HON. HENRY RINEHART. – The retiring registrar of the United States land-office at La Grande, Oregon, is one of the representative men of the state, having come hither from Iowa in 1854, his native state, however, being Illinois, and the time of his birth 1842.
His first home in Oregon was in Lane county, near Eugene, where his father, Lewis Rinehart, settled on a Donation claim; and it was there that he received a liberal education.
In 1861 he seized the opportunities presented in the Inland Empire, spent the year 1861 at Walla Walla, and in 1862 crossed over the mountains to the Grande Ronde. The trip was made in April, and snow was still five and six feet deep on the Blue Mountain Pass. Continuing the journey to the mines of Powder river, then but recently discovered by Captain Stafford and company, he remained the summer through, mining and prospecting. Returning in the autumn to the Grande Ronde, he choose that delightful valley for his future home, and has there remained to the present time.
He has interested himself in various business enterprises, and has been blessed with good fortune in each. In 1863 he was ranching and freighting, in 1864-65 driving beef cattle to the Eastern Oregon and Idaho markets, and from 1866 to 1868 was interested in merchandising, together with milling and freighting, at Summerville. Thenceforth, until 1886, he was operating with stock and in mercantile affairs. It was in that year that he was appointed registrar of the land-office, and filled the position with great acceptance to the community.
In public affairs Mr. Rinehart has ever been highly esteemed, and as early as 1868 was elected as representative from Union county to the Oregon legislature, being at the time the youngest member in that body.
In 1865 he was married to Miss Margaret A. Martin, and has two daughters, Nellie and Bertha, and two sons, Eugene and Clay..