Biography of B. C. Kindred

B.C. KINDRED. – The immigration of 1844, although on the track of that of 1843, had a much more troublesome time. Mr. Kindred belongs to that company. He is a native of Indiana, where he was born in 1818. His parents were early settlers of Kentucky, of the days of the historic Boone. In 1836 the young man found Indiana growing stale, and went out to Iowa and in 1840 came onto Missouri. Here he met Miss Rachel Mylar; and the meeting resulted in their marriage.

The Oregon fever was then devastating the land; and by 1844 Captain Gilliam was forming his company. Kindred was one of the number enrolled. There were about a hundred wagons, and twelve hundred or fifteen hundred head of stock. The start was bad, the weather being very rainy; and the progress of the first month was very slight. Many of those on the road would not for the life of them tell what brought them there, other than a frontiersman’s impulse to go West; and it would have been the verdict half the way to the Rockies that they would all have been more comfortable on their fat farms in Iowa or Missouri. But the destiny of our state and nation was more truly interpreted by the unaccountable Western impulse than by any heartsick misgivings that overtook the pioneers on the way. That travel on the plains was an education which has made of the Oregonians an improved stock.

Gilliam’s company “fell out by the way,” partly from the necessity of driving the cattle in separate bands, and partly from an edginess developed on the part of some which made division desirable. Captain Morrison led the column to which Mr. Kindred was attached. From the lateness of the season and the hard marches on this side of the Rockies, the company was much worn, broken into small parties, and nearly out of provisions. They were on short allowance from Boise to Doctor Whitman’s. George Bush, the well-known mulatto and settler near Olympia, was very generous with his flour, of which he had a very liberal supply. Without this help Mr. Kindred’s family must have suffered. At Whitman’s they sold lean cattle for fat ones and obtained flour. The journey down the Columbia was accomplished during the month of December. It was Christmas eve that they came to their final camp at Milwaukee; and that night their second son, James, was born.

Mr. Kindred discovered that there was iron in the hills at Oswego; but no one at that time supposed that the deposit was of any great value.

In 1845 he took his family down the Columbia to live on the place at Clatsop which he now owns. On the way he stopped over winter at Cathlamet, working in Hunt’s mill, his wife cooking for the company. About the 5th of November, 1846, they began making their home on Point Adams near Fort Stevens, Oregon. They have there raised a family of twelve children, all of whom but the two oldest were born on the place, and all of whom are living but one boy, who shot himself while hunting. Mr. Kindred’s business has been farming and stock-raising, and also navigating on the Columbia with the canoes and bateaux of the early days, the scows and sloops of a later period, and the steam craft of modern times. He is there yet, possessing a comfortable fortune, and living out a green old age, and within a day’s reach of any of his children. His youngest daughter, Sarah, is still at home conducting the affairs of the house with her parents.



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

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