James Benson Underwood 2020. 5. 17.¢  2 D.C. Underwood Dead ¢â‚¬“David C. Underwood, died at his residence

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    James Benson Underwood

    James Benson Underwood was born on September 18, 1838 in Canandaigua, Ontario, New York.

    He was the son of James Madison Underwood born 1808 in Vermont and his wife Lydia the

    daughter of Hiram Collins; she was born in 1808 in New York. The Underwood family can be

    traced back to John Underwood, born in 1585 in Dorset, England. His son Joseph born 1614 came

    to Hingham, Massachusetts in 1637. Many of our subject’s ancestors arrived in Massachusetts in the

    1630’s. Our subjects father James Madison was the first of the family to be born outside of

    Massachusetts since the arrival of the families that make up his ancestral tree. Our subject’s great-

    grandfather David Underwood, born in 1742, served as a Private in the Massachusetts Militia during

    the Revolutionary War. His son David moved his family to Vermont before settling in Middlesex,

    Yates, New York. Our subject’s father James Madison Underwood went with his father to New

    York and after his marriage to Lydia Collins in 1829 they settled in Ontario County, New York,

    where their children were born. The eldest son was David Collins Underwood, born December 26,

    1829. He was named for his father’s father and his mother’s surname. The 2nd son of the family was

    Hiram Collins Underwood, named for his maternal grandfather of the same name. The 3rd son born

    to the family was our subject James Benson Underwood. Another son Adam died young and a

    daughter Annar died when she was about 17. At the time of the 1850 census the family was found in

    Middlesex, Yates, New York. James M. was a Farmer with $5,500 in Real Estate. The household

    contained his wife, her mother Ann Collins, sons Hiram and James B, daughter Annar and 12 year

    old Ede Waters. Missing was David Collins Underwood. David had heard the call of the Gold Rush

    and had boarded a ship and sailed to California in 1849. In 1852 the father James M. Underwood

    died in New York.

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    D.C. Underwood Dead

    “David C. Underwood, died at his residence in this city, August 14, 1882, of dropsy. He was born in

    Ontario county, state of New York, on the 26th day of December 1829, where he resided with his

    parents in New York until the great gold mining excitement in California, in 1849, when he came to

    California by way of the Horn. He remained but a very short time in the Golden State, and in 1850,

    sometime in December, arrived in Oregon, at the mouth of the Umpqua River. Sometime in 1851

    he Made his way up the Umpqua river, and settled on a farm a few miles southwest of Oakland,

    Oregon. He was elected probate judge of Umpqua County in 1854, and filled the office faithfully.

    During the rebellion Mr. Underwood enlisted in the army where he held the rank of first lieutenant.

    He was in the service some four years, and after being honorably discharged he sold his farm in

    Umpqua and removed his family to Cottage Grove in this county, where he formed a partnership

    with Mr. E.W. Whipple and engaged in the mercantile business, and succeeded well. Some three or

    four years ago Mr. Underwood sold out his business at Cottage Grove and removed to Eugene City,

    and engaged in business with his brother, the late J.B. Underwood. Mr. David C. Underwood was a

    man of sterling worth, an excellent citizen, a kind and generous neighbor, and an affectionate father

    and husband. He leaves a large family to mourn his untimely loss, and a wide circle of friends, here

    and in the Umpqua. His generous hospitality and genial disposition made his house a resort, far and

    near, by neighbors, friends and strangers who lived in the Umpqua.

    He belong to the order of Masons and A.O.U.W.1; the orders joined in paying the last sad tribute to

    his memory, the Masonic order occupying the first place for the reason that he was a member of

    long standing in that order. Thus another chapter of human life is ended, and a worthy citizen gone

    to his long home.”2

    In 1859 James Benson Underwood, than 20 years old, boarded a ship sailing out of Angelica, New

    York around the Horn to California and on up to Oregon. He went to Douglas County where he

    joined his brother David. Prior to the June Communication of the Grand Lodge in 1859, D.C.

    Underwood had taken the first two degrees of Masonry. He was a Fellow Craft Mason in

    Winchester Lodge #16 in Winchester, Oregon. There were 19 members of the Lodge, which meet

    on the Friday before the full moon each month. David completed his degrees and was Raised a

    Master Mason and by December. Whether by a show of competency or a dire necessity he had

    gained enough confidence from his Brothers to forego being a Warden first and was elected

    Worshipful Master for the year 1860. He was elected again for 1861. On September 19, 1861 the

    Lodge changed its name to Oakland Lodge #16. Then in the Spring of 1862 the Master of Oakland

    Lodge #16 wrote the Grand Master, Dr. James R. Bailey, “stating that by a vote of said Lodge, they

    desired the privilege of surrendering their Charter, as they were all either going into the army or to

    the northern mines.” The request was granted and the Lodge ceased activity. As noted David

    enlisted and served as a Lieutenant for the next four years. David Underwood appears again on June

    21, 1871 as the Charter Senior Warden of Cottage Grove Lodge #51.

    1 Ancient Order of United Workmen 2 Eugene City newspaper August 1882.

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    J.B. Underwood applied in 1860 for the degrees of Masonry in Winchester Lodge #16, the Lodge

    where his brother was Master. He is listed in the 1861 Annual Communication as being a FC in that

    Lodge. However, having relocated to Eugene a request was made on his behalf for a dispensation

    from Winchester Lodge, allowing Eugene City Lodge #11to confer the Master Mason degree upon

    him; this was granted. Brother Underwood was Raised a Master Mason on June 24, 1861 in Eugene

    City Lodge #11. In November of that same year he was elected Secretary of Eugene City Lodge #11

    for 1862. He continued in that position in 1863. He did not serve as an officer for the next couple

    years before returning in 1867 when he was elected Master of the Lodge. He was elected Secretary

    again for 1881 and died in 1882.

    Resolved: That Eugene City Lodge No. 11 A.F.&A.M. do hereby request Winchester Lodge No. ___

    A.F.&A.M. to grant this Lodge a dispensation to confer the third degree on Bro. J.B. Underwood now a

    fellow craft belonging to said Winchester Lodge, by request of Bro. Underwood.

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    John C. Ainsworth’s Scottish Rite Records May 1870, page 1


    James Benson Underwood received the degrees Dec. 18, 1871, page 13

    J. B. was an attorney living in Eugene City when he received the Scottish Rite degrees 4°- 32°

    inclusive on December 18, 1871 from Ill. Brother John C. Ainsworth 33°. He was the 31st member

    to receive the degrees in Oregon and the first Mason from Eugene to join the Scottish Rite. He

    affiliated with the Portland Bodies on July 2, 1872. He was later granted a demit on May 15, 1877.

    Hon. J.B. Underwood Dead

    “Mr. J. Benson Underwood, of this city, died at his residence, on Thursday evening, August 3, 1882,

    at 6:30 PM, of dropsy, after an illness of several months, but only six weeks confinement to his bed.

    Mr. Underwood was born in Canandaigua Co. New York, September 18, 1838, his age at the time of

    his death being 43 years, 10 months and 15 days. He came to Oregon in 1859, and settled with his

    mother’s family in Douglas County. Desiring to study law he came to Eugene City in 1861, and he

    and the late J. M. Thompson both engaged at the same time reading law with the late Hon. Stokely

    Ellsworth. In 1863, Mr. Underwood was admitted to practice law, at once formed a partnership with

    Mr. Ellsworth, which continued until 1865. In 1866, he formed a partnership with Hon. G. B.

    Dorris, which continued until 1868. Mr. Underwood held many important positions of trust during

    his lifetime, and was never satisfied at being idle. He was elected school superintendent of Lane

    County in 1863, was elected to the legislature in 1865, was a partner in the Springfield Milling Co.

    for many years and also engaged in merchandising with the late Judge Stratton at one time, and Mr.

    S. H. Friendly at another time. He then became a partner in the Eugene Milling Co. and also

    engaged in merchandising with Messrs J.G. Gray and T.W. Osborn. Upon the election of Grant to

    the Presidency the first term he was appointed Postal Agent for the Oregon Division, which

    position he held for two years. He was twice elected President of the Common Council of Eugene,

    and several times a member of the Council. He was one of our most enterprising, public spirited and

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    liberal hearted citizens, and took a lively interest in every proposition to advance the welfare of the

    city, which fact will make his death a great loss. He leaves a wife, three daughters and one son to

    mourn his death. The deceased was a Mason of 20 years standing, and was buried by that order at 3

    PM yesterday, the busines