An Illustrated History of Central Oregon, Western Historical Publishing Company, Spokane, WA. 1905, page 288-289.

* A portrait of Mr. Rigby appears between pages 288 and 289.

* A portrait has been posted on-line at

JESSE W. RIGBY is now retired in Hood River, after a long life of service as a minister of the gospel for the Methodist church. He was born in Morrow county, Ohio, on January 10, 1843. His father, Caleb P. Rigby, was a native of Washington, Virginia, and his parents were Titus and Elizabeth (Pumphrey) Rigby, natives of Maryland. The mother's father, John Pumphrey, was born in Wales and her mother was a Cromwell of England. Our subject's father was a tanner by trade, learning the same in Belville, Ohio. Later he did farming and his death occurred on August 5, 1871 at Mechanicsville, Iowa. He married Miss Christiana Fait, who was born in Utica, Ohio. Her father, Martin Fait, was a prominent Methodist preacher and well known all over the state of Ohio. His parents came from Holland. The mother's father was a native of England and her mother, Jane Watson, was born in Ireland. Our subject spent his boyhood days in Cedar county, Iowa, where the family moved in 1846. His first education was obtained in the district schools and then he enlisted on July 25, 1862, at Mechanicsville, Iowa, in Company B, Twenty-fourth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, under Captain R. S. Rathbun and Colonel E.C. Byam. He was in active service Until August 5, 1865, being mustered out at Davenport, Iowa. He was confined for four hundred and fourteen days at Camp Ford prison in Texas. He participated in the siege of Grand Gulf, battles of Fort Gibson and Champion Hills, in the siege of Vicksburg -- forty-seven days under fire -- and with his company was on provost duty at Vicksburg. He was also in the siege of Jackson. Then he fought at the battle of Carrion Crow Bayou and next at Sabine Cross Roads where he was kept a prisoner until the close of the war. He returned home in August, and the following September he entered Cornell college, Mt. Vernon, Iowa, six years later graduating with the degree of Master of Arts. He then entered the ministry and in 1871 was ordained at Webster City, Iowa by Bishop E.S. Andrews. Then he preached two years at Sargent Bluffs, Iowa and was later stationed at Smithland, Sibley, and in 1879, came to Lewiston, Idaho. He was prominent in the work there, organizing the Methodist church at that point and at Asotin, Juliaetta, Kendrick and other places, plodding steadily along all the years in this vicinity until 1892 when he came to Hood River and took charge of the Belmont church. Two years later, he organized the Asbury church and was in that church for two years. Then he went to Fossil, Wheeler county, thence to Bickleton, Washington, after which he was placed on the superannuated list in 1896, and returned to Hood River where he still resides. Although relieved of churches in the ministry, Mr. Rigby is still active in the Master's work and is one of the highly esteemed men of this part of the country.

On August 17, 1871 at Mount Vernon, Iowa, Mr. Rigby married Miss Julia A. Case, who was born in Mount Morris, New York. Her parents were David and Mary (Bassett) Case. She died at Bickleton, Washington, in 1894. Mr. Rigby married again on May 22, 1901 at East Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, to Martha R. Weaver, who was born in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania. Mr. Rigby has the following brothers and sisters, Elmer C., Martin F., Thomas H., Washington H., deceased, Joshua C., deceased, Eliza J. deceased, and Mrs. Melissa D. Todd. Mrs. Rigby has four brothers, Hon. Frank Weaver, James R., Stewart, Homer, and several sisters.

Mr. Rigby is a member of the G.A.R. and prominent in that organization. Four children were born to Mr. Rigby and his first wife; Ethel J., wife of Rev. G.R. Archer, pastor of the Methodist church at John Day, Oregon; Ruth E., at home; Gertrude M., wife of Rev. C.P. Nickelsen, she died June 6, 1898, and Nellie J., wife of Claude E. Weatherell and now deceased.

Mr. Rigby has been a very faithful and conscientious preacher and has wrought well in the vineyard. He is a man whose faith has made him upright and careful in his walk to show forth the principles that he taught. He and his first wife endured many hardships and together they labored both in church work and Sunday school for the upbuilding of the faith. He and his family now have the satisfaction of seeing much good result from these labors, while they are secure in the love and esteem of hosts of friends.


Submitted to the Oregon Bios. Project in January 2005 by Jeffrey L. Elmer. Submitter has no additional information about the person(s) or family mentioned above.

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