The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., August 22, 1902, page 2


     Last week the peregrinations of the Glacier man, senior, took him to Dukes Valley, Willow Flat and the Odell district. He could not visit all the settlers in these localities this trip, but may call upon the others later.
     Dukes Valley lies at the head of Odell creek. The little valley takes its name from a man named Dukes, who was the first settler. None of the present inhabitants know anything about him. The valley is not a very extensive; the two principal farms, owned by non-residents, take up most of the valley land. The best farm in the valley was formerly owned by J.H. Gerdes. It is now farmed by J.O. Cameron, who has a lease for several years. Mr. Cameron cultivates about 40 acres to wheat, oats, timothy and clover. Besides conducting this farm he has 40 acres of hay land leased on the Roberts plays at Odell, and also runs a reaper and binder that cuts grain for the neighborhood. He cuts 80 acres this season. The binding twine for the machine costs 20 cents an acre. The price of binding twine is now 18 cents a pound; before the war with Spain it cost 8 cents a pound.
     J.H. Knox is now the oldest settler in the valley. He has a good claim, with a nice young orchard, but being the blacksmith for the neighborhood, he has neglected the farm too much. He has 40 acres for sale that would make a good buy for anyone wishing to set out an apple orchard. The land is mostly in cultivation and ready for the setting of trees. The price he asks is $50 an acre.
     John F. Dodson, another old settler, has a good piece of land but has worked away from home in the logging camps and neglected to improve his place. His son, W.G. Dodson, has a claim here and is making a good start towards a farm and a home. C.H. Stanton has a good piece of land and is making good improvements. He has a young orchard and one of the best gardens visited in our travels Rev. D.D. and A.T. Dodge have recently located homesteads in the foothills west of the valley, and as they are workers, will no doubt make good farms. There is some good saw timber in the foothills, and a fine range for cattle. A new road laid out to Mount Hood passes through Dukes Valley and is said to be the most direct route. It needs considerable work to make it as good as the stage road now traveled. Charles H. Stutts has taken a homestead on the head of Odell creek. He has four acres cleared for apple trees and next fall.
     Leaving Dukes Valley, we next visited C.W. Murphy's homestead. Mr. Murphy has recently removed from his place on the Mount Hood road. He has a good start for a good farm. His garden is doing well under the influence of water from the Bone ditch, from which he can irrigate his whole place. Mr. Murphy will go largely into the cultivation of strawberries, which in this, the Willow Flat neighborhood, is proving to be a valuable crop. C.R. Bone's homestead adjoins Mr. Murphy's. Mr. Bone is doing a grand work for Hood River. If the man who causes two blades of grass to grow where one grew before is called a benefactor, what term would be good enough for C.R. Bone, by whose efforts the fertile lands of the East Side are being watered by the East Fork Irrigating company's ditch?
     At the Davidson Fruit company's farm, on Willow Flat, we found Charles A. Davidson superintending the irrigation of the 13-acre peach orchard and strawberry patch of the company. A force of Japs is clearing more land, and the company will not stop until their 60 acres at this place are planted to strawberries and fruit trees of different kinds. George Booth's place adjoining has proved that this section is one of the best in Hood River valley for the growing of apples, pears, cherries, peaches and strawberries, and the Davidson Fruit company is making good use of the experience gained by Mr. Booth. The Glacier man accepted an invitation to take dinner with Mr. Davidson, and we sat down and did full justice to an excellent farm dinner prepared by Mrs. A. Whitehead, Mr. Davidson's daughter, who with her child, Mary Whitmer, visited him several days last week.
     The Odell district was next visited. William Odell, who came to Hood River with D.A. Turner, settled here in 1861. He was well known throughout Wasco county and much respected as a man. He died on his home place here about ten years ago. C.G. Roberts, the well-known wool buyer, manages the original Odell farm. L.D. Boyed, the well-known builder and contractor, has a fine farm here of 160 acres, 35 in cultivation. He has 1200 apple trees, 500 in bearing; 42,000 strawberry plants, and will set 50,000 next spring. He has 12 acres in clover. Part of his land lies on Willow Flat. He has unimproved land for sale at $35 an acre. F.M. Orr, who came here last March for health, has 25 acres, 8 in apple orchard, some of the trees bearing. He has 8 acres in brush land which he wants to let contract to clear. He will plant several acres in strawberries next spring. Mr. Orr was shipping clerk for a long time for Bell & Co. of Portland, where he handled fruit from different sections, and when he decided to go into fruit growing, naturally picked upon Hood River as the place where the best fruit came from.
     Charles Davis, has one of the best places here. It was formerly the J.W. Hinrichs farm. His principal crops is hay. He has three large springs on the place, capable of irrigating all of his extensive meadow land. One spring flows 40 inches of water. Mr. Davis finds sheep profitable; he has a small band that he will add to until he has 200. E.T. Folts, on Mrs. George Booth's place, has quite an orchard of different varieties of fruit; has 4½ acres in young strawberry plants; 5 acres in clover, not irrigated, from which he harvested 10 tons of hay this season; he has some strawberry plants that did well without water.
     Roswell Shelley has leased ground of the Odell school district, is erecting a store building and will open out a stock of goods in a few days. With the store, the school house, the Union church, and the numerous dwellings near, this point will soon assume the dignity of a town and will need a name. The Glacier man was asked to give the embryo town a name. He could think of no more appropriate name than Odell, the name the neighborhood has been known by for 40 years. It could be named after no better man than William Odell, for no better man ever lived in Hood River valley. Professor Brown of Dufur has been made principal of the Odell school. The assistant teacher has not yet been selected.
     B.T. Young, the well-known horse dealer, has 20 acres and a good home adjoining the Union church grounds. J.R. Crosby, across the road, has 30 acres of his home place and 15 acres besides. He has a neat dwelling house, 300 apple trees, and 12 acres in meadow. Mrs. E. Billen has 40 acres all cleared, upon which she has recently moved, with the family of her son-in-law, Thomas Lacey. Mrs. Billen is erecting an $800 dwelling house. C. Mickelson, the well-known carpenter and builder, is doing the work, which is a guarantee of good work. J.W. Lafferty, who bought the Baird place, has 30 acres and 400 bearing apple trees.
     William L. Ehrck, now one of the oldest settlers in the Odell neighborhood, has a fine farm and a good orchard. He received a gold medal for apples exhibited at the Pan-American exposition. Alfred Wood has 160 acres, 80 of which he recently bargained to sell to William Kennedy. Mr. Wood has 25 acres cleared, a young orchard and 60 bearing trees. He grows one crop of clover without irrigation. On one-half acre this year harvested, he thinks, about two tons of clover hay. Simpson Copple, who has farmed his place 14 years, has 100 acres, 700 bearing apple trees, 1200 young apple trees, and good meadow and garden land. He has good improvements and a good home.
     C.A. Wyman has a home-like place. He had 80 acres but has sold off and located three families, until now his farm contains but 29 acres. He has a good orchard and good hay land. Mr. Wyman is an elder in the Seventh Day Adventist church. He was instrumental, as much as any man, in building the Union church at Odell, in which he delivers a sermon twice a month. Mr. Wyman is a well-informed man; he is an inventor of no mean pretensions. When a young man he started to learn the printer's trade, and while engaged setting type, formulated in his mind the type-setting machine on nearly the same lines worked out by Merganthaler. At present he is engaged in constructing brick-making machines of his own invention. He recently set up a brick machine at Milwaukee, and another at Vancouver that makes 11,000 bricks in 8 hours with one horsepower. He made the machine that L.D. Boyed has used for the past two years.
     Daves Divers has 15 acres, with good improvements and a young orchard. Mr. Divers was 77 years old February 9 last and is one of the oldest settlers in the valley. He was born in Virginia, where he married, and in 1843 moved to Missouri, and crossed the plains to Oregon in 1852. He came to Hood River from Clackamas county, arriving here August 1, 1862, and located on what has since been known as the Divers ranch, now owned by Judge George T. Prather. Upon his arrival in the valley he had a wife and four children, two yoke of cattle, two cows and $27.50 in cash. Potatoes were $2 a bushel; other farm products were held at proportionate prices. At that time the settlers here were Nathaniel Coe, Jenkins and Phelps on the West Side, and Benson, John Stanley, D.A. Turner, William Odell, Harrison and Hardin Corum on the East Side. Mr. Divers' wife died four years ago, his children had grown up and left the farm, and about two years ago he sold the farm to Judge Prather and bought the 15 acres on which he now makes his home and enjoys life in cultivating and improving. The increase in the value of his land represents his savings of a lifetime, and when he sold to Judge Prather for $4,000, about two years ago, his work for 40 years amounted to $110 a year.
     Milton Odell, a son of the late William Odell, has 40 acres of good land, 15 acres cleared, with a small orchard. He will set 5 acres to orchard this fall or next spring. He will also set two acres to strawberries. A fine spring on his place flows 15 inches of water. John Kroeger has 150 acres, 30 in cultivation. He has some good hay land and grows six acres of timothy. Clover does well for one crop on his place. He has been growing wheat for hay but will hereafter grow clover. James English has 40 acres of good land but has done very little clearing. He has a homestead of 160 acres on Hood river, on which he has done the most of his clearing, but recently he moved to his 40 acres and will improve it.
     The Daves Divers ranch, now owned by Judge Prather, was next visited. This place contains 240 acres, 75 in cultivation. There are three big springs on the place, the land is good for haying, and there is no better farm for dairying in the country. W.A. Lockman, who is managing the place resides here with his family. Mr. Lockman is a good farmer and a very reliable man. Judge Prather is fortunate in having such a competent couple as Mr. Lockman and wife on his farm. The next place up the river, formerly the John Divers ranch, is now owned by Captain A.S. Blower. This place contains 320 acres, 80 in cultivation. The principal crop is hay. The Neff brothers, W.E. and Mike, farm Captain Blowers' place. They are good farmers, industrious and good citizens.
     Thomas Collins has a homestead of 160 acres near the falls; he has 12 acres in cultivation, small orchard, neat log house, and an excellent garden. There are three good springs on the place that furnish water for irrigation. Mr. Collins is proud of his mountain home.
     W.R. Winans was the first settler at the falls of Hood river. Big springs of the best water furnish facilities for irrigating. Strawberries do as well here as on the celebrated Jones ranch. Mr. Winans has good clover and orchard land. He will set out quite an orchard on the hill adjoining Tanglewood farm. The falls of Hood River are a favorite resort for campers.

©  Jeffrey L. Elmer