Bishop Building, Baker City, Oregon

Frank W. Bishop was born in Emporia, Kansas** December 12, 1872 to Frank and Hannah White Bishop.

Frank W. Bishop was joined with 5 siblings, of whom four are now living, Thomas W., Charles W. and Nellie.

Frank Bishop

Frank W. Bishop resided at the place of his birth until nine years of age to Buena Vista, Colorado, where he continued until he reached the age of sixteen. At Ogden he entered the plumbing business as an apprentice, his term of indenture covering five years, and later he was employed as a journeyman until February 8, 1903, when he founded his present business, opening a general hardware and plumbing establishment. Both departments are liberally patronized, and his sales have reached a large annual figure. He owns the block which he occupies at No. 2108 Main Street. This is a stone structure, two stories and basement, fifty by one hundred feet. It is a double store, one half of which is rented to the Eastern Oregon Light & Power Company. In addition to his commercial interests Mr. Bishop is connected with quartz mining in Baker County.

On the 2nd day of June 1896, in Ogden, Utah Frank W. Bishop was married to Miss Florence Moore a native of that place and a daughter of D. M. Moore who has conducted an extensive nursery business there for the past twenty-five years. Three children were born to them, Virginia M., Norma and Florence M., their second daughter Norma who died in infancy.

Frank & Florence Moore Bishop Virginia and Florence

In 1904 Mr. Bishop was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who passed away on the 7th of March in that year. In Boise. Idaho, he married Miss Jennie M. Maxwell, a native of Spokane.

Fraternally Mr. Bishop is well known, holding membership with the Odd Fellows, the Elks and the Knights of Pythias. He exemplifies in his life many of the sterling traits of his English ancestors yet is typically American in spirit and interests, displaying that determination and progressiveness which have been characteristics of the northwest in its development and upbuilding.

According to the 1900 R.L. Polk Business Directory, Frank W. and his family along with brothers Tom W. and Charles W. were living in Baker at 1618 Center (Main) Street and were employed by the Peter Basche Hardware Company in Baker City as plumbers for the firm.

In the 1901 and 1903 R.L. Polk business directory the brothers still work for the Peter Basche Hardware Co., as plumbers in Baker.

In the 1903 R.L. Polk Business Directory Frank W. and his family are living at 1709 East Street. Brothers Thomas W., and Charles W. Bishop are living at 1817 1st Street.

Inside the Bishop Building

Frank on right. Others could be two brothers or employees

According to The Centennial History Of Oregon it is mentioned that on February 8, 1903 Frank W. Bishop opens a business known as Frank W. Bishop Hardware and Plumbing at 2108 Main St. I am making an assumption that this building was probably a wooden structure or stone.

Bishop Building Present Day

The date 1908, which can be seen at the top of the Bishop building, Frank W. Bishop had built a stone structure, two stories and basement, fifty by one hundred feet and is named Frank W. Bishop Hardware and Plumbing at 2108 Main St. It is a double store, one half of which is rented to the Eastern Oregon Light & Power with address of 2106 Main St.

Later Eastern Oregon Light & Power moved to the vacated McCord Hardware located in the Masonic building located at 2195 Main St.

Ryder Brothers then rented the half vacated by Eastern Oregon Light & Power Company located at 2106 Main St Ryder Bros. was quite active in Baker City, at one time published a newspaper, The Eastern Oregon News that they ultimately sold to The Record-Courier located in Baker City and then continued as Ryder Brothers, according to Phyllis Badgley, Baker City, they were selling school supplies and most likely office supplies in Baker City.

At sometime I believe prior or after 1919 Thomas W. Bishop was working alone as a plumber and his brother Charles was working for White Pine Lumber Co. Frank W. Bishop and his family moved away.

On the plaque that Historic Baker City put on the Bishop Building it mentions Ryder Bros. occupied the upstairs and a portion of the downstairs along with Geddes and Smithpeter, a grocery store.

After the fire in 1940 Ryder Bros. moved to 1911 Main St. and opened their business, just west across the alley they put a warehouse together and it still stands today in the 1900 1st St area.

When the J. C. Penny store closed their doors at 1735 Main St. Ryder Bros. moved to that location and are operating as an office supply and school supply store with other merchandise and is a vibrant store today.

Contributed by: Virginia Schalk (photos) and Gary Jaensch

**Frank and Hannah (White) Bishop. The father was born in Whitehouse Lane, Bristol, England. December 16, 1830, his parents being Thomas and Jane (Thorn) Bishop, who spent their entire, lives in England where the father was a farmer and laborer. Frank Bishop, Sr., was the second of seven children and the first to come to the United States, but later two others followed him, Charles William, who became a resident of Oregon, and Albert, who made his home in Troy, New York. 

Source: The Centennial History Of Oregon 1811 1911 Biographical Vol II Joseph Gaston Illustrated. The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois 1912.

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