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Biography of Hon. J. H. Rinehart

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HON.J.H. RINEHART. – Mr. Rinehart, whose portrait appears in this volume, is one of the pioneers of Eastern Oregon, and the proprietor of the Mammoth Anna-Lulu Flouring mills. He was born October 1, 1836, in Adams county, Illinois, and moved to Mahaska county, Iowa, in 1845. In 1854 he crossed the plains with his parents to Oregon and located with them at Eugene. In 1855 he left the parental roof and, although but a boy of eighteen, sought the gold fields of Northern California, where he remained a year and a half, and returned to Oregon soon after the close of the Indian war in July, 1856.

In July, 1862, he arrived with two of his brothers in the Grande Ronde valley, and struck camp at a point where now stands the flourishing city of La Grande. The valley then had no town nor postoffice, the nearest places being Walla Walla and The Dalles. The valley at that time was wholly unsettled, and was covered with tall bunch-grass. The young settler located on unsurveyed land near Summerville, Oregon, and in that vicinity has resided for over twenty-six years. The first four years he was chiefly engaged in stock-raising and farming, and in 1866 undertook the flouring-mill business, and still clings to it, having become the principal proprietor in the Anna-Lulu roller mills at Summerville.

Mr. Rinehart is the father of Doctor Willard E. Rinehart of Portland, Oregon and of H.C. Rinehart, cashier of the Farmers’ Mortgage and Savings Bank of Summerville. He has two daughters, Anna and Lulu; and from the combination of these two names was formed the present appellation of his roller mills.

Although having been among the wild savages of the Northwest, Mr. Rinehart has escaped all serious difficulty with them, and has no marks or scars inflicted upon his person by their arrows or tomahawks. He is one of a family of thirteen children, all of whom were born and raised on the frontier; and all but one sister having crossed the plains to Oregon. He never saw a railroad until he was twenty-six years old.

He has been intrusted with public duties, having been elected in the fall of 1878 to the state legislature on the Democratic ticket. Not only a firm Democrat, he is also a sterling temperance man. In December, 1885, he established a bank at Summerville, and is a large owner of real estate, having some thirteen hundred acres to his name. He also has a band of two hundred and seventy-five horses now ranging on Eastern Oregon bunch-grass. With marked business sagacity, he is not without fine sentiment, and is one of those better citizens in whom we see the hope of future progress and development for the state.

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