Collection: An Illustrated History of Baker Grant Malheur and Harney Counties Oregon

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...

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Biographical Sketch of James T. Davis

One of the worthy pioneers of this County, a man of ability and executive force and unswerving integrity, the subject of this sketch is now one of the leading citizens of Nyssa, and a prominent man in Malheur County. He lives one mile northwest from the town of Nyssa, having a ‘farm of one hundred and twenty acres, well improved and handled in a skillful manner, which is a good dividend producer. James T. was born in Unionville, Putnam County, Missouri, on October 25, 185o, being the son of Hamilton and Saline Davis. In 1862, the father and the oldest son came across the plains with ox teams and in 1865, our subject and his mother came the same journey with horse teams. They both made the trip without serious accident and when the mother arrived in Boise, the father was there to meet them and the reunited family made their way to the Willamette valley where they settled in Polk County. Four years later, they removed from that place to Umatilla County and in 1874, our subject went from the home in that County to Boise valley, Idaho, and later re-turned to his people, who had in the meantime migrated to Baker City. The reports which he brought from the Boise valley caused all to move there and engage in raising stock. Our subject went thence to Emmett,...

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Biography of Hon. Ransom Beers

Hon. Ransom Beers is one of the oldest pioneers of this section and a man of enterprise and energy, having wrought in all the arduous and trying occupations of the frontier life, being eminently successful in them all, as well as having done much here for the up building of the County, while his life of uprightness and integrity, with manifestation of sound principles, has commended him to the confidence and esteem of all who have the pleasure of knowing him. The birth of our subject occurred in Ohio, near Columbus, on March 27, 1831, and his parents were Conrad and Jemima (Zin) Beers. He was reared on a farm and received his education in the primitive log schoolhouse of that section. At the early age of ten, his mother died and he knew the sorrows of that sad event mingled with his boyhood days. Until the fall of 1852 he remained with his father, and then he removed to Henry County, Iowa, and the following spring set out across the plains in a train of twelve wagons to California. Four months later he was digging gold in Placerville, having completed the trip without special incident. Eleven years were spent in that section in mining and success crowned his efforts. Then, in the spring of 1864, he went by ship to Portland, and thence to Mormon basin, where he...

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Biography of Cassius H. Brown

It is very acceptable to have the privilege of giving in epitome the salient points of the career of the esteemed gentleman whose name is at the head of this article. Mr. Brown, familiarly known as Judge Brown is one of the pioneers of this County and has always been much interested in its welfare, prominent in politics, a leader in the advancement of the cause of education, a prominent citizen and property owner and a large hearted, genial, upright, capable, and talented American citizen. The birth of Cassius H. was on December 27, 1852, in a log cabin in Mt. Hope, McLean County, Illinois, being the son of George W. and Eleanor (Kenyon) Brown. This was in the Mt. Hope colony and the father enlisted in Company A, One Hundred and Seventeenth Illinois Infantry, being second lieutenant under General A. F. Smith. He participated in the battles at Nashville and Belmont and in many skirmishes. But just before Sherman started to the sea, the elder Brown W. as taken with pneumonia and died at Pulaski, Tennessee. His enlistment was on July 12, 1862. In 1869 our subject, after having gained a good education in the common schools, went to Henry County, Illinois, and in the fall of the following year he went to Iowa, but soon returned to Henry County. In February, 1873, he came to Plumas County,...

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Biographical Sketch of Albert J. Shea

While the older members of the pioneer staff are retiring one by one, it is pleasant to note that there are younger men of courage and enterprise to take up the worthy labors of these estimable men, who opened this country for settlement, and to prosecute them with an untiring zeal and a sagacity that is sure to win in the battle of life. Among this wide awake class, we are con-strained to mention the subject of this article, who has made a name and place for himself in the ranks of the leading stockmen of Malheur County, being justly entitled to the position he holds, because of his merit and worth, and because of his brilliant achievements. Albert Shea was born in Owyhee County, Idaho, on February 4, 1872, being the son of Cornelius Shea, the well and widely known stockman of this country. The senior Mr. Shea was one of the heaviest stock owners west of the Rockies and one of the keenest and most energetic operators that ever handled cattle. He sold out his immense herds in 1897, and is now living with his family in San Francisco. He is a native of Canada and came to this section in 1867. Reverting more particularly to our subject, we note that he was educated in San Francisco and also on the farm and in the saddle in...

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Biographical Sketch of William M. Mangin

The subject of this article is one of the oldest pioneers of Jordan Valley, a man of ability and worth. one who has wrought here with assiduity and sagacity since the early days, is now recognized as one of the prominent men of the County, has ever maintained an unsullied reputation and manifested a stanch character of uprightness and integrity, and in business circles has won a success that is a credit to any man, therefore he is deserving of a prominent posit don in the history of his County and it is with pleasure that we accord him such at this time. William Mangin was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on March 16, 183o, being the son of James and Elizabeth Mangin, natives of Ireland and Nova Scotia respectively. Our subject received his education at his native place and at the early age of sixteen years he embarked on the schooner, Boston, which went to Newfoundland to load with codfish for Gibraltar; thence to Madrid where they loaded with fruit and wine for America. Returning to Boston, he then went to Mobile for a load of cotton, then transferred, after a summer spent on the bay, to another ship, the Dublin, and went with a cargo of cotton to Liverpool. Returning to New York, he made another trip to Liverpool, then made several trips to foreign countries, as West...

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Biography of William P. Beers

To the esteemed and distinguished gentleman and worthy pioneer, whose name initiates this paragraph, it is fitting that a consideration be granted in the history of Malheur County, since he, perhaps more than any other one man, has been instrumental in making the County what it is today, and also in the development of the other sections adjacent. Mr. Beers has done the lion’s share, and in all this excellent labor and the achievements of his brain and hand, there have ever been manifested noble qualities of the typical man, and the courageous and intrepid pioneer, while his masterful ability has always placed him as leader among his fellows and rightly, ton, for success has always been the result of his keen perception, sagacity, and assiduity. William T. Beers was born in Wayne County, Indiana, on August 18, 1842, being the son of enterprising and leading parents. The family came to Burlington. Iowa, when our subject was quite young and eight years later they removed to Scott County, and three years subsequent to that we find him in Decatur County. In these various places William P. was educated and when the call came in 1862 for the loyal hearts to take up the cause of their country, young Beers was one of the first to press to the post of duty and he en-listed in the Thirteenth Missouri Calvary...

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Biographical Sketch of James C. Ford

This well known and enterprising stockman has been a man of frontier life, spending his days since a lad in the various pursuits incident to pioneering, and especially has he been occupied in raising and handling stick, being one of the best posted and most skillful stock men in this County of stock men, and abundant success has been his since he has inaugurated action for himself. Mr. Ford was born in Arkansas, October 15, 1856, being the son of William Ford. His mother died when he was an infant and he was taken by his father to Tennessee and when the war broke out, the father sent this son to friends in Illinois and joined the ranks to fight for the Union. At the close of the war the father died and our subject was left an orphan. He was filled with determination and courage and soon we find him in Texas, riding the range and becoming familiar with the hardships of the cowboy and all the lore of handling and breeding cattle successfully. He worked for the noted Chisum Company and made several drives from Texas and Mexico to the north. It was 1879 when he came to this country. He was engaged first with Ryan & Lang. driving cattle for three years to Montana after which he made a drive for Mayberry from The Dalles to...

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Biographical Sketch of Richard H. Hart

This capable and enterprising stock man and farmer of the vicinity of Jordan Valley is one of the substantial men of Malheur County, and is numbered with the earliest pioneers who broke sod in this section, and it is to his credit that he has constantly labored for the welfare of the country and its up building in a worthy manner ever since that time. Mr. Hart was born in Indiana, on April 18, 1849, the son of John K. and Eliza Hart. When he was one rear of age, his parents removed to Iowa and there he received his education and remained until he had reached his majority. 1871 was the (late when he came to Malheur County and located a preemption where his estate is now located, being one-half mile west from the village of Jordan Valley. He now has one of the tine estates of the County, well improved and producing abundant dividends annually. In addition to this generous holding he has eight hundred and forty acres of land on Cow creek. Mr. Hart has two hundred horses, and as many cattle and is one of the leaders in the realm of raising stock, being both expert and progressive in this work. He was here during the Indian outbreak in 1878 and rendered excellent service for the country, acting as scout and bearer of messages. Also...

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Biography of Hon. Isaiah W. Hope

Hon. Isaiah W. Hope is one of the most prominent men in Malheur County today, and he has been a leader here for many years, having started in the mercantile business with his brother in an early day and building up one of the mammoth establishments of the west, while also in many lines of industry he has brought the fine talent of which he is possessed into play with the gratifying result that he has achieved a general round of success in the realm of merchant, general developer of the country, organizer of the Vale Commercial Company, promoter of various leading industries of the County, banker, and representative of his County in the state legislature, in which latter position he has the distinction of being the only man who has received a second term at the hands of the people; thus it is seen that Mr. Hope is deserving of a prominent mention in the history of Malheur County, where he stands esteemed by all both for his work and for his own intrinsic worth. Isaiah W. was born in Brookville, Vernon County, Wisconsin, September 28, 1861, being the son of George W. and Emeline (Williams) Hope. His father was one of the martyrs of the Civil war, enlisting in the Twenty-fifth Wisconsin Volunteers in the spring of 1862 He was under Sherman in the siege of Vicksburg,...

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Biographical Sketch of Charles Smith

This worthy pioneer and substantial citizen of Malheur County, is deserving of a place in any compilation that purports to give the history of this section, since his labors have been here for many years toward the development and progress of the country, and since he is a man of ability and has achieved a goodly success as the reward of his labors and thrift. Mr. Smith was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on October 18, 1835, being the son of John and Susan Smith. At the age of eight he went with his parents to Illinois and there remained until 1854, when he came across the plains with his brothers, in an ox train, to Siskiyou County, California, and there engaged in mining. He made some good discoveries and later, 1858, went to the Cariboo mines at the time of the Fraser river excitement, whence he returned to Portland, then to Salem, and there followed his trade of brick mason. In 1878 he removed to Jackson County and remained three years and then vent to Mugginsville, California, where he mined until 188o. The next year he came to Malheur County, and located the place where he now lives as a homestead, ten miles northwest from Rockville, and devoted himself to farming and stock raising. His place is under the irrigating ditch and well improved and he has a good...

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Biography of Milton G. Hope

It is with pleasure that we are enabled to incorporate in the volume of the history of the County of Malheur an epitome of the career of the estimable gentleman, careful and capable business man, and sturdy pioneer of this section, since he is a man of ability, has shown commendable zeal in the development of the country, has gained’ a handsome holding in this County, is a man of sound principles, and well known for integrity and uprightness. The birth of Mr. Hope occurred in Brookville, Vernon County, Wisconsin, on August 31, 1859 his parents being George W. and Emeline (Williams) Hope. The account of the father’s noble service in the war of the rebellion, the mother’s moves to Kansas and so forth, are mentioned in another portion of this work and need not he repeated here. Our subject was educated in the common schools and later took a course in the Institute at Atchison, Kansas. He went with his mother to Kansas, Brown County, in 187o, in 1873, went to Norton County, and in 188o he went to Colorado, and the following year, his brother, Isaiah, mention of whom is made in this book, came and they went into partnership, in which they have continued since. In 1882 they came to Wood River, Idaho, and the next year they came to Malheur County, each entering a homestead...

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Biography of Joshua L. Cole

As one of the real builders of Malheur County, being a pioneer of the west in a very early day, the subject of this sketch is justly entitled to consideration in the volume of history now being made and it is with pleasure that eye are enabled to recount some of the items of a long and useful career, wherein he has always been a prominent figure in the progress of the County, the welfare of his fellows and in the prosecution of the business in his hand. At the present time Mr. Cole is the president of the first bank of Vale, being an incorporated state bank, with a capital of fifty thousands dollars and half that amount paid up. Mr. Cole was born in Ripley County, Indiana on March 29, 1832, being the son of William and Sarah J. (Clark) Cole. The father was a native of Virginia, but was taken to Kentucky in a very early day before even any wagon roads were made in that state. There he was raised and married and his first four children were horn there also. He went thence to Indiana, and in 1858 he migrated to Minnesota in which place he died in T862. The mother was a native of Maryland and died in Iowa in 1842. Our subject was reared on a farm, received a common school education...

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Biographical Sketch of William Parks

One of the oldest pioneers of Malheur County and a man of excellent capabilities, being possessed of practical ability and judgment, and a keen discrimination that have made him a very successful business man and one of the leaders in the realm of finance in this section, the subject of this article is abundantly worthy of recognition and especial mention among the prominent men of Malheur County and this portion of Oregon, being also a man of worth and personal virtues. Mr. Parks was born in Brooklyn, New York, on June 7, 1845, being the son of Abraham and Jane Eliza (Vanderhoof) Parks. He was deprived of his mother when an infant but received his education and grew to manhood in his native place. It was in 1859 that he crossed the plains to California, locating in Eldorado County where he engaged in farming until 1864. Then he came to Silver City, Idaho and there took up mining until 1871, when he made his way to Jordan valley, now in Malheur County. He at once took a homestead and gave his attention to farming and stock raising. He was successful in that line and now he owns four hundred acres of fine, well improved and irrigated land adjoining the town of Jordan Valley. He has fine buildings and a large hand of cattle. In 1895 Mr. Parks engaged in...

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Biography of Garrison G. Gray

To the prominent and esteemed citizen of Malheur County whose name appears above we grant a representation in the history of the County, since he is today one of the leading men domiciled here, has always labored for the up building of the County, is a man of integrity and uprightness, and receives the commendation of his fellows. Mr. Gray’s grandfather, John Gray, was said to be the last living soldier from the Revolution. He was a drummer boy at Bunker Hill and saw his father fall, then seized his sire’s musket and fought until the struggle closed. He worked for General Washington after the war. He died near Hiramsburg, Noble County, Ohio, in March, 1868, lacking only two months of being one hundred and five years of age. His stepdaughter, Mrs. Nancy Thomas, is now living at the age of ninety years on the farm adjoining that old homestead. Our subject was born, in Noble County, Ohio, February 23, 1830, being the son of Isaac and Elizabeth (Gorby) Gray. When five years of age he was taken with his parents to Athens County, and the following year, 1836, his mother died. In 1839 he went with his father to Jones County, Iowa, thence to Linn County and then to Cedar County, in which last place, at the age of eleven, he attended his first term of school. The...

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