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Salem Pioneer Cemetery ~ John Webster Perit Huntington ~ part of the Marion County Pioneer Cemeteries of Oregon
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John Webster Perit Huntington
BORN: 5 July 1831 DIED: 3 Jun 1869 BURIED: 5 Jun 1869
ETHNICITY:   OCCUPATION:  Indian Agent, State Legislator; teacher, lawyer, rancher, editor
BIRTH PLACE:  Norwich, Connecticut
DEATH PLACE: Salem, Marion Co., Oregon
Age: 37 years, 10 months, 29 days; 
On the day of J. W. P. Huntington's death it was discovered that he had received a shipment of gold to be disbursed in payment of salaries and expenses of Indian agents, and no one knew where he had placed it. Judge Boise was summoned to find the gold, but Mr. Huntington was unconscious and died later that day without divulging the information. The place where the money was concealed became more than a seven day's wonder--almost if not quite a seven years' wonder. It became rumored that the money was hidden about the Huntington house--and in the few years that followed literally hundreds of people searched for it in the building which was before long vacated and had no renters, because of the superstition about the house being 'haunted,' and in the ground under and around the building. 
Huntington had been rather peculiar in his religious beliefs; was more or less a spiritualist, and there were strange stories of how his coffin floated up and down in the air. He had been interested in many things, including taxidermy, and his house was filled with stuffed animals, adding to the awesomeness of stories that became current. It was one of the famous "haunted" houses of the old days. 
Oregon Statesman 8 Nov 1932 1932 4:6 

... [This property] was sold to Mrs. B. T. Swart on July 25, 1912. Mrs. Swart is the mother of Renska Swart, well known Salem business woman and writer. [The address was 733 North Front street, near the present-day A.C. Gilbert children's village.] Some years after the death of Mr. Huntington the gold was found, apparently by a German named Myer, and the amount was between 4 and 7 thousand dollars in gold. R. J. Hendricks in his Bits for Breakfast Column in the Statesman continued his stories of J.W.P. Huntington and his wife, Mary Applegate. Mary was the daughter of Charles Applegate and after her husband, two sets of twins and another son died here in Salem, she moved with her remaining son back to Yoncalla. These stories were also retold by Fred Lockley in his "Impressions and Observations of The Journal Man" in the Oregon Journal. Mary married again, John E. Wilson and she died 23 Dec. 1878 in Wilbur, Oregon. The story of J.W.P., Mary and son, Benjamin has been retold by a descendant, Valerie (Kerber) Nichols in the book YONCALL YESTERDAY published by The Yoncalla Historical Society in 2001.
State legislator and Supt. of Indian Affairs, was born in Norwich, Connecticut. When 19 he joined a company of 43 young men, all of them Masons, who purchased a ship, loaded it with mining machinery and sailed around Cape Horn to the Golden Gate, 1850. Here the machinery was sold, the ship cut down and used for river freighting. Later the group sold it and separated. He mined for a time but in 1852 went to the Yoncalla country where he took a land claim in the Hayhurst Valley. Brilliant, versatile and well-educated, he taught school, practiced law, and in 1860 was a state legislator. In 1863 president Lincoln appointed him Supt. of Indian Affairs for Oregon, 1864-69. Selling his farm, he moved to Salem where he died. He married Mary Applegate in 1857. 
(A. A. Kruse, Yoncalla, Home of the Eagles, 3, Corning's DICTIONARY OF OREGON HISTORY, p. 121.) 
The funeral services of Mr. J. W. Perit Huntington will be held today at his residence at 1½ o’clock, p.m. after which the remains will be deposited in the Odd Fellows’ Cemetery by the Masonic fraternity. 
Both the Fire Engine Companies by resolution have decided to turn out in uniform and attend the funeral of Hon. J. W. Perit Huntington. Both Companies will meet at the Engine House today, at one o’clock, p.m., Mr. Huntington was a member of Capital Engine Co. No. 1. 
The Daily Unionist June 5, 1869, 3:1 

J. W. P. Huntington had one of the largest funerals ever held in Salem up to that time. He was an active fireman, and the old Tiger and Capital engine companies of volunteer firemen were in the heyday of their glory. All the firement turned out in their uniforms and with their equipment and made up a picturesque section of the procession. 
He had been very popular, and a large figure in Oregon's official and social life, and thus had a great circle of friends. Some of the old timers living in Salem remember well the Huntington funeral procession. The writer has not been able to learn the name of the minister who conducted it.
R. J. Hendricks "Bits for Breakfast", Oregon Statesman 8 November 1921. 4:5
J. W. P. Huntington
July 5, 1831
Norwich, Conn. 
June 3, 1869, Salem 
Dearly beloved husband
DAR pg 19 
ODL, Index: Huntington. J. W. RB #236; 324.84 acres; Twp 22S, R5W, Sec#31 and Twp 23S, R5W, Sec #6 A. A. Kruse, YONCALLA, HOME of the EAGLES pg. 3. 
Corning, Dictionary of Oregon History, pg 121. 
OS 8 Nov 1921, 4:5 
OJ 29 Sept 1930 
OS 8 Nov 1932 4:5 
OS 9 Nov 1932 
OS 19 May 1934 4:3, 4, 5 
OJ 12 Jun 1934 OS 6 Aug 1935 
See Also: YONCALLA YESTERDAY by the Yoncalla Historical Society, pub. 2001, 626 pps. Photographs, not indexed.

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