New additions to the Watson C. Squire papers

Additions to the Watson C. Squire Papers, given by his granddaughter, complete his story as a Civil War veteran, Territorial Governor of Washington, U.S. Senator, and Seattle real estate developer. Watson C. Squire

The University of Washington Special Collections is delighted to announce the addition of three cubic feet to the Watson C. Squire Papers; a gift from his granddaughter, Mrs. R. Hugh “Dee” Dickinson in February 2009.

Watson C. Squire was Territorial Governor of Washington from 1884 to 1887, served as President of the Ellensburg Convention for Statehood in January 1889, and was a U.S. Senator from 1889 to 1897. Prior to his political career, Squire served in the Civil War and was later employed by the Remington Arms Company. Squire came to Seattle with his wife, Ida Remington, after purchasing lands from his father-in-law, Philo Remington.  Squire developed parcels of his land, notably, the Squire’s Opera House which became the New Brunswick Hotel.   In 1889, after the great fire swept through Seattle and burned the building, the Squire-Latimer building was built. In his political career, Squire declared martial law during the Anti-Chinese Riots in 1886, and during his Senate career, was instrumental in securing funds for the Lake Washington Ship Canal.

Dee Dickinson, daughter of Shirley and Jeanne Deny Squire, generously gave the first set of Squire Papers, over nine cubic feet, in 1989. John W. Todd, of Shorey’s Bookstore, stated in his appraisal letter that “it was one of the most important, vital research collections that I have examined in over fifty years of appraising this type of thing.”

 Highlights of the recent additions include: a journal kept by Squire while he attended Wesleyan University in Connecticut ; a photograph of the Seventh Independent Company of Ohio Sharp Shooters taken at the Headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi in St. Louis, Missouri, on July 17, 1865; a two-leaf manuscript copy on parchment of the petition to the U.S. Congress for the admission of Washington Territory as a state (Special Collections holds only one other copy of this petition in the “Washington Territory Collection” but it differs slightly);  a 13-page manuscript eyewitness account of the Anti-Chinese Riots in Seattle by Squire’s wife, Ida, written on Occidental Hotel letterhead; and correspondence and other documents regarding claims of settlers against the Northern Pacific Railroad Company.


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Blynne is a second year Master's degree student in the Library and Information Science program at the University of Washington. Blynne holds an M.A. in Art History, also from UW, specializing in art of the exploration and discovery of the Pacific Northwest. Since June 2006, Blynne has worked in a graduate student position at UW Libraries, Special Collections.

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