ALFRED HOVENDEN. – Mr. Hovenden, known everywhere among the early pioneers as one of the most benevolent, upright and sagacious of men, was born in Kent county, England, August 26, 1824, of that steady, sterling English stock that fainted not and never failed. He crossed the water to American when twenty years old, and made his first home on a farm in Peoria county, Illinois. In 1849, together with his brother Charles, he turned his property into money, purchased an outfit with the intention of making the Pacific coast his home, and started westward, still being uncertain on the early states of the journey whether it would be to Oregon or to California that he would ultimately go. In his company was also David Logan, the talented but dissolute son of Judge Logan of Illinois. Having betimes decided to take the northern track, Mr. Hovenden came on into the Willamette valley, and laid his Donation claim of three hundred and twenty acres near the present site of Hubbard. He made this spot his home for more than thirty-five years, and was still in rugged health, with the prospect of many more years of life and usefulness, when he met with the accident by which his useful career was ended. By sturdy industry, close application, careful dealing and integrity, he amassed a competence, owning several good farms and a flourishing currant business.
He was married in June, 1956, to Miss Sarah, a daughter of Bartholomew Soden. This lady was born in Tasmania, of the Australasian Islands, and came from that antipodal region to America in 1852, settling soon in Polk county. With her husband she made one of the brightest and happiest homes in Oregon, and laid the foundation of the fortune which they both used wisely and usefully. They reared also one of the best of the old Oregon families. The son, George B. Hovenden, occupies the farm and holds very much the position in the community of his father. The daughters, Mrs. John Dennis of Hubbard, Mrs. M.L. Jones of Brooks, and Mrs. F.N. Gilbert of Salem, are among the first in the social circles of the state.