Born on this day, March 8, 1839 in Benton County Tennessee, Joseph grew up in a large farming family in Tennessee and Missouri. The family crossed the country in an ox-driven covered wagon in 1853 on the Oregon Trail and they settled in Pendleton, Oregon. His brothers all had ranches and became involved in politics.
He joined the gold rush in January, 1898, going first to Skagway, after which he engaged in business at Lake Bennett, British Columbia, for two years. He sold out there with the intention of moving his stock to Dawson and proceeded down the Yukon river, taking his goods with him on flatboats. While en route he lost about two thousand dollars through the sinking of a boat in a storm, for, although he succeeded in raising the boat, the stock was almost worthless. In Dawson he again embarked in general merchandising but after eighteen months closed out his store there and returned to Eugene, making the trip down the Yukon river to St. Michael and thence to Nome.
His brother William stayed in Skagway a little longer establishing the Idaho Saloon, the Midway Saloon, and was president of the Skagway Brewing Co. Saloon but he also left for the Yukon in 1899 and later returned to Pendleton, Oregon.
Joseph died in 1921 in Lane County, Oregon at the age of 82 surrounded by his 12 children. William also died there in 1914.
Seen above is the corner of 3rd and Broadway, the building on the corner, across the street from the Golden North and next to the Sweet Tooth Cafe is the building which once housed the Idaho Saloon.
Gaston, Joseph. “The Centennial History of Oregon, 1811-1912.” Vol. 4. Chicago, Clarke Publishing Co., 1912. p. 355; Oregon death index.