History and Genealogy
Morrow County, Oregon

Obituaries & Death Notices


Ayers, Cora

Baldwin, Cecil
Barrett, Unknown

Claeys, Justin
Clark, Cynthia

Dennison, Percival
Dickens, Wake


Ferguson, James

Hansbro, Oliver
Hendrix, Margaret
Heppner, Henry
Higgins, Isaac
I - J

Johnson, Bertha

McSwords, Perly
Morgan, Alfred
Morgan, Zelph
O - P
Q - R

Snyder, Ollie
Sperry, Caldona
Steers, John

Taylor, Harriet
U - V


X - Y

Yarlett, Nancy

Sperry, Caldona

Ione, Or., Dec. 3 – (Special) – The funeral of Mrs. Caldona May Sperry, aged 48, who died at her home in Ione, November 25, was held here November 28, under the auspices of the Rebecca lodge.  Mrs. Sperry was born in Texas, May 28, 1873, and moved to Ione with her parents in 1884.  She was married to Charles R. Sperry on November 28, 1894.  She was buried in the Oddfellow’s cemetery, beside her husband, who died less than ten months ago.

Mrs. Sperry is survived by four children – Mrs. J. M. Gambill, Springfield; Harley D. Sperry, Ione; H. Beatrice Sperry, Portland, and Wayne M. Sperry of Ione; her mother, Mrs. B. A. Ritchie of Ione; five brothers, J. H., S. J., Charles M., F. B. and George W. Ritchie, all of Ione, and three sisters, Alice E. Cochran, Ione; Rosa L. Miller, Portland, and Ida B. Cochran, Pendleton.

Source: The Sunday Oregonian (Portland, OR) - Sunday, December 4, 1921
Dickens, Wake

Wake Dickens was shot and killed by his brother Zeb, at Hardman, Ore. Jealousy is the cause.

Source: The Evening Bulletin (Maysville, KY) - Wednesday, February 19, 1890
Hendrix, Margaret

Mrs. Margaret Hendrix, who recently died at Hardman, was 86 years old. She was the widow of Eli O. Hendrix, who died in 1864. She was born in St. Clair County, Illinois, April 4, 1814, her maiden name being Brownfield. Her father and mother both died the same week when she was 3 months old. She was raised by her older sister. In 1835 she was united in marriage with Eli O. Hendrix. Of their nine children five are living, all in Eastern Oregon. Mrs. Hendrix, with her family, crossed the plains and settled near Athena, in Umatilla County, in 1863, being among the earliest settlers. In 1877 Mrs. Hendrix moved to Morrow County, and settled on Rock Creek. Here she lived until about a month previous to her death, when she went to the home of her son George, near Hardman.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) – Wednesday, August 22, 1900

Mrs. Margaret Hendrix, who recently died at Hardman [Oregon], was 86 years old. She was the widow of Eli O. Hendrix.

Source: Madison County Monitor (MT) - Auhust 24, 1900
Contributed by Robyn Greenlund

Steers, John

John L. Steers of Wheeler county, aged 31 years, died in Heppner, Wednesday, of spinal meningitis after months sickness.

Source: East Oregonian (Pendleton, OR) – Saturday, September 28, 1901
Clark, Cynthia

Death of Pioneer Woman

Grandma Clark Died at Heppner Last Night at the Age of 93

“Grandma” Clark died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. George Swaggart, in Heppner last night at the age of 93 years.

Mrs. Clark was one of the best known pioneers of Umatilla county.  She, with her family came to this county and settled in Weston many years ago, when the country was new and few people were in the county.  They remained in that city until after Mr. Clark died several years ago, and then Mrs. Clark went to Heppner to make her home with her daughter.

The body will arrive in Pendleton on the 5:20 train this evening on its way to Weston, where it will be interred by the side of Mr. Clark.

Source: East Oregonian (Pendleton, OR) – Tuesday, September 23, 1902
Heppner, Henry

Heppner, Or., Feb. 17 – (Special) – Henry Heppner, founder of the town of Heppner, and one of Morrow County's early pioneers, died at the Heppner Sanitarium last night.  Mr. Heppner had been subject to severe sinking spells for some time, and, from his advanced aged, was quite feeble.  Monday morning, at his apartments at the Palace Hotel, he suffered a severe attack of heart failure, and was very near death's door.  This left him in a weakened condition.  Resolute and full of energy to the last, it was hard work to persuade him to go to the sanitarium, where he could be bettered cared for.  The end came  about 9 o'clock yesterday evening.  The body will be embalmed and will be shipped to Portland for burial, where the funeral will take place next Sunday.

Henry Heppner was born in Germany 76 years ago.  When quite young he left Germany and came to New York, where he resided for a number of years.  Drifting West, he came to Eastern Oregon in the early '70s, and was engaged in packing.  As the early pack trails followed the water courses, Mr. Heppner came up the valley of Willow Creek and camped on the ground where Heppner now stands, on July 4, 1872, which was then a wilderness.  He became impressed with the surroundings, and not long afterward came back and started a small store, which was the start of the present prosperous town.  From that time until the end, at the ripe old age, he has been identified with Morrow County interests, and, being a man of good judgment and keen foresight, has amassed a large fortune.

While a little eccentric, Mr. Heppner was a big-hearted man, and as he has passed away there goes with him a prominent landmark in the history of Heppner and Morrow County.  In times of need he has helped many.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) – Saturday February 18, 1905
Higgins, Isaac

Isaac Higgins, an early settler of Eastern Oregon and a veteran of the Civil war, died in a Heppner hospital last week at the age of 79.

Source: The Ontario Argus (Ontario, OR) – Thursday, January 13, 1921
Ayres, Cora

Died At Heppner

Mr. and Mrs. John Neal, of Turner, returned Tuesday night from Heppner, where they were called by the death of their daughter, Mrs. Cora Frances Neal-Ayres, who died Sunday, the 16th inst., aged 32 years.  The deceased left a husband.  Burial was had in the Heppner cemetery.  Mrs. Ayres was born January 21, 1870, near Turner, where she lived until about six years ago, when she removed with her husband to Heppner.  The bereaved husband and parents of the young woman have the sympathy of a wide circle of friends.

Source: The Daily Journal (Salem, OR) -  Friday, August 22, 1902
Johnson, Bertha

Bertha A. Johnson, wife of Harry Johnson, died at the home of her parents James and Alice Adkins in Heppner, Oregon, May 4, 1910, aged 29 years, 3 months and 1? days. She was a granddaughter of the late Nancy A Kirk, and had many relatives in and around Junction City, and were grieved to hear of her death.

Source: Junction City Times (Junction City, OR) - Saturday, May 14, 1910
Contributed by Karen Windheim
Dennison, Percival

Pistol Ends Life

Wheeler County Sheepman Dies by His Own Hand

Wife, Five Children Left

Percival H. Dennison, of Spray, Wheeler County, Kills Himself in Heppner Barroom – Carried $20,000 Life Insurance.

HEPPNER, Or., June 3 – (Special) – Percival H. Dennison, a prominent sheepman of near Spray, Wheeler county, committed suicide in the barroom of the Palace Hotel, in this city, last night at 9:30 o'clock, by shooting himself through the heart with a 38-caliber revolver.

Dennison had been in the city for the past three days attending the wool sales and arranging business affairs.  He had numerous friends in this city, and about 9 o'clock stopped several of them on the street, telling them he was going to leave and wanted to say good-bye.  Several, thinking he was joking, paid no attention to the matter.

Calling James Elder, an intimate friend, he bade him good-bye, saying he would not see him again.

Elder tried to take Dennison's revolver from him, but Dennison pushed him away and entered the Palace Hotel, whereupon Elder called to Mr. Wilkins, one of the proprietors of the Palace, to watch Dennison until he could get his brother Frank.  Wilkins, being busy, called the same precaution to Mr. Maddock, motioning for Maddock to follow him into the bar-room.

Dennison, according to several present, walked to the bar with his hand in his inside coat pocket, fumbling for his gun.  Maddock followed him in time to see him press a long barreled revolver close to heart and pull the trigger.  Death was almost instantaneous.

Dennison, together with his brother Frank, had been engaged in the sheep business near Spray for several years, and leaves a wife and five small children.  Financial troubles are given as the reason for his rash act.  Deceased carried life insurance amounting to $20,000.

Source: The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) – Saturday, June 4, 1910
Snyder, Ollie

Alleged Lynchers Arrested

Heppner – Deputy Sheriff Joe Cassidy, Ben Hinton, Emmet and James Shields and a brother of Arthur Green, the murdered man, have been arrested charged with the murder of Ollie Snyder, the man who shot Arthur Green, Friday night, December 23, near Monument.

Citizens of Grant county are incensed at the lynching and are giving all their assistance to aid in the arrest of the guilty persons.  Owing to the storm, all telephone communication between Monument and the rest of the world is shut off and it is impossible to obtain details.

Source: The Ontario Argus (Ontario, OR) – Friday, January 7, 1910
McSwords, Perly

Class of 1882 – PERLY B. MC SWORDS. B. 15 Oct., 1856, Windsor, Vt. Physician, Heppner, Ore. D. 14 June, 1903, Hepper, Ore.

Source: Dartmouth College Necrology, 1902-1903, Hanover, N.H.
Transcribed by Kim Mohler

Morgan, Zelph

Heppner correspondence: A young man by the name of Zelph Morgan, living on what is known as Thirty-mile creek, started out to hunt sheep and got lost during the recent cold snap and was frozen to death.

Source: The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, January 31, 1880
Morgan, Alfred

Alfred Morgan, a young man eighteen years of age, living about twelve miles from Heppner, in what is known as Cabin Canyon, while in his house was killed, on the 9th inst., by a tree blowing on the house.

Source: The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, January 31, 1880
Ferguson, James

Killed By A Horse – our Monroe correspondent has kindly furnished us with a private letter to Alex Lamb of that place from Heppner, giving the sad news that James Ferguson, who was born and raised in Lane county four miles south of Monroe, and the son of the early pioneer, John B. Ferguson, and for the last few years, a resident near Heppner, while trying to hitch a span of horses to a hack on the 17th inst., one of the horses, a large 1300 pounder, becoming fractious, kicked Mr. Ferguson with both feet, one foot striking him on the right groin, about even with the navel, and the other stroke was about three or four inches to the right.  The letter above alluded to was from the attending physician, L. F. Shipley, M. D., who states that the kick which struck near the navel was the fatal stroke.  He died on the morning of the 19th, after suffering very severely, and was mortifying internally when he died.  The deceased was well known to the writer ever since boyhood.  He was an honorable, industrious and well respected citizen, and a brother-in-law of our fellow townsman, the Hon. John Burnett.  –Gazette

Source: The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, August 6, 1881
Yarlett, Nancy

Heppner has had one case of smallpox.  The victim was Miss Nancy Yarlott, a young lady about 20 years old.  It is not known how she contracted the disease, and of the numerous persons exposed, none have taken it from her.

Source: The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, November 19, 1881
Hansbro, Oliver

Oliver Hansbro, for some months a driver between Heppner and Blalocks for the U.I. & O. stage company died on the 14th of measles.  This makes the third driver who has met his fate on this road in the past eighteen months.  One was drowned while fording a stream and the died with smallpox.

Source: The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, May 27, 1882
Barrett, Unknown

Fred Crump stabbed and killed a man named Barrett, last week, near Heppner, on account of trouble over a sheep range.

Source: Grant County News (Canyon City, OR) – Thursday, March 8, 1888
Claeys, Justin

Justin R. Claeys, five-months old son of Randall and Carmen [?] Claeys of Salem died December 25, 1984 at his home.

He was born June 29, 1984 in Salem.  Graveside services were held December 28 and Hopewell Cemetery with the Rev. Bob Mulkey of the Court Street Christian Church of Salem officiating.

Survivors include his parents Randall and Carmen Claeys of Salem, a sister, Rachele N. Claeys of Salem, his grandparents, Bonnie and [?]man Clow of Irrigon and Jo[?] Williams of Davenport, Iowa; great-grandparents Daisy and W[?]don Swan and John and Hazel [?] all of Danton, Walter and L[?] Behm of Port Byron, Illinois, [?] Lola Claeys of Atkinson, Illinois.

Memorial contribution may be made to the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Foundation.  Scott-McGhehey funeral home in McMinnville was in charge of arrangements.

Source: The Enterprise (Boardman, OR) – Thursday, January 17, 1985
Baldwin, Cecil

Irrigon Man dies in Accident

An Irrigon man died early Tuesday as the result of injuries received in a one-car accident on Interstate 84 one mile east of Boardman.

Cecil L. Baldwin, 29, was taken to Good Shepherd Community Hospital in Hermiston, where he died at 2:30 a.m., according to Oregon State Police reports.

Baldwin was eastbound on I-84 at 1 a.m.  He had passed another vehicle at a high rate of speed and then lost control of his car, according to the report.  His car went into the median and rolled.  Baldwin was ejected.  The car continued across the west-bound lanes and came to a rest on the north shoulder of the freeway, the report said.

Source: The Enterprise (Boardman, OR) – Thursday, February 28, 1985
Taylor, Harriet

Harriet Yvonne Taylor, a resident of Boardman since 1948, died April 4 at the Good Shepherd Comminty Hospital in Hermiston.  She was 69.

Mrs. Taylor was born at Lebanon, Kan., on March 31, 1916.  She and her husband, Jack, had been married for 50 years.

She is survived by her husband; a daughter, Dorothy Johannbroer of Pasco; a brother, Robert E. Lyons Jr., of Boardman; a sister, Georgia Malon of San Francisco; and three grandchildren.

Graveside services were held April 8 at the Hermiston Cemetery.  Burns Mortuary was in care of arrangements.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Heart Fund.

Source: The Enterprise (Boardman, OR) – Thursday, April 11, 1985

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