City of Ephrata is incorporated on June 1, 1909.

  • By Jim Kershner
  • Posted 1/30/2010
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 9286

On June 1, 1909, an election is held in Ephrata on the question of whether to incorporate this Columbia basin town, which was first platted in 1901. The vote passes and the first council meeting is held on June 14, 1909.

The question of incorporation had first been raised in October 1908 when residents of this fledgling town presented a petition signed by 72 voters to the Douglas County commissioners, who duly set an election date for December 30, 1908.

In the meantime, bigger issues intervened. A plan to carve a new county, Grant County, from the much larger Douglas County, was set in motion. Since Ephrata was in the new Grant County area, the vote was postponed until after Grant County was formally created on February 24, 1909. A new petition was circulated with 63 signatures on May 7, 1909, and a new election date was set.

The vote was held on June 1, 1909, and passed. The first council meeting was held on June 14. 1909. The first mayor was D. Chaffee and the council members were I. N. McGrath, D. G. McDonald, J. M. Pierce, R. G. Ingram, and D. C. Thiemens.

The mayor appointed E. B. Killion as town marshal, Robert Hill as town clerk, Daniel T. Cross as town attorney and A. E. Hauser as police judge.

Ephrata also was named the county seat of Grant County. The population was 317, just above the required limit of 300.


Sources: Sid Jackson, "County Seat Town Formerly Favorite Indian Camp," Grant County Journal, September 6, 1946; "Ephrata and County Have Colorful History," typescript stamped January 14, 1977, no author, Ephrata file, Northwest Room of the Spokane Public Library; "Ephrata to Incorporate," Spokesman-Review, October 24, 1908, p. 6; "Settle Courthouse Site," Spokesman-Review, May 9, 1908, p. 6.

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