World Events 

  • Alaska is sold to the US by Alexander II of Russia for $7,200,000: the purchase is ridiculed as “Seward’s Folly.” Nebraska becomes the 37th state.
  • Emperor Maximilian, an Austrian, is executed in Mexico and Benito Juarez (considered the “Abraham Lincoln” of that nation), becomes president again.
  • Skeleton of Cro-Magnon man is discovered in France. The Cro-Magnon people, who lived probably 45,000 years ago are considered the earliest anatomically modern humans.
  • Richard Wagner composes “The Ring.” The waltz, “Blue Danube” by Johann Strauss is first performed in Vienna.
  •  Das Kapital by Karl Marx is published in Germany. It addressed the global problems caused by capitalism in disrupting political and economic systems . It created an international debate on how to reform politics and social relations.
  • Charles Dickens gives his first U.S. public reading in a New York theater.

In Salem
Willamette University students studying any of the political or cultural topics mentioned above, find dorm rooms and classes in the new Waller Hall, named for Alvan Waller. It has been built in the Renaissance style of architecture, designed in the shape of a Greek cross, each side with the same measurements, the top with a cupola. The five-story, redbrick building has been twice by fires gutted by fires, with the interior rebuilt each time. It went through renovations in 1987, 1989 and 2005.
Alvan Waller was prominent in the establishment of the Oregon Institute (Willamette University), to the construction of the original Methodist Church and to the founding of the Pacific Christian Advocate. he died in 1872. His wife Elepha died in 1881.

When You Visit: Waller Hall at Willamette University
The building is currently used for administration offices and is the oldest U.S. university building west of the Mississippi still in use. It is located at 900 State Street, across from the Capitol, and has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1975. If the door on the south side is open, enter for a visit to the beautiful Cone Chapel on the second floor.

Other Events

  • John H. Moores is re-elected as mayor, the first to serve more than one year. In the 1870s, he consolidated his lumber business with that of the Capital Lumbering Company. He was the secretary and manager of the latter company from June 1876, until his death in December of 1880. During the more than 27 years that he spent in Salem, he was actively interested in various public enterprises. He was treasurer of Marion County, a member of the board of trustees of Willamette University, and was for several years a member of the board of directors of the Salem public schools and of the Oregon State Agricultural Society, of which he was also treasurer. He was also a member of Salem’s first city council, four times mayor of Salem, four years a member of the Oregon State senate, and was with the late George H. Atkinson, named as a commissioner to designate the location of the Oregon penitentiary and the Oregon State Insane asylum. Mr. and Mrs. John H. Moores were both members of the Salem First M. E. church, and Mrs. Moores was president of the Oregon Children’s Aid Society that erected and maintained an orphans’ home on Asylum Avenue in Salem. Their son Albert married Cora Dickinson, daughter of Obed Dickinson, the first minister of the Congregational Church. Their home was in the Piety Hill residential area, now North Capitol Mall. Their home was moved to Leffelle Street.
The former Ladd and Bush Bank
  • Asahel Bush left publishing and entered banking, founding the Ladd and Bush Bank (still in business on the corner of State and Commercial Streets.) He managed and directed the bank for 45 years until his death in 1913, at the age of 89. In 1854, he had married Eugenia Zieber, the daughter of one of his printers. They had four children: Estelle, Sally, Asahel III (known as A.N. Bush) and Eugenia. The young and beautiful wife and mother had died of consumption in 1863 at age 30, and Mr. Bush raised the family with the help of servants. Mrs. Bush never lived in the Bush House constructed in 1877-78, but daughter Sally never married and continued to live there with her father and act as mistress of the household.  She died there in 1946.
  • The African-American community in Salem raised $427.50, which allowed them to operate a school for six months. They placed an announcement in the newspaper this year, saying that “Notice is hereby given that the colored people of Salem expect to pay all the expenses of the Evening School now being held by them, without aid from other citizens – no person is authorized to collect funds in our name.” The following year, the city of Salem continued what they had begun, and opened Little Central School. This segregated school was located near Central School on High Street between Center and Marion. Its fifteen minority students were taught by Marie Smith and Mrs. R. Mallory. Tuition at Little Central was $4 a term, the same that white children paid to attend “big” Central School.
  • The completed Millrace directly supplies water for Salem Woolen Mill and increases flow into Pringle Creek for increasingly prosperous Salem Flour Mill.
  • The Starkey-McCully Building is erected at 223-233 Commercial Street with earning from a successful California Gold Rush enterprise that gained the Iowa partners, John Starkey and Asa McCully $5,000 each. They moved to Oregon in 1858 and opened a store in the present location of the historic Ladd and Bush bank. Their next enterprise was this new construction that was rented to various retail, grocery, sporting goods, furniture and auto supplies. The facade is decorated with wrought-iron detail, possibly the oldest of its kind in place. Only 70 feet of the original 120 feet building frontage remain.
  • A Willamette University graduate, Edward E. Dodge, organizes a W. U. baseball team that defeated the town “Town Team” 84-23 on a field that now is Willson Park. Edward Dodge, the catcher, scored 10 runs. However, the University nine lost to the Portland Pioneers, 92-25, playing on the Fairgrounds diamond.
  • John Minto purchases the 247 acre island in the Willamette River, later named for him.