Location: Umatilla Reservation

Homili, Chief of the Walla Walla

Homili, the chief of the Walla Walla, lived in two places: a part of each year on the Umatilla Reserve with the Umatilla, Cayuse, and other Columbia River Indians who were willing to stay there with the government agent; and part of the year, indeed, the greater part of it, at what he called his home just above the steamboat landing near the hamlet of Wallula. On the Umatilla Reserve, Homili had good land, pasturage all around for his pongees, and a good farm-house. He could raise wheat and vegetables, too, in plenty when he could make his tillicums (children and followers) work for him. But Homili was lazy and shift less, and just managed to say “yes yes to the good agent, Mr. Cornoyer, and to keep a poor garden-plot, and let his many ponies run about with the herds of horses which belonged to other Indians. Homili was always fat and hearty, and he loved best his queer home just above Wallula. More than ten miles broad is the strip of sand and gravel along the Columbia on the south side above and below Wallula; the first time I saw Homili he met me at the steamboat landing. He hard with him four or five very poorly dressed Indians, wearing very long, black, uncombed hair. Homili was dressed up for the occasion. He had on a cast-off...

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Wallawalla Indians

Wallawalla Indians were located on the lower Wallawalla River, except perhaps for an area around Whitman occupied by Cayuse, and a short span along the Columbia and Snake Rivers near their junction, in Washington and Oregon. They are now on Umatilla Reservation, Oregon.

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Lohim Tribe

Lohim Indians. A small Shoshonean band living on Willow Creek, a south affluent of the Columbia, in Southern Oregon, and probably belonging to the Mono-Paviotso group.  They have never made a treaty with the Government and are generally spoken of as renegades belonging to the Umatilla Reservation. In 1870 their number ws reported as 114, but the name has not appeared in recent official reports.  Ross mistook them for Nez...

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Wallawalla Tribe

Wallawalla Indians (‘little river’). A Shahaptian tribe formerly living on lower Walla Walla river and along the east bank of the Columbia from Snake river nearly to the Umatilla in Washington and Oregon. While a distinct dialect, their language is closely related to the Nez Percé. Their number was estimated by Lewis and Clark as 1,600 in 1805, but it is certain this figure included other bands now recognized as independent. By treaty of 1855 they were removed to the Umatilla Reservation in Oregon, where they are now (1910) said to number 461, but are much mixed with Nez Percé, Umatilla, and Cayuse. In the Wasco treaty of 1855, by which the Warm Springs Reservation was established, a number of Shahaptian tribes or bands are mentioned as divisions of the Walla Walla which had no real connection with that...

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Umatilla Tribe

Umatilla Indians. A Shahaptian tribe formerly lining on Umatilla Reservation and the adjacent banks of the Columbia in Oregon.  They were included under the Walla Walla by Lewis and Clark in 1805, though their language is distinct. In 1855 they joined in a treaty with the United States and settled on the Umatilla Reservation in eastern Oregon.  They are said to number 250, but this figure is doubtful, owing to a mixture of tribes on the...

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Cayuse Tribe

Cayuse Indians. A Waiilatpuan tribe formerly occupying the territory about the heads of Walla Walla, Umatilla, and Grande Ronde Rivers and from the Blue mountains to Deschutes River in Washington and Oregon. The tribe has always been closely associated with the neighboring Nez Percé and Walla Walla, and was regarded by the early explorers and writers as belonging to the same stock. So far as the available evidence goes, however, they must be considered linguistically independent. The Cayuse have always been noted for their bravery, and owing largely to their constant struggles with the Snake and other tribes, have been numerically weak. According to Gibbs there were few pure-blood Cayuse left in 1851, intermarriage, particularly with the Nez Percé, having been so prevalent that even the language was falling into disuse. In 1855 the Cayuse joined in the treaty by which the Umatilla Reservation was formed, and since that time have resided within its limits. Their number is officially reported as 404 in 1904; but this figure is misleading, as careful inquiry in 1902 failed to discover a single one of pure blood on the reservation and the language is practically extinct. The tribe acquired wide notoriety in the early days of the white settlement of the territory. In 1838 a mission was established among the Cayuse by Marcus Whitman at the site of the present town of Whitman,...

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Biography of Benjamin Brown

BENJAMIN BROWN. – Mr. Brown was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1831, and remained at his native place until 1857, receiving a common-school education. In this year he emigrated to American and settled in Michigan, remaining until March, 1858, when he came to California by way of New York and the Isthmus. From San Francisco he found his way to the Siskiyou mines, and operated until July of 1868, and thence came to the Frazer river mines. In the autumn of that year, he brought his journeyings to a close at Steilacoom, where he remained a year. Being favorably impressed with the Pacific coast country, he now returned East for his family, bringing them to the agency on the Umatilla reservation, where he was employed until the next spring. After a time spent in freighting to Walla Walla, he removed to the Grande Ronde valley, and helped in the building of a stockade some six miles north of the present site of La Grande. He has remained in the vale ever since, and has been closely identified with the history of the country. In 1852 he was married to Miss Francis Kirk; and a family of five girls are growing up around him. The only trouble they had with the Indians was in 1862, the time that they placed a pole, as a line north of which the Whites...

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Biography of Marcus Whitman, M.D.

MARCUS WHITMAN, M.D. – A volume might be written in regard to the life and death of this man. Hence, in the brief space here given to him, only a synopsis of his life can be given. He was born at Rushville, New York, September 4, 1802, and was the son of Beza and Alice (Green) Whitman. His father having died in 1810, he was brought up by his paternal grandfather, at Plainfield, Massachusetts. There he was converted in 1819; and in January, 1824, he joined the Congregational church at his native place, of which he remained a member until 1833, when he united with the Presbyterian church at Wheeler, New York, of which he was elected a ruling elder. In 1838 he was one of the original members of, and the elder in, the Presbyterian church at Walla Walla, the first church of that denomination on the Pacific coast. He studied medicine under Doctor Ira Bryant, of Rushville, receiving his diploma in 1824. He practiced four years in Canada, and afterwards in Wheeler, where in the winter of 1834-35, he became interested in Oregon, through Reverend Samuel Parker. He started the next spring with Mr. Parker, and went as far as the rendezvous of the American Fur Company on Green river, when it was thought best for the Doctor to return for more missionaries, while Mr. Parker should...

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Biography of A. P. Woodward

A.P. WOODWARD. – Those who had the sharp work of quieting the Indians, and of defending the homes and families of the Whites in 1855-56, did not at that time suppose that their work would ever be of historic interest. But the time is coming when every name of the veterans will be inscribed as with letters of gold upon the records of the state. One of these veterans is Mr. Woodward. He was born in Muskingum, Ohio, and, after the manner of many Westerners, spent his early days in gradually passing westward, moving by slow stages through Illinois and Iowa. In 1852 he came across the plains with a party numbering fifty. Young Woodward having, however, fallen sick on the way, was left in the Grande Ronde valley to recover. This led to his residence of two years in the Walla Walla valley; and in 1854 he went out into Idaho with Major G.O. Haller and Captain Olney to quiet the Indian disorders consequent upon the Ward massacre. That campaign occupied the entire season; and upon their return in 1855 they tendered their services in the general outbreak of that year. Woodward was in Major Rains’ expedition to Fort Hall. He was among those who captured and hanged some of the Indians. Later in the year he was detailed with Captain Olney to warn the Whites in the...

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