Location: Placerville California

Biography of Robert Bruce

ROBERT BRUCE. – Mr. Bruce was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, August 10, 1828, where he remained until 1844, receiving a common-school education, and learning the trade of gold-beating. In 1844 he went to England, remaining about a year, and moved thence to Canada, locating near Montreal. After remaining there four years, he crossed the plains to California in 1849 on the hunt for gold. The first year as spent in traveling from one mining camp to another until, in 1850, he located at Hangtown, where he engaged in placer mining for seven years. From this point he went to Yreka Flat and mined until 1859. Crossing the mountains to Williamsburg, Oregon, he mined a few months, and thence repaired to 44, which was so named in honor of Monterey Jack, an old Mexican soldier and successful miner. Mr. Bruce remained there until the war of 1861, when his Scotch patriotism caused him to cross the mountains, which were covered with over three feet of snow, to the place of rendezvous at Jacksonville, where he enlisted in Company A, First Oregon Cavalry. In this company he served as first duty sergeant until 1864, when he re-enlisted in Company D, First Oregon Infantry, and remained in service until his discharge in 1866. After his discontinuance in the army, he was employed as guard at the penitentiary at Salem for a number...

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Biography of James S. Dysart

JAMES S. DYSART. – The subject of this sketch, a portrait of whom is placed in this work, was born in Delaware county, New York, March 22, 1838. His parents were Duncan and Elizabeth (Shaw) Dysart, natives of Scotland. James resided at the place of his birth until he was seventeen years old, when he went via Nicaragua to California to join his brother Alexander, who was living in San Francisco. He reached that city in 1855. His first location was at Placerville, where he engaged in lumbering. That point he made his home till 1862. In that year he went to Nevada, and was engaged in the hotel business on the overland stage road. At Stillwater in Churchill county he followed various lines of business till the winter of 1867. His next move took him to Mendocino county, California. He bought a ranch near Ukiah, and followed farming one year. Then returning to Nevada, whence he went to the Sound, where he remained till 1870. then going to the mines, with the result of sinking some $700 in a short time, he went back to the Sound, and in the fall of that year crossed the Cascades to the region of what is know Kittitass county. In October, 1871, he located his present place, a government claim of one hundred and sixty acres, to which he has added...

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Biography of Jacob Frazer

JACOB FRAZER. – This pioneer of the wool business in Eastern Oregon, and owner of some of the best buildings in Pendleton, is a native of the Buckeye state (1820), and while but a boy of ten went with his father to Indiana, and as a youth of sixteen to Iowa. In this state, then known locally as the Black Hawk purchase, his father died at the advanced age of eighty-three. In 1850 Mr. Frazer crossed the plains to California with horses, being one of a party of five. This company was made to pay a toll of sugar, flour, etc., by the Sioux, and near Salt Lake had eight of their eleven horses stolen. Frazer himself was sick at the time; but two of the company gave chase and recaptured the animals. Arriving at Hangtown (more euphoniously Placerville), our pioneer began gold digging. One of the first men he met in the country was his brother Montgomery, who had been out a year, and who had been very successful, insomuch that he returned East soon after and bought the farm in Iowa which Jacob had first purchased with the avails of a big job of wood-chopping that he had undertaken for the brother of Jefferson Davis. Four years of mining life proved hazardous. Indeed, the list of casualties to which Mr. Frazer was subject suggest some sort of...

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Biographical Sketch of McDonough B. Rees

McDONOUGH B. REES. – This is a brother of the well-known pioneer, W.H. Rees, of Marion county, and has in his own right earned a wide reputation as a man of unusual force of character and enterprise. He was born in Ohio in 1831, and came to Oregon in 1854. Much of his life on this coast has been devoted to prospecting and mining. As early as 1855 he was at the Pend d’Oreille mines, and in 1856 returned to the Willamette valley amid great dangers from the Indians. After farming a few years in the Willamette valley, he went to the Salmon river mines. His return to the Willamette was again amid perils, closely following the Jaggers party, which perished in the snow on the John Day hills; and one of their party, a Jew with forty pounds of gold dust, which he would allow no one else to carry, died of fatigue and exposure. His operations in the same mines the next summer were remunerative. In 1863 he was at Placerville, thence to the Upper Clearwater diggings; and in 1866 he brought a band of cattle from the Willamette valley to the Grande Ronde. He continued the business of drover until 1869, and thenceforward has devoted himself exclusively to farming and stock-raising in The Cove, Oregon, where he owns sixteen hundred acres of fine land, and one...

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Allensworth, George Verne, Jr. – Obituary

Richland, Baker County, Oregon George Verne Allensworth Jr., 76, died April 4, 2006, at St. Elizabeth Health Services. There was a celebration of George’s life Friday at the Richland Christian Church. Inurnment was at the Eagle Valley Cemetery in Richland. Friends joined the family for a reception afterward at the Richland Christian Church. George Verne Allensworth Jr. was born on Dec. 10, 1929, at Galesburg, Ill., to George Verne and Francis Marie Lander Allensworth. George was raised and educated at Galesburg. He was a Galesburg High School graduate. On Nov. 4, 1949, he married Retha Stevens at Yuma, Ariz. They had three children, Tom, Linda and Steve. George’s career first started in the Navy. He then went on to work for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development at Sacramento, Calif. During their lives together, George and Retha lived in San Diego, Hawaii, Washington, Japan, Maryland and Placerville, Calif. In 1980 they moved to Richland. At that time, George became the justice of the peace at Richland. George enjoyed fishing and had a passion for his train collection. He especially loved spending time with his grandchildren. Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Retha; his children, Linda Joyce and Richard Allen of Virginia Beach, Va.; son, Thomas Verne and Denise Allensworth of Charlottesville, Va.; son, Steven Paul and Linnea Allensworth of Gardnerville, Nev.; seven grandchildren, Sean, Lisa, Melanie,...

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Biography of Jesse C. Thompson

Jesse C. Thompson, a prominent resident of Westminster, was born in Clay County, Missouri, February 17, 1829. His parents, John B. and Hannah (Clark) Thompson were natives of North Carolina, and had eleven children, five of whom lived to be grown. They moved to Missouri in 1825, where the children were educated in such schools as were common in those times. In 1840 they moved to Andrew County. In March, 1850, Jesse started, in company with his brother Samuel, with an ox team for California. His brother died on the road, July 26. Jesse arrived in Placerville on August 31, stayed there but a short time, and went to Sonoma County, where he followed agriculture for the next fifteen years; then he was engaged in the cattle and sheep business in Mendocino County until 1885, when he moved down to Long Beach and bought land of the Cerritos colony. Afterward he moved to Westminster and bought forty acres. Since then he and his three sons have bought fifty-seven acres of valuable peat land. Mr. Thompson was married in 1852, in Sonoma County, to Miss Margaret A. Camron, who was born in Illinois, June 15, 1836. Her parents, John M. Camron, a native of Georgia, and a Cumberland Presbyterian minister, and Mary Orendorf Camron, a native of South Carolina. When Mrs. Thompson was one and one-half years old they moved...

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Biography of John Shirley

John Shirley, one of Santa Ana’s most respected citizens, is a native of Hancock County, Ohio, born in 1835, and his parents were Daniel and Annie (Crow) Shirley, natives of Virginia. His father, a farmer and blacksmith, moved to Jackson County, Iowa, in 1850, and died there in 1872. When a lad the subject of this sketch drove an ox team across the plains to this State, and for the first several years here he followed mining at Placerville and other places till 1864, when he came with the soldiers to Southern California and Arizona. He enlisted in Company K, Seventh Regiment, California Volunteer Infantry, and served two years. He returned to Iowa and went to Clay County, Nebraska, where he erected the first good grain elevator in the county, and speculated in land and grain for a period of seventeen years. Having been very successful, and desiring a more congenial climate, he sold out his interests in Nebraska, in October, 1887, and came to the Golden State, selecting Santa Ana as his home. He bought a lot on Ross and Orchard streets, where he erected a neat and commodious residence. He has held some important offices, among which are those of justice of the peace in Clay County, Nebraska, for twelve years; chairman of the council four terms; associate judge with Judge Keyser, 1861-’62. As an evidence of...

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Biography of Parker Farnsworth Morey

Parker Farnsworth Morey, without great wealth, is one of the most successful men of Portland. As an organizer and conductor of successful enterprises he has no superior in this busy city. A man of untiring energy he possesses the patience to attend to the smallest details provided success depends on them. He has the ability and the courage to make successful those undertakings which a timid, a less confident or a richer man might not dare attempt. He has a genius for inventing. As a manager of men he has few superiors. Mr. Morey comes of old New England stock. The energy repressed through several generations by the severe quiet of Maine has appeared in all the greater force in this later son. He was born October 16, 1847, at Calais, Maine. While yet a child his parents moved to Machias, Maine, where his early boyhood was passed. At an early age he began to learn the trade of a machinist. He worked at Bangor and Portland, Maine, and at Boston, Massachusetts, until he was a competent machinist and mechanical engineer. In 1866, he moved to Placerville, California, where he lived until 1870, being employed most of the time as mechanical engineer. But Placerville was too small a place for such an energetic nature as Mr. Morey’s, so in 1870 he moved to Sacramento and obtained employment there in...

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Biography of Edward James Jeffery

Edward James Jeffery was born in Oneida county, New York, April 23, 1835, and is of English descent, his parents having been born in England. During his infancy the family moved to Lenawee county, Michigan. Here he resided on a farm and obtained a limited education in the district school until the spring of 1852, when he started across the plains for the Pacific slope. In October following, after a journey of more than six months, he arrived at Placerville, California, where, until the following spring he engaged in mining. He then went to Stockton where he was employed in a brick yard for a season. In the fall he went to Tuolumne county, and worked in the mines until 1856, when he located in Shasta county, and for two years was engaged in farming. Upon the breaking out of the Fraser River gold excitement in 1858, he started for that region, taking passage on the Cortez on the first trip made by that vessel. from San Francisco to Bellingham Bay. From the latter point he followed a trail as, far as Mount Baker, but beyond that point was unable to proceed further because of the absence of any well defined trail. Returning to Bellingham Bay he then, with five companions, made a trip with a canoe up the Skagit River and all around the Sound, traversing a section...

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