Here's a great portrait of two of Hood River's pioneers. The brief bio attached says:
Peter and Mahaile Neal: Came to Hood River to live in 1860. Saw Hood River first in 1844. Built first sawmill on Neal Creek at Pine Grove 1862. Built first road from river up the valley on the east side in early 1860's. Died at Roseburg Oregon.
Peter was born in Green City, Tennessee on 2 March 1816 and died at South Deer Creek, in Douglas County. His parents were Benjamin and Nancy (Harmon). Mahalia Bilyeu/Billou (other spellings) was born also in Tennessee.
Their daughter Julia Ann married Jerome Winchell of the Pine Grove area and daughter Diana married William Odell.
I wonder what made Peter Neal leave the south at that particular time? Did he as a southerner oppose slavery. Now I am on a quest to see if I can find out why.
If I remember correctly my Dad was instrumental in getting the sign placed near where the bridge crosses Neal Creek from Hwy 35 and Dethman Ridge Road about the Neal's sawmill.
Arline (Winchell) Moore was of the Neal family. We have seen some of "Grandma Moore's" wonderful photos in the past.
Charlott on 15th December 2014 @ 7:37am
He was early enough to the Willamette Valley area that he would have had a pick of the prime, choice land. I wondered why he would leave that to move to the HR area. One biography says that, when he was traveling down the Columbia in 1844, the group stopped for a while at Dog River. Neal took a hike up the river and was impressed by the big pine country of the upper valley. He eventually returned in 1860.
He evidently was more of a lumberman than a farmer.
l.e. on 15th December 2014 @ 7:56am
Wonder why her right hand is covered. And there seems to be something else in her hand.
nels on 15th December 2014 @ 9:52am
From a history article about the Neal and Winchell families.
...."He came to the Hood River valley and in 1861 took up a homestead, about five miles south of Hood River. The land was heavily covered with timber and the only road to it was a mere trail. He built a house and cleared part of the land, and also built and operated the first sawmill in the Hood River valley. The hard winter of 1861-2 killed all of his livestock, and the high water which followed the heavy snow carried away his sawmill, so he was left in a serious financial condition, but he was a man of great courage and determination and immediately rebuilt the sawmill, in the operation of which he made money. He hauled the lumber to Hood River with oxen and then rafted it up the river to The Dalles, where he found a ready market for it. He continued to live there until 1883, when he moved to Roseburg, Oregon,...."
l.e. on 15th December 2014 @ 7:19pm
my great great grandfather was george washington neal peter neal was his brother im trying to locate my neal family that are living can you help please thankyou Dianne
Dianne Reeve on 2nd February 2015 @ 10:23am
I am the 3rd great granddaughter of Peter Neal. My great grandmother Grace was the daughter of Jesse Neal, Peters Neals son.
Karen J Lee on 5th March 2017 @ 4:23pm
my great great grandfather george washington neal.was peter neal brother.Can any body tell me if they know anything about peter and george father benjamin and nancy his wife i heard nancy[ harmon ] neals mother was a cherokee indian and had about 16 children i would be gratefull for a reply from any neal family DianneReeve
DIANNE REEVE on 26th June 2017 @ 5:12am
I've read that Nancy Harmons mother was a Cherokee as well however, I have been at a "brick wall" trying to confirm that Peter Neal's parents were Benjamin Neal and Nancy Harmon. I called Oregon about their death records and they told me that the requirement for adding the deceased persons parents was not required until 1903. A search of the database doesn't even show said Peter Neal so his death record may not have been recorded. I'm hoping someone has proof of who his parents were.
That said, I love all those old photos from Oregon. The stories about our Neal settlers (and all the other settlers of Oregon) are amazing and I am so glad I found this photo.
Kate Winchell on 1st March 2018 @ 10:19pm
Peter Neal (Mar 1816-Dec 22, 1902) is the son of Benjamin Neal and Nancy Harmon Neal. Nancy is the daughter of John Peter Herrmann/Harmon and Margaret Choulyn/Schuler. Benjamin and Nancy were married November 27, 1801 in Greene County, Tennessee. Nancy's brother, Thomas Harmon, was surety for the marriage.
Kathy Slater on 19th April 2018 @ 7:08am