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 John E. Church

John E. Church

Death 1 Feb 1937 (aged 75)
Burial Dayton, Columbia County, Washington, USA
Plot BLK H, LOT 80, SEC 06
Memorial ID 37903264 · View Source
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This article comes from the Walla Walla Union, Tuesday, February 2, 1937, pg. 1


Dayton Pioneer Had Lived Dramatic Life During Chief Joseph Wars

DAYTON, Feb. 1 (Special)-John Church, 76-year old retired Dayton stockman, died at his home here today.

Born at Elgin, Ill., Church came westward when he was six years old and had lived a dramatic life.

He was in Montana during vigilante days and in Eastern Washington during the Chief Joseph Indian troubles, serving as a dispatch rider between Walla Walla and Grangeville.

When he was six years old he came west with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. George E. Church, the party leaving Council Bluffs in 1865. His father, George Church, had been in Montana the year before with a train of 300 immigrants, who were the first to use the old Bozeman trail. The Churches spent several years in Montana, settling on a ranch known as Elkhorn, about 25 miles from Virginia City on the road between that town and Bozeman.

Life was thrilling at that time. There were plenty of bad men in Montana and decent citizens organized the Vigilantes to take care of them. The elder Church was a member of the Vigilantes and in one day Church's crowd hanged 11 desperadoes.

In 1877 the family moved to Dayton. At that time the Chief Joseph trouble had started. Young Church served as a dispatch rider between Walla Walla and Grangeville.

After John grew up he went into the cattle business in the Dayton district, running stock in the hills and looking after the herds of other Dayton men. Church was one of the first men to exhibit fancy Dayton owned cattle at stockshows.

Church was married 40 years ago to Daisy Brown, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. M. R. Brown who came to Dayton two years after Church. Surviving are his widow, Mrs. Church, and one daughter, Mrs. B. C. McCallum of Oakland, Calif.

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