Biography of William Henry Canaday

It is fitting that in a work that purports to accord to the leading citizens of Harney county representation there should be special mention of the well known business man whose name heads this article and who has labored in our midst for a number of years, gaining a good success and making for himself a name and standing which are enviable.

Madison Canaday was born in Hillsboro, Highland county, Ohio, on October 21, 1831, and when a boy went with his parent to Illinois and then to Iowa, whence they crossed the plains with ox teams in 1852. They settled in Douglas county, Oregon, the parents taking a donation claim. Later they removed to Yam Hill county. Miss Sarah E. Abbott was born near Springfield, Missouri, in 1842, and started across the plains with ox teams in 1852, having traveled to Texas and returned to Missouri in 1844. The train was a large on and the dreaded cholera attacked them and her father was the first victim to succumb to that terrible disease, passing away on June 9. Before the journey was completed the mother died also, the date being September 30, and she sleeps near where Baker City now stands. Thus from the happy eastern home this child was left an orphan on the dreary plains. She came on to Yam Hill county, Oregon. There she met and married Madison Canaday, the date of this happy wedding being 1857. In 1860 they went to Douglas county, and in 1862 to Lane county, where our subject was born on May 26, 1863. They still live in that county, near the old homestead place, and are honored and respected citizens. William H. was reared in Eugene, in Lane county, and there received his education. He also learned saw milling and became head sawyer. In 1883 he went to Weston, Umatilla county, and there learned the art of the photographer. He bought the gallery later and removed it to Heppner, where he did business for a time and then returned to Lane county. He worked at his trade and in a sawmill there for a time. In 1887 he came to Longcreek, in Grant county, and there did business in a gallery, after which he came to Drewsey. He built a gallery there and then came to Burns, where he opened the first gallery in the town. This was in the fall of 1887. He has continued in the county since that time. In addition to his business he entered land, and later sold it, and also has operated at the saw milling business some.

On December 22, 1897, in Portland, Mr. Canaday married Miss Mary C., daughter of Silas W. and Elizabeth McMurphy, natives of Canada and Ohio and born July 6, 1836, and May, 1841, respectively. They were early pioneers from Iowa to California, and in 1885 they came to Harney valley, where they now live. Mrs. Canaday was born in California, on January 26, 1872. To Mr. and Mrs. Canaday two children have been born, Ambrose W., born July 4, 1899; Sylvester M., born June 3, 1901. Mr. Canaday is past grand in the I. O. O. F., Harney Lodge No. 77, of Burns, while he and his wife belong to the Rebekahs.



Whitman, Marcus. An Illustrated history of Baker, Grant, Malheur and Harney Counties: with a brief outline of the early history of the state of Oregon. Chicago: Western Historical Publishing Co., 1902, 871 pgs.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Discover more from Access Genealogy

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading

Scroll to Top