Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The
Big Bend Country, embracing Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties,
State of Washington", published by Western Historical Publishing
PHILIP McENTEE, DECEASED.
The memory of Philip McEntee is green in the hearts of all the old timers
in Douglas county. No words that we could utter would fully portray
the real worth and excellence of the man as a bright business man and a
true pioneer and capable frontiersman. It is fitting, however, that
in the volume which pictures the history of this interesting section, a
review of his life should occur and it is with pleasure that we append
Philip McEntee was born in Ireland, in 1830,
and there remained the first sixteen years of his life. His educational
training was there secured and at the age mentioned, he came to New York
as a stowaway. He was soon learning the plumber's trade in that metropolis,
and this was followed until the early sixties, when he was forced by the
western fever to cross the plains, and finally drifted into British Columbia,
where he mined on the Fraser river. In the seventies he went thence
to Bear Gulch, Montana, and there sought the golden sands until 1877, when
he made his way to Washington, and joined a surveying party which was establishing
the north line of the United States. While in this employ, he was
favored and did well in financial matters. With his earnings he bought
cattle and located where Coulee City now stands. In the spring of
1881, he built the first house here. The winter previous as also
in 1890-1, he lost heavily on account of the rigorous weather. He
was not a man to be daunted by such reverses, however, and he continued
in the business with comnmendable pluck and energy. When Mr. McEntee
located here there were no inhabitants, except the Indians and an occasional
stockman. He would take bands of cattle and unaided drive them clear
to British Columbia and there sell to the mines, making his way back alone.
Such great exertions as these besides many others incident to the stock
business in a new country, were the lot of Mr. McEntee, and few people
know the real hardships of the pioneer, unless they have taken part in
them. He saw the country settle up and was always a broad minded
man, ever welcoming the ingress of farmers, although a stockman, whose
interests, should he consider himself alone, were adverse to the farmers.
Three years before his death, Mr. McEntee
was thrown from his horse and sustained severe injuries in his left side.
Later tuberculosis of the stomach developed and in 1901, he was in the
hands of the doctors receiving the best attention that could be given.
All was futile, however, and on the eighth day of July, 1901, it being
Monday, he fell asleep peacefully, although he had been a great sufferer
during his illness. His remains were interred with impressive ceremonies
and the whole country was draped in real mourning, for they well knew one
of the stalwarts had gone. In the land where he had met the adversities
and hardships known only to the progressive pioneer, had met and overcome,
where he had labored wisely and well to bring in the dawn of one of the
states to be of this great nation, where he won such success owing to his
great endurance and capabilities, there sleeps quietly the casket where
dwelt the fearless soul and dauntless spirit of one of the grand men of
In 1891, Mr. McEntee married Miss Elizabeth
Evans, a native of Pennsylvania and the daughter of William D. Evans.
To this union two children have been born, Mary and Philip. Mrs.
McEntee is now dwelling in Spokane and has the advantage offered by the
city schools for her children. Mr. McEntee was enabled to leave to
his loved ones a goodly competence and his widow is to be commended for
the wisdom manifested in the management of the estate.