Union County Stories

Copyright 1999 Janine M. Bork

These are court proceedings that include a lot of names and where the people are located

Applications for Liquor Licenses
Have included these as the advertisements in the papers include voters who are registered in that precinct.

Land Records


G.A.R. Reunion
This is an article about the very first G.A.R. Reunion in the County

School Days

Paying Their Bet

Do you remember series by W.R. Gekeler


John M. DARR

World War I

WWI - Auxiliary Meeting May 5, 1966

World War II

January 4, 1946

Parties and Get Togethers

HOLMES Family Reunion

After the Ball (Cove)

The Ball at Union (Cove people)

Masquerade Ball

Lost Children


Murder and Mayhem

Lorena TRICKEY / Slim HARRIS Murder

Antelope Items

Mr. P.M. Coffin of Union is an old sea dog and in his younger days far out on the briny ocean, away down in the Sooloo sea and off the Coast of Japan has harpooned and made many a sperm whale spout thick blood. The gentleman is also very patriotic. His fine new barn back of his residence, in North Union, is about completed. He will paint it red white and blue and will have a flag staff on it. When Mr. Coffin is at home the starry flag will fly from the staff as a sign to his friends and neighbors to cal around and see him. On top of the flag staff will be a large vane that will swing with the wind; It will be the exact picture of a sperm whale spouting blood. The whale on the flag staff will be about three feet long, its mouth will be party open showing its long rows of ivory teeth; Its eyes will glare wickedly down from the top of the staff upon all the little boys and girls hurrying home late at night that have staid out to play longer then their mothers gave them permission.

Charles Hinckley, who has also helped kill whales years ago off the coast of Africa, will draw a correct picture of a whale, and Jim Bell the artist and painter will make the whale out of a sheet of iron. The whale, American flag and red, white and blue barn will be a conspicuous object in North Union. The barn will look so fine and nice that people going by in their carriages will have hard work to induce their horses, if they are patriotic horses, to go past, they will all want to stop and live in the red, white and blue barn.

Hurrah for the red, white and blue,
Hurrah for the red, white and blue,
Both through war and through peace
Shall our prestige increase
If we rally round the red, white and blue.

Eastern Oregon Republican
Thursday November 26, 1891

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Paying Their Bet

A Glorious Time Expected While the Vanquished Men Pay the Fidder

It was reported some time ago that a novel bet had been made between certain parties. Honorable Dunham Wright, of Medical Springs, and Honorable James Hendershot, of the Cove, are both very warm democrats while their respective wives are just as enthusiastic republicans. The two gentlemen wagered with the two ladies that Cleveland would be elected and the wager was that in case Cleveland was elected, the two ladies jointly, were to provide an ample jollification supper for their two husbands and their friends; and should Harrison be elected, the gnetlemen were to do equally as well for their wives and their friends. Of course, the ladies are well versed in this cooking art, and needed not carry any trouble, save the bill of expense but the gnetlemen needed to go into practiced to what extent they have qualified themselves will be seen when that bet is paid, which thing is to be done on Tuesday evening next, Nov. 20, at the Medical Springs home.

It is the design on the part of the ladies that the bet shall be fully paid and it will be no small affair. The Honorable Gentlemen will be masters of the kitchen and provide all things in first-class style. The ladies invite their republican friends and expect a few select democrats to sprinkle through the assembly. There will be feasting, musc and dancing, and it will be a republican ratification long to be remembered. Bandanas will be used for aprons and the music will be patriotic and of a purely republican character. Everything will be provided that may be necessary to make the dance joyous to the winning side, and at the same time dispel the gloom from the vanquished. Teams will be fed and well cared for.

Eastern Oregon Republican, Thursday
November 15, 2888

Do You Remember
by W.R. Gekeler

John M. Darr gave a discription of his coming to the Elgin district to Lee Tuttle when he was editor of the Recorder several years ago. Mr. Darr was born in Missouri in 1859 and married one of the Higginbotham girls in the east. They came to the Elgin district in 1881 in a train of 17 wagons. Among others making the trip were Jesse Darr, Thomas and George Higginbotham, Charles Harrison, D. B. Alexander, Flem Williams, Janes Gent, Roger Gotters, John Lawton and a man named Zumwalt. They had to go to Summerville to get their mail and most of their supplies as there was no Elgin at that time, and Mr. Darr stated that the land where most of the town now stands as grain crops.

The Elgin Recorder June 25, 1964

Do You Remember
by W.R. Gekeler

" in the Grande Ronde Valley.

John Darr, a pioneer of 1881 of that district, in the list published in The Recorder when it was owned by the Tuttle family, lists the McShains with the Higginbottams, Gents, Bakers and others. These early settlers made Summerville their trade center as well as their post office address. Some of them relate how they helped harvest grain on the land that was later Elgin.

The Elgin Recorder August 18, 1966

This information donated by Larry Rader

Eastern Oregon Review, May 5, 1966:

World War 1 Auxiliary No. 37 met at the American Legion Hall in Elgin on April 28 with 33 members present. Jewell SUDBROCK presided.

It was reported that the group made good on their recent cooked food sale. A rug donated by Margorette COOPER was auctioned, with money to be used for hospital work. Minnie BRAGG was welcomed as the new District 6 president. Members met at the home of Macie WARD to make favors for the department meeting to be held in Medford June 1-4. Delegates elected to attend the meeting were: Fern GUTHREY, Minnie BRAGG, Shirley DRUMMOND, Nell BURCH, Beth GARITY, Ella HAGEY and Vina THATCHER. Alternates included Ruby BEERY, Bertha SCOTT, Lillian HUNGERFORD, Vi CARROLL, Lucille LEE and Cora CARLAND.

The next sewing meeting is to be held May 11 at the home of Eva GREINER.

The men joined the ladies for a social hour with the Elgin ladies serving. They included Georgian BEEM, Rossetta TOWNSEND, Nellie CRUICKSHANK, Audra WILLIAMS, Ida BEEM and Hester MCCALM.

Submitted by Holly Vonderohe

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Eastern Oregon Review, January 4, 1946:
Cove Section:

Mrs. Laura WILLIAMS had three of her grandsons for Christmas, just home from the service. John WILLIAMS of the Seabees 3-C, son of Mr. and Mrs. John WILLIAMS of Arrowhead, Alberta, Canada, who was on his way home, Sgt. Jesse BERRY and Cpl. John BERRY of Imbler also their mother Mrs. Ivy BERRY of Imbler.

The last word from Royal BORKGREN is that he was still in Manila. He is the proprietor of the Cove swimming pool.

Cpl. Kathleen COMSTOCK of the Women's Marine Corps, came home Sunday morning and was honorably discharged, and is with her parents. Mr. and Mrs. R. S. COMSTOCK. She was graduated from Cove high in 1937 and later from E. O. C. E. and taught school before enlisting.

Aldon GRAY came from Columbus, O., Tuesday on a 15-day furlough with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Nathan GRAY.

Pvt. Homer L. LOVE has had an honorable discharge from the service and came from Fort Ord, Cal. last week and is at his home with the ROGERS.

Leo ANDERSON, honorably discharged is with his mother Mrs. Anna ANDERSON. Leo, GM 3-C gun captain on a navy destroyer, was in eight campaigns and in the service three and a half years.

A long distance telephone call from Italy came to Mrs. Cleah Lindsay BOETCHER from her husband Pvt. Ernest BOETCHER.

Submitted by Holly Vonderohe

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Birthday Anniversary and Family Reunion

On last Saturday, May 20, there was a family reunion at the residence of Mrs. Jane Holmes in Cove to celebrate her seventy-second birthday anniversary. There were 27 of the family relatives gathered around the festive board in the dining room, among whom were the following children of Grandma Holmes: Wm. R. Holmes of Enterprise, wife and three children: Geo. H. Holmes of Cove, wife and three children: Fred J. Holmes of Island City, wife and three children; Mrs. H.H. French of Cove, husband and three sons: E.A. Holmes of Wallowa, wife and son; Dr. E.R. Holmes and wife of Island City, and Charles Holmes of Enterprise. Mrs. Holmes would receive no presents but gave to each of her relatives a solid silver token in remembrance of the occasion. All enjoyed themselves immensely and returned home after the festivities wishing grandma many returns of her birthday.

Cove Ledger Thursday May 25, 1899

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After the Ball (Cove)

The dance at Wrights' Hall Friday evening was well attended, not withstanding the inclement weather. The playing by local talent was as good as the best anywhere, and is one of the chief inducements to those who enjoy good music in the ball room. A good supper was served at the hotel. Among those present were the following: Mr. and Mrs. W.A. Mathews, Mr. & Mrs. G.G. Conley, Mr. & Mrs. Jos. Wilkinson, Mr. & Mrs. Frank Jasper, Mr. & Mrs. John Jones, and Misses Lillie Boswell, Lula B. Turner, Viola Smith, Maud Cowles, Stella Reel, Frankie Stearns, May Stearns, Myrtle Jewel, Annie Card, Lillie Foster, Bertie White, Edna Payne, Maud Fairbanks, Della Parent, Lila Gobble, Etta Gobble, Bertha Comstock, Era Tripper, Ora Gibson, Ratie Golden, Dane Wright, Etta Peffley, Lottie Peffley, Pearl Haggerty, Nancy Lands, Ruth Myrick and Messrs. W.S. Goldsbury, H.R. Halley, Jas. Clark, H.E. Hartley, B.H. Gasset, Robt. Haggerty, Randall Boswell, Thos. Spencer, W.G. Allen, Walter Rees, W.A. Ware, W.D. Miller, H.C. Lambert, J.F. Winder, H. Wilkison, Geo. Miller, John Slater, P.F. Vogel, Ed Wertman, Elmer Lee, Roy McDaniel, Will Haggerty, Willard Jasper, Arthur Rinehart, Lester Easton, A.B. Mathews, Ben Debord, Perey Harris, Rufus Eaton, Wane Fisher, C.P. Gothan, N. Daren, L.H. Richard, Harvey Lyod, JD. Mathews, Geo. Gasset, Royal Jones, Herman Tripper, Jas. Canday, Chas. McIlroy, besides a number of others who names our reporter failed to obtain.

Cove Ledger Thursday November 24, 1898

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The Ball at Union

Quite a number of Cove people attended the Thanksgiving ball at Union, among whom where Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Haynes, Mr. and Mrs. Jos. Wilkinson, Misses Dae Matthews, Lillie Boswell, Maude Cowles, Birdie White, Stella Reel, Maude Fairbanks, Pearl creighton, Della Parent, Alta Haggerty, Pearl Haggerty and Messrs. Ed. Wertman, Roy McDaniel, Randal Boswell, Royal Jones, Walter Rees, Harvey Lloid, Will Harris, Wren Lloid, Frank Taylor, Wid (?) Wright, frank Bloom, A.B. Matthews, Willard Jasper, Jack Harris, Thos. Cates, Wayne Horton, Percy Harris and many others whose names we were unable to obtain. All report having a fine time and speak highly of the sociability of their Union friends.

Cove Ledger Thursday December 1, 1898

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The Masquerade

The grand masquerade ball at Wright's Hall in Cove was attended by a large crowd, many coming from Union, Lower Cove, High Valley, the Park and some from La Grande.

About seventy tickets were sold and the ball was filled with maskers. The music by the Cove Orchestra, was as usual unsurpassed and an excellent supper was served in the Cove Hotel under the supervision of Mrs. Eaton.

A large number of spectators were present to enjoy the music as well as the supper and the gallery was filled chockfull of small boys at ten cents a head. The following is a list of most of the characters respresented, our reporter being unable to obtain all:

Sadie Brown, Red White and Blue.
Clara Fairbanks, Queen of Diamonds.
Will Hulick, Old Miner.
Stella Reel, Winter.
Clarence Prescott and Geo. Huffman, Old fashioned couple from the country.
Alta Haggerty and Miss Gobble, Flower girls, Myrtle Jewel, Popcorn girl.
Emma Jewel, School girl.
Frank Myrick, Herman Tripper and Rufus Easton, Papa, Mama and Daughter.
Willard Jasper, Bootblank.
Bert Wilkinson, Woodchopper.
Sam Richards, Hayseed.
Fred Jameson, Fire Queen.
Mrs. Dr. Howard and Birdie McDaniel, Quarrelsome Twins.
John Richards, a dashing Broadway swell.
Lester Eaton, Red Belle
Mrs. J. Huffman, Happy Hottentot.
Della Gobble, Brownie.
Ed. Wertman. Irish Woman.
Blaine Geer, A girl.
Ed. Eckersley, Tramp.
Rose Fowler, Sailor girl.
Grace McDaniel, Dancing girl.
Jas. Huffman, Man of leisure.
Ralph Jameson, Biggest fool on the floor.
Wm. Green, Siwash.
T. Debord, Sailor.
Robert Hall, Darkey.
D. Tripp, Cripple.
Walter Rees, Indian Cadet.
F. Conley, Boy in red.
Roy McDaniel and Viola Smith, High born lady and gent.
Ross Badger, Santa Claus.
Jack Smith, Clown.
W.P. Miller, Jack of Clubs.
Mary Miller, Girl in red.
Albert Coons, Policeman.
Lillie Boswell, Night.
Elmer Lee, Hobo.
I.C. Haynes, Hobo.
Percy Harris, Girl.
Maud Fairbanks, School girl.
Lolo Matthews, School girl.
Will Haggerty, Caesar.
Robt. Haggerty, Jockey.
Lottie Peffley, Fairy.
Randall Boswell, Ace of spades.
Pearl Creighton, Flower girl.
Hattie Eckersley, Dancing Swiss girl.
Eva Wilson and Lulu Turner, Kate Greenaway's fairies.
Frankie Stearns, Folly.
Dae Matthews, Fairy.
Lillie Foster, Fancy dress.
Constantis and Elita Stackland, Angels.

The following prizes were given for the best sustained characters: -

First prize, Roy McDaniel, "High born gent," smoker's set.
Second Prize, Lester Eaton, "Red Belle" cup and saucer.
Third prize, Rufus Eaton, "Papa and Mammas' girl." Silk tie.
Fourth prize, Sam Richards, "Hayseed" Christmas card.

and for the ladies:
First prize: Mrs. J. Huffman, "Happy Hottentot." Autograph album.
Second prize, Miss Constantia Stackland "Angel" Perfume case.
Third prize, Miss Elita Stackland, "Angel" Christmas card.
Fourth prize, Miss Grace McDaniel, "Dancing girl," Xmas card.

The music ceased at 5 o'clock in the morning and the hall was still full. Everyone was well cared for and great praise is given Mr. Ira Huffman and the other gentlemen who assisted in the management of the affair.

Cove Ledger Thursday December 29, 1898

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Aaron Olmstead


Last Monday at about 2 o'clock Aaron Olmstead aged 7 years started to go from his father's band of sheep to the camp at the head of Davis creek, and although the herder watched him until he was in sight of the barn, the little fellow lost his bearings and he was not seen again until he walked up Good Cowle's field on Lower Swamp Creek at noon Thursday. As soon as word reached town that the boy was lost, everbody that could get away started to help find him. Wednesday and Thursday there were at least 150 or 200 men searching all over the country from the head of Davis creek to beyond the Red Fir springs on the Flora road. His tracks were found down Davis creek at several points but nothing could be seen of the boy.

A Chieftain reporter called at Mr. Humphreys where he was taken to his mother and saw him lying in bed and not suffering any except from a desire to eat. He was perfectly rational and told his mother in answer to questions that he was along Davis creek most of the time, and passed over the hill to another creek (Swamp creek). That he went to bed every night under big fir trees and slept until morning, but had to get up early and travel because it was so cold. His shoes which were almost new when he left, were worn full of holes, and his other clothes were badly worn and torn. He said he had had nothing to eat while gone, and begged pitifully for something to eat. He was very pale and thin as though he had just recovered from a spell of sickness. The joy of his father and mother can be imagined when they received the glad news that he was alive and well.

Cove Ledger Thursday June 15 1899

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Rodeo Star explains Falsehoods Were Due to Ignorance of Self Defense Law and Fear of Gallows<

LAKEVIEW, Ore., Nov. 11, - (A.P.)

Bringing to a highly dramatic climax her melodramatic trial on the charge of murdering Slim Harris, Lorena Trickey, noted cowgirl, told her own story on the witness stand last night of how she plunged a knife into the body of the man she loved.

Tears ran down her cheeks as she spoke, men sobbed and women wept and two women in the courtroom fainted.

Then came respite-court adjourned until Saturday morning when closing arguments are to be made to the jury which is to decide the fate of the rodeo performer.

The pair reached Lakeview the day before "Slim" was killed, said the petite rodeo star, in explaining her possession of the knife with which she killed Harris.

"I needed a particular kind of a bridle," she said, "and decided to make ti myself."
"I needed a knife to make it, and having none, went to a hardware store. First I asked for a dirk. The clerk didn't seem to know what I was talking about. Finally he brought one out. The price was $3. I had only $1.50. So he sold me a stockman's knife for that amount." She returned, she said, to the round-up barn and started to make the bridle.

In dramatic tones, Lorena described the death fight in the car. "I was desperate. He was choking me and striking me. I didn't know what to do. I thought of my knife. I pulled it out and held it between my knees so he couldn't see it. I didn't want to hurt him. He kept on hitting me. Finally, in desperation-I struck him."

Slim stopped the car, the testimony continued. Miss Trickey jumped out, Slim after her.
"I didn't know he was hurt. I ran, he followed me. I looked back and saw he was gaining - I looked back again and he was closer. Then I looked and he had fallen.
"I ran back to him. "Slim, old boy, what's the mater?"
"I'm hurt," he said.
"I knelt and put his head on my lap. I reached down to his breast to see if he was hurt. I felt warm blood on my hands-I screamed.
"Slim, old boy, talk to me." But he didn't answer.

"Men and women came running. I asked them to get a car and take Slim to a hospital. They carried him to my car. I held him in my lap and tried to stop the flow of blood as we raced to the hospital."

On cross examination Miss Trickey was asked why she had told conflicting stories of the stabbing.
"I loved him so much," she said,"I didn't want anyone to know I did it."

In answer to another question, asked by the prosecutor, demanding if she did not know that she would be acquitted if the killing was in self-defense the gir answered; "No, I didn't know the law. I thought I would either be hanged or sent to prison for life."

Court will reconvene Saturday and the case is expected to go to the jury at 3 p.m.

This story donated by Larry Rader.

If anyone has a date for it, would really appreciate it.
It's a really great story and couldn't pass it up!