Joseph Henry Kilbuck was born in 1889 in Bethel, Alaska. He spent his early years among Native Alaskans, acquiring their culture and language before that of his own. Like his three siblings, Joseph was sent down to the States to start his education in boarding schools in North Carolina. At age eleven, Joseph had to learn the English language at the same time he started first grade. His formal education culminated in his graduation from Washington State College in 1914 with a degree in Horticulture.
Joseph raised his six children in the Hood River Valley. Despite the difficult financial times of the Depression and its aftermath, education was always given a strong emphasis in the rearing of his children, all of whom graduated from college, most with advanced degrees. Joseph’s commitment to education can be traced to his Native American father, John Henry Kilbuck. As a youth growing up on a Delaware Indian Reservation in Kansas, John Henry was sent by Moravian missionaries to the Moravian College and Seminary in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where he received a classical education. These institutions continue to point with pride to their Native American graduation in 1884. Following graduation, John Henry spend the next thirty-five years in Alaska as a Moravian missionary and then with the US Department of Education.
The Kilbuck Family Native American Fund was established by Raymond Asbury to honor John Henry and Joseph Henry Kilbuck, Asbury’s maternal great grandfather and grandfather, respectively, in recognition of the shining legacy of honor, integrity and the encouragement for higher education left by Raymond’s Kilbuck forefathers.
This scholarship is also dedicated to the memory of Nancy Asbury’s father, Dr. Allen B. Scott, who was a professor emeritus of chemistry at Oregon State. Dr. Scott graduated from Oregon State in 1937, and returned to join the faculty in 1941 where he remained until his retirement in 1977. He came from a family with a multi-generational history of dedication to education and was a lifelong supporter of the university and its many endeavors.