History of 835 Whitman Street, Walla Walla, WA

Legal Description:

Lot 12 and the East 10 feet of Lot 11 in Block 10 of Reed’s Addition to the City of Walla Walla.

Title and Occupant History:

November 2, 1878– Isaac and Cynthia J. Reed platted Reed’s Addition to the City of Walla Walla (Walla Walla County Auditor’s Office, plat page A 56) and dedicated to public use: Whitman Street, Dr. Newell Street, and the alley in Block 10, East of the east line of Madison Street. (Deed book 42, Page 294. hereinafter as 42/294)

Dec. 31. 1889– Isaac N.& Cynthia J. Reed sold lots 10, II & 12 of Block 10. Reed’s Addition, to Albert E. McCalley for $525. (46/77)

Albert E. McCalley is listed in V. Amp. Smith’s Walla Walla City Directory of 1889 as a bookkeeper for Standard Roller Mills residing at Rose and 9th.

June 1, 1891–Albert E. McCalley sold lots 10, 11 & 12 to Walter S. McCalley for $450 “and other consideration.� (48/310)

Walter S. McCalley is listed in Smith’s City Directory of 1889 as a foreman at Standard Roller Mills residing at Rose and 8th.

September 13, 1893–Walter S. McCalley sold lots 10, /I & 12 to J. K. Edmiston. (54/20)

J. K. Edmiston is listed in the 1889 city directory as the president of Walla Walla Savings Bank with a residence at Poplar & 1st. He is listed in Polk’s 1893-4 city directory as residing in Seattle.

December 11, 1893–J. K. Edmiston deeded an extensive list of properties to the Walla Walla Savings Bank. (55/35)

March 31, 1897 –Edwin L. Brunton was the highest bidder on lots 10, II~ & 12 of Block 10, Reed’s Addition, in the sale of the asset of the Walla Walla Savings Bank–ordered by the court December 7, 1896. (71/182)

Edwin L. Brunton is listed in Deane’s Walla Walla & County Directory of 1898 as postmaster residing at the S. E. corner of Palouse& Alder.

June 19, 1899–Edwin L. & Isabella F. Brunton sold lots 10j II & 12 to James W. Foster, Sr. for $550. (71/198)

James W. Foster is listed in several directories of the late 1800s and early 1900s as a resident of Walla Walla County. The first listing for him at 835 Whitman is in Polk’s 1905 Walla Walla City & County Directory. Polk’s 1910-11 directory lists his widow, Louisa M. Foster, and Mildred, Odessa and Ethel C. Foster at 835 Whitman.

Construction of the House: the house was built sometime after 1899 and before 1905, since the directory is printed for the upcoming year. Since there is no listing for James W. Foster in the city in the 1904 directory, the year 1904 seems most probable.

November 20. 1911– Louisa M. Foster, Fannie McFarlane, Jessie May Ferguson, Chester U. Foster, Ivy C. Hiller. Oda L. Foster, Mildred L. Foster and Essie C. Foster, the children of James W. Foster, deceased, sold lots 10, 11 & 12 to U. H. Berney. (126/431)

U. H. Berney was born in Switzerland in 1862 and spent his first 18 years there. In 1881 he emigrated to St, Paul, Minnesota. From there he moved to California and then to Walla Walla. In Walla Walla he was a large orchardist and started the Walla Walla Produce Company with John Thonney in 1894. His company “acquired an enviable reputation and their goods are in demand all over the northwest, also in many eastern cities and some of their fruit even goes to Europe. U (An Illustrated History of Walla Walla County. State of Washington by Professor W. D. Lyman. W. H. Lever, publisher, 1901, pp. 411-4/2) He married Anna Rochat of St. Paul in 1887. They resided at the east end of Pleasant Street where they raised eight children. The U. H. Berney School was opened in 1904 near their home. There is no listing for any Berney at 835 Whitman in the city directories for 1912-1919.

September 13, 1919–U. H.& Anna L. Berney sold lot #12 to J. G. Kelly for $10,000. (Deed #104144)

John Grant Kelly bought the Walla Walla Bulletin newspaper in 1910 and was the manager of the Bulletin Printing Company. He led the drive to build an armory for the city in 1920 headed the 1931 Chamber of Commerce committee that recommended building a cannery in Walla Walla. He spearheaded the’ campaign that incorporated the Walla Walla Canning Company in 1932 and built a targer plant in 1933. A Time Magazine story December 15. 1939 called him “Father of Peas.� (Walla Walla: A Nice Place to Raise a Family. 1920-1949 by Robert A. Bennett, Pioneer Press, Walla Walla, pp. 32, 103-105)

March 15, 1922–John G.& Martha V. Kelly quit claim deeded lot #12 to U. H. Berney. (#123005)

August 26, 1930–U. H.& Anna L.. Berney sold the property as currently listed in the legal description to Corwin E. Waldron. (#188403)

Corwin E. Waldron is listed as the deputy City Treasure in Polk’s 1931-1941 city directories

March 8, 1934–Corwin E. Waldron deeded the property to his wife, Louise Waldron. (#206557)

October 2, 1943–Corwin E. & Louise H. Waldron sold the property to Ernest R. & Anna V. Jesse. (274052)

In Polk’s 1946 city directory, Ernest R. Jesse is listed as a shop foreman for Garland-Coyle Motor Company and Anna V. Jesse as a marker at Sears, Roebuck & Company.

November 4, 1944–Ernest R. & Anna V. Jesse sold the property to C. Arthur Jones. (280925)

The 1946 directory lists the C. Arthur Jones Insurance Agency with its owner residing at 107 1st Ave. S.

November 4, 1944–C. Arthur Jones sold the property to Verna M. Roberts. (297947)

March 22, 1949–Verna M. Roberts sold the property to Helen S. Wilson. (319925)

The 1946 city directory lists Verna M. Roberts as the manager of the Rosana Shop.

February 24, 1951–Helen S. Wilson sold the property to Peter A. Kelly. (342299)

The 1948 city directory lists Peter A. Kelly as assistant Warden, Washington State Penitentiary, residing in the Penitentiary Cottage. The 1951-52 directory lists him as doorman for the Elks Club. Hart’s Walla Wall Residents and Business Registration for 1953 lists four residents in separate apartments at 835 Whitman. This condition probably predates 1953 and continues through the directory of 1991.

October 23, 1961–David E. Williams, executor for Peter A. Kelly, sold the property to Howard & Ethel Bunten. (434207)

The 1962 city directory lists Howard A. Brunten as the operator of the City Sewage Treatment Plant.

April 29. 1966–Howard A.& Ethel G. Bunten sold the property to Roberta J. Bird. (8707507)

The 1967 city directory list Roberta J. Bird as a secretary at Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.

August 26, 1991–Roberta J. Bird sold the property to Larry E. Brown and M. Monica Stobie. (9105869)


prepared by Michael W. Smith, 12/94