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Pioneer of 1852



George Knox was born in 1820. At this time we don’t know who his parents were or where he was born. One published article says he was born in Northumberland County, PA, but that same article has the wrong parents for him. There were two or three George Knoxs in the early 1850s in Oregon.

Our George Knox married Jane Thomas and with their two children, a son and a daughter, came west with her parents, Henry and Mary (Copeland) Thomas.

1851       Birth of Daughter.

George and Jane became the parents of their second child, Sarepta A.

1852         Migration of Thomas Family.

The Knox family joined the Henry Thomas wagon train and came to Oregon. Her mother, Mary (Copeland) Thomas died on the trip of cholera. Jane and George lost their son on the trip. The burial of the mother is described in great detail in an article written for the Tacoma News Tribune in August of 1938, but no mention is made of the boy’s name or burial in that article (copy of article available in family records).

1853         Birth of Daughter.

Parthena Knox is born during this year. At this time we have found no additional information about her. She may have died early or married before the 1870 census was taken.

1854         Washington Land Claim.

George is listed as an original settler in Clark county, Washington. His claim was in T3N, R1E. George filed on June 1st, 1854. Charles F. Copeland, Hilton Bonser, Henry Thomas and James Thomas filed claims in the same area All filed their claims in June or July (Clark County History at Vancouver Community Library)


1857         Birth of Son.

William Knox was born to George and Jane.

1858         Death of Son.

    William Knox passed away in 1858. He is buried in the Old City Cemetery in Vancouver, Washington next to his parents and another brother, Herman (SE Section, Lot 103, LinelO).

1859         Birth of Daughter.

Emma Knox is born in 1859. She is listed with her parents in the 1860 and 1870 Columbia county census. In 1880 she is listed with her mother in the Clark County, Washington census. Her occupation is listed as a teacher.

1860  Sauvie Island, Columbia County, Oregon Census.

        Knox, George age 29, Jane age 32, Sare[ta age 9, Parthena age 7, Emma ag 8 months.

              Living near them are several Thomas and Bonser families.

1861       Family marriages.

        George Knox was a witness at the marriage of Sarah E. Thomas and James W. Copeland (Columbia county Marriage Records, GFO, pg 2). Sarah was the sister of George’s wife, Jane.

        George Knox was a witness at the marriage of Harriet Thomas and William Gren (Columbia County Marriage Records, GFO, pg 2). Harriet was the daughter of Benjamin Thomas, brother of Henry.

Homestead Certificate.

George filed Homestead Certificate #123 on Sauvie Island. The land was in T3N, R1W, Section 11.

1862         Birth of Son.

Herman Knox was born in 1862.

1865 Death of Son.

    Herman passed away and is buried in the Old City Cemetery in Vancouver, Washington. He is Ins pHEciiiS and his brother, William (Old City Cemetery Records, Clark County, Wa.).

1865 Administrator of Estate.

    George Knox was appointed the administrator of the estate of Charles Francis Copeland who passed away on April 13th, 1863 (Columbia County, Oregon Probate Records, £?-, GFO).

1864    Birth of Daughter.

    Letta Knox was born this year.

1864        Clark County, Washington History.

In 1864 George is listed as a settler in Pioneer, Clark county, Washington. Other Sauvie Island people living in Pioneer are Leonard Harris, Charles Reed and James Charlton.

1865       Marriage of Daughter.

    Sarepta A. Knox married Thomas J. Johnson, M.D. on February 5. They were married at the home of George Knox by Frances Perry, J.P. Witnesses were George and Jane Knox (Columbia County, Oregon Marriage Records, GFO, pg4).

1867 Administrator of Estate.

George Knox was appointed the administrator of the estate of William Walker who passed away on November 10, 1867.

1867         Land Transactions.

George Knox sold land in the Bonser DLC to Henry Thomas on November 12 This land was on Sauvie Island (Deed Book C, pg 284/118. Columbia County Deed Records).

On the same day Henry Thomas sold to his daughter, Jane (Thomas) Knox, land in the Bonser DLC and more (Columbia County Deed Records, Book C, pg 280/119).

1868         Birth of Daughter.                                           

Anna Knox was born during 1868 (census info).

1869         Land Transaction.

    George Knox sold part of the Bonser DLC to Marquis L. Armstrong (Columbia County Deed Records, BookD, pg 165/68).

1870         Columbia Countq, Oregon Census.

Johnson, T. J.  age 39, Sarepta  age 19, Edward age 01

1871         Land Transaction.

George Knox sold land in T3N, R1W, Section 11, to M. Burlingame. This land was part of George’s homestead (Columbia County DeedBookE, pg 21).

1875 Second Marriage of Daughter.

    Sarepta A. Johnson married John Bymes McIntosh on January 4 at the Sauvie Island home of her father, George Knox. They were married by Jas. McBride, M.G. Witnesses: George Knox and Alfred D. Holman (Multnomah County, Oregon Marriage Records, 1873-1883, pg 83).


John Byrnes McIntosh is called “A famous Alaskan Explorer” by Mrs. Ruth in her interview about the Thomas/Bonser families in the Tacoma News Tribune. He is listed as an “Assayer” in the census.

1875   Death of Settler.

    George Knox passed away on March 23,1875. He is buried in the Old City Cemetery in Vancouver, Washington next to his wife and two young sons.

1880   Clark County, Washington Census.

Knox, Jane age 52, Emma age 20, Letta age 15, McIntosh, John B. age 46, Sarepta age 29, Ora A. age 1, Claude H. age 4

1884         Marriage of Daughter.

    Emma Knox married Mr. C. H. Ross of Pierce County, Washington on July 22 in a Christian Church. They were married by Bruce Wolverton, M.G. Witnesses were G. Davidson and Lettie Knox (Multnomah County, Oregon Marriage Book 5, pg 26).

1884   Marriage of Daughter.

    Lottie J. Knox of Multnomah County, married William M. Seemen on October 30. They were married by H. G. Seemen, M. G., at the home of Mrs. Sarepta E. McIntosh. The witnesses were Anna E. Knox and Sarepta A. McIntosh (Multnomah County, Oregon Marriage Book 5, pg 224).

1901   Death of Settler’s urife.

    Jane Knox passed away in 1901. She is buried next to George and her two sons in the Old City Cemetery in Vancouver, Washington (SE Section, Lot 103, Line 10).

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