Oregon Pioneer Biographies


WPA Historical Records Survey
Benton Co., Oregon
Mark Phinney


Interview September 1938
Franklin SHELTON


(Franklin SHELTON, bachelor, was interviewed at the home of his brother, Roe SHELTON, about one mile west of Bellfountain. His memory seemed not very good, but was re-enforced by that of his brother and by reference to some fragment of family record.)

My grandfather, Haman SHELTON, came from Missouri to Linn County, Oregon in 1847. The trip was made by ox team without any unusual difficulties. Grandfather got on fine with the Indians, both on the trip and after he reached Oregon. He took a donation land claim about five miles east of Scio in Linn County.

Grandmother had been Pricilla FITZGERALD. They had eight children who were Alfred, William, Harvey, Lee (my father), Haman, Mary (HUNT), Lucy (CURL), and Sally (GAINES). None of the children were married when they came west. Father was about twelve years old at the time. Times were rather hard for them at first, for the country was new and there was no trading place nearer than Oregon City. Grandfather had brought grain for planting and other seed, including apple seeds, and soon had a garden and orchard started.

My mother was Mary Ann FORGEY whose folks came to Oregon in 1862. I do not know much about mother's people. My parents were married in 1863. Their children were myself, Elva, Albert, Feirl, Artis, John, Roe, Clifford, Laura, Edith.

I was born in 1864. We went to school on grandfather's farm. The first school house was a log building but there was a frame school house when I started to school. Among my teachers were Emma HAMILTON, Belle BILYEU, and Riley PRUETT. I can not recall the others. (Roe SHELTON mentioned John FLOWER, Mr. CYRUS, and George SUTHERLIN, who taught at a later time.)

When I was a young fellow we did not have so much time for idle enjoyment as the youngsters do now. There was too much hard work to be done. We used to have to go about a great deal on foot, but later we had horses to ride. The big occasions were the Fourth of July and Christmas celebrations. Then there were dances and singing schools. I was never much of a dancer.

My folks mostly stayed in Linn County and farmed. My brother Roe and I came to this place about nine years ago. I was never married. I never went in for politics and never held office.

1870 Linn County Census, Scio District:
Shelton, Lee, 30, born MO, farmer
Shelton, Mary A., 25, born IL (Forgey), m. Nov. 12, 1863, Linn Co., OR
Shelton, Franklin, 6, born OR
Shelton, Elva, 4, born OR
Shelton, Albert, 2, born OR
Shelton, Terrill/Farrill, 2/12, born OR April

1880 Linn County Census, Scio District:
Shelton, Lee, 48, head of house, farmer, born MO
Shelton, Mary Ann, 35, wife, keeping house, born IL
Shelton, Franklin, 15, son, student, born OR
Shelton, Elva Jane, 14, daughter, student, born OR
Shelton, Albert, 12, son, student, born OR
Shelton, Feril, 10, son, student, born OR
Shelton, Artice L., 6, son, born OR
Shelton, John Ira, 4, son, born OR
Shelton, David R., -1, son, born OR

Submitted by Danell Aukerman, December 22, 1998.

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