Umatilla County, Oregon

Aeroplane view of the business section of Pendleton, the county seal, showing large tracts of the highly productive wheat lands of the county in the background.


Say those two words to almost anyone in any old town or district in the Northwest, or even in the Middle West, and to some people in the East, and they will immediately conjure up a picture of some vivid scene of the world-famous Round-Up, and they will think of Pendleton as a city of 25,000 or 30,000 population. That is the common experience noted by Pendletonians who speak of their city while they are visiting in other states.

And just because the world beyond our doors thinks of our city as being populated by 25,000 or 30,000 souls, Pendleton actually takes pride in letting the information be published that her family consists of less than 8,000 people. The reason for, the pride in this smaller population is very easily explained. The quality of the people in Pendleton and Umatilla County is such that it requires only 8,000 of them to make an impression in the realm of accomplishment which will equal and actually surpass the records of many cities three or four or five times as large.

To those people who do not know the virtues of Eastern Oregon, the foregoing might pardonably be considered as braggadocio, but once one comes to know and to appreciate the spirit of Pendleton and the splendid qualities of its tributary territory, this ability to accomplish big results is more easily understood. A wonderfully pleasing climate is one element that is a factor in the ambition of its population. Many days of sunshine, about 300 a year, a comparatively higb, dry attitude (1,070 feet), the close prox­imity of mountains, which insures delightfully cool nights, and freedom from cyclones or severe storms, are a few of the conditions which tend to cause its people to give the best of themselves in every work they do. This same climate is responsible for huge crops of wheat, which have never failed during the many years of the county's history.

And Pendleton, itself-what is it like? The county seat city is cupped in the Umatilla River valley between the folds of the undulating hills whose volcanic ash soil is so fertile. The city is more than fifty years old, and its growth has been slow enough to insure the absence of any mushroom qualities which sometimes make cities take on the appearance of greater worth than they really possess. More than ten miles of its streets are paved, and the sidewalks and gutters are of concrete construction. The streets are shaded with trees, and fringes of well-kept parking on either side are backed up with substantial houses, which are the homes of happy, energetic people.

This city is on the main line of the Union Pacific System (O.-W. R. & N. Co.) and is 219 miles east of Portland and is the southern terminus of its main line to Spokane. This company operates branch. lines which connect all of the principal towns in the county with Pendleton and a branch line of the Northern Pacific connects Pendleton with the main line at Pasco.

In addition to rail connections, Pendleton is a natural highway center. The city is on the Old Oregon Trail, which to the west becomes the Columbia River Highway. The Autumn of 1922 will see the trail road roacadarnized all the way over the Blue Mountains, and this will mean a heavy volume of traffic from the east. Then the Oregon-Washington Highway, which con­nects Walla Walla, Washington, Pendleton and other points in Oregon, is a paved road, and the traffic over it is extremely heavy.


Pendleton Woolen Mills
Collins Flour Mills
Hamley & Co. Walters Flouring Mill
Pendleton Mean & Provision Co,.
Smithy-Lonegran Company
Pendleton Roller Mills

With these splendid transportation facilities, Pendleton is ideally situated to become the distributing center for Eastern Oregon. Pendleton has a very large section of business houses in proportion to its population, and this condition almost invariably attracts the attention of strangers. The reason for this is that the city has a large area from which it draws trade. The quality of the stores and places of business is not over­shadowed by those of any city of the same size in any part of the country and the competition of keen merchants is a factor which insures Pendletonians. the best of service and quality in merchandising. Such conditions are highly desirable from the point of view of heads of families who not only desire, but who must secure, a full value in merchandise for all the money they spend.

In addition to the paving and sidewalks, an adequate system furnishes "good, pure drinking water to all sections of the city and the sewerage system is up-to-date. The supply of water for the use of the city is secured in springs at Thorn Hollow and is piped a distance, of twenty miles. Two huge reservoirs having a storage capacity of 1,000,000 gallons each are used to provide a reserve of water sufficient to take care of any emergency when to provide an extra supply for fire-fighting purposes might be necessary. The system is so constructed, however, that it will function perfectly without the reservoirs, and if they were to be destroyed, the supply of water for the city would not be endangered. The water is cold and clear and tests show that it is of excellent quality. This purity and its coldness, even on the hottest summer day, are two qualities which have made it very popular with Pendletonians and strangers visiting in the city.

In the way of civic beauty spots, Pendleton has just begun to realize her possibilities. There are two parks which have been partially developed. One is Pioneer Park, on the north side of the city, and the other is Round-Up Park, which, besides the stadium for the presentation of the epic drama of the Old West, includes the city natatorium. A camping ground for the use of auto tourists will be enlarged and further improved for the coming season, and other property which belongs to the municipality is expected to be improved. To look into the future and plan the civic development of the city is the function of the city planning commission, which was created under authority of the state law and which does its work in conjunction with the city council. The activity of this commission has the effect of always keeping development problems in the fore so that Pendleton will not make the mistake of many other cities in the Northwest which, after attaining a large population, suddenly awake to the realization that they have not built adequately to provide for their own growth and then have to incur a needless expense to take care in one day of the problems which should have been accomplished, piece at a time, over a period of several years.

Pendleton is a city of good homes. There are practically no wealthy people here, as great wealth is computed, and there is very little poverty. Pendletonians are noted for their hospitality. Social and educational clubs of every kind abound, and membership is not difficult to attain. There are ten religious denominations represented here. The Pendleton Woman's Club, the largest organization of its kind in the city, is open to any woman resident who desires to belong. The Pendleton Commercial Association is, one of the most active in the state, with 500 live members, and its headquarters are located in the Elks' building. Pendleton also has a Rotary Club and a Pro­gressive Business Club, both of them splendid organizations working har­moniously and cooperatively with the Commercial Association in making Pendleton and Umatilla County a better place in which to live and prosper.


Rivoli Theatre High School
Elks' Temple
Pendleton Hotel Federal Building

Silver Black Fox Farm at Pendleton

The Umatilla County Library, which is located in Pendleton, is one of the most beautiful in the state and aside from serving the city is also the central institution for fourteen branch libraries maintained in Umatilla County, with books in fifty-eight rural school districts, and the clubrooms, which are a part of the building, are the center of many social and educa­tional gatherings.

Pendleton is the educational center of Eastern Oregon. It has four grade schools and a high school occupying modernly equipped buildings with a broad, well-balanced curriculum designed to afford the best training for useful citizenship. The requirements regarding qualifications for teachers are the highest in the state and none but thoroughly trained teachers with successful experience are employed. The administration of the schools here under the direction of the Board of Education, which employs approved business methods in conduct of school affairs, has resulted in efficiency and economy. The school tax for 1922 is lower than any other first-class district in the state.

In addition to the public schools the Sisters of St. Francis conduct St. Joseph's Academy, a denominational school for boarding and day pupils.

The summer extension session of the State Normal is conducted in Pendleton for the benefit of Eastern Oregon teachers, the only higher educa­tional institution in the state east of the Cascade Mountains.

The Eastern Oregon Hospital for the Insane is located here, and the grounds and buildings receive much praise from visitors. St. Anthony's Hospital in Pendleton has only recently been enlarged to more than twice its former capacity and greatly improved, placing it among the best equipped in the country.

The sessions of the state supreme court for the eastern part of the state are held in Pendleton, as are the sessions of the federal court in Eastern Oregon.

When it comes to those material assets which go to provide for the security of a community, few places indeed have anything to make Pendle­ton envious. While agriculture and the livestock industry are the chief interests, there are other lines of endeavor which are pursued with success. There are three banks, whose combined capital stock and surplus equal $1,525,000, and whose, deposits total $5,200,000. Their resources total $9,700,000. Four flour mills having a combined capacity of 2,050 barrels a day grind wheat into flour and by-products. The Pendleton Woolen Mills manufacture blankets of Indian design, which have extended the fame of Pendleton, using the wool grown in Eastern Oregon and, incidentally, a nice payroll is supported by the mills. A large packing company carries on a business in killing and curing meats, and the products of the big packing plants. Pendleton also has a creamery and ice cream manufacturing plant, which does an immense business in Eastern Oregon; an up-to-date planing mill, a plant manufacturing roofing materials, a modern foundry and machine shop, a large saddlery manufacturer and numerous other small industrial concerns.

It has come to be a habit to estimate the conditions of a community by the number of cars owned by its population. Umatilla County, with 5,000 cars and trucks, possesses two and one-half times the average of all the counties of the state except Multnomah County. Taxes are comparatively low. A survey of the cities of the state made by the conservative Oregon Voter recently showed that Pendleton's tax rate is the lowest of any city of its size or larger in Oregon. In this day of reconstruction, when the world is paying the debt of taxes incurred in the great war, comparatively low taxes are sufficiently an oddity to prove alluring to those seeking new homes.

Men and women expecting to locate in new surroundings want to know the prospects offered by a place for financial success. Educational facilities, and opportunities for religious worship according to their own faith are also sought, in most cases. But when all is said and done, other things being equal, it is the spirit of a place which most often attracts or repels. How do people carry themselves, what is their attitude toward each other and toward strangers, and how full of life and virility are they? Answer these questions and a stranger will know whether he will like a new place, even before he knows whether he can make money in that town. To get this information calls for a personal visit, the acid test of a town's ability to attract. Pendleton extends an invitation to prospective homeseekers to come and see for themselves whether the city would suit them and whether they would be at home.


Rod & Gun Club House
Natatorium Golf Club House
Street Scene, business section
Security Apartments
A modern residence

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