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1622 Ash Street

Willard & Ida Coon House c.1920

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In 1913, Willard and Ida Coon purchased the land where this house stands from Phoebe Kirkwood. It appears from the outline of the house on an 1892 Sanborn Map that a different house was located here at one time. Perhaps it was destroyed or moved, as all local surveys give a build date for this house as 1920.

Willard and Ida Coon were the first family to reside in this house. In 1912 at the age of 33, Willard bought the veterinary practice of Dr. Feeley and moved his family here from Steele, North Dakota. In doing so he became patriarch of three generations of veterinarians who practiced in Forest Grove, spanning from 1912 to March 2000.

Besides providing care to all of the farm animals in the area, Willard (or W.B. as he was often referred to) was very involved in the activities of the community. He served several terms as City Alderman, was a City Councilman and elected as President of the School Board. The “Coon Veterinary Service” built a new clinic on the corner of Council St. and 19th Avenue in 1936. When Willard died in 1942, his son Dr. Elwyn Willard Coon took over the practice until he died in 1988. The final generation, Dr. Richard Elwyn Coon grandson of Dr. Willard Britnell Coon, retired and closed the clinic in 2000.

Ida Coon died at the age of 62 in 1945 and her son Elwyn sold the Coon House to Paul Jackson. Paul had been a lifelong resident of the area, graduating from the local high school in 1922. He went to work in the Forest Grove Post Office in 1923 delivering mail in the southeast area for 20 years. He was a clerk for 10 years and was assistant postmaster for his final 10 years prior to his retirement.

Another interesting person to occupy the house was Les AuCoin who purchased it for his family in 1972 just before he was elected to represent Oregon in the U.S. House of Representatives. The AuCoins lived here for three years until selling it.

Three other families resided here afterwards, until in 2006 Pamela and Mark Bailey bought the Coon House. Pamela teaches a 4th grade class at Banks Elementary School and Mark is a Pacific University Professor of Education & Director of the Child Learning and Development Center.

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