The following newspaper article is a brief biography of Patrick Henry and Minerva Jane (Cooper) Roundtree in commemoration of their 61st wedding anniversary.

"Mr. and Mrs. P. H. Roundtree Wed 61 Years Ago Today"

Their sixty-first wedding anniversary will be celebrated today, December 24, at their home at Klaber by Mr. and Mrs. P.H. Roundtree, two of the oldest of the few remaining Lewis county pioneers. Both Mr. Roundtree, who is now 83, and his wife, whose maiden name was Minerva Jane Cooper, aged 77 at this time, crossed the plains to the Pacific Northwest as young folks with their parents. They met and were married at Cooper's hollow, in Polk county, Oregon, where he had rented a farm from her mother, Mrs. Hester Ann Cooper, following a courtship of a few months time. That was December 24, 1865, and the happy wedded life of these highly respected people has been so closely interwoven with the history of both Southwest Washington and of Oregon that it makes a most interesting tale. Mr. Roundtree was born in Knox county, Illinois, February 18, 1843; Mrs. Roundtree in Sheridan county, missouri, February 10, 1849.

The Roundtree family's original home was in Kentucky, where John F. Roundtree, father of Patrick Henry Roundtree, was born in 1818. In 1835 John F. Roundtree moved to Knox county, Illinois, and it was there that P. H. Roundtree and his brothers, mention of whom will be made later, were born. The Roundtree family seemed to have been instinctively possessed of the pioneer spirit, that spirit which lures men all over the world to venture out into the unknown and establish new homes that mark the advance of civilization. John F. Roundtree, his family and a company of friends, came to Washington territory in 1859, but others of their relatives had preceded them by seven years time, reaching the upper Chehalis valley, some 15 miles southwest of where the city of Chehalis now stands, in the year 1853. All these people were real pioneers of the northwest country, but the neighborhood is indeed fortunate in which the few survivors of that period yet live who have the historical data at hand or the inclination and ability to recount the early adventures and hardships of the fifties and sixties.

P. H. Roundtree is one of the type to which the writer has referred, and because he has many surviving descendants and relatives to whom the story is of value, and because his mind is keen, despite his 83 years, he has gathered together into a tablet note book of some 90 pages a wonderfully interesting recountal of his life into which is naturally interwoven many things that are of great interest to those of this later period of the history of this section.

From Pat Roundtree, as he is familiarly known to all of us oldtimers in Lewis county, we have been privileged to gather the more interesting features of the story which he jotted down in his penciled tablet. From this story we gather that in 1853 Perry Roundtree, his brother Andrew, and two sisters, Miss Polly Roundtree and Mrs. William Murphy, together with Mr. Murphy, first settled near Boistfort in western Lewis county, after having spent the previous year in Polk county, Oregon. In the following year the father of these Roundtrees, Turner R. Roundtree, came, accompanied by his youngest son, Martin. Pat Roundtree's father, John F. Roundtree, was also a son of Turner R. Roundtree.

Martin Roundtree was the first husband of Mrs. Mary Harris, formerly of Boistfort, Mrs. U. E. Harmon of Tacoma, Mrs. Emma Salzer of Centralia, Mrs. George Smith of Longview and Mrs. Addie Athow of Spokane are their daughters. Following Mr. Roundtree's death his widow married Rev. Edward Harris, who is still living near old Boistfort postoffice.

Perry Roundtree, one of the original group of immigrants that came, was the father of Glenn O. Roundtree, at present a well known and influential farmer of Klaber; and of Mrs. Minnie Wilson, who resides at this time in Olympia.

There are three children of Andrew J. Roundtree, all of whom still reside in Lewis county. These are George Roundtree and Mrs. Mollie Deggeller of Centralia, and Hiram Roundtree of Kalber.

The descendants of John F. Roundtree, all of whom were well known to Lewis county residents of the past twenty years or more, were four sons and two daughters, as follows: Turner Roundtree, who lived in recent years at Winlock until his death, which occurred about four years ago. He is survived by two sons, Guy of Pittsburg, Alaska, and Otis Roundtree of Winlock; also a daughter, Mrs. Lena Rhodes of Winlock.

Hugh Roundtree, who spent most of his life in Lewis county, but afterwards resided in Oregon and later at Pacific Beach, Washington, where he died in June, 1925. Descendants of Hugh Roundtree are two sons and two daughters. The former are Frank Roundtree of Medford, Ore., and Ralph of Pacific Beach; and Mrs. Ella Welch of Klamath Lake and Mrs. Effie Cole of Hoquiam. The children of Mr. and Mrs. P. H. Roundtree, the immediate subjects of this story, are as follows: John Roundtree of Klaber, William of Curtis, Harvey of Shelton, Cahrles P. and Albert Roundtree of Klaber, where a daughter, Mrs. Allie Damitz, also resides. There are twenty-two grandchildren and fourteen great-grandchildren.

P. H. Roundtree has one surviving brother, Eugene Roundtree of Yakima; also two sisters, Mrs. Sarah Sloan of Albany, Ore., and Mrs. Julia Williams of Los Angeles.

Having covered the biographical feature of the Roundtree family and the genealogy of its various branches, a summary of some of the more interesting features of the wonderfully interesting memoranda made by P. H. Roundtree will be given. Mr. Roundtree's father, John F. Roundtree, together with his family, started on their trip across the plains, leaving their Illlinois home April 4, 1859. They had heard the wonderful story related to them by Andrew Roundtree, who had returned to the old home in Illinois after having parked in circular formation to afspent some time in the Oregon-Washington territory and who had made the return trip by way of the Isthmus of Panama.

The John Roundtree party included, in addition to his own immediate family, A. J. Roundtree; T. J. Spooner, his mother and two sisters; J. N. Reynolds and family and Ben Benson. The caravan included in the way of an outfit a carriage, an ox wagon and one yoke of oxen, three yoke of cows, two four horse teams, and forty head of horses and cattle mixed which were driven in a herd. There wre seventeen people in the party.

The Mississippi river was crossed at Rock Island and Davenport, following which the trail led to Council Bluff, Iowa, where camp was made of the Missouri river bottom. It is the old story of "The Covered Wagon" told and retold. Cupid appeared on the scene at Omaha and the Roundtree party had its first wedding on the trail when A. J. Roundtree and Susan Spooner were wed at that place. Crossing the river from Council Bluffs to Omaha, then a town of fifteen houses, a big immigrant train was soon assembled. In it there were 105 wagons, all of the parties headed for the great Northwest. With the exception of two or three trading posts no more settlements were found until the party arrived at Walla Walla.

Each night the wagons were ford a corral into which the livestock was herded a half a dozen men did sentinel duty. Out on the Platte river a party of disgruntled miners who had suffered ill luck in the Pike's Peak boom were encountered. They were waiting arrival of one Curtis, alleged mine discoverer, and planned to hang him. When Curtis arrived he mounted a soap box, made a speech an hour and a half long and talked the miners out of it. The immigrant train had been held up three hours expecting to see a lynching but, disappointed, moved westward.

Twelve miles per day was an average drive for the train. On arrival at the forks of Oregon and California trails the Oregon trail in particular was especially dim, due to the fact that it had been little used since '53 or '54. After trying to follow it for two or three days trace of the road was entirely lost. Captain Dan Sheets, who had been chosen to act in that capacity at Omaha, and Lieutenant A. J. Roundtree had both been over the trail before and a few others known as the "Red Rovers" had also been over it. The Red Rovers concluded that they knew the right road and too the trail to the south and west, with five wagons in their party. The main party headed by Captain Sheets started to the north and west. Almost over night a band of 150 Indians attacked the Red Rovers and three of their men were badly wounded. Had they not been rescued by Sheets and 50 of his followers the Red Rovers would probably all have been killed. Within another day or two Indians stampeded 25 horses. They were pursued and four Indians and a white man who was with them killed. After this there was no more serious trouble with the Indians, but from time to time Indians would visit camp and try to trade for guns, being always refused.

The men of the Rountree party divided their duties, taking turn at driving the wagons, herding the stock and other work. From time to time some hunted sage hens and other birds and an occasional antelope or buffalo was killed for food. On the Snake river they met Major Reynolds of the United States army, who, with a company of men had been sent out to protect immigrants from Indian attacks. While camped at the present site of La Grande, Ore., A. J. Roundtree pointed out the place where his party had been attacked by 1500 Indians on their previous trip across the plains and where the skeletons of thirty Indians that had been killed three years previously were still to be seen in a good state of preservation.

The big immigrant train broke up at Walla Walla and began to scatter into various parts of the Northwest. The Roundtrees shipped their outfit on a scow from The Dalles down to the Cascades, then drove their stock down the Columbia river. Later a large scow was chartered at Portland and the journey made down the Columbia and up the Cowlitz river. It took four days to make the drive from the Cowlitz landing to Boistfort, Lewis county at which place the party arrived September 25, 1859.

At Boistfort the life of the pioneer began for the new arrivals. Pat Roundtree's grandfather killed and baconed 60 hogs, the trip to market at Olympia taking five days and the bacon being sold at 28 cents per pound.

In the spring of 1860 Pat started to school at Boistfort in the first schoolhouse built in Washington. His teacher was a preacher, Reverend Taylor. The term was brief and he went to work for John Hogue for $1.50 per day and his board, with $2 the wage at haying time.

Mr. Roundtree says that while working for Hogue part of his time was occupied setting fire to the timber and the underbrush in the country nearby. For setting these timber fires Mr. Hogue paid $1.50 per day and kept Mr. Roundtree supplied with matches. All of which sounds shocking, no doubt, to the timber owners of today who spend annually hundred of thousands of dollars for forest fire protection. Mr. Hogue wanted the timber burned away so that he might have range for his stock and the timber at that time had no value to him or anyone else.

At various times Mr. Roundtree made trips to Gray's Harbor and one the occasion of one of these trips he met the James brothers, well known in the Rochester neighborhood. Also another pioneer, Michael Simmons, and his two sons. In the spring of 1861 his father took up a claim, built a house and barn and fenced 40 acres. Pat went to school then for six weeks to a Miss Guthrie. The school term was necessarily short, as the school was paid for by subscriptions and folks had little money.

Later Mr. Roundtree left home and went out to work for himself, being for a time at Walla Walla; also at Portland where he worked as deckhand on the steamer Multnomah between Portland and Astoria. he worked also at Portland on a pile driver job, afterwards going to The Dalles where, in company with Henry Blodgett he engaged in digging wells. The winter was spent in that district and in March we find Mr. Roundtree employed in the John Day and DesChutes river country. After being away from home for 18 months the wander lust had gone and Mr. Roundtree returned to his home at Boistfort with $600 in gold to show for his work. In those days that was rated as a lot of money.

Remaining at home for a time, until his 20th birthday, a big dinner was given in his honor. Then he went back to The Dalles and engaged in teaming, later freighting to the mines around Boise, Idaho. For one trip with five wagons at 20 to 28 cents a pound to Bannock City and Blackwell the freight totaled over $7000.

Mr. Roundtree has many interesting hunting stories to relate. One of these tells of a hand-to-hand battle that he and his brother Turner engaged in just south of where the city of Chehalis is located. Their dog had cought a half-grown cougar which they wre afraid to attempt to shoot for fear of killing the dog which was an unusually valuable one. Each man got the cougar by a front pay and as it would attempt to snap at Pat he would jab it with an eight-inch blade butcher knife and it was finally stabbed to death.

In the Copalis and Moclips bech districts on Gray's Harbor at variious times, Mr. Roundtree and Henry Blodgett spent considerable time at shooting sea otter. These were hunted from a stationary derrick built 22 feet into the air and so enthusiastic over the height of the derricks did some hunters become that one man finaly put up one 65 feet high. In the winters of 1863 and 1864 otter were especially plentiful and it was not uncommon to see herds of from 100 to as many as a thousand of them between Gray's Harbor and Point Granville.

Elk roamed the Gray's Harbor district in great bands those days and on one occasion Mr. Roundtree came almost to serious grief when, alone, he shot an elk on Quiniault prairie. Other elk of the band charged him and tem or a dozen of them stampeded about him for housrs until he was able at last to make his escape and return with help to secure the elk he had killed.

In 1865 Mr. Roundtree had occasion to go to Portland on a business trip and later went to Salem, where he attended the Oregon State Fair. While at Salem he concluded to rent a farm down in Oregon and try farming for himself, so he made a bargain for the farm of Mrs. Hester Ann Cooper, a widow living four miles west of Monmuth in Polk county. It was here that he met Mrs. Cooper's daughter, Minerva Jane, and married her December 24, 1865. In the spring Mr. and Mrs. Roundtree moved to Jackson county, Oregon, and located 12 miles east of Jacksonville, where they got a tract of land, built a house and barn and fenced 40 acres.

In the winter of 1868 Mr. Roundtree and his brothers, Hugh and Turner, who had also found their way down into the Oregon country, were for a time interested in prospecting in what was known as the Lost Cabin gold mines district. A man named Ike Skeaters had come in with exciting tales of the mines. While on one of these trips the three brothers lost their harness and saddles in a fire and one had to ride 35 miles to get more harness so that their wagon could be hauled home.

It was on one of these trips that a most thrilling hunting adventure occurred. A monster grizzly bear was encountered and disptched but only after the most desperate kind of a battle that lasted three hours. The bear was shot 13 times with the type of weapons in use in those days before he succumbed. From one eye to the other the bear measured 16 inches; the bottom of his feet measured 11x13 inches and his claws four to five inches long. To land the bear into a wagon it was necessary to use skids and its nose touches the front end gate and the hamstrings the rear gate. It was estimated that the brute would have weighed at least a ton.

Mr. Roundtree moved back to Lewis county with his family in the spring of 1869 and again made his home in the Boistfort country. He began development of a place of his own and worked during the summer months and in the winter season hunted a great deal, finding a market for dddr and other game at Tacoma, Portland and Olympia. After planting spring crops he would go to Gray's Harbor to hunt sea otter. It was on these hunting trips to Gray's Harbor that Mr. Roundtree developed a fondness for that section and in 1891 he and Mrs. Roundtree acquired some property there on the present site of Pacific Beach. later he bought half of the Blodgett homestead and when the Northern Pacific built its branch down there Mr. Roundtree platted the townsite of Pacific Beach. Mr. and Mrs. Roundtree still own a summer home at Pacific Beach and divide their time during their retired age between there and the old home at Boistfort.

In spite of the fact that Mr. and Mrs. Roundtree are so far advanced in years they are both enjoying good health and are active in every way. They get much pleasure out of the advantages which people enjoy at this time and cannot help but contrast these with the lack of comforts which people had to endure during the early pioneer times when they crossed the plains and during their earlier years in the Northwest.

To have lived to such a ripe old age as have Mr. and Mrs. Roundtree and to still be enjoying good health is in itself a wonderful achievement that would indicate that prudence and a life temperate in all things have been practiced throught all the years. When to this is added the comfort that comes from having done their full part in helping to pioneer and develop this great Northwest country; and from having reared a splended family, the individual members of which are having their full part in all community affairs, and whose loev the parents enjoy to the fullest in their old age, there is yet greater pleasure.

At this happy Christmas time, old-time Lewis county friends and other friends in Washington and Oregon will join in greetings of the season to Mr. and Mrs. Roundtree, with the hope that they may enjoy many more anniversaries of their wedding day.

Source: The Chehalis Bee-Nugget, 24 Dec 1926, page 9.

Transcribed by Diana Smith. She has no further information on this individual.