Impressions of the Journal Man, Part 2 (Flora Savage Richardson)

Mrs. Flora Savage Richardson, who lives with her daughter, Mrs. Sadie McKee, at S.E. 170th avenue and Division street, was born in Yamhill county on October 14, 1851. She went to school to Sylvester Pennoyer and later attended the Harrison Street school and Portland academy. This is a portion of her story:

“When I was 17 my father, Charles Savage, who, with my stepmother and their four children, lived at Jacksonville, sent for me to come to Jacksonville to do the house work. I had not been there long when what was known as black smallpox broke out, and Jacksonville was quarantined. Two of the first to die were Mrs. John Loye and her child. George Funk died in his cabin, south of town and was buried nearby. Colonel W.G. T’Vault was buried at midnight by the priest who had been with him when he died. The siege lasted about two months. During that time they kept bonfires of pitch pine burning to serve as a disinfectant.

“Colonel T’Vault was the first editor of the Oregon Spectator, started at Oregon City in February, 1846. Hel later served in the legislature of the provisional government and in the territorial legislature. He was aide to General Joseph Lane in the Rogue River war. He started the Umpqua Gazette in Scottsburg, in 1855, the Table Rock Sentinel, Jacksonville, that same year.

“Not long after the smallpox epidemic was over, my stepmother decided I had better go back to Portland. My Uncle, Jesse D. Walling, told me I could go out to Spring Valley and live with them. It was a wonderful change and relief to go to him. Uncle Jesse was born in Ohio in 1816 and came across the plains with the rest of the family in 1847. He took a donation land claim in Spring Valley, in Polk county, seven miles from Salem. He went to the California gold fields in 1849. His wife’s maiden name was Eliza A Wise. Thirteen of their children grew to maturity.

“That fall I went to work for Mrs. Enos Williams, at Amity. She had adopted my brother, Charley. He lived with them until he died, at the age of 21. I stayed with the Williams family till I was 20. They were kindly, Christian people. Before going to Amity I had worked awhile at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Abrams. Their son Carle, has for many years lived at Salem. Carle’s father was running a store at Lincoln when I worked there.

“I was married to George W. Richardson in the fall of 1871, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Williams, at Amity. The Rev. James Campbell of the Christian church married us. My husband was born on the Platt river, in Nebraska, in 1851.

“We had a small farm near Bethel. The place was uncleared, being mostly timber and brush. We had nine children, all of whom were born there except one born at Amity. My husband’s sister came to live with us when she was 10 years old. She lived with us until her marriage to James Butterick. My oldest daughter, Dora, married William Butterick. My son, Charles, lives at Roseburg. Jesse, named for Uncle Jesse Walling, has been a railway mail clerk 20 years. He lies at Seattle. Elva, now Mrs. Fred Werner, lives at West Salem. Helen died six years ago. Sarah Ann – though we always call her Sadie –married William McKee. Her husband is an engineer on the Bonneville dam. I live here with Sadie. Frank lives at Seattle. Lynn started to work for the Southern Pacific when he was 15. He is now a section foreman at Salem. Crystal married Frank Carter. They live at Stayton. He is a carpenter. My husband did at Amity five years ago. We lived at Forest Grove and Salem prior to going to Amity. My husband’s father, the Rev. G.W. Richardson, was a minister of the Christian church.”

Source:  Oregon Daily Journal, August 8, 1936.

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John Walling

As the son of a prominent business man of Lincoln, Polk county, John Walling has been interested in various enterprises in this community, working for his father in both the mercantile establishment and the People’s Transportation Company, the oldest business of its kind on the Willamette river, and in which the elder Mr. Walling owned an interest. John Walling is now engaged in farming on property which he purchased in 1880, consisting of seventy-two acres of land, forty of which is devoted to the cultivation of hops, the income so acquired amounting to no small percentage of the money invested.

The origin of the Walling family is English, the grandfather having been an Englishman who fought in the Revolutionary war. He was at the time a farmer in the state of Virginia, where his son, J.D., the father of John Walling, was born April 1, 1818. Being reared to the life of a farmer J.D. Walling continued in that occupation in early manhood, locating first in Iowa, where he remained until the spring of 1847, when, with the usual outfit for such a journey, he joined an emigrant train of ox-teams and set out for the west. The train was unusually large, and, with the usual experiences of such a journey, they reached Oregon safely after six months. The first winter of the Walling family in Oregon was spent in Oregon City, the next spring, however, finding them located near Zena, Spring valley, Polk county, on a donation claim of six hundred and forty acres, upon which property Mr. Walling made his home until his death in 1870, being killed by being thrown from a vehicle while driving. In addition to his farming interests Mr. Walling was engaged in general merchandising in Lincoln, and a warehouse in the same location. In politics a Republican, he served as road supervisor. While giving attention to the duties of this office he met his death. Fraternally he was a member of the Masonic order, belonging to the lodge at Amity. The wife of Mr. Walling was in maidenhood Eliza A. Wise, a native of New York state, and the descendant of a Dutch family. She survived her husband twenty-two years, dying in 1892, at the age of sixty-two years. Of the children born to Mr. and Mrs. Walling thirteen are now living, four sons and nine daughters.

John Walling is the fourth child of the family and was born in Iowa, September 14, 1846, being but one year old at the time of the removal to the west. He received his early education in the common school located in the vicinity of his home, and when his school days were over he went to work for his father in his store in Lincoln, where he remained until his father’s death. He then rented a farm for a few years and engaged in the cultivation of the soil, until 1880, when he purchased his present property, which has since yielded him a good income.

The marriage of Mr. Walling occurred in Polk county in 1870, and united him with Celia Harris, who was born in Missouri, January 16, 1850, her father, James R. Harris, crossing the plains in the same year. Of this union nine children have been born. Six died in infancy, while those still living are: Tracy, Lorin and Alvin, all of whom are still at home with their parents. Politically Mr. Walling is a Republican, and has served several offices, among them that of road supervisor and school director, holding the latter position for twelve years. In his fraternal relations, he affiliates with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, holding membership with the lodge at McCoy, and with the Maccabees at Lincoln.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of the Willamette Valley. 1903. Chicago: Chapman Publishing Company.

Jesse D. Walling

Born in Ohio in 1816; moved to Illinois and thence to Iowa, where he was residing in 1847. Came across the plains in that year in a large company led by Captain Davidson. On Christmas of the same year settled in Spring Valley, Polk County, taking a donation claim, which is still possessed by his family. In 1849 Mr. Walling went to California and mined for a short time. Was married in Illinois in 1839 to Miss Eliza A. Wise, a native of New York. The children resulting from this union numbered fourteen, of whom thirteen survive. Mr Walling died in 1870. His widow resides on the donation claim in Spring Valley.

Source: Lang, H.O. 1885. History of the Willamette Valley. Portland, OR: Geo. H. Hines, Book & Job Printer.

Benjamin F. Walling

The pioneer real estate man of Nampa, and a man to whose activities the city and surrounding country owe much of its importance, Benjamin F. Walling is regarded as one of the city’s most representative men. He is a westerner by birth, and has spent practically all of his life in this part of the country, where he has brought himself from obscure and humble youth to a position of independence and prominence among his fellows. Mr. Walling was born near Salem, in Polk county, Oregon, November 24, 1848, and is a son of Jesse and Eliza Ann (Wise) Walling. His father, a native of Virginia, came to Oregon in 1847, from the state of Iowa, making the journey overland by ox team. He was engaged in the business of buying and shipping grain to England and had many and varied interests, being also a merchant and steamship owner, and a large and successful owner of land on the Pacific coast. His death occurred when he was fifty-two years of age. His wife was a native of New York, and was taken by her parents to Iowa in girlhood, there meeting and marrying Mr. Walling. She accompanied him in the overland trip to Oregon, bravely and uncomplainingly sharing the dangers and hardships of that long and perilous trip, and proved a valuable aid to him in his early struggles for a competence, and a dignified head of his home when he had attained prominence.

Benjamin F. Walling was the fourth in line of a family of thirteen children, and secured his education in the public schools of Oregon, which he attended until he was eighteen years of age. After leaving school he at once started assisting his father in his various enterprises, being associated with him until the time of the elder man’s death, when he removed to California. One year later he entered the Sierra Nevadas at a milling camp, there embarking upon a mercantile career, but subsequently disposed of his interests and went to Hood River, Oregon, when he conducted the Mount Hood Hotel for upwards of five years, meeting with much success. In 1886 Mr. Walling came to Idaho and settled in Nampa when the town was marked by a section house and miles of desert waste. He here assisted in founding and building up the town, platting tracts of land and erecting many structures. On coming to this place he started to deal in real estate, and with this business he has continued to be connected to the present time. He is a charter member of the Chamber of Commerce. Politically, he is a Democrat, but he never cared for public office, and has declined all overtures to that end.

Mr. Walling was married at Albany, Oregon, November 6, 1872, to Miss Georgia M. Conley [sic], daughter of J.B. Conley [sic], a pioneer of that state, and four children have been born to them: Jesse J., who is associated in the real estate business with his father at Nampa; Dora, who is deceased; Frankie G., single and engaged in the millinery business at Nampa; Benjamin F., Jr., who lives in this city. The members of this family are well known and high esteemed in Nampa, where they have numerous warm friends. Mr. Walling takes a pardonable degree of pride in the fact that the left home without funds, and through his own efforts has builded up a large business and made his name respected by his associates. All matters that pertain to the welfare of Nampa or the vicinity find in him an interested listener, and when movements of a beneficial nature are started, he is bound to be found in the vanguard with other earnest, hard working citizens.

Source: French, Hiram T. 1914. History of Idaho. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company.

Benjamin Franklin Walling, Jr.

Benjamin Franklin Walling, Jr., a representative of one of Oregon’s honored pioneer families, is numbered among the successful young business men of Portland where he is now engaged in dealing with investment securities, with offices in the Lewis building. He is a typical western man, wide-awake, alert and enterprising and at all points in his career has been actuated by a progressive spirit and firm determination that has enabled him to overcome all obstacles and difficulties in his path and press steadily forward to the goal of success. He has been instrumental in the promotion of large irrigation projects and other public utilities and through his activities has contributed in substantial measure to the development and upbuilding of the northwest.

Mr. Walling is one of Oregon’s native sons. He was born at Hood River, July 4, 1884, of the marriage of Benjamin F. Walling, Sr., and Georgia M. (Comley) Walling, the former born in Spring Valley, Polk county, Oregon, November 24, 1848, while the latter’s birth occurred near Albany, in Benton county, this state, February 7, 1854. The paternal grandfather, Jesse D. Walling, was born in Ohio, April 1, 1816, and in 1836 he became a resident of Illinois. On the 1st of December, 1839, he wedded Miss Eliza A. Wise, of New York, and in 1847 they crossed the plains to Oregon as members of a company led by Captain Davidson, reaching Spring Valley, Polk county, on Christmas day of that year. There the grandfather followed farming for two years and in 1849 he went to California in search of gold and engaged in mining in that state until 1851. Upon his return to Oregon he established the town of Lincoln, in Polk county, where he built the first docks, stores and flouring mill, also becoming a pioneer in the steamboat business on the Willamette and Columbia rivers, being owner of the Peoples Transportation Company, his labors constituting an important element in the development and upbuilding of the state. Mr. Walling also outfitted the rescue party which went to the assistance of the William Dierdorff company which was stranded in the Cascade mountains while en route to Oregon City in the fall of 1854. Mr. and Mrs. Walling reared a family of fourteen children. He passed away May 9, 1870, at the age of fifty-four years, his being due to a runaway accident caused by a pet horse of the family. His wife’s demise occurred at Portland on the 10th of January, 1893, at which time she was seventy-one years of age. J.B. Comley, the grandfather on the maternal side, was born in Lancaster, Kentucky, September 21, 1827, and at Natchez, Mississippi, he married Dorinda McFadden, who was a native of Louisiana, born November 20, 1830. In 1853 the crossed the plains from St. Joseph, Missouri, in an emigrant train under command of Dr. O.P. Hill, settling in that year in Benton county, Oregon. While journeying near the Platte river, a member of the party named Babb, who was riding a white mule, accidentally killed a squaw and fearing the revenge of the Indians they colored the mule black with the assistance of Drs. O.P. and R.C. Hill, building a false bottom in the wagon, in which they concealed Babb. For many days the Indians followed the train in quest of Babb but finally abandoned the search without molesting the party. To Mr. and Mrs. Comley were born three children, of whom Georgia M. was the only daughter. At Albany, Oregon, on the 6th of November, 1872, she was united in marriage to Benjamin F. Walling, Sr., and subsequently they removed to California, after which they returned to Oregon, taking up their residence in Hood River in November, 1875, the father there engaging in the hotel business until 1886. In that year, he went to Nampa, Idaho, arriving there just as the town was being platted. He purchased fifty-three lots and also took a relinquishment claim of one hundred and sixty acres a short distance north of the town and became active in real estate circles there, being the pioneer in that line of endeavor in that locality. He was long connected with the business life of the city, his efforts proving a potent force in its development and improvement and he there continued to resided un 1915, when he retired from business pursuits and removed to Portland. To Mr. and Mrs. B.F. Walling, Sr., were born four children: Dora M., [sic] now deceased, who became the wife of D.A. Baxter who served for many years as superintendent of schools at Nampa, Idaho; Frankie G., living at La Grande, Oregon; Benjamin F., Jr., of this review; and Jesse J., a prominent real estate dealer of Nampa, Idaho.

In the public schools of Nampa and Boise, Idaho, and of Portland, Oregon, Benjamin F. Walling, Jr., pursued his education and when a young man of twenty-one years he engaged in mining in the Silver City district of Idaho, successfully continuing his operations along that line until 1907. In 1909, he became interested in irrigation, pumping water onto the lowlands along the Snake river. People at that time were very skeptical regarding the project, which, however, later became a great successes. Subsequently Mr. Walling went to Salt Lake and became identified with the Beaver irrigation project in Beaver county, Utah, the scene of his operations being two hundred and six miles south of Salt Lake City. He was engaged in that work for two years and the venture proved a most successful one. He afterwards engaged in the bond business in Chicago, Illinois, and in Boise, Idaho, raising eleven hundred thousand dollars in Chicago and St. Paul, when but twenty-five years old, for the purpose of financing the Beaver irrigation project. Subsequently he engaged in the bond business in Seattle and not finding the work congenial he turned his attention to coal mining. While residing in Washington he became interested in a project promoted by two banks of that state, one located at Seattle and the other at Centralia, for generating electric power from coal mines to supply the cities of Centralia and Chehalis, Washington, but both institutions became insolvent and Mr. Walling lost considerable money in the venture. However, he subsequently retrieved this loss, returning to Centralia where he installed a two thousand horse power generating plant which is still in operation. Later with an associate he took over the Maxwell Land & Irrigation Company at Hermiston, Oregon, and carried that project through to a successful completion. He was also the organizer of the Sherman Light & Power Company and in association with another formed the Washington-Idaho Water, Power & Light Company, which serves Lewiston, Idaho, and vicinity and also towns in southwestern Washington, his activities thus providing a most important element in the development of various sections of the northwest. Subsequently he disposed of his interests in these various companies and removed to Portland, Oregon, where he is now residing, dealing in investment securities. His initiative, spirit, resourcefulness and splendid executive ability have led him into important relations and his connection with any undertaking insures a prosperous outcome of the same, for whatever he undertakes he carries forward to successful completion. Although at times he has encountered discouragements and difficulties, which many another man would have found insurmountable, he has never lost courage but has steadily advanced until success has crowned his efforts.

On the 18th of March, 1908, in Caldwell, Idaho, Mr. Walling was united in marriage to Miss Erma B. Hart, a daughter of James B. Hart, a resident of Salt Lake City who crossed the plains in an early day, becoming a pioneer of Utah. The only child of this marriage is a son, Benjamin Walling. In his political views Mr. Walling is a staunch republican, interested in the welfare and success of the party but without aspirations for public office, preferring to devote his time and attention to the management of his extensive business interests. He belongs to the Masonic lodge and in his daily life exemplifies the beneficent teachings of that order. The name of Walling has ever been an honored one in connection with the pioneer development and later progress of Oregon and Benjamin F. Walling, Jr., is actuated by the spirit of advancement and enterprise which dominated his forbears and which has been a most effective force in the upbuilding of the northwest. Although still a young man he has accomplished much, for his his life has been one of intense activity, intelligently directed into those channels through which flows the greatest good to the greatest number and his efforts have brought him a measure of success that is most desirable, at the same time proving of benefit to his fellowmen in many fields. His integrity has never been open to question and his many sterling qualities of characters have gained him a high place in the respect and regard of all who have been brought into contact with him.

Source: Carey, Charles Henry. 1922. History of Oregon. Volume 3. Chicago: Pioneer Historical Publishing Company.