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Biography of William R. Anderson

WM. R. ANDERSON. – This well-known pioneer of Clarke county was born in West Virginia in 1822, and there received his education and was apprenticed to learn the working of leather and the manufacture of boots and shoes. Being possessed of a roving disposition, he went out to Missouri in 1848, and the year following took the final step to reach the Pacific. His trip across the mountains was brought about by his hiring to drive a government wagon to Fort Hall. Reaching this point too late to return that season, the commander proposed to the squad of thirty-six men to go on down to Vancouver for the winter. On the Blue Mountains, they floundered through snow up to their armpits, and from The Dalles came down on the ice of the Columbia to White Salmon, and just above the Cascades, camped one night on the rocks in the river to avoid submergence on the shore from the heavy rain. Work was furnished at Vancouver at sixty dollars per month; and, subsequently, Mr. Anderson went to Hunt’s sawmill, near the present Westport, to build the Columbia, the first steamer constructed in Oregon. Coming to Portland, he was married in 1851, and lived on a farm below the town, but in 1854 came to Clarke county, taking the Donation claim four miles north, upon which he has since resided. This region was originally densely timbered, and has been noted for the piling furnished for the Portland wharves. Our settler bore his part in the Indian war, and was in the service while the seven hundred Indians were brought for safe-keeping...

Biography of George W. Proebstel

GEORGE W. PROEBSTEL. – The subject of this sketch was born upon a farm in Missouri in 1842. When ten years old he crossed the plains with his father, Jacob Proebstel, driving an ox-team and experiencing the usual hardships attending such a trip. On one occasion he saw his mother pay a dollar a pound for flour, which was hard to secure even at that price. It was the Fourth of July that his party reached Independence Rock, and found there a large train celebrating the holiday with music and dancing. The behavior of the cowboys whom he saw made a lasting impression upon his mind. Arriving in Clarke county in November, the family was obliged to put up with the usual privations of that early day, living on boiled wheat and going barefoot through the rain and snow of that severe winter. George W. was a participator in the Indian war of 1855, belonging to Captain Kelly’s company; and upon his discharge found himself in debt fifteen dollars for the clothes which he had worn out in the service. In 1863 he endeavored to find his fortune by repairing to the Idaho mines, and remained as much as five years. Returning to Clarke county in 1868, he married and located a homestead on heavily timbered land, forty acres of which he cleared within ten years. In1878 he selected a new home at Weston, Umatilla county, and engaged with his brothers in a flouring mill, which was burned four years later. After this he clerked in a store for one year; and, being careful of his earnings, he was...

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