Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Brick Kiln Redux

Here is what our blog discussion uncovered about

According to Ronald Sherk's 1936 History of Sherwood: "In 1890, four Portland business-men: Dr. Edgar Poppleton, E.T. Johnson, J.H. Smith, and Robert Alexander decided to place a brick yard in Smockville. Matt Fitch was sent here by the Kennedy Co. of Chicago, manufacturers of press brick machinery. He set up the plant and turned out one kiln of brick. Then he turned the brick yard over to the owners." The business was called The Portland Pressed Brick Company

DETAIL 1: We decided the man on the far left must be Matt Fitch. According to fellow bloggers: "Matthew M. Fitch and his wife Nettie are found in the 1910 Census living in the West Cedar District on Middleton Road. His occupation is listed as a farmer. Their children are listed as Ray and Ivy. His wife Nettie was the daughter of J.C. Smock. He built the house that they call the Morback House today, starting in 1890. He built it for J.C. Smock who sold it to Robert Alexander. Matt was an engineer who liked to draw designs and build. Washington County marriage records compiled by The Genealogical Forum of Portland, Oregon state: M.M. Fitch & Nettie M. Smock, both of Washington County, married 11 June 1890 at the house of J.C. Smock. Witnesses: F.A. Olds & Rosa B. Smock. Minister: H.C. Plummer. Smockville, Washington County." (The Smock residence mentioned here was a large building located across the railroad tracks from Old Town. It burned down in the 1930's. "West Cedar Creek District" was our political designation before Sherwood was incorporated.)

DETAIL 2 & 3: Judging merely from the way he's placed in the photo, the man on the left is assumed to be Robert Alexander. He was from Sherwood, Michigan (See Nov. 5, 2005 Posting) and suggested the name "Sherwood" for our town. The middle figure is a good candidate for David Alexander, who makes a colorful appearance in the 1897 town minutes. (After the brick yard closes, he donates brickbats to the Town, but charges a hefty fee to transport the brick!) The fellow on the far right remains a mystery.

DETAIL 4: The man on the far right just has to be Dr. Poppleton. The other two would be Johnson and Smith. According to a blogger: "Edgar Poppleton is listed in the 1880 Census in Lafayette, Yamhill County, Oregon. He was living with his wife Nancy and his five daughters, Adalaid, Minta, Illda, Augusta and Nellie. Edgar's occupation is listed as M.D. His age is listed as 48 on the 1880 census, so he would appear about 58 years if he was included in the photo taken circa 1890."

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