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A. S. Mercer
remembers Albany



Additional light is thrown on the settlement of Albany by A. S. Mercer (66):

"... Abner Hackleman took the claim located in the eastern part of city, and hired H. N. Smead to hold the claim adjoining on the west, land on which the main business portion of the town is now (1875) located......

 “... The first frame house was the large two story building on the corner of Second and Washington streets now (1875) occupied by Mr. George Monteith as a boarding house. It was commenced in 1849, and after the frame was up, and the roof on, abandoned until the summer of 1850, (because everybody went to the gold mines) when it was completed. In the spring of 1849, nearly all the settlers in the county went to California, to work in mines. Mr. John Burkhart and wife was the only family in the place, they were left in charge of the claim during the absence of the Messrs. Monteith in the mines. Mr. Burkhart arrived in 1848 and took a claim a few miles east of town, but lived in the village for some time... 

 “About 1851 Andersen Cox and Harvey Gorden purchased an interest in East Albany of Mr. Hackleman, a plot of some 60 acres laid out into lots, and situated on the river front between Parker and Morris’ warehouse and Cherry’s foundry... 

 “Rev. R. C. Hill was the first school teacher in the town, opening a private school in the pioneer log house during the winter of 1851—52. He was also the first minister of the gospel, and the first practicing physician.  On Sundays he preached in the log school house, and when called to see a patient during the week, on school days, he left the largest scholar in charge, and mounting an Indian pony rode the five or ten miles, as the case required, left the necessary medicine and returned to his pupils. The Doctor is still with us (1875), and besides preaching to his regular congregation, enjoys a large and remunerative practice in his medical profession.

 “… The present (1875) population is 2,900 ... The city is scattered over a large area, being a mile and a half up and down the river, and extending back from the water front something more than half a mile ... There are seven church edifices ... two school houses ... and a college building.

 “... The business of the city is mostly confined to Front and Broadalbin streets. There are some sixteen substantial fire-proof brick business houses, on two adjoining blocks, with the remaining frontage all built up in wooden buildings. Front street lies back from the river some 300 feet, and between this street and the river most of our manufacturing establishments are located....”


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.