John West was born in Linlithgow, Scotland back in 1809. Sometime before 1849 he immigrated to Quebec, Canada working as a millwright. In 1849, he left his family and job for the California Gold Rush. A year later with little gold for all of his efforts he again moved to Astoria, Oregon working again as a millwright.
By 1853, his wife had joined him where they bought 640-acres along the lower Columbia River. He built a steam-powered sawmill in the early 1860’s. The Westport Lumber Company remained in operation until 1956. In 1857, he was the first to process salmon, packing them in barrels and transporting them around the world. In 1873, his company packed some 22,000 cases of salmon, winning a gold medal from the Oregon Agricultural Society.
What you may not know about John is that he invented an automated can-filling machine to make use of salmon waste for oil and fishmeal by-products. His company still operates today but in England. John West foods of Liverpool, they now can fish, fruit, vegetables and meat all over the world.
Until tomorrow give someone the free gift of a smile