The Phillips, Weber, Kirk, & Staggs families of the Pacific Northwest

Entries: 46457    Updated: 2015-06-11 05:23:07 UTC (Thu)    Owner: Jim Weber

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  • ID: I00009
  • Name: William Riley KIRK 1 2 3
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 18 NOV 1826 in TN 4
  • Death: 24 SEP 1901 in Brownsville, Linn, OR (heart attack)
  • Burial: Brownsville, Linn, OR (Kirk, William R., 18 Nov 1826 - 24 Sept 1901)
  • Note:
    The U. S. 1880 census, North Brownsville, Linn, OR shows Wm. R. Kirk, b. 1827 in TN, age 53, farmer, head of household, mother & father both b. in TN.


    A family story has it that William Riley Kirk had a wife previous to Sarah, who died between Tennessee and Missouri, thus he married for a 2nd time just before heading out on the Oregon Trail. William Riley did marry Sarah Eads just before departing Missouri for Oregon, but there is no evidence of a prior wife. Who knows?


    US/Oregon Territory Census of 1850 lists William Riley Kirk, Sarah, and 3 year old son George. It also lists Alexander Kirk and his family. They were all apparently neighbors (listed next to them on the census form) of the Spaulding's, who were co-missionaries of the Whitman's of "Whitman Massacre" fame. The Spaulding's and Whitman's came out together to found the mission. The Spaulding girl was the "first white child born in Oregon Territory" as noted on the 1850 census form. The child (about 12) was also taken captive along with about 43 other people after the Whitman Massacre. They were apparently well treated. The Spaulding parents were in Idaho doing missionary work when the massacre occurred. Mrs Spaulding taught the Kirk and other Brownsville children school.


    DLC 2135 OC Arrived in Oregon Territory in 1846, Settled Claim 20 SEP 1849, Located in Township 13S & 14S, Range 2W, Sections 31, 32, 33, 34, & 35 and contains 642.36 Acres. Near Brownsville.

    Obit in "The Brownsville Times" 27 SEP 1901. He was president of the Eagle Woolen Mills Company in Brownsville. He was at one time one of the largest Stockholders in the company.

    Birth: Effie Kirk genealogy; 1900 Census, North Brownsville: b. Nov 1826 age 73 married 48 yrs. b. IN; father b. IN; mother b. MO ("Missouri" is written over something else); Kirk, Julia A. b. Sep 1833 age 66 married 48 yrs.; mother of 8 children, 6 now living. B. IL; parents both b. Ohio.

    Oregon Donation Land Claims, vol. 1, p. 88, #2135. Settled Donation Land Claim 20 Sept 1849. Whoever annotated biog. file in Brownsville Pub. Lib. has wrongly identified him as the son of Elijah Kirk. He is the son of Alexander Kirk.

    Marriage: Marriage Records of Platte Co., MO 1839-1855 Comp. & Pub. Nadine Hodges, 1966, p. 21 (p. 118 in original, had only indefinite marriage date 1846/1857, Linn Co., OR). 26 Aug 1853 date and Polk Co., OR place comes from IGI film 1903585, confirmed by 1996/97 article in Linn Co., OR Historical Society Newsletter.

    Burial: Brownsville Pioneer Cemetery Online Index: Block 4, West, lot 7, 35' x 10' (W.R. Kirk): "Kirk, William R., 18 Nov 1826 - 24 Sept 1901, age 74y 10m 6d [Pioneer of 1846]"

    Linn County, Oregon Probate: Bonds, Letter of Administrator, Letters Power of Attorney, Guardianship, and Wills 1850-1875. 4 May 1858-2 Sept 1861 vol. 2 of 4. Oregon State Archives location number: RG:B10 83A-28 Item 47 112 of 133. Page 41: William R. Kirk's bond Territory of Oregon, County of Linn: Know all men by these presents that we William R. Kirk and H.H. Spaulding are held and firmly bound unto the Territory of Oregon in the sum of two thousand dollars for the payment of which we jointly and severally bind ourselves our heirs executors and assigns sealed by us and dated this 1rst day of February AD 1859. Whereas Wm. R. Kirk afforesaid has this day been appointed by the probate court of said County, guardian for George W. Kirk a minor and resident of said county, during his minority. The condition of the above obligation is such that if the said Wm. R. Kirk shall faithfully discharge his duties of guardian for the afforesaid minor according to law, or order, or decree of any court having jurisdiction then the above bound to be void otherwise to remain in full force. [signed] Wm. R. Kirk, H.H. Spaulding. Page 42: Wm. R. Kirks letters. Territory of Oregon. County of Linn. The United States of America to all persons to whom these presents shall come greeting; Know ye that whereas it has been represented to the Probate Court in and for that County of Linn, that George W. Kirk, is a minor and a resident of the said county of Linn and that his interest requires the appointment of a guardian over his person and property. To the end therefore that the best interest of said minor may be secured I do hereby appoint Wm. R. Kirk, take his guardian with full power and authority to set for him in all things touching his interest during his minority. In testimony whereof is hereunto signing said and office my seal of office; done this first day of February AD 1859. S.D. Haley, Judge of Probate, Linn County, O.T.

    Tuck Forsythe Box 1299 Ellensburg WA has found another Wm. R. KIRK married in Whiteside Co., IL Electa BAIRD 25 Dec 1876 and maybe remained in the Midwest (from the BAIRD expert Stewart Baldwin at Auburn Univ. Math Dept.)

    Father: Alexander KIRK b: 8 FEB 1805 in Knox Co, TN
    Mother: Sarah SWEETEN b: 14 MAY 1811 in TN

    Marriage 1 Sarah W. EADS b: 24 APR 1829 in Cole Co, MO
    • Married: 19 MAY 1846 in Platte Co, MO 5
    1. Has No Children George Washington KIRK b: 17 JAN 1847 in Linn Co, OR

    Marriage 2 Julia Ann BURDEN b: 19 SEP 1834 in Sangamon Co, IL
    • Married: 26 AUG 1853 in Home of Job Burden, Polk Co., OR 1
    • Married: 19 OCT 1853 in Polk Co, OR
    1. Has Children Andrew Jackson KIRK b: 17 AUG 1854 in Brownsville, Linn, OR
    2. Has No Children William Henderson KIRK b: 3 MAR 1856 in Brownsville, Linn, OR
    3. Has No Children Sarah Jane KIRK b: 1858 in Brownsville, Linn, OR
    4. Has No Children Nathan Job KIRK b: FEB 1860 in Linn Co, OR
    5. Has No Children Mary Elizabeth KIRK b: 28 JUN 1862 in Brownsville, Linn, OR
    6. Has No Children Abraham Lincoln KIRK b: 22 DEC 1864 in Brownsville, Linn, OR
    7. Has No Children America "Meck" Vespusis KIRK b: 27 SEP 1867 in Brownsville, Linn, OR
    8. Has No Children Alexander Hamilton KIRK b: APR 1870 in Brownsville, Linn, OR

    1. Title: Oregon Marriages from 1853 to 1899, Gealogoy (online) Library,
      Page: 21
    2. Title: Oregon Territory U.S. 1850 Census, Data taken 14 Sep 1850 by D. O'Neill, Genealogy (online) Library,
      Page: 30 of microfiche
    3. Title: 1880 Federal Census
      Page: North Brownsville, Linn, OR (LDS files)
    4. Title: Oregon Territory U.S. 1850 Census, Data taken 14 Sep 1850 by D. O'Neill, Genealogy (online) Library,
      Page: 30 of microfiche
      Text: 24 years old from Tenn.
    5. Title: Marriage Index: AR, MS, MO, TX, 1766-1981, Family Tree Makeer, CD-Rom
      Page: Sec IV, Ch. 18, Platte, MO
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