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Among the builders of Wallowa county there must be honorable mention of the esteemed subject of this brief review, who practically is a product of northeastern Oregon, having come here when a small boy and receiving here the training and education that have fitted him to hold the position of prominence and prestige that is his to enjoy in our county, while also he has manifested commendable zeal in the labor of advancing the interests of the county and in general progress.
Mr. Heskett was born in Wayne County, Iowa, on December 1, 1856, being the son of Thomas B. and Susan (McIndra) Heskett. While yet a child, in 1862, he accompanied his parents across the dangerous route leading from the settled precincts of the east to the wilds of the Pacific slope. Ox and mule teams were utilized in the journey and on September 20th, of the same year, they drew up in the Grande Ronde valley and settled on a piece of government land between Lagrande and Summerville. The parents were among the oldest settlers of that valley and our subject grew up on the frontier farm and developed those qualities that have given him the meed of good success since. His education was gained in the primitive schools of the section and in the great school of pioneering in which he was an adept scholar, as has been demonstrated in his subsequent career.
On November 17, 1882, occurred the marriage of Mr. Heskett, and Miss Elizabeth, a native of Oregon, and a daughter of Charles and Kersha Bay, who live near Paradise. The nuptial occasion was celebrated in the Grande Ronde valley and to crown the happy union there have been born the following children: Maud, Low, Willard and Pearl. Maud is now making excellent progress in the study of music. Mrs. Heskett’s parents were among the very first ones who settled in the Grande Ronde valley, and are worthy residents of this region. In 1885 our subject transferred his residence from the Grande Ronde to the Wallowa valley and he selected here the place where he now resides, at Leap. He entered government land and began the commendable work of improvement with energy and assiduity. His well-tilled farm, now numbering three hundred and twenty acrews, excellently improved and skillfully tilled, abundantly testifies of both his thrift and sagacity. He has a fine residence, commodious barn and other substantial outbuildings and also orchards, besides much other property. In 1861, January, Mrs. Heskett was appointed postmistress at Leap, and she has faithfully and efficiently discharged the duties of that incumbancy since. Mr. Heskett operates, in addition to his farming, a feed stable and hotel. He was deputy Sheriff under Doc Hamilton for Union county and in that as in all of his walks in life, he manifested both wisdom and ability coupled with sound principles and integrity.