Suplee pioneer has strong family heritage in Oregon
Emily Vandale was born on March 16, 1893 in Saint Louis, Oregon. Her parents were Jean Baptiste and Clementine LaChapelle Vandale. Her grandfather, Louis Vandale, worked for the Hudsons Bay Company and was among the earliest to settle in the Oregon Territory. Her great-grandfather on her mother's side of the family, Etiernne Lucier, played an important role in the establishment of a provincial government in Oregon prior to it becoming a state.
There were 15 children in the Vandale family. Emily grew up in the French Prairie, Saint Louis and Saint Paul vicinities in Oregon. Her sister, Mary, married Viita Senecal and they were early pioneers near Suplee in eastern Crook County. Mr. Senecal was a cousin of Andrew Bernard who also lived in the Suplee area. Emily's sister and brother-in-law soon began to encourage matchmaking between Emily and Andrew.
A courtship began between the two and they were married on July 17, 1917 in The Dalles, Oregon. Andrew was born at his parents' homestead at Suplee on Jan. 30, 1892. He had worked with his father at the family ranch and later took over the ranch operations. Andrew brought his new bride to his homestead ranch near Suplee. A house was moved from another part of the homestead to accommodate the young couple.
Emily and Andrew had six children. The family raised sheep until World War II when it became difficult to find sheep herders who left for higher paying jobs. They then switched to mostly to cattle. Emily managed the raising of the children and domestic affairs at home. She also helped with ranching chores as needed. During sheep shearing and lambing seasons, she made meals for the crews and was widely known for her cooking skills.
Andrew died on Nov. 2, 1974. Emily remained at the ranch for several years and was very dedicated to needle work and family-oriented activities. She was selected as Crook County Pioneer Queen in 1983. She eventually moved into Prineville in her declining years. She died on June 24, 1985. Both she and Andrew are buried in Juniper Haven Cemetery in Prineville.
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