R.W. McNutt was born in Spring Hill, Nova Scotia , April 28, 1836. On December 14, 1867, he came to Oregon, and on the 10th of April, 1887, he arrived at the mouth of Rock creek, in the Nehalem valley.
After hunting around through the natural surroundings for several days he concluded that the mouth of Rock creek was the hub of this fine rich county of valleys, and he told O. N. Prather, his guide, that right there would be one of the most flourishing towns in Oregon. Mr. McNutt and Joe Van Blaricom were credited with the layout of the original town.
William Pringle Sr.
Dr. Charles Henry Newth
Charles Henry Newth was the first doctor in Vernonia. He was born in Wiltshire County, Enland in 1857. He arrived in America with several cousins when he was 15 years old. He lived in America for 2 years before being called back to England on account of his father's illness. Upon returning to American and landing in Portland, he decided to settle in Vernonia with his wife, son and two daughters.
Judson, a co-settler with Ozias Cherrington became an Oregon state legislator in 1891. He homesteaded in Vernonia in 1876. His son, Oscar, lived on the original homestead following Judson's death. Judson was born, raised, served in the Union Army, attended college, and taught his first years all in Ohio. His early years were spent with his grandfather Weed on his parents' Jackson Ohio Farm. He lived the remainder of his life in Oregon (briefly Linn County, then the Nehalem Valley, then Philomath, then St Helens, then Vernonia again).
Vernonia was named for the daughter of one of the original settlers, Ozias Cherrington who moved there in 1876. Her name was Vernona. She was born March 30, 1868 in Ohio and later moved to Virginia. She never came to Oregon. Cherrington's co-settler, Judson Weed wanted to name the community Auburn (maybe for Auburn, NY where his grandparents homesteaded). The political voting precinct was called Auburn for many years, but finally renamed to Vernonia to avoid confusion. The Vernonia post office was established Jan 11, 1878 with David F. Baker as its first postmaster.
Joe Van Blaricom
The first settler in the Upper Nehalem Valley area was Clark Parker who chopped his way into the area and homesteaded in 1874. His Homestead was on the East side of the Nehalem River (Riverview). He came in from the Washington County side. He was followed in 1875 by the Van Blaricom's who homesteaded along Rock Creek in the what is now the main part of town.
Thanks to all those who have offered corrections to our Historical pages