History of 709 University Street, Walla Walla, WA

Legal Description:

Being the Easterly 34 feet of Lot 13 and the Westerly 26 feet of Lot 14 in Block 1 of Isaac’s Park Addition; situate in the City and County of Walla Walla, State of Washington.

Title and Occupant History:

The Isaac’s Park Addition was platted in 1904 by the H. P. Isaacs Company.

Henry P. Isaacs started several flour mills in eastern Washington, Idaho, and Oregon–1858 in Ft. Colville, 1862 in Walla Walla, 1864 in Boise, 1865 in Middleton, 10, 1883 in Prescott, and 1898 in Wasco, OR. W. D. Lyman referred to him as lithe foremost miller on the Pacific coast” in his History of Walla Walla County (W. H. Lever, Publisher, 1901). Isaacs also successfully experimented with almost every variety of fruit and vegetable grown in the northern temperate zone and was a “booster” of Walla Walla, encouraging rail lines in the valley and introducing the state legislature bill that established the state penitentiary in Walla Walla. He also dealt in real estate and platted several additions to the city of Walla Walla.

February 14, 1906–the H. P. Isaacs Company sold the land described in the legal description to Gregory Morton. (Deed Book 102, Page 186)

Gregory Morton is not listed in the city directory from 1902 to 1908.

Construction of the house: The Whitman Archives have a partial list of building permits starting in 1907. There is an entry for October 1, 1907 for a permit to O. G. Parker to have A. Nelson build an “improvement addition to dwellinq” at a cost of $750. There is no permit for 1907 for Gregory Morton. These facts, together with the selling prices for 1907 and 1919 suggest that the house was built in 1906 by Morton.

April 1, 1907–Gregory& Katie N. Morton sold the land to Orrin G. Parker for $3,650. (Deed Book 109, Page 275)

Orrin G. Parker is listed in R. L. Polk & Co.�s Directory of Walla Walla City and County (hereinafter, the Directory) for 1907 as the president and secretary of the Walla Walla Abstract Co. and in 1908 as the treasurer of the Walla Walla Fire Insurance Co. In 1909 he is listed as a partner in Basset& Parker Mortgage Company, 22 1/2 Main St.

August 19, 1919–0rrin G.& May Rose Parker sold the land to Starr Sherman for $3,375. (Deed #102286)

Starr Sherman is listed in the Directories from 1920-29 as a partner in Loney & Company, a dealer in fuel, ice, spray, supplies, and gasoline with yards at S. 2nd and Elm. From 1929-46, the firm is listed as Starr Sherman Fuel Company.

February 13, 1947–Starr& Evangeline Sherman sold the property to Edward E. Mardis. (Deed #299409).

Edward E. Mardis is listed in the 1949-50 Directory as working for E. Chuck Mardis Contracting& Building, 6 E. Alder.

June 21, 1950–Edward E.& Lucy Blanche Mardis sold the property to Benjamin W. & Shirley M. Dunham. (Deed #333855)

Benjamin W. Dunham is listed in the 1950 Directory as a saleman for Paxton-Kent Co., an insurance firm .

June 21, 1950–Benjamin W. & Shirley M. Dunham sold the property to Milo A. & Jacqueline L. Fera. (Deed #333856)

Milo A. Fera is listed in the 1951 Directory as an accountant at J. B. Craver, Bookkeeping Services.

January 29, 1951–Milo A.& Jacqueline L. Fera sold the property to Chester L. & Mildred A. Hopkins. (Deed #341377)

Chester L. Hopkins is listed in the 1951 Directory as a guard at the Washington State Penitentary.

October 28, 1954–Chester L. & Mildred A. Hopkins sold the property to John W. & Kay S. Turley. (Deed #374335)

John W. Turley is listed in the 1954 Directory as a salesman for the John Sexton Company of San Francisco.

October 14, 1957 –John W. & Kay S. Turley sold the property to John B. & Joyce’ B. Gatt. (Deed #398628)

John B. Gott is listed in the 1957 Directory as a department manager for the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company.

September 2, 1959–John B. & Joyce B. Gott sold the property to William W. & Edna M. Soper for $10,750. (Deed #414515)

William W. Soper was a philosophy professor at Whitman College.

June 30, 1984–William W.& Edna M. Soper sold the property to Alan T. & Wei-Ping Wood.

Alan T. Wood was a history professor at Whitman College.

June 25, 1987–Alan T. & Wei-Ping Wood sold the property to Keith & Nancy Tavelli Farrington.

prepared by Michael W. Smith, 11/94