Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sepia Saturday: 2013 June 22 -- Keyes Brothers in Wheeler County


The Sepia Saturday prompt of  off to the creamery, Austrailian farms, and men on horseback yielded for me a favorite picture of my Grandmother Sigfords brothers/half-brothers-cousins.


Ray, David, and Phil Keyes on family ranch outside of Mitchell OR
circa 1920

The Picture was on the face of this postcard "addressed to"
Mrs. Sigford (Agnes Keyes Sigford)
with a note
this has been taken a long time

My great grandmother Agnes Aurelia Keyes(nee Duty) died shortly after my grandmother Agnes Laura Keyes was born.  Agnes Aurelia's sister Sarah Ellen came to the homestead to care for the house and the three young children left motherless with Agnes's death.  She stayed, married her brother-in-law and they raised eight children of their own, in addition to the children born to Agnes.  The three young men on horseback are children of Sarah Ellen and James E. L. Keyes.  My grandmother was always very fond of these three boys, particularly David, who visited her when she lived in Klamath county.  Lakeview and Paisley were just a hoot and a holler away, well a hundred mile hoot and a holler.

The photograph was most likely sent to my grandmother, tucked in a letter which has been long goen.  Much to my chagrin, the postcard had no address, stamp or postmark.  I wish I knew more about this picture and what they were doing, the names of the horses, and did they always looks so much like dapper horsemen.

I always thought they could have been casted in Butch Cassidy and the Sun Dance Kid.  The youngest of the three, David (in the center) cowboyed most of his life. To all accounts, David Keyes was an expert horseman and was a horse wrangler for Rueb Long (rancher, storyteller and author of The Oregon Desert).  He also worked for the ZX ranch near Paisly, Oregon, of course that meant working cows and horses  from Paisly, Lakeview, Silver Lake and the hundred or so miles of sagebrush covered hills between.

Now good Sepians, check out the other offerings for this  182nd Sepia Saturday.


~ ~ ~
 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications





20 comments:

  1. A fabulous match for this week's prompt picture. Well done you. Yep. I'm with you. Very Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Loved that film.

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    1. Thank you, Alex. Glad you liked my cowboy trio -- although only David could really qualify for cowboy bragging rights -- but I always loved this photo, Butch or Sundance or not.

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  2. Yes it does feel very "Butch Cassidy," doesn't it.

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    1. Yes, indeed. They did live during that time -- end of the cowboying days and faced with a whole new world. Glad you liked my cowboy trio -- although only David could really qualify for cowboy bragging rights -- but I always loved this photo, Butch or Sundance or not.

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  3. Seems each photo we find brings as many questions as answers. I love the photo...what stories those men could tell.

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    1. It was bad enough to have a paucity of words on the card, but no stap, no postmark, no address. How in world am I going to answer questions if those ancestors dinna cooperate. oh, the travails we historians face.

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  4. It is a wonderful photo. They look wonderful. It makes me wonder where they are going as they are very nicely dressed.

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    1. You are probably quite right, but I don't have the faintest idea where they might have been going. Doubt that it was church -- although their mother Sarah Ellen was more of a religious sort -- than my grandmother (who was her step-daughter/niece. I thought that the fellows looked so dressed up, that there might have been young ladies involved -- some sort of a community get together.

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  5. Hi Joan, wow, what a story behind that great picture! I know the area that you are talking of, we drove through there last fall. It is pretty out that way until you hit all of the desert sage brush.

    Times have changed from the horseback only days, but here is a post that I did in November with photos of moving cattle outside of Lakeview. You will probably have to copy and paste it into your browser if you want to take a look. Thanks so much for stopping by to say hi!

    http://oregongiftsofcomfortandjoy.blogspot.com/2012/11/moving-cows.html

    Kathy M.

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    1. Kathy, thanks for the kind words and glad you like the little backstory. I also checked out the link of your drive from Lakeview to Alturas. Just like the scenes in my head.

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  6. They look too smart to be herding cattle.

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    1. Bob, Back then horseback and buggies were the mode of transportation -- and in eastern Oregon, for longer than the rest of the state. Actually, it was a way of life --- and I come from a long line of very smart ranchers and farmers -- they just can't leave the land. One of my classmates, an engineer type plants a sage brush where ever he goes. Needless to say, sage does not fare well on the Washington coast, but that sickly wet little bush reminds him of his roots. Strange things we do to remind us of home.

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  7. Like you, I always have more questions than my photos can answer.

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    1. Very true. It almost like I am just on the edge of knowing a wonderful secret -- behind those sepia faces.

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  8. They do have a Hole in the Wall Gang look to them. As I recall Butch and the gang did make some forays into Oregon so you just never know. Perhaps for a weekend they became bank robbers.

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    1. And their mother would have had a canniption-fit -- tho would have been interesting to see the weekend and the fit --lol.

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  9. What a great selection of picture! An insight into American history. I agree, very "Butch Cassidy" look!

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  10. Not one but three men on horseback! A poignant tale of your great grandmother but with a happy ending it seems.

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  11. That's what I love about the olden times - people live miles away from each other but they find time to bond. And I like cowboy stories so yours appealed to me.

    Hazel

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  12. A fine specimen you got here. You may lack details, but you got the picture, with names on it. That's already more than what we often find. And they DO look dashing!!
    :)~
    HUGZ

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