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Location: Oregon City Oregon

Biography of Heman J. Geer

HEMAN J. GEER. – The name of Geer is so well known in our state that the following account of the father of T.T. Geer of the Waldo hills will be of interest to all. This now venerable pioneer was born in Ohio in 1828, removing with his parents to Illinois in 1840. In 1847 he crossed the plains to Oregon with General Palmer’s train. The large company forestalled trouble with the Indians. Peter Hall, who stopped with Whitman at Walla Walla was the only one who experienced any disaster. The crossing of the Cascade Mountains by the Barlow Road proved the worst of their trials. After reaching Oregon, Heman stopped at Oregon City, and engaged in the boot and shoe business; while the father located at Butteville, Marion County. In 1848 he young man abandoned “city” life and located a claim in the Waldo hills, marrying Miss Cynthia Eoff. In 1849 he was prevented from completing the journey to California, by men returning with the report that the mines were “worked out.” From 1854 to 1861 he was in the nursery business at Silverton, and the next year in business at Salem, going thence to the Caribou mines in 1862, thence to Auburn, Oregon, and from this point with his goods to Bannack City. In 1864 he mined on the John Day river. Having separated from his first...

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Biography of Rev. St. Michael Fackler

THE REV. ST. MICHAEL FACKLER. – The Reverend Mr. Fackler was the first clergyman of the Protestant Episcopal church in Oregon. He was a native of Staunton, Virginia, first moved to Missouri, and then crossed the plains for his health in the year 1847. This was greatly improved by the trip; and he soon undertook such work as he could do, teaching and preaching as opportunity offered. For a short time he taught in the Methodist school at Salem, the progenitor of the present Willamette University. At an early day he secured a farm not far from Butteville, where he resided for a number of years. While thus occupied in secular affairs he was not idle as a clergyman; for he spent his Sundays in holding services at Champoeg, Butteville, Stringtown, Oregon City, Portland and on the Tualatin Plains. In the course of time he fitted up a schoolhouse at Champoeg for services and built a neat little church at Butteville, doing most of the work with his own hands. It was the day of small things then, and those who knew anything of the Episcopal church were very few indeed. In 1853 the Reverend Mr. Fackler was one of a small number of Episcopalians who met at Oregon City to consult in regard to the interests of the church in the then territories of Oregon and Washington. He...

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Biography of Hon. Dolphes Brice Hannah

HON. DOLPHES BRICE HANNAH. – This gentleman is the son of Brice and Celia Tade Hannah, and was born in Gallatin county, Illinois, October 11, 1822. His father, who was a substantial business man engaged in trade and forwarding, died in the spring of 1823, leaving a wife and two children, one boy and one girl. He left considerable estate, consisting of personal property. John McLaughlin and the widow were appointed to administer the estate; and, as usual, McLaughlin did the work, pocketed the entire proceeds of the estate, and then left for parts unknown. About two years after the death of young Hannah’s father, his mother married Silas Farley, a flatboatman and farmer, by whom she had five children, three boys and two girls. They moved to White county and settled on the Big Wabash river. In the winter of 1833-34 Farley died, leaving a wife and seven children. While living with his step-father, young Hannah attended school two terms, one kept by a man by the name of Blackwell, a severe disciplinarian, the other named Buckalew, whom he remembers as an elegant and kindly man. The last expedition of his stepfather on the river proved disastrous, all of his estate being swept away, leaving his wife and seven children without means. In the spring of 1834 the widow with her family left their former home and rented...

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Biography of Oliver P. Goodall

OLIVER P. GOODALL. – Mr. Goodall, one of our best men in developing Oregon, was born in Jefferson City, Missouri, August, 1828, and grew up on a farm, securing a common-school education. At the age of eighteen he left school and joined Colonel William Bent, and spent the winter of 1846-47 at Bent’s fort on the Arkansas river, in the capacity of clerk. He there met with continuous adventures, associating with such old mountaineers as Kit and Bob Carson, Bridger, the Calloways, Bill Williams, Dick Dallam, Black Dick Curtis and others; and his recitals of their brave and daring deeds and endurance would fill a volume. In 1847 he went to Mexico in the quartermaster’s employ as courier, wagon-master, clerk, and interpreter of Spanish, under Major Sprague, General Howard and others, and remained in Mexico, New Mexico and Texas until the fall of 1849. He met with numerous adventures with Apaches, Mexican guerillas and Comanches, and buried many brave comrades, and was even obliged to leave some unburied. He carries scars in remembrance of Indian arrows, and has vivid recollections of many perils, having been by the side of Major Stein when he was shot in the Sierra Blanco Mountains, where his two bosom companions, Joe Allison and Jim McAllister of Missouri, were left unburied. He also recollects affairs of interest in connection with the Seminole chief, Wildcat, and...

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Biographical Sketch of John Kineth

JOHN KINETH. – This pioneer of Oregon and of Whidby Island, Washington, is a native of Bavaria, Germany, and was born in 1828. At the age of ten years he came with his parents to American, and passed his early life in Springfield, Illinois. He there obtained the practical education of the West, and learned as his resource for the livelihood the trade of a harness-maker. As early as 1849 he felt the impulse to go West. Joining a company of emigrants at Springfield, he crossed the plains, arriving at Milwaukee, Oregon, November 3d. Seeing that there was an abundance of money in circulation, he worked at his trade at Oregon City, making from ten to fifteen dollars a day. In 1851 he removed to Lafayette and opened a harness and saddle shop, the first and only one on the west side of the Willamette river, meeting with good success fitting out miners; but, his health failing, he sought a new location, making final choice of a Donation claim on Whiby Island in 1853, some two and a half miles from Coupeville. This became his home for thirty-two years; and he successfully carried on farming during all that time, becoming an influential member of the community. He took a special interest in schools, seeing the essential value of education in our new Northwest. He finds it at present more...

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Biography of J. L. Stout

J. L. STOUT. – The proprietor of the townsite of Sea View on the weather beach, a city which boasts of a population of from five to eight thousand during the summer bathing season, is from the Buckeye state, having been born in Ohio in 1824. During his boyhood his father took him to Illinois; and he passed his early life on the frontier. he came up with a generation of men whose natural force and enterprise led them into the most exalted position in the great West which their energies had developed. While in Illinois he was ever restless, moving from county to county, and in the northern part of the state learned the trade of a cooper. He was married at an early age to Miss Abigail E. Beckwith, but at his home in Marshall county his wife and children suffered greatly from malarial sickness, his two oldest children dying. Those were also hard “Democratic times” as Mr. Stout expressed it; and for a poor man it was very difficult to advance. Having heard constantly of the gold of California, he determined to come to its mines and dig the precious metal for himself. Accordingly, in 1850, he crossed the plains, starting from the Missouri with a train of oxen late in April. He reached Hangtown, or Placerville, early in August, making a phenomenally speedy trip. Cholera...

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Biography of E. D. Stillman

E.D. STILLMAN. – Mr. Stillman was born in New York in 1828, and learned the trade of a mechanic and machinist. In 1849 he crossed the plains to Oregon in the capacity of wheelwright for the regiment of mounted riflemen who were sent here on the strength of Joe Meek’s urgent representations at Washington, and for the protection of the settlers of this little-cared for wilderness on the Pacific. He well remembers an exciting incident near Green river. The command was there met by one Baptiste, who bore messages from Governor Joe Lane. This Baptiste proved to be a desperado, who the next day shot Wilcox, the guide on account of an old quarrel, and then emptied his revolver indiscriminately at the solders – each shot, however taking effect, – and held the whole command at bay for some minutes. Arrived at Oregon City Mr. Stillman was engaged by General Lane to repair and run the McLoughlin sawmill, of which he then held a lease, paying him twenty-five dollars per day. In that capacity he was thrown much into his company, and recalls that on one occasion, when the soldiers were leaving for the mines without permission or excuse – a squad of them walking boldly over some officers, and striking out on their own responsibility, – the General shouldered his rifle, and with two or three old-timers, soon...

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Biographical Sketch of Penubra Kelly

PENUBRA KELLY. – The gentlemen whose name heads this sketch is the son of that Sterling old pioneer, Reverend Clinton Kelly, and of Mariah (Crane) Kelly, and was born in Kentucky in 1845. The first three years of his life were passed in that state, when he accompanied his parents across the plains to Oregon, arriving in Oregon City in the fall of 1848. In 1849, the family, which was quite large (Penumbra being one of fifteen children, six of whom were born to his father by former marriages), removed to a Donation land claim near East Portland; and since then Penumbra has resided there. Mr. Kelly was married in 1875 to Miss Mary E. Marquam, daughter of Judge P.A. Marquam, a pioneer of 1851, and has three interesting children. In 1874 he was elected a member of the house of representatives form Multnomah county, and in 1876 was elected county commissioner of that county. He as again elected to the legislature in 1878, and since that time has been twice re-elected. He was elected sheriff in 1888 for a term of two years. Many times has Mr. Kelly’s counsel and sound advice extracted the house form troublesome complications; and, as he was a deep thinker and able legislator, his services were greatly appreciated, both by the house and the country at large. He is a keen business man,...

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Biography of Capt. Charles H. Kellogg

CAPT. CHARLES H. KELLOGG. – Charles was the second son of Captain Joseph Kellogg, and was born October 1, 1846, in Wood county, Ohio. Coming as a child to our state, he spent his early years upon the farm of his father at Milwaukee, and learned habits of industry there and in the sawmill. His early education at the Milwaukee district school was further advanced at the Central School and Academy of Portland, and was completed at the Portland Business College, of which he was one of the first graduates. After a short apprenticeship under Captain Baughman, he took command of the steamer Senator, owned by the People’s Transportation Company, plying between Portland and Oregon City, and kept his position until the company sold to Ben Holladay & Company. At the completion of the locks at Oregon City, he had the honor of piloting the first steamer, the Maria, through the locks. For a time he was captain of the Governor Grover for the Willamette Transportation Company on the Willamette river. He afterwards commanded various boats for the old Oregon Steam Navigation Company until the Joseph Kellogg Transportation Company was formed, of which he was a stockholder, and at one time vice-president, and afterwards treasurer, and had command of the steamer Joseph Kellogg until his death, which occurred August 7, 1889. He was on the water from early boyhood,...

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Biography of Hon. James Kerr Kelly

HON. JAMES KERR KELLY. – Among the men of distinction in our state, none have held a position of eminence for a longer time than Senator Kelly. It requires stamina to stand for thirty years upon “the hard and wintry peaks of fame.” We are the more assured of eminent qualities of the Colonel when we consider that he came to this coast and started upon bed-rock. Family ties, name, favoritism, may elevate men of no ability to high positions in older communities; but in the Oregon of an early day artificial conditions did not exist. A man came near being born again, or returning to his naked abilities, when he came to the Pacific coast. Of the men of power in our state, – Baker, Nesmith, Woods, Williams, Logan, Mallory, Lane, Applegate, – none have shown more mental grip and wear than Colonel Kelly. But the simple tale of his life carries with it its own commentary. Merit and service may go without veneer. He was born on a farm in Center county, Pennsylvania, in 1819. His was an old American family, although his great-grandfather came from the north of Ireland about 1720. His grandfather served in the Revolutionary war. Young James began his school-days at Milton, and thence went to Princeton College, graduating in 1839. He immediately began the study of law with Judge John Reed of...

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French-Laird, Hester M. Holden Mrs. – Obituary

Hester M. French-Laird, 87, of Oregon City, a former Baker City resident, died March 5, 2006. Her funeral Mass will be celebrated at 2 p.m. Thursday at St. Luke’s Catholic Church at Woodburn. Interment will be at Lincoln Memorial Park Cemetery in Portland. Visitations will be until 5 o’clock tonight at Cornwell Colonial Chapel in Woodburn. Hester was born on Jan. 22, 1919, at Baker City to Ward and Gwendolyn Holden. She was raised at Baker City and married John “Jack” French in 1938. He died in 1979. In 1995, she married Richard Laird. She lived at Woodburn from 1981 to 2004 when she moved to Oregon City. She was a member of the Catholic Church, the Altar Society and St. Monica’s Circle. She enjoyed dancing, especially square dancing, traveling and spending time with her family. She was a homemaker and spent a lot of her time volunteering at the church. Survivors include her husband, Richard Laird; daughter, Mary Barrett of Oregon City; sons, John French and his partner, Jim Haskins, of Los Angeles, Andy French and his wife, Jackie, of Bend, and Tim French and his wife, Debbi, of Salem; five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, March 10, 2006 Transcribed by: Belva...

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Wright, David Nixon “Cruiser” – Obituary

David Nixon “Cruiser” Wright, 69, a former Baker City resident, died Feb. 28, 2006. There was a gathering of family and friends Saturday at Golden’s Funeral Home in Salem. Dave was born on May 20, 1936, at Oregon City to LeRoy and Helena Wright. His parents spent most of their adult lives in Baker City. LeRoy was an Extension agent and Helena was a Baker teacher. Dave was a 1954 Baker High School graduate. He spent his career in banking and the automobile industries. He was an avid golfer and spent many enjoyable hours with his family and friends on the course. He owned two automobile dealerships in Salem and he considered his employees to be his friends. Dave touched the lives of many people in Salem and the surrounding communities, especially his immediate family, who loved him very much. Survivors include his son, Kip Wright of Mulino; his son, Todd Wright, and his wife, Tracy, and their two children, Taylor and alexandra; his daughter, JoDee Keller, and her husband, Paul; stepson, Victor, and his wife, Linda Black, and their daughter, Hope, of Scottsdale, Ariz.; his brother, Nick, and his wife, Jenny, and their two children, Brad and J.D. Wright, of Portland. Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, March 10, 2006 Transcribed by: Belva...

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Biography of Mrs. Harriet Jewett

MRS. HARRIET JEWETT.- A mournful personal as well as historic interest lingers about those who survived the dreadful affair at Waiilatpu in 1847. Many of these feel that those who died were the happier; and no sympathetic friend, as every reader of this book must be, will care to inquire more minutely than is given in the pages of the general history of this work. But all will be glad that these sufferers from Indian atrocity outlived their great sorrow, – the butchering of a husband or father or friend, – and have for all these years been useful and contented citizens. Mrs. Jewett was born in Lower Canada in 1809, and at the age of twenty moved with her parents to the United States, where she was soon married to Nathan Kimball. The young couple removed to Indiana, and in 1847 joined a company bound for Oregon. Mr. Kimball was ambitious, a good mechanic, and had considerable money. Purchasing an excellent outfit, two ox-teams, milk cows, and clothing for two years, the journey was undertaken with high hopes and good cheer. What extra money was on hand was sewed up in belts, and worn by the older members of the family. On the journey misfortune overtook the family (there were seven children) in the death of a girl of three and a boy of fourteen. On no place...

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Biography of James Johnson

JAMES JOHNSON. – James Johnson, a pioneer of 1844, son of James Johnson of Berkshire county, Massachusetts, was born on his father’s farm in 1814, and as a child moved with his parents to a new home in Onondaga county, New York, living there until he attained his manhood. In 1836 he gave rein to the desire for change and adventure and freedom, which ultimately made of him one of the early pioneers of Oregon, going in that year with his brother Daniel to Tippecanoe county, Indiana, and engaging in work as carpenter near Lafayette. In the winters, when there was little building on hand, he gave attention to pork-packing, becoming an expert and commanding a good salary. In 1839 he began a substantial domestic life, marrying Miss Juliet, daughter of Eli Perkins of Tippecanoe county. During these and the following years, however, he was hearing much about the great new West, the land of Oregon; and his natural craving to form and enjoy a career unhampered by the restrictions of life in the older communities made him anxious to come to the Pacific coast. In 1844 he was able to accomplish his purpose. In April, in company with his brother Daniel, and with John and Eli Perkins and Ruel Olds, he procured his outfit and proceeded to the rendezvous near Independence. There they found a considerable company assembled,...

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Stains, Inez J. Mrs. – Obituary

Inez J. Stains, 97, a former North Powder resident, died Nov. 12, 2000, at Oregon City. Her graveside funeral was Wednesday at the North Powder Cemetery. Mrs. Stains was born June 13, 1903, at North Powder. She had worked as a music teacher and in cosmetics sales. She moved from North Powder to Oregon City 20 years ago. Her husband, Howard Oscar, died Jan. 1, 1985. Survivors include three nieces, Joanne Thompson of Boise, Patricia Kerns of Casper, Wyo., and Lorraine Millar of Greer, S.C. The Hillside Chapel Inc. of Oregon City is in charge of arrangements. Used with permission from: The Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, November 17, 2000 Transcribed by: Belva...

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