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HON. DEAN BLANCHARD. – Among those who have manifested great interest in the welfare of the Pacific Northwest as a whole, and Columbia county, Oregon, in particular, the gentleman above named figures conspicuously. He was born in Madison county, Maine, on December 20, 1832, where he resided on his father’s farm until 1853, when he left for California, reaching that state in December of that year. In April 1854, he came to Oregon, and located at St. Helens, having secured a situation as salesman and book-keeper in a store there. In 1855, he went with the command of Major Haller, which was ordered to the Boise country to punish the Indians who had murdered some immigrants in 1854 on the Snake and Boise rivers. In this campaign several savages were killed; and some eight or nine of those captured, who were found guilty of murder, were hanged. From these scenes he followed the fortunes of the command to California, where it wintered in 1855-56.
In the spring of 1856, he was again in the Pacific Northwest, being employed in the quartermaster’s department at Vancouver. After a stay there of about a year he again went back to St. Helens. He was soon elected auditor of Columbia county, which position he held for two years, after which he assumed the duties of county clerk, to which office he had been chosen. After the expiration of his term as county clerk, he accepted a position in the quartermaster’s department at Vancouver, and retained such position until his removal to Portland in 1861. His first employment in this latter place was at carpentering, which he followed until 1862, when he entered the store of G.W. Vaughn as clerk and manager. In 1868, he started for Umatilla Landing to engage with Captain Kinghton in merchandising; but while on the way to The Dalles that gentleman died. In consequence, the plans of our subject were changed, and he retraced his steps and once more found himself in St. Helens, where he busied himself in settling up the estate of his deceased friend Captain Kinghton. When this duty was completed, he removed to Ranier and engaged in the lumber business. At that place he has since remained.
In 1874, he was elected county judge, and was re-elected in 1878. In 1882, he was tendered the nomination for a third term, but declined the honor. Mr. Blanchard’s interests in his adopted home are extensive. Besides his lumber mill, which is one of the largest on the Columbia river, and furnishes the fruits of the same to not only home but foreign markets, eh conducts a general merchandise business equal to the demands of the neighborhood. He also carries on the business of wharf construction; and his efforts in this line are to be seen at nearly all landings and places along the river, which in itself attests his skill as a master mechanic.
Through life Mr. Blanchard has ever been a sober, industrious and exemplary man and citizen; and when a public trust was in his hands for administration, the requirements incident to the office were performed faithfully and honestly. He well merits his popularity in the community.