Biography of Robert M. Divin

This venerable citizen and esteemed gentleman and resident of Vale is one of the substantial men of Malheur County and is well and favorably known throughout the precincts of this region, being a man of stanch integrity, and always manifesting those qualities of worth and merit that redound to the good of all. Mr. Divin was born in Lincoln County, Tennessee, on December 17, 1831, being the son of Irbin F. and Hannah Divin. The father died when our subject was two years of age, having removed with the family to Washington County, Arkansas, where the death occurred. There were but few settlers in that section then, and there Robert M. lived and attended school in the rough log houses of the time, gaining a training there from which fortified him for the battle of life. He remained with his mother until he had reached the age of manhood, and in 151 he married Miss Mary J. Kellam, a native of Little Rock, Arkansas. He was occupied on a farm until 186o, then removed to the frontier of Texas among the savage Commanche Indians. Here Mr. Divin and his family endured hardships and deprivations and sufferings from the savages that are calculated to dry up the cup of joy from the human breast, but they bravely fought their way through them all. The father for three years being a member of the state home guards for the purpose of protecting the settlers from the devastations of these reprobate savages and in many fights and skirmishes he participated. In 1865 they returned to Arkansas and remained there until 1870 when he came west with his family via Omaha San Francisco and Portland to Clackamas County, Oregon. His mother came with him and in 1875. They located on upper Willow creek and there engaged in the stock business. Success attended the efforts of Mr. Divin and he had soon a large band of cattle and horses and three hundred acres of land. In the spring of 1897 he sold this property and came to Vale, where he re-sides at the present time. He owns here one-half block and a couple of fine residences.

To Mr. and Mrs. Divin there have been born ten children, but eight of these have been laid away in the graveyard, four of them passing away in eight days with that dread disease, diphtheria. Those remaining are Irbin F., married to Josephine Wisdom and at present engaged in the mercantile business in Vale; Ambrose S. married to ‘Mollie Wisdom and engaged in the fruit business in Chico, California. Mr. Divin is a member of the Masonic fraternity and has also been active during his life in promoting the cause of education. During the times of Indian trouble here in 1878 he suffered his share with the other hardy settlers on the frontier. At the present time Mr. Divin has retired from the activities of the farm and is enjoying the retreat of his town residence and receiving the ministry of the competence that his thrift and industry have provided.



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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