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Author Archives: Teresa Smick
“Making AHA! Happen”
A seminar with community historian and author
Historical research can lead to many dead ends if one’s thinking is closed to alternatives. This
seminar will explore several proven techniques to increase what is termed “lateral thinking.”
SATURDAY, APRIL 29, 2023, 10 A.M.
Bishop Place Independent Living Social Room
811 SE Klemgard St., Pullman, WA
Registration ahead of time is appreciated by responding to Whitmancgs@gmail.com. Event is
FREE but registrations and donations will be accepted at the door.
Gather at 10 AM. The one hour presentation begins at 10:15 AM with a brief time for questions
afterwards. Refreshments will be available. Come greet your genealogy friends after a long absence
of getting together. Masks are not required, but certainly appropriate, if you wish. Watch for further
details in the next newsletter.
Steven Branting’s biography includes the following:
Since 2000, many of this country’s leading history, geography and
preservation organizations — including the American Association for State
and Local History, The History Channel and the Society for American
Archaeology — have honored Steven Branting for the depth, scope and
variety of his research and field work.
In 2009, he was nominated for the American Historical Association’s
prestigious William and Edwyna Gilbert Award, which recognizes
outstanding contributions to the teaching of history through the publication
of journal articles. Branting has written ten (10) books on the history of
Lewiston. Branting’s articles have appeared in, among others, the Western
Historical Quarterly, The History Teacher, Idaho Magazine, Nostalgia and Idaho Yesterdays.
The Idaho State Historical Society conferred upon him the 2011 Esto Perpetua Award, its
highest honor, citing his leadership in “some of the most significant preservation and interpretation
projects undertaken in Idaho.” Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter awarded him that year’s Outstanding
Cultural Tourism Award for showcasing Idaho’s heritage.
In 2013, the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution awarded Branting its
coveted Historical Preservation Medal. In 2015, Lewis-Clark State College selected him for the
Marion Shinn Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2016 he was awarded the President’s Medallion
for his efforts to safeguard the heritage that the college and community have shared since the 1890s.
During 2018, the Lewiston Tribune published 104 of his columns highlighting events and people
who featured greatly in the history of Lewis-Clark State College, which was celebrating its 125th
anniversary and for whom Branting holds the office of “Institutional Historian,” the first since Henry
Leonidas Talkington in the 1940s.
Branting’s tenth Lewiston book — Interiors: Old Lewiston Behind Doors — was released in
Saturday, April 2 EWGS April Seminar
Roots Tech will be March 3 – 5th, 2022. It is again free and online! If you would like to sign up, click this link or visit rootstech.org.
DOROTHY SEVIER MATSON
Dorothy was a lifetime resident of Pullman, being born 27 January 1920 to Henry Sevier and
Almira Lakin Sevier, the youngest of 6 siblings and 4 half-siblings. She graduated from Pullman
High School and attended beautician school in Spokane. She then returned to Pullman to work until
she joined the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). While in the Navy,
she was stationed in Washington, DC during World War II where she worked with decoding.
Following the war, she returned to Pullman and worked at Washington State College (now
University) in the mailing department until she retired. She married George Matson 7 January 1955
and he passed away 23 February 1982.
Dorothy had a thirst for knowledge about the past and the people of this area, particularly
things relating to Whitman County genealogy and history, with an emphasis on Pullman. She was
a cornerstone member of Whitman County Genealogical Society, a lifetime member, and the
researcher, who for years single-handedly responded to all of the people who wrote to WCGS asking
for help in finding out more information about their Whitman County families. She collected
information on people of the area and clipped thousands of newspaper articles, mostly obituaries,
but also anniversary celebrations, marriages, reunions and more. She pasted these articles on index
cards and several members of WCGS entered every name from these cards into a computer database.
WCGS then published three volumes of indexes to these cards entitled “Whitman County
Washington Families, An Every Name Index to the Newspaper and Resource Collections of Dorothy
Sevier Matson, Vols. I, II and III.” These three indexes (volumes) total over 650 pages of just
names! The original cards are stored at the WCGS library and are regularly used by WCGS
researchers and others visiting the library. In 2000, Dorothy donated her entire library and all of her
research files to WCGS.
Prior to her death on 18 August 2002, Dorothy made a substantial gift to Whitman County
Genealogical Society in memory of her brother, Dale Sevier. Dorothy’s dream had always been to
write a history of Pullman. Although she was not able to realize that dream in her lifetime, she knew
that Whitman County Genealogical Society would carry on her legacy of helping others who were
researching their Whitman County roots. She also knew that WCGS would help keep alive the
history and records of the Palouse and share it with others, through publications, research, etc.
WCGS felt the best way to remember Dorothy was to create an endowed fund to honor her.
WCGS selected Inland Northwest Community Foundation (INWCF), now Innovia Foundation, to
handle this fund. The fund was established in September 2009. The WCGS Endowment Fund and
Dorothy were featured in the 2010 INWCF Calendar and Annual Report on the month of July.
With the annual distributable income from the endowment fund, WCGS created a scholarship
in memory of Dorothy. The Dorothy Sevier Matson Scholarship was awarded for the first time in
WCGS is very pleased to be able to honor Dorothy in this way and feels this scholarship is
a perfect tribute to her love of the region’s history and genealogy and her support of education. One
of Dorothy’s favorite phrases was: “…for my own amazement.” We think Dorothy would be very
amazed, pleased and humbled to have this wonderful tribute to her.
We would like to announce the winners of the Dorothy Sevier Matson Scholarship. Justin Thompson and Safaa Turner-Rahmen will each receive $500 towards their college education. Thank you for applying and good luck with your future endeavors!
Would you like to assist our Whitman County Genealogy Society? We are currently in desperate need of a recording secretary, for our monthly meetings, September through June. If you are interested, please contact our president, Sue Kreikemeier, at email@example.com. You would be required to attend the meetings, take and record minutes, and provide them before the next meeting. Such a simple task to help out our small Society. Whoever you are, we look forward to meeting you at the next meeting!
In just one week Eastern Washington Genealogical Society is having their Spring Seminar. This year they are featuring two speakers. The first is Karen Stanbary. She will be speaking on
DNA: A Power Tool in the Genealogist’s Tool Box – Learn the many ways DNA test results confirm and advance documentary research. Fun and entertaining lecture. All levels.
The Everleigh Sisters: A Case Study in Conflict Resolution – Minnie and Ada Everleigh, Chicago’s most famous pair of sisters, fabricated many details of their lives in order to run their shady business. Learn to sort the fact from the fiction.
The second is Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective. She will be presenting her
Photo Detective Roadshow – EWGS members submit photos and Maureen does a live show weighing in on their mysteries!
The fun starts on Saturday, April 3rd at 9:00 a.m. and goes until about 3 p.m. on Zoom! Cost is $25.00 for members, $40.00 for non members. For more information, and to sign up, please visit their website –