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The Local Chinookan Royal Family

THE CHINOOKAN PEOPLE have always been united by language and family ties. The local tribe, the Washougalles, lived at Catlipoks, a small village a short distance up the Washougal River. The river was an important salmon spawning ground. In 1800, Chief Schluyhus was part of a large royal family that included his wife, Running Fawn, Running Fawn’s mother and their children White Wing, Wa-ba-na-ha, Morning Star, and Owl Feather. Chief Schluyhus was from the royal lineage and had been chief at The Cascades, and had also been head of all Chinook fisheries. Running Fawn’s ancestors had lived at Catlipoks for a very long time.

Wa-ba-na-ha became chief at the Clahclellah village below The Cascades of the Columbia. His wife was Wa-ca-boole, sister-in-law of Chief Chen-o-wuth. The two families were very close and traveled together seasonally to pick huckleberries, fish for salmon, and socialize. They spent winter months with Clackamas Chinook relatives at the fork of the Clackamas and Multnomah Rivers. Wa-ba-na-ha worked for the Cascades Portage Railroad and railroad warehouses. He led his Cascades Chinook villagers through relocation after 1858 to the White Salmon, and later to the Yakama Indian Reservation.

White Wing married Richard Ough, who was a seaman and fur trader for the Hudson’s Bay Company. He renamed her Betsey, and they enjoyed a long and fruitful life together, with a large family. Richard was naturalized and filed for a 640-acre waterfront donation land claim in 1849, part of which he later sold for the development of the city of Washougal. Betsey was known for her hospitality and medical expertise. She died in 1911 in Washougal, exact age unknown (96-106). Her youngest son, John Thomas Ough, also died in Washougal in 1917, as did his daughter, Gracia Ough Jones, in 1995 at age 91.