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 • Lewis County
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William W. Plumb
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Birth: Jul. 7, 1809
Sherburne
Chenango County
New York, USA
Death: 1899
Centralia
Lewis County
Washington, USA

Per Verna Nelson Dolphin (1976) "The Plumb Family" history:
William W. Plumb was the first of the family to come West. He came across the Isthmus of Panama and by ship to the Puget Sound area. He was a soldier in the 1855 Indian Wars and his name is in a history book giving names of the soldiers. In 1861 when his brother, the Elihu Plumb's, arrived, William Plumb was living in a log cabin beside a spring at the foot of a hill later known as the Sugar Loaf Hill on Rocky Prairie - 1861-62. Winter was very severe there and they must have suffered from the cold and the tiny living quarters.

He was at the Washington Territorial Convention and was a signer of the Territorial Constitution. This convention was held near where Longview is now.

William Plumb was married and had a daughter. His wife died in the east while he was in Washington. He later planned to go back and get his daughter and bring her West and she died also.

He went east to Wisconsin or New York once after he first came to the Oregon Territory.

He died in the late 1890's or possibly a little later. He had lived for a number of years with a family by the name of Baker in Centralia. He is buried there and I imagine it is in the old cemetery right in town now. I believe it is called the George Washington cemetery.
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Plumb, William W. Bio for the Cowlitz Historical Society Quarterly 150th anniversary of Monticello Convention

William W. Plumb was born July 7, 1809 in Sherburne, Chenango Co., New York He was the third child of Alva and Elizabeth Vosberg Plumb. William W. Plumb wrote his own story about coming west in 1851 for the "Old Settlers Contest of 1892".

He left Michigan City, Indiana on the first day of April, 1851 with a horse and buggy. He had the buggy comfortably rigged with a good oilcloth top and curtains all around so as to make a comparatively comfortable bedroom. In a couple of days he arrived in Chicago, and when he left Chicago it had begun to snow. The next few days were a challenge for the horse as the road was difficult to travel. Then a young fellow rode up behind him with a beautiful 6-year-old mare, Plumb wanted to make a trade. The young fellow said no, but later agreed to trade horses plus $10. The six-year-old mare would not work in a harness, so Plumb tried to trade his buggy for a yoke of cattle. The man was willing but his wife "flew in a passion" and said she would leave if he traded the cow. So he put the harness on the mare and hitched her up to the buggy. He took her by the bit and led her, she commenced rearing. It wasn't until 3 o'clock in the afternoon that she settled down. When he arrived in Cainsville, he auctioned the mare and buggy for $257, as Plumb had learned, it was impossible to cross the plains by buggy. At this point he was hired on to help a man drive 14 head of cattle, who would provide the horse and board. The day they arrived at the Elkhorn River there was a terrific thunder and lightning storm causing the river to rise very fast. In the morning the river was about four and a half miles wide. It took nine days to get the wagon train across the river. While Plumb was helping ferry the wagons across the river, the man he was traveling with decided to turn back and go home. Plumb bought a yoke of cows from him and joined up with some other travelers on their way west. There were countless minor difficulties along their way. At The Dalles he went on to Portland by water and stayed in Oregon through the winter. In the spring he started for Olympia. He arrived the last of May 1852, and took a job at a mill in Tumwater. In June he was appointed Justice of the Peace and he was sometimes referred to as Squire Plumb. Many people were talking about "this part of the country" (Washington) being set apart from Oregon so a meeting was scheduled for Monticello. A few day before the convention there was a ship in the Sound doing business under false papers. The collector of the port Simpson P. Moses deputized Plumb to take the ship. He went to Steilacoom with some soldiers to take the ship. Then sailed the ship to Olympia. At this point he sent a note to the collector stating he had to start for Monticello the next morning to attend the convention. He called the meeting in Monticello to order and signed the proclamation to separate Oregon and Washington.

He filed a donation land claim on June 21, 1852. He lived on the claim for 5 years, signing the final papers in 1856. The final papers also stated he was a widower and had two children Ambrose and Esther Ann, both died young.

During the Indian war of 1855-56, he enlisted on the second call Feb 1st 1856, serving under Captain Thuness.

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PioneerName William W. Plumb
StateOfBirth NY
DateOfDeath 1898
CityOfDeath Centralia
StateOfDeath WA
StateOfMarriage MI
FilerName Mrs. James D. Spirlock

Comments: He lived on Rocky Prairie until the early seventies. Then lived in Tumwater for a few years. He then moved to Centralia where he remained the rest of his life. Esther Plumb [daughter] was born in Michigan and lived there with aunts (mother was dead) never coming to Wash. She died at age of fifteen. Both wives died in Michigan before Mr. Plumb came west.
Publisher Washington State Library
Contributors Thurston County Historical Association, and Thurston County Historic Commission
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Burial:
Washington Lawn Cemetery
Centralia
Lewis County
Washington, USA
 
Created by: Charlotte Hubbard Rehpoh...
Record added: Apr 21, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 68732464
William W. Plumb
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Added by: Anonymous
 
 
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