Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About The Oregon scout. (Union, Union County, Or.) 188?-1918 | View Entire Issue (April 24, 1890)
ION COUNTY, OREGON,
IS SITUATED IN THE NORTHEASTERN PORTION OF THE STATE
' "'"-if"' J i
COMPRISES ABOUT NINETY TOWNSHIPS OR ABOUT 2,000,000 ACRES OF LAND.
The valleys arc of tin average elovntion of about 2,000 feet above pea level, the highest mountain
peaks being about 0,000 feet and continually covered with biiow, which furnishes a water supply for
numerous streams the year round.
Is dry and healthful, there being a sufllcient rainfall to preserve the moisture of the soil and mature
crops. Snow seldom falls to the depth of one foot in the valleys, and never remains longer than from
two to threo weeks at a time.
The mean temperature for the winter months is about '20 degrees alovo freezing point, and for
the summer months about 70 alove zero, the heat of the day being offset by cool nights that ensure
refreshing and invigorating sleep and rest for the fatigued ' '
The winter season usually begins nlioiit the first of December and lasts till the middle of February
or first of March, when the husbandman is given an opportunity to prepare for his springs seeding.
From March 1st to July 1st, tho monotony of warm and dry weather is broken by frequent showers
of rain furnishing suficient moisture to the ground and tempering tho atmosphere so as to assure tho
farmer an abundant yield.
During the months of July, August and September, which are tho harvesting months in this
county, tho weather is usualy dry and adapted to tho successful gathering of crops. Generally
enough rain falls in thu autumn months to moisten the ground sufficiently to permit tho farmer to
prepare the samo for his fall grain.
There is no country in tho United States more bleascd by a healthful climate than Union County,
as tho vigor and enterprise of is citizens will prove.
The various contagions prevalent in many localities are almost wholly unknown here, and are
usually very mild in their attacks when they do anpear. There has only been one case of Smallpox in
Union County since its settlement, and chills and lover are totally unknown. Wc have no tornadoes
or hurricanes to lay waste tho country, destroy property and tho lives of people, nor blizzards to
freeze tho life out of humanity. Nor do wo have the fogy and damp atmosphere which is found West
of the Cascade Mountains.
SOIL AND PRODUCTIONS.
There is 1,407,000 Acres of Survevcd Land in the County; tho rest is unsurveyed, the tmmir
voyed portion being valuable for Timber, Pasture and abounding in Mineral Deposits. The valleys
of tho County are Grande Hondo, Indian, North Powder, Hig Creek, Eagle, Pine and Starkoy. The
anil fn tlinmt vfillnvi iu ividl iifl.'ititod to thrt nuKim of Wheat. Oats. JJarlev. live. Timothy. Clover and
ii ftv iu ive II IKI.'IIH
Alfalfa, Vegetables and Fruits, such as Apples, Plums, Pears, Peaches, Cherries, strawberries, and
in tact all ot tlio smaller varieties grow to periecuon.
Tho yield of Wheat is from 23 to 50 bushels to tho acre, Harley from 40 to 70, Oats about tho same
as Hurley, with exceptions in some localities, when as high as 100 bushels of oats has been raised to
the acre. Tho Mountains are covored with a Fino Growth of Timber, consisting of Pine, Tamrack,
Spruce, etc. Tho most valuable is the Pine, which is used in tho lumbering industry, also some of
the larger species of Tanirac, but this class of timber is tised chiefly to furnish wood ties, etc., which
is amply sufficient to supply tho surrounding country for ages.
The mineral resources of tho County are only partial v developed, but sufficient prospecting and
mining has been done to prove that great ledges of ore interline the mountain sides, which, when
sufficient capital is employed in their development, will bo a great factor in tho general summary of
rft'-o wealth of the County. A more detailed account of the Mines and Mineral Resources of tho
County will bo found further on.
Tliu asMeHHinont roll of tho county lor tho year 18RS, shows that there were 21.740 head of horaeH,
28 12.1 Head of Cattle, C5,B5 Head of Sheep, and r,57( Mead of Swine, showing of Itself that th County
Ih o great Stock Raising Region. Thousands of head of stock are yearly shipped, bringing to the owners
thereof a neat prollt on ihelr Investment.
In fact, iho stock business lias been and still is tho most paying f any In the country and it
bids fair to continue to bo such for many year to come. The hunch grass growing upon the hills and
mountains is vorv nutritious, stock fattening in a very short time, roady for market. Unually stock 1ms
to Im fed liar for 'from one to two months during tho winter, hut in manv places horses will winter upon
tho bunch gniHS and do veil. Fho climate is such that sto k raised is of a hardy and healthful charue
ter, ulviniUo work horses a strong constitution and powerful musclo.
Th) milk cow here attains perfection. Sheet) are very healthy and produce, heavy lleeces. 1 ho
dairying business In the )a-t few years has developed into a largo and profitable one, tho country being
specially adapted to the InpdncHH by rent-on of the milk producing qualities of the grasses and the ex
cellent lange, tho large quantity of hay and g.aln raised per aero, the healtlifulnetts of animals, the
largo water supply and tlio quick market of Uuttcr and Cheese. The Jersey, Holstino nud Durham are
mindly taking the place of the common breed of cuttle, and dairymen are giving considerable attention
to thu iredb.g of their cows. ,,.,, . ,i i
It Is said moro prollt can bt realized per year from a milk cow in thin country than any other In the
United Suiies, ono instance being given of a single cow for one year, yielding a net profit to tho owner
f Twn' n'ameiesito hi operatUn at th which make 12(1,(00 pounds of cheese,
worth 11 cents per pound, and 7"),0 0 pounds butter, worth 25 cents per p-imd.
This year a creanu ry Is In operation at l.a Or-nde, with what success remains to be seen, although
no doubt can bo entertained but that it will prove to he a profitable concern.
ITS MINING RESOURCES.
Cornucopia District is
In tho Ii stem portion of the County, and embrace a section about ten mile square, within which there
aro about (SOU iurtz locations. The formation in granite and slate; the lodge running in a Southearterly
and Northwesterly direction. The first, locations were made here in 1884. The quartz contains Gold and
The Mining District" of Un'on County are Cornucopia, Sparta and Sanger,
Silver, tho gold predominating. Some of tho lodes are free milling, lint they generally contain Iiuho
. . ' III 1. . 1 . . . ,...) I.. H.,lii..tl..at uaJu A k n 1. tin, (A Vinull lilnHiinfm.! f 11
metal an in consequence win navo 10 oo irrmi-i. ... imuvuirn , in, v.-nnj a . u w.--.. u. u ....
tho different groups, showing an average yield of front 2.r to SJb 0 per ton. When the proper methrds
aro employed to work these ledge to the best advantage. Cornucopia will be considered tho New
"Kldorado of the West." .,,,,
Tho Or' gon Gold Mining Company, of LouUvllle, Ky , Is the only company represented in tho dis
trict It has opened up -evoral of its ledges, which were obtained at from tflD.fOO to ffiiO.CXX) each.
Tho Red Jacket, belonging to IhU company, Is a well defined ledge, averaging about four feet in
thickness and when struck on tho lowest tunnel, win found to bo a mass of the golden metal. This
I,,,., jn.Ktr.i-.ii Mill riiiiiiiuir nluht and dav unon tho ore taken from this leduo. Seven thou
sand live hundred pound of sulphureta were secured tho tlrst month of thin spring's operations, besides
Immense miantitliH of free gold caught tion the amalgam pans. ... . , .
This company's expenses In hulldlngn, machinery, roads, developments, etc., has amounted to over
?!100 0 10 They have thu Whitman, which ha a shaft sunk over 1,500 feet and shows hotter as the work
progresses: the Alta No. 2, which Is developed sufficiently to Indicate a well defined ledge of high grade
ore Tho present BupcrlnWndont, Professor Smith, is hiohly pleased with the prospect for his company
and predicts a second Leadvilleof Cornucopia. Many other ledges of tho camp with 100 feet or moro
of development work aro showing up well, ainoiiK which are the Simmons gr.-up, comprising the Key.
stone. Checkina'e, Umpire and Uuckeye, all situated on tho Simmons Mountain and 'aid to bo the best
group of mines in the camp, lso the Hluo Hell, Little Casino and Monte Chri to, situated on tho came
mountain and extensions of the Simmons ledges, showing same grade and character of ore. The Way
Un northeast of Cornucopia, shows some of the rleheH ore of any In camp and is no doubt an extension
of thu Hluo Hell and Simmons group. Tho Union. Companion. Last Chan o, Rolwrt Kmnict, Forest
Queen. Red Hoy, May Flower, Cox and Allen, Red Cross, bteen groupe, Stella, llger Hoy. Climax
and Queen of tho Wist are all sufficiently developed to show them to bo good ledges and .contain paying
ore In great quantities, Tho Cornucopia or Pino Creek district is a rich ono with an unlimited amount
of oro and only lacks capital to prove its wonderful richness. It is destined to bo ono of the riche.it
camps In existence. . , . . .
The Sanger mines are operated by a San Francisco Company, which began its operations two vears
auo buying the ledges for $.7,000 and now cleaning up on an averauo of $70,000 per month. Thoxo
initios are on the road between Union and Cornucopia, atout 3 1 miles east of Union, having a tn-weokly
mall from Union on to Cornucopia, thus being placed In direct communication with Union, their trad-
,HK ThoSparta mines are about eight miles southeast of Sanger and have been worked for tho past
twonty years, still yielding largo roturna. The Sparta mines aro mostly placer, but quite a number of
ledges liave lately been found wltlclt, as far as developeu, indicate good pay lug oro. A mill is being
built here and good returns aro expected from its work.
Now to return to the Agricultural Interests of the County, the Largest, most Fertile and attractive
Valley of Union County, is the Famous Giande Honde, whose beauty is lecombig known far and wide,
surrounded by lofty mountains upon whbh seems to rest the blue vult above. herever the eye
gazes it cannot he'lp being enchanted l y our beautiful scenery. This valley embraces rfOO.OCO acres oi
as tine Agricultural Land as can b-found on the Pacific Const.
The. Grande Ronde Mvcr enters its boundary on tho West and flows Easterly through the center
of the vaMey and thence Northerly and out at iis Northern limits; 30x23 miles is its length and bredth
and with Catherine Creek, the largest tributary of the Grande Ronde entering tho valley at the boutli.
Mill Creek entering at the Eat and Willow Creek entering at the North, with numerous other small
tributaries, make the Grande Ronde Val'ey one of tho best watered valleys in Oregon, all of the above
named r-treams nfl'o'ding abundance of water the 'eason round.
The soil of this valley is principally a blark, rich loim with clay subsoil, there being a-out three
Townships of land having a sandy soil, known as the Sand Ridge, all of which produces exce lont grain.
Tho yield of Wheat, Oats, Harley. Rye, Timothy, Alfalfa and Clover is large, the cereals yielding
from 25 to 60 but-hel per acre of Wheat 4C to 100 for Oats and Barley, and Hay from 2 to 8 tons per acre;
frequently three crops of Alfalfa being cut in one season.
PRODUCTIONS AND EXPORTS.
Th producing an export of grain and hay from this valley is large and growing in quantity each
-. ' .. . i ! i . w . ....1 tlto nf fniltu llinlllriltll. All.
vear. llcslnes tne production oi grain ana nay lor expori, a i immense iiuuuuij ui uuiui, n.i....i.i.h M-
. -n. r. i t . .. . .. 1.1 ...... .... Hn It, .nl i.Knii f niinntllluu mill
pies, 1'JuniB, 1'runes, i-enrn anu sniaiiu inum, iuu garden vcciuuicn oic (,!...- iumiuuv ......
marketed in tho neighboring sections. Butter and Cheei-e is also one of our staple products, fatock
riilntr Is 'iiirnired in larcelvsnd profitably: as tine stock may be seen upon the farms of Grande Ronde
Valley as anywhere, stocianen and fanners always securing the best bred animals for breeding pur
poses. Taxes are no higher on line than poor stock. Tho lands of this valloy have all been taken, but
choice place" can ho bought at from 815 to S!i0 per acre, which is comparatively cheap. Many large
bodies of land owned by single individuals and of the best quality can be had at very reasonable rates,
which could be divided Into several food farms.
Tho hills and mountains are covered with timber of the best quality for lumbering purposes and
easily reached. But little of the timber land has been entered or taken up.
The O. R. & N. R. R. entering the vallev at the southern portion and following the foothills on the
Southwest, passes out of the valley on the West, traversing the Southwestern boundary of the valley
for a distauce of 14 mils.
The Hunt Railroad system will be extended during thu next j ear from Wal'a Walla, W. 1., through
the Blue Mountans to Summerville, in the northern portion of the valley and will then traverse the en
tire length of tho valley through its center to Union. Upon the building of this road tho valley will
liave tho best railroad facilities.
l'nirnt. Sound. W. T.. is the terminal noint of this line, putting Portand, Or., and the rities of the
So'MidTn competition fr the trade of the Valley, the importance of which is evidenced by I he building
or this second lino of road. In concluding this description of Grande Ronde Velley. it can be i-aid with
out fear of contradiction, that no better opportunity is offered anywnere in the Northwest for the home
u....bni- or n.inliuiutu tlmii to HrAmln Hnndn Vnllpv nnil iu vielnitv. The resources of Iho valley and its
tributary sections will sustain manufacturing industiies of nearly every kind, ot which we now have
but very" few. It will sustain ten times the population it now has in the farming and dairying Imsiness.
i DC lOUUil oui ill very lew unices, xno mining ui uiuiuup," wra
offering in this line advantages not to
iness at present.
u ii nmiltiitilii hiiMint'MH mill tlnri is liiirdlv im individual here solelv iu that bun
Tn vial r. nmnilii Hniuln Vnllnv mid sin! it and to invest irate Its ndvantaues. is to locate Here, in no
irstanco have people, who have visited this valley given it other than the bestof reputation in regard to
climate, soil and everything that goes to constitute a good country.
The Grande Ronde Vallev has several considerable towns and village: Union in the southern end
of the valley, La Grande at the base of the mountains on the northwest Summerville in the northern
end of tho valley, Cove about midway on the east side, and Elgin in the extreme northern part of the
The County Seat of Union County, 18 sltiintfd in the southern portion of the Fertile Grande Koiule Valley, ami has
the best Natural Location for a City of uuy town in Kmtern OreRou. Situated, just at the Imse of rolling hills on both
sides of Catherine Creek, a beautiful, sparkling stream, whose waters are pure as nature ever distilled and held
suspended iu her mountain reservoirs, furnishing Immense waterpower Just waiting to be utilized by the baud of
man for all kinds ot manufacturing industries. In fact tile water power Is amply surlleleiit to make Union the Lowell
of Oregon if the attention of her enterprising citizens were turned Iu that direction, which will bo the case when new
blood ami Kastem capitalists come in. This is one of the best places In Oregon for the erection of maniifacturles.
A wooleti mill is greatly needed now, and soue energetic capitalist who Is engaged iu such business would 11 nd
here the chosen spot for such an enterprise, right in the heart of a great wool-growing section of the country. No
high freights to pay, water-power iu abundance, aud Iu fact everything that such a busiuess would consume Is pro
dneed hero lu the valley.
The present population of Union Is about 1200, but when the O. A W. T. railroad reaches here she will double her
population inside of six mouths. Kager eyes are watching to take advantage of the present low prices in property and
procure for themselves a home where they may live in peace and plenty. Water works can be put In at very little ex
pense by ruuuiuff apart of Catherine creek Into a large reservoir on the hill back of town. This will give all the fall
wo want from 150 feet up; no expense ot keeping a steam pump aud the necessary repairs. This mountain stream
can be; made to run directly Into the reservoir aud all the waste can be utilized in furnishing power for machinery.
When once waterworks are completed there will be uo need for wells, springs, etc., for uo purer drinking water can be
Our school facilities are unsurpassed. We have iu our public school, a High School Grade. The school Is supplied
with every possible convenience. Everything Is furnished by our liberal handed citizeus, wno believe iu giving their
children a flrst-ejass educatlou and that thy can be educated iu no better way thau by having a No. 1 School at borne.
The school at present is divided Into four compartments, all thoroughly graded. Students on completing the pre
scribed course of study receive a certificate to that effect. An addition to the present school building is lu contempla
tion, also several hundred dollars worth of apartmruU Is soou to be added.
Morally and socially, Union is unexcelled aud her hospitality Is widely known throughout the surrounding coun
try. We have four churches, all In floorlshlnK condition. There are six secret societies, doing much good to hu
manity. We have a number of stores of different kinds, all doing a profitable busiuess. as they supply a great agricul
tural district aud the numerous mining camps iu the near vieluity. We are aUo supplied with several saloons, bar
bershops, blacksmitbtbops, etc., ouc principal hotel aud several restaurants, so that the most fastidious tastes of the
eplcunau ran be fully satisfied. We are also supplied with two first-class llverr aud feed stables so that strangers
coming to this town will have uo trouble In procuring a Orst-clast team and taklug a drive out iuto tho exhllleratlug
atmosphere aud feastiue his eyes upon the grandeur of onr mountain scenery, aud breathing iu the life-giving exygeu
that can be found nowhere so pure as iu Union County. Tottm Hasten v, who is not used to mountain sceuery, when
first beholding our briuttfal looatlon, his first and Involuntary oxdainatfou Is, "Paradise Found at Last."
Our county Court House Is wrll finished iu eery paitlcular, having a large aud commodious hall, amply sufllcient
to accommodate any and all audiences. It also has in connection a jail built by the Pauley llros., with sll their latest
improveed cells, thus nuking thin gs secure agalnrrthe escape of any prisoners that may be confined therein. Our
Opera House is one of tho largest this side of Portland, with handsomely decorated curtains aud finished iu superb
st vie. One large and commodious Flouring Mill, full roller jiroceM, with all modem improvements, is situated adjoin
ing thetown. Also several saw mills lu the near vicinity. The lumbering iutcrest is bound to become irnlte a fea
ture iu our industries.
Taken all iu all. Union is ono of the best towns iu Eastern Oregon. Heretofore she has been kept buck on account
of poor railroad facilities, bu when the Hunt System of Hallroad is completed into Union, its latent resources will be
de eloped aud it will take Its place among the thriving cities of our laud. We have one of the loveliest towns in
Oregon, aud a great deal of wealth is here already All that Is now needed is for people to come and take advantage
ot the great inducements soon to be tlironu at the feet of every energetic man possessing either brains or muscle.
The pleasure-seeker or the invalid eau fiud uo better place to while away the summer months. Only three miles
away can bo fouud Hot Sprlugs and Lakes reveling iu medical virtues aud curative powers the famous "Kansas Hot
Springs," Hheuuatism aud such complalut disappearing as If by tho hand of some magician. Lovers of the piscatorial
art will find the beautiful sparkling waters of Catherine creek alive with the gamy mountain aud brook trout. In the
edge of the mouutaius largergame may be found, while out lu the valley along the Grande Houde river are geese,
swan and ducks lu abundance. In the tho grain field prairie cUlckeus are quite plentiful. Taklug all these natural
advantages for pleasure aud business, we think people looking for a home can fiud uo place supplying all their wants
better than the beautiful city of Uuion.
Since the much talked of Hunt Hallroad Is au assured fact, property Is beginning to advuuee iu prices, though at
tho present time city lots aud blocks may be had at very reasonable rates.
THE UNION REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATION
Now has in its possession tracts of land suitable for small farms, or they could be laid off into blocks. This asso
ciation hasstarted in on a firm basis, having within its power the means of handling property to a better advantage
than any tirm in Union County. They already have numerous tracts adjoining the city; farms, loc, etc., to
be sold on very reasonable terms or for cash.
Parties desiring information of Union County can do no better than interview or address the managers of this
" w v
Who will cheerfully furnish tlietn with all tho information desired.