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Adelbert M. Dewey


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"Spokane and The Spokane Country - Pictorial and Biographical - Deluxe Supplement." Vol. II. The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912. (No author listed.) pgs. 220-222.

       ADELBERT M. DEWEY was born in Lewis county, New York, in 1857, the son of Milton and Permelia (Riggs) Dewey, his father being a country schoolmaster and squire of the village in which he lived. At the age of six he moved with his parents to Binghamton in the same state, where he attended the public schools until fourteen years of age, when he was indentured as an apprentice to learn the printing and newspaper business in the office of the Broome Republican, being associated with the two men who later organized what is now known as the Associated Press. After five years work as apprentice and journeyman, the future Spokane business man travelled extensively over the country, working in most of the larger cities as a newspaper and job compositor, in both of which he is said to have been highly skilled as a workman. Later he settled in the city of Detroit, where he became the proprietor of a publishing house and edited and published several trade and technical journals.
       When quite a young man, Mr. Dewey became an active student and writer on economic subjects. This led him to engage in what was at that time called the "reform movement," and he was associated with T. V. Powderly and others in the Knights of Labor and kindred organizations having for their object the uplifting of humanity. He edited the Journal of United Labor at Philadelphia, and gave to that paper a position second to no other in the economic field, with a greater weekly circulation than all others of his class in the United States combined, reaching more than five hundred thousand persons with each issue. Mr. Dewey was also an active official of the Typographical Union for man years, and is still a firm believer in the men who do the work of the world, but thinks they should organize and meet changing conditions with changed methods, and that the workers should do their striking on election day and at the ballot box.
       The temperance reform movement always found an aggressive supporter in the student printer, and he was for two years the high chief ruler of the Order of Recabites in North America, travelling extensively as a lecturer on temperance and other subjects.
       In 1884 Mr. Dewey retired from all these various activities and entered the public service at Washington as an expert in the field service of the department of labor. His labors brought him to the state of Washington, and he early determined to make Spokane his future home. On the occasion of his first visit to the Inland Empire Mr. Dewey invested heavily in a copper mining prospect in Okanogan county and later came here to take over the management of the cor-poration, purchasing a home on Cannon Hill. His activities since coming to Spokane include the promotion of the Okanogan Electric Railway, the Okanogan Irrigation & Improvement Company, the management for five years of the Q. S. Mining Company, besides being a director in several other industrial enterprises operating in Spokane. At the time of this writing Mr. Dewey is also the proprie-tor of the Alexandria Hotel, a select family hotel in the residence district of Spokane.
       In fraternal circles Mr. Dewey is an active member of the Masonic Order and Elks, and is an advocate of the spirit of fraternity as an antidote for the tendency of the day toward commercialism in all things. He is a man of family, with a son of thirty and a daughter eleven years of age.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton

* * * * Notice: These biographies were transcribed for the Washington Biographies Project. Unless otherwise stated, no further information is available on the individuals featured in the biographies.


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