Vernonia Founding Fathers

R.W. McNutt

R.W. McNutt was born in Spring Hill, Nova Scotia , April 28, 1836. On December 14, 1867, he came to Oregon, and on the 10th of April, 1887, he arrived at the mouth of Rock creek, in the Nehalem valley.

After hunting around through the natural surroundings for several days he concluded that the mouth of Rock creek was the hub of this fine rich county of valleys, and he told O. N. Prather, his guide, that right there would be one of the most flourishing towns in Oregon. Mr. McNutt and Joe Van Blaricom were credited with the layout of the original town.  Photo

William Pringle Sr.

Mr. Pringle was born in London, England, on the 22d of November, 1863, a son of John and Mary (Brown) Pringle. In 1877 he came to Columbia County, Oregon, and took up a homestead and a preemption claim about two miles east of Vernonia. He lived there until 1897, when he moved to Vernonia, erected a store building and stocked it with a general line of merchandise, continuing the business until 1909, when he sold out and retired, moving into a small house which he had built, and there his death occurred in 1911. He was postmaster of Vernonia four years, and took an active interest in everything pertaining to the development and progress of his community, particularly along the line of good schools and improved highways. Soon after coming to this locality he taught one term of school and in 1879 helped to build the Pittsburg and St. Helens highway, to which he devoted many days of hard work. His life has been characterized by earnest purpose, persistent industry, strict integrity and sound judgment and he is accorded prestige among the enterprising and substantial citizens of his community, where he had many warm and loyal friends. Photo

Dr. Charles Henry Newth

Charles Henry Newth was the first doctor in Vernonia. He was born in Wiltshire County, Enland in 1857.  He arrived in America with several cousins when he was 15 years old. He lived in America for 2 years before being called back to England on account of his father's illness. Upon returning to American and landing in Portland, he decided to settle in Vernonia with his wife, son and two daughters.   Photo

Judson Weed

Judson, a co-settler with Ozias Cherrington became an Oregon state legislator in 1891. He homesteaded in Vernonia in 1876. His son, Oscar, lived on the original homestead following Judson's death. Judson was born, raised, served in the Union Army, attended college, and taught his first years all in Ohio.  His early years were spent with his grandfather Weed on his parents' Jackson Ohio Farm. He lived the remainder of his life in Oregon (briefly Linn County, then the Nehalem Valley, then Philomath, then St Helens, then Vernonia again).  Photo

Ozias Cherrington

Vernonia was named for the daughter of one of the original settlers, Ozias Cherrington who moved there in 1876. Her name was Vernona. She was born March 30, 1868 in Ohio and later moved to Virginia. She never came to Oregon. Cherrington's co-settler, Judson Weed wanted to name the community Auburn (maybe for Auburn, NY where his grandparents homesteaded). The political voting precinct was called Auburn for many years, but finally renamed to Vernonia to avoid confusion. The Vernonia post office was established Jan 11, 1878 with David F. Baker as its first postmaster. Photo

John Van Blaricom

under research...

Clark Parker

The first settler in the Upper Nehalem Valley area was Clark Parker who chopped his way into the area and homesteaded in 1874. His Homestead was on the East side of the Nehalem River (Riverview). He came in from the Washington County side. He was followed in 1875 by the Van Blaricom's who homesteaded along Rock Creek in the what is now the main part of town. Photo