Biography of Wallace Fairbank

WALLACE FAIRBANK. – The subject of this sketch is one of the substantial and capable men of Union county, and one who showed the metal of which he was made at the time Columbia called for sons to avenge her insult and to put down the minions of rebellion, at which time he responded and did good service until the work was completed and he was honorably discharged, carrying, however, until this day the serious effects of his service and the wounds that he received.

Mr. Fairbank was born in St. Lawrence county, New York on July 27, 1848, being the son of Luther and Nancy (Green) Fairbank. At the early age of ten he started for himself and when he was fifteen years old he enlisted in Company H, First Wisconsin Cavalry, under Colonel Lagrange. In June, 1864, he was detailed to take a wagon train from Nashville, Tennessee, to Atlanta, Georgia, and enroute he was troubled much with guerilla bands, and on one occasion he was prostrated from over exertion, which, with its effects, is present with him, now. While attacking General Wheeler at Spring Hill, he had a horse shot from under him, and in falling the animal crushed the side of our subject, and although he was sent to the hospital, he never recovered his wonted vigor. After his discharge he returned home, and in 1871 went upon an expedition to hunt buffalo, wolf, bear, and so forth, which lasted for three years. Making a good thing from this trapping and hunting expedition, he then turned his attention to farming, taking a homestead in Filmore county, Nebraska. He made the land into a fine farm, then sold and went to York county, buying one-half section of school land, and thence in 1878 he went to the Grande Ronde valley, taking up the stock business for ten years, and went for one year to Long Valley, Idaho: thence to the Sacramento valley in California, and one year later returned to Grande Ronde valley, purchasing two hundred and forty acres of wood land. He followed the wood business until taken with a stroke of paralysis, and then they removed to their present place in Old Town, Lagrande. This was in 1892. He is slowly recovering from the stroke. Since the date mentioned, his wife has managed their business, and they now have a nice business of poultry raising, handling many fowls, and owning some of the finest pens in the state. They have capacity for two thousand chicks in brooders, and for fourteen hundred eggs in the incubators, while the brooders are heated with a ten/horse boiler.

In 1873, Mr. Fairbank married Miss Jennie, daughter of John and Janet (Thornton) Honey. They are prosperous in their business and are highly esteemed in the community. It is of note that in the poultry business they handle about five thousand ducks and chicks each year, and theirs is one of the most completely and practically equipped plants in the west, and their wisdom and skill have made it a boundless success.


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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