History in the News
Our family in Cedar Mill
By Gertrude Walters Pearson Landauer
Excerpted from memoirs of her family and early days in Cedar Mill. Her grandfather, Samuel Walters, was the first pioneer to settle in the area.
Francis Ruth Mead, my mother, was the daughter of Marshall M. and Johanna Beard Mead who had married and lived at Banks, Oregon. They later moved to the Hillsboro area. Mother was the fourth of eleven children born to them. When Philip, the youngest, was only a few months old Grandma passed away. After this the elder sisters and brothers helped care for the younger children. Mother had her part in this.
At the time she married my father, James Walters, June 7, 1911, she was residing with her family at Hillsboro. They were married at Sheridan, Oregon from where they went by horse and wagon to Lake Lytle [in Tillamook County] to spend some of the summer months. Grandpa Mead was working on a road in the area as a surveyor at this time. Upon their return from Lake Lytle they made their house in the large frame home of my grandparents in the Cedar Mill area. The house had been built in 1885. Father farmed the property he had leased from Grandma.
I was the first child born to them. Dr. Linklater of Beaverton was the nearest doctor. To be on hand for my birth, he came to stay with my parents for three days before the event. I was born on a stormy June night and was named after Gertrude Cecil, a sister of Uncle Jesse Churchley.
When I was two years old the family of my uncle Samuel Walters, including his wife, Lottie, and three children (Della, Jessie, and Charles) moved into the large house with us. Uncle Sam had been working at a mill at Cathlamet, Washington and the family had been residing there.
Soon after this the house was divided into two sections. My parents moved their half to a location near Cornell and Leahy Roads (now 107th) where it still stands. It contained two small bedrooms, a living room, and a parlor, which was made into a kitchen with an adjoining pantry, and a hallway with a staircase leading to the upstairs, which contained three bedrooms. Porches ran across both the front and the rear of the house and a doorway with steps to the outside led from the hallway on the west end.
Outside buildings included a woodshed, barn, chicken house, a large root cellar for keeping quantities of potatoes and root crops, and an outhouse. A smaller root cellar located near the back of the house was for general food storage. Water had to be hauled from the well at the site of the former location of the house some 500 feet away. At that time it was drawn from the well in pails with the help of a pulley.
The second half of the house belonging to Uncle Sam’s family was located and is still standing at 107th and Leahy Roads. It was comprised of a large kitchen with a long walk-in pantry, a dining room (serving for awhile as a living room) with a porch across the front and upstairs bedrooms. Two bedrooms and a woodshed were built onto it at the time it was moved. A chicken house and an outhouse were built near the house and a barn was built across Leahy Road.
At the time my grandmother divided her property and moved to Portland her six remaining children who hadn’t previously been granted a portion of the family property each received around 15.75 acres. It was on their portions of this that my parents and Uncle Sam’s family located. Soon after this other members of the family moved to their acreages, too.
[We’ll continue her story in the next issue. Special thanks to Joan Rainey for transcribing these articles.]