The nomadic married life of a homesteader
Mary Wynn Rush was born on June 16, 1867, at Eugene. Her parents were Samuel and Elizabeth Breeding Rush, who were early pioneers in the Lamonta vicinity.
She met James T. Robinson, and they were married on Jan. 1, 1885. James was born on March 11, 1854, in New Brunswick, Canada. James had come to Central Oregon in 1881 and taught school at Farewell Bend, which later became Bend. He later moved to McKay Creek north of Prineville. Mary and James lived on McKay for about a year, and their first daughter was born there.
They homesteaded near Gray Butte in 1886. James patented his first claim there in 1893. They moved about frequently, as James found work at the Durham Mill on Foley Creek, and they spent time between the homestead and the mill work. They had four more children while they were living on the homestead.
They moved to Ashwood in 1902. James worked in the mines at Ashwood. A few years later, they moved back to the homestead. Mary raised the children in the somewhat nomadic life they were living.
They moved to Madras in 1907, and James worked as a bookkeeper in his brother's store. They soon moved back to the homestead. Mary became weary of all of the changes in their life, and in 1913, she divorced James. She moved to The Dalles with her daughter and two sons.
James and Mary reconciled their differences and remarried in 1921. They then lived in Cascade Locks and operated a grocery store. They moved, once again, back to The Dalles and operated a grocery store there. They did not move again.
James died on Feb. 21, 1942. Mary lived on in The Dalles for another decade, and she passed away on May 20, 1952. Both Mary and James are buried in the Gray Butte Cemetery in Jefferson County.
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