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Samuel M. Wharton


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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. 112-114.


       What has often seemed to be irreparable disaster has frequently proven to be opportunity. The feeling of hopelessness and horror that swept over Spokane with the great conflagration of 1889 soon lifted and in its place came a spirit of determination and resolution which has builded the city upon a larger, better plane than before. Samuel M. Wharton became a resident of Spokane in that year-1889-and was thereafter to the time of his death closely associated with the business development and progress of this section of the northwest.
       He was born December 11, 1847, in Charleston, South Carolina, and although he passed away at the comparatively early age of sixty years, his death occurring June 25, 1908, he had accomplished much within his life's span. His parents were George C. and Louisa Wharton, who were natives of South Carolina, where the father became prominent as a contractor and builder. He had the contract for the building of Fort Sumter, taking his men across each day in boats from Charleston to the island on which the fort was located.
       Samuel M. Wharton pursued his education in the schools of Charleston and when he had mastered the branches taught in the graded and high schools there he spent several years in college in that city. When his education was completed he became an apprentice under his father and there learned the trade of a brick-mason, which he followed for four years. He afterward took up contracting and building on his own account, removing to Baltimore, where he remained for three years, and during that period he erected several fine buildings there. He next went to New York city, where he remained as a contractor for several years, and then spent a number of years in Georgia and in Texas. In the former state he was interested in the old Calhoun mines, the first gold mines which were opened in the United States. In Texas he began ranching and engaged quite extensively in buying and shipping horses, living at different times in Dallas, Belton and San Antonio. In the last named he became widely known as an extensive and prosperous horse buyer and shipper and also owned a large ranch near the city, which he afterward sold.
       As previously stated Mr. Wharton was numbered among Spokane's pioneers of 1889. Following his arrival here he established a brick-manufacturing business, which he continued for a year, and then sold his plant. He next engaged in mining in the Slocan country of British Columbia. He became one of the original owners of the famous Reco mines, the first mines located in that country, and also discovered and located several mines of the Reco group. He likewise erected the first sawmill in that country, hauling the material into the interior for a distance of twenty-two miles. Throughout his remaining days his time and energies were given to mining and real-estate operations. Several years before his death he sold his interest in the Calhoun mines but retained the ownership of valuable property in the northwest.
       It was on the 15th of July, 1870, in Dallas, Texas, that Mr. Wharton was united in marriage to Miss Marion C. Crumpton, a daughter of John A. and Caroline Lucy Crumpton, who were natives of South Carolina, where her father carried on general agricultural pursuits.
       Mr. Wharton gave his political allegiance to the democratic party and was a valued and exemplary member of the Masonic fraternity. He attended and gave liberally to various churches but was a member of none. He could well be termed a pioneer for often he blazed the path which others followed. He was always searching the vast wilderness and interior for opportunities and developing the country as he saw a chance to utilize its natural resources. His labors were indeed an element in progress and improvement, counting for much in the history of the northwest. Those who knew him personally found him a most congenial companion. He was fond of outdoor life and was familiar with nature in its various phases. He also loved music and travel but most of all be loved his home and the companionship of his friends and at his own fireside was a most hospitable and genial host.

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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