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Salem Pioneer Cemetery ~ John Burch McClane ~ part of the Marion County Pioneer Cemeteries of Oregon
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John Burch McClane
BORN: 31 Jan 1820 DIED: 21 Jan 1892 BURIED: 22 Jan 1892
ETHNICITY:   OCCUPATION:  Postmaster, grist-mill owner, Merchant, State Librarian, Marion County Treasurer
BIRTH PLACE:  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
DEATH PLACE: Salem, Marion Co., Oregon

IOOF - J. B. McClane, age 72, died in N. Salem of a rupture; Salem's first postmaster; 
Married Helen Cooper Judson 9 May 1849, they had 14 children. 

(From the Weekly Salem Mercury 29 Apr 1871 3:4): 
"We believe the first burying ground in Salem was that in North Salem near the present residence of J. B. McClaine. A rather singular fact in connection with this, to Salemites, anceint burying ground is that the graves were dug and the corpses laid North and South - heads to the North. There were only the remains of a few persons deposited here and we are told they will be removed to the old Missionary Cemetery". 

Postmaster of Salem, office established 08 Nov. 1849, opened for business 1850 MCHS Vol 1, p.20 First postmaster in Salem, appointed Nov. 8, 1849, although it was the spring of 1850 before mail arrived on the ship Carolina. John McClane had a store in the Jason Lee house where he opened the first post office in Marion county. MCHS V. 1 p. 15 1874 Salem City Directory, pg. 51: STATE LIBRARY J. B. McClane, Librarian; library rooms second story of Smith's brick, on the corner of Commercial and Ferry streets. The last Legislature appropriated $1,500 for the purpose of purchasing necessary law books for the use of the Supreme Court, and commissioned Hon. W. W. Upton to make the purchase, which has been done. There were, according to the last report of the Librarion, 5,420 volumes, including 734 pamphlets, and since that time there have been received 775 volumes, making in all 6,196 volumes. The library is open from 9 A.M. until 4 P.M. and is free to all who wish to avail themselves of the privilege. There are on file twenty-six newspapers, consisting mainly of those from this State and Washington Territory. John Burch McClane, pioneer 1843, b. 21 Jan 1820 Philadelphia, PA d. 21 Jan 1899 Salem, OR m. Helen C. Judson 9 May 1849 OS 20 Jan 1899

NOTE - Illustration of John B. McCalne from Oregon Statesman 23 January 1892 obituary article


At the family home in North Salem, at 3:15 a.m., Thursday, Jan 21, 1892, after a brief illness, Hon. John B. McClane, aged 72 years. Deceased was born in Philadelphia in 1820 and came to Oregon in 1843, taking up as a donation land claim the 320 acres on which North Salem has since been built. Mr. McClane's life is so closely interwoven with the early history of Salem that they are one and inseparable. During his long residence in Oregon he occupied many positions of trust. He was Salem's first postmaster, and to him belongs the honor of having driven the first wagon west of Ft. Hall to Oregon. On Thursday of last week Mr. McClane underwent a surgical operation, since which time he rapidly failed, being unconscious during the last few days. He leaves a wife and six sons and three daughters to mourn his death. The funeral will be conducted from the home today at 11 o'clock, the service being conducted by Rev. R. Whitaker. The interment will be in the I.O.O.F. cemetery. Oregon Statesman 22 Jan 1892 6:5 

Death of Hon. J. B. McClane, Founder of North Salem and Salem's First Postmaster. 
The funeral of Hon. J. B. McClane, who died at his home in North Salem early Thursday morning, was conducted from the family home, on his original donation land claim yesterday afternoon, with service at the house, conducted by Rev. Robt. Whitaker. The body was given interment in the I.O.O.F. Rural cemetery, and was followed to the grave by a large number of friends who deeply sympathize with the family in the loss they have sustained. 
Mr. McClane was one of Salem's earliest settlers--in fact, he might be termed the founder of Salem, for it was his mill that in the early days demonstrated more than anything else that this was the place for the building of a city. This grist mill occupied the site which in later days became known as the woolen mill property.
 John Burch McClane was born in Philadelphia on Jan. 21, 1820, where he resided until he attained his majority. He was a member of a company of men who started to take part in the Mexican war. The party broke up and all but Mr. McClane returned to Philadelphia. He got as far back as Iowa, where he spent the winter of 1842-43. He came to Oregon in the spring of 1843, driving the first wagon from Fort Hall to Oregon. Arriving in Oregon, Mr. McClane came to Salem and took as a donation land claim( 320 acres) the present site of North Salem. He went to the Cayuse war in 1847, and returned with the party detailed to escort the body of Col. Gilliam to the valley. This memorable trip they made by boat, descending the rapids of the Columbia. In the fall of 1848, Mr. McClane went to California, attracted by the excitement attending the finding of gold, and returned to Oregon in May, 1849. On his return he bought a stock of general merchandise, with which he conducted a store at Salem. This was the second store started here. 
On May 9, 1849, the subject of this sketch was married at Salem to Helen C. Judson, daughter of Rev. L. H. Judson, one of the early missionaries. 
As a public servant Mr. McClane honorable filled many positions of trust in the gift of the government and the people. He was Salem's first postmaster, having received the appointment at the hands of the postal agent at San Francisco in 1850. He was elected county treasurer the same year, and in 1853 he returned to the Atlantic coast, where he remained three years. Again in 1861 he was appointed postmaster. From 1865 to 1872 he was state librarian, for ten years he served as bailiff of the supreme court, and from 1885 to 1889 he served as agent at the Grand Ronde Indian agency. Nine children--six sons and three daughters--are left to mourn with their mother the death of father and husband. The sons are: Geo. F., of Portland; L. B., J.L., and C.H., and two minors, H. G. and J. B. Jr., of Salem. The daughters are Mrs. J. H. McCormack, Salem; Mrs. S. Matheney, of Gaston; and Mrs. P. Grimm, of Nestucca. 
Oregon Statesman 23 January 1892


IOOF Register of Burials  
1874 Salem City Directory, pg. 51 
IOOF Register of Burials 
Judson Genealogy 
OS 22 Jan 1892 6:5 
OS 23 January 1892


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