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If there is one person more than another to whom the race loves to do honor that person is the pioneer, and especially is this true in double measure when we find one of the character of the worthy subject of this sketch, who has endured all the deprivations incident to pioneer life in this country since the early days of the last century and has through it all maintained a good physique, held his powers intact while accomplishing Herculean achievements, built a character which is a light to any community, kept his reputation untarnished and steadily pursued his way for nearly one hundred years. We doubt not that one might hunt the state of Oregon over and not find another who has a record to compare with Mr. akin to whom we do with pleasure accord a space in this history of Wallowa County and we would gladly, were it in our power, outline in more complete detail his most interesting career.
On March 23, 1812, the year in which British cannons were silenced forever on Independence soil, the subject of this sketch opened his eyes to the light in Chenango County, New York, and began a career that has shown as a light in the rolling of two centuries. His parents were Loton and Sarah Akin. When Chancy was twelve years of age he went to Crawford County, Pennsylvania, that being the frontier in those days. Early he learned the life of the frontiersman, and steadily he has pursued it since. From Pennsylvania he went to Illinois, landing in Boone County, and thence he went in 1844, to Kane County. In 1832 Mr. Akin enlisted in the Black Hawk war and did good military service there. He participated in the battle of Kishwauke and in numerous skirmishes. In 1832 he assisted to erect the first log cabin on the site of Chicago. After the close of the war he was honorably discharged and then removed to Iowa, and then to Nebraska in 1857, and then to Lane County, Oregon in 1872, to Lagrande in 1876 and to Wallowa in 1880. Thus he has been a pioneer from the Atlantic slope to the Pacific and in all of the various regions his hand has been firm in developing labor and in faithful endeavor for the advancement of civilization.
On November 9, 1836 Mr. Akin married Miss Laney Golden, in Crawford County, Pennsylvania. She was born in Chanango, County, New York, on May 9 1816. To this happy marriage there were born the following children, Carlton D., William C., Aaron H., Catharine A., Mary E. All are married. When the 1888-mile post was reached on March 25, Mrs. Akin was called from her companion with whom she had shared the joys and toils for over one-half a century and she entered upon the rewards awaiting in another world. This death occurred in Wallowa County, and peacefully sleep the remains in this far away western land. Mr. Akin is strong and hearty now in his ninety-first year, being a good penman, and an excellent shot with a rifle. He has been a great hunter all of his days and many an exciting chase has he taken and still he enjoys a good hunting expedition as of yore. At the present time, Mr. Akin is living with his oldest son, Carlton D. he is hale and hearty and preserves intact his physical powers. Mr. akin is doubtless the oldest man in the county and we are pleased to grant to him this review in the history, and desire also to state that in every respect he has won the full confidence and warm esteem with which he is held by all who have the pleasure of his acquaintance.