What’s in a Kinzua name?

How many towns named Kinzua have there been in the United States? If you guessed two, you would be correct. Additionally, both are gone forever.

In 1909, Edward Wetmore of Warren purchased 50,000 acres in Arizona, California and Oregon in the form of land grants that were signed by President Theodore Roosevelt, according to the State Library in Oregon.

In 1928 he built a mill in Wheeler, County Oregon for the Kinzua Pine Company. The business became so successful that there was a housing shortage for the growing number of workers.

To combat this, the company built 125 homes, a post office, a church, a scout camp, a six-hole golf course, a library, a trout lake,grocery and department stores and other businesses including a railroad line.

Interest in the employees welfare was apparent when Wetmore and John P. Jefferson, also of Warren donated personal funds to build a community hall, named Jeffmore Hall.

Visitors came from all over the world to hunt, fish and tour the area. The town grew to over 700 residents, and the mill remained open during World War Two, when women took the place of the men, and contributed to the war effort.

In 1976, it was decided to shut down operations and move all the work to a nearby town. From 1978 to 1981 the town was dismantled, and in 1982 40,000 Ponderosa pine seedlings were planted on the site.

According to Wikipedia, the Kinzua Golf Club, the Kinzua landing strip, and nearby Kinzua mountain retain the name.