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Biography of Solomon Hirsch

There is something inspiring in the record of a busy and useful life; something stimulating in the details of a career that is marked by a generous and beneficent purpose; something worthy of emulation in the success that has been wrought by unselfish means. Such has been the record of the gentleman whose name is the title of this biography, and so thoroughly have the varied lines of his efforts been blended with the agencies which have been conducive to the material progress of the Pacific Northwest during many years that no history of this portion of the Union, and especially of the State of Oregon, would be complete which failed to give him honorable mention. He was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, March 25, 1839. His youth was spent in the old country in attendance at the common schools of that day. At the age of fourteen years he came to America, and soon after his arrival in New York, secured a clerkship in a store in New Haven, Connecticut. Here he remained but a few months, when he returned to New York, and a short time thereafter accepted a position in an office in Rochester, New Hampshire, where he remained until 1858. He then came to Oregon by the way of the Isthmus of Panama, reaching Portland about the middle of April in 1858. A few weeks later...

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Biography of Joseph Alfred Strowbridge

Strowbridge, Joseph Alfred, was born in Montour county, Pennsylvania, in 1835, the third child of Phillip Moss and Elizabeth K. (Smith) Strowbridge. His father was a farmer who soon after Joseph’s birth, moved with his family to Marion county, Ohio. Here the youth of our subject was passed. His educational advantages were mostly confined to the district school, but with the assistance of an aunt who resided with the family he made rapid and substantial progress in his studies. So well prepared was he that at the early age of fourteen years, he taught a school near his home, and in the examination to which he was subjected to secure the position, he stood the highest among several applicants all of whom were much older than he. It was his intention to obtain a thorough education but his plans were not carried out, for while preparing to enter the Ohio Wesleyan University, his father determined to move to Oregon. The family, consisting of father, mother and five children, started across the plains with horse teams in October, 1851, and reached St. Joseph, Missouri at the beginning of winter. Here they remained until the following spring when they again took up the long journey. The emigrants of 1852 experienced perhaps greater hardships than had ever confronted others who crossed the plains. Not only did they suffer from the extreme drouth...

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Biography of Erasmus D. Shattuck

Judge E. D. Shattuck was born in Bakersfield, Franklin County, Vermont, December 31, 1824. He spent his boyhood and youth on a farm and was prepared for a collegiate course at Bakersfield Academy. In 1844 he entered Vermont University, pursued the full classical course and graduated in 1848. While in college he was dependent upon his own resources for means to prosecute his studies, and during vacations and some part of term time he taught school in the country or had private classes in the village. Notwithstanding these disadvantages and interruptions he completed the college course in the prescribed time and stood third in his class on final examinations. On leaving college Mr. Shattuck was employed for a year as teacher of Latin and mathematics in Bakersfield Academy. He then went to Georgia and taught a year in Newnan Seminary, situated about twenty-five miles from the city of Atlanta. While in Newnan he employed his leisure in reading law in the office of Archibald McKinley, at that time one of the leading lawyers in that part of the State. In 1851 he returned north and located in Malone, New York, where he applied himself to the study of law in the office of Parmelee & Fitch. In the Spring of 1852 he went to New York City and entered the office of Abner Benedict, where he remained reading law...

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Biography of Lewis Fleischner

Fleischner, Lewis, one of the leading merchants of Portland was born in the village of Vogelgesang, Bohemia, in 1829. He was educated in his native village and at Tissan a small town near his home. At the age of fifteen years he came to America, and for a short time remained in New York City. He then went to Philadelphia, where he was employed for five years by a dealer in horses and cattle. At the end of this period, in 1849, he came to Drakeville, Davis County, Iowa, and for three years was engaged in merchandising. In 1852 he started across the plains for Oregon, with an ox team. The land immigrants of this year experienced unusual hardships. Disease killed all of their cattle, while many of the immigrants perished from the cholera. After weary months of suffering Mr. Fleischner arrived in Albany, Oregon, where he embarked in the mercantile business, and for the following seven years did a very successful business. In 1859 he sold out and for one year conducted a store at the Oro Fino mines. In the fall of this year he took a stock of goods to Lewiston, Idaho, arriving on the first steamboat which landed at that place. There he remained until 1863, when he came to Portland, and entered into partnership with Solomon Hirsch and Alexander Schlussel, and bought out the...

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Biography of Rodney Glisan, M.D.

Rodney Glisan, physician of Portland, son of Samuel and Eliza Glisan, was born at Linganore, Frederick County, Maryland, January 29, 1827. His ancestors were among the first English settlers of Maryland. He was graduated in the medical department of the University of Maryland, in 1849, and after passing a severe competitive examination before a medical board, was appointed a medical officer of the United States Army, in May, 1850. Having served in this capacity for about eleven years on the plains, and in Oregon during her Indian wars, he resigned his commission and settled in Portland, where he has ever since been in the successful practice of his profession. In recognition of his services during the Indian hostilities in Oregon from 1855 to 1860 he was, in 1886, elected surgeon of the Grand Encampment of the Indian War Veterans of the North Pacific Coast, and still holds this honorary position. While stationed in Oregon as an army surgeon, Dr. Glisan had an excellent opportunity to ascertain the efficiency of volunteer soldiers and unlike a certain class of regular army officers, he has ever entertained the highest opinion of their soldierly qualities. Dr. Glisan was a professor in the first medical institution ever formed in Oregon, the Oregon Medical College, which subsequently assumed the name of The Medical Department of the Willamette University, in which he was for a long...

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Biography of Dr. J. C. Hawthorne

For many years the subject of this sketch held a prominent place among the most distinguished medical men of the Pacific Coast. His high professional attainments were matched by a life of conspicuous rectitude and of great public usefulness. He was born in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, March 12, 1819, and was a son of James and Mary (Donald) Hawthorne, who were of English and Welsh descent. His father was a farmer, but a man of literary attainments and a graduate of Washington College, Pennsylvania. The early life of young Hawthorne was spent in Mercer County, where his elementary education was received, and where he was prepared for college. He commenced the study of medicine under Dr. Bascom of his native place, and after a brief course of instruction under his direction, entered the Medical University at Louisville, Kentucky, from which institution he subsequently graduated. He commenced practice at Louisville, where he remained until 1850, when he went to California. For some years thereafter he lived at Auburn, Placer County, engaged in a large general practice and hospital work, where he became widely known and gained an enviable reputation for professional skill. In 1851 he was elected State Senator from Placer County and served for two terms, the late Lansing Stout being at that time a member of the Lower House from the same county. In 1857 he came to...

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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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Biography of James K. Kelly

For many years James K. Kelly has been a prominent man in the legal and political history of Oregon, and has left upon the annals of this section of the Union the impress of his personality. In positions of honor and trust he has maintained an exalted standard of excellence and according to the dictates of his conscience and judgment his influence has been cast for the agencies he believed to be conducive to the true interests of the people. A fitting record of the part he has borne in many important events during his long residence in Oregon, very properly belongs to any history pertaining to this portion of the State. He was born in Center County, Pennsylvania, in 1819. Until he attained the age of sixteen years his life was spent upon a farm. He was prepared for a collegiate course at Milton and Lewisburg Academies, and became so far advanced in classical and mathematical learning that in 1837 he entered the junior class at Princeton College, New Jersey, from which institution he graduated in 1839. In the fall of 1839 he went to Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and commenced the study of law in the law department of Dickinson College, then under the professorship of John Reed, L. L. D. He graduated in the fall of 1841 and shortly thereafter began the practice of his profession at Lewistown,...

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Biography of Donald MacLeay

MacLeay, Donald, was born at Leckmelm, Ross Shire, Scotland, in August, 1834, and comes from an honorable ancestry. He was educated under a private tutor and at the academy in his native town. At the age of sixteen he accompanied his parents to Canada, settling on a farm near the village of Melbourne in the province of Quebec. At the age of twenty Mr. Macleay began his business career in partnership with George K. Foster, a merchant at Richmond. Mr. Foster was a man of large means and of excellent business capacity and had much to do in moulding the character and forming the business methods of his young partner. In 1866 Mr. Macleay became a partner with William Corbitt in the wholesale grocery, shipping and commission business in Portland, establishing the now widely known firm of Corbitt & Macleay. Their efforts were rewarded by almost immediate success and so rapid was the growth of their business that by the year 1870 they had acquired a high place among the leading merchants of the Northwest. With one exception they were the first to send wheat from Oregon to England, sending the vessel Adeline Elwood in 1870. In the following year several vessels were consigned to them from Europe loaded with railroad iron and returned with cargoes of wheat. They were also among the first to perceive the future of...

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Biography of Van B. Delashmutt

Delashmutt, Van B., the present Mayor of Portland, was born in Burlington, Iowa, July 27, 1842. Ten years later the family came to the infant territory of Oregon, and settled on a farm in Polk county, in the Willamette Valley. The monotonous life of a farmer’s boy illy suited the naturally adventuresome disposition of young DeLashmutt, and at the age of fifteen he went to Salem, where he secured employment in the office of the Salem Statesman, as an apprentice to learn the printers’ trade. With characteristic earnestness and energy the apprentice served three years, and at the end of that time came out a finished printer. Work in other offices occupied his time for the next year or more. When the news that Fort Sumpter had been fired upon, in April 1861, and that President Lincoln had called for 100,000 troops, reached Oregon, young DeLashmutt determined to join the forces of the loyal North to suppress the rebellion. At that time the means of quick communication between the east and the Pacific coast were not very good, and in order more promptly to enlist in the cause, he went to San Francisco. Here, on the 28th of September, 1861, he became a member of Company G, Third Infantry California volunteers, commanded by Col. D. Edward Conner, afterwards promoted to General for gallant service at the battle of Bear...

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