Elgin, Union County, Oregon

Pioneer Man, Rests In Death

John M. Darr, resident of Union county and Elgin the past 59 years, passed away quietly at his home here Tuesday, following a period of several months during which his health steadily declined. He was 86 years, 4 months and 18 days of age.

Funeral services were conducted from the Elgin Christian church at 2:00 o’clock this afternoon, with Glen R. Ballard pastor, delivering the discourse. Interment followed in the Elgin cemetery. The services, both at the church and at the graveside, were under the auspices of Orion Lodge No. 73, Knights of Pythias, of which deceased was a veteran member, and of which lodge he was a regular attendant until declining health prevented his attendance. The lodge of which he had been a faithful member so many years conducted graveside services.

John Marcus Darr was born at Enterprise, Missouri June 5, 1859 the son of Mr. And Mrs. Jesse Darr. As a young man he came with his parents and other members of his family to Union county in 1886. Several families composed the train who made the long trip, and most of the members settled around Elgin. He is believed to be the last of that party of settlers who arrived here in 1886.

John Darr was a large man, standing over 6 feet and weighing around 300 pounds and every inch of his height and ounce of his weight were permated with good nature and kindness.

He was the father of a large family of children, eight of whom survive. The survivors include three sons: James, Cecil and George, of Elgin. The surviving daughters are: Mrs. Katie Kowan and Mrs. Ruth Rogers, of Elgin; Mrs. Mary L. Hanson, Enterprise; Mrs. Minnie McCall, and Mrs. Ethel Salisbury, Winchester, Ida. There are also surviving sisters: Mrs. Martha Farley, Salem; Mrs. Alta George, Yreka, Calif., and Mrs. Emma Patten, Joseph. In addition there are 7 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.

The Elgin Recorder Thursday, October 25, 1945

Contributed by: Larry Rader with the following notation:

The date of 1886 in John Darr’s obituary is misleading because it does not line up with the other news item(s) and the facts of the journey from Missouri.

The wagons departed Browning MO in the spring of 1881, and arrived at Walla Walla in August. That fall, John Darr, and others, moved into the valley of the Grande Ronde. For a few years prior to his permanent settlement north of Elgin, John operated the ferry at Farewell Bend. My speculation is that 1886 may be the year he came back to the Elgin district after his venture into the transportation business. Birth locations of his children would seem to support that notion.