John Henry Palmer1

#397, b. 2 November 1818, d. 1 March 1894
Father*Burton Palmer b. 12 Mar 1788, d. Mar 1858
Mother*Rebecca Bruce b. 6 Oct 1792, d. 2 Mar 1846
     John Henry Palmer was born on 2 November 1818 Garrard County, Kentucky. He was the son of Burton Palmer and Rebecca Bruce. John and Catherine Nowlin Graves, daughter of William Graves and Lucy Berger, were married 31 August 1841 Montgomery County, Missouri.
John Henry Palmer died 1 March 1894, in Mt. Angel, Marion County, Oregon at age 75 years, 3 months and 27 days. His estate was probated on 24 March 1894 He died intestate.2 and was buried Miller Cemetery, Marion County, Oregon.
     According to the archivist at the monestery,John and Catherine "planted fruit trees immediately upon their arrival."

A note from the early librarian at the seminary in Mt. Angel noted that John Henry Palmer "bought squatter's rights to DLC on north end of Butte" on 3 September 1853. ("Graves Butte")

It is possible that one of Catherine's siblings, Jack Graves or Maria (Graves) Glover, had somehow laid claim to the land, although it was not part of either of their DLC claims. Otherwise, it is possible that someone who had come much earlier had placed a "pre-DLC" claim on the land, and John Henry was paying him off.
John and Catherine obtained a Donation Land Claim on 1 May 1866 Mt. Angel, Marion County, Oregon.

The abstract of the DLC application notes:
"No. 1870 PALMER, John H., Marion Co; b 1818 Garrard Co, Ky; Arr. Ore. 2 Sept 1853; SC [settled claim] 23 Sept 1853; m Catharine N. 31 Aug 1841, Montgomery Co, Mo. Aff: Benj. Cleaver, John W Cleaver, Robert Scott, James McPhearson."

It's interesting that neither of the near relatives, Catharine's brother Jack Graves, or her brother-in-law William Glover signed the affidavit here. They were said to have had something to do with "saving" the land for them.

Survey State: OREGON
Acres: 290
Metes/Bounds: No
Title Transfer Issue Date: 5/1/1866
Land Office: Oregon City
Cancelled: No
U.S. Reservations: No
Mineral Reservations: No
Authority: September 27, 1850: Oregon-Donation Act (grant) (99 Stat. 496)

Aliquot Parts Sec./ Block Township Range Fract. Section Meridian State Counties Survey Nr.
SWSE 3/ 6-S 1-W No Willamette OR Marion
E½E½ 10/ 6-S 1-W No Willamette OR Marion
SWSW 11/ 6-S 1-W No Willamette OR Marion
1 10/ 6-S 1-W No Willamette OR Marion
2 10/ 6-S 1-W No Willamette OR Marion

John Henry Palmer and Catherine Nowlin Graves
arrived in Oregon September 2, according to the Donation Land Claim, which probably means they arrived at Oregon City, to put in their claim, or Graves Butte, by that date. The Indian Agent at the Utilla Indian Agency (near today's Echo, Oregon) kept a log of the immigrants as they passed through the area. The train, as it passed the agency on 15 August, consisted of 130 people, 53 men, 21 wives (one fellow had two wives) and 56 children. Included were: Graves, T. and Palmer, J., w, 3s, 2d.
Based on the "journal" of Benjamin Cleaver in 1848, and other contemporary records, it may be expected that they left Independence or St Joseph around 24 April 1853.

September 7, 1848, B Cleaver is at Laurel Hill (the Barlow Trail), 3 September 1853, J and C Palmer "arrive in Oregon" but have been in Oregon since 15 August when they are counted at the Utilla Indian Agency (Echo) Oregon. Henry Laramie was born in or near Fort Laramie 5 Jun 1853, Benjamin Cleaver was "at Fort Larama" 8 June.
Backing up, Benjamin left St Joseph 27 Jun, so the Palmers must have been on the road that week or the week before (depending on how long they stayed at Fort Laramie.)3

Children of John and Catherine

J Denton Palmer
Lenora Glover
Berger, Jonathan #3263, b ca 1700 Switzerland or Germany, d PA
Graves, Francis #708 b say 1630 d Aug 1691, Virginia
Nowlan, John # 867, b bef 1580, Ireland, d Ireland
Pinckard, John # 1404 b ca 1642 d 1690, Lancaster County, Virginia
Wade, Edward # 838, in Virginia bef 1746
Beasley, John #2041 b ca 1717 d bt 1781-1782, Buckingham County, Virginia
Bruce, John #403 b ca 1724, Kinnard, Scotland d ca 1752, Orange County, Virginia
Claye, John #1523, b ca 1588, England, d bef 1660, Virginia
Eyres, Joseph # 7329, b 17th century, Virginia or England
Ferris, Richard # 2074, b say 1620 or so, immi 1636, d Virginia
Fuquett, Gills # 3276, d Virginia
Green, Thomas # 2060 b 1700. d Virginia
Hooker, Thomas # 3118 d bef 1637, London
Humphreys, William # 7331, d Virginia
Lewis, John # 2831, b ca 1620, d Virginia
Marston?, Thomas # 2756, No further information
Palmer, John # 1430 b aft 1719 Virginia
Povall, Robert # 409 b 1653, England d 1728, Virginia
Samson, Francis # 3266 in Virginia bef 1700
Wilson, John # 417, b say 1620s, England or Henrico County, Virginia
Woodson, John (Dr.) # 133 b ca 1586, England, d 18 Apr 1644, Burmuda Hundred, Virginia
Beasley, John #2041 b ca 1717 d bt 1781-1782
Berger, Jonathan #3263
Bruce, John #403 b ca 1724 d ca 1752
Claye, John #1523 b ca 1588
Eyres, Joseph # 7329
Ferris, Richard # 2074
Fuquett, Gills # 3276
Graves, Francis #708 b say 1630 d Aug 1691
Green, Thomas # 2060 b 1700
Hooker, Thomas # 3118 d bef 1637
Humphreys, William # 7331
Lewis, John # 2831
Marston?, Thomas # 2756
Nowlan, John # 867
Palmer, (--?--) # 1755 b ca 1708 d ca 1793
Pinckard, John # 1404 b ca 1642 d 1690
Povall, Robert # 409 b 1653 d 1728
Samson, Francis # 3266
Wade, Edward # 838
Wilson, John # 417
Woodson, John (Dr.) # 133 b ca 1586 d 18 Apr 1644
Last Edited=6 Jan 2020


  1. [S21] Robert H. Down, A History of the Silverton Country (Portland, OR: Berncliff Press, 1926).
  2. [S144] John Henry Palmer, Probate -- John H Palmer 1498, Oregon State Archives, Salem, Oregon, Probate file 1498, Marion Co., OR.
  3. [S426] Immigration Roster, Umatilla Agency, online Hereinafter cited as Immigration Roster, Umatilla Agency.
  4. [S98] J. Denton Palmer, compiler, "Palmer Family File"; Ancestral File (ca 1999),.
  5. [S130] , #731, Oregon State Archives, Salem, Oregon.
  6. [S130] , # 25, Oregon State Archives, Salem, Oregon.