Biography of Werner A. Wrenn

Among the agriculturists and business men of Wallowa County, the subject of this sketch stands as a leader, having manifested capabilities that justly entitle him to that position, while also he possesses an adaptability and perseverance coupled with energy, that have enabled him to handle large interests and manipulate them in a manner that brings success, while also his characteristic integrity and stanch principles of truth and uprightness have given him a prestige enviable and commendable.

Mr. Wrenn was born in Benton County, Oregon, on March 3, 1866, being the son of John and Elizabeth (Watt) Wrenn, natives respectively of Virginia and Missouri. The father was a contractor and builder and migrated via Cape Horn in the days of “Forty-nine” to California, whence in 1851 he came to Portland and engaged there in contracting and building, continuing in the same line for five years. He build the county court house at Corvallis and in 1870 went to Linn county and purchased a farm, devoting his attention to agriculture until the time of his death in August, 1881. The mother died in 1887 and side-by-side they sleep awaiting the resurrection morn, the Oakville cemetery being the spot of their repose. In 1882 our subject migrated to Crook County and took part in handling and raising stock, giving also some attention to farming. In 1887 he took a pre-emption in that county. Soon after that date he came to Wallowa County on a trip of exploration and in 1889 he came here to reside, having sold his interests in Crook County. He entered the employ Wurzweiler Brothers, general merchants of Joseph, as salesman, in 1891. In 1897 he went to Portland and sailed for Klondike on “The Elder,” leaving dock there in July of that year. He landed at Dyea and returned here in the fall. In the spring of 1898 he went to Dawson and was on the first boat that went through the White Horse rapids. In the fall of that year he opened a mercantile and transportation business in Dawson in company with James A. Rouse. He continued in that business until the fall of1900 and then sold to his partner and returned to Wallowa County. He purchased a farm four and one-half miles north from Joseph and settled down. He has one of the finest rural dwellings in the county and his farm is equal to the very best, both for fertility and excellent culture. In addition to this farm he owns a homestead on the Imnaha, taken in 1895, also owns with his brother one-half section three and one-half miles northwest from Joseph.

On September 24, 1900, Mr. Wrenn married Miss Mable, daughter of Dr. J.W. and Jennie (Yerkes) Barnard, natives of Canada. Dr. Barnard has practiced in Joseph since 1891 and also owns a drug store there. To our subject and his estimable wife there have been born one child, John Barnard, born September 18, 1901. It is very interesting to note that Miss Barnard went to Skagway to attend her wedding and the trip home was the bridal tour. Mr. Wrenn is esteemed as one of the prominent men of the county and he stands well wherever he is known, being one of the popular residents here.



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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