Doug Hand Had Family Tie Here
In supplementing the obituary in the Courier of Douglas Hand, former Haines schoolboy, we rely upon a life sketch of Doug and his beloved Baker valley family ties, by Doug himself over a year ago for the local Historical Society. Doug died at Tucson late in January, retired as a prominent citizen there after a successful army career.
The Hand history in the west was due to the courage of the mother. Doug’s grandfather, a blacksmith in Illinois, James Douglas Hand, was a Civil War veteran. He died shortly after his father James L. hand was born, the younger in the family. (transcriber’s note: James actually died before his son James L. was born). At this ill fortune, his grandmother picked up the family and migrated west to Reno, but soon left that spot and by wagon brought her children to North Powder to work on the John O’Bryant Ranch, the old Mann place. She married Mr. O’Bryant and raised her family.
Doug’s aunt, Nancy Hand, married pioneer rancher of Muddy Creek, James O. Maxwell in 1887, so it became a second home for Doug’s father, James L. Hand.
Back in Illinois, Nina Floy Snider, a school teacher, planned to reach Hawaii to teach, but when stranded in Baker City, she took a job at the Maxwell ranch at Haines and never left it. She and J.L. Hand were married Dec. 2, 1907, and moved to the North Powder area.
Son, Douglas, in growing up attended Wolf Creek elementary school and North Powder High School. He farmed for Arthur Davidson and was a hay hand for the Maxwell ranch.
One fall Roy Vanderwall hired Doug for their dairy so he could continue high school at Haines.
He continued to work at Vanderwall’s, attended OSC for a year then worked for several farms back at Haines during the depression.
He attended Eastern Oregon College in LaGrande, Oregon the winter quarter of 1932 to play basketball. He was back on a ranch job with Lester and Edith Bond where he met Edith’s sister, and his future wife, Juanita Roberts.
The couple moved to Corvallis and he graduated from Oregon State College in 1937. He worked for State of Oregon and U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, then joined the army. In March of 1941, he served in the Pacific area and later in the Korean War. After a military career Colonel Hand retired and moved to Tucson, Arizona, in November, 1964. (transcriber’s note: Doug was born October 9, 1909 and died January 23, 1990)
The couple took up residence at Tuscon and celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary in 1986.
The Record Courier, Baker City, Oregon, March 5, 1990
Contributed by: Belva Ticknor