First Town of Cathlamet town council meeting following incorporation occurs on February 11, 1907.

  • By Linda Elliott
  • Posted 2/03/2009
  • Essay 8918
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In January 1907 a group of public-spirited gentlemen finally completed the necessary steps to petition Wahkiakum County to become an incorporated town. The election was held on February 4th and the first council meeting was held on February 11, 1907.

After repeated failures to become an incorporated town, Cathlamet realized its dream in 1907. According to an article in the Columbia River Sun on January 17, 1907:

“The ticket nominated at the mass meeting is one of the best that could have been named, composed as it is of wide-awake, successful business men and property owners.  With such a set of efficient city officials Cathlamet would be in a position to go after and secure industrial plants and other projects which heretofore it has been impossible to do because of the want of a head and the general chaotic state in which everything of public nature naturally drifted as a consequence.”

In the minutes of the first meeting Mayor Alfed F. Cooper (b. 1851) remarked that he unequivocally declared himself in favor of law and order and stated that it would be the aim of his administration in that law and order prevailed.

In just the first few months of his administration, 14 ordinances were put in place including a pool table license for $10 per year, another outlining the duties of the Town Marshall, and Police Justice. Mayor Cooper was certainly following his promises of bringing law and order to this small town.

Other priorities that first year were streets, sidewalks, sewer improvements, and streetlights (oil vs. gas). A civil engineer was hired from Astoria to give his recommendations and establish grades, street lines etc.

The five council members elected were Fred A. Brown, Jos. R. Burke, M. Gorman, Fred V. Peacock and John T. Nassa. The treasurer was C. H. Warren.

Because its population falls well under the 1,500 needed to incorporate as a city under Washington state law, Cathlamet is designated as a town, and today is still governed locally by a Mayor and a five-member Town Council.

Sources: "Cathlamet Will Be Duly Incorporated," Columbia River Sun, January 17, 1907.

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