One of the Pacific Coast States, seventh in size among the states of the Union (1910). It received its name from the Oregon (now the Columbia) River, which is the state's greatest inland waterway. The ultimate origin of the name is obscure. Oregon is bounded on the north by the State of Washington, on the east by Idaho, on the south by Nevada and California, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. Its length is 300 miles from north to south; its breadth 396 miles. Its total area is 96,030 sq. miles, including 1470 of water surface. It lies between 42&176; and 46&176; 18' N. lat., and between 116&176; 35' and 124&176; 35' W. long.
In the western portion of the state two mountain ranges one hundred miles apart run parallel with the coast line; in the eastern part there stretches out a vast inland plateau. The coast range traverses the state at a distance of about twenty miles from the ocean; it has an average height of 3500 feet, and is densely covered with fir, spruce, and cedar, most of which is valuable for lumber. The Cascade Mountains, a prolongation of the Sierra Nevada, extend through the state from north to south at a distance of about 120 miles from the coast. While the average height of this range is about 6000 feet, it is crowned with a line of extinct volcanoes whose snow-capped peaks reach a height of 9000 feet, Mt. Hood, just east of the city of Portland, attaining an altitude of 11,225 feet.
The state is divided physically into three sections known as Western, Southern, and Eastern Oregon, differing in temperature, rainfall, and products. The Willamette Valley lies in Western Oregon. It is bounded on the north by the Columbia River, on the east by the Cascades, on the west by the Coast Range, and on the south by the Calapooia Mts. It is the mostly thickly settled part of the state, and is noted for its beautiful farm homes and equable climate. The valley is about 160 miles long, and has an average width of sixty miles, not including its mountain slopes. It presents one beautiful sweep of valley containing about 5,000,000 acres, all of which is highly fertile. It is drained by the Willamette River, which runs north, receives the waters of many important streams rising in the Cascades and coast range, and discharges into the Columbia River, just north of Portland. Western Oregon also includes the important counties west of the Willamette Valley on the coast. Southern Oregon lies west of the Cascades, between the Willamette Valley and California. It comprises the counties of Douglas, Coos, Curry, Josephine, and Jackson. The principal streams of this section are the Umpqua and Rogue Rivers, which rise in the Cascades, pierce the Coast Range, and empty into the Pacific Ocean. The valleys of these rivers are notable for their abundant and varied fruit production. The mountains in this section are rich in gold, which is extensively mined. The portion of this section west of the coast range is generally heavily timbered with fir, spruce, and cedar. Extensive coal deposits are found, some of which are developed and yield largely. Coos Bay is one of the best harbours on the Oregon Coast. Eastern Oregon embraces all the state east of the Cascade Mountains, forming a parallelogram 275 miles long and 230 miles wide. It is a great inland plateau of an altitude varying between 2000 and 5000 feet. The southern half of this plateau belongs to the Great American Basin, while the northern portion slopes towards the Columbia river valley. In the north-eastern part of the state, between the Snake and Columbia rivers, are the Blue Mountains whose summits are more than 6000 feet high, and whose streams are used for the purpose of irrigation. The Government is reclaiming large tracts by irrigation in this section. Here also is the most valuable and important mineral belt of the state. In the southern portion of Eastern Oregon are several short mountain ranges from 2000 to 3000 feet high which are a continuation of the longitudinal basin-ranges of Nevada. Irrigation is contributing largely towards bringing this section into prominence. The Klamath irrigation project, under the supervision of the United States Government, contains about 200,000 acres and is making rapid progress.
All the four great natural resources -- viz: forest, fisheries, soil, and minerals -- are present in almost inexhaustible supply awaiting development.Lumber
Oregon has approximately three hundred billion feet of standing merchantable timber (or nearly one-fifth of the standing merchantable timber in the United States ), valued at $3,000,000,000. Timber covers about 57 per cent of the area of the state. Apart from the value of this timber as a source of lumber supply, it serves an important purpose in maintaining a perpetual flow of water in the mountain streams by retarding the melting of snow and holding a continuous supply of moisture in the ground during the summer. The most densely timbered area of the state is west of the Cascade Range, due to the greater rainfall in that section. The average stand of timber on the forested area west of the cascades is 17,700 feet B.M. to the acre. Localities where the stand is 50,000 feet per acre for entire townships are common in the coast counties of Clatsop and Tillamook. Some sections are found where a yield of 150,000 feet to the acre is estimated, many of the trees scaling 40,000 feet or more of commercial lumber. The Douglas fir sometimes attains a height of 300 feet, and five to six feet in thickness. Bridge timbers more than 100 feet in length are obtained from these trees. About 66 per cent of the timber is of this variety, which yields more commercial product to the acre than any other tree in North America. Three per cent of the merchantable timber of Oregon is hardwood, such as ash, oak, maple, and myrtle. There are about ninety-five species that attain to the dignity of trees; of these thirty-eight are coniferous, seventeen deciduous softwoods, and forty hardwoods. At present the lumber industry is one of Oregon's chief sources of revenue. The output of sawed lumber for 1906 was 2,500,000,000 feet valued at $30,000,000. The output of other forest products (piling, poles, shingles, ties, etc.) brought the total forest product from the state for that year to the sum of $60,000,000, which is about the average annual production. Portland is the largest lumber shipping port in the world. The work of preventing destructive forest fires is carried on by the United States Government on its forest reserves, and the state maintains a patrol of 300 men to protect the forests of the state.Minerals
There is a great wealth and variety of minerals to be found in Oregon, including gold, silver, copper, iron, asbestos, nickel, platinum, coal, antimony, lead, and clay, salt and alkali deposits, and an inexhaustible supply of building stone (including sandstone, limestone, and volcanic rock). Gold is found to a greater or less extent in seventeen counties, and is the only mineral mined to any notable extent. It is found especially in the Blue Mountains. A large number of quartz mills are operated in Eastern and Southern Oregon, and in these districts placer mines yield largely. There are two pronounced copper zones in the state -- one in Baker County, the other in the south-western section. Oregon coals are lignitic, the largest bed uncovered being in the vicinity of Coos Bay. The largest iron beds in the state are in the Willamette Valley. The ore is of limonite variety, showing about fifty per cent of metallic iron.Fisheries
Oregon is unequalled by any other state in salmon fisheries and canning. The most notable species of salmon is the Columbia River Royal Chinook. The fish industry in the state produces upwards of $5,000,000 annually. Reckless overfishing threatened to exhaust the supply and to imperil the industry, until the state regulated it by law and provided for it by hatcheries. The state through its department of fisheries operates at the annual expense of $50,000 ten salmon hatcheries, from which nearly 70,000,000 young salmon are liberated annually. Thus the Columbia River is made to produce year after year practically the same supply of salmon. In addition to the canneries, cold storage plants are operated, practically the whole output of which is shipped to European markets.Agriculture
Late years have seen a great expansion in all lines of farming. In 1908 the total production of the farms of the State represented a gross value of about one hundred million dollars. Owing to the lack of a large rural population, however, only a fraction of the agricultural lands of the state yield even a respectable revenue. The most thickly settled agricultural sections are the great Willamette Valley in Western Oregon (where nearly everything grown in a temperate climate thrives), and a stretch of nearly five hundred miles of rich bottom land along the Columbia River and the shore line of the coast counties. The great wheat and meat producing section of the state is in Eastern and Central Oregon. The Columbia River Basin in Eastern Oregon is one of the best grain districts in the world. Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam, Morrow, and Umatilla counties produce from ten to fifteen million bushels of wheat annually. The soil is mainly a volcanic ash and silt, very fertile and generally deep. Hood River, among the best-known apple regions in the world, is included in this district. Umatilla County may be taken as typical of this section: its wheat crop average about 5,000,000 bushels annually, while the alfalfa lands, comprising about 50,000 acres, yield three crops each year, totalling seven tons to the acre. Live stock is also an extensive industry: there are in this county about 350,000 sheep (with fleeces averaging 9 1/2 pounds) and 30,000 cattle. Most of the sheep and a large proportion of the cattle of the state are raised in central Oregon which comprises about twenty million acres. This immense territory has been hitherto without any railroad communication whatever, and is at present devoted to range systems of husbandry. South- eastern Oregon, comprising Klamath and Lake Counties, is a stock and dairy section. On 1 Jan., 1909, the live stock of the state was valued at $54,024,000. The revenue to the state form dairy products was $17,000,000. In Southern Oregon poultry raising has become quite an industry, and this section practically supplies the large cities on the coast.
Oregon is bounded on three sides by navigable water: the Pacific Ocean on the west, the Columbia River on the north, and the Snake River on the east. Nine inlets on the western coast provide harbour facilities. Of these Coos Bay ranks next in importance to the Columbia harbour. Ocean-going vessels enter the Columbia, and find at Portland the only freshwater port on the Pacific coast. Deep water navigation now extends 150 miles along the northern boundary of Oregon, and, with the completion of the ship railway above the Cascades, will extend to 250 miles. The Snake River runs along the eastern boundary of the state for 150 miles, and is navigable for a considerably greater distance from where it enters the Columbia. The Willamette River which empties into the Columbia just north of Portland is navigable as far as Eugene, 150 miles from Portland. The region between the coast and the Cascade ranges, and the northern fringe of the state along the Columbia and Snake rivers are well supplied with railroad facilities. The vast area of Eastern Oregon, however, has been hitherto practically without railroad service. This immense territory is finally being opened up (1910) by the construction of railroads by two rival systems through the Deschutes Valley.
The State Board of Education is composed of the governor, the secretary of state, and a superintendent of public instruction. In each county there is a superintendent who holds office for two years, and each school district has a board comprising from three to five directors whose term is three years. The state course of study provides for eight grades in the grammar schools and four years in the high schools. The state university at Eugene and the agricultural college at Corvallis complete the state school system. An irreducible fund of $3,500,000 has been secured by the sale of part of the school lands of the state. In 1884 Congress set aside sections 16 and 36 of all the public domain in Oregon for public schools. For many years previous to 1909 there were four state normal schools, which were practically local high schools subsidized by the state. The subsidy was withdrawn by the legislature of that year, and there is now one state normal located at Monmouth.
The state university was established in 1872. The agricultural college at Corvallis, which also gives a college course in the liberal arts and sciences, has about one thousand students. There are a large number of denominational colleges and secondary schools in the state. At Salem, the state capital, are located the charitable and penal institutions of the state, viz., the schools for the blind and deaf mutes, the insane asylum, boys reform school, and the penitentiary.
In 1543 the Spanish navigator Ferrelo explored the Pacific Coast -- possibly to the parallel of 42, the southern boundary of Oregon. Sir Francis Drake in The Golden Hind (1543), carried the English colours a few miles farther north than Ferrelo had ventured. The same point was reached by the Spaniards Vizcaino in 1603. In 1774 Juan Perez sailed in the Santiago from the harbour of Monterey and explored the north-west coast as far as parallel 55 . The following year the Spanish explored the north-west coast under Heceta, who, on his return, observed the strong currents at the mouth of the Columbia. Nootka Sound was visited and named by the English navigator Cook in 1778. The visit of Cook had important consequences. The natives loaded his ship with sea-otter skins in exchange for the merest trifles. The value of these skins was not suspected, until the ship touched at Asiatic and European ports where they were sold for fabulous prices. The commercial value of the north-west had been discovered. The ships of all nations sought for a profitable fur-trade with the Indians, and the strife for the possession of the territory entered a new phase. Captain Robert Gray of Boston discovered the Columbia River in 1792 and named it after his ship. The country was first explored by the American expedition of Lewis and Clark in 1804-5. Astoria, at the mouth of the Columbia, the first white settlement in Oregon, was founded in 1811 by the American Fur Company under the direction of John Jacob Astor. Two years later the Northwest Company (a Canadian fur company) bought out Astoria, and maintained commercial supremacy until it merged with the great Hudson's Bay Company in 1821.
This latter company dominated Oregon for a quarter of a century. The Oregon country at that time embraced an area of 400,000 sq. miles and extended from the Rocky Mountains on the east to the Pacific Ocean and from the Mexican possessions on the south to the Russian possessions on the north. In 1824 a commanding personality arrived on the Columbia as chief factor of the Hudson's Bay Co., in the Oregon country. This was Dr. John McLoughlin, the most heroic figure in Oregon history. Realizing that the great trading post should be at the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, McLoughlin transferred the headquarters of the company from Fort George (Astoria) to Fort Vancouver. He refused to sell liquor to the Indians, and bought up the supplies of rival traders to prevent them from selling it. He commanded the absolute obedience and respect of the Indian population, and Fort Vancouver was the haven of rest for all travellers in the Oregon country. Speaking of McLoughlin's place in Oregon history, his biographer, Mr. Frederick V. Holman, a non-Catholic, pays him the following just tribute: Of all the men whose lives and deeds are essential parts of the history of the Oregon country, Dr. John McLoughlin stands supremely first, -- there is no second .Missionaries
The first tidings of the Catholic Faith reached the Oregon Indians through the Canadian employees of the various fur-trading companies. The expedition of Astor in 1811 was accompanied by a number of Canadian voyageurs, who some years later founded at St. Paul the first white settlement in the Willamette Valley. These settlers applied in 1835 to Bishop Provencher of Red River (St. Boniface, Manitoba ) for priests to come among them to bless their marriages with their savage consorts, to baptize their children, and revive the Faith among themselves. It was in answer to this petition that Father F.N. Blanchet and Modeste Demers were sent to the Oregon country in 1838. On their arrival the missionaries found a log church already erected on the prairie above St. Paul. Meanwhile another request for missionaries had gone forth. The Indians in the Rocky Mountains had repeated the Macedonian cry to their brethren in the East. In 1831 the Flatheads with their neighbours, the Nez Perces, sent a deputation to St. Louis to ask for priests. They had heard of the black robes through Iroquois Indians, who had settled among them and thus transplanted the seed sown by Father Jogues. It was not until 1840 that Bishop Rosati of St. Louis was able to send a missionary. In that year Father De Smet, S.J., set out on his first trip to the Oregon country where he became the apostle of the Rocky Mountain Indians. A peculiar perversion of the facts concerning the visit of the Indians to St. Louis got abroad in the Protestant religious press and started a remarkable movement towards Oregon. The Methodists sent out Jason and Daniel Lee in 1834, and the Methodist mission was soon reinforced until it was valued in a few years at a quarter of a million dollars and became the dominant factor in Oregon politics. The American Board Mission was founded by Dr. Marcus Whitman, a physician, and Mr. Spalding, a minister. With them was associate W.H. Gray as agent, the author of a History of Oregon which was responsible for the spread of a great deal of misinformation concerning the early missionary history of Oregon.
The savage murder of Dr. Whitman in 1847 was a great catastrophe. Dr. Whitman, who was a man of highly respected character, opened his mission among the Cayuse Indians near Fort Walla Walla. His position as physician made him suspected by the Indians when an epidemic carried off a large number of the tribe. They were accustomed to kill the "medicine man " who failed to cure. Besides, the Indians were rendered hostile by the encroachments of the whites. The immediate cause of the massacre seems to have been the story of Jo Lewis, an Indian who had the freedom of the mission and who reported that he overheard a conversation of Whitman and Spalding, in which Whitman said he would kill off the Indians so that the whites could get their land. The massacre took place on 29 November, 1847. Dr. and Mrs. Whitman and several others were brutally slain. Spalding was saved only by the prudence of Father Brouillet whose mission was near by. Spalding seems to have been crazed by the outrage. He began to charge the Catholic priests with instigating the massacre. There had been hard feelings before between the missionary forces, but now the embers were fanned into a flame and, in spite of the fact that all serious historians have exonerated the Catholic missions of the slightest complicity in the outrage, Spalding's ravings instilled a prejudice which half a century has been required to obliterate.
Nearly twenty years after Whitman's death Spalding originated a new story of Whitman's services in saving Oregon to the United States, in which the Catholics were again brought into prominence. History will be searched in vain, says Bourne, for a more extraordinary growth of fame after death. The story as published in 1865 by Spalding represents that in autumn, 1842, Whitman was aroused by discovering that the Hudson's Bay Co. and the Catholic missionary forces were planning to secure the Oregon Country for England. He immediately set out for Washington to urge the importance of Oregon to the United States and to conduct a band of immigrants across the plains to settle the country with Americans. It is represented further that he found Webster ready to exchange Oregon for some cod fisheries on the shores of Newfoundland and some concessions in settling the boundary of Maine. Whitman, however, had recourse to President Tyler, who promised to delay the negotiations between Webster and Ashburton until Whitman could demonstrate the possibility of leading a band of emigrants to the north-west. Finally, the legend relates that Whitman organized a great band of immigrants and conducted them to Oregon in 1843, thus proving to the authorities at Washington the accessibility of the disputed territory and filling the territory with American home builders. Thus Oregon was saved to the United States . Every detail of this story has now been completely discredited by critical historians. The core of fact consists merely in this, that in 1842 Whitman went east to plead with the authorities of the American Board not to close down the southern section of his mission, and on his return to Oregon in 1843 he happened in with a band of immigrants who had assembled under the leadership of Peter Burnett. The legend is gradually being expunged from school books.
In 1843 a provisional government with an executive council was organized by the settlers in the Willamette Valley. Two years later a governor was chosen who held office until the Oregon Territory was organized under the U. S. Government on 14 August, 1848. Lane, the first governor of the territory, arrived in 1849. Oregon was admitted as a State 14 February 1859, with its present boundaries. The primary election law is in operation, and there is a provision that the state legislators may obligate themselves with the constituencies under Statement No. 1, to cast their ballot for United State Senator for the candidate receiving the highest popular vote at the primary election. Thus it happened that United State Senator Geo. E. Chamberlain was elected in 1907 representing the minority party in the state legislature. The initiative and referendum obtain, and a large number of measures are brought before the people by petition under the initiative power. The state legislature provides a subsidy for institutions caring for dependent and delinquent minors.
Freedom of Worship is provided for in the Bill of Rights in the Oregon Constitution. By its provisions all persons are secured in their natural right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience. No law shall in any case control the free exercise and enjoyment of religious opinion. No religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office of trust or profit. No money shall be drawn from the treasury for the benefit of any religious or theological institution, nor shall money be appropriated for the payment of religious services in either houses of the legislative assembly. But by recent enactment the salaries of two chaplains, one a Catholic, the other a non-Catholic, for the State Penitentiary is provided for at the expense of the State. The Constitution further provides that no person shall be rendered incompetent as a witness or juror in consequence of his religious opinions, nor be questioned in any court of justice touching his religious belief to affect the weight of his testimony. Oaths and affirmations shall be such as are most consistent with and most binding upon the consciences of the persons to whom they are administered. No law shall be passed restraining freedom to express opinions, or the right to speak, write, or print freely on any subject, but every person shall be held responsible for the abuse of this right. Persons whose religious tenets or conscientious scruples forbid them to bear arms shall not be compelled to do so in time of peace, but shall pay an equivalent for personal service.
There are many enactments regarding the observance of Sunday. The Sundays of the year as well as Christmas are legal and judicial holidays. No person may keep open a house or room in which liquor is retailed on Sunday -- the penalty being a fine which goes to the school fund of the county in which the offence is committed. In general it is illegal to keep open on Sunday any establishment "for the purpose of labor or traffic", except drug stores, livery stables, butcher and bakery shops, etc.
The seal of the confessional is guarded by the following provision: "A priest or clergyman shall not, without the consent of the person making the confession, be examined as to any confession made to him in his professional character in the course of discipline enjoined by the church to which he belongs."
Persons over eighteen years of age may dispose of goods and chattels by will. A person of twenty-one years of age and upwards and of sound mind may by last will devise all his estate, real and person, saving to the widow her dower. The will must be in writing. It must be signed by the testator or by some other person under his direction and in his presence, and also by two or more competent witnesses subscribing their names in presence of the testator.Divorce
The following grounds are recognized in Oregon for the dissolution of marriage: (1) Impotency existing at the time of marriage and continuing to the time of suit. (2) Adultery. (3) Conviction of felony. (4) Habitual gross drunkenness contracted since marriage. (5) Willful desertion for one year. (6) Cruel and inhuman treatment or personal indignities rendering life burdensome (Bellinger and Cottan, Annotated Codes and Statutes of Oregon. )
One of the earliest cares of Vicar-General Blanchet on arriving in Oregon was the Christian education of the youth committed to his charge. In autumn, 1843, it was decided to open a school for boys at St. Paul. On 17 October in that year, the vicar-general opened St. Joseph's College with solemn blessing and placed Father Langlois in charge. On the opening day thirty boys entered as boarders -- all sons of farmers except one, the son of an Indian chief. The first Catholic school for girls in Oregon was opened early in October, 1844, by six Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur who had just arrived from Belgium with Father De Smet. So immediate was the success of the sisters that Father De Smet writing under date of 9 October, 1844, says that another foundation was projected at Oregon City . This plan was not realized until 1848. In September of that year four sisters took up their residence and opened a school at the Falls. Meanwhile two events occurred which paralyzed all missionary work for a decade. The first was the Whitman massacre already referred to, which aroused the intensest hostility to the Catholic missionaries. The second was the discovery of gold in California which for the time caused a large emigration of the male population from Oregon. This movement of population deprived the Archdiocese of all religious, both men and women. In May, 1849, a large brigade composed of Catholic families from St. Paul, St. Louis, and Vancouver started for the California mines. As a consequence St. Joseph's College was permanently closed in June of the same year. The Jesuit Fathers closed the mission of St. Francis Xavier on the Willamette; the Sisters of Notre Dame closed their school at St. Paul in 1852, and the following spring closed the school at Oregon City and left for California. The outlook was very dark. The tide of immigration soon turned again towards Oregon, but found the Church crippled in its educational and missionary forces. A debt had been contracted in building the cathedral and convent at Oregon City. To raise funds Archbishop Blanchet went to South America in September, 1855, and remained there making collections until the end of 1857.
A new era opened for Catholic education in Oregon in Oct., 1859, when twelve Sisters of the Holy Names arrived from Montreal and opened at Portland St. Mary's academy and college, which as the mother-house of the community in the province of Oregon has for half a century played an honourable part in the educational work of the north-west. In August, 1871, a school for boys, called St. Michael's College, was opened with 64 pupils. Its first principal was Father Glorieux, now Bishop of Boise. In 1875 we find the pupils publishing a college paper, The Archangel . At the invitation of Archbishop Gross, the Christian Brothers took charge of St. Michael's College in 1886. The name was subsequently changed to that of Blanchet Institute in honour of the first archbishop. This school has since been superseded by the modern and ample structure of the Christian Brothers Business College. In 1882 the Benedictine Fathers, at the invitation of Archbishop Seghers, established their community first at Gervais, and two years later at Mt. Angel. A college for young men at Mt. Angel was opened in 1888. The destruction of the monastery by fire in 1892 was the occasion of building the magnificent monastery and college in its present commanding position. While Mt. Angel's theological department is intended primarily for the education of young men for the order, it has been the Alma Mater of a number of priests of the archdiocese. In 1904 the priory was raised to the dignity of an abbey. At Mt. Angel, too, has been located since 1883 an academy for girls conducted by the Benedictine Sisters, and the mother-house of the Sisters of St. Mary. This congregation was founded by Archbishop Gross in 1886. The Dominican Sisters (San José, California ), the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Scranton, Penn.), the Sisters of Mercy , and the Sisters of St. Francis (Milwaukee) conduct a number of excellent schools in the archdiocese. About nine-tenths of the parishes of the archdiocese are provided with Catholic schools. An annual Catholic Teachers Institute has been held under the auspices of the Catholic Educational Association of Oregon since 1905. These summer meetings have become very popular, and are attended by all the teachers in the Catholic school of the archdiocese. Prominent educators from various sections of the country are invited to address the institute. The meetings serve also to promote interchange of ideas and good fellowship between the teaching communities and contribute notably to the uniform educational progress of the schools.
The archdiocese is well equipped with institutions of charity. St. Vincent's Hospital, conducted by the Sisters of Charity of xxyyyk.htm">Providence, was established in Portland in 1874. It will accommodate about 350 patients. The same community conducts a hospital at Astoria. The Sisters of Mercy have charge of hospitals at Albany, North Bend, and Roseburg. The Sisters of the Good Shepherd have conducted a home for wayward girls in Portland since 1902. The judges of the juvenile court have repeatedly commended the work of these sisters in the highest terms. The archdiocese has three homes for dependent children. St. Agnes Baby Home, conducted by the Sisters of Mercy at Park Place near Oregon City , was established in 1902; it receives orphans and foundlings under the age of four years, and cares constantly for about ninety babies. St. Mary's Home for Boys is situated near Beaverton and is in charge of the Sisters of St. Mary. Here too is the location of the Levi Anderson Industrial school for boys. Occupying a commanding site on the Willamette near Oswego is the magnificent new home for orphan girls under the care of the Sisters of the Holy Names. Since 1901 the Sisters of Mercy have conducted in Portland a home for the aged, where more than a hundred old people of either sex find a home in their declining years. St. Vincent de Paul's and women's charitable societies (e.g. St. Ann and Ladies Aid) are well equipped to relieve the needy. Fraternal societies (e.g. the Knights of Columbus, Ancient Order of Hibernians, and Catholic Order of Foresters, all of which are flourishing) aid materially in the relief of the poor. The Catholic Women's League of Portland was organized in the interest of young women wage-earners, especially for that very large class who have come west to find positions and are without home ties. The proportion of Catholics to the entire population of Oregon has never been very great, perhaps not more than one-tenth, though recent immigration has tended to increase the percentage. Catholics have, however, been well represented in public life and in professional and business pursuits. In early Oregon history Dr. McLoughlin and Chief Justice Peter Burnett were distinguished converts. The latter, who subsequently became first governor of California, is the author of Reminiscences of an old Pioneer and The Path which led a Protestant Lawyer to the Catholic Church. General Lane, the first Governor of Oregon, was also received into the Church. Among the most distinguished citizens of the state today are ex-United States Senator John M. Gearin and General D. W. Burke.
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