compiled by Columbian staff in 1989

Old Heisen home he made by axe.

Old Heisen home he made by axe.

Alex Heisen, born in 1829 in Germany, arrived in Washington Territory in time to be one of the first settlers. Later, a small community in Clark County was named for him and his wife, Mary Heisen.

The Heisens moved to the territory in 1853, and took a donation land claim in Pierce County in 1854. About 1866 the Heisens moved to the timbered area northeast of what is now Battle Ground, near the East Fork of the Lewis River.

In the early days Heisen or his wife could be seen occasionally tramping home from Vancouver carrying a load of supplies on their shoulders.

For months, Indians were the only humans they would see.

The community did not begin to get active until the railroad was extended through Battle Ground to Yacolt shortly after the turn of the century. The town got a post office in 1904, with Ferdinand Schumacher as first postmaster. Postal officials spelled the name Heisson, and historian Louise Allworth said county road engineers called the road Heissen.

She also noted that Heisen had donated land for a school but the school was not built for several years. The couple platted the town in 1907. Heisen died in April 1912, leaving his widow, two sons and four daughters.

One community landmark was the tall Ryan and Allen flume, which crossed the East Fork above the railroad at Heisson. This was said to be one of the highest in Western Washington. The Ryan and Allen mill north of the East Fork ran out of timber in the early 1920s, and much of the population left the area.

Matthew Morrison was postmaster and general store operator for several years, succeeded by H.L. Funk in 1921.

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