Among the treasures in the Puyallup Library’s History Room collection are three items on a shelf: a passport, a small photo of a large ship and an invitation to a White House reception. Two of the three bear the name of a Puyallup man, Samuel D. Sanders, and he links the three together.
The passport is a “Special” passport, No. 1619, issued by the U.S. State Department on June 17, 1930. It states that Sanders, accompanied by his wife, Myrtle, would travel to London, England, as the U.S. Representative to the World Poultry Congress to be held in the summer of 1930.
More about Sanders later, but what of the World International Poultry Congress? Various sources tell us it was the fourth such congress, and it was held in London from July 22-30 in the Crystal Palace in London. Sixty-three nations were represented and 33 exhibited.
From the proceedings, we know Sanders, as president of the Washington Cooperative Egg and Poultry Association of Seattle, was one of 279 Americans in our delegation. A brief review does not show he presented a paper or a motion before the body, but in a Sept. 5 article on A1 of the Herald titled “Pacific Coast leads world in poultry methods,” he is quoted from an address he gave to our Chamber of Congress immediately on his return from London, after he reported to President Hoover. Among his comments was that the Chinese were dumping eggs in Britain.
Who was Sanders? Lori Price wrote an article about him in 1976 but neglected to mention his service to President Hoover. Born in Arkansas in 1880, he moved to Washington in 1902 and homesteaded in Douglas County. He arrived in Puyallup in 1916, and he operated a poultry and berry farm and took a poultry and egg production course at the Western Washington Experiment Station.
Price makes the point that Sanders’ main egg market was on the streets of Puyallup, and that he and a few of his associates began the Washington Egg and Poultry Association as a way to better market their wares.
From 1923-37, Sanders was the president and general manager of the cooperative association. In November 1935, at the request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Sanders took a leave of absence from the cooperative association to serve as Commissioner of the Bank of Cooperatives. He supervised the extension of credit by the 12 regional banks for cooperatives, and he also was the CEO of the Central Bank for Cooperatives.
He performed superbly in that position, but when such operations became routine, he lost interest and retired in 1947. That explains the White House invitation.
And the photo of the SS Leviathan? Apparently that was the ship on which Mr. and Mrs. Sanders traveled to and from Europe. Soon afterward it was retired, having lost money on every crossing.Andy Anderson is the historian for the Puyallup Historical Society at Meeker Mansion. He can be reached at 253-848-1770. A cider squeeze will be held at the mansion on Oct. 12.