Welcome to Jefferson County!

All data, photos, and images have been contributed by researchers like yourself and posted by the county coordinator. Contributions are greatly appreciated.

random image

Return to the Biography Index.

Francis Pettygrove image

Francis Pettygrove

Francis William Pettygrove was born in 1812 and raised in the state of Maine. After his education, he moved to New York City where he worked as a merchant's clerk. In 1843, he, his wife, child, sister, brother-in-law, and their children arrived in Oregon City, having been sent to the Pacific Northwest by the company he worked for to establish a store. During that same year, Francis paid $50 for half of a land claim, and he and Asa Lovejoy established the beginnings of the city of Portland, Oregon. After winning a coin toss, Francis named the new town after the city of Portland, Maine.

Francis Pettygrove became quite a successful businessman, owning stores and warehouses involved in trades of fur, lumber, grain, and salted fish, and also in real estate deals. In just five years, he became one of the wealthiest men in the Oregon Territory. Due to the California Gold Rush enticing away laborers from Oregon, Francis sold his assets in Portland and moved with others to start a new town further north, Port Townsend.

Francis Pettygrove lived to the age of 75 and is buried in Port Townsend. He is remembered as an original pioneer and founder of Portland and Port Townsend.

For more info about Francis Pettygrove, please see The Centennial History of Oregon," which is located on the Internet Archive.

Deb Nelson, Webmaster and County Coordinator