Oregon Historical Quarterly/Volume 4/A Pioneer Captain of Industry in Oregon


A PIONEER CAPTAIN OF INDUSTRY IN OREGON.

A unique place in the industrial history of Oregon must be given to Joseph Watt, the first to undertake the manufacture of woolen goods on the Pacific coast and the first to send a cargo of wheat to the market at Liverpool, both of which acts mark the beginning of important industrial and commercial policies in the history of Oregon.

Joseph Watt, or "Joe," as he is more commonly called by those who mention him in connection with the history of Oregon, was born at Mount Vernon, Knox County, Ohio, on the 17th of December, 1817. His earliest ancestor in America was a silk weaver of Scotch-Irish descent who came to this country about 1760, settling in the vicinity of Philadelphia. His grandfather, Joseph Watt, crossed the Alleghany Mountains in 1802 and took up a donation claim in western Pennsylvania. His father, John Watt, who had taken part in the war of 1812 and served with Perry in his first cruise on the Great Lakes, migrated to Knox County, Ohio, in 1815. Here he married and reared a family of ten children, of whom Joseph was one.


Note.—The material from which this paper has been prepared was derived from the following sources: manuscript account of "Woolen Mill," the "Journey to Washington," and the "Cargo of Wheat to Liverpool," written by Mr. Watt and loaned to the author by Mr. S. A. Clark, of Washington, D. C., in whose possession it has been. A series of articles in the Oregonian in 1881, by Mr. S. A. Clark, describing the journeys across the country and other incidents, obtained from manuscript and from conversations with Mr. Watt, with whom Mr. Clark was on most intimate terms; a paper containing recollections of his brother's life and incidents by Ahio Watt, of Portland; conversations with the widow and daughter of Mr. Watt, who are now living at Forest Grove, Oregon.


As a boy Watt seems to have been always a dreamer, building castles in the air and planning great schemes of business and adventure. Because of these dreams of verdant fields and herds of cattle, he desired to join the movement for the settlement of Texas, then being effected under the leadership of Sam Houston, and was prevented only by the ill health of his father and the large family which needed his aid. As a sort of compromise his father agreed to migrate to Missouri in 1838. This move resulted only in hardship and privation, and soon young Watt was turning his thoughts again toward the prairies of Texas. In the winter of 1840 and 1841 he started south, stopping in the country of the Creeks and Cherokees to earn money at his trade of carpentering. It was at this time that the Oregon country was coming prominently before the people in Missouri. Watt became interested and returned to his home with the intention of migrating to Oregon. On his way through the southwestern part of the State in the spring of 1843 he came in contact with many who were planning to start that year. Senator Lewis F. Linn, of Missouri, had introduced a bill into the Senate in 1838 providing for the settlement of Oregon and offering six hundred and forty acres of land to each settler. Watt read all that he could find upon the subject, listened to everything which he could hear and talked much with his associates. By the spring of 1843 he was ready to start, but his father had become equally anxious to better his condition and proposed that the whole family prepare to go the following year. By the spring of 1844 it was clear that the expense of so long and difficult a journey could not be met, and Watt, unwilling to defer his hopes longer, started with two companions, expecting to earn his way across the plains by driving the teams or cattle of well-to-do emigrants. The assets all told with which he started on this long journey were $2.50 in cash and a stock in trade of a pair of new boots, some pins and fishhooks, to be used in trade with the Indians.

Watt had succeeded in securing employment as driver for a well-to-do emigrant, but fell out with his employer before they had gone far. With a job here and there, and a trade to his advantage, he managed to reach Burnt River with a cow and a rifle to his credit. As the journey neared the end however provisions grew scarcer, and those who possessed them were less able or willing to share with others. Finding that he was not welcome at the camps of the emigrants, and obedient to vigorous hints, he started ahead with a single companion and began the dangerous and difficult journey over the Blue Mountains. The snow lay from twelve to eighteen inches deep, and the trail could only be followed by scratches made on the trees by wagons that had passed over before. Watt's moccasins had given out and were mended with leather cut from his buckskin pants. For provisions they had but a loaf of bread between them. The rifle was useless because there was no game in the mountains. His cow had been left in the charge of a friend in a party behind. All difficulties were surmounted however and the valley of the Umatilla was reached. Here they were in the region of game. A number of prairie chickens were shot, powder was traded to the Indians for a few potatoes, a kettle was borrowed and the weary travelers gave themselves over to a feast, which, at intervals, was prolonged through the night. Their spirits rose when hunger was appeased, and they knew that soon they would be at the mission station at Waiilatpu. Ragged and disreputable in appearance they were not cordially received, and the independent nature of Watt ever cherished a dislike for missions and missionaries. Remaining at the station until the party having charge of his cow arrived he effected a trade by which he secured a supply of provisions for the last part of the journey to the Dalles, where he expected to take a boat down the river. Various experiences were yet to be met. Fate decided that he should partake of but a single meal from the supply of provisions which he had earned so dearly. He escaped death by the arrival of unexpected help when he was grappling with an Indian in which encounter the expectoration of tobacco juice figured as a peculiar weapon of defense. Finally, however, he reached the Dalles where boats belonging to the Hudson Bay Company were at anchor. Those who had money to pay their passage were packing their goods on board and going themselves, but the chances for a passage for a penniless and ragged traveler were small. It was Watt's purpose to work for his passage and he made application to the boatman. "You are like one of those worn out oxen," was the reply, "you haven't strength enough to hold yourself up, let alone work;" and the boatman went on with his loading. Sitting on a rock by the river Watt was a despondent figure. But the boatman, turning back with the exclamation that "it was too bad to leave the poor devil to starve" for he might have some "come out to him after all like a lousy yearling in the spring," asked if Watt could sing. On learning that he could he bade him find a place on the bow of the boat and earn his meals as best he could. Under the title of the "figurehead," therefore, he kept his allotted place on the bow, and by his skill in singing and telling yarns earned his meals as well as his passage down the river. One song, entitled "the bobtailed mare, or the man who went to heaven horseback," made a decided hit, and Watt fared sumptuously for the remainder of the journey down the Columbia.

Ever at the van across the continent Watt was the first of his party to reach his destination at Oregon City, in November of 1844. A curious spectacle he must have made as he appeared upon the streets with his walnut roundabout, buckskin pants reaching to the knees and patched with antelope skin, with a red blanket for an overcoat and woolen hat, so worn in the crown that it hung about the neck rather than rested on the head. Such was the young castle builder who had made his way across the plains with a capital of $2.50 in cash and a stock in trade of pins, fishhooks, and a pair of new boots. Such was the picturesque appearance made by one who was destined to play no unimportant part in the industrial development of Oregon.

For a time he slept in the shavings of a carpenter shop. He tried to trade his last possession, his beloved rifle for decent clothes but failed. One day in his wanderings along the street he chanced to meet the chief factor of the Hudson Bay Company, the hero of his life. After a few inquiries Doctor McLoughlin gave orders to a clerk to furnish Watt with clothing. "Tut, tut, tut," said the old man, "what people these Americans are, wandering vagabonds across a continent. What are they coming here for? Give him some clothes." After a bath behind the shade of a neighboring bank of the river Watt emerged clad in his suit of British corduroy and with all his preconceived and inherited antipathy toward the British and the Catholics removed. With the first money earned from the task of bricklaying, an employment given him by Doctor McLoughlin, he sought to pay for his clothes, and purchasing a bath tub, a cake of soap and some tobacco, which was his one luxury, he had begun his career as one of the pioneer captains of industry in Oregon.

It was not long before an opportunity for advancement presented itself. The Catholic Church on the French Prairie was then in process of construction and its builders were in need of a workman competent to complete the cornice. As Watt was something of an adept at the carpenter trade he was offered the work of constructing seven hundred feet of cornice at $3 a foot, when he was on the point of offering to do it for fifty cents. The return from this employment was sufficient to give him a financial start. Not only industrious but shrewd in the matter of trade, Watt made the most of the opportunity. About this time the brig Henry came up the river at a time of high water, with a cargo of goods, among which was a stock of Seth Thomas clocks, an article for which the demand was great in this remote region. With the savings from his carpenter work Watt purchased the lot, and found little trouble in disposing of them in exchange for wheat. The harvest for the year had been abundant, while the demand was small, and the clocks, which had cost but $4 apiece, were sold for sixty to eighty bushels of wheat. Shrewdness in anticipating the oversupply of the one year would be followed by the scarcity of the next was more than rewarded. Wet weather and other climatic conditions caused a small supply while a large emigration increased the demand and the bushels of wheat were in turn exchanged for the pieces of gold. Thus in the space of two years the capital of $2.50 had increased to over $1,000, and the way was open for larger plans.

Watt had never in the meantime ceased his dreaming. It was not now, however, the broad plains of Texas and the herds of cattle, but, rather, the luxuriant meadows and hills of the Willamette Valley, which his imagination covered with flocks of sheep. Pleased with the opportunities of a country which had profited him so much, and desiring his parents and family to come, he started back to Missouri in the spring of 1847. The return was also to be made the means of realizing his dreams. It was his intention to bring back a flock of sheep. Already he seemed to see the demand that would grow up in a damp country like Oregon for woolen garments, and perhaps, likewise, the need of suitable clothing for his eight sisters. There were but few sheep in the country at that time. Some were in the possession of the Hudson Bay Company; others had been driven over in the emigration of 1844, and possibly there were a few besides. The return journey was made by the southern route. Evidences were visible of the terrible sufferings of the party who, in 1847, had been induced to come that way. Along the Rogue River the Indians were hostile, and Watt was enabled at various times to kindle his fire for breakfast with the arrows which lay thick about the camp. On the broad plains he was frightened by a band of hostile Pawnees, but, escaping all danger, at length reached in safety his home in Missouri.

Before his return to Oregon Watt made a journey to the East, mainly on business. Boston, however, with its bleak weather, had few charms for him. "With all their steamboats, railroads, fine stores, fine cities, fine women and all, give me Oregon," is the reflection which appears in the reminiscences of his visit. While in the East and in the neighborhood of Washington he decided to visit the national capital and carry back to his fellow pioneers in the Far West whatever he could learn of the disposition of the administration toward his country. As this "self-appointed delegate" was walking about the streets of the capital city he was indulging in the reflection, typical of the western spirit, that "a great deal of money was being spent foolishly in that city." He took occasion to look up old friends upon whom the city life failed to exert a helpful influence. His purpose there, however, was not curiosity, but information that might be of value, and to gain this he sought admission to the Chief Executive. President Polk was at the time too busily engaged to give him audience, and the disappointment was great, for his reminiscences record the exclamation: "What right had he to be busy when I was there, all the way from Oregon?" Unable to see the Secretary of War, Mr. Davis, for similar reasons, he finally was advised by his friends to visit the little brick house, on a back street, which was occupied by Senator Benton of Missouri. There he felt he would surely receive a cordial welcome. "I must go and see Benton," he says: "Haven't I shouted for him in Missouri, and hasn't he made speeches in favor of Oregon? Yes, he can tell me what the government is going to do for Oregon." Admitted into the house by the colored servant, he stood in the presence of the Senator whom he thought well named "Burly Benton."

The interview was far from pleasant, if we may judge from Watt's account. Upon learning the residence of his visitor, the Senator immediately began a eulogy upon the services to Oregon of his son-in-law, Colonel Fremont, which aroused the ire of the westerner. "Ah, yes," said Benton, "we know all about Oregon. My son-in-law, Colonel Fremont, has traveled all over that country. The country is, or ought to be, under everlasting obligation to him for the information he has given at the greatest sacrifice a man ever made." To this his visitor warmly replied: "As to any information given you by Mr. Fremont regarding what the people are doing and their prospects, it is certainly guessed at, for I know he was never there. His map of the road is good, but when it comes to making roads, he never did. He followed the road to Oregon made by emigrants, men, women and children to the Dalles, took bateaux to Fort Vancouver, got supplies, returned to The Dalles and struck out for California on the east side of the mountains."

Watt says in his reminiscences that he shall never forget the look that Benton had on his face as he started across the room, rubbing his hands and storming, "Perhaps I don't know the movements of my own son-in-law." While the picture is completed by the clerk, to all intents writing at a desk near by, but whose sides were "prying out and in like a pair of bellows."

A tribute paid by Watt to the services actually rendered by Colonel Fremont mollified the old senator and the remainder of the interview was pleasant. The conversation turned to the object of the visit which Watt had expressed to Benton in the following words: "I was in the neighborhood of the city and was anxious to learn something about the intent of the government concerning Oregon so that I could have something to tell the settlers on my return, for we only get the news once a year." Watt told him of his plan of transferring his family across the plains and of driving sheep and introducing the manufacture of wool. To Benton it seemed "quite an undertaking," but Watt, with the true pioneer spirit, replied, "Yes, but the people out there do not mind hardships and dangers. Somebody has to do it if the country is ever settled." To the praises paid by Watt to Oregon and the need of an extension of government, Benton replied, "There are a great many things to contend with, I am afraid, before that can be done. England has to be treated with, for they have some claims out there; and we have many designing men here who will give us trouble. I am sure I do not know how it will be done, but I think something will be done that will satisfy you people. I have been frustrated in some attempts to relieve the country but am still in hopes we can do something." The conversation then drifted to mutual acquaintances in Missouri, and Watt left with some maps and reports of Fremont, presented by the Senator, under his arm.

The journey by boat down the Mississippi River was the occasion of another experience. A collision occurred just before daylight and many of the passengers, unable to get to land, were drowned. Watt narrowly escaped by reaching the hurricane deck and wading out of the cabin waist deep in the water. "I thought that worse than all the Indians in the world," is the remark with which he sums up this experience.

Upon reaching home the preparation was made for crossing the continent. A band of sheep had been gotten together during Watt's absence, much to the amusement of the neighbors, who could not believe the enterprise would succeed. The progress, indeed, was slow. When rain fell the mud was deep and in dry weather the dust was equally trying. "I have driven day after day, pushing the sheep along by my knees, and could not see them for the dust," says Watt.

The emigrants of 1848 had a comparatively easy time, and a comfortable journey. They were more numerous, were better provided with necessities and better organized than those of former years. How great the contrast between crossing the plains in 1848 and that which had been the occasion of so many difficulties four years before. The ample outfit consisted of two large freight wagons with five yoke of cattle to each. There was loose cattle and sheep and drivers and herders to help with the work. Watt's familiarity with the route, his knowledge of the best camping places and sources of water supply caused many to look naturally to him as a leader, although the dust that rose from the path of the flock of sheep was too much for a close following. Watt was a lover of a practical joke, and his knowledge of the country often gave him an opportunity to indulge this taste. By his advice a company of the emigrants had been induced to camp by the Dry Sandy with the promise that water would be abundant. When they reached the place there was none to be seen. The bed of the stream was as dry and dusty as a desert. To the surprised and indignant inquiries of the fellow travelers for water Watt only said, "I have struck the rock and water will soon be here." Doubt and despondency, however, were clearly seen on the faces of the emigrants, and many thought that they had trusted too far. Those who were fortunate enough to have kegs of water in possession for such an emergency now brought them out and began the preparation of supper. Those less fortunate gathered in groups where grumbling could be heard in undertones; but Watt was calm and unconcerned through all. Without warning, when darkness came on, a thread of ice cold water that the midday sun had released in the snow-capped mountains, came trickling down. It grew larger and larger and shouts on every side arose "Here's water! Water for all! Moses still lives." The thirsty cattle rushed in without questioning the source of supply, but the emigrants touched it reverently, half doubting the reality of their senses.

The usual vicissitudes of the long but somewhat monotonous journey across the plains were enlivened one night by the sudden arrival in camp of a messenger, on horseback, from the West. He had been riding hard and seemed anxious to proceed as fast as possible. It was Joseph Meek, messenger of the Oregon colonists, on his way to Washington to announce to the government the Whitman massacre and the Cayuse war. "The Cayuse Indians have broken out," he said, "and are murdering far and near, sparing neither man, woman, nor children. Men are all up from the valley fighting them hand to hand. Our boys charge and the Indians charge back, death and destruction at ever charge." The effect of the vivid account, that none could give better than Meek, was great. Women and children were frightened and crying. Even the men questioned the wisdom of proceeding. Watt, however, being well acquainted with Meek knew his proclivities for exaggeration when striving for effect. Gradually the facts were brought out and the situation, though still serious, was not sufficient to turn back the emigration. For the rest of the journey Watt was the most cautious of the party. No Indians appeared and the fear of the emigrants wore off; but, like the water from the mountains, the Indians might come unannounced into camp at any time, as the experienced traveler across the prairies well knew. Even the seriousness of this occasion furnished Watt material for his practical jokes. When the party had exceeded the usual limit of carelessness in sitting late and burning the camp fires in the enjoyment of social intercourse, Watt arranged with the guards of that night a plot. The alarm for Indians was to be sounded at early dawn. The plan worked to a charm. The emigrants, who had retired to rest with a feeling of security, now crept out in confusion or hid themselves away in ridiculous positions. The bully of the crowd who had boasted that he "would like to eat an Injin for breakfast every morning," was now pushed from the wagon by his delicate wife, with a rifle in one hand and his pantaloons in the other. The heroine of the hour was a young girl, Mary Greenwood, the daughter of one of the reliable men of the party. She was seen amidst all the confusion kindling a fire and beginning to mold bullets for the men to use.

The journey was made without mishap to the sheep until Snake River was reached. Here the current was strong and they were carried down the stream. The dreamer of Oregon's new industry stood on the bank, helpless, and awaited the issue. The enterprise might easily have terminated at that point; but fate decided otherwise. One fellow in the flock, with all the qualities of a leader, struck out for shore with a strong stroke and soon the larger part of the flock reached the land and the wool industry for Oregon was safe.

Without other incidents of importance the journey was finally ended and the family were all together in their new home in Oregon. The wool weaver had proved a worthy successor to the Scotch Irish silk weaver of colonial days. He had shown the stuff from which new countries are settled and new industries started. The sheep, after their long and dusty drive, were placed upon the rich pastures of the farm in Yamhill County, and to all appearances were well pleased with the new environment. The cards and reeds and castings for loom and spinning wheel were put in place and cloth was made, sufficient to meet the needs of the family and in particular of those eight sisters whose needs had played so important a part in the beginning of the wool industry for Oregon.

The wise dreamer, however, had been unable to see fully the future. He had not known that while his plan was under way the discovery of gold in California had attracted the notice of the world; that the population flocking there would cut off the demand for his woolen cloth, while abundance of goods would come in from the East by water to increase the supply. The enterprise was well conceived, but as a financial move it was doomed to temporary failure. The sheep, however, were here and could wait for more favorable conditions. "About six or seven years after the gold mining excitement wore off," says Watt, "and people began to sober down to the home business, a few began to think about the prosperity of the country. We were buying too much and had nothing to sell. Stock had run down; there was little inducement to go into wheat largely. We must do something to prevent so much of an outlay for merchandise from other countries. Wool was almost worthless and there was plenty to keep a small mill going if we could only get the mill." Being interested in sheep himself Watt was anxious to make that industry profitable. He believed that the time had come when woolen goods on a considerable scale could be manufactured at a profit; that the cheapness of raw material would overbalance the high price of labor.

Watt had no personal knowledge of woolen mills but there were in Oregon, at the time, two millwrights who understood the subject and were anxious to be employed in such an enterprise. As the subject was canvassed the interest grew. In 1855, therefore, articles of incorporation were drawn up for the erection of a woolen mill to be located somewhere in the Willamette Valley. Subscriptions to stock were sought and offers of bonuses solicited. The articles provided that the capital stock should be $25,000, and that when $9,000 was paid in a meeting should be held to decide upon the location of the mill. A committee of five was appointed to take charge of the matter. The meeting to decide upon location was held at Dallas when the requisite amount of stock was paid in. It was a meeting of considerable importance, as much rivalry had arisen regarding the location. One party wished it to be placed on the Luckiamute, west of the Polk County hills, and the other desired it to be located at Salem on the east side of the hills. Lively work had been done; the party favorable to the Salem location had secured a bonus worth about $7,000 and had control of the voting stock. Considerable scheming, preliminary to the vote occurred, and when it was taken "you could hear a pin drop," says Watt. The result was favorable to the Salem site, and plans were begun for the construction. Within a few weeks all the stock was paid in and the company had possession of a piece of land for the mill. A board of five directors was elected and orders were given to begin the work. The water power was to be brought from the Santiam River by means of a ditch. The task was not great as the bed of Mill Creek could be used and the water power was soon secured. An agent was sent East to purchase the machinery and by the time it arrived the building was ready for its occupation.

Before the machinery was placed the introduction of this new industry was the occasion of a splendid ball in the spacious building. It was one of the most brilliant social affairs ever held in Oregon up to this time. Among the list of those present from all over the territory were dignitaries of state, including the Governor; dignitaries from the army, including Lieut. Phil Sheridan, and as Watt himself says, "even dignitaries from the church were present." Watt was an inveterate lover of song and dance, and would go many miles at any time to engage in such festivities. He was therefore in the height of his glory, which was not even destroyed by the fact that his chosen lady, Miss Lyons, beautifully adorned in a gown of blue velvet, with golden stars, was led to the dance by the Governor. Indeed, he had no reason to be uneasy, for the understanding between them was good, and a few years later, 1860, he was married to her, dressed for the occasion in a suit of wool made in the mill which he had done so much to establish.

By the first of May the machinery was in place, and everything was in running order. Cloth bearing the name of "Hardtimes" was produced, and the first blankets ever made west of the Rocky Mountains were sold at auction. The first pair went to Mr. Watt for $110, and the others brought $75 to $25. At first all the product that could be turned out found a ready market; competition, however, soon set in and the managers of the mill were undecided what course to pursue. Unwilling to discontinue the enterprise Watt was consulted, and agreed to take the entire product of the mill for a period of three years at a fixed price. By an aggressive process of advertising, in which he personally carried the goods into all the important places along the line of the old Holladay stage route, both in Oregon and California, a market was created for the goods. In three months after the agreement had been made the managers of the mill were willing to give a large consideration in return for a relinquishment of his contract. The goods found such ready market that the building and machinery were doubled. Prices continued to rise; debts were paid off; the value of the stock rose; a gristmill was built by the company; the race through the town constructed, and salaries of officials were raised "as high as their consciences would allow them to take." A woolen fever began to spread through the country. Mills were built at Oregon City, Brownsville, and Ellendale. This was the period of greatest prosperity. Conditions changed, but Watt was not then connected with the business. Divisions had arisen among the stockholders of the company, and Watt had disposed of his stock in 1866, when it sold for a value of $800 per share. He continued to be interested in sheep to the close of his life, and large flocks of the finest breeds were kept on his farm under the care of a Scotch herder employed for the special purpose. He was ever interested in furthering the sheep industry in other parts of Oregon, and it was partly through his influence that sheep were first placed upon the ranges of eastern Oregon.

But the dreams of the dreamer broadened as time passed. In 1866, when divisions led to his withdrawal from the woolen mill, the crop of wheat in the valley was unusually large. The wheat industry had been increasing for years. Oregon was rapidly passing from the fur trading and pastoral stages of industrial life to that of agriculture. With an ever-increasing supply the market was restricted, and here was a problem to attract the mind of Watt. Shipments of wheat were made to California, but the markets beyond had tempted only the most daring. One line of steamers had been established between Portland and New York and four or five vessels had been drawn into the trade. The Sally Brown was the first to make the trial and Watt was the man who gathered up the cargo which she carried from the wheat fields of the Willamette. Ever in the van through life Watt conceived the idea that a cargo of wheat could be sent to Liverpool, the market of the world. With him to think was to act, and in 1868 he went through the valley gathering wheat for the first cargo to the greatest wheat market in existence. It was an adventure in magnitude exceeding anything that he had tried before. Failure would mean a heavy loss, and success would usher in a new day for the industrial life of Oregon. The cargo was gathered and the vessel set forth on the long voyage. The destination was reached and the grain inspected. It was unlike any that had ever been seen before on the docks of the great market. The inspectors had never seen kernels of wheat so large. The decision was pronounced that it could not be right, and the whole cargo was condemned as water soaked and unfit for the market. The loss fell heavily upon the consignor of the cargo, but a beginning had been made that was destined to grow until Oregon's industrial isolation should be ended.

In closing this paper it requires but a few words to sum up the chief characteristics of Joseph Watt. He is best seen in the narration of his life. Ever engaged in enterprises that were ahead of his time, he belonged to the vanguard of industrial development in Oregon. Ever a dreamer, he met with heavy reverses but yet retained a competence sufficient for a comfortable old age. Independent and genuine in his character, there was no cant in his make-up. One of the company of kindred spirits that includes the names of Nesmith, Matthieu, Clark, Boise, Minto, Crawford, and others, his company was always appreciated, for he was genial and sociable in disposition. By the Indians he was loved, and they gathered about him at his home in Yamhill as they would about no other. Deeply interested in all that pertained to Oregon, he was truly one of her benefactors. Always loyal to the early state builders, he conducted a party of them in an excursion to the East when the railroad connection was completed. Always deeply interested in the Pioneer Association, Watt was its president for a time and rarely was absent from its meetings. By gift from his widow the author of this paper has deposited in the vaults of the Oregon Historical Society the little book in which he kept the names of the members in their own handwriting. It is worn and soiled through frequent use, but it will ever be a valuable reminder of the earliest of our state builders, as well as a reminder of him whom the author has chosen to designate as a "pioneer captain of industry in Oregon."

JAMES R. ROBERTSON.


Note.—The material from which this paper has been prepared was derived from the following sources: manuscript account of "Woolen Mill," the "Journey to Washington," and the "Cargo of Wheat to Liverpool," written by Mr. Watt and loaned to the author by Mr. S. A. Clark, of Washington, D. C., in whose possession it has been. A series of articles in the Oregonian in 1881, by Mr. S. A. Clark, describing the journeys across the country and other incidents, obtained from manuscript and from conversations with Mr. Watt, with whom Mr. Clark was on most intimate terms; a paper containing recollections of his brother's life and incidents by Ahio Watt, of Portland; conversations with the widow and daughter of Mr. Watt, who are now living at Forest Grove, Oregon.