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Nolan Curry (1878-1970)
by Wilfred Ruecker

Nolan E. Currey was born November 30, 1878 at Egan, Oregon (now Burns, Oregon). He was the son of Providenze Montz Currey, Jr. and his mother's maiden name was Sarah Clementina Lee. Nolan was married to Ivy Vestina Wise at Burns, Oregon. They had three children, a daughter and two sons. Nolan had one brother who was younger, Chester, more widely known as ‘Check’.

Waltzy Elliott says he had a place on Wild horse Creek, below Andrews, Oregon. I know the kids went to school at Andrews. Nolan was out in the Double 0 country at the time the Indian Chief Egan was killed at Silver Creek during the Bannock-Piute war. I recall Nolan telling me the grizzly story of Egan being decapitated, and his head being carried to Burns in a burlap bag.

He told of riding broncos at the JJ ranch as a young man, along with an Indian named "Tatsi". That JJ ranch must have been a good-sized operation as they had a "Superintendent".

He worked for some time at Klamath March before going to work for Stub Currey at White Horse Ranch after Eldon and I were drafted into the Army in late March or April of 1942. When the White Horse ranch was sold in 1945 Stub and Nolan both went to work for Jim Pogue who had just bought the Alvord and Mann Lake ranches. It must have been February 1946 that I worked at the Alvord ranch also. I was breaking some horses there. Nolan and I worked the feed grounds for sick or hospital cattle, and in the summer were camped at Sullivan corrals on Steens Mountain. Nolan continued working there for Jim Pogue for a number of years. (Maybe 8 or 10)

After leaving the Alvord he worked for a while for Rex Clemmens, at Frenchglen. He must have been close to 75 then and Mrs. Clemmens thought he should be drawing Social Security, and she began the paperwork process, and it wasn't long before he was receiving checks and was retired and living in Burns.

Nolan was an easy person to work with and get along with. If he thought I was doing something wrong he had a way of letting me know about it without being offensive, or making me angry.

I recall Jim Pogue telling me once, "That those fellows lived a pretty tough life and without that sense of humor they would not have survived it".

I always believed Nolan was 92 when he died and Eldon thought he was 91. At the time of his death he was Harney County's oldest Native born son.

Nolan Curry was inducted into the Buckaroo Hall of Fame in September 2002.



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