Biography of Daniel O. Pearson

DANIEL O. PEARSON. – One of the most respected and honored of all of Washington’s citizens is the pioneer of Stanwood whose face looks at us from the opposite page. He is one of those whose integrity and universal kindness, as well as public spirit and business enterprise, are of the truest need in laying the foundations of a community. Mr. Pearson was born at Lowell, Massachusetts, April 11, 1846. His parents were Daniel and Susan (Brown) Pearson, who now reside near Coupville, Washington.

The first removal of the family was to Salmon Falls, while Daniel was yet an infant. There they remained till he was twelve years old. Returning to Lowell, they gave the son the best of educational advantages at the High School of that city. Having a collegiate education in hope, he was already well on in the preparatory course, when the tempest of the Civil war in 1861 called him, with so many of the other boys of the nation, to her defense. Mr. Pearson was one of the one-hundred day men, enlisting as a volunteer in Company G, Sixth Massachusetts Infantry. At the expiration of his term of service, he returned home and spent his time at the painter’s trade, which he had previously learned.

Soon after the close of the war, Mercer’s Colony scheme, which created so much interest on this coast, and even in the East, come to the attention of the Pearson family, with the result that Daniel, with his mother and sister, joined the colony. The object of the colony was especially to enable those who had suffered in the war, particularly widows and daughters of soldiers, to begin life anew in the then far distant Pacific slope. The attention of the educated and sympathetic was drawn to it; and for a time there was high hope of its success. The steamship Continental, a staunch and commodious but clumsy ship, was chartered, and the advance guard of the colony transported hither, via the Strait of Magellan.

In California the scheme was much derided, as a means of bringing out wives for the miners and sheepmen, who were popularly believed to inhabit caves and hollow trees. It subsequently fell into financial straits; and its aim was unfulfilled. After a delay at San Francisco, Mr. Pearson with his mother and sister, went to Whidby Island to join the father, who with two other sisters had come out the preceding year. The senior Pearson was at that time light-keeper at the station on the island.

Daniel turned his attention to farming on the island, in which he was occupied until 1877, when he selected the site of the present town of Stanwood as his home. The little place then suffered under the common-place appellation of Centreville. But no post office having yet been established, it was not impossible to change the name. Mrs. Pearson, having especially interested herself in securing an office in the place, was honored by having her maiden name attached to the embryo city. Mr. Pearson then entered the merchandising business, in which he is still engaged. He also owns a fine farm near La Conner.

Mr. Pearson was married at his home on Whidby Island on June 3, 1868, to Clara J. Stanwood, a native of Lowell, Massachusetts. Their union has been blessed with six children, Guy S., Bertha M., Eva M., Fred W., D. Carleton, and Ray M.


History of the Pacific Northwest Oregon and Washington. 2 v. Portland, Oregon: North Pacific History Company. 1889.

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