Biography of Col. La Fayette Mosher

COL. LA FAYETTE MOSHER. – There is perhaps no resident of Oregon more widely known and generally respected than L.F. Mosher. He has held so many prominent positions, and is so well qualified to fill them, that it only seems a natural thing to see him in the senate, and as a justice of the supreme court. He was born in Benton County, Kentucky, September 1, 1824. So entirely did he bend his energies tot he gaining of an education, that at the age of nineteen years we find him a graduate of Woodward College, Cincinnati, where he carried off honors on June 30, 1843. After graduating, he acted as deputy clerk of the supreme court of Hamilton County, where he remained until the breaking out of the Mexican war. He at once came valiantly forward and joined the Fourth Ohio Regiment, and served in the brigade of General Joseph Lane until the close of the war.

When the war was ended he entered the law office of Pugh & Pendleton, the members of the firm being ex-Senator George E. Pugh, now deceased, and ex-Senator George H. Pendleton. He was admitted to the bar in May, 1852, and at once began the practice of his profession in Cincinnati. He came to Oregon with General Lane in 1853, landing in Portland in May of that year. The following months he went to the mines in Jackson County, and took part in the Indian war of the same year, acting as adjutant-general under General Lane. He also earnestly engaged in the Indian war of 1855-56, acting as a volunteer, though not enlisted in any company. In the year 1855, upon the creation of the Southern Oregon land district, he was appointed registrar by President Pierce, and was continued in the office until the administration of President Lincoln, when he was removed.

In 1870 he was elected to the state senate, and three years later was appointed justice of the supreme court of Oregon by Governor L.F. Grover, vice A.J. Thayer, now deceased. In 1884 he was selected by President Arthur as one of the board of visitors to West Point.

After filling so many prominent positions, and so well accomplishing his mission in each and all, Colonel Mosher has now settled quietly down to the practice of his profession, and is enjoying all the comforts of home life in the beautiful little city of Roseburg, in Southern Oregon. He has well earned the high esteem and universal respect so fully accorded him by all his acquaintances; and, although many do not know him personally, they realize his sterling qualities as a man, – holding a position by the voice of the people, and acting in accord with their earnest desires and principles.

He was married to Miss Winifred Lane, a daughter of General Lane, on July 1, 1856. Their union has been blessed by six children, two sons and four daughters.


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

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