Biographical Note

Scope and Content

Digital Content

Restrictions on Access

Processing Info

Inventory   [ + ]

Subject Terms


Guide to the Photographs of Ezra Meeker



PH Collection No.: 596
Title: Photographs of Ezra Meeker
Date Span: ca. 1880-1928
Quantity: 35 photographic prints (1 box + 2 folders) ; sizes vary
Location: Entire collection available on digital site
K183 (box 1)
K52 (box OS3: 1 folder)
M270a (1 folder)
Languages: Collection materials are in English.
Ezra Meeker with ox cart and dog on Oregon Trail, ca. 1910. Special Collections, UW Libraries, UW22288z




Biographical Note

Ezra Meeker was an early Washington State pioneer who trekked across the country by way of ox cart on the Oregon Trail. He was born December 29, 1830, in Huntsville, Ohio, to Jacob and Phoebe Meeker. By the time he was ten years old, the family had relocated to Indiana, near Indianapolis. In 1851, Meeker married his childhood sweetheart, Eliza Jane Sumner. Meeker, his wife, and his newborn son left Iowa for Oregon in 1852, arriving in the Puget Sound area the next year. They settled permanently in Puyallup in 1862, where Meeker established a successful hop-raising business. He and his family lived in a tiny cabin for the next 26 years. Eliza Jane planted an ivy vine at one corner of the cabin in 1864, and it flourished, providing shade for the home. It was still there years later when the cabin walls finally rotted away, long after the Meekers had moved into their new home, the "Meeker Mansion." The citizens of Puyallup, grateful for Meeker's gift of his land as a park (Pioneer Park), decided to preserve the vine as a part of the town's heritage, and provided a concrete pergola to support the vines. The ivy-covered pergola stands where the Meeker cabin once stood.

At 76 years old, Meeker became a national celebrity when he loaded up his ox cart and followed the Oregon Trail to the east. Along the way he gave speeches, encouraging the preservation of the Oregon Trail route. The expedition was such a success that Meeker undertook the journey once again in 1910. Meeker also wrote a book on the trail and convinced President Theodore Roosevelt to set aside money for trail preservation. In later years, he made the trip by automobile, train, and even airplane. Meeker continued to promote the Oregon Trail until his death at age 98.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of portraits of Ezra Meeker, as well as photographs of him with other Northwest pioneers. In addition, there are photographs of Meeker in various Puyallup locations, along with images documenting his efforts to gain support for the preservation of the Oregon Trail.

Digital Content

View selections from the collection in digital format.

Restrictions on Access

Access to original photographs is restricted. Entire collection available on digital site. Contact Special Collections for further information.

Processing Info

Processed by Rebekah Dalby, August, 2002.

This collection was transferred from the Meeker Portrait File, 2005; Item 35 transferred from Accession 4632-001.


Inventory

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Ezra Meeker
1/11Etching of Ezra Meeker   View imageundated
Printed on front: Hon Ezra Meeker, Puyallup, W.T.
2Portrait of Ezra Meeker in a hat   View imageundated
3Portrait of Ezra Meeker with glasses   View imageundated

Photographer: Edward S. Curtis Studios, Los Angeles
OS34Ezra Meeker and note from Ezra Meeker    OVERSIZE   View imageOctober 10, 1916
5Ezra Meeker    OVERSIZE   View image1927

Photographer: Latimer, H. A.
1/16Photograph of a painting of Ezra Meeker by Kathleen Houlahan   View imageundated
Kathleen Houlahan was a student of Robert Henri.
7Etching of Ezra Meeker   View imageundated
8Ezra Meeker   View imagecirca 1925

Photographer: McBride Studio, Seattle
9Pallbearers carrying the casket of Ezra Meeker   View imageDecember 1928
Printed on verso: While hundreds stood with bared heads, Ezra Meeker, last of the pioneers, was borne from Westminster Presbyterian Church yesterday to the cortege which escorted his body to the old cemetery at Puyallup for burial beside his wife.
John E. Ayer identified as one of the pallbearers.

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Ezra Meeker with other Northwest pioneers
1/210-11Ezra Meeker, Clarence Bagley, and George Himes at dedication ceremony for Oregon Trail Marker   View imageJuly 1919
12Ezra Meeker, David Longmire, and George Himes at dedication ceremony for Oregon Trail Marker   View imageJuly 1919
13Ezra Meeker, David Longmire, and George Himes with group at dedication ceremony for Oregon Trail Marker   View imageJuly 1919
14Ezra Meeker, Scott Himes, Rolf Granger with other dignitaries at the granary at Fort Nisqually   View imageundated
Meeker is third from left, Himes is on Meeker's immediate left, and Granger is on Himes's immediate left.
15Group of men and women in front of house   View imageundated
Sitting (L to R): Mrs. Woolesy, Mrs. Dunlap, Mrs. Meeker, Mrs. Boatman, Mrs. Rogers. Standing (L to R): Unknown, George Bird, Ezra Meeker, Willis Boatman, Mr. Rogers.

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Ezra Meeker and Puyallup locations
1/316Ezra Meeker and others at site where Meeker's cabin once stood, Pioneer Park, Puyallup, Washington   View imageundated
Written on verso: The ivy vine in back ground supported by cement columns [ill.] covered the cabin where Ezra Meeker lived 25 years
17Ezra Meeker at site where his cabin once stood, Pioneer Park, Puyallup, Washington   View imageundated
18Ivy and cement columns planted by Ezra Meeker at site of his former home, now Pioneer Park, Puyallup,Washington   View imageundated
19Sequoia tree on Ezra Meeker homestead   View imageundated
Written on verso: Sequoia tree; 30 years old; 15 ½ feet in circumference; Ezra Meeker homesteadm Puyallup in background.
20Ezra Meeker ranch with Meeker Washington Hops building, Puyallup, Washington   View image1890

Photographer: J. F. Haynes
21aEzra Meeker in front of statue of himself by Alonzo Victor Lewis, Pioneer Park, Puyallup, Washington   View imageafter 1926

Photographer: Griffin, Puyallup, WA
Folder Item
M270a21bEzra Meeker and audience at dedication of Meeker statue, Pioneer Park, Puyallup, Washington    OVERSIZESept. 14, 1926
Panoramic Cirkut photograph

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Ezra Meeker and Fort Nisqually
1/322Ezra Meeker and man at site of Fort Nisqually   View imageundated
Written on photo: Site of Ft. Nisqually 1833 later in 1843 moved to Final Location.
23Ezra Meeker in front of Hudson Bay Company Warehouse built in 1844, Fort Nisqually, Tacoma   View imageundated

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Promoting Oregon Trail preservation
1/424Ezra Meeker and another man in front of Oregon Trail monument, Baker City, Oregon   View imagecirca 1910
25Two oxen named Twist and Dave   View imageundated
26Ezra Meeker with ox cart and dog on Oregon Trail   View imagecirca 1910

Photographer: Asahel Curtis
Printed no verso: The Oregon Trail over which thousands came to the Pacific Northwest was rapidly becoming legendary when in 1910 Ezra Meeker with his oxteam retraced its course across the west and had permanent markers placed.
27Ezra Meeker and his oxcart with two men, Mardon and Sim, at the Alamo, San Antonio, Texas   View image1911
28Ezra Meeker and boy scouts in front of sign marking end of Oregon Trail   View imagecirca 1910-1911
29Ezra Meeker and Mardon with ox cart   View imagecirca 1910-1911

Photograhper: Leet Brothers, Washington D.C.
30Composite photograph of Ezra Meeker in front of ox cart and large building with Theodore Roosevelt added into picture   View imagecirca 1910-1914

Photograhper: Leet Brothers, Washington D.C.
31Ezra Meeker with other men and American flag standing in front of the Washington State capitol building, Olympia, Washington   View imagecirca 1910-1914

Photographer: Collier
32Ezra Meeker standing on ox cart amidst a crowd of people, Tenino, Washington   View image1913

Photographer: McKee, Longview, WA
33Ezra Meeker holding girl Kay, Olympia, Washington   View imageMay 19, 1914
Written on verso: Kay [ill.] daughter of Kat [ill.] Meeker.
34Ezra Meeker's ox cart, Olympia, Washington   View imagecirca 1914
35Ezra Meeker with others in front of ox cart, Seattle, Washington   View imageundated

Subject Terms

Personal Names:
Meeker, Ezra, 1830-1928--Photographs.
Subjects:
Historic preservation--United States.
Historic sites--Northwest, Pacific--Photographs.
Historic sites--West (U.S.)--Photographs.
Pioneers--Northwest, Pacific--Photographs.
Geographic Names:
Oregon National Historic Trail--Photographs.
Pioneer Park (Puyallup, Wash.)--Photographs.
Puyallup (Wash.)--Photographs.
Last modified: January 17, 2014
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