Oscar Baker Bunch, Pioneer Of Fort Klamath, Passes

By Mrs. E.K. Loosley

Funeral services were held at Fort Klamath Monday for the late Oscar Baker Bunch. The passing of Oscar Bunch takes a pioneer, a man who knew the country before the railroad; in fact, he drove stage between Klamath Falls and Fort Klamath in the early nineties. Later he operated a livery stable; where now an automobile or truck covers the distances in an hour, he rented saddle and buggy horses that took a day and a half, good traveling, to make the same trip.

He “put up” the freight teams, staying open late at night to welcome such well-known teamsters as “Big Mitch,” who might have aboard thousands of dollars sent by Jud Ager, of Ager, Calif., as “bolts and nuts”—this to thwart the hold-up men—and Ditsworth, who raised and peddled the only known green vegetables and fruits. These he hauled all the way from Dead Indian or Medford. The lives of such men were mellowed by these hardships and experiences.

He kept a cutter and fast team of Hamiltonians for the special purpose of bringing the Agency doctor for emergency cases. He had an old-fashioned foot-warmer in the rig, and while he started out garbed in a bearskin coat in the below zero weather, generally the doctor or patient was wearing it before the trip was over.

Mr. Bunch married Fannie Loosley of a widely-known pioneer family. They had three children, H.G. Bunch, now a rural mail carrier; Lola, deceased; and Mrs. Loy Barker, whose husband has been affiliated with Klamath county schools until he went into training for the navy. Mrs. Barker, who was in Maryland with her husband, returned to be with her father.

He was an employee of the Chiloquin Lumber company of late years. The communities of Fort Klamath and Chiloquin will miss his kindly interest, as he welcomed progress and kept abreast of the times. It was recently said of him, “He numbered his friends by his acquaintances.”

Source: Klamath Falls Herald and News, August 15, 1944.

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