The Hood River County Sun, Hood River, OR., March 29, 1939, page 1


     Eight sons and daughters of Rev. Frank R. Spaulding were in Hood River last week-end for the first reunion the Spaulding family has had since 1913.
     From distant points they came -- this distinguished family of a distinguished man. Sunday morning was spent among the old childhood haunts near Toll Bridge, site of the Spaulding homestead. Returning to the Hood River home of the pioneer minister, the family dinner proved the climax of the occasion. Inspired, as were the congregations of Rev. Spaulding in the camp meeting days, the group, spontaneous and instilted, sat around the table singing the favorite hymns of their father.
     Rev. Spaulding, buoyant and invigorated by the reunion, sat among his children, happy, though he realized that with his failing health, this would certainly be the last time all of them would be together.
     Frank, the eldest from Odessa, Texas, and Raleigh, from Wichita Falls, Texas, had arrived here Friday afternoon after a 2000-mile trip. Both of the sons of in the electrical appliance business in their respective southern cities.
     Earl Spaulding, Hood River tailor, third oldest, was assisting his 77-year old father in entertaining the family. Next to Earl in age is Ole, who came down from Arlington, where he operates a laundry, to attend the gathering.
     Dave, a lawyer, second to the youngest of the sons of the pioneer of Methodist minister, came from Los Angeles. Bruce, the youngest, who is district attorney in Polk County, and who achieved considerable fame a year ago in prosecuting "goons," joined the family get-together.
     Two sisters came from Vale, Oregon -- Mrs. Mary Fletcher and Mrs. Fay Swan. The latter might be said to help form a triumvirate of lawyers in the Spaulding family, since her husband at Vale is a lawyer.
     A similar reunion was held in 1930, although all the family was not present. At that time, the Spaulding family, always recognized for musical talent, presented an evening of entertainment at the Asbury Methodist Church.
     And while the sons and daughters of Reverend Mr. Spaulding are regarded with pride by home folks at Hood River, the center of attraction this past week was naturally the venerable pioneer Methodist minister. His health had been failing this spring and for several days his condition was regarded as critical. Members of the family were notified and a reunion was decided to be held while Mr. Spaulding could still enjoy the family.
     Since 1924 he has been retired from the ministry, making his home at Second and State street. Born in Monticello, Wash., on the Cowlitz River in 1862, the Reverend Mr. Spaulding has spent all his life in the Pacific Northwest, except for five years as a missionary in Brazil, which took him 1000 miles up the Amazon.
     He held the distinction of preaching the first sermon in Hood River County in a church building. This was in 1886 in the Belmont district.
     At the turn of the century he had again located in Hood River, having three churches in his charge - Hood River, Belmont and Pine Grove.
     At the age of 18 he graduated from Willamette University, and a few years later entered the ministry and became a district supervisor of the territory extending from the Cascades to Pendleton and from Prineville to Goldendale. In latter years he was a Sunday School missionary for Eastern Oregon and Eastern Washington, with headquarters in Spokane.
     He was known as a typical pioneer of Methodist circuit rider, and often made trips from one church to another on horse-back or on foot.
     Pastorates held by the pioneer minister were at Toppenish, Pasco, Spokane, Starbuck and Oakesdale.

The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., March 31, 1939, page 1


     Members of the Spaulding clan gathered in Hood River in strength last week end to congratulate the leader of the clan, the Rev. Frank H. Spalding who, in his 77th year, is recovering from a serious attack of influenza. The reunion was held at the Frank Spaulding home on Sherman street, but during the two previous days members of the family arrived from various distant points. Arrivals included sons: Raleigh, Earl, Frank, Ollie, Bruce and Lee, and daughter Fay, together with several of the son's wives and grandchildren.
     The Rev. Frank L. Spalding was one of the first of the Methodist circuit riders, who came to Hood River valley in 1886 and who covered his circuit on foot in this valley in all kinds of weather and over trails and what passed for roads. He was a frequent preacher at the old Frankton church, and held open-air meetings at Pine Grove and Belmont. His services drew people from all parts of the Mid-Columbia area. Today, in spite of his recent illness, he is hale and active and is revered not only by all members of his own family, but by a large circle of old-time residents of this valley.

©  Jeffrey L. Elmer