Biography of Elijah W. Oliver

ELIJAH W. OLIVER. – One of the land kings of Union county, the subject of this sketch, has wrought his magnificent success in our midst by honest endeavor directed by consummate skill in financiering and untiring attention to the business in hand,and it is very gratifying to note, that Mr. Oliver is practically a product of our county, being educated in its schools and having his life directed by the influences brought to bear here, while his estimable moral qualities do credit to him in all his enterprises.

Mr. Oliver was born in Marion county,Iowa, on September 1, 1857, being the son of Hiram and Julia Ann (McCaleb) Oliver, who crossed the dreary plains in 1864 and settled three miles north from Summerville, where the father erected a sawmill and continued in the operation of the same, and he is living on the home place to-day. The immediate subject of this sketch attended the comon schools of the county and received a good educationt herefrom and from further research and when he had reached mature years, began life’s battles by teaching school, continuing the same for four years, during which time he manifested marked ability in the ranks of the educators of the county, taking place with the leading instructors. Immediately subsequent to this time he engaged in the art of agriculture for four years, renting land for the purpose, finally in 1885 he purchased the nucleus of his present place, one hundred and twenty acres constituting the purchase. To this he has steadily added by purchase until he owns one body seven hundred and sixty acres of fine land, all well cutlivated, and producing abundant returns in grains and fruits. On this place he has an orchard of three acres planted to the ordinary fruits of this section. In addition to this elegant estate, which lies three miles from Alicel, Mr. Oliver owns two thousand and five hundred acres fourteen miles south. This magnificent domain is utilized as follows: Five hundred acres for the production of hay and grain and the balance for pasturage for his fine herds, among which he has some excellent animals. He owns one Clydesdale stallion that has always taken first premium whenever he has been exhibited. He also owns excellent thoroughbred shorthorn cattle, some one hundred and twenty-five or more.

In 1878 Mr. Oliver was married to Miss Maggie, daughter of J.Q. and Eliza (Woodell) Wallsinger, who came to the Grande Ronde valley in 1862 and took up a homestead three miles north from Summerville. In 1898 the father died but the mother is still living in Lagrande. To our subject and his estimable wife there have been born nine children, two of whom are married, Charles E., living on the large estate of his father; Minnie J., wife of A. Thomas, of Logan, Utah. Two of the children are attending the high school in Lagrande and five are at home. Mr. Oliver has always taken the part of the intelligent citizen in political matters, although never accepting personal preferment. He has freely given his services and wisdom to the district in educational matters as clerk, and he always manifests a broad public spirit. Mr. Oliver is interested in the Oregon Artesian Well and Oil Company, being one of its incorporators, and he ever displays the enterprising and progressive spirit with which he is favored. Mr. Oliver is highly esteemed by his fellows, because of his real intrinsic worth, and his high moral qualities, as well as for the wisdom and ability manifested in achieving the success that has crowned his efforts.



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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