Thomas Richard and Lora Ann Wood Jeffords Family

At this time Harry was drafted and Page enlisted to go with him. We all went to Baker to see them off. Aunt Florence lived in Baker then, so we stayed with her. A lot of other boys, some of them our neighbors, went at the same time. There was a parade up and down the street singing songs. Harry sat on the hood of a car, riding up and down Main Street to the depot. He took the three girls to town, bought each of them a small doll. He gave me fifty cents. I wore it around my neck for a long time.

Harry looked a lot like Father, had dark hair, hazel eyes, five foot nine or ten inches tall, very solid built. He had an exceptionally good memory, was a good reader and read everything he could find. Page was just the opposite, smaller built, blonde curly hair, blue eyes, like mother. He didn't like to read, but wanted to be on the go all the time.

The boys arrived at Camp Fremont, San Diego, California, during the flu epidemic. They weren't there long until Harry took the flu, then pneumonia. He passed away October 12, 1918. Page came home for the funeral and his company went overseas while he was at home. Then the war ended.

While we lived in Lookout there was a total eclipse of the sun. We watched it through smoked glass. The chickens squawked and ran for the chicken house. It was quite dark.

Lots of nights Father played the French and Jews Harps and we sang songs. When Harry was home he loved our singing. He was real fond of cream pies and would torment me until I made some. He was a good story teller, some not parlor stories.

One day my boyfriend and I were in the kitchen. Woodie kept peaking around the door and giggling. He threw a tin can at her and didn't miss. She cried.

A Mr. Staggs and kids came to visit one day. In due time the younger kids had the chicken pox. Another neighbor came one night. He was so friendly and nice, stayed until after midnight. The next morning three of our best heifers were missing.

Our cousin Mabel Gover came one summer and stayed several days with us. We went to a dance one night and stayed all night. My horse ran away with me.

They only had school in summer up there. The Jeffords kids and Miller girls rode horse back. The teacher's name was Ruth Baker. Mrs. Miller taught part time.

Then the folks decided the children couldn't get enough education up there, so sold out and moved back to the Kippus place on upper end of Eagle Valley. I had gone out to Baker Valley to work for Mrs. Widman. I got Lumbago and was a long time getting over it, stayed in Lookout. That was before they sold out. Then I went to work for Emma Fisher in Haines. I never went back to Eagle Valley to live. I was married to William Albert Daugherty July 4, 1919.

August 19, 1919, our youngest brother was born, Thomas Hugh Jeffords. I went home and stayed until Mother got on her feet again. A little later the family moved a few miles on down the road. While here, the folks raised some turkeys. The kids herded them up on the hill. One day a whirlwind came up and raised Harland two or three feet off the ground. Wendell grabbed him by the foot and pulled him down. He was small and light weight.

Next they moved to a place called the Borick place a few miles on down the road. One day Father went to New Bridge for a load of fruit. He would put straw in the wagon to keep the fruit from bruising. He would bring peaches, pears and tomatoes, then several days were spent canning fruit.

One time while on Lookout, Mother and Father had to be away. Mother had a bunch of fruit waiting to be canned. We kids wanted to be real good. We worked all day and goat a lot canned, but a lot also spoiled.

Back to the load of fruit at the Borick place. Mother went out to inspect the fruit. The horses got scared and Mother got hurt and was in bed a few days. It was here that Dad served on the school board.

In August 1922, Dad traded for a place in Baker on West Campbell Street, so the family loaded their belongings in a wagon, traveled over the "S" grade, spent one night camping out near Sparta on the way to their new home in Baker. There were seven children at home then. They walked, rode on the wagon and took turns riding Tufty. Father and the boys went back for some stock and other things.

Father got a job at Stoddard Lumber Co. as night watchman. The house was small so he promised Mother a new house, but she passed away suddenly before she got the new house, on May 6, 1924. She was 48 years old. She was buried in Eagle Valley Cemetery. Our youngest brother, Tommy, wasn't quite four years old. Dr. Bartlett tried so hard to save her.
He said, "I can't do any more." Mother raised up and said, "Goodbye, Tom, take care of the children."

The day before, all the children were at home. The night she passed away some of the kids had gone to a carnival. Wendell had won a kewpie doll which he was going to give her, but she was gone. Mabel Gover made her a black silk burial dress.

Father went ahead and built the new house. The children finished growing up there. The three girls managed to keep house and go to school.

Father worked for both Stoddard and Oregon Lumber Companies, also for the City of Baker. He tended bar at a place in the Columbia Hotel, commonly called the "Water Front." He worked for Pinky Gover and Ernie Eldridge. It was later bought by Jess Heard who implanted silver dollars in the bar under glass. Later someone broke in and stole all the silver dollars.

Father and another man managed a saloon and eating place in Durkee. He worked on Floyd Vaughan's farm and built some more nice looking hay stacks for Fred Brown.

At this time Wendell, Page, Carl, Vernon, Walter and Tommy worked for Fred Brown at different intervals. It was a large hay, pasture and dairy farm. My husband, Bill Daugherty, worked on the farm and fed the cattle. The boys were milkers.

One Christmas the boys, and also the boss, drank too much Christmas cheer. They had a time getting the milking done. The wives even went up to help. I hauled the casualties away. I don't think they got much milk that night.

Our brother Wendell bought and ran the dairy some years later. There was a big barn where a lot of whiskey was hid, sold, bootlegged and drank. They had some in a barrel with a rag over the cork in the bung hole. An old sow pulled the cork out by pulling on the rag. The whiskey spilled out in a little hollow on the ground. The old sow got so drunk she squealed and fell over backward trying to climb the wall.

About 1922 or 1923, Wendell and Myrtle's baby boy Vearl was drowned in the ditch in front of their house on Campbell Street. Myrtle found him too late.

Father was like a ship without a rudder after Mother passed away. At one time he made Dandelion Wine and beer. He was always sampling the wine before it was finished. He sold moonshine whiskey for Logan Goodman, a man who lived in Lookout. He had a hiding place under the house. His sons and the neighbors' boys used to slip some out at times.

The folks had a bobbed tailed shepherd dog that pulled Tommy out of the ditch twice.

In due time the children were all married.
Vernon and Melba Mitchell;
Wendell and Myrtle Wickham; Ruby and Elmo Arthur; Alice and Boyd Arthur;
Page and Bernice Mansberger; Carl and Zola Dean; Walter and Ida Chapman; Woodie and Albert Crowson; Harland and Mildred Kohler; Tommy and Betty Saunders.

Alice was going to have a baby and was staying at Father's house. Woodie was to take care of her after the baby was born. This certain morning Alice felt real good and had a big washing to do. About noon the baby decided to arrive. As soon as that was over, Woodie had an appendicitis attack. By six o'clock she was in the hospital for an operation. Alice had a baby girl and named her Evelyn. Woodie had a rotten appendix.

Father sold the home in 1938. He and Tommy lived on Second Street for awhile. Then Tommy spent two years in the Coast Guard. Page, Harry and Harland were in the Infantry. Carl spent some time in the Marines.

Woodie and Al spent some time in California, then came back to Baker in 1938.

Father was always interested in mining. About 1938 he acquired a cinnabar mine at the Mormon Basin, bought form a man named Green. A Mr. Cash owned a cinnabar mine joining Dad's and was going to buy Father's but died before the deal was made. Dad tried to interest Mr. Cash's heirs in the mine. They took some assays, but decided it wouldn't pay. They weren't really interested. Cinnabar is a bright red mineral, the principal ore of mercury. It was used in World War II.

Vernon was Father's partner and hauled him back and forth. Walter and Wendell helped some too.

He also had a gold mine in Mormon Basin, near Bridgeport. Father and Elmer Ritch went back to Lookout about 1940 and spent one winter living in a tent panning gold. They did pretty good. Mr. Ritch got sick. They had to come back to Baker. Dad wanted to go back but couldn't get anyone to go with him. Another time he panned gold at Greenhorn near Sumpter, but he never got rich.

Woodie and Al took him to San Diego, California in 1950 to see his brother Walter. He hadn't seen him for a lot of years. Wendell, Myrtle and I took him to Missouri in 1960. He had a nice visit with two brothers and three sisters. One brother flew from Vermont to be there with us.

One time when he had too much to drink, he stayed all night in a hotel. He always took his teeth out at night, and thinking he was putting them in his pocket, but he got the wrong coat. Imagine the coat owner's surprise when he put his hand in his pocket and came out with strange teeth and glasses. He also lost his cane. He packed a cane, but didn't always need it. He could walk good without it.

Father stayed with me part time, mostly summers. He lived with Woodie about 23 years. He always considered that his home. When Woodie lived out on Marble Creek, Dad and their oldest daughter, Carolyn, were out looking at some deer through binoculars. Carolyn was about 4 years old. Father stepped off a small bridge and broke his ankle. He sent Carolyn for Woodie. Marble Creek is about ten miles from Baker. The telephone didn't work and they had no car, so Woodie covered Father with blankets, locked the three children on the porch and walked about a mile to the neighbors for help. She got brother Vernon and they sent for an ambulance. He spent some time in the hospital, then several months in bed and a wheel chair.
Soon after that Woodie and AI moved back to Baker.

The next winter Carl had rheumatic fever and was in the hospital three months. He spent some time with Woodie. Carl also had a bad case of tick fever.

Once Father got peeved at Woodie and moved to a room at the Antlers Hotel. He wanted to be independent. While there he got irricipilus. This is real contagious. With the help of Dr. Roger Biswell, Woodie got him in the hospital. They didn't want him. His face and neck were terribly swollen. When he got out of the hospital he came back to live with Woodie. He had given up his independence again.

Harland and Mildred had one boy. Then they separated. In a few years Mildred passed away. The boy also died at the age of 15. Then Harland married Manier Daugherty. They had two boys, Donald and Clifford. They divorced and he is now married to Margaret Hickerson. *Harland died at the age of 66 on June 16, 1983 of Idiopathic Hypertrophic Subaortic Stenosis. (a type of hereditary heart attack)

Walter and Ida separated after having two children, Elaine and Robert. Walter is now married to Dorothy Tucker. They have one girl, Leanna.

Tommy and Betty Saunders separated. He married Elda Worsham. They have two children, Karen and Tommy, Jr.

Carl had one daughter, Beverly Ann. He and Zola both passed away, just two years apart. Zola passed away September 19, 1940, and Carl on December 30, 1942. He was 40 years old.

Vernon and Melba had five children, Wayne, Donna, Verna Jean, Larry and Keith. Vernon passed away at the age of 59 on June 27, 1963.

Page had Diabetes, blacked out while driving and his pickup rolled on him. He died at the age of 58 in 1952. Bernice passed away in 1963 at age of 57.

Ruby has two children, Pearl and Delmar. *Elmo died March 27, 1986.

Alice had four children, Clayton, Carroll, Evelyn and Ronald. Evelyn passed away July 11, 1963. She was 33 years old. *Alice passed away April 26, 1977 of a heart attack. Boyd died of cancer on August 19, 1985.

Woodie has three children, Carolyn, Janice and Joyce.

Wendell had four children, Esther, Muriel, Ray and Vearl. *Wendell died at the age of 75 of a heart attack while riding his tractor in the field on July 30, 1981.

Florence (that is me) had three children, Barbara, Glen, and Kenneth.

This makes thirty grandchildren, close to fifty great grandchildren. We have had several reunions which were a great joy to Father and his family. He always said, "Look what I started."

Father passed away December 27,1960, in Baker, Oregon, at the age of 89 (almost 90) and is buried in Eagle Valley Cemetery beside Mother.

*The information noted by an asterisk was added August, 1988.

I would like to write a little more about our brother Harry as the younger ones of the family never knew him. He was built much like our father looked, dark brown hair and dark hazel eyes. He was fun loving, loved to tell stories, sometimes not parlor stories. He loved to read and was an excellent reader. I can't remember of him being mad or cranky. He was always laughing and teasing. He was somewhat Mother's boy. He liked to be with her, always helping her when he could.

One time when we lived in Lookout, Mother and Father went to Baker to have Mother's teeth pulled. She had been having so much toothache. The thrashing machine was to come to our place. Of course it chose to come while they were gone. Six or seven men to cook for, and they were there overnight, plus eight children and Harry and myself. Our water for the house was piped from a spring within about a hundred yards of the house. Our water had to be carried. There was no store to run to when you got in a tight place. Harry was exceptionally good help. He packed water, cut meat, dressed the children, cut wood, whatever I needed.

There was a young guy with the thrasher crew. He dried dishes for me. Harry sent the kids packing when they wanted to hang around. They knew they had to mind him. Also had to bake our bread.

Harry had a blue roan saddle horse he could jump off, touch the ground and back in the saddle while the horse was galloping and the horse would never break his stride. He was very strong and active.

I liked to read too. Harry and I sometimes sat up reading until three in the morning. Father would wake up and yell got to bed, don't burn all the oil on the place. Our Sunday School paper had continued stories in them. He wouldn't go after it himself, but no way could I get out of going. One Sunday when I opened the door after going to Sunday School, he was waiting and grabbed the paper. I kicked at him. It was the age of hobble skirts. I fell full length on the floor--he read the paper first.

Then Page and Harry went into the service. Harry was drafted and Page enlisted to go with him. Aunt Florence and Uncle Jim (Mother's sister) lived in Baker then. We all went out to see the boys off.

There was quite a number of young men going from Eagle and Pine Valleys, some from Baker. There was- a sort of parade down Broadway to the depot. Harry rode on the front of someone's car. Before he left he gave the three girls a small doll from the 15 cent store. He gave me a fifty cent piece. I kept it for a number of years.

Young Men's Christian Association For Officers Camp Fremont, California
October 14, 1918

Dear Mr. Jeffords:

I write just a note to tell you that I visited several times with your son before his death. Nurses, doctors and all who visited him took a special liking to him, for he seemed so clean, friendly and good natured. The nurses did work so hard to save his life.

Harry fought so well for his life, as well as any man ever did on the battle front. A man who has the disposition and courage that he had must have a good father and mother.

Sacrifices these days are great whether at home or at the front.

May God's blessings rest upon you in your sorrow. My prayers are with you as they were with your boy.

Yours sincerely,
/s/ N.F. Sanderson

Y.M.C.A. Sec.
Base Hospital
Camp Fremont, Calif.

Baker County

Latest Content

Oregon Obituary Database

We changed our name, and have expanded!

Contains obituaries for Baker, Crook, Grant, Hood River, Lane, Linn, Malheur, Umatilla, Union, and Wallowa Counties.

  • Baker City
  • Durkee
  • Haines
  • Halfway
  • Hereford
  • Huntington
  • Keating
  • Richland
  • Sumpter
  • Unity
  • Other Baker County Towns
  • Oregon Counties
    Genealogy Records

    Oregon Host

    Contribute to Oregon Genealogy
    If you have information you would like contribute to the website, please use our comment form!! If you find a broken link please let us know!