Copyright 1999 - 2003 - Janine M. Bork
This page is part of the Union County, OR AHGP
Further action was now suspended on the mountain road till spring. Then our pioneer, true to his promise, buckled on his armor, rallied forces at his own expense, and started forth to hew out the first road over the Cascade Mountains. After many weeks of hard labor, interspersed with an unusual number of troubles, the road was finally completed and established under what is now known as the Barlow road.
The original Barlow Road was eighty miles long. It began at the extreme western side of what is known as Tygh valley, and followed the Indian trail to within ten miles of the north side of Mount Hood. At this point, one year before, William L. Rector and Mr. Barlow had taken observations and discovered a natural gap in the range of mountains, and here determined to blaze the path and afterwards construct a road through to the valley. Here all traces of human footsteps or wild animal trails disappeared; and from here on to Phillip Foster's, the first settlement, the road was made through thick forest, fallen logs crossed and recrossed upon each other, rocks, creeks, canons or barriers of some kind. It required a large force of men and an expenditure of twenty-five hundred dollars to construct it. It was the old gentleman's object to build a good road which would make a continuous route by land clear across the plains, and also lessen the expense from The Dalles to Oregon City, which was very considerable to immigrants. Transportation by water from The Dalles down to the valley was very high; and, even if the rates of travel had been lower, many of the immigrants had no money at all to pay for such service. Their sole capital sometimes consisted of teams, wagons, cattle, a few implements, willing hands, hopeful hearts, and a brave determination to gain an honest living with them.
The road was made a toll-road by a charter form the Provisional (territorial) government, and the rates of toll fixed at five dollars for a wagon and team, and fifty cents for a single animal. The old gentleman himself kept the toll-gate two months of each year, during the immigrant seasons of 1846 and 1847; but, for at least four months in the year, men were constantly constructing and repairing new and better roads. Many, many immigrants were unable to pay the toll; and in every case they were allowed to pass free and use all the privileges of the road. The brave spirit of many of the pioneers of those days would not permit them to accept the privilege as a gift; and this class insisted on leaving their names and a promise to pay in the future. It was always the intention of the builder of the road to turn it over to the territory without charge or any restriction as soon as he had collected enough to reimburse himself. Making an estimate of cash collected and a total of all the notes on hand, he found at the end of two years that the time had come for him to make this donation, which he accordingly did.
After several years, by reference to the cash accounts of the Barlow Road Company, it was found that many of those who had desired to pay had been unable to do so; and their notes, running out by limitation, quite a margin was left to be charged to the individual loss account of S.K. Barlow. It was never intended as a money-making scheme; neither did he intend it as a losing one; and, had he anticipated the non-payment of so many notes, he would have patiently run the road himself till he had all the cash in hand for his outlay. But few of those who had made their way over the mountain path with Mr. Barlow followed him in this laborious undertaking of road-making. Though all had an interest in the wagons and plunder, they preferred to wait till the road was finished before venturing again into the wilderness. One return the old gentleman asked of the wagon owners was that his oldest son might drive the first team over the first road across the Cascades.
After the acceptance of the road by the government, it was leased to other parties and for several years was a paying institution. Later, on account of smaller immigration and therefore limited finances of the toll-man, it was not kept in as good repair as formerly. But for over twenty years it was the principal passport over which thousands came to cast their fortunes in the far Northwest, and become proud Oregonians. The road is now, 1889, owned by a corporation, Mr. F.O. McCown, of Oregon City, being one of the important members. It is yet run as a toll-road, and is now kept in an excellent state of repair. It is not only used by people going to and from Eastern Oregon, but by many tourists and pleasure-seekers. It leads into a delightful mountain country; and, as it is on a natural pass, it is on the line of the proposed railroad to the timber line of Mount Hood. It is still known as the Barlow Road, which for nearly forty-five years has been a noteworthy testimonial of the forethought of its founder and builder, S.K. Barlow. It has been said that the construction of this road contributed more towards the prosperity of the Willamette valley and the future State of Oregon than any other achievement prior to the building of the railways in 1870.
Nothing outside of the daily routine of life occurred in the history of our pioneer till 1847, the breaking out of the Cayuse Indian war. He was one of the first to shoulder his gun and rush to the defense of women and children on the frontier. As an independent high private, he would be under the control of none, and asked no pay for his services. He said he would go out and keep back the Indians until the young men were equipped and in the field; that he would resign and go home. This he did as soon as the volunteers arrived in the field. It was generally conceived that he and a few of his comrades who went at the first alarm kept back the inroads of the Indians upon The Dalles, and prevented their coming into the valley. After this he lived a very retired life. His love of mountain scenery and exploits never left him. Every year that he was able to go, up to the time of his death, he took a mountain pleasure trip, which he enjoyed as keenly as he did similar trips in his pioneer days.
A marked characteristic of the
old gentleman was his most inveterate enmity to intoxicating drinks. It
is believed that he would have sacrificed his life for the annihilation
of alcohol. He had no sympathy for a man who drank. "The first drunk,"
said, "I would take a man our of the mire and care for him until he became sober; the second, I would let him lie there; for the sooner he was gone the better." The last few years of this pioneer's life were spent in and around Oregon City, where he died July 14, 1867, at the age of seventy-two years and six months. He died as he had lived, - calmly and composedly.
He never made any profession of religion; yet he believed firmly in a great God; that a pure spirit would be everlastingly happy; and in the progression of happiness both here and hereafter. He also believed in the punishment of the wicked, but that it would not be eternal, but according to merits, - progressive until the standard of right was reached. He was buried at Barlow's Prairie, named in commemoration of its founder. His final resting place is marked by a monument on which is inscribed an expressive epitaph composed by himself, and embodying in concise terms the precepts of his life on earth and his belief in the future.
WILLIAM BARLOW. - The proprietor of the beautiful Barlow ranch in Clackamas county, which is on the line of the Oregon & California Railroad, and supplied with a way station and warehouse of its own, is the son of Samuel Kimbrough Barlow, a pioneer of 1845, who did so much to open Oregon to settlement. William Barlow, the subject of this sketch, was born September 26, 1822, in Marion county, Indiana, and in 1836 settled with his father in Illinois, and in 1845 came out to Oregon, performing a journey, the details of which are found in the sketch of his father.
A winter journey back into the Cascade Mountains soon after his arrival in Oregon was as severe as anything on the plains. It was undertaken in order to furnish provisions to a party of men left to guard a cache made by his father. Upon reaching the mountains with his pack horses, the young man and his companions found snow five or six feet deep, which had been crusted by rain and subsequent freezing; nor would it always bear the weight of a horse. Nevertheless he pushed on, occasionally breaking through, and burying his horses up to their backs in snow, when it would be necessary to unpack, tramp down the snow and thereby get the animals out and on their legs once more upon the crust, and then drive on again. Reaching the cache he found the guardsmen comfortable, - having made a snug camp, and killed a wild cat and some "star-spangled weasels," to serve as provisions. Honorable Daniel Stewart, Mr. Barnes and Mr. Bonner composed the company; and the latter was so much disgusted with his first introduction to our state that he returned East the next year. Mr. Stewart remained, and is now a well-known resident of Walla Walla.
In 1849, Mr. Barlow went to the California mines; but owing to ague, and lack of success in consequence, he offered to sell his claim and all his dust to anyone who would wash a shirt for him. The companion who took up the offer was filled with chagrin to find less than a dollar's worth of dust in his pouch.
Returning to Oregon, Mr. Barlow was happily surprise to discover that his property at the Falls had trebled in value, and immediately entered successfully into real-estate speculations. In 1852, he was married to Miss Martha H. Allen, and engaged with H.F. Hedges in the mercantile, milling and steam-boating business, which he continued for many years. The engine for the old Canema, and another for the sawmill, were the first shipped to Oregon, and were obtained at Connellsville, Ohio.
He purchased the old Donation claim of his father, and, after living on this farm for several years, went down to Canema and there laid off the town, creating the present attractive village. In 1870, he moved back to the farm and by purchase added to the original domain, increasing it to fourteen hundred acres of as handsome land, diversified by woods and prairie, as is to be found in the state. He has built upon this a beautiful residence, which is one of our best advertisements, and a most cheering greeting to the intending settlers as they pass by. Mr. Barlow is a man of public spirit, and fond of enterprises which bear fruit in the development of the country, and is also quick to see the business bearings of a speculation. He has been of essential service in founding and building our state.
MRS. MARTHA H. BARLOW, wife of the foregoing, was born September 2, 1822, at the historic site of Spottsylvania, Virginia. In 1836, she accompanied her father, Elijah Portlaw, to Tennessee, and in 1840 was married to Doctor William E. Allen, of Palmyra, Missouri. In 1850 she crossed the plains with her husband bringing a family of two children, and endured great toils and dangers on account of the prevalence of cholera, and the necessary pre-occupation of her husband in administering to the sock. Except for this she would have much enjoyed the trip. With her husband she made the first home at Oregon City, where the Doctor died in March, 1851. The two children born of their union were Marion W. and Martha W.
In 1852 she was married to Mr. William Barlow, and during more than thirty years has made for him a beautiful home, and furnished the conditions for his success in life. They have two children, Mary S. and Cassius M.
EUGENE L. BARNETT. - This
is one of the native sons of Oregon; and his career sheds luster upon his
state. He was born in Linn County in 1855, and is therefore still a young
man, whose greatest achievements undoubtedly lie before him. The death
of his father and mother, during his early manhood, left him without home
ties, and in 1881 he sought a place in the promising city of Centerville.
Two years he was in the mercantile business, and upon abandoning this took
up the occupation of keeping and running a livery stable. In this he has
been successful, owning the livery property where he does business and
a lot and handsome residence in a pleasant part of town. His first wife,
Miss D.A. Alford, dying in 1884, he was married in 1885 to Miss Nora W.
Kemp of Illinois. His children are Mable, Clair, Arthur Rex and Archie
Linn. Mr. Barnett's own active life is leading the way to the greater opportunities
and to the eminence of his children.
CHARLES A. BARRETT. - There is no good reason why the people of Oregon should not be as state. They are a selection from the residents of communities from all parts of American, and even from Europe, possessing the culture and intelligence of their native regions with the super-added experience of Western life. And we think that the work of settlement and development done by our people would be no discredit to any in the world.
Mr. Barrett is from Maine, where he was born in 1852. After a few years in Massachusetts and also on the Pacific coast in California, he arrived in Umatilla county, Oregon, in 1872, - a young man full of courage and vigor. His life for six years was on Wild Horse creek in the employment of Mr. J.F. Adams. While there he helped drive overland to Cheyenne one of those bands of cattle which were so numerous in Oregon at that time. In 1880 he came to Centerville, and undertook the raising of sheep and the rearing of horses, retaining his sheep interest until quite recently. In 1883 he added to his other occupations the hardware and implement store of Kasson Smith, and is still operating in this line. His real estate is quite considerable, -farm of 160 acres near Weston; two hundred acres on Pine creek, ten miles north of Centerville; ad four residence and two business lots on Main street in Centerville. On one of these residence lots he has a dwelling-house costing five thousand dollars. This is one of the best in the county. The fire-proof brick building twenty-five by seventy feet in which he does business also belongs to him. This makes a thrifty showing for eight years' residence in the town.
Mrs. Barrett was formerly to Mr. Barrett occurred in Weston. Her marriage to Mr. Barrett occurred in 1877. They have two children, Arcta, the elder, and a boy, Henry.
One of the solid men financially, the man whose portrait looks from the opposite page is no less a substantial pillar of society in every interest calculated to benefit the community.
MATTHEW BARTHOLET. - This active merchant, a member of the firm of Bartholet Brothers, was born in Minnesota, of German parentage. He secured the advantages of a common-school education, and moved with his parents to Oregon in 1875, assisting them in the hotel business for four years. Coming then to Yakima City, he found employment with his uncle, Nicholas Hoscheid, he bought and conducted a remunerative business for two years; but consequent upon the building of the railroad, came to the new place and associated himself with J.C. MacCrimmon, and with him secured a very flourishing custom. In the fall of 1887, Mr. MacCrimmon sold his interest to Joseph Bartholet, Jr., brother of Matthew Bartholet; and the firm of Bartholet Brothers still continues to thrive.
Mr. Bartholet was elected auditor of Yakima county at the fall election of 1888. He was married to Miss Emma J. Schanno in the year 1882. At the present time he is serving a third term as a member of the city council.
J.R. BAYLEY, M.D. - Doctor Bayley, to whom has fallen an unusual portion of public labor and honor, was born in Springfield, Ohio, in 1820. His mother dying, he was cared for by his grandmother, through whose liberality he received an ample education. In 1839 he moved to Clay county, Missouri, but two years later returned to Ohio, and in 1847 began the study of medicine in South Charleston with Doctors Skinner and Steele. He also attended the medical school at Cleveland in 1849, and the next year studied at the Ohio Medical College of Cincinnati. Upon graduating from this institution in 1851, he returned to South Charleston, practicing medicine, and a year later continued his profession at Louisburg. He was married in Xenia in 1852 to Miss Elizabeth Harpole, and remained in Louisburg until the autumn of 1854.
In this year he prepared to cross the continent to Oregon, and reached our state in May, 1855, settling at Lafayette and practicing his profession. Besides his regular work, he was here engaged in political labors, being elected councilman for the counties of Yamhill and Clatsop to serve in the territorial legislature in 1856. He resigned his seat, however, in 1857, and moved to Corvallis, where he practiced medicine for many years. Here also political preferment was bestowed; and he was elected judge of Benton county. In 1864 he was re-elected, serving until his resignation a year later.
During this year he enjoyed that delightful experience of a trip to the old home in Ohio, and a visit to the National capital. While at the seat of government he succeeded in getting a bill through Congress throwing open a part of the Siletz Indian reservation for white settlement. He also secured a land grant for a military road from Corvallis to Elk City, the head of navigation on Yaquina Bay. In June, 1866, he was elected a member of the state senate, representing Benton county. In 1869 he was appointed supervisor of internal revenue for the district of Oregon, comprising the State of Oregon and the territories of Washington, Idaho and Montana, and serving until 1873, when he resigned and returned to the practice of medicine in Corvallis. In 1884 he left this delightful old town and removed to Newport, where he now resides.
The Masonic history of Doctor
Bayley indicates the esteem in which he is held by that time-honored order.
He was made a Mason in London, Madison county, Ohio, in 1847; he received
the degrees of the Royal Arch Chapter in Springfield in 1850, and the Knight
Templar degrees in Reed Commandery at Dayton, Ohio, in 1853. He received
the degrees of the Scottish Rite Masonry at Washington in 1870, which were
conferred by Albert Pike. In 1888 he was made a noble of the Mystic Shrine
at Portland. Before leaving Ohio, he served as worshipful master of Fielding
Lodge for two years, and as worshipful master of Libanus Lodge for two
years. After his arrival in Oregon he served as worshipful master of Lafayette
Lodge, for another term of two years, and also in the same office of Rockey
Lodge at Corvallis, and is now on his third term as master of Newport lodge.
He served as junior grand warden of the grand lodge of Oregon, and in turn
grand warden, deputy grand master, grand master, and grand lecturer of the same for a number of years. He served also as high priest of Ferguson Chapter of Royal Arch Masons at Corvallis for eleven years, and as most excellent grand high priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter for twelve years.
Elizabeth Bayley, wife of the doctor, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Harpole, was born in Green county, Ohio, in 1834. She was brought up on a farm, and received her early education in the district school contiguous to her home, but finished her education at the seminary of Xenia, Ohio. Their family is as follows: Lester S., a native of Ohio, but educated at Corvallis and at the Catholic school for boys at Vancouver, and at the business college at Portland, and now living in the Big Bend country, Washington; Cora, born in Ohio, now the wife of Sherman Richie, and living at Hillsboro, Oregon; Emery P.; Marcus T., educated at the State Agricultural College; Lizzie G.; William H., deceased; Eva; Mary E..
Dr. Bayley, though having passed
his three-score years and ten, still retains all his faculties to a remarkable
degree, and is very active and energetic with a keen, vigorous mind, recalling
the varied incidents in a long and busy life with great exactness, and
relating the same with much pleasant humor.
ROSS BEARDLSEY. - This gentleman, the present mayor of Arlington, Oregon, was born in Cass county, Michigan, July 7,1856, where he received a good common-school education, and followed the occupation of farming, working with his father until 1876, when he crossed the plains to Woodland, California, remaining until 1877 with an uncle, H.P. Merritt. After a year's residence in this land of gold, he returned to Michigan, where he lived until 1879, making a trip in the meantime to Montana. Soon after his return to Michigan, he was married to Miss Jennie Speese of White Pigeon, in February, 1880. In 1881 they determined to pass their future lives on the Pacific coast. They came to California, and, after a year's sojourn, moved to Walla Walla, Washington, where Mr. Beardsley opened a barber shop, continuing in this occupation until their removal in 1884 to Arlington. Here he also successfully established and conducted a shop for a period of five years. In 1889 he concluded to take charge of the Grand Hotel, and at the present time is ably conducting this house. Mr. Beardsley has been intrusted with the conduct of public affairs, having been elected to the office of city councilman in 1886. The following year he was elected mayor, acceptably filling the office two years. In 1889 he was re-elected, and is at present thus serving his city with honor to himself and to the advantage of the community at large.
JOSEPH BEEZLEY. - This pioneer is of distinguished ancestry, tracing his lineage to the Pilgrims. In his own character he exemplifies the qualities of those old heroes. His grandfather was a general in the British army; and his father added new honors to the name by his marriage to Phoebie Reeves of Virginia. Fourteen children were born to this pair, Joseph, of whom we write, being the twelfth, and his birth occurring at Springfield, Clark county, Ohio, in 1819. In 1824 the elder Beezley moved his family to Indiana, where he resided for two years, and from thence, in 1826, to Danville, Illinois. This place was the home of Joseph until 1842, when he was married to Miss Mary Jane Barr, his present wife. He then left his father's place and, with his wife, moved to Fairfield, Iowa. In this state he was elected sheriff, serving two years. He resided there until 1851, when, on account of the death of his mother, his father desired him to come to the old home in Danville.
After the death of his father in the same year, Joseph settled up all his business, and the following March, with his wife and children, set out upon the toilsome and adventurous trip to Oregon, in company with Colonel I.R. Moores, Sr. Their trip was attended with all the trials, hardships and losses incident to all immigrants at that time. They arrived in The Dalles October 18, 1852, after seven months of continuous travel. They lost one son by death on the road. Leaving his stock above The Dalles, Mr. Beezley performed the trip to Portland in an open boat, as there were no steamers above the Cascades at that time. The winter of 1852-53 proved very severe; and in consequence all the cattle perished. But in September, 1853, the undismayed pioneer went down to Clatsop Plains and shipped a hundred head of cattle in a sail boat sixty miles up the Columbia, and drove them to the Umpqua valley and made this beautiful region his home for eight years. During this time three sons were born, and he buried two sons and one daughter.
He suffered the entire loss of his property to the value of five thousand dollars by indorsing a note, and after this disaster removed to Benton county in July, 1862. After a three years' residence there, he concluded that the county was ill suited to his business, and again sold out. As there was no longer any opportunity to go west, he went east, - conducting his family in wagons across the Cascade Range of mountains to Wasco county, where he bought a homestead from a squatter and commenced the business of horse-raising and sheep-raising, which he followed until 1879, when he was enabled to sell out at a handsome figure, moving his family to the city of The Dalles. He makes this his represent place of residence, having a commodious house tastefully furnished, and provided with every comfort. His sons and daughters are now married and in business or conducting homes of their own, and enjoy an honored reputation in their several communities.
Mr. Beezley has ever been one
of the most public spirited of our citizens during his thirty-seven years'
residence in the state. He was a true Union man during the war; he has
paid thousands of dollars to build up schools; he has contributed thousands
more to the aid of struggling churches, - and all this in addition to providing
for his family of four children, and providing for their education. This
shows him to have been nor ordinary man, but one of whom Oregonians may
well be proud, - one of those unwritten heroes who have held no rank other
than the warrant and commission of manhood conferred upon them by their Creator. Mr. Beezley, whose noble physical proportions and kindly countenance indicate his mental worth, has been a trustee of the McMinnville College for seven years, and has been honored as a deacon of the Baptist Church, has held honorable positions in the Grange, and is known as one always ready to aid all worthy institutions, and promote the ends of education, morality and religion.
COL. JOHN COLGATE BELL. - Colonel Bell, enjoying a wide reputation from Southern Oregon to Idaho, and back again to the Pacific seashore throughout the state in which he has successively lived and made a multitude of personal acquaintances, merits a special recognition on account of his public services in official relations and in the early Indian wars of Southern Oregon.
He was born at Sterling, Kentucky, February 24, 1814. His parents were from Virginia; and among his ancestors were those distinguished in the early history of the nation, his father having served with General Harrison in the war of 1812. The young man received his education at the Mount Sterling Academy, and began business at his native town in the dry-goods store of David Herren. In 1834, he began his western career by removing with his father to Missouri, engaging with him in mercantile business at Clarksville, Pike county. Eight years later he entered into business on his own account at Weston, and in 1845 was married to Miss Sarah E., daughter of General Thompson Ward, of honorable fame in the Mexican war.
In 1847 he was engaged with the General in organizing the regiments of Donovan and Price and the battalion of Major Powell sent to new Fort Kearney on the plains for the protection of emigrants. It was in these operations that he received his military rank.
In 1849 he gratified his desire for a life wider than that of the east by setting forth with Doctor Belt, a brother-in-law, for the El Dorado of the Pacific. The journey was accomplished amid the usual difficulties of the way, - such as hail-storms on the Platte that stampeded the cattle, or the necessity of bearing to one side of the main traveled way to avoid cholera, or the delay of ten days at Crooked river and again at the Malheur by reason of sickness. Having met with Major Davis' train of twenty-seven wagons on the Platte, and meeting him once more on Bear river, Colonel Bell abandoned the route through Sublett cut-off to California, and with Major Davis came via Raft river to Boise and to Oregon.
Arriving at Oregon City, he went back in November to The Dalles, then occupied by Major Tucker's battalion, who were living wholly in tents, and had removed the old mission buildings preparatory to erecting the barracks. Being active in obtaining materials, he was the first to erect a building upon the present site of the city. Here he opened a store, bringing goods from Oregon City and other points on the Willamette. The spring following he closed out his stock, and buying thirty mules took a pack train from the Willamette to Yreka in prospect of the gold discoveries in the latter section. By this he was brought into the midst of Indian troubles, being requested at the Illinois river by Major Phil Kearney, then engaged near the Siskiyous in surveying out a military road, to raise a company and come to his assistance, as the Indians were threatening. Gathering fourteen men, he hastened to Major Kearney's relief, incurring, on the way a running fight with the Indians. An irregular battle was brought on some days later, in which there was some skirmishing in the chaparral; and Colonel Bell's little company made a charge, capturing fourteen of the enemy. The Indians were dispersed, and a number of fugitives were picked up, although by disregard of the Colonel's advice the main band escaped. Much irregular warfare was carried on during 1851; and Colonel Bell sustained a notable part in the Siskiyou Mountains, and moving on to Yreka assisted Kearney to a loan of five thousand dollars.
The same spring he returned East with Mackay of Spring Valley, performing the journey at a time of the year when all the streams to the Rocky Mountains were so swollen as to be crossed only by swimming. In 1854, having disposed of his effects at his old home in Missouri, he determined to make Oregon his future home, and brought his family across the plains, having in his train fifteen horses and three hundred cattle, many of which were lost from eating poisonous herbs. Their journey was expeditious; and on the Platte they overtook various well-known pioneers, as Mrs. Peters and the Strattons. While not enduring great hardships, nor experiencing great dangers, they passed near the scene of the massacre of the Ward family, - Colonel Bell being among the number to search for the women of that ill-fated party, whom he found at some distance from the point where the first massacre occurred; One had her throat cut, another drawn by knives, and the third impaled upon a wagon iron, which had been heated red-hot for the purpose. This atrocious work, when known throughout the settlements, sent a thrill of horror and hate through the white population, and was one of the things that nerved the arms of the volunteers the next year.
Reaching Oregon once more, Colonel Bell prepared for a permanent home and business by buying a stock of goods and a store at Corvallis. He operated here in a mercantile line until 1857, removing then to Salem, where, for more than twenty-five years, he successfully conducted a store, carrying on an extensive trade. In 1884 he was appointed by President Cleveland as postmaster at Astoria, and has faithfully and ably conducted this office to the present time.
The Colonel has raised a family
which have occupied a prominent position in the business and society of
the communities in which they have lived; Laura W., the wife of Captain
J.H.V. Gray, resides at Astoria; Anna, who married Mr. Jackson, is deceased;
William T. is successfully engaged in business at Salem; John C. is deceased;
Sarah, the wife of Walter E. Davis, of the well-known drug firm of Hodge,
Davis & Co., resides at Portland; Alice P., Jennie V., and Robert E.
are still at home.
SAMUEL BENN. - There is a certain keenness amounting almost to prescience which enables a man to locate a successful town. The laws of a city's development are so peculiar that few are able to make much of the riddle. Nevertheless some seem to know where to locate a townsite, and where to invest in real estate. It is a business instinct. Mr. Benn is one of these persons. He is the founder of Aberdeen.
He was born in New York City, and, as a youth, learned the carpenter's trade. In 1856 he came to San Francisco, and mined and built dams and flumes in Tuolumne county three years. His purpose to return home was changed by reports of the wealth and beauty of Washington Territory, whither he came in 1859, and settled at Milburn on the Chehalis. Here he lived nine years, clearing up a farm, - an arduous but eminently useful job. In 1867 he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land from the government and some four hundred more from Reuben Redman on the present site of Aberdeen, and in 1884 laid out the city, selling lots and improving the property. For three years subsequently he was occupied with farming, and in conducting the Washingtonian Cannery. He has now, however, retired from business, excepting such as is required by his property interests, which are extensive. His capital of one hundred dollars which he brought into the territory has become a handsome fortune. Mr. Benn was the first sheriff of Chehalis county, and has since held the office of assessor, county commissioner, and member of the school board. He was married in Aberdeen to Miss Martha Redman. They have seven children.
HON. JAMES ABNER BENNETT. - Our subject was born in Bracken county, Kentucky, on March 17,1808. His birthplace was a farm; and here he remained with his parents until 1830, when he moved to Boone county. He resided here for three years, and then removed to Jackson county, Missouri, near the town of Independence, and in 1839 again removed to Platt county. The following year, 1840, he was married to Miss Louisa E.R. Bane, of Weston, Missouri. Here Mr. Bennett remained, following blacksmithing and conducting a livery stable. He also acted as justice of the peace until the year 1842. There also was a son born to them, John R. Bennett. Mr. and Mrs. Bennett moved from here to Jackson county, Missouri, where they lived until 1850, in the meanwhile suffering the loss of their son, who died April 18,1848.
In 1849 Mr. Bennett came on a prospecting tour to California. On his return, Mrs. Bennett made preparations and started with him for Oregon, traveling with ox-teams in company with some thirty other families, Judge Bennett being elected captain of the train. They started on May 9th, and after a wearisome journey of five months' duration reached Oregon on October 2, 1850. They at once located on their beautiful farm near Corvallis; and, the settlers soon recognizing true worth, he was elected a senator in the territorial legislature from Benton county, and in 1857 was re-elected over all competitors. He also was once assessor of the county, and served as sheriff for one term. He occupied himself in farming and stock-raising, and drove cattle to California to the mines. In 1864 Mr. Bennett went to Idaho, and for two years drove stock to supply the miners. In 1866 Mrs. Bennett joined her husband in Idaho; and together they established a dairy in Ada county. Two years later he went to Salt Lake City, bought a herd of cattle and drove them to the farm in Ada county.
In 1869 he was elected to the legislature, and served one term as representative. But in the following year his health began to wane; and for the next fifteen years he was incapable of performing any labor, his wife taking his place as chief and superintendent of the farm. On April 24,1885, Honorable James A. Bennett closed his earthly career; and his remains were brought to Corvallis by Mrs. Bennett, and now repose in Crystal Lake Cemetery, where the faithful and loving wife has caused to be erected a handsome monument, suitably inscribed, to his memory. He was a mason of high standing, an honorable man in all his dealings, and left a name second to none in the state for integrity and nobleness of character. His widow still lives on the old home place, one mile southwest of Corvallis, in a modern cottage, surrounded by all the comforts and conveniences of life. She is a most generous and charitable lady, as is acknowledged by all with whom she is brought in contact, and respected and beloved by all fortunate enough to claim acquaintance with her.
NELSON BENNETT. - Though Toronto, Canada, must be accredited as the birthplace of the distinguished personage whose name heads this brief sketch of a most active, useful and busy life, yet were his parentage and ancestry thoroughly American. On the paternal side the Bennetts were natives of Virginia, three generations back; and his mother was of the ancient and time-honored family of the Spragues of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He was born October 14,1843; and his father died when he was seven years of age, leaving a widow and six children. The family resided upon a farm; and Nelson was afforded the opportunity of acquiring a good rudimentary education in the grammar schools near Toronto. The custom was to work on the farm six months, and go to school the remainder of the year. This was continued until his fourteenth year.
In his seventeenth year he left
Toronto, and came to Orleans county, New York, the old home of the family,
where he attended school for one year. During much of his first year in
New York, he was sick from the effects of a singular but severe accident.
He was riding horseback through the timber, his horse being on a lope,
when he came to a limb extending across the road, which he thought he could
avoid by ducking his head. The limb,, however, so caught his body, and
drew it forward in such manner that the pressure caused extreme internal
injuries, from the effects of which he suffered for about a year. His health
being recovered in 1863, he was employed by the United States government,
in a corps of artisans, whose chief occupation was building barracks for
troops. In this service he remained until 1864, when he
went to the oil regions of Pennsylvania. Then and there he first displayed the proclivities which have rendered his after-life so prominent, and his name so well-known. He commenced contracting. While there he sank twenty-seven oil wells, with varied success, and made considerable money.
In the fall of 1865, he migrated to Pettis county, Missouri, where the town of Sedalia now stands, and invested the money made in oil in large tracts of land. In the spring of 1866 he went to Iowa and secured employment by the North Western Railroad Company, and worked on their roads in Iowa during that year. In 1867 he went out on the Union Pacific, and followed on the line of construction till the track reached Fort Bridge. He abandoned railroad construction when the mining excitement borne out into the Sweetwater country in Dakota, and remained there while the excitement continued. Among the occupations necessitated by his Sweetwater experiences was fighting the Indians for about two years of that period.
Mr. Bennett had now become a miner. He left the Sweetwater country for the Little Cottonwood mines in Utah. For the next two years he engaged in mining pursuits in Utah, at which time he entered into a contract with Walker Brothers to transport a quartz mill from Ophir cañon, a district in Utah, to Butte City, Montana. This was the commencement of a freighting and transportation business out of which a train was built up of 150 animals, mostly Kentucky mules. The business was pursued under the old style of freighting, - twelve animals constituting a team, each team drawing three wagons. During the time Mr. Bennett pursued the freighting business in the Rocky Mountains, he opened a wagon road from Eagle Gorge on Snake river, by way of Big Lost river, through the Challis and Bonanza mining districts in Idaho Territory. He it was who also sent the first team into the Wood river district with supplies and materials for miners. In one of his expeditions during the year of Howard's campaign against the Nez Perces, his train had just passed Dry creek, in Idaho. The hostile Nez Perces came up and intervened between his train and the head of the train following, that of James Brown. Bennett's train was not delayed; but Brown had to return to Pleasant valley.
His singular good fortune, luck, or call it what you will, seemed never to desert him. A year later his train was making a second trip into the Challis and Bonanza districts of Idaho. A large train had gone ahead; and they were intercepted by hostile Bannacks, who fought them and held them at bay for two days and two nights, killing one man and stampeding the animals and running off a number. Colonel Green, U.S. Army, came up; and the Indians fled. Bennett's train came up after the arrival of the soldiers and the flight of the Bannacks. The soldiers were entirely out of provisions and really in need. Bennett sold out his whole outfit, consisting of grocery bacon, canned fruits, canned salmon, and a well assorted stock intended for the miners. Script was issued to him, as that was one of the years in which the appropriation had fallen short; and Bennett did not receive his pay for eighteen months.
Whilst Mr. Bennett has been carrying on this freighting enterprise west of the Rocky Mountains, Jay Gould had undertaken the extension of the Utah Northern Railroad from Ogden to Butte City. That great financier had sent out, as superintendent of construction, Washington Dunn, wit whom, in 1881, Nelson Bennett became intimately acquainted. Through that intimacy Mr. Bennett entered upon the railroad contracting business. It is out of place to follow in detail the contracts he undertook. Since that date, a part of which time doing business under the firm name of Washington, Dunn & company, and in his individual capacity, he has built five hundred and fifty miles of railroad, including the Stampeded or Cascade Tunnel of the Northern Pacific Railroad through the Cascade Range of mountains. The latter stupendous and colossal work was completed in May,1888. Mr. Bennett took the contract for its construction January 21, 1886, requiring its completion within twenty-eight months from the date of contract. He gave bonds of $100,000 cash, and ten per cent of the contract price for the fulfillment of the contract. He finished the great work, and had seven days to spare.
During all the time that Mr. Bennett was engaged in freighting and railroad constructing, he was steadily occupied in other pursuits, - merchandising, the lumber business, dealing in agricultural implements, stock-raising, mining, and dealing in mining properties. He became largely interested in developing mines; and, although almost universally successful in any enterprise in which he enlisted, he has in his hope to develop mines expended some fifty thousand dollars, only realizing out of those ventures a thousand dollars. But indomitable he is still mining and not discouraged as to the future result of those investments. It would not be Nelson Bennett to give up, nor would it be him not to be crowned with a successful result.
Since completing the Cascade Tunnel, Tacoma has been his headquarters; and he has contributed largely to the marvelous growth of that city. Early in 1889 he became interested in Fairhaven, Whatcom county, in the extreme northern part of Washington, on Bellingham Bay. The Fairhaven enterprise comprehends the development of the Lower Puget Sound region, the possibilities resulting from which it is premature to predict. They must be estimated in the future, though it is quite proper to add that the success of the short period already passed through promises grand results. Already twenty-five miles of railroad have been constructed, while another section of twenty-five miles is ready for tracklaying. A large force of men are not at work extending the line south of Skagit river, and gradually approaching connection with the Northern Pacific. There is also work being done on the line connecting Skagit river with the Eastern branch, which is heading eastward to pass through one of the Skagit passes of the Cascade Range to enter and open the rich mining region of the Okanogan, and connect it with Puget Sound.
Another railroad is being constructed
which extends northward from Bellingham Bay to New Westminster, and possibly
to Vancouver and other more remote points in British Columbia. Mr. Bennett
the president of the Fairhaven & Southern Railroad Company. He has purchased the entire control of the Westminster & Southern Railroad Company properties. He is the president of the Fairhaven Land Company, a company which is engaged in the development of the city of that name on Bellingham Bay. He is the president of the Skagit Coal Company, which is at present and for the past year has been engaged in developing the vast coal fields of the Skagit river basin. He is largely interested in and principal promoter of the Fairhaven Iron and Steel Company, who are about erecting the necessary furnaces and works for the development and utilization of the rich iron deposits in the valley of the Skagit.
He was the pioneer builder of the street railroad system of Tacoma, and is now the principal owner of the street railroad system of Butte City, Montana, which has three miles of cable road and six miles of motor lines. He is president of the Tacoma Chamber of Commerce, as also the Tacoma Hotel Company. With all these manifold engagements, he still finds time to contribute by his presence and council to every enterprise suggested for the benefit of the public. He is ever ready to advise and to assist the needy. In vigorous and hearty manhood, full of intellectual vigor and physical strength, his life of usefulness and benefit to his race promises to be prolonged. No one in a more eminent degree illustrates the pluck and push of the men who have made our western civilization than Nelson Bennett.
SIDNEY S. BENTON. - This pioneer of Illinois, California and Washington is one of those facile, multiplex characters that give to our Western life its buoyancy. He was born in the first-named State in 1838, while Chicago was yet in her swamps, and his father was at that city in 1831, when it was a mere Indian trading post, and also at Galena, the home of the Grants, in1832. His father came out to California with ox-teams amid Indians, and over the usual sage-brush plains, and the iron-stone rocks in 1849. He mined on Feather river in Yuba county, and in 1852 went to Siskiyou county, where he followed mining and merchandising. Sidney arrived in 1856 via Panama at Yreka, and mined near that city and in Scott's valley until 1861. In that year he went to Nevada, working on the Comstock; for six years he was underground foreman of the Savage mine, making money and losing it.
In Siskiyou county and Surprise valley, and at Dixon in Solano county, California, he engaged again in business. At the latter place, in1863, he met an old acquaintance from Wisconsin, Miss Mattie E. Bowmer. She and her brother had come the year before from the East in the company which had been attacked on the Upper Snake river by Indians, who killed twenty-eight of the party. Some fifteen years after his marriage to this lady, Mr. Benton came to Walla Walla with his wife, where he began stock-raising. He has prospered greatly, picking up interests at various points throughout the territory. At Farmington he, with a partner, owns twenty-two acres of land, which have been plotted and added to the town. It forms an addition which has been named Grover, after ex-President Cleveland, and lies on the Idaho side of the territorial boundary, which runs next the city. Farmington, being the first agricultural region reached from the mines, is sure to prosper. At Medical Lake Mr. Benton owns a portion of the townsite, and also has city property in Tacoma. His first venture in the Coeur d'Alene mines ended in a disastrous snow blockade at the place where Wardner now stands, but he now has valuable claims at Carbonate Center. He is anchored to real estate at Colfax also.
Mr. Benton's life on this coast has been peaceful with the exception of a campaign and skirmish during the Modoc war while he was deputy assessor. He is living now at Colfax with his wife and son, advancing the interests of the city and state to the best of his somewhat rare ability.
WM. BILLINGS. - The name Billings at once suggests the picturesque hills and valleys of Vermont; and we find that the subject of this sketch is indeed a Green Mountain boy, having been born in Ripton in 1827. He lived upon his father's place until 1846, and in that year went down to New Bedford and shipped before the mast. This step brought him to Washington Territory; for, in1849, he was left at Honolulu, from whence, in the bark Mary, he came to California, the gold of the Yuba mines detaining him but a few months. Indeed, the best place to obtain California gold was not always in California. He came to Portland in the autumn, and found employment in hewing timber for the first steam sawmill in that embryo city. Remaining here until 1852, he joined a company of seventy gold hunters who bought the brig Eagle for the purpose of going to Queen Charlotte's Island prospecting. The expedition proved a failure; and the company returned to the mainland, disbanding and selling their vessel at Olympia.
Being thus landed in his future
home, Mr. Billings located a claim three miles from town and followed lumbering
three years. But the war of 1855 called him from this peaceful and remunerative
occupation, making a soldier of him for a year. He served in the Yakima
country, and after his discharge in1856 busied himself a number of years
at Olympia in whatever enterprise or business came to hand. In1860 he entered
the field of politics, being the nominee of the Republican party for sheriff
of Thurston county. In this campaign he was successful, and was the first
Republican elected to office there. Upon retiring in 1862, he was appointed
corporal in charge of the Puyallup Indian reservation, and in 1867 was
transferred to the Black river reservation in the same capacity. Returning
to Olympia the following season, he was appointed to fill an unexpired
term as sheriff, and was nominated and elected to the same place when the
office was again within the gift of the people, and has served continuously
in this position up to the present time, always as a Republican. Farmer,
sailor, miner, logger, soldier, politician, Indian disciplinarian, - Mr.
Billings "is built four square to every wind that blows," and could make
and fill a position in any part of the world. He is a substantial citizen
of unquestioned probity, and has a fine family of five children.
HON. JOHN BIRD. - This venerable pioneer of our state comes from that stock of state-makers and town-builders who have ever been at the front. He was born in 1810 in Boone county, Kentucky, and lived there with his father until the year 1827, thereafter making Illinois his home until 1847. In the latter year he joined the train of Captain Sawyer, and set forth for Oregon, starting from Missouri about the 1st of May. Upon the trip nothing was more notable than the appearance of about one hundred Pawnee Indians, who laid a blanket on the ground for the emigrants as they passed to drop in a contribution of flour, and the shooting with arrows of two valuable horses by the same Indians. The toils, adventures and exertions, of vast interest and importance, were of the same character as of the early thousands who made the long journey.
Crossing the Cascade Mountains by the Barlow Road the 1st of October, Mr. Bird passed his first winter in our state at Linn City, opposite Oregon City, and indeed made this point his home until 1849. In that memorable year of gold he went to the California mines, but did not "strike it rich," and after deliberation decided that the better place to make a fortune was in the rich valleys of Oregon. Returning therefore to our state he selected a location adjoining Lafayette, buying a place located before by Judge Skinner and Mr. Rice. He made this opulent farm his home up to the year 1864, since which time he has resided in Lafayette.
Having been a veteran of the Black Hawk war, Mr. Bird became a volunteer and valuable soldier in the service against our Indians in the war of 1855-56, being with Captain Ankeny in the campaign on the Yakima, and participating in a number of sharp engagements. He was present when Captain A.J. Hembree was killed, and also at The Dalles when the Indians stampeded the horses, leaving the command afoot. He carried his musket to the close of the war.
Besides conducting his farm,
Mr. Bird has kept in the town a tin and stove store, and has been active
in the public affairs of the city and county, having served four years
as county treasurer. He has had a family of four children; James M. (deceased);
Mary E. (deceased wife of J.C. Nelson); Amelia (deceased wife of J.L. Ferguson);
and R.P. Bird, a merchant, who lives with his family at Lafayette.
His first wife having died in 1882, our subject was married secondly in 1884 to Mrs. H.B. Alderman, and with her makes his home in Lafayette. A friend of schools, and a supporter of churches, still hale and active, Mr. Bird is one of our "grand old gentlemen."
JAMES BIRNIE. - Mr. Birnie was a Scotchman by birth. He was born at Paisley, county Renfrew, Scotland, in the year 1800. In 1816 the ambitious lad left his native health and emigrated to Montreal, Canada. Here, under the tutelage of a Catholic priest, he studied the French language for about two years, at the end of which time he entered the employ of the Northwest Fur Company as one of its clerks, and was sent across the Rocky Mountains to Fort Spokane, where he arrived towards the close of 1818. The fort at this time was in charge of a Mr. Haldin, with whom Mr. Birnie remained for several years. He then went to the Kootenai country, where he was married to the daughter of a Frenchman, a Mr. Bianlien, from Manitoba. Here he spent several years trading with the Indians, buying furs, etc., and then returned to Fort Spokane.
In 1821 the Northwest and Hudson's Bay Company amalgamated as one concern. In 1824 Dr. McLoughlin removed a part of the forces at Astoria up the Columbia river and established Fort Vancouver. During this year, or the beginning of 1825, Mr. Birnie was appointed Indian trader and bookkeeper for the consolidated companies, then known as the Hudson's Bay Company, and was stationed at Vancouver, where he remained until 1831. He was then sent to the Northwest coast to succeed Captain Simpson, deceased, and to complete the building of Fort Simpson, which work he speedily accomplished. After several years service at Fort Simpson, he returned to Astoria, and for a second time took charge of that trading post. It was while serving this second term that the brigantine Peacock, captain Hudson, and the schooner Shark, Captain Harrison, both United States war vessels, were wrecked on the Columbia river bar. The services Mr. Birnie rendered to the officers and crew of these unfortunate crafts endeared him to one and all; and in testimony of their affection, before leaving the river, the grateful gentlemen presented their friend with a quantity of valuable silver plate. From Astoria he was sent to The Dalles to protect the interests of his company against an encroaching stranger, where he remained for several years.
In 1845, he left the employ of the Hudson's Bay Company, and settled upon a tract of land at Cathlamet, and at once began its improvement. At that time, in the language of Robinson Crusoe, he was monarch of all he surveyed. There were no trespassers upon his holdings, save an occasional trader and now and then a roving Indian. Here he soon transformed the wilderness into a land of surprising productiveness, and made for himself and family a comfortable and happy home. At the time of his death, in1864, he was the father of thirteen children, - eight boys and five girls.
During his early struggles in
Oregon, he made friend of nearly every acquaintance. Open-handed and generous
to a fault, the stranger never came within his gates to be sent empty-handed
away. He always had a word of cheer for all with whom he came in contact;
and when neighbors began to settle about him he was the first to welcome
them, and to extend to all whatever aid he could. Of him it may truly be
said that his hand was against no man, and that no man's hand was against
him. he possessed a loyal helpmeet in his most estimable wife. She was
known only to be loved; and the day of her demise witnessed the taking
off of one possessed of those many attributes of character that make the
noblest of her sex so much revered. Oregon owes much of her greatness to
her early pioneers; and to few does she owe more than to Mr. James Birnie,
his most excellent wife and the sons and daughters they left behind them.
ALANSON A., ELHANAN AND HYRCANUS BLACKMAN. - The father of these gentlemen, Adam Blackman, is a native of Maine; and their mother was Mary (Howard) Blackman, both of whom are still living in the town of Bradley in the above state. The history of communities and of nations is made up mainly of the acts of men who contribute towards directing to a result the efforts of the people by whom they are surrounded. This is equally true whether the actor be a Grant marshaling the legions of a grand army, a Vanderbilt, dictating a nation's commerce, or the obscure farmer whose harvest is gathered to feed those dependent upon him. The acts of each that have an influence upon any portion of the human family are historic events, and are important in proportion to the result. Every community has its leading men, whose operations exert an influence upon others. Their plans include the capital and the labor of many to execute; and if that labor is benefited or that capital augmented, the ones who planned are public benefactors, great in proportion to the results achieved. Even though it be claimed that the object of such operations was to benefit the designers only, still, if in its detail or results benefits accrue to the public, those who designed and executed nevertheless are public benefactors.
There are persons of this class living between the Cascade and Coast Mountains who have done much for the country where they live; but among them all there is none superior in this respect than the gentlemen whose names head this short memoir, and whose portraits appear in this history. Fertile in invention, comprehensive in judgment, with a tenacity of purpose inherited from their Puritan ancestors, they could not have fallen short of becoming leaders in whatever sphere circumstances may have placed them.
The firm so well and favorable known throughout Washington Territory as the Blackman Brothers of Snohomish, is composed of those gentlemen whose names appear above. They came to Snohomish county sixteen years ago poor men; but through industry and enterprise, guided by financial ability, they have succeeded in building up a very extensive sawmill, lumbering and logging business on the Snohomish river, together with a general merchandise store in Snohomish. Some idea of their extensive business may be gleaned form the knowledge that they employ their different enterprises no less than one hundred and twenty-five men, and keep four large logging camps in successful operation. (A full account and description of the business interests of this firm will be found in its proper place among the industries of Washington Territory.)
The lives of these gentlemen are conclusive evidence of the truthfulness of the adage of "where those who will may win." As business men, they have the confidence of all who know them; as citizens, the respect to which their character and actions in life have entitled them; and their wealth is the result of judicious labor prompted by their early surroundings, and not the reward of chance or birth. They have gathered the foundation for a competency in the near future, and in doing so have developed a capability and judgment in management that both warrants and deserves success. It is only just to state that the brothers have been ably assisted by the ladies of their families, who aided them in their council, and even for a time undertook the hardship of looking after the household duties in their different logging camps. Whatever enterprise is started that tends towards the benefit of the territory, county or city in which they reside is always met by the brothers by a hasty indorsement and financial aid. In 187 they each built a handsome residence in the city of Snohomish, where they enjoy the comforts of a happy home.
The senior of the brothers, Alanson A., was born in Bradley, Penobscot county, Maine, May 26, 1841, and resided in his native town until his coming with his brothers to Washington Territory, where they arrived in November 1872. He was united in marriage in Bradley, Maine, November28, 1867, to Miss Eliza J. Howard, a native of Maine. Elhanan was also born in Bradley, May10, 1944, and was married in the same town December 25, 1867, to Frances M. Osgood, a native of Maine. By this union they have one child, Edith M. Hyrcanus Blackman was born January 4, 1847, in Bradley and was united in marriage at that place May 17,1870, to Miss Ella E. Knapp, a native of the same town. Their children are Clifford A. and Eunice L.
The lives of those three brothers have been indelibly connected since their childhood. They resided on their father's farm until twenty-one years of age. They were engaged in the lumber business until November, `872, when they came to Puget Sound, and, after looking over the territory for a location, selected Snohomish for their future home, where they now own a large amount of real estate, together with thirty-four hundred acres of timber and agricultural land in the county of Snohomish. The above land contains about one hundred and fifty million feet of standing timber. They are conservative in politics, but vote the Democratic ticket. That party, in the fall of 1878, honored itself by selecting the junior member of the firm to represent Snohomish county in the territorial legislature, a position he filled with ability, and to the best interests of the county, for the sessions of 1878 and 1880.
In conclusion we would say that the men who develop and shape the prospects and property of a country are such men as the subjects of this sketch, - men who by activity, force of character and honorable purposes, guided by superior intelligence, mould for success that which they control, shape for improvement that which falls within range of their influence.
ARTHUR M. BLACKMAN. -
This young gentleman, a flourishing grocer of Snohomish, is a native of
Penobscot county, Maine, and was born in 1865. While he was but a boy his
parents went to Michigan, living at Bay City, and four years later brought
him with them to California, making their residence at Oakland, and giving
their son the benefit of the excellent educational advantages of that city.
In 1885 he began to seek business of his own, and found employment with
Brothers, at Snohomish. He made such good use of his earnings thus acquired as to be able, at the end of eighteen months, to buy the grocery store which he now successfully conducts. His future is still before him, and seems well assured by the qualities which he is able to bring to bear upon his business.
HON. HENRY BLACKMAN. - Mr. Blackman, as mayor of Heppner, Oregon, occupies a responsible and eminent position. His first election to the office was in 1887, during his absence at Salem, where he was still perfecting the articles of incorporation for the town. He was re-elected in1888 by a heavy majority (100 to 41), and was re-elected for the third time in1889 unanimously, there being no opposition. At all times the tickets were nonpolitical, although the mayor is a Democrat. The issue was upon general improvements, and a general policy of progress. The town was laid out upon a liberal basis. The courthouse was built at a cost of twenty-five hundred dollars, raised by subscription. The fine building one hundred and twenty-six by thirty and one-half feet used as the store of Heppner & Blackman, the first brick in the place, is a public ornament. Since the removal of his partner to Arlington, Mr. Blackman has had chief control of the business of Heppner, and conducts it with personal sagacity, and to the convenience and benefit of the public.
He was born in New York City in 1848. In 1850 he was carried by his parents to California. In this state he was educated, and in 1880 came to Heppner, engaging in business with Henry Heppner, whose sister he had married in San Francisco in 1878. He domestic life is singularly pleasant. His tow children, both boys, Heppner and Leo, are now passing from the interesting stage of babyhood to the more interesting period of childhood. Mr. Blackman is an owner of much real estate in the city and county. He has much faith in the region as one to be productive of stock, and for farming for local consumption.
Heppner will be the terminus of the railroad for some (five years) and a supply point for the Upper John Day river, Long creek, and the whole region south of the timber belt of the Blue Mountains. In the influence and leading position of men like Mr. Blackman, we have an assurance of the good order, educational progress and improvement of the state, as well as of its material advancement.
WILLIAM M. BLAKELEY. - The subject of this sketch, a prominent citizen of the rapidly developing upper country, was born in Missouri in 1840. In 1846 he crossed the plains with his father, who located near the present site of Brownsville, Linn county, Oregon, where he still resides. Mr. Blakely was here favored with the educational advantages afforded by the public school, and assisted his father on the farm until 1860, when he moved to a point near the present site of Prescott, on the lovely Touchet river, in Washington Territory. In the spring of 1861 he tried his fortune in the Oro Fino mines in Idaho, and returned to the home of his father at Brownsville in the autumn. In 1862 he made an expedition to the Powder river mines, returning home for the winter. He was engaged in the cattle business from 1863 to 1864. In the latter year he disposed of his herds, and entered upon substantial life, marrying Miss Margaret Baird. In 1868 he moved to his present location near Adams, in Umatilla county, Oregon, where he is largely interested in agriculture.
DR. N.G. BLALOCK. - Americans in general and those of the West in particular have no equals in the world in versatility. No other people can do so many different things and do them so well as we. No other people so disregard the conventional and regular ways of doing things, and go across lots to conclusions and results so promptly. On our Western border is this especially manifest. Face to face with nature in some of her most remarkable and powerful manifestations, with all things new and untried, we burgeon out our powers untrammeled by custom or artificial restraints. Thus has come the fact that many men here, educated, as lawyers, teachers, physicians, and preachers, so readily turn their attention to other occupations, and carry on a wide range of effort. No better example can be found in the Northwest than in the subject of this sketch.
Doctor Blalock was born in North Carolina on the 17th of February, 1836. After a boyhood of activity and industry, he devoted himself for some time to teaching; but, deciding that the practice of medicine should be his goal, he entered Jefferson Medical College in1859, and graduated two years later. He had already been married to Miss Panthea A. Durham in 1858.
Soon after graduating from the medical college, Doctor Blalock, with his wife and two children, moved to Mount Zion, Macon county, Illinois. The tempest of the Civil war just now was breaking on the country, and Doctor Blalock, with a broader patriotism than most of his misguided brethren of the South, joined the armies of the Nation as surgeon. He was attached to the One Hundred and Fifteenth Illinois Infantry. With them he exercised the same skill and devotion which have been such prominent traits in his character since; but failing health compelled him to leave the army before the end of the war. In 1862 he lost his elder child, and on May 18,1864, he suffered the irreparable loss of his faithful wife. He now resumed the interrupted practice of his profession at Mount Zion, Illinois, and there, in December, 1865, was married to Miss Marie E. Greenfield.
During the busy years which followed,
the Doctor, like many others, became interested in the reports of the wonderful
results of farming, and other enterprises in the valley of the Upper Columbia.
In 1872, he set forth to cross the plains in company with thirty other
men of Macon county and their families. Though "dead broke" on his arrival
at Walla Walla, his industry and fertility of resources soon set him on
his feet in both his profession and his outside business. Though considering
medical practice his chief calling, he could not help noticing
the vast undeveloped resources lying loose around Walla Walla; and he soon, with his peculiar energy, got control of a large body of land in the foothill belt south of the city. His farming enterprises mark an era in the development of the Inland Empire. At that time, though only about sixteen years ago, nobody had tested the plains of the upper country. It was generally supposed that, aside from the narrow valleys in the near vicinity of the streams, the upper country was a desert.
The Doctor bargained for twenty-two hundred acres of upland at a price of ten bushels of wheat per acre. Entering into the work with great enthusiasm, and expending all that he had in its cultivation, he was abundantly rewarded for his daring and enterprise by securing a harvest of thirty-one bushels to the acre. Thus a third of his first crop was enough to pay for the land; and at one bold appeal to Fortune, aided, however, by good judgment and industry, he found himself independent. we give in the body of our history some specific statements as tot he Doctor's subsequent experience in farming. Satisfied as to the profits of wheat-raising, he formed the association known as the "Blalock Wheat Growing Company," which secured twenty thousand acres of land in what is now Gilliam county, Oregon. Ten thousand acres of this tract have been in wheat at once, and corn (not usually thought a success in this country) has been raised on a scale and with an excellence which would do credit to Illinois or Kansas.
But the incessant activity of the Doctor in his constantly growing medical practice, and in his wheat business, did not restrain him from still greater efforts; and in 1874 he began the construction of a flume twenty-eight miles long from Walla Walla to the Blue Mountains. This great enterprise was completed in 1880, costing $56,000. The great cost of this flume and the expense of maintaining it, however, so devoured the profits that the Doctor found himself greatly embarrassed and for a time was compelled to restrict his many and valuable enterprises. Unremitting attention to his practice (now far larger than that of any other practitioner in the upper country), together with an enormous yield of wheat (90,000 bushels) on his Walla Walla ranch in 1881, soon repaired his temporary embarrassment; and he retained the position so justly due him, of being one of Walla Walla's "heavy" men.
On Christmas eve, 1885, he was again deprived by the death of his wife, a loss inestimable both to him and the place. Mrs. Blalock was a woman whose beauty and attractiveness were surpassed only by her intelligence and benevolence. She left two daughters, Rose and May. The remaining child of the Doctor's first marriage was Yancey C.; and he has followed his father into the discipleship of Esculapius, and is now rapidly making a name as one of the leading young physicians of Walla Walla.
Though his mind has thus been occupied with so many matters outside of his profession, Dr. Blalock considers that his chief claim to recognition among the leading men of the country. He seems to have by nature almost every requisite of the successful physician, - calm judgment, keen perception, quick intuition and untiring patience. Besides his eminence in his profession, he keeps abreast of the times in all other matters pertaining to the development of the city and country. He is one of the trustees of Whitman College, and in all matters relating to the intellectual and social development of Walla Walla is one of the leaders. Well may the beautiful country of his adoption be proud of such a man. We may properly end this sketch by saying that, at the very day of writing it, Doctor Blalock has been further honored by being elected one of the delegates from the Walla Walla district to the convention which is charged with the momentous duty of framing a constitution for the coming great State of Washington.
HON. DEAN BLANCHARD. - Among those who have manifested great interest in the welfare of the Pacific Northwest as a whole, and Columbia county, Oregon, in particular, the gentleman above named figures conspicuously. He was born in Madison county, Maine, on December 20, 1832, where he resided on his father's farm until 1853, when he left for California, reaching that state in December of that year. In April 1854, he came to Oregon, and located at St. Helens, having secured a situation as salesman and book-keeper in a store there. In 1855, he went with the command of Major Haller, which was ordered to the Boise country to punish the Indians who had murdered some immigrants in 1854 on the Snake and Boise rivers. In this campaign several savages were killed; and some eight or nine of those captured, who were found guilty of murder, were hanged. From these scenes he followed the fortunes of the command to California, where it wintered in 1855-56.
In the spring of 1856, he was again in the Pacific Northwest, being employed in the quartermaster's department at Vancouver. After a stay there of about a year he again went back to St. Helens. He was soon elected auditor of Columbia county, which position he held for two years, after which he assumed the duties of county clerk, to which office he had been chosen. After the expiration of his term as county clerk, he accepted a position in the quartermaster's department at Vancouver, and retained such position until his removal to Portland in 1861. His first employment in this latter place was at carpentering, which he followed until 1862, when he entered the store of G.W. Vaughn as clerk and manager. In 1868, he started for Umatilla Landing to engage with Captain Kinghton in merchandising; but while on the way to The Dalles that gentleman died. In consequence, the plans of our subject were changed, and he retraced his steps and once more found himself in St. Helens, where he busied himself in settling up the estate of his deceased friend Captain Kinghton. When this duty was completed, he removed to Ranier and engaged in the lumber business. At that place he has since remained.
In 1874, he was elected county
judge, and was re-elected in 1878. In 1882, he was tendered the nomination
for a third term, but declined the honor. Mr. Blanchard's interests in
his adopted home are extensive. Besides his lumber mill, which is one of
the largest on the Columbia river, and furnishes the
fruits of the same to not only home but foreign markets, eh conducts a general merchandise business equal to the demands of the neighborhood. He also carries on the business of wharf construction; and his efforts in this line are to be seen at nearly all landings and places along the river, which in itself attests his skill as a master mechanic.
Through life Mr. Blanchard ahs ever been a sober, industrious and exemplary man and citizen; and when a public trust was in his hands for administration, the requirements incident to the office were performed faithfully and honestly. He well merits his popularity in the community.
ARCHBISHOP BLANCHET. - The Most Reverend F.N. Blanchet ranked among the apostolic men who laid the deep foundations of the Catholic faith in this country. He was born at St. Pierre, Riviere-du-Sud, Quebec, Canada, September 5, 1795, was educated in the Petit Seminaire, Quebec, and was ordained July 18, 1819, by Archbishop Plessis. At that time Oregon was simply the name given to a territory extending along the Pacific coast from latitude forty-two degrees to fifty-four degrees, forty minutes north, until finally, in 1846, - the year of the accession of Pius IX. to the see of Peter, - all the territory south of the forty-ninth parallel was ceded to the United States.
In 1811, the Pacific Fur Company, of which John Jacob Astor, a furrier, and the founder of the New York house of Astor, was a leading member, established a trading-post called Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia river. Afterwards came the Hudson's Bay Company, employing many Canadians, most of whom were Catholics. Many of them settled and intermarried with the Indians of the territory; and with these there was a demand for Catholic priests and Catholic worship.
Application was first made to the Right Reverend J.N. Provencher, bishop of Juliopolie (RedRiver). The demand for Catholic priests was earnestly indorsed by Sir George Simpson, governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, writing from the British capital (1838). He applied to the Most Reverend Joseph Signay, then archbishop of Quebec. At once, in the April of 1838, Archbishop Signay instructed two of his missionaries, the Very Reverend F.N. Blanchet and the Reverend Modeste Demers, to take charge of the mission "situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains," - a mighty charge for two men; but the men were apostles, and therefore as full of practical zeal as of practical faith. Father Blanchet was vicar-general, with Father Demers as assistant.
The journey of the devoted missionaries to their new mission was a long and most laborious one, familiar enough in early American history, though almost incomprehensible to us in these days of rapid and easy transit. They labored on their route, baptizing and confirming in the faith many Indians, who at various forts gathered to meet the long looked-for "black gowns" as they were called. Their destination was Fort Vancouver, which they reached November 24,1838.
Vancouver was at this time the principal fort of the Hudson's Bay Company; and this the missionaries. Blanchet and Demers, made their headquarters, while for four years they toiled unaided up and down the wide domain of their mission. The letters of these fathers describing their work and surroundings were full of interest, and afforded valuable material for history. They learned the Indian tongue, and taught the natives prayers and doctrines of the church in their own language, Father Demers attending more to the Indians, and Father Blanchet to the Canadians. Some important conversions were made among the officers of the company, the chief of these being Dr. John McLoughlin, the governor of that company's establishments (1842), whom, for his services to the church, Pope Gregory XVI. afterward made a knight of the order of St. Gregory the Great.
In September, 1842, two canadian priests, the Reverends A. Langlois and J.B.Z. Boldue, reached Oregon to assist their worn-out brethren. As an instance of their labor and its fruits, the following item, of many such sent to Quebec, will suffice: "From March, 1840, to March, 1841, were performed: Baptisms, 510; marriages, 12; burials, 11, communions, 60; one abjuration at St. Paul. Of the 510 baptisms, about 410 Indians, 100 whites, 40 adults." On October 17, 1843, was founded St. Joseph's College at St. Paul, with the Reverend A. Langlois as director. There entered at once thirty boarders, all sons of farmers, save one Indian boy, the son of a chief.
With the rapid growth of the missions the holy see, at the request of the bishops of Quebec and Baltimore, erected Oregon into a vicariate-apostolic (December 1, 1843), appointing Father Blanchet its vicar-apostolic, he receiving his briefs on November 4, 1844. In August, 1844, Father de Smet arrived from Belgium with six sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, four Jesuit fathers and some lay brothers to assist in the work of the mission. The papal briefs arrived on November 4th; and Father Blanchet, setting out for Canada, received his consecration in Montreal at the hands of the archbishop of Quebec. Thence he went to Rome, which he reached in January, 1846, and set before the pope the great wants of his vicariate.
At his intercession, in July,
1846, after the accession of Pius IX, the vicariate of Oregon was erected
into an ecclesiastical province, with the three sees of Oregon City, Walla
Walla (now Wallula), and Vancouver Island. The Right Reverend F.N. Blanchet
was appointed to Oregon City; the Right Reverend A.M.A. Blanchet, his brother,
to Walla Walla, and the Right Reverend M. Demers to Vancouver Island. The
necessity of this division may be judged from the result of the missionaries'
labors at the end of 1844. Most of the Indian tribes of the Sound, Caledonia
and several of the Rocky Mountains and of Lower Oregon had been won over
to the faith. Nine missions had been founded, - five in Lower Oregon and
four at the Rocky Mountains. Eleven churches and chapels had been erected,
- five in Lower Oregon, two in Caledonia and four at the Rocky Mountains.
There were two educational establishments, - one for boys and the other
for girls. There were fifteen priests, secular and regular, besides the
figures may not look large to-day; but they were large at the time, and of great significance in a rapidly populating and growing region.
Meanwhile the archbishop of Oregon City had been very active abroad in aid of his new province and its dioceses. He sought help on all sides, and returned in August, 1847, accompanied by a colony of twenty persons, comprising seven sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, three Jesuit fathers, three lay brothers, five secular priests, two deacons and one cleric. The bishop of Walla Walla was consecrated September 27, 1846, and entered on his charge the following year, taking with him six priests, four of them fathers O.M.I., and one deacon. The bishop of Vancouver Island was consecrated in 1847, and entered on his charge the same year. With the arrivals from France and Canada, the ecclesiastical province in the fall of 1847 had three bishops, fourteen Jesuit fathers, four oblate fathers of Mary Immaculate, thirteen secular priests, thirteen sisters and two educational establishments.
The first provincial council of Oregon City was held at the end of February, 1848, the three bishops assisting. Each then departed to his diocese, the archbishop beginning with ten secular priests, two Jesuit fathers, thirteen sisters of Notre Dame de Namur; the bishop of Walla Walla with three secular priests, four fathers O.M.I., and twelve Jesuit fathers at the Rocky Mountains; while the bishop of Vancouver Island, not having a single priest, departed for Europe, and after visiting Rome returned in 1852 with a number of missionaries.
In consequence of local disturbances, the diocese of Walla Walla was suppressed, and that of Nisqually erected in its stead, with the same bishop and clergy, May 31, 1850. In 1852, Archbishop Blanchet assisted at the first plenary council of Baltimore. In the summer of the same year the sisters of Notre Dame de Namur left St. Paul for Oregon City, and in the following year went to California. In 1855, the archbishop started for South America to collect for his needy diocese. He traversed Chile, Bolivia and Peru, returning in 1857 after a successful expedition. Two years later he departed for Canada, returning the same year with twelve sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary for Portland, two sisters of St. Ann for Victoria, some others for Vancouver and three priests.
In 1866, the archbishop attended the second plenary council of Baltimore, and, ever watchful for the cares of his diocese, returned with one priest and eight sisters. On July 18,1869, he celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood, and four months later left for Rome to assist at the Vatican council, where he met his early brother missionaries. He returned to Portland in 1870,and on July 28th of the following year his old associate, Bishop Demers, died at Victoria, British Columbia. To Bishop Demers succeeded the Right Reverend Charles John Seghers, consecrated June 28,1873. In 1878, Bishop Seghers was appointed coadjutor to Archbishop Blanchet, whose long life of arduous labor in the cause of Christ and his church called for some assistance in his declining years.
At this time, forty years since the creation of the mission, the archbishopric of Oregon City contained twenty-three priests, twenty-two churches, sixty-eight sisters, nine academies for girls, one college for boys, two parochial schools for girls, one female hospital, one orphanage, together with a number of societies and two Indian reservations with schools and stations. The first Catholic church in Portland was erected in 1852. In 1862, the archbishop moved from Oregon City to Portland; and this church, now considerably enlarged and improved, was made the pro-cathedral. And out of this grew the present cathedral, which is not yet completely finished.
There has been a slight increase in the number of churches, priests and institutions, since 1878. On July 1, 1879, Archbishop Seghers, the coadjutor, arrived in Portland and was received by the venerable founder of the diocese, surrounded by his clergy and faithful flock. In a few words of touching simplicity and sweetness, the aged prelate received and welcomed his youthful co-laborer to the field where he had planted and sowed and reaped so well. After initiating Archbishop Seghers into the work of the diocese, the venerable man chose wholly to retire from the scene of his active labors, and published his farewell pastoral on the 27th day of February, 1881, announcing the acceptance by the holy father of his resignation, from which we make an extract:
"After sixty-two years of priesthood; after forty-three years of toilsome labor on this coast; after an episcopate of thirty-six years; after thirty-five years spent at the head of this ecclesiastical province, - we may say with the Apostle St. Paul; 'The time of my dissolution is at hand. I have finished my course. Let, therefore, the Lord dismiss his servant in peace; for truly my eyes have seen the wonderful works of his salvation.' We came to this country, accompanied by the late Modeste Demers, the first bishop of Vancouver Island, in 1838, to preach the true gospel for the first time; and where then we saw nothing but 'darkness and the shadow of death,' we have now flourishing dioceses and vicariates, prosperous missions, a zealous clergy, fervent communities, and a Catholic people of whom we expect great works and noble deeds."
Since that time he resided at St. Vincent's hospital, passing his last days in reading, writing, and making occasional visits, until in the ripeness of his old age he was plucked from the tree of life by the angel of death. He died June 18, 1883, aged almost eighty-eight years.
JOSEPH BLANCHET. - The
farm of twelve hundred and eighty acres of fenced and improved land, belonging
to Mr. Blanchet, is a sight rare even for this region of big farms. Its
proprietor has been so successful in multiplying his flocks and droves,
that he has been obliged to remove a part of them to Idaho. He came to
Vinson in 1880; and his acquisitions have thus been the work of but a few
years. He was born in Canada in 1846, and was occupied, until his removal
to this coast, in draying in the cities. He has three fine boys, Nicholas,
John and Eugene. His wife, Hermine du Puis, whom he married at Vancouver,
Washington, died in 1886. Joseph Blanchet is known throughout
Eastern Oregon as a man of great practical intelligence, of rigid honesty, whose word is a good as his bond, and he is respected accordingly.
SAMUEL M. BLOOM. - The
farm of the above-named gentleman is described as "Three hundred and twenty
acres of the beautiful, gently sloping, well watered, and sightly fruit
and grain producing land in that lovely nook in the loveliest valley in
the Northwest." It was in 1862
that Mr. Bloom came to this region; and since that time he has acquired and improved this farm, and now devotes himself to raising fine cattle and horses. He is also interested in a sawmill near by, and is a partner in the Cove Dairy Company, which conducts the most extensive and best-equipped cheese and butter factory in Oregon.
He has raised five children, and has four grandchildren now living in Union county. His house was one of the first erected in the valley; and he has ever been a substantial and faithful citizen. He is a native of Ohio, where he was born in 1835, and passed his early life in that state and in Illinois and Iowa. In 1860, he was married to Mis Martha M. Murphy, of Tennessee, and in 1862 came across the plains direct to Grande Ronde.
REV. LUKE J. BOOTHE. - This well-known minister of the gospel was born in Virginia in 1820. At the age of ten years he emigrated to Missouri with his parents, and received n that state a common-school education. Arriving at his majority, he married Miss Mary Ann Shaw, of Boone county, and engaged in farming and stock-raising.
About 1858, he entered the ministry, in the missionary Baptist denomination, in which he has served with but little interruption to the present time, - continuing frequently in his pastoral pursuits in connection with other necessary occupations. In 1863 he served in Captain Leadrod's company of Missouri state militia, and was in actual service for six months. In 1865 he crossed the plains with his family, locating in Cove, Union county, Oregon, where he re-engaged in farming and stock-raising. Continuing in the ministry, he organized three churches in Union county, two in Baker county, and in 1873 was instrumental in the organization of the Grande Ronde Baptist Association. In 1884,he disposed of his farm and removed to Union and engaged in the hotel business, being now the proprietor of the Union City hotel. He is still engaged in stock-raising, and owns some superior horses, and is engaged to some extent in the livery business.
Of the sons born to him there are now living Wm. R. Booth, a prominent farmer and stockman of Cove; Samuel S. Booth, a stock-raiser and farmer of Inland City; and Luke J., Jr., a mail contractor of the Imnaha. He has one daughter, Mrs. Mary Ann Mitchell, of Joseph, Oregon. His twenty-two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren are among the young folk of Eastern Oregon.
WILLIAM R. BOOTHE. - This gentleman, a conspicuous figure in Eastern Oregon, was born in Missouri in 1846. He was raised on a farm, and received a fair education. At the age of eighteen, he crossed the plains to Grande Ronde valley with his father, the Reverend L.J. Boothe. For three years after his arrival, he was engaged in freighting. In 1868, he purchased a homestead right in The Cove and engaged in stock raising and farming, where he still resides and now owns nine hundred and twenty acres of land, of which three hundred and sixty are in one body and, as usual with The Cove farmers, are beautifully situated and very productive. He is still raising stock, and among the rest has twenty-eight hundred fine sheep.
In 1876, he was elected captain of the hurriedly organized company who had assembled in Wallowa valley to protect the few families there when Chief Joseph made his first demonstration. Captain Boothe prevailed upon his companions to desist from a contemplated attack upon the Indians, - much contrary to the general wish. An attack then would have undoubtedly have resulted disastrously to the Whites there gathered, as well as to the whole section, since Joseph was ready for war and had his line of battle formed. Captain Boothe believes that he was not wholly to blame. A few cool heads treated with the Indian chief, and prevented serious disturbances in Northern Idaho. In 1877, when hostilities had actually commenced, Captain Boothe, in response to a request from the governor, led out a company and scouted the south side of Snake river until the Nez Perces retreated to the mountains. In June, 1872, Mr. Boothe was married to Miss Nancy E. Sturgill, daughter of J.P. Sturgill. They have a family of seven children.
JEREMIAH W. BORST. - The
subject of this sketch was born in Tyoga county, New York, in 1829. At
the age of four years, he removed with his father's family to Indiana,
and was reared on a farm. The days of his youth were spent in Missouri,
with a return to the Hoosier State. In 1850, he crossed the plains with
ox-teams for the gold fields of California, and dug for the precious metal
five years. In 1858, he came north to Washington Territory, finding a home
on Snoqualmie Prairie, since famous as the location of the great ranch
of the Hop-growers' Association. He laid his claim upon the one hundred
and sixty acres now owned by this company. Upon the survey of the land,
- for his first claim was prior to the survey, - he availed himself of
the homestead law to acquire another quarter section, and by purchase from
the Territorial University secured three hundred and ninety more on this
very fertile plain. He lived upon his land, cultivating and improving
it, until in 1887 he felt a desire to expand his place into a town. The
requirements of the country justified his plan; and he laid off Falls City
on a site comprising half a section which he had bought about ten years
before. This place gives promise of thrift. Besides this town property,
Mr. Borst owns some twelve hundred acres adjoining, and operates a sawmill.
He has served the county as commissioner for one term, and is a man of
sagacity and undoubted probity. Mr. Borst was one of the discoverers of
the Denny Iron Mine on Puget Sound, of which he is a fifth owner. He is
a man of family, having an estimable wife and five very bright and interesting
DR. WILSON BOWLBY. The office of the physician is one of such primary importance in society, that one who worthily sustains that character for a long time in one place becomes one of the fundamental pillars of the community. If the character of a wise and influential public officer and politician and public-spirited citizen be added to the requirements of the skilled physician, we have a life of the highest usefulness.
Such in a general way has been the career of this pioneer physician of Washington county. Though now well advanced in a very busy and wearing life, Doctor Bowlby, as may be seen from his portrait, still retains much of the vigor which in past years enabled him to carry on successfully so many and such varied enterprises. He was born at New Hampton, New Jersey, on the 4th of July, 1818. there he lived till eighteen years of age, when he went to New York City, and was there engaged in a store for two or three years. He was married there in 1841 to Lydia D. Jones of Newark, New Jersey. Soon after he went to Cincinnati to attend medical lectures in the Eclectic Institution.
In 1845 he went to Fairfield, Indiana, to practice medicine. In 1852, he came "the plains across" to Oregon. Having spent one year in Portland, he took up a place south of Hillsboro, where he lived until 1860. In that year he removed to Forest Grove, where he has resided continuously, engaged in the practice of medicine, except a period of four years, from 1869 to 1873, in which he was collector of internal revenue, with his residence at Portland.
Doctor Bowlby was conspicuous in the early legislative history of Oregon. He was a member of the last territorial as well as the first state legislature. He served in the lower House four terms in all, and was in the Senate one term. During that term he was chosen presiding officer. He was one of the Republican electors at the first election Grant. In politics, Doctor Bowlby was first a Whig, then a Republican. During the period of the war he served by appointment of President Lincoln as examining surgeon, under Captain Keler, provost marshal. For the last ten or fifteen years, the Doctor has taken no active part in politics, though in his town he is pretty sure to be called on to preside at political meetings, and frequently reminds his hearers of his former political activity by the vigor and aptness of his brief impromptu addresses.
Doctor Bowlby's living children are: J.Q.A., a prominent lawyer of Astoria; Theodore, living on the old ranch near Hillsboro; and Sarah E. Coplen, now residing at Latah, Washington. In 1883, Mrs. Bowlby died; and in the following year the Doctor was married to Mrs. Burlingame. He has one of the most beautiful houses in the village of Forest Grove; and in it he enjoys the rest well earned by his years of untiring activity.
HENRY BOWMAN. - Mr. Bowman, universally known as a public-spirited and prominent citizen of Pendleton, was one of the earliest settlers of Umatilla county. He was born in 1833, in Tyler county, Virginia. He spent his early years in the old dominion, and his youth in Pennsylvania and Iowa, and in 1860 came by the well-worn Oregon trail to our state. In the train of thirty-six wagons there were some two hundred persons, eighty-eight of whom were men; and their numbers secured them from attacks by Indians. The train was under command of Mr. E. de Lashmutt, uncle of the present mayor of Portland. Arriving at the Umatilla country, Mr. Bowman met men from the Willamette valley seeking stock ranges, and wisely concluded that there was no use in going farther west; and he at once selected a place on Birch creek, ten miles south of the present sight of Pendleton, and began stock-raising.
Mr. Bowman's ranch is one of the finest in Oregon, containing thirteen hundred and thirty acres of nearly level and altogether tillable land. There is at least fifteen miles of fencing on the farm. A large orchard of thrifty apple, pear and plum trees is just beyond the house. This is the wintering place for his stock, which consists of fine horses and sheep. The summer range is forty miles distant in the mountains, which is all fenced and comprises about seven hundred acres. Although situated high in the mountains, this grazing tract is excellent grass land, and produces abundantly of every variety of tame grasses sown. In the care of his stock, a considerable force of hired help is required and employed throughout the year.
His place is distinctively a stock ranch; and the horses, all of trotting stock, such as Black Hawk Morgans, Pathfinders and Coburgs, compose one of the handsomest bands of animals in our state. Mr. Bowman breeds from thoroughbreds in horses, cattle and sheep. He has half a dozen shorthorn cows, and is exporting full blood Merino sheep. His stock of Merinos came originally from Hammond's in Vermont, and from Wood's Michigan flocks, and is therefore of the best American blood. The average clip for his entire band this year was eleven and one-half pounds per head. It was some years after his arrival before he discovered that the uplands were of any value than as a stock range; but a little experimenting soon showed that he was in the heart of one of the richest agricultural regions in the world. It is to the progressive spirit and experiments of the few settlers such as he that the present value of the Inland Empire is referable.
After a few years of residence on his ranch, he removed to Pendleton, and located permanently at this growing metropolis of Eastern Oregon. Here he conducts a livery stable, of which it has been said that no establishment of the kind can turnout better horses or finer carriages. It occupies nearly half a block, and is well built of wood and brick.
Mr. Bowman was married in 1852 to Miss Elizabeth Owens. The fruit of their union was four children, the eldest Mary Ellen, being the wife of Henry Stover, one of Umatilla county's most worthy and progressive citizens. His sons William a., Walter, and daughter Ida May, have also reached adult life.
JOHN H. BOYCE, - The vicissitudes
and characteristic frontier life of this redoubtable miner and freighter
are not easily expressed in a few sentences. He was born in Vermont in
1832, and in 1850 came around Cape Horn to California. The succession of
his labors thereafter is thus stated; In 1851, he mined on the Stanislaus; in 1852 was freighting with a sixteen-mule team from Stockton to various points; in 1860 was hauling quartz in Nevada; in 1862 came to Elk Creek mines, Eastern Oregon; in 1863 was at Bannack, mining and packing; from 1864 to 1869 was engaged as teamster of a twelve-mule prairie-schooner, which he afterwards bought and continued driving until 180. By this time he had acquired a competency; and finding his health somewhat impaired by exposure went to the Umatilla meadows, and purchased two hundred acres for a farm. His operations have been directed here to stock and grain raising; and he is one of the most active men in this war. Taking a band of cattle to the Wallowa in the winter, he found the valley deserted, the settlers gone, or at the fort. The severe season killed off two hundred and fifty of his animals. The next summer he was one of the four to come through Grande Ronde to Pendleton, while the savages were plundering and murdering on all sides.
WILLIAM P. BOYD. - The subject of this sketch is the senior member of the well-known dry-goods house of W.P. Boyd & Co., of Seattle. Mr. Boyd was born in Belfast, Ireland, April 2, 1849, and is of the hardy Scotch-Irish race that believe in themselves, and through their own exertions have done much towards the building up of the Pacific Northwest. Our subject, when but fifteen years of age, was apprenticed with a large dry-goods, mercantile firm in his native city, and served four years, afterwards being a salesman with the same firm. In the fall of 1869, Mr. Boyd concluded to seek his fortune in the new world, and in September of that year arrived in San Francisco, and a short time after entered as salesman the well-known establishment, "The White House," with whom he remained for fifteen months, and then entered the employ of J.J. O'Brien & Co. After eighteen months with this firm, he came under engagement with Schwabacher Bros. & Co. to Seattle, with whom he remained for seven years.
He then embarked in business
for himself as the senior member of Boyd, Poncin & Young, in a small
dry-goods store then located where the Star block now stands. In 1879,
on account of the death of Mr. Young, the firm was changed to Boyd &
Poncin; and, in 1882 they built the present business house of W.P.Boyd
& Co., "The Arcade," a view of which appears in this work. In 1883,
the firm name was again changed to its present title; and it is safe to
say there is not a better known or more popular firm on Puget Sound than
W.P. Boyd & Co. Mr. Boyd's success has been mainly achieved in the
city where he now resides. Beginning with small means, he has gradually,
through energy, perseverance and business qualifications, and not by chance
or the favorable turn of fortune's wheel, amassed a competency. The "Queen
City" may well be proud of the house of W.P.Boyd & Co. Mr. Boyd is
married and has one daughter.
GEORGE BRACKETT. - Mr. Brackett, whose portrait appears in this work, was born in Canada East, May 22, 1842. There he resided until eighteen years of age. He then with his parents moved to Maine, his father being a native of that state. There they lived for six years, and then moved Eu Clare, Wisconsin, and embarked in the lumber business, which he followed until December,1869.Then George came west to Washington Territory, and first found employment in Pierce county. In 1870 he came to Seattle, and in 1872 began logging on Salmon Bay, which business he followed until 1877, when he purchased the present site of Edmunds where he now resides in a beautiful residence overlooking the Sound.
In 1884, Mr. Brackett laid off the townsite of Edmunds, named in honor of the great statesman of that name. Edmunds is beautifully located in a level plateau fourteen miles north of Seattle, and is at present a thriving village, and in the near future will be an important trading point on the Sound. Besides the townsite, Mr. Brackett owns five hundred and twenty acres of valuable land adjoining the town. In 1885, on the establishment of the postoffice at Edmunds, Mr. Brackett was appointed postmaster, which position he held for several years. He is a good, responsible, reliable business man, and highly respected by all who know him. He is married and has a family of four children.
CLEMENT ADAMS BRADBURY. - Of all the romantic and adventurous ways in which the early settlers found their way to Oregon, this now venerable pioneer may perhaps claim a manner as exciting as any, - that of a world-wide career on the ocean, and, finally, shipwreck. He was born in York county, Maine, March 18, 1819. As a boy he learned to labor, belonging to one of those hardy New England families whose lot was cast in a forest country, and in hard times. But by this very discipline young Clement acquired strength of body and of mind, independence, self-reliance and energy. At the age of thirteen he went to a new home in Aroostook county, in the midst of the deep pine woods.
At the age of twenty-five, -
now a brawny, fearless, and ambitious young man, - he went to sea, following
the example of the many wonderfully hardy young New Englanders, who learned
how to chase the sea monsters at either of the Polar circles. Off on a
whaler he went to the South seas, fishing on the St. Paul ground. Crossing
the equator and dipping in the northern waters, he was at Petropaulovski,
and down to the station at the Sandwich Islands. The ship also went down
to Syndey in Australia; and here, in company with another young man, Bradbury
left the whaler, passing some time on the great Southern island and encountering
a host of serious and comic adventures. Shipping however on another whaler,
he took a second cruise north, arriving in Behring Sea some time in June,
when all those Arctic waters were shrouded in fog and white chilly mist.
It was the old ship Baltic on which he sailed, a decayed vessel;
and her course was apparently directly towards Behring Island. At last,
one afternoon, when the fog was just thinning away so as to make a gleam
of sunshine flash on the water, the rocky front but
sandy beach of shore appeared out of the vapor, showing also a white top of snow; and the ship was run directly on the beach. It was a good wreck, no lives being lost; and plenty of barrels of biscuits and other provisions were on deck for the sailors to carry through the breakers to the little covers they made by turning the ship's boats, bottom up on the upper portion of the beach. here, after munching biscuit, and living on sea-bird's eggs and shell fish, and even trying to eat eagles, the crew was picked up on the Fourth of July and carried off to the Sandwich Islands. Here Mr. Bradbury found the bark Toulon, Captain Crosby, ready to start for the Columbia river; and, seeing no easier way of getting back to the world, boarded her at Honolulu and was on the way to the land that he never afterwards abandoned. He was treated with the utmost consideration, but was overtaken by a very severe attack of fever on the voyage, which for a time deprived him of all remembrance of his past life.
On reaching the Columbia in December, 1846, he found employment at Hunt's old mill on the Oregon side of the Columbia opposite Cathlamet. In 1848 he went to the mines of California, with such old pioneers as Mercellus, John and Richard Hobson, Robb and Jeffers. He was successful in this undertaking, making a pile of dust, and being the fortunate discoverer of a nugget of gold worth six hundred dollars.
Returning to Oregon he settled in 1851 on the old Oak Point on the alluvial land opposite the present Oak Point Mills, at the site of the settlement made in 1809 by Major Winship of Boston. This is on the Oregon side of the river. He speaks of finding here the stumps of oak trees cut forty years before by the Major's axemen. This place is now called Bradbury, a steamboat landing, and is a handsome riversite. He bought it in the first instance from one Charles Adams, a Hudson's Bay man. In 1884, after more than forty years of hard and successful work, he sold the farm to advantage, and spent a year visiting at the East, and in 1885 took up his residence with his son at a beautiful spot on the banks of the Nekanikum river near the seaside in Clatsop county.
Mr. Bradbury was the first permanent settler on the middle portion of the Lower Columbia below Sauvie's Island and above Astoria; and he has ever been a most industrious, enterprising and honorable man. Now in the gloaming of life he is genial, hearty and mentally vigorous. He was married in 1850 to Miss Annie the daughter of William Hobson, of the immigration of 1843. There were born to them four children, two of whom are living; The daughter Bethemia A., wife of John Quigley, resides with her husband near Bradbury's Landing, Columbia county, and the son Clement on a farm in Clatsop county.
HON. CHARLES MINER BRADSHAW. - The present efficient collector of customs of the Puget Sound district, a portrait of whom appears in this work, is a gentleman who has worked his way from the lowest rung of the ladder until he now stands at the front rank in his chosen profession, as well as having acquired a recognized position among the men who lead public opinion and form institutions and states. Mr. Bradshaw was born in Bridgewater, Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania, August 9, 1831, - the son of Salmon and Sarah F. Schurz Bradshaw, and is a lineal descendant of John Bradshaw, who presided at court at the time of the trial of Charles I. when that usurping king was executed by Oliver Cromwell; and now, as relics of great interest, he has in his home some of the effects of the old regicide.
Mr. Bradshaw resided in his birthplace until 1839, when his parents removed to Dryden, Tompkins county, New York, where he was educated at the Dryden High School. On the completion of his school life in 1852, the ambitious young man started west, coming to St. Joseph, Missouri. He then fitted out, with another of his own age, an ox-team, and crossed the plains to Oregon, making the journey hither in the year 1852, when the pestilence of cholera, often joined with famine, was abroad. The thousands of graves that dotted the plains testified to the hardships and the dangers endured. He, however, arrived safely in Portland August 26th, and a few days later came to Washington territory, stopping at the present site of Port Townsend. He was obliged to accept the first work that offered, which proved to be employment in a logging camp. A short time afterwards he became proprietor of one of these camps, and remained in the logging business until 1854. He located in that year a Donation claim as a farm near the present site of the town of Dungeness, and following farming until 1867.
Even before leaving school Mr. Bradshaw had begun the study of law; and now, in his Washington Territory home, as he found opportunity in the interims of work, continued the same, and in 1864 was admitted to the bar. In the fall of 1867 he came to Port Townsend and opened a law office, and at that early date laid the foundation of his future success. In 1857 and 1858 he was elected to the territorial legislature to represent Clallam county, and filled the same position again in 1863. He was elected to the council in 1867, and was re-elected in 1869, serving four years, acting a portion of this time as its president. Again in 1875 he was re-elected to represent Jefferson, Clallam, Island and San Juan counties in the council. He was twice elected prosecuting attorney of the third judicial district from 1869 to 1873, and was again elected to the same office for the years 1883 and 1884. The latter year he was also elected mayor of Port Townsend, and was re-elected in1885. In 1878 he was elected to the state constitutional convention of Walla Walla.
In 1886 he received the Republican
nomination as delegate to Congress from Washington Territory, but was defeated,
as is well remembered, by a complication of circumstances, not the least
among which was the then recent extension of the franchise to women. The
positions he has filled, as stated above, are evidence of his ability and
of the confidence reposed in him by the people of Puget Sound, a confidence
that has never been misplaced, as Mr. Bradshaw's voice and influence have
been used to further every legislative enterprise, and to support every
public measure that would in any wise benefit his constituents or the territory
In 1889 Mr. Bradshaw was appointed, by President Harrison, collector of customs of Puget Sound district; and in his appointment the people of the territory have been exceeding well pleased, all concurring that it would have been difficult to have advanced to this position anyone more worthy or capable.
Mr. Bradshaw was united in marriage in1870 to Miss Florence Holmes, a daughter of Samuel Holmes, a well-known resident of Olympia. They have an interesting family of three children.
JOSEPH BRANNAN. - Mr. Brannan was born in Union county, Ohio, near Marysville, September 13,1825, is the ninth child of a family of twelve children, and the son of Joseph and Jane Huls Brannan. On his nineteenth birthday he left his father's farm and came west to Winnebago county, Illinois, where he resided for six years and followed farming, when he went to Iowa, but soon returned to Illinois.
On April 1, 1854, he started for Washington Territory, with Seattle as the objective point, to join his brother William H., who was killed by Indians in the fall of 1855 on White river, his family and property being burned on the place now owned by our subject. At Council Bluffs he met a man named William Justice, now a resident of Oregon, and with a train known as the Starky train came across the plains to Washington Territory, making a very successful trip. They arrived at Osceola on Boise creek October 1,1854; and he immediately joined his brother on his present property. Here they resided on the Donation claim on White river until the breaking out of the Indian war. At the time his brother and family were killed he was absent to see the governor on behalf of the settlers to secure troops to come to the valley. On his return he found that his brother and family had been murdered and his property destroyed. He joined Company B, First Regiment, under Captain Hays, with whom he served three months.
In the spring of 1856 a company was formed to go eat of the mountains under Captain Hanness; and the old company was reorganized. he then went to the Yakima country and remained until the expiration of his enlistment, when he was discharged and returned to the Sound. But not being safe in his old home, he remained in Thurston county until 1858, when he returned to White river and purchased what is now known as the Meeker farm, near Kent, where he remained for eight years, after which he sold his farm and removed to the old Donation claim on White river. He began general farming and hop-raising on this four hundred and eighty acres, and made many improvements. He has sold from and added to the original Donation claim, until he now owns about four hundred acres one and a half miles from Slaughter, where he is now enjoying the comforts of a hard-working and well-spent life, and having the confidence of the entire community.
Mr. Brannan was married in Thurston county, Washington Territory, in 1857, to Miss Sarah V. Hanness, daughter of Captain Hanness, an old Indian war veteran, a native of Iowa and pioneer of 1852. They had eleven children, four of whom are now deceased.
HON. ALBERT BRIGGS. - Ever green in the memory of the pioneer of the Pacific coast remain the trials and hardships they endured while establishing civilization in the far west. These pioneers, constituted no ordinary class; they were hardy, brave and energetic men; and thousands to-day are reaping the benefits which have accrued from the trials and hardships endured by the early pioneer. None among them deserve more tribute than the subject of this sketch, an excellent portrait of whom is placed in this history, from a photograph taken when he was in his seventy-fifth year.
Mr. Briggs was born in Sholam, Addison county, Vermont, August 26, 1813, and is the son of Benjamin I. and Electric Trippman Briggs. When he was seven years of age his parents moved to Northem county, Pennsylvania, and one year later to Guernsey county, Ohio, where our subject resided, learning the carpenter's trade, until the winter of 1835, when he, with his wife and one child, moved to Seneca county and lived until 1844. He then removed to Indiana, and after spending some months there and in Chicago, finally located in Andrew Jackson county, Iowa, of which his brother Ansil afterwards became governor.
In the spring of 1847 he started with ox-teams, and with his wife and four children made the weary march across the almost trackless plains to Oregon. In the same train were Honorable L.B. Hustings, now deceased, and David Shelton, a respected citizen of the little city that now bears his name. Arriving at The Dalles in October, 1847, our subject with his family came down the Columbia to Portland in small boats. January 1,1848, he located in Oregon City, and found employment at his trade. He remained there but a short time, however, soon locating a farm on the Santiam river. In1849 he went to the gold fields of California, but remained only three months, when he returned to his Oregon home, where he worked at his trade until 1852. He then came to the present site of Port Townsend, Washington Territory, at that time there being but one house where now stands the beautiful city of the port of entry. He then located a Donation claim of six hundred and forty acres adjoining the present city of Port Townsend. Here he has lived for thirty-seven years. He followed farming and other pursuits until his property, through the development of Puget Sound, became very valuable, when he began to sell off his estate, all of which he has disposed of with the exception of fifteen acres, which are now very valuable.
Mr. Briggs, through his genial
ways and generous disposition, has won the confidence and esteem of the
entire population of Puget Sound; and now in the sunset of his life it
is gratifying to his hosts of friends to know that he has an abundance
of this world's goods, which will enable this old argonaut to enjoy the
comforts that he so richly deserves. Mr. Briggs' official life has been
quite active. He first held the office of county superintendent of schools,
and then county commissioner, and for fourteen years held the office of
From 1861 to 1864 he represented Jefferson and Clallam counties in the territorial legislature. All the positions he filled with credit to himself and satisfaction to the people.
Mr. Briggs was united in marriage in Guernsey county, Ohio, August 13, 1833, to Miss Isabel Cook, a native of Ohio and grand-daughter of Captain Cook of Revolutionary fame. They had seven children, all of whom are deceased. Mr. Briggs suffered the irreparable loss of her who had been his companion of his life for over fifty-four years. Mrs. Briggs died November 22, 1888, and was interred in the cemetery at Port Townsend in sight of the pioneer home.
HENRY BROOK. - The record of this gentleman is not only a satisfactory commentary upon his own business capacity, but also upon the dimensions of the business of the city, and a scale of its enterprises, since his coming here in 1883.
Mr. Brook was born in England in 1842, and came to America in 1870, locating at Minneapolis. He reached Spokane Falls in 1883, doing since that time a very successful business. In 1885 he was elected a member of the city council, and while in that office favored the measure to buy the waterworks and furnish the people water at cheap rates. He is no less enthusiastic than his neighbors in his confidence in that city. He is married and has a family of six children.
GEORGE S. BROOKE. - This gentleman is the cashier of the First National Bank of Sprague, and is also a director and one of the largest shareholders.
Mr. Brooke comes of cavalier stock. On his father's side, he is a descendant of the Brookes of Maryland. In the year 1650, Robert Brooke, of England, having brought out a colony consisting of his wife, ten children and servants, forty persons in all, settled on the east shore of the Patuxent river. The settlement was called De La Brooke. The founder had a patent direct from Lord Baltimore. He was a member of the privy council and subsequently governor of Maryland. One of his representatives, through a female line, was Roger Brooke Taney, Chief Justice of the United States.
On his mother's side, Mr. Brooke is a descendant of a well-known Virginia family, the Williams of Culpepper. This family is descended from Pierre Williams, a sergeant-at-law of London. Mr. Brooke's father, who is still living, is an Episcopal clergyman. In 1850, he with his wife moved from Virginia to Dubuque, Iowa, where the subject of this sketch was born on the 12th of February, 1855. He graduated with honors from Griswold College at Davenport, Iowa, in 1872, being awarded the Latin salutatory, although the youngest member of the class. Shortly afterwards he entered the office of the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Minnesota Railroad at Cedar Rapids. Here he remained for two years, when, getting the western fever, he started with al his worldly possessions, consisting of about one hundred dollars, for Oregon, where he arrived, via San Francisco, in 1874, landing at Portland, then a place of about ten thousand inhabitants. Entering the counting-room of the well-known wholesale grocery and commission house of Allen & Lewis in the following September, he remained for four years, filling the responsible position of book-keeper and cashier. In November, 1878, he accepted a position with the Oregon Steam Navigation Company, and was the general passenger agent of this company at the time of its sale to Villard in 1880.
In May, 1882, he went to Sprague and associated himself with Mr. H.W. Fairweather in the banking business under the firm name of Fairweather & Brooke. In the fall of that year he was nominated by the Democratic party as joint representative for Spokane and Stevens counties to the territorial legislature; but, being at that time a comparative stranger and not making any canvass, he was defeated by two hundred votes out of the two thousand polled. He has always regarded this as a rather fortunate result. Mr. Brooke was the first mayor of Sprague upon its incorporation in the fall of 1883. He has been chairman of the board of directors of the public schools during the past three years, and has recently been elected president of the newly organized board of trade of Sprague. He was married in 1882 to Miss Julia Hill, of Connecticut, and is the father of two children, a boy and a girl.
A.M BROOKES. - A portrait of Mr. Brookes is placed in this work. The present efficient postmaster of the "Queen City" (Seattle) was born in Galena, Illinois, September 2, 1843, and is the son of Samuel M. and Julia B. (Jones) Brookes. His father was one of the early pioneers of Milwaukee. When our subject was but an infant his parents moved to Chicago, and two years later moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where A.M. was educated at the Milwaukee Academy, and where he resided until August, 1862.
When, on the call by President Lincoln for three hundred thousand men, our subject was among the first in his city to respond; and in the above month and year he enlisted in Company K, Twenty-fourth Wisconsin Infantry, under command of Colonel Larrabee, with whom he served for three years. His brigade was the first under the command of General Nelson, and afterwards under General Phil Sheridan until the latter's removal to the Army of the Potomac. Mr. Brookes never missed a day from the regiment from the time of his enlistment, and during that time took part in many of the most desperate engagements that took place during the war. On the expiration of his term of service, Mr. Brookes came to California to join his parents, who had emigrated to the coast in 1863.
On his arrival in San Francisco,
Mr. Brookes received an appointment in the postoffice of San Francisco,
a position he held for the following twelve years, during which time he
gained the knowledge of postal affairs that now enables him to make the
most efficient and popular postmaster Seattle has ever had. In 1877 he
resigned his position in the San Francisco postoffice and came to Seattle
embarking in business with his brother-in-law, S. Baxter, and forming the
well-known firm of S. Baxter & Co. In 1885 Mr. Brookes engaged in the
mercantile business in Black Diamond, but in
1887 returned with his family to Seattle, and was elected president of the Northwestern Cracker Factory, a position he still holds, this however, being only one of the many enterprises that Mr. Brookes is engaged in in Seattle, as he has always taken a deep interest in anything that would tend to the upbuilding of his future home, and is looked upon as one of the most enterprising, progressive and liberal men in the Queen City.
Mr. Brookes was in 1887 elected department commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. In April, 1889, he received from President Harrison his commission as postmaster of Seattle, a position in which he gives universal satisfaction. He is married and has a beautiful home, which is blessed by the presence of one child.
JOHN E. BROOKS. - John E. Brooks was born October 29,1822, at Canton, St. Lawrence county, State of New York. His father Cooper Brooks, and his mother, Sophia Brooks (formerly Tuttle), moved from Cheshire, New Haven, Connecticut, and settled at an early day in St. Lawrence county, making the trip with an ox-sled drawn by a yoke of cattle from state to state. To them were born six children, four boys and two girls. The entire family is now dead, except J.E. Brooks, the fifth, and Aniasa Brooks, the youngest of the family, who now live at McMinnville, Oregon. His father being a farmer, his boyhood days were spent in farming and in the dairy (his father being one of the first to engage in that business in the county), attending the district school a portion of the time during the winter months. In the fall of 1842, he attended the St. Lawrence Academy at Canton as a student. At the expiration of six months, he engaged in house carpentering and joiner work, to obtain means to further prosecute his studies.
In the fall of 1843, he passed a very satisfactory examination before the board of shool (sic)superintendents, receiving a first-class certificate, and for four months following was engaged as a teacher in one of the best district schools in the county. From this time till the spring of 1846, his time was spent in teaching and attending the institution. At that time, being qualified to enter college, and not possessing sufficient means, he engaged himself as traveling agent to the United States Book Publishing Co. for one year, at a salary of two thousand dollars, expenses paid. On June 6th of that year he took his agency papers at Buffalo, New York, and started into business, canvassing the most of the state of Ohio successfully for the company until on August 20th he was prostrated with fever for weeks. Upon partially regaining his health, he resigned his agency, but continued to work for the company upon commission, when health would permit, traveling through Michigan and Illinois, and reaching Muscatine, Iowa, by easy stages the last of November, 1846, completely exhausted. After a short rest at his brother's he engaged in teaching, in the winter and working at house building during the summer months till the spring of 1852.
On the 13th day of April, 1852, he was married, at Muscatine, Iowa, to Miss Julia A. Ray, who was born February 10, 1830, at Cincinnati, Ohio. She was the daughter of John and Keziah Ray, and the sixth of a family of seven, five girls and two boys. All the family are deceased, excepting herself. On the 21st day of April, eight days after his marriage, he with his newly wedded wife started for their honeymoon in an ox-wagon across the plains for Oregon. From the poor health of both, it was feared by their friends that they would never live to make the journey, but it was just what they most needed; for with the journey came perfect health, the trip being made without a single day of sickness to either.
On the 21st day of October, 1852, they reached Portland, Oregon, six months from the time of starting. Like many another, they could carry their worldly possessions all in their hands, being virtually without money or means. Aside from a few disagreeable incidents, it was a pleasurable journey. No delays by storm or flood, no trouble with the Indians, barred their progress. Their losses were common to hundreds of others; and the hope to reach the desired goal buoyed them up in every difficulty. Sad scenes were witnessed during the ravages of the cholera. Through fear, or the want of human sympathy, the sick were left by the wayside to die, the dead unburied or but partially so. The body of one who had been foully murdered was found but left to the vultures and the wolves. Such scenes could but shock the sensitive, and prompt to acts of common humanity. The eighth day of June will ever be remembered; for on that day he assisted in the burial of eight persons who had perished by that dread scourge, the last taking place near midnight and disconsolate, bereft of the fond husband and father, moved on to overtake the train gone before. With no fear for himself, he attended the sick, helped to bury the dead, and strove to comfort and cheer the afflicted.
In Portland he was met by his
brother, who had crossed the plains in 1850, and after remaining in Portland
a few days moved to Yamhill county, where he purchased a sawmill, and teams
for logging. He located a Donation claim of 320 acres, and after buying
an outfit for housekeeping, and provisions for the winter, fund himself
in debt several thousand dollars, with interest at three per cent a month.
On the 2d week in February, 1853, he took possession of the mill and began
to pay off his large indebtedness. The mill was six miles west of the present
town of McMinnville. In passing from his place of business to the town
of Lafayette, at that time the only town in the county near him, he saw
that a good water-power could be obtained by taking the water from Baker
creek and discharging it into the South Yamhill river, and persuaded W.T.
Newby to undertake the same, build a flouring-mill and lay off a town,
which was done. The town was called McMinnville after a town in Tennessee,
Mr. Newby's native state. He continued in the lumber business for years,
paying off his indebtedness in full, besides adding six hundred and forty
acres of land to his Donation claim and stocking it with cattle, horses
and sheep. The mill falling into decay, he turned his attention more to
stock and the