Biography of James M. Selder

JAMES M. SELDER. – It is highly in accord with the defined province of our work that especial mention should be granted to such residents of our county as the esteemed gentleman, whose name initiates this paragraph, being as he is one of the most highly respected and progressive ctizens of the county, and one who was wrought for the advancement of its industrial wealth and progress with an intelligence and energy that are quite deserving of the generous approval of his fellows which has been accorded at various times and in various ways.

The birth of James M. occured on February 14, 1846, his parents being James G. and Eliza (Dexter) Selder, early pioneers to Indiana, the native state of our subject. The father was numbered with the prosperous farmers of that section, and also devoted much attention to the practice of medicine. In the district schools of his native place, our subject received a good training in the fundamental branches besides a find schooling form a sagacious father, who manifested excellent principles, inculcating them in the mind of his son. On February 13, 1865, the call of patriotism moved Mr. Selder to enlist in the One Hundred and Fifty-second Indians, being then eighteen years of age, and he did good military duty for some months, being honorably discharged on August 30, 1865, at Charleston, West Virginia, having served under General Hancock in the vicinity of Richmond. Returning home after this worthy record in defense of his country, he entered school again, but was deterred from finishing the course planned, because of sickness contracted. Then he purchased forty acres in his native state and there wrought, clearing it up and erecting good buildings, all of which required twelve years, and during this time he had been producing corn, hogs, and wheat, and in 1879, he sold the property and started to the west. Rail transportation was secured as far as Kelton, Utah, and thence stage was utilized to the Grande Ronde valley. He purchased his present place in 1880 and moved on it on May 8, the estate being situated one and one-halfmiles southeast from Cove. The home place now consists of two hundred and eighty acres, one hundred and twenty-five of which are in cultivation. In addition, he owns two hundred and sixty-seven acres one-half mile southwest which is all pasture. Eight years after settling here he planted four acres to winter apples and in 1894 added seven acres more. Farming has received some of his attention, but to dairying he has devoted is energies mostly. From the start he paid intelligent interest to dairying and at the present time he is milking twenty-two cows, using the latest improved cream separators, for which he also acts as agent. Mr. Selder has always manifested great interest in the creamery business, being secretary and treasurer of the Cove Creamery Company, their plant being built in 1887. But in 1889, Mr. Selder found tha this private interests commanded his time and consequently he resigned this position. With his characteristic ability he has taken up the culture of fruit lately, having in addition to what we have mentioned, one thousand trees of the choicest varieties of cherries. His capabilities have been recognized in that he is president of the Cove Fruit Union. He is also president of the East Oregon Veteran Association of the G.A.R. andis past grand commander of the G.A.R. John A., Norris post. Mr. Selder has also given of his time and wisdom to the duties of school director.

On May 15, 1866, Mr. Selder married Miss Emeline B., daughter of Lorenzo and Maria (Goodspeed) Corpe, and they have become the parents of nine children, as follows: Della wife of Siegal Coffman, near the home place: Dora B., in Portland: Elsa, now Mrs. Gossett, in California: Wilber, died May 4, 1901: while those at home are Eugene, Glenn, Vernon, Lois, and Valma. It is of note that Mr. Selder’s great-grandfather on the mother’s side was in the Boston “Tea Party” and his ancestors on the father’s side came over in the Mayflower. Mr. Seler is one of the prominent men of the county, and the imposing residnece, commodious barns and substantial outbuildings which make up his attractive rural home, bespeak his taste and enterprise.


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.

Search Military Records - Fold3

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Scroll to Top