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.
LAFAYETTE LEWIS, M. D., is a
retired physician residing in Wilbur. He is a native of Hamilton
county, Tennessee, where he was born May 22, 1845, the son of Allen and
Elizabeth (Swafford) Lewis.
Dr. Lewis is one of ten children, five of
whom are living. They are, besides himself, Mrs. Martha J. Goforth,
of New Windsor, Illinois; Mrs. Nancy Heaton, Spokane; Mrs. Charity Burton,
Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Mrs. Elizabeth Carten, Christian county, Missouri.
Those who are dead are: William W., who was a prominent Baptist minister;
John; Judge Jesse A., a prominent attorney, who with his aged wife was
murdered on his farm near Govan, Washington, by an unknown assassin, about
December 19, 1902; Dr. James H.; and Prior L. Lewis. A grandfather
of the family, William Swafford, served in the War of 1812.
November, 13, 1861, Dr. Lewis enlisted and
went to the Civil War with the First Tennessee Light Artillery, and served
until mustered out at Cumberland Gap, January 23, 1865. While in
the army he was never wounded, although he participated in some of the
bloodiest battles of the struggle; among which were Murfreesboro, Lexington,
Loudon, Tennessee, and the capture of Cumberland Gap, as well as numerous
lesser fights and skirmishes. After the war he farmed for one year
in his native state, then sold his farm, removed to Knox county, Tennessee,
and commenced his medical education. He was graduated from the medical
college at Nashville, soon after locating in Campbell county, where he
was engaged in practice until 1885. Here he served four years as
treasurer of the county. Coming to Washington in the spring of 1885,
he settled on a farm near Wilbur, and took up the practice of medicine
in conjunction with the improvement of his farm. At that time he
was the only physician in the Big Bend, west of Davenport, and consequently
had quite an extensive practice, often working in the field all day and
calling on patients at night. He also kept the Grand Coulee postoffice
at his place for three years, to which patrons came from as great a distance
as seventy-five and even a hundred miles. One incident he recalls
is that of a man coming from Okanogan county with two hundred and five
letters to mail in this office. In the fall of 1898 he removed to
Wilbur, where he practiced his profession until 1900 when he retired with
a fortune sufficient to enable him to live in comfort the remainder of
September 5, 1872, Dr. Lewis was married to
Matilda Rogers, who was born and reared in Claiborne county, Tennessee.
Her father, Henderson Rogers, served three years and six months in the
federal army, in Company C, First Tennessee Infantry. He was taken
prisoner and then exchanged.
Nine children were born to Dr. and Mrs. Lewis:
James H., a real estate dealer in Spokane; Lilly, wife of W. R. Peters,
a harness dealer of Ritzville; Hassie, wife of William Honeyfinger, a real
estate man of Spokane; Henry and Joseph, deceased; David, Laura, Jesse
L., and Fred S., of Wilbur.
Major David Rogers, grandfather of Mrs. Lewis,
won his title in the Revolutionary war, and served two terms in the state
legislature of Tennessee in that state's early days. In 1800 he located
the old homestead in east Tennessee.
Dr. Lewis has a comfortable home in Wilbur,
a first class six hundred and forty acre farm, and some valuable real estate
in his home town.
Dr. Lewis is a Baptist and his wife a Methodist.
They are prominently identified with the church affairs of Wilbur.
Dr. Lewis is a conspicuous member of the R. L. McCook Post, G. A.
R., as well as of the Masonic fraternity, he now being master mason of
When in Campbell county, Tennessee, Dr. Lewis,
with his cousin, William Lewis, captured a murderer in a celler.
He was tried and executed for the murder of one, Reynolds. In 1902,
Dr. Lewis was chosen a member of the city council. The Doctor states
that when first he came to Lincoln county, he found game plentiful.
On one occasion, in 1889, in Okanogan county, he shot eighteen deer and
six goats in four days. Later he shot deer within a couple hundred
yards of his house. In two days he bagged sixty-three wild geese
in the vicinity of Hartline, and he often makes a haul of fifty.
He is a skilled Nimrod.