December 20, 2014

Alfred Smith Ruth – Washington State Senator 1865- 1915

AS Ruth 1909

AS Ruth 1909

Alfred Smith Ruth

Washington became a state in 1889 and we’ve had many notable politicians during the last 124 years. One of them was Alfred Smith Ruth, a native of Maine who settled in Thurston county. After doing some research on Alfred Ruth it came to light that he was a Washington state Senator as well as, in 1909, he was President of the Washington state Senate. Keep reading to see what I’ve found so far.

Biography of A. S. Smith (Please download this Word document).

 

USS Missouri – Then And Now

USS Missouri 1987

When I was growing up here in Washington state there were certain things we knew of about history and our surrounding area. One of them was that the famous ‘surrender’ ship USS Missouri was berthed here in Bremerton, inside (as it was then known) Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. You could see it from Navy Yard Highway as you came into town, and seeing it, you were impressed by its enormous size.

USS Missouri 1987

USS Missouri – (BB 63) 1987

I have a couple photos we took back in the mid 1980’s when Jim’s dad was here for a visit. He is a WWII veteran (see Low Moor, Iowa Honors WWII Vets ) and was anxious to take the tour of the old battleship. His ship, the Cape Esperance was a Casablanca class escort carrier. As with everyone of his generation, he knew well the name of the USS Missouri.

USS Missouri picture 2

Also in our party as we toured the ship was Loren’s daughter Lorrie and her son Brent, as well as our son Greg.  I doubt that the two young boys had as much interest in the ship at the time as their grandfather because they had no point of reference then.

USS New Jersey 1983

USS New Jersey – (BB- 62)

As an added bonus to this post, here is an additional photo, this one of the USS New Jersey as it looked in 1983. If my memory serves, it was stationed in California at the time at Long Beach. This Day in History – July1, 1985 the New Jersey was undergoing upkeep in Long Beach.

Sadly, the Missouri left the Bremerton area for good in 1985, but that wasn’t the last time she would see service in war time. She was reactivated in the early 1990’s to be used in the Gulf War. During one period of use her 16 inch guns fired over 800 projectiles. She was finally decommissioned in March of 1992. Her permanent berth is now adjacent to the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The New Jersey is located in Camden, New Jersey

Sources:

USN Ships — USS Missouri

USN Ships –USS New Jersey

Original photos in this article are owned by Carol Wilkerson

James Breedlove – Survivor of 1952 Crash at Fairchild AFB Washington

vkmilitary_036

 

I think it might have been Pat Richley-Erickson of Dear MYRTLE fame who commented this week that it’s a good idea to check all local sources for historical documentation on a family line. As I was looking at HistoryLink.org today I decided to do just that and perform a search for one of my surnames that might show up in one of their articles. While I didn’t find a close direct relative to me in the story, I did find a Washington event that included a Breedlove.You just never know…!

The article is entitled U.S. Air Force B-36 Peacemaker crashes at Fairchild Air Force Base, killing 15 airmen and injuring two others on April 15, 1952.  In the list of two survivors was James Breedlove, Airman Second Class, Donora, Pennsylvania.  The other was Walter L. Campbell, Master Sergeant, Chetek, Wisconsin.

Source: HistoryLink.org Essay 9478

 

 

Death On The Tracks: 1903 Bordeaux Washington

Mumby trucks with old growth logs

Death On The Tracks: 1903 Bordeaux WA

It was an unseasonably warm spring day in April. Blanch Philby, a mother of two toddlers was on her way to the mill to meet her husband Charles who had just been paid that day. She intended to get his paycheck and then go on to the company store where she planned on buying some things for her baby that was soon to be due.

As was most of the homes in the town, Blanch’s house was perched on the hillside making it necessary for her to go down a flight of wooden steps, cross the railroad tracks and then on to the mill.

She got as far as the tracks when she was distracted by a yell from her friend who wanted her to pick up something at the store for her. “A lone engine operated by a fireman blasted around the bend from behind her.”

Glen Whipple had the sorrowful task of picking up what was left of Charles Philby’s wife and unborn child. [Source: The Tacoma News Tribune and Sunday Ledger – 05 October 1969; from an original story for the Tribune by Jeanne D. (Mrs. W. Ken) Adams, an Olympia, WA area freelance writer.]

As you can imagine, a mill town was a very noisy place to live with big saws running, men shouting, railroad engines and other vehicles all in operation at the same time.

Looking at the 1900 Federal Census District #224 for Littlerock, Thurston, WA we find “Charley” age 25, and Blanch, age 15, Philby (no children) residing in their own home. A few residences away is another Philby family, but there is no way to tell if this is a family connection. The head of household in that family was Amos Philby, age 55, so it’s possible he is the father of Charles/Charley Philby. In 1900 Charley was working as a “timber faller” for a logging company. [Source: Ancestry.com]

Further research in the Washington State Archives Digital Records resulted in a different date for Blanch’s death: 1903. Her grave is in the Odd Fellows Cemetery, Thurston (Tumwater, WA). FindAGrave lists her memorial as Memorial# 38299156 and her date of death is also 1903 there as well.

 

© Carol Yates Wilkerson 2012

 

 

 

 

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