Weston History and News from
The East Oregonian

Early Business and Industry in Weston
first printed in the East Oregonian. 1962

In 1878 Weston Steam Flouring Mills was organized with a capital stock of $14,000. The stock was bought by the Proebstel Brothers. They completed the mill and began operating with two sets of burrs. The mill was supposed to have a 500 barrel a day capacity. A planing mill was also constructed that year.

Brick Making

Brick making at Weston dates back to Civil War days. However, in 1879 H.B. Nelson started a new brickyard and bricks were furnished to Walla Walla and Pendleton. Pink Harbour and Ed Towery, father of Jess Towery, later operated it until its closing. It did a thriving business for more than forty years. It was located where the Weston Grain Growers Oil and Gas distributing plant is located.

From the East Oregonian (1877), "Immigrants are still pouring into the county, not a vacant house in Walla Walla, Milton, Weston or Pendleton and no lumber to build with." This was probably the incentive that brought about the found of the new and larger brickyard in 1879.

Weston Leader Quoted

From the Weston Leader, July 2, 1897. "About 280,000 bricks will be burned in the kiln at present being built at Weston's brickyard. Nearly this number will be required for the Odd Fellows brick building at Pendleton."

Many of the brick buildings still standing in neighboring towns originated at the brickyards at Weston. Telephones

In 1879 a telephone system was established as was a street sprinkler system. On this the East Oregonian commented, "We have learned that Weston has a street sprinkling system. A Chinaman with two square coal oil cans with holes in the bottoms tramping back and forth the whole day keeps Main Street nicely wet down. Far ahead of Pendleton in this respect."


George Hayes kept a corner saloon and it was still a saloon in 1902. This is believed to be the building which now houses the Weston Market. During the 1920's it was a confectionery store owned by the late Lew Davis. This was also the terminal for busses and for the Blue Line Stages when they came into being many years later. It then became known as "The Terminal."

On the southwest corner of Main and Water Streets was a large brick building which housed a saloon. After prohibition it became a pool hall and was operated by Walter Webb. The Weston Leader Print Shop at one time occupied the second floor. The building was later torn down.

To the south of this building was a livery stable, in later years (1920's) operated by Lafe McBride, who also had the contract for transporting the mail and passengers to and from a depot a mile north of town. His vehicle used for this service until the coming of the Model-T Ford was a horse-drawn coach.

On the Northeast corner of Main and Water Streets was a two-story frame building in which Sim Culley ran a store in 1909. The building burned and was replaced by the present brick structure by the owner of the property H.L. Brandt. It then became the D.B. Jarman Dept. Store. Eliza Morrison, now Mrs. L.I. O'Hara and Ella Bonewitz (Blomgren) clerked there. During this time H.L. Brandt ran a store where the Weston Barber Shop is now, later moving to the corner building when the Jarman Store went out of business. He ran a store here in the 1920's and later sold out to H.R. Pope who kept it for a number of years. Since then it has changed hands several times. It is now Greers.

The Marshall House

Across the street south of the Saling Building (Elliott's) was a large brick store building with a brick addition on the east side. This housed a fine hotel, "The Marshall House," which boasted excellent dining room facilities. In 1886 Fred J. Carlyle was the proprietor. In the early 1920's the west side of the building housed the Mercantile Dry Goods Store with a grocery store in the rear. On the second floor was an apartment and the office of the late William McKenney, M.D. A few years ago this building was torn down and the Richfield Service Station now occupies the corner.

At the site of the present library and the A and F Cafe stood a large hotel building of frame construction. This also burned but not until after the present post office building had been built. It still bears the mark of the fire.

Farmer's National Bank

About 1890 the Odd Fellows building was constructed. The second floor was used for an opera house. The lower floor housed the Farmer's National Bank until its closing in the late 1920's. There was a large livery stable on the site of the present Community Hall.

In 1860 J.E. Jones erected fine store building and fitted the second floor up as a Masonic Lodge hall. The lower floor was used for a hardware and implement store. This building was located at the site of the present post office. It was destroyed by fire.

Many brick buildings still line the north side of Main Street, but these were all built after the fire of 1883, with the exception of the Saling Building.

In those early days Rube Baskett, a man of many eccentric traits and R.A. Steele as Notary Public were dispersers of law and justice.

There was a doctor known as "Old Doc Morris," who it was said dosed his patients with diluted lye and bread pills He said if people had sufficient faith, bread pills were just as good as any.

Thanks to the friendly, helpful staff at the Weston Public Library!

Weston News from the pages of

Weston Items 1/13/1877

Prof. George Paul has opened a writing school.
L.S. Wood is building himself a dwelling house in Mays addition.
There is some talk of starting a newspaper here and don't you forget it.
The Baptists have been holding a protracted meeting here, since Saturday last the 6th.
Christmas and New Year has come and gone, and nobody hurt; so now Mr. Ball will you please give us a rest on grand balls, Masonic balls, Odd Fellows' balls, etc., etc.

Weston Items 3/10/1877

J.M. Shepard of the Bedrock Democrat paid our town a flying visit this week. He is on the look-out for subscribers for his paper, and will visit Portland, Salem and Albany before his return.

W.H. Parrent, one of those engaged in opening the old Thomas and Ruckle road is in town. The road will be made in good traveling condition this Summer, and the hotel at the Warm Springs will be kept by Parrent & McWilliams for the accommodation of travelers and pleasure seekers. Indian Agent Cornoyer agrees to furnish the lumber necessary to build the bridges on the Umatilla River from the lower bridge on the Thomas & Ruckle road to the government sawmill.

Dr. Mineer of Walla Walla has rented a house and intends locating here.

A butterfly in March! One of the young ladies in Weston caught a butterfly a few days ago. It was a beautiful specimen of animated nature but was not so pretty as the young captor's beautiful self.

Weston Items 5/3/1877

A little boy about seventeen months old, son of Mr. Maxell of this place was drowned in Pine Creek April 23.

We are to have another meat market in Weston--Joseph Morgan proprietor.
Messrs. John & Paul are erecting a new front to their meat market building on Main Street.
Dr's Egan and Weich and both absent at the present time and so we are just now without a disciple of hippo crates.

There was a merry May Day gathering at Milton yesterday in which quite a large number of the young ladies and gents of Weston and vicinity joined.

Weston Items 5/26/1877

Our regular correspondent at Weston sends the following:

We have a bakery at Weston now--something we have long been in need of.
Mrs. McAllister, wife of Rev. E.A. McAllister, of the Universal persuasion preached at the Weston school house on Sunday last.
It has been raining here for the last two or three days, and our streets are again muddy. Crops are looking very well in this part of the country.
We have a telegraph office at Weston. Mr. E.H. Holland of The Dalles, is the operator. The line is only in working order from Walla Walla to Weston at present, but there is a gang of men in the mountains putting up the wire, and the line will soon be in working order all the way through.
Several of our citizens, members of the Masonic Order, have gone to Walla Walla today (22d) to attend the funeral of P.I. Hawley, who was shot in the head and instantly killed on Sunday last at that place, by a man named Foster. Foster was crazy at the time of the shooting and had been under the care of Dr. Blalock. No cause for the shooting whatever.

Weston Items 6/2/1877

Our regular correspondent at Weston sends the following:
The District Conference of the M.E. Church, South, commenced at Weston today (30th??), Rev. R.C. Oglesy presiding.
John Fletcher has bought the interest of Mr. Paul in the butcher business, and is now a full partner with S.A. Johns.
Lucien Everts of Pendleton, was in town this week. Also, Maj. Cornoyer, of the Indian agency.
Pine Creek was higher during the past week than ever before known--so say the old settlers.
Good times for overshoes and umbrellas.

Weston Items June 1877

R.B. Philips, correspondent and traveling agent for the San Francisco Chronicle was in town this week looking up subscribers for his paper.
Weston and vicinity is at the present time infested with machine and book agents. It only wants two or three life insurance agents to make the thing complete.
Quite a number of emigrants are here looking for homes in this part of Eastern Oregon. We hope they may find them.
George Hays and John S. White started for Portland this morning. They go to attend the Grand Lodge of Masons.
Uncle Bill Mize will keep bar for Geo. Hays during his absence. No trust for drinks.

Weston Items 7/7/1877

Harvesting will commence here the latter part of this week.
The guns sent from Salem to this place have been distributed.
Mr. Nevil, Superintendent of th work on the Thomas & Ruckle road is in Weston today hiring hands.
Mr. N. has 20 0r 30 mean at work and the road is finished to within six miles of the Warm Springs. The road will be in good condition for teams in about four weeks.
Our fellow townsman S.E. Jones has put a nice finish on the front of his hardware store on Main Street.
Wm. M. Moore and wife passed through Weston on their way to the Granite Creek mines. M. M. goes to look after his mining interests in that region.

Weston Items 8/11/1877

T.T. Lieuallen has just returned form a point on the Thomas & Ruckle road where he was summoned to hold an inquest on the body of a man by the name of Miller, who was supposed to have been drowned in the Umatilla River early last Spring during high water.
The threshing machines are running within a radios of four miles of Weston. Harvesting and threshing will continue for about six weeks.
Our fellow townsman Charles McMorris has been buying mules to fill a government contract. He started a drove from here on Sunday last (August 5th) for For Walla Walla.
Messrs Lowensberry and Benjamin have erected a beautiful and lengthy liberty pole between their places of business and Franklin Street.
Quite a number of families from this vicinity have gone to the warm springs to rusticate. Mr. Jamison harvested 1.027 bushels of wheat from seventeen acres of ground last week. Weston's latest infliction is a conscientious life insurance agent.

Weston Items 9/1/1877

On the 27th last, Isaac L. Vanwinkle was arrested by deputy sheriff Benjamin, charged with committing on assault with a dangerous weapon on the person of Wm. L. Donaldson. The weapon used was a knife. Donaldson was cut in the left shoulder. On hearing the evidence in the case, T.T. Lieuallen acting as magistrate held the defendant to appear at the October term of the Circuit Court. Immediately after the examination Donaldson was arraigned on a warrant sworn out by Vanwinkle charging him with a life offense, the weapon used being a pitchfork. In the latter case, the court dismissed the prisoner after haring the evidence on the part of the State. It seems that the party were at work in the harvest field, one driving and the other loading a header wagon when the altercation occurred.

The editor of the East Oregonian accompanied by his son passed through Weston this week.
It requires 14 beeves besides other meat each week to supply the Weston market.
Our merchants are having large lots of wheat hauled to the railroad.
Leo Schumacher has opened a photograph gallery at Weston.
Dr. C.J. Taft of Walla Walla was in town this week.
Our streets are crowded with teams loaded with grain.

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