Papers of the family of Nathaniel Coe,
Oregon pioneer farmer and founder of Hood River, Oregon; his wife Mary White
Coe; his sons Henry Clay Coe, Charles Carrol Coe, and Eugene Francis Coe; and
relatives Daniel Schenck Dubois and Herbert Earle Barrett. Materials include
correspondence, writings, diaries, notebooks, financial records, and legal
papers. Also included are farm journals and records, 1852-1907, and accounts of
the Hood River Manufacturing Company, 1907-1920.
Funding for encoding this
finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for
Nathaniel Coe, farmer, fruit grower, and founder of Hood River, Oregon,
was born in Mendham, New Jersey, on September 6, 1788 and grew up in rural New
York State. He taught school and attended the Aurora Academy, intending at
first to become a lawyer, but after a religious conversion he decided to enter
the Baptist ministry. After a tour of the southern states he returned to New
York State, settling in Nunda, Livingston County, and marrying Mary White. He
served in various public offices, including Justice of the Peace, state
legislator, and State Auditor. In 1851 he went to Oregon after his appointment
as Special Postal Agent by President Fillmore. He lived at first in Portland,
and was joined in 1853 or 1854 by his wife and two sons, who had come by ship
via Panama. The family moved to Hood River in 1855, where Nathaniel remained
the rest of his life. Among his children were Lawrence W. Coe (d. 1899, married
Louisa Graves in 1859), Henry Clay Coe (1844-1928), Eugene Francis Coe (married
Roxa Cock, 1868), and Charles Carrol Coe (1834-1872).
Henry Clay Coe was born August 11, 1844, in Livingston County, New York.
He came to Oregon with his mother and brother in 1853 and lived with his family
in Hood River. After graduating from the Forest Grove Academy he went to work
on river steam boats and eventually became a well-known captain, being employed
by the Oregon Steam Navigation Company and Oregon Railroad Navigation Company.
He also ran a cattle ranch in Yakima County, Washington and established a
residence in Portland. In 1869 he married Kittie Catton, a native of New York
City, and the couple had five children: Katherine (Mrs. Lindsley Hoyt), Irma,
Nell, Mollie, and Charles. Toward the end of his life Henry Coe lived in
Redondo Beach, California, where he died in 1928.
Daniel Schenck DuBois (possibly the husband of Nell Coe) was born
October 29, 1878. He was an agent of the Franklin automobile company around
1909-1910, and lived in Freehold, New Jersey.
The collection includes farm journals, accounts and weather reports,
1852-1907; Hood River Manufacturing Company account book of Henry C. Coe,
1907-1920; family genealogies; financial records, land deeds, and memorabilia
of Henry C. Coe, 1821-1910; account of the battle of the Cascades, March 26,
1856, by Lawrence White Coe (typewritten copy); plat of Coe's Addition, Hood
River, 1853; notebooks and diaries, including Mary Coe's detailed hand written
journal of her voyage from Panama to Oregon, circa 1853-1854; appointment books
of Daniel Schenck DuBois, 1909-1911; and letters from relative Herbert Earle
("Billy") Barrett in Hermosa Beach, California, 1924-1928.
Use of the Collection
Alternative Forms Available :
Farm journals, volumes 1-4, 1852-1874, also available on microfilm, Mss
431 Microfilm, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
Restrictions on Access :
The collection is open to the public.
Restrictions on Use :
The Oregon Historical Society is the owner of the materials in the
Research Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication,
and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the Research Library
before any publication use. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to
all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may
require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.
Preferred Citation :
Nathaniel Coe Family Papers, Mss 431, Oregon Historical Society Research
The collection is arranged in the following series:
Series A: Correspondence, 1841-1868
Series B: General papers, legal and financial records, 1937-1923
Series C: Journals, diaries and notebooks, 1821-1910
Acquisition Information :
Library Accessions 11524, 11571, 12328. Visa and passport of Nathaniel
Coe: gift of Mrs. W. Shackleford, The Dalles, Oregon.
Processing Note :
A group of newspapers found in the collection were discarded due to
extreme deterioration. A list of these papers is included in the collection in
folder 2/1, and copies can be found on microfilm in the Oregon Historical
Society Research Library.
An illustrated history of central Oregon
(Spokane, Wash. : Western Historical Publishing Co., 1905).
Detailed Description of the Collection
Series A: Correspondence, 1841-1968
Nathaniel and Mary Coe
Charles Carrol Coe and Eugene
Francis Coe correspondence, 1852-1864
Includes account of "Battle of the Cascades," 1856 March 26
(typescript copy of letter); also includes the following items:
Autograph letter signed, Oct. 31, 1845; Angelica
(N. Y. ?), from John G. Collins to Nathaniel Coe: political re: Nunda, N. Y.,
Whigs, Mr. Grover. 2 p.
Autograph letter signed, March 20, 1851 from J.
Marron, postmaster, to Nathaniel Coe, Nunda: pertains to Coe's appointment as
Special Agent of the Post Office Department to Oregon; pages 2-3, added
sometime later, consist of brief biographical sketch of Coe, changing of the
name of Dog River to Hood River, mapmaker Mr. Beldin. 4 pp.
Autograph letter signed, May 1851, Nunda, Mary W.
Coe to Mrs. Rogers, offering condolences on the death of a son. 2 pp.
Autograph letter signed, July 6, 1851, Pacific
City, Ore., Eugene F. ("Francis") Coe to mother, Mary Coe: Eugene accompanied
father to Oregon; writes of Fourth of July, trip from Oregon City to Pacific
City on sloop Diana, Astoria, Indian fishing, scenic view, etc. 4 pp.
Autograph letter, Dec. 31, 1851, portion of
letter to "Dear Dr. " (Lawrence), possibly from Mrs. Coe, Nunda: reminiscences
of childhood, refers to sister Ellen, poetry on back. 2 pp.
Autograph letter signed, Dec. 8, 1851, New York,
undeterminable signature of PLSS Co. agent to L. W, Coe: regarding passage Coe:
Mrs. Coe and two children to Oregon. This letter apparently sent to. Mary J.
Coe, Feb. 27, 1852, who superimposed her letter upon it and sent it to
Nathaniel Coe in Oregon.
Autograph letter signed, probably 1851, portion
of letter from Nathaniel Coe, apparently copied by C. C. Coe and sent to
Lawrence Coe. Mrs. Coe aknowledged another portion. Nathaniel writes about trip
from Astoria to Portland in October, mentions preparations for trip to Oregon
by rest of family and other matters. 4 pp.
Autograph letter signed, probably 1853, portion
of letter from Nathaniel Coe to his family still in Nunda; full of advice on
the upcoming trip across the Isthmus to Oregon.
Autograph letter signed, January 19, 1853,
Representative Hall, Benjamin Stark to Nathaniel Coe: mention prison bill, Mr.
Avery to be successor to Coe, possibility of son renting house that Stark
Autograph letter signed, March 6, 1856, Fort
Dalles, signature torn array, two different handwritings -- one of which seems
to be Mary Coe, to Joel McCollum., a judge, probably residing in Hillsdale,
Mich., and addressed as "Friend and Cousin": Account of the Yakima war, Chief
Cameacen, Bradford's store (Lawrence Coe was a clerk there), the Steamer Mary
incident, plans of Lt. Davidson, etc. 2 pp.
Autograph letter signed, June 18, 1859, Hood
River, "Aunt Mary" Coe to "My Dear child": family, religious matters. 4
Autograph letter signed, August 3, 1856, Hood
River, Mary Coe to "My Dear Friend & Sister Louisa": The Indian troubles,
condolences, temperance matters. 4 pp.
Autograph letter signed, May 11, 1872, Hood
River, Charles C. Coe to brother Henry C. Coe, Long Island, Columbia River:
family, farming, business, small talk. 2 pp.
Autograph letter signed, June 10, 1886, Sedalia,
Mo., W. Y. Cloud to Mrs. M. S. Coe [sic], addressed as "Dear Mother which is
the followup of our new relationship problems in settling wife's estate.
correspondence, 1874-1901, undated
Letters from Herbert Earle
("Billy") Barrett to "Coe" [possibly Coe family in Portland], 1924-1928
Series B: General papers, legal and
financial records, 1837-1923
records, 1837-1920; undated
Includes the following items:
Autograph letter signed, November 30, 1865,
Miller & Sambert per A. T. Miller, Milwaukie to C. C. Coe: price list for
pear and peach trees, grape vines, others.
Land Donation Claim (copy), Territory of Oregon
to Nathaniel Coe: south bank of Columbia R., west of White Salmon River mouth,
junction of west branch of Hood R., 1855.
Constitution of Nunda [N. Y.] Female Reform
Society; Mary W. Coe, Recording Secretary; 1837.
Miscellaneous farm, business and property records
of Coe family.
Essays and poems, 1848-1880, undated
Henry C. Coe financial
records, 1886-1912, undated
Hood River County history and
Coe family history clippings, 1913-1923
related to land ownership, 1883-1911
Mary White Coe journal of
voyage from Panama to Oregon, circa 1853
There is some question as to whether Mary Coe and her sons
came to Oregon in 1853 or 1854.
Nathaniel Coe biographical
materials, and DuBois family genealogy, 1868; 1897; undated
Notes and ephemera,
general, 1889-1907, undated
Plat of Coe's Addition, Hood
River, Oregon, 1853
reminiscences, circa 1857, undated
Includes the following items:
Autograph letter, possibly a. draft of a letter
in response to a Weekly Tribune editorial, April 5 [1857 ?] on "The Indian War
on the Pacific": writer (probably Nathaniel Coe) gives his reasons for the
Indian uprising, particularly that of the Yakimas in 1856: among them, fear of
the increase of "White population and "murder" of a chief' son. 6 pp.
Account of exploring party into White Salmon
River/Mt. Adams region: no date, "in these times of Rebellion & .
Bloodshed, " Aug. 19- 10 p.
Account of Cascade Indian custom of revenge
against doctor responsible for death. Incomplete. Poetry on reverse. 1 p.
Miscellaneous poetry, notes., etc.
Similar to above, plus
clippings (old volume 3), 1865-1870
Farm accounts (old volume
"Thermometer book / opened January 1st 1871 / Hood
River, Wasco County / Oregon" through 1882; 190 pages plus ten loose pages;
includes temperature readings, plantings, and other memoranda, farm accounts,
recipes, clippings, and other materials.
Farm accounts, weather,
temperature, recipes, clippings, and other materials, 1882-1907