Category:George Washington (Washington pioneer)

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George Washington was born a slave on Aug. 15, 1817 near Winchester, VA and a birth was given to James and Anna Cochran, as a young man he taught himself many trades and became a champion of equal rights. In 1850 he came west with his foster parents., He staked a squatter's claim at the confluence of the Chehalis and Skookumchuck Rivers, built a cabin and operated a ferry and way station known as Cochran's landing. During hte 1855 Indian Uprising, he helped build Fort Henness at Grand Moujnd after the arrival of the railroad in 1872, he platted and sold lots and named the new town Centerville, changed later to Centralia.

He became a respected man of means and made liberal donations of land for public use, notably this park. During the Panic of 1893, he was a one-man relief agency providing food and jobs and lending money without interest to all who needed it. A close friend spoke for all those who knew him well: 'He was a remarkable person, one of those unforgettable characters, when he laughed for sang, you could hear him a block away. He trusted everyone, he gave away all his money before he died'. (Aug 26, 1905) This town is his monument.