History of 711 Clay Street, Walla Walla, WA


Property Description:

Abbreviated Legal Description: Parcel A; NE 1/4, SW 1/4, Sec. 28, TWSP 7N, RG 36 E, W.M. Parcel B; LT. 15, Paxton Part Add. Book G. Page 12.

Full Legal Description:

Parcel A:

Beginning at a point in the east line of the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 28 Township 7 north, Range 36 east of the Willamette Meridian, which point is 88.51 feet north of the southeast corner of said northeast quarter of the southwest quarter thence north 89°52′ west 1105.30 feet; thence due north 25.0 feet to a point which is the TRUE POINT OF BEGINNING for this description. From said true point of beginning run thence north 89°52′ west 220.0 feet; thence north 00°04′ west 446.0 feet more or less to the center of Stone Creek; thence easterly along the center of Stone creek to a point therein which is north 00°04′ west of the true point of beginning aforesaid; thence south 00°04′ east 425.0 feet more or less to said true point of beginning.

EXCEPTING THEREFROM that portion of said premises lying within Clay Street as conveyed to the County of Walla Walla by deed recorded October 17, 1949, under Auditor’s File No. 326059, records of Walla Walla County, Washington.

Parcel B:

Beginning at a point in the southerly line of Lot 15 of Paxton Park Addition to the city of Walla Walla, Washington, according to the official plat thereof of record in the office of the Auditor of Walla Walla County, Washington, in Book “G” of Plats, at page 12, which point is north 71°59″ east 28.45 feet from the southwest corner of said Lot 15; thence along the southerly line of Lots 15 and 14 of said Addition by the following courses and distances: north 13°43′ east 16.05 feet; thence north 48°16′ east 15.65 feet; thence north 83°52′ east

112.95 feet; thence south 62°20′ east 27.90 feet; thence south 27°01′ east 24.05 feet; thence south 69°45′ east 51.70 feet; thence north 87°35′ east 8.09 feet to the southeast corner of said Lot 14; thence north 00°04′ west 30.99 feet; thence north 50°55′ west 26.54 feet to a point in the easterly line of said Lot 14 which is south 24°11′ east 100.0 feet from the northeast corner of said Lot 14; thence north 72°58 1/2′ west 64.72 feet; thence north 88°45′ west 66.60 feet to a point in the westerly line of said Lot 14 which is south 6°30′ east 95.00 feet from the northwest corner of said Lot 14; thence south 79°54′ west. 71.99 feet to a point which is north 00°04′ west of the plant of beginning; thence south 00°04′ east 41.72 feet more or less the point of beginning.

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 a treaty 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.

Walla Walla was originally laid out by County Surveyor H. H. Case in 1859, before 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. Main Street originally followed the old Nez Perce Indian Trail. Consequently the streets leading off of it were at right angles to it, and were not in a north-south orientation. This was corrected as the city moved eastward which gave Walla Walla its peculiar street pattern with the three street intersection at Palouse, Boyer and Main Streets. To the original plat, additional parcels were annexed from time to time, usually bearing the name of the land owner of record at the time the additions were made.

The first entry in the local land records pertaining to these two parcels is dated December 5, 1871 between sellers D. W. and Margaret E. Jesse and James E. Buchannan for $1,000.00; there is a margin note on this record: “Homestead Sept 24, 1872.” However, this property is also included as part of a U.S. Patent on 160 acres granted to James Murray on April 1, 1865, as recorded in the Vancouver, W.T. District Land Office.

This area of town was platted as Mountain View Addition filed on April 28, 1883. Parties to this filing included prominent area land owners Miles C. and Mary E. Moore, O. W. and Ella Small, John and Viretta Bryant, Edward “Ned” and Elizabeth Baumeister, John and Jane Singleton, Maximilian “Max” and Alvine Baumeister, Ira Small, W.W. Baker, and G. H. Morrill. The boundaries of this irregularly shaped 100+ acre addition included: Park Street (now Howard Street) and Second Street on the west, adjacent to large tracts of land owned by John Singleton and B. F. Stone; Bryant Avenue on the north; Oakes Avenue (never built) in the east; and a portion of Abbott Road on the south.

Mountain View Addition wrapped around the southern end of several acres of land owned by Baker, Moore, and Morrill. The current footprint of the house at 711 Clay is on that property, specifically a portion of Moore’s tract of land, the remainder of which includes the Miles C. Moore House at 720 Bryant and the Paxton Park Addition (plat map dated 1960). To view a photo of the 1883 Mountain View Addition map with the location of 711 Clay highlighted, click here.

A brief note on Miles Conway Moore:

Born in 1845, in Rix Mills, Muskingum County, Ohio, Moore moved to Wisconsin with his parents in 1857 and attended the Bronson Institute in Point Bluff, Wisconsin.

In 1863, Moore moved to Blackfoot, Montana and then to Walla Walla, Washington. Arriving penniless, he took a job as a clerk in a general store. In 1869, he partnered with H. E. Johnson and Company to form Paine Brothers and Moore, where he worked until 1877 as a dealer of general merchandise and farm supplies. He married Mary Elizabeth “Molly” Baker on March 26, 1873, and the couple had three sons, Frank Allen, Walter Baker, and Robert L.

Moore served two terms as a member of the Walla Walla City Council, 1877 and 1878. He was elected to the office of Mayor of Walla Walla in 1877.

In March 1889, Moore was appointed by President Benjamin Harrison as the final Governor of Washington Territory. Taking office in April 1889, he dealt with major fire disasters in Seattle, Spokane, and Ellensburg while preparing for the transition from territory to statehood on November 11, 1889.

Moore served as vice-president and president of the Baker-Boyer National Bank, and three years on the executive council of the American Bankers Association. In 1913, he was elected president of the board of overseers for Whitman College in Walla Walla.

Moore died December 18, 1919, in Walla Walla and is interred at Mountain View Cemetery, Walla Walla.

On July 10, 1923 Miles C. Moore’s sons Frank A. Moore and Robert L. Moore received Certificates of Water Rights from the Superior Court of the State of Washington covering more than 10 acres they owned. The water rights pertain to the Upper Stone Creek which flows along the north end of the 711 Clay parcels. These water rights were amended for Robert L. Moore in September 1948 to allow for a change of point of diversion.

On January 8, 1924 Frank A. Moore, President of M. C. Moore and Sons, declared his father’s corporation dissolved. At that time the owners of the corporation were to receive the assets (including this property) in kind, without liquidation. Frank A. Moore died on January 6, 1936.

On November 3, 1925 Frank A. and Margaret M. Moore granted Robert L. Moore “1/2 interest in many properties” for “consideration of the partition of certain lands and premises and the conveyance of said property to be taken by them in such partition.”

On August 25, 1949 Robert L and Elsie P. Moore   sold three properties, each for $10.00 and “other valuable consideration” to: Houston H. and Dorothy G. Marshall; Omer J. and Helen M. Kent; and Jack M. and Jean C. Garske. These properties included a portion of land previously owned by Arthur A. and Betty B. Yengling, a dam and flume in Stone Creek, water rights acquired from Alvin A. Baumeister; and “until 12/31/1965, no building until there is a home of min. 2000 sq. ft.; no subdividing, no multi-unit dwelling.” Of note, the Gerske warranty deed did not include a listing of water rights.

A brief note regarding the water rights on this property:

Stone River Adjudication Certificate No. 15 with a priority date of 1889(Class 5) was one of the original water right for the properties owned by Miles C. Moore. This water right was transferred to Frank and Robert Moore. The original point of diversion was not on the property of current 711 Clay St, Walla Walla, WA.

Water rights were established by decree for water source of Upper Stone Creek on 10 July 1923 by Frank A. Moore and Robert L. Moore, Walla Walla, Washington with a point of diversion in “the NE corner of the SW¼ of Sec 28, T.7N., R.26E. WM. The priority date of this water right is 1883. This certificate of Water Right is recorded in Volume 2 of water Right Certificates at Page 15

Certificate of Water Right for Robert L. Moore recorded in Vol. 1, page 250 of Records of Change of Point of Diversion of Water , dated 3 Sep 1948 describes point of diversion to be easterly from the southeast corner of Bryant Avenue and Division Street within S½ of NE¼ of SW¼ of NW½ of Sec 28, Twp.7N., Rge.36E. of W.M.

In complying with Department of Ecology rules and regulations for use of water from Stone Creek to irrigate the property of 711 Clay Street the application for Change/Transfer under Stone Creek Adjudicated Certificate No. 15, Walla Walla County, WRIA 2-WRTS No. CS3-*13015J was submitted and received by the Department of Ecology on Dec 18, 2003. An extensive search of water rights was conducted by Washington State Department of Ecology and legal published in The Times of Waitsburg, Washington on 29 January 2009. This notice went without objection and authorizes the diversion of water from Stone Creek located within the NE¼ or SW¼ of Sec. 28, T.7N., R.36E.W.M.

In the water right search for this property the State of Washington Department of Ecology found no reference for Water Rights belonging to Alvin A. Baumeister.   All water right records found by Department of Ecology bear the names of Miles C. Moore, or Frank and Robert Moore. Now the water rights for properties of 711 Clay Street are in the name of Robert Keatts.

As a side note, the Department of Ecology search also confirms that the well located on the above described property is a valid auxiliary water source with all confirmed rights of use.

A brief note on Jack Maxi Garske and Jeane (Jean/Jeanne) “Jeanie” Crawford:

Lt. Jack Maxi Garske wed “Jeanie” Crawford, daughter of Howard Crawford, a partner with his brother Harold and father J. M. Crawford in Tum-A-Lum Lumber. Jeanie met Jack Garske during World War II, while he trained as a U.S. Navy pilot in the Tri-Cities with Jeanie’s brother, John Crawford. They were married in 1945 and moved to San Diego where he was stationed.

Jeanie was “born December 30, 1920, in Walla Walla, a city denizen all but about 10 years of her life,” according to a remembrance by her daughter Jeana Garske, published in the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin May 26, 2012. “While attending the University of Washington, she was the only female architecture student in her class. Three residential houses in Walla Walla were designed by Jeanie, including Jeana’s family home on Clay Street, built in 1950; Jeana’s uncle’s home on South Division Street, built in the early 1950s; and the home Jeanie and second husband L.V. Johnson shared on Village Way, built in 1978.”

In 1967, Jack M. and Jean C. Gerske divorced. Jean (now Jean Crawford), rented the property to Adrien L. and Paralee V. “Perry” Casey; Adrien’s occupation was listed as “farmer” and Perry as “teacher’s aide at Wa-Hi” in the Walla Walla Residents and Business Directory, 1968 edition.

On November 10, 1969 Jean C. Johnson (formerly Jean Crawford Garske) sold the property to Robert A. and Dorothy B. Naimy for “$10.00 and other valuable consideration.” The Naimy’s sold the property two weeks later to Hercules G. and Muriel R. L. Picerne for $25,000.00. Hercules’ occupation is listed as “Numismatist” in Walla Walla Residents and Business Directory, 1970-76 editions, and later as “retired.”

On May 9, 1986 the Picerne’s sold the property to Dr. Danis S. and Susan J. Laizure for $10.00 and “other valuable consideration.” A mortgage in the amount of $116,000.00 is also listed. Dr.Danis Laizure is a local dentist.

On August 8, 1988 the Laizure’s sold the property to the most current owners Robert E. and Linnea J. Keatts for $10 and “other valuable consideration.” Robert Keatts worked as an Agricultural field specialist for ten years in Walla Walla County and retired in 2008 after working ten years as store manager at Fort Walla Walla Museum. In addition he served as Chairman for the Walla Walla-Sasayama Sister City Affiliation Committee, served a term on the Walla Walla Historical Preservation Commission, volunteered in different capacities for American Field Service (AFS) exchange programs and was a registered Academic Coordinator for Northwest Student Exchange through the U.S. State Department. Robert is a fourth generation native of Eastern Washington with ancestral roots from 1880 in Garfield County. Prior to coming to Walla Walla Robert worked for the National Park Service and the US Army Corps of Engineers. Robert is a veteran of the United States Air Force where he worked as an administrative specialist serving in Japan, Vietnam (1967-68) and Keesler Air Force Base at Biloxi, MS. Robert has authored “Postal History of Walla Walla County, Washington” and contributed to various trade journals dealing with postal history. Linnea Keatts worked over 40 years as an Occupational Therapist, 20 of those years with various community agencies and institutions in Walla Walla, retiring in 2005 from Walla Walla School District. Linnea has been active in the AFS/YES exchange student programs, Walla Walla Choral Society, Walla Walla Community Band, WWCC Quest program, and WSU Master Gardner’s.

Occupant History:

The first Walla Walla City Directory listing for 711 Clay is in the 1951 edition. The following are occupants as listed in each year’s Walla Walla City Directory edition (note that data for some editions was gathered the prior year or early the same year, hence some mismatches with title history provided above):

1951–65: Garske, Jack M. and Jean C.; Jack’s occupation is Vice President of The Jaymar Co. The Jaymar Co was owned by Jack’s father-in-law C. H. Crawford.

1962-65: Jack’s occupation changes to “self-employed”; this change coincides with the sale of The Jaymar Co to Walla Walla Mills Inc.

1966: Vacant

1967: Garske, Jean C. Other occupants:   Jeanie (student – WaHi), Margaret (student – WaHi), Susan (student – UofW).

1968–69: Casey, Adrien L. and Paralee V. “Perry”; Adrien is a farmer, Perry is a teacher’s aide at WaHi.

1970-86: Picerne, Hercules and Muriel; Hercules is a Numismatist.

1977-86: Hercules’ occupation changes to “retired”.

1987–88: Laizure, Dr Dan L. and Susan; Dan is a self-employed DMD.

1988 – Present: Keatts, Robert E. and Linnea J.

Construction of the Building:

The Walla Walla County Assessor’s Office lists a construction date of 1950. As previously noted, the design of the home is attributed to Jeanie Crawford (Garske Johnson). The architectural blue prints for this home were drafted by architect Samuel George Morrison of Seattle, WA, and dated June 1, 1950. Based on this information a build date of 1950 by Jack and Jeanie Garske seems appropriate.

A brief note on architect Samuel George Morrison:

Samuel George Morrison, born August 23, 1915 in Spokane, WA was principal of Samuel George Morrison and Associates, Architects, of Mercer Island, WA, and a member of The American Institute of Architects (AIA). He received a Bachelor’s of Architecture from the University of Washington in 1940, and served as a Lieutenant Commander in the U. S. Navy from 1942-1950. Samuel George Morrison and Associates is noted primarily for industrial and commercial buildings, though they participated in the 1954 Seattle Area Parade of Homes with “three adjacent homes partially completed” on Mercer Island, WA. Morrison died December 29, 1992.

Morrison’s AIA biography lists the following notable structures designed by his firm:

  • Empire Shopping Center, Seattle, WA–1967
  • Kent-West Shopping Center, Kent, WA–1966
  • Mack Truck Offices and Warehouse, Seattle, WA–1953
  • Nash Motors Company Offices and Warehouse, Seattle, WA–1951
  • Northwest Builders Hardware Offices and Warehouse, Seattle, WA–1957
  • Sherman Paper Company, Office Building and Warehouse, Seattle, WA–1956
  • White and Bollard Office Building, Seattle, WA–1950


  • American Institute of Architects (AIA) – http://www.aia.org/
  • Andres, Penny: Walla Walla–Her Historic Homes Vol. 1, 1991
  • BLM Land Patent Records
  • U.S. Census records
  • Walla Walla City Directories: 1880-present (various publishers–not all years).
  • Walla Walla Union-Bulletin archives
  • Walla Walla County Assessor’s Office: Plat Maps B12, G12
  • Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation – http://www.dahp.wa.gov/

Christopher A Baird