The Wrong Smith

Fake news has it that the City in 1909 bought land for Peninsula Park from Elizabeth Smith a.k.a. Liverpool Liz, who ran a racetrack and a saloon there. False. Evergreen Park (1899-1900) was leased from W.K. Smith by Harry Busch, who was financed by $ 6,000 from Lizzie Smith. The good citizens of Piedmont, controlled by the crusading teetotaller Edward Quackenbush, prevented Harry Busch from getting a liquor license. Harry Busch went to jail for pistol-whipping Liz, and Evergreen Park went belly up. The land was subsequently bought by the City from W.K. Smith. I am currently writing up the story with the title “Too Many Smiths” or “Elusive Liz”. The attached picture overwhelmingly shows that William K. Smith, a banker, millionaire, and mill owner, was morally incomparable to Liverpool Liz.

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Piedmont, Old and New

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This is a cut out of a 1901 map of all of Portland. The complete map, which has a decent resolution, is at

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B94Urj3OjM7BQUw2Nm5DdDgwMEE

Our cutout shows the area of modern Piedmont as it was in 1901 (and a piece of Woodlawn and Humboldt). The whole northern part is the Lewis Love Donation Claim, completely undeveloped. It goes from Bryant in the South to the Slough in the North, and from what is now the I-5 in the West to what is now 8th Street in Woodlawn in the East.

The current I-5 is at the East side of the Good Morning Addition, which is the green subdivision on the left. The Good Morning Addition is between Patton Ave (Interstate) and the Freeway, and between Portland Blvd (Rosa Parks) and what is now Buffalo. The freeway runs through North Albina, the pink subdivision in the lower left corner. North Albina is between Killingsworth in the South and Ainsworth in the North, which means it is in modern Humboldt. Its Eastern border is Michigan, its western border Patton (Interstate). We see that the original Piedmont subdivision (which is still the Piedmont area as far as the tax rolls are concerned) is half in modern Piedmont and half in Humboldt. Note that the Western border of Piedmont is the alley between Commercial and Kerby., houses on the West side of Commercial are still in Piedmont, but Kerby is not.

We can now fill in some white space, which was not platted yet in 1901. Between North Albina and Piedmont, in Humboldt, is West Piedmont. The white area between Ainsworth and Portland Blvd (Rosa Parks), from East to West, is Longview (basically a piece of Kerby), Peninsula Park, Gainsborough Addition, and then the freeway.

There are four additional platted areas between Portland Bld (Rosa Parks) and the Love Donation Land Claim. The Lochinvar Addition (pink) starts at what is now Albina and has Congress as its East boundary. Its North boundary is a little bit south of current Dekum. The Gem Addition (yellow) goes from Congress to Vancouver. It starts in the South at Dekum and then ends in the North half way Dekum and Bryant. On the Eastside of Vancouver we have Saratoga (green), which goes from Dekum to Bryant, and from Vancouver to halfway between Cleveland and Rodney. And finally there is Piedmont Park (pink) which goes East to current MLK and Woodlawn, and continues for three lots South of Dekum. In the North its boundary is Woodlawn Street, which now is Bryant.

Note that Union ends at Portland Blvd, although the railway continues North to Vancouver (WA) on the East border of the Lewis Love Donation. In 1898 residents of Piedmont and Woodlawn wanted the City to extend Union Avenue North to the city limits, but Lewis Love refused to have it run over his land. Piedmont also missed an opportunity. In 1902 proposals for sites of the Lewis and Clark Centennial were due. Lewis Love offered (at no charge) 200 acres on the south side of his donation land, with the sole condition that “the fair authorities must clear the land”. Ultimately, the exposition went to Guild’s Lake area on the West Side. Lewis Love died in 1903, and his heirs eagerly got rid of their pieces, thus creating Loveleigh, Lovewood, Love’s Addition, and the Green C Love Addition.

THE LAND THAT BECAME PIEDMONT

Captain Lewis Love, from Illinois, arrived in Oregon in 1850, just in time. The Donation Land Claim act allowed (white) settlers claims of 320 acres and 320 additional acres for their wives, provided both arrived in or before 1850. After 1850 the claim amount was halved to 160 + 160 acres. Note that 160 acres is a quarter of a one mile by one mile PLSS section. Lewis and Nancy M. Love filed a Donation Land Claim (DLC 41, Accession OROCAA 040658, dd 03/19/1866) on 635 acres of virgin timber land between the slough and the present NE Bryant Street and from approximately the 1-5 freeway to NE 8th Avenue which is the northern half of the Piedmont Neighborhood and part of the western boundary of the Woodlawn Neighborhood. Lewis Love eventually became one of Portland’s first millionaires, and when he died in 1903 his donation land had grown to 757 acres, which he left to his bickering and litigating offspring. Love donated the land for The Columbia Cemetery, where he and his wife are buried. It was formerly called Love’s Cemetery. Farragut Park was also part of Love’s estate. So are the Lovewood, Loveleigh, and Love’s Addition areas in Piedmont.

Between Bryant and Portland Boulevard (now Rosa Parks), from Union (now MLK) to what is now I-5, are three lots of each about 37 acres, part of a Military Bounty Land Warrant of 160 acres given to A-Chars-War-Chee (MW-0229-025, dd 12/10/1864), who immediately transfered the land to David Ulery. A-Chars-War-Chee was one of the 500 Creek volunteers in Captain Paddy Carr’s Company in the Creek War. David Ulery (derived from O’Leary) was born in 1831 in Pennsylvania, then moved to West Virginia, Iowa, Wisconsin, California and finally in 1861 to Portland. He grew fruit and vegetables near the Vancouver County Road, and was active in the Grange movement. In 1882 he sold his Portland properties and moved to the Chelatchie Valley in Clark County.

Evander Howe came from Vermont to Oregon in the 1860s and established a claim under the Homestead Act for $200 (OROCAA 040709, dd 06/01/1870). The 160 acre tract is bounded today by Interstate Avenue, Kerby Avenue, Killingsworth Avenue, and Portland Boulevard where the Arbor Lodge, Piedmont, Humboldt, and Overlook Neighborhoods intersect.

In 1866, George Smith used a Military Bounty Land warrant to acquire 160 acres. More precisely MW-0229-056 was given on 03/10/1866 to Henry Walsh, who served in the US Quartermaster Department in the war with Mexico. The tract is bounded today by Portland Boulevard and Kerby, Union, and Killingsworth Streets. It forms the southwestern corner of the Piedmont Neighborhood, the northwestern corner of the Humboldt Neighborhood, and the northeastern corner of the King Neighborhood. In July 1870, Smith bought 80 additional acres, for $400, from Evander Howe, whose homestead was to the west. Note that Evander Howe’s obtained his homestead in January 1870, so he did not do anything with it. The following month Smith and his wife Elizabeth sold all their land, 240 acres to H. F. Bloch and A. P. Dennison.

The other part of Evander Howe’s homestead claim wound up at some pointsin the hands of Councilman Sylvester Farrell, who sold “an undivided ⅔ the north ½ of
the southwest ¼ of section 15, iN, 1E” to W.K. Smith on December 31, 1889, for
$ 16,666.

So, summarizing, the part of Piedmont North of Bryant street was in the Donation Land Claim of Lewis and Nancy Love. The strip between Bryant and Portland Boulevard was in the David Ulery tract. The part of Piedmont below Portland Boulevard and West of Kerby (which includes what is now Peninsula Park) was in the Evander Howe homestead, and the part below Bryant and East of Kerby was in the Military Bounty of Henry Walsh, which he immediately transfered to George Smith. It is likely (but not certain) that Smith added the 80 eastern acres of Howe’s land, which means that in 1870 the area which is now Peninsula Park was sold to Bloch/Dennison. After 1870, who knows. We do know that in 1909 the City bought the 20 acres for Peninsula Park from W.K. Smith, a banker, and another one of our early millionaires.

This is mostly taken from the Draft Albina Community Plan Context Statement, PDS, 1992. I added some information from other sources. To be expanded and continued

ANNOUNCEMENT: PNA General Meeting

The Piedmont Neighborhood is proud to host our Spring General meeting at the West Gym, Peninsula Park Community Center, Apr 27th, at 7pm.

Agenda:

  • Farragut Dog Park

Guest Speakers:

  • Officer Jasmine Sutton – Piedmont Neighborhood, Portland Police Department
  • Travis Phillips – Director of Housing Development, PCRI
  • Jay Forester – Piedmont Neighborhood Emergency Team
  • Chris Trejbal – Overlook Neighborhood Association