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About The Sunday Oregonian. (Portland, Ore.) 1881-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 8, 1905)
1 IT !ATE5 BACK HALF A
PIONEER stories have always proven
as interesting to the readers of ,
The Sunday rogonlan as fairy
stories to children, and the good peo
ple or this state never tire of hearing
what their parents or grandparents
did in '47 or 53, or any other year of
the early history of the NorthwesC
The old folks lovo to talk it oyer and
the young folks love to listen and to
teli It to others whose families do not
boast of honorod pioneers. In re
sponse 'to many requests for "more
pioneer stories," I cullod on Mr. Himes
at the Orogon Historical Society the
other day, and lie told me so many
that it was hard to select the most in
teresting. And, by the way, how many
mothers and fathers realize what a
wonderful . institution that society is?
It fairly teems with the early life of
this country, and it is the best place
in the world to study Northwest his
tory. It is an Ideal place to take
school children, for the contrast be
tween the way thpir grandparents lived
and the way we of the present day
live is so marked that the progress of
the world cannot but be deeply im
pressed upon their young minds. And
then there is always .Mr. Himes or Mr.
Greenfield to toll the exact historical
facts concerning every exhibit, so that
one does not have to merely wonder
what they are and go away unsatis
fied.' "While I was examing a wonder
ful sea chest which belonged to Cap
tain Robert Gray. of the good shiD Co
lumbia, which sailed to this Coast in
1792 and entered the rivor named for
her, Mr. Hlmos came in with a handful
of papers and photographs, saying:
"Here's something which ought to
interest your readers, for Hs about
people whom we all knew and remem
ber. R. H. Blossom and I compiled
these facts with great care, and you
can depend upon them as being as
rearly correct as it is possible to get
them. It's the history of the first or
ganized church choir of Portland."
Portland's Pioneer Choir.
The First Congregational Church of
Portland was organized in 1S51, but it
was not until 1S56 that the regular or
ganization of a choir was effected.
Previous to that date t singing had
been congregational, but, recognizing
the value of several line voices among
the members, Mr. J. B. Wyatt, now liv
ing at Vancouver, was prevailed upon
to organize and conduct the first choir.
He was a talented and popular con
ductor, and his experience in the mu
sical world was Jong and varied, be
ginning at the age of 12 years, when he
sang alto in a ojjolr back in his native
state. Vermont. He developed a fine tenor
as he grew to manhood, and had many
flattering offers from Important musical
organizations In the East, even after he
had settled in Oregon. Mr. Wyatt at one
time trained a choir of school children In
a log church at West Tualatin, now For
est Grove. These children were scholars
in the Tualatin Academy. A collegiate
department was added later and the acad
emy blossomed into the Pacific University
in 1B54. In 1S5C, the year of the Congrega
tional Choir organization, Mr. Wyatt re
turned to Portland and entered the em
ploy of Allen & Lewis, then a little gro
cery at the northeast corner of Front and
Burnside streets. He conducted the new
choir until the fall -of 1S57, when ho took
a trip East, leaving Henry Law, one of
the best singers, to succeed him.
Harley McDonald can be said to be the
originator of the organized choir scheme,
for it was he who first asked Mr. Wyatt
to organize the singers of the church. "I
will sing bass for you," he said in laying
the plan before the musician, "and Mrs.
Chamberlain (the minister's wife) will
sing soprano. Tou take the tenor, and
with this start, you can soon add enough
voices to make a full ohoir.' Mr. Wyatt
decided to make the effort. At first Mrs.
A. E. Chamberlain played the roelodeon,
hut as her services were needed for so
prano, Mr. Wyatt began a search for a
musician who could play either the organ
or melodeon, the latter preferred. Miss
Sarah Abrams, daughter of Mrs. W. P.
Abrams, though only a schoolgirl, was
persuaded to take tfie place, although her
mother feared that she might not prove
satisfactory, as "the touch of a melodeon
was so different from a piano." The three
jjclnal voices were gradually added to,
until soon a full choir greeted the con
gregation each Sunday, its members
Conductor and tenor. James B. Wyatt.
Melodeonlst, Miss Sarah Abrams.
Flute. Thomas A. Savier.
Sopranos, Mrs. A E. Chamberlain, Mrs.
Celinda Shipley. Mrs. Hiram S. Pine, Miss
Helen Burton, Miss Lenora Blossom, Miss
Elizabeth A. Failing and Miss Mary A.
Alto, Mrs. Alonzo Leland.
Tenors, Henry- L. Hoyt. E. S. Ponfiold
and Henry Law.
Bassos, Harley McDonald, T. Brooks
Trevctt and A. R. Shipley.
Jt has been said of this choir that "it
would not suffer in comparison with any
similar well-drilled organization of' the
present day." The First Congregational
Church now has one of the finest choirs
In town, and it is the boast of that
church that It has always had fine music
for its congregational services. Many of
the singers of this notable first ohoir are
now members of the "choir Invisible."
but those who remain and the families of
those who are gone, look back and re
count the incidents of those early days
with pleasure and interest.
Seeing the Girls Home.
In 1S5G Portland did not have many side
walks. What few there were wore one
plank affairs, and the footpaths,, or
"Cow paths" as many called thorn, were
generally used. Those would run In and
out among stumps and through thickly
wooded spots, leading to various resi
dences, and over n these on "practice
nights" the lady membors of the choir
were guided by Mr. "Wyatt and Xr. Mc
Donald who carried lanterns to light the
dark way. It was a common occurrence
to find several cows lying across the path
on the way home. The site of the pres
ent church at Park and Madison . was
then a dense forest and considered away
out in the country. Both the first and
second churches erected by the Congre
gationallsts were located at Second and
Jefferson, and when the first one was
built in 1S36. the lot lad to be cleared be
fore a foundation could be laid. In this
first church the Wyatt choir made Its
After half a century it is somewhat
difficult to learn the address and occu
pation of the various Members of this
first choir, but the following data, fur
nished by Mr. Himes, Is believed to be
as nearly correct as is possible to make
Personnel of the Choir.
Mrs. A. E. Chamberlain, "soprano, now
lives at Walla Walla, Wash. "Rev. A.
E. Chamberlain, her husband, was the
first pastor who was ever Installed in
thiB church, and it is said that the
present pastor. Rev. E. L. House, is
the second who ever went through this
ceremony, although the churoh has had
many pastors since its organization.
April 27, 1851, by Rev. Horace- Lyman.
Mr. Chamberlain has been dead several
years. Mrs. Celinda Shipley was the
wife of A. R. Shipley, who also sang
in Uie choir. In 1S52 Mrs. Shipley, who
was then Miss Celinda E. Mines, was pre
ceptress in the old Portland Academy
and Female Seminary and t.ught until
her marriage in ISM. Fntll her recent
death she lived in Portland with her
son, Lester Shipley. Mrs. Hiram S. Pine,
soprano, left Portland many years ago
and as far as known. Is still living in
Buffalo, N. T. When Mrs. Pine sang In
the choir, her husband taught in the
Sunday school, and it is. thought that
she was also a teacher.
Miss Helen Burton lived until her re
cent death at tho old some on Burn
side street. Her father, E. M. Burton,
THE SUNDAY OREGONIAK, PORTLAND, OCTOBER S, 1905.
Back row, beglanlng at the If ft (looking at tho picture): Henry T Iloj-t, Thos. A. Savier, E. S. rrnfleld, Jas. Bl Wyatt, Henry Law,
Hurley McDonald, T. Brook Trevctt, A. K. Shipley.
Center row. beginning at the left: Mls Leonora BlosMim, MIs Sarah Abrann.
Front row, beginning at the left: Miss Helen Barton, Mr. A. K. CharatTerlain, Mrs. Hi nun S. Pine, Mrs. Celinda " Shipley, Miss
Elizabeth A. Falling, Mrs. Alonzo Leland.
was one of Portland's first architects.
She was a sister of Mm Henry I Pit
to and L. H. Bur;pn. of this city.
She attended the old Portland Academy,
graduating in 1SGL Mr. Burton was
architect for tho Multnomah County
Courthouse, the Masonic Temple, the
first Dekum build-Jig at First and
Washington streots and also many
other buildings, both In this city.
Salem. Seattle and other points In the
Miss Leonora Blossom, soprano, was
a daughter of the pioneer merchant,
James M. Blossom, of the firm of
Northrup &. Blossom. The outgrowth of
this old firm is the present Honeyman
Hardware Company. Miss Blossom was
a student In the Portland Academy and
together with Rebecca Greer, Eliza
beth Carter (who afterwards married
Govorner L. F. Grovei; nnd Sauuel A.
Moreland composed the graduating
class of JS62. Miss Blossom married
Judge J. J. Hoffman. Her death oc
curred in New York In 1SS3 and she
rests In the Congressional Cemetery at
Washington, D. C
Miss Elizabeth A. Falling, soprano,
was a daughter of Josh Falling and
an aunt of "Miss Henrietta E. Failing, Miss
Mary F. Falling and Mrs. Cabell. Mr.
Failing was prominent In public school
affairs, "being a director whon the late
ex-Governor Pennoyer was a teacher.
and he has been termed one of toe
fathers of Portland's public schools.
The Falling school was named for him.
Miss Falling married John Conner, a
merchant of Albany, who afterwards
became a banker. Mrs. Conner died In
TSS4, while visiting her brother. Henry
Falling in this city.
Miss Mary L. Millard, soprano, was
a daughter of Justin Millard, one of
the first physicians of Portland. In her
case a romance grew out of the week
ly choir practice, for she became en
gaged to Captain Henry L- Hoyt, who
was one of the tenors, marrying him
in 1SG1. Captain Hoyt was engaged in
steamboatlng on the Columbia and
Willamette for many years, served as
City Marshal, Deputy Collector of Cus
toms and U. S. Shipping Commissioner
at various periods, and was always
considered one of Portland's most sub
stantial citizens. These two members
of Portland's1 first organized choir are
the parents of Ralph W. Hoyt, a lead
ing organist of the city at present.
Captain Hoyt died In 1S9S, and Mrs.
Hoyt In 1902.
A Wonderful Contralto.
What the, contralto portion of the choir
lacked numerically was more than substi
tuted by the phenomenal voice of Mrs.
Alonzo Leland, tfie lone alto. Her tones
were of a resonant character and full of
purity and sweetness, and had she en
joyed the advantages of the present day
in voice culture there is no doubt she
would have made a National reputation j
ant to hor husband who was appointed
Postmaster of Portland In 1S53 by Presi
dent Pierce. The Postofflce was then lo
cated on the second floor of a two-story
frame building on the cast side of Front
street, near Stark. Mr. Leland was also
editor of the Democratic Standard. In
the early days of Portland, before the
Associated Pross made It possible to ob
tain prompt and correct news, there were
many controversies among the editors of
the several papers which - were started
here. The Morning. Oregonlan is the only
one which survived. After the death of
Postmaster Leland his widow married-
Captain Andrews and lived in Walla
Walla until her death a few years ago.
She had many warm friends in Portland.
Miss Sarah Abrams. the melodeonlst.
was the daughter of W. P. Abrams, who
In partnership with Stephen Coffin in the
Winter of 1S49 constructed and operated
the first steam sawmill la the Northwest.
Miss Abrams was a- good musician and .
played the melodeon In accompaniment
to tho singers In excellent fashion. She
graduated from the Portland Academy In
l6l In a class with Miss Anna Pentland
(who married Samuel L. Brooks, now of
The Dalles), and "Jim" Poe. afterwards
be Honorable James Poe of Lewlston,
Idaho. Miss Adams married H. A.
Hogue, the pioneer lumber and mill mer
chant, and is the mother of Judge JIarry
W. Hogue. She is still enjoying excellent
health, and only last year made a trip
Tho Men Singers'.
B. S. Penfield. ono of the tenors, came
hero from San Francisco to enter the em
ploy of McKee & Co., and Is now living
near Canyon City, Grant County, Oregon.
He went to The Dalles after leaving
Portland, and In September. 1S33, was a
charter member of the First Congrega
tional Church at that place and the su
perintendent of its Sunday school. Henry
Law, an uncle of the late Henry Fall
ing, has an excellent tenor voice. He was
a fine musician and was a student of
Professor Thomas Hastings, a -noted man
in his day. At the time of the organiza
tion "of. this choir Mr. Law was engaged
in the commission business for himself.
He died in October, 1SS5. Harley McDon
ald had a fine bass voice, and. like Mr.
Wyatt, began the study of music when a
mere boy. In the capacity of carpenter
and builder. Mr. McDonald assisted In- the
construction of tho first church at Sec-
ond and Jefferson streets; He. was part
owner and promoter of Portland's first
brickyard. This yard was located In a
clearing hear the site of the present City
Hall at Fifth and Jefferson. He was the
architect and builder of the First Congre
gational Church, at Forest Grove, com
pleted in '59. There being no planing
mills In that vicinity, the sash and door
work, pews and pulpit, were all made by
hand. Mr. McDonald died In 1502.
T. Brooks Trevett, one of the bassos,
was an excellent and enthusiastic mem
ber of the choir, and assisted frequently
In public concerts and other entertain
ments. For many years he was connected
with the firm of Corbett & Falling, and
later went to the Honeyman Hardware
Company, with whom he was associated
at the time of his death In 1S01. Adam R.
Shipley, anothor basso, was a thorough
musician. Before coming to Oregon he
was a member of a quartet of mixed
voices known as "The Ohloans." which
traveled through the country giving con
certs: He was Postmaster of Portland
under the Pierce and Buchanan adminis
trations, and was very popular. He was
In the stationery and book business with
Rev. C. S. Klngsfey as partner. This busi
ness has changed hands several .times
since then, but still exists, and is at pres
ent the J. K. Gill Company. In later
years Mr. Shipley was a member of the
Board of Regents of the Oregon Agricul
tural College, and resided at Corvallls un
til his death in 1SS3.
Mr. Wyatt was quite advanced In hl3
ideas of how a choir should be conducted,
and the addition of flute music caused
Thomas A. Savier to become a member of
the organization. He was a competent
musician, and his judgment in the selec
tion of Instruments was considered very
fine. Mr. Savier was one of Portland's
pioneer merchants, and was a partner of
D. W. Burnside, their store being at the
southwest corner of Washington and
Front streets. In later years he was a
member of an orchestra- which often de
lighted the audiences' of Portland.
Mr. -Wyatt returned from his Eastern
trip in 1SS2 and reorganized the choir of
the First Presbyterian Church. This
church was then located at Third and
Washington streets', but was In an unfin
ished state, the basement only being used
for services. In a shorn, time a fine choir
was secured, consisting of Mrs. J. H. J.
Pearson and Miss Fannie Holman, so
pranos; Mrs. W. B. Mead and Miss A.
Chamberlain, altos; Captain H. L. Hoyt
and J. B. Wyatt, tenors; W. B. Mead and
P. C. Schuyler, bass; Miss F. E. Congle,
A Bit o Church History.
The charter members- of th First Coff
gregatlonal Church were W. P. Abrams
mid wife. Mr. Kendrlc and wife, N. C.
Sturtevant, George Sherman. Mr. Cheney,
Mrs. Skldmora and Rev. and Mrs. Horace
Lyman. Previous to- the organization in
1S51, irregular services had been held In a
log shingle shop by Rev. J. EL Griffin.
Rev. Cushlng Eells. Rev. G. H. Atkinson
and Dr. Lyman. The first church was
dedicated June 15. 1831, at a cost of about
$6500. This was used for about 20 years,
when a second and- better edifice was
erected on the same lot and dedicated Au
gust 6, 1871, Rev. G. IT. Atkinson preach
ing the dedicatory sermon. The cost of
the new structure was about 520.000. In
1SS4 a large new organ was instnlled at u
cost of $130), Including the remodeling ot
the rear of the building, to accommodate
the Instrument. The ehurch has had the
following pastors since Its organization j
In 1S31: !
Rev. Horace. Lyman (acting from ISiO) I
The only Englishman who ever became
Pope was Adrian rV.
Colcry is the cultivated variety of the
English weed, smallage.
The earliest known cook book was print
ed In Venice in His.-,
The drum was the first musical in
strument of the human race.
One of the "fads and fancies" of 10
was the wearing of two watehea.
Adam's tomb Is pointed out In a cham
ber of the Holy Sepulcher In JeAisuIem.
The women of Japan gild their teeth,
while belles of the Indies paint them red.
Th honntlful natterns which adorn
Cashmere shawls are copied from the loaf
of the begonia. .
It is not generally known that the mot
to, "In God We Trust," was not placed on
our coins until IS53.
" German silver possesses not a particle
of genuine sliver, but Is an alloy of cop
per, nickel, and. zinc.
The sanitary Influence of the eucalyp
tus tree Is claimed to render native-born
Australians Immune to. cancer.
About one-halt million of the popula
tion of England earn their living In the
spinning and weaving of cotton.
Several centuries ago it was quite the
thing to carry silver toothpicks suspend
ed round the neck by a chain.
John Adamsr was the originator of our
national motto, "E Plurlbus Unum."
Lassa. the Forbidden City of Thibet
has a population ofJ.a,0G0, two-thirds of
whom are women, who conduct all the
business of the city.
In Nankin, China, in 1S33, one-half mil
lion women were formed Into army brig
ades under female officers, and. rendered
heroic service In battle.
It requires the workmanship ot twenty
men and the use of much costly ma
chinery to make that dainty article ot
femininity, the thimble.
In ancient times amber was obtained
from a pine or fir tree. Just as turpentine
is now -eecured. This gum crystallized
Into tho substance which Is now used.
The Blbre, which wag anciently called
The Books, or The Divine Library, was
written at different periods and by dif
ferent hands during the course of 1600
Tho symbol of- the cross Is used In
the religions of the aborigines of North
and South America, and by the most
ancient nations of Europe, as well as-' by
Algeria Tioasesses a true nhenomenon of
nature, a river of genuine ink. caused
by tne joining ot two streams, one or
.which, comes from- an iron: region, while
the second stream flows from a peat
Things You Ougnt to Know
to April 17, 1S54; Rev. G. H. Atkinson,
from May 3. 1SW. to Novomber. 1S85: Rev
P. B. ChamberluiH, November. US3. t"
March, 1S62: Rev. J. H. Atkinson. July.
1S63. to December. 1S72; Rev. J. D. Eaton.
January. 1S73. to May. 1S76: Rev. J. II.
Acton (of the Methodist Church) "sup
piled" for six months, ending August S.
187$: Rov. J. A. Cruzan, from June. 1S77.
to November. 1SS1; Rov. Frederic R. Mar
vin, from June. 1SS2. to July, 1SSR; Rev T.
E. Clapp, from April. 1SSC. to ISM; Rev.
George R. Wallace, from March, 1SSI. ta
May, 1S96; Rev. A: W. Aekermnn. January.
1S07, t0 1302; Rev. E. L. House, Septem
Three years after the arrival of Rev. T.
E. Clapp the necessity for a new chur-h
became apparent, and In ISfo) the trusters
took the first step toward this end. Frank
M. Warren and James M. Steel purchased
the ground at Park and Madison carK
as 1SS5. with the view of locating the new
church there, their foresight saving th
church at least $000 in price of the land
Mr. Clapp was untiring fn his energy an1
effort to push the work of tho new church
along, and was materially assisted by th
Ladles Aid Society, which is still doing
splendid work for the First Congrogatlon
al Church. The completed church Is ono
of the handsomest edifices In tho City ot
Portland. Us congregation is one ot the
largost, anil its present choir one of the
best musical organizations in the R"se
City. The gradual increase In the mem
bership of this church Is ot Interest It
had ten members In IS&t; n 1ST Its mem
bership was 132; In 1S91 It whs 477: at pn s
ent It Is S12. Dr. House having largely "
creased It since he begun his very sufross
ful pastorate, MARION MACRAE;
swamp. On meeting the acid of ic
stream blends with the Iron solution ;
the other, and Ink Is the reyult.
Arabs assert that Eve's tomb is at
Jiddah, in a graveyard surrounded bv
high white walls. The cemetery has re
mained unopened for interment for oer
one thousand years.
Toulouse, Franco, hOH a canal which
wias built entirely at the expemv of on
man. Its name Is the Canal Du MM!. l
was built In 166S-18S1. and cost Monsieur
Paul Rlquet 6S0.00O.00O franca
In Scandinavia. Christmas Is celebrated
In Its literal sense of "peace on earth,
good will toward men;" the courts are
closed, quarrels are adjusted, and t. li
feuds forgotten. It Is the home of the
famous Yule I03.
The custom of lifting the hat dit-s
back to the age when knighthood wai i.n
flower. ICnlghO never appeared in putl?
except In full armor, but In the company
of friends they removed the helmet, sig
nifying, "I am safe among friends."
The first verse of tho fifty-first Psalm
Is called the "Neck Verse for the reason
that in former times a man condemnc J
death was sometimes given a chance t
save his life by proving that he could
read, and this verse was used as a test.
Alfred Bernard Nobel, Inventor ot dy
namite; left a fortune of 510.COO.00") far
the foundation of five annual prizes of
$40,000 each for the most Important dis
covery In physics, chemistry; physiology,
and medicine. .
At Aqullla, in the kingdom of Naples
In 1S10. some Frenchmen, in the course
of excavating that ancient city. ta?.v
ered an antique vase containing a docu
ment written In the Hebrew language
which Is claimed to be the death warrant
Generals In the army rank with Admi
rals in the navy; Lieutenant-Generals
with VIee-Admlrals; Major-Generals with
first nine Rear-Admirals; Brigadier-Generals
with Rear-Admirals after first nine
and Commodores; Colonels in the army
rank with Captains In the navy; Lieutenant-Colonels
with. Commanders; Majors
with Lieutenant-Commanders; Captains in
the army with Lieutenants in the navy;
First Lieutenants In the army with naval
Lieutenants, Junior grade; Second Lieu
tenants la the army with Naval Ensigns.
(Copyright, 1905, by J. El Brlgham.)
A Generous Allowance.
French official statistics show that there-are-
17.107 motor cars in France and 3 353, -155
dogs. This works out as 19 and 21S3
I7J07th dogs apiece, which nobedy can.
deny is a generous allowance.