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William Whitfield

Bickford Ford
Published:06/17/2008 History
William Whitfield    Print Snohomish Times    
Snohomish VIC Looking at Ave D and First
Snohomish River and Historic First Street

William Whitfield was born in Bethnel Green, London, England, on September 1, 1846. He left school at the age of 12 and entered the coastal shipping service under apprenticeship to his uncle. ON June 22, 1864, he shipped on the barque Knight Bruce sailing for Victoria, British Columbia.

He deserted his ship in northwest waters on January 9, 1865, and rowed a boat across the Straits of Juan de Fuca to Pot Angeles. He worked at Dungeness and Tulalip and in other logging camps until 1869.

In 1872 he married Alvina Geue and continued in the logging business until 1875 when, after farming for a time, he entered into public service. For 16 years he served as a county official, as county commissioner and as sheriff. At the end of those terms he entered business with Samuel Vestal. In 1892 he was appointed to assist with a state land survey and again from 1909 to 1912. From 1917 to 1920 he was county assessor. Mrs. Whitfield died in 1919.

In his later years Mr. Whitfield wrote a "History of Snohomish County" in two volumes. These history books were published in 1926 and have been, through the years since, a valuable reference work for the student of the countys past. This two-volume set of books has been of great assistance in the compilation of the synopsis of the history of Snohomish as contained in this commemorative booklet.

William Whitfield died on March 10, 1939, but will long be remembered in this area for his many contributions to his town, his county, his community, and his state. Two daughters of the Whitfields survive them, Mrs. Minnie Nickerman of this city and Mrs. Susie Nerdum of Seattle.




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