An Illustrated History of Central Oregon, Western Historical Publishing Company, Spokane, WA. 1905, page 225-226.

* A portrait of Mr. Glisan and Mrs. Glisan appears between pages 224 and 225.

* A portrait has been posted on-line at

EDWIN T. GLISAN, who has the distinction of being one of the earliest pioneers to many sections in the west, and now residing on his estate of one half section, one and one fourth miles southeast from Antelope, was born in Erie county, New York, on July 12, 1835. His father, Solomon Glisan, was born in Maryland, as were his parents, and their parents were also American born. The mother of our subject, Mary (Taylor) Glisan, was also born in Maryland as were her parents. Our subject's parents came to Iowa in 1844 and the father traded his New York home for a place in Henry county, Iowa, near Hillsboro. For eight years they lived there and Edward was educated in the public schools and the West Point school in Lee county, that state, which was taught by his brother, James. After that he was on the farm with his parents who removed to Missouri in 1852. In the spring of 1853, he fitted out and came west to Oregon. He had two brothers precede him in that journey, they going in 1850. One came back from California and the other returned from Oregon. In 1854, Frank took a drove of cattle, while his elder brother, John, remained in Missouri. Our subject was with a party of neighbors and wended his way with ox teams to Salem, then went to the mines near Jacksonville, where he spent a few months in seeking the riches of the earth. Then he went to Cottonwood just south of the Oregon line in California. After wintering there he sold his interests to the other members of the party and came to Scottsburg, Oregon. A year was spent on the steamer for Allen McKinley & Company, then went to Salem, joining his brother, Frank. In the fall they went to Barker's Bay, mouth of the Columbia, with James D. Holman, the father of the Holman Brothers, of Portland. Returning to Salem the following September, he enlisted in Company F, First Oregon Mounted Volunteers, Captain Charles Bennett, and Colonel J.W. Nesmith, and served eight months. He now draws a pension for this service. Returning to Salem after the war, he handled stock for a year, then spent four years with his brother, Frank, conducting the old Union House in Salem. On June 17, 1860, he married Miss Minnie Starkey, who was born in Zanesville, Ohio, on May 15, 1844. Her father, John Starkey, was born in Pennsylvania, coming from old Dutch stock, and his ancestors were prominent in the colonial wars, in the Revolution and in the War of 1812. All of the Starkeys in the United States come from this same family. John Starkey married Miss Jane Scott, a native of Ohio, where her parents were also born. They were related to General Winfield Scott. Mrs. Glisan's father came to Oregon in 1845, returned to Iowa, whither the family had removed when this daughter was an infant. In 1849 he returned to California and in 1852 sent for his family and met them at The Grande Ronde with fresh teams, returning to Salem. He built the first large frame house in Salem; in partnership with Joseph Holman, built and opened the first store there and later built a brick structure, still standing in Salem, and known as the Starkey block. He was a prominent and influential citizen and took great: interest in building up and improving the country. His health failed and on November 3, 1872, he died from consumption. His widow died January 29, 1878. Mrs. Glisan had one brother, Winfield Scott Starkey, who died in Iowa, and also has one sister, Ella, the widow of Robert Bybee, who was one of the first settlers in East Portland, and a prominent man there. He was associated with Hen Halliday. She also had two sisters, deceased, Nettie, who died from injuries received in a railroad accident at Salem, in the Lake Lobish wreck, on November 7, 1893; and Mary, the wife of James Fisher, who died at The Dalles, March 26, 1880, from consumption. Mr. Glisan had three brothers: Frank, a mining man at Sumpter, Oregon; Albert, who died in Sumpter, being caught in a mine cave in; and John, who lives in Missouri, a plow manufacturer. Mr. and Mrs. Glisan have ten children, named as follows: Edward, a painter and undertaker in Antelope; William, a blacksmith at Hay Creek; Albert, a restaurant keeper in Weaverville, California; Benjamin, a sheepman in Lake county, this state; Eugene, a warehouseman in Shaniko; Robert, who runs the home ranch; Mable, wife of James Warren, at Prosser, Washington; Nettie, wife of William Kemp, a contractor and builder in Pendleton; Bessie, at home, aged eighteen; Inez, formerly the wife of Horace Gamble, and now single. Glisan street, Portland, is named after our subject's first cousin, Dr. R. Glisan.

After marriage Mr. Glisan went to the Florence and Orofino mining districts and in 1862 returned to Salem and conducted a farm owned by his father-in-law. After the death of that gentleman, Mrs. Glisan inherited the place and they remained there until 1881, then came to Antelope. Mr. Glisan went into the sheep business with Sol Durbin two years and then removed to the vicinity of Shaniko and raised sheep until he came to this place in 1886. This estate consists of one-half section and produces good grain and hay. Mrs. Glisan is a member of the Episcopalian church and her father, when in Salem, was in business with David McCully, the father of the McCullys in Wallowa county, this state; and also with E.N. Cook, Walter Smith, and Charles Cartwright, all old pioneers. Mr. Glisan is a Republican, and although stanch, is not especially active. He took a more prominent part in this line in Salem than here. He and his wife are kindly and genial people and have many friends. They have walked the way of life for many years and may look back with pride on the work they have achieved.


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.

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