Biographical Sketch of Elzie O. Makin

Any volume that purports to give the salient points in the careers of the leading and prominent citizens of Wallowa County would be open to serious criticism were there failure to incorporate there-in an epitome of the life of the esteemed gentleman whose name is at the head of this article, and who has labored for the building and development of Wallowa County for years, displaying meanwhile a vigor, energy, and sagacity, coupled with other capabilities of a high order, while also his sound principles, unswerving integrity and strict adherence to the ways of uprightness have given him the meed of the confidence and admiration of his fellows, while he has also gained a goodly portion of the good things of this world.

In Indiana, on August 7, 1862, the subject of this sketch opened his eyes to the light of this world, and from that time until he had reached the age of nineteen years we have no data of his career. When he arrived at the interesting age of nineteen years, he stepped from the parental roof into the arena of life’s struggles; prepared to meet the forces and take advantage of the opportunities they’re awaiting him. He labored with his father in the lumbering interests, operating in the Blue Mountains, and then he took an extended trip to the east, exploring different states, in search for a place to settle. Finally, he decided to locate in Arkansas and there engaged in the lumbering business and in operating a sawmill. Seven years were spent there and then the spirit that had known the boundless resources of the west could no longer be restrained in the east and accordingly he came to the west, settling in Wallowa County and taking up a preemption. After proving up, he sold this property and repaired to the Snake River, the year being 1890, and there took up a homestead. This quarter section increased to five hundred and sixty acres, while where he lives on Prairie creek, seven miles east from Enterprise, he owns in one body as much more good land. He gives proper attention to general farming, but devotes his energies principally to raising sheep, of which he has about three thousand stock animals.

On July 7, 1880, in the Grande Ronde valley occurred the marriage of Mr. Makin and Miss Margaret, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Wilson) Finley, who were formerly farmers of Alabama, but now residents of Arkansas. To this union there have been born the following children: Louisa, Allen, Walter, Viola, Edith and Melford. Mrs. Makin was born in Alabama on July 7, 1880. Mr. Makin is one of the capable and substantial men of our county and is deserving of especial honor for his worthy labors.



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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