Cessna (Duke) Smith

Cessna (Duke) Smith had a law-enforcement career that included many years with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and the Portland Police Bureau before he retired as the chief of police in Columbia City, Oregon. A contributor of historical-interest articles for local publications and a collector of books on nineteenth-century Oregon, he received an M.A. in history from Portland State University specializing in the Pacific Northwest; his thesis concerns the development of agricultural commerce in western Oregon between 1825 and 1861.

Author's Entries

  • Oregon Producers’ Exporting and Importing Company

    In the early months of 1847, a group of Willamette Valley farmers organized the Oregon Producers’ Exporting and Importing Company (OPEIC). The farmers wanted to create their own export company so they would not be at the mercy of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) and what they believed were unfair …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Oregon State Agricultural Society

    On February 22 and 23, 1860, delegates from nine Oregon county agricultural societies and the Oregon Fruit Growers Association (OFGA) met in Salem and formed the Oregon State Agricultural Society (OSAS). At a second meeting held in Salem in September 1860, the OFGA formally merged with the OSAS, and ten …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Rainier

    On a clear day, residents of Rainer, Oregon, have a view of the town's eponym a hundred miles to the northeast in Washington State—Mount Rainier, a live volcano in the Cascade Range. The town, with a population of just over 2,000 people in 2020, is on the south bank …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Scappoose

    Located on the Multnomah Channel twenty miles northwest of Portland, Scappoose is one of seven incorporated cities in Columbia County. The Multnomah Channel flows north a mile east of the city, and its opposite shore embraces the west side of Sauvie Island. Before incorporation in 1921 defined the city’s …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Scappoose Peace Candle of the World

    The Peace Candle of the World is a distinctive landmark on Highway 30, near the southern boundary of the Lower Columbia River town of Scappoose, Oregon. Fifty feet tall and eighteen feet in diameter, the Candle was initially coated with 45,000 pounds of multicolored wax and topped with a …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • St. Helens

    St. Helens is a Columbia River town located eighty-six river miles from the Pacific Ocean. The Columbia County seat since 1857, the city is at the confluence of the river and Multnomah Channel, less than three hundred yards from the northern tip of Sauvie Island. Both Highway 30 and a …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Thomas McKay (1797-1849/1850?)

    Thomas McKay (pronounced “Mac-eye”) was a Hudson’s Bay Company fur trapper, trader, and expedition leader. A well-known personality in the Oregon Country, he was involved in several important developments in the region, including HBC’s strategic trapping and trading campaigns during the 1820s. McKay was born in Canada in 1797. His …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Willamette Cattle Company

    In January 1837, settlers in the Willamette Valley organized the Willamette Cattle Company (WCC) for the singular purpose of buying cattle in California and herding them to Oregon. The British-owned Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) owned nearly all of the cattle in the Oregon Country; and although HBC Chief Factor John …

    Oregon Encyclopedia