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In One Ear: Local brevities

News and notes from 1884
By Elleda Wilson

The Daily Astorian

Published on February 9, 2018 12:01AM

A few tidbits from The Daily Morning Astorian 134 years ago on Sunday, Feb. 9, 1884:

• Capt. West has sold his cannery at Hungry Harbor (near Megler, Washington) to the North Shore Packing Company.

Note: “Captain” John West (pictured) was a Scottish businessman/exporter and inventor who settled near Westport. He founded the first cannery on the Oregon side of the Columbia River, one of many he eventually owned, and invented an automatic can-filling machine. His brand label for canned foods still exists as John West Foods Ltd. of Liverpool, England. He died in 1888, and is buried in Westport. (

• Wood vs: Ulloch: In the U.S. District Court in Portland, Columbia River bar pilot George W. Wood sued the British ship Ullock for not hiring him to pilot her. Wood had signaled her to board, but before he could get there, the Ulloch took on a Washington Territory pilot, instead.

Infuriated, Wood wanted to recoup the wages he would have received. As a result, Judge Deady made some critical decisions about the bar pilot business: A pilot must be within half a mile of the vessel when signaling (Wood wasn’t); and a vessel can take on a pilot from either Oregon or Washington, whoever gets there first. Case dismissed.

• Miss Kate Ward, of Tumwater, is said to have the honor of being the first woman to vote in Washington Territory under the new law.

Note: Washington Territory was unsure about women’s suffrage, which was first passed in 1883, reaffirmed in 1884, revoked in 1887, partially reinstated in 1888 then later invalidated … you get the picture. In 1889, Washington became a state, but the dithering continued for years until a constitutional amendment enacting women’s suffrage was finally passed in 1910. (

• Everyone has a sore shoulder this morning from snowballing yesterday. … The average girl may be too good for this world, but she cannot help envying her young brother when he has got the seat of his pants plated with sheet tin, and is told that he may go and slide down Benton street hill all he wants to.


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