Biography of William I. Dishman

WILLIAM I. DISHMAN. – This work purporting as it does to give in review the careers of the leading and substantial men of this county, would be quite incomplete were there failure to mention in proper form the influential and progressive business man of Elgin whose name appears at the head of this article, and whose well known vigor and ability in the business world are recognized by all, being at the present time vice-president and resident manager of the well known G.M.&S. Company, and one-third owner of the capital stock, which company does a large business in general merchandise including hardware of all kinds, lumber and implements.

Mr. Dishman was born in Callaway county, Missouri, on August 3, 1859, the son of William S. and Elizabeth (Greer) Dishman, natives of Kentucky. The parents came to Missouri in the early fifties, being pioneers to that state, and then migrated to Oregon in 1883, and at the present time are living in Huntington, Baker county, Oregon. Our subject worked with his father in Missouri until 1879, then came to Oregon, handling stock in the Wallowa valley until 1882, then went back to induce his father to come to this country. As soon as business affairs could be closed out the father came out and with our subject and two brothers, Robert and John, started the cattle business in Wallowa valley under the firm name of W.S. Dishman & Sons, the year that the business was inaugurated being 1884. The firm owned property on Swamp and Pine creeks and the Imnaha. They did a thriving business, and later our subject and his brother, John, bought the father’s interest and continued the business under the firm name of Dishman Brothers. In 1895 William I. Bought out his brother and continued the business until 1897, then sold the entire property of stock, land and improvements, and in August of that year removed to Elgin to live. He traveled about for some time to search some opening and then in company with others, bought the store being erected in Elgin by the I.C.M.&M. Company of Island City, and launched the company now known as the G.M.&S. Company, which is one of the strong concerns of the county, and does a good business in general merchandise, lumber, and implements. The house is under the management of the subject of this sketch and has achieved a good success and won a patronage that gives it the meed of brilliant success.

The marriage of Mr. Dishman and Miss Sallie, daughter of James and Mary Day, natives of Kentucky, but now farmers in Paradise, Wallowa county, was solemnized on June 13, 1894, and two children have come to gladden the happy home, Clarence W., born January 16, 1897, and Ruth, born March 31, 1900. Mr. Dishman is a member of the K. of P., Orion Lodge, No. 73. He and his wife are members of the Presbyterian church and are devoted supporters of the tenents of their faith. Mr. Dishman has an attractive home and provided with all the modern conveniences and is considered one of the most substantial men of the community, while he has always manifested unswerving integrity and maintained an untarnished reputation.



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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