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History

 

Byron Kibler was unique in believing that discipline is better kept through good interesting teaching than by use of the rod. He maintained that if a teacher managed properly and had a natural ability, he could teach without resorting to whipping.

  • "The Professor" had started teaching in a country school in Virginia soon after graduating from the 8th grade as was the custom. He came west at the age of 22 and found work in a silver mine in Colorado then studied law at the University. Here he met Nellie Lauritzen. They were married, he quit law school and went to work as county clerk. The job enabled him to continue to study law and when he took exams, he passed with honors.
  • They came to Seattle, but the only job he could get was teaching school in the little mining town of Cumberland. The Kiblers lived in Enumclaw and he walked 15 miles each morning and night to teach the miner's children.
  • He taught from 1902 to 1908 in Enumclaw. He added 10th grade. He also was general Superintendent of the school, principal of the high school, and taught all the high school classes. That kept him busy even though there were only 18 boys and girls in the high school.
  • Then he decided the salary was too low to support a family and having made several profitable land investments in the booming town, he was able to become a partner in the new People's State Bank. "Kibler's bank" became the Enumclaw National bank in 1922 and later merged with the First National.
  • Handling probate and estate, Kibler was the towns first lawyer. He retired at the age of 83 and handed his practice over to Phillip Biege. In his 102 years, Kibler became something of an expert on human nature. His philosophy was that one should try to do something useful in one's life. "Although he might succeed, one must be willing to try to accomplish one's life goal.