Harry C. Clair, Jr.

H.C. Clair portrait

Lockley, Fred. "History of the Columbia River Valley, From The Dalles to the Sea." Vol. 2. S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1928. p. 390.


Harry C. Clair, Jr., secretary and treasurer of the Ridgefield Lumber Company, at Ridgefield, Clark county, Washington, has had extensive experience in the lumber business and since coming to this place has been an important factor in the success of the corporation with which he is identified, winning a reputation as an able and dependable business man. The Ridgefield Lumber Company's plant has been in existence here for about twelve years, having been first operated under the name of the H. J. Potter Lumber Company, later as the S. M. Barnard Mill Company, which was succeeded by the Peck-0'Neil Lumber Company, and in October, 1921, it was incorporated under its present title as the Ridgefield Lumber Company, with the following officers: C. L. Peck, president; B. McCormick, vice president, and Harry C. Clair, Jr., secretary and treasurer.

Mr. Peck is a native of Illinois and there began his connection with the lumber business as a mill man. In 1907 he went to Portland, Oregon, where he was with the Northern Pacific Lumber Company for seven or eight years, later being in charge of the Brighton Mill Company, at Brighton, Oregon, for about a year. After a year spent in California, he was again with the Northern Pacific Lumber Company for four years, and in 1920 came to Ridgefield and formed a partnership, under the name of the Peck-O'Neil Lumber Company. When Mr. O'Neil sold out, and the present company was organized Mr. Peck became president. B. McCormick is a native of Ireland, whence he emigrated to Canada in 1900, and there engaged in the lumber business. Later he spent a couple of years in the lumber woods of Minnesota and Wisconsin, after which he went to San Francisco, California, and was connected with the lumber business for six years. For about a year he was with the Red River Lumber Company, in that state, afterward spent a couple of years in Oregon, and was one year with the old Northern Pacific Lumber Company at Portland, after which, in 1920, he came to Ridgefield and joined the Peck-0'Neil Lumber Company, and is still identified with this business. The present plant covers about thirty-five acres and the company handles Douglas fir exclusively, in both rough and finished lumber, having a capacity of sixty thousand feet daily. About sixty men are employed, and the sales are handled from the home office, shipments being made to Utah and throughout the middle west, while much material is also furnished to the Union Pacific Railroad. The business is showing a steady and continuous growth, and this is one of the most substantial and important industries of Ridgefield.

Harry C. Clair, Jr., was born in Michigan in 1897 and is a son of H. C. and Clara R. (Logan) Clair, the former of whom was born in Pennsylvania and the latter in Ohio. The father was identified with the lumber business in Saginaw, Michigan, and in 1903 located in Portland. Oregon, being now connected with the dark County Timber Company. Harry C. Clair, Jr., attended the public schools of Portland and then entered Cornell University, where he took the course in mechanical engineering, but before completing his work there he enlisted in the coast artillery of the United States Army. He went into training at Fortress Monroe, Virginia, where he attended an officers school and was commissioned a second lieutenant. He was honorably discharged in the spring of 1919 and at once returned to the Pacific coast. During the ensuing year he was connected with several lumber firms in Portland and then went to the Emery-Nelson Company at Napavine, manufacturers of car material and fir exporters, where for a year he gained valuable experience. He was next with the Winchester Bay Lumber Company, spruce exporters, at Reedsport, and was with the Douty Lumber Company, at Douty, Oregon, until the spring of 1921, when he came to Ridgefield. In the fall of that year he bought the O'Neil interest in the Peck-0'Neil Lumber Company and incorporated the present Ridgefield Lumber Company, of which he has been secretary and treasurer to the present time.

Mr. Clair was married in Portland to Miss Mary Helen Spaulding, who was born in Tacoma, Washington, but was reared and educated in Portland, and is a daughter of E. S. and Ethel (Stearns) Spaulding, both of whom still reside in Portland. Her mother, who was born in Portland, is a daughter of Mrs. Mary Francis (Hoyt) Stearns, who is a member of one of Portland's old and prominent families. Mr. and Mrs. Clair are the parents of a daughter, Mary Francis, who was bom in Portland.

Mr. Clair is a member of the Chi Phi college fraternity. He is energetic and enterprising, devoting his attention closely to his business interests, and throughout the community in which he lives he is held in high esteem for his stanch qualities of character and his agreeable personality.

Transcriber's additional notes:

1900, June 8; Saginaw Co. MI; Saginaw city Wd 15, p 168; 1602 Harrison
Harrie C. Clair, 35, May 1865, PA, NY, MD, mar 10 yrs, bookkeeper
Clara R, wife, 34, Aug 1865, OH, NY, OH, mar 10 yrs, 3 children-3 living
Elsie M, dau, 8, Sept 1891, MI, PA, OH
Hellen S, dau, 7, Oct 1892, MI, PA, OH
Harry C, son, 2, Nov 1897, MI, PA, OH

1910, April 19; Multnomah Co, OR; Portland Pct. # 65, p 176; 677 E. Ankeny
H. C. Clair, 44, PA, NY, MD, mar 19 yrs, bookkeeper, loggers
Clara, wife, 44, OH, NY, OH, mar 19 yrs, 3 children-3 living
Elsie, dau, 16, MI, PA, OH, student
Helen, dau, 17, MI, PA, OH, student
Harry C, son, 12, MI, PA, OH, student
Adele bollinger, servant, 22, single, Switz, GER, Switz

01-10-1920  Census of Multnomah Co, OR; Portland Pct # 229 1/2, p 141; 426 E. 28th st N.
Harry C. Clair, 54, PA, US, US, sec-treasurer, lumber co.
Clara R., wife, 54, OH, NY, OH
Elsie May, dau, 28, MI, PA, OH, single, high school teacher
Helen Louise, dau, 27, MI, PA, OH, single, no occ.
Harry C. Jr., son, 22, MI, PA, OH, single, clerk, lumber co.

04-15-1930  Census of Clark Co, WA; Ridgefield N., p 35; Maple ave.
Harry C. Clair Jr, 31, MI, PA, OH, bookkeeper, lumber co.
Mary Helen, wife, 28, W, OR, OR
Mary Frances, dau, 3, OR, US, US


Submitted to the Oregon Bios. Project in April 2009 by Diana Smith. Submitter has no additional information about the person(s) or family mentioned above.


Updated on 18 Apr 2009.