Ear: Frozen

Death notice from the Jan. 9, 1885 Daily Astorian

"A correspondent of the Oregonian writes: Have just heard of two men being found frozen to death on the mountain road between here and Nehalem Valley. One, Anthony Selders, aged about 60 years, started for a neighbor's about four miles away, and was found dead about a quarter of a mile from the neighbor's, and about 100 yards from the road."

Which makes one wonder: Is anything known about this man, aside from his solitary death? A little digging revealed that blacksmith Anthony Selders, who was 69 at the time of his death, lived in the Nehalem Valley area in Columbia County at the time of the 1880 census.

He was born in May 1815, in Pennsylvania, to Anthony Moore Selders (1780–1854) and Margaret Smith Selders (1787–1864). He had one sibling, a sister, Anna Selders Wissinger (1807–1901), who remained in Pennsylvania. He was single, and had no children.

The Oregon Burial Site Guide, Columbia County (bit.ly/ColCoBurial), in a posting dated Christmas Day, 1884, commented: "Anthony Selders was found dead in the snow and was buried on the spot. This is on now what is known as Sander's Ranch up Rock Creek in the area of Vernonia. There is a Selder Creek which flows into Rock Creek at Keasey … but no gravesite is indicated." A sad end, indeed.

Elleda Wilson is an editorial assistant for The Astorian and author of the award-winning In One Ear community column. Contact her at 971-704-1718 or ewilson@dailyastorian.com.

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