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It is hardly probable that in a humble sketch, as is this article, there could real justice be done the life of a worthy pioneer as is he whose name is at the beginning of the paragraph, for what page has yet pictured as it is the life of a pioneer? Hardships that are more trying than can be described, dangers on every hand that those living in the security of a civilized community can not understand, self-denials at every turn, and labors without respite, all of these endured and much more besides, fell to the lot of the brave man who faced the west in the early sixties and made this country what it is today. James W. Childers was a man who took his full share in this arduous work and to him it is just that there should be accorded proper representation in the work that gives his county’s history, and also, too, because of his own excellent personal characteristics of capabilities and moral worth.
On October 24, 1848, near Memphis, Scotland County, Missouri, James W. was born to James L. and Mary J. (McDowell) Childers. The father enlisted in Price’s army and served eighteen months, being honorably discharged at the close of that period. In 1865 the family came across the plains, settling in Union county, one and one-half miles northwest from Summerville. The father lived on that farm for thirty years, till the time of his death, which occurred on November 1, 1896. The mother died in Summerville on April 21, 1901. Our subject lived with his father until his marriage, which occurred on June 5, 1870. Miss Emma J., daughter of John Q. A. and Louisa (Stout) Tice, then becoming his wife. Mrs. Tice came to Marion County in 1843 from Iowa, being the second train that wound its way across the dreary plains, and much trouble was experienced with the savages. Mr. Tice was a native of New Jersey and came by the ocean to Portland in 1845.
To our subject and his estimable wife there have been born seven children: Charles L., deceased; Clara A., wife of John Rhodes, of Elgin; Lillie M., wife of William Ikle, of New York City; William F., married to Cora Morelock of Leap; Dora E., wife of Frederick Becker, of Elgin; Albert L.; Amos E. Mr. and Mrs. Ikle are now on a tour through Europe. Mr. Ikle is a wealthy Swiss manufacturer, whose interests are at Gaull, in Switzerland, he being a prominent man of his country.
Mr. and Mrs. Childers lived on their farm near Summerville until 1892, then moved to Elgin, on a farm, afterward moving into the town, and in 1899 he came to his present place of two hundred and eighty acres, two and on-half miles southeast from Leap. His farm is well improved and tilled and is a valuable place. He also handles considerable stock. Mr. Childers is a charter member of the I. O. O. F., Wallowa Lodge, No. 154, and he also affiliates with the Masons. He is one of the earliest pioneers of the Grande Ronde valley and there, as well as here, he has always labored for the advancement of the country and the interest of the people, while also he has labored assiduously for the cause of education and constantly for better facilities for this worthy work, and in all of his relations he has demeaned himself as a man of uprightness, probity and sincerity, coupled with ability and integrity.