L. Nelson Roney: Father of Lane County's Covered Bridges
Eugene had a population of only about nine hundred when in 1876. L. Nelson Roney became a resident of the city. With its development and growth he has been closely associated and as a contractor and dealer in building materials, he has been very actively connected with its improvement. Many of the finest business blocks and residences of Eugene stand as a monument to his enterprise, his progressive spirit, and his indefatigable energy. He was born in Wapakoneta, Auglaize county, Ohio, September 2, 1853, a son of Thomas and Caroline H. (Levering) Roney. The father was a native of New Jersey and learned the weavers trade in Jersey City. He afterward went to Ohio and settled on a farm, but in addition to cultivating his fields, he also engaged in weaving. This, however, was but a side issue as the greater part of his attention was given to his agricultural pursuits. In 1878 he located at Lost Valley, Oregon, where he died in 1885, at the advanced age of seventy-eight years. He was long survived by his widow who passed away in 1897 at the age of eighty-four years. In their family were four sons who served as soldiers of the Civil war -- John, Charles, Henry, and William. The last two were members of the Eleventh Regiment of Ohio Volunteer Infantry, while the first two were in the army for a shorter period.
L. Nelson Roney spent his youthful days on his father's farm and early became familiar with the best methods of tilling the soil and cultivating the crops. His educational opportunities, however, were limited, but in the school of experience he has learned many valuable lessons and early became familiar with the fact that industry and energy are indispensable elements of progress and success. He learned the carpenter's trade in early manhood and thinking to have better opportunities in the growing west, came to Oregon in 1876, settling in Eugene when its population was less than one thousand. Here he first began bridge building and continued along that line of construction work to the present time. He had built nearly all of the bridges now in use in this section of the state and his business operations have also largely extended to Idaho and Washington. He is also a large stockholder in the Eugene Electric & Heating Company and of the Bohemia gold mines of Oregon, and in 1912 was appointed by the county court superintendent of the Lane county bridges. Moreover, as a building contractor, he has had charge of the erection of many fine buildings, public and private, among the more important being the Lane County courthouse, the two McClurg buildings, the First National Bank building, the Lane County Bank, the Hoffman House, Hotel Smeede, the Episcopal and Methodist churches, the Eugene Opera House and many others of note, as well as a large number of the beautiful and attractive private residences of the city.
L. Nelson Roney was married in Boise City, Idaho, June 5, 1889, to Mrs. Orilla G. (Baker) Humphrey, a daughter of Captain John Baker of Salem, Oregon, who came across the plains in 1846 and was one of the first settlers of this state. Both Mr. and Mrs. Roney are widely known in Eugene and have a circle of friends almost coextensive with the circle of their acquaintances. Mr. Roney belongs to Eugene Lodge, No. 11, F. & A. M., of which he is past master; Eugene Chapter, No. 10, R. A. M., of which he is past high priest and was grand high priest of the state in 1894; Ivanhoe Commandery, No. 2, K. T., of which he is the past commander and also the past eminent grand commander of the grand commandery of Oregon; and Al Kader Temple of the mystic Shrine. He is also a charter member of Eugene Lodge, No. 357, B. P. O. E., and trustee of the lodge and Eugene Aerie, No. 275, F. O. E.
In his political views Mr. Roney has always been a stalwart republican, giving active support to the party and doing all in his power to promote its success. For eight or ten years he served as a councilman and exercised his official prerogatives in support of many progressive public measures which brought about needed reform and improvement. He was the president of the first young men's republican club organized in Eugene and he has frequently been a delegate to county conventions. His opinions carry weight in the councils of his party and his unfailing belief in its principles is manifested in his indefatigable efforts to secure the election of its candidates. In manner Mr. Roney is quiet and unassuming but is widely recognized as an able business man and one who has the entire confidence of the community. He deserves much credit for what he has accomplished for he started out in life empty-handed and has worked his way steadily upwards, undeterred by difficulties and obstacles in his path.
(Nels Roney also built the Shelton-McMurphey-Johnson House. This lovely home was burned to the ground shortly after completion and had to be built a second time.)
Hon. Robert M. Veatch: Legislator and Leading Citizen of Cottage Grove
Hon. Robert M. Veatch, who since he was a candidate for congress has been known as "Colonel" Veatch, that title having been given him by Colonel Hofer, is one of the most prominent citizens of Lane county, his home being in Cottage Grove. Mr. Veatch was born in White county, Illinois, in 1843, the son of Isaac and Mary (Miller) Veatch. The Veatch family was established in this country before the Revolutionary war, the grandfather, Elias Veatch, having for seven years been a soldier in the War of 1812, serving under General Andrew Jackson. He is the youngest of sixteen children born to his parents, six of whom survive, those beside our subject being; H. C., who is a resident of Cottage Grove and has attained the age of eighty-four years; S. E., who also makes his home in Cottage Grove; Jane, the wife of L. B. Wharton, of Lakeview, Oregon; Elizabeth Ann, the wife of Rev. C. H. Wallace, of Cottage Grove; and Harriet, who is the widow of J. C. Wallace and resides in Cottage Grove.
Robert M. Veatch received a very limited education when a boy, attending school only during the winter months, it being necessary for him to work during the rest of the year to help support the family and later to make his own way in the world. He began when eleven years of age to work for wages and continued thus until he attained his majority, a fact which explains the limited education he received as a boy. After coming to more mature years and removing to Oregon he attended the district school for a year at Creswell and then entered an academy where he remained a student for a year. He later attended Willamette University at Salem and then entered the State Agricultural College at Corvallis, from which he was graduated with the first class leaving that institution. At the early age of eleven years Mr. Veatch began earning his own living by working for his borad and clothes on a farm in Iowa. The first wages he ever earned, amounting to thirty dollars, at the rate of fifty cents a day, he failed to receive through the refusal of his employer to settle with him. He followed various occupations and when he was twenty-one years of age in 1864 he crossed the plains from Iowa to the Pacific coast. He journeyed as far as Austin, Nevada, with a wagon train but, leaving the train at that point, drove through to California, where upon his arrival he had but ten cents in his pocket. He was taken sick upon his arrival in California and lived in a tent until he was able to go to work, when he secured the job of splitting rails. He was paid for this service in cattle at the rate of seven dollars and a half a day and it netted him a considerable sum as he was able to sell the cattle at a material profit. He journeyed on to Cottonwood, California, where he remained until March, 1865, working at various occupations and then came to Oregon, settling near Creswell. Previous to Mr. Veatch's removal to Creswell three of his brothers had settled in that vicinity and three sisters and a brother accompanied him when he removed to that place. After his graduation from the State Agricultural College Mr. Veatch went to Eugene, Oregon, where he taught school for a year, after which he came to Cottage Grove and for six years followed the profession of teaching. He then bought two farms, living upon one of them for nine years. During that time he was actively engaged in agricultural pursuits, clearing off the land and building improvements. He then traded one of his farms for a fouring mill in Cottage Grove, which he worked for some time and then disposed of it. During the time he was teaching school in Eugene, he also studied law under J. J. Walton, of that city, and after removing to Cottage Grove he continued to read law until his knowledge was sufficient to admit him to the bar and although he was licensed to practice law he never did so.
In 1872 in Lane county, Oregon, Mr. Veatch was united in marriage to Miss Suraphina Curran, a daughter of John and Margaret (Swift) Curran, both of whom were natives of Virginia. Mr. and Mrs. Curran were the parents of seven children, only one of whom, F. S., of Cottage Grove, now survives. Mrs. Veatch passed away February 28, 1885, leaving three children: Henry H., of Cottage Grove, who is married and has a son Robert Raymond; Ermine Edith, the wife of J. E. Young, an attorney of Cottage Grove, and the mother of three children, Margaret, Joseph Robert, and Muriel; and John C., an attorney in Portland.
Mr. Veatch, who is a staunch democrat, early in his career in Oregon began taking an active interest in politics and was elected to the lower house of Oregon in 1882. He was reelected in 1884 and in 1886 was elected to the state senate. As he was reelected to the senate in 1890 he gave twelve years of his life to active service in the legislature of the state of Oregon. He was appointed the first register of the Roseburg land office under President Cleveland's second administration, a position in which he served with distinction for four years and three months, and at the end of that time his accounts balanced to a cent with those of the department of the interior. After finishing his term of service in the Oregon legislature Mr. Veatch became a candidate for congress and, although he ran three times for that position, failed of election owing to the minority of the democratic position in his state. It may be said to his credit, however, that in each campaign he ran several thousand votes ahead of his ticket, a fact which indicates the popularity he had attained in his state. Ever since 1872 Mr. Veatch has attended the state conventions and in 1900 was a delegate to the national democratic convention held in Kansas City. In 1890 Mr. Veatch formed a stock company and with his sons engaged in the hardware business in Cottage Grove, continuing in this relationship until December, 1911.
Fraternally, Mr. Veatch was for a number of years connected with the Masonic order and with the Knights of Pythias. He is liberal in his religious views, not holding to any particular denomination. In the capacity of a member of the state legislature, a service which he rendered for so many years, and also as a teacher, the Hon. Robert M. Veatch has been of great use in the state where he has lived for so long a period. There are very few men in Oregon who are better acquainted throughout its borders or who can justly lay claim to having been more active, public- spirited or efficient in a professional or official capacity and perhaps still fewer who are held in high esteem by friends and acquaintances.
Hon. Thomas G. Hendricks: Banker, Philanthropist and Friend of the University
One of deep philosophic trend of thought has said: "Not the good that comes to us but the good that comes to the world through us is the measure of our success," and, judged in this way, Hon. Thomas G. Hendricks may be said to be an extremely successful man. His broad vision has enabled him to recognize opportunities not only got individual progress but also for public welfare, and these opportunities he has used to the fullest. The consensus of opinion on the part of his fellowmen places him with Oregon's most honored and representative citizens. Throughout the state he is spoken of in terms of admiration and respect. His life has been so varied in its activity, so honorable in its purposes and so far-reaching and beneficial in its effects that it has become an integral part of the history of the city of Eugene and has also left an impress upon the annuals of the state. In no sense a man in public life, he has nevertheless exerted an immeasurable influence on the city of his residence; in business life as a merchant and financier; in social circles by reason of a charming personality and unfeigned cordiality; in politics by reason of his indefatigable efforts in behalf of education, especially in the upbuilding of the State University of Oregon, which largely stands as a monument to his public spirit and high ideals. His chief business association at the present writing is perhaps that of president of the First National Bank of Eugene, and yet this is but one phase of his activity which still connects him in large measure with the development and continuous upbuilding of this city.
Mr. Hendricks was born in Henderson county, Illinois on the 17th of June, 1838, his parents being James M. and Elizabeth (Bristow) Hendricks. His paternal grandfather was Abraham Hendricks, who at an early day became a resident of Kentucky but spent his last days in Illinois. James M. Hendricks was born in the former state and made farming his life work. He wedded Elizabeth Bristow, a native of Virginia, and a daughter of Elijah Bristow, who was the first settler of Lane county, Oregon, and of whom extensive mention is made in another part of this work. Following his marriage Mr. Hendricks removed with his wife to Henderson county, Illinois, becoming one of the pioneers of that state. He served with distinction in the Black Hawk war and took a prominent part in reclaiming that region for the purposes of civilization. Five children were born unto him and his wife in Illinois and in 1848 he started with his family across the plains for the northwest, making the journey in three wagons, eight yoke of oxen, and a number of cattle. They started in March, crossed the Missouri river at St. Joseph and soon afterward were obliged to halt for two weeks in order that the grass might grow and thus supplement the scant supply of feed for their stock. On a few occasions the party had their cattle stampeded by Indians and by the Mormons but altogether the journey was free from many of the hardships and dangers encountered by other travelers across the plains. They passed over the Cascade range by the Barlowe route and in October reached Pleasant Hill, Lane county, where they were joyfully greeted by Elijah Bristow, who three years before had come to Oregon, making the first settlement within the borders of what is now Lane county.
James M. Hendricks secured a section of land twelve miles southeast of the present site of the county seat. His neighbors were Eugene Skinner, Jacob Spares, Isaac Briggs, P. F. Blair, and their families and William Dodson, who was unmarried, and a few others. With characteristic energy Mr. Hendricks at once began the arduous task of converting a tract of wild land into productive fields and meadows. As the years passed his labors were crowned with success and he carried on farming and stockraising on an extensive scale, his only interruption being the period which he spent in the gold mines of California in 1851. While he carefully and successfully managed his private business interest, he also found time and opportunity to assist in all those affair which are salient elements in the upbuilding and progress of a county. He did everything in his power to promote the moral and intellectual progress of the community and became a member of the Christian church, which was the first organized in the county, and assisted in erecting the first house of worship near his home. The first schoolhouse in Lane county was also built near his farm and was established by his father-in-law, Mr. Bristow. James M. Hendricks continued an active and valued resident of the county until his death in 1876, his wife having previously passed away. They were the parents of the following children: Benjamin F., conducting a gun shop in Fort Bragg, California; Susan J., who became the wife of John A. Winter and died in California; Sarah A., the wife of J. W. Scaggs, of Santa Cruz, California; Elijah B., who is engaged in the drug business in Cheney, Washington; James M., mentioned elsewhere in this work; Columbus C., a capitalist of Pendleton, Oregon; Lafayette, a farmer of Lane county; Albert M., engaged in farming near Eugene; and Olive E., the wife of F. P. Close, a farmer of Lane county.
The other member of the family is the Hon. Thomas G. Hendricks, who was the second in order of birth. He began his education in the little log schoolhouse erected by his grandfather and others of the community and following the establishment of Cascade Academy at Cloverdale he became a student in that institution in 1853 and there pursued a three years' course. This school was established by his father and others of the party who had come to Lane county in 1848 and was taught by Martin Blanding, a Yale graduate. He afterward had the benefit of further instruction in a high school or an academy conducted under the auspices of the Episcopal Church in Eugene. This was in 1857, when there were not more than two or three hundred people in the town. In the spring of 1858 he entered upon his business career as a clerk in the general mercantile store established by his uncle, E. L. Bristow, and has conducted business in the same block continuously since.
In 1860 he became a partner of his uncle under the firm name of E. L. Bristow & Company and in 1866 they erected the first brick building in Lane county at the northwest corner of Willamette and Ninth streets. Into this they moved their stock of merchandise and the original partnership was maintained until 1873, when E. L Bristow sold out to W. W. Bristow, who died in 1874, at which time Mr. Hendricks became sole proprietor. The business was ever conducted according to the highest commercial standards and Mr. Hendricks remained in the trade until 1884, when he disposed of his stock but retained possession of the building and the same year opened a private bank under the firm style of Hendricks & Eakin, with Stewart B. Eakin as his partner. Business was conducted under the original name until February 27, 1886, when they reorganized under the national banking law as the First National Bank of Eugene, of which Mr. Hendricks has continuously been the president. Since 1899 this bank had been the United States depository. Its success was assured from the start because of the substantial business methods upon which it was founded. In its conduct conservatism and progressiveness were evenly balanced and the utmost care has ever been taken to safeguard the interests of depositors. The business, therefore, has grown continuously and the bank is one of the strong moneyed institutions of the state. The partners erected a two story building on the west side of Willamette between Eighth and Ninth streets with the first plate glass front in Lane county. The original capital was fifty thousand dollars, which has since been increased to one hundred thousand dollars. From time to time improvements have been made in the home of the bank, including the erection of a handsome two story brick building with stone front in 1898. As his financial resources have increased Mr. Hendricks has made large investment in town and country property, including Hendricks addition in College Hill Park and other valuable residence and business sites. He has won a place among the most prosperous business men of Lane county but the most envious cannot grudge him his success, so honorably has it been gained and so worthily used.
At all times Mr. Hendricks has manifested a public spirit that has found tangible expression in his support of many movements and project for the public good. He was one of the builders of the City Water Works and served as a director until he disposed of his interest in the company. He was elected one of the first city councilmen of Eugene and has again and again served on the board of aldermen. For two terms he was chief executive officer of the city and as mayor gave to Eugene a business-like administration, avoiding extravagant progress wherever the best interests of the city were to be conserved. In 1880 he was elected for a four years' term as a member of the state senate on the democratic ticket and his personal popularity and the confidence reposed in him are indicated in the fact that he was absent from home at the time of the election and, moreover, the county is regarded as a republican stronghold. During his four years in office he supported many measures demanded by the most thoughtful of his constituents and thus greatly promoted the interests of the commonwealth. He presented to the city of Eugene a tract of land most desirably situated for a park eighty acres in extent located in the southeastern part of the city, within the city limits. This property, known as Hendricks Park, is being improved from year to year by the city and promises to become one of the most sightly and beautiful parks in the state. By this gift the donor has not only contributed to the enjoyment of the present residents of Eugene, but has provided a source of gratification for endless years to come.
Perhaps his public service of greatest value, however, has been along educational lines. There is no one that questions the fact that the most valuable gift that can be made to any individual is the opportunity for thorough intellectual training, and throughout his entire life Mr. Hendricks has been a stalwart champion of public instruction. From the county court he received in 1872 appointment to the office of county superintendent of public instruction to fill a vacancy and he was twice elected, serving in all for six years. He was the first incumbent in the position to take an active and effective interest in the welfare of the schools, visiting them in his official capacity, studying their needs and making practical plans for their improvement. The experience thus gained formed the foundation for his later labors in behalf of higher education. There are not many schools or church buildings in the county to the erection and maintenance of which Mr. Hendricks has not contributed. The state owes to him a debt of gratitude in recognition for what he has done to upbuild the University of Oregon. A contemporary biographer said in this connection: "His greatest claim upon the consideration of posterity is his association with the building, organization and subsequent management of Oregon's greatest institution of learning, the University of Oregon at Eugene. It is doubtful if any other undertaking of his life has been a source of so great a measure of personal satisfaction, so earnest and absorbing an interest as the development of this ambitious project, the realization of which will be the proud heritage of the coming generations. Mr. Hendricks is one of those farsighted men who saw the necessity for just such an institution and in the beginning of the '70s he accepted the responsibility of raising funds for its erection, the state not yet having arrived at an appreciation of its duty in the matter. A few helped him to raise the required fifty thousand dollars and who as members of the building committee overcame gigantic obstacles, ignored discouraging influences and conditions and with singleness of purpose made straight for their goal, are entitled to rank with the state's greatest benefactors. That Mr. Hendricks was the life and soul of this little band, the farsighted advisor and friend redounds to his lasting honor and invests his career with additional dignity and nobility. After the state had accepted the institution he became a member of the board of regents, being appointed consecutively for twenty-four years, or until the stable condition of the university justified him in withdrawing his active support. During all these years he was chairman of the executive committee and it was largely due to his judgment that the university took on the methods and the prestige of institutions of historical renown and established usefulness. Thus has the greatest ambition of this pioneer Oregonian been realized; yet broad and comprehensive as is its scope it has been but one of the numerous avenues invaded by his business sagacity and genius for organization and development."
Interesting as is the business and public career of Mr. Hendricks, equally attractive is his home life and many agree that he is seen at his best when at his own fireside. On the 20th of October, 1861, he married Miss Mary J. Hazelton, a daughter of Harvey Hazelton, who settled in Lane county about 1852. She died in Eugene in 1866 and of the children of that marriage Harry died in infancy, while Ida B. became the wife of Frank L. Chambers, of Eugene, but is now deceased. In the month of January, 1869, Mr. Hendricks was united in marriage to Miss Martha A. Stewart, a native of Missouri and a daughter of Elias Stewart, a biography of who appears on another page of this work. Mr. Stewart brought his family to Lane county when Mrs. Hendricks was two or three years of age. The children of the second marriage are: Ada D., who was graduated from the University of Oregon, with the class of 1896 and is now the wife of Richard Shore Smith, of Eugene; and Ruby V., a State University graduate of the class of 1903 and now the wife of Ray Goodrich. The family are members of the Christian Church, of which Mr. Hendricks is serving as a trustee. He is also a prominent member of the Odd Fellows society, belonging to Spencer Butte Lodge and also to the grand lodge. An eminent statesman has said: "In all this world the thing supremely worth having is the opportunity, coupled with the capacity, to do well and worthily a piece of work, the doing of which shall be a vital significance to mankind."
Emil A. Koppe: The Eugene Woolen Mill
Emil A. Koppe is the secretary-manager and the principal stockholder of the Eugene Woolen Mill Company and is thus closely connected with the manufacturing interests of Lane county. This business has been in existence for about ten years and is now accounted one of the leading productive industries of the Willamette valley, its present secretary having been an active factor in its ownership and control for six years. He was born in Saxony, Germany, February 16, 1860, and is a son of Karl and Johanna (Winter) Koppe. He learned the weaver's trade in his native county and then, feeling that better business opportunities would be accorded him in the new world, he came to American in 1879, settling in Philadelphia. Five years were passed in that city, after which he came to the Pacific Coast in 1884, settling in Brownsville, Linn county. He there secured employment in a mill but subsequently removed to Salem. About six years ago he organized the Eugene Woolen Mill Company and took over the business of the Willamette Valley Woolen Manufacturing Company, which had been organized about four years before. The present buildings were then erected and since the enterprise has come under new management its growth and success have been continuous. The weaving and spinning building is forty by one hundred and ten feet and two stories in height, while the finishing and carding rooms occupy a building sixty by sixty feet and also two stories high. The output has always been blankets and flannels, robes and mackinaw, but the present company has also added to the line of manufactured good and now turns out ladies' dress goods and woolens for men's garments. The products are sold largely on the coast through jobber's and employment is given to seventy people in the factory in order to meet the growing demands of the trade. Under the present management a high standard is maintained in the personnel of the house, in the character of service rendered to the public and in the quality of goods manufactured. Aside from his connection with the Eugene Woolen Mill Company Mr. Koppe is one of the directors of the Bank of Commerce, which he aided in organizing, and his name is an honored one on commercial paper wherever he is known.
In 1883 Mr. Koppe was married to Miss Augusta Harzer, who is a native of Saxony, Germany, and at one time was a resident of Philadelphia, having come to the new world with her sister. Her father and mother are still living in Germany. Mr. and Mrs. Koppe now have eight children, Clara, Paul, Louis, Hattie, Otto, Nellie, Karl and Matilda. The second daughter is the wife of Lloyd Mitchell of McMinnville, Oregon. Mr. Koppe belongs to Eugene Aerie, No. 275, F. O. E., and also to Eugene Camp, No. 5837, M. W. A. In politics he is a republican but not an office seeker, although he is serving as a member of the city council of Eugene, in which connection he exercises his official prerogatives to support many valuable local measures. Whether in office or out of it, however, he stands for all that is most valuable and serviceable in the community and in this age of intense commercial and industrial activity he has won for himself a creditable position in business circles.
William P. Cheshire: Miner, Soldier and Farmer
William P. Cheshire is one of the early pioneers of Lane county, having been a resident of Eugene since 1860. He has the distinction of being one of the veterans of the Indian wars of 1855-6 and his name now has an honored place on the pension roll of a grateful government. He was born in the town of Rutledge, in the state of Tennessee, November 24, 1838, and is the son of Edmund and Rachel (Smith) Cheshire, his father being a native of Virginia, born not far from Richmond. He was a farmer by occupation from his earliest years and moved to Tennessee with his family some time later in life.
In 1849 he crossed the plains to California in search of gold, which at that time was reported to abound in fabulous quantities along the rivers and in the mountains of the Golden state. Being a man strong in physique and hope, with a willingness to endure hardships and apply himself to the hazardous occupation of mining he was one among the thousands who was swept into California by that enthusiastic hunger for gold at that time which has since found its place in history under the name of the Gold Fever of '59. Leaving his family behind, with pick and spade and other accessory equipment he went forth to realize his dream for wealth. Having finally arrived at the diggings he began to seek the nuggets for himself and in this work was among the fortunate and successful miners. After spending some time in the mining fields he returned to his family with a well filled purse, making the trip home by way of the Isthmus of Panama. After reaching home he later emigrated to Missouri, making his settlement late in the year 1850 in Cedar county, that state, being at the time one of the first pioneers to establish their home in that county. Here he spent the remaining years of his life, passing away August 31, 1861, aged sixty-six.
William P. Cheshire was reared at home and received his early education in the common schools. He inherited the spirit from his ancestors, and early acquired the rudiments of that occupation by close application. As early as 1854, he started in life for himself and that year emigrated to Oregon, making his settlement at Eugene, in Lane county. On his arrival at Eugene there was only one store in the place engaged in the general merchandising business. This store was owned and operated by James Huddleston, from whom he obtained a position, but remained in this employ for one month only. He then sought his fortune in the mining fields in the Rogue river country and in California, mining throughout the entire district, working in the various mines and diggings whenever the fields offered the best and quickest returns for the time invested. In this occupation he continued until October, 1855. The second year after leaving Eugene and entering the mining fields the Indians of the Pacific Coast and the far southwest dug up the tomahawk and started on the warpath. This created wide spread disturbance among the settlers throughout Oregon and California and at once the government called for volunteers to suppress the Indian uprising. Mr. Cheshire enlisted in this Indian war in Company E, Captain William Lewis' Volunteer Infantry. The hardships of this campaign were very great, consisting of scouting and dilatory skirmishes along the mountain gorges and the swift running rivers, pursuing constantly by night and day, almost without rest. The campaign proved to be one which tested the metal of the white soldier in his efforts to being to bay the noble red man of the plains and the untamed wilderness. They succeeded, however, in forcing the Indians into two pitched battles and the command of Captain William Lewis, to which the subject of this review belonged, was engaged in the battle of Skull Bar and Hungry Hill. As a result of services rendered the government in the suppression of the Indian war he is now on the pension rolls of the government, receiving his quarterly certificate as a reminder of the early days and the struggles of long ago. At the close of this Indian disturbance he again return to his work in the mines, continuing to follow this business until 1860. During that year he abandoned the mining fields and returned to Eugene, where shortly after he was married. He then removed to Umatilla county, in this state, where he filed on a government claim and engaged in general farming and stock-raising. Here he continued for the succeeding four years. The condition of his wife's health finally compelled his removal from Umatilla county to San Francisco where he remained for one year. In 1877 he returned to Lane county and became a farmer for the year following. In 1878 he took a band of sheep east of the mountains and gave his entire time to their care for a period of two years. At the expiration of this time he sold his entire holdings in the sheep industry and returned to Lane county and here he finally settled as an agriculturist specializing in hop growing, in which he was very successful and in this line he continued for the following twenty-five consecutive years. Since 1911 he has been living retired.
Mr. Cheshire chose as his life partner Miss Susan Baskett, a daughter of R. D. Baskett, her birth having occurred in Missouri. At the age of two years she came across the plains with her parents to Oregon. To Mr. and Mrs. Cheshire five children were born, three of whom are still living; Dr. Waldo Cheshire, a resident physician of Eugene; William, of Portland, this state; and Mattie, the wife of Abe Kelly, making their residence in Eugene. The mother died at her home in Lane county, at the early age of thirty-two. Her death occurred at the very period of life when she was seemingly most needed as her husband's helpmate. Mr. Cheshire and his wife were in the very midst of their strong and successful years of life and together they had established their home and around their fireside their children looked to them for support and protection. At the time of her death the prospects looked fair and promised much to this family. In the midst of this apparent contentment and joyous life the inscrutable wisdom of a wise providence called the mother of this family from her husband, leaving him widowed with the care of her little children left behind. This apparent misfortune proved to be the most crushing blow thus far in the history of Mr. Cheshire's career. Though young he never again remarried and now in the evening of life the memory of his departed wife is still as fresh and keen as on the day when the happy bridegroom took that most sacred of all oaths to cherish and love and protect his bride until death should part them. This vow he faithfully kept during their married years and still respects it as a sacred bond binding him in deathless memory to his departed wife, who is waiting in the land beyond for his coming.
William P. Cheshire is one of the substantial and influential citizens of Lane county. In 1886 he was nominated to represent Lane county in the state legislature on the democratic ticket but was defeated on account of the district being strong republican. In 1896 he was nominated for county judge but again was defeated for the same reason, as the district has always been strong for the republican ticket. He is a prominent mason, belonging to Eugene Lodge, No. 11, A. F. & A. M.; Chapter No. 10; and Ivanhoe Commandery, No. 2, K. T. He is a Scottish Rite thirty-second degree mason and holds membership in the Episcopal church. He has been associated with the growth and improvement of all the interests of this county for more than a quarter of a century and during that time he has been known among his associates as a man of untarnished reputation and character, always ready to lend his assistance and influence in the promotion of all matters of interest, affecting the business and moral welfare of his county and state.
From the The Centennial History of Oregon 1811-1912, Volume II published by The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago, 1912.