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Biographical Sketch of Willard Sitton

WILLARD SITTON. Although Oregon County, Missouri, is well known for the energy, enterprise and push of its farmers, Willard Sitton stands at the van in this industry, and has shown much wisdom and good judgment in the conduct of agricultural affairs, and, through his own endeavors, has won an enviable reputation. He is a prominent resident of Johnson Township, this county, and is deservedly ranked among its successful farmers and stockmen. Mr. Sitton was born in Washington County, Missouri, October 14, 1856, and received a fair education in the common schools of the same. His youthful days were spent in assisting his father on the home place and in the mines, and he remained with him until twenty-three years of age, after which he worked at the black-smith’s trade in The Dalles, State of Oregon, and Ventner, Idaho. He was also in Glendale, Mont., two years, engaged in the blacksmith’s trade, but he came East and located in Oregon County, where he embarked in merchandising, with his brother, Capt. J. J. Sitton. Three years later he commenced farming here, on the river, where he now owns 360 acres of land, 160 acres on the river. He also owns a farm on Frederick Creek, and is one of the most enterprising, industrious citizens of the section. In the year 1892 he led to the altar Miss Mittie George, daughter of David George. She is a lady of education and a worthy member of the Missionary Baptist Church. Mr. Sitton is a Mason and a Democrat. He is a young man yet, in the vigor of his manhood, and, much as...

Biography of Hon. Zenas Ferry Moody

HON. Z.F. MOODY. – Zenas Ferry Moody, ex-Governor of the State of Oregon, was born on the 27th of May, 1832, in Granby, Massachusetts. His father was Major Thomas H. Moody. His mother was Hannah M. Ferry, an aunt of ex-Senator T.W. Ferry, of Michigan, formerly vice-president of the United States. Governor Moody comes of good old New England Revolutionary stock, his grandfather, Gideon Moody, having borne arms as a soldier during the Revolutionary war. He has proved himself worthy of his lineage; and the principles which he imbibed on New England soil have been the guide of his whole subsequent life. The sturdy virtues of that stock are too well known to require comment; they have become historical. The public men of New England have led the van in every reform, and have taken a most prominent part in molding all of that history of which the American people are most proud. New England ideas have been infused throughout the whole of our national life; and we have come to expect from men of New England ancestry those sturdy qualities which have contributed so largely to our happiness and prosperity as a people. Mr. Moody’s childhood was spent in Granby. January, 1848, he removed to Chicopee, Massachusetts, where he remained the ensuing three years. On the 14th of March, 1851, he sailed from New York to Oregon by way of the Isthumus with a company, among whom was Honorable Samuel R. Thurston, the first delegate to Congress from the territory of Oregon. He came direct to Oregon City, then the principal town of Oregon, landing there on the...

Biography of Robert Grostein

Robert Grostein, one of Idaho’s most successful pioneer merchants, has carried on business in Lewiston since 1862 and through the intervening years has borne an unassailable reputation in trade circles, never making an engagement which he has not kept nor contracting an obligation that he has not met. His sagacity and enterprise and moreover his untiring labor have brought to him a handsome competence, and the most envious could not grudge him his success, so honorably has it been acquired. Mr. Grostein is a native of Poland, born in 1835, and is the eldest in the family of four children whose parents were Moses and Bena (Herschell) Grostein. They also were natives of Poland, in which country they were reared and married, the father there remaining until 1838, when he came to the United States. He had been in sympathy with Napoleon, to whom he had rendered active assistance, and for this reason he was obliged to flee from his native land. After spending a year in America he sent for his family, having decided to make his home in the land of the free. He settled first at Mason, Georgia, spending six years there, after which he went to Buffalo, New York, and was engaged in trade there until 1870. In that year he came to Lewiston, Idaho, bringing with, him his good wife, and here they spent their remaining days with their son Robert, the father dying in 1891, at the age of ninety-two years, while the mother reached the age of eighty-eight years. Of their family two sons and the daughter are yet living. During his...

Biography of Edmond Pearcy

Edmond Pearcy, whose history is one of close connection with the pioneer development of the state as well as its latter-day progress and prosperity was born in Bedford County, Virginia, on the 22d of March 1832, and is of Scotch and Dutch descent. His ancestors were early settlers of Virginia, and for many years the families were represented in Bedford County. His father, Nicholas Pearcy, was born there, and having arrived at years of maturity he married Rebecca Hardy, a native of Maryland. They became the parents of twelve children, eleven sons and one daughter, and of the number but three are now living. Edmond Pearcy was the youngest of the family. He was reared on his father’s farm and received a common-school education in his native state, after which he taught school for one term. In 1852, at the age of twenty years, he started for California, but arrived in Missouri too late to join an emigrant train en route for the Golden state, and consequently spent the winter with a relative in Pike county, Missouri. In the spring of 1853 he started with a company of sixteen. They drove a band of cattle across the plains and mountains to California, but on reaching the mountains were greatly retarded by the deep snows, and were without food for two days. It was the middle of November when they at last reached the Sonora mines, and from that point they pushed south to the San Joaquin valley, where Mr. Pearcy was for a short time engaged in teaming. He then went to San Francisco, and on the 1st of...

Biography of James A. Masterson

JAMES A. MASTERSON. – It now becomes our pleasant privilege to outline the interesting career of the estimable gentleman, whose name is at the ehad of this article, and who stands as one of the prominent and representative men of Union county, being also aheavy property owner, and having manifested since an early day here ability that was master of the situation and has acuumulated his holdings from the raw resources of the county, while also he has maintained an untarnished reputation and has done much for the advancement of the county, being really one of the builders of Union county. In Lexington, Kentucky, on October 10, 1842, our subject was born to William A. and Elizabeth J. (Violet) Masterson, natives respectively of Kentucky and Pennnsylvania. The father was a mill wright and went to Lexington, Missouri, in 1843, and as early as 1851, brought his family over the barren trail to Lane county, Oregon. He took a donatin claim and gave his attention to farming and stock raising until September 8,1890, when he was called to the world beyond. The mother is living in Lagrande, being a property owner of the city. In 1863, our subject stepped from the parental roof and launched out into life’s activities for himself, mining first and then returned in fall of 1864, to the Willamette valley and fitted out, in connection with his brothers, wagons and came to The Dalles and they engaged in freighting from there to the mines of Idaho. Seven years were spent in this vigorous and arduous work, and then he sold his interests to his brother, also...

Biography of John M. Crooks

John M. Crooks, now deceased, was numbered among the Idaho pioneers of 1862 and was at one time the owner of the land upon which the town of Grangeville is now located. He was born in Indiana, June 28, 1820, and was of Irish and German lineage. He married Martha Pea, a native of Virginia, and in 1852 they crossed the plains to Oregon, accompanied by their five children. One child was added to the number during the journey. For many long weeks they were upon the way, traveling across the arid sands or through the mountain passes, but at length they safely reached their destination and settled in the Willamette valley, near Corvallis, where Mr. Crooks secured a donation claim of six hundred and forty acres. In 1856 he removed to The Dalles, where he engaged in farming until 1862. He then drove his stock to the Camas prairie, Idaho, and conducted meatmarkets at Florence and Warren. In 1865 he removed his family to the prairie, obtaining five hundred and eighty acres of land, which included the present site of Grangeville. There was a small log house upon the place, and there he took up his abode. He continued his stock raising and was very successful in his business undertakings. He was also prominently identified with the progress and development of the locality. He was one of the organizers of the Grange, and in 1876 aided in building the Grange Hall, from which the town took its name. He was very generous in his efforts to promote the growth of the village and gave lots to all who...

Bilyeu, Nettie Edmunsen – Obituary

Mrs. Rupert A. Bilyeu and infant babe died at The Dalles hospital Friday morning [January 13, 1911 for Nettie and January 11 for baby]. She was a native of the city, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Edmunson, in her eighteenth year. The funeral services were conducted by Rev. J. D. Lewellen, at the Crandall Undertaking parlors at 2 o’clock Sunday afternoon. [Interment in IOOF Cemetery] The Dalles Optimist, January 19, 1911 Contributed by: Shelli...

Grisham, Ira C. – Obituary

Ira C. Grisham, 51, a former resident of Maupin and a retired rancher of that section died at 8 o’clock Sunday morning following a dinner at his home on Friday evening when poison food was consumed. Mr. Grisham’s wife, Nettie, is seriously ill, as is Mr. and Mrs. Perry Strong, now confined in The Dalles Hospital. All are reported in better condition but unable to leave their beds as a result of the family dinner. According to the facts given by the guests and by Mrs. Grisham after they had taken sick, meat pie, beans, and canned beets had constituted the main victuals of the meal and in one of these the botulinus poison must have been hidden. Following the dinner, Mr. Grisham stated that one of the other articles “tasted funny,” but little or nothing was thought of it until all became violently ill and more especially Mr. Grisham. The poison was thoroughly rooted in his system and he became paralyzed within a few hours. The others also sick were taken to the hospital where treatment was administered. Mr. Grisham seemed to rally and for several hours before his death, he was able to talk to friends and relatives who had gathered. He rallied but for a short time, later dying. Mr. and Mrs. Strong and Mrs. Grisham are still in the hospital. Mr. Grisham was the son of a pioneer family, one of the first to settle in the Willamette Valley. He had resided at Maupin for a number of years. Funeral services were conducted from Zell’s at 11 o’clock yesterday morning. Rev. Joseph Knotts officiated and...

Gerking, Samuel – Obituary

Samuel Gerking, covered wagon pioneer of 1862, died yesterday evening at 3:50 at the family residence, 1314 Washington Street at the age of 84 years after having lived in The Dalles for about 19 years. He came here from Umatilla County. Funeral services will be held at 2 o’clock Thursday afternoon from Crandall’s. Interment will be in the Odd Fellows Cemetery. No announcement was made today of the minister who will officiate or of pallbearers for the services. Samuel Gerking was born in Indiana, November 24, 1844. He crossed the plains in 1862 and settled in Umatilla County. He lived in and near Athena until 1910 when he moved to The Dalles and had made his home here ever since. He was married to Miss Martha A. Smith at Athena, July 22, 1886. Surviving are his widow, Mrs. Martha A. Gerking, and five sons, Frank, Leonard, Ralph, Halbert, and William C., all of The Dalles; seven daughters, Mrs. Effie Toole of Merrill, Ore., Mrs. Mildred Patterson of Portland, Mrs. Lloyd Jennings of Seattle, Mrs. Della Perry of Hood River, Mrs. Alta Zobrist of Seattle and Mrs. Lynn Doyle and Mrs. Ethel Leabo of The Dalles. He also leaves 26 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren; a brother, Martin and a sister, Mrs. Angie Junkins of Portland. The Dalles Weekly Chronicle, April 25, 1929 Contributed by: Shelli...

Varney, Inez L. – Obituary

Enterprise, Wallowa County, Oregon Inez L. Varney, former resident of Enterprise, died March 15, 1980 at the Dalles General Hospital, The Dalles, Oregon. She was born Jan. 12, 1922 in Enterprise, Oregon and married Otis Varney on December 23, 1941. She attended the Enterprise Community Church and was a member of the Lady Elks, BPOE #1829. She received her 20 year pin from the Eagle Cap Auxillary Post #4307, VFW. Funeral services were held Tuesday, March 18. Burial in the Enterprise cemetery. Survivors include her husband, Otis of Troy; a son, Dennis L. Varney of Selhah, Wash.; a daughter, Donna Aschenbrenner of Enterprise. Wallowa County Chieftain Newspaper dated March 20, 1980. Contributed by: Michelle...
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