Biography of D. A. McAllister
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D.A. McALLISTER. – Mr. McAllister is a pioneer among the horse-breeders of Eastern Oregon, and has animals in his band of three hundred easily worth four thousand dollars each. He sells colts at from five hundred to six hundred dollars each. It is not always noted, but it is nevertheless a fact, that the value and service of stock of all kinds ins multiplied rather by improving the quality of the animals than by increasing the number of those of inferior grade. In one particular Mr. McAllister is peculiar among horsemen. He despises gambling, and trots or runs only for establishing the reputation of his stock. He has a mare, Leona, that trots a mile in 2:23, and a horse, Blond, which covers the same ground in 2:42, at two years old. The three-year-old Baymont is surprisingly fast; and Centershot of his stable has a wide reputation among horse-fanciers. His animals are Mambrino Chiefs, Hambeltonians, Almonts and Pilot Juniors, – all trotters, and from the best Kentucky strains. His start in this line was made in 1869 by bringing eight animals from the Bluegrass state to the Blue Mountains of Oregon.
His ranch is one of the finest in the Grande Ronde, is situated three miles east of La Grande, Oregon, and contains six hundred and eighty acres. The climate, feed, etc., of this section is well adapted to producing a wiry, nervy and intelligent horse.
Mr. McAllister came to this country in 1862, and is of a frontiersman’s family of Illinois. In crossing the plains he experienced more or less trouble with the Indians, but escaped with only a few brushes. George Geckler, Samuel Williamson and George Harpool, now residents of this region, were of his party, of which Joseph Yount was captain. His uncle, Harvey McAllister, was also in the immigration, and brought some fine stock, of which our subject was drover. His first work was with this uncle in the performance of odd jobs; and it was not until 1867 that he began ranching on his own account with stock purchased with his earnings.
His wife, Nancy Moe, in every way his compeer, is the daughter of Peter Moe, a pioneer of 1864 from Michigan. They have nine children, – Frank, Allison, Mollie, Lulu, Charles, Cleveland, Melvina, William, Reese and Ada.
Mr. McAllister showed his courage in 1878, during the Indian scare, by refusing to go to the fort. He is one of the men to whom the state looks for its energy and capacity for improvement.