Cornelius, Oregon, in Washington County, about 20 miles West of Portland, gained its initial lease on life as a result of shortsighted decisions by neighboring Forest Grove and Hillsboro. In the 1870s much of what now makes up this small town of just under 12,000 people was farmland owned by the Cornelius family. The area was then known as “Free Orchards.” When he heard that the railroad intended to cross his property after having been denied rights-of-way by both Forest Grove and Hillsboro, Thomas Cornelius recognized an opportunity.
Cornelius built buildings and opened businesses (including a warehouse and two sawmills) to provide other local farmers with access to the railroad. In the process he turned Free Orchards into a regional hub for transport and commerce – a fact honored by local residents two decades later when they renamed the settlement “Cornelius” in honor of Thomas and his family.
Today, that same spirit can be found close by in the Law Office of Matthew D. Kaplan at Suite #1111 in the KOIN Center, 222 SW Columbia Street in Portland, Oregon. The sort of opportunity Thomas Cornelius saw in his community more than a century ago comes, however, with certain risks. A certain amount of caution is always a prudent part of modern life. Unfortunate accidents that can occur almost anywhere.
Indeed, statistics compiled over a number of years by the federal government’s Consumer Product Safety Commission paint a startling picture of how dangerous seemingly safe recreational activities can be. According to a 2010 CSPC report:
- ➢ There were 35,900 consumer product-related deaths in the United States during 2008
- ➢ Both the year-by-year figures and the three year moving average of such deaths have climbed steadily since the late 1990s
- ➢ Children under the age of 14 are particularly vulnerable to consumer product-related injuries: in 2010, 19.7 percent of toddlers (ages 1 to 4) received medical treatment for consumer product-related injuries
- ➢ The only group with a higher injury rate than toddlers was the very elderly (age 85 and over), among whom 27.2 percent required medical attention.
To reach The Law Office of Matthew D. Kaplan from Cornelius, Oregon, follow NW 10th Avenue north, out of town. The road’s name eventually changes, first, to NW Cornelius Schefflin Rd. and, later, to NW Zion Church Rd. Turn left at the junction with NW Jackson School Rd then, after .4 miles, turn right and get on US-26 East, toward Portland. As you enter the city, follow signs for the City Center and merge onto SW Market St. Follow Market for 0.7 miles, then turn left onto SW 4th Avenue. After two blocks turn right onto SW Columbia St to reach Matthew’s office at the KOIN Center, Suite #1111, 222 SW Columbia Street in Portland (between SW 2nd and 3rd Avenues). Matthew D. Kaplan’s office telephone number is (503) 226-3844.