Louis Westacott

by Sue Massé

Louis Westacott.  Photograph by H.S. Shuster bet. 1880-1889.  Willamette Heritage Center Collections 85.17.001.

Louis Westacott. Photograph by H.S. Shuster bet. 1880-1889. Willamette Heritage Center Collections 85.17.001.

Lewis Westacott (1812 England—1889 Oregon) [1]

According to his obituary in the Salem Daily Statesman, Lewis Westacott was “born in Barnstable, England, February 27th, 1812, and moved to Prince Edward’s island with the family when a small boy.” Another obituary reports that he arrived in California in 1849 and in southern Oregon in March 1851. [2],[3]

On 17 Nov 1854, Lewis married Mary E. (Janes) Allen, widow of Obadiah Allen, in Marion County, Oregon. Lewis and Mary had 5 children: William G., Richard H., Ada, John and Louis. Mary had a daughter, Josephine, by her first husband. [4],[5],[6],[7],[8]

 Lewis trained as a cabinet maker, and then went to sea as a ship’s carpenter out of Boston. He was in Mexico when gold was discovered in 1849, and went to California. He came overland to Oregon in 1851, and settled in the Willamette Valley. He did not make any claims for land in Oregon, but research at Marion County will probably show what land he purchased. [9]Lewis applied for citizenship in 1853. In 1858 he was one of the incorporators of the Astoria and Willamette Valley Railway Company, along with other prominent men such William Wilson and John Daniel Boon. And he was prominent—in 1860 he was listed as a merchant with $7700 dollars worth of real and personal property. In 2014 dollars this would be over $3,000,000. [10] [11],[12],[13]

Lewis established his brewery in 1866 on Commercial Street at Saginaw and Mission Streets. There is an interesting story about Westacott’s ale being found in 1909, when John Minto was building a home there, and being still “aromatic.” The brewery was operated on horse power, and represented an investment of $5000 (over $1,000,000 in 2014 dollars)[14],[15]

In 1870, Lewis lists himself as “Brewer” and in an 1871 directory, he also is listed as “Brewer,” with a residence on Commercial and Jackson. The 1870 census gives him a net worth of $7500, most of it in real property, presumably the land and building for the brewery. This would be over $2,000,000 in 2014 dollars. [16],[17],[18]

Mary died in 1879, and by 1880, Lewis and his sons own the brewery as “Westacott & Sons.” The 1880 census shows him with no occupation and his sons as brewers. It is interesting that in earlier cenuses Lewis gave his birth date as approximately 1820, making him 8 years younger. But in 1880, after Mary died, he listed his birth date as 1812, which seems to be correct. Lewis died on 25 May 1889, and his gravestone lists his birth date as 27 Feb 1812. His will was probated in 1889, and the probate file can be found at the Oregon Archives. His son Louis was still a minor, and a guardianship file exists for him, as well. [19],[20],[21],[22],[23]

 

Citations

[1]Louis Westacott was Lewis Westacott’s son. The elder Westacott spelled his name “Lewis” after the birth of his son.

[2]“Obituary,” (Salem, Oregon) Daily Statesman, 26 May 1889, SalemPioneer Cemetery.com (http://www.salempioneercemetery.org/records/display_record.php?id=7157 : accesssed 5 Mar 2015), citing p. 4 col. 3 in the original.

[3]“Died—Westacott,” (Salem, Oregon) Evening Capital Journal, digital images, 27 May 1889, p. 4 col 4, Historic Oregon Newspapers (http://tinyurl.com/jvjrk8q : accessed 5 Mar 2015).

[4]Oregon State Archives, “Early Oregonian Search,” database on line, Oregon Secretary of State (https://secure.sos.state.or.us/prs/personProfileSearch.do?earlyOregonian=true&searchReset=true :accessed 5 Mar 2015); entry for Mary E. Janes

[5]     Jean Custer and Daraleen Wade, Marion County, Oregon Marriage Records 1849—1871, (Salem OR,                           Willamette Valley Genealogical Society : 1979), Westacott—Allen, p. 8.

[6]1860 US Census, Salem, Marion, Oregon, p. 399 (penned), dwelling 3488, family 3228, L. Westacott household; Ancestry.com (http://www.search.ancestry.com : accessedd 5 Mar 2015); citing NARA film M653, roll 1056 and FHL film 805056.

[7]1870 US Census, Salem, Marion, Oregon, p. 79 (penned), p. 40 (stamped), dwelling 669, family 614, Lewis Westcott [sic] household; Ancestry.com (http://www.search.ancestry.com : accessed 5 Mar 2015); citing NARA film M593, roll 1287 and FHL film 552786.

[8]1850 US Census, District 7, Dubuque County, Iowa, p. 65 (stamped on reverse), dwelling 925, family 964, Obadiah Allen household; Ancestry.com (http://www.search.ancestry.com : accessed 6 Mar 2015); citing NARA film M432, roll 183.

[9]“Obituary,” (Salem, Oregon) Daily Statesman, 26 May 1889.

[10]Oregon State Archives, “Oregon Historical Records Index,” index on line, Oregon Secretary of State (http://genealogy.state.or.us/detail.php?id=558419 :accessed 5 Mar 2015); entry for Louis Westacott, Marion County, 19 Dec 1853. [Note: this document is found at the archives, and can be viewed there]

[11]1860 US Census, Salem, Marion, Oregon, p. 399 (penned), dwelling 3488, family 3228, L. Westacott household.

[12]Joseph Gaston, “The Centennial History of Oregon, 1811—1912,” facsimile, Google.com (https://books.google.com :accessed 6 Mar 2015), p. 513

[13]Samuel H. Williamson, “Seven Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a U.S. Dollar Amount, 1774 to present,” on line calculator, MeasuringWorth.com ( www.measuringworth.com/uscompare/ : accessed 6 Mar 2015).

[14]“Old ‘Hop Juice’ Unearthed in 1909 on Minto Property,” CapitalTapes (http://capitaltaps.blogspot.com/2009/12/old-hop-juice-unearthed-in-1909-on.html : accessed 5 Mar 2015).

[15]Samuel H. Williamson, “Seven Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a U.S. Dollar Amount.”

[16]1870 US Census, Salem, Marion, Oregon, p. 79 (penned), p. 40 (stamped), dwelling 669, family 614, Lewis Westcott [sic] household.

[17]Cox and Earhart, “Salem Directory of 1871,” facsmile, Ancestry.com (http://www.search.ancestry.com : accessed 5 Mar 2015), p. 121, entry for L. Westacott.

[18]Samuel H. Williamson, “Seven Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a U.S. Dollar Amount.”

[19]Salem Pioneer Cemetery, (http://www.salempioneercemetery.org/records/display_record.php?id=7154 : accessed 6 Mar 2015), entry for Mary E. Westacott.

[20]“Directory of the City of Salem [etc.], (1880), p. 125, digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.search .ancestry.com : accessed 6 Mar 2015).

[21]1880 US Census, South Salem, Marion, Oregon, enumeration district 79, sheet 1A, p. 13 (stamped), dwelling 4, family 4, Lewis Westacott household; Ancestry.com (http://www.search.ancestry.com : accessed 6 Mar 2015); citing NARA film T9, roll 1082 and FHL film 1255082.

[22]Oregon State Archives, “Oregon Historical Records Index,” index on line, Oregon Secretary of State (http://genealogy.state.or.us/detail.php?id=69140 : accessed 5 Mar 2015); entry for Louis Westacott, Marion County, 1889, case file 1177. [Note: this document is found at the archives, and can be viewed there]

[23]Oregon State Archives, “Oregon Historical Records Index,” index on line, Oregon Secretary of State (http://genealogy.state.or.us/detail.php?id=69140 : accessed 5 Mar 2015); entry for L. A. Westacott, Marion County, 1889, case file 1221. [Note: this document is found at the archives, and can be viewed there]

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About whclarc

We are devoted to providing information fresh from the Archives, Library and Collections of the Willamette Heritage Center in Salem, Oregon. We specialize in the history of Marion County and the greater Salem area.
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