History of 910 Bonsella Street, Walla Walla, WA


Legal Description

Green’s Park Lot 4 Block 9 West 18’ of Lot 3 Block 9

Full Legal Description

Lot 4 and the West 18 feet of Lot 3 in Block 9 of Green’s Park Addition to the City of Walla Walla, according to the official plat thereof of record in the office of the Auditor of Walla Walla County, State of Washington;

EXCEPTING therefrom the following described tract:

Beginning at a point in the South line of Bonsella Street in Green’s Park Addition to the City of Walla Walla, said point being 56.1 feet Easterly from the point of intersection of the South line of Bonsella Street with the East line of Valencia Street; thence South 17° 58’ West 93.40 feet to the TRUE POINT OF BEGINNING; thence South 72°02’; thence South 17°58’ West 25.00 feet more or less to the North line of the alley through Block 9 of Green’s Park Addition; thence Northwesterly 5.50 feet more or less to the Southwest corner of said Lot 4; thence Northeasterly, along the West line of Lot 4 to the said true point of beginning.

Title History

Washington Territory was created in 1853. In 1854, the new legislature created Walla Walla County, 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, Isaac Stevens held a council on the banks of Mill Creek at the present site of Walla Walla with representatives of regional Indian tribes to purchase land from them. The Yakamas, 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. 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, acquired all of the land in the Walla Walla area from the Cayuse and Walla Walla Indian tribes.

Walla Walla was originally laid out by County Surveyor H. H. Case in 1859, even 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 Town site from the U. S. Government that consisted of 80 acres issued on July 20, 1869 by the Vancouver, W. T. District Land Office.

Mary Frances Green platted Green’s Park Addition in July 1903, it was approved by the City Council July 21st, by the County Council July 22nd, and filed July 23rd. The addition was in what was then the northeast outskirts of town in a swampy area rented to garden farmers, among them members of the Chinese community. Mary Green had purchased the land with her late husband, William Orville Green from John Haley on October 7, 1867, which was part of Haley’s United States Government patent claim of July 15, 1865. The Greens were early settlers of Walla Walla, coming to the town in 1862 during the gold rush period.

William O. Green was an associate of Dr. Dorsey Singh Baker in the stock business and acquired considerable land in Walla Walla and Franklin Counties. Green died in 1878, leaving his widow to manage their land, businesses and property.

The land that would become Green’s Park Addition was deeded to the Green children who, on December 30, 1895, quitclaimed the property back to Mary F. Green for one dollar. In an effort to control the type of buildings that were erected, the Green family initially stipulated that a single family dwelling house had to be built on the land for a specific cost, usually at least $2,000, in part to discourage land speculators.

Mary F. Green transferred all of her property to the Green Investment Company in 1909, and remained president of the business until her death on November 9, 1911.

Title and Occupant History

10/8/1867, Warranty Deed Against Grantor to “bargain sell remise release convey and confirm unto said party of the second part and to his heirs…forever all those tracts of land known and described as follows…, John Haley grantor; William O. Green, grantee; $1,500.

1/6/1896, Quit Claim Deed, Clarinda J. and Hugh Roland Smith, Anna B. and W. H. Barnett, Philinda and Mary O. Green, grantors; Mary F. Green, a widow, grantee; $1.

12/15/1902, Affidavit, H. C. Baker to the Public to confirm details of the above two transactions and to verify that Mary F. Green is the widow of William O. Green.

1/2/1909, Deed, Mary F. Green, grantor; Green Investment Company, grantee.

1/13/1923, Deed, Green Investment Company, grantor; Veva Ellis, grantee; $10.

5/11/1929, Warranty Deed, A. E. and Veva Ellis, grantors; Charles Haff, grantee, $10. Arthur E. Ellis was listed as a bookkeeper for Garden City Furniture in the 1923-24 City Directory. Charles Haff was listed as vice president of Grover’s Market.

11/7/1930, Local Improvement Assessment Deed, City of Walla Walla, $8.90.

4/30/1931, Lis Pendens, City of Walla Walla, plaintiff vs. unknown heirs of William O. Green, defendants; “…to adjudge and declare [the city] to be absolute owner…of all and singular the lands and premises and premises particularly described in its complaint…and to exclude each and all of the above named defendants…from any estate or interest in…said lands or premises…”

11/16/1931, Resolution to authorize Quit Claim Deed, City of Walla Walla, grantor; Charles and Jessie M. Haff, grantees.

11/16/1931, Quit Claim Deed, City of Walla Walla by Dorsey M. Hill, Mayor, grantor; Charles and Jessie M. Haff, grantees; $10.

11/28/1931, Lien, J. W. VanDine against Charles Haff for $180 for labor performed at 910 Bonsella Street.

6/6/1932, Treasurer’s Tax Deed, County of Walla Walla: re public sale of “Wly. 6 feet of Lot 4, Block 9, Green’s Park Addition” on 2/23/1932 to foreclose tax liens.”

12/13/1932, Treasurer’s Tax Deed, County of Walla Walla: re public sale of “lot 4 except for East 50 ft., Block 9, Green’s Park Addition and tract ten fee wide on North and 11.2 feet wide on South along East line of Lot 7…on 6/4/1932.”

4/23/1936, Warranty Deed, Charles Haff, grantor, Robert Wentsch, grantee. Robert Wentsch was an owner of Pantorium Laundry. He owned a number of residential properties in Walla Walla, most likely as rentals. It appears that this was the case in his purchase of 910 Bonsella Street. There was no City Directory published in 1936. In the reverse street portion of the 1937 directory, Stephen B. L. Penrose, Jr. (1908 – 1954) was listed as living at 910 Bonsella, although he was not listed in the alphabetical portion of the directory. This is true of several other short-term occupants during the years 1936 to 1946.

9/28/1950, Warranty Deed, Robert and Clara M. Wentsch, grantors; Raymond L. and Viola C. Forrest, grantees; $10 and other valuable consideration . Viola Forrest was the Wentsch’s daughter. Robert Forrest was a partner in Lloyd’s Insurance, Real Estate and Home and Farm Loans at 4½ East Alder. Although the sale did not occur until 1950, the Forrests had occupied the house since 1946.

3/23/1951, Quit Claim Deed, City of Walla Walla, grantor; Ray and Viola Forrest, grantees; $1.

1/20/1956, Warranty Deed, Raymond L. and Viola C. Forrest, grantors; Carroll Robert and Doris B. Stockton, grantees; $10 and other valuable consideration. Carroll (or Carl as he was frequently known) Stockton was a well driller. Doris Stockton was a waitress at the Marcus Whitman Hotel.

12/4/1967, Statutory Warranty Deed, Carroll Robert and Doris B. Stockton, grantors; Upper Columbia Medical Missionary and Benevolent Association, grantee; $10 and other valuable consideration. Green Gables next door at 922 Bonsella was also owned by this association for 30 years and used as housing for nurses working at Walla Walla General Hospital directly across the street. It is probable that 910 Bonsella served a similar purpose, though not necessarily exclusively for Walla Walla General Hospital staff. In 1970, William D. Tingley, Assistant Dean of Admissions of Whitman College resided there, and in 1971, Whitney Ellis, Assistant Dean of Students, occupied the house.

6/30/1977, Statutory Warranty Deed, Upper Columbia Medical Missionary and Benevolent Association, grantor; David M. and Maylene E. E. Russell, grantees; $10 and other valuable consideration. David Russell was Assistant Administrator of Walla Walla General Hospital across Bonsella Street.

11/17/1977, Statutory Warranty Deed, David M. and Maylene E. E. Russell, grantors; Terry L. and Barbara G. Kinman, grantees; $10 and other valuable considerations. Terry Kinman was a dispatcher for Garrett Freight Lines.

4/4/1979, Statutory Warranty Deed, Terry L. and Barbara G. Kinman, grantors; James E. and Catherine A. Barrett, grantees.

7/13/1999, a survey of the property was completed.

Construction of Building

Veva Ellis purchased the parcel that is now 910 Bonsella Street from the Green Investment Company on January 13, 1923. On April 9, 1923, her husband, Arthur Ellis, was granted Permit no. 3503 to construct a new house on the site, at a cost of $2,000. C. A. Moore was listed as contractor. Mr. Ellis paid $1.50 for the permit. The Ellises were listed in the 1923-24 City Directory at 910 Bonsella Street. Based on the fairly early date in 1923 that the permit was granted, construction of the house can be dated to 1923.

910 Bonsella is a 1½-story side-to-side hip-on gabled bungalow. These gable ends, repeated in the small projecting gable over the centered front porch, lend architectural interest to the house, as does the use of stucco for the siding rather than the more common clapboards. The façade is centrally massed, and the front door has interesting leaded glass.


Historic Survey Report: Green’s Park Addition Reconnaissance Level Historic Survey, Donovan Associates, Hood River, OR, 2013
Whitman College Archives
City Directories (various years)
Walla Walla County Auditor’s reverse directories
Mary Meeker, Head Researcher, Walla Walla 2020