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Biography of John M. Thomas

JOHN M. THOMAS. – Mr. Thomas was born in Nicholas county, Kentucky, July 8, 1829, and is the youngest son of a family of seven children. When he was four years old his parents moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, where his father died a year later. In 1844 he went to an older brother in Kentucky, where he remained for five years, and in October, 1849, returned to Indianapolis. On March 30,1852, he went to St. Louis, and one month later to St. Joseph, and there joined a friend from Indianapolis; and together they started with ox-teams for Oregon. At Fort Hall they lost some of their stock, and traded that left for pack-horses, and came on into the Grande Ronde valley, arriving there about August 30th. At Willow creek his partner left him; and he came on alone to Portland, arriving on September 5, 1852. He found employment at Tryon’s mill in Milwaukee, where he remained for two months, when he was taken sick and returned to Portland. In February, 1853, he went to Oswego, and in the same year went to Puget Sound and took up his residence in Port Townsend, where he remained until July, 1853. He then, in company with E. McFarland, came to White river; and, after looking over the country, in January, 1854, he took up the place now owned by J.B. Hewitt, and became the first white settler on White river. He lived there until driven off by the Indians. He soon returned, however, but only remained a short time, when he went to Seattle for safety. There he joined a company and...

Biography of Hon. Allen Weir

HON. ALLEN WEIR. – This universally known and universally respected maker of public opinion and founder of pioneer institutions in Washington Territory, of whom we present a portrait, was born in Los Angeles county, California, April 24, 1854, and is therefore in his thirty-sixth year. In 1860 the family removed from California to Puget Sound, arriving at Port Townsend June 1st of that year. They located on government land in the Dungeness river bottom in Clallam county, and there resided and “grew up with the country.” They were among the early pioneers of that section, moving in when there were but a few white families in the whole country. In such surroundings young Allen became accustomed to toil, and to that independent, self-reliant industry that overcomes natural obstacles and plants civilization where previously existed only a wilderness or an arid desert. His father, John Weir, was a typical frontiersman. Born and raised in Missouri (his father before him was a hunter and trapper for the Missouri Fur Company) John Weir combined the sturdy qualities that impel men to push out into Western wilds. He crossed the plains with his family, journeying by ox-teams from Texas to California in 1853. Finding that the best lands about Los Angeles and Santa Barbara were owned in large Spanish grants, he pushed northward in 1858, going to the Frazer river gold mines. By the time he reached Victoria, however, the excitement had subsided; and he crossed Puget Sound and took up land at Dungeness, the family (four daughters and two sons) following two years afterwards. Mr. Weir was thoroughly identified with the best...

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