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Without dispute some of our most worthy and progressive and thrifty citizens have come to us from England whence also sprang the subject of this sketch whose life of commendable activity and successful enterprise in business relations, coupled with stanch and unswerving integrity and high moral qualities of intrinsic worth, justly entitle him to a representation in this volume of Wallowa’s abiding chronicles, and it is with pleasure that we incorporate his name here with a brief review of his eventful career.
Charles W. was born to Charles and Sarah (Sparks) Meek in Hertfordshire, England, in the year 1850. There he was educated in the public schools and also learned the primary part of the carpenter’s trade. At the age of fifteen his father was taken away by death and our subject then left the native land and came to the wide and resourceful country of the free. He first settled in Canandaigua, Ontario County, New York, remaining one year, then removed to Plainfield, Kent county, Michigan. In this latter place, he was engaged at the trade of the carpenter for eleven years, and in 1878 he came to La Grande, Oregon. Six months he stayed in that city, and wrought at his trade and then sought out the fertile regions of Wallowa County, taking a homestead eight miles southeast from Joseph. To this beginning Mr. Meek has added by purchase, at times, until he now owns five hundred and forty acres of good land. In addition to farming, which he has prosecuted successfully since the date of his settlement he has also been interested in sawmilling. He first erected a sawmill and then soon added a planer and shingle mill and he has been the promoter of one of the important industries of the county. Success has attended him in this undertaking as in his other business, and he is possessed of a goodly portion of this world’s property.
In 1869 Mr. Meek married Miss Alice N., daughter of William and Elizabeth (Stump) Baker, and they have been blessed by the advent of the following children: Viola, Alverta, William, May, Etta, Ethel, and Benjamin. Mrs. Meeks parents were married and settled in Ohio, remaining there for six years and then migrated to Plainfield, Michigan, where Mr. Meek was married. Mr. Meek is one of Wallowa’s influential men and is a potent factor in its politics, where he has ever manifested the interest that is commendable and marks the intelligent citizen. Mr. Meek served in the responsible office of county commissioner for some time in the early years, and his advice and sagacity have assisted much throughout the history of the county in guiding the affairs for the benefit of all, while he is highly esteemed by all that know him.