Charles Henry Carey.

History of Oregon (Volume 2) online

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For forty years Harvey Whitefield Scott was editor of The Oregonian and in his
death the journalistic profession of America lost one of its most brilliant minds, one
of its most accomplished scholars, and one of its most vigorous and courageous writers.
He was a pioneer and a builder. For nearly a half century he labored for the develop-
ment of the Pacific coast, and Portland and the surrounding country owe their splendid
progress in large measure to the work of this terse conductor of a great newspaper.
He possessed those qualities which in the aggregate make what men call character, and
this character, shining out through the columns of The Oi'egonian, has exalted the char-
acter of the state and the minds of her sons.

His birth occurred in Tazewell county, Illinois, February 1, 1838. He came of Scotch
ancestry, his paternal forefathers landing at Charleston, South Carolina, in 1755. His
grandparents became residents of Pennsylvania and North Carolina, and his parents,
John Tucker and Ann (Roelofson) Scott, established their home in Tazewell county,
Illinois, where Harvey W. Scott continued to reside until his fourteenth year, becoming
inured to a life of severe toil, assisting with the work of the fields during the summer
months, while in the winter seasons he attended the district school. In 1852 the family
started across the plains to Oregon with ox teams — a journey that was fraught with
many dangers and privations. On reaching Oregon they first located in Yamhill county,
two of the party, the mother and a brother, having succumbed to the hardships of the
journey. The rest of the family resided in that locality for about a year and removed
to the Puget Sound country, settling in the vicinity of Olympia, in what is now Mason
county, Washington. In the difficult work of clearing the land and preparing the soil
for the cultivation of crops Mr. Scott bore his full share and was thus occupied until
1855, when he enlisted as a private in the Washington Territory Volunteers, under
Captain Calvin W. Swindall, and for about nine months was engaged in Indian war-
fare. Subsequently he worked in logging camps, also following surveying and farming
until 1857, when he resolved to secure a better education and set out for Oregon City,
walking the entire distance from Olympia. For a short time he resided with relatives
in Clackamas county, Oregon, attending school in Oregon City, while later he continued
his studies at Pacific University at Forest Grove, providing the necessary funds for his
education by working as a farm hand in the neighborhood. In 1859 his father returned
to Oregon, settling upon a farm three miles west of Forest Grove, and the son then
entered Pacific University, where in 1863 he was the first to complete the four years'
classical course, thus becoming the first alumnus of the institution. Near his father's
place was a sawmill, in which Mr. Scott worked when not employed elsewhere. He
was an expert .axman, and did a good deal of work in clearing the forest about Forest
Grove. He was fond of the classics and read in the original all the Latin and Greek
authors he could find. He possessed a retentive memory and throughout his life pre-
served a general familiarity with classical literature, being able to quote therefrom with
remarkable readiness. Undoubtedly his great literary ability was due in large measure
to his study of the classics, and when asked what books in English he regarded as
most helpful in creating his literary style, he replied: "The speeches of Edmund Burke
and the prophecies of Jeremiah and Isaiah in the Old Testament."

Following his graduation Mr. Scott went to Idaho, where for a year he was engaged
in mining and whipsawing, and in 1S64 he came to Portland. For a few months he
was employed as librarian of the Portland Library, which at that time utilized two
small rooms on the second floor of a brick building on the northeast corner of First
and Stark streets. While thus engaged he wrote a few articles for The Oregoninn and
subsequently obtained a position with the paper through the elTorts of Matthew P.
Deady, then president of the Portland Library Association. He was at that time study-
ing law in his leisure hours under the direction of Erasmus D. Shattuck, but the field
of journalism proved a more congenial one and he directed his energies along that


line. Showing a decided talent for newspaper work he soon became editor of The
Oregonian. in which position he found a wide scope for his tastes and abilities. With-
out previous experience in the complex duties of what is usually first a trade and after-
wards a profession, he rose to all the exacting requirements of his work, and so signal
was his success and so thoroughly was his individuality associated with his paper that
his name became a household word over the entire northwest. One of his first notable
articles was an editorial written on the death of President Lincoln, which attracted
widespread attention. He gave The Oregonian his continuous editorial service until
October. 1S72, when he was appointed collector of customs for the port of Portland,
which position he retained for four years, and in 1877 returned to The Oregonian as
editor and part owner, where he remained until his death in 1910.

With a strong love of the locality and state and a clear perception of the immense
natural advantages of Oregon and Washington, Mr. Scott gave the most minute atten-
tion to the discovery of the stores of wealth in the forests, mines, soil and climate.
To a certain extent he had so learned the feelings, demands and habits of the people
that his utterances were the daily voice of the Oregonians. Bold and forceful in his
writings, never seeking to conciliate, he met with opposition but usually prevailed.
Earnest and sincere in all that he did, he had no patience with pretense and had a
wholesome contempt for shams. Avoiding rhetorical art or indirection of language, he
went with incisive directness to his subject and commanded attention by the clearness
and vigor of his statement, the fairness of his arguments and the thorough and careful
investigation of his subject. In the midst of his journalistic and business affairs he
found time to pursue literary, philosophical, theological and classical study and to his
constant and systematic personal investigation in these directions were due his schol-
arly attainments. At the time of the reorganization of the Associated Press in 1898
he took a prominent part therein and served as a member of its board of directors until
his death in 1910.

In October, 1865, Mr. Scott was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Nicklin and
they became the parents of two sons; John H. and Kenneth, but the latter died in
childhood. The mother passed away January 11, 1875, and in the following year Mr.
Scott wedded Miss Margaret McChesney of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and to their union
were born two sons and a daughter: Leslie M., Ambrose and Judith.

In his political views Mr. Scott was a republican, yet he never hesitated to con-
demn any course or measure of the party which he deemed detrimental to good govern-
ment and the welfare of the nation. He was a strong supporter of the gold standard,
which he championed through the columns of The Oregonian. when the republican as
well as the democratic party of the state advocated the Bryan policy of free silver at
a ratio of sixteen to one, and through his influence Oregon gave its vote in 1896 to the
republican gold standard candidate for president, William McKinley. In 1876 he was a
delegate to the republican national convention, held at Cincinnati, which nominated
Rutherford B. Hayes for president of the United States. In 1886 he was temporary
secretary of the state convention of the union party and at numerous times was an
active participant as a delegate in conventions of the republican party in Oregon. He
was offered the positions of ambassador to Mexico and minister to Belgium, which
offices he declined. He was a dominant factor in Oregon politics, although never an
office holder, but his clear, logical and trenchant editorials had an immeasurable in-
fluence over public thought and action. He made The Oregnninn a power and influence
not only in the Pacific northwest but throughout the country. He always gave personal
editorial support to every project which he deemed of vital significance to the city and
was a member of the charter board which drafted the present charter of Portland. He
was also a member of the Portland water board and was active in the movement which
resulted in the erection of a monument in the Plaza to the dead of the Second Oregon
Volunteers who fought in the Spanish-American war. For a number of years he was
a member of the board of trustees of Pacific University and at the time of his death
was its president. In 190.3 he was elected president of the Lewis and Clark Fair Asso-
ciation and through the columns of The Oregonian did much to promote its success.
The other Portland journals followed in his lead and made the Lewis and Clark Expo-
sition the best advertised fair that has ever been held in America.

Mr. Scott was a member of the Arlington and Commercial clubs of Portland, Ore-
gon. He attained high rank in Masonry, with which he became identified in 1905 as
a member of Portland Lodge, No. 55, A. F. & A. M. He afterward became a member
of Washington Chapter, No. 18, R. A. M.; and Oregon Commandery, No. 1. K. T. In
1906 he attained the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite Consistory in Washing-


ton, D. C, and became a member of Ai Kader Temple of the Mystic Shrine on the 15th
of June, 1907.

In disposition Mr. Scott was most friendly and inclined to be charitable in con-
sidering the errors and faults of men. He was kind-hearted and sympathetic, quick to
vindicate the right and denounce the wrong, whether of public or individual concern.
His crowning virtue, however, was the love he bore for his state and his pride in its
material advancement. He labored unceasingly for high ideals and the betterment of
the common lot. Success and honor were his, each worthily won, and there is in his
history an element of inspiration for others and an example of high principles and
notable achievement.

Death came to Mr. Scott on the 7th of August, 1910, following a surgical operation
in Baltimore, Maryland, when he was seventy-two years of age. The funeral services
were conducted at Portland, Oregon, under the auspices of the Scottish Rite Consistory,
the ceremony being a most solemn and impressive one. His death took from Oregon
her most illustrious figure. Among the many tributes paid to his memory by the press
throughout the country we quote the following:

H. H. Kohlsaat, editor of the Chicago Record-Herald, wrote of Mr. Scott: "He
was one of the last survivors of the newspaper era that produced a number of great
editors and leaders of public opinion. He made The Oregonian; he was The Oregonian.
He knew and understood the people and the territory he had cast his lot with as a
lad; he interpreted their sentiments, defended their interests and successfully urged his
own convictions upon them. Few men in the Pacific northwest wielded as great an
influence for good."

The following comment was made by S. A. Perkins, publisher of the Tacoma
Ledger and Nexcs: "Harvey W. Scott was the dean of the newspaper men of the Pacific
coast. There were no greater, east or west, and those of his class can be counted upon
the fingers of one hand. He ranked with such journalists as Dana, Watterson and
Greeley. He was a product of the Pacific northwest and for years exerted a greater
influence on its current history than any other man. When Harvey Scott spoke the
public listened. His opinions commanded the respect of even those who did not follow
them. For years the name of Harvey Scott was a household word in the 'old Oregon
country' and his face was familiar to thousands of pioneers. He knew the lite of the
pioneers, for lie was one of them, and his intellectual attainments and broad human
sympathy enabled him to write of pioneer life with remarkable thoroughness and
fidelity. An authority on the Pacific northwest, a profound student of history and
the classics, a master politician in the best sense of the term, an editor whose utter-
ances were always courageous and convincing, Harvey Scott was the most dominant
intellectual force west of the Rocky Mountains."

Harrison Gray Otis, publisher of the Los Angeles Times, said of him: "When
Harvey W. Scott passed away at Baltimore yesterday one of the greatest lights of
journalism went out. He was a great editor in every sense of the word; great in mental
force, great in executive ability, great as a writer. He made the Portland Oregonian
famed throughout the country for its breadth of vision, its originality of thought and
the power and effectiveness of its editorial expression. He fought many a good fight
against adverse odds and when he died was engaged in a vigorous battle for principle
against the fury of passing clamor. He saw a hamlet grow into a metropolis, saw
cities and towns multiply in the field which he dominated.

"His masterful, rugged character will be missed for long and felt keenly in the
walks where it was familiar, in the workshop which he loved, in the profession which
he honored and which honored him, and, indeed, in the ranks of the strong and thought-
ful up and down the land. Oregon still has need of him and although his voice is
hushed, we may be sure that the brave, arrow-piercing words he has spoken and written
will live for years to come and go on battling in the service of eternal truth."


George F. La Fontaine, who is engaged in the transfer and storage business in
Portland, was born in St. Paul, Oregon, February 22, 1891. He was educated in the
public schools of St. Paul, while spending his youthful days in the home of his parents.
His father, Narisace La Fontaine was born in the Province of Quebec, Canada, and
came to Portland in 1851 when fifteen years of age. He afterward located at St. Paul,


Oregon, where he homesteaded on the Nehalem mountains near Sherwood, residing
there for nine years, at which time he disposed of the property and again took up his
abode in St. Paul, once more following farming. In 1893 he sold his property and
removed to Washington. While carrying on agricultural pursuits at St. Paul he was
badly burned in a forest fire, in fact his arms and back were so frightfully burned
while he was fighting the flames that it caused him to give up all farming and all
active work. In 1896 he returned to Portland and continued to reside here until
two years prior to his death, which occurred in the home of his son, B. F. La Fontaine,
near Salem, on December 26, 1913. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Margaret
Duperre, is a native of Oregon and a daughter of a native French Canadian, who
first came to Oregon in 1826. She is living with her son near Salem at the age
of sixty-seven years.

George F. La Fontaine of this review has always resided in the west and has long
been imbued by the spirit of western enterprise and progress. After attending the
public school of his native town he continued his education in St. George's school at
Tacoma, Washington, from which he was graduated in 1903. He then engaged in the bag-
gage and express business in Portland and in 1917 established business on his own account
at 66 Sixth street, under the name of the Baggage Transfer & Express Company. He
now employs four trucks in his transfer department and also has a large patronage
in the storage department of his business.

On the 19th of March, 1915, Mr. La Fontaine was married to Miss Delphia May
Shephard, a native of western Oregon and a daughter of Leonard and Josephine
(Brassfield) Shephard, who were pioneers of this state, crossing the plains with ox
teams at a very early day. Both are now deceased. The Shephards crossed the plains
from Iowa in 1849. They settled where Baker City now stands.

Mr. La Fontaine has long taken an active interest in politics as a republican.
He is a young man of great enterprise and energy and has already made a creditable
position in business circles.


Many lines of activity connect the name of John B. Yeon with the history of Port-
land. He has not only been the builder of one of its finest business blocks but was
also road master of Multnomah county when the Columbia highway was built. He
likewise rendered valuable service in connection with war activities and many other
tangible evidences of his public spirit might be cited. Of Canadian birth, he was born
at Plantagenet, Ontario, April 24, 1865, his parents being John B. and Delamose
(Besonet) Y'eon. When seventeen years of age he left home, having up to this time
devoted his attention largely to the acquirement of a public school education, with
later instruction in the high school at Plantagenet. He then came into the United
States and made his way to Defiance, Ohio, in 1SS2. There he secured employment
in connection with the logging business at a wage of one dollar per day, working from
four o'clock in the morning until late at night, driving a team. While the work was
of a most arduous character, his determination and energy thus displayed laid the
foundation of his later success. The heavily timbered district around Defiance offered
an excellent field for the lumber industry and Mr. Y'eon there gained a knowledge
that he put to practical use for some years after his removal to the coast in 1885. It
was at that date that he became a resident of Oregon, where for some time he engaged
in business in connection with the lumber industry. Step by step he advanced, im-
proving every opportunity that came to him at length winning a place among the
prosperous and substantial business men of Portland. The tangible evidence of his
life of well directed energy and thrift is the fine Yeon building situated at the corner
of Fifth and Alder streets. The work was begun on the 11th of August, 1910, by the
hauling of the big beams and girders and on the 15th of August the actual task of
construction was undertaken, the building being ready for occupancy on the 1st of
February, 1911. It remains today one of the fine business structures of the city and
has been a source of gratifying income to the owner, who. having arrived in Oregon
with a cash capital of but fifty dollars, is today one of the prosperous residents of the
Rose City. This has been the logical outcome of his fit utilization of time and talents.
He early realized what a modern philosopher has said: "Success does not depend upon
a map but upon a time-table." Every locality offers its chances for advancement and



it Is the one who fully uses every moment who soon passes on the highway of life
others who perhaps started out ahead of him.

Mr. Yeon was married July 17, 1907, to Mrs. Elizabeth Welsh, a daughter of John
Mock, and they now have four children: Mary Pauline, John B., Allen Eugene and
Norman Leroy. Mr. Yeon and his wife belong to the Catholic church and he is identi-
fied with, the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. He also belongs to the Arlington
Club and to the Commercial Club and politically is a republican. He was appointed
in November, 1920, by Governor Olcott, a member of the Highway Commission of
Oregon. He is never neglectful of any duty of citizenship and his cooperation at all
times can be counted upon to further plans and projects for the general good, yet
business has claimed the greater part of his time and attention and round by round
he has climbed the ladder of success. For four years he served on the board of directors
of the Chamber of Commerce and took a most helpful interest in promoting many
activities which have constituted forces in the city's improvement. In 1913 he became
road master of Multnomah county, filling the position for four years and during that
period the beautiful Columbia highway was built — one of the finest scenic roads of
the entire country. For this he received one dollar a year salary and paid all his
own expenses. In 1917 and 1918 he served as supervisor of the Spruce Division for
Oregon and in this and many other ways he gave active aid to his country during
the war period, seeking ever to uphold the interests of the government and advance
the welfare of soldiers in camp and field.


Claude E. Ingalls is the editor of the Corvallis Gazette-Times, a live, up-to-date
newspaper. He was born in Plainfield, Iowa, August 27, 1877, a son of Orlo and Emily
(Lockwood) Ingalls. The father is a native of West Bend, Wisconsin, and his
ancestral record can be traced back in the United States to 1628. He followed the
occupation of farming in Wisconsin and in 1880 made his way to the Pacific coast
country, locating at Vancouver, Washington. He engaged in the operation of saw-
mills in Washington and Oregon and also in the conduct of farming interests in
those states and in Dakota. In 1S93 he returned to Wisconsin and later went to Topeka,
Kansas, where he now resides. The mother is deceased. She was born in Hyde Park,
London, England, and passed away at Vancouver, Washington, in 1895.

Claude E. Ingalls was reared and educated in Wisconsin and Kansas, being gradu-
ated from the high school at Washington, Kansas, with the class of 1897. Subsequently
he engaged in teaching school in the Sunflower state for seven years, during which
period he also studied law. He was admitted to the bar in Kansas in June, 1902,
and practiced his profession in that state for about fifteen years. He then entered
the newspaper field and purchased the Washington (Kansas) Republican in August,
1904, while in the following year he became owner of the Register, consolidating
the two papers. In 1915 he came to Oregon and purchased the Gazette-Times at
Corvallis, of which he has since been editor. In 1916 he sold a half interest In the
Gazette-Times to Charles L. Springer, who became business manager. In 1917 N. R.
Moore was taken into partnership as news editor and they have made a very
readable and attractive journal, devoted to the interests of the community in which
they live and to the dissemination of general news. They have introduced the most
progressive methods in management and publication and the Gazette-Times now enjoys
the largest circulation of any paper in the county. Mr. Ingalls has twice been elected
president of the Oregon State Editorial Association. In 1920 he was elected council-
man at large for the city of Corvallis.

On the 2d of May, 1906, Mr. Ingalls was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth
E. Caldwell, and they have become the parents of two children, namely: Alice,
who was born in June, 1911: and Robert, whose birth occurred in February, 1916.

In his political views Mr. Ingalls is a republican and during the administration
of President Taft he was appointed postmaster of Washington, Kansas, in which
office he rendered such efl5cient service that he was retained by President Wilson,
filling the position for a . period of four years. That he is a patriotic and public-
spirited citizen was shown during the World war when he served as chairman of the
County Council of Defense and also as chairman or secretary of all Liberty loan
drives. In religious faith he is a Presbyterian and in Masonry he has attained high


rank, being a thirty-second degree Mason and member of the Mystic Shrine. He
is likewise connected with the Modern Woodmen of America, the Knights of Pythias
and the sons of the American Revolution, while his interest in the welfare and
advancement of his city is indicated in his membership in the Corvallis Commercial
Club, of which he is the president. He is ever loyal to any cause which he espouses
and to the standards of life which he has set up for himself, and he is numbered as
one of the progressive men and reliable citizens of Corvallis, enjoying the friend-
ship, confidence and regard of all with whom he has been associated.


One of the profitable business enterprises of Portland is the Fashion Garage, of
which Larry L Sullivan is the proprietor. He is one of the progressive young busi-
ness men of the city, whose intelligently directed efforts are meeting with a substan-

Online LibraryCharles Henry CareyHistory of Oregon (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 101)