In March 1907, a group of women living in Columbia City, an independent milltown soon to be annexed to Seattle, organize an investment club, said to be the only one of its kind in the country.
The women, many of them wives of Columbia City pioneers, established the Columbia Co-operative Investment Company to buy and sell real estate in the Rainier Valley. They incorporated four years later, with 24 members and a capital stock of $4,800 (issued in shares of $1 each). According to the “Rainier Valley Citizen Annual,” published in 1915, the value of the women’s holdings greatly exceeded their investments up to that point, “as the women have shown excellent judgement in buying and selling and conducting the business along profitable lines.”
The company was in business at least as late as December 10, 1920, when Edith Brown, grandmother of Buzz Anderson, Rainier Valley Historical Society president, bought some of its stock.
Incorporation papers for Columbia Co-operative Investment Company, King County Incorporation Papers, Puget Sound Regional Archives, Bellevue, Washington; Rainier Valley Citizen Annual, (newsletter), 1915; Buzz Anderson, “Rainier Valley Investment Company,” (http://rainiervalleyhistory.org/a_businessess/articles).
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