Upon emigrating to Oregon from Pennsylvania in 1853, seventeen-year-old Henry Lewis Pittock got turned down for a job at the Oregon Spectator newspaper in Oregon City. In Portland he had better luck. Thomas Jefferson Dryer gave him a position at the Weekly Oregonian. A formidable editor, but not known for his business acumen, Dryer soon brought young Pittock on as a partner, in lieu of paying him regular wages. Within a few years Dryer mortgaged the paper to Pittock, and on November 24, 1860 he signed the paper over to the young man.
The following year 24-year-old Pittock launched the Morning Oregonian, published six days a week. By 1864 he had increased the paper’s daily circulation from 300 to 1000, and the paper continued to grow. By the 1890s The Oregonian was the biggest, and most powerful, newspaper in Oregon.
Though the newspaper business was volatile, leading to Pittock having to mortgage the paper several times himself, he had other business interests too, including in real estate, banks, and lumber. In 1909 he built the Pittock Mansion. When he died in 1919 his estate was worth nearly $8 million.