Pioneer William Grose, an African American, arrives in Seattle in 1861.

  • By Mary T. Henry
  • Posted 11/09/1998
  • Essay 308
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In 1861, William Grose (1835-1898), the son of a free African American restaurant owner, becomes the second African American to settle in Seattle. A barber and a hotel owner, he purchases 12 acres of land from Henry Yesler (1810-1892) in the East Madison district, which becomes the nucleus of one of the two African American neighborhoods during the latter part of the nineteenth century.

William Grose died in 1898.

Sources: Esther Hall Mumford, Seattle's Black Victorians 1851-1901 (Seattle: Ananse Press, 1980), 75; Quintard Taylor, The Forging of a Black Community: Seattle's Central District from 1870 through the Civil Rights Era (Seattle: University of Washington, 1994), 16.

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