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William Kern

Birth place or City of origin:
State of origin:
Last known City:
Last known State:
Start/Birth date: 1813
Death/End date:

Listed in the earliest available business directory records for Portland, WILLIAM KERN may be
among the first saddlers in the city. He was born 12 Jan 1813 at Greensburg, Westmorland
County, Pennsylvania, the son of John Kern and his second wife, Elizabeth (Singer) Hollinger.
William married Mary Ann Shull in 1834 in Jerretstown, Virginia.
In the same year the couple went to Washington, Illinois, and about 1845, removed to Stark
County, Illinois. They then returned to Peoria in 1850. William took charge of a wagon bridge
over the Illinois River during the winter of 1850-51. In April of 1851, they joined a wagon train
bound for Portland, Oregon, likely over the Oregon Trail.
After a brief survey of Portland, he located first in Washington County. A sawmill was
established near Beaverton, but after three years, William returned to the growing city on the
Willamette. Here on muddy 228 Front Street he opened a saddlery [circa 1855]. It is estimated
that he remained at that location until circa 1865 - circa 1869.
Listed in the earliest available business directory records for Portland, WILLIAM KERN may be
among the first saddlers in the city. He was born 12 Jan 1813 at Greensburg, Westmorland
County, Pennsylvania, the son of John Kern and his second wife, Elizabeth (Singer) Hollinger.
William married Mary Ann Shull in 1834 in Jerretstown, Virginia.
In the same year the couple went to Washington, Illinois, and about 1845, removed to Stark
County, Illinois. They then returned to Peoria in 1850. William took charge of a wagon bridge
over the Illinois River during the winter of 1850-51. In April of 1851, they joined a wagon train
bound for Portland, Oregon, likely over the Oregon Trail.
After a brief survey of Portland, he located first in Washington County. A sawmill was
established near Beaverton, but after three years, William returned to the growing city on the
Willamette. Here on muddy 228 Front Street he opened a saddlery [circa 1855]. It is estimated
that he remained at that location until circa 1865 - circa 1869.

Research by R L Egan

 

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