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Biography of William Jasper Reece Jr.

William Jasper Reece Jr., youngest son of William J. (Sr..) and Hannah Reece, was born December 20, 1869 in Oran Township, Logan County, Illinois. He married Margaret Ann Cox (born December 5, 1870 in Madison Co.., Kentucky, daughter of Dillard and Mary (Cobb) Cox.) on December 20, 1891 in Atlanta, Illinois.

They had twelve children: Alma Lois, Lacy D., Wilbur McKinley, Marjorie Della, Deward (Della’s twin who died at birth), Floyd Keith, Harvey Emerson, William Homer, Howard (Homer’s twin who died a few weeks after birth), Amos Miller, Mary Hannah, and Wayne Travette.

W. J. and Margaret moved from Logan Co.., Illinois to Clearwater, Kansas, than to Grant Co.., Oklahoma. Times were difficult there so when W. J.’s niece and husband (a druggist) offered an empty house and ranch with one no living on it in Woodward County, William decided to move there. After farming in Woodward County for a period of time there were several droughts that burned up all of the crops and the family lost everything including 500 acres of corn. Some of Margaret Reece’s family had come to Falls City, Oregon and had sent photographs showing how beautiful it was there. William then decided to sell what was left and go to Oregon. He borrowed money from his brothers to move the family to Oregon. The entire family traveled from Wakita, Oklahoma to Oregon by train for four days and three nights.
They arrived in Salem, Oregon in the evening and went to a hotel. They left the next morning for Falls City.

The Reece family moved to Enterprise in the spring of 1916 after school was out in May. The whole family lived in a tent that first summer (parents and ten children). W. J. and Wilbur work for Marion Langston on the Haas ranch on Alder Slope. Son Lacy went to work for John Fruitts on a farm south of Enterprise. The family then moved to the Beecher place on Alder Slope in the fall of 1917.
William and Margaret’s children are:

1) Alma Lois, born Sept 26, 1892 in Atlanta, Illinois, she married Earl Howard Bonner on Dec. 14, 1917 in Enterprise. They had two daughters, Wilma (Hoover) and Aletha (Ewing). Alma died Feb. 14, 1984 in Weiser, Idaho and is buried in Weiser, Idaho.

2) Lacy D, born Sept 5, 1894 in Clearwater, Kansas, he married Ruth Ann Eaton on Aug 26, 1917 in Enid, Oklahoma. They had nine children; Dean, Wilbur, William, Margaret (Fisher), Milly (Garland), Helen (Ingram), Mary Jo (Cantrell), Larry, and Wade. Lacy died Jan 22, 1975 in Milton-Freewater, Oregon. He is buried in Enterprise, Oregon.

3) Wilbur McKinley, born Sept 1, 1897 in Jefferson, Oklahoma, he married Rilla Frances Bonner on April 18, 1918 in Weiser, Idaho. They had two children; Alta (Daggett) and Howard “Dick” Reece. Wilbur died Jan 15, 1969 in Enterprise, Oregon and is buried in Joseph, Oregon.

4) Marjorie Della, born May 5, 1900 in Wakita, Oklahoma, she married Floyd Edward Laird. They had three children; Harold Laird, Alma (Alstott), and Leona (Huson). Marjorie second marriage was to Gust Frasola. She died March 24, 1975 in Umatilla, Oregon and is buried in Hermiston, Oregon.

5) Deward, twin of Marjorie, died at birth, May 5, 1900.

6) Floyd Keith, born March 1903 in Wakita, Oklahoma, he married Macel Emmons on March 29, 1923 in Enterprise. They had two sons; Melvin and Donald. He died July 7, 1972 in La Grande, Oregon and is buried in Enterprise, Oregon.

7) Harvey Emerson, born March 13, 1904 in Wakita, Oklahoma, he married Viola Reese. They had no children. Harvey died April 15, 1987 in Walla Walla, Washington and is buried in Enterprise, Oregon.

8) William Homer, born Aug 21, 1905 in Wakita, Oklahoma, he married Delpha Bernice Makin on March 10, 1935 in Enterprise, Oregon. They had one daughter, Marylin. Homer died May 26, 1936 in Portland, Oregon and is buried in Enterprise, Oregon.

9) Howard, twin of Homer, died a few weeks after birth.

10) Amos Miller “Slim”, born Feb 21, 1907 in Wakita, Oklahoma, he married Viola Phillips on June 2, 1931 in Cove, Oregon. They had two sons, Gene and Gary. Amos died April 11, 1989 in Union Gap, Washington and is buried in Sunnyside, Washington.

11) Mary Hannah, born March 24, 1909 in Wakita, Oklahoma, she married Charles Willard Phillips on Nov 27, 1930 in Enterprise, Oregon. They had one son, Keith Phillips.

12) Wayne Travette, born Jan 29, 1914 in Falls City, Oregon, he married Irene Marie Emmons on Dec 4, 1943 in Enterprise, Oregon. They had no children. Wayne died July 3, 1985 in Enterprise, Oregon and is buried in Enterprise, Oregon.

This biography donated by Michelle Drayton-Fisher

MLA Source Citation:

An Illustrated history of Union and Wallowa Counties: with a brief outline of the early history of the state of Oregon. Western Historical Pub. Co., 1902. Web. 26 July 2016.
- Last updated on Aug 23rd, 2012

This page is part of a larger collection. Access the full collection at Illustrated History of Union and Wallowa Counties Oregon.

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