Biography of Herbert S. Upper

This is the background of Herbert S. Upper from Clarence Bagley’s History of King County Volume III. Herbert S. Upper platted Upper’s 1st and 2nd additions to Issaquah on both sides of the railroad right of way in the vicinity of Gilman Village and the Visitors Center.

Herbert S. Upper platted Upper’s 1st and 2nd additions to Issaquah on both sides of the railroad right of way in the vicinity of Gilman Village and the Visitors Center. He also platted property in Ravensdale southeast of Maple Valley.

When the natural resources of the northwest were still largely unclaimed and undeveloped Herbert S. Upper made his way to Seattle and became an investor in timber lands. From that time forward his business career has been characterized by an orderly progression that has brought him to the rank with the capitalists of Seattle. He also is a dealer in real estate and there is little concerning property values with which he is not acquainted.

A native of Ontario, Canada, he was born at Villa Nova, November 5, 1869, his father being a banker of St. Thomas, Ontario. In that city the son was reared and supplemented his public school training by a college course. The tales which reached him concerning the golden west with its opportunities stirred his ambition and aroused in him the determination to try his fortunes on the Pacific coast. He was still in his teens when he made his way to the territory of Washington, at which time Seattle contained a population of about seventeen thousand. He felt the stir of life and progress here, recognized the advantageous geographical situation of the city and believed that it would be a favorable place to locate. His first investments were in timber lands.

From time to time he kept adding to his holdings and has owned perhaps more of that kind of property than any man of his age in the state. His judgment seemed to be infallible as to timber values and he readily recognized the fact that the lumber industry must ultimately become one of the chief sources of activity and business prosperity in the west. His sound judgment has been rewarded in the growing value of his holdings and has won him place among the capitalists of Seattle. In this connection it has been written of him; “He has always invested with a safe margin and was one of the fortunate few who weathered the storms of the financial stress of the early ‘ 90s, when the most solid financially were none to secure”. And he exhibited his great confidence in the ultimate outcome of this period and the general stability of the country when he was the only one who would take mortgages on timber lands and other real estate.

Mr. Upper also dealt extensively in city property, both residences and business houses. He has laid out many additions to Seattle and cities and towns both in King County and other counties and has built a great many residences. His business has steadily increased and is now carried on on a very large scale. Not only has Mr. Upper operated in timber and in real-estate but has turned from those lines, perhaps more as a recreation than a business, to farming, owning several thousand acres of land. He delights in the development of crops, the clearing of land and in the raising of stock and is recognized as one whose judgment concerning horse flesh is seldom, if ever, at fault and there can always be found some fine specimens of choice stock on his ranch east of Lake Washington. Although he enjoys a spin in his automobile, in spirit he breathes the lines of a poet:

“Can any pleasure in life compare With a charming drive in open air? A spirited horse of royal breed With just a little more style and speed Than any you meet, and it matters not If his gait be pace or a swinging trot.”

Because of this trait of his character it was but natural that Mr. Upper became one of the organizers of the Seattle Riding Club and id efficient service therein as its president during its existence.

Mr. Upper belongs to the Rainier and Country Clubs and to the Seattle Athletic Club. He is a member of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce and cooperates in all of its plans and measures for the upbuilding and benefit of the city or to promote progress along any line of public benefit. He is also a member of the First Baptist Church. He stands ready at all times to further measures and movements for the general good and his efforts have been potent forces in the material, social, political and moral development of the community.

From History Of King County, Washington by Clarence B. Bagley, publised by The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago–Seattle, 1929.Now in Public Domain. This material was typed and submitted to the web site by Eric Erickson
Added October 27, 2000