From "A History of Baker, Grant, Malheur and Harney Counties"
Provided by The Grant County Museum
MARTIN C. LESLEY - It now becomes our pleasant task to give in brief review the
salient points of the interesting career of the esteemed gentlman and enterprising
agriculturist whose name initiates this paragraph and who has wrought assiduously for
the advancement of the interests of Grant county, as well as making a successful battle
in the private business operations that he has prosecuted with vigor and sagacity while
Martin C. was born in Pike county, Kentucky, on October 25, 1831, being the son of
Amos and Lucinda Lesley, who removed with their son to Edgar county, Illinois, in 1837.
It was the lot of our subject to have the invigorating and whoesome exercise of assisting
his father on the latter's farm during his growing days, and also he attended the district
school during the proper seasons. In 1848 he was called to mourn that deepest loss to a
boy's heart, the death of his father. Four years subsequent to this sad occureence he
turned from the associations of childhood and began the long journey across deserts and
mountains to the land of the setting sun, where he has since wrought in various capacities
that have been brought before him in the walks of life. The journey hither was consummated
by the ox team of that day and landing in Clackamas county he turned his attention to farming.
Subsequent to this work he was occupied in assisting to repel the attacks of the savages in
their outbreak that brought on the Bogue [sp? Rogue] river war of 1855-56, wherein he served with faithfulness.
Later he was engaged in mining in southern Oregon and in California. In 1876 he came to Monument
mountain and settled on the Heppner road and took up farming and stock raising, continuing in the
same until 1882. At this date he located the home where he now lives, one and one-half miles
north from Monument. On this place he has made a specialty of farming, and success has crowned
his efforts in a very gratifying degree. He owns sufficient stock to carry on the farm in good
shape and his place is well improved, being now of the generous proportions of two hundred acres.
The marriage of Mr. Lesley and Mrs. Clara C. Minkler was solemnized in Clackamas county in October, 1853,
and to them have been born two children: Jasper Newton, living in Tillamook county, this state; Ida, wife
of Mr. Dunnaway, of Portland, recently died. By her former marriage Mrs. Lesley has four
children, Barney, Sarah, Julia and Clarissa. In political circles Mr. Lesley has been quite
prominent and for one term he served the county by acting in the important office of commissioner, where he
did faithful and efficient work. During the Indian war of 1878, Mr. Lesley and one other man in the
community stayed on their ranches and experienced no difficulty with the savages.