McLain brothers correspondence
Samuel and Charles McLain migrated west in the 1850s to find their fortunes prospecting for gold. Their father, James McLain, was a Pennsylvanian who had settled with his wife in Mountsville, Ohio, where they raised a family of six sons and three daughters. In 1852, Sam, then 24 years old, left the family homestead for Oregon, and settled in Philomath, where he lived for the rest of his life. Considered to be an early pioneer, he helped to blaze the trails that opened up the Yaquima Bay country. In 1857, Charles McLain followed his brother west, traveling to various places, including Nebraska and California, in his search for gold. He eventually made his way to Oregon in 1865 to join his brother.