Polly Lavinia Crandall Coon Price

Polly Lavinia Crandall Coon PriceThe town of Silverton is unique in many ways. Not the least in which we boast a "Founding Mother" as opposed to the more paternal version. In 1854, Polly Lavinia Crandall Coon, registered with Marion County, Oregon, a ten-block plat for a town called Silverton. A true pioneer, Polly and her family endured many hardships, and she herself persevered as one of Oregon's first educators.

In 1852, Polly and her daughter, crossed the plains to join her husband and fellow teacher Thomas Coon in Oregon in a wagon train organized by her parents, Paul and Sally Crandall. Soon after her arrival however, Thomas's health failed; he passed away in January of 1854. Polly gave birth to a son, Thomas Roy Coon in March of that year.

Thomas Coon had a donation land claim on Silver Creek, comprising land where Silverton's central business district is now located, which included Silverton's first school house. After his death, Polly had the claim surveyed into lots and sold them off to form the center of the new town that was already growing along Silver Creek.

She married millwright Stephen Price in 1855. Price had built the Smith and Barger grist mill, the first flour mill in the area. The town continued to grow, and soon attracted the attention of the other civic development, two miles upstream at a place informally known as "Milford." But since Polly's town was closer to the Territorial Road, Milford was soon abandoned as those folks moved down stream to Silverton.

In 1855 over the course of six months, Polly's father and brother, Clark Crandall, moved Ai Coolidige's store to Silverton. Apparently the two-story building remained open for business as it journeyed up what would become South Water Street. Polly Crandall Coon Price died just shy of 73 on October 22, 1898.

Image Courtesy Silverton Country Museum