John Noble Wallingford Biography


Wallingford Avenue is named for John Noble Wallingford, who platted the Seattle neighborhood which bears his name. He was born and raised on a farm in Athens, Maine in 1833. His grandfather had immigrated to New Hampshire from Britain and his father served in the Revolutionary War. John Wallingford’s father was 71 at the time of John’s birth. He had nine siblings.

Following the death of his father, Wallingford settled in western Massachusetts, and then moved to Minnesota. In 1861, he enlisted in the Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, which engaged in military action in the Civil War. Following the war, he settled in Rochester, Minnesota, where he owned a mercantile store and operated a farm. Tiring of the cold winters in Minnesota, he moved to Napa City, California in 1873, where he went into the lumber business. Upon arriving in Seattle in 1888, he went into the real estate business.

Similar to other figures after whom streets are named in the Haller Lake area, Wallingford reflects their commitment to public service. He served on the Seattle city council and also served two terms as police commissioner. He lived in the Green Lake area on Woodlawn Avenue, until moving to the central area in 1909. Wallingford had two children with his wife, Arabelle De Groot. His daughter, Emma, married William Wood, who was elected mayor of Seattle in 1896, resigning after only a few months in order to go seek his fortune in the Alaska gold rush.

Wallingford’s obituary in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on March 10, 1913 was headlined: “Bury Pioneer Tuesday.” His mortuary? Bonney-Watson, which deaths have kept in business to this very day.