Husband's murder starts vigilante era
Phoebe Lorenda (called Lenna) Crooks was born in Albany, Oregon, on March 16, 1859. Her parents were Aaron and Anna Crooks. Lenna Crooks married Steven Jory on May 25, 1877, and they farmed in the Jefferson, Oregon, area.
Her parents moved to the Grizzly area of Central Oregon in 1877 and homesteaded. Her parents encouraged the Jory family to also come and homestead in the Willow Creek area, which they did in the late 1870s.
Her husband and father were involved in a property boundary dispute with a neighbor, Lucius Langdon. The dispute escalated and on March 15, 1882, Langdon became angered enough to shoot and kill both Jory and Crooks while they were clearing land along the disputed boundary. The event triggered the vigilante period in Central Oregon. Langdon was killed by the newly formed vigilantes while being held as a prisoner in a hotel in Prineville.
Lenna Jory was left a widow with a 3-year-old daughter. She later filed a homestead preemption claim near present-day Ashwood in 1888. The site of her homestead became known as Jory Basin. In January 1889, Lenna Jory married Tom Hamilton, a prominent Trout Creek sheep rancher.
They engaged in extensive stock raising and expanded their Trout Creek ranch. They had two daughters, Arena and Josephine. Tom Hamilton died on Dec. 8, 1930. Lenna Hamilton continued to live at the Trout Creek ranch and died on March 20, 1936, shortly after her 78th birthday. She and Tom Hamilton are buried in Juniper Haven Cemetery in Prineville.
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