Skip to main content

Other Indexes

East Portland News, 1880s

The Oregonian-News from East Portland, 1880s

During 2000-2001, a genealogist in Denver went to that city’s excellent public library to look at microfilms of the Portland Oregonian. He was looking for news of a Wheeler family in East Portland. Just for the fun of it, he also collected many tidbits about other residents of that young city. Anything newsworthy in Portland usually happened on the west side of the Willamette River, but the paper reserved a couple of inches every day for news of East Portland. This page you are looking at has a few items from late 1882 and some random selections from 1890. Much more news can be perused by clicking on these links. Names can be found by using the 'Multnomah County' search in the GFO catalog.

We do not have further information for this index to offer at the Forum.


August 17, 1882
Yaquina City, Or. (via Corvallis), Aug. 16 -- Dr. B. F. Hutchinson, aged seventy, and his son, aged about thirteen, were found dead this morning, having been murdered either yesterday or last night, the bodies being cold when found. Hutchinson on Monday delivered several head of cattle at this place receiving some two hundred dollars for the same. An Indian assisted him in driving his cattle and saw him receive pay therefor, and it is supposed that the Indian committed the murder for the money, as none was found upon the bodies or in the cabin. Hutchinson formerly resided at East Portland, where his wife now is. He recently came here and took a homestead near Oneatta, and it was for the purpose of paying for this land that he sold the stock. His intention was to remove his family from East Portland to the homestead next week. 

The body of the father was found near the cabin and that of the son in the cabin. They were shot with a rifle or revolver, the boy’s head being mutilated beyond recognition. The Indian who is suspected went up the river this morning before the discovery was made and has not yet been arrested. Great excitement prevails, and the guilty wretch will doubtless be lynched when apprehended.

December 15, 1882
On account of the inclement weather the celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Chambreau at Neppach’s hall, Wednesday night, was not so well attended as it otherwise would have been. One hundred or more persons who were expected from Portland were unavoidably detained on account of the high water, and preparations had been made for about twice the number stated in excess of those who were present. Under these circumstances Mr. and Mrs. Chambreau have the more reason to be proud of the reception tendered them, considering the number present. The hall was tastefully decorated with evergreens for the occasion, and Mrs. B. J. Schmeer, Mrs. Carrie Mildren, (daughters of the recipients), J. Julian Chambreau, Chas. H. Chambreau, (sons), and Mr. Mildren, (son-in-law), did the honors with becoming grace. Dancing to the excellent music of Prof. and Madame Navoni and Prof. Yost, vocal music by Mr. Mildren and others and an excellent repast left nothing to do be desired on the score of pleasure and gratification. The toast of “Mr. and Mrs. Chambreau” gave the former an opportunity to express his sincere thanks for the honor and esteem shown them, and also to relate some interesting reminiscences of his early history. A number of handsome and appropriate tokens of esteem were presented. Altogether the affair was well conducted and thoroughly enjoyable throughout, giving satisfaction alike to entertainers and entertained.

On Wednesday evening another member of the Holtz family succumbed to the ravages of typhoid fever, with which they have been afflicted for some time past. Only a few days ago the father died, and now the death of a married son, named George, aged about 25, is to be recorded. The funeral will take place this morning at 10 o’clock.

December 18, 1882
Report was received here yesterday of the death of Dan McGonicle at San Francisco. He was formerly a fireman on the O.&C. road, and has two brothers working at the car shops.

December 21, 1882
Mrs. Luelling, of Milwaukie, died on Monday last after a lingering illness, and was buried Tuesday.

Mrs. R. Partridge, of Seattle, is visiting her sister, Mrs. D. D. Neer, and will remain here until after the holidays.

The news of the horrible death yesterday of Constant McMillen, of East Portland, was received here with much consternation and regret, he being generally conceded to be one of the most exemplary and promising young men in the city.

John M. Payne, son of W. H. Payne, of Columbia Slough, and Miss Annie Moran, daughter of Thos. Moran, were married last evening at the residence of the bride’s parents in the southern outskirts of the city, near the car shops, Rev. Father Mackin officiating. A large number of relatives and friends were present to witness the ceremony. A reception followed with music and dancing and an elegant supper. Presents were numerous and costly, expressive of esteem and the happiness wished the contracting parties by the donors.

December 22, 1882
Hal W. Westervelt of Fort Scott, Kansas, and Miss Lulu Kerns, daughter of Mrs. John Cochran, of Brownsville, were married last evening in this city at the residence of the bride’s sister Mrs. R. Reddic, Eleventh street between K and L, Rev. J. W. Sellwood, of the Episcopal church, officiating. Mr. A. B. Cox, of East Portland, acted as groomsman and Miss Mary Daly, of Portland, as bridesmaid. The contracting parties are well and favorably known in this city by a host of friends and acquaintances, who wish them joy and happiness without end.

December 26, 1882
A large number of juveniles assembled in the evening at the residence of Mr. W. T. Creitz, corner of H and Third streets, to celebrate the 17th birthday of his son Lewis. The fun continued till a reasonably late hour, when the party dispersed, wishing Lewis many such happy returns of the day, and he could not wish for happier ones.

Another death has occurred on Water street, south of L, the victim this time being Seth, son of Mr. J. J. Seeley, an employe of the mill, aged nineteen years. He died early Saturday morning and was buried yesterday. The cause of his death was typhoid fever, from which disease also the parents and two other children are now suffering. Several other cases of sickness of a similar nature are reported on his street, and there appears little doubt that the malarious character of the neighborhood is its prime cause, the effects of which are now assuming such proportions as to warrant the enforcement of sanitary measures by the city authorities.

December 28, 1882
A quiet wedding took place in East Portland, last evening, the contracting parties being Oscar Bellinger, son of Judge Bellinger, and Miss Lena Matlock, daughter of T. J. Matlock. The ceremony occurred at the residence of the bride’s parents, Rev. S. C. Price officiating. Only relatives of the contracting parties and a few immediate friends were present. The happy twain leave this morning for eastern Oregon, where Mr. Bellinger is employed in surveying for the O.R.&N. company. They are accompanied by the best wishes of a large circle of friends for their future happiness.

December 29, 1882
The funeral of Mrs. Mondy, who died on Monday, was conducted from the residence in Stephen’s addition on Thursday. Rev. T. L. Sails officiated.

On the evening of Wednesday, the thirtieth anniversary of the wedding of Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Sprague, a large number of their friends surprised them at their residence in Stephens’ addition and did full justice to the occasion. It was called a linen wedding, and a majority of the presents donated were made from that article. Unqualified enjoyment flavored by an excellent supper left nothing to be desired.

January 2, 1890
A pleasant watch night party was given New Year’s eve at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Dove, on Eleventh and F streets, which was very enjoyable. A short musical and literary programme was rendered, which was as follows: Duet, Miss Minnie Sperry and Mr. Archie Buchtel; recitation, “Brief Tragedy,” by Miss Carroll; recitation, “Soldier’s Tramp,” Mr. P. Blake; recitation, “An Irish Soldier’s Address to Columbia,” Phil Brady. All the numbers were well rendered and appreciated. The spacious double parlors were canvased and dancing indulged in all evening. At 12 o’clock all were invited to partake of a fine supper. The party was made up of the following young people: Misses Lizzie Horn, Anna Brady, Maggie Carrol, Minnie Sperry, Etta Sperry, Dolly Sperry, Ida Wood, Ada Mercer, Lizzie Dunn, Bessie Dove, Alice Dove, Anna Dove; Messers. Earnest Sommers, Oscar Horn, James Morse, Phil Brady, Phil Kelly, E. G. Sutherland, Pearley Blake, Frank Buchtel, Archie Buchtel, J. Palmer, George Listeuran, Chris Bell, George A. Buffington.

Talking about happy men, there is not a happier one than Mr. H. Listman, smiling all over, whose wife presented him New Year’s morning with a bouncing boy, after waiting nineteen years. Mr. Listman received the congratulations from his friends with pride and pleasure.

January 11, 1890
Yesterday morning at 12:15 Mrs. William Moore died at her residence on Fifth and F streets. She had been sick for several years, and has been bedfast for the past thirteen months, and endured her sufferings with remarkable patience. She possessed a wonderful vitality, and would frequently revive when it seemed that she could not possibly live. She leaves a husband and a daughter to mourn her loss. Her funeral will take place Sunday at the Centenary M. E. church at 2 P.M. The services will be conducted by Rev. J. W. Bushong.

February 8, 1890
The remains of Mrs. M. I. Miller, of St. Paul, Minn., are en route to East Portland for interment in Lone Fir cemetery. Services will be conducted by Rev. J. W. Bushong, in the Centenary church, Sunday next, at 2:30 P. M. She was the mother of Drs. F. D. Miller, of East Portland, and K. L. Miller of Roseburg.

March 16, 1890
The funeral of the late Rev. John W. Sellwood took place yesterday fornoon at St. David’s church, which was filled to overflowing. Right Rev. B. Wistar Morris, assisted by Rev. B. Elliott Habersham, rector of St. Matthew’s chapel, and other clergymen conducted the services, which were very impressive. The floral decorations on the casket were beautiful and emblematical. The Oregon City Episcopal church contributed a floral offering representing “Gates Ajar,” which was especially appropriate, coming as it did from a church of which the deceased clergyman was formerly rector. 

At the close of the services, the remains were followed to Lone Fir cemetery and laid to rest. It is seldom that a man is followed to his grave with such universal regret as was manifested on the occasion of the funeral of the Rev. Mr. Sellwood. He died in the midst of his labors, and it will be difficult to find another to fill his place. To-day he funeral sermon will be preached in St. David’s church at 11 A. M. by Bishop Morris.

A great many expressions have been heard concerning the appointment of Councilman John M. Lewis as postmaster of East Portland, and it is the general impression that he will make an acceptable and competent officer. Mr. Lewis has resided in East Portland about four years, and has been a member of the common council, and in all his intercourse with his fellow-members has always been courteous.

March 16, 1890
The death of William A. Robeson, the well-known railroad man, took place yesterday morning at 12:45 o’clock, at his residence on J street. It was not known that Mr. Robeson was sick, and the news of his death is received with great surprise as well as regret by his friends, of whom he had a host. He is as well known as any railroad man in the country, having been on the Union Pacific and other prominent lines. Last summer he was conductor on the Ilwaco railroad. He possessed a genial disposition and made many friends wherever he went. He leaves a wife and two daughters. The cause of his death was peluro-pneumonia.

June 16, 1890
Everybody knows that Mr. Byars is a man of of extraordinary courage. Several months ago a savage looking bear was roaming in the woods near St. John, causing the people for miles around great alarm. Byars was immediately sent for to rid the country of the fierce animal. Did he take a carbine to complete the dangerous as well as philanthropic work? Not he! He took a pocket pistol loaded with smokeless powder and wore a pair of wooden shoes weighing twenty-five pounds each. Thus equipped, Mr. Byars went forth alone in the wilds surrounding St. John. He had gone but a short time when he returned. He informed the St. John’s people the bear was dead. They went out with a wagon, and soon returned with the dead. The bear was found fearfully mangled. His jaw was broken, his head was crushed, his thigh was smashed and there was scarcely a sound bone in his body. Mr. Byars had actually kicked the bear to death. Now, this is no campaign story, got out on the morning of the election, but the truth will be verified by a large number of republicans as well as democrats. The carcass hung several days at the meat market of Kindorff Bros. Such courage should be rewarded at the polls to-day.

June 17, 1890
Mr. Byar’s shoes did not elect him to the Marshalship. It was a very quiet election, and the contest was conducted on both sides with good humor. Mr. Byars fought bravely for the marshalship, and in the Second ward the famous shoes with which he kicked the bear to death were placed on exhibition, but his gallant fight was without effect.

November 28, 1890
The death of James R. Robb, pioneer, occurred at his residence in Kenworthy’s addition, in East Portland, 11 o’clock Wednesday night. Mr. Robb was taken with la grippe last February and has never been well since. Wednesday night, however, he was feeling better than usual, and so remarked to Mrs. Robb when they retired. A little before 11 Mr. Robb got up, and after putting on his dressing gown went to the bathroom, where he got some water. He returned, and putting the lamp down went to bed. Immediately he began to breath laboriously. This continued and Mrs. Robb sprang up, but nothing could be done, and his spirit gently took its flight. 

Mr. Robb was 74 years old. He crossed the plains in 1842 with a party of which Captain Medorum Crawford and F. X. Matthieu are now the sole survivors. He mined in California in 1848 and 1849, and was afterwards a member of the well-known firm of Priest, Lee & Co., of Sacramento. Mr. Robb lived in Oregon City for a number of years, and built with his own hands the first Methodist church in the state at that place. He was a member of the firm of Governor Abernethy & Co., of Oregon City, and acquired considerable wealth, which was subsequently swept away by the firm’s failure. He was noted for his liberalty in those days, and it is related of him that when he saw the clothes of the Methodist minister were growing seedy, he would invite him into his store and fit him out with the best he had. 

Others enjoyed his prosperity. He had a family by his first wife of six children, all of whom are living. They are as follows: Mrs. J. M. Drake, Mrs. C. W. Parrish, of Oregon City; Mrs. J. C. Rounds, of East Portland; Mrs. E. W. Cornell, of Portland; Mrs. F. D. French, of Tacoma, and Mr. J. W. Robb, of Tacoma. His first wife died twelve years ago, and he was married to Mrs. S. E. May, of Salem, eight years ago. 

Mr. Robb lived in Portland for a long time and was a member of Taylor-street church for nineteen years and on the official board. He died as he lived--a Christian man. The funeral will take place Saturday at 11 A.M. from the residence. Those who desire to view the remains can do so this afternoon from 2 to 4 o’clock.