Biography of John S. Horner

The esteemed gentleman, whose name initiates this paragraph, is one of the substantial and enterprising agriculturists of Wallowa County, having wrought here with commendable zeal and sagacity for its development and material progress since he has been domiciled within its borders, and his faithfulness and ability have well earned for him the high esteem in which he is held among his fellows, and the prestige which he enjoys as well as the leading position in many ways is merited.

John S. was born in Illinois on February 11, 1839, being the son of John and Sarah (Seymore) Horner, natives respectively of North and South Carolina. They had moved to Illinois and there were numbered with the agriculturists, being pioneers of their section of the country. When our subject was six years of age, he was bereft of his parents by death and subsequent to that sad event his home was with Dr. J.B. Lester, of Kansas City. He remained there until fourteen years of age and then stepped forth into the battle of life for himself. Until 1858 we find him engaged variously in the vicinity of Kansas City and then he went to Colorado with an Indian trader named Sam Machaett with whom he worked in Colorado and western Nebraska until 1862, having also taken a ranch on the Platte River. At the date last mentioned he sold out, went to Kansas City on a visit and while there he joined the Confederates, being in Price’s army under Colonel Withers. He was engaged mostly in the fierce border struggles and was with Price on his last raid. After the struggle ceased he came to Colorado, the date being 1866, and then engaged in freighting between Denver and Omaha and also as far west as Salt Lake City. Three years later he sold out in Salt Lake City and returned to Kansas City and engaged in the grocery business. One year later he went to Bates County in the same business and there lost all by fire. Went again to Kansas City, thence to North Platte, and two years later to Boise City, Idaho, where he purchased a farm and then four years later sold out and came to the Grande Ronde valley and thence to Wallowa valley, settling on his present place on Camp creek, two miles from the Imnaha bridge, taking a preemption. He has bought and sold several farms and now has a good place, also some property in Enterprise. He has a fine orchard, good buildings and handles some stock.

In Kansas City in July, 1870, he married Miss Margaret Mattingling, a native of Kentucky and seven children have been the fruit of this union: J. Harland, who owns a farm adjoining his father’s and also one above on Camp creek; Thomas L., who owned a ranch for several years on the Imnaha and then sold and went to Idaho; Guy C., in the stock business in the country; Charles B., owns a ranch in this county: Roy R., Maggie: Mable S., the last three at home attending school. Mr. Horner is well liked among his fellows, which speaks volumes and he is considered one of the most capable and substantial men of the community.



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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