John D. Boon

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John D. Boon
Treasurer of the Oregon Territory
In office
Preceded by William W. Buck
Nathaniel H. Lane
Succeeded by Nathaniel H. Lane
position dissolved
Oregon State Treasurer
In office
Preceded by position created
Succeeded by Edwin N. Cooke
Personal details
Born January 8, 1817
Athens, Ohio
Died July 17, 1864(1864-07-17) (aged 47)
Salem, Oregon
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Martha J. Hawkins

John Daniel Boon (January 8, 1817 – July 17, 1864) was an American merchant and politician in what became the state of Oregon. A native of Ohio, he immigrated to the Oregon Country where he farmed and later operated a general store. A Democrat, he served as the Treasurer of the Oregon Territory and was the first Oregon State Treasurer. His former home and store are both listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Early life[edit]

John Boon was born and raised in Athens, Ohio on January 8, 1817.[1][2] In Ohio he was a member of the Baptist church, and in 1842 he joined the Wesleyan denomination of the Methodist Episcopal Church and trained as a minister.[1][2][3] Boon married Martha J. Hawkins and they had seven children together.[1] In 1845, the family moved to the Oregon Country where he settled in the Willamette Valley.[1][4] In Oregon he farmed and worked at Lewis H. Judson's sawmill (formerly the Methodist Mission's sawmill) the before opening a mercantile in Salem.[1][5] As a minister he married later Senator James Nesmith to Pauline Goff in 1845.[3]

Political career[edit]

In 1846, Boon served a term in the Provisional Legislature of Oregon, representing Polk County.[5] While living in the Rickreall area of the county, he would occasionally preach at the Jefferson Institute, an early school and meeting place.[6] In 1851, Boon was elected by the Oregon Territorial Legislature to the position of Territorial Treasurer.[7] A Democrat, he served from December 16, 1851, until March 1, 1855, when Nathaniel H. Lane replaced him in that office.[7] After a single term out of office, the legislature returned Boon to the treasury where he served from January 10, 1856 until March 3, 1859, when the office was dissolved with Oregon’s admittance to the Union as the 33rd state.[7] Boon had been elected to the position of State Treasurer in 1858 to take effect upon statehood, with him also assuming that office on March 3.[7] He operated the treasury out of his general store on what was called Boon’s Island.[3] His term ended on September 8, 1862, thus he was the last treasurer of the Oregon Territory and the first of the state of Oregon.[1][7]

Later years and family[edit]

John D. Boon House
Boon Brick Store operated as "Boon's Treasury"

Boon was involved in various industries while also serving as treasurer, including transportation and telegraph companies.[2] He helped organize the Woolen Mill Company in Salem in 1856, serving as treasurer of the company.[8] Others in the founding group included George Henry Williams, La Fayette Grover, and Joseph G. Wilson.[8] In 1860, while still in office he built a new brick building for his store, the first brick building in that part of Salem.[4] The building is now a McMenamins brewpub known as Boon's Treasury.[3] Both his store and his former home, John D. Boon House, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[9]

After leaving office he returned to his mercantile business full-time.[2] His son John L. Boone fought in the American Civil War and later was a state senator in California.[10][11] John D. Boon died in Salem on July 17, 1864, at the age of 47 and was buried at Salem Pioneer Cemetery.[3] Following his death, his name was sometimes spelled Boone by his children.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Lang, Herbert O. (1885) History of the Willamette Valley, Being a Description of the Valley and Its Resources, with an Account of Its Discovery and Settlement by White Men, and Its Subsequent History Together with Personal Reminiscences of Its Early Pioneers. G.H. Himes, Book and Job Printer, p. 632.
  2. ^ a b c d Corning, Howard M. (1989) Dictionary of Oregon History. Binfords & Mort Publishing. p. 32.
  3. ^ a b c d e f John Daniel Boon. Salem Pioneer Cemetery. Retrieved on March 10, 2009.
  4. ^ a b Geer, Theodore Thurston. (1912). Fifty Years in Oregon Experiences, Observations, and Commentaries Upon Men, Measures, and Customs in Pioneer Days and Later Times. The Neale Publishing Company, pp. 79-80.
  5. ^ a b S. Sturgeon, Keni (August 2010). "Five Year (2012–2016) Site Interpretation Plan for the Willamette Heritage Center" (PDF). Willamette Heritage Center. Retrieved February 26, 2015. 
  6. ^ Glenn, Julia Veazie (2002). O'Neill, Shirley H., ed. "John Eakin Lyle". Polk County Pioneers: A Study of the Inhabitants Listed in the 1850 Federal Census of Polk County, Oregon. Retrieved February 26, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Treasurers of Oregon. Oregon Blue Book, Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved on March 7, 2009.
  8. ^ a b Gaston, Joseph and George H. Himes. (1912). The Centennial History of Oregon, 1811-1912. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub., p. 327.
  9. ^ "Oregon National Register List" (PDF). Oregon Parks & Recreation Dept.: Heritage Programs: National Register. Retrieved March 10, 2009. 
  10. ^ Carey, Charles Henry. (1922). History of Oregon. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co., pp. 655.
  11. ^ San Francisco Journal of Commerce. (1891). The builders of a great city: San Francisco's representative men, the city, its history and commerce : pregnant facts regarding the growth of the leading branches of trade, industries and products of the state and coast. San Francisco: The Journal. p. 121.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
new office
Treasurer of Oregon
Succeeded by
Edwin N. Cooke