Sharing a passion for Crook County history
Carl Frances Coons was born on June 5, 1917 in Sugarland, Texas. She was the eldest daughter of Charles and Edna Reames Coons. The family lived in Glenmora, Louisiana, until 1925 when they moved to Klamath County, Oregon. A set of twin girls was added to the family before moving to the Klamath region.
Her father worked for Pine Ridge Mill near Chiloquin until the mill burned down. Frances married Lawrence "Larry" Juris in 1935 while living at Pine Ridge. After the mill burned down, Frances and Larry moved to Prineville in 1940, along with her parents. Frances went to work for Ochoco Lumber Company in the corporate office. She was the first woman employee at the company.
In 1951, she was appointed the recorder/treasurer for the city of Prineville. She was the first woman to be appointed to that position for the city. She essentially served as a city administrator and worked for the City Council. She retired as city recorder in 1969. After her retirement, she worked as a self-employed income tax consultant and bookkeeper until she again retire in 1991.
Frances was active in community and civic affairs. She was an officer and long-time member of the Soroptimists in Prineville, the Crook County Historical Society and the Crook County Genealogical Society. She also served as president of the Pioneer Memorial Hospital Auxiliary and served as secretary to the hospital board of directors.
She became fascinated with local history and it became her passion for the rest of her life. She was able to meet many people and historical personalities in her work at the city. She bought the old Mac Cornett House in Prineville that once served as the first General Hospital in Prineville and converted it into a boarding house.
She began writing stories and books on local history. She was one of the founding members of the Crook County Historical Society and was instrumental in planning for the Prineville Centennial in 1968. In 2016, she completed her autobiography just before her 100th birthday. She was active in her historical pursuits until her death on Jan. 21, 2018.
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