History of 124 West Fourth Street, Waitsburg, WA

Title and Occupant History:

September 30, 1871–Bruce’s Addition to the Town of Waitsburg was platted by William P. and Caroline Bruce, husband and wife, in the West one-half of the S.W. quarter of Section II. Township 9 N . Range 37 East of the Willamette Meridian, in Walla Walla County, Washington Territory.

Waitsburg stands on land claimed by William Perry Bruce, who came to the area in 1861. “In 1863 he donated part of the land for the area’s first business, the mill,…, and, in 1868 surveyed and platted the town of Waitsburg, which included only Main’ Street and a block on either side. �He helped found the Walla Walla Union newspaper that same year and was elected county commissioner for old Walla Walla County in 1872. He contributed to many public enterprises and was a farmer and merchant. His wife was also “energetic and public spirited” and is “remembered for the ice cream socials held in the spacious yard” of their showplace home. (Vance Orchard, compiler & writer. Waitsburg: “One of a Kind; published by the Waitsburg Historical Society in 1976. p. vii)

Construction of the House: The 1880 and 1881-82 area directories list W. P. Bruce at a rooming house and then at a residence on the west side of Main Street. The following early directories for Walla Walla city and county and those for the Inland Empire do not list addresses in Waitsburg, they only list names and some occupations. The panoramic view of Waitsburg in 1884 (inside the cover of Waitsburg: “One of a Kind”) does not seem to show the house, unless it is hidden behind the Bruce Mansion (built in 1883). The Walla Walla Assessor lists 1834 as the year built. but this is not authoritative.

The Standard Atlas for 1909 in the Whitman Archives shows a house on the property listed as belonging to M. Murphy, although according to the directories and local’ historian Betty Chase. Mary E. Murphy (formerly’ Mary E. Abbey. nee Mary E. Bruce) lived in the Bruce Mansion.

The Bruce family kept the property in the family until the 1918 sale to Silas A. Wilson, who is listed at the address in the 1920 directory.

Thus, an accurate date of construction is not available from the title office. Assessor Office. or directory records .

Apri.1 29. 1889–0rdinance No. 80 corrected the numbering of blocks in Bruce’s Addition. (Deed Book 44. Page 46; hereinafter 44/46)

April 2, 1890–0rdinance No. 89 closed the alley running east and west through block 1 of Bruce’s Addition. (45/535)

March 20, 1893–record of the probate proceedings for the estate of Caroline A. Bruce, deceased. J. W. Bruce was the administrator of the estate .. Each of her children received a one-fourth interest in the estate, including the real estate. Her children were: Mary E. Abbey, John H. Bruce, Dora E. Powell, and J. W. Bruce. (53/365)

March 31, 1893–E. L. Powell and Dora E. Powell, husband and wife, sold their interest in lots 3 & 4 in Block I of Bruce’s Addition, and many other lots, to Mary E. Abbey, widow of Henry J. Abbey, for $1. (55/582)

E. L. “Lew” Powell came to Waitsburg in 1871 and formed a partnership with W. P. Bruce in the general merchandizing business in 1874. He later had several other businesses and partners. He was mayor of Waitsburg in 1885 and in the legislature in 1888 and 1891-92. Powell Street is named after him. (Waitsburg: “0ne of a Kind”)

September 4, 1894–John and Maggie Bruce quit claimed their interest in lots 3 and 4 and other property to Mary E. Abbey for $1. (57/571)

March 16, 1896-J. W. and Addie Bruce, husband and wife, released and quit claimed their interest in lots 3 & 4 and other property to Mary E. Abbey for $500. (61/77)

July 10, 1918–Mary E. Murphy, formerly Mary E. Abbey, sold the current legal description lot to Silas A. Wilson for $2000. (144/347)

Polk’s Walla Walla County Directory for 1920 lists Silas A. Wilson as a farmer. residing on 4th near Main .�

October 19, 1946–Florence Eliza Stevens, heir-at-Iaw of Silas Allen Wilson, deceased, sold the property to Ivy Bessie Baxter, a widow, for “$10 and other valuable considerations.” (Deed #296854)

The 1948 county directory lists Ivy Baxter at 124 W. 4th St.

June 26, 1950–Velma Auer and Dorothy Lloyd, executrices of the will of Ivy B. Baxter, deceased, sold the property to ThomasJ. Hubbard for $4,500. (#334189)

The 1953 county directory lists Thomas Hubbard as a policeman with The Waitsburg Police Department and him, and his wife Bertha, residing at 124 W. 4th St.

July 31, 1975-after the death of her husband, May 8, 1975, Bertha E. Hubbard transferred the property to James D. Hubbard and Bernadean Butcher, a married woman, and James D. Hubbard quit claim deeded his share to Bernadean Butcher out of “love and affection.” (#547147)

March 31, 1982–Bernadean Butcher deeded the property to Marcus Zuger who had purchased it on a real estate contract for $14,500 dated March 17, 1977. (#8202388)

Marcus L Zuger is listed in the 1977 &1979 county directories as an employee of 0 & K Frozen Foods, his wife Caron is listed as a freelance artist and part time receptionist for Dr. Hevel. Both are listed as residing at 124 W. 4th.

April 5, 1982–Marcus Zuger quit claim deeded the property to Janette L. Zuger out of “love and affection.� (#8202572)

April 7, 1982–Kenneth Zuger quit claim deeded his interest in the property to his wife, Janette L. Zuger, out of “love and affection.” (#~202573)

Kenneth Zugerls grandfather, Marcus J. Zuger homesteaded in the area in 1877.

April 7, 1982–Janette L. Zuger sold the property to E. E.and Jewell “Haight, husband and wife, and Jeane De Haven for $29,000. (#8202574)

April 7, 1982–Winston De Haven quit claim deeded his interest in the property to his wife, Jeane De Haven, out of “love and affection.� �(#8202575)

September 5, 1989–Edward Haight quit claim deeded his interest in the property to Jeane De Haven out of “love and affection. II (#8906402)

December 19, 1990–Jeane De Haven sold the property to Richard A. Demarest. (#9008878)


prepared by Michael W. Smith. 3/95