Industry Baker County, Oregon

Stock Industry
Written in 1898

     The adaptability of Baker County to the health and happiness of the human family holds good as to its suitableness for the well fare of all sorts of stock and fowls. The quality of the beef, mutton and pork, raised amid surroundings of pure air and water and the best of grain and grasses, is such as to command the very best market prices, and there are yearly many trainloads of cattle, sheep and swine shipped to the eastern states.

     The dairying industry is sure to become an immense and important one, for It has been said by scientific judges that no section in the United States surpasses Baker county in almost exact similarity to the atmospheric, agricultural and other conditions of Switzerland, where the world's highest grades of cheese and gilt-edged butter are manufactured.

     The present value of the livestock in this county is close to $1,250,000. There are 12,000 horses; 35,000 cattle; 10,600 swine; 75,000 sheep, from which in 1897 the wool clip was 650,000 pounds.

     There is room for much improvement in raising higher grades of stock. The example of Messrs. Chandler and Wisdom, who have excellent herds of several hundred head of Hereford and Shorthorn cattle, at their farms near Baker City, should be followed by many more of our stockmen than the limited number who are doing a share in improving the grade of cattle.

    In all this splendid county, where millions worth of cheese and butter will certainly be sometime manufactured there is but one modern creamery. This establishment is in Baker City, equipped with excellent machinery and steam power, and is fitted to handle the milk from 1300 milk cows. Seymour & Adkins are the proprietors and have elsewhere had years of experience in scientific dairy work.

Lumbering Industry

In 1897 the sawmills of this county manufactured about 45,000,000 feet of lumber. 

     Within a few blocks of the corporate limits of Baker City is the big steam saw mill, planer and well-arranged lumber yard of the Oregon Lumber Company, employing 250 men. The sawmill has a daily cutting capacity of 80,000 feet, and the company's trade extends Into many eastern states. Among the other most important saw and planing mills in the county, are Stoddard Brothers' sawmill, at McEwan, Sumpter Valley, daily capacity 35,000 feet, their planing mill and lumber yard being located in Baker City; McMurren & Shockley's and Bennett & Co.'s steam planing mills, Baker City; the mill of the Sumpter Lumber Company with 35,000 feet daily capacity, near the town of Sumpter.

Products of the Soil

The soil alone has earned $306,05 in 1897, for every man, woman and child living within the boundaries of Baker county.

The amounts and values of some of the products are as follows:

Wheat, bushels 200,000 $120,000
Oats, bushels 150,000 60,000
Barley and Rye 80,000 40,000
Hay, tons 50,000 150,000
Butter, cheese, lbs 100,000 20,000
Potatoes, sacks 200,000 80,000

Apples, pears, peaches grapes, prunes, plums

100,000 50,000
Total    $520,000

In 1897, county Assessor J. A. Payton made a list of 42 Baker county farmers, cultivating 9,570 acres, whose crops of wheat, oats and barley averaged 50 bushels to the acre, barley and oats averaging 65 bushels to the acre. Sheriff W. H. Kilburn, raised 51 bushels of wheat to the acre, and Anson Loenig, of Willow creek, 12 miles northwest of Baker City raised 110 bushels of barley to the acre. Hay, grasses and all sorts of vegetables grow to perfection In the county, and nearly every variety of fruit and berry of temperate regions is found to grow thriftily. The various insect and other pests, which afflict orchards In some localities, are practically unknown in this county, and in every instance where our orchardists have taken ordinary care of their trees they have been rewarded by bountiful crops of the very finest quality.

Eastern Oregon Gold Fields


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