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 Sarah Emily <I>Golden</I> Barnett

Sarah Emily Golden Barnett

Death 1940 (aged 79–80)
Burial Wasco, Sherman County, Oregon, USA
Memorial ID 54215110 · View Source
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From the Oregon Journal, Sept. 17, 1930, "Impressions and Observations of the Journal Man," by Fred Lockley.

The first white girl born in the Klickitat county is now a resident of Portland. Her name is Mrs. Wilson M. Barnett, and she lives at 1178 East Taylor street.

"My father, John Golden, was the founder of Goldendale," said Mrs. Barnett, when I visited her recently. "My father was born in Pennsylvania. His father's father, John Golden, and his mother's father, Mr. Williamson, served in the Revolutionary war. My father crossed the plains to Oregon in 1853. He spent the winter of 1853 in Polk county. In the spring of 1854 he went to Yreka, Cal., where he ran a pack train for some time and later started a store. His store burned down about 1857, so he went came back to Oregon and went in with Louis Parrott in the cattle business. He traveled all over the Willamette valley buying cattle. While visiting as his partner's home he saw Jane Parrott, who was nearly 14 years old. Shortly thereafter he proposed to her and on May 17, 1858, he and my mother, Jane Parrott, were married. At the time of her marriage she was 14 and he was about 35. I was their first child. When I was in my 'teens, I looked more like my mother's twin sister than her daughter. It in fact, we looked so much alike that a young man who came to see me, when mother answered his knock at the door caught her in his arms and tried to kiss her, under the impression that it was I. My mother was 15 years old when I was born.
"About a week or 10 days after their marriage, father and mother went up to The Dalles and after spending a few weeks there, on July 6, 1858, crossed the Columbia river at the Rockland ferry and settled in Klickitat county. Rockland was a small community just across the Columbia from The Dalles. My father took up the place on the lower swale, not far from where Centerville was later located. Centerville, as you know, it's about 10 miles southwest of Goldendale. Louis S. Parrott, my mother's father, took up the adjoining place. My mother's father and her husband put all of their money into cattle, and by the fall of 1861 they had a big band.
"The winter of 1861-2 was one of the most severe the Inland Empire had ever seen. The cattle pawed the snow away and ate bunch grass, but that winter a heavy snow fell and it was followed by a long-continued cold spell, which caused the snow to crust over so that the cattle could not paw it away. Here and there some of the stockmen built V-scrapers and scraped the snow away so the cattle could get something to eat, but for the most part they were unable to do anything to help their starving cattle. When a chinook finally came and took the snow off, my father had only six cattle left. That winter wiped my father as well as my mother's father off the map, financially.
"Father decided to go into some other business, so he built a saw mill on Spring Creek, at the Blockhouse, five miles from Goldendale. This, I believe, was the first sawmill in Klickitat county. Later he built a sawmill on the Little Klickitat, five miles east of Goldendale. He hauled his Lumber by ox team down the bed of the canyon to Columbus, of the north bank of the Columbia River, for shipment. He shipped his lumber on flatboats and scows, operated by sail, up the Columbia to Umatilla Landing, where it was used locally or freighted to nearby points.
"Columbus, as you know, is now called Maryhill, and instead of the rough 17-mile road down the canyon from father's old mill there is a beautiful paved highway; and, by the way, Klickitat county owes a debt of gratitude to Sam Hill for the value of highways in that district.
"One of my early recollections is of being at Columbus, when I was a little tot, and seeing two men having a fight at father's sawmill. One was a northerner and the other a southerner. They were fighting over whether Mrs. Surratt should be hanged for the part she had taken in the assassination of President Lincoln.
"I was born on our place in Klickitat county, December 8, 1860. When father and mother first went to Klickitat County there were only six white families in the county, but there were lots of Indians. I learned to speak the Chinook jargon almost as soon as I learned English. Mother, who had come to Oregon in 1847, could talk the jargon as well as the Indians themselves. When I was a little tot the few families in Klickitat County were all neighborly. For example, my father would kill a beef and would divide it among the neighbors. Later, one of the neighbors wood kill a beef and send it around to all his neighbors. By taking turns in this way they were able to eat a beef without having it spoil. The Indians kept close track of whose turn it was to kill a beef and always turned up to get the heart, liver, entrails and the other waste parts. I can remember, when I was about four or five years old, my father sitting in the doorway sharpening two butcher knives to cut up a beef that he was going to kill. Half a dozen or more Indians rode up, left their ponies standing in front of our gate, glided in past my father, and sat solemnly on the floor to await developments. As my father continued to sharpen his butcher knife he said to my mother in jargon "These Indians think I am going to kill a beef. Instead I am going to kill that big Indian sitting next to the wall, but I want to get my knife sharp enough first. The big Indian next to the wall looked rather nervous. My father said, "Where do you think I had better stick him first - in the throat, or in the heart? " My father kept up a running fire of comments about how he would kill this Indian, till it got on the Indian's nerves. He straightened up from a sitting position as if he had been a piece of bent whalebone, jumped clear over my father's head, and lit running, and the other Indians, with apprehensive glances, followed him to their horses, and away they went. My father explained to them, later, that it was all a joke, but they were quite dubious of him for some time thereafter.
"My mother was a small woman, but utterly without fear. One day when she was baking some salt-rising bread a big Klickitat Indian, with several other Indians, came in. She heard the big Indian say something of an insulting nature about her. Without a moment's hesitation, she grabbed a broom and hit him over their head. As he ran out the door she followed him, hitting him at every jump till, with one tremendous jump, he leaped on his horse and at his best speed departed. The Indian did not turn up for two years, and when he did my mother recognized him and, grabbing up a heavy length of stovewood, threw it at him. The other Indians were nearly convulsed with laughter at the speed with which he got away.
One of the pioneer families of Klickitat county was the Bunnell family. There were nine boys in the Bunnell family and nine girls in our family, of which I was the oldest. Later mother had two more children, both boys.
"When I was a little girl - it could not have been over two or three years after the close of the Civil war - I awoke one night in our little two-room log cabin and saw my mother sitting by the fireplace with her gun within easy reach. I asked her what time it was. She told me it was 2 o'clock in the morning and to go to sleep. I asked, "Why don't you come to bed, Mother?" She told me she had to set up and watch. This alarmed me greatly, so I got out of bed and went to her and, putting my arm around her neck, said, "Why do you sit up tonight?" She told me not to wake the other children; that a friendly Indian had come and told her that some of the bad Indians were out making trouble and had threatened to come to our house and burn the house and kill us, so she had to sit up and watch. I shall never forget how long the rest of that night seemed, and how glad we were when daylight came.
"Goldendale, county seat of Klickitat county, is named for my father, John Golden. Thomas Johnson, a native of Canada, who came to Klickitat county in 1863, surveyed the townsite of Goldendale in1871. He settled in 1863 at Rockland, just across the Columbia river from The Dalles, and for several years ran the ferry between Rockland and The Dalles. He built the first store in Goldendale.
"Klickitat county was organized in 1859, but as there were only three or four white families in the entire county the organization of the county was allowed to go by the board. When the county was first organized the county seat was located on Albert Allen's land claim. The first county commissioners were Albert Allen, Richard Tarter and Jack Halstead. Willis Jenkins was probate judge, James Clark for sheriff, Nelson Whitney was auditor, Edwin Grant was assessors, William Murphy was county treasurer, and John Nelson was justice of the peace. In 1861 the boundary of the county was changed and the county seat was located on the land claim of G.W. Phillips. In January, 1867, the county seat was changed to Rockland and a new set of county officials was elected. Rockland continued to be the county seat until Goldendale was selected.
"Our place was on the main traveled road to the Indian reservation. Father Wilbur was agent at Simcoe. He was a fine man and was very popular. He frequently stopped over night at our place coming or going from Simcoe to the Columbia river, where he caught the boat for Portland.
"On July 4, 1878 I was married to Wilson M. Barnett. Judge Stapleton's sister, now Mrs. Mary Deaton, was my bridesmaid. Judge A.L. Miller of Vancouver, married Judge Stapleton's sister. I was the first one to be married in the new church at Goldendale. The day after our marriage, my husband opened a small furniture store in Goldendale. As there was not much demand for furniture, he added groceries and clothing and made a general merchandise store. In the fall of 1880 we moved to Spanish Hollow, near where the town of Wasco was later built."

Gravesite Details Daughter of John & Jane Golden; wife of William Marion Barnett.




  • Created by: Carrie and Allen &#128149;
  • Added: 28 Jun 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 54215110
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Sarah Emily Golden Barnett (1860–1940), Find A Grave Memorial no. 54215110, citing Sun Rise Cemetery, Wasco, Sherman County, Oregon, USA ; Maintained by Carrie and Allen &#128149; (contributor 46963612) .