Oregon Biographies



Abernethy, William
Additon, Otis
Applegate, Jesse

Baker, Edward
Barton, Joseph
Beebe, Charles
Berger, Frank
Bingham, Isaac
Blanchard, Dean
Bounds, Jesse
Brattain, Thomas
Breding, Christian
Brooks, Samuel
Bruce, James
Burnett, Peter

Campbell, Thomas
Chapin, Willard
Cheshire, William
Clark, Clay
Clopton, Frank
Cooper, Isaiah
Corbett, Henry
Coshow, Oliver

Dukek, George

Edwards, LaFayette
Eckerson, Theodore
Eells, Cushing

Fackler, St. Michael
Failing, Henry
Failing, Josiah
Furgason, Alexander

Gilbert, Andrew
Gilliam, Cornelius
Gorham, Henry
Gray, Mrs. W.H.
Gray, William
Grover, LaFayette

Hackett, Mellie
Haines, Israel
Hallgarth, Charles
Harding, Elisha
Hathaway, B.H.
Hewitt, Adam
Hewitt, Daniel
Hewitt, Elizabeth
Hewitt, Henry
Hewitt, Horry
Hewitt, Isaiah
Hewitt, James
Hewitt, Jasper
Hewitt, Lorin
Hewitt, Matthew
Hines, Gustavus
Hirst, Thomas
Holcomb, James
Hoskins, Cyrus
Howe, William
Hudemann, Julius
Hughes, Ellis
Hunsaker, Bradford
Hutchinson, William
I - J

Jeffers, Sarah
Jones, Samuel

Kamm, Jacob
Kelly, James
Kelly, John
Kincaid, Harrison

Laing, Robert
Laughlin, Lee
Lee, Joseph
Leonard, H.C.

Maschmann, John
Mariner, William
McConnell, William
McCraken, John
McKinnis, J.L.
Meacham, Orpha
Montier, Elizabeth
Morgan, W.H.H.
N - O

Nesmith, James
Nice, Henry
Owens-Adair, B.A.
P - Q

Pratt, Orville
Price, Thomas

Reynolds, John
Richardson, John
Robbins, J. H.
Rogers, Lewis

Samuels, L.
Scharpf, L.C.
Severson, Peter
Shaver, James
Simmonsen, Niels
Slater, James
Small, James
Smith, William
Spicer, Samuel
Spores, Henry
Stanton, Benjamin
Stockman, John
Stockman, William
Strowbridge, Joseph
Sturgis, Samuel
Summers, Owen

Temple, Isaiah
Thomson, Oscar
Thompson, David
Thornton, Ann
Thurston, Samuel
Timmermann, John
Travis, Lee
Trimble, John

Upton, William


Warren, Daniel
Washburne, Charles
Webb, G.W.
Whiteaker, John
Williston, Edward
Wright, Orville
Wright, William
X - Y- Z

York, John
Zorn, Henry

Baker, Edward

COLONEL EDWARD DICKINSON BAKER was early left an orphan, and was the architect of his own fortune. He travelled on foot across the Alleghenies in the former part of his public life, and devoting himself to the study of law, became renowned at Springfield, Illinois, from which State he was elected to a seat in the national councils. He was a brave soldier during the war with Mexico. The spirit of adventure led him to California, and at San Francisco, he acquired the reputation of a distinguished orator and statesman, his oration on the death of his friend, Senator Broderick, who was killed in a duel, being still considered a masterpiece of eloquence and pathos. After taking his seat as Senator from Oregon, his answer to the arguments of Breckenridge, was considered a complete and triumphant refutation. Colonel Baker was known as a valuable officer, and when ordered, with part of his own California regiment, and of the Fifteenth Massachusetts and New York Tammany regiments, eighteen hundred men in all, to cross the river opposite Leesburg, on the 21st of October, 1861, although he knew the movement to be foolhardy, he obeyed, and in the disastrous fight at Ball's Bluff, led his brave men in an unequal contest against overwhelming numbers, with a resolution and heroism never surpassed. It was here, in a desperate but unavailing struggle, that he fell, mortally wounded, having been pierced by five bullets. His loss occasioned profound regret, and his memory will be cherished by all future generations of patriots, as one of the greatest heroes of the war. In him the country lost a devoted soldier, and a distinguished statesmen.

A Complete History of the Great Rebellion of the Civil War in the U.S. 1861-1865
with Biographical sketches of the Principal actors in the Great Drama.
By Dr. James Moore, Published 1875

Contributed by Linda Rodriguez
Hewitt, Elizabeth


Elizabeth was the oldest daughter of the eight children of Mary Cooper and Daniel Matheny. She was born 26 March 1823 in Owen County, Indiana, and moved with her family to Illinois in 1827 and then, in 1837,  to Platte County, Missouri.  There the very pious "Lizabeth" met young Henry Hewitt, whose family had arrived in the area two years after the Mathenys. The young couple married 25 February 1841.  Henry had a brother, Adam Hewitt, who crossed the plains to Oregon in 1842 and   was one of the fabled men at Champoeg who voted for the Provisional Government.  (His name is on the monument at Champoeg.)  Henry had wanted to accompany his brother in 1842, but he wanted his in-laws, Daniel and Mary Matheny, to accompany him and Adam.  Daniel could not ready his family to leave so quickly, saying "Henry, if you will wait till next year, I will sell out and we will all go." [Fred Lockley column "In Earlier Days," 6 March 1918, Oregon Journal, based on an interview of Charlotte Matheny Kirkwood.]    On this journey Henry Hewitt, drove one of Daniel and Mary Matheny's wagons.  Driving that wagon, Henry was the first to cross the Blue Mountains of Oregon and the second to reach the end of the Oregon Trail at The Dalles.  The Hewitts made a donation land claim just north of Elizabeth's parents.  The winter of 1843-44 was spent in a one-room cabin on the Tualatin plains near present-day Hillsboro near Elizabeth's parents' family.  The Hewitts' cabin had been built for them by Henry's brother, Adam Hewitt, who had come to Oregon the previous year.  It was a dismal, rainy winter that had the family wondering why they had ever left Missouri.  It was here, on April 2, 1844, that the Hewitt's second child,  Daniel Matheny Hewitt, was born. That fall the Hewitts settled on 640 acres, the site of present-day Unionvale, Yamhill County, Oregon, just north of Daniel and Mary Matheny's claim.  Joseph McLoughlin, halfbreed son of Dr. John McLoughlin of the Hudson Bay Company, had built a small one-room log house on the place and had planted from seed about one hundred apple trees  that were just beginning to bear fruit. The Hewitts gave McLoughlin a yoke of oxen and four hundred dollars for his squatter's rights, and they moved onto the property.  There were five or six fenced acres.  There were large fir and oak trees covering one fourth of the land, the balance being prairie.  Here Elizabeth reared her daughter and many sons with nightly readings from the scriptures by the fireside. Henry Hewitt joined his in-laws when they went to the California gold fields in 1848.  Apparently he followed the gold rushes, because he was gone during the winter of 1862 to gold fields, probably in Idaho.  Various family members participated in the Idaho gold rush, including Henry's brother-in-law, Joseph M. Garrison.  During this time his family wintered in Salem.  Another time, in 1874, the family wintered in Amity during Henry's absence while looking for gold, according to the memoirs of his son Jasper Hewitt.  The 1874 venture was probably to the Black Hills of South Dakota because the gold rush was occurring there and his brother-in-law, Jasper Matheny, is known to have been there that year.  In 1864 Henry was elected a commissioner of Yamhill County.[Lang's History of Willamette Valley, p.895] The 1865 personal propety tax list shows Henry and Elizabeth to have been quite prosperous.  That year they either owned or produced 30 tons of hay, no tobacco, 500 bushels of apples, 40 hogs, 10 horses, 28 cattle, 100 pounds of wool, 40 bushels of potatoes, 40 sheep, 3 bushels of corn, 200 pounds of butter, 1,200 bushels of wheat, 1,000 bushels of oats.  170 acres of their 640 were under cultivation.

In the fall of 1875, leaving some of their sons to farm the Yamhill County land, the Hewitts purchased the Salem ferry from Elizabeth's brother, Jasper Matheny.  The purchase included eighty acres on the west bank of the Willamette River opposite Salem and four lots on the Salem side where State Street ends at the river. The family lived alternately on the east and west sides of the river, finally building a new home on the west side.  In 1883 the Hewitts sold the ferry and the Salem city lots to a Mr. Foster, receiving as payment $6,000 and 240 acres on Mt.Scott in Clackamas County near Portland.  This land was sold to Harvey W. Scott in 1888 for $15,000 in cash.  This land was where Lincoln Park Memorial Cemetery now lies and extended just over the top of the mountain.  In the fall of 1883, the  family moved back to their original farm after selling their 80 acres in Polk County (next to the Salem ferry) for $2,000.  The original price the Hewitts had paid for the ferry and the 80 acres had been $9,000;  so they had realized quite a profit ($14,000).  It was in the autograph book of Ann Eliza's daughter, Mary Thornton, that Elizabeth wrote this autobiographical note on 24 September 1885: Mary--as I hardly know what to write in your album      On this page I will give you a short sketch of my history.  I was born Mar. 26, 1823, in Owen County, Indiana, and in 1825 my Father and Mother (Daniel and Mary Matheny) moved to Edgar County, Illinois, and in 1830 we removed to Schuyler County of the same state, and in the year 1837 we moved to Platt County, Missouri, where we remained until 1843, and on the 8th day of May of the same year, I with my husband and our child started for Oregon, and on the 8th of Nov. of the same year we reached our destination and have lived in Oregon for forty-one years. During my short stay in Missouri, there is three events I will mention.  The first is my conversion when it pleased God for Christ's sake to forgive my sins and fill my soul so full of the love of God that I still thank and praise his Holy Name for such wonderful grace. The second is my marriage in 1841, and the third was the birth of your dear Mother who has left us to dwell in a world of light and glory. I am now sixty two years old, written by your grandmother Elizabeth Hewitt Sept. the 24th 1885 [copied from Elizabeth's granddaughter Mary Thornton's autograph book by Jasper L. Hewitt, January 2, 1927]  Henry Hewitt was a dyed-in-the-wool Republican and reared his children to believe as he did.  He loyally read the Weekly Oregonian.  His grandchildren recalled Henry holding a coal oil lamp in one hand, the Oregonian in the other as he perused the newspaper the evening that it arrived. Now aging and financially secure, the Hewitts did not leave their donation land claim again.  Both died in 1899, Henry on January 15 and Elizabeth on October 13.  Henry's funeral was at the Hopewell Church with Rev. C.E.Crandall, pastor of the Dayton Methodist Episcopal Church, presiding. 

Rev.Crandall also conducted the funeral of Elizabeth at the Hewitt home ten months later. The Hewitts are buried at the Hopewell Cemetery. A half century after the Hewitts' deaths, their children placed a monument on the west side of Wallace Road near Unionvale to mark their parents' donation land claim.  Since 1919 the Hewitt descendants have been reuniting.  This was the origin of the Hewitt-Matheny-Cooper Family Assocation that still meets annually the first Sunday in August at the Maud Williamson State Park  south of Dayton, Oregon. The Hewitt children were Ann Eliza, born 19 December 1841, married John L. Thornton January 28, 1864, died 12 August 1883;  Daniel Matheny Hewitt, farmer, born 2 April 1844, married Henrietta Miller September 16, 1867, died May 15, 1915 Monmouth, Polk County, OR, buried there; Henry Harrison Hewitt, lawyer, born December 7, 1846, married Maggie Rowland March 6, 1872, died February 18, 1931, Albany, OR, buried there; Adam Wesley Hewitt, farmer, born April 2, 1849, married Cynthia Pitman 21 July 1872, died September 9, 1930, Portland, OR, buried at Hopewell; James Andrew Hewitt, farmer and preacher, born August 25, 1851, married Mary Jane Rose, March 3, 1873, died June 10, 1925, Yamhill County, OR; Isaiah Cooper Hewitt, farmer, born May 5, 1854, married Linnie Holland, 1879, died June 22, 1930, Salem, OR, buried at Hopewell; Matthew Cresswell Hewitt, carpenter, born January 17, 1857, married (1) Malvina Janz (2) Rosa Hamlin, 1889, died August 29, 1945, Roseville, CA, buried there; Jasper Lewis Hewitt, dentist, born November 5, 1859, married Ida Ellen Harris, February 7, 1885, died April 6, 1946, Portland, OR, buried at Hopewell; Horry Wilbur Hewitt, born March 30, 1865, jeweler in La Grande, OR, not married, died May 3, 1947, Salem, OR, buried at Hopewell; Lorin LeRoy Hewitt, born May 5, 1869, Wheatland, doctor in Estacada, OR, married (1) Lena Miller, 1892, (2) Mabelle Holmes, 1928, died January 18, 1950, Dayton, OR, buried at Hopewell.


Contributed by Don Rivara
Thornton, Ann


Ann Eliza was born 19 December 1841, in Platte County, Missouri, the first child of Henry and Elizabeth Matheny Hewitt, the only daughter of ten children, the only child born in Missouri, the only one to die under seventy years of age, and the only one of the Hewitt children to make the epic journey of 1843 across the plains to Oregon;  all the sons were born in Oregon. On January 28, 1864, she married John L. Thornton.  The Thorntons belonged to the United Brethren  Church and had six children before both parents died in the prime of life.  Ann Eliza was forty-one when she died 12 August  1883.  John  survived her by only three years, dying 17 May 1887.  Both are buried in the cemetery at Hopewell, Oregon. Ann Eliza's much younger brother, Jasper L. Hewitt, in his later years, wrote a memoir of his family.  He described his sister caringly: Ann Eliza Hewitt, my only sister, was married when I was yet in my fourth year so can not remember but one event before her marriage of her home life.  One of our cousins a very large girl Elizabeth (Lizzie) Matheny who was much larger than brother Mathew backed him against the wall and bit his arm leaving the marks of her teeth as you would suppose  Mathew's howl raised Ann Eliza quick and as Mother was not at home that day the sight of the bitten arm caused Ann Eliza to throw Lizzie on the floor and administer a spanking that, with the seen [sic] just before it, made an impresssion [that is] yet is quite vivid in my memory As a little boy I loved to spend the day with my married sister whom I loved  for she was so good to me and as her family grew up, I spent many happy days in her home.  She had a good husband a thorough christian man member of the "United Brethern Church."  they had a lovely family of children...Ann Eliza's children were as follows:  (1) Mary Elizabeth Thornton, born 23 October 1864, Yamihill County, OR, married 31 May 1885 to Charles Dayton Ott (1858-1936), had one child, Otto Thornton Ott (1886-1956), who has many living descendants; Mary died 18 May 1891 at the age of twenty-six.  Like her mother, Mary was the oldest child, the only surviving daughter among several siblings, and, like her mother, died an untimely death. (2) Edgar Henry Thornton, born 7 March 1866, married 21 April 1891 to Lea Emma "Libby" Ott, (sister to Charles D. Ott, who married Edgar's sister Mary),  one daughter, Florence Thornton Phelan (1895-?); Edgar practiced medicine in Portland, died from hydrophobia (rabies) on 21 June 1915, buried at Hopewell (3) Olive Thornton, born 30 June 1869, died 10 September 1869 (4) Linzy Matheny Thornton, born 11 December 1870, Yamhill County, OR, married 6 April 1901 to  Lily Pearl Hill (1872-1907) and in 1913 to Mayme Le May (1876-1958); he had no children, died 2 May 1936, buried Hopewell, OR (5) Olin Dow Thornton [again, the vestige of Lorenzo Dow's influence] born 20 April 1873, practiced dentistry, married 24 November 1897 to Mary Elizabeth "Lady"  Hill (1876-1936), died 27 February 1938, buried at Hopewell, no children (6) Ruth Thornton, born and died on September 7, 1875, buried at Hopewell (7) Carl Doan Thornton born 9 December 1876. married 22 August 1913 to Mrs. Mattie (Squire) Smith (1882-?), one son, Edgar Hewitt Thornton (1917-1989), died 9 May 1935, buried Hopewell. OR (8) Jasper Thornton, born 19 April 1879, died 1 May 1879, buried Hopewell, OR (9) Ladrue Leslie Thornton, born 1 November 1880, Married 22 September 1918 to Rada F. Antrim (1895-1962), died 20 June 1950, buried at Hopewell, children:  Leo Maze Thornton (1922-), John Antrim Thornton (1925-1925, and Myron Thornton (1926-1926).


Contributed by Don Rivara
Hewitt, Daniel


Named for his grandfather, Daniel was born April 12, 1844, the spring following his parents' trip across the plains. He was the only Hewitt child born in the small log cabin on the Tualatin Plains near present-day Hillsboro, Oregon,  where the family spent their first year in Oregon.  Daniel was one of the earliest white births in Oregon.  There had been only a  handful of such births up to that time.  Most of the white men in Oregon prior to 1843 had married squaws and their children were halfbreeds.  There had been some white births among the missionaries but no others.  The cabin  where Daniel was born had been  built for the Hewitts before their arrival by Daniel's uncle, Adam Hewitt.  When  Daniel was yet a newborn, the Hewitts settled on their donation land claim near present-day Unionvale in Yamhill County. It was there Daniel grew to manhood and learned farming, to which he dedicated his life.

On September 16, 1867, Daniel married Henrietta ("Etta") Miller, daughter of George and Tabatha Curren Miller, who had come to Oregon from Iowa in 1862.  Later Etta's brother Merritt Miller's children would marry into the Hewitt-Matheny family: Lena Miller would marry Daniel's youngest brother, Lorin Hewitt; and Pearl Miller would marry Fred Kirkwood, Daniel's cousin. In the fall of 1872 the Hewitts moved to Polk County, where Daniel owned a large farm on the Luckiamute River.  In the fall of 1906, Daniel retired from farming and moved into the town of Monmouth.  There, on 15 May 1915, he suffered a stroke and died. He was buried in a cemetery just south of Monmouth.  At that time his son Early E. was living in Monmouth, while his son Guy G. Hewitt was living on the farm on the Luckiamute.  Etta survived Daniel by nineteen years, dying 20 December 1934, in Monmouth.

His brother Jasper had this to say about Daniel in his memoirs:        I do not remember many events in Daniel's life at home as he married when I was yet in my seventh year.  I do remember how fine he looked dressed up and with  peg-heeled red tight-fitting boots that fit like a glove with his trousers inside.  These heels stood well under the boot so the track on the ground was as small as a child's foot.  These were hand-made and in the style for dashing young men and were made of calf (hide).  He also had a family failing--he was a wonderful athlete, could beat all from far and near at two hops and a jump running.

On one occasion when we boys went swimming with Father in the (Willamette) river just back of the place, Adam took a bad cramp and was sinking in deep water when Daniel swam to him, grabbing him by the hair as he went down for the third time and succeeded in safely landing him to dry ground, a great hero in the eyes of this small boy.  As a boy almost grown, I worked one harvest for Daniel and Etta on their 470 acre farm in Polk County, Oregon, on the Luckamute River eight miles from Monmouth.  I found as we ran a threshing machine thru the neighborhood that Daniel was beloved by all his neighbors.  They would say that his word was as good as any man's note.  He lived on this farm for many years, rearing his family of two sons and finally died in his home in Monmouth leaving his wife and two sons and three grandchildren.  His body was laid to rest in the burying ground just outside of Monmouth as you go to the Luckamute Country.  Daniel was a faithful member of the Evangelical Church.

Early Ellsworth Hewitt, the older son of Daniel and Etta Hewitt,  did not choose to be a farmer.  Born July 16, 1868, he was named for two Civil War military leaders.  Because his Miller grandfather was strongly pro-South, he was named for Confederate cavalry leader Jubal Early, and because his Hewitt grandfather was adamantly pro-Union, his middle name became Ellsworth for the colonel who organized the first Union zouave regiment.  Early studied pharmacy and owned a drug store in Monmouth until 1925.  Then he moved to Eugene, where he continued this line of work.  Apparently Early married twice.  His first wife was Jennie Davis (1869-1921).  By Jennie he had a son, Lowell Dow Hewitt (1892-1982).  On 14 November 1895, Early married his second wife, Lula Winifred Waller (1869-1942).  From this marriage a daughter Eileen Edith Hewitt Travis was born.  Early died May 2, 1948, in Eugene, OR, at the age of seventy-nine. The younger son of Daniel and Etta Hewitt was Guy Glen Hewitt, born July 15, 1875, on the farm near Monmouth.  Guy followed his father's inclination toward farming.  On September 5, 1897, he married Cordelia H. Harmon (1880-1933), with whom he had one son, Derrel D. Hewitt (1910-1987).  After his father's death, the Monmouth farm was sold.   Guy then purchased a small farm on Greenwood Road near Rickreall on Rickreall Creek.  There he built a house and lived out his life.  He was a dairyman, specializing in champion Jersey cows.  Guy died at his home May 24, 1936, three years after his wife Cordelia's death.  Until his death in 1987, their  son, Derrel Hewitt, lived in the house that Guy had built in 1920 on Greenwood Road.  When Derrel died in 1987, he willed the house and land to his grandson, Brian Hewitt, then in his early twenties.  Currently Brian operates a truck farm and nursery on the site and yet another generation is growing up in the house that Guy Hewitt built.


Contributed by Don Rivara
Hewitt, Henry


The third child and second son of Henry and Elizabeth Matheny Hewitt, Henry Harrison Hewitt was born December 7, 1846, the first of the ten Hewitt children to be born on the Hewitt Donation Land Claim.  He attended the school on his parents' land and in September of 1866 entered Willamette University. Before graduating, Henry worked two terms teaching, one in Marion County and one in Yamhill County.  Graduating from Willamette in 1870, he taught for another seven years:  a year as principal  at  the Baptist college in McMinnville,  two years as principal of the public schools of Amity, two years as principal at Scio, and one year as principal at Lafayette Academy in Yamhill County.  While teaching at Amity he was the Yamhill County Superintendent of Schools for a year (1872).  His last three years of teaching were spent at Albany Collegiate Institute, teaching Greek, Latin, and mathematics.  While teaching there, he studied law and was admitted to practice in December of 1877.   On July 2, 1879, he opened a practice of his own in Albany with H. Bryant and later was associated with O.H. Irvine.  Later that year he was elected to the School Board in Albany.  In 1888 he was elected District Attorney for Linn, Marion, Yamhill, Polk, and Tillamook counties.  In 1894 he was elected circuit court judge and served until 1898.  From 1898 until his death, Henry was senior partner of Hewitt and Sox.  Like his father, he was an avid Republican and served on the  Republican State Central Committee.    Henry married Maggie J. Rowland (1850-1899), the daughter of Jeremiah Rowland, March 6, 1872.  They had one daughter, Olga Lenore Hewitt (1874-1952).  After Maggie's death, Henry remarried September 20, 1905 to  Wallula Adelia Laughead of Salem, who had been his first wife's dressmaker; there were no children from this marriage.  He died in Albany, February 18, 1931, at the age of eighty-four; his wife and daughter survived him.  He was buried at the Masonic Cemetery in Albany.   Of his brother Henry, Jasper Hewitt recalled     As of my only sister and oldest brother, so of Henry.  I can not remember much of his life at home because he left for Willamette University at Salem in the fall of 1866 when I was but seven years of age.  Henry spent four years in Willamette, graduating in 1870 and immediately began a ten-year period of teaching school, was married, and studied law, which he was to practice for fifty-odd years.  So, as is usual when a young person leaves home for college, the home life is about done.  Henry's wonderful life at home as a boy and his later years had a wonderful influence on my life.  I remember him as a young man, steady, studious, cheerful, and always with a good word for things worthwhile and condemnation for dishonesty and trickery.  After the death of Father and Mother, I often looked to Henry for advice. Henry was a swift runner and an athlete and was always ready for a coon hunt or any honest sport.  My first day at school as a visitor was to the old schoolhouse at or near the northwest corner of the old farm, under a very large, spreading oak tree.  I was a very small boy but all of my older brothers were there.  The teacher was a Mr. Turner.  I sat just across the aisle from Henry during the day.  I suppose I got restless and caused a disturbance.  Mr Turner, the teacher, threw a large piece of chalk the size of a hen's egg and struck the desk just alongside of me, frightening me nearly out of my wits.  Henry, always ready for justice to be maintained, said to me, "Jasper, throw it back at him!"   But this small boy was much too scared for that, as Turner was a very large man.  Henry's only child, Olga, died childless, her only child having died in infancy.  Born in Scio, OR, October 22, 1874, she attended  Albany College and later married Dr. Charles Joseph Bushnell, a social science  professor at Albany College, now Lewis and Clark College.   Her husband's career caused the couple to move a great deal.  He worked at Heidelberg College in Tiffin, OH; Trinity Union College in Waihachi, TX; Oklahoma Agriculture and Mechanical College in Stillwater, OK; Lawrence College in Appleton, TX; president of Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR, 1913-1917; professor of sociology at University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, from 1919.  Bushnell was head of the Sociology Department for many years and did slum clearance work in Toledo.  He founded Chi Beta Chi social fraternity there, and the Bushnell home was always filled with members of that fraternity.  At the time of Charles's death in 1950, Olga was teaching at Mount Vernon School in Toledo.  She died two years after her husband and was returned for burial next to her parents at the Albany Masonic Cemetery.  Henry H. Hewitt has no living descendants.


Contributed by Don Rivara
Hewitt, Adam


Adam Hewitt was born April 2, 1849, at a time when his father and Grandfather Matheny were in the California gold fields shoveling gravel into a "long Tom" to enrich  the growing family.  He was the fourth child of Henry and Elizabeth Matheny Hewitt; he was born on the family farm at present-day Unionvale, Yamhill County, Oregon.  Like his brothers, he attended the school on the northwest corner of the farm, and then went into farming.  After his parents' deaths in 1899, Adam settled on the northern portion of his parents' donation land claim in what came to be called "Adam's Grove, " a grove of oak trees in which his home was set.  His brother James Andrew Hewitt farmed the southern portion.  The first Hewitt family reunions were held at the old Henry and Elizabeth Hewitt home, but then they began to be held in Adam's grove, although one or two were held at Andrew Hewitt's farm.  Adam's brother Jasper had this to say about Adam:

Many, many of my boyhood days revolve around my hero--Adam, just ten years my senior.  As the story of my Mother goes, Adam would pick this little baby up (Jasper), carry me about, put me on his head or shoulder, toss me about, and call me his "little squirrel."  So as I grew older, I would say "I is Addie's peril," trying to say squirrel.  Mother used to take this little baby and her washing, Adam and her other smaller boys and walk a quarter mile through the woods to a spring, pull down a vine maple, fasten a quilt to it, and tie me in it. When the maple would raise me up, Adam would swing me and sing to me while Mother did the washing.  I did not think so much of this when Mother used to tell me of this, but now after she has been gone more than 32 years and I have children and grandchildren, it mellows my heart.   Adam was the hero of our family and the neighborhood.  What he could not do in our minds was not worthwhile.  He could run, jump, wrestle, work, ride wild horses, catch wild game, fight if imposed upon--though he wasn't quarrelsome, always of a happy disposition, an optomist of the optomists--and could do anything that was to be done.  At one time when the dogs had a fox in a hollow log, he had it scared out and , as it came, he threw himself with a big white hat in his hands onto the fox, holding it  tight to the ground  till it was fastened.  He took it home alive.  I loved to be with him, work with him, hunt with him--time will not permit me to tell of the many pleasant events that flit through my mind in regard to him. When Adam was an old man at one of our family reunions, he told us all to listen to his story how he was considered the wildest of the family when a young man, but how his life had been changed when he took Jesus Christ as his savior from sin, and the peace and joy that came into his life.  He exorted all to follow this example as it would be the happiest day their lives. Adam married one of the nine Pitman girls who had attended school on the Hewitt land along side the nine Hewitt boys.  Cynthia Jane Pitman (1855-1932) married Adam July 21, 1872, in Yamhill County.  Adam farmed in the Dayton area during his parents' lifetimes before buying out his  brothers' interests in the northern portion of the old family farm.  Adam and Cynthia had three children:  Myrtle Alvertice, 1875; Martha "Mabel," December 23, 1878; and, much later, a son, Otis W. Hewitt, January 19, 1892.  Adam's granddaughters, Meda Becker Johnson and Marie Stoutenburg Solberg, in a 1995 interview, told of Adam shooting a skunk on his land and taking in the orphaned babies of the skunk.  As the skunks grew, he would not permit his grandchildren to go near them, because, the skunks would become alarmed and spray them.  Apparently they remained calm and did not threaten Adam because they were accustomed to him, but the granddaughters said that the shed where Adam kept the skunks smelled foul even if the skunks didn't threaten their grandfather. The women also said that their grandfather had been very active as an unofficial veterinarian for neighbors.  He called himself a "horse doctor" and even carried a satchel for his doctoring instruments.  His wife Cynthia did not look kindly on the many requests for her husband's services.  Once, when he prepared to go on a house call on a Sunday, she complained, and he answered," When the ox was in the mire, you pulled him out."    Adam also raised bees.  He would don his bee hat and gloves and tie his trousers around his ankles.  He raised wheat and other grains, including buckwheat, which he raised because he was fond of buckwheat honey.  Adam built two different houses on his share of the old family Donation Land Claim.  The "old house" was still there as late as 1914.  Marie Solberg thinks Adam built the new house about 1918;  he was very active well into old age.  When a doctor prescribed a medication for Adam, he threw the medicine away, not trusting much in doctors, although his brother Lorin was one.  For a coulple of years Adam lived in Portland, where he worked for the Albina Fuel Company, probably hauling fuel.   Meda had in her possession, issued to Adam in 1922, a  "Life License for Pioneer; Civil or Indian War Veteran; or Veteran of the Spanish-American War Who is a Resident of the Oregon State Soldiers' Home...to hunt game birds and animals and to angle in conformity with the law."  It is an interesting artifact that displays the value Oregon has always given its pioneers. But even Jasper's hero grew old and the inevitable came--Adam died September 9, 1930, at the age of eighty-one, a little more than two months after his brother Isaiah and five months before his brother Henry.  He was buried at the family cemetery in Hopewell, Oregon.  Cynthia did not survive her husband by long; she moved to Portland after Adam's death to live with her daughter, Mabel Stoutenburg, and died there January 3, 1932.   The oldest of the children of Adam and Cynthia was Myrtle Alvertice Hewitt.  Myrtle married Walter Herman Becker, an area man with aspirations of becoming a doctor.  Apparently she waited for him to complete his studies at Willamette University, Oregon State College, and the University of Oregon,  for they were married June 14, 1900, when she was twenty-five and he, twenty-six.  They were married in Dayton, but later moved to Idaho, where Walter practiced for a few years before returning to practice in Portland.  At the time of his death in 1944, Walter Becker was practicing in Vanport, Oregon, which was swept away in the 1948 flood. They had three children:  Haldon Becker, July 21, 1901; Meda Zillah Becker (Mrs. Nathaniel D. Johnson), February 16, 1908; and Herman Hewitt Becker, February 24, 1910.  Meda Johnson was secretary for many years of the Hewitt-Matheny-Cooper Family Association, and until her death a week before her eighty-eighth birthday, she remained very active.  When her final illness came, she was preparing for a foreign cruise.

When Walter Becker was fifteen years old in 1890, a great flood came to the Willamette Valley, the one that destroyed Champoeg for the last time and also left  Wheatland moribund, the town founded by Daniel and Mary Cooper Matheny.  Although Walter hadn't yet joined the family, his account of that flood in Wheatland is of interest to us:  


During the freshet of 1890, I was at home with my father in the village of Wheatland, which is situated on low ground on the west bank of and near the Willamette River about twelve miles below Salem.  The village has a store, post office, blacksmith shop, and warehouse.   It was the misfortune of some farmers to have held their grain, which was stored in the warehouse, expecting to get a higher price for it in the spring of 1890 than had been offered in the fall of 1889.    In the latter part of January, 1890, the water began to rise and by February first, lacked but little more than three feet of being on the lower floor of the warehouse.  By this time those having grain in the warehouse were very much alarmed and came down to move the same to the upper floor.  Up to this time no one else seemed to be uneasy, but Sunday, February second, the water was in nearly every house in town and the men began taking their families in small boats to the high ground where they lived in a church until the waters subsided.  The water had been so swift up to twelve o'clock Sunday night that it was not considered safe to bring the ferry boat up from where it was tied near the river channel.  However, at that time the water did not seem so swift and we began ferrying.  The first load consisted of five horses, a cow, and a calf; with these we landed safely and went back after a flock of sheep.  On landing the sheep, we started out on a third trip.  It was now so dark that we could not see where to go, and before reaching town, we first ran onto the top of a small ash tree that stood in a hollow, and by much hard pulling got loose from it.  The next bad luck we had was to strike a stump that held us fast.  With a great deal of difficulty we succeeded in freeing ourselves for the second time.  It was 5 a.m. when we got back to town, where we waited for dawn.  In the morning of February 3,  the water was in both stores; in one it was so deep that we brought the goods out of the store in a small boat, the other one being on higher ground we could wade in and carry the goods out to the door until about 11a.m., that being the last trip in which I assisted as there were a great many people there from the country who were willing to help.  At 11a.m. while we were at the store putting on the last load of goods, the warehouse went down the river and as it turned over, the sacks of wheat could be seen plunging out into the water in such a manner as to remind us of a flock of sheep.

At 12a.m. February 3, I started out into the country, where I stayed with a farmer until the water went down.

The water raised until Wednesday, February 5, to the height of 12 feet above the ground where our house stood and about 10 feet where the store stood.  It fell rapidly, leaving Wheatland with no fences but with mud to the depth of about one inch in every house.

[Manuscript in the possession of Meda Becker Johnson, Portland, OR]


Contributed by Don Rivara
Hewitt, James


James Andrew Hewitt was always known to the family as "Andrew."  Born August 25, 1851, Andrew was one of three sons of Henry and Elizabeth Matheny Hewitt to choose farming as a career.

Before settling entirely into farming, Andrew spent a term teaching at the schoolhouse where he had formerly been a student, the school on the Hewitt land.  His brother Jasper, Andrew's student during that term, recalled "my brother Andrew...licked me one day on the road home from school because I thought him just Andrew and told him so."   Jasper had other reminiscences of Andrew as well:   James Andrew Hewitt was a short, stocky boy as I first remember him.  At one time in his life he reached almost the 200 lb. mark, and he had small hands and feet.  He was not of the athletic disposition as most of the brothers, but was as steady as a clock, positive (as most Hewitts) yet ready to concede your rights.  Andrew was stern yet jovial and had a wonderful disposition if not imposed upon.  He truly was a patient ideal man and a loving brother.  Many memories revolve around him at our old home...He was studious and steady and would scrap to the last inch for what he thought right.  Andrew was your friend (if true to him) to the last.  He was a man of good language and thought, a tireless worker teaching school, on the farm, or wherever his lot cast him.  Andrew died on a part of the old homestead near Dayton, Yamhill County, Oregon,  after spending most of his life as a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he was licensed as a local preacher.

At the age of twenty-one, Andrew married Mary Jane Rose, fifteen, on March 3, 1873.  Their marriage was to endure for fifty-two years.  Mary Jane was a native of Scioto, Ohio, and had crossed the plains to Oregon in 1861 just as the Civil War was beginning. She survived her husband by twenty-one years, dying October 6, 1946, at the age of eighty-nine.             The Hewitts had seven children:  (1) Ella Belle Hewitt, born August 2, 1874, died August 7, 1889; (2) Olive Grace Hewitt, born August 27, 1879, married Clarence Rollie Smith (1875-1956), had three children [Erma Delta Smith Shelburne, 1902-1984; Elsie Velma Smith Warmington, 1904-1990; and Ilo Ildon Smith, 1897-1897], died July 28, 1949, buried at Hopewell, OR; (3) Leeta Inez Hewitt, born July 30, 1881, married Edward Morris Coats (1878-1958) on February 14, 1900, married fifty-eight years, died 1969,  had four children: [Elvin Lowell Coats, 1902-1983; Eldon Andrew Coats, 1910-     ; Eleeta Margaret Coats Hildebrand, 1915-     ; and Elois Edwina Coats Demaray, 1923-     ]; (4) Roy Reno Hewitt, born August 5, 1883, married Lena Mae Heise (c.1886-1962) on September 20, 1908, had one son [Ronald Roy Hewitt, 1911-1981], after Lena's death Roy married second Julia Stearnes and third Ada Thomas Tanner, died January 26, 1976, in Wooster, OH; (5) Sylva Leona Hewitt, born December 30, 1887, married first Henry Allen Kerr, July 24, 1908, eight children:  Margaret Kerr Farris 1908-1996, James Andrew Kerr 1912-?, Marjorie Kerr Bauer 1915-, William Henry Kerr 1917-. Mary Alice Kerr Murray McClain 1919-, Kerwin Delore Kerr 1921-, Jean Milton Kerr 1924-, and Conrad Lewis Kerr 1926-1995; Sylva married second James Darbison in 1962, married third to ____Tauber, 1966, died 14 April 1970, McMinnville, OR, buried at Hopewell ;   (6) Velma Hewitt, died age 6 mos., buried at Waitsburg, WA, at the cemetery in town;  (7) Elmer  Evert Hewitt, born March 16, 1893, married Helen Lenart, died March 10, 1970, Albany, OR, had  four children:  Velma Elizabeth Hewitt, born February 21, 1922, married James Pollard, who died c1957; Ella Jane Hewitt, born August 7, 1924, married and divorced Lee Cleveland, married Gene Shermon, who died in September 1970; Elma Helen Hewitt, born September 28, 1926, not married; Elinor Louise Hewitt, born October 4, 1928, married Gerald Denton in 1949 and divorced c1975.   James Andrew died of "Bright's Disease and old age" at the age of seventy-three, June 10, 1925, on the farm where he was born, and was buried at the family cemetery at Hopewell, Oregon.  On the day Andrew died, Mary Jane had baked an apple pie and then went out to milk the cow.  Andrew had been ill and not out of bed for a year.  When she came in, the pie was half eaten and Andrew sat dead in his rocking chair. [Julie Jones of McMinnville]    Another anecdote from Julie Jones is that Andrew's favorite fruit was ground cherries, sometimes called husk tomatoes.  He liked them fresh and in winter kept a layer of them spread out under his bed to ensure a supply.


Contributed by Don Rivara
Hewitt, Isaiah


Isaiah was born on his parents' donation land claim at the current site of Unionvale, Oregon.  In 1879 he was married to Linnie Idella Holland (1862-1929) and by her had seven children.  Like his brothers Adam and Andrew, Isaiah lived on his parents' land until their deaths, but apparently Isaiah sold out his interest after their deaths and moved to Salem in 1902.  There Linnie died July 22, 1929.  Eleven months later while crossing the intersection of Court and Liberty Streets, Isaiah was struck by a car and died from the injuries a few days later.  Both he and Linnie are buried at Hopewell.

The children of Isaiah and Linnie were Cyrus K. Hewitt, born August 1880, married Elva _____, died 1955; Ivan L. Hewitt, 1882-1889; Alta Hewitt, born April 1885, married William Branson, died 1969; Alma Hewitt, born June 1887, married William New, died1971; Leonard Hewitt, born July 1889, died 1962; Elton Hewitt, born August 1897, died1971; Anna Eliza Hewitt, born July 1899, married William Carver, died 1979.  Isaiah's brother Jasper had the following to say about Isaiah in his memoirs: Isaiah...was but about 5 years my senior so my many play days brought me near to his life.  He was one of the truest, kindest and most loving brothers anyone ever had; it was never his fault if he had an argument with anyone.  He was positive for only one thing and that was for the right, a great consciousness of right and wrong; he never forgot to make his word good.  Isaiah was a small man; about 150 lbs was his usual weight, height 5'7", he , as Andrew, never partook of any athletic sports of any kind, only feats of strength.  Isaiah would not pick a fight, but like most westerners of his tribe and date would defend himself against anyone twice his size when forced to do so.  He spent most of his life on the old farm, but left the last fifteen or twenty years of his life.  He was in Salem when he was run down and killed on the street by an automobile, June 22, 1931 when in his 77th year.  He was a faithful member of the Evangelical Church.


Contributed by Don Rivara
Hewitt, Matthew


Matthew was the seventh child of Henry and Elizabeth Matheny Hewitt.  He was born on the family's donation land claim.  He became a carpenter and moved to Roseville, California, in 1892, the only one of the Hewitt sons to stray so far.  There Matthew became a building contractor and was prosperous.  The annual Hewitt family reunion was when Matthew visited his Oregon family in his later years.  After the death of his brother Henry in 1931, Matthew was the senior family member at these gatherings.   Matthew married his first wife, Malvina "Vina" Janz while in Oregon.  Their only child, Bertha Beatrice Hewitt was born in Oregon.  Vina died sometime in the 1880's.  Bertha later married Leland Stanford Tennant in California and had three children by him: Leland S. Tennant (1908-?), James Hewitt Tennant (1911-?) and Robert Henry Tennant (1916-)   Matthew and his second wife, Rosa Hamlin, were married fifty-six years when he died at Roseville at the age of eighty-eight. Their four daughters were Laura Wanda Hewitt, born 1890, married William Whitney Kennedy; Etta Eliza Hewitt, born 1892, married Percy William Dornfeld; Margaret May Hewitt, born   1896, died as an infant; Beulah Marie Hewitt, born 1897, married Harry M. Preisser.   His brother Jasper had this to say about Matthew:   Matthew Cresswell Hewitt...as man or boy was extremely positive, always good natured, jovial, a wonderful laugher, always ready with some funny story which he himself enjoyed.  In his arguments you might think him mad from the tone of his heavy, positive voice, but instead there was a soft, kind heart and a desire for you to come through with your part of the argument, for he enjoyed it.  Matthew was about five feet 7 1/2 inches tall, weighing about 175 lbs. when in Oregon and 160 in Cal.  He was very athletic, enjoying running jumping, wrestling, boxing, or any test of strength...He dearly loved to sing, but in this was not as good as in athletics.  In his prime, he was a master with a pen, drawing birds, animals, etc.  He was a carpenter, a skilled finisher. He was a fine playmate, but when with the older set of cousins, Kirkwoods, Mathenys, Rings, etc. he would try to run away from we younger sets.  They could not beat, so would wait for all.  Matthew would sometimes hold me until the cousins would go ahead, then let loose and run; but he could not distance me enough for this to work.   He was a faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and at one time was licensed as a local preacher.  In his boyhood he would ride all the young cattle on the farm and also yoke them up and hitch them up to the running gears of a wagon and oh how much fun it was!  Matthew was the only one of the ten children to leave the state of Oregon, his native state, to live-save Adam, who lived a short time in Klickitat, Wash, and Andrew for a short time at Ritzville, Wash.  Matthew reared a large family in California where he worked as a skilled carpenter.


Contributed by Don Rivara
Hewitt, Jasper


Jasper was the only family member of his generation to attempt to record his memoirs and family events in the tradition of his aunt, Charlotte Matheny Kirkwood.  Born on the family land claim just before the Civil War broke out, he grew up with a strong Christian influence, to which he mostly credited his mother.  He enjoyed the many camp meetings attended by his family, the frontier version of attending church.  Frontier people would gather into large groups to listen to sermons, sing hymns, socialize around their campfires, etc. These might last several days.  Jasper joined the Evangelical Church in Salem about 1877, but backslided.  In 1884 he saw the light at a camp meeting near the old home in Yamhill County and remained a practicing Christian thereafter.  When Jasper was sixteen, the family moved to Salem (1875), where his parents bought his uncle Jasper Matheny's ferry and eighty acres of  land adjoining the ferry.  They built a house on the west side of the Willamette in Polk County.  In Salem Jasper attended the old East Salem Public School and Willamette University.  He also worked in the linseed oil mill, a grocery store, a book store, a spice store, and  his parents' ferry.  On March 9, 1884, he returned to live on his parents old donation land claim in Yamhill County, where they   had recently returned.  That winter he met Ida Ellen Harris and married her February 7, 1885.  It was on the old family home place that his first child, Inez Lenore Hewitt was born June 6, 1887.    After his parents moved away from the farm to what is now Mt. Scott in eastern Portland, Jasper moved his family to Portland.  There he worked at various odd jobs then at the Wiley Bullen Co. music store at 211  1st Street.  After gaining this experience, he and his brother Horry went into partnership in a music store in McMinnville, which was not very successful.  In September of 1891, the brothers sold the business and Jasper returned to the old farm, on a 55 acre parcel designated as his future inheritance, the northwest corner.  There they stayed until the fall of 1896, when they moved to Portland, where Jasper studied dentistry and practiced until he retired.  Although he had a city home, apparently he kept his portion of the family farm and enjoyed the outdoors and the nature there.  Jasper was a joiner.  For many years he was a trustee of the old Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church in Portland on East 9th and Pine Streets. He was also president of the Board of Trustees of the Methodist Deacons' Home.  He was active in the Sons of the American Revolution, the Y. M.C.A., the Shriners' Hospital, and the Oregon Pioneer Association, of which he was president for many years and was in the process of dismantling at the time of his death.  (Sons and Daughters of the Oregon Pioneers was to be the successor organization.)  He died of a heart attack at Laurelhurst Park on April 6, 1946, while playing a game of horseshoes at the age of eighty-six.  His wife Ida had preceded him in death on June 13, 1938.  Their children were Inez Lenore, born June 6, 1887, married Earl Richard Abbett (1881-1967), no children, died June 6, 1980, Portland; Henry Harris Hewitt, born March 4, 1890, McMinnville, OR, married Martha Donna Hulett (1890-1976), died Portland, 1971; Ruth Elizabeth Hewitt, born June 30, 1903, Portland, married Charles Thomas Nunn, no children, died February 28, 1937.


Contributed by Don Rivara
Hewitt, Horry


Horry Hewitt entered the world in a dramatic month.  His birth on March 30, 1865, was followed within two weeks by Lee's surrender to Grant at Appomattox and Lincoln's assassination.  Ninth of the children of Henry and Elizabeth Matheny Hewitt, he was born at the family land grant at Unionvale.  He was the only child never to marry.  Horry would have been ten when the family moved to Salem. There he attended Salem schools and Willamette University.  Horry lived in a world of his own.  Enthralled with nature, he was an expert on birds and spiders, of which he had a large collection.  He also had a large collection of eggs of various bird specious.  He often went to considerable personal risk to gather these.  Horry also loved great literature and was an avid reader.  He began his career in partnership with his brother Jasper as owner of a music store in McMinnville, but that venture ended on an unhappy note between the brothers.  Horry then learned optometry and the jeweler's trade, moving to  La Grande, Oregon, in the early 1890's.  After retiring in the late 1920's due to the loss of the sight in one eye, Horry returned to the Willamette Valley, making his home in the Salem area.  He died May 3, 1947, at the age of eighty-two and was buried at the Hopewell, OR, Cemetery. His brother Jasper had this to say about Horry in his memoirs:   Horry ...was a stout, stocky-built man, 5'7" tall, weighing up to 190 lbs. at times.  He was a good boy, very much by himself.  When he was small, he played as other boys did and was good natured and full of fun, but as the years passed, he took to the woods and fields for his spare time.  There he collected specimens of bugs, birds, wild eggs, etc. These he kept until he had cases of fine specimens.  He was a great reader and of later years enjoyed a violin, banjo, or guitar during his leisure hours.  Mother did not enjoy Sunday's violin music but Horry would sit in his room upstairs and play so softly it could not be heard below.  He tried farming for awhile but it did not suit him any more than the girls did, for he never married.  Thirty odd years of his life were spent in the jewelry business in La Grande, Oregon, where he stayed till the loss of one eye caused him to sell out.  Horry was the only one of the ten children not to embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ, saying "Not for me."   Robert B. Hewitt said that his grandfather, Jasper,  did not think highly of Horry, considering him a "slacker" in the world of work as well as in the spiritual realm and family life.  He was also the only Hewitt brother who smoked.  He smoked a pipe as well as self-rolled cigarettes.  Some of the later generations, however, were fond of their elderly Uncle Horry.  Whatever one's opinion of Horry, all agreed that he was of a different mold than the other Hewitt brothers.


Contributed by Don Rivara
Hewitt, Lorin


Youngest of the ten children of Henry and Elizabeth Matheny Hewitt, Lorin was born May 5, 1869, twenty-eight years after his oldest sibling, Ann Eliza.  Lorin had several nieces and nephews who were older than he was.  Lorin attended Linfield College in McMinnville and later Willamette University.  He received his license to practice medicine in 1907 and practiced in Independence, Oregon, for about ten years.  When World War I came, he moved to Portland to take over the practice of doctors Bodine and Cantrell, who presumably had gone to the front to provide medical services.  About 1940 Lorin "retired" to Dayton, Oregon, near  where he grew up, but the needs of the community and Lorin's skill and desire, had him soon making house calls and a practice soon resulted.  He died January 18, 1950, at the age of eighty, still a practicing doctor.   Lorin had married Lena Miller in 1895.  Lena was the niece of Henrietta Miller Hewitt, wife of his oldest brother Daniel.  Lorin and Lena had three children:  Lois Elizabeth  Hewitt, born June 1898, married Donno McCandless Pomeroy 1917, one child: (Kenneth Hewitt Pomeroy in 1918), died 1923; Lavelle Miller Hewitt, born 1901, married Constance Whitney (1907-after 1995), died August 31, 1973, Portland, OR, two children (Merritt Whitney Hewitt 1945- and Elizabeth Eleanor Hewitt, 1946- ); Owen Hewitt, 1902-1904.   After Lena's death in 1926, Lorin married Mabelle Homes, who outlived him.  For many years Lorin's grandson Kenneth Pomeroy lived with him and Mabelle.  Among Lorin's brother Jasper's comments about Lorin in his memoirs was this:  "Lorin and his dear wife Lena kept his father and Mother, Henry and Elizabeth Matheny Hewitt, and lived with them in the old home.  They will never be forgotten for their kindness and thoughtfulness to these old saints."   Lavelle Hewitt was somewhat aloof from his family in his adult years and drank heavily according to his widow Connie in a November 1995 interview.  She said Lavelle, who died from cirhosis of the liver, mistreated her and the children.  Lavelle and Connie had no grandchildren; so Lorin's only future descendants must come through the family of his grandson, Kenneth Pomeroy.


Contributed by Don Rivara
Cooper, Isaiah

Isaiah Cooper  1778-1849 Elizabeth Montier 1779-c.1845 

Isaiah was a heavy drinker, a brawler, a man of great energy and abilities--in short a typical headstrong frontiersman who, although interesting, would probably not be welcome in our parlors today. The son of Nathan and Elizabeth Oldham Cooper, he began his life at a time when our nation was undergoing its birth, 9 December 1778. Although his parents may have lived in the area between the Ohio River and its tributary, the Monongahela, before the Revolution (they were there in 1790), when that area became under heavy attack by the British-allied Indians during the Revolution, Nathan and Elizabeth would have moved the family to safer havens. We do know that Isaiah was born in Virginia (or that part of it that has since become West Virginia) because his living children listed that as his birthplace in the l880 U.S.Census. He was probably born in either today's Hampshire County, West Virginia or Clarke County, Virginia. Those were the Cooper and Oldham family locales.            

By l790, the Coopers were living in Washington County, Pennsylvania, southwest of Pittsburgh. There were other Coopers and Oldhams there who may have been kinsmen. Isaiah's father had served in Virginia's l774 frontier Indian War called Dunmore's War and had at least that early been acquainted with the Upper Ohio River Valley. Because Nathan received his pay out of Pittsburgh in that war, it is clear that he was living somewhere on the Pennsylvania-Virginia frontier at the time.            

About 1792 the Coopers moved to the new locus of the Cooper relatives, the Watauga River Valley of extreme eastern Tennessee (present-day Carter County). Isaiah's Cooper grandfather and his uncles and aunts had already been there for a few years. It appears as though Isaiah's grandfather turned over his 150 acre farm there to his son Nathan to farm. Our first documented source that Nathan was there, was in October of l793, when he served in the militia during some Indian troubles, and he was also on the 1793 tax list of Washington County. Isaiah would have been fourteen at the time. It was here in what was then Washington County, Tennessee (Carter County after l796) that Isaiah came into manhood amid a large group of Cooper kinsmen, most of whom had arrived there after a sojourn in North Carolina.            

About 1797, a period of great flux began in the family. Job Cooper, Isaiah's grandfather, who was a veritable wanderlust, removed to Hardin County, Kentucky, about late 1798 or early 1799. Others moved to what are now Pulaski and Wayne counties, Kentucky. On 22 June l799, his Grandfather Oldham, probably living on land he owned on Middle Island Creek in Ohio County, Virginia (now Tyler County, West Virginia), purchased 400 acres on Middle Wheeling Creek in what is still Ohio County (WV), almost atop the present West Virginia-Pennsylvania border. In fact, although the Oldhams lived on the West Virginia side of the border, the closest town was West Alexander, Washington County, Pennsylvania. Prior to this, the Oldhams had lived in Western Pennsylvania.             About the spring of 1799, Isaiah appears to have gone to live with his Oldham relatives (perhaps his entire family had moved there). It would have been here that the twenty-year-old Isaiah met the Indian girl, Elizabeth Montier. Isaiah was smitten. And it is not hard to conceive that a dispute probably arose between Isaiah and his family over Isaiah's intentions toward the Indian girl. This would explain why none of Isaiah's sons were named for his father, as was the custom. This would also explain why, in August of l799, Isaiah and the pregnant Elizabeth suddenly appeared in Hardin County, Kentucky (where Job Cooper, his grandfather, had settled). The two married 11 August l799 in adjacent Bullitt County, probably because they had been passing themselves off as husband and wife among the relatives in Kentucky. Two days later, back in Hardin County, Isaiah served as a witness to the marriage of Thomas Carr to Elizabeth Enlous.            

We know Elizabeth was Indian because there were no other Montier families listed anywhere in any of the states of that era. The family name had been spelled Montour by all the English and American diarists and officials up to that time, but John Montour had clearly pronounced it Montier, as did all family members for the census takers in the first U.S. Census in l790 and all censuses thereafter. The Montour/Montier family is clearly Indian in all the records. John Montier (c.1746-1830) was, in all probability, Elizabeth Montier Cooper's father. John had inherited his father's lands near Pittsburgh and had received bounty land in Ohio for his service during the Revolution. In the l820 U.S. Census, his sons were living just across the Ohio River from Wheeling, West Virginia (then Virginia) near present-day Smithfield, Ohio. Issac Oldham's farm lay just east of Wheeling. It would be rather impossible to believe that the only Montier family in the United States, and, moreover, one that lived near the Coopers, was not Elizabeth's family.            

The following February, on the 23rd, Mary "Polly" Cooper was born, certainly there in Hardin County. The "Josiah" Cooper name copied from the l800 tax list there was most probably Isaiah. A cursive "J" and I" look much alike. All through our family's history, the name Josiah has been confused with Isaiah in transcriptions of cursive records.            

The Thomas Carrs were either close friends or kinsmen because when Isaiah and Elizabeth moved north across the Ohio River into Indiana, the Carrs did also. It was in 1801 or 1802 that the Coopers settled on "Clark's Grant," the territory given in payment to General George Rogers Clark and his small army for their Revolutionary War service. Voting records show they lived in Springville.            

Springville (aka "Tullytown") was a rising and prosperous little town about four miles north of the Ohio River, just west of the town of Charlestown (which still exists today). As early as l799 a Frenchman had kept a store there. By 7 April l801, Springville had grown enough to be selected as the county seat. In l801 there were two taverns, a store, a blacksmith's shop, a wheelwright's shop, a hatter's shop, etc. A short distance west of the town lived Jonathan Jennings, the first governor of Indiana.            

Springville lay on the old Indian trail from the falls of the Ohio (Louisville) to the Indian nations of the north, west, and east. The location of the still houses and trading posts in Springville made it a great rendezvous place for Indians, where they would trade their furs, venison, and bear meat to the traders for whiskey, usually being swindled as well. White settlers there were often alarmed by the drunkenness and insolence of the Indians, which broke out sometimes into murderous violence. Springville and its vicinity was the only purely American settlement off of the Ohio River in Indiana at the time, although there were some Americans in the old French settlements. But after the county seat was removed to Jeffersonville in l802, the town began to dwindle away. A few years later it was totally gone. Not a vestige remains today.            

Isaiah appears on voting records and estray records over the years. All but one of his and Elizabeth's remaining children were born in Clark County: Rachel, 26 March l803; Enoch S., 12 March l805; Margaret, 15 September l807; Charlotte, 2 February 1810; Jane, 8 October 1812; William Shepherd, 12 December 1813; Isaiah Cooper, Junior, 18 June 1817; and John Milton Cooper, 19 April 1820.           

In the years preceding the War of 1812, the British had been conspiring with the Indians of the frontier against the United States, causing hostilities between the Indians and the frontier settlers. In 1811 General William Henry Harrison defeated the Shawnees at Tippecanoe Creek in northern Indiana Territory. When the war was declared in 1812, the great Shawnee chief Tecumseh allied himself with Britain. The lives of the frontier settlers were in great peril.            

On May 29, 1813, Isaiah joined Captain James Biggers' Company of Mounted Rangers, supplying his own horse. It was the duty of the company to roam over Indiana scouting for signs of Indians and, if found, to report these findings to the commanding general. At times the company coalesced with the larger army for battles. From December 1 to December 22, 1813, Isaiah was A.W.O.L. Elizabeth was giving birth to William at the time. A.W.O.L.'s on the frontier were not handled with the severity of A.W.O.L.'s today. He was merely docked the pay and perhaps reprimanded.            

Serving in Isaiah's company were John Cowan and his sixteen-year-old son James.  Cowan, from nearby Charlestown, became a close friend. The Coopers' daughter Margaret may have been named for Mrs. Margaret (Weir) Cowan, John's wife. Mrs. Cowan died about this time (1813). Not having a mother for his children was a crisis for a frontiersman, who spent all of his time laboring in the fields and on the farm. It was customary for widowed men to informally adopt out babies and the younger children to family and friends. This was how Esther Cowan, the Cowans' ten-year-old daughter, entered the Cooper family. There may have been a second Cowan daughter adopted by the Coopers as well. Esther was the same age as Rachel Cooper, and the two were probably close friends. That plus the fact that Elizabeth seems to have been a warm, maternal figure, probably made it an easy transition for Esther.            

In the spring of l817, Isaiah left Clark County with some of his neighbors to prepare land on the White River for their families to settle on. The place was called "the Dunn Settlement" in what is now Washington Township, Owen County, Indiana, but the county didn't exist at that time. Land records show that on February 20, 1817, Isaiah claimed 149 acres in Section 29 Township 10 Range 3; on November 28, he claimed another 376.66 acres in Section 28. Elizabeth remained behind at least until late June. We know this because Isaiah, Junior, was born in Clark County on June 18. Elizabeth probably joined her husband after their log cabin was built. Gardens and corn crops were planted around the stumps of the cleared land around the cabins.            

That fall an early frost hit the corn crop. The settlers were forced to hang the frostbitten ears in the lofts of their cabins to dry, but the corn blackened as it dried. The only way to sell it was to pound it into meal. This they accomplished by creating a log mortar and pestle. The mortar was a hollowed-out stump filled with the corn, and the pestle was a log tied high on a springy sapling. The settlers would pull down on the pestle to crush the corn. The tree would spring it back up. Growing corn for their livelihoods presented the frontiersmen with a problem. There weren't roads, and corn was too bulky and perishable to ship to the East profitably. So they took to fermenting it and transporting the compact, valuable whiskey on flatboats to the Eastern markets. Unfortunately their economic necessity to make whiskey spawned a myriad of alcoholics among its producers.            

A July 4, l876 article in the Owen County Journal, speaking of the earliest celebrations of Independence Day in that county, gives us a glimpse of Isaiah in action. The Fourth of July in 1818 was being celebrated on the farm of Daniel Beem where the town of Spencer is now located. Feats of strength and marksmanship were typical male endeavors at such events in those days. Fifteen or twenty men were taking part in an event which demanded that the participant jump and shoot at a mark. Isaiah had been bragging up the abilities of Daniel Matheny, not yet his son-in-law. A neighbor, John McNaught, was proclaiming the invincibility of Neely Beem. Probably adding to the rivalry was the corn liquor that was in abundance. The escalating contention resulted in Cooper and McNaught betting twenty dollars on the outcome of the shooting event, a very large amount of money in those days. Each man wrote a note for twenty dollars. Realizing that his neighbors had gotten in over their heads in the competition, a man named Richard Morris got hold of the notes and tore them up, incurring Isaiah's wrath. Apparently Isaiah began cursing Morris, who was about to throw down his shot pouch in preparation for a fight. Morris's friends seized him and took him away, terminating the bet and the trouble.            

Isaiah was one of the founders of Owen County in 1819. He became a county commissioner, was on the first grand jury, and put up part of the bond for the fledgling county government. On 12 February 1820, he donated 21 ½ acres for the first county seat but reserved the right to operate a ferry at the site. This was the birth of Spencer, Indiana. Isaiah's land donation was on the White River near the future courthouse. It was created into a park, which still bears his name: Cooper Park. (History of Owen County, pp.562-565; 664) (History of Clay and Owen Counties, Indiana, 1883, pp.687-688, pp.693-694) Among the members of the traverse jury were Joshua Matheny and William Wood Cooper. William Wood Cooper, Isaiah's cousin, and Isaiah were among those who built the first road in Owen County, which led from Spencer down the river to the line dividing townships 9 and 10. William's wife, Mary Matheny Cooper, was a sister to Joshua, Daniel, and & Henry Matheny, Isaiah's kinsmen who had left Hardin County, Kentucky, to join him in Indiana. In April of 1819, William was appointed constable of Washington Township, succeeded the following year by his brother-in-law Joshua Matheny. The Mathenys were second cousins to the Coopers; so the family played a very important role in the early years of Owen County.            

The last of the Cooper children, John Milton Cooper, was born in Owen County on 19 April 1820, the year the first Cooper grandchild, Adam Matheny, was born.            

On July 4, 1822, Isaiah's second child, Rachel, married Henry Younger Matheny, Daniel Matheny's brother, further cementing the kinship between the Cooper and Matheny families.            

On 7 August l824, Isaiah was commissioned to be a justice of the peace. It was his duty to dispense justice among his neighbors. His heavy drinking, however, did not lend itself to sound decision-making. He quickly created a swarm of enemies. The Owen County Archives has several bailbond records that Isaiah was prosecuted for slander, assault and battery, etc. His constituents pushed for impeachment proceedings. There were numerous charges, probably all stemming from Isaiah's alcohol use. The easiest charge upon which to convict him was "willful neglect of duty" as evidenced by his being too drunk ever to attend a meeting of the Board of Justices. He was removed from office, and a war-like atmosphere existed among the Cooper family and the rest of the community. Isaiah's impeachment records can be found in the Indiana House Journal 1825-26, pp.115-119; and the Indiana Senate Journal, pp.155-167. It was time for a new start for the Coopers.            

It was in l827 that the family settled in Derry Township in the center of Pike County, Illinois, which hugs the Mississippi River in the west central part of the state. [1888 obituary of William S. Cooper] Here the clan endured a legendary blizzard-cold snap as well as an Indian War in the early l830's. The Coopers were the third family to settle in Derry Township. The marriage of Enoch Cooper to his foster sister, Esther Cowan, was the first marriage in Derry Township. Neither Mary nor Rachel Matheny ever moved to Pike County.            

About l838, when all of Isaiah and Elizabeth's children were grown, the couple were acquainted with a German farmer named Johnson, whose wife had recently died, leaving him with a four-year-old daughter, Charlotte. Johnson soon acquired a new wife; thereafter Charlotte was treated like the proverbial stepchild, being beaten and deprived of food. Perhaps at Elizabeth's suggestion, the Coopers offered to rear the pathetic girl. The Johnsons consented, that being one less mouth to feed.           

In 1843 Isaiah and Elizabeth's two oldest daughters left Missouri for Oregon. Shortly thereafter, Elizabeth Montier Cooper died (c.1845) and was buried somewhere there in Derry Township. Isaiah's son John and his wife Jane moved to the Cooper farm to live with Isaiah and his foster daughter.            

The Coopers were probably already planning to cross the plains to Oregon in 1846 and had probably made arrangements to sell Isaiah's farm when one day the Johnsons paid a visit, asking to have the now-large Charlotte returned to them. Isaiah felt that Charlotte was being viewed by the Johnsons only as a workhorse to help with the chores and to tend her now-numerous half-brothers and sisters. He felt she would once more be abused. Charlotte and the Coopers had bonded as a family, and he did not want to give her up; so Isaiah asked the Johnsons if he could have one last day with Charlotte. The Johnsons consented to Isaiah's returning the girl the next day. But the old man had other plans.            

As soon as the Johnsons left, he quickly packed bags for himself and Charlotte and headed for Independence immediately. His sons and their families were to meet him and Charlotte in Independence and then cross the plains to Oregon.            

Twenty-two year old Francis Parkman, a Boston Brahmin, was on a post-graduate (of Harvard) adventure on the Oregon Trail in 1846 and was in Westport in the spring. He may well have been describing the Coopers in his The Oregon Trail (p.16) when he states ....While I was in town, a train of emigrant wagons from Illinois passed through, to join the camp on the prairie, and stopped on the principal street. A multitude of healthy children's faces was peeping out from under the covers of the wagons. Here and there a buxom damsel was seated on horseback, holding over her sunburnt face an old umbrella or a parasol, once gaudy enough, but now miserably faded. The men, very sober-looking countrymen, stood about their oxen; and as I passed I noticed three old fellows, who, with their whips in their hands, were zealously discussing the doctrine of regeneration...."              

We have the reminiscences of a person who traveled west with the Coopers, a Philander C. Davis. His notes were written October 16, 1916, when he was a very old man, close to ninety. His memory caused him to forget some of the people who crossed the plains with him. During the processing of writing, he would add names as he remembered them. It is probable that he forgot the names of Enoch and Isaiah Cooper, Jr. It is unlikely that these two sons of Isaiah's crossed the plains in 1846 in a different wagon train than their father and brothers. Mr. Davis's manuscript can be found in the Oregon Historical Society Library in Portland:  

....I traveled with my Brother In law James Brown And MY sister his wife who was the eldest of my fathers family of ten, four daughters and six sons also my brother Leander Sylvanus 4 years my senior and my brother Albert Gallatin 2 years my senior also Nicholas Schrum and his good wife and three grown sons and a nephew whose christian name I have forgotten his surname was Wimberlie I believe also Wm Elliot and wife and 3 children I forgot to mention Mr Schrums three daughters, two full grown, one between girlhood and womanhood Jack Schrum youngest of family lived near Mitchell in 1894; There was also another notable family or two  Mr Wingfield who settled on the Molalla near where good old Harrison Wright lived and died. Also the Coopers Wm and John and their familie; They were brothers of the wives of Daniel and Henry Matheny who came to Oregon in 1843 Isaiah and Daniel Junior came out to meet the Coopers and met the train in Tygh Valley I have seen the hill often that we climbed out of Tyghe and could hardly believe that we had done the job with worn oxen but our loads were light having been nearly all been eaten on the long journey. There was one more family in our company, Mr. Ish and wife and one child also two or three single men. Mr. Williams was one of them. From the Blue mountains we traveled down the Umatilla river to some point and from there to Willow creek and from there to some point on the Columbia below Willow creek and from there camped on the river nearly every night until we reached Deschutes river being compelled to climb the bluff in the morning and descend in the evening in order to get water and grass for the stock A few years later there was a better route found and traveled further south back from the breaks and gorges next to the river. We did not see a bridge or ferry after we left the Missouri state line near the town of Independence on 10th of May 1846. We forded every stream that we crossed beginning with the Kansas called Kaw at that time. 2nd South Platte nearly two miles wide shallow but swift and boiling full of moving sand Woe to the team that did not keep moving at a good pace. 3rd the Laramie near Fort Laramie narrow clear but swift and deep. 4th North Platte wift clear and narrow. On the deep fords the wagons beds were raised on the bolsters by blocks to keep the force of water from striking them and forcing them down stream and wetting the loads. 5th Green River broad clear shallow and beautiful. 6th Portneuf near Fort Hall the most beautiful broad green lovely valley and stream that I saw on the long trip. 7th Snake River crossing and Three Islands so called there was three channels but two islands. They were deep swift and frightfully dangerous; 8th second crossing of the Snake at old Fort Boise three quarters of a mile wide deep but a gentle slow moving current. 9th the Deschutes. I think we crossed near where what was called the Miller bridge or below for I know I had fearful feelings of being swept into the Columbia not more than 2 or three hundred yards below. I drove a team across both crossings of Snake But cannot remember whether I drove at Deschutes or not. From Deschutes we went to where the town of Dufur is now remaining there two or three days resting the teams giving the women time to wash clothes, From there we went to Tygh [Valley] and from there to Barlows gate Before starting into and over the Cascade range I must mention some others of the Co whom I had forgotten old Grandfather Cooper [Isaiah Cooper] father of the Coopers and two before mentioned Mrs Matheneys The Matheneys having come over in 1843. Also Frank McClintic [McClintock] brother of Mrs. John Cooper there may have been one or more others whom I have forgotten. Isaiah Matheney Frank McClintic and I were detailed at the entrance of the mountain to go ahead with the loose cattle so as to hurry them through the laurel thickets and prevent their becoming poisoned thereby. We drove them to the home of Daniel Matheney Senior ten miles below Salem on west side of the Willamette forded the river just below his ferry his place was on west side of river opposite Jason Lees old first mission where his Indians died faster than he could convert them.

....I will now return to the Barlow Gate on the east side of Cascades but what I know of the trains crossing is limited gotten from those who were with it in passing I was too busy keeping the cattle out of the dense thickets and especially one plump little yearling heifer belonging to Grand Father Cooper which had a habit of dropping out and hiding I did not have time to note the conformation of the country streams I remember Zig Zag and Huckleberry camp at foot of Mt Hood. Also Laurel Hill where Mr. Wingfield's family wagon ended over on top of the team and frightened Mrs Wingfield almost into fits I knew the wagon had driven it often on the way over front wheels too low for rear wheels.

....The Oregon Spectator, a newspaper already operating in Oregon City, heralded the progress of the 1846 immigrants as they began to trickle in to town:   September 3, 1846-Immigrants Arrive at Oregon City; Bring News of Wagon Trains   September 17, 1846-Families Arrive at Oregon City Via Barlow Road [These were the first to use the newly-opened road.]   October 29, 1846-145 Wagons Arrive; 7 Enroute Via Barlow Road   Now most of the Cooper sons and daughters were with their father with the exception of Charlotte Shinn, who remained in Pike County, Illinois, and possibly Jane, about whom nothing is known.

It appears from early census records as if Isaiah resumed living with his youngest son John. We know that John later operated a liquor store in California; his views toward alcohol were probably compatible with Isaiah's own. The religious Mathenys were probably not as accommodating. For the next two years, Isaiah was surrounded by his family in Oregon's pristine setting. But California's gold rush was to end all that.

When gold was discovered, everyone left his young farm for a try at the yellow lucre, but Isaiah and his party were not among the vanguard, arriving in California in June of 1849. Later in the summer forty-niners from the East arrived, bringing disease with them. A miner's work was hard labor in cold streams; it was the streams that were worked at first. Fruits and vegetables were hard to come by, so the gold-seekers were easy prey for the flux and the fevers that had arrived. Disease hit the camp where the Coopers were entrenched. The diary of A.R.Burbank, later of Lafayette, Oregon, gives us a brief sketch of the camp:   September 21, 1849 'Johnsons' Crossed River here, 59 ft. wide, a gravel bed 100 yards, road forks. We taken right hand past shanty's, one hospital, several sick, doctor sick. Family in adobe with Liquor shop. Man is Cooper from Pike Co. Ill--to Oregon in l846 and here in June 1849. He don't like Oregon and California. Intends to return to Illinois.

This canyon where the Coopers searched for gold has a creek that feeds into the North Branch of the American River a mile or two west of the El Dorado County hamlet of Pilot Hill. It is named for them: Cooper Canyon. It was here that "camp fever," probably typhoid, claimed the lives of Isaiah, his son John, his son-in-law Henry Matheny, Rachel's daughter Sarah Jane Layson, and perhaps others in the family. All died in the fall of l849.

Those who died in Cooper Canyon were buried at what is now Coloma, California, but then was the site of Capt. John Sutter's sawmill. It had been there that the California gold was first discovered. Visitors will not discover any family tombstones there, probably because anyone who happened to be a stonecutter by trade was not in California to cut stones, but rather to look for gold. The site is now Gold Discovery State Park. There are a museum, a reconstruction of Sutter's mill, and mining exhibits.


Contributed by Don Rivara
Hughes, Ellis

Ellis G. Hughes

                THERE are some men whose lives are spectacular in that their acts are constantly the subject of public discussion, while others, accomplishing what they undertake, never seek notoriety and care little for public honors.  Such was Ellis G. Hughes, and Portland owes much to him for the splendid and effective work which he did in behalf of the city and its development.  He was long known here as one of the prominent pioneers, leading lawyers and capitalists of Portland.  All who came in contact with him recognized his genuine worth, his marked business ability and his undaunted enterprise and devotion to the public good.  For thirty years he was a leading figure in the business circles of Portland and was recognized, moreover, as one of the most capable lawyers of this city.  He came to Oregon in 1873.

                He was a native of Iowa City, born December 29, 1844, and his youthful training was such as instilled into his mind lessons that bore rich fruit in later years.  He came west to look over the country and, being favorably impressed with the outlook of Portland, soon after formed a partnership with Governor Gibbs.  Later he became representative of several Scotch loan companies and gave the initiative to and was the principal organizer of the first offices devoted to the publicity of Portland.  He bent his energies largely to the work of exploiting Oregon's natural resources that the country might know what opportunities were offered and that the enterprise and energy of the east might be employed in the upbuilding of a great commonwealth here.  It was through Mr. Hughes' efforts that a car of exhibition was sent throughout the east about twenty-five years ago, that the older sections of the country might learn of what was being produced upon the coast and thus judge of the opportunities and possibilities here to be found.

                The practice of law was his chosen life work and in the conduct of legal interests before the court he displayed marked ability that was based upon a thorough understanding of legal principles.  In the trial of cases his preparation was thorough and in the presentation of his cases his arguments were logical, forceful and convincing.  He soon won recognition as one of the leading members of the Portland bar, and yet he did not confine his attention entirely to his law practice.  There were even wider interests in his life as he cooperated with the movements for the public good.  Moreover, he demonstrated his faith in the future of his city by his investment in real estate.  In his later years he retired altogether from the practice of law and gave his supervision to his investments.  His judgment was rarely, if ever, at fault concerning the value of real estate and its possible rise or diminution in price.  He therefore purchased property which in time brought to him splendid financial returns.  He was also one of the most forceful figures in effecting the organization of the Portland Hotel Company, which in building the Portland hotel met a much felt want of that day.  His business judgment was almost unerring and the soundness of his opinion was recognized by all who were prominent in the business life of the city.

                On the 27th of November, 1877, Mr. Hughes contracted a second marriage.  By a former marriage was born a son, who died in early childhood, and a daughter, Louise J., now the wife of Major C. H. Martin, of the United States army, who is stationed at Vancouver barracks.  Major Martin and wife have three children, Ellis Hughes, Samuel Holly and Jane Louise.

                It was on the 27th of August, 1909, that Mr. Hughes was called to his final rest.  Aside from his business connections with the city, he was one of the organizers and charter members of the Arlington Club, and he was also one of those who gave financial support to the company which erected the Chamber of Commerce.  He led the organization of the Chamber of Commerce for the exploitation of Portland and Oregon and opened up a field which has materially added to the population and wealth of the city.  At the time of his death a meeting of the bar was called to pass suitable resolutions, and on this occasion one who knew Mr. Hughes said:  "He was a man who was marked for his quiet but effective work.  He was one of the most active factors in bringing about the passage of the port of Portland bill and the formation of the port of Portland commission, without which we would not have the commerce that Portland enjoys.  For the effective service he rendered to his city in many ways, and for the quiet, unostentatious manner in which he accomplished results, he should be honored by the community at large."  On the same occasion another said of him, in paying tribute to his ability as an attorney:  "His learning, ability and conduct before the courts provide an example which all members of the bar, young and old, would do well to follow.  His life attracted people by its marked serenity."  In the resolution adopted by the Portland bar, he was designated as "a man of high character and reputation, an accomplished gentleman, a faithful husband and father, a lawyer of ability, learning and rectitude, and a useful and good citizen who took a prominent and effective part in public affairs of the community in which he lived."

De Luxe Supplement
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company; Chicago; 1912

Transcribed by Linda Henderson
Smith, William

William K. Smith

                TO THE energetic nature and strong mentality of such men as William K. Smith is due the development and ever increasing prosperity of Portland.  His career has been one of activity, full of incidents and results.  In every sphere of life in which he has acted he has left an indelible impress through his ability and tireless energy that never stops short of the attainment of its purpose.  He first visited Portland in 1854.  Returning in 1869, with the experience of previous residence in Oregon and in California through the days of pioneer development, he joined his interests at once with those of the growing city and his efforts have since been a resultant feature in its further progress and promotion.  He is today numbered with Portland's capitalists and the most envious cannot grudge him his success so worthily has it been won through activity in industrial and financial circles.  At the age of eighty-six years he remains one of the city's most honored and venerable residents.

                Mr. Smith was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, August 3, 1826, a son of Peter and Barbara (Showalter) Smith, the former of English lineage and the latter of Holland Dutch descent.  The birth of James G. Blaine occurred in the same town where Mr. Smith spent his early youth.  The father was a farmer and carpenter who removed from the Keystone state to Ohio when his son William was but six years of age.  He settled upon a tract of land in Clermont county, where he engaged in farming until his removal to Indiana.  He was afterward a resident of Illinois and later of Texas, his death occurring in the Lone Star state, while his wife passed away in Ohio.

                The removals of the family made William K. Smith at different times a pupil in the public schools of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Alabama.  With the family he went to Texas and there worked upon the home farm until eighteen years of age.  Then leaving the parental roof, he went to Alabama, where he again attended school and also engaged in clerking for his uncle, a merchant and physician, with whom he also read medicine.  After five years spent in Alabama, William K. Smith went to La Grange, Texas, where he was employed as a clerk in a mercantile establishment.  Before he left Texas he had earned a cow and calf by splitting rails.  He left the cattle there and went to Alabama.  When he returned to Texas, he found himself the owner of the nucleus of a small herd of cattle.  Increasing this by purchase, he was soon a fairly extensive stock-raiser.  At this period he also engaged in the strenuous undertaking of teaching school in a frontier community.  An amusing memory of these days is the astonishing though euphonious cognomen of one of his pupils, "Thomas A. Didymus Christopher Holmes Peter Cadwallader Harrison Jones Chadowen."             

                Mr. Smith's education had been frequently interrupted by the stern necessity of earning a livelihood.  Energetic and ambitious though he was for material success, he fully realized that intellectual training was of paramount importance.  Urged by his consideration, we find him next making his way to St. Louis where he completed a course in a commercial college; and after that attending Shurtleff College at Alton, Illinois.  He was for a short time the owner of a brickyard in St. Louis, and furnished the brick used in the historic Planters Hotel.  He also engaged in the hotel business.

                While there Mr. Smith formed a company to cross the plains, being attracted to the west by the fact that he had a brother, Joseph S. Smith, afterward a congressman from Oregon, who was living upon the Pacific coast and who sent back favorable reports concerning its opportunities and possibilities.  William K. Smith left St. Louis with about eighty head of cattle and fine horses, with a few men to assist him in the care of his stock in crossing the plains.  His horses, however, were stolen on the journey.  The party had considerable experience with the Indians while crossing the plains and were constantly on the alert for fear of an attack.  Day after day they traveled on over the hot stretches of sand and through the mountain passes until their eyes were gladdened by the green valleys of California.  Soon after reaching the Golden Gate Mr. Smith sold his cattle and turned his attention to mining.  But not finding the gold in the country that he had anticipated, he opened a small store on the McCallum river.  After living in California for about a year he decided to visit his brother, Joseph S. Smith who had settled with his family on Whidby's island, Puget Sound, Washington territory.  This journey took him, in 1854, through Por6tland, then a new and unimportant settlement.  From Portland to his destination the arduous trip was made on horseback.  Arriving at dusk at his brother's log house, he was at first received with scant welcome by his brother who, not having seen him for several years and receiving no news of his coming, failed to recognize the tall, bearded stranger.  His brother's baby boy, however, seem quaintly enough to notice the kinship, as tugging at his mother's apron he lisped, "Mamma—two papas."  After a short visit with his brother Mr. Smith retraced his steps to Salem, Oregon Territory, where he purchased from Dr. Wilson (whose donation land claim was the original town site of Salem) a drug store which included also a stock of books, paints, oils and general merchandise.  This store he conducted with great success for fifteen years, securing an extensive trade from the town and surrounding country.

                During this period he established the water system of Salem, bringing in an unlimited supply of fine water from the Santiam river.  He secured the controlling interest in the Salem Woolen Mills and associated with himself in the management of the enterprise, J. F. Miller, H. W. Corbett, W. S. Ladd, L. F. Grover, J. S. Smith and Daniel Waldo.  These mills made the first shipment of wool sent to the east from the Pacific coast.  With practically the same associates he built the first large flouring mills and an immense wheat warehouse.  These, the biggest mills on the coast, were operated by water power from Santiam river.  During this period he acquired the McMinnville Flouring Mills, trading to Robert Kinney his woolen mill stock for a ranch of a thousand acres, stocked with fine horses and the McMinnville mills.  In such manner the extent and importance of his business interest were a prominent and effective feature in Salem's progress and commercial prosperity.

                He established a branch store at Silverton, a town now well known as the home of the late artist Homer Davenport, and another one at Dayton.  Today his derives keen pleasure in touring through these thriving towns and recalling the sites of his former business ventures, though often the oldest inhabitant is requisitioned to pick out the altered building where fifty years ago W. K. Smith sold "Drugs, Books, Paints & General Merchandise."

                The following is a fac-simile of one of the posters used in the Salem store.  "O. T." (Oregon Territory) indicates a date prior to 1859, since Oregon was admitted as a state in February of that year.


Dealers in
                         Salem, O. T.

                Seeking still broader fields of labor and realizing that Portland had natural advantages' which in time must make it a city of large interest, Mr. Smith severed his business connections with Salem and in 1869 became identified with the industrial life of the Rose City.  He established a sawmill and thus began the manufacture of lumber.  Through the intervening years he has been connected with an industry which has been and is one of the chief sources of revenue to the state.  At one time he owned and operated three sawmills and although two of these have since been burned he is still the owner of a saw and shingle mill.  Looking beyond the exigencies of the moment to the possibilities of the future, he has ever directed his efforts along lines that have been effective forces in the extension of Portland's business interest and connection.  With C. H. Lewis, Henry Failing and H. W. Corbett he furnished the first money required in financing the new Bull Run system of water supply and was a member of the original water commission, being one of the three survivors of that representative body.  He later won recognition as a leading financier of Portland, becoming identified with the Portland Savings Bank, which was organized in 1880 and of which he became vice president and one of the directors.  He was also elected one of the directors of the Commercial Bank and his sound judgment was brought to bear in the correct solution of many intricate financial problems.  He was vice president and director of the Ainsworth Bank.  He was one of the promoters and owners of the Portland Hotel.  He contributed to the city's material improvement as the builder of a dock and warehouse on the levee north of Salmon street in 1876.  He was also one of the promoters of the street railway system of Portland, being among those who organized the old cable car company, in which undertaking he lost considerable money.  He was also among the first to agitate and support the question of establishing an electric line, thus constituting the foundation of Portland's present excellent street car service.  He was interested with Ben Holladay in building the first railway in Oregon and also engaged in the shipping business, being the owner of the Hattie C. Bessie, a four-masted bark, which he chartered to Chinese merchants for twenty thousand dollars for a single trip to China.  His business connections were so varied and important in Portland that it would have seemed that outside affairs could have no claim upon his time and attention.  Yet he has had important agricultural interests, owning at one time a ranch of one thousand acres in Yamhill county, stocked with fine horses and cattle.  This property he traded for the Hattie C. Bessie.  While in Salem he purchased the first bushel of apples ever sold in that city; they were raised in Polk county and were a very fine variety.  He afterward sold many of the apples at one dollar each and disposed of one for five dollars to D. M. Durell, a banker and sawmill man, who said he would take the apple to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington for it was almost the size of a large cocoanut.

                At present Mr. Smith is engaged in the real-estate business and handles much property.  He has sold more land for railroad terminals than any man in Portland and recently disposed of realty to J. J. Hill, the railroad magnate, that was worth over a quarter of a million dollars.  He has furnished the sites for two parks to the city of Portland.  Seventeen years ago he purchased Council Crest, paying fifty thousand dollars for sixty acres.  His realty holdings are extensive and return to him a gratifying annual income.

                Among his holdings lot one of block one, city of Portland, has considerable historic interest.  This lot was the site of the first house built in the settlement and afterward of the first business store, a shingled building.  It is now covered with a substantial brick building, in which, at No. 202 Washington street, Mr. Smith maintains his office.

                It is impossible in so short a sketch to give more than the merest outline of the career of W. K. Smith, a romance inextricably interwoven with the development of the country, south, southwest, middlewest, and northwest.  Farmer, clerk, druggist, school teacher, stockraiser, hotel keeper, mine worker and mine owner, merchant, manufacturer, ship owner, banker, man of affairs,—through all the kaleidoscopic changes of the west, W. K. Smith has moved, quiet and alert, with an indomitable will that no reverses could daunt; with an unshaken faith in himself, in his chosen country, the northwest, and in his own.

                Reviewing his struggles, the difficulties which he conquered, and the courage and resource that never failed him, one readily recalls the poet's lines:

"It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishment the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul."

                In San Francisco in 1864 Mr. Smith was united in marriage to Debbie H. Harker, a sister of General Charles Harker, who won his title by service in the Civil War.  Unto Mr. and Mrs. Smith were born six children.  Eugenia, the wife of T. Harris Bartlett, of Idaho, and the mother of one child, Barbara S.; William K., Jr., who is living in Portland; Victor H., who is a graduate of the Willamette Medical College, the Virginia Medical College and the Medical College of New York and is now successfully engaged in the practice of medicine in Portland; Joseph H., connected with the Portland Electric Light Company, who married Gertrude Eger and has two children, Josephine and Deborah Ann; Charles H., who died when four years of age; and Sumner, who was drowned in the Willamette river saving the life of a young lady whose rescue he effected at the cost of his own life.

                While Mr. Smith does not hold membership with any religious denomination, he has contributed liberally to the building of churches, including both the Methodist and Episcopal churches at Salem.  He was also a generous donor to the Willamette University at Salem and furnished the ground upon which they built the Willamette Medical School in Portland—a property of which he obtained possession later by purchase.

                From boyhood days, when he read by the flickering light by the fireplace, he has been a student and devoted admirer of the great authors.  His favorite poets are Pope and Thomas Moore and he often surprises and charms his listeners with a graceful and apt quotation from the satire of the one or the mournful sweetness of the other.  Naturally he became a strong supporter, financially and otherwise, of the old Portland Library Association and was a life member and director of that body.  Since the old association was taken over by the city and became a free public library he has had an unabated interest in its welfare and still serves as director and a prominent member of important committees.

                His cooperation has ever been counted upon to further progressive public measures and his labors have been of far-reaching effect and importance.  He thoroughly enjoys home life and takes great pleasure in the society of his family and friends.  He is always courteous, kindly and affable and those who know him personally—and he is widely known through the state—have for him a warm regard.  A man of great natural ability, his success in business from the beginning of his residence in Portland has been uniform and rapid, and while he has long since passed the age when most men put aside business cares, he yet manages his investments and his interests, and his business discernment is as keen and his judgment as sound as it was two or three decades ago.  Although the snows of many winters have whitened his hair, in spirit and interest he seems yet in his prime and out of his wisdom and his experience he gives for the benefit of others.

De Luxe Supplement
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company; Chicago; 1912

Transcribed by Linda Henderson

Severson, Peter

Peter W. Severson

                THE real destiny of the nation is not being worked out by the men who stand in the glare of publicity; indeed, such men are often serious obstacles to progress.  In society as in nature, it is the quiet, unseen forces that are most effective in molding and evolving those conditions, physical, mental and spiritual, that make for the betterment of mankind.

                Oregon has been developed by the quiet, earnest men and women who have gone about their allotted tasks, heedless of the discomforts, and discouraging adversities of pioneer life, content to fulfill their duty in the sphere to which they have been called.  Such an one is Peter W. Severson.  Modest, unassuming, even retiring in disposition, he has, none the less, ever been keenly alive to all the pertains to human welfare, and while no history of Oregon would be complete without some mention of this man who cast his lot with the pioneers of the Pacific coast, yet his munificent gifts to the cause of education as represented by Willamette University, and to those grand institutions for moral uplift—the Young Men's Christian Association and the Young Women's Christian Association—entitle him to special mention.  The name of the donor of these wise and generous endowments shall endure as one of the great benefactors of the Pacific coast.

                Peter W. Severson is a representative of one of the old Knickerbocker families which left their lasting impress on the state of New York.  His immediate ancestors lived for a number of generations in Broome county, and some of them participated in the bloody scenes of that Revolution which won American liberty.  After the war, they settled down to the peaceful pursuits of agriculture, in which occupation the father of our subject was engaged at Conkling, near Binghamton, New York.  Here Peter W. Severson was born on March 21, 1830, his parents being Philip and Abigail (Weaver) Severson.  Our subject was reared on the home farm, receiving such educational advantages as the public schools of his day afforded.  He also had his share of the harmless enjoyments of youth, but that his life has always been a model of morality and temperance is evident to all.

                In physical vigor this octogenarian might well be the envy of many men a score of years his junior.

                In the near-by city of Binghamton, young Severson learned the trade of carriage and wagon maker, which he followed there until 1856.  In that year he went to San Francisco via the Isthmus of Panama, and followed his trade for two years.  Then the rush of the miners to the Fresh River gold fields caused a depression in his line of work, and Mr. Severson decided to try his fortune in Portland.  Here he allied himself with two enterprising young blacksmiths, and the trio began the manufacture of wagons under the firm name of Clark, Hay & Company.  That partnership continued for about two years.  From that time until about ten or twelve years ago, Mr. Severson continued to manufacture wagons, sometimes alone and at other times with partners.

                About twenty-five or thirty years ago, Mr. Severson and his wife took up their residence on the east side, where a thriving village had begun to develop.  Mr. Severson finished some work for a man, and as pay accepted the block bounded by East Ankeny and Burnside and Ninth and Tenth streets.  Blocks in that neighborhood were then selling for two hundred and two hundred and fifty dollars each.  Some of this property Mr. Severson still retains.  He has always been thrifty and prudent, though never penurious, and the investments purchased with his savings enhanced with the growth of Portland until Mr. Severson long ago had acquired pecuniary independence.

                Mr. Severson's first work was done for John Middleton, who owned the lot at the northeast corner of Fifth and Morrison streets where he lived.  The debt thus contracted remained unpaid until 1861, when in order to settle his account, Mr. Middleton sold the lot to Mr. Severson, accepting for the balance due him seventeen hundred dollars in greenbacks, which at that time were worth only about fifty cents on the dollar.  At that time Mr. Severson did not look upon his purchase as a bargain, but he retained possession of it until about two years ago when he sold the lot for two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

                In his young manhood Mr. Severson was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Ann Austin who was a native of New York state, but who was reared in Woodstock, Illinois, whither her parents had removed when that was considered the far west.  Mrs. Severson was a devoted wife and help-meet, sharing in his discouragements and in his hopes.  Their many years of happy companionship were interrupted about fourteen years ago when Mrs. Severson was called to the Great Beyond, leaving her beloved partner to finish the journey alone, there being no children or near relatives to cheer his declining years.

                In matters politic Mr. Severson follows the republican standard and has long been an earnest and steadfast advocate of the platforms and measures of this great party.

                Like Andrew Carnegie, Mr. Severson seems to believe that it is a crime to die rich, and he decided to devote his fortune to philanthropic work.  The following account of the transfer of a large portion of Mr. Severson's fortunes to the three institutions mentioned in the beginning of this sketch, is taken from the March 24 issue of the Oregonian:

                "A portion of the securities he had already decided upon giving to the Y.M.C.A. and the Y.W.C.A., when he became informed about three weeks ago of the campaign which Fletcher W. Homan, president of Willamette University, is waging to raise an additional endowment fund of five hundred thousand dollars.  After negotiating with vice president Todd of Willamette University, and John W. Hancher, counsellor to the university, arrangements were finally completed, and the transfer of the securities to the three institutions was made in the office of J. L. Wells, Mr. Severson's Agent.

                "The act of transfer marked a moment of solemnity.  R. A. Booth and A. M. Smith, regents of Willamette University, A. F. Flegel and Vice President E. H. Todd were present, representing the university; W. M. Ladd and S. A. Brown represented the Y.M.C.A., and E. C. Bronaugh and F. D. Chamberlain the Y.W.C.A.

                "As Mr. Severson affixed his signature to the documents that meant the relinquishment of the income from two hundred thousand dollars for the support of the three big institutions, not a sound broke the stillness that pervaded the room.

                "In a letter given to Mr. Todd shortly after the signing of the papers, he said:

                " 'In the contribution which I have this day made to Willamette University, I wish to express through you, to the President and Trustees of the University, the great pleasure I have in thus being able to contribute to the higher values and larger usefulness of this worthy institution for the present and for all coming years.

                " 'I have decided to do this now, to give inspiration and impetus to your present campaign for five hundred thousand dollars endowment.  While I have made this gift without condition or reservation, I expect that you, the University authorities and patrons, will hold yourselves and all of you in honor bound to carry forward your present campaign, until you shall have completed the net sum of four hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars, which you originally started to raise independent of my contribution.  I want mine to be over and above that, both for the larger usefulness of the University, and for the greater good to the people who will contribute lesser amounts.'

                "The donation of the securities on the Morrison street property by no means impoverishes the donor.  Mr. Severson has many other holdings in Portland, secured by judicious investments, besides his residence property at 85 East Sixteenth street, and according to himself, his contributions to the University and the two Christian associations were actuated by his desire to put to a good and useful employment that which he had over and above his own needs.

                " 'This donation is a most significant step in the history of our campaign for increase of endowment,' said Mr. Todd.  'The inspiration of his unselfish aid to the University will, I believe, kindle a wave of enthusiasm among the friends and patrons of Willamette that will make far easier the quick completion of our campaign, and the additional resources represented in the one hundred thousand dollars he has given us will place the University in a position for an enormous and successful development within the next few years.

                " 'Would that there were more men like Peter W. Severson, in whom the sordid love of riches finds no response.  Had he not been an accumulator and wise distributor of wealth, the world would yet have been enriched from contact with his noble character.  His sympathetic nature has made him a valued neighbor and friend.  The influence of his upright life has always been felt by those with whom he comes in contact, and his life of righteousness, coupled with his unselfish interest in the welfare of others, has found its natural fruition in the great benefactions here recorded.' "

De Luxe Supplement
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company; Chicago; 1912

Transcribed by Linda Henderson

Burnett, Peter

Peter Hardeman Burnett was born at Nashville, Tenn., November 15, 1807, of Virginia parentage. When 10 years of age he removed with his father to Howard County, Missouri. He grew up to manhood in this rude, border country, but managed to secure an ordinary English education. In 1826 he returned to Tennessee, where he became clerk in a store. Before he was 21 he married Naniet W. Rogers, started in business, studied law, and became editor of “The Far West,” a weekly paper published at Liberty, Mo. His first law business was the prosecution of a number of Mormons for debt. Afterward he was employed as counsel by the Mormon leaders at Liberty, Mo., they being charged with arson, robbery and treason. In 1843 he removed to Oregon, where he became a farmer, lawyer, legislator, and Judge, the Oregon Provisional Government making him Chief Justice, and when Oregon became United States territory he was appointed an Associate Justice of its Supreme Court. In 1849 he removed to California and was elected first Governor of that state, and served afterwards upon its Supreme Bench.


History of the Bench and Bar of Oregon
Historical Publishing Company; Portland, Oregon (1910)
Transcribed by Kim Mohler
Pratt, Orville

Orville C. Pratt was born in Ontario County, New York, April 24, 1819. He received his early education at Rushville in that county. He later supplemented this schooling by a course of classics and mathematics in two local academies, before reaching his seventeenth year, becoming thoroughly versed in those branches and a thorough English scholar. Shortly afterward he received from President Jackson an appointment to a cadetship in the United States Military Academy at West Point, which he entered as a member of the class of 1837. He remained at West Point two years, but his ambition to become a lawyer overshadowing his military desires, and further reverses of the family making it imperative that he prepare to earn a livelihood, he entered the law office of a relative, Samuel Stevens, and in two years was admitted to the bar of New York. At the age of 21 he began his professional career at Rochester and his abilities were soon recognized, especially through his active participation in the Presidential campaign of 1840. He entered into partnership with Fletcher M. Haight, one of the leading practitioners of Rochester, under the firm name of Haight & Pratt, which partnership existed until 1842, when Mr. Haight withdrew on account of his wife’s death. In 1843 he was attracted to the West and settled in Galena, Ill., soon building up a lucrative practice there. In 1847 he was elected to the convention which revised the first constitution of Illinois. After the close of the convention he was appointed by the Secretary of War one of a committee to investigate certain charges against an army officer stationed at the Arkansas River Fort, and while on this mission received a message requesting him to proceed to Mexico, California and Oregon to investigate confidential matters. He set forth for Santa Fe, thence to Los Angeles, to Monterey, San Jose and then San Francisco, or Yerba Buena, as it was then called. President Polk had meanwhile appointed him Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Oregon, and he came to Portland. He was the pioneer judge of Oregon, no other member having arrived as yet. Toward the close of 1848, General Joseph Lane, the first governor of Oregon, arrived and in the following March organized the first territorial government, Judge Pratt and the governor being the only two members at their posts. Later in the same month Chief Justice Wm. P. Bryant reached Oregon City and the first session of the Supreme Court of Oregon was held. Within a few months the Chief Justice resigned on account of ill health, and Peter H. Burnett, who had been appointed Associate Judge, declined to accept and left for California. For nearly two years Judge Pratt exercised all the powers of the judiciary, holding all his own terms in court and those which should have been held by the Chief Justice, and in the meantime organizing most of the district and circuit courts in the counties. During this time he tried many important cases, among them being those of five Indian chiefs implicated in the Whitman massacre. The first Court of Admiralty with in the present limits of Oregon and California was held by Judge Pratt at Portland. He served as judge until 1856, when he removed to San Francisco and formed a partnership with Alexander Campbell, who had practiced in the courts of Oregon. He was afterward judge of the Twelfth Judicial District Court of the city and county of San Francisco, and of the county of San Mateo, for six years. In politics he was a persistent and zealous Democrat, but was devoted to the Union cause during the war. His death occurred at San Francisco in October, 1891.

“The value of his services to Oregon was not in the number of cases he tried nor the amounts involved therein, but in the character and circumstances in which they arose and were disposed of. His judicial career covered a formative period in the history of the country when proceedings were not so much followed as made. In this work of blazing the line and marking the corners of the law in a yet unformed community, he did much during his few years on the bench, and did it well.”


History of the Bench and Bar of Oregon
Historical Publishing Company; Portland, Oregon (1910)
Transcribed by Kim Mohler
Upton, William

William W. Upton was born July 11, 1817, at Victor, New York, being the son of James and Olive (Boughton) Upton. He received his early education at the public schools of Western New York and later attended the celebrated Academy of Lima. He was admitted to the bar of the State of Michigan in 1840, and immediately commenced the practice of his profession. In 1852 he migrated to California and soon attained political prominence there, being elected a member of the Legislature at Sacramento in 1856 and District Attorney of Sacramento County in 1861. In 1860 he married Marietta Bryan. In 1865 he came to Oregon and was elected to the State Legislature shortly after his arrival here. In 1867 he was appointed Justice of the Supreme Court, filling that position until 1872, when he became Chief Justice, holding the office two years. In 1877 the position of Second Comptroller of the Treasury of the United States was tendered him by President Hayes, and he filled the position through three administrations. He resigned this office June 1, 1885. Continued the practice of law in that city until his death, January 23, 1896.


History of the Bench and Bar of Oregon
Historical Publishing Company; Portland, Oregon (1910)
Transcribed by Kim Mohler

Thurston, Samuel

No young man of the early residents of the Oregon Country was more representative, nor did more to help shape the character of the country than did Samuel R. Thurston. He was born in Maine in 1816, but upon the death of his father, when he was very young, his mother moved with the family to Peru, Oxford County, Ohio, where the boy grew to manhood. At the age of twenty he was famous as an exhorter in the Methodist church. His ability early attracted attention and he was urged to continue his studies and to adopt the legal profession. He attended Bowdoin College in Maine, graduating with honors in 1843. During his college career he became prominent as a political speaker and ex-Governor Robert C. Dunlap took him into his office to study. After being admitted to the bar in Maine, Mr. Thurston married and went to Iowa, taking the editorship of the Burlington, Iowa, Gazette. After two years, however, he started West, arriving in Oregon in 1847, settling at Hillsboro, and taking up the practice of law. In 1848 he represented that community in the Legislative Assembly of the Provisional Government. The following year, the United States having extended its jurisdiction over Oregon, and organized a territorial government, Mr. Thurston was elected the first delegate to Congress – the first representative elected by the people under a law of the United States, from the vast domain lying west of the Rocky Mountains; now embracing five states; a part of three others, and two territories, and comprising one-fourth of the present area of the Union. Thurston arrived in Washington in the Fall of 1849 and gave all his energies toward the passage of the Donation Land Law, which lies at the foundation of the most valuable titles to land west of the Rockies and north of California. He also secured the passage of measures providing for the extinguishment of the Indian titles to lands west of the Cascades by treaties; for a superintendent of Indian affairs and their Indian agents; a surveyor-general’s office and the saving of all settled land; for post offices and mail routes; for the coast survey and light-houses; and many other matters of great public moment to Oregon. In his Congressional labors Thurston accomplished a vast amount for his constituents; in fact, he overworked his powers, and his weakened condition was unable to withstand the fever contracted on his return home by the Isthmus and his death occurred on the steamer off Acapulco, Mexico, April 9, 1851, when he was but thirty-five years of age.


History of the Bench and Bar of Oregon
Historical Publishing Company; Portland, Oregon (1910)
Transcribed by Kim Mohler

Summers, Owen

GEN. OWEN SUMMERS. About the early boyhood years of General Summers there was little to stimulate hope for the future or to indicate his possession of superior ability in military affairs. He was born in Brockville, Canada, June 13, 1850, and in infancy was taken to Chicago by his parents, John and Elizabeth Ann Summers, the former of whom engaged in the shoe business there. During the cholera epidemic of 1856 the father, mother and one daughter died of the disease, leaving four small children. Of these three are living: James, Mrs. J. C. Olds and Owen, all of Portland. The six-year old boy, thus early orphaned, soon saw the dark side of life. His was no easy path to fortune. He was taken on a farm near Frankfort, Will County, where he worked early and late for his board and clothes. During a small part of the year he was permitted to attend a school held in a log building in the township where he lived.
    In the spring of 1864 he went to La Center, Lee County, and while attending school there he and three schoolmates (of whom he was the youngest) left school to enlist for service in the Civil war. Going to Dixon he offered his services, but as he was only fourteen years of age, weighed only one hundred pounds, and in height stood only five feet and one inch, the enrolling officers were loath to accept him. The examining physician, too, refused to pass him, but the energetic, youthful volunteer was more than a match for them all. He secured the aid of a Pennsylvania Dutchman, who consented to become his guardian, and with the permission of this man the physician was prevailed upon to grant him a certificate. February 1, 1865, at Dixon, he was mustered into Company H, Third Illinois Cavalry, and joined his regiment immediately afterward in the eastern part of Mississippi, later serving in Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and the Carolinas. After a number of skirmishes and cavalry dashes he was ordered to St. Louis, and, the war being now closed was fitted out for an expedition against the Sioux in Minnesota and Dakota. At the close of that service he was mustered out December 11, 1865, and returned to Lee County, where he resumed farming.
    In 1871 he went to Chicago. His recollections are most vivid of the exciting scenes connected with the great fire in that city. At the peril of his life, he not only saved his own family, but that of two others. The rebuilding of the city gave him considerable business as a contractor. In January, 1875, he came to Oregon, but after ten days in Portland, proceeded to San Francisco and from there returned to Chicago, where he spent six weeks. On his second return to San Francisco, he remained for two years and then spent six months in San Diego as a government contractor, after which he returned to San Francisco. Coming to Portland in January, 1879, he started a crockery store at No. 183 First Street. Six months later the firm of Olds & Summers was formed, his partner being J. C. Olds, a brother-in-law. The firm dealt in crockery, both wholesale and retail, and became one of the largest concerns of the kind in the northwest. On losing their building by fire in 1886, they moved into a new building on Yamhill Street, between first and second. Later they returned to No. 183 First Street and No. 23 Yamhill, where a three-story building had been erected, they occupying the ground floor and basement of the arcade. In 1890 they moved into and occupied the four-story building at Nos. 183-85 First Street. In 1895 the partnership was dissolved, Mr. Olds entering a department store, and Mr. Summers continuing the business at the old place. A year later he moved to No. 157 Washington Street and No. in Third Street, where he continued in business. Meantime he received the appointment as United States appraiser of the port of Portland by the unanimous decision of the delegation from Oregon, and has since filled the position with characteristic intelligence and sagacity. In 1900 the crockery business was disposed of.
    Though but a boy when serving in the Civil war, Mr. Summers had gained a thorough and practical knowledge of military affairs and this has been of aid to him in subsequent events.
Through his energetic efforts a .bill was formulated and passed by the legislature during the session of 1886, of which he was a member, by which the militia was organized into the National Guard of Oregon, consisting of three regiments. May 21, 1883, he organized a company of Veteran Guards, which was composed of ex-members of Civil war regiments, and of this he was chosen first lieutenant. After the reorganization of the military department of the state, in 1887, he was elected lieutenant colonel of the First Regiment, Oregon National Guard. Seven years later he was promoted to be colonel of the regiment. At the opening of the war with Spain all the National Guard troops of Oregon were ordered to Portland and consolidated, and with additional recruits formulated and constituted the Second Oregon, U. S. V., of which company summers was given the command by Governor Lord. May 4, 1898, the regiment went into camp. On the 7th, organization of the field staff was made, constituting the date of the organization of the regiment. On the 24th of the same month the men set sail for the Philippines, this being the first expedition to leave the United States for war in a foreign country. June 1st they arrived at Honolulu; June 20th, entered the port of San Luis de Apra, island of Guam; June 21st, Companies A and D disembarked to effect the surrender of the islands; June 28th, sighted Luzon; June 30th, anchored in Manila bay off Cavite; July 1st and 2nd, troops landed; August 12th, ordered to Manila; August 13th, received the surrender of fifteen thousand Spanish troops, inside the walled city; August 14th, removed to barracks Cuartel de Espana, Calle Victoria, Manila, Company F remaining as palace guard; January 11, 1899, regiment began to leave Cuartel; February 5th, battle of Manila, and insurgents driven from their trenches; February 6th, fighting all day along the line, and capture of the water works; February 10th, battle of Caloocan; February 15th, more than one hundred prisoners captured by Company A; February 24th, third battalion engaged at San Juan del Monte; March 3rd, fighting at Santa Ana; March 5th, Company C engaged on Mariquina road; same day. Company K engaged near San Juan del Monte; March 6th, Company G and Hotchkiss battery engaged insurgents on Mariquina road; March 7th, G and K engaged enemy near Mariquina; March 10th, entire regiment ordered to prepare for the front; March 13th, advanced upon Guadalupe; March 14th, E and I crossed river and engaged enemy opposite Pasig, while B. D, L and M engaged from bluff overlooking Pasig; March 15th, E and I crossed river and engaged enemy one mile in advance of former position; March 18th, Company D sent to relief of Taguig; March 19th, B, D, E, I and L engaged in battle of Laguna de Bey; March 20th, regiment returned to Manila; March 22nd, Company F and third battalion joined regiment; March 24th, marched to Caloocan; March 25th, battle of Malabon, captured seven lines of entrenchment; March 26th, entered village of Tinageros; April nth, enemy attacked Marilac and Bocawe camps; April 16th, attack on outposts east of Melinto; April 23rd, cavalry engaged enemy north of Santa Maria; April 24th,Narzogara captured; April 25th, capture of Angot; May 1st, capture of San Rafael; May 3rd, captured Baliuag; May 4th, captured Maasin; May 13th, captured San Miguel; May 17th, captured San Isidro; May 22nd, telegram received ordering Oregon to Manila; May 23d, homeward bound; June 13th, first battalion embarked on Newport and third battalion on the Ohio; July 13th, reached San Francisco; August 7, 1899, mustered out. During its term of service the regiment had participated in forty-two engagements. Among the many communications received by General Summers bearing testimony to his excellent service in the Philippines, he especially treasures the following:

        “Manila, P. I., August 30, 1898.
"Col. O. Summers, Commanding 2d Oregon,
U.S. v.:
"Sir — I desire to express to you in very strong terms my appreciation of the manner in which you and your regiment performed the very difficult and delicate duties of acting provost marshal and provost guard during the time immediately following the capitulation of Manila. It gives me much pride and pleasure on the eve of my departure to recall the way in which I have been supported by all of my troops, and the cheerful fortitude with which they have endured the hardships of the campaign.
                "Very respectfully,
                    "Wesley Merritt,
                       "Major-General, U. S. A.
                          "June 12, 1899.

        "Your regiment, having been relieved from my command for the purpose of proceeding to the United States for muster-out, gives me an opportunity of which I am glad to avail myself of expressing to you and to the officers and men of your regiment, my high appreciation of their gallant and faithful service while they have been under my command.
    "While I am glad the regiment is to return to their homes, I regret to lose so many good soldiers. When your regiment came to my command their reputation as brave and gallant soldiers had preceded them, since you have been with me our work has been constant, arduous and dangerous. I learned very soon to place implicit confidence in your energy, judgment and courage, and the gallantry and bravery of your men and officers. You have nobly earned the reputation of being among the best soldiers of the American army. In saying farewell to the regiment, I wish you Godspeed and all the good fortune and prosperity that may and should come to you.
"H. W. Lawton,
"Major General Volunteers.

"Candaba, May 23, 1899.

"In view of the remarkable successful engagements of Maasin, Balac Bridge and San Isidro, participated in by the troops under Colonel Summers' immediate command, I recommend Colonel Summers for promotion to the grade of brigadier-general of volunteers. At least, I believe him entitled to the corresponding brevet. I make this recommendation in advance instead of in my final report on account of his relief from this command and the probability of immediate return to the United States. My report will contain recommendations of other officers.

"Major General Volunteers.
"Manila, P. I., May 27, 1899.

"Col. Owen Summers, 2nd Oregon Vol. Inf.:
"Sir—your regiment is about to leave for home to be mustered out of the service of the United States, and I now desire to convey to you my high appreciation of the distinguished services of yourself and of the Second Volunteer Infantry. The skill, ability and courage with which you have fought your regiment is deserving the thanks of our countrymen; the bravery, determined courage, and gallant conduct of the officers and men of the Second Oregon Volunteer Infantry prove them worthy successors of the men who fought at Shiloh, at Gettysburg and in the Wilderness. Their gallant conduct during the recent campaign in Luzon has reflected credit upon the state from which they came.
        “Very respectfully,
            "Lloyd Wheaton,
              "Brigadier-General U. S. V.

                     SENATE JOINT RESOLUTIONS.
    "Whereas, the people of the state of Oregon, regardless of party affiliations, are desirous of expressing their deep feelings of gratitude and their admiration for the courage of the Oregon soldiers who have so nobly offered their lives in defense of helpless humanity in avenging the loss of the Maine, in behalf of civilization.
    "Whereas, the hearts of some of our people are bleeding as the result of the loss by sickness or in battle of loved ones to them most dear; therefore, be it
    "Resolved by the senate, the house concurring. That the congratulations, admiration and confidence of the people of the state of Oregon be and the same are hereby extended to the Oregon soldiers in the Philippines, and that the sympathy of the people be and is hereby extended to the mourning friends of the heroic dead;
    "That the secretary of state is and he is hereby requested to transmit a copy of these resolutions to the commanding officer of the Oregon regiment at Manila, and that said officer be and he is hereby requested, upon receipt of such copy, to cause the same to be read to each company of his said regiment.
    Adopted by the senate, February 6, 1899.
                T. C. Taylor,
            President of the Senate.
    Concurred in by the house, February 6, 1899.
                E. V. Carter,
            Speaker of the House.

    The quality of the men who composed the Second Oregon was indicated by a brief order of General Wheaton at Melinto: Orderly, over take those Oregon gray hounds on the road to Polo and order them to Melinto. Go mounted or you will never catch them."When, after the victory at Malabon, General Wheaton was asked, "Where are your regulars?" he pointed to the Second Oregon, saying, "There are my regulars." They were more than once placed in positions where supreme courage was absolutely imperative, and never once did they falter or fall back. Their record is one of unstained honor.
    On his return to Oregon General Summers was tendered the reappointment as United States appraiser by the president, taking effect September 1, 1899. In addition he reorganized his business and incorporated the Summers & Prail Crockery Company, but in February, 1900, sold his interest and has since given his entire attention to his government position.
    In Portland, July 23, 1880, he married Miss Clara T. Olds, who was born in Oregon, her parents having been pioneers of 1847. They are the parents of one son, Owen George Summers. Mrs. Summers is identified with the First Unitarian Church of Portland, the Native Daughters of Oregon and the Women's Relief Corps.
    In politics General Summers has always been a Republican. He is a member of the Commercial Club, at one time was connected with the Knights of Pythias, and is now associated with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, being past noble grand of the Portland Lodge. In 1871 he was made a Mason in Apollo Lodge, No. 642, in Chicago, and afterwards became a charter member of Columbia Lodge, No. 114, A. F. & A. M., of Portland. At one time he was honored with the position of commander of the George Wright Post, G. A. R., of Portland, and in 1886 he was elected department commander, serving one term. An indication of the esteem in which he is held is afforded by the fact that on his return from Manila, the citizens of Oregon presented him with a beautiful jeweled sword, in recognition of his meritorious service at the head of the Oregon boys.

Portrait and Biographical Record of Western Oregon
Containing Original Sketches of many well known Citizens of the Past and Present
Chapman Publishing Company; Chicago - 1904
Transcribed by Ann Planca

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