1925

Eatonville’s Town Marshals (1909-1969)

Sheriff Jim Smith's patrol car with two-way radio (ca. 1951)
Sheriff Jim Smith's patrol car with two-way radio (ca. 1951)

With all the news about Eatonville’s police department lately, I thought it might be a good time to look back at the town’s law enforcement.

Moving through Marshals
Eatonville has had its ups and down with law enforcement since 1907, when the first town marshall was appointed — L. E. Martin. Martin’s job wasn’t glamorous. “He was not only the marshall but was instructed by the clerk or the mayor to do such things as ‘remove a bench from in front of  the liquor store, as it was a nuisance,’ and to ‘push over the out house at the Columbia Cafe, and fill in the excavation’ on a certain date if the owner didn’t make improvements.”

Marshals came and went. In the early years, they didn’t seem to stay more than a year.

“On September 7, 1925, Dollar LaPlante was marshal. He was sent to check on a shooting spree by a drunk. He came unarmed, the man pulled a gun and LaPlante was killed. The man was convicted and sent to prison.”

“In October 1939, the marshal asked that a lavatory be built in the town hall so it wouldn’t be necessary to take the prisoners out and also that a steel door be built on the jail.” Back then officers were also trying to get money for car expenses because they were using their own vehicles. They were denied.

“In 1947, a suit for false arrest was brought against the marshal. Citizens urged his dismissal. As a result the mayor resigned. The new mayor appointed a new marshal. In 1948, the marshal’s salary was set at $265 a month, and his was granted a car allowance of $40. He got of $15 raise in 1950.”

In November, 1951 a group of “interested citizens” met at the Dispatch office with the Pierce County Sheriff because they wanted a deputy sheriff and radio patrol car to be permanently located in southeastern Pierce County. There had been a number of instances of cattle rustling and other crimes in the area. After some months Deputy Sheriff Jim Simth was assigned to the new position created by the Board of County Commissioners. The town patrol car was equipped iwth a two-way radio as was the deputy’s car, for copperation of the two agencies.”

In 1967 Tony DelVicchio took the job until April 1970 when he died and Dick Carney too over as acting town marshal. By 1969 people wanted a second police officer, but he council decided it wasn’t feasible at that time.

Information taken from Timber Town and Later.

Images courtesy of the Smith family.

Click on image to enlarge.

Moving from Horse to Case Tractor (ca. 1925)

Pete Peterson harrowing with horse team in Ohop Valley
Pete Peterson harrowing with horse team in Ohop Valley

It was a big transition to move from horse to tractor. Here are pictures of Pete Peterson plowing in Ohop Valley first with his horses, and later with a 1920’s Case tractor.

My grandfather (Louie Mettler Sr. ) used to talk about having to hook the team of horses up to the tractor at times.

Tractor Wars
During 1923 a so-called Tractor war ensued, a four-way struggle between Ford, John Deere, Case, and IHC. Ford, with a massive advantage in manufacturing capacity and distribution, had the upper hand, producing an estimated 73% of all American tractors, with Case-IHC in a far away second place at 9%, and several other companies sharing the rest of the percentages. (per Wikipedia)

Pete and Ted Peterson with their Case tractor (ca. 1925)
Pete and Ted Peterson with their Case tractor (ca. 1925)

Photos courtesy of Linda Lewis.

Click on images to enlarge.

 

(LtoR) R. Norquist, Ted Peterson, and Pete Peterson posing next to tractor on Torger Peterson home in Ohop Valley
(LtoR) R. Norquist, Ted Peterson, and Pete Peterson posing next to tractor on Torger Peterson home in Ohop Valley

Eatonville Great Spot for Raising Chickens (1925)

Letter from T. C. Van Eaton's Real Estate letterhead
Letter from T. C. Van Eaton's Real Estate letterhead

This letter, presumable drafted by T.C. Van Eaton, makes the argument that Eatonville would be a wonderful spot for a poultry business. It’s definitely a draft, because you can see the scratched out words and edits. I especially like the part about “no cold to freeze wattles and combs”.

For those of you who don’t want to read the blue print, here’s what it says:

“Eatonville and vicinity is an ideal place to raise poultry on account of the climatic conditions, air currents, soil, drainage and the wonderful growth conditions existing in this favored locality. The climate is mild, no cold to freeze wattles and combs, very little snow or hail, nonviolent winds or excessive heat. Because of the splendid drainage there is little mud to contend with hence the yards and runs are dry enough for the comfort of health of the fowls.

The foothills breezes blow away practically all the fog that abounds nearer the salt water and occurs frequently higher up in the hills. The above conditions cause green and lush natural pastures for birds the year round.

Oats, wheat, rye, barley and other cereals grow well here, also kale and other green forage plants. Oats and kale are especially prolific.

Gravel and sharp sand together with shell abound in ample quantities and there is always abundance of pure water. Wild and tame meat are plentiful.

1914, Poultry Farm at Eatonville High School
1914, Poultry Farm at Eatonville High School

Eatonville is on the great paved road system of the State and also on the Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway, hence has easy excess to the markets of the world. On account of the vast lumber industry, the mining of coal and other minerals, the water power, Nitrate and Clay plants employing large numbers of men at high wage make local markets exceptionally good.

Lastly, the tourist business is a great consumer of poultry and is always willing to pay the top price.

The ease and cheapness of obtaining so many kinds of food, suitable to the birds, the especially healthy conditions which make for a long life and prime conditions for poultry, the cheapness of lumber, gravel and sand and other building materials make for particularly happy and profitable condition in the Poultry business in this region.”

Galbraith home 1925-today

Kids  being picked up at the Galbraith home
Kids being picked up at the Galbraith home

Recognize this home? It’s known by some as the Galbraith home and is still there today — near the Millpond Park. The home was built for John H. Galbraith in 1925 and was added to the National Register in 1982.

Mill President & Mayor
The Galbraith name was well known in Eatonville, especially in the early part of the 1900s.  T. S. Galbraith was one of the owners of the Eatonville mill. And in 1922 you would have referred to J. H. Galbraith as Mayor.

T. S. Galbraith operated a saw mill and shingle mill in Tacoma, before it burned down. Around 1913, after operating the Eatonville mill for two years, he and E. J. McNeeley bought a controlling interest in the company and reorganized with E.  J. McNeeley as president, T. S. Galbraith as VP and mangaer, S. L. Barnes as secretary and J. H. Glabraith, treasure.

Galbraith House
Galbraith House

In 1925 E. J. McNeeley sold his stock to T. S. Glabraith and in 1930 T.S. sold his stock to John H. Glabraith who then became president. It wasn’t until 1941 when J. H. Galbraith sold his interest in the mill. He moved to Gig Harbor. (History of Southeastern Pierce County.)

Photo courtesy of the Tacoma Public Library archives.

Click on image to enlarge.

Torger Peterson’s Original Ohop maps

Torger Peterson's original 1885 map of the Washington Territories
Torger Peterson's original 1885 map of the Washington Territories

For those of you who need a quick Torger Peterson 101, he was the man who first settled in Ohop Valley. He wrote a small story about the account in this post.

I got a chance to talk to his great granddaughter this week, Linda Lewis. Along the many pictures and documents he had, this map was hanging on her wall.

Pictured is the 1885 Washington Territory map Torger used to settle in Ohop. You can see his drawings on the map, including a little square around Ohop — or where Ohop will one day be.

Here are his words in 1925 — a little over 35 years after he made his way to Ohop.

“I found the Valley in the summer of 1887 and moved my family out there in April, 1888. At that time it was one of the worst wilderness that it was possible to find, and after we had gotten out some logs and brush so that a wagon could travel, it took us three days to go from Tacoma to my home in the Ohop Valley.

You can see a little square (center left) where Torger has marked the future Ohop Valley
You can see a little square (upper center left) where Torger has marked the future Ohop Valley

“I remember friends of ours told my wife that I had gone crazy and for her not to go out there, after a while I would get tired and come back. My wife however said she had never found me crazy and laughed at our friends and said she would stay by me.

“After we had cleared up some land, the main thing was to get a road, and the County helped us in this way; for every day we worked gratis, they would give us $2.00 a day for the following day, and this is the way the first road was built into the Ohop Valley and beyond.”

Photos courtesy of Linda Lewis.

Click to enlarge.

 

 

 

 

 

1885 map of the Washington Territory — Washington wouldn't become a state until 1889
1885 map of the Washington Territory — Washington wouldn't become a state until 1889