Copyright 1999 - 2003 - Janine M. Bork
This page is part of the Union County, OR AHGP
GOVERNOR GEORGE ABERNETHY . - Oregon's first governor will of necessity occupy an important place in her annals. This is due both to the intrinsic character of the man and to his official position. So frequently, however, does he appear in the narration of the body of events described in this work that it is not necessary to do more here than give the mere outlines of his career. He was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1807. The family moved to the United States soon after; and the future governor spent the first thirty-two years of his life in New York.. In 1840 he came to Oregon as a lay member of the Methodist Mission. Settling at Oregon City, and taking charge of the Mission store and its business in general, he soon developed a shrewdness that provided the Mission as well as himself personally with an abundance of the mammon of unrighteousness. At the inauguration of the Provisional government in 1845, he was chosen governor; and thereafter by successive elections he remained in the executive office till the establishment of the territory in 1849. Afterwards he became largely instrumental in starting various mercantile operations at Oregon City and Linn City. In some of his speculations he was unfortunate, and lost a great part of the savings of his active life. He suffered also in the great flood of 1861 at Oregon City. In that year he removed to Portland, where he died in May, 1877.
GEORGE ACKLES. - Mr. Ackles was born on a farm in Clearmont county, Ohio, in 1832, and received a common-school education. At the age of twenty-two he removed to Iowa, where he married Miss Louisa Walker of Jefferson county, and lived on a farm. He was engaged in like agricultural pursuits in Illinois and Missouri until 1865, when he made the great journey across the plains to Grande Ronde valley, and located on a beautiful tract of land where he now resides and owns 476 acres with a neat residence and comfortable outbuildings, fine stock, and a nice orchard. He had no means except twelve dollars and a half and a team when he first arrived. He is living in contentment with his wife, Edith S., nee Hanna, formerly of Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. Mr. Ackles buried his first wife in 1885. He has a son and daughter, both of whom are now married.
JOHN F. ADAMS. - We have here the founder of the promising city of Adams Oregon, which is located on the line of the railroad in Umatilla county. Mr. Adams was born in Franklin county, Maine, in 1835. When twenty-two years of age, he came to Douglas county, Oregon, and for five years engaged in school-teaching. Exchanging the master's rod for the shepherd's crook, he went extensively into the sheep business in the Umpqua valley, and in 1865 transferred his flocks to Umatilla county. Here he has lived twenty-three years. Besides the culture of sheep, he has devoted much time to cattle and is now giving chief attention to fine horses. His stock of all kinds is of highly improved breeds. He is doing the county much service by thus improving its stock, and thus largely enhancing its wealth. He is in truth, in every particular, a public spirited gentlemen, greatly interested in all that prompts the mental and moral as well as material welfare of his town and county. He is one of the oldest settlers in the region, antedating nearly all those here; and it is much due to him that the place has attained its present prosperity and eminence. He was married in 1878 to Miss Susan F. Fry. They have four children, three boys and a girl. Mr. Adams and his wife are now in their full vigor, and will see a development of this region which must eclipse anything which has yet been brought to pass within its environs.
W.L. ADAMS, A.M., M.D. - The subject of this biography, a pioneer who drove his own ox team across the plains in 1848, is one of the most unique of western characters; and history entitles him to be placed in the catalogue of the illustrious men who bore prominent parts in settling Oregon, and in moulding public sentiment. To give a full history of his life would require a large book; but our limited space would require a large book; but our limited space forbids anything but a rapid glance at a few waymarks along the road traveled for nearly sixty-nine years by one of the most original and energetic of men. The writer has known him well more than forty years, and has learned from his family and acquaintances enough of incidents and peculiarities to make a very readable biography. He was born in Painesville, Granger county, Ohio, February 5, 1821. His father was born in Vermont, as was his mother; and both emigrated to the "Western Reserve" when it was a wilderness. His father was a strong Whig, as were his relatives, the noted Adams family of Massachusetts, and a devoted friend of General Harrison, with whom he served in all of his Indian campaigns. His mother was an Allen, - a descendant of Ethan Allen, the "Hero of Ticonderoga." Her mother and William
Slade's mother were sisters. Slade for many years was a leading free-soil member of the United States Senate, and afterwards Governor of Vermont. The whole family on both sides have ever been the unswerving foes of slavery and despotism. In 1823, his father removed to Huron county, and settled on a farm near the Lake Erie shore. Here W.L. worked on the farm summers and attended school winters till he was fourteen years of age. In school he was always a favorite with his teachers, and at the close of each term received the highest reward as the best scholar and best-behaved boy in school. In 1835, his father removed to Jonesville, Hillsdale county, Michigan, but soon after sent his son back to Milan, Ohio, to attend the Milan Academy. His father often wrote to him and sent him money, none of which ever reached him, the mails having been robbed for the money. The postmaster, Jones, after whom Jonesville was named, was finally detected in robbing the mails, and sent to the penitentiary. Young Adams' father was engaged in the lumbering business, in general merchandise and in land speculations.
The reverses that swept the country in 1836-37 broke up the banks; and "Wild-cat money," the only currency of the country, was not worth anything. Millions of acres of land which had been bought by speculators at $1.25 per acre were sold under the hammer for ten cents an acre. Young Adams' father went down with the general crash, and had only three hundred dollars worth of property left. He then determined to emigrate to Illinois. At the end of a year, young Adams concluded to visit his parents and make arrangements to prosecute his studies. He took deck passage on a steamboat at Huron, and reached Toledo, eighty miles up the lake, just at daylight next morning. Here there was a railroad to Adrian, thirty-three miles on his route. The cars would not be ready to start for two hours; and Adams concluded he could beat the cars to Adrian on foot, and started out on the railroad track. The cars (the first he had ever seen in motion) overtook him three miles out of Adrian at two o'clock P.M. Passing through Adrian, he stopped for the night at a farmhouse, weary and sick. He took of bowl of bread and milk for his supper, and before sunrise next morning was on his journey, reaching Jonesville, eighty miles from Toledo, at two o'clock P.M. he bore letters to his father from friends in Milan saying he was a boy of much promise, and that they were willing to send him to Yale College to complete his education; but his mother insisted that he should go with them to Illinois, and try to find some college there. Hearing there was a new college about to open in Canton, Fulton county Illinois, he concluded to start out immediately so as to be there at commencement. His parents insisted that he had better wait and go with them, as they would move in about six weeks. "No," he said, "I will go now and start with my class." He tied his effects in a cotton handkerchief, and taking a five-dollar bill handed him by his father, stowed it away in his pocket alongside of twenty-five cents he already had of his own money, and after many a kiss and "God bless you" from his mother, started on foot and alone to make his journey of three hundred and fifty miles to Canton. He was so small for his age that most people on the road took him for a boy of not more than eight or nine years of age.
The walk so fatigued and fevered him that he ate but little on the entire journey. He always offered to pay; but, whether stopping at taverns or farmhouses, only two people on the way accepted money. When he reached Canton he had $4.75 left. At a camp-meeting he saw a poor orphan boy who admired his cotton handkerchief, and wished for one like it. Adams gave him twenty-five cents and told him he could buy a new one for that. When the Canton College opened, there was but one student, - Adams. the professor, a young graduate of Dartmouth College, soon acknowledged that he was not able to instruct his pupil who really knew more of mathematics that he did. Adams started for Galesburg to enter Knox College. He carried the same cotton handkerchief he brought with him, wrapped around a cotton shirt, pair of socks and a Greek and Latin grammar, with Day's algebra and one or two other books. He met a hearty welcome by the faculty, and entered the first freshman class with Martin Gay, Ed, Holyoke and Henry Hitchcock. He supported himself by teaching school and working in the harvest field. He finally went to Bethany College, Virginia, was warmly received by Alexander Campbell, President, taken into his house, and trusted for his books and board. Out of seventeen dollars he earned in the harvest field, he reached Bethany College with twenty-five cents in money and a cheap suit of clothes. He took the highest honors as a scholar, and was called the best writer in the college. "The American Literary Institute," a chartered society connected with the college, knowing his poverty, and anxious to have him become a member, suspended the rules requiring a $2.50 initiation fee, and sent a committee to Adams requesting him to become a member. They were informed that, while he much desired to become a member, it was impossible, owing to reasons he did not care to mention. He was informed that the society, knowing his embarrassment, had suspended the rules, and that no initiation fee would be required. This society had the privilege of electing one of its members to represent the American Literary Institute in an oration on commencement day to the vast crowds who came there from all parts of the union to witness the exercises and hear Alexander Campbell, who, Henry clay said, was the "greatest man on the American continent." There were several candidates for the honor of representing the society, - all young men of talent, whose parents were wealthy, and who wore the finest broadcloth. Adams who too modest to aspire to that position, not having decent clothes in which to appear in public, and never dreaming that he would be elected if he had. Much to his astonishment, he was chosen on the first ballot by more than a two-thirds vote.
During the college term, he studied
on an average seventeen hours a day. After his lessons were all mastered,
he made it a rule to snatch up his pen at twelve o'clock at night and write
some facetious article for a paper published at Bethany, for which
he generally received a dollar. The money he secured in this way served to bridge his way over many a financial chasm. His fame as a satirist rose high when it leaked out that he was the author of the articles which depicted well-known characters. When any important committee was to be appointed by the president to draft constitutions or by-laws for new societies. Campbell always but Adams at the head. He has often told us that he was petted and praised more than he deserved. His incessant hard study broke down his health and impaired his eyesight, so as to compel him to leave college a month before he was to graduate. He studied three weeks with a bandage over one eye, when the faculty advised him to quit to avoid total blindness. On leaving Bethany, Campbell appointed him his book agent for Illinois and Indiana. On reaching Illinois, he was taken down with the measles, took cold and was sick all summer. He managed, however, to sell enough books to realize seventeen dollars, his per cent. In the fall (1844) he married Frances Olivia Goodell, to whom he had been engaged for two years. She had laid up fifteen dollars, - savings from her pay as school-teacher. This enabled the two to start with a joint-stock capital of thirty-two dollars. Adams stood up to be married in a suit of Kentucky jeans worn thread-bare. His friends ridiculed him for not waiting till he procured fine clothes; he said, "I will marry now, and buy my wedding suit when I am able to get it without going in debt. " With his thirty-two dollars, he went to St. Louis, three hundred miles down the Mississippi river, taking deck passage and helping to wood at every wood yard where the steamer stopped. Here he bought his outfit for housekeeping, - a bolt of domestic, three tablespoons, six teaspoons, set knives and forks, a coffee-mill, a few dishes and tinware, groceries, etc., to make up the amount he had in his purse.
The fall of 1845 he took a school in Henderson county, Where he taught fifteen months by the scholar, making thirty dollars a month when the common price of teaching in the country was ten dollars a month. The school-house was a log cabin with a huge fireplace; and the benches were slabs set up on logs. The neighbors rolled up a log cabin for Adams to live in, and let him have it free of rent. His fame as a scholar soon spread through the country; and all sorts of puzzles and difficult problems were sent him to solve by teachers and scholars far and near, all of which he readily mastered, and returned the statements and answers. He bought two cows, and in the fall bought all the calves he could get, which he wintered on corn he raised himself and hay he cut on the prairie during the July vacation, and hauled and stacked with the help of some of his scholars. In the spring he sold his stock, doubling his money on them. In the winter of 1846-47, he was offered five years employment at a good salary to take charge of the university in the city of Jacksonville, Illinois; but, having made up his mind to emigrate to Oregon, he declined the offer. He bought his steers and broke them himself, making his own ox-yokes. In March, 1847, he was ready to cross the plains, having paid up all his college debts, and possessing eight yoke of cattle, two wagons, three guns, and all necessary outfit. His father died a few days before he was ready to start; and he concluded to wait another year, in hopes of inducing his father's family to come with him. In March, 1848, he sold one of his teams to William Bristow, who was also coming to Oregon. Adams started in March, his friends declining to brave the dangers of the journey for a country about which they knew so little. On his wagon cover was painted a large "American eagle, and under it in large letters, "HIC TRANSIT!" "Westward the Star of Empire takes its way." His friends thought he was a reckless visionary; and Alexander Campbell wrote to discourage him. He said, "Is there not land enough, and are there not people enough in Illinois for your talent and enterprise without burying yourself and family in a wilderness among savages?" The reply that Adams made was: "Illinois is not big enough or good enough for me. My soul hungers for something Illinois cannot give. In Oregon I expect to find what I desire." And so he did. The last Sunday he visited the Christian church, to which he belonged, the congregation tried to sing the parting song:
"My christian friends in bonds of love.
Whose hearts the sweetest union prove;
But pilgrims in a foreign land,
We oft must take the parting hand."
The whole audience gathered around him shook his hand and embraced him and sobbed aloud.
He left Galesburg in March with
four yoke of oxen and two yoke of cows hitched to his wagon, and camped
every night on the road till he reached St. Joseph, Missouri. He had two
children, Inez Eugenia and Helen Elizabeth, the former two years and the
latter four months of age. He camped near St. Joseph two weeks to dry his
books and clothing, which had become water-soaked in fording rivers in
Missouri, where the water ran over the top of the wagon-bed. May 2d he
crossed the Missouri river, and, with a company of forty other wagons,
started on the trail for Oregon. They forded all the rivers (except Green
river, where there was a ferry), many of which were deep and dangerous.
Their way led through bands of hostile Indians; and the company guarded
their train day and night. Their route led over mountains so rocky and
precipitous that, in places, the wagons had to be let down with ropes.
Adams was considered the most daring and dauntless spirit in the crowd.
He never seemed so cool and happy as when facing danger. Some in the company
called him "a regular dare-devil." In crossing Snake river, he came near
losing his team and family. Des Chutes was the most dangerous stream, they
forded on the route. It was forded a few hundred yards above its junction
with the Columbia. The bottom was full of huge boulders. The water was
deep enough to swim the small cattle in the team. The Indians rode in and
showed the immigrants how deep it was. The company was afraid to venture.
Adams hired the Indians to pilot them over, giving them a shirt for each
team in the company. The wagon-beds were propped up nearly to the tops
of the standard. Adams volunteered to take the lead. The waters
roared over the rocks so as to drown an ordinary voice. In crossing, the water ran near to the tops of the wagon-beds; and the frightened women covered their heads with bed-clothing and screamed. Here the company met a man from the Willamette valley, who gave them the news of the discovery of the gold mines in California.
Before reaching Barlow's gate, - a toll gate at the entrance of the road cut over the Cascade Mountains by S.K. Barlow, - the company had split up into many squads. Their teams were weak and jaded, and reduced almost to skeletons. The faces of the immigrants were peeled and sealed by the alkali of the sage plains. Here lay before them the hardest part of the trip. The rain had rendered the road almost impassable. The whole route was lined with dead horses and cattle lost by immigrants who had gone before. Adams concluded to make the trip across the mountains by himself. He was ten days in making it to Foster's,- the first house he had seen in six months. The mud up many mountains was knee deep; and the cattle were barely able to get on with the empty wagon. He and his wife carried the babes and the entire load up several mountains, wading through mud nearly knee deep, reaching Foster's they camped to rest. Foster, on learning that he had no money, generously gave him a peck of potatoes, and offered him every accommodation for the winter if he would stop there and teach school. Adams did not like the country, and concluded to push farther on. In Oregon City he was met by friends, who invited his family to dinner and at night put his cattle in a yard and ordered a load of oats and fed them gratuitously. Being out of money, he borrowed two dollars to pay his ferriage over the Willamette river. He swam all the cattle except those which were too weak to swim. When he settled his ferriage, he had ten cents left, and lost that through a hole in his pocket during the winter. On reaching Yamhill he traded his wagon for ten wild Spanish cows which ran with a band of four hundred on Burton Prairie. This band of cows with this increase kept him in beef for several years.
In the winter of 1848-49, the women in the neighborhood and the few men left who had not gone to the gold mines were anxious to have Adams teach school. He first built an addition to James Fulton's log cabin, with the roof sloping one way and a mud chimney in the corner. The hut smoked terribly, but its occupants were happy. They boiled peas for breakfast, dinner and supper, and browned them for coffee, which they drank without sugar or milk. They ate in tin dishes, as the entire stock of crockery for sale in Oregon was one set of cups and saucers at Oregon City, - price $2.50. He and the neighbors soon rolled up a log hut for a schoolhouse, with a fireplace that took in a common fence rail. The winter of 1848-49 was an uncommonly cold one for Oregon. The thermometer went at one time to six degrees below zero. Snow lay on the ground over a week at a time three different times during the winter. His boy scholars generally dressed in buckskin, and wore moccasins. His girl pupils dressed in shirting colored with tea-grounds; and most of them went to school barefoot. Of his boy scholars, one afterwards became the editor of a medical journal, one became the superintendent of public instruction for Oregon, one went to Congress, and was appointed by Lincoln as chief justice of Idaho, while another was elected governor of Oregon, and was subsequently appointed governor of Utah. He ranked among the best stump speakers of the nation.
In 1852, Adams gained his first great notoriety. He was a strong Whig, while the territory was overwhelmingly Democratic. After the legislature passed the Location act removing the seat of government from Oregon City to Salem, a majority of the supreme court. Nelson and Strong, Whigs, refused to recognize the validity of the law, and held court in Oregon City, declaring the Location act null and void. A minority of the legislature convened at Oregon City; wile a majority followed Judge Pratt to Salem. Pratt's partly had two party organs, - the Oregon Statesman and the Vox Populi. Through these papers they rained the most unstinted abuse upon Governor Gaines and all the other Whig, officials who had been commissioned by President Fillmore. The Whigs were terribly excited; and, not being satisfied with Dryer's defence of them in the Oregonian, felt as though they wanted revenge. A series of articles written for the Oregonian, signed "Junius," defending the officials and excoriating the Democrats, came from Adams' log cabin in Yamhill, and attracted much attention on account of their ability and pungent sarcasm. These articles were followed by the Melodrama entitled, "treason, stratagem and Spoils, in five acts, by Breakspear." It was written in rhyme and blank verse, and contained cuts of the leading Democrats who followed Pratt's leadership. This work caused great excitement throughout the territory. Crowds flocked to every postoffice to get a copy and read it, till half the people of Oregon had committed most of it to memory. When Governor Gaines and the Whig officials learned that Adams was the author of "Junius" and "Breakspear" they conditionally bought the Spectator press and offered it to him as a present if he would start a Whig paper, offering to give him all the patronage at their disposal. The offer was declined for fear of injuring the Whig paper at Portland.
While on his farm in Yamhill,
Adams was noted for his reckless daring. Out of hundreds, two incidents
must suffice. He with several neighbors, on going to la Fayette six miles
distant, found the next morning the whole country flooded with water, the
snow twenty inches deep having all melted the night before with heavy,
constant, warm rain. On rising in the morning, Yamhill river was a sea
of water half a mile wide. Adams started out, his friends asking him where
he was going. He replied, "going home." They said: "You must be crazy.
we would like to know how you are going to get over the river." The reply
was: "Bonaparte crossed the Alps; and I don't propose to stop for that
little puddle of water." Half a mile up the bank he came to Chick Smith's
house, where he saw a trough about five feet long which Smith used for
scalding pigs. It was square at both ends, and
had a crack the whole length of the bottom through which a man could run his fingers. He asked Smith if he would yoke up his steers and haul it down to the river. Smith said, " What are you going to do with it?" Adams replied, "Going to cross the river." Smith said, "Why, you must be crazy." He was answered, "I propose to take the chances myself. I don't propose to sell you a ticket as a steerage or cabin passenger." Rags were procured from Mrs. Smith to cork up the trough; and, after making a paddle of a "shake," the trough was hauled down and launched and then tied to a bush. Adams pulled off his coat, boots and hat, and put them in the trough ready for a swim if necessary. The water was as cold as ice, and ran like a mill-tail. He got into the trough resting on his feet and knees. The bank of the stream was lined with thick brush a rod or more out into the water, which made it doubtful if one could gain the bank through the brush if the trough foundered. Smith stood on the bank white with fear; and, as Adams knelt in the hog trough, he shouted, "Can you swim?" The answer was, "yes." Smith replied, "Go it then;" and, not having nerve enough to see a man drown, he started back as fast as he could go. When the trough was untied it darted down stream with great rapidity. It was barely able to hold the passenger and float, the water coming to within half an inch of the top. A rod or two below, the trough struck an alder broadside half filled with water, and clearing itself shot ahead into the middle of the stream. Adams thought that then was the time for swimming; but seeing the trough still floating, he said to himself, "While you can float I will ride." A hundred yards below there was an opening through the brush out to the bottom lands, over which the water was seven feet deep. To pass through this opening was the only chance for his life. Being well up to handling a canoe, which he had learned while hunting with the Indians in Michigan, he thought he could handle the trough. But the hog trough, square at both ends, would not steer. It was rapidly passing the opening through the brush. By shifting his paddle through the gap, and, staking the trough at the foothills, went home, much to the astonishment of the neighbors.
In 1849, the nearest mill and postoffice were at Oregon City, thirty-five miles distant. The roads to Oregon City were almost impassable. The only feasible route was by the Yamhill and Willamette rivers in a canoe. Being out of flour, Adams yoked up his cattle, with which he had been hauling his family three miles to meeting every Sunday on a sled in the summer and winter, and hauled his wheat to Dayton, ten miles distant. here he hired a canoe and started down the river for Oregon City. He slept at night on the bank of the river, the rain falling in torrents. He ran the rapids at Rock Island, a passage now considered dangerous fro a large bateau. At Oregon City he let his canoe down past the falls into the mill by means of a rope, getting his wheat ground and exchanging two bushels with Doctor McLaughlin for a little sugar, which his family had not tasted for months. He returned home, walking from Dayton and bringing back a yoke of oxen to haul home his precious loud. In the spring of 1849, he concluded to go to the gold mines of California. He had already bought the land claim of Miles Carey for eight hundred dollars, paying down a colt for three hundred dollars and a smoothbore rifle at fifty dollars, and giving his note for the balance. At Oregon City, finding no way to reach Astoria, from which the ship Jeanette was advertised to sail soon with lumber, he and two others built a small skiff and started down the river for Astoria. At Cathlamet Bay, ten miles above Astoria, they all came near being drowned, as the water was too rough for their frail bark. Visiting the mines, he returned in August with enough gold dust to pay off all his indebtedness. In 1852, he went overland to Yreka, California, to dig more gold, passing through the Rogue river valley, which was infested with hostile savages. He, with eight others, fought their way through and back, returning with a large quantity of gold dust.
His son, Judge W.H. Adams, city attorney for Portland, was born one week before his father started for Yreka. In 1850, the Whigs nominated Adams for probate judge in Yamhill. The Democrats had a majority of two hundred and fifty in the county; that, after a thorough canvass, Adams beat his competitor, a lawyer of ability, eighty-two votes. In 1856, the Republicans of Clackamas county nominated him, much against his will, for state senator. The Democrats had a majority of four hundred in the county, and ran against him a man of talent, an old settler, and well and favorably known; yet, after a thorough canvass of the county, Adams beat him thirteen votes, though he was considered the roughest stump speaker they had ever heard.
In 1855, a dark pro-slavery cloud
hung over Oregon. The South, ambitious to secure more slave states to keep
a balance of power in the Senate, had employed a leading Democrat as their
tool to make Oregon a slave state. Adams, who was a strong free-soiler,
having learned that this gentleman had turned many other of the leading
Democrats to vote and work for slavery, and fearing that such a party would
generally follow their lead, concluded to enter the field against them,
as the few free-soilers in the territory seemed to be silent, while the
emissaries of the "Slaveocracy" were very busy. He unyoked his cattle,
left his plow standing in the furrow and went to Oregon City where he bought
the Spectator press of D.J. Schnebly for twelve hundred dollars,
and started the Oregon Argus. For about nine years he edited this
paper, which took the lead as a Republican journal. As a writer, his equal
was not to be found on the coast for ability, pungency and audacity. He
stumped the state, writing his editorials on his knee, armed with two revolvers
and a bowie knife, as the "Slaveocrats" were everywhere threatening his
life. He said: "I never knew what it was to fear a face of clay. All I
ask of them is to meet me like a man, and not shoot me in the back." In
drafting addresses to the people, and in suggesting measures of public
policy, Adams was always looked up to as the leader. He called the first
republican convention ever held in Oregon, when other prominent Whigs were
was "too impracticable to win." Hence, he is known to-day as "The Father of the Republican Party in Oregon." Through the Argus, with D.W. Craig as his foreman and right-hand man, he overthrew all opposition, dismantled their guns, licked the Republican party into shape, and laid the foundation for free Oregon, one of the brightest stars in the galaxy of sovereign states. For this he deserves immortal honors; and we are proud to be able to hand his name down to posterity through this biography.
As a conversationalist, he is enchanting. His eccentricities and blunt way of speaking interests everybody and excites their risibles. We have heard many men and women say," I would rather hear Adams talk than visit a theater." He seems to love to bore scrubs for the "hollow horn," and has the most sovereign contempt for wealthy, pretentious, theological fraud and quackery in medicine, which fattens upon ignorance. He never betrayed a friend, or failed to forgive an enemy who confessed his wrong and promised to do better. His house has been a free resort for the poor, sick, lazy and infirm for the last forty years. His credit is good for all he asks; and his word, as Judge Pratt said, 'is as good as any other man's oath." Yet he is too apt to think everyone is honest and truthful because he is. Tis blind faith has cost him thousands of dollars. His memory is astounding. He seems to remember everything that has occurred in Oregon for over forty years. He knows every man, woman and child he met forty years ago, and can relate many interesting incidents connected with their history. He can repeat word for word whole sentences from noted speeches and sermons he heard over fifty years ago. He can tell of nearly every incident that transpired in Painesville (then a place of five or six houses) before he was two years old. A great lover of truth, he scorns a liar and a dishonest man. If there is one thing he abhors above all others, it is the wretch who will betray a friend. he never betrayed confidence reposed in him by a professed friend, though that person afterwards turned out his enemy. He is a good friend, and not a bad enemy. As bitter as gall in denunciation, his breast is always full of the milk of human kindness. Those who knew him best love him most. All good people love, respect and honor him; it is only the lowclass who ever speak against him.
Lincoln, who read the Argus, was his admirer as a writer. Some of the editors of leading Eastern journals wrote him testifying their admiration of his ability as a writer. In six weeks after Lincoln was inaugurated, he appointed Adams as collector of customs for the district of Oregon. This was the first appointment made by Lincoln in Oregon. Lincoln proposed to prepare for conquering the Rebellion by removing their treasonable sympathizers and putting in men who would never haul down the stars and stripes at the behest of Jeff Davis. Adams soon satisfied himself that the officers of the California Steamship Company were engaged in smuggling merchandise from Victoria, and making vast sums of money. He appointed detectives to watch them, and soon seized several of their steamships, putting the captains and crews ashore. He shortly had as forfeitures in the Bank of California $345,000. This excited the animosity of the steamship company, while the Oregon legislature passed a set of resolutions complimenting him for his efficiency as an officer. Secretary McCulloch told a member of Congress that "Adams was the best Treasury officer on the Pacific coast." In 1866, he was ordered by the Treasury Department to carry in person the money on hand, amounting to some sixty or eighty thousand dollars. He took passage on one of the company's steamers, and on the way down his trunk was broken open and $20,500 of the money was stolen while he was at breakfast. He spent three thousand dollars in catching the thieves, and recovered eleven thousand dollars of the money. Twenty years afterwards the administration under Cleveland sued him for the money stolen, with interest amounting to over thirty thousand dollars. Adams beat the government in every suit, and is now free from the indebtedness. He has two commissions from Lincoln and two from Johnson.
In 1867, he resigned his office owing to failing health, and moved back to his farm in Yamhill. In May, 1868, he went to Washington City to settle his accounts as collector and attend to business for the Oregon Steam Navigation Company. While in Washington he became acquainted with President Johnson, Charles and Jessie Fremont, and all the prominent members of Congress and of the Senate. He was treated with the highest consideration; and many senators expressed their regret that he had not come from Oregon as a senator-elect in place of one of the two who were then serving. President Johnson, on learning that he was on the way to South America for his health, said: "You ought to have an office down there. You go to Seward; and, if there is any vacancy as Minister resident in any South American Republic, I will be glad to appoint you to the position. He was answered: "You have no office at your disposal that I would take. I would not accept the office you hold yourself. I have had enough of office, enough of glory and enough of fame." Johnson said, "I am glad to see one man in Washington who is not an office-seeker." Adams concluded to go to New Orleans and take the steamer for Havana, where he could catch the steamer from New York to Aspinwall. Finding that owing to the Cuban rebellion, he would not be permitted to land in Cuba, he concluded to pass through the Gulf of Mexico and coast along Central America. He was three months in making the trip from New Orleans to Aspinwall, meeting with many adventures and facing many dangers too numerous to mention in this chapter. Visiting Peru, Bolivia and Chili, where he remained for several months, he returned to Boston, where he began a series of lectures which he delivered throughout New England on "Oregon and the Pacific Coast." In Boston as elsewhere he was highly indorsed as a lecturer by the public press. In the winter of 1869, he returned to Oregon after nearly two years of travel, and had two dollars and a half left out of four thousand, six hundred dollars he started with.
In 1873, he went to Philadelphia
to add to his
previous knowledge of the healing art. Here he acquired a knowledge of the most recent discoveries of all the schools of medicine. He received the degree of A.M. from Christian College, Oregon, that of M.D. from the Eclectic Medical College of Pennsylvania, as also the degree of L.L.,D. from the American University of Pennsylvania. In addition to these honors, he was awarded a handsome gold medal for "eminent attainments in medical science." He practiced medicine in Philadelphia and Boston with marked success, having generally the most prominent people as his patients. In 1874, he opened a medical office in Portland, which was soon thronged with patients from San Francisco, Oregon and Washington Territory. In 1877, Doctor Adams removed to Hood river, where he had bought a beautiful place on the banks of the Columbia river as a home in which to rest from his many years of toil. Here he now resides, and is "as happy as a clam thirty feet under water."
October 29, 1881, he married M. Sue Mosier at Walla Walla, Washington Territory. By her he has a son now five years old. He has seven grown children by his first wife, - all living, - all educated, honorable, and an ornament to society.
In 1888 he published the most remarkable book of the age, - "A History of Medicine and Surgery" from Moses down to the present time. It exposes all frauds, medical, theological and political, by which kingcraft and priestcraft have fattened on ignorance in the world's history. To read it is to produce an admiration for its author. If any man deserves mention in this history it is Doctor W.L. Adams. he is without doubt one of the most able, eccentric and honorable of all the pioneers whose names are by their deeds rendered immortal. A prominent man in the Treasury Department said to the Governor of Idaho, "I have seen all the Presidents, Ministers resident, Senators and great men in Washington City for ten years; and people generally agreed with me that Adams was fully equal in ability to any man who had every visited the Capitol."
ALBERT L. ALDERMAN. - The pioneer experiences of Mr. Alderman are not exceeded in interest by those of any of the early settlers. Born at Old Bedford, Connecticut, and taken as a child to Wyoming county, New York, where he lived until twenty-one years of age, he set out at the age of twenty-four upon the career that did not end except upon the Pacific coast. He was at Bradford, Pennsylvania, for a time with an uncle, and in 1845 came out to Quincy, Illinois, and that same winter made up an outfit for coming to the mythical Oregon. At St. Louis, in March, he met a Mr. Good and Judge Quinn Thornton, who were also on the way to our state. At the rendezvous he found a large company assembling, aggregating five hundred wagons. An organization, the most complete that had ever been attempted, was here made. The wagons and outfits were inspected; and none unfit for the journey were allowed to proceed. A legal tribunal was established, having a judge and a jury, which was composed of six men. The military organization was also fully equal to the requirements.
On the way to Fort Hall no more serious trouble was experienced than crossing swollen streams; and this was effected by using two large canoes lashed side by side into which the loaded wagons were run, with the two wheels of either side if each craft, and thus ferried over. At Bear river, west of Fort Hall, occurred an affecting scene; for here the train, or that portion in which Mr. Alderman was traveling, which numbered about three hundred wagons, was divided, a part taking the southern route to California, and a part the northern to Oregon. The two sections were drawn up side by side, and the farewell and parting messages were spoken with tears, and with the same deep feelings as had been manifested in saying good-bye at home. It was the Donner party that thus turned out to California; and their fate was such as to make even a nation weep when it was disclosed.
The troubles of the northern route were little less terrible. Meeting with Applegate, Goff and Scott, the train turned off from the old main roads across the Blue Mountains and down the Snake river, which the other two divisions took, into the Southeastern Oregon route, passing across the lower portion of the state by way of Robert Springs and Blue Rock Springs, and enduring great suffering in crossing the desert. reaching Klamath Lake, they came upon the wild Indians, who were as inhospitable as Bedouins. One of the white men was found one evening shot with thirty-one arrows. The same day about sundown camp was made for the night on the lake shore. the wagons were corralled, the tents set securely inside, and the cattle turned loose to graze upon the hill. Just before morning, however, a band of Indians appeared hallooing and shaking blankets, and thereby stampeding the whole band of cattle, which came rushing pell mell upon the camp with the force of an avalanche, and going through and over the wagons like an armed troop, overturning the vehicles and tearing down tents, nor stopping until they had plunged into the lake beyond. By this startling event the women and children and some of the men were frightened nearly to death. The guard found but one Indian, whom they shot; and while the oxen were being collected and their head division moved forward, messengers were sent back to apprise, the rear division of the meeting with the hostiles, with the word to hasten on. By a night march the latter division came up, and the two were joined the next morning. Eight oxen were lost in crossing the Tule meadows on the margin of the lake; and the Indians gave every indication of a purpose to contest their advance.
Arriving at a point where the
meadows narrowed between two bluffs, the immigrants sent a scouting party
ahead, who ascertained that the hostiles had dug a ditch across the lowland
from hill to hill, and in this had secreted a host of warriors to prevent
the train coming forward. Here followed a bloody fight. The valley being
narrow, and cut with gulleys and thick with tules, it was deemed best to
halt the train and send a party to dislodge the enemy. Sixty mounted men
were detailed for this work; and they made the advance and charge with
great spirit. As they neared the ditch, two Indians, one on each
bluff, sprang up and flaunted blankets; and at the same moment the warriors, nearly three hundred in number, rose from their concealment and let fly with their arrows. the missiles came quick and thick as a swarm of hornets, making the air sing, and whenever striking either man or horse leaving a sting of poison, from which some of the wounded died. The white men, however, were upon the Indians in a moment, shooting them down, and chasing them to the hills. In this attack an Indian buck was captured and sent back to the camp, while the storming party was beating up the Tules. He became a great curiosity in the train, and as he was tied to a bush was surrounded by a throng of boys, and, desiring to eat, was given a cup of red-pepper tea, with which the wounded was being treated as an antidote to the poison. Tasting the fiery liquid, the wild man gave a whoop that terrified the camp, who came pouring down as if to attack the wagons, and were prevented only by the horsemen coming back on the run and intercepting them. With a guard placed on the flanks of the train, the white men returned and continued the fight in the gulleys and tall grass, and at length drove all the Klamaths to the hills, where they took refuge in a rude fort, and through the interstices between the logs began shooting arrows. The white men returned the fire, stationing themselves at a distance out of range of the arrows but within reach of the fort with the rifles, and began a general bombardment, continuing their fire until dark. During the night all was quiet; and early next morning a reconnaissance to the fort was made, when it was found deserted, but so marked with blood, even in clotted pools, that it was estimated that as many as sixty or seventy of the Indians must have been slain, the bodies having been all removed. The train then moved on, but met with continual harassments form the savages throughout the whole length of the canon. None could leave the train to hunt, as all were required for guard duty; and, therefore, no game being secured, the provisions began to fail.
It was late in the autumn when the crest of the Umpqua Mountains was gained, from which they looked over into the Umpqua valley. The first necessity was to secure something to eat; and Alderman and a few companions who were in advance descried form the summit of the hill a lazy smoke in the valley below, and determined to go towards it. After traveling about twice the distance that they anticipated they came upon the Indian camp, but found the spot deserted except by a few old men and women. Making known their hunger, the old parties called to the others, who came back from their concealment in the brush, and began with amazing generosity to bring out dried camas to the amount of nearly a ton. Of this dirty material, which had an admixture of hair and various kinds of filth, the hungry boys gingerly took half a bushel in a sack, and upon returning to the train met with the declaration of the others that starvation was better than eating such stuff. Alderman, however, floated off the dirt with water, and cooking the residue declared that it was the best meal he ever ate. A few days afterwards he and his comrades found a Hudson's Bay camp, whose tent was heavy with dried venison. entering without invitation or ceremony, they helped themselves, and after having satisfied their craving were astonished that the squaw in charge would not accept a cent of pay. She also sold them a large amount of meat to take to the train. The wagons stuck in the throat of the Umpqua canon. The men were obliged to pack their goods on the backs of horses or oxen, and carry their wives and children on their own backs, wading often up to the armpits in the cold water of the powerful river. One Missourian, who determined to get his wagon through, only succeeded in having it turned over and its load floated away. Coming in broken parties out of the Calopooia Mountains, they at length all got into the Willamette valley alive, but looking more like a band of fugitives than of civilized travelers.
Alderman and his friends came on rapidly, finding but two families south of Eugene Skinner's place. He found food, but the scarcity of the past still gnawed upon his vitals; and when, at the Luckiamute river, he and his companions met a party hastening towards the train with flour and they obtained fifty pounds, they determined to have a banquet. Camping under a large white fir tree, they made a fire, and in the absence of a bread pan made the dough in the sack; and in the absence of a baking pan stuck the dough on a stick and cooked it before the flame. Thus cooking and eating they continued their banquet until about midnight, and consumed the most of the fifty pounds of flour, - five of them. On the Rickreal they met General Gilliam, who told them that he would kill a hog and hang it up for them on the road; but this they declined, preferring to have him to keep it for those behind. At Amity they performed gastronomic prodigies, and on the Tualatin contrived to miss their way and pass the chilly December night without food, fire or blankets. At Oregon City, Alderman found a brother who had left home some time before, and whom he did not at first recognize, but discovering his relationship was only too glad to make with him a home for the winter. Nevertheless the hard life of the plains, or the sudden change to something like comfort, induced sickness; and it was a somewhat dismal time in the short days of the early part of 1847. That winter the brother, M.R. Alderman, also met with a great misfortune, - having his feet so frozen while on an express tour for the Hudson's Bay Company as to necessitate the amputation of one of them.
As the pleasant weather of spring
opened, and the brothers recovered their strength, they went up to the
Willamette in search of land and found no place more to their liking than
at Dayton, and her bought a claim for a hundred head of cattle from one
La Bonte. This was a French half-breed who replied to Alderman's question
as to how much land he owned: "Begin in the morning on a Cayuse horse;
go west until the sun is very high; then go south until it is around towards
the west, and then back to the river." That was his farm. He refused money,
but would take a hundred cows for this baronial estate; and Alderman was
able to suit his fancy. After moving to this place, all was serene until
Indians of the neighborhood came in and made near his cabin a sweathouse, and here doctored themselves and held barbarious services at various times, shouting, singing, pounding on rude drums, and making day and night hideous. To find some way of being rid of this intolerable nuisance, he went to the Frenchman, the elder La Bonte, and asked what to do. The old man told him to wait until the Indians were gone, as they soon would be, and then carefully take down and tie up in bundles all the shakes or cedar boards, of which the sweathouse was made, and be ready to pay for anything that was split or injured. Following this advice, the lonely settler did as suggested, and then waited the return of the band. He was careful to be inside his cabin; and as they came in sight one day he watched developments through the cracks of his domicile. The astonishment and wonder of the simple natives was complete; and they were all stricken with silence as they looked again and again on the dismantled sweathouse and bundles of boards. Then one spoke, and all spoke, - a wa-wa-ing and jabbering never exceeded outside of bedlam. After some time of this clamor they made a rush for his cabin, and began to pound on the door. Alderman from a deep recess let them pound, preferring not to be "at home" and hook inwardly, lest those outside should try to develop his whereabouts by setting fire to the premises. While thus waiting in jeopardy, he was relieved by the coming of the old La Bonte, who explained matters to the Indians. They began packing up the bundles; and amid the bucking, jumping and charging of horses, and excitement of savages never before equaled, they managed to move away, and Mr. Alderman was never afterward troubled by them.
During the early months upon his farm. Mr. Alderman had stopped with him his brother, and got a Mr. William Logan to make him eighteen thousand rails. He also set out some little apple trees, and the first year broke and seeded sixty acres to wheat. the fruit of these trees brought sixteen dollars per bushel, the wheat four dollars and ninety cents, and the potatoes seven dollars. He went barefooted; and it frequently happened that two or three weeks would pass without his seeing a white person. In 1848, when Sheriff Hembree came around for the county taxes, he paid his assessment in cattle hides, which were legal tender. In the same year he bade adieu to his brother, who left for California, and who also insisted that the place be putting his brother's name, as he felt that he could never return. He never did, - meeting death at Sutter's Fort. In 1849, A.L. Alderman also went to the mines, experiencing very heavy weather on the ocean; but once in California he found a claim that proved almost incredibly rich, yielding thirty-six hundred dollars in thirty days. With this money he came back to his farm and erected a sawmill, selling lumber at forty dollars per thousand. He also leased a piece of ground to Daniel Chaplin, upon which was set the largest orchard in the territory.
In March 1850, he was married to Miss Mary J. Burns, who died in 1864, leaving four children, three of whom are settled in our state, while the fourth, a son, is steward on one of the great China steamers. In 1866, he was married to Miss Charlotte Odell, and by her he has reared a family of five children, who are all at home. Mr. Alderman is still engaged in farming and raising fruit and stock. In forty-one successive crop she has experienced no failure; and land that he broke in 1847 and from which he has taken forty crops now yields thirty five and forty bushels of wheat per acre, and that without fertilizing.
Mr. Alderman is one of our esteemed citizens, benevolent, intelligent, active, a friend of schools and churches, and a man of broad public spirit. We present an excellent portrait.
HON. JOHN B. ALLEN. - "I think Walla Walla is destined to be the central and commercial city of that large area of country in Eastern Washington lying south of the Snake river, and of much of Eastern Oregon. Probably no city of its population in the Northwest equals it in wealth. It is just now emerging from years of transportation extortions, which few other regions could have borne. Competitive systems will infuse new life to every industry, and stimulate the developments of resources heretofore lying dormant."
This is the horoscope of the young city as cast by Mr. Allen; and his opinions are certainly of great weight. He has been a resident of the territory since 1870; and, as United States attorney for Washington under Grant, Hayes and Garfield, he has visited nearly every locality within the field of his labors; and his opportunities for forming correct judgment have been very extensive. While a citizen of Dayton or Pendleton could not be expected to agree with him fully, and Spokane Falls and North Yakima would naturally demur from his opinion that the Blue Mountain slopes are the finest in the territory, the unbiased mind will, at least, regard his view with interest. Mr. Allen is one of the territory's most prominent citizens. As delegate to the United States Congress, he has achieved a lasting fame, and will leave the stamp of his mind upon history.
He is a native of Indiana, having
been born at Crawfordsville, in that state in 1843. He was educated at
Wabash College, but at the age of nineteen joined the "hundred-days" men
and served his time in the civil war. After the restoration of peace, he
went with his father to Rochester, Minnesota, where he was admitted to
the bar. In 1870, he came to Puget Sound, and made his home at Olympia.
He was married at Portland in 1871. Upon his appointment as federal attorney
in 1875, he made extensive tours of the country, going by stage-coach in
the old ante-railroad days of the territory. In 1881, he removed with his
family to Walla Walla, where he enjoys his fine residence in that city,
which he regards on the whole the most eligible in the Pacific Northwest.
Mr. Allen is essentially a public man, virile, full of vitality, popular,
and finding his chief interest in great measures embracing large areas
and many people. It is generally conceded that, as a lawyer, he is the
foremost in Washington.
SAMUEL ALLEN. - This noble, whole-souled gentleman among the pioneers, who must now be reckoned with the dead was born in East Tennessee July 21, 1805. He was a son of William Allen, a soldier of the war of 1812. Soon after that conflict, Samuel was left fatherless by the death of this parent, and, with his mother and eight brothers and one sister, endured all the hardships and developed all the sturdy force of character, and still more learned the uprightness and integrity of the mountaineers of Tennessee, being nurtured - as were all the children of this family - by his mother in the love of God. When but a lad he moved with his mother and her family to Cooper county, Missouri.
At the age of twenty-one he was married to Sarah, a daughter of Daniel Benson, a native of Tennessee and pioneer of Illinois. A few years after this event, so important in the life of the young man, he moved to Jackson county, Missouri, making there not only a home for himself and family, but for his mother. In 1836, he removed to Platt county, Missouri, but in 1847, having from some occult reason, which might have been hard for him to deliver, determined to cross the plains to Oregon, he made provision for his beloved mother with a younger brother, and bade her a last farewell, and with his young wife and little children accomplished the great journey. He joined his team and wagon to the large train of Captain William Vaughn, a ranger of the plains. The usual division being necessary, and the various companies and even single teams disengaging themselves from the main caravan, he also learned to travel according to the strength of his animals and the location of wood, water, etc., and brought the long toil to a successful issue. He was constantly ready to help others in their troubles, and in the sickness and accidents of the way performed the part of the good Samaritan. He thereby acquainted himself with and greatly endeared himself to the other immigrants of that year.
During his subsequent life in our state he brought to bear the same generous and manly qualities. He made his first home on the Abiqua, together with his wife and children, developing one of the fine old places. He was in the Indian fight that took place near his home. He was perhaps as extensively known as any man in the State of Oregon. he was accustomed to hardships and privation, and knew the art of extracting all the sweets from the sour and bitter, and loved, moreover, the freedom, beauty and purity of a virgin state. He was also a most industrious worker, a good business man and a friend of progress; and it was a satisfaction to him when the difficulties of distance and isolation were overcome and modern improvements were made as available here as elsewhere. A man of vigorous intellect, he might have stood high in almost any branch of professional life could he have had the advantages of an early education.
He was a friend of churches and of schools, being a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian denomination. His religious character was positive; and no man who knew him doubted his sincerity. It was one of the great pleasures of his life to accommodate and entertain in the hearty style of the old days his friends, and even strangers, who came from all points to the camp-meeting held near his home. In 1870 he removed to Salem to spend the evening of his life, and died there May 12, 1876, at a ripe old age. In a public capacity he was also active and efficient, serving in many positions of trust, and being a member of the committee to construct a state-house. His counsel on any subject was always safe. Although a Democrat in early life, he went with the Republicans in 1861, and remained with them until his death. The children, Elizabeth, Thomas b., Evaline, Julia A., Angeline, William H., Mary L. and Linnie A. are among our most respected citizens. two are deceased, Julia A. and William H.
Mrs. Sarah Allen, of much the same character and principles as her late husband, is one of those capable, brave and loving mothers of Oregon whom we all respect. She has made her home in Salem ever since his death, and in 1877 was united in marriage, secondly, to Mr. S.A. Trimble of Marion county.
THOS. M. ALVORD. - Mr. Alvord was born in Homer, Courtland county, New York, February 26, 1832, and is the son of Sylvester and Lucy Hull Alvord. His grandfather was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, serving under General Washington, and took up a Donation claim on the present site of Homer, New York. His father was born on the place, and died in1864. He resided at his birthplace until 1853, when with his brother, Henry S., he left New York on board the Prometheus, via Nicaragua, and on the Pacific side took the Cortez, arriving in San Francisco December 1, 1853. He then went to Calaveras county and followed mining for three and a half years, with fair success, and during the summers followed farming. In December, 1854, his brother returned to the East and visited the coast again in the summer of 1889.
On the breaking out of the Frazer river excitement, he came north, but only remained a short time, returning to Olympia in December, 1858, and prospecting the county for a location. In February, 1859, he purchased the Donation claim of Moses Kirkland and wife. This consisted of 320 acres, to which he has since added, until now he owns 1,100 acres half a mile from the town of Kent. In 1884, he built his present beautiful home, and is now engaged in general farming and largely in the dairy business, shipping a large quantity of milk to Seattle, He has, unlike his neighbors, never entered into hop-raising. Mr. Alvord is Republican in politics, though not a politician, and never having held an office. His wife, to whom he was married in New York in1859, was Miss Maria J. Smith, a native of New York. They have been blessed with three sons and one daughter.
ELI K. ANDERSON. - There
is no pioneer of whom volumes might be written with more propriety than
he whose name appears above. Miner,
Indian fighter, relentless pursuer of horse thieves, pioneer of the great fruit industry of Southern Oregon, and sterling temperance man, and singular, almost passing belief, in this age of defilers of themselves of tobacco, a total abstainer his whole life long from the use of the weed, - such is our subject.
He was born in Indiana in 1826; and, after various transferences of residence in that state, during which he learned the carpenter's trade, he came to California with the Owen's train in 1849, - being one of the Argonauts who steered their vehicles across the seas of grass and alkali deserts. They were afflicted with cholera and lost cattle on the way, but were not otherwise annoyed. Mr. Anderson stopped near the present site of Shasta City, and made the descent of the Sacramento river the next year in a skiff constructed of lumber, whip-sawed by himself with the help of three other young men. At Sacramento, they sold their boat for five hundred dollars, and went to San Francisco, where they bought a sail boat, and returned with a cargo of flour, which they disposed of at Marysville to good advantage. Anderson thereupon began working at his trade for sixteen dollars a day.
In 1850, he came to the mines in Northern California, and was so fortunate as to be one of the original discoverers of the famous Scott bar, on Scott river, where for ten days they were unmolested by the Indians, and allowed to dig as much gold as they pleased, making as high as five hundred dollars a day. There were some twenty in this company, - that of Captain Scott. But a quarrel soon arose with the Indians; and, after killing a few Klamaths, the company broke up. Anderson went to Shasta City and formed a company of twenty to return to the same place and secure more of the gold. But the location had been betrayed by one of the original party; and the new company was followed by two squads, consisting of nine and forty men respectively, and the dust was too limited for so many.
Returning to Sacramento, Anderson was prevented from returning East only by meeting a brother there. They returned to Shasta. He succeeded here in his mining claim, and met General Lane mining on Shasta river. After this he went to Scott river, and from there to North Salmon river and mined during the summer of 1851. The following fall he made a great chase after horse thieves, following three noted roughs north of Big Klamath Lake to the head of the des Chutes river, where he found them murdered and their bodies thrown into the river and robbed by the Indians, who were piloting them through the country. Pursuing and capturing these new thieves, he made the entire circuit of the mountains, coming as far north as The Dalles, and returning to California via the Willamette valley and Southern Oregon. After a number of escapades, he delivered the thieves to the alcalde at Yreka, the point from which he started.
This introduced him to Oregon; and in 1852 he came to the Rogue river valley and immediately took up his present place near Ashland. For the sake of procuring seed in a region hitherto entirely new, he was obliged to make a trip to Yamhill county, and received eight dollars a bushel for his first crop of wheat (amounting to eight hundred bushels). He participated in the Indian war of 1853, and has held the office of county commissioner. He now owns some seven hundred acres of land in Jackson county, and has property and mill interests at Ashland. On his place two miles north of Phoenix, he has an orchard of sixty acres. He is a Republican of pronounced views, and strong for temperance. He has a family of six daughters and one son. His wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Nathaniel Myers, is a pioneer of 1853, a lady of resolution and energy, and of superior culture and refinement.
WM. R. ANDERSON. - This well-known pioneer of Clarke county was born in West Virginia in 1822, and there received his education and was apprenticed to learn the working of leather and the manufacture of boots and shoes. Being possessed of a roving disposition, he went out to Missouri in 1848, and the year following took the final step to reach the Pacific. His trip across the mountains was brought about by his hiring to drive a government wagon to Fort Hall. Reaching this point too late to return that season, the commander proposed to the squad of thirty-six men to go on down to Vancouver for the winter. On the Blue Mountains, they floundered through snow up to their armpits, and from The Dalles came down on the ice of the Columbia to White Salmon, and just above the Cascades, camped one night on the rocks in the river to avoid submergence on the shore from the heavy rain.
Work was furnished at Vancouver at sixty dollars per month; and, subsequently, Mr. Anderson went to Hunt's sawmill, near the present Westport, to build the Columbia, the first steamer constructed in Oregon. Coming to Portland, he was married in 1851, and lived on a farm below the town, but in 1854 came to Clarke county, taking the Donation claim four miles north, upon which he has since resided. This region was originally densely timbered, and has been noted for the piling furnished for the Portland wharves. Our settler bore his part in the Indian war, and was in the service while the seven hundred Indians were brought for safe-keeping to Fort Vancouver, and made their escape during a heavy storm at night, and out to Strong's battle ground, wither they repaired, and killed their chief Umatuts for opposing their desire to begin hostilities. Mr. Anderson also well remembers the government mule that was given him to ride, an animal of such a character that he paid another man four bits to mount it first. He has resided on his place to the present time, clearing and improving the farm, and has thereby provided a competence for his thirteen children.
C.L. ANDREWS. - The present
county clerk of Morrow county was born in Ashtabula county, Ohio, October,
1862. He came with his parents to Oregon in 1864, via the Isthmus, and
lost his father by death soon after reaching the Pacific Ocean, and saw
him buried from the ship in a watery grave. He located with the family
near Brownsville, and here received his education, completing the same
at Philomath College. He made his home near Brownsville until 1882. In
that year he went over
to Seattle, where he accepted a position as mailing clerk, filing it eight months. In 1883, he came to Heppner, and has made this enterprising place his permanent home. In 1886, he was elected clerk of the county, and was re-elected to this position in 1888, at the instance and by the support of the Republican party. Mr. Andrews is one of the men of growing influence in the Inland Empire; and it is to him and such as he that his community will look for its development and further progress.
JESSE APPLEGATE. - The following brief obituary sketch of the late "Uncle" Jesse Applegate was written by General E.L. Applegate, than whom none is better fitted to perform the task, - unwelcome in the occasion of its necessity, yet grateful in the opportunity it offers to pay the well-earned tribute of respect and veneration to the wisdom, the worth and the influence of the "Sage of Yoncalla."
The subject of this sketch was born near Lexington, Kentucky, in 1810, and died in Yoncalla valley, Oregon, on the 23d of April 1888, being in his seventy-eighth year. He was the youngest son of Daniel Applegate, a revolutionary soldier who served in that memorable struggle for human liberty for seven years, and then volunteered to help Jackson beat the British at New Orleans, in which campaign he lost his eldest son, Elisha. His ancestors belonged among the charter proprietors who founded the province of Maryland and the city of Baltimore. Upon the close of the revolutionary war Daniel, along with the Boone's and others of their relations and acquaintances, pioneered his way into the wilderness of Kentucky. In 1819, he moved on with his large family, consisting of Milton, Lisbon, Lucy, Charles, Lindsay and Jesse, to the then territory of Missouri, and settled near St. Louis.
Jesse, while yet a boy, attracted the attention of leading men of St. Louis; and it was believed that he gave indications of uncommon abilities. He graduated in his eighteenth year at Rock spring Seminary, an institution of learning founded by the celebrated Doctor Peck of St. Louis. By the kind offices of his friend Milburn, who was chief clerk in the surveyor-general's office, he was introduced to Edward Bates, who was then surveyor-general of the western territory, and who appointed Jesse to be the draughtsman in his office. Being now situated in a good position the young man, before he was twenty, was married to Miss Cynthia Parker, and settled down to house-keeping and the prosecution of his work in the office, in which he displayed great thoroughness and proficiency, and at the time was regarded by men of learning as a prodigy in the mathematical sciences. But the monotony of office routine was too confining for his restless disposition; and, therefore, he soon took the field as a United States deputy surveyor, and prosecuted the work with such energy and success that in a few years he was regarded as a wealthy man.
In 1843 we find him located upon his magnificent home farm on the Osage river, within three miles of the town of Osceola, the county-seat of St. Clair county, Missouri, surrounded by all the comforts and then elegancies of life. His house was the open resort of the great people of the state and of the western territory. Such guests were frequently found at his hospitable board as Bates, Doctor Peck, Benton, Doctor Linn, Doctor Redman and Colonel Beal, the Bells, the Dodges, the Marmadukes, the Jackson's, the Hutchings, the Breckenridge's, the Waldos, the Sappingtons, the Austins, the Ashworths, the Mayos and the McKinzies. Here national affairs were discussed and among other matters the exceedingly captivating subject of the Oregon country.
During the severe winter of 1842-43 letters were received from Oregon from Robert Shortess, descriptive of the comparatively mild climate and, above all, the perpetually green hills of this wonderfully favored land. Carried away by the enthusiasm of romance and adventure, he, together with his brothers Charles and Lindsay, with Waldo, Looney and many others, resolved to rent out their farms, trade off their personal property for oxen, wagons and stock cattle, and roll out for the perpetually green and grassy hills and plains of the far-off Oregon. Accordingly by the middle of May, 1843, their trains were winding their way westward upon the broad plains beyond the western settlements. At the first encampment west of the Big Blue, Jess Applegate was chosen captain of the emigration, and held that office and discharged its arduous duties to the disbanding of the emigration on the Umatilla river at the western foot of the Blue Mountains, after the severe struggle of cutting the road through the forests of that mountain. It was understood that Lieutenant Fremont, a son-in-law of Senator Benton, being selected by him for that purpose, should go before, with a cannon, to look out the way, and awe off the Indians with his big gun. But, going too far up the South Platte, he fell behind, and never caught up with the emigration until he reached Soda Springs in Bear river valley. Then he found he could not "proceed in the advance," because his carriages were too light to break the sage; so he quietly followed along behind to the encampment on Grande Ronde river, about two miles north of where the city of La Grande now stands. Here Fremont crossed the river and struck through the mountain in a northwest course for the headwaters of the Walla Walla river, while the emigrant train pulled up the mountain where the city just mentioned now stands, on to the head of Rock creek; and from thence they cut their way through the forest.
From Umatilla, Jesse Applegate,
his brothers and their immediate friends, proceeded northward by way of
the Whitman Mission to Fort Walla Walla with the view of leaving their
cattle for the winter under the protection of Captain Armintinger of the
Hudson's Bay Company. Thus leaving their wagons and cattle, they proceeded
down the river by water; but at Celilo Falls they met with a great calamity
which cast a shadow over the whole company and over Jesse Applegate's whole
life. Bringing with them a complete supply of a variety of tools, when
these people arrived at Fort Walla Walla, located at a point on the river
where the town of Wallula now stands, they were prepared to readily work
both wood and iron. Therefore, immediately erecting
shops and saw-pits, in an incredible short time they had built and launched a sufficient number of well-constructed boats, some of them quite large, in which to navigate the waters of the Columbia. They had built, also, for light and contingent purposes, a couple of small skiffs. It was one of these that went over Celilo Falls. among those of the families lost was his son Edward, named after his benefactor, Edward Bates. His first son he had named Milburn, to honor his friend Milburn of St. Louis. This son was burnt to death by his clothes catching fire when he was a mere child. He used to mournfully say: "Thus by the elements of fire and water have I lost the pledges of my gratitude for my early benefactors; and this I regard as a bad omen upon my life." This Columbia river calamity led to that most expensive and severe expedition to explore and open the south road in 1846, that a safer way for emigrants might be found to Oregon than by way of the Columbia cañon.
In the early days of Oregon, Jesse Applegate took an active part in the foundation of the Provisional government and the direction of public affairs. His house was resorted to by leading men and chiefs of tribes for council. He entertained, during the summer of 1845, the Envoy of the British Minister and his suit, when out to this country upon a trip of exploration and observation. In pursuance of his report, the claims of the British government were so modified that they were adopted by Polk's administration; and in a convention of the two powers held on the 15th of June, 1846, those long-pending and dangerous questions pertaining to Oregon were definitely settled by treaty.
The summer of 1846 was spent in the explorations for the southern route to Oregon. At that time the country from Pilot Rock eastward to the sink of the Humboldt was noted on the standard map of the United States as an unexplored region. Upon the desert the company came near perishing for want of water; and the captain of the expedition received such injuries from thirst and the heat of the sun that periodically it effected his mind ever after. The route was found and the way opened through the Siskiyou Mountains, the Grave creek hills, the Umpqua canon, and the Calopooia Mountains, altogether about eighty miles of forests being cut through. It cost very largely the responsible parties in the great undertaking; but for it all, including the escort sent out in 1847 to meet, pilot and defend the immigrants, including also beef cattle and other supplies sent to the immigrants, no Applegate ever received a quarter of a dollar by way of pay or assistance for all that effort and expense.
In the winter of 1847, when the Whitman massacre occurred, Jesse Applegate was one of the foremost men in establishing a territorial credit by the formation of personal bonds by which supplies could be procured for the Oregon army, that the country might be defended from an uprising of the savages, the prisoners rescued from among the Indians, and the Cayuses chastised for their blood-thirsty outrage. During the same winter he made an attempt, at the head of a small company of bravemen, to beat through the snow-drifts of the Siskiyou to California, to call upon the United States officers there, for help for Oregon in her emergency.
The early summer of 1849 was spent in explorations and road-building, with the Klamath commonwealth. This was a company organized among the leading spirits of the Yamhill country, mainly to locate somewhere in Southern Oregon or Northern California, where gold-mining, agriculture and manufacturing could all be carried on as a mutual operation, - in a word, to plant all the elements of civilization in the wilderness, and at the same time be strong enough to defend it against the hordes of savages then inhabiting that country. Upon the plain near where Jacksonville now stands, the company, consisting of about one hundred and twenty men, with fifty wagons, formed their corral and proceeded to vote upon the question of location. One side maintained that within the circle of a few miles were to be found all the elements of success, - gold, soil and water-power. the other side admitted the elements, but urged that the climate would not do. A showing of snow had appeared on the 20th of May on the tops of the surrounding hills. It indicated too cold weather for the growth of domestic plants, - a country only fit for the abode of the wild man. In vain did the affirmative point to the splendid oak timber, the natural plum orchards and vineyards, and urge that wherever such growth is found domestic plants must succeed, and civilization always find a safe and successful home. Nevertheless the negative prevailed with a decisive majority; and the great enterprise was abandoned.
In the fall of 1849, uncle Jesse, as he was, by this time, universally called, gathered up his herds, and with his large family of boys and girls moved off from the Willamette valley, crossed the Calopooia Mountains, and settled down as a pioneer of Yoncalla valley, in the Umpqua country. Here he obtained his section of land, the reward of the Oregon pioneer promised to them by Benton and Linn before he left Missouri. Here he built up a fine home, embracing the comforts and elegancies of an advanced civilization. His house was open and resorted to y distinguished personages all up and down the coast, and, in fact, from one side of the continent to the other.
He was a member of the constitutional
convention. He was opposed to the extension of slavery. He was in favor
of internal improvements and the protection of American industry by the
general government; and upon the outbreak of the rebellion he was loyal
to the very core. But in the zenith of his influence and success in life,
he trusts the unworthy, he is betrayed by the designing and treacherous
and struck deep with the poisoned fang of ingratitude, - his property swept
from him, his affairs and himself a ruin. Thus the mighty hath fallen!
As the tall Pillar, or the grand Colussus, under the awful pressure of
the hand of time, must crumble and fall, - must finally mingle its particles
with the common kindred dust of the plain, - so we give him up, as we must
all give up each other, to a fate that cannot be stayed, to a destiny which
we cannot know. Then, farewell, Uncle Jess! Thou grand
man, with thy great heart, with they bright and wonderful intellect and universal knowledge, thou prince of lofty conversationalists, far thee well!
GREEN ARNOLD. - One of the earliest pioneers of the country lying east of the Cascade Mountains is the gentleman whose name heads this sketch. He was born in Niagara county, New York, in 1919, and received his education at his native place. In 1833, he moved to Michigan with his parents, where he remained until 1850, when hearing of the wonderful stories of the rich discoveries of gold in California, he buckled on his armor of faith and started across the plains, landing in Hangtown (now Placerville) on the 6th day of August of the same year. He remained in California till June 1, 1851, and then returned to Michigan, where he remained till 1852. He then recrossed the plains, landing in Milwaukee, Oregon, in October of the same year, where he went into the hotel business, and remained there until May, 1853, when he went to Champoeg. Here he again went into the hotel business, remaining until July, when he went to The Dalles, and from thence to Butter Creek, on the old emigrant trail in Umatilla county, with a pack train of goods, for the purpose of trading with the Indians and the emigrants then en route to the Willamette valley from across the plains. He remained at Butter Creek until October, when he returned to Champoeg, and in the spring of 1854, returned to Eastern Oregon and established a trading post in Grande Ronde valley, at the foot of what is now known as the Ladd hill, for the purpose of supplying the incoming emigrants with provisions.
In October, 1853, he returned to the Umatilla agency, where Echo now stands, leaving his cattle and horses in charge of Irk Davidson and the late Henry M. Ellsworth. He made a trip to Portland for the purpose of purchasing more goods to trade with the Indians, as they had expressed a desire for him to do so. He returned in November with a fresh supply of goods, and with the permission of General Joel Palmer, then superintendent of Indian affairs for Oregon and Washington Territories, and also from R.R. Thompson, then Indian agent for the Indians east of the Cascade Mountains. Upon the second day after Mr. Arnold's return to the agency, a man by the name of Throstle, a resident of The Dalles, who had come to the agency to find a horse that had been stolen from him, had a dispute with one of the Indians, when Throstle shot him, wounding him seriously, and then mounting his horse fled. The shooting of the Indian caused great excitement; and Mr. Arnold had great difficulty in restraining the Indians from massacring all the Whites in that vicinity; but upon a promise that Throstle should be arrested and punished for his crime, and by dispatching to men to The Dalles with letters to Agent Thompson informing him of the affair, the Indians became pacified for a time. The third day after he had dispatched the messengers to Thompson, a half-breed Indian brought a letter to him from Captain Nathan Olney at The Dalles, stating that Agent Thompson was at Portland, and advising him to abandon everything, and with whatever Whites there might be at the agency to make their escape, as the Indians would surely kill them all.
Upon the reception of Olney's letter, he invited Winapsnoot, the head chief of the Umatilla and Columbia river Indians, who was rich in horses, to take supper with him, and, placing the white men and all his goods in his charge, informed him he was going to The Dalles to consult with Thompson, and that he should hold him responsible for the lives of the white men then at the agency, as well as for his goods. Upon arriving at The Dalles, he found Agent Thompson there, to whom he stated the particulars of the shooting, and informed him of the excitement and dissatisfaction among the Indians in regard to the affair. Agent Thompson said he could not leave The Dalles for several days on account of business of importance, and advised him to start for the agency, and that he would overtake him. Arnold's party started to return to the agency, proceeding quite leisurely, expecting Thompson to overtake them, well knowing there would be serious trouble without the agent. Eight days were consumed in making the return trip. Upon their arrival at the agency without Agent Thompson and the culprit Throstle, the Indians became very much excited, and threatened to exterminate all the Whites in their midst, except Doctor McKay, to whom they gave notice that if he would leave the premises they would not harm him, but if he remained they would kill him.
Arnold advised the Doctor to
leave at once, and instructed him to tell the Indians that he would "hold
the fort," as he had arms and ammunition with which to protect himself,
and that if they came within a certain distance of the house they would
surely be killed. McKay took his advice and started for his house, some
twenty-five miles distant from the trading post, first giving the Indians
the message. Arnold had informed Winapsnoot that he or any of the chiefs
of the various tribes could come and talk with the party, but that he would
not allow any of the tribe to visit them without being escorted or accompanied
by some of the chiefs. after waiting five days for Agent Thompson, he told
his Indian herder to bring five of the best horses and tie them near the
house. The Indians, seeing the horses, asked Winapsnoot what those horses
were there for, as they feared the Whites would escape without the offender
Throstle being punished, and sent him to inquire concerning them. Arnold
told Winapsnoot that he was going to send the boys to McKay's for potatoes
for the New Year's celebration. This explanation satisfied them, as he
had asked Winapsnoot to take supper with the party. The Indians then retired
to their camps; and, when Winapsnoot and Arnold were eating supper, Davidson
and Ellsworth, in accordance with previous arrangements, had prepared the
horses to leave for The Dalles. After supper Arnold informed Weimam that
we were going to The Dalles on important business, and should leave all
goods, horses and cattle in his charge and hold him responsible for their
safe-keeping, and that the great Father at Washington would uphold him
in protecting what was left in his care. As soon as the party had left
for The Dalles, Weimam went to the Indians and told
them that the white men had left. The Indians started to intercept them; but the horses of the former being the fleetest, they avoided the redskins, arriving at The Dalles the next morning making the distance (110 miles) in fourteen hours. Upon arriving at The Dalles they found Agent Thompson, who returned to the agency with some seventy-five soldiers and settled matters satisfactorily in regard to the shooting of the Indian, who in the meantime had recovered.
Upon arriving at the agency, Arnold found all his property safe, it having been carefully guarded by Winapsnoot. Upon request of the Indians made to Agent Thompson and himself that he should remain and trade with them, he did so, staying until April, 1855, when he returned to The Dalles and located a farm on Three-mile creek, leaving his cattle and horses near the agency, expecting to return and drive them to his ranch. In the meantime the Indians had become very much dissatisfied on account of the Palmer-Stevens treaty; and, knowing that trouble would ensue, Arnold returned to the agency for the purpose of removing his stock. Reaching the place, he proceeded to gather his horses and cattle to drive them to The Dalles; but the younger portion of the Indians placed every impediment in the way to prevent his doing so, while the older ones assisted him in every possible way. The younger spirits prevailed; and he lost 120 head of cattle and horses, besides all the goods he had at the agency. Arnold then returned to his farm on Three-mile creek, and raised one of the first crops of grain in that section, and planted the first trees. In the fall of 1858, he moved to Birch creek, Umatilla county, and opened up the first farm, and raised the first grain crop ever raised there. In 1862, Mr. Arnold moved to where La Grande now stands, laid out the first lots and gave the town its name on account of its beautiful location and scenery. He brought the first grain, cattle and hogs ever brought there, sowed and raised the first grain ever raised in Grande Ronde valley, and built the first steam sawmill and hotel in the valley. He washed out the first gold ever washed out from Grande river, Granite creek, Burnt and Powder rivers. This was in 1861, in company with Captain Pierce, John Rogers of Oregon City, Geo. Fellows, John Stevens and a few others. When the immigration commenced to flow into Grande Ronde valley, he went into farming and stockraising, and is to-day a hale and hearty man and unmarried.
JAMES P. ATWOOD, M.D. - One of the most successful physicians of Baker City, Oregon, is the gentleman whose name appears as the heading of this sketch. A careful and conscientious gentleman of temperate habits, and thoroughly reliable in all public and professional as well as private matters, he enjoys the confidence of the public, and has a large practice. He was born in Wisconsin in 1846, but was educated in Oregon, at Sublimity and at Corvallis, and took his degree in medicine from the medical department of the Willamette University at Salem, and from the medical department of the Willamette University at Salem, and from the medical department of the Columbia College, New York. His father, A.F. Atwood, a pioneer of 1853, lived on his farm four miles from Corvallis until 1868, when he removed to Walla Walla county, Washington Territory where he died March 24, 1889.
Dr. Atwood's first field was at La Grande; but in 1871he removed to his present location, where he has since been actively employed. Baker City was then but a village of some seven hundred inhabitants, although money was then in abundant circulation. Mining interests still dominate, and will always be pre-eminent. The surrounding region is remarkably healthy, phthisic being almost unknown. The Doctor was married in 1882 to Miss Florence Thompson of San Francisco, California, and has one child living.
J.C. AVERY. - Mr. Avery, the first owner, and, in almost every respect, the founder of Corvallis, was born in Punckhannock, Pennsylvania, in 1817. He received his education at Wilksbarre, and thereafter studied medicine, but, preferring a less confined life than that necessitated by this profession, went as a pioneer to Illinois in 1837. Engaging in the land business, he at length undertook the life of a farmer, and was married in1841 to Miss Martha Marsh. Farming upon the prairies at that early day did not prove remunerative; and in 1845 he came alone to Oregon, bringing an ox-team and about twenty-five stock cattle. Making his headquarters at Oregon City, he spent the first months exploring the Willamette valley; and, as all the land on the west side of the river south of the La Creole was absolutely without occupants except Indians, he had only to exert his judgment to select the best site from among the thousand good ones. He chose the plain lying at the Great Bend of the Willamette, where this river approaches nearest the Coast Mountains.
Moving upon this place in 1846, he sent for his family, who made the perilous trip across the plains with Sawyer's company. Upon their arrival, he began the systematic development of his place; for it was not as a farm, but as the site of a city, that he had secured this magnificent situation upon the Willamette. By means of a store - the only one on the west side of Dallas - he facilitated and hastened the settlement of the surrounding region, and made this point the center. He was instrumental in forming a court for Benton county, of which O.C. Pratt was judge.
Mr. Avery's public virtues, his
integrity and breadth of views won for him the confidence of the community;
and he was soon sent to the territorial and later to the state legislature
to represent Benton county, and was re-elected many times. The power thus
secured by him was ever used faithfully in the interest of the whole state,
and for the benefit of Benton county and of Corvallis. By his care the
county was so delimited as to make this city the center, and naturally
the county-seat. He also secured this point as the site of the State University,
and even gained it as the state capital. The legislative agreement was
not, however, fully kept; and, upon the popular election in 1858, the capital
was removed to Salem. He was also active in securing Corvallis as the location
of the Agricultural College, and was a member of the committee to
to locate the college lands, and also of the board to prescribe rules and regulations for the government of the college and the course of study. He ever gave liberally of his means to the institution, and was very active in the promotion of the Willamette Valley & Coast Railway to Yaquina.
In early days, - 1853 to 1855, - he held a government position by appointment of President Pierce as postal agent for the district embracing Oregon and Washington. While conducting his mercantile business at Corvallis, he was very often called upon, and it was his practice, to credit needy and destitute settlers with necessaries. His generous and magnanimous treatment was never abused; and he believed that he never lost a cent by this course, having, moreover, the pleasure of doing substantial good to his fellow-beings. He was cut off by death in 1876, being then fifty-nine years old, and leaving a wife and six children to mourn his loss. The whole community was afflicted by this sad event.
HON. JOHN M. BACON. - There are three places in the Northwest that have almost antique associations. These are Astoria, Vancouver and Oregon City. Of none of them is the flavor of old times more pronounced than amid the rocks and bluffs and by the falls and the old buildings of the latter place. Here one of the old pioneers may be found in the person of a gentleman whose portrait appears on the opposite page.
It was as to the last place to go that Mr. Bacon came to Oregon. A native of Buffalo, New York, born in 1822, he lost his father two years later, and lived with his grandfather until fourteen years old. He kept himself in America three years longer, working in a store, but at the age of seventeen shipped before the mast from New Bedford in a whaler. He was two years in China, and in 1844, going out to Bombay, took service as second mate on an English ship. This took him to London. Returning to the United States by the Atlantic, having seen the bigness of the world, he came out to Illinois with his brother Francis, now a resident on the Sandy. In 1845, he came to Independence, Missouri, and, joining the Barlow train, came to Oregon, being one of the number to hunt out the Barlow road across the Cascades. Of course, he went to California in 1849; but, ill health bringing him back to Oregon, he located on Elliott's prairie, fourteen miles from Oregon City. In 1856, looking for a somewhat more eligible home, where he might have church and educational privileges for his family, he removed to the town itself, finding employment in the store of Charman & Warner and of Charman & Son. Six years later he tried his luck at running a store, and stock ranch at Lewiston, but soon returned. Being intrusted with political honors, he was elected county clerk, and four years later city recorder and overseer. Being appointed postmaster in1868, he has never left the old city of the falls. He has been postmaster twenty years.
Mr. Bacon has been a prominent mason, joining Multnomah Lodge, No. 1, the first in the state, in 1850. In 1856, he joined the Odd Fellows, and has held the office of Grand Scribe since 1873. His property interests in the city are quite considerable; and he runs a book and stationery store in connection with the post office. The wife of Mr. Bacon, Rachael w. Newman, daughter of Reverend Samuel Newman, is also a pioneer of 1845. They have had twelve children, seven of whom are living. They were married in 1857.
HON. M. BAKER. - This well-known attorney, and senior member of the firm of Baker & Baker, is not only a pioneer of Eastern Oregon, but comes from a long line of the subduers of the wilderness who have lived in the Old West. He was born in Illinois in 1831, and in 1836 went to Iowa. In this new territory the advantages of education were few; and the frontiersman's boy must work. Nevertheless the boy, as he grew to youth, determined to have a hand in affairs, and began reading law, being admitted to the bar in 1860. In this same year he had attained a prominence sufficient to be sent as a delegate to the Chicago convention which nominated Lincoln for his first term. A journey across the continent had, however, been determined on; and with his family, together with his parents, brothers and sisters, he set forth in 1862. He had been married on December 12, 1850, in the State of Iowa, to a good and noble woman who has at all times done her part well, both as a wife and mother, and who is justly entitled to equal credit and honor with her husband for whatever success they have had in life, as well as in rearing and educating their children to be upright men and woman. The father, James Baker, who accompanied his children and their families on that long journey, is still living at La Grande at the great age of eighty-five.
Their journey to Oregon was environed with dangers from the Indians; but they avoided all and reached La Grande on the 31st of September, 1862. A home was made on the prairie, but soon left for one in town. Five families then comprised the city of La Grande; but Mr. Baker began the practice of law, though keeping an anchor to windward in the form of a band of cattle. He has, however, never abandoned his professional calling. Some of his early experiences were troublesome, as when he was obliged to walk to Walla Walla and purpose shorts on credit for the use of his family but his abilities have since gained for him a competence. His energies, however, have not been exclusively devoted to his own fortune, but largely also to the public prosperity. Though not an office-seeker, Judge Baker has been a very active worker for the Republican party, having stumped Eastern Oregon and more frequently his own county in its interests. He has been active in public improvements, having been one of the originators of the National Bank, of which he is president; and having also been one of the founders of the Blue Mountain University, for the establishment of which he donate ten percent of the seventeen thousand dollars required. The children of Mr. Baker are J.F., who is his law partner, S.K., Jessie G., Carrie S., Horace G., Lloyd L., and James V.
NATHAN BAKER. - Mr. Baker
is a native of Indiana, having been born in that state in 1837.
When but a child of three years he accompanied his parents to Missouri. In 1849, he suffered the loss of his father, who died that year in California, whither he had gone to dig gold. In 1858, the young man went to Kansas, and, entering a tract of land, made that state his home for fourteen years. During this time he had been two years in the army, serving in the Fifth Kansas Cavalry, and a year in the Tenth Kansas Infantry. His term was during the latter part of the war.
In 1872 he came to Polk county, Oregon, and a year later selected a home in the beautiful Indian valley in Union county, Near Elgin. There he has thrived in his operations, and owns at present a farm of 560 acres inclosed with a fence, with a nice house and pleasant surroundings. The fertility of the soil may be inferred from the fact that fifty-two bushels of wheat per acre have been raised on this place. In 1863 Mr. Baker married Miss Aletha Hoffman of Kansas. Their seven children are all living except one; and they have also five grandchildren.
THOMAS BAKER. - Mr. Baker was born in Bullitt county, Kentucky, in 1832, being the son of George C. and Elizabeth Miller Baker. When he was eighteen months old his parents moved to Hancock county, Illinois. He remained in that country until the spring of 1852, being employed on his father's farm. In the spring of this year, he started with his older brother across the plains to California, and arrived in the Golden State in August, 1852. For ten years he was actively engaged in mining, and was among the number who made the stampede to the Florence mines of Idaho. For one season he dug gold there, and for the succeeding two years in the Boise basin. Changing his business to that of packing from Umatilla Landing to the mines in Idaho, and afterwards on the route from Lewiston, he spent six years to good profit.
Coming to the more civilized portions of our state, he selected a home at Waitsburg, and for three years was engaged in the livery business. Subsequently he took the mail contract from Walla Walla to Pen d'Oreille Lake, a distance of 175 miles. His means of locomotion were ponies exclusively. The following year he leased the old Brown ferry on Snake river, and conducted this business until 1875, when he purchased an interest in the livery business of C.B. King, of Colfax' and this is at present his business and means of livelihood. He also owns a farm of 240 acres adjoining the town of Colfax, and a fine property in the city. Mr. Baker is married and has two children. He is one of our citizens who adorns any society and business, and the record of whose life in these pages will always be referred to with interest.
HON. JESSE B. BALL. - Twenty miles up the Skagit river, in the heart of one of the richest timber sections of Washington, is Sterling, a thriving young city, with high hopes for the future. The founder of the place is the man whose name appears at the head of this sketch. Mr. Ball is a pioneer of 1853, having crossed the plains in that year and stopped at Downieville, where he worked a short time for a company of miners, - his only work for anybody but himself on this coast. His career has had the restless activity and energy characteristic of our people. At Nevada City and other points he was engaged in mining for two years. At Oroville he was in the stock business for nine years. Taking advantage of the no-fence law, he then spent three years at Honey Lake valley, in the same pursuit.
In 1867 he came to Puget Sound, and in 1868 farmed for a year on the Nisqually bottoms. Logging and lumbering near Steilacoom engaged his attention until 1878. It was in that year that he came to Whatcom (now Skagit), and started the town of Sterling. Here he kept a store and logging camp. A year ago he sold his store and his timber lands, and confined himself to farming and real estate, owning several sixty and seventy acre tracts of land near the town. In politics Mr. Bail is a Republican, and has been postmaster of his town for many years.
In the early days of California, he was something of an Indian fighter. He was part owner of the ill-fated steamer Josephine, which plied between Seattle and Sterling, and which blew up in 1883, near Port Susan, and killed nine or ten men. Mr. Ball himself had been expecting to go on that very trip, but was deterred by some ominous foreboding. Mr. Ball ranks among the first of the lumbermen of the Sound. He is a married man and has had seven children, six of whom are living.
DR. LEVI W. BALLARD. - The subject of this sketch was born in Petersburg, Hillsborough county, New Hampshire, on December 21, 1815, and is the son of William and T.B. Downing Ballard. He was educated in the common schools of his native place, and went to Hancock Academy in Hancock for two years, after which, in 1837, he came to New Jersey and taught school for three years. After engaging with but poor success in the mercantile business, he removed to Ohio and engaged in different occupations, until finally, taking up the study of medicine, he entered the Cleveland Medical College and graduated as M.D. in 1848. He then engaged in the practice of his profession until 1852; when, on account of the loss of his wife, he, in April of that year, started across the plains to California, where he arrived in September. He followed mining for a time; but, meeting with no success, in January of 1853, he returned via the isthmus of Panama to Ohio to settle up important business. After closing his affairs at that place, he again started across the plains to California, but while on the journey was persuaded to come to Oregon, and arrived at The Dalles July 14, 1853. He remained at The Dalles until 1854, after which he went to Umpqua county, practicing his profession and also raising stock. On the breaking out of the Rogue river war, the Doctor gave his services as surgeon, and remained until the close of hostilities, after which he returned to his home on the Umpqua.
In 1857 he returned to Ohio,
and was married a second time, and with his wife and two children came
again to Oregon. In the spring of 1865 he concluded to remove to Washington
after looking over the ground, homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres, on which the town of Slaughter is now located and followed farming and practiced his professing. In 1886, the Doctor laid off part of his claim as the town of Slaughter, naming it after Lieutenant Slaughter, who was killed by the Indians at this place in 1856. The Doctor took an active part in the educational and religious institutions, and was the first elder in the First Presbyterian Church on White river. He is now in his seventy-fourth year, is a Republican in politics, and has five sons, one of whom is deceased, - Irvin, who was prosecuting attorney of the second district at the time of his death.
SAMUEL KIMBROUGH BARLOW. - Samuel Kimbrough Barlow was born in Nicolas county, Kentucky, January 14,1795. He was of Scotch origin, and inherited many of the sterling qualities of his ancestors. His race was remarkable for an unswerving fidelity to principles of right; and on every occasion these principles were disseminated or defended by courage which sometimes almost amounted to audacity. Freedom of speech and will and progression in all things were also marked characteristics of the ancestors of S.K. Barlow. Illustrative of these features of disposition in the Barlow family, a story is told of the fearlessness of the paternal grandfather of S.K. Barlow, who, just before the breaking out of the Revolutionary war, at the time that the hot-bed of dissolution was brewing, refused to take off his hat to one of the King's squires; and, when remonstrated with and further aggravated by the squire cheering and shouting "Hurrah for King George," audaciously knocked him down. It was the custom, at this time, for each man to raise his hat to the King's officers; and to known one of them down greatly increased the magnitude of the crime.
This was no doubt the prime cause of the hero of this sketch being born in Kentucky; for the old gentleman, not wishing to encounter or to submit to such insolence, preferred to isolate himself from such scenes until the time came for him to take up arms in defense of the principles which he then so emphatically advocated. He therefore moved into the rural districts of Virginia, not far from the borders of Kentucky. This early insight into frontier life imbued into the minds of his descendants pioneer dispositions. His oldest son, William, the father of Samuel K., was the first one to leave the paternal roof. He followed the trail of Daniel Boone into the wilds of Kentucky. Here, for several years, he alternately fought the Indians and cleared his farm. In course of time he married a Miss Kimbrough, who had emigrated with her father at an early day from Virginia. Settling down on his newly-made farm, he lived there contentedly until the day of his death, and reared up sons and daughters. Among them was Samuel Kimbrough, his fourth son. Samuel, at an early day, espoused the cause of universal freedom, though his father at the time was an extensive slave-holder. Young Sam often argued strongly with his father against the institution, and its baneful effects upon society. He made several unsuccessful attempts to get his father to emancipate his slaves and emigrate to a free state. He said, "Some day the institution will shake the government from center to circumference," and he lived to see his prophecy verified. He often declared his intention to never live under the influence of human slavery; and, upon reaching his majority, when he became master of his own will, he carried his inclination into effect. Bidding father, mother, brothers, sisters a long farewell, he started for the then territory of Indiana without anything but a giant spirit to carry him through. His father refused to give him anything unless he complied with his wishes by settling in Kentucky. It was anticipated that he would be back in a few months, or as soon as he wanted a new supply of clothes. But he did not return until after an absence of sixteen years, when his eldest son, the writer of this biography, was old enough to accompany him on horseback.
His father said to him after he had been there two or three days; "Well, Sam, have you given up your foolish notions about slavery?" "I never had any foolish notions on that subject," he replied. His father resumed: "I have no money on hand but I have a very likely boy for whom I can easily get five hundred dollars. You are welcome to this sum, if you will accept it." Of course the refusal was emphatic. At his father's death, some years later, upon opening the will, it was found that he had made a one-thousand dollar provision for his son Samuel, to be paid out of real estate.
The history of S.K. Barlow's movements in Indiana was not marked with any unusual event outside of a frontiersman's life, such as felling the giant forest and hewing a farm almost out of solid timber, and at the same time depending upon his unerring rifle for the animal portion of his food. This was a very easy task at that time, as the whole country abounded in game of nearly every description, and honey flowed from almost every tree; while breadstuff was obtained from corn pounded in a mortar burnt out in the end of a big stump. A heavy swing pestle was suspended in the air by a spring pole, which was just stiff enough to raise the pestle, while the weight of a man would bring it down with great force on the dry corn in the mortar, and thus pulverize it as finely as powder. This, when sifted through a sieve made of finely cut, dressed buckskin strings, made excellent bread material.
But this state of isolation
was of short duration, as the onward march of civilization soon began to
fill up the country with people. Among the newcomers in 1817 was a most
amiable young lady by the name of Susannah Lee. Our pioneer meeting her
soon became convinced of her many good qualities, and, finally wining her
affections, made her his companion for life. She lived to bring up a family
of five boys and two girls, and to accompany and guide them with cheering
heart and christian hand to the Pacific shore; and there, in the year 1852,
in the sixty-second year of her age, she resigned her body to the earth,
from whence it came; and her spirit, in its most triumphant christian glory,
returned in all its purity to the God who gave it. No one has ever died
more loved and regretted by all who ever knew her.
In the year 1836, the subject of our sketch moved to the State of Illinois with all his family; for as yet they were all in their minority. Here he resided on a newly made farm as a humble tiller of the soil until the year 1845, when he conceived the idea of "going west."
Samuel K. Barlow was a personal friend and admirer of Henry Clay and his principles, and several times "took the stump" in advocacy of his friend and party. But when defeat came to Henry Clay, and the unknown James K. Polk of the opposing political school was elected President of the United States, S.K. Barlow declared his intention of never living under his administration. In pursuance of this declaration, he immediately offered his farm for sale, which sale being accomplished he was ready to seek a haven, where at least the isolation and obscurity of it would be some palliation for the offence under which he and his party were suffering. Accordingly, on the 30th day of March, 1845, he with all his household and many followers left the great State of Illinois, and commenced their journey to the Pacific shore. At that time it was thought that the nucleus of an independent government was springing up. But this belief with him was soon dispelled; for, seeing its fallacies, he soon became as strong an opposer of that idea as any man in Oregon. Though a man of much determination when he believed himself to be right, yet he was always glad to correct an error in his reasoning when convinced of the superiority of another's belief. He derived all the advantages education offered in his own schooldays, and being a man of more than ordinary ability improved and profited by his early but limited lessons. A great characteristic of his life was strict honesty. Above all things he hated a dishonest politician. He was one with Henry Clay in the famous motto, "Rather be defeated all my life in the right, than victorious in the wrong." He always held that "The office should hunt the man, but not the man the office." Besides these principles he was a bold but consistent free-thinker. He believed in the paradise of right. He spoke his mind freely, but was open to conversion whenever honest opinion directed. Some of these characteristics made him unpopular with a class whom he utterly abhorred, - the dishonest, the groveling politician, and the swerving, vacillating ma of policy. But with the upright, honest and true man his words and character were an oracle upon which they could depend.
It is not necessary to describe the journey towards the Pacific, east of the Cascade Mountains, as that would be following in the wake of those "who had gone before." Besides it has been well described and is too well known to reiterate here with any added interest. But, upon arriving at The Dalles, the then supposed terminus of the wagon-road, it was that the daring independence of the pioneer asserted itself. After resting a few days and recruiting his followers, teams and cattle, like a general refreshing his troops for a new fight, notice was given that the company's captain, S.K. Barlow, was going to cross the Cascade Mountains with his family, wagons and plunder. An invitation was extended to any and all who felt disposed to join his expedition; but he wished none to follow him who had ever learned the adaptability of the word "can't." The old mountaineers, who had trapped all over the mountains, the missionaries and Hudson's Bay men said it was a useless attempt, particularly so at this season of the year, it being fall. The rainy season would soon set in; and, with only jaded teams to undertake it, everyone said it would be hazardous. But not all discouraged by these revelations, the captain declared his belief in the goodness and wisdom of the Allwise Being, and said, "He never made a mountain without making a way for man to go over it, if the latter exercised a proper amount of energy and perseverance." So on or about the first of October with a few brave followers, he began the hazardous undertaking.
William L. Rector, J.C. Caplinger, Andrew Hood and a Mr. Gessner were among the few volunteers in this adventure. Everything in readiness, orders were given to move forward, which was done with seeming good-will. Everything moved along harmoniously and without special incident for the first forty miles. But when cañons and insurmountable barriers began to confront them, discussion, discord and dissension arose. Some wanted to turn back; others wished to leave their wagons, then pack their animals with what they could conveniently carry and go over the Mount Hood trail. but the old pioneer told them if they would trust to him, he would carry them through the valley over a new wagon-road across the mountains, before the new year began. He thought to enliven their disheartened minds by reminding them of the wonderful achievement it would be, and of the great benefit future immigration would derive from it.
Having come to this standstill, he offered, with anyone who would volunteer to accompany him, to go ahead and blaze a route to the valley. In case they found it impracticable, they would return in time to reach The Dalles for winter quarters, or to go down the Columbia river to their destinations. To this they all assented; so the next morning with Mr. William Rector, the volunteer, they set out to select and blaze a route to the promised land. In the meantime, those who were left were to follow the marked pathway and cut out the road for their wagons, so that in case the leaders found a pass they would be that much nearer on their journey, or should it prove a failure, they would have a road on which to make the backward trip. But those left behind soon became disheartened; every day seemed like a week. When two weeks had elapsed, and brought no return of the road hunters, they began to despair of ever seeing them again. Some conjectured that they had been devoured by wild beasts, others that they had starved to death. But those who knew the pluck of the old man best did not fear either. They knew that he had been too successful a hunter in the backwoods of Indiana to allow himself and comrades to be devoured by wild animals or to starve to death where they were plentiful.
Nothing appeared to relieve the
monotony of their fears until the sixteenth day after their departure,
when the long-looked-for pilgrims saluted them by the keen crack of a rifle.
This was returned with
cheer after cheer from the whole crowd, with such vehemence that it seemed to shake the very tops of the tall pines and majestic firs that surrounded them. But alas! our leaders were completely worn out and exhausted. Having failed in several routes, they were compelled to retrace and then hunt new ones. Their clothes and boots were almost worn off. Being so determined to find the goal of their expedition, and having in mind the safety and welfare of those they had left behind, they did not go out of their way to even supply themselves with the necessary food, only killing that which chanced to come in their daily march. Consequently, they had suffered some from hunger, even living several days upon very scanty allowances.
The result of their trip and the outlook before the party was anything but flattering. Though they had been through the mountains, retraced and revised the route, and had declared it practicable, yet they were completely exhausted and in great need of rest. It had already begun to rain; and the days were almost at their shortest. Cattle were starving and dying from eating mountain laurel. Many of the immigrants who had arrived at The Dalles this year, 1845, were nearly destitute of provisions or means to procure them. This class the Hudson's Bay Company sent down to Oregon City in their bateaux free of charge. But Mr. Barlow's company were well equipped with provisions and money both for themselves and the few volunteers who joined them, and started out over the mountains well prepared for a journey of a few weeks. But this prospective trip had taken much longer time than was anticipated; and numerous delays and obstacles had lengthened the weeks into months. In consequence, their supply of provisions was almost exhausted. Women were disheartened; and children were crying from want of proper nourishment and care. It was getting very cold; and black clouds were lowering only a few feet above their heads, threatening every moment to cover them up with snow. Altogether it was a scene that would make the heart of the "bravest of the brave" grow weak in contemplating the prospects of the journey under such circumstances.
At this time William L. Rector and family retraced their steps and returned to The Dalles. But the warhorse said "No!" that he and his family were "going through or leave their bones in the mountains." But he was willing, if the remainder of the company would remain with him, to go on to some suitable place and make a cache of the goods, build a house and leave two or three trusty young men with the wagons and plunder until spring, then pack out the women and children on the few animals they had left. As soon as work could be done in the spring, he said, he would return with a gang of men, cut a road through the mountains and carry everything out. Wagons were then worth from one hundred and fifty to two hundred dollars in the valley, and in fact were indispensable articles at any price. Our company owned twenty, which were well worth caring for. This proposition was readily agreed upon. William Berry, John M. Bacon and William Barlow volunteered to remain with the wagons. Very soon indications of the weather pointed out a decided change for the better; so all went to work with the cheerful hope of yet beholding the promised land of the Willamette valley.
A few days travel brought them within five miles of the summit of the Cascade Mountains. Here they found a suitable place to leave their heavy goods and wagons. A house was soon constructed to hold the goods that would be likely to spoil from dampness or from a heavy weight of snow. Everything being nicely put away, preparations for moving began. Packing had to be studied with an eye to economy of space. Each woman attended to her own domestic affairs, cramming her wardrobe and indispensables into as small parcels as possible. The number of horses was very limited; and it was not known, as yet, how the oxen would stand the pack saddle. The stock cattle had been sent to the valley long ere this. The next thing for consideration was, how could the limited supply of provisions be divided with the men who were going to stay in the mountains all winter. The company was now reduced to a very small allowance, - only enough to keep them alive till they reached the "land of milk and honey." This dilemma was soon satisfactorily arranged by one of the volunteers, William Berry, consenting to stay alone, and that the other two should go through with the families, thus adding two more willing hands to alleviate their hardships. They would return soon to the lone mountaineer and bring back provisions to last during his hermitage. All being ready, the start was made; but they moved very slowly, having to cut a trail most of the way and to keep a vigilant lookout for the safety of the women and children packed on the horses. At this rate it was very hard work to make more than three miles a day. A snowstorm coming up covered the ground with a foot of snow, thus leaving the animals nothing to eat but the poisonous mountain laurel. This was discouraging. They counted and turned the cattle and horses out at night, but could make no calculations upon the number they would get up in the morning. Before reaching what is now known as Laurel Hill, some of the women and children, and all of our men, were compelled to walk. They were out of provisions of any kind save the steak they had cut from the hams of the horses that had died from the effects of eating laurel. They soon found that its poisonous qualities were not transmissible, and for awhile partook of it voraciously. The greatest discontent about it was that it would give out before they reached the settlements.
A little incident that occurred one evening will serve to illustrate the courage of some of the ladies of the party. One of the ladies was weeping in contemplation of the final result, in case all the horses and cattle should die, and starvation be their fate. "Cheer up," said Mrs. Gaines, Mr. Barlow's oldest child, "There is no danger of perishing as long as we have such a fine fat dog as good old Bruno." "O, dear!" cried the lady, "would you eat a dog? "Yes, if he were the last dog in the world," said Mrs. Gaines. The courage of all the ladies ascended a few degrees when they realized that there was in camp such a wonderful relief fund.
It was evident that something
must be done to
obtain relief before long; so it was agreed that John M. Bacon and William Barlow, the son of the leader of the party, should start immediately for the valley on foot, and return as soon as possible with fresh horses and provisions for the families. In the meantime the company was to make an effort to reach the foot of Laurel Hill, which was about three miles away. The two volunteers were supplied with a camp kettle, an axe, a very little ground coffee, and their allowance of the laurel-fed horse. They had no idea of the many trials they were to encounter. But, had they anticipated them, their overflowing ambition and buoyant hearts would have nerved them to baffle anything for the success of the enterprise. In this self-satisfactory mood, they continued till they reached the last crossing of the Big Sandy river, which was up to its winter stage. Its waters were as cold as ice, and ran over sleek boulders with the rapidity of lightning. Something must be done; the stream had to be crossed. it was getting late in the evening; and eight or ten miles had to be made before they could reach the first house, should they be fortunate enough to get across the river. Being very tired and weak they thought they would not attempt to ford it that evening; so they hunted for some dry conveyance, a fallen log or drift lodged in a gorge; but none was to be found. Just above the point where the bridge now stands was an island of solid rock, on one side of which was a deep, narrow canon, through which all the water passed. On the bank, just opposite, there was a tall tree, which they thought, if felled, would reach the island. After working with the utmost energy for some time, with the only axe they had it finally fell. To their dismay, it broke in twain and went down the torrent, pitching and jumping like a mountain buck. After this they were compelled to suspend further operations until morning. It seemed almost suicidal to plunge into this boisterous stream; but recollections of the suffering condition of the helpless women and children, and perils of life the old pioneer had endured for them, called forth their keenest sense of duty, and doubly renewed their feeble energies. William told his companion that he proposed to cross that stream at the risk of his life, but that he did now wish him to attempt it nor to sacrifice his life for his people. William who had a father's, mother's and two sisters' lives at stake, felt it his duty to rescue them or perish in the attempt; and so they struck camp. Their bodies and spirits soon enlivened by a cheerful fire, they were ready for their coffee and a piece of old Gray's laurel-stricken ham. At this point, Bacon, who had been entrusted with this burdenless part of the luggage, said that he had lost the meat out of his pocket in the river. They had crossed the Big Sandy at least twenty times. William accused him of eating it, knowing from his own appetite what a temptation it was. But he said he had really lost it, but, fearing that the knowledge of it would discourage Barlow, had refrained from telling him before. So, after partaking heartily of coffee, they lay down under the wide-spreading boughs of their improvised mountain house, and were soon fast asleep.
Morning came. With firm nerve and determined will, which were to carry him to the opposite sore of the river, or to that unknown shore from whence no traveler returns, William slowly advanced to the turbulent, icy waters. Taking a hearty leave of his friend, Bacon, not a word was afterward spoken till he reached the middle of the stream. Here, standing breast-deep in the water, his limbs numb with the water, his limbs numb with the cramp, his heart failed him. He sang out to Bacon a farewell message to his mother. All was desperation! A few more steps and then - the waters grew more shallow, new hope sprang up! A minute more and he was safe on the land. A hurrah of joy reached his ears from the opposite shore which was returned by, "All is well."
Quick time was made over the remaining ten miles to Phillip Foster's. Here James and John L. Barlow were recruiting themselves and cattle, having arrived here some time before by the Mount Hood trail. William was detained here two days, waiting for horses to be brought from Oregon City. In the meantime, Bacon was faring sumptuously on coffee, while William, being foundered after the first meal, was denied even that luxury. The detention was very opportune to him, as he should not have been able to start before. with good stout horses well packed with provisions, the deep crossing, the bane of his pedestrian trip. passed in safety, he joined his trusty friend Bacon; and they were very soon well on their journey towards the anxious waiters in the mountains. To their great surprise they found the company encamped only a few miles from the last crossing of the Big Sandy. The health of the leader of the party, who was taken sick on the summit of the Cascades, and which impeded the daily march, was much improved. They could now see their way clearly. The remainder of the journey was passed in the best of spirits.
On December 25,1845, they arrived in Oregon City, having accomplished the journey from Illinois to Oregon in a little over nine months. Their wagons still remained in the mountains under the supervision of William Berry, who was waiting with that trusty confidence that brave men and stout hearts confide in. No time must be lost to relieve him. As per agreement, and by order of S.K. Barlow, the writer of this article was sent back during the first week of January with the necessary supplies. Bacon, one of the partners in thus undertaking, disposed of his interest; and the service of J.E. Eaton was secured to assist on the journey. In four days they reached is mountain camp, and found him "enjoying himself hugely," as he expressed it, living on rabbits and pine squirrels. However, he was not long in showing his appreciation of flour, bacon, sugar and coffee.
Having arranged with Berry to
continue on alone in the care of the property, Eaton and Barlow commenced
their homeward journey. The weather was very cold, and the snow deep. The
monotony of the homeward trip was varied only by now and then digging a
horse out of the snow, or shoveling the snow from the trees to find the
road-marks. They arrived again in Oregon City in just eight days from the
time they had left there.