Biography of N. K. Sitton

N.K. SITTON. – This pioneer of 1843 was born in Calway county, Missouri, in 1825. As a boy in school he read Lewis & Clarke’s travels, and being an active and intelligent youth seventeen years old, at the time of the great interest that prevailed in the border states respecting Oregon, was moved to join the party of Applegate Or Burnett, and made the journey with these noted men across the plains. he remembers meeting with Whitman on the Sweetwater, and recalls his services in guiding the emigrants from Fort Hall.

Arriving in Oregon he found employment on various farms and at at a mill, but in 1846 took his Donation claim on the rich lands five miles north of McMinnville. he was married soon afterwards to Miss Percilla Rogers of Chehalem valley. There the young pair began life, and made a happy home in which they lived many years. In 1848 Mr. Sitton made the trip to California for his pot of gold, and got it. After his return he made rapid improvements upon his farm, developing grain and stock.

By his first wife, who died in 1869, he reared a family of nine children: C.E., Caroline (Mrs. Rogers), Ora (Mrs. McColough, deceased), H.W., N.H., Fred D., Elbridge D., and two who died in infancy. He was married secondly to Mrs. Mary M. Laughlin, a daughter of Michael Shelly, an immigrant of 1848. Her two children, Lesly G. and Effie Rose were thereby brought into his family; and the home has been further blessed by the birth of five others: Frank W., Pratt K., Minnie G., Jennie G. and Lena S.

Mr. Sitton retains in memory many pleasant incidents of the early times, and of kind deeds performed in the midst of hardships. As for instance, how his comrade Brown, being taken sick at Fort Hall, was brought through only by being put on and taken off his horse morning and night, and carried down from The Dalles; and how McLaughlin had him sent to Doctor Barkley, who nursed and tended him back to life and strength, dismissing him with his blessing and the remark, “When you are able, you can pay me twenty dollars.” another reminiscence is of a dark night on the plains, when Sitton was handling his gun carelessly and the piece was discharged. Fearing that some damage had been done, he followed in the direction of the shot, feeling his way in the dark, and at length discovered a fine mule whose body had been pierced through by the ball. A horse a little farther on, lying so fast asleep as to be roused only by a kick, greatly relieved his mind by standing up unhurt; but he always felt bad about the mule. He also regrets the sickness in his family in 1856, by which, after raising a company of volunteers for the Indian war, he was obliged to relinquish his position, and turn over his command to Captain Ankeny.

Thus having the scenes of the past still fresh, but busy with the affairs of the present, our old pioneer of nearly half a century is happily passing at his home the hours described of old as the “cool of the day.”


History of the Pacific Northwest Oregon and Washington. 2 v. Portland, Oregon: North Pacific History Company. 1889.

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