Transcribed from "History of North Washington, an illustrated history
of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan counties", published by Western
Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
JAMES E. FORDE, who is president
of The Washington Commercial Company has evidently achieved one of the
brightest successes in commercial lines in central and north Washington
to be credited to any man doing business in this section. It is not
a matter of "luck" as some would say, but the result of bright business
talent. The consummate wisdom, tireless energy, marked executive
ability, coupled with unswerving integrity and sound principles, all of
which are possessed in a large degree by Mr. Forde, have combined to bring
about the gratifying success which he enjoys.
James E. Forde was born near Toronto, Canada,
on May 4, 1865, the son of John and Annie (Elliot) Forde, natives of Ireland.
The father was an officer in the British army for seven years and participated
in many battles of the Crimean war, being wounded several times.
He was known among his associates as General Forde. The parents came
to Ontario where they died, leaving five children: Ida.; James E., the
subject of this sketch; John P., one of the stock holders of The Washington
Commercial Company; Mrs. Isabella A. Lucas; and Harry, also a stockholder
in this commercial company and residing at Riverside. Following the
death of his parents, James E. assisted to support the younger children
until they became able to care for themselves. He received a good
business education and came to the United States when eighteen and located
at Wheatland, North Dakota. For a time he worked on a farm.
Then he sold goods, and in this capacity he met Mr. John Boyd, manager
of the Palmer mountain tunnel company, with whom he came to Loomis, in
1892. Mr. Forde worked for Mr. Boyd in the latter's store until he
disposed of it and took charge of the tunneling company. At that
time Mr. Forde entered into partnership with George H. Ellis and they did
a general merchandise business in Loomis. After this a branch store
was started at Oroville, and then one at Republic, Riverside, and Conconully,
in all which places they were successful. However, the store in Republic
was burned and they abandoned that field. Lately they have incorporated
with headquarters at Loomis, and Mr. Forde is president, C. E. Blackwell
of Riverside is secretary, J. T. Samson, treasurer, and George H. Ellis,
of Wenatchee is vice-president. Each store is the largest in its
respective town and they are all well supplied with a choice and complete
stock of general merchandise, and are all doing a splendid business.
Mr. Forde is also interested in the Ellis-Forde Company, with headquarters
at Wenatchee. Mr. Ellis is president and manager of the large establishment
at Wenachee as well as of the other stores in Chelan county. At Wenatchee
and Chelan, they have the largest stores in the town. Our subject
also owns two large ranches in the vicinity of Loomis and a beautiful residence
in Loomis, as fine as there is in the county. He and Mr. Ellis also
own the townsite at Riverside. Politically, he is a stanch Republican
and is ready to work for his principles. Fraternally he is affiliated
with the I. 0. 0. F. Mr. Forde started in life with no finances,
his entire capital being two strong hands and plenty of pluck. The
marked success that has attended him evidences the manner of man, and is
all encomium to his ability than which no words could be spoken better.
He is a progressive, public minded man, always ready to assist in any enterprise
that is for the good of the county.