Collection: Illustrated History of Union and Wallowa Counties Oregon

Biography of Albert Hutchison

ALBERT HUTCHISON. In the person of the subject of this sketch we have a living exemplification of the principles of success as wrought out by genuine industry and worth, having come to this county with but little of this world’s goods. Mr. Hutchison has here taken hold with his hands and his wise manipulation of resources that came before him, has placed him among the leading property owners of the county and his energy and enterprise, together with stanch integrity, have won for him the esteem and encomiums of his fellows, while the substantial proofs of the labor and care bestowed by him are encouraging to the younger men who may be starting in life’s battle for themselves. To Samuel and Elizabeth (Moore) Hutchison, on October 6, 1859, was born in Fulton county, Illinois, a son, Albert. The father responded to the call of patriotism and gave his life in the defense of his country and sleeps in the grave of the honored and brave men who gave back to us at the cost of their blood the Union safe and without dismemberment. In 1864, the mother with her four little children removed to the Cumberland valley in Pennsylvania and remained for fourteen years when they migrated to Ellsworth county, Kansas, whence later our subject went to Custer county, Colorado, and in 1882 he came with teams to the...

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Biography of David Greiner

DAVID GREINER. – Although the subject of this sketch has not been a resident of this county so long as some, still he is one of the doughty and intrepid pioneers of the adjacent state, having pressed into the unbroken regions of the west in early times, and he has ever wrought for the advancement of the country where he has dwelt, manifesting true wisdom and stanch integrity and faithfulness in all of his endeavors,which have won for him esteem and respect throughout his large acquaintance. Mr. Greiner was born in Ashland county, Ohio, on May 7, 1837, to Martin and Elizabeth (Gipe) Greiner, farmers of that state. In 1849 the father departed this earthy life and in 1869 the mother was called to lay down its burdens. David remained at home during the years of his minority, receiving a good education from the public schools and learning and perfecting himself in the carpenter trade. In 1856 he followed the advice of the noted sage and went to the west, stopping in Iowa, where he wrought at his trade until 1860, then returned to the place of his birth, remaining until 1863. The following year he took up the journey across the plains, passing through the Grande Ronde valley September 12, 1864. He stopped at Walla Walla and there wrought at his trade and took up a ranch. He...

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Biography of Elisha J. Parker

ELISHA J. PARKER. – A man who posseses the qualities that enable him to brave the dangers of the new country and settle in and develop the same, while he makes a success of the various undertakings that are incident to pioneer life, maintaining a record for uprightness, honor and ability, is one who deserves to be represented in the history of his county, while his name should be placed high in the roll of honor. Such an one is the gentleman of whom we know have the pleasure to write, and the strong character of Elisha J. Parker has left its impress for goood indelibly on the communities where he has resided, and it is to such stanch characters that we are indebted for the advancment of our county and the upbuilding of our free institutions. Mr. Parker was born in Shelby county, Missouri, in 1845, on a farm and in 1852, when he was seven years of age, he was taken across the plains with the balance of the family, and the sad event of the father’s death occurred when they were in the midst of the weary journey across the plains. The mother went on with her little flock and located in October, of the same year, on a farm which the father had taken in Sonoma county in 1849. They lived there one year and...

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Biography of Frank Hempe

FRANK HEMPE. – While the subject of this sketch has not resided in the valley of the Grande Ronde as long as some of the earlier pioneers, still the length of time that he has domiciled here has beensufficient to demonstrate his ability to take rank with the leading agriculturists of the county, both because he has gained one of the largest farms in the county and because he is by his skill and industry capable of producing excellent returns in crops, while his demeanor has been such as to win the confidence and respect of all who have had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with him. In Monroe county, Illinois, our subject was born on December 6, 1854, being the son of Joseph and Barbara (Shifferdecker), agriculturists of that section. The father died in 1899 and the mother in 1873. Our subject was trained in the public schools of the county of his birth and there he remained in industry with his father and also in operating a farm for himself until 1887, when he took a journey to the Mississippi valley about forty-five miles south from St. Louis. He was engaged in producing the fruits of the field for four years also operated a steamboat landing during the same time. In 1893 he was enamored of the west from the reports that had come to his ears,...

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Biography of George E. Wells

GEORGE E. WELLS. – The subject of this sketch is a man of great energy and power of adaptability, as is manifested in the occupations that have been engaged in by him during the years in which he has been in this western country, and it is pleasant to remark that during all of these varied undertakings, some of which have been exceedingly arduous and fraught with hardship and danger, he has manifested a stanch and unflinching courage, marked industry and enterprise, with excellent personal qualities of integrity and upright principles, while a good success has attended his efforts, both became of the excellent practical judgment used and because of his keen foresight and untiring efforts to do well whatever his hand undertook. George E. was born in Licking county, Ohio, on November 3, 1850, being the son of John and Sarah (Holmes) Wells. The father came to Oregon in 1859, settling at Oregon City and following the milling business for two years, when he repaired to Vancouver, Washington. The mother and three children then came and they all remained in that place until June, 1865, then they went to Lagrande, landing there on June 1, of that year. The father engaged in packing from Umatilla Landing to the mines of Boise Basin and others in this section. Our subject remained with his father one year in packing and...

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Biography of Hon. Matthew W. Mitchell

HON. MATTHEW W. MITCHELL. – In at least two distinct lines of enterprise has the subject of this sketch achieved commendable success, and has wrought his way to the present prominent position that he holds by dint of real effort of worth and by manifestation of capabilities that are worthy of note, and by the display of integrity and upright principles. Coming with his father to this state when he was but a child he is practically a product of the state and here he has won the laurels and made the record that is his now to enjoy. On November 13, 1843, the subject of this sketch was born to Frederick and Rebecca (Hill) Mitchell, in Lafayette county, Missouri. His parents were natives of Virginia and came to this state in 1852, using ox teams for the entire journey and settling in Douglas county. His father imported considerable stock when he came to the state and was unfortunate enough to lose nearly all of it the first winter on account of the inclemency of the weather. Following this he took a donation claim in southern Oregon and gave his attention to general farming until the spring of 1863, when he drove stock to the Grande Ronde valley, taking up a homestead here and occupying himself in farming. Returning more particularly to the subject of this sketch, he entered...

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Biography of Jacob Newman

JACOB NEWMAN. – In the person of the subject of this sketch we have one of the heaviest real estate holders and most progressive agriculturists of the county, and one that has well earned the name of pioneer, having wrought here for forty years. In all this extended time he has displayed stanch, manly characteristics, while his sagacity and untiring labors for the good of all and especially for the advancement of the principles of Christianity in the upbuilding and nourishing of the early church are well known to our citizens. Mr. Newman is the son of George and Barbara (Hammond) Newman, and was born in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, in 1826, whence his parents removed to Ohio for about twelve years, and thence to Indiana for twelve years, and thence to Iowa and there passed the remaining days of their service on earth and went hence to their rewards. Our subject came from Iowa to this section in 1862. He soon homesteaded a quarter-section twenty-five miles from Baker City on the Powder river, and for seven years he gave his attention to cultivating the soil and raising stock. Then he sold out and removed to the Grande Ronde valley, settling one mile east from Old Town on a quarter-section of land. He followed general farming and raising stock steadily, handling his business with care and thrift and the result...

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Biography of James E. Gilkison

JAMES E. GILKISON. – It is very pleasant to note that in place of the old pioneers that are too swiftly passing away from our midst, there is coming a class of industrious and enterprising agriculturists and business men that are doing credit to their illustrious predecessors in handling the resources of the county, and among this worthy number we must not fail to mention the thrifty and capable agriculturist whose name initiates this paragraph, and to whom we accord with pleasure a place in these abiding chronicles of our county, since he is one of the producers of wealth in the county and is also classed among the leaders of the younger population, he himself being native here, and having always wrought beneath the stars of the occident. James E. was born to James and Mary A. (McFadden) Gilkison, on January 24, 1870, the location of his birth being at the home place where the parents now live, on Wolfe creek, four miles west from North Powder. He was raised on a farm and attended the public schools and occupied himself in learning also the art of stock-raising and tilling the soil, until he had reached his majority, when he entered the battle of life on his own account. He gave his attention to farming and stock-raising, being familiar with that, and soon he acquired a good farm,...

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Biography of James M. Selder

JAMES M. SELDER. – It is highly in accord with the defined province of our work that especial mention should be granted to such residents of our county as the esteemed gentleman, whose name initiates this paragraph, being as he is one of the most highly respected and progressive ctizens of the county, and one who was wrought for the advancement of its industrial wealth and progress with an intelligence and energy that are quite deserving of the generous approval of his fellows which has been accorded at various times and in various ways. The birth of James M. occured on February 14, 1846, his parents being James G. and Eliza (Dexter) Selder, early pioneers to Indiana, the native state of our subject. The father was numbered with the prosperous farmers of that section, and also devoted much attention to the practice of medicine. In the district schools of his native place, our subject received a good training in the fundamental branches besides a find schooling form a sagacious father, who manifested excellent principles, inculcating them in the mind of his son. On February 13, 1865, the call of patriotism moved Mr. Selder to enlist in the One Hundred and Fifty-second Indians, being then eighteen years of age, and he did good military duty for some months, being honorably discharged on August 30, 1865, at Charleston, West Virginia, having...

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Biography of James N. McClure

JAMES N. McCLURE. – In the person of the gentleman of whom who now write, we have one of those men, who have passed almost their entire life in this county, and hence are familiar with its resources and advantages in every department. James N. McClure was born on January 2, 1858, in Eugene, Marion county, Oregon, whence six years later he came with his parents, Charles M. and Laura V. (Pierce) McClure, to this county and here he has received his education and grown to his present prominent position in the county, having manifested, in the long years in which he has moved in the business and social circles of this realm, an uprightness, born of sound principles, and integrity and worth coupled with sagacity, that have given him a very enviable prestige throughout the county and stamped him as one of its most substantial and worthy citizens. When he came to this county he made his home with his parents until 1887 and then launched out into the world in independent action. In 1886, he purchased his present home of one hundred and sixty acres, which is situated eight miles south from Lagrande. The farm is well improved and every where hears testimony to thrift and industry. He has one of the finest orchards in the county and is skillful in the production of the fruits of...

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Biography of R. M. South

R.M. SOUTH. – It is quite within the province of the compendium to grant representation to the esteemed gentleman whose name initiates this paragraph, since he is really one of the builders of our county, since he has manifested a personality of uprightness and commensurate ability in all his ways, since also he was one of those brave men who pledged their lives to sustain the honor of the stars and stripes to retrieve from insult its glory, and preserve intact the institution of freedom when the minions of treason and rebellion plied their nefarious trade of destruction to all things sacred in the late Rebellion. On December 10, 1841, in Hocking county, Ohio, our subject was born to Samuel and Roxy (Mosier) South, who removed with their son to Mercer county, in the same state, and thence in 1856 to Guthrie county, Iowa. In these various places the son was educated in the public schools and until 1861he remained with his parents; then in October of that year he enlisted in Company L., Fourth Iowa Cavalry, under General Curtis, being in what was known as the “lost army.” The event that caused this appellation to be given these troops occurred in the beginning of his career, and later came the many skirmishes and battles in which Mr. South participated with display of courage and valor and faithfulness that...

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Biography of Thomas Jones

THOMAS JONES. – It is a noted principle, that in the degree in which one is called to endure hardship and successfully surmounts all obstacles and triumphs over every opposition, in that degree is his character strengthened and his forces of real manhood brought out. May it not be that because of the application of this principle, we have in so many of the early pioneers of this wealthy county, such fine specimens of genuine manhood and especially developed in the virtues mentioned. Well known among this worthy number is the esteemed gentleman, whose name initiates this paragraph, and who has surely done a noble part in enduring the woes of humanity and is developing the resources of the county, while he has ever manifested in the long years of his residence here a commendable exemplication of the Christian character and the sagacity and ability with which he is endowed. In Cocke county, Tennessee, on September 12, 1827, Thomas Jones was born to Russell and Sarah (Hayes) Jones. The father died when Thomas was yet very small and so he never knew the wise guiding of a father’s counsel. He passed the years of his minority on the farm and in attending school as he had opportunity, until he was twenty-three years of age. At that time he hired out for four years to operate a farm. In 1854,...

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Biography of Sulvanas J. White

SULVANAS J. WHITE is a well known resident of Union county, near the town of Lagrande, having been identified with the industrial life of that city for some time and having also operated in the mercantile business here, being attended with success and also manifesting his characteristic ability and integrity during his residence here, while also he is one of the pioneers of the northwest, as his father was also, and has wrought for many years in the development and for the progress of this and adjoining states. Charles F. and Elizabeth (Buchanan) White are the parents of our subject, who was born to them in Stark county, Illinois, on January 6, 1846. It was in 1851 that the parents determined to try their fortunes in the west, and accordingly fitted out the requisite conveyances and ox teams and started on the long and dreary journey across barren plain and rugged mountains infested with dangers of savages and wild beasts, besides the lurking disease that was then sweeping across the country. In due time they landed in Portland, having lost some from the train by accident and one by the Indians. The savages charged toll for crossing the streams, and had the train not been large doubtless would have massacred them all. Captain Dray piloted them in safety to their destination, and after one winter spent there the father...

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Biography of William Tillman

WILLIAM TILLMAN – We have before us in the person of the subject one of those hardy, intrepid and commendable pioneers, who wrought in this section for its development, wresting it from the grasp of the savages and fitting it for the abode of man. Especially is our subject to be mentioned in this capacity, since he came here yound and vigorous and wrought constantly here for nearly half a century, enduring all the hardships known to frontier existence, displaying an astuteness, energy, and ability, coupled with faithfulness and integrity that have commended him to the graces and hearts of all who appreciate noble and true qualities and a pioneer and self-sacrificing spirit. William Tillman was born in Newton county, Missouri, on a farm, the date being February 12, 1842. He received a common school education in his native place, securing the same during the winter months, and striving on his father’s farm to practice the art of agriculture during the summers. He continued under the parental roof until 1861, and then in company with three other families, he being nineteen years of age, he turned toward the west with his “prairie schooner” and steadily pursued his way to the setting sun, until the little train halted in the Grande Ronde valley. The accompanying travelers were George and John Howeel, Tomps Crofford and Sandford P. Robertson. They halted but...

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Biography of Augustus Titus

AUGUSTUS H. TITUS is a man that has a wide range of experience both in the affairs of life in its ordinary occupations and also in pioneer experiences, having passed through practically all the various vocations usually met with in frontier life, as mining, camping, opening up a new farm, as well as the incidents of danger and adventure with which such existence is frequently attended, beside much fighting with the savages in various places; universally manifesting both a cool and wise judgment and capabilities and valor and courage that are the constituent parts of the true man and progressive spirit. Mr. Titus was born on July 17, 1843, in Morgan county, Illinois, being the son of Noah and Melissa Titus, and when a child was taken by his parents near Quincy, Adams county, in the same state. He remained on the farm with his parents until he was twenty-one years of age, and then followed the advice of Horace Greeley, and embarked on the weary journey across plains and mountains to the Pacific coast. When as far as the Black Hills on their journey, they were attacked by the Indians, who killed four men, one colored boy, and captured two women, one of whom was released in a few days and the other was detained for three years before she made her escape. The train proceeded from this...

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