Copyright 1999 - 2003 - Janine M. Bork
This page is part of the Union County, OR AHGP
success that he would consent to nothing. After he left, Chapman put the printed articles into the envelopes already for the next day. Next morning, with his documents on hand, he visited the House; and just as the House was about to meet, when too late for consultation, he placed prominently in view upon each member's desk a sealed envelope containing one of these printed reviews, on The theory that the member would want to see what was inside first. The letter was scarcely read, the House was in business order, and, as calculated, the Northern Pacific man was on his feet talking loudly in a firm voice. "Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the Northern Pacific Railroad Bill."
It required a two-thirds vote to suspend the rules and pass the bill. The vote was taken; and, instead of a two-thirds vote for it, there were two-thirds against it, and the bill was lost. Chapman, solitary and alone against the officers, attorneys and lobbyists, came out victorious, and Portland still held the fort. After the battle a courteous reorganization took place between Colonel Chapman and Captain Wright, President of the Northern Pacific Railroad. After the vote was announced, Colonel Chapman went out at the front door of the hall and started away, but, advancing a few steps, for some reason turned back, when Captain Wright came out of the hall door facing him, and, advancing with an outstretched arm, said, "O, Colonel, how could you have hit us such a slap over the face!" to which the Colonel replied, "Captain, all is fair in war."
The result of this victory was that the Northern Pacific was deprived of obtaining and holding the right-of-way and control on the south or Portland side of the Columbia until their road, then completed to Bismarck, should reach Snake river; when, without building on the south side, they would, by the branch which they transferred from Portland, build across the Cascade Mountains to Tacoma, still holding the right-of way and the land grant unbuilt upon, exactly as they have done with the main line of the north side of the river. It was foreseeing and anticipating such intention and action by the Northern Pacific Company that induced Colonel Chapman to insert, in his Senate bill that was recommitted, the provision that the Northern Pacific Company might build the common road on the south side of the Columbia if they "would begin within ninety days, and prosecute the work diligently; otherwise, the Salt Lake Company might build it." Another important result of this signal victory was that the way was left open and straightway seized upon; and the road was built by the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company.
During his long career of public life and private enterprise, Colonel Chapman enjoyed the comfort, pleasure, encouragement and assistance of a wife who was "a very help indeed." Her life was one of the utmost fidelity to every feeling, sentiment and duty which make the word mother a loved and sacred title. Through all the trials and privations of frontier life, and of pioneering in a new world, she was a faithful companion, a hospitable neighbor and a loving wife and mother. In 1861 her eldest daughter, Eveline, died in St. Louis, Missouri, leaving two small children; and these children were soon brought to Oregon by Mrs. Chapman who made the transcontinental journey especially to bring them, and then made them a part of her household and treated them like her own children. Mrs. Chapman lived for upwards of twenty-seven years at her home in Portland, where she died, after a protracted sickness, resulting from a severe cold, in the seventy-fourth yearth of her age. The two following excerpts from the Portland Daily Oregonian, respectively on the 22d and 24th of June, 1889, which referred to the deceased as "an estimable woman ending a long life of love and usefulness," gives but a moderate idea of the noble character of one who died in the fullness of years and of all duties performed faithfully and well:
"At her home in this city, at 8:23 o'clock last night, occurred the death of Mrs. Margaret Fee Chapman, wife of Colonel W.W. Chapman. Although she had been ill for eight weeks, her sufferings were light; and her last days were quiet and peaceful. In her last hours she was attended by her husband, her daughters, Mrs. Brainard, and her sons, Thomas, Arthur I. and Winfield S. Her other living sons, W.W. and H.D., were absent and not expecting her death.
"Mrs. Chapman was a pioneer in three new countries, which are now the states of Illinois, Iowa and Oregon. She was the daughter of Colonel Arthur and Sarah Inghram, and was born in Tyler county, Virginia, January 8, 1816. She was married to Colonel W.W. Chapman when both were very young, - on the 1st day of March, 1832; and their first child, Eveline, was born two years later in Illinois. In 1835 they moved to Iowa, where their children Thomas, Arthur, James, William, Mary and Huston were born, and where they lived till the spring of 1847, when they started across the plains for Oregon, reaching their destination, after many hardships, late the same year. January 1, 1850, they moved to Portland, and became the owners of part of the townsite, and as much as any other two persons helped to build the city, which is now so prosperous.
"For the last twenty-seven years the family residence has been at Twelfth and Jefferson streets, where the estimable lady breathed away her latest spark of life so peacefully last night. In Oregon four children were born to them,, - Winfield, Harra, Clara and Margaret, - the two girls having died in 1862, when they were seven and five years of age.
"Mrs. Chapman was a most estimable woman, and a mother who loved her children better than her life. Always they were her joy, her care and her sorrow. her sacrifices for them were pleasures for her. If they were contented, she was happy; if they were disappointed, she sorrowed; and if they sickened, she suffered; but, in sorrow or sickness her thoughts and care were always for them.
"For many years her children
have been kind and devoted to her; and for many summers and winters she
and the Colonel have enjoyed the happiness of united lives unmarred by
sorrows or care, surrounded by plenty, and blessed with the lasting consciousness
of every duty faithfully done, and the love of a family of grown children,
and of grand-
children and great-grandchildren. Surely, if perfect lives here have their reward in the hereafter, hers will be a glorious crown."
The other article appeared on Monday morning: "The funeral of Mrs. M.F. Chapman, wife of Colonel W.W. Chapman, so well and favorably known throughout the state, took place from her late residence yesterday afternoon, and was attended by a large concourse of well-known citizens, many of whom followed the remains to their last resting place in Lone fir cemetery. The reverend John W. Sellwood, of East Portland, conducted the services, and preached a touching sermon. The pallbearers were Mayor Van B. De Lashmutt, Judge E.D. Shattuck, Honorable B. Killen, Mr. Lloyd Brooke, ex-United States marshal, E.S. Kearney and Honorable Joseph Gaston; and the singing was conducted by a quartette from the choir of the Taylor Street Methodist-Episcopal Church. A profusion of most tasteful floral offerings, and tears in the eyes of old and young, indicated the high esteem in which the deceased was held by her many acquaintances."
Of the eleven children of Colonel and Mrs. Chapman, six - Thomas, Arthur Inghram, William W., Mary C. (Mrs. Brainard), Winfield S. and Harra Davis - are living. Eveline, Clara and Margaret died as stated above. Huston was assassinated in New Mexico in 1874, because as an attorney he dared to defend the rights of a woman who had been dispossessed of her property, which has since been restored to her by a decision of the Supreme Court of the United States; and James died in Portland on January 13, 1889.
Colonel Chapman still resides at his old homestead, which is part of the original "Portland Townsite," and of the portion of his and Mrs. Chapman's Donation land claim which was set off to her by the United States government. His mental vigor has never deserted him; and although an attack of paralysis, resulting from over-exertion in preparing for and conducting an important land case in November, 1888, rendered his right limbs almost useless, he otherwise enjoys good health, and is gradually recovering the use of his limbs, notwithstanding he is now in the eighty-second year of his age.
While Colonel Chapman has never devoted his time to the accumulation of wealth, and has, as above-mentioned, applied the most of his fortune to the furtherance of public interests, he has nevertheless ever supplied his family with the means of a genteel livelihood, and has himself practiced the habits of the cultivated Southern and Western gentleman. Now in his old age, having but little more than the means of comfortable independence, he, however, deems it a greater satisfaction to have preserved in view only the rights and public benefits of the momentous issues with which he has been for nearly half a century so intimately connected, rather than to have sold his principles and trusts for the great monetary advantages which were repeatedly offered him. Every young man in our state should hear him say that he would rather have the simple consciousness of the performance of his public duties than hundreds of thousands of dollars at the bank.
The following, taken from the Iowa Historical Record, is so just and deserved a tribute to his work, both in Iowa and Oregon, that we will insert it here:
"Few men of those early days have done more, or exerted a wider or deeper influence upon the times and people of the states of Iowa and Oregon, than has the Honorable W.W. Chapman, Iowa's first delegate to Congress, and one of Oregon's earliest pioneers."
"And lo! the fullness of the time has come;
And over all the Western home
From sea to sea the flower of Freedom blooms."
A broad contrast between the present and the past; between the lands he helped to open to settlement and his old Virginia home.
The early settlers are fast passing away; and while we, one of them, delight to recall their memories and to dwell upon their virtues, we also seek to place upon the historic record some few facts, that,
"When over the roofs of the pioneers
Has gathered the moss of a hundred years."
the future historians of Iowa may have some data whereby to write our annals. Many of
"The fathers to their graves have gone.
Their strife is past, their triumph won."
And while a few, very few, much of their early history is a "sealed book" to most of even our public men of these later days. To unseal a few of the pages of that book has been our aim and object in this sketch of one whose services are deserving of a better recognition.
"such was our friend, formed on the good old plan,
A true and brave and downright honest man.
He blew no trumpet in the market place;
Nor in the church, with hypocritic face,
Supplied with can't the look of Christian grace.
Loathing pretense, eh did with cheerful will
What others talked of while their hands were still.
And while "Lord! Lord!' the pious tyrants cried,
Who, in the poor, their Master crucified,
His daily prayer, far better understood
In acts than words, was simply - doing good."
HENRY MARTYN CHASE. -
This gentleman was born March 28, 1831, in Philadelphia, from whence he
moved to Newburyport, Massachusetts, in 1844. He is a descendant of Aquila
Chase, one of the early settlers of Newburyport, Massachusetts, and also
directly descended from the famous Hannah Dustin, who killed her Indian
captors in the Indian war of 1689. Mr. Chase sailed from Boston for
California January 11, 1849, in the brig Forest, and arrived in
San Francisco July 6th of the same year. He earned his first money there
by painting a ship. In August, 1849, he sailed for Oregon in the ship Aurora.
Arriving at Astoria in the beginning of September, he proceeded to Oregon
City and entered the store of Captain Kilbourn as a clerk. The freshet
of that year carrying away the store, he went to Portland, then a small
village, and, hiring a bateau and crew of Indians, engaged in the
transportation of freight and passengers from that point to Oregon City,
a distance of thirteen miles. The rates of freight were at that time twenty-five
dollars per ton, and for each passenger five dollars. Compelled by sickness
to give up this profitable business,
he engaged in a mercantile venture at Oregon City and Champoeg, at the latter place acting as agent for the Hudson's Bay Company. This proving unprofitable, he associated himself with a party of traders and went "east of the Mountains" in 1851 to engage in traffic with emigrants and Indians. Being impressed with the pleasant climate, fertile soil and fine grasses of the interior (now known as Eastern Washington) he located in 1855 on the Touchet river, where the town of Dayton new stands; and there he engaged in stock-raising and farming. He laid out his plans on an ample scale, and set to work with great energy, erecting a large and commodious dwelling and outbuildings, and making in-closures for stock, hauling timber from the mountains and breaking the sod.
In the fall of 1855, the Indian war broke out; and all the settlers in the lower part of the valley left the country. Being reluctant to leave, Mr. Chase barricaded his premises and prepared to remain, but was warned by a friendly Indian that his place would be attacked by a large force then on the road. He hastily collected part of his stock and retreated towards Lapwai, now in Idaho. The next day the war party totally destroyed the buildings and other property which had cost him the labor of several years to accumulate. After reaching the agency at Lapwai, he recruited a company of volunteers from among the miners who had come to the agency for protection, enlisting also a number of friendly Nez Perce Indians. Mr. Chase was commissioned as captain of Company M, Washington Territory Volunteers, and was kept on detached service for the protection of the agency at Lapwai, and did much useful service in scouting and harassing the enemy and capturing cattle and horses. He and his company subsisted upon the captured cattle, with an occasional died of horse flesh and roots.
Leaving the service he crossed the Bitter Root Mountains, and located at Fort Owen (now in Montana) in the fall of 1856. In the spring of 1858, he started to return to the Walla Walla country, and reached the valley a few days after the Steptoe defeat by the Coeur d'Alene Indians. He was there forced to seek the protection of the Hudson's Bay Company, where he remained with his party until the latter part of July in constant danger of attack from the hostile tribes. They were, however, restrained by the influence of Mr. Angus McDonald, at that time in charge of Fort Colville, the Hudson's Bay post. In the fall Mr. Chase managed with his party to get safely back to Fort Owen after a very hazardous journey, subsisting part of the time on berries and fish. He remained at Fort Owen until the spring of 1861, in the service of the Indian department, under Major John Owen, and during this time superintended the rebuilding of the fort.
In April, 1861, he, with a considerable party, left for Walla Walla via Salt Lake City, and at the latter place was specially commissioned by the superintendent of Indian affairs, Davies, to ascertain the fate of several children taken from the emigrants by the Snake Indians in the previous season. With this in view, Mr. Chase started on his journey, which at that time was quite perilous, and while on the way captured several Indians, from whom the information was obtained, which led to the restoration of the captured children.
He reached Walla Walla in the summer of 1861, finding the country, that he left in 1855 with a population of thirty souls, now numbering several thousand. He again engaged in stock-raising and farming, and in 1862 was elected to the legislature, serving in the session of 1862-63. In the year 1868, he was elected probate judge for Walla Walla county, and in 1869 was elected county auditor, and re-elected in 1871. He afterwards served two terms in the city council, also one term as clerk of the council, and one term as city treasurer. In 1869 he took part in organizing the Walla Walla & Columbia River Railroad company, which company, between that year and 1875, built the narrow-gauge road between the Columbia river and the city, thirty miles nearly continuously since its organization in various capacities part of the time as a trustee and as secretary and treasurer. He has also been connected with the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company since its absorption of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company.
In the year 1876 he was appointed one of the alternate commissioners to the centennial exposition at Philadelphia, and attended the exposition during the whole season in the interests of the territory. From 1880 to 1885 he was in active service with the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company, and since that time has given most of his attention to his private affairs, and the general promotion of the best interests of the country of his adoption.
CYRUS F. CLAPP. - This leader in the business circles of the Lower Sound was born in Piscataquis county, Maine, July 29, 1851, and was the son of Stephen and Alvina Hunt Clapp. He lived in Maine until 1865, receiving the foundation of an education at the public school and continuing his studies at Hanover Academy of Massachusetts. Still ambitious for further acquirements, he crossed the Atlantic and spent two years at the Royal Institute of Belfast, Ireland, and completed his course at Saint Andrews College in Scotland. Returning to his home in America, he soon found a business situation in Boston, Massachusetts, in the house of Jordan, March & Company, of extensive fame.
By 1870 he had reached the conclusion that the best place for young men of ability and ambition was in the great West, and in the spring of 1870 came to California, remaining during the summer, and finishing the journey to Port Townsend in the autumn. Although having no capital in money other than a five-dollar gold piece, he easily made financial headway, first accepting a position as clerk in the Cosmopolitan Hotel, and later as clerk in the lace house of D. Samuels, in San Francisco, and again as hotel clerk. He accumulated means sufficient to purchase of J.J. Hunt the Cosmopolitan, and in 1876 assumed the proprietorship of the hotel. In this semi-public capacity he made himself of great service to the city, maintaining a management ever sagacious and popular, and preserving a refined sanitary and dietary regime.
Disposing of this property in 1879, he entered
into merchandising in New Dungeness; and in this business, in which he dealt more exclusively in financial affairs, he met with astonishing success. Concentrating his attention once again, and narrowing his operations, he assumed in 1887 a special guardianship of the liquid stream of gold and treasure whose circulation in business channels is the condition of business life. He established in that year a private bank with J.H. Feuerbach, the institution a state bank known as the Merchants' Bank of Port Townsend, himself being president. In this position he has maintained the highest integrity, and gained the confidence of the whole state.
He is a man much esteemed in social and religious circles, and six years as postmaster at New Dungeness served the public acceptably. He also served Clallam county as treasurer for the term beginning with 1880. He was married in Port Townsend January 21, 1875, to Miss Wilhelmina M.T. Lacy. Their attractive home is blessed by the presence of five children.
JOHN S. CLARK. - Much interest attaches to this gentleman as the son of one of the earliest pioneers, and as being himself a native of Oregon. The father, Daniel Clark, was well known in the early days as an immigrant of 1844, who married Miss Bertha Herren, whose acquaintance he had formed upon the plains, and who lived near Hillsboro. After his return from the California gold mines, he located in1851 the Clark Donation claim near Salem, upon which both he and his wife died. The son John S., whose name forms the caption of this article, was born near Hillsboro, in Washington, county, Oregon, February 4, 1848. His early life was spent near Salem, where he attended the public school and enjoyed two years of study at the institute. In 1869 he became a pioneer of the Inland empire, coming to the Grande Ronde and pre-empting a claim at The Cove, where he made his home for thirteen years. In 1870 he was married to Miss Anna, a daughter of Honorable Willard H. Rees, the venerable pioneer of Butteville. In 1872 he devoted his attention exclusively to blacksmithing. In 1870 he opened a prosperous business, and greatly facilitated the harvesting in his section by purchasing a steam threshing machine, with which he operated successfully until the occurrence of an accident, whereby his arm was caught in the belting and torn from the shoulder. This necessitated a change of business; and at the present time he is engaged in the sale of machinery and farm implements in the employ of Frank Brothers of Portland, and has entire charge of their business in Grande Ronde, with headquarters at La Grande.
Mr. and Mrs. Clark, have a pleasant home; and their union has been blessed by three children.
T.J.V. CLARK. - Mr. Clark, a portrait of whom will be found within these pages, is a man substantial and popular, greatly given to building up the city of his residence, and always inventing ways and means of increasing the quantity and variety of products in the surrounding country. Yakima county owes much to him for the introduction of the new grains and new machinery; and not only has he brought there improved products and methods to the notice of the farmers, but has paid them for their crops, thus giving them substantial encouragement. He is the true merchant, whose place in society is to find a use and exchange for everything is produced or made.
His life has been spent in the West, although he was born in Maryland, August 27, 1847, and served in the Union army, enlisting in May, 1862, in the Twenty-third Battery, Indiana Artillery, U.S. Volunteers while but a boy of fourteen. He was discharged on account of wounds on November 26, 1863, at Indianapolis, Indiana. He also attended Rock Hill College, Maryland, after the war, with the intention of studying law, but went west to Kansas and Colorado, serving as scout and guide in the regular army during the Indian wars of 1865 and 1870.
During the latter year he married Miss Maggie Mann, one of the pioneer girls of that country, and went into the cattle business; but, suffering much from losses by Indians, he went to the Indian country itself - Indian Territory - to avoid trouble. Returning, however, to Kansas, he made a home at Wichita, then but a rude village, and established a hunting camp on the Medicine Lodge Bow river to supply the settlements with buffalo beef. Further trouble with the Indians drove him to Fort Doge, Kansas, where he went to ranching, and also trapped on the Sappa and tributaries of the Republican river. In 1874 he set out for Idaho, stopping a winter at Boise, after which he began ranching on the Skagit river, Washington Territory, meeting with ill success for four years. Seeking more remunerative employment, he found work on the Cascade Locks, and soon was tendered a position as bridge constructor on the Walla Walla division of the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company. He then became connected with the Northern Pacific Railroad as contractor, continuing in that capacity for over two years. In both of these positions he was able to lay by a handsome surplus, giving him the foundation of a fortune which makes his taxes the larges on the roll of Yakima county. He was one of the first to locate at North Yakima, and has done all that his prominent position in the community would lay upon him for the upbuilding of the city.
He does a general forwarding and commission business, carrying also, in his implement department, the largest stock in the place. His acquaintance during a twelve years' residence in the territory has popularized him to such an extent that he has been elected successively to the office of councilman and mayor of North Yakima, and joint representative in the territorial legislature for Kittitass and Yakima counties for 1887 and 1888.
In politics, Mr. Clark is a Republican.
He is very sanguine of the future prosperity of Yakima county, taking great
pleasure in welcoming strangers and showing them its locations and resources.
With kindly interest in the newcomers and in the prosperity of the older
settlers, he seems far beyond the simple requirements of business, even
of his own enlightened pattern. He has a family of seven
children, two sons and five daughters. He is a member of Geo. G. Meade Post, Grand Army of the Republic, of North Yakima.
FRED D. CLEAVES. - Although among the young men, Mr. Cleaves has for a number of years held responsible public positions. He was born in Stockbridge, Wisconsin, in 1852, residing in that village and at Fond du Lac until ten years of age, and coming in 1864 to this coast with his father's family. Here is one of the few cases in which we find one of the early settlers returning to the East. After a year's residence at Whidby Island, and two years at Albany, Oregon, the elder Cleaves recrossed the plains to his old home in Wisconsin. The change gave young Fred a better opportunity for education; but upon reaching man's estate he still remembered the Pacific coast, and gradually drifted hither. Two years he stopped in Colorado.
Finally coming up to Puget Sound, he began professional work, as teacher of penmanship at White River, and in 1880 made his home at La Conner, teaching there a few years. He found more agreeable employment, however, as clerk in the store of B.L. Martin, and afterwards for L.L. Andrews. While in the latter position, he was elected on the Democratic ticket as county treasurer of Skagit county one year, and re-elected in1884. He was also appointed clerk of the district court by Judge Greene, and was continued in this position by Judges Jones, Boyle, Burke and Hanford. He has also operated a real estate office, handling much property. He has the reputation of being an upright man in both public and private life, and enjoys the confidence of the community.
HON. HARRISON CLOTHIER. - The subject of this short sketch was born in Corinth, Saratoga county, New York, on the 9th of July, 1840, and is the son of Ebenezer K. and Lucy Clothier. He remained in the place of his birth until 1868, with the exception of three years spent in New Jersey and in Troy, New York. Then he put into execution the advice of Horace Greeley, and emigrated to Wisconsin. After a short time there he journeyed on to Minnesota, where he devoted his time to farming in the summer and teaching in the winter. In 1872 he began merchandising in Farm Hill, Minnesota, under the firm name of Clothier & Divine. There he continued for two and a half years.
In May, 1875, he started for Oregon, stopping for a short time in San Francisco on the way, and going first to the Sound, where he worked at harvesting during the summer at La Conner. Then pursuing his original design, he came on to the Webfoot state, and established himself first as "the village master of a little school" on Howell Prairie. In November, 1876, Mr. Clothier went to Mt. Vernon, and there united with Edward g. English in a merchandising business, having a capital of less than fifteen hundred dollars, and founded the town of Mt. Vernon in March, 1877. The firm ahs continued in business to the present time, and is now one of the largest in all the land of the Skagit. Besides his mercantile interests, Mr. Clothier with his partner owns a large tract of timber land in Skagit county.
In politics Mr. Clothier is a Democrat, and in 1880 was elected auditor of Whatcom county, which at that time included all of Skagit. His personal popularity is evinced by the fact that at the election he secured all but sixteen of the one hundred and fifty-two votes cast in his precinct. In 1886 he was chosen probate judge of the county, a position which he still holds.
D. SOLIS COHEN. - Prominent among the younger of the business men who have materially advanced the mercantile interest of Oregon is he whose name appears above, who was born in Philadelphia, where he resided consecutively until leaving for Oregon about twelve years ago, and where his family still remain as among the oldest residents, having resided in that city from early times. Previous to leaving his native city, Mr. Cohen had given up mercantile business for the pen, and was connected with various local papers, writing under a nom de plume which is still popularly remembered in the Quaker City. Being taken with the Western fever, however, he came to Portland, where, after being engaged a time as book-keeper with the Davis Bros. of San Francisco the firm of Cohen, Davis & Co., which from a comparatively small beginning now virtually controls its line of business in the Northwest. The firm imports largely from Europe direct to Portland, and has business connections throughout the entire surrounding country into Idaho and Montana.
Mr. Cohen has always taken an active interest in public affairs, especially those of a philanthropic character. He is one the managers of the Boys' and Girls' aid Society, also of the Free Kindergarten Association. He is serving a second term on the State Board of Immigration, and has since their organization been vice-president of the Franklin Building Association, and president of the Installment Homestead Association, - institutions which have been important factors in the development of the city. Mr. Cohen is popular in Masonic and A.G.U.W. circles, and being a ready and eloquent speaker is frequently called upon for addresses of a public and social character.
J.P. COMEFORD. - The original
owner and builder of the pretty village of Marysville is a native of Ireland,
and was born in 1833. While he was a child, his parents emigrated to Canada,
and in 1849 came to the United States, going directly to Wisconsin. They
resided first at Milwaukee, and then at Fond du Lac, and seven years later
removed still farther west to Minnesota. Here he grew up on a farm, driving
cattle and learning all the ins and outs of agriculture. In 1861, when
the war broke out, he went to St. Louis and joined an independent company
of sappers and miners, who were offering their services to the government.
For two years he saw hard service at the front, but upon the outbreak of
the Sioux war was detailed by General
Grant at Memphis, Tenn., at his own request, to return to Minnesota, where his parents resided, to assist in quelling the ferocious savages who had terrorized the whole state. He went to Fort Snelling; and, on receiving a recruiting commission, he, assisted by George Rubles, raised a company of one hundred and ten men for the First Minnesota Mounted Rangers.
While in Minnesota, he was present at the hanging of the forty Sioux at Mankato, who participated in the massacre of the Whites. After the company he assisted in recruiting was sworn in, he returned to his old company at Columbus, Kentucky, and remained with it to the end of the war. Returning home, he followed his old business, and in 1866 married Miss Maria Quin of Faribault, Minnesota.
Removing to Dakota, near Elk Point, he invested in cattle, and cultivated a farm for six years. In 1872 he crossed what was left to him of the American continent, and, taking a place at Whatcom, lived there a year, removing thereafter to Tulalip, soon finding a three years' engagement at the government agency. He was soon enabled to buy the trading post, which he conducted successfully three years more. Believing a change of location desirable, he removed to the mouth of Snohomish river, and there bought up several hundred acres of land on some sightly ground. Here he opened a store, which he conducted six years, and in 1885 began laying off the village of Marysville. This is still one of the incipient towns of the sound, but is hopeful of the future.
Three stores, two hotels, a saloon, postoffice, shoe shop, sawmill, shingle-mill, and last, but not least, a good schoolhouse and other buildings form a nucleus for dwellings. In and adjoining the place, Mr. Comeford owns twelve hundred and eighty acres of land, besides tide and timber land in Skagit and King counties. He has a family of three children.
J.B. CONGLE. - Mr. Congle was one of the men of wealth who contributed largely to the early growth and prosperity of our state, and especially of Portland. He was born December 9, 1817, in Chester county, Pennsylvania. In the year 1832 he went to Philadelphia to learn the harness and saddlery trade, and in the spring of 1838 removed to Virginia, thence to Missouri, and in the year 1841 was at Lafayette, Indiana, where he resided ten years thereafter. On May 21, 1844, he was married to Miss Ellen H. Gray, of the place last named. He came as an argonaut to California in 1849, and returned to years later to his home in Indiana. In 1853 he came to Oregon and located at Corvallis, then known as Marysville, and esteemed the head of permanent navigation. Here he lived eight years, and was the first mayor of the city. In 1857 he was elected sheriff of Benton county, but resigned the position after three months. In 1861 he removed to Portland, and made that city his residence until his death. Positions of trust and honor he was frequently called upon to fill, and served the public faithfully. He was elected councilman of the second ward in 1870, and in 1872 was chosen representative to the state legislature from Multnomah county. He became a member of the Masonic order in Indiana, and in 1874-75 was grand master of this order in Oregon, and in 1879-80 was grand high priest.
Mr. Congle's two daughters, one of whom is the wife of Honorable Richard williams, ex-representative to Congress from Oregon, and the other, Mrs. J.B. Wyatt, are leaders in the best and most refined society in the state. For nearly twenty-five years Mr. Congle was a leading business man of Portland; and his death in 1887 was universally deplored. His funeral was very largely attended, and his multitude of friends brought to his grave their last tokens of respect, expressing their sympathy for Mrs. Congle, who still survives as one of the leading residents of that city.
FRANCIS H. COOK, - Mr. Cook was born in Marietta, Ohio, in 1851. He went with his parents to Iowa at the age of twelve. His father was a farmer, and have his attention to agriculture and to sawmilling; but it was decided to make a printer of the boy. He was accordingly apprenticed to work at the cases in the office of the Harrison County Union, a paper owned and edited by Judge Henry Ford, who was also sitting on the bench of the northwest district of Iowa. The journal changed proprietors quite frequently, young Cook remaining through the two administrations succeeding Judge Ford's; but, at the next call for a change, he and another ambitious young man embraced the opportunity to buy the Union themselves, conducting it a year and a half. But feeling the need of a more complete intellectual equipment, the young journalist sold out his share and attended Iowa State University. His studies there were cut short at the end of the second year by the failure of the man to whom he had sold, making his notes worthless. He had, however, fifteen dollars, earned at Iowa City; and with this for capital he set forth at the age of nineteen to see the world. His printer's trade gave him employment. There is never so care-free a traveler as the compositor; and young cook saw the inside workings of newspaper offices all the way from the Burlington Hawkeye to the New York Tribune, stopping a few weeks or a few months at any city where he could learn most and where the wages were good. having seen something of the Atlantic sea-board, he bent his steps westward, and in 1871 was at San Francisco, ending his travels at Olympia. Here he began as compositor on the Olympia Courier, at its first issue. In three weeks he was its foreman. During the year 1874 he bought the Olympia Echo and was its editor and proprietor. He ran it as an independent journal, although he was himself a conservative Republican.
He soon found a field for aggressive
warfare in the contract system of the insane asylum. The Echo attacked
this system very vigorously, denouncing it as calculated to give the party
in power an infamous opportunity for public plunder, and to create a field
altogether too inviting to the political birds of prey. The contract system
encouraged a large instead of a small number of patients. All the other
papers at the capital remained silent on this
subject, not caring to antagonize the powerful political influences concerned. Without this young journalist's persistent efforts, the legislature of 1875 would not have changed the contract for the present humane system. Mr. Cook was connected with the Echo for three years, running it two years as a daily.
In 1877 he started the Tacoma Herald. New Tacoma at that time boasted a population of only forty-five, thirteen of whom were school children. This breezy publication he ran three years, two years of which as a daily. While editing the Herald he performed a feat of journalism well worth recording. The legislative session of 1877 was being held at Olympia; and much interest was felt in the proceedings. Mr. Cook went down, reported each day's work, and sent the copy to Tacoma - part of the way on horseback - the same evening, bidding the messenger wait until the papers were struck off, and bring back a supply. This was done; and the report thus distributed at Olympia reached the people each day seven hours before that of the Oregonian, all of whose work was done by telegraph.
Mr. Cook's valiant public efforts brought him into prominence; and he was nominated both as candidate for the legislative council and as sheriff for Mason county. He was narrowly defeated for both offices. His popular strength was shown, moreover, although he was no favorite with the politicians; and he was nominated for the council for the same district, - Pierce, Mason and Chehalis, - the next election but one, and after a very spirited contest was successful by a majority of eighty-one. He had a powerful opponent in the railway interests, which he had antagonized by writing a plank in the Republican platform favoring a requirement that the Northern Pacific Railroad build twenty-five miles of road each year from Puget Sound east. He received every vote cast in Chehalis county for councilman. Upon taking his seat in 1879,he was chosen president of the council, although he was the youngest man in either house. During this session, the present revenue bill was passed; and the meeting with General grant was formalized.
Seeking a new journalistic field, Mr. Cook started the Spokane Times, April 24, 1879, and the next year removed to Spokane Falls, and married Miss Laura C. McCarly of Seattle. Mr. Cook was the first man to call the attention of the outside world to what he enthusiastically termed the "great Spokane country." He made a popular and business success of this paper, as he also did of the others. At the end of the third year of publication, the last nine months having been as a daily with telegraphic dispatches, he sold to a Mr. Herring. Desiring to devote more time to domestic life, and having a love of home-life and agriculture, Mr. Cook bought a farm adjoining Spokane Falls on the south, upon which he also had a small sawmill. He generally employs a large force of men. This beautiful tract of land, comprising six hundred acres, is favored by springs of pure water, and outlooks the busy city. It is already united by a motor line, elegantly equipped, with the heart of the metropolis. Mr. Cook is at the head of this enterprise, which in itself is a monument of Western pluck and keen foresight. As a journalistic pioneer, Mr. Cook's career has been most energetic, honorable and successful. His record in politics as been clean, and of practical value to the people. As a private citizen, he is useful and very progressive.
W.T. COOK. - There may not be a million dollars at the end of the pathway of every industrious young man; but in this country there is a competency, and, what is more, an honorable business and a happy home. Mr. Cook's career proves this. He was born in Polk county, Missouri, in1848. Being thirteen years of age at the outbreak of the Civil war, his education was neglected for the next five years; but, repairing this loss by his own exertions, he fitted himself as school teacher, and thus supported himself for three years.
Coming to Oregon in 1874, he spent some four months at Harrisburg in Linn county, and continued his explorations by crossing over the Cascade Mountains to Crook county, locating at a point some twenty miles north of Prineville. Teaching and ranching there a year, with nine months more of the same employment in Linn county, brought him up to the year 1876, at which time he received an appointment as enrolling clerk of the Oregon senate at the capitol. In 1877 he was enabled to open a drug store at the town of Peoria in Linn county. In the following year he chose Centerville, in Umatilla county, as his permanent home and business location. Here he went into the drug business with Doctor J.H. Irvine as partner. In1887 the Doctor retired, leaving the whole business to Mr. Cook. Besides his drug property and home, he owns considerable land in Morrow county, thus being well provided for financially.
Mr. Cook has never been a candidate for office yet has been active in politics, serving frequently in county conventions. he was also at the state convention which nominated Thayer as governor in 1878, and served as delegate in the national convention of 1884 which nominated Grover Cleveland for the presidency. He was married in February, 1886, to Miss Ella J. Davidson; and they have a boy, who will continue the fortunes of the family.
HON. CHARLES P. COOKE - The subject of this sketch, whose portrait appears in this work, was born in Erie county, Ohio, in 1824. His early life was spent in his native place. In 1846 he went as a volunteer to the Mexican war, and served as second lieutenant in the first regiment of Ohio Volunteers. He was in the army a full year, and participated in the engagements at Monterey, Buena Vista and other bloody battles of that war. He then returned home, but in the spring of 1849 left for the Pacific coast, crossing the plains with ox-teams to California, where he remained until the spring of 1850, when he came to Oregon, arriving at Astoria in May. He resided in Polk county until 1867, when he emigrated to the Yakima country, taking his first claim in the Moxee valley.
In 1870 he removed to the Kittitass
valley, and has remained there until the present time. Mr. Cooke represented
the Yakima and Klikitat counties
in the legislature of 1873, and gain was representative of Yakima county in 1876. He represented Yakima and Kittitas counties jointly in1886, and is now joint councilman for Yakima, Kittitass, Franklin, Adams, Lincoln and Douglas counties. He was the first auditor elected in Yakima county, and one of the county commissioners, and has been several times school superintendent. He also filed important offices of trust in Oregon as well as in this territory. He assisted in organizing the counties of Yakima and Kittitass.
Mr. Cooke has developed a beautiful ranch, upon which he now lives. This is about twelve miles from Ellensburgh, and comprises two hundred and forty acres of the most fertile land in the valley. He deals largely in live-stock, and sells herds of beef cattle. Mr. Cooke was married in 1851 at Salem, Oregon, to Miss Brewster. They have ten children, six boys and four girls, all living.
HON. EDWIN N. COOKE. - The subject of this sketch is a lineal descendant of the Puritans, who came to America in the ship Mayflower, and landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts, December 21, 1620. Among the passengers of that historical band were Francisco Cook and his son, John Cooke, who settled and the families of whom for many generations lived in that and other colonies, up to the time of the Revolutionary war.
At the commencement of the Revolutionary war, Mr. Cooke's great-grandfather, Asaph Cooke lived near Boston, Massachusetts, and had four sons who espoused the American cause and enlisted in the patriotic army, and remained there until the termination of the war, seven years afterward, serving with distinction, and afterwards marrying and rearing large families. The subject of our sketch has seen three of them when very old men, and heard them recount the story of the struggle over and over again.
The grandfather of Mr. Cooke, after the Revolution, married Thankful Parker, and settled in Granville, Washington county, New York. He reared a family of four sons and one daughter. The eldest son, Asaph, was the father of E.N. Cooke, who married Mary Stewart in 1805, and had one son and one daughter born to them, when he moved in1808 to Jefferson county of the same state, where Edwin N. Cooke was born, February 26, 1810, near where the town of Adams now stands. That portion of New York state was, at that time, almost a wilderness. In 1814 the family removed to their old home, where two more sons were born. In 1816 the family removed to Warsaw, Genesee county, where they remained one year, and in 1816 emigrated to the State of Ohio, the then far West, settling, with many relatives of the family name in what is yet known as "Cooke Corners," in Huron county, of that state. Here the family endured many of the trials incident to the pioneer life of those days, suffering greatly for the want of provisions, and clothing, so much so for the latter that his mother used up the sheets from the beds for shirts, spun flax, and a neighbor woman wove it to make clothing. The men mostly wore buckskin pants.
The incidents of his life for several years were not varied from that of young men brought up to pioneer life. In 1826 Mr. Cooke's mother died, he thus meeting with a great bereavement in early life.
He married on September 5, 1835, at Oxford, Ohio, Miss Eliza Vandercock, with whom he lived a happy domestic life, up to the time of his death, of over forty-three years. Mr. Cooke was engaged in the merchandise business with one of his uncles in Sandusky City, and continued the same for several years, until his business house was burned in the winter of 1849, when he removed to Clyde and thence to Fremont.
In 1848, while living in Sandusky City, the Asiatic cholera made its appearance, and carried off more of its inhabitants according to the number of its population than any city in the state. The people became panic-stricken and fled. stores were closed, and all business suspended. Mr. Cooke alone remaining at his post. so rapidly did the people die that it was impossible to bury them singly in graves; and a long trench was dug in which the dead were hurriedly placed, and so lightly covered with earth that a brick and cement vault was afterwards built over the trench to secure the inhabitants from the effluvium of the corpses. Mr. Cooke's uncle and partner died during the epidemic.
In 1851 he started across the plains to Oregon, and stopped a short time at Salt Lake and traded for stock. He was an invalid when he started but the journey proved very beneficial to him, in fact gave him a new lease of life for many years of usefulness. On his arrival in Salem, he built the old Headquarters Building, that stood on the corner of Commercial and State streets, where the bank now stands, and began the business of merchandising with George H. Jones of Salem, under the firm name of Jones, Cooke & Co.
Mr. Cooke also purchased a house
of the late John L. Starkey, on the corner of Liberty and Division streets,
and for several months kept a hotel, which for years afterwards was known
as Cooke's Hotel, but is now known as the Mansion House. He traded that
property to the late John Hunt for a farm, which he owned for about three
years, a portion of the time residing on the same. In 1854 his only daughter,
Miss Fannie, was married to Honorable T. McF. Patton. They moved to Southern
Oregon. In 1856 the company dissolved, selling the store to John L. Starkey;
and Mr. Cooke returned to the Eastern States, accompanied by his wife,
where he remained nearly a year, settling up the business of the late firm.
On his return he added to the town by laying out into town lots the land
north of Division street, which is known as Cooke's addition, on a portion
of which he built a fine residence, and beautified the same by cultivating
rare flowers, shrubbery and fruits, residing there some years. In 1862
he was nominated by the Republican state convention for state treasurer,
an office to which he was elected, and which he held for the ensuing eight
years, being re-elected in1866, and passing through the two terms with
honor to himself and the party that elected him. Although a close and searching
examination was made by a special committee
appointed by the legislature to examine the books of the different state departments, Mr. Cooke came out without a spot or blemish on his record as an officer, or character as a man.
In 1862, in connection with A.A., and D. McCully, S.T. Church and others, he organized and successfully conducted for several years the corporation known as the People's Transportation Company of steamboats to navigate the Willamette river from Portland to the head of navigation. Although a monopoly, it was not oppressive, and transacted an immense amount of business. This company constructed the canal and basin at Oregon City, at a cost of $133,000, including the land for right-of-way. This work reflects great credit on the projectors. They also offered to construct the locks and canal for the state as a much more reasonable price, so that boats could pass the falls as they did in that constructed on the west side and that the state would own them. The company ran an opposition line upon the Columbia river in 1863, but was not successful. In 1871 the company sold out to Ben Holladay. Mr. Cooke was one of the directors of the company from its organization to its dissolution.
In 1866 he formed a copartnership with Messrs. McCully and Church, and established a large store in Salem, and continued the business for some time. In 1868, in company with his wife and Hon. J.S. Smith and family, he visited Europe, where he remained several months. For several years he had been an active and useful member of the board of trustees of the Willamette University.
On December 6, 1852, in company with E.M. Barnum, Judge G.F. Harding, general Joel Palmer and C.S. Woodworth, he organized Chemeketa Lodge, No. 1, the first lodge of Odd Fellows organized on the Northwest pacific coast. he retained his membership in the lodge to the day of his death, a period of over twenty-six years.
For a number of years he had been a consistent member of the Methodist-Episcopal Church, and assisted in various ways by his counsels, and by the most liberal contributions from his purse, to aid in the work of this church.
In about 1866 Mr. Cooke became interested in an iron foundry at or near Oswege, which was kept in operation for some time. It will thus be seen that Mr. Cooke was a progressive and energetic man, and one well calculated to benefit any country in which his lot might be cast.
On his return from Europe he constructed a beautiful residence near the state capitol building, in which he resided up to the time of his death.
In 1875 and 1876, he was elected vice-president of the Oregon Pioneer Association, and acquitted himself with credit and benefit to the association.
There was scarcely a branch of society that did not keenly feel his loss. we sum up the sentiment of all who knew him when we say that a truly good man had fallen; one who helped to lay the foundation of our social and political fabric; one who for years was foremost in every good work; one who in storm or sunshine was always the same kind, cheerful, firm, upright and unflinching soul, swerving neither to the right nor to the left, and obeying only the behests of duty; one whose every act, whose whole life, was such as to give the world assurance of a man. His career will stand as an enduring lesson, - a lasting commentary upon the exceeding beauty of a well-ordered life.
"With malice towards none, with charity for all," with firmness in the right, as god gave it to him to see the right, a deep sympathizer with the widow and orphan, he was not one to coin silver from man's misfortunes, gold from the widow's tears, or gather diamonds from the orphan's moans. His hand was ever open to just charity, his counsel was true and tender; his character was a model for the youth, a guide for the adult. We had none who excelled, and few to equal, our departed friend, Edwin N. Cooke, who died in Salem May 6, 1879, to enjoy the inheritance that is the reward of the blameless life and a devoted Christian after this life of toil.
MRS. ELIZA COOKE. - All who are acquainted with the estimable lady whose name heads this brief résumé of her life well known that the best eulogy that can be written only illustrates how impossible it is to bear fitting portrayal of the genuine worth of so good and noble a woman. Grandma Cooke has ever been known in her intercourse with others to be generous and unselfish in the highest degree, one of the gentlest of mothers, the most patient of wives, an affectionate friend, and the kindest of neighbors.
Whether meeting with trials incident to a long, tedious and dangerous journey across the plains, enduring the privations of pioneer life, or surrounded thereafter, as she has been, with a competence of life's comforts, the tenor of her life has run in the same channel, ever manifesting to all about her those qualities which make the good, true woman akin to the angels. She was born in Rensselaer county, New York April 29, 1816. In early Rensselaer county, New York, April 29, 1816. In early life her parents removed to Ohio and located in Erie county. On September 5, 1835,she was married to Edwin N. Cooke, at Oxford, in that state. For a number of years they resided at Sandusky City, when they removed to Fremont, where they remained until their departure for Oregon in the fall of 1850. The health of Mr. Cooke being poor, they journeyed leisurely along, awaiting the approach of spring to commence the tedious journey necessary to be made before reaching the far-off Western home. She was accompanied by her niece, Miss Susan E. Brewster, now Mrs. Charles F. Cooke, of Ellensburgh, Washington, and by her only daughter, Fannie, who subsequently became the wife of Honorable Tomas McF. Patton, a native of Ohio, who was also a member of the expedition, having joined them at Council Bluffs, Iowa.
On the arrival of the family
in Oregon, they located at Salem, where they have since resided. In the
pioneer days of Oregon, her influence was largely felt in moulding the
society in which she moved, and in turning the course of events in favor
of civilization, education and morality. Although for many years a member
of the church, to her creed has been nothing, religion as exemplified in
a daily life of good deeds was everything. She lives
not for herself but for others. Familiar to all who have visited the capital city is her beautiful residence. Here, surrounded by her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and a host of war personal friends, she patiently awaits the summons of the Master to enter upon the well-deserved reward of a life without reproach.
RICHARD CORBALEY. - In a city so flourishing as Spokane Falls, Washington, the business of finding and placing loans and the transfer of real property in the town, in the adjoining farming regions, and in the mines, has attained proportions of considerable magnitude. The firm of R. Corbaley & Co., located at the northeast corner of Howard and Riverside avenues, is one of the most important of the houses thus engaged. Their interests are largely in agricultural lands in the Big Bend country near Badger Mountain, where choice locations and exceptionally productive soils, even for this favored territory, may be found. The rapid development and the consequent advance in values of farms in this section are fully assured. Parties seeking cit or country locations, farm or wheat lands for proprietary rentals or stock ranges, find much assistance in the blocks and plots and descriptions of Corbaley & Co.
The senior member of the firm, Richard Corbaley, was born in Marion county, Indiana, in 1820, the first white child born within its borders. Receiving here his training and education, he removed in 1848 to Plymouth, Marshall county, of the same state, and was there appointed sheriff of the circuit court and court of common pleas. In 1871 he came to California, but, on account of asthmatic affection, left that state in 1886. In the pure air of this state, to which he came, he has fully recovered and is located permanently. His son, Frank Corbaley, is the partner.
HON. HENRY W. CORBETTT. - The reminiscences of the early pioneers of the Pacific Northwest must ever posses a peculiar interest for all who can look back to the days when the wigwam of the Indian was seen on every hand, and when the old log cabins of the founders of this great section of the union were few and far between. Pioneers of civilization constitute no ordinary class of adventurers. Resolute, ambitious and enduring, looking into a great and possible future of the undeveloped country, and possessing the sagacious mind to grasp true conclusions, and the indomitable will to execute just means to attain desired ends, the pioneers to the Pacific Northwest, by their subsequent career, have proved that they were equal to the great mission assigned them, - that of carrying the real essence of American civilization from their Eastern homes, and planting it upon the shores of another ocean. Among the many who have shown their fitness for the furtherance of such object, none are more deserving of praise than the gentleman whose name is inscribed above. Whether in the material welfare of his adopted home, the Pacific Northwest or the nation at large, he has been one of the most progressive of citizens, always to the fore in everything which contributes to advancement, socially, politically, financially and educationally, and is also universally recognized as a very liberal philanthropist.
Mr. Corbett was born in Westborough, Massachusetts, February 18, 1827. At the age of three years he removed with his parents to White Creek, New York, remaining there until about 1838, when another removal was made, this time locating near Cambridge, in the same state. At the age of thirteen he entered a store as assistant, and thus began his career in the mercantile business, in which he has since been so very successful. He held this position for two years. In the meantime he attended school at the Cambridge Academy, after which he entered a store in Salem. After a stay there for a year, he went to New York City, and engaged in the dry-goods business for seven years.
In the fall of 1850, he shipped a stock of goods from New York by the bark Frances and Louisa to Portland, Oregon, he following such shipment in January, 1851. From New York to Chagres, now called Aspinwal, the trip was made in the steamship Empire City. From Aspinwal to Panama the journey was made partly by small boat and partly on the "hurricane deck" of a mule. After reaching the latter place, he remained ten days, and embarked on the steamship Columbia for San Francisco. This vessel was the first steamship built to run between San Francisco and the Columbia river. After a few days stoppage at the Bay City, he came on in the Columbia on her first trip north, arriving at the mouth of the Columbia river on the 4th of March, when he was transferred to a river steamer called the Little Columbia, a vessel of some fifty feet in length, and proceeded to Portland, arriving there on the following morning. This craft not being supplied with sleeping accommodations, the passengers were obliged to make the most of the deck for a bed; and their meals were served upon tin plates, some using their lap for a table, while others utilized the floor.
At this time Portland contained about four hundred inhabitants; and its business was confined to five or six small stores. Its present site was then covered with a heavy growth of timber, with the exception of a small portion of the frontage, where the stumps still remained and where sidewalks were unknown. He clambered up the banks of the river, made his way to the Warren House, situated on the corner of Oak and Front streets, the principal hotel, which would accommodate, by judicous crowding, about a dozen people. Soon after, he discovered a storehouse being erected by Halleck & Webber, which he engaged to occupy when finished, at one hundred and twenty-five dollars per month. His shipment of goods arriving in May, before the completion of the store, he hoisted them by tackle to the second story, using a ladder for a stairway. At night he hauled up the ladder, and slept with his goods on the soft side of the floor.
Having previously taken a trip
to the head of the valley, visiting the various places on the way, - Oregon
City, Salem, Santiam, Albany and Corvallis, - and returning by the way
of Lafayette to Portland, he had familiarized himself with the then chief
towns in Oregon, with the exception of St. Helens and Astoria. The population
at that time, embracing what is now Washington, Idaho and part of
Montana, was about fourteen thousand people. The Willamette valley was then considered the chief agricultural portion of the Pacific coast, California drawing mainly her supplies in the way of vegetables and lumber from Oregon; while the former was chiefly valued for her mineral products. Mr. Corbett therefore regarded the latter as ultimately to become the great agricultural section of the Pacific coast, and the more permanently prosperous. With this view he made that state his permanent location. After fourteen months' residence, having been reasonably prosperous, and being in poor health, he determined to return to New York, to consider a proposition of entering into business with the firm that he was formerly connect with, and who at that time were partners with him in his venture to Oregon.
After dividing with them twenty thousand dollars, which were the proceeds of his undertaking, and remaining there one year, at the same time having under consideration their proposition to enter into copartnership with them, and after mature consideration, he determined to return to Oregon and make it his home.
He had left a stock of goods in Portland with R.N. and F. McLearn, with whom he had formed a copartnership before leaving. He commenced his shipments of goods around the Horn again, and arrived in Portland in June, 1853. A few months thereafter he dissolved copartnership with Messrs. McLearn, and continued form that time in business for himself, until about the year 1866, when the copartnership of the present firm was formed under the name of Corbett, Failing & Co. While there are others now in business who came a few months later of the same year to Oregon, it is believed that Mr. Corbett is the oldest merchant in the state. He entered into other enterprises besides those of mercantile pursuits, notably being engaged in river transportation. He also took the contract for carrying the mails in 1865 between Portland and Lincoln, California, a distance of six hundred and forty miles, and stocked the same with four-horse coaches, he having succeeded the California State Company, greatly to the satisfaction of the people of Oregon. Shortly afterwards, in1866, he was elected to the Senate of the United States, to succeed Honorable James W. Nesmith.
He was early identified with the Republic party of Oregon, and was chairman of the Republican state central committee, and conducted the campaign in which David Logan came within thirteen votes of being elected to Congress in place of Lansing Stout, the Democratic candidate. The usual Democratic majority previously had been about two thousand. after the election of Lincoln, he attended the inauguration, and was there when the council of the Cabinet was held in March, 1861, in which the question was considered, whether Fort Sumter could be relived, General Scott having given it as his opinion that it would take twenty-five thousand men to reinforce and hold such fortification. The result was that the Cabinet decided that no steps would be taken looking to that end. After learning these facts from Thurlow Weed, at the Astor House, New York, on the 11th of March, just before sailing for Oregon, he asked the great journalist if he didn't believe it would be a wise course to load a ship with provisions, and give the Southern Confederacy notice that they were going to provision Fort Sumter, and that if they fired upon the ship, the responsibility would be upon them. Thurlow Weed's response was that he thought it a good idea.
On Mr. Corbett's arrival in Oregon, about a month later, he was surprised to learn that this course had been pursued by our government. He has no knowledge as to whether or not the action of the government was taken at the suggestion of Mr. Weed, who was a most bosom friend, and was supposed to be the "power behind the throne," of Mr. Seward. Certain it is that the result of the action caused the uprising of the North as one man, after the firing upon the ship destined to the relief of Fort Sumter.
Mr. Corbett and Leander Holmes were delegates to the first convention that nominated Lincoln; but, not being able to reach there in time, they forwarded their promise to Horace Greeley, who represented Oregon in that convention. Mr. Greeley's strenuous opposition to Mr. Seward resulted in the nomination of Lincoln. Oregon, therefore, through its delegate, played a conspicuous part in the nomination of this great man. Mr. Greeley entertained a warm feeling towards Mr. Corbett, who visited him during the time the Tribune advocated letting "our Southern brothers depart in peace." He remonstrated with Mr. Greeley against such a policy, saying to him" If we concede that, there is no reason why the New England states should not secede from the Middle states, and the Middle from the Western states. In such contingency, we should be broken up in the small confederacies, with no power at home or respect abroad. The only way to maintain this nation in its strength and power is to let these Southern people know that they cannot withdraw from this union without going through fire and blood." To his surprise, the next day he read an article in the Tribune with the prominent headline, "On to Richmond." From that time forward the Tribune advocated the vigorous prosecution of the war to put down the Rebellion.
Mr. Corbett, during his term
in the Senate of the United States from 1867 to 1873, - during the reconstruction
period, - when the nation was heavily burdened with debt and required the
most judicious and careful management of its finances, that its honor might
be maintained and the debt paid according to its pledges, was ever faithful
to its true interests by advocating the payment of its debts according
to its obligations, whether real or implied. By doing so he maintained
that the government could fund its debt at a lower rate of interest, sustain
its honor and save more than by any form of repudiation, as was advocated
by those inimical to the best interests of the government. His earnest
efforts in this direction had great weight with the best thinkers of that
day; and to this firm stand of his and those acting with him is the highest
credit of our nation due. Mr. Corbett was vigilant and watchful of the
best interests of the state in securing appropriations for our rivers and
harbors, and of other beneficial measures pertaining to its welfare.
Since his retirement from the Senate, he has been active in promoting such organizations and measures as would tend to the advancement of the best interests of the state and city with which he has been so long identified. He was for some years president of the Board of trade, president of the Seamen's friend Society, commissioner of immigration, president of the Boys' and Girls' Aid Society, one of the prominent trustees of the Children's Home, which he endowed quite largely, and president of the board of trustees of the First Presbyterian church, to which he gave very substantial aid in erecting their beautiful stone structure.
He was largely instrumental in establishing one of the finest cemeteries on the Pacific coast, called "River View," being president of the association. he is a director of the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company, largely interested in street railways, the Portland Cordage Co., Portland Linseed Oil Co., is vice-president of the First National Bank, the leading financial institution of the Pacific Northwest, vice-president of the Oregon Fire and Marine Insurance Company, and interested in almost all other institutions and enterprises tending to the advancement of the great Northwest Pacific slope. He has also ever taken a deep interest in educational matters, and has been for a long time one of the board of trustees of Tualatin Academy and Pacific University. He is at this time giving largely of his means to the erection of the finest hotel north of San Francisco, and is president of the Portland Hotel Co.
Mr. Corbett was married in 1853 to Miss Caroline E. Jagger, of Albany, New York, the fruits of this union being two sons. The eldest, Henry J., is occupied in the First National Bank, and is known as one of the most able of the younger financiers and capitalists of the metropolis. Hamilton F., a young man of rare promise, died some four years since, at the age of twenty-four years. Mrs. Corbett , a lady known and greatly beloved throughout the breadth of Oregon, died in 1864, deeply mourned by her many friends.
Mr. Corbett was again married in 1866 to Miss Emma L. Ruggles of Worchester, Massachusetts, a lady whose genius for the conduct of refined and cultivated society has long been recognized both at Washington and in her own home in Portland, and reminds one of what is told of the salons of Neckar, Dr. Stael and other mesdames of the yesterday of France.
COL. T.R. CORNELIUS. - In view of the prominent part sustained by Colonel Cornelius in the Indian wars of our early history, as well as in our political history since, it seems best to give at length the interesting picture of his connection with those wars. This is done mainly in his own language, and hence preserves the vividness of his own recollections.
T.R. Cornelius was born November 16, 1827, in Howard county, Missouri. At an early age he moved with his parents to Arkansas, and in 1845, then a youth of nineteen, came with them to Oregon. The company of thirty wagons, to which his father, Benjamin Cornelius, with his family, belonged, was organized on the frontier under Captain Hall. At the Malheur river some forty wagons of the train followed Stephen Meek, who, for a consideration of three hundred dollars, agreed to pilot them by a shorter and better route to The Dalles. Meek, however, proved wholly ignorant of the country; and the journey hence was most disastrous. He led them into sage-brush plains and alkali deserts, to spend twenty-four hours at a time without grass or water, and once nearly two days. Many died from exposure to heat, and from other hardships. Cattle sank down, and were left to perish. Game, except jack-rabbits and sage-hens, altogether failed. At length, at a place called Last Hollow, a council was held, and amid various opinions to go south, north, to continue west, to go back the way they came, or to stay where they were, fearing to leave the water, it was decided by the Cornelius party to go north to the Columbia. Followed by a few other wagons, they set out one evening, taking their course towards the North star, and at ten o'clock the next day found water and grass in abundance, and, sending word back to those still at Last Hollow, were soon joined by the train. Following down the stream for several days, it became necessary to send out nine men to go in search of provisions at The Dalles. The nine were saved from starvation on the way by meeting with Indians, who furnished them dried salmon. They accomplished their errand, and, by aid of Black Harris, relieved the emigrant party and brought them safely through. Enduring still further hardships down the river from The Dalles to Vancouver, and arriving at the fort in a condition of clothing and general appearance which would well serve to illustrate a comic almanac, Mr. Cornelius was treated by Doctor McLoughlin with a fatherly kindness and consideration which, he says, gave him at one a place nearest to his heart, and will cause him to love and reverence him as long as life lasts.
The family settled in Washington county on what is frequently called the Cornelius plain, one of the most beautiful and productive regions in the state. T.R. "got his hand in" in the matter of Indian fighting in the Cayuse war of 1847. Returning to his ranch, he pursued the peaceful work of farming for about seven years without interruption. Then came the great Indian war of 1855-56. At this point the narrative of the Colonel proper begins.
In the fall of 1855, while surrounded
by his little family of wife and three children, and busily engaged in
conducting his farm work and his sawmill on Dairy creek, he heard the call
for volunteers. Having had some experience before in fighting hostiles
in their own country, many looked to him as one who should now go. Finally
concluding that, if he did not go, he might stand in the way of someone
else, he bade good-by to those that he loved and entered the service on
the 14th of October at Hillsboro, and was elected captain of the company.
They proceeded to Portland for equipments. While they were there, Phillip
Foster, who resided at the foot of the Cascade Mountains, became alarmed
at the various rumors of desperate Indian bands, feared that they would
cross over the mountains and massacre his family, and so came down to
Portland and importuned the governor to send a company of soldiers to protect his home. The governor therefore ordered the company of Captain Cornelius to guard the place.
After a time spent at Foster's, in which they were busy in making their preparations, the company moved on to The Dalles to meet the other troops. Soon after reaching The Dalles, they were ordered to cross the river, where they camped preparatory to a campaign in the Yakima country. This campaign began on the 8th of November. Major Raines was in command of the regulars, four hundred in number, while Colonel Nesmith commanded the volunteers. Nothing of moment occurring, they reached the Yakima valley in three or four days; and then Nesmith became satisfied that the Indians would not engage so strong a force, consisting of eight or nine hundred men in all. He accordingly directed Cornelius to pick out sixty men, mount them on the best horses in the command, and go in a westerly direction up the Atahnum near the base of the Cascade Mountains to what was known as Haller's battleground. This was where the Indians had attacked Haller and driven him back to The Dalles with the loss of one-fourth of his command.
In the morning, before Cornelius started on his march, Colonel Nesmith pointed across the Yakima valley in a northerly direction to what was then called the Two Buttes (this was the gap just below the present site of Yakima City), saying that he would travel in that direction, and that, in case Cornelius found the Indians in force, he might take a strong position and attack them, and then under cover of the following night send a courier to the main body, which would then at once come up and reinforce. This, the commander believed, was the only way to bring on a general engagement. Cornelius selected ten men and one lieutenant form each of the six companies then present, and went without interruption to a point about three miles north of where the Indians had attacked Haller. They then discovered the warriors converging on them from all sides, but especially from the direction of the Two Buttes. The Captain formed his little army into a hollow square, each lieutenant commanding his ten men, and every seventh man being detailed to hold the horses of the others. The men being thus dismounted, and being somewhat sheltered by the sage-brush on the level plain, had an advantage over the three hundred mounted warriors who came swooping down on them. After a few rounds, the charging savages gave back, and the Whites moved on in the direction of the Buttes. Whenever they would move ahead, the Indians would renew the attack and give way again before their well-aimed volleys as before. Then they would mount and press on again, to be again attacked. This running sort of fight continued till nightfall, when the Indians disappeared in the direction of the Buttes.
The men had been so well protected by the brush and the form in which they were arranged that the day's casualties were almost nothing. Two men, however, Holmes and Weighmire, were badly wounded. Discovering lights, correctly supposed to be those of the main command, the detachment pushed on and joined them. They then learned that Nesmith and Raines too had been fighting during the day with the Indians, and that some of Raines' men had been drowned while attempting to cross the Yakima. It was decided in the morning to send Captain Cornelius with about eighty men, in company with Lieutenant Phil Sheridan and nineteen dragoons, towards the Buttes, where the natives had built stone walls across the road and had otherwise fortified themselves. The object of this move was to bring on a general engagement.
Having reached a point a quarter
of a mile from the walls, Sheridan sent back for a mountain howitzer, by
means of which a few shells were sent among the Indians, with the effect
of speedily scattering them. The main command soon arriving, they proceeded
to a camp at the Catholic Mission. There they had expected to meet a company
of soldiers in command of Captain Malone. Nothing being heard of them,
and there being apprehension that they might have got into trouble, Colonel
Nesmith ordered Cornelius, with a portion of his company and parts of other
companies, and Lieutenant Sheridan again with his nineteen dragoons, to
go in search. The detachment started in the direction of the Nahchess Pass;
but, after having been out two days and one night, there came a very heavy
snowstorm, insomuch that it was thought useless to go on.
The whole command now returned to The Dalles. On arriving at that point Nesmith directed Cornelius to discharge as many of his men as were unprepared or unwilling to remain any longer, and to then proceed with the rest to Walla Walla. There were then only about sixty men left. Captain Hembree's company, which went with them, numbered about one hundred. They were put in command of Colonel Kelley, who was already at Walla Walla in command of the left wing of the army. Captain Cornelius and his men were almost afoot, as their horses had crossed the Cascade Mountains and made the campaign into the Yakima country without forage, except grazing on the dried and blackened bunch-grass. The weather, too, was stormy, and the men were without tents, and were short of blankets and poorly clad. Nesmith had by this time become satisfied that the winter was not the time to fight Indians successfully, and so he resigned his office and returned to Salem.
In pursuance of his orders, Cornelius
proceeded to Walla Walla, and on reaching Umatilla found that Major Chinn,
who had preceded Colonel Kelley, had built a stockade fort called Fort
Henrietta, at which Colonel Kelley had left a detachment of men, and had
himself started a week before in the direction of Walla Walla. He had left
directions for Cornelius to await further instructions from him there.
The next evening after his arrival, with forty men, mounted on the best
horses, Cornelius went up McKay creek a distance of about twenty miles
to reconnoiter, where he hoped to find some beef cattle and Indian horses,
on which latter he might mount his men. After traveling till about two
or three o'clock in the morning, they reached the place where Doctor William
C. McKay had formerly settled; but they found the buildings burned. Remaining
there till daylight, they went up the creek towards the base
of the Blue Mountains. They were divided into squads, and made a "rounding up" of stocks as they went, all the squads converging towards a point near the mountains previously agreed on. When the point designated was reached, they found that they had gathered some two or three hundred head of stock, mostly Indian ponies.
They returned with them to Fort Henrietta, where they found Doctor McKay, who had just arrived with a communication from Colonel Kelley detailing the facts of his engagement with the Indians near Whitman station, and directing Cornelius to join him with all the men, ammunition, provisions, etc., at his command. Accordingly, with all the accessible provisions, including the beef cattle just captured, they set out, one hundred strong, with Doctor McKay as guide, at about sundown. They had with them quite a number of wagons, cattle, pack horses and loose horses. It was raining as they started, and soon became quite dark. The captain accordingly arranged his men in four lines, one in front, one on each side of the road, and one in the rear, so as to be ready for an attack from the Indians, and also to prevent the loose stock from wandering. The road was familiar for the first twenty miles, as they had passed over it that day; and, as the guide had not slept any for two or three nights, he was permitted to get into a baggage wagon and sleep with the understanding that he was to be awakened as soon as necessary.
The command proceeded in perfect silence across the high rolling prairie which lies between Fort Henrietta and the Umatilla at the McKay place. On arriving at the Umatilla, just below where the road leaves it, the Captain sent back to the wagon for the guide, Doctor McKay. Being awakened suddenly, and not realizing just where he was, the Doctor leaped on his horse and came dashing up with such speed that, coming to a very abrupt bend in the river, he went right over the bank, horse and all. Captain Cornelius concluded not to follow the guide just at that time. However, the Doctor soon recovered himself and landed on the proper side of the river, leading them thence to Wild Horse creek. During this little detention, the Captain's pack horse, on which were all his blankets and extra clothing, was lost; and thus the Captain and his messmates were left destitute the rest of the winter.
Reaching the hills above Wild Horse creek at two or three o'clock in the morning, the command waited until daylight; and then, looking down into the valley of the Walla Walla, they could see Colonel Kelley's camp and the battle then in progress. The Indians below could see the company of Cornelius coming; and, as it had become somewhat scattered during the march of the night, they thought it a large army. By the time they had crossed the river and come upon the battlefield, the Indians had begun to withdraw. At about three in the afternoon, Captain Cornelius reported to Colonel Kelley; and at sundown, as the Indians had disappeared, the company went into camp for the night. After some fruitless attempts to follow the Indians up the Touchet river, the army moved up the Walla Walla river above Whitman, and established Camp Curry, where they remained some weeks.
Colonel Nesmith and Major Armstrong having now resigned, an election was ordered, with the result of electing Cornelius Colonel, Cornoyer Major, and Narcisse Captain. The commission of Cornelius not having yet arrived, Major Chinn disputed his authority to act; and the Colonel therefore simply remained in command of his company until his commission came, which was on the 27th of January. The command had in the meantime moved up Mill creek a short distance above the present site of Walla Walla. From the middle of December they had been having snow and cold weather; and their jaded animals had had no food except what they got by digging the snow off from the grass. Many of them perished in consequence.
Here Colonel Cornelius found himself in command of about three hundred men, called mounted men, but in reality having no horses or provisions, and but little ammunition. They were, however, ordered to prepare for a campaign on Snake river. The Colonel therefore made requisition on the quartermaster at The Dalles for supplies; and, while waiting for them and the reinforcements which had been promised, he decided to send to the Nez Perce nation, who were friendly, and buy horses. He sent Lieutenant W.H.H. Myers of Company D, and Lieutenant William Wright of Company E, on this perilous and trying trip. In spite of the snow and cold, they succeeded in their trip. The Colonel feels that too high praise cannot be bestowed on them for the faithful and heroic manner in which they discharged that duty.
Major Cornoyer had been ordered in the meantime to form a camp near where the French settlers and friendly Indians were gathered. Hostile Indian spies from time to time managed to get into the camp; and finally two of these were executed, and others sent to the governor of Oregon, to be detained till the close of the war. On the 7th of March, after the arrival of five companies of recruits previously ordered out by Governor Curry, there was an election held for a major of the Second Battalion. James Carl was elected. About the same time, Lieutenants Myers and Wright having arrived from the Nez Perce nation with the horses, as already mentioned, the army began to prepare for a campaign in the Snake river and Palouse country. In anticipation of Snake river being high from the melting snows, the Colonel had directed Assistant Quartermaster D.H. Lonsdale to construct six boats in such a way that one would fit into another, and two would go into a wagon instead of the wagon box. The lumber for these boats had to be sawed by hand with an old whipsaw.
On March 9th the command broke
camp and started in the direction of the Touchet, sending men on towards
the Snake river to reconnoiter. During the night of the eleventh, the scouts
discovered a large body of Indians on the north side of Snake river at
Fish-hook Bend. The command pushed on to this point, and when the Indians
saw them they supposed that, as they had taken the canoes with them, they
were entirely safe. But while they were making many threats and demonstrations,
the Colonel dismounted his men, turned the horses out to graze and made
every apparent preparation to
camp for the night. In the meantime the wagons with the boats were moved to a convenient place; and sixty picked men, with an officer from each company, were made ready with their guns and saddles. The horses were massed in a bunch near the edge of the water; and all at once the men slid their boats into the water and began rowing powerfully for the other shore. The men remaining on the bank pushed the horses into the water, and they followed the boats. As soon as the Indians comprehended the design, they began firing; but so excited were they that they did no execution. The men in the boats returned the fire. When, however, the boats were half across the river, the Indians seemed to become panic-stricken, and left with all possible speed.
When the detachment landed, the Indians had hurriedly gathered utmost of their effects, and were already speeding across the plain. Catching the horses with all possible speed, the soldiers saddled up; and, leaving directions with the rowers of the boats to transfer the rest with all possible haste, they set out in hot pursuit. They followed the savages about ten miles in the direction of Priest's Rapids on the Columbia. at intervals they passed a bunch of pack animals driven by women and children. When they overtook the main band of them, they had driven their animals, families, etc., into a low place surrounded by sand hills, and covered with sage-brush. There it seemed they expected to make a stand; and they did indeed fight until the second load of men from across the river came up. Then they abandoned everything and disappeared. The soldiers thereupon took the animals and returned to the river. There the entire army was now gathered and encamped for the night. There Colonel Cornelius issued the following order:
"HEADQUARTERS FIRST REGIMENT,
"OREGON MOUNTED VOLUNTEERS,
"CAMP SNAKE RIVER, March 12, 1856.
"Commanding officers of companies will detail one-fourth
of the whole number of men in their respective commands, and order them
to report at headquarters to-morrow morning at six o'clock, prepared for
an expedition to the mouth of Yakima and Snake rivers. Camp will not be
On the thirteenth they left camp at six o'clock with about one hundred men, and one or more commissioned officers in each company, and traveled down Snake river to a point near the mouth. Overtaking a party of Indians running up the river, the troops pursued, and, after a running fight that lasted till night, drove them across the Columbia and otherwise scattered them, killing a number. The next day the Colonel ordered the horses captured the day before to be driven to the encampment on the Walla Walla river near Wallula, in charge of Lieutenant Pillow.
Then, lightened of all unnecessary baggage (which was also sent to that post), the command went along the north side of Snake river to the mouth of the Palouse, and thence up the Palouse six or eight miles to the Falls, where they camped, waiting for a pack train from The Dalles via Walla Walla. Nothing being heard of them, however, a courier was sent to The Dalles via Lieutenant Pillow's camp on the Walla Walla. Colonel Cornelius himself, with Captain Wilbur, went with the express-men to help them across Snake river. The turbulent stream swollen with the melting snows was difficult to cross with their driftwood raft; but pluck and perseverance accomplished it. In addition to this they captured forty head of fat Indian ponies, which in the depleted state of their larder were speedily disposed of for food.
The pack train soon appeared, too, with flour and coffee; and the troops once more reveled in abundance. But, before the arrival of the train, some of the officers and men in the battalion of recruits had found the service harder and the fare poorer than they had bargained for, and had begun to talk of mutiny. A report reached Colonel Cornelius that Major Carl proposed to take such of the company as would follow him and return to The Dalles or the valley. Finding that this charge was well founded, the Colonel immediately ordered the regiment to parade and form in a hollow square in close order. He then took his position in the center and addressed them, explaining as fully as he could the situation and the duty of the company. He called on all good men to stand by him, and warned them that any who should leave would be considered as deserters and treated accordingly.
After he was through, the men called for Major Carl, who thereupon spoke in justification of his proposed course. He ridiculed the thought of the Colonel of a regiment driving in Cayuse ponies for his men to eat, and then expecting them to fight Indians. He ended by saying that he proposed to march back with his command to The Dalles. After he was through his speech, Colonel Kelley was called for and made a very strong speech in support of Cornelius, and pledged his honor and his life in defence of the position taken. He also reminded Major Carl that he had no command, and was subject to orders. Then Major Cornoyer was called on, and took the same ground. Some then called for Geo. K. Shields, who belonged to the same battalion as Carl, and from whom the disaffected expected encouragement. he was a man of very considerable ability, and not much accustomed to camp life. But they made a great mistake in the man. He took very strong ground in favor of the position of Colonel Cornelius. He appealed to them to know if they thought when they enlisted that they were going on a fishing party. After the speaking, the men were dismissed, retiring to their respective quarters; and those who had prepared their horses to leave turned them out.
The pack train arriving the next
day, harmony was once more restored; and on the day after that the army
broke camp and started in a northwesterly direction towards the Big Bend
country. After traveling a day or two, they found that the Indians had
gone in the direction of Priest's rapids on the Columbia. They accordingly
went as far as White Bluffs, and, there finding no sign of any considerable
number of Indians, followed the Columbia down to a point opposite the mouth
of the Yakima.
Here the Colonel issued the following orders to Major Carl:
"HEADQUARTERS FIRST REGIMENT,
"OREGON MOUNTED VOLUNTEERS,
"MOUTH OF YAKIMA RIVER, March 31, 1856.
"MAJOR JAMES CARL, recruiting Battalion:
"You will assume command
of the companies ordered to report to you this morning for duty, consisting
of the following companies: B,H and K of the First Regiment, and A, D and
E of the Second Battalion. You will proceed to the Walla Walla river in
the vicinity of Fort Walla Walla, and there form a camp. You will then
scour the valley of that river to the base of the Blue Mountains, occupying
the country till you are satisfied that the United States troops have come
into the valley. You will then proceed with your command to Ten-mile Creek
near The Dalles, there form a camp and await further orders. On your march
from Walla Walla, you will drive in all the horses and cattle found on
"W.H. FARRAR, Adj. of Regt.
"By order T.R. CORNELIUS,
"Col. Commanding Regt."
On April 6th, Colonel Kelley was ordered to relive Major Carl of his command in the Walla Walla valley, and to hold an election in his command on the first Monday in April in pursuance of an act of the legislature authorizing the volunteers to vote, wherever they might be on that day, on the question of a constitutional convention. Soon after this the command, remaining in charge of Colonel Cornelius, moved up the valley of the Yakima to a small creek called Cannon creek, at a point where the road passes through a narrow gap into the Simcoe valley coming from The Dalles. They reached this place at two o'clock on the 9th of April. Having learned of the capture of the Cascades by the Indians, they were debating whether they had better go on towards the Cascades to intercept parties that might be moving, or return directly to The Dalles. That evening a guard came in and reported having seen at a distance three or four hundred Indians moving the direction of The Dalles.
The Colonel now had in his command Companies A,E and D, of the First Regiment and B and C of the Second Battalion. The entire number of men ready for duty was two hundred and forty-one. Thinking himself strong enough to fight, he went out with Captain Hembree to make a reconnaissance. The captain was very skeptical as to there being any Indians in reach. That night Colonel Cornelius called a council of war to decide the course of operations for the next day. It was decided to send a squad of picked scouts to scale the hills the next morning, and see what the view might reveal. Accordingly, at an early hour, Captains Wilbur, Wilson and Hembree, and Lieutenants Stillwell and Hutt of Company C, with four privates, volunteered to undertake that service. Colonel Cornelius cautioned captain Hembree against going up the rugged trail which he and the Captain had explored the evening before, and in which the Colonel was sure he had seen some Indians. The Captain answered that he would do as directed, but at the same time he did not believe that there was a hostile Indian within a hundred miles. The Colonel insisted that there was great danger, and told him to use all precautions.
The squad started at six o'clock. When they had gone a mile and a half from camp, not having yet reached the top of the hills, they were suddenly attacked fiercely by a force of seventy or eighty Indians, led by the victorious chief Kamiakin. At the first or second fire, Captain Hembree fell mortally wounded, and died where he fell, still bravely endeavoring to return the murderous volley of the enemy. The rest of the party tried to protect and rescue the body of the gallant captain; but the overwhelming superiority in numbers of the enemy rendered the effort fruitless. The escape of anyone was remarkable, and was accomplished only by the cool, prompt, and effective return of the fire. At the time of Captain Hembree's death, the Indians were within ten paces of the little band. Some of the Indians were killed in this close encounter. This sudden onslaught was the signal for the instant appearance of Indians on every prominence overlooking the camp. The most accessible entrance to the camp was from the hills opposite those where Captain Hembree had been slain. To those hills Kamiakin and the greater part of his band were hastening for the unmistakable purpose of throwing themselves upon the camp. Fortunately the movements of the troops were more rapid and decisive than those of the Indians.
The furious onset upon Hembree's party had been witnessed in part from the camp. Lieutenant Hibler, with part of Company E, and Lieutenant Caldwell, with part of Company D, rushed to the rescue of the fallen captain. Dashing to the deadly point, they drove the enemy from their position. Captain Wilbur here rejoined the detachment, and led it in its further operations. Captain Ankeny, with a detachment of Company C, attacked and drove the Indians from an eminence on the extreme right. Major Cornoyer rescued the body of Captain Hembree from the enemy. He then drove and hotly pursued those on the north side of the creek for several miles up the cañon, killing and wounding several. Lieutenant Powell, of Company E, cleared and held the bottom to the west; while Lieutenant Hayten, with a part of Company B, held that on the east. He thus prevented the occupation of the brush that skirted the stream.
On the south, before the return
of Captain Wilson, Lieutenant Pillow, with Company A, charged and carried
a steep and elevated position occupied by the enemy. Captain Wilson then
rejoined his company, and was ordered to retain the butte, as it afforded
a complete protection to the camp. Lieutenant Myers, with the greater
part of Company D, assailed a force which had collected on the rear of
Company A, dispersed and pursued them, until they had joined a party with
which Lieutenant Hutchinson was warmly engaged. Lieutenants Hutt and Stillwell
swept the hills northwest of the butte, and drove the enemy up the creek.
Captain Burch ascended the hills on the south, and led detachments of Companies
B and C in eager chase of the Indians for several miles. Captain Revins
gallantly participated in the attack and pursuit, thought not being in charge of any company, since his own was then at Walla Walla.
Colonel Cornelius had taken his station on the hills to the south, from which he had an unimpeded view of the forces and positions of the enemy, as well as of the operations of his own command. The fighting was hot till noon, when the Indians dispersed in every direction. The Colonel then recalled his various detachments to camp preparatory to a movement of his whole force in pursuit. The amount of ground covered by the Indians had compelled him to divide the companies into parts, and to assign to each officer a particular district, from which to dislodge the threatening foe and then to hold at all hazards. This necessity, in connection with the total lack of knowledge of the force of the Indians, and the broken nature of the ground, compelled the commander to employ this plan of battle, In not a single case did an officer or private hesitate in the duty assigned; and each bravely, promptly and thoroughly performed his part. The Colonel felt justly proud of his men. He was greatly indebted, too, to his adjutant, Captain Farrar.
The battle over, the removal of the camp was hindered by the non-appearance of four men who had been sent out the previous afternoon to look for missing horses on their route up the valley. As removal of the camp even for a short distance would have been almost equivalent to the abandonment of those men, the Colonel deemed it necessary to send a detachment of twenty-five men in command of Lieutenant Hutchinson down the Yakima river in search of the missing men. Before their return the scouts reported that the Indians were fortifying on an abrupt and rocky eminence six or seven miles up the creek. Immediately the Colonel ordered Major Cornoyer with detachments of all the companies except A to dislodge them. Lieutenant Pillow was assigned to the command of a force of reserves ready to go to Cornoyer's support if the need should arise; while Captains Wilson and Burch were retained in camp to be in position to repel attacks if any should be made.
The force of Indians on the eminence was about three hundred strong. Their position was formidable. It was strengthened by stone structures, from behind which they poured forth a steady fire. Major Cornoyer dismounted a part of his men, and had them go up the hill facing their fire. They would run as fast as possible and fire as they ran, so as to excite the Indians and make their aim ineffectual. Then, when their guns were empty, they would fall to the ground or dodge behind rocks to reload, then up to their feet again, running and firing, then down once more to reload and all the time making a steady advance. These tactics they pursued till they reached the top of the hill, when they burst in full force upon the Indians, who then fled routed from their entrenchments.
In this fight Kamiakin was conspicuous in command of the savages. When too distant from any of them to reach them by his voice, he would wave a black flat to the right or left, or lower or raise it, a kind of signals which they seemed to understand perfectly, and which they promptly obeyed. By sundown no Indians were to be seen; and soon afterwards the men who had been out in search of the horses returned in safety with Lieutenant Hutchinson and his band. Aside from the lamented Hembree, none of the Whites were killed in this engagement; and strange to say, but one was wounded, notwithstanding the hot fire. No Indians were to be seen the next day; but the main body of them seemed to have gone in the direction of the mouth of the great canon (canyon).
The next day, having prepared
a litter on which to carry the body of Captain Hembree, the company set
out for The Dalles. They traveled all that day without seeing an Indian;
but, expecting an attack from the Indians in the canon (canyon), they proceeded
with great caution. They camped that night about five miles from the mouth
of the canon. Before sunrise the next morning, twenty or thirty Indians
were seen on the brow of a hill above camp. This led the soldiers to hope
that Kamiakin would meet them in the canon. The command accordingly started
at an early hour, and proceeded over a rough trail, winding along the bases
of projecting hills and bluffs, until about a mile from the canon.
The Colonel then ordered Major Cornoyer to take charge of detachments under Captain Ankeny and Lieutenant Stillwell, and scale the mountains on the right with all possible expedition. He himself, in command of the main column, went to the mouth of the canon. They met and killed two Indians, but not another did they encounter. Ankeny and Stillwell reported that there were none on the bluff.
The conclusion was now plain that Kamiakin did not dare to remain to fight, and had given them the slip. The company were in no condition to hunt him down. Their supplies consisted solely of coffee and flour; and of the latter they had but a single ration. They had not been able to procure horsemeat even in the Yakima country. The only course seemed to be to return to The Dalles. Leaving the main command in the Klikitat, some five miles north and east of The Dalles, the Colonel, with a small detachment of officers and men, went on to procure provisions for his brave but almost exhausted soldiers. They carried with them the remains of Captain Hembree, which at The Dalles were taken charge of by the Masons and conveyed to the home of his family in Yamhill county.
Colonel Cornelius now sent his report to the governor, and awaited further instructions. As it was not yet certain when the regulars would take the field, the governor hesitated about disbanding the volunteers. The Colonel accordingly made all needful preparations for beginning another campaign against the Yakima Indians on the 2d of May; and, in the meantime, leaving the army in command of Major Cornoyer, he went to Portland for a personal interview with the governor. The governor finally directed him to bring the troops to Portland, preparatory to mustering out of service as soon as in the commander's judgment it was best.
On the twenty-ninth the Colonel
returned to The Dalles, and on the thirtieth ordered Captain Wilbur with
Company D, and Captain Wilson with Company A, to go to Portland, where
they were mustered out. The other companies were mustered out in turn between
that time and the middle of
May, at which time the regulars, under command of Colonel Steptoe, were ready to take the field. At this time Colonel Cornelius had a conversation with Colonel Steptoe, in which he told him of the nature of the country in which he must fight, and the character of the Indians, telling him that if they ever got the advantage of him they would use it. Colonel Steptoe laughed at the idea, and said that the natives might cause untrained troops trouble, but not men trained as his were. The next that Colonel Cornelius heard of Steptoe was that he had been surrounded and badly whipped near a place ever after memorable to all inhabitants of the Palouse country, - Steptoe Butte.
On the 14th day of May, the attention of Colonel Cornelius was called to a communication of the governor to Colonel Kelley, bearing date of April 16th, which he thought reflected somewhat upon his official conduct. He therefore addressed the following communication to the governor:
"HEADQUARTERS FIRST REGIMENT, O.M.V.,
"PORTLAND, O.T., May 14, 1856.
"Sir; My attention has been called to your official communication to Lieutenant Colonel Kelley, under date of April 16, 1856, in which you say that you are assured by the chiefs of commissary and quartermasters' departments that there has been at no time an inadequate supply there for the comfortable subsistence of the whole force in the field, and that consequence of the inefficiency of transportation, resulting from the want of proper escort. The construction given to this quotation is that the blame and responsibility properly attaches to myself for the great lack of subsistence for my command during the spring campaign on the northern frontier. I am therefore constrained to request of you to order a court of inquiry to which shall be delegated ample power thoroughly to investigate and report as to the causes of the meagerness of the commissary and quartermaster's supplies furnished the troops under my command since the day I entered upon the duties of my office.
"It is in my power to order a court of inquiry restricted to my regiment. Such a court would not have authority nor the right to investigate the actions of the chiefs of commissary and quartermasters' departments, so far as in all matters relating to their connection with the First Regiment. You alone can order a court invested with the power of embracing the acts of the heads of those departments, as well as of their subordinates in my regiment, and of my own acts. I can assure you that I desire the opportunity to show that the derangements to which you refer have not been in any degree in consequence of the inefficiency of transportation resulting from the want of adequate escort, but that they have been occasioned and resulted from derangements not connected in any wise with my branch of the service.
"I have the honor to be, very respectfully,
"Your most obedient servant,
"Col. First Reg., O.M.V.
"To His Excellency, Geo. L. Curry, Gov. and Commander-in-Chief of O.M.V."
To this letter the governor answered as follows:
"TERRITORY OF OGN.
"PORTLAND, May 14, 1856
"Col. THOS. R. CORNELIUS,
"Colonel; Your letter of the thirteenth instant has been received; and in reply I have to say that I regret that I am constrained to decline granting the request you have preferred for a court of inquiry, for reasons which were fully expressed to you in our personal interview of yesterday.
"The construction generally given to that passage quoted by you in my communication to Lieutenant-Colonel Kelley of sixteenth ultimo, as reported to you, is entirely erroneous. It was foreign to my purpose to cast the slightest censure or reproach upon any part of your official conduct. You have faithfully discharged your duty; and the confidence in your ability and fidelity, which is breathed in all my communications, remains unqualified and unimpaired.
"I am, very respectfully,
"Your obedient servant,
"GEO. L. CURRY, Gov. of Ogn."
The most of the volunteers had been by this time mustered out of the service, and had found their way home. They were very kindly received by the people, especially in Washington, Yamhill and Polk counties, where they manifested their appreciation of their services and of the dangers and hardships that they had undergone. The citizens of Yamhill gave a grand banquet to the volunteers of that county at Lafayette on the 15th of May; while those of Polk county were similarly entertained at Dallas at about the same time, and those of Washington at Hillsboro on the thirty-first.
The war ended, Colonel Cornelius returned to his farm, determined to make up the seven months' lost time; but his friends, having found him faithful in the field, put him into the legislature. On the first Monday in June of that year he was chosen to the territorial council, then the highest body of the legislature, to represent the counties of Washington, Columbia, Clatsop and Tillamook. He was kept in the legislature constantly till the admission of the state to the union; and then he was chosen by the same district to the Senate of the state, which position he held till 1861.
The great war then coming on,
he offered his services to the government, and was appointed an adjutant-general
to act as Colonel of a cavalry regiment which he might raise himself. With
him were associated Lieutenant-Colonel R.F. Morrey and Quartermaster B.F.
Harding, all the appointments being made at the suggestion of E.D. Baker,
then United States senator for Oregon. The term of service of this regiment
was mainly spent on the frontiers of Idaho and parts of Utah and Nevada
adjoining, though the Colonel himself was stationed as commandant at Fort
Walla Walla until the summer of 1862, when he resigned and returned home.
He was at once re-elected for service in the legislature, and continued
in it every session till 1876, being twice president of the Senate. In
1876 he retired to private life, having made a record for legislative efficiency
and honesty of which he may well be proud.
In 1872 he became established in the town of Cornelius (named after him); and there he has made his home ever since. His active energies are expended in a variety of lines of business, such as a store, sawmill, several large farms, and an extensive dairy and cheese factory. In 1886 he was the candidate of the Republican party for Governor of Oregon, but, owing to political complications for which he was in nowise responsible, and which he did his best to avert, the opposing candidate, Sylvester Pennoyer, was elected.
Colonel Cornelius has been twice married, and has six children. His first marriage was in 1850, to Miss Florentine Wilkes. She died in 1864; and in 1866 he was married to Miss Missouri Smith. Though now approaching old age, he is in the most vigorous health, and enjoys throughout the state in which he has been so prominent a figure the esteem and friendship of all.
MAJOR N.A. CORNOYER. - It is sometimes complained of Oregonians that, coming to this state some time ago, they have not been able to keep up with the improved methods invented at the East since their departure. Tis is true only in part, if at all. The early settlers are the ones who have been most prompt and energetic to discover and apply the latest inventions and improvements. They compare very favorably in this particular with the latest arrivals; and their experience of soils and climate and methods peculiar to this coast give them a decided advantage.
Major Cornoyer is an illustration of this. Born in Illinois in 1820, he came to California in 1849 in the company of Colonel Jarrot. The next year he came up to Oregon and made his home in Marion county, on French Prairie, marrying Miss Mary S. Bellique, daughter of a very early pioneer, and, in fact, the belle of the region. In 1864 the Major sought new fields to till, and turned his face towards the Umatilla. He located a claim of one hundred and sixty acres, four miles from Milton, where he has had his home ever since. He engaged largely in the horse and cattle business besides grain-raising, and cultivates an entire section of railroad land besides his own. He saw active military service during the Rouge river war of 1853 and the Yakima war of 1855-56. It was there he won his spurs and epaulets. A full account of these gallant services are noted in the main body of this history and also in the biographical sketch of Colonel T.R. Cornelius.
In political life he has put his shoulder to the wheel, having served two terms as sheriff of Marion county. He also had practical experience as a miner two years in the vicinity of Auburn and on Granite creek.
His children are Mrs. E.J. Somerville of Milton; Mrs. James Forest of Walla Walla; Mrs. Alex. Kirk of Milton; Mrs. Robert Kirk of Walla Walla; Mrs. Daniel Kirk of Milton; and a boy, Gustavus, who is still at home.
Although approaching the evening shadows of life, Major Cornoyer has lost no interest in its scenes and, from present appearances, will keep up the battle many winters longer. We present an excellent portrait.
OLIVER P. COSHAW. - This leading citizen of Brownsville, for many years a merchant of that place, was born July 4, 1831, at Connorsville, Indiana. His parents, who were characteristically thriving and agreeable people of French extraction, went to Iowa in 1843. After leaving school, the young Oliver was employed in a store as salesman, clerk or book-keeper, and there laid the foundation of knowledge and experience which has so well served him in his later years.
In April, 1851, he engaged to drive an ox-team to Oregon for Honorable R.B. Cochrane, long known in our state and now, as for many years, a substantial citizen of Eugene. In return for his services, he received his board and passage and many incidental advantages. The first home was made and a claim taken near Brownsville, where Mr. William Cochrane had been living since 1849. Mr. Coshaw occupied himself with such work as was to be obtained in that sparse community, and in work on his claim, and September 23, 1853, was ready to bring to his new home as his bride, Miss Sarah, the daughter of William Cochrane. This was their home until the title to their claim was perfected.
During the Indian trouble, he was one of the volunteers belonging to Captain Keeney's company. He relates with great good humor the many shift and resort of the soldiers who were all armed and mounted, had but little ammunition, and were often lacking provender for the horses. A freak which caused much merriment and some little trouble occurred in the Rogue River Mountains, amid the winter rain and mud, when their horses, - their own animals, - were shivering in the damp, and growing to resemble greyhounds in figure. The order was given to take the horses to grass and recruit them up for the campaign in spring. Captain Keeney observed that he knew of some good grass in Linn county, and ordered his company home. This was not construed as desertion; and the Linn county boys proved their full fidelity some months later. As the years sped by, Mr. Coshaw secured near Harrisburg a farm which he still owns. He is also proprietor of a beautiful farm well improved with buildings and orchard near Brownsville, and besides these has a cattle ranch east of the Cascade Mountains. His active business career has ever been passed at Brownsville, where he was for twenty years a leading merchant. He was also a promoter and organizer of the Brownsville Woolen Mills, for a time holding one-fourth of the stock. For the past few years, he has been disposing of his numerous business interests, and is living in the quite and pleasure of a well-spent life.
His wife, Mrs. Sarah E. Coshaw,
who no less than himself has been the builder of the fortunes of the family,
was born January 23, 1837, in Putnam county, Missouri, and came with her
parents to Oregon in 1847. At the age of sixteen she was married to Mr.
Coshaw, and has lived a representative life of the mothers of their state,
bringing up in health and mental vigor ten children, - W.L., Sophronia
A., Robert H., James N., Mary E., Oliver P., Sarah E., Ida A., George H.
and Kate E. Seven of the ten are married, and are conducting homes of their
So far as possible, Mr. Coshaw and his wife, having dismissed care, and are enjoying the years on the sunny western slope of life. None of their reminiscences are more agreeable than those of the early da7ys, when they began to keep home in the little log cabin twelve by fourteen feet, with its floor of puncheons and doors of shakes, and furniture of the same, and for the babies a cradle of split cedar boards which answered for the ten. They had a big open fireplace, too, to burn roots and logs; and all the cooking was done with frying pan and coffee can over the coals.
CAPT. JOHN H. COUCH. - A native of Newburyport, Massachusetts, he was one of the handful of hardy, brave, adventurous settlers who made the wilderness their home, and devoted the best portions of their lives in opening the way and preparing the land for the immigration and occupation of their brothers across the mountains. He was born February 21, 1811, and was perhaps influenced by the surroundings in his native place; for Newburyport is noted as one of the oldest and most famous seaports and nurseries of maritime enterprises in America. Be that as it may, he manifested in early boyhood a disposition to pursue a seaman's life, and had an early opportunity to follow the bent of his inclinations, as he shipped on a voyage to the East Indies on the brig Mars while yet a lad. The brig was owned by an uncle of Captain Flanders (afterwards associated with Captain Couch in business for many years); and this first voyage opened the way to others with such good fortune that in 1840 the command of a vessel was given him by the leading shipowner and great merchant of his native place, none other than the father of that eminent lawyer and distinguished statesman, Honorable Caleb Cushing.
This first voyage of Captain Couch's command was to the land of the settling sun. His brig, the Maryland, carried a venture for the Columbia river, which was to be exchanged for a cargo of salmon for the return voyage. We can estimate to some extent the high opinion the great merchant entertained of the integrity and masterly seamanship of Captain Couch when he intrusted him with his vessel and cargo; for in those early days the Columbia river bar was regarded as one of the most dangerous places on the globe, so much so that insurance companies excepted it especially from risks allowed in their policies. None but the most skillfull and experienced seamen would think of braving its dangers, and but few indeed cared to hazard their lives and reputation by accepting the command of vessels bound thither; besides, only men of integrity and shrewd business qualifications would be trusted to dispose of a ship's cargo, and purchase another for the home trip. But all these prize attributes Captain Couch was noted for, and accordingly was given command of the ship. The voyage did not, however, prove fortunate because of obstacles interposed at the mouth of the Columbia river through the influence of the Hudson's Bay Company; and the Maryland was sent to the Sandwich Islands, and there sold; while Captain Couch took passage home on another vessel.
Mr. Cushing was well satisfied that the failure was in no way attributable to Captain Couch, and placed so much confidence in his ability that he again gave him command of another vessel intended for trade, and named Chenamos, in compliment to a high chief of the Columbia river Indians, with whom Captain Couch had established amicable relations on his first voyage. So the Chenamos started on her journey with brighter hopes, and in June, 1842, reached Clackamas rapids, just below Oregon City. Her cargo was taken to this place, which was then the chief settlement of Oregon, and the principal post of the Hudson's Bay Company. Captain Couch opened a merchandise store, and, sending the brig home, remained in charge of the store until 1847. He then started back to Newburyport, making the long journey by way of China, and arrived in his native city in the summer of 1848. He was highly complimented by his employers for his fidelity and prudence, and again tendered further employment, which he declined, but was soon after prevailed upon to return to the Pacific coast.
Late in the same year (1848), a company was made up by Messrs. Sherman, shipping merchants of New York, and others, who bought the bark Madonna and gave Captain Couch command. Captain Flanders, who had been for years master of vessels, agreed to sail with Captain Couch as chief mate, and assume command of the ship while Captain Couch remained on shore to sell off the cargo. The Madonna sailed from New York on January 12, 1849, and arrived in Portland the following August, having on board as passengers ex-United States Senator Ben Stark, W.H. Bennett, W.S. Ogden and Chas. M'Kay. According to instructions, Captain Couch here established a store; and Captain Flanders took command of the vessel, with which he made several successful trips between this port and San Francisco, and finally engaged in the trading and wharf business with Captain Couch. From the time they left Newburyport until Captain Couch's death, there was the strongest and truest friendship existing between Captain Flanders and himself. It was a singular thing for men of their age to form such a tie; and their pure, unalloyed friendship and devotion one for the other was like that which existed between David and Jonathan. The business relations formed in 1850 lasted during his lifetime; and the links of earnest friendship became closer and firmer as the years grew upon them.
While attending to the store
he had established in Oregon City, Captain couch found time to make occasional
trips to other settlements and trading posts in the then infant territory,
and in 1845 took up the land claim now known as "Couch's Addition." But
the dispute over the title to Oregon between Great Britain and the United
States was still undetermined; and he could not perfect his claim. He took
care to do so after the passage of the Donation act; and under that law
the title was perfected. From that time until his death he resided in Portland,
one of her best known and respected citizens. During his long residence
there, Captain Couch occupied several important official trusts, both by
the voice of the voters of the county and by appointment
from the territorial, state and federal executives. He was not a political man, and had none of the dross of one. He never sought a public office. In his case truly the office sought the man; and never did a custodian of the public trust more wisely or with greater fidelity fulfill the duties upon him.
He was territorial treasurer, under the administration of Governor Abernethy, in the Provisional government; he was commissioner of Multnomah county; he was the first appointee under the act of Congress to the office of inspector of hulls, under a Democratic administration, and was retained in the position through each succeeding administration until the day of his death. After the organization of the state government, he served likewise under Democratic and Republican administrations as port warden and pilot commissioner. As in public employment, so in private life, he was an exemplary citizen, and was personally known to almost every man, woman and child in Portland. The wharf built by the partners and known as Couch's wharf, has been since the early years of Portland the landing and departing place for ocean steamers and sailing vessels. It may be called the threshold of the city and Captain Couch was the genial host who always stood ready to welcome the incoming guest or give God speed to those departing. He joined the Masonic fraternity at an early day in Portland, and was an honored and worthy member. His name has now passed into a household word among thousands of sorrowed and loving friends.
Like many other men of iron mold and robust constitution, Captain Couch would not give way to what seemed only a slight indisposition. He had exposed himself unusually in inclement weather, and performed more than his ordinary duties about the wharf. He was stricken down with typhoid pneumonia, and after an illness of nine or ten days, passed away from his living and sorrowful friends to reap his reward as a good and faithful servant. Full of honors, ripe in years, and with a name endeared to all, Captain John H. Couch passed from among us. The funeral cortege was never excelled in Portland. The banks closed, all business was stopped, labor suspended in public places and generally about the city; and all combined to pay respect and do honor to the memory of the revered pioneer and loved citizen.
Captain Couch married early in life; and his estimable wife survives him. Their union was blessed with four daughters. The three oldest were born in Massachusetts, and are not Mrs. Doctor Wilson, Mrs. C.H. Lewis, and Mrs. Doctor Glisan. These three came to Oregon with their mother in 1852 via the Panama route. The youngest is a native of Oregon.
W.F. COURTNEY. - This veteran among the Indian fighters and earlier pioneers was born in Illinois in 1832. At the age of thirteen, he crossed the plains with his parents in 1845. They reached The Dalles during the latter part of October of the same year; but before proceeding down the river they had to construct a flat boat as a means of navigation. This was attended with considerable difficulty, as there were no lumber mills in the country, and ever plank had to be whipsawed. The passage from The Dalles to the Upper Cascades was made without any event of notice. Not so with the balance of the trip; for, after the women, children and household goods were removed, an attempt was made to run the rapids, which resulted in the wreckage of their boat on the rocks. From the Lower Cascades they came to Clackamas Rapids, below Oregon City in a sailing craft called the Calapooia. After a short stay at Oregon City, a permanent home was made near Brownsville. Like all other pioneers of the valley, the Courtney family were obliged to go to Oregon City for supplies. In July, 1847, the father started there for flour; but, when near Clackamas Rapids, he was instantly killed by a falling tree.
This left young Courtney to rely on his own resources in the matter of gaining a livelihood. He began adventures at the age of fifteen on his own account by making a trip to California, and continued the same by going out on the plains in 1852, for the purpose of protecting immigrants. In1853 we find him in Northern Oregon as one of a company of forty formed to bring the Indians to justice who murdered Venerable and Burton on the Coquille river. Marching to the forks of the river, they were divided into squads; and it fell to the lot of Mr. Courtney, together with six others, to proceed to isthmus Slough in skiffs on a reconnoitering tour, the fruit of which trip was the capture of one of the red devils who took part in the murder. Our subject was left the task of guarding the prisoner while the rest of the squad looked around for other Indians. During their absence an attempt was made by an Indian to liberate the captive. But he reckoned without his host; for it took short work on the part of Mr. Courtney to make them both "good Indians." The captive shot, however, died hard; for he ran eight miles before he finally fell.
Mr. Courtney went to the California mines in 1854, but returned to Oregon again in 1855 on the steamer California along with the company brought here by General Wool to fight the Indians. When crossing the Columbia river bar in a heavy storm, the steamer took fire; and for awhile it looked as if all were about to reach their last port. The fire was finally extinguished; and the vessel was safely brought to her destination.
Mr. Courtney is located near Wasco, and is extensively engaged in farming and stock-raising with success. Surrounded as he is with home comforts, could one be more content?
COWLES & MCDANIEL. - Samuel D. Cowles, senior
member of the firm above-mentioned, was born in Hartford, Connecticut,
in 1829, his father being a wealthy broker. He received a ten years' naval
training and finished his education in New York City, where in after years
he was in business for himself. In 1849 he crossed the plains to California.
In 1862 we find him crossing the plains once more, coming from Missouri
in company with a nephew and niece. At Soda Springs a band of Indians,
under the leadership of one of his own employe's, attacked is party and
after a short