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