Francis Fletcher

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For the circumnavigator, see Francis Fletcher (clergyman).
Francis Fletcher
Francis fletcher.jpg
Francis Fletcher
Born March 1, 1814 (1814-03)
Allerston, Yorkshire, England
Died October 7, 1871 (1871-10-08) (aged 57)
Dayton, Oregon
Burial place Brookside Cemetery, Dayton, Oregon
Nationality Naturalized U.S. citizen
Occupation Farmer
Known for Early Oregon Trail Pioneer; Voted for the Oregon Provisional Government at Champoeg

Francis Fletcher (March 1, 1814 – October 7, 1871) was a prominent pioneer of the U.S. state of Oregon and a member of the Peoria Party.[1][2]


Born in Allerston, Yorkshire, England, he immigrated with his parents, William and Mary Fletcher and four brothers, to Nassagaweya Township, Ontario, Canada in 1825. Moving as a young man to Peoria, Illinois he joined the Oregon Dragoons and traveled overland on what was to become the Oregon Trail, arriving in the Willamette Valley of Oregon in 1840.[3] There he took a Donation Land Claim along the Yamhill River adjacent to his lifelong friend and fellow dragoon Amos Cook. On May 2, 1843 Cook and Fletcher were among the settlers present at Champoeg, Oregon who voted to create the Provisional Government of Oregon, the first American government west of the Rocky Mountains.[2]


In 1843 he married Miss Elizabeth Smith who had arrived in the Willamette Valley earlier that year after crossing the Oregon Trail with her parents, Andrew and Polly Smith.[2] The Fletchers raised eight children. Fletcher volunteered for service in the Cayuse War of 1848 and was on the first board of trustees of Willamette University. He died on his farm near Dayton, Oregon and is buried in Brookside Cemetery. His house in Dayton is on the National Register of Historic Places.[4]


  1. ^ Corning
  2. ^ a b c Dobbs
  3. ^ Patricia Kohnen. "Oregon Trail Timeline 1831 - 1840". Retrieved 16 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "Oregon National Register List" (PDF). Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department. July 16, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-29. 
  • Corning, Howard M., editor. Dictionary of Oregon History. Portland, Oregon: Binfords & Mort, 1956.
  • Dobbs, Caroline C. Men of Champoeg. 1932. Reprint Cottage Grove, Oregon: Emerald Valley Craftsmen, 1975.

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