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Captain Orrin Kellogg

Captain Orrin Kellogg was born at St. Albans, Vt., in 1790. His ancestors were of Revolutionary stock. In 1811 he was married to Miss Margaret Miller, who died at Milwaukie, Or., August 22, 1858. The fruits of the union were 12 children, of whom four are living, as follows: Captain Joseph, Elijah and Jason, in Portland, and Edward. near Medford, Or. In 1812 he removed to Canada; and the war between Great Britain and the United States breaking out, he, as an American, was not allowed to return until after hostilities had ceased. While thus detained, the eldest of his children, Joseph, was born. By action of congress, this child, in common with others in like circumstances, was still regarded as a native citizen of our nation. After the war he moved back and settled near where Lockport, N. Y., now stands, but soon moved further west to the state of Ohio. and made a home on the Maume river. In 1847 he made up his mind to come to Oregon, and removed to St. Joseph. Missouri, to make ready for the trip. By May, 1848, all was ready and the journey began. After reaching some distance on the plains, he met Joe Meek, who was on his way East, and from him learned of the Whitman massacre and of the Cayuse war. This intelligence somewhat sobered him, and would have been the means of turning back many men, but, nothing daunted by it. he continued his journey. preparing, if necessary, to fight his way to his destined home. Fortunately, however, he reached Oregon without molestation. One of the pioneers in the train of which he was a member was B. P. Cornwall, since known as one of the wealthy men of California. To him had been entrusted by the Masonic grand lodge of Missouri, a charter for a subordinate lodge to be established in Oregon. On his arrival at Fort Hall, he concluded to give up coming to Oregon and go to California instead.

He therefore placed the document in the keeping of Mr. Kellogg and his son Joseph, who brought it through and established Multnomah lodge, No. 1, the first Masonic lodge in Oregon: in fact, the first lodge of any kind instituted on the Pacific coast. This fact makes notable the year 1848, and also the Kellogg family. Soon after reaching Oregon City, Mr. Kellogg took up a donation claim, located between that place and Milwaukie, and, although advanced in life, set about with great vigor to build up a new home and it was not long before he had one of the best farms and homes in the territory. He was one of the first to begin fruit culture on a large scale, and built and operated one of the first tanneries established. Captain Kellogg was a man of great liberality, never stinting his hospitality to travelers and strangers, and as for his friends, they always found the latch string on the outside of his door, indicative of hearty welcome. He gave attention to navigation on the lower Willamette and Columbia, being the first of the remarkable family of river captains bearing his name.

Upon the opening of Yaquina Bay to commerce and navigation by his son, Dr. George Kellogg, he accompanied the expedition and contributed very largely to its success. He died in Portland, February 14, 1873. All in all, Captain Orrin Kellogg was a man of robust character and sterling worth, one of that class of men whose energy, fairness and goodness are of the utmost value in the formation of a commonwealth, and make it pleasurable to live in after the ball has began to roll.

Source: Oregon Native Son and Historical Magazine, June 1899

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