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Topic: Biographies

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Smith, John James (1869-1910)

John James Smith was a medical doctor from West Virginia who came to the Northwest in the late 1800s to work for a mining company. He settled in Enumclaw in 1901, where he carved out a successful care...

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Smith, Palmer "Snuffy" (1922-2004)

Palmer Smith, a Seattle lawyer for more than 40 years, was a passionate advocate for the rule of law, social justice, civil rights, and education. He saw government as the path to these goals. He and ...

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Smith, Sam (1922-1995)

Sam Smith was the first black person to be elected to the Seattle City Council and the second black State Legislator from King County. He has been credited with helping to bridge the political and cul...

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Smith, Walker C. (1885-1927)

Walker C. Smith was a leading member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) union also known as the Wobblies, who wrote and edited socialist newspapers, philosophical tracts, pamphlets, satirica...

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Smohalla (1815?-1895)

A Wanapum spiritual leader, Smohalla founded what became known as the Dreamer religion, which was based on the belief that if Native Americans shunned white culture and lived as their ancestors had li...

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Snyder, Sid (1926-2012)

The son of a Kelso barber, Sid Snyder eventually rose up to establish himself as a well-loved small-town grocer, a savvy real-estate investor, and a millionaire bank founder. In addition, he gained st...

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Sohappy, David (1925-1991)

U.S. Army veteran David Sohappy Sr. (1925-1991) was a Wanapum fishing activist who became the center of a national controversy involving government regulators and tribal fishers in the Pacific Northwe...

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Sohon, Gustavus (1825-1903)

Gustavus Sohon, a native of East Prussia, arrived on the Columbia River in 1852 as a private in the U.S. Army. During the following decade, he accompanied four historic expeditions across Eastern Wash...

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Sommers, Helen Elizabeth (1932-2017)

Helen Sommers was elected as a Democrat in November 1972 to represent Seattle's 36th District in the state House of Representatives. She won re-election 17 consecutive times over the next 36 years, wa...

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Spafford, Michael (b. 1935), and Elizabeth Sandvig (b. 1937)

Michael Spafford was a young art student at Pomona College in Claremont, California, in 1956 when a car accident put him out of commission for months. When he returned to school, he found another youn...

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Spear, Lillian S. (1897-1963)

Lillian E. Anderson Sylten Spear was an important player in Snohomish County's public-power movement. She began her career as an educator, served as president of the Snohomish County Parent-Teacher As...

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Spellman, John D. (1926-2018)

John D. Spellman was the first King County Executive and later served as governor of Washington. Elected Executive in 1969, shortly after the County's Home Rule Charter created the position, Spellman ...

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Sperry, Robert (1927-1998)

One of America's preeminent ceramists, Robert Sperry was a restless creative force who helped shape the University of Washington's ceramics program into one of the country's most influential. Hailed a...

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Spithill, Alexander (1824-1920)

Alexander Spithill was an early Puget Sound pioneer, arriving in October 1856 and settling initially at Utsalady on Camano Island. In 1861 he started what was probably the first logging camp in the Ma...

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Sprague, John Wilson (1817-1893)

John Wilson Sprague was born in the state of New York, became a successful businessman in Ohio, served the Union cause with distinction during the Civil War, and then moved to the Northwest in 1870 as...

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Spring, Ira (1918-2003)

Ira Spring had the great good fortune to spend a lifetime doing what he enjoyed most -- hiking, climbing, and skiing throughout the Pacific Northwest and documenting his way in words and pictures. He ...

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Stanford, John (1938-1998)

John Stanford (1938-1998) was the superintendent of Seattle Schools for just three years and seriously ill during the last few months, but he continued to maintain a high profile in the community as w...

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Stangle, Jack Warren (1927-1980)

Betty (Batchelor) Miles of Samish Island contributed this piece on Jack W. Stangle, who was a celebrated artist in Seattle from 1953 to his death in 1980. He was a member of the Northwest School and h...

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Starwich, Matthew (1879-1941)

Matt Starwich was a colorful King County sheriff who left a wealth of stories to delight historians. He first rose to prominence as a deputy sheriff in the coal-mining town of Ravensdale in southeast ...

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Steinbrueck, Victor Eugene (1911-1985)

Architect Victor Steinbrueck, perhaps best known today for his efforts to protect Seattle's historic Pike Place Market and Pioneer Square, worked to adapt modern architecture to reflect the Puget Soun...

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Stern, Bernice (1916-2007)

Bernice Stern devoted much of her life to public service, starting at age 15, and was the first woman elected to the King County Council, where she served for 11 years, retiring in 1980. Before and af...

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Stevens, Isaac Ingalls (1818-1862)

As Washington's first territorial governor, Isaac Stevens oversaw the establishment of government in what would become Washington state. He also led the survey of a route to Puget Sound for a transcon...

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Stevenson, Frank (1841-1914) and Mary (Fell) (1852-1928)

Frank Stevenson and Mary Fell Stevenson were considered the father and mother of the city of Enumclaw, Washington. The community had its beginning when, in 1885, the Northern Pacific Railroad accepted...

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Stokes, Charles Moorehead (1903-1996)

In 1950, Charles Stokes was elected to the Washington state legislature from the 37th District in central and southeast Seattle, becoming the first black legislator from King County. The only black le...

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