Thirty-one Years in Baker County, Oregon
To write a complete history of this county from the time gold was discovered in Griffin's Gulch in the year 1861, down to the present time, is more of a task than one would at first suppose. The public records are not a full history of the affairs of county government during the first years of its existence, some of the books having been lost. In the present work, accounts of events and dates of their occurrence have been taken from written documents whenever they could be obtained, and in other cases where no record could be consulted, conclusions had to be reached by summing up the testimony of the best witnesses to the fact. It must not be accepted as a matter of course that every person's memory is more or less at fault in regard to events that transpired a quarter of a century ago, but by careful consideration of the recollections of different persons who had an opportunity to observe the facts at the time of their occurrence, the writer believes that he has been enabled to make his statements substantially correct.
It has been the author's design to furnish a brief history of the most important events which have occurred since the first settlement of the country; and an account of the discovery of mines and the establishment of business enterprises which have assisted in the growth and development of the county.
The chapter on county government has been carefully compiled, giving as nearly a complete list of all the officers who have served in any capacity, as could be obtained, and also the names of the principal State and district officers, and arrangement which it is hoped will be found convenient and useful for reference. The public affairs of Baker City have been treated the same way as far as records could be found for consultation.
The history of the public schools is, for reasons given in the chapter on that subject, far from being as full and complete as it should be, but it is not possible to trace the progress that has been made, step-by step from the beginning, it is at least instructive to compare the present state of school affairs with what it was twenty years ago.
The writer is under obligations to the pastors and members of the several churches for their courtesy in furnishing the material for the sketches of the different religious organizations and their work.
A full statistical report of the different business pursuits followed in this county would far exceed the limits of the present work, and no attempt has been made to compile such a report. References to mining have been made with a view indicating the progress that has been made rather than minutely describing the process by which it has been done.
Nor would the limits of the work permit short biographical sketches of all the pioneers of Baker County, and such as have been introduced are given more in illustration of the general subject, than as strictly personal narratives.
The incidents and anecdotes related will remind old-timers, of bygone days, and awaken pleasant memories of things half forgotten, whilst to others they will be a help in the matters of forming an opinion concerning the state of society an the methods, or want of methods, in business affairs in pioneer times.
The author is
under obligations to many of the old settlers for their
assistance in gathering up facts, and
tenders his thanks to them, and
to all officials of the county
for their courtesy and
assistance in examining the
records in their offices. To
the proprietors of the Bedrock
Democrat many thanks are due for the privilege accorded
them of examining the files of that
paper; many valuable facts were
obtained from that source.
To all friends who have taken an interest in the work the author tenders his thanks, with the hope that notwithstanding its many imperfections it will in some measure at least meet the expectations of the public.
Baker City, Oregon
Thirty-one Years in Baker County, Isaac Hiatt