History of 31 South East Ash Street, College Place, WA – Davis Elementary Public School


Property Description:

Section 36, Township 7N, Range 35E, Lots 6 through 10 Block 1 plus 1/2 of the vacated street in College Place #1, Walla Walla County, in the State of Washington.

Title History:

Washington Territory was created in 1853. The new legislature created Walla Walla County in 1854 which stretched from the crest of the Cascade Mountains to the crest of the Rocky Mountains in the present states of Washington, Idaho and Montana. In 1855 an Indian council was held on the banks of Mill Creek at the present site of Walla Walla to purchase land from the Indians. The Yakimas, Cayuses and Walla Wallas were dissatisfied with the treaties and prepared for war which followed. Missionaries, former French-Canadian employees of the Hudson Bay Company Trading Post at Wallula, and soldiers at Fort Walla Walla were the primary European occupants of the area prior to 1859 when it was opened for settlement. All of the land in this area was acquired from the Cayuse and Walla Walla Indian tribes by the U.S. Government in a treaty signed on June 9, 1855 in Walla Walla, and ratified on March 8, 1859 by President James Buchanan.

The original patent holder of Section 36 was the State of Washington. In 1853, when the Federal Government established Washington Territory, it allowed the territory to retain two square miles out of each township (36 square miles) for support of schools. The purchase of this land from the state was recorded in the Vancouver, Washington land office prior to the opening of a Walla Walla land office. The first locally recorded owner of this property was Catherine Elizabeth Stahl who sold this and many other parcels to Henry H. Perry on March 25, 1891 for $3300.  Mrs. Stahl was the widow of John W. Stahl, owner of the City Brewery since 1870. Mr. Stahl died in 1884 and his business continued to flourish under the capable hands of his widow.

On April 17, 1891 Henry H and Lucia B. Perry sold many parcels including this to the General Conference Association of the Seventh Day Adventist Corporation Of Calhoun County, Michigan.

This area was platted on April 14, 1892 as College Place #1, the same year that Dr. Nelson Blalock donated 40 acres to Walla Walla College for their new campus, which opened on December 7, 1892, providing a private education for grades one through college.

On May 4, 1903 the General Conference of the Seventh Day Adventist Corporation sold lots 6 through 10 of Block 1 No. 1 to College Place School District #45 for $237.50. The Corporation reserved the right for water ditch to cross these lots.

On December 9, 1915 School District #31 (formed in 1905 by the joining of the College Place and the 1883 Yellowhawk school districts) paid $400 to the College Place Water Works while retaining the perpetual right for use of an artesian well for irrigation and drinking water. The town of College Place incorporated on January 19, 1946. In 1948 the College Place School District expanded to include Valley Chapel #13 and then became College Place #200. In 1952 the district again expanded with the addition of Springdale #63 and became College Place #250.

Construction of the Building:

The public school district purchased this property in May of 1903 and built Davis School on this location in 1906. The new school building served the community well for 24 years at which time a gymnasium was added in 1930. Twenty-five years later, in 1955, an addition was built on the north side of the original building.  In 1958 an addition was constructed on the west side of the original building. In 1986 a $2,000,000 renovation added a library, kitchen-cafeteria/multipurpose room and 12 classrooms. This addition completely encircled the original building, which was removed leaving a courtyard  inside the newer construction.


Bennett, Robert A., Walla Walla  Portrait of a Western Town 1804-1899, Pioneer Press,  Walla Walla, 1980.

Bennett, Robert A., Walla Walla  A Town Built to be a City 1900-1919, Pioneer Press,  Walla Walla, 1982.

Bureau of Land Management Government Land Office< www.glorecords.blm.gov/>

Cross, Helen W., College Place, Washington, A Short History, Color Press, 1988.

HistoryLink.org “school lands”<www.HistoryLink.org/>

Lyman, Professor W.D., An Illustrated History of Walla Walla County  1901.

Ogle’s Standard Atlas of Walla Walla County, 1909

Whitman College Archives.


Mary E. Meeker
Walla Walla 2020 Research Service
PO Box 1222, Walla Walla WA 99362
August, 2006