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
THOMAS C. LAKIN has demonstrated what could be done in the Big Bend country. Coming here without means in 1879, he now owns in his own right four thousand acres of land, mostly all raising grain, handles fourteen hundred acres which his brother in Ohio owns, and also controls a section of well improved school land. This entire property has been gained by the personal efforts of Mr. Lakin which is sufficient evidence of the ability he possesses. When he first saw this country, Mr. Lakin discerned its advantages and fertility and from that moment determined to secure a good holding here. His judgment was unerring and the immense yields of the Big Bend are but what he said would come.
Thomas C. Lakin was born in Clermont county, Ohio, the son of John and Mary (Bretney) Lakin, natives of Kentucky and Ohio, respectively, and now deceased. Their ancestors came from Maryland and were slave holders. The members of the family which moved to the north renounced slave holding. The parents were each about seventy-five when they died. Thomas C. is next to the youngest of a family of twelve children and received a good academic education. After that, he took a course in the Cincinnati law school and was admitted to the bar. Then he turned his attention to the work of the educator and later came to San Francisco. Thence he journeyed to Portland and the sound and at Port Gamble taught for some time. Then Mr. Lakin determined to search out the country east of the Cascades and accordingly came to Ellensburg and thence via the Big Bend to Spokane which was a small village of two hundred then, 1879. The winter of 1879-80 was spent in Waitsburg, teaching and the next spring he came to his present home place, about ten miles southeast from Harrington. He started with a timber culture and a homestead and since that time has given his attention to raising wheat and buying land. Never swerving from his first decision, Mr. Lakin has shown his faith in the country by his purchases and he has made no mistake. He found himself in debt somewhat when he was starting and it became necessary to earn money and so for a time, we find Mr. Lakin working on the Northern Pacific and the O. R. & N. He has always been very active in promoting those measures for the benefit of all and the building up of the country. Politically, Mr. Lakin was Republican but joined the silver forces to support Bryan and was president of the county Farmers Alliance. On one occasion his name appeared for representative of his district in the state legislature. Fraternally, he is affiliated with the I. O. O. F., the Rebekahs, and the Encampment. He was one of the organizers of the pioneer association, which is properly named the Pioneer and Historical Association of Lincoln County. Mr. Lakin has evinced great interest in the working and growth of this association and is its president at the present time. He is also director of it as well as of the Sprague bank. Mr. Lakin has improved all of his land in good shape and all the residences, barns, wind mills, and other things needed are at hand. The returns of the entire six thousand acres are mammoth and although he was verging onto bankruptcy during the panic, still he managed to pull through and is now one of the wealthy men of the state.