|Title||Arthur Armstrong Denny |
|Finding Aid Identifier||MsSc 100 |
|Finding Aid Title||Arthur Armstrong Denny |
|Subject||finding aid; Arthur A. Denny; Seattle, WA; King County; earthquake; L. H. Denny; banking; steamboat |
|Abstract||Personal papers of Arthur A. Denny, who was once Seattle's wealthiest citizen and a prominent businessman. |
|Biography||During Seattle's early history, Arthur Armstrong Denny was its wealthiest citizen, who owned vast
property, both real estate and personal, the latter covered banking, street railway, irrigation, and other properties. He was born on June 20, 1822 near Salem, Washington County, Indiana to John and Sarah
(Wilson) Denny. Denny's family subsequently settled in Knox County, Illinois where Arthur attended
school. He became a civil engineer and in 1843 elected county surveyor of Know County, Illinois. Also in
1843, Arthur married Mary Ann Boren with whom he had six children: Louisa Catherine Frye, Margaret
Leona Denny, Rolland Herschell Denny, Orion Orvil Denny, Arthur Wilson Denny, and Charles Latimer
On April 10, 1851, the Denny family began their voyage to the west. On August 11, 1851 they reached
The Dalles and Portland, Oregon on August 23, 1851. Then on November 5, 1851, the family sailed for the
Puget Sound and arrived at Elliot Bay on November 13, 1851. Along with William N. Bell and Carson Boren,
Arthur Denny decided to settle on the east side of Elliott Bay.
Arthur Denny sold cargo on commission for ship captains until 1854 when he began a partnership with
David Phillips and Dexter Horton in general merchandise. This arrangement lasted until 1855, when he
volunteered to serve in the Indian War.
Besides business arrangements Denny served in several political offices. He was the county
commissioner for Thurston County, Oregon, and then King County commissioner. Denny was appointed to
serve as Seattle's first postmaster in 1853. He was elected to the House of Representatives for the
Washington Territory for nine consecutive sessions. He was the speaker of the House during the third
session. He was registrar of the U.S. Land Office from 1861 to 1865. Denny was elected territorial delegate to
the thirty-ninth Congress to serve under Governor William Pickering in 1865.
After political office Denny took a half interest in Dexter Horton and Co., a bank founded by Dexter
Horton and David Phillips in 1870. Denny served as the president of the Seattle and Walla Walla Railroad
Company. He also was active in Society of Washington Pioneers and wrote Pioneer Days in Puget Sound.
Also Denny was involved in finding a site for the state university and the foundation of the Puget Sound
University and the University of Washington. On January 9, 1899 Arthur Denny passed away at the age of 77. |
|Scope and Content||The Correspondence files are arranged chronologically and cover the years, 1863-1894. This series consists of correspondence dealing with the location of the state university, personal loans, the first steamboat on Puget Sound, and earthquakes.
Family files are arranged by family member and cover the years, 1851-1959. The series contains
correspondence between Arthur Denny and various family members, the disposition of L.H. Denny and
Arthur Denny's estates, and obituaries.
The Financial Records are arranged chronologically and cover the years, 1882-1899. The records include
bank ledgers, and a ledge book detailing the various accounts of Arthur Denny.
|Keywords||Arthur Armstrong Denny, property, real estate and personal, banking, street railway, irrigation, 1822, Salem, Washington County, Indiana, Knox County, Illinois, Mary Ann Boren, Louisa Catherine Frye, Margaret Leona Denny, Rolland Herschell Denny, Orion Orvil Denny, Arthur Wilson Denny, Charles Latimer Denny, 1851, The Dalles, Puget Sound, Elliot, William N. Bell, Carson Boren, David Phillips, Dexter Horton, 1855, Indian War, Thurston County, Oregon, King County, commissioner, postmaster, 1853, Washington Territory, U.S. Land Office, 1861, 1865, thirty-ninth Congress, Governor William Pickering, Seattle and Walla Walla Railroad Company, Society of Washington Pioneers, Pioneer Days in Puget Sound, Puget Sound University, University of Washington, 1899, steamboat, earthquakes, L.H. Denny. |
|Inclusive Dates||1851-1959 (bulk 1851-1899) |
|Volume||1.5 linear ft. |
|Accession number||1997.15 and 1997.16 |
|Num of Boxes||4 |
|Electronic Publisher||Washington State Historical Society |
|Contributors||Washington State Historical Society |
|Object Type||text/pdf |
|Coverage||Seattle, King County, Washington |
|Rights||Property of the Washington State Historical Society – All Rights Reserved |