Frank and Alice Tarbell Brown came to Oregon by train from Aroostook County, Maine, around 1890. Alice was the daughter of Charles and Nancy Tarbell. They settled in Columbia County, Oregon, near St. Helens. The community was originally called Yankeetown, but was known as Yankton after the establishment of a post office in 1894. In 1892, members of the extended family of Alice Tarbell Brown migrated to the Yankton area. These included her parents, Charles and Nancy Tarbell, her brother Lawrence Tarbell, his wife Emma, their children, Iris, Cora, Guy and Ray, her brother Bert, and Bert's wife Jennie. Members of the family corresponded regularly with Alice's brother Everett and his wife Anna, who had stayed in Maine. Alice's father Charles Tarbell was a devout Baptist and is credited with building the Yankton church.
The collection includes correspondence from Oregon family members to Anna and Everett Tarbell and Hattie Dunn, a family friend. Correspondents include Charles and Lucius Tarbell (Everett's father), Alice Tarbell Brown (his sister), Beth Brown Masters (Alice's daughter), Joseph and Almeda Tarbell (cousins), Mrs. D. J. Wilkin (Cousin Maggie), Lawrence Tarbell (Everett's brother), Lucius Tarbell, C. H. McKee (pastor), Charles Tarbell (grandson) and niece Sarah. Subjects include agriculture, hops, livestock, and schools. Also included are research notes on the history of Yankton Church, as well as Yankton and St. Helens post offices and school districts.
Transcriptions of some of the letters are available in Oliver S. Egbert, The Tarbells of Yankton : a family and a community 1891-1932 presented in letters, in the Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
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Tarbell-Brown family papers, Mss2508, Oregon Historical Society Research Library
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