Charles C. Sampson is one of the real pioneers of this western country, having lived in different sections, while his parents were among the very first ones who braved the dangers of an ox team trip across the plains to enter the Willamette wilderness.

Charles C. Sampson was born in Lane County, Oregon, on October 15, 1855, being the son of Ephraim A. and Eunice (Warner) Sampson, natives respectively of Missouri and Indiana. The father came to western Oregon in 1849, having also been in California in that year and the mother came to the Willamette valley in 1853, both crossing the plains with ox teams. They were married in the valley. The father was well known as one who did much hunting for emigrants who were coming in and who needed help. He would organize parties and go to meet the unfortunates who were beset with Indians or who had lost food and were starving or who had wandered out of the way and were unable to find the proper trail. Many such trips did the elder Sampson take and many pathetic and deeply touching tales could he tell of the sad sights that met his eyes and the suffering that he relieved. About 1852 Mr. Sampson went east on a business trip, crossing the Isthmus on a cayuse. Our subject gained some schooling in the native place and when the family came to the vicinity of Dayton, Washington, he studied there also.

It was 1870, that they came thither and in 1874 Charles went from the homestead near Dayton to Baker City and worked in a quartz mill for three years on Conner creek. In 1877 he came to Lewiston and that has been his headquarters since. He went into the stock business and followed raising cattle and horses for a long time and the last six years he has devoted his energies principally to sheep, of which he has four thousand. He has fine Oxfords and many of them are entitled to registration. Mr. Sampson has seven living brothers: Horace J., merchant at Harrison, Idaho; Alfred E., at Kamiah, Idaho; Thomas J., sheepman near Lewiston; David, living near Southwick; Norman, in Wallowa County, Oregon; Virgil, farmer near Genesee; Glenn with Virgil in the stock business.

In 1881 Mr. Sampson married Miss Minnie C. Miner. Mrs. Sampson’s mother’s maiden name was Bowman, and her parents were pioneers of the Willamette valley while some of the family lives near Genesee. Mrs. Sampson has two half brothers, Samuel Markham, a prominent citizen of Gifford and part owner of the townsite; Fred, at Cold Springs, Idaho. Mrs. Sampson has two sisters, Carrie, wife of George Wayne; Maggie, wife of Alfred Sampson, brother of our subject. To Mr. and Mrs. Sampson there have been born five children, Myrtle, Ivy, Jettie, Bessie and Clifford.

Mr. Sampson is a member of the W. of W. at Lewiston. He is a Democrat in political matters but he is not at all desirous of personal preferment although he is frequently selected to attend the conventions. He is a man of wide experience, good training, and has demonstrated both his integrity and ability in an upright life and a successful business career.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903