Transcribed from "History of North Washington, an illustrated history
of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan counties", published by Western
Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
DEWITT C. BRITT, editor and
proprietor of The Chelan Leader,
Chelan, was born in Bureau county,
Illinois, January 7, 1852. His father, Obadiah Hayden Britt, was
a descendant of an old Virginia family, and a native of that state.
He died in 1860. His mother, Mary J. (Robinson) Britt, is a Pennsylvanian
by nativity, and now lives near Waukon, Washington, with her daughter.
She was married to Matthias Hyatt in 1865, who died in 1901.
Until the age of eight years, our subject
lived in Illinois, and then removed with his mother to Pennsylvania and
Maryland, where he attended the public schools, also worked at the tanner's
trade in Alleghany county, Maryland. In 1865 he was a clerk in his
uncle's store, in West Virginia, and sold papers to the soldiers then in
camp waiting to be mustered out. At the age of sixteen years he returned
in Illinois. He went to Wyoming in the fall of 1871, where he engaged
in railroad work on the Union Pacific, going thence to San Francisco, in
March, 1872, where he shipped on a lumber bark, the Forest Queen. bound
for Port Ludlow, Puget Sound. During the summer of 1872 he entered
the office of the Puget Sound Courier,
at Olympia, Washington, a
paper then controlled by a syndicate of federal officials. For two
years he followed the printing trade in that city, and then went to San
Francisco, where he secured employment on the Bulletin
After a year passed there and in Southern California, he went to Vacaville,
that state, and entered the Baptist College, where he studied one year
for the ministry. Subsequently he traveled in Oregon in the interest
of the Baptist Evangel, a denominational paper, and in 1877 was engaged
in ministerial work embracing an extensive missionary field. He received
a call to preach, in 1878, in the Palouse country, and spent three years
in Moscow, Colfax and their immediate vicinity. He organized the
First Baptist church of Spokane, and one in Cheney in 1881. Subsequently,
his health failing, he resumed typographical work on the Review
of Spokane, and was in that city during the "big
fire." In 1891 he went to Chelan, Chelan county, and put The Chelan
on its feet, at Chelan Falls, on the Columbia river. One
year later he removed to Chelan, where he is at present located.
At Chelan, January 5, 1897, Mr. Britt was
married to Miss Elsie M. Stitsel, a native of Kansas. She was graduated
from the Spokane high school, and subsequently taught in Spokane county.
Mr. and Mrs. Britt have two children, Bryan K. and DeWitt Victor, infant
boy. Mr. Britt is a member and an ordained minister of the Baptist
church. He is also a member of Chelan Valley Lodge No. 116, A. F.
& A. M. His political affiliations are with the Democratic party,
but he conducts his paper as a non-partisan organ.
Mr. Britt conducts his paper on a strictly
non-partisan basis and treats of politics entirely independent of party