Transcribed from "History of North Washington, an illustrated history
of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan counties", published by Western
Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
WINFIELD S. GEHR, president and
manager of the Orondo Shipping Company and Wenatchee Milling Company, is
a well-known, popular and influential citizen of Wenatchee, Chelan county.
He is a son of the "Keystone" state, having been born in Pennsylvania September
9, 1861. His parents, Foster and Bathsheba (Line) Gehr, were natives
of that state. The father was of Dutch ancestry; the mother comes
of old Quaker stock, a family which came to America with William Penn.
Foster Gehr was for many years engaged successfully in the oil business.
He died in 1887. The mother at present lives at Linesville, Pennsylvania,
named in honor of her father, who owned the townsite and vast quantities
of land in that vicinity, operated flour and saw mills and was largely
identified with the growth and development of that section of the state.
At Linesville, the place of his nativity,
our subject attended graded schools, and subsequently was a student in
Allegheny College, Meadsville, and three years in Buchtel College, Akron,
Ohio. Owing to the illness of his father he returned home before
graduating. Following a year passed in the oil regions, he went to
Iowa where he entered a law office, read law and had charge of abstract
books. From 1879 until 1881 he was in Spirit Lake, Iowa; the two
years after in Flandreau, South Dakota, in a bank, and was then engaged
in the agricultural implement business until 1888. That year he came
to Orondo, Douglas county, Washington, was for a while in the general merchandise
business, and later bought wheat. In 1893, in company with J. F.
Hunt, Henry Lawshe and H. H. Cheatham he organized the Orondo Shipping
Company, with headquarters at Orondo and Tacoma, buying and shipping grain.
They now control warehouses at Bridgeport, Central Ferry, Chelan Falls,
Brays Landing, Orondo and Wenatchee. They have flour mills at Chelan
Falls and Wenatchee. At present the company comprises our subject,
president and general manager; W. W. Randall, London, England, and A. W.
Tilmarsh, secretary and treasurer, Tacoma, Washington. The business
is being extended throughout the state.
On September 9, 1899, Mr. Gehr was married
at Snohomish, Washington, to Jane Austin.
Fraternally, Mr. Gehr is a member of Everett,
Washington, Lodge No. 479, B. P. 0. E. Although in line with the
principles of the Republican party he is not an active politician.
He is secreteary and treasurer of the Chelan Falls Power Company.