Isadore Beauchamp

ISADORE AND MARY BEAUCHAMP

Isidore Beauchamp came to the Walla Walla Valley from Montreal, Canada, travelling first to Chicago, then to St. Louis, where he joined a wagon train to California and the 1849 gold fields.

Few on the wagon train survived the trip to California after being plagued with a smallpox epidemic. Isidore was one the lucky few to arrive intact. A wheelwright by trade, Beauchamp turned to freighting supplies to the mines from the Willamette Valley, rather than dig for gold.

In 1858, he married Mary Tellier, a year before Oregon became a state. The young newlyweds moved to the new state’s little Walla Walla River, to avoid what they called the wild Washington Territory and live in a law and order state. The Parents, Knops, Calhouns, Renckens and Meissners are some of the families who now live on Isadore and Mary’s old lands.

At the site, Beauchamp built a small mill, operated by water power. The mill ground wheat for their neighbors and their own farm. This was the first and only flour mill the people had for several years. The mill was a large-sized coffee mill that Beauchamp converted to water-power. It took about 24 hours to grind a full sack of grain. The little mill can be seen at the Whitman Museum.

When Dr. Baker built a railroad through their land, Isadore and Mary sold their property to the physician, believing the steaming, smoking engines would scare their cattle and horses. Evidence of the railroad can still be seen today near the Parent home where a cut through the hill is now used by the county road.

Isadore and Mary purchased land one mile north of Umapine. Their ranch became the property of their only son, the late M. O. Beauchamp. It is presently owned by a grandson and granddaughter of Isidore and Mary Tellier Beauchamp.

Information supplied by DEAN BEAUCHAMP 6-22-12

For a full family history, go to http://museum.bmi.net/STEPS%20PEOPLE/Tellier,%20Pierre%20Le.htm.

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