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.
PETER SETTERS is a retired farmer
now making his home in Reardan. Born in Marion county, Indiana, June
26, 1831, he was the son of Captain John A. and Elizabeth (Shrout) Setters,
the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Kentucky. The father
in early life migrated to Kentucky, thence to Indiana, being an early pioneer
in Marion county. A portion of the city of Indianapolis stands on
his old homestead. He was a captain in the state militia, was generally
known as one of the ablest and bravest Indian fighters in the section,
having participated in the early Indian wars of his state. He died
in Mason county, Illinois, in about the year 1842. The family originally
came from Switzerland. Mr. Setters' mother died in Missouri.
Although the family originally was a large one, only one of the children
besides the subject of this sketch is living, Mrs. Elizabeth Garrett, of
Milan, Sullivan county, Missouri.
While a boy, Mr. Setters removed with his
parents to Mason county, Illinois, where the family was among the first
settlers. He was reared on a farm, and attended district school held
in a primitive log cabin. He later went with his mother to Sullivan
county, Missouri, where he acquired a fair all-round education and entered
the ministry in the Baptist church since which time he has preached more
or less wherever he has been. In the spring of 1862, he responded
to his country's call for soldiers by enlisting in Company E, Sixty-sixth
Regulars of the state militia and was soon commissioned captain of his
company. He led his command through many sharp skirmishes with the
bushwhackers, upon many occasions placing his life at a great risk.
In the spring of 1864 he enlisted in Company E, Forty-fourth Missouri Volunteer
Infantry, in the Sixteenth army corps. With this command he took
part in the capture of the Spanish fort, Fort Blakely near Mobile, Alabama,
and in the battle of Franklin, Tennessee. Although in many battles
and numerous skirmishes in which he saw men fall dead and wounded on all
sides, he himself was never injured. Altogether the military career
of Captain Setters extended over a period of three years, much to
the credit of himself and his company. He recived an honorable discharge,
and is now drawing a pension from the government.
After the war he returned to his home where
he taught school for two years, preaching some in the meantime, and also
followed farming. May 1, 1879, he started with his family, consisting
then of a wife and eleven children, one of the children, however, remained
at home, and came to this state, arriving at Walla Walla, July 26.
The whole of the distance was traveled in a "prairie schooner," so familiar
to early settlers. He settled first on Coolie creek near where Reardan
now stands, and later took a homestead five miles farther north on Spring
creek. He has also since acquired 160 acres of railroad land.
His land is all suitable to agriculture with the exception of about twenty
acres of timber. His land is all in a high state of cultivation and
Mr. Setters was married, June 10, 1855, to
Elizabeth Ellen Warren, a native of Monroe county, Indiana. Her parents
were Hugh G. and Mary (Carr) Warren, natives respectively, of North Carolina
and Indiana. Mrs. Setters is a half sister of ex-chief of police,
Joel Warren, formerly of Spokane. This union has been blessed with
thirteen children: Francis M., Sarah L., Olive E. Olson, and Henry G.,
all now dead; John M., married to Emma Byrd, near Reardan; Mary E., wife
of William Kitt, Reardan; Peter W., Spokane; Nancy A., wife of Lewis Cone,
near Reardan; Esther J., now Mrs. John Smith, near Reardan; Charles, at
Reardan; Dr. M. F., a prominent physician of Spokane, married to Josephine
Thomson; Ora B., an attorney and newspaper man, who founded the Reardan
Gazette, and later was owner and editor of the Palouse Republic, but is
now engaged in the practice of law at Palouse; and Flora, wife of Earnest
Carsten, near Reardan.
Mr. Setters was made an Oddfellow thirty years
ago in Missouri, is a charter member and was the first noble grand of the
Reardan Lodge, No. 84, of that order. He is also a member of the
C. W. H. Bentley post, G. A. R., of Reardan.
Mr. Setters was ever a man of pluck and energy
as is attested by the fact that, having come to this state practically
without a dollar, he is now independently situated and able to spend his
declining years in comfort and ease in his handsome home in the town with
whose history and development he has been so closely identified.
While he has always, since coming to the Big Bend, been eminently successful
in business affairs, the amassing of wealth has not been his purpose in
life, since his major efforts have ever been put forth in the interest
of the school, the church, and the home. He helped build the first
school building in his vicinity, and has been its most liberal and loyal
supporter. All his children are well educated, and two sons are professional
men with their father to thank for their incentives, if not altogether
for their finished professional educations He is a good citizen, a man
with a legion of friends, and of unquestionable integrity.