Location: Polk County OR

Biography of George Bartholomew Cook

George Bartholomew Cook, who has been engaged in the operation of the ranch on which he now resides in the Wallowa valley for nearly thirty years, is one of the well known pioneers in the vicinity of Lostine. He was born in Polk County, Oregon, on the 27th of February 1862, and is the son of Thomas L. and Harriet (Jacobs) Cook. The parents came to the Willamette valley in 1854 and there the father engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1879 when together with his family he removed to Wallowa County. Here he passed away the same year, but the mother survived until 1909. The Boyhood and early youth of George Bartholomew Cook were passed on the ranch where he was born, and in the cultivation of which he began to assist at a very early age. He was given the advantages of but a meager education, such schooling as he acquired being obtained in the Willamette valley when he was a lad of between and sixteen years. He accompanied his parents on their removal to Wallowa County in 1879 and here he filed on a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres upon attaining his majority, and has ever since devoted his energies to its cultivation. During the intervening years he has effected marvelous changes in his place, which is located two miles south of Lostine, and now...

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Campbell, Inez Shelton – Obituary

Services for Mrs. Inez Campbell, 85, 1599 Market St. NE, who died Monday [March 17, 1969] at a Salem hospital, will be 2:30 p.m. Friday in Howell-Edwards Mortuary. Rev. W. Harold Lyman and Rev. Robert Hayes Mulkey officiating. Interment will be in Belcrest Memorial Park Cemetery. Statesman, March 19, 1969 Contributed by: Shelli...

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Biography of Cornelius G. Morehead

A native of the Web foot State, the son of about the earliest pioneers of this state, raised amid its environments, both eastern and western Oregon, the subject of this article is thoroughly an Oregonian and a typical representative of its energetic and progressive citizens. Cornelius G. was born in Linn County, Oregon, on June 26, 1865, being the son of Robert M. and Martha (Curl) Morehead. The parents came with ox teams to Oregon in 1848 and settled in the Willamette valley and the father being a millwright, built the first mill of the state. It was located at Salem and was built in 1849. In 1869, the family removed to Jackson County; Oregon, and in 1872, they came to Prairie City, Grant County, this state. There the father erected the Strawberry flour mills and in 1879 sold out and Went to Weiser, Idaho. He built a mill there and in 1887 he returned to the Willamette valley, where he died in 1890. Mrs. Morehead is still living in Douglas County, this state. Our subject was educated in the schools of the various places where lie lived and in 1884 he started for himself. He raised stock in Idaho until 1888, then sold out and came to Malheur County and engaged with the Oregon Horse and Land Company, where he wrought for a number of years. During this...

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Biographical Sketch of James T. Davis

One of the worthy pioneers of this County, a man of ability and executive force and unswerving integrity, the subject of this sketch is now one of the leading citizens of Nyssa, and a prominent man in Malheur County. He lives one mile northwest from the town of Nyssa, having a ‘farm of one hundred and twenty acres, well improved and handled in a skillful manner, which is a good dividend producer. James T. was born in Unionville, Putnam County, Missouri, on October 25, 185o, being the son of Hamilton and Saline Davis. In 1862, the father and the oldest son came across the plains with ox teams and in 1865, our subject and his mother came the same journey with horse teams. They both made the trip without serious accident and when the mother arrived in Boise, the father was there to meet them and the reunited family made their way to the Willamette valley where they settled in Polk County. Four years later, they removed from that place to Umatilla County and in 1874, our subject went from the home in that County to Boise valley, Idaho, and later re-turned to his people, who had in the meantime migrated to Baker City. The reports which he brought from the Boise valley caused all to move there and engage in raising stock. Our subject went thence to Emmett,...

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Biographical Sketch of Mary A. Miller

Mary A. Miller, familiarly know by all as “Grandma Miller”, is one of the loveable elderly ladies of our county and it is especially gratifying to have the opportunity to append an epitome of her career in this the abiding chronicles of Harney county. She is a woman of many virtues and graces and has done a noble part in the life of the pioneer and she has many friends who admire her real worth of character, her faithful life, and her own rare qualities of intrinsic worth. She is now making her home with her daughter, Mrs. Jane Poujade, who is the wife of one of the leading stockmen of Harney county and whose comfortable and commodious residence is six miles east from Harney, on what is known as Cow creek ranch. Mrs. Miller was born in Richland county, Ohio, on September 29, 1827, and at the age of eleven went with her parents to Henry county, Iowa. There she married Mr. Isaac H. Jones, on October 26, 1845. They removed to Boone county, Iowa, where Mr. Jones died on June 27, 1860. In 1862 Mr. Jones married William Miller and in 1863, with five children, they started across the plains with ox teams for the Pacific coast. The arduous and trying journey was completed when they landed in Salem. There Mr. Miller engaged in raising stock for...

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Biography of Hon. James Willis Nesmith

HON. JAMES WILLIS NESMITH. – Oregon has given a few men to the nation; and the luster of their memory still shines in the galaxy of her heroes. Colonel Baker, one of the most brilliant men ever at Washington, District of Columbia, has coupled with his title that of senator from Oregon. Yet he was in no sense an Oregon-made man, but rather made use of Oregon to elevate him to a seat which it was impossible for him to attain from Illinois. With Colonel Nesmith, however, the case was the reverse. He was as truly an Oregon man as one of his age could be, not only coming to our state with the first immigration, but gaining largely here his education, principles and manners. As a commanding historical figure, it will be proper here to notice the circumstances of his life, his political career, and his mental and moral characteristics. We do not often find distinguished ability without finding also antecedent capacity in the ancestry. The family to which our senator belonged is remotely of Scotch Presbyterian blood, but as early as 1690 removed to the north of Ireland, becoming thereafter of the Scotch-Irish race, who have made themselves famous on both sides of the Atlantic. In 1718 the family removed to America; and William Morrison Nesmith, the father of our subject, connected himself by marriage, about 1814,...

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Biography of Hon. T. C. Shaw

HON. T.C. SHAW. – This honored pioneer of 1844 was born in Clay County, Missouri, near Liberty, the county-seat, February 23, 1823. On his father’s side the stock was Scotch-Irish, and on his mother’s Welsh and English. His father, Captain William Shaw, was born in Eastern Tennessee, and belonged to a large family of that name who settled in Maryland at an early date, whence they removed into Tennessee, North Carolina and Missouri; and from the latter state the Oregon branch of the family came in the year 1844. His mother, whose maiden name was Sarah Gilliam, was the sister of General Cornelius Gilliam, of fame in our early history. When T.C. Shaw, the subject of this sketch, was about ten years of age, he move to Clinton county, in the northern part of Missouri, with his father, who settled on Grindstone creek and engaged in farming and stock-raising. Here the boy also learned to be a farmer and stock-raiser, an occupation which he has never entirely abandoned. In the year 1838 the family moved into what was then called the Platte purchase, and took up their residence near the west fork of the Platte River, about seven miles south of Savannah, the county-seat. In the absence of schools in the new county, it was not possible for young Shaw to get even a common English education; and in...

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Biography of F. M. Naught

F.M. NAUGHT. – Mr. Naught, whose life experience contains many incidents of unique interest, was born in Illinois in 1838, and removed as a child to Texas, and in 1846 to Iowa. In 1853 he crossed the plains to Oregon and located in Polk county. Upon the outbreak of the Indian war in 1856, he joined Captain F.M.P. Goff’s Company K, Washington Territory Volunteers, and came east of the cascades. In July of that year, a part of Captain Goff’s company quartered at Fort Henrietta was summoned to the relief of Major Leighton’s command, which was surrounded on the John Day river. Starting late in the evening with ten days’ rations, they rode that night and arrived upon the scene the next evening. The Indians fled upon their approach. Encamping that night with Leighton’s command, the united force of the volunteers started up the river in pursuit of the Indians, following so closely in their track as frequently to find meat still cooking. Finally, upon the headwaters of Burnt river, they sighted some of the savages. Lieutenant William Hunter, with twenty-seven men, was ordered forward; and a skirmish ensued in which two of the volunteers were killed and one wounded. The Indians surrounded them; and for twenty-six hours it was necessary to fight on the defensive. But at last the two companies came to his relief; and the Indians...

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Biography of William A. Baker

The commercial interests of Moscow are well represented by William Alexander Baker, a leading and enterprising merchant, whose well directed efforts, sound judgment and reliable dealing are bringing to him a creditable and satisfactory success. For twelve years he has carried on operations in Moscow, where he deals in both new and second-hand goods. He is a native of Virginia, born in Augusta County, July 13, 1855, of Scotch-Irish descent. His grandfather, Guinn Baker, was the founder of the family in the Old Dominion, and was an industrious and respected farmer and a valued member of the Methodist church. He devoted his entire life to agricultural pursuits in Virginia, and died at the age of eighty-two years. His son, Frank Baker, father of our subject, was born in Pennsylvania and married Miss Martha Guinn, a native of Virginia. They removed to Tippecanoe County, Indiana, and he began farming on a tract of land of forty acres, but as time passed he extended the boundaries of his place until it comprised one hundred and forty acres. His wife died in her forty-second year, but he lived to be seventy-one years of age. Both enjoyed the high regard of their fellow men, and their lives were well spent. They had a family of three daughters and two sons, of whom four are living. William A. Baker, their eldest child, spent his...

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Biography of Henderson Orchard

Each community is judged by the character of its representative citizens, and its social, intellectual and business standing is determined thereby. The sterling worth, commercial ability and enterprise of the leading men are mirrored forth in the public life of the town, and therefore the history of the people of prominence is the history of the community. No account of Grangeville would be complete without the life record of Henderson Orchard, the popular president of the board of trade and a man whose public spirit is manifested in his many efforts to improve the conditions and promote the upbuilding of the town. A native of Oregon, he was born in the city of Monmouth, November 22, 1857, his parents being Jesse C. and Minerva (Medford) Orchard, natives of Virginia and Illinois respectively. They crossed the plains with oxen to Oregon in 1852, making that long and perilous journey with their family of five little children. While residing in Oregon six more children were added to their family. Mr. Orchard secured their donation claim of six hundred and forty acres where the town of Monmouth now stands, a beautiful tract in one of the richest and loveliest valleys of the northwest. There the family resided until 1859, when the father sold that property and purchased a homestead seven miles west of Portland, where he now resides, at the age of...

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Biography of John H. O’Bryant

JOHN H. O’BRYANT. – We esteem it a privilege to be permitted to chronicle for the history of our county a brief review of the substantial and prominent citizen, whose name is at the head of this article, and who has wrought in the pioneer’s life so well and faithfully for the opening of this and adjacent counties and for their development and advancement for over one-third of a century, while his life of constant adherence to right and the principles of truth and uprightness, together with manifestation of sagacity and sound judgment, has placed him in a most enviable position of esteem and prominence throughout the entire county. John H. O’Bryant was born to Elias and Sarah O’Bryant on July 10, 1830, in Blount county, East Tennessee, and at the age of seven years he was brought by his parents to the city of Springfield, Missouri, where they settled on a claim. At the age of fourteen our subject was called to mourn the loss of his father and from that time until he was twenty-(?) years of age he was constant in labor on the farm for his mother and the other members of the family. When he had arrived at the age of twenty-four, others had matured to be able to shoulder some of the responsibilities of life, and John H. followed the desire that the...

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Biography of John Krall

Few lives have been more active or more thoroughly filled with incidents of interest and of unusual nature than has that of John Krall, one of the pioneers of Idaho, and for about thirty-five years a resident in the vicinity of Boise City. Now a wealthy man, he is indebted to himself alone for his fortune, for he started out in youth to fight the battle of life, a poor boy, and by the exercise of industry and perseverance, in the face of great difficulties, he came off victor over all. Mr. Krall is a native of Germany, born December 10, 1835, his parents and ancestors likewise being of German birth. His father owned a flouring mill and the lad early learned the business. When he had mastered the branches of learning taught in the government schools he went to England, and there, at sixteen, took up the study of the English language and customs, while he worked as a baker and confectioner. Desiring to see something of the world, and well equipped to earn a living, as he was familiar with two languages and had mastered two trades, he shipped aboard a vessel and in the next few years sailed to various parts of the world. Once, when sailing around Cape Horn, he was shipwrecked, and the disabled vessel was towed to Valparaiso by an English man-of-war. From...

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Whitson, Nellie Cooke – Obituary

Mrs. Nellie R. Whitson, 78, who first came to Yakima as a child in 1865 and was a member of one of the first white families to settle in the valley, died in St. Elizabeth’s hospital last night [January 2, 1939]. She was taken to the hospital Saturday for treatment for injuries received in a fall in her home. She lived with a daughter, Mrs. George W. Clark, wife of the city commissioner, at 602 South Eighteenth Avenue. Born in Polk County, Oregon, Mrs. Whitson came to the valley with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. C. P. Cooke and settled in the Moxee where the Scudder ranch is now. There were only a few other families here then, the Splawns, the Flints and the Thorpes. In 1867 the family moved to Ellensburg. Mrs. Whitson was married there to A. B. Whitson and in 1889 they returned to Yakima where she had lived ever since. Mr. Whitson died a few years ago. Mrs. Whitson’s father was the auditor of Ferguson County and was one of those instrumental in having Yakima County established. In addition to Mrs. Clark, the family includes another daughter, Doris Whitson of Yakima; two sons, Sergeant Ben W. Whitson of Yakima police department and H. C. Whitson of California; a sister, Mrs. Henry Schnebly , and a brother, Morand Cooke, both of Ellensburg. Shaw & Sons has...

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Reece, Lacy D. – Obituary

Lacy D. Reece of Milton Freewater and a former resident of Enterprise passed away Wednesday, January 22, at the Veterans Administration Hospital at the age of 80. Reece lived at Rt. 3, Milton Freewater. Mr. Reece moved from Clearwater, Kansas, where he was born Sept. 5, 1894, to Oklahoma, and in 1913 he moved to Falls City, Ore. He married Ruth Eaton in Enid, Okla., and the couple then moved to Enterprise. Reece served with the U.S. Army during World War I. He returned to Enterprise after the war and worked as a meat cutter. His wife passed away in 1943. On June 30, 1945, Mr. Reece was married to Nancy Waterman at Baker. They moved to Hermiston in 1946 where he worked until his retirement in 1961. After his retirement the couple moved to Milton Freewater. He began working for DeMoss Grocery in Walla Walla until his second retirement. He was a member of the Grant Farmer Post No. 992 of Walla Walla and attended the Assembly of God Church in Milton Freewater. Mr. Reece is survived by his widow, Nancy, at the family home; his sons, Dean Reece of Enterprise, Wilbur Reece of Hermiston, Bill Reece of Miami, Fla., Wade Reece of Edmonds, Wash., and Larry Reece of Walla Walla; daughters, Mrs. Wolvert (Margaret) Fisher, Enterprise, Mrs. Harold (Milly) Garland of Walla Walla, Helen Ingram of Athena,...

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McClellen, George B. Cook – Obituary

“Mack” Cook Answers Call George B. McClellen Cook passed away at the Enterprise hospital Feb. 1 after a short illness. “Mack” Cook was born Feb. 27, 1862, near Dallas, Polk County, Oregon to Thomas l. and Harriet Cook who crossed the plains by ox team in 1854. He was one of ten children born to this union. The family resided in Polk County until 1878 when the father and his sons, Jerile, William, Tom (Dick) and N.J. came to Wallowa County and all located homesteads on the South fork of the Wallowa River except N.J. who was too young. He later homesteaded on part of of what is known as the Crossler farm. Later their mother and the other children followed. The father died at Lostine in 1879 and was buried in the West Side cemetery. (This cemetery is located close to the Lostine cemetery but is on private property, there are some McCubbins and their families buried there too) “Mack” was married in 1896 to Effie Hammack and the resided on the farm on which he filed in 1890, and is now owned by Mr. Cherry. To their union were born three children, Grace, Roy and Charles. Grace married Earl Whitely and gave birth to one son Harold Whitely. She died in a short time, leaving her husband and baby. Later, “Mack” and family moved to town and...

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