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John LaFollette was a prominent early stockman and also a Crook County official

PHOTO COURTESY OF BOWMAN MUSEUM - John David LaFollette was one of the earliest stock operators on Camp Creek. He raised mostly sheep.John David LaFollette was born in Iowa on July 25, 1856. His parents were Jerome and Sophia Howard LaFollette.

The family came to Oregon by ox team in 1862 and settled near Salem. John attended common schools in his younger days. In 1871, the family came to Central Oregon and settled in the Ochoco Valley and operated a stock ranch.

John worked on the family ranch. They were early sheep operators. John first married Mae Belcher (1873-1889) in 1880. Family operations moved to Camp Creek, and they ranched until 1881.

He was one of the earliest stock operators on Camp Creek. He raised mostly sheep. He later raised cattle and horses. He married Sarah Nevada Johnson in 1903. She was born in Carson City, Nevada, on Oct. 31, 1869.

John became involved in local politics and was elected Crook County assessor in 1900. He served in that office until 1912. He and his wife operated a ranch on upper McKay creek for several years. He was the clerk of the Crook County School District # 6 (Upper McKay) for 25 years.

They later sold the McKay Creek ranch and moved into Prineville. John served as city treasurer for Prineville from 1921 to 1934. He remained active in local social organizations and was widely known in the Prineville community.

John passed away on April 30, 1940. His wife Sarah lived on for several years and died on Feb. 12, 1960. Both are buried in Jumper Haven Cemetery in Prineville.


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