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BENJAMIN S. HALLEY, Deceased. – While we place within this volume the reviews of the leading men of the county, we would be rightly charged with incompleteness were there failure to incorporate a meoir of the esteemed pioneer and faithful and capable citizenof Union county for many years and who wrought within its precincts during the time of his sojourn here with assiduity and display of sagacity so evident that all were convinced of his ability, while his moral qualities and excellent uprightness and integrity, were concommitant virtues to his capabilities, and the time of his demise was attended with sincere and widespread mourning among all classes.
Mr. Halley was born in Macon county, Missouri, on December 12, 1835, being the son of James and Ellen (Fisher) Halley, natives of Kentucky. The father passed the river of death while still in Missouri and the mother was called hence from Grande Ronde valley, the latter occuring in 1892. Our subject bought a farm in Missouri when he had reached hismajority and there was numbered among the successful agriculturists until 1864, in which year he took up the weary journey across the plains, utilizing mule teams for the trip and driving his stock with him. He landed in the Grande Ronde valley in good time and with attending Providence and he immediately took up a homestead three miles north from Island City and set himself to building a home from the wild land. He was attended with abundant success and his real estate holdings increased as the years went by until he had at the time of his death five hundred acres of good land. Twenty-five acres are used for meadow, twenty-five for pasture and the balance is brought under tribute to produce abundant crops of the cereals each year. In addition to this industry he also raised considerable stock, handling thoroughbred sheep and horses. In 1878 he went to Wallowa county and inaugurated action on a sheep ranch, adding also cattle and horses. The venture was a success, but in 1882, however, he returned to his ranch in Union county. Mr. Halley was always striving for the welfare of the county and took the part of the intelligent citizen in politics.
In 1854 Mr. Halley married Elizabeth, daughter of Richard and Mary Halley, natives of Kentucky, and to this happy union there were born five children, as follows: Robert, in Wallowa; Belle, wife of James McAlister: Edward, at home: Press, in Eagle Valley: and Page.
In 1873 Mr. Halley contracted a second marriage, the lady of his choice at that time being Miss Kate, a daughter of David and Sarah (Shook) Henderson, farmers. On October 23,1898, Mr. Halley was called by the messenger of death and a loving family were bereaved of a faithful husband and noble father.