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It is inherent in the nature of man to esteem and admire that quality in his fellows which leads in spite of obstacles and opposition on to brilliant success; and especially is it manifested when the party who achieves the victory is possessed of those manly characteristics, that are so charming in a leader in any line of achievement. That the subject of this sketch is one who has gained the distinction of which we have spoken; there is no doubt to any one who is acquainted with his career. Working at a trade in the industrial world, wherein he constantly displayed that thoroughness and ability that denoted the true man of ability, he has also made himself a potent factor in the affairs of his county, has gained a real estate holding that makes him a property king of Wallowa, and in the halls of legislation he has done creditable work on the rostrum as a forensic orator, making his force felt to the various parts of the state, while in the intricate portions of legislation he displayed a masterful ability, keen foresight, and priceless practical judgment, that at once gave him both prestige and eminently fitted him to hold the position of leader and safely care for the interests of his constituency.
C. E. Jennings was born in Astoria, Illinois, in 1858, being the son of Robert and Sarah (Bradley) Jennings. In his native state he was reared and there in childhood he manifested both the vigor and precocity that foreshadowed the brilliant career of the man. In addition to gaining a good education he also made himself skillful in the trade of the miller. He remained at home, observing the sacred precept. “Honor they father and they mother,” until the father was called from the scenes of life’s activities, and then our subject, having arranged the estate for those remaining, started out in the bark that was destined to carry him over life’s sea to a success awaiting him. He came west and settled in Pendleton, there taking up his trade and wrought with wisdom and energy until 1889, and then came to Wallowa County. Here he began to acquire land and operated at general farming and stock raising. He manifested the same keenness of foresight, breadth of comprehension and business sagacity that now characterizes him and soon his real estate holdings increased rapidly, prosperity seemingly being his handmaid. He manifested ability to handle large questions as well as grinding a sack of wheat, and to-day Hon. C.E. Jennings is one of the heaviest real estate holders in the northeastern part of Oregon. He has over one thousand acres of good land, equipage for handling the same and herds and stock in abundance. Recognizing his talents and sagacity, the people of the county determined to profit by his ability and integrity and accordingly sent him to the state legislature in 1897, his name appearing on the Republican ticket. The bright expectations regarding him were more than fulfilled, and he made a record in the halls of legislation that was clear, clean, commendable and brilliant.
In 1891 Mr. Jennings married Miss Edith Hall, a native of Oregon, and to grace this union there have been born the following issue: Shelby, Gettie, Velmo and Anah. Mr. Jennings is a member of the A.O.U.W., the Elks, the K. of P. and is esteemed in all these relations.