The Oregonian, Portland, OR., August 31, 1913, section 1, page 8
Includes photographs

It Is Impossible to Think of One and Disregard the Other
By Fred Lockley

     Hood River, Oregon, Aug. 28. -- Possibly Eve, who picked apple in the Garden of Eden, had not heard of Hood River. Probably if it had been a Hood River apple she would have eaten it herself and not handed it over to Adam. Be that as it may in this day and age, everyone who eats apples knows of Hood River, for it is hard to think of Hood River without thinking of apples, and equally hard to think about apples without thinking of Hood River. When Lewis and Clark came to Hood River in 1805 they named the sparkling, ice cold stream that flowed from the base of the snow clad mountains less than 30 miles distant, Labieshe's river. The Indians had their own name for the mouth of the river. They called it Waucoma, "the place of the cottonwoods," and for a while Hood river was called Cottonwood Landing. On some of the old maps you will see this stream marked down as a Dog river.
     "How did they happen to name Hood River, Dog river?" I asked E.L. Smith, who helped select the side of Hood River and who has seen the town grow from a single house to a modern city.
     "Certainly, the Indian name Waucoma is more beautiful both in sound and meaning than Dog river," said Mr. Smith. "In the days when coming to Oregon meant coming by wagon across the plains a party of emigrants camped on the river late in the fall. A heavy snow storm over took them and, being out of provisions, they ate the dog that had followed them faithfully across the plains. They referred to the river after that as the river where they ate the dog and soon it was known as Dog river.
     "In 1852 W.C. Loughlin settled on the present site of Hood River, but next year removed to The Dalles. In 1854 Nathaniel Coe, with his wife and four boys, settled on the claim that Laughlin had abandoned. Both Mr. and Mrs. Coe were educated and cultured people and Mrs. Coe thought it a shame to give so beautiful and picturesque a river such an ugly name, so she changed its name to Hood river.

When Settlers Were Few.

     "At the time of the breaking out of the Civil war the Hood River valley had less than a dozen settlers.
     "W.C. Laughlin and Dr. Farnsworth had come in '52, but had removed to The Dalles. The Coe family, who came in 1854, put up a good, substantial home in 1855 -- the first house to be built where the city of Hood River is now located. Nathaniel Coe's brother-in-law, William Jenkins, came in '54. N.S. Benson and James Benson settled in the valley of the same year. Several new settlers came in 1858, including Arthur and Henry Gordon, S.B. Ives and family, A.C. Phelps, George Roberts, Mr. Stadden, Amos Underwood, John M. Marden and a Mr. Cowperthwaite and Mr. Wilson. During the next year or two the Butlers and Whitneys, Peter Neal and Jerome Winchell, William Moss and H. Corum, William Odell, Loban Stillwell and D.A. Turner and some others arrived and settled in the valley. D.A. Turner is probably the only one of these pioneers who still lives at a Hood River."
     Mr. Smith bought a police of 480 acres three miles west of the present city of Hood River in 1874. "I did not come to live here until March 1, 1876," said Mr. Smith. "Where the Mt. Hood Hotel now is was an Indian camp when I came here. A man by the name of Allen started a store in 1877 near my place. He became discouraged and turned his stock over to his creditors. They sent a man up to dispose of the stock. He wanted me to buy and run the store, but I did not care to have the worry of a store on my hands. He told me to make him an offer on the goods which invoiced about $1100. I thought I could use most of the stock on my ranch so I said, 'I don't care to give 33 1-3 per cent of the value."
     "It's yours. Make out your check," said the man. I decided to keep it open for a while till I sold some of the articles I didn't need it. The result was I continued to run it, ordering new stock and I had soon built up a profitable trade. I sometimes smile when I think of the first few months. I determined not to continue it so I would not start any book accounts. A few people whom I knew were gild-edge sent in for goods to be charged, so I wrote to their names and their accounts on the smoothly planned inside door of my wardrobe, but I soon had my door full of accounts, and had to get a day book.
     "In 1880 Dr. W.L. Adams put a little building where he sold drugs and notions. This was just outside of the present city. The first store to be built inside the limits of Hood River was a general merchandise store built by John Parker, an Englishman, in July, 1881. His widow lives here. She is a very capable woman. She and her son are in business together. The second building to be put up was the Mount Hood hotel. It was built by T.J. Hosford in August, 1881. That same fall, G.M. Champlin put up a general merchandise store. Next spring I bought a block of H.C. Coe $250 and put up a well built and substantial two story wooden building. It has been moved to another location and is still in use. H.C. Coe and his brother, E.F. Coe, platted the townsite of Hood River on their father's farm in the spring of 1881. Mr. Watt, the right-of-way man for the railroad, and myself, had already selected the site for a depot, which was the reason for their platting the townsite.
     "The first time I saw what is now Hood River it was surrounded by an old rail fence and a pasture. You could buy land anywhere in the valley for $10 an acre. The first election I voted here there were 22 votes cast and that took in the entire Hood River Valley.
     "What Hood River is now the whole world knows. In writing about Hood River be sure to give credit to Nathaniel Coe and TR. Coon, who is the father of Hood River's strawberry industry, and to Frank Davenport and David Sears and others who helped show the world the possibilities of Hood River."

School Established in 1863

     The first school house was located two miles south of the present site of the city. It was built in 1863 and B.A. Lilly taught the 15 pupils who attended. Not until 1881 was another school house built. It was located at Frankton, near the present city. In 1882 a subscription paper was passed around and $800 was raised with which a school house was built within the city limits.
     Hood River has beauty of surroundings, abundant water power, a cultured and intelligent citizenship, and is an ideal section for the growth of strawberries and apples. It also has excellent transportation by rail and water, proximity to markets and there is no reason why the town will not continue to grow and prosper.

©  Jeffrey L. Elmer