Benjamin Stark Portrait


Benjamin Stark Portrait


A portrait of "Colonel" Benjamin Stark (1820-1898), issued by the Davies Studio in Portland circa 1890.

Stark was the son of a sea captain from New London, Connecticut who became a shipping merchant. He was one of the earliest white landowners in what later became Portland, purchasing land on speculation there in 1846. He moved to Portland as a merchant in 1850, then served in the Oregon Territorial House of Representatives as a Whig in 1852-3. In the mid-1850s, he served in Oregon's militia, during repressive acts against tribes during the Rogue River Wars and Yakima Wars. On the eve of the Civil War in 1860, he was elected to the Oregon Legislature as a conservative pro-slavery Democrat. When Oregon's Republican Senator Edward Baker died in 1861, the governor appointed Stark in his place. After filling out the term, Stark returned to Connecticut, but he continued to influence Portland's development through his properties. A street in Portland was once named for him, but it was renamed Harvey Milk Street in 2018.

Date Created

circa 1890


imperial photographs




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Davies Studio, photography studio