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
JOHN M. FRIEL, of the firm of
Christenson & Friel, leading real estate men of Waterville, is one
of the early settlers of Douglas county and has wrought with courage and
success here since those days of pioneering. His father, Neil P.
Friel, was born in Donegal county, Ireland, and came to the United States
in 1848, settling in Philadelphia. Three years later, he moved to
Amboy, Illinois, where our subject was born, in 1861. He is now living
near Westport, South Dakota. He married Miss Margaret McMenamin,
a native of Donegal county, Ireland, who died in November, 1903, at Westport,
South Dakota. Our subject was reared in Illinois until eighteen,
having gained his education from the district schools, finishing the same
in the high school of Amboy. At the age last mentioned, he went to
Chicago and operated in the steel mill for five years. After that
he joined the police force in Chicago, remaining in the same until 1886,
when he went to South Dakota and visited his parents. In the fall
of 1887, he journeyed to Puget Sound, and the spring following that came
to Waterville. He filed on a pre-emption and a timber culture which
later he sold, then bought land, now owning six hundred and fifty five
acres, which is rented. His residence is in Waterville, where he
has a comfortable dwelling. For four years and nine months, Mr. Friel
was deputy sheriff of Douglas county and during that time he was known
as a terror to horse thieves and evil doers and the marked efficiency in
discharging the duties incumbent upon him in that capacity manifested him
as one of the energetic, thorough, substantial and spirited men of this
section. On January 15, 1903, Mr. Friel, engaged in the real estate
business with Mr. Christenson and they are handling farming land, principally,
doing a good business. Mr. Friel has one brother, Dennis O., and
the following sisters, Kate, Margaret, Mary Johnson, Ella, Celia, Adeline
and Mrs. Ed Stearns.
On December 7, 1897, at Waterville, Mr. Friel
married Miss Mary M. Woolverton, a native of Blissfield, Michigan.
Her parents, Milton and Ella (Boone) Woolverton, are natives of Ohio and
now residing at Blissfield. Mrs. Friel has one brother, Warner J.,
and one sister, Rose Mallory. To our subject and his wife, four children
have been born, John Bryan, Neil P., Warner, and Agnes.
Fraternally, Mr. Friel is a member of the
I. O. O. F., and the W. W. He was originally a Republican, then a
Populist, but is now an ardent admirer of the great Nebraskan Bryan for
whom his son is named. While Mr. Friel takes a keen interest in the
matters of the day, he does not manifest especial activity in politics.
He is one of those genial, fearless and upright men who win friends on
every occasion and is known as one of our leading citizens.