John Alden Shoudy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
John Alden Shoudy
Born(1841-12-14)December 14, 1841
DiedMay 25, 1901(1901-05-25) (aged 59)
Known forFounder of Ellensburg, Washington
Spouse(s)Mary Ellen Stewart

John Alden Shoudy was an early settler of Ellensburg, Washington who founded and named the town in 1872.[1]

Shoudy was born in Illinois in 1841 the son of Israel and Rebecca Shoudy both originally from the Albany, New York area. He fought in the American Civil War for three years, and after the war he moved to California with his brother-in-law Dexter Horton who married his sister Hannah Shoudy. He married Mary Ellen Stuart and moved to Seattle. He went to the Kittitas Valley in 1871 as business people in Seattle were interested in building a road from Seattle to Kittitas Valley. He purchased a small trading post from Andrew Jackson "A.J." Splawn, called "Robber's Roost", which was the first business in the valley established by Splawn a year earlier to trade with the local Indians.[2] Robber's Roost was located on the present-day 3rd Avenue, just west of Main Street near the alley. The location is marked by a placard on the wall, as well as a small stone monument against the wall on the sidewalk. Shoudy decided to stay in Kittitas Valley and built a cabin there.[3] Although Shoudy was not the first settler in the Kittitas Valley, he was responsible for platting the city of Ellensburgh and named the streets in what would become the downtown district. He filed an 80-acre plat for the town on July 20, 1875 and named it after his wife Mary Ellen as Ellensburgh (the final H was later dropped).[4] Plots of land were then sold to new settlers and businessmen coming to the area. He was a member of the Washington Territorial Legislature in 1883, and played an important role in the formation of Kittitas County. He died on May 25, 1901.[1]


  1. ^ a b Caveness, Andrew (December 2, 2009). Ellensburg. Arcadia Publishing. p. 19. ISBN 978-0738571546.
  2. ^ Brokenshire, Doug. Washington State Place Names. pp. 67–68. ISBN 9780870045622.
  3. ^ Caveness, Andrew (December 2, 2009). Ellensburg. Arcadia Publishing. p. 8–9. ISBN 978-0738571546.
  4. ^ Becker, Paula (December 3, 2005). "An 80-acre plat constituting the town of Ellensburgh is recorded in the names of John A. and Mary Ellen Shoudy on July 20, 1875". History Link.