Oregon Biographical Sketches
Bancroft's Works Volume XXIX
1834 - 1848
Humbert Howe Bancroft

Samuel & William Packwood

Samuel Packwood and William Packwood, brothers, emigrated from Missouri in 1844. They were two of a family of fifteen children, eight of whom were sons of Elisha Packwood of Patrick County, Virginia. In 1819 the father removed to Indiana, and in 1834 to Missouri. Seven of the eight sons and two of their seven sisters emigrated to the Pacific coast, but not all in the same year. Of Samuel I know nothing except that he came to Oregon . William was born in Patrick C., Virginia, in 1813, and removed with the family to Missouri. After reaching Oregon he remained in the Willamette Valley until 1847, when he removed to Puget Sound, and settled on the Nisqually River, being the first bona fide American settler north of Olympia. Others of the Packwood family emigrated to Oregon in 1845, and will be noticed hereafter. A few names of women have been added to the roll:

Mrs. W.M. Case, Miss Amanda Thorp, Mrs. Benj. Tucker, Miss Eliza Snelling, Miss Henrietta Gilliam, Mrs. Vincent Snelling, Mrs. Herman Higgins, Mrs. Jacob Hammer, Mrs. Joshua Shaw, Mrs. D. Johnson, all of whom were in Major Thorp's company. Mrs. McDaniel, Jenny Fuller, and the families before referred to, namely, Morrison, Jackson, Simmons, McAllister, Kindred, Jones, Shaw, are all who have been mentioned. There are the names of two negro women, Eliza and Hannah, put down on the roll, in Or. Pioneer Assoc., Trans., 1876, 40-2.

Horace Holden and May Holden

Horace Holden and May Holden, his wife, came from the Hawaiian Islands in the Chenamus, Captain Couch, with Babcock and Hines, when they returned to Oregon after hearing of the appointment of a new superintendent of the Mission. Holden was a native of Hillsborough, New Hampshire, born in 1810. He took to seafaring, and while roaming about the ocean was cast away on one of the Pelew Islands, and enslaved by the natives for three years. On being rescued and returning to New England, he published an account of his adventures, called Holden's Narrative of Shipwreck and Captivity among the Savages. In 1837 he went to the Islands with the design of introducing silk culture and manufacture, but the scheme failed. He then engaged in sugar-planting on the island of Kauai, the plantation of Kalloa, in which he was interested, being the first sugar-making plantation on the Islands. By the representations of Dr. Babcock he was induced to remove to Oregon, which he professes never to have liked on account of the rainy winters. Holden settled near Salem on a farm, and engaged in cattle-raising and grain and fruit growing. Holden's Oregon Pioneering, MS., from which the above is taken, contains little more than his personal experience, and while it affords a plan on which a book might be written equal to many of the most interesting narrations of adventure, contributes little that is of value to this history. See Hines' Or. Hist., 233.

Sylvester and Johnson

It is said that Sylvester and Johnson sailed for the Columbia River in a small vessel, deeply laden, which was never heard from; but whether the Chenamus was the vessel I have no information. Her name appears no more on the shipping-list; but in her place next came the brig Henry. A glimpse here and there of the after lives of the pioneers of 1844 - for all were pioneers before 1850 - will give us a necessary clew [sic] to the manner of life of those who go forth to clear the way for their more favored brethren to follow, as well as the time and manner of their death.

M.G. Foisy

M.G. Foisy, who came to Oregon in 1844, was the first printer in the territory after Hall, who visited Lapwai from the Islands in 1841. Mr. Foisy set up the book of Matthew as translated into the Nez Perce language by the Presbyterian missionaries, and printed on the little press presented to this mission by the native church of Honolulu, which press is now preserved in the state archives at Salem. He afterward went to California, where he worked at Monterey in the office of The Californian in the English and Spanish languages, merged later into the Alta California.

Pierce Asbill

Pierce Asbill was born in Howard County, Missouri, in October 1835, whence he emigrated, with his parents, in 1844. In 1849 the family removed to California, finally settling in Sonoma County, since which time they have been engaged in various vocations, but principally in stock-raising. In their expeditions through the country Frank M. Asbill, in 1854, discovered Round Valley in California.

Daniel Clark

Daniel Clark, a native of King County, Ireland, was born Feb. 14, 1824. His father emigrated to Quebec in 1828, and went from Canada to Missouri in 1836. At 13 Daniel was impelled to begin life for himself, and engaged with a neighbor for 8 dollars a month to cut cord-wood. At 18 he was employed as overseer on a plantation; but hearing of the prospective donation of land in Oregon to actual settlers, determined to go to the new country, and try his fortunes there. He joined the independent colony under Gilliam, and arriving late and destitute, went to making rails. Two years afterward he married Miss Bertha B. Herren. In 1848 he went to the California mines, returning to Oregon for his wife and infant child the same winter. In 1850 he left the mines and returned to his home 5 miles south of Salem. His wife dying in 1861, he married again in 1865 Miss Harriet Scheoffer. When the Oregon state grange was organized in 1873 he was elected master for his services in the movement, in which he has ever been heartily interested. Mr. Clark lived long in firm health and vigor, enjoying the reward of a temperate and just life. S.F. Pacific Rural Press, in Or. Cultivator, June 15, 1876.

Willis Jenkins

Willis Jenkins and wife, entering Oregon in 1844, settled on the Luckiamute in Yamhill district. In 1852 he built the first dwelling, store, and hotel in Dallas; afterward aided in developing eastern Oregon. His wife died in 1872; his children are scattered over Oregon.

James Welch

James Welch, born in Clark County, Kentucky, February 16, 1816, removed with his parents to Missouri. On their death, he was, when about 6, bound to a planter till about 18. Then, after learning the brick-mason's trade, he removed to what is now Muscatine, Iowa, where in 1840 he married Miss Nancy Dickinson. He left Missouri for Oregon April 4, 1844, arriving in Oregon City in December. Late in 1845 he paid $2,000 for a half interest in a donation claim at Fort George, now Astoria's site. The next spring, with David Ingalls, he settled there with his family, the first white family to settle in the place. He built the first house there. In 1847 he packed salmon. Visiting California in 1848, he returned in 1849 and engaged in the lumber trade. In 1850 he built a second house; it subsequently gave place to another, in which his widow still lives. For several years he was active in handling lumber, fishing, and merchandising. In 1861-4 he was in the Idaho mines. Returning, he engaged in boating and fishing, but health failing, he retired partially from business. He held several offices of trust. On September 29, 1876, while visiting his son, James W. Welch, internal revenue collector at Walla Walla, he died suddenly while asleep. There still live in 1887, of his 3 girls and 7 boys, Jas W., John W., Daniel H., Mrs. Sarah F. Woods, and Mrs. Mary I. Herron, all living in Clatsop Co. His wife, born in Washington Co., Ohio, in 1818, still resides in Astoria.

Joseph Watt

Joseph Watt was born in Ohio, but emigrated from Missouri. He remained at Oregon City over two years, when he returned to the States to bring out sheep and carding-machine. This attempt to drive sheep overland from the east was suggested by the fact that one of the Shaws in 1844 drove 16 sheep to Oregon, which he intended to kill for mutton by the way; finding that they travelled as well as the other stock, and buffalo being plenty, he spared them. This Shaw removed to Benicia, California. Watt had no sooner returned to Oregon with his carding-machine and sheep than the gold discovery in California drew everybody who could go to the mines, and he realized nothing from his scheme of introducing a useful manufacture. But his sheep increased, and money came into the country, until finally he conceived the idea of a woollen factory, which was finally established at Salem in 1857, this being the pioneer woollen-mill on the Pacific coast of the United States. Mr. Watt still resides at Salem.

Nathaniel & Lucinda Ford

Nathaniel Ford, of whose settlement in Polk County I have spoken, after a useful and honorable life, died at Dixie, in the county, January 9, 1870, at the age of 75 years. Lucinda Ford, his wife, died January 4, 1874, aged 74 years. Dallas Times, Jan. 15, 1870; Salem Statesman, Jan. 16, 1874.

Samuel Walker

Samuel Walker, who had served 23 years in the army of the United States, and emigrated in 1844, settled near Salem, where he lived 26 years, and accumulated a comfortable property. He died July 20, 1870, at St. Joseph's hospital, Vancouver. Vancouver Register, July 23, 1870.

Joel Crisman

Joel Crisman, a native of Virginia, died in Yamhill County, Aug. 16, 1875, aged 80 years.

E.E. Parrish

E.E. Parrish, born in West Virginia, Nov. 20, died in Linn County, Oct. 24, 1874.

E.B. & Theophilus Magruder

E.B. Magruder, a native of Maryland, for a long time a resident of Jackson County, died July 1875, at Jacksonville, aged 74 years. He was identified with early enterprises in southern Oregon. With him emigrated to Oregon, Theophilus R. Magruder, also a resident of southern Oregon, and a merchant. He died Oct. 5, 1871, aged 39 years. Theophilus Magruder resided for several years at Cresent City, California.

Jas B. Stephens

Jas B. Stephens was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania, in 1806. At the age of 8 years he removed with his father to Indiana, where he remained until he was 26, when he made another westward movement, and located on the Mississippi River, opposite Fort Madison, where he supplied the steamboats with wood and continued to reside for 11 years. Emigrating in 1844 to Oregon with his family, in the autumn of 1845 he bought a land claim on the east bank of the Willamette, opposite Portland, which is now the site of East Portland, and where he still resides. Overton, who had claimed on the other side, but wished to leave the country, offered Stephens his land for $200, but the latter having no money, and nothing to depend on except his trade, which was coopering, declined. It was after this offer that he purchased East Portland at an administrator's sale. Lovejoy being the seller. Nesmith was present for the purpose of bidding, but learning that Stephens desired the place for his business, and to make a home, the former gave way. This was during his term as judge of probate, the sale being under his order. The incident illustrates the generous spirit of the men of 1843. Minto's Early Days, MS., 32.

Franklin Sears

Franklin Sears was born in Orange County, New Jersey, June 28, 1817. At the age of 10 [sic?] years he removed with his parents to Saline County, where he left them to join the emigration to Oregon in 1844. The following year he went to California, and settled in Sonoma County, where he held a large farm.

Isaac N. Gilbert

Isaac N. Gilbert, a native of New York, was born at Rushville, June 27, 1818. He went to Illinois when still a very young man, and from there emigrated to Oregon at the age of 27, in company with 3 others. He took a land claim 2 miles north-east of Salem, and in 1850 married Miss Marietta Stanton, daughter of Alfred Stanton, an immigrant of 1847. Gilbert was the first county clerk of Marion county, holding the office for 3 years, and was for a time surveyor of the county. He made the first plat of the town of Salem. He laid out the road from Salem to Philip Foster's, at the foot of the Cascade Mountains, in 1846. He was one of the four original founders of the Congregational church in Salem in 1852; and during his life one of its principal supporters. He died March 20, 1879, at his home in Salem. Or. Pioneer Assoc., Trans., 1878, 82-3.

Mrs. Henrietta Gilliam Coad

Mrs. Henrietta Gilliam Coad, daughter of Cornelius Gilliam, and wife of Samuel Coad, died at Salem, March 30, 1875, aged about 32 years.

Mrs. Pauline Ford Boyle

Mrs. Pauline Ford Boye, third daughter of Nathaniel Ford, died in November 1874 of consumption.

H.C. Jenkins

H.C. Jenkins, in alluding to her death, remarked that of the Ford family of 13 who crossed the plains in 1844 with him, only 2 were then left.

Elijah Bunton

Elijah Bunton died in 1861, on the Walla Walla River, during the gold excitement. His widow married a Mr. Watson. Mrs. Keziah Watson died March 19, 1874, at Weston, in Umatilla County.

Mrs. Mary Jane Roberts Rogers

Mrs. Mary Jane Roberts Rogers, died March 4, 1875, aged 43 years. Portland P.C. Advocate, March 25, 1875.

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