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Prineville City

Prineville City Hall is located at 387 NE Third Street, Prineville, OR 97754; phone: 541-447-5627.

Thomas M. Baldwin House, ca. 1907,  126 West 1st Street, Prineville, OR, National Register.

Photo: Thomas M. Baldwin House, ca. 1907, 126 West 1st Street, Prineville, OR. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. Photographed by user:Ian Poellet (own work), 2007, [cc-by-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons, accessed September, 2013.

Prineville was founded in 1877 when Monroe Hodges filed the original plat for the city. The post office for the community had been established with the name of Prine on April 13, 1871, but changed to Prineville on December 23, 1872. [1]

Prineville was named in honor of the town's first merchant, Barney Prine.

Beginnings [2]

At the time of incorporation in 1880, Prineville's population was about 400; by 1900 the figure had reached 656; by 1910, 1042. The population figures do not indicate the economic importance, however. It was a trading center for supplies for the ranchmen and the source of legal and banking, and other service facilities.

Two important events occurred in 1900 to help in Prineville's rapid development. One was the completion of the Columbia Southern Railway to Shaniko in May, 1900, which brought good transportation to within sixty miles of Prineville, twelve hours by fast stage. The other was the construction of a power plant. The Yancey Brothers, Steve and Jess, received the contract to move the power plant from Shaniko to Prineville. The power plant was set up in a building which was located east of East Fourth and Belknap Streets. The first water works was located in the same building as the light plant. As a consequence, Prineville people had the luxury of both electric lights and public water.

With the prosperity of the ranchers in the sheep and cattle industries, and the dawning of the age of the lumber mills, Prineville became the community that prospered and, along with it, many of its citizens saw overnight wealth and prosperity.

  1. Prineville, Oregon,, accessed April, 2013.
  2. Jennifer Miller, Marion Reed Elliott House, Crook County, Oregon, nomination document, 1988, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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