|Birth: ||Oct., 1852|
|Death: ||Jun. 2, 1930|
Son of Abraham G. Bair and Mary Almira Hamm.
Biography, page 189 of "The History of Pierce County", copyright 1927.
For over thirty-five years the name of W.L. Bair has been a household word in Steilacoom and vicinity, for he has not only conducted a large and successful business during all that period but has also been active in local public affairs, being one of the most influential and public-spirited men of the locality. Mr. Bair was born in Stark county, Ohio, on the 22d of October, 1851, and is a son of A.G. and Mary Elmira (Hamm) Bair, the latter of whom died in Steilacoom in 1899. the father, who died June 12, 1862, was a farmer, merchant and school teacher and a man of prominence in his community.
W.L. Bair, who is the oldest of the five sons born to his parents, secured his education in the public schools of his native state, and then went to work in a drug store, where he remained three years, thoroughly learning the business. In 1872 he went to Kansas, where he was employed on a cattle ranch as a cowboy for three years, and while there homesteaded and proved up on a tract of land in Little Valley. He remained in Kansas eighteen years, during twelve years of which time he was engaged in farming, and for three years was engaged in the hardware business in Hutchison.
In April, 1890, Mr. Bair came to Steilacoom, Washington, and on the first day of the following year opened a drug store. In this enterprise he met with encouraging success, and later opened a plumbing and plumbers' supply department, while still later he added a hardware and paint department, his success vindicating his business judgment. Mr. Bair has always shown a progressive spirit and was the originator of the water system of the town, making the first installation in his store, and then extending it to other properties. He also put in the first telephone system in Steilacoom, operating it until the Home system came to this place, at which time he had forty-seven subscribers, and he then sold out to the Bell Telephone Company, for which he is acting as the local agent. Both of his children now have an interest in the business, and he is able to take things easier than in former days.
On June 27, 1887, at Salina, Kansas, Mr. Blair was united in marriage to Miss Hattie E. Godfrey, who was born in Michigan, a daughter of S. S. and Eudocia (Hammond) Godfrey, and to them have been born two children, namely: Godfrey L., who operates a garage in Tacoma, and who is married and has three children, William Drew, Mary Eudocia and James B.; and Mary Eudocia, who is the wife of William T. Leach, the present postmaster at Steilacoom. Mr. Leach was sent here from Pennsylvania during the World war as spruce director.
Mr. Bair served as postmaster of Steilacoom from 1893 to 1897 and seven years during the administration of President Wilson, filling the office for nearly twelve years, in a very acceptable manner. He has long been an active member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, having been made a Mason in Reno Lodge No. 140 in Kansas, and is now a member of Steilacoom Lodge, of which he has been a master five times. He is a life member of Tacoma Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, and Tacoma Commandery, Knights Templar, and belongs to Steilacoom Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, which he and his wife assisted in organizing, and of which he was the first secretary. Mrs. Bair has served several times as worthy matron of the chapter. Mr. Bair has been consistent in all that he has ever undertaken, and his conduct in all the relations of life has been utterly without pretense. He is held in the highest esteem by those who know him, and Steilacoom can boast of no better man or more enterprising citizen.
Mary Elmira Hamm Bair (____ - 1898)
Harriet E Godfrey Bair (1860 - 1948)*
Godfrey LeFevre Bair (1890 - 1984)*
Steilacoom Masonic Cemetery
Plot: NW 86
Created by: Washington State Cemeter...
Record added: Jul 03, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 39044516