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Information for the Biographical Abstracts has been compiled from a number of sources. No effort has been made to verify the accuracy of any of the information, nor to correct any noted errors. Please feel free to submit your family biography.
Axom D. Farmer
A hero of both the Mexican and Civil Wars Axom D. Farmer is also one of the foremost farmers of the vicinity of Hebo, Tillamook Co., where he still has a lease of farm recently disposed of to his son which has been his home for many years. When he first came to the farm about 1876, Mr. Farmer had a sawmill in operation, but of late his land has been devoted principally to dairying, and in connection therewith he had engaged in coopering, the trade of his youth, learned from an industrious and worthy father. Ninety-five acres have been retained of the original grant of one hundred sixty acres, and about fourteen cows supply milk to a number of steady customers. Mr. Farmer came to Oregon by rail and from Yamhill County came over the Old Harris Trail to Tillamook, shipping his household goods down the river. He located first on a farm, eight miles south of Tillamook, and five years later moved to his present farm. He has taken an active interest in Republican politics and he served as a road and school director. He is also identified with the Grand Army of the Republic. Mr. Farmer is 74 years old and therefore entitled to the partial leisure in which he is enjoying at the present time.

He was born in Robertson Co., TN, October 17, 1829 and his father Benjamin was presumably a native of the same state, the latter was a cooper by trade, an occupation followed in Tennessee until his move to Wayne Co., IL in 1838. As was the case with all tradesmen in the early days, one occupation did not suffice and the mechanic was of necessity, master in departments of activity, including carpentering, millwrighting and others equally useful. Benjamin Farmer lived only a year after the move to Wayne County and died a comparatively young man.

His wife Kisira (Fly) Farmer, died in Williamson Co., IL, in 1901 having attained the age of 90 years. her husband comprised two sons and one daughter, of whom Axom is the oldest. As a youth of 9, Axom D, Farmer accompanied his parents to Wayne Co., IL and he there grew to manhood on a farm receiving limited education in the nearby school. In time he moved to Union Co., IL where he married Betsy Daniels who bore him a daughter now Mrs. W. T. West, of this county.

He afterwards married in Williamson Co., IL, Mrs. Eliza McGinnis, who was born in IL, and who died on the homeplace in Tillamook County in 1898. Of this second marriage there were born three sons, Frank, Lewis deceased and Otis on the home farm.

At the time of the breaking out of the Mexican War, Mr. Farmer was making his home in Williamson Co., IL and was engaged in farming and coopering. The youth and men of the neighborhood welcomed the opportunity a chance to break the monotony of farming and the exodus to serve the cause was large and enthusiastic. Mr. Farmer went to war as a teamster serving throughout the contest in that capacity. For a time he was under command of General Taylor at Vera Cruz and during the service met with many adventures of which he still retains vivid recollections. returning to Williamson county he continued farming and coopering until 1862 when the civil war presented another opportunity to show his mettle and patriotism. Strange to say Mr. Farmer served throughout the civil war also as a teamster and was also connected with the 17th army corps under Generals Sherman and Logan. He enlisted at Cairo, IL in Co. H, 31st IL Volunteer Infantry and served three years.

Disposing of his Williamson county farm in the spring of 1871 Mr. Farmer came to Oregon as heretofore stated and has since made this state his home. He has won a host of friends through the exercise of many fine traits of character and his uprightness and progressiveness place him among the sterling and highly respected citizens of a prosperous neighborhood.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Western Oregon, Chapman Publishing Company, 1904.

Submitted by Patti Murray

Milton Hamilton - Former Mayor of Wheeler, OR
A letter received this past week by Milton Hamilton from a cousin of the
same name brings to M. J. Hamilton word from a brother whom he has not seen
for forty years. The letter was written by Milton Hamilton, son of Octavius
Hamilton. The writer is now Mayor of Wheeler, Oregon, and also engaged as
editor of a newspaper. His father was an older brother of M. J. and Curtis
Hamilton, of this place, born and reared in Ohio but a resident of the west
for almost half a century.

The letter gives an account of the recent burning of their home when all the
contents were consumed. The writer is an only son and weighs 190 pounds,
standing 6 feet. He is a bachelor and makes his home with his parents
looking after their welfare.

Milton Austin Hamilton b. 01 September 1885 in WY
d. 16 February 1956 in CA, possibly Long Beach

Descendants of Milton Austin Hamilton

1 Milton Austin Hamilton 1885 - 1956
.. +Hazel M 1893 -
......... 2 Betty Jane Hamilton 1919 -
......... 2 Robert C. Hamilton 1925 -

Submitted courtesy of Nancy Hamilton. Nancy also says "I believe that he was 27 years old when he was the mayor, so that would make this article about 1912. The family story is that the father of this mayor [Octavius Hamilton] left home as a 14 year old to fight in the Civil War, and never came home again; and apparently did not keep in touch!" Nancy also believes that she ran across something that indicated that Octavius might have returned home for awhile at age 16.

For further information, please contact Nancy at

Hiram Wesley Smith

Oregon Pioneer Family

Hiram Wesley Smith (b. 1812 in Gallia Co, OH) and family arrived by wagon train in Oregon, near Salem, on Aug. 12, 1852. They settled on Tillamook Co. Donation Land Claim #5165 Sept. 19, 1854.
Hiram first married Mary Bevins (1818-1840) Nov. 13, 1832 and they had 3 children. Julia Ann (1834), America (1836-1852), and Mary Margaret (1838).
After Mary's death, Hiram married Sara Jane Marshall (b. 1825 in KY) Aug 1843 in Knox Co. Ill. Hiram and Sara Jane Smith had 4 children of their own and 3 from his previous marriage when they started across the plains in their covered wagon. Pat, a son, had just been born May 1851. During the trip America died and was buried on the plains near Green River, Wyoming. Jane, a fifth child, was born June 15, 1852, just before they arrived in Lane County, Oregon. There were eventually 16 children .(It is probable two died before they left IL)
After remaining near the present site of Salem (Family history says it was near Albany in Linn County) for about two years, Hiram heard of Tillamook and fired by the stories of a life over by the great salt "chuck" where elk and deer abounded and where fish and clams were to be had for the effort of taking, assembled his family and came over there. They followed the Indian trail that led to the promised land and where a few courageous settlers had proceeded him. Among the pioneers already living in the then new country were Vaughn, Trask, Kiliam, Weber, Gale Lyman, Dougherty, Raymond, the two Thomases, Peter Moefan, Jim Quick, Johnson, Holden Randall, Trip, Haynes, Jos. Champion and others. Champion was the first white settler arriving in Tillamook in 1851.( pg 185, Tillamook-Lest We Forget)
After 1854, the Smith family became a welcome and valuable addition to the small community of Tillamook. "Mr. (Hiram) Smith, of Tillamook, deserves great credit for his perseverance and energy in exploring and opening trails to and from Tillamook; and the citizens are greatly indebted to him for the sacrifices he has made in bringing that valuable, but secluded place into notice." (pg 1, Tillamook-Lest We Forget)
"Hiram Smith, one of the earliest Tillamook valley settlers, made a trip the early spring of 1854, to Grand Ronde for the purpose of constructing a road from that end toward Tillamook. He raised a subscription of men to help with this enterprise. After about four miles, they went back on Mr. Smith, causing him to abandon his project. Smith than scouted on through and found a feasible route for a trail to Tillamook. When he arrived at Tillamook valley, he related to the settlers what had transpired and felt a satisfactory trail could be cut through. This caused great excitement among the settlers. A meeting was called to discuss in detail the question of a road or trail to the Willamette valley, and they agreed to go back over Smiths's proposed route and improve its location if possible.
About the first of May, 1854, Truman Harris, James Quick, Mr. Alderman, Hiram Smith, Trask and others went over the mountains via Hebo mountain, marking logs and snags for the course of the trail to Grand Ronde. They made an agreement with the Grand Ronde settlers to help cut the trail from their end and the Tillamook settlers would start at their end, racing to see who would reach the Nestucca river first. Everyone laid into his work trying their utmost to reach the objective point first.
The Grand Ronde party reached the Nestucca river first, but they kept on working. When the two parties met, all was excitement, and there went up such a shout the mountains re-echoed again and again for they were assured of a much nearer, safer, and pleasanter route to the valley. The trail was used by the Tillamook valley settlers until 1859 when a shorter route was found by travelers up Trask river over the mountains to Yamhill." (pg 17, Tillamook-Lest We Forget).
Donation Land Claim No. 5165 SMITH, Hiram, Tillamook Co; b 29 Dec 1812 Gallia Co., OH; Arri. Ore. 12 Aug. 1852; SC 19 Set 1854; m Sarah Jane 10 Aug 1843, Knox Co. Ill. 1877 I.T. Maukly wrote Land Off. regarding patent for this c. stating his attorney for H. Smith's widow & also asks about patent for Charles Miledge's c. Aff: Charles W. Hendrickson, James P. Morgan, Charles West. (The claim was located on present day Bay City, Oregon)
On December 29, 1854 the settlers launched a new schooner, as they needed provisions and the means to sell their produce. They named their sloop the "Morning Star" of Tillamook. Hiram Smith was a good mechanic and he helped build the vessel. He got out the beams and dressed out the deck planking. The builders needed a large quantitiy of oakum for the purpose of caulking the schooner.
Perhaps some do not know the process of picking oakum. To explain; they took old tarred rope and cut it into lengths of about six inches, a large quantity at a time. Then they put it into a vessel of hot water to soak. When sufficiently soaked, it became soft, then with the fingers pick the pieces all up fine. You probably know it took a large quantity of our work so that our evenings were fully employed. Mr. Hiram Smith's family and Mr. Alderman's also assisted them very much in the work. Very frequently the youngsters from Hoquarton (Tillamook) would come down to see the schooner and then they would all join in picking. (pg 152 Tillamook Memories)
Hiram W. Smith died Nov 28 1876 and was buried on his donation land claim. Near or on what is now the Alderbrook Golf Course. A burial marker (found one hundred years after his death under a house owned by his son-in-law, James Hughey) is located in the rose bed in front of the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum. Sara Jane Marshall Smith died Jan 6, 1892 and is buried in the Fairview Pioneer Cemetery.
Children of Hiram and Sara Jane Smith:

1. Myra Elizabeth Smith b. Jul 10 1844, Knox Co., Ill
married James Hughey Nov 14, 1889 in Tillamook, OR
died Jul 5, 1911
2. Joseph Arthur Smith b. Dec 22, 1845, Knox Co, Ill
married Julia Himes Dec 22, 1875
died Sep 4, 1903 in Columbia, WA
3. Charlotte Jane Smith b. Jul 16 1849, Knox Co., Ill
married Vale N. Perry Sept 19 1867 in Tillamook, OR
died before 1877
4. Pat H. M. Smith b. May 7, 1851 in Knox Co, Ill
never married
died in Beaver, Tillamook Co., OR at the home of Charles Oscar Johnson
5. Jane Smith b. Jun 15 1852 and died before 1860 in Tillamook, OR
6. Julius Smith b. 1856 in Tillamook, OR died June 22 1864 in Tillamook, OR
7. Matilda Smith b. Aug 1856 in Oregon, died May 7 1874 in Tillamook, OR
8. Francis Loren Smith b. Mar 22, 1858 in Tillamook, OR
married Catharine Amanda Fletchall Dec 9, 1883 in Tillamook, OR
died Sept 6 1913 in Yamhill Co, OR. He is buried in Pike Cemetery.
9. Clarence Smith b. Feb 16, 1861 in Tillamook, OR
died after 1880 in Tillamook, OR
10. Laura Ina Smith b. June 4 1864 in Tillamook, OR
married John Thomas Fletchall May 8, 1884 in Tillamook, OR
married Marion Chance Oct 19 1893 in Tillamook, OR
died 20 Aug 1918 in Tillamook, OR
11. Donna (Volna) Smith b. 1866 in Tillamook, OR died before 1880 in Tillamook, OR
12. Emily Melissa Smith b. Feb 16, 1868 in Bay City, OR
married Charles N. Johnson May 1, 1888 in Tillamook, OR
died Feb 12 1926 in Beaver, OR
13. Hiram W. Lee Smith b. Feb 1, 1873 in Bay City, OR
married Minnie Turney in Tillamook, OR
died Feb 14, 1937 in Tillamook, OR
Children by Mary Bevins
14. Julia Ann Smith b. 1834
married Gressman G. Coffee in Lane Co, OR
probably died 1854
15. America b. July 30, 1836 in Knox Co., Ill died June 24, 1852 on the plains near Green River, Wyoming
16. Mary Margaret b. Feb 18, 1838
married Gorman Coffee Jul 6, 1856 in Lane Co., OR
They raised Julia's two daughters after her death.
Much thanks to Emily (Johnson) Reding for her research on the Hiram Smith Family.




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