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Wallowa, Wallowa County, Oregon
E.H. Tulley Dies; Pioneer of 1873
One Of First Settlers In The County And Always A Leading Citizen
Erasmus H. Tulley, one of the four first settlers in the lower part of the county, died Tuesday, October 19, 1920, at his home in Wallowa. The funeral was held yesterday afternoon at the home and burial was in the Wallowa cemetery. Mr. Tulley had been in good health until three weeks before he passed away.
With his brother, James Tulley, and W.W. White, now of Enterprise, and James Masterson of Elgin, E.H. Tulley came from Union County in 1873 and the four settled in the middle valley. They were identified with all the early life of the pioneer days of the community, taking an active part in the dealings of the settlers with the Indians.
One incident has been told often of Mr. Tulley and his friends, and it shows the courage and character of these men who at the very beginning stamped their impress on the community. Several reckless white men brought a quantity of whiskey into the county, intending to sell it to the Indians. Knowing that trouble would result if the Indians were permitted to get drunk, the middle valley settlers hunted up the renegades, raided their camp and emptied the liquor into the stream nearby. Thus Whiskey Creek received its name.
Mr., Tulley was born in Platt County, Illinois, January, 1838, and when 18 years of age left home and struck out for himself , going to Kansas. He returned once to his former home and then went back to Kansas, where he enlisted in the Union army in the Civil War. His service was largely on the border and he was in the thick of the Kansas and Missouri fighting. He was a member of the company that drove Quantrell from Kansas after he had burned Lawrence.
After a number of trips to Denver and the Rocky Mountains, he started on his seventh journey across the plains in 1865, bound for Oregon, traveling by mule team. Mr. Tulley found his home first at Cove, where he bought 120 acres and took up 160 acres of government land on Catherine creek. For three years he divided his time between farming and freighting and then went to mining in the Baker district for a couple of years. A trip to southern California and to Arizona was made after this and then Mr. Tulley struck back to Union county in 1872, and in the next year made his last move into the wilderness of the Wallowa valley, which was not surveyed and was the summer hunting and grazing ground of the Nez Perce Indians.
White men had been coming into the county for several years but they never established a home here or remained over winter until William McCormack settled on Hurricane creek in the spring of 1872. The year previous James Tulley rode in, searching for summer range for cattle, and later James and Erasmus Tulley brought in 300 head of cattle and in 1873 took up land near Wallowa. James Masterson and W.W. White established homes in the neighborhood the same year. Hay for winter stock feed was cut from wild meadows of the middle valley, where now are found some of the choicest farm land in the county.
Erasmus Tulley was married in 1881 to Miss Bessie Lent, a native of Iowa, who survives her husband. There are four children: Walter Tulley of Parma, Idaho, Mrs. Pearl Tulley of Wallowa, Mrs. Ira Martin of Troy and Mrs. Marion Womack of Wallowa. He had two brothers James and Levi, the former of whom is still living. Levi Tulley died a few years ago.
Mr. Tulleys courage and high character and his heritage to Wallowa County which he assisted in founding and building.
Source: Enterprise Record Chieftain, Wallowa County, Oregon, Thursday, October 21, 1920.
Contributed by: Sue Wells