George Washington Harrell

Great-grandpa Harrell came to Clark County in the early 1879’s from the state of Smithville Indiana, which is located near Bloomington. Is family was one of the first to settle in the La Center area and start farming. His brother Calvin and family came west ten years earlier and homesteaded land in the area. Parents of the two brothers are traced back into Virginia and then moving to West Virginia and Monroe County Indiana. Their parents were James and Mary (Polly) Thrasher Harrell. Ten children were in the family. They had ancestors who served in the Revolutionary War.

Great-grandpa George served as Road district #2 superintendent for several years. One of the roads he helped build was Oakdale hill. He worked on several other areas including Brazee hill. One of his sons was the first barber in La Center – George Washington Harrell who married Mary E. Helms in 1863 in Indiana. His children were George M, Emma, Mary Bell (my grandmother) Rosetta, Willis, Everett. James. and Henry. George died in 1900 and is buried in Mr. Zion cemetery in La Center.

Calvin Harrell was a small boy when his family came to Indiana. He was born in 1825 in Virginia. In 1861 he married Elizabeth Stultz who was a native of Indiana. Galvin and his family of seven children started farming as soon as they arrived in the area. His children were Rodney, Otis, Addie G, Nannie, Amy, Josie, and Fannie. Rodney was very musical and conducted several choral groups in the area. Calvin served as post-master at Stoughton’s Landing for several years until the post office was closed and moved to La Center.

Calvin drowned in June of 1889. He had his truck on the Undine’s dock and was in the act of boarding the steamer’s deck when he fell into the water. They could not rescue him immediately and found his body the next day. He was buried in the Old City Cemetery in Vancouver. His wife lived on for thirty more years passing away in 1919 and was buried in the same cemetery.

Most of George’s children remained in the area and descendants live in the northwest. George’s wife divorced him and moved to San Francisco around 1900. Divorces were very uncommon in those days.


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