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Anna M. Althouse
memories of Albany



Anna M. Althouse, Albany, born there March 19, 1861, tells about her father, Samuel Henry Althouse (70):

“Samuel H. Althouse was born in Virginia July 17, 1825 and come to Oregon in 1847 with the Monteith Brothers; he died in 1888; my mother, Maria (Hager) Althouse was born in 1830 and lived near Albany, New York, when my father went back east in 1854 and married her. She died in 1910.

“When my father and Thomas Monteith, each with his young wife, returned to Oregon from the east, they travelled by way of the Isthmus of Panama, taking the steamer George L. Law from New York to that point. They crossed the Isthmus on mule-back, and came on to San Francisco on the steamer George L. Stevens.

“One of the first jobs my father had in Albany was on the first frame building erected there, on the line between the claims of Walter and Thomas Monteith, so placed that each could reside in the same house, yet also on his own land.

“My father was one of the crowd who left Albany in the gold rush of 1849. He was quite successful at the mines. He was one of the founders of the Magnolia Flouring mill. He also started a planing mill in Albany in 1852, at the foot of (north end) Lyons Street. Power came from the Calapooia. That old planing mill is still running but is now called the Sears Planing Mill.  Besides, my father was the owner of a tin shop at Albany.

“When I was a small girl our home stood just east of where the Albany General Hospital now stands. Father owned all of that block. Then he bought the land and built the house in which I live (on Fifth Street, south side, in the middle of the block, just east of Lyon Street). All this section of town was vacant then and there were no sidewalks or other improvements. My house is even now not a small house as compared to others, but in the early days it was almost a castle.

“In 1869 my mother went east to visit her people; when she returned my father’s sister came with her. Her name was Naomi Althouse and she married S. E. Young of Albany, an early prominent merchant here. Still later my grandmother Althouse, 93 years old, came. The Althouse family used to be a large one and now there are none left save myself and my cousin Percy Young of this city.

“The Democrats ruled things pretty well in Albany during the Civil War. My father, as a republican, aroused considerable enmity. Feeling ran high and my father always felt that if there was real trouble he would be the first to be killed. He always kept his loaded musket by his bedside in those days. I still have a flag which my mother made then. Whenever there was a Union victory we would bring it out and celebrate.

“My grandfather and grandmother were Methodists; my mother attended the Congregational church. The first Methodist church was in the west end of Albany, on Ninth Street, next to the canal there.

“There are many old walnut, butternut and hickory nut trees on this. lot. Mother brought the seeds from the east when she was back in 1869. The hickory tree bears well and is a rather exceptional tree in Oregon.

“I went to school and graduated at Albany College. I was very young then, and so was the school. My oldest sister was also a graduate of that institution. My first teachers were Doctor and Mrs. Bushnall. I also went to school at the Freeland Private Academy and at the public school, which was at the west end of the park where the new courthouse now is situated. Ferry Street ran to the ferry across the Willamette and the man who ran it lived on the other bank. My father’s partner in the planing mill was named Best; he later moved to California.

“I wish I could tell more about my father, but he was a quiet man who seldom talked about the past. I wish that my family history could be more complete, for I am the last one remaining. I am 79 and I went out and voted today (Spring of 1940). This old house is very large and lonely to be living here alone.”


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.