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Biography of Charles Adolph Alisky

Charles Adolph Alisky was born near Frankfort-on-the-Main, Germany, October 6, 1840, and is a descendant of an old and highly honorable German family which for several generations has resided at or in the immediate vicinity of the place of his nativity. His father, William Alisky, was a native of Mayence, and early in life exhibited rare musical talent, at the age of seven years playing a flute solo at a concert in Mayence. His genius for music attracted the attention of the Grand Duke of Hessia under whose protection he was sent to the Conservatory of Music at Paris. Here he became a classmate and intimate friend of Richard Wagner, the celebrated composer, and Karl Maria Von Weber, who at that time were pursuing their musical studies at Paris. After completing his musical education at Paris he became musical director of the Theatre at Darmstadt at that time one of the largest and finest in Germany. While thus engaged and giving promise of a brilliant future in music, the Grand Duke of Hessia died. With the death of his protector and. benefactor, his professional career came to an end and he was obliged to seek new means of gaining employment. He thereupon embarked in the music printing business, which he carried on only for a brief time, when he sold out and established a summer resort at Bergen, near Frankfort-on-the-Main-known as Bellevue-a place celebrated for the beauty of its scenery. The latter venture was in advance of the demands of the times and was not particularly successful. He continued in this line of work but a short time when...

Biography of Frank Zan

Frank Zan, the subject of this sketch, is of Slavonic descent and was born in 1851 in Stavigrard, Dalmatia, while that county was under Austrian rule. After completing his education in the public school of his native town, he was admitted to the Convent of the Dominican Fathers, with the intention of becoming one of their order. After studying theology for nearly two years at that school, he concluded to abandon the idea of devoting his life to ministerial work; and- not wishing to be drafted into military service, to which duty every young man is subject in that country, but desiring to become a sea faring man, he accordingly arranged matters with a sea captain to ship with him for nautical instruction. For nearly a year he followed the sea, but finding such vocation too monotonous for his naturally energetic nature, upon reaching the port of New York he bid farewell to the life of a sailor and started out to try his fortune in the “land of the free.” From New York shortly after landing, he came to San Francisco where his older brother, M. Zan, his present partner, was then located engaged in business. After living in San Francisco a short time he came to Portland in 1870, at that time being but nineteen years of age, to take charge of a branch house in the broom manufacturing business, started in this city a year prior by two brothers, Vincent and George Zan. Business at this time was not very encouraging and the two brothers named sold out the Portland branch to the present firm of...

Biography of George B. Markle

Among the young business men of Portland none have exerted a more powerful influence toward advancing the material progress of the city during the past few years than George B. Markle. The various projects he has been largely instrumental in creating and successfully carrying out, have been far reaching in their wholesome effect upon the prosperity of Portland, and justly entitle him to a prominent place in the commercial and financial history of the city. He is a native of Pennsylvania, having been born in Hazleton, Lucerne county, on the 7th of October, 1857. Until the age of twelve he received the educational advantages of the private and public schools of Hazelton. He then passed four years in a boarding school at White Plains, New York. His parents removed to Philadelphia, in 1874, and after one year’s attendance in a preparatory school in this city he entered Lafayette college, graduating from this institution in 1878. After graduation he was employed in the Anthracite coal mines at Geddo, Pennsylvania, which were owned by the firm of G. B. Markle & Co., his father being the senior member of the firm. In 1880, his father’s health having failed, young Markle entered the employ of the banking house of Pardee, Markle & Grier, of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, and also continued with their successors, Pardee & Markle, as representative of his father’s interests. In 1882, the older members of the firm retired and the firm of Markle Bros. & Co. was formed, of which Mr. Markle was the managing partner until 1886. Mr. Markle’s desire to locate in the west led him, in the...

Biography of A. H. Johnson

Few American cities can furnish so many instances where men have accumulated large fortunes simply by well directed labor, however adverse the circumstances which surrounded their early struggles, than Portland. The subject of this sketch is a striking example of the truth of this statement. Arriving in Portland some thirty odd years ago, without friends or money, but possessed of good health and plenty of pluck and energy, he has steadily pushed onward and upward until today he occupies a prominent place among the leading business men of the city. He was born in London, in 1830, and is the third among eleven sons and daughters of Richard and Mercy Johnson. His father was a butcher, but on coming to America, in 1843, settled on a farm in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, where, with his family, he continued to live until 1869, when he came to Portland, and resided with the subject of this sketch until his death in 1871. Young Johnson had but little chance for gaining an education, a short period of instruction in the public schools of London completing his opportunities in this direction. Although he was but thirteen years old when he left London, he had become very familiar with that great city and he still retains the most vivid recollections of his early home. After the family came to Wisconsin, he assisted his father in the labors upon the farm, being thus employed until after he had passed his twentieth year. He then went to Milwaukee and secured work in the pork packing establishment of John Plankington. Here he remained about a year, when he...

Biography of Tyler Woodward

Tyler Woodward was born in Hartland, Windsor county, Vermont, in 1835, and is of Puritan descent. His grandfather fought in the war of the revolution, while his father, Erastus Woodward, participated in the war of 1812. He was educated in the common schools and the academies at Kimball, Union and Meriden, New Hampshire, and Thilford, Vermont. When he reached his majority, he taught school in his native town for one term during the winter. He lived at home until 1860, when he came to Marysville, California, and for one year served as clerk in a hotel of which his brother was proprietor. In the summer of 1861, he went to Washoe county, at the time the gold excitement had broken out in that region. Here for some months he was interested in a saw mill, located on the Truckee river, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, where the Central Pacific railroad starts up the mountains. In the spring of 1862, he sold out and came to Oregon, spending the summer prospecting and mining in the vicinity of the Florence mines. The following winter he clerked in a store in John Day’s mines, where Canyon City is now located. He then located at Umatilla and for several months was engaged in stock feeding. In the spring of 1864, he purchased a stock of goods consisting of general merchandising and miners’ supplies; chartered a train and started for Stinking Water mines in Montana. He joined forces with a train in which L. H. Wakefield was interested, and together they started on the long and toilsome journey which was beset...

Biography of Parker Farnsworth Morey

Parker Farnsworth Morey, without great wealth, is one of the most successful men of Portland. As an organizer and conductor of successful enterprises he has no superior in this busy city. A man of untiring energy he possesses the patience to attend to the smallest details provided success depends on them. He has the ability and the courage to make successful those undertakings which a timid, a less confident or a richer man might not dare attempt. He has a genius for inventing. As a manager of men he has few superiors. Mr. Morey comes of old New England stock. The energy repressed through several generations by the severe quiet of Maine has appeared in all the greater force in this later son. He was born October 16, 1847, at Calais, Maine. While yet a child his parents moved to Machias, Maine, where his early boyhood was passed. At an early age he began to learn the trade of a machinist. He worked at Bangor and Portland, Maine, and at Boston, Massachusetts, until he was a competent machinist and mechanical engineer. In 1866, he moved to Placerville, California, where he lived until 1870, being employed most of the time as mechanical engineer. But Placerville was too small a place for such an energetic nature as Mr. Morey’s, so in 1870 he moved to Sacramento and obtained employment there in the shops of the Central Pacific Railroad. There is no better illustration of his inventive genius, and his ability to meet emergencies than his short experience at these railroad shops. In the year 1870 the C. P. R. R. Co....

Biography of John William Whalley

Whalley, John William, was born on the 28th of April, 1833. His ancestors on his father’s side had, for a long period, been yoemen residing at Dent in the West Reding of Yorkshire, England, who had migrated there from Norfolk, and belonged to the same family of which Edmund Whalley of the Cromwellian Army was a member. Many of the family held respectable positions, both in the church, the army and at the bar, the elder sons usually owning and managing the small estate of the family, the younger members making their living in some of the learned professions. On his mother’s side Mrs. Whalley’s “fore-elders,” as termed in Cheshire, were Welsh, and for more than 200 years occupied, under lease for that term, the estate of Overton Hall, owned by Lord Kenyon. This lease terminated in the life-time of Mr. William Jones, the grandfather of Mr. Whalley, who then with his family moved to Canada, and from thence to New York City, where he died and was buried in St. Paul’s churchyard on Broadway. Mr. Whalley’s father, Rev. Francis Whalley, left England under an appointment from the society for the propagation of the gospel in foreign parts and was stationed in Annapolis, Nova Scotia, where the subject of this sketch was born. In 1835 the family returned to England, the father becoming rector of Rivington Parish, Cheshire, but was subsequently appointed Chaplain of Lancaster Castle, followed by service as rector of the parish at Churchtown, Lancashire, afterwards of New Hutton and then of Old Hutton, near Kendal in Westmoreland. Here amid the wild and grand scenery and beautiful...

Biography of Hon. P. A. Marquam

Hon. P. A. Marquam was born near Baltimore, Maryland, February 28, 1823, and is the eighth child in a family of nine children of Philip Winchester and Charlotte Mercer (Poole), Marquam. His grandfather was a wealthy merchant of England, employing many ships in carrying on an extensive trade. His father was born in England but at the age of twenty came to America. His mother was a daughter of Henry Poole, a wealthy planter, on whose plantation now stands Poolville, Maryland. On account of sickness and financial misfortune the father of our subject soon after his marriage decided to leave Maryland with the hope of bettering his fortune, and to seek a new home in the west. With his family he first settled in Ohio, but shortly moved to Lafayette, Indiana. Here the family settled on unimproved government land, where a rude home was erected and pioneer life commenced. At the end of a few years, by the united labors of father and sons a greater portion of the wild tract upon which they had settled was cleared. By this time Mr. Marquam’s elder brothers had left home to seek their own fortunes, leaving him at home to assist in the support of the family. Being the youngest of the boys and naturally strong and vigorous he was naturally selected as the one to remain upon the farm. If, however, he cheerfully accepted his lot it was not without a strong determination to make of himself something more than the prospects held out to the average farmer’s boy in a new and undeveloped country. The circumstances which surrounded him...

Biography of George W. Staver

George W. Staver, president and founder of one of the largest mercantile corporations on the Pacific Coast was born in Brush Valley, Center county, Pennsylvania, November 18, 1836. He is of German and Scotch-Irish ancestry and was reared upon a farm. Soon after his birth his parents moved to Sugar Valley, Clinton county, Pennsylvania, and remained on the same farm until 1854, when they came ‘to Illinois, but a year later settled near Monroe, Green county, Wisconsin. Here his father, Frederick Staver, still resides, at the advanced age of eighty-one years. Our subject received from his father a most thorough knowledge of farming in all its branches, long before the era of the present improved farming implements. His education was such as was received at that day in Pennsylvania, Illinois and Wisconsin by the average farmer’s boy. Attendance at the district school in winter with three months at the Academy at Warren, Illinois, in 1861, completed his educational advantages; previous to going to the latter institution, however, he taught school for two terms in Green county. He early became interested in and an expert operator of agricultural machinery. He purchased one of the first threshing machines used in Green county, and during the fall and winter followed threshing. He became very proficient in this line of work and before he had reached his majority did quite an extensive business. While at school at Warren, Illinois, Fort Sumter was fired upon and President Lincoln issued his first call for troops. Young Staver at once enlisted but before his company was ready to enter the service the requisite number of men...

Biography of James K. Kelly

For many years James K. Kelly has been a prominent man in the legal and political history of Oregon, and has left upon the annals of this section of the Union the impress of his personality. In positions of honor and trust he has maintained an exalted standard of excellence and according to the dictates of his conscience and judgment his influence has been cast for the agencies he believed to be conducive to the true interests of the people. A fitting record of the part he has borne in many important events during his long residence in Oregon, very properly belongs to any history pertaining to this portion of the State. He was born in Center County, Pennsylvania, in 1819. Until he attained the age of sixteen years his life was spent upon a farm. He was prepared for a collegiate course at Milton and Lewisburg Academies, and became so far advanced in classical and mathematical learning that in 1837 he entered the junior class at Princeton College, New Jersey, from which institution he graduated in 1839. In the fall of 1839 he went to Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and commenced the study of law in the law department of Dickinson College, then under the professorship of John Reed, L. L. D. He graduated in the fall of 1841 and shortly thereafter began the practice of his profession at Lewistown, Pennsylvania. He had been in practice but a short time when he was appointed Deputy Attorney General for Juniata County, by Ovid F. Johnson, Attorney General of Pennsylvania, and was re-appointed by Mr. Johnson’s successor, John K. Kane, Attorney General...
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