Welcome to Our Past Presidents!
You will find our Society President's below. The names which are highlighted and underlined, provide a short bio on that person. Just click on the highlighted name, and you can find out more about the dedicated member who has volunteered their time and talent to make our Society what it is today.
1937-38 and 1945
Mrs. John Jacob Thiel was born Leora Cookingham and was the second and sixth EWGS President. She held office in 1937-1938 and in 1945. Leora Thiel was also a founder of the Friends of the Library for Spokane Public Library. I found almost nothing on Leora's Cookingham family. It does look like an English family name, but there are no Cookinghams in England so it may be a derivative of another surname. John Jacob was the son of Jacob and Lizzie (Strombecker) Thiel, both Germans from Russia. The parents came to America in 1878 and lived in Franklin and Hitchcock counties of Nebraska, before coming to southern Idaho then Baker City and Walla Walla in 1882. In the spring if 1883 they drove to Adams County and homesteaded there. They raised four sons, John Jacob, Mike, Henry and Fred. I did not find as much on John Jacob as I thought I would, since he was born in Russia and grew up in Washington. The main reason was I kept disregarding information I found on the internet for John Thiel from Kansas, but when I found the biography of Fred Thiel, John's brother in the History of the Big Bend, it said John was a professor at Winfield College in Kansas. John died April 15, 1946 in Spokane at age 69 and was buried in the cemetery at Ritzville Washington. His obituary says he had lived in Spokane for 16 years and was associated with the County Auditors office and was survived by wife Leora, his three brothers and one sister.
Leora Thiel died January 3, 1950 in a local hospital. She was a charter member of Eastern Washington Genealogical Society, a member of Spokane Garry chapter , Daughters of American Revolution and the Friends of the Library. Her obit says John Thiel was the director of the 1940 census in Spokane. I checked the Ritzville cemetery and Leora is not listed there, and her obit says she was cremated.
Susan Marie West Jack was the third EWGS President, she served 1939 and 1940. Susan was born February 14, 1878 in Iowa. Susan Marie was the sixth child of Francis Marion West born 12 March 1845 Franklin County Indiana, and Jemima Harvey born 12 January 1848 and died 10 July 1932, and granddaughter of Stephen Harvey born 6 October 1811 and Susanna Lee born 10 July 1827 and James Lytle West born 22 December 1815 in South Carolina, and Susan West of Brookville Indiana. While her surname is the same she is from a different West family. The Harvey and Lee families were from upstate New York, and the West family was from North Carolina area but believed to be from early New England West families (no sources on this last statement so take it as a suggestion for further research).
Susan Marie West married Lawrence Jack in Altoona, Iowa 2 May 1906 and they came to Spokane the same month. Lawrence Jack was born in Bruce County Ontario Canada 22 March 1876 and he died 25 August 1926 here in Spokane. In the 1915 City Directory Lawrence was listed as a lawyer 610 Hyde Building. I checked for his obit and did not find one. They had one son Lawrence Jack Jr. born 22 March 1907 here in Spokane.
Susan died 25 August 1975 at Bainbridge Island Washington. Her granddaughter Suzanne M. Gordon lived at Bainbridge Island. She was a member of Women of Rotary, Eastern Washington Genealogical Society (past President of both of these), YWCA, Cultus Club, Liberty Park WCTU, Daughters of American Revolution, and co-founder of Spokane Public Library Friends of the Library. She is buried at Riverside Cemetery.
Comments on Susan Jack , by Carrie Lartigue: "Susan was a charter member and traced her lines back to the Robert E. Lee family in Virginia. She generously gave of her books and talents. I have as personal keepsakes from her; several hand-painted plates."
Monroe Denman was EWGS President 1943-1944. Alfred was born in Spokane ; the son of Monroe Denman, a farmer in the Hillyard region. Monroe was a fifth generation descendant of Scotch and North English descent. He was born on March 10, 1858, in Morristown, Minnesota.
Monroe married Esther Piper in Spokane on September 14, 1884. Esther was born May 31, 1864 near Lester Prairie, McCloud County, Minnesota. She was the third daughter of William Enos Piper (1837-1928). Born in Horatio, Pennsylvania and died in Spokane. Esther's mother, Sarah Ellen Mayze (1843-1933) was born in Marionsville, Pennsylvania and also died Spokane. Both were of Pennsylvania Dutch descent.
Alfred Denman married Lillie Rose in 1914, a native of England.
The obit for Monroe Denman says he was the Oldest Spokesman-Review carrier and his route covered 75 miles daily. He was 73 when he died in his car.
Lilly Rose died on July 27, 1968. and Alfred Denman died December 28, 1979. Lillie, Esther, Monroe and Alfred Denman are all buried in Orchard Prairie Cemetery. Alfred Denman was also a member of the Spokane Public Library Friends of the Library.
Comments from Carrie Lartigue on Alfred M. Denman: "He was a determined man and a good researcher. He was into many organizations; Sons and Daughters of Washington Pioneers, S.A.R. and others. He was especially proud that he still lived on the old family homestead in the Hillyard area."
Received this note from Deloris Biegler and she gave me permission to post it here:
"Hi, I found the article on the Denmans' very interesting, you see Alfred Denman drove the school bus I rode to Arlington grade school; on to Rogers High School, during the late 1940's - 1950's. Mr. Denman may have been one of the very first that cultivated my lifetime interest in History; later on Genealogy.
One of my first memories instilled even today was Mr. Denman telling me how he still lived on his family's homestead that sits just above the road that curves off North Freya and onto joined Market street to the east. I have never passed the old homestead sitting above the north side of the curve in the road without thinking of Mr. Denman. He told how his father's homestead was chosen to enable the family to observe any Indians that might approach the place. Recently, I have noticed the new North highway being built is encroaching right through Mr. Denmans' old homestead. This is so sad, as Mr. Denman was very proud of his roots in that area.
Mr. Denman discovered my father's family the Gardners settled on Pleasant Praire [in the] 1880's. Mr. Denman would speak of old timers in the foothills north; east of Hillyard as if I could recall them, I wasn't born until 1942. Now that I read of Denmans' roots; see his father was married to the daughter of Pipers, I recall my father pointing out the old Piper homestead on Bigelow Gulch road. It heads across the top of the prairie joining the road down to Millwood. This old home sat vacant all the time I was growing up. The trees grew up around it; made it quite scary looking to children. When we rode our horses by there we did so swiftly. In the last 20 years, someone restored that old homestead; it now looks great.
Those foothills are steeped in Spokane county History. Years ago when the original old wooden, St. Michaels Mission was moved out to Spokane Falls Community college. While growing on the edge of Bigelow Gulch in the 1950's, all us kids with horses would ride to the old Mission, tie up our horses and have a picnic. It was such a beautiful peaceful place. Never was there any vandalism, garbage or trash laying around. That was a wonderful time to grow up when remnants of history still remained; children were taught to respect them all. Passing by the location today breaks my heart, sitting askew by the ditch, is only a monument noting the location where many Indian people received their first communions, close by with brush grown over are graves of native people that once inhabited the foothills; southern Peone Prairie. The descendants of those buried there I believe for the most part moved onto the Flathead Reservation of western Montana along with Baptiste Peone; some did move to Fort Colville. Spokane Co. land records show Baptiste's sale of his land on the southern edge of Peone Prairie. Indian records show Peones living on the Flathead reservation, after leaving the Spokane area.
Mr. Denman came off as a grouchy ole character as I remember, but he ran a tight ship on the school bus all those years. I think he had to come off in the former light to remain in control of a bunch of rowdy kids. However once those same kids boarded the ole yellow school bus, at times traveling over some pretty icy roads, they towed the line the entire trip to and from their school. I was either the first or last to climb on his bus in the mornings; visa versa when going home in the afternoons. I had the choice of getting on first or waiting for the bus to travel its route; then pick me up on the way by as it passed by my home on the corner of Francis and Freya, once a Stockyards, close to the Great Northern cattle loading pens, with several homes on the property. Therefore many times I was on Mr. Denmans' bus alone, the gabby kid I was, I'm sure I climbed up in the seat behind Driver Denman; talked his leg off. I think of him fondly today; would love to walk over his family's homestead with a metal detector, knowing what is occurring there now I know in my heart Mr. Denman would appreciate my interest."
Have a nice day,
Deloris (Gardner) Biegler
Florence Ballou Brown
served as the seventh EWGS President in 1946. She was born in Milton, OR on October 22, 1880
She was the eighth child of Orlando R. Ballou and Elizabeth Boyd Ballou. Orlando was born in Cayahoga Falls, OH in December 1833 and died in Freewater, OR on July 14, 1909. Elizabeth was born on May 12, 1837 in Watertown, NY.
Florence married David Brown in Walla Walla, WA on September 30, 1903. David was born in Galena, IL on December 5,1865. They had three children: Helen Elizabeth, Gordon and Sylvia.
David was the son of Sherwood S. and Cecelia (Bouton) Brown. Sherwood ran Hazelwood Farms in Illinois and when David andhisbrother George came to Spokane in 1888, they formed Hazelwood Farms near the Hayford-Cheney Road and the Sunset Highway.
Mr. Brown was the president of the company for more than 30 years. He also founded Spokane's National Apple Show. In the early 1900's the Hazelwood Farms was the second largest dairy in the country. They were the first innovators to have wrapped butter, pasteurized cream, baby formula and an extensive program to encourage sanitary dairy practices. The dairy cattle specially bred became the core of the Carnation Milk Company's world famous Holstein herd in Seattle.
Florence was also a member of the Spokane Gary Chapter of the DAR and authored the DAR Volumes 10 and 11 of the Washington Pioneer Series in the 1930's. After David died in December of 1951, Florence moved to Milton-Freewater, OR. She died in Walla Walla, WA on March 25, 1964.
Florence was also listed in the Who's Who in Genealogy 1937 published by the American Handbook of Genealogy.
Harriet Jefferson Pinkham
was EWGS President in 1947. Harriet Ann Jefferson was born June 27, 1861 She was the first child of European descent born in Duluth Township, Duluth, Minnesota. Her parents were Robert Emmet Jefferson and Lucy A. Sowles.
Harriet's father died in the Civil War. She graduated from the University of Minnesota and came west to Washington in 1888 on an immigrant train with her husband Louis Hampden Pinkham. They had two children, Louis who died in Germany during WW I and Cornelia. Both of the children are buried in Portland Oregon. Her husband Louis died in 1938. He was a retired salesman and a member of the Gold Star Parents. Harriet Pinkham died December 17, 1956 in Spokane. She was survived by two grandsons and a cousin Rhoda Jefferson. She was one of the founding members of EWGS, the oldest member of Delta Gamma (University of Minnesota), member of Esther Reed chapter DAR, Eastern Washington State Historical Society and the Manito Study club. She authored volumes 8 and 9 of the DAR Pioneers of Washington series of books.
Comments by Carrie Lartigue: "I remember her as a tiny little lady of ninety seven years. She and her niece Rhoda Jefferson attended a meeting the day I joined. I never forgot Mrs. Pinkham's story.. what an inspiration to a beginner!! 'I was reading a book recently, of the life of Thomas Jefferson, when he lived at Monticello. One picture was of the drawing room. It was furnished with a diamond tufted red velvet love seat and chairs. They looked vaguely familiar to me, I knew I had seen them before. Later, I took the book back into my front room... and there was the same love seat and chair! We were so astonished! Rhoda helped me turn the chair upside down, and there stamped on the wood frame was a single word: Monticello.'"
Achsah Adele Maltbie was the eldest daughter of Albert Lyman Maltbie and Mary Elizabeth Dow. She was born at Larine, Lincoln County, Washington, on October 9, 1888. Larine is now what is known as Davenport. Achsah married Milton Granger Rawlings at their home in Seattle October 9, 1911. Milton was the son of Harvey Hazelrigg Rawlings and Carrie S. Wright. Achsah was the grandaughter of James Downing Maltbie (1832-1891) and Achsah Wright (b.1843).
Achsah graduated from Waterville High School in 1906. She continued her education at the University of Washington graduating with a B.A. in 1910. Professor Edmond Meany encouraged her interest in History.
Milton and Achsah came to the Spokane Valley in 1920. They farmed in the Saltese area and in 1923 moved to Dishman. Milton died in 1970 and is buried at the Pines Cemetery.
She joined the Esther Reed Chapter of the DAR in 1928. Served as chapter regent in 1939-40. Achsah was a founder of the Spokane Valley Women's Club, the last surviving charter member. She helped her mother form the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society. She was also a 77-year member of the Eastern Star. The Spokane Indian Tribe honored her in 1982 for the gift of a collection of newspaper articles on the history of the tribe.
Her hobbies were collecting buttons and scrapbooking. Aschsah created five Lincoln scrapbooks, 14 Indian Scrapbooks, and numerous pioneer scrapbooks.
For the DAR she wrote Volume 2 of Genealogical Gleanings and Volumes 6 & 7 of the Families of Washington Pioneers.
She subscribed for many years to the Boston Transcript and the Hartford Times and saved huge boxes of clippings from their query sections. Those queries were answered with sources by the genealogical researcher for those newspapers, so if you had New England ancestors, your ancestor was probably listed in one of those articles.
She served as director for EWGS for eight years; three years as 2nd vice president, two years first vice president and two years as president (1949-1950). Achsah died January 27, 1984 and is buried in Pines Cemetery.
Comments by Carrie Lartigue: Achsah, the daughter of EWGS founder Mrs. Maltbie: "Also a charter member and staunch supporter of historic preservation - whether on paper or in old buildings. She was a working member of several organizations but never neglected her interest in genealogy. She was a Lincoln Scholar and vastly interested in Native Americans. She made up fourteen scrapbooks of clippings on articles about Indians (indexed by Carrie Lartigue). These were presented to the Spokane Tribe and are in their library in the Tribal Council Center at Wellpinit, Washington."
1951 and 1961
DeGolyer Patchen was the first EWGS President born in Spokane February 18, 1892 and he died November 23, 1970 at his home. He was cremated.
He was a World War I veteran, having served in the Army Air Forces. He was overseas from July 31, 1918 till December 2, 1918 and honorably discharged January 17, 1919 at Long Island, New York. Lee was married three times, the first to Nettie H. Clark who was 21 years old and from DesMoines, Iowa. They were married at Newport, Washington April 1, 1913. Nettie was the daughter of George W. Clark and Nora Kelly. I found no further information on Nettie.
His second marriage was to Mary Louise Miller of Ellensburg, Washington February 6, 1919. Mary was born in Vinton, Iowa, November 8, 1891 and died of myocarditis in Spokane on November 24, 1945. She is buried at Greenwood Cemetery.
Mary was the daughter of Clarence Eason Miller (b. Pacwaukee, Wisconsin April 8, 1866 d. Seattle, Washington February 22, 1939) and Ella May (Boyden) Miller (b. Eden, Benton Coounty, Iowa January 6 1868, d. Ellensburg, Washington May 6, 1918). Mary and Lee had two children both born in Spokane, Lee Harold Patchen b. April 5, 1921 and Mary Louise Patchin b. October 21, 1923. Mary's Miller family came from Coleraine, Ireland.
In 1957 Lee married Ruth Marie Vibrans. Ruth was born in Colville Washington, in 1918. She was a secretary and had been the Northwest Director of
the National Association of Secretaries in 1969 and 1970. Ruth died October 2, 1991 at St. Lukes Extended Care Center.
Lee worked as a carpenter for the Northern Pacific Railroad from 1912-1915. From 1915-1943 he worked for the Exchange Lumber Camp Manufacturing Company as a salesman and sales manager. From 1943-1947 worked as Assistant Manager of Western Pine Manufacturing Company. Lee also owned the Lee D. Patchen Lumber Wholesale firm for 40 years. Lee's emigrant ancestor, Joseph Patchen came from England to New England in 1634. His mothers’ Olmsted family came from Canada after the War of 1812.
In 1946 Lee joined EWGS out of curiosity about his ancestors. In 1948 he started a project to index all the books in the genealogy section of the library. One of the books was the "History of Spokane County" by the Reverend Jonathan Edwards in 1900. There were about 8,500 names in this book. He also indexed the "History of the Big Bend Country" published 1904 and it had more than 18,000 names. Note on indexing in 1948: This was well before computers that just allow us to type in a list of names and hit sort and we have an index. In 1948 you used index cards and typed the name at the top and maybe a couple of more lines of interest on the name. So now he has 26,000 index cards and that is the start of the "Patchen File" that anyone that has researched in the genealogy section of the Spokane library is probably familiar with. Lee went on to index several other books also. I am not sure when he started cutting out obits, pasting them on a card and typing the name and dates for each obit. For a while he also made a card for all the people listed in the obit. While you can find obits back to the 1920s the majority of obits start in the mid 1950s and at the end of 1979. The cards in the "Patchen File" number about 211,000. From 1980 to 1994 EWGS indexed obits in book form not by index cards.
Comments by Carrie Lartigue: "Lee D. Patchen: Anyone that has used the Genie Room of the library should be familiar with this man's work! He spent days, then years, working on his index. He started the Tombstone project by copying nearly all the Rural Spokane County Cemeteries and made three volumes of this task. In early years he was called upon at least once a year to instruct the new members on how best to get started in research. He authored several books... Inland Empire Miscellaney and the fantastic Patchen/Patchin Genealogy."
Comments by the editor: In doing these articles I have relied a lot on the work of Lee Patchen.
1954 - 1955
Edith Webb Nelson, EWGS President in 1954 and 1955, was born December 12, 1885 at Frankford, Missouri. The daughter of Elisha Alexander Webb (1855-1939) and Sarah Ann Keeler (1858-1920). Both of her parents are buried in the Hartline Cemetery. The Webbs were from Virginia by way of Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri. The Keelers were from New York and eventually England. Edith was educated in Missouri and at Washington State College at Pullman.
Edith died February 24, 1965 and is buried in Goldenrod Cemetery Tekoa, Washington. Stuart remarried after Edith's death to Margaret M. Korey May 9, 1967 in Spokane. Stuart died September 5, 1975 and is also buried at Goldenrod Cemetery, Tekoa, Washington. Edith was 81 when she passed away.
Edith Webb married Stuart Reeves Nelson in 1911 at Hartline, Washington. (Edith and Stuart Nelson in picture). Edith and Stuart had two sons; Vernon N. & Norman Dennis, two daughters Ruthe Isabelle and Edith Maruerite.
Edith had been EWGS Librarian 1948, and on the board of directors for several years.
Comments by Carrie Lartigue: Edith Nelson also helped with the scrapbooks until her health began to fail. Her home was open to EWGS members for a picnic in August for several summers. Meetings have always been first Saturday of each month , September through June. These summer outings, (pot luck) brought the members closer together and was a time for sharing in reports of progress made in their search.
Carrie was born at Peck, Lewis County, Idaho, daughter of George Henry and Anna (Kole) Teats. She was married twice; first to Jack Fannon. They had one son Jack L. Fannon, Jr. Her second marriage was to Weston L. Lartigue. He was born at Golden, Jefferson County, Colorado, son of Henry Clay and Elizabeth (Dailey) Lartigue. Elizabeth was a member of Esther Reed Chapter of DAR, IOOF and Mission Avenue Presbyterian Church.
Volume 16 page 11 of the EWGS Bulletin has an article on Carrie titled Carrie Who?. We all know Carrie Lartigue - or do we? She is that lady with the twinkling eyes and contagious smile; the one that is so quiet you don't really notice that she is around but whose presence is felt in all of the activities of EWGS.
Carrie Teats Lartigue started researching her family in 1953 and stumbled around for more than a year before she heard about EWGS. She joined the society in 1954 and has been a continually active member. She has been a major factor in the growth and success of the society. She knows the "jobs" do not get done by themselves but require individual and group efforts for successful completion. Many of the projects for the society have been carried out personally by her, other projects with the help of her late husband, Weston, and still other projects with the assistance of other volunteers.
This picture is of a group of cemetery readers organized by Carrie.
Some of Carrie's succes
s stories: The assembly and indexing of approximately 150 scrapbooks containing the queries and answers from the Hartford Times and the Boston Transcript; copying at least 8 of the cemeteries in the Spokane Rural Cemetery volumes, copying and publishing Whitman, Lincoln Adams, Pend Oreille and Stevens County cemetery records; copying and publishing Books A and B of Spokane County Marriages; publishing the holdings in the genie room of the library; preparing numerous index cards for the Patchen file; indexing books written by other members; compiled two or three books on her own families.
Some of Carrie's success stories: The assembly and indexing of approximately 150 scrapbooks containing the queries and answers from the Hartford Times and the Boston Transcript; copying at least 8 of the cemeteries in the Spokane Rural Cemetery volumes, copying and publishing Whitman, Lincoln Adams, Pend Oreille and Stevens County cemetery records; copying and publishing Books A and B of Spokane County Marriages; publishing the holdings in the genie room of the library; preparing numerous index cards for the Patchen file; indexing books written by other members; compiled two or three books on her own families.
Carrie is a Life Member of the Society, has been President(1956-1957), Treasurer, Librarian and Trustee. She has served as a library helper and project chairman.
Weston Lartigue died July 18, 1975 and Carrie died September 9, 1990. The Find a Grave website has their tombstone picture.
Editor Note: Carrie Lartigue was probably the second most important President of EWGS; as you can see she did a lot of projects to help EWGS and other members.
Guy Alfred Clumpner was President of EWGS in 1958. He served only four months until his death on April 21, 1958. Guy was born on June 13, 188, in Viroqua, Wisconsin. He was the son of Alfred Eugene Clumpner (1857-1961)and Jennie (Allen) Clumpner. (1867-1949).Guy's grandfather, William Clumpner. was born in Holland in 1836 and died in Wisconsin on 1911. Guy married Helen Woodward Browne on August 15, 1914, in Michigan.
Helen was a school teacher, as was Guy. After they were married, they took a train to Riverside, Washington, where Guy became the first Principal and, later, Superintendent of Schools at Conconully Washington. They moved several times, first to Brewster and Winthrop in Washington; Harrison and Kellogg in Idaho; Rosalia, Clarkston, Moxee City, Rainier, Orting and Puyallup in Washington. Their final move was to Spokane.
He sold insurance for a while and then went back to teaching at Moran Prairie and Elk, Washington. before retiring in 1956. Guy and Helen had five children: Alfred Browne, Eugene Rawson, Edward Bruce, William Henry and Benjamin Hugh Clumpner.
Alfred Browne was a bomber pilot over Germany in WWII and died when his bomber was shot down. Helen Woodward Browne was born on July 25, 1888, in St. Louis, Missouri and died in Spokane on July 27, 1965. She was a descendant of Samuel (1787-1856) and Dorcas (Jordan)(1794-1866) Brown from New Hampshire and Maine; and Rufus J. (1798-1842) and Leah (Wetherell)(1798-1842) Woodward both from Maine. Helen was a member of the Esther Reed Chapter of the DAR.
Grace Estine Ellis was born August 25, 1879 in Dayton, WA. Grace was the ninth child of Samuel George Ellis (1832-1904) and Rhoda Ann Kennedy Ellis (1836-1904). Samuel was born in Virginia and was a Pioneer of Walla Walla in 1862. Rhoda was born in Eastern Tennessee and died in Spokane. Her family was from Ireland. Rhoda's father John K. Kennedy was the captain of the wagon train to Walla Walla and the Ellis family also came by wagon train.
Grace was selected to be EWGS President after the untimely death of Guy Alfred Clumpner in April of 1958. She also died unexpectedly on July 9, 1958 only four months into her term. Grace had joined EWGS in 1953 and was also a member of Electra Chapter of OES and the Daughters of Pioneers.
Grace married Dan Marshall Woodward September 30, 1900 in Spokane. Dan was the son of Henry and Margaret (Thompson) Woodward. Dan was born Aril 15, 1863 on the family homestead in Winona, MN. He died in Spokane June 8, 1937. He was the department manager of books and stationary for John W. Graham and was recognized as the leading authority in the west on fine paper.
Mabel Rue Frederick was Second Vice President in 1958, and became president after the untimely deaths of Grace Ellis Woodward. She also was president in 1959 and 1960 and so became the longest serving president of EWGS to date. She was born in Spokane at the home of her grandfather Col. David P. Jenkins, August 19, 1885. Col. Jenkins was a lawyer and he was the first settler on the north side of the Spokane River when he came to Spokane June 3, 1979 from Illinois. Col. Jenkins practiced law in Illinois and was a friend of Abraham Lincoln, He served as a Colonel in the Civil War for the Illinois Volunteers. He started the Spokane University, donated the land for the Spokane Courthouse, built a getaway cabin in Stevens county (Jenkins High School is named for him), refused to give land to James J. Hill for the Great Northern Railroad, but sold the land where the present day Kendall Yards is located to the city leaders who then gave that land to the railroad. As a note Spokane University was located south of the courthouse, but did not last long, but the street in front of the University was named College Avenue, and that name survives to today.
Mabel married Walter Eberts Frederick (1882-1936) on October 6, 1921 in Spokane. He was an office supply clerk for Shaw-Borden printing company. Mabel was a charter member of Spokane Garry Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and was named Woman Pioneer of the Year in Spokane in May of 1975. Mabel died in Salt Lake City January 19, 1980 and is buried at Fairmount Cemetery.
Comments by Carrie Lartigue: Mabel was the granddaughter of early Spokanite - Col. Jenkins. He donated the land on which our Spokane County Courthouse stands. Mabel was a dedicated genealogist and active in the Daughters of American Revolution. Mabel moved to be near her son in Salt Lake City in her later years. She gave me some clothes worn by her grandmother in 1848 before the Civil War. A neat treasure for me!
Edwin Allan Poole was EWGS President in 1964. Edwin was born at Kaukauna, Outagamie County, Wisconsin, son of Edwin Franklin and Kathleen (Allan) Poole.
He married Gladys Thomte in a Presbyterian church in Bison, Perkins County, South Dakota. She was born at Liston, North Dakota, daughter of John and Mary Louise (Paquin) Thomte.
Ed was a school superintendent in South Dakota and then worked as a Sales Manager for Prudential Life Insurance in Spokane until he retired in 1968.
Ed started the first EWGS Bulletin in June of 1963, called Tree Talks. After three issues it became News Notes for about a year and then it was called The Messenger for about three years. There was no name for a couple of years until in 1969 it became The Bulletin.
Ed wrote a nice five page article in The Bulletin in 1975 titled "The First Forty Years". One of the interesting paragraphs he wrote was: " There were many times in the past when books and money were contributed by the Society or its members. At one time $50 was given when that amount bought a lot more than it does now. Mrs. J. Fred Austin (the fourth EWGS president) and Mrs. Walter E. Fredrick (also an EWGS president) made several cash donations and often quietly added books to the library. In the 1940's when the library was considering the contract purchase of the costly vital records of the 70 Massachusetts towns, Mrs. Austin volunteered to donate $25 a year until the books were paid for. There are probably many others who like these fine ladies did much for the growing Society and the library."
Another interesting fact Ed wrote about was at the first meeting of EWGS they decided to hold the meetings on the first Saturday of the month which is still true today.
Edwin died October 28, 1975, in Spokane and was buried at Fairmount Cemetery. He was a member of the Spokane Amateur Movie Club, Eastern Washington Genealogical Society, The Westerners Historical Society, the Huguenot Society of Washington State, Eastern Washington Historical Society and Audubon Park Masonic Lodge 272. He was survived by his wife Gladys and daughter Carmen Farley. Gladys Poole was a school teacher and worked as a chemist for Alcoa Aluminum during the war. She died in December 2000. Her obit appeared in the Spokesman review on December 29, 2000.
She helped author the book Genealogy and Family History of John Pool(e), 1630-1981.
Beatrice Cutler Mitcham became EWGS President in the middle of 1970 when Jane Webster moved to Montana. Beatrice--known as "Boo" to her friends--continued on through 1971 as EWGS President.
Her parents were married in Hillyard on March 18, 1908. Beatrice was born in 1914 to Truman Milton Cutler (born in Minnesota) and Beatrice Fairchild (born in Nebraska).
Beatrice went to school in Spokane and married Clarence R. Gifford in Spokane December 29, 1934. They had two sons, Robert and Ronald Gifford.
On September 2, 1961, Beatrice Gifford married Clarence E. "Mitch" Mitcham. He was born May 1, 1901 in Peoria, Oklahoma Territory. He was the son of John Belve and Mary Orlena (Allen) Mitcham. His family moved to Ritzville, Washington when he was two. Later his family moved to Turner Bay, Idaho and finally to Hayden Lake, Idaho in 1915.
Mitch has a previous marriage to Dorothy Ellen Benson (1922) which gave him five children: John, Bonnie, Barbara, Beverly and Clarence Jr.
In the 1930's he bought property near Mt. Spokane and established a sawmill that he used to build his home.
Nearby Mitch and his son John built the famous Mitcham Dance Hall, opening date July 2, 1938; Western Square Dancing began at this dance hall. He worked in the mines in Philisburg, Montana and then moved to Spokane and worked for the Great Northern Railroad for 45 years.
Beatrice and Clarence were enthusiastic genealogists and visited the Middle East and areas in the south to complete the book Meacham-Mitcham-Mitchum Families of the South. Clarence died March 6, 1977 and is buried at Spokane Memorial Gardens. Beatrice survived Clarence until March 26, 1994; she also is buried at Spokane Memorial Gardens.
Comments by Carrie Lartigue: "Mrs. Clarence (Boo) Mitcham served 1-1/2 years. Boo and her husband "Mitch" traveled thousands of miles, collecting data on their families. They also helped copy tombstone inscriptions when that project was going. Boo had several committee meetings at her home at the base of Mt. Spokane and donated 15 years worth of EWGS Bulletins to the society."
Grace E. Kelso Garner was EWGS President in 1978. Grace was born April 13, 1907, in Reardan, Washington to Edgor G.(Isaac) Kelso from Virginia and Harriett L. Brill from West Virginia. She was reared in the Deer Park-Clayton area. On September 4, 1926, she married Cecil C. Garner, born 1900 in Missouri. He was the son of Joe L. Garner of Missouri and Bettie Clement of Tennessee.
Grace was a timekeeper for the Sunshine Mine Company in Kellogg, Idaho from 1932 to 1942; and then for the Bunker Hill Zinc Plant from 1943 to 1947. Grace and Cecil owned and operated grocery stores in Espanola and Sprague, Washington from 1947 to 1966. Grace was also active as a precinct worker for the election board. Grace wrote three books on early settlers in Virginia where her parents were born. She also authored the first three obituary books done by EWGS after 1980 when the Patchen file changed from 3x5 cards to books. Her husband, Cecil, died May 1, 1982 in Spokane and is buried in Greenwood Memorial Terrace Cemetery.
Grace died January 8, 1985, during a visit to her daughter, Carol Ingle, in Kellogg, Idaho. She is buried at Greenwood Memorial Terrace.
In 1978 the Bulletin published mini-biographies of members so we could get to know one another. The Washington State Historical records and archives project was conducted. The project was to identify archival records, and learning the content of various collections. They were to provide a catalog for researchers and historians.
The New England Historical and Genealogical Society presented a day long seminar in September,1978, at Cheney Cowles Museum. The Subject was "Research in New England".
This is the last comment from Carrie Lartigue: In 1978 Mrs. Cecil (Grace) Garner took over the Obituary cards for several years, did most of the indexing and cut all the stencils for the Roster of Ohio Soldiers War of 1812; she served on the Helper committee, filled in at workshops and has published several books on West Virginia (sic), the area of her research. Also Grace and Cecil helped with the tombstone project. At this point Carrie had to give up active membership in EWGS due to poor health.
Note the picture has Ray Fisher next to Grace Garner.
Catherine P. Cornehl Hyslop was the EWGS President for 1979 and 1980. Since Catherine is listed in two open census. The History of the Big Bend, page 667, has a biography on her father Herman Cornehl of Douglas County.
Herman was born in Hamburg, Germany, November 23, 1863, son of Henry and Annie K. (Schmidt) Cornehl. In 1883, he came to the USA and lived in San Francisco, Alameda and Fresno, California areas before moving to Oklahoma for the land rush. He then moved to Guthrie and Arkansas City; a short trip back to Germany and then back to the Big Bend country. He was a merchant at Bridgeport, Washington and also raised stock on his farm near Bridgeport. On May 18, 1904, he married Pearl Galbraith, daughter of G.W. & M.T. (Weaver) Galbraith from North Carolina and Texas.
The Washington State Digital Archives has a lot of information on Herman Cornehl, although some was indexed as Herman Cornell. After notifiction if this error, the Archives have changed all the indexes to Herman Cornehl. On April 12, 1938, Catherine married Thomas Hyslop of Spokane at the First Presbyterian Church (more on that church later). Thomas was born in Deep Creek, Washington on May 30,1915 to V.R. & Esther J. (Hatch) Hyslop. He graduated in 1933 from Reardan High School and went on the graduate in 1938 from Washington State College. (Catherine was a student of WSC in 1938 also). Thomas served in WWII in the Army Air Corps and retired as a major. After the war he assumed management of the family farm until he retired in 1986. He was a member of Eastern Washington Historical Society, Westerners, Eastern Washington Genealogical Society, Spokane County 4-H, Inland Empire Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and the Spokane Downtown Rotary Club. He died December 14, 2002 and is buried at Fairmount Cemetery.
In the 1979 Bulletin there is a tribute to Carrie Lartigue. Carrie had joined EWGS in 1954. Carrie had been President, Treasurer, Librarian, Trustee, library helper and project chairman. Carrie was the person that commented on most of the earlier EWGS Presidents, but due to poor health stopped the comments before Catherine became EWGS President. Linda Shiflett became the new editor of the Bulletin, and the October workshop was held at the Red Cross Building and it cost $6.00 for a day long seminar. EWGS had grown to 303 members by 1980.
Barbara Wirt Clarkson was EWGS President in 1981. Barbara was born in Redmond Oregon in 1923 to Harry M. Wirt and Jeannette Morrison. Although the Morrison's were from Canada, they originally immigrated from Sweden. Harry Wirt's father, George Wirt, was from Germany.
Barbara graduated from Central Valley High School and then continued her education at the University of Washington with a B.A. in Accounting. On June 21, 1947, Barbara married Ralph Earnest Clarkson. Ralph was born in Greenacres, Washington in 1921 to Earnest W. & Blanche (Patterson) Clarkson. Earnest was born in Nebraska and his father Abner was from Illinois. Ralph joined Brown-Johnston Electrical Contractors in 1953 and later purchased the company. He retired in 1976 and died June 25, 1986. He
served in the European Theater during WWII, and was a member of the Chapter 45, Disabled American Veterans, the El Katif Shrine, Orchard Masonic Lodge 200 and the Athletic Round Table.
Barbara contributed bible records for the Patterson and Clarkson families and did a lot of Swedish research on her grandfather Peter Larson.
Ruby Simonson McNeill was EWGS President in 1982 and 1983. In 1982 when Ruby became EWGS Presiden,t she was known for her sharp wit and delightful sense of humor as well as her capable leadership.
She was born in Colville, Washington, to William Russell Simonson and Doris Mary Fay,both natives of Washington. Ruby graduated from Ephrata High School and worked for Pacific Northwest Bell Telephone Company. She also lived and worked in Washington D.C. for three years; while there, she met Duane Leslie McNeill, son of Robert E. and Leota Junella (Schuman) McNeil. They married in Bakersfield, California, March 8, 1959. They have two sons, Dane Ladd and Rick Dean.
During Ruby's leadership, Dorothy Meyers Braithwait became editor of the Bulletin. EWGS also decided to designate June as a time to honor its leaders. A June luncheon was held and this became an annual event. The annual fall workshop was again held at Garry Junior High School with Donna Phillips as chairman. In the fall of 1982 it was decided to expand the hours of the library helpers to include the evening hours as a service to the working members. In 1983 the annual fall workshop was moved to Spokane Falls Community College to accommodate the growing number of people attending. In1983 an offer by Kay and Kirsten Straight would bring EWGS a Corona Computer and Comrex printer. It arrived February 4, 1984.
Ruby has been a prolific author of books to benefit other genealogists. Our Spokane Library lists 6 books with Ruby as author - Lewis County Washington Death Records 1891-1906, 1900 Federal Census Columbia County and Mortality Schedules 1860 and 1870, Walla Walla Washington 1880 Columbia County, Quaker Records Monthly Meetings Berks County Pennsylvania, Lewis County Washington Newspaper Extracts, Columbia County Newspaper Extracts and 1889 Columbia County Census. Ruby also is the author of several Surname Booklets. The Rogers Research, Cain Connections, McNeill Memoranda, Quaker Queries, Freeman Footnotes, Simonson Misc., Barrett Branches, Talbot Tree and Wiley World.
Ruby is still an active EWGS member and always there with a suggestion on how to better research your ancestors or to use the latest technology. Ruby is one of the few EWGS members to have her own web page: <http://home.comcast.net/~rubymc/antafl.htm".
Jeanne Jones Holder was EWGS President 1984 and 1985 (EWGS was 50 in 1985). Jeanne was born in Grandview Heights, Columbus, Ohio, to Ira Stanton and Pleasant Alleyne (Higgs) Jones. She graduated from Grandview Heights High School, received a B.S. in Education from Ohio State University and a Masters in Education from the University of Idaho. This began her career as a teacher.
In 1955 she met and married Robert Holder. They have two sons, Mike and Bill, and a daughter Ann. Jeanne's hobbies are genealogy, gardening, knitting, traveling and her family.
In a March 2, 1989, an article in our newspaper by Beverly Vorpahl (another EWGS member), she wrote "Jeanne Holder is such an optimist that she believes almost anything can be done. A complete beginner at quilting, she nonetheless took on a tremendous quilting challenge." Jeanne had just joined the Washington State Quilters Association in order to learn how to quilting.
She was President of Eastern Washington Genealogical Society and was constantly thinking of fund raising ideas for the group. The organization is concerned about personal history and also wanted to be part of the state's centennial celebration (1889-1989). One day, she came upon an idea that would tie all the elements together - a quilt which would depict some of the Spokane area's history. Not only would the quilt raise money for the genealogists, but it would also commemorate the state's history. A picture of the quilt is in the Second Carnival of Genealogical Societies.
Some of the highlights of Ruby's term as President in 1984 includes: EWGS learning to use the computer donated the year before. Many hours were donated to entering membership lists, the holdings, the I.D. Cards, etc. into the computer; Presidents luncheon was held in June in the Isabella Room of the Davenport Hotel; a summer seminar with Ronald Bremer was the all day speaker at Spokane Falls Community College; EWGS offered to hold the 1985 Washington State Genealogical Conference on May 31, June 1 and 2, 1985, at Whitworth College, Spokane, Washington; a successful October Workshop at Spokane Falls Community College; a German interest group was started and later a Scandinavian interest group began meeting. In 1985 EWGS had almost 400 members and about 100 at each monthly meeting. This was the 50th year for EWGS and with the WSGS conference a great celebration.
Jeanne also worked on a project to index and film records for the First Presbyterian Church.
Jeanne M. Polumsky Coe was the second Jeanne in a row and EWGS President in 1986. Jeanne Coe was born in Lewiston, Nez Pierce County, Idaho, June 19, 1941. Jeanne was the daughter of Lawrence Edward and Audrey Elizabeth (Kuther) Polumsky. Jeanne is a true daughter of Washington Pioneers. Jeanne married Larry Andrew Coe on February 4, 1961 in Clarkston, WA. He was born in Coeur d'Alene, Kootenai County, Idaho, son of Beryl Edward and Mary Francis (Holmes) Coe both of Nebraska. Larry was a baker for Safeway.
She had several ancestors residing in Garfield and Asotin Counties prior to statehood in 1889. Her
maiden name, Polumsky, was spelled differently on early censuses. Some of those spellings are: Polanski, Polumskia, Polinsky and Polensky. Her marriage certificate at the digital archives was spelled Polemsky (may be corrected by now.) Jeanne was not sure where her Polumsky family came from in Europe. One census says Poland, another Prussia and another German. She also has some Irish roots in the Anderson and McGaughey families.
Jeanne, now retired, was a county worker for the Spokane County Clerks Office. If you do any research in the Eastern Washington area you will probably run into a book or database indexed by Jeanne. She continues to index for both the Washington State Library and for Family Search. She has also been a contributor of newspaper extractions for the Bulletin since the 1980's. She has also
volunteered for many projects for EWGS and is still very active in EWGS.
Maxine LeGrant Pence was EWGS President in 1987 and 1988. Maxine was the daughter of Harrison O. and Evelyn (Bulis) LeGrant. Harrison was born in Palmeroy, Iowa and Evelyn was born in Medford, Oregon. Her family homesteaded in Plummer, Idaho. They later moved to Spokane where Evelyn went to Lewis and Clark High School. Evelyn met Harrison and his brother Eugene at a party and a few months later Evelyn married Harrison. Her sister married Eugene.
Harrison was a builder and installed floor coverings. Maxine married Eugene Allen May 2, 1949 at Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and they had two sons Jim and Jon Allen. On April 21, 1967 in Whitman County, Maxine married William B. "Bill" Pence. He was the fire chief at Pullman, Washington,until he retired in 1975 and then moved to Cheney in 1977.
Maxine came along during the time of surname periodicals, and she was the author of the Barnes Bulletin and Walker Footprints. She was also the person behind Pence Publications. She has three books in the Spokane Library - Pence Research Data 1988, Scottish Queries 1987, and Pence Family of Georgia, North and South Carolina.
In 1987 she invited all the members of EWGS to attend an EWGS Board meeting as they are open to all EWGS members. She was hoping people would learn more about the workings of EWGS. They also updated the EWGS bylaws. Washington's First 100 Marriages book was finally published. If you check the list of books donated to the library Maxine was listed in almost every list of book donors.
Mary Kay McGlothlin Gant was EWGS President 1989 and 1990. She was the daughter of Leonard Dale and Gladys Ione (Peebles) McGlothlin. Mary was born in Camas, Washington. The Peebles family was from New York and came to Clark County, Washington in 1881.
On August 18, 1956 in St. Thomas Church, Mary married John Maxwell Gant Jr. John was the son of John Maxwell and Teresa K. (Schlintz) Gant. John and Mary have three children all born in Seattle, Washington; Susan Melinda Gant, John Stephen Gant and Elizabeth Jane Gant.
The quilt project started by EWGS President Jeanne Holder, continued through Mary's term. On November 11, 1989, the Quilt was won by Leslie Yach of Spokane and EWGS made over $1,450.00. In May EWGS was the host for the Washington State Genealogical Society Conference with Bette Toppas chairman.
Mary and was a stickler for accuracy. Mary passed away on Dec. 1, 2013. Neptune Society of Spokane handled the burial arrangements.
1991/92 and 2010-2015
Donna Ruth Potter-Phillips was EWGS President in 1991 and 1992 and for 2010-2015. Donna was born in Vicksburg, Michigan to Francis Harold Potter and June Magdalen Gurney. On September 21, 1961, Donna married John Charles Phillips in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
Donna first appears in the EWGS member list of 1976. She is one of the original incorporators of EWGS. She has authored several surname booklets, including Gilbert Gallery, Potter Profiles, Oswald Outline, and Texas Queries. Donna has taught beginner genealogist classes, and probably got more people to join EWGS than anyone else. She has been program chairman and presenter at many seminars. It was her idea to run the multiple presentations at the same time for EWGS seminars - like the national seminars.
Donna wrote the Heritage Hunting column for the Spokane Daily Chronicle for years (note the Spokane Chronicle is online in Google News so you can read her columns online). She also wrote many articles for the Bulletin including the News Hotline column. Donna has written articles for nearly every genealogical magazine published in the last thirty years. If you read the old Bulletin, you will see Donna donated many books and microfilms to EWGS and the library. She is listed as a co-author of one book in the Spokane Public Library, and has volunteered for nearly every call for volunteers including being a gene helper at the library.
She has indexed records for the Washington State Digital Archives, the FGS delegate for many years. She is the "mother hen" for the Annual Christmas Tour at Salt Lake City with Leland Meitzler. (If you ever get a chance to do the Christmas Tour it is a wonderful way to visit the Family History Library).
E. Dale Hastin Smith was born in Denver, Colorado, daughter of James Dale Hastin, a World War II P-51 pilot that was shot down over France and spent a year as a POW enprisoned partly in France and partly at Buchenwald in Germany. Dale wrote a nice article on her dad in the March 1994 EWGS Bulletin.
I don't ever remember Dale using her first name Elizabeth but she did when she married Craig Douglas Smith on November 26, 1966. Craig was born in Seattle, Washington, and both Craig and Dale are baby boomers.
Dale has held many offices in EWGS and donated numerous books to the library over the years.
1994-1995 and 2004-2005
Bette Butcher Topp was EWGS President for four years 1994-1995, and again 2004-2005. She was the only person to be EWGS President for four years at this time. Bette was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Hobart Sampson Butcher (9 Jul 1898-14 Apr 1989) b. Spencer, Roane County, West Virginia.) He married on 23 August 1931 in SanDiego, California to Gladys Vernen Moree( b. 10 July 1907 at Plevna, Reno County, Kansas d. 24 July 1981 in Spokane, Washington. ) Bette married John Andrew Topp in 1952 in Yuma, Arizona. If you go to Bette's website you will learn that he is a descendant of John Johan Topp from Estonia.
Bette also was researching during the time of surname quarterlies, and is the author of Butcher Block, Carpenter Chronicles, Bush Branches and VA/WVA Queries.
Bette was EWGS President in 1994 when the new Spokane Public Library Downtown branch opened. We were so thankful that the
genealogy section was on the third floor of the new library building. During the construction the library was in the old J.C. Penny's building and the genealogy section was just inside the east door where a lot of "homeless" people would come in and promptly go to sleep in the gene section. While the library was under construction we met at the MAC, and the first meeting of 1994 was still at the MAC.
The December 1995 Bulletin published a section called Cousins Corner featuring the common ancestor George Schwab( b.c 1610 Wurttenburg, Germany.) The Four Cousins were Bette Butcher Topp, Charles Michael Hansen, Linda Wilke, and Leslie Wood.
Bette Topp is one of the hardest working members of EWGS and really deserved the Distinguished Service Member recognition in 1996. She has been EWGS President and held chairmanships for many committees and conferences, including WSGS conferences.
Bette passed away Feb. 21, 2013, unexpectedly from surgery complications. Her legacy will continue through all her friends of EWGS.
Gordon Dean Clay was EWGS President in 1996 and 1997. Dean never used his first name. Dean was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa to Roy Stanley and Agnes(Hart) Clay. He went to school in Council Bluffs and Creighton University. In his senior year of college, Dean graduated from the Officer's Program and joined the United States Air Force as a second Lieutenant.
Dean married Constance Marvel Eyerman on July 10,1954. Connie was born in Long Beach, California to Fred and Inez Eyerman. They had a son Paul and two daughters, Rebecca and Constance (Stacy) Clay.
Dean flew the very first B-52 to Fairchild Air Force Base in 1957. He was an instructor there until he was transferred to Torrejon, AFB in Madrid, Spain. Dean flew in 1968 and 1969 during the Vietnam War. Dean retired from the Air Force in 1970 as a Lt. Colonel. He flew in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
Dean completed his undergraduate work at Eastern Washington University and then went to law school at Gonzaga School of Law, graduating in 1974. He was President of the Inland Empire Kennel Club (he raised Cocker Spaniels), chaired the Christian Businessman’s Association, was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, Dadealions, The El Katif Shrine, Council Bluffs Masonic Lodge and the Elks Lodge of Council Bluffs.
I don’t know if it was Dean or Connie who rescued the work of the American Legion, but the American Legion had been collecting information on all the veterans buried in Spokane County. They started in the 1930's and kept collecting until about 1954. The Legion made a 3x5 card for each veteran, located the burial plot, sometimes looked up an obit for the veteran and listed the war the veteran had served in. The American Legion was going to throw out all this work because it was just taking up space and had not been updated since the 1950’s. Connie was the extraction chairman of EWGS and had the card work done by the Legion filmed and indexed .
Dean hosted the first EWGS Retreat in June. Discussion focused on increasing members for EWGS and updating the Bylaws for EWGS. The next summer Dean held another Retreat.
Both Dean and Connie have passed away, Connie died August 7, 1999 and Dean on June 27, 2003.
John R. Zeimantz was EWGS President in 1998 and 1999. His Zeimantz family were settlers of Lincoln County in the Mondovi area. John is probably the person most expert on Lincoln County research. He was also President of the Lincoln County Historical Society.
John graduated from Washington State University in 1973 and the University of Puget Sound (JD cum laude) in 1979. He became a lawyer in 1979. John wrote the article on the history of EWGS from 1955 to 1964 for the 50th Anniversary issue of the Bulletin.
John has given many talks on courthouse research, held many offices for EWGS, and was chairman of a couple of seminars that EWGS held. During John's term, EWGS manned the Sprague Rest Stop in September for a fund raiser. EWGS cleared $1100.00 at the rest stop for the book fund.
Shirley Penna-Oakes - EWGS President 2000 and 2001. The passage of Initiative 695 by the city of Spokane created a loss of funding for several city departments, mainly the police department. Since this would have really devastated the police department, the city council divided up the loss so all departments that were funded by the general fund were cut an equal amount.
The library, which had never received any money from the Excise tax eliminated by I-695, ended up cutting hours at the downtown library. A quote from the Spokesman Review article: "Due to cuts the Spokane Public Library downtown will change its hours effective December 27, 1999 to: Mondays and Tuesdays noon to 8 p.m.; Wednesdays through Fridays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. closed Saturdays and Sundays. The availability of the downtown library's meeting rooms will be curtailed in accordance with the new hours." EWGS had been meeting at the library the first Saturday of each month since the 1930's would now be closed Saturdays because of budget cuts from I-695. So EWGS met for the two years Shirley was EWGS President at the Salvation Army building at 222 E. Indiana.
EWGS was also having a feud with the library over the genealogy collection and volunteers in the library. Twenty two months of negotiations and an agreement was reached. After the agreement, EWGS volunteers are now in the library Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Shirley was born to Raffeal Penna and Eleanor Bricker in Hillyard. Raffeal was the third child of Antonio and Virginia (Domico) Penna both from Italy who married in Spokane in 1907. Shirley lived most of her childhood in Spokane and moved to Springfield, Oregon in 1962, to live with her dad. Shirley met and married Richard (Dick) Oakes in 1970. They have two daughters, six grandchildren and one great grandson. Dick and Shirley were fireman/paramedics and there is a nice article in the Bulletin about their work in fighting a fire at Tum Tum July 4, 2001. Shirley came along during the time when surname booklets were popular and Shirley published many including; Tucker Times, Bricker Branches, Lewis Unlimited, Oakes Acorns, Gates Gazette, Indiana Queries, Pennsylvania Queries, New England Queries & Reviews and Mid Atlantic Queries and Reviews.
Marvelene E. Roach Carney was EWGS President in 2002 and 2003. On March 1, 1952, Marvelene married Frank James Carney, a staff sergeant in the US Air Force, stationed at Fairchild, AFB. Frank was from Chicago, Illinois, and when he left the air force he worked as a salesman at several auto and recreational vehicle dealerships. They had three children, two daughters Denise and Judith, and one son Thomas.
Frank died May 6, 1998 in San Bernardino, California while on vacation. Marvelene is a nurse. There is a nice article in the Spokane Chronicle September 7, 1968; "49 New Nurses Enter Deaconess School of Nursing" and Marvelene is one of those listed.
Marvelene was an author of a surname booklet by Carney Notepad Publishing called Roach Discovery. Marvelene also collected and indexed the 1991 obits for the 1991 Patchen Book. In 2000 Marvelene became an EWGS Distinguished Service Member for all her work as Vice-President, a library helper, chairing many seminars and workshops, and educational classes. Marvelene passed away April 3, 2015
Susan Beamer was EWGS President in 2006. Susan was born and raised in Omak, Washington, a third generation Washingtonian. She is currenly researching Beamers from Virginia to Washington, Bell from North Carolina to Iowa to Oregon and Washington. Other surnames are Stull, Eightme, Millard and Franz or Frans. Susan has a BA degree and a Masters Degree in history.
She works as the Records Manager and archivist for Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc., in Pullman, Washington. They make equipment and provide services for the electric power industry.
Susan is probably one of the EWGS President's with the highest energy level of anyone we have known. She shares our interest in odd records that may have our ancestors history hidden away somewhere. Getting her picture for the records took a lot of running to catch her. :)
Claude William (Bill) Hire - EWGS President 2007-2009, the only EWGS President to serve three consecutive terms as EWGS President. Early by-laws did not allow any officer to serve more than two consecutive years as an officer, but that had been changed to four consecutive years before Bill became EWGS President. Bill has also acted as treasurer after the death of Gary Taylor, so Bill was very busy until a new treasurer was found.
Bill was born in Wolf Lake, Indiana, to Thomas C Hire and Hermona J Magnuson. Bill grew up in Ligonier, Indiana. Upon graduating from High School in 1965, he attended Indiana University graduating in 1969 with a degree in Business Administration.
Bill enlisted in the Navy in 1969 and spent his enlisted career in Hawaii working for the Commander Submarine Forces Pacific as a radioman. Bill's term of duty ended with the Navy in 1973. In 1974 he was accepted to Navy Officer training and was commissioned an Ensign in October 1974. In December 1974 he married Marianne Iwasa whom Bill had met while stationed in Hawaii. Bill served as a Surface Warfare Officer for 17 years and retired from the Navy in 1991 as a Lieutenant Commander.
Bill continued his education in 1991 at the University of Idaho, graduating in 1993 with a B.S. in Cartography. He went to work for Spokane County in 1994 as a GIS Specialist doing computer mapping and analysis. He retired in July 2010. He has raised two children, Peter and Katharine.
Bill has a passion for learning about his family history. His genealogy researching soared in 1985 after a couple of aunts gave him handwritten pedigree charts for the " Hire and Bender" ancestors with accompanying handwritten notes of family group information for several families. Bill needed a magnifying glass to decipher the tiny print but that's all it took and he was off and running. After moving to Spokane in 1995, he joined EWGS. Bill has been Membership Chairman and in 2003 joined the EWGS board as a Junior Trustee.
2016 - 2018
2019 - 2021
I never intended to be a genealogist; I just wanted to "find out about" my paternal English grandfather. The first step I took was enrolling in genealogy research classes through the Senior Program at the Spokane Community College taught by Donna Potter Phillips. Like so many before me, once I learned about my grandfather I discovered 10 more questions I had to research. A genealogist was born!
Donna recommended joining EWGS and volunteering in the societies genealogy collection located in the Spokane Public Library. I followed her advice and joined the society and volunteered in the library for 18 years until the date the library closed for remodel. During that time I served as a trustee, taught research technique classes and presented programs for the general meetings.
Dolly Gorrod Webb