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Hillsboro, Oregon

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    Location: Historical Tour > Bronson Creek > West Union Community

The cemetery at West Union Baptist Church
The cemetery at West Union Baptist Church

West Union Community
Region surrounding the intersection of
NW Cornelius Pass Road and NW West Union Road

The West Union area was home to one of the earliest caucasian communities in Washington County. Former Rocky Mountain fur trappers settled on the Tualatin Plains in the early 1840s and gathered regularly at the Five Oaks site. The surrounding region was named West Union because “this was the western frontier and was their meeting, or union, place.” A post office was established in 1874. Stephen A. Holcomb was the first postmaster and the West Union post office was in his home, near the intersection of Cornelius Pass and West Union Roads. There were ten more postmasters before the post office closed in 1894.

David T. Lenox, captain of the first wagon train to cross the Rockies, and his wife Louisa were the first caucasian settlers in this area. Lenox took up his land claim in 1843 and, in May of 1844, the first meeting of the West Union Baptist Church was held in the Lenox cabin (later, in 1853, Lenox donated land for the construction of a church building). This was the first Baptist church organized west of the Rockies. It isn't the only “first” associated with West Union, however.

In November of 1851, West Union became the site of the first public school meeting in Oregon when seven pioneers organized School District #1. $500 was raised to build a schoolhouse and, in 1852, it was constructed on Stephen Holcomb's land claim (the site lies about 100 yards south of the intersection of Croeni and Jacobson Roads). The original school was replaced in 1892 and the second building served until the construction of a consolidated school in 1949.

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Research source(s): Washington County, Oregon. “Washington County Cultural Resources Inventory.” Hillsboro, Oregon: October 1989.
Photo date: August 2004
Photo credit: Matthew Andersen
Unless otherwise indicated, photographic image(s) on this page are property of Matthew Andersen and are protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. Image(s) may not be used in any form without written permission of Matthew Andersen and payment of required usage fees. To receive permission and reproduction rights, contact Matthew Andersen : chainein [at] yahoo [dot] com.

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