The following is written by Sumner Mayor Dave Enslow:
Halloween derived from All Hallow’s Eve, the night before religious groups remembered loved ones who had gone before them. Whether or not you still celebrate the religious holidays, it’s a nice thought in the wake of Halloween’s candy rush to set aside time to think about those who have gone before us. In Sumner, the list is long. It starts with names like Ryan, Wood, Kincaid, Zehnder, Thompson, and other pioneers that you’d now recognize on street signs. There are others as well:
– Sidney and Herbert Williams were brothers who built the two beautiful homes that still sit on Elm Street.
– A.L. Ames was a Civil War veteran who came from Massachusetts before building his home in Sumner.
– Thomas Anderson Wright built a home on Mason Street after moving here from the Ozarks. (He’s distantly related to the Wright Brothers!)
– John Gear ran a mill on the East Valley Road
– Caroline Barnum worked the family farm with her parents George and Dorothy, off 142nd, north of the Ota Family farm
– Cora Beadell oversaw the girls who worked Turner Ranch, a raspberry “ranch” just south of town.
– Tom Shigeo was the first president of the rhubarb growers association after two separate groups merged in 1974.
– Edith Church Veazie was born in Sumner, graduated from the University of Washington in 1911 and traveled through Europe on the Lusitania, thankfully before it sank.
More recently, many of us still remember Tim Hyland, Hazel Freehe, Dr. Duffy, Stan Purvis, and others whom have left us. It may not be as much fun as trick-or-treating, but I guarantee that a stop at the Sumner City Cemetery to look at the lives lived before ours will be more rewarding. And if you don’t have time, please pause a moment and thank them for building the community that we now get to enjoy.
P.S. If you have loved ones at the Sumner City Cemetery, it’s time to order holiday wreaths. You’ll get your postcard in the mail, but if you think we don’t have your correct address, contact Scott at (253) 299-5510 or email@example.com.