Showing 35 results

Authority record
Person

Arthur J Miller

  • 3.2.3
  • Person

Arthur J. Miller was a lifelong labor and civil rights advocate, born in San Diego but primarily active in the Puget Sound region after 1989. In 1967, he became involved in the anti-war movement and was allied with the Black Panther Party in the late ’60s. He made a career as a pipefitter in shipyards across the United States, joining the Industrial Workers of the World in 1970 at the suggestion of an I.W.W. member. His contributions in distributing radical leftist literature for the Panthers, and later his own publication Bayou La Rose, made him the target of disruption efforts of local and federal authorities. Arthur Miller passed in 2021.

Aubrey F. Andrews

  • Person

Aubrey F. Andrews (1906-1950) was a World War II veteran, librarian, and director of the Tacoma Public Library from 1946 to 1950. A native of Escanaba, Michigan, Andrews received a Bachelor of Arts in Library Science from the University of Washington in 1935 (1). He interned at the Joint Reference Library in Chicago, and after graduation held various library positions around the United States. He worked in the order department of the Oregon State College Library, was a Reference Assistant at the Technical Library in Knoxville, and a Community Librarian in Norris, Tennessee. He was later appointed as Chief of the Chattanooga, Tennessee Branch Technical Library, and in 1941 became Administrative Assistant at the Buffalo, NY Public Library. During World War II Mr. Andrews served in the Navy aboard the USS Hickox in the Pacific and kept a diary recording his experiences. He was discharged from the Navy at the conclusion of the war and appointed director of the Tacoma Public Library in 1946. One of his immediate major responsibilities was advocating for and planning a new main library building. In 1949 Aubrey Andrews was elected to a two-year term as president of the Washington Library Association. Andrews was also a member of the Tacoma Rotary Club, the Washington State Historical Society and the Tacoma Lodge No. 174 of the Elks. Aubrey Andrews died in Tacoma on November 8, 1950.

Bertha Snell

  • Person
  • 1870-1957

Bertha Marguerite Denton Snell (1870-1957) was a prominent lawyer in Tacoma in the early 20th century. She was born in Ottawa, Illinois in 1870. As a young child she was sent to live with an aunt and uncle in Galway, Saratoga County, New York. Her uncle, the Hon. Patrick H. Meehan, ran a law office and post office in Galway. In later years she would claim that the time spent at his office and under his tutelage sparked her interest in the law. Bertha graduated from the Teachers’ Institute at Saratoga in 1888. In 1889, she moved to Seattle where she worked as a legislative assistant and secretary to the governor of the newly established State of Washington. In 1893 she married Tacoma attorney Marshall King Snell. Bertha assisted her husband in his law practice, and was encouraged by him and others to continue her legal studies. In 1899 Bertha Snell passed the bar and became the first woman lawyer in Washington State. She became a partner in her husband’s firm and together they built a successful practice. Among their cases were suits dealing with land in Pierce and Whitman counties, and a controversial irrigation and water rights suit in Idaho (Nelson Bennett & Co. vs. Twin Falls Land & Water Co., 1906). Marshall and Bertha Snell were instrumental in the development of Ewan, Whitman County, Washington, where they owned property. They also owned property in Spokane, North Puyallup and elsewhere in Pierce County. The Snells had a personal interest in history and supported the establishment of the Washington State Historical Society. The Snell Law Office drew up the Constitution and by-laws for this organization in 1898, and Marshall Snell served as an early trustee. Marshall K. Snell died in Tacoma on April 19, 1939. Bertha Snell continued to practice law until 1953. She died on October 20, 1957.

Bill Baarsma

  • 1.2.3
  • Person
  • 1943-

Bill Baarsma was born in Tacoma in 1943. He attended Stadium High School and the University of Puget Sound (Class of 1964) where he studied political science. He obtained a master's degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. where he served as a clerk for Senator Henry M. Jackson and as a White House Fellow with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. From 1968 to 2001, Baarsma taught political science, business management, and public administration at the University of Puget Sound. In 1991, he was elected to City Council and, in 2001, he became the 38th Mayor of the City of Tacoma. During his two terms as Mayor, Baarsma was involved in the development of the Click Network, the largest municipally owned telecommunications system in North America.

Charles Carson

  • CAC1002
  • Person
  • 1970-

Charles Carson, MA, was born on October 25, 1970 in the Eastside of Tacoma. He and his siblings were raised by a single mother in an environment of alcoholism and violence. At age 12, Carson was arrested for theft and sent to Remann Hall Juvenile Detention Center. Before the age of 17, he was detained at the detention center a total of 18 times. As his mother’s alcoholism worsened, Charles would frequently be kicked out of his home and spend the night in abandoned buildings. He began selling crack/rock cocaine and became addicted. During his teen years, he was a frequent witness to deaths, gun violence, and overdoses. In February of 1988, Charles was beaten and shot during a drug-related incident. After being released from the hospital, he moved in with his best friend's family. His friend's mother, Ramona Bennett, a Puyallup tribal leader, activist, and mentor, became a surrogate mother to Charles, encouraging him to quit drugs and return to school. With her support, he enrolled in an alternative high school and completed four years of coursework in just 18 months. Over the next year, Charles was awarded the Boys and Girls Club’s Youth of the Year Award and selected to attend the Washington Leadership Institute. In 1989, he was recruited by the Safe Streets Campaign to support at risk youth impacted by drugs and violence in Tacoma. On March 15, 1991, he founded the Late Nite program in collaboration with the Tacoma Center YMCA. The program has since expanded across Pierce County and has been implemented in other cities across the United States. He has received dozens of national awards and recognitions for public service, including being honored by Vice President Al Gore for his work with Late Nite. Charles went on to earn an Associate’s Degree from Tacoma Community College, a Bachelor’s Degree from Evergreen State College, and a Master’s degree from the University of Washington. He has spoken extensively at colleges, detention centers, and churches. He now works as a musician and author and operates Beautiful Birds Family Services, a foster/adoption agency that helps find homes for children.

Christopher Petrich

  • 2.1.5
  • Person

Christopher Petrich was born in Tacoma. He attended Bellarmine High School, Georgetown University, and the American University in Washington DC where he studied art, design, and art history. He also studied under fine art photographer Alan Ross. Petrich began his career at age sixteen as a Photographer and Lab Technician in the portrait studio of Bert Perler. In the early 1970s, he sold cameras at Barney Elliot's Camera Shop in downtown Tacoma. He was hired as a Photographer by the City of Tacoma where he worked with William Trueblood and Jerry Timmons to photograph city events. He worked on a number of aerial photography assignments in this role and performed darkroom lab processing for the City. He photographed notable Tacoma visitors including Leroy Ostransky, Jacques Cousteau, Bill Cosby, and Richard Nixon and he created visual documentation of the Hawthorne District which was removed during the construction of the Tacoma Dome. In 1985, Petrich and Jerry Timmons founded Image Market Studio on 6th Avenue. Over the course of his career, he was employed by the Weyerhaeuser Company, the Washington State Legislature, and Yuen Lui Studios. His work has been exhibited widely across Washington and shown in Colorado, California, and Vermont.

Eldred Welch

  • Person
  • 1872-1947

Eldred Newell Welch was born on July 24, 1872 in Cordon, Iowa to Rev. William M. and Mary Ann Welch. Although he did not spend much time in Pierce County, he often corresponded with his parents and other family members who lived in the Tacoma area until the 1940s. These letters contain information about everyday news and life in Tacoma, and regularly touch on subjects such as the weather, farm work, local church activities, politics, and various local area events. Eldred Welch lived for many years in Portland, Oregon, and died on January 13, 1947 in Orlando County, Florida.

Elizabeth Sale

  • 3.5.6
  • Person
  • 1886-1981

Elizabeth Sale (1886-1981) was a poet, novelist, and literary editor who spent her formative years in Tacoma, Washington. She was born Bettie Sale Clemmons June 26,1886, in Monroe County, Indiana. When she was three years old, her extended family moved to Tacoma, Washington, where her father and uncle worked as letter carriers. She married James Murdoch Stewart (1885-1956) in 1908 and they adopted a son, Harry Edward Skarbo (1908-1956) sometime after the death of his birth mother in 1911. Their second son, James Murdock Stewart, Jr., (1914-1999) was born November 24, 1914.

She was a charter member and the third president of the Tacoma Writers’ club, which was inaugurated in 1919. Her poetry was published in Washington State journals The Tacoman and Muse & Mirror, as well as syndicated in newspapers in the United States and Canada. She performed on KOMO radio in the late 1920s as “Aunt Missouri Jackson”, a Black “mammy” character in skits that she wrote every week. Her son Harry was to have his own fame in radio, nightclubs, and movies performing in Swedish dialect as “Yogi Yorgesson”, the Hindu mystic. By 1930, she was divorced and living in New York City. On April 14, 1931, she married Christoffer Fotland (1891-1972), a Norwegian sea captain, and had relocated to the Los Angeles area in California. She continued to be active in poetry circles in California and joined the San Pedro Writers’ Guild in 1936, of which she was later president.

She had begun writing her first novel as early as 1934, when she lived in Tacoma for two months while doing research. This year she began her collaboration with Virna Haffer (1899-1974) on a volume of erotic poetry and photographs, called Abundant Wild Oats. It was to be published by The Writer's Press in New York City in 1938, although it was never produced. A mock-up of the cover survives, along with a promotional brochure, a few poems, and a handful of Virna Haffer’s photographs. Her novel, Recitation From Memory (1943), was set in Tacoma and based on her early childhood experience. Her reminiscence continued through her second novel, My Mother Bids Me Bind My Hair (1944), which followed her life up to her first marriage. For ten years (c. 1938-1948) she worked as poetry editor of Rob Wagner’s Script, a weekly literary and film magazine published in Beverly Hills. Two volumes of her poetry were published, The Field (1968), and Where Lies the Land (1974). She lived the last two years of her life with her son James in Grand Junction, Colorado, where she died February 5, 1981.

Erna Spannagel Tilley

  • Person
  • 1887-1982

Erna Spannagel Tilley (1887-1982) was a dedicated supporter of the arts and theater development in Tacoma, Washington. She moved to Tacoma with her husband, Homer Tilley, in 1917. She soon became very involved in helping to initiate and develop cultural and artistic organizations in Tacoma. She was one of the founding members of the Tacoma Drama League in 1918 and continued to be an active member for over fifty years. In 1935, she helped to organize the Tacoma Art Association and supported its activities for many years. Erna Tilley wrote several books chronicling the histories and activities of Tacoma organizations and people, including: The History of the Tacoma Little Theatre; Random Impressions of Early Days in Tacoma; Remembrances of Five Notables: Allan Clark, Joseph Washington Hall, Donald Benson Blanding, Thomas Schofield Handforth, Elsa Behaim Nessenson; and Resume: Early History of Tacoma Art Association.

Ernest Norling

  • 3.5.7
  • Person
  • 1892-1974

Ernest Norling was born in Pasco, WA on September 26, 1892. In 1895 his family moved to Ellensburg, Washington. Norling attended Whitman College where he majored in math and physics. After college he worked as a draftsman for the city engineer's office before moving to Chicago. He studied at the Chicago Art Institute and the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and then moved to Seattle, where he began teaching art at the Cornish School. While teaching, Norling wrote "Perspectives Made Easy" (1939), a book on the use of perspective in art. He was one of fifty artists in Washington to take part in the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP) during the Great Depression, creating documentary paintings of the Civilian Conservation Corps at work. Norling worked as an artist for the Seattle Times and as the art director for the Boeing Aircraft Company Preliminary Design Unit. He worked as an illustrator for a number of children’s books, including the Kenneth Gilbert books Bird Dog Bargain (1947), Triple Threat Patrol (1953), and Cruise of the Dipsy Do (1954). Norling and his wife, Josephine Stearns, also worked together on a series of "Pogo" books that featured a dog inspired by their daughter's pet. The novels explored underrepresented topics in children's literature such as lumberjacking and train mechanics. Over 12 years, Norling and his wife produced 20 childrens books set in the Pacific Northwest, including Pogo's Train Ride which is part of this collection. He also created commissioned works for the University of Washington, which included a mural for the student union building, now known as the HUB, in 1949. The mural depicted individuals and events from the University of Washington's history from 1861 to 1925. Ernest Norling died in Seattle, Washington in March 1974 at the age of 81.

Frederick W. Keator

  • Person
  • 1855-1924

Frederick W. (William) Keator was a bishop of the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Olympia from 1902 until his death in 1924. During these years he resided in Tacoma where he was active in fraternal lodges and many clubs and societies, and served as president of the Tacoma Public Library board from 1907 to 1910 and 1912 to 1923. His tenure on the library board included chairing the statewide Washington campaign to raise funds for the American Library Association’s Library War Service effort during World War I. Frederick W. Keator was born in Honesdale, Pennsylvania on October 22, 1855. He entered Yale University in 1876 where he received a Bachelor of Arts in 1880 and a Bachelor of Law in 1882. After practicing as a lawyer in Illinois for several years, he became interested in church work. He graduated from the Western Theological Seminary of Chicago in May of 1891 and was ordained an Episcopal priest later that year. He married Emma Victoria Lyon of Chicago in 1894 and they had one son, Frederic, born in 1896. He was consecrated as bishop of the Diocese of Olympia on January 8, 1902 and arrived in Tacoma on January 25th. He soon became involved in many civic causes and organizations not directly related to his church position. In addition to his service on the Tacoma Public Library Board and many other posts, he served as president of the board of trustees of Annie Wright Seminary, was an overseer at Whitman College, and served on the board of Tacoma General Hospital. Frederick W. Keator died of a heart ailment on January 31, 1924 in New Haven, Connecticut while visiting his son who was an assistant instructor in electrical engineering at Yale University.

George M Miller

  • 3.2.2
  • Person
  • 1889-1964

George Miclea Miller was born in Palos, Romania on October 5, 1889. He immigrated to the United States and lived in Ohio before relocating to Tacoma in 1923. He worked as a longshoreman and checker for 32 years. He served eight years as President of the Local 38-97 International Longshoreman's Association (ILA), five years as the President of the Washington State Maritime Trades Group, and five years as President of the ILA District Council. Miller represented the longshoreman during the Streamline Strike of 1936 and helped lead a demand for higher wages for Pacific Coast longshore workers in 1940. He died in November 1964 at the age of 75.

George O. Swasey

  • 6.3
  • Person
  • 1868-1958

George O. Swasey was born in Beverly, Massachusetts in 1868. He was a graduate of Exeter Academy and Harvard University. He arrived in Tacoma around 1907 to begin a law practice and was active in the Tacoma Elks Lodge, the Tacoma Bar Association, Sons of the American Revolution, and the Unitarian Church. At the time of his death in 1958, he resided at 4622 North 28th Street. Swasey bequeathed $110,000 to the Tacoma Public Library to establish the George O. Swasey library branch.

Gerald Davis

  • 2.3.1
  • Person
  • 1926-

Gerald Davis was born in England and moved with his family to Seattle in 1937. In 1941, his father Norman purchased Heidelberg Brewery and the family relocated to Tacoma and lived at 424 North D Street. Davis attended Stadium High School and began working at the brewery in the bottle shop warehouse. He joined the Navy in 1948 and attended the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York. He then attended the University of Louvain in Belgium where he studied the chemistry of brewing. He then worked as an apprentice at Cardinal Brewing Company in Fribourg, Switzerland. He then returned to Heidelberg Brewery to work in marketing and advertising. The company was sold to Carling Brewing Company in 1958 and Davis joined Carling as Assistant to Director of Marketing.

Helen Stafford

  • 3.4.2
  • Person
  • 1899-2002

Helen Cecile Beck Stafford (1899-2002) was a long-time community and civil rights advocate in Tacoma. She was born on November 15, 1899 in Wamego, Kansas, the tenth of eleven children born to a formerly enslaved father. In 1920, she graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in home economics and a minor in sociology. She taught in Kansas schools before moving to Tacoma in 1926 where she met and married her husband, Wendell P. Stafford. Openly denied a teaching position in Tacoma because she was Black, she later became the first African-American case worker for what was then the Tacoma Department of Public Assistance. During her years in Tacoma, Helen Stafford was a community leader and actively involved in many local civic and cultural organizations. In 1927, she organized the Matron’s Club, a social gathering of young Black married women who were mothers. In the early 1930s, Stafford helped to organize the Tacoma chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and served as its president. She organized the first Pacific Northwest chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, as well as the Tacoma chapter of The Links. She was involved with the Tacoma Urban League, and served on the board of the YWCA and the Tacoma Colored Woman’s Club. She was also an active member of the Allen AME Church, where she sang in the choir and was the long-time superintendent of Sunday School. After retiring in 1970, Stafford remained active in numerous local organizations, and in 1971 she was named the State Woman of Achievement by the Washington State Business and Professional Women’s Clubs Association, becoming the first African-American woman in the state to receive the honor. She received many awards, including the Finer Womanhood Award from Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Tacoma Municipal League, the Tacoma NAACP Service Award, and the YWCA Woman of the Year Humanitarian Award. In 1986 she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Puget Sound for humanitarian services, and in 1987 she returned to Kansas State University to receive the Alumni Medallion, a lifetime achievement award. On November 15, 1999, when she turned 100 years old, the Tacoma City Council declared the day “Helen Stafford Day.” She died on August 27, 2002 in Tacoma.

Honor L. Wilhelm

  • 5.5.2
  • Person
  • 1870-1957

Honor Wilhelm was born in Shiloh, Ohio in 1870. He graduated from Wittenberg College in 1894 and apprenticed in a law firm. He was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1897. Later that same year, he relocated to Seattle. He began writing for a weekly Presbyterian newspapers, The Daysman, and writing two serials, "Musing of Maffy Moore" and "Scenes in the Sunny South." Through local printer H.L. Pigott, Wilhelm became aware of the recently founded magazine "The Coast," which was struggling financially. Wilhelm purchased the magazine and credited its founders by saying that the two women who started it in 1900, "...deserve praise for the perseverance and pluck with which they met adverse and discouraging conditions." While editing "The Coast," Wilhelm traveled around the northwestern United States. He wrote articles, took photographs, edited manuscripts, and sold advertisements and subscriptions. He sold "The Coast" in 1911 and became an ordained minister. He served congregations in Black Diamond, Sedro Woolley, Auburn, and Seattle. He later led a church service broadcast. He died in 1957 at age 87.

J. W. Roberts

  • 6.1.3
  • Person
  • 1836-1912

J. W. Roberts, born July 17, 1836 in Hollingworth, England, was a farmer and early pioneer in Spanaway, Washington. He was born to Elizabeth Wilson and Samuel Roberts and had four siblings: Matilda, Jane, William and George. In 1843 the Roberts family emigrated from England to the United States. Census records show that the Roberts family lived in Wisconsin (1850) and Illinois (1860), but in 1860 J. W. Roberts was no longer living with his family and had presumably headed west. The year when J. W. Roberts arrived in Washington is unknown, though his papers indicate he was living in Pierce County as early as 1866. Other family members, including his parents, brother, and niece eventually moved to Pierce County and purchased land near J. W. Roberts' claim at the southwest side of Spanaway Lake. Through inheritance and investment, J. W. Roberts continued to obtain and lease land in Spanaway and parts of South Tacoma. At the time of his death in 1912, J. W. Roberts was a wealthy land owner, landlord and farmer who had lived in Pierce County for over 40 years. Between 1868 and 1912, J. W. Roberts recorded his daily work on notebooks, loose papers, account books and pieces of cardboard. The journal entries average only a line or two a day and give accounts of details such as the weather and his daily work: tending to livestock, planting, clearing land, and various household tasks. He describes trips to Tacoma and other nearby areas to purchase or sell goods, and visit family. J. W. Roberts’ journals and correspondence also illustrate his family’s movements in Pierce County. His parents settled in Steilacoom in 1870, and his brother George Roberts lived in South Tacoma and ran Roberts Granite & Marble Works at 5304 South Alder St. In the last month of his life, J. W. Roberts’ journal entries made mention of “akes & pains,” swollen ankles, and being “verry sick.” According to his obituary, J. W. Roberts died May 12, 1912 at his brother George Roberts’ home in Tacoma. On May 14 his funeral was held in the Merrow & Storlies Chapel in South Tacoma. He is buried at Oakwood Cemetery. J. W. Roberts died a wealthy man without a wife, children or a will. After his death there were several claims on his sizable estate, estimated at the time to be worth between $70,000 and $90,000. Claimants included his great-grandnephew Charles Larson who petitioned on behalf of himself and his siblings, and a woman named Marguerite Clark Mulroy Snyder of Rockford, Illinois who declared herself a long-lost granddaughter. Both petitions were eventually rejected by the courts, and the claim by Mrs. Snyder declared grossly fraudulent. Included in these papers is a full record of this court case which made front page news and attracted considerable attention in both Tacoma and Rockford, Illinois. In the end, half of J. W. Roberts’ estate was awarded to his only surviving brother George Roberts, and the other half was split between two nieces, Elizabeth Beck and Catherine Rossiter.

Jacki Skaught

  • 1.6.1
  • Person

In 1979, the City of Tacoma voted overwhelmingly in favor of a bond issue to build a sports and convention center, originally conceived of as a “Mini Dome.” The city decided to apply a “Design-Build/ no bid” process for selecting architects and contractors. This was such a unique process at the time that Washington State legislation had to be altered in order to allow it to proceed. The central concept of the Design-Build process is that project initiators have a set monetary figure in mind, and will only accept a favorable proposal from a design team willing to work within these parameters. A Jury of Recommendations was officially created by the city council to help make decisions in every aspect of the planning and designing phases of the building. This team consisted of seven members representing expertise in building management, construction, downtown area business, architecture, athletics, education, and the interests of the citizens of Tacoma. Jacki Skaught, the donor of this collection, was the official “Citizen at Large.” Jacki, a former children’s librarian, came into this position with a strong background in city development and government. She was a member of the League of Women’s Voters and had held positions on the Tacoma City Council. As such, she had worked closely with city management. For three years, the Jury worked diligently creating a plan for selecting the site, choosing the design and functions of the building, requesting construction proposals, developing timetables, and interviewing construction team applicants. Part of the Jury’s work involved travelling to other cities to view structures similar to the designs they had envisioned. Although it was not the jury’s role to make any authoritative decisions themselves, the well-researched proposals they presented before the mayor and City Council were the guiding factors that shaped the design of the Tacoma Dome we know today. Jacki describes the planning and building of the Tacoma Dome as a true “grass roots” project. The Jury of local representatives worked well together, the public and local government were tremendously supportive, and the final accepted proposal was from a local design team- the Tacoma Dome Associates. The building was constructed on time and under budget, and featured the world’s largest wooden dome (made from trees blown down during the eruption of Mt. St. Helen’s), and state of the art acoustics. The work of the jury proceeded with a few glitches: residents of a house that had to be removed from the building site held out for some time, and there was a heated public dispute (that continued on through 1984) concerning the selection of Dome art for the building’s roof. The Tacoma Dome opened to the public April 21, 1983. A VIP Grand Opening Gala was held the evening before, and the ribbon cutting was the next day, followed by three days of festivities planned by Jacki and the other Jury members. Although the jury’s work was officially done following the acceptance of the proposal, they continued to work together throughout the building construction, selection of vendors and sports teams, and other pre-opening activities. Jacki was actively involved in planning the opening week festivities, selecting the first manager of the Dome, and is credited with shooting the first basket on the basketball court. The jury was never officially dismissed, but they were officially reconvened briefly in 1985 to review issues related to the Dome after two years of operations. The jury informally disbanded after 1985, although individual members, such as Jacki, continued to participate in Dome related events and issues. For example, Jacki oversaw the planning of the 10 and 20 year Dome anniversary celebrations, and helped lobby for a 2005 bond issue for Dome improvements, which failed. Following her official work on the Jury, Jacki has remained active in Tacoma Dome events and has held other positions with the city of Tacoma. She served as an Economic Development Specialist, concentrating on tourism, business recruitment and retention, marketing, special events and international trade relations. She also was employed as a city film commissioner, promoting the Tacoma area for film companies.

James R. Merritt

  • 2.2.1
  • Person

James R. Merritt, a native of Tacoma, graduated from the University of Washington College of Architecture and Urban Planning in 1970. He became a registered architect with the State of Washington in 1973. In 1975, he co-founded Glassie-Merritt where he was as a principal architect until 1979. He then went on to hold this role with several other firms including Tsang-Merritt (1979-1984), Merritt Associates (1984), Merritt + Pardini (1984-1998), Merritt + Pardini/PMX (1998-2001), and Merritt Arch (2001-present). He and his firms worked on a number of projects across Tacoma and the broader northwestern United States including the restoration of the Tacoma Union Station, the Pinkerton Building, and the Rialto Theatre.

John Boynton Kaiser

  • Person
  • 1887-1973

John Boynton Kaiser (1887-1973) was the director of the Tacoma Public Library from 1914 to 1924. During his time in Tacoma he was also a member of the Washington State Library Commission, the Washington State Library Advisory Board, the American Library Association Committee on Enlarged Program, and the Justice to the Mountain Committee, which attempted to change the name of Mount Rainier back to Mount Tacoma. Kaiser left Tacoma in 1924 to become director of the University of Iowa Libraries. In 1927 he took a position as director of the Oakland Public Library, and in 1943 he became director of the Newark Public Library. He retired from Newark Public Library in 1958. Kaiser was also a library educator and taught classes in library administration at the University of Illinois, the University of Chicago, Rutgers University, UC Berkeley, and Columbia University. In addition, Kaiser served as president of the Pacific Northwest Library Association, the California Library Association, the New Jersey Library Association, and the New York State Library School Association. He was vice-president of the American Library Association, and executive director of the American Documentation Institute. In 1908 Kaiser received a B.A. from Western Reserve University, and B.L.S. (1910) and M.L.S. (1917) from New York State Library School. In 1960 he was given an honorary degree from Rutgers University for his contributions to the library profession. Kaiser authored numerous publications, a list of which may be found in "Annotated bibliography of the writings of John Boynton Kaiser, published 1911 to 1958; prepared on the occasion of his retirement as director, April 15, 1943-July 2, 1958, of the Newark Public Library" (1958, Newark Public Library).

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