Biography of Charles M. McClure
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CHAS. M. McCLURE. – Mr. McClure has taken as active a part as anyone in establishing our state, and was one of the veterans who, as lieutenant, saw the whole war in Southern Oregon.
Born in Missouri in 1832, he went to Mexico in 1850, and in 1851 crossed the plains to Oregon, settling near Brownsville on the Calapooia. He soon undertook the toilsome and exciting life of a miner in Northern California and Southern Oregon, and in 1853 assisted the settlers of Rogue river valley in protecting themselves form the Indians, being one of the relief party from Table Rock to help the reconnoitering party who were surrounded on Evans creek. He was also in the hot fight on the same creek in which General Lane was wounded.
In 1855 he was on the way with a pack-train from Yreka to Frazer river, when the news of the great outbreak reached him at Salem. Turning about at once, he joined the company of Bailey as second lieutenant, to avenge the death of the captain’s brother, and to save the rest of the Whites. This was the band of Linn and Lane volunteers, and the first to reach the scene, making the trip by forces marches. The details of that campaign are given elsewhere. McClure, however, was in the whole of it. At the place where Captain Bailey was murdered, the oxen and hogs still lay as they had been killed, and the chickens had escaped from their coops and were pecking morsels from among the dead bodies of the animals and men.
He was in the fight at Grave creek and on Hungry hill, where the boys were twenty-four hours without food, and were fighting all the time. He participated in all the movements of the volunteers, including the Big Bend adventures in the autumn. The winter was passed by him with his company at Little Camas; and he assisted in the defense of the Looking Glass, where Bailey’s company alone drove out the Indians. When this company disbanded, McClure joined Latshaw’s and afterwards Waldron’s company as second lieutenant. This company took part in the decisive fight at the Big Bend; and McClure was later in command of a detachment in the running fight on Cow creek. After his own relief, he went to the reinforcement of Captain Smith on the Rogue river. He was also of the party fired upon after dark when spending a social hour at their camp, losing four of their number.
After leaving the service in which he so well performed his part, he engaged in packing and stage business in Western Oregon, and in 1861 extended his operations to the minds of Idaho. In 1870 he made a home in the Grande Ronde, near La Grande, Oregon, and has invested largely in farm lands and in stock, now owning five thousand acres, with six thousand sheep and sixty horses.
He has a family of a wife and six children.