Collection: Baker County Oregon Gold Mining History

A Brief History of the Panhandle of Oregon

One of the richest sections of Oregon is what is known as the Panhandle. Extending from the Blue Mountains west of North Powder to the Wallows county line, beyond Cornucopia. And whilst this fertile and productive area belongs to Union county, it should be a part of Baker County, as Baker City is its natural outlet as well as its market point. Situated almost on the top of the granites in the extreme Eastern part of Union county, about seventy miles from Baker City, is the bustling mining camp of Cornucopia. As regards development the mines of the Cornucopia Mining district are only in their infancy. But one mine, the “Cornucopia Mines of Oregon” have been tested. The ore in this mine, as in the other mines of the district, is base, but pays well for working, as the ore goes on an average of more than twenty dollars a ton. This mine furnishes employment to something like 125 men in and around the mines, and in addition to this, a number of men and teams are engaged all the year in hauling concentrates to Baker City. But this mine is only one of a number of good mines in the district. In fact, the hills and mountains around Cornucopia are a veritable mass of gold, and all that is needed is capital to make the Cornucopia district one...

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Baker County Oregon Gold Mining History

The Baker County Oregon Gold Mining History collection provides the reader an overlook of gold mining, principally in Baker County, Oregon, but also extending to the counties of Grant, Harney, Malheur and Union. Along with the history of gold mining in Baker County, Oregon, this manuscript also provides detailed articles on the specific mercantile interests tied into the gold trade in Eastern Oregon, as well as biographies of the miners and principal players of the era.

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Biographical Sketch of A. C. McClelland

A man of sterling worth and a well-known citizen of Baker City, was born in Indiana, June 18th, 1842. Moving to Wisconsin with his parents at an early age, he remained there till the spring of 1863, receiving his education in Berlin, Wisconsin. Moving to Montana he followed mining until the fall of ’64, when he cane across the mountains and located in the western part of the state till 1867, when he came to Baker County, where he followed mining and stockraising until the last day of December, 1889, when he was appointed Receiver of the Laud Office by President Harrison. After the expiration of his term he returned to Baker City and bought the “Oregon Blade.” a republican paper, and ran the same until October 8, 1896, since which the he has been looking afer mining interests, and is now interested in a large Eastern syndicate, who are taking options on mining property in this section. As an evidence of the esteem in which he is held by his fellow citizens, we cite his nomination on the Union ticket for County Treasurer, he being a silver republican, and an earnest exponent of the cause of the white metal. June 2, 1874, he married Miss Mary Chambers, of Olympia,...

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Biographical Sketch of Wellington E. Hurd

Is another of our representative men who was born in Ohio, and possesses that energy and vim characteristic of a native of that grand commonwealth. Leaving home at the age of sixteen he was employed for a year with the Adams Express Co. at St. Louis. He then went to Chicago, and accepted a position with J. I. Case Co. as traveling representative and remained with them for twenty years. He was connected with Slaver & Walker, of Portland, for the next six years. In 1895 he became interested in mining, and has remained in that business since. He has a number of fine properties in different sections, one, the Tempest, lying in the Green horn district. From this he has lately shipped five cars of ore, three to Everett and two to Tacoma, which brought him in returns of $53.65 per ton. This ore came out of tunnel No. 1 in a regular way. This tunnel is in 300 feet, No. 2 being 65 feet, and No, 3, 50 feet. The ledge is five feet wide, and runs from 40 to 85 feet in depth. Some of his other properties in this same district the Potosi, Mountain Conn, Silver Crown, and Empire, are equally rich or even more so, as from the latter he has taken ore which on being shipped to Everett has netted him $155.65 a...

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Waterman & Schmitz

This representative enterprise dates its formation back to 1889. The premises occupied are on the corner of Front and Center streets, and are of ample dimensions for the storage of the large stock carried. Carrying a large stock of imported wines and liquors and cigars, their trade has steadily grown from a small beginning until today It is the largest in this section of the state. They cater extensively to the family trade, having such high grade goods in stock as Bond & Lilliard’s, McBrayer’s, Spring Hill, Old Hermitage, Old Crow, Jesse Moore, Crescent Rye and Bourbon, controlling the sole agency of the three latter brands of whiskies. In cigars they carry all the lending brands, including Powell, Smith & Co.’s goods, La Flor de Madrid, Estrellas, Chancellors and others. They also own the Bottling Works, and manufacture all kinds of soft drinks, such as soda, cider, sarsaparilla, and so forth. In this department they employ five men continuously. Their success has been altogether due to their carrying pure liquors, and their reliable and honest treatment of all patrons. Few men can point to a more successful and dignified business career in Baker City, than John Waterman and John Schmitz, and no man has a higher standing either commercially or...

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Geddes & Pollman

This establishment is the principal one of its kind in Eastern Oregon, and in many respects the model one of the state. The present firm composed of J. A. Geddes and Wm. Pollman, succeeded Geddes & Kraft in 1889. At that time they were located in the rear of S. A. Heilner’s in a small building 18×30. In 1891 they established the City Market moved there altogether in 1894, but being continually pressed for room, last year erected their present building, the New Market. It is 25×100, two stories and is beyond doubt the best constructed building in town. No expense was spared In finishing it, hard wood being used altogether. In the handling and display of meats all the modern devices are used, such as iron track, which enables them to run a beef from the front to any portion of the building, without handling it. Portable meat racks for display, etc. They are packers of the well known Nugget brand of cured meats and lard, this brand of beef lard being absolutely pure. Their slaughter houses are on the Virtue road, and it connection with stock and feed yards cover an area of 20 acres. They kill all their own meats, which is bought by Mr. J. A. Geddes, whose long experience in the business enables him to select only the best. They also own a number...

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Biographical Sketch of Bartlett Shipp

The profession of law has among its followers many young men possessed of the necessary qualifications which if judicially administered, will within a few short years, earn for them a prominent place in the ranks of the legal fraternity, there being today, as there has been for centuries past, “plenty of room at the top.” The subject of this sketch is one of that number who has it in his power to become a leader, having been favored by circumstances, and being possessed of energy, industry and ambition sufficient to nerve him to the contest and carry aim onward and upward toward the very summit of legal fame. He was born in North Carolina in 18164, and after receiving his preliminary education, entered the State University, graduating In 1883. He then studied law under the direction of Judge Bynum and Colonel Folk, both eminent practitioners, and was admitted two years later. He has actively practiced his profession since,...

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Biography of J. Nat Hudson

Nat. Hudson, the subject of this sketch, was born in Polk County, Oregon, August 20, 1852, and is near 46 years of age. Commencing when only 13 years old, he served 18 years as an apprentice and journeyman blacksmith and machinist, working at various times in the larger towns cities of the Pacific Coast. While working at his he studied late during his spare time, and in 1882 admitted to practice in the Oregon Supreme Court in the same class with Judge M. D. Clifford, Paul Deady and others. In May, 1884, he was, on motion of ex-governor Geo. L. Woods, admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of California, and also holds a certificate from the Hon. Secretary of the Interior at Washington D. C., entitling him to appear as an attorney in legal business before the Department. Mr. Hudson’s chief claim to popularity however is his connection with the Sumpter News, now its third volume, which he established there when that thriving town of seven hundred or more people only contained a population of about fifty inhabitants. The paper on its first appearance was only 8×11 inches, a fit representative of the little hamlet in which it first saw the light, but under the skillful business management and through the untiring energy and perseverance of its proprietor, it has been gradually enlarged until it now occupies the...

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Biography of Henry Rust

A review of Baker City would be incomplete were we to omit mention of one of its most representative citizens. We refer to Henry Rust, proprietor of the leading brewery of this section, known as the Pacific Brewery. Mr. Rust was born in Bavaria, Germany, in 1835, and came to this country shortly before the outbreak of the Civil War. He enlisted as a private in the 13th New York Regiment of Volunteers, and continued with it until 1862, when be was seriously wounded and had to leave the service. He was later appointed commissary and served until the close of the war. Shortly after he came to the Pacific coast, and later associating himself with a partner, started a brewery at the mining camp of Clark’s Creek. A few years later he concluded to travel, and spent a year and a half visiting the South American states. On his return he bought out his partner, and removing to Baker City, started a brewery on a small scale, which has been repeatedly enlarged until today It is a model brewery of 20,600-barrel capacity. He uses nothing but hops and barley in his brew, importing moat of his hops from Germany using the balance of Oregon grown; while his barley is all grown in this county. He has justly gained the reputation of making the purest and most healthful beer...

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F. W. Hendley’s Warehouse

Baker City is steadily growing in importance commercially, and one of the institutions that will largely contribute to this advancement is the subject of our sketch. It is situated on the O. R. & N. Co.’s track, one hundred feet from any other building, and being covered with corrugated iron, is virtually safe against fire. Their business is to both store and forward merchandise for interior merchants, and the handling of wool, grain, flour, sugar, salt. rolled oats and canned goods on commission. The cut we present of the warehouse hardly does justice to it. The owner, F. W. Hendley also owns several warehouses at Pendleton, but has lately sold his grain warehouse there to the Hamilton & Bourke system. He will still operate his wool warehouse, in connection with this one. He does strictly a commission business, and has had fifteen years experience at it. Their forwarding business extends over the counties of Baker, Union and Grant. G. F. Johnson has acted as local manager since the warehouse passed into Mr. Hendley’s...

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Biographical Sketch of Dr. Wm. Lockwood Parker

Dr. William Lockwood Parker is well known to Baker ties as a skillful physician and surgeon. He is a native of Ohio, and from 1884 to 1887, was a member of the surveying party that laid out the railroad in this western country. In 1802 he took up the study of medicine, and In 1896 graduated from the Medical Department of the Oregon University, winning the Saylor prize for the highest general average. During the last year he acted as house surgeon at the Good Samaritan Hospital, and then for a year was surgeon for the Columbia & Astoria Railroad. A year ago he located here, and since that time has won his way to the confidence of the people, and gained the esteem of his brother practitioners to an extent which cannot but be exceedingly gratifying He is a member of the staff of St. Elizabeth’s hospital, his training especially adapting him for surgical...

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Biographical Sketch of Walter R. Hawley

Walter R. Hawley dealer in hardware, stoves and tinware, at Sumpter, Oregon, is a native Oregonian. He resided in the Willamette valley until 1890, receiving his education at the State Normal School at Monmouth, being a graduate of the latter. He then taught school to Gilliam County for a year, and in the Grand Ronde Valley for five years, being principal of the Summerville schools for three years. He then established himself in business in Union, remaining there until April, 1897, when he came, here and opened a hardware store. Minding his storeroom inadequate, he was shortly after compelled to erect its present commodious two story building, in which he carries a very complete line, making a specialty of miner’s supplies. He also carries a general line of paints, oils, wallpaper, glass &c., and is agent for the Simond’s saw and White sewing machine. In selecting this marline he has shown excellent judgment, as it is certainly the most popular and best one in the market. Mr. Hawley is married to Miss Ida Brooks, of Summerville and has one child, a girl. He is the present treasurer of the city of...

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Biography of W. E. Baker

The above-named gentleman who operates the bakery on Main street, between Washington and Center, located here in March, 1894. He had a number of years experience in the business, and immediately went to work for C. Hollingsworth, and two years later bought him out. Finding the old quarters to small a year later he was compelled to move to his present place of business, which had been especially built for him. It is constructed of brick, 20×100 with a fine basement which he uses for storage purposes. His oven was constructed fit such a manner that he can use hot water in steaming his bread which is not done in any bakery in the state outside of Portland. In his corps of help he has one of the finest cake and pastry bakers an the Coast, and as a consequence he does quite an extensive wholesale business, supplying Huntington, Weiser, Sumpter and the many mining cutups, not only in bread and pastry, but in candles as well. His salesroom presents an enticing appearance, supplied as it is with all manners and kinds of staple and fancy confectionery, largely of his own manufacture. This department is supplied with every appliance that can facilitate operations. and nothing but the choicest candles are made. Last season lie added a forty-quart motor power freezer, and using none but extracts manufactured by himself, soon...

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The Sagamore Hotel

An engraving of the Sagamore is shown in this issue of the Democrat. This, one of the best hotels in Eastern Oregon, was erected by J. B. Griswold last season, and opened under the present management October 1st. The building is well arranged and very commodious, consisting of forty-four rooms, with elegant verandas surrounding it, giving it the homelike appearance an inspection of its interior discloses. The main office is well arranged, supplied as it is with a number of conveniences for guests, including all the leading periodicals and magazines. The baggage room opens off the private office in such a manner that the loss of a piece of baggage cannot possibly occur. The writing room, which opens to the right of the main hall, is very nice a person being enabled to enjoy quietude while attending to their correspondence. The dining room is on the ground floor, and is furnished in a tasty and elegant manner, and he table is supplied with all the markets afford. The universal opinion of the traveling public is that the best meals in Eastern Oregon are served here. The kitchen is neat, clean and well ventilated, to a much greater degree than usually found in a hotel. In the basement are located the commercial sample rooms, vegetable and fruit rooms, and what is beyond doubt one of the finest cold storage plants...

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Biographical Sketch of Dr. Geo. W. McConnell

Dr. McConnell is one of those jovial, good-natured men that we are always glad to meet. He is active and energetic, and what he does he does with a will, and infuses humor and good. nature into all with whom he comes in contact. He is a native of Indiana, and made his debut on this world’s stage in Greensburg, Decatur county, on the 14th day of September, 1849. He received his education there, and having at natural liking for the noblest of all professions, he entered the Eclectic Medical Institute of Cincinnati in 1871, and graduated three years later. Returning to his native place he practiced there till 1884. He then moved to Nebraska, where he practiced for six years. Coming then to Oregon, he located in Newberg, and remained there until January last. As an evidence of the respect entertained for him by the citizens of Newberg, we cite his election as mayor in 1892, with but one dissenting vote. In 1895 he was appointed a member of the state board of examiners, for the short term, by Governor Lord and on its expiration was reappointed for the long term. Since his advent here he has rapidly taken a front rank in his profession. He is state treasurer at present of the Eclectic Medical Society of Oregon. Dr. McConnell married Miss A. W. Cole, of Rising Sun,...

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