History of 633 Pearson Street, Walla Walla, WA


Property Description:

Lot 13 in Block 2 of the Amended Plat of Isaacs’s Third Addition to the City of Walla Walla, Washington as per Plat thereof recorded in Volume C of Plats at Page 19, records of Walla Walla County EXCEPTING THEREFROM HOWEVER, all that part of said Lot 13 lying East of a line drawn parallel to and five (5) feet West, measured a right angles, from the East side of said Lot 13. Situated in the City and County of Walla Walla, 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 war followed. Missionaries, former French-Canadian employees of the Hudson Bay Company trading post at Wallula, and soldiers at the military 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 town of Walla Walla was originally platted by County Surveyor H. H. Case in 1859, prior to  its formal incorporation as a city in 1862, as a one-quarter mile square with its eastern side centered on the point where Main Street crossed Mill Creek (at roughly the point where it does now).  The City of Walla Walla received  a Trustee Townsite from the U. S. government which consisted of 80 acres issued on July 20, 1869 by the Vancouver, W.T. District Land Office. To this original area, additional parcels were annexed from time to time, usually named after the land owner of record at the time the additions were made. The house at 633 Pearson is located in what is shown in the 1909 City Atlas as Isaacs’s Third Addition, one of several additions developed by Henry P. and Lucie Isaacs east of Whitman College.

The first locally recorded transaction involving 633 Pearson was on May 23, 1863 when John Haley sold “all that portion of the SW 1/4 of section no. 21 in Township no. 7, County of Walla Walla, Washington Territory” which was 26.81 acres “more or less” for “consideration $100.” The buyers were William H. and Elizabeth A. Patten. Shortly thereafter on January 20, 1864 the Pattens sold the parcel to Henry P. Isaacs for $2000 in gold coin. Isaacs was influential in the development of Walla Walla as a wheat growing area. Lyman in his History of Walla Walla County  states that Isaacs “demonstrated to the farmers that wheat could be produced profitably on the hills and uplands which in those early days had been given over to stock-raising.” He built numerous flour mills throughout the Northwest and “his knowledge of the manufacture and handling of flour became proverbial and he was recognized as an authority on all matters pertaining thereto.” He found markets for wheat in the Orient, especially China. The Isaacs and their son J. C Isaacs also founded the Walla Walla Water Company, providing Walla Walla with a reservoir, ditches, conduits and the possibility of irrigation of crops. The right to utilize “subterranean” water is included in documents in 1881 and 1886 pertaining to this property.  On June 23, 1894 Lucie Isaacs signed a Quit Claim Deed giving her interest in this property to her husband. On March 28, 1896 the Isaacs gave a warranty deed for property and water rights to Miles C. Moore, et al, Trustees of Dorsey S. Baker, for $20,000. Another warranty deed “in confirmation of” the prior one was given on April 7, 1896.

This neighborhood was first platted as Isaacs’ Third Addition on June 19, 1899 with Pearson Street running parallel to Clinton. That plat was amended on May 1, 1900  with the current street layout. This amendment was filed at the request of  E. S. Isaacs, just two months before H. P. Isaacs died on July 14, 1900 without a will.

On March 22, 1901 the heirs of William and Elizabeth Patten gave a deed to the heirs of H. P. Isaacs to correct errors in 1862 and 1864. On November 11, 1901 Lucie Isaacs and Bessie I. Savage (formerly Isaacs) signed a Quit Claim Deed giving title of this property to J. P. Isaacs, Edwin S. Isaacs, Charlotte Doheny (formerly Isaacs) and Grace G. Isaacs.

On December 13, 1902 these children of H P. Isaacs sold Lot 13, excepting the water rights, to Myrtle Brents Sterling (Stirling  in city directories) for $450. On April 11, 1906 Myrtle and W. L. Stirling sold this lot to George Hedger for a stated $10. In 1917 and 1929 there was Affidavits to clarify prior legal actions to clear this title. George G. Hedger died in 1933. His wife Myra was the executrix of his estate. She continued to live on this property until her death in 1952. At that time Evelyn Hoffman, Executrix of Myra Hedger’s estate, sold this property to Ellery P. and Marita R. Duncan. On May 22, 1962 the Duncans sold this home to William J. and Norva I. Reid for $8500.

On February 2, 1966 the Reids sold this place to Orval M. and Clatie L. Vernon, subject to easements and restrictions of record and certain mortgages, for $7900. On March 18, 1968 the Vernons sold to Erskine James Marsh and Patricia L. Marsh.  In May 1968 James Marsh conveyed an undivided one-half interest valued at $16,000 to Patricia March on dissolution of their marriage. On June 23, 1986 Patricia L. Marsh gave a Quit Claim Deed for an undivided half interest in this house to her daughter Susan Patricia Kaftanski. On September 25, 1986 Susan Kaftanski gave a Quit Claim Deed to E. James March. On January 4, 2001 the Estate of Erskine James March, Rebecka M. Hermsen, personal representative, sold this property to Douglas R. Whitfield, a single man, for $85,000  On August 8, 2003 Whitfield sold to Adam C. Withycombe and Jenny Lind Schaecher, husband and wife. On June 29, 2006 Withycombe and Schaecher sold to Sue Bicknell. At this time her husband, Thomas J. Bicknell, signed a Quit Claim Deed giving his wife Sue this property as her sole and separate estate.

Occupants of the House:

W. L. Stirling, the first owner of this property after it was platted, never lived at this address. He was a real estate agent with an office in the Paine Building at Second and Main Streets. His residence was at 402 Chase. The next owner, George G. Hedger was a jeweler with his business located at 21 W. Main. His residence in 1905 was 124 1/2 Main. There was no 1906 directory but in 1907 George E. Hedger, jeweler and optician, lived at 633 Pearson. After his death in 1933 his wife Myra continued to live at this address and operate the jewelry store until 1950. In 1951 she roomed at 107 N. Second and rented this house to W. H. and Shirley Lockwood who ran the Burger Bar at 25 S. Colville. E. P. and Marita Duncan lived here from 1953 to 1961. He was a salesman at Tex Brotherton, Logan Chevrolet and Melcher-Ray Machinery. In 1962 William J. and Norva I. Reid lived here. He was general manager of the Walla Walla Port District. She was a nurse. The house was vacant in 1966. In 1967 it was rented to Larry L. Smith, Walla Walla city manager and his wife Lenore, a substitute teacher with the Walla Walla School District.  E. James and Patricia Marsh lived here in 1968. He was a TV Technician at Marsh Radio and TV. No city directories were published after 2000.

Construction of the House:

The office of the tax assessor of Walla Walla County lists a construction date for this house of 1910. The current owner states a date of 1908. The 1905 Sanborn Fire Map shows this lot as empty in 1905. No building permits are available prior to 1907 , but they are quite complete after that.  Since George Hedger purchase what was at the time an empty lot on April 11, 1906, and is listed in the 1907 directory as living at this address,  this research supports a construction date for the house of  “circa 1906.”

The owner asks if this street might have been named after D. K. Pearsons, the philanthropist who was a generous donor to Whitman College. Dr. Pearsons was born in 1820 in Vermont and became interested and supportive of Whitman College in 1894. He apparently sought no recognition for his generosity but it is possible that someone chose his name for this short street just one block east of the campus. It appeared on the original plat in 1899 as Pierson Street and in the amended plat in 1900 as Pearson Street.


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.

Building Permits: Whitman College Penrose Library Archives

Edwards, G. Thomas, The Triumph of Tradition, The Emergence of Whitman College 1859-1924, 1992

Lyman, Professor W. D., An Illustrated History of Walla Walla County  1901 and 1918.

Ogle’s Standard Atlas of Walla Walla County, 1909

Sanborn Fire Maps: 1884-1905 (with updates until 1950).

Walla Walla City Directories: 1880-2000 (various publishers–not all years).

Walla Walla County Assessor’s Office

Whitman College Archives, Dr. D. K. Pearson file

Mary E. Meeker
Walla Walla 2020 Research Service
PO Box 1222, Walla Walla WA 99362
September, 2009