Biography of Sabe Choate

SABE CHOATE. – A man who had the ability, force of character and perseverance to master two distinct lines of industry as has the subject of this sketch, besides being able to handle successfully the same with added lines of enterprise and to bring prosperity out of it all is surely deserving of the approbation of his fellows, which it is right to say Mr. Choate has received in no unstinted measure, being at the present time one of the substantial and highly respected citizens of Union county.

In Fenders county, Tennessee, on April 13, 1825, our subject was born to John and Annie (Titrow) Choate. There also the parents lived until death called them hence. The educational advantages of the time were rather limited and our subject was obliged to be content with the meager instruction to be had; however, an active mind made search in the archives of the world and gleaned much useful knowledge, while the problems of active life gave discipline of a practical kind. His days of youth were not wasted, for he made himself master of the boot and shoemaker’s trade and then became an adept in the blacksmith’s art. Upon reaching his majority he stepped out on the plain of life’s activities and first took up steamboating, but soon took up blacksmithing and farming together, and for thirty-five years he was found at the forge and with the plow in honest labor producing the bread of contentment and a competence that does not easily melt away. During this time, in the year 1862, he enlisted in the Tennessee home guards, and for three and one-half years did military service, but immediately returned to the industrial life at the close of the war. Eleven years were also spent in mercantile pursuits, where his honesty and straighforwardness gained for him a patronage that brought the fruits of success to him. It was in 1885 that he turned from the old home state and left the scenes of long and faithful labors to seek a new place in the land of the west. The fertile grande Ronde valley attracted him and hither he came, going also on to Wallowa, but ultimately returning to the vicinity of Summerville, where he purchased a farm of three hundred acres one-half mile east from town. It is all in excellent cultivation and rewards him annually with bountiful crops of timothy and the cereals.

In 1850, while in Tennessee, Mr. Choate married Miss Sarah, daughter of Nathaniel and Elizabeth Mullinix, and four children were born to them, as follows: Edward, in Nevada; William, in Union county; Isaa, in Nevada; Missouri K., wife of Joseph Wooley, of Portland. In 1868 Mr. Choate contracted a second marriage, Miss Nancy Jane Mullinix being the lady of his choice at this time, and five children have been born to this happy union; Jasper M., operating a grocery store in Summerville; Lily A., wife of Warren Gibson, a Baptist clergyman; Ellen, wife of David Hug; Annie, wife of Harry Hug, near Elgin; Thelbert, at home. Mr. Choate is affiliated with the Masons, Miram Lodge No. 69, of Summerville, and he and his wife with the Eastern Star, Olive Branch Chapter No. 62, of Summerville. He is one of the capable men of the county, now venerable and enjoying the good things of the golden time of his life and receiving the respect and admiration of all who may know him.


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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