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Biography of Heman J. Gerr

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The name of Geer is so well known in our state that the following account of the father of T.T. Geer of the Waldo hills will be of interest to all. This now venerable pioneer was born in Ohio in 1828, removing with his parents to Illinois in 1840. In 1847 he crossed the plains to Oregon with General Palmer’s train. The large company forestalled trouble with the Indians. Peter Hall, who stopped with Whitman at Walla Walla was the only one who experienced any disaster. The crossing of the Cascade Mountains by the Barlow Road proved the worst of their trials.

After reaching Oregon, Heman stopped at Oregon City, and engaged in the boot and shoe business; while the father located at Butteville, Marion County. In 1848 he young man abandoned “city” life and located a claim in the Waldo hills, marrying Miss Cynthia Eoff. In 1849 he was prevented from completing the journey to California, by men returning with the report that the mines were “worked out.” From 1854 to 1861 he was in the nursery business at Silverton, and the next year in business at Salem, going thence to the Caribou mines in 1862, thence to Auburn, Oregon, and from this point with his goods to Bannack City. In 1864 he mined on the John Day river. Having separated from his first wife he made Union county his home, serving as deputy sheriff under his brother Isaiah Geer, of the newly organized Union county. In 1867 he located a fruit farm at the Cove, and formed the acquaintance of and married Miss Annie E. Duncan. He has two hundred acres of very fertile land, with an orchard of sixteen acres, and eight acres in hops, – the only hop ranch in the country at present.

As a member of Captain English’s company of Oregon Rangers in 1848, Mr. Geer was of much service in recovering property stolen by Indians from the settlers of the Willamette valley. He has ever been able and efficient in public matters. According to the longevity of the Geer family, Heman J. bids fair to live to see his four-score years and perhaps more, as he seems as buoyant and vigorous as a man of forty. That the above prediction may prove true is the sincere wish of his numerous friends.

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