McCown, Ferdinand Onias

The Sunday Oregonian, March 29, 1891 , Oregon City, Oregon

This Respected Pioneer Passed Suddenly Away Saturday at His Home in Oregon City
Saturday the sad news was received in the city of the sudden death, in Oregon City, of Ferninand O. McCown. Deceased was well known in this city, and the news came so unexpected that to his many friends and acquaintances, it was a painful shock. Death was due to apoplexy.
Deceased was born in Kanawha county, in what is now a part of West Virginia, January 11, 1839, of William and Charlotte Summers McCown. His father seems to have been possessed of a restless disposition, for he moved many times. The thirteenth move was made while Ferdinand was yet a lad, and was to the present site of Kansas City. In 1852, as a lad of 13, he accompanied his parents on the overland trip across the plains. He settled on a farm near Needy, where he lived with his father till of age to start in life for himself. When about 18 years of age, he enlisted in the state militia and served as a private in the Yakima war.
His education was not neglected, for he attended the Willamette university and Portland academy, after which he taught school for a time. He them determined to study law, and securing a place in a store as clerk, became a student under his subsequent partner, W.C. Johnson. Before completing the course, he drifted to California, where for a time he was a student under O.C. Pratt, but before his admission to the bar, he moved again, this time to Nevada, where he was admitted in 1862. Soon after he returned to Oregon and hung out his shingle in Wanconda, where he remained during the greater part of 1863. But the military spirit fired his patriotism, and in the fall of ’63, he was appointed lieutenant in the First Oregon, and mustered a company, of which he was chosen captain. His commission was signed by Governor Gibbs on the 4th day of January, 1864. His company was ordered to Fort Colville, of which post he was in command during the summer.
In the fall of the same year he was mustered out, and soon after entered into partnership with W.C. Johnson for the practice of law. This partnership lasted until May, 1889, having covered a period of twenty-three years, during which time the firm won an enviable and more than state-wide reputation. In 1870, Mr. McCown was admitted to the bar of the supreme court, the motion to admit being made by Senator J.H. Mitchell.
February 25, 1865, he married Sarah M. Meldrum in Oregon City. This union has been blessed with eight children, seven of whom are living to mourn the loss of a parent. These are: Helene B., Meldrum F., Cornelia I., Malcolm, Mabry, Irene and Agnes. Jessie S. died when young. The children are all at home except Helena B., who has been summoned from Walla Walla, where she was visiting relatives.
When 16 years of age, he united with the Baptist church, and since 1867 has been a leading and influential member of the church in Oregon City. He was three times elected mayor of the city, this being the only public position which he ever filled, though he always took an active interest in public affairs.
In January, 1856, he was stricken with an apoplectic stroke from which he has never fully recovered. Early the past winter he had another very light stroke after which, however, he appeared much better than before and continued to appear in his usual health up to the morning of his death. Friday evening he attended an entertainment at the church and Saturday morning ate his breakfast as usual, after which he took a stroll in the yard. Returning to the house he passed through the kitchen, where two of his children were, and entered the sitting-room, where he was found a few minutes later lying prone upon the floor in an unconscious condition. Medical aid was summoned, but before it could arrive, he had breathed his last.
Though cut off in the prime of life, when his labors were just beginning to yield fruit, his life has not been in vain. His influence was always for the right, and his voice a steadfast supporter of his belief.

Oregon City Enterprise, March 31, 1891

The funeral of F. O. McCown occurred today, a large number of mourning friends being in attendance. Many beautiful floral offerings bore mute testimony of the esteem felt for the departed. The Grand Army post took charge of the funeral after it left the residence, that body being present en masse to pay the last respects to their fellow comrade. The board of trade also attended, wearing appropriate morning badges. The services were conducted by Rev. J.C. Read, of East Portland. Among those present from abroad were H.L. Pittock, D.P. Thompson and wife, C.M. Idleman, James McCown, Dr. John Welch and wife, Mr. McGuire and A.F. Shorpps, of Portland, and G.W. Dimmick, of Hubbard. The board of trade met Monday night and appointed W.C. Johnson, M.A. Stratton and E.M. Rands a committtee to prepare resolutions in respect to F.O. McCown’s memory.


Name: Ferdinand O . McCown
Side: Union
Regiment State/Origin: Oregon Territory
Regiment: 1st Regiment, Oregon Infantry
Company: E
Rank In: Second Lieutenant
Rank Out: Captain
Film Number: M553 roll 1

Name: Ferdinand O McCown
Enlistment Date: 7 Jan 1865
Rank at enlistment: Captain
State Served: Oregon
Survived the War?: Yes
Service Record: Commissioned an officer in Company E, Oregon 1st Infantry Regiment on 07 Jan 1865. Mustered out on 22 Nov 1865.
Death Place: Clackamas County, Oregon
Sources: Index to Compiled Military Service Records, Official Army Register of the Volunteer Force 1861-1865 Union Blue: History of MOLLUS, Research by Harold Slavik

Co. E, 1st Oregon Infantry mustered in November 11, 1864.

Charter Member of Meade Post No. 2, Grand Army of the Republic.

Meade Post No. 2, Post Commander 1889.


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