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Kittitas County Washington Obituaries


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Mrs. P. H. Schnebly, a resident of this valley for 74 years, died at her home at Eighth and A streets at 2 o’clock this morning [May 22, 1944], after an illness of approximately a year. Her family, one of the most prominent of Central Washington throughout the history of this section, has been closely identified with the development of the Kittitas Valley. The funeral will be at the Honeycutt Chapel at 2 o’clock Wednesday with the Rev. Alvin B. Potter of Grace Church in charge.

She was born Eliza F. Cooke, at Independence, Oregon, May 1, 1860. Her father was Charles P. Cooke, who served as a lieutenant in the battles of Monterey and Buena Vista in the Mexican War. He was a descendent of Puritans who came to this country on the Mayflower. Her mother was Susan Brewster Cooke, also a descendent of colonial stock.

Her father came to California in the gold rush of 1849 and a year later came north to Astoria. He began merchandising in Independence, Oregon, remaining there until 1867, when he moved to the Moxee Valley, where he took up government land. Three years later he moved to the Kittitas Valley. He was a member of the territorial legislature in 1873 and again in 1876. In 1886 he again was a member of the legislature, representing what is now Yakima, Kittitas, Franklin, Douglas, Adams, Grant, Lincoln counties and a part of Chelan County. He was first county auditor of Yakima county and also school superintendent. He was prominent in the organization of the two counties of Yakima and Kittitas.

Mrs. Schnebly leaves 10 children, all living and all residents of Kittitas County. She leaves 26 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. The pallbearers were her own grandsons, who are residents of the valley. She also leaves one brother, M. D. Cooke, also a resident of the Kittitas Valley.

The 10 children are Fred C., P. Dorsey, Joseph J., Frank B., Rufus and Robert, Miss Lillian Schnebly, Mrs. John J. (Jean) Paul, Mrs. C. C. (Edith) McGrananhan, and Mrs. John (Edna) Howell.

The grandsons who were pallbearers are Henry, Frank, Joseph, Don and Bill Schnebly, Phillip and John Paul, Jr., and James Howell; other grandsons are in the country’s services.

Mrs. Schnebly was married to Phillip H. Schnebly here on November 12, 1877. Her husband was one of the best known cattlemen and ranchers of Central Washington. His father was publisher of the Ellensburg Weekly Localizer and had been publisher of the Oregon Spectator, the first newspaper founded in the Pacific Northwest. Her husband was prominently identified with the High Line Canal, one of the directors in the early stages, while her oldest son, Fred, is a director of the completed project, the Kittitas Reclamation District.

The sons have continued in the cattle business, of which their father was one of the best known pioneer stockmen of the state. Mrs. Schnebly was a true pioneer in every sense of the word. Her tales of the Perkins Massacre and other Indian troubles were thrilling stories, although she and her family were on cordial terms with the Indians of the district.

She was a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church and three years ago was awarded the Bishop’s Cross from the Rt. Rev. Edward M. Cross, for her lifelong service to the church.