Location: Yamhill County OR

Biography of W. L. Adams A.M., M.D.

W.L. ADAMS, A.M., M.D. – The subject of this biography, a pioneer who drove his own ox team across the plains in 1848, is one of the most unique of western characters; and history entitles him to be placed in the catalog of the illustrious men who bore prominent parts in settling Oregon, and in molding public sentiment. To give a full history of his life would require a large book; but our limited space would require a large book; but our limited space forbids anything but a rapid glance at a few waymarks along the road traveled for nearly sixty-nine years by one of the most original and energetic of men. The writer has known him well more than forty years, and has learned from his family and acquaintances enough of incidents and peculiarities to make a very readable biography. He was born in Painesville, Granger county, Ohio, February 5, 1821. His father was born in Vermont, as was his mother; and both emigrated to the “Western Reserve” when it was a wilderness. His father was a strong Whig, as were his relatives, the noted Adams family of Massachusetts, and a devoted friend of General Harrison, with whom he served in all of his Indian campaigns. His mother was an Allen, – a descendant of Ethan Allen, the “Hero of Ticonderoga.” Her mother and William Slade’s mother were...

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Biography of Albert L. Alderman

ALBERT L. ALDERMAN. – The pioneer experiences of Mr. Alderman are not exceeded in interest by those of any of the early settlers. Born at Old Bedford, Connecticut, and taken as a child to Wyoming county, New York, where he lived until twenty-one years of age, he set out at the age of twenty-four upon the career that did not end except upon the Pacific coast. He was at Bradford, Pennsylvania, for a time with an uncle, and in 1845 came out to Quincy, Illinois, and that same winter made up an outfit for coming to the mythical Oregon. At St. Louis, in March, he met a Mr. Good and Judge Quinn Thornton, who were also on the way to our state. At the rendezvous he found a large company assembling, aggregating five hundred wagons. An organization, the most complete that had ever been attempted, was here made. The wagons and outfits were inspected; and none unfit for the journey were allowed to proceed. A legal tribunal was established, having a judge and a jury, which was composed of six men. The military organization was also fully equal to the requirements. On the way to Fort Hall no more serious trouble was experienced than crossing swollen streams; and this was effected by using two large canoes lashed side by side into which the loaded wagons were run, with the...

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Biography of Hon. John B. Allen

HON. JOHN B. ALLEN. – “I think Walla Walla is destined to be the central and commercial city of that large area of country in Eastern Washington lying south of the Snake river, and of much of Eastern Oregon. Probably no city of its population in the Northwest equals it in wealth. It is just now emerging from years of transportation extortions, which few other regions could have borne. Competitive systems will infuse new life to every industry, and stimulate the developments of resources heretofore lying dormant.” This is the horoscope of the young city as cast by Mr. Allen; and his opinions are certainly of great weight. He has been a resident of the territory since 1870; and, as United States attorney for Washington under Grant, Hayes and Garfield, he has visited nearly every locality within the field of his labors; and his opportunities for forming correct judgment have been very extensive. While a citizen of Dayton or Pendleton could not be expected to agree with him fully, and Spokane Falls and North Yakima would naturally demur from his opinion that the Blue Mountain slopes are the finest in the territory, the unbiased mind will, at least, regard his view with interest. Mr. Allen is one of the territory’s most prominent citizens. As delegate to the United States Congress, he has achieved a lasting fame, and will leave...

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Biography of Mrs. Mary E. Burbank

MRS. MARY E. BURBANK. – The wife of Honorable A.R. Burbank was born near Milford, Delaware, January 14, 1827, and is the daughter of Jesse E. and Ellen Eckles. While but a child of sixteen months, she was bereft of her mother by death, and was intrusted to the care of her sable nurse until three years old. At this date she moved with her father and his family of three daughters and two sons to the far West, crossing the Alleghany Mountains in wagons, and settling at Clarkesburgh, Ohio, in the fall of 1830, residing there five years. As the Eden of their expectations had not been reached, this place was left for amore distant seat in Illinois; and a settlement was made upon a farm near Naples. Here she was afflicted by the death of her father, which occurred June 17, 1837; and she was left to the care of her sisters. At the age of seventeen she was united in marriage to Augustus R. Burbank, the ceremony being celebrated May 1, 1845, at the town of Jacksonville, by the Reverend Chancey Hoberts, at the house of Hicholas and Ann Milburn, – parents of Reverend W.M. Milburn, “the blind man eloquent,” and so often chaplain in Congress. She resided six years of her married life in Naples, and spent two years at Bloomington, Illinois. With her husband...

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Biography of Hon. A. R. Burbank

HON. A.R. BURBANK. – Mr. Burbank, a founder of society and business upon the Pacific coast, was born April 15, 1817, near Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the son of Major Daniel Burbank, an American officer in the war of 1812, who came with his family in an open boat down the Alleghany and Ohio rivers as early as 1814, and made a home on its northern shore near the present metropolis. The Major was from Williamstown, Massachusetts. His wife, Margeret Pinchen, was from Atica, New York. In 1818 a further move was made in the family boat down the Ohio to Shanetown, Illinois, thence to McLanesburgh, and in 1825 to Exeter, Morgan county, in the same state. Here, at the age of nine, A.R. Burbank, the subject of this sketch, who was the youngest of a family of six sons and five daughters, met with the loss of his mother by death, and six years later was called upon to bid his father the last farewell, and follow his body to its resting place in the grave. Having received very careful religions and moral training from his parents, and having acquired habits of thrift and industry, he began while still a boy to make a career and carve out for himself a fortune. As a clerk in a store he acquired an insight into and a grasp upon business...

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Biography of Miss Eva L. Burbank

MISS EVA L. BURBANK. – Miss Burbank, the only child of Honorable A.R. and Mary E. Burbank, whose memory is still cherished with regretful interest by the people of our state, was born in Monticello, Washington Territory, January 22, 1861, where her parents were at that time keeping the Monticello House. At the age of five and a half months she was christened (as an offering) in the Taylor Street Methodist Church, of Portland, by the Reverend T.H. Pearn. At the age of five years she began attendance upon school, and developed unusual quickness and ability of mind. In August, 1867, her home was transferred to Lafayette by the removal thither of her parents; and she received at this place still further educational advantages. In her tenth year she visited the Eastern states in company with her mother, and upon her return the following year entered the St. Helen’s Hall of Portland, Oregon, for the still further improvement of her natural ability, where she remained some three years. She was furnished all advantages for a thorough musical education; and her talent proved to be of such high character as to merit the encomium of her last musical instructor, Professor Hugh Gunn of California, that hers was the finest in Oregon. Her bright and hopeful career was, however, cut short by the accident in August, 1880, which threw a gloom...

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Biography of John E. Brooks

JOHN E. BROOKS. – John E. Brooks was born October 29,1822, at Canton, St. Lawrence county, State of New York. His father Cooper Brooks, and his mother, Sophia Brooks (formerly Tuttle), moved from Cheshire, New Haven, Connecticut, and settled at an early day in St. Lawrence county, making the trip with an ox-sled drawn by a yoke of cattle from state to state. To them were born six children, four boys and two girls. The entire family is now dead, except J.E. Brooks, the fifth, and Aniasa Brooks, the youngest of the family, who now live at McMinnville, Oregon. His father being a farmer, his boyhood days were spent in farming and in the dairy (his father being one of the first to engage in that business in the county), attending the district school a portion of the time during the winter months. In the fall of 1842, he attended the St. Lawrence Academy at Canton as a student. At the expiration of six months, he engaged in house carpentering and joiner work, to obtain means to further prosecute his studies. In the fall of 1843, he passed a very satisfactory examination before the board of school (sic)superintendents, receiving a first-class certificate, and for four months following was engaged as a teacher in one of the best district schools in the county. From this time till the spring of...

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Biography of Hon. John Bird

HON. JOHN BIRD. – This venerable pioneer of our state comes from that stock of state-makers and town-builders who have ever been at the front. He was born in 1810 in Boone county, Kentucky, and lived there with his father until the year 1827, thereafter making Illinois his home until 1847. In the latter year he joined the train of Captain Sawyer, and set forth for Oregon, starting from Missouri about the 1st of May. Upon the trip nothing was more notable than the appearance of about one hundred Pawnee Indians, who laid a blanket on the ground for the emigrants as they passed to drop in a contribution of flour, and the shooting with arrows of two valuable horses by the same Indians. The toils, adventures and exertions, of vast interest and importance, were of the same character as of the early thousands who made the long journey. Crossing the Cascade Mountains by the Barlow Road the 1st of October, Mr. Bird passed his first winter in our state at Linn City, opposite Oregon City, and indeed made this point his home until 1849. In that memorable year of gold he went to the California mines, but did not “strike it rich,” and after deliberation decided that the better place to make a fortune was in the rich valleys of Oregon. Returning therefore to our state he selected...

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Biography of William Rice Dunbar

W.R. DUNBAR. – The mold in which a place is first cast is a great determining force in its future development. A quarter of a city which begins with mean buildings invites a class of neglectful or impecunious residents, and seldom outgrows its tendency towards squalor. The new settlers which come into a thriftless community sink more easily to the habits of their neighbors before them than they succeed in inciting those lax individuals to more industrious methods. On the other hand, also, thrift, vigor, a high level of public spirit and morality, leave a stamp which sets the tone and fashion of a city or neighborhood for many years. It is with peculiar satisfaction, therefore, that we find places like Goldendale which, from their very incipiency, have admitted nothing but strictly honorable pursuits, and have maintained a vigorous sentiment in favor of only the best things. These places become the augury of a high-minded generation in the future. William Rice Dunbar, the subject of this sketch, is one of the men who have thus set the character of Goldendale. He is a man popularly known throughout the Northwest as a sterling worker in the cause of temperance. as a lecturer on this subject, as an organizer of lodges of Good Templars, and as a prominent officer of that order, he has met thousands of the people personally; and...

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Biography of J. R. Bayley, M.D.

J.R. BAYLEY, M.D. – Doctor Bayley, to whom has fallen an unusual portion of public labor and honor, was born in Springfield, Ohio, in 1820. His mother dying, he was cared for by his grandmother, through whose liberality he received an ample education. In 1839 he moved to Clay county, Missouri, but two years later returned to Ohio, and in 1847 began the study of medicine in South Charleston with Doctors Skinner and Steele. He also attended the medical school at Cleveland in 1849, and the next year studied at the Ohio Medical College of Cincinnati. Upon graduating from this institution in 1851, he returned to South Charleston, practicing medicine, and a year later continued his profession at Louisburg. He was married in Xenia in 1852 to Miss Elizabeth Harpole, and remained in Louisburg until the autumn of 1854. In this year he prepared to cross the continent to Oregon, and reached our state in May, 1855, settling at Lafayette and practicing his profession. Besides his regular work, he was here engaged in political labors, being elected councilman for the counties of Yamhill and Clatsop to serve in the territorial legislature in 1856. He resigned his seat, however, in 1857, and moved to Corvallis, where he practiced medicine for many years. Here also political preferment was bestowed; and he was elected judge of Benton county. In 1864 he was...

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Biography of Hon. Matthew P. Deady

HON. MATTHEW P. DEADY. – The character of the man whose name heads this article is one to which justice cannot be done in a short sketch of the principal events of his life. However, it will serve to illustrate one pure, wise and energetic; one of those who, while he gained his education, toiled for his living; one of those whom no circumstances, poverty or hardship could deter or turn aside from his purposes and the pursuit of knowledge. Judge Deady was born in Easton, Talbot county, Maryland, on May 12, 1824. His parents were good and respectable people, his father being a teacher by profession. When the son was four years of age, the family moved to Wheeling, Virginia, where his father was employed as principal of the Lancasterian Academy for a number of years. In 1834 his mother died as they were journeying from Baltimore to Wheeling, having been visiting her father at the former city. In 1837, Matthew removed with his father to Ohio, and there spent four years on the farm, until in 1841 he went to Barnesville and wrought at the anvil while he attended the Barnesville Academy. So, while he hammered away at the forge, he also shaped in his mind the knowledge found in good books. After completing his apprenticeship, young Deady with laudable ambition determined to read law; and, realizing...

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Biography of James S. Davis

JAMES S. DAVIS – Mr. Davis is one of the most interesting and progressive men of our country. The tragic events of Steptoe’s expedition in 1858 are described in the body of this work, and need no repetition here. One of the most conspicuous landmarks in the region traversed by that ill-fated troop is the spire-like pinnacle of basalt which has ever since received the name of Steptoe. It lies in the midst of one of the richest and most productive farming regions in the world, the far-famed Palouse country. Long a solitude, it has lately been occupied by a keen and public-spirited citizen, known far and near as “Cash-up” Davis. Upon that lofty eminence, Mr. Davis has erected buildings of so fine and expensive a character, from which views of such superlative magnificence can be obtained, that the visitor has almost as much curiosity to know the career of the man who did all this as to see the scenes themselves. Mr. Davis was born in Hastings, England, on November 16, 1815. At that historic spot, the site of the battle which left William the Conqueror in possession of England, he spent the first fifteen years of his life. His uncle, a captain in the British army, then appointed him his valet; and he entered a postilion school to learn how to take the proper charge of a...

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Biography of Daniel Chaplin

DANIEL CHAPLIN. – The subject of this sketch was born in Niagara county, New York, in 1823. He was educated in his native place, and became a surveyor, removing to Michigan. Honest, upright and much respected, he was one of those men of broad ideas and indefatigable energy who create prosperity for any community in which they settle. Having heard much of Oregon, its boundless resources and delightful climate, he crossed the plains in 1854, settling near Champoeg in Marion county. From there he moved to where Sheridan, in Yamhill county, now stands, and thence to Dayton, Yamhill county. In the spring of 1862, he located in La Grande, Union county, and built the first house in that place. Through his efforts, he succeeded in having the land-office for Eastern Oregon located there, and for fifteen consecutive years held the position of receiver of the land-office, when he resigned on account of the accumulation of other business on his hands. The arduous duties of this office were conducted by him with admirable promptness and honesty; and the settlers who came to transact business with the office were always treated with great consideration. In 1864 he was elected to the legislature of Oregon, and gave entire satisfaction to his constituents. In 1865 he, in conjunction with Green Arnold, established the present water system of La Grande, and laid the first...

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Biography of William Chapman

WILLIAM CHAPMAN. – The immigration of 1847 was large, and without accident, with the exception of those unfortunate members of it who remained at Doctor Whitman’s until the massacre. Mr. Chapman belonged to the arrivals of that year, and was closely connected with the sufferers of savage fury. He was born in Schuyler county, New York, in 1824, moving to the West in 1843. In 1847 he left Havana, New York, in company with John and Ronald Crawford, traveling with them to Independence, where they separated. There he joined John Wright, traveling with him to the Kaw river, where they joined the company of John Bewley. The train was delayed by high water on the Kansas; and it was the third of June before the company was well under way, – the latest of the season. However, they overtook the Oskaloosa train, with seventy-five wagons, under Captain Smith, and with their own twenty-five made a respectable cavalcade. Some distance out they met with a singular adventure, which will sound like a mythical tale to the future generations. Camp had been made just at sunset, when one of those innumerable herds of buffalo, which once thundered over the plains, began to cross on their front. Fearful that the host of moving animals would overwhelm the camp, they set a strong guard, which also surrounded the cattle, lest they should be...

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Rak, Marian Almira McClain Mrs. – Obituary

Marian Almira Rak, 77, died March 20, 2003, at St. Elizabeth Health Services after a brief illness. She was born July 31, 1925, at Hood River to William Herbert and Edith Grace McClain. She was raised and educated there and then attended Willamette University for three years, majoring in social work. In 1948 she married John Felix Rak of Salem. They settled in Newberg in 1950, where she lived until illness forced her to move to Baker City to be closer to her daughter, Betty. She lived in the Sunnycrest area for many years, moving back into town when her son, Patrick, died in 1985. Marian was very active in her church, singing in the choir for many years and always helping in the kitchen. She was the 1998 Interfath Volunteer Caregiver of the year, and lived to be useful. She is survived by a daughter, Elizabeth Ann of Sumpter; son-in-law, William; sister, Marcia Stone of Albuquerque, N.M.; numerous nieces, nephews and their children; and all the friends whose lives she made real contributions of time and care. Memorial contributions may be made to the Newberg First Presbyterian Church, 501 Mission Drive, Newberg, OR 97132-1656. Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, March 27, 2003 Transcribed by: Belva...

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