Waller, Alvin F
Waller, Alvin F.
a Methodist itinerant minister and early missionary to Oregon, was born at Abingdon, Luzerne Co., Pa., May 8, 1808. He was the youngest of seven children, his mother dying when he was but five months old. Receiving early religious instruction from his father, a man of earnest piety, he was converted and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1829, from which time to the end of his busy life he was a devoted Christian. In 1832 he was employed as junior preacher on the Lewiston Circuit, Genesee Conference. In 1833 he was married to Miss Elephe White, and the same year entered the Lyma Seminary under the presidency of Rev. Dr. Luckey, where by diligent application and steady piety he made more permanent the faith which governed his life. He connected himself with the Genesee Conference in 1833, remaining until 1839, when he joined the Oregon Mission, under the superintendency of Rev. Jason Lee. After a tedious journey around Cape Horn, he reached Oregon with his family in 1840, and, with scarcely a day's relaxation, worked for his Master up to the time of his death, which occurred in Salem, Oregon, Dec. 26, 1872. Mr. Waller helped to found the Oregon Institute, from which has grown the Willamette University. To his efforts above all others the latter institution owes its existence. He was also the principal agent in establishing the Pacific Christian Advocate. In fact, he was thoroughly identified with all the best interests of Oregon. At his death flags were placed at half-mast over the state buildings, and the whole commonwealth was shrouded in mourning. See Minutes of Annual Conferences, 1873, p. 132; Simpson, Cyclop. of Methodism, s.v.