William and Etta Schluenz

William – 23 July 1880 – 24 April 1967

Etta – 11 May 1877 – 17 July 1967

1959 – The original Douglas County Museum Building was a gift of William and Etta Schluenz in order to house some 4,500 rocks and minerals that William had collected over decades.

William Johann Ferdinand Schluenz was born on 23 July 1880, in Cleveland, Wisconsin.

Etta Marie Chamblerlin was born on 11 May 1877, in Eureka, Nevada.

William Schluenz married Etta Chamblerlin on 19 September 1905, at Lamoine, Washington.

They lived in Waterville, Ward 2, Election Precinct 2, in 1940.

William died on 24 April 1967, in Waterville at the age of 86.

Etta died on 17 July 1967, in Waterville at the age of 90.

In 1959, 8 years before their passing, Mr. and Mrs. Schluenz conceived, dedicated and donated the Douglas County Historical Museum along with their extensive rock collection which it houses in the Douglas County Historical Society.




William F. Schluenz, 86, a well-known pioneer Waterville resident, died at a local hospital, Monday following a brief illness.

He was born in Wisconsin July 21, 1880 and came to Douglas County in 1903 settling as a bookkeeper for Roger and Howe Mercantile.

Will married Etta Chamberlin September 19, 1905 at Lamoine.

In 1906 Will Schluenz had broken out of his land about 6 miles south and west of Mansfield.

In this same year he began what proved to be a 36 year stretch in the Waterville Hardware Store.

In 1928 he was active not only in the Hardware Company but also in the Douglas County Realty Company.

In 1941 he sold his Waterville Hardware Company stock and concentrated on his own ranches and expanding the Realty Company.

In 1959, Mr. and Mrs. Schluenz conceived, dedicated and donated the Douglas County Historical Museum along with their extensive rock collection which it houses in the Douglas County Historical Society.

He was a 50 year member both of Badger Mt. Lodge 57 F&AM and of Harmony Chapter 56 OES of Waterville.

He was a member of Wenatchee Chapter 22 Royal Arch Masons and Columbia Commandery 14 Knights Templar and was a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason.

Surviving are His widow, a half brother, John Schluenz, Jasper, Minn., and a half sister, Mrs. Herb Freedman, Washington D. C.

Services for Mr. Schluenz were held Thursday, April 27 at 2 P.M. in the Waterville Federated Church with the Rev. James R. Stevens officiating.

Masonic services followed at the graveside in Waterville Fraternal Cemetery with Badger Mountain Lodge No. 57 F&AM in charge.

Adelbert Schick served as master and Ross Wilkinson as Chaplain.

Arrangements were made by the Waterville Funeral Home.


Etta M. Schluenz, 90, a long-time resident of the Waterville area, died in the Waterville hospital Monday evening, following an extended illness.

Born near Elko, Nev., May 11, 1877 she came with her parents to the Big Bend area at the age of seven years and lived at Lamoine.

She was one of the early-day school teachers in the Waterville area.

She married William F. Schluenz Sept. 19, 1905 at Lamoine.

She and her hsuband built the Douglas County Historical Museum and donated their rock collection to the museum

Mrs. Schluenz was a member of the Waterville Federated Church, a 50 year member of Harmony Chapter 56, OES, a 50 year member of Waterville Rebekah Lodge, 77, a charter member of the Waterville Philomathic Club, and was a member of the Navy Daughters of the DAR, and the Waterville Garden Club.

She was preceded in death by her husband, William F. Schluenz on April 24 of this year and by one brother, Henry Chamberlin in 1934.

Services will be announced by the Waterville Funeral Home.


• A capacity crowd filled the Douglas County Historical Society Museum for dedication ceremonies Saturday. Dr. Eva Anderson was the featured speaker. Mr. and Mrs. William Schluenz, Waterville residents who had the structure built as a gift to their county, gave the key to Robert Gollehon, president of the society.

This article, published in the May 8, 1930 edition of the Waterville Empire-Press

Club will sponsor yard contest again

Arrangements for the 1930 Yard and Garden contest, to be conducted in Waterville under the sponsorship of the Civic club, have been undertaken again under the direction of a committee.

Seven classes in which Waterville residents may enter have been listed, and appear on the entry blank printed elsewhere in this issue (I have added these in parenthesis). Blanks must be mailed to Mrs. W.P. Brown before May 15. Prizes have been determined as follows:

Class 1 (Clean front and back yard)—One Siberian Elm tree, delivered immediately to each person showing a clean front and back yard by May 15.


Class 2 (Place showing greatest improvement this year) —Two evergreen trees.

Class 3 (Most attractive yard)—Two fine shrubs.

Class 4 (Best planting or perennials) —Two fine perennials.

Class 5 (Best flower garden)—Flower basket

Class 6 (Best country garden within a radius of ten miles)—Two fine shrubs

Class 7 (Best child’s garden)–$2.50 in cash.

Gardens will be judged in September. Child’s garden in July.

Forty persons entered last year’s contest, which was the first staged in this district. The committee in charge of this year’s contest consists of Mrs. W.F. Schluenz, Mrs. D.J. W. Murdock, Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Sumner Mitchell, ex officio.

From the Waterville Empire Press:

Pioneer Park Dedication Day ceremony on Sept. 23, 1939.

Gov. Clarence D. Martin attended the festivities and a photo was taken of him together with Mayor John F. Jones and park board members.

State Gov. Clarence D. Martin attended the dedication of the park. He is shown with the mayor and park board members. From left, are city Mayor John F. Jones, Ruby Hensel, Nell Dickson, Allie Mitchell, Martin, Etta Schluenz, Mabel Thomas, Beulah “Nifty” Brown and Father Juda. (Provided photo)
This photo is believed to have been taken at the dedication of Pioneer Park on Sept. 23, 1939. (Provided photo)