Herbert L. Niles (1872-1969) Is Going Home to Descendants

Herbert Lester Niles, 1872-1969

The is photo first captured my eye because of a notation that Herbert was from Glenburn, Penobscot, Maine, which is the town where my Scripture ancestors and my 5X great grandmother, Abigail Hay Bucknam, lived and are buried.

When I actually went looking for him, the Niles family was living in Levant, a town about 9 miles away from Glenburn.

Niles Family, 1880 in Levant, Maine
Source: Ancestry

Little Herbie was 7 years old, living with parents Charles and Sarah and an older brother, Leverne. There was also a farm laborer living with the family.

Herbie must not have thought much of the farming life, as his career took a very different, interesting path. By 1900, Herbert was boarding in Troy County, Iowa, working as a civil engineer.

Herbert Niles, 1900 in Troy County, Iowa
Source: Ancestry

Two years later, he married Irene C. Mast in Maple Hill, Emmet County, Iowa and the family was on the move. By 1905, they were living in Onalaska, LaCrosse County, Wisconsin.

Niles Family, 1905 Wisconsin State Census
Source: Ancestry

Herbert was farming, although not for long, and he and Irene had a nine month old daughter, Katherine. The Niles brood was likely living in Canada by the time of the 1910 census and was still there in 1920. In 1919, Herbert Niles filed this with the U.S. Consulate in Calgary, Canada:

Source: Ancestry

This document gave the names, birth dates and birth places of the now three Niles children and indicated that the family intended to return to the United States by 1922.

It also reveals that Herbert was again working as a civil engineer for a mining company.

In 1930, the family was living back in the United States and had settled in Portland, Oregon:

Niles Family in Portland, Oregon, 1930
Source: Ancestry

In 1940, Herbert and Irene were empty nesters, living in Portland, Multnomah, Oregon and he was still working as a contractor.

Niles Family in Portland, Oregon, 1940
Source: Ancestry

Herbert long outlived Irene. He was born 14 October 1872 and died on 23 February 1969 and is buried in San Luis Obispo Cemetery, California.

Irene was born 15 September 1875 in Wells County, Indiana and probably died in late August 1942, as there is an obituary online for her dated 1 September 1942 in Portland, Oregon.


1. Katherine E., born 24 September 1903, LaCrosse County, Wisconsin; married Andrew W. Lind, born c1902, Washington; died 31 August 1988. This family settled in Hawaii in the 1930s and had three children.
2. Helen, born 4 May 1906, Onalaska, Wisconsin; married Robert L. Bentley and was living in Clinton, Iowa at the time of her mother’s death, but in San Joaquin County, California in 1940. They had at least two children.
3. Ralph Herbert, born 12 April 1911, Calgary, Canada; died 13 April 1983, Santa Clara, California; married Alice Christensen, c1938. She was born 28 January 1911; died 4 August 1996, Clackamas County, Oregon. They had at least one child.

More than one of these descendants is still living today, so I won’t provide further information on them. However, it is safe to say that this wonderful photo, in excellent condition, is going home to family.






One thought on “Herbert L. Niles (1872-1969) Is Going Home to Descendants”

  1. I am Richard Kent Niles, the youngest of four children of Ralph. I found this page by searching for my mother.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.