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Biography of Hon. James Willis Nesmith

HON. JAMES WILLIS NESMITH. – Oregon has given a few men to the nation; and the luster of their memory still shines in the galaxy of her heroes. Colonel Baker, one of the most brilliant men ever at Washington, District of Columbia, has coupled with his title that of senator from Oregon. Yet he was in no sense an Oregon-made man, but rather made use of Oregon to elevate him to a seat which it was impossible for him to attain from Illinois. With Colonel Nesmith, however, the case was the reverse. He was as truly an Oregon man as one of his age could be, not only coming to our state with the first immigration, but gaining largely here his education, principles and manners. As a commanding historical figure, it will be proper here to notice the circumstances of his life, his political career, and his mental and moral characteristics. We do not often find distinguished ability without finding also antecedent capacity in the ancestry. The family to which our senator belonged is remotely of Scotch Presbyterian blood, but as early as 1690 removed to the north of Ireland, becoming thereafter of the Scotch-Irish race, who have made themselves famous on both sides of the Atlantic. In 1718 the family removed to America; and William Morrison Nesmith, the father of our subject, connected himself by marriage, about 1814, to Miss Harriet Willis, of a distinguished old family of New Jersey, her father owning the site of Elizabethtown in that state. The young couple, however, made their home in Maine; and their third child and only son, James Willis,...

Powell, Vera Louise Storie Mrs. – Obituary

Baker City, Oregon Vera Louise Storie Powell, 104, a longtime Baker County resident, died Aug. 15, 2001, at St. Elizabeth Care Center. Her funeral will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Her great-grandson, Pastor Wayne Hart of Calvary Baptist Church at Xenia, Ohio, will officiate. Interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. There will be a reception before the service at noon at Janis Hart’s home, 3320 Birch St. Mrs. Powell was born on March 28, 1897, at Durkee on the Horseshoe Ranch to Sidney and Iva Storie. She was the third in a family of seven children. When she was 11 the family moved from Durkee to Dixie. She attended grade school at both Durkee and Dixie and three years of high school in Baker City where she stayed with a family friend, Mrs. Huffman, for the first year. Then she and her sister, Mary, lived in a drafty old woodshed on Elm Street that had been converted to living quarters. Once or twice during the school year she took the train home to Dixie. Upon getting her teacher’s certificate, her first teaching job was on Lookout Mountain where she taught 11 students. Her teaching career only lasted one year. While attending school in Baker City, she met Warren B. Powell. They were married on July 17, 1917. Their first home was on Pedro Mountain at the site of the sawmill run by Mr. Powell’s family. Timbers for the Mormon Basin mines were sawed at the mill. The Powells had three daughters: Eleanor VanWinkle, now of La Grande; the...

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