Around $10.00 in tools were taken. These amounts may seem trivial in today’s money, but when you consider that a 1923 Ford Touring Car cost $295.00, it puts the value of a 1923-dollar into perspective.

Things got so bad that the Town Council met that same month and considered radical changes of the Marshal’s duties. A proposal was made to abolish the Marshal’s Office and make him a night watchman instead. The town newspaper reported, “Some places are arranging to have an armed watchman sleep in their buildings, and a cold shower of lead would prove a wonderful argument at that”!

During Mitchell’s tenure the Sunset Highway from Seattle to Preston was completed in October of 1923.  The road was graded and graveled, but wouldn’t be asphalt paved until many years later. That same year the Department of Motor Vehicles required that all cars carry a receipt verifying that the vehicle’s headlights had been tested and were in state compliance. It made no mention if any other safety inspection was required.

During the 1920’s Scarlet Fever made an appearance in Issaquah and resulted in several families being quarantined to prevent it from it from spreading. Several youngsters died during this time.

Mitchell left office in 1924 and successfully ran for Town Mayor in 1937. He held that office until 1940.

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Jack Chalfa

Served in 1920

Jack Chalfa was Town Marshal under the administration of Mayor W.E. Gibson, following the resignation of P.J. Smith in June 1920. After Smith’s resignation, the Town Council had difficulty finding a replacement for the advertised wage of $90 a month. The wage was subsequently raised to $125. The Issaquah Press noted in its July 3, 1920 issues, “P. J. Smith having resigned as marshal effective Wednesday evening, Mayor Gibson appointed Mr. Jack Chalfa to that office. Jack is an Issaquah boy, did his big bit during the war, and his appointment meets with the approval of the public.”

Jack Chalfa was born on May 27, 1891 in Homestead, Pennsylvania. His parents were Austiran immigrants. He was living in McKeesport, PA at the time he registered for the WWI draft, bud haf moved to Taylor, WA by 1918. In February of 1918, he married a miner’s daughter named Mary Pedro. Later that year he enlisted and served active duty in the US Army. After he returned from the war, he and his wife had three children: Jack, Jr., born in 1924, and twin daughters Donna and Dulcie, born in 1927. Jack worked as a coal miner, and was also a sawmill worker for Wyerhaeuser for many years at Snoqualimie Falls. Jack died in 1980.

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Burn & Nellie Mullarkey

Burn Mullarkey

Served in 1917.

Burn & Nellie Mullarkey

Nellie Thompson Mullarkey and Burnett Mullarkey. (IHM 72-21-14-111)

Burnett was born in 1871 in Pennsylvania. He married Nellie Thompson, a native of Iowa. Her parents were from Scotland. His father was originally from Ireland and his mother came from Scotland.

He operated the Klondike Bar in town and the 1910 census lists him as a “salon keeper.” He later served as a Town Councilman.

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Elmer Baxter

Served 1913

Charles Baxter, circa 1895

Charles Baxter, circa 1895

Elmer Baxter was born in Illinois in 1867. Along with his parents, Sylvanus and Elizabeth Baxter, he came to the Issaquah Valley in 1888. Baxter never married and had no children. Just prior to his tenure as town marshal, Baxter worked as a guard in the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, Washington. In later life, Elmer lived in Renton, Washington, where he died in 1930.

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J. Howard Case

J. Howard Case

1902–1903 1908–1913

J. Howard Case

J. Howard Case and George Clark in front of Clar’s Place, one of Issaquah’s many saloons. (IHM 91-7-1)

J. Howard Case was born in May, 1852 in Pennsylvania. His parents came from England. His wife, Matilda, was originally from Iowa and her parents were from Norway. The couple married around 1888. Their eldest child, Pearl Case, was born in Minnesota, and their second (Robert E.) was born in the Dakotas. Sometimes between Robert’s birth in 1885 and 1890, the family moved to Washington, State.Bertrant Case was born in that state in 1892.

Howard served as Town Marshal from 1902 to 1903 and again from 1908 to 1913. Much of the information during the periods 1902 to 1909 is yet to be uncovered, but from 1910 to 1913 the record is more clear. Issaquah at the time was primarily a logging and mining town. Nearby Monohon and the surrounding areas were also given to like industry. The 1910 census recorded Issaquah’s population as 628 (although this didn’t take into account nearly 200 people that lived on the outskirts of Issaquah proper.). North Bend’s population was 229, Snoqualmie, 279.

Issaquah had at least eight saloons going at any one time, and the ingestion of spirits, by a mainly male contingent from these towns, kept Howard busy.

On June 30, 1910, one Fred Davis became so intoxicated that he lay down to sleep on the Northern Pacific tracks at the Bush Street siding. Unfortunately for him, a train came along and sent poor Fred to his maker. Marshal Case had the grisly duty of trying to identify the man and attempt notifying his next of kin.

Another incident earlier in June, involved Dominick Geri age 22. It seems he stole a horse and rig belonging to a Mr. Whipple. He was seen the next day on the streets of town, and Marshal Case, “Extended to him a pressing invitation to enjoy his hospitality” (in the jail no doubt). Geri was taken before Judge Talmadge for a hearing and then was taken to the King County Jail as he could not post the $1,000 bail.

A more serious incident occurred on September 23, 1910 that could have proved fatal for Howard. The Seattle-Tacoma Power Company had sent a non-union electrician to do some work in the Issaquah area. The power company had arranged for two Special Commission Deputy Sheriff’s to accompany the worker as a precaution.

While drinking at the bar in the Bellevue Hotel, one of the Deputies by the name of William Pyncheon started a disturbance most likely due to his alcohol intake. Marshal Case was called, and when he arrived Pyncheon pulled out a gun. After a brief struggle, Pyncheon was disarmed and ended up in front of a judge where he pled guilty to a disorderly conduct charge. This so impressed the judge that he dismissed the additional charge of using obscene language on the street! Pyncheon was fined court costs and was released undoubtedly to explain his misconduct to his boss, the Sheriff of King County.

Burglary seemed to be a problem then as it is today. On Mar 18, 1911, the J. J. Lewis Hardware Store was broken into by breaking the glass paneled front door. Three revolvers and a small amount of change were taken.

The jail was not immune from break in or breakouts as well. On August 26, 1911, it was broken into and two young men locked away for disorderly conduct made a quick escape with the aid of their accomplices.

An interesting note was that in November, 1910, the Town Council approved a pay raise for the Marshal to $60.00 per month. The news article doesn’t say what the salary was before the raise.

The Mayor in 1910 was Frank Day; City Clerk was W.E. Holland; the Justice of the Peace was John Drylie; and Burnett Mullarkey was on the Town Council. Drylie also served as Marshal from 1906 to 1908 and Mullarky was Marshal from 1917 to 1920.

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The Drylie Family

John Drylie

Served 1906

The Drylie Family

The Drylie family. Left to right, with identifications based in part on the family genealogy: daughter Elizabeth, father John, Annie, mother Isabella, son Tom; in front: baby of the family Ruth, eldest daughter Marion (IHM 2012-6-14)

John Drylie was born in Fife County, Scotland in Sept 1853. He married Isabella Hamiltone Frame in 1876. The couple had two children (Marion, b. 1882, Elizabeth, b 1884). On November 28, 1886, the Drylies arrived at the port of New York aboard the ship Nevada; John’s occupation was listed as “Miner.” By 1889, they were living in the town of Gilman, where the senior Drylie found work in the coal mines. Three more children were born to John and Isabella: Anne, b: 1891, Thomas, b. 1893,  and Ruth, b. 1898.

John Drylie served as town marshal from 1906 until 1908. Before and after his tenure as marshal, Drylie worked as a coal miner. Sometime between after 1910, Drylie changed professions. In 1920, Drylie, age 67, was working as a road foreman during the construction of the Sunset Highway.

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Joseph Mason

Served 1900 & 1902

Joe Mason was born in March 1875 in Michigan. His parents were both immigrants from Ireland. By 1878, his parents had relocated the family to Washington, where Mason lived out the rest of his life.

On June 4, 1899, Mason married Emma Mullarkey. Emma was born in Oregon in February 1876, and was also the child of Irish immigrants. Emma’s brother, salloon-owner Burnett Mullarky, also served as Issaquah Marshal. Mason worked as a coal miner for a time and between 1900 and 1902 he put on the Marshals’ badge. According to Town Ordinance Number 56, enacted in February 1900, his pay was $60.00 per month.

The old wooden town jail, long since knocked down, was renovated in January 1900. The Issaquah Independent had this to say. “The City Bastille has been renovated the past week both inside and out. Instead of a leaky flat roof, a new pitched roof adorns the building and it assumes metropolitan airs.”

At the time of Mason’s tenure as marshal, the population in the Gilman voting precinct was 1,060. In August 1900, the first telephone company was organized and by January 1901 there were two subscribers. Area mines, with a monthly payroll of around $30,000, employed 500 men.

In 1902, Mason joined the Seattle Police Department and served with distinction. In 1919,  a piece in the Issaquah Press noted that he had been promoted to the rank of Captain. He died in Seattle on April 14, 1929, at the age of 54.

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Samuel Rowley

Samuel Rowley's grave in the GAR Cemetery, Seattle.

Samuel Rowley’s grave in the GAR Cemetery, Seattle.

Served September 1899-January 1900

Samuel Rowley was born on January 7, 1830 in Dudley, Staffordshire, England. He married Alice Nicholson circa 1850. Rowley moved to the United States in 1851, and then reportedly returned to England. In 1860 he returned to the USA, where his wife and three children (Ben, Elisa and Anne) joined him in 1861. They settled first in Pennsylvania. They were still living there when the Civil War broke out. Rowley enlisted in the army, and served with Company B, 129th Pennsylvania Infantry during the Civil War. Between 1865 and 1885, the family lived in Keokuk, Iowa. Rowley worked as a miner in this area. During this time, five more children were born to the Rowleys: Cornelius, Samuel, Edward, Happy and Harriet.

It is not known precisely when Samuel Rowley moved to Washington State. He was appointed Town Marshal of Issaquah in September 1899, when Thomas Crossley ended his term early. Rowley would have been 69 years old at that time. It was a brief tenure; in January of 1900, Joseph Mason was elected to the post. At the time of the 1900 census, Rowley was living in Seattle. In 1910, he was living at the Soldier’s Home in Orting, Washington. He died on March 12, 1912, at the age of 81. He is buried at the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Cemetery in Seattle.

Rowley’s son Cornelius “Neil” Rowley was one of the notorious Harry Tracy’s murder victims.

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Henry Beebe

Served in 1892

Henry Beebe served as town marshal for only three days during September or October 1892. For this service he was paid $6 ($2 a day). Before and after Beebe’s three days of service to the town of Gilman, John McQuade served as town marshal. Town Council minutes do not cite a reason why McQuade was unavailable for three days.

Beebe appears in the 1892 Washington State Territorial census. At that time, he was living in Gilman with his young wife Ada Sloper Beebe, and their one-year-old son Henry. The census shows that he was born in the United States in about 1867, and that he was working as a laborer. The Washington State Digital Archives contain copies of the certificate he signed upon his 1882 marriage to Ada, and another marriage license for his marriage to Sula Turner in 1893.  And this is the extent of the information we have been able to locate about Mr. Henry Beebe.

It’s likely that Beebe was not the only man to serve as a “substitute” town marshal during the absence of one of the town’s official marshals, at least while the town had a one-man peace-keeping force.

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