Byrd Family

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Byrd Family

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History

Adam Byrd was born in Ohio in 1796. He and his wife had nine children. They relocated to Illinois first and then moved again to Richland County, Wisconsin where Adam operated a grist mill. In April 1852, the family acquired a team of oxen and embarked on a six month journey on the Oregon Trail. The family arrived in Vancouver, Oregon Territory. Adam continued on with Lieutenant A. Slaughter further north and selected a site at the head of Chamber Creek for a mill. Adam returned to move his family to the site in February of 1853. They stopped at Judge Thomas Chambers' mill on the way where Adam Byrd died on April 26, 1853. Adam's sons Andrew, Marion, and Preston constructed a grist mill and saw mill on the site their father had selected. George Byrd, the youngest son of Adam Byrd, attended the first school session held in Pierce County in 1854. In 1865 George married Mary Ellen White of Olympia who had crossed the Oregon Trail in 1851. George operated the mill until 1868. He later devoted the surrounding land to raising hops. In 1885, he represented Pierce County in the state legislature and served as Justice of the Peace in 1890. George and Mary Ellen had nine children. George was active in the Fern Hill area. He donated the land and financed the construction of the Methodist Episcopal Church and parsonage in Fern Hill and help establish school district number 23. He donated several lots and gave other incentives to encourage the street car to run through Fern Hill. He died June 17, 1915.

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6.2.2

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Written by Anna Trammell, 2022

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Sources

"George W. Byrd" reprinted from History of Tacoma, Volume 2, Hunt, 1916. Reprint found in Byrd Family Biographical Information File, Collection 6.2.2, Box 1.

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