Transcribed from "History of North Washington, an illustrated history
of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan counties", published by Western
Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
JOHN M. PITMAN, one of the best
known men in Okanogan county, is now serving his second term as county
treasurer, having been elected both times on the Democratic ticket, the
second majority being much the larger. He is a man of uprightness
and integrity and is the center of a large circle of friends.
John M. Pitman was born in Jackson county,
Missouri, on September 17, 1849, the son of Azariah J. and Louisa (Savage)
Pitman, both natives of Missouri. The father took a freighting trip
to Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1849, and had some hard times with hostile
Indians. Upon his return, Dr. Savage, his wife's father, was ready
to start across the plains, so he prepared for the trip and they set out
in the spring of 1850. The mother was said to be dying of the consumption
when they started, and the phyician said she would never cross the plains.
She did, and is now in her seventy-fourth year, living a retired life with
her husband in Salem, Oregon. He is seventy-seven, well preserved,
and hearty for one of his age. Our subject is the oldest of ten children
and the only son. Three of the sisters are deceased. He was
educated in the Willamette valley, where his parents located, being turned
from their intention of going to California. He completed his training
in the McMinville College. In 1861, when the family were living in
the Willamette bottoms there came a flood and the steamboat took them from
the roof of their house. They lost all their property. Later
they removed to Klicktitat county, Washington, and there remained until
1901, when the parents removed to Salem, where they now reside. Our
subject went into business in Klickitat county, but failed and went bankrupt.
Following this, in the fall of 1887, he came to Okanogan county and went
to mining. In 1892 he went back to Klickitat county and paid all
his debts, although they were all outlawed. He has been universally
known since as "Honest John," on account of this excellent action.
In 1876 Mr. Pitman married Miss Emma T. Gubser,
in Washington county, Oregon. Her parents were natives of Switzerland
and came to Iowa, whence in the fifties they crossed the plains to Oregon,
where both died. Mrs. Pitman was the youngest of twelve children.
Three children were born to this union, two of whom died from the effects
of scarlet fever when infants, and the other, Emma Lorena, is living with
our subject now. Mrs. Pitman died in May, 1886. In October,
1890, Mr. Pitman married Mrs. Emily E. Borst, who was born while her parents
were crossing the Atlantic from England to the United States. Her
father, Mr. Kellard, was a major in the English army. Mrs. Pitman
made two trips across the ocean with her parents and finally came west
from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to this county. Mr. Pitman entered
a homestead five miles north from Loomis, and has devoted considerable
attention to its improvement, having now a fine property. In addition
to this he has mining property in this state and also in British Columbia.
Mr. Pitman is a member of the I. 0. 0. F., and the W. W. His parents are
devout members of the Baptist church. He and his first wife belonged
to the Presbyterian church, while Mrs. Pitman now belongs to the Methodist
church. They are highly respected people and have won for themselves
the esteem and confidence of all who may have the pleasure of their acquaintance.