Oregon Republican League: History 104 Biographies
Every week, the Oregon Republican League will post the biographies of important figures, in the League's/State of Oregon's history. Feel free to comment or share stories of your family's Republican affiliation.
An Illustrated History of Umatilla County & Morrow County, by Colonel William Parsons and W. S. Shiach with a brief outline of the early history of the State of Oregon. W. H. Lever, Spokane, WA, (1902), p. 413-414.
JAMES POWER. - Among the worthy names of pioneers that adorn the pages of this work there must be alotted a space for that of Mr. Power, who was one of the early ones to settle in this part of the county. It was in the year 1880 that the wave of western action began to move him toward the Pacific slope, and being one who is ready to perceive a good thing, he was not long in shaping himself for the trip. Fortune had some good things stowed away in this fertile soil of Umatilla county that she was holding for those who would leave the land of their fathers and follow her leading. Our subject was one of those favored ones and now he can with satisfaction look over a whole section of as fine wheat fields as the sun shines on and rejoice that his strong box holds the deeds of it all. He first took up three hundred and twenty acres under the homestead and pre-emption rights and by good management he soon doubled his holding.
When the steel rails had not spanned the continent it was necessary for the pioneer to resign himself to the “prairie schooner” and laboriously toil toward the setting sun. But after the steam chariot began its courses it was indeed a brave and hardy spirit that would undertake that weary job of crossing the plains by team. But this obstacle was not to stop Mr. Power and he hitched his team night and morning from Missouri, Grundy county, the place of his birth, to Pendleton. With what a sense of rest did he select his claims on what is now the cross road between Stages and Despain Gulches, ten miles northwest from Pendleton. The journey was ended and he had found the spot fortune had selected for him. He was born September 1, 1850, and followed farming for thirty years before trying the west, and twenty years since coming here have made him a man of wide experience in tilling the soil and he is enabled by the best methods to get the very best returns from his land. His parents were James and Dorcas (Morris) Power. In all the local affairs and county politics he has a real personal interest and manifests activity in their adjustment as also in the school matters. The Republican fold is his political place as it manifests forth the principles he deems are the best for the welfare of the nation.Fraternally he is linked with the Red Men and is also a member of the Pioneer of the Pacific.
He was married March 12, 1876, to Miss Elsie Wild, daughter of Philip A. and Mary E. (Sandlin) Wild. Nine children have been born to them: Philip A., Mary E., Albert S., Thomas C., Alma A., William M., Henry F., and two deceased, Rebecca F. and Milliard H. The youth is now the patriarch with his children growing up around him and soon, as the old pioneers of the county are called away one by one, will his name be on the list, but his good works will remain to inspire and lead forward those who shall follow.