However, the real estate dealers in Portland in were giving a better deal to their customers in some things than their successors are in Nowadays the first thing in the history of the city is a grand map and a grander name. In Portland was started, and lots sold before it had any name. This proving somewhat awkward and embarrassing, the matter came up for discussion and decision at a family dinner party of the Lovejoys and Pettygroves at Oregon City, Mr.
Pettygrove hailing from Maine, wished to name the to-HTi for his favorite old home town of Portland, while General Lovejoy coming from Massachusetts, desired to honor Boston with the name.
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And not being able to settle the matter with any good reason, it was proposed to decide the difference by tossing a copper; and so, on the production of and old fashioned copper cent, an engraving of which is given on another page, the cent was tossed up three times and came down "tails up" twice for Portland, and once ' ' heads up ' ' for dear old Boston.
And that is the way Portland got its appropriate name. Hall Kelley's town site, platted in , where University Park is located below Portland. Pettygrove erected a building for a store and put in a very small stock from his remnants at Oregon City. The business of the town moved imperceptibly; in fact there was no business worth mentioning. When a ship would come in, all that had money, furs, or wheat, would buy of the ship, and trade in their produce, so that merchandise at the store was a mere pretense.
The first item of improvement that so attracted the attention of the country as to have Portland talked about, was the starting of a tannery by Daniel H.
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Lownsdale in —the first in Portland. As a matter of fact, however, there were three small tanneries at or near Oregon City, and many of the farmers up in the valley had been tanning deer and calves skins in a limited way, as nearly all the pioneer people knew something of the art of tanning skins; but the Lownsdale tannery was started as a business enterprise to accommodate the public and make profit to its proprietor.
Hides would be tanned for so much cash, or leather would be traded for hides; or leather would be sold for cash, furs or wheat. Here was a start in a productive manufacturing business, and Lownsdale's tannery was the talk of the whole country, and advertised Portland quite as much as it did the tannery.
This tannery was not started on the townsite, but way back in the forest a mile from the river, on. After running the tannery for two years, Lownsdale sold it to two newcomers—Ebson and Ballance— who in turn sold it to Amos N. King, who then took up the mile square of land adjoining Portland on the west, known as the King Donation Claim, and which has made fortunes for all his children by the sale of town lots. Amos N. King was not much of a town lot speculator. It was a long time before he could muster up courage enought to ask a big price for a little piece of ground.
He stuck to his tannery, and made honest leather for more than twenty years before he platted an addition to the city. A leading citizen of those early days of Portland was John Waymire, who built the first double log cabin, and made some efforts to accommodate strangers and traders who dropped oft" the passing bateaux to look at the new city, by furnishing meals and giving them a hospitable place to spread their blankets for the night.
Waymire further enlarged his fortunes by going into the transportation business with a pair of oxen he had driven two thousand miles all the way from old IMissouri across the mountains and plains.
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As the new town was the nearest spot to Oregon City where the ships could safely tie up to the shore and discharge cargo, Waymire got business both ways. With his oxen he could haul the goods up to his big cabin for safety, and then vrith his oxen he could haul the stuff back to the river to load into small boats and lighters for transportation to Oregon City. In addition to the transfer business, and the hotel business, Waymire started a sauanill on Front street. The machinery outfit would not compare well with the big sawanills along the river in Portland at the present time, being only an old whip-saw brought all the way from Missouri, where it had been used in building up that state.
Waymire was the only busy man in the new town, and prospered from the start. He knew well how to turn an honest penny in the face of severe financial troubles. With the money made in Portland, he went to Dallas, in Polk countj', in later years and started a store, thinking it safer to rely on the farmers for prosperity than take chances on such a strenuous city life. There he sold goods "on tick" credit as was the custom of the country, and not being a good bookkeeper, he wrote down on the inside board walls of his store with a piece of chalk the names of his customers, and under each name the goods they had bought on credit, with sums due.
And while absent on a brief trip to Portland, his good wife, thinking to tidy up the store, got some lime and whitewashed the inside of the whole establishment. On his return and seeing what had been done, he threw up his hands in despair and declared he was a ruined man.
The good woman consoled him with the suggestion that he could remember all the accounts and simply write them all over again on the wall. And so the next day being Sunday, and a good day, and everybody absent at church, he undertook the task. His wife dropped in after divine service and inquired how he was getting along. He replied, "Well, I've got the accounts all down on the wall agin; I don't know that I've got them agin just the same men, but I believe I've got them agin lot of fellows better able to pay. Another man that dropped in on young Portland the next year after Waymire, was William H.
Bennett Bill Bennett who, having quit the mountains and the fur trade, started in to make his fortune in making shingles out of the cedar timber on the townsite, which was a gift to him. Bennett got a start and prospered until he was ruined by his convivial habits. He pushed various small enterprises, finally starting a livery stable at the corner where the Mulkey block is now located.
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The business started by Bennett was owned successively by John S. In came Job McNamee from Ohio, having come into the valley with the immigration of McNamee was a good citizen and brought a good family, wife and daughter, possibly among the first ladies of the place, and whose presence smothered down some of the rough places in the village. Miss McNamee became the wife of E. Northriip, one of the best citizens Portland ever had, and the founder of the great wholesale and retail hardware store now owned by the "Honeyman Hardware Company.
Ralph Wilcox from New York, a pioneer of Wilcox was the first physician and the first school teacher of the city, and a most useful and public-spirited citizen, taking a leading part in organizing society and serving the public as clerk of the state legislature and as clerk of the United States district and circuit courts. His widow, Mrs. Julia Wilcox, now over ninety-two years of age, is still active and an interested spectator of the growth of a city of two hundred and fifty thousand people, which she came to in her early womanhood as a few log cabins in an unbroken forest.
Hastings and family came across the plains in , and stopped a while in Portland. He is remembered as an active, pushing business man, and stayed with the fortunes of the town for four years. But imagining he could see a larger city at the entrance to Puget Sound, joined with Pettygrove in building a schooner, and loading it up with all their worldly belongings.
Pettygrove sold out his interests in Portland, and the whole party sailed away in , for Puget Sound, where they founded the city of Port Townsend, and where they spent the remainder of their lives and strength in building up a city to eclipse Portland.
FRANKLIN K. MATHIEWS
Port Townsend has about two thousand population today, and Portland has one hundred and twenty-five times as many. And now Portland got its first politician and statesman in Colonel William King, landing on the river front in Colonel King was an unusual man. He would have been a man of mark in any communit,y. He was needed by the new city, and he made his presence felt from his very first day in town.
Nobody seemed to know from what corner of the earth King came, and he took no pains to enlighten them.
But he was a valuable addition to the city, as he was familiar with all sorts of scheming, and by that early day the new town had to look out for its interests at every session of the legislature; and King was always on hand to see that there was a square deal with possibly something over for Portland. If King's advice had been followed there would have been no question as to the ownership by the city of Portland of its water front east of Front street in the original townsite.
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King made enemies as well as friends. His positive disposition and his love of fair play did not always tally with predisposed politics. It is remembered that at the time Governor Curry had selected officials for the militia without respect to party affiliations, a petition was gotten up by some democrats to have the whigs republicans removed or their appointments cancelled. When it was presented to King to sign, he read it over carefully, then as if not understanding it, read it a second time, and then vehemently tore the document to pieces, and proceeded to denounce the authors in words more forcible than polite: "That such men would rather see women and childi-en slaughtered by the Indians than to have a good mau of the opposite party hold an honorable position in the militia.
As great nations have been dependent on the sea, not only for their prosperity, but also their very existence—England for example—so it was with Portland, in the years of to And now the story turns from the land builders of the town to the hardy sea rovers working to the same end. And in this good work the name of Captain John H.
Couch stands at the top of the list. The first appearance of Captain Couch in Oregon waters, was in , when he came out here from Newburyport, Massachusetts,—in command of the ship Maryland to establish a salmon fishery on the Columbia. The fishery was not successful, for there were no fishermen but the Indians, and they were not reliable in serving the Americans. Le Breton, an active and pushing j'oung man, who made his mark in helping organize the Provisional Government.
Having learned from this voyage, the conditions and requirements of trade in Oregon, Couch returned in with a stock of goods in a new brig—The Chenamus—named for the Chinook Indian chief who had lived opposite Astoria; and leaving this stock at Oregon City with one Albert E.