McClure Biography

This document is from the Oregon Pioneer Association Twenty-second
Annual Reunion held in 1894. Pg 50-52. Historically the information is
from a hand written note of Denny Hogue McClure completed on May 26, 1888.
This is being translated by Dr. William Lee Baran, wbaran@ prodigy,net , a
descendant of Denny McClure and Margaret Gillis, through their daughter
Martha McClure who married John Gunn.

Denny Hogue McClure was the youngest of ten children. His father, Denny McClure and mother Margaret Gilles, were born at or near Carlisle, PA. They went to Washington County, PA where the elder McClure was a teacher for many years. Here Denny Hogue was born August 23, 1815. He was named for his father and his uncle, John Hoge, as the name was spelled then. About 1817 his father removed to his farm, twenty miles from Washington, on the state line of Virginia, sixteen miles from Wheeling.

At this time the country was a wilderness. Here, when he was six years old, his mother died, and in 1833 his father died at the age of 70. The McClure's were of Scotch-Irish stock, and were among the earliest settlers in Western PA, a brother of Denny's, John, having settled above Fort Pitt where the Homestead Ironworks now are. Judge Francis McClure was one of the judges who tried the first murder case in that part of PA, and Judge William B. McClure was the first judge elected in Allegheny Co, PA. The first mayor of Pittsburgh, PA, Major Ebenezer Denny, was also related to the family. (through Denny McClure's father, John McClure II who married a Martha Denny. WLB)

At the death of his father, young McClure was employed at his trade, carpenter, with his elder brother William, in the city of Pittsburgh. From 1835-1839 he was employed at his trade through different parts of Ohio. In 1839 he visited his brothers at Wheeling and New Martinsville, VA., and returned to Ohio, where he married, January 6th 1841, at Hoskinsville, Morgan Co., to Miss Pernina Colget Parrish, daughter of Rev. Edward Evans Parrish. The same spring he moved to New Martinsville, Tyler Co., VA where he lived three years, returning to Hoskinsville in 1844.

That summer business called him to Pittsburgh after the great fire of that year. There he had the misfortune to lose his summer's work by fire.

The first of the year, 1851, found him still at Hoskinsville badly affected by the Oregon Fever. In February with his wife and four children he went to Beverly on the Muskingdom River in Ohio, whence April 3rd he boarded the steamer Viroqua for Oregon, taking later, the Oriental and Ben West for Ohio, Mississippi, and Missouri River points. After struggling for two weeks with sandbars, sawyers, etc., the party known as the Ohio Company reached Weston, MO where they purchased their outfits for crossing the plains. Here he found his brother, William, in the hotel business and on May 3rd bade adieu to the last member of his father's family he was permitted to see on earth.

The company crossed the Missouri at Fort Leavenworth, May 3rd and on the 5th were in motion with the ox-teams and prairie schooners bound for Oregon.

The company had 18 wagons and was well supplied with everything necessary. Among others of the company may be mentioned Mr. and Mrs. Presley George, parents of the late Jesse W. George of Seattle and Hon. M.C. George of Portland, Victor Trevitt and Quincy A. Brooks.

After reaching Barlow's gate Mrs. McClure was taken sick and the family returned to the Dalles and took flat-boats for the Cascades, where they made portage, and reached Portland by bateau. They remained in camp two or three days near Stephen's House. With fresh teams they reached Parrish Gap, Marion Co., September 25th, four months and twenty days from Fort Leavenworth.

The winter of 1851 Mr. McClure lived in Albany. There were living there only seven families: J.M. McConnell's, James McFarland's, Aaron Hyde's, Burkhart's, William Jones, D.H. McClure's and Parson Miller's. There were several unmarried men of whom I recall Walter and Thomas Monteith, James H. Foster, Samuel Althouse, Dr. R.C. Hill whose family came in 1853, was teaching the first school held in the village. The same winter Miss Elizabeth Miller, since Mrs. Joe Wilson taught a school.

Mr. McClure's first experiences at his trade, was in striking contrast to anything he had seen in the east. As flour was $18 a hundred pounds and wages five to ten dollars a day he lost no time in getting some work. The first work necessary was the making of tools to work with. After securing some dogwood from the woods of Polk Co., he borrowed tools enought to make such planes and other tools as he required for immediate use. With these he made others as they were needed. Of course a smith had to furnish the ironwork. He earned his first money making sash for the Magnolia mills, and while doing so a gentleman from the country asked him to make doors for his house. He promised to do so in two weeks, when he had completed the sash for the mill. As the stranger was leaving he took from his purse a fifty dollar slug and offered it to the immigrant and insisted that he take it as part payment for the doors. Of course a man used to $1.25-$1.50 per day though this good country to stay with.

The following June he moved his family to his donation claim of 320 acres, four miles due east from Albany.

Here he made his home until 1870 or 1871 when he located a homestead on Wiley Creek, thirty miles from Albany. With the exception of a year in Portland and a similar period in Marion Co., he made this his home while he lived.

He died on February 11th 1893, and was buried at the cemetery on his homestead. His wife survives him, and of twelve children the following are living: Edward Even McClure, Portland; Dr. J.W. McClure, Silverton; Mrs. S.J. Crouder, Walla Walla; Andrew J. McClure, Sweet Home, Linn Co; Harry McClure, Harney City; Robert McClure, Salem.

D.H. McClure was an excellent mechanic. He and the late Jeremiah Driggs of Seattle were the builders of the first Linn County Court House, erected in 1853.

Like most of the early Oregon pioneers he was a law-abiding citizen, honorable in the highest degree, and a thoroughly honest man.

My name is Stephenie Flora. Thanks for stopping by.
Return to [ Home Page ] All [ Comments and Inquiries ] are welcome.