Governor Joseph Gale and His Indian First Lady

The life and times of Joseph Gale and the founding of Oregon's First Provisional Government.


Our family interest in writing about Joseph Gale originated from growing up in New Bridge, Oregon near the Historic Gale home and preserving the local history of our area. At the beginning, we did not know our research of Joseph Gale would lead us to cover the establishment of the old West; however, as we delved into the Gale family past, we discovered their lives were undeniably interwoven with that segment of our American history. To our knowledge, this is the first time anyone has ever attempted to write the complete life of Joseph Gale.
The mass of information and misinformation we encountered while trying to find the truth was monumental. We developed a time-line of events in the life of Joseph Gale, gleaned from historic records. We then separated, cataloged and applied the information in order by date from birth to death. It was our goal to write, in one book every detail of Joseph Gale’s life that we believe to be true. If we did not include an item, it was because there was no evidence to prove it, or the facts and research didn’t justify repeating it.
My father, Doyle Glenn Densley, began collecting Eagle Valley and Gale family information 30 years ago. While collecting information on the Gale family, he met and became good friends with Ina Contreras, the last living granddaughter of Joseph Gale. Ina encouraged and supplied us with information to be used in a future book about her grandfather’s life. We extend a very special thank you to Doyle Glenn Densley and Ina Fern Contreras, both deceased, for their interest and contribution to the preservation of history, along with Gale family descendents, Barbara Nugent, Terri Semrau and Alice Edwards English; it was from their dedication, encouragement, and help, that we drew the energy to complete this book.
— Aaron G. Densley