Location: Baker County OR

History of Baker County Oregon Newspapers

On Wednesday, May 11, 1870, the first number of the Bedrock Democrat was issued-the first newspaper published in Baker County Abbott & McArthur, proprietors. The editor in his address to the public promises devotion to the interests of the people of Eastern Oregon in all things pertaining to the material interests of the people, and fidelity to the Democratic Party in political matters. In the editorial columns the public debt and other political questions of the time are discussed. In the local columns the different mining camps of the county all receive a notice. The miners at Auburn were jubilant

Pursuit of Indians in Baker County Oregon

In the month of June 1866, a number of horses and mules were driven off by the Indians, being taken from the vicinity of Washington ranch. Twelve men started in pursuit, following the trail of the stolen animals over the mountain to the head of Elk creek, and on towards the head of Powder River, then across the divide to Burnt River and over the west ridge to Willow creek. Here six of the party turned back, and John Hibbard, Hardin Estes, Frank Johnson, Hiram Kinnison, Jo Hodgeons and Curtis kept on the pursuit. The Indians had chosen their route

Humboldt Basin

The first discovery of gold in Mormon Basin was made by some men from Humboldt River Nevada. They had been to the Auburn mines, and like many others, became discouraged at first sight of the country and were on their way home again when they made their discovery. Charles Stubley dug the first ditch from Glengary gulch to Sunburnt flat. Mr. Ingraham came to the camp January 2, 1863, and got an interest in some claims where he and two others did the first sluicing in the spring of ’63, taking out $65 per day per man. Mr. Getchell made

Arrivals, Incidents and Anecdotes of Baker County Oregon

Joseph Kinnison came to Powder River valley in July and took up a ranch where he has ever since resided. To him belongs the honor of plowing the first furrow ever turned in Baker County. In the spring of 1863 he had about forty acres in cultivation. About the first of June there was a severe frost and all growing vegetables seemed to be thoroughly frozen. Mr. Kinnison offered to take fifty dollars for his crop but found no buyer. He was most agreeably surprised to find, when the frost was gone, that no serious damage had been done, and

Public Schools of Baker County Oregon

It is much to be regretted that all records of matters pertaining to public schools during the first years of the settlement of the county, have been lost. All that can be done now is to record such matters as may be remembered by those who were engaged in school affairs in those days, as teachers or otherwise. As stated elsewhere, Mrs. Packwood taught the first school in the county, at Auburn, in the fall of 1862. Soon after her arrival she engaged in the work of raising money for the purpose of building a schoolhouse, and in a short

Early Education in Baker County Oregon

Permanent among the educational institutions of Baker County is the Baker City Normal and Business College which has just finished its sixth year of usefulness. This school of education for business pursuits and the preparation of persons for the teaching profession, was organized January 10, 1887, by Mr. C. H. Whitney, a graduate of the National Business College. At first the branches taught included single and double entry bookkeeping, business penmanship, commercial arithmetic, business correspondence, etc. together with an actual business department in which the student received practical instruction in the branches passed over in theory. During the autumn of

Pioneers of Baker County Oregon

One of Baker County’s early pioneers and daring Indian scouts was C. C. Davis, better known, perhaps, as Lum Davis. Mr. Davis was born in Greencastle, Putman County, Ind., February 20, 1836. When quite young he moved with his parents to Iowa and in 1862 came to Baker County, Oregon. Went to Portland in the winter and returned in ’63 and spent part of the summer on Burnt river; and back to Snake river in the fall. For some years Mr. Davis spent most of his time at Rye Valley and Mormon Basin, mining part of the time and part

Auburn Oregon Catholic Church

As stated elsewhere, the first church established in Baker was the Catholic Church, organized at Auburn in 1862 by Father Mesplie. On that first visit he solemnized the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Packwood, the second event of the kind in the county, that of Mr. and Mrs. Hall a short time before being the first. Father Deilman came over from Canyon City to Auburn at intervals afterward and held services but there was never any resident priest at the town. Father Deilman got lost on one of his trips, and wandered in the mountains three days with nothing to

Burnt River Ditch

In 1863, some work was done on a ditch which had been surveyed from Clarks Creek mines to Burnt River, and the next year a company was incorporated to prosecute the work, under the name of the Burnt River Ditch company, W. H. Packwood, Jasper Hall, Robert Kitchen and Lamar stockholders. There was not much done towards constructing the ditch, however, until 1867, when the matter came up again on a proposition to build a ditch to convey water to the Shasta district, and the work was begun, eleven miles being dug that season. The next year, 1868, it was

Quartz Mining, Baker County Oregon

About two thousand claims on quartz lodes have been recorded in Baker County since 1862. More or less development work has been done on most of them, perhaps one half of them having been worked to the extent which the law requires in order to make the claim secure. Nineteen quartz mills have been built, ranging in capacity from two to sixty tons per day. The first one built was the Ruckles mill at Baker City, which was put in operation in 1864. The mill was run by waterpower, and was built to work the ore from what was then