- Portland Tribune - News
Every Friday in Stumptown Stumper, the Portland Tribune offers a trivia question and answer that helps you boost your Rose City IQ.
Q: Which two prominent citizens in Portland's history drew the biggest crowds to their funerals?
A: According to old newspaper accounts, the deaths of Portland Fire Chief David Campbell and pioneer beer brewer Henry Weinhard brought out the weeping masses like no other Portland citizen.
When Campbell, fire chief from 1898 to 1911, died in the line of duty at age 47, the public was shocked and came out in droves to laud him as a hero.
The June 30, 1911, edition of The Morning Oregonian reported that no less than 150,000 citizens crowded the streets downtown to mourn, including throngs of firefighters, police officers and 700 members of the Portland Elks, of which Campbell was a member.
'Without doubt the funeral was the most impressive ever held in Portland,' the article reads. 'It was attended by a larger number of people than ever have gathered here on a similar occasion. It was marked by the greatest profusion of floral offerings ever seen at a funeral in this city.'
The article goes on to describe at length the eulogies delivered by citizens and the sorrowful procession that filled the streets. One reason the event was so newsworthy was because it surpassed the turnout after the 1904 death of Weinhard, the German immigrant who established his famous brewery and line of soft drinks in Portland.
News of Weinhard's death at age 74 also had saddened the community, after he died from an incurable disease that affected his kidneys and put him into a coma.
'Mr. Weinhard was a typical Western man, with all the social qualities of the Western man and German,' his Sept. 21, 1904, obituary read. 'He succeeded by close application to a business which he made one of the largest industries of the city with a fame extending beyond the bounds of the United States.'
Next week's Stumper: Why in the world is there a 35-foot-tall Paul Bunyan statue in North Portland's Kenton neighborhood?