Dalton house and Grey Cliffs

Columbia County History Volume VI, page 42


Outstanding citizens of St. Helens of the 1930s and 1940s were Dr. and Mrs. E. C. Dalton, who owned and developed their ninety acre estate into a beautiful home, with winding pathways, rare plants and every aid to gracious living as practiced by these lovers of nature and devotees of conservation of our wildlife. Their place was named "Grey Cliffs," and extended along the cliffs lining the Columbia. We still have the name, Grey Cliffs, as applied to a more modern home, and a street, Grey Cliffs Drive, which occupy a part of the original Dalton estate, and preserve some of the beauty of the Dalton home. When our Oregon State Capitol burned in 1935, Dr. Dalton was one of the men who were appointed to serve on the planning commission to build the new capitol building, which was completed in 1938. He also was sent to Washington, D. C., in an effort to locate a Veterans' Hospital in the area.

At the same time, Mrs. Dalton was most active in the St. Helens Garden Club, when this club entertained the State Federation of Garden Clubs in 1936. The Dalton home, with its beautiful grounds, was a fitting setting for this event, and Mrs. Dalton was elected State President of the Federation, serving two years. During her term of office, the number of Garden Clubs in Oregon grew from 14 to 45, and much interest was developed in working for civic beautification throughout the state. Mrs. Dalton had copies of the Oregon Wildflower Act printed and distributed to each school, garden club and civic organization within the state to aid in conservation of wild life. She was appointed Regional Historian in 1938, served as Regional Director from 1941-43, and was on the National Executive Council Executive Committee from 1943- 45. She also served for a time on the Board of Directors of the Oregon Roadside Council. She held a Life Membership in the National Council.

To her energy and example, much credit is due for the growth of civic improvement and beautification, both at home and throughout the state.

Ernest Charles Dalton - Find-A-Grave

September 15, 1872 – May 16, 1945 Ex-Physician Passes at 73

ST. HELENS, May 18 (Special) – Funeral Services for Dr. Ernest Charles Dalton, 73 retired physician and surgeon and a member of the state capitol reconstruction commission in 1935, who died at his home here Wednesday, will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday at the St. Helens Episcopal church with Father Newton Penberthy officiating. Burial will be in Lincoln Memorial Park, Portland.

Dr. Dalton, a St. Helens resident for 23 years, died after a long illness. He was born in London, England on September 15, 1872. He received his M.D. Degree from Willamette University medical school in 1905 and took post-graduate work at New York, Chicago, Vienna, London, and Berlin. He was a member of Alpha Kappa Kappa fraternity.

He was married to Lena Fuller Beckwith of Portland on November 7, 1897. Mrs. Dalton survives. He practiced in Salem, Alaska, Europe, and Portland and moved to St. Helens in 1922.

War Record Recalled

Mr. Dalton served with the military forces on the Mexican border in 1916 and was also a veteran of World War I. He was a member of the Willamette Valley project commission and his affiliations included University Club. Oregon State Medical association, Columbia County Medical society, Fellow of American Medical association, and Pythians. He was a democrat and a member of the Episcopal church.

Besides his widow, Dr. Dalton is survived by two sisters, Mrs. John McClean of Pasadena, California, and Miss. Alice Dalton of England.

The Rodgers- Coleman funeral home here, is in charge of arrangement.


From the pages of The Oregonian, published in Portland, Oregon on Saturday, May 19, 1945.

Lena F. Dalton - Find A Grave

October 1, 1872 - August 13, 1953

Lena Fuller was born in Portland on Tuesday, the first day of October in 1872. She became Mrs. Ernest Dalton on Sunday, the seventh day of November in 1897 at the age of 25.

Dr. Dalton passed away in Monday, the sixteenth day of April in 1945 after a long illness at the age of 72.

Lena passed away in Saint Helens on Thursday, the thirteenth day of August in 1953 at the age of 80.

She is survived by a nephew, Harry H. Fuller.

Funeral services Tuesday, the eighteenth day of August at the Saint Helens Episcopal church at 10 a.m. Internment at Lincoln Memorial Park. Coleman Funeral Home of Saint Helens is in charge of arrangements.


From the pages of The Oregonian published in Portland, Oregon on August 17, 1953 and her husband Dr. Ernest Dalton's bio

Donated by Audrey Webster

Garden Club Information

Dalton genealogy research002.pdf

Dr. E.C. Dalton

Oregon State Capitol Historic Nomination extract:

Decorative works of art employing the emblems and themes of state history had been a part of the Capitol scheme from the time of the competition, and such a program was consistent with the public vision revealed during the Legislative Assembly's special session in October and November, 1935. Two East Coast sculptors, Ulric H. Ellerhusen of Towaco, New Jersey and Leo Friedlander of White Plains, New York, along with New York painter Frank H. Schwarz, had cooperated with the winning architects in the competition. The artistic concepts having been such a integral part of the basic design, the Capitol Reconstruction Commission was in support of the architects 1 recommendation that the East Coast artists be commissioned to carry out the work. When it appeared that Federal regulations regarding open and competitive bidding would prevent their being engaged, Robert Sawyer, chairman of the Commission's committee on decorative work, took action. He and fellow Commission member Dr. E. C. Dalton made a pilgrimage to Washington. There they enlisted the aid of Oregon Senator Charles McNary and called upon Interior Secretary and P.W.A. Director Harold Iekes. Iekes was sympathetic and promised his approval of waiving the competitive bidding requirement in this case. The Commissioners also visited the artists, including the painter Barry Faulkner, who had become associated in the enterprise, and satisfied themselves as to the high qualifications of each. When the Secretary of the Interior's word was confirmed in a letter to Governor Martin, the way was clear for awarding the contracts for art work.