Copyright
Charles Henry Carey.

History of Oregon (Volume 3) online

. (page 76 of 99)
Online LibraryCharles Henry CareyHistory of Oregon (Volume 3) → online text (page 76 of 99)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


him the loss of a leg and this forced him to take up other lines of work.

On the 21st of March, 1872, Mr. Blosser was married to Miss Francis Steiner, a
daughter of Christian and Barbara (Hilty) Steiner.

Nine years after his marriage Mr. Blosser brought his family to Oregon, settling
in Salem where he established a stove and tinware business which he conducted for
eighteen years as a successful merchant. He also owned a large farm at Hubbard
and lived thereon for a time, raising hops, but owing to a crop failure he again turned
his attention to the hardware business in Hubbard where he remained for a further
period of five years. He then sold there, and came to Portland, where for two years
he was proprietor of a hotel. He afterward established a sheet metal business which
he conducted to the time of his death, on the 31st of August, 190S.

To Mr. and Mrs. Blosser were born four children: Aldine, who died at the age of
three years; Cora May; Ralph Lee; and Mabel Emily, the deceased wife of George
William Rickson. The family circle was again broken by the hand of death when
Mr. Blosser was called to his final rest. He was a democrat and a great admirer of
William Jennings Bryan. His religious faith was that of the Mennonite church and
he was a faithful follower of its teachings. Not all days in his business career were
equally bright and although he met difficulties at times he had the courage and determi-
nation to overcome them and as the years passed he steadily advanced toward the
goal of success. His enterprising and industrial spirit gained for him success and
an honored name as well.



A. LINCOLN SWAGGART.

Among the prominent farmers in Umatilla county is A. Lincoln Swaggart, who is
a native of Oregon, his birth having occurred in Lane county, August 15, 1862, a son
of Nelson and Mary A. (Harper) Swaggart. Nelson Swaggart was born in Pennsyl-
vania, while his wife was a native of Mt. Carmel, Hlinois. When a young man Nelson
Swaggart removed to Illinois, where he followed farming and was here married. In
1852 he decided to come west and joined an emigrant train, making the Journey by way
of the old Oregon Trail. Arriving in Oregon, he settled near Eugene in Lane county,
where he took up a section donation claim, on which he built a log house and there
resided until 1875. At this time he removed to a ranch near Athena, where he raised
stock. This ranch was situated on Lamar Gulch and consisted of one hundred and
sixty acres. On this land he built a box house and remained here for three years,
bringing his land to a high state of cultivation and being quite successful with his
stock. From this ranch he removed to the Willamette valley, where he remained for
two years at the termination of which time he returned to his stock farm, to which
he gradually added until he had six hundred acres, part of which was sown in wheat.
Nelson Swaggart retired from active life some years before his death and purchased
a home in Pendleton, where he became a prominent and well known citizen. His
death occurred at the advanced age of ninety-six years and his wife passed away at
the age of eighty-six, having survived him for a number of years. Throughout his life



578 HISTORY OF OREGON

Mr. Swaggart gave his allegiance to the democratic party, in the interests o£ which
he took an active part.

A. Lincoln Swaggart spent his boyhood on the old farm and received his education
in the schools of that vicinity. Until reaching man's estate he was engaged in assisting
his father on the farm, but at that time he purchased some cattle and removed to
Morrow county, where he remained three years, when he returned to Umatilla county
and took up his present ranch of one hundred and sixty acres adjoining his father's.
He built a box house on this land, hauling the timber from the mountains, and he
brought his farm up to a high state of cultivation. He has added eighty acres to
the original tract and now has a well improved farm with all modern conveniences.
In 1900 he commenced the breeding of Poland China hogs and in this venture has
achieved more than a substantial amount of success.

In 18S5 Mr. Swaggart was united in marriage to Miss Mary Vancleave, daughter
of Marion and Caroline (Kupp) Vancleave, and a native of Des Moines, Iowa. Mr.
Vancleave was born in Indiana and his wife was also a native of that state. After
their marriage they farmed in Indiana for some time and then came west as members
of an overland emigrant train. In 1S65 they located in the 'Willamette valley and there
the father took up a homestead, which he operated a number of years, and then sold
and removed near 'Weston. He then took up a ranch of one hundred and sixty acres,
which he improved and operated, finally selling it and moving to the home of his son.
William, in Spokane, "Washington, where he passed away in 1898. Mrs. Vancleave died
six years previous. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Swaggart four children were born:
Mrs. M. L. Akers of Pendleton; Frank, Blanch and "Wayne.

Since age conferred upon Mr. Swaggart the right of franchise he has been a member
of the democratic party, in the interests of which he has taken an active part, although
he has neither sought nor desired public office. His fraternal affiliations are with the
Odd Fellows and the Masons and he is director of the Poland China Breeder's Asso-
ciation. In the financial circles of Athena Mr. Swaggart is prominent, being vice presi-
dent of the Athena State Bank.



HON. 'WILLIAM HENRY HOLLIS.

Emigrating to America in the later days of Cromwell, the Hollis family is one of
the old pre-Revolutionary families who since the earliest days of the republic have
occupied a prominent place in every community in which they have made their resi-
dence. The grandfather of Judge Hollis was born in the state of Delaware and at an
early day removed to Pickaway county, Ohio. His son, George W. Hollis, was born
there and was married to Marcia J. Clark and in 1842, moving westward with his
young wife, George Hollis settled in Illinois, where their son 'William Henry was born
on the ninth of July, 1853. George Hollis was a farmer and a prominent man of
affairs in Illinois, and his son received a good education.

After attending school in his native state, William Henry Hollis came to the
Pacific coast and took up the study of law at Tacoma, Washington. He was admitted
to the bar in 1886 by the supreme court of Washington and he practiced law there
until 1896 when he went to Benton Harbor, Michigan, to become counsel for a large
corporation engaged in construction work in that vicinity. Heeding the call of the
west he returned to the coast in 1903 and traveled over a portion of Washington and
the larger part of Oregon, seeking a location. Forest Grove, Washington county,
appealed to him as satisfactory and he has since made it his home. That Judge
Hollis has made a place for himself in the community is apparent from the fact that
in 1911 he was elected to the Oregon legislature and in 1913 to the senate of that state,
serving a second term in 1915. His active support of the Workmen's Compensation
Act and the Widow's Pension Bill was but consistent with his own broad views of
public welfare.

Judge Hollis, while a pleader of merit, has confined his practice almost entirely
to what is known as corporation adviser and counsellor. He is the attorney of the
Oregon Electric Railway Company and other corporations and he has a large office
practice. He is a great reader and a student and though he has been in active practice
for many years he still claims to be studying law.

In 1904 Judge Hollis organized the Forest Grove Abstract Company and was
elected its president, a position he still holds. This company in the sixteen years




HON. WILLIAM H. HOLLIS



HISTORY OF OREGON 581

of its life has grown into a complete abstract organization, the aim of Judge Hollis
being to have the records absolutely up to date by making daily entries.

While Judge Hollis is intensely devoted to his profession he has always found
time to join in every enterprise that promises the advancement and the growth of
his city. He assisted in the organization of the first commercial body known to
Forest Grove, the board of trade, and served for many years as its secretary and as its
president. He is now president of the Commercial Club which has succeeded the board
of trade. He has been city attorney of Forest Grove as he puts it, "pretty near all the
time." While in Tacoma he was for two terms county auditor and during his residence
at Benton Harbor was judge of the municipal court.

A very prominent Mason and a past master. Judge Hollis has taken his thirty-
second degree and been elevated to Knight Commander at the Court of Honor. He
is also a Knights Templar and a Shriner, a member of the Red Cross of Constantine
and of the Eastern Star, in which he is serving his eighth term as patron.

Judge Hollis married Louise Blackmer of Massachusetts. He has one daughter,
Ethel, the wife of I. A. Howes of Tacoma, Washington, and the mother of three
children.



SIMON B. BARKER.



Simon B. Barker was a young man of twenty-six years when he came to Oregon in
18S9, and through the intervening period until his death, which occurred in 1918, he
remained an active factor in the business development of the state, becoming one of the
largest wheat growers in Oregon as well as an extensive wool grower, also engaged in
merchandising and banking. He was born in Athens, Maine, October 8, 1863, and was a
son of Charles F. and Hannah (Bradbury) Barker, who were well-to-do farming people
of New England. The son was reared upon the home farm and acquired his early
education in the public schools, while later he attended the academy of Athens. He
then became assistant to his father upon the farm and was thus employed until about
1889, when he was attracted by the opportunities of the growing west and made his
way to the Pacific coast, settling at Condon, Oregon, where he turned his attention to
mercantile pursuits and also became active in connection with ranching, wheat growing
and sheep raising. He continued in these lines of business until his death, which
occurred October 13, 1918. He had gone to Chicago on a business trip and there became
a victim of influenza, passing away in that city. His life had been one of intense and
well directed activity. When he came to Oregon he had but little money and naturally
started in business in a small way but had promoted his interests along the lines of
advancement and success until he had become one of the largest wheat growers and
sheep owners in the state. His mercantile interests likewise grew and prospered until
he was proprietor of the largest store in Condon. He founded the First National Bank
of Condon and continued as its president to the time of his death, establishing its policy
and directing its activities, making it one of the strong financial concerns of the state.
He had extensive land holdings, being the largest tax payer in Gilliam county. He was
also identified with the Fithian-Barker Shoe Company, conducting a wholesale busi-
ness, and was secretary, treasurer and one of the directors of the Oregon Life Insur-
ance Company. His property interests included a number of large ranches and at all
times his investments were most carefully and judiciously made and proved factors
in his growing prosperity. His business integrity stood as an unquestioned fact in his
career and his spirit of enterprise led him steadily forward, and as the architect of his
own fortunes he builded wisely and well.

On the 24th of July, 1895, Mr. Barker was united in marriage to Miss Anna Clark,
a daughter of Barna D. and Laura (Kendall) Clark, who were natives of Vermont and
who came to Oregon in 1890, settling in the eastern part of the state. Five children were
born to Mr. and Mrs. Barker, as follows: Carroll K., now a student in the University
of California and the treasurer of the Fithian-Barker Shoe Company; Verna, the wife
of Robert G. Fithian, who is vice president of the Fithian-Barker Shoe Company; Ken-
neth, Charles F. and Simon B., all at home. The son Carroll joined the Marines during
the World war and was stationed at Mare Island.

Mr. Barker gave his political allegiance to the republican party from the time that
age conferred upon him the right of franchise and he was always a loyal supporter
thereof. He was likewise an exemplary member of the Masonic fraternity and attained



,-,82 HISTORY OF OREGON

the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite and also became a member of the Mystic
Shrine. He belonged to the Westminster Presbyterian church and his life was ever
guided by high and honorable principles that made him a man whom to know was
to esteem and respect.



W. H. BAIR.



Prominent among the men of his county and state is William H. Bair, who now
resides at Canby, where he is successfully conducting a wholesale produce business.
A native son of Oregon is Mr. Bair, for he was born in Clackamas county, six miles
south of Canby in the year 1873. His parents were Cornelus and Wilhemena (Groil)
Bair. both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania. The father was of the old pre-
Revolutionary Dutch stock, which has so greatly assisted in making the state of
Oregon one of the proudest in the Union. In 1S52 the family removed to Oregon as
members of the old Bethel Colony and here the father engaged in farming. He was
a gallant soldier in the Civil war and upon his return from service took up land on
the Bear Creek section.

W. H. Bair received his education in the common schools of the district in which
he lived and before he had attained his majority he took upon himself the burdens of
life seriously. He decided to engage in farming on his own account and therefore went
on his father's farm which he cleared and operated for some time. Later he entered
the meat business at Canby, which venture proved to be so successful that it was later
extended to include a branch at Woodburn, Marion county. He conducted the meat
business at several points in Clackamas county until 1902. when he closed out this
business and went into the wholesale produce business in Canby. This business he has
continued with great success. He deals in hay, grain, potatoes and onions and his
business is conceded to be the largest of its kind in the Willamette valley. His trade
extends east as far as Kansas City and in the south covers Texas and California. In
1902 his business had so greatly increased that it was necessary to enlarge the area
then covered by his warehouses. This area, which was then twenty-four by forty feet
was enlarged to fifty by one hundred feet. The building on this land, however, was soon
outgrown and in 1908 this building was torn down and a modern warehouse with a
floor space of five thousand feet was erected opposite the 0. P. freight depot, with side
tracks and other facilities for the rapid handling of the products of the farm and field.
Business has always been to him a serious undertaking and his success is the outcome
of diligence, industry and close application.

Mr. Bair is one of the leaders of thought and action in the Willamette valley and
is a broad-minded and public-spirited man. In every movement pertaining to the growth
and betterment of the intellectual and moral development of his community he has
been active and he is affiliated with all city organizations which have the interests of
their town, county, and state at heart. He is a member of the Canby Commercial Club,
the Oregon City Commercial Club, of which body he is a member of the Live Wires,
the Portland Chamber of Commerce and the State Chamber of Commerce. Further-
more he is vice president of the First National Bank of Canby and a director of the
State Bank at Canby and also director of the State Bank of Portland. He is a director
of the Clackamas County Fair Association and has been treasurer of that body for
many years. Mr. Bair, ever on the alert for new business ventures, was one of the
organizers of the Deschutes Valley Seed Company and is its president and treasurer.
This company, as owner of large tracts of land in the Deschutes valley, is engaged in
the growing of seed potatoes to improve the existing varieties. For six years Mr.
Bair served the city as mayor of Canby and for twelve years was a member of the city
council. In the holding of these important offices Mr. Bair has proved to his fellow
citizens his capability, not only as a business man but as a man of public service, and
in both capacities he has won the high regard and respect of his community.

In the year 1S99 Mr. Bair was united in marriage to Miss Laura Knight, a daugh-
ter of George Knight, who was a pioneer of Oregon in the year 1S52. He was a member
of the Bethel Colony and was one of the pioneer merchants of Clackamas county. Be-
sides being a man active in business circles Mr. Bair is active in fraternal orders. He
is a thirty-second degree Mason, a Shriner, an Odd Fellow, a member of the Eastern
Star, the Rebekahs, Knights of Pythias, W. O. W., A. 0. U. W. and a lite member
of the B. P. O. E. In the Odd Fellows lodge he has filled all the chairs and also in



HISTORY OF OREGOX 583

the Encampment, and he has been the representative to the grand lodge. These vari-
ous connections indicate his large interests. His home in Canby is one ot the attractive
places of the community and was built at a cost of more than ten thousand dollars,
when the price of material and labor was less than halt the present cost. It is gen-
erally conceded throughout the county that W. H. Bair is a citizen of much progressive-
ness, being a broad-minded, public-spirited man and one whom any community would be
proud to have as a citizen.



WILLIAM RUDOLPH KRAXBERGER.

For sixteen years the Rev. William Kraxberger has faithfully fulfilled the posi-
tion of pastor ot the Zion Lutheran church at Oregon City. In the career of Rev. Mr.
Kraxberger the young men of Oregon and especially those of foreign birth find a source
of encouragement and inspiration. He was a native of Austria and was born in 1S73,
a son of John and Rosie (Hamaden) Kraxberger. His parents came to America in 1891
and William Kraxberger was raised on a farm consisting of one hundred and sixty
acres, located in the Macksburg district of Clackamas county. He was one of a family
of nine children.

In his early youth William Kraxberger evinced a desire for knowledge and after
successfully passing through the academic department of the Lutheran Seminary at
Saginaw, he decided to devote his life to the ministry. He then entered the theological
department of the same institution and was ordained a minister of the gospel in
1901. His first charge was at Saginaw, Michigan, and he served there faithfully tor
the three years following his ordination. In 1904 he was appointed to the pastorate
of the Zion Lutheran church at Oregon City and he has been a devoted minister, serving
both his church and his people to the very best of his ability. For sixteen years Rev.
Mr. Kraxberger has served this church and in this time has exemplified the true spirit
of the ministry for he has been a kind and loving friend, one to be depended upon
in times of need, and one whose advice is kindly and conscientiously given, for he
lives what he preaches. The influence Rev. Mr. Kraxberger wields in the community
is plainly evidenced by the fact that when he first came to the pastorate of the Zion
Lutheran church in 1904 his congregation consisted of but five families, while now more
than fifty families are members and stanch supporters.

'In 1902, Mr. Kraxberger was united in marriage to Leonora Klebe, a daughter of
Albert Klebe, who is a highly respected farmer of Clackamas county. Six children
have been born to Rev. and Mrs. Kraxberger: Ruth Alice, Walter Luther, Esther Alma,
Clara E., Helen E., and Edith O. These children are being taught the essence of good
citizenship. The two oldest daughters attend the high school and the other children
attend the grade schools.

Rev. Mr. Kraxberger is one of the men to whom Oregon owes her progressiveness
and greatness, for while he has not sought material gain he has set an example of a
courageous, kindly, christian gentleman, who has ever sought to improve the citizen-
ship of his adopted state. He has always been a broadminded man and believes that
it is not the sole duty of a minister to preach the Word of God, but that it is necessary
that he also be a good citizen, and combining the two it is a very simple matter to
guide the moral and religious life of his fiock. He is a member of the Oregon City
Minister's Association and the Pacific Synod of the United Lutheran church ot America.
As a member of the ministry he is held in high regard by other denominations and
by his own unselfish service to his church and to his people has won the love and
sincere admiration of the citizens of Oregon City.



CHARLES D. BERRY.

For thirty years Charles D. Berry, now deceased, was connected with the South-
ern Pacific Railroad and its predecessor, the Oregon & California Railroad Company.
He was born in Indiana in 1S49 but spent many years on the Pacific coast. His parents
were James C. and Amanda (Billings) Berry, the former a native of New York, whence
he removed westward to Wisconsin. It was while there residing that he enlisted for



584 HISTORY OF OREGON

service in the Civil war and went to tlie front under Captain Saxe, for whom the town
of Saxeville was named. It was at that place that Charles D. Berry was reared to
manhood and in the public schools acquired his education. He was only thirteen years
of age when his father died and the necessity of providing for the support of the family
devolved upon him, as he was the eldest of the children. His youth, therefore, became
a period of earnest and unremitting toil and his life was ever an active and useful one.

It was in 1875 that Mr. Berry made his way westward to the Pacific coast, settling
in California, where he met and married Miss Sarah C. Hawkins, a daughter of Hiram
M. and Catherine (Dickerson) Hawkins, who were always residents of the Empire
state. It was in May, 1877, that Mr. and Mrs. Berry came to Oregon, settling first
in Albany, where they lived for a short time, removing to Portland in 1905, then
moved to Independence, where they resided for two years. On the expiration of that
period they became residents again of Portland, where Mr. Berry continued to make
his home until called to his final rest. Here he entered the employ of the Oregon &
California Railroad Company, now the Southern Pacific, and he continued with the
line for about thirty years, working his way upward through several promotions until
he became a passenger conductor. He was always a courteous and obliging official and
his efficiency and faithfulness were recognized by the road which he represented.

To Mr. and Mrs. Berry were born a son and a daughter, Joe L. and Rowena. The
former was educated in the public schools of Portland and when the Spanish-American
war broke out, although he was scarcely eighteen years of age, he enlisted as a member
of Company M, Second Oregon Infantry, under Captain Poorman, and on the 16th of
May of the same year sailed for the Philippine islands, where he was in active service
until the following year, when on the 11th of April, 1899, he was shot and killed while
doing guard duty.

During the last five years of his life Mr. Berry lived retired, resigning his position
in the railway service on account of failing health. He passed away June 2, 1913, and
his death was the occasion of deep and widespread regret, for he had gained many
friends who esteemed him highly. He was a republican in his political views and
fraternally was connected with the Masons and with the Ancient Order of United
Workmen. For almost four decades he lived on the Pacific coast, so that he witnessed
much of its development and progress and at all times he rejoiced in what was being
accomplished as pioneer conditions were being replaced by those of modern-day
civilization.



JAMES ALEXANDER KIRK.



Alexander Kirk, deceased, was for many years a successful and prominent
farmer in Umatilla county, residing in Athena for a number of years prior to his
death. He was a native son of Oregon, born near Halsey, Linn county, March 29, 1867.
His parents were Henry and Isabelle (Pearl) Kirk, natives of Missouri. When the
father was a small boy he came west with his parents, crossing the plains in ox
drawn wagons and following the old Oregon trail. He located at Brownsville and
preempted land there, which he improved and operated for a number of years. He



Online LibraryCharles Henry CareyHistory of Oregon (Volume 3) → online text (page 76 of 99)