One day in the latter part of September, 1865, while at the home of Charles Splawn, which was only a few hundred feet in a northwest direction from the Riverside School in Mok-see. I saw a great dust on the trail leading through the Mok-see Gap from Parker Bottom. As it drew nearer the wind, blowing the dust away, revealed a train of covered wagons, the like of which we had never seen before in Yakima. Soon the train of emigrants - for such it proved to be - were pass the house. They inquired where they could ford the river, saying they were on their way to Puget Sound. The next day the Thorp boys and myself followed them up and found them encamped on the Kwi-wy-chas Creek near the mouth by the Painted Rocks. They were undecided whether to attempt to cross the Cascade Range or to remain and settle in this valley. Finally they decided to remain.
The emigration was led by Dr. L.H. Goodwin, a man of excellent qualities and a valuable addition to our settlement. The remainder of the party were George W. Goodwin, son of the doctor, who proved to be a man of sterling qualities as he grew up, and who did his part towards the building up of the country (he died twenty years ago: 1890); Thaddeus, another son, and Christopher Columbus, the youngest, who at this time (1910) is living in Wenas; an adopted daughter (Amanda Sedora) who married Alva Churchill, and is now a widow living in North Yakima; Thomas Goodwin, a nephew of L.H. Goodwin and his brother Bent, a mute but a very intelligent man. Both are living yet somewhere in the Yakima valley. Then there was Walter Lindsey and his family, John and Ed, and Sarah, the youngest, who afterwards married Willis Thorp. She had the sweetest disposition of any woman I ever knew. Another daughter, Mrs. elizabeth Grant, a widow, was very handsome, and many a bachelor cast longing eyes toward her. She married Andy McDaniel and several children were born to them. There was John Rozelle and family of two sons, Mart and William, and William Harrington, a son-in-law. The Rozelles and Harringtons moved on up the Kittitas valley and settled that same year. During the winter they ran out of provisions and were in a destitute condition. The report was brought to Thorp by the Indian Chief Shu-shu-skin.
Thorp immediately dispatched Andy Gervais with horses and an Indian to bring them back to Yakima, which he did, encountering deep snow on the trail. Rozelle then settled on the bottom just below the mouth of Nah-cheez. The Cascade lumber mill and many fine residences of North Yakima are now built on his original claim.
L.H Goodwin settled on the river bottom just above Yakima City. Walter Lindsey took a place half a mile above him, which is now owned by Thomas Chambers. Thomas Goodwin settled on the river bottom about a mile above the present Mok-see bridge. Among the many owners of land on the Ahtanum, as did also William Harrington.
The first white woman to be buried in the Yakima Valley was Mrs. L.H. Goodwin, a new arrival of that year (1865). The spot later, in 1865, became the Yakima City Cemetery. (Now called Pioneer Cemetery in Union Gap, grave still next to river, 1998)
John W. Beck and family came in 1869, (Wife Martha Goodwin Beck was a sister to L.H. Goodwin) settling on the river a mile above Yakima City. He had four sons, James, Ross, Douglas, and Orlando. James and Orlando are still living, the former being often spoken of as "the Sage of the Nile" John Beck was an honest and useful citizen, but a poor judge of human nature. For many years he held the office of Justice of the peace in Yakima City.
George Goodwin, a pioneer of 1865, opened up a store this year, 1870, near the Barker Bros. store. The place now took on the name of Yakima City.
Copyright © 1999 Dante G. Hebert, all rights reserved.Return to top of page.