Showing 66 results

Authority record

Murray Morgan

  • 6.1.1
  • Person
  • 1916-2000

Murray Morgan was born in Tacoma in 1916 to Henry Victor and Ada Camille Morgan. His father, a Unitarian Universalist Minister, was the publisher of a monthly religious periodical while his mother wrote children's plays and poetry. As a student, he wrote for both his junior high and high school newspapers. Before his 1933 graduation from Stadium High School, Morgan's article "How to Second a Boxer," was published nationally in Scholastic Magazine. He enrolled at the University of Washington where he studied journalism and edited the UW Daily. He graduated cum laude in 1937 and then moved to Hoquiam to report on sports and local news for the Grays Harbor Washingtonian. He briefly returned to Seattle to edit the Seattle Municipal News. While there, he reunited with Rosa Northcutt, who had also attended UW and worked on the UW Daily. On March 5, 1939, Murray and Rosa were married in Tacoma. The couple went to Europe for their honeymoon where they embarked on a kayaking trip through Germany and Austria. Murray's reports on the trip were published in the Tacoma News Tribune. He then wrote for the Spokane Daily Chronicle before returning to the Grays Harbor Washingtonian as the City Editor. In 1941, he moved to New York City to pursue a Master's degree in journalism at Columbia University. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, media outlets expanded their operations and Murray began working on assignments for CBS, Time, and the New York Herald Tribune. Rosa attended his classes and took notes for him while he wrote. With her help, he completed the Master's program and was awarded a Pulitzer Fellowship. He and Rosa moved to Lake Patzcuaro, Mexico where Murray intended to study and write about the Mexican press. Just a few months after their arrival in Mexico, Murray was drafted into the army. His first book, a mystery called Day of the Dead, was published under the pen name Cromwell Murray in 1946. While stationed in the Aleutian Islands, Rosa encouraged Murray to write about the history of the island. She conducted research and sent the information to Murray. This resulted in his first history book, Bridge to Russia: Those Amazing Aleutians (1947). Murray was then transferred to the Pentagon to work as decoder. While in Washington, DC, he worked with Rosa to research the CSS Shenandoah which resulted in the book Dixie Raider (1948). The Morgans returned to Washington and lived on Maury Island where Murray wrote a second novel, The Viewless Winds. They then moved to Trout Lake where Murray would live for the rest of his life. He wrote for dozens of magazines and newspapers including Holiday, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, The Nation, and the Saturday Evening Post. He also worked as the copyeditor for the Tacoma Times and taught courses and advised the student newspaper at the University of Puget Sound. He briefly worked the graveyard shift as the bridgetender for the 11th Street Bridge which would later be renamed in his honor. In 1951, Murray's most successful book, Skid Road: An Informal Portrait of Seattle was published. In the early 1950s, Morgan added the role of broadcaster to his growing list of occupations. He and Jim Faber co-hosted a morning news program on KMO and then KTAC where they discussed Tacoma politics and became known for exposing and discussing corruption. In 1956, Morgan joined KTNT to host a morning program called "Our Town, Our World," which would continue for 15 years. In 1963, he started a regular review column for the Seattle periodical Argus. Between 1969 and 1981, he taught a course on Northwest history at Tacoma Community College. During this period, he also taught at Highline Community College, Pacific Lutheran University, and Fort Steilacoom Community College. Over the course of his career, he wrote or co-wrote 23 books. He died on June 22, 2000.

National League for Woman’s Service

  • Organization
  • 1917-1918 (?)

The National League for Woman’s Service was a volunteer service organization created in 1917 from the Woman’s Department of the National Civic Federation's readiness and relief activities. In conjunction with the Red Cross, the NLWS offered classes in subjects such as sales, office work, and truck driving to train women to fill men's jobs while the men served in the military during World War I.

Orpheus Club of Tacoma

  • Organization
  • 1903-1990s

The Orpheus Club of Tacoma was formed as a chorus that would offer both musical fellowship for its members and provide public concerts for the community. The club was founded on May 4, 1903 when a dozen men met at St. Luke's parish house and formed a temporary organization. Later that year the permanent organization was officially established. Members began practicing once a week in January 1904 under the direction of Keith J. Middleton, conductor and founder. The Orpheus Club's first public concert was held at the Masonic Temple at 734-36 Saint Helens Ave. on June 20, 1904. At the height of its membership from the 1930s to the 1950s the club consisted of over 70 singing or active members. Members sang at the opening of Stadium Bowl in 1910 and for the opening of the Camp Lewis Theater in 1918, and performed with the Seattle Philharmonic orchestra and the New York Symphony at the Tacoma Theatre. In addition to concerts, the club provided services to organizations such as hospitals, schools and retirement homes. Members from all walks of Tacoma's business and civic communities were long-time members of the club, such as Judge Hal Murtland, architect John Richards, grocer Iver Belsvig, early pioneer and wholesale supplier Frederick Mottet, and former mayor W. W. Seymour. From its founding until it was disbanded in the 1990s, the chorus performed two concerts a year and practiced once a week September through May.

Paul Jackson

  • CAC1001
  • Person
  • 1968-

Paul Jackson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on February 20, 1968. His mother, Vickie Cunningham-Jackson-Davis was born in Choopee, South Carolina. She was a twin and the oldest of ten children. She graduated from South Carolina State University and served as a civilian in the Army. His father fought in the Vietnam War. As a child, Jackson moved to Willingboro, New Jersey, a suburb 15 miles northeast of Philadelphia. The family purchased a home in the Levitt and Sons residential development, which had been successfully sued in the late 1950s for refusing to sell to Black families. While in grade school, Jackson lived in Fairfax, Virginia, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Cambridge, Massachusetts. In Cambridge, his mother attended MIT. It was there that Jackson saw his first computer when he was in the 6th grade. He played violin in the Cambridge Youth Orchestra and began playing guitar.

He attended Prairie View A&M University in Texas where he played bass in an award winning funk band. He received a National Science Foundation scholarship to obtain his PhD in computer engineering. His research focused on augmented and virtual reality within the aerospace industry. He completed three summer internships with Boeing and, after graduation, was hired full time and relocated to Seattle.

He has presented nationally and internationally on a range of topics including deep space exploration and digital media authoring. Jackson is the co-chair of the Swedish MS support group. He is a Chronic Disease Self-Care Manager and is certified in Adult Mental Health First Aid through the African American Reach and Teach Health Ministries. He and his wife, artist and educator Jasmine Brown, now reside in Tacoma.

Paul Meyers

  • Person
  • 1900-1985

Paul Meyers was an avid collector of railroad miscellanea, with a special focus on the Great Northern Railway. He was born in Leavenworth, Washington in 1900 and took his first railroad job at 12 years old as a water boy for a section gang. He spent 49 years working for the Great Northern Railway in a variety of different positions, and retired in Tacoma as general agent for freight and passenger service in 1966. He was also a member of the Tacoma City Planning Commission and was active in city clubs such as Tacoma Rotary, Tacoma Elks, and the Tacoma Executive Association. Paul Meyers died in Tacoma on August 11, 1985 at the age of 85.

Perry Keithley

  • 4.3.1
  • Person
  • 1907-1968

Perry Keithley was born August 7, 1906 in Castle Rock, Washington. He attended Centralia High School (Class of 1925) and Bellingham Normal School (1925-1927). After starting his career as an educator, Keithley attended summer sessions at Western Washington College of Education where he was a part of the first four year graduating class in 1933. From 1928 to 1930, he taught at Meadows School in Thurston County where he was one of two total teachers. He taught all students in grades 5-8. He then moved to Lincoln School in Gig Harbor where he served as principal and taught 7th and 8th grades from 1930 to 1931. In 1931, Keithley was hired as a teacher and superintendent of the Midland and Harvard School Districts in Pierce County. His early years working for the school district coincided with financial challenges caused by the Great Depression. During this time, Keithley served as superintendent, principal, teacher, coach, and school bus driver. He also organized summer recreational programs for students. For several years, he was the youngest superintendent in the state of Washington. He chaired the statewide legislative committee of the Washington Education Association and led an effort to consolidate the Midland, Parkland, Collins, and Central Avenue school districts into the Franklin-Pierce School District. Due to health problems, Keithley retired in 1957. He died at age 61 of pancreatic cancer in 1968. In 1960, Perry G. Keithley Junior High (later Middle School) was named in his honor.

Planning and Development Services 

  • 1.3.4
  • City of Tacoma Department
  • 1991-

In 1991 the Planning and Development Services Department was created through the merger of the Community Development Department and the Human Development and Planning Department (1). This department's mission is to partner with the community to build a livable, sustainable, and safe City by providing strategic, timely, predictable, cost-effective planning and development services with a culture focused on community engagement, customer service, creativity, accountability, and continuous improvement (2).

Puyallup Valley Japanese American Citizens League

  • 3.3.1
  • Organization
  • 1930-

The Puyallup Valley Chapter (PVC) of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) was established in 1930,(1) but first appeared in newspapers on November 18, 1937, hosting a "bazaar" at the Fife High School auditorium, featuring prizes and a 26 pound turkey feast.(2) According to PVC member and Fife mayor Robert Mizukami, this type of event was typical of the group's social orientation during the pre-war period.(3) The fairs were intended as a means of "acquainting the public with the citizen's group and it's activities," which included ceremonial dancing, traditional dress and promoting the Japanese language schools that operated in neighboring cities of Fife, Firwood, Sumner and Tacoma.(4) The JACL consisted of Nisei, or second generation, Japanese Americans, rather than their parent Issei generation.(5)

On June 18, 1938, PVC president Dan Sakahara hosted an event introducing the editor and publisher of the all English language Japanese-American Courier in Seattle and national chairman of the JACL James Y. Sakamoto.(6) The difference between these two speakers was representative of the economic and educational rift between chapter presidents and JACL leaders. While Sakahara was successful, he sustained his family through farming on Vashon Island, just outside of Tacoma.(7) In contrast, Sakamoto made his living by skillfully navigating between Japanese and American language and culture.(8)

George M. Egusa (9) was elected president in 1939 followed by Lefty (Saturo) Sasaki of Orting, from 1940 through 1942.(10) Throughout this period the organization continued to hold public events demonstrating Japanese culture alongside patriotic adherence to American values. In a press photo from August 1941 at the National Bank of Washington, Lefty Sasaki is shown posing with PVC Secretary and Publicist Tadako Tamura and other group leaders around a banker's desk to invest in defense savings bonds.(11)

By that year, the JACL had grown to 55 chapters across sixteen states with Los Angeles holding a regular Nisei Week annual event.12 On October 30, the PVC hosted an event supporting National Defense Week to help unify efforts between the 250 Nisei soldiers active at the Fort Lewis Army base and Caucasian soldiers.13 The evening included an informal dinner with Issei family members, dancing and singing the American national anthem, "marching forward, arm in arm with their fellow young Americans." (14)

This purpose was expressed on a larger scale by JACL National Secretary and Field Executive Mike Masaoka earlier that month in a series of public letters to President Roosevelt and US Senators. Masaoka, a twenty six year old veteran and former professor of rhetoric at the University of Utah, (15) was asserting the patriotic loyalty of the JACL amidst rumors that the organization was acting as a fundraising branch of "Japan's war chest," and demanded "an investigation to prove our loyalty." (16)

Following the PVC's National Defense Week celebration at the Odd Fellow's Hall, soldiers from Fort Lewis turned out in droves at the Puyallup Valley Chapter's annual winter event on December 2, 1941 the largest in the organization's history. Over 1,500 visitors poured into the Fife High School gymnasium to celebrate the organization's "social, cultural and civic activities."(17) Five days later, the Japanese government attacked the American military base Pearl Harbor, which led to America entering WWII, causing a nearly immediate shift in the JACL's function up to that point. Four days after the bombing, Mike Masaoka issued his Japanese-American Creed, a policy of "unswerving loyalty" to the United States. In it, he pledges:

"to support her constitution; to obey her laws; to respect her flag; to defend her
against all enemies, foreign or domestic; to actively assume my duties and
obligation as. a citizen cheerfully and without any reservations whatsoever, in the
hope that I may become a better American in a better America." (18)

This same day the Tacoma News Tribune released a statement that there was a "flood" of applications for birth certificates amongst the Nisei community to establish their US citizenship. (19) Just as the organization had helped the community attain their driver's license registration in the past, (20) Lefty Sasaki of the PVC and leaders of the Tacoma chapter offered to help process these requests from many of the estimated 8,882 Nisei living in Washington as of the 1940 census. (21) This seems to be the inciting incident which caused some Japanese Language schools to reopen as headquarters for civilian defense, as was the case in Tacoma's Japanese Language School becoming the Japanese Community Center.(22) Schools that were not converted to these functions were shuttered by a resolution from James Y. Sakamoto on grounds that they would arouse "misunderstanding of the loyalty of Japanese in America." (23)

When Executive Order 9066 was issued by President Franklin Roosevelt on February 19, authorizing the forced "evacuation of all persons deemed a threat to
national security from the West Coast to relocation centers further inland," (24) these makeshift community centers across Washington became registration stations, which would facilitate the US government to route citizens to camps. JACL members also organized these efforts independent from the US government. As Seattle JACL secretary noted "We don't know where we're going- or when we are going but we do know we are going. The United States government has complete information about us, but we want our data, too." (25)

In the immediate aftermath of Pearl Harbor, the JACL leadership established working relationships with the FBI and naval intelligence officers to pinpoint "subversive Japanese organizations on the west coast." Recorded informants include JACL leaders Saburo Kido, Ken Matsumoto and previously mentioned Field Executive Mike Masaoka. (26) Masaoka maintained a working correspondence with Milton Eisenhower, the head of the War Relocation Authority (WRA), beginning in March of 1942, sending recommendations for how to operate the camps, which both parties attest to influencing later designs.(27) Masaoka also worked with the US government to indict possible Japanese American subversives in court (28) as well as before War WRA committee hearings. (29)

In early March 1942, Seattle JACL leader James Sakamoto spoke publicly about having an "intelligence unit" which collaborated with the FBI and explained how this
relationship could be used as a means of avoiding forced removal, suggesting that the Issei could be placed under custody of the Nisei. If the Issei generation didn't report twice a week to the Nisei, "the league's intelligence unit would inform the FBI." (30)

Soon after, Sakamoto's longtime newspaper competitor Dick Takeuchi, editor of The Great Northern Daily News in Seattle, submitted their final issue on the topic of expulsion, before Takeuchi himself was incarcerated at the Minidoka War Relocation Center. (31) The Great Northern's final issue was one page of English and seven pages of Japanese, consisting of the latest news and illustrated maps of the newly developed concentration camps, (32) including Camp Harmony in Puyallup, WA, where Sakamoto was elected Chief Supervisor on the 24th of April. (33)

"Camp Harmony" or the Puyallup Assembly Center, was really the Washington State Fairgrounds, converted into a series of barracks with a central mess hall over the course of 14 days. (34) Camp Harmony was staffed entirely by Japanese Americans, under the direction of the US military, so they might "resume their activities in Puyallup with as little inconvenience as possible." There is little hard evidence that this staff was made up of the Seattle JACL members that Sakamoto led, but some appointed staff, such as the Seattle Hotel Building Cooperation's William Y. Mimbu indicates that administrative positions were assigned to prominent figures in Sakamoto's political orbit. (35)

The Puyallup Valley Chapter leaders are nowhere to be found on this staff list, and at least one leader was incarcerated there. League Secretary and Publicist Tadako Tamura wrote this testimony for the Tacoma News Tribune just after arriving in Camp Harmony:

"At this time, we don't believe it necessary for us to leave a message of farewell
to this part of America. Or many Caucasian friends have bade us the most
reassured goodbyes 'for the duration.' The soil we worked... has become too
much a part of us to leave so easily. We hope the valley which was, and which is
our home, will continue to yield." (36)

In an account the following month, the Tacoma News Tribune caught up with Tamura building a small flower garden outside of her barracks in Area C, where other former
residents of the agricultural towns Fife and Orting had settled. This drive to get back to farmland and out of the camps was capitalized on by the US government who coordinated "emergency harvest camps" and "victory vacations," where young Japanese Americans were allowed out in order to compensate for the nation's recent agricultural vacancies. (37)

The article goes on to note an American flag floating over the entrance of Area C, which had recently been raised in a patriotic ceremony where Sakamoto was the main speaker. (38) This event was typical of the camp's emphasis on "the spirit of Americanism and democratic process," suggested by Masaoka in his April 6th letter to WRA director Milton Eisenhower. (39) While Masaoka's suggestions are generally concerned with education and maintaining civil liberties under incarceration, there is a dissonance in Masaoka's direction that "no intimation or hint should be given that they are in concentration camps or in protective custody, or that the government does not have full faith and confidence in them as a group and as individuals." (40) Masaoka indicated repeatedly throughout the 18 page letter that camps were intended to prove Japanese American loyalty, when their very existence demonstrated a government who strongly believed the contrary. In addition, demonstrating proof of innocence becomes exponentially more difficult from behind bars.

Tadako Tamura surfaces again in October 1942 as a contributing artist for The Minidoka Irrigator, the six page weekly newspaper for the 10,000 Japanese Americans incarcerated at the Minidoka War Relocation Center, founded by displaced Seattle newspaperman Dick Takeuchi. (41) The first two volumes traveled back to Seattle describing Minidoka as "a vast stretch of sagebrush, stubble and shifting, swirling sand... the sort of place people normally would traverse only to get to another destination." Throughout the course of 1942, the JACL lost favor within the community for failing to push back against the US military, deporting potential rivals and removing Japanese language reading materials. (42) Another issue which emerged over time was incarceration leading to seized property and land that the Issei had devoted their lives to developing. While these actions were brought on by major increases of Alien Land Law prosecutions, archaic legal holdovers from the nineteenth century which prohibited Issei citizens from owning property, very often, land titles were lost due to the chaotic nature of displacement. (43)

Faced with incarceration, former PVC president Dan Sakahara, who introduced James Sakamoto at a league event earlier, leased his farm on Vashon Island to Deputy Sheriff Finn Shattuck before he and his family were eventually moved to the Tule Lake Relocation Center in Northern California. Despite continued requests through 1944, Finn Shattuck sent no money for the crops harvested on Sakahara's land. When the family was freed, Dan Sakahara did not legally pursue the funds he was owed for his farmland, the largest acreage on Vashon Island, and instead chose to begin a new life in St. Louis. (44)

Following the repeal of Executive Order 9066 in 1946, the Puyallup Valley Chapter went dormant, not surfacing in newspapers again until 1958.45 According to future PVC president Robert Mizukami, (46) the reason for this was a scarcity of potential members. (47) This scarcity was described by Mike Masaoka, who emerged back into the public sphere in 1947 as the Washington D.C. Legislative Director of the Antidiscriminatory Committee for the JACL. In the article, Masaoka detailed the current state of Japanese American displacement. "Approximately 60 percent of the West Coast Japanese evacuated in 1942 have returned to the area... 15 percent have permanently settled in the East and Midwest and the other 25 percent are in a state of flux." (48)

This scarcity led to the Puyallup Valley Chapter and the Tacoma chapter combining members to reform the organization, with Kaz Yamane as PVC president and weekly meetings at the Tacoma Buddhist Church. (49) The group's ideology and mission changed in the chapter's reactivation. As Mizukami notes in an oral history conducted by the Densho Digital Archive, "it became more of a civil rights group than we were before. I think, like I said previous, prior to the war, it was more of a social group that did all these other activities. So since the war, I mean, its purpose has changed a little."

One of the most significant impacts that the organization made was the repeal of the Alien Land Law, which PVC president Dr. Sam Uchiyamo made a "prime objective" of the Northwest Council of the JACL beginning in 1960.50 After an extensive grassroots campaign organized by the Seattle JACL and defeated twice by referendums, (51) the law was finally repealed in 1966. (52) The repeal of the law wasn't publicly celebrated by the PVC, then led by Frank Mizukami. Instead, the league president appeared in newspapers donating copies of America's Concentration Camps, marking the 25th anniversary of the event,53 holding piano recitals for elementary school children54 and highlighting his expansive primrose greenhouse located in Fife. (55)

Since this accomplishment, the Puyallup Valley Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League has remained an active member of the Puget Sound community, contributing to a scholarship fund, (56) hosting historical programs for adults as well as school children (57) and continuing to host their annual cultural outreach events featuring ceremonial dance and traditional dress in Fife High School, just as they had in 1937. (58)

Richards Photography Studio

  • 2.1.1
  • Business

Turner Richards Studio was founded by Tacoma-born Turner Eugene Richards (1901-1968) (1). The Tacoma-based studio operated from 1919 through 1980 and its output included: moving images, portraits, industrial, society, business, advertising, news, and aerial photography.

The studio was first operated out of the Chamber of Commerce Building (2) where it provided both photograph and moving image services such as the recording of public performances and events for distribution with companies specializing in newsreels (3). One of these events filmed was a local parade staged for the opening of the 1920 film “Last of the Mohicans” that played before the film at the Victory Theater in Tacoma in 1921 (4).

In 1935 the studio moved its location into the Tacoma Hotel the same year the hotel caught fire (2). According to the Tacoma News Tribune, two policemen had to keep Turner Richards from entering his shop to save his expensive equipment. "He made several runs for the smoke-filled doorway but was stopped each time by the two policemen" (5). In the late 1930s, Turner Richards traveled to Hollywood to work as a photographer for Warner Brothers Studio (6). Richards also developed Technicolor and animated films later used in Walt Disney productions (1).

In the 1940s Richards expanded and opened Nancy’s Baby Portrait Studio located at 736 Pacific Ave in Tacoma (7). By this time Turner’s sons, Bob and Nelson, became the photographers at their main studio located at 734 Pacific Ave (8). Richards Studio expanded again in 1963 and opened another portrait studio at Villa Plaza, in Lakewood (9). On Sunday, February 18th, 1968 the Richards’ housekeeper found Turner Richards in his front yard and he is rushed to the hospital where he died. His death was caused by apparent suicide (10). The Studio was then run by Edmond Paul Richards (1905-1984) and continued to operate until 1980 when it closed (11) (12).

Royal Gove

  • 6.1.2
  • Person
  • 1856-1920

Royal Amenzo Gove (1856-1920) was an early Tacoma physician, city council member, and public health officer. He was born in Vermont and raised in Minnesota. After studying medicine and surgery in Chicago, Louisville, and Iowa, Dr. Gove practiced medicine in Minnesota before moving to Tacoma in 1890 to start a new practice. In April 1892 and again in 1894, he was elected to the Tacoma City Council. Dr. Gove also served on the Washington State Board of Examiners. An active Mason, Dr. Gove was Grand Master of the Masonic Lodge of Washington in 1908 and 1909. He was a member of the Evergreen Lodge, Tacoma chapter; Royal Arch Masons; Scottish Rite; the Grotto and Eastern Star; and the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He was variously President and Treasurer of the Pierce County Medical Society, which he helped to found, and was also a member of the State Medical Society, the American Medical Society, and the Tacoma Commercial Club. He died in Tacoma on January 21, 1920 after a three month illness.

Sallie Shawl

  • 3.4.1
  • Person

Sallie Shawl of Lakebay, Washington, has been active in local social justice causes since the 1970s. Born to a Jewish family in San Francisco, Shawl became involved in activism after seeing images of peaceful civil rights protesters being attacked by dogs in the mid-1950s. She attended UC Berkeley before moving to New York City to work with the National Council of Churches. After relocating to Lakebay in 1976, Shawl worked in Tacoma at Associated Ministries and the YMCA Women’s Support Center.

She joined the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action and staged regular protests against the presence of the Trident nuclear submarine base in Bremerton. She was arrested multiple times for acts of civil disobedience. In 1988, she and Renee Krisko, of Poulsbo, were sentenced to six months in jail for blocking a train carrying missile fuel to the Trident base.

In 1991, she began managing the Paint Tacoma-Pierce Beautiful project which organized volunteers crews to paint the homes of low income Pierce County residents. She founded the Tacoma chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace and was a leader in People for Peace, Justice and Healing, Palestinian-Israeli Peace Endeavors, Tacoma Arabs, Jews, and Others for Peace and Occupy Tacoma. In 2013, she was awarded the Greater Tacoma Peace Prize.

Stallcup Smith Family

  • 6.2.1
  • Family

The Stallcups moved from Denver, Colorado to Tacoma, Washington in 1889. In Tacoma, they lived at 317 South G St. The family included Judge John Calhoun Stallcup, Mary Shelby Stallcup, and their children: John C. Stallup Jr., Evan Shelby Stallcup, and Margery B. Stallcup.

John Calhoun Stallcup (1841-10/21/1915) Practiced law in Denver Colo. and served as justice of the supreme court of Colorado from 1887 until 1889. In 1889 he came to Tacoma with his family. He was elected to the superior court bench in 1892 on a non-partisan ticket and held the position for four years. From 1897-1900 he served on the state board of audit and control, having received the appointment from Gov. Rogers. For his last five years, he had been a member of the Tacoma Public Library board. He also authored an essay titled "Refutation of the Darwinian Theory" which was published in Tacoma in 1905.(1)

Mary Shelby (Prindell) Stallcup (1846-10/21/1916), a native of Lexington, Kentucky, married Judge Stallcup on Nov. 2nd, 1880 in Kirkwood, Mo. She held office in the Mary Ball chapter of the D.A.R. and was active in the parish, guild, and auxiliary of St. Luke's Episcopal Church. (1) (2)

Evan Shelby Stallcup (1888 -1938) A graduate of the old Tacoma High School and entered Stanford University on his 17th birthday. After two years at Stanford, he entered Columbia University where he completed his Law course then returned to Tacoma to work with his father in his law office. He served in the 91st Division in World War I. After the war, he moved to Phoenix where he became involved in city government. He held the position of City Manager and head of the water department.(3)

Margery B. (Stallcup) Smith ( ?-1946) was admitted to the bar in 1909 (4). Secretary-treasurer of the Buckeye Realty Company in 1910 (5). Married Fredrick A. Smith in 1918 (6). She was a member of the 50 year club, on the board of the American Association of University Women and one of the founders of the Woman's Council for Democracy (7).

John C. Stallup Jr (1886-1920)

Stephen Cysewski

  • 2.1.2
  • Person
  • 8/25/1945-7/20/2020

Stephen Cysewski was an American photographer known for his self-described "wandering" style of street photography. Born in Berkeley, California he primarily grew up in the Tacoma area and graduated from Western Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy in 1967. After college, he moved to Alaska as a VISTA volunteer where he lived for a year in the village of Shaktoolik. There he worked many jobs including as a high school counselor for Indian Education at West Anchorage High School. He earned his master’s of Liberal Arts degree from Alaska Pacific University and then was employed as an assistant professor in Information Technology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks from 1991-2009. He retired as a professor in 2007 and was granted emeritus status. Throughout his life, he traveled the world to such places as Korea, Thailand, Europe, Alaska, and Washington State to take photographs. In 1979 Cysewski traveled to Tacoma where he took hundreds of photographs of the downtown and residential areas in the city. Cysewski passed away at home in Alaska on July 20th, 2020 after battling pancreatic cancer.

Tacoma Centennial Committee

  • Organization
  • 1968-1969

The Tacoma Centennial Committee was organized to plan and oversee all aspects of the city of Tacoma’s centennial celebration in 1969. The celebration included parades, productions, and many other large-scale events.

Tacoma City Council

  • 1.1.1
  • City of Tacoma Department

In November of 1883, the territorial legislature passed a law that resulted in the merging of Tacoma City (Old Tacoma) and New Tacoma. The law stated: "That on and after the first Monday of January, 1884, the city of Tacoma, incorporated on November 12, 1875, and New Tacoma, incorporated on November 5, 1881, shall be consolidated under one city government, to be known as Tacoma."

The law also stipulated that an election was to take place in December 1883 to elect a "mayor, city marshal, and three councilmen for each ward." The city was divided into three wards leading to the election of a ten member council. The merger of the two cities occurred on January 7, 1884 with John Wilson Sprague serving as Mayor. Sprague and the nine council members were to serve for an interim term until another election could be held in May 1884.

In 1910, a commission style government was put in place with elected officials managing utilities, public works, and public safety. In 1952, Tacoma voters approved the Mayor/City Manager System that remains in place today. Under this model, the elected Mayor and City Council determine policy that is implemented by the City Manager. The Council is made up of eight Council Members, representing five districts and three at-large positions, and the Mayor. They are responsible for "enacting and amending City laws, adopting the Biennial Budget, appointing citizen board, committees, and commissions, and providing guidance and direction for actions which affect the quality of life in the City."

Tacoma Fire Department

  • 1.3.2
  • City of Tacoma Department
  • 1884-

The first local firefighting company, the "New Tacoma Hook and Ladder Co. No. 1," was established on May 29, 1880. The company was made up of volunteers using donated equipment. When New Tacoma and Old Tacoma merged to form the City of Tacoma in 1884, the two volunteer fire departments were also combined. Lack of equipment and an inadequate water system led to significant fire destruction in the early years of the department. The City Council considered multiple plans to respond to the problem, even a proposal that all households stores 40 gallons of water on their roofs to assist with a fire response if needed. Beginning in April 1885, a new water system, the installation of 40 fire hydrants, and funding for equipment allowed the department to improve their response and reduce fire destruction.

After the Great Seattle Fire of 1889, the Tacoma City Council was determined to invest in its fire department to prevent similar destruction. Tacoma became one of the earliest cities in Washington to convert the volunteer positions to paid jobs. An alarm system was also installed that year which connected 28 alarm boxes with the alarm tower on I Street. In 1899, the tugboat "Fearless," owned by the Tacoma Tug and Barge Company, was outfitted with a pump and hoses to be made available to the department when needed.

By 1900, the department had a fleet of 33 horses. Seven years later the first motorized vehicle had been obtained. The complete transition from horses and steam fire engines to motorized vehicles was complete by 1919. The Tacoma fire fighters organized as the City Fireman's Federal Union No. 15601 and were charted by the AFL in 1917. The following year, they became a charter member of the International Association of Fire Fighters as local number 31. A bond issue passed by Tacoma voters in 1928 led to increased funding and the purchase of the department's first fireboat.

The Tacoma Fire Department today serves the city of Tacoma and provides contracted fire and EMS services to Fircrest, Fife, and Pierce County Fire District 10. They operate 16 fire stations, 5 medic companies, 4 ladder companies, and 2 fireboats.

Tacoma Land and Improvement Company

  • 2.7.1
  • Business
  • 1873-1923

Soon after it selected Tacoma as the terminus for its western line in 1873, the Northern Pacific Railroad formed a subsidiary, the Tacoma Land Company, to develop the city and sell the town lots. It was first incorporated as the Southern Improvement Company and immediately renamed the Tacoma Land Company. The first president of the company was Charles Barstow Wright, an officer in the Northern Pacific Railroad who had been a member of the committee that selected Tacoma as the western terminus location. Fellow Northern Pacific officer Frederick Billings was vice-president, and John C. Ainsworth, owner of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company, was third director. Wright, Billings, and Ainsworth invested personally in Tacoma and were involved with the early development of the city. Tacoma Land Company was reorganized in 1899 and renamed the Tacoma Land & Improvement Co. The Tacoma Land & Improvement Co. was dissolved in 1923. These records are from the estate of former Tacoma Land Company vice-president Frederick Billings, who also served as president of the Northern Pacific Railroad from 1879 to 1881.

Tacoma News Tribune

  • 5.1
  • Business
  • 1883-Present

The Tacoma News Tribune’s history dates to 1883 and was the consolidation of three Tacoma newspapers, The Tacoma Daily Tribune, The Tacoma News, and The Daily Tacoma Ledger.

In 1881, the Weekly Ledger was started by F. Radebaugh and H.C. Patrick, under the firm name Radebaugh & Company. Previously, Radebaugh had served on the reportorial staff of the San Franscico Chronical. He had first visited Tacoma in June 1879. Radebaugh became familiar with Patrick, who owned and operated a weekly newspaper in Santa Cruz. The two came to an agreement to move the business to Tacoma with Radebaugh as the paper’s editor and Patrick as the business manager. The paper quickly became a success and Radebaugh bought out Patrick’s share. Until 1837, The Ledger served as a morning paper. Its name remained on the nameplate of The News Tribune and Sunday Ledger until 1979.

H.C. Patrick purchased the Pierce County News from George W. Mattice and changed the paper’s name to the Tacoma Weekly News. The News was then converted into a daily on September 25, 1883; however, he later sold The Daily News in 1885. R. F. Radebaugh started The Tacoma Daily Tribune in 1908 and sold the publication in 1912 to Frank S. Baker. Baker would go on to purchase the News and Ledger in 1918. Baker was the president of the Tribune Publishing Company and was a highly regarded newspaper man of the western United States. The News and Tribune were combined into an afternoon daily and the first issue was printed on June 17, 1918.

In 1937, The Daily Tacoma Ledger stopped publication. The News Tribune is merged with the Ledger to form The News Tribune and Sunday Ledger. Then in 1979 The Tacoma News Tribune became the official name of both daily and Sunday newspapers. During 1986, Tribune Publishing Company sold the majority of its holdings to Viacom, Inc., and McClatchy Newspapers. That year, the Tacoma News Tribune became a subsidiary of McClatchy Newspapers. McClatchy Newspapers is the second largest newspaper publisher in the United States, and it originally started as Sacramento newspaper in 1857. The Tacoma News Tribune became The Morning News Tribune on April 6, 1987, until October 4, 1993, when name changes to The News Tribune.

Tacoma Police Department

  • 1.3.1
  • City of Tacoma Department
  • 1885-

The origins of the Tacoma Police Department can be traced back to the appointment of Leonard Diller as City Marshal of what would become Old Tacoma in 1874. Following the incorporation of New Tacoma in 1880, Henry Williams became the first City Marshal of New Tacoma. In 1884, Old and New Tacoma combined to form the City of Tacoma. E.O. Fulmer, who had begun as City Marshal of New Tacoma in 1882, became the first City Marshal of the City of Tacoma. New Tacoma's combined police station and jail on the southeast corner of 12th Street and Cliff Avenue served as Police Headquarters until 1899.

City Ordinance No. 77 formally created the Tacoma Police Department on April 15, 1885. Under this ordinance, a chief of police was to be elected by the City Council. The person in this role would be responsible for identifying and hiring officers. Because the role of City Marshal was established by the City Charter, the City Attorney determined that the Chief of Police and City Marshal would continue to serve simultaneously without one taking precedence over the other. The Mayor, R.J. Weisbach, appointed himself Chief of Police while E.O. Fulmer remained City Marshal. In 1886, the City stopped paying Fulmer and he successfully took legal action for lost wages. An 1896 ordinance established funding for the police department at a rate of $25.00 per month.

The development of the police department followed patterns of change nationally. Horses and a bicycle squad preceded the acquisition of the department's first motor vehicles in 1910. During Prohibition, local police were said to have met bootleggers at the docks to safely escort them to their warehouses. As the Great Depression took hold, the Tacoma Police Department and Tacoma Fire Department challenged each other to a football game. Admission was charged and the money was used to purchase flour and beans to distribute to hungry families in Tacoma. In the 1940s, police were responsible for enforcing Executive Order 9066 by forcing local families of Japanese descent into incarceration facilities and confiscating their cameras, radios, and other banned items. Controversial "vice squads" were active in the 1950s. While some supported the work of cracking down on gambling and prostitution, the department was accused of using unlawful tactics and the entire squad was demoted to patrol by Mayor Ben Hanson. "Community based policing" was embraced by the department in the 1960s. Officers began wearing name badges and being assigned to specific neighborhoods. The department came under national scrutiny over tactics used by police during violent clashes with local Indigenous tribes over fishing rights in the 1970s. In the 1980s, there was widespread coverage in local media about racial discrimination and use of excessive force by Tacoma police officers. In the 1990s, officers staged a protest against Chief Phillip Arreola in response to his accusation that officers were covering up the misdeeds of other members of the force. The 2000s saw the establishment of the Marine Services Unit and the opening of a new headquarters at 3701 South Pine Street. In 2020, nationwide protests broke out in response to police violence against people of color. Locally, these protests intersected with the killing of Manuel Ellis, a Black man, by police in March 2020.

As of 2022, the Tacoma Police Department has the following mission statement: "To create a safe and secure environment in which to live, work, and visit by working together with the community, enforcing the law in a fair and impartial manner, preserving the peace and order in our neighborhoods, and safeguarding our Constitutional guarantees."

Tacoma Public Library

  • 1.4
  • City of Tacoma Department
  • 1894-present

The first movement toward creating a library in Tacoma occurred in “New Tacoma” in 1881. The four block area was established in 1869 by Anthony Carr who feared that the name “Tacoma” would be lost in favor of the more popular “Commencement City.” As New Tacoma grew, residents began discussing the need for a library. In 1881, the articles of incorporation for the New Tacoma Library Association were signed. A small number of books were accumulated but borrowing privileges were limited to residents of New Tacoma who purchased a share in the library.

In 1886, a group of three women were discussing books while they sewed. The city of Tacoma was growing rapidly, but books were difficult to find. What the city needed, the women concluded, was a circulating library which would be open to the public. One of the women, Grace Moore, applied her “untiring energy and lifelong devotion to the cause of education” to the effort and took action toward forming the library. By May 5, 1886, Moore had assembled a group of eighteen women to begin the Mercantile Library of Tacoma. The group ordered a collection of paper bound books and set to work binding them in pasteboard to make them more durable. The circulating library opened in Moore’s home before moving to several different spaces around Tacoma including the Otis Sprague Building on the corner of Ninth and C Streets. In order to pay for repairs to the books and the purchase of new items, a fee of 25 cents was charged to borrowers and an additional 5 cents for use of the space as a reading room. Through fees, donations, and fundraisers, the association’s collection quickly grew to 2,000 volumes.

The success of the Mercantile Library gained the attention of a number of prominent citizens and politicians who encouraged the Mayor and City Council to commit financial support to establish a city library. In January of 1889, incorporation papers were filed with the territory of Washington to form the Public Library. According to these original articles, the Library would be governed by seven trustees which would include the Mayor and two additional members of the City Council. The first meeting was held on April 24, 1889.

In 1890, a “gathering of public-spirited citizens” assembled to discuss municipal funding for the library and a new library building. “The people of Tacoma appreciate that hardly anything, aside from its special work, can advertise the city more than the establishment of a library such as is found in eastern cities,” said one attendee. A local businessman in attendance encouraged citizens to “think of the educational advantages derived from a place from which all who wish can get books.”

City Council soon passed a resolution to fund the Library at a rate of $75 per month. In 1891, the Library moved into the Ball Building on C Street. The following year, the City increased funding to $250 per month and committed the fifth floor of the new City Hall to be used by the Library at no charge. All materials that had been accumulated by the Mercantile Library were gifted to the City. William Curtis Taylor was hired as the first City Librarian and the library moved into its new City Hall quarters in 1894, becoming the Tacoma Public Library.

The Library soon outgrew the City Hall space, especially after facilities problems forced a move from the fifth floor to the second. A group of local citizens worked with librarian Reverend S.B. McLafferty to initiate work on a Carnegie grant to fund construction of a dedicated library building. In 1901, it was announced that Tacoma would receive $50,000 from Andrew Carnegie to fund construction on the condition that “the city will provide the site and guarantee $5,000 annually for maintenance of the library.” Soon after, the Carnegie gift was increased to $75,000 when the city agreed to earmark $7,500 annually for maintenance.

A number of possible sites were discussed before the City settled on the northwest corner of Tacoma Avenue and 12th Street, which was accessible by many street car lines. The building was designed by Jardine, Kent, and Jardine of New York and included “an eclectic Renaissance style punctuated by tawny Tenino sandstone and yellow brick from Seattle.” Construction began in 1902 and the library was dedicated on June 4, 1903. It was the first Carnegie Library completed in the state of Washington. The Carnegie building remained the only library facility until the South Tacoma branch opened on May 3, 1911.

n 1946, Tacoma voters approved a library construction bond. While several sites for the new “Main Branch” were considered, the decision was made to build a new large addition onto the Carnegie building. Initial plans by architect Silas E. Nelson included a rooftop parking lot and renovation of the Carnegie building to match the new construction. However, these measures were eliminated due to cost. Some plans even called for the destruction of the Carnegie building altogether. Groundbreaking for the 64,700 square foot building took place on March 20, 1951 and it opened on November 2, 1952.

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