Copyright 1999 - 2003 - Janine M. Bork
This page is part of the Union County, OR AHGP
found in the hands of a sub-chief of the Clatsops. This Indian declared that he found it floating in Young Bay. He moreover incited the others, and confirmed them in their intention to retain the wreckage which they had gathered, all but one of the Indians refusing to give up any of the property. Upon pressure and threats from the English, the saucy chief produced a small, decrepit, bail dipper, and said that he would send it (with his respects) to the chief factor. This ultimatum carried back to Vancouver brought as a response an armed schooner, which shelled the village, and from which an assault was made; and the recalcitrant chief, with two of his men, was killed. The village was also ransacked for the lost goods, and generally pillaged. The bombardment, which occurred, not upon the loss of the crew, but two months later upon the refusal of the Indians to give up the plunder, seems to have had an adequate cause, not in the belief of the English that the crew had been murdered, but that it was dangerous to allow any Indians to hold their old view that they might call their own anything that they found or that came from the ocean; but that the property of the English was everywhere sacred, and must be given up on demand.
Some years after the removal of Celiast to Vancouver, it was discovered by McLoughlin that her husband, Porier, had another wife in Canada; and upon the chief factor's advice she left the Frenchman, retaining only the youngest of her three children, which she also relinquished a few years later. She took up her residence with her sister, Mrs. Gervais, at French Prairie, but was frequently at the fort. There she was first seen by Solomon Smith, and sought by him as a wife. In the absence of any civil or ecclesiastical authority, ceremony was dispensed with; but in conscience they were bound, and a few years alter were formally joined by the missionary Jason Lee. They now spent some years at Chemawa, and later at the mouth of Chehalem creek; but in 1840 Celiast, or Helen, was rejoiced to guide the canoe of her husband, which also conveyed Daniel lee and a crew of Wasco Indians, to the scenes of her old home at the mouth of the Columbia river. This excursion was made in May. In August following a regular removal was effected thither; and after a short stop at the mouth of a romantic little stream, the Neacoxa, by the ocean beach, a permanent home was formed at the north end of Clatsop Plains, on a farm embracing some of the finest grass land of that region famous for herbage. There Mrs. Smith has lived for just under about half a century, conducting her household in an exemplary and capable manner. Since the death of her husband, she has kept a cottage of her own, apart from the other members of her family but upon the old homestead.
In the early years of the settlement on the plains, she rendered the Whites many important services. Once as the whole band of Clatsops, augmented by the Tillamooks, were on the way to massacre the family of a man at whom they were enraged, she met them while in full array, and by cogent arguments, directed both to their caution and to their nobility, turned them back from their bloody purpose. Her influence over them was remarkable; and it is probable that, if she had not used it at that very moment in the interest of the white settler, a local and perhaps a general Indian war would have ensued. At another time, she saved the life of that worthy gentleman, Mr. Frost, by seizing by the hair the Indian Katata, and wrenching from his hand the gun with which he was about to shoot the missionary. Once more she wrenched from the hand of her husband the gun-stock with which he was about to brain an Indian who was making upon him a murderous attack, but whose arm was already paralyzed by one blow of the weapon. Mr. Smith was ever glad to have been prevented from killing the fellow, as he proved after his punishment to be a faithful friend.
These incidents illustrate the courageous and noble nature of Mrs. Smith, and the careful study of her portrait impresses one with the benevolence and integrity of her character. Although now an octogenarian, she is still in good health; and her mind is not impaired by age. She must not be omitted from among the number of those who have made our state, since her services, whether as wife and mother in a new settlement, as a pioneer of one of the oldest of our counties, or in bidding a hundred excited Indians to leave the settlers unharmed, have been of the highest value.
CAPTAIN. THOMAS SMITH. - Captain Smith, the intrepid Indian fighter and pioneer, has seen the beginning of every Indian disturbance in Southern Oregon; and his narratives are therefore of peculiar interest.
He was born September 14, 1809, in Campbell county, Kentucky. At the age of seventeen he removed with his recently widowed mother to Boone county, and learned the trade of a carpenter. In 1839 he went to Texas, and in 1849 formed a party designated as the Equal Rights Company, to cross the plains by the southern route via El Paso and the Gila river to California. The journey was notably difficult, chiefly from the excessive heat and lack of water. Captain Smith's indomitable spirit had many occasions in which to be tested, as when he recovered a horse and mule from the Pima Indians on the Gila, or led his column - seventy-five men and two hundred and fifty animals - across the desert, following Colonel Crook's trail by the animals of the government train which had died and had dried up by reason of the desert air, and finding water and grass on a sunken river and at a small lake.
Arrived in California in the
autumn, Captain Smith's experiences in the mines at Dry Creek, Oroville,
and on the Feather river, were of the checkered character of the argonauts,
- more of sickness and ill luck than of success. By 1851 he was at Yreka,
and thence came over into Oregon; and, seeing a better prospect in raising
vegetables than in digging gold, he induced three others, Patrick Dunn,
Frederick Alberding and David S. Earl, to join him on a place near the
present site of Ashland. That was almost the first settlement of Southern
Oregon. The difficulties of that undertaking are so explicitly described
by the Captain that we insert here his own account. He says" While waiting
for my companions to come by my claim, I was left here about
eleven days and nights, and saw not one white man, but great numbers of Indians who were anxious to know why I wanted to stop here. I had to delude them the best I could; and, when the boys came, old Tipsy the chief came to have an understanding, as he saw that all of us were still remaining. I then knew that if we were to stop here I must tell him the truth. He first inquired as to which of us was the tyee. Dunn told him that I was; and he therefore directed his talk to me; and we had a long conversation, which amounted to a treaty. We were to be good people, and not to disturb one another, not to steal, and in particular not to interfere with their women or horses. We were to be allowed to stay there one warm season and raise a crop of vegetables and trade, as they called it, for 'chickamin,' and then leave the country to them. They on their part were not to allow any bad Indians to come here and disturb or steal from us while he were thus engaged.
"In a very few days John Gibbs, James H. Russell, Hugh F. Bowman and Thomas Hair came over the mountains and settled on the Mountain House claim, giving us two small parties of men in this end of the valley. In the meantime N.C. Dean and Jack Kennedy settled at the Willow Springs; and E.K. Anderson, stone and Pints settled on Wagner's creek. It was not the middle of November or later; and he were hurrying to get our logs for a cabin hauled so that Alberding could start for our supply of seed, to be obtained from the Willamette valley. Getting him off, we began putting up our house; and while at it some Indians stole from our tent all our guns, revolvers, butcher knives, powder and lead, and other things they fancied, leaving us in a serious position. Tipsy's son passing by late in the evening, I sent by him word to his father to be at home next morning; that I was going down and tell him of the theft. In the morning early I went to see Tipsy, his camp then being where the plaza now is, and where the Ashland Flouring Mill now stands. I was soon informed by a blind Indian, who was led by a squaw, that Tipsy and all the Indians had gone to my place. So I returned and found a large body of Indians around my tent; and the chief informed me that I must talk to his interpreter, - a sign that serious business was on hand. I told him what had been stolen, and that it was done by Indians, as we knew by the tracks left in the mud, and that the goods must be returned. Tipsy declared that his Indians had not committed the theft, and that the goods could not be returned; that some bad Indians had come and done the capswallaing. This story he stuck to strictly till evening. Having thus spent a whole day in useless questioning and answers, I got out of all patience; and, having learned that it was a part of the Indian's nature to respect a brave man, I determined to try an experiment. There were but four of us, - Gibbs, from the Mountain House, having joined our number, - and a host of them. But I instructed the interpreter to tell Tipsy that I had heard that plea long enough, and would have no more of it; that the stolen goods must be returned, or I would go to Yreka and raise a company of men and come back and mimaluse every Indian that we could find, and burn their houses and run their families out of the country, unless the missing articles were returned. As soon as it was made known, the warriors sprang to their feet and raged around terribly. Some strung their bows and took three arrows in their teeth, and were begging Tipsy to let them settle the matter. This we all could see; and one of my party left his seat and came to me, begging me to take back what I had said; and let the things go. I told him to be quite; that they had passed me for a chief, and that it was only I that could talk. He turned away reluctantly, saying, 'Settle it, then;' and I do not know that he could have looked any more pale and ashy had he been dead. The Indians all saw his condition. And then Tipsy spoke two or three soft words and quieted the tumult. He addressed the interpreter, who turned to me and asked what I had said I would do in case the things should not be returned; and while I was just about to answer, a tall Indian that we called Big Impudence came forward within three feet of me, and looked me steadfastly in the eye while I repeated precisely what I had said before. I also added that I knew what they were talking about; that they were taking of killing us, that there were plenty of them to do it; and I pointed at them saying; 'You would be great cowards to do so after you have stolen our calapins, and now we have nothing to fight with. If you are going to murder us, give us our guns, and then talk about killing us; and we will fight all of you. Your tyee has told me that he was brave, and that you are all brave; but I see you are cowards.'
"While this speech was taking effect, Tipsy's squaw came to the front and made a speech in her native language, which I judged from her gestures was very eloquent. Thereupon, leaving us, they had a big talk among themselves; and as a result the interpreter was directed to tell me that they would settle the trouble by sending for the things. It was now late in the evening; and I was informed that they had determined to start early in the morning and get our property; but the chief wanted to know how many suns I would allow them to go and return in. He held up three fingers to denote the number of days. After a little further delay, five days were agreed upon; and the next morning early two Indians called at our tent well mounted and said they were going after our ictas, and wanted their breakfast; and as soon as that was over they mounted and left in the direction of Yreka, saying it was the Shastas that had stolen our things; and I found this to be true. The third day, late in the evening, they returned with two rifles, and said that the other things had been traded off to Indians who would kill them if they went among them; should they tell Tipsy that we were satisfied and would be friendly? I answered, no; that we were not satisfied as long as any of our things remained stolen.
"Tipsy came around early the
next morning, and declared that he had done all that could be done without
risking the lives of his Indians; and he wanted to be friendly. Would I
not be satisfied and be friends? I told him it could not be as long as
anything was stolen and not returned. At this his patience gave way; and
he stormed and stamped upon the ground, and declared that this was his
illihee. 'This is my ground. You have never given me anything for it. It don't belong to you.' I replied to him that we did not claim the ground; but that he had agreed to let us stay here one warm season and plant and raise hieu wappatoes and ictas; and we were not to be disturbed; and bad Indians were not be allowed to come here and steal. At this he said 'close,' and then asked if he gave me a certain boundary of country, whether I would say no more about our stolen goods and be friendly, I told him I would. He said 'close,' or all right, and with great kindness and dignity came up and took me by the hand, saying, 'This land is yours. My people will not claim it any more; and we will be friends.'
"A few days afterwards he was at my place; and I was reading a medical work. Tipsy expressed a great desire to see the sketches, and asked me if it were all Boston waw-waw (language), and desired to know if I understood it. I told him that I did."
A few days afterwards Tipsy was wounded in a fight with the Shastas, and sent his sons for Smith to come and see him. Says the Captain: "In the morning I went down; and, entering his wigwam, I could not see Tipsy, and when I inquired for him was pointed to some blankets at one side, where they had him in a pit that had been well heated with hot rocks, and was reeking with steam by water having been poured upon them. I had him taken out and cooled off, and found that he was about gone. After getting him so that he could breath and talk again, I examined his wounds, one of which had been made with a pistol shot in the chin, and the other by a knife in the small of the back; and still a third was a long gash from an arrow down the right should blade. I shortly had him revived; and he feebly asked me if I thought he would get well. I told him that, if his people had not made matters bad by heating him so hot, he certainly could. but now I could not tell. I had, however, with me some material to make poultices, and had had some practice in treating wounded men on the frontier. After poulticing him with some wild wormwood, dampened with whiskey, he said he felt so much better that he would try to get well, and asked me, if the Siwash doctoring had not mimalused him, how long I thought it would be until he could walk again. I told him that, if it all came out right, he might walk again in ten or twelve suns; and at the expiration of that time he walked all the way up to my place to show me that I had saved his life, and to thank me for it. he said that the Indians would surely have killed him; that he was nearly dead; that a little while and Tipsy would have been no more; and he told me that he would always be my friend, and that he never would fight me nor my friends, and that his men must never shoot at me; for I was a good medicine man and must not be killed.
"While I was getting him recruited, there were about fifty Indians in the wigwam; and when I told him he might get well they began all talking in turn. They would jabber as fast as they could speak; and those not engaged in the talk would come in like a Methodist with their amen. I asked the interpreter what they were talking about. He replied that they were wawa-wawing - pointing his finger upward - to the Socalee Tyee (the Great Spirit) to help me to make Tipsy skookum (strong); and always afterwards, when I would see Tipsy, he would talk to me of our old trouble, and how well we had settled it, and how he liked a good, brave man; and said that, if my tum tum (heart) had been little and weak like the man's who came to me when I was talking skookum, his men would have killed us all; that he told his men that I had a big heart and must not be killed."
Captain Smith thus related the last he saw of Tipsy: "As the Whites began to encroach, Tipsy often called upon me to talk about the way the settlers were treating him about his land. He said that, when he asked them to pay him for it, they would curse him and tell him to clatawa; and in the spring of 1853 he came by one day to bid me a final farewell, saying that he was going away, and that he would not come back to this valley any more. He said he had agreed with me that he would not kill any Boston men. They kept coming and taking his land; and when he asked them for pay they cursed him and made him go away. He declared that he did not claim my land any more, - that we were friends, and that that was all right. He first went to Applegate creek, and then over to the cave of the Klamath, where his old enemies, the Shastas, met and killed him. In justice to his memory I have to say that ever after our first troubles he was honorable with me."
The war of 1853 was provoked by the secret murder of a white man, Edward Edwards, who was found shot dead with arrows. Some eleven men collected with Isaac Hill as captain; and Smith, with three other men were detailed to enter the camp of Sambo, chief of a neighboring tribe, and learn the cause of the murder. The Captain thus relates what there occurred: "Getting to their camp, we found them all lying about in the shade; and I began talking to the interpreter, whom we called Jim, and said that we had come to have a talk with them; and I wanted him to tell all his people that they must all be there to meet the Bostons, who were coming to have a friendly counsel. He said all right, and was just in the act of speaking to his people, when I observed a large, strange, wild-looking Indian just in the act of getting up and throwing his quiver over his shoulder, and picking up his bow, when Carter (one of the white men's party), who was a little to my right, shouted at the top of his voice, 'Stop, stop, I'll shoot you;' and before I had time to speak he fired an old single-barreled pistol, the only firearm he had wit him. It bounded back and cut his forehead; and I saw the pistol bury itself in the sand thirty feet away. by this very foolish maneuver we were thrown into a very ugly little fight. On our side Carter and Dunn were wounded. In the evening we had about twenty Indian women and children and seven men and found one dead warrior at the edge of the brush, the others having gone to the woods."
The settlers made a fort, to
which five men with their families and seven single men repaired. Smith
stayed on his place. Sambo, with ten Indians,
surrendered, gave up his arms and wanted to stop at the fort. Smith was anxious to get them away; but neither Ross nor the captain at Fort Hoxie would take them. Apprehensive of an attack by outside Indians to relive the captives. Smith kept a lookout, and thus relates what happened.
"On my return from Fort Hoxie in the evening, when within six hundred yards of our fort I saw an impress made by an Indian's heel in the dust where he had jumped across the road. I got down and on examination found quite a number of tracks; and when reaching the fort I called Gibbs and told him of the discovery I had made. I said these were Indians that had come to release the prisoners, and that they surely would do it if he were not well on his guard. I declared that, if the attack were made, the Indians would massacre every one in the fort and burn all the property. I advised him to arrange, without alarming the women, to have all the men on guard, and if he got through the night I would take some men and scour the woods in the morning. But he had great confidence in Sambo, and said if there were Indians about Sambo would have told him. He even called Sambo and said that I could satisfy myself; and to my questioning he denied all knowledge of any Indians in the region. Gibbs then said to me that I could see he knew nothing of it. I persisted, however, that Sambo could not be believed, and reluctantly rode away to my cabin. So deeply was I impressed with the presence of danger, that I did not remove my clothes, and even had my mule saddled, and tied him in the chimney corner, while I took what rest I could. At early twilight in the morning, I was already moving, when I heard a gun fired at a distance of about half a mile; and as quickly as could be done, I was on my mule and galloping down. When within eighty yards of the fort, the firing ceased; and I saw the flames rising from the grain stacks. I rushed into the fort without injury; but in what a condition I found my companions! They had put but one man on guard; and he had come to the conclusion that he would rather sleep, and had lain down on a bench at the back of the house with a lady's work-basket as a pillow, and was roused from his slumber by an Indian ball tearing through the basket. I found Hugh Smith killed. Gibbs, Fordyce, Hodgins, Whitmore, Morris, Howell, and I think one other, were wounded. Hodgins, Whitmore and Gibbs died soon after. I found that when the firing began Gibbs and Howell were lying together on the porch with Sambo near by; and, as Gibbs rose with his gun in his hand, this treacherous savage seized and wrenched the piece from him, and stepping back shot him down."
The war of 1855 began with horse-stealing by the Indians. Smith lost a fine span in 1854; and a band of hunters at Green Spring in 1855 lost a horse. Returning to the settlements, these hunters made up a party of fifteen, including Smith, that went to the mountains in August to recover the property. the Captain thus describes the first encounter of that war. "When we arrived at the place where the Indians were camped when the horse was stolen, we found that they had gone; so we passed on through the clump of timber to open ground, and happened to be talking about the way that the Indians were doing business, when I saw an Indian's head protrude from the brush above, and said to the boys, 'I better call to him." But just at that moment he ducked his head and fired off a gun, evidently a signal; and, supposing, it was intended to harm us, I said to the boys, 'Curse them, if they are for fighting, draw your revolvers and we will go into them.' Advancing, we found several camp fires, and plenty of women and children all going in the opposite direction; and up the hill getting to the edge of the brush, I saw two bucks eighty or ninety yards ahead, and hailed them in jargon to come back, as I wanted to talk. One of them hallooed back in the same language, that he did not want to talk to Bostons. I then gave orders to shoot. Two shots were fired; and we charged up in the direction the Indians were running. But upon reaching the spot where the first two had disappeared in the brush, I saw that we were getting into a trap, and hallooed back to the boys, warning them of the situation, and telling them to get behind something immediately. Very quickly the Indians opened on us with their guns. But all of our party had started to retreat, some running directly from their fire; and some few were more lucky in going a little farther so as to cross their fire. I selected a far-off tree as a good place for safety. In approaching it I clutched the bark with my left hand to give a quick lodgment and stop myself in time, and in doing so came up against my comrade, A. Hedden."
From this unlucky beginning the little company did its best to get back safely to the settlement. Two men, Tabor and Alberding, were wounded and at great risk carried out; and one Keene was killed; but his body was recovered. During the war that followed, Captain Smith took an active part with a company of thirty men, and later with a company of thirty-five. Lieutenant Switzler, to whom he tendered his first company, he found indisposed to fight; while Major Fitzgerald, who was sent up from Fort Lane with forty men to avenge the death of Fields and Cunningham, who were shot from an ambuscade on the Siskiyou Mountain, to whom Smith offered thirty-five men, was ready to chastise the savages. The volunteers followed the Indians to the agency, and there occurred the fight which has been called the massacre, a full account of which is found in the history of the war in Southern Oregon, in the first volume of this work.
After these troublous times, in which the country was conquered from its original possessors, captain Smith returned to his home, but was soon elected to the legislature, and has been re-elected a number of terms, 1880, being the date of his last election. He was married in 1867 at Salem to Miss Margaret P., daughter of William Harrison of Missouri, and a member of the Tippecanoe family of presidential fame. In the white winter of his age, at four-score years, Captain Smith is still an active man, and greatly respected by all his neighbors, and honored in history.
THOMAS SMITH. - Mr. Smith,
whose life labors have had as their result in one particular the
upbuilding of the handsome village of Winchester, near the Umpqua river, was born in Oxfordshire, England, February 12, 1823; and he crossed the Atlantic with his parents in 1830. The first American home was at Rochester, and a year later at Euclid near Cleveland, Ohio; and in 1834 a removal was made to La Porte county, Indiana. Thirteen years were spent in Indiana with his parents; but in 1847 the desire to go forth and test his powers in competition with others induced him in company with a younger brother to come West. He made the six month's journey as a teamster, armed with his rifle and equipped with an ox-whip. Many and varied were the scenes and incidents of the trip; and the usual hardships common to the most of the pioneers who came "the plains across" were suffered and endured. Not the least exciting of these were the fording of the numerous deep and swift mountain streams. Vast herds of buffaloes occasionally broke through the train; and continual rumors of Indian outrages, combined with oft-recurring pursuit of the savages for stolen stock, rendered the journey anything but monotonous. Only once was pursuit successful, - securing both stock and Indians. At other times they were glad to get themselves back safely. The last ox stolen was on Grave creek; and the last horse stolen occurred in the timber on Wolfe creek in Josephine county. The last of an exceptionally tiresome and hazardous journey was made at the end of October; and the Willamette valley was entered from the Calapooia Mountains. It was with the most hearty enjoyment that on the twenty-sixth of that month the cabin and improvement of Eugene Skinner at the present city of Eugene were sighted. Te wife and child of this pioneer, and the cheery sign of a little civilization after so long a sojourn in the wilderness, greatly stimulated the courage of the travelers; and Mr. smith went on down the valley to Butteville in Marion county, formerly Champoeg county.
Being ready with the axe and maul, he was soon splitting rails, and there and at Lafayette followed this form of labor. Before winter he was back again to Eugene, helping to construct cabins for a number of newcomers, tenting under a comfortable fir tree until Christmas. He occupied the remainder of the winter in rail-splitting, varied by an occasional tramp to look for a claim. His first location was north of the Willamette near Eugene; but after work done on the mill dam for Willard Shaw, and the delay of a year waiting for his parents, he set out for the gold mines. Upon reaching Roseburg, he found Daniel Hasty, the owner of the ferry at the Umpqua, preparing to go below to the mines; and, trading his team and outfit for the ferry and boat., Mr. Smith began plying at the site of the old Brown Ferry, but upon the loss of his craft in 1850 selected the site near Winchester. There he built a boat and operated the ferry until July, 1865, at which time he sold out his interest in the ferry. He removed to Roseburg in 1887, where he is still living. In 1852 occurred his marriage to Miss Arethusa E. Lynn, who became the mother of twelve children, ten of whom are now living, and who have increased for them the enjoyment as well as cares of life.
Mr. Smith has ever held an honorable and important position in public affairs, having served as one of the first commissioners of Douglas county, being three years in office. In 1874 he was elected to the responsible position of county judge, serving acceptably four years. he has given efficient aid to all worthy enterprises in the county, which is largely indebted to him as one of her earliest and most valuable citizens for the high positions he has occupied, ranking sixth in the state in point of wealth.
REV. H.H. SPALDING. - Rev. Henry Harmon Spalding was born at Prattsburg, New York, November 26, 1803. In early life he was left an orphan, and was brought up by strangers, who gave him almost no school advantages, so that at the age of twenty-one he began the rudiments of English grammar and arithmetic, could read so as to be understood and write after a copy. Having become a Christian, he united with the Presbyterian church of his native place in August, 1826; and between 1825 and 1828 he went to school so much that he was able to teach school. A part of the time he worked for his board and walked three miles to school. In 1828 he gave himself to missionary work, and entered Prattsburg Academy; and by 1831 he was able to enter the junior class - half way through - of Hamilton College, New York. On account of his poverty and the help he received from the education society, he was soon obliged to leave and go to the Western Reserve College, Ohio, from which he graduated in 1833.
On October 12, 1833, he was married to Miss Eliza hart, of Trenton, new York, who was born at Berlin, Connecticut, being the daughter of Captain Levi and Martha hart, and who had been brought up in Ontario county, New York.
In the fall of 1833 he entered lane Theological Seminary, where he remained two years, and in August, 1835, was ordained by the Bath Presbytery of new York, and soon after was appointed by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions to the Osage Indians.
In the winter and spring of 1835, Doctor Whitman was hunting for someone to come to Oregon with him as a missionary. After repeated failures, the board mentioned Mr. Spalding to him; and he found Mr. and Mrs. Spalding already on the way to the Osages. After a short consultation and prayer, they determined to come to Oregon.
The trip across the plains was
made in 1836 with Doctor Whitman ad wife and Mr. W.H. Gray. It was very
severe on Mrs. Spalding, whose health was delicate; and once it was thought
she would die. But she rallied and reached Fort Walla Walla September 3,
1836. Having spent a short time at Fort Vancouver, they settled at Lapwai
among the Nez Perces, their first home there being in a house made of buffalo
skins, where they stayed from November 29th to December 23d, until a log
house was built. There they remained until late in 1847. The first Presbyterian
church on the Pacific coast, of which he was pastor, was organized August
18, 1838. The first apple trees in Idaho were planted by him in 1837. The
first printing on the coast was done
at his station in May, 1839.During these years at times the Indians seemed very tractable, and advanced rapidly in civilization and christianity; and at other times they seemed to go backward, and everything was discouraging. Yet it was the testimony of Honorable A.B. McKinley, Commodore Wilkes, Reverend E. Walker and Doctor E. White, first United States Indian Agent, that he was on the whole very successful, more so than any of his co-workers in the Mission. At different times Mr. W.H. Gray, Mr. C. Rogers, Mr. A.T. Smith, Reverend J.S. Griffin and others were associated with him at his station.
When Doctor Whitman was killed in 1847, Mr. Spalding was near Walla Walla, and narrowly escaped; and only after severe suffering, both bodily and mental, did he reach his home a week later. When Governor Ogden in December rescued the captives from the Cayuses and took them to the Willamette, Mr. Spalding and family and several others from his station were also taken, having been protected by the friendly Nez Perces. They arrived at Oregon City December 31, 1847. From that time, until 1859, he waited in the Willamette for an opportunity to return to his work. For a short time he taught school at the Tualatin Plains, but most of the time lived at Calapooia, near where Brownsville now stands. There he was pastor of a church; was school superintendent of Linn county in 1849-50; was territorial commissioner of common schools for Oregon 1850-55; was one of the first trustees of Whitman Seminary, now Whitman College, at Walla Walla, in 1859; and was United States Indian agent 1850-1853.
Mrs. Spalding died at Oregon City, January 7, 1851. She was one of the excellent women, and was especially successful with the Indians; but she never fully recovered from the shock and anxiety occasioned by Doctor Whitman's death, and the dangers through which her husband and daughter Eliza then passed, the latter having been held a captive by the Cayuses. She left four children; Eliza (Mrs. Warren); Henry H., of Almota, Washington; Martha J. (Mrs. Wigle), of The Dalles, Oregon; and Amelia (Mrs. Brown) of Brownsville, Oregon.
In May, 1853, Mr. Spalding was again married at Hillsboro, Oregon, to Miss Rachel J. Smith, sister-in-law of Rev. J.S. Griffin. She was born in Boston, Massachusetts, January 31, 1808, and came to Oregon in 1852. She survived her husband, and died at Hillsboro April 22, 1880.
The country east of the Cascades having been opened to settlement in 1850, Mr. Spalding returned to that region, but was not allowed to enter the Nez Perce Reservation for two or three years, on account of government interference; so that it was not until 1862 that he fairly began this work again. He was received by the Indians with great joy; but officials changed and interfered; and he was not allowed peaceably to pursue his work until 1871. A part of the intervening time he spent in Eastern Washington, a part at Brownsville, Oregon, and in 1870 went East, returning the next year. During that trip East, he had printed Executive Document No. 37, Forty-first Congress.
In 1871 he went to the Nez Perces, among whom he lived until the time of his death, baptizing 694 of them, and 253 Spokane Indians. He died at Lapwai, Idaho, August 3, 1874, aged nearly seventy-one. Mr. Spalding's publications consist mainly in many articles to the Missionary Herald of Boston, Massachusetts, 1836-48; in the Oregon American and Evangelical Unionist, in 1848, about the causes of the death of Doctor Whitman; in the San Francisco-Pacific, in 1864, about the early work of the American board on this coast and its results; in the Albany, Oregon, States Rights Democrat, in1866-67, on the same subject; in the Walla Walla Statesman, in 1866-67, about the death of Doctor Whitman; the congressional pamphlet already referred to, which was on these same general subjects, and a reply to one by Father Brouillet on the same subject; also of a hymn book, some elementary instruction books, and a translation of the gospel of Matthew by himself in the Nez Perce language.
It is probably to his influence, more than to any other single cause, that most of the Nez Perce Indians have ever remained friendly to the Whites during many Indian wars, and are now so well civilized.
HON. JAMES B. SPERRY. - The striking difference between a savage and a civilized community is the multiplication of different industries in the latter. The most of our interest in life arises from the interdependence of many persons, each supplying some single necessity of all the rest. The man who makes flour for the people of Heppner, Oregon, is Mr. Sperry. He built his mill with a capacity of seventy-five barrels in 1885, from means realized by the sale of his band of fourteen thousand sheep, which he drove to Montana to market. He is one of the substantial men of the city, a reliable, kind neighbor, as well as a driving man of business.
He was born in Lawrence county, Ohio, in 1834. After living some time in Iowa, the family moved on across the plains without disturbance from the Indians, and located in Linn county, Oregon, in 1856. Farming and trading-over the country, and mining by odd spells, engaged his attention for a number of years. During the Rogue river Indian war of 1855-56, he bore an active part, assisting in the fight at Big Meadows. He was also in a company of twenty sent to Rogue river to escort a government train. Being an active young man of twenty, and always ready for a brush, he was usually elected for any special work. He was record sergeant for his company.
In 1877 he went to Umatilla county (Morrow), engaging in sheep-raising, which he prosecuted successfully. In 1882 he was elected representative to the state legislature on the Democratic ticket by a majority of over three hundred. He pushed through the house the bill setting off Morrow county; but the session closed before it passed the senate.
At the outbreak of the Indian
trouble of 1878, he was absent in the Willamette valley, but returned to
Heppner immediately. He found the city barricaded; and no one was willing
to leave the place to
discover what was doing outside. Mr. Sperry was not at home three hours before he found a man who would accompany him, and set out for Pendleton.
In February, 1856, Mr. Sperry was united in marriage to Miss R.J. Rice, daughter of a pioneer of 1850. In 1875 this lady died, leaving a daughter. In 1877 Mr. Sperry was married secondly to Mrs. S.B. Spencer, who died in1889, leaving two daughters, Ethel and Susan.
CHARLES A. SPLAWN. - This veteran of Indian wars was born in Clay county, Missouri, in 1831. He went from there to Davis county, near Galiton, and was there during the Mormon trouble. His mother, in the absence of his father, was compelled to leave her home by the "saints" who threatened to burn the house over her head if she remained another night. In 1844 he moved with his father's family to Hold county, and in 1851 crossed the plains to Oregon. After reaching this territory he became alternately trader, miner and packer, until in 1853 he joined the forces under General Lane in the war on Rouge river. It was in this trouble that the Indians were decoyed into a fort on Grave creek where they were all killed. Again he became packer and miner until 1855, when his train narrowly escaped capture on Bear creek. After this he went with his express friend to the Pend d'Oreille with a party of miners, receiving fifty dollars for a horse or one hundred and fifty dollars for each two miners who had three horses. On his return he heard at John Day river that General Stevens had been cut off by Indians in the upper country. The miners whom he had taken up came back with him on account of the Indian trouble. He sold his train to the Oregon government, and became a packer for the army in the field under John Fortune.
Mr. Splawn was married to Miss Dulcinea H. Thorpe in 1861, by which union they had one daughter, Viola. Mrs. Splawn died ten years later; and in 1873 he married Miss Melissa F. Thorpe. Mrs. Splawn was absent in Seattle during the excitement of 1878. The settlers had gone into a fort, and were canvassing the idea of demanding the valley Indians to surrender their arms. Learning of this, these friendly people came to Mrs. Splawn's house, turned their arms over to her, and became her body-guard as against the hostiles until the excitement passed away.
Mr. C.A. Splawn was the first sheriff of Yakima county, and served two and one-half terms. He was probate judge for two terms, and has been justice of the peace in Yakima and Kittitass counties for a number of terms. His home is at Ellensburgh, Washington.
MATTHIAS SPURGEON. - This pioneer of Clarke county is a native of Iowa, having been born in Cedar county in 1838. In his childhood he was bereft of his parents, and found a home in the family of an uncle, Mr. George Spurgeon. With this relative he came to Oregon while but a boy of fourteen, and found a home in the household of Mr. William H. Dillon. Soon after becoming of age, he spent two years in the mountains and gorges of Idaho prospecting for gold, meeting, however, with but little success. Returning to Clarke county he took up the business of farming, renting the well-known Petrain place near Vancouver, Washington. He was so successful, that in three years he made a portion of this farm his own by purchase, and it is still his home, stock-raising, farming and dairying occupying his attention. He was married in 1877 to Miss Olive Dillon, who was born in Oregon in 1856. They have four children, - Ella A., Mary J., John M. and Matthias J. This is one of the prosperous and well-ordered families of the Northwest.
MRS. JOHN H. STAHL. - This lady is a native of Niederklein, Prussia, and came to San Francisco in 1858. In 1860 she was married to John Stahl, and in 1862 came to Cañon City, Oregon. There Mr. Stahl engaged in the brewery business in 1863; but, upon the burning of the city and the loss of their property, they removed to Walla Walla, Washington Territory. Indeed, Cañon City saw rough times in those days, having once burned and twice washed away, and often invade by the Indians. still pursuing the same business in Walla Walla, they again met with a loss by fire in the destruction of their dwelling-house in 1871. During his residence there, Mr. Stahl served as city councilman, and in 1880 enlarged his business by building a new brewery, and purchasing six acres of ground for the site of his business and residence. He also owned a block for which he paid eight thousand dollars, and erected upon it a building at the expense of six thousand dollars.
In 1883 Mr. Stahl died after a long illness. Mrs. Stahl found that his business was under heavy incumberances, but, developing large capacity of her own, immediately began an active supervision of the work. She soon extricated them from debt, and within three years was receiving a handsome income. In addition to her city property, she owns a farm stocked with forty head of cattle and twenty-five horses. Mrs. Stahl is another illustration of the Western woman's capacity for independent business. Notwithstanding the loss of her husband and her eldest son, she has lived through her troubles and conducted a large business successfully.
J.H. STANLEY. - J.H. Stanley is a native of Missouri, where he was born in 1858. In 1878 he came to the Willamette valley, where he studied for three years, finishing his education. He then went to Union County, Oregon, and taught as principal of the City School at Union for one year. Afterwards he went to Weston, where he taught in the same capacity. he then went to Morrow county, where he took up a ranch in 1883, which he still owns and runs. He commenced teaching in the fall of 1885, and was appointed county school superintendent, and since that time has twice been elected to the same position on the Republican ticket. He was twice a delegate to the Republican ticket. He was twice a delegate to the Republican state convention from Morrow county. He always takes an active part in politics, and is always ready to sanction and aid any movement that tends to the advancement and interest of the country.
Mr. Stanley is a married man,
and the father of four handsome and bright children.
HON. GEORGE A. STEEL. - The subject of this sketch was born in Stafford, Ohio, on April 22, 1846. Coming to Portland in 1863, he soon received an appointment to a clerkship in the Portland postoffice. Afterwards, accepting the secretaryship of the old Oregon Iron Works, he gave such satisfaction that Ladd & Tilton offered him a situation as accountant in their bank, a position which he held for five years.
In 1870 he was elected treasurer of Multnomah county, a place he filled with general approval. During the first year of his official life, he and J.K. gill purchased the book and stationery business of Harris & Holman; and for many years the firm of Gill & Steel, in spite of the rather unpromising name, won golden opinions throughout the country as one of the most thoroughly reliable in the metropolis. They increased their business by the purchase of the rival firm of Bancroft & Morse, Mr. Bancroft becoming a member of the firm. The business having reached great magnitude, Mr. Steel bought out his partners, and conducted the business himself under the name of G.A. Steel & Company. In 1872, having invested heavily in real estate, he became financially embarrassed, but with the high sense of honor characteristic of him made no assignment disadvantageous to his creditors, but met his obligations dollar for dollar. From this severe trial he emerged with a name untarnished.
In 1876 Mr. Steel began an active political career, and was chosen chairman of the Republican state central committee. He did distinguished service for his party during that campaign. In January, 1877, he was appointed special agent of the post-office department for the Northwest coast. In that responsible position he well sustained the name already gained for ability and energy. After two years of hard work in that office he resigned and was appointed deputy collector of customs by Honorable John Kelly. In that position he remained until September, 1880. He received the commission of postmaster at Portland in the following March, at the beginning of the Garfield administration. He held the place under reappointment from President Arthur till November 30,1 885. He turned his office over to his successor with the proud satisfaction of knowing that it had been well administered, and that the public had appreciated the fact. In June, 1886, he was elected state senator from Multnomah county.
During his public life he has handled over twenty million dollars, every cent of which has been accounted for. Through wise investments in real estate, Mr. Steel has acquired a handsome fortune, one sufficient to place him among the foremost of the moneyed men of the state. A magnificent fruit farm on the Willamette river, about seven miles south of Portland, attests his enjoyment of farm life. He has spent a large sum of money on it; and it promises corresponding returns. Since his retirement from the postoffice, he had been engaged with his brother James in the insurance business, much profit to both having resulted. He is now president of the Metropolitan Railway Company. This organization is building an electric railway from Portland southward.
Mr. Steel was married in 1869 to Miss Eva Pope of Oregon City.
DR. ALDEN H. STEELE. - "Olympia will always be a place for pleasant homes," says one of her citizens well qualified to render an opinion, - the gentleman whose name appears above. The wide streets, magnificent shade-trees and comfortable residences of the capital of Washington Territory, together with her delightful climate, an extensive view of water and mountains, fully justify the remark; and no place could have a more pleasant recommendation. The Doctor has also examined the facilities of the place for a naval station, and finds that the location is most desirable from the following particulars: Safe anchorage and good harbor; ease of defense; abundance of coal, iron and ship timber; opportunity for a fresh-water dock and basin at small cost at Priest's Point; ease of communication; and advantage of tide.
Doctor Steele, whose presence as a resident contributes much towards the pleasantness of Olympia, is a native of New York State, having been born in 1823 at Oswego, where his father had long been a successful merchant. At the age of twenty our subject graduated from the medical department of the University of New York, and also from the office of Doctor James R. Woods, the distinguished professor of surgery. The first practice of the young physician was at Oswego, new York; but in 1849, in company with the mounted riflemen under Lieutenant-Colonel Loring, he crossed the plains to Oregon and stopped at Vancouver, where he practiced his profession four years.
In 1854 he was united in marriage to Miss Hannah H. Blackler, of Marblehead, Massachusetts. Her grandfather was a captain in the war of the Revolution, and had command of the flotilla with which Washington crossed the Delaware. Of their two children, their daughter Fannie is now living, and is the wife of General Ross O'Brien.
After leaving Vancouver, the Doctor made his home at Oregon City, practicing his profession and serving in public positions. For eleven years he was either councilman, recorder or mayor, and left the latter office only because he declined to be longer a candidate. For a few months in 1857 he was with General Palmer on the Grande Ronde Indian Reservation, and there, as at Oregon City, had much influence with the red men. He used to doctor the Indians at the falls, and for his success in this line was sometimes called upon by the Indian men or women to quiet their whisky rows, and would often go into the camps even in the midst of turbulent affrays, while the excited savages were shouting and stabbing, and take away their liquors and break the bottles on the rocks.
In 1863 he entered the service
of the government as physician at The Dalles; and there, and at Fort Stevens,
and at Fort Steilacoom, was surgeon until 1868, when he resigned and came
to Olympia. His life there has also been largely occupied in public duties.
he was two years in the council, two years regent of the Territorial University,
by appointment of Governor Ferry, and six years medical inspector of the
Washington penitentiary and army. Since
1873 he has been examining surgeon for pensions. In 1852 the Doctor administered chloroform in amputating a limb at the thigh- the first used in surgery north of San Francisco.
JAMES P. STEPHENS. - This original owner of a large portion of the townsite of East Portland, Oregon, was born in 1806 in Virginia, and removed to Indiana when but a boy of eight, and came still farther west to Hancock county, Illinois, in1832. In 1830 he married Miss Elizabeth Walker of Ohio, and passed on to Missouri, and in 1843 made preparations to come to Oregon. Failing, however, to reach the rendezvous in time, the journey was postponed until the next year. Crossing the plains in 1844, he endured the hardships of that toilsome year, and reached Oregon City as late as December 24th.
The year following he bought a squatters right to the site of East Portland, which wa held by Doctor McLoughlin as administrator of one Porier, a Frenchman. Living there and working at cooperage for the Hudson's Bay Company, Mr. Stephens availed himself of the Donation land law to secure his claim, thereby acquiring a property which stood him in stead during all his vicissitudes. As early as 1846 he established a ferry between East and West Portland, using a simple flatboat propelled with oars, and with this passed the few horsemen and occasional teams that traveled in those days to and fro. In that year he also laid out the city of East Portland.
In 1848 he, with all the rest of the Oregonians, tried his luck in California. Projecting a large business plan, he bought a site for a bridge across the American river, making the structure of hewed timbers, some of which were ninety-five feet long, set upon heavy buttresses. An ox-team could be hired only for sixteen dollars a day. This valuable property was washed away the next winter at a loss estimated by its owner at not less than $20,000. Mr. Stephens was himself in Oregon at the time and sold the bridge site for $5,000. The next summer, with James Terwilliger, he hewed out on his own place a quantity of square timbers, which he shipped to California, selling them upon his arrival at a good price to a pioneer well known in Oregon, Barton Lee, then in California. Stephens, arriving with his timbers, was to receive his payment immediately. But that happened to be the day of the squatters' riot; and all business was closed. Lee's creditors, taking advantage of this, closed upon him; and he disappeared with what gold dust he had about him. The creditors took a keg of gold dust, and everything else. Stephens thereby lost his pay, which amounted to $16,000, - a hard blow to an honest man.
Returning to Oregon, he resolved to stay away from a country like California, where luck went so much against him. Arriving at his old home, he thereupon devoted himself to his ferry, building a new boat, the iron work of which cost him fifty cents a pound. With William Frush as manager, he conducted the business for a number of years, making it quite remunerative. During the war of 1855-56 he transported soldiers, munitions, and furnished feed for horses, etc., receiving for the work government scrip, which was not redeemed until after the outbreak of the war of the Rebellion, and then in depreciated currency. He believes that the shrinkage was about $15,000; but, despite these losses, he kept his ferry in successful operation until 1865, having replaced the oars by horse-power and the horse-power by steam long before. In that year he disposed of the property to Joseph Knott, the present wealthy proprietor.
Sometime in the sixties he was so unfortunate as to embark in the banking business with his son-in-law, Doctor A.M. Loryea; and his whole estate became involved. Failing to meet the mortgage, he thereby lost a large portion of his land, which is now worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The entire indebtedness not being met by this sacrifice, he was induced to take a deed of trust for the remainder of his property to provide against actual want.
This movement was ill advised; and it was by a hair's breadth that he retained any of his original estate. A portion of it, however, was preserved, and, owing to the great rise in value, is now easily worth one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Despite the losses, therefore, which have clouded his life, Mr. Stephens was never suffered to want; and, more than all, though betrayed more than once by seeming friends, he still retained his cheerful and benevolent disposition. He has no words of complaint nor censure; and his heart was warm towards all to the last.
His wife departed this life in 1887. He himself made all preparations which he deemed necessary for following her, having made, in his mind, disposition of his property and prepared a monument for the grave of both his wife and himself. He had engraved upon this marble a life-sized likeness of them both; and this is followed by a pathetic and beautiful inscription. It was this calm waiting for his last sleep and for the life of the other world which made his old age serene, and relieved it of the somber colors into which it otherwise might have been cast. He died in March, 1889; and his loss was mentioned with regretful interest throughout the whole community in which he lived so long.
HON. ISAAC INGALLS STEVENS.
Governor Stevens was born at Andover, Massachusetts, March 18, 1818. He
graduated from West Point in the class of 1839, of which he stood at the
head, and immediately thereafter was commissioned second lieutenant of
engineers. In 1840 he was promoted to a first lieutenancy. In the war w
with Mexico (1846-1848) he served on the staff of General Scott and for
gallant and meritorious services at Contreras, Churubusco and Chapultepec
earned the brevet rank of major. He was severely wounded in the capture
of the City of Mexico from the effect of which he suffered during life.
At the close of that war, Alexander Dallas Bache, Superintendent of the
United States coast survey, appointed him chief clerk in charge of the
office at Washington, District of Columbia, a position he resigned in March,
1853, to accept the first governorship of Washington Territory. He journeyed
thither across the continent, exploring a route from the headwaters of
the Mississippi river to Puget Sound.
On the 29th of September,1853, he entered the territory and assumed the performance of his gubernatorial duties therein. He issued his proclamation thereof at the crossing of the dividing ridge on the summit of the Rocky Mountains bearing that date. During the years 1854 and 1855, as superintendent of Indian affairs, he concluded treaties with the native Indian tribes within the territory, by which the so-called Indian title to an area of land including one hundred thousand square miles was extinguished. In the latter year he also served as a member of the joint commission to effect peace and amity between the tribes divided by the Rocky Mountains, viz., - the Blackfeet and other nations in the buffalo country east of the mountains, and those tribes upon the western side whose necessities compelled them to cross the mountains in quest of buffalo, at that time and prior thereto the great source of food and raiment to the aborigines. During his absence at the Blackfoot Council, the Indian war of 1855-56 had been inaugurated. Upon his return to Olympia, he called out one thousand volunteers, assumed general direction as commander-in-chief, and prosecuted the war with vigor until peace was restored in the fall of 1856. At the election in July,1857, he was chosen delegate to Congress, and served with distinction to himself and benefit for his territory for two terms, ending March 3, 1861.
Early after the breaking out of the Rebellion he hastened East, and offered his services and sword for the preservation of the integrity of the Union and the perpetuity of the life of the nation. They were accepted; and he was appointed colonel of the Seventy-ninth Regiment, New York Volunteers (the Highlanders). Eight companies of that regiment, dissatisfied with being commanded by a West Point officer, mutinied. But his resolute courage and energetic conduct restored discipline; and he soon had become the idol of his regiment. Gaining distinction in many engagements in which he took a conspicuous part, he had been promoted (July 4, 1862) major-general United States volunteers.
On the morning of September 1, 1862, his division encountered the Confederate forces near Chantilly, Virginia. Major-General Stevens, with his characteristic dash, seized the colors of his old regiment (their color-sergeant had just fallen; and the line was wavering). On foot at the head of that regiment, bearing aloft those colors with his own hands, and while cheering his old comrades, his gallantry animating the whole division, he was shot through the head and instantly killed; and when his body was found among the pile of slain, in his death-grip was clenched the flagstaff he had so gallantly borne in the face of the foe. That check of the Confederate advance, which he there and then had caused, afforded the precious time and opportunity so needed on that day of gloom and saddened memory to put the nation's capital in a state of defense, and save the world and it from that humiliation, - its fall into the hands of the enemy.
GEN. JOHN H. STEVENS. - This hero of a hundred Western adventures, and a pioneer of the great Inland Empire, was born on a town line in Windham county, Vermont. The son of Asa Stevens, a miller and farmer, he learned to use his hands and brain in practical affairs, and at the village school obtained a good working education. In his youth he followed business in Boston, and was engaged in lumbering in Pennsylvania. In 1832 he came west to Michigan, and at Coldwater, Branch county, kept a hotel, advancing his business also by taking mail contracts, and in such early ventures as the conditions of life in the Wolverine state afforded at that early day. He became a colonel in the state militia, and succeeded also to a generalship. Eight years he served as sheriff of Branch county, and during that time made many notable arrests.
In 1852 he prepared for the journey to Oregon, rigging up a large team of mules and horses, and with his daughter Mary C., who subsequently became the wife of the famous lawyer of Eugene, Oregon, Stukeley Ellsworth, and with thirteen young men, among whom was Green Arnold, now of LaGrande, made the journey across the plains. Although in the midst of the pestilential cholera, he lost but one man. He made a speedy trip, covering the distance from the Missouri to the Willamette in four months.
In our virgin territory of thirty-seven years ago he undertook business as hotel-keeper in company with Green Arnold, and as successor of W.H. Rees at Champoeg. He dug gold in the early days at Shelly gulch in Josephine county. His services were also sought in the legislative halls; and he helped our young state to effect its entrance into the Union. He heard the drum-beat and lively shots of the volunteers to the Yakima war, and together with his son John joined their company to establish the white man's supremacy. His arduous task in that service was caring for the stock of the column; and after the war he was assigned the task of selling at public auction all the stock, wagons, effects and accoutrements of the volunteers, - a six days' labor. Returning to his farm near Silverton, he contented himself with agriculture and stock-raising, until in 1862 the reports of gold mines in Eastern Oregon drew him to the Grande Ronde valley. At the promising city of La Grande he made his home, and became one of its most energetic citizens. He was landlord there during the days of gold dust. As his means accumulated, he invested his surplus in three hundred and twenty acres of land on Clover creek, near North Powder, Union county, and there resides amid all the comforts and refinements of the successful Eastern Oregon ranch, having large herds of cattle, and much other livestock. He holds a leading place in the public affairs, and in the confidence of his community, - a venerable and noble old gentleman.
He was married firstly in 1830 to Miss Mary Adams of Pennsylvania, by whom he had two children. Her death occurring three years later, he was married secondly to Miss Harriet M. Pierce of Michigan, by whom he has had five children. He has six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren living in the West.
HON. JAMES P. STEWART.
- In a notice of the Honorable James P. Stewart by the local press, when
his name was presented for the suffrages
of his fellow-citizens for a seat in the legislature of Washington Territory, it was most truthfully said: "he is a man of affairs, - a big, bronzed, broad-shouldered man, who moves about among his fellow-men with that quiet consciousness of strength that carries conviction and wins. He has been a winner all his life; and people applaud his winning. He has been as honest as he has been progressive.
Mr. Stewart is a native of the State of New York, and was born in Delaware county September 21, 1833. He lived on the farm of his parents, enjoying the customary opportunities for acquiring knowledge or education afforded the farm lads of the Middle states one-half century ago. Young Stewart, full of energy, made the best use of his opportunities, and at the age of nineteen left the parental home and engaged in teaching school, working on the farm through the summer, and devoting the winter to teaching. He migrated to Oregon in 1855, and settled at Corvallis. he remained there until April, 1859, when he removed to the Puyallup valley on the last day of that month, which has since been his home. During his residence at Corvallis he occupied his time in merchandising, teaching school, and served one official term as sheriff of Benton county.
In 1861 the people of Pierce count elected him judge of the probate court, which office he held for the term of four years, with great credit to himself and to the entire satisfaction of his fellow-citizens. He was unanimously nominated for re-election in 1864. But his business, which had become extensive, demanded his exclusive attention; and he declined. He was married that year to a daughter of Archibald McMillain, one of the most prominent of the old pioneer settlers, both of Thurston and Pierce counties.
In 1872 he accepted the unanimous nomination of the Republican conferees of Pierce and Mason counties for joint representative in the legislature; though the district was hopelessly Democratic, he made a vigorous canvass, and greatly reduced the usual party majority by his earnest efforts and personal popularity. As a recognition of his efficient service, unsolicited on his part, he wa proffered the appointment of United States Indian agent at the Makah Reservation, with the salary of fourteen hundred dollars per annum. He would not abandon his private business nor his residence and declined the appointment. Without his seeking, President Lincoln's postmaster-general appointed him postmaster at Puyallup, which office he did accept, and served the public in that trying capacity - for which no adequate compensation was allowed - for eleven years.
In 1877-88 he served Pierce county in the house of representatives of the territory. His conservative course merited the hearty approval of his constituency, and made him prominent among the list of those from whom a nominee for delegate to Congress was selected in the election of 1888. It was conceded that, had it met Mr. Stewart's approval, he would have received a generous if not unanimous support of his county delegation for the nomination. The truth, however, is that he has never been an office-seeker, has failed to attend nominating conventions, and, when nominations have been tendered, persuasion has been required to induce him to abandon business and accept office.
It is, however, as a merchant, successful hop-raiser, agriculturist and banker, that James P. Stewart has acquired his high standing in the community. In every enterprise to which he contributes, and in everything he undertakes, he brings to bear admirable judgement and indomitable energy. As a business man or operator, he is enterprising and fearless, far-seeing and sagacious. In the culture of raspberries he demonstrated the capabilities of the valley, and the profits of such a specialty. He has one of the largest and most profitable fruit orchards in Pierce county. He was third in rank, acreage and product in that long list of hop-growers in Puyallup valley. He gave an estimate of the average return of his hop-raising experience for the period of fifteen years, commencing with 1871, the year he entered the business. He sold his crops for the fifteen years at an average of twenty-one cents - three mills per pound. The product was an average of eighteen hundred pounds to the acre, making a net profit of over two hundred dollars per acre per annum.
He was one of the founders of the Pacific National Bank in the city of Tacoma, and has continued as director since its existence. At present he is a partner of Charles P. Masterson, the able president of that institution, in a banking business at Puyallup, under the firm name of Stewart & Masterson, of which he is manager. The firm is a strong one; and it has secured the entire confidence of the community in the so-called Puyallup Bank.
Whether as financier, farmer, merchant, legislator, probate judge, school teacher or citizen, James P. Stewart has always been a success. That success gives evidence of the truth of the old adage "Nothing is denied to well-directed instantly." The man of purpose, self-reliant and consistent, must always succeed.
HON. JOHN STEWART. - This gentleman was born February 12, 1800, in Virginia, that grand old state which has given birth to heroes and cradled the world's best since the white man first took possession of this fair land of ours. There our subject was nurtured through all his infancy and until his fifteenth year, when his parents moved to Terre Haute, Indiana. He resided in that state until 1837, learning the blacksmith trade, which calling so nearly broke down his health that he abandoned it and engaged in trading cattle.
He first earned his title of
captain in the Black Hawk war, through which he served from beginning to
end. In 1837 he left Indiana and moved to Holt county, Missouri, where
he was elected county judge for four successive terms. On January 7, 1842,
Captain Stewart was united in Marriage to Miss Mary Scott; and the happy
couple lived in all peace and mutual esteem for three years, when they
started on May 12, 1845, to journey across the plains to Oregon. Mr. Stewart
was elected the captain of a company of five hundred wagons and about twenty-five
hundred souls. The company also drove an immense herd of cattle and horses,
but had the misfortune to lose so many that on arriving at the journey's end they had comparatively few.
Just after leaving Fort Laramie the train was stopped by the Pawnee Indians; and all the men decline risking their lives in meeting and treating with the chiefs. However, Captain Stewart and Prior Scott were prompt volunteers, and succeeded in effecting a compromise with the Indians by paying a tribute and being allowed to pass on. A company of soldiers from Fort Leavenworth were sent after the company, overtook them and traveled in company with hem until they reached the Sweetwater. The train suffered and withstood all the many trying ordeals, which so many of the early emigrants succumbed to. The sickness, death and accidents incident to the long and wearisome journey did not pass them by. At Fort Boise the company divided; and Captain Stewart's command took the "Meek cut-off," which resulted in much suffering, as they lost their way and were ten days at one place without water, except from a small spring not affording half enough to supply the needs of the company. After ten days' search, water was found; and the company moved on at night, it being so hot as to make travel in the day unendurable. After these terrible experiences the company finally reached Tualatin Plains where they stopped; and Mrs. Stewart there gave birth to a daughter.
When they reached Linnton, six miles below Portland, which they did on the 29th of October, 1845, out of the one hundred and eight cattle and horses with which Captain Stewart began his journey, there were only twenty-five left. They located on the Willamette river, just below Corvallis, where they have since resided. Captain Stewart on his death leaving a most beautiful home for the comfort of his gentle and lovely widow. He expired on the 28th of February, 1885, leaving his wife with a family of six children, and the memory of an honorable, upright man, respected by all whom his life brought him in contact with, and sincerely mourned by a loving wife and children. He had been good, kind and generous to all; but no one mentions Captain Stewart's name but who can tell of some kindly deed either to themselves or some friend. He did his part nobly in making "this world what it might be if hearts were always kind." He was an honorable and active member of the Methodist-Episcopal church; and his house was always open to all ministers of the gospel as a most cheerful and welcome home to sojourn in. Indeed, his home was used for holding divine services until the church was built, rendering its use no longer necessary. His estate was valued at one hundred thousand dollars, which he and his helpful and hopeful wife had honestly earned.
Mrs. Stewart is left to mourn her husband, but is also left the consolation that he had not a single enemy, and passed away in joy and with a soul full of hope. Mrs. Stewart is still a beautiful woman, and promises many years of strength and health to be added to what is already a fruitful and happy life. In fact, she is growing old gracefully, beloved by her neighbors and respected by all. She is generous and charitable to the poor, letting not her left hand know what her right hand doeth, and bestows her benefits in an unostentatious and modest manner. In fact, she is one fit to have been the helpmeet of the grand and good old man who has gone before. She was born in Switzland county, Indiana, in 1821, where she lived with her parents until 1840, when she went to Missouri, and was afterwards married to Captain Stewart in that state.
HON. PETER G. STEWART. - Peter Grant Stewart was born on the 6th of September, 1809, in Stanford, Delaware county, New York. When eight years of age he moved to Jefferson, Scohane county, where he received a common-school education, and learned the trade of a watchmaker. He followed the occupation of watchmaker and jeweler in Middlebury until the spring of 1838, when, with a selected stock of watches, jewelry, etc., he started for the West, going by wa of Niagara Falls, Buffalo, Toledo and Fort Wayne to Mount Vernon, Indiana, and from there to Morganfield, Union county, Kentucky, where he located, working at his trade until fall. From Morganfield he traveled down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, stopping at the principal points for the purpose of trade, arriving in due time at New Orleans. From there his route took him to Mobile, Mariawa, Jackson county, Florida, Columbus, Georgia, Clarksville and Pendleton, South Carolina. There he was taken sick, and returned to New York.
Having recovered his health, in January, 1840, he went to Kentucky, and in the spring to Springfield, Missouri. On the 1st of September, 1842, he was married to Miss Rebecca R. Cason. During the year 1842 he was appointed brigade paymaster by General Smith. Having made the necessary preparations during the winter, on or about the 17th of April, 1843, he left Springfield, Missouri, in company with others and bidding adieu to friends and home started to cross the trackless desert on his way to his future home in Oregon. At Spanish encampment, near Independence, a committee of three, J.W. Nesmith, Peter G. Stewart and another (name forgotten), reported a plan of organization, which, being adopted, officers were elected; and Captain Grant, a mountain man, was hired to pilot the train to Fort Hall, which afterwards proved an unnecessary expense, as Doctor Whitman overtook this train and joined them, and proved a great service to the company.
The combined trains proving to
be too large a company, it was divided, one part being under the command
of Jesse Applegate, with Doctor Whitman as pilot, and the other under command
of Peter H. Burnett, with Captain J.W. Nesmith, second in command, and
with Captain Grant as pilot, with which company Stewart and his family
traveled. The progress of the company was slow and tedious, and also hazardous,
on account of the high stage of water on the South Platte, Laramie Fork
and other streams, being obliged to ferry across with improvised ferry-boats
of wagon-beds, canoes, etc. At the crossing of the South Platte Mrs.
Stewart gave birth to a daughter, and was seriously ill for a time, but
finally recovered. The little child of the plains,
however, lived but a short time, and was buried at Doctor Whitman's Mission. About twenty-five of the wagons having separated from the company at Fort Hall and taken the road to California, the remainder pursued their long, weary journey without particular incident, and reached The Dalles in safety. At The Dalles, Stewart and his family, and F.C. Cason (Stewart's father-in-law) and his family, secured the services of Indians and their canoes, and in this manner came down the Columbia and up the Willamette, reaching the objective point of their journey, Oregon City, on the 6th of November, having been nearly seven months on the journey. Locating at Oregon City, Stewart followed his trade of watchmaking.
In May, 1844, he was elected one of the executive committee of the Provisional government of Oregon for one year. In 1845 he was elected by the legislative committee first judge of the district court for Clackamas county, and served nearly a year, when he resigned. In the fall of 1848, in company with Peter H. Burnett, four of the Casons, and a large company of others, with ox-teams, he started for the gold mines of California. He mined on the Yuba until the latter part of December, and returned home in February, 1849, in company with General Lane, who was on his way to Oregon to take charge of the office of governor of Oregon Territory, which appointment he had received.
In 1850 he became interested in the townsite of Pacific City to the extent of two-twentieths of six hundred and forty acres, and held the claim in his own name to secure to himself and associates the title of the same. He lived on this place at the mouth of the Columbia river between two and three years, until it was reserved by the government for military purposes. After having spent about seven thousand dollars in money, and two a half years of hard labor in improving the claim which he had taken, he was obliged to give up the claim, and has never been able to recover anything from the government for his outlay of time and money. In addition to this loss of time and money, Mr. Stewart has been deprived of his right to take up another Donation claim, as he left the Pacific City claim in such destitute circumstances that he had to borrow money to support his family, after his return to Oregon City. In justice to Mr. Stewart, the United States government ought to remunerate him for the loss sustained by him in losing his claim. The money expended by him in improvements ought to be refunded; and he ought to receive fair compensation for his two and a half years of labor. It does seem like gross injustice that an old pioneer, after having endured the hardships and privations of an early life in the wilderness of Oregon, cannot recover a claim which seems to be so manifestly just and right.
Mr. Stewart is now an old man, and is dependent on his labor for the support of himself and family. If justice were done to him in the matter of this claim, he could spend his declining years with the comfort and satisfaction which he ought to have enjoyed long years before, and to which his services to the country and state justly entitle him. In the spring of 1853, after having moved back to Oregon City, Mr. Stewart was appointed by President Pierce surveyor and inspector of the revenue for the port of Pacific City, a position which he held for one year; but, being required to reside at Pacific City, and not being able to support himself and family at that place on account of the high prices of everything which prevailed at that time, he resigned his position and returned to Oregon City. Business being very dull in Oregon City in the spring of 1861, he moved to Portland and opened up a shop on First street.
In October, 1863, his kind and affectionate wife, who had been with him in prosperity and adversity for twenty-one years, died, leaving him and five children to mourn her loss. Mr. Stewart had buried four children previous to the loss of his wife. In the spring of 1864, on account of ill health, he paid a visit to his old home in New York, returning in the fall improved in health. Conducting his business in Portland, he enjoyed a fair degree of prosperity until the big fire of December, 1872, when he had the misfortune to be burnt out, suffering a loss of six or eight thousand dollars. The second big fire came soon afterwards; and again he was a sufferer. Then, becoming discouraged, he gave up his business in Portland and became a wandering dealer in and repairer of watches, spectacles, etc. until September, 1876, when, becoming tired of his wandering life, he married the widow of Doctor Rosecrans, formerly of Butteville. He then located at Gervais, Oregon, where he has resided since, and where he follows his old vocation of watchmaker and jeweler. Mr. Stewart was recorder of Gervais for three years, and enjoys the respect and esteem of all his neighbors.
Mr. Stewart is a prominent member of the order of F. and A.M., and enjoys the distinction of being one of three masons who issued the call for the organization of Multnomah Lodge, No. 1, F. and A.M., and became one of the charter members of that lodge. The following are the names of Mr. Stewart's children who survived their mother: Charles F.,; Kate, who married D.B. Hannah; George L.,; Maggie, who married Samuel Perryman; and Mrs. Mary Gondy, who died a few years ago.
HON. CHARLES T. STILES.
- One who has enjoyed the advantages of education, and has been the recipient
of wealth left him by fond and indulgent parents, is surely worthy of the
encomiums due to success thereby attained. but how much more so is the
one who, without this pedestal of fame and fortune, attains an equal eminence
by his own un-aided exertions. As an example of this latter career, there
was none more notable than the gentleman whose name appears above, whose
late untimely demise has removed from the scene of activity one of our
most valuable and honored representative men. Briefly stated, the course
of his life is as follows: He was a native of Whitneyville, Maine, having
been born in that state June 16, 1847. In 1860, when he was bur thirteen
years of age, he came with his mother to the Pacific coast to join his
father, who had crossed the plains into California in 1849, whom they found
at Vancouver, Washington Territory, having located a Donation claim of
nine hundred acres near Washougal.
The subject of this sketch resided there until 1877, when he moved to Portland, Oregon, his father having died in 1873. In Portland he speculated in produce of every kind until July, 1878, when he removed to Columbia county, Washington Territory, and located in Pataha City, which is now in Garfield county.
In 1882 he purchased the farm where his widow now resides, a most beautiful place half way between Pomeroy and Pataha. From the time of his settlement in this growing section, he became an influential member of its society, moving in very matter of public improvement, and soon gaining a firm grasp upon the confidence of the people. Previously, he had been honored with high political preferment, having been elected in 1875 to the house of representatives of Washington Territory from Clarke county; and in 1887 he was elected to serve in the same body from his new home. In his official capacity he was instrumental in erecting Columbia from Walla Walla county, and Garfield from Columbia.
In his new sphere of life at Pataha City, he was most energetic in developing and upbuilding the region, having been first to bring to that point a stock of goods, and doing much, by every practicable means, to make that the flourishing place that it now is. He died August 28, 1886; and his demise was not only deeply mourned by his family, but also deplored by the community in general. He was a man known for his earnestness, breadth of view, sterling integrity and christian charity. In him those unfortunate in the battle of life always found a friend; and the successful regarded him as a comrade and brother. As a benefactor, a builder of a new community, and as a leader in every worthy field, he will long be remembered.
In 1872 he was married to Miss Lizzie Caples, of Vancouver, Washington Territory, a most estimable lady, who now resides in a beautiful residence at Pataha City, and superintends the education of her five children.
HON. THEODORE L. STILES. - Honorable Theodore L. Stiles was born at Medway, Clarke county, Ohio, July 12, 1848, and was the only child of Daniel J. and Marie S. Stiles. His mother's maiden name was Lamme; and she, too, was a native of the same county as her son. Mr. Stiles' father was born of German and English parents, in Danplin county, Pennsylvania. His mother's family were emigrants from Virginia in 1809. Until the age of sixteen, he remained at his birthplace, which was a small interior farming village. But, his mother having died in 1863, his father removed in 1865 to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he entered into mercantile business; and the young man was for a few months an assistant of his father's firm. But although his father had not had the advantages of education, he was one of those who to the keenest degree realized its future importance to the young; and he, therefore, at great sacrifice to himself, opened to his son the use of his lifetime earnings.
The young man was fairly prepared for study, and chose at first to enter the Ohio University at Athens. There he spent two years, laying the foundation for admission to Amherst College, at Amherst, Massachusetts, where he entered as freshman September 10, 1867. After the usual college course of four years, he graduated in 1871, and at once entered upon the active study of law at the Columbia College Law School in the city of New York. Feeling as many young men at twenty-three do, that life was something to be mastered, he obtained the leave of the law school authorities to double the course, so as to get through in a little over one year instead of two; and he ended his student career in June, 1872. His admission to the bar followed within a few weeks, at Indianapolis, Indiana, where he immediately went to work to "lay out the world." In the following December, however, friends in New York advised him to remove thither; and the idea of a metropolitan practice was too seductive to be overcome. He went, and soon afterwards became associated with Honorable Edward Jordan, late solicitor of the United States treasury, and Daniel G. Thompson, his junior in years, but who has since become one of the leading legal and literary men of New York. Mr. Stiles' years thenceforward, until 1877, were occupied by the varied demands of time and labor made upon a young lawyer in New York, with some of the ups but rather more of the downs of life.
Seeing and believing the life of a lawyer to be brighter and clearer and success more assured on the Western side of the continent than at the East, he in that year resolved to follow the advice of the lamented Greeley and go West; and the fall of 1878 found him on the Union Pacific Railroad, bound for Oregon, where recent booming travelers had reported an El Dorado as famous as that of the Columbia discoveries. Arizona was then approachable from the east only by a stage journey of nine hundred miles from the Colorado terminus of the Santa Fe Railway; but its confines were touched by the Southern Pacific at Yuma. Therefore the subject of our sketch chose to journey via San Francisco and Los Angeles, the latter then a sleepy half Mexican town of no particular prospects. He went on by stage three hundred miles from Yuma to Tucson and landed there half dead for want of sleep and from an excess of dust, November 21, 1878. The mining fever was "on" in the country; and he endured its fortunes and the torrid heats of the country for nearly nine years.
In 1887, however, the proprieties
which are represented by those rodents who are said to leave a sinking
ship suggested to his mind that there must be a country where "booms" were
fewer, and the path of life more certain than in the "sun-kissed" lands
of the south. So, on the Fourth of July, 1887, on the day when Tacoma was
celebrating her wedding with the empire to the eastward of the Cascades,
through the completion of the "Switchback" over the Stampede Pass, the
now matured lawyer of thirty-nine cast his lot with the City of Destiny
and its pushing and prosperous people. Nearly two years of residence in
Tacoma had passed, when Congress ordered an election in Washington of delegates
to the convention for the framing of the new constitution of Washington.
Mr. stiles was one of those delegates sent from the twenty-second district,
the other two being P.C. Sullivan and Gavin Hicks.
In the convention he was chairman of the committee of county, township and municipal organization, and a member of the committee on rules, judiciary and public lands. The convention having adjourned, he was sent as a delegate from Pierce county to the Republican state convention at Walla Walla, and was chosen and served as the permanent chairman of that body. The business of the convention involved the nomination of five supreme court judges. It was deemed that Pierce county, as one of the largest counties of population was entitled to one of the five; and Mr. Stiles was nominated by the adoption of the vote of 256 of the 298 delegates present. The election followed October 1st; and with the rest of his party associates he was elected by a large majority.
E.D. STILLMAN. - Mr. Stillman was born in New York in 1828, and learned the trade of a mechanic and machinist. In 1849 he crossed the plains to Oregon in the capacity of wheelwright for the regiment of mounted riflemen who were sent here on the strength of Joe Meek's urgent representations at Washington, and for the protection of the settlers of this little-cared for wilderness on the Pacific. He well remembers an exciting incident near Green river. The command was there met by one Baptiste, who bore messages from Governor Joe Lane. This Baptiste proved to be a desperado, who the next day shot Wilcox, the guide on account of an old quarrel, and then emptied his revolver indiscriminately at the solders - each shot, however taking effect, - and held the whole command at bay for some minutes.
Arrived at Oregon City Mr. Stillman was engaged by General Lane to repair and run the McLoughlin sawmill, of which he then held a lease, paying him twenty-five dollars per day. In that capacity he was thrown much into his company, and recalls that on one occasion, when the soldiers were leaving for the mines without permission or excuse - a squad of them walking boldly over some officers, and striking out on their own responsibility, - the General shouldered his rifle, and with two or three old-timers, soon escorted the fugitives to the guardhouse. When the five Cayuse Indians were hanged at Oregon City, Mr. Stillman was one of the many who were quietly "heeled" to see that no effort was made to rescue them. He relates that when Marshal Joe Meek was about to cut the rope which held the trap, he observed, "God Almighty have mercy on your souls, I can't." After the drop fell, the knot on one of the necks did not slip well; and the murderer, not dying fast enough to suit Joe, he ascended the scaffold, and with his foot shoved the noose tight.
In 1850, acting on the advice of General Lane and others, who predicted that Milwaukee would be the mark for Oregon, Stillman bought lots and built a house there, and secured employment on the machinery of the steamer Lot Whitcomb at ten dollars per hour. In 1851 he went to the Siskiyou mines, where he delved in the ground ten years, and thence came to Granite creek on the John Day river, where he married and continued mining until 1872. He then purchased a fruit farm near Milton, Oregon, and has since worked at his trade in Pendleton, leaving his ranch to be conducted by his family.
WILLIAM D. STILLWELL. - William D. Stillwell was born in Logan county, Ohio, on the 16th of November, 1823. While he was still quite young his parents moved to Michigan, and to Iowa in1838. After living there five years, he concluded in 1843 to emigrate to Oregon. Finding it too late to join the emigration trains, he stopped in Missouri until the following year, when he was among the first to camp at the starting point near Independence.
The emigration company were slow in their preparations for starting, and, as Mr. Stillwell was eager to be off, he started out on the long journey across the plains with a small company of ten wagons, believing that the regular emigrant train would soon overtake them.
The season was unusually wet; and many of the streams were swollen so as to make the crossing dangerous in the extreme. Many of them had to be forded; or, when timber long enough could be procured, they would make canoes and lash them together, ferry the families and wagons across, and swim the stock. In this way they proceeded for hundreds of miles, until finally it became necessary to halt, on account of the incessant rains and consequent high waters. They rested for twenty-one days; and still the rains continued, until the cattle were in danger of miring; and the wagons settled in the mud down to the axle trees.
At the earliest moment possible they moved on up the Platte to the dry lands, and thence on towards the Rocky Mountains. the cattle became afflicted with foot-evil from the sudden change from wet and mud to the dry, hot sand and alkali plains; and many had to be left along the way. The disease spread among the stock, and became so universal that it threatened to become a serious matter, and retarded their progress very much.
They had hoped to reach their journey's end in the course of three or four months, and had started with provisions sufficient for that length of time. But here they found themselves scarcely half way to their destination, their teams jaded or wholly given out, and the supply of provisions nearly exhausted. Mr. Stillwell's father was in poor health; and it seemed impossible that his mother could ride horseback in case they had to abandon the wagons, as she was a very large woman, weighing at that time two hundred and sixty pounds. Such anxiety was sufficient to cause the singular circumstance which Mr. Stillwell tells of himself. He was at that time in his nineteenth year; and his hair, which was coal black at starting, turned quite gray; but a few years in the Willamette valley restored it to its original color.
At Bear river they fell in with
a company of Nez Perce Indians and a white man. One Indian in the party
had been educated at St. Louis, and could talk good English. They traveled
on to the upper crossing of Snake river, where their teams gave out; and
they traded them off to some mountain men for pack-horses. When at Boise
turned off with the party of Nez Perce Indians, going up the Platte across the Salmon river and down on the Clearwater to Lapwai to Mr. Spalding's Mission.
Fortunately, Mr. Stillwell possessed a Hawkins' rifle, and killed plenty of buffalo, antelope, sage hens, and other game, which was their only food for nearly half the way. They reached Mr. Spalding's Mission in good season, the route being much shorter than that to Whitman's station; and his mother and the horse she rode endured the fatigue wonderfully well.
They spent the winter at Mr. Spalding's; and, as Mr. Stillwell had some knowledge of printing, he was employed to assist Mr. Fasey in printing the books of Matthew and Luke, which Mr. Spalding was translating into the Nez Perce language, as well as several hymn books and a dictionary for the use of the Indians. Mr. Spalding had procured a printing press such as was to be had at that time, and which was undoubtedly the pioneer printing press of the Pacific coast.
In 1845 they moved to the Willamette valley, settling at North Yamhill, where Mr. Stillwell lived for twenty-five years. At that time the settlers were few and so scattered that often it was many miles to the nearest neighbor. There were but few mills in the country, and many of them on streams which went dry during the summer months; so it was necessary to go to mill in the winter, when the water was high. There were no bridges; and the grist must be taken from the pack-horse and carried across on a foot log, while the animals swam the stream. He would then pack up again and go on to the next stream, where the programme would be repeated. It took several days, and sometimes even weeks, to make the trip to mill and back, as it was forty miles to Oregon City or Salem.
The big black wolves were plentiful in the mountains at that time; and it was a common occurrence in the winter for them to come down and kill a cow or horse. In comparing those times with to-day, Mr. Stillwell says; "I worked for Cook & Fletcher at Lafayette for half price to get cash enough to buy me an axe; for it required cash to purchase the article. Yet I could get from a dollar and a half to two and a half per day in orders on the Hudson's Bay or Abernethy's stores; but they could not furnish axes for the orders or wheat at from one to one and a half dollars per bushel, which was the circulating medium at that time. It required cash to buy an axe; and I journeyed to Oregon City to buy it. I was offered on several occasions a horse worth at that time twenty-five dollars for it."
In the winter of 1846 quite a number of emigrants who came by the southern route barely got into the Willamette valley until their teams gave out; and they themselves were so worn out and ill they could not come over to the settlements, and in many cases were suffering for food. The settlers at North Yamhill contributed ten pack-loads of provisions; and Mr. Stillwell and a son of Chicamen Smith volunteered to take it and distribute it to those who were actually suffering, without pay.
They started in December, a time when all the streams were swollen out of their banks; and not one of them but the Lacrosse did they succeed in fording, having to pack their cargo over on foot logs, or ferry them across on rafts or in canoes, and swim their horses. Sometimes they would not be able to proceed more than a mile or two in a whole day's travel. When they came to the Long Tom, they found a man and his family camping where his team had given out; and they were not able to move on. He told Mr. Stillwell they had had nothing to eat for two days. In reply he said; "You are the kind of people we are looking for. Bring something to carry it in, and I will give you something to eat." After being supplied with flour and meal enough to last them several days, the poor man actually cried, as the relief came so unexpectedly; and he could not pay for it. He had started his son off to the settlements that very morning with the last dollar he had in the world, but promised to pay as soon as he was able. "Never mind," said Mr. Stillwell, "this is for those who have nothing to eat, and nothing to buy it with."
After crossing the stream, they met a company of ten wagons, who still had two or three days' provisions, but were eager to secure all Mr. Stillwell had. Of course he would not sell to them; and they drew their guns and talked of taking the cargo by force. Young Smith kept driving the packed animals along; and he and Mr. Stillwell both cocked their guns, which caused the emigrants to change their minds. So they passed on, making only two or three miles a day, until they reached the spot where Eugene City now stands. After distributing their cargo among the needy, they took the women and children of two families on their pack-horses, the men and boys all walking and started back to the settlements. When they reached Sap creek their provisions were gone; but a party had brought some wheat for seed, which he let them have; and they hailed it for supper and breakfast, but began eating it as soon as it was hailed. They relished it without salt or anything else with it.
In the following March Mr. Stillwell returned to the upper valley with some of the emigrants to get their wagons and other articles they had left when coming in. Thinking it would be much easier to come down the river in boats, they made two or three canoes, lashed them together, and after loading on the wagons and goods started down the river. They had gone but a short distance when the boat struck a snag and upset; and they with difficulty got out on an island. After searching for some time they discovered a shallow place, and waded to the mainland. So, without provisions and wet to the skin they started for Belknap settlement being above the mouth of Long tom. Mr. Stillwell swam over and procured a canoe, and assisted his companion, Mr. Buckingham, across the stream, and then on to a point where they crossed the Muddy during the night. here he waded the Slacon creek for hours before he found the way out where he could get food.
In December of 1847 he joined
Captain Thompson's company in Yamhill. On the 25th of that month they reported
to the governor at Oregon City in response to a call for volunteers to
punish the Cayuse Indians for the massacre at Whitman's Sta-
tion. The company was ordered to a point on the Willamette where Albina is now located, and from there to The Dalles by way of Vancouver, and soon after to Des Chutes. There was a call for two men from each company to volunteer as scouts under Lieutenant lee; and Mr. Stillwell and Chicamen Smith, of Captain Thompson's company, volunteered to go.
Starting out early in the morning, about three o'clock in the afternoon they saw a party of Indians riding directly towards them. it had been raining hard; and they were ordered to halt and re-prime their guns amid great excitement, as these were the first hostile Indians that had been seen. They were soon ordered to charge; and, as Mr. Stillwell did not hear the order, he stopped to reload and catch an Indian horse, changed his own saddle to it, and started to drive his own and Lieutenant Lee's horses after the command.
Now, for the first time, he saw he was cut off entirely from his comrades, and was surrounded by Indians. He turned towards the Des Chutes river, though about forty mounted Indians had surrounded him; and it seemed only sport to capture or kill him. At any rate, they reserved their balls for more difficult game, and only showered arrows at him. Before long his horse was filled with arrows, and could go no farther; and Mr. Stillwell sprang over his head and ran two hundred yards, when he was shot in the hip with an arrow. He succeeded in pulling out the arrow; but the flint remained imbedded in the flesh. He ran down a cañon; and the Indians followed on both sides, sometimes coming within fort yards, when he would present his gun, but not fire, knowing that to reserve his fire would serve to keep them at a distance. Once he came near going over a precipice; and again a rifle ball passed through his hair just over his ear. It seems almost a miracle that he escaped; but after it was dark he lay by and rested, after which he resumed his journey, and arrived at camp at daylight, greatly to the surprise of his comrades, as he was given up as lost. He remained with the regiment, taking part in every battle, and was out with most of the scouts, living on horse-meat without salt or anything else to eat.
The Indians at the battle of the Des Chutes were the bravest men in that campaign, says Mr. Stillwell; "They never left their positions until we blew smoke in their very faces." He says they overtook the Indians as they were driving up their horses; and he came in contact with a big warrior, who ran his horse against Mr. Stillwell's animal. he asked permission to shoot the Indian; but it was refused, and the act was repeated several times before the Indian seemed satisfied. To this day Mr. Stillwell thinks the campaign was badly managed, and that they should have attacked the Indians instead of waiting for them to begin hostilities, which they did that night.
After this war was ended, he returned to the Willamette, and in 1849 went to the gold mines. He stopped at Redding's diggings, where he did well at mining, but had a severe attack of cholera, and returned to Oregon and turned his attention to raising horses.
In 1851 he was married to Miss Elizabeth Baxter, a grand-daughter of Samuel Laughlin of Yamhill county. They were blessed with six children, two of whom died in infancy. Those living are Thomas G., Levi L., Minnie V. and Baxter. Mrs. E. Stillwell died the 12th of January, 1863.
Mr. Stillwell was first lieutenant in Captain Ankeny's Company C of recruiting volunteers, and was in active service in the war of 1855-56. On one occasion, when they were short of ammunition, he was sent with an escort to The Dalles to procure a supply. They made the journey there (225 miles) in two days and nights, and the return trip with the ammunition in five days, making the round trip of 450 miles in seven days. On their return the bad roads and hard travel caused their horses to give out; and Mr. Stillwell took the ammunition on the saddle horses, and waling himself brought it to headquarters at the expense of badly blistered feet. He was only a short distance from Captain Hembree when he was killed while out scouting after Indians.
After the war closed he returned to his home in North Yamhill, and in 1864 was married to Miss Joanna Gubsen. Six children were the result of this union, - Willa, now Mrs. Ebermon, Arthur J., William J., Walter R., and two who died in infancy. Mrs. Joanna Stillwell died September 20,1879.
In 1870 Mr. Stillwell moved to Tillamook where he has since resided, serving the county as school superintendent, assessor and sheriff.
ULMER STINSON. - Mr. Stinson is among the most successful of the lumbermen of the Snohomish, and like the most of his compeers in this business is a native of Maine, having been born in Kennebec county in 1836. He lived, was educated and gained his business head in his native town, leaving it only at the age of twenty-seven. From his youth he was a lumberman and logger.
But in 1863 he determined to try business upon a somewhat larger scale, and selected this coast as his field. He mined a year in Nevada county, California, but tiring of the unaccustomed life of that region sailed up to the Sound on a bark, and found his first home at Port Gamble. Soon he saw the inducements of living at Snohomish, Washington Territory, and after twelve years for others engaged in logging on that river for himself. To be a successful logger one requires extreme prudence. The was of breaking up are numerous, and the path to a competence narrow. Our subject, however, has not lost the way, but for a number of years has been operating and laying by a surplus at each clean up. He employs some twenty-five men. His timber and farm lands embrace fifteen hundred acres; and he owns a fine residence in the city.
He was married at Clinton, Maine, in 1856, to Miss Christina Stewart, a native of Maine, and a lady of intelligence and refinement. They have three children, George Edgar, Charlotte E., the wife of James B. Cole, and Marette E.
Mr. Stinson is a very large man
is said to be very positive and tenacious in his views. An excellent portrait of him, and also a view of his residence can be found within these pages.
JAMES L. STORY. - Mr. Story, the present mayor of The Dalles, Oregon, and a lawyer of leading character, is one of the Oregon educated men of whom the state has reason to be proud.
He was born in Missouri in 1845, but at the age of eight years came with his parents across the plains to Oregon. The first home was on the Willamette river among the groves of maple and magnificent cottonwood trees where is now situated the little town of Lincoln. In 1854 he removed to McMinnville, and at that place, in 1864,enlisted in the First Oregon Infantry as quartermaster's clerk, serving until 1865.
Resuming civil life, he engaged in teaching, and by that means was enabled also to perfect himself in the English branches and in the sciences at McMinnville College. In 1868 he entered upon the more substantial duties and joys of life, marrying Miss Lucretia Cozine of McMinnville, and engaging in agriculture. In 1872 he made a trial of the climate and opportunities of the Inland Empire, locating at Weston, where he followed his former profession as teacher, and added to those duties the study of law, reading with Brents & Reed of Walla Walla. Returning to McMinnville, he completed his legal training under the tutelage of James McKean, and was admitted to practice before the supreme court of our state in 1881.
Five years succeeding were spent upon the sea-coast to improve the health of his family; and a stay of a year at McMinnville after their life by the ocean was followed by a removal to their present home, The Dalles. Mr. Story is widely and favorably known, not only at The Dalles, but far into the surrounding regions, and with his law partner, J.E. Atwater, has a large practice. As mayor of the city he lends dignity and decorum as well as vigor to the municipal government, and is very much a man of the people.
J.L. STOUT. - The proprietor of the townsite of Sea View on the weather beach, a city which boasts of a population of from five to eight thousand during the summer bathing season, is from the Buckeye state, having been born in Ohio in 1824. During his boyhood his father took him to Illinois; and he passed his early life on the frontier. he came up with a generation of men whose natural force and enterprise led them into the most exalted position in the great West which their energies had developed. While in Illinois he was ever restless, moving from county to county, and in the northern part of the state learned the trade of a cooper.
He was married at an early age to Miss Abigail E. Beckwith, but at his home in Marshall county his wife and children suffered greatly from malarial sickness, his two oldest children dying. Those were also hard "Democratic times" as Mr. Stout expressed it; and for a poor man it was very difficult to advance. Having heard constantly of the gold of California, he determined to come to its mines and dig the precious metal for himself.
Accordingly, in 1850, he crossed the plains, starting from the Missouri with a train of oxen late in April. He reached Hangtown, or Placerville, early in August, making a phenomenally speedy trip. Cholera was abroad on the plains' but he kept in advance of it. He proved the endurance and capacity of oxen, his animals overtaking horses that had passed him in the early stages of his trip, and in crossing the Humboldt desert the brave fellows traveled continuously thirty-six hours without a bite of brass or a drop of water. On this desert, three hundred and twenty-five dead horses were counted; and the road on both sides were strewn with the remains of wagons and some excellent vehicles which were standing without teams to draw them. Reaching California, Mr. Stout was not long in the mines before he was taken sick; and his gold-digging aspirations were cut short. He took passage for Oregon with the hope of recovering his health, and at Astoria was fully restored.
But the Pacific coast did not fully satisfy him; and he returned East with the determination never to leave his old home again. He had not been long in Illinois before he was equally determined to get back, if possible, to Oregon; and in 1852 he crossed the plains once more, bringing his family, arriving in Portland in August of that year. His old Oregon acquaintances were astonished to see him back, but ready to welcome him; and in that city the following winter he did a remunerative business. In 1853 he went into Clackamas county, taking up a Donation claim some twelve miles from Oregon City, where he remained for five years. But his wife's health failing, he removed to the city for the sake of being in reach of a physician; but within two years his companion departed this life.
Making his home then at Astoria, he married Miss Annie Gearhart of Clatsop Plains, and removed to Oysterville on Shoalwater Bay, engaging in a business then comparatively new, - that of oystering. He was fairly successful a number of years, but at length the high tide swept away his home and the whole property. That was a memorable flood. A full moon and a south wind occurring together, the waters were piled into the bay; and at this state the wind suddenly shifted to the southeast, blowing violently and driving the water upon the town, submerging it in the flood, and wrecking the buildings with the heavy swell.
In 1862 the collector of customs, W.L. Adams, reposing especial confidence in him, appointed him as customs inspector to look after the interest of the government at Shoalwater Bay. He held this office for several years, and discharged his duties to the entire satisfaction of the collector who appointed him. No smuggling was done at the port while Mr. Stout held the office.
Leaving the place of his misfortune,
he now went to the head of Baker's Bay and established a home. A number
of houses grew up; and a postoffice was created, with Mr. Stout as postmaster.
At the request of an old settler of the region, Mr. Pickernall, the place
was named Unity. This was the original Ilwaco. Desiring to make of this
something of a town, Mr. Stout erected a hotel which, at the suggestion
of a friend, was christened "Bay
View." In 1871, finding eligible land yet untaken on the North Beach, by entry and purchase he acquired four hundred acres on the ocean shore. Its value was not fully appreciated at that time. Captain Simpson, the lumber-dealer and shipbuilder of Coos Bay and Astoria, made the remark to its owner soon after the acquisition, that four bits an acre was too much for it. It is now held at about six hundred dollars per acre; and when the climate, the nature of the soil, and other advantages are taken into consideration, it is probably the cheapest land in the Northwest.
This transformation in value has not been due to accident. Its proprietor began with a steadfast purpose to bring it to public notice. He built a hotel, and by liberal treatment attracted guests, and explained to them the advantage of the place as a summer resort, its proximity to the cape, to Shoalwater Bay, and its magnificent ocean beach. It is also a place of groves. As the site began to become known, he laid it off in lots, which he began selling some five years since at twenty-five dollars each. The year following he was able to command for them the sum of fifty dollars. Soon they ran up to one hundred dollars. Many reasons have conspired to make Sea View the favorite resort of the summer visitor; and its fame and attractiveness have fully established Long Beach or North Beach as a point of great importance on the coast. Mr. Stout was the first to put into operation, if not to conceive the plain, of drawing seaside travel to the North Beach; and he has succeeded admirably in his undertaking.
With the expansion of the country, he has reaped the reward of his industry and sagacity. Mr. Stout was inspector of customs for six years, and served as pilot commissioner of the Columbia river and bar for eight years.
Fortune has at last smiled on the old pioneer, and justly too; for none of all the long list of pioneers is more worthy of her smile.
Mr. Stout has four sons, Jonathan, Philip, Oliver and Chester, and a daughter, Miss Inez, all of whom may well feel proud of their father; for he has left them a name that will be remembered as long as Oregon and Washington exist, and one, too, that is respected by all; for it stands without a tarnish.
HON. R.S. STRAHAN. - Judge Strahan, as a member of the Oregon supreme court, is widely known as being able and upright, and is universally recognized as one of our most popular representatives of the state judiciary.
He was born in Kentucky in 1835. During his childhood he removed with his father to the Platte reserve, as the section was then known, in Missouri, and several years later to Mexico in the same state, living on a farm until he reached manhood, and cultivating the use of brain, brawn and nerve, and cherishing a country-boy's ambition. The strength and hope thus developed on a farm ahs served many a man, as well as Judge Strahan, with the impetus which has borne him far into the higher realms of action and society. He obtained all the education to be had at the country school-house, and to this added a brief academic course preparatory tot he study of law, in which is tastes inclined him. He entered upon legal studies at Lousa, Kentucky, early in 1856, and completed his course and was admitted to the bar in 1857. Returning to the state which he now called his home, he set up a practice at Milan, Missouri, and met with due success. His abilities became so well known as to attract attention and inspire confidence among the people of the county (Sullivan) and he was appointed probate judge, acting in that capacity four years, and ever discharging the duties of that important position with dignity and to the entire satisfaction of those having business in his court.
In 1864 he was led to seek a wider field upon our coast, and coming to Oregon located at Corvallis, where he continued the practice of law. In 1868 he had so far advanced in the confidence of our people as to be elected district attorney of the second district, and in 1870 state senator from Benton county. In 1886 he was before the people of the whole state as candidate upon the Democratic ticket for supreme judge, and in the contest was elected by a small majority over Chief Justice Waldo, a an of great and deserved popularity. The official reports of the court bear witness to the efficiency with which he performed the labors of his distinguished position.
The Judge maintains a very robust and vigorous physical condition, and applies to his duties something of the force and energy exemplified in an electric engine. This not only enables him to dispatch a vast deal of current business. but permits the hope that he will for many years be able to perform the duties of the first position in the state, and to occupy a leading position in the profession which his abilities and character have already adorned.
Distinguished ancestor. he is the grandson of Honorable Elisha W. Stratton, who was one of the first settlers of Ohio, and for nearly twenty years representative to the United States Congress form the nineteenth district of that state, and also controller of the treasury under three Presidents. He is the son of William O. Stratton, a leading clergyman of the Presbyterian church of Ohio.
H.W. Stratton, the subject of
this sketch, after a number of years spent in business in Ohio, was ordained
to the ministry in 1866 over the same church of which his father had been
pastor nearly a quarter of a century. Soon afterwards he began preaching
in Kansas, continuing five years, and in 1871 came to Oregon, ministering
to the Presbyterian and Congregational churches united at Albany. Leaving
that field at the instance of his presbytery, he served a church as synodical
missionary for one year, among other things organizing the first Presbyterian
churches east of the Cascade Mountains at Weston and Walla Walla respectively.
He also gathered and organized the first church of Whites at Boise, Idaho.
He afterwards ministered to the First Presbyterian church at Seattle for
more than two years. Subsequently he went to Spokane Falls, Washington
Territory, and located a quarter
section of land north of the river, securing thereby a share in the general prosperity of the region. His home is at Prospect Place, four miles north of town, overlooking the city and Spokane valley.
Mr. Stratton devotes his time principally to the cultivation of fruits and flowers, giving to the church such occasional service as he is able to render. His daughter, the wife of Honorable J.J. Brown, and two of his sons, live near him. His home is a delightful spot, being an intellectual as well as a finely established domestic center. Like all pioneers, Mr. Stratton has unbounded admiration for his home country, and unlimited faith in its future.
HON. WILLIAM STRONG. - There is no name more thoroughly associated with Oregon and Washington judicature than that of William Strong. His marked characteristics are indelibly impressed upon the system of law of both states, especially that of the latter. To long and distinguished service as associate justice of the supreme court, and in the ex-officio character of judge of the district courts in both states while they were territorial governments, must be added his connection with their legislation, and also his brilliant career as a law practitioner, for over a generation, in all the courts of both states.
He was born at St. Albans, Vermont, on the 15th of July, 1817. His youth was spent in the vicinity of Rushville, new York, where he received his preparatory education. At the age of seventeen he entered Yale College, from which he graduated with distinguished honors in the class of 1838. Having selected the law for his profession, he engaged in teaching the ensuing two years, whereby he earned those means, which contributed largely to enable him to gratify his desire. So ambitious was he that, by industry and close application to study in the intervals from teaching, he had made sufficient progress in his studies to secure a license in 1840 to practice law. Admitted to the bar, he immediately removed to Cleveland, Ohio, and at once entered upon a large and lucrative practice, and took a foremost rank in the profession. On the 15th of October, 1840, he married Lucretia Robinson, whom he survived but about two years.
In 1849, having resolved upon migrating to Oregon, his many friends procured for him, September 17, 1849, the appointment by President Zachary Taylor of associate justice of the supreme court of Oregon Territory, to succeed the Honorable Peter H. Burnett, an appointee of President James K. Polk, who had removed to California, and had declined the appointment. At about the same date, Major John P. Gaines of Kentucky had received the appointment of governor; and General Edward Hamilton of Ohio had been commissioned secretary of the territory. The writer of this tribute to his departed friend cannot forego quoting from that most interesting paper, the annual address of Honorable William Strong at the sixth annual reunion, 1878, of the Oregon Pioneers. It happily illustrates that direct form of expression, that plain, unassuming style, that occasional quaintness of thought and expression which abound in his speeches, opinions and numerous contributions for the press. There are also presented the evidences of his careful observation and remembrance of every incident which chronicles the growth or progress of places visited. How pleasant, too, that retrospect of Oregon as it was when he first entered the great Columbia. How hopeful he was of its assured future. In that address, the voyage to this country of that distinguished party of Oregon's early and surely most-talked about "Federal officials" was thus referred to:
"The United States storeship Supply was when we were appointed, fitted out at the Brooklyn navy yard for a voyage to San Francisco with stores for the Pacific squadron; and our party was tendered a passage on her, but were required to find our own supplies.
"The Supply was a fine ship of seven hundred and fifty tons burden, famous as the one which had conveyed the exploring party of Commodore Lynch, to Palestine, where he had discovered (as reported, on the shores of the Dead Sea, Lot's wife in a pillar of salt, into which she had been transformed for turning her face to catch a last lingering look of Sodom as Lot's family were fleeing from that doomed city, and where she has remained forever. We accepted the offer; and on the 3d of January, 1850, our party, consisting of Governor Gaines and family, general Hamilton and family, and myself and family, set sail from New York city for Oregon.
"A sea voyage is necessarily monotonous; and I will not weary your patience nor consume your time by describing the incidents of the trip. A long trip by sea upon a sailing vessel is unspeakably tedious, especially to persons who have no duties to perform on bard the ship. I am not sure but it is more trying to the temper and disposition than a trip 'the plains across,' though I cannot say that anyone of our party lost their religion upon this voyage, - an accident which it is said has not unfrequently happened to travelers on the plains; but according to my recollections our patience was often sorely tried.
"At Rio Janeiro, where we first stopped, we met the wife of Mr. Morehead, late United States consul at Valparaiso, on her way home, a passenger in the United States frigate Saratoga. We learned from the officers of the vessel that Mr. Morehead had rented all the flouring mills at Chile, and was sure of making a half million dollars by the monopoly of flour in the San Francisco market. When we arrived at Valparaiso, we were informed that, on account of large supplies shipped from the Eastern states, the speculation would prove ruinous. On our arrival at San Francisco, however, we learned that the party had cleared a million and a half dollars. This incident is mentioned to show the vicissitudes of trade in those days. How much truth there wa in the statement, I never fully learned. The speculation, I believe, turned out very remunerative.
"As San Francisco was the end of the voyage of the Supply, we exchanged vessels there and came to Oregon on the sloop-of-war Falmouth, Commander Pettigrew, arriving at Astoria on the 14th day of August, 1850. Our voyage consumed seven months