Biography of Lewis C. Rinehart

It is a pleasant task to scan the career of a successful man and to note the places where he has overcome the obstacles of life’s pathway and where he has made worthy achievements: and for a short time it is our good pleasure to thus contemplate the salient points of the life of the worthy gentleman, whose name initiates this article and who has been and is now one of the substantial and capable men of Wallowa County, having wrought for the development and advancement of the same in a manner that demonstrates both his ability and his integrity, while in the prosecution of his own private business enterprises he has been eminently successful, gaining a generous portion of the goods of this world, having accomplished it all by dint of hard labor and sagacity in skillful management.

On September 10, 1853, in Eugene, Lane county, Oregon, our subject was born to John and Sarah E. (Edwards) Rinehart. The parents had come thither from Oskaloosa, Iowa, in 1852, being sturdy pioneers of the Willamette valley. Our subject remained with his parents on the farm until 1869, when they removed near Arlington, in the John Day country, and in 1872, they all came thence to the Grande Ronde valley, settling near Summerville. In these various places Lewis C. gained his education and learned to fight the battles of life. In 1873 he went to Silver City, Idaho, working there with stock for three years. Then he went to Nevada and Arizona, and then in 1880 returned to the Grande Ronde valley. Three years subsequent to that time, he came to the Wallowa country and located on his present place, which lies two miles west from Leap. Here he took a homestead and since has added much more, giving him now a generous farm of one-half section. His homestead is well improved, having good residence, large barn, and all necessary out buildings, together with fences and farm implements. In addition to this, Mr. Rinehart has a nice band of stock, consisting mostly of cattle and horses. When he came here, he possessed one cow, one span of horses, and four colts, and his record from that time until the present presents a striking example of what industry and good management can accomplish, for now he is numbered with the most prosperous farmers and stock men of the entire county.

On March 17, 1880, Mr. Rinehart married Miss Ella a native of Texas, and daughter of William N. and Elizabeth (Irwin) Hayden, who live near Prescott, Arizona. No children have been born to this worthy couple, but they have adopted one daughter, Sedalia (Rucker) Rinehart. They also reared an adopted boy, Jesse Weatherly, now deceased, who had the sad misfortune to shoot himself by an accidental discharge of a firearm, when he was seventeen years of age. Mrs. Rinehart’s father died on July 3, 1897, and the mother is living at present with her and another daughter, Mrs. Fleet. Mr. Rinehart is a member of the I.O.O.F, Lostine Lodge, No. 155, and here, as everywhere, he is held in high esteem among his fellows. Mr. Rinehart’s paternal grandmother is still living at the Cove, in Union county, aged ninety-five years. His father died on January 15, 1890, at Summerville, and the mother died in 1885.

(In the above biography it is stated that Sedalia was adopted by the Rineharts. It is recorded in the Wallowa County Couthouse that they were given gaurdianship of Sedalia Rucker. She relocated to Yamhill County, Oregon with the Rhineharts. Where she married William Burton Dexter. This is where my mother Violet Laurene Dexter Hill was born.)
If you would like more information on this family please contact Carla V. Leighton Sedalia’s Grandaughter.



An Illustrated history of Union and Wallowa Counties: with a brief outline of the early history of the state of Oregon. Western Historical Pub. Co., 1902.

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