Heslin Family History
Drusilla Missouri Dunbar Heslin (1848-1912) came to Oregon as a young girl. She traveled the Oregon trail in 1850 with her parents, three siblings and several relatives. In 1864, Drusilla married John Patrick Heslin (1835-1917) an Irishman from Virginia. They lived most of their lives in Fairview with John running a local sawmill.
Like many early Oregon pioneers, the Heslins endured hardships. They had twelve children, all born at home, of whom six passed away in childhood…
For the last twenty years of Drusilla’s life she suffered from tuberculosis. John had much difficulty with asthma that forced him to sit up in a chair to sleep later in life.
Most of what is know of the Heslins is though Dursilla’s diary that she started March 3, 1867 with her first entry; “I have been trying to think of the most appropriate way of commencing my Journal, but it is not as easy a matter as I supposed, so I will leave it for present until I can think of something to write about.” Drusilla’s last entry was recorded October 10, 1910; “Elmer Dunbar and wife Estella visited relatives in Fairview today.”
Three generations of Heslins continually resided in the home from the time John and Dursilla built it in 1893. Their son Edward “Edd” served for thirty years in Fairview city Government, thirteen of them as Mayor. Under his leadership, the former City Hall on Fairview Avenue was built (now the location of Handy Park), the town’s first water system was installed and the Fairview Avenue railroad underpass was built. Edd lived to be 92.
From an interview by the Gresham Outlook October, 21, 1954, Edd was quoted; “When I was young I once heard a minister say, ‘If you never take your first drink, you’ll never end in the gutter’, and I believed it to be true.”
Edd and his wife Maude had four children, Caryl, Merle, Edward H. “Ted” and Lillian Rose. Ted and Caryl lived most their lives in Fairview. Ted was the last Heslin to live in the house until his death in 1991. Neither he nor his brother Caryl had any children.