By PDX People
PORTLAND, Ore. – Just 30 minutes outside of Portland is the town of Boring, founded by William Boring, it certainly qualifies as a town with one of the most unique names in the United States.
If you’ve ever driven past Boring OR on the way to Bend or other towns nearby, this article will provide you with more information about William Boring, founder of Boring Oregon and one of the original PDX People for this area.
About William Boring
Born in 1841, William Boring started his life in Greenfield Illinois and later served honorably during the Civil War until injuries that he sustained during the fall of Vicksburg led to him being discharged from the military.
After his military service ended, William Boring decided to take his family west to San Francisco to take advantage of the boom town atmosphere which still was alive and well following the 1849 Gold Rush.
In the early 1870s, president Ulysses S. Grant began offering incentives to homesteaders in the Western United States, which attracted William Boring; he and his wife Sarah left Illinois for San Francisco, California, and then traveled north to Portland, Oregon. William’s elder half-brother, Joseph (b. 1829), who had traveled across the Oregon Trail in 1853, had already settled there and been living in the area for nearly two decades. William and Sarah joined Joseph at his home in 1874, twelve miles east of Portland. There, William and Sarah settled on 160 acres (65 ha) of land. They gave birth to two children: Elsie in October 1875, who only lived for nine days; and Orville, born in 1879.
The settlement occupied by the Boring family came to be known as Boring, Oregon after William donated land for a schoolhouse to be built in 1883, after which the community was granted the name “Boring.” By the turn of the twentieth century, the town had become a thriving logging community, and the construction of an interurban railroad to the town by the Portland Railway, Light and Power Company brought further residents and business.
About Boring Oregon
Boring is an unincorporated community in Clackamas County, Oregon, United States. It is located along Oregon Route 212 in the foothills of the Cascade mountain range, approximately twelve miles (19 km) southeast of Portland. The town, which is contemporarily a bedroom community,[a] is named after William Harrison Boring, a Union soldier and pioneer whose family first settled the area in 1856 in the Oregon Territory.
Boring was officially platted in 1903 after the Portland Railway, Light and Power Company constructed an electric rail line to the town. The former railway is now part of the Springwater Corridor, a rail trail which begins in Boring and ends at the Eastbank Esplanade along the Willamette River in southeast Portland. The Boring Lava Field, an extinct volcanic field zone that comprises terrain spanning between Boring and downtown Portland, took its namesake from the town.
Boring was a hub of the timber industry in the Pacific Northwest prior to and during World War I due to the abundance of surrounding temperate coniferous and evergreen forests, as well as its proximity to the Port of Portland. In addition to logging, plant nurseriesand agriculture have also historically been major economic forces in the town.
In 2012, the town was paired with the village of Dull, Perthshire, Scotland, creating A Pair for the Ages. In 2013, the Boring Community Planning Organization and the Dull & Weem Community Council established The League of Extraordinary Communities and made Bland, New South Wales, Australia its first new member. Boring has often been included in lists of places with unusual names. – Wikipedia
By the turn of the 20th Century William Boring was already a “legend” in the Portland area since he served with distinction during the civil war and had a town with his last name.
Thanks to early census records we know that Boring and his wife Sarah shared their home with their son Oroville and his family along with several lodgers who worked seasonably in the Portland area.
William would live to be 91 years old and passed away in 1931. Thankfully his last name lives on in Boring Oregon along with his hard work that he put into establishing the Portland area as a major city and destination for future generations.
Learn More About People From Portland Oregon
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