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Incidents of Pioneer Life—Gen. O. O. Howard’s March.

Pleasant Valley, Multnomah County, Oregon, March 13, 1878.

To the Editor of the Gazette:

First, I will briefly describe Pleasant Valley, where I have my temporary home. It is a valley extending north and south three miles or more, and having an average breadth of about one mile. There are ranges of hills or buttes covered with fir forests extending along the east and west sides of this verdant valley. There was much swale and swamp land, some covered with heavy fir forest, that required years of hard labor to subdue, to clear off and to bring into cultivation. The first settlers turned their attention mainly to the cultivation of fruits and vegetables for the markets in Portland, were in early times they commanded good prices. They also raised good hay for the markets. But settlers in the thickly timbered regions could not open farms large enough to engage in raising wheat to advantage. The earliest emigrants, those who got here in time to make extensive prairie farms in the Willamette Valley with comparatively little labor, were the fortunate pioneers who early possessed themselves of the best wheat farms in the best wheat regions of the world. Hence they monopolized as it were it east, settled up the best wheat lands. It is often said that he who owns a good wheat farm in Oregon has a fortune. In the course of years the farms of Pleasant Valley will be opened large enough for the farmers to raise wheat and other small grains to advantages. The people of this valley live from then to twelve miles southeast of Portland. Some of the first settlers live here yet who settled here in the spring of 1853, when Indians and wild beasts, roamed through, these dark, continuous woods. 

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