Faith Was Their Banner Strong
The Stauffer Family
Anna Kilmer, the wife of Elmer Stauffer, lived in Hubbard during the mid-part of the twentieth century. As a good friend of local writer Cobie De Lespinasse, Anna absorbed many historical stories from her in-laws.
When De Lespinasse published “Second Eden” in 1951, a fictional account of life in the Colony, Anna penned a poem that she gave to the author.
The title for this exhibit is drawn from a line in Anna’s Poem which describes the ideals practiced by the Stauffer family as members of Dr. William Keil’s Christian Communal Society.
High every head with courage,
Faith was their banner strong,
As their wagons rolled on westward,
They poured out their hearts in song.
Theirs not a mission to conquer,
Nor a journey in search of gold,
But a dream of friendly Eden,
To have, to honor, to hold!
This heritage they have bequeathed us,
And may it forever shine,
In this Godly land, this free land,
On to the end of time. ~Anna Stauffer
On October 8, 1881, fifteen-and-a-half years after the death of his first wife, Matilda Knight Stauffer, Jacob Stauffer married Christina Wolfer. He was forty-four years old to her twenty-six. Between 1884 and 1892 seven children were born to this couple. Her wedding dress is prominently on display for this exhibit. It was also featured in a 1959 benefit tea for the Hubbard Women’s Club themed “Bridal Fashions Through the Years.” During this event, the dress was modeled by Christina Wolfer Stauffer’s great-granddaughter, JoAnn Stauffer.
Rosina Stauffer’s Sampler
The only known sampler from the eight Stauffer girls was made by Rosina. Because Rosina and her sister Louisa worked together at the Pioneer Hotel, the two were quite close. After Rosina’s death in 1910, the sampler was most likely inherited by Louisa.
After the death of her husband, John Voght, Louisa and their daughter Anna first lived with the Stauffer siblings at Hubbard. Eventually, Anna married Arnold Christen, who had a farm at Willapa. The couple had two children: Ida and Theodore. Ida Christen Sawyer, donated the sampler to the museum in 1985.
Every school year the sampler is shown to over 4,000 schoolchildren who participate in our Living History Program held at the Stauffer family homestead.
Hops Come to Oregon
By the early 1880s, many of the former members of the Aurora Colony had converted a portion of their fields for the cultivation of hops. Among these were the Kraus, Ehlen, Giesy, and Stauffer families. The growing of hops proved profitable, especially with the fact that Aurora’s train station served as a convenient location for product delivery.
Hop pickers were drawn from families who earned money just before school started for their children, many of whom travelled to the same farms in the Willamette Valley annually. Additionally, Chinese and even some Japanese workers were employed.
The Stauffer family continues to grow hops today.