Guide to the Colver Family papers
circa 1860-1888

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Colver family
Title: Colver family papers
Dates: circa 1860-1888 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 1.0 linear feet (2 containers)
Collection Number: Ax 126
Summary: Samuel Colver (1815-1891) came to Oregon in 1850, where he served as an Indian Agent and U.S. Marshall, and helped found the community of Phoenix, Oregon. The Colver Family Papers contain correspondence among family members, and some letters to Oliver C. Applegate, 1869-1870. The papers include historical and genealogical notes, and reminiscences of O.A. Stearns, including information on Samuel Colver.
Repository: University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
Contact Information: UO Libraries--SPC, 1299
University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Fax: 541-346-3485
Languages: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical Note

Samuel Colver was born on September 10, 1815, in Union Co., Ohio, the son of Samuel and Rachel (Curry) Colver. Early in life he studied law at Plymouth College in Plymouth, Marshall Co., Indiana. Afterward, he served as a Texas Ranger and served with General Sam Houston at the Battle of San Jacinto; he later served as an Indian scout, still in Texas. He returned to Ohio, where he traveled the countryside performing a mesmerism show. In 1850, he and his brother Hiram moved their families from Ohio to Oregon via the Oregon Trail. Colver served as an Indian Agent in the Rogue River Valley, where he was a signer of the Table Rock Treaty that effectively ended the Modoc Indian War. He also served as a US Marshall. Samuel and Hiram founded the small community of Phoenix, Oregon, which still exists today southeast of the city of Medford. (The Samuel Colver home in Phoenix, Oregon was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 25, 1990.)

Samuel Colver was married to Huldah, who was born in Ohio in 1823. They had two children. Their eldest daughter Isabel, was born in 1850 on the journey to Oregon. Their son Lewellyn served in the 1st Oregon infantry, Company “I,” in 1865, and was killed in 1884 by a man who mistook him for a burglar. Isabel died in 1886, and in 1887 Samuel Colver, grief-stricken over the loss of both his children, was confined for a month to an asylum. He died rather mysteriously in 1891; he had been missing for several weeks and his horse was found dead near a lake. Huldah Colver died in 1907.

Content Description

The Colver family papers contain 8 letters from Samuel Colver to his wife and children, 1861-1888; and 5 letters from Lewellyn Colver to his parents, written from Ft. Klamath, 1865-1867, when he was in Company I, 1st Oregon Infantry. Three Lewellyn Colver letters are to Oliver C. Applegate, 1869-1870. The papers include historical and genealogical notes by Nellie Rose Jones, granddaughter of Samuel Colver. Also included are the reminiscences of O.A. Stearns, including information on Samuel Colver.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.

Restrictions on Use :  

Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Preferred Citation :  

[Identification of item], Colver Family Papers, Ax 126, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Collection is organized into the following series: Letters; Nellie Rose Jones materials; and O.A. Stearns materials.

Processing Note :  

Collection processed by staff.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Detailed Description of the Collection

1 1

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1 3 Colver Family 1860-1888
1 4 Colver Family (typed and annotated copies)

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Nellie Rose Jones Materials
1 5 Information on Samuel Colver and the Colver Family
1 6 Letters on Colver Family Genealogy
1 7 Papers of Family and Historical Interest (carbon copies)
1 8 Historical articles on Southern Oregon
2 1 Historical materials (copies)

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O.A. Stearns Materials
2 2 Reminiscences of Pioneer Days and Early Settlers of Phoenix and Vicinity (typed copies)
2 3 Reminiscences of Pioneer Days and Early Settlers of Phoenix and Vicinity (typed copies)
2 4 Reminiscences of Southern Oregon (typed copies)
2 5 Printed materials

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  • Personal Names :
  • Applegate, O. C. (Oliver Cromwell), 1845-1938
  • Colver, Lewellyn, d. 1884
  • Colver, Samuel, 1815-1891--Archives
  • Jones, Nellie Rose
  • Stearns, O.A. (Orsen Avery), 1843-1926
  • Corporate Names :
  • United States. Army. Oregon Infantry, 1st. Company I
  • Family Names :
  • Culver family

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