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Friday,  May 24 , 2024

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Photo of Martin Middlewood

Stories by Martin Middlewood

Columbian freelance contributor

Born in Albany, Ore., in 1863, Minnie Mossman Hill was only about 19 years old when she was licensed to pilot a steamship after learning the trade from her husband, Charles. She was the first female west of the Mississippi River to captain a steamship.

Clark County History: Minnie Hill captained steamers on the Columbia and Willamette rivers

Born in Albany, Ore., in 1863, Minnie Mossman Hill was only about 19 years old when she was licensed to pilot a steamship after learning the trade from her husband, Charles. She was the first female west of the Mississippi River to captain a steamship.

May 18, 2024, 6:07am Clark County Life

When Minnie Mossman married Charles Hill in 1883, she signed on as a life mate and as first mate on his steamer. Minnie Mossman Hill soon became the first licensed woman steamship operator in the West and the second in the nation. Read story

General Nelson A. Miles (1839-1925) assumed command of the District of Columbia and quartered in the O.O. Howard House. As Gen. Howard&rsquo;s aide during the Civil War, he became a dear friend. But taking credit for the surrender of the Nez Perce in 1877 led to a bitter dispute.

Clark County history: General Nelson Miles

General Nelson A. Miles (1839-1925) assumed command of the District of Columbia and quartered in the O.O. Howard House. As Gen. Howard&rsquo;s aide during the Civil War, he became a dear friend. But taking credit for the surrender of the Nez Perce in 1877 led to a bitter dispute.

May 11, 2024, 6:08am Clark County Life

At the 1862 battle of Fair Oaks, Brig. Gen. O.O. Howard was wounded twice. His trusted 21-year-old aide, Lt. Nelson Miles, nicked in the heel by a bullet, limped into a slave hut to visit his suffering commander. When the surgeon arrived with four burly soldiers, they placed the general… Read story

Aviator Tom Murphy pilots his Curtis Pusher biplane replica through downtown Portland on Sept. 16, 1995, after flying  off a ramp on top of the eight-story tall historic Multnomah Hotel in a re-enactment of a 1912 flight to Vancouver.

Clark County history: Tom Murphy is likely the only Curtiss Pusher pilot in the Pacific Northwest

Aviator Tom Murphy pilots his Curtis Pusher biplane replica through downtown Portland on Sept. 16, 1995, after flying  off a ramp on top of the eight-story tall historic Multnomah Hotel in a re-enactment of a 1912 flight to Vancouver.

May 4, 2024, 6:09am Clark County Life

Tom Murphy is likely the only Curtiss Pusher pilot in the Pacific Northwest, possibly the country. In 1995, the antique airplane pilot and mechanic flew the plane, also known as the Curtiss Model D, down the Columbia River Gorge from the Western Antique Airplane and Automobile Museum in Hood River,… Read story

Gen. Philip Sheridan was one of Ulysses S. Grant&rsquo;s top commanders and a hero of the Union Army during the U.S. Civil War. He visited Vancouver both before and after the war, and at one time commanded Fort Yamhill, Ore.

Clark County history: Phil Sheridan at Fort Vancouver

Gen. Philip Sheridan was one of Ulysses S. Grant&rsquo;s top commanders and a hero of the Union Army during the U.S. Civil War. He visited Vancouver both before and after the war, and at one time commanded Fort Yamhill, Ore.

April 27, 2024, 6:05am Clark County Life

In 1830, John and Mary Sheridan left their leased holdings in Ireland to purchase passage across the Atlantic Ocean, emigrating to America with their two children. Their third, Philip, was born in America a year later. Eventually, he would rise to command the Army of the United States in 1888… Read story

A monument to the first transpolar flight stands at Pearson Field Airport in Vancouver, where a Soviet crew landed successfully in 1937.

Clark County History: How a Vancouver monument helped thaw the Cold War

A monument to the first transpolar flight stands at Pearson Field Airport in Vancouver, where a Soviet crew landed successfully in 1937.

April 13, 2024, 6:07am Clark County Life

When the Cold War ended in 1991, few considered the thaw had started in Vancouver 16 years earlier. In 1975, Russian delegates came to Pearson Field to dedicate the monument to the 1937 Chkalov Transpolar landing. Read story

A 1917 poster promotes the 4L, or Legion of Loyal Loggers and Lumbermen. Backed by the government, the union was started to prevent the International Workers of the World to gain enough strength to disrupt spruce production. The wood was essential in the manufacturing of early military aircraft.

Clark County history: Industrial Workers of the World

A 1917 poster promotes the 4L, or Legion of Loyal Loggers and Lumbermen. Backed by the government, the union was started to prevent the International Workers of the World to gain enough strength to disrupt spruce production. The wood was essential in the manufacturing of early military aircraft.

April 6, 2024, 6:07am Clark County Life

America entered World War I on April 19, 1917, unprepared to provide the spruce essential to every airplane of the era, which helped protect Allies in muddy European trenches. Airplanes required the spruce found only along 50 miles of Oregon and Washington coastline. Read story

Three founders of the Catholic Church in the Pacific Northwest posed for a formal portrait on an unknown date. Left to right: Fathers Augustin Magloire Blanchet (1797-1887), Norbert Blanchet (1775-1883) and Modeste Demers (1809-1871).

Clark County history: Catholic Church in the Northwest

Three founders of the Catholic Church in the Pacific Northwest posed for a formal portrait on an unknown date. Left to right: Fathers Augustin Magloire Blanchet (1797-1887), Norbert Blanchet (1775-1883) and Modeste Demers (1809-1871).

March 30, 2024, 6:05am Churches & Religion

In 1837, Hudson’s Bay Company Gov. George Simpson wrote to the Archdiocese of Quebec to request a Catholic mission be established in his company’s territory north of the Columbia River. Read story

In this undated photo of an Oregon Trail reenactment, a long line of oxen-drawn wagons stops to rest along a trail. In 1878, a 21-year-old Missouri woman, Sarah Elizabeth Butler, kept a diary of her journey along the trail to Fort Vancouver.

Clark County History: Sarah Butler’s Oregon Trail journey

In this undated photo of an Oregon Trail reenactment, a long line of oxen-drawn wagons stops to rest along a trail. In 1878, a 21-year-old Missouri woman, Sarah Elizabeth Butler, kept a diary of her journey along the trail to Fort Vancouver.

March 23, 2024, 6:05am Clark County Life

Just east of the Kansas border at Carthage, Mo., 21-year-old Sarah Elizabeth Butler (1857-1931) opened her diary. Inside, she wrote eight sentences recording the first day of her trek along the Oregon Trail to the Washington Territory. She loaded that entry with information, perhaps rivaling her family’s packing of their… Read story

Bob and Marian Russell, who survived the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, look over some old newspaper clippings at their Vancouver home in this photo originally published in The Columbian in 1998.

Clark County History: Local couple survived Japanese death camp

Bob and Marian Russell, who survived the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, look over some old newspaper clippings at their Vancouver home in this photo originally published in The Columbian in 1998.

March 16, 2024, 6:04am Clark County Life

A lesser-known fact about America entering World War II is the bombing of a U.S. Navy base at Cavite on Manila Bay, Philippines, on Dec. 10, 1941, three days after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Japanese wanted the Philippine Islands because they needed access to the raw materials of… Read story

In this 1942 photo, American and Filipino prisoners of war captured by the Japanese are shown at the start of the Bataan Death March. A Vancouver High School graduate and Army chaplain, Ralph W.E. Brown, was among the prisoners. He ministered to soldiers until his death in January 1945 in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

Clark County history: Vancouver High graduate received WWII Distinguished Service Cross

In this 1942 photo, American and Filipino prisoners of war captured by the Japanese are shown at the start of the Bataan Death March. A Vancouver High School graduate and Army chaplain, Ralph W.E. Brown, was among the prisoners. He ministered to soldiers until his death in January 1945 in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

March 9, 2024, 6:02am Clark County Life

Three months after the invasion of the Philippine Islands and the Battle of Bataan, the Japanese captured nearly 78,000 Filipino and American prisoners of war. Japanese soldiers marched them for six days down the Bataan peninsula to a railhead, denying them food and water before dispersing them to internment camps.… Read story