Biographical Sketch of Wallace McClain

This well-known and representative business man and patriotic citizen of Harney county is one of the firm of McClain & Biggs, liverymen and dealers in horses and mules in Burns, where their stables are, being also owners of a fine stock ranch. Our subject was born in Scotland county, Missouri, on September 16, 1854, being the son of Martin and Sarah (Childers) McClain. The father was in the confederate army and in the battle of Pea Ridge lost his right arm. He served under Price. In 1866 the family removed to Schuyler county and our subject was educated in these two localities and he remained with his parents until 1875, when he went to Waterloo, Iowa, and took up the grocery business. In 1877 he went to Elk City, Kansas, and the next year he came to San Francisco, and thence by steamer, George M. Elder, to Portland and soon he was in Linn county. He was engaged in a flouring mill until 1881 and then came to Summerville, Union county, and freighted from Umatilla to Idaho. It was 1883 when he came to the Silvies valley, engaging with Lux & Miller, stockmen. He took a train of twenty-one cars of cattle to Chicago and another to Omaha and was foreman of the company until he met with an accident of falling under a wagon, which unfitted him for the arduous labors of a stock foreman. This was 1886, and he went into business in Drewsey and in 1889 Mr. McClain married Mrs. Eva (Robertson) Whittle and then moved to Umatilla county. He took up the business of making and selling ties, took land, operated a store and butcher shop, also ran a butcher shop in Pasco, Washington, continuing in these lines until 1897, when he sold out and came to Burns. He opened a hotel and livery stable and in 1900 he sold the hotel and entered into partnership with John W. Biggs, and they are now handling a general horse and mule market in addition to their livery business. They handle more stock than any company in the county and are leaders in their line. They own fine stables and a full quota of rigs and good stock.

Fraternally Mr. McClain is affiliated with the W. of W., being council commander of Harney Valley Camp, No. 381, in Burns. Mr. and Mrs. McClain have one child, Harry Goulden. It is of note that Mr. McClain was special deputy sheriff under W. J. Furnish in Umatilla county and was one of twelve invited to see the hanging of a noted criminal, “Zoon,” in Pendleton. Mr. McClain is well known throughout the county and is respected by all and stands high both in business circles and in the social realm.



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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