fossil
Wheeler County, Oregon
Genealogy & History


Obituaries & Death Records

A
B

Ball, Birdie
Beard, Ambrose
Boardman, Mrs. O. S.
Brinkley, Daisy
Brown, John
Busby, Jerry
Butler, Effie
C

Cason, Mary
Chapman, Isaac
Chapman, Joseph
Chapman, Mary
Collins, William
Combs, Loren
Cooper, George
D

Dehaven, "Milt"
Dennison, Percival
Douseman, Julia
Duff, M. F.
E
F

Farlow, Florence
Fox, N. E.
Fritz, James
G

Gilman, David
H

Hamilton, David
Hamilton, Mary
Hawk, Lennie
Helms, Anthony
Henderson, Ira
Herren, David
Humburd, Lanna
Hurley, Mrs. W. L. & Son
Huston, W. H.
I - J

Johnson, Isaac
Jordon, Ray
K

Kennedy, William
Keyes, Henry
Knox, Banna
L

Lamb, A. B.
M

Meteer, Mary
Meyer, C. W.
Miller, Fred
Miller, Josephine
Montgomery, Mrs. J. V.
Morris, J. H.
Mote, Lora
Munger, Orin
Myers, Edward
N
O - P

Oglesbee, Susie
Pehling, Mary
Peters, William
Petty, Martha
Potter, Robert
Puett, "Mug"
Q - R

Richards, Martha
Richie, John
Robbins, Horace
S

Samson, Gladys
Schaump, Mrs. R. H.
Simmons, Margaret
Smith, Lee
Stanford, Charles
Steiwer, Annie
Steiwer, William
T

Thompson, W. S.
Toney, Louie
Trapold, Alfon
U - V

Van Colton, Belle
Van Horn, George
Van Horn, William
W

Walls, Lyle
Walters, William
Watson, Emma
Welsh, Fred
Wemm, Alvin
Whitehead, Edwin
X - Y

Yates, Isabel
Z

Herren, David

MAN, WHOSE FATHER BROUGHT FIRST REAPER AND MOWER TO OREGON DIES

Word has been received of the death of David A. Herren at Spray, Oregon. Mr. Herren was a brother of George Herren, a commission merchant of Portland. Mr. Herren was born in April, 1849, on his father's ranch, four miles east of Salem, and when a young man moved to Eastern Oregon, of which section he was a pioneer merchant and sheepman. His father, W.J. Herren, came to Oregon in 1845, and was the first man to import the reaper, mower and thresher into this state.  Mr. Herren is survived by four children, Mrs. Mabel Slaght, Misses Wallah and Eva Herren and Claude Herren, all of Heppner.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Sunday, January 29, 1911
Contributed by Shauna Williams

Oglesbee, Susie

Obituary Notice – Died, near Fosol, Wasco county, Or., May 20, 1881, of consumption, Susie Oglesbee, wife of Joseph Cole, aged 31 years, 11 months and 13 days.  Deceased was a native of Iowa and came to Oregon with her parents in 1853 and resided for some time in Jackson county.  A husband and three children, and a host of relatives, (among them her sister, Mrs. Dr. Kahler of Jacksonville,) remain to mourn her death.

Source: Oregon Sentinel (Jacksonville, OR) - Saturday, June 18, 1881
Boardman, Mrs. O. S.

Mrs. O. S. Boardman, of Mitchell, landlady of the Boardman hotel, died last week

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Wednesday, January 16, 1895
Puett, "Mug" & Dehaven, "Milt"

In a quarrel at Mitchell last Saturday “Mug” Puett shot “Milt” Dehaven, who before he died, killed his antagonist. City Marshal Stites took a hand to quell the row and received a hip wound from Puett's gun that is likely to prove fatal.

Source: The Bend Bulletin (Bend, OR) - Friday, July 10, 1903
Hamilton, Mary

Pioneer Dies At Fossil

Mrs. Mary C. Hamilton Succumbs To Long Illness

Native of Iowa Is Resident of Oregon 66 Years; Three Children Survive

Fossil, Or., Oct. 6 – (Special) – Mary C. Hamilton, for more than 66 years a resident of Oregon, died at her home in Fossil September 26 after an illness of several months.  She was almost 77 years of age and leaves to mourn her loss two sons and one daughter, Ralph and Wayne Hamilton and Mrs. Anna Prindle, all of Fossil; seven grandchildren and six sisters and brothers: W. H. Byars of Salem, Austin Mires of Ellensburg, Wash.; Benton Mires of Drain, Mrs. Anna Bonham of Tyler, Wash.; Mrs. Addie Cole of Spokane, Wash., and John S. Mires of Republic, Wash.

Her husband, David Hamilton, to whom she was married on May 28, 1858, died July 18, 1908.

Mrs. Hamilton was a sturdy type of the Oregon pioneer.  She was born October 3, 1842, near Burlington, Des Moines county, Iowa.  When but a girl of 10 years she accompanied her parents to Oregon, spending the first winter near Milwaukie, but later taking up a permanent residence near where the town of Oakland is located in the Umpqua valley.  After her marriage she continued to reside in Douglas county until 1871, when she moved with her husband and family to where the town of Fossil is now located and where she continues to make her home.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Monday, October 6, 1919
Potter, Robert & Combs, Loren

Storm Victim Is Dead

Robert Potter, of Fossil, Succumbs To Injuries

Gordie Rambo, Companion, Is Unconscious and Is Not Expected to Recover

Fossil, Or., June 26 – (Special) – Robert Potter died today from injuries he sustained in the cloud burst near Fossil last Friday.  He, with Gordie Rambo, another victim, was brought to Fossil Monday.  Although suffering intensely, he told clearly of his frightful experience.

Mr. Potter was caught in the main current of the stream and carried along its course until rocks and trees held him fast on an embankment.  His dog also was fastened in the debris and held fast close beside him.  In frenzy to free itself the animal turned on Potter and bit him in the face repeatedly until his face was terribly torn and cut.  Potter struggled frantically until he freed one hand, and finally succeeded in running it down the dog’s throat, chocking the animal to death.

Mr. Potter’s right leg was crushed and the main artery was severed when he came in contact with an immense rock.  He was started for Portland where he expected to have his injuries treated, but succumbed before reaching the hospital.

Gordie Rambo is under a physician’s care in Fossil.  He is unconscious and his injuries being internal, little hope is held out for his recovery.

The body of Loren Combs was found yesterday four miles from the place he was drowned.

The three men were in a tent on Little Buckhorn Creek, about 45 miles west of Fossil, where they were looking after the O.K. Cattle Company’s ranch.  The cloudburst came about 5 o’clock in the evening, after a day of excessive heat, with such suddenness that is took the men unawares.

Residents of that part of the country say the storm could be heard for 15 miles and that the water in the stream was more than 20 feet deep.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Thursday, June 27, 1918


Robert Potter, of Fossil, died Friday from injuries he sustained in the cloud burst near Fossil last Friday.  He, with Gordie Rambo, another victim, was brought to Fossil Monday.  Although suffering intensely, he told clearly of his frightful experience.

Source: Eagle Valley News (Richland, OR) - Thursday, July 4, 1918
Jordon, Ray

Influenza Strikes Fossil

Fossil, Or., Feb. 6 – (Special) – Fossil is having its share of influenza but the cases are generally mild.  Pneumonia symptoms are not common.  There has been but one death, that of Ray Jordon, 25 years old, who died this week.  It is practically impossible to get nurses.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Saturday, February 7, 1920
Wemm, Alvin

Fossil, Or., Oct 26 – (Special) – Alvin Wemm, a laborer, died last night from injuries received in the afternoon.  When assisting in the erection of a small shed he stepped on a scaffold and the board broke.  As he fell the board penetrated his abdomen.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Thursday, October 27, 1910
Toney, Louie

Fossil Rancher Slain

Henry Eller, Truck Driver, Shoots Louie Toney

Men are Said to Have Fought on Various Occasions in Last Two Years.

Fossil, Or., Nov. 16 – (Special) – A feud of several years’ duration reached a climax tonight, when Henry Eller, truck driver on a run between Fossil and Mitchell, shot and fatally wounded Louie Toney, a rancher, in a pool hall at Mitchell.  Toney died within a few minutes.  Eller surrendered to officers.

The men had quarreled and fought frequently in the last two years, according to Deputy Sheriff Palmer, who received meager details of the killing.  Eller, who is about 30 years old and unmarried, left Fossil this morning on his usual truck run.  He was said to have met Toney unexpectedly in a pool hall at Mitchell and to have engaged in another quarrel.

Toney is survived by his widow and three children.  He was a nephew of R. A. Booth, state highway commissioner.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Thursday, November 17, 1921
Brinkley, Daisy

Funeral services will be held today at Fossil, Or., for Mrs. Daisy Lee Brinkley, who died Wednesday afternoon on her way to a Portland hospital, accompanied by her husband, Walter E. Brinkley, and two nurses.

Mrs. Brinkley was born February 2, 1883, and lived near Fossil until her marriage in 1905, when, for four years she lived on the old Brinkley place in Benton county, Or.  In 1909 she and her husband too up a homestead near Fossil, where they have lived until the present time.

Besides her widower, Mrs. Brinkley is survived by her son Harry and daughter Margaret, her mother Mrs. Ellen Lee, and brother, Frank Lee, of Fossil; her sisters, Mrs. Rosie McCoy of Castle Rock, Wash.; Mrs. Bessie Gage of Mitchell; Mrs. Fannie Gicks and an uncle, George Bowley, of Fossil.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Friday, April 21, 1922


Fossil, Or., April 23 – (Special) – The funeral of Mrs. Walter Brinkley, who died on the train between Arlington and The Dalles Wednesday as she was being taken to a hospital in Portland, was held Friday.  Interment was made in the Oddfellows’ cemetery.  Mrs. Brinkley is survived by her widower, two small children; her mother, Mrs. Ellen Lee of Fossil; three sisters, Mrs. Charles Hicks of Clarno, Mrs. Eustance McCoy of Vancouver, Wash., and Mrs. M. E. Gage of Mitchell; and one brother, Frank Lee of Fossil.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Monday, April 24, 1922
Robbins, Horace

Services Held for Robbins

Doctor Long Active In Eastern Oregon

Funeral services for Dr. Horace M. Robbins, 80, veteran Eastern Oregon medical practitioner and one-time mayor of Fossil, Or., were held July 18 from the chapel of J. P. Finely & Son.  Vault entombment was at Riverview cemetery.

Dr. Robbins, who lived at 1871 S. W. 10th avenue, died July 16, at Hahnemann hospital.  He had lived in Portland for the past four years.

Dr. Robbins was born April 22, 1867, in Robbins Tenn.  He was graduated from an academy near Knoxville, Tenn., and taught school there for three years before studying at Maryville college, Maryville, Tenn.

Following a four-year term as county school superintendent, he studied medicine at Tennessee Medical college, now the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, graduating in 1901.

Several Offices Filled

His wife, the former Ella Smith of Jellico, Tenn., accompanied him to Bend, Or., where the couple first settled.  He practiced medicine principally in Wheeler county, establishing his headquarters at Fossil, where he served as mayor from 1933 to 1941.  He also served as county coroner and public health officer.

He was a member of the Masonic lodge, the Fossil chapter of the IOOF, the Oregon Medical society and the Fossil Baptist church.

Survivors include his widow and two sons, H. M .Robbins Jr. of Portland and Kenneth T. Robbins of San Joe, Cal.

Source: The Sunday Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Sunday, July 27, 1947
Meteer, Mary

Fossil, Or., Nov. 28 – (Special) – Mrs. George Meteer was born in Iowa October 3, 1843 and died at Fossil, Or., November 24, 1919.  She came to Oregon with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Elijah Smith, in 1852.  They settled in the Willamette valley near Salem.  She was married to George Meteer and they moved to Wheeler county 47 years ago.  Seven children who survive, George, William and Fred Meteer, all of Fossil; Mrs. Fannie Wilkers, Winlock, Or.; Mrs. Jerusha Griffiths of Malheur county, and Mrs. Alice Steiwer of Salem.  The funeral was held Wednesday.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Saturday, November 29, 1919
Whitehead, Edwin

Fossil, Or., Jan. 30 – (Special) – Edwin Whitehead, who died at his home in Fossil, January 27, aged 55 years, left England at the age of 21 years and came to America, settling at Corvallis, Or.  After working at his trade, a shoemaker, he moved to Fossil in 1884.  Soon after he arrived in Fossil his wife died, leaving him with a small boy and a baby 6 months old.  He leaves a wife, whom he married eight years ago, and two sons, James and Wayman, of Portland.

Source: The Sunday Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Sunday, January 31, 1909
Van Horn, William

Funeral services were held Sunday at Fossil for W. J. Van Horn, 89, who died at his home there last Thursday.  Burial was in the I.O.O.F. cemetery at Fossil.

Mr. Van Horn, father of 16 children, was born February 6, 1857, in Own county, Ind., and came to Oregon in 1897.  Mrs. Van Horn, his third wife, died about a year ago.  They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary a number of years ago.  Mr. Van Horn was the oldest resident of Wheeler county at the time of his death, relatives said.

Source: The Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Tuesday, May 28, 1946
Steiwer, Annie

A member of a pioneer Oregon family, Mrs. Winlock Steiwer, 96, Fossil, died here Thursday in a convalescent home.  Funeral will be Saturday in Fossil with interment in the family plot there.

Mrs. Steiwer was born Jan. 5, 1866, in Hillsboro, and moved with her family to Fossil in 1870.  Her husband died in 1920.

The family suggests that any remembrance be in the form of contribution to the Shriners Hospital.

Survivors include three children, Mrs. W. L. (Susan) Reinhart, Fossil; Mrs. Ruth S. Latourette, Portland, and son, William J. Steiwer, Fossil; sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Bowerman, Toledo; brother Thomas B. Hoover, Fossil; nine grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren.

Source: The Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Friday, January 26, 1962
Chapman, Isaac

Fossil, Or., June 1 – (Special) – Isaac Chapman, 77 died at his home in Fossil Sunday.  He was born in Des Moines, Ia.  He crossed the plains with his parents in 1852 and settled in Polk county.

In 1863 he moved to Richmond, Wheeler county, then Wasco county, and has lived in this county since.  His widow, Sarah Giles Chapman, survives him; also five children.  They are: Charles of Clarno, William of Antone, Henry of Fossil, Mrs. R. Hankins of Richmond and Mrs. Clay Shawn of Mitchell.  Two sister and one brother survive.  They are: Mrs. Bunnel of Goldendale, Wash.; Mrs. Osborn of Wasco and Joe Chapman of Fossil.  The funeral was held in the Methodist church in Fossil and interment was in the Oddfellows’ cemetery.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Thursday, June 2, 1921
Hamilton, David

Condon, Or., Aug. 1 – (Special) – After having celebrated his golden wedding on May 8 last, David Hamilton died at his home in Fossil, July 21, at the age of 78 years.  He was one of the early settlers of Wheeler County and was highly respected.  He is survived by a wife and two sons, Ralph and Wayne Hamilton, and one daughter, Mrs. Charles Prindle, all of Fossil.

David Hamilton was born in Alleghany County, New York, February 27, 1830.  When at the age of three years his parents moved to Jo Davis county, Ill.  In 1850 he crossed the plains for the gold fields of California, locating at Yreka, where he prospected and worked in the mines until the Spring of 1855, when he came to Southern Oregon.  Later in the same year he located in what is now Douglas County, where he was married to Miss Mary C. Byars on May 8, 1858.  The moved to Eastern Oregon in 1871 and settled on Cottonwood Creek, three miles from Fossil, where Mr. Hamilton died.

He was a Baptist and a member of the Masonic lodge of Fossil.

Source: The Sunday Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Sunday, August 2, 1908
Welsh, Fred

Fossil, Or., Oct. 9 – (Special) – Fred A. Welsh, age 40, died of pneumonia at his home in Fossil October 7.  He was one of the largest and wealthiest sheepmen of Wheeler County.  He was buried at the I.O.O.F. cemetery in Fossil by the B.P.O.E. lodge of Heppner, Or., of which he was a member.  He is survived by his widow and infant daughter and by his brother, John Welsh, all of Fossil.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Thursday, October 10, 1918
Helms, Anthony

Fossil, Or., Oct. 14 – (Special) – Anthony Helms, editor and owner of the Mitchell Sentinel, died at his home in Mitchell Wednesday and was buried in Fossil Friday afternoon.  Anthony Helms was born in Missouri October 6, 1842, and was a veteran of the Civil war, in which he served until November 11, 1865, when he came to the Pacific coast.

He is survived by his widow and three sons, Walter Helms of Big Eddy, Or.; P. C. Helms of Fossil, and O. V. Helms of Beaverton.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Monday, October 15, 1923
Beard, Ambrose

Fossil Stock Man Dies

Ambrose Beard Pioneer Settler of Wheeler County

Fossil, Or., Aug. 2 – (Special) – Ambrose Beard, a pioneer settler of Wheeler county and prominent stock man, died suddenly Tuesday of heart disease at his home on Pine creek, nine miles south of fossil.  Mr. Beard was born at Albany, in Linn county, on April 4, 1855, and was married to Laura Reading of Albany on May 9, 1886.  He settled on Rowe creek, Wheeler county, in 1884, and had since lived in this vicinity except about two years at Albany.

Mr. Beard was a member of the Masonic lodge of Fossil and of the Elks’ lodge at Albany.  Besides his widow, Laura Beard, he leaves a son, Thomas B. Beard, and a daughter, Mrs. Otto Brandt of Fossil, and a large circle of friends.  Mr. Beard was buried in the Masonic cemetery at Fossil and the funeral was conducted under the auspices of the Masonic lodge.  The funeral sermon was delivered by Rev. A. S. Simmons at the Baptist church.

Source: The Sunday Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Sunday, August 3, 1919
Hawk, Lennie

Fossil, Or., Dec. 3 – (Special) – Mrs. Lester Hawk, 20 died at her home near Fossil November 28.  The funeral was held in the Methodist church, Rev. Mr. Hazelton conducting the services.  Interment was in the Oddfellows’ cemetery.  Mrs. Hawk had lived in Fossil all her life.  She leaves a widower and a daughter only a few days old.

Source: The Sunday Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Sunday, December 4, 1921
Huston, W. H.

Fossil, Or., April 24 – (Special) – W. H. Huston, father-in-law of District Attorney John A. Collier, died at the latter’s home in Fossil yesterday of pneumonia, after an illness of one week.  Deceased came here from Pendleton three years ago.  He leaves a wife and one daughter.

Mr. Huston was born in Ohio, May 22, 1846.  He joined the Union Army at the age of 19, being a member of Company A, One Hundred and fiftieth Illinois Infantry.  He was a member of the Kit Carson Post of G.A.R.   In 1878 he settled in Albany and lived there until 1899.  He then moved to Pendleton, where he lived until three years ago, when he came to Fossil.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Saturday, April 25, 1908
Lamb, A. B.

County Treasurer Dies

A. B. Lamb, Druggist and Civic Leader, Passes at Fossil

Fossil, Or., March 24 – (Special) – A. B. Lamb, aged 64 years, an early settler of Wheeler county, died at his home in Fossil March 21 of heart trouble, after a lingering illness.  He was born in Indiana December 16, 1856.  He came to Oregon when 27 years old.  He taught school for a number of years and then took a course in pharmacy, and has had the only drug store in Fossil for a great many years.

He had been clerk of the school board for 25 years and county treasurer for 20 years.

He was a member of the Masonic and Eastern Star orders and was also a member of the Oddfellows.

At the time of his death he was worthy patron of Arcadia chapter No. 84, Order of Eastern Star.

He is survived by his widow and one son, Howard, of Fossil, and one daughter, Mrs. Abbie Gore, recently of Prineville.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Thursday, March 25, 1920
Henderson, Ira

Ira Albert Henderson, who died at Fossil, Or., June 26, following an illness of less than 24 hours, was one of Oregon’s early pioneers.  He was born in Cassopolis, Mich., June 28, 1833.  Crossing the plains in 1853 with his widowed mother, he settled near Brownsville, in Linn County, and married Julia Ann Baird there in 1858.  The moved to Heppner in 1871, later to Mayville, and had been residents of Fossil for 16 years, where he was a prominent church worker, active in the cause of prohibition and also a Mason.  The widow and a daughter, Mrs. J. D. Hogan, of Spokane, survive him.

Source: The Sunday Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Sunday, July 8, 1917
Watson, Emma

Mrs. Frank Watson Dies

Resident of Wheeler county for 40 Years Succumbs

Fossil, Or., June 30 – (Special) – Mrs. Frank Watson, aged 71 years, died suddenly of heart trouble Friday at her home three miles east of Fossil.  She came to Wheeler County with her husband about 40 years ago.  Her husband died three years ago.

She is survived by three sons and one daughter.  Frank left last Monday for Fort McDowell, Cal., having been called in the last draft; her second son, Claud, will leave for service July 5.  Her youngest son, Fred, and daughter, Melvina, reside in Fossil.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Monday, July 1, 1918
Myers, Edward

Fossil, Aug. 29 (Special) – Funeral services for Edward Elmer Myers, farmer and stockman who died at his home here August 22, were conducted Saturday.

Mr. Myers was born July 8, 1880, in Mr. Pleasant, Ia., and in 1888 was brought to Oregon by his parents, who settled at Arlington,  Later the family moved to 30-Mile creek in Wheeler county.

Surviving are the widow, Lola; two sons, Edgar M. of Fossil, Charles T., of Portland; two brothers, Arthur of Fossil and John of Condon; three grandsons.

Source: The Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Friday, August 30, 1946
Van Horn, George

Fossil, Or., Jan. 24 – (Special) – George Van Horn, 42, died at the home of his brother, John Van Horn, in Fossil Thursday.  He was born in Missouri and lived there until about 14 years ago, when he came to Fossil, and had made his home here since that time.  He is survived by three brothers, John, Ranseleer and William, all of Fossil, and two sisters living in Missouri.

Source: The Sunday Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Sunday, January 25, 1920
Walls, Lyle

Memorial service for Lyle Steiwer Walls, who grew up on a family donation land claim in Marion County, will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 7, in First Unitarian Church.

Mrs. Walls, who was 89, died Thursday in a Portland nursing home.

She was born in Fossil.  Both sides of her family had traveled to Oregon Territory by wagon train in the 1840s.

She was a 1915 graduate of the University of Oregon, where she was a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority.  She was an active member in the Oregon congress of Parents and Teachers Association and served as state president of that organization from 1936 to 1940.

Survivors include her daughter, Florence W. Lehman, Portland; a son, John S. Walls, Wenatchee, Wash.; and nine grandchildren.

Burial will be private.

The family suggests remembrances be contributions to Reed College of the Oregon Historical Society.

Source: The Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Monday, May 26, 1980
Munger, Orin

Eugene, Or., Aug. 11 – (Special) – Orin S. Munger, a resident of Fossil, Or., died suddenly some time last night at the home of his sister, Mrs. L. Simons, whom he was visiting.  He was found dead in bed at 6 o'clock this morning.  He was a veteran of the Civil war and 65 years old.  He leaves a wife and five children.  They are 70 miles from a telegraph station and will not hear of his death for a couple of days.  The remains will be buried here tomorrow.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Wednesday, August 12, 1903
Montgomery, Mrs. J. V.

Mrs. J. V. Montgomery, of Fossil, died last Wednesday night, during childbirth.  The child, a 12-pound girl, is alive.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Tuesday, July 24, 1900
Brown, John

Thrown From Horse To Death

Fatal Accident to a Wheeler County Rancher, J. W. Brown

Fossil, June 22 – Wednesday evening John W. Brown was thrown from a horse about four miles east of Fossil, and died within an hour.  He had lived here a great many years.  He left a family of six or seven young children.

He had sold his ranch for $1500, and was to leave for the harvest fields of Eastern Washington next morning with his family.  He was returning home from the ranch of a neighbor, with whom he had traded horses, and was riding the new horse, a 3-year-old colt, bareback, when the accident occurred.  His skull was badly fractured, but he was conscious, and sent his boy to Fossil for a doctor, who arrived after Brown was dead.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Saturday, June 23, 1900
Fox, N. E.
Petty, Martha


Two Oregon Pioneers

Mrs. N. E. Fox died at her home near Fossil, Or., May 16.  She was born in Terre Haute, Ind., November 15, 1846, and was an Oregon pioneer of 1852.  she was married at Waterloo, Or., in 1870 to Ephraim Fox, who died but a few months before her.

Mrs. Martha Petty, wife of P. P. Petty, died near Fossil, May 14, after many years of sickness, aged 57 years.  She was a pioneer of Oregon, having crossed the plains when 9 years old, and in recognition of this the pallbearers were composed of prominent pioneers and native sons of Fossil.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Tuesday, May 22, 1900
Hurley, Mrs. W. L. & Son

Mother and Son Die

Fossil, Or., Dec. 14 – Mrs. W. L. Hurley, wife of a farmer living in Ferry canyon, near Condon, and their 1 ½ year old boy, both died at their home Sunday, and were buried in Condon cemetery, Monday.  The mother had been ill for some years with consumption.

Source: The Dalles Daily Chronicle (The Dalles, OR) - Saturday, December 16, 1899
Knox, Banna

Her Suffering Ended

The Fossil Journal tells the story of little Banna Knox and the efforts to save her by skin grafting:

On Thursday, June 11, 1896, Banna Knox, third daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Knox, died at Fossil, Or., aged 6 years, 6 months and four days.

Little Banna sustained the injuries which resulted in her death, through being accidentally burned at the Knox farm at Lost Valley, on March 19th last.

She was playing in the yard when her clothes caught fire from the embers of a pile of rubbish that had been burned the day before, and on which the child sat down thinking there was no fire left in them.  When she found herself afire, she became frightened and ran in an opposite direction from the house, so that she was fearfully burned before her mother caught her and wrapped a blanket around her, thus extinguishing the flames.

Dr. Howard was called from Fossil, and after examining the burns, informed the parents that her only hope of life lay in skin-grafting, and advised them to move her to Fossil so that she could be under his constant care.  This they decided to do, and so, when the child was able to be moved, two weeks after the accident, eight sturdy, noble fellows tenderly carried the little one on a covered litter to Fossil – twenty miles over the mountains through snow, mud, rain and swollen creeks.

Grafting was commenced and continued about four weeks, during which time the skin took hold and spread, and would soon have covered the whole surface of the sores – about one foot wide by two feet long on her back, hips and legs – had it not developed that the burns were so deep that no human aid could save her.  The whole flesh was burned off the hips and the fire must have penetrated to the kidneys, as Bright's disease soon set in, and this it was that was the immediate cause of death, which, however, was hastened by a severe attack of la grippe, which at the same time prostrated the other members of the family, who were weak and worn out with  incessant watching over their suffering loved one.  Loving friends from their bodies supplied the skin for grafting.

Source: The Dalles Daily Chronicle (The Dalles, OR) - Thursday, June 18, 1896
Farlow, Florence

Florence M. Farlow, 62, former co-owner and operator of the Aloha Pharmacy, died Sunday in Redland.

Mrs. Farlow, born June 7, 1907, in Fossil, was a member of a pioneer family.  She and her husband started the pharmacy in 1934, selling it in 1960.  She continued to work in the business until November of this year, however.  Her husband, Leonard, died March, 20, 1966.

Funeral will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Fuiten’s Chapel, Beaverton.  Entombment will be in Valley Memorial Park, Hillsboro.

She was a member of the Rebekah Lodge of Aloha and the Tuality Hospital Auxiliary.

She is survived by her mother, Mrs. Edith Mathews of Portland; a daughter, Mrs. Marvin (La Rita J.) Heckmann of Redmond; a son, L. Kenneth, Bellevue, Wash.; three brothers, Orval E. Mathews of Fossil, C. Wilbur Mathews of Portland and Robert Mathews of Yosemite National Park; three sisters, Bertha Hauser of Tygh Valley, Ruth Hutchins of Goldendale, Wash., and Betty Johnson of Gresham and five grand children.

Source: The Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Wednesday, December 17, 1969
Thompson, W. S.

Fossil, Or., Jan. 7 – (Special) – W. S. Thompson died of heart failure here last evening at 8 o’clock.  He had lived at Fossil 37 years, and was widely known in Eastern Oregon.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Friday, January 8, 1909


Fossil, Or., Jan. 10 – (Special) – W. S. Thompson, who died here January 4, was born in Monmouth, Ill., February 16, 1856.  At the age of 1 year, with his parents, he moved to California.  Here he grew to manhood, then his parents and brother and sister moved to Fossil, Or.  He was married to Miss Ida Oglesby at Jacksonville, Or., November 6, 1881.  Of this union four children were born.

Mr. Thompson was an active worker in the Methodist Church.  He was a member of the Masonic lodge, under whose auspices he was buried.  He leaves an aged mother, one brother, one sister, a widow, four children and two grandchildren.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Monday, January 11, 1909
Steiwer, William

Former Oregon State Sen. William H. Steiwer Sr., who was born and spent his life-time ranching in Fossil, died at the age of 75 Tuesday in a local hospital.

Mr. Steiwer was born Sept. 18, 1896, the son of pioneer W. W. Steiwer, who was also a rancher.  The Steiwer ranch is on 35,000 acres used to raise cattle and sheep.

Mr. Steiwer was educated at Portland Academy and Stanford University.  He was a member of The University Club, the Elks, American Legion and was a World War I veteran.

Mr. Steiwer served in the Oregon Senate from 1933-43 as a Republican and during his last term he was president of the Senate.

He was president of both the Oregon Wool Growers and Nation Wool Growers associations; a director of the American Sheep Producers Council; president of the Northwest Livestock Production Credit Association; and a director of the Portland Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Mr. Steiwer also was a director of the Columbia Basin Electrical Co-op in Heppner and a director of the Keep Oregon Green Association.

Survivors include his wife, Dorothy; two sons, William H. Jr., and Johan, and three grandchildren, all of Fossil.

Service for Mr. Steiwer will be 11 a.m. Friday in Portland Memorial funeral home with vault interment to follow.

The family suggests remembrances be contributions to the Oregon Historical Society or to a charity.

Source: The Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Thursday, January 20, 1972
Butler, Effie

Service Creek, Or., Jan. 6 – (Special) – Funeral services were conducted January 3 at Richmond, Or., for Mrs. Effie Brown Butler, 62, pioneer of eastern Oregon, who died at The Dalles hospital January 2.  Rev. Mr. Bailey of John Day officiated.  Members of the Rebekah lodge of Fossil, Or., had charge of the graveside services.

Mrs. Brown was born December 7, 1870, and was married to John B. Butler in 1886.  The couple moved some time later to The Dalles, and then to Richmond.  Mr. Butler was one of the prominent stockmen of Wheeler county.  Mrs. Butler was prominent in civic and club affairs in eastern Oregon, and was a member of the Blue Mountain Rebekah lodge of Fossil, the Pioneers’ association of Wheeler county and the Service Creek grange.

She is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Pansy Stinchfield, Mayville, Or., and Bessie V. Butler of Service Creek; one son, Randon R. Butler of Ukiah; three sisters, Mrs. Ellen Keyes, Halfway; Mrs. Molly E. Johnson, Portland, and Mrs. Jessie Butler, Richmond.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Saturday, January 7, 1933
Keyes, Henry

Henry Dick Keyes, Wheeler County rancher, and former county judge, died Monday at St. Vincent Hospital after a long illness.

Funeral will be at the Methodist church in Fossil on Wednesday at 2 p.m. with interment in the Fossil IOOF Cemetery.

Mr. Keyes was born on Keyes Flat near Mitchell on Jan. 5, 1885, the son of Zachary T. Keyes, one of Wheeler County’s pioneer sheep ranchers.  Mr. Keyes’ grandfather was Robert Booth, who came to Oregon Territory in 1852 and was a Methodist circuit rider.

A lifetime resident of Wheeler County, Mr. Keyes attended schools in Grants Pass and Willamette University.  Following his retirement several years ago he moved from his Twickenham ranch to Fossil where he worked as a real estate salesman.

He was Wheeler County judge from 1913 to 1925 and was active in the county’s Republican Party.  He was a member of the Heppner Elks Lodge for 51 years.

Survivors include four children, William Z. Keyes, Portland; Mrs. Harry Van Horn, The Dalles; Mrs. Robert Williams, Mitchell, and Mrs. James Kenny, Lake Oswego.  Survivors also include 13 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Source: The Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Wednesday, November 14, 1962
Fritz, James

Fossil, Or., Feb. 24 – (Special) – James Fritz, the Fossil and Spray stagedriver, died at Spray last night of heart failure.  He was formerly employed in the Spray Mercantile Store, but on account of poor health had to seek outdoor work.  He was a native of Michigan, and came here about nine months ago with his brother.  He was 22 years old.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Thursday, February 25, 1909
Van Colton, Belle

Fossil, Or., May 11 – (Special) – Mrs. Belle Van Colton, 26 years old, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Palmer of Fossil, died at her home in Albany, Or., Saturday.  Mrs. Van Colton was born in Wheeler county.  The body was brought to Fossil for burial, the funeral taking place from First Christian church Tuesday afternoon.  Interment was in the Oddfellow’s cemetery.  Rev. C. A. Sias had charge of the service.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Friday, May 12, 1922
Busby, Jerry

Ranch worker Dies In Wreck

Fossil (AP) – A ranch worker, Jerry Busby, died Thursday night when his pickup truck failed to make a turn on Highway 218 near Clarno, west of Fossil.

His was the fifth death of the new year on Oregon highways.  Last year at this time 20 had died.

Source: The Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Saturday, January 11, 1969
Duff, M. F.

Dr. M. F. Duff of Fossil, Or., died September 23 at the home of his daughter in Multnomah, Or.  Dr. and Mrs. Duff came from eastern Oregon a month ago to spend the winter in Multnomah.

Dr. Duff was born February 27, 1848, in Abingdon, Va., where he lived until ten years ago, when he came to Oregon.  He was a veteran of the confederate army, having enlisted when he was 16 years old.  He lost a leg on the battlefield at Saltville, Va.  Dr. Duff came from a family of dentists and practiced dentistry for more than 50 years.

Dr. Duff is survived by his widow and four daughters – Mrs. C. A. Johnson of Fossil, Mrs. Charles Carr of Capitol Hill, Mrs. D. E. Florey and Mrs. Carl I. Garber of Multnomah.

Funeral services were held yesterday afternoon from Finley’s mortuary, with interment in Rose City cemetery.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Wednesday, September 27, 1922
Douseman, Julia

Fossil, Or., Jan. 16 – (Special) – Mrs. Julia A. Douseman died here January 6 aged 84 years.  She was the widow of the late Henry Douseman, to whom she was married in Lasalle, Monroe County, Mich., June 18, 1843.  Her maiden name was Julia Ann Cuyler.  Mrs. Douseman came to California with her husband in 1850-1 by the way of the Isthmus of Panama.  In 1883 she and her husband moved to Fossil.  She left three children, seven grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren.

Source: The Sunday Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Sunday, January 17, 1909
Trapold, Alfon

Alfon Trapold, 74, a long-time Portland resident, died Sunday in Fossil.

Mr. Trapold was born in Hohenstadt, Germany, and immigrated to the United States in 1926, settling in the Portland area in 1928.  He worked for a local furniture company from 1928 until 1941, when he left the business to become a farmer in the Parkrose area.

Survivors include his wife, Ella of Portland; two daughters, Gloria Bradford and Sharon Shaw, both of Portland; three sons, James of Castro Valley, Calif., and Alvin and Tom, both of Portland; three sisters, Anna Kappus of Boxberg, Germany, and Lutia Renz and Matilda Woerner, both of Heidelberg, Germany; two brothers, August of Heidelberg, and Allen of Detroit, and nine grandchildren.

Mass will be at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in St. Therese Catholic Church, with interment following at Mount Calvary Cemetery.

Source: The Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Thursday, September 23, 1982
Johnson, Isaac

Fossil Man, Long Ill, Dies

I. A. Johnson, 80, long-time merchant in Fossil and once mayor of that Wheeler county town, died Christmas day at Physician’s and Surgeon’s hospital after a long illness.  Mr. Johnson, who was widely known in Oregon, was born August 7, 1874, in Mountain City, Tenn., and moved to Wheeler county in 1895.  He soon became owner of the Fossil Mercantile company and had been its owner 50 years at his retirement in 1947.  He moved to Portland in 1952 and made his home at the Ione Plaza.

Mr. Johnson is survived by his widow, the former Maud Flaugher, whom he married in Portland November 10, 1904; three daughters, Mrs. Isobel Edwards, Fossil, and Miss Margaret Johnson and Miss Helen Johnson, both of Portland; one brother, Victor Johnson, Fossil, one sister, Mrs. Ida Pierce, Richmond, Va., and two grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements had not been made Saturday night.

Source: The Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Sunday, December 26, 1954
Richards, Martha

Fossil, Or., Oct. 17 – (Special) – Mrs. J. W. Richards, 83 years old, died at her home in Mitchell last Thursday.  She was born in Virginia and came to Oregon with her husband in 1905.  Since that time her home had been in Mitchell.  She is survived by her husband and two children, Geo4ge and Fairline Richards of Mitchell.  Funeral services were held in Mitchell at the Methodist church, Rev. Mr. Hazelton of Fossil conducting the service.  The body was buried in the Mitchell cemetery.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Tuesday, October 18, 1921
Simmons, Margaret

Fossil, Or., Oct. 7 – (Special) – Margaret Jane Simmons died at her home in Fossil last Tuesday at the age of 73 years.  She was born in Indiana and was married to Christopher C. Simmons, now dead, in Missouri.  They came to Oregon in 1870.  The following children survive her.  Rev. A. F. Simmons, Klamath Falls; Rev. A. S. Simmons, Madras, Or.; Mrs. Amy McCay, Carning, Cal.; Mrs. Laura Stanford, Mrs. Edith Matthews and H. J. Simmons, county school superintendent of Wheeler county, Fossil.  Funeral services were conducted at the Baptist church in Fossil by Rev. J. F. Moore of Cloverdale.  Burial was at the Mayville cemetery.

Source: The Sunday Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Sunday, October 8, 1922
Ball, Birdie

Fossil, Or., Oct. 23 – (Special) – Mrs. Birdie Ball, 45, wife of Fred Ball of Fossil, died in Portland Wednesday.  The funeral was held Thursday.  Blue Mountain Rebekah lodge had charge of the services.  Besides her husband she is survived by her two daughter, Wanel and Hazel.  Her mother, Mrs. W. W. Kennedy, all of Fossil; one brother, Robert Kennedy of Stanfield, Or.; one sister, Mrs. Maggie Brown of Lake City, Cal.

Source: The Sunday Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Sunday, October 24, 1920
Pehling, Mary

Fossil, Or., Oct. 9 – (Special) – Mrs. Mary Pehling, aged 69, died at the home of her son, W. A. Pehling, near Antone, Wheeler county, October 5.  The body was sent to Seattle where funeral services were held.  Mrs. Pehling was born in Germany March 31, 1852.  She was the mother of 13 children, eight of whom survive.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Monday, October 10, 1921
Miller, Josephine

Fossil, Or., Dec. 25 – (Special) – Mrs. J. A. Miller died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. L. S. Angell, near Fossil, last Wednesday.  She was 56 years old.  She came to Oregon at the age of 12 years and was married to John Albert Miller in Arlington, Or., in 1887.  Nine children are Charles Albert of Olex, Or.; Dolph of Yorba Linda, Cal.; Mrs. Hilda Angel, Mrs. Katherine Anderton, Oscar, Nell and Frank Miller, all of Fossil.  Her husband, J. A. Miller, also survives.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Monday, December 26, 1921

Chapman, Joseph

Funeral services will be held Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Baptist church at Fossil, Or., for Joseph A. Chapman, 84, who died Thursday in Portland.

Mr. Chapman was born in Eola, Or., and had lived in Fossil for the last 35 years.  Until his retirement a few years ago, he was a prominent farmer and stockman in eastern Oregon.

Surviving relatives include the wife, Esma C. Chapman of Fossil, and a sister, Jane Dunlap of Wasco, Or.  The Rev. James W. Black will officiate at the funeral services.  Burial will be at the Odd Fellows’ cemetery at Fossil

Source: The Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Saturday, March 15, 1941
Samson, Gladys

Fossil, Or., Oct. 11 – (Special) – Mrs. Gladys Samson, 30 years old, died last Thursday of blood poisoning at the Condon hospital.  She was born in Fossil and had spent her entire life in Wheeler county.  She attended and was graduated from Wheeler county high school.  She died suddenly.  She leaves her husband, W. H. Samson, and two small children, her father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Linae Kelsay; two sisters, Mrs. Fred Metleer and Miss Ethel Kelsay, all of Fossil.  The funeral sermon was preached b Rev. Mr. Horace Kaye in the Methodist church last Saturday.  Interment was made in the Oddfellows’ cemetery in Fossil.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Tuesday, October 12, 1920
Cooper, George

Hood River, Dec. 29 (Special) – George David Cooper, 45, a native of Mount Hood, died near Fossil Monday.  Survivors include the widow, Thelma of Parkdale; three brothers, James of Mineral, Wash.; John and David of Parkdale; sister, Mrs. Tena Gribble, Canby; Mrs. Mae Walton, Parkdale, and Mrs. Harriet Iremonger, Fossil, and his mother, Mrs. Marian Cooper, Parkdale.

Source: The Sunday Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Sunday, December 20, 1934
Meyer, C. W.

Forty-Niner Takes His Last Journey

C. W. Meyer, a pioneer who died at Antone, Or., February 11, was born in Bremen, Germany, August 31, 1820.  After following the sea for 15 years he went to California in 1849, and traveled northward to Jacksonville, Or., in 1861.  Two years later he moved into what is now Wheeler County, which has ever since been his home, except during a short period in California, during which time he married Miss Meta Backloh, in Alameda.  He followed farming and stockraising on his ranch, and also kept a general merchandise store in Antone for many years.  He died February 11, of heart trouble.  During his life-time Mr. Meyer was always in the lead when a helping hand was needed, and was a well-respected citizen of Wheeler County.  Graduating from an English school at 15, he spoke German, French, English and Spanish.  His widow and three children – William H. Meyer, of Mitchell, Or., Mrs. Anna C. Scherr, of Portland, and Mrs. Gussie Keck, of Milwaukee - survive him.  Mr. Meyer was a member of the pioneers of Oregon.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Thursday, February 19, 1903
Walters, William

Wheeler Stockman Dead

William Walters, Who Crossed Plains in ’54, Dies at Fossil Home.

Fossil, Or., Dec. 22 – (Special) – William Walters, a pioneer farmer and stockgrower of Wheeler County, died at his home in Fossil Tuesday after an illness of several days.

He was born in Ohio.  When 17 he crossed the plains, driving an ox team.  He settled in Polk County, near Dallas, and lived there until 1882.  Then he came to Wheeler County.

He spent his life farming and raising stock and was always a progressive and enterprising citizen.  For a number of years he was stock inspector of Grant County, before Wheeler County was created.

Besides his widow, he leaves three daughter and one son: Mrs. Eliza Falk, of Port Angeles, Wash.; Sarah Wright, , Mollie Wilson and Charles Waters, all of Spray, Or.,

He was a member of the Oddfellows, which organization had charge of the funeral services.

Source: The Sunday Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Sunday, December 23, 1917
Yates, Isabel

Funeral services will be held at 11:30 A.M. Monday at the Finley chapel for Mrs. Isabel Margaret Yates, 81, who died Thursday at the home of relatives in Fossil.  Interment will be in Riverview cemetery.

Mrs. Yates, born at Dow City, Iowa, January 1, 1849, served as a teacher for 25 years at Fossil.  In later years she taught at Bridal Veil.  Until January of this year she had lived in Portland.

Surviving relatives include one daughter, Mrs. I. A. Johnson, Fossil, and six grandchildren.

Source: The Sunday Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Sunday, August 4, 1935
Stanford, Charles

Fossil, Or., March 2 – (Special) – Charles Stanford, 58, county judge of Wheeler county, died in The Dalles hospital February 28 and will be buried here Friday.  The funeral services will be held at the Methodist church at 1:30 p.m.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Friday, March 3, 1933
Schaump, Mrs. R. H.

Fossil, Or., Oct. 24 – (Special) – Mrs. R. H. Schaump, 40 years old, died at her home in Mayville October 19 from the effects of strychnine.  The act was attributed to despondency due to ill health.  She is survived by her husband, R. H. Schaump, and two sons and two daughter, whose ages range from 10 to 16 years.  She is survived also by her father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Holland of Portland.  The funeral was held October 20 at the Mayville Baptist church.  Rev. Mr. Hazelton of the Methodist Episcopal church of Fossil conducted the service.  Burial took place in the Mayville cemetery.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Tuesday, October 25, 1921
Morris, J. H.

Found Dead in Bed

Arlington, Or. July 19 -- Word was brought here today that J.H. Morris, a blacksmith of Fossil, and an early settler of this country, was found dead in his bed this morning. He had been in good health, and had gone to bed last night at the usual hour. It was not known that he was ill until he was found dead this morning.

Source: Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Wednesday, July 20, 1898
Contributed by Robyn Greenlund

Peters, William

Fossil Man Slain

Cousins Involved in Early Morning Shooting Affray

Men Tennessee Natives

William Peters, Found in Mrs. Wilson’s Home at 6;30 o’Clock, victim, Due to Domestic Troubles.  Previous Attempt Foiled.

Condon, Or., Oct. 4 – (Special) – William Peters, of Fossil, was shot and fatally wounded by Henry Wilson, also of Fossil, at 6:30 this morning in Mrs. Wilson’s home in Fossil.  Peters was shot twice, one bullet taking effect in the right thigh and the other striking him of the right kidney.  He died this afternoon.

The weapon used was a large-caliber automatic revolver.  It was reported at first that Peters was dead, but he recovered somewhat and later had a relapse.

After the shooting Wilson walked to the Courthouse and gave himself into the custody of the Sheriff.

It is reported that the shooting was caused by domestic troubles and that Wilson attempted to shoot Peters late last night, but was prevented by Mrs. Wilson.  Both men are natives of Tennessee and it is said are first cousins.

Mr. and Mrs. Wilson were divorced about a year ago, the farmer procuring the divorce on statutory grounds, Peters being “the man in the case.”  There were two children, a girl and a boy.  The mother kept the girl and the boy stayed with the father.

Wilson rented a house in Fossil for the mother to live in and she was to take care of the two children while in school.  The father came in last night to attend the county fair and to see the children and found Peters at the home.  He ordered him to leave the place and not to return and it is alleged he said if he did not he would kill him in the morning.

Mr. Wilson was eating breakfast.  He asked the mother about the daughter and told she was still in bed.  The father opened the bedroom door where the child had slept with her mother and discovered Peters in the room dressing.  Peters attempted to escape but Wilson shot him twice while in the room, the bullets taking effect as Peters reached the back porch.  Wilson is now in jail.

Grasshopper moral to the story of the “Foolish Grasshapper: Read the star and learn what’s after you and don’t lay your eggs where the blister bettle kids will get ‘em.  (Grasshopper Frank Wallace  called you a femurrubrum band a caloptenus spretus!)

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Friday, October 5, 1917


Slayer Found Guilty

Henry Wilson, of Fossil, Who Killed Cousin, Paroled

Jealousy Cause of Shooting of William Peters in Mrs. Wilson’s Rooms Last Month

Fossil, Or., Nov. 11 – (Special) – Henry Wilson was convicted of manslaughter in Judge Parker’s court Saturday, the crime having been the shooting of William Peters, his cousin.  Wilson shot Peters on the morning of October 4.  He died at Condon October 18 from the effect of the wound.

The men were first cousins.  About 18 months ago Wilson became jealous of Peters and accused him of improper relations with Mrs. Wilson.  Last May Wilson divorced his wife and they lived apart.  There are two children, a boy and a girl.  The wife was given the custody of the daughter.  She opened a restaurant and rooming-house in Fossil.  Peters, who was carrying the mail from Fossil to Waterman, took a room there.

Wilson, who has a homestead about 20 miles from Fossil, brought his 9-year-old son to Fossil to live with his mother and sister and to go to school.  Wilson had also engaged room and board at the establishment of his former wife.

On October 4 Wilson, discovering Peters in Mrs. Wilson’s rooms, drew his gun and fired the two fatal shots.

The Jury brought in a verdict of manslaughter.  Wilson was paroled on condition that he support his family and not leave the country.  He was represented by Attorney W. H. Wilson, of The Dalles, and H. H. and Ford Hendricks.

District Attorney Trill was assisted by State Senator M. D. Shanks, of Condon.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Monday, November 12, 1917
Chapman, Mary

Mrs. Mary Chapman, a pioneer aged 90 years, died at Mitchell, Wheeler county Monday.

Source: Daily Capital Journal (Salem, OR) – Friday, August 4, 1905
Cason, Mary

She Saw Massacre

Survivor of Whitman Butchery Dies in Eastern Oregon

Mary E. Cason, of Spray

In Her Own Words She Has Given an Account of the Awful Deeds of the Indians in Month of November, 1847

IONE, Or., April 9 – (Special) – Mrs. Mary E. Cason died at Spray, Wheeler County, Or., April 6, 1907, aged 70The Late Mrs. James P. Cason, One of the Survivors
                of the Whitman Massacre years 5 months and 28 days, after an illness of several months.  The Casons were among the first settlers in Eastern Oregon and lived for many years in Morrow County, in Cason Canyon, which derived its name from them.  Mr. Cason, husband of the deceased, died about 20 years ago.  Mrs. Cason made her home of late years with her daughter, Mrs. A. V. Templeton, at Spray, who, with the former's two sons, Frank Cason, of Ione, and John Cason, of Spray, was present when their mother passed away.  Deceased was a lady of rare and sterling qualities, who is sincerely mounred by a very large circle of friends.

Recollections of Massacre

The following sketch of Mrs. Cason's life is gathered from the historical records of the Wheeler County, Oregon.  Pioneers, compiled by their secretary, J. D. McFarland, of Fossil:

Mary Ellen Marsh was born in Springfield, Ill., October 8, 1836.  Here she lived until April 10, 1847, at which time her father fitted out two ox-teams and started with his family, consisting of wife, son and daughter, for Oregon.  Starting with high hopes, they met only the usual obstacles encountered by emigrants at that early period, until they reached the Soda Springs, on Bear River, where Mrs. Marsh fell a victim to the grim destroyer and was buried on the sterile, lonely plains of that locality.  Discouraging, indeed, was the remainder of the journey to the widowed father and the orphaned children, until in October, with teams jaded and worn, they arrived at Whitman Station.  Here MR. Marsh obtained employment and decided to remain over Winter to recruit his stock and in the Spring pursue his journey to its destination.

All had begun to accustom themselves to the daily routine at their new abode.  Mr. Marsh working in the flour mill and the others helping at other tasks, when at 2 o'clock in the afternoon of November 20, the Indians arose at a preconcerted signal and massacred Dr. Whitman, Mrs. Whitman, Mr. Marsh and 10 others, taking as prisoners all the women and children.  Mrs. Cason describes the massacre in her own language as follows:

Cut Down By Savages

“At the commencement Messrs. Huffman and Kimball were butchering a beef, Mr. Saunders was teaching school, the tailor was on his table sewing, my father at the mill grinding.  These are the only men that I can locate in my mind at that particular time.

“I was in a room upstairs when I heard the report of a gun below; it was the shot that killed my father.  I ran downstairs and saw that the butchery was fairly commenced.  I retraced my steps upstairs, followed by others, all seeking a place of safety, and from an upper window could see a part of the horrible massacre that was taking place in the space between the adobe building and the doctor's house.  It was here that Huffman and Kimball fought a horde of Indians with their axes, but the contest was too unequal and they were soon overpowered and cut down.  I saw an Indian on horseback pursing Mr. Hall with uplifted tomahawk toward the creek, where he succeeded in making his escape, finally reaching the fort, but, for some inexplicable reason, it is said he was denied admission and was never heard of afterwards.

“Meantime, Joe Lewis, a halfbreed, one of the principal instigators and leaders in the massacre, and the Indians were breaking into the doctor's house, he having previously secured the doors and windows as best he could.  The murderous devils soon succeeded in forcing the barriers, and then the hellish work began within.  By nightfall it was over-nine men and one woman being done to death, and horribly mutilated.  Sales and Bewley were spared one week and then killed on the bed.  I saw Mr. Bewley lying by the door, his head nearly severed from his body.  I do not know that these two men were ever buried.

She Was Promised Protection

“ I was so frightened when they were killed that I ran to an Indian who had expressed friendship and implored protection, and he told me I would not be hurt.  James Young was killed the next day on the raod from the sawmill to Dr. Whitman's; Elam Young and his two sons, Daniel and John were taken prisoners with the women and children and required to milk and get wood.  When they milked the cows they would divide the milk among the families.  The women were made to cook for the Indians, who took three of the young white women for their wifes.

“We were held in captivity about a month, when blessed deliverance came.  We were rescued by Governor Peter Skene Ogden, of the Hudson Bay Company, who took us down the river in batteaux to Oregon City.  At The Dalles we met the volunteer soldiers, my brother among the number, - a joyful meeting, mingled with sadness.  It was well into the Winter when we arrived at Oregon City, where we were well received by the inhabitants, and the many little acts of kindness of the people still inger in my memory.  One good lady gave me a piece of bread with black molasses on it, which I thought the best piece of bread I had ever eaten.  People had to live hard in those days; the common bill-of-fair was bread and salmon, salmon and bread, varied sometimes with salmon and no bread.

“I found a home with Mrs. George L. Durham, Mr. Van Dorn, Mrs. Wilcox and Mrs. Young, alternately, for two years, and in 1849 went to live with Mrs. A. L. Lovejoy, with whom I made my home until my marriage with James P. Cason, of Clackamas.”

Other Survivors of Massacre

The three daughters of Mr. Sager, Mrs. Elizabeth Helm, of Portland; Mrs. Matilda J. Delaney and Mrs. Catherine Pringle, of Spokane, are numbered among the 12 or 15 survivors of the Whitman massacre.

Among others who escaped with their lives from that massacre and are still living, are Mrs. O. N. Denny of this city; Mrs. Rebecca Hopkins, of Butteville; Mrs. Eliza Spalding Warren, of Lake Chelan, Wash., and Mrs. Nancy A. Jacobs, of Walla Walla, Wash.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) – April 10, 1907
Gilman, David

Mr. David Gilman, father of J. W. Gilman, died at the Corncob ranch, Wheeler county, on Saturday, Sept. 8, 1900, at the advanced age of 84 years.  He was ill but three weeks.

Source: The Dalles Daily Chronical (The Dalles, OR) – Saturday, September 15, 1900
Mote, Lora

Bride Dies As She Talks To Husband

Falls Backward in Fossil Garden and Is Picked Up Lifeless

Condon, Or., Cot. 28 – Mrs. Robert Lee Mote, daughter of Mrs. R. B. Stillwell died at her home in Fossil on October 18, at the age of 21.  Mrs. Mote was born in Coos County, Oregon, and when six years of age came to Fossil with her parents and resided there since that time.  She was married to Robert Lee Mote on February 18.  Her death was very unexpected.  She was in the garden with her husband, watching him dig potatoes, and was talking pleasantly, when suddenly she fell over backwards.  Her husband thought she had just fainted, but found the body lifeless.  She left a widower, a mother, three brothers and three sisters.  She was well known in both Gillman and Wheeler counties.  Her father died three months ago.

Source: The Daily Coos Bay Times (Marshfield, OR) – Wednesday, October 30, 1907
Dennison, Percival

Pistol Ends Life

Wheeler County Sheepman Dies by His Own Hand

Wife, Five Children Left

Percival H. Dennison, of Spray, Wheeler County, Kills Himself in Heppner Barroom – Carried $20,000 Life Insurance.

HEPPNER, Or., June 3 – (Special) – Percival H. Dennison, a prominent sheepman of near Spray, Wheeler county, committed suicide in the barroom of the Palace Hotel, in this city, last night at 9:30 o'clock, by shooting himself through the heart with a 38-caliber revolver.

Dennison had been in the city for the past three days attending the wool sales and arranging business affairs.  He had numerous friends in this city, and about 9 o'clock stopped several of them on the street, telling them he was going to leave and wanted to say good-bye.  Several, thinking he was joking, paid no attention to the matter.

Calling James Elder, an intimate friend, he bade him good-bye, saying he would not see him again.

Elder tried to take Dennison's revolver from him, but Dennison pushed him away and entered the Palace Hotel, whereupon Elder called to Mr. Wilkins, one of the proprietors of the Palace, to watch Dennison until he could get his brother Frank.  Wilkins, being busy, called the same precaution to Mr. Maddock, motioning for Maddock to follow him into the bar-room.

Dennison, according to several present, walked to the bar with his hand in his inside coat pocket, fumbling for his gun.  Maddock followed him in time to see him press a long barreled revolver close to heart and pull the trigger.  Death was almost instantaneous.

Dennison, together with his brother Frank, had been engaged in the sheep business near Spray for several years, and leaves a wife and five small children.  Financial troubles are given as the reason for his rash act.  Deceased carried life insurance amounting to $20,000.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) – Saturday, June 4, 1910
Collins, William

Wheeler County Citizen Dies

SPRINGFIELD, Or., Sept. 13 – (Special) – William Collins, a prominent citizen of Wheeler County, in Eastern Oregon, died at Leaburg, a few miles east of here, yesterday, and the body was sent by a local undertaker to Halsey.  Collins and his wife were on the way from their Eastern Oregon home in a wagon for Halsey, where they had intended to visit at the home of Mrs. Collins' niece, Mrs. C. E. Kounz, but  Collins was taken suddenly ill a few days ago.  Death ensued after much suffering.  He was aged 63 years.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) – Thursday, September 14, 1911
Richie, John

John L. Richie

SPRAY, Or., Feb. 7 – (Special) – John L. Richie, an old and highly respected citizen of Wheeler County, died at his homestead near this place last Thursday of heart failure.  Mr. Richie was alone in his cabin at the time of his death.  His body was discovered by a visitor.  The supposition is that he had been dead two or three days.  Mr. Richie was a native of Texas, from which state he entered the Confederate Army in 1861 and served with distinction throughout the war.  He was in the Western army under Bragg, Johnstone and Hood, and was in the battles of Murfreesboro, Chattanooga and the long campaign around Atlanta.  He was wounded at the battle of Chickamauga.  Mr. Richie leaves two sons, one a resident of Texas, and Melburn Richie, who is a resident of Spray.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) – Thursday, February 8, 1906
Kennedy, William

Pioneer Citizen Of Eastern Oregon


FOSSIL, Or., Oct. 27 – (Special) William W. Kennedy, County School Superintendent of Wheeler County, Oregon, died at his home here on Saturday, October 21, of Bright's disease.  He was born June 20, 1836, near Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, of Scotch parentage.  When he was 7 years old, he moved with his parents to Illinois.  In 1852,The Late W. W. Kennedy when but 16 years of age, he crossed the plains to California, in which state he taught school for a number of years.  He came from California to Heppner, Or., in 1877.  In 1883 he came to Fossil, Or., and bought and platted a part of the townsite now known as Kennedy's Addition.  He had made his home here ever since.

Mr. Kennedy served terms as County Surveyor and County School Superintendent of Gilliam County, Oregon, and was holding the latter office when Wheeler County was cut off from Gilliam.  When Wheeler County was created, Mr. Kennedy was appointed County Judge of the new county by Governor Geer.  When his term as Judge expired he was elected County Surveyor, which office he held until the last state and county election, when he was elected County School Superintendent.

Although not a college graduate, he was a man of fine education, having a splendid mind and a great fund of general informatio0n gathered from wide reading and study.  He was always an ardent Republican.  He left a wife, three daughters and one son:  Mrs. J. L. Yantis and Mrs. Fred Ball, of Fossil, Or.; Mrs. Jeddy Brown, of Lake City, Cal., and Robert Kennedy, of Fossil.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) – Saturday, October 28, 1905
Miller, Fred

On the 7th inst., Fred Miller died at his home on the John Day river, while watering his stock at the barn.  He was in his usual health and died without a moment’s warning.  Heart disease is the stated cause.

Source: The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, November 19, 1881
Humburd, Lanna

Died, at Caleb, Or., Oct. 28, 1888, old lady Humburt, mother of Mose Hart, Mrs. Russell, and Wm. And Jack Humburt.

Source: Grant County News (Canyon City, OR) – Thursday, November 8, 1888
Smith, Lee

Lee Smith, well known to some of our readers, was instantly killed on Mountain Creek, near Mitchell, on the 29th inst.  He was thrown from a horse and trampled to death, while in the act of separating horses in a corral.

Source: Broad-Axe (Eugene, OR) – Thursday, June 11, 1896

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