William A. Potter: Surveyor, Miner, Farmer
William A. Potter arrived in Oregon in 1851. He was born near Hubbard, Trumbull County, Ohio, February 7, 1825, and was descended from an old Pennsylvania family of German origin, the name having been originally spelled Pothour. His father, David Potter, was born on the banks of the Juniata river in Pennsylvania in 1781 and was married in Ohio to Anna McCreary, who was of Irish lineage. They began their domestic life upon a farm, the father spending seventy-five years in one locality in that state, his death occurring when he had reached the age of ninety-six. William A. Potter was fifth in a family of nine children and in 1845 started out in the world on his own account, first going west to Grant County, Wisconsin, where he engaged in lead mining for six years. In 1851 he started for the Pacific coast, securing an outfit consisting of wagon and three yoke of oxen. He traveled with a train of sixteen wagons and after six months they reached Oregon. During the succeeding winter Mr. Potter was a resident of Milwaukie and then took up the profession of surveying, assisting in making the government surveys of different parts of the Willamette valley. In 1853 he secured a donation claim of one hundred and sixty acres in Lane county, a half mile west of Irving, and there he erected the first house upon the prairie lands of that county. The same year he went with a party of miners to Yreka, California where he carried on mining for a little more than a year. In 1854, he returned to Lane county and thereafter largely engaged in farming and stock-raising until he retired in 1901. While he sold his original claim, he continued to be a land owner in the Irving area.
In 1855 William A. Potter was united in marriage to Louisa C. Zumwalt, who was born in Missouri, December 8, 1839, and in 1847 came across the plains with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Solomon Zumwalt. William A. and Louisa (Zumwalt) Potter had six children, five of whom reached adult age, namely: Clara Jane, the wife of B. F. Bond, of Irving; Lewis H., living in Eugene; Edwin O., also of Eugene; Mary E., the wife of Thomas Gray, who resides near Bend, Oregon; and Anna, the wife of Robert S. Poole, of Junction. One child, U. Grant, has passed away.
Lewis H. Potter: Banker and Native Son
Lewis H. Potter, president of the Merchants Bank, has been identified with the banking business since 1889. Oregon numbers him among her pioneer settlers, for his birth occurred in Lane County, December 17, 1858, his parents being William A. Potter and Louisa (Zumwalt) Potter.
Mr. Potter was educated in the public schools and the University of Oregon, entering its first class. He also pursued a commercial course in the Portland Business College following which he became connected with the operating department of the Oregon-California Railroad from Roseburg to Ashland. In 1889 he accepted a position as bookkeeper in the First National Bank of Eugene, with which he continued for nineteen years, when he left that institution to accept the presidency of the Merchants Bank of Eugene.
In 1890 Mr. Potter was united in marriage to Miss Anna Patterson, a daughter of Dr. Andrew Patterson, of Eugene, and they have become parents of four sons, Wallace, Leo, Hubert and Harold. The first named is now in Springfield, Oregon. Mr. Potter was very active in fraternal and community organizations and in his church.1
Edwin O. Potter: Attorney and Lane County Judge
Edwin O. Potter was a lifelong resident of Lane County, Oregon where he was born August 25, 1860. His parents were the early pioneers William A. Potter and Louisa C. (Zumwalt) Potter. He was reared on the farm and his early education was supplemented by a course in the University of Oregon from which he was graduated with the class of 1887. Determined to make the practice of law his life work he entered upon a course of study in the same school and in 1890 was graduated from the law department. He located his practice in Eugene, at first alone, then in 1894 in partnership with Herbert T. Condon. In 1896 he was elected county judge and served on the bench for four years. Following his retirement from the bench he continued alone in practice until 1905, then joined with A. C. Woodcock establishing the firm of Woodcock & Potter. After this partnership was dissolved in March, 1910, Mr. Potter travelled extensively in Europe. In the fall of that year he returned to Eugene and formed his present partnership, Potter & Bryson. In 1912, he was elected president of the Lane County Bar Association.
On October 16, 1890 occurred the marriage of Mr. Potter and Miss Emily Bristol, a daughter of George Bristol, of Monroe, Oregon. They have one child, Pauline. The parents were members of the Congregational Church and Mr. Potter was an active participant in several fraternal organizations.2
Charles A. Dalzell: Elmira Lumber Company of Eugene
Charles A. Dalzell, secretary-treasurer of the Elmira Lumber Company of Eugene has made his home in Lane County since 1907. He is well known in connection with timber and lumber interests throughout the state and is considered an authority in those matters. He was born in Monmouth, Warren County, Illinois, December 13, 1858, and is a son of Joseph and Eliza (Conner) Dalzell. His paternal grandparents were from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the maternal grandparents from Washington County in the same state. In 1833 his grandfather, Samuel Connor, emigrated westward to Illinois. Joseph Dalzell spent all his life from early youth upon a farm near Monmouth, Illinois.
Charles A. Dalzell pursued his education in the public schools of Warren County, Illinois, and in a business college there and afterward went to Davenport, Iowa, in 1880. He remained in Davenport for twenty- one years, or until 1901, when he came westward to Oregon, settling first in Portland, where he was the manager of the Spicer-Dalzell Milling Company. In 1907 he came to Eugene with this company. The Elmira Lumber Company, of which he is now secretary-treasurer, is the outgrowth of a wholesale and retail business which was established at Elmira, Oregon, in 1900 by J. W. Walters and his son. They still have a mill at Elmira, where forty people are employed. In 1907 the company was incorporated under its present name, with F.C. Walters as president and Charles A. Dalzell as secretary-treasurer. In that year they opened a lumber yard in Eugene and another at Irving for retail business. The company has about twenty-nine hundred acres of timber land and manufactures all building materials, their output amounting to about six million feet annually. They ship to California and to Utah and they are now building a small mill on the Noti where the new railroad is being constructed.
In 1888 Mr. Dalzell was united in marriage to Miss Grace Smith, a daughter of H. H. Smith, of Davenport, Iowa, and they have one son, Harold Alden, who is a graduate of the University of Oregon of the class of 1910, and is now state secretary of the Young Men's Christian Association for Oregon and Idaho. The parents and their son are members of the Presbyterian church, Mr. Dalzell serving as superintendant of the Sunday School.3
C. P. Devereaux: Timber Owner
C. P. Devereaux is senior member of the Devereaux & Tripp Timber Company, which was organized in the spring of 1903 by he and Frank A. Tripp. Throughout his entire life C. P. Devereaux has been connected with timber interests; his father also was always engaged in the timber business. C. P. Devereaux was born in Ithaca, Michigan, October 16, 1877 and is a son of Philemon Theodore and Ella J. (Wilson) Devereaux. His grandfather, Theodore Devereaux, was one of the pioneer settlers of Gratiot county, Michigan, and had a family of twelve children, including Philemon T. Devereaux, who in early manhood became connected with timber interests in Michigan. The father has been a resident of Eugene for three years.
C. P. Devereaux spent his youthful days at Park Rapids, Minnesota where his parents had moved during his early childhood. He went through all his school years there, after which he became associated with his father in timber work. He is a thoroughly trained timber cruiser and an enterprising, energetic young man. In the spring of 1903, he joined Frank A. Tripp in organizing the Devereaux & Tripp Timber Company, which has been a successful business for nine years. They buy and sell standing timber, operating in Oregon and northern California, and always have on hand at least two hundred million feet standing timber.
Mr. Devereaux was married in 1898 to Miss Eula M. Hoyt, a daughter of William R. Hoyt, of Hillsboro, Oregon, and they now have two children, Hoyt Theodore and Ella Cleone. The parents are members of the Baptist church, Mr. Devereaux serving as chairman of its board of trustees and also as church treasurer. He is likewise a member of its finance committee and chairman of its music committee. He has sung in the choir and in different choral organizations from his boyhood. He is a member of the Young Men's Christian Association, of Eugene, and serves on its board of directors.4
Frank A. Tripp: Devereaux & Tripp Timber Company
Frank A. Tripp is well known in the business circles of Eugene and in other parts of the state as a member of the Devereaux & Tripp Timber Company. He was born near Binghamton, New York, April 24, 1879, and is a son of George H. and Naomi (Dunham) Tripp. Moreover, he is descended from one of the old New York families but his father left the Empire state and removed to northern Minnesota in 1880. He settled about three hundred miles north of Minneapolis, and Crookston, twenty-five miles distant, was his nearest postoffice. At the place of his location, however, he opened a little postoffice, which he called Mentor, giving the name to the tiny village which sprang up in that district. He was a farmer but was also active in the public life of the community. He served as clerk of the school district and was, also for many years, chairman of the county board of supervisors.
Frank A. Tripp was educated in the schools of Mentor and in the high school of Park Rapids, Minnesota. Following his schooling, he turned his attention to lumber and timber interests, spending about six years in the timber woods of northern Minnesota before coming to Eugene in February, 1903. He thoroughly understands woodcraft and is an excellent judge of the valuation of timber properties. In the spring of 1903 he joined C. P. Devereaux in organizing the Devereaux & Tripp Timber Company and they have since been successfully engaged in buying and selling standing timber. Their operations cover much of Oregon and northern California.
Frank A. Tripp was married on June 27, 1911, to Miss Sadie Addison, a daughter of John Addison, of Eugene. They are prominent members of the Congregational church, in which Mr. Tripp is serving as secretary and treasurer. He is now the state treasurer of the Oregon Christian Endeavor Union.5
Michael Schneider: Eugene Fruit Grower and Investor
Michael Schneider was born in 1852 near Bingen (on the Rhine River), Germany. He was independent very early and started in coal mining in his youth. At the age of twenty he accompanied his parents and family to America, settling first in Bruce County, Ontario, Canada. He then went on to become a pioneer settler in Walsh County, North Dakota where he erected a log cabin and raised wheat, oats and barley. He also worked on the crew dredging the Red River to Winnipeg. After seventeen years in North Dakota he came to Eugene (about 1891) and began raising fruit. In the early 1900's he erected the Schneider block in Eugene which provided him with substantial income and permitted him to retire from farming.
On April 19, 1881, Mr. Schneider was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Kastor, of Bruce County, Ontario.6
Ernest U. Lee: Junction City Native
On the list of Eugene's leading business men appears the name of Ernest U. Lee, who is cashier of the Merchants Bank. He was born in Klamath County, Oregon, December 25, 1868, his parents being Dr. Norman L. and Amanda M. (Griggs) Lee. His grandfather, Philaster Lee, was a native of western New York and, making the long journey across the plains, accompanied by his family, he settled near Gervais, Oregon. Subsequently he settled at Soda Springs, where he followed the occupation of farming. He was also one of the early nurserymen of this part of the state and became a pioneer in an industry -- that of fruit culture -- which is now one of the important sources of Oregon's revenue. The maternal grandfather, Aly B. Griggs, was also numbered among the early settlers, coming from Illinois in 1852. Dr. Lee was born in Illinois before the family came to the west and is now seventy-six years of age. He read medicine under private instruction for a time and afterward attended the Willamette University, from which he was graduated. He then located at Junction City, where he has since practiced.
Ernest U. Lee was educated in the public schools of Junction City and became a clerk in a drug store, thus making his initial start in the business world. Eventually he established a pharmacy of his own and was engaged in the drug business for some years prior to 1898, when he came to Eugene to fill the office of clerk of Lane County, to which he had been elected on the republican ticket. He had previously had some experience in public office, having served on the school board and as a member of the city council of Junction City. He filled the office of county clerk until the 1st of January, 1910, and became cashier of the Merchants Bank in March, 1911.
Mr. Lee is also well known as a public official for he is now serving as a member of the Eugene school board and as a secretary of the water board.
In 1889 Mr. Lee was married to Miss Bertha K. Washburne, of Junction City, a daughter of Charles W. Washburne, who is an old pioneer of this state, now eighty-six years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Lee have two children, Croesus and Roy W. 7
Charles O. Peterson: Early Eugene Wood Products Manufacturer
Charles O. Peterson established of a large excelsior factory in Eugene and was also a partner in the Sedro Veneer Company of Sedro Woolley, Washington. He was born near Lansing, Iowa, December 20, 1868, and nine years later (about 1877), he accompanied his parents on their move westward to La Center, Washington, where his father died. On his own resources at the early age of twelve years he worked for two years on a farm for his clothes and board and the privilege of attending school for a few months. He also spent two years on a farm in Benton County, Oregon. At the age of sixteen he arrived in Portland and secured employment with Henry Nicholi, owner of the Portland Excelsior Mill. During two years there he advanced rapidly and after entering the Willamette Falls Excelsior Works at Oregon City he became foreman of the mill. The death of his mother and the need to settle her estate interrupted this position. He then went to Lebanon and became part owner an excelsior business, which after several years was moved to Eugene in September, 1899. A mill and warehouse erected at Sixth and High Streets and were later supplemented by other warehouses. Many men were employed not only to cut the wood along the banks of the Willamette, but also to operate the mill. It was an important productive industry that supplied excelsior for the western states.
Mr. Peterson and his partner also organized the Sedro Veneer Company in Sedro Woolley, Washington, which made softwood veneers and glued panels, the latter being shipped all over the United States. This mill and the excelsior plant used cottonwood trees, and the partners acquired large tracts of land from which they kept their mills supplied.
On February 14, 1892, while in Oregon City, Mr. Peterson was united in marriage to Miss Hannah Stuart, a native of Iowa and a daughter of Joel A. and Malinda (Boglan) Stuart. This family came to Oregon in 1868. The father, who was a builder, lived for a number of years in Seaside, Oregon, and died January 2, 1912. Mr. and Mrs. Peterson have two children, Albert and Myma. Mr Peterson served for two terms on the town council in Lebanon. He was chairman of the building committee of the Eugene Elks Lodge, No. 357, B.P.O.E., which recently completed one of the finest buildings in Eugene. 8
Charles Sumner Williams, A. B.: Eugene Mill and Elevator Company
Charles S. Williams is the head of the firm of Williams & Shelley, conducting business under the name of the Eugene Mill and Elevator Company. He was born in Oregon, July 19, 1856 not far from Medford and is a son of Issachar and Velina Asenath (Stearns) Williams. His paternal grandfather, Daniel Williams, was a tanner by trade and established the first tannery in Ohio. He was a native of Pennsylvania and on their move westward the family took the first apple tree from that state to Ohio. The Williams are of Welsh lineage. Issachar Williams, who was born in Barnesville, Ohio in 1823, learned the tanner's trade with his father but never followed it. Leaving the old home, he went to Cincinnati, where he was employed for a time in the lumber mills. In 1853 he crossed the plains to Oregon with an ox team and was accompanied by his wife's people. He had married Velina Asenath Stearns, who was a sister of the Rev. Samuel Stearns, one of the first missionaries of Oregon, and a daughter of John Stearns, a native of the state of New York. Issachar Williams first settled a donation claim northeast of Medford but traded that land for a pair of mules and located a sawmill west of Ashland. He continued with this business until 1870, when he sold out and moved to Portland. He operated a dairy there for six years. After living briefly in Eugene, then a town of two thousand, he spent about 11 years in Idaho with another son, Frank, before returning to Eugene in 1888. Issachar Williams died in 1891.
Oregon was still a frontier district during the youth of Charles S. Williams. But he had good educational privileges and on the day on which the University of Oregon was opened he enrolled as one of its students graduating in 1882. He taught school for about twelve years in different parts of Oregon and Washington becoming principal of schools in a number of places. In the period from 1883 to 1888 he was engaged in the real estate business in addition to teaching in the Puget Sound area. He then returned to Eugene. After working in a store for three years, he took charge of the electric light plant. After four years he became senior partner of the firm of Williams & Shelley, proprietors of the Eugene Mill & Elevator Company. This was a flour and grist mill which had been located at the site for over 35 years but was destroyed by fire in the early 1890's. The site was bought and the mill rebuilt by Mr. Williams and his partners in 1895. It has gradually grown, now having two elevators and receiving warehouses at Irving and at Coburg, so that it is the largest milling business south of Salem.
On June 29, 1886, Mr. Williams was united in marriage to Miss Irene Dunn, a daughter of F. B. Dunn, the pioneer merchant of Eugene. They now have three children: Berien Burke, who is with the Merchants Bank of Eugene, Marjorie May; and Melba. 9
From the The Centennial History of Oregon 1811-1912, Volume II published by The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago, 1912. 1Lewis H. Potter, p. 67 and 2Edwin O. Potter, p. 591-2; 3Charles A. Dalzell, p. 153; 4C. P. Devereaux, p. 110; 5Frank A. Tripp, p. 115; 6Michael Schneider, p. 157-8; 7Ernest U. Lee, p. 151; 8Charles O. Peterson, p. 169-70; 9Charles Sumner Williams, p. 201.