Topic: Biography History Photo

Biography of George W. Staver

George W. Staver, president and founder of one of the largest mercantile corporations on the Pacific Coast was born in Brush Valley, Center county, Pennsylvania, November 18, 1836. He is of German and Scotch-Irish ancestry and was reared upon a farm. Soon after his birth his parents moved to Sugar Valley, Clinton county, Pennsylvania, and remained on the same farm until 1854, when they came ‘to Illinois, but a year later settled near Monroe, Green county, Wisconsin. Here his father, Frederick Staver, still resides, at the advanced age of eighty-one years. Our subject received from his father a most thorough knowledge of farming in all its branches, long before the era of the present improved farming implements. His education was such as was received at that day in Pennsylvania, Illinois and Wisconsin by the average farmer’s boy. Attendance at the district school in winter with three months at the Academy at Warren, Illinois, in 1861, completed his educational advantages; previous to going to the latter institution, however, he taught school for two terms in Green county. He early became interested in and an expert operator of agricultural machinery. He purchased one of the first threshing machines used in Green county, and during the fall and winter followed threshing. He became very proficient in this line of work and before he had reached his majority did quite an extensive business....

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Biography of Benton Killin

Benton Killin, one of Portland’s prominent citizens, was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on the 5th day of August, 1842. When only three years old his parents crossed the plains, and settled on the old homestead, on Butter Creek, Clackamas county, Oregon, in the spring of 1847. Here his aged mother still lives, enjoying, in the evening of life, a rest from the severe toils of her earlier years. On this farm the next twelve years of young Killin’s life was spent in the hard labors of a farmer’s boy. But while thus surrounded, with but little to arouse his ambition, he was planning something different and to his taste better. When 16 years old he started out from home to fight life’s battle alone. During the summer he toiled faithfully on a farm and with the wages thus earned he entered the Willamette University, where he remained as a student until the spring of 1861, supporting himself in the meantime by working for farmers in the neighborhood during vacation, and employing himself at whatever his hands found to do on Saturdays. In the spring of 1861, his health gave away. The tell-tale flush upon the cheek and the exasperating cough gave out the warning that consumption was fast taking hold on him. Abandoning his studies, he sought to renew his strength in the mountains and mines of Idaho,...

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Biography of Charles H. Dodd

In no summary of the forces and agencies which have made the Pacific Northwest within the last two decades take such rapid strides in material greatness, should be omitted the part bourne by the subject of this sketch. For nearly a quarter of a century he has been a conceded power for good in the commercial, intellectual and moral progress of a wide extent of country, and has left in many places and on many things the impress of his individual work. The following sketch of his life belongs very properly to the history of a city where he has long resided and held such a prominent place in public affairs. Charles H. Dodd was born in New York City, February 26, 1838, and is of English parentage, both his father and mother having been born in England. At the age of nine he left New York and became an inmate of the home of a daughter of John Bissell, at Stamford, Connecticut. His education up to this period had been carefully conducted and his progress had been beyond that of most boys of that age. At Stamford he was enabled not only to enjoy exceptional educational advantages, but the influences which surrounded him were such as tended to develop a strong, self-reliant character, and give a proper direction to his mode of thought and action. A member of...

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Biographical Sketch of Ezra Durand

Ezra Durand was born in Seneca Falls, New York, on March 8, 1833, and is the youngest of a family of thirteen sons and daughters of David and Betsey (Crowell), Durand. His father was a farmer and his early boyhood was passed on a farm. His opportunities for gaining an education were limited to a few winters at the district school. At an early age he left home and went to Worcester, Massachusetts, where he obtained employment in a musical instrument factory. This was followed by similar work in a factory at Norwich, Connecticut. He seemed to have a natural taste for the business, making rapid progress in a thorough knowledge of every branch. At the end of a few years he secured a situation with a Boston firm and traveled all through the New England States, tuning pianos and doing such other work in connection with musical instruments as the nature of their business required. In later years he was traveling salesman for the well known organ manufactory of Estey & Co., of Battleboro, Vermont. In 1881, Mr. Durand came to the Pacific Coast, and for a few months was located in San Francisco, California, but in. 1882, came to Portland. He soon after embarked in the piano and organ business and from the very start his venture proved to be highly successful. In 1883, he incorporated the...

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Biography of William H. Saylor, M.D.

William H. Saylor, M. D., was born in Wapello County, Iowa, August 17, 1843. His parents were Conrad G. and Mary A. (Black) Saylor. In 1852 he was brought by his parents across the plains to Oregon, and in the fall of that year arrived in Portland. In the succeeding spring the family went to Olympia, Washington Territory, remaining there until the summer of 1854 when they removed to a farm which his father had purchased in Rock Prairie. Here our subject lived until the breaking out of the Indian war of 1855 when the family, removed for protection to Fort Henness, on Grand Mound Prairie, residing there until hostilities were practically at an end in the fall of 1.856, when they returned to Oregon, settling at McMinnville. During the first years of his life here he performed the duties of clerk in his father’s store, meanwhile attending school at the old college building, within whose walls so many of the prominent men of Oregon have obtained the greater portion of their education. During the summers of 1861-2-3 he was engaged in mining at Oro Fino, Salmon River and Boise mines, and the remaining portions of these years attended school at the Willamette University. Even at this time he had resolved to become a physician. The life he was leading and the prospects it held out to him by...

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Biography of James Duval Holman

James Duval Holman was born in August 18, 1814, on his father’s farm in Woodford county, Kentucky. He was of the Holman family so well known in the Southern and Middle States. His mother was a Duval of Hugenot descent, a family of equal position with the Holmans in the south. Of Mr. Holman’s great-grand parents, three came from Virginia and one from North Carolina. His parents were John and Betsy L. Holman, who were married in October, 1810. In 1817 they moved to Tennessee, where they resided for nine years, when they moved to Clay county, Missouri. His mother died in 1841, and his father came to Oregon in the immigration of 1843. In August, 1840, James D. Holman married Rachael Hixson Summers of Fleming county, Kentucky, who survives him, and now (1890), is living at Portland. Her family is well known, particularly in Kentucky, and is closely related to the Hixson, Mason and Morris families of that State. She was born February 27, 1823, in Fleming county, Kentucky, and in 1840 accompanied her father, Thomas Summers, on a trip to Western Missouri, which he took for his health. While there she met Mr. Holman. Soon after he reached manhood Mr. Holman engaged in mercantile business. During that period the large number of Mormons in this section of Missouri caused great trouble, and partly by reason of his...

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Biography of Henry Weinhard

Henry Weinhard, the leading and oldest brewer of Portland, was born in Lindenbroun, Wurtemberg, Germany, February 18, 1830. After serving a regular apprenticeship and working at the trade of a brewer in Stutgart and other places in Germany he came to the United States in 1851. He first secured employment at his trade in Philadelphia where he remained a year. He then went to Cincinnati and at the end of two years removed to St. Louis, where he remained until 1856, when he came to California and for a short time was located at Sacramento City. In March, 1857, he entered the employ of the John Meney a brewer at Vancouver, Washington Territory, and superintended the erection and fitting up of a new brewery. In 1859 Mr. Weinhard bought the brewery from Mr. Meney, and for some four years successfully carried on the business at that point. In the meantime, in 1862, he bought out the Henry Saxer Brewery, the first established in Portland, and soon after, in partnership with George Bottler, established his present brewery, having at the time a controlling interest in the three breweries in this section of the country. In 1864 he sold out his brewery in Vancouver, and from that time has exclusively confined his operations to Portland. In 1866 Mr. Weinhard bought the interest of Mr. Bottler, and immediately c commenced to improve...

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Biography of James Lotan

James Lotan was born in Paterson, New Jersey in 1843, and is of Irish descent, his father John Lotan, having been born in Ireland and emigrated to America in 1840. Until his twelfth year young Lotan attended the public schools of his native city. He then became an apprentice to the machinist trade in his uncle’s shop. After acquiring a full knowledge of his trade he went to Jacksonville, Florida, where with an elder brother he was employed until the war of the Rebellion began, when he returned home, and a few months thereafter, in May 1861, enlisted for two years in Company C, Ninth New York Volunteer Regiment, commanded by Col. Rush C. Hawkins. This regiment was first stationed at Fort Monroe and from there proceeded to Newport News, where it took part in a fight at Great Bethel, which resulted in one of the first victories for the Union army. It left Newport News, with Gen. Butler’s expedition and at Fort Hatteras joined Gen. Burnside’s command, proceeding with this division of the army up Pamlico Sound to Newbern, N. C., where it fought a battle. From this point it proceeded back to Roanoke Island and from there to Newbern, participating in the battle of South Mills and in numerous skirmishes along the line of March. From Newbern the regiment proceeded through the Dismal Swamps to Norfolk, Virginia,...

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Biography of Henry E. Jones, M. D.

The subject of this brief memoir, was born in Steuben, Oneida county, New York, in 1837, and is the third child in a family of nine children of Hugh W. and Sarah (Smith) Jones. His early life was spent on a farm and during his youth his educational advantages were of the most limited nature. The humble circumstances of his parents, with a large family to provide for, made it impossible to give their children anything but the most meager opportunities for gaining an education. Until after our subject had reached his majority most of his time had been passed in labor upon the farm, during which period the only mental discipline he received was such as could be obtained in the winter terms at the district school. Enthroned by circumstances which offered little to encourage his ambition; surrounded by obstacles which seemed almost insurmountable, his future prospects for a career beyond that of the most modest pretensions were any-thing but bright, but even at this time he determined, however much the effort might cost him, to rise above the conditions in which fate had placed him. He knew how hard the work would be, he knew the difficulties he must face and overcome, but a high purpose made him courageous and he was not dismayed. Solely dependent upon himself, with none to share the inspiration of his cherished...

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Biography of Jacob Kamm

No history of navigation upon the Willamette or Columbia would be complete without reciting the part borne by the subject of this sketch. From the time the demands of travel and commerce created business of any magnitude in this direction, down to the present time, he has been more or less prominently connected with this interest, and especially important was the part he bore in the incipient stages of its development. He was born in Switzerland, December 12, 1823. At the age of eight, with his father, who had resigned his commission as captain in the Swiss army, he came to America. They removed to Illinois, where for a year his father was employed in farming and milling. From there they went to St. Louis, where his father conducted a hotel for some years, after which they removed to New Orleans. Here, at the age of twelve, young Kamm commenced the earnest side of life in a printing office, where he was employed until after the death of his father during the fearful yellow fever epidemic in the summer of 1837. In the fall of that year with only a few dollars in his pocket, he started for St. Louis. Upon his arrival he secured a position as a cabin boy on a small steamer called the Ark. In the engineer of this steamer he found a kind friend,...

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Biographical Sketch of John Klosterman

John Klosterman, wholesale grocer and commission merchant of Portland, was born in Hoya, Prussia, in 1840. He was educated in the common schools of his native town and also attended an Agricultural College in Eastern Prussia. In 1858 he took charge of an estate for a large land proprietor continuing in such capacity for about ten years. In 1867 he came to America and for the first six months while acquiring the English language worked on a farm in Illinois. He then went to Cariboo, British Columbia and was engaged in prospecting and mining for nearly a year, after which he came to Portland and for three years worked as a clerk for Joseph Levi, a meat packer. He then started in business for himself as a member of the firm of Henry Hewitt & Co., general commission and grocery merchants. In 1870 he retired from the firm and embarked in the wholesale grocery and provision business on the corner of First and Ash streets. At the end of four or five years he removed to the corner of Front and Ash streets. For the first few years his brother, A. Klosterman, was associated with him in business under the firm name of Klosterman Bros., but since 1879 Mr. Klosterman has been alone although the firm name of Klosterman & Co. has been retained. Since 1881 he has been...

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Biography of Rufus Mallory

Rufus Mallory is of New England ancestry, and descended from a strong and hardy stock, well fitted for the furnishing of such elements as are needed to command success and produce laudable results in the new but rapidly growing country in which his lot was cast and where modern civilization has come with such splendid strides. About 1816 his parents left their home in Connecticut for the West, as New York State was then called, and settled in the town of Coventry in Chenango County, at which place the subject of our sketch, the youngest of a family of nine children, was born, June 10, 1831. Five or six months after his birth the family removed to Steuben county. This county at that time was new and thinly settled, and the disadvantages that existed were almost as great as a few years later confronted the pioneers in opening up the country of the far West. Railroads had not reached this part of the country, and communication with the outside world was extremely difficult. School houses had been built, but instruction was limited to the common branches, and often entrusted to unqualified persons. It was amid these surroundings that the youth of our subject was passed. Being the youngest of the family his labors on the farm were less demanded than that of the older boys, and when school was...

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Biography of Henry H. Northup

Henry H. Northup, of Portland, was born in Berkshire, Massachusetts, February 27, 1839. His father was a farmer as were his ancestors for several generations. He attended the public schools, and when of sufficient age, which in those days was nine or ten years, was kept at home during the summer to assist in the work upon the farm. When he had reached the age of twelve years his father died, leaving, with slender property, a widow and three children of whom the subject of this sketch was the only son. From that time commenced a struggle for existence. His mother, a courageous and capable woman, descended from the Wilmarths, wished her son to follow some other vocation than that pursued by his father, and to this end was desirous that he should attend school and be educated. In this desire the boy shared. At the age of fourteen, that being before the era of public schools, he was sent to the Academy located in the town of Lenox, Berkshire, then the shire town of the county, remaining two years. By working outside of school hours he paid for his board, while his mother, by her efforts supplied his other needs. It was while attending this school he first formed the idea of following the law for a profession, never communicating the thought, however, as it was the wish...

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Biography of James Steel

James Steel, banker of Portland, was born in Woodsfield, Monroe county, Ohio, on September 20, 1834, and is a son of William and Elisabeth (Lawrie) Steel. His father was born in Scotland, but came to America when nine years of age, and was engaged in merchandising nearly all of his active life. He was a man of strong character, and every action in business and private life was governed by the most rigid adherence to a lofty conception of right and justice. He was strongly opposed to human slavery, and was very active for more than twenty years prior to the War of the Rebellion in the efforts made by leading abolitionists toward liberating the bond-men of the South by means of what at the time was termed the “underground railway scheme.” He died in Portland in 1881, after which his wife lived with the subject of this sketch until her death in 1887. The boyhood of James Steel was passed at Woodsfield and Stafford, Ohio, the family removing to the latter place in 1844. His education was limited to the common schools, and at the age of seventeen he began his business career in his father’s store. Two year’s later he entered into partnership with his father, continuing in such relations for three years. He then made a limited tour of the West, visiting Iowa and Kansas, and...

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Biography of J. C. Moreland

J. C. Moreland was born in the State of Tennessee, June 10, 1844, and is the youngest of nine children of Rev. Jesse and Susan (Robertson) Moreland. His father, a well known and highly respected pioneer of Oregon, was a native of North Carolina, while his grandfather, on the maternal side, fought in the war of the Revolution; and two of his mother’s brothers took part in the war of 1812, the elder of whom rose to the rank of a Brigadier-General under Jackson in the Creek war. In 1848, in view of the baleful influence of slavery, his father moved to Illinois with his family. Here they remained four years, at the end of which time they started westward for Oregon. After six months of weary journeying amid the perils and dangers incident to crossing the plains with ox-teams, they reached the Willamette Valley, toil worn and well nigh destitute. Settling on a donation land claim in the southern part of Clackamas County, the father began with brave heart to make a home in the then wilds of Oregon. Here the youth of our subject was passed, until the death of his mother in 1859, when the family removed to Needy. Shortly there-after, in April, 1860, he commenced to learn the printer’s trade in the office of the Oregon Farmer, at Portland. After serving three years and a...

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