Welcome To KEY TO THE CITY's Page For
Wallowa County, Oregon
Chamber of Commerce.
Enterprise is the county seat of Wallowa County. The town was built on a flat which the Indians called "Tom-mah-talk-ke-sin-mah" meaning white, fluffy, or alkali soil. This was a natural gathering place as animals came to lick the salty soil, the indians to camp, and later, the settlers to round up cattle. The first settlers called it Bennett Flat, later Franklin, then Wallowa City and finally in 1887, Enterprise, as they felt it was an enterprising little city. It was incorporated February 21, 1889, with J. M. Church as the Mayor.
The post office was established November 9, 1887 with Catherine Akins as the first postmistress.
In 1887, a two-story, framed school house was built with J.M. Church as the teacher. A private school followed taught by Miss Susie Zurcher. By 1892, an academy followed established by L.O. Hoffman, but only operated one year. Then the Wallowa Academy was founded by the Dotson Brothers.
Business continued to flourish in the newly established city of Enterprise. In 1887, the Enterprise Hotel was built by J.P. Garner, but it was destroyed by fire several years later. It was later replaced by the Enterprise Hotel Company, organized by local investors. The Enterprise Mercantile and Milling Company was established in 1867, and by 1888, the same company constructed a flouring mill. This same year, the Enterprise Water Comopany was organized. It was constructed from a reservoir east of the city, filling it by means of force pumps at the river, and for several years furnished the city's water supply. By 1897, the citizens of Enterprise voted to construct the Enterprise Water Canal to increase their water supply.
The Wallowa National Bank was incorporated July 9, 1888, with a capital stock of $ 50,000. The Wallowa Chieftain, a weekly newspaper was published by Carl Roe. There followed a planing mill, general merchandise stores, livery and feed stables, harness shop and saddlery, a tinship, brewery, blacksmith shops, a steam laundry, undertaking rooms, physicians and surgeons, a dentist and attorneys at law.
The Courthouse stands in the exact center of the town of then Franklin, as it was first plated in 1885. The land on which it sits was donated to the town by its founders, John Zurcher and R. F. Stubblefield.
Origin of the name, Wallowa
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