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Benton County Commissioners from statehood to adoption of home-rule charter 1859-1972

Note: The dates contained in the parenthesis are the dates of service in office.

1859-1870

1871-1880

1881-1890

1891-1900

1901-1910

1911-1920

1921-1930

1931-1940

1941-1950

1951-1960

1961-1972


1859-1870

Judge James R. Bayley (1859 – 1862)

Bayley was born in Clark County, Ohio in 1819. He studied medicine at the Ohio Medical College (now the College of Medicine of the University of Cincinnati) beginning in 1841 and was admitted to practice three years later. Bayley first established a practice at his home in Springfield, Ohio, where he resided for the next four years. He then moved to Cincinnati where he practiced for seven years and married his wife, Elizabeth, in 1852. Three years later, they crossed the plains and arrived in Oregon, first residing in Polk County and then moving to Corvallis two years later where he opened a medical office and pharmacy. Bayley held a number of governmental posts including Territorial Council member in 1856 and 1857; two terms as judge of Benton County; state senator from Benton County in 1866 and 1868; an appointment as the Supervisor of Internal Revenue from 1869 to 1873; and as the Mayor of Corvallis in 1875. After leaving public service Dr. Bayley opened practices in Corvallis, Newport, and Yaquina Bay. Among other civic organizations, Bayley was a 32nd degree Mason, Grand High Priest and Grand Master of the Masonic jurisdiction of Oregon and a prominent Odd Fellow.

William Barclay (1859 – 1862)

Barclay was born in St. Louis County, Missouri on September 19, 1805, and resided there until the spring of 1850, when he, his wife and seven children crossed the plains on the Oregon Trail. Misfortune struck the Barclay family early in the trek when his wife died either just prior to reaching the Platt River or during the crossing. At the time of her death the oldest of their seven children was 13, the youngest only three months. The remaining family arrived in Yamhill County, where they resided for the winter of 1850-51. In the spring of 1851, Barclay moved his family to Benton County and secured a donation claim where he likely lived the remainder of his life.

Jacob Halter (1859 – 1862)

Halter was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in 1823 and arrived in Benton County in 1844 (listed as “JL Halter” in the land records) and settled in the Soap Creek area north of Corvallis. In addition to his time as County Commissioner, Halter also served as Justice of the Peace for the Soap Creek precinct from 1866-1868.

James Edwards (1862 1870; 1872 1874; 1878 1880; 1882 – 1884)

Edwards was born in Fayette County, Pennsylvania on May 2, 1817 and arrived in Oregon in late 1853. He married Mary Longsworth in 1844 and had nine children. Initially, Edwards secured a claim near present-day Alsea, though in 1863 he purchased a farm 15 miles southwest of Corvallis, near Bellfountain. By the 1870’s he had moved to a residence in Corvallis. He remained in the area and served many terms as County Commissioner late into life. In addition to his many terms as commissioner he also served a substantial time as School Clerk and Director. Edwards and his family were also active in the United Brethren Church and Republican Party.

Larkin Vanderpool (1864 – 1866)

Vanderpool was born in Ray County Maryland on December 1, 1831 and settled his donation land claim on October 1, 1853. He married Mary Turnage on January 15, 1852 in Ray County, Missouri and had two children. He passed away on March 24, 1894 in Dufur, Wasco County, Oregon.

Judge T.B. Odeneal (1864 – 1870)

Odeneal was the founder of The Gazette newspaper in Corvallis (now The Gazette-Times) at the outbreak of the Civil War and was a convert to the Republican Party after Lincoln’s election in 1860. In 1872, Odeneal was appointed the Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Oregon shortly before the Modoc Wars erupted in Southern Oregon. Odeneal was also deeply involved with the removal of the Nez Perce tribe led by Chief Joseph, supporting the Nez Perce claims to the Wallowa Valley, which likely cost him his position with the Department of the Interior.

Jeremiah Ladd Lilly (1866 – 1868)

Lilly was born on September 13, 1829 in Camden, New York and settled in Benton County near the north eastern border of Philomath in early 1852. He married Mary Hardie on May 17, 1857 in King’s Valley and had ten children. Lilly died on March 14, 1884 and is buried in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Cemetery.

William Pittman (1866 – 1870)

Pittman was born in Hamilton County, Ohio on January 12, 1827. At the age of 13 he apprenticed to a carpenter, a trade he would follow the rest of his life with some success along with farming and ranching in Benton County. In 1851, Pittman crossed the plains intending to settle in California but changed his course at Salt Lake City and headed, instead, for Oregon, settling in King’s Valley in May of 1851. Pittman claimed to have sawn the very first plank in Benton County, which may have been during the construction of the Watson house, which still stands today. Pittman and his brother John, who arrived after serving in the Union Army during the Civil War, opened a sash and door factory along the Marys River in Corvallis around 1871. One of the courthouses in Dallas in Polk County was designed and constructed by the Pittman brothers and was described as “…one of the finest building in the state. In architecture it is interesting. It reveals distinct southern Ancestry. Thomas Jefferson’s influence is marked in the severe Roman classic lines.”  Unfortunately, that courthouse was burned to the ground in 1889 with the present courthouse built in its place in 1898. In addition to his carpentry business and terms as a Benton County Commissioner, Pittman also served as a fire commissioner from 1868-1869.

David King (1870 1872; 1874 – 1876)

According to the 1860 census King was born in Delaware on October 30, 1818 and farmed in Benton County. He married Mary Henkle on March 18, 1839 in Fayette County, Ohio, and they had six children together. The couple traveled to Oregon in the “Henkle Wagon Train” with many members of Mrs. King’s family. King died in 1890 and is buried in the Pleasant Valley Cemetery.

Judge John Burnett (1870 – 1874)

Burnett was born in Louisiana, Pike County, Missouri, on the 4th of July, 1831. His father died when he was 15 years old, leaving a widow and five children but little else. Burnett helped his mother support and raise his younger siblings first by working for merchants E. Draper & Brothers, in Louisiana, tending their store. After working at the mercantile for about a year he hired out to work on a flat boat on the Mississippi River transporting lumber to St. Louis and sending his pay to his mother. In the spring of 1849, when he was 17, a relative offered to supply him with equipment for a mining claim in California and he accepted the offer and crossed the country to try his luck in the gold fields. The mining was profitable, quickly earning enough to pay his relative back for the supplies. Burnett continued to prospect for about two years with fair success before returning to Missouri. In the spring of 1853, he again traveled to California, this time with a herd of cattle which he sold and returned to mining in Nevada County, California for another two years until declining health forced him to look elsewhere. Burnett then traveled north in the spring of 1858 and settled in Benton County, where he remained until his death. In 1859, he married Martha Hinton, and began to study law with Colonel Kelsay in Corvallis. He was admitted to the bar a year later, opening his own office shortly thereafter. In later years, as a member of the Democratic Party, he was chosen as a Presidential Elector in 1868, County Judge in 1870, Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court in 1874, State Senator in 1878 and appointed as Judge of the Second Judicial District in 1882. Burnett continued to practice law after the expiration of the last appointment and built a formidable reputation as an attorney.


1871-1880

James K. Polk Chambers (1872 – 1874)

Chambers was born on September 17, 1844 in Carl County, Missouri and arrived with his family in Oregon in 1845 and settled in King’s Valley. His mother died during the crossing and is buried in Malheur County, Oregon; his father established one of the first flour mills in the County in 1852. Chambers taught at the King’s Valley School (the “little red schoolhouse” according to WPA records). He married Carinda Kizer on February 14, 1871 in Marion County, Oregon. In 1869, he served as the President of Philomath College, as well as a state representative from 1874-1878 and Justice of the Peace for King’s Valley from 1878-1880. During the presidential campaign Chambers supported and worked on behalf of General Ulysses Grant, and as a reward he was granted the trading rights for the Siletz Reservation. Chambers died on August 18, 1883.

Britton Wood (1874 – 1876)

Wood was born in Clay County, Missouri on March 11, 1822 and died on January 11, 1880 in Benton County, Oregon. He married Paulina Todd on January 13, 1845 in Buchanan County, Missouri and they traveled together to Oregon in 1852. In each census until his death he was listed as a farmer in King’s Valley. From the insignia on his tombstone it is likely that he was a Free Mason. The Woods had 10 children.

Judge Erastus Holgate (1874 1878, 1888 – 1890)

Holgate was born on April 22, 1833 in Pennsylvania and died on August 8, 1909 in Corvallis, Oregon. He settled in Benton County in 1854 and was listed as a store clerk on an 1854 juror roll, as a merchant in the 1870 census, and finally as a lawyer in the 1880 Census. Holgate marred Anna Violette Watt on August 30, 1860 in Yamhill County, Oregon and together they had six children. He partnered with John Grimsley in a general mercantile store before being elected County Judge. Holgate served as the Mayor of Corvallis in 1862 and Justice of the Peace from 1866-1868. Additionally, he was the presiding Circuit Court Judge when the current Benton County Courthouse was completed in the 1888.

Elijah Skipton (1876 1878)

Skipton was born on November 17 1831 in Washington County, Ohio and died on February 15, 1906 in Benton County, Oregon. He arrived in Oregon sometime in 1862 after having served in the Iowa State Militia prior to crossing the plains. Skipton came west to join his brother, Thom, who had arrived in Benton County early in 1847. His daughter Isabelle married John Horner, a long-time Oregon State University professor who created what is now known as the Horner Collection, which is housed at the Benton County Historical Museum in Philomath.

James Wiles (1876 – 1878)

In addition to his service as County Commissioner, Wiles was active in the local chapter of the Knights of Pythias.

Hugh Herron (1878 – 1880)

Herron was one of the many Irish settlers in Benton County, having been born in County Down, Ireland in September of 1839; his family crossed the Atlantic to America in 1850. In 1862, Herron left the east and upon arrival in Benton County leased a farm near Monroe. 1866 saw the purchase of a donation claim, to which Herron continuously added until his holdings totaled 750 acres north east of Monroe. Herron’s son, Hugh Clayton, would also become a county commissioner.

Judge W.S. McFadden (1878 – 1882)

McFadden was born in Pennsylvania on May 22, 1846 and died in 1916 in Corvallis, Oregon. He studied law at Washington and Jefferson University in Washington, Pennsylvania where he was admitted to the bar. He crossed the country and arrived in Corvallis and began working in the office of Judge Strahn, who would later become a Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court. Along with his term as County Commissioner, McFadden served as the District Attorney, Mayor of Corvallis and head of the county Democratic Party. His son, Julian, constructed and operated the Julian Hotel which still stands on the corner of Second and Monroe in Corvallis

Jno. (John) Rowland (1880 – 1882)

Rowland was born in Missouri in 1834 and immigrated to Oregon in 1867 after residing for a time in Sierra County, California. According to the 1880 Census he was a farmer; Rowland died in 1916 in Benton County.

Caleb Davis (1880 – 1884)

Davis was Born in Center County, Pennsylvania in 1826 and died in Benton County in December of 1913. In 1844, Davis moved from Pennsylvania to Iowa, and then to California in 1850 to try his luck in the gold rush. Davis came north to Lebanon in the fall of 1851 but returned to Yreka, California to sell supplies and merchandise to the miners in northern California for the next three years before returning to Iowa. In 1864, he and his family left for Oregon and initially set up a home in Jackson County. Two years later, Davis and family traveled south to California to reside in Napa Valley before settling in Philomath around 1870 and finally on a farm outside of Corvallis in 1873. At various times Davis partnered with J.C. Avery in several business, most notably a grain warehouse along the Willamette River in Corvallis. Davis married Eliza Henkle and had 12 children, ten of whom survived to adulthood: Z. H., Ella N., Thomas, George W., Frank, Mary G., Caleb A., Bertha B., Fred Oliver; Walter and Lillie G. died in childhood.


1881-1890

Judge J.R. Bryson (1882 – 1886)

Bryson owned much of College Hill with partner L.F. Wilson until the late 1890’s when portions were developed and sold. Bryson died in 1897.

Edward Harrison Hawkins (1884 – 1886)

Hawkins was born Lee County, Iowa on February 17, 1842. He was three years old when his family began the move to Oregon where his father died during the overland trip from Iowa to Oregon, and he was raised on his step father’s farm in Benton County. At age 16 Hawkins left the family farm for eastern Oregon to work raising stock. After returning from eastern Oregon he purchased land first in Linn and then in Benton County raising cattle and then grain. Between two wives, Sarah Norton who passed in 1880 and Nancy Taylor, he had six children. Hawkins was active in the Republican Party and served as commissioner in both Benton, resigning part way through his last term in 1889 to move south of Eugene, and Lane Counties. He may have also owned a sawmill in partnership with T.A. Logsdon. Hawkins died in 1922.

George W. Houck (1884 – 1886)

Houck was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on February 22, 1830. When he was two years old his family moved to Tiffen, Ohio where he attended school and apprenticed to a shoemaker. On October 30, 1851, Houck struck out for the California gold fields via Panama, arriving in San Francisco on New Year’s Day, 1852. For the next four years he worked in the mines of Shasta and Trinity Counties trying to amass his fortune. However, in 1856 he gave up mining and traveled north to Oregon, settling in Corvallis in late 1857 to become a farmer. In 1869, he opened a livery in Corvallis and operated it for the next three years. In 1872, Houck purchased the George Belknap donation land claim near Monroe, which he added to until it amounted to nearly four thousand acres. He kept his first farm and added an undeveloped granite quarry to his land holdings. At the time of his death Houck was one of the largest stock raisers in Benton County.

Galmiel Garlinghouse Newton (1884 – 1886)

Newton was born on November 7, 1839 near Columbus, Ohio and died on January 9, 1915. He and his parents were one of the earliest European families in Benton County, living on a farm southwest of Corvallis. On October 26, 1862 he married, Susan Wood daughter of a local preacher. In addition to his term as commissioner, Newton served as school director, and a roads supervisor. He also helped to organize Union Cemetery near his father’s donation land claim and served as sexton for many years. His wife taught at the neighborhood school. His son, Emery, would later serve as the County Clerk, Recorder, School Clerk on the school board, and as Sheriff.

Silas N. Shed (1886 – 1888)

Shed was born on September 12, 1832 in Greenfield, New Hampshire and died on November 27, 1917. At age 18 he was employed as a teacher in his hometown. In 1857, he moved to Illinois to farm and teach there until moving to Oregon in 1862 where he continued to teach and farm. Three years later he married Precious Caton; she and her first husband, J.H. Caton, had arrived in Oregon in 1843 with the Applegates. Shed was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and a Master of the Corvallis Grange.

Joseph D. Johnson (1888)

Johnson was likely born in 1844 in Missouri, arriving in Oregon between 1860 and 1870 as his first appearance of record was in the 1870 Census. In that census, Johnson was listed as a farm hand at age 26. In addition to his tenure as a County Commissioner Johnson served as Grand Master of the Masonic Lodge in Corvallis in 1889 and 1892. His son would become a doctor and serve as the Benton County Health Officer.

Samuel A. Logan (1889 – 1892)

Logan was born on December 16, 1840 in Cloverdale, Indiana. At some point he moved to Iowa where he met and married his wife on February 20, 1862. Logan died on November 13, 1919 in Baker City, Oregon.

C.H. Williams (1889 – 1890)

Williams was a well-known merchant and postmaster of Newport, Oregon who was born in Columbia County, New York, September 15, 1828. He moved to Oregon from New York in 1858 and settled a land claim and began farming in Benton County. In 1876, he moved to Yaquina Bay (which was part of Benton County until 1893), where he opened a general merchandise store and post-office, and was appointed Postmaster on January 1, 1877.


1891-1900

Franklin J. Chambers (1891 – 1897)

Chambers was born on February 15, 1853 and died on October 2, 1918. He and his wife Emma are buried in the King’s Valley Cemetery. Chamber’s mother was Louisa King, daughter of Nehemiah King, brother of Nahum King for whom King’s Valley is named. He purchased his own farm near Philomath at 21 and later in life inherited 750 acres in King’s Valley from his father as well as a 1480 acre stock ranch in Polk County. Chambers married Emma Maxfield in 1874. He was active in the local Republican Party, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Lodge No. 44, and the United Evangelical Church.

Judge W.S. Hufford (1890 – 1897)

Hufford was born in Charleston, Iowa on September 7, 1853 and died about 1920. He first came to Oregon in 1873 residing near Albany where he tried his hand at farming for five years before moving across the Willamette to Corvallis to study law. Hufford was admitted to the bar on December 16, 1875 and maintained a practice for the next 16 years. In addition to his time as a County Commissioner, Hufford served as a Republican delegate to the state conventions in 1890 and 1892. He also served locally as the Corvallis City Recorder from 1882-1885.

Peter Rickard (1892 1896; 1902 1908)

Rickard was born in 1855 to parents of pioneers John Rickard and Susana Kine. Having studied agriculture at the Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University), he became a farmer and stock raiser before entering into public service. His wife Clarinda came from the Fietcher family whose home still stands on the Finley Wildlife preserve in southern Benton County. In addition to his term as County Commissioner, Rickard served two terms as Sheriff, beginning in 1896, where his reelection to the second term was one of the largest margins in County history. Rickard enjoyed a very positive reputation in the County, earning the nickname during his time as Sheriff of “Honest Pete.” He was active in the local Democratic Party as well as the Masonic Lodge and Knights of Pythias. After his death in 1936, one of his daughters provided the funds to renovate a room in the Benton County Courthouse in his honor. The farm house commissioned by Rickard in 1890 has been placed on the National Historic Register and still stands in Southern Benton County. In addition, the original carriage house of his home in Corvallis was relocated to the Benton County Fairgrounds, where it now houses the Benton County Natural Areas, Parks and Events Department.

Richard S. Irwin (1900 – 1903)

Irwin’s parents arrived in Benton County sometime in 1851. His father served as the County Coroner and Postmaster in the early 1850’s and owned a mercantile store in Portland before moving to Corvallis. Irwin studied at Corvallis College before taking up responsibilities of the family farm. Irwin married Effie Winkle and five years later purchased his own farm south of Corvallis. Irwin and his wife had three children.


1901-1910

Judge Virgil E. Watters (1902 1905)

Watters arrived in Oregon in 1877 and moved to Benton County in 1884. He was born in Holton, Kansas in 1863. While in Kansas, Watters’ father’s farm was a stop on the Underground Railroad and once even hosted John Brown. The Watters family first settled near Ashland in 1877, and then moved to Portland in 1879 to continue in the jewelry business. Virgil Watters began his professional career as a writer for the Ashland Tidings, as compositor on the Lakeview Examiner, and finally for the Evening Telegram in Portland before joining his father’s jewelry business. In 1884, Virgil Watters opened his own store in Yaquina Bay until his appointment as Postmaster in 1885. He was elected as County Recorder in 1892 and reelected each time until 1896 when he was elected County Clerk, which he continued until 1902. Watters was active in the local Masonic Lodge and became a Master in 1902.

William A. Jolley (1902 1905; 1914 – 1917)

Jolley was born in Ripley County, Missouri on March 22, 1851 and died sometime prior to October 9, 1917. Both of his parents had died before he was 10 years old and he was raised by an uncle in Ohio. He began farming in Ohio before moving to Benton County in 1875 near what was then called Dusty, but is now known as the Bellfountain area. Later, he purchased a farm nearer Philomath and a home in the city itself. He married Nancy Porter in 1876 and together they had two children, only one of which survived to adulthood. Jolley served as a School Board member, City Councilor and a two-term Mayor of Philomath, in addition to his time as County Commissioner. Later, Jolley served as a trustee of Philomath College and as President of that board.

George W. Smith (1906 – 1914)

Smith was born in Montgomery County, Ohio in 1851 and arrived in Oregon around 1883 to take up farming near Corvallis. In addition to his farm he operated a stock and meat market, constructed six or more houses in Corvallis, served on the Corvallis City Council for four years, and was instrumental in the construction of the Van Buren Street Bridge and many other steel bridges in the County. Smith was also a Master Mason in the local lodge.

Judge E. Woodward (1906 – 1913)

Woodward may have been a druggist who partnered with E. Allen in 1869 until the business was sold to his partner’s son, John F. Allen in 1902. During his time as commissioner, he and the Board approved the platting of College Hill in 1908, and presided over the platting of Alsea in 1909.

A.W. Hawley (1908 1913; 1925 – 1932)

Hawley came to Oregon sometime between 1847-1848 with his family and spent most of his life as a farmer. He is related to the state representative for whom a dormitory on the Oregon State University campus is named.

Judge J. Fred Yates (1910)

Yates was born near Brownsville, Linn County in 1866. He received his AB degree from Oregon Agricultural College in 1885. Prior to moving to Corvallis in 1889, he studied law with J.K. Weatherford of Albany and was appointed County Clerk for Linn County. He continued to study law part-time while employed by the Benton County State Bank in Corvallis, as a teacher, and eventually practiced law in Albany with Charles E. Wolveton, a federal judge. Again moving to Corvallis, Yates went into partnership with Judge Bryson and his brother W. E. Yates. In 1896, Yates married Lucy G. Wiles daughter of John Wiles, Benton County pioneers of the 1840’s. In 1912, J. Fred Yates was elected Corvallis Mayor for a two-year term. In 1915, he entered into partnership with Jay L. Lewis. Among his other positions were City Attorney, Municipal Judge, County Judge, and a member of the Board of Regents for Oregon State College. At one time Mr. Yates held the record for continuous state service. The Yates House, which Yates commissioned in 1906, still stands on 7th and Harrison Streets in Corvallis.


1911-1920

Judge Victor P. Moses (1911 1914; 1925 – 1935)

Moses was one of the longest serving Judges in Benton County. During his tenure as judge he served as a Democratic Delegate to the National Convention in 1912, while at the same time he was the Corvallis Postmaster for eight years. Additionally, at other points in time Moses served as County Clerk and on the State Unemployment Relief Committee in 1931. His wife Vina, a noted philanthropist, created the charity still in operation and named in her memory.

Hugh Clayton Herron (County Judge: 1914 1921; County Commissioner: 1932 1944; 1948 – 1949)

Herron was born on December 4, 1874 in the Irish Bend area of Benton County and died on January 30, 1948 in Portland, Oregon. He was the son of former Commissioner Hugh Herron and also served as a State Representative for the 1933 session.

W.H. Malone (1915 1921 as County Judge; 1932 1944; 1948 – 1949)

To date, Malone had the longest tenure on the Board of Commissioners with 20 years of service as both a Commissioner and County Judge. In addition to his several terms as County Judge and Commissioner, Malone supervised and instituted a contest to maintain portions of Benton County’s roads in an effort to improve the maintenance methods. Each of the road district supervisors were entered into the contest with cash prizes offered by the Commercial Club of Corvallis (the forerunner of today’s chamber of commerce) to the top three supervisors with the Board of Commissioners matching the winning amounts with funds to be expended within the district or to purchase machinery. His efforts were recognized in the First Annual Report of the Oregon Highway Engineer, published in 1914, as greatly increasing the standards of road maintenance in the County. Malone also initiated the platting of College Hill in Corvallis and the town of Alsea.

Joseph Callaway Smith (1917 – 1921)

Smith was born on November 18, 1877 in Benton County and married Edna Washburn in 1899. Smith passed away in 1944. He is buried in Crystal Lake Cemetery. He was a descendant of Green Berry Smith, one of the more prominent pioneers in Benton County.


1921-1930

Richard W. Scott (1921 – 1925)

Scott was born near Milwaukee, Oregon in 1873 and married the daughter of former Commissioner Jacob Currier. Scott managed the Currier’s farm near Inavale and was active in the Republican Party and the local grange.

John D. Wilson (1924 – 1925)

No information found

R.C. von Lehe (1924 – 1935)

Von Lehe was born on December 16, 1865 and died on December 22, 1939. Aside from his 11 years as commissioner he also worked for the Philomath Farmer’s Creamery at least during the period of 1915-1918.


1931-1940

Thomas Augustus Logsdon (1934 – 1939)

Logsdon was born on April 7, 1878 in Benton County and died on December 23, 1947; he married Anna Christina Voss on August 15, 1901 in Corvallis. He was a farmer on the family land in the Mountain View area north of Corvallis and may have been a partner in a sawmill operation with former commissioner E.H. Hawkins. In addition to his time as commissioner, Logsdon was a member of the Mountain View School Board, active in the local Farmer’s and Grange Unions, as well as, the Knights of Pythias and Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Orr Belknapp Kyle (1939 1950; 1952 – 1955)

Kyle’s father was born in Ireland in 1858 and his mother in Benton County in 1854. His mother was one of the Belknapps near the current-day Monroe area.


1941-1950

Judge George Irwin McBee (1943 – 1957)

McBee’s parents arrived as children in Oregon in 1852. He was born on February 11, 1894 in Corvallis, Oregon and married Blanche McNeice on August 2, 1927.

Myron Orley Mack (1944 1948; 1950 – 1951)

Mack was born on June 20, 1885 and died on May 25, 1966 in Lane County. According to his World War I draft card in 1918, he was employed as a logger for Miller & Seits in Monroe, Oregon. In the 1920 Census he was listed as a laborer, while by 1930 his occupation was listed as painter & paper hanger interior designer. Mack married Mable Clair Frame in 1908 in Stayton, Oregon; they had five children, three daughters and two sons.

Walter Schmidt (1949 – 1964)

Schmidt was born in 1892 and in 1928 established Schmidt’s Red and White Grocery. In 1959, he and his wife opened Schmidt’s Garden Center on 29th Street in Corvallis. Schmidt died sometime in 1988.


1951-1960

Aubry H. Bond (1951 – 1952)

Bond earned his Bachelor’s of Science in 1917 in Wisconsin, graduated from the U.S. Army Engineers School in 1920, and earned his Civil Engineering certification in 1933 from Wisconsin, and later graduated from the U.S. Army Industrial College in 1933. Bond served as a Captain in the Army Corps of Engineers and Professor of Military Science at Oregon State University until 1939.

A.H. Saxton (1955 – 1960)

Saxton Owned a construction/gravel company located at the corner of what are now Llewellyn and Belfountain Roads prior to becoming a County Commissioner. He is pictured at left with his wife in front of an early concrete mixer. Saxton was an active member of the Willamette Grange Hall with a small County park in that area named for him.

Judge Emil Emery Larkin (1957 – 1969)

Larkin was born between 1886 and 1896, as he was required to register for the draft in 1917 for World War I (all males aged 21 to 31 were required to register). At the time of his registration he lived in the Bellfountain area. Larkin served as the County Assessor for 13 years before being elected as County Judge.

Melvin Hawkins (1960 – 1975)

Hawkins was born on May 26, 1908 and died on June 1, 1993. He was related to one of the early pioneers and founders of Corvallis, William Dixon.  Hawkins also contributed to the Corvallis-Benton County Library’s collection of material on the early pioneers of Benton County.


1961-1974

August Leroy Strand (1964 – 1969)

Strand was born in Victoria, Texas, in 1894, but moved to Montana soon after the turn of the century. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Entomology from Montana State College in 1917 and an Master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Minnesota. Strand served as a seaplane pilot during WWI and returned to Montana State College in 1931 as the Head of the Entomology Department. Six years later he was appointed President of the college.

A.L. Strand was appointed President of Oregon State College in the fall of 1942 and led the College through World War II and the post-war period’s extensive growth. When he arrived at the college student and faculty ranks were dropping, but enrollment swelled to 8,000 students and 25 major buildings were added to the campus during Strand’s 19-year presidency. The crowning moment of Strand’s presidency came on March 6, 1961, when Oregon State College was officially renamed Oregon State University (OSU). Strand Agricultural hall at OSU and the Strand Student Union Building at Montana State University are named in his honor.

Strand remained in Corvallis after his retirement in 1961 and later served a 4-year term on the Benton County Commission. He lived in Corvallis until his death in 1980.

W.M. Burkhart (1969 – 1974)

In addition to his time as County Commissioner, Burkhart was elected as the second Treasurer of the Oregon Agricultural Foundation in 1956 and served until 1957.

Stanley A. Thompson (1969 – 1974)

Thompson died on February 4, 1980. 

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