From Europe to Mid-America

Peter Nicolai Iliinsky

Peter Nicolai Iliinsky

Male 1898 - 1977  (79 years)

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  • Name Peter Nicolai Iliinsky  [1
    Born 5 May 1898  Vaisemskaya [Vyazemskiy], Russia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender Male 
    Occupation Business -- commercial artist 
    Died 10 Nov 1977  Portland, Multnomah Cnty, OR Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Cremated Cremated; ashes given to family or friend Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Person ID I4374  SnoufferCampbell
    Last Modified 16 Jan 2019 

    Father Nicolai Petrovich Ilinsky,   b. 13 Apr 1868, Moscow, Russia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Jan 1941, Tientsin (Tianjin), China Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years) 
    Mother Ekaterina Alexandrovna Melentieva,   b. 22 Nov 1877, Khabarovsk, Russia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Jul 1966, San Francisco, San Francisco Cnty, CA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 88 years) 
    Married 18 Feb 1894  Ilinsky Church, Ilinskoye, Russia Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Family ID F1586  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Flora Ethel Campbell,   b. 27 Apr 1902, Sherwood, Washington Cnty, OR Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 May 1970, Portland, Multnomah Cnty, OR Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years) 
    Married 2 Aug 1931  Portland, Multnomah Cnty, OR Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Children 
     1. Katharine Margaret Iliinsky,   b. 5 Dec 1936, Portland, Multnomah Cnty, OR Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 84 years)
     2. Nicholai Peter Iliinsky,   b. 1 Dec 1938, Portland, Multnomah Cnty, OR Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years)
    Last Modified 20 Feb 2011 
    Family ID F1580  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Peter Nicolai Iliinsky
    Peter Nicolai Iliinsky
    Courtesy of Erik Hansen; edited by Wm. C. Snouffer
    Peter Nicolai Iliinsky
    Peter Nicolai Iliinsky
    Abt 1940
    Peter Nicolai Iliinsky
    Peter Nicolai Iliinsky
    Abt 1960

  • Notes 
    • Peter's father wrote in his Autobiography (1937):
      "On November 15, 1897 the building of the [North Ussuri ] railroad was completed.... I remained to work for the exploration of the Ussuri railroad as an assistant to the chief of the section, with housing in Vaisemskaya [Vyazemskiy], which was supervised by Colonel Horvat. On the 22nd of May, 1898 our son Peter was born. ***
      "[In 1908] I immediately moved to Harbin with the whole family. I left [Peter's brother] Nicolai in Moscow. He came later, and together with Peter I enrolled them in a Technical School in Khabarovsk. They resided with the Roslavleas... ***
      "In the beginning of 1913 the exploitation of the [railroad] concession ended up quite poor financially.... The last five years we lived in Harbin. Nicolai and Peter were finishing their education in Khabarovsk. ***
      "The war broke out in 1914, but in the beginning it was not noticeable in the Far East. That year Nicolai went to Moscow to enter the Institute of Commerce. Peter followed the next year in the same Institute. ***
      "[After 1920] We built another two story house [in Harbin] with two apartments and moved in there, renting out the old house. At this time the family got together. Nicolai and Peter returned from the front of the White Army, which by that time had disintegrated.***
      "In 1923 two sons, Nicolai and Peter, left for the U.S. to seek their fortunes, as there did not seem to be any future for them here. *** "

      According to Elena (Helen) Ilinsky Timms (Peter's niece), the two men travelled first to Harbin, China, and later to the USA. Helen possesses a photo album showing the men working in 1924 on a Union Pacific RR gang along the Columbia River in Oregon, and then later working as laborers in Oregon to construct Portland's Bull Run water system. Other photos show Peter working as a laborer at the Hall Lumber Co. in Hall, WA, and also at the McCormick saw mill in McCormick, WA.

      There is a discrepancy as to Peter's birth date. His father reported 22 May 1898. But Peter's death certificate gives the date 5 May 1898. The difference may be attributed to the differences between Western and Russian calendars.

      Peter met Flora Campbell in Seattle, WA. Their marriage license was issued 29 July 1931. Multnomah County [OR] Marriage Licenses, vol. 71, p. 375. (The original marriage licenses book is held by The Genealogical Forum of Oregon, Portland, OR.) They were married 2 Aug 1931.

      Sometime after their marriage, Peter's wife convinced him to change the spelling of the last name to Iliinsky in order to reflect its correct pronunciation more accurately.

      The 1940 census shows Peter N Iliinsky, 41, born in "Siberia," living with his wife Flora C, 37, and two Oregon-born children: "Katherine," 3 and "Nicholai P," 1. Also living in the family home was Peter's brother Nicolai, 45, born in "Siberia," and who, in 1935, had been living in Harbin, China. Peter was employed as a sign painter in the "advertising" industry; his brother, as a laborer. 1940 U.S. Census, Sylvan, Multnomah Cnty, OR; ED 26-45, sheet 7B (T627, Roll 3377, stamped p. 502B ).

      According to a note Peter's daughter Katharine wrote in 2000 for her grandson Cory Winterholler: "Peter was born May, 1898 in Vaisemskaya, Russia. He attended military school, and at the age of 19 was a Captain in the machine gun corps in the army of Czar Nicholas. After surviving three firing squads (because he had friends on both sides!), he made his way east across the Pacific and emigrated to Seattle, WA, where he met [his wife to be] Flora."
    • Peter's Obituary in the Oregon Journal, p. 21 (15 Nov 1977), states:
      "Peter N. Iliinsky, 79, of 4940 SW Hewett Blvd., died Thursday [10 Nov]. He was a self-employed painter [specializing in gold-leaf applications]. A memorial gathering will be held in his home at 2 p.m. Sunday.
      "Born in Russia, Mr. Iliinsky immigrated to Portland in 1927 [sic]. In 1930 he became a naturalized U.S. citizen.
      "He was a member and one of the original trustees of the Russian Orthodox Church in Portland.
      "Surviving are his daughter, Katherine [sic] Winterholler, Aloha, a son, Nicholai, Portland, and four grandchildren.
      "Memorial contributions may be made to the Emphysema Research Fund at the University of Oregon Medical School."
    • Obituary, The [Portland] Oregonian, p. 70 (15 Nov 1977):
      "Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. Sunday [20 Nov] at the home of Peter Nicholai [sic] Iliinsky, 4940 S.W. Hewett Blvd. Mr. Iliinsky was a self-employed sign painter [specializing in gold-leaf applications] who died Thursday [10 Nov]. He was 80.
      "Mr. Iliinsky, a native of Russia, had lived in Portland since 1927 and was one of the original trustees of the Russian Orthodox Church when it was founded in Portland.
      "He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1930.
      "In 1971, Mr. Iliinsky made a four-week tour of Russia to his birthplace on the east coast of Siberia.
      "After his arrival in the United States, Mr. Iliinsky worked as a railroad section hand, in a sawmill, laundry and machine shop and, in 1932, opened his own sign business from which he retired in 1963.
      "He is survived by a daughter, Katherine [sic] Winterholler of Aloha; a son, Nicholai of Portland; and four grandchildren.
      "The family suggests remembrances be contributions to the emphysema research fund at the University of Oregon Health Sciences Center."
    • Records at Riverview Abbey Mausoleum, 0319 SW Taylors Ferry Rd, Portland, OR, indicate that Peter was cremated at the Abbey. As of 2010 his ashes were in the possession of his son Nick Iliinsky.

  • Sources 
    1. [S291] Ilinsky, N|, Nicolai Petrovich Ilinsky, "Autobiography of Nicolai Petrovich Ilinsky", (Nicolai Petrovich Ilinsky, Harbin, Manchuria, China : 22 Feb 1937 [Translated, Florence Goodman [1981]; edited, Susan Merrick Iliinsky [1982]; compiled, Katharine Iliinsky [Dec 1983]; translation corrections, Helen Ilinsky Timms [Jan 2010]), p.6.

    2. [S301] OR Vital Stats|, State of Oregon, Dep't of Human Resources, Health Division, (Center for Health Statistics, 800 NE Oregon, Portland, OR 97232), Cert. #77-17981.

    3. [S103] FindaGrave, (www.FindAGrave.com), 43581019.

    4. [S291] Ilinsky, N|, Nicolai Petrovich Ilinsky, "Autobiography of Nicolai Petrovich Ilinsky", (Nicolai Petrovich Ilinsky, Harbin, Manchuria, China : 22 Feb 1937 [Translated, Florence Goodman [1981]; edited, Susan Merrick Iliinsky [1982]; compiled, Katharine Iliinsky [Dec 1983]; translation corrections, Helen Ilinsky Timms [Jan 2010]), p.5.

    5. [S300] Oregonian|, The Oregonian, (The Oregonian, 1320 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201), (3 Aug 1931) p.12.