Biography of Hon. J.R. Blakaby
Malheur County can boast of many distinguished pioneers who have made brilliant success in both the financial world and in the political realm, and one of the prominent men of this influential number is the gentleman whose name is at the head of this article, and who stands as one of the real builders of the County and is also one of the largest general merchandise operators within her borders at the present time, his store being located in Jordan Valley.
Mr. Blackaby was born in Iowa, on April 12, 1861, being the son of Bernard and Emeline Blackaby. There he grew to manhood and there also he received his primary education, completing the same when he graduated from the college in Keokuk, Iowa. That was in 188o, and immediately he came west. locating in this County and engaged in farming and teaching school. Three years were spent in the work of the educator and four as deputy clerk of the County and four years he served as postmaster in Jordan Valley. In 1898 the people recognizing his abilities, rewarded him with a term in the state legislature, where he did excellent work, serving on important committees and taking part in beneficial legislation for the entire state. Eighteen hundred and ninety-one was the year when he embarked on the mercantile sea and now he has one of the largest stocks of goods in the entire County and he is the recipient of a large patronage, drawn to his stores by his deferential treatment of all customers and his care of the interests of those who trade with him. He carries a well assorted stock and one can get anything that is in the realm of general merchandise and be assured that it is the best; and when once a person becomes a customer of Mr. Blackaby he is sure to remain. Mr. Blackaby is one of the organizers of the Bank of Ontario of Ontario, Oregon, and is now and has been since its establishment its vice-president. He is one of the financiers of the County and has demonstrated his ability in a worthy manner.
The marriage of Mr. Blackaby and Miss Mary J. Bauch, a native of Van Buren County, Iowa, was solemnized in that County on October 11, 1882. They have five children, Otto C., Earl, Larue, William J., Jav R. Mr. Blackaby is a member of the I. O. O. F., Jordan Valley Lodge No. 158, and of the K. O. T. M. Mr. Blackaby, by reason of real worth and the merits of his achievements, is counted one of the most influential and prominent citizens of the County and he is also one of the men always arrayed on the side of advancement and progress.