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Charles E. Remsberg

Charles Remsberg portrait

"A Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of the City of Seattle and County of King, Washington." New York and Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1903. p. 680.

As a member of the firm of Remsberg & Simmonds, the subject of this review is practicing law in Seattle, where he located in 1889, soon after the great fire. He was born in Warren county, Indiana, May 20, 1863, and traces his ancestry back to Adam Remsberg, who during the period of the Revolutionary war located in what is now known as Washington county, Pennsylvania. The line of descent is traced down through John Remsberg, Sr., John Remsberg, Jr., and Lewis Remsberg, the last named being the father of our subject. Lewis was born in Frederick county, Maryland, and in 1859 moved westward, locating in Indiana. In his native, state he wedded Rebecca Brandenburg, a daughter of Samuel Brandenburg, and a granddaughter of John Brandenburg, who was born in this country but was of German parentage. Our subject is the youngest in a family of five children, the others all being daughters. Both parents are still living in Warren county, Indiana, the father at the age of eighty years and the mother at the age of seventy-nine. With the exception of the youngest sister the children also survive.

In the district schools Charles E. Remsberg pursued his education until he was fourteen years of age and afterward devoted his entire time and attention to the work of the home farm until he had attained the age of twenty. One of his sisters having been ill for a long time, it was believed that traveling would prove beneficial to her, and Charles accompanied her on a trip to the east, through Maryland, Washington and New York. This caused him to realize the need of further education, and in the fall of 1882 he went to the Terre Haute Normal School. After completing one year's work he engaged in teaching for two years and then spent a period of two more years in the normal. Later he entered the University of Indiana at Bloomington, making a specialty of the study of sociology. He completed his course in 1889 and intended to go to Charlottesville. Virginia, to pursue his law course, but events occurred that occasioned him to seek a home in the northwest, and he arrived in Seattle in 1889.

Mr. Remsberg was much impressed with the business outlook here and deciding to remain he engaged in the real estate business and also began reading law in this city, being admitted to the bar in 1893. He has since engaged in practice, and in February, 1898, entered into partnership with George Simmonds under the firm name of Remsberg & Simmonds. While he has been engaged in general practice, his law work has been largely in the probate court. He was one of the three lawyers who published the revised statutes and code of the state of Washington in 1896, a work of much value to the members of the profession and one which has been accepted as authority. Mr. Remsberg was engaged in this task for two years, and although the work did not prove a financial success, owing to the great money panic in which the country was involved at that time, the volume is one that has elicited the highest commendation of the leading members of the bar not only in Washington but throughout the country. Mr. Remsberg has been connected with much important litigation. He was one of the counsel in the damage case of S. P. Dixon against the Third Street Railway Company. This was tried twice in the supreme court of the state and then was taken to the supreme court of the United States and in each instance Mr. Remsberg won a verdict favorable to his client. Other very important litigation has been conducted by him and he stands today as one of the noted lawyers of the Seattle bar, strong in his comprehensive knowledge of jurisprudence, logical in his deductions and forceful in his presentation of a case.

Voting with the Republican party, Mr. Remsberg has attended almost all of the city and county conventions since his arrival here, arid his opinions carry weight in the Republican councils. From 1890 until 1894 he served as justice of the peace, and thereby acquired the title of judge, by which he is universally known. Fraternally he is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellow's and he belongs to the Chamber of Commerce at Seattle.

In 1891 Mr. Remsberg returned to Indiana and was there married to Belle Farquhar, a daughter of A. H. and Esther Farquhar. They have two daughters, Mabel and Helen. Mr. Remsberg was one of the first settlers in the northern part of this city, where Fremont now stands, and was one of the chief factors in having the bridge constructed along the west shore at Lake Union. When he located there the only highway was a country road, and his influence has been very great and beneficial to the substantial development and improvement of that part of the city. In 1902 he erected a nice home on a five-acre tract on the shore of Green Lake, known as "The Farquharidge." He has loaned much money in Seattle for eastern and other clients and to a considerable extent has made investments on his own account in both business and residence property. He has erected two business blocks here and his labors have been effective in promoting public progress along lines of business improvement. He is a member of the Unitarian church, and possessing excellent musical ability his services in this direction have proved of pleasure and benefit to the church. Perhaps the art of music furnishes him his most desirable and pleasurable recreation from the strenuous cares of important business undertakings and an extensive and growing law practice.


Submitted to the Washington Biographies Project in January 2010 by Diana Smith. Submitter has no additional information about the person(s) or family mentioned above.


Updated on 21 Jan 2010.

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