Gallery #5 PEOPLE, SCHOOLS, ORGANIZATIONS, CHURCHES
West, J. A.

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Record 223/2101
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Collection Miscellaneous
Photographer Parker's Studio or M. M. Hazeltine
Description J. A. West . "Within plain view of Baker City is the largest lumber mill in the state. It gives employment directly to 200 men. and indirectly to many others. The extent of its business is far reaching, and to transport its products thousands of cars are annually needed. A visit to this mill is on the itinerary of every visitor to Baker City, and a most interesting sight the plant in full operation is. Statistics fail to convey an adequate notion of the magnitude of the work carried on. Carload after carload of finished lumber fresh from the saws is dumped from the elevated tracks and systematically graded and piled in the yard. The saw mill proper is a two story building 75 x 250 feet in size, filled with machinery of the latest improved patterns, and made especially to suit the particular needs of this mill. The planing mill and box factory, which are the largest in Eastern Oregon, are equipped with machinery of the best, and no expense has been spared to make the entire plant a model one. This company also owns a large saw mill near Viento, Oregon, in Wasco County, where they employ 100 men. The officers of the Oregon Lumber Co. are D. Eccles, president; C. W. Nibley, secretary; Geo. Romney, vice president. They had been located at North Powder, Oregon, for a few years before coming to Baker City, in 1890. On their arrival here they immediately began the construction of their present plant, also of the Sumpter Valley Railway. This railroad passes through the entire length of the valley, and into the pine timber be- yond, to Sumpter, Oregon, which is located at the head of the valley, with placer mines in abundance all around, and large quartz mines within a short distance. Besides the logging trains they operate for their own benefit, a passenger and freight goes each way daily for the use of the general public. Mr. J. A. West is the efficient manager of the Sumpter Valley Railway. Several years ago these men of means took control of the Baker City Electric Light Company, and with their usual enterprise proceeded to make it one of the best in the country. They spent some $25,000 to attain this end. It is now known as the Baker Improvement Co. They have lately begun the erection of a beet sugar plant at La Grande, Union County, the buildings of which, with equipment, will cost half a million dollars. The main factory will be constructed of structural steel, and the machinery is being made by K. H. Dyer & Co., of Cleveland, Ohio. The capacity will be 350 tons of beets per day, but the buildings are being constructed to admit of doubling it. During the working season 200 men will be employed. Thirty-five hundred acres will be put in beets by the farmers of Union bounty, who will receive great benefit from this enterprise. Its officers are D. Eccles, president; C. W. Nibley, vice president; J. A. West, secretary; and T. R. Cutler, superintendent. The Oregon lumber Co., Sumpter Valley Railway and Oregon Sugar Beet Company and Baker Improvement Company have jointly invested over a million dollars in the State, the officers of which have by their courteous and just dealings, gained the confidence and good will of all whom they have come in contact with."
Source: p. 19, Souvenir Edition. Morning Democrat, Bowen & Small, Publishers, May 20th, 1898.
Object ID 1980.1.596
Place Baker City
COPYRIGHT INFORMATION: Credit Baker County Library, Baker City, Oregon

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Last modified on: December 09, 2017