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~ Kathy M.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Early Oregon ~ Sepia Saturday: McNeil School/Panther Creek School, Gunter OR

 The Traylors, Gunters and McNeils

This week's Sepia Saturday photo is of McNeil School, also known as Panther Creek School.  It is located near the Drain, Oregon area in a community named Gunter.   Click here to learn more about Gunter, Oregon.

The children who attended McNeil/Panther Creek school in the photo below were from four families: The Gunters, The Haneys, The McNeils and The Traylors.

Albert Traylor is my great-grandfather (my Grandpa Floyd's father).  His brother, Boyd, grew up to serve in World War I.  As Boyd was on his way home from the war, he was struck by a street car and died.  Dang, he made it almost home without injury and then that happened.  Later, Albert was killed in a logging accident when my Grandpa Floyd T. was a young boy.

"McNeil (Panther Creek) School"
Taken around 1900

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

  • Marion Gunter
  • Albert Traylor
  • Homer Haney
  • Merle Gunter
  • Jassie Haney
  • Loretta Traylor
  • Daisy Haney
  • Sylvia Traylor
  • Arnie Haney
  • Nannie Haney's by the teacher
  • Johnny Gunter
  • Paul Gunter
  • Boyd Traylor
  • Victor Gunter
  • Asburn Gunter
  • Ina Gunter
  • Cecil Gunter
  • Frances Gunter
  • Leila McNeil
  • Mary Gunter

There are other pictures of Gunter and Smith River at this link: Curtis Irish Collection, Flicker

Okay here we go.  The following notes were taken when I was in high school and interviewed our great aunt Gail.  I hope that they are accurate!

Maude Craig was born to John and Lillie Matoon Craig in 1889.  She is my great-grandmother (Grandpa T.'s mom and my mom's Grandma).  Maude married Albert Traylor, and they are included in a post about I did on my Grandpa T. last week, which you can find by clicking here.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

The Craigs and Matoons came to Oregon

John Craig, Sr. and his brother-in-law Jim Gunter came to explore the west as young men. They liked what they saw, especially a place on the Smith River in Oregon, 25 miles from Drain.  This was in the early 1800's. They sent for their parents and spouses to come to the homestead that they had chosen. The young men raised their families with 10 or 11 kids between them.  

John then moved his family to Portland.  One of his sons, John Craig, Jr., found work in Oregon City, with a family named Mattoon.  The Mattoons had a daughter named Lillie.  When she was 16, and John was around 20, the two were married.  (Click here to see the post about Oregon City and the Willamette River.)

Lillie Matoon Craig's father, John, had walked the distance from Iowa to Oregon.  John and his eleven brothers herded cattle for the wagon train, while their parents rode in the wagon. When the wagons were stopped at Fort Hall,  a woman named Mrs. Sarah Jane Stephenson Gartlets gave birth to a baby girl, Mary Elizabeth Gartlets. 

When she was 16, Mary Elizabeth Gartlets married Mr. Matoon and they had Lillie, in Drain, Oregon. 

If you have more info on the McNeil (Panther Creek) school, or on any of my ancestors, please make sure to leave me a comment or send me an email at:  Thanks! 

July 24, 2012 from Stanley Buck:
"I did see your picture of the Panther Creek School. It's not exactly as I remember it though. It had either been replaced, or altered somewhat. It was a very modest and old Grange Hall when I lived on Smith River. It had no indoor plumbing. We kids carried the water from a spring about 50 yards down the road from there. There were two out houses. The old school even had a belfry with the bell and a rope hanging down at that time. We kids could not enter when the adults, nearly everyone on Smith River, were having a meeting. But we were there for social events like parties and dances. There was great gayety, goodwill, and friendship. There was also much good food, and games. Ina (Gunter) Johnson was a marvelous cook, and brought homemade breads, coffeecakes, and even main course dishes. Other ladies brought good things, too."

I am entering this post in "Sepia Saturday".  If you enjoyed it, and would like to see more old photos and learn some more history please click here.

If you miss a day, you miss a lot!  Don't miss out on the news ... Please click here to go to my home page and see what is happening in Mayberry today.


Tattered and Lost said...

Classic Americana!

Christine H. said...

What a wonderful story. Imagine coming to Oregon in the early 1800s. What unspoiled beauty they must have seen, but also untamed.

Alan Burnett said...

Thanks so much for contributing this to Sepia Saturday : it is exactly what Kat and I had in mind when we came up with the idea back in 2009. It is history captured and preserved for ever.

Bob Scotney said...

All the boys in the school photo are wearing waistcoats. Can you imagine trying to get today's children to wear one.
I am learning much about family history in America. I wonder why we in the UK do not seem to have the same depth of material. I certainly can't match anything thing like this excellent post.

Pat transplanted to MN said...

It is really something to consider how they made their way cross country all the way to OR back then. I marvel when I search for info. on my hubby's ancestors settling here in what was indian territory at the same time. They were really all hearty folk, those early pioneers. And all those inthe school! You are fortunate to have so many names.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Thank you, everybody, so much. I'm going to visit your blogs in a few minutes.

It is mind boggling to think about coming to Oregon across country and then setting up home in those days, isn't it?

Have a great week,


MuseSwings said...

Wonderful photos and how nice you have so much information about your family history! The name Echo must have been given for a reason - was she perhaps the second born of a set of twins?

Karen S. said...

What a great photo....amazing header you have Oregon as well, quite lovely! Also the name Gunter is my grandfather's first name on my mother's side!

Nancy said...

I am very impressed that you have the names of all the students in the school photo! Wow! I enjoyed the family photo. I can see the resemblance in the ladies of the family.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Muse, Karen and Nancy ... it is 2/18 and I just found your comments, sorry.

I don't think that Echo was a twin, but I'll find out of there is a story that anybody remembers about her name.

Karen, that is interesting. It isn't a name that I have heard much. Some of these names are not used much any more.

Nancy, my family is really good about keeping stuff, thank goodness.

Thanks so much for stopping by!


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Links to My Oregon Blog Posts (Except for Central Oregon):

"Oregon Bloggers"

"Sepia Saturday, Postcard and Stamp Blogs"

"Writing and Poetry Blogs":