BIOGRAPHY OF Eugene Lincoln Remington

From the Portrait and Biographical Records of the Oregon State Library

1906 110

1906 110 Best at Oscar's Dreamland, Billings, Montana, in August 1994.

Content Tools

9374 Roosevelt Street Crown Point, Indiana 46307

One of the most expert machinists as well as large property owners of Woodburn [Oregon], was Eugene Lincoln Remington, owner and proprietor of Remington's bicycle and gun store, recognized as one of the reliable and necessary adjuncts of the city. This oldest resident of the first town of Woodburn is a native son of the golden west, and was born east of Silverton, Oregon, March 24, 1867. His father, Marquis de La-Fayette Remington, and his grandfather, Col. Virgillius E., a physician who was born June 6, 1805, in Greenville, Hampden County, Massachusetts, were identified with the old Mormon town of Nauvoo, Han cock County, Illinois, where the former was born February 2, 1847, on Laharp Prairie, and where the latter participated in the Mormon troubles which will ever be a blot upon the fair name of the little Mississippi River city.

Nauvoo, founded by the Mormons in 1840, became an eyesore to the reputable citizens of the state, and the sect was driven out through capture, and subsequent shooting at Carthage, of the chief Mormon agitator, Joe Smith. Col. Virgillius E. Remington had the honor of capturing this noted disciple of the church, but he was averse to shooting him, although he ever after got the credit for securing his ignominious end. Somewhat fearful of his fate at the hands of the accusing Mormons, and also because of a progressive nature which recognized superior advantages in the west, the grandfather crossed the plains with his family in '49 with ox teams, locating at Roseville Junction, California. He was very successful in mining, and became a well known figure there, and he now sleeps under an old oak tree on the outskirts of the town. Colonel Remington was a Master Mason.

The marriage of Colonel Remington united him with Esther E. Doud, who was born May 3, 1808, in Can ton, Hartford County, Connecticut. Of this union ten children were born, including Marquis de LaFayette, the father of Eugene Lincoln Remington.

Marquis de LaFayette Remington was seven years of age when he crossed the plains with his father. He was reared at Roseville Junction, California, until after the death of his father, January 14, 1858, in Placer County. With his mother and two brothers he came to Beaverton, Oregon, in 1854 and on rented land engaged in farming until about 1863. He then moved near Silverton. There he bought one hundred and twenty-five acres of land, working this until 1870, when he located in Woodburn and engaged in blacksmithing. About 1882 he started a foundry and general machine shop, the successful operation of which netted him a fair income up to the time of his death at the age of fifty-one years.

Mr. Remington was a mechanical genius, and was at the head of that business in his city, contributing a remarkable inventive talent towards the advancement of mechanical ideas. He invented and patented the Remington traction engine, the patent of which was sold to the Best Manufacturing Company, of San Leandro, California Other patents of labor-saving machinery and appliances are also attributable to his ingenuity. His plant sustained a severe loss in the fire of 1886, when he lost about $10,000 in building and machinery. Mr. Remington married Helen Elmyre Welch, who was born January 14, 1850, in St. Marys, Hancock County, Illinois. On May 5, 1855, the Welch family started for California going by rail to New York and then by steamer to the Isthmus of Panama, crossing by rail. The steamer Golden Gate landed them in San Francisco May 31, 1855. In 1859 they started for Oregon with teams. The Welch family lived near the Remingtons in California, and they were not divided in Oregon, for Thomas Welch settled on a farm northeast of Silverton. Mrs. Remington, who died in Oregon in 1893, at the age of forty-one, was the mother of four children, Eugene Lincoln being the oldest.

The necessity for assisting with the family maintenance at a very early age interfered with the education of Eugene Lincoln Remington, and his knowledge was therefore self-acquired. As a lad of thirteen he was busily engaged in his father's ma chine shop, and after learning the business he continued with his sire, becoming a partner in the firm in 1888, at the age of twenty-one. After the fire he engaged in the sporting goods business, carrying a complete stock of bicycles, guns, and general paraphernalia, in 1900 moving into a new store building which sup planted the original machine shop. He had been very successful in disposing of his superior brand of wheels, and is well versed as to the respective merits of the wheels that come under his observation. No one in the county turned out more satisfactory repair work, and the line of guns, ammunition, and general sporting accessories was complete and up-to-date in every respect.

In 1891 Mr. Remington was united in marriage to Ida May Ban croft, a native of Lodi, Wisconsin, who came to Oregon in 1889, locating at Woodburn. Her father, Henry L. Bancroft, lived in retirement in Woodburn, and has to his credit a meritorious record as a soldier during the Civil War. Three children blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Remington, two sons and one daughter.

Since casting his first presidential vote, Mr. Remington was allied with the Republican party, and had taken an active part in local politics of his city. He was fraternally connected with Woodburn Lodge No. 102, I.O.O.F., and was very active in that organization, being past grand, and he had been twice representative to the Grand Lodge. With his wife he was also a member of Home Lodge No. 58, of the Rebekahs.

With his brother, Mr. Remington owned the Remington Hall, and with their sister two residences; he built the one in which he lived.

He was progressive, anxious to increase his business knowledge, and had a keen interest in all that pertains to the welfare of his community.

According to Jack Norbeck's Encyclopedia of Steam Traction Engines, the Remington Company only actively built about two steam engines.