George Walling Loosley

One of the first white children born at Champoeg, Oregon, in Clackamas County, was George Walling Loosley on August 16, 1856. He and his father, John Loosley, came to Klamath County in 1871, built and operated the first flour mill here and took an active part in the early development of the county. John Loosley was born on February 9, 1824, in Oxford, England, where he received his education. There he sang in Queen Victoria’s choir in the Episcopal Church. His trip to the United States required three months and on arrival he began his life-long trade of flour miller by operating a mill in Chicago. In 1852 he settled in Clackamas County, after coming west by covered wagon, remaining there nearly twenty years before he located in Klamath County at Wood River Valley where he was the first rancher and built the first home, dying there November 24, 1900. George Loosley’s mother, Lucy Walling, was born at Muscatine, Iowa, January 22, 1834. She crossed the plains in a covered wagon with her father, locating at Albany, Oregon, in 1847, and was married at Amity, Oregon, April 1, 1854. Her life was devoted to her 12 children and neighborhood service as practical nurse. On May 28, 1912, she died at Wood River. Among her children known here are Benjamin Henry of Malin; Birdseye McPherson, of Diamond Lake Junction; Fanny (Mrs. Oscar Bunch), of Chiloquin; Philip Sheridan, of Medford, Oregon.

George Loosley attended Oregon schools at Amity, Portland, and Linfield College at McMinnville. He began farming when 14, receiving 75 cents per day and helped support his family until he arrived in Klamath County. Here he was employed as superintendent of the shops and mills at Klamath Agency, subsequently building the school and dormitory, serving as Chief of Police, enforcing prohibition and acting as probation officer in the school work there. He also made rentals and leases of Indian lands. In 1882, he purchased the General Howard boat on Upper Klamath Lake to haul freight and soldiers’ supplied to Fort Klamath. A few years later he began purchasing land in Wood River Valley, acquiring 1200 acres. Although his ranching activities were interspersed with a great deal of service at the Fort and at Klamath Agency, George Loosley was well known in agricultural circles in the valley and, in 1905, raised the first Alsike clover in the county. He also produced the first oats and timothy in Wood River Valley. In 1890, he constructed Linkville Hotel, near Link River and operated this for a time before returning to Wood River where he was appointed custodian of the Fort for two years.

On May 2, 1880 Mr. Loosley married Emma Temperance Anderson at Klamath Agency. She was born at Brownsville, Oregon, December 8, 1859 and attended school in Jackson County, at Yreka and Fort Jones, California. She taught school at Klamath Agency from 1890 to 1895. Through her ancestor, George Anderson, a lieutenant in the Revolutionary Army, Mrs. Loosley is a member of Mount Ashland Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. Her father, Jessie Marion Anderson, was born in Monroe County, Indiana, January 13, 1832. He came to Oregon in 1852 as a Methodist minister and circuit rider, covered the territory from Brownsville to Ashland, Oregon. His death occurred in Ashland, April 9, 1865. Mrs. Loosley’s mother, Melissa Arnold, was born in Fountain County, Indiana, January 1, 1828. She taught school in Iowa before her marriage in that state, and passed the later years of her life at Ashland, where she died on January 21, 1865. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. George Loosley, in Klamath County, as follows: Earl, born June 28 1881, died when six months old; Edward Kenneth, born March 4, 1883, well known contractor of Klamath Falls, has one child, George Butler; Cary Vernell, born June 13, 1885, resides in Klamath County, has two daughters, Carol Jane, a teacher in Klamath Falls, Frances Dorothy, attending Oswego College, Oregon; Clara Morris (Mrs. Fred Neil), born August 30, 1887, died November 25, 1925, had three children, Joe, of Seattle; Kay Frederick, at the State Medical School, Portland Oregon; Jean, a senior at the University of Oregon.

Mr. and Mrs. Loosley are of the Episcopal religious faith and both belong to Alpha Chapter No 1, Order of Easter Star, in Ashland Oregon. Mr. Loosley in consecutive years is the oldest living Mason of the Ashland Lodge, having joined the Order in June 1877. He is now retired, at the age of 84, living with his wife in Ashland, enjoying the fruition of a life well spent.

Source: Good, Rachel Applegate. 1942. History of Klamath County, Oregon : Its Resources and Its People, Illustrated. Klamath Falls, OR.

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