Used with the permission of
S. Dodds and Nancy A. Olson
Cedar Mill is one of Oregon's older communities. Although small
in population, it is significant in the richness of its history,
for it represents many of the various strands, both constant and
contradictory, of the century of growth in the Oregon Country. In
this book we define and interpret the area's major developments
and recall the lives of many of the men and women who shaped them.
box style residence reflecting Eastern influences.
Former home of J.Q.A. Young, who opened the first
Cedar Mill post
office here in 1874. Ladies along N.W. Cornell Road
believed to be, from left: Rose Reeves, Bessie Young,
Mary Luoisa Walker and Loretta Walker.
Note: This home still stands on N. W. Cornell,
adjacent to the Cedar
Mill Bible Church. Negotiations are under way to make it
part of the Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation District, and
preserve it as a community resource.]
Although Cedar Mill was originally inhabited by A-tfa'-lati Indians,
Samuel Walters gained distinction in 1847 as the first white settler
to arrive in the area. For the next century the locality retained
a rural identity, until the pressures of increasing population following
the Second World War began to change the nature of the farming community.
While we thought it best to close the story in these years, we
made a few exceptions in order to carry to the present the accounts
of pioneer descendants who continue to reside in the area. In addition,
several themes that had their origin before 1947 also have been
carried forward. Our hope is that future historians will complete
the history of the community.
One significant fact that bears mentioning is that although Cedar
Mill was never an incorporated city, it has continued to retain
its own identity. In the beginning, gently rolling slopes of heavy
timber served as a source of supply for the cedar mill on Cornell
Road. A few years later, with Cornell and Barnes connected, the
area was a vital link in the route from Portland to Hillsboro.
A large portion of the logged-off forest was transformed into productive
farm acreage by new settlers, including many from Germany and Switzerland.
More recently, much of the farm land has been broken into parcels
for urban development. And at the present time a precarious balance
of rural and urban interests is evident in Cedar Mill.
Despite shifting land use and increasing population pressures,
a remarkable sense of community has been retained since the period
of early settlement. Pioneer men and women were resourceful in developing
the area. Their descendants, and hundreds of others arriving later,
worked to improve the community through social, political, economic
and religious pursuits.
In compiling the varied history of Cedar Mill, facts and testimony
from at least several hundred sources were used but we were frustrated
by a noticeable lack of information in some aspects of community
life. Perhaps the biggest disappointment was the absence of statistical
data and legal records of pioneer women and second-generation female
settlers. It became relatively easy to document activities of the
male members of the community, but in dealing with their wives
and daughters, we were largely dependent on what we gathered from
census, marriage and cemetery records.
Fortunately, we were able to compensate for this lack of data by
using the previous researches of earlier Cedar Mill historians.
Notes assembled by the late H. Ross Findley for a community history
were a valuable asset in our study. Excerpts from the work incorporated
in the following pages have been used with permission of Findley
Another survey of the area which aided our analysis was assembled
by Gertrude Walters Pearson Landauer. Her memoirs recapture events
in the community beginning with the arrival of her grandfather,
Samuel Walters, the first white settler in Cedar Mill.
Further assistance was obtained from Hazel P. Young who kindly
shared with us her research notes and photographs of the area. Much
of her documented studies have been reproduced in the Beaverton
Valley Times and the Hillsboro Argus.
Using the available information, we have tried to record the unique
history that distinguishes Cedar Mill. A number of fourth and fifth
generation pioneer descendants continue to reside in the area, and
to these people and countless other community builders of the past,
we say "thank you" for sharing your heritage. It has been a memorable
and thoroughly enjoyable experience to research the roots of Cedar
Linda S. Dodds
And Nancy A. Olson