Location: Champoeg Oregon

Biography of Gen. John H. Stevens

GEN. JOHN H. STEVENS. – This hero of a hundred Western adventures, and a pioneer of the great Inland Empire, was born on a town line in Windham County, Vermont. The son of Asa Stevens, a miller and farmer, he learned to use his hands and brain in practical affairs, and at the village school obtained a good working education. In his youth he followed business in Boston, and was engaged in lumbering in Pennsylvania. In 1832 he came west to Michigan, and at Coldwater, Branch County, kept a hotel, advancing his business also by taking mail contracts, and in such early ventures as the conditions of life in the Wolverine state afforded at that early day. He became a colonel in the state militia, and succeeded also to a generalship. Eight years he served as sheriff of Branch county, and during that time made many notable arrests. In 1852 he prepared for the journey to Oregon, rigging up a large team of mules and horses, and with his daughter Mary C., who subsequently became the wife of the famous lawyer of Eugene, Oregon, Stukeley Ellsworth, and with thirteen young men, among whom was Green Arnold, now of LaGrande, made the journey across the plains. Although in the midst of the pestilential cholera, he lost but one man. He made a speedy trip, covering the distance from the Missouri...

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Biography of Henry Martyn Chase

HENRY MARTYN CHASE. – This gentleman was born March 28, 1831, in Philadelphia, from whence he moved to Newburyport, Massachusetts, in 1844. He is a descendant of Aquila Chase, one of the early settlers of Newburyport, Massachusetts, and also directly descended from the famous Hannah Dustin, who killed her Indian captors in the Indian war of 1689. Mr. Chase sailed from Boston for California January 11, 1849, in the brig Forest, and arrived in San Francisco July 6th of the same year. He earned his first money there by painting a ship. In August, 1849, he sailed for Oregon in the ship Aurora. Arriving at Astoria in the beginning of September, he proceeded to Oregon City and entered the store of Captain Kilbourn as a clerk. The freshet of that year carrying away the store, he went to Portland, then a small village, and, hiring a bateau and crew of Indians, engaged in the transportation of freight and passengers from that point to Oregon City, a distance of thirteen miles. The rates of freight were at that time twenty-five dollars per ton, and for each passenger five dollars. Compelled by sickness to give up this profitable business, he engaged in a mercantile venture at Oregon City and Champoeg, at the latter place acting as agent for the Hudson’s Bay Company. This proving unprofitable, he associated himself with a party...

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Biography of Daniel Chaplin

DANIEL CHAPLIN. – The subject of this sketch was born in Niagara county, New York, in 1823. He was educated in his native place, and became a surveyor, removing to Michigan. Honest, upright and much respected, he was one of those men of broad ideas and indefatigable energy who create prosperity for any community in which they settle. Having heard much of Oregon, its boundless resources and delightful climate, he crossed the plains in 1854, settling near Champoeg in Marion county. From there he moved to where Sheridan, in Yamhill county, now stands, and thence to Dayton, Yamhill county. In the spring of 1862, he located in La Grande, Union county, and built the first house in that place. Through his efforts, he succeeded in having the land-office for Eastern Oregon located there, and for fifteen consecutive years held the position of receiver of the land-office, when he resigned on account of the accumulation of other business on his hands. The arduous duties of this office were conducted by him with admirable promptness and honesty; and the settlers who came to transact business with the office were always treated with great consideration. In 1864 he was elected to the legislature of Oregon, and gave entire satisfaction to his constituents. In 1865 he, in conjunction with Green Arnold, established the present water system of La Grande, and laid the first...

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