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 Co., 1904.
HON. D. M. DRUMHELLER.
It is impossible within the limits of a few pages to do justice to, and
make mention of, all the interesting facts which are necessarily bound
up in the details that mark the career of the subject of this sketch.
It is still more difficult for the citizens of today to realize what the
early settlers endured when they were compelled to meet danger and want,
and to give up the accustomed comforts of life. Were it within the
purpose of our story to reveal the trials of the old pioneers, we must
certainly say first that it was an act of heroism to undertake the long
and wearisome transcontinental journey unavoidable to those early settlers,
who made their home in Washington when it was a wilderness and practically
an unbroken country.
Probably no one man in the state is more deserving
of space or personal mention in a history of this character than Mr. Drumheller.
His achievements and successes have been a part of the growth and development
of the state and there are few, if any, better known or more highly respected
throughout the entire northwest. Throughout this broad range of country
he has marked the impress of his individuality without really knowing it
He was born March 25, 1841 in Sumner county,
Tennessee, and when a child accompanied his parents to southwestern Missouri
where he resided until he was fifteen years of age. At that time
he crossed the plains and located in California, remaining there until
1859. Soon after his arrival in California, he secured employment
as a cattle herder and with the money he earned while thus engaged, he
probably laid the foundation that marked his successful career in life.
In 1859 Mr. Drumheller decided to go to that
part of Utah which is now a portion of the state of Nevada. Here
he secured employment with the Pony Express business that was operated
by Ben Holliday. He remained in this position until 1861, when he
decided to come to the territory of Washington and on June 16, of that
year, he landed in the town of Walla Walla where he remained until 1865
when he moved to Umatilla, Oregon. Here his capability, sound judgment
and logical sense were soon recognized by the people who elected him to
represent them in the legislature of the state. In 1887 he returned
to Washington and located in the Crab creek country, Lincoln county, where
he engaged in the cattle business. His business assumed gigantic
proportions and for many years was conducted on an extensive scale and
operated successfully. When Mr. Drumheller first settled in Lincoln
county it was included within the boundary lines of Spokane county, but
since then population and emigration have caused it to be separated from
Spokane, yet Mr. Drumheller is as popular and well known in Lincoln, Douglas,
Adams and Franklin counties as he is in the city of Spokane. He still
owns over twenty thousand acres of land in these counties, and is one of
the organizers and directors of the Davenport National bank and the Reardan
Exchange bank. Both of these banks were instituted with his direct
co-operation and advice.
In 1880 he moved to the city of Spokane where
he soon became a prominent factor in the commercial and general growth
and development of the city. In 1884 he was elected councilman to
the first city council ever chosen in Spokane and by his good judgment,
keen foresight, and general knowledge of affairs and requirements, he was
instrumental in formulating a foundation and operative basis whereby the
young municipality had from its inception a practical business government.
While he never was a politician in the full sense of the term, or ever
sought political preferment, honors in this direction have been thrust
upon him. In 1892 he accepted the nomination for mayor on the Democratic
ticket, and while sentiment and public opinion was largely Republican,
the citizens realized his qualifications for the office and elected him.
His administration, was all that could be expected and was criticized generally
as clean, upright, and judicious.
The Insane Asylum at Medical Lake stands as
a monument to his business capacity and integrity. As one of the
commissioners under whose management this splendid institution was erected,
he still further justified the universal esteem in which he is held.
Mr. Drumheller is vice president of the the
Traders National bank of Spokane, one of the largest, most successful,
and substantial financial institutions in the state of Washington.
He has filled the office of vice president from its inception and was instrumental
in its organization. When the bank was organized he was a firm believer
in its future advancement and became one of the heaviest stockholders.
Its progress and success have resulted largely from his wise counsel and
good judgment and have justified his opinion and resulted in the strength
of the institution.
This brief sketch of the life of Mr. Drumheller
leaves untold much that would be interesting, but what has been said of
him proves that he is a man of indomitable will and perseverance, and remarkable
knowledge. His characteristics are simple, plain, and unostentatious.
He holds an honorable position in business and social circles and is universally
respected by all classes.