Biography of Hon. H. W. Fairweather

HON. H.W. FAIRWEATHER. – Mr. Fairweather was born in St. Johns, New Brunswick, May 20, 1852. Here he received a common-school education. His father was from Essex county, New York, pure English. His mother’s parents were from Ireland, pure Irish.

Our subject went to Boston in 1868, and found work as brakeman on the Old Colony Railroad. He spent 1869, ’70 and ’71 in Illinois, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Minnesota in the same line of work. He came to Washington Territory in 1871, and was employed by the Northern Pacific Railroad Company as locomotive engineer, and subsequently as chief clerk. In 1873 he received the appointment of general passenger agent of the Pacific Division, with residence at Kalama. In 1874, he was promoted to cashier, and retained this position until 1877. He resigned this position in that year to accept the general freight and passenger agency of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company, with residence at Portland. He resigned this position in 1879 to accept the vice-presidency of the Walla Walla & Columbia Railroad Company, and also acted as general superintendent of this line. He resigned this position in 1881 to accept the superintendency of construction of the Pend d’Oreille Division of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, and after the completion of this work, resigned in March, 1883, to look after his own affairs. He was married in 1875 to Miss Mattie Curtis of Kalama, Washington Territory, and has three sons and two daughters. Mr. Fairweather has been prominent in territorial politics, having been secretary of the territorial Republican central committee, and a member of this body for many years.

He engaged in the banking business with George S. Brook at Sprague in 1882, and promoted the organization of the First National Bank at Sprague in 1876, being now its president. He is also a large stockholder and director in the First National Bank of Spokane Falls. His popularity was attested by his election as mayor of Sprague in 1885, and his election as state senator in 1880. He is a member of the mercantile firm of Fairweather & Curtis of Sprague. His business operations extend over a wide field, and include mining, milling and various other enterprises. Financially he has been very successful, and although still a young man, not yet having reached the age of forty, has an enviable competency, covering property in ten or more counties of the territory.

He is one of those men whose robust health and business success fill him with faith in the territory in which he lives, and which he believes to be the best country on earth. A large business enterprise emanating form his brain was inaugurated while he was in Portland. This was the packet line of sailing vessels to Hong Kong; and he was the man who chartered the first two vessels to carry Chinese passengers home. The possession by Washington of men of Mr. Fairweather’s business courage, good fortune and breadth of view is the best guarantee of her success among the states of the Pacific.



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

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