Charles Drain (pioneer)

Charles and Nancy Drain

Charles Drain (b. December 28, 1816, d. June 24, 1894) is remembered as the founder of Drain, Oregon. He was born in 1816 near Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The family moved to Shelby County, Indiana, when Charles was five. Both parents soon died. He married Nancy Ensley in 1839, and in 1852 the family moved to Marion County, Oregon, later to Linn County, Oregon, to farm in the Willamette Valley.[1]

In 1855 Charles Drain was elected to the Oregon Territory council,[2] and during pre-admission statehood in 1858, Drain was elected to the Oregon State Senate.[3] He also served as President of the Council during the last session of the territorial legislature from 1858 into 1859.[4]

In 1860, Drain moved his family to Douglas County, Oregon and began to purchase parcels that would become a 2000-acre farm. He bought 320 acres from Jesse Applegate. At a price of one dollar, he sold sixty acres to the Oregon and California Railroad to build the town and depot in 1871 which would become Drain, Oregon.[5]

Charles Drain died in 1894. His three surviving children included John C. Drain, the first mayor of Drain, and a Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives[6]; Catherine A Drain (married Simon R Lane, son of Joseph Lane); and Charles Douglas Drain, builder of the Charles and Anna Drain House, a prominent Drain landmark.


  1. ^ "History of Southern Oregon, Comprising Jackson, Josephine, Douglas, Curry and Coos Counties. Compiled from the Most Authentic Sources." A. G. Walling, Publisher. Portland, OR. 1884. pg.526
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "1858 Regular Session (10th Territorial)". Oregon Legislators and Staff Guide. Oregon State Archives. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Speakers of the House of Representatives of Oregon. Oregon Blue Book, Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved on October 5, 2011.

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