Elias Messerly is one of the leading and influential citizens of Wenatchee, Chelan county, and one of the first men to cross the Cascades and locate in the beautiful Kittitas valley. His native state is Ohio, and he was born December 24, 1842, in Fairfield county. His parents were Nicholas and Elizabeth (Switzer) Messerly. The father was a native of Ohio and of Swiss ancestry. He died in 1874. The mother was a native of Switzerland, married in Ohio, and at present lives in Greenville, that state, at the age of eighty-seven years.
The Buckeye state was the scene of our subject's early exploits, and here he was reared and educated. His father was proprietor of a marble yard. At the breaking out of the war our subject and his brother enlisted in Company H, Seventeenth Ohio Infantry, the brother as flag-bearer. Later he carried a gun, and was killed at the battle of Chickamauga. Our subject was engaged in a number of warm skirmishes, but participated in no regular battles. At the expiration of three months' service he returned to Cincinnati, Ohio, and engaged in the confectionery business. In the spring of 1865 he came to Helena, Montana, and for a number of years engaged in mining, prospecting and carrying the mails. He made considerable money, and spent it freely. Going "broke" the first winter, he gathered a lot of back number newspapers and mounting his pony, sold them the first day for sixty dollars. He managed to lay by sufficient money to engage in the dairy business in Helena, at which point he sold milk for one dollar a gallon. Two years later he filed on a claim in Kittitas-valley, and waited seventeen years for a railroad to make its appearance. During this time he continued to raise stock nine miles north-east of Ellensburg. In 1873 he located at Wenatchee, engaging in mining, near Rock Island, with Philip Miller, mentioned elsewhere an this work. They took a claim and our subject mined and "held down" the ranch. Mr. Messerly finally sold out to Miller and went to Seattle, but returned soon afterwards.
On November 24, 1876, at Ellensburg, Washington, our subject, was married to Sarah E. Houser, a native of Pennsylvania. Her parents, Tillman and Louise (Wirkhizer) Houser, are Pennsylvanians, being descended from old Dutch families. The wife has three brothers, Harrison, Clarence and Alvy, and two sisters: Amelia, wife of Chester Churchill, and Pernira, married to William German. The latter was the first white girl born in the Kittitas Valley. To Mr. and Mrs. Messerly have been born two children, Alpheus, a partner in the Wenatchee Home Nursery, (Incorporated), and Italia R., a schoolgirl. This nursery is the property of Mr. Messerly, Alpheus and Edward Dennis.
Our subject is one of the most extensive fruit raisers in the valley, and the most successful. He has captured many prizes at Buffalo, Spokane and elsewhere for beautiful displays of fruits. Fraternally he is a member of the W. O. T.W. Mrs. Messerly is a very accomplished lady, and her daughter, Italia, is a beautiful girl of eighteen years of age.
- Excerpted from: "AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF STEVENS, FLURRY, OKANOGAN AND CHELAN COUNTIES, STATE OF WASHINGTON". WESTERN HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY. 1904. p. 573. http://www.secstate.wa.gov/history/images/publications/SL_steeleillustrated/SL_steeleillustrated_813_0001.txt. Retrieved 8/18/2009.
Contradictions regarding this accountEdit
- Elias was not registered with the 17th Ohio, but with the 133rd Regiment, Ohio Infantry (National Guard) according to Reference:U.S. Civil War Soldiers. The 133rd did have a very short lifetime (from May to August of 1864, so the "3 month" duty fits for duty with the 133rd. If Elias enlisted at the same time as Calvin, and he went into the 17th Ohio, then Elias would have been at Chickamauga where his brother Calvin died.