Henry Benjamin Loosley

Funeral services were held Friday, July 30 at 3 p.m. at the Forest Lawn Hollywood Chapel, Santa Monica, California, for the late Henry B. (Ben) Loosley, whose passing on Monday, July 26, removed another member from the thinning ranks of those early settlers who pioneered the Wood River Valley. In memory of this beloved long time resident of Fort Klamath, the following is written:

Ben Loosley was born November 28, 1877, at the Wood River valley homestead of his parents, John and Nancy [sic] Walling Loosley, who were among the first to settle here; he was reared in Fort Klamath and received his education at local schools with the exception of two years spent in Boise, Idaho, with his mother and her relatives, members of the prominent Walling family of that city, where he attended school for the two year period. Later on, he and his father initiated the first industry to be started on Wood River, where they operated a creamery, which became famous because of the excellent quality of the cheese produced by father and son; some years later, he went into sheep raising with the late John Smart and eventually settled on his ranch, the present Leonard Meschke place, where he pastured cattle on a share basis. Several years later, he and Mrs. Loosley moved to Malin, where he engaged in ranching until forced by ill health to retire, when the couple went to Santa Monica to make their home with their only child, a daughter Helen, and her husband, the Ert Hollenbachs, where they have lived quietly ever since.

Both the late Mr. Loosley and his wife are honorary members of the Wood River Pioneer and Old Timers organization.

Many old timers, including this correspondent, recall with nostalgia, how, in years gone by, Ben used to love to play his violin at local dances, and never missed an opportunity to tune up and help the musicians during the evening. His main hobby was collecting colorful songs of the early West, of which he accumulated a large and varied selection.

Survivors include his widow, Annie; a daughter, Mrs. Ert Hollenbach of Santa Monica; a sister-in-law, Mrs. Elizabeth Loosley, Fort Klamath; a sister, Mrs. Fanny Bunch, who makes her home in Klamath Falls with the Loy Barkers; brother, Major Milan Loosley, U.S. Army, retired; a nephew, Raymond S. Loosley, Fort Klamath, who is also a native of Wood River Valley, and numerous other relatives residing elsewhere.

Of interest is the fact that since leaving Fort Klamath, Mr. and Mrs. Loosley have subscribed regularly to the Herald and News, for the sole and oft expressed purpose of keeping up with news of Fort Klamath and Wood River valley folks—their personal appreciate of local news items has been written often to this correspondent.

Source: Klamath Falls Herald and News, August 5, 1954.


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