First Dentist/Doctor | Cle Elum, WA

Theron Stafford was a pharmacist by trade, but also acted as the town doctor and dentist because there were no others.

An early story tells how he successfully amputated a woman's leg, which had been badly crushed by a falling tree, assisted by Barbara Reed, who acted as his nurse. Stafford also pulled teeth for a number of old pioneers.

More about Theron Stafford

It was in 1885 that Theron came west and started a general store located at First and Pennsylvania in 1887. It was later moved to the northeast corner of Pennsylvania and First and still later to the southwest corner of the same streets. It was at this site that the famous and disastrous fire of 1891 started, destroying nearly all the business district. The conflagration was started in the attic of Mr. Stafford's store by his four-year-old son, Charles, who was playing with matches.

After rebuilding his place of business, Mr. Stafford operated the store until the Northern Improvement Company, desiring the site for a store, negotiated with Mr. Stafford and finally bought all but the drug store, which he continued to operate until his retirement due to declining health in 1902.

His health had been aggravated by a beating he suffered at the hands of armed robbers a few years earlier. He was in his store on that occasion when two armed thieves entered and commanded him to turn over his money. He resisted and was grappling with one of the crooks when the other beat him about the head with the butt of a revolver. They ran off, however, with their loot.

He sold the store to his son, a recent graduate of the University of Washington, in 1906.

In many ways Theron Stafford served his community and state. In the winter of 1896-1897 he was a member of the state legislature and held other offices of public trust from time to time and was honored and respected wherever he was known. (SWIFTWATER, History of Cle Elum 1848-1955, published by Northern Kittitas County Historical Society, 2014, Page 22/23 & 34)


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