Business Tidbits Over the Years
The Observer, Moro, Oregon, 1911-1942 (notes, not quotes):
- November: Bands of sheep, 2,000 & 3,000, crossing the John Day River at McDonald.
- December: John F. Foss has a contract to make galvanized pipe culverts for the County, an experimental order.
- January: The Celilo bridge opened. Sherman County had 30 schools including Bigelow (sic) & Fredberg.
- February: The Farmers’ Banquet at the Rudolph Opera House in Moro served only Sherman County grown farm products, tables set for 350. E.W. Knapp was in Moro from Monkland with coyote & badger skins; he plans to experiment with growing peanuts this season.
- June: Notice to accept bids for building new school houses in District #21–Biggs and #37–Deschutes.
- July: Shad fishing on the Columbia especially profitable this season. The Miller Sands Co. smoked quite a quantity of shad & blueback. E.E. Kaseberg & brother-in-law Herbert Root got a Case steam engine from Chas. Golliher & operate one of the largest threshing outfits, 35 men.
- August: W.H. Moore & R.J. Ginn were overhauling the Moro flouring mill to use as a warehouse. O.M. Scott of former Scott, McCoy & Co. visited in Moro.
- October: Ewan McLennan of Shaniko grazed his flocks in the Cascade forests during the summer; shipped 10,000 fat sheep from Bend in 32 double-deck cars on Oregon Trunk Railway to Chicago on a 72 hour schedule. Orville Davis, agent at Wasco for Oregon Washington Rail & Navigation Co., was a boyhood friend of Phil Yates in Iowa. The BCP Company sheep now located in Canyon #16 on the Deschutes River. Children’s Industrial Fair.
- Louis J. Gates, long-time manager of Kent Commercial Co., purchased the business from Balfour, Guthrie & Co.
- January: Sherman & Gilliam county courts met to talk about a John Day River bridge, agreed it would be at Cottonwood.
- February: W.H. Ragsdale of this district was a state senator.
- Big improvements underway at the Biggs railway station.
- May: L.J. Gates had a plate glass front made in Portland for his Kent store. Lots of new cars reported.
- July: Fruit for sale at Coy’s 12 miles E of Monkland. Ripe peaches at Harris Station on the Deschutes.
- August: Mrs. M.A. Bull, “chauffer in charge of the A.B. Matthews combine harvester” – the only woman operating one. Frank E. Brown, fruit grower at Grant.
- November: Moro – Foss & Benson have a line of buggies.
- January: Made in Oregon banquet in Moro.
- February: Mrs. S.J. Ritchey of Monkland raised turkeys.
- March: New school district at head of Rattlesnake Grade, building just finished by contractor Ramsey.
- May: Permits issued to irrigate in Sherman County. E.E. Kaseberg purchased 30 hp Holt motor gas engine for combined harvester. Mrs. Miller purchased Geo. N. Crosfield’s residence and will remodel and repair to provide a modern hospital in Wasco.
- June: George Volliard, shoe maker in Moro. Grover Duffey opened law practice at Moro with W.H. Ragsdale. Booster Club formed for Monkland & Hay Canyon. Mrs. Damewood renovated business property she purchased at DeMoss and will sell groceries and dry goods. Farm Day at the Experiment Station. Harvesting barley. Foss & Benson sold water wagons to Robert W. Pinkerton and William Morrison.
- July: Disastrous hail storm W of Kent & 2 miles E of Buck Hollow, northeasterly to Rutledge, grain ruined. C.A. Nish store at Monkland. 31 school districts, each a school house, about 900 children of school age, 694 registered, 95% regularly attended, 55 teachers. School to start September 14.
- August: C.H. Howell first Sherman County farmer to harvest with a Holt Caterpillar & a Holt harvester, 38 days, 2,100 acres, 21,000 sacks.
- November: Historic Free Bridge over the Deschutes “went down, high wind storm.” (cause questionable). H. MacBeth opened tailor shop in Moro. A list of subscribers for sending flour to aid the Belgians.
- December: Warren McKinney was selling pianos. Rabbit drive and hunt set for Friday, 73 hunters lined up with points for each kind of animal killed – bird, coyote, rabbit, skunk & weasel.
- February: F.L. & L.M. Morrow – Morrow Bros. – contracted with Hedges & Huls for their new 80’ x 100’ concrete building in Wasco, somewhat like the Foss & Co., garage in Moro. Farmers talking elevators and bulking grain. An auto tire & tube vulcanizing plant opened in Wasco.
- April: R.C. Atwood, F.R. Fortner & W.H. Lee incorporated to build a concrete hotel in Wasco. Moro will have a new school building.
- May: Three day auto show in Wasco, May 30-June 1. C.R. Nottingham sold 2,640 acre Finnegan ranch to C.R. Belshee & O.N. Ruggles $75,000. New cars and Maytag washers.
- June: New cars & tractors. Contract let to Hedges & Huls to build a concrete waterway under the Ginn, Coleman & Co. store, the Moro Garage & Tum-a-Lum Lumber. Sherman County ranks highest in USA in support per capita for National Red Cross, in excess of $8.50. Proposed Port of Rufus: S boundary to be McDonald Ferry west to Wasco, NW down Spanish Hollow to the Columbia River. Crew working on the new Cottonwood bridge. Horse auction at the Crosfield corral in Wasco.
- July: Sherman County population 4,000. New cars. Eighty names were drawn for Sherman County military service, 30 will be taken.
- August: Best yields NW of Moro: Kaseberg brothers 15 sacks per acre, Howell brothers 13 sacks per acre. Entire World War I registration list for Sherman County with list of those exempted with reasons & enlistments. First draft list.
- September: 43 women registered at Moro to work for the government. Sherman County had one car for each 6 persons & 1 out of 4 is a Ford. 240 new cars since January 1st. G.N. Crosfield sold 9 cars in one week.
- November: Enlistments, list of boys going to American Lake for training.
- Farmers plan to build elevators.
- March: 5% of Sherman County’s military quota left for training at American Lake.
- July: Volunteers on Gordon Butte W of Moro – 2 men from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. nightly, telephone line installed to the operator at Moro.
- December: E.E. Kaseberg bought a new electric shift classy passenger car & sold his Hudson to Buck Torrey.
- February: Capt. S.V. Winslow applied for ferry franchise at Grant, formerly captain of the government steamer, Umatilla, on the Celilo to Umatilla run.
- March: Moro has new deep well, cased & tested, 50 gpm, within 16’ of the old well, neither seems affected by the other, old well 241’ deep, new well 221’.
- July: Building of bridge at mouth of Deschutes River. Hotel Moro burned. Contract let to Hedges & Huls for 80’ x 80’ school at Grass Valley.
- September: Miss Grace May appointed Sherman County school superintendent.
- October: Ad for Deschutes Motor Co. in Moro. Reports of soldiers returning home.
- February: Phone lines up, lineman Badger stringing new line & people applying for phones. Girders for the Deschutes River bridge are being installed.
- September: J.R. Kaseberg of Wasco is Hudson & Essex dealer for Sherman County.
- December: Train wreck E of Celilo. Construction of Sherman Highway began between Wasco & Moro.
- February: W.H. Hill had a dairy S. of Moro next to the RR track.
- June: Big haul made on John Day River distillery, men not caught, 20 gallon copper moonshine still, 50+ gallon finished whiskey, 350 gallons mash, captured by Sheriff Hugh Chrisman 1.2 mile below old Ruggles pumping station, 18 miles E of Moro.
- July: New Sherman Highway is rough graded between Moro & Grass Valley. Sherman County exhibit for state fair prepared.
- September: Harry Key (sic) has 25 acres in beans on farm near Sherar Grade.
- October: 13thannual Sherman County fair a success.
- November: DeMoss Park: stone bulkheads at the entrance, 2 gates, entrance & exit, 300’ long stone wall, woven wire fence next to the railway.
- January: Route of the highway through Kent decided. Moonshine still found in Grass Valley.
- March: Sherman Highway construction began between Grass Valley & Kent.
- June: Improvements to DeMoss Memorial Park: stone wall parallel to highway 300’ long for channeling water & boundary; picnic tables; garbage barrels; ladies restroom; septic tank; water tower for irrigation under construction. J.S. Fritts farming the Taylor place N of Grass Valley.
- August: H.E. Dutton family moved to Wasco, bought a dairy.
- February: Wheat export league organized in Sherman County. Moro Unity Club re-organized. Deschutes River diamond drilling on proposed hydropower site.
- March: Moro Opera House sold to W.H. Williams. A list of Wasco & Sherman county bootleggers found on body of Roy Vincent, shot by a California sheriff; list sent to Wasco County Sheriff Levi Chrisman. Tree planting movement in Sherman County, 2,000 black locusts along the highways, shipped from Nebraska, for Sherman Highway. W.L. Wilson planted a long row of trees along his Rufus place. Electric lighting in Kent Hotel.
- April: Tree planting day April 4. N.W. Thompson reported the 1stactual road built in the county was about 42 years earlier by about 40 settlers who wanted to haul winter fire wood from the mouth of Ferry Canyon on the John Day River – organized a road company, elected officers, built a toll road. The stand of trees was divided by a drawing among the road builders: Thompson, Martin, Hayes, Coy, Penland. Fishing.
- May: 24’ x 30’ open air stage built at DeMoss Park with 2 dressing rooms, floor laid double strength to permit use of pianos. Hotel Rufus moved to new location on Columbia Hwy. & restaurant building added.
- June: Band of 1,800 sheep wintered on Deschutes River breaks were sold.
- August: Sherman County 2nd in state in cereal crop production.
- February: Observer installed new linotype equipment.
- October: Lone Rock market road soon to open to the public. Raid on liquor plant in Bull Canyon, 45 gallon still, 4 barrels mash, 3rd class sugar.
- November: An airplane circled over Moro. Fox farming. W.H. Burres purchased the bowling alley in Wasco.
- December: County fair grounds to have new grandstand, continuation of the present building to the south 80’ set at an angle to conform to the track.
- January: Will Huck in business at E side of John Day bridge (at the mouth).
- February: “Rufus River Rats” challenged “Wasco Hill Hounds” for baseball. Liquor plant (still) found on Miller Island. Charles Scott’s airplane wrecked 2 mi. W of Wasco. City of Moro became owner of Moro Hotel.
- March: 22 people joined new golf club at Rufus.
- July: B.F. Shull working on irrigation system for truck garden at Hay Canyon.
- October: Rufus golf course alive with golfers.
- April: New concrete bridge at mouth of John Day River on Columbia Highway.
- May: 40 descendants at reunion of Barnum, Masiker & Price families at Fleck Orchards near Rufus.
- June: R.C. Byers finished the arch on the auditorium ceiling at DeMoss, painting it light cream, side walls buff. 4th grange in the county organized at Klondike – joins Harlandview, Sherar and Kent granges. Lem Casteel & ___ Stanley opening dry goods store in concrete block next to post office in Wasco.
- July: H.S. Wall, county road master.
- November: Douma Bros. shipped 80 turkeys.
- December: Infantile Paralysis: all public gatherings and schools suspended.
- January: “Payne the bean man finally got his beans thrashed” at Kent.
- March: Telephone crew boarding at Rufus hotel.
- April: Highway oiling at Kent. Hard Times Dance at Grass Valley. Schools vote to unite: Rufus, Biggs & Brock districts. Wasco Theater & Dance Hall remodeled. Tom Douma shipped 5 car loads of sheep. Wasco agent for Advance-Rumely combine harvesters had 2 hillside models. Moro Farmers’ Elevator & Supply had 6J-I Case combines, 2 Rumely harvesters, 2 Holt harvesters & 1 McCormick Deering combine.
- May: Gleaner combined harvester unloaded in Moro, operates without drapers. 4 new Case combines sold, 3 14’ hillside models & 1 10’ prairie type model.
- June: Carroll Sayrs’ new Caterpillar tractor arrived at Miller Station. Railroad built a corral at Hay Canyon.
- November: Joe Peters made 2 trips to Goldendale for lumber to build sheep pens. J.N. Landry bought 100 sheep in Gilliam County, trailed home by way of Cottonwood.
- January: Sherar Grange elected officers. Illegal liquor arrests. New Harmony & Rufus schools completed.
- March: A.J. Decker shipped 40 horses. Foss & Co. in Moro installed a 10-gallon visible gas pump. M.L. Fritts, Grass Valley shoe repair.
- April: Refrigeration plant installed at May & Co. general store in Moro. Joined into one ownership – Baptist & IOOF cemeteries at Moro, title to Oddfellows (IOOF).
- June: Douma Bros. shipped double deck car of Hampshire sheep, others shipped cattle.
- March: The County’s two oldest papers, Grass Valley Journal & Sherman County Observer will merge in the first consolidation of newspapers in the county. Giles L. French will be editor. The Observer began in 1888 in Wasco under C.J. Bright and A.B. McMillan, later published by J.B. Hosford, attorney. The Observer was moved to Moro under Hosford who employed D.C. Ireland who operated it for 37 years. The Grass Valley Journal was founded by business men, Bourhill, Wilcox, Moore and Smith. W.I. Westerfield bought it in 1900. Giles French bought it in 1929.
- March: Merger of the Wasco News-Enterprise with Sherman County Journal. Trees, the gift of J.B. Adams, manager of Eastern Oregon Land Co., planted along Hwy. 97 by local highway crews.
- July: Swimming lessons on the Deschutes River, Ted Walker in charge.
- January: Senator J.P. Yates, Oregon legislator, from Wasco.
- September: 12,000 fish planted in John Day River.
- April: 75,000 trout placed in Deschutes River at Buck Hollow and other locations, from the Oak Springs Hatchery.
- August: 200 China pheasants released in the county.
- October: 1,300 registered voters in the county.
- January: Road opened Kent to John Day River, 14.3 miles.
- May: Opening of Maryhill Museum.
- December: Editorial on the book The Trail of the Plow by Marie Miller Goffin of Sherman County.
- May: Stonehenge was the first memorial to WW I dead built in the USA.
- June: Rationing. Rubber drive. Final draft list. War bond sales. Draft regulations.
- July: Sherman County gathers 37# rubber per capita in rubber drive. Scrap iron drive nets almost 400 tons. Scrap rubber drive ends at 37.2# per capita, one of the best ratings in the nation. New draft list.
- August: County war bond quota for July not reached, slightly under $6,000.
- September: Hearings re: abandonment of Shaniko Branch rail line.
- October: Scrap drive. Sherman County exceeds war bond quota.
List of leading Sherman County taxpayers, $100 or over, with the top-paying ten first:
- Columbia Southern Railway
- Eastern Oregon Land Company
- Oregon Rail and Navigation Company
- Moore Bros.
- J.H. Shearer [Sherar]
- Moore & Karlin
- Moro Mercantile Company
- E.O. McCoy
- R.J. Ginn
- A. Scott
- Mrs. Minnie Buckley
- Oregon Trading Company
- H.P. Isaacs Milling Company
- C.A. Buckley
- Scott & Heath Company
- Wasco Warehouse & Milling Company
- W.M. Reynolds
- R.H. Guthrie
- B.F. Medler
- E.A.E. Webber
- S.S. Hayes
- Henry Richelderfer
- C.E. Jones
- J.H. Smith
- Moore, Ginn & Company
- A.B. Potter
- W.H. Peugh
- Union Lumber Company
- Barnum Bros.
- W.H. Biggs
- Moore Bros. & Ginn
- W.S. Barzee
- F.A. Sayers [Sayrs]
- Hay Canyon Co___ Company
- P.J. Walsh
- J.W. Booth
- Mrs. J. McPherson
- Higinbotham & Company
- J.E. Forbis
- J.F. Belshee
- E. Peoples
- Elwood Thompson
- H.E. Smith
- F.H. Meader
- F.W. Matthias
- E.A. Medler
- J.H. Smith & Company
- J.A. Smith
- Scott Bros.
- Alf Dillinger
- D. Chisholm
- J.O. Elrod
- Mrs. Priscilla Fulton
- G.P. Higinbotham
- Mackin Bros.
- Mrs. L. Marcellus
- D.S.? Young
- J.M. Powell
- C.W. Curl
- J.V. O’Leary
- Craft Bros.
- John Simpson
(notes, not quotes)
Liquor License Petition. W.A. Kentner petitioned for a liquor license in November 1902.
Signers included (spelling as found):
- J.A. Spoonemore
- F. Merchant
- R.W. Montgomery
- W.A. McGillis
- W.H. Rough
- A.M. Orcut [sic]
- E. Loveall
- Thomas Macken
- H. St. Clair
- Gus Schilling
- S.P. Sanders
- M___ Heydorn
- Fritz Kerzig
- A.J. Bibby
- John Koguier
- M.W. Hendershott
- G.F. Shrieve
- M. O’Sullivan
- William O’Sullivan
- C.O. Merchant
- G.M. Spoonemore
- D.H. Spoonemore
- F.B. Shrieve
- S.L. Howell
- C.E. Sanders
- J. Schassen
- John Reckman
- John Patjens
- Andrew Patjens
- R.A. Moon
- C. von Borstel
- W.A. Kentner
- O.J. Orcutt
- F.G. Klum
- J.M. King
- W.H. McCulloch
- J.B. Rogers
- C.C. Kelsay
- G.W. Spoonemore
- O. Hill
- W.J. Blakeley
- M.R. Hart
- W.H. Helyer
- William Kohler
- C.E. Dart
- Hans Koepke
- Zach Porter
- W.F. Trotter
- J.H. Barnett
- H.H. Richardson
- T.N. Bell
- Chris Kopke
- Fred Rubberg [Rhuberg]
(notes, not quotes)
Categories with the first two placings:
Thoroughbred Stallion 2 years +:
- H.E. Hines
- Allen & Campbell
Standardbred Stallion 2+:
- George N. Crosfield
Broodmare 4 years +, with suckling colt:
- G.A. Brock
- G.N. Crosfield
- Dr. H. E. Beers
Road gelding or mare 4 years+ single in harness:
- Dr. H.E. Beers
- J.A. Walters
- Carl Peetz
Carriage team driven by owner to wagon:
- G.W. Hilderbrand
- J.A. Walters
- John McDermid
- Henry Medler
Saddle horse ridden by a gentleman:
- Jess Eaton
- Ray Rich
Saddle horse ridden by a lady:
- Miss Maud Booth
- Miss Fowler
Percheron Stallion 4 years +:
- J.W. Booth
- W.M. King
Percheron Brood Mare with colt 4 years +:
- Fred Blau
- William King
Clydesdale Stallion 4+:
- Fred Blau
Clydesdale Gelding or Filly 1 year:
- John Allen
- John Allen
Clydesdale Brood Mare 4+ with colt:
- John McDermid
- J.W. Booth
English Shire Stallion 4+:
- Mercer & Clark
- J.W. Booth
English Shire Brood Mare 4+ with colt:
- Clark Dunlap
Draft Stallion Sweepstakes:
- Fred Blau and A. Coon
Special Award by Fred Blau:
Colt Sired by his Stallion:
- John McDermid and Clark Dunlap
Colt Sired by Allen & Campbell’s Stallion:
- R. Dingle
- F. Hulery
French Belgian Stallion 4+:
- A. Coon
Race with purse of $300:
- Fred Blau 1st
- J.J. Miller 2nd, only two entries
Saddle Horse Race:
- Art Barzee
- Steve McMillin
Colt 1 year Sired by G. N. Crosfield Stud:
- G.W. Brock
Suckling Colt Sired by G. N. Crosfield Stud:
- Dr. H.E. Beers
(notes, not quotes)
A big crowd assembled for the Kent Fourth of July festivities. The program included Granville Phillips, orator, a baseball game and races. Top finishers in the races were Luther Merchant, J.H. Bottemiller, O.E. Davis, B.F. Peetz and R. W. Montgomery. The score was Moro 35 and Wasco 29 when these baseball teams met:
Manager Dunahoo’s Team:
- W.H. Moore, banker
- Ladru Barnum, clerk
- W.B. McCoy, merchant
- Dr. O.J. Goffin, physician
- J.M. Dunahoo, merchant
- A.S. Johnson, farmer
- L.D. Idleman, dentist
- W.A. Wallis, merchant
- William Hoggard, liveryman
- C.E. Elder, preacher
- A.E. Cousens, farmer
- W.C. Smith, preacher
- A.B. Wolfard, merchant
- George W. Brock, merchant
- T.R. McGinnis, sheriff
- Taylor Bergin, farmer
- William Henrichs, roadmaster
- S.S. Hayes, wheat buck
- W.E. Getzs, flour miller
- W.S. Powell, farmer
- W.L. Ragsdale, county school sup’t.
- C.L. Ireland, publisher
- Charles N. McCaleb, dep. Sheriff
By J.A. Price, 27 April 1934
In the early days one of the best stock countries in the west was between the Deschutes and the John Day rivers, now known as Sherman County. From the late seventies until about 1886, when this county was being changed from a good stock country to a splendid farming country, there were thousands of horses and cattle ranging here.
I have been asked to tell what became of this stock, and something of the men that owned them. When the first settlers took up land the stockmen thought it a joke, and said these fellows would soon starve out. But good grain was produced, and it became certain that the stock must give way to the plow.
Lang and Ryan, the Seawright brothers, and other eastern buyers bought several thousand head of cattle and drove them to Cheyenne. From there some were shipped east to market, and some were taken to ranges north and south of there. C.I. and W.R. Helm also took a band of cattle to Cheyenne.
The hard winter of ’81 and ’82 killed thousands of cattle in eastern Oregon. After this winter Orv Donnell bought the remnants of several bands and later sold a thousand head to Lang and Ryan, who drove them east. The eastern buyers bought cattle from such men as the Fultons, Finnegans, Donnell, Barnum, Engleman, Booten, Price, Gibson, Eaton and many others. Some of these men took up land and became successful farmers.
There were others who wished to stay in the stock business. These men found ranges elsewhere, and rounded up their herds and drove them to new locations. Much of this stock was taken to the Big Bend country in northern Washington. Some was moved to southern Oregon, and some to Montana, Idaho and different places.
The largest band of cattle taken to the Big Bend was owned by James Pearson and his three boys, Bill, Jim and Tom. There was more than 1,000 head in this drove. Henry Willerton and old Jimmie Burden, each had a few head in this herd.
They were taken by way of the mouth of the Snake River, White Bluffs, Moses Lake, and on to Foster creek, which runs into the Columbia, about the mouth of the Okanogan. The next hard winter, which I think was 1889, just about put them out of the cattle business. I was at the Pearson ranch the next summer and Jim told me that they went into the winter with 1,200 head and next spring they gathered 99 head, and they were the ones that had drifted down in the Moses Lake country.
The Fultons took both horses and cattle to the Big Bend and settled on Badger Mountain, north of Moses coulee. The hard winter killed most of the cattle, and some of the horses. They moved what was left to White Bluffs. Jake Minton took 200 head of cattle to Badger Mountain. The next spring he told me he had seven head left. And as he filled his pipe he said to me in a confidential way: “Jay, I feel worse about my neighbors than I do about myself. You see if they had plenty of cattle I would soon be all right.”
Jake certainly had a run of hard luck. In about 1875 he took a band of cattle to the Ochoco country, and a cow killer cleaned him out. In about 1879 J.B. Dickerson moved 500 head of cattle east of the Deschutes and Minton took charge of them. He also had some of his own. The hard winter killed most of them. After his experience in the Big Bend he got hold of some land and sold it and cleaned up several thousand dollars. He moved to Portland and died there several years ago.
In the late seventies, Louis Davenport moved a band of cattle east of the Deschutes and the winter of ’81 and ’82 took most of them. He sold the rest to Orv Donnell. Tim Baldwin and Al Bettingen had cattle at the mouth of Hay Canyon. What the winter did not kill they sold to Orv. Donnell finally took some cattle to the Big Bend and was cleaned out by the hard winter of ’89.
I have accounted for most of the cattle that were on the range at that time. I will now tell you about the horses.
Colonel James Fulton and Thomas Gordon owned the first two bands of horses on this range. They had some horses there in 1860. In about 1878 the Fultons sold to Jack Cooper, who continued in the business for several years. He finally drove them to Montana. The Gordon horses were sold and taken to Nebraska, and resold to the farmers.
C.I. [Charley] Helm had a band of horses on shares for several years that belonged to Watson and “Doc” Helm. Charley sold his interest to his uncles, and they took them to southern Oregon. The men that went with them were Watson Helm, Douglas, Stone, Ben Andrews and Will Lancaster. John Young started with them, and a couple of days afterward his father was killed by a runaway team. Frank Hulery overtook them at Antelope with the news and John came back.
Charley bought horses from Jim Jenkins, Uncle John Graham, and William Lair Hill. He then owned over 700 head of fine horses. He took them to the Big Bend country. The men that went with this herd were C.D. Helm, Jasper Garrison, Vene Everett, Gene Diggs, Ralph Helm, Dick Johnson and Jay Price. We ferried the Columbia at Grants and went by way of Yakima, and Ellensburg, and swam the Columbia at the mouth of Moses coulee. The horse ranch was ten miles below the coulee.
The Brookhouse boys took their horses to the Big Bend, and located north of Moses coulee. They finally sold out and all came back to Wasco County. The Floyd boys first moved their horses out south of Prineville, and kept them there several years, then brought them back to south of Grass Valley, and the next year moved them to White Bluffs.
Pierre Cacherre (spelling varies) took a small band of horses to Badger mountain and the hard winter cleaned him out. He went to the Yakima reservation, where he married a “breed” girl, and died there a couple of years ago.
At one time a trainload of horses was bought up and loaded at Grants, and shipped to North Dakota. The men selling to these buyers were Clark Dunlap, Chapman, Eaton, Pearson, and other small owners.
Watson [Helm] sold his interest in the horses in southern Oregon to his brother, and bought the Dr. Richardson horses, and drove them to Big Bend. He also went north of Moses coulee, and sold them to Platt Corbly on terms. The hard winter cleaned them out and they went broke. There was a vast difference between the north and the south side of the coulee. All that went north lost heavily.
Dan Bolton had about a hundred head of horses that he took to Rock Creek, Klickitat County, Wash. After feeding them all winter, he turned them out on grass, and soon after they were stolen and he never did get them. There were more than a thousand head stolen that spring and were never recovered.
In about 1881 E.O. McCoy and his brother brought a band of horses from the Walla Walla country. Their headquarters were at China Hollow. A few years later, “Dutch” as we all called him, took them to northern Washington.
Allie West owned a band of horses that he sold in small lots, and traded some for land. He sold his interest in Sherman country [sic] several years ago and moved to the coast where he still lives.
Rube Booten owned both horses and cattle in Grass Valley. He sent his horses to White Bluffs, and moved his cattle to the Prineville country. There probably were other small lots of stock, which I have overlooked or forgotten, but I have mentioned the most of the stock that was disposed of to make way for the development of this vast region into the wonderful farming country that it has proved to be.
By A.J. Price
I would now like to tell something of some men who excelled in their particular line of stock business. I believe that all old-timers will agree with me that Roe Grimes was the best judge of beef cattle that this country ever produced. It was said that he could ride through a band of beef cattle once and tell how many culls [there] were and could tell very close to what they would weigh per head. He bought cattle all over eastern Oregon and Idaho, for the Portland market.
Frank Fulton was a splendid judge of range cattle. When eastern buyers bought cattle in those early days, they paid different prices for cows and calves, and dry cows, yearlings, two and three year-olds. The buyers and the sellers usually chose Frank to judge the age, and kind as they passed through the chute and seldom was his judgment questioned.
Once a “critter” was going through the chute that belonged to Henry Barnum. Frank called it a two-year-old steer, although he knew it was a long yearling. The buyers were satisfied, but Barnum claimed it was a three-year old. Frank told him he had better let it go as a two, but he would not. So it was examined and passed as a yearling. Barnum, who could have had the price of a two, wanted the price of a three, and had to take the price of a yearling, and the joke was on him.
It is my belief that C.I. Helm was the best judge of horses in this county. After he had taken his horses to the Big Bend country, he went east and made a study of draft horses in several of the largest cities, and decided that the Percherons were the best horses for the eastern market. He bought some Percheron stallions, which he shipped west, and raised some splendid horses. All told, he brought out about 50 head of purebred Percheron stallions, which he sold in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.
At one time he attended the International Stock show at Elmira, N.Y. Some eastern horsemen rather made fun of his western ways. He wrote a list of which he thought would be prize winners, in all classes, sealed it and gave it to one of them, and told them to open it after the judging was over. He then offered to bet $500 that it was nearer correct than any of them could make. After the judging was completed it was found that he had named most of the prize winners. He bought Wilson Boy, a Hambletonian, and the next day he took first prize over all standardbred two-year-olds in the United States and Canada. He bought him for one thousand dollars less than he would have had to pay after the prize was given.
I believe that Jim Pearson was the best roper that ever grew up in this country. A rope was his plaything from the time he could walk. The next year after he went to the Big Bend he made 97 throws without a miss, catching both hind feet. This was not done as an exhibition, nor was it done all in one day, but was done as range work day after day. A cattleman offered to bet 100 head of cattle that Jim was the best roper in the state of Washington at that time. The bet was never taken.
There were many other good ropers in this country. John Brookhouse, Ed Gibson, Ed Floyd and Bill Pearson were among the best. Frank Fulton carried the longest rope and swung the biggest loop of any man on the range.
Probably no one knows who was the champion rider. In the 20 odd years there were many good riders on this range, but I would say that during the earlier period, Pierre Cacherre and Nate Eaton were among the best. I, as a small boy, have seen each of them make wonderful rides. Both Frank Kimball and Frank Fulton were good when in their prime. And as the years rolled by, and the boys grew up there were a splendid lot of riders on the range.
Among the best were Dick Brookhouse, Billie King, Ed Floyd, Bill Pearson, Ed Gibson, and Tom Gordon. There were many others that were good riders. Of the girls, Maggie Eaton was the best rider. With one exception, she always rode with a side-saddle. A bad horse threw her brother, Bert. Maggie went to the house and came out with man’s clothes on, caught the horse, “forked him,” and rode him.
The best exhibition ride I ever saw was Eugene Diggs riding an outlaw at the Lair Hill ranch south of Grass Valley. Diggs and I had gone to receive the horses for C.I. Helm who had bought them. Coke Hill and Chauncey Clark were in charge.
During the evening they told us of an outlaw that belonged in the bunch. He had a record of several years standing, and had never been ridden. Two years before he had killed the last man that tried to ride him. They said they would give $5 to see him ridden. Gene said as he belonged to the outfit he would ride him.
The next morning they cleared a large corral, and the horse was caught and saddled. Diggs mounted him and he first made some quick, savage jumps, each one in a different direction, then over on his back, on his feet, and at it again, and for several minutes as fast as the eye could follow he was in the air, on the ground, on his back, on his feet, and repeat. When he threw himself, Diggs would land on his feet, and as the horse got up, Diggs would go into the saddle. It had to be seen to be understood and appreciated. It was the best riding of its kind I ever saw.
In conclusion I will tell one on myself. When I was about 17 years old I was a good rider for a kid. I was riding for Jim Jenkins, and one day there was about 150 head of horses in the corral. Jim Jenkins, Nate Eaton, Ben Andrews, John Young, and one or two others were there.
We were talking about riding and I said I would ride anything in the corral for $5 and Jim took me up. He picked out a wild mare eleven years old. I was sorry I had spoken, but would not back out. So I rode her, but I surely earned the five. I always thought she would have thrown me, if Nate Eaton hadn’t kept yelling, “Stay, kid, stay.”
I only claim one record for myself, and that is, being thrown farther by a falling horse than anyone else. Mart Tharp was riding a wild horse near Eaton’s place. Jess Eaton and I were with him. The horse was running down hill toward a wire fence. I was trying to turn him from it, when my horse put both feet in a hole, and went end over twice. I sailed through the air past the wild horse and he stopped.
By A. Jay Price, March 14, 1952
When in the early eighties it became evident that those newcomers were going to plow up all of the bunch grass, the stockmen began to move out.
Some eastern buyers took several droves east; the Pearson outfit took 1,200 head of cattle to the Big Bend, and Orv. Donnell took two or three hundred head of cattle to the Big Bend, as did Jake Minton. The Floyd boys took their horses out south of Prineville; C.I. Helm bought Jim Jenkins’ horses, also John Graham and William Lair Hill bands of horses, in all seven hundred head of good horses, and drove them to the Big Bend country. Jap Garrison drove the team and was cook. The riders were Mr. Helm, Ralph Helm, Gene Everet, Dick Johnson, Gene Diggs, and myself. I rode for Helm five years. The last thing I did for him was to deliver 300 head of horses that he had sold to Lumsden on the Fraser River, B.C. Watson Helm bought the Doc. Richardson horses, and drove them to the Big Bend, and some eastern buyers bought horses from Pearson, Eaton, Dunlap and others, and shipped a train load from Grant’s station to some place east. So in that way, what had been a wonderful stock country has now become the splendid farming country that it is today.
I will name just a few of the first to settle there. About the first was Dr. Rollins in Grass Valley, Gil Woodworth, Henry Jory, Charley Barzee, Owen and Hugh Scott, Corson, Medler, McCoy, the Moores from California, Biggs, Murchie, McPherson, Sink, Belshee, and of course many others moved there before 1885.
In any stock country there are sure to be expert riders and ropers. Some of the best riders in that country were Dick Brookhouse, Bill Pearson and Pierre Coucherre. Nate Eaton also was a good rider for a big man. I have seen them all make wonderful rides. The best ropers were Jim Pearson and John Brookhouse. Frank Fulton carried the longest rope, and swung the largest loop. After Jim Pearson went to the Big Bend country, he made a record of 97 throws without a miss catching both hind feet. This was not an exhibition but on the range, during the season.
My parents sold the old place (Sand Springs) in 1883 and moved to Columbus, Washington, later to Yakima, Kennewick and Hood River, and in 1907 to Grants Pass. Mother passed on at the age of 85 and Dad almost 88.
In conclusion, I will tell one on myself. When I was 12 years old I was a good rider. One day I was riding a wild cayuse, and he had given up the idea of throwing me, but was not bridle wise. We had drifted over in to Spanish Hollow, two miles below Eaton’s, when my horse saw some horses and decided to go to them, but there was a deep V-shaped ditch between. I tried to stop him, but he reared and bucked around and fell in the ditch and slid back down in the ditch, with me still in the saddle. He was on my left leg, and the more he kicked the more he crowded me. I could not get out, so I undone the cinch, in hopes that he could get up, but he could not. Soon I heard a horse running and Nate Eaton rode up on the bank and soon pulled the cayuse off of me. He was on a high hill a mile away and saw us fall in the ditch. My leg was badly bruised, otherwise I was alright. I certainly always had a warm spot in my heart for Nate Eaton.
Early Day Stockmen and Their Departure.
At quite an early date several men had large bands of stock on the range between the Deschutes and the John Day River. Col. Fulton had the first large band of horses in about 1863 or 64. Thomas Gordon had horses there in 1865. With Gordon was a half-breed Indian boy named Pierre Cacherre. Gordon was very sarcastic, and about the first lesson that he gave the boy was this, “Pierre, I have no use for anything that is not useful or ornamental, and as you are not ornamental, you had better make yourself useful.” Which he evidently did, for he lived with Gordon until he was about grown. He was one of the best riders of his time. He stayed in that country until it settled up, he then moved to the Yakima Indian reservation and married a half-breed Indian woman. He died there a few years ago. In about 1875 or 76 the Walker boys took up a ranch near Gordon Butte. They had sheep and some horses. There were six boys. Morgan and Elmer were deaf mutes. Joe Walker and young Tom Gordon had a shooting scrape over a fence. Joe lost an arm and Tom was killed. Joe was tried for murder, but was finally acquitted. George Reeder had a horse ranch near the Walker place. He came there soon after the Walkers did. Two or three years later Dave Daugherty was with Reeder. They each had some horses and they gathered up all the stray horses they could find and left the country between two days. I think Reeder sold his place to old man Bash. Dave stole Ida Bash. They were married at Walla Walla. They went to Montana. Bill Walker went with the outfit. He was the only one of the lot that ever came back.
May Engleman came in about 1869. He had a small herd of horses and a bunch of cattle. He never had a permanent home. He made his headquarters with Henry Barnum, and he also stayed at the Finnegan ranch. He finally sold his cattle, and drove his horses to Montana.
Louis Davenport, J.E. Dickerson, Jake Minton, Tim Baldwin, Al Betengen, Billy Wagerman and several others had cattle on the range, and did not provide feed, and a hard winter just about put them out of business. Orv Donnell bought what they had left, and later sold to Lang and Ryan, who trailed them to Cheyenne. Several herds were taken this way by eastern buyers. The Pearsons took a thousand head to Foster Creek in northern Washington. Many thousands of good horses were taken north, east, and south. Col. Fulton sold to J.D. Cooper, who took them to Livingston, Montana. The Gordon horses were sold and taken to Nebraska. Watson and Doc Helm took three hundred and fifty head to Silver Lake, southern Oregon. Wat Helm, Doug Stone, Will Lancaster and Ben Andrews went with them. John Young also started with them, two days later John’s father, Cal Young, was killed near Grants by a runaway team. Frank Hulery over-took them with the sad news at Antelope, and John came back.
C.I. Helm bought horses from William Lair Hill, Jim Jenkins and John Graham, seven hundred head, and took them to Moses Coulee, in the Big Bend country. Charley Helm, Jasper Garrison, Eugene Diggs, Gene Everet, Ralph Helm, Dick Johnson, and Jay Price went with that outfit.
Sherman County: For the Record
An index of business related stories in Sherman County: For the Record.
Volume and Number
2-1 Will A. Raymond by Anita Kenny Drake
3-2 Wasco Opera House by Gladys Morrow Laidlaw
3-2 Kent Hotel by Karl Pluemke
7-1 J.B. Hosford, Journalist by Patty Moore
8-2 The Railroaders by Curtis A. Tom
10-2 Twelve Tractor Owners by Patty Moore
15-2 Sherman Garage and Wasco by George Moon
17-2 Edward R. Armstrong’s Diary: Camp Raven, Deschutes River Railroad 1909-1910 by Edward R. Armstrong, Surveyor
18-2 Drs. Octave J. and Marie M. Goffin by Anita Kenny Drake
18-2 The Leonard Bridge Crash
20-1 Sherman County Newspapers by Sherry Kaseberg and Chris Sanders
22-2 Liberty Telephone Company by George and Pat von Borstel
31-1 Doc Sanders, Veterinarian by Chris Sanders
33-2 Sherman Hotel by Mark Fields.
You will find stories describing farm and livestock businesses and town businesses in the many family stories published in Sherman County: For The Record.
Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. ― Albert Einstein