Biography of Edward W. Imbler

Last Updated on February 19, 2013 by

Among the earliest pioneers of this state the subject of this sketch, together with his father, has been identified with the opening for settlement of various fertile portions of the state, and in these places he has labored, with his father, in the pioneer undertakings that occupy the frontiersman and those who would make from the wilds of nature the opulent farms and comfortable residences of civilization.

Edward W. was born in Muhlenburgh County, Kentucky, in 1843, being the son of David and Hester (Jackson) Imbler, natives respectively of North Carolina and Kentucky. In 1844 they migrated from their home in Kentucky to Jefferson county, Iowa, remaining there until 1853, when the reports of the rich and unexplored portions of the Pacific coast led them fit out ox teams and undertake the arduous journey across the plains to Eugene, Oregon. Arriving there in due time without serious accident, or harm from the Indians, they settled on the prairie seven miles west from the town being the first settlers there and took up three hundred and twenty acres of land. While they were the first to settle there, still it was but a few weeks after they settled before all of the land was taken up, so rapidly, did the immigrants come in. On their new place they at once commenced operations in general farming and raising stock. Later they became interested in the lumber business and operated a sawmill plant on the Long Tom. In 1859 they removed from this place to Wasco County, and bought land upon which the town of Dufur is now established. Upon this property, they were engaged in raising stock until 1869 and then they made another move toward the east, settling this time in Union county, where the town of Imbler now stands, remaining there until 1885, when they removed to Wallowa County, settling on Swamp creek, nine miles northeast from Enterprise. In this place, the father was called from the labors of life in 1889, and then our subject, who had remained with his father until this time, sold the property and removed to Union county, purchasing a farm in Cove, where he took up the life of the agriculturist for seven years and then sold out and returned to Wallowa county, this time taking up a homestead twelve miles east from Enterprise. At the present time Mr. Imbler is dwelling in a pleasant residence in Enterprise.

In 1873 the marriage of Mr. Imbler and Miss Mary Smith, a native of Missouri, whose parents were early pioneers of this state, was solemnized and to them were born four children. Jessie, deceased: Clara, Bessie and Lester. In 1880 Mrs. Imbler was taken by the messenger of death from a loving family and they were called to mourn the loss of a noble mother and faithful wife. She is buried in the Summerville cemetery.

In 1883 Mr. Imbler contracted a second marriage, the lady of his choice at this time being Miss Mattie Copeland, a native of Arkansas, and to them was born one child, Mattie. Mrs. Imbler died in 1884 and her remains lie buried in Summerville. In 1886 Mr. Imbler married a third time, the lady who became his wife being Emma L. Wagner, a native of Idaho, and they have one child, Jessie. Fraternally Mr. Imbler is associated with the Masons at Summerville, and with the I.O.O.F., Lodge No. 153, at Enterprise.

Mr. Imbler was a scout in the Joseph Indian war, doing good work for the settlers, while his three elder brothers were intrepid fighters against the savages in the Rogue river war in an early day. The father sold his entire stock to the government during that war and received scrip, which was later repudiated and he thereby lost his entire property. It is worthy of note that the family has always been the first, or among the very first, settlers in all the localities that they have dwelt in and they have the true pioneer spirit, manifesting the same in their faithful lives of endeavor that have been crowned with good success. Politically Mr. Imbler is allied with the Republican Party, and in the first election in Wallowa County he was chosen by his fellows as one of the commissioners of the county, being entrusted with the trying and intricate duties of acting in that responsible capacity in the organization of a new political division. Mr. Imbler is the recipient of the respect and esteem of the entire community, and his life of uprightness and faithfulness has merited the same.



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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