Ralph Oregon Dunbar
IL, OH, PA (him, father, mother). He was surely in WA by 1870 census, a single lawyer from Illinois. In 1850, his father's family was already headed west, as they were enumerated in Marion, OR that year.
1892 Census of Thurston Co, WA:
R.O., 47, m, judge - supreme court - OR
Clara, 40, f, WA
Frederick, 11, m, WA
Ruth, 9, f, WA
John, 2, m, WA
In 1910, Ralph was a judge on the state supreme court! Enumerated in Olympia, Thurston Co, WA.
Based on 1880 location, wonder if Ralph was brother of W. R. Dunbar, also of Goldendale in1880, a farmer b. @1839, IL, shows parents as OH, PA, as well (though Ralph showed PA/PA in 1880, in later records, it's corrected to OH/PA)
1880 US Census for Goldendale, Klickitat Co, WA:
R.O., w, m, 35, lawyer, IL, PA, PA
Clara, w, f, 28, wife, keep house, OR, IN, OH
Wells/Wills, w, m, 5, son, WA, IL, OR
Chester, w, m, 4, son, WA, IL, OR
Trot, w, f, 2, dau, WA, IL, OR
Washington State Justices:
Ralph Oregon Dunbar, served Nov. 11, 1889-Sept. 19, 1912 (died)
Chief Justice Jan. 9, 1911-Sept. 19, 1912
An Illustrated History of the State of Washington, by Rev. H.K. Hines, D.D., The
Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago, IL., 1893, pages 394-395
JUDGE RALPH OREGON DUNBAR, of Goldendale, Washington, Chief Justice of the
State of Washington, was born in Schuyler county, Illinois, April 26, 1845. His
parents, Rice and Jane (Brisbin) Dunbar, were natives of Ohio and Pennsylvania
respectively, but were married in Illinois, where both were reared from
Rice Dunbar was a carpenter by trade and followed that occupation in
Illinois until 1846. That year he purchased a prairie outfit, and with ox teams
brought his family across the plains and mountains to the Willamette valley,
Oregon. He located a donation claim in the Waldo hills, Marion county, and there
engaged in farming, continuing his trade, as opportunity afforded, up to 1863.
Then he moved his family to Salem, where he passed the closing years of his
Judge Dunbar was educated at the Willamette University, teaching two years
while pursuing his studies. In 1867 he moved to Olympia and commenced the study
of law in the office of Hon. Elwood Evans, and was admitted to practice before
the Territorial Supreme Court in 1859. His career as a lawyer has been marked by
success, he has had an extensive practice throughout the State, and he has
gained a reputation not only as a successful lawyer but also as one whose
judgment can always be relied upon. That same year, 1869, he was appointed Clerk
of the United States District Court by Chief Justice Orange Jacobs, and
performed the duties of that office until 1871, when he resigned, went to
Yakima, and engaged in the practice of his profession, continuing there thus
occupied until 1875. He then moved to The Dalles, Oregon, and passed two years
at that place. Returning to Washington in 1877, he opened an office in
Goldendale and continued his professional life. In 1878 he was elected to the
Upper House or Council of the Territorial Legislature, and was also elected
Probate Judge of Klickitat county. In 1880 he was elected Prosecuting Attorney
for Klickitat, Kittitass, Yakima, Clarke and Skamania counties, In 1885 he was
elected to the Lower House of the Territorial Legislature, and upon the
assemblage of that body was elected Speaker of the House. He also served several
terms as City Attorney of Goldendale, and from 1880 to 1836 was editor and
proprietor of the Goldendale Sentinel, a paper which zealously supported the
principles of the Republican party. The Judge represented the eleventh district
in the Constitutional Convention in 1889, and was appointed chairman of the
Committee on Tide and Granted Lands, and was the author of the constitutional
articles on school lands. He was a prominent candidate for Congress at the first
State convention in Washington in 1889, lacking only three votes of the
nomination. At the same convention he was unanimously nominated as candidate for
the office of Supreme Judge, to which responsible position he was elected by a
large majority the following month. In January, 1893, after serving two years as
Associate Justice, Judge Dunbar was chosen by his brother judges to fill the
responsible and honorable position as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the
State of Washington -- a position he now occupies -- discharging the duties with
credit to himself and friends and to the satisfaction of the public in general.
Being of a nervous temperament, Judge Dunbar sought and has found rest and
recreation in agricultural pursuits. He bought 280 acres of land near
Goldendale, and became interested in grain farming and the raising of horses.
After his election as Supreme Judge, he removed to Olympia, and while
discharging the duties of that office, in order to continue his farming
diversion, he purchased 170 acres of land near Olympia. On this property h is
raising fine horses of Hambletonian Mambrino and Altamont breeds, and some
Judge Dunbar was married at Yakima, in 1873, to Miss Clara, daughter of
William White, a pioneer of 1852. Her father was murdered while engaged in
farming, six miles southeast of Olympia, during the Indian war of 1855 and 1856.
Judge and Mrs. Dunbar have three children, -- Fred, Ruth and John, -- all busily
engaged in the pursuit of education.
Submitted to the WA. Bios Project in September 2003 by Jeffrey L. Elmer
* * * *
Notice: These biographies were transcribed for the Washington Biographies
Project. Unless otherwise stated, no further information is available on the
individual featured in the biographies.
Additionally, from the published history of the Goldendale Sentinel, Goldendale, WA:
DUNBAR FIRST EDITOR
Three directors were elected annually, one of them to be selected to take charge of the company's affairs. Ralph Oregon Dunbar was made the first manager. DUNBAR later became chief justice of the Supreme Court at Olympia, and to this day is considered one of the greatest judges in the history of the state.
At this time the paper was to be politically neutral, as both parties were represented among the shareholders who were W.H. Boyd, William Cumming, W.R. DUNBAR, J.T. Eshelman, J.M. Hess, Ophelia Cram. T.L. Masters, Joseph Nesbitt, C.S. Reinhart, E.B. Wise, R.O. DUNBAR, Wm. Van Vactor, Frederick Eshelman, G.W. Stapleton, J.M. Luark W.J. Story.
Neutrality, in a political sense, was hard to maintain, and the columns of The Sentinel became more and more Republican.
The fire of 1888, which swept over the town taking all but three business houses and making 25 families homeless, also burned The Sentinel, with an estimated damage of $3,500. The paper did not stop publication, however, but the copy was taken to The Dalles Mountaineer office, where it was published and returned to Goldendale. This May 17 issue carried a story of the fire on the front page with a tiny headline titled, 'The Fire.'
As is clearly seen, both William R. Dunbar and Ralph O. Dunbar were shareholders of the paper, as well. He was born on 26 April 1845 at Schuyler County, Illinois, USA
. He was the son of Rice Dunbar
and Jane Miller Brisbin
. Ralph Oregon Dunbar married Clarissa 'Clara' Ann White
, daughter of William White
, in 1873 at Yakima County, Washington, USA
. Ralph Oregon Dunbar died on 19 September 1912 at Washington, USA
, at age 67.