Mr. Fred Sexton, IRS

I never get tired of just wandering through the photos and caption in the Northwest Room at the Tacoma Public Library. Not only is this picture both timeless and timely but the caption is priceless. Here it is as written by someone at the Library, not Arthur Miller:
“In May of 1943, Frederick E. Sexton of the Internal Revenue Service modeled his modern new green eyeshade, his first in twenty years, purchased to celebrate his move to new office quarters in the Washington Building. Twenty eight years ago, he had reported to the second floor of the Federal building to fill a temporary position working with the new income tax. The year was 1915 and extra help was needed to work with the new experimental tax. The tax rate at that time was 1 % of income. That “temporary” position extended to 28 years, during which time he never moved off the second floor of the Federal building. Mr. Sexton began as a clerk and has risen to the Chief of the Assessment and Control section and an assistant Comptroller.”
Mr. Sexton, IRS

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This site is about the way history, in this case of a city and it's surrounds, is remembered or recorded in stories and small bits of memory. It's also about the way images and stories go together, how they inform and enrich each other and how we as thinking people fill in the content between a narrative and a visual document. So here is my city in time past, the way it looked and the people and events that create its character. For more than 20 years I have taught a 5 credit course on the History of Tacoma at the University of Washington Tacoma. With an average of 30 or 40 students a year, each doing a research paper as their primary focus for the course, I have benefited from many paths of inquiry and many researched and assembled stories. Here are some of them in the retelling along with the treasures of photographs and images in the collections of the Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma Public Library, University of Washington Digital Archives, Washington State Archives at the Office of the Secretary of State, Library of Congress, Washington State University, Alaska State Library, and many other archives, libraries and private collections.

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