Weston, Umatilla County, Oregon


The old Thomas and Ruckles road across the Blue Mountains, the route of travel from Walla Walla to Baker City and the Boise mines, crossed Pine creek about a mile below the present town of Weston. At that point a stage station was established as early as 1863, and a hotel was kept by Taylor Green as a stopping place for teamsters, packers, emigrants and travelers. In the spring of 1866 T. T. Lieuallen bought the claim of a man who had settled on a portion of the town site. The little shanty he had built Lieuallen used for a chicken house, and erected for himself a good farm residence. In the fall of 1868 he persuaded a man named Abell, who was living at Richards Station, near the present town of Centerville, to come to this place and open a store. Lieuallen donated the ground for his building and gave him a cash bonus. In a few months his goods were taken by the sheriff. Jesse Melton bought the little shanty Abell had built, and converted it into a hotel; it is now used for a butcher shop. Asberry Lieuallen had built a little house for a dwelling, and in the spring of 1869 T. T. Lieuallen bought it and placed in it a stock of goods. It is now used for a smoke house by S. A. John. A schoolhouse was built that year on the ground now occupied by their fine edifice; the old building now forms part of a saloon and billiard hall.

     With one dwelling, a shanty hotel, a small store and a schoolhouse, Mr. Lieuallen called upon his neighbors to baptize the embryo city. About a dozen of them met at his store one day and the question of a name was brought up. He had selected Westen, and that name received about two-thirds of the votes, some of them favoring Prineville, Sparta, and McMinnville. The spelling of the name Westen was after Mr. Lieuallen's original way of doing things, but it was inadvertently spelled with an "o" in a petition to the postal department that fall, and thus it became and remains Weston. When a post office was secured and located in Lieuallen's store, the stage road was changed to run through the village, and thus it became a regular station. Another store was added that year by John White and E. D. Seeley. Its history for the next few years is one of a steady and permanent growth both in business and population. In 1874 it began to covet the county seat, and endeavored to secure it, with out success. Its efforts to procure a division of the county have already been given. The people of Weston are confident when that is accomplished the voters will locate the seat of justice with them. Should such a result not follow, the business of Weston is upon too firm a footing and improvements are too far advanced for the place to suffer or be materially retarded in its growth thereby.

     At four o'clock Thursday afternoon, July 22, 1875, fire was ignited in a barn by some boys who were carelessly playing with matches. In a short time seventeen buildings on Main and Water streets were burned, embracing more than half the business of the town. The loss was estimated at $15,000. This was a severe blow, but the citizens had too much confidence in the future to be discouraged, and the result was that soon no traces of the disaster could be found, and more business men and new enterprises came here to locate. In December, 1878, the Weston Leader began publication, and the same fall a stock company was formed to build a steam flouring mill. The stock was bought up by Proebstel Bros., who completed the mill and began operating it with two sets of burrs. The Weston Steam Mills have now four run of stone, and complete purifying machinery. The Proebstel Bros. still own and operate them. About the same time Bamford & Bro. built the planing mill, which they still own. Weston contains the most substantial business buildings and finest residences in the county. The first brick was erected in 1874 by Saling & Reese, an addition being made in 1878. In 1880 J. E. Jones built a fine brick store building, the second floor being fitted up for a lodge room. There is another large brick building belonging to Mr. Saling. The large and handsome schoolhouse was erected in 1878 at an expense of $4,500. In 1881 the school was graded into four departments, including a high school, giving Weston the best educational system in the county. Until then higher branches had only been taught in private schools. In 1876 the Episcopalians built a neat church, and in 1878 the Baptist denomination erected a good house of worship. The Cumberland Presbyterians have an organization. A new city hall has been built of brick this year, citizens receiving stock for contributions of money, materials or labor.

     Weston may now be summed up as follows; three general stores, two hardware stores, two drug stores, two millinery stores, one furniture store, one saddlery store, one variety store, one jewelry store, four saloons, two hotels, one restaurant, one bakery one meat market, two agricultural implement ware houses, two livery and feed stables, one barber shop, one paint shop, two boot and shoe shops, three blacksmith shops, a brewery, planing mill, flouring mill, city hall, school house, two churches, many pleasant dwellings, and a population of about 600. It is pleasantly situated on the banks of Pine creek, surrounded on all sides by large and well improved farms, of the fine grain land for which this region is noted. Blue Mountain Station, on the branch line of the O. R. & N. Co. from Walla Walla, is within three miles, and it is the expectation of citizens to have the road pass through this place. They are prepared to donate right of way and depot grounds for that purpose.

     By act of October 19,1878, Weston was incorporated, with boundaries "commencing at the northwest corner of May's addition to the town of Weston; thence running east 75 rods; thence south to the southeast corner McArthur's addition to the town of Weston; thence west 65 rods; thence due north 80 rods; thence west 120 feet; thence due north to the place of beginning." The officers are a mayor, six aldermen, recooder, and ex-offieio collector, and a treasurer. The annual election occurs the first Monday in December. The charter was adopted at an election. in November, 1878. The officers elected in 1879 were: Mayor, T. J. Lucy; Recorder, D. P. Dwight; Treasurer L. S. Wood; Marshal, F. B. Prine; Aldermen, Charles McMorris, J. Proebstel, J. Bamford, John Hartman, G. W. Proebstel and W. R. Beckett. In 1880: Mayor, J. E. Jones; Recorder, A. Meacham; Treasurer, L. S. Wood; Marsha], D. D. Earp; Aldermen, Charles MeMorris, H. McArthur, P. A. Worth, J. W. Miller, G. W. Proebstel and John Hartman. In 1881: Mayor, J. S. White; Recorder, W. R. Jones; Treasurer, L. S. Lacy; Marshal, H. Woods; Aldermen, J. W. Miller, Charles McMorris, H. Mc-Arthur, F. M. Pauly, Jacob Proebstel, P. A. Worthington.

Weston Lodge No. 65, A. F. &. A. M. Dispensation granted September 1, 1874. Charter dated June 18, 1875. First officers and charter members: J. S. White, W. M.; George Hayes, S. W.; J. E. Jones, J. W.; John Hartman, T.; J. B. Pauly, S.; Porter Graham, S. D.- James Royse, J. D.; A. J. Cregler, Tyler. Present membership, forty-nine. Time of meeting, second and fourth Saturdays of each month. Officers for 1882: S. P. Sturgis, W. M.; L. S. Wood, S. W.; S. A. John, J. W.; John Hartman, S.; J. S. White, T.; E. Ridenour, S. D.; James Royse, J. D.; T. J. Allyn, Tyler.

Weston Lodge No. 58, I. O. O. F. Date of charter, July 1, 1876. Lodge organized July 20, 1876. Charter members and first officers: George B. Young, N. G.; Fred Peebler, V. G.; A. B. Hendricks, R. S.; William Russell, T.; J. I. Mansfield and G. W. Mansfield. Present membership, thirty-nine. Time of meeting every Thursday night. Officers for 1882: S. A. Barnes, N. G. ; F. M. Johns, V. G.; A. L. Powers, S.; E. M. Purinton, T.

Weston Lodge No. 71., A. O. U. W. Organized October 28, 1881, with twenty-seven members and the following officers; J. W. Rowland, P. M. W.; W.T.Williamson, M. W.; S. A. Barnes, F.; M. C.. Brown, O.; F. M. Pauly, Rec'd.; H. B. Nelson, Rec'v.; G.W. Proebstel, Fin.; W. M. Lucas, G.; C. B. Proebstel, I. W.; W. J. Kirkland, O. W. Regular meeting every Tuesday evening. Membership, twenty-seven. Officers in October, 1882: W. T. Williamson, P. M. W.; S. A. Barnes, M. W.; W. H. McCoy, F.; M. C. Brown, O.; Receiver, Recorder and Financier same as last year.

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