Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
HENRY W. SAUNDERS, a farmer whose
home is nine miles west of Ritzville, is a native of Madison county, New
York, born January 25, 1839. He was the son of A. V. and Perlina
(King) Saunders, natives of New York, both of whom could trace their ancestry
back to the earliest settlers of the "Empire State." From Madison
county, the family removed to Dodge county, Wisconsin, in 1846, and to
Kansas in 1859, where the father and mother subsequently died. They
were the parents of eight children, Julia, Lester, H. W., Devillo, Jeanette,
Rose, Ella, and Adelbert.
Mr. Saunders received a common school education,
principally in Dodge county, Wisconsin, and at the age of twenty he went
to Kansas, where he followed farming and stock raising on the plains until
1862. Upon reaching Kansas he found large game, buffalo in particular,
in abundance, and many of these animals fell victims of his sportsmanship.
In 1862 he enlisted in Company C, Ninth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry, under
Captain Steward, a noted character of the plains. Mr. Saunders served
three years in the army, the most of which time he was doing duty on the
frontier, and was mustered out at DuVall Bluff, Arkansas, in the spring
of 1865. He then resumed farming and stock raising in Kansas, where
he remained until 1887, when he sold his interests in Kansas and came to
Adams county, Washington. During the meantime he made several trips
to the mines of Colorado as a freighter.
Upon coming to this county he took a homestead
and timber culture where he now lives, to which he has since added by purchase
enough to make him the owner in all of four hundred acres of cultivated
and improved land. The general financial depression of 1893-94 which
prevailed the country over was unusually severe with the subject of this
sketch, and he was forced to live as best he could until the relaxation
of 1896 and 1897. He, among many other Big Bend farmers, knows what
it means to haul wheat miles to market and sell it for nineteen cents a
bushel,--far less than the cost of production.
In the year 1869, Henry W. Saunders took for
his wife Miss Anna E. Chapman, daughter of Joseph Chapman, and on March
15, 1870, she departed this life, leaving one child, Devillo D. Saunders.
During October, 1876, Mr. Saunders was again married, his wife being Annie
E. Galbraith, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. T. Galbraith, natives of Indiana.
The father lived in Kansas, and in 1888 came to Adams county and is now
living in Ritzville. The mother died in Kansas in 1864, since which
time the father has taken another wife. By his first marriage Mr.
Galbraith reared two children and three by his second marriage.
To Mr. and Mrs. Saunders have been born two
children, Ray E., of Adams county, and Ralph H., who lives with his parents.
In politics, Mr. Saunders is an active Republican.
He is a member of the G. A. R. at Ritzville. Mrs. Saunders was a
devout member of the Methodist Episcopal church. On February 17,
1896, she was called away by death, leaving many to sincerely mourn her
as a noble Christian character.