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 and returned to the Grande Ronde valley. He here occupied a claim at Oro Dell, a mile west of La Grande, and in the intervals of his homesteading mined to good advantage on the John Day river, and engaged in freighting and teaming across the Blue Mountains from Umatilla to Idaho and all the north country. Later he took a claim three-quarters of a mile north of Old La Grande, upon which the new town stands. This was incorporated in 1884, embracing also the old place; and the two together have now some sixteen hundred people. Of this city Mr. Grandy was mayor without opposition in 1886, and again in 1888. He is one of the wealthy men of the place. His first home occupation was keeping a dairy; and this he had continued to the present time. He was married in 1865 to Miss Lydia Palmer, daughter of Robert H. Palmer, a pioneer of 1864. They have eight children, – William D., Katie, Mabel, Josie, Benjamin, Robert, Nellie and Charles. In one respect Mr. Grandy’s career has been remarkable, and, as all will regard it, highly commendable. In all his teaming to Idaho, and in traversing the Northwest, he had no difficulty whatever with Indians.