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Wallowa County Obituaries

U through Z

 


Inez LaVera (FISHER) VARNEY
Roy VARNEY
Charles WAGNER
Child of J.G. WAGNER
Harriet WALKER
WARD Obituaries
Robert N. WARNOCK
 Tasy (Wright)  WARNOCK
William Jay WART, Sr.
W.C. WATTENBURG
Charles WAY
 Lennie (Hearing) WEATHERS
WEAVER Obituaries
Mrs. Lottie WENHAM
Lydia (Lare) WHEELER
Mrs. Fannie (Hyatt) WICKHAM
Electa Margaret (Coffen) WILCOX
Gladys WILEY
Aaron WILKS
WILLIAMS Obituaries
WILSON Obituaries
Cap. WILSON
George WINNIE
WOOD(S) Obituaries
Gladys (Towers) WRIGHT
Mary WRIGHT
Mrs. Welthy YEAGER
Gladys Irene (Lathrop) YOST

Inez LaVera (FISHER) VARNEY

Inez L. Varney, former resident of Enterprise, died March 15, 1980 at the Dalles General Hospital, The Dalles, Oregon. She was born Jan. 12, 1922 in Enterprise, Oregon and married Otis Varney on December 23, 1941. She attended the Enterprise Community church and was a member of the Lay Elks, BPOE #1829. she received her 20 year pin from the Eagle Cap Auxiliary Post #4307,VFW. Funeral services were held Tuesday, March 18. Burial was in the Enterprise cemetery. Survivors include her husband, Otis of Troy; a son, Dennis L. Varney of Selhah, Washington; a daughter, Donna Aschenbrenner of Enterprise.

Wallowa County Chieftain Newspaper dated March 20, 1980

Contributed by Michelle Drayton-Fisher


ROY VARNEY

Roy Varney, a prominent farmer of Prairie Creek, died Sunday, August 25, 1935, at Hot Lake after having been taken there for treatment following a two weeks illness. He had been in poor health for some time as a result of a serious heart disease but had carried on his usual farm work until his condition became serious two weeks before his death. It is thought that an injury he received while building a barn might have hastened his death.

Funeral services were conducted Tuesday afternoon at the Methodist church with Rev. G.R. Archer in charge and interment took place in the Prairie Creek cemetery.

Roy Mason Varney was born in Augusta, Kansas, and died at Hot Lake August 25, 1935, at the age of 44 years, 10 months and seven days. He came to Wallowa county 28 years ago and lived with his family in the north end for some time. On October 19,1912, he was married to Bessie Conrad of Flora. To this union were born four children. Violet, Vester, Otis and Walter all of whom survive him. His parents died some years ago but he is survived by one sister, Ina Beard, and two brothers, Walter and Miles.

Mr. Varney was known as a kindly, hospitable man and co-operative with his neighbors. He was a hard worker and ambitious to make good and had recently built a new house and barn on his farm making it one of the best improved farms in his locality.

    Enterprise Record Chieftain
    Thursday August 29, 1935


Charles Wagner

Charles Wagner died at Camp No. 1 of The East Oregon Lbr. Co., last Friday night and was buried in the Enterprise cemetery Sunday afternoon. The funeral was held under the auspices of the Moose lodge. All of his relatives were sick and the funeral party was composed of eight auto loads of Moose members. This was the first funeral from the new Moose lodge room. The Moose paid all the expenses of the funeral.

Wallowa County Reporter Thursday December 12, 1918


Child of J. G. Wagner dies

A son of Mr. and Mrs. J.G. Wagner of Swamp Creek was buried in the Enterprise cemetery, Monday afternoon. He died Saturday evening of heart failure.

The Aurora November 22, 1895


Harriet Walker

Died at Lostine, August 26, 1917. Mrs. Harriet Walker at the age of 62 years, 7 months and 26 days. The deceased was born in Ohio in 1885, moving to Indiana with her father when she was 16 years of age. From there she went to Kansas where she made her home for twenty-five years and until she came to Wallowa county on the last of May, 1917, to make her home with her brother, Jess Walker.

Her death was caused by asthma. The deceased leaves to mourn her death, three sisters and five brothers. The sisters are Mrs. Anna Walton of New Mexico: Mrs. Batchell of Nebraska, Mrs. Sallie Bonar of Carlton, Oregon. The brothers are: Sam and Chauncy Walker of Kansas: Jess Walker of Lostine: Frank Walker of Indiana: Charley Walker of Ohio. Besides her brother, Jessie, there was but one sister who was able to attend the funeral. Mrs. Bonar of Carlton. Her brother Sam and wife having left for their home in Kansas, August 25, not dreaming that sad news would reach their home in Kansas almost before their arrival. Mrs. Walker was well when they left.

Card of Thanks

I wish to express my sincere thanks for the aid and many kind acts of kind acts of the neighbors and friends in my bereavement. Their genuine sympathy will not be forgotten. Jessie Walker.

Wallowa County Reporter August 30, 1917


Robert N. Warnock
Pioneer Passes on

Robert N. Warnock, member of a pioneer family in Wallowa county died at his home at Oswego, Feb. 26, and funeral services were held in Portland. Only two members of his family survive, his brother, W.P. Warnock of Enterprise, and his sister, Mrs. John Velt of Sacramento, Cal. Mr. and Mrs. W.P. Warnock visited him in the middle of the winter.

Robert Warnock was born in Dickson county, Kansas, Oct. 6, 1864, and came with his family in a wagon train to the far west in 1879. He ran cattle in the valley and canyons in early days and had the photograph gallery in Enterprise after the town was started, on the same lot as it now occupied by D.E. Church's building. He went to western Oregon 35 years ago and followed various occupations and always made a comfortable living at anything he undertook. He ran a taxi in Portland for a dozen years.

When a young man in Enterprise he married Lily Graves, daughter of Lysander Graves and one daughter was born, who now lives in California. After the death of his wife he married Daisy Wood at Lebanon. She was a niece of Mose Neal, resident of Wallowa county. One daughter was born to this union and the wife passed away.

Mr. Warnock was married a third time to Sadie Kenniston of Toledo and she survives with three daughters.

Enterprise Record Chieftain
Thursday March 13, 1941


Mrs. Tasy (Wright)  Warnock Laid To Rest

Mrs. Tasy Warnock passed away at the Wallowa County Hospital on March 21, after a lingering illness. Tasy Wright, daughter of James and Sarah Wright, pioneers of this county, was born at Cove, Oregon, September 28, 1872, and that same year her parents moved to Wallowa County, then a part of Union County. When Tasy was about three years old, due to Indian trouble in the county her parents moved back to Indian Valley where the town of Elgin now stands, and lived there for a few years, returning later to this county, where Mr. Wright took a homestead near Joseph.

On December 16, 1902, Tasy Wright was united in marriage to Samuel B. Warnock, and four days later they went to the groom's homestead on Day Ridge, which was her home until Mr. Warnock's death in 1927. Here their three children were born: Mary C., Ruth W. and one son who was born and died Oct. 9, 1909.

Since the death of her husband, Mrs. Warnock had made her home with her daughters, the last six years having been spent with her younger daughter, Mrs. Richman. Besides her daughters, Mrs. Mary C. Johnson of Portland and Mrs. Ruth Richman of Troy, she is survived by one grandson, Keith Richman, by three sisters, Lulu Henderson of Joseph, Margaret Ownbey of Enterprise and Phoebe Roup of Boise, Idaho and by many friends, Mrs. Warnock was a great home lover and a devoted mother.

Funeral services conducted by Rev. H. C. Stover, pastor of the Enterprise Community church, were held Sunday afternoon at Flora. Mrs. Garnet D. Best and Mrs. Gwen T. Coffin sang "Rock of Ages" and "Beautiful Isle of Somewhere" with Mr. Stover playing the accompaniment. Pall Bearers were A. L. Gosch, O. E. Bodmer, Jay Templeton, A. A. Goebel of Enterprise, and
Charles and Alva Fordice of Flora. Interment was in the Flora Cemetery.

Wallowa County Chieftain

Contributed by:
S. Renee Schaeffer


WILLIAM WART SR.

William Jay Wart Sr., 75 of Rt. 1, Weston, died May 28, 1985, at St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton.

The graveside service was at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Enterprise Cemetery, Enterprise , Ore. The Rev. Edward Morrison officiated.

Wart was born July 21, 1909, in Baker, Ore., to Louis and Florence Wilcox Wart. The family moved to Promise, Ore. in 1913. He attended Enterprise schools and then worked with his father and area farmers on Alder Slope, near Enterprise.

On Dec. 20, 1935, he married Olive "Dollie" P. Heskett in Enterprise. He worked as a mechanic there. In 1945, the couple moved to The Dalles, living there until they returned to Enterprise in 1947. In 1963, the moved to Athena and Wart worked at the Athena Garage, retiring in 1975. He built a cabin on Weston Mountain were[?] they retired.

An outdoorsman, he enjoyed hunting and fishing. He was a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Athena.

Wart is survived by his wife, at home; one son, Bill Wart Jr. of Kennewick; two daughters, Lois Spano of Virginia and Grace Bonavita of Bridgeport, Conn.; one brother, Fritz Wart of San Diego; and three grandchildren. A sister preceded him in death.

VALLEY HERALD, Milton-Freewater, OR, Wednesday, 5 June 1985, Page 2.

Contributed by Robert C. Bull


W. C. WATTENBURG

W. C. Wattenburg, formerly a resident of Enterprise, died in Portland last week. He was a resident of Enterprise in 1915 and 16 and worked with Jno. Oberg as architect and furnished plans for a number of buildings in this county. He was 27 years of age at the time of his death and leaves a wife and baby.

Wallowa County Reporter Thursday January 2, 1919


Charles Way

Died in California last week. The body was sent to this place, arriving Sunday and the funeral services held at the Baptist church at 3:30 p.m. and interment made in the Enterprise cemetery.

The deceased was a brother of Mrs. Herman of this city and was about 61 years of age. He was a printer of Ureka, California.

Wallowa County Reporter Wednesday June 5, 1918



Funeral Services Held in Chapel for Mrs. Weathers

 Final rites were held Wednesday, May 25 at Munselle-Rhodes chapel for Mrs.Lennie Mary Weathers, who died
at a Walla Walla hospital May 23.

 The Rev. Lester Boulden of the Methodist Church officiated and Mrs. John H. Maxwell sang "In the Garden" and
"Rock of Ages" and accompanied herself at the organ.

 Pallbearers were Carl Groth, Ralph Lile, Orville Alexander, Roy Alexander, George Welch and Alvin Edwards.
 Mrs. Weathers was born Aug. 20, 1884, at Wallowa.  Mrs. Weathers, the former Lennie Herring[Hearing] and
William C. Weathers were married at Wallowa May 5, 1905.  The couple moved here in 1908.  Mrs. Weathers has
been in ill health for the last two years.

 She leaves her husband, William C. Weathers, one daughter, Mrs. Lwayne (Velma) O'Harra of Weston; one son,
Virgil Weathers of Adams; three sisters, Mrs. Harold (Leo) Shintaffer and Mrs. John (Etta) Roberts of Auburn,
Wash.[and Mrs. Alvin (Gertrude) McFetridge]; four grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and numerous
nieces and nephews.

 Vault interment was in the Milton-Freewater cemetery.

Valley Herald, Milton-Freewater, OR,
Thursday, 26 May 1966, Page 6.

Contributed by:
 Robert C. Bull


The Death of Mrs. Lottie Wenham

Mrs. Wenham passed away yesterday morning, Feb. 4th, 1920 from the effect of a severe attack of the influenza. She was the wife of Albert Wenham and besides the husband there is left six children to mourn the loss of a mother. Word has been telegraphed to the parents in Montana and funeral arrangements will not be made until word is received from them.

Wallowa County Reporter Thursday, February 5, 1920


Lydia Wheeler

Lydia I. Wheeler, 77, formerly of Wallowa, died Sunday, Sept. 13, 1987 at her home in Milton-Freewater.

She was born June 26, 1910 at Kirwin, Kan., daughter of Daniel and Alpha Vest Lare. The family lived in Kirwin, where she attended school until October, 1916, when the family moved to Oregon. They settled at Wallowa, where she graduated from high school.

On Sept. 8, 1930, she married Joseph R. Wheeler at Enterprise. They moved to Frewater in the spring of 1931 and moved to a home on the South Fork of the Walla Walla River in the spring of 1942.

Survivors include her husband, at the home; sons, Dick of Milton-Freewater, and Daniel of Coos Bay; daughter, Ida Mae of Ocean Springs, Miss.; one brother, 14 grandchildren, and 26 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were held Thursday, Sept. 17 in the chapel of Munselle-Rhodes Funeral Home with burial at the Milton-Freewater Cemetery.

Wallowa County Chieftain
Page 2 - Thursday
October 1, 1987


Mrs. Fannie Wickham

Mrs. Fannie Wickham, sister of the late George W. Hyatt, died May 5 at her home at Adrian, Mich. according to word received here Tuesday. She was a victim of pneumonia. She was in Enterprise several times during the life of Mr. Hyatt.

Enterprise Record Chieftain
Thursday May 14, 1931
Page 5


MRS. J. R. WILCOX LAID TO REST


Funeral services were held at the Catholic church in Enterprise Wednesday at 10 a.m. for Mrs. J.R. Wilcox, who passed away at the Enterprise hospital April 4, 1943. Burial was in the family lot in the local cemetery by the side of a son who died many years ago.

Electa Margaret Coffen was born December 24, 1878, in Iowa. In October 1898, she was united in marriage to Joseph Ruel Wilcox. The first two years of their married life were spent in Minneapolis, Minn. In 1901 they moved to Alberta, Canada, where they spent seven years, coming in 1909 to Oregon and Wallowa county, where she had lived ever since, beloved by all who knew her.

Mrs. Wilcox is survived by her husband, two daughters, Mrs. Arthur Anderson (Agnes) of Portland, and Mrs. Henry Firchau (Emma) of Lebanon; four grandchildren, Eleanor, Albert, Henry Jr. and Agnes Firchau; two brothers and four sisters; Horace Coffen of Minneapolis, Warren Coffen of Enterprise, Mrs. Ellen Ferdinandsen of Aberdeen, South Dakota, Mrs. Minnie Kost of Aklavik, Northwest Territory, Mrs. Ellen Littleton, Cedar Rapids, Ia., and Mrs. Rose Burroughs, Waterton, South Dakota.

Wallowa County Chieftain
Thursday April 8, 1943
Front Page


Miss Gladys Wiley

Wallowa, Oct. 18 --Miss Gladys Wiley, aged 22 years, daughter of E. L. Wiley, died of acute appendicitis,
Tuesday evening about 9 o’clock, at the Wallowa hospital. She submitted to an operation Saturday evening and
the conditions were found to be so bad that there was little chance of saving her life, yet she rallied and for a day
or two hope was entertained by the relatives and many friends. A turn for the worse came yesterday afternoon
and she sank rapidly until the end came.

Gladys was greatly beloved by all who knew her and the entire community is shrouded in gloom at her untimely
death, and every heart sympathizes with the bereaved father and other relatives. Besides her father she leaves a
sister, Mrs. Lena Maxwell, and two brothers, Leslie and Floyd. The brothers are in the East but are hurrying here
and until they arrive the exact hour of the funeral will not be fixed, but it probably will be held Thursday
afternoon.

Enterprise Record Chieftain
Thurs. OCT. 10, 1911

Contributed by Charlotte Carper


Aaron Wilks
67, logger, born at Forest

WALLOWA, Ore

Aaron Evener Wilks, 67, a logger and Wallowa resident, died at his home Thursday. The cause of death was unavailable.

He was born June 7, 1920, at Forest, Idaho, a pioneer town about five miles south of Winchester, to Bill and Winifred Weller Wilks.

Wilks married Wilma Poulmsky Sept. 19, 1940, at Clarkston. She survives him at their home at Wallowa. Wilks had been a logger in the Wallowa area for several years.

Other survivors include two sons, Melvin E. Wilks of Mosco and Elvin L. Wilks of Flora, Ore.; two daughters, Sharon Wulf of Meeteetse, Wyo., and Beverly J. Stitzel of Brookings, Ore.; six sisters, Mildred Bacon, Dori Marsh and Shirley Goffinet, all of Lewiston, Winifred Seabolt and Thelma Yeoman, both of Clarkston, and Hilma Warmington of Corvallis, Ore.; two brothers, Jay B. Wilks of Lostine, Ore., and Ivan Wilks of Emida, Idaho; 13 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Two brothers died previously.

The funeral will be held at the I.O.O.F. Hall at Wallowa at 2:30 p.m. Friday. The body was cremated.

The family suggests memorials be given to the Jaws of Life in care of Bollman Funeral Home, Main and West 3rd, Enterprise, Ore. 97828.

Bollman Funeral Home at Enterprise is in charge of the arrangements.

Lewiston Trubune - Friday, June 3, 1988

Contributed by Donald R. Schoenfeld


George Winnie

Mr. and Mrs. T.E. Bedewell, returned Friday from Spokane where they were called by the death of their son-in-law, George Winnie. They were accompanied by their little grandson.

Wallowa County Reporter
Thursday March 18, 1920


Gladys Wright

Gladys Wright, a former teacher who taught at a country school on the Sheep Creek Divide, died Sept. 11, 1987 at the Odd Fellows Home in Walla Walla, Wash. She was 81.

Funeral services were held Sept. 14 at Munselle-Rhodes Funeral Home Chapel in Milton-Freewater with Rev. Edward Morrison officiating. Ritualistic services were conducted by Integrity Rebekah Lodge.

Graveside services and burial followed later the same day in the Prairie Creek Cemetery near Joseph.

Wright was born April 22,1906 in Evelyn, Wash., the daughter of Douglas and Edith Eaton Towers. She was the eldest of nine children. Following completion of high school, she graduated from a normal school in Monmouth.

She moved to Wallowa County with her family in the early 1920s, and taught at a country school on the Sheep Creek Divide.

She was wed to Charles J. Wright in Wallowa County on April 28, 1928, and the couple lived outside Joseph for several years. He preceded her in death in 1941.

Wright moved her family to Milton-Freewater in 1942. She began working for the Milton-Freewater Post Office in 1947, retiring from that job in 1968. She was a member of the Ingle Chapel Congregational Church and the Integrity Rebekah Lodge.

Survivors include two sons, Donald Wright of John Day, and Lester Wright of Temecula, Calif; five sisters; six grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Odd Fellows Home through Munselle-Rhodes Funeral Home Chael in Milton-Freewater.

Wallowa County Chieftain
Page 2 - Thursday
October 1, 1987


Mary Wright

The passing of one of Wallowa's pioneers occurred Tuesday morning July 9th, when Aunt Mary Wright died at her home in Enterprise after an illness of several months. She and her husband homesteaded on Alder slope among the very first settlers in the county. Had she lived until December would have 89 years.

Three sons are living in this city: George, Layfayette and Tom Wright. One son, Henry Wright lives in Portland and a daughter, Mrs. H. A. Owenby at Oregon City. The funeral is this afternoon at 2 p.m. at the Alder church, Rev. Sibley officiating.

Wallowa County Reporter Wednesday July 10, 1918

**************************

AUNT MARY WRIGHT CALLED TO LAST REST
Pioneer Woman Gone to Last Home
Leaving a Record of a Long and Useful Life

Mrs. Mary Wright, one of the oldest residents of Wallowa county, died at her home in Enterprise, early Tuesday morning, July 9. Funeral services were held yesterday at the Alder church, conducted by Rev. F.R. Sibley. The church were the services were held was on ground given by Mr. and Mrs. Wright from their homestead. Five children remain: Mrs. I. J. Ownbey, George W. Lafayette and Thomas of Enterprise, and Henry of Portland. "Aunt Mary" as she was familiarly called came to this county in 1872 and has resided here continuously. To her many old friends and to later residents the following sketch of her trip across the country from Kansas, and her early experience here, will prove of interest.

Aunt Mary Wright was born December 28, 1830, in Randolph county, Indiana, and was a daughter of Mrs. And Mrs. Solomon Knight, also natives of Indiana. She was married to Reese R. Wright in Randolph county in 1849, and they went to housekeeping on a farm there. In a few years they removed to Iowa and lived on a frontier prairie farm. One child, Sarah Jane (Mrs. A.J. Ownbey of Oregon City) accompanied her parents to Iowa. The trip from Indiana to Iowa was made with a team of horses. In 1855 they moved to Kansas and took up a claim on an Indian reservation. The trip to Kansas was made by ox team. While they were on the farm in Kansas the oxen found their principle source of food in acorns. A species of small tree - a sort of elm- grew there and Mr. Wright would cut them down and feed the twigs and branches to the oxen.

The cabin which they built the first winter was of logs, no doors, only heavy blankets over the openings, and with only a ground floor, and a fireplace such as were built by all the pioneers of eastern Kansas. Buffalo roamed the plains there, but they had to go some distance for them.

In 1862 they traded their claim for some cows and oxen and in April of that year they started for Oregon on the trail via Salt Lake city, Utah, known as the Oregon trail. About fifteen families composed the immigrant party, the wagons being drawn by oxen and mules. The oxen stood the trip well but the mules could not stand the alkali and other hardships, and died.

Aunt Mary took along a herd of cattle, as did nearly all the rest of the party, with the difference that four of hers were milk cows which supplied milk all the way to Oregon. On this trip, three children came along. Sarah Jane, Marietta (later married to R. W. Bloom and died on Alder Slope in 1887) and William R. who died a few years ago. Both of these children are buried in the Alder cemetery.

The overland journey was full of hardships and vicissitudes. No Indians were troublesome until after the Platte river was crossed. Capt. A. C. Smith, the well known pioneer, who died here in 1911, was a member of this immigrant party. Another man named Smith was guide to the party. At one time he conceived the notion to take a short cut and communicated the idea to the party. Capt. Smith refused to join in it and he and his partner went straight ahead with their outfit-one wagon. The others followed the guide- the other Smith -and were lost and their rations got short. Finally they wound up at the starting place and followed the more or less beaten regular trail.

Thruout the trip game was shot at times, rabbits, deer and antelope. The members of the party severely criticized the guide for taking the cut-off which nearly led to destruction. At no time did the party have any fight with Indians. They looked with envious eyes on the oxen, coming close to the party at times, hiding behind rocks and calling loudly "Wa-ha!" their lingo for oxen. One time about twenty Indians came into the camp, placed caps in their old flint rifles and asked members of the party if any guns were in the camp. One of the immigrants, Ham Hayworth, blandly pointed to one of the wagons and informed the Indians that it was full of rifles and ammunition. The Indians left without investigating any further.

Aunt Mary had a churn and supplied the wagon train with butter. Whenever churning time came plenty of eager hands were ready to do the work - they all wanted butter milk to drink. When Mr. Wright stood guard at night Aunt Mary would drive the ox team the following day. Whenever a piece of wood was seen along the trail she would jump off the seat, pick it up and store it away in the wagon. In that way she always had kindling and fire wood for quick cooking. The old shovel used by Aunt Mary in her camp fires was still in her possession. The shovel is an heirloom of the family, having been her mother's,. Aunt Mary used it when a child in Indiana in the old fireplace. It is more than one hundred years old, and was made by a blacksmith. The old coffee mill which ground all the coffee for the emigrants, was also among her keepsakes. Aunt Mary would grind her coffee in the early morning and then pass the mill along and it would return to her at night. Some of the emigrants mixed barley with the coffee which made it hard to clean the mill.

Aunt Mary took with her from Kansas two sacks of corn meal, which served well on the trip as a variation from camp biscuits.

On several occasions the Indians succeeded in driving off some of the oxen of the emigrant train. Then the ones who had more than one yoke shared with the unfortunate ones. On one occasion Indians took one of Aunt Mary's milk cows. During the night the cow broke away from its captors and returned to the wagon train.

While the emigrant train was at rest for a short time in Salt Lake City one of the residents of that then frontier town, claimed one of Mr. Wright's oxen. He stated he had raised the animal in Kansas and insisted that it be handed over. Mr. Wright said it had his brand on the horn and refused to surrender it. The man followed about two miles but finally gave up.

The entire trip of this train was made without military protection. At one place, the old camp of a troop of cavalry was located where they met another train. The soldiers thought all the parties were together and escorted them to the Grande Ronde valley.

On arriving in the grand Ronde valley in the autumn of 1862, the party split up. Some of them remaining there and some went to the Willamette valley. The Wright family intended to go to the Willamette, but never got there. Instead they engaged in farming in the Grande Ronde and stayed there until 1872, and in that year came by oxen team to this county. The trip over Smith mountain proved arduous. Two wheels were pulled up at a time, half the supplies tied on the gearing. When all was on top the wagons were connected. Water was packed up by Mr. Wright and camp made for the night. William Wright was then 12 years old and drove the cattle on this trip while Mr. Wright drove the ox team.

The trip to this county was made in November and in Yokum gulch a frightful snow storm was encountered. It turned very cold and the family suffered a great deal.

When the family lived in the Grande Ronde valley there were not towns, and no railroads. The old town of La Grande consisted of a few houses and a store or two. For flour and supplies - the settlers went to Walla Walla with pack horses and packed it back across the Blue mountains. After a while a flour mill was started in what is now the town of Cove.

When the family arrived here Mr. Wright took up a homestead, what is now known as the Hugh Laird place, and proved up on it. When they came to this section no towns were in existence and no roads but Indian trails. In 1872 there were only about three cabins in the Wallowa valley. One was below Lostine (now) known as the James Masterson place; another was the old Bramlet ranch, about five miles below what is now Wallowa. Another small cabin stood on the site of the homestead taken by Mr. Wright. Some hunter had erected it. Indians were numerous, grazing thousands of ponies in the valley, and making it a hunting and fishing resort. Flour and other supplies for the family were brought from the Grande Ronde valley. A stock of supplies for the first winter had been brought in by Mr. Wright and his son Will during the summer of 1872. Wide boards were used to make wagon beds for each trip. These boards were used in the erection of the cabin on the site of the homestead.

Mr. Wright and his family were the oldest pioneers in this part of the county. During the Nez Perce war the family had no actual trouble with the Indians but on several occasions they took refuge to the stockade on Prairie creek and in the stockade on Alder Slope. At one time a number of neighbors had met at the Wright home. The Indians appeared in War paint, dismounted and surrounded the crowd of whites, demanding the surrender of a white man who had incurred their especial displeasure. The Indians were talked out of it; had they wished to take the man they could have massacred the entire white crowd.

When the excitement in 1878 reached an acute stage the family went to the Grande Ronde for several months. Provisions and household goods were left in the house and when the family returned the Indians had molested nothing. As a matter of fact, the Indians during all this excitement never practiced wanton destruction of property.

Mr. Wright kept the old homestead as a hay and stock ranch for many years. In 1900 he left the ranch and moved to Enterprise, where he died February 13, 1901, and is laid to rest in Alder Slope cemetery.

Enterprise Record Chieftain
Thursday, July 11, 1918


Mrs. Yeager Passes After Long Illness

Mrs. Welthy Yeager passed away at the home of daughter, Mrs. Jennie Action of Joseph Sunday morning following a long illness.

Welthy Serelda Kimberly was born January 11, 1860 in Oskaloosa, Iowa and died March 3rd, 1940, aged 80 years, 1 month, 28 days. She came to Walla Walla by ox team with her parents in 1865.

May 10, 1875 she was united in marriage to George M. Birdsell. To this union six children were born all of whom survive. They are Mrs. Hattie Wolfer, Lostine; Mrs. Jennie Action, Joseph; Mrs. Mabel Jackson, Portland; Mrs. Esther Wagner, Seattle, Wa; Mrs. Rosetta Birchfield, Medford; and Mrs. Georgia Kight, Clayton, Wa. Mr. Birdsell passed away in 1888.

She was married to Corneilus J. Yeager in 1890 and came to Wallowa County the following year, settling on a homestead seven miles from Flora. To this union four children were born two of whom survive. They are Mrs. Lillie Harry, Oregon City and Mrs. Ruth Tomplins of Monmouth. Mrs. Florence Meyers and James Yeager are deceased.

Mr. Yeager died in 1913 and Mrs. Yeager came to Joseph where she had since resided. She also leaves besides her children 18 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren.

Mrs. Yeager was a fine example of pioneer motherhood, living her life in far places with meager equipment, cheerfully without complaint. She will be remembered by her many friends as a good friend and neighbor, a good companion. She early in life united with the Methodist church and was always a faithful follower of Christ.

Funeral services were conducted in the Methodist church at Joseph and interment in Prairie Creek cemetery. Thus another builder of the west has passed on. Those from outside attending the funeral of Mrs. Yeager were Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wolfer of Lostine, Mrs. Esther Wagner, Seattle, Wn.; Mrs. Lillie Harry, Oregon City, Mrs. Ruth Tompkins, Monmouth; Mrs. Mable Jackson, Portland, all daughters of the deceased. Miss Florence Action of La Grande, Mr. and Mrs. Sandy and Mr. and Mrs. Orville Meyers of Enterprise, Mrs. Lulu Sheltenbrand of Sherwood. The four ladies are granddaughters. Mrs. Sheltenbrand is a daughter of Mrs. Hattie Wolfer of Lostine.

Chieftain - Enterprise, Ore - March 3, 1940
Contributed by Pat Higley


Gladys Irene YOST

Lifetime resident of Wallowa County, Gladys Irene Yost, of Enterprise, died Thursday, Sept. 14, 1987 at St. Mary's Medical center in Walla Walla, Wash. She was 64.

Gladys was born Jan. 27, 1923 at the family homestead in the Leap Area, the daughter of Louis and Hazel West Lathrop.

On Aug. 25, 1942 she married rancher Paul J. Yost at Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. the couple farmed and ranched in Wallowa County all their married life.

Gladys was a member of the Wallowa County CowBelles, of which she was an honorary lifetime member, an honorary member of Future Farmers of American, and a dedicated 4-H leader for over 20 years.

She is survived by her husband, Paul, of Enterprise; sons James, Enterprise, Jay, Fullerton, Calif., and David, Joseph; brothers, Quinten Lathrop, Melvin Lathrop, Wayne Lathrop, Shorty Lathrop, and Duke Lathrop; sisters, Marian Bowen, Mary Lou Huffman, Sally Akin, and Marcel Walker; grandchildren, Tony and Jill Yost, Enterprise,, Jeff and Dan Yost, Fullerton Calif., and Anna Yost, Joseph.

Funeral services were held at the Enterprise Cemetery, Monday, Sept. 28, with Lister Wells officiating. Pallbearers were Dean Garrett, Bob Stangel, Don Walker, Rod Miller, John Fregulia and Mack Birkmaier. Vault interment followed the service.

Memorials may be made to the CowBelle Stockgrowers Fund in care of the Bollman Funeral Home in Enterprise.

Wallowa County Chieftain
Page 2 - Thursday
October 1, 1987

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