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Charter of 1851--Its Provisions and Amendments--Charter of 1872--Charter of 1882--Police Department--Fire Department--Health Department--Water Works--Public Buildings--Biographical Sketches of Mayors--List of City Officials From 1851 to 1890.

IN 1851 a Charter was granted to the city of Portland by the Legislature of Oregon. By this instrument corporate powers were lodged in the "People of the city of Portland," constituting them "a body politic and corporate in fact and law" with all necessary legal privileges. The city limits were to be fixed by a line beginning at the northwest corner of the donation claim of Finice Caruthers, running thence easterly by the north line of that claim to the river bank, and by a projection of the same to the middle of the Willamette; thence northerly by the middle of the river to the projection of the north line of Couch's claim; thence west seventy chains and south to the place of beginning.

There was little that was peculiar about the charter. It provided that the officers should be mayor, recorder, treasurer, marshal and assessor. There should be a common council of nine members. All of the above offices were to be filled by election of the voters of the city. By appointment of the city council there were to be city attorney, street commissioner, city surveyor and city collector. Election day was fixed on the first Monday in April, yearly. [page 177]

Elections were to be by ballot and a residence in the town of thirty days in addition to the qualifications of voters in the then territory, was required. No election was to be held in a saloon, or any place where ardent spirits were sold. Proper provisions for appointment in case of absences were also made.

The common council was invested with the usual powers, being authorized to pass ordinances not in conflict with the constitution of the State or the United States; to collect taxes, provide water, and guard against fires, diseases, nuisances, and disorders; to license taverns, and all other forms of business or trade usually put under some sort of restriction; and to suppress gambling houses and other immoral things. Property outside of the city limits for such necessary purposes as pest house, water works, etc., might be purchased and owned. Duties of officers were carefully specified.

Among provisions likely to be amended was that forbidding the mayor and members of the common council to receive pay for their services; to allow a protest of the owners of one-third of the property on a street to stop improvements ordered thereupon, while two-thirds of the expense of all improvements of streets was to be borne by the property adjacent; and the provision that land within the city limits not laid out in blocks and lots should not be taxed by the city.

Among miscellaneous provisions were that fixing the beginning of the fiscal year on July 1st; that giving the decision of a tie vote at any election to the common council; that no officer in the city government should have any interest in city contracts; that an oath of office must be taken and that any ordinance calling for an expenditure of above one hundred dollars must lie ten days before passage.

In 1858 certain amendments were made, by which the city was to be divided into three wards, each electing three members to the council; to allow collection of port dues on ships and steamers; and to pay the councilmen three dollars per day for actual service. In 1860 this provision for paying councilmen was repealed.

In 1862 an amendment was added, relating principally to street improvements, providing that half the expense of such improvements [page 178] should be borne by the owners of adjacent property, and that a protest of the owners of two-thirds of the property must be obtained to arrest any street work ordered by the council.

In 1864 the entire instrument was revised and written in a more perspicuous style. The limits of the corporation were extended so as to include the Caruthers Claim. The mayor was to serve two years; the election was to be on the third Monday in June. The fiscal year was to begin with January, the city was not to incur an indebtedness of above fifty thousand dollars; a dredger might be owned and operated by the city on the lower Willamette. The mayor and the councilmen should receive no compensation. In 1865 an amendment was made in regard to laying out new streets; and constructing sewers and drains.

In 1872 a new charter was granted, which was quite a voluminous document, and introduced many changes. The limits of the city were extended so as to include the whole of the Caruthers and Couch claims, and a space seventy chains and over still to the west. The city was divided into three wards, the first including all that portion north of Washington street; the second, that between Washington and Main streets, and the third, all south of Main street. Each ward was to elect three members to the common council for three years each. The mayor was to be elected for two years, and was invested with the veto power, requiring a two-thirds vote to pass an ordinance without his approval. The treasurer and assessor were to be chosen by the common council, and the attorney, street commissioner and surveyor were to be appointed by the mayor, with the consent of the council. The office of. recorder was abolished and a police judge was instated to succeed him. This officer was to serve for two years, holding regular court, and came to his position by appointment of the mayor. The office of marshal was also abolished, and the police department was placed under the supervision of three police commissioners appointed by the governor. The mayor and council-men were forbidden to receive a salary, or other compensation; the rewards of the other officers were definitely fixed, that of police commissioner being three dollars per day for actual service. Special policemen were allowed, but they were not to receive pay from the [page 179] city-being left, it would seem, to obtain their wages from private persons asking their services. It has recently been earnestly recommended to abolish the "specials."

The street commissioner was invested with large powers. Street improvements were to be paid by tax on property adjacent and could be discontinued upon the remonstrance of two-thirds of the property holders interested, Changes of grade were to be paid for out of the general fund. Taxes, except for the dredging of the river, were not to exceed one and one-half per centum of the assessed value of city property per annum. The indebtedness of the city was not to exceed one hundred thousand dollars. The financial needs of the Police Department were to be determined by the police commissioners, and the sum requisite was to be provided by the common council by tax.

The details of the instrument. are very minute, and some features, as the last mentioned, were likely to produce friction in working.

By the charter of 1882, which, with various amendments, is still in force, the boundaries of the city were so extended as to embrace the Blackistone place on the north, and some additions on the south and west, while the middle of the Willamette was still left as the limit on the east. City authority is vested in mayor, common council and board of. police commissioners. The three wards are continued with substantially the same boundaries as before, each of which is entitled to three members in the common council. Councilmen, mayor and treasurer come to their office by vote of the electors of the city. The auditor is elected by the common council, holding his term at their pleasure. The attorney, street superintendent and surveyor are appointed by the mayor, with the consent of the council, and are removable for cause. Election is the third Monday in June. A residence of six months in the city and of ten days in the ward, in addition to qualifications as elector of the State, is required of the voter. Careful rules of election and regulations as to vacancies and absences are provided.

The common council is invested with ample powers to carry on the business of the city, to secure good order, to regulate dangerous occupations, to prevent the introduction and spread of disease, and to [page 180] suppress nuisances and immoral business. Authority is granted to impose a tax of three mills for general municipal purposes, and three and a half mills each for the support of the paid Fire Department and of the Police Department. Assessments of property in the city are made according to the assessment rolls of Multnomah County.

The mayor is the general head of the city government, making an annual message to the common council, in which he reports upon the state of the city and recommends such measures as he deems proper. No ordinance may become a law without his approval unless passed subsequently by a two-thirds vote of the council. The treasurer is held to keep a stria account of the funds of the city, and the auditor keeps full record of all warrants and bills, issues licenses and makes annual lists of all property subject to taxation. The city attorney attends upon all actions to which the city is a party, prosecutes for violation of city ordinances, and prepares for execution all contracts, bonds or other legal instruments for the city. The street commissioner exercises a general care over the streets, the public squares and the parks; supervises surveys, and requires improvements ordered by the council to be fully and faithfully completed.

The Police Department is under the police commissioners, who are elected by the voters of the city and serve without salary. They organize and supervise the police force. The police judge, however, who must be an attorney of the degree of an attorney of the Supreme court of the State, and whose court is of the degree of that of justice of the peace, is appointed by the mayor, with the consent of the common council. He has jurisdiction of all crimes defined by city ordinance. His salary is not to exceed $2000 per annum. All police officers are strictly forbidden to receive compensation other than that provided by ordinance, under the general regulation.

The Fire Department is under three commissioners who are appointed by the mayor with the consent of the council. Their term of office is for three years. Compensation of all officers or employees of the Fire Department is prescribed in the legislative act erecting the same. [page 181]

The City Water Works are, by this charter, placed in the hands of a committee appointed by the legislature with the power to fill all vacancies occurring in their own body. They are independent of all other departments of the city government.

A fuller account of these two latter departments is given further down in this volume.


Much care and expense have been bestowed on the police department. There is difficulty always in a city in securing enforcement of the laws against certain forms of vice and immorality. These often find refuge in the cupidity of property-owners and others and the law can seldom be enforced with vigor. But on the whole good order is maintained in Portland.

The police force of the city consisted at first simply of the marshal. As his duties became too great for his personal attention, deputies were appointed by him, or by the council.

By the Act of 1872 a regular police system was inaugurated. The office of marshal was abolished, and the management was given to a board of three police commissioners holding office three years, elected each year in order. The board was to be responsible to the people only. The office of recorder was succeeded by that of police judge, who was first appointed by the mayor. The system remains substantially as at the present time. The expenses of the department are to be determined by the commissioners and the necessary sum may be raised by the common council by tax not to exceed 3 2 mills.

Below are given the names of the policemen from 1872, the time of the new order. The names of marshals and judges will be found in the list of city officers.

1872. Police Commissioners--A. B. Hallock, Pres., W. P. Burke, Eugene Semple. Chief--J. H. Lappeus. Police--J. R. Wiley, first captain; A. B. Brannan, second captain; H. M. Hudson, W. M. Ward, D. Norton, D. Walton, B. P. Collins, J. W. Kelly, C. F. Schoppe, T. Burke, Thos. Gale. Specials--W. M. Hickey, B. O'Hara, J. M. McCoy, M. F. Sherwood, Paul Marten. Poundmaster--Charles Lawrence.

1873. Police Commissioners--A. B. Halleck, W. P. Burke, O. Risley. Police J. H. Lappeus, chief; J. R. Wiley, A. B. Brannan, captains; Thos. Burk, J. W. Kelly, C. F. Scheppe, D. Norton, J. Corcoran, H. M. Hudson, J. K. Mercer, B. P Collins, J. D. Yates, O. D. Buck, A. J. Barlow, F. Reardon, M. T. Sheehan, B. O'Hara, J. M'Coy, J. Sloan. P. Shea, J. O'Neil, P. Martin. [page 182]

1875-6. Police Commissioners--Shubrick Norris, J. R. Foster. M. S. Burrell. Police--J. H, Lappeus, chief; B. P. Collins, J. Sloan, captains; Thos. Burke, A. B. Brannan, B. T. Belcher, Chas. Gritzmacher, J. W. Kelly, J. T. Watson, J. W. Hain, H. M. Hobson, J. S. Hamilton. Specials--J. McCoy, B. O'Hara, M. T. Sheehan. Poundmaster--Charles Lawrence.

1877-8. Police Commissioners--R. R. Riley, Wm. Connell, E. W. Connell. Police--Chief, L. Besser; H. S. Allen, J. W. Kelly, captains; C. P. Elwanger, H. M. Hudson, J. W. Kelley. Specials--J. McCoy, Barny O'Hara, M. F. Sheehan, C. W. Howard. Poundmaster--M. B. Wallace.

1879. Police Commissioners--R. R. Riley, Wm. Connell, P. Taylor. Police--L. Besser, chief: J. Sloan, J. W. Kelly, captains; H. M. Hudson, J. Jaskallar, P. G. Martin, P. Coakley, W. B. Daniels. J. W. Ryan, Richard Collins, Andrew Henline, C. Gritzmacher, James Stephens, Terry McManus, T. P. Luther. Special--M. F. Sheehan, B. Branch, F. M. Arnold, Wm. Hickey, S. C. Barton. Poundmaster--S. H. Reed.

1880. Commissioners--Peter Taylor, E. Corbett, S. G. Skidmore. Police--J. H. Lappeus, chief; James Sloan, C. Gritzmacher, captains; Benj. F. Goodwin, clerk; H. M. Hudson, detective; J. Jaskalla, D. J. Gillies, P. Coakley, C. S. Silver, S. C. Matthieu, R. Collins, J. P. Luther, A. Henline, James Stephenson, J. I. Watson, J. W. Sloan, John Burk. Specials--A. B. Brannan, Wm. Hickey, S. C. Barton, Benj. Branch, P. Saunders, Joseph Day, J. W. Ryan, C. P. Elwanger. Poundmaster--S. H. Reed.

1882. Commissioners on Health and Police--T. L. Nicklin, J. B. Kellogg, Henry Hewitt. Police Judge---S. B. Stearns; Police--J. H. Lappeus, chief; C. Gritzmacher, C. T. Belcher, captains; B. F. Goodwin, clerk; H. M. Hudson, James' Mott, Arthur M. Putnam, Peter Schulderman, Levi Wing, T. P. Luther, Alex. Johnson, James T. Watson, Chris. Emig, Richard Collins, D. W. Dobbins, Andrew Holmberg, Felix Martin, Simeon C. Balton, A. B. Brannan, Wm. Meyers, James Barry, John Ring, S. C. Matthieu, Orrin H. Smith, Andrew Henline, Benj. Branch.

1883. Commissioners on Health and Police--W. S. Scoggin, W. H. Adams, D. Mackay. Police Judge--S. A. Moreland. Police--J. H. Lappeus, chief; C. Gritzmacher, T. P. Luther, captains; H. M. Hudson, John Ring, Alex. Johnson, W. A. Beaumont, Felix Martin, W. W. Beach, Richard Collins, C. T. Belcher, A. B. Brannan, Levi Wing, Wm. Meyers, D. W. Dobbins, Benj. Branch, J. T. Watson, W. B. Bumpus, S. C. Barton, A. M. Putnam, Andrew Henline, Chris. Emig, Orrin H. Smith, James A. Mott, J. N. James, Andrew Holmberg, J. F. Hair, James Barry.

1884. Commissioners on Health and Police--R. Gerdes, A. F. Sears, Jr., W. H. Andrus. Police Judge--S. A. Moreland. W. H. Watkinds, chief; John Neale, clerk; A. F. Turner, J. F. Hair, A. M. Cornelius, captains. Clerk of police, Chas. A. Christie; deputy, F. D. Love. Policemen--A. Henline, Geo. H. Ward, A. Johnson, S. S. Young, Levi Wing, E. C. Lyon, Andrew Holmberg, Pat Keegan, J. N. James, A. B. Brannan, H. M. Hudson, Wm. Myers, F. M. Arnold, Richard Collins, J. E. Cramer, S. C. Barston, W. A. Hart, W. A. Beaumont, J. T. Watson, J. R. E. Selby, James Barry, R. M. Stuart, A. M. Putnam, W. L. Higgins, O. H. Smith, J. T. Flynn. C. T. Belcher. [page 183]

1886. Commissioners--B. P. Cardwell, Jonathan Bourne, Jr., Joseph Simon. Police Judge--R. W. Dement. S. P. Lee, Clerk; S. B. Parrish, Chief; C. Gritzmacher, J. P. Farrell, A. Henline, Captains; Health Officer--Felix Martin. Deputy Poundmaster--Henry Wilmer. Policemen--C. W. Holsapple, R. H. Austin, H. D. Griffin, J. M. Harkleroad, Henry Holland, J. H. Cunningham, Chris. Emig, Daniel Maher, A. Tichenor, W. M. Beach, Andrew Holmberg, J. N. James, H. M. Hudson, F. M. Arnold, W. A. Hart, J. H. Beyer, J. H. Molt, Ben. Branch, J. J. Byrne, J. T. Watson, James Barry, A. M. Putnam, O. H. Smith, C. L. Belcher, S. S. Young, J. H. Nash, Pat Keegan, Samuel Simmons, A. B. Brannan, Wm. Myers, Richard B. Collins, S. C. Barton, R. M. Stuart, P. J. McCabe, Felix Martin, Wm. Hickey, C. P. Elwanger, J. A. Kelly, G. C. Morgan.

1889. Commissioners--Joseph Simon, B. P. Cardwell. Judge--A. H. Tanner. S. B. Parrish, Chief of Police; C. Gritzmacher, R. H. Cardwell, Captains; Humane Officer--Felix Martin. Health Officer--S. B. Parrish. Deputy Poundmaster--Henry Wilmer. Policemen--R. H. Austin, James Barry, Ben. Bauch, J. J. Byrne, M. P. Charles, R. Collins, Jos. Day, Chris. Emig, J. F. Farrell, George Foss, H. D. Griffin. W. A. Hait, Wm. Hickie, C. E. Hoxsie, A. Holmberg, C. W. Holsapple, H. M. Hudson, J. H. James, J. F. Kerrigan, Dan Maher, Felix Martin, Sam Miller, J. A. Mott, G. C. Morgan, Wm. Meyers, N. M. Putnam, F. W. Robinson, Thos. Ryan, Abe Tichenor, J. T. Watson, H. S. Wood, Levi Wing, H. Wilmer, W. H. Warren, S. S. Young, S. P. Lee.

As indicating something of the business done at present in the police court, it may be mentioned that 2261 cases were tried (1888), of which 1669 were city cases, the rest State. Upwards of $8,000 in fines were collected.

Officially recognised by the police department, and favored with certain privileges--as special officer, or rooms in the city prison--are the Humane Society, for prevention of cruelty, and the Children's Aid Society, of which an account will be found under the head of Benevolent Societies.


A sharp reminder that the city needed protection against the casualty of fire was given by the burning of the old steam saw mill at the foot of Jefferson street in 1853. In 1854 an ordinance was passed authorizing the formation and proper equipment of a fire company. This was a voluntary association of the citizens, who rendered their services freely. Much interest was felt in the movement, and public spirit kept the ranks well filled. The company was efficiently organized under H. W. Davis as Chief and Shubrick [page 184] Norris as Assistant. At the election in 1856 Mr. Davis was continued as Chief, with Orin Joynt, Assistant. In 1857 S. J. McCormick was elected Chief and Charles Hutchins, Assistant. In 1858 the situation was reversed, Hutchins becoming Chief, with McCormick, Assistant. In 1858 some. changes of working were made, and J. M. Vansyckle was chosen Chief; with two assistants, Joseph Webber and F. Sherwood. Mr. Vansyckle was continued through 1859, with M. M. Lucas and J. A. Messinger. In that year, also, the service was rendered much more efficient by the purchase of a steel alarm bell, weighing 1,030 pounds and costing $515.15. It was placed in a tower on the levee. In 1860, and until 1863, Joseph Webber was Chief.

In 1860 an act was passed by the Legislature formally creating a Portland Fire Department, granting its members certain privileges, which it exceeded the power of the city government to confer. It was still to be a voluntary association with Chief and two assistants. These officers were to be chosen by vote of all the members of the company, and were to rank according to the number of votes they received, the three receiving the most votes being respectively Chief, and First and Second Assistants. The number of companies was not limited, but no company could be formed to contain less than 30 nor more than 75 members. The Chief was allowed to receive a small compensation of $300 a year. As an inducement to membership, a term of three years' service entitled any member to become an " exempt," and by virtue of this fact he was relieved of jury duty and of service in the State Militia.

Under the stimulus of these privileges, and by reason of general public spirit, the fire companies flourished greatly, almost every able-bodied man of proper age belonging to some one of them. The various companies were emulous of each other, each aiming to be first in numbers, efficiency and in elegance of dress. They ever were ready to participate in public display and festivities. They were prompt and active in their work, and were the means of saving property and life *for many years. With serviceable engines and sufficient houses and good teams, they were a fine body of men either for parade or action. There were four engine companies, Willamette, Multnomah, [page 185] Columbian and Protection, and the Vigilance Hook and Ladder Company. A list of the officers and members for 1864 is herewith given, partly to record the names of the firemen and partly as a record of citizens who might not otherwise appear in this work.


Willamette Engine Company No. 1 Organized Aug. 3, 1853.

Officers--P. C. Schuyler, Jr., foreman; Jas Bothwell, first assistant; Jos. Bergman, second assistant; Shubrick Norris, president; Richard B. Knapp, secretary; Harris Seymour, treasurer.

Members--S. N. Arrigoni, L. A. Godard, J. M. Marble, P. C. Schuyler, Jr., Wiliam Beck, Asa Harker, T. T. Minor, S. S. Slater, D. W. Burnside, F. Harbaugh, Patrick Maher, Jacob Stitzel, M. S. Burrell, W. L. Higgins, E. J., Northrup, James Sidden, H. F. Bloch, Charles Hutchins, Shubrick Norris, Frank Stribeg, Cincinnati Bills, P. D. W. Hardenburg, J. P. Null, J. C. VanRenssalaer, Jos. Bergman, R. B. Knapp, E. W. Nottage, C. M. Wiberg, James Bothwell, Samuel Kline, Robert Porter, Joseph Webber, W. D. Carter, W. S. Ladd, E. B. Pressey, J. O. Waterman, I. W. Case, C. H. Lewis, C. C. Perkins, John S. White, Wm. A. Daly, John Lillis, W. F. Paquet, Zeph Weitz, Lewis Day, J. DeLetts, A. J. Remington, A. G. Walling, Henry Failing, George T. Myers, Harris Seymour, Geo. H. Williams, F. S. Fitzgerald, Wm. McMillan, S. D. Smith, W. K. Witherell, G. W. Fuller, John McLaughlin, S. M. Smith, W. H. Weed, M. F. Gallagher, J. J. Meagher.

Multnomah Engine Company No. 2. Organized in August, 1856.

Officers--A. B. Hallock; foreman; T. B. Trevitt, first assistant; S. Skidmore, second assistant; A. J. Butler, president; Ben L. Norden, secretary; A. C. Ripley, treasurer.

Members--Joseph Butchel, A. Zieber, D. D. Orton, T. McF. Patton, Thomas A. Davis, L. Waterman, E. J. DeHart, J. H. Frank, R. S. Perkins, H. Ludwig, T. B. Scott, John Howe, J. W. Seller, W. V. Spencer, A. McKew, J. R. Foster, L. C. Millard, J. W. Davis, Samuel Hallowell, J. W. Failing, L. Baum, E. T. Reese, C. H. Myers, E. Scott, A. H. Johnson, James Straug, J. Painter, B. F. Goodwin, Joseph Tucker, John Gruber, Charles F. Powell, A. B. Stewart, James Costello, H. Rosenfield, T. Rogers, S. B. Parrish, H. E. Cutter, John Estabrooks, W. H. D. Joyce, J. Bachman, F. J. Molthrop, T. E. Byrnes, C. H. Hill, F. Eastabrooks, N. Wertheimer, J. E. Bentley, William I. Holmes, I. Bergmann, P. Cohen, Samuel Sherlock, Ben. Needham, J. E. Walsh, L. M. Starr, B. Loeb, A. J. Rowland, George Gans, A. B. Elfelt, F. M. Plummer, Dan. Fewtrell, John Barrett, C. A. Burchardt, Wash. I. Leonard, William Kapus, M. Peterson, Charles Binder, Wm. I. McEwan, William F. Cornell, R. B. Peterson.

Columbian Engine Company No. 3. Organized June 18,1859.

Officers--William B. Clark, foreman; John P. Denison, first assistant; William Young, second assistant; John A. Thompson, president; Hamilton Boyd, secretary; H. Wasserman, treasurer. [page 186]

Members--William Dellinger, D. Steinback, Isaac Foster, Charles Logus, Geo. F. Townsend, Thomas G., Young, J. 2. Castle, Thomas Hartness, R. Fitzgerald, John D. Yates, Thomas Glennon, Thomas Crowley, Peter Burk, James Mitchell, R. M. Smith, John Rose, Thomas Nealy, Alex. Dodge, Geo. W. McKinney, William H. Wetzell, James D. Kelly, C. Francis, J. J. Berlieu, Thomas L. Watson, C. Nolan, C. Elwert, John Thomas, J. S. B. Jewett, Charles Farley, T. C. Malone, A. M. Sharkey, Wm. D. ' Webster, A. B. Brannan, George A. Price, F. Fisher, C. B. Croute, J. Koenig.

Protection Engine Company No. 4. Organized in November, 1862.

Officers--Fred. W. Bell, foreman; James H. Rochford, first assistant; Henry G. Miller, second assistant; H. W. Davis, president; Morris Moskowitz, secretary, Samuel C. Mill, treasurer.

Members--Henry Ballou, Fred Dorre, A. Rosenheim, K. Thomas, John D. Thornton, Robert Murray, B. Hangren, T. Johnson, G. McKibben, J. W. Payne, John Walker, H. Engel, John Lawler, S. L. Shwarts, R. Hendrie, M. Aron, Robert Dale, J. Hardy, J. B. King, John Godfrey, John Burns, Leon Girardot, Dan. J. Mularke, Ferdinand Opitz, Charles Mappes, W. N. Patten.

Vigilance Hook and Ladder Company No. 1.

Officers--M. Jaretzsky, foreman; James Farrell, first assistant; John Ewry, second assistant; J. McCraken, president; E. W. McGraw, secretary; E. G. Randall, treasurer.

Members--F. M. Arnold, Frank Dekum, C. F. Keuhn, A. Strong, Peter Bem, J. Donovan, M. M. Lucas, M. Seller, A. Baer, D. Farg Ally, E. Lownois, C. Schuch, W. Baker, H. Gans, T. J. Holmes, J. W. Smith, O. K. Blakely, C. A. Haas, L. R. Martin, Thomas M. Temple, George Bottler, J. B. Harker, W. Marony, J. Thompson, L. Cahn, D. H. Hendee, P. McQuade, T. Wethered, J. Cohen, G. L. Henry, V. Paris. N. Weisenberger, G. T. Cooper, H. Hymen, Geo. C. Robbins, E. Zatfudes.

In 1865 Joseph Buchtel was Chief. The Willamette No. 1 numbered 52 members; the Multnomah Company, 47; the Columbian, 50; the Protection, 48; the Hook and Ladder Company, 48; and the Exempts, 32.

In 1866 the offices were Thos. G. Young, W. H. Weed and Wm. T. Patterson. In 1867, Thos. G. Young, W. H. Weed, Wm. W. Witsell. The latter Chiefs are found in the list of the city officers, given above.

As the city grew larger and the years passed, it was deemed better not to depend upon volunteer companies, but to maintain a regular paid fire department. In 1882 this was organized, and in 1883 H. D. Morgan, who still serves, was appointed Chief. Under this management the loss by fire has been greatly reduced, as shown by the following: 1883, the total loss by fire was $319,092.20; [page 187] 1884, $403,851.90;. 1885, $59,329.73; 1886, $98,146.16; 1887, $84,173.72; 1888, $54,347.70. In 1889, but little over $20,000. The city is well supplied with alarm boxes and the alarm telegraph. It has 123 hydrants (1888) connecting both with the Water Works and the mains of the Hydraulic Elevator Company; it has 71 cisterns, aggregating a capacity of 1,312,000 gallons, and 6,200 feet of hose and 22 horses. Engines and trucks fully sufficient for each company are supplied. There are two hose companies, two hook and ladder companies, and four engine companies, numbering 22 of the permanent uniformed force and 58 of the members at call, or 80 in all. The current expenses of 1888 were $58,034.79, of which $37,893.59 were spent for salaries; the Chief receiving $2,000, engineer of steamers, $1,200; Superintendent of Fire Alarm, $1,500; Secretary, $1,200; and the others from $900 down to $240 for members at call. The property held in trust by the Commissioners is valued at $202,277.60. Something like $70,000 per year is required to operate the Department. The great need of the present is a fire boat, and to require all buildings of three stories or more to be supplied with pipe stands and fire escapes-the latter being useful to the firemen as well as to the inmates.

The present Commissioners are James Lotan, T. B. Trevett and George L. Story. The Chief Engineer is H. D. Morgan, and the Superintendent of Fire Alarm Telegraph, J. A. Coffee, jr.


By city ordinance this is connected with the Police Department, every policeman being a health officer. A City Physician, with power to inspect all buildings, ships and trains, is employed, and necessary power of quarantine, as prescribed by charter, is exerted by the Council. A City Hospital is maintained. A Poor House and Farm for the indigent, incompetent and unable is provided. It is located a few miles west of the town, on a beautiful and salubrious site. The Chinese lepers--of which there have been a number have been kept at this place. A pest house, also n a proper place, is owned and operated. [page 188]


The necessity of a sufficient supply of pure water for the city was early recognized, and by the first charter the city was authorized to build and operate water works. In preference, however, to carrying on this work by supervision of the municipality, a water company was formed and invested with power to conduct the business. Works were erected in 1851, the supply of water being from the springs in hills near town, which were sufficient for all needs. Within a number of years the old wooden works were superceded by a capacious and well constructed reservoir of brick and stone on Fourth street. As the city increased in population and the consumption of water became great, the springs failed to meet the demand, and recourse was had to the Willamette, from which an increasingly large proportion has been pumped, until it is now practically the sole source. While in the Spring and Autumn the water of our river is remarkably pure and wholesome, it is very liable to pollution from the sewerage of towns from up the river, from the general drainage of the valley, and in the Summer freshet of the Columbia by the sewerage of Portland itself, as it is carried up the river by the backward-setting current, sometimes caused by the rapid rise of the stream below. Moreover, it is thick with mud during times of Winter freshets. The pumping apparatus has been placed some three miles above the city, and the water is drawn deep from the bed of the stream.

Some years since the reservoir on Tenth street was abandoned for a larger one, built on Seventh and Lincoln streets, near the foot of the hill, at a much greater elevation. The circle of buildings on the skirts of the hills, still above the reservoir, is supplied from small reservoirs which are fed by springs and located conveniently in the ravines.

Great efforts have been made to provide for bringing an inexhaustable supply of presumably fresh and pure water from some one of the many streams of the Cascade mountains. The enterprise which calls for an expenditure of not less than $5,000,000 has met with temporary reverses, but will not be much longer delayed. [page 189]

After many years trial of the method of water supply by a private company, it was seen that this was not the most economical. It was also generally recognized that an article like water, an absolute necessity of life, ought not to be subject to private monopoly. Accordingly, by legislative act, in 1885, the city was fully empowered to provide water works of its own. A committee was appointed by this act, consisting of the following men, then residents of Portland : John Gates, F. C. Smith, C. H. Lewis, Henry Failing, W. S. Ladd, Frank Dekum, L. Fleischner, H. W. Corbett, W. L. K. Smith, J. Loewenberg, S. G. Reed, R. B. Knapp, L. Therkelson, Thomas M Richardson and A. H. Johnson. They were to be a permanent body, with plenary power, and independent of all others, filling vacancies in their number by their own act. Bonds to the amount of $500,000 might be issued by them for purchasing or building works, and laying mains and pipes. The plant of the old company was acquired with the new reservoir on Lincoln and Seventh streets. Under the present management it is intended to charge rates only sufficient to meet expenses. The receipts for 1888 were $79,530.09 and disbursements, $78,524,. 85, including $25,000 interest on $500,000 bonds. The management is efficient and economical. Mr. Henry Failing is president and Mr. P. C. Schuyler, clerk of the committee.


The buildings belonging to the city are not imposing, having been erected some time ago, before the best structures in the city were built.

To the Fire Department belong ten houses, ordinarily good. They are as follows: That of Engine Co. No. 1, south side of Morrison street, between First, and Second, valued at $40,000 (house and lot); that of Engine Co. No. 2, west side of Second between Oak and Pine, valued at $20,000 (house and lot); that of Engine Co. No. 3, south side of B, at intersection of Fifteenth street, valued at $10,000 (house and lot); that of Engine Co. No. 4 and Hook and Ladder Co. No. 2, between Montgomery and Mill streets, valued at-$10,000 (house and lot); that of Hook and Ladder Co. No. 1, east side of Fourth, supply building and bell tower, valued at $30,000; [page 190] that of the old Couch Engine Co., valued at $5,000 (house and lot); that of Hose Co. No. 2, west side of First street between Madison and Jefferson streets, valued at $18,000 (house and lot).

The building used for city jail and police station, court house, etc., on Oak street between Second and Third, is a substantial structure of stone, iron and brick of two stories. It is somewhat grim and stern in general appearance, but very well answers its purpose.

The council chamber and the offices of the city government are in rented apartments on the corner of Washington and Third streets. Arrangements, however, for erecting a city hall to cost about $500,000, are already well advanced; a block on Fourth street, adjacent to Main-that now occupied by St. Helen's Hall-having been purchased for the purpose.

From this brief sketch of the city government, it will be seen that it has been growing in complexity, and there has been a strong effort to arrange the duties and responsibilities in such a manner as to render the different departments measureably independent. To a degree this has been accomplished. The legislative body--council--has no dependence upon the executive or the judiciary. The judiciary--police Judge--is connected rather with the mayor than with any other branch, while the military department or police are independent or directly responsible to the people. The mayor, by his power of appointment and veto of the council, exerts large influence; but being severed from the police, has no autocratic authority. His measures must prevail by reason of their wisdom or his personal influence. The treasurer is directly responsible to the people. The auditor is responsible to the council. The attorney, superintendent of streets and surveyor are responsible to the mayor. Combinations may, of course, be made between all these officers, but it is at least easy for the citizens to hold one impartial department against any combination. In case of rival parties or "rings," it will usually happen, as has hitherto more than once occurred, that one will hold one department while another holds another. It is difficult, too, for the Police Department, Fire Department and mayor, all measurably equal, to yield priority, especially in ill or corrupt designs, and jealousy has a tendency to bring about exposure. [page 191]

The politics of the city are principally upon local questions, from the ambitious designs of rival leaders, who find it advantageous to use municipal elections for the larger field of State politics, or from the supposed intents of special forms of business. Many of the citizens stand aloof entirely, and the city elections commonly show a light vote.

When national politics are involved, the city is Republican, and the municipal tickets are usually nominated under the captions of the two great parties.


Hugh D. O' Bryan, the first mayor of Portland, is described as "a man of tried probity and great force of character, and brought to the discharge of the duties of the work-a-day world an ample reserve of clear hard sense." He was born in Franklin County, Georgia, in 1813, and his boyhood was spent among the Cherokee Indians, among whom his father was a missionary. In the Spring of 1843 he started from Arkansas for the almost mythical coast of the Pacific Ocean, and reached Oregon City in October. There he engaged in business for two years and then removed to Portland. When the Whitman massacre in 1847 called the men of Oregon to the field of battle, he went out as first lieutenant and gave a good account of himself in the campaign against the Cayuses. Returning home, he was elected mayor in 1851, but in 1852 changed his residence to Douglas County, whence he was soon after sent to the Territorial Legislature as a joint representative for the counties of Douglas and Umpqua. In 1860 he removed to Walla Walla Valley, and after-wards represented his county in the Legislature of Washington Territory.

The second mayor of Portland, A. C. Bonnell, was born near Chatham, Morris county, New Jersey, in 1801. His father was a soldier of the Revolution. In 1848 he was engaged in mercantile pursuits in Cincinnati, but the tidal wave of popular excitement bore him away to San Francisco, where he landed November 1, 1849. He was recording clerk to Geary's administration until August following, when he came to Portland and immediately became connected with [page 192] its commercial interests. He afterwards returned to San Francisco, and was for many years the clerk and cashier of the Evening Bulletin Newspaper Company.

Simon B. Marye, who served a short time under change of election in 1852, was a Virginian, having been born at Marye Heights, in the Old Dominion State-a place which became noted during the war of the Rebellion as a battle field. He came to Portland in 1850, and within a few years was united in marriage with the eldest daughter of Col. Chapman. He was a lawyer of ability and a man of influence in the early days. Before 1860 he went to the South Atlantic States, and espoused the cause of his section during the political strife succeeding. After the war he lived at St. Louis, Mo., where he died upwards of twenty years ago.

Josiah Failing, the third mayor, elected in 1854, was one of the men of the early day in our city who had the qualities to be among the number addressed in old Rome as "Conscript Fathers." In his face, bearing and interest in the young city he was distinctly fatherly, and had his heart in the public improvement of the community. He was much in earnest in regard to religious matters, being the first member of the Baptist Church of Portland, and gave diligent attention to the matter of public schools, of which he was a director during many terms. The children of Portland will always speak his name, since the large public school building in Caruther's Addition is called for him. He belonged to an old New York family that settled at an early period in the Mohawk Valley, among the six nations of Indians friendly to the English. He was born July 9, 1806, at Fort Plain, Montgomery Co., N. Y. In his youth he learned the trade of printing wall paper, and afterwards went to New York City to reside. There he married and remained until 1851, when he came out to Oregon. Reaching Portland he set up a mercantile business, importing goods direct from New York City, and laying the foundations of the present large firm of Corbett, Failing & Co. He was a very successful business man and enjoyed a most enviable reputation for integrity and uprightness. He died in Portland.

W. S. Ladd, who was elected in 1854, has occupied so many positions, and has been for so long a central figure of our public and [page 193] commercial development, that for a full account of his life we must refer the reader to other parts of this book. His early years were spent in New Hampshire, and he improved all means of education and acquiring information, so that when in 1850 he came to Portland it was with broad business ideas that he began his operations.

George W. Vaughn, elected in 1855, was a native of New Jersey, a man who in his prime was personally very handsome, with the full and imposing features of the middle coast people of the Atlantic seaboard. He began actively in commercial business and followed this successfully both in the Eastern States and Canada. He came to Portland in 1850 and established a hardware store. His investments were made with good judgment and brought large returns. In 1865 he built the large brick flour mill on Main street, which was burned in 1873. By that fire his losses were reckoned to be nearly two hundred thousand dollars; nevertheless they were not sufficient to bring him to insolvency. He died some years since at Portland.

James O'Neill, who served as mayor three terms from 1856, was one of the most popular men that ever held the seat. He was from New York State, having been born at Duanesburg, in Schenectady County, in 1824. Of a business turn, he came out to Oregon in 1853 and entered into mercantile pursuits at Oregon City. A few years later he came to Portland and managed all his affairs with success. Some time in the early sixties he accepted a government position as Indian agent at Fort Lapwai. He subsequently went to Cheweela, in government employment on the Colville reservation. At the last election in Stevens county he was chosen auditor, and now serves in that position. He is a brother of Daniel O'Neill, of our city, so long known as a navigator on the lower Willamette and Columbia rivers.

A. M. Starr, elected in 1858, was a New Yorker by birth, and came to Portland as early as 1850, opening a stove and tin store on the block now occupied by the business house of Corbitt & Macleay. He was one of the parties to the famous suit of Stark vs. Starr.

S. J. McCormick, who held the office next in succession, was from Ireland, and for many years infused into the life of our city much of his own native enthusiasm and humor. He first set up in [page 194] business with a little job printing office in a room seven by nine on the west side of Front street between Washington and Alder. For many years McCormick's Almanac was a regular publication, and seemed to be a part of the on-goings of the city itself. It was a breezy little pamphlet and of much value throughout the State. In addition to his Almanac he began in 1863 the publication of a City Directory and continued this yearly until late in the seventies. The historians of Portland will ever be grateful to him for the information which he stored away in these volumes. He first came to Portland in 1851, having with him his wife and his wife's sister. The latter lady was then unmarried; but was afterwards joined in wedlock with Thomas Robinson, who lived upon the hill now known by his name on the southern side of the city. Mr. McCormick moved to San Francisco a number of years ago.

George C. Robbins, elected in 1860, came to Portland in 1854 and engaged in business as a jeweler. He brought with him a family. Some years since he removed from the city to Nevada.

John M. Breck, who served in 1861, is at present one of our well known and active citizens. He was born in Philadelphia in 1828. At the age of sixteen he went out to Wisconsin, but in 1850, at the instance of Aspinwall, president of the Pacific Mail Steamship Co., took passage on the Columbia for Oregon. On this vessel he served as purser for the voyage, and brought a stock of goods. From 1852 until 1855 he was in business with W. S. Ogden, of New York, a well educated young man, nephew of Peter Skeen Ogden, of the Hudson's Bay Company. In 1860 Mr. Breck received appointment as purser on the steamer Northerner of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, which made the trip from San Francisco to Victoria, Olympia and Portland. On his second voyage he suffered shipwreck in this steamer, off Cape Mendocino, on Blunt's Reef. Reaching Portland after this disaster, he accepted a position as shipping agent of the company, and remembers the immense cargoes of apples with which the steamships were loaded down-believing the estimates of shipments usually given as to that period, much too low. In 1862 he received unexpectedly the nomination as county clerk on the Union ticket and was elected over a very popular opponent. [page 195]

With the exception of a few years in California, he has been in business in our city, and is still one of our most energetic business men.

W. H. Farrar, the next in order, was a lawyer of ability and is said to have been a native of Massachusetts. While a citizen of Portland he was active in public affairs, giving evidence of somewhat larger mind and greater general ability than he usually chose to bring into action-but nevertheless bore his share of the burden and heat of the day. He served two terms.

David Logan, mayor in 1864, was a man of intense and brilliant mind, popular with the men of the city on account of his ready speech and familiar manners. His abilities as a lawyer were of the first order; as a political speaker his powers were unrivalled in his day, and his fame was co-extensive with the Northwest. He was three times the candidate of his party for congress, but at each time may be said to have "led a forlorn hope," as the opposition was too strong to be overcome. About the year 1871 he retired from the practice of the law in Portland, took a farm in Yamhill county, and died there a few years later.

In 1864-5, in 1865-6 and again in 1873-4, Henry Failing was mayor. For a full account of this representative man of the city the reader is referred to the biographical sketch in another part of this volume.

For sketch of T. J. Holmes, reference will be had to the biographies at the close of the volume.

Dr. J. A. Chapman was born in Allegheny county, New York, in 1821. At an early age he began the study of medicine at Cuba, New York, and graduated from the medical college at Geneva, in that State, in 1846. In 1861, upon the breaking out of the war of the Rebellion, he placed his services at the disposal of the government, and was appointed army surgeon. After serving during a campaign at the South, he was transferred to an overland expedition and came with it to Oregon as acting surgeon, with rank of major Returning to civil life he came to Portland and engaged in the practice of medicine with Dr. William H. Watkins. He filled three terms as mayor of Portland, and was also surgeon-general of the Oregon militia by appointment of Gov. L. F. Grover. [page 196]

Hamilton Boyd, who was mayor in 1868-69; came to Portland about the year 1860. He was reckoned a good man of business, became an assistant in the office of county clerk and shortly afterward took a position as leading accountant in the banking house of Ladd & Tilton. In 1868 he was elected county commissioner, and served two years. He was elected to the mayoralty by the common council to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Thomas J. Holmes. Mr. Boyd died in Portland in 1886.

B. Goldsmith, who was mayor in 1869-70 and 1870-1, is an old resident of the Pacific Coast. He came to California in 1851, thence to Oregon in 1856, and to Portland in 1861. He has been in business at Portland ever since. Throughout his career in this city he has been known as a man of business ability and energetic character. He bore a leading part in bringing about construction of locks at Willamette Falls, and later has been prominently connected with development of mining property in Northern Idaho. During many years he was at the head of a wholesale dry goods house in Portland. Mr. Goldsmith was born in Germany in 1832.

Philip Wasserman, elected mayor in 1871, was born in Germany in 1827, and came to America in 1849. He has had an active life in mercantile pursuits. In 1858 he came to Portland, and still lives here. He served in the legislature of the State two terms. Declining further legislative honors, he was prevailed on to stand as a candidate for mayor, and was elected by a large majority. He was a careful and efficient mayor, but at the expiration of his term decided to withdraw from further service in office. Mr. Wasserman has always been known as a worthy and successful man of business, and is held in high esteem.

W. S. Newbury, who was elected mayor in 1877, is one whose life has been spent much in the Old West, or interior, as well as upon the Pacific Coast. He was born at Ripley, N. Y., in 1834. In 1850 he went to Chicago, engaging as salesman with one of the first firms of that city, on Lake street. Four years later he went to Wisconsin, and there pursued a course of study in law, completing his education at a commercial college. He soon accepted an important position as book-keeper and accountant, and afterwards became [page 197] manager of a large business at Sioux City, Iowa, for the Little American Fur Company, of St. Louis. Removing to Iola, Kansas, in 1860, he soon became identified with that town, some years later being elected mayor. He served in the Union army, and was assistant provost marshal of Kansas, and also assistant secretary of the State senate. He came to Oregon in 1870, settling at Portland in 1874. Until 1880 he conducted an extensive business in farm machinery, but since that date has been practicing law.

David P. Thompson, one of the most widely known men in our State, was born in Harrison county, Ohio, in 1834. In his nineteenth year he came to Oregon, driving sheep' across the plains and walking every rod of the way. Upon his arrival at Oregon City in 1853 he took a job of cutting cordwood, which lasted through the winter. Soon after he entered upon the profession of a surveyor, which he followed during several years. In pursuance of this business he acquired an unequaled knowledge of the northwestern country, and laid the foundation of his present ample fortune. He lived at Oregon City till 1876, when he removed to Portland. In 1879, and again in 1881, he was elected mayor, and gave the city a vigorous and efficient administration. Mr. Thompson, throughout his whole life, has been noted for activity and energy. He is a man of firm and positive character, tenacious of his purposes, active in business and successful in his undertakings. By appointment of President Grant he became governor of Idaho Territory in 1875, but resigned the office in 1876. He is now engaged in the banking business in Portland.

John Gates, who was elected mayor in 1885, was a native of Maine. Born in 1827, he came to Portland in 1851, and passed all his active life here. His first situation was that of engineer at the steam saw-mill at the foot of Jefferson street. When the Oregon Steam Navigation Company was organized he became its chief engineer, and superintended the construction and the placing of the machinery in all its boats. He made many inventions, including one which produced almost a revolution in the construction of stern-wheel steamers. He devised the method, now known to be highly successful, of sluicing out the sand bars of navigable streams with [page 198] powerful propellers, and invented a most excellent and successful apparatus for applying hydraulic power to the steering gear of steam vessels. Mr. Gates was a man of original mind and great industry. He died, while holding the office of mayor, in April, 1888.

Van B. De Lashmutt, now serving the second term, is. a representative man of our city and time, of whom a full sketch will be found elsewhere.

The following is the list of officers from the year 1851 to 1889,inclusive :

1851--Mayor, Hugh D. O'Bryant; Recorder, W. S. Caldwell; Councilmen--Robert Thompson, Shubrick Norris, George A. Barnes, Thomas G. Robinson, L. B. Hastings.

1852--Mayor, A. C. Bonell, Recorder, S. S. Slater; Marshal, Wm. Grooms; Councilmen--W. P. Abrams, A. P. Dennison, Thomas Pritchard, Abell G. Tripp, Hiram Smith.

In November of that year by a new election, under change of charter, the following were chosen: Mayor, S. B. Marye; Recorder, C. B. Pillow; Councilmen--Shubrick Norris, Thomas Pritchard, Josiah Failing, P. A. Marquam, A. P. Dennison.

1858--Mayor, Josiah Failing; Recorder, A. C. Bonnell; Assessor, S. S. Slater; Treasurer, W. H. Barnhart; Marshal, William Grooms; Councilmen--Robert Thompson, W. S. Ladd, John. H. Couch, W. P. Abrams, R. N. McLaren, R. N. Field, Charles B. Pillow, H. W. Davis, Jonas Williams.

1854--Mayor, W. S. Ladd; Recorder, A. P. Dennison; Treasurer, Thomas Pritchard; Assessor, Charles P. Bacon; Marshal, W. L. Higgins; Councilmen--A. M. Starr, James Field jr., Shubrick Norris, Thomas Carter, William McMillan, A. D. Fitch, O. J. Backus, A. R. Shipley, James Turnbull.

1855--Mayor, George W. Vaughn; Recorder, L. Limerick; Marshal, Thomas J. Holmes; Assessor, W. S. Ogden; Treasurer, Thomas Frazer; Councilmen--George Kittridge, John Green, H. S. Jacobs, Matthew Patton, Lewis Love, John C. Carson, Thomas Hartness, E. B. Calhoun, George C. Robbins. (Anthony L. Davis filled the position of Limerick, resigned).

1856--Mayor, James O'Neill; Recorder, A. L. Davis; Treasurer, Thomas A. Savier; Assessor, Z. N. Stansbury; Marshal, Thomas J. Holmes; Councilmen--Robert Porter, A. D. Shelby, A. B. Elfeldt, L. M. Starr, W. S. Ladd, William Beck, H. W. Davis, S. M. Smith, James Burke.

1857--Mayor, James O'Neill; Recorder, A. L. Davis; Treasurer, T. N. Lakin; Assessor, J. M. Breck; Marshal, S. R. Holcomb; Councilmen--J. H. Couch, T. J. Holmes, A. B. Hallock, Charles Hutchins, P. Hardenburg, N. S. Coon, B. F. Goodwin, S. G. Reed, James M. Blossom.

1858--Mayor, L. M. Starr; Recorder, Alonzo Leland; Treasurer, H. W. Corbett; Assessor, J. M. Breck; Marshal, S. R. Holcomb; Port Warden, Z. N. Stansbury; [page 199] Councilmen--George C. Robbins, A. P. Ankeny, C. P. Bacon, T. N. Lakin, R. Porter, T. J. Holmes, J. C. Carson, William King, C. S. Kingsley.

1859--Mayor, S. J. McCormick; Recorder, Noah Huber; Treasurer, John McCraken; Assessor, William Kapus; Marshal, J. H. Lappeus; Port Warden, Daniel Wright; Councilmen--A. B. Hallock, J. M. Vansyckle, J. Davidson, A. D. Shelby, M. M. Lucas, J. C. Hawthorne, E. D. Shattuck, A. C. R. Shaw, John Blanchard.

1860--Mayor, George C. Robbins; Recorder, O. Risley; Treasurer, H. Wasserman; Assessor, James W. Going; Marshal, James H. Lappeus; Councilman--J. C. Ainsworth, J. Davidson, A. B. Hallock, A. D. Shelby, M. M. Lucas, W. L. Higgins, A. C. R. Shaw, E. D. Shattuck, Jacob Stitzel.

1861--Mayor, J. M. Breck; Recorder, O. Risley; Treasurer, H. Wasserman; Marshal, William Grooms; Assessor, James W. Going; Councilmen--John McCraken, A. B. Hallock, F. Harbaugh, W. L. Higgins, W. C. Hull, William M. King, E. R. Scott, William Masters, John S. White. (S. E: Barr filled vacancy of Scott, resigned.)

1862--Mayor, W. H. Farrar; Recorder, J. F. McCoy; Marshal, William Grooms; Treasurer, H. B. Morse; Assessor, R. J. Ladd; Councilmen--First Ward, Thomas A. Davis, Thomas J. Holmes, A. B. Hallock; Second Ward, O. Risley, J. M. Breck, A. P. Dennison; Third Ward, S. Coffin, C. S. Silvers, A. G. Walling.

1863--Mayor, W. H. Farrar; Recorder, J. F. McCoy; Treasurer, H. B. Morse; Marshal, William Grooms; Deputies, A. B. Brannan, F. M. Arnold; Assessor, O. Risley; Collector, J. F. McCoy; Street Commissioner, A. B. Stewart; City Surveyor, A. B. Hallock; President of Council, O. Risley; Clerk, H. Boyd; Councilmen--First Ward, T. J. Holmes, A. B. Hallock, N. Williams; Second Ward, O. Risley, A. P. Dennison; Third Ward, S. Coffin, C. S. Silvers, A. G. Walling.

1863-4 (elected in April, 1863)--Mayor, David Logan; Recorder, J. F. McCoy; Treasurer, O. Risley; Marshal, W. B. Clark; Deputies, T. C. Foreman, J. N. Skidmore; Assessor, F. C. Pomeroy; Collector, J. F. McCoy; Street Commissioner, Daniel Wright; Surveyor, A. B. Hallock; President of Council, John M. Sutton; Clerk, H. Boyd; Councilmen--First Ward, Al Zieber, H. Saxer, Alex. Dodge; Second Ward, John W. Sutton, I. A. Austin, P. S. Watson; Third Ward, M. M. Lucas, Joseph Knott, David Monastes.

1864-5--Mayor, Henry Failing; Recorder, J. F. McCoy; Treasurer, H. B. Morse; Assessor, J. W. Going; Auditor, H. R. Meeker; Street Commissioner, Nelson Northrup; Surveyor, C. W. Burrage; Attorney, J. N. Dolph; Marshal, Henry S. Hoyt; Councilmen-First Ward, James W. Cook, John McCraken, A. M. Starr; Second Ward, Wm. H. Bennett, J. J. Hoffman, Thos. Robertson; Third Ward, Thos. Frazer, S. N. Gilmore, Israel Graden.

1865-6--Mayor, Henry Failing; Recorder, J. J. Hoffman; Treasurer, C. P. Ferry; Assessor, S. A. Moreland; Auditor and Clerk, H. R. Meeker; Street Commissioner, Samuel Simmons; Surveyor, C. W. Burrage; Attorney, J. N. Dolph; Marshal, H. L. Hoyt; Councilmen--First Ward, John McCraken, P. C. Schuyler, R. R. Thompson; Second Ward, E. S. Morgan, S. A. Clarke, A. Rosenheim; Third Ward, J. P. O. Lownsdale, O. P. S. Plummer, S. M. Gilmore. [page 200]

1866-7-Mayor, Thos. J. Holmes; Recorder, J. J. Hoffman; Treasurer, C. P. Ferry; Assessor, S. A. Moreland; Auditor and Clerk, Ralph Wilcox; Street Commissioner, H. W. Davis; Surveyor, C. W. Burrage; Attorney, W. W. Upton; Marshal, Henry L. Hoyt; Councilmen--First Ward, John McCraken, A. B. Hallock, Al. Zieber; Second Ward, A. Rosenheim, M. O'Connor; C. H. Fechheimer; Third Ward, J. P. O. Lownsdale, T. J. Carter, J. C. Carson.

1867-8--Mayor, J. A. Chapman; Recorder, J. J. Hoffman; Treasurer, C. P. Ferry; Auditor and Clerk, W. S. Caldwell; Assessor, H. H. Johnston; Street Commissioner, Win. McMillan; Attorney, D. Freidenrich; Surveyor, G. H. Belden; Chief Engineer of Fire Department, W. H. Weed; Marshal, D. Jacobi; Councilmen--First Ward, A. B. Hallock, J. McCraken, A. C. Ripley; Second Ward, C. S. Fechheimer, R. Porter, A. Rosenheim; Third Ward, L. Besser, C. D. Burch, M. F. Mulky.

1868-9--Mayor, Hamilton Boyd; Recorder, O. Risley; Treasurer, C. P. Ferry; Assessor, H. H. Johnston; Auditor and Clerk, W.. S. Caldwell; Street Commissioner, Joseph Tucker; Surveyor, W. S. Morris; Attorney, W. F. Trimble; Chief Engineer of the Fire Department, W. H. Weed; Marshal, J. H. Lappeus; Councilmen--First Ward, A. B. Hallock, Wm. Cree, A. C. Ripley; Second Ward, J. M. Breck, R. Porter; Third Ward, C. D. Burch, L. Besser, Chas. Hopkins.

1869-70--Mayor, B. Goldsmith; Recorder, Levi Anderson; Treasurer, E. D. Backenstos; Assessor, Oscar Kilburn; Auditor and Clerk, W. S. Caldwell; Street Commissioner, Jacob Shartle; Surveyor, H. J. Stevenson; Attorney, C. A. Dolph; Chief Engineer of Fire Department, Robert Holman; Marshal, Joseph Saunders; Councilmen--First Ward, C. Bills, Wm. Cree, A. C. Ripley; Second Ward, J. M. Breck, R. Porter, W. Moffett; Third Ward, D. C. Lewis, L. Besser, Chas. Hopkins.

1870-1--Mayor, B. Goldsmith; Police Judge, D. C. Lewis; Treasurer, E. D. Backenstos; Auditor and Clerk, W. S. Caldwell; Attorney, C. A. Dolph; Assessor, O. Kilburn; Street Commissioner, J. F. Shartle; Surveyor, H. J. Stevenson; Councilmen--First Ward, Win. Cree, C. Bills, A. B. Hallock; Second Ward, John M. Breck, W. Moffett, J. B. Congle; Third Ward, W. Lair Hill, J. M. Drake, L. Besser.

1871-2--Mayor, Phillip Wasserman; Police Judge, O. N. Denny; Treasurer, E. B. Backenstos; Auditor and Clerk, W. S. Caldwell; Attorney, C. A. Ball; Assessor, J. M. Breck; Street Commissioner, A. J. Marshall; Surveyor, H. J. Stevenson; Councilmen--First Ward, George L. Story, A. B. Halleck, E. M. Burton; Second Ward, W. Moffett, J. B. Congle, J. M. Caywood; Third Ward, R. G. Combs, L. Besser, W. Lair Hill.

1872-3--Mayor, Philip Wasserman; Police Judge, O. N. Denny; Treasurer, E. D. Backenstos; Auditor and Clerk, W. S. Caldwell; Attorney, M. F. Mulky; Assessor, J. M. Breck; Street Commissioner, A. J. Marshall; Surveyor, W. S. Chapman. Chief of Police, J. H. Lappeus; Councilmen--First Ward, A. B. Hillock, E. M. Burton, Geo. L. Story; Second Ward, J. B. Congle, J. M. Caywood, E. F. Russell; Third Ward, L. Besser, W. Lair Hill, J. C. Moreland.

18734--Mayor, H. Failing; Police Judge, O. N. Denny; Treasurer, L. H. Lewis; Auditor and Clerk, W. S. Caldwell; Attorney, M. F. Mulkey; Assessor, J, W. Going; Superintendent of Streets, R. A. Habersham; Surveyor, W. S. Chapman; [page 201] Chief of Police, J. H. Lappeus; Councilmen--First Ward, E. M. Burton, George L. Story, G. W. Hoyt; Second Ward, J. M. Caywood, E. F. Russell, J. H. Lyon; Third Ward, W. Lair Hill, J. C. Moreland, L. Besser.

1874-5--Mayor, Henry Failing; Police judge, O. N. Denny; Treasurer, L. H. Lewis; Auditor and Clerk, W. S. Caldwell; Attorney, A. C. Gibbs; Assessor, J. W. Going; Superintendent of Streets, Perry W. Davis; Surveyor, D. W. Taylor. Councilmen--First Ward, R. R. Thompson, Geo. L. Story, G. W. Hoyt; Second Ward, John Catlin, E. T. Russell, J. H. Lyon; Third Ward, E. Corbett, J. C. Moreland, L. Besser.

1875-6--Mayor, J. A. Chapman; Police Judge, W. H. Adams; treasurer, Joseph Bachman; Assessor, Andrew Hill; Auditor and Clerk, W. S. Caldwell; Superintendent of Streets, Perry W. Davis; Surveyor, Douglas W. Taylor; Attorney, John M. Gearin; Chief of Police, J. H. Lappeus. Councilmen--First Ward, George W. Hoyt, H. D. Sandborn, J. R. Wiley; Second Ward, William H. Andrus, John Catlin, S. G. Skidmore; Third Ward, L. Besser, Elijah Corbett, E. J. W. Stemme.

1876-7--Mayor, J. A. Chapman; Police Judge, W. H. Adams; Treasurer, Joseph Bachman; Assessor, W. S. Chapman; Auditor and Clerk, W. S. Caldwell; Superintendent of Streets, William Showers; Surveyor, Douglas W. Taylor; Attorney, John Gearin. Councilmen--First Ward, Thomas Stephens, D. F. Harrington, J. R. Wiley; Second Ward, W. H. Andrus, S. Blumauer, S. G. Skidmore; Third Ward, Noah Lambert, Elijah Corbett, E. J. W. Stemme.

1877-8--Mayor, W. S. Newberry; Police Judge, W. H. Adams; Treasurer, Joseph Bachman; Assessor, R. H. Love; Auditor and Clerk, W. S. Caldwell; Superintendent of Streets, D. E. Budd; Surveyor, Douglas W. Taylor; Attorney, J. C. Moreland; Chief of Police, L. Besser. Councilmen--First Ward, Thomas Stephens, F. Opitz, J. R. Wiley; Second Ward, W. H. Andrus, Joseph Simon, S. G. Skidmore; Third Ward; Noah Lambert, G. W. Yocum, E. J. W. Stemme.

1878-9--Mayor, W. S. Newbury; Police Judge, W. H. Adams; Treasurer, Joseph Bachman; Assessor, R. H. Love; Auditor and Clerk, R. L. Durham; Superintendent of Streets, W. Braden; Surveyor, W. S. Chapman; Attorney, J. C. Moreland, Chief of Police, L. Besser. Councilmen--First Ward, Thomas Stephens, F. Opitz, J. W. Payne; Second Ward, William H. Andrus, Joseph Simon, E. H. Stolte; Third Ward, Noah Lambert, G. W. Yocum, H. Weber.

1879-80--Mayor, D. P. Thompson; Police Judge, L. B. Stearns; Treasurer, Joseph Bachman; Assessor, W. J. Kelley; Auditor and Clerk, R. L. Durham; Surveyor, W. S. Chapman; Attorney, J. C. Moreland; Chief of Police, J. H. Lappeus. Councilmen--First Ward; F. Opitz, J. W. Payne, R. Gerdes; Second Ward, Joseph Simon, E. H. Stoltze, T. L. Nicklin; Third Ward, J. F. Watson, J. S. Keller, H. Weber.

1880-1--Mayor, D. P. Thompson; Police Judge, L. B. Stearns; Treasurer, Joseph Bachman; Auditor and Clerk, R. L. Durham; Surveyor, W. S. Chapman; Attorney, J. C. Moreland; Street Superintendent, William Braden. Councilmen--First Ward, J. S. Raleigh, R. Gerdes, Henry Hewett; Second Ward; E. H. Stolte, T. L. Nicklin, W. A. Andrus; Third Ward, H. Weber, J. S. Keller, J. B. Kellogg.

1881-2--Mayor, D. P. Thompson; President of Council, W. B. Honeyman; Auditor, R. I,. Durham; Treasurer, D. C. McKercher; Attorney, J. C. Moreland; Surveyor, [page 202] D. W. Taylor; Superintendent of Streets, William Braden; Deputy Superintendent of Streets, J. H. Phirman; Police Judge, L. B. Stearns; Chief of Police, J. H. Lappeus. Councilmen--First Ward, Henry Hewett, J. S. Raleigh, Richard Gerdes; Second Ward, T. L. Nicklin, Charles Holm W. L. Chittenden; Third Ward, J. B. Kellogg, J. S. Keller, W. B. Honeyman.

1882-3--Mayor, J. A. Chapman; President of Council, W. B. Honeyman; Auditor, M. F. Spencer; Treasurer, D. C. McKercher; Attorney, S. W. Rice; Surveyor, D. W. Taylor; Superintendent of Streets, William Braden; Deputy Superintendent of Streets, W. F. Matthews; Police Judge, S. A. Moreland; Chief of Police, J. H. Lappeus. Councilmen--First Ward, Henry Hewitt, D. Mackay, J. E. Smith; Second Ward, W. S. Scoggin, Charles Holman, W. L. Chittenden; Third Ward, J. B. Kellogg, . W. H. Adams, W. B. Honeyman.

1883-4--Mayor, J. A. Chapman; President of Council, W. H. Adams; Auditor and Clerk, R. B. Curry; Treasurer, D. C. McKercher; Attorney, R. M. Dement; Surveyor, W. S. Chapman; Superintendent of Streets, A. F. Sears; Deputy Superintendent of Streets, W. F. Burke; Police Judge, S. A. Moreland; Chief of Police, W. H. Watkinds. Councilmen--First Ward, R. Gerdes, J. B. Hailey, J. E. Smith; Second Ward, W. A. Scoggin, W. H. Andrus, W. L. Chittenden; Third Ward; A. F. Sears, Jr., W. H. Adams, W. B. Honeyman.

1884-5--Mayor, J. A. Chapman; President of Council, W. H. Adams; Auditor, R. B. Curry; Treasurer, D. C. McKercher; Attorney, A. H. Tanner; Surveyor, W. S. Chapman; Superintendent of Streets, F. E. Vaughn, Deputy, W. S. Broocke. Police Judge, S. A. Moreland; Chief of Police, S. B. Parrish; Councilmen--First Ward, R. Gerdes, J. J. Holland, J. E. Smith; Second Ward, W. A. Scoggin, W. H. Andrus, C. M. Forbes; Third Ward, A. F. Sears, Jr., W. H. Adams, Wm. Fliedner.

1885-6--Mayor, John Gates; President of Council, Wm. Fliedner; Auditor and Clerk, B. L. Norden; Attorney, A. H. Tanner; Surveyor, W. S. Chapman; Street Commissioner, F. E. Vaughn; Treasurer, D. C. McKercher; Police Judge; R. M. Dement; Chief of Police, S. B. Parrish. Councilmen--First Ward, R. Gerdes, J. J. Holland, J. J. Gallagher; Second Ward, S. Farrell, W. H. Andrus, C. M. Forbes; Third Ward, A. F. Sears, Jr., F. Hacheny, Wm. Fliedner.

1886-7--Mayor, John Gates; President of Council, Sylvester Farrell; Auditor, W. H. Wood; Treasurer, D. C. McKercher; Attorney, A. H. Tanner; Superintendent of Streets, W. S. Chapman; Surveyor, E. W. Paget; Police Judge, Ralph Dement; Chief of Police, S. B Parrish; Councilmen--First Ward, R. Gerdes, J. J. Holland. J. J. Gallagher; Second Ward, S. Farrell, R. H. Schwab, C. M. Forbes; Third Ward, Tyler Woodward, F. Hacheny, Wm. Fleidner.

1887-8-ayor, John Gates; President of Council, C. M. Forbes; Auditor, W. H. Wood; Treasurer, H. W. Monnastes; Attorney, W. H. Adams; Surveyor, E. W. Paget; Superintendent of Streets, W. S. Chapman; City Physician, F. B. Perry; CouncilmenFirst Ward, R. Gerdes, C. Castendieck; J. J. Gallagher; Second Ward, S. Farrell, R. H. Schwab, C. M. Forbes; Third Ward, Tyler Woodward, F. Hacheney, Wm. Fleidner; Police Judge. Ralph M. Dement; Chief of Police, S. B.. Parrish.

1888-9Mayor, Van B. DeLashmutt; Treasurer, H. W. Monnastes; Auditor and Clerk, W. H. Woods; Attorney, W. H. Adams; Superintendent of Streets, W. S. Chapman; [page 203] Surveyor, E. W. Paget; City Physician, F. A. Meyer; Police Judge, A. H. Tanner; Chief of Police, S. B. Parrish; Overseer of Street Cleaning and Sprinkling, S. B. Matthews; Deputy Auditor and Clerk, Walter Matthews; Deputy Superintendents of Streets, W. E. Mulhollam, William E. Braden, William Conner; Assistant Surveyor, D. S. Whitfield. Councilmen--First Ward, C. Castendieck, R. Gerdes, Richard Hoyt; Second Ward, S. Farrell, R. H. Schwab, C. M. Forbes; Third Ward, Tyler Woodward, William Showers, William Fliedner. President of the Council, Tyler Woodward.


The first streets were laid out in 1845, parallel with the river, which here flows a few degrees east of north, and were thereby deflected to the same extent from the points of the compass. Front street was then a part of the levee, and extended to the Willamette, making a broad landing place for the equal use of all residents. But four streets were at first laid out. They were numbered First, Second, etc., and were but 60 feet in width. The side streets of the same width, were named Washington, Alder, Morrison and Taylor, being christened by Pettygrove, as is thought. It was natural to name the first for the great president; "Alder" probably was derived from a tree of that species at its foot; "Morrison," was in honor of a resident of that name, living on the street; "Salmon," named later, was for the senior partner of the firm of Salmon & Elliot, of San Francisco; and "Taylor" was without doubt to signify the Whig politics of the city. As the city was extended in 1849, surveyed by Short, and mapped by Brady, it became natural to use the ordinals to designate the north and south streets, and to the cross streets the names of presidents were applied with no thought of mnemonic value for the school children, giving us "Jefferson," Harrison," etc. "Clay" was probably named by some one who thought that the great Kentuckian ought to have been president. "Stark" was from Benjamin Stark, who owned the site from that street north to "A." The names "Oak," "Pine" and "Ash" were naturally suggested by "Alder." Upon the addition of Couch's donation claim all effort to think up names significant or pretty was discarded, and with the barrenness of nomenclature for which Americans are remarkable, the letters of the alphabet were used for the cross streets, making in. truth a convenient [page 204] method for finding blocks, and when the Roman letters are exhausted we hope to see the Greek and Hebrew applied.

On the environs of the city, as the streets were multiplied, the names of early pioneers have been bestowed, such as "Chapman," "Lownsdale," "Carruthers," "Corbett," etc. North Portland is laid out by the point of compass and South Portland is also square with the north star. The east and west streets are all 60 feet broad, excepting A, which is but 30--Stark not meeting Couch half way, when the latter laid out his claim. From Third street the width of the streets north and south is 80 feet, except East and West Park, which are but half of this. Such narrowness would be fatal, but for this one thing-that between East and West Park are the park blocks, 120 feet in width, and, except for a small distance in the center of the city, are entirely free. These are of little value as parks, but will make, together with the streets on each side, a splendid avenue 200 feet broad, from one end of the city to the other-barring the encumbrances from Yamhill to B, which may be removed. An avenue 125 feet broad leads down to the water front in North Portland, and this and the park boulevard will become the common center for motor lines and driveways. Properly ornamented, provided with fountains, statues, arches, seats for the strollers, and shade trees, it will become the pride and joy of Portland. This prediction--made by another--will be fulfilled.

The bend of the river, determining the course of the streets, gives Portland, particularly upon the map, the irregularity of appearance that Europeans contend is picturesque--or at least like their capitals. By reason of the undulating face of the hills to the west the uniformity of straight lines and parallels is still further prevented. The blocks on all the Heights are so laid off as to best suit the knolls and hollows, and to make the grades of the streets as easy as the incline will allow. In this manner the curves of the hills are preserved in the streets, and the "line of beauty" cannot be banished, even by force. In time this will cause the residence portion of the city to assume a striking grandeur of appearance, and stimulate the erection of buildings, and the beautifying of grounds, on a style and scale to consort with the requirements of the [page 205] topography. There is something in having a site which forbids the geometrical homeliness into which the crudely civilized so insensibly slip.

Some sort of improvement of streets early began to be imperative Digging stumps was the first, and the millionaire now lives who worked out road taxes by removing the roots of a fir tree from the highway in front of his store. The surface was also very irregular, from gulches, knolls, hummocks formed by the roots of fallen trees, and by the hollows or pits left by the lifting of the soil beneath. All these inequalities were to be remedied, and the work was early undertaken. The grading of the streets was heavy and expensive.

Immediately following was the paving. During the, soft months the mellow brown soil was quickly cut into mire, and trodden into mortar. Planks were first used. In about 1858 a macadam road was built out to the Red House, some three miles south, the first of its kind in the State. In 1865 the Nicholson pavement was laid on Front and First streets, and for a number of years was in great favor. It soon began to fail, however, due either to improper construction, or to the extremes of moisture and dryness of our seasons, and, quickly fell into condemnation. In the June floods, moreover, which occasionally overflowed the levee part of the city, it had to be weighted down. with rock to be kept in place. As this pavement gave away, the Belgian block was substituted, and now prevails on Front, First and Second streets, from G street on the north, to Jefferson street (with some exception on Second street) on the south. It is a block clipped or split out from the basalt along the river, the principal quarry being near St. Helens. It is obtained in brick-shaped pieces, some 4x10x15 inches. The stone is hard and when evenly laid makes a firm, but noisy, road. By constant use, however, the corners of the blocks are worn down, making a sort of cobble stone surface, which is slippery and difficult of hold to horses drawing heavy loads. Owing to the non-uniformity of the ground beneath, as to firmness, the old sections are becoming warped, hollows and bunches. The constant lifting of the blocks to repair sewer and water pipes, or for street railway purposes, has also worked toward an uneven surface. [page 206]

A short piece of bituminous rock pavement has been laid on Washington street, and as affording a very easy, neat and quiet surface is far in advance of all else, but it has not proved substantial.

The rest of the streets are macadamized. The material, made from the andesite rock of the hills near by, is rather soft, and a little hard wear reduces it, under exposure of the weather, to fine dust, which is washed into the sewers or carted off with the street sweepings. Much of the macadamizing has been cheaply and improperly done, and the recommendation of Street Commissioner Chapman that heavier rollers be used in compacting the work should be heeded. It is hardly excusable to use improper material, since the hardest of basalt, limestone, and even granite, may be obtained-although not without added expense. Much consideration has been given to the use of gravel, which exists in immense deposits near East Portland, and is extensively laid on her streets. A proper assortment of boulders, coarse and fine gravel, with sand intermixed, is believed to afford the best of road beds, and will perhaps be tried.

Cross-walks of the streets are of plank or slabs of stone, the latter a foot or more in breadth by some four or five in length, laid treble. Many of them are of granite, brought from England or China in ships as ballast, being most cheaply obtained in that manner.

The sidewalks in the business portion of the city are of stone squares, quarried from the hills, or, now almost universally, of the artificial stone, manufactured from sand. This is handsome and durable. Brick, with concrete dressing of fine gravel, was used a little in old times, and now remains on a few walks on Front street. The manufactured stone is used extensively around the blocks occupied by fine residences, but for the most part the walks are of plank. Quite frequently they are made too broad for beauty, especially on the upper streets, but the most are not thus cumbrous, and a space 'for turf is left between the foot-walk and the pavement, giving relief from the glare and hardness of aspect which is painful to the eye and offensive to the taste.

In 1885 there were fifty-two and one-half miles of improved streets-thirty miles macadamized, three Belgian blocks, three and one-fourth planks, sixteen and one-fourth graded only. There were [page 207] one hundred miles of sidewalks, sixteen and one-half of wooden cross-walks, nearly two of stone and over two miles of trestles.

In 1886 about nine miles of new sidewalks were built, a mile of cross-walks, a mile of macadamized, three-fourths of a mile of pavement, six miles of plank roadway, quarter of a mile of bridging, and two miles, of grading.

In 1887, sidewalks, ten and a quarter miles; cross-walks, two; macadamized, one and three-quarters; bridging, one-half; grading, four; sewers, three.

In 1888 were built, sidewalks, ten miles; cross-walks, one and a half; macadamized, two and three-quarters; ' bridging, one-half; grading, four and three-quarters; sewers, three; bituminous rock pavement, two hundred feet.

These figures represent a large expenditure, and show an attempt to fulfill the requirements of the city. In the main, the streets look well and are kept, tolerably clean. The greatest need is a proper crematory, or incinerary, to consume the refuse and garbage.


Portland is well supplied with this necessity of rapid transit from one point to the other. The first track was laid in 1872, on First street, from the Clarendon Hotel--then new--and the railroad station at the foot of F street to the vicinity of Jefferson street on the south. This has been subsequently extended to South Portland. Some years later the Third street double track was laid, now extending from the Marquam gulch on the south to G street on the north, and up that street to Twenty-first on the west, with a branch to North Portland. The Washington street line--double track--then followed, with branches to south and north respectively on Eleventh and Fifteenth streets. This leads into B street and out to the Exposition building and the City Park. A line beginning on Morrison street leads into Ninth street and on to B, with a return on Yamhill to Front. A cable road extends from Front by Alder to Fifth, reaching Jefferson, and proceeds thence to the Heights. An electric road makes a continuous line from G street to Fulton Park, three miles, on Second [page 208] street. Entering by the Morrison street bridge there is the East Portland system, extending to all of East Portland and to Mt. Tabor by motor line. By way of the Stark street ferry, the motor line to Vancouver enters the city. By way of the Jefferson street ferry the Hawthorne avenue motor line is accessible. By the Steel bridge the electric motor cars have exit to McMillan's and Holladay's addition to East Portland, to Albina and St. John's.

The following from the report of the street commissioner for 1888 gives more exact details:

"Street car tracks have been extended over quite a number of streets during the last year, increasing the total length of all street car tracks in the city from 12.7 miles in December, 1887, to 17.45 miles at the date of this report, an increase of 4.75 miles. The increase is divided between the Transcontinental Street Railway Company, which have laid three miles in extending their tracks down Yamhill and Morrison streets to Front, and there connecting them; in doubling their track on G street from North Thirteenth street to North Twenty-first street, on North Thirteenth between G and S streets and on S street between North Thirteenth and North Sixteenth streets, and laying a double track on S street from North Sixteenth street to North Twenty-third street, where said company has erected large brick stables; the Multnomah Street Railway Company, which has laid 1.2 miles in making the Washington and B streets line a double track road from Second street to the old city boundary, near the City Park, in the western part of the city, and the Willamette Bridge Railway Company, which has laid 0.55 miles of track, from Front street across the bridge to the city boundary, in the center of the Willamette river.

"The Traction Street Car Company has a franchise for laying tracks from the northwestern part of the city through E, Second, Sheridan, Front, Porter and Corbett streets, a distance of nearly four miles. The Transcontinental Company has also been granted the right to extend their Yamhill and Taylor street tracks to Fourteenth street and thence along North Eighteenth street to their double track on G street, and this extension will undoubtedly be completed [page 209] and in operation before the approaching summer shall have passed. Appearances indicate that more street car tracks will be laid in Portland during the coming season than in any previous year."


The surface of the city is very favorable to good drainage, sloping well toward the river. It gains thereby a strong wash, and throws the refuse far into the stream. There are, however, two great difficulties to contend with; one is natural, and the other results from the carelessness of the first who laid the sewers; or, perhaps, more strictly to the inertia of those who are allowing a system that worked very well for a village to still serve for the city. The natural difficulty is the backing up of the river by the Columbia in the summer and the other the mistake of laying the sewers down the streets east and west, to discharge in the river in front of the city, instead of northward, to cast their outflow below the city.

As to the pollution of the river front by sewage, F. E. Vaughn, then superintendent of streets, said in 1885: "These mains all extend to the Willamette river, and discharge their contents into that stream immediately in front of the city, a disagreeable fact, which will eventually demand more serious consideration than is now accorded it. * * * I would respectfully ask that you consider the practicability of adopting a system whereby all river mains that are hereafter laid in the northwestern portion of the city shall extend north and south. By this means their outlet will be below the city front as now defined."

In 1886 he called attention again to the same fact, and in 1887 recommended that to correct the evil a sewer be built in Front street, " from Sheridan street to a point entirely beyond the occupied portions of our city, large enough to take up the sewers entering therein, as all the present sewers extend into the Willamette river and discharge their contents into said stream along the city front," a state of affairs detrimental to the healthy condition of the city. The bad condition thus recognized and described must very soon be rectified. [page 210]

As early as 1883, Major A. F. Sears thus strongly described the situation :

In the month of June, when the floods of the Columbia river back up the Willamette, the mouth of every sewer is closed by the high water.

In the winter, during the rainy season, all this filth is carried safely away from the town, because in those months there is a strong outward current; the river water then is of excellent quality. Already the drainage of more than twenty streets, with the wastes of three hundred blocks, or five hundred acres, finds its way to our river. So near as I can estimate this sewage contains the wastes of about twelve thousand lives.

The movement of this water in passing up stream under the summer sun is so sluggish, that if no extraneous filth entered the river, the organic matter contained in suspension is subject to putrifying influence that cannot but have a disastrous effect on the public health.

While the evil thus stated is an important--may I not say a horrible--one, it is not the only danger. When the water on the city front, during the summer, remains in this quiet condition, certain gross particles of filth, not dissolved, but held in suspension, as well as the tainted liquid itself, assists to poison the earth of the shore and create an infecting, stinking sludge, to be thrown open to the seething influence of the sun when the floods retire, producing a second source of disease.

But, during these months of flood, when, as previously stated, no rain is falling and the ends of the sewers are closed, there is only the intermitting, ordinary domestic water supply to keep them clean. I have lately had occasion to learn the insignificance of this amount for the ordinary purposes of cleansing. In the last month of November, after twenty-four hours of continuous, though light, rains, the greatest depth of flow in any sewer has been less than three inches, and this was regarded as extraordinary, the truth being that it was rare to find more than one inch, and generally only a film of liquid running along the pipes.

In the summer, therefore, when the sewers must rely solely on the domestic water supply, they become elongated cesspools and throw their poisonous gases on our atmosphere or into our houses.

The catch-basins, that are filled by the last rainy season with a rich deposit of rotting wood, street filth, dead cats and all unnameable things that reek, are dispensing the gases of putrefaction along the sewers for distribution in our houses or at the street corners.

This is a condition of things existing at the present time, while the district under consideration is, as compared with other cities, sparsely settled.

He spoke of the suggestion of Wm. E. Morris, in 1872, that an intercepting sewer be built along Front street to lead to a point below the city, and that the Warring system be adopted, by which the waste of water, etc., is carried off in separate pipes, which are kept clean and flushed by steady automatic injectments of water at the dead end from a flushing tank furnished with syphons. The expense of the work, $348,958, was deemed so great as to render the change [page 211] impracticable. Nevertheless, at this day, when the population is five times that at the time the report was made by Major Sears, and the expense would not be above six dollars per capita, no better system could be devised.

The condition of the sewers in the summer time is thus spoken of by W. S. Chapman, present superintendent of streets: "Something like five miles of street sewers are submerged from one end to the other by from ten to eighteen feet of back (dead) water during the summer freshets." The sewers thus referred to are in the lower, or northern, portion of the city. But all the sewers are stopped tip at the mouth by the high water. How this great difficulty may be remedied it is hard to see, unless it be by concentrating all the mains upon one large sewer, and carrying that far below the city, and there, during high water, emptying it by means of powerful pumps.

In 1885 the total length of sewers aggregated fifteen and a half miles of terra cotta pipes, ranging from nine to eighteen inches in diameter. During 1886, 12,739 feet (two and one-fourth miles) were added, the principal work being on Jefferson street. Work was also begun on the Tanner Creek sewer. This is of brick, 500 feet in length of circular, and 3,836 feet egg-shaped, making upwards of three-fourths of a mile in all; to which has been added more than a quarter of a mile within the past year. It carries a large volume of water, draining a considerable portion of the range of hills; $36,067.74 were spent on this in 1887, and $16,181.25 for pipe sewers. In 1888 special attention was given to the southern portion of the city, laying a sewer to carry off the drainage of the Marquam creek. This is of brick, built at a cost of $7, 559.25, and, together with lateral pipes, aggregated some $25,000; $40,788.97 were spent on pipe sewers in 1888. The great work for 1889 has been the beginning of the Johnson creek sewer, in the northern part of the city, to be erected at a cost of $60, 000. Pipe sewers in the northwestern portion are also being provided with arrangements for a main. The expense of construction of sewers is borne by the property adjacent, and averages about. $20 per lot. This is undoubtedly a bad plan, as lot owners along the line use every method to reduce expense, and the sewers are not built except in the [page 212] last extremity. The benefit, moreover, is to the whole city, since the cleanliness and healthfulness of each part has a full influence upon the whole.

The Marquam gulch on the south, the Tanner creek vale in the center, and the Johnson creek hollow on the north are the main depressions in the city, and the work in them is of a substantial and permanent character. Portland has not been niggardly in expenditure for sewers, yet her system is in a very unsatisfactory condition. The work to be done at once is introduction of an entirely new. plan, by which the pipes are thoroughly flushed and washed out every day in the year and the contents taken far below the city, even, if necessary, to the Columbia river. One million dollars raised by special tax, if by no other means, would be a small outlay in comparison with the health and benefit to be derived.

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