Stark, Benjamin, 1820-1898

Alternative names

Hide Profile

Benjamin Stark was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on June 26, 1820, and attended school in New London, Connecticut. In 1845 he sailed for Oregon, where he purchased an interest in a Portland land claim. Later he entered a New York business partnership to ship merchandise to California during the gold rush. When the New York parent company went bankrupt, Stark was only able to salvage his Portland property. In 1850 he moved to Portland and married Elizabeth Molthrop in 1854. He was appointed to complete the unexpired term of Oregon senator Edward D. Baker in 1862. Stark moved to New London after his senatorial term, where he died in 1898.

From the description of Benjamin Stark papers, 1829-1894. (Oregon Historical Society Research Library). WorldCat record id: 35619640

Benjamin Stark was born in New Orleans, La., and attended school in New London, Conn. In 1845 sailed for Oregon where he purchased an interest in a Portland land claim. Later he entered a New York business partnership to ship merchandise to California during the gold rush. When the New York parent company went bankrupt, Stark was only able to salvage his Portland property. Moved to Portland in 1850 and married Elizabeth Molthrop in 1865. He was appointed to complete the unexpired term of Oregon senator Edward D. Baker in 1862. He moved to New London after his senatorial term where he died in 1898.

From the description of Benjamin Stark papers, 1782-1933. (New London County Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 265142760

Benjamin Stark was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 26, 1820, the eldest son of sea captain Benjamin Stark, of New London, Connecticut. Apparently his mother died when he was quite young and his father remarried; his step-mother, Charlotte Stark, was the mother of his three half-brothers, William, Richard, and Charles. Stark attended school at New London, then at age fifteen started his business career with a New York counting-house. In 1845, he sailed for the Oregon Territory with Capt. Nathaniel Crosby, Jr. aboard the bark Toulon . Stark represented the firm of A. G. & A. W. Benson of New York. The Toulon, a Benson ship, carried cargo destined for Francis W. Pettygrove who had come to Oregon with a consignment of goods from the Bensons in the spring of 1843.

In Oregon, Stark purchased an interest in the land claim of Asa Lawrence Lovejoy, owner of half the town site of Portland, Oregon. Much of Stark's future was to depend upon this fortunate acquisition. During the years 1846-1848 he sailed on the Toulon for China, having severed business connections with the Bensons. From China he took another ship to New York, arriving there in time to hear the first news of the gold discovery in California.

Using his Portland land claim as a good part of his equity, Stark entered into partnership with Edward and John Sherman of New York to ship merchandise to California and capitalize on the gold rush boom. Sherman & Stark sent a load of lumber and other goods to California on the Madonna, captained by John H. Couch, whom Stark had previously met in Oregon. Traveling out ahead of the Madonna via Panama, Stark set up two subsidiary companies: Stark & Co. at San Francisco, and Couch & Co. at Portland. Meanwhile the New York parent company went bankrupt due to the Shermans' unwise investments in an oar business, and Stark was able to salvage only the title to his Portland property. In 1850 Stark moved to Portland and became a prominent civic leader, businessman, builder, and land proprietor. In 1854 he married Elizabeth Molthrop, daughter of New England sea captain, William E. Molthrop.

Stark was appointed to fill out the unexpired term of Oregon Senator Edward D. Baker, who was killed at the Battle of Ball's Bluff. Stark served in the Senate from February through December, 1862. During this period his wife and son, Benjamin III, moved to New London, and Stark joined them there after his Senatorial term expired. In 1864 he was an Oregon delegate to the National Democratic Convention at Chicago, and in 1868 was a Connecticut delegate to the New York convention. He continued to make his home in New London, but retained his valuable property interests in Portland until his death in 1898.

From the guide to the Benjamin Stark Papers, 1829-1894, (Oregon Historical Society)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Ladd, William Sargent, 1826-1893. Papers, 1893-1908. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn McNemee, Adam. Adam McNemee letter to Ada Morden [manuscript], 1920 July 7. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
creatorOf Stark, Benjamin, 1820-1898. Benjamin Stark papers, 1829-1894. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Parker Family Papers, 1747-1909, 1789-1866 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Oregon document miscellany, 1843-1864. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Oregon Governors and Senators papers, 1848-1903. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Lanman, Charles, 1819-1895,. Charles Lanman collection on congressional biography [manuscript], 1858-1869. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Freemasons. Harmony Lodge No. 12 (Portland, Or.). Harmony Lodge No. 12 F. & A. M. records [manuscripts], 1857-1916. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Deady, Matthew P. (Matthew Paul), 1824-1893. Matthew P. Deady papers, 1850-1923. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Parker family. Parker family papers, 1747-1909 (inclusive), 1789-1866 (bulk). Yale University Library
creatorOf Stark, Benjamin, 1820-1898. Benjamin Stark papers, 1782-1933. New London County Historical Society
creatorOf Benjamin Stark Papers, 1829-1894 Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Couch Family Papers, 1839-1948, 1870-1890 Oregon Historical Society Research Library
creatorOf Stark, Benjamin, 1820-1898. Historical sketch of schools of New London, 1895. New London County Historical Society
referencedIn Matthew Paul Deady Papers, 1850-1923 Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Couch family. Papers, 1839-1946 (bulk, 1870-1890). Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Plan of Portland : F.W. Pettygrove and Benj. Stark Jr. proprietors. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
creatorOf Bryant & Gilman (Firm). Benjamin J. Stark residence (New London, Conn.) : architectural drawings, 1866. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn James Willis Nesmith papers., 1845-1961, 1845-1885 Oregon Historical Society Research Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
correspondedWith Barlow, Samuel Kimbrough, 1795-1867 person
associatedWith Bryant & Gilman (Firm) corporateBody
correspondedWith Bush, Asahel, 1824-1913 person
associatedWith Cattin, Robert. person
associatedWith Cedar Grove Cemetery (New London, Conn.) corporateBody
associatedWith Coit, Alfred. person
associatedWith Coit, Robert. person
associatedWith Columbia River Steam Navigation Company corporateBody
associatedWith Couch and Company corporateBody
associatedWith Couch and Company corporateBody
correspondedWith Couch family family
correspondedWith Couch family. family
correspondedWith Couch, John Heard, 1811-1870 person
correspondedWith Curry, Geo. L. (George Law), 1820-1878 person
correspondedWith Deady, Matthew P. (Matthew Paul), 1824-1893 person
correspondedWith Dryer, Thomas Jefferson, 1808-1879 person
associatedWith Eliza (Schooner) corporateBody
associatedWith Freemasons. Harmony Lodge No. 12 (Portland, Or.) corporateBody
correspondedWith Harding, Benjamin F., 1832-1899 person
associatedWith Ladd & Tilton Bank (Portland, Or.) corporateBody
correspondedWith Ladd, William Sargent, 1826-1893. person
associatedWith Lanman, Charles, 1819-1895, person
associatedWith Leeds, William. person
associatedWith McNemee, Adam. person
associatedWith Molthrop, Charles B. corporateBody
correspondedWith Nesmith, James Willis, 1820-1885 person
correspondedWith O'Meara, James, 1825-1903 person
associatedWith Parker family family
associatedWith Parker family. family
correspondedWith Pratt, Orville C., 1819-1891 person
associatedWith Rice, John P. person
associatedWith Saltonstall, Dudley, 1738-1796. person
associatedWith Stark and Company corporateBody
associatedWith Stark and Company corporateBody
correspondedWith Stark, Banjamin, Captain person
correspondedWith Stark, Benjamin, Captain person
correspondedWith Stark, Charlotte person
correspondedWith Stark, Charlotte person
correspondedWith Stark, Elizabeth person
correspondedWith Stark family family
correspondedWith Stark family family
associatedWith Stark family. family
correspondedWith Stark, William W. person
associatedWith Stark, W. M. (William Molthrop), b. 1855. person
correspondedWith Stevens, Isaac Ingalls, 1818-1862 person
associatedWith William (Brigantine) corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Connecticut--New London
Portland (Or.)
Portland
Oregon
Connecticut--New London
Oregon Territory
Oregon
Oregon--Portland
Oregon
New London (Conn.)
Subject
Business enterprises
Political Campaigns
Business enterprises--Oregon
Schools
Businessmen--Correspondence
Pioneers
City and Town Life
Businessmen--Oregon--Correspondence
Senators, U.S. Congress
Real property
California
Cemeteries
Oregon
Privateering
Occupation
Landowners--Oregon--Portland
Landowners--Connecticut--New London
Function

Person

Birth 1820-06-26

Death 1898-10-10

Information

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w60g3ktk

Ark ID: w60g3ktk

SNAC ID: 49501113