The Pacific Northwest Forum
Volume 9, Number 1, Pages 3-15
Winter, 1984

Early Days in Waterville with I.W. Matthews

by Rita Seedorf

Rita Seedorf took an MA in History at EWU and now teaches at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, Washington. (1984)

I.W. Matthews had not planned to settle in Waterville, Washington when he left Broken Bow, Nebraska in 1890, but a tornado and strongminded town promoter convinced him to settle there. When Irving Weber Matthews and Arabella Carpenter were married in 1876, they intended to make Broken Bow their home.(1) Arabella, known as "Bell" to her friends, was raised in the state of New York and had had no experience with tornadoes until she came to Nebraska. As soon as she became acquainted with the storms, she developed a deadly fear of them.(2) Her husband's work kept him away from home for long stretches of time and the two large dogs which comforted her in his absence provided her no protection from tornadoes. When a farmhouse near her home was struck by a tornado, Mrs. Matthews made the decision that the family was moving west immediately. Her husband, Irving, who was called "I.W.," worked for the railroad as an engineer and surveyor.(3) A delightful letter written to the couple on their first wedding anniversary in 1877 from Clara, I.W.'s sister, explains the situation.

I suppose you do 'live in peace and harmony' for I don't see how it could be otherwise with Irving away from home seven days out of six; (sic) not that I would intimate that he is particularly quarrelsome, however.'

At the time of the move, the Matthews family consisted of the husband and wife, a son nearly three years old and six-month old daughter. Mr. Matthews was well-equipped to find employment in a new location. He was a civil engineer and also had been a salesman for the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York.(5)

Shortly before leaving Nebraska, I. W. went to the local abstractor in Broken Bow and took a short course in land abstracting as an "ace in the hole."(6) When he came west he had among his papers a letter from the Department of the Interior to the County Surveyor of Custer County, Nebraska describing how to establish the center lines of a section.(7) When the family left Nebraska. I.W. had two destinations in mind - both in the newly created state of Washington. He thought of going to the Okanogan Country which was an active mining center at that time and might need his engineering services; and he also thought of going into farming in the fertile Chelan country.(8)

Mr. and Mrs. Matthews, their two children, two dogs and Mrs. Matthews' pet canary all boarded the Northern Pacific Railroad and rode it as far as Spokane.(9) At Spokane, which was rapidly re-building from the previous year's fire, the family changed to the Central Washington Railway, taking it to the end of the tracks at Almira, There they boarded a stagecoach. Twenty-five miles later at Coulee City the three-year old Matthews boy, known as Gale, formed his only memory of the entire journey. The two family dogs had travelled by freight car as far as Almira, but when the family transferred to the stagecoach the dogs were not allowed inside and were forced to run beside the coach. After the twenty-five mile run to Coulee City, the animals were much too tired and footsore to continue and Gale remembered riding off from Coulee City and looking back with tears in his eyes at the pets left behind. Three days later the boy and his dogs were happily reunited when the dogs rode into Waterville perched on top of the freight wagon.(10)

Neither I.W. Matthews nor his wife recorded their impression of the roads leading into Waterville, but a contemporary traveller in the spring of 1890 wrote: "The roads through the Big Bend Country were new and very bad in places...the wind and dust about Waterville were terrible."(11) The previous spring, however, an agent at the general land department had written of Waterville as a second Spokane Falls. He stated that in his travels all over Washington he had never seen a better location for a city, excluding "Spokane Falls, of course."(12)

When the stagecoach bearing the Matthews family made its scheduled stop in WaterviIle, Washington, on April 4, 1890, I.W. Matthews made the acquaintance of town promotor and "boss," A.L. Rogers - a meeting that was to affect the rest of his life. The two men had much in common: they were nearly the same age, were lifelong Republicans and both were trained in civil engineering and had railroading experience.(13) Rogers had married in 1887 and formed the Waterville mercantile establishment known as Rogers & Howe with his brother-in-law in the spring of 1888.(14) By June of that same year the firm had begun advertising itself as the largest merchant in the Big Bend.(15) Rogers, believed by some of the locals to have made considerable money in the railroads back east,(16) was always an innovative and energetic town promoter. One example of his ingenuity occurred the winter before Matthews had arrived in WaterviIle, which was known as the hard winter of 1889-90. It was a devastating year for cattlemen in the Big Bend. Accustomed to milder winters, the ranchers in the area had not stored up feed for their livestock.

When the deep and lasting snowfall came there was little they could do but listen to the moans of their starving cattle. The farmers saved a few animals by feeding them with seed grain and, therefore, had neither seed nor money when spring came. A.L. Rogers drew up a note for the farmers to sign and went one hundred miles by snowshoe to the town of Davenport where he secured $2,000 for the purchase of seed.(17)

A description of Mr. Rogers was written by Arthur Burks, who had met him while on a walk in downtown Waterville.

He was dynamic . Every time he said anything, whether a statement or a question, he would end it by saying. "huhn? huhn?" like a grunt and coming right after his previous words. as much as to say, "WelL l"ve finished speaking, what's the answer?" His manner fascinated you and that, of course. made you answer even more slowly than before.
A.L. Rogers laughed roughly. He wasn't mean or small, just a business man, high pressure for his time, and determined on whatever he wanted.(18)

Waterville had been created and named to wrest the title of county seat from the nearby town of Okanogan. In fact, Okanogan was the only town in Douglas County when it was formed by the territorial legislature in 1883. It began to grow slowly but did not become a viable town because it had no water. Several wells were drilled as deep as 285 feet but all were dry,(19) Six miles west of this dry town a Mr. A. T. Greene lived in a log cabin with a fine well of water. Greene's childhood fantasy was to either become a writer or to found a city. Seeing this opportunity to fulfill his dream, he platted his town and named it Waterville to call attention to his good well. Waterville eventually won the election as county seat (after approximately half of the votes had been disqualifed for a variety of reasons.) The few buildings which had made up the town of Okanogan became farm buildings and the town disappeared.(20)

By December of 1889 a Waterville paper boasted that the town had a handsome courthouse, a $6,000 schoolhouse, a beautiful townsite, a fine brass band, several religious organizations and the assurance of two railroads.(21) The Big Bend Empire, a paper never to be accused of being overly modest, predicted that by 1890 the town would have two banks, a waterworks, electric lights, a daily newspaper, double its present population, and two railroads.(22)

Although 1890 and 1891 were prosperous times for Waterville, these predictions did not all prove true. Two banks were built by 1890, the First National Bank and the Douglas County Bank and the Waterville Waterworks and electric lights were a reality by 1892.(23) To the present time, there has never been a daily paper in the town, but for a short time, in 1891 three weeklies competed for the town's attention.(24)

The U.S. Census of 1890 reported Waterville's population at 293 and the Big Bend Empire constantly reported a growth of the town. In 1894 it reported 503 residents and predicted Waterville would double during the coming year.(25) In 1900 the newspaper reported the population of Waterville at 700 even though U.S. Census of that year documented 482 residents.(26)

Shortly after the Matthews family settled in Waterville, bids were advertised for the finest school building between Spokane Falls and Puget Sound.(27) The first religious service was held in a private home near Waterville by Richard Corbaley in 1884(28) and in 1889 Reverend Williams came to Waterville to hold service. He could find no appropriate place until josh Clarey offered his saloon. Some alterations were quickly made: a curtain was placed over the bar, the floor was covered with sawdust and benches were improvised from barrels and other odd pieces. The room was filled to capacity for the service and after the sermon one of the boys passed his hat which was filled with all types of coins except nickels which were looked down upon by the frontiersmen as a medium of the effete east.(29) From this inauspicious beginning, religion blossomed in the new town until eventually nearly all denominations were represented including Baptist, Christian, Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Catholic, and the Church of Christ.(30)

Moral concern expressed itself early in the town's history when Elder Richard Corbaley presented a petition to the town council signed by others, including A.I. Rogers, "to remove the house of prostitution outside city limits."(31) Apparently the councilmen were not willing to vote on this action because, after a week's postponement, it was tabled indefinitely.(32)

The Waterville that the Matthews family came to was, in short, a small town with grandiose ambitions. So many additions were platted for the future growth of the town that a story was told about a man who appeared on the streets of Spokane one day and, when asked why he had come, said that he had to make the trip to one of the newly platted additions to Waterville and "being so close thought I would drop in to see you."(33)

The burning optimism of the town and its patron A.L. Rogers convinced I.W. Matthews to stay awhile. After he bought groceries and supplies and paid one month's rent on a house, he had only one $5 gold piece as the capital with which to start his business.(34)

Almost immediately upon settling in Waterville, I.W. Matthews made his presence felt. The rules adopted by the town council on June 11, 1890 were, coincidently or otherwise, the ordinances of I.W.'s town of Broken Bow, Nebraska;(35) and on July 7 a motion was made to interview Mr. Matthews in regard to making a grade for sidewalks.(36) The council consulted him in engineering and surveying work five times during 1890 and 1891, his first two years in the town.(37) He apparently made early friends in the town council, because by April 13, 1891, he was awarded the contract to establish grades in Waterville even though he was not the low bidder.(38) During the remainder of 1891, he was paid an additional $60 for surveying the streets and other city engineering chores.(39) He also served as one of the clerks for the elections of November 1890 and 1891 for which he received $3.(40)

In August of 1890 Matthews, with a partner J.J, Brown, founded the Douglas County Abstract Company. They ran a small ad in the Big Bend Empire advising people to "Do business where business is done" with the assurance "we will do you good."(41) The partnership was short lived and on October 30, 1890, the above ad was changed to read "I will do you good" and listed only I. W. Matthews as manager.(42) Besides continuing to work for the city during 1891, Matthews prepared a column for the newspaper which revealed the transfers recorded in the auditor's office the previous week which he entitled "Deals in Dirt." Later the column was written by the land office itself and given the more dignified if less picturesque title, "At the Land Office."(43)

Between October of 1890 and June of 1891, Matthews functioned without a partner and perhaps would have been better off if he had stayed that way. On the latter date, he took in F.R. Loucks as a partner in the real estate and insurance business. Loucks had come to Waterville from Coulee City. A dreamer who went to the Okanogan for his health, he came back and reported that while there he had discovered countless treasue in ore.(44) In June 1891 the firm of Matthews & Loucks sponsored and held exclusive rights to sell lots in Columbia Park, one of the many additions to Waterville.(45) They published a promotional booklet entitled Big Bend and Waterville which was typeset and bound by sewing machine.(46) As a partnership, they bought 2,000 shares of the Cabinet Mountain Mining Co. of Clarke's Fork, Idaho; the total capital of the mining venture was 500,000 shares at $5 each.(47) By far the biggest investment of Matthews and Loucks, however, was the Port Columbia undertaking.

LW. Matthews carried in his papers a newspaper clipping from the St. Paul Globe which said there must be a central city in the North Central area of Washington and mentioned four places as the most talked of. These towns were: Waterville, Wenatchee, Chelan, and the mouth of the Okanogan River.(48) Matthews and Loucks chose to bet on the mouth of the Okanogan and established a town there. Along with H.W. Bonne and Walter Gerson of Spokane, they formed the Port Columbia Townsite and Land Company and purchased 400 acres of land on the banks of the Columbia approximately forty miles from Waterville.(49) Stock certificates were printed and the capital stock was set at $25,000 divided into 250 shares at $100 each. Stock certificates numbers 29 and 30 were sold to Matthews for a total of 37 1/2 shares.(50) The town was platted on July 24, 1891 and two additions were laid out the following December.(51)

From the vantage point of the investors, their venture could not fail. Port Columbia was located at the confluence of the Columbia and Okanogan Rivers and the inexhaustible riches from the mines in the Okanogan as well as the foodstuffs from the Chelan, Colville, and Methow countries were certain to come to the newly platted city to be shipped to the rest of the world, They considered their location the most favorable of any in Central Washington for the location of a smelter and reduction works. They envisioned logs coming from the north to be sawed by the mill in Port Columbia and shipped down the Columbia or by rail to all points. The railroads would naturally pass through Port Columbia, they reasoned, because it was nearly in a direct line between Spokane Falls and the Skagit Pass through the Cascade Mountains.(52) In an advertisement which ran from September through December of 1891, Matthews & Loucks invited people to:
Make a small investment now with Mathews & Loucks and reap a rich reward in the near future. Profit by the chance you have had and lost in the past for making money by small investments and do not let this opportunity slip."

The company reported that they had reserved eight blocks for a railroad at the request of railway officals and also that construction was to begin soon on a blacksmith shop, two business houses and a colonial style hotel with steel roof and ornamental siding. Building stone could be had for the hauling from a site directly south of the townsite and the land near the river was subirrigated and was the most fertile in the area. The four partners put $8,000 into the venture.(54) The steamboat landing at Port Columbia was used for a short time by the steamer "City of Ellensburgh" as the northernmost point on its line.

For all the promise the townsite showed, it was never to prosper. In order to profit from the trade of the Okanogan and Chelan countries, Port Columbia would have had to be on the north side of the river. It's location on the south bank meant that goods shipped from the north would have to be ferried across the river before boarding the steamer.(55) Brewster had a better boat landing and was located on the north bank of the Columbia; and it soon eclipsed Port Columbia becoming the steamer port and later the site for the railroad.

The famous western writer, Owen Wister, described the town when he rode through on his way to Okanogan in 1892.
Port Columbia is like Bridgeport, a store, a hotel, some sheds, and all else invisible except on maps. At the wooden edifice, post office, stage office and hotel, passengers pass the night, taking a tea or breakfast which are not attractive."(56)

The partnership of Matthews and Loucks was broken and the name of the firm was changed to Matthews and Company. F.R. Loucks moved to Bridgeport and lost his property in Waterville at a tax sale for back taxes of $2.39. He was later reported living nearby in Buckingham.(57) I.W. Matthews, now with a third child to support, remained in Waterville running an ad for Port Columbia properties during the remainder of 1892.(58)

In the early 1890s the United States plunged into one of the worst depressions it had ever experienced.(59) Idaho wheat which had sold for 82 cents in January 1892 brought only 36 cents in September. Potatoes sold for less than two cents a pound and eggs for 20 cents a dozen.(60) The Panic of 1893 affected the State of Washington, the Town of Waterville, and I. W. Matthews as it did the rest of the nation. Washington was a young state and, therefore, a heavy borrower. Her condition was aggravated by fires in Seattle, Spokane, and Ellensburg in 1889 which had caused millions of dollars to be lost.(61) In Waterville, one of the first indications of the impending hard times was a report filed by the U.S. Land Office for the quarter ending September 30, 1893. During that time the lowest volume of business ever recorded in that office was reported.(62) I.W. Matthews, who had borrowed heavily during the Port Columbia venture, owed at least $820 personally and held $1,050 in notes signed by him and Loucks together.(63) Times looked bleak, especially to Elder Richard Corbaley, who gave a Sunday sermon on the 'Signs of the Times' at the Christian Church on September 31, 1893. He considered the depression to be one of the most disturbing questions of that time in "the civilized world."(64)

In an attempt to curb the ebb-tide of the economy, the Big Bend Empire began an unabashed promotion campaign for the town. They touted WatervilIe as the trading center of the Big Bend Country, gave a general description of the town and mentioned every legitimate business establishment and its proprietor by name. They described I.W. Matthews as the popular insurance and real estate agent in town. They also devoted an entire front page to enticing homesteaders to come out and accept Uncle Sam's invitation to take up a farm in the future grainery of the State of Washington. Ads urged people to take advantage of the hard time prices and buy while things are cheap.(65) The economic problems were made worse by unusually deep snows and drifts of the winter which made team travel impossible. Men were forced in many cases to use skis and small sleds to haul feed to their stock. There was a sixteen day blizzard with cold so intense that ice formed on the jaws of unsheltered cattle and had to be broken away to allow them to eat.(66)

In January of 1894, the financial report of the town brought further bad news. Even though the town records were scanty with only receipts and minutes kept, it became obvious that the town was $4,275.17 in debt. The Electric Light and Waterworks had also operated at a loss of $2,002.02. As an economy measure the arc lights were shut off and the local newspaper voiced concern that the townspeople, seeing the budget, would want the electricity and water turned off. Crimes began to occur accompanying the recession. A number of articles of clothing began disappearing from clotheslines and a man masquerading as a salesman for the Ladies Home Journal swindled $2 from each of twenty-five ladies who later described him as a smooth and pleasant talker.

New townships were opened up for homesteading southeast of Waterville in November of 1894, but there were few takers because it was almost impossible to get sufficient money to make a homestead filing. The economic news was so depressing that the newspaper asked on November 29, 1894: "How long, oh Lord, how long is this painful absense of all appearance of life and activity to continue?"(67) Despite the hard times, the Douglas County Bank in Waterville was one of only two banking institutions between Yakima and the Canadian line to weather the financial turmoil of the 1890s.(68)

I.W. Matthews had borrowed some of his money from his father, Caleb W. Matthews, who was by then a retired minister living in Bay Center, Washington. On February 28, 1884 he wrote and enclosed $10 for his son which he was able to spare only because he had received a legacy from the estate of a relative. He offered this advice for his son: "I hope times are soon going to be better. Trust in the Lord and do good and thou shalt dwell in the Lord and Verily thou shalt be fed."(69)

In April of 1894 I. W. Matthews was elected Justice of the Peace. While he held this office he performed marriages and heard cases, some of which were insolvency hearings.(70) In January of 1895, he was appointed Deputy Auditor of Douglas County and, while working in this capacity, he completed new maps of the county showing the schools and road districts to replace a "miserable, inaccurate, thumbed-out grayed, unintelligible, rough draft"(71) that had been doing service up to that time. The newspaper called the new maps a credit to his "draughtmanship."

The economic troubles of the Big Bend Country continued. There was no Fourth of July celebration in Waterville in 1895 because merchants such as Matthews could not afford to sponsor the activities.(71) This blow to the people's morale was joined by rumors in October that the Land Office might be moved to Wenatchee as an economy measure. This was very upsetting to the townspeople who had been proudly advertising Waterville as the center of the Big Bend since 1888.

Isolation had always been one of Waterville's chief concerns and Matthews joined many others in laboring to connect the town with other parts of the State of Washington. In 1891 a four-horse passenger and mail stage began to run between Waterville and Wenatchee, a service which continued for only two years.(74) Getting the mail was a chief problem for the citizens of Waterville. There were reports of the mail being held up by politics, unfulfilled contracts, strikes on the railroad, high water washing out the stagecoach trails, and high winds and treacherous waters preventing the ferries from crossing the river.(75)

Even the local papers could not deny that Waterville's location was isolated. In the early years, it cost $60 per ton to get anything hauled in from the railroad at Spokane Falls, Ritzville, or Ellensburg. Spokane was 150 miles away by freight road, Ritzville was ninety-five and Ellensburg seventy-five via the Collockum Pass.(76) The Columbia River was nine miles west of the town and daily stages ran to the steamboat landing on the Columbia at Orondo and to Coulee City, fortyfive miles to the east and the terminus of the Central Washington Railway.(77) The settlers of the area listened eagerly to every rumor about railroads and navigation of the Columbia.

Situated on a plateau some 1800 feet above the Columbia River, Waterville's elevation accentuated its transportation problems. Building a road to connect the two points and keeping that road in good repair was a constant challenge. The first road connecting the river and the plateau followed Corbaley Canyon, a snakelike ravine which wound up from the river.(78) Nearly every spring it was badly in need of repair and in April of 1894 it was reportedly so bad that a pedestrian could barely get through. It was the only outlet used extensively to get to the Great Northern Railroad and so its condition was of extreme importance to the town and the farmers.(79)

Roads were important, but it is the railroad that dominated the minds of the Waterville town leaders. Nearly every issue of the Big Bend Empire from 1888 through 1908 made some mention of its hoped-for arrival. On October 25, 1888 the newspaper published the mortgage of the Central Washington Railroad which stated that the railway was to run from Cheney to the middle crossing of the Grand Coulee (which became Coulee City) and then west and south-west to a point on the Columbia River near the mouth of the Wenatchee River. The local conclusion was that this route could not possibly bypass Waterville. In addition, it was understood that the Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway was locating stakes within a few rods of the town.(80) In 1891 the railroad was promised by 1892 and the Great Northern was reported preparing a line. In 1894 the paper wrote: "We honestly believe that the long hoped for railroad is about to materialize.(81) As late as 1906, daily rumors were reaching the town and people were sure that the railroad was bound to arrive.(82)

Waterville citizens did more than merely wait and pray for the tracks to be laid. Early on they attempted to take action themselves. I.W. Matthews was involved in several of these these ventures himself. Meeting at his office in 1894, the Waterville Board of Trade began to formulate plans to secure a standard gauge railroad to Waterville from some point on the Northern Pacific. On Saturday, March 17, 1884 an enthusiastic meeting was held at the courthouse where $8,260 and 6,000 bushels of wheat were subscribed as well as a number of land donations. Matthews and others were appointed precinct committeemen for the railroad committee, their job being to find out what the people in the area were willing to give to see the railroad come. Immediate action was not taken, however, and in January of 1896 a committee which included Matthews was again named by the Douglas County Board of Trade to press the claims of Western Big Bend Country for the extension of the Central Washington to Waterville.(83) In 1903 the arrival of the railroad was again "almost certain" as I.W. hosted another meeting at his office. The plan of these promoters was to build an electric railroad from Orondo, along the banks of the Columbia, to Waterville.(84) Two men, a Mr. Atkinson and a Mr. Frater, were finally found who expressed a willingness to finance the railway. However, Mr. Matthews had the unhappy task of informing a newspaper reporter on February 12 that it may be some time before they would arrive in Waterville because Mr. Atkinson was very busy at Olympia and Frater had recently received a stroke of paralysis.(85)

Later, a branch of the Great Northern was extended from the mouth of Moses Coulee to the wheat country of Douglas County, reaching the towns of Douglas and Mansfield in 1909.(86) Having been bypassed once again, individual citizens of Waterville buying $1 shares, financed their own spur line which ran the last four and one-half miles from Waterville to Douglas, $80,000 in capital stock was raised in this manner and the railroad operated from 1910 until 1948 when it was washed out by flood waters and was never replaced.(87) I.W. Matthews did not live to see the train come in to Waterville, but his son Gale held rod for the surveying of the line(88) and his wife invested in 504 shares of the Waterville Railroad Stock.(89)

The businessmen of Waterville had not concentrated all of their energies on seducing the railroads. When the hard times came they began immediately working on plans to boost their economic situation. Demands of the services of I. W. Matthews had grown as men such as A.L. Rogers began to diversify their interests. Rogers, Howe and others had begun the 1,000 acre Entiat Development Company consisting of irrigated fruit land on the west side of the Columbia. Matthews had surveyed and established grades on this land in November of 1894. During the same month, I.W. platted and made blueprints of the Bridgeport fruit lands for Charles Boynton and A.E. Case.(90) He also had worked through 1897 on surveying jobs for other Waterville citizens who were buying irrigated land in the Entiat Valley and along the Columbia River. It was this increase in his business which had influenced him to resign as deputy auditor on February 1, 1896.(91)

On January 30, 1897 Matthews had been nominated to be president of the permanent Douglas County Industrial and Fair Association. He positively declined the nomination. A.L. Rogers, not being present, was unanimously elected to be treasurer. The first Douglas County Fair had been held on October 3, 1895 to boost the sagging economy of the area.(91) The crops that year were better than had been predicted and everyone looked forward to that fair with great expectation. Arthur Burks remembered that first fair and wrote:

Waterville was out to show Wenatchee. Chelan, even Seattle and Spokane, what it could do. Perhaps if enough notice were attracted, the Great Northern Railway would see fit to include Waterville in its right of way.(93)

In another undertaking, planned to end the hard times quickly, Waterville had hosted the County Immigration Convention held on February 14, 1896. Over two hundred people had attended to hear speeches on diversified farming, stock raising, horticulture, dairying, milling, and fruit growing.(94)

In the first decade of the new century, many would-be homesteaders took advantage of the special tours at low rates being offered by the Great Northern Railroad. For reasons of its own, it wanted to attract homesteaders to the railroad land selling at $2 per acre as well as what free land was left to homestead. In the spring of 1900 I.W. Matthews began going to Wenatchee to meet immigrant trains and bring the travellers to Waterville to claim their land at the land office. The Big Bend Empire thought it such a good idea that it suggested having a permanent agent in Wenatchee to look after the immigrants.(96)

As the economy of the Big Bend took an upswing in 1902, the increased number of titles filed each month made it necessary for Matthews to restrict his activities to those of an abstractor. As a result, he moved into a large office room in the bank building.

In 1906 Matthews was one of the abstractors in the state who were instrumental in beginning the Washington Land Title Association. Though never an officer of this organization, both his son and grandson later served as president.(97) In 1907, I.W. addressed the state convention of the association and urged the members to diversify their activities and to get out of their musty land record offices into the fresh air. His speech was recalled in a history published in the organization's golden anniversary newsletter in 1956. The historian for the association noted that Matthews must have disregarded his own advise since the following year found him listed among the deceased.(98) Actually, Matthews was out of the office on a surveying job when he contracted the blood poisoning that led to his untimely death.(99) When Matthews did not recover as quickly as he expected, he went to Seattle to recuperate during the winter months. He improved while there(100) but after his return in the spring of 1908 his health continued to decline until he died of pneumonia on October 16, 1908 at the age of 51.(101) His funeral was one of the largest ever held in Waterville. His obituary, praising his community service, said: "Always ready to take up burdens for others, he literally worked himself to death."(102)



1. Richard F. Steele, History of the Big Bend Country (Spokane: Western Historical Publishing Company. 1904), p. 702.

2. Verne G. Matthews interview. Ephrata, Washington, May 3, 1979.

3. Steele, Big Bend Country, p. 702.

4. Clara Rhoads to I.W. Matthews. March 4. 1887, Matthews Family Papers.

5. William F. Allen to 1.W. Matthews, June 23, 1886, Matthews Family Papers.

6. Verne G. Matthews. May 3. 1979.

7. Department of the Interior to E.W. Bishop, June 2, 1885. Matthews Family Papers.

8. Verne G. Matthews, May 5. 1979.

9. Ibid.

10. Ibid.

11. Lindley M. Hull. A History of Central Washington (Spokane: Shaw and Borden Co., 1929), p. 361.

12. Steele, Big Bend Country, p. 572.

13. Verne G. Matthews, May 3. 1979.

14. Ibid.

15. Big Bend Empire (Waterville). June 21. 1888.

16. Arthur J. Burks, Here Are My People (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1934), p.28.

17. Told By the Pioneers, Vol. 3. ed. by F.J. Trotter, F.H. Loutzenhiser and J.R. Loutzenhiser (Washington Pioneer Project, 1938), p. 98.

18. Burks. Here Are My People, pp. 52-54.

19. Steele. Big Bend Country. p. 534.

20. Ibid.

21. Big Bend Empire, December 26. 1889.

22. Ibid.

23. Steele. Big Bend Country. p. 575.

24. Kathy Rivers, "'Lucien E. Kellogg: A Man of Character," Waterville Empire-Press, January 1, 1976, p. 3.

25. Big Bend Empire, February 1, 1894.

26. Big Bend Empire, AprilS, 1900; Steele, Big Bend Country, p. 577.

27. Big Bend Empire, August 7. 1890.

28. Big Bend Empire, March 15, 1888; Nell Dickson Interview, Waterville, Washington, June 15, 1979.

29. HulL Central Washington, p. 47.

30. Burks, Here Are My People, p. 44.

31. Town of Waterville, Record of Proceedings, Vol. I (January 19, 1890).

32. Ibid., July 2, 1891.

33. Steele, Big Bend Country, p. 568.

34. Verne G. Matthews, May 3, 1979.

35. Waterville Proceedings, I, June 11, 1890.

36. Ibid., July 7, 1890.

37. Ibid., July 7, 1890; January 5, April 13, November 2, December 7, 1891.

38. Ibid., April 13, 1891.

39. Ibid., November 2, December 7, 1891.

40. Ibid., November 3, 1890; November 2, 1891.

41. Big Bend Empire, August 7, 28, 1890.

42. Ibid., October 30. 1890.

43. Ibid., May 14, May 28, 1891.

44. Ibid., August 7, 1890; August 6, 1891.

45. Ibid., June 11, 1891.

46. Waterville Empire-Press, July 17, 1947.

47. Stock Certificate, 1892, Matthews Family Papers.

48. Undated newspaper clipping, Matthews Family Papers.

49. Steele, Big Bend Country, p. 585.

50. Stock Certificates 1892, Matthews Family Papers.

51. Steele. Big Bend Country, p. 585.

52. Big Bend Empire, July 30, 1891.

53. Ad running in Big Bend Empire, September through December 1891.

54. Big Bend Empire, July 23, 1891.

55. Edward C. Whitley Interview, Moses Lake, Washington, July 3, 1979.

56. Owen Wister, Owen Wister Out West, ed. by Fanny Kemble Wister (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958), p. 138.

57. Big Bend Empire, April 26, July 12. August 24, November 29, 1894; June 7, 1906.

58. Verne G. Matthews, July 3, 1979: Big Bend Empire, September through December, 1892.

59. John A. Garraty, The American Nation, Vol. II (New York: Harper and Row, 1979), p. 530. For more information on the panic of 1893, see Samuel Eliot Morison and others, A Concise History of the American Republic (New York: Oxford University Press, 1977), pp. 440-443.

60. Dorothy O. Johansen, Empire of the Columbia (New York: Harper and Row, 1967), p. 360.

61. Hull. Central Washington, p. 543.

62. Big Bend Empire, October 5, 1893.

63. Bank and Personal Notes, 1891 through 1894, Matthews Family Papers.

64. Big Bend Empire, September 28, 1893.

65. Ibid., November 30 and December 7, 1893.

66. Hull, Central Washington, p. 101.

67. Big Bend Empire, January 24, February 8, September 12, and November 29, 1894.

68. Hull. Central Washington, p. 544.

69. Caleb W. Matthews to LW. Matthews, February 28, 1894, Matthews Family Papers.

70. Waterville Proceedings, Vol. 1, April 2 and 9, 1894.

71. Big Bend Empire, May 16, 1895.

72. Ibid., June 13, 1895.

73. See the Big Bend Empire, 1888-1895.

74. Hull, Central Washington, p. 101.

75. Big Bend Empire, December 7, 1893; February 1, April 19, May 10 and 31, June 21. October 11, 1894.

76. Steele, Big Bend Country, p. 569.

77. Ibid., p. 564.

78. Burks, Here Are My People, p. 10.

79. Big Bend Empire, AprilS, and October 18, 1894.

80. Ibid., October 25, 1888.

81. Ibid., November 19, August 20, 1891: November 22, 1894.

82. Douglas County Press, August 9, 1906.

83. Big Bend Empire, March 8 and 22, 1894; January 9, 1896.

84. Big Bend Empire, January 8, 1903; Douglas County Press, January 22, 1903.

85. Big Bend Empire, Febuary 12, 1903.

86. Hull. Central Washington, p. 503.

87. Bruce Mitchell, By River, Rail and Trail: A Brief History of the First Century of Transportation in North Central Washington: 1811-1911 (Wenatchee: Wenatchee Daily World, 1968).

88. Verne G. Matthews, July 3, 1979.

89. Stock Certificate, 1912, Matthews Family Papers.

90. Big Bend Empire, November 8, 1894; November 22, 1898.

91. Ibid., November 9 and January 30, 1894; April 2, 1896; June 24, 1897.

92. Ibid., October 3, 1894 and February 4, 1897.

93. Burks, Here Are My People, pp. 166-167.

94. Big Bend Empire, January 23, February 13 and 20, 1896.

95. Johansen, Empire of the Columbia, p. 374.

96. Big Bend Empire, March 22 and 29, 1900.

97. Verne G. Matthews, June 12, 1979.

98. Golden Anniversary Newsletter (Seattle: Washington Land Title Association, 1956.)

99. Verne G. Matthews, May 14, 1979.

100. Douglas County Press, October 17 and November 14, 1907; January 2 and February 22, 1908.

101. Big Bend Empire, October 22, 1908.

102. Douglas County Press, October 22, 1908.