Gardner Perry was an early lumberman and stage operator
Gardner Perry was born April 4, 1871. His parents, Lawrence and Rosella White Perry, lived near Salem when he was born. The family moved to Central Oregon in the 1880s and homesteaded near Bear Creek Buttes and engaged in the sheep business.
Gardner had one sister, Mona, and a brother, Joe. His brother, Joe, died as a young man when the family was living at Big Meadows on the Deschutes River near Farewell Bend.
Gardner became involved in a lumber mill in Prineville that was established by his father and John B. Shipp. The mill operated as Shipp and Perry. The mill supplied lumber for many of the major buildings in Prineville, including the building of the Crook County Courthouse. Gardner worked at the mill for several years. The mill was eventually sold to the Tum-A-Lum Lumber Company. Gardner's sister, Mona, married John B. Shipp.
Gardner owned a ranch north of Prineville and had both sheep and cattle but later changed to primarily a cattle operation. He also operated a stage line from Prineville to Paulina for several years to help supplement the ranch income.
Gardner never married. He had many friends in the Prineville vicinity. He was widely known as "Buzz" to his acquaintances. It was related by some old timers that the nickname was due to his involvement in the sawmill business. He lived most of his life near Prineville.
The latter part of his life he spent living with his niece, Bernice Shipp Elkins, and her husband, Millard Elkins. They operated the Marks Creek Lodge near the Ochoco Highway summit east of Prineville.
He became ill and while staying at Pioneer Memorial Hospital in Prineville he passed away on June 5, 1951. His pall bearers were six of his long-time friends who were all pioneers of Crook County. He is buried in Juniper Haven Cemetery in Prineville.