The subject of this article is one of Malheur’s foremost men in the realm of stock raising and agricultural pursuits, which are the wealth of our County, and he has labored in the section since an early day, having the distinction of being one of the first pioneers and real builders of the County. John S. was born near Oskaloosa. Iowa, on November 25, 1849, being the son of Thomas D. and Barbara E. (Rinehart) Edwards. In 1854 the parents came with ox teams in a large train to Lane County, Oregon, passing through the territory of what is now Malheur and Barney Counties. Some stock was stolen on the road, but no other trouble befell them. In Lane County the father entered government land and settled down to farming. Until the spring of 1871 the subject of this sketch lived with his parents and then came to where Vale now stands, there being but one cabin there then. Two years later he came to the vicinity of his present home and engaged in stock business. Mr. Edwards now has about nine hundred acres of land, four hundred of which is fine bottom land and the remainder grazing land. He has the ranch well improved, occupies a fine two-story residence, has good barns and outbuildings, a fine orchard, and also owns a large band of horses and some cattle.
The marriage of Mr. Edwards and Miss Sarah F., daughter of George W. and Rebecca (Lamb) Smith, of Union, Oregon, was celebrated on July 27, 1876, and they have become the parents of the following children: Thomas O., deceased; Nora M., deceased; Pearl E., attending the normal school at Weston; Harry A.; Alma R.; Phil E.; Irma E.; Clarice B.; and Willard R. Mrs. Edwards was born in Monroe County, Iowa, and crossed the plains with her parents in 1864 with ox teams, the family settling near Island City, Union County , Oregon, where the father died on June 7, 1892, but the mother is still living there. Mr. Edwards’ mother died on May 19, 1883, at the old home place in Lane County, and his father passed away at Eugene, this state, on October 5, 1894.
In addition to the other enterprises which he is so capably managing, Mr. Edwards has a large interest in the Simmons group of mines, a valuable property at Cornucopia. He is one of the leading men of the County, has ever conducted himself in a commendory manner, displaying excellent wisdom, integrity and faithfulness, and is now secure in the esteem of his fellows and well known and admired throughout the entire County.