The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., August 13, 1948, page 10

By Arline Winchell Moore, Historian, Hood River Pioneers


     W.C. Laughlin and Dr. Farnsworth with their families, settled on land in what is now the west end of Hood River town. Brought 500 head of stock, expected to pasture stock for others and grow animals for market of their own. An early and severe winter starved most of the stock. They returned to The Dalles in the spring of 1853.


     Nathaniel Coe, Eugene Coe, Wm. Jenkins and Nathan Benson came in June. Coe took over the abandoned Laughlin cabin and William Jenkins, the Farnsworth claim. The others claimed to the south and west of the first two claims. Wm. Jenkins sent for his wife and brother-in-law, James Benson, at once. Mary Coe and children came in September after the home had been added to by lumber from the Bradford mill, which was the earliest mill in the mid-Columbia, at the Locks. Coe was at that time 66 years of age. The family had known only the best that cultivation could afford until that time, yet they took on the job of building a new life in virgin country with no fear. There were four children, Eugene, Laurence, Charles and Henry.


     Peter Neal, Jerome Winchell and Henry Winchell settled in Pine Grove section on property now owned by Fike, Allegre and Roy Miller. Pine Grove school and Butte cemetery grounds are on the original Winchell claim.


     William Odell and David Turner. Turner claimed the property owned by Ralph Perry and son and settled where the present Odell town now stands.


     John and Daves Divers, Thomas M. Ramsdell and family. John Divers claimed the property now owned by Chas. H. Martin and Daves Divers claimed that owned by Dittbenner and Kollas. Ramesdell was an ordained minister, preached without pay and worked at carpentering for his livelihood. Settled on Phelps Creek. Performed the marriage rites of David A. Turner and Amanda Neal in March 1866, which is presumed to be the first marriage ceremony solemnized in Hood River. The trip was made to the East side on snow shoes.


     Stephen Baldwin and A.H. Tieman bought the Mineral Springs property from Milton Neal, son of Peter, for a rifle. Disposed of it and went to the Mt. Hood section where they operated a successful stock business on what was called the "Batchelor Ranch" near the Springer store. Tieman was a member of the crew on the ship of Commodore Perry which made the famous voyage to Japan in 1854. He was a Mason. The Masonic building was constructed from funds left to the Order by him for that purpose.


     Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong settled in the Barrett district. She taught a successful school year in 1870 in a log cabin on the southwest corner of the Jenkins homestead.


     Frank Conrad Sherrieb, Dr. P.G. Barrett and family, F.M. Jackson and family, W.P. Watson and family, Tyler W. Lockwood and family. Sherrieb and Barrett settled in the Barrett district. F.M. Jackson in the Pine Grove section. Watson bought the Wm. Jenkins claim which had been sold to B.W. Mitchell by the widow of Jenkins. Lockwood was a printer by trade and a lover of nature by avocation. He settled on the claim later developed by Milton Pealer. This time in Hood River was short. A warm, long fall was followed by a deep snow which covered the windows of the little cabin. When spring came the family was glad to give up "nature in the raw and return to civilization." Beautiful Mt. Hood had no charms left for the rapturous nature lovers.


     Joseph M. Garrison and family, Charles Henry Haynes and family, James Saunders and family, Thomas M. Whitcomb and family. The Garrison family located on the farm now called the Gibbons place. Garrison taught school in Pine Grove two terms, was county school superintendent for Wasco county and later was assessor. Haynes and Saunders settled the Josephine Morton place at the foot of Ruthton hill. Until the state of Oregon in 1876 started to build a highway which was too costly and the project was abandoned, only a trail up the bluff and the river were their outlets. The state did complete a road that could be traveled by wagon down this bluff. In 1880 E.L. Smith donated land for a small two-room school on his place, which was the beginning of the present Frankton school. The children at Ruthton had to climb the almost perpendicular bluff to attend school. Mrs. D.M. Coon was the first teacher in this school. She presided over 20 pupils.
     Thomas M. Whitcomb and family bought a relinquishment from one, "Long Ward" on Belmont and planted a large orchard in 1873 which they sold to Miles B. Potter in 1875 for $5.00 per acre. Whatcom was a Congregational minister. Fredrick Homer Balch, author of "The Bridge of the Gods" and a Congregational minister who had a charge in Hood River at one time, was converted at a meeting conducted by Whitcomb. Genevieve Whitcomb inspired the poem "Genevieve" written by Balch.
     Peter D. Henrichs and family homesteaded on Indian creek in 1873.
     John W. Henrichs also homesteaded in 1874 on Indian creek, later bought the Jesse Neal property, now owned by Aubrey Davis, just south of Odell. Little Mrs. Henrichs was one of those early day "Angels of Mercy." Nearly every early-day home felt the relief of her ministrating hands in one emergency or another. Sometimes it was a new baby, often it was pulling one already at hand through a critical sickness.
     Mansfield Pacific Colony came in 1875 and was composed of the following families: H.S. Parkhurst, the Allen family, C.W. Phelps family, Miles B. Potter family, Lyman Smith, J.W. Wallace family, Alfred Ingalls family, Ira Wright family, Rumsey family, Harding family, Tyler family, Frank family, Mackenzie family, Naomi Wilcox and Arthur Parkhurst, niece and nephew of Rev. Parkhurst, the J. La France, Levi Pitts, Mr. Dinsmore and Mr. Forsythe.
     John A. Wilson family, Russell Pealer family, Hans Lage family, Mrs. Catherine L. Henderson, William L. Adams family, Thomas Purser family, William Webster Foss family and E.L. Smith came in 1876.
     Samuel F. Blythe (dean of newspaper), Henry R. Thomilson, O.L. Stranahan, C.H. Stranahan, Mrs. Sophia A. Hutton, William Hudson, Thomas Lewis Clark and Newton Clark families came in 1877.
     W.L. Clarke, Mrs. Grace Florence Dwinnell, Nancy Monroe, Stephan Price, John Gerdes, Wallace A. Husbands, T.R. Coon and Thomas Lamb Elliott and families came in 1878.
     Christian Dethman and William Ehrck families came in 1879.
     Peter Mohr, John Mohr and Herman Pregge families came in 1880.

©  Jeffrey L. Elmer