Biographical Sketch of Luther Elkins

Portrait of Luther Elkins

Signature of Luther Elkins

Luther Elkins 

Born 1809 
Died 1887 
Linn County delegate

Luther Elkins was born in Cornville, Maine on May 26, 1809. His family moved to Indiana where he was orphaned when he was only ten years old. In 1830 he married and moved to Ohio. Elkins suffered a terrible financial loss there, and so in 1852 he came to Oregon settling in Linn County. He made a donation land claim of 320 acres. In addition to farming he was one of the promoters of the Willamette Valley and Cascade Mountains Wagon Road and helped to construct the Albany and Santiam Canal. In 1853 and 1854 he served in the territorial legislature.

Elkins was a delegate to the constitutional convention from Linn County and served on the Committee on Legislation and the Committee on Corporation and Internal Improvements. Elkins proposed a clause be inserted into the constitution that would “prohibit free negroes, or mulattoes coming into or settling in the state.” He later withdrew the motion with the understanding that “exclusion” would be voted upon along with the constitution and the issue of slavery in November.

Elkins served as a state senator in 1858 being chosen as senate president for that session.