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Biography of Thomas Smith

THOMAS SMITH. – Mr. Smith, whose life labors have had as their result in one particular the upbuilding of the handsome village of Winchester, near the Umpqua River, was born in Oxfordshire, England, February 12, 1823; and he crossed the Atlantic with his parents in 1830. The first American home was at Rochester, and a year later at Euclid near Cleveland, Ohio; and in 1834 a removal was made to La Porte County, Indiana. Thirteen years were spent in Indiana with his parents; but in 1847 the desire to go forth and test his powers in competition with others induced him in company with a younger brother to come West. He made the six month’s journey as a teamster, armed with his rifle and equipped with an ox-whip. Many and varied were the scenes and incidents of the trip; and the usual hardships common to the most of the pioneers who came “the plains across” were suffered and endured. Not the least exciting of these were the fording of the numerous deep and swift mountain streams. Vast herds of buffaloes occasionally broke through the train; and continual rumors of Indian outrages, combined with oft-recurring pursuit of the savages for stolen stock, rendered the journey anything but monotonous. Only once was pursuit successful, – securing both stock and Indians. At other times they were glad to get themselves back safely. The last ox stolen was on Grave creek; and the last horse stolen occurred in the timber on Wolfe creek in Josephine county. The last of an exceptionally tiresome and hazardous journey was made at the end of October; and...

Biographical Sketch of Mrs. Arethusa E. Smith

MRS. ARETHUSA E. SMITH. – Arethusa E., the daughter of Daniel Lynn, was born near Warsaw, Benton County, Missouri, June 12, 1834. As a child of six years she removed with her parents to Platte county, in the same state, remaining until 1844, the year memorable for the great flood. Mr. Lynn, being very fond of a pioneer life, determined to settle in Texas, but was unable to proceed farther than the White river country, and, being ill suited with that country, returned to Platte county. He had long heard of Oregon, and decided to cross the plains thither and in the spring of 1850 made the start. But this proved a fatal step for the hardy pioneer; for cholera attacked him on the Platte plains, and terminated his useful life. The bereaved wife and mother, Mrs. Ann Lynn, continued with the train, and arrived at Portland, almost the first of October. Soon after her arrival her daughters made homes of their own, with the exception of Miss Arethusa, who in 1851 accompanied her mother to the Umpqua valley, and lived with her at the new home near Yoncalla, where also resided Jessie Applegate, a friend of the family. On the 21st of October, 1852, she was united in marriage to Mr. Thomas Smith of Winchester, and in that delightful spot of the Umpqua has lived for nearly forty years, making a home for her husband and rearing twelve children, four of whom are girls. Two of the sons are deceased. Their home bespeaks the comfort and refinement of a well-regulated family, under the guidance of a careful and...

Biography of John Lane

Colonel John Lane, the senior member of the law firm of Lane & McDonald, has long resided on the Pacific coast, but has made his home in Lewiston for only two years. In that time, however, he has gained prestige as one of the ablest members of the bar of this locality, and is therefore a valued addition to the professional circles of the city. A native of the state of Indiana, Colonel Lane was born in Evansville, May 17, 1837. His ancestors were of Irish and French stock and were early settlers of North Carolina, where they founded the city of Raleigh one hundred years before America sought her independence through the power of arms. Several of the family held military commissions under General Washington, in the Revolutionary war, and the family has always been celebrated for bravery and valor in battle. General Joseph Lane, the father of the Colonel, was born in North Carolina, December 14, 1801, and became a brevet major general in the Mexican war. He was appointed by President James K. Polk to go to Oregon and organize the territorial government there before the expiration of the president’s term. With all expedition he started across the plains, in the fall of 1848, with a small escort of the regiment of mounted rifles. On the approach of the winter, he turned aside and passed through New Mexico and Arizona, finally reaching San Diego. California, where he took a schooner for Yuba Buena, afterward San Francisco. From that point he proceeded by schooner to the mouth of the Columbia, after which, with Indians and canoes, he...

Biography of John J. Peebler

JOHN J. PEEBLER. – Among the very first settlers of the Grande Ronde valley, if not the first actual one to begin residence here, we mention the esteemed gentleman and worthy pioneer whose name appears above, and who has been identified with the interests of Union county since its organization and with this section before Union county was in existence, laboring ever for the promulgation of sound principles and the inauguration of good government and the material progress and substantial improvement of both his state and county. John J. Peebler was born to Samuel C. and Dorothy Peebler in Jefferson county, Iowa, on July 25, 1836, and when he was six years of age his parents both died, leaving him an orphan at that tender age. There was but one intervening day between these deaths, which made it doubly sad. The struggles that must have come to the young lad from this date until we next see him are veiled and we necessarily pass them by. In 1853, when he was a youth of seventeen summers, he made the arduous and yet exciting trip across the plains with his uncle, David Peebler. The entire distance was covered with ox teams and the train was composed of forty or more wagons, and it is of note that they made the whole trip without accident or molestation. They located in the vicinity of Salem, and there he assisted his uncle in the work of the farm for two years and then participated in the well known Rogue river war with the Indians. Following this struggle he went to the mines, remaining...

Biography of Joseph A. McWhirter

JOSEPH A. McWHIRTER. – The subject of this sketch is deserving of credit to many lines, having wrought with faithfulness and efficiency in a number of the callings of human industry, but first of all we wish to mention the fact that he is one of the earliest pioneers of this as well as other sections and has done very much for the development of the country and the inauguration of civilization’s rule in the places where he has been domiciled in the west, and it is worthy of note that Mr. McWhirter has ever conducted his life so uprightly and with manifestation of both capability and good graces so that he has always commanded the respect and won the encomiums of his fellows. In Mercer county, Pennsylvania, in 1833, Mr. McWhirter first saw the light and there remained for twenty years, and then in 1853 his adventurous spirit le him to the wildness of the west for exploration and to carve a place for himself in the annals of the country. He landed in Portland and shortly afterward went to a place called Marysville and there wrought at his trade, harness making, for one J.B. Congle, for three months, and then migrated to Union Point and opened a shop for himself, remaining over one winter and then went to prospecting on the Coquille river, but on account of the hostility of the Indians he came back to Scottsburg and again took up his trade, remaining there for six months, and then went to the Willamette valley. From that place he went overland to California, visiting Sacramento, San Francisco,...

Biography of Jesse W. Randall

A leading representative of the agricultural interests of Latah County is Jesse W. Randall, who owns and operates a fine farm pleasantly situated nine miles southeast of Moscow. He is most practical and yet progressive, and his untiring industry and capable management have brought him a handsome competence. He was born in Wisconsin, October 3, 1855, and is of Scotch descent, his paternal great-grandfather having emigrated from Scotland when this country was still a British possession. He settled in New York colony, and when the attempt was made to throw off the yoke of British tyranny he joined the American army and valiantly aided in the struggle for independence. The grandfather, John Randall, was born in the Empire state and married Emily Wasson, also a native of New York. By trade he was a blacksmith. With his wife and six children he removed to Illinois in 1847, locating in Boone county, where he died at the age of sixty years, his wife surviving him until she had passed the eightieth milestone on the journey of life. They were earnest Christian people, and their rectitude of character won them high regard. Almeron Randall, the father of our subject, was born in New York, in 1827, and married Miss Mary Ann Wright, a native of Maine, by whom he had a family of eleven children, eight of whom are yet living. The father was a farmer and also a contractor and builder. He served his fellow townsmen in the office of county commissioner and was a reliable and trustworthy citizen. He and his wife were members of the Baptist Church, and...

Hammack, Harold V. – Obituary

Word has been received of the death Monday of Harold V. Hammack, 54, of Riddle and formerly Hermiston. He was born March 24, 1920, in La Grande. He is survived locally by his mother, Katheryn Martin, of Elgin. Graveside funeral services will be held at the Elgin Cemetery at 3 p.m. Saturday La Grande Observer, January 30, 1975, Page 2 Contributed by: Sue Wells Second Obituary Hammack, Harold V. Harold V. Hammack died Jan. 27, 1975 at Riddle, Ore. He was born in La Grande, Ore., March 24, 1920. He leaves to mourne him one son, Skip Hammack and two grandsons, Jason and Kimmy Hammock all of Riddle; his mother and stepfather, Mr. and Mrs. A.V. Martin, Elgin; his father Leonard Hammack of Washington; three sisters, Mrs. E.C. (Gylene) Arndt, Long Beach, Calif.; Mrs. Bill Austin (Jean), Ontario, Ore. And Mrs. Gene (Pat) McMillan of Milton-Frewater, Ore; One brother, Robert Hammack of Beaver, Ore.; several nieces and nephews and a host of friends. Services were held at Ganz Chapel at Myrtle Creek, Ore., Friday, Jan. 31, 1975. Concluding graveside services were at the Elgin cemetery Feb. 1, 1975 Source: Bob Bull He thinks this is from the Observer. He found this in a scrap book in the La Grande Family History...

Ager, Nancy Jane – Obituary

Wallowa County, Oregon Mrs. Nancy Jane Ager passed away last Thursday, February 5 Nancy Jane Dakan was born on February 7, 1860 near Roseburg, Oregon. When only a young girl she moved with her parents to Cricket Flat where she grew to womanhood. She lived a few years at Dayton, Washington and from there moved to the John Day country and later to La Grande. In 1902 she came to Wallowa County and settled on Day Ridge. In 1895 she was married to James Albert Ager. To this union three children were born: Mrs. Sam Davis, Joseph, Charley E. Ager (whereabouts unknown), and Mrs. Bill Forthman, Wallowa. One son by a former marriage, Hiram Powell is deceased. She leaves to mourn her loss her two daughters, ten grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, three sisters, Mrs. Ann Keith (her twin sister) of Touchet, Wash., Mrs. Mary Elkins, Dayton, Wash., and Mrs. Emma Cady, Durkee, Oregon, and a host of other relatives and friends. The last few years of her life were spent with the oldest daughter, Mrs. Sam Davis, in and near Joseph. Funeral services were held Saturday afternoon from the Booth chapel with Edwin Beem in charge. Mrs. Garnet Best and Mrs. Gwen Coffin sang “Beautiful Isle of Somewhere” and Last Mile of the Way.” She was laid to rest on her 88th birthday in the Flora cemetery by the side of her son, Hiram Powell. Enterprise Chieftain, Wallowa County, Oregon, Feb. 12, 1948, front page Contributed by Louise Ager Belsby, grand daughter of...

Lenington, Pauline Nora – Obituary

Enterprise, Wallowa County, Oregon Services Held For Young Enterprise Mother Pauline Nora Lenington, 30, wife of James R. Lenington of Enterprise, passed away unexpectedly Friday evening July 17, 1953 at the Wallowa Memorial Hospital following a short illness. Daughter of James R. and Nora Anderson, she was born October 15, 1922 at Hood River. Her early childhood was spent in Portland and Oakland, Oregon. When seven years old she moved with her parents to Wallowa where she attended grade school and graduated from high school. Since that time Enterprise has been her home. She married James R. Lenington in 1941 at Weiser, Idaho. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Enterprise and was a devoted church worker, being a member of the Women’s missionary society, the church clerk and a Sunday school teacher. Mrs. Lenington is survived by her husband, James R. Lenington, three small daughters, Carol Ann, Susan Ella, and Laura Lee and her mother Mrs. Nora Anderson, all of Enterprise. Her father James R. Anderson of Ukiah, Oregon; two brothers Kenneth and Wilbur Anderson and one sister Mrs. Arnold (Maxine) Hahn, of Enterprise, and one grandmother, Mrs. Christine Miller of Eagle Point, Oregon. Funeral services, arranged by Booth Bollman Funeral Home, were held Tuesday, July 21 at 2 P.M. at the First Baptist church. Rev. Vern R. Hodges officiated. Mrs. Edith Locke sang “The Lord is My Shepherd,” and Mrs. Locke ad Mrs. Gerald Brown sang God is Love” accompanied by Mrs. C.C. Jacobs. Pallbearers were Herb Casteel, Gerald R. Brown, Wilmer Cook, Sidney Brock, Arthur Wood and Robert L. Cox. Internment was in...

Evans, John – Obituary

John Evans Passes In Western Oregon John Evans, who for 20 years lived in the Lewis district, died at Marshfield Sunday afternoon, April 24, 1938. He and his wife moved there in the fall of 1934, going to a low altitude on account of Mrs. Evans’ health. Mr. Evans was taken ill more than a year ago, and improved, and then developed a new malady which his physicians believed was cancerous. He was unconscious for more than three days before the end came. Services were held at Marshfield Tuesday and the body was taken to Wenatchee, Washington, for burial after further funeral services. A brother and a sister of Mr. Evans live at Wenatchee. John Evans was born in Ohio October 19, 1870 and moved to the Big Bend district of eastern Washington when it was under development. He moved to Wallowa county in 1913 and took up land on the hill at the head of Butte creek and lived there until he moved to Marshfield. Surviving are his widow and two children, Mrs. John Jacob now living at Curtin, and Paul Evans of Joseph, and three grandchildren. There are also the following brothers and sisters: Mrs. Mary Edwards of Montana, Mrs. Jennie Alban of Ohio, David E. Evans of Ohio, P.L. Evans of Chicago, and Daniel Evans of Wenatchee. Mr. Evans mad many friends here who knew him for his high character and his cheerful, kindly temper. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church from boyhood. Source: Enterprise Record Chieftain, Enterprise, Oregon, April 28, 1938 page 4 Contributed by: Sue Wells Transcribed by: Belva...
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