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Biography of William C. Painter

WILLIAM C. PAINTER. – William C. Painter was born in St. Genevieve county, Missouri, April 18, 1830. His parents, Philip and Jean, lived on a farm; and the early years of William’s life were passed in that home. In 1850 his father started for Oregon with his family of wife and seven children, but died of cholera on the Little blue river. Two of his sons had been buried as they camped by that stream two days before; and only the mother, with her two daughters, Margaret A. and Sara J., and three sons, William C., Joseph C. and Robert M. were left to continue their sorrowful journey to the Pacific coast. Upon the family’s arrival in the Willamette valley, they took up several Donation claims in Washington county; and the one taken by William was retained by him until his removal to Washington Territory in 1862. When the Indian war of 1855 broke out, he was one of those who enlisted for that campaign as a member of Company D, First Regiment, Oregon Mounted Volunteers, continuing to follow the fortunes of his company until it was mustered out of service late in 1856. It was the opportune arrival of this command upon the scene of action that caused the Indians at the battle of Walla Walla, in December, 1855, to give up the struggle and retreat into the Palouse country. He participated with credit to himself in all the battles and skirmishes of that war east of the Cascades, prior to the disbandment of his company. Mr. Painter was chosen by his comrades as the bearer of a...

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