Topic: Biography History Photo

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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Biography of Henry D. Green

Green, Henry D., for many years a prominent figure in the commercial affairs of Portland, was born in Tompkins county, New York, October 16, 1825. Shortly after attaining his majority, in 1853, he came to Oregon and established himself at Astoria, in partnership with W. Irving Leonard. This firm purchased the mercantile business house of Leonard & Green, which was established at that point in 1850, by John Green and H. C. Leonard, at that date the only mercantile house, except the Hudson Bay Company’s trading post, at the mouth of the Columbia river. He remained at Astoria until 1856, when he closed out his business and removed to Portland. The city was then just beginning to be a place of commercial importance and his natural business abilities found a congenial field. In 1858, he procured from the legislature of the State and the city council of Portland the franchise for the present gas works of the city, and in connection with his brother, John Green, H. C. Leonard and Captain Wm. L. Dall, of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, completed, in 1859, the erection of the first gas works in Oregon, and third upon the Pacific Coast, those of San Francisco and Sacramento City being the only ones at that date in operation. He was the superintendent and general manager of the Portland works from their inauguration until...

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Biography of William Wallace Thayer

The typical Western man is popularly conceived as a man of liberal ideas, of generous and hospitable instincts, imbued with a spirit of adventurous enterprise, and withal hardy and courageous. He is not punctilious in minor questions of etiquette or inclined to make much of mere forms and ceremonies. He is a friend to his friends, a man of sterling integrity and of firmness of character developed by habits of self-reliance. Such men are the State builders whose names and deeds are a part of the history of the newer States of the American Commonwealth. Every western community contains individuals approaching more or less near this ideal type. Throughout Oregon, genial and democratic “Governor” Thayer, as he is familiarly called, is recognized as an example of the typical western man. Personally known as he is in every section of the State, his friends are almost as numerous as his acquaintances. Although it has frequently become his duty during the course of his public career to oppose men and measures which seemed to him not in accord with the best interests of the State, and when such occasions have transpired his firm and decisive course show him a man earnest of purpose and unwavering in matters of judgment, he has nevertheless maintained the respect, nay, the affections of the citizens, so that even those who have experienced his opposition have...

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Biography of William Strong

The name of William Strong is thoroughly associated with the judicature both of Oregon and Washington. His marked characteristics are indelibly impressed upon the system of law of both States, especially that of the latter. To long and distinguished service as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and in the ex-officio character of Judge of, the District Courts in both States while they were Territorial Governments, must be added his connection with their legislation and also his brilliant career as a law practitioner, for over a generation, in all the Courts of both States. He was born at St. Albans, Vermont, on the 15th of July, 1817. His youth was spent in the vicinity of Rushville, New York, where he received his preparatory education. At the age of seventeen he entered Yale College, from which he graduated with distinguished honors in the class of 1838. Having selected the law for his profession, he engaged in teaching during the next two years. So ambitious was he, that by industry and close, application to study in the intervals from teaching, he had made sufficient progress in his studies to secure a license in 1840 to practice law. Admitted to the bar, he immediately removed to Cleveland, Ohio, and at once entered upon a large and lucrative practice, and took a foremost rank in the profession. On the 15th of October, 1840,...

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Biography of J. B. Montgomery

This well known citizen, though not among those who came to Portland at the earliest day of the city’s history to lay here the foundations of municipal and commercial greatness, is a prominent and representative man of the reinforcement that came when Portland was just beginning her larger growth; and to this reinforcement much of the credit of the city’s remarkable progress is due. James Boyce Montgomery was born at Montgomery’s Ferry, on the Susquehanna river, in the State of Pennsylvania, twenty-five miles north of Harrisburg, on the 6th of December, 1832. He went to school until he was sixteen years of age, when he was sent to Philadelphia to learn the typographical art. During several years he worked in the office of the well known Evening Bulletin, of that city, and became an expert printer. By the year 1853, he had shown that there was good stuff in him, when he was tendered an associate editorial position on the Sandusky (Ohio) Daily Register, by Gov. Henry D. Cooke. In this position he displayed so much vigor and ability that he was soon asked to take editorial charge of the Pittsburg Morning Post. This offer he accepted, and soon became one of the proprietors of the paper. The paper was successful under his charge, but Mr. Montgomery saw wider opportunities for activity in the railroad development of Pennsylvania, just...

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Biography of W. S. Ladd

It is seldom throughout the incipient stages of growth, down to a period covering many years in the development of a progressive commonwealth, that to any one man is accorded a foremost place by general consent. New countries, in these latter days of steam and electricity, develop often with rapidity; new issues are met by new leaders, while those who laid the foundation of society rarely retain their hold on affairs for any extended period of time. In this, however, Oregon has been an exception to the rule, and the career of William Sargent Ladd is a conspicuous example of the exception. Coming to Oregon when the country was young and there was no settled social, political or business order, he has exerted a continually increasing influence in the various lines of development which have added to the wealth and greatness of the State. Apart from his financial operations, which long ago placed him among the most wealthy men of the West, he has been among the builders of our State who have been most earnest for its social and moral progress. The results of his high integrity and of his efforts to elevate the tone of society and keep pure the moral sentiment of the community, make a double claim upon our respect and recognition. Fortunate, indeed, has it been for the State that its business leaders, like...

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Biography of Earl C. Bronaugh

Bronaugh, Earl C., one of the most prominent attorneys of the State, was born in Abingdon, Virginia, March 4, 1831. He secured his educational advantages in his native town prior to reaching the age of twelve years, when with his parents he moved to Shelby County, Tennessee. They founded a new home in the woods and endured all the privations of pioneer life at that early day. Here Mr. Bronaugh spent six years of his life, assisting his father in the support of the family, after which becoming imbued with the desire to read law he entered the office of Hon. J. W. Clapp, an uncle, at Holley Springs, Mississippi, and two years thereafter, in 1851, was admitted to the bar. Being without means to begin the practice of his profession he spent the following two years in teaching in Tennessee and Arkansas. He then began the practice of his profession at Jacksonport, Arkansas. A few months later he removed to Little Rock, Arkansas, where he served for a short time as Clerk of the Chancery Court. From Little Rock he moved to Brownville, Arkansas, where he remained for two years, when he located in Helena in the same State. He was elected Judge of the Circuit Court, comprising the Helena circuit, in 1860, which office he held until the great war began. By education and association Mr. Bronaugh...

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Biography of George H. Williams

Judge Williams, alone among the citizens of Oregon, has had the distinction of occupying a place in the highest councils of the nation-in the cabinet of a president. He was also regarded by President Grant as the man most fit and able to hold the position of Chief Justice of the United States. The bitter struggle following his nomination to this supreme position is well remembered for the sectional feeling displayed and the dissent of certain members of the senate which led the Judge to withdraw his name. It is not the intention, however, to recall the personal contests of the past they have been long forgotten and forgiven but to remind the reader that it was upon an arena no less great than the nation that Judge Williams has passed the most intense years of his life, and that it was as one of a group of men the first among Americans a company composing the “Great Round Table” in the most eventful years of our national history that he has been accustomed to move. The people of Oregon have reason to feel a justifiable pride in his career, and to appreciate more strongly the ties that unite them to the national life. Not wishing to make comparisons as to the value of the services of the able men who have represented the State of Oregon at Washington,...

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Biography of Joseph Schoewaiter Smith

Joseph Schoewaiter Smith, was born in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, June 20, 1824. His ancestors at an early day emigrated from England and Wales and settled in New Jersey and their descendants are now scattered all over the United States. At the age of eight years he accompanied his parents to Clermont County, Ohio, and three years later to Vermilion County, Indiana. He received such education as a farmer’s boy of ambition could receive at that day in a pioneer neighborhood. During the summer he worked on the farm and in the winter attended such schools as the county afforded. He early evinced great fondness for books which stimulated his thirst for knowledge, and at the age of sixteen he left his home determined by his own exertions to obtain a better education than the limited means of his father would permit. From that time until he was nearly twenty he spent at school all the time which the hardest physical labor necessary to support himself would allow. In the fall of 1844 he started for Oregon. Several months were consumed in making the overland journey, the winter of 1844-5 being passed among the Indians in the Rocky Mountains, while every mile of the long journey to the settlement in the Willamette Valley was beset by perils and privations such as fell to the lot of the pioneer land emigrants...

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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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