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The city of Albany had its beginning when Abner Hackleman and Hiram Smead squatted there in 1845. When Abner Hackleman died in Iowa on his return there from Oregon to fetch his family, his son Abram crossed the plains to look after his father’s land. Abram (Abraham) Hackleman was born in Rushville, Indiana, July 29, 1829, his mother being Elizabeth (Lines) Hackleman. He was but 18 when, in the company of his friend, John Burkhart, he left the East in April 1847, with only one yoke of oxen. He came over the Barlow Road and arrived on the site of Albany in September, 1847, where he built a leg house. In the spring of 1848 he went to the California mines, returning in the fall. He repeated the trip in 1849, but when he came back in the fall of 1849 he was ill. He now engaged in farming. In 1850 he laid off 70 acres of his land in East Albany, known as Hackleman’s 1st Addition, and followed this by three more additions, in all over 100 acres. By the turn of the century he owned two farms in Linn County and some 3,000 acres in Crook County. He married Elenore Davis in Linn County - she having crossed the plains in 1847 with her father Truit Davis of Missouri who took a land claim 4 miles out of Albany. The couple had five children. Abram Hackleman helped build the Military Road from Albany across the Cascades. He was also interested in the Oregon—Pacific Railroad(19).  He died in Albany November 23, 1904, aged 75 (57).

 In the spring of 1848 Messrs. Walter and Thomas Monteith arrived on the site of Albany and purchased the claim of Mr. Smead for the sum of four hun­dred dollars, and firmly believing in the future of this locality, they had their land surveyed, and that portion of it near the river (about 60 acres) was laid out in town lots (58). They built a cabin and later on the same site in the summer of 1849 they built the first frame house in Albany, which still (1942) stands on the corner of Second and Washington streets. In 1849—50 many of the first settlers took the gold fever and went to California; so many left on this account, that quite a difficulty was experienced in getting men to serve in public offices, a  difficulty which, however, soon ceased, and has not been felt since. On the return of a number of these truant settlers, with fresh accession to their numbers, business increased, and the march of improvement began and continued with great vigor.

There are no reliable records of the population of Albany as this town grew to city size. To accept the population estimates issued by various private publications from 1850 and on, would be folly, since most of them are colored to suit particular interests. The U. S. Census did not give the population of individual towns in Linn County until 1880. In that year it gives Albany 1,867 inhabitants, while in the same year McKenney's Pacific Coast Directory of 1880—81 credits Albany with a population of 3,000. On studying the various directories published by Polk & Company, the impression grows that population figures given, more or less bear the imprint of boosting. The more sober U. S. Census estimates credit Albany with the following numbers of inhabitants at the various decade points:

1890 — 3,079
1900 — 3,149
1910 — 4,275
1920 — 4,840
1930 — 5,325
1940 — 5,854

History of Albany at age 30, as related in 1878 Illustrated Historical Atlas Map of Marion & Linn Counties

Additional light is thrown on the settlement of Albany by A. S. Mercer

Emma Smead tells of early happenings.

Mrs. Charlotta (Monteith) Pipe, adds her memories.

Anna M. Althouse tells about her father, Samuel Henry Althouse


Albany Quick Facts

Location:  Twp 11S, Rge 3W, Sect 5-6, 7-8

Name Origin:  Albany, New York

Other Names:  Takenah, New Albany

Post Office Established:  8 Jan 1850

First Postmaster:  John Burkhart

Incorporation Date:  1864

Population 1999:  40,010


Sketches & Photos:   M.V. Brown, J.P. Finlayson, Magnolia Mills, Mrs. W. Monteith, Monteith & Sons, C. D. Simpson Albany Street Scene, Albany Construction Scene, Mills on Calapooia River

More Links:

Further Reading: (see bibliography for full citations)  

Remembering When, Vols 1-5, by Robert Potts -- Lots of photos!

Land of Linn, Floyd C. Mullen

Old Time Albany, Fred Nutting articles from the Albany Democrat-Herald

Town histories were  abstracted from:  "History of Linn County", Compiled by Workers of the Writer’s Program, Works Progress Administration, 1941.  See bibliography for above-cited references.  All photos from the collection of Lisa L. Jones, unless otherwise noted.  Lisa L. Jones contributed and is solely responsible for the content of these pages.  Copyright 2001.