Showing 162 results

Authority record

Illema Club

  • 3.7.1
  • Organization
  • 1901-1977

The Illema club was organized in 1901 by Mrs. Edwin Sharpe, Mrs. Frank LaWall, Mrs. J.W. Clare, Mrs. Stanton Warburton, Mrs. John L. Mills and Mrs. W.B. Coffee. The name Illema is taken from the first letters of all of the founding members' first names, although they kept this a secret in initial appearances in the Tacoma Daily News. The group met biweekly at rotating houses around Tacoma. The group appears to have always had a literary focus rather than social or philanthropic. The final recorded meeting was on September 25th, 1977. The club colors were green and white and the club flower was the white carnation.

The Woman's Club

  • 3.7.1
  • Organization
  • 1904-1965

The Woman's Club was launched on October 27th, 1904 in the home of Mrs. J.Q. Mason and led by president Reverend Abbie E. Danforth. Danforth, appointed in 1889, was one of the first female reverends in North America. Danforth had been a pastor at the Park Universalist Church since 1902 after moving west from the Unitarian Church of Kent, OH.

Among the club's contributions to Tacoma were the creation of a female owned and operated "rest room," designed to be a "place offering almost retirement of home during unemployment hours" which would "prove a boon to hundreds of women and girls in Tacoma." The "rest room" appears to have been organized by Danforth in order to do for "women what the Y.M.C.A. is doing for men." This association with temperance groups continued in August 1913 when Danforth was elected president of the Women's Christian Temperance Union. The "rest room" was located in the Chamber of Commerce building on December 3, 1904 and led directly to The Woman's Club Hotel, which would open a year later. This institution, also open only to female patrons, was located nearby at 714 Pacific Avenue.

The Woman's Club also opened a physical clubhouse on 426 Broadway St. in 1915, intended to create a physical meeting space for all of the federated study clubs in the city, which remained extant until 1960. That said, Mrs. Abbie E. Danforth is still recorded hosting the final meeting of the Woman's Study Club in May 1965 from her home at 1322 N. Yakima St. The motto of The Woman's Club was "there is no higher duty than to work for the good of the whole world."

Illahee Study Club

  • 3.7.1
  • Organization
  • 1915-1977

The first and final published meetings of the Illahee Study Club were June 16, 1915 and March, 6, 1977. The first recorded president of the Club was Mrs. C.O. Lynn and the final president was Mrs. Clyde Henderson. The club colors were pink and green, the club flower was the test-out rose and their motto was, "the desire for knowledge increases ever with the acquisition of it."

Alpha Study Club

  • 3.7.1
  • Organization
  • 1905-1980

The Alpha Study Club was organized in 1905 and federated in 1914. The group was originally created only for women of Tacoma's south side, and admitted no more than 20 members at any time. The focus of the group was primarily on the cultivation of its members, although there were minor philanthropic efforts following WWII. The last published record of an active meeting was on May 4, 1980. Club colors were pink and green, the club flower was the carnation and their motto was "in great things unity, in small things liberty, in all things charity."

Sixth Avenue Baptist Church

  • 3.7.10
  • Organization
  • 1904-2010

The Sixth Avenue Baptist Church, 2520 Sixth Avenue, occupied two different buildings at this site from 1904 until 2010. The church was organized May 21,1901 in a meeting of fifteen people held at Sixth Avenue and Anderson Street. With funding from the First Baptist Church they began holding services and hired a pastor. The first church building was constructed of wood at Sixth and Pine and dedicated February 7, 1904. By 1906 the membership totaled 168 and a Ladies’ Missionary Society had been organized (1).

By the early 1920s the need for a larger building was evident and plans for a new church were drawn up by the architectural firm Heath, Gove, & Bell (2). The former building was moved to the back of the lot for use as a community center and the new building was constructed with a Wilkeson sandstone exterior. Robert Walker, church member and president of the Walker Cut Stone Company donated the cost of the labor. The new building was dedicated April 12, 1925, and in 1926, a pipe organ was purchased from Sherman Clay Co. and installed.

By 1941, church membership had grown to 478. An additional building intended for education and Sunday School was first proposed in 1948. Fundraising and design began at that time, although ground was not broken until 1963, by which time the original wooden building had been demolished. The new wing was dedicated January 12, 1964 (3).

In the late 1960s, a need for revitalization was recognized and a young pastor was engaged. The church shared its space with different agencies such as Associated Ministries, the Food Bank, and Habitat for Humanity. An effort was made to engage UPS students and a non-denominational group of teenagers was organized, the J.C. Generation. Space was provided for Lamaze Group, Writer’s Club, and Delong Preschool (4). Nonetheless, membership declined by 50% between 1975 and 1985 to 164, as indicated by a congregational profile commissioned in the mid-1980s (4,5).

By 2009 attendance at Sunday service had dwindled to 25. The church building was put up for sale and the last service was held there January 31, 2010 (6,7).

As of this writing in 2023, the building houses a wedding venue business, Events on 6th (8). It also serves as home for the congregation Soma Tacoma (9).

Tacoma Ministerial Alliance

  • 3.7.2
  • Organization
  • 1883-

What is now the Tacoma Ministerial Alliance was first organized as the Tacoma Ministerial Union on June 11, 1883 at the First Presbyterian Church on Railroad Ave. The initial goal of this group was for evangelical clergy in Tacoma to come together for ‘fellowship, mutual encouragement, etc..’ (1) In the 1904-1905 Constitution and Roll of Members of the Ministerial Alliance of Tacoma, the object of the Alliance is “to promote Christian fellowship among the brethren and to advance the religious and moral interests of our City and State.” (2)

Rowena and Gordon Alcorn

  • 3.7.4
  • Family
  • 1905-1996

Rowena Lung Alcorn (1905-1996) and Gordon Dee Alcorn (1907-1994) were collaborative authors, writing articles on Northwest history, Native Americans, biology and other topics (1). Their separate careers were in the visual arts and biological sciences.

Born in Tacoma in 1905, Rowena Alcorn began drawing while young, sketching Native Americans at age 7 as her family camped at Browns Point (1). By age 20, she had joined her sister in Santa Barbara, California, to study art (2). At the time of their marriage, Gordon was a biology professor at the University of Idaho in Boise and it was there she began painting portraits of the Nez Perce people (2). After they returned to Tacoma, she taught art at The University of Puget Sound, Grays Harbor College, and Pierce College (1). A portrait of Henry Sicade, Puyallup tribal leader, was commissioned by the Tacoma Public Library, where it hangs as of this writing in 2023 (3). A concurrent interest in writing led to her founding the Tacoma branch of the National League of American Pen Women in 1956 (2). She died in Tacoma May 3, 1996 at age 91.

Gordon Alcorn was born in Olympia in 1907 and graduated from Lincoln High School in Tacoma in 1926 (4). He received his bachelor’s degree at the University of Puget Sound and his doctorate from the University of Washington (4). He began teaching full-time at UPS in 1946 and was named chairman of the biology department in 1951 (4). He helped found the Slater Museum of Natural History there and was its director for 20 years (4). The campus of the University of Puget Sound was named the Gordon Dee Alcorn Arboretum in 1976 (4). An environmental activist, he was instrumental in preserving Nisqually Delta as a wildlife refuge, as well as Swan Creek in Pierce County and three Grays Harbor County islands (5). He died age 86 in Tacoma on March 25,1994 (4).

The Alcorns together wrote over 100 articles (1). Seamen’s Rest was of particular interest as Rowena Alcorn’s mother, Velma Lung, was a neighbor and personal friend of the founding Funnemark family (6). Mrs. Brigitte Funnemark and her daughter Christine Funnemark maintained the mission which ministered to the material and spiritual needs of sailors (6). Christine Funnemark went on to be a founder of the Tacoma Rescue Mission (6).

Reverend David Alger

  • 3.7.5
  • Person

Reverend David T. Alger served as Executive Director of Associated Ministries for nearly thirty years from 1980 until 2009. (1) During his tenure, Reverend Alger expanded the Hilltop-based non-profit from an annual budget of $58,000 in 1980 into an organization with a budget of $3.7 million and a membership of over 200 congregations, religious groups, and interfaith partners. (2)

Reverend Alger played a vital role in the founding and growth of many agencies, including: the Pierce County AIDS Foundation, the Indochinese Culture and Service Center, the Shalom Center (focusing on Central American and Middle Eastern Peace), the South Sound Peace and Justice Center, the Pierce County Dispute Resolution Center, Faith Partners Against Family Violence, the Moments of Blessing program (services held to reclaim places where homicides have occurred), and the Hilltop Action Coalition. (1)

Reverend Alger graduated from the College of Wooster with a BA in Sociology/Religion. He then graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago with a Master’s in Social Work and received his Master’s in Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary in 1971. Reverend Alger received the Tacoma Peace Prize in 2009 and the Community Service Award from the Rotary Clubs of Pierce County in 1989.

Public Broadcast Foundation

  • 3.7.6
  • Organization
  • c. 1977-1983

The Public Broadcast Foundation was formed in the late 1970s in an the unsuccessful attempt to save the public status of Channel 13 in Tacoma. [1] In 1979, Channel 13 was sold by Clover Park School District, who had originally bought the channel out of bankruptcy in 1975, and operated it as a public station. [2] The school received an offer from a private company and decided to sell the station at a profit. This was opposed my members of the community, who formed the citizen action group Save-Our-Station-13 (SOS-13) which organized and attempted to find other public buyers to purchase the station, such as local Community Colleges, to keep it operating as public. This incited a large community debate in which the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) had to decide if the sale was allowed, and SOS-13 filed a petition. Ultimately, the School district was able to sell the channel to Kelly Broadcasting Co. Of Sacramento, California in 1979 for a sum of $6.25 million dollars, and used the money from the sale to build a new high school. [3]

Bishop Frederic Keator

  • 3.7.8
  • Person

Frederic William Keator was born in Pennsylvania in 1855. He received an undergraduate and law degree from Yale University, and later moved to Chicago to practice law and attend theology school. He was appointed as a priest in 1891, and after serving at a few different churches, he moved to Olympia, Washington in 1902 where he served as the Bishop [1].

Keator was appointed state chairman for the Washington State Library War Council by the National Library War Council. This was a campaign in which libraries raised money to fund the creation and maintenance of libraries for US soldiers, both at home and oversees during World War I. In this role, he reached out to different libraries in Washington State to encourage donations to the national fund. The Tacoma News Tribune reports a telegram from Keator in 1917 stating, “The library war fund will be a contribution from the people of the United States to the contentment, effectiveness, and future usefulness of our soldiers. It is a part of the great effort the government is making to surround our soldiers with a wholesome environment and to give them an opportunity to redeem by useful occupation of their leisure some of the losses which are necessarily entailed in military service.” [2]

He died unexpectedly on January 31, 1924. On Friday February 1, 1924, the Tacoma Daily Ledger reported his death, stating, “Bishop Keator was one of the men of whom Tacoma was proud. Devoted to his church work he also was devoted to the interests of the state in which he resided. Of the highest type of loyalty, he had always been a leader in civic enterprises and his friendly counsels had always been helpful in all movements for civic betterments” [3].

Lutheran Service Center

  • 3.7.9
  • Organization
  • 1942-1968

The Tacoma Lutheran Service Center was a facility in Tacoma offering recreation, fellowship and social services to armed forces personnel. The first Lutheran Service Center in Tacoma was operational during World War II, from February 28, 1942 to August of 1946 and was located at 1003 Pacific Avenue (1).

The second Center began in 1951, when local Lutheran pastors recognized the need for continued service to the local bases. They met with a representative of the national Lutheran Service Commission and agreed to elect a permanent committee to develop a new local center (2). The Commission hired Robert P. Canis, a former U.S. Army Chaplain, to become the service pastor and director of the Center. He arranged the location and furnishing of the Center’s new quarters at 117 1/2 S. 10th Street, around the corner from its former site. He was assisted by lay women in the paid position of Hostess-Secretary. The Center was equipped with ping-pong and pool tables, record player and television set. Parties, holiday celebrations, picnics, outings to Mount Rainier and other area parks were arranged. Young women from the local Lutheran congregations volunteered as hostesses in the evenings and on weekends, socializing with the servicemen and assisting with the programs. A newsletter, Front and Center, was published (3, 4).

In 1956, Rev. Canis left to act as service pastor in the Lutheran Service Center in Keelung, Formosa (3). A series of lay women directed the center for its remaining years. Mrs. Marian I. Kirschenman was at the helm when the Center, facing declining attendance, merged with The Tacoma Seamen’s Center around 1965 (5). The national Commission phased out its support in 1967, and the local Committee endeavored to continue operations for another year, ceasing in 1968 (6).

Tacoma Public Schools

  • 4.1.1
  • Organization
  • 1869-

Tacoma School District No. 10, known as Tacoma Public Schools, is headquartered in Tacoma, Washington, United States. It comprises 35 elementary schools, 11 middle schools, 10 high schools, and 4 early learning centers. It is the third-largest school district in Washington State, with more than 30,000 students and 5,000 employees. Tacoma Public Schools is one of the largest employers in the greater Tacoma area.

Tacoma School District #10 was established on September 18, 1869, on the future site of Tacoma. (1) The first classes occurred in a resident's log cabin, with 13 students from the Baker, Fleetwood, and A. W. Stewart families. The first school building was a log cabin constructed in 1870, located on the southwest corner of North 28th and Starr Streets. It cost around $300. (1) A.W. Stewart served as a director, J.P. Stewart as a teacher, and R. H. Landsale as a board clerk. (1)

Like the rest of the United States, Tacoma Public Schools was influenced by the influx of European immigrants in the years before World War I. Government and religious agencies worked to address ethnic integration. (2) The National Conference on Immigration and Americanization in 1913 created a list of three critical aspects of immigrant assimilation: literacy, health and hygiene, and learning democracy. (2) In response, U.S. schools began introducing new policies and programs to promote and teach the importance of these three values.

The Tacoma School District began incorporating nurses, health clinics, showers, and home economics departments. The purpose was to improve health and hygiene within the school property. The school district also expanded social services, such as after-school programs, summer school, and the availability of on-site lunches. (2) The focus on the civic responsibilities of schools led to the improvement of libraries, lunchrooms, and administrative offices. (2)

During the early twentieth century, Tacoma and its school system experienced population growth due to the United States' involvement in World War I, including establishing Fort Lewis in 1917 and the 1914 opening of the Panama Canal. The Panama Canal expanded the business and industry associated with the Port of Tacoma; Fort Lewis also became the largest fort in the United States, housing 37,000 soldiers. (2)

From 1915 to 1920, enrollment in Tacoma Public Schools rose from 14,211 to 18,023. (2) In order to address the growing student population, the district school board debated between three educational models. The educational models would affect the construction of schools. The models were the 8-4 system, the 6-6 system, and the 6-3-3 system. (2) The 8-4 system was the typical school model before World War I. It had grades one through eight in elementary schools and nine through 12 in high schools. The 6-6 system recommended grades one through six in elementary school, with grades seven through 12 in high school. (2) The board adopted the 6-3-3 system, which advocated for grades one through six in elementary school, seven through nine in middle school, and 10 through 12 in high school. (2)

Tacoma voters authorized a $2.4 million plan in 1923 to transition to the new elementary, intermediate, and high school model. (2) The funding allowed for the construction of six new intermediate schools and additions to existing elementary schools. As a result, Jason Lee, James P. Stewart, Morton M. McCarver, Franklin B. Gault, Allan C. Mason, and Robert Gray's middle schools were built. (2)

Another significant population increase occurred in Tacoma and its schools during World War II because the Port of Tacoma and Fort Lewis brought economic growth. From 1950 to 1956, public school enrollment rose 26% from 22,157 to 29,778. (2) The increase in student population led to the overcrowding of aging elementary schools. Furthermore, the need for construction in suburban areas caused the school board to draft a new building campaign emphasizing quick, cheap, and flexible school construction. (2)

Following the Brown v. Board of Education decision and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Tacoma School District sought to desegregate schools with high non-white enrollment. (3) Dr. Angelo Giaudrone, the district superintendent, addressed the de facto segregation and focused on two elementary schools. The two schools were Stanley Elementary, with a Black population of 64 percent, and McCarver Elementary, with a Black population of 84 percent. Tacoma Public Schools formed a subcommittee in 1963 to study de facto segregation and provide solutions. (3) On July 8, 1966, the school board announced a plan for an optional enrollment program. The program’s goal was to close McCarver Junior High and provide limited open enrollment to students affected by the closing. (3)

After a decade of teaching in the Tacoma School District, Willie Stewart became the first Black principal in 1970. Stewart often liaised between the Black community and the school district. (3) Reflecting on the success of the voluntary desegregation plan, Stewart discussed the wish to have more African American counselors and a two-year education process instead of one year. (3) "Stewart thought the district could also have improved its plan by having high school regional meetings with schools and the community and separate meetings for the Black community to help with the transition with the loss of school lineage." (3) By 1972, the school district stated that de facto segregation had ended in fifty-eight school buildings. All buildings were at or below the forty-percent threshold for black student enrollment. (3)

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.

Children's Industrial Home

  • 4.3.2
  • Organization
  • 1900-2013 (?)

The Children’s Industrial Home was founded by a group of Tacoma women in 1890. First organized as the Women’s Lend a Hand League, then renamed the Woman’s League in 1892, it was incorporated as the Children’s Industrial Home in 1908. According to records in this collection, the organization’s stated purpose was to “find orphan, destitute and ill-treated children, receive them into legal custody and care for them until they are placed into approved and suitable homes or legally adopted; and further, for the protection of children who have lost one or both parents.” In 1904, the organization acquired six acres of property, including an orchard and a three-story house suitable for 30 children. Soon a nursery building was added to care for children under three years old. Eventually, as many as 72 children at a time lived in the large home. Due to its size and location at the top of a hill, the building quickly became known in Tacoma as the Home on the Hill. From its beginnings, the Children’s Industrial Home was supported almost entirely by private citizens in Tacoma. When possible, parents of children in the Home provided funds to assist with their care. The Home on the Hill housed children between the ages of birth and 14 years old. In 1926, Mrs. Jessie Dyslin donated land and funds to establish the Jessie Dyslin Boys’ Ranch as a home for boys who were over age for the Home on the Hill. Around the same time, the Children's Industrial Home opened a Girl’s Club as a residence for girls of high school age who needed a home while finishing school. In 1944, a furnace explosion extensively damaged the Home on the Hill and the building was demolished. The nursery building was used as a temporary home until a new home was completed in 1950. In the mid-1990s, the Children’s Industrial Home was renamed Gateways for Youth and Families.

Marguerite Neely Davy

  • 4.3.4
  • Person
  • 1895-1980

Marguerite Neely Davy was born to Florence and Harry Neely in Spokane, Washington in 1895. She died in Tacoma in 1980 at age 85. After coming to Tacoma in 1919, she Married her husband, Alexander Davy in June of 1924 and started teaching 6th grade at the Tacoma Bryant School in 1925. She also taught in Washington’s Walla Walla County, Touchet, and Centralia school districts.

Throughout her life she was involved with music and theatre by directing student concerts. In 1939 she was made president of the local St. Cecelia musical group, an important sector of Tacoma’s cultural life at the time, who put on choir concerts and other musical events. Additionally, Marguerite was formally installed as director of Alpha Pi chapter, Beta Sigma Phi in 1946. Marguerite stayed involved with music and teaching later in life and was a member of the Retired Teachers Association and Tacoma Symphony Women.

Winnifred Olsen

  • 4.3.5
  • Person
  • 1916-2011

Winnifred "Winnie" Olsen (nee Castle) was born on July 26, 1916 in Olympia, Washington. She attended and graduated from Washington State College (Washington State University) with a degree in sociology and journalism. She was involved in a number of organizations and causes including Red Cross, Girl Scouts, March of Dimes, United Good Neighbors, and many more. Winnie was also a writer and producer for a local Olympia Saturday morning radio show, “Mother Goose Radio Party”, from 1948 to 1957. Afterwards, she joined the Olympia High School PTA, City Council PTA, and the Citizens Advisory Council on Education.

She was also a member of the Olympia branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) for 60 years and was its president for two years. Along with this involvement, Winnie also helped to organize the Thurston County Juvenile Protection Committee and the Olympia Panhellenic Association. She wrote for the Olympia chapters of the YWCA, League of Women Voters, and Junior Programs.

Her career with Tacoma Public Schools began in 1967 and ended with her retirement in 1984. During this time, she focused on creating material that highlighted marginalized groups in the Pacific Northwest. She compiled over 100 years of information about the history of the Tacoma Public Schools for research for her book, For the Record: A History of the Tacoma Public Schools, 1869-1984.

After her retirement in 1984, Winnifred went on to volunteer around Olympia, serving at the Timberland Library, Friends of the Library, Thurston County Historic Commission, Washington State School Retirees Association, and others. In 1997, the Bush Family Interpretive Park was dedicated partially due to her extensive research on the history pioneer George Bush.

Winnifred died at the age of 94 in Lacey, Washington. She was awarded the YWCA Lifetime Achievement, WSU Alumni of the Year, Olympia High School Alumni Hall of Fame, Alpha Gamma Delta Distinguished Citizen, Olympia City Council Historic Preservation Award.

Fern Hill Parent Teacher Association

  • 4.3.6
  • Organization
  • 1911 - ?

The Fern Hill Parent Teacher Association was established in 1911 as a branch of the National Congress of Mothers. It backed projects such as upgrading the school water fountain and remodeling the school when the original structure was deemed "unsanitary." The PTA also voted on the measure of splitting up Fern Hill's school population into elementary and intermediate. Fern Hill was the only school within Tacoma Public Schools to have grades from kindergarten to eighth in one building. The PTA also helped to plant a tree celebrating the 100th anniversary of Tacoma Public Schools on Fern Hill property.

Tyra Melvia Westling

  • 4.3.7
  • Person
  • 1897-1975

Tyra Melvia Westling was an educator of the Deaf who taught in the United States, the Philippines, and China. Born in Nebraska in 1897 to Swedish immigrant parents, her family moved to Tacoma in 1901 (1,4). In 1916 she graduated from Everett High School in the Normal (teacher training) course, after transferring from Tacoma’s Stadium High School the previous year (2). Her interest in Deaf education led her to visit numerous schools on the East Coast, where she sought employment (3). In 1924 she accepted her first teaching position overseas, in the Philippines (3). By 1948, while at the Chefoo School for the Deaf, she and her students were evacuated due to unrest associated with the Chinese Communist revolution, and she subsequently taught at the Ming Sum School for the Blind in Canton (3). Later, in the United States, she taught at the Tucker Maxon Oral School for the Deaf in Portland, OR, and Tacoma Public Schools. She died in Tacoma in 1975 at the age of 78 (4).

Margaret Rawson Goheen

  • 4.3.8
  • Person
  • 1904-1955

Margaret Rawson Goheen Arneson (1904-1995) was a music educator who brought Tacoma’s Lincoln High School’s a cappella choir to national prominence. Born in Minnesota, her family had moved to Puyallup by the time she was a teenager (1). Her teaching career started in Sumner, then after her marriage to Melvin Goheen in 1928, her tenure at Lincoln High School began and continued through her retirement in 1955 (2).

At Lincoln, she focused on choral music and formed an elite a cappella choir. For alumni and adults in the community she founded the Tacoma Symphonic Choir in 1937. She accompanied the Lincoln a cappella choir to the Music Educators’ National Conference, making the trip by train in 1938. At stops along the way performances were held in person and on the radio. In Tacoma, the choir was in demand by civic organizations and churches. When Paul Robeson came to Tacoma in 1941, they were deemed of sufficient quality to accompany him (2). She was responsible for producing an annual spring operetta, and in 1941 a group of ambitious students wrote and produced an original musical, Of Men and Models (3).

She married Gus Arneson in 1955, the year of her retirement. They moved to the Philippines for his employment, and she continued her music work there. On their return in 1962, they settled in Seattle, where she died on May 10, 1995 (4).

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.

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.

Grit City Magazine

  • 5.6.1
  • Business
  • 2017-

Grit City Magazine was founded in 2017 by Sierra Hartman, Sara Kay, and William Manzanares IV. The project began as an online only publication. The first print edition was issued in September of 2018. The magazine is produced quarterly with new issues released in March, June, September, and December.

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.

George Kupka

  • 6.1.10
  • Person
  • 1912-1989

George W. Kupka was born on July 3, 1912 in South Prairie, Washington. He held the title of Sheriff’s Deputy for Pierce County from 1934 to 1941. After this, he enlisted in the Navy during World War II. Before becoming a state legislator, Kupka was also a jeweler and worked in private construction. He was also a founder of the Bank of Tacoma. Kupka was elected to the House of Representatives in 1948 as a Democrat for Tacoma’s 27th District. He held this position until 1956 where he was elected to the Senate until 1968. During his time as an elected representative, he was chairman of the Commerce, Manufacturing and Licenses Committee, and the Interim Committee on Public Institutions and Youth Development. He was also a member of the Committee of Banks, Financial Institutions and Insurance; Cities, Towns and Counties; Labor and Social Security; Liquor Control; State Government and Veterans Affairs, and Ways and Means; and Military Affairs, Civil Defense and Public Utilities. George Kupka died on December 30, 1989, at the age of 77.

Nels Bjarke

  • 6.1.11
  • Person
  • 1875-1950

Nels (Nils) Bjarke was born in 1875 in Denmark. He immigrated to the United States in 1915 and lived in Nebraska before moving and settling in Tacoma at the end of the first World War. He worked as a laborer in shipyards before becoming an engineer for the Fern Hill School. He moved to Fern Hill in 1927 with his family. Bjarke wrote about the history of the Fern Hill area including Byrd Mill Road and Naches Pass. He also compiled a history of Chief Leschi. Bjarke spearheaded the community effort to build the Fern Hill branch of the Tacoma Public Library by petitioning the library board and collecting signatures highlighting the desire for a local library. Bjarke died in 1950 at the age of 74.

Henry Foss

  • 6.1.12
  • Person
  • 1892-1986

Henry Foss was one of four children born to Andrew and Thea Foss who founded the Foss Launch and Tug Company in Tacoma. Henry attended Stadium High School and went on to attend Stanford University. After graduating, he returned to Tacoma to work in the family business. In 1930, he was elected as the State Senator for the 26th District. During World War II, he served in the US Navy where he was part of naval intelligence. He retired as a Rear Admiral and was awarded the Legion of Merit and the Navy Marine Life Saving Medal. Over the course of his career, he served as Pierce County Republican Chairman, Port of Tacoma Commissioner, and Director of the Pacific National Bank of Washington. In 1973, Henry Foss High School was named in his honor. He died in 1986.

Michael K. Honey

  • 6.1.13
  • Person
  • 1947-

Michael K. Honey was born in Lansing, Michigan in 1947. His father, a WWII veteran, worked as an urban planner and professor. His mother was from a working class Detroit family. He lived in Williamston, Pontiac, and Grand Rapids, Michigan as well as Toledo, Ohio. From 1965-1969, Honey attended Oakland University in southeast Michigan. After graduation, his status as a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War was approved. He then spent time in Kentucky and in Memphis, Tennessee, where he served as the Southern Director of the National Committee Against Repressive Legislation. He received an MA from Howard University and a PhD from Northern Illinois University. His research focused on labor history and civil rights. His books include "Southern Labor and Black Civil Rights: Organizing Memphis Workers," "Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King's Last Campaign," and "To the Promised Land: Martin Luther King and the Fight for Economic Justice." In 1990, he became a founding faculty member of the University of Washington Tacoma. He held the Fred and Dorothy Haley endowed professorship and served as the Harry Bridges Chair of Labor Studies. He taught African American and Labor History and also began a Community History curriculum which engaged students in interview projects and other public history initiatives focused on Tacoma. In addition to his scholarly work, Honey is also a film maker, musician, oral historian, and activist.

Jim Tweedie

  • 6.1.14
  • Person
  • 1927-2021

Jim Tweedie was born in Longview, Washington in 1927. Both his father and grandfather were employed at Long Bell Lumber Company. Starting in high school, Jim began working weekends at Long Bell West Mill and Weyerhaeuser's pulp mill, beginning a lifetime interest in the plywood and lumber industry. He graduated from Kelso High School and served in the military during WWII, stationed in Japan. Upon returning, he resumed his career in lumber, working at Long Bell once again. From there, Tweedie worked at Weyerhaeuser Company for 30 years, working both domestically at mills in the U.S South and traveling abroad serving as Weyerhauser’s manager of international sales. Following his retirement from Weyerhauser in 1984, Tweedie worked for 9 more years as an international broker for plywood, operating under his company name Pacific Gulf International. He officially retired in 1993, but remained involved in the timber industry through his work with the Plywood Pioneers of America and the Cowlitz County Historical Society and Museum. Additionally, he volunteered at the Mt. St. Helens Forest Learning Center, and published his book "The Long-Bell Story" in 2014, detailing the history of the company that first sparked his career in lumber. Jim Tweedie passed away in September 2021 in University Place, Washington.

Elsa Nessenson

  • 6.1.15
  • Person
  • 1878-1969

Elsa Nessenson (1878-1969) was a playwright, actress, and director active in the Pacific Northwest. Born in Illinois in 1878 of German immigrant parents, her father died when she was a young child (1, 2). Her mother brought her and her older brother to Tacoma in 1896 when she accepted the position of Language Department head at the College of Puget Sound (2). Elsa graduated from Vassar in 1899 and taught English and German at Miss Round’s School in Brooklyn, New York. She gave dramatic readings and became a protégé of Heinrich Conried, then manager of the Metropolitan Opera House (3). She returned to Tacoma in 1914 and taught French at Stadium High School, where she was granted sabbatical time to travel in Europe and study at the Sorbonne. The Tacoma Drama League branch was formed in 1918 and she was a founding member. One of her plays, In the Secret Places, won an award and was reprinted in the November 1926 issue of Drama Magazine. She continued writing and performing up to and after her retirement from Stadium in 1946. She moved to Wesley Gardens, a retirement community in Des Moines, Washington, where she died in 1969 (2).

Lorraine Hildebrand

  • 6.1.16
  • Person
  • 1926-2012

Lorraine Hildebrand was born in Tacoma to Ethel and Ernest Barker in 1926. She attended Lincoln High School where she met her husband James A. Hildebrand. They had five children. Lorraine was a Reference Librarian Specialist at Tacoma Community College. There, she created numerous bibliographies and reference works focused on BIPOC communities. These included "Chinook Indians: A Bibliography," "A Bibliography of Black Authors in the US," and "Sinophobia: The Expulsion of the Chinese from Tacoma and Seattle, Washington Territory, 1885-1886. She also wrote "Straw Hats, Sandals, and Steel: The Chinese in Washington State." [1] Hildebrand served as a member of the Chinese Reconciliation Project Committee in 1992, and provided the historical context for what would become Chinese Reconciliation park. [2]

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