Location: Yreka California

Biography of Charles Nickell

CHARLES NICKELL. – Among the young men of ability and energy in the Pacific Northwest who have come to the front through their own efforts is the gentleman whose name is given above. He is a native of the Golden state, having been born at Yreka in 1856. The advantages for receiving an education in early days were not good; but, notwithstanding this fact, his natural push gave impetus to a spirit to improve each opportunity for storing his mind with that which would fit him for a sphere of usefulness in the future; and so well did he succeed that at the age of thirteen years he was assistant teacher at Yreka with Professor William Duenkal. In 1869 he quit that most trying of all pursuits, and in 1870 entered the office of the Yreka Journal, completing his printer’s apprenticeship in twenty months. In 1871 he permanently removed to Jacksonville, and worked as compositor and reporter on the Democratic Times until December, 1872, when, at the age of sixteen years, he formed a partnership with P.D. Hull, and launched out as a full-fledged journalist by the purchase of that paper. The great fire in 1873 swept away the office and entire plant in common with other buildings. But the Times existed in a few active brains, not simply in types and plates, and was running as lively as...

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Biography of James A. Pinney

The enterprise of our American citizens has given the nation a position among the powers of the world that it has taken other countries many centuries to gain. The progressive spirit of the times is manifest throughout the length and breadth of the land, yet even to our own people the growth and development of the west seems almost incredible. Less than half a century ago Idaho, California, Montana, Oregon and other western states were wild and almost unpeopled regions, without the railroad or other transportation facilities, without the telegraph or the varied commercial and industrial industries of the east. The hostile Indians made it a hazardous under-taking to establish homes in the district, but some fearless and sturdy spirits pushed their way into the wild region, reclaimed it from desolation and Indian rule, and to-day beautiful towns and enterprising villages dot the landscape, and in no particular are the improvements or the com-forts or the advantages of the east lacking in this district. Among those who have made Boise one of the most attractive and progressive centers of population in the northwest is James Alonzo Pinney, who has left the impress of his individuality upon many of the business interests of the city and thereby become an essential factor in the history of its upbuilding. He is a native of Ohio, born in Franklin County, on the 29th...

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Biography of John M. Silcott

Almost forty years have passed since John M. Silcott took up his residence in Idaho, and he is therefore one of the oldest and most widely known pioneers of the state. He came in the spring of 1860 to establish the government Indian agency at Lapwai, and has since been identified with the growth and development of this section. He is a Virginian, his birth having occurred in Loudoun County, of the Old Dominion, January 14, 1824. His French and Scotch ancestors were early settlers there, and during the Revolution and the war of 18 12 representatives of the family loyally served their country on the field of battle. William Silcott, the father of our subject, married Sarah Violet, a lady of Scotch ancestry, and about 1828 they removed with the family to Zanesville, Ohio, where the father engaged in business as a contractor and builder. He was liberal in his religious views, and his wife held the faith of the Presbyterian Church. His political support was given the Whig party and the principles advocated by Henry Clay. Only two children of the family of five are now living, the sister being Sarah T., who married Captain Abrams, of Brownsville, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Abrams now makes her home in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1845 the family removed to St. Louis, where both the parents died. Mr. Silcott received a common-school education...

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Biography of Edward J. Curtis

Among the eminent men of the northwest whose life records form an integral part of the history of Idaho was numbered Hon. Edward J. Curtis. In his death the state lost one of its most distinguished lawyers, gifted statesmen and loyal citizens. As the day, with its morning of hope and promise, its noontide of activity, its evening of completed and successful efforts, ending in the grateful rest and quiet of the night, so was the life of this honored man. His career was a long, busy and useful one, marked by the utmost fidelity to the duties of public and private life, and crowned with honors conferred upon him in recognition of superior merit. His name is inseparably interwoven with the annals of the Pacific coast, with its best development and its stable progress, and his memory is cherished as that of one who made the world better for his having lived. Edward J. Curtis was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1827 and acquired his preliminary education in public schools and under the instruction of private tutors in his native town. He was thus prepared for college and entered Princeton, where he was graduated with high honors. On the completion of his collegiate course he returned to Worcester, but soon after went to Boston, where he began the study of law in the office of the renowned jurist,...

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Biography of Francis E. Ensign

Holding marked prestige among the prominent members of the Idaho bar is Francis Edward Ensign, who is now engaged in the practice of the legal profession in Hailey. There are few-men whose lives are crowned with the honor and respect which is uniformly accorded him; but through forty-five years” connection with the west his has been an unblemished career. With him success in life has been reached by sterling qualities of mind and a heart true to every manly principle. In his varied business interests his reputation has been unassailable and in offices of public trust he has displayed a loyalty that classed him among the valued citizens of the commonwealth. He has nearly reached the seventieth milestone that marks earth’s pilgrimage, but is still concerned with the active affairs of life, and in the courts of his district displays a strong mentality undimmed by time and a power of argument that wins him many notable forensic victories. A native of Ohio, Mr. Ensign was born in Painesville, March 4, 1829, and is descended from English ancestors who came from the “merrie isle” to the New World, locating in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1630, only two years after the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock. A little later the Ensigns became pioneer settlers of Hartford, Connecticut. The paternal grandfather of our subject was one of the first settlers of...

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Goodman, Ralph – Obituary

Wallowa County, Oregon Ralph Goodman Dies In California Ralph Goodman, a former resident of Wallowa County, but who had lived in Yreka, Calif. For the past 25 years or more, passed away at Yreka Saturday, March 2, 1957, following a long illness. He was born in Libertyville, Iowa, November 29, 1884, coming to Wallowa County with his parents, Milas and Mary Goodman, and other members of his family while a child. He was married at Lostine on June 26, 1907 to Miss Fannie van Pelt who survives him. Besides his wife, he leaves four children: Van, Kathleen, Carolyn, and Billie, all of California; two sisters: Mrs. Lenore Brandt, of Yreka, and Mrs. Vernon (Pauline) Ainsworth of Santa Barbara, Calif., and several grandchildren. Source: Wallowa County Chieftain, March 7, 1957, Front Page Contributed by: Sue...

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Way, Charles – Obituary

Enterprise, Oregon Charles Way Died in California last week. The body was sent to this place, arriving Sunday and the funeral services held at the Baptist church at 3:30 p.m. and interment made in the Enterprise cemetery. The deceased was a brother of Mrs. Herman of this city and was about 61 years of age. He was a printer of Ureka, California. Wallowa County Reporter, Wednesday, June 5,...

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Corbett, Lou – Obituary

La Grande, Union County, Oregon Former La Grande resident J. “Lou” Corbett died yesterday in Yreka, Cal., at the age of 88. Funeral services will be held at the Snodgrass funeral home in La Grande. Date and time of the services have not yet been decided. Burial will be in the I. O. O. F. cemetery. Corbett, who was born June 7, 1862, moved to Yreka from La Grande about 30 years ago. A miner in Yreka, he had been ill for many months. He once worked a mining claim in the Grande Ronde valley and maintained his claims after he moved to California. Survivors include his wife Mrs. Rose Corbett, Yreka, Cal; two daughters, Mrs. Elizabeth Garner, Pittsburgh, Cal., and Mrs. Hazel Martin, Walla Walla, Wash.; and one son Roy Corbett, Yreka. La Grande Evening Observer La Grande, Oregon Monday September 25, 1950 Front Page Contributed by: Tom...

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Bruch, Georgeanna Marie – Obituary

La Grande, Oregon Georgeanna Marie Bruch, 89, of Hillsboro and formerly of La Grande died Aug. 4. A memorial service was held today in Hillsboro. Burial at Fir Lawn Cemetery in Hillsboro will be private. Fir Lawn Mortuary is in charge of arrangements. Mrs. Bruch was born Nov. 19, 1916, to George E. and Marie Keller Lockwood in Riverside. She attended school in La Grande and graduated from St. Luke’s School of Nursing in Spokane in 1940. On Jan. 24, 1943, she married Robert H. Bruch. The lived in Yreka, Calif., and Hillsboro before moving to Woodburn, and more recently to a care center in Hillsboro. She worked as a nurse at hospitals in Spokane, Grand Coulee, Wash., Yreka and Hillsboro. She retired as assistant supervisor of surgery. She later worked for Dr. Imbrie at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Portland. She was a member of a Methodist women’s group and DAR. She volunteered with Cub Scouts, Blue Birds and Camp Fire, and was known as an accomplished seamstress. She enjoyed traveling, quilting, knitting, genealogy and being with her family and friends. Survivors include her husband of Hillsboro; children and their spouses, Leland and Ginny Bruch of Seattle, and Claudia and Bill Stockton of Hillsboro; two grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; a brother, Harold Lockwood of Virginia; and other relatives. A brother, Robert Lockwood, died earlier. Memorials may be made to...

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Biography of W. L. Adams A.M., M.D.

W.L. ADAMS, A.M., M.D. – The subject of this biography, a pioneer who drove his own ox team across the plains in 1848, is one of the most unique of western characters; and history entitles him to be placed in the catalog of the illustrious men who bore prominent parts in settling Oregon, and in molding public sentiment. To give a full history of his life would require a large book; but our limited space would require a large book; but our limited space forbids anything but a rapid glance at a few waymarks along the road traveled for nearly sixty-nine years by one of the most original and energetic of men. The writer has known him well more than forty years, and has learned from his family and acquaintances enough of incidents and peculiarities to make a very readable biography. He was born in Painesville, Granger county, Ohio, February 5, 1821. His father was born in Vermont, as was his mother; and both emigrated to the “Western Reserve” when it was a wilderness. His father was a strong Whig, as were his relatives, the noted Adams family of Massachusetts, and a devoted friend of General Harrison, with whom he served in all of his Indian campaigns. His mother was an Allen, – a descendant of Ethan Allen, the “Hero of Ticonderoga.” Her mother and William Slade’s mother were...

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Biography of Sidney S. Benton

SIDNEY S. BENTON. – This pioneer of Illinois, California and Washington is one of those facile, multiplex characters that give to our Western life its buoyancy. He was born in the first-named State in 1838, while Chicago was yet in her swamps, and his father was at that city in 1831, when it was a mere Indian trading post, and also at Galena, the home of the Grants, in 1832. His father came out to California with ox-teams amid Indians, and over the usual sage-brush plains, and the iron-stone rocks in 1849. He mined on Feather river in Yuba county, and in 1852 went to Siskiyou county, where he followed mining and merchandising. Sidney arrived in 1856 via Panama at Yreka, and mined near that city and in Scott’s valley until 1861. In that year he went to Nevada, working on the Comstock; for six years he was underground foreman of the Savage mine, making money and losing it. In Siskiyou county and Surprise valley, and at Dixon in Solano county, California, he engaged again in business. At the latter place, in 1863, he met an old acquaintance from Wisconsin, Miss Mattie E. Bowmer. She and her brother had come the year before from the East in the company which had been attacked on the Upper Snake river by Indians, who killed twenty-eight of the party. Some fifteen years...

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Biography of Hon. Edward Eldridge

HON. EDWARD ELDRIDGE. – One of the most useful of Washington’s public men has been Mr. Eldridge, whose portrait we present. He is a Scotchman, having been born at St. Andrews in 1828. The Scotch either stay at home and become doctors, essayists, psychologist or preachers, or else go abroad and found institutions and cities. the mind of these islanders is said to be the most severely logical of any in the world, and their grip upon affairs the most tenacious. As a city builder and legislator, our representative of this great people has brought into effective action these characteristic qualities. When but a boy of thirteen he shipped as a sailor and followed the sea until 1849. This was the golden year of our coast; and the sharp-eyed young argonaut turned up in San Francisco about that time, hailing from the ship Tonquin. He found that he could handle a spade and “Long Tom” as well as a halyard or helm, and for a year dug gold on the Yuba. He then took a run of eighteen months on the Pacific mail steamer Tennessee; but, concluding that the only satisfactory way of living was as a man of family, he married and went to Yreka. Neither this place nor San Francisco, which he tried again, quite suited him; and in 1853 he came up to the Sound with...

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Biography of Benjamin W. Grandy

BENJAMIN W. GRANDY. – Mr. Grandy has had the satisfaction of seeing the place which he homesteaded twenty years ago become a part of the city of La Grande, Oregon. This illustrates the rapid growth of the country. He has great faith in the future of this town, basing it upon the marvelously productive valley eighteen by thirty miles, surrounding and upon the milling and mining interests and the large water-power. He is a native of New York, was born in 1837, but as a child removed with his parents to Ohio, and before he was twenty had penetrated as far west as Iowa. In 1859 he set off for Pike’s Peak, but was borne on by the rush of Western life to California. In Siskiyou county he dug gold with varying success until 1862,when he with others formed a company of fifty-two and left Yreka for the Salmon river mines. Leaving trails and roads, they struck straight across the country for Walla Walla. On Granite creek the party found paying placer mines; and Mr. Grandy remained until 1863, when he visited his old home in Ohio. The month of March, 1864, found him on the Missouri river with mule-teams headed once more for Oregon. Arriving in the Grande Ronde valley on the Fourth of July, he visited his mines and worked them until fall, when he sold out...

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Biography of James P. Goodall

JAMES P. GOODALL.- There are some hundreds of men upon our coast whose life experiences embrace as much of romance and adventure as was every told in the pages of Marryat, Irving, or of Smollet. For a full recital of this, we must refer the inquirer to such men as the genial gentleman whose name appears above, that he may in his own home, in the beautiful city of Jacksonville, Oregon, recount as to us the stories of his life upon this coast. He was born at Milledgeville, Georgia, in 1818, and at that city and at Columbus in the same state, and at Montgomery, Alabama, received his education. In 1836-36, while but a youth of seventeen, he began his active career by joining the column under Scott to quiet the Creeks and the Seminole Indians, and, after service there was ended, entered Texas as a revolutionist under Lamar and Houston, serving an active army life from the Sabine to the Rio Grade, and north to the Red River, and the northwest of Texas in the Comanche region. In 1846 the war with Mexico took him with the advance to Wools column to the Mexican borders, to Presidio, Rio Grande, to Monclova, Monterey and other interior towns. At the close of hostilities, having served a whole term, and having experienced several skirmishes and action, he performed an overland trip...

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Long, Sue Weaver Stevenson Compton Mrs. – Obituary

Rock Creek, Baker County, Oregon Sue Stevenson Compton Long, 70, who lived a good deal of her life in the Rock Creek area, died Jan. 3, 2006, at La Grande. Friends are invited to a celebration of life service for Sue at 12:30 p.m. Friday at 14101 Launchpad Lane. There will be a private graveside service at 11 a.m. Friday at the Rock Creek Cemetery. The third of three children, she was born on May 31, 1935, at Yreka, Calif., to Amos and Zelna Weaver. Sue attended 28 different grade schools in California and Oregon, while growing up. She earned her GED at age 41 at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton. Sue married Phil Stevenson in 1950. She worked at various jobs in the Pendleton/Hermiston area, eventually purchasing a clothing store and worked as a freelance journalist. Sue loved animals, knitting, photography, writing, and storytelling. She adored her family and enjoyed a multitude of friends. Survivors include two sons and daughter: Philip R. Stevenson of Haines, Joseph D. Stevenson of Baker City and Debby Sue Stevenson-Hamby of Pendleton; six grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; and a brother, Jack. Memorial contributions may be made to Best Friends of Baker, a nonprofit animal rescue organization, through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814. Used with permission...

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