History of 397 Catherine Street, Walla Walla, WA


Title and Occupant History:

June 26. 1874–B.L. & Sarah J. Sharpstein purchased lots 9, 10, 11, & 12 in Block 13 and lots 3 & 4 in Block 27 of Roberts Addition for $650 in U.S. gold coin from William Stephens. (Deed Book L. Page 459. P.B. Johnson was the Notary Public)

B. L. Sharpstein was a Mexican War veteran. a pioneer. lawyer. and judge. He came west from Wisconson in 1865 and resided in Walla Walla for 42 years. In 1866 he was elected to the territorial legislature and was re-elected twice more. He was active in advancing standards for schools and improvement of instruction and was a member of the school district board of directors. Sharpstein School was named in his honor. He was one of three Walla Walla members of the Constitutional Convention of Washington Territory which met at Olympia. July 12. 1889. and prepared a constitution for statehood. He died May 3, 1907 at his home at 365 Catherine St. (W.O. Lyman. Lyman’s History of Old Walla Walla County. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1918, vol. 1, p. 288, and Robert A. Bennett. Walla Walla: portrait of a Western Town. 1804-1899. Walla Walla: Pioneer Press Books, 1980, p. 141)

August 5, 1878–Carrie & W.C. Painter bought the lot for $250. (Deed Book a, Page 617)

W.C. Painter was the Walla Walla County Auditor.

January 17, 1887–A. Jay Anderson, Jr. (Lora W.) bought the property from the Painters for $600. (Deed Book 37, Page 322, hereinafter 37/322)

A. Jay Anderson. Jr. was a real estate investor and the son of the first president of Whitman College, Alexander J. Anderson.

March 3. 1888–Mrs. S. Lizzie Conn, wife of Herbert F. Conn. bought the property from Anderson for $900. (39/534)

Herbert F. Conn is listed in the City Directory of 1892 as a travelling salesman.

June 6, 1889–Gus & Annie Cline bought the property from the Conns for $1600. (43/186)

December 10, 1891–Samuel Dusenbery bought the property from the Clines for $1750. (50/87)

Samuel Dusenbery is listed as a dealer in clothing, men’s furnishings in the City Directory of 1893-94.

March 9. 1896–Samuel Dusenbery transferred the property to his wife Rose Dusenbery. (61/238)

June 17. 1899–R.R. & Carrie Reidford bought the property from the Dusenberys for $1212. (75/538)

R.R. Reidford is listed in the City Directory as a real estate agent who lived at 424 Catherine St.

July 20. 1901–Shaffer & Nellie Gardenour bought the property from the Reidfords for $1000. (54/396) (The 10/24/04 sale–of the lot that Corey & Shirley Muse own-to Eugene Lorton was for $800)

Construction of building: Shaffer D. Gardenour filed a building permit on March 4, 1909 for the addition of a frame garage on his property at 397 Catherine S1, The builder was E. Rouff. (Whitman Archives, Building Permit Book, 1907-13, p. 52). He is listed in R.L. Polk’s City & County Directory of 1904 as living at 397 Catherine S1, Therefore the house was built sometime after July 20, 1901 and before 1904. (Circa 1902)

January 4. 1910–Shaffer Gardenour transferred the titles of several lots including the property at 397 Catherine St. to his wife, Nellie Gardenour, for $1. (121/110)

Shaffer D. Gardenour was a grocer. His business, Gardenour & Sims, was located at 130 W. Main. (Polk’s Walla Walla City & County Directory. 1902)

In the 1912-13 edition. Polk’s Directory lists Nellie ~ Gardenour (widow of Shaffer D.) living at 397 Catherine St. She is not listed in the 1911-12 or the 1914-1918 directories.

In the 1920-33 directories. Helen Gardenour is listed as living at 397 Catherine S1, She is listed as a secretary in the 1920-32 editions and as secretary to the Superintendent of Schools.

In 1934 and 1935, there are three entries dealing with mortgage arrangements by Helen Gardenour, who by 1935 is married and going by the name Helen G. Walsh. (148/218. 146/122. 143/548)

October 30, 1937 –F. Benjamin & Katarina Von Derahe bought the property from Helen G. Walsh.

Polk’s City Directories for 1939 and 1941 list Ben Von Derhe as a farmer (there are other farming Von Derhes listed in Milton). In 1946 to 1968, the directory lists Von Derahe, Kath (widow Ben) farmer, living at 397 Catherine S1,

July 23, 1970–Pete W. and La Vonne A. Parker bought the property from Katharina Derahe.

Pete Parker ran he electric company out of 397 Catherine St.

In 1978, Miller Supply, Inc. bought the property from Pete Parker and then sold it back to him. (77/150, 77/151, 77/158)

January 22, 1980–Pete Parker sold the property to Mary J. Kennefick. (117/252)

December I, 1980–William D. & Denise Shelton bought the property from Mary Stockdale (nee Kennefick). (125/1408)

The 1981 city directory lists William Shelton as assistant city manager of Walla Walla.

August 23, 1982–Thomas S. & Sandra Steele bought the property from the Sheltons. (134/528)

Thomas S. Steel is listed in the city directories of 1983-87 as the assistant city manager of Walla Walla.

June 1, 1989–David & Laurie Roberts bought the property from the Steeles. (176/1898)

 prepared by Michael W. Smith, 3/94