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Gladstone, Oregon is part of Clackamas County and is situated at the confluence of the Willamette and Clackamas Rivers. The first homesteads in the area were part of the Donation Land Claim Act, which helped to attract thousands of settlers into the Oregon Territory, with land being granted by President Lincoln. The first grants were issued to Peter Rinearson and Fendal Cason. Early on, several settlements were established, but due to various fires and floods, as well as other acts of God, only a few of them stayed around long enough to become towns or cities. In 1883, a newcomer named Edward Cross bought the land claim from Fendal Cason’s son William. In short order, Cross started the Gladstone Real Estate Corporation, named for Sir William Ewart Gladstone, a British statesman. In 1893, he had some of his land platted, prepared lots, and the next year, he gave a 50 year lease to the Willamette Valley Chautauqua Association to use for its summer gatherings. Gladstone’s Chautauqua Park was the third largest park in the country, and is credited with the economic growth of Gladstone, hosting speakers and performers who included John Philip Sousa, preacher Billy Sunday, Theodore Roosevelt, and even William Jennings Bryan. The city was officially incorporated in 1911.

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