A prominent pioneer family of 1850 is represented by Andrew J. Blevins, one of the venerable and highly honored agriculturists of Linn county. Mr. Blevins is one of the very successful farmers and agriculturists of his neighborhood, and his farm of two hundred and ten acres, a part of the old donation claim settled by his father, has every evidence of being managed by a painstaking and progressive tiller of the soil, and one who has thoroughly appreciated the possibilities of the country in which his lot has been cast. A considerable revenue is derived from the raising of Clydesdale and Percheron horses, Shorthorn cattle and Cotswold sheep. These high-grade animals have for years been an interesting study to Mr. Blevins, who is thoroughly conversant with their good points, and possesses the best facilities for rearing and caring for them.
The early life of Mr. Blevins was passed in Clay county, Ky., where his father, Isaac, was known as a large landowner and blacksmith. Isaac Blevins was born in Tennessee, January 12, 1799, and there learned the trade to which he devoted many years of his life, remaining in his native state until his sixteenth year. He then went to Kentucky, and there married, in 1833, Eliza Maupin, who was born in the Bourbon state January 18, 1809. Seven years after his marriage, in 1840, Mr. Blevins took his wife and children overland to Missouri, and for ten years engaged in farming with fair success. In 1850 he sold his farm and purchased the required outfit for joining an emigrant train across the plains, his son, Andrew J., being at that time fifteen years of age, and therefore of practical assistance in driving the oxen and caring for the loose stock. A great deal of this stock passed into the possession of the Indians, notwithstanding the care exercised in keeping it together. Otherwise the travelers had few adventures out of the ordinary, and reached Linn county, Ore., weary enough to appreciate almost any permanent abiding place. Mr. Blevins took up a section of land eight miles southwest of Albany, a portion of which is now occupied by his son, Andrew J., and which is located on the old Albany and Harrisburg road. In the lonely forests, with neighbors many miles remote, and with few financial or other resources at his disposal, he laboriously hewed out timber for a little log cabin, his family in the meantime continuing to live in the prairie schooner which had housed them so many nights on the plains. It may be imagined with what speed the land was prepared for crops, and how impatiently the wife and children waited for the maturing of the grain and other commodities which should furnish them the necessary food for subsistence. The father was successful, soil and climate conspiring for the comfort and even enjoyment of himself and family. He was a genial and whole-souled man, and as the district became settled, and the homes separated by fewer miles, he made many friends among his neighbors, all of whom admired his strength of character and uprightness. He took an active part in political affairs in the county, and was equally active in the church, which he attended regularly, and taught his children to do the same. He lived to be eighty-five years old. One of the cherished memories of his younger days was that he met Lewis and Clark, now famous as discoverers of Oregon. Mr. Blevins was survived by his wife until her ninety-first year. In his young days in Tennessee Mr. Blevins offered his services to General Jackson in the war of 1812, but owing to his size and age they were not accepted. Besides Andrew J., who is the second of the five children, there was Pendleton, now of Crook county; Alfred, living in this vicinity; John, a resident of Whatcom, Wash.; and Isaac C., deceased.
As a young man Andrew J. Blevins, who was born in Clay county, Ky., December 17, 1835, followed mining in California, British Columbia and Idaho, for several years. His educational opportunities were comparatively limited, owing to the unsettled condition of the country. In 1859 he was united in marriage with Alvilda Miller, a native of Iowa, with whom he went to housekeeping in Linn county, and in 1863 settled on his present farm, a part of his father's donation claim, and has since uninterruptedly devoted himself to its cultivation. His wife, who lived to be only twenty-eight years old, left him three children, of whom Edward A. lives near his father; Mary is the wife of Asa Lewelling, of this county; and George S. is on the old homestead. Like his father, Mr. Blevins has taken an active interest in politics ever since arriving at years of discretion, and he has been a member of the Grange for many years. Like his sire, also, he has made many friends as he pursued the even tenor of a useful life, and no name in the community carries with it more of respect and good will on the part of his fellow agriculturists.
"Portrait and Biographical Record of the Willamette Valley", pages
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