This street was created in 1900 as part of the plat of the Orchard Hill Addition, filed by Martin Dean, Sarah J. Dean, Elizabeth H. Lewis, William H. Lewis, the W.C. Hill Brick Company, and the First National Bank of Seattle. According to Don Sherwood, it was named for John J. Sturgus, “realtor and agent of [the] W.C. Hill Estate” (Hill had died in 1890).
I do find mentions of a John J. Sturgus, associated with the Hill Company or the Hill Estate, in a number of Polk directories. However, it appears a Dr. John J. Sturgus (1859–1907) was also the brother of Hill’s wife, born Alice Bradley Sturgus (1847–1904).
Given the unlikelihood of two completely different John J. Sturguses being associated with the Hills, I’m going to assume that the physician and real estate man were one and the same, and that the street was given its name either because Dr. Sturgus was Hill’s brother-in-law or because Sturgus was his wife’s maiden name (or both). If the latter, that puts it in the same category as Perkins Lane W, Thorndyke Avenue W, and Keen Way N.
Today, Sturgus Avenue S begins at S Charles Street, just east of the Jose Rizal Bridge, and goes ½ a mile southeast, then south, to S State Street. The right-of-way continues a block further, to the S Grand Street right-of-way, but houses with addresses on that block are accessed by a private alley north of 16th Avenue S.
Born and raised in Seattle, Benjamin Donguk Lukoff had his interest in local history kindled at the age of six, when his father bought him settler granddaughter Sophie Frye Bass’s Pig-Tail Days in Old Seattle at the gift shop of the Museum of History and Industry. He studied English, Russian, and linguistics at the University of Washington, and went on to earn his master’s in English linguistics from University College London. His book of rephotography, Seattle Then and Now, was published in 2010. An updated version came out in 2015.