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Biography of Augustus Titus

AUGUSTUS H. TITUS is a man that has a wide range of experience both in the affairs of life in its ordinary occupations and also in pioneer experiences, having passed through practically all the various vocations usually met with in frontier life, as mining, camping, opening up a new farm, as well as the incidents of danger and adventure with which such existence is frequently attended, beside much fighting with the savages in various places; universally manifesting both a cool and wise judgment and capabilities and valor and courage that are the constituent parts of the true man and progressive spirit. Mr. Titus was born on July 17, 1843, in Morgan county, Illinois, being the son of Noah and Melissa Titus, and when a child was taken by his parents near Quincy, Adams county, in the same state. He remained on the farm with his parents until he was twenty-one years of age, and then followed the advice of Horace Greeley, and embarked on the weary journey across plains and mountains to the Pacific coast. When as far as the Black Hills on their journey, they were attacked by the Indians, who killed four men, one colored boy, and captured two women, one of whom was released in a few days and the other was detained for three years before she made her escape. The train proceeded from this time to the date of landing in Rye valley without further episode of danger, and Mr. Titus stopped at the last named place and commenced to mine. A short time after he went on to the Willamette valley, and soon...

Business and Fun in ’62 And ’63

About the Middle of October 1862, the first church organization in Baker County was effected under the supervision of Father Mesplie, of the Catholic Church, who came from Canyon City for that purpose. A long building was secured at the cost of six hundred dollars, but services were not held regularly, owning to the distance the priest had to travel. About the same time Miss O’Brien, now Mrs. Packwood, commenced the first school taught in Baker County, having about forty pupils in attendance. A lot was donated to her for school purposes and a sum of money raised by subscription to pay for the building of a house. She taught six weeks and gave up the position to Mrs. Stafford who continued the school until some time in the winter when she was taken sick and died. The same fall and winter Mrs. Chandler taught a school near Pocahontas in Powder River valley. In the latter part of summer of 1862, Mr. Comstock constructed a toll road from Auburn down Powder river to the valley, which he soon sold to Moore and Norcross, of Auburn, and some-time in the winter they sold it to Mr. Place who kept it up as a toll road for several years when it became a county road, land is now one of the most important thoroughfares in the county, being the route traveled from Baker City to all the mines and settlements on upper Powder and upper Burnt rivers, and also across the divide to the John Day country. There was a good road from Washington ranch across the hills to Auburn, very...

Baker County Oregon Officers

County Officers At the session of the legislature which convened in September 1862, an act was passed organizing the county of Baker, including within its limits all the southeast portion of the state, which has since been divided into the several counties of Wallowa, Union, Baker and Malheur. Officers for the new county were appointed upon their duties on the third day of November 1862, as appears from the journal of the county court, in which the first entry is as follows: County Court of Baker County, Oregon, met pursuant to law, Nov. 3, 1862. Present, the Hon. John Q. Wilson, county judge; J. W. Wickersham, under sheriff; William Waldo, deputy county clerk. The other county officers appointed at the same time were George Hall, sheriff; Samuel A. Clarke, clerk; Wm. F. McCrary, treasurer; W. D. Quigley, assessor; Wm. H. Packwood, School Superintendent. The first case in the county court was that of A. B. Roberts, plaintiff vs. Thomas Allison, defendant: Grey for plaintiff, Heed & Pierce for defendant. That case was a kind of Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce case in a small way. Mr. Roberts commenced action to recover possession of certain goods, November 5, 1862. Case dismissed. The same evening the parties came before the judge, Roberts, plaintiff vs. Allison defendant, character of the case not stated, but prisoner dismissed. November 6, comes, State of Oregon vs. Thomas Allison, larceny. Case dismissed. In vacation, November 11, State vs. Thomas Allison, embezzlement. Dismissed for want of jurisdiction. December 2, 1862 Thomas Allison, plaintiff vs. A. B. Roberts et al., action for damages. Jury trial, Verdict $140 for plaintiff. December...

History of the First Baptist Church, Baker City Oregon

The first Baptist church in Baker City was organized December 7, 1874, Rev. L. H. Boothe was chairman of the meeting and Prof. S. P. Barrett clerk. The members present were Hardin Estes, Perlina Estes, Arthur Smith, Mary Kilbourn, Samuel Gaines, Mary Gaines, Prof. Barrett, Mary Barrett and Delazon Smith. Prof. Barrett served as clerk until July 1875, then Arthur Smith about two years, followed by F. Baird for four years. Mrs. F. E. Small was chosen clerk March 15, 1884, and was succeeded by Wilbur Finch April 20, 1888. Frank Baird was clerk from February 1889 to March 1890, and Miss. E. C. Sturgill from then till January 1892, and J. F. Porter from January till September, and N. E. Darling from September to the present time. Rev. E. P. Waltz, the first pastor of the church came from Monroe County Mo., arriving at Baker City January 2, 1875. The 20th day of March he was chosen pastor in charge and served in that capacity ten years. After Mr. Waltz resigned there was no regular pastor in charge until May 29, 1887, the Rev. Geo. H. Brown was chosen. C. N. Burnham was pastor from May to October 1889, and J. M. Haskell from October to December. George T. Ellis, the present pastor, took charge in June 1890. In 1882 the construction of a house of worship was undertaken, and in 1885, the present structure, northwest corner Center and Third Street was finished and dedicated free from debt. The house is a frame building, 30 x 60 feet, costing about $3500 including the grounds. The 30th day of...

History of Baker City Oregon Government

Pursuant to an act of the legislature in 1874 the people of Baker City proceeded to form a city government, by electing the officers required by the terms of the charter. The trustees were S. B. McCord, J. A. Reid, S. Grier, J. H. Parker and G. J. Bowman. The first meeting of the board was held at the Court House, November 25, 1874, at which Bowman was elected president. The minutes of the meeting were signed by R. H. Cardwell, recorder. At a meeting of the board November 28, Wm. M. Constable was elected city marshal. On December 2, James H. Shinn was elected city attorney. At a meeting on the 9th of December, ten ordinances were submitted to the board by the city attorney and adopted. George Wisdom was elected night watchman with a salary of seventy dollars per month. December 30, W. J. Eastabrook was declared elected recorder in place of Cardwell, resigned. March 3, 1875, E. W. Reynolds was elected recorder in place of Eastabrook, resigned. At a special election March 18, J. M. Shepherd was elected recorder. July 31, 1875, a fire engine for the use of the city was purchased for $700. At the regular city election November 4, 1875, Bowman, Eppinger, Alfred, Weller and John Bowen were elected trustees. H. C. Durkee, recorder; George Wisdom, marshal and R. Alexander, treasurer. November 6, 1876, Foster, Weller, Heilner, Hulsey and Parker were elected trustees, Thomas Britten, marshal; Durkee, recorder and G. H. Tracy, treasurer. November 5, 1877, Weller, Alfred Umberger, Bowen and Bowman were elected trustees, Tracy, treasurer; Phil Hardisty, marshal and Gray, recorder....

History of First Presbyterian Church of Baker City Oregon

A meeting was called by the Presbytery of Idaho to be held in Baker City, January 5 and 6, 1884, at which all members and those in sympathy with the Presbyterian church of the United States, were invited to be present. Rev. C. H. Shields, of Union, having been invited, presided at the meeting. The following named persons came forward and were duly constituted the first Presbyterian church of Baker City and asked that the name be placed on the roll of churches of the Presbytery of Idaho. John Edmunson, Mesdames Edmunson, Mitchell, McComas, Irland and Grey, John Edmunson was chosen ruling elder for three years. Mesdames Mitchell, McComas and Irland were elected trustees. Rev. J. S. Binghan was the first resident pastor. In 1889 a church was erected on ground donated by the Ladies Aid society of the Presbyterian Church, southwest corner Fourth and Washington Streets. The building cost $4000, entailing a debt of $2900, which has since been paid and the church is clear of debt. Rev. Bingham was pastor until December ’89, when he was succeeded by J. Breuillett, who was succeeded by G. A. Hutchinson, July 5, 1890, who officiated until September 3, 1891. The church was then without a pastor until July 17, 1892, the Rev. Theodore Hunter took charge. A Sabbath school has been maintained and recently a Young Peoples Endeavor society was instituted. The church membership numbers 51 persons. Church property valued at about...

History of Baker County Oregon Newspapers

On Wednesday, May 11, 1870, the first number of the Bedrock Democrat was issued-the first newspaper published in Baker County Abbott & McArthur, proprietors. The editor in his address to the public promises devotion to the interests of the people of Eastern Oregon in all things pertaining to the material interests of the people, and fidelity to the Democratic Party in political matters. In the editorial columns the public debt and other political questions of the time are discussed. In the local columns the different mining camps of the county all receive a notice. The miners at Auburn were jubilant over their prospects, and in the Shasta district it was announced that the waters of Camp Creek had just been turned into the Burnt River ditch to be conveyed to the Eldorado diggings. From Rye Valley it was reported that Webber & Co. made a clean up the week before which averaged two hundred dollars per day, and Green and Archambeau cleaned up an average of ninety dollars per day. At Mormon Basin Mr. Copeland had picked-up two nuggets the week before worth fifty and sixty dollars respectively. The quartz ledges in the Granite Mountains are spoken of as having attracted much attention the previous fall. Mention is made of the Baker City post office having lately been made and designated a money order office by the postmaster general. On the 20th of April the democratic central committee had filled the vacancy on the ticket caused by Hon. L. L. McArthur resigning the office of county judge to accept the nomination for circuit judge. J. D. McFarland, of Auburn,...

Arrivals, Incidents and Anecdotes of Baker County Oregon

Joseph Kinnison came to Powder River valley in July and took up a ranch where he has ever since resided. To him belongs the honor of plowing the first furrow ever turned in Baker County. In the spring of 1863 he had about forty acres in cultivation. About the first of June there was a severe frost and all growing vegetables seemed to be thoroughly frozen. Mr. Kinnison offered to take fifty dollars for his crop but found no buyer. He was most agreeably surprised to find, when the frost was gone, that no serious damage had been done, and that season he sold nearly four thousand dollars worth of produce from the forty acre lot. Mr. Hibbard and family from Umpqua valley settled at the foot of the mountains on a claim adjoining Mr. Morrison’s and Messrs. Worley, Spillman, Creighbaum and others took claims in the vicinity. Strother Ison took up a claim on Pine creek where he continued to reside until his death which occurred in the year 1889. Jerry Shea took up a claim south of Ison’s which he afterwards sold to Hardin Perkins who has lived upon it ever since. About the same time James Akers located the claim upon which he still resides. George Ebell settled near the foot of the mountains where he has made one of the best farms in the valley. Mr. Campbell settled on Powder River, near where. Baker City now stands, and resided there until his death in 1889. Thomas McCurren took up a claim near Pocahontas, and other claims were located in different parts of the valley. Express...

Public Schools of Baker County Oregon

It is much to be regretted that all records of matters pertaining to public schools during the first years of the settlement of the county, have been lost. All that can be done now is to record such matters as may be remembered by those who were engaged in school affairs in those days, as teachers or otherwise. As stated elsewhere, Mrs. Packwood taught the first school in the county, at Auburn, in the fall of 1862. Soon after her arrival she engaged in the work of raising money for the purpose of building a schoolhouse, and in a short time obtained sufficient sum, the house was built and school commenced with about fifty pupils in attendance. The children came with such books as they had brought with them across the plains, McGuffey’s readers, Sander’s readers, etc., making it necessary to have more classes than would be required in a school of ten times the number of pupils if provided with a uniform series of text books. W. H. Packwood was the first county school superintendent and issued the first teacher’s certificate to Mrs. Stafford, at Auburn. Mrs. Packwood’s was a subscription school, so Mrs. Stafford taught the first public school in the county. Mr. Packwood divided the territory of the county, then including Grande Ronde Valley, into five districts and gave certificates to four teachers in the first year of his service. Mrs. Stafford taught an excellent and successful school. She was an estimable lady and an accomplished teacher and her loss was deeply mourned by the people of Auburn. Other schools were taught of which no account...

Early Education in Baker County Oregon

Permanent among the educational institutions of Baker County is the Baker City Normal and Business College which has just finished its sixth year of usefulness. This school of education for business pursuits and the preparation of persons for the teaching profession, was organized January 10, 1887, by Mr. C. H. Whitney, a graduate of the National Business College. At first the branches taught included single and double entry bookkeeping, business penmanship, commercial arithmetic, business correspondence, etc. together with an actual business department in which the student received practical instruction in the branches passed over in theory. During the autumn of 1890, Prof. A. A. Danford, of Forman, North Dakota, associated himself with the institution and established a department of normal instruction for the preparation of teachers for their profession. The school has since that time continued as a normal and business college and has steadily advanced in popularity and success. During the last two years the school has been under the management of Sturgill & Sturgill, both well known business men of Baker City, who together with Prof. Sterling, of Portland, Oregon, are doing much to make the college a prosperous and permanent institution of the county. In 1869, A. H. Brown, L W. Nelson, Wm. F. McCarty and R. A. Pierce organized an academy with Prof. F. Grubbs, principal. The school was conducted successfully by Mr. and Mrs. Grubbs for two and a half years and afterwards by Professor Barrett and others for several years, when the building and grounds were donated to School District No. 5. The house was sold to B. W. Levens and moved by...
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