History of Seattle Municipal Railway's Division C, the streetcar line that once connected Burien with White Center and Seattle.
July 23, 2005
Washington: West of the Cascades Vol II pp 607-609


A history of the development of the lumber industry of Washington would come far short of its purpose were there failure to make reference to C. A. Doty, who has been identified with various companies that have been active in utilizing the timber resources of the state, thus promoting its business activity. He now makes his home in Chehalis and is still a well known and prominent factor in lumber circles. He was born in Wellsburg, New York, in 1859, so that practically the width of the continent separate him from his birthplace. His father, Floyd A. Doty, was a native of Orange county, New York, but in 1868 removed to Iowa and engaged in the contracting business at Marshaltown. In 1895 he removed westward to Kalama, Washington, where he lived retired, there passing away in the fall of 1916 at the advanced age of eighty-seven years. He had long survived his wife, who died in 1900.

Their son, C. A. Doty, was reared in Marshaltown, Iowa, and there learned telegraphy with the Iowa Central Railroad Company, after which he engaged in railroad work until 1885. Later he was with E. P. Cowan as inspector of timber for three years and subsequently went to a mill at Colmesneil, Texas, where he acted as bookkeeper until he came to Washington in 1889. At Kalama he acted as railroad agent for the Northern Pacific, so continuing until 1895. In 1889 he also began buying and shipping fish and for a considerable period was connected
with fishing interests, operating fish traps and having a launch that gathered up the fish. He packed and shipped salmon, sturgeon and shad, which were sent all over the country. He was the first to put up fish in a light pickle for smoking for foreign trade. The Doty Fish Company is still operating at Kalama, but Mr. Doty sold out in 1903. In 1899 Mr. Doty and J. T. Stoddard installed a swmill on the Wilaapa Harbor branch of the Northern Pacific Railway about twenty miles west of Chehalis and established a campy where the town of Doty is now
located. The firm was known as Doty and Stoddard. Their mill had a capacity of forty thousand feet and in 1900 they built a logging road. Later the company developed their plant up to a capacity of one hundred and twenty-five thousand feet. This was subsequent to the time when Mr. Stoddard sold out in 1902, when the business was reorganized under the name of the Doty Lumber Company. In 1904 the Doty Lumber and Shingle Company was formed, Mr. Doty being joined by G. A. Onn, who was the proprietor of a shingle mill, their interests being thus joined. mr. Doty became the president and manager of the new company, with G. A. Onn as vice president and manager of the shingle mill and A. J. Davis as secretary. The shingle mill had a capacity of three hundred thousand daily; eleven miles of logging road were built and equipped; and three hundred men were employed in the conduct of the business and in the maintenance of the camps.

The mills were operated by steam power, dry kilns were built and the Chehalis river was dammed, thus providing a pond for storing the logs. With the growth of the business the town of Doty was developed and the company built one hundred houses for the men. Mr. Doty also built a store and hotel and not only managed his lumber and kindred interests but also acted as postmaster of the town and as manager of the Western Union Telegraph Office, his early experience then coming into good play. The company also had its own water and light plants and the
business was conducted by Mr. Doty and his associates until August 20, 1910, when it was sold to W. B. Mersereau, whose sons are now conducting it.

Mr. Doty also became one of the organizers of the Emery and Nelson Lumber Company, with a mill at Napavine, and was its president. He was likewise president of the Heybrook Lumber Company at Heybrook, Snohomish county, being made president on its organziation in 1912. This company operated a lumber mill with a capacity of seventy-five thousand feet and owned its own logging camps.

The present mill is equipped with steam power. Mr. Doty disposed of his interests in that connection in April, 1917. In October, 1914, he was appointed receiver for the Chester Snow Log and Shingle Company at Littell, in which capacity he continued for two and a half years, operating a plant during that period in the manufacture of seventy-five thousand feet of lumber and two hundred thousand shingles daily. The plant was rebuilt in 1913 and employed two hundred and twenty-five men. The business has since been sold for the benefit of its creditors. For a time, Mr. Doty resided in Seattle, where he still owns a residence, but he is now making his home in Chehalis. In 1916 he organized the Chehalis Mill Company and they began operating a sawmill on the 1st of August, 1917, with a capacity of one hundred thousand feet in ten hours. Later it is the intention of the company to install a shingle mill. In this enterprise Mr. Doty is associated with A. J. Davis, H. C. Coffman, D. W. Bush, L. J. Stricklin and Dr. H. L. Petit, all of Chehalis, and Mr. Doty gives the mill his personal attention. He has long figured as one of the most prominent representatives of the lumber industry in the southwestern part of the state, and his labors in this direction have been of far reaching effect and benefit. In Winlock, in 1891, Mr. Doty was united in marriage to Miss Wilhelmine Gruber, of that place, and they have become the parents of three children, Walter L., Charlotte and Katherine. The son is a graduate of Washington University of the class of 1917 and has gone to the reserve officers' training camp at the Presido in California and has been given commission as secondlieutenant.

Mr. Doty holds membership in the Elks Lodge at Centrallia, is a Knight of Pythias and a prominent Mason, being now connected with the commandery at Chehalis and with the Scottish Rite bodies in Seattle. His activities have covered a broad field and have been of an important character and he is recognized as a man of excellent business ability, of sound judgment and of unfaltering enterprise.

Posted by Rob Ketcherside at July 23, 2005 3:59 PM
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