JOHN R. LADD. – The stories told to the children of the generation hence of the abundance of gold and the immense profits of the early pioneers will fire their imaginations and set them on wild, and perhaps profitable, trips to the Andes or to Alaska.
Mr. Ladd’s career will be thus exciting to his descendants, and to all who see this sketch. He was born in the Empire state in 1838. He came to California with his father in 1852, but returning East married Miss Rachel Knapp in Illinois. Here might be mentioned as a remarkable coincidence, that Mrs. Ladd was born on October 7th and Mr. Ladd on October 25th. They were married October 12th; and Mr. Ladd died October 14th.
In 1862 he set forth to the Salmon river mines, but turning aside from the road came on and made a home at Ladd’s cañon in the Grande Ronde. Here they built a cabin, and being on the direct route to the mines kept a hotel, feeding sometimes a hundred men at a meal, and taking the usual price of a dollar each. The year 1865 was spent in Walla Walla; but, returning to their old home in the shadow of the Blue Mountains, Mr. Ladd followed freighting about five years, after which he engaged in farming and stock-raising.
In 1867 he bought one hundred and sixty acres of land for three thousand dollars, which one freighting trip to Idaho paid for, and took one hundred and sixty more of government land. In 1877 he put on a stage line from Wallowa to Grande Ronde, and in after years owned several other stage lines in other East-of-the-Mountains regions.
His real estate had increased by 1887 to forty-five hundred acres, all in the valley. His business more recently was conducting a livery stable, stock-raising and handling large flocks of sheep. In addition to his interests there, he had large town property in La Grande and Pendleton.
His death occurred in 1887. He has been mourned not only by his family; but his loss is deplored by all the citizens of the place. His widow is still living at his late home in Island City, Oregon, and has the care of his estate. His daughter Eva is the wife of M.D. Andross of Island City; and his son, C.W. Ladd, is a stock-raiser and farmer of the Grande Ronde.