August 26, 1905 George Washington, a leading African American pioneer of the Pacific Northwest and the founder of the town of Centralia, Washington, died. Washington was born August 15, 1817 in Frederick County, Virginia. The son of a formerly enslaved man and a woman of English descent, he was raised by a white couple. That couple and Washington moved to the northwest to claim land. Washington could not buy land because he was Black, therefore the couple bought the land and Washington later repaid them. Washington built a home and filed a plat for the town of Centerville (now Centralia), offering lots for $10 each. Washington died after Centralia had grown to a large and prosperous town. Today, the city has a population of almost 17,000 (2015) with 90% White and less than 1% African American.