Pioneer of Farewell Bend
William Henry Staats was born in Monmouth in 1861. He came to Central Oregon as a young man in 1879.
His brother, Stephen Staats, was an early pioneer in the Powell Butte vicinity. He returned to the Willamette Valley but returned to the Deschutes River vicinity in 1880. He and his brother, Charles, became involved in the livestock business.
William built a cabin home along the banks of the Deschutes River known as Farewell Bend. The site later became the location where the huge Shevlin-Hixon and Brooks-Scanlon lumber mills were built. It was among the early structures along the river.
William married Emma Turpen on Feb. 3, 1885. She was born in Cottage Grove on Nov. 19, 1864. She had come to Farewell Bend with her brother-in-law and sister. It was while living with her sister that she met Mr. Staats. They were married in Prineville, as it was the nearest town.
They moved to his cabin on the Deschutes. There were few neighbors in the region at that time, and two neighbors were the John Sisemore family and the John Y. Todd family. Emma and William had three sons.
Many of their early visitors were range riders hunting for cattle and horses or sheep herders on their way to summer range in the Cascades. Staats established a store and was appointed post master for the new post office known as Deschutes, which was in their home and store. He became a partner with J.N. Hunter in store operations. He sold his store and stopping place in the hopes of developing a neighboring village that later became Bend when it was platted by Alexander Drake.
Both William and Emma were active in local affairs and were prominent residents of the developing community. William died after a lingering illness on May 28, 1931. Emma lived on for several years and died on April 15, 1949. Both are buried in Pilot Butte Cemetery in Bend.
Steve Lent is a local historian and assistant director of the Bowman Museum. He can be reached at: 541-447-3715.