The Hathaway name is best known today for a park and a school, both in Washougal. But the Hathaways were tied in with numerous other facets of Clark County history dating back to 1853.
Brothers Marshall R. Hathaway and Jeremiah S. Hathaway were New York state natives who crossed the Plains in 1852 with their families. They stayed for a short time in Portland, then took land in 1853 in the Ridgefield area.
In a few years, J.S. Hathaway bought a farm on the north side of the military reservation at Vancouver, and later moved to a farm three miles west of town on the Columbia River.
M.R. Hathaway resided in Vancouver in later years.
He taught school for many years, was Clark County school superintendent for three terms, served as a justice for the peace for a long time and was a territorial legislator.
He died in 1896.
His brother, a farmer and a probate judge, had died in 1876, and his donation claim was sold to David Fales.
Among J.S. Hathaway’s numerous children were twins, Alpha B. and Alfred Omega Hathaway.
In 1921 Alfred Hathaway lost an arm to blood poisoning but continued to work. He is noted for his donation of Hathaway Park to the town of Washougal.
When a reporter visited Hathaway in 1925 the property was known as the Hathaway Free Auto Park.
“The river runs along one side for a distance of about 600 feet, and the bathing is fine,” the newsman wrote. “The city has built two bathhouses, two big concrete stoves and fully one half dozen big tables. Running water is piped to three parts of the park and there are swings for the kiddies.” “It would be hard to find a free city auto park more pleasantly located and so well provided with things that please the auto tourist.”
Alfred Hathaway also gave the site for a school in Washougal that still carries the family name.
When the Hathaway brothers celebrated their 85th birthdays, they claimed to be the oldest living twins in Washington State.
Their last birthday celebration together was in Washougal, when they were 91. At that time the twins, both widowers, estimated they had 200 direct relations in Clark County, and many more by marriage.