John Alkire Powell

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John Alkire Powell

Birthplace: Xenia, Greene County, Ohio, United States
Death: Died in Albany, Linn County, Oregon, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Joseph L Powell and Sarah Powell
Husband of Savilla Powell
Father of Theresa McFadden; Franklin Smith Powell; Augustus Steuben Powell; Stephen Dodridge Powell; Jemima Earl and 5 others
Brother of Thirza Powell; Noah Powell; Alfred Powell; Suzanna Powell; Cynthia Ann Engle and 9 others

Managed by: Susanne Ferry-Melton
Last Updated:

About John Alkire Powell

"After coming to Oregon in 1851, before the days of church houses, he preached in groves, barns, school- houses and residences all over Western Oregon. In 1852 he became the first missionary of the Christian Church in Oregon, and traveled horseback the length of the state, establishing churches, and sowing the seed for future religious work. His well-tilled farm and auxiliary enterprises supported him and his family. He never asked for money for his ministerial services, and seldom received any. His heart was with his fellow men, and, eager to lay the foundation of an enduring and stable government, he upheld the golden rule and high ideals of life and admonished people to fear God and keep his commandments. "His favorite time for study was the late evening hours when others were asleep. Josephus' History of the Jews and Rollin's Ancient History were in his large library. "John had a powerful physique; he was six feet in height and weighed two hundred and twenty-five pounds. A man of indomitable will, he knew no task (to be) unsurmountable. He was a man of force and influence, highly esteemed by all who knew him.

"His commanding appearance, his strong, clear voice and his logic and magnetism easily enabled him to hold the undivided attention of his audiences for an hour, and often much longer. His ministerial work, with its hundreds of conversions, was reported from time to time in the Christian Standard, then published by J. M. Mathews.

"He was of a serious nature and seldom indulged in jest. In contrast to the fiery exhortations of his brother, Alfred, his public discourses were quiet and dignified in style; his manner of speaking was deliberate. His sermons did not call for great demonstrations, but were designed to give men food for serious thought concerning the great issues of life.

"Uncle John or Capt. Powell, as he was called, and his wife were known all over the valley for their hospitality and kindness to strangers as well as to friends in their commodious house.

"He was one of the early advocates of higher education and was a trustee of Christian College from its beginning until his death.

"He built a sawmill on his claim in 1854 and was the principal contributor of material in the building of a spacious church house under the spreading oaks, about half a mile south of his residence. He was pastor of this church and preached the second and fourth Sundays of each month until a few weeks of his death. (His brother, Alfred, filled the pulpit on the first and third Sundays.) The other two Lord's Days were occupied with appointments away from home, requiring his leaving on Saturday and returning Monday.

"When he grew old, he sold his farm and moved to Albany, having a house and several lots across the street from his brother Alfred's residence. Finally, broken in health and exhausted by severe illness, he bravely resigned himself, at the age of seventy-three, saying, 'The Lord's will be done.'"


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John Alkire Powell's Timeline

February 20, 1807
Xenia, Greene County, Ohio, United States
January 28, 1829
Age 21
Age 22
August 19, 1831
Age 24
Sugar Grove, Kane, IL, USA
May 11, 1833
Age 26
October 18, 1834
Age 27
Age 26
Age 28
September 10, 1840
Age 33
Illinois, United States
Age 39