Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
HON. JASPER J. CAMERON
has, without doubt, become one of the leading and influential men of the
Big Bend country. Arriving here in 1889 without means, he cast his
first vote for the state constitution and since that time has been closely
identified with the progress and development of the great state of Washington.
In his personal business affairs, he has made a brilliant success, while
in the political world, he has won the encomiums and plaudits to be envied
even by one who has spent a much longer service in the political field.
J. J. Cameron was born in Peoria, Illinois,
on November 29, 1867, the son of George W. and Lucinda Cameron. When
a child he went with his parents to Jones county, Iowa, and then the family
moved to Tehama county, California. After gaining his primary instruction
in the common schools, Mr. Cameron matriculated in the Hesperian college
at Woodland, California and in due time received his diploma from that
institution. Then he turned his attention to the study of law but
as his parents were desirous of coming to the north, he dropped that and
joined them in an overland trip from California to Washington. The
journey was fraught with many incidents, both of hardship and pleasure
and was completed without especial accident. Upon arriving here,
Mr. Cameron selected a homestead about six miles west from where Harrington
is now located. He soon added a timber culture and gave his attention
to farming. Having been thoroughly depleted in financial matters,
he was obliged to borrow money to file on his claim, then went to work
by the month. Not to be deterred, however, he followed that rigorous
life until he had sufficient means to improve his place in good shape,
then his time was given to that entirely. As the years went by, prosperity
could but attend the wise and faithful labors of our subject and from time
to time he added to his estate until now it has reached the magnificent
proportions of eight hundred acres. The entire place is under cultivation
and cropped to wheat annually, thus insuring to him, a very gratifying
income. Plenty of buildings, a good residence and all other improvements
that can be used on a first class Washington wheat farm are in evidence.
An air of thrift and good taste pervades the entire premises and Mr. Cameron
is to be commended upon his success in farming and raising stock.
He has a band of cattle and horses.
In the fall of 1900, Mr. Cameron allowed his
name to appear on the Democratic ticket for representative to the state
legislature and although the county is Republican, he was promptly elected.
In the halls of legislature, he was no less a marked figure than he had
been in the excellent work on the farm. He soon took a place with the leaders
and at his second term which he is now serving, his party brought him forward
as speaker of the house. Owing to the fact that the Democrats were
largely outnumbered by the Republicans, he did not secure the position.
Still so forcible and telling has been the work of Mr. Cameron, that his
enemies have learned to fear his blows and his friends have no hesitancy
in placing him to champion their cause in a hotly contested battle.
The second election of Mr. Cameron speaks very favorably for his ability
and integrity since twice a Democratic candidate has carried a Republican
On June 26, 1895, Mr. Cameron married Miss
Lilly F. Lee, who was born and reared in California. Her father,
Munson Lee, was a native of Missouri and crossed the plains to California
in 1869. He married Miss Ware and they are now living in Willows,
California. To Mr. and Mrs. Cameron three children have been born,
Nathaniel A., Gladys I. and Nevada.
Fraternally, Mr. Cameron is affiliated with
the K. P., the I. O. O. F. and the Foresters. He has always been
very active in educational labors and is also a member of the pioneer association.