As a prominent citizen of Wallowa county and one who has been closely identified with its development and interests since he has domiciled within its borders the subject of this sketch is deserving of especial mention in these abiding chronicles of our county, both because of this faithful effort on his part for the welfare of the public good and for his own intrinsic merit as a private citizen, and enterprising business man, while in connection with these we desire to mention his capabilities and probity and integrity, which have eminently fitted him for the leading position which he has so acceptably filled.
In Washington County, Iowa, in 1842, J. A. Rumble was born to Wesley and Sarah E. (Holmes) Rumble, natives of West Virginia, but who became citizens of Iowa in an early day and remained there until the time of their death. The father was a prominent and honored citizen being frequently called to public office by an appreciative and intelligent constituency. When the bloody and fierce war of the Rebellion broke upon our fair land our subject was at once stirred for the country which he loved and his course was certain and noble, enlisting in the Fourth Iowa Cavalry, Company D in 1864. From that time until the close of the struggle he did faithful and intrepid service for the flag that marks the course of freedom and which he assisted to bear to victory in spite of the assaults of the enemy. From the field of battle, when the surrender of the foe was made, he stepped to the farm in his old home place and there for fifteen years toiled steadily and faithfully, meanwhile storing his mind with the advance studies of the day. Then he determined to visit the west, and accordingly in 1880 he came to Oregon, selecting Joseph as his permanent settlement. For ten years he gave his attention to stock raising and general farming, his ranches being located north and northeast from Joseph, and consisting of five hundred and eight-five acres. After ten years of successful enterprise in this direction he removed to Joseph and engaged in real estate business. It was in 1893 that he was appointed United States commissioner and after serving a time he resigned and was later reappointed and in this capacity he is rendering his government faithful and efficient service at the present time. At the time when Wallowa county was set off from Union, Mr. Rumble was appointed as commissioner to adjust the boundaries and this delicate and responsible duty was discharged with satisfaction to all concerned and with manifestation of uprightness and wisdom that were very commendable. It is pleasant to note by way of reminiscence that when the county officials of Wallowa county met first for the purpose of adjusting the difficulties that met their launching a new political division, and held their first conference with the other officials to confer with them, they used as a meeting place the hull of an old sail boat, and in this rather unique structure was launched the government of our now prosperous and progressive county.
The marriage of Mr. Rumble was solemnized in Washington County, Iowa, in 1866, Lucinda Sommer, a native of Ohio, becoming his wife at that time. They have been blessed with the advent of two children, Edward and Eva, the former being a partner in the F.D. McCully Company and manager of the house at Lostine, while the latter is postmistress at Joseph. Fraternally, Mr. Rumble is associated with the G.A.R. post at Enterprise and is very popular there as in all the relations of his life. He has given acceptable service as councilman of Joseph for two terms, 1895-6 and under Harrison’s administration he served as postmaster of Joseph and he so conducted the affairs of office that he received especial commendation from the postmaster general, John Wanamaker, for meritorious service. Mr. Rumble is one of the leading citizens of our county and as such is universally esteemed and beloved by his fellow men.