Powers, Benjamin F

From Lane Co Oregon


A well-known agriculturist residing near Springfield, Lane County, Oregon, was born in Allegany county,New York, in 1826, a son of Benjamin B. and Mary A. (Powell) Powers, natives of Vermont. The ancestors of these parents had for generations been residents of the Green Mountain State, and the Powell family formerly owned the town site of Woodstock. The father of our subject was a cabinet-maker by trade, and followed this occupation in Maine until, 1824 when he removed to Allegany county, New York. He built a grist-mill on Vandemark creek, which he operated until 1833, when he emigrated to Illinois. He engaged in farming and worked at his trade as opportunity offered, until 1852, when he started with his wife and seven children to Oregon. His outfit consisted of three wagons, each drawn by three yoke of oxen, one two-horse wagon, and ten cows. They joined a train of seventy-two wagons, the company numbering 250 persons. Arriving at the Platt river the cholera settled upon the train, and thirty-two deaths resulted, Mrs. Powers being among the number who were buried upon the silent plain. They then divided into smaller companies and finished the journey without particular incident. Arrived at the Dalles, they proceeded by water and the river trail to the "mouth of Sandy," and then drove by Albany to Lane county. Mr. Powers located on a donation claim near the present town of Springfield, and engaged in farming. B. F. Powers was reared and educated in Illinois, and crossed the plains with his parents in 1852, driving an ox team and walking the entire distance. He bought 160 acres adjoining his father, and at once engaged in farming, which has been the occupation of his life.

He was married near Springfield, in 1864, to Miss Louisa M. Thomas, a daughter of Jonathan Thomas, a pioneer of 1852. They have one child, Catherine E., wife of C. L. Morton.

Mr. Powers now owns 350 acres of the original settlement of the family, one mile east of Springfield, and the fine condition of the land and all of his surroundings indicate the thrift and wisdom with which they have been managed. Formerly he dealt largely in sheep, cattle and horses, but of late years he has given his attention to the raising of cereals, and sows 250 acres of grain annually. Inheriting the energy characteristic of his New England ancestors, with zeal and perseverance he has pursued his avocation, and has now one of the best improved farms in Lane county.

Hines, H. K. "An Illustrated History of the State of Oregon." Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co. 1893. p. 325.

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