Sunday, May 2, 2010

Thomas M Ward

Sand Ridge

Jane McClenahan and Ephraim Barnett
She was 58 and he was 56 when they
came the 2,300 miles over the Oregon Trail.
-- Courtesy of Clarence C. Barnett, Yakima, Washington.
While Sand Ridge was never a town, it was a community powerful enough to be selected as the Linn County seat in an 1855 election. However, the next year voters changed their mind. The community was located four miles west of present-day Lebanon on the west side of Peterson Butte.

The church was established in 1855 by Ephraim Barnett and his son George Hays Barnett in the home of Ephraim and Jane Barnett. While both men were farmer-preachers, it was John Alkire Powell from the Central Church east of Albany who organized and led the congregation.

Joel Bradshaw Huston and Thomas M. Ward were the messengers from the congregation to a preaching convention in 1858. By 1871 the church reported 35 members.

Members on the 1855-56 list included: Ephraim and Jane Barnett, Barbara Barnett, Catharine Barnett, Eleanor Barnett, George H. Barnett Sr., George H. Barnett Jr., James H. Barnett, John T. Barnett, Robert H. Barnett, Alexander Blair, Mary Blair, John Blazer, Martha Blazer, Eveline Chevelle, Alexander Crawford, Harrison Davis, James O. Douthit, James Gate, Eryenus and Elizabeth Ann Frum, Sarah Jane Frum, George Huston, Joel Bradshaw and Catherine Huston, Sidney and Martha Huston, Adalade Martz, John Miller, Charity Savage, James Tippen, Joel Vail, John and Leah Jane Vernon, Mary E. Ward and Thomas M. and Hannah Ward. -- List courtesy of Clarence C. Barnett, Yakima, Washington.

J. B. Huston and his wife Catherine -- "Kitty" -- had come over the trail from Tennessee. In the 1870 census they had two sons, Luther and Worth, home working on the farm.

Most of the Huston clan are buried in the Sand Ridge Cemetery. There is a partial listing that includes them.
Thomas and Hannah (or Mary) Ward also farmed and were in Linn County at the time of the 1850 census. We have reason to believe they were pioneers of 1848 from Tennessee. There were enough pioneers from Tennessee in the area that one major road in the vicinity is still called Tennessee Lane.

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