Location: Clark County WA

Biography of Gay Hayden

MR. AND MRS. GAY HAYDEN. – Prominent among the many pioneers of the Pacific Northwest who deserve an enduring place in its history are Mr. and Mrs. Hayden of Vancouver, Washington, whose heroism under the many difficulties that beset the emigrants who broke the way for advancing civilization on this far frontier will seem to generations yet unborn, who are destined to read these pages, more like the dream of the novelist than a recital of fact. Mrs. Mary J. Hayden, who at this writing is a handsome, well-preserved and charmingly vivacious woman, as ready-witted, graceful and gentle as though border life had never been her portion, was born in the year 1830 in Athens, Maine, and spent her early childhood with her grandparents in the town of Cornville in that state. At the age of fifteen Miss Bean emigrated with her parents to the wilds of Wisconsin, where she was married in 1847 to Gay Hayden, one of the well-known pioneers of the Pacific Northwest, with whom her lot was cast; and, in the year 1850, they emigrated to that part of Oregon Territory to be known in future as the State of Washington. In recounting her experiences in crossing the plains with teams of oxen, Mrs. Hayden says; “We traveled leisurely at first, but wearily, as the roads were bad in early spring, and accommodation for ourselves...

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Biography of George E. Wells

GEORGE E. WELLS. – The subject of this sketch is a man of great energy and power of adaptability, as is manifested in the occupations that have been engaged in by him during the years in which he has been in this western country, and it is pleasant to remark that during all of these varied undertakings, some of which have been exceedingly arduous and fraught with hardship and danger, he has manifested a stanch and unflinching courage, marked industry and enterprise, with excellent personal qualities of integrity and upright principles, while a good success has attended his efforts, both became of the excellent practical judgment used and because of his keen foresight and untiring efforts to do well whatever his hand undertook. George E. was born in Licking county, Ohio, on November 3, 1850, being the son of John and Sarah (Holmes) Wells. The father came to Oregon in 1859, settling at Oregon City and following the milling business for two years, when he repaired to Vancouver, Washington. The mother and three children then came and they all remained in that place until June, 1865, then they went to Lagrande, landing there on June 1, of that year. The father engaged in packing from Umatilla Landing to the mines of Boise Basin and others in this section. Our subject remained with his father one year in packing and...

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Biography of Hon. Charles T. Stiles

HON. CHARLES T. STILES. – One who has enjoyed the advantages of education, and has been the recipient of wealth left him by fond and indulgent parents, is surely worthy of the encomiums due to success thereby attained. but how much more so is the one who, without this pedestal of fame and fortune, attains an equal eminence by his own un-aided exertions. As an example of this latter career, there was none more notable than the gentleman whose name appears above, whose late untimely demise has removed from the scene of activity one of our most valuable and honored representative men. Briefly stated, the course of his life is as follows: He was a native of Whitneyville, Maine, having been born in that state June 16, 1847. In 1860, when he was bur thirteen years of age, he came with his mother to the Pacific coast to join his father, who had crossed the plains into California in 1849, whom they found at Vancouver, Washington Territory, having located a Donation claim of nine hundred acres near Washougal. The subject of this sketch resided there until 1877, when he moved to Portland, Oregon, his father having died in 1873. In Portland he speculated in produce of every kind until July, 1878, when he removed to Columbia County, Washington Territory, and located in Pataha City, which is now in Garfield...

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Biographical Sketch of Matthias Spurgeon

MATTHIAS SPURGEON. – This pioneer of Clarke County is a native of Iowa, having been born in Cedar County in 1838. In his childhood he was bereft of his parents, and found a home in the family of an uncle, Mr. George Spurgeon. With this relative he came to Oregon while but a boy of fourteen, and found a home in the household of Mr. William H. Dillon. Soon after becoming of age, he spent two years in the mountains and gorges of Idaho prospecting for gold, meeting, however, with but little success. Returning to Clarke county he took up the business of farming, renting the well-known Petrain place near Vancouver, Washington. He was so successful, that in three years he made a portion of this farm his own by purchase, and it is still his home, stock-raising, farming and dairying occupying his attention. He was married in 1877 to Miss Olive Dillon, who was born in Oregon in 1856. They have four children, – Ella A., Mary J., John M. and Matthias J. This is one of the prosperous and well-ordered families of the...

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Biography of Mrs. Helen Smith

MRS. HELEN SMITH. – There survives within the limits of the old Oregon no person whose life possesses more universal interest than the lady whose name appears above, and of whom we present an excellent portrait. The widow of a pioneer whose first operations upon this coast belong to the antique days of Wyeth and Kelly, her own memory extends to the remote times of the Astor expedition of 1811; and her infant life was contemporary with the explorations of Lewis and Clarke in 1805. The entire panorama of the occupation and settlement of our state has therefore passed before her eyes. She has been no careless observer of these great events; and her mind, still clear and active, retains a surprisingly vivid recollection of our early Oregon history. As thus pictured in her mind, this possesses a peculiar interest from the fact that it has been drawn exclusively from personal observation from the standpoint of the native owners of our state. Celiast, whose christian name is Helen, is the daughter of Coboway (incorrectly written Commowool by Bancroft), and dates her birth in the year 1804. Her father was the chief of the Clatsops, a tribe whose boundaries extended from the mouth of the Columbia River southward to Ecahni Mountain (Carni), eastward thence to Swallalahost or Saddle Mountain, and thence by Young’s river back to the Columbia. The Clatsops...

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Biography of Dr. Alden H. Steele

DR. ALDEN H. STEELE. – “Olympia will always be a place for pleasant homes,” says one of her citizens well qualified to render an opinion, – the gentleman whose name appears above. The wide streets, magnificent shade-trees and comfortable residences of the capital of Washington Territory, together with her delightful climate, an extensive view of water and mountains, fully justify the remark; and no place could have a more pleasant recommendation. The Doctor has also examined the facilities of the place for a naval station, and finds that the location is most desirable from the following particulars: Safe anchorage and good harbor; ease of defense; abundance of coal, iron and ship timber; opportunity for a fresh-water dock and basin at small cost at Priest’s Point; ease of communication; and advantage of tide. Doctor Steele, whose presence as a resident contributes much towards the pleasantness of Olympia, is a native of New York State, having been born in 1823 at Oswego, where his father had long been a successful merchant. At the age of twenty our subject graduated from the medical department of the University of New York, and also from the office of Doctor James R. Woods, the distinguished professor of surgery. The first practice of the young physician was at Oswego, new York; but in 1849, in company with the mounted riflemen under Lieutenant-Colonel Loring, he crossed the...

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Biography of John Wagener

John Wagener is one of the owners of the Trook and Jennings mine and five-stamp mill, one mile southeast of Silver City. He is also proprietor of several stock ranches and since pioneer days has been active in the development of the business resources of this state. A native of Germany, he came to America hoping to better his financial condition, and whatever success he has achieved is due entirely to his own labors. Mr. Wagener was born June 30, 1833 and in his native land acquired his education. When a young man of nineteen years he bade adieu to home and friends and in 1852 sailed for America, coming to this country in limited circumstances and without any knowledge of the language, manners or customs of the people. It is astonishing how rapidly our foreign-born citizens adapt themselves to new surroundings and be-come an integral part in our public life. Mr. Wagener took up his residence in New York City and began learning the wagon maker’s trade, at which he worked for a number of years. He then left the Atlantic for the Pacific coast, and in 1858 visited Idaho, when it was still a part of Washington Territory. He crossed the plains to Vancouver’s, thence came to Florence in 1862, and after engaging in placer-mining at the latter place for a year, went to Idaho City in...

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Biography of Thomas T. Redsull

Great, indeed, have been the changes that time and man have wrought since Thomas T. Redsull landed on the Pacific coast. California yet belonged to Mexico, and much of the land, especially in the southern part of the state, was divided into large estates, owned and occupied by Spanish families. Mr. Redsull was then but eleven years of age, yet had started out to make his own way in the world. He was born in the County of Kent, England, on the 15th of November, 1827, a son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Goymer) Redsull, both of whom were natives of England and representatives of ancient families of that country. They were both members of the Episcopal Church, and the father was a collector of excise for the government. He departed this life in 1858, at the age of fifty years, and his widow is now living at the age of one hundred and three years. They had seven children, but only three are now living. Mr. Redsull of this review acquired his early education in England, and when only eleven years of age was bound out as an apprentice to the Hudson’s Bay Company, and in their service came to the United States in 1838, landing in California. He is consequently one of the oldest pioneers of that state. The same year he also went to Oregon, and therefore...

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Biography of Auren G. Redway

For thirty-six years Auren G. Redway has been a resident of Boise, and for many years was prominently connected with her banking interests, but is now living retired, enjoying that well earned rest which is the fitting reward of an honorable and active business career. He comes from the far-off east and is a representative of a family that was established in America in colonial days. His grandfather, Preserved Redway, served his country throughout the war of the Revolution, was one of General Washington’s bodyguard, and had the honor of being a corporal of the guard at the time of the surrender of General Burgoyne. He lost one of his limbs in that great struggle for independence, but it was a willing sacrifice for the great cause of American liberty. By occupation he was a farmer, making that pursuit his life work. In religious belief he was a Presbyterian, and his death occurred April 28, 1837, when he had attained an advanced age. His wife, Azuba Redway, survived him a number of years, and passed away January i, 1853. Their son, Abel Redway, father of our subject, was born in Adams, Jefferson County. New York, February 8, 1805, and married Sally Charlotte Grinnell, a representative of the prominent Grinnell family of the Empire state. She was born at Galway on the 19th of May, 1810, and at the time...

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Biography of William Proebstel

WILLIAM PROEBSTEL. – In the word, pioneer, is wrapped more real substance and genuine meaning than perhaps in any other word of the English language. Its pronunciation brings vividly before us weary days of marching through the trackles wastes of western desert, enduring the pain of hunger, thirst and waning strength, although courage was never less to the pioneer and the buoyancy of hope never shone dimmer than when first its vision lured him to turn his face from civilization hired him to turn his face from civilization and begin the pilgrim journey toward the setting sun. What scenes of herculean struggles when the destination was reached, when from the wildness of nature there was a rude home carved to shelter the hardy subjects until little by little the comforts of life could be added. What days and night of anxiety were spent in watching and fighting the savages, who roamed but to destroy. All this, and much more were the experiences of these noble men and women, who gave to us this good land of plenty and peace. As a leading figure and worthy representative of this class, stands the subject of this sketch, and what more could we say, and surely he deserves no less, than that Wiilliam Proebstel was a pioneer in every true sense of the word and in the place where he wrought with...

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Biography of John Krall

Few lives have been more active or more thoroughly filled with incidents of interest and of unusual nature than has that of John Krall, one of the pioneers of Idaho, and for about thirty-five years a resident in the vicinity of Boise City. Now a wealthy man, he is indebted to himself alone for his fortune, for he started out in youth to fight the battle of life, a poor boy, and by the exercise of industry and perseverance, in the face of great difficulties, he came off victor over all. Mr. Krall is a native of Germany, born December 10, 1835, his parents and ancestors likewise being of German birth. His father owned a flouring mill and the lad early learned the business. When he had mastered the branches of learning taught in the government schools he went to England, and there, at sixteen, took up the study of the English language and customs, while he worked as a baker and confectioner. Desiring to see something of the world, and well equipped to earn a living, as he was familiar with two languages and had mastered two trades, he shipped aboard a vessel and in the next few years sailed to various parts of the world. Once, when sailing around Cape Horn, he was shipwrecked, and the disabled vessel was towed to Valparaiso by an English man-of-war. From...

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McEwen, Martha Grewell – Obituary

Old Pioneer Of Valley Dies At Toppenish Mrs. Martha Mcewen Passes Away After Lingering Illness Of Several Months Mrs. Martha Grewell McEwen, an old pioneer of this vicinity, passed away at Toppenish Sunday morning at 7 o’clock after a lingering illness which confined her to her bed for the past several months [died December 22, 1918]. Mrs. McEwen was born February 22, 1860, in Iowa, and three years later crossed the prairies in an ox team with her parents, settling at Vancouver, Wash. When she was 13 years old she moved to this vicinity where she has since made her home and where she has many friends. She was married in 1877 to Harvey McEwen, by whom she is survived. She has been a staunch member of the Christian Congregational church practically all her life. In addition to her husband she is survived by eight children. Four sons, Ed, Ernest, Clarence and Carl, all living at Toppenish, and a fifth son, Oscar, resides here [Ellensburg]. Two daughters, Mrs. Iva McElhinney, is of Seattle. She is also survived by two sisters, Mrs. William Taylor of Ellensburg and Mrs. Belle Little of Mabton; one brother, Clayton Grewell of White Bluffs, Wash., and three grandchildren, besides many other relatives. All of her children will be present for the funeral, but it is not known whether the brother and sister who live out...

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Wigle, Malinda Jane Dixon – Obituary

Mrs. Malinda J. Wigle died in Mabton, Dec. 29, 1916, aged 86 years, 2 months and 13 days. Funeral services were held in the M. E. Church Sunday, and burial was in Mabton cemetery. Mrs. Wigle was a native of Illinois, residing there until her marriage to Thomas Grewell, and moved to Corydon, Iowa. In 1863 she, with her husband and family, started across the plains. When in Wyoming, her husband was taken ill and died at Independence Rock, Wyo. With her children she resumed her journey westward, arriving at Vancouver, Wash. the same year. Two years later she was united in marriage to Daniel D. Wigle, and to this union was born one child, Elizabeth Belle Little of Mabton, with whom she spent her last days. In 1902 she was again left a widow. She was one of the earliest pioneers of Kittitas Valley, going to that place in 1873. She was a devoted Christian, converted at an early age and uniting with the M. E. Church. [Listed as Wagle in the obit] The Mabton Chronicle, January 4, 1917 Contributed by: Shelli...

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Heller, F. – Obituary

Frank Heller, who has been visiting relatives in Enterprise, received the sad news of the death of his son, Frank Heller at Vancouver, Wash., Saturday. He was an electrician and fell from a pole. Enterprise relatives are Mrs. Sarah Todd, Charles Heller and George Cannon. Wallowa County Reporter, Wallowa County, Oregon, Thursday October 10,...

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Wood, James LeLand – Obituary

James LeLand Wood, a carpenter and 12-year resident of the Vancouver area, died Friday. He was 59. His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Evergreen Staples Funeral Chapel with Rev. James Finkbeiner officiating. Private burial will be in Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Oregon. Mr. Wood was born August 21, 1926, in Wallowa, Oregon. He last lived at 1913 Leichner Road. He was an Air Force veteran of World War II and the Korean War and attended the Methodist church. He is survived by his mother, Clara Finstad of Port Lavaca, Texas; two sons, Jordan of Maupin, Oregon, and Landon of Redmand, Oregon; two daughters, Wendy Buchheit of McMinnville, Oregon, and Tracey Senter of Denver, Colorado; a sister, LaVonne Burgess of Port Lavaca, Texas, and six grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Hospice of Clark County, Suite D, McMaster House, 316 E. Fourth Plain Blvd., Vancouver, 98663. Note: by Gary Jaensch James Leland Wood has a second sister that wasn’t mentioned in this funeral notice, her whereabouts were not known at the time of Leland’s death. Her name was Marjorie Ellen Wood Jaensch, Strack, Williams, she died on June 12, 1996 in Bullhead City, Arizona. Her ashes were placed in the Colorado...

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