The grave marker for Ovilla Ann Backus (the name spelled as Orvilla on the newer marker is incorrect), who died at age 73 at Anderson’s Surgical Hospital in Corvallis. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Published as it appeared on Oct. 8, 1927, in the Corvallis Gazette-Times, Page 8, Columns 1-2.

Traced Family History Back to
Arrival of William Penn
And the “Dove”

A descendant of the Barker family who came to America with William Penn in the “Dove,” was Mrs. Ovilla Ann Backus whose funeral will be held tomorrow afternoon from the M.S. Bovee Co. chapel. Mrs. Backus died in Corvallis Thursday, having been brought here from her Yaquina home for treatment and a major operation.

Mrs. Backus was born near Huntington, Indiana, August 28, 1854. Her maiden name was Barker and she was a descendant of the pioneer family that settled on the present site of Philadelphia. James Barker and eight of his sons, among her ancestors, were heroes of the Revolutionary war. Mrs. Amanda Briss, is the last surviving member of the family and with her husband and only child resides on the old home place purchased by her father from the government.

Mrs. Backus was married to Roland Z. Brown March 26, 1871. After the death of Mrs. Brown she married Thomas Crail of Philomath and following his death became the wife of William Backus of Yaquina. She is survived by her husband and an only son, Earl Brown of Philomath. There are five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Backus was a birthright Quaker, but joined the United Brethren church about 1879, while she was residing in Indiana. Later in life she joined the Methodist church in Corvallis. With her first husband she came to Oregon in 1899. Mr. Brown was a minister in the United Brethren church and traveled a number of circuits in Oregon.