Alexander/Crawford History

Town News

By John Dudley & 

Cassie Oakes


Do you know where Alexander people go when they leave?  And how they get there?  Here are three stories that came to us on September 30, 2016.  A van came to John and Marie Dudley’s yard about 4:30 and a couple arrived at their door.  Richard and Francis Perry from Bellingham, Washington were on an ancestor search.  He immediately got John’s attention when he gave him a six-page memoir written in 1945 by his great-aunt, Lena (Spearin) Philo.

We all know of the Spearin Road in Alexander named for Jeremiah who arrived here ca 1838 with his wife Rhoda Bayley and six children.  Their son Jeremiah married Mary Crafts, born in Alexander in 1833, daughter of Varen and Jane Crafts.  Jeremiah Spearin Jr. after his time with Company I, 16th Regiment Infantry, moved to Calais and is buried in that cemetery.  But his first child was likely born in Alexander.  We will meet this son later.

Hampden Cutts Cottle was born in Alexander in 1823, son of Samuel and Elizabeth Cottle.  Hampden was married and father of a baby boy when in 1858 he moved to Washington Territory.  He went on a sailing vessel around the Horn to San Francisco then north where he entered into the logging business so common among Alexander men back home.

Hampden’s wife, Meddybemps raised Ursula Priscilla Prescott, and their son Charles Edger Cottle left Boston in 1863 accompanied by a young male cousin.  Did she travel on the Airline Stage to Bangor then train to Boston?  The steamship took her from Boston to Panama where they crossed the Isthmus by a short railroad, stagecoach, a mule train and by being carried over rough places by Indiana.  Ursula’s first child born out West was Angie Barker Cottle (1865-1945) and it was her oldest daughter Lena who wrote this wonderful family history.

Jeremiah Spearin Junior’s first son Herbert Alonzo was born in Alexander on June 24, 1857.  He and two other young men took the boat to Boston in the spring of 1877.  They then went by train to Albany, Buffalo, Chicago, Omaha and on to Oakland.  From there they went by steamer to Victoria BC and another to that area that today is Bellingham, Washington.  Herbert met and married Angie Barker Cottle whose father Hampden had come from Alexander!

The story of Richard Perry’s Alexander ancestors is on file in the Cottle and Spearin Family Files at the ACHS Archive.  How many Washington County families settled on either side of Puget Sound?  Come to the archive to read this story or see what else might be there.  Thank you, Richard, for the story and the postage stamps.