What About All Those Other Counties?

Rename Deady Hall? Take down the pioneer statues? Where does it end? Are we going to rename 13 Oregon counties?

Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Jackson and Polk, and Sen. Benton were slave holders. And Sen. Douglas advocated for permitting slavery in “slave states.” (His wife owned a Mississippi plantation.) Gen. and Gov. Lane was nominated for Vice President of the United States on a pro-slavery ticket. Military men Crook, Gilliam, Harney, Lane and Gov. Curry participated in Indian wars in Oregon. Polk, Jackson and “Swamp Fox” Marion battled Indians in the southeastern United States. Grant, Lane, Baker and Harney fought Mexicans in the Mexican-American wars. And both Missouri senators, Benton and Linn, advocated the pioneering movement of “free land” in the West. So much for the heroes we honored in Oregon!

We are safe with the five counties named for physical features and the 10 for Native-American people or words. But let’s hear it for Lincoln and the Union, Wheeler (a mailman), Morrow (a small town merchant), Josephine (the daughter of a southern Oregon miner) and maybe Sherman (the general who marched through Georgia and advocated “40 acres and a mule” for freed slaves.

Al Urquhart