Coquille Valley Settlers


Search Aids

Search Terms

(Use for computer searches)

·        Coos County Pioneers

·        Coquille Valley Settlers

Subject Headings

(Use in card catalogs and print indexes)

·        Coos County (Or.) -- Biography

·        Coos County (Or.) -- History

·        Frontier and Pioneer Life -- Oregon


Call Number

·        979.523 Coos County (Dewey Decimal)

·        978 Frontier & Pioneer Life

·        910.92 Pioneers

·        F 884.C (Library of Congress)


Key to Library Holdings*

·        Bndn – Bandon Public Library

·        CBay – Coos Bay Public Library

·        Coq – Coquille Public Library

·        Dora – Dora Public Library

·        MP – Myrtle Point Public Library

·        NB – North Bend Public Library

·        Powers – Powers Public Library

·        SWOCC – SW Oregon Community College Library

·        Coos Hist Soc  – Coos Maritime and Historical Society

·        Coquille Valley Museum

* Names in bold type have copies to check out. Regular type indicates library use only. 


February 2010


The information in this pathfinder will help you locate Internet resources as well as local publications on the Coquille Valley pioneers – those hardy souls who emigrated to Oregon between 1875 and 1900 and then settled in the Coquille Valley. Most of the families that settled in the valley during this period came to the Oregon territory to farm and raise families. Many had already come to Oregon (or been born here) but moved to the Coquille Valley which was still relatively undeveloped and offered the chance of prosperity through their agricultural pursuits.  


Key Resources at a Glance:

  • Pioneer History of Coos and Curry Counties by Orvil Dodge, historian (1898).

A collection of biographies and personal letters collected and published for the Pioneer Association in 1898 by Orvil Dodge documenting the history of Coos and Curry Counties. The index to the narrative and biographies is available in print and the biographies may be requested to be transcribed online.


Library Holdings:

Bndn   CBay   Coq    Dora  MP   NB   Powers   SWOCC

Coos Hist Society    Coquille Valley Museum

Note: This book available online from ProQuest with a valid Coos County library card. An online version is available on Google books here.


  • Pioneers and Incidents of the Upper Coquille Valley, 1890 - 1940 by Alice Wooldridge (1971).

A collection of obituaries and anecdotes as printed in the early Myrtle Point newspapers that referred to the original pioneers of the upper Coquille Valley (Myrtle Point, Arago, the Forks, Stringtown, Bridge, Rowland’s Prairie and Broadbent). An index to this book is available online here.


Library Holdings:

Bndn   CBay   Coq    Dora  MP   NB   Powers   SWOCC

Coos Hist Society    Coquille Valley Museum



1880 Census | 1890 Census | Local Settlers | Marriages | OR Vital Records | CA Vital Records | Biographies | | Worldconnect | LDS | Rootsweb Lists | OR-ROOTS Listserv | SSDI



Web Pages and Web Portals

The LDS Family Center transcribed and has placed the entire 1880 US Census online.

Jennifer Shank's 1890 Census reconstruction for Coos County (part of the Oregon GenWeb Project)

The Coos County Library system has a subscription to ProQuest, which includes an online copy of the Coos County Census originals. This material is indexed, but only by the head of household name. Transcription errors, both on the part of the census taken and the index transcriber abound, so the researcher is reminded to try variant spellings and to search by geographic area as well as by name. A valid Coastline library card is required to use this service online. Access is also available in the public libraries.

The Coquille Valley website includes links to other Coos County organizations, as well as a wealth of local information. Newly transcribed material is added on a regular basis. Consult the Site Map for a summary of material on the site as well as an up-to-date list of new material.

The goal of is to help researchers track your ancestors through time by transcribing genealogical and historical data for the free use of all researchers.

“The documents (41 publications and indexes February 2008) in this archive are presented as graphic images of the original pages.  Although the images take longer to load, they give the viewer a more complete impression of the document, while appearing more authentic and accurately displaying the text.”

Locating where people lived

When the Coquille Valley was settled, families either took out new claims, or purchased existing claims from settlers that decided to try their luck elsewhere. Claims were legally identified by their Township, Range and Section number. Each township is a six mile square block, and is counted from a point just outside Portland. Most of the Coquille Valley is located in Townships 26-30 south and Range 11-15 west – or roughly 156 miles south and 66 miles west of Portland.

The simplest description I’ve located for understanding Townships, Range and Sections.

Digital Copies of the Survey Maps for Oregon, produced by the General Land Office from about 1855 through 1910. These are large JPEG images in .zip files (1-2.5MB), but these maps not only show property boundaries, but often list the land owner’s name and occasionally even show the location of the house on the claim.

Image access to more than two million Federal land title records for Eastern Public Land States, issued between 1820 and 1908. These records include only the ‘proved’ land claims. Once you have located the patent information, you can request copies of the application from the National Archives. For ‘unproved’ or sold claims, you can request lookups from the tract books also held in the National Archives using the same link.

Sample of store records from 1888. Showing what items were purchased and what their prices were. While these records are from The Dalles, it is very typical of what could be found in the Coquille Valley at the store here.

Additional Books

  • Some cemetery records of Coos and Curry counties Oregon : the Alice Hoover Wooldridge collection, by The Genealogical Forum of Portland (1982).

List of cemeteries indexed in this book:

Allegany, Bandon Catholic, Bandon IOOF, Bandon Knights of Pythias, Bandon Pioneer, Bear Creek, Beaver Hill, Brack, Breen, Breuer, Bullard, Catching Creek, Clarno Springs, Collver, Cook, Coos River Pioneer, Coquille IOOF, Coquille Masonic, Coquille Pioneer, Davis, Dement, Dora, Eddy, Eden Valley, Edson, Enchanted Prairie, Fairview, Fetter, Fox Bridge a.k.a. Lee Valley, GAR Bandon, Garrett, Gibbs, Grandma Wells, Gravelford, Green, Greene, Haines, Hansen, Hayes, Haynes, Hermann, Hoffman, Hultin-Thrush, IOOF, Lakeside, Lampa Creek, Lett, Lowery, Mast, Masters, McGlone, Merriman, Miller, Morris, Myrtle Creek, Myrtle Point, Neal, Norris-Barker, Norway, Old Empire, Old Pioneer, Pallaske, Parkersburg, Pioneer, Poland, Powers, Quosanta Creek, Rackleff, Randolph, Red Barn, Riverton, Robbins, Robison, Russell, Sacchi, Skaggs, Skookum House, Smith, South Slough, Steward, Sumner School, Templeton, Thomas, Upper Fish Trap, Warner, Wasson, Waterman,  West, Whittington, Wigent Family, Wise, Wheeler, Yoakum Family

Library Holdings:   CBay    Coq    Dora   MP    NB   Powers  


  • Centennial History of Oregon, 1811- 1912 by Joseph Gaston (1912).

A collection of stories and biographies for many of Oregon early settlers. Several sites have transcribed portions of this book including A Place Called Oregon and the Oregon History Project. In addition to the books themselves, there are also online transcriptions of the biographies through the Oregon Biography Project and a printed index at the libraries below.

Library Holdings:    Bndn   CBay   Coq   MP   NB    SWOCC
Coos Hist Society

Library Holdings: (Index)    CBay   SWOCC



  • The Coquille Valley, Volumes 1 and 2, by Patti and Hal Strain (2009).

Vol. 1. Background history -- The first people -- Views of earliest settlers -- Preface to early communities -- North Fork watershed -- East Fork watershed -- Middle Fork watershed -- South Fork watershed -- Coquille's main stem, below Myrtle Point -- Coquille's main stem, below Beaver Hill -- The county and the economy -- Post offices: a lifeline home -- Newspapers -- Trade, travel, timber -- Organizations and service clubs -- Valley medical services -- Accidents turn tragic -- Dreadful people, dreadful deeds -- List of Coquille Valley's World War Two veterans -- Appreciation, authors quoted, why research? -- Chronology and index. Vol. 2. Ancestor review


Library Holdings:   CBay    Coq    MP    NB     


  • My Valley, by Boyd Stone (2008).

"I originally wrote the stories over a twelve year period, between 1991 and 2003 for history articles that were printed in The Coquille Valley Sentinel, The Myrtle Point Herald, and Bandon's Western World. For this book I have combined stories ... adding more information that has come to light since they were first written, made a few corrections, and attempted to put them in some kind of order. “ Boyd Stone


Library Holdings:   SWOCC    Bandon    CBay    Dora    MP     


·        Oregon Historical Quarterly

·        Coos Genealogical Society

Organizations and Special Collections

·        ORCOOS-L ListServ

ORCOOS is a forum for Coos County researchers to assist each other in locating and researching Coos County biographies, obituaries, vital records, photographs and to share stories of Coos County ancestors.

To Subscribe: Send an email message to In the message ***subject*** put either "subscribe" (for regular version--without the quotes) or "subscribe digest" (for the digest version--without the quotes). Send your questions to after you have subscribed.

·        OR-ROOTS ListServ

OR-ROOTS is a list for discussion of research and writing about Oregon genealogy and family history. OR-ROOTS is an electronic forum where genealogists can share the results of research, assist newcomers to the field, inquire about the location of resources, debate issues, raise questions, and learn about current events in the field.

To Subscribe: Send an email message to In the message ***subject*** put either "subscribe" (for regular version--without the quotes) or "subscribe digest" (for the digest version--without the quotes). Send your questions to the same address after you have subscribed to have the other list members help you in your research.

·        Coquille Valley Historical Society

The Coquille Valley Historical Society meets on the first and third Thursday of the month at 6:30 pm in the Coquille Valley Museum in Coquille. Meetings focus on sharing new historical items donated to the museum and on business related to running the society and museum.

·        Coquille Valley Genealogy Club

The Coquille Valley Genealogy Club meets on the first Thursday of the month at 7:00pm in the Myrtle Point Library. Meetings include guest speakers and a chance to share historical information about the area with others, as well as refreshments.

Multimedia Resources and Photographs

  • At Journey’s End: Life after the Oregon Trail (KPTV 12 Portland, 1993 ) [VHS]

Tells the story of what happened to the overland travelers once they reached their destination. Includes rare photographs, diary readings, dramatic recreations and period music, as well as an extensive look at the sites along the trail in 1993.

The Coos County Historical Society was founded in November of 1891 and is one of the oldest continuously operating local historical societies in the state of Oregon. The Society operated a museum for ten years in Coquille prior to moving to our current North Bend location in 1958. You will find the Coos Historical and Maritime Museum just off Highway 101 in North Bend, Oregon at the north end of town near Simpson Park and the Visitor Information Center.

A copy of this document, in a Microsoft Word format, is available here.

Copyright 2006-2010 – Robyn Greenlund.
For historical and genealogical purposes only. Commercial use of any portion of this site is prohibited. The Pathfinder Project was funded in part by Library Services and Technology Act money administered through the State Library of Iowa.

Additional resources, comments and/or corrections are welcomed.