Salem Pioneer Cemetery ~ John Daniel Boon ~ part of the Marion County Pioneer Cemeteries of Oregon
John Daniel Boon
BORN: 2 Jan 1817 DIED: 18 Jun 1864 BURIED: Jun 1864
ETHNICITY:   OCCUPATION:  First Oregon State Treasurer, 1855-1862
BIRTH PLACE:  Athens, Athens Co., Ohio
DEATH PLACE: Salem, Marion Co., Oregon

John D. Boon (Jan. 8, 1817 - July 17, 1864), Last Territorial and first State printer, was a Methodist minister who came to Oregon from Ohio in 1845. Elected treasurer in 1855, he served continuously (except for one year) until 1862. Thereafter he was a Salem merchant and at various times an official in early telegraphy, transportation, and industrial enterprises designed for Oregon's betterment. His wife was the former Martha J. Hawkins; they had three children. He died at Salem. 
LHWV, pg. 652; SHOC, III: pg. 179, 187, ibid, IV:344: Sec State Report, 1897-8:183. Corning pg. 32. 

BOON, J. D. 
Early Oregon Treasurer Just Kept Two Purses by Ben Maxwell. 
When Judge R. P. Boise spoke of his contemporary J. D. Boon, Oregon Territorial and State Treasurer in the 1850s and 1860, he referred to him as a scrupulously honest man with two purses. In one purse he kept his own monies, in the other the state's funds. And those funds never got mixed. 
J. D. Boon's business journal between 1852 and 1861, when he was proprietor of a country general store on The Island (an area of 15 lots north of Mill creek and along Liberty street to its intersection with High) is now a property of L. H. McMahan, Salem collector of historical books and manuscripts. No income tax official would accept Boon's accounting. His honesty would not be challenged. Only Boon's highly personal method--not system, because none is obvious--of bookkeeping would be rejected. In that little account book of 100 years ago, now devoid of binding, entries started at both the front and back of the book and a few are upside down. Some were made in ink across the blue paper ruled with red lines. Others, less legible, were made with pencil. 
Records for pioneer Empire store, located according to J. B. McClane's "Island" plat recorded January 8, 1851, on the Main street alley intersecting with Mill street. A Portland journalist mentions that Boon's was a country store, a favorite trading place for many an old-fashioned dame who could never be induced to leave his unpretentious shop for more spruce and modern neighbors. As compared with prevailing prices in Salem those of 100 years ago usually display no shocking contrast. On November 21, 1852, Dave Phelps paid 75c for a pair of spectacles and Judge Olney paid the same price for a dozen eggs. The Rev. Thomas Pearne, later to become editor of the Pacific Christian Advocate, paid $2 for a wash tub, 50c for a broom and $3 for a pair of pants. 
Eliza Jones, 102 years ago, paid $1.25 for a pair of shoes, $5 for a bonnet, $3.50 for seven yards of alpaca and $1.60 for eight yards of calico. About this same date Francis Berry, an emigrant, paid $6.60 for 20 pounds of coffee, 32c for two pounds of sugar, 50c for two plugs of tobacco, 25c for a half gallon of molasses, 75c for a half bushel of potatoes and 50c for two pounds of rice. He also did a rental business handling his own properties and making rentals for others. March 14, 1855, P. D. Palmer rented Boone's old store for $8 a month. Old Man Chitwood rented Boon's house opposite The Mills (the Mission saw and grist mill located about where Larmer's warehouse now stands) for $8 a month. November 14, 1853, Boon rented the "Squaw's house" for $5 a month. On October 15, 1854, when John Hunt turned his oxen into Boon's pasture, he agreed to pay a rental of 25c a day per head. About this same time Boon hired McKinley to do some carpenter work at a wage of $5 a day. 
Because no one questioned the honesty of this early Wesleyan Methodist preacher and pioneer Salem storekeeper, money was often deposited with him for safe keeping and possibly for investment. On Christmas day, 1854, P. D. Palmer deposited $500 and E. J. Harding $900 in gold coins. Oregon Statesman for November 29, 1859, mentions that Boon was about to start construction on a new, two-story building on The Island (It came to be known as Boon's Island). January 26, 1861, the Statesman carried an advertisement stating that he, associated with his son, H. D. Boon, and J. C. Peebles, had just opened a fresh stock of goods in a fireproof building lately erected on Boon's Island. "Cash will not be refused." 
After 94 years that structure still stands as Karr's, 888 North Liberty street. It may be the oldest brick building now occupied in Salem. Boon's memorium published in the Statesman July 18, 1864, states that he was "one of the best of homely men who helped plant the American flag on disputed soil. He was unlearned in books and untraveled. He maintained through all the vissitudes of life his individually and strong pecularities." In 1845 Rev. J. D. Boon united James Nesmith, later a distinguished United States senator from Oregon, in marriage with Pauline Goff. Boon was born in Athens, Ohio and died in Salem during the early 1860's at the age of 47. His neglected grave is located in the lower, north half of Pioneer cemetery. 
The Capital Journal, July 22, 1954, Sec. 2-11:4-7. 

John Daniel Boone (John Linville> George> Squire> George III Boone) was born in Athens, Ky. in 1817. He came west with his wife Martha Hawkins and seven children to Oregon in 1845. He worked for the Methodist Mission established in present day Salem, Oregon. In his preaching days he was remembered for his "strong religious emotion" and for wearing a red flannel shirt. In 1851 his honest character got him elected as Oregon's Treasurer, an office he kept until the 1860's. During this time, Boon started his own general store. The pioneer conducted both State and store business in his brick building. In fact, it is said the he kept two sacks -- one for public monies, the other for his store's. He died after a short illness on June 18, 1864. His grandson restored the "e" to his name. Photograph courtesy of the Oregon State Archives. 
BOONE FAMILY MEMORIES: Historical Research Calendar [for 2001], 1666-1890, by Ed and Arlene Buschert.

PHOTOGRAPH NOTES:  The photograph of Boon's Treasury is courtesy of the Salem Public Library Historic Photograph Collection, Salem Public Library, Salem, Oregon.  The text which accompanies the picture is as follows: 
"This is a photograph of Boon's Treasury located in Salem, Oregon. The brick building in the center was originally built in 1860 as a general store by John D. Boon and used by him as the State Treasury for two years when he was first elected as the Oregon Treasurer. Later on William Lincoln Wade operated a general store in this building. To the left of this building was Harry Kelly's house and on the right the F. J. Babcock Furniture Store. The building later housed Karr's Tavern and in 1974 it became Boon's Treasury Tavern."

BOON -- In Salem, June 18th, after a short illness, John D. Boon, aged 47 years. 
Our honored friend and neighbor John Daniel Boon, whose death is noted above, was one of our oldest citizens. He was born in Athens county, Ohio, January 8th 1817; emigrated to Oregon in the Summer of 1845, and has since been honored by his fellow citizens with a number of their most important offices. Previous to his coming to Oregon, he became an active member of the Baptist church, preached for some time in that connection and in 1842 he joined the Methodist Episcopal church, to which he has ever since belonged. He died in the faith of the Gospel, much beloved and lamented by all. 
Oregon Statesman 27 June 1864, 2:6. 

A handsome monument was yesterday erected at the Cemetery over the remains of Hon. J. D. Boon, who died in 1864. It is a marble shaft on a marble pedestal and granite base, the work of the Salem Marble yard. It makes a very handsome appearance.
Oregon Statesman 8 Apr 1871 3:1

In Salem, June 18, after a short illness, John D. Boon, aged 47 years.
Pacific Christian Advocate 2 July 1864 3:1

Died--at his residence in Salem, Oregon, June 18th, 1864, John D. Boon, in the 48th year of his age.
  The deceased brother immigrated to Oregon in 1845. He was very successful in business. His natural ability and many excellent traits of character, secured his election to several important and responsible State offices, all of which he filled with credit to himself and entire satisfaction to the people.
  In his own family and around his own fireside, were constantly exhibited these peculiar excellencies of heart, which made him one of the kindliest of husbands and best of fathers. As a neighbor and citizen, perhaps the noblest euconium [?] that need be uttered for him, is, that he was a firm friend of the poor. His many benefactions will be known only in the day of eternity.
  For twenty-two years past he has been a member and local preacher in the M. E. Church. Of late years he preached but seldom. But when in attendance upon the prayer meeting, or speaking meeting, he manifested a depth of religious feeling which seldom failed to show itself in tears of joy and songs of praise.
  His last illness was brief - congestion of the heart, but he was not surprised or unprepared. He knew in whom he had trusted, and although the spiritual welfare of his children bore with weight upon his dying heart, he commended them all to God and the word of his grace. A beloved wife and seven sons and daughters are left behind to mourn their irreparable loss. May they all so live on earth as to meet him in heaven. The funeral sermon was preached on Monday, the 20th, to a large congregation in the M. E. Church, by Rev. A. E. Waller, from 2d Kings, XX:1: "Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die and not live." This is the fourth time that death has summoned away a member of this charge during the present conference year!  I. Dillon
Pacific Christian Advocate 9 July 1864 2:6

The Portland correspondent of the San Francisco Bulletin has the following notice of our late friend and fellow citizen:
  A Word "In Memoriam." - But a few days since, died at Salem. J. D. Boon.  He was a pioneer in Oregon, and one of the best of the homely men who helped to plant the American flag upon this then disputed soil, and lay here the foundation of what will ere long be a great State.  I am not certain, but I think he emigrated from Ohio. Unlearned in books and untraveled in the haunts of men, he maintained through all the vicissitudes of life his individuality and strong pecularities.  He was a preacher in the sect known as the Wesleyan Methodists, and in early times use to "hold forth" to the plain people who gathered in at a neighbor's house on a Sunday to "watch and pray"  Occasionally he put a piece of silver in his purse, or a bushel of wheat in his granary, by tying the know matrimonial for some hopeful young couple, who, in the possession of little else than a land claim, a band of cattle, a Cayuse horse, a rifle and a straw bed, considered themselves amply prepared to commence the world on their own account.  Under much such circumstances, in 1845, in a cheery log cabin among the oak hills of the Rickreall, he made James Nesmith (now U. S. Senator) and Pauline Goff one flesh, and gave them his honest blessing.  He was a man of strong religious emotions, modified somewhat by the material times in which he lived, and head not devoid of worldly wisdom.  But had his lot been east in a period of religious fervor, and his life spent in adversity and imprisonment, like the Tinker of Elstow, he could have dreamed dreams and recorded his spiritual experience in as glowing, quaint allegories as John Bunyan himself.
  For the last twelve or thirteen years of his life he lived in North Salem, on what is known as Boon's Island, where he kept a country store.  This was the favorite trading place of many an old fashoned dame, who could never be induced to leave his unpretending shop, for that of any of his more spruce and modern neighbors.  From 1851 to September 1862, he was the Territorial and State Treasurer of Oregon, and kept the keys of her strong box with faithfulness and fidelity.  During those long eleven years, no man ever whispered a doubt of his integrity, and at the expiration of the term he gave up the office with clear hands, and without an ill gotten penny.  Peace to his ashes!
Oregon Statesman 11 July 1864 4:2
Rev. John Daniel Boon 
born in 
Athens, Ohio 
Jan. 8, 1819 
June 18, 1864
47 years, 5 months, 10 days 
A Pioneer of 1845
DAR pg 40 [year of death is in error] 
S&H pg 10 [year of death is in error] 
OS 27 June 1864, 2:6 
Corning pg 32 
OS 8 Apr 1871 3:1 
CJ July 22, 1954, Sec. 2-11:4-7
PCA 2 July 1864 3:1
OS 11 July 1864 4:2
PCA 9 July 1864 2:6
BOONE FAMILY MEMORIES: Historical Research Calendar [for 2001], 1666-1890, by Ed and Arlene Buschert.