Biographical Sketch of Arba Adams

Among the earliest pioneers that broke sod in what is now Wallowa County, and constantly since that time a steady worker in the lines of development that have brought so much wealth to the coffers of the county, namely stock raising and farming, the estimable gentleman, whose name is at the head of this article, is eminently fitted to be represented in this history, and it is with pleasure that we accord him such at this time.

Mr. Adams was born in Vermont, on December 8, 1842, being the son of Joshua and Roxana Adams, and in his native state he was educated and remained until manhood’s estate, working also with his father. When the call came for men to stand against the onslaughts of Rebellion’s hosts and save the Union from destruction and dismemberment, our subject, on June 1, 1861, interposed himself and enlisted in Company H, Ninth Vermont Volunteers and faced the cannons with a firmness born of dauntless courage and stanch manhood. Until September 11, 1863, he fought bravely and served faithfully, and then received his discharge because of a disability. He had been in many battles and among them that at Harper’s Ferry, where he was captured by the enemy, but after parole he again joined his company. Subsequent to his discharge, he returned to Vermont, then migrated to Wisconsin, locating in Portage County, and they’re engaging in the lumbering business until 1876. In that year he came to Oregon, and sought out a place for a location in the territory now embraced in Wallowa County, which was found on Prairie creek, six miles southeast from Joseph. He took a homestead and was one of the very first settlers in this region. He devoted his attention to raising stock and general farming and his characteristic energy and good judgment made him successful, and he was soon numbered with the prosperous men of the section and has since been a leading and prominent citizen. In 1886 he removed to his present place on the Imnaha, ten miles above the bridge, taking a preemption and engaging in fruit raising, general farming and stock raising. He has now a fine estate of four hundred and forty acres besides his Prairie creek ranch and it is all well improved and skillfully handled, yielding the abundant fruitage of a fertile soil.

Mr. Adams married Miss Mary, daughter of George and Catherine Bickel, and a native of Wisconsin, on November 7, 1869, and they have become the parents of two children: Minnie R., wife of F.E. Vaughan: Roxie C. Mrs. Adams parents are natives of Germany. Mr. Adams is a member of the I.O.O.F. Silver Lake Lodge, No. 84, at Joseph. He is one of the substantial men of the county and is respected and esteemed by all. It is of note that Mr. Adams is a direct descendant of Henry Adams of Braintree, Massachusetts, being of the ninth generation. Our subject’s forefather of the third generation of Henry Adams descendants was brother of President John Adams.



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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