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THE BYRON LOOMIS FAMILY - 1892



Byron T. Loomis was born at Bellfountain, Ohio, and served in an Ohio Cavalry Regiment during the Civil War. He married Julietta Hayes, and they became the parents of four children - Ike, Lucretia (Junk), Frances (Knox), and Nelson Taylor (Known as Bud). They were living in Kansas when Byron secured from the Government a contract to carry mail between Shelton, Washington and Union City, on Hood Canal. He came to Olympia in 1890.

While his wife Juliette rode in a coach, their son, Bud, with a helper, came in a freight car loaded with furniture, shelled corn, a team of horses, a cow, and coops of chickens. The chickens sold to good advantage in Olympia.

That same year, Bud's sister Frances Knox and family arrived. Their brother, Ike Loomis was a contractor engaged in building streets in Olympia.

In 1892, Byron Loomis took a claim at Quinault. The following year, his brother-in-law John DeWitt Knox did likewise. The two claims were adjoining, eight to ten miles above the lake on the north side of the river.

Bud Loomis gives the following account of their trip into the Quinault:

"In 1892, at the age of nineteen, I went into the Quinault country with my father, Byron, to build a cabin. We went up the river from Taholah, a two-day trip, under favorable conditions.

Came down by stage from Olympia to Montesano, and by boat to Hoquiam. At Foster's dock (Northest Mill dock) we loaded our stuff into Capt. Hank's sailboat and headed for Oyehut. A fellow by the name of George Atkins went with us. The day was stormy. And, when we got over there, the tide was out and we ran into a mud flat about a mile off shore. It was raining and storming. I asked the captain how long it would be before we could get ashore. He replied, "Six hours. When the tide comes in." He took a big slug of whiskey, rolled up in a blanket, and went to sleep.

After a while an Indian came along with two sturgeon in his canoe, one about eight feet long, the other six. We told him we wanted to go ashore and asked him to take us. Finally, he said he would for a dollar apiece. But, first he would have to take the sturgeon ashore. On his return he took off his pants, rolled up his shirt-tail, got out into the mud and pulled the boat ashore, taking one of us at a time. He earned his dollar apiece.