At the session of the legislature which convened in September 1862, an act was passed organizing the county of Baker, including within its limits all the southeast portion of the state, which has since been divided into the several counties of Wallowa, Union, Baker and Malheur.
Officers for the new county were appointed upon their duties on the third day of November 1862, as appears from the journal of the county court, in which the first entry is as follows:
County Court of Baker County, Oregon, met pursuant to law, Nov. 3, 1862. Present, the Hon. John Q. Wilson, county judge; J. W. Wickersham, under sheriff; William Waldo, deputy county clerk.
The other county officers appointed at the same time were George Hall, sheriff; Samuel A. Clarke, clerk; Wm. F. McCrary, treasurer; W. D. Quigley, assessor; Wm. H. Packwood, School Superintendent.
The first case in the county court was that of A. B. Roberts, plaintiff vs. Thomas Allison, defendant: Grey for plaintiff, Heed & Pierce for defendant.
That case was a kind of Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce case in a small way. Mr. Roberts commenced action to recover possession of certain goods, November 5, 1862. Case dismissed. The same evening the parties came before the judge, Roberts, plaintiff vs. Allison defendant, character of the case not stated, but prisoner dismissed.
November 6, comes, State of Oregon vs. Thomas Allison, larceny. Case dismissed.
In vacation, November 11, State vs. Thomas Allison, embezzlement. Dismissed for want of jurisdiction.
December 2, 1862 Thomas Allison, plaintiff vs. A. B. Roberts et al., action for damages. Jury trial, Verdict $140 for plaintiff.
December 3, A. B. Roberts, Plaintiff vs. Thomas Allison or defendant, action for damages. Leaves granted plaintiff to amend complaint.
Next day, December 4, A. B. Roberts, plaintiff vs. Thos. Allison defendant action for damages, continued till next term, January 8, 1863, case settled by agreement of the parties.
From the journal above quoted it appears that at the term of county court commencing the 4th day of May 1863, W. R. Park was sheriff, Mr. Hall having resigned, and the 7th of July the same year James M. Pyle appears as county judge in place of Mr. Wilson, who had also resigned his office, and February 1, 1864, C. E. Brainard officiated as deputy sheriff.
Mr. Quigley, for reasons above stated elsewhere, lost the position of assessor in November 1863, and John S. Rice served the remainder of Quigley’s term.
The Hon. Joseph G. Wilson, circuit judge for the fifth judicial district then composed of Wasco, Umatilla, Baker and Grant Counties, held the first term of circuit court for Baker County at Auburn, commencing the fifteenth day of June 1863. Prosecuting Attorney C. B Mieigs being absent, O. Humason was appointed to that office for Term.
At the general election the first Monday in June 1864, Henderson was elected member of congress; Joseph G. Wilson, circuit judge; James H. Slater, prosecuting attorney; James M. Pyle, State senator; Samuel Colt, representative; Neill Johnson, county judge; C. M. Foster, Clerk; John Lovell, sheriff; A Witherell and A. Morrison, county commissioners; W. C. McCrary, treasurer; John D, Rice, Assessor; N. J. Snavely coroner.
At the session of the legislature in September 1864, Union County was organized, and Mr. Witherell being a citizen of the new county, resigned the office of county commissioner and B. K. Koontz was appointed but declined to serve and Valentine Gray was appointed to the office.
Also Mr. Ellison, school superintendent, was succeeded by Jesse B. Stump for the same reason, and he resigned in 1865, and C. M, Foster finished the term.
John H. Ingraham was deputy sheriff until the October term of county court when he was appointed sheriff for the unexpired term of Mr. Lovell, he having removed to Idaho and his office having been declared vacant in consequence. Mr. Ingraham resigned in February 1866, and H. Haufman was appointed sheriff for the remainder of the term.
In 1866, at the general election in June, George L. Woods was elected governor; Samuel E. May, secretary of state; Rufus Mallory member of Congress and J. H. Slater prosecuting attorney for the fifth judicial district.
For county officers, Strother Ison was elected state senator; A. C. Loring, representative, Wm. H. Hindman, joint representative for Baker and Union Counties; J. W. Virtue, sheriff; Joseph H. Shinn, clerk; George Brattain, treasurer; James M. Rea and L. C. Humfries, county commissioners; B. L. Gardner, coroner. In September 1866, Neill Johnson resigned the office of county judge and A. F. Johnson was appointed to fill the unexpired term.
In 1868 at the general election, Joseph Smith was elected member of congress, Ransom Beers was elected member of the legislature; L. L. McArthur, county judge; James W. Virtue, sheriff; Joseph Shinn, clerk; Joseph Beck, treasurer; Hiram Osborn, assessor; John P. Bowen and A. J. Weatherby, commissioners.
In 1870 the candidates on the democratic state ticket were elected by about 570 majority. They were:
For congress, James H. Slater; for governor, L. F. Gover, and for the fifth judicial district, L. L. McArthur circuit judge and W. B. Laswell prosecuting attorney.
The democratic candidates for county offices were elected as follows: A. H. Brown, state senator; H. Porter, representative; J. R. McLain, joint representative for Baker and Union; James H Shinn, sheriff; Luther B. Ison, clerk; J. D. McFarland, county judge; B. Gardner and D. C. Schofield, commissioners; G. W. Parker, treasurer; John Richardson, assessor; W. W. Johnson, surveyor; J. B. Foster, school superintendent; Dr. Snow, coroner. Justices of the peace for Baker, Joseph H. Shinn and Samuel Farnham.
July 12th the county court appointed Francis Sturgill, assessor; Richardson having failed to appear and qualify.
In June, 1872, Joseph G. Wilson was elected member of congress; W. B. Laswell, prosecuting attorney; representative, J. B. Onstien; joint representative for Baker and Union, Dunhum Wright; sheriff James H. Shinn; clerk Luther B. Ison; treasurer, G. W. Parker; assessor, W. Quinn; school superintendent, J. T. Wisdom; county com’ missioners, Hardin Estes and D. B. Schofield; coroner, Dr. Snow.
In 1874, Grover was re-elected governor. In Baker County J. W. Wisdom was elected state senator; C. G. Chandler and J. C. Wilson, representatives; D. B. Schofield, county judge; J. M. Boyd, sheriff; Luther B. Ison, clerk; G. W. Parker, treasurer; W, H, Hull, assessor; David Kelly and W. Fuqua, county commissioners; W. F. Payton, school superintendent; Dr. Snow, coroner.
In 1876, Lafayette Lane was elected member of congress L. McArthur, re-elected circuit judge; L. B. Ison, prosecuting attorney; I. D. Haines and A. J. Lawrence, representatives; R. C. George, sheriff; G. W. Parker, clerk; S. Ottenheimer, treasurer; L. B. Rinehart, assessor; William Glenn and Strother Ison, commissioners; Samuel H. Small, school superintendent; J. B. Hulsey, coroner.
In 1878, John Whiteaker, was elected member of congress; Thayer, governor; R. P. Earhart, secretary of state; Ed. Hirsch, state treasurer; L. B. Ison, district attorney; I. D. Haines, state senator; C. G. Chandler and W. R. Curtis, representatives; R. C. George, sheriff; A. B. Elmer, county judge; A. P. Weller, treasurer; G. Parker, clerk; R. P. Yantis and J. F. Stevens, county commissioners; David Rankin, assessor; H. N. McKinney, school superintendent; and Dr. Biggers, coroner.
In 1880, M. C. George was elected congressman; L. L. McArthur, circuit judge; A. J. Lawrence and L. B. Rhinehart, representatives; Travillion, sheriff; Thomas D. Parker, clerk; John A. Payton, school superintendent; George Chandler and S. Glenn, county commissioners; C. L. Means, surveyor; H. C. Durkee, coroner.
In 1882, M. C. George was re-elected to congress; Z. F. Moody, governor; T. C. Hyde, district attorney; I. D. Haines, state senator; L. B. Ison and R. Curtis, representatives; James H. Shinn, county judge; E. P. Perkins and S. A. Caldwell, commissioners; Travillion, sheriff; Thomas D. Parker, clerk; John A. Payton, school superintendent.
In 1884, Binger Hermann was elected members of congress; Thayer, judge of supreme court; M. L. Olmsted, district judge; M. D. Clifford prosecuting attorney; George Chandler and R. A. Locket, representative; E. P. Perkins and B. F. Kendall, county commissioners; M. D. Wisdom, clerk; J. T. Dealy sheriff; Pat Campbell, treasurer; F. Diven, assessor; J. A. Payton, school superintendent; J. Cleaver, coroner.
In 1886, Sylvestor Pennoyer was elected governor, Binger Hermann member of congress, Geo. Chandler state senator, Robert Locket representative, George Parker county judge, Isaac S. Hinshaw sheriff, E. H. Mix county clerk, J. I. Sturgill assessor, L. B. Baker, school superintendent, McMurren and George Thompson county commissioners, Julius Bamberger coroner, Chas. Foster surveyor.
In 1888, Binger Hermann member of congress, James A. Fee circuit judge, J. L. Rand district attorney, N. C. Haskell representative, E. H. Mix county clerk, I. S. Hinshaw sheriff, S. B. McCord treasurer, McMurren and George Thompson county commissioners, George Boreman assessor, C. H. Whitney, school superintendent, Chas. Foster surveyor, John Boyd coroner.
In 1890, Sylvester Pennoyer governor, Binger Hermann congress, M D. Clifford circuit judge, C. F. Hyde district attorney, O. M. Dodson state senator, E. Hardy representative, George Boreman recorder, P. Campbell county judge, P. A. Conde sheriff, J. M. Duffs county commissioner, Joseph McKay county clerk, John Griffin assessor, S. B. McCord treasurer C. H. Whitney school superintendent, Chas. Foster surveyor, W. J. Patterson coroner.
In 1892, Binger Hermann congress, M. D. Clifford circuit judge, C. F. Hyde district attorney, Charles Duncan representative, P. A. Conde sheriff, Joseph McKay county clerk, Wm. Bowers recorder, James Hutchinson county commissioner, D. W. Yoakum assessor, S. B. McCord treasurer, W. R. Privett school superintendent, Chas. Foster surveyor, Dr. Snow coroner.
When the county was organized all the officers appointed were of the union republican party, but there being no election until 1864, there were no organizations of political parties until the spring of that year, when the first call for a convention was made by W. H. Packwood, James W. Virtue, James Pyle, Dr. Ironsides and one other, requesting the people to send delegates to a convention of the union republican party, to be held in Auburn. The entire ticket nominated at that convention was elected in June 1864. James Pyle was elected state senator and Samuel Colt representative, and at the session of the legislature in September an act was passed organizing the county of Union.
At that election the people of the state were called upon to vote for location of state capital, Albany and Salem being the contesting towns.
A man who was then a citizen of Powder River valley, electioneered for Albany because he had property there and the location of the capital at that place would enhance its value. Wm. Hindman entered the field in opposition to Albany and in favor of Pocahontas, urging the claims of that town because he owned a ranch in its vicinity. The result was that Pocahontas got ten votes.
In 1886 the entire democratic ticket was elected. Strother Ison was elected state senator and Wm. Hindman joint representative for Baker and Union counties, and A. C. Loring representative. At the session of the legislature that year, a relief bill for Baker County was passed, by which the sum of three thousand dollars tax was remitted to the county on account of the division of the county two years before when Union county was organized.
At the same session the following bill was passed:
“An Act to change the location of the county seat of Baker County.
Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the legislative assembly of the state of Oregon, that at the next general election held in the county of Baker and state of Oregon, it shall be the duty of the county clerk of said county of Baker, to put in nomination the town of Baker, to be voted upon at said election for the county seat of said county.
Sec. 2. The votes cast for and against said place, shall be kept and counted as in other cases of election. And if it be found that said town of Baker receives the majority of all the votes cast, then the said town shall be declared the county seat of said county.
Approved October 24, 1866.”
W. C. Hindman relates that on his return after adjournment of the legislature, that he had to remain over night at the town of Union, and was deeply impressed with a sense of dignity of his position, having been introduced to strangers as the Honorable M. Hindman, of Baker County. When he retired to his room he engaged in conversation with his room-mate, and George Mandville, one of his Powder Valley neighbors who occupied the adjoining room recognized his voice, and called out, “Hallo, Bill, is that you?” Hindman says the mantle of Official dignity fell from his shoulders at that salutation.
The Democratic Party generally carried the elections in the county, the only exceptions prior to 1886 being the loss of sheriff in 1874, county judge, treasurer and school superintendent in 1878, and assessor in 1882. From 1886 the honors have been more evenly divided, the republicans in that year electing the sheriff, clerk, school superintendent and two commissioners, and in 1888 the sheriff, clerk, commissioners, assessor and school superintendent, and in 1890 the state senator, representative, recorder, commissioner, clerk and school superintendent, and in 1892 the clerk, recorder and representative.
C. M. Foster, republican, was elected surveyor at every election up to 1880.
N. B. You will note that this and the proceeding chapter have the same numbers. This is the way it is in the original copy. The final book will be as close as possible to the original book which will not be edited and copying errors will be eliminated as much as humanly
W. J. O’C, editor.