|Birth: ||Aug. 15, 1818|
|Death: ||Aug. 26, 1905|
George's memorial is linked to the memorials of James & Ann Cochran, the couple who raised him from the time he was a baby.
George Washington is well known as the founder of Centralia. His first marriage was to a widow, Mary Jane Coonness, who had a son, Stacey.
Mary died in Centralia on March 5, 1889. George's second marriage was to Charity Elizabeth (Crim) Brown in Centralia on September 24, 1890. Charity was a widow with three young children.
Their son, George Cleveland, was born on December 15, 1891. They were divorced a few years later.
The following was provided by FindAGrave member, Shirley Knapp (#47192657), on September 29, 2015.
"Centralia was founded in 1875 by George Washington (1818-1905), the son of a black slave, who journeyed to the Pacific Northwest to create a new life. He was born in Frederick County. His father, a slave, was sold and taken from the area soon after George's birth and his mother left him with a white couple named Anna and James Cochran [Cochrane], who raised him.
While George was still a child, the family moved to Ohio and then Missouri. As an adult, George tried several businesses in Missouri and Illinois, but was frustrated by discriminatory laws. By 1850 he decided to head west in hopes of finding more freedom.
Per The Daily Chronicle (12 November 1985) George Washington, at age 33, persuaded his foster parents to move to Oregon. Two years later he built a boat to take them all to Cowlitz Landing on the Cowlitz River. He continued along to the Chehalis River where he settled and established Centerville, now Centralia.
He filed the original town plat in 1875; the city was incorporated in 1886. He was a generous man and donated land for public use. He was noted for his willingness to help others in many ways, including selling property for little money down, offering loans at no interest, and providing work when no other was available.
His assistance was crucial in the panic of 1893. Centralia, along with the rest of the country, went into an economic downspin for most of the decade. On his own initiative, Washington organized a private relief program for needy residents. He drove to Portland, Oregon, by wagon to bring back tons of staples like rice, flour, and sugar, which he distributed along with lard and bacon that he bought wholesale in Chehalis. He declined to foreclose on mortgages he held, and when other properties went to auction, he bought them to save the town from absentee ownership or bankruptcy.
A day of mourning was declared when he died followed by, reputedly, the largest funeral in the town’s history."
Ann Cochran (1790 - 1861)
James C. Cochran (1788 - 1859)
Mary Jane Washington (1840 - 1889)*
Charity Elizabeth Crim Brown (1854 - 1940)*
George Cleveland Washington (1891 - 1911)*
Washington Lawn Cemetery
Created by: Virginia Brown
Record added: Mar 19, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 34975995