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William E Loveland

William ‘Bill’ Elbert Loveland (1899-1975)

Bill Loveland was born June 20, 1899 in Jordan Valley, Oregon to Anderson and Mary Louisa Thomas Loveland. (Bill being born in Jordan Valley is in question, he always said he was born in Jordan Valley but some of his brothers said he was born on The Loveland Ranch at Crooked Creek in Malheur County, Oregon.) He lived his early years there on the Loveland Ranch at Crooked Creek, and then moved to Caldwell in the Marble Front area.

Bill was the twelfth of a large family of thirteen children. He started working at a very young age, helping his brothers and Dad run horses. They would start in the spring, gather up the horses, part out the ones they wanted to keep, brand the colts, castrate the horse colts then turn them loose for another year. The ones they kept were sold to the army for the cavalry. When the horse running was finished he worked on ranches in the area, breaking horses to ride, to work, and putting up hay; then in the winter time he would work at feeding the cattle. To name a few of the ranches he worked for are: Silas Skinner, Sam Ross, Ed Stauffer, George Wilkinson and the Vance Ranch in McDermitt, Nevada.

In his early years when he joined his brothers to run horses, him being the youngest, it was his chore to get the water for the camp from a spring nearby. It was late when they had gotten in and it was dark, but he took his buckets with a pole across his shoulders and went to the spring, got his water and was headed back to camp; all of a sudden something jumped up and put their paws on his back. This nearly scared him to death as the rabies were bad in that country this particular year, he dropped his water and ran for the cabin, busted through the door only to have a big dog right behind him, the dog did not have rabies. He still had to go get that water and was he ever scared. This was one of his stories.

One year while working for Sam Ross, he broke 48 head of horses to work and two head of horses to ride. They would bring in the wild horses, rope them, work them down, put the harness on them, hitch them up to wagons, mowing machines or whatever and away they would go. When working the wild horses he used one broke or gentle horse with the wild one. These horses were worked on haying equipment until they gentled down, then were used when it came time to feed the cattle in the winter. He broke and worked horses both to ride and work at several ranches from Jordan Valley to McDermitt.

Another time he was feeding cattle on the Azcuenaga place for Skinners around 1917, the rabies were bad that year and some of the cows had rabies. One morning as he and a helper were going to feed they saw a rabid cow, when they stopped to open the gate into the stack yard, rather than to wait for him to shut the gate and get back on the wagon his helper left, here came this rabid cow after him, he had to run for all he was worth to get to the wagon before the cow got him. Turnabout is fair play, several mornings later Bill was driving the team and they spotted another rabid cow, when the helper got off to open the gate, it was time to get even so he went on to the stack and left the helper there at the gate, he started to run for the willows, he barely made it and got up into the willow trees just as the cow was about to get him.

While working for Skinners, Bill and Harold Skinner were riding out across the flats toward Cow Lakes toward the Azcuenaga place they came upon a cave, being curious they got off their horses and crawled down into the cave to see what they could see, it got very dark so all they could do was light matches to see what was ahead of them, they never could see very much but could hear water running, they dropped a rock down and it took a long time before they heard the rock hit the water so they knew that it was a long ways down to the water. They never could go back to the same place again so never did know what was down in that cave.

He worked in the Big Bend area near Adrian, Oregon and the Marble Front area around Caldwell, clearing sage brush, grease wood and rabbit brush with eight team hitches on a fresno or floats getting ground ready to farm. He told of making a fish hook out of a pitch fork tine, tying it to a hay rope and throwing it in the Snake River and sometimes would catch a sturgeon that was too big to pull out so they would have to tie a team of horses onto it to get the fish out of the water. (Sounds like a fish story to me).

Bill had a sorrel horse he called Man of War--when on the Warm Springs ranch he had a cow die in the corral, he saddled up Man of War tied a rope on the cow and somehow when he went to drag the cow out of the corral he got the rope under the horses tail. The horse bucked and threw Bill off and up against a fence post breaking some ribs.

Bill married Evelyn Rose Whitby on August 25th, 1930 in Boise, Idaho, to this union was born six children, five of which he saw grow up. He continued to break horses, and ranch after they were married. They started their life together in the 5 Bar Canyon where he trapped during the winters, they then lived on the Swisher Place before homesteading 640 acres of land at Cliffs, Idaho. Next they moved to the Hardisty place also at Cliffs, where he got started in the cattle business, before moving to Jordan Valley to the Warm Springs Ranch, one mile west of Jordan Valley, Oregon. He continued to break horses to ride and to work. He was an expert teamster. He is known for the great teams that he broke to work over the years. He could work a two team hitch, a four, six or eight team hitch or whatever it took to do the job. He built up his cattle herd and had a very nice bunch of Hereford cattle.

Bill and Evelyn sold the Warm Springs ranch in 1965 to Pat and Denise Payne and purchased the Stearns house in Jordan Valley where they moved to retire.

Bill passed away May 7, 1975 at the age of 75 years and 11 months, and was laid to rest in the Jordan Valley.

Bill Loveland was inducted into the Buckaroo Hall of Fame in September 2003.