Lieser Family

Few families have had more impact on Clark County than Louis and Eliza Lieser and their descendants.

Louis Lieser was born in Germany in 1817. He emigrated to the United States and married Eliza Hollingsworth in 1842. The couple crossed the Plains with a team of horses and a prairie schooner, arriving at Fort Vancouver in 1850.

The Liesers took up a donation land claim of one square mile in 1851. This property lay along the Columbia River about four miles east of Vancouver, in the vicinity of the present Lieser Road.

The couple built a log cabin in which Eliza was to die in 1855. She had borne five children, but only one, Henry Clay Lieser, was to live to maturity. Louis Lieser was killed by a bull on his place in 1907.

Henry Lieser, who had been born Aug. 21, 1848, in Wisconsin, attended the first Catholic School in Vancouver, then Portland Academy and later a school at Fisher’s Landing. When he was 16, Lieser went to Forest Grove to attend Tualatin Academy and Pacific University. He helped pay for room, board and tuition by cutting cordwood for $1 per cord.

Lieser returned to Clark County and became one of the early instructors in county schools. He eventually became principal of Vancouver schools and county superintendent, as well as the public librarian.

Lieser also took up the law and was admitted to the bar, becoming a practicing attorney in Vancouver.

Lieser married Elizabeth Hay in 1876 and the couple had seven children, three of whom — Miles, Herbert and Ralph — went on to become medical doctors.

Elizabeth died in 1925 and Henry in 1936.

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