OregonScape: Spring 2015

Spring 2015, 116:1

The Applegate brothers, Charles, Jesse, and Lindsay, came to Oregon with their families in the Great Migration of 1843. After brief stops at Fort Vancouver and near Salem, they settled near Dallas for a few years. In about 1850, all three brothers moved to a small community in northern Douglas County, which Jesse named Yoncalla. According to Oregon Geographic Names, the name came from a Native American phrase meaning “the home of the eagles.”


By 1856 Charles and his wife, Melinda Miller Applegate, had finished building the two-story home pictured above from local lumber, brick, and sandstone. They raised fifteen children there, seven sons and eight daughters. Among their neighbors were the families of Jesse and Lindsay, who each raised eleven children in the Yoncalla area.

Charles passed away in 1879, at the age of seventy-three. Melinda followed him in 1888. The house stayed in the family through the following decades. In 1974, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The Oregon Historical Society Research Library collection Mss 3100-37 includes a set of plans and elevations of the house prepared for the Historic American Buildings Survey.

In 1947, descendants of the pioneer Applegate, Huntington and Miller families began to hold an annual reunion. This photograph shows the 1956 reunion that celebrated the one-hundredth anniversary of the completion of the Charles Applegate house. More than 150 people came from Nevada, California, Washington, and even Mexico, as well as Oregon towns from Ashland to Portland to Fossil. Tables were built under the large black walnut trees so everyone could enjoy a "bountious dinner," according to the Drain Enterprise on August 30, 1956. The newspaper article listed many of the attendees (arranged alphabetically by town):

From Lomas De Chapeulpuc, Mexico: Mr. & Mrs. Rex Applegate, and Lisha and Rex Jr.

From California: Rozelle Brown (North Hollywood); John & Vivian Applegate Hunt (Los Angeles); Paul Roake (Lynville).

From Nevada: Mrs. & Mrs. Leon Hill, and Sharon and Ronald (Babbitt); Mr. & Mrs. Gus Newman (Hawthorne).

From Washington: Mr. & Mrs. Tracy Applegate and children (Seattle).

From Ashland, Oregon: Mr. & Mrs. Chester Applegate; Mr. & Mrs. Roscoe Applegate.

From Bay City, Oregon: Herbert Miller.

From Camas Valley, Oregon: Ethel Brown.

From Coquille, Oregon: Benjamin Huntington.

From Drain, Oregon: Eva Applegate; Frank Cunningham; Maude Deaver; Mrs. Myron Farley and children; Sallie Farley; Myra Hedrick; Mr. & Mrs. Earl Kellenbeck; Mr. & Mrs. Dennis Lovelace; Mrs. Jack Roach; Mabel Swearingen; Mrs. Wayne Tucker.

From Eugene, Oregon: Richard Applegate; Ruth Smith Axtell; Mignon Carmichael; Mr. & Mrs. Richard Klemm; Irene Titus; Mary Mires Wise.

From Fossil, Oregon: McKinley Huntington; Mr. & Mrs. Robert Huntington and children; H.D. and Harriette Applegate Keyes.

From Grants Pass, Oregon: William B. Ingrum.

From Jacksonville, Oregon: Ruth Huntington Quigley.

From Junction City, Oregon: Mr. & Mrs. Darrell Horton and son.

From Klamath Falls, Oregon: Nora Cobb; Paul Roache.

From Medford, Oregon: Frank Applegate.

From Oakland, Oregon: Pearl Harvey.

From Portland, Oregon: Mr. & Mrs. Howard Applegate and Roger; Mr. & Mrs. Robert Hansen; Rachel Applegate Tulley.

From Prineville, Oregon: Mr. & Mrs. Cecil McKenzie; Kem, Kelly and Eileen McKenzie.

From Riddle, Oregon: Mr. & Mrs. Elmer Love.

From Roseburg, Oregon: Mr. & Mrs. William Anderson; Patricia Anderson; Cynthia and Janice Eastman; Mr. & Mrs. Dick Eastman; Mr. & Mrs. Harry Ohlsen and family; Verlie Tracey; Mr. & Mrs. W.F. Wilson.

From Scottsburg, Oregon: Mr. & Mrs. Paul Applegate.

From Sisters, Oregon: Mr. & Mrs. Lloyd Hewitt; Sam Hewitt; Mr. & Mrs. Perit Huntington.

From Yoncalla, Oregon: Albert and Lindsay Applegate; Eva Applegate; Frederick Applegate; Janice and Bobbie Applegate; Mr. & Mrs. Charlie Applegate; Mr. & Mrs. Grant Applegate; Mr. & Mrs. Percy Applegate; Nancy Applegate; Susan and Mary Applegate; Vince Applegate; Minnie Applegate Barker; Phil Bloomquist; Mr. & Mrs. Henry Hubbell and Myrna; Collis Philip Huntington; Fannie Huntington; Mr. & Mrs. Gerald Johnston and family; Mr. & Mrs. Don Kingery and children; Mrs. Dare Kingery; Annie Kruse; Homer Kruse; Mrs. Golden Kruse; Mr. & Mrs. Fred Lee; Mr. & Mrs. Cody Long; Mr. & Mrs. Walter McKirdy; Mrs. Lloyd Means; Janice Meier; Mr. & Mrs. Herman Miller; Bernice Radtke; Smit, Chauncy Radtke; Bertha Stock; Mr. & Mrs. Berry Turner and Melvin; Mr. & Mrs. Richard Walker and children; Sara Wertz; Mrs. Harley Williams.