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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow THE PRIDE OF NORTH POWDER


Herman Rothchild ().
Herman Rothchild ().

Herman Rothchild, one of the most noteworthy figures in North Powder's history, is featured in a new publication about the Oregon Legislature.

Rothchild's story is told in the volume "Oregon Legislative & Historical Information,'' which was just published.

Rothchild, a North Powder businessmen and a Jewish Democrat, was elected to the state House of Representatives 93 years ago. Rothchild was the sole Democrat in the House of Representatives in the Oregon Legislative Assembly in 1907. There were 59 Republicans.

Rothchild, also the lone Jew in the House, made light of his unique status in a humorous 1907 speech. He nominated himself for speaker, stating that he had the support of every Democrat and Jew in the House.

Rothchild served one two-year term in the Legislature.

Rothchild (1858-1924) had earlier served as the mayor of North Powder for two terms. As a businessman, he operated the Pioneer Square, a general merchandise outlet.

He was a heavy cigar smoker and it was reported that his store reeked of cigar smoke. After his death people found many bags of cigar stubs in the back rooms.

Rothchild gained a reputation for being extremely generous, according to the North Powder News.

"Through the period of hard times he extended credit to everybody and anybody, a hazardous venture, and survived while many others less lenient failed,'' the paper reported.

Rothchild was born in Germany and graduated from high school there at age 15. He served in the German Army before coming to the United States in 1882. He moved to North Powder in 1885.

Oregon Legislative & Historical Information was prepared by the Democratic Office of the Oregon House of Representatives. Sandra Allen, a capitol historian, compiled much of the information.

— Dick Mason

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