Colver family papers , circa 1860-1888

Overview of the Collection

Colver family
Colver family papers
circa 1860-1888 (inclusive)
1 linear feet, (2 containers)  :  2 manuscript boxes
Collection Number
Ax 126
Samuel Colver (1815-1891) came to Oregon in 1850, where he served as an Indian Agent and U.S. Marshall, and helped found the community of Phoenix, Oregon. The Colver Family Papers contain correspondence among family members, and some letters to Oliver C. Applegate, 1869-1870. The papers include historical and genealogical notes, and reminiscences of O.A. Stearns, including information on Samuel Colver.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives
UO Libraries--SCUA
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 5413463068
Access Restrictions

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Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

Samuel Colver was born on September 10, 1815, in Union Co., Ohio, the son of Samuel and Rachel (Curry) Colver. Early in life he studied law at Plymouth College in Plymouth, Marshall Co., Indiana. Afterward, he served as a Texas Ranger and served with General Sam Houston at the Battle of San Jacinto; he later served as an Indian scout, still in Texas. He returned to Ohio, where he traveled the countryside performing a mesmerism show. In 1850, he and his brother Hiram moved their families from Ohio to Oregon via the Oregon Trail. Colver served as an Indian Agent in the Rogue River Valley, where he was a signer of the Table Rock Treaty that effectively ended the Modoc Indian War. He also served as a US Marshall. Samuel and Hiram founded the small community of Phoenix, Oregon, which still exists today southeast of the city of Medford. (The Samuel Colver home in Phoenix, Oregon was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 25, 1990.)

Samuel Colver was married to Huldah, who was born in Ohio in 1823. They had two children. Their eldest daughter Isabel, was born in 1850 on the journey to Oregon. Their son Lewellyn served in the 1st Oregon infantry, Company "I," in 1865, and was killed in 1884 by a man who mistook him for a burglar. Isabel died in 1886, and in 1887 Samuel Colver, grief-stricken over the loss of both his children, was confined for a month to an asylum. He died rather mysteriously in 1891; he had been missing for several weeks and his horse was found dead near a lake. Huldah Colver died in 1907.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Colver family papers contain 8 letters from Samuel Colver to his wife and children, 1861-1888; and 5 letters from Lewellyn Colver to his parents, written from Ft. Klamath, 1865-1867, when he was in Company I, 1st Oregon Infantry. Three Lewellyn Colver letters are to Oliver C. Applegate, 1869-1870. The papers include historical and genealogical notes by Nellie Rose Jones, granddaughter of Samuel Colver. Also included are the reminiscences of O.A. Stearns, including information on Samuel Colver.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Personal Names

  • Applegate, O. C. (Oliver Cromwell), 1845-1938
  • Colver, Lewellyn, 1847-1884
  • Colver, Samuel, 1817-1891
  • Jones, Nellie Rose
  • Stearns, Orson A. (Orson Avery)

Corporate Names

  • United States. Army. Oregon Infantry, 1st. Company I

Family Names

  • Culver family

Form or Genre Terms

  • Correspondence