HENRY SUMMERS, whose career is a convincing proof of the Shakespearian philosophy that men are masters of their fate, is a farmer, residing eight miles southwest of Mount Vernon, and five miles southeast of La Conner. His father, Samuel Summers, was a weaver in England, where he died in 1854. The mother, Jane (Hussey) Summers, was born in Bradley, England, and died in 1853. Born in England in North Bradley Parish, a suburb of Trowbridge, April 9, 1848, Mr. Summers was left an orphan at the age of six years. There were five other children in the family, Ellen, Sarah, Samuel, Joseph and his twin brother Edward, who, with himself, found a home with an uncle. Child labor was not then prohibited by law in that country, hence at the age of eight, he entered a cloth factory where he changed shuttles in the hand looms. Two years later he entered Brown and Palmer's factory, employed as a roller joiner. The long hours, from six in the morning till six at night, must often have been very wearisome to the boy of ten, but the small hands wrought faithfully at their tasks, and when the day was over the night school found in him a diligent student, whose education thus acquired surpassed that of many a one enjoying far greater opportunities. Later, having spent seven years in the sizing department of the factory, he went to London at the age of seventeen, entering a warehouse in which, after the first year, he was a packer for the foreign trade, handling many an invoice of goods destined to be carried on camels across the Isthmus of Suez before the canal was built. He was manager for a lime of the T. J. Redate firm, located in Lawrence, Poultney Lane, N N street, London, exporters of provisions. He also worked on George street, close to Mansion House, and later in Tower street. Two brothers, Edward and Samuel, having come to the United States in 1871, locating in La Conner, Mr. Summers followed them three
years later, sailing from Liverpool, England, in the fall of 1874. Having landed at Philadelphia; he crossed the continent to San Francisco, thence to La Conner where his brothers had taken up land and were farming. In February, 1875, he took up a quarter section one mile south of Fir, bringing his family there two years later. To him belongs the distinction of having been the first bona fide settler in that locality. Here in this lonely wilderness with only Siwash Indians for neighbors, he remained for six years, improving the land, constructing dikes, planting and harvesting his crops, only at the end of this time to see all these fruits of his toil swept away by flood. When the log jam above Mount Vernon was cut out the logs were borne down the river and formed another jam two miles in length, where his land lay, thus causing the river to overflow and completely devastate his entire farm. A man of less resolute will
would have been overpowered by this disaster, which but spurred him to renewed effort. The following three years he worked out to get means sufficient to construct buildings on his present farm on Pleasant Ridge, for which he had traded eighty acres of his former claim.
Mr. Summers was married in Melkshaw, Wiltshire, England, June 3, 1873, to Sarah Cleverly, the daughter of John and Johannah Cleverly, of Melkshaw. She was born in March, 1849, and died at her home in Pleasant Ridge, December 9, 1889. Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Summers, all of whom are natives of Skagit county except the oldest one who was born in London.
Their names are as follows: William Joseph, Henry, Annie Bessner, John, Emma Graham, Edward and Alice (deceased). Mr. Summers was identified with the school board for twenty years, and hired the first teacher in school district number sixteen, when Skagit county was still a part of Whatcom county, and has always been deeply interested in educational matters. Just nicely settled in his new home, prepared, after all the years of trial and hardship to thoroughly enjoy these more prosperous days, his brave companion fell by his side, leaving to his care the family of little ones. Always a devout believer in the Bible and in Jesus as a personal Savior, his faith stood even this supreme test. His unfaltering courage and brave, earnest life have won the admiration of his fellow men, who recognize his sterling character.
From: An illustrated history of Skagit and Snohomish Counties; their people, their commerce and their resources, with an outline of the early history of the state of Washington .. (1906)
Henry Summers (1848 - 1915)
Sarah Cleverly Summers (1849 - 1889)
Matthew Bessner (1867 - 1962)*
Mildred Cecilia Bessner O'Brien (1905 - 2001)*
Mabel Viola Bessner Reedy (1912 - 2007)*
Baby 2 Summers*
Baby 1 Summers*
Henry Summers (1876 - 1930)*
Annie Summers Bessner (1877 - 1952)
John Summers (1880 - 1933)*
Edward Summers (1884 - 1954)*
Pleasant Ridge Cemetery
Created by: Love never dies
Record added: Apr 14, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 88529688