Subject: (Obituary)James Terwilliger b.1809
New York> OregonTrail>Meek cutoff route wagon train 1845> died 1892 Multnomah County, Portland, Oregon
THE OLDEST PIONEER. DEATH OF JAMES TERWILLIGER WHO CAME TO PORTLAND IN 1845.
JAMES TERWILLIGER is dead. The oldest pioneer citizen of Portland passed away peacefully at his residence, in this city, yesterday. At his age of 84 years he was until yesterday the only person living here who has had the
pleasure of watching the progress this city has made since the first house on the banks of the Willamette river at this point, was erected. JAMES TERWILLIGER built that house-if it might be called such, for in reality it
was but a log cabin. It was in the autumn of 1845. He had crossed the plains from Illinois, and being 36 years of age, strong and hearty, was able to withstand the hardships that proved fatal to many of the ambitious ones
who undertook such a journey.
Arriving on the coast, he found the most likely spot for a residence on the banks of the Willamette, where he, with the assistance of the crew from the vessel Toulon, which had made its way up here, put up his cabin. He shortly afterwards started a blacksmith shop, and for a few years was engaged in welding and hammering.
In the spring of 1848 he married a widow, Mrs. Philinda Green, and they some time afterward took up a donation claim of 630 acres near this city.
They had two children Mary, who died at the age of 12 years and Julia Viola, who is now the wife of T.M. Richardson, a prominent capitalist of this city.
On October 19, 1873, Mrs Terwilliger died, and her husband has since that time lived at the old home. highly respected and honored. His name has been brought into considerable prominence lately in connection with the Green vs. Terwilliger will case, which was decided iin favor of the plaintiff by Judge Hawley in the United States court last Monday.
There is only one man now living who came to Portland at as early date as Mr. Terwilliger, and he is Benjamin Stark, who now resides in New London, Conn. Captain G.H. Flanders is the next oldest pioneer, he having arrived in
Arrangements for the funeral have not yet made, but will be largely attended by friends, who have always held the old pioneer in the highest esteem.
19th Century U.S. Newspapers. Available online via a local library. The Morning Oregonian, Portland, Oregon
September 02, 1892
Page 8;issue 10,050; column B
Headline: The oldest pioneer Death of James Terwilliger, who came to Portland in 1845
Note: I tried to copy it the article as it was written.
19th Century U.S. Newspapers. This article published in 1892.
JAMES TERWILLIGER, who died yesterday, was, we think, the earliest of the residents of Portland (except Mrs. Lovejoy) who, in recent years, have survived among us. He came in 1845. John L. Morrison, who came in 1842 (for
whom Morrison street is named) still lives, but is now a resident of the Puget Sound country, and Benjamin Stark (for whom Stark street is named).
who came in 1845, now lives in Connecticut. Mrs. Lovejoy excepted, the citizen of Portland among us who first saw the site of the city is William L. Higgins. He was here in 1842. but did not remain then, and was not a
resident of Portland till 1849. JAMES TERWILLIGER was here at the very beginning of the city, and had remained ever since. He was Portlands first blacksmith, and plied his trade in the primitive village till it begun to grow to the proportions of a town. He was a worthy pioneer, a good citizen and a useful man.
Source: Morning Oregonian, (Portland, Oregon) Friday, September 02, 1892; pg
4;Issue 10,050; col D
19th Century U.S. Newspapers online library database