From "A History of Baker, Grant, Malheur and Harney Counties"
Provided by The Grant County Museum

JOSEPH F. HODSON - is one of the earliest pioneers of Grant county and has been a constant resident here since his advent in 1861, laboring steadily for its development and for the welfare of all, having displayed in this long time a character of sterling worth and principles that are sound, while his achievements have been praiseworthy and wisely wrought out and to-day he enjoys the esteem and confidence of all who are acquainted with him, being counted one of the wisest and most substantial citizens of the county.

In 1840, in Wayne county, Indiana, Joseph F. was born, and while still young, his parents removed to Fairfield, Iowa, and later migrated to Emporia, Kansas. In 1859, with ox teams, they crossed the plains and settled in Douglas county, this state, our subject accompanying them on this arduous journey, and after he saw them well settled departed, in 1860, to Jackson county and engaged in mining for one year. The following year, 1861, he came to John Day, and operated in the mines and at packing for a number of years. Observing the agricultural possibilities of the county, he selected a pre-emption where he now resides, two miles east from Mount Vernon. In addition to the original amount taken he has added much grazing land and is now engaged in the stock business. He is one of the substantial men in that industry and skill and energy are manifested in all his endeavors.

It is of note that during the time when he was in Kansas there were in action the various forces that contended for the supremacy in the state over the question of slavery, and some thrilling adventures were experienced by him in his boyhood days. At one time he participated in a pitched battle, called the battle of Blackjack, while it was his duty to carry dispatches to the captain of Fort Scott. It is worthy of note that in those days the neighbors congregated in companies of twenty or thirty and thus took their grists to the mills to be ground. On one occasion they found three men gagged and bound to trees. Two of the unfortunate victims were already dead, and the other nearly so.