Settlers began moving into the area around Cheney in the late 1860s and the town went through several names changes before it was incorporated in 1883. The town was named for Benjamin Cheney, a member of the Northern Pacific Railroad's Board of Directors. Benjamin Cheney visited the town following the ceremony joining the eastern and western divisions of the railroad. During this visit, he donated $10,000 to establish the Benjamin P. Cheney Academy, which was the start of what is now Eastern Washington University. Cheney was the first seat of Spokane County, until it moved to Spokane in 1886. The history of the town of Cheney has been tied with the growth of the University.
The images in this digital collection document the strong roles of education, agriculture, and transportation in the development of Cheney. Small businesses which support the people of Cheney in these endeavors are all present. Views of the town, including homes, celebrations and businesses illustrate Cheneyâ��s growth.
Photographs for this digital collection come from the EWU Photo Collection and numerous collections of personal papers. The format, date and source of the original image is described for each image by clicking on the title or image.