School teacher settles into small Wheeler County town
Mary Lucella "Mamie" Bowen was born on Aug. 26, 1874 in Iowa. Her parents, James and Rachel Inglis Bowen, came to Fossil, Oregon in 1886. Mamie taught school at Thirtymile for a while. She met a nearby neighbor, Edward Tipley, and they were married in Fossil on May 18, 1893. Edward was born on Oct. 16, 1860 in Burlington, Iowa. He had come to Thirtymile Creek near Fossil in 1877.
They lived for many years on a homestead several miles southeast of Fossil. They had three daughters. Their homestead was in an isolated area and to attend school, their oldest daughter had to board with her grandparents in Fossil. Ed decided to move the family to Fossil. They operated a restaurant for a few years. Mamie was widely known as a fine cook.
They eventually purchased some property about one mile northwest of Fossil. While living there, they had a son. Ed grew hay on the meadowlands of the homestead and Mamie raised chickens, milk cows and had a big garden. Their son helped deliver milk, cream and eggs in town.
The Tipley farm also had a quarry that supplied rock and gravel, which provided much of the material for concrete structures in Fossil. They built a house in Fossil in the early 1930s and eventually sold their farm. Ed passed away on June 19, 1944 due to an accident. Mamie stayed at their home for several years. She was active in local social organizations. She moved to Condon to live with her son in 1952, but returned to live out her life in Fossil in 1954. She died on Nov. 28, 1957. She and Ed are buried in the Fossil Cemetery.
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