Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Historic Trial of early Sumas saloonkeeper is a milestone for the ladies of Whatcom County!

In 1911, after suffrage, the Washington State legislature changed the jury statutes so that men And women could be placed on the list of potential jurors. Washington was the first state in the U.S. to allow women to serve as jurors. 
 picture 1
picture credited to the Whatcom Museum, Photo Archives, Bellingham, WA
pictured is the first Superior Court jury in the state that included women.  The six men and six women were sworn in by Judge John A. Kellogg on 5 September, 1911.
picture taken at the Whatcom County Courthouse, Bellingham, WA. Originally the photograph was published in the Bellingham newspaper "The Morning Reveille"...7 September, 1911.
The jurors pictured:  left to right, 
Front Row: C. L. Thomas, Mrs.  S. Philbrick, Mrs. Clara C. Cline, Mrs. F. A. Rogers     (Foreman), Mrs. Laura Higgerson, Mrs. M. Crane. 
Back Row:  P.C. Valde,  C.K. Smith,  A.S. Hardenbrook, Sam Larson, L. Olson, and Mrs. Beth Purnell.
The case to be decided was regarding Sumas saloon owner Thomas Stambaugh and whether he was guilty of selling liquor to a Native American man, Dick Harry.
Thomas Stambaugh was born in Indiana about 1876 and settled in Sumas with his wife, Theresa.  According to the 1910 census they were raising two young children, Thomas and Mary.  He owned and operated the Eagle Bar in Sumas.  
The jury was split.  The men were all convinced of Mr. Stambaugh's innocence in the matter, while all the women decided he was guilty.  The jury couldn't come to an agreement and they had to set a new trial. 
picture 2
A token from the Eagle Bar in Sumas as owned by Thomas Stambaugh.
Posted with permission from the Cregan Marmont collection.
Thanks for visiting Nooksack Valley Nostalgia!  See you next time...

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