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John W Cullen

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

In 1860, a 22 year old John W. Cullen was listed as a master saddler, living in Lafayette, Yamhill
County, Oregon. He was married to Ann, who was 19 at the time, born in Missouri.
Prior to this man’s appearance in Portland, he was a member of the 1st Oregon Infantry,
Company B, with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.3 His enlistment began on 29 Nov. 1864 and ceased
28 July 1866. He later applied for a pension based upon “rheumatism and piles.”
The 1st Oregon Infantry was organized at large November 11, 1864, until January 2, 1865. It was
ordered to Fort Vancouver, Washington Territory, on December 19, 1864. Duty was performed in
the District of Oregon by Detachments at Fort Vancouver, Fort Klamath, Fort Yamhill, Fort
Steilacoom, Fort Dalles, Fort Walla Walla, Fort Colville, Fort Hoskins and Fort Boles, Idaho
Territory, covering Boles and Snake River Country, as well as protecting the the Owyhee Mines
from Indian raids. The company was mustered out on July 19, 1867.
John Cullen makes his first appearance in Portland in 1870. The Federal census that year
reported him as age 30, and born in Iowa. At that time he and his wife were living in East
Portland, and he was employed as a printer.
In 1872, still on the East side of the Willamette River, he was in the saddle hardware business.
The following year, 1873, he became a saddler on the West side, at Front & Yamhill. It is not
clear if he was operating his own business or employed by an established saddlery.
Either way, he chose not to remain in the city. Somewhere between 1874 and 1880, he made a
giant move to far Eastern Oregon, Island City, Union County, where he was listed as a harness
maker. In 1890 he was living in or near Lostine, Wallowa County. However, the story does not
end in Eastern Oregon: before 1920, John and Ann returned to Portland, and by age 91 he was
still living in Multnomah County, in 1930.
[No maker marks are known by the author ]
[In business in Portland circa 1872 until 1875]
Federal Census for Oregon, 1860, 1870 ,1880, 1920 and 1930
City Directories for Portland, Oregon, 1872 and 1873 [pension] http regiments/usa-west/or_inf_reg_01.htm [regimental history]
Federal Census 1890, Veterans Census, Wallowa County SD 2- ED 27- Line 11
3 2nd Lt. commissions were granted by the Governor to those men acting as recruiters. If they recruited the required
number by the prescribed time, they were promoted to Captain. (Bancroft, Vol XXX)

Research by Richard and Dorothy Egan


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