Castleman, Phillip F. (Eugene, Portland, &c)

Castleman, Phillip F. (1827-1913)


1853-1878 itinerant, including Oregon.

1865 Walla Walla WA

Castleman in the later part of his career as photographer (1865-1875) specialized in producing birds-eye-view lithographs of cities. The views we can prove were made by Castleman were drawn by Grafton T. Brown of San Francisco, and printed by Charles C. Kuchel, or Kuchel & Dressel, for whom Brown regularly made drawings. We have no information as to the mechanics of Castleman’s relationship with them, other than a contemporary newspaper report that Castleman was ‘connected’ with a lithographic house in San Francisco. Grafton T. Brown (1841-1918) is notable as being the only known Afro-American view artist. His produced some of the best and most interesting views of the last century. Later, Brown lived in Portland ca. 1883- ca. 1890, and it is interesting to note Philip Castleman had relocated to Portland permanently by then.

In 1853, Castleman sailed back to Kentucky from Eugene. During this visit he went to New York and learned daguerreotyping. He purchased daguerreotype equipment and sailed back to Southern Oregon. In 1854 he established the first daguerreotype studio in Eugene.

In 1855, while living in Eugene, he soldiered in the Indian Wars and was badly injured, resulting in partial paralysis. He remained in the Eugene area until 1862, operating pack trains and a livery business. During the period 1862-1867 his official biography indicates he operated a photograph studio in Walla Walla, Washington, except for a brief business venture in Boise Idaho.

Castleman is recorded as soliciting sales for lithographic bird’s-eye views in Washington in 1865, and Idaho in 1866. In 1867 he went East for a visit. Upon his return to Oregon in 1868 he lived in Eugene for one year. He organized a bird’s-eye view of Eugene in 1869, one in Portland in 1869, and a separate one of Portland in 1870. He moved to Tillamook in late 1870. In 1871 he moved to a farm in Yamhill county for the next 8 years. The location of the farm is in Newellsville (the new name of Champoeg). In 1878 he relocated to Portland, operating The William Radam Microbe Killer Company. He was a vice commander of the Indian War Veteran Association in 1897.

In 1903 he moved to Berkeley, California where he died on March 24, 1913.

According to notes by Glenn Mason, Castleman is probably buried in the Masonic Cemetery in Eugene. The family headstone has the Masonic emblem and a name plate for Castleman’s wife, however the other nameplates are missing.


There are no known original photographs that can be attributed to Castleman.

Listing of Birds- Eye Views attributed to Castleman

1865 Walla Walla, WA

1866 Boise, ID

1866 Silver City, ID

1869 Portland

1870 Portland

1870 Eugene

1870 Astoria

Directory Listings

1865 East Cascades Directory pg. 129 Walla Walla W. T. “Castleman, P. F., photographer, Main (street)”, pg. 136 business directory “Castleman, P. F., Main”

1880 PD pg. 89 “Castleman, P. F., teamster, res 68 Oak”

1881 PD pg. 94 “Castleman, P. F., veterinary surgeon, res 68 Oak near Fourth”

1882 PD pg. 124 “Castleman, P. F., veterinary surgeon, res 112 Seventh e s bet Washington and Alder.”

1883 PD pg. 100 “Castleman, veterinary surgeon, res 112 Seventh”

1884 GD pg. 103 “Castleman, P. F., res 190 Ninth”

1885 PCD pg. 145 “Castleman, Philip F., hop grower, res 115 College”

1886 PCD pg. 155 “Castleman, Philip F., hop grower, res 115 College”

1887 PCD pg. 163 “Castleman, Philip F, res 367 6th”

1888 PCD pg. 186 “Castleman, Philip F, res 367 6th”

1889 PCD pg. 188 “Castleman, Philip F, agt 228 Stark”

1890 PCD pg. 181 “Castleman, Philip F, agt 228 Stark”

1891 PCD not listed

1892 PCD pg. 317 “Castleman, Philip F, agt Radam’s Microbe Killer Co 351 Morrison res same”, pg. 794 “Radam’s Microbe Killer Co., P F Castleman, agt, 351 Morrison”

1893 PCD pg. 300 “Castleman, Philip F, agt Radam’s Microbe Killer Co 360 Morrison res Lewis Bldg”, pg. 794 “Radam’s Microbe Killer Co., P F Castleman, agt, 360 Morrison”

1894 PCD pg. 244 “Castleman, Philip F, agt Radam’s Microbe Killer Co 360 Morrison res same”, pg. 644 “Radam’s Microbe Killer Co., P F Castleman, agt, 360 Morrison”

1895 PCD pg. 217 “Castleman, Philip F, agt Radam’s Microbe Killer Co 360 Morrison rms Lewis bldg”, pg. 591 “Radam’s Microbe Killer Co., P F Castleman mngr, 360 Morrison”

1896 PCD pg. 207 “Castleman, Philip F, agt Radam’s Microbe Killer Co 360 Morrison rms Lewis bldg”, pg. 527 “Radam’s Microbe Killer Co., P F Castleman Mngr, 360 Morrison”

1897 PCD pg. 203 “Castleman, Philip F, agt Radam’s Microbe Killer Co 360 Morrison res 350 1/2 same”, pg. 520 “Radam’s Microbe Killer Co., P F Castleman mngr, 360 Morrison”

1898 PCD pg. 206 “Castleman, Philip F, agt Radam’s Microbe Killer Co 360 Morrison res same”, pg. 536 “Radam’s Microbe Killer Co., P F Castleman mngr, 360 Morrison”

1899 PCD pg. 213 “Castleman, Philip F, agt Radam’s Microbe Killer Co 360 Morrison res same”, pg. 565 “Radam’s Microbe Killer Co., Philip F Castleman mngr, 360 Morrison”

1900 PCD pg. 220 “Castleman, Philip F, agt Radam’s Microbe Killer 360 Morrison res same”, pg. 595 “Radam’s Microbe Killer Co, Philip F Castleman mngr, 360 Morrison”

1901 PCD pg. 197 “Castleman, Philip F., mngr Radam’s Microbe Killer Co. 392 Morrison, res same”; “Radam’s Microbe Killer Co., P F Castleman, Mngr, 392 Morrison”

1902 PCD pg. 245 “Castleman, Philip F., mngr Radam’s Microbe Killer Co. 392 Morrison, res same”; pg. 740 “Radam’s Microbe Killer Co., P F Castleman, Mngr, 392 Morrison, Tel Clay 711”

1903 PCD pg. 245 “Castleman, Philip F., mngr Radam’s Microbe Killer Co. 392 Morrison, res same”; pg. 670 “Radam’s Microbe Killer Co., P F Castleman, Mngr, 392 Morrison, Tel Hood 1922”

1904 PCD pg. 272 “Castleman, Philip F., mngr Radam’s Microbe Killer Co. res 411 Morrison”, pg. 771 “Radam’s Microbe Killer Co, Philip F. Castleman mngr, 411 Morrison”

Mautz Oregon “Castleman, Philip F., 1855-1865, Eugene”

News Items and Advertisements

1852: P. F. Castleman signs letter to the editor vouching for character of Lemuel Bills. Oregon Spectator, 3 February 1852, pg. 1, col. 4.

1865: “Mr. P. F. Castleman is engaged in taking photographic views of the city and of the principal business houses, with a view of sending them to San Francisco and having them lithographed. The design is to have a view of the city printed on the center of a card 24 x 32 inches, with a view of the garrison, one or two farms near the city, and the principal business houses in the city in the margin. It is being gotten up by subscription, those who have their places of business or residences printed paying a stipulated sum for the same.” Walla Walla Statesman, 5 May 1865, pg. 3, col. 1 quoted in Reps, John W., Views & Viewmakers of Urban America, Columbia; University of Missouri Press, 1984. pg. 53. This view was printed by Grafton T. Brown and is illustrated in the above book as plate 66.

1866: “Hotel Arrivals…Wednesday, April 11, Lincoln House…P. F. Castlemond (sic)…” The Daily Herald, (Portland) 12 April 1866 pg. 3, col. 3.

1851: “List of letters remaining in the Post Office at Oregon City on the 30th day of June, 1851. … Castleman, P. F. …” Oregon Statesman (Oregon City) 4 July – 16 September 1851. (probably more than one letter) (not in following issue)

1866: “Mr. P. F. Castleman, an old acquaintance who has been engaged in the Photograph business for ten years, has made arrangements with Messrs. Misener & Lamkin of our city, to arrange and publish a Lithographic view of Boise City. Mr Castleman is connected with a Lithographic company in San Francisco, and has a number of specimens of work, which when once seen will recommend Mr. Castleman to the kind consideration of our citizens.” Idaho Tri-Weekly Statesman, (Boise City) 4 August 1866 pg. 2 col. 4 quoted by Arthur A. Hart, Camera Eye on Idaho (Caldwell, Caxton, 1990) pg. 30-31.

1869: “Lithograph – Mr. P. F. Castleman has been canvassing the business part of town for subscribers to a lithographic picture of Eugene City. Mr. S. proposes to place the business card of those who subscribe to the lithograph on the margin of the picture and furnish them with two or three pictures.” Eugene City Guard, 6 February 1869.

1869: “Our fellow townsman, P. F. Castleman, Esq., will start in a few days on a tour through Oregon to instruct in his method of training and managing horses. He has prepared and had printed, a book containing full directions, which, together with the instruction he will give, cannot fail to be understood by all taking any interest in this subject.” Oregon State Journal 6 March 1869 (cited by Belknap)

1869: “For the information of those who do not know what can be done in the way of book printing here, we would state that we have in our collection of printing done at this office, a book of nearly one hundred and fifty pages, for P. F. Castleman, which is fully equal in quality of workmanship to books of the kind printed elsewhere. Those contemplating having printing done would do well to see if it could not be done as well at home as abroad.” Oregon State Journal 13 March 1869 (cited by Belknap)

1869: “Mr. Castleman, who advertises to teach a new system of horse training, is in town. He will exhibit at Canyonville on Monday, in Looking-Glass on Thursday, and on the next Friday in Roseburg again, at which time horse raisers are intending to make an exhibition of their animals in this place.” Roseburg Ensign (Roseburg), 24 April 1869, pg. 2, col. 5.

1869: “Horse Training. – We attended Mr. Castleman’s class in the science of horse-training, and are able to say that his system is a good one.” Roseburg Ensign (Roseburg), 1 May 1869, pg. 3, col. 1.

1870: “View of Portland, – Our fellow townsman, Mr. P. F. Castleman, is now in San Francisco making arrangements for the printing of a lithographic view of the city of Portland. Mr. Castleman got up a view of this city last summer which would have been highly creditable had the printing, done at San Francisco, been of a better quality. Mr. C. will get up a splendid lithograph of ‘Portland-on-Wallamet.” Oregon State Journal, 26 February 1870.

1870: “Returned- We were pleased to see the face of our friend and fellow townsman P. F. Castleman in our sanctum the other day. Mr. Castleman has been absent for some time on a trip to Portland and San Francisco. He is executing a lithographic view of Portland.” Eugene City Guard, 12 March 1870.

1870: Castleman buys a half interest in a Driven Well patent from Underwood. Oregon State Journal, 21 May 1870

1870: “P. F. Castleman, an old resident of Eugene left here during the week with his family, intending to locate at Tillamook Bay” Oregon State Journal, 8 October 1870.

1871: “P. F. Castleman, Esq., of Tillamook, is in town.” Oregon State Journal, 4 February 1871

1874: “Hotel Arrivals…Chemeketa (Hotel)…P F Castleman, Champoeg…” Salem Daily Record, 8 May 1874 pg. 3 col. 4

1875: “Hotel Arrivals…Commercial Hotel…P F Cartman (sic), Champoeg…” Salem Daily Record, 4 June 1875 pg. 3 col. 3.

1875: Willamette Farmer (Salem) listed as their local agent in Newellsville in every issue from 12 Nov. 1875 – 5 May 1876 (other issues not checked)

1876: “P. F. Castleman, Esq., was in town during the early part of the week.” Eugene City Guard, (Eugene) 16 April 1876

1888: Minutes of meeting of Indian War Veterans reported, Castleman introduces motions and is appointed to a committee to compile information pertaining to the Indian War and prepare it for publication as a history book. Oregonian, 27 February 1888, pg. 4, col. 2.

1888: “THE WAR OF ’55, An Interesting Chapter of Early Day Oregon History (eyewitness history article, very long, excerpts only quoted here, probably co-authored by Castleman) …At Eugene, McCarver found a young man named P. F. Castleman, known to be active and energetic, who was stopping there a few days waiting for something to turn up. The quarter-master found his man, and found him ‘willing,’ then he said; ‘Have you got a good a good horse?’ … <long description of Castleman’s horse follows, then the adventure of a 90 mile in 21 hour ride behind Indian lines to seek reinforcements for the surrounded army troops at Roseburg. This event occurred in early October 1855.>” Sunday Oregonian, 4 March 1888, pg. 1. col. 5-6.

1897: list of Oregon pioneers in attendance at reunion and parade in Portland, “1849…P. F. Castleman…” Weekly Oregonian 18 June, 1897, pg. 4, col. 5

1897: list of officers at annual meeting of Indian War Veterans, “P. T (sic). Castleman, senior vice-commander” (he was replaced at this time) Weekly Oregonian, 18 June, 1897, pg. 7, col. 3

1902: “WISE PEOPLE stick to the old reliable RADAM’S MICROBE KILLER. It has stood the test of 13 years, If you are sick in any way, microbes are the cause. Spring especially is the dangerous time for sickness. Take Radam’s Microbe Killer. ‘Take it Now’. 392 Morrison St.” Oregon Journal, 11 March 1902 (first insertion)

1913: “PHILIP CASTLEMAN, ’49ER, DIES AT 86- Native of Kentucky Operated First Sawmill in Eugene District – Eugene, Or., March 29, – The body of Philip F. Castleman, one of the earliest and best known pioneers of Oregon, arrived in Eugene this morning from San Francisco for interment. He died in that city Wednesday, aged 86 years.

Mr. Castleman was one of the most noted characters of the early days in Oregon. He was a Kentuckian, having been born in Hodginsville, in the Blue Grass state, May 17, 1827. He crossed the plains to California in 1849 and was engaged in gold mining and other enterprises for two years, when he left California and came to where Eugene is now located. When the first houses of the town were built he started the first sawmill in this part of the state. It was a small affair, supposedly run by horsepower, but really by oxpower. Later he established a waterpower mill on Bear creek and helped manufacture the lumber from which were built many of the early homes of this part of the state. Ever a restless and energetic spirit, he returned to the east by way of the Nicaragua route, but a short time later he returned to Eugene. On the site now occupied by the Hulin block, Mr. Castleman established the first photograph gallery in this city.

When the news of the Indian war and massacre was received here from the Rogue River valley in 1855, Mr. Castleman forsook the camera for the musket. When General McCarver arrived in Eugene at the head of a body of troops, the soldiers were short of ammunition and it was necessary to send a messenger through the enemy’s lines to the base of supplies, 90 miles away, to hurry reinforcements and supplies. The task went to Mr. Castleman at his earnest request and he carried out his mission with dispatch.

After the Indian war Mr. Castleman went to Walla Walla, Wash., and Boise, Idaho, but again returned to Eugene. In 1878 he closed the last period of his residence here and finally settled in San Francisco.” Oregon Journal, (Portland) 29 March, 1913, pg. 14.

1913: “BURIAL OF PIONEER TODAY. Body of Early Eugene Sawmill Man Brought From California. EUGENE, Or., March 29- (Special) – Funeral services will be held here tomorrow for P. F. Castleman, a Eugene pioneer, who died Thursday at the home of his daughter in San Francisco. Mr. Castleman built the first sawmill in Eugene, operating it with horse and oxen power. He was also the first commercial photographer in Eugene and at one time was a considerable property holder here. Early in the 60s he moved to Champoeg and later to Portland, where he resided until the death of his wife. Of late years he has been making his home with his daughters in California. He leaves a son and two daughters.” Oregonian, 30 March 1913 pg. 8, col. 5

1913: “OREGON PIONEER, WHO DIED IN CALIFORNIA, WAS BORN IN KENTUCKY. Philip F. Castleman, an Oregon pioneer, who died in at Berkeley, Cal., March 24, was born near Hodginsville, Ky., May 17, 1827, and his ancestors had a part in the Revolutionary War. On May 3, 1949 he joined a company of 18 in Hart County, Kentucky, and started to California, arriving at Sacramento in November, and soon after began mining on Bidwell’s Bar, but finding that he could do better by getting employment in Sacramento, he left the mines and went into the employ of a baker at a salary of $250 a month. In 1851 he left California for Oregon and settled near Eugene and erected a sawmill, the first south of Salem. In 1855-56 he was a volunteer in the Rogue River Indian war and rendered most effective service until he was wounded. After recovering he engaged in business in Eugene, Walla Walla and points in Idaho for a number of years. In 1878 he became a resident of Portland, remaining until 1903, when he removed to Berkeley. Mr. Castleman was married to Mrs. Ianthe J. Evans in 1856. Three children survive, Mrs. Euretta F. Campbell, the widow of the late Judge J. A. Campbell, of Berkeley, Cal.; Mrs. Anna B. Games and William R. Castleman, now residents of Portland. He was buried on March 28 at Roseburg.” Oregonian, 2 April 1913, pg. 12.


Castleman, P. F., A New and Improved Mode of Training Horses, Portland, A. G. Walling, 1869, this 131 page book is described by Belknap, George N., Oregon Imprints 1845-1870, Eugene; University of Oregon Books, 1968., pg. 248, also quotes other interesting information about Castleman. Castleman’s book went through at least 3 editions. No copies are known of the first edition. further comment in Belknap, George N., More Addenda to Belknap, Oregon Imprints, PBSA, LXVI (1972), pg. 207-208, item No. 1266.

Castleman, P. F., Diary, in collection of Yale University (although not listed in Yale Western Americana Collection manuscript catalog) (courtesy Peter Palmquist, item noted by George N. Belknap in correspondence to Glenn Mason)

Castleman, P. F., letter to B. F. Dowell, sent from Walla Walla WA on 4 September 1865, concerns Castleman’s photography venture in Walla Walla. Dowell Letter Book No. 3, pg. 164. (courtesy Peter Palmquist, item noted by George N. Belknap in correspondence to Glenn Mason)

Goodman, Theodosia, “Early Oregon Daguerreotypers and Portrait Photographers”, Oregon Historical Quarterly, (Portland; Oregon Historical Society) Vol. 49, No. 1, March 1948, pg. 40-41.

Hart, Arthur A., Camera Eye on Idaho, (Caldwell; Caxton 1990) pg. 30-31, 191.

Reps, John W., Views & Viewmakers of Urban America, Columbia; University of Missouri Press, 1984. pg. 66-67 biographical material on Grafton T. Brown; pg. 53 mentions Walla Walla; pg. 459 mentions Astoria.

Oregon Native Son, Vol. 1, 1899, pg. 402-403: “Mr. Castleman was born on a farm near Hodginsville, Kentucky, May 17, 1827. Here he lived until he reached mans estate, assisting his parents, in the meantime getting a good education, gaining it principally by individual application to study. In those days the log school houses were far apart, the school terms short, and the instructors not very well educated, and to gain much knowledge one had to be self-taught. This he accomplished and began teaching himself, but soon after caught the gold fever, and with a company of eighteen others, started for California in 1849. Cholera began to make its appearance among the emigrations of this year, and its ravages dotted the wayside with new-made graves, seven of the nineteen of his party falling as its victims, and many others, including Mr. Castleman, being afflicted with it during the journey.

After arriving in California, he followed mining, building, hotel-keeping and other employ until 1851, when he removed to Oregon, settling near where Eugene now stands. Here he erected a sawmill, and through this became the pioneer lumberman of Southern Oregon. In 1853 he sold out and went to Rogue river, where he again interested himself in lumbering, building and operating, with Milton Lindley, the first sawmill constructed in that section. in 1853 he returned to the East, via the Nicaragua route, hoping to avoid a repetition of the sickness known on his journey across the plains, but he reckoned wrongly; he was sick all the while he was on the ocean’s blue.

While East he learned Daguerreotyping and after purchasing an outfit, and visitation with his folks, he again left for Oregon, coming via Panama, and began picture taking, the first made in Southern Oregon and Northern California.

In 1855 he began a career of privation, hardship, and perilous in the extreme, an existence that only brave hearts volunteer to undergo, a duty that protects families, friends, and their best interests from an ambushed and savage assailant, a service performed that a negligent government has to its shame no recompense or recognition. While in Eugene the news came that the Indians of Southern Oregon had bean hostilities; he was among the first to go to the front and remain at his post until all danger was past. He was in many engagements, and in one of them badly wounded, a reminder that will not leave him while life lasts. He was shot through the side, the ball ranging his ribs and going out over the right hip, paralyzing his lower limbs. While he recovered, the effects remain to trouble and pain.

From the time of the closing of the war until 1862 he was engaged in various avocations in Southern Oregon, when he went east of the mountains, gravitation between location therein as packer, miner, photographer, and merchant until 1867. In that year he returned to Eugene, and from thence East on a visit. Again returning, he was in Eugene, and Tillamook and Yamhill counties until 1878 when he removed to Portland, residing there permanently ever since. He is at present the manager of the William Radam’s Microbe Killer Company, and finds time well occupied in attending to the orders coming to him for that wonderful panacea for disease.

Mr. Castleman has contributed largely to the upbuilding of Oregon in various commendable enterprises, is public spirited, generous and enjoys the confidence of all who know him. He is prominent in the Indian War Veteran Association, having been Vice Commander thereof.

He was married in 1856 to Mrs. I. J. Evans, a pioneer of 1847, now deceased. Their union was blessed with five children, Euretta F., the wife of the late Judge J. A. Campbell, an Oregon boy who achieved fame as a justice of the San Francisco courts, Stephen F. and Mary E., deceased, Anna B., a talented lecturer, now the wife of W. H. Games, and William R.” (courtesy Michael Cirelli) includes portrait of Castleman, by Burns, pg. 366

History of the Pacific Northwest: Oregon and Washington, Portland; North Pacific History Co. 1889. pg. 246-249. Long biography of Castleman. Summary of items about photography: In the fall of 1853 he left Eugene to visit his family home in Kentucky. He then went to New York and studied daguerreotyping. He purchased a camera and supplies and returned to Oregon by sea and Panama. Upon his arrival he began to make daguerreotypes. His photographic career was interrupted by the Indian wars in the fall of 1855. This biography gives an extended account of Castleman’s war stories and his battles against “the howling savage, who thirsted for the white man’s blood and was eager for his scalp.” Castleman led a charge against the Siwash Indians at Olilla creek on the South Umpqua and was shot, becoming partially paralyzed. He was taken to the McCully’s stockade and then to a hospital near Roseburg. After several months of recuperation, he was released.

He moved hogs and ox-teams through southern Oregon in 1856, and also sold his interest in the saw mill business he had near Eugene. In the winter of 1856-1857 he operated a pack train for produce from the Willamette valley to the southern Oregon mines. From the winter of 1857 until 1862 he owned a livery stable in Eugene. In 1862 he moved the livery to Walla Walla. After the move, in the summer of 1862, Castleman left the livery in the charge of his business partner and went to the Salmon river mines. In the fall of 1862 Castleman returned to Walla Walla and engaged in photography. The biography is not exactly clear, but it appears he had several other business trips and ventures between 1863 and 1865. In 1865 Castleman returned to Walla Walla to operate photography until 1867, when he moved back to Eugene. In late 1867 he returned back to the eastern U S, and while there bought a sawmill, which he soon sold and returned to Eugene. He then lived one year at Eugene, one year at Tillamook, and eight years on a farm in Yamhill county. In 1878 he sold the Yamhill farm and moved to Portland.