The land on which Everett was founded was surrendered to the United States by its original inhabitants under the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott. Permanent settlement in the area by European descendants started in 1861 when Dennis Brigham built a cabin on a 160-acre claim on the shore of Port Gardner Bay. Over the next several years a handful of settlers moved to the area, but it wasn't until 1890 that plans for platting a town were conceived.
On September 1, 1890, Henry Hewitt filed a bond on the north end of what was to become the Everett town site, beginning the process of acquisition that would become the Everett Land Company later along with Charles L. Colby and Colgate Hoyt.
In October 1890, the Hewitt-Colby syndicate decided to name their industrial city after Everett Colby, the fifteen-year-old son of investor Charles L. Colby, who had displayed a prodigious appetite at dinner. Everett Colby in turn was named for orator Edward Everett.
On November 19, 1890, the Articles of Incorporation for the Everett Land Company were filed, with Henry Hewitt Jr. as president. Everett was officially incorporated on May 4, 1893, the year the Great Northern Railway came to the town. Both Hewitt and the Rucker brothers had speculated that James J. Hill would make the town the terminus of his railroad. However Hill continued the railroad along the shore of Puget Sound to Seattle. Although it succeeded in building the city, the Everett Land Company was a failure for its investors. The outside investors withdrew, and the Company's holdings were transferred to a new company controlled by Hill. The Ruckers, who helped broker the deal, stayed in Everett and became leading citizens of the young city.