The Dalles Times-Mountaineer from The Dalles, Oregon on January 1, 1898 · Page 4
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The Dalles Times-Mountaineer from The Dalles, Oregon · Page 4

The Dalles, Oregon
Issue Date:
Saturday, January 1, 1898
Page 4
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THE DALLES TIMES-MOUNTAINEER. disseminate the truth of the Gospel among the tribes of Indians, did not overlook the value of the country, and its worth to the government of the stars and stripes. The Dalles was the key to the entire country east of the Cascades, and Lee perceiving this used his best endeavors to establish a permanent American settlement, that would grow into and become a city witn the development of the country. In August, 1847, the Methodists transferred the mission to Dr. Marcus Whitman, who was a missionary of the Presbyterian Missionary Society, better known as the American Board. Whitman, and his coadjutors of the American Board were doing the greater portion of the missionary work east of the Cascade mountains, and the Dalles station was an important one to them. The Methodists were mostly occupied in the Willamette valley, where they had more work to contend with than they could do justice to. As an act of Christian regard, the mission was - transferred to the American Board, for the uses and purposes of a mission, and with the understanding that the missionary work would be continued on the same general lines as were then being followed through the Northwest. For the personal property of the mission Mr. Roberts received $600. As no title to the real property could be given ' no attempt was made to sell the land occupied by the mission After the transfer Dr. Whitman returned to his home at Wailatpu, leaving the station in charge of his nephew, Perrin B. Whitman, then a youth of seventeen years, who remained in charge of the station, until early in December of the same year, when the news of the massacre of Dr. Whitman reached him. He then abandoned the mission and leaving the buildings in charge ., of some friendly Wascoes, fled down the Columbia to escape the murderous red skins, who were greatly excited and inflamed against the missionaries by the instigators of the massacre at Wailatpu. The buildings were soon afterwards occupied by a volunteer military company under the command of Captain G. A. H. Lee, who used the mission houses for his soldiers. During the continuance of the Indian wars which followed the Whitman massacre, these buildings were used for storing military supplies. After the death of General Gilliam, Lee was placed in command the post. It was never used as a mission station Rigelow's addition to Dalles City. He also opened a store, and for many years transacted a very considerable business. Several others came during the year, and the place began to assume the proportions of a village. From this year the town may be said to have commenced its existence. Before this it was only a military post. The soldiers attracted merchants, and being a good point for business, many located here permanently. The first steamboat on the river was the Flint, built in 1851. The Wasco was built in 1854, and afterwards the Messrs. McFarland constructed the Mary. She was sold a short time later to Colonel Ruckle. In 1852 C. W. Denton located a tract at the mouth of Mill creek on the east side and established a boat landing. . This was for years the landing place for the boats doing business on the middle river. From 1852 regular comunication was established between The Dalles and Portland. Bradford & Co. afterwards built the Hassalo, and a few years later the different transportation interests were consolidated and the Oregon Steam Navigation Company was organized; and from the time of the organization of this company it prac-. tically controlled the transportation business on the river. 'a.he first boat owned and operated by the company was the Idaho, commanded by Captain John McNulty. She was followed by the Oneonta, Daisy Ainsworth, Mountain Queen and R. R. Thompson. The O. S. N. did a prosperous business. The transfer was made around ie dalles by teams from The Dalles to Celilo until 1862, when The Dalles and Celilo Railroad was built. Connecting steamers ran on the upper river as far inland as Lewiston, Idaho. The gold excitement of 1855 attracted thousands of prospectors, traders, adventurers and others, but few permanent settlers. All of these were obliged to pass through The Dalles, and it soon became quite an outfitting point. The government buildings at the fort were erected in 1858, while Captain Thomas Jordan was in command. In April, 1859, Captain Jordan commenced the publication of The Dalles Journal, the first newspaper published .in the place. In 18G0 it was transferred to W. H. Newell, who changed its name to the Mountaineer. The first move toward establishing a city government was made in 1855. On September 15th of that year a meeting of the residents of the then village was called for the In the spring of 1863 the O. S. N. Co. established machine shops at this point with John Torrence as foreman. This was long a very prominent industry of the town. In 1860 the first school house was erected. The old building has been remodeled and removed several times, but it still continues to do service. Prior to the erection of this building a school was taught in one of the garrison buildings, by one of the soldiers of the fort. Unfortunately the name of this first schoolmaster, who, clad in the blue uniform of the U. S. regular, instructed the youth of the town amid martial surroundings, has not been preserved. It Is to be doubted if this village schoolmaster, whose surroundings savored of the bayonet, was Goldsmith's prototype. In 1871, a large frame building was completed, and in 1882 tne present brick edifice used for a High School. In 18S1 the Wasco Independent Academy was incorporated, and in 1889 was created a State Normal School by an act of the legisulature. The Catholic Academy was completed in 1884. The grass clad hills of the surrounding country attracted the attention of stockmen and ere many years tlfeproducts of the ranges were bringing as much wealth to the city as did the mines. The lack of facilities for transportation to the markets of the East proved to be a drawbackbut adventurous spirits were soon driving great bands of beef cattle across the plains and mountains to railroad connection at Cheyenne. Every year large drives were made, the entire summer being required to make the drive. The sheep industry early received an impetus and has proved one of the leading industries of the country. By act of congress in 1865, $100,000 was appropriated for a branch mint at The Dalles. The material obtained from a very fine quary of granite about five miles up Mill creek made a very pretentious looking edifice. After the first story was completed congress refused to make further appropriations and the work was stopped. The building is now used as a flouring mill. With the decline oi the placer mines, the town began to do less business, and to some extent lost its prestige. For several years an air of dullness and business depression was apparent. Prior to this time but little attention had been given to farming, except on the creek bottoms. In 1876 tixe experiment was made of raising grain on the uplands. X &z vvjiir A BIRD'S EYE VIEW OF THE DALLES. afterwards. The death of Whitman having caused a relaxation of the efforts of the missionaries in this part of the . country. In 1846 Rev. Father Rosseau established the Catholic mission. He was superseded by Father Mesplie, under whose supervision the old mission buildings were erected. This mission was never vacated, and has grown into a flourishing society with magnificent structures. It has been an important factor in the development and growth of the town. The old mission buildings were located west of Mill creek. Major Tucker, with three companies of United States regulars, was ordered to The Dalles in the spring of 1850. The grounds long occupied by the government as a garrison and fort, were selected by him for a military post. The reservation thus selected was ten miles square. The presence of the military, and the protection thus afforded caused trade to center here, and the first merchant to establish himself at The Dalles was John C. Bell, who came from Salem and opened a sutler's store. Lieutenant Woods, with two companies of the First artillery, superseded Major Tucker's command in 1851. Captain Benjamin Alvord with two companies of the Fourth infantry arrived at the fort in 1852. The fort was maintained for many years, and during this time several men, who afterwards won national repuations, were quartered here. Among these were U. S. Grant, afterwards president of the United States, and General Phil. Sheridan. In 1851 Mr. Bell disposed of his sutler's store to Wm. Gibson; and during this year A. McKindlay & Co., having obtained permission from the military authorities of the post erected a frame building at a point near the intersection of Main and Court streets, and stocked it with goods. They placed it in charge of Perrin B. Whitman. The next year they constructed .a larger and more commodious structure west of where the Umatilla House now stands. In 1853 Messrs. Sims and Humason purchased their business; and during this year Gibson removed his store from the garrison to a point near the foot of Union street. About this time the military reservation was reduced to a very much smaller tract, and several donation claims were located. W. C. Laughlin located a claim on which the eastern portion of the city now stands. W. D. Bigelow came to The Dalles and located a claim which now forms purpose of adopting a code of rules for the proper division of property and for the government of the town. At this meeting a series of resoluations looking to the better government of the place were adopted, and a board of trustees elected. These were to hold office and to assume the government of the place until April 7th, 1856, when a general election should be held, and their successors elected. The trustees then chosen were W. C. Laughlin, R. D. Forsythe, J. C. Geere, W. H. LeRoy and O. Humason. At the session of the territorial legislature of 1856-7 a charter bill was passed, on January 26th, 1857, incorporating the town under the name of Dalles City. The first election under this charter was on the second Monday in April, 1857. Until 1863 five trustees were chosen annually who elected a president from among their own number. The first recorder was J. P. Booth, and the first treasurer O. Humason, both elected in 1856. The charter was amended by an act passed by the legislature January 20th, 1859. By this charter the boundaries of tne city were established. The charter has since been amended several times. The present charter was enacted in 1895. In 1863 J. K. Kelly was chosen mayor. He drafted a code of rules for the city which were adopted by the council for their guidance. The discovery of gold in Idaho and Eastern Oregon in 1862 brought The Dalles into considerabe prominence as a business center, and outfitting point. For many years, and in fact until the completion of the O. R. & N. line of railroad, in 1881, it was the only shipping point into the interior. The boats of the O. S. N. Co. were constantly loaded with freight and passengers going to the newly discovered mines. The Dalles was the center of trade for the entire country lying east of the Cascade range. The streets were thronged with long lines of freight teams and pack animals coming from and departing for the mines. At this time the quartz mines received but little, if any, attention, and the rich placers of Canyon City, and the Salmon river drew thousands many of whom would return to The Dalles to winter. Coin was scarce, and paper money almost unknown, but gold dust supplied the place of currency, and this in abundance, possessed by men who had but little idea of economical expenditure, but who spent their dust lavishly on whatever suited, their fancy, made the town very lively. Many persons made ample fortunes during this period. The tests and experiments were highly successful, and Immigrants began to settle the hill lands, which before that time were supposed to be unfit for farming purposes, until in a few years the entire country was settled by men who have brought millions of dollars into the country in exchange for the vast amounts of grain, wool, cattle, and fruits that have been exported. In 1881 the O. R. & N. Company, which had superceded the O. S. N. Co., constructed a line of railroad along the river from Portland. The completion of this road caused a change in business conditions. Heretofore the closing of the river in the winter would cause almost a cesation of business during the winter months. The railroad, affording constant communication during the entire year, made the winter as suitable for business purposes as the remaining seasons of the year, and greatly improved the business situation. .' In 1859 a hook and ladder company was organized, the organization having been authorized by a city ordinance. This was afterwards disbanded, and on January 15th', 1862, Dalles Diligent Hook and Ladder Company was organized. The first engine house was built in 1860. Jackson Engine Company was organized on January 15th, 1863, on the same date of the dissolution of the hook and ladder company. This company is yet in existence, and ready and auie as ever to light and conquer fire. For many years the sole protection afforded was the hook and ladder company and the fire company. After the completion of the present system of water works, with a sufficient supply of water and sufficient force in the mains, facilities , were afforded for hose companies, now well drilled and proficient to do effective work without the aid of the engine. The Dalles has sunered severely at times from disastrous conflagrations. The most destructive of these was the great fire of September 2d, 1891, when above twenty blocks were burned to the ground, and many of the finest and best business structures were entirely consumed. In February, 1862, a right of way and a franchise was granted to J. S. Reynolds to lay water pipes through the streets and to construct a water supply system. R. Pent-land obtained his franchise on September 6th of the same year, and proceeded with and completed the work. Water was turned into the mains from Mill creek about the first of November, giving the city its first supply of water, and

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