Colvig, William M., 1845-1936

William Colvig arrived in Oregon with his family in 1851. They settled near Canyonville, where William learned to speak Chinook from his Indian playmates. Although William was a Civil War veteran, he served at Fort Klamath, and was with Captain Sprague when his group "rediscovered" Crater Lake. Before he settled in Oregon, Colvig went to New York via Panama. On the way he was robbed of $481 in Santiago, Cuba, and arrived in New York with $1.75. Although William Colvig served as County School Superintendent and later as district attorney, then as a private lawyer, he was never actually a judge. Colvig did serve as president of the Medford Commercial Club in about 1906, and was given credit for helping to create the "spectacular boom" that lasted about four years. He was the Supreme Overseer of the Ancient Oregon of the United Workmen (A.O.U.W.) a fraternal organization providing mutual social and financial support after the US Civil War. Colvig was also known as an orator, a humorist, an authority on the Indian Wars, and a force in Oregon politics. SOURCE: SOHS Vertical File, newspaper articles and obituaries

Other Name(s): 

Judge

City: 

Medford

Birthplace: 

Knoxville, MO

Residence: 

Canyonville, OR; Illinois; Jackson County, OR

Place of death: 

Medford, OR

Father: 

Colvig, William Lyngae

Spouse: 

Birdseye, Adelaide

Children: 

Clara Louise Helen Mae Mary Fisher Donald Lynge Vance De Bar (Pinto)

Education: 

self educated (he and 2 brothers became attorneys, but had almost no formal education)

Occupation: 

Teacher, school superintendent, attorney