Ranch Women Survive in Difficult Circumstances

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 09/19/2022 - 08:23

The Brown girls, Jennie, Mary and Emogene, were born in Oregon in the 1860s.  They grew up shifting summer and winter between the family’s two properties, spending winters on a gold claim on Sterling Creek out of Jacksonville, and summers on a large cattle ranch east of Eagle Point.
Each of the girls married a local rancher and remained neighbors as adults.
Jennie had seven children, and kept house for her husband and ranch hands, carded and spun wool, kept a garden, fed orphaned livestock, educated her children, and did other things in-between.  By 1910 Mary and Emogene were widows with young children. They had the same responsibilities as their sister besides managing their ranches.
Emogene and her three boys developed a purebred Hereford cattle herd.  This required careful record keeping.  Money was always tight.  Unlike her father, Emogene didn’t have access to a jar of gold dust from his mine when expenses came up.
What all the Brown women had was determination, nearby family support, and a culture where neighbors looked after one another. They succeeded in difficult circumstances.
Source: Edwards, Patsy C. Heritage Ranch Family--2017: The Charley Brothers; Floyd, Claus and Leland Charley. The Jackson County Stockmen's Association & The Jackson County Cattlewomen, 1917,pp. 9-11 and 18-20.

Alice Mullaly