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Location: Harney County OR

Harney County Oregon Genealogy

Harney County Oregon genealogy consists of a brief history of the county, biographical sketches of some early residents, as well as obituaries. Harney Valley, Harvey Lake, Harvey City successor to Harney Camp, Harney County, and lastly Harney land district were named in honor of General Harney, who, so traditions of the Harney country tell us, “had a brush with the Indians while guiding emigrants through the valley.” The general in 1890 acknowledged this comment to his early army days, in an autograph letter to the to “council of Harney City. In area the county which was organized in 1889, is larger than any one of the six New England states, with the single exception of Maine; the valuation of its taxable property ranks sixth in the fourteen Eastern Oregon counties, and second in the five great grazing counties of the state, and the development of the wealth of natural resources on a large scale is only a matter of a few years. Harney County Oregon Genealogy An Illustrated History of Baker, Grant, Malheur and Harney Counties OregonThese 91 biographies and sketches have been taken from the manuscript "An Illustrated History of Baker, Grant, Malheur and Harney Counties Oregon." Presently this is an incomplete offering so subscribe to this page if you're interested on further updates. We will eventually provide the entire manuscript here. A Brief History of Harney County...

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I. S. Greer & Company

This establishment is a credit to Burns. Their building, of which we present a cut, was erected in 1892, and is one of the first stone buildings put up in the interior. They carry a large and well assorted stock of shelf and heavy hardware, stoves and tinnier, crockery, glassware, sporting goods, cutlery &c. They are exclusive agents for the Peters Cartridge Co., Queen heating stoves, Born steel ranges, D. M. Osborn & Co.’s farm machinery, Heath & Milligan paints, and other special lines. They have the only tin shop in the interior, doing plumbing, jobbing and repairing. The also carry a full line of undertaker’s supplies, also paints, oils, varnishes, glass, brushes, doors, windows, and builder’s supplies, and have lately bought the Sayer’s saw mill, situated about 15 miles northwest of town, which is the largest and by far the best equipped one in the country. Both members of the firm are progressive businessmen and their maxim has been the satisfaction of all customers, and with that idea in view have built up a clientage that is a credit to...

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N. Brown & Sons

This pioneer establishment, the largest general merchandise store in the state off the railroad, had its beginning in a small way. It was started in 1854 by Nathan Brown who had associated with himself his sons Leon M. and Ben. From that time their business has gradually grown until 18l6, they were compelled to erect their present quarters, which is built of stone, and is 59×119, two stories high. In this they carry the most complete line of general merchandise in the interior, catering largely to the sheep and cattlemen, and aim to sell goods at railroad prices, freight added. In this they have succeeded judging from the amount of goods they handle, their shipments to carry them through the winter alone amounting to over 290,000 pounds, requiring 36 and 8-horse teams to haul it into the interior. The business is largely under the management of Leon and Bell Brown, both young men of more than ordinary ability, and also very popular with the general public. They have been connected with it since its infancy and are thoroughly conversant with the needs of their legions of customers. Being equipped with plenty of funds with which to transact business, they buy their goods in the cheapest markets and aim to give their customers the...

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Biographical Sketch of Geo. W. Hayes

Geo. W. Hayes stands high among the voting attorneys Eastern Oregon, and has established a foothold in Harney County from which it would be difficult to eradicate possessing as he does talent, energy, ambition and industry. He was born In Marion County, Iowa in 1859, coming across the plains with his parents in 1862, in an ox team. They located at Eugene, Lane County, where he stayed until 1874, having at intervals attended the log schoolhouse. Moving to Lake County, he kept up his studies, and at the age of 18 began teaching school, working also at the carpenter’s trade. In 1887 he began reading law, and in 1889 entered the office of C. A. Sweek, at Canyon City, and also read a year in Thornton Williams’ office. May 1891, be was admitted to the bar, and began active practice at Harney City, Oregon. In 1893 he moved to Burns. He has always been an active Republican, and takes a great interest in the welfare of its party. He is married to Miss Annie Alderson, of Harney, and has two...

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Biographical Sketch of Thomas Jones

The subject of this sketch has led an active life both as a public man and as a private individual. He is one of our self-made men and has won, and fully deserves every iota of esteem and regard in which he is held by his industry, integrity and enterprise. He was born in Header San County, Kentucky, in 1865, and lived on a farm until the age of 16. Moving at that age with his parents to Malheur County, Oregon. On coming to this State he followed several vocations until September. 1887, when he was appointed deputy county clerk of that county, which position he filled until March 1894, when he was appointed Register of the Land Office at Burns by President Cleveland, which position he filled for four years. He has lately embarked in the banking business, with John V. Biggs, and is devoting himself to that entirely. His popularity and high standing can fail to do him a world of good in his new calling. He is married to Miss Stella Staples of Kentucky, and has a daughter six years...

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Biographical Sketch of A. J. McKinnon

A. J. McKinnon, the present sheriff of Harney County, was born in Page County, Iowa, in 1866. He has been a resident of this County with but short intervals since 1886, during a portion of which time he conducted a blacksmith shop in Burns. In June 1896, he was elected sheriff on the Democratic ticket, and has given general satisfaction as an officer, being both capable find efficient. He takes quite an interest in fraternal affairs, being a Mason, Knight and Odd...

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Biographical Sketch of H. B. Horton

H. M. Horton, the leading druggist of Burns, came to Grant County in 1885, locating in Diamond Valley, where he followed his profession of dentistry. In 1891 he started in the drug business, and has gradually forged to the front until today he has the largest store in Eastern Oregon off the railroad. It is complete in every respect, being composed of drugs, chemicals, sundries, stationery, books, cigars, clocks and jewelry, &c. He occupies his own building, built of stone, of which we show an illustration. H. M. Horton is both it registered pharmacist and dentist in this State, and his able assistant, Mr. D. F. Spiegle, is also a registered...

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Biographical Sketch of Charles P. Rutherford

Hon. Chas. P. Rutherford, County Judge of Harney County. Is essentially a self-made man. Left an orphan at an early age, his education was that of the tallow dip and district school. At the age of sixteen he began ruining through Idaho and Oregon, also packing from Umatilla landing to Boise Basin. In 1873 he began raising stock in Grant County, but moved five years later to Morrow County. Returning in 1887 to Grant, now Harney, County, he has resided here since. He was formerly a member of the Democratic Party, but was elected County Judge in 1894 on the Populist ticket, being liberally supported by members of all parties on his record as a man. He has aimed to serve the best interests of the County, and through the efforts of himself and the two county commissioners a half million dollars worth of taxable property has been added to the tax roll of Harney County, all of which had heretofore evaded...

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Biographical Sketch of John W. Biggs

It is perfectly natural to admire pluck and ambition in a young man and this no doubt is one reason why he whose name heads this sketch has won so many friends duringĀ  silence in Oregon. He is of flint class who are opposed to leading the routine life of all unambitious citizens, but with the energy and enterprise characteristic of Young America when untrammeled with restraint, he seeks higher and nobler spheres of life, and looks forward to securing fame and fortune before being overtaken by old age. Mr. Biggs was born in Georgetown, Kentucky, in 1870, but moved to Pike County, Missouri, at an early ago, with his parents. While living there he began reading law partly in Iron. Champ Clark’s office at, Bowling Green, Missouri. In January 1893, he came to Burns and taught school there the balance of that year. Moving to Canyon City, he taught there during the 1894 term. In October of that year he was admitted to the bar, and returning to Burns, began practicing with signal success. In 1897, in connection with Thomas Jones, he established the private bank of Jones & Biggs. They do a general brokerage business, receiving deposits, selling exchange, making collections, fit. He is married to Miss Mabel Hazeltine, of Canyon...

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A Brief History of Harney County Oregon

Harney Valley, Harvey Lake, Harvey City successor to Harney Camp, Harney County, and lastly Harney land district were named in honor of General Harney, who, so traditions of the Harney country tell us, “had a brush with the Indians while guiding emigrants through the valley.” The general in 1890 acknowledged this comment to his early army days, in an autograph letter to the to “council of Harney City. In area the county which was organized in 1889, is larger than any one of the six New England states, with the single exception of Maine; the valuation of its taxable property ranks sixth in the fourteen Eastern Oregon counties, and second in the five great grazing counties of the state, and the development of the wealth of natural resources on a large scale is only a matter of a few years. The leading industry since 1872, when the first bunches of cattle were driven in to thrive through all seasons of the year on nutritious grasses, is first cattle; second. sheep; third, horses and mules, and it is estimated that cattle alone brought into the county not less than $900.000 for 1897. The expense on the capital invested, merely nominal. Thousands of tons of succulent hay is stacked every year. Many thousands of bushels of grain and potatoes are raised yearly. Thousands to millions of feet of lumber turned out...

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Biographical Sketch of Edmund A. Fraser

The young and eminently successful gentleman whose name appears above is one of the leading men of Malheur county, being the owner of a controlling interest in the Malheur Mercantile Company, a large general merchandise establishment of Ontario, which does an immense business not only from the country adjacent to Ontario, but also from the interior of Malheur and Harney counties. Our subject was born in Woodstock, Canada, on September 2, 1870, being the son of George and Sarah (Sheperd) Fraser. He attended the common school, and at the age of twelve was ready to enter the Upper Canada College of Toronto, whence he graduated in the spring of 1886. His parents came to Indiana and he came, at the age of eighteen years, to Ontario. April, 1888 was the date of his landing here and he soon was in the employ of Kissel, Shilling & Danielson, of the Oregon Forwarding Company, in the capacity of bookkeeper and clerk. In this position, he performed faithful service until 1900, when he purchased the controlling interest in the R. D. Greer Mercantile Company, changing the name to the Malheur Mercantile Company, which is incorporated. Mr. Fraser is manager and secretary of the company, and they carry a large stock of goods in dry goods, groceries, boots and shoes, hardware, gents furnishings, and in fact in every line which is used in...

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Biographical Sketch of Joseph P. Rector

Among those who have gained a remarkable success in Harney county we are constrained to mention the gentleman whose name initiates this paragraph, and who has wrought such wisdom, energy and assiduity that he has gained one of the finest holdings of the county and is numbered among leading stockmen of this section. This is more to his credit when it is mentioned that he came to the county with no means and has gained his entire property by his thrift and wise management since his advent. Joseph P. was born in Schenectady county, New York, on August 28, 1844, being the son of Matthew H. and Ruth Rector. He grew up on a farm and gained his education from the adjacent schools. In 1869 he came west as far as the railroad ran and then took wagon transportation to the terminus of the Central Pacific and came to San Francisco. He soon located in Humboldt county and for several years engaged in farming and dairying. Then he transferred his residence to Palisades, Nevada, and engaged in raising stock. In 1880 he came to Harney valley and worked for wages for a time and then located his present place, fifteen miles northeast from Lawen and as many miles southeast from Harney. He devoted his attention to raising stock, cattle and horses, and he has been attended with fine success....

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Biographical Sketch of George W. Cawlfield

This worthy gentleman is to be numbered with the younger men of Harney county who have attained a good success in the stock business here and who bid fair to gain much better in the future, judging by their faithful and wisely bestowed labors of the past. George W. was born in Johnson county, Kansas, on October 21, 1870, being the son of David A. and Abigil (Evans) Cawlfield. The father was a native of Tennessee, and went across the plains to California in an early day and then returned via Panama, after which for some time he acted as government freighter on the frontiers and finally settled in Kansas. In 1874 the family came overland to Pueblo county, Colorado, and there the father followed stock raising. In 1888 the father, with his wife and ten children, came by covered wagons to Harney and settled on Rye Grass flat, east from Burns, and there engaged in raising stock. Our subject attended schools in various places of his residence, and in 1891 he went to Portland and acted as express messenger and baggageman to two different points on the O. R. & N. This continued for two years, and he returned to Harney county, and there, on November 24, 1897, he married Miss Hattie, daughter of Jesse O. and Emma Bunyard. To them have been born two children -Gladys R.,...

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Biography of William Henry Canaday

It is fitting that in a work that purports to accord to the leading citizens of Harney county representation there should be special mention of the well known business man whose name heads this article and who has labored in our midst for a number of years, gaining a good success and making for himself a name and standing which are enviable. Madison Canaday was born in Hillsboro, Highland county, Ohio, on October 21, 1831, and when a boy went with his parent to Illinois and then to Iowa, whence they crossed the plains with ox teams in 1852. They settled in Douglas county, Oregon, the parents taking a donation claim. Later they removed to Yam Hill county. Miss Sarah E. Abbott was born near Springfield, Missouri, in 1842, and started across the plains with ox teams in 1852, having traveled to Texas and returned to Missouri inĀ 1844. The train was a large on and the dreaded cholera attacked them and her father was the first victim to succumb to that terrible disease, passing away on June 9. Before the journey was completed the mother died also, the date being September 30, and she sleeps near where Baker City now stands. Thus from the happy eastern home this child was left an orphan on the dreary plains. She came on to Yam Hill county, Oregon. There she met and...

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