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

Biographical Sketch of John S. Edwards

The subject of this article is one of Malheur’s foremost men in the realm of stock raising and agricultural pursuits, which are the wealth of our County, and he has labored in the section since an early day, having the distinction of being one of the first pioneers and real builders of the County. John S. was born near Oskaloosa. Iowa, on November 25, 1849, being the son of Thomas D. and Barbara E. (Rinehart) Edwards. In 1854 the parents came with ox teams in a large train to Lane County, Oregon, passing through the territory of what is now Malheur and Barney Counties. Some stock was stolen on the road, but no other trouble befell them. In Lane County the father entered government land and settled down to farming. Until the spring of 1871 the subject of this sketch lived with his parents and then came to where Vale now stands, there being but one cabin there then. Two years later he came to the vicinity of his present home and engaged in stock business. Mr. Edwards now has about nine hundred acres of land, four hundred of which is fine bottom land and the remainder grazing land. He has the ranch well improved, occupies a fine two-story residence, has good barns and outbuildings, a fine orchard, and also owns a large band of horses and some cattle....

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Biographical Sketch of Henry P. Tietsort

The subject of this article is one of the venerable and capable men of the vicinity of Nyssa, being also a veritable pioneer of the pioneers, of the west having labored with great energy in many portions of the same, and has endured the privations, hardships and suffering incident to this kind of life. Henry P. Tietsort, was born in Cass County Michigan, on October 14, 1829, being the son of John and Angeline (Meyers) Tietsort. The parents were natives of Pennsylvania, but his grandparents came from Germany. Our subject was educated in the common schools of his native place and spent the years of his youth in labor on the farm. In 1859 he went to St. Joseph, Missouri and thence he came across the plains with mule teams, consuming four months in the trip. The train of thirty wagons landed at Red Bluff, California, and he went to freighting for a time and then mined. It was 1864 when he came to Boise Basin, Idaho, and he was also in Baker County, now Malheur, near Malheur City. He mined in various localities in the country, being pretty well over the western country, until 1892, when he located his present place of forty-three acres on the banks of the Snake, three miles southwest from Nyssa. Then there were but one or two houses between his place and Ontario....

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Biographical Sketch of James E. Madden

This well known and representative business man is one of the prominent citizens of Ontario, where he owns and operates a fine, large livery and feed stable having fine and comfortable rigs and good horses, and manifesting a careful supervision for the comfort and safety of his patrons. Mr. Madden was born in Perry County, Ohio on May 31, 1849, being the son of Hezekiah and Mary Madden, natives of Ohio, also. While still a child he was brought by his parents to Putnam county, in the native state, and in 1813 they came thence to Mills county, Iowa. He was reared on a farm, having but limited opportunity to gain educational training, but by dint of hard labor and making the best of the log school house’ privileges, he received his training. In 1874 he came to The Dalles and one year later returned to Iowa, where, in 1876, July 29, he contracted a marriage with Miss L. A. Barnett. They remained there two years on the home place, then bought a farm and tilled it until 1882, in which year he moved to Saunders county, Nebraska, purchased a farm and remained there until 1887. The last year mentioned was the time he migrated to Oregon, locating at Westfall, on Bully creek, Malheur county. He engaged in sheep raising, but later sold them and bought cattle and in...

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Biographical Sketch of Charles D. Davis

This worthy pioneer and capable citizen of Malheur County is one of the well known farmers of the vicinity of Ontario, having a farm of eighty acres two and one-half miles northwest from Ontario which is well improved with comfortable buildings, orchards, etc., having also a good supply of water for irrigating. Mr. Davis is a native of Douglas County, Nebraska, being born on November 23, 1855, and the son of Charles B. and Jane (Platt) Davis. The father was a veteran of the Mexican war, participating in many battles and skirmishes and, being honorably discharged at its close. He was a native of Ohio, but went into the war from Iowa. Following his discharge, he removed with his family to Nebraska and settled in Douglas County. In 1861 he again pressed to the front and served his country, enlisting for a three-years’ period. In 1864 the elder Davis came across the plains with his family, locating in Boise first, when few people were there and bacon cost fifty cents per pound. In 1868 he removed to the vicinity of Malheur City and being a lawyer, he practiced there and in Baker and Eldorado. In Baker City he was called hence by death, in 1875. In 1873 our subject removed to Lower Willow creek and engaged in the stock business. In the spring of 188o he came to the...

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Biographical Sketch of Ebenezer A. Twycross

This worthy pioneer has always manifested the de of the typical frontiersman and he is deserving of much credit for the arduous labors performed and the dangers encountered and the hardships and deprivations endured in the many years wherein he has devoted himself and his energies to the development of the country and making it fit for the abode of mankind, and therefore it is with pleasure that we accord to him consideration in this volume of his County’s history. Mr. Twycross was born in Massachusetts in 1836, being the son of Ebenezer and Mary Twycross natives also of the same state. He was educated in his native place and there remained until he had grown to manhood, when he took up the responsibilities of life for himself and at once engaged in farming, which occupation engrossed his attention until 1870 they year in which he came to the west. He settled first in Silver City, then took a homestead in Pleasant valley which he sold and came to his present location five miles west from, Jordan Valley. The has a fine estate of four hundred and eighty acres of land well improved and fertile. Mr. Twycross gives his energies to farming and stock raising and is one of the leading men of his section, being progressive and enterprising. During the trying times of 1878, when the savages endeavored...

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Biography of Gilbert L. King

It is now our pleasant privilege to recount the items of the career of the prominent and capable gentleman whose name initiates this paragraph, who is to-day one of the leading men in Malheur county, being not only crowned with abundant financial success as the result of his industry and wise management of the resources that came to his hands, but also a man of prominence in educational lines in younger days, and at the present time a fluent public speaker and well informed man of ability and culture. Gilbert L. was born in Jefferson County, New York, on February 9, 1848, being the son of Lorenzo D. and Julia Ann (Schryver) King. While a child he came with his parents to Dodge county, Wisconsin, and grew up there on the frontier, gaining his education at first from the common schools and thorough reading. On February 4, 1864 patriotism stirred young King to offer his services in the Third Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, Company G, being the Twentieth Corps, under Joe Hooker, a part of Sherman’s Army. He participated in the battle of Resaea and in several skirmishes, being wounded in his leg. In July 1865, he was honorably discharged and returned to Wisconsin, thence to Mason county, Illinois, where he taught school for a time. In 1869 he went to Webster City, Iowa and engaged in the grocery business,...

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Biographical Sketch of George W. Smith

Among the substantial and enterprising citizens of Malheur County is to be mentioned the gentleman whose name is at the head of this article. He is a man of uprightness and has labored here with energy and skill for many years in the endeavor to bring this section into a state of development and also to enhance the condition of his own exchequer. Mr. Smith was born in Carter County, Kentucky, on November 16, 1836, being the son of Clayborn and Cloa (Ludi) Smith. He went with his parents to Rudolph County, Arkansas, and soon removed there to Lawrence County, in the same state. At this place both parents died, George being but a small child at the time. Thus early left an orphan, he learned some of the hardships of life and lived in various homes in the neighborhood, where he attended the district school as he had opportunity. He was in Arkansas during the war and many dangers and not a few hardships were his to endure. In 1869 he went to Grayson County, Texas and there followed the art of farming until 1879, at which time he went to Salt Lake City and the following spring he continued his journey to the Salmon River Mines, where he prospected and mined and cut wood until 1884, when he came to his present place, three miles northwest from...

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Biographical Sketch of George A. Hickey

This successful and intelligent stockman resides one-fourth of a mile from Juntura and in company with M. A. Masterson owns a fine quarter of land which they devote to raising hay for cattle of which they have one hundred head, besides other stock. In his walk Mr. Hickey has been up-right, capable, and always on the side of movements and issues which make for advancement and development of the country, being a capable albs worthy man. George A. was born in Arkansas, on March 18, 1864, and there received his education and grew to manhood. It was when he had arrived at the age of twenty that he went west, visiting Colorado first. Thence he migrated to Idaho and later made his way into the John Day country, in this state. He worked for wages there for some time, and then came to Malheur County. He took a preemption four miles west from where he now lives, and later sold it, and bought the estate mentioned above. Mr. Hickey takes an active part in politics as occasion leads, and is well esteemed by all and stands high in the community and wherever he is...

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Biographical Sketch of Edmund A. Fraser

The young and eminently successful gentleman whose name appears above is one of the leading men of Malheur county, being the owner of a controlling interest in the Malheur Mercantile Company, a large general merchandise establishment of Ontario, which does an immense business not only from the country adjacent to Ontario, but also from the interior of Malheur and Harney counties. Our subject was born in Woodstock, Canada, on September 2, 1870, being the son of George and Sarah (Sheperd) Fraser. He attended the common school, and at the age of twelve was ready to enter the Upper Canada College of Toronto, whence he graduated in the spring of 1886. His parents came to Indiana and he came, at the age of eighteen years, to Ontario. April, 1888 was the date of his landing here and he soon was in the employ of Kissel, Shilling & Danielson, of the Oregon Forwarding Company, in the capacity of bookkeeper and clerk. In this position, he performed faithful service until 1900, when he purchased the controlling interest in the R. D. Greer Mercantile Company, changing the name to the Malheur Mercantile Company, which is incorporated. Mr. Fraser is manager and secretary of the company, and they carry a large stock of goods in dry goods, groceries, boots and shoes, hardware, gents furnishings, and in fact in every line which is used in...

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Biography of Alva P. Mack

This enterprising and intelligent gentleman is one of Malheur County’s leading agriculturists, being a man of good ability and possessed of thrift and those talents which make the successful man, which in its full degree he has demonstrated himself to be, for he came to Ontario in 1890 with less than twenty dollars in finances, and by his own endeavors he has amassed a goodly holding of valuable property; his estate of one hundred and twenty acres, which is highly improved and excellently tilled, lies four and one-half miles southwest from Ontario. It is a model rural home, and shows in every detail both the wisdom and the untiring energy and industry of its proprietor. He produces abundance of alfalfa hay each year, has a good band of cattle, a fine orchard, raising also considerable corn, which yields fifty bushels to the acre. The farm has good buildings including outbuildings, a commodious barn and a residence of modern architectural design of nine rooms and kept in a tasty and beautiful manner. In fact everything about the premises or Mr. Mack indicates a wide-awake, careful, yet vigorous man in charge and he is justly entitled to the position of leader in his line of business, which is accorded to him by his friends. Reverting more particularly to the personal history of our subject, we note that he was born in...

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Biography of Robert Van Gilse

The capable and educated gentleman, of whom we now have the privilege of writing, is one of the leading fruit men of the entire northwest, being better fitted, doubtless, than most in this industry in the entire country, for in addition to the practical experience in handling nurseries and fruit farms themselves, he has received from some of the leading horticultural schools of Europe the best theoretical and practical training that is now the privilege of a man to secure. It is with great pleasure, therefore, that we grant space here for an epitome of his interesting career. And it would give us gratification if in brief we were privileged to publish for the benefit of the fruit men of Malheur county, his valuable experience in these lines. We will revert to the personal history of our subject and we note first that in the pure Anglo-Saxon country of Holland is his birth-place. Middleburg is the spot and June 18, 1873, is the date. His parents were J. A. and Mary Van Gilse. The father is editor of one of the most powerful journals of Holland and is a member of the Congressional body of the country, being a leader in those halls as else, in the field of journalism. Our subject attended the common school until twelve years of age at Rotterdam, then entered the Horticultural College at...

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Biographical Sketch of Elbert H. Clinton

Deceased It is true that the worthy pioneers whose familiar figures were seen among us so many years are now one by one passing from these scenes to the rewards of another world and it is eminently proper that such as the subject of this article should be granted a memorial in the volume that chronicles the history of the County where he labored and endured, manifesting always these pleasant virtues and principles that characterize the true and typical man. Elbert H. Clinton was born in New York, in 1834, and ten years later his father’s family came to Wisconsin, whence they went in 1852, to Iowa, and soon thereafter to Sacramento Valley, California. Our subject was in all these journeys, and in 1863 he came to Silver City and thence to Jordan Valley, being one of the very first white men who settled in this vicinity. He took land and went to farming and raising stock, and success from the start attended his industry and wise management of his business. This business occupied him until the time for him to depart the cares and labors of earth. This sad event occurred in January, 1900, and with sincere mourning among a very large circle of friends, this worthy pioneer and good man was consigned to his last resting place. he was a man of energy, and always manifested great...

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Biography of Thomas C. Fletcher

One of the earliest pioneers of this region of the country, a man whose life has always been dominated by wisdom prudence and upright principles,. having ever manifested also stanch virtues and a reliability that are becoming a good citizen and faithful man, the subject of this article is vie of the leading men of Malheur County, and a prominent resident of Ontario. Thomas C. was born in Mercer County, Kentucky, on October 11, 1841, being the son of Jewett and Elizabeth Fletcher. When our subject was six years of age he had the misfortune to lose his father and he was soon thereafter taken by his mother to Lee County, Iowa, near Ft. Madison where he was reared on a farm attend the Common schools for his education. In the fall of 1861 when the stirring call came for men to defend the nation’s honor and save her from the assault of treason’s bards, he promptly enlisted in Company G Fourth Iowa Calvalry as bugler and was under General Curtis. Several skirmishes were participated in Missouri and then he was transferred to Sherman’s army Sixteenth Corps, being immediately under% 9A. J. Smith. He was in siege of Vicksburg and on account of sickness was sent home on a furlough, but after recovering was seen again in the ranks and took part in the battle of Ripley, Meridian, and...

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Biography of Hon. William Rufus King

Among those granted representation in this volume, none is more worthy of notice, than the subject of this sketch. As a public spirited citizen he enjoys the confidence of the people and has become well and popularly known, not only throughout Malheur and adjoining counties, but throughout the whole state. On October 3. 1864, near Walla Walla. Washington, David R. King and Elizabeth (Estes) King, became the parents of a boy, whom they named William Rufus. His parents were pioneers of Walla Walla, Washington. Arriving from Arkansas in 1860 his father being captain of a large immigrant train, crossing what was known as “the plains”-the journey being through the dangerous Indian countries between the Mississippi and the Pacific coast. At the age of nine years he moved with his parents to Weston, Oregon, and five years later, in 1878, to Jordan Valley, in this County. After receiving his preliminary education in the common schools, he entered the Agricultural College, at Corvallis, Oregon, where he pursued his studies for three years. He re-turned again to the farm, but in 1889 left it to take up the study of law at the law school in Danville, Indiana. After graduating with high honors in 1891, he was admitted to practice by the supreme court of Indiana, and entered a law office in the city of Indianapolis. H remained there but a few...

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Biographical Sketch of Roswell W. Clement

Among the leading agriculturists of Malheur county is to be mentioned the subject of this sketch, whose life has manifested a worthy record of honest and rigorous endeavor, dominated with sagacity and tempered with prudence and display of affability and genial bearing toward all. In Middleville, Barry county, Michigan, on January 5, 1862, occurred the happy event of the birth of Roswell W. Clement, his parents being Judge James T. and Lucy (Hayes) Clement. The family came to Usage, Iowa, while our subject was a small child, and thence they removed to the vicinity of Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1868. In these various places Roswell W. was reared, receiving a good education from the common schools. 1881 marks the date when they again removed toward the west, this time journeying with teams, one of which our subject drove the entire distance, to Payette, Idaho, making the trip in eighty days. Here on September 11. 1884, Mr. Clement married Miss Harriet, daughter of John and Melissa Neal, and a native of Denver, Colorado. Mr. and Mrs. Neal were early pioneers of the Payette Valley, coming thither from Denver, in which town they also were among the first settlers and lived there when flour retailed at fifty dollars per sack. To Mr. and Mrs. Clement there have been born four children named as follows: Martha Ethel, James R., Walter and Buell J....

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