Mahlon H. Harlow, Oregon Pioneer

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Mahlon Hall Harlow

Also Known As: "Mahlon Hall Harlow (I2b1)"
Birthplace: Barren, Kentucky, United States
Death: Died in Eugene, Lane, Oregon, United States
Place of Burial: Masonic Cemetery, Eugene, Lane, Oregon, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Bartlett Anderson Harlow (I2b1) and Lucy Thacker
Husband of Frances Burrus Harlow
Father of Anderson Jackson Harlow; Henry Clay Harlow; Adelia Snelling Day; Sarah Naomi Calef; Amanda T. Harlow and 2 others
Brother of Bartlett Harlow (I2b1)

Occupation: Carpenter, innkeeper, public servant
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Mahlon H. Harlow, Oregon Pioneer

Mahlon Hall Harlow was born January 8, 1811 in Barren County, Kentucky, and died January 23, 1895 in Eugene, Lane County, Oregon. He married Frances Burrus Tandy in Missouri in 1835. The Harlow family, including six children, journey by wagon train to Oregon in 1851-1852, eventually settling in Lane County. Four more children were born after arriving in Oregon.

Mahlon and wife Frances, with their children, are honored by the Oregon Genealogical Society as "Oregon Pioneers."

Excerpted from " Illustrated History of Lane County", A.G. Walling, 1884

MAHLON H. HARLOW –Is a native of Barren county, Kentucky, where he was born January 8, 1811, being the second son of Anderson Harlow. In 1825 he was taken to the vicinity of Lexington, LaFayette county, Missouri, and was there educated, grew to manhood, and, on August 19, 1835, married Frances B. Tandy.

And now the world was agog with excitement at the marvelous intelligence that gold could be had in California for the digging of it. Therefore, on May 16, 1850, Mr. Harlow and his family, with ox teams, joined the party captained by Jerome B. Geer, and with it commenced the arduous and perilous journey to the El Dorado. On arriving at Salt Lake, however, information was received that the grass along the route had been burned, thus depriving stock of food, consequently they went into winter quarters at Brown's Fork, now Ogden city, on the Weber river.

During this season of delay theirs was no bed of roses. About the first of February, the emigrants of the vicinity held a meeting owing to the intelligence received that it was the intention of the Mormons to impose a tax upon them. At this session a committee was appointed to wait upon Brigham Young to remonstrate with him on this iniquity, while another was chosen to perfect arrangements for assisting such of the emigrants as had met misfortune and thus had no means left by which they could push their way to the Pacific cost. The Mormons took great umbrage at these proceedings and commenced a succession of persecutions upon the emigrant, so much so that a large number of them, Mr. Harlow among the number, abandoned the cabins which they had constructed to shelter them from the inclemency of the winter weather, on the twenty-second of February and moved twenty-five miles along the road to Oregon, finally camping during the worst of the winter twenty-five miles from the Mormon settlement.

While here quartered on Willow creek the Mormon authorities dispatched a company, and taking Mr. Harlow prisoner carried him back to the fort for the purpose of trying him, alleging his offense, the harboring and secreting of rogues, but as this was merely a trumped-up charge, he was acquitted. There is some reason to believe that the Mormons here broke a portion of the tenth commandment and coveted some of Mr. Harlow's oxen.

Abut the middle of March the party moved on to Box Elder creek where they camped until the end of the month. Here a Mormon official, known as a territorial officer, compelled the payment of a heavy impost. Mr. Harlow and his mother-in-law being mulcted in the sum of fifty-two dollars, tax on fifty-five head of cattle, three horse, five wagons and one carriage.

About the end of the month, the route was again taken up, and traveling slowly, on April 2, 1851, the party crossed the "divide" between Salt Lake valley and Snake river. At Salmon Fall they had a brush with a band of Indian, but although none of the emigrants were hurt, two of the red-skins were dispatched to their "happy hunting grounds." On arriving in the Territory, after many a danger by flood and field, he took up his residence in Yamhill county, where he remained until he settled in Lane county On October 4, 1851, on the farm he now occupies, situated in the Willamette Forks, about two miles and a half from Eugene City. Save a few years passed in that town, here has Mr. Harlow continuously resided.

In the spring of 1852 he commenced working at the carpenter's trade, and, in 1856, assisting in building the court-house at the county seat. Those pioneer days were somewhat different from those of cheap goods and quick travel. In February 1852, after having driven an oxen team from his home to Salem, Mr. Harlow there paid sixteen dollars per hundred weight for flour, so that his family should not be without food while he raised a crop. His family now consists of five daughters (one daughter having died at about the age of 18 years and 6 months) and four boys.

In 1852, Mr. Harlow was elected the first county clerk of Lane county but resigned the position the following year. He was appointed assessor by the county court in 1864 and assess the county that year. By a life of honest labor and upright dealings this pioneer has surrounded himself with a beautiful home and pleasant estate, and under his fine and fig tree attended by his olive branches long may he prosper. ~~END~~~

Note: With the Tandy family, of which his wife Frances Burris (Tandy) Harlow was a member, Mahlon Hall Harlow was one of the founders of the Eugene Baptist Church in Eugene, Lane County, Oregon.

Children of Mahlon Hall Harlow and wife Frances Burrus Tandy:

  • Anderson Jackson Harlow (1836 - 1918), married Amanda Jane Bond.
  • Henry Clay Harlow (1838-1930), married Amanda Walker
  • Adelia Snelling Harlow Day (1841 - 1901), married George Byrne Day
  • Sarah Naomi Harlow Calef (1843 - 1899), married Elmer Norton Calef
  • Amanda Tandy Harlow (1846-1864), died unmarried
  • Macajah B. Harlow (1848-1921), married Agnes Walker
  • Juda Joanna Harlow Abshier (1851-1894), married Uriah Francis Abshier
  • Margaret Ann Harlow Pengra (1855 - 1937), married Joel Pengra
  • Mima Frances Harlow (1856-1927), married Jesse H. Zimmer
  • Mahlon Hall Harlow, Jr. (1858-1946), married Elizabeth Macomber

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Mahlon H. Harlow, Oregon Pioneer's Timeline

January 8, 1811
Barren, Kentucky, United States
August 19, 1835
Age 24
Lexington, Lafayette, Missouri, United States
May 30, 1836
Age 25
Lafayette, Missouri, United States
September 7, 1838
Age 27
Lafayette, Missouri, United States
February 27, 1841
Age 30
Franklin, Grundy, Missouri, United States
August 24, 1843
Age 32
Franklin, Grundy, Missouri, United States
- present
Age 40
Oregon, United States
Age 43
- present
Age 52
Oregon, United States
June 23, 1896
Age 85
Eugene, Lane, Oregon, United States