How Wamic Got its name, Wallowa County, Oregon
I am giving
information about how the town of Wamic got its name. This information is in
bibliography form taken from a book in our library called The Centennial
History of Oregon Volume III 1811-1911. My Great Grandfather was Jacob
C. W. (Crawford Wallace) Womack, who lives retired at Lostine, Oregon, is one of the pioneer settlers of Wallowa valley. He was born in Shelby County, Illinois, on October 4, 1844, the son of William and Martha A. (Jordan) Womack, both of whom were natives of Tennessee. The parents were married in Illinois, where they had removed in youth with their parent’s.
After their marriage they resided for a short time in Shelby County and then removed to Lee County, Iowa, and later to Putnam County, Missouri. In 1866 they came to Oregon, locating near Lostine, Oregon in Wallowa County, where they purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land. Later they moved into the town of Lostine, where they both passed away, the father, October 15, 1901, at the age of eighty four years, and the mother February 9, 1901, at the age of of eighty three. They were both members of the Methodist Episcopal church. The father belonged to the Masonic lodge, having joined that order in the early ‘60s.
C. W. Womack was reared under the parental roof and acquired his education in the common schools, attending an old time log schoolhouse, with its split logs for benches and its puncheon floor. In 1863, at the age of nineteen, he went with the gold seekers to Pike’s Peak, in Colorado, where he spent the summer, returning that winter to his home in Missouri. In the spring of 1864 he started across the plains for Oregon, making his way with ox teams in a wagon train of about eighty three wagons. he was six months on the road, between the Missouri river and Boise, Idaho. He stopped in Boise for one year and in 1865 came to Oregon, locating at Webb Foot, Marion County ( Salem ). There he resided only one year, when he went to Wasco County, locating thirty miles from The Dalles. He there took up land and for several years operated a sawmill. He was one of the pioneers in that section of the state and the town of Wamic which has been built there was named for him. In 1877 Mr. Womack removed to Wallowa valley, taking up a homestead on the south fork of the Wallowa river, one and a quarter miles west of where Lostine was later built. This land was then part of Union County. Mr. Womack resided until 1907 on this farm, to which in the meantime he had added by purchase until he owned in all two hundred and eighty two and a half acres. In that year he rented his farm and moved into Lostine, where he is now living retired.
On the 1st of November, 1877, Mr. Womack was married to Miss Melvine McCubbin, daughter of Abraham McCubbin, who came to Oregon from Missouri in 1852. Mr. McCubbin located in Clackamas County, but later removed to Jackson County, then to Washington County and subsequently to Wasco County, where he passed away in 1881 at the age of sixty five years. His wife, whom he married in Missouri, was Miss Sarah Dean. She passed away in 1897 at the age of sixty eight years. To Mr. and Mrs. Womack have been born six children, five of whom are living. They are: William Abraham, of Alberta, Canada; Frederick Lee, a ranchman near Lostine; Charles Crawford of Alberta, Canada; (Sadie) Sarah Bruce, who is the wife of Jene W. Hall, of Lostine; and Grover Gail of Alberta, Canada. There was one other child who probably died in infancy Bertie Carl Womack. In his political views Mr. Womack is republican. His wife and daughter Sadie are members of the Christian church. Many years have passed since Mr. Womack arrived in Oregon, and he is justly numbered among her honored citizens. he has the remarkable record of one who has always by his upright life won the confidence of all with whom he has come in contact. Crawford Wallace and Melvina McCubbin Womack are buried in the Lostine Cemetery. It appears their children are also buried in the Lostine Cemetery.
Note: by Gary Jaensch, I believe C. W. Womack’s name is inscribed on the Memorial Arch of the Pioneers in the court yard of Enterprise. Or.