Levi Hutton and May Arkwright met at an eatery at Wardner Junction, now Kellogg, Idaho where May prepared meals for the miners. Both Levi and May were orphaned and only attended school for 3 years. Meeting at the ages of 27, they married in July of 1887 and moved to Wallace.
In 1901, they “strike it rich” in the Hercules Mine of the Coeur d’Alenes and in 1906 Levi and May move to Spokane. Upon arriving in Spokane, they began leaving their legacy through the construction of such landmarks as the Liberty Theater, the Hutton Building and were partners in the building of the Ramp Garage. “Together, they influence women’s suffrage, Democrat politics, aid for unwed mothers and homeless children’s care and Spokane’s business and civic affairs” (Heritage From Heroes by Dorothy Rochon Powers).
Using their mining fortune, Levi and May built the Hutton Settlement in 1919. The settlement, located in east Spokane, has provided for free a shelter/home for thousands of children throughout the years. The settlement was not a temporary haven for oftentimes, youngsters remained at the home until they reached adulthood.
The Hutton Settlement continues to be a living legacy today. No child is turned away because the parent/guardian is unable to pay. Charges today are dependent on a caretaker’s ability to pay. A minimum of a full school year stay is encouraged for the placement of children because the setting is not set up like an institution but is family oriented and children with longer term stays benefit the most.