Pullman, George Mortimer, 1831-97, American industrialist and developer of the railroad sleeping car, b. Brocton, N.Y. As a young man he became a cabinetmaker, and after he moved (1858) to Chicago he began converting (1859) old railroad coaches in order to facilitate long-distance traveling. Some five years later he built the Pioneer, the first modern sleeping car. Gaining great wealth from his invention, he founded (1867) the Pullman Palace Car Company. The town of Pullman, now part of Chicago, was built (1880) for the company and its workers. One of the most famous of all U.S. strikes was that at Pullman in 1894.
Pullman. 1 Former town, since 1889 part of Chicago, Ill. It was founded in 1880 by George M. Pullman as a model community for workers of his sleeping-car company; all property was company owned, and administration policies were paternalistic. The residents voted for incorporation with Chicago, and Illinois courts later required the company to sell all property not used for industrial purposes. In 1894, Pullman was the site of one of the most memorable strikes in U.S. history. A protest against wage cuts led (May, 1894) to the strike, then to a boycott by the American Railway Union, and ultimately to the imprisonment of its president, Eugene V. Debs. A sharp contest ensued during the strike between Gov. John P. Altgeld and President Grover Cleveland over the sending of federal troops to the area. The strike was broken in July. 2 City (1990 pop. 23,478), Whitman co., SE Wash., at the junction of the three forks of the Palouse River, near the Idaho line; inc. 1888. It is an agricultural center for a region producing wheat, barley, oats, alfalfa, peas, lentils, sheep, and hogs. Electronic equipment and machinery are manufactured. The city, named for George M. Pullman, was a major stop on the Northern Pacific RR. Washington State Univ. is there.

Pullman is a city in Whitman County, Washington, United States. The population was 24,675 at the 2000 census and the 2008 Washington State Office of Financial Management estimate of 27,150. The main campus of Washington State University is located in Pullman.


The city of Pullman was incorporated in 1886 with a population of 250 people. It was originally named Three Forks, after the three small rivers that converge there: Missouri Flat Creek, Dry Fork, and the South Fork of the Palouse River. The city was later renamed after railroad car maker George Pullman.

In 1961, Pullman became a non-chartered code city under the Mayor-Council form of government. The city has an elected mayor with an elected seven-member council and an appointed administrative officer, the city supervisor. The current mayor is Glenn A. Johnson who doubles as a professor at WSU's Edward R. Murrow College of Communication and is also the long-time WSU Cougars Football announcer in Martin Stadium and Basketball announcer at Beasley Coliseum.

Historical Population













2008...27,150 (Washington State Office of Financial Management estimate)


After the establishment of Whitman County in 1871, Bolin Farr in 1876, camping at the confluence of Dry Flat Creek and Missouri Flat Creek, on the bank of the Palouse River. Within the year Dan McKenzie and William Ellsworth arrived to stake claims for adjoining land. The first post office located there was named Three Forks. In the spring of 1881, Orville Stewart opened a general store and Bolin Farr platted about ten acres of his land for a town. Within the decade, Dan McKenzie and Charles Moore (of Moscow) replatted the site and named it for George Pullman of the Pullman Car Company.

Further reading

Local events

WSU's Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum provides a venue that attracts big-name entertainment to the region. There are also locally produced campus music and theater events, as well as productions of the Regional Theatre of the Palouse and the Pullman Civic Theatre.

The Washington-Idaho Symphony performs in Pullman and in the Lewiston-Clarkston area. The Idaho Washington Concert Chorale performs in the region, occasionally in Pullman. A highlight of the regional music scene is the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival on the campus of the University of Idaho in nearby Moscow.

The university art museum hosts world-class art exhibits.

The city is home to the National Lentil Festival, held annually during harvest season.

In town and on the WSU campus there are Pac 10 football, basketball and other sports, as well as activity-filled football weekends. Every 2 years, WSU and Pullman host the Apple Cup football competition.


Pullman sits on four major hills that divide the city into nearly equal quarters:

  • Military Hill (north west)
  • Pioneer Hill (south east)
  • College Hill (north east)
  • Sunnyside Hill (south west)

An expanding high-tech industry is located on the north end of the city, anchored by Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL), founded by Edmund Schweitzer, a Ph.D. graduate of WSU. SEL and other firms are located within the 107-acre Pullman Industrial Park, run by the Port of Whitman County.

Eight miles east of Pullman is the town of Moscow, Idaho, home of the University of Idaho.


The Pullman School District consists of the following:

  • Franklin primary school
  • Jefferson primary school
  • Sunnyside primary school
  • Lincoln Middle School
  • Pullman High School

Pullman High School (PHS) is attended by about 700 students, and is the city's only public high school. It is located on Military Hill, and the mascot for its athletic teams is the Greyhound. PHS offers honors and advanced placement courses, along with Running Start course work through WSU and area community colleges.

Washington State University

Pullman is the site of the largest and original campus of Washington State University (WSU), an NCAA Division I school. A member of the Pac 10 Conference. WSU is well known for its veterinary medicine, engineering, agriculture, pharmacy and communications schools.

Geography, Climate, and Demographics

Pullman is located at (46.732614, -117.171790). Elevation 2552 ft or 778 m above sea level.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.0 square miles (23.3 km²), all of it land. The water supply is a natural aquifer.

The surrounding region called the Palouse prairie, or simply the Palouse, is noteworthy for its fertile rolling hills where winter and spring wheat, barley, lentils and peas are grown.


The Pullman area is dry and clear for much of the year, with hot dry summers and cold wet winters. Based on records kept from 1940 to 2005 by the Western Regional Climate Center, Pullman's average annual rainfall is 21 inches while the average annual snowfall is 28 inches. The warmest month is August with 82 degrees the average maximum temperature, while January is the coldest month with 22.7 degrees the average minimum temperature.


As of the 2000 census, there were 24,675 people, 8,828 households, and 3,601 families residing in the city The population was 24,675 at the 2000 census. This statistic does not include a college residence hall that was accidentally mis-allocated to the town of Endicott, across the county The population density was 2,740.8 people per square mile (1,058.6/km²).

The racial makeup of the city was:

Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.86% of the population.

The 2000 Census found 9,398 housing units at an average density of 1,043.9/sq mi (403.2/km²). There were 8,828 households out of which:

  • 59.2% were non-families
  • 33.0% were married couples living together
  • 31.1% of all households were made up of individuals
  • 20.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them
  • 5.8% had a female householder with no husband present
  • 3.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older (included in the 31.1% of households made up of individuals)

The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.87.

The city's age distribution is dominated by the presence of WSU students:

  • 13.1% under the age of 18
  • 49.4% from 18 to 24
  • 22.8% from 25 to 44
  • 10.3% from 45 to 64
  • 4.5% who were 65 years of age or older.

The median age was 22 years, which is also typical of a university town. For every 100 females there are 104.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 104.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $20,652, and the median income for a family was $46,165. Males had a median income of $36,743 versus $29,192 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,448. About 15.3% of families and 37.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.0% of those under age 18 and 3.6% of those age 65 or over. However, traditional poverty measures can be misleading when applied to communities primarily populated by college students.


Pullman is served by the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport located 2 miles east of Pullman and 4 miles west of Moscow, Idaho. Horizon Air offers four flights daily from Pullman-Moscow to Seattle and four flights daily from Seattle to Pullman-Moscow. Shuttle service to Spokane International Airport is available. Major bus routes, including Greyhound, pass through Pullman. Pullman is also served by Pullman Transit which provides service for many students of the university who do not live on campus and also provides service to the residents of Pullman. Students can get on the bus by showing their student ID card, as all students pay a fee for use of the bus system which is included in their fees when attending WSU.

Additionally, there is bus service to Moscow, Idaho called the Wheatland Express. This is free to WSU students; it costs $2 each way for non-students. The service also goes to the airport for a $5 charge.

Additional Information

Pullman, Washington is the sister city of Kasai, Hyōgo Japan.

Notable people

External links

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