Who is Ronald?
A question we are asked often here at Ronald Wastewater District is: “Who is Ronald”? The story of our name and the history of the District goes back a long time. It starts with Judge J.T. Ronald, a significant personality in the early history of Seattle. He led an extraordinary life, yet today he is little known and his accomplishments are largely forgotten.
Judge Ronald arrived in Seattle in 1882 with his wife and daughter and just a few years later was elected mayor of Seattle in 1892. He served on both the Seattle School Board and the University of Washington board of regents.
In 1909 he gave up his profitable law practice to accept the governor’sappointment to the King County Superior Court where he won successive elections and served for 40 years.
When a destitute client offered to pay him inwilderness land, he accepted and built a family retreat in what is now the city of Shoreline. Later, he donated part of his property for the community school that was the former home of the Shoreline Historical Museum, and is now part of the remodeled Shorewood High School campus. The building lies directly across from the District office at Linden Ave N and N 175th Street. If you pay attention you will notice the name Ronald appears in Shoreline in various places; Ronald Bog, Ronald Place N (aka “Brick Street”), and Ronald Methodist Church. There also used to be a Ronald Station as part of the Interurban rail line that used to run through Shoreline.
When the District was formed in 1951 on the original site of the Ronald MethodistChurch it seemed appropriate to incorporate Ronald as part of our name to reflect our heritage and the history the District has with the community.
Information and photos courtesy of Shoreline Historical Museum: www.shorelinehistoricalmuseum.org
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