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.
VALENTINE FRANCIS, a farmer residing
two miles northeast of Davenport, was born March 1, 1848, in Somersetshire,
England, the son of Daniel and Eliza Francis. He was reared on a
farm in his native country, and spent much of his young manhood in traveling
about from one place to another in England, Ireland and Scotland.
In 1867 he came to Canada, and the following year to Chicago in which city
he was engaged for a time in surveying and in the draying business.
He was a resident of Chicago at the time of the great fire of 1871.
About one year after the fire he went to Point Lookout, Louisiana, where
he raised cotton two years then went to Navarro county, Texas, where he
raised one crop of cotton. He traveled a great deal over the state
buying horses, mules and hogs which he took to Louisiana and Mississippi
for sale. He also rode the range as a cowboy to some extent, and
spent some time in hunting buffalo. Prior to leaving the state he
had one thousand head of hogs which he was preparing for market when the
cholera got among them. After the greater per cent of his herd had
died he exchanged the remaining few for a yoke of oxen. He afterward
went to Leadville, Colorado, and soon after that to Boise City, Idaho.
From the latter point he came on to Walla Walla, arriving there in July,
1880. In the fall of the same year he came to Lincoln county and
settled on a homestead near where Larene postoffice now stands. There
were only a few scattering settlers in the county at that time, and Mr.
Francis experienced a great amount of hardship and inconvenience in getting
a start. After living on his original homestead for over twenty years,
Mr. Francis sold it and bought his present farm of six hundred and forty
acres, five hundred acres of which are good grain land and in cultivation.
He has a first class orchard, fine stock, with improvements and implements
of the most modern types. He has retired from activity himself, having
rented his land, and does nothing besides take care of his own business
affairs. At the time of his coming to the county he had nothing besides
a wagon and a span of mules which he drove all the way from Texas, so that
all he has now he has accumulated since 1880, and he is rated as a well-to-do
Politically Mr. Francis is and always has
been a believer in the doctrines of the Republican party.