J.B. Congle and Company History

Corvallis (Marysville), Oregon 1853 - 1861
Portland, Oregon 1862 - 1883

On December 9, 1817 John B. Congle was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania where he was educated in the Superior Public School System of the East Coast in early America. At the age of 14 years old J. B. Congle moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to learn the Saddlery & Harness Trade with Mr. William S. Hansel and after 6 years of maintaining his apprenticeship in 1838 J. B. Congle resigned from his position. The next 3 years for John B. Congle were spent trying to find a place where he wanted to live and apply his trade of Saddlery & Harness making he traveled to Virginia, and then headed West to Missouri and finally arriving in Lafayette, Indiana in 1841. After arriving in Lafayette J. B. Congle took work with a local Saddlery & Harness maker and on May 21, 1844 John B. Congle was married to Miss Helen H. Gray a native of Lafayette, Indiana. In 1847 J. B. Congle first joined the Fraternal Order of Freemasons in Lafayette, Indiana an order in which he would be very active in throughout his life. It was in 1849 that J. B. Congle was bit by the gold bug as the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in Northern California by San Francisco. As documented John B. Congle was one of the California Argonauts from Indiana and he stayed in California until 1851 when he returned to Lafayette, Indiana. After a short time spent in Lafayette, Indiana J. B. Congle proceeded to move his family across the plains to Corvallis (Marysville), Oregon arriving there in 1853 and in doing so he became one of Pioneers of the City of Corvallis, Oregon and he maintained a small Saddlery & Harness Business. In the case of J. B. Congle he was always very active in civic matters and by 1857 J. B. Congle was elected as the Sheriff of Benton County which was a position he held for 2 months the shortest duration any Sheriff served in the History of Benton, County to this day. In 1857 John B. Congle was elected Mayor of the City of Corvallis, Oregon on the Second Monday of the month May 11, 1857 shortly after the City incorporated on Janury 27, 1857 and Corvallis became the fourth incorporated City in the State.

Now with Corvallis as a recognized City in the State of Oregon J. B. Congle maintained the Position of City Mayor for 4 years until 1861 at which time he resigned his position and moved to Portland, Oregon. Before leaving Corvallis, Oregon John B. Congle was elected Grand Master of the Corvallis Masonic Lodge #14 in 1858 the lodge was chartered on June 12, 1857 and J. B. Congle was very active in the establishing of this Charter. Although J. B. Congle met with great success in Corvallis, Oregon he relocated again in 1861 to Portland, Oregon and he picked up where he had left off becoming very active in the local community both in Civic matters with the City and Fraternal matters with the Masonic Lodge in Portland. After arriving in Portland, Oregon John B. Congle went into the Saddlery & Harness Business with the only competition being The Samuel Sherlock Company in a growing City like Portland, Oregon and the reputation he brought with him J. B. Congle had success quickly in Portland. The Business started in 1862 the name was J. B. Congle & Company Manufacturers and Importers of Saddlery, Harness and Saddlery Hardware located at 88 Front Street. In 1870 J. B. Congle was elected Councilman of the Second Ward in Portland, Oregon and then in 1872 John B. Congle was elected as a Multnomah County Representative to the State Legislature of Oregon. In 1874-1875 John B. Congle was the Senior Grand Warden having achieved Chancellor 32 Degree by 1874 in the of Portland Royal Arch Chapter the Freemasons later in 1879-1880 he was the Grand High Priest of the same Fraternal Order.

At the age of 59 years old and with both of his Daughters married J. B. Congle and his Wife built a House on Sixth Street, between Salmon and Taylor in Portland, Oregon at a cost of four thousand dollars in 1877. In 1883 at the age of 65 John B. Congle closed his Saddlery & Harness Business and went into retirement from that industry although he was very active in the development of the MASONIC BUILDING ASSOCIATION (1885) President - R. P. Earhart, Vice-President - J. B. Congle, Treasurer - H. W. Corbett Secretary - I. W. Pratt where J. B. Congle and these other men had Built one of the Masonic Temples in early Portland. In 1887 John B. Congle died at the age of 69 years old although very unfortunate, his life was a storied life full of adventure and accomplishments and his multitude of Friends and Family held this man in highest regard.