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Location: Douglas County OR

Biography of James W. F. Owens

JAMES W.F. OWENS. – This gentleman was the eldest son of the pioneer Thomas Owens, and came as an infant in arms with his parents to Oregon in 1843, his birthplace having been Platte county, Missouri. In 1853 he removed with his parents to the Umpqua valley, and, amid the beautiful scenes of that almost unearthly region, grew to a vigorous manhood. His only education was received during a six months’ term of school at Dallas; but, having a phenomenal memory, this laid the basis for his large information of later years. He was one of those men who devour books and entertain very positive opinions upon the important subjects of life. The free and withal romantic life of a stock-raiser suited his bent; and in that business he was very successful. Marrying Miss Nannie L. Stevens of Ohio in 1864, he made for himself a cozy home, and gathered about him the comforts of life. Four children came to bless his life; and his early prospects were equal to those of anyone in our state. he owned for a long time a ferry on the Umpqua river, but made his residence at Roseburg. Gaining the confidence of the people, he was elected to the Oregon legislature in 1874 on the Independent ticket. During those years he was also very active in the Good Templar lodge, and was advanced...

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Biography of Bethina Angelina Owens-Adair

MRS. DR. OWENS-ADAIR. – Berthina Angelina, the second daughter of Thomas and Sarah Owens, was born February 7,1840, in Van Buren county, Missouri. She saw her fourth birthday in her father’s Western home on Clatsop Plains, Clatsop county, Oregon, her parents having made the then dangerous and tedious journey across the then dangerous and tedious journey across the plains with ox-teams in the summer and fall of 1843. At this time Berthina was a small child, delicate in stature for her age, and having a highly nervous and sensitive nature, but with a strong, vigorous constitution, thus early showing a good physical foundation for great perseverance and endurance. The country reached by her parents was new to them, and virtually unoccupied, save by Indians. It was a wilderness unbroken by the means and appliances of our civilization, with no visible evidence of its immediate settlement and development. If it were a nice thing to do for these elder people to leave their old established homes, social relations and open markets, thousands of miles away, and come into this new land, from which they could not return, their experience at the end of the journey taught them that they had retraced their steps in their lives to what appeared to be a childish adventure, and to a place where a child might lead them. This young girl was now as...

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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. Matthew W. Mitchell

HON. MATTHEW W. MITCHELL. – In at least two distinct lines of enterprise has the subject of this sketch achieved commendable success, and has wrought his way to the present prominent position that he holds by dint of real effort of worth and by manifestation of capabilities that are worthy of note, and by the display of integrity and upright principles. Coming with his father to this state when he was but a child he is practically a product of the state and here he has won the laurels and made the record that is his now to enjoy. On November 13, 1843, the subject of this sketch was born to Frederick and Rebecca (Hill) Mitchell, in Lafayette county, Missouri. His parents were natives of Virginia and came to this state in 1852, using ox teams for the entire journey and settling in Douglas county. His father imported considerable stock when he came to the state and was unfortunate enough to lose nearly all of it the first winter on account of the inclemency of the weather. Following this he took a donation claim in southern Oregon and gave his attention to general farming until the spring of 1863, when he drove stock to the Grande Ronde valley, taking up a homestead here and occupying himself in farming. Returning more particularly to the subject of this sketch, he entered...

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Biographical Sketch of Newt Livingston

Newt. Livingston, the present sheriff of Grant County, is a native of Missouri. When he was barely a year old, he came to Oregon with his parents, and lived in Douglas County until 1886. Moving then to Willow precinct, on Granite Creek, in the northern part of this county, he took op a homestead and became engaged in stock rising. In 1896 he was nominated by the Populist Party for Sheriff, and was elected by a handsome majority. He has proven to be a capable and efficient officer, and is popular with all who know him. In 1875 he married Miss M. E. Newsman, of Douglas County, and has four...

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Biography of William Henry Canaday

It is fitting that in a work that purports to accord to the leading citizens of Harney county representation there should be special mention of the well known business man whose name heads this article and who has labored in our midst for a number of years, gaining a good success and making for himself a name and standing which are enviable. Madison Canaday was born in Hillsboro, Highland county, Ohio, on October 21, 1831, and when a boy went with his parent to Illinois and then to Iowa, whence they crossed the plains with ox teams in 1852. They settled in Douglas county, Oregon, the parents taking a donation claim. Later they removed to Yam Hill county. Miss Sarah E. Abbott was born near Springfield, Missouri, in 1842, and started across the plains with ox teams in 1852, having traveled to Texas and returned to Missouri inĀ 1844. The train was a large on and the dreaded cholera attacked them and her father was the first victim to succumb to that terrible disease, passing away on June 9. Before the journey was completed the mother died also, the date being September 30, and she sleeps near where Baker City now stands. Thus from the happy eastern home this child was left an orphan on the dreary plains. She came on to Yam Hill county, Oregon. There she met and...

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Biographical Sketch of George M. Stanclift

Surely the subject of this review has passed the various stages of all kinds of pioneer work, with its hardships, deprivations and dangers, while he has met each point with a calm determination to overcome and make his way through it all, which he has done in a most commendable manner, being now one of the stanch and upright men of Harney and one of its well-to-do citizens, having his home on one of the finest pieces of soil in central Oregon, the same being one hundred and fifty-three acre, one mile north from Burns, which forms the family home and is a good dividend producer. Mr. Stanclift was born in Erie county, New York, on April 25, 1837, being the son of Reuben and Elvira (Adams) Stanclift. At the age of fifteen he went with the family to Cass county, Michigan, and thence to Berrien county, where his mother died. In February, 1855, he came via New York and Panama to San Francisco, crossing the Isthmus with the first through passenger train. On the sea they encountered great storms that made the passage unpleasant. Upon landing in California he went to the Poor creek country, and thence to Plumas county and mined. Yuba county he later took up mining and dairying together and in the spring of 1860 he went to the vicinity of Virginia City. But the...

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Biography of Col. La Fayette Mosher

COL. LA FAYETTE MOSHER. – There is perhaps no resident of Oregon more widely known and generally respected than L.F. Mosher. He has held so many prominent positions, and is so well qualified to fill them, that it only seems a natural thing to see him in the senate, and as a justice of the supreme court. He was born in Benton County, Kentucky, September 1, 1824. So entirely did he bend his energies tot he gaining of an education, that at the age of nineteen years we find him a graduate of Woodward College, Cincinnati, where he carried off honors on June 30, 1843. After graduating, he acted as deputy clerk of the supreme court of Hamilton County, where he remained until the breaking out of the Mexican war. He at once came valiantly forward and joined the Fourth Ohio Regiment, and served in the brigade of General Joseph Lane until the close of the war. When the war was ended he entered the law office of Pugh & Pendleton, the members of the firm being ex-Senator George E. Pugh, now deceased, and ex-Senator George H. Pendleton. He was admitted to the bar in May, 1852, and at once began the practice of his profession in Cincinnati. He came to Oregon with General Lane in 1853, landing in Portland in May of that year. The following months he...

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Biographical Sketch of Matthew W. Mitchell

MATTHEW W. MITCHELL. – This representative man of Eastern Oregon was born in Missouri in 1843, and with his parents crossed the plains to the Pacific Northwest in 1852. The first winter was passed by the family at Portland; and the year following a Donation claim was selected and a home made at Looking Glass, in Douglas county. Our subject was there raised, and at Roseburg received his education. In 1866 he was so far equipped as to begin school-teaching, and for some years followed that as a profession. In 1870 he was united in marriage with Miss Josephine Stevens, of Looking Glass, and the same year removed to the Grande Ronde. He there engaged in stock-raising and farming. He became prominent in the political circles of that region, being elected in 1876 as representative from Union county to the Oregon legislature. His first wife having died in 1871, he was married secondly in 1882 to Miss Jessie Ritchie, of Multnomah county, who is also deceased. Mr. Mitchell is still engaged in farming at The Cove, Oregon, owning two hundred acres of excellent land, and also devotes much attention to the rearing of graded stock. He is a man of recognized worth, and of wide...

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Biographical Sketch of Matthew Neeves

MATTHEW NEEVES. – Mr. Neeves, a prominent citizen of Pendleton, Oregon, was born near Syracuse, New York, in 1830. He there received a common-school education and remained until he was twenty years old. Going west to Galesburg, Illinois, he made his way in that new section in the capacity of a Yankee school-master. After one year in that place he went to Platt county, and remained another year as teacher. In 1852 he was induced to join the company of the veteran pioneer Joab Powell, and arrived at Portland in October of the same year. He first turned his attention to mining on Rogue River, and remained one year. After this he made his home in Douglas county until 1862, and went thence to the Florence mines, and was engaged in mining and freighting until 1867. At that date he returned to Douglas county, and remained in that delightful region more than ten years. After this long rest he was ready again for a new settlement, and, coming to Umatilla county, located a claim on Butter creek, and remained engaged in stock-raising and farming until 1880. The attractions of Pendleton, however, which was now becoming a point of interest and importance, led him to make his home within her borders and enjoy the remaining years of his life. He has one daughter and a stepson. After many reverses he...

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Biography of Thomas Smith

THOMAS SMITH. – Mr. Smith, whose life labors have had as their result in one particular the upbuilding of the handsome village of Winchester, near the Umpqua River, was born in Oxfordshire, England, February 12, 1823; and he crossed the Atlantic with his parents in 1830. The first American home was at Rochester, and a year later at Euclid near Cleveland, Ohio; and in 1834 a removal was made to La Porte County, Indiana. Thirteen years were spent in Indiana with his parents; but in 1847 the desire to go forth and test his powers in competition with others induced him in company with a younger brother to come West. He made the six month’s journey as a teamster, armed with his rifle and equipped with an ox-whip. Many and varied were the scenes and incidents of the trip; and the usual hardships common to the most of the pioneers who came “the plains across” were suffered and endured. Not the least exciting of these were the fording of the numerous deep and swift mountain streams. Vast herds of buffaloes occasionally broke through the train; and continual rumors of Indian outrages, combined with oft-recurring pursuit of the savages for stolen stock, rendered the journey anything but monotonous. Only once was pursuit successful, – securing both stock and Indians. At other times they were glad to get themselves back safely....

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Biographical Sketch of Mrs. Arethusa E. Smith

MRS. ARETHUSA E. SMITH. – Arethusa E., the daughter of Daniel Lynn, was born near Warsaw, Benton County, Missouri, June 12, 1834. As a child of six years she removed with her parents to Platte county, in the same state, remaining until 1844, the year memorable for the great flood. Mr. Lynn, being very fond of a pioneer life, determined to settle in Texas, but was unable to proceed farther than the White river country, and, being ill suited with that country, returned to Platte county. He had long heard of Oregon, and decided to cross the plains thither and in the spring of 1850 made the start. But this proved a fatal step for the hardy pioneer; for cholera attacked him on the Platte plains, and terminated his useful life. The bereaved wife and mother, Mrs. Ann Lynn, continued with the train, and arrived at Portland, almost the first of October. Soon after her arrival her daughters made homes of their own, with the exception of Miss Arethusa, who in 1851 accompanied her mother to the Umpqua valley, and lived with her at the new home near Yoncalla, where also resided Jessie Applegate, a friend of the family. On the 21st of October, 1852, she was united in marriage to Mr. Thomas Smith of Winchester, and in that delightful spot of the Umpqua has lived for nearly forty...

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Biography of John Lane

Colonel John Lane, the senior member of the law firm of Lane & McDonald, has long resided on the Pacific coast, but has made his home in Lewiston for only two years. In that time, however, he has gained prestige as one of the ablest members of the bar of this locality, and is therefore a valued addition to the professional circles of the city. A native of the state of Indiana, Colonel Lane was born in Evansville, May 17, 1837. His ancestors were of Irish and French stock and were early settlers of North Carolina, where they founded the city of Raleigh one hundred years before America sought her independence through the power of arms. Several of the family held military commissions under General Washington, in the Revolutionary war, and the family has always been celebrated for bravery and valor in battle. General Joseph Lane, the father of the Colonel, was born in North Carolina, December 14, 1801, and became a brevet major general in the Mexican war. He was appointed by President James K. Polk to go to Oregon and organize the territorial government there before the expiration of the president’s term. With all expedition he started across the plains, in the fall of 1848, with a small escort of the regiment of mounted rifles. On the approach of the winter, he turned aside and passed through...

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Biography of John J. Peebler

JOHN J. PEEBLER. – Among the very first settlers of the Grande Ronde valley, if not the first actual one to begin residence here, we mention the esteemed gentleman and worthy pioneer whose name appears above, and who has been identified with the interests of Union county since its organization and with this section before Union county was in existence, laboring ever for the promulgation of sound principles and the inauguration of good government and the material progress and substantial improvement of both his state and county. John J. Peebler was born to Samuel C. and Dorothy Peebler in Jefferson county, Iowa, on July 25, 1836, and when he was six years of age his parents both died, leaving him an orphan at that tender age. There was but one intervening day between these deaths, which made it doubly sad. The struggles that must have come to the young lad from this date until we next see him are veiled and we necessarily pass them by. In 1853, when he was a youth of seventeen summers, he made the arduous and yet exciting trip across the plains with his uncle, David Peebler. The entire distance was covered with ox teams and the train was composed of forty or more wagons, and it is of note that they made the whole trip without accident or molestation. They located in the...

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Biography of Joseph A. McWhirter

JOSEPH A. McWHIRTER. – The subject of this sketch is deserving of credit to many lines, having wrought with faithfulness and efficiency in a number of the callings of human industry, but first of all we wish to mention the fact that he is one of the earliest pioneers of this as well as other sections and has done very much for the development of the country and the inauguration of civilization’s rule in the places where he has been domiciled in the west, and it is worthy of note that Mr. McWhirter has ever conducted his life so uprightly and with manifestation of both capability and good graces so that he has always commanded the respect and won the encomiums of his fellows. In Mercer county, Pennsylvania, in 1833, Mr. McWhirter first saw the light and there remained for twenty years, and then in 1853 his adventurous spirit le him to the wildness of the west for exploration and to carve a place for himself in the annals of the country. He landed in Portland and shortly afterward went to a place called Marysville and there wrought at his trade, harness making, for one J.B. Congle, for three months, and then migrated to Union Point and opened a shop for himself, remaining over one winter and then went to prospecting on the Coquille river, but on account of...

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