GEORGE W. BUCK. – The subject of this article is at the head of one of the largest industrial institutions of the county of Union, being proprietor and manager of the large sawmilling and lumbering establishment, where he has been enabled to turn out from three to four million feet of fine lumber annually, and in this capacity he has displayed an excellent ability and enterprise which have commended him to the esteem and confidence of the entire community, while he has also manifested a stanch character and maintained an untarnished reputation.
George W. was born on March 22, 1848, in Hancock county, Illinois to Roger and Maria (Smith) Buck, natives of Virginia. The father was a farmer in Illinois, having come thither when Chicago was a stockade and he remained in Hancock county until his death, in 1853, and his remains are buried at Quincy, Illinois. In 1880, the mother died and beside her life’s companion she also sleeps. In the spring of 1864, although but a lad our subject enlisted for one hundred days in the One Hundred and Thirty-seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and he was stationed to guard Memphis. After being mustered out in the fall of the same year, he went with his mother and sister to Clinton county, Missouri, and engaged in raising and selling the Osage orange hedge tree, where he was employed for five years with good success. In 1870 he went to Saint Joseph, Missouri, and for four years dealt in seeds and implements, and then sold out and repaired to Smith county, Kansas, engaging in general merchandising in a town called Gaylord. Six years subsequent to this he sold his business there and came to Oregon. He took a homestead near Hilgard, and in connection with this operated a general merchandise store in the town for S.F. Richardson. Two years later, 1882, he sold his property at this place and came to Elgin as manager of the I.M.&M. Company’s business, holding the position for five years. He was also one of the incorporators of the G.M.&S. Company, being also general manger of their business and secretary of the company. In 1889 he retired from the company and entered upon the saw-milling business in Elgin. He has a large plant eight miles north from the town and does a big business. He is enlarging the capacityof his mills and also adding a lath mill, while at the present time he is handling a force of twenty-five men.
Mr. Buck married Miss Ellen A., daughter of J.A. and Ellen O. Taylor, in Smith county, Kansas, on September 28, 1879, and one son was the fruit of that union, Roger H., born August 5, 1880. In July, 1881, death visited this happy home and took thence the wife and mother.
Mr. Buck married a second time, on June 28,1890, the lady becoming his wife on this occasin being Alice Small, and the nuptials were celebrated at Hilgard, Union county. Mrs. Buck was born on December 16, 1853, at Cooperstown, Pennsylvania. Mr. Buck is affiliated with the Masons, Elgin Lodge No. 98, and also with the Blue Mountain Chapter, No. 52(?), O.E.S. Our subject and wife are members of the Presbyterian church. For three different times Mr. Buck has been chosen mayor of Elgin, and twice has he served terms in the city council having in all this public service, been guided with his characteristic practical judgement and keen sagacity, giving general satisfaction on all occasions.