Various business interests and activities have claimed the attention of George W. Loosley, whose efforts have not only been a source of individual profit but also an element in public progress and prosperity. He now makes his home on a ranch on the west bank of Wood river, three miles south of Fort Klamath, and has converted the place from a tract of wild land into a well developed farm. He was born at Champoeg, Clackamas county, Oregon, August 16, 1856, a son of John and Lucy (Walling) Loosley. The father was born in Oxford, England, February 8, 1824, and the mother in Muscatine, Iowa, January 22, 1834. The father served an apprenticeship at the miller’s trade and when twenty-one years of age crossed the Atlantic to New York, whence he made his way to Chicago. There he operated a mill for a year and in 1852 made his way to the Gold Mines of California. He followed mining near Yreka and also in Jackson county, Oregon, and he operated the first gristmill at Albany, Oregon. He was married there and later when to Champoeg, where he conducted a gristmill for Major McLaughlin. Subsequently, he removed to the Grande Ronde Indian reservation in Yamhill county, where he was in the employ of the government under General John F. Miller for about three years. He next went to McMinnville, where he operated a gristmill for several years, but he lost all that he had in the milling business about 1870. He was also in ill health and he had a family of seven children to support. Conditions looked very dark and discouraging but in 1871 he made his way to Klamath Agency, secured a tract of government land and filed on his homestead, settling in the Wood River valley before the survey was made. The remainder of his life was here passed, his death occurring November 8, 1900. He engaged in the cattle business here, starting with sixty head, and he was the first to demonstrate the fact that cattle could remain in the valley through the winter, the other settlers telling him that there was too much snow. Mr. Loosley, however, cut hay and fed his stock and his care of them enabled them to withstand the hard winter. He owned three hundred and twenty acres of land and hard from three hundred to four hundred head of cattle on the range, for the whole country was open then. During the first two years of his residence in this part of the state he was employed at the Indian agency, at which time his nearest neighbors were at Klamath Falls, forty miles away, with some soldiers at the fort. He was largely instrumental in having this valley settled by homeseekers and he contributed in large measure to the early improvement and progress in this part of the state. His wife survived him and passed away in the Wood River valley May 28, 1912. She was a daughter of Jerome B. and Sarah Walling, natives of the middle west, who in 1847 crossed the plains to the Willamette valley and settled on the present site of Amity, in Yamhill county, where they secured a donation claim. In 1864 Mr. Walling removed to Boise Idaho, where he secured land and put in the first irrigation system and also planted the first orchard of that district. He prospered in his undertakings and had a goodly competency to leave to his large family at this death.
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