She and her husband developed a prosperous cattle ranch operation in Central Oregon.

PHOTO COURTESY OF BOWMAN MUSEUM - Early Crook County pioneer Louisa Douthit came to Oregon as a child.

Louisa Jane Thompson was born near Springfield, Missouri, on Sept. 19, 1839. In 1852, she came with her parents by ox team across the Plains to Oregon.

The family settled in Linn County, Oregon Territory. Louisa grew up on her parent's land claim. On July 5, 1863, she married James O. Douthit. The young couple farmed in the Harrisburg area until 1882.

James' father had come to the Upper Ochoco Valley in 1878 and told of the great potential in Central Oregon. In 1882, James and Louisa moved to Central Oregon and settled on Hay Creek in old Crook County, now Jefferson County. Two of her brothers also lived in the Hay Creek area, William and S.G. Thompson. The Douthits had three children, all of whom settled in Central Oregon.

James and Louisa lived in the Hay Creek area for several years and developed a prosperous ranch operation. James became active in local affairs, and Louisa's hospitality was widely known in the area. In 1890, they moved to the Cross Keys area on Trout Creek, where their two sons operated ranches.

James was fatally injured on Feb. 2, 1897, when his horse stumbled while herding cattle and rolled over on him and crushed him. Local doctor Horace Belknap rushed to the ranch from Prineville, but James died of his injuries.

The widowed Louisa continued living in the Trout Creek area with her two sons, James H. and Samuel. Her daughter, Helen, married a Paulina area rancher, Luther Claypool.

Louisa became active in local affairs and remained on Trout Creek until her death on Nov. 13, 1906. Her remains were brought to Prineville and laid to rest beside her husband in the old Union Cemetery, now part of Juniper Haven Cemetery.

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