Washington County Histories

Washington’s first counties were created from unorganized territory in 1845. Eight were created by Oregon governments prior to the organization of Washington Territory. Most of the rest were created during Washington’s territorial period, and a few after Washington became a state. Washington is the second most populous state on the west coast and in the western United States after California.

Flag of WashingtonWashington is the 18th most extensive and the 13th most populous of the 50 United States. Approximately 60 percent of Washington’s residents live in the Seattle metropolitan area, the center of transportation, business, and industry along the Puget Sound region of the Salish Sea, an inlet of the Pacific consisting of numerous islands, deep fjords, and bays carved out by glaciers. The remainder of the state consists of deep rainforests in the west, mountain ranges in the west, center, northeast and far southeast, and a semi-arid eastern basin given over to intensive agriculture.

The growing populace of Oregon Territory north of the Columbia River formally requested a new territory, which was granted by the U.S. government in 1853. The boundary of Washington Territory initially extended farther east than the present state’s, including what is now the Idaho Panhandle and parts of western Montana, and picked up more land to the southeast that was left behind when Oregon was admitted as a state. The creation of Idaho Territory in 1863 established the final eastern border. Washington became the 42nd state in the United States on November 11, 1889.

Early prominent industries in the state included agriculture and lumber. In eastern Washington, the Yakima River Valley became known for its apple orchards, while the growth of wheat using dry-farming techniques became particularly productive. Heavy rainfall to the west of the Cascade Range produced dense forests, and the ports along Puget Sound prospered from the manufacturing and shipping of lumber products, particularly the Douglas-fir. Other industries that developed in the state included fishing, salmon canning and mining.

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  1. A VOLUME OF MEMOIRS AND GENEALOGY OF REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS OF THE CITY OF SEATTLE AND COUNTY OF KING WASHINGTON INCLUDING BIOGRAPHIES OF MANY OF THOSE WHO HAVE PASSED AWAY.
  2. AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF SKAGIT AND SNOHOMISH COUNTIES, THEIR PEOPLE, THEIR COMMERCE AND THEIR RESOURCES, WITH AN OUTLINE OF THE EARLY HISTORY OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON. (TWO BOOKS), INTERSTATE PUB. CO, 1906
  3. AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF SKAGIT AND SNOHOMISH COUNTIES, THEIR PEOPLE, THEIR COMMERCE AND THEIR RESOURCES, WITH AN OUTLINE OF THE EARLY HISTORY OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON. VOL 1 .
  4. AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF SKAGIT AND SNOHOMISH COUNTIES, THEIR PEOPLE, THEIR COMMERCE AND THEIR RESOURCES, WITH AN OUTLINE OF THE EARLY HISTORY OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON. VOL 2.
  5. RICHARD STEELE, AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF STEVENS, FERRY, OKANOGAN AND CHELAN COUNTIES, WASHINGTON (2 VOLS), WESTERN HISTORICAL PUBLISHING CO., 1904
  6. RICHARD F. STEELE, AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF THE BIG BEND COUNTRY, EMBRACING LINCOLN, DOUGLAS, ADAMS AND FRANKLIN COUNTIES, WESTERN HISTORICAL PUBLISHING CO.
  7. EARLY HISTORY OF THURSTON COUNTY, WASHINGTON
  8. FRANK T. GILBERT, HISTORIC SKETCHES OF WALLA WALLA, WHITMAN, COLUMBIA, AND GARFIELD COUNTIES, A. G. WALLING, 1882
  9. NELSON W. DURHAM, HISTORY OF THE CITY OF SPOKANE AND SPOKANE COUNTY, WASHINGTON: FROM ITS EARLIEST SETTLEMENT TO THE PRESENT TIME. (3 VOLS.) (VOL. 1), S. J. CLARKE PUBLISHING, 1912
  10. NELSON W. DURHAM, HISTORY OF THE CITY OF SPOKANE AND SPOKANE COUNTY, WASHINGTON: FROM ITS EARLIEST SETTLEMENT TO THE PRESENT TIME. (3 VOLS.) (VOL. 2), S. J. CLARKE PUBLISHING, 1912
  11. NELSON W. DURHAM, HISTORY OF THE CITY OF SPOKANE AND SPOKANE COUNTY, WASHINGTON: FROM ITS EARLIEST SETTLEMENT TO THE PRESENT TIME. (3 VOLS.) (VOL. 3), S. J. CLARKE PUBLISHING, 1912
  12. WILLIAM DENISON LYMAN, HISTORY OF THE YAKIMA VALLEY – VOL. II. , ISHA
  13. HUBERT H. BANCROFT, HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, IDAHO, AND MONTANA, SAN FRANCISCO: HISTORY CO., 1890
  14. JULIAN HAWTHORNE, HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, THE EVERGREEN STATE, FROM EARLY DAWN TO DAYLIGHT; WITH PORTRAITS AND BIOGRAPHIES. (VOL. 1), AMERICAN HISTORICAL PUBLISHING, 1893
  15. CLINTON SNOWDEN, HISTORY OF WASHINGTON; THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF AN AMERICAN STATE (5 VOLS.) (VOL. 1), THE CENTURY HISTORY COMPANY, 1909
  16. CLINTON SNOWDEN, HISTORY OF WASHINGTON; THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF AN AMERICAN STATE (5 VOLS.) (VOL. 2), THE CENTURY HISTORY COMPANY, 1909
  17. CLINTON SNOWDEN, HISTORY OF WASHINGTON; THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF AN AMERICAN STATE (5 VOLS.) (VOL. 3), THE CENTURY HISTORY COMPANY, 1909
  18. CLINTON SNOWDEN, HISTORY OF WASHINGTON; THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF AN AMERICAN STATE (5 VOLS.) (VOL. 4), THE CENTURY HISTORY COMPANY, 1909
  19. CLINTON SNOWDEN, HISTORY OF WASHINGTON; THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF AN AMERICAN STATE (5 VOLS.) (VOL. 5), THE CENTURY HISTORY COMPANY, 1909
  20. JONATHAN EDWARDS, ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF SPOKANE COUNTY., W. H. LEVER, 1900
  21. LYMAN’S HISTORY OF OLD WALLA WALLA COUNTY, EMBRACING WALLA WALLA, COLUMBIA, GARFIELD & ASOTIN COUNTIES. VOL 1
  22. LYMAN’S HISTORY OF OLD WALLA WALLA COUNTY, EMBRACING WALLA WALLA, COLUMBIA, GARFIELD & ASOTIN COUNTIES. VOL 2
  23. EZRA MEEKER, PIONEER REMINISCENCES OF PUGET SOUND: THE TRAGEDY OF LESCHI, AN ACCOUNT OF THE COMING OF THE FIRST AMERICANS AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THEIR INSTITUTIONS, THEIR ENCOUNTERS WITH THE NATIVE RACE, THE FIRST TREATIES WITH THE INDIANS AND THE WAR THAT FOLLOWED, SEVEN YEARS OF THE LIFE OF ISAAC I. STEVENS IN WASHINGTON TERRITORY, CRUISE OF THE AUTHOR ON PUGET SOUND FIFTY YEARS AGO, LOWMAN & HANFORD, 1905
  24. S. J. COTTON, STORIES OF NEHALEM. , ISHA
  25. HERBERT HUNT, TACOMA: ITS HISTORY AND BUILDERS (VOL 1), S. J. CLARKE PUBLISHING, 1916
  26. HERBERT HUNT, TACOMA: ITS HISTORY AND BUILDERS (VOL 2), S. J. CLARKE PUBLISHING, 1916
  27. WELFORD BEATON, THE CITY THAT MADE ITSELF; A LITERARY AND PICTORIAL RECORD OF THE BUILDING OF SEATTLE, TERMINAL PUBLISHING CO, 1914
  28. THE HONOR ROLL 1917—1918—1919. , F. C. WHITNEY & SONS
  29. VOLUME OF MEMOIRS & GENEALOGY OF REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS OF THE CITY OF SEATTLE & THE COUNTY OF KING, INCLUDING BIOGRAPHIES.

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