Iman family notes

Columbia River Gorge

Imans were early pioneers in Washington State and settled what came to be the county seat (Stevenson) of Skamania County. This page provides an overview and a growing variety of links.


Felix Grundy Iman arrived in the Northwest from Illinois in 1852 as part of a wagon train of 37 ox-driven carts. He was a carpenter, mechanic, and could be a ship-builder. He was serving as a consultant in Portland to an outfit interested in building steamboats for the Columbia when he met his wife to be at the Bush Hotel in the upper cascades.

Margaret Windsor came from poor family where most of her brothers and sisters were handed off to neighbors Her mother died when she was only two. The step-mother was a shrew and kept her locked up. She ran away as far as she could with the Wilson family, but was critically ill when she reached the Columia. She was left there for a good doctor who cared, and was working off her debts at the hotel when she met Felix. They decided to stay in the area, and built several houses in the Columbia River Gorge. Click here to view the parcel map for the early Stevenson area.

Though Felix could not read or write be built two sawmills, built a steamship for the Columbia River, started a saloon and built the first school in Skamania County. He and Margaret had 16 children, among the very first children of pioneers along the Columbia.

The upper Columbia was rugged country with a river full of rapids, a land of great timber. It was also along important Indian trails connecting tribes from far North to the fur trade. Hundreds of natives lived peacefully with the settlers, though tensions grew with heavier immigration and with inter-tribal tensions between local peaceful bands and the more aggressive Yakima indians.

Felix and Margaret survived the Fort Rains massacre, but just barely.

Down the line to Steve and Jay