How Did Gresham Get Its Name?

Posted by Gresham Historical Society & Museum on Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Gresham Historical Society_Ben Rollins

How did Gresham get its name? You can thank Ben F. Rollins.

In 1884, Rollins built a general store in an area known as “Campground.” Thinking a post office would help with the business, Rollins wrote to Postmaster General Walter Q. Gresham.

We can’t say for certain whether Rollins suggested naming the area after Gresham to flatter the General into fulfilling his request, or if he named the area after Gresham as a thank-you for acquiring the post office. (But, apparently, other towns had the same idea; there are eight other cities in the U.S. named Gresham!)

Gresham Historical Society_General store

Rollins’ general store and the post office were located at what is now the SE corner of N. Main Avenue and Powell.

He died in 1931 at 74 years old and is buried in the Gresham Pioneer Cemetery.

You can learn more about Rollins in our permanent exhibit “Gresham’s Timeline.”

 

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Categories: Gresham History

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Gresham Historical Society Update

 

Our Annual Membership Meeting for GHS on June 14, 2020, has been canceled because of the virus. The GHS currently remains closed by Governor Brown until further notice. We look forward to seeing everyone soon.