FRANK HEMPE. – While the subject of this sketch has not resided in the valley of the Grande Ronde as long as some of the earlier pioneers, still the length of time that he has domiciled here has beensufficient to demonstrate his ability to take rank with the leading agriculturists of the county, both because he has gained one of the largest farms in the county and because he is by his skill and industry capable of producing excellent returns in crops, while his demeanor has been such as to win the confidence and respect of all who have had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with him.
In Monroe county, Illinois, our subject was born on December 6, 1854, being the son of Joseph and Barbara (Shifferdecker), agriculturists of that section. The father died in 1899 and the mother in 1873. Our subject was trained in the public schools of the county of his birth and there he remained in industry with his father and also in operating a farm for himself until 1887, when he took a journey to the Mississippi valley about forty-five miles south from St. Louis. He was engaged in producing the fruits of the field for four years also operated a steamboat landing during the same time. In 1893 he was enamored of the west from the reports that had come to his ears, and accordingly, he came hither, landing in the Grande Ronde valley ready to seek a home and become one of the builders of the county. His first purchase was one half section of land three and one-half miles northwest from Union. He settled to general farming and soon took as a partner his brother, Anton b. Hempe. They have added to the original purchase until their estate is of the generous dimensions of seventeen hundred and twenty acres. Much of this is utilized for pasture, while one half section is put under tribute to produce the cereals and five acres are devoted to orchard, principally Italian prunes. They also handle considerable stock of the ordinary breeds.
Mr. Hempe was married to Miss Caroline, daughter of Matthew and Catherine (Klein) Kalmer, in Illinois, in the year of 1883. They have become the parents of five children. George, Idah, Sylvester, Mary, Agnes, all at home. The people have chosen Mr. Hempe as director in the district that he asisted to organize, number 72, to which he also has donated land for a school house site. He has also operated as road supervisor, in all of which public service he has made a commendable record. Fraternally he is associated with the Red Men, Tribe No. 22, of Union. In religious persuasion the family are affiliated with the Roman Catholic church at Lagrande, in which relation as everywhere. Mr. Hempe is highly esteemed by all, and meriting by honorable life the confidence that is reposed in him by his fellows.