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. Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. choose a state: Any AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE DC FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY INTL Start Now 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...

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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 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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Biography of Thos. McEwen

The sterling citizen, whose every thought is for the good of the community in which he has reared his home and contented his associations, must always command the respect and esteem of his fellow men. Of such metal and commanding such respect, is he whose name is inscribed above. Born fin Glasgow, Scotland, in 1853, he remained there until his seventeenth year. Coming at that time to the United States, he spent about ten years in Patterson, N. J. In 1879 he went to California, but only remained there it short time. He then moved to Portland, and shortly after to The Dalles, where he was in the employ of the stage company for two years. He then bought the line running from Baker City to Canyon City, and also ran well equipped stages from McEwen’s to Granite, and McEwen’s to Bourne, and to the “Bonanza.” He has also for the past eight years been heavily interested in the forwarding business to the mines. After the removal of the terminus of the railroad to Sumpter, he erected a hotel, large hall, livery barns and private residence there. On the first of last February he sold the controlling interest in the stage limes and forwarding business, and has more particularly devoted its time to his hotel, “The Spencer House.” With his usual enterprise, he quickly placed this among the leading...

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Terry & Fleetwood

Of whose place of business we present a cut, are numbered among the most flourishing business houses of our city. They carry a complete line of staple and fanny groceries, queensware, glassware, etc. They also make a specialty of landing all kinds of green vegetables and fruits and undoubtedly carry the largest variety in the city. They are sole agents in the city for the world renowned teas and coffees of Chase & Sanborn, and through this line their business has been greatly increased. Messrs. Terry & Fleetwood and their assistants make it a point to treat all their customers with fairness and courtesy. They mark all their goods at as close a margin as possible, believing In making many small profits, and having their customers...

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Brown & Heath

The largest establishment of the kind in Baker City, and among the largest in Eastern Oregon. is the drug house of Brown & Heath. They carry a complete line of everything pertaining to the drug trade, including sundries of every description. The interior view we present of their store, will give you perhaps an idea of the stock they carry. No expense has been spared in fitting up their store for the display of goods, thirty-five hundred dollars being spent for fixtures alone. The proprietors, W. C. Brown and M. E. Heath, are both experienced druggists of many years standing, and accuracy is the keynote of their success. They have lately accepted the agency of the Kimball Organ and Piano Company, a line of instruments too well known to call for any especial...

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Biography of William E. Grace

It is perfectly natural to admire pluck and ambition in a unto find this, no doubt. is one reason why he whose name heads this sketch has won so many friends during his residence in this state. He was born in Jasper county. Missouri, in 1856. Besides getting a public school education, he attended the Rolla School of mines and Metallurgy, at Rolla, Missouri. In 1880 he located Oregon City, Oregon. where he was engaged for sometime in a drug store. Removing to Prineville, Crook county, he was appointed deputy sheriff under Geo. Chruchill and later was appointed deputy county clerk. and went to The Dalles and made a complete transcript of all records effecting the realty of Crook county, which was formed from Wasco in 1881. Returning he worked a year for Howard S. Baldwin, druggists and in May. 1843, moved to Burns, Harney county, then a portion of Gnat, where he remained in the drug business until December 1893. Having preciously taken the junior course of pharmacy at the California College of Pharmacy, during 1893 he tools the senior course at the Chicago College, graduating April 13. In 1889. at the time of the formation of Harney county. he was appointed county clerk by Governor Pennoyer, and at the first election held in that county in 18191. He was elected to fill the same position. Shortly after...

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Biographical Sketch of Chas. M. Sage

The hardware establishment conducted by the above named gentleman in the Bowen stone building is one of the most progressive business houses in the city, having built up in the last two years a very large and influential patronage. He carries a general line embracing shelf and heavy hardware, stoves and house furnishings, miners’ supplies, and powder. Mr. Sage has made the hardware business a life’s study, and there is probably no merchant in that line better posted than he. His aim has been to conduct a model store and to be convinced that he has not fallen short of the mark one need only visit his salesroom. He has a great number of desirable agencies, such as the “Giant” powder, which has greater execution and less fumes than any other manufactured. Also the “Canton” steel, guaranteed to be the equal of Jessop’s famous English steel, at a much less cost. in stoves and ranges he carries the “Universal” line, manufactured by Cribben, Sexton & Co., who give a fifteen years’ guarantee with every one turned out of the factory. To Mr. Sage is largely due the origination of low prices in his line, and the patronage he enjoys is but a natural...

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Biography of A. W. Ellis

There is not a more popular citizen in Sumpter than A. R. Ellis. He possesses all those admirable traits of character which contribute to the widest business and social success, and anything he identities himself with is always a go. He furnishes it with a tin, and snap, which is his strongest characteristic, and which has tended to put him to the “front” among business men in this county. Born in Michigan in 1865, the early portion of his life was spent there and in the state of New York. Coming to California in 1888, he drifted into mining and later crossing into Nevada in 1892, he discovered the “April Fool.” and in two years took out $150,000.00, selling then to Capt. J. R. DeLaw. In August of 1894, he came to Cracker and bought out C. Rimbol’s interests consisting of about 400 acres of placer land and three-fourths of a section of timber and homestead Land. including the Sumpter. His placer properties are yielding a good profit, the ground being very rich and with proper appliances would even be far more valuable. He has lately begun to improve some of his city property, erecting a handsome home and a large opera house 62×100, the lower floor to be occupied by stores. He is also interested in other enterprises, being a heavy stockholder in the Sumpter Lumber Co. New...

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Shockley & McMurren

The advantages possessed by this city for distribution of lumber and its products are recognized as of paramount importance, and have resulted in a trade which is of large proportions and constantly increasing in volume. This enterprise was founded many years ago by McMurren & Crabell, and came into the hands of the present proprietors in 1893. They have a planning mill, box factory and lumberyard, also manufacture sash doors, blinds and mouldings, and carry a very large and complete line of window and plate glass. The plant is a complete one in every detail, being equipped with the most modern and best improved machinery, appliances and woodworking tools known to the industry. It is thoroughly lit by electricity, and none but skilled wood workmen are employed. The proprietors, Albert S. Shockley and A. L. McMurren, through their wide experience and exceptional business ability, have won a high place in the business world. Mr. McMurren is a native of our state, and Mr. Shockley almost so, as he has been in the State since he was three years old. In 1874 he came to Baker City and became engaged in the grocery business, in which he remained for two years. He then accepted a position as bookkeeper for McMurren & Crabill, and was with them until they sold out, and later with their successors, W. N. Thomas & Co.,...

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Scott & Watson’s Saw Mill

The sawmill of Scott & Watson, of which we present a cut, is situated at the foot of the Elkhorn Mountains, about five miles west from Haines. The plant covers about five acres, including dwellings of men, blacksmith shop, &c. They manufacture common and clear lumber, and being right in the midst of a fine belt of timber, including pine, fir and tamarack. They are in a fine position to cater to their many customers. They have lately put in an entire new lot of machinery, including boiler, engine, gang engine, &c, which will place them in even a better position to supply the demands of their trade. They employ from ten to fifteen teams and from twenty to twenty-four men, varying with the seasons. Sam Scott Is a native of Tennessee, and had been engaged in the saw mill business for a period of twelve years before coming to Oregon. He came to this country in 1895, and bought the plant on his arrival here. J. W. Watson was born in Missouri in 1802. He came to Oregon with his parents in 1862, and after receiving his education, followed farming in Linn County till 1887, coming here then he pursued the same occupation until March last, when he brought into the...

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Ferguson, James F.

The subject if our sketch, Jas. F. Ferguson, has been more active perhaps than any one else in placing the resources of Baker County and its environments before not only Western investors, but those of the far East as well. His shrewd judgment and conservative business methods have won for him an enviable reputation, and his advice on the real estate and mining investments of this section is much sought after. He has been located here as a real estate and insurance broker since 1875 representing sixteen of the leading insurance companies of the world, such as the London. Liverpool and Globe, Royal of Liverpool, Norwich Union and North British and Mercantile, among foreign companies, and the German-American of New York and Fireman’s Fund among home companies. Controlling as he does the leading companies, he writes more insurance than any other agencies combined. He also writes life, accident, plate glass and live stock insurance, attends to collections of rents and so forth. He handles real estate both city and farm property, also mining property, which his long continued residence here has placed him in a position to know thoroughly. He at present is handling the DeRoo addition, also that of Brattain & McComas, and many other desirable tracts. Mr. Ferguson is a native of New York City, where he was born in 1845. He came to Oregon at a...

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Biography of H. E. Curry, M. D., C. N.

As a rule the ranks of the medical profession are made up of a class of gentlemen possessing great strength of mind, highly cultured intellects, and a loftiness of character which is necessary to command for them the respect of the general public. They are, therefore, entitled to the great confidences which are necessarily reposed in them, and which they guard with all the great traditional honor of their calling. Amongst the physicians of Baker City, Dr. H. E. Curry takes a foremost position. Well qualified by natural inclination, educational training and a vast experience with a soul fully comprehending the greatness of his work, and of his personal responsibility, he has built up for himself a very extensive practice and acquired an enviable standing. He was born in Indiana in 1860. The public schools of his native state afforded him his preliminary education, which was supplemented by a three years course at the State University of Louisiana. He then went West to strengthen his finances, intending thereafter to continue his studies. He was partly successful in this, and entered the Sedalia University, at Sedalia, Mo., where he remained for three years and was a member of the faculty when he left. In 1887 he entered the Medical College at Louisville, Ky. Alter graduating he practiced in Indiana, but preferring the West, made several changes, locating here in 1893....

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Biographical Sketch of Walter W. Looney

Walter W. Looney is a man of sterling worth, and today is one of the most popular citizens of the county, his affability and good nature making him legions of friends. He was born in Eugene, Oregon, in 1858, and remained in the Willamette Valley until 1870, when he struck out for himself, and coming to Eastern Oregon ran a band of cattle on shares for three years. Moving then to The Dalles, he took the mall contract from that point to Wapinitia, which he sold three years later. In 1884 he moved to Granite Creek, and for it period of nine years was engaged in mining and in the butchering business. In 1896 he moved to Sumpter, and in addition to being engaged in in both placer and quartz mining, is also interested in the saloon business. His resort is conducted on broad principles, and he is ever ready to please has patrons, who are composed of the better class of trade. Imported and domestic wines and liquors are dispensed over the bar, and courteous treatment and congenial companionship can al. ways be found there. Mr. Looney is one of the Democratic war horses of the county, sustaining a good political standing in his party. He is a member of the Maccabees and Red Men, and is married to Miss M. E. Gallagher, of Portland, having three...

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M. Weil & Company

In journeying through life we occasionally run across some men who in business circles have fairly distanced competition, endowed with greater advantages perhaps, but still lacking some qualification possessed by themselves. This qualification may be embraced in the three words industry, integrity and business sagacity. The members of the above firm, M. Well and Carl Dilsheimer, are certainly endowed in this manner. In July, 1887, they succeeded Bamberger & Frank in the old White House building, which they occupied until the fire burned out that block. They then moved into a building built for them by Baer & Block, which they occupied until they moved into their own building in August, 1895. It is one of the most substantial brick buildings in town, being especially adapted to the display of the general line of merchandise they carry, which consists of dry goods, furnishings, clothing, boots and shoes, carpets and groceries. When they opened their doors it was with the distinct idea that volume meant success; they could no longer figure upon profits that existed in the past. The country was settling up, and business would be conducted more upon Eastern principles. Profits must necessarily be greatly reduced, and they expected to look to a gradual increasing business for adequate returns upon the capitol invested. With this idea in view they have ever been alive to the proposition of selling...

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