The first homesteads in Grant County were taken by B.C. Trowbridge and
William Wilson on July 16, 1862.
the County Judge was W. Lair Hill; County Clerk was Tom Brentz.
The second judge was C.H. (Joaquin) Miller with Tom Brentz, Clerk.
Jack Wolsey was a fiddler in Canyon City.
The first death in the county was a man who died on Pine Creek of Consumption
in 1862. The second was James K. Knox who was killed by W. Blevins on
Nov. 23, 1862. A graveyard was then picked out and dedicated.
Berry Wey was the first man hung - for murder of J. Gallaher near Antelope Valley
on The Dalles Trail - June 04, 1863.
The first persons joined together in holy matrimony were James Adams and Jennette
Hunter. The first marriage on record was Matlock M. Koonz and Henritta Henvietz
Nov. 29, 1864 performed by W. Lair Hill.
Ella Daly who became (Mrs. Collier) was the first girl born in Canyon City. Mary
Fisk was the first white child born in Marysville. John D. Daly was the first white
child born in Whiskey Gulch (1866). Early babies of Whiskey Gulch were: Jennie Nunes,
Edith Clifford,Jeff Mulcare,Mrs. Jim Tracy, E.F. Sharp, Frank Metschan, George
Sollinger, and Anna Cattanach.
Ralph Fisk was a fiddler in 1870.
The first Dayville Post Office was on Henry Rinsmyer ranch. Jim Brackett was the 1st
postmaster; 2nd, Capt. Lewis; 3rd Bert Snow (1882). The stage from The Dalles to
Canyon City passed through Dayville. It took three days and nights to make the trip.
Antelope was the first stop from The Dalles; Mt. Home was the second; Canyon City was
Some of the early miners were killed in quarrels with each other, but when a bad man
met a violent death, no one attempted to bring the slayer to justice.
Dan LaFollett (Black Dan, gambler) was tall and handsome and perhaps a card shark for he was
shot in front of Marchand's Saloon by a customer. At the same time a man called Sailor Jack
shot someone else. Thus, two graves were needed. Black Dan's friends dug a grave for him
but when they arrived at the cemetery with the remains for burial, they found the "Grave claim
jumped" by Sailor Jack and had to hastily dig another grave.
D.I. Asbury purchased The Grant County News at Canyon City. Col. Asbury did his own type setting.
He printed his paper on an old Washington hand press until land office patronage enabled him to buy a cylinder
press and employ help.
Oct. 1884 - Hotel and Saloon SIGNS were making their appearance on the streets.
Dec. 1884 - The stages between Canyon City and Baker are now making good time. Leave Canyon City at 6:00 A.M.
and arrive Baker next morning at 3:00 A.M. The roads are in splendid condition and when the weather is
mild, it is a very pleasant ride.
Feb. 05, 1885 - China Town burned down this week and many of the Chinamen have moved to John Day.
April 02, 1886 - John Schmidt and P.V. Middlesworth left for Lakeview last Tuesday.
May 1889 - Sheriff Gray and Pete Kuhl started for Salem Monday with the Frenchman sent up for the shooting of
May 1889 -
David Dietz owns Medical Springs on Canyon Creek.
Harvey Fields intends starting in about a month for Montana with a band of cattle and sheep.
John Bronkee was murdured in Grant County by Pat McGinnis, who was executed by the State of Oregon
authorities at Salem. Pat McGinnis was buried on the hill outside the Canyon City cemetery beside
Cain (Kane) who was the first murderer executed by PROPER authority in Grant County. Cain was hanged in 1865
for killing Watson who had repaid a $200 gold debt by "greenbacking" Cain. Mr. Tom
Reynolds dug both of these graves - 24 years apart.
June 1889 -
John McCullough and Tom Smith have 400 head of horses gathered for a drive east.
Heppner is becoming quite a wool market.
Tiger Hose Team no. 1 - Canyon City: Chief: Clay Todhunter; Foreman Jake Simon; Secretary: T.B. Bugler;
Treasurer and Bouncer: Ed Walton.
July 1889 -
Frank McBean is proprietor of Soda Springs Station - a favorite summer resort for Grant and Harney County folk.
W.S. Southworth of Canyon City Sash and Door Factory shipped doors and windows to Harney this week for
the new Court House.
Fred Horsley is busy transcribing the records of Harney Co.
August 1889 -
Harney folks are looking for and expecting big loads of vegetables and fruits from Grant County.
Hay Ak, the only Chinaman resident of Harney City, was pounded almost to death last Thursday night by Tom Vickers
because he sat in a "White man's" saloon without any socks on his feet.
John Cattanach, Ed Cobb, and Thomas Davis started Monday morning for Spokane Falls to help rebuild that
Sept. 1889 -
"The Eagle" of Long Creek has been sold to Otis Patterson of Heppner.
Grand Jury: Stephen Harer, Horace Trask, Wm. Pearmain, Jas. Hughes, Wm. Wright,
Henry Murphy, and W.H. Johnson.
Several residences in Bear Valley have by hard work been saved from fired started by Siwashes, and considerable
fencing and hay has already been destroyed.
Indians set fire to the forest near Bear Valley and burned all the hay that a poor settler named
Keller had put up for his few head of stock.
Prairie fires in Bear Valley recently burned several tons of hay belonging to Jackson Chambers.
The Circus will be at Heppner tomorrow. Lots of people from the northern part of Grant County have gone to
see the elephant.
Oct. 1889 -
A destructive fire broke out at Belshaw's place and raged along the John Day River a few days. It burned fencing
and much pasture. Belshaw's son had tried to burn a patch of mustard and the fire got away from him.
Oct. 1889 -
John Day was once known as "Tiger Town."
For the first time in three months water is running in Canyon Creek. It has never been so dry for so long a time
before in the history of the county.
Billy Mascall and Tom Highland start for Idaho tomorrow with 150 head of horses.
John Day school started last Monday. Teacher: N.M. Bonham.
Dec. 1889 -
"Sandy" Olds, who was sentenced to be hanged for the murder of Emil Weber in Portland, has been granted
a new trial.
John Schmidt, who had a mare stolen from his ranch in Bear Valley last November, has put up a poster offering
$100 for the arrest and conviction of the thief.
Proposals for keeping the County's poor (housing, board, etc;): J.W. Bates $5 per wk; Clara S. Lockwood $10;
Ed O. Stansell $6. Bates got the contract. Signed Peter Kuhl and J.L. Miller.
A new voting precinct, called Austin, was established.
This winter will be remembered as the hard winter of 1889-90. Cattle are suffering. Horses on the range are already dying
(because of the deep snow and cold and lack of feed.) Jewett and McBean are putting forth every effort to keep
the stage line free from blockade and are having considerable difficulty in making the trips with the mail.
On the Baker road on Dixie Mt. snow is six feet deep in the timber where it does not drift.
The loss of stock in Grant County this year will be less than in any other county east of the Cascades.
Canyon Creek is running high this week. The folk living in the John Day lowlands are constructing dikes.
John Wash is mail man from Harney; McBean is from Canyon City.
General Hancock Post No. 34 GAR DEpt. of Oregon: John Segerdahl, Samuel Hough, Hiel A. Hyde, Edward Chidsey,
E. Ramsby, Thos. Perkins, E. Hayes, M.G. Pierson, Charles Cooley, John Young, O.W. Birge.
April 1892 -
Mrs. Phillips' orchard of apples and prunes is one of many beautiful and productive spots in Grant County.
Hartley's saloon (Prairie City) has a tent behind it. Lew Day's photo gallery will be here in it for 2-3 weeks.
Idol City Post Office was established at the new Trout Creek mines; postmaster: Joe Morris --- location changed to
Wintermier's in Silvies Valley.
August 1917 -
The town of Sumpter burned to the ground.
Fall of 1917 -
There was a Rabies rage.
Feb. 1918 -
Al Ferree said the road between John Day and Prairie City was a good canal to tow boats.
GAR Veterans: O.W. Birge, "Payme" Folsom, M.A. Lucas, A.A. Deen, Sol Taylor.
There were 13 draft evaders in Grant County.
Spanish Flu epidemic
April 1919 -
Scarlet Fever in John Day.
May 1919 -
Three John Day High School Graduates: Josephine G. Landrum, Virginia Rinehart, and Edith Sliffe.
Summer 1919 -
Moonshiners in Granite and Prairie City fined.
The population of Ritter, located on the Middle Fork of the John Day River, is twenty.
The town of Monument was practically [an entire sentence is missing here] ... on a garage roof.
Dec. 15th, the John Day business section was afire. It started in Benson's Restaurant from a defective
flue. The restaurant was damaged, and damaged were the plumbing shop of Bock & Howell, Paine Hotel, The Tourist
Garage. There was $5,000 damage.
Rest Lawn Cemetery, John Day, was laid out on land formerly owned by the Empire Gold Dredging
Company in Sept. 1923.
In early February there was a $10,000 fire in the Long Creek business section.
Jack Geisler came to Mt. Vernon in 1901 seeking the Blue Bucket Gold Mine and has stayed
more than 30 years. He tells that ea--- stage coach drivers when he came were Tom McEwen,
Tom Myers, T---- Morrison and Minot Austin.
©1998 Roxann Gess Smith
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