Location: Sumpter Oregon

Quartz Mining, Baker County Oregon

About two thousand claims on quartz lodes have been recorded in Baker County since 1862. More or less development work has been done on most of them, perhaps one half of them having been worked to the extent which the law requires in order to make the claim secure. Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. choose a state: Any AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE DC FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY INTL Start Now Nineteen quartz mills have been built, ranging in capacity from two to sixty tons per day. The first one built was the Ruckles mill at Baker City, which was put in operation in 1864. The mill was run by waterpower, and was built to work the ore from what was then called the Rockafellow lode, situated about eight miles northeast of Baker City. Mr. Rockafellow and Mr. Wills discovered the lode in the spring of the year 1864, being led to prospect for it by reason of some specimens of gold bearing quartz having been found in that vicinity the previous fall by Philip Waggy and another man, who were out...

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Cowan, Lois – Obituary

Wallowa, Oregon Lois Cowan of Wallowa died May 17, 2006, at the Wallowa Memorial Hospital after a short illness. She was 94. Mrs. Cowan was born Jan. 31, 1912, in Elgin to James Elvis and Bertha Witty Witherspoon. She grew up on the family farm on Cricket Flat and attended the Hindman Country School. She graduated from Elgin High School in 1931. After graduating, Lois worked as a telephone operator and a clerk in a grocery store. On June 26, 1938, she married Carl Raymond Cowan in Elgin. They lived in Baker City, Sumpter, La Grande and Elgin before moving to Wallowa in 1944. Raymond Cowan was the fire warden and Mrs. Cowan the dispatcher for the Oregon State Dept. of Forestry. She was also an aerial observer for bomber planes during the Korean War. Mrs. Cowan worked with the Wallowa School hot lunch program for many years. She volunteered at the Wallowa senior meal site and at the Wallowa food bank. She was a board member of the Friends of the Wallowa City Library, was a 4-H sewing leader, and worked on the Wallowa County Election Board for many years. In the early 1970’s the Cowans owned and operated the Elgin Playland Roller Skating Rink for several years. Mrs. Cowan loved gardening and preserving food. She also enjoyed sewing and music. She played the piano and violin in...

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Hickok, George C. – Obituary

La Grande, Union County, Oregon Geo. C. Hickok, formerly in the hardware business in La Grande and well known to many here, died of pneumonia Nov. 20, at Sumpter. He leaves a wife and five children who are provided for by $1,500 life insurance. Mr. Hockok was a personal friend of the editor and his death will be regretted by a large. (Rest of obituary cut off) Cove Ledger Thursday December 1,...

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Flower, Anna Mae Whiting Mrs. – Obituary

North Powder, Oregon Anna Mae Whiting Flower, 86, of La Grande, who taught school for many years in Eastern Oregon, died Jan. 18, 2004, at La Grande. Her funeral will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Island City Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was born on April 11, 1917, at Mount Glenn to Edward Daniel and Mary Emelia “Mille” Olsen Whiting. She married Jake Cecil Flower on Jan. 17, 1944, at Los Angeles. They were later divorced. The couple had three children, Kay, Lee and Keith. Anna attended schools at Mount Glenn and La Grande. She was a 1934 graduate of La Grande High School. She attended Eastern Oregon Normal School from 1934 to 1936 and graduated with a life teacher’s certificate. She was a member of Phi Beta Sigma and president of the Women’s Athletic Association in 1935 and 1936. She first taught at Kimberly where she boarded with the Clyde Jackson family. The next two years she taught at Sumpter and then moved back to La Grande and taught there 7 years before marrying and starting a family. She lived at North Powder and taught school there for 28 years. During that time she studied and received her bachelor’s degree at Eastern Oregon College in 1958 and later her master’s degree at the University of Oregon at Eugene. She taught grade school, home...

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Province, Richard La Verne – Obituary

Elgin, Oregon Richard “Dick” La Verne Province, 78, of Elgin, died Sept. 19 at his home. A celebration of life will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Elgin Stampede Hall. Dick was born on Oct. 3, 1928, to Fred and Florence (Haustien) Province in Callaway, Neb. He served as a Seaman Second Class in the U.S. Navy from 1945 to 1947. He was a long-time logger in Pierce, Idaho, La Grande, Elgin and Sumpter. He participated in all phases of the logging process and retired in 2006. He moved to Elgin from La Grande in 2005. Dick was a lifetime member of the Lions Club and a lifetime member of the Good Sams. Those who knew him say that fishing and hard work were his hobbies. Survivors include his companion, Janet M. Bauer of Elgin; sons, Steve of Orofino, Idaho, Dale of Portland, Rick of Sand Point, Idaho; daughter, Shirla Underwood of Liberty Lake, Wash.; 12 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and other relatives. Memorial contributions may be made to the Union County Hospice in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh Street, La Grande 97850. La Grande Observer – Obituaries For The Week Ending September 29, 2007 – Published: September 29,...

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Young, Kenneth Gordon – Obituary

Kenneth Gordon Young, 74, of Cove died March 13 at Grande Ronde Hospital of heart failure. Gravesite services will begin at 1 p.m. May 24 at the Cove Cemetery. Friends and relatives may sign the guest registry at www.danielsknopp.com. Kenneth was born May 24, 1933, to Fred and Laura Ackerman Young in Baker City. He lived in Sumpter during his childhood and completed his junior high and high school education in Baker City. He completed a bachelor of science degree at Eastern Oregon University and a master of arts degree at Colorado State University. He served in the Navy from 1953 to 1957, primarily in the Pacific. He later taught English for the University of Maryland Overseas Program traveling throughout Europe and Asia. He then taught literature and creative writing and served as chair of the English and Foreign Language Department at Portland Community College. He retired to Cove in 2001. Those who knew him say Gordon was keenly interested in classical music and enjoyed playing the piano during his young adulthood. He was an extensive reader who took great pleasure in becoming well informed in local, national and international affairs. He enjoyed sailing his boat with friends and his dogs, Hanzi and Tigger, on the Columbia River. He was also interested in geology. He particularly enjoyed being with his family members and took pride in helping publish his...

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Defrees, Margaret Elayne Rice Mrs. – Obituary

Margaret Elayne Defrees, 71, died Dec. 1, 2005, at her home in Sumpter Valley. Her funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2625 Hughes Lane. Vault interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. Bishop Jeff Daniels of Baker City 1st Ward will conduct. Margaret was born on Feb. 6, 1934, at Yakima, Wash., to Dallas and Kathryn Rice. She lived her first 13 years at the White Swan Christian Indian Mission where her parents were superintendents of the mission school. Her high school and junior college years were spent at Yakima where she graduated in 1954 from Yakima Valley Junior College. She continued her education at Oregon State College in Corvallis, graduating in 1956 with a degree in home economics. Margaret taught home economics at Gervais and at Tenino, Wash., until shortly after her marriage. Margaret met the love of her life during a blind date at an Oregon State football game. A. Lyle Defrees and Margaret were married a little over a year later on Dec. 27, 1956, in Yakima, Wash. They spent the first two years of their married life at Olympia, Wash., while Lyle was in the U.S. Army stationed at Fort Lewis. In 1958, they moved to the Defrees family ranch in Sumpter Valley where she resided the remainder of her life. Margaret’s life work was...

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Frasier, Joe – Obituary

Sumpter, Baker County, Oregon Susanville Tragedy John Haskell, who came in from Susanville yesterday just before we went to press, brought the news of a fatal shooting affray at that camp. Geo. Snodderly, of the firm of Snodderly & Muldrick, operating on Deep creek, and Joe Frasier, a miner, formerly of Bourne, were the principals. Snoderly’s daughter, who is employed at the Susanville hotel, was infatuated with Frasier. Her father tried to induce her to accompany him to Long Creek, when Frasier interfered, receiving for his pains a 45-70 rifle ball through his liver. Snodderly took refuge in a cellar and refused to surrender except to an officer. Sumpter News. Cove Ledger Thursday December 22,...

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Downie, John – Obituary

John Downie, a resident of Sumpter valley, Baker county, died last week after a protracted illness with Brights disease. He was a brother of Richard Downie, of Union and leaves a wife and family to mourn his loss. The funeral took place last Monday in Baker city from the residence of his daughter Mrs. Emil Volgt. Eastern Oregon Republican, Thursday January 2,...

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Culley, Ronald Duane – Obituary

Ronald Duane Culley, 66, a former Baker City resident, died Sept. 26, 2007, at St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center in Boise. His memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Baker City Church of the Nazarene, 1250 Hughes Lane. Pastor Jonathan Privett of the Nazarene Church will officiate. Ron was born on July 17, 1941, in Baker City to Harold and Catherine Bradley Culley. He lived for a couple of years in Baker City then spent about a year on the Umatilla Army Depot where his father was working. He moved from there to the Bourne area where his father worked as a gold miner. He lived there with his family until about age 5. His father mined with his grandfather, Hal Bradley. In 1947, the family moved from Bourne to Granite where Ron attended first and second grade. He moved to Sumpter and attended school in the old schoolhouse that sat on the hill beside the Masonic hall. He rode the school bus from Sumpter to Baker for Grades 7-9 at the Helen Stack Junior High. Ron spent time on the Arch Payton Ranch out in Wingville in 1957-1958 where he learned to break horses and run farm and ranch equipment with Arch and Blanch Payton. He learned the old are full of wisdom. He enlisted in the U.S Army as an engineer in 1958 and...

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Maxwell, Adele – Obituary

Adele Maxwell Died at Age 95; Noted School Teacher 50 Years Adele Powell Maxwell 95, whose life was school teaching in the small communities of this Eastern Oregon region, but whose later years were on a ranch near Vale, died March 17, 1991, at the Columbia Basin home in The Dalles. Graveside service was held Thursday at Haines Cemetery, with her grandson, Rev. Dan Grady of Portland, the pastor. Her death closed a long chapter in the history of this country dating back to 1835 in the East when her father was born. But her life was Burnt River Valley and neighboring counties where she left an imprint in the elementary schools of nine communities. Pioneer Family Beginnings Her father, John L. Powell came West as a youth, was a scout out of Vancouver, and there met Gen. U.S. Grant during the latter’s Western assignment. He was in the silver mining camp of Virginia City, drove stage from central California, had a cabin in the primitive Burnt River country, and stopped at it frequently on journeys up from Portland. His relationship with the Indians was friendly and he traded for hides from them as he was skilled in tanning. He lived briefly in North Powder but his home came to be Burnt River Valley. Adele’s mother Ellen Moore Powell came with her family by covered wagon, walking much of...

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Tilcock, Helen Marie Holt Mrs. – Obituary

Helen Marie Holt Tilcock, 88, peaceably passed away July 17, 2005, with her daughter at her bedside. A graveside inurnment service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, at Mount Hope Cemetery. There will be a reception at Geiser Pollman Park. She was born on Dec. 10, 1916, at Harrison, Ark., to Kirby & Beulah Garrison Holt. When she was about 2, her parents and grandparents moved by wagon to Pampa, Texas. Her father and grandfather farmed for awhile and then Kirby went into construction. She was later joined by two brothers, Howard and Kenneth. She went to school in the Pampa and Borger areas. One of her favorite memories is of riding and hiking in the Palo Dura Canyon area on the famous “Trail of Tears.” She met her future husband, G.E. “Tillie” Tilcock, while in high school. They were married on July 4, 1936. Her cousin Margarite helped them elope. During their 55 years of marriage they moved quite frequently, following the oil fields. They had three children: Shirley Joyce, Donald Pat and Sherry Helen. All three children were born in different states. Helen and Tillie bought property in Sumpter in 1957. They tried to vacation there yearly. They moved there permanently in 1965. Many wonderful hours were spent there snowmobiling, rock hunting, wood gathering, fishing and enjoying great barbeques. Helen loved crocheting, afghans, rugs, beaded...

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Rogers, Ardis Rea Mrs. – Obituary

Ardis Rea Rogers, 90, of Baker City, died July 19, 2005, at Settlers Park. Her memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Friday at Coles Funeral Home. Pastor Robin Harris of Cornerstone Baptist Church at North Powder will officiate. Ardis was born on Jan. 12, 1915, at Alpena Pass, Ark., to Minnie Walker and James Howard Rea. The family moved to Sandpoint, Idaho, in 1915 where they farmed. Ardis, her sister, Theta, and her brother, Paul, went to grade school at Sandpoint. Her parents moved to Meridian, Idaho, where she finished grade school. Her parents moved to Barber, Idaho, a small sawmill town about six miles up the river from Boise where she finished high school. Ardis was talented in Irish dancing. She and several other girls went to several towns and danced at high schools. Ardis married Wayne Rogers on June 29, 1932. They bought a farm at Vale and lived in the Vale area until 1959 when they moved to Sumpter. They ran the Sumpter Supply for five or six years. In 1984, they moved to Baker City. Ardis loved gardening, canning, picnicking and family activities. She was active in Eastern Star and attended church wherever she lived. In the past few years, she attended church services at Settlers Park provided by Pastor Robin Harris. Ardis’ great-grandparents immigrated from Ireland. Her great- grandfather changed the family name...

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Case, Emma Lois Mrs. – Obituary

Baker City, Baker County, Oregon Death Summons Emma Lois Case 2 Sons Survive Baker Woman; Funeral to Be Saturday Mrs. Emma Lois Case, resident of Baker county for many years, died at 1:30 this morning at the home of Mrs. Lindsay, 2310 Church street. She had been ill for two months. Mrs. Case was born in Iowa October 19, 1860. She lived in Sumpter for several years and came to Baker shortly before the fire that destroyed Sumpter in 1917. Mrs. Case lived here the remainder of her life. She was a member of the Rebekah lodge, Neighbors of Woodcraft, ladies of the G.A.R. and the auxiliary of the Patriarch Militant, I.O.O.F. The deceased is survived by two sons, Ernest Hurley of La Grande and Carter Hurley of Alsaka, and three sisters. A son, Earl Case died in Portland last summer. Funeral services will be held at 2 o’clock Saturday in the West and company parlors with the auxiliary of the Patriarch Militant in charge. Interment will be in Mt. Hope cemetery. Source: Baker Democrat Herald, December 4, 1931, page 1 Contributed by: Sue...

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Bacon, Alma Theresa Turner Mrs. – Obituary

Baker City, Baker County, Oregon Alma Theresa Bacon, 92, a longtime Baker City resident, died Sept. 19, 2005, at a foster care home in Baker City. Her funeral will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St. Pastor Jack Bynum of the United Methodist Church will officiate. Vault interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. Visitations will be until 7 o’clock tonight at the funeral home. Alma was born on Oct. 28, 1912, at Folsom, Calif., to Victor Leonard and Mamie Ellen Dickinson Turner. She was raised and educated at Folsom. She married John Bacon on Aug. 24, 1929, at Placerville, Calif. They moved to Oregon, living at Sumpter and Hermiston before settling in Baker City. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at the United Methodist Church in 1979. John died on Jan. 13, 1985. Alma was an active member of the United Methodist Church, and while in Sumpter taught Sunday school. She was a homemaker for her family, and later clerked at the Eastside Grocery. She also babysat her grandchildren. She enjoyed jigsaw puzzles, playing cards and she loved to go to the Snake River with family, friends and grandchildren. She had the sweetest smile. Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law, Leonard and Alice Bacon and daughter and son-in-law, Adele and Olen Ragsdale, all of Baker City, and daughter, Gladys McKelvy of Payette, Idaho;...

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