GEORGE W. PROEBSTEL. – The subject of this sketch was born upon a farm in Missouri in 1842. When ten years old he crossed the plains with his father, Jacob Proebstel, driving an ox-team and experiencing the usual hardships attending such a trip. On one occasion he saw his mother pay a dollar a pound for flour, which was hard to secure even at that price. It was the Fourth of July that his party reached Independence Rock, and found there a large train celebrating the holiday with music and dancing. The behavior of the cowboys whom he saw made a lasting impression upon his mind. Arriving in Clarke county in November, the family was obliged to put up with the usual privations of that early day, living on boiled wheat and going barefoot through the rain and snow of that severe winter.
George W. was a participator in the Indian war of 1855, belonging to Captain Kelly’s company; and upon his discharge found himself in debt fifteen dollars for the clothes which he had worn out in the service. In 1863 he endeavored to find his fortune by repairing to the Idaho mines, and remained as much as five years. Returning to Clarke county in 1868, he married and located a homestead on heavily timbered land, forty acres of which he cleared within ten years. In1878 he selected a new home at Weston, Umatilla county, and engaged with his brothers in a flouring mill, which was burned four years later. After this he clerked in a store for one year; and, being careful of his earnings, he was enabled to embark in business upon his own account, buying out an extensive hardware business, and establishing a store, which he is at present successfully conducting. Mr. Proebstel is one of the most successful citizens in that locality.