1917: Obituary of preacher to Colville tribes
Chinook Jargon remained in use longer in back-country places than it did in the cities of the Pacific Northwest.
Here’s an example from northeast Washington State in the post-frontier era.
It’s an obituary for the Reverent Nathan B. Fry (1834-1917), born in New York state and pioneer of 1849 in Linn County, Oregon Territory.
He came to Colville in 1891, so he had probably already spent 42 years exposed to and understanding excellent Chinuk Wawa.
Here’s the paragraph I want to share:
Mr. Fry spoke the Chinook language, and made many trips among the Indians, preaching and teaching, and establishing friendly relations. The Colville Indians had promised to come to the dedication [of his new church].
— from “Aged Preacher Ceases Labors” in the Colville (WA) Examiner of January 27, 1917, page 12, column 4
We often hear of Native people still actively using the Jargon well into the 20th century. Here we have an Oregon-raised preacher bringing his own skill with that language to use in such a place.