Anna Reavis



Mrs. Anna Reavis

     One of Wallowa County's most revered senior and pioneer citizens is Mrs. Anna Reavis of Enterprise, Mrs. Reavis was born in 1878 at Cove the daughter of A. C. Smith, one of the first settlers in Wallowa County and the builder of the first toll road over the Minam hill and the first toll bridge across the Wallowa river at Minam.  Smith was a self-educated man who developed many abilities which ranged from road building, farming, livestock raising to the handling of legal matters for early settlers.  He also learned the Nez Percé language and was an interpreter in many of the negotiations between the Chief Joseph and his tribe and the government agents.  Mrs. Reavis, now 89, lives alone, maintains her own home, and keeps a lively interest in events.

Mrs. Anna Reavis

     Mrs. Anna Reavis, an early pioneer who came to Wallowa county by wagon train in 1878 at the age of five, celebrated her 90th birthday last Wednesday, June 19th.  A potluck dinner was held on the patio of Harold Steel cabin at Wallowa Lake at noon and an evening meal was enjoyed around the fireplace.  All of "Aunt Anna's" children and husbands or wives, many of her grandchildren and great grandchildren, as well as other relatives and friends, joined in the festivities.  A beautiful birthday cake, made especially for the occasion in Portland, was brought by her daughter, Rita.  Mrs. Reavis proudly displayed her many gifts and birthday cards galore.

     Mrs. Reavis' son, Emerson, and his wife and daughter drove in from Auburn, California on Monday and stayed until the following Sunday: their son Jim, who often visited his grandmother as a child could not come due to the arrival of his first heir.

     Mrs. Reavis second son, Herbert and his wife ___________ and

their son in law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Parson, Milton-Freewater and their five children were present.

Coming from Portland was her daughter, Rita hand her husband Dr. E. J. Fisher, and from Sacramento their daughter Mrs. James Johnson, and her tow daughters.  Their son who is in the Navy could not attend.

     Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Reavis drove up from La Grande bringing their son, Roland and his wife and two sons of Seattle.

     From Richland, Oregon came Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Reavis and their daughter, Mrs. Orin Sass and her three children.  A second daughter, Mrs. Max Henry who has two little girls could not come since her husband was attending summer school.

     Other relative who helped Ant Anna enjoy the day were:  her sister, Mrs. W. A. (Viola) McAllister, La Grande; sister-in-law, Mrs. Lulu Smith, Enterprise; a niece and husband, Mr. and Mrs. Max Wilson of Joseph.
     Mr. and Mrs. Robert Baker, Vancouver, Washington; Mr. and Mrs. Lester Sannar, Joseph, and Mr. and Mrs. Paul Wilson and daughter also enjoyed the dinner.

     Callers during the afternoon included: Mr. and Mrs. Summer Klove from California, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Wilson and daughter, Joseph and Vern Warnock, Coos Bay.

     The day started for Aunt Anna on a musical note when Bernie Stein called and played "Happy Birthday" over the phone on his accordion, and a second telephone call came from a niece, Mrs. Eva Holm, from Montana.

     Anna Smith was born in Cove, Oregon on June 19, 1873.  For two years she lived at Minam where her father had charge of the tollgate road which he and a friend had built.  All the rest of her 90 years have been spent here in Enterprise.

     She was married on October 30, 1897 to Frank A. Reavis, who passed away October1, 1941.  All of their children are living and at present time she has eight grandchildren and sixteen great grandchildren.

     Mrs. Reavis lives alone with her cat, "Buster Brown", does all her own work and although her hands are crippled with arthritis, she makes beautiful braided rugs and keeps her relatives and friends supplied with hot pan lifters and clothes pin aprons and the great grandchildren and neighborhood children with bean bags, marble bags and doll clothes.

     She loves children and feels her day has not been complete unless she has shared it with some child.  No words of complaint cross her lips and she laughingly says people spoil her with attention due to her snow white hair.  Life for her is still an adventure with new things to be experienced, such as taking her laundry to the Laundromat, a thing she had not done until after she had reached her 90th birthday


Double Winner

They say that lightning won't strike the same place twice but that's exactly what it did to last Saturday afternoon at the Enterprise Merchant's Cash Drawing.  The lucky winner was Mrs. Anna Reavis of Enterprise shown here receiving the first prize of $20 silver dollars being presented by Bill Coffin of the Chieftain. Moments later she won the second prize of 5 silver dollars which she has generously donated to charity.

Reavis Index

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