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P.O. Box 35
Philomath, OR 97370
541.929.6230
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Benton County Historical Timeline: 1900s


1900

Brown Post Office is established 8 to 10 miles southwest of Corvallis (discontinued 1903).

   

1900

Bruce Post Office (discontinued 1905) is established 10 miles south of Corvallis.

   

1900

Under the leadership of President Thomas Gatch, Oregon State University, known then as the Agricultural College of the State of Oregon, enjoys an enrollment of 405 students.

2003-107.0002    

1900

Of the 714 families living in Benton County in 1900, 362 are renters.

   

1900

Up to the year 1900, the flouring mills of the area dominate Corvallis's industrial output. They will be replaced during the first decade of the new century with industry related to timber.

   

1900

Gatch oversees the establishment of the college's Department of Commerce, the 11th such program in the United States and the first in the Pacific Northwest.

   

1900

The economic downturn that was the Panic of 1893 is now all but forgotten in Benton County, as the next 10 years will be a period of growth and prosperity for the area. The influence of the Willamette River as a major transportation artery is clearly on the wane, replaced by the railroad and the soon-to-appear automobile.

   

1900

Corvallis population: 1,819; Benton County: 6,706; Oregon: 413,536.

   

Nov. 16, 1900

The police chief took a woman's cow to the pound because it was staked too close to the sidewalk and anyone passing by had to step over the rope. The chief took the action after giving the owner a warning. While the chief was trying to take the cow, the owner unbuckled the halter and let the cow loose; however, the chief prevailed and took the cow away. The woman's husband paid the fine and took the cow home. According to the Corvallis Gazette, "This little incident may serve as a lesson to quite a number of people around the city."

   

1901

Blackledge Furniture Co. opens in Corvallis, Oregon.

O. J. Blackledge Delivery Wagon on Second Street, Corvallis, circa 1905. Closeup photo of Blackledge Furniture Store.    

1901

The birth of men's basketball at the college, under the direction of W.O. "Dad" Trine.

   

1901

Mike Flynn, Sam Ewing, J.D. Irvine, and E.A .Cone start Benton County Lumber Company. They purchased 300 acres of land on the south side of Mary's peak, and built a steam-powered sawmill, a logging camp, and a flume to carry the logs to their planing mill at the juncture of Highways 20 and 34 in Philomath.

A. Hagerty and other employees at Benton County Lumber Co. mill in 1914. Benton County Lumber Company Employees with Circular Saw Blade, circa 1908.    

1901

Leadership in business and commerce, lifestyle, and culture in Corvallis are provided by the Benton County Citizen's League, the Commercial Club, the Village Improvement Society, and the Civic Improvement Committee. The most influential of these is the 150-member, male-only Commercial Club.

   

1901

Edward Buxton purchases the Central Planing Mill from F.P. Sheasgreen and the subsequent Buxton's Mill becomes the largest and best known manufacturing firm in Benton County.

Central Planing Mill, Corvallis (Benton County), Oregon<BR>. Rebuilding the Central Planing Mill in 1911, Corvallis, Oregon.<BR> <BR>    

1902

Corvallis is characterized by wooden sidewalks and unpaved streets. The streets are unlighted. Train service to Portland is once a day; freight service via the Willamette River is once a week.

   

1902

Philomath College gymnasium is built.

Philomath College Gymnasium, seen here circa 1905.    

1903

The Dr. George R. Farra house is constructed near downtown Corvallis at 660 SW Madison. It is a two and one-half story, wood frame house constructed with a bellcast gable roof with dormers and cross gables on the east and west elevations, and is considered a landmark property in the location surrounding Central Park. It later becomes the Madison Inn and is currently used for apartments.

Dr. George R. Farra residence, Corvallis, Oregon, USA    

1903

August Fischer is Corvallis' first owner of an automobile, a 1903 Rambler.

   

1903

J.G. Horning operates the River View Poultry Yards. This is the beginning of Benton County becoming by the 1920s one of the best known poultry breeding centers of the world.

   

1903

The last steamboat trip above Corvallis is made.

   

1903

Franz Edmund Creffield arrives in Corvallis. Over the next 4 years, as a self-appointed prophet and leader of a religious cult of his own creation, consisting mostly of women followers and a few men, he will turn the town of Corvallis (and the entire mid-Willamette Valley) on its ear as rumors and tales of the unbecoming religious practices of the group make their rounds through every nook and cranny of the community.

   

1903

Southern Pacific buys the Oregon and California RR and finished the line from Oregon to California.

   

1904

A well-improved and pleasant city residence can be bought for an investment of $1,000-$2,500.

   

1904

Businessman Mark Rickard opens Corvallis' first auto "dealership" in the rear of Long's Sporting Goods Store on Second Street. His may also be the second oldest dealership in the state. He was an agent for Pope, Peerless, Chalmers, and Flanders automobiles.

   

1904

The last of the horse-drawn stage as a mode of transportation: the Corvallis and Albany Stage Line, which operates from the Viditos Livery Stable in Corvallis.

   

1904

Benton County Review started.

Original office of the Benton County Review newspaper. This building is the former Maple Grove school building moved to this location behind the Oddfellows building in Philomath, Oregon.    

1904

International students allowed to attend the agricultural college for the first time.

   

1905

Louisa Irwin's Addition platted.

   

1905

Noon Railroad is built by Noon Lumber Co. following Woods creek to the north side of Mary's Peak. It is a narrow gauge logging line.

   

1905

The city votes to build a gravity flow water system to tap water from the Mary's Peak watershed. The system is ready for use in 1906.

Early 20th century image of a stream in the Corvallis watershed, probably Rock Creek or one of its tributaries, backed up by a log crib dam. This is one of the four intakes of the Corvallis Water Department.    

1905

Corvallis adopts a local option law and becomes a "dry" town.

   

1905

Gamma Delta Phi becomes the first permanent Greek letter social organization on the Corvallis campus in April. Alpha Tau Omega made a brief appearance in 1882 but was disbanded in six months.

   

1906

Corvallis-OSU Symphony Orchestra begins.

   

1906

First State Bank of Philomath opens. It will fail 5 years later.

   

1906

Religious cult leader Creffield is murdered on the streets of Seattle by Newberg resident George W. Mitchell, brother of one of the followers, who later goes to trial and is found innocent by a jury who judges his actions as justifiable homicide. The trial makes national news and is for weeks all the talk in Corvallis and Benton County; many citizens helped raise the money for Mitchell's defense.

   

1907

North College Hill Addition.

   

1907

Bus service begins in Corvallis by Larry Russell, who operated a "bus line" out of the old Territorial Capitol building on Second Street using a Ford Touring car.

   

1907

College Crest Addition platted.

   

1907

John Richard Newton Bell, a local Methodist minister and OAC campus chaplain, begins the tradition of throwing his hat into the Marys River after wins over the University of Oregon in football. It becomes one of the city's most popular social and recreational events, which Bell continues until his death in 1928. (See also 1913, 1921).

   

1907

William Jasper Kerr, B.S., D. Sc., LL.D., is appointed by the Board of Regents as the sixth president the Agricultural College of the State of Oregon. Kerr will serve as president until 1932.

   

1907

Under the direction of Head Coach F.S. Norcross, the college football team finishes its six-game schedule undefeated, with no ties and no points allowed, the mythical pristine season never before or since achieved by any athletic team in OSU history.

1907 football rally.    

1908

Oregon Agricultural College's Forrest Smithson wins the gold medal in the high hurdles at the London Olympics.

   

1908

Philomath Creamery opens.

Philomath Creamery, sometime between 1908 and 1925.    

1908

The name State Agricultural College is changed to Oregon Agricultural College. Faculty totals 53 members.

   

1908

Corvallis begins numbering streets. Monroe is chosen as the north-south base line because it is the most central street and the longest street running east to west.

   

1908

The agricultural college establishes the College Book Store in conjunction with the Business Office.

   

1908

Roosevelt creates the Siuslaw National Forest of 625,000 acres.

   

1908

A rail line is extended south of Corvallis for the first time.

   

1908

North College Hill (supplemental plat) Addition platted.

   

May 30, 1908

The 15-foot-high Civil War Soldier's monument made of Barre Vermont granite is dedicated at Crystal Lake Cemetery at a cost of $1,000. It is a gift of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), a group of Civil War veterans, and the Women's Relief Corps, and auxiliary of the GAR in "appreciation of the gallant service rendered to their country by the soldiers and sailors of the civil war."

   

1909

McCready Brothers Sawmill founded on the flat land on the north side of the confluence area of the Willamette and Mary's Rivers. The business will later become the Corvallis Lumber Company.

Corvallis Lumber Co. Logs in Flood, Corvallis, Oreg. 1943    

1909

New Additions platted, including Emery and Kent's Addition, Fairview Addition, Miller's Addition, N.P. and B. Avery's Second Addition, Park Terrace Addition, Rosedale Addition, and West Corvallis Addition.

   

1909

Corvallis High School is established in 1909. Before that, the private academies and college prepatory departments served the function.

   

1909

The first public high school is completed in Corvallis.

   

1909

Over 200 buildings are constructed in Corvallis and vicinity.

   

1909

The plat of the new town in the Alsea Valley, prepared by W. H. Malone, was examined and duly approved by the Benton County Court. (Source: "Corvallis Gazette", January 19, 1909).

   

Jan. 1909

Due to popular demand, the Independent Telephone Company installs an additional switchboard that allows another 2,000 subscribers to receive telephones. The old switchboard only has a capacity for 600, but actually accommodates 700.

   

Nov. 24, 1909

The flood of 1909 is one of the worst floods in Corvallis history. It disrupts many Thanksgiving celebrations.

   

1910

Corvallis Gazette-Times begins daily publication.

   

 

Return to Timeline Homepage

1840 | 1850 | 1860 | 1870 | 1880 | 1890

1900 | 1910 | 1920 | 1930 | 1940 | 1950 |1960 | 1970 | 1980 | 1990 | 2000

 

 

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© 2008 - 2014 Benton County Historical Society & Museum
Philomath, Oregon
The Benton County Historical Society is a nonprofit corporation that operates museum facilities for the preservation of history and culture.  Its mission is to:

  1. Preserve the material and intellectual culture of Benton County, Oregon, by acquiring and caring for significant collections that illustrate and interpret the history of the area and its relationship to the world;
  2. Enrich people's lives through exhibitions and educational programs.