Saturday, February 28, 2009

1855 - 1922

Another of our pioneer ancestors, one born here before Oregon was a state, was Samuel Thurston Daniels*.

Samuel, the father of Hollister Daniels, was born in 1855** to Hannah Pendleton and AC Daniels, in Clackamas County. His parents divorced shortly afterward and, as far as we know, he stayed with Hannah.

He first shows up in a census record of 1870, when he is 13 years old and living with his mother, his step-father Robert Whitney, and two half siblings in Hubbard, Oregon.

The 1880 census also lists him with the Whitney household, but this time he's twenty-three years old and a "farmer" instead of a youngster "at school." He has seven Whitney half-siblings by this time and their farm in Hubbard was next to other Whitneys and Hubbards.

Samuel's stepfather had a farm of almost 550 acres near Hubbard and raised (according to the 1895 county census) wheat, oats, hay, potatoes, apples, and hops. In that year, Robert Whitney's farm reported 26,000 pounds of hops. I don't have any way of knowing for sure, but the Whitney farm sounds like a prosperous farm in an area of very good farmland.

At some point, Robert Whitney sold or gave his step-son Samuel his own farm.

Samuel Daniels lived near the Whitney family in Hubbard, farming. The federal census for 1890 isn't available (the records burned in a fire), so we don't know where Samuel was until 1900.

In 1900, he was living in Hubbard and the census showed no family living with him. The city directory in 1901, similar to today's phone book, lists him as a hop farmer.

And we have the photograph of the hops harvest around 1906 or 1907, with Samuel Daniels seated on the ground, surrounded by his children, workers, and in-laws.***

At some point, Samuel Daniels and Elizabeth Pluard married. So far, no luck in finding a record of that marriage.

We can only guess how they met, but in this photo many of the women standing behind Samuel are Pluard women. Perhaps they met during one of the harvests?

There was an age difference between them: in 1900 Samuel would have been about 45 years old, while Elizabeth was 23.

Samuel and Elizabeth had five children--Hollister (born in Portland in 1899), Bertha, Rose, Violet and Monroe. Violet died as a very young child in 1912 and Monroe as an infant in 1911. Both of them are buried in the Hubbard cemetery and share a marker.

At some time between the death of Violet and Monroe and Samuel's death in 1922, the family moved to Alsea, where Samuel retired from farming. Dick Hockett, one of Samuel's grandsons, said he remembered hearing that Samuel surveyed the highway running from Alsea to Waldport. He remembered that Elizabeth would make quilts from Samuel's old suits.

Samuel died April 7, 1922 in Alsea. The Hubbard Enterprise, the local newspaper, wrote that the funeral services were held at his mother's home. And that Samuel had been a member of the Hubbard K.P. lodge for more than 25 years and that the order "was largely represented at the services." His K.P. brothers were the pallbearers and, the paper assures us, he was survived by "many old time friends who remember him kindly."

In the end, perhaps that's what we all hope for.


*I'm always curious about why people are named what they are. It's very possible that Samuel Thurston Daniels was named for a prominent, though now largely forgotten early Oregonian, Samuel Royal Thurston. Samuel Royal Thurston has the dubious distinction of having urged the exclusion of free black people from Oregon Territory. Perhaps AC Daniels and Hannah Pendleton admired Samuel Royal Thurston's promotion of the Donation Land Claim Act.

**His death certificate lists his birth year as 1856, though most other documents show 1855.

***I spent a long time trying to find this very hop barn until I found that it was probably destroyed when the I-5 freeway was built.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

1825 - 1871

Some of our ancestors are so elusive, so hard to pin down. AC Daniels is one of those. Partly it’s a function of his very brief appearance on the family stage. He married Hollister’s grandmother, Hannah Pendleton, in 1855, fathered a son, Samuel Thurston Daniels, and was gone from Hannah’s life by 1857 or so.

The only public record we have linking Hannah and AC Daniels is their marriage license in the Oregon State Archives and the announcement in The Oregon Argus, a newspaper based on Oregon City, in the Oregon Territory. (The Rev. G. H. Atkinson was one of Oregon's early, well-known settlers.)

But we can piece together a fuller picture of his life based on scraps of public records. The first mention of AC Daniels is in the 1850 Census. He was living in Iowa with his wife and six-month old daughter. He was a teacher, born in Pennsylvania.

By 1851, though, he and his family joined in the great overland migration to Oregon. According to an obituary in the Corvallis Gazette-Times, AC Daniels’s daughter, Margaret, was born “while her parents were en route to Oregon by ox team” and that “her mother died a short time later.”

So, AC Daniels arrived in Oregon Territory a widower with at least one small child. His brief marriage to Hannah Pendleton produced Samuel, but there’s no evidence (census records) that Samuel lived anywhere but with Hannah.

AC Daniels was politically active. He ran for School Superintendent in 1862. (Margaret’s obituary says that “her father was state superintendent of public instruction in the early days.) *

He attended the Democratic state convention held at Eugene City, Oregon, in January 1862. He was one of the fundraisers for the California and Columbia River Railroad organized at Jacksonville in 1863.

And he remained a teacher, hired by the Salem School District to teach at the Central School in 1861. One of his students, T. T. Geer, went on to become Governor of Oregon and remembered his teacher as “an old fashioned pedagogue, whose chief characteristics, as I now remember him, were his uniform kindness, and uniform laziness, as manifested by the constancy with which he remained in the large swivel chair he occupied. He was also noted for his excellent penmanship.”

AC Daniels married at least once more. The 1870 census lists his profession as Gardener, and he was living in Marion County (near Salem) with his wife Olive. There were seven children in the household, but most were likely his wife’s children. His daughter Margaret's obituary said that "the Oregon state fair grounds are located on land which was formerly a part of her father's farm."

Surprisingly, AC, so well prepared in his professional life, died intestate. Probate records show that his wife, Olive F. Daniels, acted as representative of his estate and that his heirs were Maggie M. Taylor (she was born on the trip west), six-year-old Alva R. Daniels, Minnie Daniels (4 years old), and Clyde Daniels (21 months old).

AC Daniels is buried in the Salem Pioneer Cemetery, though he has no marker for his gravesite. He lies very near some of Oregon’s well-known pioneer families. And his unmarked grave is very close to the ostentatious marker for Samuel Royal Thurston. Most likely, that would make him very happy.

*Thanks again to Joy Wulff for the information on Margaret Daniels Taylor and for the photo of AC Daniels.

Friday, February 20, 2009


In the world of family stories, there are many that cannot be proven with documents or historical research. They are such good stories, however, that they have to be shared. And there's just enough ring of could-be-true to this one that I'm sending it along.

Hollister's maternal great-grandmother, Elizabeth Barker Pluerad, was born about June 17, 1843 in Randolph County, Illinois. At some point in the late 1850s or early 1860s, the Barker family set off for Oregon.

The family was crossing the plains when their wagons were attacked by Indians.* Only Elizabeth survived the attack and was taken captive. While with the Indians, she was taken as a wife by one of the men. (Much of this is from a narrative given by one of Elizabeth's grandsons in 1987.) "Elizabeth gave birth to two girls; Medora in February 1864 because a blue flower was blooming and Mary in August because an orange flower was in bloom."**

It's unclear how long Elizabeth was with the Indians, but at some point, she's rescued. "One day while getting water, she was approached by a man from the Hudson Bay Company. . . . He asked her why she was with the Indians. She replied that she had been captured and had no choice. He offered her to go to Oregon City, but she couldn't because she had two children in the Indian camp. He told her to bring them with her the next day and he would take them all. The next day, she and the girls met him at the pond. He had brought two extra barrels with him. He took the heads off the barrels and put the two girls in one and Elizabeth in the other, then replaced the heads and left the pond. When they were out of sight of the Indian camp, he stopped and let them all out. They rode bare-back horses into Oregon City."

What can be verified is that Elizabeth left Medora and Mary with a man named Antoine LeFleur. The 1880 census shows Medora, age 16, living in Abiqa, Oregon with Antoine LeFleur. (The same census shows Mary to be 19 years old, married Albert Pluard.)

While Elizabeth was in the Oregon City area, she met and married Bazile Pluerad.*** Elizabeth and Bazile moved to Cottage Grove in 1896 and Elizabeth had at least eight more children. When she died in 1927, Elizabeth had 62 grandchildren and 56 great-grandchildren. (If you type Pluerad into this search engine, you'll see some of the family buried in Cottage Grove.)

This photo, undated, but probably from about 1922, shows five generations of Pluard women. Elizabeth Barker Plueard is in the back, far left. Her daughter Mary is in the back on the right. Elizabeth Pluard Daniels is in front of her and Elizabeth's older daughter Bertha and Bertha's baby are in the front.
*There were relatively few Indian attacks on wagon trains on the Oregon Trail. Emigrants were more likely to die of cholera, childbirth, or accident than to be killed by Indians. That said, there were attacks. I just haven't been able to find a record for this one.
**The narrator is most likely mistaken on the birth order for the two girls, given the later census records. Their ages have to be understood to be approximate.

***What makes this story even more complex is that Elizabeth's daughter Mary (or Marie Louise) married Bazile's older brother Albert. So, mother and daughter were married to Pluard brothers.


Marie Louise LaFleur Pluard Stone died August 13, 1936 in Alsea, Oregon. One obituary in the nearby Corvallis Daily Gazette-Times referred to her as Mrs. Mary "Grandma" Stone and told of her journey across the plains to Oregon with her parents.

As the previous story should make clear, there is much that will never be known about Grandma Stone's childhood.* But what we do know is enough to make me marvel at her strength and survival skills.

Marie was born to Elizabeth Barker and at a young age, she and her sister Modora were left in the care of Antoine LeFleur. He is variously referred to as her "father" or her "step-father." In 1877, Mary Louise LeFleur and Albert Pluard received their marriage license. Antoine LeFleur swore on the affadavit that he knew that Albert was over 21 and Mary Louise was over 16 years old. It's likely that Mary was about 17 and Albert was 33.

Mary and Albert Pluard had eight children**; the oldest was Elizabeth Susan Pluard, born in 1877 or 1878. (Elizabeth later married Samuel Daniels; she is Hollister's mother.) Mary and Albert had their children baptized at the St. Paul church. Elizabeth's record (translated from the French by Harriet Munnick) reads:

October 26, 1878, we the undersigned parish priest of this parish have baptized Joselle Isabelle, born the 19th day of August, 1878, child of Albert Plourde and Louise LaFleur, not married before the church. Godfather was Pierre Felix Erin, godmother Ursule Plourde.

Mary and Albert's other children were Albert, Frederic, Grace Dean, Maxie, Eva, Emma, and Margie. Margie was born in 1894, the same year that Mary's husband Albert died in a logging accident near Drain, Oregon.

Mary was left with a young family to raise. In 1900, they were living in the Hubbard area and both Albert and Fred were enrolled at the Chemawa Indian School, listed as 1/2 Indian, from the "Rogue River Tribe." If family stories are correct, Mary's children inherited Indian ancestry from both parents.

Mary split shakes, worked as a midwife (wrapping her feet in burlap in the winter so she could reach her patients) and was known as a healer. She smoked a corn cob pipe and roll-your-owns. She remarried in 1924 to John Stone, and when she died in 1936, she had 39 grandchildren and 36 great-grandchildren.


*Many thanks to Joy Wulff for much of this information. Joy is also descended from these remarkable Pluard women and has talked with many others in this large family.

**Mary Stone's obituary in the newspaper said "seven of [her] eleven children survive their mother."


Does this help?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


The action in these and following stories takes place in the Willamette Valley.

The arrow on this map is indicating Hubbard, Oregon. Across the freeway is the French Prairie area.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I'll call this tale "Love Gone Wrong."

Bear with me as I give a short genealogy explanation. Hollister Daniels's grandmother, Hannah Pendleton, was an early Oregon pioneer, arriving in Oregon in 1847 as a girl of ten. She married A. C. Daniels when she was 18 and their son, Samuel Thurston Daniels, was born the next year. Hannah and A.C. divorced by 1857.

Hannah married a D. Jasper Slover in 1858, then divorced him in 1862, claiming desertion the previous year.

By 1866, though, Hannah seems to have found true love. She married Robert Whitney of Hubbard and they went on to have nine children, Samuel's half siblings and Hollister's aunts and uncles. (As an adult, Hollister would refer occasionally to his "Whitney cousins." This was the family he was referring to.)

(In the photo, Samuel--Hollister's father--is seated in the front row, far right.)

Everyone in this photo is buried in the Hubbard Cemetery. While exploring the cemetery, before I knew very much about the Whitneys, I noticed that Lincoln Whitney's headstone showed he had died quite young. Born in 1884, he died in 1906.

When I was poking around in the Oregon State Archives, I came across a death certificate stating he'd died of a gunshot wound. In Portland. At 360 E. Harrison. In the city.

Curious, I put Lincoln Whitney on my list when I was searching old newspapers at the University of Oregon. Checking the Oregonian the day after his death, wow!, prominent story.

Orlando S. Murray shot and killed Lincoln C. Whitney yesterday morning at 8 o'clock. Murray says Whitney betrayed his sister, Miss Mary Murray, under promise of marriage and then refused to keep his word and save her from imminent disgrace. (The Oregonian is never more explicit than this, but we get the general idea.) The tragedy followed an earnest discussion as to whether or not Whitney should marry the sister. Murray did all the talking. He begged, coaxed, pleaded and finally threatened. Whitney was evasive until the very last. Murray then drew a 38-caliber revolver and fired three shots.

There was no objectivity in The Oregonian's reporting of the story. Orlando and Mary Murray were children of a prominent Portland physician.

For a week, the Murray family has been trying to hasten the marriage of the young couple. The father . . . went to Hubbard a week ago with Miss Mary and talked the matter over with young Whitney's father. The elder Whitney talked reasonably, but Dr. Murray says the boy's mother came out of the house, called his daughter a vile name and insulted him.

In a jailhouse interview, Orlando Murray is described as a big, good-natured boy, fond of home and of his sister, and is known to devote all his earnings to the household expenses. He described how his sister and Lincoln met. "My sister first met Whitney in the Marion County hopfields a year ago this past September," he said. "He called on her a number of times and we always treated him as one of the family. Then he invited her to spend a week with his parents and a second week with his sister, near Hubbard. During this time, he promised to marry her in two weeks and accomplished her downfall."

Historians have written of the hop harvest time in Oregon fields. City girls and boys would come out to the farms to work. The family photo many have seen of Samuel's workers after the hop harvest is an example of the size of the groups that would come to the farms.

Justice was swift in the turn-of-the-century Oregon and Orlando Murray went to trial the following month. After a one-day trial, the jury deliberated for forty minutes and returned with a verdict of not guilty. The courtroom crowd erupted in cheers and men and women who had never heard of him before he killed Lincoln Whitney fought their way forward to shake his hand and offer congratulations. . . . He remained in custody until the crowd dispersed and was then formally released. This was done at the request of Attorney Logan, not to protect young Murray from his friends, but as a precaution against possible violence from Whitney's friends.

The courtroom was a rough place. The defense attorney for Orlando Murray and Lincoln's brother-in-law came to blows. In his opening argument, the defense attorney had referred to the Whitneys as "that tribe." The defense attorney swung at Lincoln's brother-in-law, but The Oregonian assures us that was just a light blow in the face.

Lincoln Whitney's father, Robert Whitney, died the same day as Orlando Murray's aquittal. Hannah Whitney outlived them both, and Samuel as well, dying at age 86 in 1923.

Hollister was born in 1899 and was seven years old, living in Hubbard with his family when this all took place.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Oregon is celebrating its sesquicentennial this year. February 14, 2009 marks 150 years of statehood and organizers have planned plenty of events to mark the transition to statehood in 1859. Some feature speakers who descend from pioneer families who came across the Oregon Trail in the early 1840s. They'll tell of the arduous journey and the promise of fertile land in the Willamette Valley.

But if you're a part of the Daniels family, you had ancestors who were already in Oregon to greet the new settlers.

Great-grandfather to Hollister Daniels* was a French Canadian fur trapper, Francois Pluard. Born about 1795, Francois Pluard was a member of the Hudson's Bay Company. He lived in the Red River area of Manitoba, marrying Suzanne Dubois (most likely a native woman). For reasons political (who would ultimately control the Oregon Territory) and practical (fertile land), Francois Pluard, his wife, and his four children joined The Sinclair Emigration in 1841.

(The story behind the Red River Migration from Canada to Oregon is told in detail by John C. Jackson in Children of the Fur Trade, first published in 1996.)

Of the 121 emigrants in the group, 77 of them were children. Francois Pluard's daughter, Monique, recalled that as a child of five, she walked all the way from Canada to the Willamette Valley.

The Pluards eventually settled in the French Prairie area of Champoeg County, later Marion County.** Five more children were born after they came to Oregon. Albert Pluard, Hollister Daniels's grandfather, was born in December 1844.

In 1849, Francois Pluard, and many other of the French Canadians, became American citizens. The timing of their decision probably had much to do with the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850, which granted 320 acres to every married couple in the Territory prior to 1850.

Francois Pluard's citizenship document is in the Oregon State Archives in Salem, Oregon. It reads in part:

Therefore I, Francois Plurde having made known my intention of becoming a citizen of the United States of America and taken the oath of Naturalization do solemnly swear that I renounce all allegiance to all foreign Princes Kings Potentates & particularly to Queen Victoria, Queen of Great Britain & Ireland and that I will support the Constitution of the United States of America and the Act to establish the Territorial Government of Oregon, so help me God.
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 21st day of April 1849

Francois X (his mark) Plurde

I. M. Gilbert Clerk of Champoeg County

Francois Pluard and Suzanne Dubois lived and farmed in the French Prairie region of Oregon, but records of their lives, like those of many of the French-Canadians, are scarce--except for those compiled by the parish priests at the Catholic churches in St. Paul and St. Louis.(The registers were translated by Harriet Munnick and are a priceless resource.)

The parish register at St. Louis has this entry:

The 29 December, 1844, we undersigned missionary of the Company of Jesus, in supplying the ceremonies of Baptism, have baptized under condition Albert born the day before of the legitimate marriage of Francois Plourde and Suzanne Dubois. Godfather, Joseph Gagnon; Godmother Marguerite Desjarlais.

Aloys Verecruysse

Suzanne Dubois died at about age 88. Francois Pluard reportedly lived to be about 108 years old. Both are buried in the "Highland Cemetery" near Mt. Angel.

I don't have records for all of their nine children. Two of them, Albert and Bazile, each had nine children. The name Pluard is spelled various ways--Pluerad, Plurad, Plourde. (Bazile's obituary in the Cottage Grove Sentinal newspaper spelled his name Basil Pleuard.)

Chances are, though, if they're a Pluard in Oregon, they're probably a cousin!

* Hollister Daniels born 1899 to Elizabeth Pluard. Elizabeth Pluard born 1877 to Albert Pluard. Albert Pluard born 1844 to Francois Pluard.

** Marion County is in the mid Willamette Valley and is where Salem, the state capital, is located. French Prairie is still an area of farms, many in nursery stock.