Patrick Mullins — People from Yakima’s past

April 22, 2010

Pat Mullins

When Patrick Mullins moved to Yakima in 1903, he came with a reputation and a pocketful of money.

Known as “Honest Pat,” Mullins was born in Michigan, made his money in Montana and spent it in North Yakima, where he was credited for starting a building boom.

Mullins, who was orphaned as a boy, married his wife, Nellie, and moved near Butte, Mont., at age 19. Shortly after his arrival, he became involved in the mining industry and served two years as Butte’s mayor — a stint that included meeting President Theodore Roosevelt, who went there on a visit.

He was later awarded a $250,000 settlement, stemming from a $1 million lawsuit in which he claimed he was cheated on a property sale.

With that money, Mullins moved to Yakima, where many of his descendants still reside. Although he could neither read nor write, he was a respected man who kept all his business interests in his head. Nellie Mullins, who was literate, was also said to have helped her husband in his business dealings.

Mullins built five buildings within 10 years, including some on Second, Chestnut and Front streets. Three of the most notable buildings were the Washington, Montana and Michigan hotels.

An undated photo of the Washington Hotel. (courtest Gerry McGree)

The Montana hotel is now occupied by North Town Coffeehouse at 128 N. First St., while the Washington and Michigan hotels were demolished years ago.

Nellie Mullins

The former was at the northwest corner of Yakima Avenue and First Street and the latter, now a parking lot, was at the intersection of Chestnut Avenue and First Street.

Mullins also helped improve the mining district near Bumping Lake, and he developed a 200-acre ranch in Selah.

In his obituary, Mullins was described as a fair and courageous man, whose honesty and integrity were never questioned. He and Nellie had three sons — John, Frank and George, who grew to be a real estate agent, a hotel manager and an attorney, respectively.

The family was active in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Mullins died from diabetes in 1916 at age 58.

— Erin Snelgrove

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