Wallis Nash was born in London in 1837 and by 1871 he was successful solicitor and attorney living just outside London in Beckenham, Kent. In 1877, at the age of forty he decided to see some of the world and by the Panama isthmus route he made his way to Oregon for a visit. Back in England he wrote a book about his travels primarily aimed at people who wished to emigrate. Two years later, he followed his own advice and with wife and children, plus a few likeminded people, it was a party of 26 who made their way west to Oregon in 1879. Nash was very involved in the building of the railroad from Corvallis to the Newport area and was also influential in education, helping to build a university. In 1898 he moved to Portland, where he continued to have an influence on Oregon's economy, both as an attorney, and as president of the Board of Trade from 1906 to 1909. He died in 1926.