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Cedar Mill News
Volume 4, Issue 3


March 2006

Irish settlers in early Cedar Mill
By Nancy Olson, co-author, Cedar Mill History

John Leahy, son of Irish immigrants Thomas and Ann Leahy, logging family property in 1893 (photo courtesy Dolores DeYoung Fallon)

Immigrants arrived in Cedar Mill in a variety of ways. After a lengthy voyage they landed in New York or Boston and some traveled the Oregon Trail while others used the new railroad system after the 1870’s. Many came to Cedar Mill assured of food and shelter provided by friends and family already in the area. Some moved away while others have remained for more than a century.

The Irish were among the first immigrants to reach Cedar Mill. Thomas and Ann Leahy traveled the Oregon Trail in 1852 and settled in the Goose Hollow area before moving in 1865 to a tract of 160 acres that they purchased for $1,000. NW Leahy Road is named for the family, and Leahy family members still live in the area.

A second wave of settlement in Cedar Mill took place in 1870’s after many donation land claims were broken into smaller pieces. Much of the acreage was purchased by immigrants who had traveled west in search of productive farmland. Since many of these tracts had been logged off by local mills, the stumpland here seemed suitable for the arriving Europeans intent on farming.

The name Murray Road serves as a reminder of another Irish family who settled in the area. Owen Murray came to Oregon from San Francisco where he became a citizen in 1876. The following year he and his wife bought a 200 acre tract in Cedar Mill where they raised five children, and cows and horses. One of their sons, Joe Murray, was a colorful character around town during the first half of the twentieth century.

Read about both of these Irish families in the book “Cedar Mill History.” A few copies are still available by visiting cedarmill.org/cmbook.html



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The Cedar Mill News
Published monthly by the Cedar Mill Business Association, Inc.,
P.O. Box 91177
Portland, OR 97291-0177

Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
12110 NW West Rd
Portland, OR 97229