Biography of George Horsepool

GEORGE HORSEPOOL. Deceased. – Among the many pioneers who came to the county of Union while it was still unorganized, most of them passed to the western part of the state and but few stopped to locate in the Grande Ronde valley. Among the veryfirst ones who did settle here was the subject of this memorial. September, 1862, was the date of his arrival and he labored from that time until the day of his death in faithful business enterprise tomake a prosperous section and fit the land for the home of the men who now reside here. He did his work well, lived an upright and untarnished life and now sleeps in the land he helped reclaim from nature and nature’s savages.

Mr. Horsepool was born in Nottinghamshire, England, on January 21, 1824, received there a good education and labored in the zoological gardens until 1852, when he embarked for the United States and settled in Illinois. He soon removed to Richardson county, Nebraska, and there followed farming until the spring of 1862, when he made the weary journey across the plains to the Grande Ronde valley. But one log cabin stood on the site of the now prosperous town of Lagrande. He homesteaded land two and one-half miles southeast and there bestowed his labors for a time, planting there the first willows in the county, then engaged in the butcher business in Lagrande-old town. His business increased and success crowned his capable efforts. In 1889 he sold the business to Palmer & Weller and retired from active life.

In 1867 Mr. Horsepool married Mrs. Eliza Murray, widowed sister of H.P. Lewis, and to them were born two children: George E., now in Fresno, California, and Ida L., wife of J.T. Richardson of Lagrande.Mr. Richardson has been recorder of Union county, and is one of the prominent men of the county. Mrs. Horsepool died in 1876. Our subject married a second time, Mrs. Jemima Hemmings became his wife on December 16, 1880, and she too, died in 1886. Mr. Horsepool was an active member of the I.O.O.F., and he was also a charter member of the Baptist church in Lagrande. He labored during his life for the advancement and upbuilding of the church and much credit is due him for this faithful support. Some six months before his death he was taken sick, and as the months passed by it was evident that he must pass the river and on March 22,1896, the day came, and in the consolation of the faith which had buoyed him in life’s struggle he calmly bade farewell to earth and went home to the reward of the true Christian. His was a good life, and many were the friends during its course who were won by his kindness, and he was sincerely mourned as a good man andkind benefactor.



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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