Lewthwaite, John Sr.

Oregon City Enterprise, Friday, February 17, 1922
Do you remember when John Lewthwaite, Sr., was elected first mayor of West Linn by unanimous vote of the citizens in October 1913, and how well he served his city as as he did his country during the civil war, for he fought in the Battle of the Wilderness, first and second Fredericksburg, Gettysburg and Cedar Creek, and also in the battles before the capture of Petersburg and Sailor’s Run, and when he lay where he fell for three days before he was given attention, and when he became one of the first paper makers of the United States?

Morning Oregonian, Saturday, December 13, 1924
John Lewthwaite, Sr.
Oregon City, Dec. 12. – (Special)
Funeral services for John Lewthwaite Sr., pioneer paper manufacturer, who died at the family home at West Linn, Thursday, will be held from St. Paul’s Episcopal church, this city Sunday afternoon at 2 o’clock. Rev. J. A. Cleland, rector, will officiate. Interment will be in the family lot in Mountain View cemetery.
Mr. Lewthwaite was a veteran of the Civil war. He enlisted when 17 years old with the 77th New York volunteers and was in some of the heaviest battles of the war, including the battle of Gettysburg.
Born in Douglas, Isle of Man, October 19, 1844, Mr. Lewthwaite later went to New York and started for the Pacific northwest in the early ’70s. In 1892 he and his family came to Oregon City where he took the position as superintendent of the paper mill at West Linn. About 10 years ago he retired.
Mr. Lewthwaite is survived by his widow, Mrs. Alice Moore Lewthwaite, whom he married in Stockton, Cal., in 1875; his daughter, Mrs. Alice Carey, of West Linn, who has been making her home with her parents; a son, John B. Lewthwaite, of Portland; a grandson, Jack, of Portland, and his sisters, Mrs. Esther Bain and Miss Fannie Lewthwaite, who reside in New York.

Oregon Death Index:
Name: John Lewthwaite
Death Date: 11 Dec 1924
Death Place: Clackamas
Certificate: 411


Name: John Lethwaite
Side: Union
Regiment State/Origin: New York
Regiment: 77th Regiment, New York Infantry
Company: B, D
Rank Out: Corporal
Alternate Name: John/Lewthwaite
Film Number: M551 roll 82

History of the 77th New York Infantry:
LEWTHWAITE , JOHN.—Age, 18 years. Enlisted, August 30, 1862, at Milton, to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. B, September 22, 1862; wounded in action, May 6, 1864, at the Wilderness, Va., and October 19,1864, at Cedar Creek, Va.; transferred to Co. D, November 19, 1864; promoted corporal., January 28, 1865; mustered out with detachment, June 16, 1865, in defences of Washington, D. C.

Name: John Lewthwaite
Age: 18
Birth Year: abt 1844
Enlistment Year: 1862
Enlistment Location: Melton
Muster Year: 1862
Separation Details: Transferred
Separation Date: 19 Nov 1864
June 16 1865 per his G.A.R. record

Crown-Willamette Paper Company

(Note: the paper mill is located in what is now West Linn, not Oregon City as referred to in this article)

The Paper Mill, July 2, 1921


In the 1870’s Rufus B. Lane of Stockton and Henry Pierce of San Francisco, started the present paper manufacturing industry of the Pacific Coast. On January 1, 1873, John Lewthwaite, now consulting superintendent of the consolidated mills, entered their employ in the manufacture of straw and rag paper at Stockton, Cal. This mill was built with the intention making paper out of tule grass, but it was not a success. The first machine was equipped with one machine, single cylinder, 62-inch, with six or eight dryers, 36-inch.

In 1878 the lot was surveyed and building plans made for a new mill and the California Paper Company was incorporated July 11, 1879. The 62-inch machine was moved over to a new building and a new 62-inch cylinder machine put in. Two old machines were moved up from Santa Cruz, one 48 inches wide, and the other no good. the 48-inch machine had one cylinder and six dryers, 36-inch, but later more dryers were put on.

After moving to the new building newspaper was made on the 62-inch machine out of straw and rag and the stock bleached, but continued making straw on the 48-inch machine. Later, both 62-inch machines were changed to Fourdrinier machines and more dryers added.

Whenever possible, old boxboard trimmings were used to help improved the appearance of the sheet. Later the 48-inch cylinder was taken out and junked and an 86-inch Smith-Winchester Fourdrinier placed with seventeen 36-inch dryers.

In about 1880, at Towle, Cal., Towle Bros. tried to make ground wood with an emery stone, but without success.

In 1884 the Falls Pulp Company was incorporated in Oregon and purchased the Young’s River Pulp Mill from R. M. Brayne, who now resides in West Linn, and pulp was shipped to California.

In 1888 Mill “A” at Oregon City was started by the Willamette Pulp and Paper Company for the manufacture of ground wood. Captain R. J. Young, then with the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company river boats, took the first load of pulp from Oregon City Locks to Portland to be shipped to Stockton. Some of the first pulp made was not fine enough for paper, so it was air dried and used for fuel and some of it was sold for stove wood at Stockton.

In 1890 No. 1 machine, 84-inch, with fifteen 48-inch dryers, was put in present Mill “C” that most of the pulp made at Oregon City might be made into paper there. The first cook of sulphite was made early in July 1890, in bronze digesters, which were later take out and replaced by present Nos. 1 and 2, steel shell and liner. Pulp and sulphite were shipped to Stockton until 1892, when a No. 2 paper machine, 102-inch, was placed in Mill “C.”

John Lewthwaite, permanently came to Oregon City in March, 1893.

In 1889 the Crown Paper Company started a small straw paper mill with a 74-inch cylinder straw board machine and 48-inch cylinder wrapping machine, which was later changed to a Fourdrinier.

In 1903 the Stockton Mill shut down and that year, or the one following, the 86-inch Smith-Winchester Stockton machine was sold to the Crown Paper Company and taken to Oregon City by them. This machine is now in Camas and is known as No. J. It is now a Harper Fourdrinier. The other two Stockton machines were sold to James Brown at Antioch in 1896 and put in as board machines by him, the business being known as the California Paper and Board Mills.

In 1896, No. 3 machine, 84-inch, was put in Mill “C”, and in 1898, No. 4 machine, 150-inch, was built.

…The Willamette Pulp and Paper Company, in 1905, built Mill “D” and started No. 5 machine, 150-inch, in February 1906, and No. 6 machine, 158-inch, in April 1908.

In 1914 the properties of the Crown and Willamette Companies, and also those of the Lebanon Paper Company, were acquired by the Crown-Willamette Paper Company.


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