Biography of Ira Stubblefield

A man of great adaptability, with vigor to carry him through his various undertakings, and wisdom to guide him in the safe path, and, withal, possessed of executive force to manipulate enterprises with success, the subject of this article is a man to whom we gladly accord representation in this volume of Harney county history. He was born in Blanco county, Texas, on April 28, 1866, being the son of W. K. and Eliza (Lumas) Stubblefield. The father of our subject was born in Tennessee, October 30, 1816, and at the age of fourteen went to Bolivar, Missouri, and in his twentieth year he went to Texas and lived in twenty-three different counties in that state. He was on the frontier all of the time and did much hunting and scouting and fought the Indians continually. He was with the noted cattle king, Bob Tout, and the two doubtless slew more Indians when the savages were on the murderous raids than any other men of the country. At one time eight white men, including Mr. Stubblefield and Bob Tout, were attacked by Indians, seventeen in number, and all of the whites fled but Stubblefield and Tout and two companions, and they fought the savages to a finish, completely whipping them. Mr. Stubblefield was in many a battle and skirmish with the treacherous savage and always came out victorious. In 1868 he went to Carroll county, Arkansas, and bought a farm and settled down until 1885 when he came to Walla Walla, thence to Portland, then to Lagrande and finally to the Imnaha country, where he raised stock. In 1896 he sold his property and moved to Enterprise and started a livery stable, where he is doing a good business at the present time. He is eighty-six years of age, well preserved and hearty. In his younger days he shouldered and carried five hundred and sixty pounds of iron on a bet of twenty-five dollars. He was always a quiet man but never found any one who could withstand him in a struggle. During his life Mr. Stubblefield married six times, each wife dying a natural death, the last one passing away on the Imnaha. He is the father of twenty-six children, fourteen of whom of whom are living, named as follows: Mrs. Martha Mickle, of Boundary county, Texas; Thomas, in Indian territory; Mrs. Sarah White, of Boone county, Arkansas; Jasper, in Nebraska; Mrs. Christina Blue, in Stone county, Missouri, born on Clear creek, Blanco county, Texas on January 22, 1864, being a full sister of our subject; Ira, the subject of this sketch, now in Harney county; William and Mickle, in Wallowa county; Mrs. Eliza Newell, of Burns; Haymon, of Wallowa county; Mrs. Lydda Rowley, of Union county; Fancho, Newell and Breman in Wallowa county.

Returning more particularly to our subject, we note that he came to Wallowa county in 1886 and to Burns in 1888, where he bought and sold stock, taking a band to the Willamette valley. On September 23, 1890, Mr. Stubblefield married Miss Ettie, daughter of Jefferson and Emily (Smith) Byerly. The father came across the plains in 1846, from Illinois, and settled in the Willamette valley, so Mrs. Stubblefield is a native-born Oregonian. Mr. Stubblefield took his young wife to Chico, California, thence to Lagrande, Enterprise, The Dalles, Prineville and Burns, arriving here in 1892. In 1893 he went to Newport, Oregon, and in 1894 to Garfield county, Washington, thence to Whitman county, then to Wallowa county, and in June, 1899, he returned to Burns, having been trading and buying and selling stock, etc., on all these trips, in which he did well. He bought a place near Burns and in the spring of 1902 he sold and bought his present home place, six miles northeast from Burns, where he has a quarter section of good land, well improved, and gives his attention to tilling it and raising stock. He also owns another quarter near by. To Mr. and Mrs. Stubblefield there have been born four children; Christina died in Wallowa county; Peach, born August 16, 1896, in Colton, Whitman county, Washington; Fancho, born April 1, 1898; Ruth, born February, 1901.



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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