Copyright 1999 - 2003 - Janine M. Bork
This page is part of the Union County, OR AHGP
following year was elected to the office of recorder and auditor, being obliged to relinquish this position only be reason of his removal from the state to California, whence he came to Spokane Falls in 1883. At this most flourishing city of intelligent people, Mr. Furth was placed at the head in 1889 by his election on the citizens' ticket as mayor, having as his opponent the regular Republican nominee, Mr. Burns, and receiving over that excellent and justly esteemed gentleman the largest majority ever given a candidate in that city.
JULIUS T. FYFER. - "Blest be the tie that binds." We mean the railroad tie. Civilization goes on steel. Only a few of the most hardy and adventurous would come to Oregon "the plains across" or "the Horn around." By rail we have the world; and the daily, semi-daily and hourly trains that speed to and fro are the pulse-beat of national life.
The gentleman whose name appears above followed the railroad as it was built, and is now a leading citizen at the important place of Huntington. He was born in Quebec, Canada, in 1843, but removed to New York at an early age. During the war he served as assistant to his brother, who was a sutler of the Seventy-second New York Volunteers. Returning to civil life in 1865,he busied himself in the oil fields of Pennsylvania until the gigantic enterprise of connecting the Atlantic with the Pacific by rail attracted him to the extensive opportunities of the West. At Cheyenne, then the terminus of the Union Pacific, he found employment in railway construction, and followed the road steadily to its junction with the Central Pacific, - seeing the golden spike driven home, the last blow upon which was felt in every telegraph office in the union. Mining in Idaho and Montana engaged his attention until the Short Line was undertaken; and he then found work at his old business, taking an extensive contract to haul iron to the American Falls. Coming to Huntington, he engaged in the mercantile business, building a first-class store in 1887. He keeps there a large stock of goods, and is recognized as an enterprising man, working zealously for the progress of his section. He was postmaster there for a time; and it was he that opened out a road to Mineral City and the Seven Devils' country. He has also large interests in the Pine creek mines.
He is a Democrat in politics, and has an interesting family.
JOSEPH GASTON. - Joseph Gaston, the pioneer railroad man of Oregon, was born in Lloydsville, Belmont county, Ohio, in 1833. His ancestors on is father's side were Huguenots, who were expelled from France by the Roman Catholic King in the sixteenth century, on account of their adhesion to the protestant reformation. They settled first in Ireland, and from thence in 1562 removed to North Carolina, from whence numerous branches of the family scattered out over the United States. William Gaston, the granduncle of Joseph, was chief justice of North Carolina, and for many years member of Congress from that state, and was spoken as one of the great orators of his day. He was also founder of the city of Gaston in the "old North State." Mr. Gaston's cousin, William Gaston of Boston, was elected governor of Massachusetts in 1874, being the first Democratic governor of that state in fifty years. His grandfather on is mother's side was a distinguished soldier of the war of 1812, fighting with Perry in his victory on Lake Erie.
His father dying, Joseph was left to the care of relatives, and at the age of fifteen set up in life for himself, working for wages on the farm and in the sawmill. By his own earnings and efforts he procured a common-school education and the means to study law, and was admitted to practice in the supreme court of Ohio in 1856. When the Southern Rebellion broke out in 1860 he raised a company of volunteers, and offered his services to President Lincoln, but was rejected by the examining surgeon for a disease of the throat which has afflicted him all his life.
He emigrated to Oregon in 1862, and settled first in the mines in Jackson county, and subsequently engaged in practicing law in Jacksonville; but, becoming interested in the project of a railroad connecting Oregon and California, he removed to Salem in 1865, and to Portland in 1868. He organized the party which made the first preliminary survey for a railroad line from Rogue river valley to the Columbia river; and, to arouse the interest of the people in the enterprise, he distributed at his own expense thousands of circulars and petitions, and sent the petitions to Congress to support the application for the land grant for the Oregon & California Railroad. After the grant was made, he incorporated the Oregon Central Railroad Company to receive the grant, and secured from the Oregon legislature an offer of a state subsidy of one million dollars in bonds to the road. He was elected the first president of the company, and proceeding to do active work, "broke ground" for the first railroad in Oregon on the fourteenth day of April, 1868, in South Portland. Mr. Gaston remained in the service of the company until its road had been completed from Portland to the Yamhill river, when he removed to his farm in Washington county in 1875.
In 1877, at the request of the farmers of the South Yamhill valley, Mr. Gaston took up the project of building a narrow-gauge railroad from Dayton, in Yamhill county, to Sheridan, with a branch to Dallas, in Polk county; and by dint of great energy, but with very slender means, he built in 1878 forty miles of this, the pioneer narrow-gauge line in Oregon, and which became the basis of the system of narrow-gauge lines in the Willamette valley built by the Dundee Company. In constructing these roads, Mr. Gaston handled large sums of money and millions of acres of property, but did not profit thereby beyond his stipulated salary, although the opportunity to become suddenly rich was not lacking. (See second volume of Bancroft's History of Oregon, pages 700 to 704.)
Mr. Gaston has been a large contributor to the political
and agricultural literature of Oregon. He was editor of the Jacksonville
when that was the only Republican paper in Southern Oregon. He
subsequently conducted, as editor, the Oregon Statesman at Salem, when that was the leading Republican paper in Oregon. He was editor of the Oregon Agriculturist, the first farm journal published at Salem, and during the year 1872 edited the Willamette Farmer. In 1873-74 he was editor of the daily and weekly Bulletin of Portland, Oregon; and during the year1888 he edited the Pacific Farmer. Besides this he has been a frequent contributor to other journals and to the press in other cities. Mr. Gaston is at present devoting his time to the improvement of his farm and stock ranch at Wappotoo Lake in Washington county.
HON. JOHN GATES. - This gentleman was the chief engineer of the old Oregon Steam Navigation Company during its palmy days of navigation, and will always be remembered as one of the brightest minds of our state, as his inventive genius has earned for him the not inapt title of the Edison of the Pacific coast. He was born at Mercer, Maine, and as a youth learned the machinist's trade, rising to the position of foreman of the shop in which he had been apprenticed. Coming to California in 1849, he was engaged in mining at Auburn and at Michigan Bluffs, and in 1852 was engaged as engineer for the old sawmill at Portland located near Jefferson street. His industry and thrift soon enabled him to buy a one-third interest in the mill; and his steady rise in wealth seemed assured. But a fire burned the mill, destroying at the same time his property and prospects.
A start once lost meant many more years of hard work; for in those times the first accumulation was the point of difficulty. Nevertheless this misfortune proved as but the door to his later usefulness. He secured a place as engineer of construction with the Oregon Steam Navigation Company, having already the reputation of great carefulness and fidelity. But in this position he began to develop his native inventive genius, and during his services of twenty-seven years took out more than thirty patents for the safety, speed and economy of steamboats. Twenty-seven of these were obtained during the first ten years of his service.
His first invention was an automatic oiler for both low and high pressure engines. This was followed by a spark arrester; and then came his sectional boiler, by which the saving in fuel was forty-five per cent, the experiment being first tried on the Oneonta. His most celebrated patent was that of the hydraulic steering gear, by the aid of which a pilot may steer with the certainty of a hair's breadth in the heaviest weather. Upon presenting the model of this to Messrs. Ladd, Reed and Ainsworth, directors of the company, the two former advised the use of steam; but Ainsworth insisted on clinging to the policy of following Gates' ideas until he produced a failure, - a consummation which he never reached. These gentlemen had the greatest confidence in their chief engineer, and were every ready to furnish the means for experiment. His other patents may be briefly summarized as follows: Spark arrester, ash pan, cut-off valve, thumbscrews for holding wheel ropes, and several patents for steam pumps.
It is not too much to say that the wonderful success of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company was due as much to Gates as to any one man. Upon a river confessedly so difficult as the Columbia, his care and skill prevented all disasters, - a blown boiler, or any accident due to a lack of skill in construction never occurring. He made navigation upon it speedy and remunerative, and delightful to the traveler. Many original ideas in construction are due to him, such as the graceful covering of the stern wheel, making the afterdeck possible on stern as well as side wheel steamers. The idea of dredging the river channels with a deep sunken screw was also his.
He built a large fleet of steamers, of which the following is a list of the principal ones: Orient, Occident, Almota, Wide West, R.R. Thompson, S.G. Reed, Daisy Ainsworth, Autocrat, Hassalo, D.S. Baker, Anna Faxon, Wyatchee, Oneonta, Washington, Harvest Queen, Mountain Queen, Emma Hayward, Henry Villard, John Gates, Spokane, Bonita, Welcome and Dixie Thompson. He also designed a magnificent side-wheeler to be named the City of Portland, with two hundred and fifty-eight feet length of deck, thirty-six feet beam and ten feet hold, to cost two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and to ply to the ocean during the summers and carry wheat in the winters. But the railroad soon coming postponed the plan.
With the eclipse of steamboating on the Columbia due to railroading, his activity largely lost its scope, and to a certain extent produced his premature death at the age of sixty-one. His rugged frame and active brain could not move without its customary load.
He held the office of United States inspector of boilers many years, and at the time of his death, in 1888, was mayor of Portland. He was a man whom the people loved and honored, and although closely confined to his proper work, was greatly interested in all public progress and in moral enterprises. His funeral obsequies were attended by the whole city, business being closed during the house. His inventions have a public value never dreamed of by himself; and the record of his life is one more commentary upon the reward that waits for those who, by fidelity to their own duties, and by conscientious discharge of their own business, seek to benefit the world. His demeanor was ever quite and modest; and he was exceedingly kind to his employés, showing them an attention and respect not always bestowed. Like men of firm character everywhere, he had great tenderness of heart.
His first wife, Miss Mary Blodgett, whom he married in 1848, died in 1860, leaving three children, Fred, Mrs. Harriet L. Mair and Miss Mary. Mrs. Rachel Gates, née Scales, survives him, and is living with her four children, Nellie T., William H., Edna R. and John, on the competence which he left.
GEORGE K. GAY. - Mr. Gay
was among the earliest of the pioneers of Oregon, having come to our state
in 1835,in a party of eight, consisting with himself, of Turner, Dr. Bailey,
John Woodworth, Daniel Miller, Mr. Saunders, "Big Tom," an Irishman, and
an Indian woman, the wife of
Turner. This was the company that was attacked one morning about breakfast time by Indians on the Rogue river, and who escaped only by the most desperate fighting and with the loss of two of their number, and of their forty-seven horses, the whole of their outfit, and all but two of their guns while all were more or less seriously wounded. They were thereafter compelled to hide b day and to continue their journey by night, at length making their way into the Willamette valley in the most pitiable and destitute condition. At the head of the valley Gay parted from his fellows, and traveled hungry, wounded, and lacking clothing except a shirt, to Wyeth's trading post on Sauvie's Island. In 1836 he went with Captain Slocum to California for cattle, and on the way back fell into trouble once more with the Indians, receiving an Indian arrow, the stone head of which he carried in his body for a number of years. He succeeded however in bringing his animals into the Willamette valley, and selected a claim and made a farm, or stock ranch, in what is now Yamhill county. He soon became one of the wealthiest men in Oregon outside of the Hudson's Bay Company. In 1843-44 he built the first brick house in the territory. He here dispensed a prodigal hospitality, entertaining all passers-by, and sometimes having under his roof-tree such distinguished visitors as Commodore Wilkes and party. It is mentioned as illustrative of his bounty and of the number of his guests that he often slaughtered an entire ox to be consumed in the repasts of a single day. Mr. Gay was in favor of good government, and was long known as a pillar in our young society. After the advent of the later immigrants and modern business methods, he lost his wealth, and died in poverty October 7, 1882, at the age of seventy-two years.
He was an Englishman by birth, a native of Berkeley, in Gloucestershire. He went to sea as a lad, and arrived at Monterey, California, where he left his ship, in 1833, and joined Ewing Young, a trader from Santa Fe', and came north with him, making at length his entrance into our state as above narrated.
S.R. GEDDIS. - Mr. Geddis, a portrait of whom, together with a view of his beautiful home farm, appears in this history, is a leading and wealthy citizen of Kittitass county. He is one of the men whose success in life has been mainly achieved in the county in which he now lives by the exercise of economy, industry and business integrity, guided by intelligent financial ability. He is now a rich man, while but a few years ago he came to the Kittitass valley with nothing but an unblemished reputation as his entire capital.
Mr. Geddis was born in Warren county, Pennsylvania, February 12, 1838, and was the eldest son of Robert and Margaret Nash Geddis. Six years later, he with his parents moved west to Louisa county, Iowa, where in 1845 our subject suffered the irreparable loss of his father by death. In 1846 his mother married William Clum, and in the spring of that year started across the plains to Oregon, arriving in the following September. They first located on a farm in Linn county, where Mr. Geddis remained until 1865. During the Rogue river war in 1855, Mr. Geddis joined Captain, afterwards General Williams' company, with whom he served for a time, and then joined Captain Hugh O'Neil's company, with whom he remained until the close of hostilities in 1865. He moved to Umatilla, Umatilla county, and followed farming and freighting until 1869.
He then came to Eastern Washington, and, being so favorably impressed with Kittitass county, concluded to make it his future home, and located one hundred and twenty acres near the present site of Ellensburgh. At that time the whole domain lay in its virginity; and the feet of white men had hardly passed over it. Mr. Geddis was one of the first to begin to build on and to till the soil, with what success may be judged from the fact that he is to-day one of the wealthiest men in his section of the country, owning two large farms of over eight hundred acres each, close to one of Washington's most prosperous cities, Ellensburgh. Both of these farms are finely watered, and are stocked with some of the best blood to be had. He also owns a large amount of valuable real estate in and adjoining Ellensburgh. Mr. Geddis is not only rich in worldly goods, but in that which every honest man desires, - the esteem and confidence of his fellow man. This Mr. Geddis possesses to a very large degree as there are none in the territory whose words stand higher than his.
He was united in marriage in Linn county, Oregon, May 29, 1859, to Miss Emily C. Tourman, a native of Illinois. By this union they have a family of ten children, one of whom is deceased.
HEMAN J. GEER. - The name of Geer is so well known in our state that the following account of the father of T.T. Geer of the Waldo hills will be of interest to all. This now venerable pioneer was born in Ohio in1828, removing with his parents to Illinois in 1840. In 1847 he crossed the plains to Oregon with General Palmer's train. The large company forestalled trouble with the Indians. Peter Hall, who stopped with Whitman at Walla Walla was the only one who experienced any disaster. The crossing of the Cascade Mountains by the Barlow Road proved the worst of their trials.
After reaching Oregon, Heman
stopped at Oregon City, and engaged in the boot and shoe business; while
the father located at Butteville, Marion County. In 1848 he young man abandoned
"city" life and located a claim in the Waldo hills, marrying Miss Cynthia
Eoff. In 1849 he was prevented from completing the journey to California,
by men returning with the report that the mines were "worked out." From
1854 to 1861 he was in the nursery business at Silverton, and the next
year in business at Salem, going thence to the Caribou mines in 1862, thence
to Auburn, Oregon, and from this point with his goods to Bannack City.
In 1864 he mined on the John Day river. Having separated from his first
wife he made Union county his home, serving as deputy sheriff under his
brother Isaiah Geer, of the newly organized Union county. In 1867 he located
a fruit farm at the Cove, and formed the acquaintance of and married Miss
Annie E. Duncan. He
has two hundred acres of very fertile land, with an orchard of sixteen acres, and eight acres in hops, - the only hop ranch in the country at present.
As a member of Captain English's company of Oregon Rangers in 1848, Mr. Geer was of much service in recovering property stolen by Indians from the settlers of the Willamette valley. He has ever been able and efficient in public matters. According to the longevity of the Geer family, Heman J. bids fair to live to see his four-score years and perhaps more, as he seems as buoyant and vigorous as a man of forty. That the above prediction may prove true is the sincere wish of his numerous friends.
PRESLEY GEORGE. - This pioneer of distinction, who founded in our state one of its most honorable families, was born in London county, Virginia, March 23, 1798, and was the son of Jesse and Mary Craig George, of an old family in that state. While still a boy he came west to Ohio, crossing the Ohio river at the ford where Wheeling now stands. For forty years he lived among the "Buckeyes," putting his should to the wheel, and doing all in his power to establish the high and generous civilization of that great state. In 1826 he was united in marriage to Miss Mahala Nickerson.
In 1851, seeking new scenes and a new state, in whose construction he might have a part, he crossed the plains to Oregon, making for himself and family a home on the old Donation claim near Lebanon, which is still known by his name. Here he developed a farm of great productiveness, and a home of cheerful and happy interior, with surroundings of great beauty. Here also he brought up his three sons, and served his state and neighborhood in all the ways known to a good citizen.
He died December 23, 1879, at his home in East Portland, at the advanced age of eighty-one years; yet even then his demise was not due to disease or wasted vital forces, but to an injury received by a fall. He is buried at East Portland in Lone Fir Cemetery. On the shaft of marble over his grave are inscribed these words: "One whose life aim was to be true to himself, his family, his country and his Creator."
MAHALA GEORGE. - Mahala George was the wife of Presley George, and was born in Barnstable, Massachusetts, August 22,1808. She is the daughter of Hugh and Rebecca Blanchard Nickerson, an old Puritan family of distinction and memorable service in the Bay state. They removed to Ohio in 1817; and in that state of great ideas and great people, on the whole the finest produced in American, Miss Mahala received her education, and gained the large ideas which naturally suited her New England mind. She is one of the mothers of our state whom Oregon could by no means have spared, and still adorns in her beautiful old age the best society of our Pacific Northwest. She has already passed one birthday beyond four-score years, but still retains her physical and mental strength. She makes her home in East Portland.
HUGH N. GEORGE. - Hugh, the eldest of the three sons of Presley and Mahala George, and not the least distinguished among the three eminent brothers, was born in Morgan county, Ohio, November 9, 1828. he was educated at Granville College and followed the profession of teacher for nearly thirteen years. He as one of the prominent educators of Oregon in early times, and was twice elected school superintendent of Linn county. He was admitted to practice as an attorney in 1863, and for a time was editor of the Albany Journal.
In 1864, after an exciting canvass, eh was elected one of the presidential electors of Oregon, and carried to Washington City the vote of the state in favor of the re-election of Abraham Lincoln.
Under the severe strain of the loss of all his property in the destruction by fire of the Buena Vista Mills, and subsequent exposure in traveling and lecturing, his health gave way; and on May 9, 1871, he died at The Dalles at the age of forty-four years.
J.W. GEORGE. - This gentleman is the second son of Presley and Mahala George, and was born in Ohio November 11, 1835, but removed to our state at so early an age as to receive his education at the Santiam Academy in Linn county. He became well known as one of the most promising young men of our state, and early developed unusual business capacity.
In 1873 he made a permanent home at Seattle, Washington Territory, and entered actively into the business and social development of this metropolis of the Sound, acquiring also extensive real estate and property interests. July 2, 1884, he was appointed, by President Arthur, United States marshal for the territory, and served until after the change of administration. Although meeting with a heavy loss by the great fire of June, 1889, he was no less able than the most of Seattle's energetic business men to recover himself and carry on his enterprises as before. A man of integrity, ability and vigor he has a strong hold upon business and political affairs in Washington, and is a recognized power in a community noted for men of high character.
M.C. GEORGE. - M.C. George is the third son of Presley and Mahala George. He is a gentleman of brisk mental qualities and great force, with refined popular attainments, and an honorable reputation that extends to every corner of Oregon. He was born in Noble county, Ohio, May 13, 1849. He received his education in our own state, at the Santiam Academy and at the Willamette university. he began independent life as principal of the public schools of Albany, and subsequently of the Academy at Jefferson. He was also engaged for a time in journalistic employment; but choosing the legal profession as a vocation best suited to his tastes, and as leading into the fields in which he desired to operate, he studied law, and was admitted to the bar as an attorney in 1875. He was early brought into political prominence and was elected state senator from Multnomah county in 1876, serving four years. In 1886 he was elected representative in Congress from Oregon, and was re-elected in 1882.
In 1885 he was chosen professor
of medical jurisprudence in the medical college of Willamette University,
and still retains this position. He was
elected March 11, 1889, for the term of five years, a member of the board of directors of the public schools of Portland, and is now engaged in the practice of law in Portland, Oregon.
SAMUEL GEORGE. - Mr. George was born in England in 1835, and in 1858 went to Australia, and in 1861 to New Zealand. From this antipodal region he came to British Columbia and mined for years at Caribou. In 1867 he brought his wanderings to a close by selecting a home in Umatilla county, Oregon, where he engaged in cattle raising on Butter creek in company with James Webb. They were partners for two years. Since their separation, he has conducted the business alone to the present time, keeping an average of about five hundred cattle on the range. Grass having become scant has necessitated his securing a considerable body of land. He now has seven hundred cattle and a hundred and thirty-five horses. This number he has maintained, notwithstanding material losses by hard winters, thieves and estraying. Mr. George is recognized as one of the substantial and hospitable citizens of this independent section, and is held in high esteem by the many who know him.
J.N. GILBRANSON. - There is no European country to which the United States is more in debt than to the Scandinavian peninsula. From there we had Ericsson, whose invention of the Monitor is deemed by many to have turned the tide of war in 1862. From the country of Ericsson we have also many of our best citizens. One of these is Mr. Gilbranson, who was born at Christiana, Norway, in 1834, and came to Chicago in 1854. He resided in Missouri until the war broke out, being actively engaged in his business of contracting and building. Returning to Chicago, he continued to work in his line until 1880, going in that year to Minneapolis, and opening a sash and door factor under the firm name of Jansen, Gilbranson & Co.
In 1886 he sold out to his partner and came to Spokane Falls. He has since made that city his home, buying property and erecting for himself a very fine residence, a view of which appears in this work. He is a man who, to his natural industry, has added experience and linked intelligence, thus forming enterprise. He is one of the men of whom the city is proud, and to whom it looks for its great undertakings. He was married in Iowa to Miss Anna Johnson, and has one daughter.
COL. CORNELIUS GILLIAM. - Colonel Gilliam was a native of North Carolina, and was born in 1798. But his recollection of that state in after years was like a dream; for when but a youth he accompanied his parents to Missouri, where he lived for many years. August 31, 1820, he married Miss Mary Crawford of that state. Ten years later he was elected sheriff of Clay county for a term of two years; and at the expiration of that time he joined the Black Hawk war. In 1837 he served as captain of the company which fought all through the Seminole war. About this time trouble arose with the Mormons. The authorities decided to expel them from the state; and for that purpose volunteer were called for. Captain Gilliam came to the front, raised a company and was chosen its captain. he was soon after promoted to a colonelcy for meritorious conduct.
In 1843 he represented Andrew county in the legislature. Religiously he was a free-will Baptist. In 1845 he was ordained to the ministry; and the next year he left for Oregon, arriving in the fall. He first settled in Polk county, but soon removed to Benton county, there remaining until his departure in 1847 to join the then marshaling forces for the Cayuse war; for the Indians threatened death and destruction on every hand. The people were in mortal dread and terror, both for their lives and their property; for many depredations had been committed by the Indians; and in several instances coldblooded, outright murder and atrocious massacres of whole families had occurre3d. The life and character of Colonel Gilliam is so closely interwoven with the details of this war, and he figures so prominently in it, that the mere mention of his name is sufficient to recall the long, weary marches, the sufferings and privations, and the many hard-fought battles, all encompassed in what is known as the Cayuse war. This biography, without the details of that war, would be incomplete; and a history of the war with Colonel Gilliam omitted would be a story without a hero. they are inseparable.
When the news reached Oregon City about dusk on the 8th of December, 1847, by a messenger from The Dalles, reporting that Doctor Marcus Whitman, his wife, and all connected with him, had been murdered at Waiilatpu, November 26th, by the Cayuse Indians, and calling for protection from The Dalles, the legislature under the Provisional government was in session at that place. The governor took immediate action, and dispatched a messenger to the body. Honorable J.W. Nesmith introduced a resolution which passed, authorizing the organization of a company of volunteers to immediately take possession of The Dalles. That evening a company was recruited, with H.A. Lee as captain; and in forty-eight hours afterwards they were well on the way. The ladies of Oregon City took a deep and active interest in the raising of the company. They were headed by Mother Hovel, well known at that place as the moving spirit of everything tending towards peace. They made a neat flag, and provided many delicacies for lunch on the way, and selected Honorable J.W. Nesmith, member from Polk county, to present them to the company. In his presentation speech he did honor to both head and heart, and cheered the boys for the march which was before them. Captain Lee, on behalf of the company, in a neat speech accept the gift presented by the ladies. It is Oregon City that holds the honor of making the first flat to be borne in the defense of the country on this coast.
The situation at this time was
appalling, to say the least. The people were scattered sparsely over the
country, with but meager means of defense. They had but few guns and less
ammunition, and no means of obtaining either except through the Hudson's
Bay Company; and that company was
anxious that the English government should obtain control of the country. It was clear that no help from them would come. With the Indians on the one hand, and the Hudson's Bay Company on the other, the people were hemmed in and almost powerless. But necessity is the mother of invention; and this was another case where the way supplied the means.
The legislature then in session took due notice of the alarming situation. It was rumored that all of the Indians east of the Cascade Mountains had united in one band to totally exterminate or forcibly drive the Americans out of the country; and they were ably generaled by the Hudson's Bay Company. Isolated and shut out from the rest of the world, one year at least must intervene before assistance could be obtained from the seat of the home government. The situation was truly appalling. Something had to be done. The legislature wisely determined to wage an aggressive war in the country of the hostile Indians, and that promptly. They authorized the governor to raise a regiment of five hundred men, and elected Cornelius Gilliam, the subject of this sketch, Colonel; James Waters, Lieutenant-Colonel; H.A. J. Lee, Major. The governor issued his proclamation, and sent runners in every direction calling upon the settlers to respond, which they did nobly, contributing largely of their means for the successful prosecution of the war at hand. This was the only means within reach of the Provisional government by which they could carry on the planned campaign.
The young men of the country volunteered to brave all the dangers of the future. Many furnished their own outfits as far as they were able; and, where they were not able, they were furnished by the settlers. The men with families remained at home to protect their wives and little ones. There were perhaps not to exceed fifty men, from first to last, who were heads of families, or who exceeded twenty-five years of age. The material consisted of boys and young men from sixteen to twenty-four years of age, - just the age to follow wherever a brave commander would lead, and ask no questions. They had unbounded confidence in their commander; and their motto was, "If our colonel can stand it we can;" and his was, "To live just as the boys did." If he had an extra blanket, some one of the boys got it. If the boys were without coffee or tea, notwithstanding some of his mess had with their own means provided these delicacies, not one drop could they get him to touch. If they were without bread, no bread would he eat; or if the beefsteak was broiled before the fire on a stick, and cut off with their knives and eaten as it was cooked, you would find him faring just the same. If the meat was pure horsesteak straight (which was frequent in his excursions) you would find him eating and apparently enjoying it. This is the way he obtained their confidence. Backed by his grit and energy in preventing a combination of those Indians, is it any wonder that he succeeded in conquering them and in bringing about peace within six months?
The greatest eulogy that can be pronounced of either the dead or the living can be said of Colonel Cornelius Gilliam, when it is declared that he gave his life for the lives of the early settlers of Oregon and Washington, and was one of the few men who saved this grand country from falling into the hands of the English government; and to-day he and his successors in office, and the men under them, who suffered almost every hardship that the mind can conceive in a war of that character, and who fought to a successful issue the greatest Indian war of this coast, are almost forgotten. There is not a decent gravestone to mark the last resting place of the gallant commander. The little flurries of General Howard after Joseph, and the other Indian wars, were but mere child's play compared to it; yet they are all the talk. The few survivors of the early Indian wars have grown gray, old and poor, many being unable to work; yet the state and general government fails or refuses to recognize them to give them a word of cheer. The newspapers report that the general government, through its Honorable Secretary of War, has failed to find any records in reference to it, or that such a war ever occurred. The fact is that the general government did recognize it, and tardily paid the poor soldiers the pittance of soldier's wages, - nothing for their outfit, and about one-half the true value of the supplies furnished by the poor settlers to prosecute the war. There must have been at that time something in the office to show that the service had been rendered and the debt contracted.
On the 8th of January, 1848, about six weeks after the reception of the news of the massacre of Doctor Whitman and all connected with him, men, women and children, about thirty in number (except one man, his wife and small child, who secreted themselves under the floor of Whitman's residence and there remained until after midnight, when they succeeded in making their escape by hiding in the brush during the day and traveling by night and at last succeeded in reaching the Hudson's Bay Company's fort at Wallula, and several girls who were carried away as captives by the Indians), the command took up the line of march from Portland, the place of rendezvous, to the scene of action, crossing the Columbia river below the mouth of the Sandy to Vancouver, and recrossing again just above the Cascade fall, reaching The Dalles the fifth day after leaving Portland. The supplies followed them up the river in boats, and supplied them at their encampment each evening.
On reaching The Dalles the command
went into camp to await their supplies, which had not reached that place.
The large number of Indians who usually wintered there had left. The few
remaining expressed no desire to be friendly. On the morning of the third
day, two of the guards who had been placed around the horses of the command
were killed by the Indians, who had decoyed them away from camp by tying
a horse to some brush a few hundred yards from where the men were located.
Supposing the horse belonged to the command, and that the ropes attached
to him had been caught in the brush, they went to release the animal, and
were shot and killed in the act. Colonel Gilliam determined at once to
chastise them and bring them to terms if possible before leaving for
Walla Walla. He sorely feared the consequences of having an enemy behind as well as one in front of him. These Indians were composed of the Warm Spring and Dalles tribes, numbering several hundred warriors, who were daredevils. He learned that their village was located in a deep cut on the east side of the Des Chutes, opposite what is now known as Warm Springs Reservation. He accordingly, the next morning after the tragedy, with all his available command, proceeded thither. Crossing the Des Chutes near its mouth, after making a forced march, he went into camp late in the evening.
On the next morning he sent Major Lee with a small detachment to ascertain if possible the exact location of the Indians. The Major returned late in the evening, and reported that after traveling several miles he discovered a small number of Indians in front of him, and that he in a friendly manner tried to approach them but as he advanced they retreated. Thereupon he ordered a charge, but had not gone far before he discovered a large body of Indians in his front. He then ordered a retreat, the Indians pursuing him, and reached the command about eight o'clock P.M., reporting the loss of one man, William D. Stillwell, a private in Captain Thompson's company. This, however, proved a mistake. It appears that in the charge Private Stillwell was in advance, out of hearing distance of the order to retreat; and he did not discover the Indians until his opportunity to retreat was entirely cut off. He saw that his only chance of escape was to press on down the gulch to its mouth, and then leave his horse, and take to the rocks along the Des Chutes river, and by that means save his life, which he did, and reached the command about daylight, having been wounded in the hip by an arrow. He was the same William D. Stillwell who ran the gauntlet when Captain Hembree was killed in the Yakima Indian war of 1855-56, when the Indians were in front, behind, and on each side, showering the arrows at him as he ran; but he escaped unhurt.
On the next morning, as soon as it was light enough to travel, Colonel Gilliam with his command climbed the steep bluff which runs along the whole course of that river, following the Indian trail, and proceeded directly to the point where the Indians were located the day previous. When the command reached that point, they encamped at some mud springs; and the next morning, after moving forward a few miles, they discovered a body of Indians formed in line of the bluff in front and on the opposite side of the deep cut where they were located. When the command reached the ravine that ran through the cut, the Colonel ordered a halt, and ordered his men to fall into line. After viewing the situation (the Indians taunting the command and calling to them to come up, not thinking for a minute that they would attempt to ascend the steep bluff in front to reach them), he saw that the trail turned both up and down the cut, but not across, and that the bluff was too steep and abrupt to ascend with horses.
The troops were in line awaiting orders. Pointing to the Indians, he said: "Boys, we've got to reach those fellows; and we can't reach them with our horses. The only way I see that we can reach them is on foot and in front of them. Dismount! The captains will detail two men from each mess to take charge of the horses; and the balance will form in line in front." When the line was formed, he said: "Don't get too close together; but keep a space of three or four feet between each of you, and protect yourselves as well as you can by the overhanging rocks. Keep in line, and don't exhaust yourselves. It must be a quarter of a mile from where we stand to where the Indians are. Don't shoot until you reach the top of the bluff, and then give it to them. Forward!" The command proceeded up the bluff amidst a storm of bullets, which as they whistled by, and with the cracking of the Indians' guns, drowned all other noise. The Indians in their excitement overshot, and not a man was wounded until they reached the top of the bluff when the Indians were quickly put to flight and retreated out of reach of the guns. As they were mounted the command could accomplish nothing more on foot; and the Colonel ordered a halt and directed on of the officers with a small posse of men to find a place by which the horses could be brought up. They soon discovered that the trail at the mouth of the gulch ascended the hill; and the horses were ordered up. During this time the Indians remained in front out of gunshot, silent and sullen, watching their movements. As soon as the horses came up, the command mounted and charged the Indians, who soon scattered and fled.
The Colonel discovered from their
movements that their village lay to the east; and he at once started in
that direction. After traveling about two miles, they discovered the Indian
village on a small creek, and found it has been deserted except by a few
old and helpless Indians who could not be taken away. Everything showed
that it had been deserted in great haste. Not a tent nor skin home had
been removed; and a large amount of their furniture and supplies remained
in them. Here that principle which was always prominent in Colonel Gilliam's
character, his great sympathy for the fallen, weak and helpless, was tested.
A proposition was made to burn the village; but his reply was: "No, I can
fight the bucks; but I cannot fight the helpless women and children. It
is now winter; and if you burn their village they will likely perish. Let
us leave it just as we found it; and it may have a good effect." The troops
proceeded a short distance below the village and camped, tired and hungry.
Being out of provisions, the Colonel sent to The Dalles for supplies, meanwhile
sending out detachments to find Indians. During this time the troops lived
on horsemeat, the first they had eaten. The supplies arrived on the third
day; and the command set out for The Dalles, reaching there in two days.
As soon as arrangements could be made for the transportation of supplies
for the command, the Colonel resumed his march for Walla Walla. Nothing
of interest transpired until the morning after leaving the encampment at
the Well Springs. They had now reached the country claimed by the hostile
Indians, and expected at any time to be engaged in battle with them. The
Colonel, before leaving camp, had sent his scouts in front along the road
with instructions to go as far as Butter creek, and to report to him about ten o'clock A.M. A man was seen approaching at a rapid pace along the road, and was recognized as a scout, who came up and reported a large body of Indians in front near where the road turned off. Now with the hostile Indians in battle array, expecting an easy victory, they looked at their own little band, not to exceed three hundred and fifty men, and thought of the consequence if they failed in the struggle before them. It was enough to make the stoutest heart quail. Colonel Gilliam said: "Boys, the murderers of Doctor Whitman are before us with their allies; and behind them on the hill are as many more ready to join them in case the battle goes against us. You know the consequence if we fail; not one of us will be left to tell the tale. And that is not the worst. Every tribe of Indians in the whole country will united to desolate our homes and to exterminate and drive all the Americans from this county. But we are not going to fail. We are going to whip them and teach them a lesson to-day that they will never forget. Don't shoot until you are ordered. Obey your officers, and quietly wait until you are ordered to begin the battle.
The Indians silently and slowly moved up until they were almost within gunshot; and in a moment, as if by electricity, every horse sprang to almost full speed; and every throat produced such unearthly yells and sounds that it seemed as though the infernal regions had been turned loose. They moved in a circle around the command in regular order, keeping a space of about four feet between their horses, and gradually drawing nearer as they moved nearer around the little army of Whites, until they had entirely encircled it. So regular was the order, and so well had they gauged their speed, that as their line came up they began to form a circle within the outer circle. They had now approached within gunshot; and their leader kept several pace in front of them. Lieutenant Charles McKay said; "Colonel, I know that Indian. He is their great medicine man, and their leader here. He has made those Indians believe we cannot kill him, that our balls cannot harm or penetrate him. Let me shoot him. I believe I can kill him." "Kill him," replied Colonel Gilliam; and at the crack of the gun he fell from his horse; and several Indians sprang forward and carried him away. The fight now became general; and the dine of discharging guns, warwhoops of the savages, and crys of defiance from the soldiers, drowned everything else.
Their principal chief, Five Crows, fell mortally wounded early in the action. The loss of their leader threw them into confusion; and the hot and terrible reception they met from the soldiers caused them to fall back out of gunshot. They remained in that position about twenty minutes, when they again attacked the soldiers, this time charging directly upon them; but they were again repulsed, and fell back in utter confusion. The remainder of the day was spent in skirmishing, the Indians changing their tactics. Their object now seemed to be to draw a detachment away from the main body of soldiers, and t cut them off before they could regain a place of safety. They would send out detachments as a decoy to draw out detachments of soldiers against the, when they would retreat, drawing the troops after them, being so posted that a large body of Indians could quickly place themselves between the detachment and the body of the command. Colonel Gilliam at once understood the trick, and determined to gratify them as far as he could with safety. His forces were so small that he was compelled to keep them in striking distance of each other to protect them against the array of Indians. Therefore, in sending out detachments, his instructions were to only go so far and the officers in command were to watch closely the enemy posted on each side; and, if any attempt was made to cut them off, to at once fall back. He always kept a sufficient force to assist the scouting parties. Sometimes the boys would grow too eager, and forget their instructions and get too far away. Then you would see a race between the Indians and the soldiers, the savages trying to cut them off and the boys trying to reach the command. And so the day passed, the Indians failing in every effort.
About four o'clock in the afternoon, the Indians left; and the command stayed on the ground until morning, providing for the comfort and transportation of the wounded. Those supposed to be mortally or dangerously wounded could not be carried in the wagons; and a blanket was lashed to two tent poles, on which a bed was made; and on the shoulders of the uninjured they were gently carried to Walla Walla. The camp was without both wood and water, except a little in the canteens, which had to be kept for the wounded, among whom was Colonel Waters. Early in the morning the command started, but had traveled only a short distance when they were met by a deputation of Indians bearing a white flag, asking for a suspension of hostilities, and proposing to meet the officers and arrange terms of peace. The commissioners appointed by the governor to treat with the Indians favored the proposition. Colonel Gilliam opposed it, as he believed it a ruse and done solely to secure time to convey their families and property to a place of safety. The commissioners thought the Indians were acting in good faith, and insisted that the proposition be accepted. Colonel Gilliam submitted, the governor having intended him to operate with the commissioners. An agreement was made to meet the next day at the crossing of the Umatilla river. The command pushed on to the crossing and camped. The soldiers were tired and very hungry, not having had anything to eat since leaving their camp at Well Springs about thirty hours before. They remained in camp all next day as agreed; but no Indians came. It was only a stratagem on their part to remove their effects to places of safety.
Colonel Gilliam was very much irritated over it. He saw
his whole plans defeated, and the war continued by the governor through
is commissioners, one of them being a subordinate officer. He had planned
to moved to the Umatilla river, go into camp to rest and refresh the soldiers,
and at night make a forced march to the Indian village, situated about
twenty miles above the river, surround it and on the dawn of morning demand
an unconditional surrender. In all probability he would have succeeded,
and would then and there have ended the war. The mistaken policy of the governor was carried out; and the murderers of Doctor Whitman, who were almost within the grasp of the soldiers, were permitted to escape. On the morning after the delay, he proceeded on his march to Walla Walla. Before traveling far, the road ascended to the high tablelands of that county, from which the foot of the Blue Mountains could be plainly seen; but all along before them was a dense could of dusty extending for miles along the foot of the mountains. The Colonel knew at once that it was the redskins escaping with their stock; and it was useless to proceed any farther in that direction. He turned across the country to the Walla Walla river a couple of miles below old Fort Wallula and camped.
The command was short of ammunition; and Colonel Gilliam wrote a polite note to McBean, who was in charge of the fort at that time, asking him to furnish, for the use of the soldiers, a stated amount of powder and lead, he having previously learned that there was a large amount in store at that place. The officer returned and reported that the request had been refused. The Colonel declared, "I will go myself," which he did and procured the necessary supplies. Here Sticcus, a noted Cayuse Indian and friend of Doctor Whitman, came to the camp. He came to represent his tribe and ascertain upon what conditions peace could be effected. A council was held, consisting of Colonel Gilliam, the three commissioners appointed by the governor, to wit, General Joel Palmer, Doctor Newell and Major Lee. Sticcus represented to them that his people were very sorry that Doctor Whitman had been killed; that a large number of his people had been sick with the measles, and that many had died; that Joe Lewis, a half-breed among them, had induced the belief that Doctor Whitman had poisoned them, and would poison them all if he was not killed or driven out of the country; that his object was to kill all the Indians and take possession of the country. As proof of his statements he would point to the sick and dead Indians, and also said that McBean, who then had charge of the Hudson's Bay Company's fort at Wallula, had offered Doctor Whitman a large price for his property, but that the Doctor refused to sell at any price, and that the only way they could get rid of him was to kill him. He gave a history of the trouble from beginning to end, and the causes that brought it about, implicating McBean and others largely in the matter. He said his people were very sorry, but that they had been deceived and lied to until they had killed the best friend they had among the Whites; that they wanted peace, and that he had come to see at what terms they would grant it.
The commissioners told him that they could have peace by surrendering the murderers of Doctor Whitman. Sticcus told them that the Indians would surrender all of the murderers except Tom Ineea and three others. Colonel Gilliam proposed that if they would bring Joe Lewis, the half-breed, to them, they would release three of the assassins; but the commissioners objected to this, and told Sticcus that his people must surrender all the murderers before they would be permitted to live in peace in their country; but that, if they would surrender them, they might all return and be friends.
This message Sticcus promised to carry to his people, and also to use his influence to induce them to comply with the terms To Colonel Gilliam's question as to where his people were at that time, he replied that they were at the mouth of the Tukanon on Snake river, stopping with the Palouse Indians. Thus ended the first and only conference which the commissioners held with the Cayuse Indians. They were now whipped, and were fugitives felling for their lives. Owing to their wealth and influence with other Indian tribes of that country, they had yet a hope of uniting the other tribes in their behalf, and thus secure their assistance against the Americans (the Bostons as they called them).
The Cayuses were less in numbers than any of the other tribes; but they were much more intelligent and much wealthier. A number of them owned from one to three or four thousand horses each. They had been under the care and personal instruction of Doctor Whitman, who had taught them the value of property and many of the arts of civilization. A number of them had small farms and houses to live in, and raised a large proportion of their support. They had intermarried largely with the Nez Perces and Walla Wallas, hence their hope of inducing these tribes to co-operate with and assist them. They were loath to surrender the murderers of Doctor Whitman, as some of them were their leading and most influential men.
The next morning after Sticcus
left the soldiers' camp to go to his people, Colonel Gilliam ordered camp
to be raised, and proceed to Whitman's Station. Here they beheld nothing
but desolation and ruin, which were heartrending. The comfortable home
and quarters provided by Doctor Whitman for himself, and the worn and weary
immigrants and the helpless orphans whose parents had sickened and died
by the way, had all been destroyed by the hand of ruthless and brutal savages,
who had wreaked their vengeance first upon himself and his estimable wife,
and then on the innocent victims whom he was feeding and sheltering. The
Doctor and all who perished with him were buried in one grave, i.e., a
trench about seven feet square, and sufficiently deep to hold all the bodies.
Into this the bodies of men, women and children were thrown until it was
filled to within a foot of the surface, when a little earth was thrown
over them. When the command reached the spot, they found large holes which
had been dug by wolves and other animals, and a portion of the remains
of the dead dragged out and devoured. The bones were found and replaced
in the grave, the holes filled, and the whole inclosed and covered so it
would not be again disturbed. Most of the hair from the head of Mrs. Whitman
was found some three or four hundred yards from the grave, where it had
been taken by wolves or Indian dogs. The hair was carefully gathered up
by the soldiers and taken with them to their respective homes as mementoes
of a noble and beautiful woman. The hair was well known, as it was a beautiful
golden color and very fine, and had been seen by many of them adorning
the head of that beautiful and accomplished woman as she was
assisting her husband in relieving the sick and distressed immigrants, gathering up the orphans and taking them to her own home.
Doctor Whitman was killed while butchering a beef. The Indians came to his place as they often did, seemingly friendly; and, without any warning to him or his assistants, shot them down. Mrs. Whitman heard the firing, and ran out of the house. She threw up her hands and cried; "Oh, I knew it! I told him they would kill him. Joe Lewis came here on purpose to incite and influence them to kill him. I tried to get him to leave; but he always told me to hope for the better, that he would rather die than desert what he believed to be his post of duty." After accomplishing their object at the corral, they went to the house, where all those who had not been killed had collected, and fired into the windows, wounding Mrs. Whitman. Several of the immigrants who were stopping there, some of whom were employed by the Doctor, had succeeded in reaching the house. The cowardly Indians were afraid to attack the inmates of the house by entering. They called to Mrs. Whitman and told her that if she and those with her would come out of the house, they should not be hurt, but that all should be sent to Fort Wallula and be unmolested. The inmates of the house saw no means of escape, and determined to trust the Indians. They all came out; and as soon as the Indians could get between them and the house they were all shot down, except nine girls whom they took captive to become the slaves and wives of these savage murderers of their parents and friends.
Colonel Gilliam resolved to make the station his headquarters. he arranged and prepared the adobe house, formerly used by Doctor Whitman, to serve as a hospital for the sick and wounded, and arranged his camp so as to ward off any attack that might be made by the enemy. After being in camp several days, a delegation of Nez Perces visited the camp, headed by the father of Ellis, their principal chief. Craig, an American trapper, who had married a Nez Perce woman, came with them. He was a shrewd and sensible man; and he with Ellis prevented the tribe from joining the Cayuses in a war against the Whites, whom they claimed to always have been friends to; and they pledged their word not to join the Cayuses, and said that they would not harbor the murderers of Doctor Whitman nor permit them to pass through their country. After remaining at the camp for several days, they returned to their own country. The commissioners, after meeting with the Nez Perce delegation, saw that their work was done and left under an escort furnished by Colonel Gilliam for The Dalles. Major Lee resigned and accompanied them; and Magone was elected to fill his place.
There was a general feeling of satisfaction with the entire command when they left. Not that the officers or soldiers had anything personal against them; but they realized that their mission had been worse than a failure. The authority for peace or war should have been left entirely in the hands of the commanding officer. If he was competent to command in war, and had studied thoroughly the situation; as ever successful commander must, he is certainly better qualified to arrange terms of peace than others who know but little about the condition of affairs. The governor, no doubt, thought he was doing for the best in appointing the commissioners; but it was a great mistake, and a source of annoyance and confusion from the time they reached the command until their departure. It was also at times a source of keen humiliation to the commanding officer, as one of his subordinate officers was also a commissioner, and in a certain sense his superior. General Palmer, a man of much more ability than either or both of his colleagues, felt that the appointment of commissioners was a grave mistake; and as soon as he could, with credit to himself, he broke up the commission and returned home. He learned while in the field the needs of the little army; and, as chief quartermaster and commissary, he worked with untiring zeal and energy to furnish the troops with the needed supplies, and by his personal efforts succeeded. The country owed more to him than to any other man or men for the successful prosecution and termination of that war; and he should be held in grateful remembrance for his services in the early settlement of this country.
Colonel Gilliam learned that the murderers of Doctor Whitman were still camped with the Palouse Indians at the mouth of the Takanon; and he resolved, if possible, to surprise and capture them at that place. He accordingly selected about two hundred of his best mounted men, and proceeded without delay to that point. After crossing the Touchet, and reaching the divide that separates the waters of that stream from the Tukanon, he ordered a halt at about two o'clock in the afternoon. He remained there until after dark, when he raised camp and proceeded with all possible dispatch to the Tukanon, and down it to the Indian camp, determined to reach there before daylight. He sent Morge, his guide and interpreter, with Jacob Rhinearson ahead of the command with instructions to examine the defiles and narrow passes along the trail, and that if anything occurred to report to him without delay.
When the command was nearing
the Indian camp. one of the soldiers of Company A, contrary to orders and
without the knowledge of the officers, stole on in advance of the command
and scouts, and fired into a bunch of willows, supposing it to be an Indian
wigwam. When the Colonel heard the report of the gun, he ordered a halt
and sent out a reconnoitering party, who soon returned and reported as
above stated. The Colonel was informed by the guide that they were but
a short distance from the Indian camp and, believing they had heard the
report, he feared they would lay in ambush for the soldiers, as the trail
ran along near the stream the banks of which were steep and thickly set
with brush, and the valley narrow. He therefore ordered the men to dismount
and remain until daylight. At dawn they were ordered forward, and had proceeded
but a short distance when they saw the Indian camp only about half a mile
away down the river. The Indians had discovered the approaching troops;
and the murderers again escaped, fleeing to the hills and across the Snake
river. The soldiers went quickly forward to the Indian camp, and found
men all gone except a few who claimed to be Palouses and friends, and protested that the Cayuses were not there, having left some weeks before, going to the Bitter Root country.
The Colonel ordered a portion of the troops to go down the stream to its mouth, and then up the Snake river to where the main Indian trail crossed that stream; while he and the rest of the command proceeded directly on the trail to the same point. On reaching the top of the hill that overlooked the river, he saw a large number of the Indians on the opposite side; for they had succeeded in crossing, and were beyond reach of the troops. The disobedience of one man had defeated the accomplishment of his plans; and a large river lay between him and the enemy, with no means of crossing it. He accordingly ordered the command to retrace their steps to headquarters, then known as Fort Waters, directly that about five hundred head of horses that were grazing near by be driven with them. The fort was named by the Colonel in honor of the Lieutenant-Colonel.
The command had not proceeded far when the Indians recrossed the river, collected all their available forces, numbering about five hundred men, and attacked the soldiers. The attack was made about twelve o'clock; and a running fire was kept up during the day until dark, when the troops reached a deep ravine thickly set with brush, where they were so arranged as to protect themselves and horses. The horses belonging to the Indians were ordered turned loose, the Colonel preferring to lose the horses rather than some of the soldiers, which he saw was inevitable if he attempted to guard the horses. There the troops remained until morning, every man on guard. The fight was kept up at intervals through the night and until noon the next day. Just before reaching the Touchet the Indians all at once stopped firing and disappeared. They were noticed however to proceed rapidly in front of the command. Mingo, the pilot, informed Colonel Gilliam that were the trail crossed the Touchet the stream was shaped like a horseshoe; that the Indians no doubt were making for the points at the crossing to cut off the troops when they attempted to cross.
As soon as the Colonel learned the situation, he ordered the companies on the right and left to proceed with all possible dispatch and take possession of the points on each side of the ford. The troops on the left flank reached the point first, and drove the Indians back on the right. The Indians succeeded in reaching the brush, and had to be driven from their cover before the command could cross the stream. The Colonel ordered Major Magone to take the troops on the right, and to charge the brush and dislodge the Indians, which he did after killing several of them. Here the Indians ceased fighting, and left the command after twenty-four hours constant engagement. The troops had now been forty-eight hours without food or sleep. None had been killed; but a number had been wounded. Some had been mortally wounded, and a number so badly that they could not ride on horseback but had to be carried on litters on the shoulders of their comrades.
The soldiers rested a short time and then proceeded on their march to Fort Waters. After traveling a few miles, on account of the fatigue and the suffering of the wounded, Colonel Gillman thought it advisable to camp and rest until the next morning. Here the boys rested and refreshed themselves as best they could on horsemeat, the most of them being without anything else. The next day about noon they reached Fort Waters, after an absence of about eighty hours, having during that time eaten only three meals, two of which were composed of horsemeat, and had had only one night's sleep. Twenty-four continuous hours of the time had been spent in a forced march to reach the enemy; and the twenty-four immediately following were spent in fighting amid the din of musketry and the demoniac yells of the savages. When the soldiers reached the fort they had not to exceed a dozen rounds of ammunition left, many of the guns being empty, as they had nothing to load them with; and the men were weak and exhausted. Colonel Gilliam now saw that to reach the enemy he most cross the Snake river, and that to attempt it and maintain his base of supplies would be hazardous in the extreme.
The Indians in the late fight had in many respects a great advantage. The command was compelled to act on the defensive throughout the entire battle, except in one instance, - at the crossing of the Touchet. The Colonel was somewhat apprehensive as to the effect on the surrounding tribes. He determined, in view of all the facts, to call for two hundred more men, and to secure and have them in the field as soon as possible. He also determined to see the governor in person, and accordingly started with the detachment of troops that had been ordered to The Dalles for the supplies which were at that place awaiting an escort to protect them in their transportation to Fort Waters.
On the way down, when the troops
were going into camp at Wells Springs, the Colonel was accidentally killed
by one of the teamsters. He usually attended to his horse himself; and
the rope used in staking out the animal was always removed when on the
march and put in the rear end of one of the wagons. That evening as usual
he went to get the rope, and found it mixed up with other things and somewhat
difficult to extricate. The teamster saw his dilemma, and in attempting
to assist him a loaded gun, with the cleaning rod in the barrel, but there
contrary to orders, was discharged; and the rod struck the Colonel in the
forehead; penetrated his head to the skull on the opposite side, breaking
off about six inches from his head. The shock threw him full length on
his back, with his arms thrown out, his eyes closed, looking as natural
as life but for the rod protruding from his head. Death had been instantaneous,
and without the appearance of the contraction of a muscle. Death came in
the noon of his manhood, with a bright future before him. Generous to a
fault, quick to arrive at conclusions, and as quick to execute them, he
was a born leader. His impulsive nature savored largely of humanity; and
he could not bear to see man nor beast cruelly treated if it were in his
power to prevent it. He was not schooled in the
arts and science obtained from colleges; but he was learned in the school of practical knowledge.
Captain Maxon, being the senior officer, at once took command and ordered camp to be raised, and to proceed without delay to The Dalles, in order to send the body of Colonel Gilliam to his family, and to report to the governor. This report embraced in full the views of Colonel Gilliam. Here the famous Indian chief, Kamiakin, met the command, and stated in council that he had learned that Colonel Gilliam was on his way to this place, and that he determined to meet him, as he wanted to talk with him. He expressed much sorrow at the Colonel's death, and stated to Captain Maxon that he and his people were friends of the Americans; that he would not harbor nor aid the murderers of Doctor Whitman in any way, and that they should not pas through nor remain in his country. He made a sensible speech, which was reported to the governor and published in the Spectator, a paper published in Oregon City. He concluded his remarks by asking for a few plows, stating that his people had no means of cultivating the ground. There were at The Dalles a lot of plows sent out by the board of missions for the Warm Spring and Dalles Indians which had not been distributed; and these Captain Maxon gave to Kamiakin, which greatly pleased him. He was a remarkable Indian both physically and intellectually, - a veritable giant, being over six feet in height and likewise proportions. His appearance indicated that he had the strength of four or five ordinary men, and was very intelligent for an Indian. He was the Tecumseh of the coast; and had he attempted then, as he did afterwards, to unite the Indians against the Whites, the result would have been the massacre and depopulation of the entire country.
By return messenger Captain Maxon received instructions from the governor that he had issued a call for four companies of troops, and that they would be equipped and sent out with all possible haste, and directing him to proceed with the supplies to the main command and report to Lieutenant-Colonel Waters, commanding, together with letters of instructions sent through him to the colonel commanding. The Captain had everything in readiness, and, as soon as he received the instructions, proceeded without delay to Fort Waters, reaching that place in good time, without any casualties. he reported the death of Colonel Gilliam, which they had not heard, and presented the lieutenant-colonel the letters of instructions from the governor. Colonel Waters was direct to remain at the fort until the recruits came up, when other instructions would be given. They were under the command of Major Lee, who had been commissioned colonel. The old regiment, as soon as they learned the fact, were indignant over the appointment of Lee, and were loud in their denunciation because of the injustice done Colonel Waters, who was a faithful and efficient officer. Lee had been on the ground but a few hours before he saw that it would not do for him to assume command; and that his only way out was to throw the blame of his appointment on the governor, and resign his commission as colonel of the regiment, which he did. Colonel Waters immediately called the regiment together to know whom they desired should command them, when they elected him without a dissenting voice. Lee was elected lieutenant-colonel; and preparations were immediately made for an advance movement.
Colonel Lee was directed to take three companies and proceed to Spaulding's mission on Clearwater, and to ascertain if possible the location of the murderers, and, if any information could be obtained by him, to report to Waters by messenger; if not, to cross Snake river at that point and proceed down it to Red Wolf crossing, where the main command would meet him. Colonel Waters proceeded directly to the mouth of the Palouse river, and crossing Snake river traveled up the Palouse a few miles and camped. He remained in cam for a few days, sending scouting parties in various directions; but they returned and reported that there were no Indians in that part of the country. He then proceeded up Snake river to Red Wolfe crossing, and remained there awaiting the arrival of Lee. When he arrived he reported that the murderers had all gone to the Bitter Root country. While at this point a messenger came from Walker and Eels, asking that an escort be sent to accompany them out of the country from Fort Colville. Major Magone was directed to take sixty men and go to the mission known as the Spokane House located among the Spokane Indians, from there send a messenger to them at Colville, and return to the escort at that point. This he did; and they were safely conveyed by the Major to The Dalles. When Colonel Waters learned that the murderers of Doctor Whitman had escaped and left the country, he saw that his work was done, and that the only course to pursue was to return to Fort Waters, leave a company of soldiers there, order the remainder to The Dalles, report to the governor and await his action.
The governor ordered the regiment home, and disbanded it. This ended a war fraught with difficulties and dangers on every hand. The little colony of two or three thousand souls were isolated from the home government, with no probability of assistance from that source before it would be too late. Headed by Colonel Gilliam in the field, and General Palmer at home as commissary and quartermaster, was fought to a successful issue the great Indian war of this coast, - a war, in view of all the circumstances and difficulties which attended it, with no parallel in all the Indian wars of the country. There are many incidents connected with the war which are not here given; and no dates were preserved of the events. there were none killed on the battlefield; but some of the wounded, which numbered thirty or forty, died of their wounds afterwards.
After Colonel Gilliam was killed,
the copies of his reports, letters and various correspondence and instructions
from the governor and adjutant-general ,being somewhat bulky and troublesome
to carry were carefully sealed and left with the quartermaster at The Dalles,
he promising to keep them safely, and to deliver them to no person without
an order. When they were called for the package was found broken open,
and everything of interest taken out by some unknown person or persons;
quartermaster could not or would not give any information on the subject. It was then as it is now. Two parties were aspiring to the management and control of the affairs of the colony. The party in power were jealous and afraid of the growing popularity of Colonel Gilliam, and sought if possible to check it. The opposite party thought to get control through the Colonel's influence; and many of the letters to him above-mentioned referred to these facts; and some of them were rich and racy. After his death they determined to get possession of these letters; and, learning by inquiry that they had been left at The Dalles, the representatives of one of the parties either purloined them or induced the quartermaster to give them up.
CAPT. JAMES M. GILMAN. - The Oregon Steam Navigation Company, now known as the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company, which is the great company of river and ocean steamers, and of the Northwestern railway system centering at Portland, has been one of the most distinctively Oregon organizations ever established. It has made Portland; and through it the great fortunes of the state have been built up. The steps in the life of this company are full of interest; and it is instructive to discover the qualities of its individual members, and what led them to the enterprise. They were worthy young men, some of them mechanics; and their only capital was in their active brains and ready hands.
Captain Gilman, the present large capitalist and real-estate owner in the city of Portland, was one of these young men. He was born in New Hampshire in 1826, and , losing his mother at the age of seven, lived until he was thirteen in the family of an uncle. His penchant for mechanics early showed itself; and it was the height of his boyish ambition to be able to understand and run a steam-engine. This early bias dominated his entire career. Starting off with his small bundle while but a mere lad, he walked to Charlestown, and finally to Manchester, finding employment as apprentice in the great shops of that place. His pay was fourteen dollars a month and board. Towards the close of his five years, he received twenty dollars.
After fulfilling his time at the shops, he turned his face homeward, more anxious perhaps to see one of his old-time schoolmates than anyone else; but at Boston he found a company of one hundred young men making up a fund in lots of three hundred dollars each to buy a ship, and with her to come around the Horn to California. Casting in his lot with the daring company, young Gilman set his face for the Pacific. The ship was the Lenora. Provisioned for a year, the vessel sailed forth. Embarking February 5, 1849, the young adventurers reached the land of gold July 4th following. In the ship were the parts for a small steamer, the New England, which was put together immediately after their arrival. An offer for her of sixty thousand dollars was promptly refused; and she was run on the upper bay and the Sacramento. The company sold out an dissolved, Gilman like the most of the others, going to the mines. He was obliged to return, however, to San Francisco on account of sickness, taking passage thither on the old steamer Senator on its first trip. After his recovery, the luck of the young engineer went cross-grained for a time. he was once at least in that condition described in the West as "dead broke." From this slough he was kindly lifted by the loan of fifty dollars from his old captain, Green. He found employment (working at first without pay) as assistant, and finally as engineer on the San Joaquin. Upon the relegation of this craft to the bone yard, he bought, with a company, a small steamer for one thousand dollars, which he used for towing barges, and afterwards put her on the Oakland route.
About this time an Oregon man, James McCord, of the firm of Abernethy & Clark, bought the steamer Redding for towing vessels from Astoria to Oregon City. He prevailed upon Gilman to bring her up and run her that summer. He accepted the situation, but with no intention of remaining in Oregon. The Redding was the first steamer on the Columbia and Willamette, although the Hudson's Bay Company had had a steam coaster which ran up the Vancouver. On preparing to return, Gilman found the steamer General Warren ready to leave Astoria, but refused to accept the captain's request to take passage. Indeed the General Warren had scarcely crossed the bar before she sprang a leak, and had to be run upon the Clatsop Spit. She went to pieces; and the most of the passengers were lost.
To put in the time, Gilman accepted a position as engineer on the Multnomah on the route to Oregon City (1852). Three years later, having by this time acquired that love for its majestic waters which the Columbia inspires, he was employed on the Bell, which ran to The Dalles.
A number of men now saw the immense profits of navigation on the Upper Columbia; and Ainsworth, Kamm and Gilman began the construction of the Carrie Ladd. This was built in the most substantial manner, indeed with the expectation that she could run the rapids at the Cascades. This was the beginning of the O.R. & N. (O.S.N.) Co. W.S. Ladd, J.C. Ainsworth, R.R. Thompson and Simeon G. Reed were the first directors. As the company added new steamers, and built the railroad around the Cascades and The Dalles, the profits became very great, as much as one hundred thousand dollars per month.
Captain Gilman remained with the company for many years, investing his profits in real estate at Portland, and turning it over every few months to good advantage. He built the Gilman House, an elegant hotel of the city. Portland consisted of Pettygrove's cabin when the Captain first came here. After five years on the coast, he returned to his native place on a visit, marrying an old schoolmate, Laura F. Graves, with whom he returned to his home on the Willamette. But one of their children survives, Ida, the wife of Albert McKinnie.
Having seen Portland grow from
one house to a thriving city of seventy thousand people, the Captain naturally
has fait that it will ultimately become a large place. His career should
be a lesson to young men. There is usually a fortune for the one who prefers
to work for his board rather than be idle.
PARSONS GLEASON. - Mr. Parsons Gleason is one of the oldest and most venerable of our pioneers now living, having been born in Rutland county, Vermont, in 1799. At the age of six years he moved with his father to Western New York, and at the age of twenty-one went out to Indiana, and three years later had drifted as far as the Indian Territory, and was with the missionaries for three years among the Osage Indians. Three years later he went on to Indiana, making his home at South Bend. In tat state he married and made his residence, forming a great attachment to the old military hero and political chieftain, W.H. Harrison, with whom he became intimately acquainted.
In 1851 he made the great journey across the plains to Oregon, thereby becoming one of the earliest settlers in our state. he made his home at the place first humorously called "Hard Scrabble," but later translated as "Needy," in Clackamas county. Here he has passed a long, active and honorable life, and still lives at the age of ninety.
A.B. GLEASON. - This gentleman is the son of Parsons Gleason, and is now one of the active business men of the state. He was born May 22, 1829, in Ripley county, Indiana. In 1849 he entered upon life as boatman on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, and in 1851 came with his father to the Pacific coast. The trip through Illinois and Missouri he made by himself with ox-teams, while the rest of the family performed this portion of the journey by water. With a train of twelve wagons, and numbering among their companions Mr. Clinton ad Reverend Mr. Chandler, they made the memorable journey, having excellent fortune the entire distance, - a splendid trip.
Arriving in our state, young Gleason made an excursion to the Rogue river mines, and returning took, in 1853, a tour of the Puget Sound country, finding at length employment with Governor Stevens as superintendent of his farm. In 1855, however, he relinquished this position to volunteer in the service against the Indians, becoming a member of Captain Hay's company. After a three months' service, he returned for a short visit to his father's home, and soon made what was then the adventurous trip to the Atlantic states via Nicaragua. Visiting in Iowa he was there married to Miss Clarissa Town, and soon after returning via Panama to is Oregon home. Two years he lived on his claim, but found business more congenial, and has up to the present time been engaged in milling, merchandising and dealing in grain at various points in the state.
In 1870 he became the pioneer and in a measure the founder of the town of Hubbard, building there the first house, and conducting the entire business of the railroad company at that point. He is there at present engaged in merchandising, handling grain, and shipping produce, having an interesting family, and owning a handsome residence. Of his four daughters, two are married, one being the wife of the well-known G.W. Dimick. The others and the son are still at home.
STEPHEN S. GLIDDEN. - Spokane Falls, Washington, has been fortunate in possessing from the first business men accustomed to large enterprises. Such a man is Mr. Glidden. He was born in Northfield, New Hampshire, in 1829, and at the early age of two years removed with his parents to Scotia county, Ohio. Upon reaching a few more years, he was taken back by his mother to his native state to enjoy educational advantages. Returning s a youth of eighteen to Ohio, he entered the store of the iron company with which his father and uncle were connected. Upon their purchase of the Clinton furnace, he was made book-keeper and cashier, and within two years became general manager, employing several hundred men. Here he received a practical education in large affairs, which solidified his business character. two years more and he became partner in the firm of Glidden, Crawford & Co.
In 1855 he found a partner for his domestic life in Miss Sue M. Garrett, grand-daughter of John Culbertson. They have had seven children, of whom two are deceased. Miss Jangio became the wife of Geo. W. James of St. Paul, Minnesota. Miss Jessie Duncan married Mr. Frank R. Culbertson of the Tiger mine, Idaho. Harry M., Steven C. and Sue Garrett are still with their parents.
Mr. Glidden's independent mining operations became very extensive. With Cawbridge, Culbertson and J.C. Garrett he bought the La Grange Iron Works in Tennessee, which embraced eighty thousand acres of mineral and timber land. Here he built the Clark and Eclipse furnaces As president and manager of this company, he rebuilt the Clark and La Grange furnaces, and operated them until 1872. In this year he transferred his interests to Evansville, Indiana, and the next year organized the Alabama Iron Company, of which he became president, and built and operated the Alabama furnace, where was made the celebrated Clifton car-wheel iron.
Tiring somewhat of Southern life, and desiring to begin a new business in the West, he went to St. Paul, Minnesota, and organized the wholesale grocery of Glidden, Briggs & Co. In the spring of 1884 he went out to Thompson Falls, Montana, to establish a branch house for the firm. This was the year of the Coeur d'Alene excitement; and, foreseeing the great future awaiting the development of this mineral belt, Mr. Glidden at once appeared upon the scene and purchased the Tiger mine. He returned to St. Paul only to close out his interest in the mercantile establishment, and removed with his family to Spokane Falls, and has here been actively engaged in developing his mine. He belongs to that class of careful and substantial managers who are changing the mining methods of the old haphazard, happy-go-lucky style of days gone by so as to make it one of the exact industries.
DR. RODNEY GLISAN. - Doctor
Glisan is one of the few men of our state who have been original and productive
in the literary field. His main works have been of a very substantial character,
and upon recondite professional subjects, and have not, therefore, been
brought to the notice of
the general reader. But to those versed in the periodicals and literature of medicine he bears a name and reputation second to few in our national union. Essays, lectures and other emanations of his pen are to be met with in the leading medical journals. An extensive original treatise prepared by him upon a profound and difficult subject is a recognized manual in America, and is known even n the medical libraries of Europe. Without the avarice of fame possessed by many, and enjoying the confidence and opportunities of one high in the esteem of the members of his profession, Doctor Glisan passes the almost ideally happy life of the student and philanthropist, and has every honorable incentive to conduct the investigations in which is interest lies. His work gives permanent luster to our state.
We now give briefly the data of his life. He was born at Linganore, Maryland, in 1827, being the son of Samuel and Eliza Glisan. His ancestry were among the first English settlers of Maryland. He graduated from the medical department of the University of Maryland in 1849, and after passing a severe competitive examination before a medical board was appointed a medical officer of the Untied States army in May, 1850. Having served in this capacity for about eleven years on the plains and in Oregon during her Indian wars, he resigned his commission and settled in Portland, Oregon, where he has ever since been in the successful practice of his profession. Although he has traveled extensively in Central and British America, n the United States and in Europe, he has seen no country that he prefers as a home to Oregon.
In recognition of the Doctor's services during the hostilities of the Indians from 1855 to 1860, he was in 1886 elected surgeon of the grand encampment of the Indian War Veterans of the North Pacific coast, and still holds this position. unlike a certain class of army officers, the Doctor has never entertained any prejudices against volunteer soldiery. He is independent in politics, a member of the Protestant Episcopal church, and has been a warden of Trinity church, Portland, for over twenty years.
Owing chiefly to his temperate habits, he as always enjoyed good health, and has not, for more than half a century, refrained from duty, civil or military, for a single day on account of illness, although exposed by day and by night in all climates to the inclemency of the weather. The Doctor was a professor in the first medical institution ever formed in Oregon, - the Oregon Medical College, which subsequently assumed the name of the Medical Department of the Willamette University, in which he was for a long time a professor, and is still an emeritus professor. While an active member of this college, Doctor Glisan felt the need of American text books in his department of obstetrics, none having been written for many years, and regretted the general use by American schools of the books of Great Britain and continental Europe. Hence his effort to supply the deficiency by publishing in 1881, and again in 1887, his text book on midwifery. This was well received, both in the Untied States and in Great Britain. The Doctor had the pleasure of seeing a copy of it in the library of one of the most distinguished professors in Paris. He also saw his book in the libraries of several German professors at Vienna.
Doctor Glisan is the author of a journal of army life, and "Two Years in Europe." He has also written many articles on professional subjects for the leading medical journals of the United States.
He was president of the Medical Society of the State of Oregon in 1875 and 1876, and has for many years been a member of the American Medical Association. He took an active part in the seventh International Medical Congress held in London, England, in 1881, and was a member of the council of the ninth International Medical Congress, which convened in Washington, District of Columbia, in 1887. His paper, read by invitation before the latter Congress, elicited favorable comments in all the principal medical journals of America and Europe.
He has performed many important surgical operations. Among his notable cases were the first amputations of the shoulder and thighs, and the second operation for strangulated inguinal hernia, ever performed on the North Pacific coast. Although relinquishing this branch of his profession, he is still a busy general practitioner.
He takes an active part in the advancement of his city and state, and is at present engaged in aiding the erection of the magnificent Portland Hotel.
The Doctor was married December 3, 1863. His wife, Elizabeth, is a native of Massachusetts, and is the youngest daughter of Captain John H. Couch, one of the founders of Portland, Oregon.
JAMES P. GOODALL.- There are some hundreds of men upon our coast whose life experiences embrace as much of romance and adventure as was every told in the pages of Marryat, Irving, or of Smollet. For a full recital of this, we must refer the inquirer to such men as the genial gentleman whose name appears above, that he may in his own home, in the beautiful city of Jacksonville, Oregon, recount as to us the stories of his life upon this coast.
He was born at Milledgeville, Georgia, in 1818, and at that cit and at Columbus in the same state, and at Montgomery, Alabama, received his education. In 1836-36, while but a youth of seventeen, he began his active career by joining the column under Scott to quiet the Creeks and the Seminole Indians, and, after service there was ended, entered Texas as a revolutionist under Lamar and Houston, serving an active army life from the Sabine to the Rio Grade, and north to the Red River, and the northwest of Texas in the Comanche region.
In 1846 the war with Mexico took
him with the advance to Wools column to the Mexican borders, to Presidio,
Rio Grande, to Monclova, Monterey and other interior towns. At the close
of hostilities, having served a whole term, and having experienced several
skirmishes and action, he performed an overland trip in 1849 via Durango,
to the Pacific at Mazatlan, and thence by sea to the gold fields of California.
Ten years were spent in the exciting pursuits of the miner, and in the
hard brushes with the
Indians of Northern California and Southern Oregon. In 1853, while mining at Yreka, he raised a company of ninety men to quell the Indian disturbances of that season in the Rogue river valley. This was a notable fighting company, serving under General Lane and losing a quarter of its number. More than twenty years after this Mr. Goodall passed over some of the same ground, inspecting the lava beds of the Modoc country, where he had acted with Ben Wright's expedition in 1852, performing effective and hard service.
Temporarily quitting life on the Pacific coast, he returned in 1859 to New York, making a trip to Washington, District of Columbia, and throughout the South as far as Texas. He thence arranged a trip to Europe and the Mediterranean, leaving New York City in the summer of 1860 on a tour extending to Cairo, Egypt, thence along the north coast of Africa to Tunis, across the Mediterranean to Marseilles, and thence overland to Bayonne, taking ship home from that French port to New York.
Being in full sympathy with the South from 1861 to 1865, he did service in the main from Corpus Christi to Brazos Santiago, and after the unpleasantness was over made once more the journey to the Pacific by Durango and Mazatlan to San Francisco. The gold fields of the Upper Columbia lured him to their mineral deposits; and he made a protracted tour of all the leading mines in Idaho and Nevada, - at the Comstock and elsewhere. From 1871 to 1873, he made explorations for mines in Arizona and Southern California in the vicinity of San Diego. In 1877 he came up again to Oregon; and at length, as the most desirable spot for a home, he brought to Jacksonville his lares and penates, and is now living in serene age under his own vine and fig-tree, and in the midst of his peach and apricot groves, - a sunny spot to spend the sunset years of a life not without its tempests, and a part of which had been spent as a seeker after gold with the pick, shovel and sluice-box.
OLIVER P. GOODALL. - Mr. Goodall, one of our best men in developing Oregon, was born in Jefferson City, Missouri, August, 1828, and grew up on a farm, securing a common-school education. At the age of eighteen he left school and joined Colonel William Bent, and spent the winter of 1846-47 at Bent's fort on the Arkansas river, in the capacity of clerk. He there met with continuous adventures, associating with such old mountaineers as Kit and Bob Carson, Bridger, the Calloways, Bill Williams, Dick Dallam, Black Dick Curtis and others; and his recitals of their brave and daring deeds and endurance would fill a volume.
In 1847 he went to Mexico in the quartermaster's employ as courier, wagon-master, clerk, and interpreter of Spanish, under Major Sprague, General Howard and others, and remained in Mexico, New Mexico and Texas until the fall of 1849. He met with numerous adventures with Apaches, Mexican guerillas and Comanches, and buried many brave comrades, and was even obliged to leave some unburied. He carries scars in remembrance of Indian arrows, and has vivid recollections of many perils, having been by the side of Major Stein when he was shot in the Sierra Blanco Mountains, where his two bosom companions, Joe Allison and Jim McAllister of Missouri, were left unburied. He also recollects affairs of interest in connection with the Seminole chief, Wildcat, and his sub-chief, Gopher John, a coal-black Negro, campaigning on the Mexican border.
In October, 1849, Mr. Goodall was engaged in prospecting for gold in Southern California. In 1850 he had reached El Paso del Norte, and entered the quartermaster's service. In 1851, he went to Texas with a government expedition, and thence eastward home to Jefferson City, Missouri. In 1852, longing once again for the unbounded West, he crossed the plains to Oregon, locating near Oregon City a Donation claim, which he improved and subsequently sold. He mined in Southern Oregon, and was acquainted there with many of the prominent old-timers. In 1861 he came to The Dalles and engaged in mercantile pursuits, becoming interested in real estate in that city and at Umatilla Landing, in which he was very successful. In 1863 he was on the advance wave of mining excitement at Boise, trading and speculating until March, 1865, when he located at Ladd's cañon in the Grande Ronde valley, where he owns at the present time four hundred acres of good farming land.
Since coming to Oregon, he had paid two visits to Missouri, one to Frazier river, and one to California, but has found no place so attractive as Grande Ronde valley. From 1881 to 1884 he was assessor of Union county, and in 1886 was elected county judge; and this position he still retains, residing in the very handsome little city of Union.
In 1853 he was married at Oregon City to Miss Louisa Bell, a native of Illinois, by whom he has three children. In 1864 he was married, secondly, to Miss Grace Gray of Portland, by whom he has nine children. He has seven grandchildren, and in his sixty-first year is hale and hearty, and as ready as ever to work for the development of his adopted state.
He is thoroughly familiar with the topography and resources of Union county, and is very earnest in his belief that it offers inducements to bona-fide homeseekers superior to those of any other portion of the United States. He predicts wonderful developments of the wonderful resources of this county which as yet are only beginning to attract attention.
HON. MELANCTHON Z. GOODELL. - The family of which this pioneer is a member has ever been prominent and influential in the Pacific Northwest since its arrival hither.
Jothan W. Goodell, the father
was a pioneer of Ohio; and it was at Vermilion that Melancthon was born
in 1837. In 1850 the family crossed the plains, the eight children being
deemed no serious hindrance. A stop-over was made at Salt Lake one winter;
and it has been thought that they missed but little a great calamity from
Mormon treachery. Reaching Portland in 1851, they made their first home
in Polk county, Oregon, but in 1853 removed to Grand Mound, Washington
Territory. When the Indian war broke out, young Melancthon enlisted n Captain
Hay's Company, serving ten months,
At the dawn of peace following this troublesome period, he leased a farm in Lewis county, and was engaged in agriculture until 1860. His next home was near Elma, where he lived on a farm more than twenty years. IN 1883 he occupied his present residence at Montesano, Washington, engaging in business as dealer in lumber and in real estate, being thus employed at present.
His public services have been important and various, - two terms as sheriff and two terms as assessor of Chehalis county. In 1`882 he held a seat in the legislature, to which he was re-elected in 1884. He is at present mayor of Montesano.
He was married in 1858 to Miss Rebecca Byles, a native of Kentucky, but an early resident of Thurston county. They have eight children.
GEORGE W. GOODWIN. - Mr. Goodwin enjoys the no slight distinction of having been the first settler of the now populous Yakima valley, and also has the great credit of still leading in its business and political affairs, and is one of those who gives tone and trend to popular ideas in the community.
He was born in Illinois in 1846, and is the second son of Lewis H. and Priscilla Thompson Goodwin. His early years in that state were spent in an abundance of work on the farm in the summers, and in winter by obtaining his education at the public school. In 1865 the family crossed the plains with ox-teams, and, having the courage belonging only to self-made and self-directing people, located a claim in the then virgin fields of the Upper Yakima. This was between the sites of two cities as they stand to-day; and therefore every step in the growth of these places, one of which is almost certain to become the capital of the new state of Washington, has been taken under Mr. Goodwin's eyes, and a large part done under his direction or with his cooperation. The cabin in which the family first lived was the first in the old town. It was not long before the shadow came to cloud the brightness of its hearthstone. The mother, who had accompanied the little unbroken household on the wearisome journey of the plains, died, after a short illness, on the 17th of December, not long after their arrival. One dreary day, when the wind swept the damp snow over the plains, and the fogs denied every cheering ray of the hidden sun, a little band of ten or twelve persons followed this pioneer mother to her last home. They buried her on the highlands not far from the river bank; and around that lonely grave of the first white woman has since grown Yakima's city of the dead.
Mr. Goodwin and his father were among the first to keep stock; and their store was the first in that region. In both lines of business our subject was very successful. In 1873 he engaged extensively in opening and operating the Beshapal mines, seventy miles northwest of North Yakima; but, the rock proving of inferior grade, the enterprise failed. Leaving capital and partners in the mines on the Swank river, from which he has received a good return and in which he has unbounded confidence, he returned to the valley and engaged in real estate enterprises, and has been active in promoting business operations of various sorts. His own property interests in the two cities of Yakima and in Prosser have become very extensive. If disposed to fall back upon his means already acquired, without further effort or anxiety, he is abundantly able. But his easy course of life is forbidden by his active disposition, and his desire to promote the business and moral prosperity of the place.
Being a man of very strong temperance views, he accepted a nomination as member of the lower house of the legislature of the territory in 1886 upon this issue; and, notwithstanding the combined opposition, of the railroad and the liquor interests, which stuffed the ballot boxes with as many as six hundred illegal votes, he was defeated by but thirteen majority. Of such a defeat, Mr. Goodwin feels proud. He consented, also, to head the ticket on the same issue in the city election, with a similar result. He has a force of character and a standing in the community which will not suffer by defeat in a good cause.
In many ways he has contributed to the growth of the city; and his elegant and commodious offices in the bank building impress the stranger favorably with the business of the place. His magnificent stone residence is a great ornament to the city.
Mr. Goodwin was married in Michigan April 16, 1889, to Mrs. A.V. Bailey, a resident of New Jersey.
CAPT. WARREN GOVE. - The gentleman whose name heads this brief biography has been a resident of the Pacific Northwest for over thirty-five years, having settled on Puget Sound in 1853, during which time he has been closely connected with all enterprises that would lend stability and success to its growth and welfare. He was born in Edgecomb, Massachusetts, July 27, 1816. the early years of his life were passed with his parents on a farm. In 1839, while yet a youth of thirteen years, he went to sea. His close application to duty, and his gentlemanly bearing, attracted the attention of his employers, who, recognizing true merit, advanced him step by step until he was placed in command of a vessel. This life he followed until he was shipwrecked in 1844, when he abandoned it.
The Captain was united in marriage to Miss Hespsibah Crooker in 1842. There were born of this union five children, three of whom now survive. He came to the Pacific coast in 1851, arriving in San Francisco in September of that year. After a residence in that city of two years, he sailed for Puget Sound and settled at Steilacoom, Washington Territory. Soon after his arrival he took up a Donation claim on one of the beautiful islands near that city, to which he removed and established himself and family in comfort. On May 20, 1888, the affectionate wife and mother, who had been so long the sunshine of his hearthstone, was claimed by death.
In the affairs of the body politic,
it is seldom that the office seeks the man; but, in the case of Captain
Gove, there is an exception to this rule, he having been called upon form
year to year to represent the county in which he lived in the more important
offices within its gift. By reference to the portrait of the Captain found within these pages, the reader will see that his face is fairly beaming with kindness and good nature. None know him but to respect him; and, having once made a man his friend, he has no difficulty in retaining his friendship.
To the sterling integrity and substantial progressiveness of such men as Captain Gove, the Pacific Northwest owes much; and the daring spirit and pluck of its founders is beyond the power of pen to justly describe.
BENJAMIN W. GRANDY. - Mr. Grandy has had the satisfaction of seeing the place which he homesteaded twenty years ago become a part of the city of La Grande, Oregon. This illustrates the rapid growth of the country. He has great faith in the future of this town, basing it upon the marvelously productive valley eighteen by thirty miles, surrounding and upon the milling and mining interests and the large water-power.
He is a native of New York, was born in 1837, but as a child removed with his parents to Ohio, and before he was twenty had penetrated as far west as Iowa. In 1859 he setoff for Pike's Peak, but was borne on by the rush of Western life to California. In Siskiyou county he dug gold with varying success until 1862,when he with others formed a company of fifty-two and left Yreka for the Salmon river mines. Leaving trails and roads, they struck straight across the country for Walla Walla. On Granite creek the party found paying placer mines; and Mr. Grandy remained until 1863, when he visited his old home in Ohio.
The month of March, 1864, found him on the Missouri river with mule-teams headed once more for Oregon. Arriving in the Grande Ronde valley on the Fourth of July, he visited his mines and worked them until fall, when he sold out and returned to the Grande Ronde valley. He here occupied a claim at Oro Dell, a mile west of La Grande, and in the intervals of his homesteading mined to good advantage on the John Day river, and engaged in freighting and teaming across the Blue Mountains from Umatilla to Idaho and all the north country. Later he took a claim three-quarters of a mile north of Old La Grande, upon which the new town stands. This was incorporated in 1`884, embracing also the old place; and the two together have now some sixteen hundred people. Of this city Mr. Grandy was mayor without opposition in 1886, and again in1888. He is one of the wealthy men of the place. His first home occupation was keeping a dairy; and this he had continued to the present time. He was married in 1865 to Miss Lydia palmer, daughter of Robert H. Palmer, a pioneer of 1864. They have eight children, - William D., Katie, Mabel, Josie, Benjamin, Robert, Nellie and Charles. In one respect Mr. Grandy's career has been remarkable, and, as all will regard it, highly commendable. In all his teaming to Idaho, and in traversing the Northwest, he had no difficulty whatever with Indians.
GEORGE C. GRAY. - Mr. Gray was born in East Tennessee in 1840. His father was a farmer, and also an active worker as preacher in the Baptist church, and upon arriving in Oregon in 1853 laid a Donation claim near Corvallis, conducting his farm six days in the week and carrying on religious work on Sundays.
It was in these surroundings that young George grew to man's estate; and his first independent exertions were as a laborer in Corvallis from 1854 to 1860. In 1861 he went to the Oro Fino mines, and in 1862 brought cattle to Walla Walla, selling the beef at the butcher's block until 1863. Early in the spring of that year he went to the granite creek mines on the John Day river, shoveling his way through snow across the mountains. Purchasing a pony train he was enabled to do a large business in packing, but sold out some time after to Ish & Hailey. For a number of years he was engaged in mining speculations, and enlarged his operations as packer by extending his range to Idaho, Montana and British Columbia, meeting by the way adventures, the recital of which would fill a volume. In 1868 he engaged in mammoth operations in cattle, supplying as many as fifty to eighty beeves per week to the markets in the mines. In all these extensive operations, as was usually the case, the losses and hazards of the business left but little profit.
In 1872 he began real life by locating a beautiful, level and fertile tract of land on the Lower Cove, and making a permanent home. Here he has eight hundred acres of improved land, a hundred cattle and horses, and pleasant surroundings. He was married in 1864 to Miss Levina, a daughter of Merrill Jasper, of Benton county. Their home has been blessed with five children.
WILLIAM H. GRAY. - This pioneer of pioneers, and historian of events in which he took so conspicuous a part, was born in 810 at Fairfield, New York, of Scotch descent. While but a lad of fourteen, he lost his father and was apprenticed to learn the cabinetmaker's trade, and even before finishing his time became foreman of the shop. Upon attaining his majority he studied medicine, and being a member of the Presbyterian church, and known as a promising young man, he was sought and intrusted by the American board with the work of going as missionary in company with Whitman and Spaulding to the Columbia river.
His life on the Pacific coast is so intimately connected with the early history of our state that it is unnecessary to give the details here, as they will be found in the first volume of this work. We will mention, however, the circumstances of the three climacteric events of his life, - the first trip back East, his services in establishing the Provisional government and his trip back East once more for sheep in1852.
Having come with Whitman in 1836
across the plains in company with Sublette to the Green river; having assisted
the other missionaries in the journey to Vancouver, and in establishing
themselves at Waiilatpu; and having himself gone to Alpona among the Flatheads,
- he determined to return the next year for reinforcements. To defray the
expenses of his journey, he drove a band of twenty
horses, and also had as companions in his company three young Flat head Indians, one of whom was the son of a chief. All went well with the party until Ash Hollow on the Nebraska was reached. There they were attacked by a war party of three hundred Sioux. The Flatheads being desperate fighters, although vastly outnumbered, kept the enemy at bay for thee hours, laying fifteen of them dead on the sand. Gray himself took a hand in the fight, having two horses shot under him, and receiving two bullets through his hat. The Sioux having lost a war chief among the slain, and seeing no likelihood of overcoming the doughty little band, proposed a truce.
But, while the chiefs were parleying with Gray, others of the Sioux treacherously attacked his young men, shooting down one Iroquois, one Snake and three Flatheads, one of whom was the chief's son. The French interpreter then declared that the others were prisoners and must give up their guns. This Gray refused to do, and told the rest of his squad to sell their lives as dearly as possible. At this show of determination the Sioux gave back again and proposed a talk, and over the slain of both sides, smoked the pipe of peace. It has been said variously that the death of this young chief alienated the Flatheads from Gray, and that it was one of the causes of the Whitman massacre. Neither of these statements is correct nor even reasonable. After his return to his mission, the Flatheads allowed Gray to live and teach among them until 1842; and his final withdrawal seems to have been due not to the disaffection of the Indians but to lack of agreement with his missionary companions. To suppose that the death of a Flat head in company with Gray in 1837 would cause another tribe, the Cayuses, two hundred miles off, to kill Whitman in 1847, is very peculiar.
Gray's services in establishing the Provisional government were as that of originator of the scheme. His Americanism found no vent nor scope in the Oregon of the old Hudson's Bay rule; and, shut off from the national life which had been a part of his own, and learning to hate the plans and expectations of the British, he was no sooner in the Willamette valley than he conceived the idea of the American settlers establishing a government of their own. He took the responsibility of agitating the matter; of interesting Le Breton and Matthieu and others; of getting up the Wolf meetings, and of pushing the scheme which seemed constantly on so slender a basis as to be ready to fall to the ground either on this side or that. With admirable tact, address, shrewdness and force, Gray led the column, and carried the matter through to a most pronounced victory. The cunning of Le Breton would have had no effect without the moral earnestness and direct force of Gray, who did the talking, made the appeals, wrote the resolutions and closed the debates. This detracts nothing from the merits of Griffin, Meek, Smith and others, who were not simply followers, but co-laborers. It is to be regretted that no record remains of the secret sessions of these American agitators. But the reason is obvious: The settlers were performing a part for the immediate time, not for future publication; they were moreover too discreet to have their plans in such form as to be easily discovered by the opposite party.
After the full establishment of the Provisional government, Gray went to Clatsop Plains, and in 1852 went East once more for the purpose of getting sheep for the young settlement. The scheme had been original with him for some time; and it even was a favorite theory with Whitman and himself that sheep were of more value than soldiers to the early settlers and also to the Indians. Colonel James Taylor was interested in the same line, and formed a partnership with Gray for the purpose. Gray made the arduous journey in safety, bringing his flock by boat down the Columbia; but at Tanzy Point a heavy south wind coming down Young's Bay prevented a landing. The scow was caught in a storm and blown upon the sands, and was wrecked on Chinook Spit and the whole almost invaluable flock was drowned. He assumed the entire responsibility of the loss and gave up his farm and home to meet the obligation, yet was not disheartened by this reverse.
He was early engaged in many business operations, being in California in 1849 to dig gold. We find him also in the Frazier river mines at Fort Hope and Okanagan in the sixties. In the winter of 1860-61 he built a boat at Assooya's Lake on the British border. This was a craft ninety-one feet keel and twelve feet beam. It was constructed with no tools but a saw, hatchet and chisel, and was caulked with wild flax mingled with pitch gathered from the pine trees. She was brought down the Okanagan and Columbia rivers to Celilo. Mr. Gray was also one of the earliest navigators of the violent Snake river.
For many years he lived at Astoria, and during part of that time was government inspector of the port. He has also greatly enjoyed life in his later years on the farm of his son-in-law, Jacob Kamm, on the Klaskanine.
It is a matter of justice, which he has never been forward to claim for himself, to say here that his reason for not going to the Cayuse war was on account of the prevalence of a dangerous epidemic, the measles, then prevalent on Clatsop Plains, to prevent the ravages of which he was particularly desired to remain by those who were going to the scenes of war, and who wanted someone upon whom they could rely to care for their families in this sickness. He was the only physician in that region. For a number of years he was thus practicing medicine on the plains, and was ever successful.
He has ever been a friend of
churches and schools; ever has borne his hand in politics and public affairs;
has been representative and county judge and justice; and has found his
chief interest in public improvements. He has been exceedingly active in
the promotion of temperance, and holds the most advanced views upon this
subject. He has reared a large family; and his sons are known up and down
the Columbia. Captain J.H.D. Gray is one of the most progressive business
men at Astoria, and has been an active legislator at Salem. Captain William
P. Gray, long one of the boldest pilots and captains of the Upper Columbia,
is at present interested in the advancement of the city of Pasco, having
large proprietary interests at this
place. The daughters, Mrs. Kamm, Mrs. Abernethy and Mrs. Tarbell have long been known in the social circles of our state.
Mary Augusta Dix, who became his wife, was one of the most intelligent, amiable and devoted christian women who ever lived in Oregon. She was a lady of culture, and was abundantly able to make her own way in the world as teacher of schools, but, being deeply imbued with the missionary spirit, was attracted to Mr. Gray no less on account of his work than of his personal character, and cheerfully assumed all the hardships and humble labors that went with life in Oregon fifty years ago. She became her husband's mentor, improving his defective early education, and was his inspirer and guide in the production of his history, always sustaining his interest in and revising his work. Her death occurred in 1887 at the Klaskanine farm. On her monument are the simple words, "We loved her;" and these express not only the feelings of her own family but of all her friends, and even of the now old Indians whom she once taught under the pine trees of the Nez Perce country.
Mr. Gray's history of Oregon is so well known and so important in its sphere that it is fitting to devote some space here to its special consideration. This history was published in 1868. Though more or less obnoxious to superfine criticism, it yet exhibits flashes of dramatic power throughout. Although not easy to read, and not strictly a popular work, many of its pages remind one of the common-sense, honest and withal intensely interesting descriptions of Livingstone, the African missionary and traveler. It is a work written in the vein of a polemic, an exoneration of the party to which he belonged, and "a great part of which he was," and as a burning attack upon the opposite party. To those who have no interest in the contests of old times, and to whom it is somewhat offensive to read of plots, charges and counter charges, the book ceases to please. "There is indeed no doubt but that the intensity of Gray's opposition, and the severity of his criticism, sometimes even awaken sympathy for the British; and his invariable practice to refer all the evils of early times to the English monopoly, and the inclusion in his charges of nearly all Americans as at one time or another the tools or dupes of their rivals, suggests that the author does not always preserve discrimination.
But while these elements awaken the opposition of the reader, and prevent the circulation of the volume, they give to the history its lasting worth. To the scientific or philosophical inquirer into the early conditions of our state, it is invaluable as resenting the feelings of all parties, - not only of Gray himself, but of the Presbyterians, Methodists, the non-mission people, and even of the English. This makes Gray's history the most useful work that has yet appeared upon this subject, and far in advance of the hazy and bombastic pages of Bancroft. Gray discards nothing as unimportant, and makes little use of the cloak of charity, but tells everything with reckless truthfulness. He caters to no one, writes nothing for the sake of popularity, and never changes a word for the sake of rhetoric. While some of his statements have been called in question, and the book is not without more or less error of fact, it is on the whole the most exact of any complete work of the kind hitherto published.
In his political career, as well as in all his enterprises, W.H. Gray has ever been inflexible, blunt and direct, hard to manage, a good hater, but keen and faithful to his cause. When he had some great object to accomplish, he showed address and appreciation of the circumstances, and in the early days was without doubt the Achilles of the American party. He was an honest friend, moreover; and his personal relations with Doctor McLoughlin were most kindly, although for many years they were firm political opponents. Taken all in all, W.H. Gray is one of the most remarkable characters of North pacific history.
***Just as these volumes are being put on the press, word comes that Mr. Gray died on the 14th of November, 1889, at the residence of his daughter, Mrs. Kamm, who resides in Portland. His remains were taken to Astoria, and were laid to rest beside those of his loved wife.
BURRELL W. GRIFFIN. - Mr. Griffin, who has been long and favorably known throughout the Inland Empire, was born in Missouri in 1840, and since his arrival in Oregon in 1848 has seen as much of our Northwestern life in Indian wars, in the mines, and in our distinctive old-time traveling system by stage, as any one of us. His first residence was in the "Forks" of the Santiam with his father, B.B. Griffin, who moved to the Rogue river valley in 1852, and was a farmer and fancier of horses; who in 1852 was with Captain John F. Miller in the difficulty with Chief Sam, in Southern Oregon; who again in 1853 was one of the most active in suppressing the disorders of Old John, being one of the scouting party which inadvertently ran upon the Indian band on Williams creek, and who in the sharp skirmish received a severe wound; who still again in the larger and more bloody wars of 1855-56 took a large share in the comic, often tragic, and inevitably fatiguing campaigns on the Rogue river.
Young Burrell W. was in the meantime growing into a stout lad, and was receiving his education under the tuition of Honorable Orange Jacobs. At the age of twenty-two he was ready to pack his blankets and seek his fortune. He went to the mines of Eastern Oregon, and was one of the party who discovered the Granite creek mines on the John Day river. After two summers he arrived at Silver City, Idaho territory, and was initiated in stage driving on the Umatilla and Placerville route for Ish & Hailey. For the greater part of the time until 1870, he satisfactorily occupied the position of division agent for this company.
Having been married in1869 to
Miss Abbie Parish of Port Townsend, the year following he engaged in farming
and stock-raising on a large scale. His election as sheriff of Walla Walla
county two years later forced him to quit this occupation. Upon the expiration
of his term, he engaged unsuccessfully for three years in mining on Gallice
creek, Josephine county, Oregon. Returning to his old business of staging,
he took charge of the Mammoth line from Boise to Winnemucca, and a year
later was agent