Genweb kittitas early death records

That, coupled with cultural differences such as plowing the ground , which was seen as desecrating the spirit of the earth, led to confrontation between Native Americans and white settlers. Among the earliest records of Native American interaction with frontiersmen in the Kittitas Valley took place in , the summer of the Yakima War , when a large contingency of Wanapum from Priest Rapids camped at the head of Taneum Canyon very close to where the town of Thorp is now located.

They were led by Smohalla , [19] [20] the legendary dreamer-prophet associated with the Washani or "Dreamer Movement" among the native peoples of the Pacific Northwest. Smohalla claimed that visions came to him through dreams , and he preached a return to the original way of life before white influences which included ritual music and dancing.

Rumors floated that Smohalla was preparing for battle. An exchange took place in which Rev. George W. Kennedy, a frontier Methodist preacher , traveled to the location of the camp in an attempt to make peace as he had become alarmed that such a large assembly meant hostility. By all accounts, Smohalla was not easily intimidated. Stolid as a statue ," Kennedy said of meeting him. The preacher exhorted, "God had made us all brothers and not enemies" and "the Great Father want[s] us all to live together in peace on earth. If that is true , Smohalla demanded, "Why has the white man taken our lands from us?

Has the white man any rights here in [the] Kittitas that the Indian has any right to respect? The Indian came first. It was, Kennedy conceded, "an unanswerable speech And I promised utmost friendship on the part of the white brothers.

We gave them our hand shake and pronounced benediction of God on them, and Chief Smohalla agreed to accept that as the Pipe of Peace. Until the mids, the Kittitas Valley saw little encroachment by pioneer settlers. But in , the first immigrant wagon trains passed through the area led by David Longmore.

During that same year, George B. McClellan conducted a survey of the valley on behalf of the Northern Pacific Railroad , and two years later Charles Splawn briefly passed through the area. Andrew Jackson Splawn, who traversed the valley in on his way to the nearby mines with his cattle, wrote of his experience:. This valley, as it looked that day to me, a boy of 16, was the lovliest [ sic ] spot I had ever seen.

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To the west stood the great Cascade range; to the north rose the snow-capped peaks of the Peshastin to guard the beautiful valley below where the Yakima River wound its way full-length, while from the mountains on the north flowed numerous small streams and the whole plain was covered with a thick coat of grass. Fielden Mortimer F. Thorp is recognized as the first white settler in the Yakima Valley , prior to his subsequent move to the pleasant surroundings of the present-day town of Thorp. Rudimentary county government was formed in Yakima County in , and business was transacted at the home of F.

Thorp near Moxee until another suitable location could be found. Settlers began to trickle into the Kittitas Valley with the opening of the Snoqualmie Wagon Road in , which approximated the modern-day route of Interstate 90 past Thorp, from Seattle to Ellensburg.

In , they became the first permanent white settlers in the Kittitas Valley, building the Thorp and Splawn homesteads at the head of Taneum Canyon on the banks of Taneum Creek. Shortly thereafter, the F. Thorp and Charles Splawn families were joined by their friend Walter J. Reed, the second settler in the Kittitas Valley, who later established the community of Cle Elum.

Thorp in Thorp families. Later in life he married Emma's sister Lucy Pahofta.

Thorp, Washington

Antoine helped Thorp and Splawn tend their cattle. Williams and his wife were traveling through the area and became lost. They were directed by an Indian to follow the Tamarack Trail, since it was the closest route to a settlement. In hurrying to their destination, the woman's horse stumbled over a log and fell. A letter written by Charles Splawn explains the tragic events:. The horse Mrs. Williams was riding fell while jumping a log.

The child was born prematurely and the mother and baby died. Williams buried his wife and child as best he could. And rode down into the valley. He afterwards came back to remove the bodies. Thorp, Splawn and Rego advised him not to. They told him she was a pioneer's daughter and a pioneer's wife and she should rest in a pioneer grave. Years later, according to the late Mrs.

Bruton of Thorp, a marker was placed over the grave by Matt Pointer, who rode the area with his cattle, to mark it as a white woman's grave so it would not be vandalized. Eventually, a fence was built around it and rocks placed over it to protect it from livestock. After the death of his wife, Williams went to the Puget Sound area and operated a ferry at Nisqually River and eventually moved to California where his brother owned a stage line.

The Thorp-Splawn Pioneer Cemetery is located about a mile southwest of the town of Thorp on the north side of Interstate 90 in a field that is visible from the freeway.

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There are two Splawn and two Thorp graves, plus twelve unmarked graves. Ten of the twelve are descendants of F. Thorp, and two are unidentified. However, putting the markers over the right graves was impossible due to years of decay and it is uncertain whether the markers correctly correspond with the individuals buried there. Other early settlers in the Thorp area were Herman Page, J.

Stevens, W. Killmore, A.

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Goodwin was later appointed the first sheriff of Kittitas County upon the first meeting of the county commissioners in Ellensburg on December 17, In the s, the area that would become Thorp was known as Pleasant Grove and was part of Yakima County. Vaughn, and the Taneum post office was discontinued the following year on April 7 due to an unnecessary overlap in service.

By the early s, farming was beginning to take hold in the area around Thorp, and the open range began to shrink. In , the Pleasant Grove post office was moved close to where the small commercial center was beginning to form with the establishment of a sawmill and, three years later, a gristmill. The new settlement hoped for the eventual establishment of a railway depot as the Northern Pacific Railroad had made its intentions clear that it would soon come through the valley close to where the village was located.

In , James L. Mills traversed the trail over the Cascade Mountains from Puget Sound by foot, and saw great possibilities in the Kittitas Valley. Not content with the sawmill, Mills devised a way for the same wheels to power the North Star Mill, a gristmill that Oren Hutchinson had built at the town of Thorp in , to provide feed for livestock and flour for the local residents. The Pleasant Grove post office was moved in to a site near the mills and changed its name to Milton post office to reflect the name of the small settlement that had sprung up at that location, which was named for Milton Young.

Mills, who named it "Oren" after Oren Hutchinson.

Kittitas County, Washington Records

In , the name of the post office was changed to "Thorp" to conform with the name used for the settlement by the Northern Pacific Railroad, and, in , the post office was moved just down the road to the location of the depot that was built there and the town site that had been platted around it.

It was the system of water delivery that made the mills at Thorp possible, and the farming lands around Thorp are the oldest irrigated section in Kittitas County. To a great extent, the town of Thorp owes its existence to the arrival of the Northern Pacific Railroad. While some of the initial settlement was undoubtedly influenced by the convergence of wagon trails which would eventually cross Snoqualmie Pass, it was the location of the Cascade spur that ultimately determined the location of the town.

Thorp and his family. Chinese laborers or " coolies " were brought in first to build the Northern Pacific spur, and again to extend the Milwaukee Road through the Kittitas Valley. A Northern Pacific section house was located at Thorp where men of the regular crew boarded, while Chinese laborers and other members of the work gang had their own sleeping cars. In , with the extension of the main line to the site of the current town, the railroad station was moved and the town was laid out.

The current town site was settled by the Newman family in On July 9, , a three-block town site was platted around the site of the Northern Pacific depot by John M. Thorp, a son of F. Thorp, [40] added Thorp's Addition, incorporating into the town site the land he had purchased in from James McMurray. The first store in Thorp was opened by J. Veach in about The first hotel was the Thorp House, established by A. John in The hotel was superseded by the Tanum House [ sic ] in , which was built and operated by J. It is quiet, no saloons to mar the pleasure of the inhabitants, has a good church, a good public school building, a sawmill and a good flouring mill, both of which are operated by water power, a manufacturing establishment--land roller and box factory, and in fact you can get about all the accommodations in Thorp you can get in many towns of much larger population.

We are glad Thorp is in Kittitas County. In , the energy from the water wheel at the North Star Mill was utilized to power a steam generator having a horsepower dynamo , which furnished electricity for laundering clothes two mornings each week, and for lighting homes for a few hours each evening. This gave Thorp the distinction of being among the first towns in Washington to have electricity, and the smallest unincorporated town in the Northwest to have electric lights. The addition of a Milwaukee Road depot in meant that Thorp was the first rail stop where the Chicago, Milwaukee, St.

The pay office of employees and the commissary were also located at Thorp. The U. Postal Service carried mail to and from Thorp by railroad cars of the Northern Pacific. Rather than stopping and losing precious time, RPO railway post office cars featured a large hook that would catch the mailbag in its crook on the way past the station. Through the first few decades of the 20th century, the town's economy remained steady with the population reaching its peak at around people. Brain wrote of the flourishing town of Thorp, as it was poised to enter into its boomtown era, in The Coast magazine:.

The business interests are represented by two general stores, a fine hotel, drug store, restaurant, livery, meat market, blacksmith shop, saw mill, flouring mill, numerous fruit packers and shippers and other pursuits [ Thorp is bound to grow and with its enterprising and progressive residents a magnificent town is assured--a town of wealth and importance for Kittitas County.

Then in the late s and s, Thorp experienced a remarkable economic boost despite the Great Depression that had descended upon the nation.