Henrichsen family

Germans, Irish and Anglo-Saxons made up a large percentage of the early settlers in Clark County. Some of these were soldiers who decided to stay after serving at the Army barracks.

Denmark was one of the smaller nations represented, by the Henrichsens and others. The Henrichsens, 1850s arrivals in Vancouver, were active in business for many years.

Historian Fred Lockley said Neils Henrichsen was the first to reach the tiny community, in 1857. At that time Portland was not much larger than Vancouver, and travelers between the two towns went by steamboat.

Henrichsen had gone to the Hawaiian Islands first. Early records list him as a plasterer and bricklayer.

His brother, Jens J., arrived in town in 1858. A cabinetmaker, he made many coffins for the settlers and served as an undertaker. For several years he also was a cooper for the Army. In later years he operated a ranch on Burnt Bridge Creek near Vancouver.

One of the most active Henrichsen offspring was T.L. (Tobey) Henrichsen, who served as a city treasurer for four years starting about 1919 and county commissioner for two terms, ending in the early 1930s. Henrichsen operated stores in the downtown.

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