Biographies of Baker County, Oregon

Written in 1898

Asa C. Shinn

     Bakerites naturally feel an increased interest In the ambitions and aspirations of a young man, who was born and tested right there in our own midst. The subject of our sketch was born at Wingville on the 18th of September 1868. After a primary course in the public schools here he attended the State University at Eugene. In October 1807, he became interested in the hardware business with H. G. McCord, and in April of this year bought his
partner out. The line carried consists of shelf and heavy hardware, stoves, tinware, iron steel and blacksmith supplies and is one of the largest in the city. Mr. Shinn Is a member of the council at present, having been elected in July, 18116. Fraternally, he belongs to the Masons, Knights of Pythias, Elks, Workmen and Woodmen. In 1886, he married Miss E. McCord, daughter of S. B. McCord, one of the best known pioneers of the county, and has four children, three girls and a boy.

John M. Laidy

     One of the city fathers, and a prominent citizen of Baker City was born September 25, 1854. in our sister state, Washington. He moved to The Dalles with his parents twelve years later, and received his preliminary education there. They moved later to Umatilla, and he then attended Whitman College at Walla Walla. In 1874 he moved to Baker City, and has been interested hi the stock business more or less since.
At present he is running the Depot Feed and Livery Stables, and has built up a patronage that speaks well for his personal popularity. He is also largely interested in mining, owning some very promising claims. The "Cambria" lies a mile east of the "White Swan." There has been 400 feet of developing done on it, and it shows a vein 30 feet wide which assay from ten to fifteen dollars.
   The "Ben Davis," his other claim, lies two and a half miles away from it and promises to be equally rich.  Mr. Laidy married Miss Gray, of Portland, in 1890. In September, 1896 he was elected a member of the city council to fill a vacancy, and has held the same ever since.

John L. Rand

    Among the representative members of the Eastern Oregon bar the name of John L. Rand must be given a leading place. he having by virtue of natural ability and practical training attained to a position in his profession which many an older man might well be proud to occupy.
     Born October 28, 1861, at Portsmouth, N, H., he received his preliminary education in the public schools, and in 1879 entered Dartmouth college at Hanover, N. Il., graduating at the age of 21. In 188.3 he moved to Walla

Walla, Wash., where be taught in Whitman College for two years. During this time he took up the study of law under the direction of Bon. N. T. Caton, and was admitted to the bar May 1885. He then moved to Baker City where he has practiced with signal success ever since. He is an enthusiastic republican, and was elected district attorney of the sixth judicial district in 1888 and again in 1891. He also held the position of city attorney for two years prior to this. He is a member of the Elks, Knights of Pythias, Red Men and A. O. U. W. In July, 1895, he married Miss F. Packwood.

Charles M. Kellogg

 The present mayor of Baker City, Charles M. Kellogg, is eminently qualified to occupy the highest office within the gift of her citizens. His capable direction, of municipal affairs has clearly proven his executive ability, and it is evident to all he is the right man in the right place. As an executive officer he is conservative in his ideas, truly progressive in character, every movement which he believes after thorough investigation to be for the public
good meets with his hearty approval and cordial support. As a public official he is always unable, gentlemanly and approachable. Mr. Kellogg is a native of Indiana being born on a farm in 1838. He went to California in '50, and remained there until 1864. Moving then to Idaho, he remained to Idaho, he remained there for six years.
   In 1871 he was appointed local agent for the Express Company a position he fills today. He has lately secured the contract for carrying the mails on about three hundred miles of stage lines, a business he has had years of experience in the past. In 1869 he married Miss Mollie E. Yantis of Oregon, and they have six children, four boys and two girls.

W. F. Butcher

But few if any stand higher socially or morally in the estimation of his neighbors and friends in this commonwealth than the subject of this sketch. His name is a synonym for all that is true and honorable in a man and fellow citizen.
     Mr. Butcher was born in Pocahontas county, Va., December 12, 1858, and was raised in Greenbriar County, of that state, on a farm. He received his

education there and also read law for a short time in the office of Gov. H. M. Matthews at Lewisburg. In 1878, he removed to Saline county, Mo., where he remained until 1882. Moving to Idaho he stayed there a year, teaching school a portion of the time and continuing the study of law. Moving then to Walla Walla, he continued teaching, and at the same time read law in the office of Sharpstein & Sharpstein. On May 7th, 1885, he was admitted to the bar, and locating at Athena, he practiced there till June, 1890. Moving here at that time, he soon became known as one of the ablest lawyers in Eastern Oregon. Since his location here, he has became interested in the Baker City Gas & Electric Light Company, and is today the largest holder of stock and acts as secretary and general manager. He has always been a consistent democrat, and was a candidate for presidential elector in 1892 and a delegate to the National convention in 1896. Fraternally he is a member of the Elks, Knights, Workmen, Red Men and Masons, being junior grant warden of the Grand Lodge of Oregon of the last named order. He married Mrs. Helen W. Coe, of Washington, September 4th, 1891, and has one child, a daughter, and four adopted children.

O. M. Dodson

    The regular school of medicine has not among its followers in this city a more faithful and conscientious supporter than Dr. O. M. Dodson. He is a graduate of the medical Department of the Willamette University, and of Bellevue Hospital, Medical College of New York. At present he is a member of the American Medical Association and the Oregon Medical Society, and surgeon on the staff of St. Elizabeth's Hospital.

Louis Crabill

     Is one of the solid business men of Baker City. He was born near Urbana. Ohio, September 18, 1848, The following year his parents moved to La Harp, Illinois, which was his, home until he was twenty-three years of age. He then removed to Nebraska, taking up a homestead in Nicholas county, of which he was one of the first settlers. In 1880, He removed to Baker City, of which he has been an honored citizen since. He has always been a lifelong democrat, and has been a member of the city council since November, 1886. He is
chairman of the water committee, and has especially favored the adoption of a gravity water system.
    In the matter of public interest, in the welfare of our town. Mr. Crabill always takes a leading part, lending his time and money to any enterprise of worth.

Ensign Percy Napier Olmsted

    Ensign Percy Napier Olmsted U.S.N., the only one of all Oregon's naval caret appointments surviving the various vicissitudes of Annapolis. Appointed naval cadet for Oregon in 1887 by Hon. Binger Herman, he succeeded in closing the academic course in command of the second company of cadets. Served two years in Honolulu harbor, and was all intimate acquaintance of President Dole and family while here.

Commissioned Ensign by President Cleveland in 1895 and assigned to New York harbor for a time as instructor. From there assigned to the South Atlantic squadron, and given the position of acting flag lieutenant of the squadron. Recalled from Montevideo in December last, and in January of this year served a short time on the battle-ship Iowa, generally conceded to be one of the best fighting  machines of her class extant. In February of this year assigned to the flag ship Indiana. Rear Admiral Montgomery Sicard commanding, and given the post of division officer. The fleet now at Dry Tortugas being within a few hours sail of Havana, Cuba. The young man has seen much of service on both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans for one of his age, being but 27 years old at this time. He was in the harbor of Valparaiso and was a close observer of the use and effect of modern high power guns in several tilts between the navy unit shore batteries during the late unpleasantness in that country. While at Montevideo he became well acquainted with President Borda and his officers, and was one of the invited guests present at the military review at which Borda was assassinated.
     He is accredited with being one of the most scientific and skillful of the young officer, in the American navy in the use of modern long range guns, which together with his knowledge of Spanish and the Spanish language will be much value in case of war with Spain. He is the son of Judge M. L. Olmsted, of this city.


Judge M. L. Olmsted

     There is probably no member of the legal profession better or more favorably known throughout Eastern Oregon than is the subject of this sketch. by reason of his long and imitate acquaintanceship with its leading mien and active participation in all matters of public import that have tended to advance the interests of this section of the state. His enterprise and integrity have made for him friends in all classes of society, and his name is a

synonym for honesty and industry. Judge Olmsted served with distinction during the civil war, in the third division of the 12th Army Corps.
     After being discharged he located in Iowa for several year's, coming to Oregon in 1874, where he has since practiced law. From 1884 to 1586 he was Judge of the Sixth Judicial District of the State.

John A. Payton

     But few, if any, stand higher in the estimation of his neighbors and friends than the subject of this sketch. His name is a synonym for all that is true and honorable in a man, and fellow citizen. Mr. Payton was born in Missouri in 1850. Coming here at the age of 13 with his parents, he lived with them on at farm in the Powder River Valley until 1870 attending the public schools in the interim. He then attended the Agricultural College at Corvallis for three years and then taught school In Lane and Benton counties until 1877. Returning to
Baker county, he taught here, and in 1880 was elected County School Superintendent serving six years. He then again began teaching, which he followed until elected County Assessor in 1806.
     He is also largely interested in stockraising, owning eight hundred acres near Wingville. Mr. Payton is married to Miss Rosa Pitney, of Lane county, and has four children.

W. H. Kilburn

     The present efficient sheriff of Baker County, is a man who stands high among his constituents, and is the fortunate possessor of a host of friends, who in their admiration of his numerous sterling qualities would make almost any sacrifice to enhance his success, he was born in the Blue grass State, Kentucky, in 1842. At the age of twenty-two he came to Baker County, and became engaged in farming and stock raising. which he follows to some extent yet. Four years ago me was elected sheriff of this county, unit again

two years ago. He has discharged the duties of the office with his characteristic energy and ability, and in the prompt execution of the law is meeting with the approbation of all good citizens.
     He has again been favored with the nomination at the hands of the Union forces. In 1860 he married Miss Jane Shinn. of Grundy County, Missouri. and has two children living.

Wallace W. Travillion

     Office holding is not always a recommendation to a limit. There are those who seek office, and those whom the office seeks. The subject of this biography is one or the latter class, and he has proved equal to all requirements imposed upon him. Wallace W. Travillon is a native of Cooper County, Missouri, where he was born January 24, 1849.
     At the age of 21 he left home, coming to Baker County, and became
engaged in mining, which occupation, in connection with farming, he still follows. In 1876 he was up pointed deputy sheriff, and served four years. In 1880 he was nominated by the Democrats for sheriff, and at the polls their judgment was ratified by the tax-payers.  Serving creditably, he was re-elected in 1882. In 1887 he was appointed chief of police of Baker City by Mayor McCord, the first under the new charter, and served two years. In 1894 he was elected as County Judge and has been renominated for the position on the Union ticket. He is one who has made it his sole business to attend to the duties of his office, and is today probably the most popular man in the county. In 1883 Judge Travillion was married to Miss C. C. Sonna and he has two sons.

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