An Illustrated History of Central Oregon, Western Historical Publishing Company, Spokane, WA. 1905, page 291-292.

* A portrait of Mr. Belieu appears between pages 288 and 289.

* A portrait has been posted on-line at

BENJAMIN F. BELIEU, a prominent contractor and builder in Hood River, Oregon, was born in Grundy county, Missouri, on July 26, 1851. His father, Jesse Belieu, was a native of Tennessee and his father, the grandfather of our subject, was born in Massachusetts. That venerable gentleman's father came from France and the name was originally Ballou and many of the family still retain that spelling. Some of the Ballou's of Boston were well known publishers. Many of the family are preachers and professional men and our subject's grandfather and three of his father's brothers were preachers. The father died in 1862, in Grundy county, Missouri. Our subject's grandfather was sheriff fourteen years in Tennessee, then resigned that office and commenced preaching. When eleven years of age, Mr. Belieu was left an orphan and soon there-after came to Iowa and remained until twenty years of age, receiving his education in the public schools. In 1877, he went to California and a year later to Oregon where he did saw milling at Salem. He was employed in various other portions of the state and in 1883, landed in Hood River and was occupied with sawmilling at Lost Lake for three years. Then he took up carpenter work and wrought for the O.R. & N. building tanks and cars for several years. After that, he was occupied in Portland in general building and contract work and in 1899. Came to Hood River and built a home. He traded the same for a twenty acre fruit farm. Then bought more land and built another home. He has completed many residences here and with S.W. Arnold, built the Knights of Pythias hall.

On August 27, 1871, Mr. Belieu married Miss Sarah I. Cox, a native of Decatur county, Iowa, where the wedding occurred. Her parents, Martin A. and Eliza (Sutherland) Cox, were natives of Indiana, her father springing from a Tennessee family and her mother from an old southern family. Mr. Belieu has three full brothers, William H., Arch, and Richard R. and one half brother, John H. Drinkard, and one sister, Mrs. Rachel Starkey. He also had one brother, Columbus Belieu, and one half brother, A. Drinkard, who died in the Civil war. Mr. Belieu is a member of the K.P. and the Order of Washington. He and his wife have four children, Nancy, wife of John Nasmythe; Albert M., Perry G., and Eva B.

Mrs. Belieu is a member of the Seventh Day Adventist church. Mr. Belieu is a relative of the Gilliams of eastern Oregon. One of his uncles, Leander Belieu, came to Oregon in 1843, crossing the plains with ox teams. Michael Belieu came in 1845, James, two years later, and John in 1864. Michael Belieu took the first stock of goods south of Oregon City in what is now Polk county and opened a store there in 1849. Eliza Belieu, our subject's grandfather's sister, was the mother of President Garfield.


Submitted to the Oregon Bios. Project in January 2005 by Jeffrey L. Elmer. Submitter has no additional information about the person(s) or family mentioned above.

Return to ORBios Main Page