Biography of James W. Chenoweth

Capable, progressive and conscientious, the subject of this memoir is worthy of representation in any volume that purports to detail the lives of its leading men, and it is with pleasure that we are enabled to give space here to mention the salient features in his interesting career. Mr. Chenoweth was a man of broad views and a good public spirit, while his abilities and energy were commensurate with the stanch integrity and intrinsic moral worth which he constantly manifested in his course of uprightness and worthy achievement.

On April 10, 1860, James W. Chenoweth was born near Bedford, Taylor County, Iowa to William T. and Minerva Chenoweth. During his youthful days his time was divided between gaining a good education, assisting his father on the farm and in learning the carpenter trade, and to his credit is it mentioned that he was very successful in each line. At the age of eighteen he was ready to enter the Agricultural College at Manhattan, Kansas, and thither he went, continuing in that institution until he graduated. Following this important event in his life he went to teaching for a time, but not being enamored of the confinement gave up the profession and turned his attention more particularly to the prosecution of his trade. His proficiency in it will be understood when we mention that for a number of years he wrought for the Pullman Car Company, which company requires a high grade of skill in its workmen. He also was engaged with a piano firm for a time. After spending some years in this work he turned toward the west, selecting Wallowa County as his destination. He secured a homestead near Enterprise, which afterward he sold and then purchased a farm near the mountains, it being well improved. Subsequent to this he purchased the present home place of one quarter section, which is situated three and one-half miles southwest from Enterprise. This farm used to be owned by the venerable and worthy couple who were well known throughout the county as the earliest settlers here, being Mr. And Mrs. Thomas H. Veasy. The farm now owned by Mrs. Chenoweth is the first one taken in this part of the country. Mr. And Mrs. Veasy were very estimable people and were beloved by all for there real worth and for their faithful labors. The place is well improved, having good house, commodious barn and substantial outbuildings and is tilled in a skillful manner.

Mr. Chenoweth was married to Miss Amanda A., a native of Willamette valley, and a daughter of Edward and Sarah J. (Roberts) Parrish, pioneers to that country in 1850, and the nuptials occurred on November 1, 1884. Six children were born as the fruit of this happy union, their names being as follows: Clara B., Horace C., Murrel R., Herbert, Grace L., and Ruth M. Mrs. Chenoweth’s mother died in January, 1898, near Enterprise, and her father has removed to the Willamette valley to reside. Our subject and his worthy wife always took an active interest in Sunday school and in church work, and demeaned themselves in such a commendable manner that they won the confidence of all. In the spring of 1901, Mr. Chenoweth was attacked by pneumonia and although all was done that love and skill could accomplish the messenger of death snatched away his prize on March 4th. of that year. His remains were interred in the Alder cemetery and it was a time of sincere mourning when the good and beloved man was laid to rest. The widow has taken up the added burdens of life in a commendable manner and is going forward with them nobly. She is esteemed and confided in by all and is a valuable member of society.



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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