Topic: Biography History Photo

Biography of Dr. Kenneth A. J. Mackenzie

Dr. Kenneth A. J. Mackenzie was born in Cumberland House, a Hudson Bay Company post in Manitoba, Canada, Jan. 13, 1859, and is a son of Roderick and Jane Mackenzie. He is of Scotch descent and representative of a well known family of Ross Shire, Scotland, the old families of Langwell and Aldy, earls of Croemartie and Brahan, being a branch of the Mackenzies. Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. choose a state: Any AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE DC FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY INTL Start Now Roderick Mackenzie, his father, was for many years Chief Fadtor in the Hudson’s Bay Company service and is now one of its retired officers, living at Melbourne in Eastern township, Canada. He is a man of great purity and strength of character, widely known and respected for his integrity and who made a deservedly high reputation for rare executive and business ability. His wife, Jane Mackenzie, is also a descendent of an ancient family of Ross Shire, and a woman of many graces of mind and heart. At the age of seven the subject of our...

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Biography of Edward James Jeffery

Edward James Jeffery was born in Oneida county, New York, April 23, 1835, and is of English descent, his parents having been born in England. During his infancy the family moved to Lenawee county, Michigan. Here he resided on a farm and obtained a limited education in the district school until the spring of 1852, when he started across the plains for the Pacific slope. In October following, after a journey of more than six months, he arrived at Placerville, California, where, until the following spring he engaged in mining. He then went to Stockton where he was employed in a brick yard for a season. In the fall he went to Tuolumne county, and worked in the mines until 1856, when he located in Shasta county, and for two years was engaged in farming. Upon the breaking out of the Fraser River gold excitement in 1858, he started for that region, taking passage on the Cortez on the first trip made by that vessel. from San Francisco to Bellingham Bay. From the latter point he followed a trail as, far as Mount Baker, but beyond that point was unable to proceed further because of the absence of any well defined trail. Returning to Bellingham Bay he then, with five companions, made a trip with a canoe up the Skagit River and all around the Sound, traversing a section...

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Biography of Harrison B. Oatman

Harrison B. Oatman, of Portland, was born in Courtland county, New York, February 25, 1826. His father, Harvey B. Oatman, died one year after the birth of our subject. One year later he accompanied his mother to Bellevue, Huron county, Ohio, where the family remained ten years and then settled in West Liberty, Ohio. Here they remained four years, after which they removed to Elgin, Illinois, and a few years later to Ogle county, in the same State. The latter place was at this time a new country and here Mr. Oatman commenced life on his own account as a farmer on land obtained from the government. On December, 25,1847, he was married to Miss Lucena K. Ross, a most estimable lady, who from that day to the present time has not only shared his fortunes, but has been a most excellent wife and mother and in its highest sense a worthy helpmate and companion. He remained at Ogle until the fall of 1852, when he removed to Des Moines, Iowa, and the following summer (1853) with his brother, Harvey B. Oatman, and their families, started on the long journey across the plains to Oregon. After several weary months of traveling they arrived in the Rogue River Valley, in the fall of 1853, and here the two brothers and their wives took up a claim of 640 acres to...

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Biography of H. Y. Thompson

H. Y. Thompson was born at Senecaville, Guernsey county, Ohio, June 4, 1845. He was favored with a liberal education in the public and high schools of his native town. With the hope of improving his health, which had become impaired, in 1862, he undertook a trip across the plains and during the winter of 1862-3 was engaged in mining in Auburn, Baker County, Oregon. In the spring of 1863 he went to Idaho City and for three years carried on his mining operations at that place. His health not improving, he determined to try the climate of the valley region of Oregon and in 1866 came to Salem. He soon after obtained a position as a teacher in a school near Silverton, Marion County, at which time he began the study of law, having made arrangements with Shaw & Holman, attorneys of Salem, for the loan of the necessary books. He continued to teach and at the same time pursued his legal studies for one year near Silverton, when he secured a position in the city school of Salem, where he taught and read law for another year. He was then admitted to the bar and commenced the practice of his profession at Salem in partnership with Sylvester C. Simpson. At this time, the Recorder of Salem having resigned, Mr. Thompson was appointed for the unexpired term and...

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Biography of George A. Steel

George A. Steel, the present Postmaster of Portland, was born in Stafford, Ohio, April 22, 1846, and is a younger brother of James Steel, whose biography appears elsewhere in this volume. At a period when most boys have only fairly began to lay the foundation for their after career, he was thrown on his own resources. The most limited opportunities were therefore afforded him in youth for acquiring even a practical education. The school of experience and self study have been the chief means of preparing him for the part he was to perform in life’s battles. At the age of sixteen he came to Portland, where he first secured employment as clerk in a commission house. In 1865 he was appointed clerk in the Portland Post office, which position he resigned to accept an appointment as secretary of the Oregon Iron Works. He afterwards secured a position in the banking house of Ladd & Tilton as accountant, and was thus employed for nearly five years. In 1870 he embarked in the wholesale and retail book and stationery business with J. K. Gill, under the firm name of Gill & Steel. This partnership was continued for some time, but finally Mr. Steel assumed sole charge of a portion of the business. In January, 1877, he was appointed Special Agent of the Post Office Department for the Northwest Coast. He...

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Biography of Samuel Coulter

Samuel Coulter was born in Tyler county, Virginia, August 20, 1832, and is a son of Samuel and Sarah (Rodes) Coulter. His father’s parents were natives of Wales and at an early day settled in Virginia, while his maternal ancestors came from England. At the age of four years he lost his father and soon thereafter the family moved to Van Buren county, Iowa. When be reached the age of twelve his mother died, after which he went to live with his half brother, Capt. B. L. Henness, who now resides near Mt. Tabor, Oregon, who kindly offered him a home and such educational advantages as the place afforded. In 1850 he drove an ox team across the plains to Oregon, arriving at Oregon City on the 12th of September, 1850, his entire possession at the time outside of a scanty wardrobe being two dollars in money. But he was not discouraged and soon after his arrival he secured employment and in April, 1851, was able with six others to purchase a wagon and six yoke of oxen and complete outfit for the mines, it being reported at the time that good mines had been discovered near Yreka, California. The excitement caused by the discovery of gold in California was then most intense, and young Coulter determined to try his fortune in this direction. His mining venture was rewarded...

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Biography of William Lincoln Dudley

William Lincoln Dudley was born at Yreka, California, June 29, 1864. His father, John Dudley, for several years was engaged in the manufacture of woolen goods at Lowell, Massachusetts. He came to California in 1861, and from that time until 1867 was engaged in mining at Yreka. In 1868 he came to Portland. and has since been Superintendent and Manager of the Portland Gas Company, and held the same position in the Portland Water Works Company, until the property was sold to the City in 1885. The subject of this sketch was educated at the public schools of Portland, graduating from the High School in 1879. In 1880 he was appointed Assistant Cashier of the Portland Gas Company, serving in that capacity until 1887, when he was nominated on the Republican County Ticket as candidate for Recorder of Conveyances for Multnomah County. He was elected by a majority of more than 2,600 votes, receiving the second highest number of votes on the Republican ticket, and has now nearly completed his term as Recorder, his administration having been in every way highly satisfactory to the people, irrespective of party lines. He has recently been nominated by his party for a second term, and as these sheets go to press, the election is only a few weeks distant. In 1886 Mr. Dudley was the leading factor in the establishment of the...

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Biography of Charles M. Wiberg

Charles M. Wiberg was born in Norkoping, Sweden, 1820. His youth and early manhood were passed in different parts of his native land, engaging in various occupations until he became an apprentice at the shoemakers’ trade. After acquiring his trade he, in 1841, went to London, where he was employed for nearly three years. He then came to the United States, landing in New York in 1843. From that time until 1850, he worked at his trade in New Milford, Connecticut, New York City, Milwaukee and Janesville, Wisconsin, and New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1850, he started in business for himself at Milwaukee, but had only gotten fairly underway when he was burnt out by the great fire of 1851. With his entire capital destroyed and several hundred dollars in debt, he determined to seek a new home in Oregon, and in 1852, he started for Portland via the Isthmus of Panama, arriving here July 6, 1852. For a short time after his arrival he worked at his trade, but in December, 1852, opened a boot and shoe store, the first in this line of trade ever started in Portland. He began on a small scale, but fortune favored him and in a short time he was doing a prosperous business. The first money he could spare from his business he used in paying the indebtedness he had incurred at...

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Biography of Edward James Northrup

Edward James Northrup was born in Albany, New York, July 4th 1834, and was a son of Nelson Northrup, long known as a merchant in old Oregon. He spent several years of his early life in school, but when quite young began his business career as a clerk in a book store in Boston, where he remained until 1852, when he came to Portland. Here he entered the general merchandise store of Northrup & Simonds, of which firm his father was senior member, remaining with them as clerk until 1856, when associating himself with James M. Blossom, he succeeded to the business of the firm, under the firm name of Northrup & Blossom. Through several changes of partners Mr. Northrup continued as leading partner until 1878, when failing health compelled him for a time to retire from business. The house was then under the name of Northrup & Thompson. He then sold out to his partner when the firm of Thompson, DeHart & Co. was established and succeeded to the business which he had for so many years conducted, and which is still continued under the firm name of Honeyman, De Hart & Co. A year’s rest fully restored his health and he began business anew as a dealer in hardwood, lumber and wagon supplies, in which he continued alone until a few weeks before his death when he...

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Biography of Charles B. Bellinger

Judge Bellinger was born in Maquon, Knox County, Illinois, November 21, 1839, and at the age of eight years came to Oregon with his parents and grandparents. After receiving the advantages of a common school education, supplemented with some two years at the Willamette University, he began to read law at Salem, in the office of B. F. Bonham; at present United States Consul. at Calcutta, and was admitted to the bar at the September term of the Supreme Court, in 1863. He immediately thereafter engaged in the practice of law at Salem in partnership with J. C. Cartwright, since United States District Attorney and Commissioner of Internal Revenue for Oregon; but now deceased. The firm rapidly acquired a good business, but unable to resist the allurement of politics, Mr. Bellinger gave up the law business to become the editor of a new Democratic paper, The Arena, which had been founded by Gen. John F. Miller, Hon. Joseph S. Smith and other prominent democrats. It was a time when what was known as the “Oregon Style” was in fashion. The paper was like its contemporaries, bitterly partisan and personal in its treatment of subjects and men under discussion. It was impetuous, unsparing, and as is always the case when controversy is carried on under like conditions, often most unjust in its treatment of those of the opposition. Mr. Bellinger’s...

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Biography of Thomas J. Holmes

Well remembered by all of the older citizens of Portland and prominently identified with the earlier political and commercial history of the city was Thomas J. Holmes. He was born in Diss, county of Norfolk, England, March 3, 1819, and was a son of William and Mary A. Holmes. His father was a mechanic, who, with the hope of improving his fortunes, migrated to the United States with his family in 1830, and settled in New York City. At this time, Thomas, a bright, robust lad of eleven years, began life’s battle for himself. He secured a position with a physician on Staten Island and for some time thereafter not only supported himself by his labors, but also acquired much valuable knowledge from his employer, who took a kindly interest in his welfare. Had he desired it he might have become a member of the medical profession, but the bent of his mind was toward practical affairs and at the end of a few years’ service, he began an apprentice-ship at the shoemaker’s trade. After acquiring his trade and arriving at the age of manhood he engaged in business in Jersey City, starting with no capital other than his mechanical knowledge, native shrewdness and good character. He married soon after and for some years prospered in business. Later on, having lost his wife and met with reverses in business...

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Biography of Henry Failing

Failing, Henry, banker, and one of the leading business men of the Northwest, was born in the city of New York, January 17, 1834. His father, Josiah Failing, for many years an honored citizen of Portland, was born in Montgomery county, New York. Early in life he went to Albany, to learn the trade of paper stainer, and in 1824, accompanied his employer upon his removal to New York City. He served his apprenticeship and followed his trade until forced to abandon it on account of ill health. He then engaged in the trucking business, following this line of work for many years. During this period he served for several years as superintendent of public vehicles of the city. In 1851, he came to Portland and established the mercantile firm of J. Failing & Co., with which he was connected until 1864, when, having acquired a modest competency, he retired from active business. Arriving in Portland at a period of rapid changes and growth, he in many ways became thoroughly identified with its progress and was soon called upon to take a prominent part in the management of public affairs. In 1853, he was elected mayor of the city and did much to give a proper start to the destiny of the place. He took a warm interest in educational matters, and as one of the trustees of the...

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Biography of Cyrus A. Dolph

Dolph, Cyrus A., of Portland, one of the most successful lawyers of Oregon, was born in Chemung, (now Schuyler) County, New York, on September 27, 1840. Leaving school at the early age of eighteen he took up the occupation of teacher, and taught in the schools of his native county during the years 1859, 1860 and 1861. In the spring of 1862 he enlisted in the Government service from which he was discharged at Fort Walla Walla, Washington, in October, 1862, and came to Portland, where he has ever since resided. While engaged in teaching, Mr. Dolph began the study of law as an accomplishment rather than with a view of adopting it as a profession, but he soon became so much interested in it that what had been taken up as a pastime he resolved to make his life work. With this end in view he began a systematic course of study and was admitted to the bar in 1866, immediately thereafter beginning the active practice of his profession. In June, 1869, without solicitation on his part, he was nominated on the Republican ticket for the office of City Attorney for the City of Portland, and was elected by a large majority over Judge W. F. Trimble, now deceased. He served for the full term of two years, and his administration of the duties of the office was...

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Biography of J. P. O. Lownsdale

There are few business men more favorably known in the metropolis of the Northwest than the gentleman of whom we write. His operations in real estate have been of the most reliable character, and the services that he has rendered the city in calling attention to her advantages have been very great. In his personal character he has maintained an integrity worthy, not only of the highest commendation, but of the imitation of young men. He was born in Princeton, Gibson county, Indiana, January 1st, 1830, the son of Daniel H. Lownsdale, the early owner of the central part of Portland. At the age of sixteen he entered the dry goods store of an uncle, of his native place, in whose employ he remained until at the age of twenty-one (1851) he came, at the request of his father, via the Isthmus of Panama, to Portland. He was here engaged in merchandising, until in 1853 he embraced the opportunity to return East, via the plains route, on horseback, with Captain Hiram Smith. He entered into partnership with his uncle in Indiana-the business proving very successful to all parties concerned. He was married in 1854 to Miss Sarah R. Milburn, a daughter of Robert Milburn, Esq., one of the leading citizens of Princeton. During his residence at his old home, he was honored with various public trusts and offices in...

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Biography of S. G. Reed

S. G. Reed, of Portland, one of the city’s most useful and progressive citizens, was born at East Abington, Massachusetts, April 23d, 1830. His early education was received in the public school of his native town, but he afterwards attended a private school and academy. He came to San Francisco, by way of the Isthmus of Panama, in the spring of 1852, and in the following autumn came to Oregon, where he has ever since resided. He was a clerk in the mercantile house of W. S. Ladd & . Co., from the fall of 1855 until the 2d day of April, 1859, when he became a partner in the business, under the firm name of Ladd, Reed & Co. In 1858, he purchased W. B. Wells’ interest in the steamers Senorita, Belle and Multnomah and for many years from this time was one of the leading spirits in the development of the steamboat interest on the North Pacific coast. The steamers named were subsequently merged in the Oregon Steam Navigation Company’s line. This company was first organized under the laws of Washington Territory, December 27, 1860, at which time its entire assets amounted to only $172,500. It was re-organized with a capital stock of $2,000,000, under the laws of Oregon, on October 18, 1862, with J. C. Ainsworth, D. F. Bradford, R. R. Thompson, and S. G. Reed...

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