Location: LaGrande Oregon

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 William Eccles

WILLIAM ECCLES. – Among the giants of achievement in our county perhaps there are none that stand higher in the estimation of the people, while he manipualtes great business interests not only that are vitally connected with the welfare of our county but that are far reaching in the great industries of the land, that he of whom we would attempt to give in brief review the salient points of his life’s history. Great breadth of comprehension, coupled with keen financial foresight and fine executive ability, together with excellent judgment in the business affairs of men, are some of the qualities that have made William Eccles a prominent figure in the northwest. We are made aware of the stanch integirty and intrinsic worth of our subject when we learn that is birthplace was Scotland, having come of a sturyd family of fine quality and ability. The year of his birth was 1860, and his parents, William and Sarah (Hutchinson) Eccles came to Ogden, Utah, in 1864. The father was a master workman at the turner’s lathe and in the quiet and steady pursuit of this industry he occupied his time and gained meawhile the high estimation of his fellows and rose to prominence in his church, that of the Latter Day Saints. His ability and integrity are manifest, and he is entrusted with responsible functions in these relations. Our...

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Biography of Wallace Fairbank

WALLACE FAIRBANK. – The subject of this sketch is one of the substantial and capable men of Union county, and one who showed the metal of which he was made at the time Columbia called for sons to avenge her insult and to put down the minions of rebellion, at which time he responded and did good service until the work was completed and he was honorably discharged, carrying, however, until this day the serious effects of his service and the wounds that he received. Mr. Fairbank was born in St. Lawrence county, New York on July 27, 1848, being the son of Luther and Nancy (Green) Fairbank. At the early age of ten he started for himself and when he was fifteen years old he enlisted in Company H, First Wisconsin Cavalry, under Colonel Lagrange. In June, 1864, he was detailed to take a wagon train from Nashville, Tennessee, to Atlanta, Georgia, and enroute he was troubled much with guerilla bands, and on one occasion he was prostrated from over exertion, which, with its effects, is present with him, now. While attacking General Wheeler at Spring Hill, he had a horse shot from under him, and in falling the animal crushed the side of our subject, and although he was sent to the hospital, he never recovered his wonted vigor. After his discharge he returned home, and in...

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Biography of John Frawley

JOHN FRAWLEY. – It is pleasant to contemplate the faithfulness of the gentleman whose life’s career it is now our privilege to outline in brief review. He has won again and again the encomiums of his fellows in the political field and the substantial appreciation of their approbation in being elected to the responsible position of treasurer of Union county, which position he is holding for the third successive term, having been elected on the Republican ticket. John Frawley was born in Syracuse, New York, on May 29, 1850, being the son of Cornelius and Mary (Halliman) Frawley. He was educated in the common schools quite thoroughly and at the building age of eighteen stepped forth from the parental roof to do for himself. He went railroading as brakeman and soon had worked his way to freight conductor. He operated on a number of roads in the east. Eighteen hundred and seventy-two, marks the date of his advent to the west. Nevada being the objective point. He continued railroading and soon we find him in the Grande Ronde valley operating the first freight trains that ran in the valley. He hauled the first passengers that had the distinction to ride into this section on the railroad, the freight train being the conveyance. In 1889 he was conductor on the Hunt line in Washington, where he met with a serious...

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Biography of Charles L. Kaler

CHARLES L. KALER. – A real pioneer of the pioneers, who has wrought on the Pacific coast for forty years and more with display of energy and skill that have placed him among the leaders of the county in attaining its progress, the well-known gentleman, whose name is at the head of this article is deserving of representation in the volume of his county’s history. He is proprietor of the large green house in Lagrande and handles one of the largest nurseries of the state, having a full line of all varieties of both ornamental trees and rare shrubs and flowers. Mr. Kaler was born in Waldoborough, Maine, being the son of Charles L. and Mary Kaler, both of whom died when he was very young. His childhood days were spent with a neighbor, and when nine years had rolled by he inaugurated independent action and set out to Vermont, returning later to Maine, thence to Florida and again returning to Maine and then to San Francisco, where he spent two years. The next trip was to Vancouver Island, whence he made his way to the Caribou mines and four years were spent there in search for gold. He came back to Westminster, through Olympia and Cowlitz to Portland, thence to Salem, Mooney’s station, Waldo Butte and Umatilla, in which latter place he remained for a number of years,...

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Biography of D. B. Hendricks

D.B. HENDRICKS. – The well-known merchant and financier, whose name initiates this paragraph, is one of the representative business men of Elgin, and indeed of union county, doing at the present time a large and lucrative business in general merchandise, while in all his career he has displayed a breadth of comprehension and aggressiveness that, coupled with a conservative policy and dominated by keen practical judgement and sagacity, have made him the master of hte enterprises that have been taken up by him, while also he has maintained an untarnished repuation and is one of the prominent men of our county today. On February 6,1855, Mr. Henricks was born in Fairfield county,Ohio, to John and Nancy (Hufford) Hendricks, natives respectively of Ohio and Pennsylvania, but removing to Tama county, Iowa, in the fall of 1864, where they engaged in farming until the time that death took them from the activities of this life, the mother passing beyond in 1872, and the father taking his departure in 1883. Our subject worked with his father until he reached the age of majority and then engaged in farming for himself in Iowa until 1882, when he came to the fertile regions of the west, entering the saw milling business in Morrow county where he labored for five years, then took upsheep raising in the John Day country with one Mr. Woolery, where...

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Biography of John A. Holman

JOHN A. HOLMAN. – To the esteemed and enterprising citizen who is named above we are constrained to accord a representation in this volume since he has wrought with vigor and intelligence for the development of this county, and stands today one of its leading and substantial agriculturists and stockmen. Mr. Holman was born in Tortuna, Vestmanland, Sweden, on December 8, 1857, the rural districts being his home. He received a good education attending school regularly nine months each year for a period of seven years. Then he gave his whole attention to assisting his father on the farm, and when he had reached his majority, engaged with a neighbor for six months, receiving as a remuneration for this service, one hundred kroner, equal to about twenty-seven dollars of our money. He served another six months on his father’s farm and then, being twenty-two years of age, he embarked for America, settling first in Kansas City, Kansas, whence, six months later, he went to Sandy, Utah, making his home in that vicinity for four years. In 1880 his father came to this country, bought a farm in Salt Lake county, ten miles south from Salt Lake City, and our subject rented the same, continuing in that capacity for three years. Then he went to Roseburg, Idaho, and settled on a fraction of school land, whence, in 1885, having sold...

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Biography of H. A. Hansen

H.A. HANSEN. – Among the enterprising and industrious agriculturists of Union county, mention should be made of the gentleman, whose name initiates this paragraph, since his energy and ability have been manifest to all and since he has distinguished himself by his faithfulness and success that he has attained in tilling the soil and in raising stock. He is also popular among his fellows for they have again and again manifested their confidence in him at the polls and have kept him in public office almost continuously for the last decade. The pleasant little Kingdom of Denmark has furnished many thrifty citizens for our country, but none more faithful and deserving than he, who was born there in 1842, the subject of this sketch. At the early age of fourteen years, Mr. Hansen started out for himself and soon was farming and until he was thirty years of age he continued at this industry. At the age last mentioned he left the native land and embarked for the United States, where he made his way to the vicinity of Green Bay, Wisconsin, and engaged there in saw mill work, for two and one-half years. After this period, he went to Kansas, locating in Wilson county, where he worked in a livery stable for five years and farmed for two years and then came to the Sound country in Washington...

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Biography of Albert Good

ALBERT GOOD. – One of Union county’s intelligent and enterprising agriculturists and stockmen is named at the head of this sketch and we are constrained to grant him representation in this volume of his county’s history since he is one of the leading men of today and because he has achieved a very flattering success here, and because his personal characteristics of ability and integrity demand a place for him among those so represented having achieved his splendid success by dint of hard effort and wise management. In Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, on September 25, 1844, the subject of this sketch was born to Jacob and Elizabeth (Courtwright) Good, where he also received a good common-school education and assisted his father on the farm until he was twenty-one years of age. It was in February, 1865, that he turned toward the west, coming by rail to St. Joseph, Missouri, and thence by team of oxen across the plains to Salmon Falls, Idaho, where he engaged with Briggs and Clark to operate a ferry. In March of the following year he came to Lagrande and for three years was engaged in various work, and then bought a team and freighted and logged until 1872, when he came into the valley and bought a farm partly cultivated and devoted his attention to tilling that. In 1884 he purchased another quarter, where he...

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Biography of Thomas H. Gilham

THOMAS H. GILHAM. – Although born in another state, the subject of this sketch is practically a product of Union county, being educated here and here achieving the success that has attended him in his labors, while he has ever manifested a stanch and unswerving integrity and adherence to the principles of uprightness, laboring for the advancement and upbuilding of the county, as well as prosecuting with vigor and sagacity the private business enterprises that have occupied him. Thomas H. Gilham was born in Siskiyou county, California, on February 13, 1858, being the son of Calvit A. and Almeda (Howell) Gilham. His father was a “Forty-niner” to California from Iowa and while the son was still young came with his family to Josephine county, Oregon and later migrated to the Willamette valley and as early as 1863 was a resident of the Grande Ronde valley. He was a blacksmith by trade and opened a shop in Lagrande, where he beat the anvil to the time of industry and honesty until 1868 and then removed to Island City and there opened the first shop in that town. He bought one hundred and sixty acres of land and supervised a general farming industry until about 1888, when he returned to Iowa and is living in his early home state at the present time. Our subject attended school in Lagrande, gaining, a...

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Biography of Rev. Abraham Eads

REV. ABRAHAM EADS. – It is very fitting that in the history of the county with which we have to do at the present time, their should be incorporated a resume of the career of the beloved and esteemed gentleman, whose name appears at the head of this article, and whose life of usefulness has been so intimately and potently connected with the affairs of the county and the country in general adjacent to our borders until now he has grown venerable in the service and the silver threads remind that the toils, hardships and vigils are nearer done and victory is at hand. In Cole county, Missouri, in the year 1829, commenced the pilgrimage of our subject and five years before the memorable “Forty-nine,” accompanying his parents, he came overland with teams. While enroute to the Willamette valley, they camped on the present site of Lagrande, but continued their journey until they had reached their destination in Yam Hill county, where the parents, Samuel and Susana H. (Collett), settled to make an honest living from the soil, and there they toiled and fought the battle of life until the time of home going came, and they rest peacefully beneath the sod there today. From his portion of the estate, our subject erected a monument to their memory. Until twenty-three years of age, Abraham remained with his parents and...

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Biography of John L. Curtis

JOHN L. CURTIS. – As one of the early and sturdy pioneers who assisted in opening these regions for the occupancy of his fellows that were to follow from the eastern states, and who has wrought with energy and assiduity in their development since, manifesting an ability and wealth of resources that have enabled him to grapple with the different problems that confront the frontiersman, and to overcome in these undertakings the subject of this sketch is deserving of a representation in any work that essays to chronicle the leading and prominent citizens of the county of Union. Mr. Curtis was born in the east in the year 1827, and had the misfortune to have his father removed from him by death. His uncle was appointed his guardian and at the tender age of twelve years, our subject entered upon the realities of life for himself, his first occupation being to act as a silver-plater for the famous firm of Rogers Brothers. Six years he continued with this company and then came west to Jackson county, Missouri, where he was favored with an opportunity to attend the Chapel Hill College, a privilege which he was not slow to take hold of and improve to the best advantage. Following his retirement from the college he acted as salesman in Independence for a time and then in 1850 came to Sacramento,...

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Biography of Edwin O. Crandall

EDWIN O. CRANDALL. Deceased – It is pleasant to give an epitome of a career that has been filled with good deeds and in which upright principles have been set forth and especially gratifying to all is it to be enabled to chronicle the items of the life of one who has made a pleasing success in a number of walks of life and has always manifested in the pure of life and has always manifested a kindness, geniality and faithfulness that are both enjoyable and praiseworthy. Of this class is the gentleman, whose life history we now essay to outline and whose enterprise and industry, as well as his wisdom and good judgment have been manifested in the pursuits that he has followed in our midst for over one-third of a century. The Keystone state was the place of his birth and 1837 the year. A few years later he accompanied his parents to Chicago and there his energy and skill became apparent in that, during the time in which a young man is occupied in acquiring skill in one line of industry, he mastered three distinct crafts. He became an expert miller of flour, a confectioner, and a machinist. The C.R.I. railroad engaged his services as engineer on the railroad and he was master of an engine until the fall of 1863, when the call of patriotism...

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Biography of Franklin S. Bramwell

FRANKLIN S. BRAMWELL. – To the esteemed gentleman, whose life’s career it is now our privilege to give in brief review, we grant a representation in these chronicles of our county, since he is at the head of one of large industries of the county, and also because of the prominent place that he holds in the manipulation of the affairs of the strong church of the Latter Day Saints in this section. He is assistant manager of the Oregon Sugar Company of Lagrande, but is far more widely known as bishop of his church and lately in the more prominent office of president of the missions of the northwest. His jurisdiction extends over a diocese that is very large nad includes Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, the Dakotas and the northwest country of the British possesions as far east as Winnipeg. Mr. Bramwell was born in Yorkshire, England, whence came so many of our most intelligent and thrifty citizens. Eighteen hundred and sixty was the date, his parents being George W. and Mary (Stevenson) Bramwell. They came to Ogden, Utah, in 1870, the father being a music and school teacher. He labored faithfully at these callings until two years since, when he was called hence and his remains are buried at Rexburg, Idaho. The mother is still residing at Ogden, Utah. Our subject remained dutifully at home with his...

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Biography of William Arnold

WILLIAM ARNOLD. – One of the best known men in northeastern Oregon, capable and upright, a pioneer of the country and one who has faithfully done his part in the development of the same, having met the dangers and hardships and self-denials incident to a life on frontiering in this region in early days, the subject of this article is eminently fitted for representation in this volume, and it is with pleasure that we accord space to him, and we desire to add that in connection with his abilities and courage, he has manifested excellent moral qualities and integrity that is constant and unswerving. William Arnold was born in Washington county, Nebraska, on March 16, 1856, being the son of Ansel and Jenett (Faster) Arnold. The father came to Nebraska as Indian agent in 1854, and also gave some attention to farming in that state. In 1858, he was called hence by the messenger of death, and his remains sleep in St. Joseph, Missouri. We have but little information of our subject until 1877, when he made the trip to the west, landing in Lagrande in that year. The following year he accompanied a drove of cattle to Cheyenne as one of the drivers, and then returned to Oregon. On this trip, while they were crossing the trail near Boise, Idaho, they were attacked by the Indians, and for...

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