Historical Figures

Historical Figures Of White Salmon & Bingen Washington

Erastus S. Joslyn and wife, Mary, arrived in 1853 from Massachusetts. They were the only whites East of the Cascade Mountains on the north shore of the Columbia. Erastus Joslyn represented Skamania County in the Washington Territorial Assembly, 1860. Mary Joslyn joined a party on August 19, 1863 to climb Mt. Adams. After residing in Bingen for 22 years, they moved to Colorado.

A. H. Jewett and wife, Jennie came from Wisconsin, met up with the Joslyn's on the steamer from Portland, and was persuaded to stay with them on the north shore for the night. Eventually, the Jewetts became enamored with the "upland" (bluff.) After learning the Chinook jargon, they were able to obtain prime land. A. H. was a nurseryman by trade and established a beautiful resort. He was a businessman credited with building the water works, established a brick yard and served as Mayor of White Salmon, 1913 - 16. He was a charitable man and provided property for the Bethel Congregational Church of White Salmon.
Mrs. Jewett was a suffragette, prohibitionist, and traveled Washington State promoting these causes. She denied Sam Hill, of Maryhill, the purchase of the Jewett Farm Resort on the bluff because he proposed a "toast" to close the deal! So Hill traveled 30 miles east, purchased 7000 acres, and built Maryhill.

Theodore Suksdorf
platted Bingen and was the first postmaster when that office was established on June 4, 1896.

Wilhelm Suksdorf: Born 1850, Died 1932. Wilhelm immigrated to America in 1858 arriving in Bingen by way of Iowa. In 1928 he received an Honorary Master of Science degree in botany from Washington State College. His name is associated with 70 plant species he identified over a 50-year period. His extensive herbarium was gifted to Washington State College which later became Washington State University.

Detlev Suksdorf
is credited with founding and naming Bingen. This area on the Columbia reminded him of the Rhine River in Germany, his homeland. Detlev gave land for the Community Congregational Church built in 1910. It is now home of the Gorge Heritage Museum. The passenger train servicing Bingen to this day is because Detlev had donated the land and wrote into the deed that such perpetual service would be provided.

Rudolf Lauterbach: Born in Bremen, Germany, in 1854; died 1928. Rudolf immigrated to Texas in 1879 where he farmed. In 1892 he moved to White Salmon where he bought 160 acres for farming. He also established a general store, the second mercantile establishment in White Salmon. He was instrumental in getting the Dock Grade and Bluff Stairs constructed when Suksdorf closed the access road to Bingen. Rudolf was a major force in the early development of White Salmon, platting much of his own land into town lots. The first White Salmon steamboat dock on the Columbia River was built by Rudolf and Tunis Wyers. Rudolf donated land for the first White Salmon High School which he helped organize. He also assisted in organizing the city's first water works of which he was part owner. He was a member of the City Council and served for several years as a director of Columbia State Bank. Rudolf was married to Wilhemina Hillje. They had eight children.

Teunis Wyers Jr. served as mail carrier from 1894 at age 18, until 1944; first by horseback and later by motor vehicle. He serviced the 35 mile route which included Husum, Trout Lake, Glenwood and Snowden from White Salmon.