Biography of Capt. Orrin Kellogg, Jr.

CAPT. ORRIN KELLOGG, JR. – This gentleman is the son of Captain Joseph Kellogg, and was born October 16, 1845, in Wood county, Ohio. Coming as a child to Oregon, he received in this state the training and education which have fitted him for his career in business, and upon the navigation lines of the Northwest Pacific. His boyhood was spent upon his father’s farm, and in attendance upon school at Milwaukee, rendering his father assistance in the meantime upon the farm and in the sawmill. Upon removing to Portland, he attended the Central School, and, desiring to fit himself for exact business, made preparations to enter the Portland Business College, at which he completed a course and become one of the first graduates of that excellent institution.

From school he began the business of steamboating, operating on the Tualatin river, first as engineer and afterwards as captain of the steamer Onward. A few years later he purchased the dry-goods store of Mr. L. Patterson, of Hillsboro, and, laying in a large stock of merchandise, soon made it the leading retail house of the town. In the spring of 1874 he returned to Portland, Oregon, resuming his former occupation of steamboating, and has followed this to the present time, operating on the Willamette and Columbia rivers for the various transportation companied doing business there. Since 1878 he has had command of the steamer Toledo, of The Joseph Kellogg Transportation Company, a corporation of which he is vice-president. His operations in this department of river navigation have been of great value to the Cowlitz country, as well as contributing to a generally increased volume of business, and demonstrate in what manner freight tariffs for transportation may be kept at a minimum in our Pacific Northwest. His plan has been to accommodate every farmer or rancher reached on his route, giving each a landing, taking any and every sort of produce to market, disposing of it for the owner, and purchasing for the settlers any supplies or necessaries, from school books or a package of nails to household goods or farm machinery.

He has moreover assiduously given attention to the improvement of the Cowlitz river, securing for it government aid, and even expending the means of the company in further prosecution of the work. In 1886 his plan for building wing-dams and clearing the river of snags by means of giant powder was conceded to be the best by the government engineers. As a result of this policy of the part of the company and his own steady prosecution of the same, his company has now exclusive control of the Cowlitz trade, and have so stimulated the settlement of the Cowlitz country that at Toledo, where there was only a calf pasture when the Captain first made a landing, there stands a fine young city of more than six hundred inhabitants. When we consider that there are over one hundred rivers in the Northwest, that by more or less improvement may be made to serve as well as the Cowlitz for navigation under the same sort of management, we begin to realize the value of our inland navigation, and see how easily railroad monopoly may be checked. To the company of Captain Kellogg must be given the credit of pioneering in this direction.

He was married June 5, 1870, at Hillsboro, Oregon, to Miss Margaret Ellen Westfall, who was born May 30, 1850, in Des Moines county, Iowa, and is a daughter of Nathan Westfall of West Chehalem, Oregon. They have three children, Stella May, Ruby Ethel and Chester Orrin.



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

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