Biography of Joseph Brannan

JOSEPH BRANNAN. – Mr. Brannan was born in Union county, Ohio, near Marysville, September 13,1825, is the ninth child of a family of twelve children, and the son of Joseph and Jane Huls Brannan. On his nineteenth birthday he left his father’s farm and came west to Winnebago county, Illinois, where he resided for six years and followed farming, when he went to Iowa, but soon returned to Illinois.

On April 1, 1854, he started for Washington Territory, with Seattle as the objective point, to join his brother William H., who was killed by Indians in the fall of 1855 on White river, his family and property being burned on the place now owned by our subject. At Council Bluffs he met a man named William Justice, now a resident of Oregon, and with a train known as the Starky train came across the plains to Washington Territory, making a very successful trip. They arrived at Osceola on Boise creek October 1, 1854; and he immediately joined his brother on his present property. Here they resided on the Donation claim on White river until the breaking out of the Indian war. At the time his brother and family were killed he was absent to see the governor on behalf of the settlers to secure troops to come to the valley. On his return he found that his brother and family had been murdered and his property destroyed. He joined Company B, First Regiment, under Captain Hays, with whom he served three months.

In the spring of 1856 a company was formed to go eat of the mountains under Captain Hanness; and the old company was reorganized. He then went to the Yakima country and remained until the expiration of his enlistment, when he was discharged and returned to the Sound. But not being safe in his old home, he remained in Thurston county until 1858, when he returned to White river and purchased what is now known as the Meeker farm, near Kent, where he remained for eight years, after which he sold his farm and removed to the old Donation claim on White river. He began general farming and hop-raising on this four hundred and eighty acres, and made many improvements. He has sold from and added to the original Donation claim, until he now owns about four hundred acres one and a half miles from Slaughter, where he is now enjoying the comforts of a hard-working and well-spent life, and having the confidence of the entire community.

Mr. Brannan was married in Thurston county, Washington Territory, in 1857, to Miss Sarah V. Hanness, daughter of Captain Hanness, an old Indian war veteran, a native of Iowa and pioneer of 1852. They had eleven children, four of whom are now deceased.

MLA Source Citation:

History of the Pacific Northwest Oregon and Washington. 2 v. Portland, Oregon: North Pacific History Company. 1889. Web. 21 January 2015. - Last updated on Jun 20th, 2011

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