Oregon Pioneer Biographies - James P. Duke

Oregon Pioneer Biographies


From "History of Central Oregon," published 1906
Biographical Sketches of Lake County, pgs. 894-895

Transcribed by: Sherrain Glenn

James P. DUKE

James P. Duke is a farmer and stock raiser, residing seven and one-half miles south from Lakeview, where he has four hundred and ninety acres of land, the major portion of which is devoted to the culture of hay and grain. His land is well improved, as to buildings, and so forth, and water is piped into his house from a near by spring. His stock consists chiefly of cattle, though he keeps a few head of horses and a small drove of swine. Although he came to the country in what might be called an impoverished condition, he is now considered to be well supplied with the good things of the earth.

Mr. Duke is a native of Benton county Missouri, born Jan 25, 1859, the son of William H. and Ann (Thompson) Duke, the latter dying in 1865. Mr. and Mrs. William H. Duke reared a family of four children, John M., Mrs. Jennie Cogburn, James P. and Frank M. Duke. The father was married for the second time in 1869 to Mrs. Elizabeth Thurston, and to this union were born four children; Walter, Mrs. Anna Sherlock, Samuel, and Mrs. Estella Dunlop.

Our subject came to Lake county with his parents in 1876 and settled in the Goose Lake valley where he worked with his father in the building of a home. In 1881 he went to work for wages and in 1890 he filed a preemption claim on his present home.

He was married January 8, 1893 to Minnie Myrtle, who was born about seven miles south from Pine creek in Modoc county, California. Mrs. Duke is the daughter of Horace D. and Mancy C. (Bogart) Myrtle, the latter now residing at the home of our subject. The father was one of the first settlers of Goose Lake valley, coming here in 1869. He was a native of the state of Kentucky, from which state he removed to Missouri. He was a veteran of the Mexican War and of the more recent Rogue River Indian war. He first crossed the plains to the Willamete valley during the early 50's and died in 1883.

Mr. and Mrs. Duke are the parents of four children, Lera, Essie, Ross, and Mildred, (marked in the book) Mary, James.

Mr. Duke was among the first settlers of Goose Lake valley, and has seen all of the hardships and vicissitudes of pioneer life in the far west. Lakeview was unthought of at the time of his advent into the valley, although there was a small postoffice near the present site of the city, know as Lake postoffice, which received mail trice a week. He takes a pardonable pride in the fact that he began life here in a raw country and without means, but is now in conformable circumstances, all of which is the direct result of the hardest of toil.

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