"Mercer Girls": the entourage of single women he brought from New York to civilize the Wild West and also, it was hoped, find suitable husbands in Seattle. Many became teachers, one became a school superintendent, another, along with her father, a lighthouse keeper. They helped to found some of Seattle's oldest families.
By the late 1870s, coal from the eastside of Lake Washington had supplanted lumber as Seattle's principal export. The King Street Coal Wharf was the largest structure in town.