Issaquah History Museums

P J Smith

Peter J. Smith

Served as Mayor 1918–1921 1913–1915 1926–1928 Served as Town Marshal until 1920


1926–1928Served as Town Marshal, resigning in June 1920

P J Smith

P. J. Smith took several turns at being Mayor during Issaquah’s early years. (IHM 2014-18-3)

Peter J. Smith was born in Illinois in 1848. He married Josephine Laird around 1872. By 1875, the couple had made their way to Seattle. In 1876 they were living in the Squak Valley, where Smith purchased property and established a dairy farm. His wife died in 1908, and Smith began a new chapter in his life, remarrying a young Swedish girl named Selma Johnson. Selma was nearly 40 years younger than her husband. Together they had one daughter, Helen Smith.

Smith was appointed the first State Dairy Commissioner in 1895. He also served as Issaquah’s mayor between 1913 and 1915, and again between 1918 and 1920. It is not known precisely when he became the Town Marshal, but it is likely he held this post on an interim basis. He would have been in his early 70s at that time. Smith tendered his resignation as Town Marshal in June of 1920, to be effective July 1. Several weeks after he gave his notice, the council and mayor met for a special meeting. The minutes show that the council had determined that it was not possible to appoint a Town Marshal who would accept the current salary of $90 a month. As a result, the council raised the salary to $125 a month. At the following council meeting, Jack Chalfa submitted his first marshal’s report.

Smith went on to serve another term as mayor between 1926 and 1928. He died in Issaquah in 1940, at the age of 92.