The History of the Cully Neighborhood
The neighborhood and one of the major streets in Cully take their name from an early pioneer. Thomas Cully was born in 1810 in England and settled on this donation land claim farm in the Columbia Slough in 1846. Thomas Cully came to Oregon from Texas where he was a Texas reanger under Sam Houston. In Oregon, he was a stone mason by trade and built the first chimney in Portland in a house erected by F. W. Pettygrove near the corner of SW First and Washington. He lived in the Cully area thereafter, except for a short time spent in California gold mines. His neighbors included George and Andrew Pullen, Anthony Whitaker, Henry Holtgrieve, A.J. Dufur and the Paddocks.
Thomas Cully was said to be an honest and industrial man, accumulating considerable property including the 640 acre land claim and a block on the east side of Portland plus additional parcels. His 1884 commercial building at SE Oak and Martin Luther King Blvd. still stands. Thomas Cully married Rebecca Jones in 1850 and they had 12 children.
The children were:
Richard (1852 - 1861) who drown in the Columbia Slough
Anthony (1855) who died as a baby at the age of 5 weeks
James Martin (1856 - 1940)
Henry (1860 - 1933)
Mary Ellen Pike (1865 - 1891)
John (1869 - 1903)
George (1872 - 1935)
Christena R.J. Cully Gradt (1873 - 1948)
Almeda Hannah Egger (1876 - 1956)
Martha June (1877 - 1892) and her twin brother Charles (1877 - 1959)
Nancy Eveline Cully may have a daughter [from the Will of Thomas Cully 1891
Thomas Cully died in January 5 or 6 1891 at the age of 81 from injuries he recieved after being thrown from his wagon when ascending "Gravelly Hill". The kingbelt of his buggy broke, the forewheels passed under the vehicle and he was thrown over the dashboard. Dr. Rafferty was called and re-set Tom Cully's dislocated shoulder. Internal injuries were serious and he died shortly thereafter. The youngest child at the time 13 years old and all the children lived on the old homestead or in the vicinity. Thomas Cully was buried in Lorne Fir Cemetery.