Margaret Mossford Barber

A Natural Educator

By Gail Dillaway

Margaret Mossford Barber

Margaret Mossford Barber, born on April 6, 1888, dedicated her life to the education of children. Her education career was primarily spent as a teacher in one room schoolhouses common at the time. However after a long career as a teacher, she earned a position as a principal at the Paterson, Washington elementary school just prior to her retirement in 1957. The story of Margaret Barber is the story of a woman who believed in the value of education and strived to provide to her students the tools which she knew would empower them. It is a story which spans 87 years and touches countless lives.

Margaret was born to English parents, Jess and Harriet Mossford who were territorial pioneers in the Stillaguamish Valley about a mile east of Silvana. Her father wanted her to pursue a life of farming but Margaret had other interests. She was particularly interested in the arts and eventually this led her to a career in teaching. After attending Jackson School, a pioneer school and Island School, she spent four years at Arlington High School where she graduated as valedictorian with the highest honors. Since her graduation from high school predated consolidated school districts and formal teacher training programs, Margaret was able to simply take a teacher’s examination which qualified her for a job as a teacher.

She began teaching in 1912 at the one room Higgins School in Hazel, Washington where she taught grades one through eight. One room schoolhouses provided a large challenge to the teacher in charge. Teachers were responsible for providing daily lesson plans for all grades in their school. For Margaret this meant plans for students in 8 grades and each lesson had to focus on 4 or more subjects. Although schools of this type played an important part in the education of the nation’s youth, there was no teacher training and the curriculum was dependent upon the background of the individual teachers. Uniform curriculum and curricular standards were something that would be introduced when school districts began to consolidate. For Margaret, this was exhilarating and she welcomed the opportunity to teach Latin, ancient history, algebra, physical geography and English or whatever she deemed important to her students’ education. While teaching at the Higgins School, she was able to earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Western College of Education (then called Bellingham Normal School). She received her degree and a life-time teaching certificate by 1924. Margaret went on to teach at Sixprong near Goldendale, a school near Lake Washington and eventually the Tualco School near Monroe, Washington. All of these schools consisted of multi-grade classrooms.

The Tualco School was located on Tualco Road outside of the town of Monroe. The first Tualco School was built in 1876 and later replaced with the second school in 1908. Students matriculated into either the Monroe or DuVall school districts upon graduation from the Tualco School. Margaret taught at the second school which still stands today and is now home to the Tualco Grange. In 1924, the same year that she received her Bachelor of Arts degree, Margaret Mossford married Clarence Barber, a Knoxville, Tennessee architect. They purchased a home in Monroe where Margaret remained after the death of her husband in 1957 and until her death in 1975. Margaret gave birth to a son, Bruce, who subsequently went on to have three children of his own, two sons and a daughter. As a result of her many years teaching in one room schoolhouses, Margaret developed a strong philosophy of teaching. With a school full of students ranging in ages from 6 to 16 which was characteristic of one room schoolhouses, a teacher giving instruction in reading, writing and arithmetic had to prepare a variety of individualized lessons. Pupils were exposed to every lesson many times as “by rote learning” was the favored method of education in these settings. Students heard the lessons repeatedly as older children recited to the teacher in front of the room and then later read it for themselves from their texts. Each pupil worked at his or her own pace and was promoted from reader to reader when the teacher believed the pupil was ready. “Gifted” students had an opportunity to advance as they listened to the older students recite (after their own assignments were completed) and it was not uncommon for pupils in lower grades to have mastered practically everything presented to the upper grades. Margaret taught in just such a setting so it is understandable that she believed that learning of foreign languages could not be accomplished by ear. She believed a grammatical background was as important as phonics. She also believed that bookkeeping, word analysis and Latin should be taught to early elementary grades as a basic foundation for later learning. Perhaps Margaret’s most controversial theory lay in her belief that boys were not mature enough for education at age six and would develop bad habits and become discouraged if allowed to begin school at this age. In addition, she felt that she would rather start with students in the first grade “fresh for learning without having had kindergarten”. In 1966 she went on to say that she had “long pushed for raising the entrance age requirement for boys so that they are a year older than the little girls”.

After retiring, Margaret often reflected upon the changes in education. She believed that promotions for students should occur twice a year with two academic levels in each class and that student promotion into high school should be based upon satisfactory completion of eighth grade tests. She thought that having an eighth grade test would bring back the challenge for students that was necessary to promote learning. After years of teaching in one room schoolhouse settings, these ideas seemed obvious to Margaret and she knew that they worked effectively. After receiving her bachelor’s degree, Margaret stopped teaching temporarily in order to become a resident student of the University of Washington where she tutored German. Languages had always been of interest to her and she actually majored in German at the university. In high school she was an excellent Latin student and had her translations exhibited at the Alaska-Yukon Exposition as a high school student. After retiring from teaching in the early sixties, Margaret became busier than ever. She wrote poetry and music, designed clothing and even ran for public office. Even in retirement, she showed an interest in helping others. Her legacy continues to be the many children that she provided with an education in settings where the bulk of the responsibility for that education fell upon her shoulders.

On October 28, 1975 Margaret Mossford Barber passed away leaving a legacy of students empowered by education.

Sources:
Barbara Rogers Minor, “No Time for Retirement,” Monroe Monitor 3 Nov. 1966.
Obituary. “For Margaret”. Monroe Monitor, 24 Oct. 1975.
Print. “Teddy Roosevelt’s Country Life Commission,” Rural West Initiative 2012 project, Stanford University at The Bill Lane Center for the American West website, http://west.stanford.edu/search/node/roosevelt.
© Gail Dillaway 2015 All Rights Reserved

Originally published as WLP Story # 78

Frances E. Anderson

Frances Anderson in 1911

Edmonds School District’s Legend

By Betty Lou Gaeng

Frances Anderson was four years old when she first set eyes on the little mill town of Edmonds in south Snohomish County. Until her death on Saturday, June 2, 1990 at the age of 99, Edmonds was her town. As Miss Anderson always emphasized, there was no place else on earth she wanted to live. She did a lot of traveling throughout the United States and the rest of the world, but Edmonds along the shores of Puget Sound was always home.

Frances Anderson was born in Drummond, Granite County, Montana on November 16, 1890. Her parents, Charles J. Anderson and Jennie Potts were both born in Ontario, Canada, as was her eldest brother, Lorne Bruce Anderson. Her younger brother Otto was born in Anacortes in 1892. The family lived in Anacortes and then Snohomish before moving to Edmonds in 1895. Miss Anderson’s father was an employee of the Great Northern Railroad and it was his work which influenced the family’s relocation from Montana to Washington in 1891.

Anderson Home

Jennie Anderson’s brother, William J. Potts, a lifetime bachelor, also moved to Edmonds at the same time as the Andersons. He was a long-time employee of Great Northern Railroad and served as the company’s station agent in Edmonds for many years. In 1910, he traveled to England to finalize the legal papers for a sizable inheritance the Potts family received in that country. William Potts was living with his sister at the time his death in 1931.

Frances Anderson’s father, a track walker for Great Northern Railroad, was killed late in the evening of March 17, 1907 when he was struck by the Vancouver Flyer on the tracks near Edmonds. Sometime after his death, the family’s commodious home on North Second between Bell and Edmonds Streets, became a rooming house.

In the early 1930s, Frances Anderson and her mother owned a small house on North Fourth Avenue in Edmonds. Mrs. Jennie (Potts) Anderson died March 7, 1936 at the age of 74. For several years after her mother’s death, Miss Anderson shared her home with her friend and traveling companion Gwen Shakespeare, a fellow teacher at Edmonds Grade School. Theirs was a friendship that would last a lifetime. See: WLP Story No. 59 for more about Gwendolyn Shakespeare.

Frances Anderson’s schooling, career choice, and varied interests.

No name is more closely associated with education in Edmonds than that of Frances Anderson. She not only received the major part of her schooling in Edmonds, she also went on to have a 42-year career as an educator and administrator in the Edmonds School District.

At age 5, she was enrolled at Edmonds Grade School and except for spending a short time in the seventh grade at Richmond Beach where the family had a temporary home, Miss Anderson continued her education in Edmonds.

Frances Anderson was one of seven in the 1911 graduating class of Edmonds High School; the second class to graduate from the new school. The building, now the Edmonds Center for the Arts, is located at Fourth and Daley in Edmonds, and was built on land donated by the town’s founder, George Brackett.

Edmonds Grade School

During her high school years, Miss Anderson was a member of the girls’ basketball team.

A very talented athlete, Miss Anderson continued in that field after she entered the University of Washington in 1913. While there, she became the third woman to ever win three varsity letters. Those letters were in baseball, track and basketball. She also excelled in hockey and golf. Long after her school days, Miss Anderson continued her love of golf.

By 1916, Miss Anderson had made the decision to become a teacher. When a friend became part of the staff at Wisconsin’s Whitewater State Normal College (later known as the University of Wisconsin), Miss Anderson transferred to that school. She completed her education in Wisconsin and graduated during 1917 with a degree in primary education.

Miss Anderson returned to Edmonds from Wisconsin following her 1917 graduation and was immediately hired as second-grade teacher at Edmonds Grade School at $750 per year.

In 1924, she was appointed by the school board as principal of the school. She remained as principal for 25 years, and except for the last 10 years of her tenure as an administrator, she also taught second grade.

Second Grade Teacher Frances Anderson

In 1949, Miss Anderson requested that she be relieved from her position as principal. In the fall of that year, she returned to her favorite occupation, teaching the children in second grade. When she retired 10 years later after 42 years of teaching at Edmonds Grade School, Miss Anderson joked that she had taught a lot of second graders, then their children, and thought “I’d better get out before I start getting the grandchildren.”

On the occasion of her retirement, Miss Anderson received letters from the White House, Governor Rosellini’s office and many old friends and associates. Edmonds High School principal, G. Mason Hall, presented her with a lifetime pass to all high school athletic events. Since the days when she had been a star athlete at Edmonds High School, she had never lost her interest in sports.

Teaching never kept Miss Anderson so busy that she didn’t have time to participate in other activities. She began her interest in community affairs as early as 1910. While still a high school student, she was elected as the first president of the Edmonds Improvement Club. Soon after returning home from college, she became a leader for the Junior Camp Fire Girls. Later, she held every office in the local American Legion Auxiliary, and in 1927 she attended the American Legion’s International Convention in Paris, France. She was a 50-year plus member of the Eastern Star; a member of Delta Kappa Gamma (a teachers’ sorority); and an Edmonds Library board member. Miss Anderson was a member of the Edmonds First Methodist Church and the Snohomish County Historical Society.

Gardening was another of her favorite pastimes and in 1937, she was awarded third-prize in a garden beautiful contest. Her little home was always immaculate, and she was often seen there, working in her garden.

Frances Anderson’s interest in life was eclectic, and she never lost her zest for living life to the fullest.

In 1984, she was honored by her peers when she was the first person to be awarded the title of Edmonds School District’s “Living Legend.”

Without doubt, the greatest honor bestowed on Frances Anderson followed the closing of the doors of the old Edmonds Grade School (Edmonds Elementary) in 1972. The school, located in the downtown area at Seventh and Main, was experiencing reduced enrollment, making it dispensable. Reopening its doors in 1979, the old school had been altered for a new use, and was renamed the Frances E. Anderson Cultural and Leisure Center. The Center, now home to the City’s Parks and Recreation Department, is the site for many activities and events, such as fitness classes, cultural arts, recreation, and sports programs, plus numerous other activities. The Center adjoins the library, and is a very popular place for people of all ages.

Frances Anderson spent the last months of her life in a nursing home. Gwen Shakespeare, a faithful friend to the end, had received power of attorney to oversee Miss Anderson’s concerns and needs.

After Miss Anderson’s death, a memorial was held at the United Methodist Church in Edmonds. Following the memorial services, Miss Shakespeare brought closure to a remarkable woman’s life: “That’s the end of it,” she said. “She’s gone, closing the door on an era.” Frances Anderson was entombed at View Crest Abbey in Everett, Washington

For those of us who as children knew her, Miss Anderson will always be remembered as a compassionate second-grade teacher, or as the stern, but kind-hearted school principal behind the office door at Edmonds Grade School.

Sources: All photos are the property of the Edmonds Historical Museum and used with their permission.

  • Everett Daily Herald, March 18, 1907 (Front page).
  • Tribune-Review, Edmonds, Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 1910 and Tuesday, Dec. 2, 1910.
  • Tribune-Review, Edmonds, Washington, Thursday, June 4, 1959.
  • Everett Daily Herald, June 4, 7 and 9, 1990.
    http://www.ci.edmonds.wa.us/anderson.stm
  • Washington Digital Archives—Death records.
  • Records held at Sno-Isle Genealogical Society, Lynnwood, Washington.
  • A personal discussion with Gwendolyn Shakespeare regarding her friend.
    Story Number 71 in series

© 2011 Betty Lou Gaeng, All Rights Reserved

Dorothy May Brand Anderson, M. D.

Stanwood’s Beloved Town Doctor
by Members of the Stanwood Area Historical Society

Medical School of Pennsylvania

 

Dorothy May Brand Anderson was born March 17, 1913 to Emily Mae Knox Brand and George Edwin Brand in Bellingham. She was the second of five children. After graduating from Whatcom High School in 1930 she attended boarding school in Seattle while thinking of becoming a missionary. In the Fall of 1931 she entered University of Washington as a Pre Med major, graduating in 1935. She was accepted into the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania from which she eventually received her M.D. degree in 1941.

Medical school was delayed due to a bout of Tuberculosis during her 3rd year and a relapse about the time of graduation. Each time she returned to Seattle and entered Laurel Beach Sanatorium in West Seattle. During her second stay Dr Dorothy assisted the medical staff once she was stable. It was then that she met Richard Douglas Anderson, also battling TB. They married September 10, 1944 in Bellingham at Dr, Dorothy’s home church, First Baptist.

July 1, 1945 Dr. Dorothy began her internship at Seattle Children’s Orthopedic Hospital but was interrupted in January 1946 as she awaited the birth of her first child, Rebecca M Anderson (Coufal) born March 31, 1946. In August Dr. Dorothy returned to her internship while her husband stayed home with Rebecca. In response to an ad in the Seattle Times they visited Camano Island. They talked to Pete Jensen, local pharmacist in Stanwood (where Bank of America is now) and found him receptive to a lady doctor in town. They soon bought 5 acres with a house and barn on Good Road and only 3 miles from town.

Dr Anderson in front of her office
Dr Anderson in front of her office

Much remodeling occurred over the years (including the addition of a bathroom). During the first 2 years of practice Dr. Dorothy shared Dr. Wheeler’s (a dentist) office space (on the brick street in west Stanwood) while Dick built her an concrete block office building of her own (next to the fire station that is now Leatherheads).

December 27, 1948 son Thomas R Anderson joined the family. Dr. Dorothy worked almost up to delivery but took several weeks off after his birth. It was at this point that she hired a housekeeper who also helped with the children. During these early years of the practice Dick milked a small herd of jerseys and drove school bus to supplement their income.

The first housekeeper lived near the Andersons (Edie) and was with them for about a year. Then Mazie Fitch (Simonson) stayed with them until 1960 when the children were old enough to be on their own a bit more.

Twice during her mostly solo 30 year practice which included housecalls Dr. Dorothy attempted to have a partner in the practice. The first was Dr. Hermann in the late 1950s who stayed about 2 years. In the early 1960s another woman doctor joined her for awhile. Dr. Dorothy’s staff included a full time nurse, receptionist/ bookkeeper, Dorothy Wagness.

In 1960 Dr. Dorothy designed her dream home and she and Dick bought 100 acres ½ mile closer to town with an old farm house (still on Good Rd). Dick completed building the home in 1964 and they lived there till 1988 when the farm was sold and Dr. Dorothy moved to Bellingham to be nearer her son and his children. Dick passed away in January 1986 but not before he and Dr. Dorothy completed a mission in Eastern Nicaragua and then in the inner city clinic of San Diego. There Dick became very ill so they returned home. He had heart disease for many years.

Dr. Anderson retired
Dr. Anderson retired

While Dr. Dorothy enjoyed her medical practice, she had varied other interests that she was able to enjoy more after retiring. After Dick’s passing the farm was sold and she moved back to Bellingham to be near her son and enjoy time with his 2 sons Bryte and Leif. She mostly saw her daughter’s 4 children, Leonard, Erik, Vesta and Athena for a couple of weeks during the summers where they lived on a farm in Eastern Washington.

Dr. Dorothy enjoyed many activities in retirement in Bellingham. She died December 1996 at her home after a brief illness.

Information provided by her daughter, Rebecca M Anderson Coufal and memories of members of the community; Compiled for a program and exhibit featuring Dr. Anderson in 2015 display at the 2015 Spring Tea by Exhibit Volunteers for the Stanwood Area Historical Society.

© Stanwood Area Historical Society 2015 All Rights Reserved

Nina Blackman Bakeman

Snohomish Teacher and Civic Leader (1862-1941)
Story #62
By Frances Wood
The letter read, “We offer you the position of primary teacher in the [Snohomish] grammar school commencing February 1886 . . . [the pay] will be $45 or $50 a month and a chance for a raise.
These few words radically altered the life of 23-year-old Nina Blackman. They prompted her to leave her family, her fiancé and a teaching position in California, and move 1,000 miles north to a small mill town in Washington Territory. A letter from Nina’s brother Arthur, who had moved to Snohomish two months earlier, encouraged her further. “I like this place first rate . . . there are a good many stumps but that doesn’t matter. They ought to call this place Blackman City there are so many of them here.”
Nina Blackman was born in 1862 in Bangor, Maine, to George and Frances (Eddy) Blackman. She was descended from a long line of Maine Yankees, the earliest of whom arrived in America in 1624, only four years after the Mayflower pilgrims. Nina’s interest in teaching sprouted at an early age. She later wrote, “Ever since a small child, I had always declared an intention of being a teacher.”
When Nina was nine, the family moved to Saginaw, Michigan. Five years later, they relocated again, this time across the country to Oakland, California, where Nina’s father accepted a position with the National Cash Register Company. Nina graduated from Oakland High School in 1883.

She studied at a normal school, faced the county teachers’ examination board and, although nervous as a scared rabbit, passed with a certificate to teach primary school. She was hired to teach in a one-room schoolhouse in Arroyo Valle District, in Livermore Valley. She wrote, “I found the pupils and the parents pleasant and agreeable but with all my heart would [ache to] go back to my home in Oakland.” One assumes that much of that ache was for her brother and parents, but there was also in the picture a gentleman, to whom she had become engaged. Nina resigned her teaching position but instead of returning to Oakland, she curiously accepted the teaching position in Snohomish.
A month later the blast of the steamer’s whistle gathered the town to the wharf for Nina’s arrival. Among the assembled townsfolk was Charles H. Bakeman, likely intrigued about the town’s newest resident. Charles had moved to Snohomish three years earlier from Peshtigo, Wisconsin, and began to grow his woodworking business. He built the first buggy in the region and also ran a mercantile outlet for his furniture.
As Charles watched Nina disembark, he uttered the most quoted words in the Blackman/Bakeman family history, “I’m going to marry her and buy her a sky-blue dress to match her eyes.”
In an unfinished novel based on Nina’s early life in Snohomish, her daughter Frances Bakeman Hodge described how she imagined the scene as Nina stepped off the steamer.
“[Nina} . . . seemed fragile in figure and pastel in color. Her cream-colored hair under the soft pearly gray bonnet was like the finely spun curls of a young child. Her features and skin were soft and childlike too, but the expression in her blue eyes was not that of an immature girl. She returned the curious scrutiny of the people on the dock with the calm glance of a poised woman.”
The school consisted of two, side-by-side, small white buildings, one room each. Nina taught 44 pupils from ages five to fifteen. Struggling with all the problems of undisciplined students she wrote, “As they came straggling in before school began and started to play tag in the room, I was convinced I had my hands full. One or two strikes of the ponderous bell which stood on my desk and a word from me served to quiet them.”
Following her first term, the Snohomish County Superintendent selected Nina to present her teaching methods before the Territorial Institute held at Seattle. Nervous and humbled, she stood before a crowd of teachers “many of them old and experienced in the work, to present my simple ways of teaching.”
Nina finished that term and taught for one more year. Somewhere along the way she broke her engagement and fell in love with Charles. On June 20, 1887, Nina and Charles were quietly wed. Charles had been bucked off a horse and seriously injured. There was no one to tend the bedridden bachelor and, given the social mores of the time, Nina could not visit him unchaperoned. Marriage made it possible for her to nurse him back to health.

The Bakeman family in 1896 (L to R) Charles (age 35), Guy (age 4), Inez (age 6), Nina (age 35) The couple blended her genteel New England heritage and his rough-around-the-edges German demeanor. Charles liked to play cards; she did not. He liked to dance; she never danced. He was tall and lanky; she petite, probably just under five feet tall. Their first five years were buoyed by prosperity in Charles’ furniture business. Box springs became the rage and he produced enough for the whole town. In December of 1889, Nina gave birth to her first child, Inez Mildred. Two years later a son, Guy Victor arrived.
Nina stepped forward to serve in civic positions. She was a charter member and vice-president of the Women’s Civic Club (later called the Cosmopolitan Club) dedicated to literature, child welfare, civic progress and social culture. She was elected president of the Snohomish Parent Teacher association and a trustee of the first Snohomish library.
Suddenly, their life took a dramatic turn for the worse. On a September night in 1893, fire raged through Charles’ store and burned the entire inventory valued at $17,000 dollars. The couple had to give up their home and squeeze into a small rental cottage at 317 Avenue B.
Several years earlier Charles had grub staked a miner who started the O & B Mine in the Cascade foothills near Monte Cristo. (O and B stood for Osborne and Bakeman.) Charles’ only recourse was to take to the hills, and work the mine, hoping to eke out enough gold or silver to support his family.Nina stayed in Snohomish, tending her home and two small children. The mine yielded no riches, but Charles managed to rebuild the furniture business. Someone asked him to build a casket, which led Charles to become the town’s undertaker. Hard times eased with the turn of the century and Nina and Charles began the second half of their family. Frances Louise arrived in 1900 and Charles Theodore in 1903.

Nina Blackman Bakeman, age 64 (about 1925)
Nina Blackman Bakeman, age 64 (about 1925)

They purchased the rental cottage and over the years it evolved to a spacious nine-room home. Nina’s daughter Frances later described the house: “The house on Avenue B was furnished with many New England antiques, but the extra lot on Avenue A was used for a garden, orchard, chicken yard and stable, a mini-farm, like the big farms where the Bakemans lived in Wisconsin.”
Nina and Charles remained in that house for the rest of their lives. Nina died there at age 79. Charles survived for another 14 years living with their daughter Frances and her family. Years later when Frances was straightening the things in the attic, she uncovered a sky-blue brocaded silk dress, carefully saved among her mother’s possessions. Charles had carried through with the second promise he’d made so many years before.

© 2009 Frances Wood, All Rights Reserved
www.franceswood.net

Katrina Bagley

Bah – Hahtlh (Return to Good)

By Betty Lou Gaeng
Picture a sturdy little girl, her dusky skin glowing, her cheeks flushed from the fresh air. Her dark hair is held in place by a strip of leather. Her brown eyes are alert and sparkling. Her little bare feet flash as she joins the other little ones in the games the native children along the Snohomish River of Washington Territory play in the 1870s. She runs to keep up with her cousins William and Henry Shelton. Her family and playmates call her Bah-hahtlh (Return to Good). She grew up near what is now the town of Snohomish where the family lived in a longhouse with about 20 other family members, including her Shelton cousins.

Bah-hahtlh was given the English name Katrina and sometimes called Katherine or Katie. She grew from childhood to become a strong woman. In those early days it took strength to adapt to the foreign ways of the white invaders. She had that strength, and she also learned the ways of the foreigners. She became a savvy businesswoman and learned to hold what was hers—no one took it from her—especially her land. It wasn’t considered the best land—the Government didn’t allot the best to the Indians. However, it was hers and she wasn’t going to let go.

It is estimated that Bah-hahtlh was born during the early to mid-1870s. Her parents were Dan Ned Laclous-y-son and Katie Bod-lutz-za Simmons.

At the age of 15, Katie married a man from Skagit named Campbell. He was murdered and she became a 16 year-old widow. Her second husband was a man from LaConner by the name of Henry Tukius (Towheuse) Willup. Soon widowed once again, in 1894 Katie married Maurice Jim of the Tulalip Reservation. They were blessed with six children. She was widowed again in 1907 when Maurice died, and none of their children lived to survive Katie. About a year after Maurice’s death, she married for the fourth time, this husband a 20-year old Tulalip man, Francis (Frank) Sese. Once again, Katie became a widow when Francis died in 1912 at the age of 25. Two children from this marriage did not survive Katie. However, one of them, daughter Agnes lived long enough to give her mother grandchildren.

Katie’s final husband was Ambrose Bagley, from the Duwamish tribe. They married in 1921, and Katie and Ambrose worked her farmland together. A daughter named Katherine was born to them. Daughter Katherine was the first of Katie’s children to survive their mother. Katherine grew up on her mother’s land, as did David Spencer, son of Katie’s daughter Agnes. Daughter Katherine married William Campbell and gave Katie grandchildren

Katie’s large farm home was often filled with family and friends, many of them fellow church members from the old Shaker Church on the Tulalip Reservation. Katie had joined the church in 1910, where she and Ambrose in the 1920s donated the bell for the steeple.
When Katie died October 31, 1950, her age given as 74, she had survived four husbands. Her fifth husband Ambrose Bagley survived her by six years. Katrina and Ambrose Bagley are buried at Priest Point Cemetery on the Tulalip Indian Reservation.
Katie’s family still has the deed dated February 25, 1904, signed by President Theodore Roosevelt, allotting land on the northeast corner of the Tulalip Indian Reservation to Katrina Jim. This is the land where Katie built her home, worked the land and survived loss after loss of her loved ones.
Katie left a wonderful legacy for her descendants. Through all the upheaval and adversities in her life, Katie retained her allotment land on the Tulalip Reservation, which is now considered to be one of the most valuable properties in Snohomish County. The front page of the September 22, 2008 edition of Everett’s Herald featured the story of Katrina Jim’s land.
Ancestors have a special place in the hearts of the First People. Katie’s descendants have not forgotten what her diligence and steadfastness have done for them. At 11 o’clock on a Saturday morning in September of 2008, 104 years after as Katrina Jim she was granted the land patent, Katie’s descendants gathered on 60 acres of what is now their land. With heartfelt love and appreciation of her legacy to them, they held a blessing for Katrina Bagley, a special woman they will always honor.

Elson James

In World War I, Katie’s son Elson James, at the age of 23, lost his life in France while serving in Company F, 30th Infantry, U.S Army. Pfc. James guided patrols in what was called No Man’s Land near Bois de la Cote, Lemont, France. It was early winter and the weather was extremely cold and damp, Elson contracted a fever, which eventually developed into pneumonia, and he died December 11, 1918 in the line of duty. Katie’s family recorded that even though she was a strong woman, Katie was heartbroken. She had just received a letter from her son telling her he would soon be home; she didn’t realize that by the time the letter arrived, she had already lost another child. Elson’s commanding officer considered Elson to be one of his best men and recommended a citation be issued citing Elson’s “exceptional skill, courage and coolness under fire in guiding patrols.” Elson James now rests at Priest Point Cemetery on the Tulalip Reservation.

Donald Campbell

Grandson Donald Campbell, son of her daughter Katherine and William Campbell, was less than a year old when Katrina died. As his uncle Elson James had done, Donald gave his life for this country. He was killed in action July 3, 1970, while serving as a corporal in the 588th Engineers Battalion in the U.S. Army in Tay Ninh, South Vietnam. Donald is buried at Mission Beach Cemetery on the Tulalip Indian Reservation.
Donald Campbell’s two older brothers, Walter and John and cousin David Spencer also served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam era. David Spencer who had lived with his grandparents and provided information for Bah-hahtlh’s story said this about his Bagley grandparents, “they showed me how to walk my life.”

 

Sources:

Ancestry.com. U.S. Indian Census Schedules, 1885-1940 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2007. Original data: Indian Census Rolls, 1885-1940; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M595, 692 rolls); Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Record Group 75; National Archives, Washington, D.C. http://www.sno-isle.org/page/?ID=1246&cid=777

Washington State Digital Archive’s Death Records; Probate Records for Katherine Sese Bagley; information. http://www.secstate.wa.gov/history/genealogy.aspx

Interview with Katherine Campbell, and photos provided by Katrina’s grandsons—John Campbell, Walter Campbell and David Spencer on Nov. 15, 2008;

Donald Campbell’s photo from “Faces From the Wall” (permission to print granted); NARA, Vietnam War: U.S. Military Casualties.

Mason, William H. Snohomish County in the War; The Part Played in the Great War by the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Patriotic Civilians of Snohomish County, Washington, U.S.A. Everett, Wash: Mason Pub. Co, 1926.

“Tribal family’s land a treasure : Theme park, theater, shops: All are options for tribal family’s land.” 2008. The Herald, [Everett] September 22, 2008 http://www.proquest.com.access-proxy.sno-isle.org/ (accessed December 3, 2008).

© 2008 Betty Lou Gaeng, All Rights Reserved;  WLP Story # 54 ~

Lorraine Smith

One of Everett’s “Rosie the Riveters

By Teri Baker

Rosie the Riveter. Her picture was everywhere. A fit, young woman sporting a bandanna and wearing blue coveralls, sleeve rolled up and arm flexed to show a worker’s muscle. Her motto was “We can do it!”
Two days after arriving in Everett from Haugen, Wisconsin, Lorraine E. Smith answered her country’s call for female factory workers and went to work at the Boeing Branch Plant, located in what is now Everett Public Market. She knew she “could do it.”

“My two sisters and I grew up on an 80-acre farm,” she recalls. “We grew all our own food and had 14-17 cows to milk every night. We all worked, and we all worked hard” Looking on the bright side, she adds, “At least living on a farm during the Depression, we always had wood to burn to keep warm and food to eat.”

After high school graduation, Lorraine worked two full-time jobs in Highland Park, Illinois, one at a restaurant, the other as a telephone operator. “At the telephone company, they left me on my own and told me nothing,” she says. “Bells were ringing, the board was all lit up and there was no one to help. I was pretty nervous, but I finally found out how to shut the thing down.”
She moved to Chicago to work in a quilt factory and on the occasional weekend visited her uncle in Milwaukee. It was there that she met Army Tech. Sgt. Gordon Wells. It was 1942, and although they did not become engaged, Lorraine and Gordon had “an understanding” when the sergeant left to fight in Europe. In October 1943, Gordon’s parents, Orly and Lucy Wells, who had become close to Lorraine, decided to head to the West Coast to look for work. Dissatisfied with his job at a Wisconsin creamery, Orly felt he could be of more use in a “war job,” possibly at a shipyard. “They asked if I would like to go with them,” Lorraine says. “I said ‘yes’ and packed my clothes and my new little Singer sewing machine. They picked me up in a 1939 Buick, a real gas guzzler, and we headed west.”
The trio eventually arrived in Everett. Orly got a job the next day, and the family moved into a new, two-bedroom, partially furnished apartment at Baker Heights. A day later Lorraine was hired at Boeing, where she was required to wear overalls and a bandanna similar to Rosie the Riveter’s. The head scarf was a safety precaution to keep hair from catching and being wound onto the drill. She called the uniform her “tux.”
Everywhere she looked, Lorraine saw reminders that she was involved in a serious business. Walls displayed Rosie posters and signs that said “Buy Bonds” and “Loose Lips Sink Ships.” Lorraine says, “You didn’t say ‘boo.’ Not a word. No one talked about what was being built or how many worked at the plant or anything else that might be useful to the enemy.”
Lorraine started out as a bucker. She explains, “When the riveter goes rat-a-tat-tat, the bucking bar flattens it on the other end.” It was not glamorous work, but it was vital to the war effort. Boeing had not yet built its great complex in Everett. To increase production, the company opened branch plants in Everett, Chehalis, Bellingham, Aberdeen and Tacoma. Initially, the branches accounted for 15 percent of the Seattle Division’s Flying Fortress (B-17) production, but that number soon increased to 20 percent.
A monthly branch edition of Boeing News was started and included small articles about the plant, along with personal events such as births, marriages, visits from sons in the military, etc. of branch employees. In the first Everett edition is a photo of former major league pitching great Cy Young working at the Everett plant as a jig-maker. Lorraine is in the background, clad in her Rosie uniform, operating – what else? – a riveter.
Lorraine still has the pay stub from one of her biggest checks from Boeing. For two weeks of work, including overtime, she was paid $77, a grand sum in those days. She recalls that to address the concerns of its “feminine employees,” Boeing added a “women’s supervisor and councilor” for each shift to be available at all times “either for discussion of ‘on the job’ problems or any other matters women wish to discuss.” Lorraine never went to her councilor, but her heart went out to those who did, women who received telegrams beginning, “We regret to inform you…” which meant a son, a husband, a father or a brother had been killed.
The war was never far away from Lorraine’s mind. She anxiously awaited the mail and was thrilled whenever she heard from her intended, even if the censors blacked out some of the words. Day after day she toiled, hoping for more mail, dreading the thought of a telegram. Then one afternoon, shortly after she checked in at work, an announcement blared from the loudspeaker. The war was over! “There was just this big celebration, then we went home” she recalls. “That was the last day we worked.”
She and Gordon married in 1946 and, along with Gordon’s siblings, lived with Orly and Lucy, who had by then purchased Olivia Park Store, until the young couple purchased a house nearby. “I was happy to be a stay-at-home mom,” Lorraine says. “We had been in the Depression, and we wanted better for our children.” She grows quiet for a moment and speaks of her generation: “I think we made it too good for them. There was just too much materialism.”
Lorraine, who taught sewing for 4-H, wove fabric and turned it into stunning garments. She has passed down her giant loom to her daughter. When Gordon died in 1984, Lorraine coped by staying active in church, maintaining friendships and continuing to travel at home and abroad. She started a daily journal that she still keeps up and became active in Widowed Information Consultation Services. It was at the Eagles Hall after a WICS meeting that she met John W. Smith. “John said he was going home to read a book,” she recalls with a smile, “but my friend Margaret found out he could dance and told him, ‘You are not going home!’” Being a gentleman, he asked Lorraine to dance, and in 1988, a year to the day after they met, John and Lorraine were married.
Among the couple’s interests are fishing and travel. Lorraine belongs to a “Rosies” organization and was honored along with 90 others in 2002 at Seattle Center by Washington Women in Trades Association.

Six decades have passed since Lorraine moved to Everett and first took her lunch pail to work at an airplane plant. Two more stars have been added to the flag. Boeing stopped making B-17s long ago. But the spirit of the Rosies, women like Lorraine Smith, lives on. Rosie’s poster said, “We can do it!”
And they did.

Source: Personal interview with Lorraine E. Smith, 2002.; WLP Story Number 20

Ruth Morrice

Full Time Career Postal Worker ~ 1902-1973

By Sandra Schumacher
During her long career as a postal clerk at Alderwood Manor, Ruth Morrice witnessed mail delivery from the horse-drawn, red wagon to air mail. In the early days there were inkwells to be filled, and all work was done by hand, including making money orders. Until the mid-1930s, all dollar bills were counted and serial numbers listed by hand as well.

Everett Herald photo, 4/1/1965
Everett Herald photo, 4/1/1965

Miss Morrice welcomed modernization. She liked to say that she loved the past, but “did not live in it.” In fact, she wanted to work for the United States Post Office “as long as possible, and never retire.”

Her own past actually made her a historical figure. She was born December 13, 1902 in a log cabin on the family homestead. They were one of the first white families in the area. She spent her entire life on that homestead, which became Alderwood Manor. Hers was a life full of both travel and community service. She saw the entire continent of North America, from Alaska to Mexico. She was a member of the Eastern Star, and served as their secretary for over forty years.
Everett Herald photo, 4/1/1965

Ruth Morrice never married, yet always seemed to have a house full of children, including grandnieces, grandnephews and children of friends. She loved music and was as proud of her record collection as she was of her beautiful garden.

At the end of her life she lived in a home that was bordered by some of the last remaining woods in Alderwood Manor. At the time, her cousins owned the nearby wildlife sanctuary. Loving and loved in return by her family and her community, Miss Ruth Morrice passed away on February 4, 1973.

WLP Story Number 19 ~ The beginning of her story can be found at this link ~ Women’s Legacy story #72

Sources: The Everett Herald
© 2006 Sandra Schumacher All Rights Reserved

Martha Solie Muckey

Career Social Worker ~ 1895 – 1967
WLP Story Number 18 ~
By Sandra Schumacher

Photo by Pete Kinch, Everett Herald December 13, 1965.
Photo by Pete Kinch, Everett Herald December 13, 1965.

“Everett has been very good to me, and I’ve had an interesting life.” Martha Muckey made that understatement in 1952. But the life that this woman lived was more than interesting. It was remarkable.

Martha Muckey, who was born in Wisconsin in 1895, studied music at St. Olaf’s College in Minnesota, then journeyed west during the Depression to teach high school music. Unfortunately, due to financial constraints, music teachers were not in demand. Rather than wring her hands and bemoan her fate, she found a job at a bank in Everett.

She married and settled into family life, but was widowed when her twin sons were only eight years old. Knowing she needed a career that would support her children, she enrolled at the University of Washington and studied social work. She spent twenty-eight years working for the Department of Welfare, twenty-five them as a case worker on the Tulalip reservation.

Although she worked full time, Martha somehow still found time for volunteer work with the Red Cross, Salvation Army and Volunteers of America, as well as with the blind in Snohomish County. She was named Snohomish County’s 1951 “Woman of Achievement” for her service not only in the community, but for her work state and nationwide as well. Even after retiring from social work in 1963, she continued to give of herself to the community as long as she was physically able.
Martha Muckey died in 1967, leaving behind many whose lives she had made healthier and happier, her own life a testimony to what an “ordinary” woman can accomplish.

Resources : The Everett Herald.
© 2006 Sandra Schmacher All Rights Reserved

Alice White Reardon

Newspaper Publisher 1867 – 1951

By Nellie Robertson

Ink ran in the veins of Alice White Reardon nearly from the time of her birth in 1867 until her death in 1951. Born in Ft. Dodge, Iowa of pioneer stock, she was the second daughter in a family of five children. When she was two years old, her father established the first newspaper in Soda Bar, Iowa. Her newspaper heritage followed her throughout her life.

In 1890 Alice married John J. Reardon. The couple had six sons, one of whom died in infancy, and one daughter. In 1893 Reardon entered into partnership with Alice’s brother in the newspaper business. When John left the partnership, the family came to Washington in 1911 and to Monroe in 1913. Reardon bought the Monroe Independent and settled down to report on life in the small town. It became Monroe’s official newspaper. Ten years later the Reardons bought the Monroe Monitor and merged the two publications.

Alice helped in the newspaper office and still managed to take good care of her family.
When tragedy struck, not once, but twice, in a matter of weeks, Alice responded with courage. Her husband died on March 20, 1928, and on May 18th of the same year, John and Alice’s oldest son, Joseph, who had served in France in World War I and had been associated with his father in the Monroe Monitor, died in an automobile accident.

Alice White Reardon, circa 1945? Born in 1867 at Fort Dodge, Iowa, the second of five children, she died in 1951. Photographer: Bruno Art Studio, 416 SW Alder, Portland, Oregon. #506504 Photograph Courtesy of the Monroe Historical Society, Monroe, WA
Alice White Reardon, circa 1945?
Born in 1867 at Fort Dodge, Iowa, the second of five children, she died in 1951.
Photographer: Bruno Art Studio, 416 SW Alder, Portland, Oregon. #506504
Photograph Courtesy of the Monroe Historical Society, Monroe, WA

Alice bought her daughter-in-law’s interest in the Monitor, and her son Keiron, who would later serve in the state legislature, joined her as editor. Newspapers often spawn confrontational episodes, but Alice did not allow herself to become embroiled. She handled the business part of the publication with equanimity. She published the newspaper until she sold it in 1943.

Descendants and friends characterize her as a kind person, always busy. Great-niece Catherine Hammond said, “I never saw her mad or cranky.” She made crazy quilts out of velvet and embroidered with silk thread. Her family treasures those quilts. She also crocheted and knitted.

Alice was a well known and beloved member of the community. Of the things she is best remembered for, donuts top the list. When the goodies appeared at the Congregational Church bazaars, they disappeared before they hit the shelves. She generously shared her confection – but not her recipe. Not even her descendants learned how to make her donuts. A gifted storyteller, Alice did, however, share her life experiences with her family and friends such as former Monroe mayor Grace Kirwan, who sums up Alice Reardon in five words: “She was a wonderful lady.”

Sources: Monroe Monitor, Interviews with Grace Kirwan and Catherine Hammond;
WLP Story Number 17 ~
© 2002 Nellie E. Robertson

Marian Harrison

She Never Let Color, Gender or Age Stop Her

By Teri Baker

Don’t try to stereotype Marian Harrison. It just won’t work. She’s a woman, she’s black and she’s a senior, but belonging to three “categories” prone to discrimination has never stopped her from making her own way in the world or, from being a positive influence in the lives of others.

Marian Norwood, the second child of Glenna and George Norwood Jr., was born in Everett in 1931. The family home was located on State Street. The Norwood family traded their home for a farm of 62 acres near Arlington on the Jordan Road. Marian was eighteen months old at the time. A second son was born while they lived on the farm. Her mother and father divorced, but her mother stayed on the farm for seven years. “At least with the farm, we could always eat,” Marian says. “We never had money, but we weren’t ever poor.”

Marian started school in Arlington, but during the war went to Marysville for fourth and fifth grade. She describes a different experience than many might expect about growing up the only black child in her grammar school class. She says, “There wasn’t much teasing, perhaps because I wasn’t as dark, but I think it was more that I grew up in an area that was mainly Norwegian, Swedish, Danish and German. They didn’t come from a prejudiced society. Also, it was the Depression and it was neighbor helping neighbor.”
She attended Catholic school for awhile, went back to Marysville High School in tenth grade, graduated in 1949 and then attended the University of Washington for a few months. She married Lyman Lewis and had a son her husband never got to see. “Before I knew it,” she explains, “I was the 19-year-old widow of the Korean War.”

Glenna Barton (Courtesy Marian Harrison)
Glenna Barton (Courtesy Marian Harrison)

A few years later she wed Van Harrison, but the couple eventually divorced, leaving Marian with a son in college and six children at home. She says her older children had less difficulty growing up black in Arlington than the younger ones. “It was at the time when all the civil rights stuff had gone on,” she says. “Boeing was laying everybody off, and they were all leaving, while people from the rest of the country started flooding the area, bringing their prejudices with them. One year’s time can make a lot of difference in a high school, but it didn’t stop my kids from doing what they want to do.”
Glenna Barton (Courtesy Marian Harrison) Much of her children’s success can be attributed to the love, determination and perseverance Marian personifies. “There are no welfare moms in this family,” Marian states. “My mother, Glenna Barton, was a college graduate. She came here from Normal, Illinois with a degree in home economics. After we kids were grown, she went to nursing school at Old Edison Tech in Seattle and became one of the first LPNs (Licensed Practical Nurses) at Veteran’s Hospital in Seattle.”
And so, Camp Fire and Cub Scout leader and PTA member Marian did what had to be done to help her children succeed. “When my son went to college, I went to college,” she says. “I got a special degree at Everett Community College and went to work at Arlington High for eight years as a teacher’s aide, then transferred into custodial because they got a man’s wage. So I worked in that for 14 years.”

It was hard, honest work and Marian did it and more. She was required to join the Public School Employees of Washington Union, and at one time or another held every chapter position there was, became zone director for all chapters in the county and sat on the statewide board of directors. Two-time recipient of the Employee of the Year award, she is a lifetime member of the union and still represents it on the state retirement advisory committee and the employee retirement benefits board.
Marian is pleased that her children are also productive citizens. “I’m so proud of them,” she says. “One went to college on his dad’s GI Bill. The others got scholarships and student loans. One child was an exchange student to Japan, another to Iran. They are all very accomplished.” Best of all, Marian says, is that they learned to know themselves, and to be themselves.
And they have much reason to be proud of the woman who says, “My children went much farther than their mother ever did.” Marian has never used her gender or color as an excuse for anything. Yes, she has encountered prejudice, but she refuses to let it make her bitter. She volunteers her time and expertise for the good of others. She works with the State Family Policy Council and is on the Snohomish County Health and Safety Network and the Snohomish County Children’s Commission. She is also on the board of Evergreen Manor, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center.
She works tirelessly on the Foster Care Review board, which she describes as “A bunch of citizens trained to look at out-of-home placements of children and make recommendations to the court for disposition.” The main focus, she says is to see if parents are following the court order and getting into court-ordered services. “We don’t let these kids languish going from foster home to foster home,” she says. “I am passionate about monitoring so kids don’t get shuffled around.”
Marian has also been politically active since attending her first Democratic caucus in 1984. She has worked on at least 30 campaigns, has been a national delegate to the Democratic Convention, was chair of the 10th District Democrats and currently chairs the 38th Legislative District Democrats. She is also a member of the League of Women Voters.

Louisa Donalson, Marian’s great grandmother (Courtesy Marian Harrison)

In addition, Marian has a well-developed interest in history, particularly her own family’s. As a child she would visit her great-grandmother Louisa Donalson’s store on the east end of Everett Ave. Mrs. Donalson had been born a slave and along with her second husband and family came to Everett from Abbeville, South Carolina before 1900. Louisa Donalson was a founding member of Everett’s Second Baptist Church. Marian’s grandfather, George Norwood worked in the woods at Granite Falls because black were not allowed to work at local mills.

She searched tax records, business directories, newspapers and family photographs and discovered her own father, George W. Norwood, Jr., served in World War One. She also learned about her family’s history as far back as the Civil War. “I hated history as a kid,” Marian says. “I didn’t care about elephants that went over the Alps. Now look at me. I’m involved in history all the time.” Louisa Donalson, Marian’s great grandmother, courtesy Marian Harrison

While working on the county’s Black History Project, she and fellow researchers discovered an old Ku Klux Klan membership form and an article about a gathering of 10,000 Klan members in Arlington. She learned about black ball players, military men, barbers and others who came to the Northwest after the demise of slavery looking for a chance to own property and make a fresh start. Her research has led her to become a member of Snohomish County Women’s Legacy Project, which seeks to recognize the contributions that women, including women of color, made, and are still making to the county.
Even with all this volunteering, Marian still finds time to enjoy her 11 grandchildren, be active in church, root for the Seattle Mariners and go to the symphony. She loves music and was a member of Everett Chorale until a car crash in 1994 broke several of her bones, including her spine, taking her five-foot-six frame to four-foot-eleven. But she hasn’t let even that become an excuse to sit back and become idle either.
How could anyone dare stereotype such a woman!

Source: Interview with Marian Harrison, February 2005
© 2005 Theresa (Teri) A. Baker All Rights Reserved; WLP Story # 16