Biography of Oscar Pelton

Among the successful and enterprising agriculturists and stockmen of the County of Nez Perces we should not fail to mention the name of the gentleman mentioned above, since he is one of the substantial men of the County, and is a real laborer in the realm of up building and advancement.

Oscar Pelton was born in Somerset County, Maine, on July 14, 1844, being the son of Matthew B. and Caroline (Stevens) Pelton. The father was a farmer and lumberman in Maine, born in 1821, died in 1894, and served his country in the Civil War. The mother was born in Somerset County, Maine, in 1827, and still lives there. Our subject received his education in the common schools of his native place, remained at home engaged with his father until he was seventeen years of age and then his young blood could not resist the call of Columbia to rally supporters for the defense of the flag and our government. He enlisted at the first call, in Company D, Thirteenth Maine Volunteers, and went with General Ben Butler to New Orleans, also served under Banks in the Red River campaign. He served three years and then received his honorable discharge and returned to his home. But he had forfeited his health in the struggle and has more or less suffered since from the troubles contracted in the war.

At the age of twenty-three he removed to La Crosse, Wisconsin, remaining one year in the lumber business. He next bought land in Trempealeau County, the same state, and settled down to farming. After seven years he located in Wadena County, Minnesota, and took land and his parents followed him in 1876. He was one of the pioneers there and sixteen years were spent in tilling the soil ill that County. Then he went to St. Cloud, and in 1895 came to Idaho for his health. He has been much benefited by the change and is now enjoying better health than for some time previous. He located two miles northeast from Lewiston and gave his attention to general farming and raising stock.

In August 1867, Mr. Pelton married Miss Barbara, daughter of S. R. and Ann (Fox) Bates, natives of Ohio. Mrs. Pelton has two brothers, Timothy and Hanson, both in Wisconsin. Mr. Pelton has the following named brothers and sisters: Albert, in St. Cloud, Minnesota; Ernest, in North Dakota; Sarah Pelton, in Canada; Hiram and La Forest, in Alaska: C. S., in Colfax, Washington.

To Mr. and Mrs. Pelton there have been born the following children: Loreda and Minnie, in Missoula; Ernest, at home; Fred and Eugene, in Spokane; Lois, Gladys and Harry, at home. Mrs. Pelton is a member of the Methodist Church. Mr. Pelton is a Republican and takes an active part in political matters. It is of note that Joel Pelton, the great grandfather of our subject, was a soldier in the Revolution and served under Washington in many campaigns, being present at the surrender of Cornwallis. He saw Lafayette and other great men of that day. After the war he took up land in Maine, where he raised his family and lived to the good old age of one hundred and six years.

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

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