Pioneer of 1842
James Taylor was born August 15, 1813 on the Orkney Islands in Scotland. He was an employee of Hudson Bay Company when he first came to the island in 1832. His first job was managing the dairy for Hudson Bay. After a time he was sent to Sauvie Island to manage the Hudson Bay dairy there. When he heard of the gold strike in California he resigned and went south to make his fortune. Like so many others he came home as poor as when he left.
1840 Settler arrives in Oregon
On his DLC papers James states that he arrived in Oregon in January of 1842.
1853 Settler marries Widow Spence
James married Arabella (McKenzie) Spence, widow of John Clarke Spence. John and Arabella were part of the group of people from the Red River Migration of 1841. Many of these people were Metis. The remarkable history of this group of people was covered by John Jackson in his book Children of the Fur Trade : Forgotten Metis of the Pacific Northwest, Mountain Press Publishing Co, Inc.
John Spence lost his life in California during the gold rush. John and Arabella were the parents of seven children; Amelia (Spence) Redsull, James Spence, Jesse Spence, Mary Spence, John Spence, Logan Spence, Sophia (Spence) Preston
1853 Filed Intention for Citizenship
James filed on October 18, 1853 in Hillsboro OR. He was awarded his citizenship in Portland, OR on May 3, 1858 (DLC #1977).
1853 Claim settled
James settled his claim on January 1, 1854. Signing for him were Thomas Redsull, Malcom McKay and Mathew White (DLC #1977).
The legal description of his land was T2N, R1W, Section 6, 7 and consisting of almost 154 acres. James eventually bought other land until he had over 600 acres
1854 Birth of Son
Edwin J. was born to James and Arabella on May 20. He remained on the island and ran the family farm with his brother George. Edwin was interviewed by Lockley and that interview is in Columbia River Valley, pg. 1052-1053.
1856 Birth of Son
George was born during this year.
1857 Birth of Daughter
Mary was born during this year. She was the first postmaster on the island. She held the job for 25 years (Columbia River Valley, pg 1053).
1860 Birth of Daughter
Emma was born during this year. She remained on the family farm.
1860 Census Multnomah County
# 700 Taylor, James 47, Arabella 45, Spence, James 27, Spence, John 17, Spence, Logan 14, Taylor, Edwin 6, Taylor, George 4, Spence, Sophia 9, Taylor, Mary 3, Taylor, Emma 6/12
1858 Marriage of Step Daughter
John Tate (RR) married Margaret Spence of Sauvie Island on March 26. They were married by Alexander McQuinn, J.P. Witnesses were Logan Spence and Mrs. Taylor (Pg 83 of the original Marriage records of Multnomah County, pg 13 of the Multnomah County, OR Marriages 1855-1873 published by the GFO)
At the time of her step-father’s death, Margaret was deceased and her family was living in Manitoba, Canada.
1869 Marriage of Step Daughter
Jeremiah Preston married Sophia Spence on March 4. They were married at the house of her step-father, James Taylor (pg 60 of GFO book, Multnomah County, OR Marriages, 1855-)
1870 Census Multnomah County, OR
Taylor, James 59, Arabella 52, Taylor, Edwin 17, Taylor, George 14, Emma 10,
1880 Census Multnomah County, OR
Taylor, James 69, Arabella 62, Taylor, Edwin 27, Taylor, George 24, Taylor, Mary 23, Taylor, Emma 20.
1880 Census, Fulton, Mult, Co, OR, NAF T9-1083, page 218D
Preston, Jeremiah age 50 Farmer, Sophia 35, Josephine 09, Minnie 07, George 3months
1880 Death of Settler’s wife
Arabella passed away at the age of 76. She is buried next to her husband in the family cemetery on their farm.
Death of Settler
James passed away on March 29 at the age of 86. He is buried on the farm next to his wife in the family cemetery.
In his will, which was made Feb 20, 1896 and probated on April 23, 1900 the following heirs were mentioned:
Sophia Preston, step-daughter, of Sauvie Island
Edwin J. Taylor, son, of Sauvie Island
George A. Taylor, son, of Sauvie Island
Mary J. Taylor, daughter, of Sauvie Island
Jessie McEwan, step-daughter, of Astoria, Oregon
Amelia Redsull, step-daughter, of Belview, Idaho
Margaret Alice Tait, grand-daughter, of Canada
Lillian (Tait) McDougal, grand-daughter, of Canada
Arabella Tait, grand-daughter, of Canada
James Spence, step-son, residence unknown