Each community is judged by the character of its representative citizens, and its social, intellectual and business standing is determined thereby. The sterling worth, commercial ability and enterprise of the leading men are mirrored forth in the public life of the town, and therefore the history of the people of prominence is the history of the community. No account of Grangeville would be complete without the life record of Henderson Orchard, the popular president of the board of trade and a man whose public spirit is manifested in his many efforts to improve the conditions and promote the upbuilding of the town.
A native of Oregon, he was born in the city of Monmouth, November 22, 1857, his parents being Jesse C. and Minerva (Medford) Orchard, natives of Virginia and Illinois respectively. They crossed the plains with oxen to Oregon in 1852, making that long and perilous journey with their family of five little children. While residing in Oregon six more children were added to their family. Mr. Orchard secured their donation claim of six hundred and forty acres where the town of Monmouth now stands, a beautiful tract in one of the richest and loveliest valleys of the northwest. There the family resided until 1859, when the father sold that property and purchased a homestead seven miles west of Portland, where he now resides, at the age of eighty-one years. His wife passed away in 1886, in her sixty-fifth year. This worthy couple were the parents of eleven children, all of whom are yet living.
Henderson Orchard, the sixth in order of birth, acquired his education in Portland, learned the plumber’s trade in early manhood, and for the past twenty-five years has devoted nearly his entire time and attention, through business hours, to putting in water systems in various towns in Oregon, California, Washington and Idaho, which work has gained for him the title of “The Water King.” He put in and owns the fine water system which is so valuable an acquisition to the business interests of Grangeville. The water is obtained from springs three and a half miles up in the mountains, and is piped under pressure to the town and through Grangeville in all directions. Mr. Orchard is also engaged in the hardware business here and he was one of the organizers of the board of trade and was elected its first president. One of the principal objects of the board is to promote the building of good roads in all directions, and other improvements receive its encouragement and support.
In 1878 Mr. Orchard was united in marriage, at Portland, to Miss Emma Jane Mason, a daughter of M. B. Mason, one of Oregon’s brave pioneers. They now have four sons, Hollie, Thane, Vance and Tesla Edison. In his social relations Mr. Orchard is connected with the Odd Fellows lodge, and with the Modern Woodmen of the World. In politics he is a stalwart Republican and friend of the administration. His life has been one of activity in the industrial world, and the success which he has achieved is the fitting crown of well directed labors.