Biography of J. P. Comeford

J.P. COMEFORD. – The original owner and builder of the pretty village of Marysville is a native of Ireland, and was born in 1833. While he was a child, his parents emigrated to Canada, and in 1849 came to the United States, going directly to Wisconsin. They resided first at Milwaukee, and then at Fond du Lac, and seven years later removed still farther west to Minnesota. Here he grew up on a farm, driving cattle and learning all the ins and outs of agriculture. In 1861, when the war broke out, he went to St. Louis and joined an independent company of sappers and miners, who were offering their services to the government. For two years he saw hard service at the front, but upon the outbreak of the Sioux war was detailed by General Grant at Memphis, Tenn., at his own request, to return to Minnesota, where his parents resided, to assist in quelling the ferocious savages who had terrorized the whole state. He went to Fort Snelling; and, on receiving a recruiting commission, he, assisted by George Rubles, raised a company of one hundred and ten men for the First Minnesota Mounted Rangers.

While in Minnesota, he was present at the hanging of the forty Sioux at Mankato, who participated in the massacre of the Whites. After the company he assisted in recruiting was sworn in, he returned to his old company at Columbus, Kentucky, and remained with it to the end of the war. Returning home, he followed his old business, and in 1866 married Miss Maria Quin of Faribault, Minnesota.

Removing to Dakota, near Elk Point, he invested in cattle, and cultivated a farm for six years. In 1872 he crossed what was left to him of the American continent, and, taking a place at Whatcom, lived there a year, removing thereafter to Tulalip, soon finding a three years’ engagement at the government agency. He was soon enabled to buy the trading post, which he conducted successfully three years more. Believing a change of location desirable, he removed to the mouth of Snohomish river, and there bought up several hundred acres of land on some sightly ground. Here he opened a store, which he conducted six years, and in 1885 began laying off the village of Marysville. This is still one of the incipient towns of the sound, but is hopeful of the future.

Three stores, two hotels, a saloon, postoffice, shoe shop, sawmill, shingle-mill, and last, but not least, a good schoolhouse and other buildings form a nucleus for dwellings. In and adjoining the place, Mr. Comeford owns twelve hundred and eighty acres of land, besides tide and timber land in Skagit and King counties. He has a family of three children.



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

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