Stephen Hall Meek

July 4, 1805 - January 11, 1889

Meek, Stephen Hall, mountain man (July 4, 1805-Jan. 11, 1889). An older brother of Joe Meek, Stephen was born near Abingdon, Virginia. He joined fur trader William Sublette at St. Louis in 1828 and left for the Rocky Mountains in 1830. He accompanied Joe Walker to California in 1833-1834 and in 1835 joined the Hudson's Bay Company, trapping in California and elsewhere. He returned to St. Louis in the winter of 1836-1837, but then went back to the mountains. In 1840 he was wagonmaster for the Magoffin brothers to Chihuahua where he remained two years, joining scalp hunter James Kirker for a time. Meek guided a wagon party from Independence to the Columbia in 1842, and another from Oregon to California in 1843. He took ship in 1844 as far south as Valparaiso, Chile, then returned to Panama and made his way to New York, thence to his Virginia home after an absence of 17 years. In 1845 he guided a train of 500 wagons to Fort Hall, settled with his bride near Oregon City on the Willamette River until 1848, then took his family to California in time for the gold rush, dividing his attentions between California and Oregon for several years. He took wagons and mining machinery from California to Boise, Idaho, in 1867, and participated in a Shoshone Indian campaign. He died near Etna, California.