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Kittitas County Washington Obituaries

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Obituary submitted by

MARIA HARRIS DAVIS

FUNERAL OF PIONEER TO BE HELD TOMORROW. MRS. MARIA DAVIS WAS IN VALLEY IN 1869. CROSSED PLAINS ON HORSEBACK AT AGE OF SIX YEARS—FIRST SETTLER ON LAKE WASHINGTON. The death of Mrs. Maria Davis, 77 years old, one of the earliest pioneers of Washington, who passed through the Kittitas Valley on her way to Lake Washington in 1869 and met at the summit of Snoqualmie Pass, Tillman Houser and Gus Nesalhouse, first settlers here, resulted from a short illness from pneumonia, according to information received here today [died November 11, 1919].

Mrs. Davis and her husband, John Davis, lived in Yakima in 1867 to 1869, when a small grist mill and a few cabins constituted the only settlement in the entire valley. At that time a few dozen people made up the population of this section of Washington, the list including the Heatons, Goodwins, Splawns and Snipes. Mrs. Davis had crossed the plains on horseback from Missouri with her family in 1849, settling n Yamhill County, Oregon, where they lived until five years after Mrs. Davis’ marriage. Mr. Davis fought in the Indian wars in Oregon in the sixties.

In 1869 Mr. and Mrs. Davis moved to a spot near Lake Washington, passing through the Kittitas valley and meeting the first two settlers as they crossed the summit of the Cascade divide. They were th first settlers of the Squak District King County, and her son, John Davis who survives her, was born there in 1869. When she met Nesalhouse and Houser, Mrs. Davis was preceding the advance of the wagon which carried the family’s household effects, throwing skids in front of the wheels which otherwise would have sunk deep into the ruts of the narrow mountain road.

The Davis family lived on Lake Washington for a number of years and returned to Ellensburg and the Kittitas Valley in 1881, where Mrs. Davis resided until 1918. Mr. Davis was one of the prominent men of the Valley. He was probate judge in Kittitas from 1888 to 1892, and represented the county for two terms in the state legislature, his death coming as a result of arduous labors at the state capitol.

Mrs. Davis has been living in Mabton with her son, John Davis, since 1918. She leaves two sons, Silas Davis, of Waldport, Ore., and John Davis, of Mabton, and two daughters, Mrs. George Montgomery, of Ellensburg, and Mrs. N. P. Ackerman, of Portland. [Interment at IOOF Cemetery]