Our mission is to protect and maintain historic cemeteries in Walla Walla County, Washington, including such related activities and programs as will promote awareness and respect for local history.
JOSEPH LONEY STUBBLEFIELD and the STUBBLEFIELD HOME
To Joseph Loney Stubblefield and his good wife Anna, are indebted the children and widows who in the past have been, or in the future may become members of this home. In early life Mr. and Mrs. Stubblefield experienced the hardships incident to poverty. They emigrated from Missouri in the early 1860s and settled about seven miles southeast of Walla Walla, where by most frugal habits and great industry they accumulated, for the early days, a considerable fortune.
The wife died in 1874 without issue. She and her husband often talked of the great need of a home for caring for aged widows and orphan children aud the wife said she wanted her money to be used for such purpose. She left no will, except as it was impressed in the heart of her husband.
On November 16, 1902, six months after making his will, Joseph L. Stubblefield died at the age of seventy-eight years. By the thirty-first clause of this will he left about one hundred and thirty thousand dollars, the bulk of his accumulations, for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a home for "fatherless or motherless and indigent children, and worthy elderly indigent widows, residents of Washington and Oregon." This fund was willed to R. M. Dorothy, E. A. Reser and Cary M. Rader, who were named as trustees to manage the fund and the home to be established. These trustees were appointed to serve for life. unless any should resign or be removed. The successors of these trustees under the terms of the will are to be appointed by the county commissioners of Walla Walla and Umatilla counties, acting jointly but by and with the consent of the two trustees remaining on the board.
A second wife, whom Mr. Stubblefield had amply provided for, attempted to break the will by proceedings in court, but the will was fully sustained both in the Superior and Supreme courts of Washington. Numerous citizens interested themselves in an attempt to secure the location of the home near Walla Walla and raised a donation of something more than ten thousand dollars to assist in purchasing a suitable site.
The trustees purchased the present grounds consisting of forty acres about one mile southeast of the City of WalIa Walla and there on November 16, 1904, exactly two years after the death of Mr. Stubblefield, with appropriate ceremonies, the home was formally• opened with Alphonso R. Olds as superintendent and his wife Etta C. Olds as matron. The home remained under the very efficient management of these good people for eight years. On their resignation, occasioned by ill health, Luther J. Campbell and wife Maggie were appointed respectively as superintendent and matron, and have since been in charge of the institution. R. M. Dorothy, in 1912, resigned as trustee and was succeeded on the board by Francis M. Stubblefield, a nephew of Joseph L. Stubblefield. These are the only changes of officials connected with the institution.
The home rapidly filled after the opening and there has since rarely been a vacancy for any considerable time. The number of members in the home is usually close to twenty-five and of these most are children. There have never been more than three widows in the home at one time. The children are taught to work and soon become quite expert for children the boys as gardeners and the girls at household duties. In 1915 a team of three girls from the home won a prize at the Walla Walla County Fair and also at the State Fair as experts in canning fruits and vegetables. The children attend school at the Berney Graded School. The fund left by Mr. Stubblefield, by judicious handling, has about doubled and is at present mostly invested in wheat lands, which furnish sufficient income to defray all expenses.
From Lyman's History of Old Walla Walla County, 1918