Lewis was born near Quincy, Illinois

LEWIS B. RINEHART - From "History of the Pacific Northwest", 1889, Vol
2, p.537 --
Mr. Rinehart was born in Illinois in 1844 and later accompanied his parents across the plains to Oregon. They followed the tracks of 1853 from the mouth of the Malheur to Eugene City via Harney Lake. Ten miles west of Eugene the elder Rinehart loc on a half section of lane and provided a home for his family. Lewis remained there until 1862 but that spring came with his brothers to the Grande Ronde valley. After living in a tent for three months, he hauled the logs and assisted in the erect of the third house in the town of LaGrande. A few days afterward, Mr. Rinehart, with others conceived the idea of the location of some of the lands in the neighborhood and in accordance with that conception they commenced to staking their claim. Along they were waited upon by a detachment of Umatilla Indians who were encamped near by and who pulled up their stakes.

Mr. Rinehart was, for a number of years, engaged in cattle-raising and cattle-driving between the Willamette and GrandeRonde valleys until in 1865 he and his brother erected the first mercantile house in the village they afterwards named Summervill. The next year they were joined by a third brother and purchased the first grist mill in Union county. Being possessed with the requisite qualities, Mr. Rinehart was soon called upon to fill public office, first as treasurer of Union county and lat having mover to Baker county, he acted as assessor for two years. In 1880 he returned to his first home and encamped at the south end of what is now the most beautiful village in the Pacific Northwest - that of Union, Oregon. Since then he has engaged in mercantile enterprises and in stock raising and for four years was state senator from Union county. He is the owner of the town site of Vale, Oregon in Malheur county and owns eleven hundred acres of land.

LOUIS B. RINEHART - From "Pioneer Days in Malheur County", 1950, p.
108-9 --
Louis B. Rinehart, who turned the first range cattle loose in the northern part of Malheur county and built the historic Stone House at Vale, which formed the nucleus, from which the county seat town sprang, has been very appropriately called "the father of Vale". The Rinehart buttes, across the river from Vale, were named for him. He was a son-in-law of William S. Glenn. His wife, Amelia Glenn Rinehart, was the oldest of the four Glenn sisters. The Rineharts were the parents of one son, Arthur W. Rinehart. He studied law, was admitted to the Oregon bar, and for some years practiced law at Vale. In 1883 the Rineharts leased the Stone House hotel to their brother-in-law, H. C. Murray, and moved to Mrs. Rinehart's girlhood home in Union county. Mr. Rinehart was a representative in the Oregon legislature from Union county in 1886-87 and materially aided in the passage of the act creating Malheur county. Mrs. Rinehart secured the deed to the land upon which the original town of Vale was located and donated the city block upon which the court house is located to the county.


There's a winding trail a threading, --- Through hills and o'er the plains --- Where the pioneers were treading --- in the days of wagon trains - Springs of boiling waters --- Gushing from the bald hills high --- Bring travelers to our city --- The
City of Vale near by -- Robert A. Grubbs

The above lines were written by Robert A. Grubbs, a minister, who at one time had charge of a pastorate in the county seat town.

In the fall of 1863, Johathan Keeney built a small log house at the Malheur ford on the south side of the river, near the present town of Vale. This cabin served ad a wayside inn for the accommodation of emigrant passing over the Oregon Trail from to 1870. One of Jonathan Keeney's sons, James Keeney, ran the tavern from 1868 to 1870.

In the autumn of 1870, Louis R. Rinehart bought Mr. Keeney's holdings at Vale hot springs and the next year started the construction of the historic Stone House, which was completed in the autumn of 1872. On New Year's Day, 1873, Mr. and Mrs. Rine opened it as a hotel - which still stands as a historic landmark in the city of Vale - with a grand ball to celebrate the New Year. This first memorable social event in the county was attended by the far-scattered pioneers, some coming from as far Malheur City and the Boise, Payette and Weiser valleys. During the Seventies considerable travel passed over the emigrant road and the Stone House became a popular wayside inn. Mrs. Rinehart was the gracious landlady at the Stone House in those pioneer days. She was the eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William S. Glenn. The Rinehart Buttes, beneath which the hot spring gush, were named for Mr. Rinehart, who has been called affectionately "The Father of Vale".

A stage line was established between Boise and Canyon City in 1878 and a stage station was set up at the Rinehart place.

NOTE: Rinehart's wife was Amanda Glenn; they had one son, Arthur. The editor had talked to Arthur at a pioneer picnic about giving the Old Stone House to the community for a museum in honor of his parents. He said he was interested and would think in over, talking it over with his wife and her nephew to whom the property would be left. He died a short time later before anything could be done.

The property has passed through several hands since, following the settlement of the estate, but has now been presented by another group of heirs for a museum, due to the efforts of Mary Graham. Miss Graham also supervised remodeling of the building
into apartments following Arthur Rinehart's death.

Lou Rinehart divided his time between Union and Malheur counties. A number from the Rinehart emigrant train are buried at Summerville, in Union County, including his parents, Louis and Elizabeth Rinehart, who led the train.

Two of his nephews, John S. and Webley Edwards, brought horses over here from Lane county, making several trips and trailing large numbers, and visiting their uncle at Vale. John S. Edwards liked the country so well he stayed, while Web selected the Dayville country to the northwest of Malheur county.

Lewis B. Rinehart died Thursday, March 18, 1909, at Portland, Oregon, age 64 years, 10 months, and 10 days. The funeral took place from the Methodist church at Union, Oregon, Sunday, March 25, at 2:00 p.m..

Interment in the Union Cemetery.
Lewis Bird Rinehart was born near Quincy, Illinois in 1844, the son of  Lewis and Elizabeth (Ellis) Rinehart, natives of Tennessee and North Carolina. Two years after his birth, the family moved to Iowa and in 1854 they came to Oregon, settling near Eugene. In 1862 Lewis and two older brothers (Henry and James) moved to LaGrande, which then consisted of one log house. Soon after1863 the Rinehart brothers moved to Summerville, named the place, and built the first house there. Lewis Bird Rine engaged in various lines of businesses in Union county, until 1872 when he moved to Malheur county and located the land where the town of Vale is now built. In 1876 he was elected assessor of Baker County. In 1886 he was elected to the Legislatur Baker county. In 1894 he was elected State Senator from Union County. He was one of the promoters of the Hunt Railroad and was instrumental in gaining a large subsidy for the undertaking.

In 1867 Lewis B. Rinehart married Amanda M. Glenn, daughter of William S. and Nancy C. Glenn, who survives him. To them, three children were born, but only one of whom, Arthur W. Rinehart, a lawyer, is still living.

Lewis Bird Rinehart was for years a leading figure in Eastern Oregon affairs, and his integrity and real worth have been manifest in all his dealings.
(Copy as written)

Amanda GLENN