Salem Pioneer Cemetery ~ Pherne T. Pringle ~ part of the Marion County Pioneer Cemeteries of Oregon
Pherne T. Pringle
MAIDEN NAME: Brown AKA 1:  AKA 2:  AKA 3: 
BORN: 22 Mar 1805 DIED: 23 May 1891 BURIED: 24 May 1891
BIRTH PLACE:  Montpelier, Washington Co., Vermont
DEATH PLACE: Salem, Marion Co., Oregon
IOOF - Pherne Pringle, age 86 y's 3 m's, died in south Salem of lagrip.
"Virgil K. Pringle was the son of Norman Pringle and his wife, Sarah Kellogg, of Connecticut, where Virgil was born in 1804 at Harrington. The family moved to Missouri in 1826, where they engaged in mercantile business, established a library and started a literary society at the town of St. Charles, Missouri. Virgil K. married Phernie Tabitha Brown, a daughter of Rev. Clark Brown, in 1827. Their children were Virgilia, who married F. R. Smith of Salem, Oregon; Albro, who married Mary Owens; Sarelia, who married Rev. C. H. Northup; Ella, who married Judge C. D. Young; Emma, who married John Hughes of Salem, Oregon, and Octavius, who married Ernaline Craft. 
In the year 1843 a brother of Mrs. Pringle, O. Brown, came out to Oregon and was so pleased with the prospects that he went back to Missouri to persuade the rest of the family to go west. He had settled near the present town of Forest Grove. The mission of his visit was so successful that on Wednesday, April 15, 1846, they left the hickory groves of Missouri to start on the long, tedious journey. 
With the above family of father, mother, and six children were grandmother Tabitha Brown and a nephew, Charles Fullerton, and grandmother's brother-in-law, Captain John Brown, quite an aged man. This train, coming early in this great exodus, did not have very much trouble with the Indians. At this time they were fairly friendly, but even then their natural thieving tendencies were just as manifest as in later years. The greatest hardship, that very nearly ended fatally for them, was almost at the end of the trip while still they were almost three hundred miles from their destination. The train divided just before this, with the Pringles choosing, very unfortunately, the Applegate Cut-off. This band of immigrants were among the first to try this route and their sufferings were terrible, especially in going through the Cow Creek canyon, where they had to cross this creek by fording (swollen to the brink with icy snow water) thirty-nine times and this in November. Many of them had to wade up to their shoulders in the water. Mrs. Pringle carried her most precious household stuff on her head to keep it out of the water as she waded through the creek. Mr. Pringle's wagon was in the lead and he said he got over the trail even better than those that followed, as there was not yet the broken road to get so muddy and slippery as for the other wagons that came after him. 
The following item was copied from a diary left by Mr. Pringle: 
"Sunday, November 22. Helped finish the road and complete pass through the mountains into the Willamette Valley, my team and one other first to get through." 
Three days later he wrote: 
"Camped on the Willamette, handsomest valley I have ever beheld. All are charmed and think we will be repaid for all our suffering." During their hard trip through the Cow Creek country, starvation stared them iu the face. A consultation resulted in deciding to send the boy Octavius, then but fourteen, on ahead, by horseback, to try to reach the Willamette Valley settlements and bring back provisions to stave off starvation. 
The story of this lad's lonely trip appears in this book, under the title of Octavius Pringle, "Experiences of An Immigrant Boy, 1846-47." During this time some one killed a coyote and afterward they tried in vain to find its carcass so they could satisfy their hunger. 
The grandmother, Tabitha Brown, and her brother-in-law, Captain Brown, also started on ahead to get relief. The journey would take them many days and all she could take from the last of their provisions was three thin slices of bacon. "The Pioneer Camp Fire," by Kennedy, tells of her experiences and of what mettle those pioneer women were made. The immigrants stopped at an Indian camp, about where Eugene is now, to rest their worn-out teams and to bury a young eighteen-year-old girl who had died. 
Mr. Pringle and his son Octavius were both good shoemakers and had a supply of leather and a kit of cobbler tools in their wagons. While resting here and waiting for the roads to harden up a little, they made a pair of shoes for an Indian, in exchange for the carcasses of three large deer. When help came to meet them, the result of Octavius' safe journey to the settlements and return, they were only seventy-five miles from the mission at Salem, Oregon, near the present city of Eugene, but the Willamette, the Long Tom, Mary's, the Luckiamute and the Rickreal rivers were yet to be crossed. These streams were all badly swollen and the waters icy cold. The pioneers saw they could not take what stock they had any further, so they built a shed for their protection and left some one in charge. In the crowd was a man by the name of Mansfield, who was an expert boatman. They had heard that the Willamette river was free from rapids or water falls, between there and the Methodist mission at Salem, so they set about building a boat large enough to load most of the human freight and what goods they had left and go the rest of the way by river. The big fir trees looked good to these weary men as a means to make these boats, in order to get to their journey's end. Just as they were about ready to board the boat, Mrs. Pringle's brother from the valley arrived with supplies. They found they could hire some halfbreed Frenchmen that happened along with a number of pack-horses to help them down to the settlement by the west side of the Willamette. 
The Mansfield and Lebo families, consisting of nine folk, with their worldly possessions, went on board this rude craft, to navigate this river, that no white man had yet explored. All reached their destination, and when the Pringle family reached the top of the last hill, overlooking the present city of Salem, and saw the three-story Willamette Institute and the parsonage, both painted gleaming white, surrounded by the lovely valley, they really felt as if they had a view of paradise. This was Christmas day, 1846. 
During all their hardships and the long, terrible journey, it was their hope and trust in God that gave them the courage to struggle on. They were Methodist folk and full of faith. The Pringle family first took up land near Stayton, then finally settled just south of Salem, on the creek that bears his name. The family prospered and in time were of the most prominent and worthy citizens of the new country. One son, Clark Pringle, joined the volunteers to put down the Indian uprising, resulting in the massacre at the Whitman mission, and afterward married one of the girls rescued from the Indians, Catherine Sager. 
Mr. and Mrs. Pringle lived to a ripe old age and died at their home near Salem and shortly before celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary, surrounded by children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. This was a happy reunion". 
From: Steeves, Sarah Hunt, BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE OF MARION COUNTY, OREGON, PIONEERS 1840 - 1860, Portland, Oregon, The Berncliff Press, pg. 77-79 (Source: Ella Pringle Young, Portland, Oregon 1926.); 

"Pherne Tabitha, only daughter of Clark and Tabitha Moffatt Brown, was born in Montpelier, Vermont, March 22, 1805. She married Virgil Kellogg Pringle on May 4, 1827. He was born in Harrington, Connecticut, Jkuly 29, 1804 and died March 24, 1887. 
They made their home in St. Charles, Warren County, Missouri near St. Louis until 1846, and afterward in Salem, Oregon. Mrs. Pringle died May 21, 1891, aged 86 years, 2 months. There were 8 children: Virgilia Eliza, Clark Spencer, Octavius Manthano, Albro Moffatt, Sarelia Lucia, Emma Pherne, Oliver, and Mary Ella. 
Pherne was an accomplished artist. Her sketchbook is on display at the museum at Old College Hall at Pacific University, and some of the sketches are used to illustrate the diary written by her husband, Virgil Pringle which is found in Chapter Seven of this book." 
Also included in the book are letters and photos of the family. Brown Family History II, by Clark Brown.

PHOTOGRAPH NOTE: Image courtesy of the Oregon State Library. Description: "Pherne Brown Pringle, daughter of Tabitha Brown, (grandmother of Lulu Hughes Bush, Mrs. A.N. Bush III) with grandson Clifton Young. At home on porch at corner of High & Kearney streets, Salem. 1890."
In South Salem, May 23, 1891, Pherne T. Pringle, aged 86 years, and three months. Pherne T. Pringle who died at her home in South Salem May 23d, 1891, was the daughter of Clark Brown, a prominent Episcopal minister in Virginia and Maryland in the early part of the present century. Her father died at Mount Vernon while she was quite young. Her mother, Tabitha Brown, came to Oregon with her daughter and family and was the true founder of the school now known as the "Pacific University" of Forest Grove, having started it with twelve girls, not only giving them literary instructions but also teaching needlework and housework. 
Mrs. Pringle was born in Montpelier, Vermont, in 1805, but at an early age, with her parents moved to Maryland where she resided until her father's death in 1824. Then in company with her mother removed to Warren county, Missouri, where she was united in marriage with Virgil K. Pringle. 
She with her husband continued to reside in the latter state until March, 1846, when with their family of six children they crossed the plains in the then almost universal way, with ox teams, arriving in Salem, Oregon, on Christmas day of that year, having been nine months on the journey, since which time she has been a constant resident of Marion county, always taking a prominent part in both the religious and social society which she had come to help develop and reside in during the remainder of her life. 
Upon her arrival in Oregon there was no organization of the Episcopal church and she then united herself with the Methodist Episcopal church in which she remained an earnest and constant member up to the time of her death. Being a woman of strong indiviuality she impressed her life and character upon all with whom she came in contact. 
Her partner in life, Virgil K. Pringle, after having passed sixty years of happy wedded life preceded her four years "to that bourne from which no traveler returns." There were born to them eight children four of whom still survive. Mrs. John Hughes and Mrs. C. D. Young, of Salem; Clark Pringle and Octavins Pringle, of Prineville, Oregon, who shall they continue to live her life and die her death, will merit too as she has done the good will of all with whom they came in contact. The funeral will take place today at 2 o'clock p.m., from the family residence in South Salem on High street. 
Weekly Oregon Statesman, May 29, 1891, 12:2.
Pherne T. 
Wife of 
V. K. Pringle 
Mar. 22, 1805 
May, 23 1891
IOOF Register of Burials 
DAR pg 29 
Steeves, BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE, pp 77-79 
WOS 29 May 1891 12:2 
Brown Family History II, p. 207