For nearly four decades the life and work of John English have been closely interwoven with the history of the development of the agricultural interests of the Willamette valley. He was born near Washington, Daviess county, Ind., March 7, 1837, and is the only son born to John and Sarah (Smiley) English. Sarah (Smiley) English removed to Oregon with her son, and spent the remainder of her life with him. She was born in Sullivan county, Tenn., October 15, 1812, and died at the home of her son in Silverton, Ore., March 2, 1900. Her husband died October 16, 1854, in Daviess county, Ind. His parents emigrated from Tennessee during the pioneer days of Indiana, in which state they continued in their occupation of farming, rearing their son in this vocation. He received his education in the district schools maintained in the vicinity of his home. Until he arrived at the age of twenty-eight years he remained with his parents, assisting in the operation of the farm. At that time, believing the prospects for a successful career were better on the Pacific coast than at his home, he decided to come to Oregon. He made the journey hence in 1865, and soon after his arrival purchased the farm in Marion county upon which he has since resided. During the thirty-eight years of his residence upon it, the place has so changed as to be unrecognizable as the tract he selected at that time. The farm consists of one hundred and thirty acres, and is pleasantly situated three and one-half miles northwest of Silverton. Sixty acres are under cultivation, eighteen acres of which are devoted to hops. Mr. English is engaged at present in general farming and stock-raising, in which he has met with uniform success.
On January 1, 1871, Mr. English was united in marriage with Alice Hendricks, a native of Marion county, Ore., and the daughter of Samuel and Sarah (Morrison) Hendricks, who crossed the plains about 1850 and took up land in this county. Mrs. English was left an orphan at a very early age. The married life of this couple began in the place where they are now spending the evening of their life contentedly together. Seven children have blessed their union, all of whom are living. In the order of their birth they are named as follows: Willard and Willis, who are located in the vicinity of their birthplace; Linnie, wife of Leroy Simeral of Macleay, Ore.; John; Osa, wife of Norris J. Thomas, residing on a part of the home farm; Elvin, who resides at home; and Sadie, at home. The family have all enjoyed good educational facilities, and Mr. English's sons are becoming good, worthy citizens.
Mr. English has been a useful man in his community. He has taken a deep and unselfish interest in public affairs, and does all in his power to advance the material welfare of Marion county. His interest in the cause of education is illustrated by the fact that he has served for fifteen years as clerk of the school board, and has always advocated securing the best possible teachers for the school in his district. In religion he is a member of the Christian Church, to the support of which he is a liberal contributor. In politics he is independent, preferring to keep himself free from allegiance to any particular party, and casting his ballot for the men, who, in his opinion, will administer affairs for the best general interests of the state and country. Personally he is a man who is held in the highest esteem by those who have been favored with his acquaintance and thereby have learned to appreciate the numerous fine qualities which go to make up his character.
"Portrait and Biographical Record of the Willamette Valley", pages