Baker county, named after E.D. Baker, who fell at the battle of Edwards' ferry in October 1861, was organized September 22, 1862, with Auburn as the county seat. An enabling act was passed and approved in 1866, to change the county seat to Baker City by a vote of the county, which was done. In 1872 a part of Grant county was added to Baker. The county contains 15,912 square miles, about 50,000 acres of which is improved among 453 farmers, the principal productions being barley, oats, wheat, potatoes, and fruit. The whole value of farm products for 1879, with buildings and fences, was $799,468. The value of live-stock was $1,122,765, a difference which shows stock-raising rather than grain-growing to be the business of the farmers. About 50,000 pounds of wool was produced. The total value of real estate and personal property for this year was set down at a little over $931,000. The population for the same period was 4,616, a considerable portion of whom were engaged in mining in the mountain districts. Comp. X. Census, x1. 48, 723, 806-7. Baker City, the county seat, was first laid out under the United States town-site law by R.A. Pierce in 1868. It is prettily located in the Powder River Valley, and is sustained by a flourishing agricultural and mining region on either hand. It has railroad communication with the Columbia. It was incorporated in 1874, and has a population of 1,258. Pacific North-west, 41; McKinney's Pac. Dir., 255; Or. Laws, 1874, 145-55. The famous Virtue mine is near Baker City. The owner, who does a banking business in the town, had a celebrated cabinet of minerals, in which might be seen the ores of gold, silver, copper, lead, cinnabar, iron, tin, cobalt, tellurium, and coal, found in eastern Oregon, besides which were curios in minerals from every part of the world. Auburn, the former county seat, was organized by the mining population June 17, 1862, and incorporated on the following 25th of September, to preserve order. Ebey's Journal, MS., viii. 81-2, 84, 87, 94; Or. Jour. House, 1862, 113, 128. The other towns and post-offices of Baker county are Wingville, Sparta, Powderville, Pocahontas, Express Ranch, El Dorado, Clarksville, Mormon Basin, Amelia City, Rye Valley, Humboldt Basin, Stone, Dell, Weatherby, Conner Creek, Glenn, Malheur, Jordan Valley, and North Powder.

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