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Biography of Capt. J. H. McMillen

CAPT. J.H. McMILLEN. – Captain McMillen, a fitting example of the men whose stout courage, tireless energy and ready friendliness laid the groundwork of our state, is a pioneer of 1845, having crossed the plains with W.H. Rector, Colonel Taylor, Hiram Smith and others of that large immigration. Of Scotch ancestry, he traces his American lineage to a great-grandfather who crossed the Atlantic and settled in Rhode Island, where a numerous family grew up around him. The grandfather, James, pushed westward as far as New York; and in that state Joseph, the father, was born. Arriving at maturity he married Miss Ruth Gannett and settled in Attica, New York; and in that village James H., whose life we here record, was born May 10, 1823. During the very early life of this child, a further removal was made to Lodi, now Gowanda; and in 1836, when James was coming to be a stout, active lad, a further move to the prairies was effected. It was at Orange, Du Page county, Illinois, that the new home was made and a new farm opened. Aside from his agricultural pursuits, the father was a millwright; and the son learned that trade as his reliance for future support; and it has ever served him most opportunely and honorably. It was a foregone conclusion that the migratory life should not end with the third American generation; and in 1845 James H., now a stocky, powerful and skillful man of twenty-two, undertook the crossing of the plains to Oregon. Upon the advice of William Card, one of the organizers of the company, he did not...

Biography of Col. James Taylor

COL. JAMES TAYLOR. – The immigration of 1845 was large, and furnished many of the leading men of the Northwest, among that number being Colonel James Taylor of Astoria, Oregon. Although now past eighty years of age, he is still one of the active citizens of a city which boasts of many men of energy. He is one of the fathers of the place, not only in point of time, but as owner of considerable property in the city and adjacent country, embracing the heights west of the city, which will one day be occupied with handsome residences, as they command a magnificent view of the estuary of the Columbia river, and Young’s Bay, and its beautiful rivers, also of the imperial Saddle Mountain or Swallatache, and a wide view of the main ocean beyond the Clatsop Plains. The Colonel is of Scotch and Irish descent, and was born in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, in 1809. When thirteen years of age his father moved west to Mansfield, Ohio, and bought a farm near by, where he spent his boyhood. The winter of 1830-31 found him teaching a six-months’ school in the neighborhood. The following summer he joined an older brother who had preceded him to Fort Findlay, now the city of Findlay, Ohio, then a wilderness, including the great black swamp of the Maumee country, and inhabited by several tribes of Indians, including the Wyandottes, Ottawas and others, who lived by hunting, and whose peltries were the principal trade then in that new country. He and his brother were largely engaged in trade with the natives until they were moved...

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