Biography of Major James Bruce
Benton County, Oregon Biographies





MAJOR JAMES BRUCE-Was born in Harrison county, Indiana, November 3, 1827. Five years later his father moved to New Albany, Floyd count), same State, and engaged in the mercantile business, where they resided until 1839. In that year his parents moved to Adams county, Illinois, when, a short time thereafter, his father died, leaving a family of wife and seven children. In 1846 his mother and family returned to New Albany, where our subject started to learn the blacksmith's trade. In 1847 he joined a train bound for Texas, remaining there until 1849, when he returned to Illinois and engaged in boating on the Mississippi river, In the spring of 1850 he again joined a train, this time bound for Oregon, but on the plains the route was changed, and after a trip of six months they arrived at Hangtown (now Placerville), California. Mr. Bruce immediately proceeded to the mines which he followed with good success until fall of 1851; he then took up a ranch in Scott's Valley, Siskiyou county, California. In 1852 he sold out and came to Oregon and began merchandising in Jacksonville. On the breaking out of the Indian war of 1833 Mr. Bruce enlisted as a private, from which he was promoted for meritorious service to Captain, and at the close of the second Rogue River war, in 1856, had been promoted to Major, an office he filled with distinction, as there were but few who took a more active or braver part in the Indian wars than Major Bruce as will he seen by the perusal of the Indian wars embodied in this work. On the close of hostilities and the removal of the Indians to the Siletz Reservation our subject took the contract to plow and fence pan of the Reservation. He then followed different occupations until 1862 when he engaged in the stock trade, and while in that business in 1864 he accomplished a feat that is seldom equaled in driving a drove of hogs from the Umpqua Valley, Douglas county, to Boise Basin, Idaho, a distance of over 700 miles, a venture which proved very successful, as he sold the most of them at $1 per lb. He then returned to Benton county and purchased his present farm of 320 acres, ten miles south of Corvallis, where now this well known veteran is enjoying the comforts of a peaceful home. In the spring of 1857 he was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Kinney (now deceased) daughter of Col. James Kinney, an early pioneer to Oregon.

From:
History of Benton County, Oregon
Published by: David D. Fagan
A. G. Walling, Printers, Lithograohers, Ect.
Portland, Oregon 1885


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