- William H. Packwood
name = William Henderson Packwood
office2 = Member of the
Oregon Constitutional Convention
term_start2 = 1857
term_end2 = 1857
constituency2 = Curry County
October 23 1832
Mount Vernon, Illinois
September 21 1917
spouse = Johanna A. O’Brien
William Henderson Packwood (1832 – 1917), was an American politician that served at the
Oregon Constitutional Conventionin 1857. A United States Armyveteran from the state of Illinois, he was also a school superintendent and acquaintance of President Abraham Lincoln. He was an early resident of Baker City in Eastern Oregon.
William Packwood was born near the community of
Mount Vernon, Illinois, to Larkin Canada Packwood and Elizabeth Cathcart on October 23 1832.Corning, Howard M. (1989). "Dictionary of Oregon History". Binfords & Mort Publishing. p. 190.] Packwood received two years of formal education and later moved to Springfield, Illinoiswhere he knew future United States PresidentAbraham Lincoln. In 1848 he enlisted in the U.S. Army with Company B of the U.S. Mounted Rifles. The following year Packwood and the company were sent to the newly created Oregon Territoryand stationed at Fort Vancouver.
Packwood went to
Californiawhen gold was discovered there, returning to Oregon in 1851 where he was transferred to Port Orford, Oregonto fight Native American uprisings. In 1853 he was discharged from the Army and became a gold miner for several years. Then in 1855 William Packwood served as captain of the Coquille Guards during the Rogue River Warsagainst Native Americans in Southern Oregon. In 1857, he represented Curry County in southwestern Oregon at the Oregon Constitutional Conventionthat met in Salem during August and September, and framed a constitution in anticipation of Oregon becoming a state. [ [http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/news/exhibits/pioneer.html Information About 1857 Constitutional Convention Delegates Sought.] Oregon State Archives. Retrieved on March 2 2008.]
Packwood then moved east of the
Cascade Mountainsto Eastern Oregonwhere he was involved with establishing the town of Auburn in 1862. Auburn was a gold mining boom town that was briefly the county seat of Baker County, and Packwood helped platt the town. [ [http://bakercounty.net/towns/auburn.htm City of Auburn.] bakercounty.net. Retrieved on March 2 2008.] There he served as the first school superintendent of Baker County in 1862. During the 1864 presidential election he campaigned for Lincoln in that county. Soon after he was responsible for another Baker County town receiving the name of Sparta. [http://bakercounty.net/towns/sparta.htm City of Sparta.] bakercounty.net. Retrieved on March 2 2008.] In that town he and his family built and operated a boarding house until 1867.
Later life and family
In later years Packwood mined, was an assistant postmaster, clerk for Baker City, and a police judge before retiring in 1910. In 1862 Packwood married Johanna A. O’Brien, with whom he would father five children. He is the great-grandfather of former
United States SenatorRobert Packwood. [http://politicalgraveyard.com/geo/OR/BA.html Baker County Oregon.] The Political Graveyard. Retrieved on March 2 2008.] William Henderson Packwood died on September 21 1917in Baker City with interment at Mount Hope Cemetery. He was the last living member of the constitutional convention at his death.
* [http://photos.salemhistory.org/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/max&CISOPTR=2354&REC=7 Photograph of Sparta, Oregon]
* [http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/exhibits/1857/during/bios/packwood.htm Biographical Sketch of William Packwood]
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