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Information for George Washington Oylear
17 March, 1877 4 Jan, 1946
The History of Idaho,
The Gem of the Mountains, Vol II
by James Henry Hawley
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago, 1920
Pgs. 583 and 584
Contributed by Dennis McIndoo


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Note - George Washington Oylear died in Lane Co., Oregon

George W. Oylear


     George W. Oylear, filling the position of assessor of Canyon county and making his home in Caldwell, has long been identified with the west and is a representative of one of the old pioneer families of California and Idaho.  He was born in Carson valley, California, Mar 17, 1877, his father being Jonathan C. Oylear, who was a native of Missouri and a veteran of the Civil war.  He served throughout the entire period of hostilities with Company A of the Sixth Missouri Cavalry, entering the service as a private and being discharged as a first sergeant, his principal duty being that of scouting.  After the war he established his home near Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he resided for ten years, and then went to California, living there for about three years, at the end of which time he piloted a wagon train of settlers from California to Lewiston, Idaho, in 1878.  The Indians were then very hostile and many of the trains which both preceded and followed him has serious trouble with the red men, but Mr. Oylear landed his train without the loss of a man, owing to his ability as a scout and his knowledge of the western county.  He settle with his family on Little Potlatch creek about twelve miles southeast of Moscow, where he homesteaded and where he died in February, 1919, at the age of eight years.  His wife died in 18976.  They had a family of ten children, of whom George W. is the eighth in order of birth.  Five of the sons are living, while the parents and four brothers and a sister have passed away.  Those who survive are.  S. D., a retired farmer living a Lewiston, Idaho; J. J., a farmer residing at Southwick, Idaho; Elmer E., a merchant of Ellensburg, Washington; and M. M., who is in the employ of the J. C. Penny Company at Pendleton, Oregon.  After the death of his first wife Mr. Oylear married again and the children of that union are:  Jesse C. who farms the old homestead; Dora, also on the home farm; and Hazel, who is connected with the Williamson Company at Moscow.  In the early days of the residence of the Oylear family in Idaho there were no mills in that section of the country and it was necessary many times to grind their wheat in a coffee mill in order to obtain flour.  The father assisted largely in the development of Spokane, Washington, as a contractor and builder, for it was by following that pursuit that he managed to support his family, as the land was all wild and undeveloped and in the early days crops could not be grown successfully.  It was also Mr. Oylear who introduced the first threshing machine, mowing machine and reaper in the Moscow country, the unusual machines frightening the children of the neighborhood.
     George W. Oylear entered the University of Moscow in 1893, pursuing the regular course, but on account of the death of his mother he was compelled to leave college in 1897.  He is a natural musician and as a boy began playing the violin and played for the country dances, using the proceeds to pay for his education.  After leaving college he taught school until 1902, when he became cashier of the M. A. Means Bank at Orofino, at the same time acting as general manager and bookkeeper for the M. A. Means store and bookkeeper for the bank.  After two years his strenuous life, however, proved too much for his health and he was compelled to resign.  He then, in connection with his brother, L. L. Oylear, opened a hardware and grocery store at Leland, Nez Perce county, and from the beginning the venture proved profitable.  In 1906 the brother died and in 1907 George W. Oylear closed out the business and in May of that year removed to Caldwell.  He worked at the carpenter's trade at Middleton for six months and then opened a hardware store there, which he still conducts.  He is also a director of the Middleton State Bank, of which he formerly served as assistant cashier.  He is an enterprising and progressive business man in whose vocabulary there is no such word as fail, and his enterprise and determination have been the salient features in the attainment of success.
     In June, 1898, Mr. Oylear was married to Miss Elizabeth Chenoweth, of Lewiston, Idaho, a daughter of John Chenoweth, a pioneer of Dayton, Washington which is situated but a short distance from Lewiston.  Mr. and Mrs. Oylear have three children;  Clarence H., nineteen years of age, now attending the University of Moscow; Georgia E., a freshman at Moscow; and Gertrude I.
     In his political views Mr. Oylear is a republican and has long been a n earnest supporter and active worker in the party.  For six years he served as a member of the republican county central committee of Canyon county.  When he was made a candidate for the office of assessor he was accorded a splendid majority, winning the election by three hundred and fifty votes in a county that had formerly given a strong democratic majority.  He is chairman of the school board of Middleton and was also city clerk there, and at the present time he is most capably discharging the duties of assessor of the county.

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