The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., February 3, 1950, page 8
"Hood River as I Have Known It. By EPH WINANS as told to Doug Parker"
The Winans clan arrived in Hood River in 1887, after
spending the winter of '86-87 in Portland.
Among us we filed on all the land in Dee flat and proved up on it, as I have explained previously. Now, every transfer of real estate in Dee flats bears the name of the original settlers, either Winans, Neff or Buskirk. There were my father, my brother (Audubon, Lineas and Wilson Ross), my brothers-in-law (Wm. E. "Frank" Neff, M.P. "Mike" Neff and John P. Buskirk) and myself.
It was a curious thing. In the early settlement of Hood River valley -- which was the hardest preparation for any people to start in any place in the United States and, in primitive state, the most beautiful valley in all the world just about -- the disposition of settlers, to put it in logging camp French, was "straight bullheadedness." We could have gone to Sherman county or Wasco county to take up the best of the wheat land and, in three or four years, we would have been on easy street.
But, instead of that, we took up rough land where we were hard put to clear three or four acres -- with hundreds yet to ago.
I remember I grubbed out about four acres on Dee flats and was going to try and raise an apple orchard. But it seemed that each morning when I went out, after planting some small trees the day before, there had been a nightly forage by the deer and the trees were no more.
My late brother Wilson Ross, who died three years ago, made a prediction at the start that some day Hood River would be the most famous and most prosperous valley in all the land. And all our great man here hooted and scoffed at him for making such a prediction, saying that he was a dreamer and a visionary -- which he was. But my brother lived to see his predictions more than unfulfilled.
In tackling a hopelessly hard job, if you don't have dreams or visions, you never get anywhere.
And today our valley is known around the world and we probably are -- the valley as a whole -- the most prosperous people of the United State. The real beauty of the situation is that no one or two men own all the money. Rather it is distributed amongst one and all.
Yet this obstinate disposition of the early settlers has left its affect on the younger generation in this valley.
© Jeffrey L. Elmer