Biography of A. N. King

A.N. KING. – King’s valley in Benton and Polk counties, and King’s Addition to Portland, which embraces the beautiful city park, will perpetuate the name of the father of our subject and of Mr. King himself.

The latter gentleman was born in Ohio in 1822; but as early as 1840 he removed to Missouri, operating a ferry across the Missouri river. A great flood destroyed his property; and in 1845 he was on the plains bound for Oregon. His father, mother, three brothers and five sisters were also in the company. The immigration numbered a hundred wagons; and it was early in May that they were under way. This company was memorable for the desperate trip through Meek’s cut-off from the Snake river to The Dalles. Mr. King was much opposed to leaving the old road, but was out-voted, and concluded to remain with the company. After this well-nigh fatal experience, and final arrival at The Dalles, the usual voyage by canoes, bateaux and rafts particularly described elsewhere was undertaken. Mr. King’s raft, constructed of pin logs hauled by the worn-out oxen from the hills to the river, was large enough to sustain ten wagons with their loads, and some ten persons. Only three of the men in this number were fit for duty; and one of Mr. King’s brothers, with his wife, were very low with mountain fever, both dying at Wind Mountain, where they were buried on the shore. The cattle were passed as usual down the Oregon shore to this mountain, and thence crossed over and taken to Vancouver by the old trail. They were also used to effect the passage at the Cascades. The difficulties of the passage by a small schooner from the Lower Cascades to Linton were aggravated by the December storms.

The first winter was spent at Forest Grove; and the next summer the family went on up the country to the beautiful valley now known by the name of King’s, where the father and brother took claims. Mr. A.N. King, however, selected his Donation claim a few miles below Corvallis on the Willamette; but, having a foreshadowing of the future greatness of Portland, he came hither and bought a squatter’s right to the magnificent hillside claim west of the city now forming a part of it. Apperson and Balance were the men from whom he made the purchase; and they had obtained it from Mr. Lownesdale, who had there erected a tannery. This business Mr. King continued twelve years, clearing off the timber and laying out his addition. An act indicating his public spirit was his sale of the forty acres for the public park at eight hundred dollars an acre, – worth ten times that sum.

In 1846 he was married to Miss Melinda Fuller of the Tualatin Plains. They have had six children, four of whom are now living; Mrs. Nautilla A. Jeffery and Mrs. A. Lumsden, residing at Portland; Edward A. King, a resident of the same place, and Mr. N.A. King, a rancher in Lake county, owning some five thousand acres of land devoted to the rearing of horses.

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Mrs. King is no longer living, having died January 30, 1887. While the evening shadows begin to appear on the horizon of his life, Mr. King still meets its duties bravely, and conducts his business with vigor.



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

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