National Register of Historic Places
J.W. and Elizabeth Slagle House, Republic, North aspect
The J.W and Elizabeth Slagle House is one of three residential structure in Republic listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is the only one open for public tours. The home of pioneer pharmacist J.W. Slagle and his family was constructed in the first decade of the twentieth century and was purchased by the newlywed Slagles in 1909. It housed members of the family until Mrs. Slagle’s death in 1969.
Its most interesting historical feature is the fact that it has been altered very little from its original condition. The latest alteration is a kitchen remodeling that occurred in 1940 or 1941. It was not a drastic alteration, as it left the old hot water system, consisting of water-filled coils running through the wood-burning kitchen range, in place. Everything used in the house is still in place, producing a time capsule of life in an American small town on the eve of WW II.
The Slagle house is an unusually well preserved and little altered example of a small town professional man’s middle class home. Its owner was influential in the development of the town’s business district, infrastructure and its connection with national trends. The house is an example of the modest homes which produced many of the young people who participated in the pervasive employment programs of the New Deal and the campaigns of World War II. It possesses unusual integrity in both its structural details and its furnishings.
J.W. and Elizabeth Slagle House, Republic, viewed from the West, across Keller Street
Slagle house kitchen. The visible portion was added in 1941 by converting a pantry and
Part of the wrap-around back porch to part of the kitchen. Higher ceiling of original kitchen is barely visible in upper right. This is the most recent significant alteration to the house.
J.W. Slagle came to Republic in 1904 to liquidate a drugstore that was part of an estate. He liked the town so well that he bought the store, spent the rest of his life and raised his family here.
After losing his first drugstore to an arson fire which destroyed most of a city block in 1917, Mr. Slagle completed construction of the present Republic Drug Store in 1918. Since WW I, Mr. Slagle’s Republic Drugstore has been the only pharmacy in Ferry County, serving not only the residents, but ,since 1947, the county’s only hospital. Until recently it was Washington State’s oldest family-owned and operated pharmacy.
In addition to his work as a pharmacist, J. W. Slagle was active in civic affairs. He was elected to the Republic City Council in the depths of the Great Depression in 1933. He became mayor in 1935 and was a key figure in the passage of Republic’s first fire ordinance and provision of a better water system than the old system’s wooden water mains and uncertain water sources. Mr. Slagle was also at the forefront in assuring that Republic shared in the benefits brought to the region by construction of Grand Coulee Dam. He was elected one of the first commissioners of the newly formed Public Utility District (PUD) in 1936 and became its president in 1937.
Looking from the living room of the Slagle House through the dining room.
Slagle house bathroom
The Slagle house’s possession of indoor plumbing and electrical wiring place it at the high end of Republic’s pre- World War I residences. The large screened porch in the rear is a typical feature of such homes and was used as a refuge from the heat and as a bedroom in hot weather. The former stable in back of the house is the only remaining example of such once-common structures in the City of Republic.
All three of the Slagle sons, raised, and in two cases born, in this house, went on to participate in national and international events that shaped the community, the nation, and the world in the 1930s and 1940s. All three boys worked at various times, for the U.S. Forest Service, always a major employer in Ferry County. The eldest son served in the Civilian Conservation Corps. Both of the younger sons joined the army during World War II and saw service overseas.
J.W. and Elizabeth Slagle House and shed, Republic
Slagle House Address: 912 S Keller St, Republic, WA 99166
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15-2 N. Kean Street
P.O. Box 287
Republic, WA 99166
We are located across from the city park, next to the Stonerose Interpretive Center.
Current Hours: Closed