EZRA MEEKER IN BAKER CITY, OREGON
The older gentleman in the picture is, Ezra Meeker. The younger man to the right may
possibly have been, Superintendent of Baker City High School, Prof. Churchill?
The building in the background is the old Federal Building. Located in Post Office Square,
it remains structurally sound to date.
A little about Ezra:
Some may say that Ezra Meeker was a bit of an eccentric, given the fact that at age 76 he
loaded up his wagon ... selected two good oxen and hit the Oregon Trail for the second time
in his life.
His mission: to encourage preservation of the old Oregon Trail and to educate
people of its historical significance. He gained fame and notoriety by giving speeches and
erecting monuments along the old trail between Independence, Mo., and Independence, Oregon.
He also convinced Teddy Roosevelt to set aside money for trail preservation.
In 1910 and over 80 years old, Meeker made a second trip. In fact, he continued to make
many more trips, the only thing that changed with Meeker was his mode of tranportation. In
his later years he traded in his oxen for the comfort of more modern means of travel.
When he died at 98, he was still very active in promoting the Oregon Trail. So whatever one
might say, one also must admit, old Ezra Meeker sure done right by Oregon!
©1998 Roxann Gess Smith
All Rights Reserved
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