Daniel Richardson Bigelow 1824-1905

Daniel Bigelow was born in New York and graduated from Union College in Schenectady, New York and read law at Harvard before coming west in 1851 via the Oregon Trail to Portland, Oregon and then north by ship to Olympia.  Active in politics, he was a member of the first Territorial Legislature of Washington in 1854, held a number of other county and territorial offices and advocated for women’s voting rights.  He married Ann Elizabeth White in 1854.  They later built the Bigelow house and reared a large family.  He was instrumental in founding the Methodist Church in Olympia and related ventures. Bigelow lived to be last survivor of the first legislature. 

See also additional images on this page in our Who Are We? feature; Searchable PDF of Bigelow materials at State Library, including Daniel Bigelow’s diary, pages from family Bible, and photographs. (Caution: large PDF file; diary is handwritten so may not be searchable) Link to State Library catalog page

Digitization and posting of these images from the Bigelow House Collection funded through the Pendleton & Elisabeth Carey Miller Charitable Foundation.

Bigelow House Museum Collections,  © Copyright Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum. No commercial use of images permitted. Contact olyhistory@gmail.com for rights information.