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Manuel Huerta

Birth place or City of origin:
State of origin:
Last known City: Portland
Last known State: OR
Start/Birth date: 1838
Death/End date: 1882

A native of old Mexico, Manuel was born circa 1838. His emigration date to the US is unknown,
but he lived and worked as a saddler and harness maker in East Dalles, Wasco County, Oregon
in 1867. By 1870 he was married to Amanda, who was 34, and they had four children:
Constasia, age 11, Maria, age 7, Josifina, age 5, and Christinia, age 3.
City Directory information indicates Manuel was a saddle [and/or harness] maker in Portland in
1879. His business was located on Salmon St. between 1st and 2nd. In 1880, Manuel was
widowed, and listed as a painter in the US Census. His children were listed as Mary [Maria] age
17, Josephine [Josifinia] age 14, and Emma [? Christinia] age 13. The ages seem to confirm that
we are discussing the same person, even though the children’s names have by then become
“Americanized”. Huerta’s Portland address was listed as simply between 1st and 2nd.
On a sad note, it would appear that Manuel lost his youngest daughter, Emma, age 14, born in
The Dalles. She died 11 May 1881, and was buried in the old St. Mary’s Cemetery.
St. Mary's Cemetery, founded in 1858, was the pioneer Roman Catholic cemetery in Portland,
Oregon. It was located on S.E. Stark Street, between 24th and 26th Avenues. Seventy-one years
after the first burial, the cemetery was closed. The Archdiocese published invitations to family
members to transfer the remains of their family members to Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Portland's
West Hills. Eventually, the "left-over" remains were transferred to the St. Mary's section of Mt.
Calvary cemetery.
Reconstructing Mr. Huerta’s Portland career path is difficult due to incomplete and intermittent
records. To complicate matters further, Manuel’s occupation is listed as “artist” in the year of
1881. Could this mean he was a master in the art of leather tooling, or even the engraving of
silver? This is pure speculation; perhaps it indicates a shift towards an entirely new trade. His
1881 address is listed as 30 Salmon St., near 1st.
The last entry in the City Directory was in 1882. Manuel Huerta’s name is not found in any
subsequent literature, directories, or Federal census.
[The author knows of no maker marks]
[This maker in business in the Portland area circa 1879-circa 1882]
__________________________________________________
References:
1867 West Coast Business Directory
Federal Census for Oregon, 1870-1880
Records of St. Mary’s Cemetery, Portland. Transcribed by Connie Lenzen, Genealogical Forum of Oregon
Polk’s City Directories for Portland, Oregon, 1879- 1893

Research by Richard and Dorothy Egan

 

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