Thursday, March 14, 2013

William R. Lotz

We first met William R. Lotz back on December 6, 2012 when we heard his story about his father patrolling the streets of Olympia during the Indian Wars of 1855-1856 and being allowed to accompany him. At that time we also learned of William's newspaper career, but we didn't discuss his retirement in 1904 or other facets of his life.
W.R. Lotz on left at the Warren store

William decided to retire in Warren and continued to share his thoughts and opinions in writing to the local newspapers, especially the fact that he did not approve of changing Mount Rainier's name to "Tahoma."   But, he also spent much of his free time cultivating plants on his three acres on the southern shore of Hales Pass.

He exhibited vegetables at the Puyallup Fair and, in his usual fashion, his display attracted the attention of many of the fair visitors.  His label for the potatoes read "Maggie Murphy Potatoes raised by Mike O'Connell at O'Brien."  The visitors were overheard to comment "Those are sure Irish potatoes."  William's plants included many native plants and trees, berries and evergreens.  He had more than twenty varieties of apple trees, some pear trees, and of course huckleberries.

In 1914 in letters to his daughters, Gertrude and Grace, he wrote "I had drawn up and had signed a petition with 136 signatures for the formation of the Hale's Pass Voting Precinct."  Barring objection from the Rosedale and Artondale precincts "the new precincts will take in all the waterfront from Wollochet to Horsehead bays, including Arletta and Cromwell.  The voting place will be at People's Hall (Warren)...I know over 50 voters who did not go to the polls in the election this month, on account of the distance."

When William exhibited his produce and plants at the Bay Island Fair in 1917 he also petitioned Pierce County for a permanent wharf at Warren. He was one of the individuals invoolved in the incorporation of the Hale's Pass and Wollochet Navigation Company.
Lotz and dog in front of the Warren Community Hall
 William died in 1937 in his mid-80s.  However, his last activity was serving on the election board at the polls in the precinct he had helped to create.

William's daughter, Grace Lotz Woodruff, was married in June, 1908, and lived in Tacoma and Portland, Oregon. In 1964, she mentioned she had three daughters, ten grandchildren, and five great grandchildren and that they were scattered about in other cities.  However, she was living at the old place in Warren where her father had retired in 1904.

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