DeWert, Elmer D. & Miss Mae. (Portland)

Elmer D. DeWert (1860-1949) (Portland),
Miss Mae M. DeWert. (sister of Elmer)

Editors note: Elmer D. Dewert’s sister and his first wife both shared the same first name; Emma. His sister was Emma E, known as Miss Mae, and his first wife became Mrs. Elmer D DeWert, or Emma J (two different citations). He was first married in 1887 to Emma Lohmann (who became Mrs. Elmer D. or J. DeWert), and the second time in 1902 to Annie Clara Werlein. And also note that Elmer’s son is also named Elmer, he is Elmer E. The preferred capitalization of their surname is DeWert. In his later years Elmer was called ‘Pop DeWert’. In 1945 he received a 50-year emblem for continuous membership in the Multnomah Typographical union, having been a member since 1883.

News Items and Advertisements:

1887: “MARRIED. — Last evening, at 8 o’clock, Mr. E. D. Dewert was married to Miss Emma Lohmann, at the residence of the bride’s mother, 227 Alder street, Rev. T. L. Eliot officiating.  Mr. Dewert has been a compositor on the Oregonian for the last three years, and is in every way a very competent craftsman. He has a host of friends among the ‘craft,’ who wish him much joy and happiness. Mr. and Mrs. Dewert will immediately go to housekeeping at Seventh and Montgomery streets.” Oregonian, February 18, 1887, pg. 3, col. 3.

1888: “PHOTOGRAPHED HIS OWN SHADOW. Singular Thing Which Happened While Mr. Dewert Was Taking Views at Crater Lake.
W. D. Dewert, of The Oregonian composing rooms, who accompanied the recent expedition to Crater Lake, taking views of charming bits of scenery, accomplished one thing which he did not look for and which is quite unusual — the photographing of his own shadow.
He stood on Vidae cliff, 2000 feet high, and had the camera pointed at the lake in the distance. Between the camera and its object, about sixty feet away, was another cliff, which is shown in the photograph. The upper portion of it is of a light dark photographic color, while the lower portion of it is jet black, and looks as if it had been painted with a brush. It is just above the jet black streak that the shadow appears. The form of a man in the act of removing the cap of the camera, to expose the plate, is clearly shown.” Oregonian, September 24, 1888, pg. 5, col. 4.

1889: “Marriage Licenses … Emma J. Dewert 27, H. L. Torrence 33” Oregonian, September 1, 1889, pg. 6. pg. 5.

1891: (interesting full-page account of history of Mt. Hood climbs with an immense amount of name lists. The news was that an expedition was replacing the copper box and record book on the summit.) “… The party having the pleasant duty to perform of substituting a new copper box and record book for the one previously placed on Mount Hood by the Oregon Alpine Club consisted of E. D. Dewert, W. M. Davy, W. H. Werner, W. S. Skinner, Oregonian employees, and John Hoye, a retired dentist. Mr. Dewert, the leader, was the only member of the club in the party. He, with Mr. Davy and Mr. Werner, undertook the task last year, but were prevented from accomplishing their object, after approaching darkness and threatening weather.” The page was illustrated with drawings. “The illustration s shown above were engraved by The Oregonian from photographs by E. D. Dewert.” Oregonian, September 3, 1881, pg. 12.

1892: (Typographers union prepares gift for visiting Union head, which is a album of 90 photographic prints, bound as a volume embossed “Oregon Scenery, to George W. Childs, with compliments of Multnomah Typographical Union.” The newspaper article mentions “The photographs comprise views of the most picturesque and beautiful scenery in Oregon, finished in the highest style of the art, some of them being the handiwork of Mr. Dewert, who, beside being a first-class printer, is a fine amateur photographer.” Oregonian July 26, 1892, pg. 10, col. 2.

1895: “Miss Mae Dewert, of Astoria, is the guest of her brother, Mr. E. D. Dewert, 523 Couch street.” Oregonian, December 22, 1895, pg. 13, col. 7.

1896: (Mazamas to publish list of all persons who have ascended Mt. Hood to the summit.) “DeWert, E. D., Portland. 1891” Oregonian, March 8, 1896, pg. 8, col. 2.

1896: “Mrs. E. D. Dewert has returned, after a six weeks’ visit at Latourell Falls.” Oregonian, August 30, 1896, pg. 11, col. 5.

1900: “Portland’s free museum is daily being enriched by new curios. … Copper box, placed on top of Mount Hood by E. DeWert in 1890, presented by O. C. Yocum, E. DeWert and W. B. Steel. The box had been badly punched with alpine stocks by vandals.” Oregonian, August 16, 1900, pg. 7, col. 2.

1900: In October, 1900, Miss Mae DeWert is listed as a member of the Oregon Camera Club. From 1893 to 1906 she worked as a stenographer or bookkeeper and lived at a number of downtown Portland addresses.

1942: “Wed Fifty Years. Married in Portland September 21, 1892, Mr. and Mrs. Elmer D. DeWert, 2355 N. W. Northrup street, recently observed their golden wedding anniversary with a holiday at Newport, scene of their honeymoon. Mr. DeWert, now 82, came to Portland from San Francisco, Cal., in August, 1883, and went to work for the Oregonian. Mrs. DeWert, who is 72, is the former Annie C. Werlein, who came west from New Orleans, La. They have one son, Elmer E., and two grandchildren, all of Portland.” (article includes portraits of each of them.) Oregonian, October 4, 1942, pg. 4, col. 2.

1946: obituary of Annie Clara DeWert. Oregonian, March 12, 1946, pg. 9.

1949: “Elmer David DeWert. Elmer David DeWert, 88, retired printer, died early Friday in Good Samaritan hospital from pneumonia. His home was 2355 N. W. Northrup street. Mr. DeWert was born at Thorntown, Ind., December 13, 1860. He came to Oregon in 1884 and went immediately to work for The Oregonian, then on SW Front street, as a hand compositor. He was still with The Oregonian when the paper moved to the building on S. W. Sixth avenue and Alder street.
In 1907 Mr. DeWert transferred to the The Telegram. He retired in 1928. He was a 50-year member of Multnomah Typographical union.
Mr. DeWert was the husband of the late Clara DeWert. He is survived by a son, Elmer E. DeWert, and two grandchildren, Richard E. and Marian Jean DeWert, of Portland.
Funeral service will be at 3 p. m. Monday at Miller and Tracy Funeral home. Commitment will be in Lincoln Memorial Park.” Oregonian, January 29, 1949, pg. 7, col. 3.


Steel, William G; The Mountains of Oregon, Portland; David Steel, 1890, pg. 34 Josephine County Caves. account of early exploration of caves near Grants Pass. pg. 36: “We were extremely anxious to try a new process for taking photographs in the dark, so Dewert took his camera and acted as photographer for the party. Owing to the limited space at times and the cramped manner of locomotion it required the services of four men to carry the camera and accompanying necessities. Having reached a suitable place for a picture, the camera was first put in position, a board was laid on the top of it on which a tin reflector was placed, and a little powder called the lightning flash was then poured on the board in front of the reflector. At this point the order was given, ‘Douse the glim,’ and all lights were extinguished. The plate was exposed in perfect darkness, the powder was ignited, and instantly there was a flash of the most intense light. This light was so brilliant that, for several minutes, it caused in the eyes a glimmering sensation of light. Several photographs were taken in this way, which will doubtlessly prove excellent examples of what ingenuity can do in the dark.”