History of 363 South Fourth Avenue, Walla Walla, WA

Legal Description (abbreviated):

Southerly 47.25 feet of lot 5 in the Stahl and Cambern Addition. (Walla Walla County Auditor, plat book C, page 8)

 Title and Occupant History:

August 30, 1865–John and Margaret Sparks sold land including the property to Henrietta and J. W. Hunter for $1500. (Deed Book 77, page 100; hereinafter 77/100)

November 21, 186B–Henrietta and J. W. Hunter sold land to James E. Wyche for $2000. (F/468)

November 30, James E. and Anna B. Wyche sold property to Joseph Hellmuth. (F/262)

July 19, 1870–Joseph and Adille Hellmuth, husband and wife, sold several tracts of real estate to John H. Stahl for $7500. (G/421)

Joseph Hellmuth started one of the oldest breweries on the Pacific Coast in the 1850s. John Stahl was a brewery operator from Canyon City, Oregon who bought the operation in 1870 and it was incorporated in 1904 as the Stahl Brewing and Malting Company. (R. Bennett, Walla Walla: A Nice Place to Raise A Family, 1920-1949, Pioneer Press, 1988, p. 165.) After his death in 1884, his wife Catherine continued to run his business very successfully.

Marcil 21, 1871–J. W. and Henrietta E. Hunter sold land to Sarah A. Martin for $500. (H/141)

Sarah A. Martin was born in Mansfield, Ohio, in 1828 and came to Walla Walla in 1861. She was an orchardist who owned 5 acres in town. (Frank 1: Gilbert, Historic Sketches of Walla Walla. Whitman, Columbia. pnd Garfield Counties, Washington Territory, Portland: A. G. Walling, 1882, p. 43 of appendix)

October 17, IB78–Sarah Martin sold 312 feet by 150 feet of property to J.’ H. Lamona for $600. (0/380)

July 21, 1887–Sarah Martin sold property to Joseph Irish for $4500. (38/313)

Joseph Irish is listed in The Spectator’s city directory for 1892 as residing at 300 4th.

October 19, 1887–J. H. and Hessa Lamona sold 312 feet by 150 feet of land to Joseph Irish for $575. (39/46)

April 20, 1895–Joseph I rish transfer 580 feet by 110 feet lot at corner of 4th and Stahl (with the 580 feet along 4th) to M. L. Cam bern , trustee for V. M. Meilicke, “0ut of love and affection,” for V. M. Meilicke. (58/509, see also 58/512: lease of property to Joseph Irish)

April 21, 1896–The various claims and tracts of land were gathered together as Minnie L. Cambern, Vinnie May Meilicke, Joseph Irish, and Catherine E. Stahl platted the Stahl and Cam bern Addition to the City of Walla Walla. (Walla Walla County Auditor, plat book C, page 7)

April 21, 1896–Minnie L. Cambern, trustee for V. M. Meilicke, and V. M. Meilicke, an unmarried woman, sold parts of lots 3, 4 & 5 of Stahl and Cambern Addition to Catherine Stahl for “$1 and other valuable considerations.� (61/297, see also 61/296

February 28, 1901–Catherine E. Stahl, a widow, sold lot 5 and part of lot 4, in Stahl and Cambern Addition to David W. Terwilliger for $1700. (75/308)

Polk’s 1902 Walla Walla City and County Directory lists David Terwilliger as a clerk at White House Clothing Co. with a residence at 144 W. Chestnut.

December 18, 1903–David W. Terwilliger and Izona Belle Terwilliger, formerly his wife, sot lot 5 and part of lot 4 to R. Ludwigs for $1500. (89/234)

Polk’s 1904 & 1905 city directories list R. Ludwigs as a grocer with a store at is E. Main and a residence at 427 1 St.

September 18, 1906–R. and Barbara M. Ludwigs, husband and wife, sot lot 5 & part of lot 4 to William H. Steward for $1800. (108/154)

Polk’s 1907 directory lists William H. Steward as vice-president, treasurer of the Olsen-Cowan Implement Co. with a home at 603 W. Poplar.

May 22, 1907–W. H. and Mabel Steward, husband and wife, sold lot 5 and part of lot 4 to Lawrence D. Geaney, a bachelor, for $1900. (108/326)

Polk’s 1910-11 directory list L. D. Geaney as a farmer with a home at 217 N. Madison (he is not listed in the 1907 or 1908 directories).

October 6, 1908–Lawrence D. Geaney sold lot 5 and part of lot 4 to Ernest and Agnes M. Stuart, husband and wife, for $1150. (111/240, see also 112/76)

Ernest Stuart is not in the 1908 directory, but is listed in Polk’s 1910 II directory as a farmer with a home at 363 S. 4th (The Whitman Archives do not have the 1909 directory).

Construction of the House: From the above information, the likely date of construction is 1909, although it could be late 1908 or early 1910. The Walla Walla County Assessor lists no year built.

May 13, 1911–Ernest and Agnes M. Stuart sold all of lot 5 and part of lot 4 to Dan Donovan for $5 and other consideration. (128/406)

Polk’s directories for the 1920s & 30s list Dan Donovan as a farmer residing at 363 4th S.

June 1, 1959–Mary Alice Gage, individually and as executrix of the will of Mary Donovan, deceased, and Sister Noreen, whose family name is Anna Catherine Donovan. sold the southerly part of lot 5 to George H. Harbin. Jr. and Virginia Harbin, husband and wife, for $12,000. (Deed #412082)

July 25, 1966–George H. Harbin. Jr., and Virginia Harbin. of Falls Church. Virginia, quit claim deeded the property in the legal description to Irvin B. and Auburn Graves as a gift. (#479058)

Polk’s 1957 and 1961 directories list Irvin B. Graves at 363 4th S.

September 16, 1968–Virginia Graves Harbin sold the property to Pete W. and Betty J. Turley, husband and wife, for $13.750. (#497386)

Hart’s 1969 Walla Walla Residents and Business Registrations lists Pete W. Turley as a plumber and Betty J. Turley as an x-ray technician at St. Marys Hospital. both residing at 363 4th S .

June 26, 1978–a dissolution of marriage settlement transferred property ownership to Betty Turley. (#780588)

October 27, 1978–Betty Polvi, formerly known as Betty Turley. sold the . property to David H. and Judith D. Cullum, husband and wife for $55,000. (#7809460)

Hart’s 1979 directory lists David H. Cullum as a mechanic for Louisiana Pacific and Judi A. Cullum as a contact lens fitter for Drs. Stevens and Hogenson.

April 18, 1980–David H. and Judith D. Cullum sold the property to Jack D. and Audrey B. Comfort, husband and wife, for $58,665. (#8003284)

Hart’s 1981 directory list Jack D. Comfort as the operations manager for KHIT and XT 97 radio.

December 30, 1986–Jack D. and Audrey B. Comfort quit claim deeded the property to the Household Finance Industrial Loan Co. “in lieu of foreclosure.� (#8700054. see also #8610361)

March 24, 1987–the Household Finance Industrial Loan Co. sold the property to Robert J. and 1: Plash, for $58,000. (#8702505)

Hart’s 1988 directory has no listing for Robert or Theresa Plash.

May 3, 1990–Robert J. and Theresa Plash, husband and wife, sold the property to Kirk O. and Hanan Lang, husband and wife, for $51,664 (and assumed mortgage). (#9003011)

Hart’s 1991 and. 1992 directories have no listings for the Langs.

February 8, 1994–Kirk O. and Hanan Lang sold the property to John F. Hunot and Jean S. Geller, both single persons. (#9401931)


prepared by Michael W. Smith, 2/95