Biography of Richard S. Rutherford

As a man among men, possessed of integrity, ability and perseverance; as a soldier, whose steady and constant service in the struggle for the punishment of treason and the wiping out of the insult to the stars and stripes was valiant and brave; as a business operator, whose wisdom and enterprise have been well manifested: the subject of this sketch stands, and it is fitting that a representation of him be granted space in this volume of Malheur’s history.

Richard S. was born in Armagh county, near Bellfast, Ireland, on February 22, 1840, being the son of Thomas and Amelia (Parks) Rutherford, who emigrated to this country when this son was eighteen months old. They settled in Quebec, Canada, whence in 1848 they came to Niagara county, New York. In 1852 they removed to Tuscola county, Michigan, and few years later our subject started in life for himself, his first move was to Scott county, Missouri, where he lived until the breaking out of the Civil War. At that particular time he was in charge of a plantation. On the tenth day of August, 186l, he offered his services to fight the battles of the nation, enlisting in Company H, Eighth Missouri Volunteer Infantry, being in the Fifteenth Army Corps under General Logan and in Sherman’s Division. He went in as a private and helped with good will to fight the battles of Ft. Donelson, Corinth and Shiloh and then was promoted to the position of head wagon master for the Fifteenth Corps train, with a salary of one hundred and twenty-five dollars a month. Then he participated in the battles of Vicksburg, Jackson, Atlanta, Chatanooga, and Lookout Mountain, then on August 20,1864 he received his honorable discharge at Atlanta. He returned to Michigan and in twenty days was hack again to the scene of fighting and this time was installed its master of the hospital wood train at Nashville, Tennessee, where he received a salary of one hundred and fifty dollars per month. During this time he was appointed as captain of a special company when Hood surrounded Nashville. He served until the close of the war, then was honorably discharged and returned to Michigan. He was fortunate during the entire service, being in the hospital but one week and that on account of the mumps.

Soon after returning to his old home in Michigan he was married to Miss Elizabeth, daughter of Robert and Mary F. Turner, the wedding occurring on June 14, 1866. Mrs. Rutherford is a native of Canada and of English extraction. He operated a hotel for a short time and then, in 1867, went to Georgetown, Colorado, and shortly after started the mining town of Silver Plume. He handled a pack train, and mined until 1876 and then went to California, thence to Nevada, and in 1878 came to Waitsburg, Washington. Eighteen hundred and eighty was the date he removed to Boise, Idaho, and three years later he came to Ontario. He opened the Rutherford, a first class hotel, and operated it until 1892, when it burned down and then he removed on to his farm, which he had taken as a soldier’s homestead, and there he remained until January, 1902, when he sold out and retired to Ontario. Here he has a fine residence in the heart of town, with ample grounds and tasty buildings.

To Mr. and Mrs. Rutherford there have been born eight children, as follows: Roy S., married to Buehlah Arnold: Benjamin F., married to Daisey Henshaw: Charles E., deceased; Ray W., deceased: Adrian A. also John, Edwin and Clara the three oldest, who are deceased. Mr. Rutherford is a past grand of the I. O. O. F., Ontario Lodge, No. 90: of the encampment and of the A. F. & A. M.. Acacia Lodge, No. 118, and of the G. A. R., Alvin P. Hovey post of which he is post commander. He and his wife are members of the Rebekah; and Eastern Star, and also are allied with the Congregational church, while in political matters Mr. Rutherford is a Republican.

Mrs. Rutherford’s parents were Robert and Mary (Franklin) Turner, and Benjamin Franklin is one of her ancestors on her mother’s side.


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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