Pioneer lumberman of Grizzly
Samuel William Compton was born in Nashville, Tennessee, on March 20, 1855. His family later moved to Missouri. In 1873, Samuel came across the Plains by ox team and settled in Wasco County (later Crook County) at Prineville. He began working at the Dan Powell sawmill on Mill Creek east of Prineville.
He eventually bought the Powell Mill. He rented the mill for a few years then sold it to John Demaris.
Samuel married Jane White in Prineville in 1877. They had three children and then divorced. Sam moved to Willow Creek in 1895 and established a homestead in fine timber country. He soon established a mill on his homestead site.
In 1895, he married Mrs. Nellie Kinder Crain. In addition to operating his mill, he engaged in farming and livestock management. In 1906, Sam partnered with Jack Dee and purchased the Mailing Mill on Willow Creek. They maintained a working relationship for several years. Sam later operated a mill on Coon Creek and lived there with his family but moved back to his Willow Creek homestead about 1910.
He partnered with William McMeekin and started another mill on Willow Creek. The mill was later moved to Coon Creek and Sam partnered with Henry Frohnhofer. In 1925, the Compton house at Willow Creek burned and the family moved to Redmond. Sam teamed with Martin Nichol that same year and operated a mill near Trout Creek on Big Log Creek.
Nellie died in Redmond on Sept. 22, 1929. Sam continued to work at the Trout Creek mill and is reported to have walked from Redmond to the mill each week. He died in Bend in April 1942. He was one of the pioneer sawmill men of Central Oregon.
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