Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
EVAN J. McCLURE, than whom few
pioneers have been more closely identified with the history, growth,
and development of the northwest, is a westerner by birth, having been
born at St. Helena, Napa county, California, February 18, 1860. He
now resides on a farm six miles north and one east of Mondovi, in the Big
Bend. His father, Robert McClure, was born in the county of Antrim,
near Belfast, in the north of Ireland, and came to America and Allegheny
county, Pennsylvania, at the age of twelve. At the age of twenty-four
he sailed by way of the Panama route for California, landing in San Francisco.
Here he spent some time in the dairy business and afterward he was one
of the pioneer settlers of Napa county. Mr. McClure's mother was
Sarah (Harer) McClure, a native of Arkansas who crossed the plains to California
at an early age during the '50's. She met and was married to Mr.
McClure, who at the time, and for some time afterward, was a farmer in
Napa county. She died four years later at Tehama, California.
The family came overland to Canyon City, Oregon, in 1864, remaining there
three years. For six years after that Robert McClure freighted out
of The Dalles. Then he helped to clear the ground where the city
of Tacoma now stands. He was early at the coal mines near Seattle.
From this point Evan J., his brother, William G., and their father came
to the present home of our subject in 1880, where his father still lives
at the age of seventy-five. Our subject went to live with his mother's
parents, and was taken from Canyon City to California, where he remained
until the death of his grandfather, then returned with his grandmother
to the Goose Lake country in Modoc county, California, and from there,
after the death of his grandmother, he went to the Rogue River country,
in 1875. Then his father took him to the coal mines near Seattle.
Upon coming to his present home in 1880 he filed a homestead, and although
having little means, set about improving his land. He now owns five
hundred and twenty acres of good land, all of which, except a small tract
each of pasture and timber, he has under cultivation and well improved.
He has a good orchard, and many cattle and horses.
Evan J. McClure was married, December 25,
1886, to Bertha G. Brink, a native of Vernon county, Missouri. Her
father was Thomas G. Brink, born in McDonough county, Illinois, who was
a teamster in the army during the Civil War. Her mother was Mary
Bolon, a native Ohioan, whose brother, Andrew J., was once Indian agent
on the Yakima reservation and was murdered by his charges in 1856.
Mrs. McClure's parents migrated to Illinois when she was a child and soon
thereafter started across the plains in a wagon, arriving in the Big Bend
country during the year 1881. They settled on Tamorac canyon near
Mondovi, where they were early pioneers. Her mother died December
31, 1900, and her father seventeen days later, aged sixty-four and sixty-seven,
respectively. They had a family of eleven children, of whom seven
are still living in this state, named as follows: David, a United Brethren
minister near Dayton; William H. and Milo G., at Davenport; Mrs. Ella M.
Soveridge; Mrs. Armina C. Sittell, and Mrs. Laura A. Dives, all near Mondovi.
Mr. and Mrs. McClure have five children, Robert
A., James H., Mary E., Harry M., and Rosa Myrtle.
After Mr. McClure took his land he went to
work on the Northern Pacific railroad in Idaho and Montana. He was
also in British Columbia for a time. He knows the west from southern
California to northern Washington as few other men do. He has experienced
the life of a frontiersman in all its trials and vicissitudes, and is a
typical example of the sturdy, adventurous, daring, whole-souled pioneer.