Summer Get Together

June 10th, 2018 | Posted by Monica Peters in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

The WCGS summer get together will be held on Sat., 23 June, 1 PM at the home of our President Sue Kreikemeier and her husband, Terry, at 2941 Altergott Road, Garfield. This is north of Palouse and south of Garfield just off Highway 27. Driving time from Pullman is about 30 minutes. This is a salad potluck so bring a salad to share. Beverages and table service will be provided. A tour of Eden Valley cemetery, which is just a couple of miles from Sue’s home, will follow the luncheon. Please RSVP to Sue at 509-635-1303 or aerocraft@completebbs.com

Dorothy Sevier Matson during World War II

Each spring Whitman County Genealogical Society awards a scholarship to a graduating senior from Pullman who has met the application requirements for this award. The applicant must write a 1-2 page essay saying why family history or local history is of importance to him/her. The money for this scholarship is given in memory of Dorothy Sevier Matson (1920-2002). She was a lifetime resident of Pullman who graduated from Pullman High School. The first award was given in 2010. The current scholarship amount is $500 and will be awarded on June 5th at the annual awards night at Pullman High School. WCGS also awards grant money in the amount of $200 to one or more seniors whose project emphasizes genealogy or history in some way. We are pleased to be able to honor our friend and longtime WCGS member in this way who was so generous with her time, talent and treasure.

Dorothy Sevier Matson

April 28th, 2018 | Posted by Monica Peters in Pullman | Veterans - (0 Comments)

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) to handle this fund. It 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 June 2010.

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.

Free Fall Seminar

April 24th, 2018 | Posted by Monica Peters in Seminars - (0 Comments)

Mark your calendar now for the fall seminar of Whitman County Genealogical Society. It will be held on Saturday, October 13, 9:00AM – 12:00Noon in the Independent Living Social Room of Bishop Place Senior Living, 811 SE Klemgard, Pullman, Washington.

Speakers will be Tony Birch from Cheney on the topic of heraldry and Lee Pierce, archivist of the Eastern Region Branch of Washington State Archives. It should be a very informative morning. Hope you can join us. Watch our website for further details as they become available.

FREE Spring mini-seminar

February 21st, 2018 | Posted by Monica Peters in Seminars - (0 Comments)

Whitman County Genealogical Society is hosting a FREE Spring mini-seminar at Bishop Place Independent Living Social Room, 811 SE Klemgard, Pullman, WA

Saturday, April 21, 2018


“The Buffalo Soldiers and The Tuskegee Airmen:
Past, Present & Future” by Horace Alexander Young

“Cooking the Church Books”
by Fr. Mike Savelesky

9:00 am: The doors open.

9:30 am-10:30 am: Horace Alexander Young is a Clinical Associate Professor of Saxophone and Jazz History at Washington State University. The profiles of three servicemen will be discussed: Col. Charles Young, U.S. Army 9th and 10th Cavalry (Buffalo Soldiers); Lt. Col. Clarence L. Shivers, U.S. Air Force (Tuskegee Airman); and Lt. Col. Jack D. Holsclaw, US Army (Tuskegee Airman & WSU Alumni).

10:30-10:45 am: Break and refreshments.

10:45 am-11:45 am: Fr. Mike Savelesky is a retired pastor living in Spokane, currently serving the Holy Rosary Parish in Rosalia and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in St. John. His current volunteer job is Diocesan Archivist in Spokane, WA. His presentation (which applies to all church denominations) will include: why the Catholic Church keeps records; details found in various parish sacramental books (Baptism, Confirmation, First Eucharist, Marriage, Ordination, Profession of Vows, Annulments); tips for researchers’ use of sacramental books; tips for researchers’ use of parish census directories; review of available resources for the researcher.

If you have any questions or need more information contact WCGS President, Sue Kreikemeier at: aerocraft@completebbs.com or 509-635-1303.

Please RSVP to Sue or whitmancgs@gmail.com by April 14 to accommodate handouts & refreshments.

While the seminar is free, donations are welcome at the door.

Turn off Bishop Boulevard onto Klemgard Ave., follow Klemgard Ave. up the hill and turn left at the top. Do not go into the front entrance, but turn right, continuing up the hill and turn left at the white car ports. Find an appropriate parking place, enter the building through the main doors and go straight ahead to the Social Room.

Here is the seminar flyer for download click on to download:

Seminar Flyer April 2018 with pix, ver 2.0

Click below for biographies of the seminar speakers:

Fr. Savelesky’s & Horace Young’s bios

Friends of Lone Pine Cemetery

December 23rd, 2017 | Posted by Monica Peters in Cemeteries - (0 Comments)

Friends of Lone Pine Cemetery. The Lone Pine Cemetery is located near Tekoa. The earliest date of birth on a stone is 1809 and the earliest date of death on a stone is 1883. No burials have been permitted since 1953. The Friends of Lone Pine Cemetery are a group of dedicated volunteers intent on cleaning up the cemetery to make it accessible to descendants and visitors. If you know of someone who is buried in the cemetery and would like more information, contact Jim Savitz. Names of people buried at this cemetery can be found at http://www.interment.net/data/us/wa/whitman/lonepine/lone_pine.htm. Read more about their efforts at http://www.lonepinecemetery.com/.

My Family Veteran Anecdotes

December 23rd, 2017 | Posted by Monica Peters in Veterans - (0 Comments)

By Judy Standar McMurray

Uncle Carl Reisenauer, born 1899, was drafted into the army for WWI. He trained at Washington State College in Pullman and spent some time on a cot in Bohler gym during the 1918 flu epidemic! He was discharged in Dec. 1918. He was drafted again at about age 44 into World War II and had stateside duty. He often commented about serving in two world wars.

My brother, Tim Standar, was in the army during the Viet Nam era. He was so proud when he brought his sharp shooter award home. The family, not so much. We could imagine him in the top of a palm tree over there. Not to worry. At a meeting, the group was asked if anybody could type. He raised his hand and spent the rest of the service in an office in Germany!


New book for sale

December 23rd, 2017 | Posted by Monica Peters in Publications - (0 Comments)

Great news! Click here for a flyer with information about our latest publication entitled Whitman County, Washington Territory: Gleanings from Selected Newspapers with Every Name Index (1877 – 1886). This book is authored by Mary Simonsen who transcribed the gleanings and is being published in cooperation with WCGS. The price is $25 for the book or $15 for the CD. The price includes tax and shipping. Along with the flyer is a sample page from the new book. The index of the book lists every name from each gleaning, not just the primary name, along with the name and date of the newspaper in which it appeared. We hope you will consider ordering a copy of this book for your own use, as a gift to your favorite library, or a gift for a friend. The book has much historical information about people, places, land records, etc. from early Whitman County, Washington Territory. Ordering information is on the flyer. Thank you.