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Again, welcome! Steve 05:54, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
My Talk was suggested as a way to help with the issue of individuals unfamiliar with Stevens County, Washington history using out-of-date sources to edit the page. Many individuals have updated the page with erroneous information from books like The Genealogist's Handbook and The Red Book and Richard Steele's History of North Washington. Information I've added has been removed, because even though it is factual it doesn't match the out-of-date information.
Most errors are from changes to where historical records are held. After a near disaster with flooding in the basement of the Auditor's Office about five years ago, many historical documents like mining claims and vital records were sent to the Washington State Archives in Cheney. All the land records were digitized although still held at the courthouse.
Other errors come from the use of Richard Steele's 1904 book commonly known as the History of North Washington. This book has numerous errors. The most egregious are the claim that Stevens County extended to Western Montana and that Spokane County attempted to form and did not. In reality, Spokane County was created from Walla Walla County by the legislature in 1858, 1859, and finally organized in 1860. This county's western border was the Columbia River and the area north of the Snake River and included northern Idaho and Western Montana. In 1863, Stevens County was created from Walla Walla County and covered current Okanogan County, Ferry County, and what Stevens County locals call "The Wedge", which is the land between the Columbia River and the Kettle River. Per the Spokane County Commissioner's Journal Book A in 1863, Stevens County never organized. The Spokane County Commissioners asked for assistance from the legislature. In January 1864, the legislature merged the two counties, kept the Spokane County Commissioners and the courthouse at Pinkney City, and called the county Stevens, in honor of the first territorial governor Isaac Stevens, who was killed in the Civil War. When Spokane and Stevens County merged, the Idaho Territory had formed and Stevens County never extended outside of the current boundaries of Washington State. Spokane County was reformed in 1879, which adds to the confusion.
As I've discussed with a FS Wiki Mentor, I'm always open to better ways of displaying information, wording suggestions, formating corrections, and especially any new sources, but I will not accept false information and will remove any changes that use them or out-of-date information promptly. I live in Stevens County and often visit the courthouse and local museums and libraries for research. I've visited the Washington State Archives in Cheney and Olympia researching Stevens County history, along with other repositories. I've spent three years working on a major preservation project of historical records and am passionate about getting the information about Stevens County correct.
Srichart4 18:03, 29 November 2013 (UTC)