A pioneer from Knockhill
Born 1818 at Knockhill, Kilcormac. Died 11th May 1898 Redmond, USA.
Luke McRedmond was born about 1818 in Knockhill, Kings County, Ireland. After coming to America, he first lived near his brothers Richard and Edward McRedmond in Troy, New York. In 1849, at the time of the discovery of gold in California, Luke was living in Memphis, Tennessee, working at the Government Navy yard near that city. In 1850, he journeyed around Cape Horn to California, where he settled. In 1851, he again set sail for the Puget Sound and settled in Port Madison, Kitsap County, Washington State. At that time Kitsap County was one of the fastest growing and most profitable areas in the nation. Luke was a ship’s Captain transporting logs to San Francisco. He managed Meigs Lumber mills in Kitsap County.
Kate Barry was born in the Lakes of Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland about 1833. Her brother and sister were living in Boston when her parents, George and Harriet Barry died in Ireland. Kate was a child travelling alone on the Black Ball Line from Liverpool to New York when she met Capt. Richard B. Morse. He was the first mate responsible for delivering her to her brother and sister in Boston. He continued to keep in touch with her and later they were married on May 17, 1856 in Charlestown, MA. She was pregnant when they sailed to near the Panama Canal, and then walked overland to take a boat to Santa Cruz, California where she gave birth to James Morse. They moved to Port Townsend. Luke McRedmond was a good friend of Richard Morse. When Richard was dying in 1859 in Port Madison, he suggested that she marry Luke. They got married in the early 1860s, her son became James Morse McRedmond and they went on to have William, John, Richard, Emma, David and Anna.
In 1860, there was “once-a-week” U.S. mail between Olympia and Seattle. News of Abraham Lincoln’s election, and the Civil War took up to three weeks to reach the pioneers by steamer or horseback. In 1866, Warren Perrigo arrived and both he and Luke Mc Redmond filed petitions for land in Sammamish Valley where the soil was rich and the waters bountiful. Perrigo established himself as an astute business man building roads and opening up travel in the area. He built an inn which he called Melrose after his place of birth in Massachusetts. It became very popular and after some time the village began to be referred to as Melrose and not Salmonburg which the area was previously known as, due to the abundance of Salmon in its rivers and Lakes. Meanwhile Luke McRedmond and family moved back from Seattle in 1869. He got involved in building up a village around Salmonburg, his daughter was running the local Post Office, Luke himself was made Postmaster in 1882 and his petition to change the name of the Post Office to Redmond was granted on March 19th 1883.
Thus began Redmond, Seattle, and State of Washington. It was not officially a town until New Year’s Eve 1912 when it had 300 citizens. It was declared a town by Judge William White who was now married to Emma McRedmond, Luke’s daughter. In the 1880 census there were only 80 people living in Salmonburg. (The population today of Redmond is approximately 55,000 people). Redmond is an area 17 miles northeast of Seattle on Route 520. It is nestled among the Fir Trees, with the majestic backdrop of the Cascade Mountains to the east and the Olympic Mountains to the west. From the auspicious beginnings of lumber, fishing and hunting industries sprang a thriving town which was destined to gain international recognition as the home of Microsoft
Luke McRedmond was a broad and public-spirited man and was closely identified with the more prominent movements of the political affairs of his community and state, adhering all his life to the principles of the Democratic Party. In 1857, he ran for legislative representative for Slaughter County (later renamed to Kitsap-County) and was a member of the Convention that nominated General Isaac Stevens to be the first delegate to represent the Territory of Washington in the Congress of the United States. Luke held numerous offices in Kitsap County: county-auditor and clerk of courts (1858) county assessor (1859); county commissioner (1864-7); road supervisor district 2 (1867). Luke was also sheriff, clerk of elections, grand juror, and a road viewer in Bainbridge Island.
The information for this article was extracted from “Images of America REDMOND WASHINGTON” by Georgeann Malowney and related articles on the WEB by Tom Feighery in consultation with Sean McRedmond, Knockhill.