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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow ANSWER MAN: Who is Meacham named after?

ANSWER MAN: Who is Meacham named after?

The small community, located about 21 miles west of La Grande, was named for the brothers Harvey J. and Alfred B. Meacham. The brothers operated Meacham Station, a stage coach firm, from 1863 to 1870. 

Alfred Meacham was the better known of the two brothers regionally and nationally. He was appointed superintendent of Indian affairs in Oregon in 1870 by President Ulysses S. Grant, according to the book “Dictionary of Oregon History” by Howard McKinley Corning. 

Meacham was seriously wounded during the Modoc Indian War, which was fought in Klamath County and Northern California. He recovered and later gave lectures in the east in defense of Native Americans. Meacham was appointed to the Federal Commission to Indian Territory in 1880. He died Feb. 16, 1882, in Washington, D.C., according to the book “Oregon Geographic Names” by Lewis A. McArthur and Lewis L. McArthur.

Harvey Meacham died in 1872 when a tree fell on him in the Meacham area.

The Meacham community was originally known as Lees Encampment after H.A.G. Lee established a settlement there in the 1840s. The name was changed to Encampment on May 8, 1862, when the U.S. Post Office opened an office there under that name. The post office name was changed to Meacham on March 26, 1890, according to “Oregon Geographic Names.”

Did a major sheep trail run through the Grande Ronde Valley in the 1800s?

Yes.

A sheep trail running from Umatilla County area to Cheyenne, Wyo., passed through the heart of Union County.

The trail came into use in the late 1870s, according to the book “Dictionary of Oregon History,” by Howard McKinley Corning. After coming over the Blue Mountains it passed close to Union and then south to the headwaters of the Powder River and past Baker City to the Burnt River area before moving through Idaho and ending in Wyoming.

The trail began being used after the railroad arrived in Wyoming in the 1870s, making it a destination for sheepherders who needed to ship their animals or their wool east. 

One of the largest drives over the trail was one of 23,000 sheep in 1882, according to Corning’s book. The need for the trail diminished dramatically in the mid-1880s after the railroad arrived in Northeast Oregon. 

Were football game films ever shown at the Liberty Theatre?

Yes.

We know of at least one football game that was shown at the Liberty Theatre, 1010 Adams Ave.

A film of a football game between the University of Southern California and Notre Dame was shown at the theater in late January 1932.

An ad in the Jan. 23, 1932, edition of the Observer for the showing of the game film stated: “Just think of it…first time an entire football game…has ever been photographed…A few of the... tense moments in slow motion…a THRILL from the kickoff to the last gun.” 

 
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