Washington County Oregon
2006 Pioneer Certificate Awarded for

James Gerrish and Alanson Hinman

JAMES GARRISH and ALANSON HINMAN

Margaret DeSoer Cable (First Cousin) - Deceased
Sharon Sue Jones (First Cousin, 1 time removed) - Forest Grove
Alan Paul Williams (son)(2nd cousin to Sharon) - Wilsonville
Honoring Pioneers - James Gerrish and Alanson Hinman

    Since these three recipients are related and applying for the same two pioneers, I would like to take them as a group.   We have just considered Rev James Gerrish as related to Sally Rae Simmons.   Whereas Sally Rae descended from John Jones Gerrish, Alan, Margaret and Sharon are descended from Martha Gerrish, daughter of James Gerrish, otherwise the story is the same.

    Alanson Hinman, joined the Nathaniel Ford train in 1844 to come to Oregon.   Having had experience teaching back east.   He was persuaded to stay and teach at the Whitman Mission.   Among his pupils were children taken in by the Whitmans.   Helen Mar, daughter of Joe Meek, David Malin, son of a Spaniard and a Cree Indian, and Mary Ann Bridger, daughter of mountain man Jim Bridger.   Added to this were the seven Sager children who lost both parents on the trail that year, one an infant.   Marcus Whitman's nephew Perrin brought the total to 11 children being cared for by the Whitmans. Other children staying at the mission and old enough to attend school were also added.   The following year Hinman taught at the Oregon Institute in its second year of Instruction following closure of the Mission school.   Here he met 15 1/2 year Martha Gerrish, a student.   They were married by John Griffin at the Tuality home of her father, James Gerrish.

    Hinmans next adventure was to serve Marcus Whitman by taking over secular duties of the mission at The Dalles which Whitman had just purchased from the Methodists. This was short lived when, in 1847, the Walla Walla massacre took place and all missionaries were told to leave the area, including The Dalles, which the Indians had also targeted.

    Coming to the Willamette Valley, Hinman took a DLC in Patton Valley, farming until about 1854 when he came to Forest Grove and undertook a mercantile business.

    He served twice as mayor of Forest Grove, U.S. Collector of Customs at Astoria for 6 years, and on the board of trustees for Pacific University for over 50 years.

This page last updated:  26 Aug 2016         

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