Significant People of Lumber & Shingle

Photo courtesy Everett Public Library

David M. Clough

It is said that David Clough fist arrived in Everett via the personal railroad car of James J. Hill. The former governor of Minnesota and a respected lumberman, Clough had the credentials Hill was looking for in men who would transform the city into a mill town. Clough wasted no time in pursuing that goal. In 1900 he was an organizer of the Clark-Nickerson Company, which built Everett’s largest mill to date on the bayfront south of the North Waterfront. After M.J. Clark’s death in 1905, Clough became president of the company. He was president of the Clough-Whitney Company in 1907 (later Clough-Hartley) when the firm opened its huge shingle plant at 18th Street and Norton Avenue in the North Waterfront. Two years later, he would be president of the Hartley Shingle Company and the Clough Shingle Company, 14th Street Dock mills. In addition to his Everett holdings, Clough also had mills in Stanwood, Washington, and Vancouver, British Columbia.

Clough was the unofficial leader of the Everett mill owner group that author Norman Clark labeled the “sawdust baronage” in his 1970 book Mill Town. He was an unabashed spokesman for the mill owners and their positions. He battled with the unions and as a central figure in the 1916 shingle weavers strike when he refused to reinstate the 1914 wage scale. When the radical Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) union entered the fray, Clough opposed them and led the attempt to run them out of Everett. The whole scenario climaxed on November 5, 1916, with a deadly City Dock shoot out between the IWW and the mill owners’ deputized citizens, led by Sheriff Don McRae. Clough maintained his lumber baron supremacy before and after the Everett Massacre.

Clough and his wife, Addie, lived in several different north Everett homes that overlooked his waterfront empire. He was still president of several firms when he died on August 27, 1924. His business was carried on by his daughter’s husband, Roland Hartley, nephew H.J. Clough, and Hartley’s sons for a few more years.