John McGee and his Wife Valda Van Vlack McGee were most certainly influential in the town or Orenco. John worked for the Oregon Nursery Company in Salem, Oregon where it was founded in 1904 as a Sales manager and was transferred to the Orenco Townsite which the company bought and established just East of Hillsboro, Oregon in 1909. He was married to Valda Van Vlack in 1906 and the couple moved to Orenco, Oregon together where JOhn would head up the sales force and lead the company through a boom period becoming one of the largest and most influential Nurseries in the world. He was so good at what he did that he was elevated to the position of Secretary / Treasurer in 1912 working for the company for many years thereafter. He and his wife helped to raise the Money to found the Orenco Presbyterian Church and they were influential in the Community, was the postmaster for 16 years, and was a member of the City council among many other influential positions. He and Valda had quite a life together and built and lived in the Beautiful bungalow on the corner of Birch and 228th Avenue kitty-corner from the Church. The home still stands today and is in near perfect condition; one of many historical buildings in the townsite of Orenco.
It must be noted that John was known as an optimist until his death in 1956 and was a positive influence on the Town and the people around him. He was certainly one of the main founders and influences in the Orenco company and the town itself. The pictures and information below have been put together by his great Niece – Monica Van Vlack – who has now joined us at OrencoLife.com as a researcher and historian. We are so happy to have her aboard and look forward to more stories and photos from the John and Valda Van Vlack McGee family!
Thank you John and Valda for all your contributions to our little town!