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Harley Floyd Caudle was born Dec. 23, 1904, in Lostine, and died on April 23, 1997, in Enterprise at the age of 92. Harley was the son of Berkley V. and Carrie Viola Hammack Caudle.
As a youngster he attended Lostine school until the age of 10 when he left home to go to work. He then worked for his room and board, milking cows, doing farm chores and continuing to go to school. All his life he was close to the land and animals, especially horses, which he broke and rode until three years ago when he was forced by health problems to leave his beloved ranch and the 10 head of horses he still owned.
Harley married Agnes Chapman on June 28, 1942, in Enterprise. When they were first married he worked for the Oregon State Highway Department in Union County. Harley and his father helped build the highway up Minam hill. Later, Harley plowed the first furrow for the road coming around the hill into Enterprise.
During Harley’s life he lived in Cove, Union and Lostine. He was active in community affairs, serving as president of Wallowa County Stockgrowers, receiving the award for Grass man of the Year, and serving several terms on the Lostine school board and Wallowa County Rural school board. Harley was active in South fork Grange, Wallowa County Wranglers, and the Elks Club.
Harley helped with Chief Joseph Days from the very beginning, riding in the parades until a few years ago when he made his appearance with his son-in-law and great-granddaughter.
In 1988, in Haines, Oregon, Harley was selected to receive the first “Old Hands Award” as the oldest working cowboy. He returned to Haines for the next seven years to ride in the parade and participate in that ceremony.
Harley was preceded in death by Agnes, his wife of 51 years, on March 19, 1975, and his son Dick on Nov. 23, 1981, in Spokane, Wash.
He is survived by daughters and sons-in-law, Rhee and Duke Lathrop of Lostine, and Arlyne and Kelsie Makin of Enterprise; daughter-in-law Barbara Caudle of Coulee Dam, Wash.; nine grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by many close friends, among them Sharrel (Bunnie) Andrews.
The family wishes memorials in Harley’s name be made to the Cattlemen and Cattlewomen’s Scholarship Fund or the Wallowa County Nursing Home in care of the Bollman’s Funeral Home.
Wallowa County Chieftain, Wallowa County, Oregon, Thursday, May 1, 1997
Contributed By: Sue Wells