Portland Street Names – November 1, 1921 – York

Portland Street Names – November 1, 1921 – York

In an earlier number of this series it was remarked how many different paths of life were represented in the list of pioneer and other prominent names given to the streets formerly lettered and then renamed in honor these men.

The name of York does not appear often in the various histories of early Portland and Oregon. Neither is there absolute proof that Y street was renamed for John W. York, but it seems highly probably that he is the honored man. Also it is entirely fitting that at least one street should be named for a pioneer minister.

John W. York was a pioneer of 1852, born in Jackson county, Georgia, in 1800 of English and Scotch parentage. He is remembered as a self-educated man. In his childhood few opportunities for education were offered, but through reading every book he could obtain he came to be considered an extremely well-read man.

Before he came to Oregon he lived in various states and was married three different times, the ill heal of his lat wife causing him to cross the plains in search of a more suitable climate, which proved to be Oregon.

In 1826 he was licensed to preach by the Methodist Episcopal church and covered a circuit of eight churches. Throughout his life he followed the career of a circuit preacher. Arriving in Oregon, he took up a claim of 320 acres near Corvallis, later removing to Dayton and again to Rock Creek, near Oregon City.

His work took him around over the country to a considerable extend and he became well known in this section of the state before he died.

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