Nellie Owens Part 4

 Frank Owens was now working for Charley Ray, a well known landowner and businessman in an area about 20 miles south Tillamook. Frank’s job was also to haul cheese into Tillamook with a four mule team. In between his rounds, he had,  met Eva Elma Nelson, who was employed in the Ray household as a hired girl. They were married on April 8, 1899. Soon after, the couple started up their own diary farm on 120 acres of ine pasture land, 80 of which Frank had purchased form his new father in law. One day not long afterwards Charley Ray stopped by with news that a post office was going to open in the area, and he was taking suggestions for their as yet unnamed settlement. Frank recalled he had always like Cloverdale, the name of a town about 150 miles south of Ferndale. The selection committee apparently found it attractive, too, and today the community has the unique distinction of having been named by Frank Owens.

1899 was also the  year that turn of doors, and was Nellie, Henry and their two children moved north from Bay City to the town of Rainer on the Columbia River. Henry had a new job working for a manufacturer of doors, and was also a diesel engineer for a local boat company. It was here in Rainer that the Kirrys youngest child, Leslie Henry ( Duff) was born on April 1, 1900.

The following year, Willie Owens married Philadelphia Brammwell (b. 1871) in Tillamook. Delphia was younger sister of Eliza Jane Hannenkratte, who with her husband and four children, had recently moved to an adjoining farm. The marriage took place on Sunday June 16, 1901 at the Hannenratte residence. Both friends and family attended the ceremony, and afterwards, an elegant dinner was served. Willie and Delphia’s new home would be the Owens farm.

Willie and Delphia had three daughters: Lela 1902 – 1910,Georgia 1904 – 1908, and La Velle 1907.Shortly after LaVelle’s birth, however, Willie met with accident on the farm. Going to cut some wood, Over his shoulder, he carried a double bladed axe. Suddenly, the axe got caught up above on a tree limb. As Willie turned around to disengage, it a dry twig pierced his good eye. Although they went to several doctors, nothing could be done to restore Willie’s vision, which had now been reduced to only 10%. He could still see little  if the objects were held right up to his face, but at the age of 38, he was now considered blind. Willie now looked forward to the home teacher’s visits, where he could learn to read braille, and use his hands, body and mind rather than his eyes.

But on Feb. 16, 1908 sadness again descended on both the Owens and Kirry family when Margaret Owens passed away at the age of 72. The last few years had been difficult ones, as her arthritis had become so bad it was hard to do even simple tasks although Delphia was a big help. The funeral was held at Adventists Church, and sh was buried in the Johnson Cemetery ( now Fairview Pioneer Cemt.)

Around this time, Nellie an Henry made the decision to move closer to Tillamook.With her children’s best interest at heart, Nellie had urged her husband to move the family to the lovely village of Forest Grove, situatded about halfway between Tillamook and Portland. Here was more stable environment for the children to grow up in, where the schools were excellent Pacific University , founded in  the 1850s was in fact known as one fo top colleges in Oregon, and located on 30 acres almost in the middle of town. Nellie and Henry found a house nearby at 410 Union Ave. Now 22nd Place. Nellie grew to love this town although Henry was away now, working as a steam and stationary engineer on a boat that traveled between Tillamook and Astoria. During this period Mr. Owens came to live with the family.During this time,Zola, Lloyd, and Leslie completed their schooling. Zola became a teacher in Portland schools. She married fellow teacher, Reginald Sheard in the lat 1930s. Lloyd first worked on boats. later he became a lubrication engineer at Standard Oil, and married Barbara Jean Buchanan in 1919. Duff who was a star athlete in high school and college married Agnes Galt at the age of 21, and opened a very successful butcher shop in Seattle.

On Nov. 17, 1920, William Owens passed away for a heart ailment at age of  85, and was buried  in Forest Grove at Forest View CEmt. A few years later Nellie choose to move closer to her children in Portlan. At this time Henry and Nellie had separted, and Nellie took an apratment near downtown at 807 s. W. W. 14th  Ave.

It was in Portlan in 1921, the Oregon Blind Trades SChool opened it doors. Willie made the decidion to sell off part of the farm and moved to the school at 424 E. Burnside Street. Willie and Delphia had separted, and now in his 50s, running the farm was to hard. But Willie was eager to learn new skills, and at  school found learning carpentry and caning.. Willie daughter La Velle married Hugo Stelzig in 1922 while her sister Georgia married Lousi Henry in 1921.

 

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