Biography of Hon. Isaiah W. Hope

Hon. Isaiah W. Hope is one of the most prominent men in Malheur County today, and he has been a leader here for many years, having started in the mercantile business with his brother in an early day and building up one of the mammoth establishments of the west, while also in many lines of industry he has brought the fine talent of which he is possessed into play with the gratifying result that he has achieved a general round of success in the realm of merchant, general developer of the country, organizer of the Vale Commercial Company, promoter of various leading industries of the County, banker, and representative of his County in the state legislature, in which latter position he has the distinction of being the only man who has received a second term at the hands of the people; thus it is seen that Mr. Hope is deserving of a prominent mention in the history of Malheur County, where he stands esteemed by all both for his work and for his own intrinsic worth.

Isaiah W. was born in Brookville, Vernon County, Wisconsin, September 28, 1861, being the son of George W. and Emeline (Williams) Hope. His father was one of the martyrs of the Civil war, enlisting in the Twenty-fifth Wisconsin Volunteers in the spring of 1862 He was under Sherman in the siege of Vicksburg, was sent to the north to fight the Indians in the Minnehaha massacre, returned to go with Sherman to the south, and was taken sick and sent to the hospital at Memphis, Tennessee, where he died in the spring of 1863. In 187o our subject went with his mother and the rest of the family to Brown County, Kansas, and in 1873, they went to Norton County, where the mother took up a soldier’s claim and is living there at the present time. In July, 1881, Mr. Hope came west to Colorado, entering into partnership with his brother, Milton G., with whom he has labored ever since. In 1883 they came to Bellville, Idaho, and the following year they came to Vale. They each entered a homestead and with their bare hands they commenced the work of improvement. In 1887 they started a mercantile establishment with one hundred dollars capital and they have merited the patronage of the people because of fair and honorable treatment, and the patronage came and the result has been that at the present time the Hope Brothers have a stock of from thirty to forty thousand dollars worth of finely assorted merchandise, and a fine large stone store. In 1902 they incorporated under the name of the Vale Commercial Company in which they hold a half interest. They also own an interest in the Vale Milling Company, and have seven hundred acres of land, besides sixty on which are located the famous Hope Springs. They are interested heavily in the First Bank of Vale.

In 1890 Mr. Hope married Miss Lillie B., daughter of Fred and Hannah Gellerman, near Vale, and to them have been born the following children : Norma E., Irma D., Mazie. In 1894 Mr. Hope was elected on the Republican ticket to represent this County in the state legislature and at the expiration of his term was promptly re-elected. He is a member of the state central committee, and chairman of the County committee. Mr. Hope is member and past grand of the I. O. O. F., Lodge No. 100, of Vale: is also past chief patriarch of the Malheur Encampment of Vale. He and his wife are member of the Rebekah and she is past grand while he has served as secretary of the I. O. O. F. for several years. Mr. Hope was educated in the common schools and then has perfected himself in that greatest of all schools, practical business on the American frontier. He and his brother were the original locators of the Malheur Oil Company and hold large interests in that concern. Mr. Hope has forty acres adjoining the town of Vale and intends soon to erect a residence there.


Whitman, Marcus. An Illustrated history of Baker, Grant, Malheur and Harney Counties: with a brief outline of the early history of the state of Oregon. Chicago: Western Historical Publishing Co., 1902, 871 pgs.

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