La Grande, Union County, Oregon

Charles Reynolds, of pioneer family dies

Chas. H. Reynolds, prominent member of one of La Grande’s pioneer families died Wednesday evening September 2nd at a local hospital. He was 78.

Mr. Reynolds was born on December 29, 1891 in La Grande, the son of James and Lulu Childers Reynolds. He was a star athlete at La Grande High, graduating with the class of 1909. He played on the Oregon State football team for four years as quarterback graduating in June of 1913. He returned as coach of La Grande until 1920. His football team of 1917 won the State Championship defeating Franklin of Portland 14-0 on the fairgrounds field which today is the site of the Boise Cascade Lumber Mill.

On January 1, 1914 he founded Reynolds Insurance Agency, which he operated with his sons Everett and Charles Jr. until suffering a stroke on January 11, 1969.

On June 25, 1914 he married Hazel Theisen, his childhood sweetheart. They enjoyed 56 years of married life, which ended on August 27, 1970 when Hazel preceded him in death.

Mr. Reynolds founded the Old Oregon Trail Highway Association and was it’s president for 12 years. He was also president of the La Grande Chamber of Commerce and was fund chairman when the road was built to the top of Mt. Emily.

His experience on the Oregon Trail Association led to his being appointed by Governor Douglas McKay to serve on the Oregon State Highway Commission, a post he held for nine years, the last being it’s chairman in 1958. During this term he was responsible for the Rooster Rock State Park plus erecting the Old Oregon Trail Highway on the Columbia River. Also the Emigrant Hill section was channeled to a modern highway during this time.

Besides a host of friends Mr. Reynolds leaves his sons, Everett J., La Grande, Charles A., Yakima, Wash., M. E. (Bud), Las Vegas, Nev., nine grandchildren and seven great grandchildren; four brothers, Lee, La Grande; Jay, Corvallis, Earl, Auburn, Calif., and Joe, Honolulu, Hawaii; sister, Marjorie Christenson, Healdsburg, Calif.

Recitation of Rosary will be Friday, September 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Daniels Valley Funeral Chapel. Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday September 5th at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church at 10 a.m. with Father Patrick Gaire officiating. Concluding services will follow at Grandview Mausoleum, Grandview Cemetery.

The family requests in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the St. Joseph Hospital Coronary Care Unit c-o Daniels Valley Chapel, P. O. Box 772, La Grande, or at the Chapel.

The Observer
La Grande, Oregon
Thursday, September 3, 1970
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