SHINE is a look backward from the present to Salem's 1860 charter. In each year we have four sections: glimpses of what was happening around the world, a special event in Salem, what you see when you visit that site today, and other Salem events of interest that year.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Salem in 1907

World Events
  • Elections to the new Parliament in Finland are the first in the world with women candidates as well as the first with universal suffrage.
  • The Anglo-Russian Entente is signed in St. Petersburg, leading to the Triple Entente that includes France. This sets up a balance in European power against the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austro-Hugary and Italy. The players were set for the conflict of 1914.
  • Rasputin gains power in the Russian court as "healer" for Prince Alexei who suffered from hemophilia. A Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party mets in secret in London. The Bolsheviks attack a cash-filled bank coach in Tiflis, gaining funds for their campaigns.
  • In England, Robert Baden-Powell leads the first Scout camp.
  • The Great White Fleet begins its 15-month circumnavigation of the globe,  demonstrating America's new naval power to the world.
  • Hendrick Baekeland produces the first plastic (synthetic polymer) that is produced as Bakelite.
  • Oklahoma becomes the 46th state.
  • The term "blurb" is first used for the promotional text on a book jacket.
  • Sholem Aleichem (pen-name of Solomon Rabinovich) publishes From Home to America a year after his move from Russia to New York. He was the first Jewish writer to gain fame in America: Whistler on the Roof is his most popularly known story.
    Mary Bowerman graduation
    In Salem
    At Willamette University Medical School, Mary Bowerman was the lone female in a class of five and the butt of their “rather vulgar jokes." The dissecting shed, down near the millrace at the rear of the university grounds was on a “short cut” to town and featured many a knothole in its walls. There was often an audience to observe the gloveless, collidion-dosed, black muslin-gowned students, surgical instruments in hand, making tentative incisions on the cadavers. In 1907, as the wife of Ellis Purvine, she began a medical practice in Salem, specializing in obstetrics.
    Dr. Mary Bowerman Purvine in 1954

    When you visit
    There is no memorial in Salem to Oregon's first female physician or to her medical service to our community. In 1954, to commemorate her half-century in the medical profession, the University of Oregon Medical School Alumni Association recognized Mary for her fifty years “of service and sacrifice to the alleviation of human suffering.”
    Her family included two daughters and a son who became a doctor himself. Dr. Ralph Purvine lived on Fairmount Avenue in the historic Cross House, for many years the home of Mary Purvine's granddaughter. This is a National Register property in the SCAN neighborhood.

    Other Events
    • G. F. Rogers became mayor this year and was "King Bing" of the 1913 Salem Cherry Festival.
    • On April 12, one of Salem's pioneers and most distinguished citizens and jurist, Reuben P. Boise dies. A Pioneer Cemetery record has printed his professional biography. In part, it recalls the young lawyer coming to Salem in 1857 and that "many years his home was there in the winter and on the farm in the summer. He was ever in the market to buy any land that joined his farm so at the time of his death he owned many acres in the Ellendale section.
      In 1851 Judge Boise was united in marriage to Miss Ellen F. Lyon, who died December 6, 1865, leaving three children, "Fisher A., Reuben P., Jr., and Whitney L. The last two named are still living. Mrs. Boise was a daughter of Lemuel Lyon, a Boston merchant, who went to California in the early '50s and came to Oregon about 1854, locating at Independence, where he built the second store building and the first grain warehouse in the town...
      "On December 27, 1866, Judge Boise was married to Emily A. Pratt, who died March 26, 1919. She was a native of Webster, Massachusetts, and a daughter of Ephraim Pratt, a manufacturer of that state. To this union were born two daughters: Sarah Ellen, who died August 5, 1891; and Mrs. Maria Boise Lauterman, now residing in Salem."
    • The Paulus Building on Court Street replaces the Sung Lung Chinese laundry, demolished along with other Chinese businesses. The present building was constructed to provide space for a single retail establishment selling furniture. In 1931 Paulus separated the space: Doughton's Hardware occupied the west end of the building for almost sixty years (1934-1991). The Christopher Paulus family home, built in 1892, recently restored, is on Church Street in the Grant neighborhood.
    • The Local Landmark known as the Christensen House is built on property owned by Curtis Chatfield, a fruit grower. It is best known as the home of Harold and Cora Christensen in the 1920s and 30s; Mr. Christensen was a driver for the Oregon Bakery Company. It is a Local Landmark in the present Highland neighborhood.
    Daue House as it appears today
    • On Saginaw Street, a large two and one-half story Craftsman bungalow was designed and built in 1907-8 by Alexander Daue. The house retains much of its original organization and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. It was purchased by the Assistance League of Salem in 1987 and now contains a shop and offices of other league charitable programs. See 1992 photograph of the house. Alexander, his brother Louis and son Elmer owned a successful merchandise store on Commercial Street.
    • Salem Heights Elementary School is built south of Salem. It was established on land purchased from Phil Thomas. A photograph shows the location in 1914. In 1930 the original school was torn down and rebuilt. The many activities of the early years are described in the 1997 booklet published by the school on its 90th anniversary. When the new building was erected in 1930, the school bell was moved to the Community Hall. It was been returned to the school and reinstalled for the school’s 100th anniversary celebration in the spring of 2007. The school is in the South Salem neighborhood.
    • The residence known as the Justice Rossman House is built on Capitol Street. This Colonial style residence still has many original features including the hardwood floors, two fireplaces and 9 1/2 foot ceilings. This handsome home was purchased by George Rossman in 1928, a year after he was appointed to the Oregon Supreme Court. He served as Chief Justice (1947-9) and retired in 1965. It has been refurbished for use as offices and is designated as a Local Landmark in the Grant neighborhood.
    • Built this year at the northwest corner of High and Oak streets, is the Italianate residence of Emma Hughes, the widow of John Hughes, a prominent local merchant. Emma was the daughter of Virgil Pringle and his wife, Pherne Brown, and the granddaughter of Rev. Clark Brown and his wife Tabitha Moffatt. Virgil Pringle was an 1848 pioneer in Salem who took a land claim surrounding the Creek that was named for him. It is possible that Virgil Pringle's home was near the one built this year by his daughter and her husband. No evidence remains of that early residence and Emma's home was demolished after her death for the 1929 construction of the Spanish Colonial residence of Daniel B. Jarman. The original land grant of Virgil Pringle may only be surmised: it might have included the land between Trade and Mission streets where he is now remembered with Pringle Creek and Pringle Plaza. By this year when Emma's house was built, the 1859 Rural Gothic residence of Showalter Smith, across High Street, once the center of Salem social and political events, had been purchased by Daniel Fry. Neighborhood children knew this area as Rattlesnake Hill.
    • Edmond S Meany wrote that in July of this year, when he was visiting the reservations of Siouan tribes with Edward S. Curtis, Mrs. Clark, wife of the Episcopalian missionary at Rosebud, announced that there was a very old lady in the village who would like to meet the historian from the Oregon country. They started for the home of Dr. E. J. De Bell, who for twenty- three years has been a physician and trader at Rosebud. In this time his aged aunt, Sarah DeBell Frost Beggs was spending the last years of her long and eventful life. She was perhaps the last survivor of the Willamette Mission community.
    • Downtown Salem streets are beginning to be paved.

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