Italian immigrant makes home in Central Oregon
Josephine Margaret Bastonero was born in Italy on June 6, 1899. Her parents were Chaiffreddo (Fred) and Catherine Pittavino Bastonero. Her father decided to come to the United States in 1904 to look for opportunities. The family stayed in Italy and it was not until 1913 that the family was reunited. Her father came to Oregon and filed a homestead claim near Bear Creek Buttes.
It was difficult to support a homestead without outside employment.
Josephine got a job in a rooming house and restaurant in Bend. After working through the summer, she was informed that she would not receive any pay and that she had worked for room and board. It was a harsh lesson to learn. The family had a house in Prineville in addition to the homestead on Bear Creek Buttes. It was necessary for the family to live on the homestead to receive a patent on the claim. Josephine, her mother and her brother stayed at the homestead for six months to meet the residency requirements.
Josephine and her sister Kate did housework for several years. Josephine worked at several homes in Prineville and in the Paulina vicinity. She also was a waitress at Mother Thompson's restaurant for a few years. While she was working at the restaurant, she met Ed Staley. He was born in Vancouver, Washington on Sept. 9, 1891. He had come to Prineville to operate a shoe and harness store with his cousin.
Ed and Josephine became very fond of each other and they were married on Oct. 12, 1921. They purchased a home in Prineville. Six children were born to them while living in the house.
Ed continued to operate the shoe shop and Josephine tended to the children and domestic matters. In 1927, Ed partnered with Art Champion and Lloyd Barney and began exploring for cinnabar deposits. He became the operator of several cinnabar mines in Central Oregon. The family lived at various mining locations during this period. They sold their mining operations in 1942 and lived in Prineville.
Ed again operated a shoe store in Prineville with the assistance of Josephine until 1957. At that time, they sold the store and retired. Ed passed away on Nov. 8, 1963. Josephine lived on for several more years, living at their home in Prineville. She passed away on Jan. 18, 1999 in Yolo County, California. Both Ed and Josephine are buried in Juniper Haven Cemetery in Prineville.
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