History, politics, people of Oly WA

Merging Smith Troy and Enoch Bagshaw

About exactly a year back I wrote about how Enoch Bagshaw, legendary Husky football coach, collapsed and died in my own city.

It turns out my favorite Olympia politician had his own had in forcing Bagshaw to Olympia. Smith Troy, who eventually was Thurston County prosecutor, and then state Attorney General, and savior of Olympia (in both senses), had a hand to play in Bagshaw’s departure.

In the late 1920s Troy was student body president up at the University of Washington. There was apparently some sort of track team cabal that ran the student government back then, and they had it out for the football head coach.

It wasn’t just a student uprising either, or at least not in the sense that it was students pressuring the school’s leadership to do something. Bagshaw worked (in a sense) for the students. The student government funded the football team, and to a degree, they controlled Bagshaw’s employment. It wasn’t until the late 1930s when the student association reformed and the 1950s when they furthered themselves even more.

But, in the 1920s, Bagshaw was being forced out by the students, led by Smith Troy.

I don’t know the subtext of the fight. Just that Troy was in the front of the student body as they fought to remove Bagshaw.

Now, while Troy conspired against Bagshaw in Seattle, Governor Roland Hartley was fighting a running battle with the Commissioner, the State Attorney General, the Thurston County Prosecutor and the various arms of his own transportation department. And, the courts. The courts got involved too.

To put thing in perspective, Hartley is our Hoover. On meth. A Republican fiddling while the state’s economy comes crashing down around his ears. The last Republican in a long line of GOP dominance in our state, ushering in Democratic and centrist Republican rule for decades.

Hartley was mean, incredibly conservative and the battle between the other branches of government had turned into a turf war, each side trying to tear down the other’s offices. To the point that Hartley had a hard time staffing his transportation office.

Hartley, an Everett conservative capitalist, had brought in Everett logger Fred Baker to run the show. He resigned, so Hartley went back to the Everett well and brought up Bagshaw, the former Everett High School football coach.

Bagshaw (and this is apparently not a lie) was also a civil engineer in his previous life before becoming a full time college coach.

Its likely Bagshaw would’ve died no matter what. He was probably already sick when he finally resigned from the U.

Smith Troy was just starting his life. He was wrapping up school about the same time Bagshaw wrapped up his gridiron career. A year after his death, Troy was getting married and starting his legal life under his brother, Thurston County prosecutor Harold Troy.

1 Comment

  1. jf.roberts

    My grandmother was the first cousin of Enoch Bagshaw; their common grandfather was Thomas Bagshaw. It was Enoch's father Francis who emigrated from North Wales and settled in Seattle. Francis' brother Thomas emigrated to Pennsylvania at about the same time (1890s). Thus it was that the Bagshaw line from whom I am descended (the NAME Bagshaw in particular,) died out in Flintshire because all Francis' and Thomas' siblings, who survived to adulthood, were girls and didn't carry the name forward.
    As a result I became interested in recording as much as I can of the Bagshaw lineage. I thought it would be easier than other branches of my family who are either Roberts, or Jones, or Davies (names which are ubiquitous in Wales).
    I am therefore very grateful to find articles like these which are posted on the internet. I have already made contact with some of Enoch's descendants who have given me much information about the family. I would, though, be very pleased to communicate with anyone else who has an interest in the Bagshaw family.

    John Roberts Flint, North Wales, UK.

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