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Woodbury B. SINCLAIR>1826Maine>1872WashingtonUSA
My friend Carroll Clark, in the town of Snohomish, Washington state, USA was
kind enough to transcribe this Sinclair information so I could share it with
this list. By way of comparison, a "pioneer" in Washington state is someone
who arrived before 1889, so you can see how early this Sinclair was.
Diane Hettrick - Seattle, Washington state, USA <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Sinclair obelisk, originally at Snohomish Cemetery, Snohomish, WA (1875
Cemetery) is at the G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) Cemetery just outside
the city limits of Snohomish, Snohomish County, Washington state, USA.
Biographical Sketch p 857 from "History of Skagit and Snohomish Counties,
QUOTED AS FOLLOWS:
" HON. WOODBURY B. SINCLAIR (deceased) was one of the pioneers of Snohomish
city and county and a man widely known and highly respected throughout the
entire Puget sound region. His career in this county was of such prominence
and his contributions to the development of Snohomish were so many and of such
effect that no history of the county would be complete without adequate
reference to him. Mr. Sinclair was born in Kenduskeag, Maine, August 5, 1826,
attended the common schools and the high school of his native town, and after
completing his schooling learned the trade of cooper. In 1851, when
twenty-five years of age, Woodbury Sinclair was attracted to California by the
glowing reports which followed the discovery of gold. In 1855 he came to
Puget sound and in company with others built a saw mill at Seabeck, Kitsap
county, - the first in that section of the sound country. In 1864 he came to
Cadyville, now included in Snohomish, and opened a trading post for the
exchange of supplies for the furs and cranberries of the Indians. Trade was
in a very crude condition and often Mr. Sinclair received from the settlers
home-made shingles, or "shakes," which in turn he forwarded to Victoria, where
they were exchanged for merchandise and supplies. From Mr. Cady,who had given
his name to the early settlement, Mr. Sinclair purchased a relinquishment to
160 acres where the city of Snohomish is now situated. The name of the town
was then changed and Mr. Sinclair platted his land into lots. In company with
Mr. Clendenning, Mr. Sinclair built the steamer "Tappy," the first steam craft
to ply the waters of the Snohomish
river. Traffic, by means of the boat, between Snohomish and other ports, soon
became so extensive that additional carrying facilities were required, and the
steamer "Chehalis" was purchased in Portland. Much difficulty was experienced
in bringing the boat from the Oregon metropolis because no pilot could be
found who understood navigating the course, especially that portion of it
commencing with the Strait of Fuca. This difficulty, however, was eventually
overcome and the boat put in commission. From 1866 to 1870 Mr. Sinclair
served in the territorial legislature. He was appointed custom house
inspector under Selycious Garfield and continued in that office until his
death in 1872. His body was the first to be interred in the Snohomish
cemetery, which is located on a part of the 160 acres which he had secured
from Mr. Cady. Mr. Sinclair was the first Mason in Snohomish. He always
labored unselfishly for the up-building and for the progress of the town and
the surrounding country. He was the possessor not only of rare and enviable
qualities of mind and heart, but also of a comprehensive knowledge of men and affairs.
In business matters his judgment was rarely at fault and present prosperous
conditions are but a fulfillment of his early prophecies.
- - -
"River Reflections: Snohomish City 1859 - 1910," 1975 ed. pp. 54-55
QUOTED AS FOLLOWS:
Indian Cemetery <Actually the name should be Snohomish Cemetery, not the
In 1871 Charles Low and a Mrs. Peden started down the Snohomish River in a
canoe. They had an accident at the head of Ebey Slough and she was drowned.
She was the first white woman to die in Snohomish County.
That was the incident that triggered action from the founders of the City of
Snohomish. Heretofore little attention had been paid to burial plots, but the
city fathers agreed a white woman had to have a decent final resting place.
To show their chauvinistic attitude in the matter, the year before eleven
white men had died in Snohomish, all buried but there is compelling evidence
that suggests they found rest in a Potter's Field by virtue of the $74
allotted by the County Commissioners for a plot of ground. It is strongly
suspected the Indian cemetery is where they were buried.
When city fathers began a search for a cemetery plot their natural direction
took them to B.W. Sinclair who was married to a Mary Sinclair. They had two
children Clarence and Mabel (Mabel was to marry a sea captain) adjacent to the
Pilchuck River where U.S. Highway No. 2 (actually now called Second Street -
no longer called Hwy. 2-CC.) now cuts through at the east edge of Snohomish.
(Actually right through the near middle of the original Snohomish
Cemetery.-CC). In the middle of negotiations with Sinclair, he died and his
widow was awarded guardianship of their children with power to probate the estate.
She was in poor health herself and a few months after her husband's death,
she too, passed on, before negotiations for the cemetery plot were completed
with the Snohomish Cemetery Association, leaving the two Sinclair children
as heirs to the B.W. Sinclair estate.
The judge of the probate court, wishing to protect the rights of the minor
heirs, made them wards of the court and appointed Mary L. Sinclair, sister of
B.W. Sinclair as executrix of the estate and gave her custody of the
children with the right to transact their business under scrutiny of the
court. While this arrangement was in effect, the transaction for the three
acres of cemetery land was completed by the Cemetery Association.
On July 12, 1875, a meeting was held for the purpose of incorporating the
Snohomish Cemetery Association and purchasing the Indian Cemetery. The first
officers were Hugh Ross, president; Isaac Cathcart, vice president; E.C.
Ferguson, father and founder of Snohomish, secretary; and trustees Frank
Dolan, John Ross and Alonzo Low.
The three acres on the southwest bank of the Pilchuck River were purchased
and a deed recorded Dec. 14, 1876 and signed by Hugh Ross as president of the
purchasing association. However, it was not until Sept. 18, 1885 that a plat
was recorded and Isaac Cathcart signed as the association's president.
U.S. Highway 2 cut through the middle of the cemetery which long before had
been abandoned by all but a few survivors of those interred there. Brambles,
weeds and second growth saplings covered most of the site.
In the mid 1940s, (actually 1947-CC.) the State of Washington contracted to
have the bodies removed from the Indian Cemetery (ACTUALLY Snohomish Cemetery
- CC) and reburied in the G.A.R. Cemetery west of Snohomish. It was estimated
the cost would be around $3,000 if the state paid the promised rate of $100.
When the workmen began removing the bodies they discovered multiple burials
in a single grave and it was estimated the cost was more than $12,000 to have
all the bodies removed
There was one spectacular find in this removal enterprise. The lead coffin
that contained the remains of Amy Cathcart, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Isaac
Cathcart, who died January 23, 1879 at age 11 months, ten days, apparently had
been buried below the water table and the minerals in the water mummified the
body. Even the eye lashes and the little girl's lace dress had been perfectly
preserved and turned to stone. The water table theory is only surmise and
there may be better or more scientific explanations for the phenomenom.
The portions of the property not affected by the highway right-of-way still
contain a number of graves on both side of U.S. Highway 2 (NO LONGER called
Hwy 2, but now called simply Second Street - as you leave Snohomish heading
East you travel right through the middle of Snohomish Cemetery, variously
nicknamed "Indian cemetery," & also "Pilchuck cemetery" -CC.).
END OF QUOTED ARTICLE.
COMMENT: The "B.W. Sinclair" in this last article is actually W.B. Sinclair
or the Hon. Woodbury B. Sinclair who had offered 3 acres of his land in 1871
for use as a cemetery, but he and his wife died before the transaction was
completed via Mary L. Sinclair, W.B. Sinclair's sister. Mary L. Sinclair,
having custody of the children, then sold the 3 acres to the Snohomish
Cemetery Association and the money went to the 2 Sinclair children as heirs.
Carroll, Snohomish, Washington state, USA
Carroll H Clark <email@example.com>
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