History Notes

People 

Nard Jones (1904-1972) In 1930, a Whitman College graduate published a novel about Weston, Oregon. The book described growing up between 1919-1927 in a town named Creston. The names were changed, but Weston residents were shocked. Some said it was a fair portrayal, but others were certain their family histories were being mocked and besmirched.

H. Clay Woodson died at Weston on April 2, 1877 of consumption at the age of 32.  He was a native of Missouri and was the nephew of  Gov. Woodson of  Missouri. The funeral was conducted by the Weston I.O.O.F.  He served as Justice of the Peace.

Alexander Kirk, aged 72 died on  March 20, 1877. He lived near Weston. He was a native of Tennessee. He was buried with Masonic honors by the Weston Masonic Lodge.

Walter Marcus Pierce, a Representative from Oregon in 1881; moved to Oregon and taught school in Milton and Weston, Umatilla County, 1883-1890; superintendent of schools of Umatilla County, Oreg., 1886-1890; county clerk of Umatilla County 1890-1894; was graduated from the law department of Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., in 1896; was admitted to the bar and practiced in Pendleton, Oreg., 1895-1907; engaged in banking and in the power and light business 1898-1907; operated stock and wheat farms 1907-1937; served in the Oregon senate 1903-1907 and 1917-1921; Governor of Oregon 1923-1927;

Umatilla County, Oregon Marriage Licenses Issued during the 1800′s as published in the East Oregonian newspaper.

Newspaper and Publication Clippings

Fire of 1875

At four o’clock Thursday afternoon, July 22, 1875, fire was ignited in a barn by some boys who were carelessly playing with matches. In a short time seventeen buildings on Main and Water Streets were burned, embracing more than half the business of the town. The loss was estimated at $15,000. This was a severe blow, but the citizens had too much confidence in the future to be discouraged, and the result was that soon no traces of the disaster could be found, and more business men and new enterprises came here to locate.

New enterprises after the fire

In December, 1878, the Weston Leader began publication, and the same fall a stock company was formed to build a steam flouring mill. The stock was bought up by Proebstel Bros., who completed the mill and began operating it with two sets of burrs. The Weston Steam Mills have now four run of stone, and complete purifying machinery. The Proebstel Bros. still own and operate them. About the same time Bamford & Bro. built the planing mill, which they still own.

Weston contains the most substantial business buildings and finest residences in the county. The first brick was erected in 1874 by Saling & Reese, an addition being made in 1878. In 1880, J. E. Jones built a fine brick store building the second floor being fitted up for a lodge room. There is another large brick building belonging to Mr. Saling. The large and handsome school house was erected in 1878 at an expense of $4,500. In 1881 the school was graded into four departments, including a high school, giving Weston the best educational system in the county. Until then higher branches had only been taught in private schools. In 1876 the Episcopalians built a neat church, and in 1878 the Baptist denomination erected a good house of worship. The Cumberland Presbyterians have an organization. A new city hall has been built of brick this year, citizens receiving stock for contributions of money, materials or labor.

Weston is a growing city in 1882

Weston may now be summed up as follows: three general stores, two hardware stores, two drug stores, two millinery stores, one furniture store, one saddlery store, one variety store, one jewelry store, four saloons, two hotels, one restaurant, one bakery, one meat market, two agricultural implement warehouses, two livery and feed stables, one barber shop, one paint shop, two boot and shoe shops, three blacksmith shops, a brewery, planing mill, flouring mill, city hall, schoolhouse, two churches, many pleasant dwellings and a population of about 600.

It is pleasantly situated on the banks of Pine Creek, surrounded on all sides by large and well improved farms, of the fine grain land for which this region is noted. Blue Mountain Station, on the branch line of the O.R. & N. Co., from Walla Walla, is within three miles, and it is the expectation of citizens to have the road pass through this place. They are prepared to donate right of way and depot grounds for that purpose.

From “Historic Sketches of Walla Walla, Whitman, Columbia, and Garfield Counties, Washington Territory and Umatilla County, Oregon,” by Frank T. Gilbert, Portland, Oregon 1882

 SEED POTATO GROWING 1922

Perhaps no other section of the county presents a better opportunity for the settler than the plateau regions above the foothills of the Blue Mountains. There are many thousands of acres of this tableland adjoining big tracts of fine pasture land, awaiting development. One such section has demonstrated the possibilities of this character of land. On the hills above Weston, known as Weston Mountain, Reed and Hawley Mountains and Basket Mountain, nearly 100 farmers have taken some of the raw land at a comparatively cheap price and have developed it to the point where the sale of a single crop of potatoes often more than pays for the original price paid for the land. The rich, heavy soil, with an average of around 25 inches rainfall, bordering on good pasture land, makes this section well adapted for a system of crop rotation consisting chiefly of forage crops and potatoes, the feed being consumed by livestock.

Conditions for seed potato production are ideal and the certified Weston Mountain Netted Gems are in great demand by commercial potato growers.

This year the Mountain growers could sell at a premium ten times the number of cars which they have produced.