Yakima Signal

Yakima City, Yakima Co., Washington Territory
April 7, 1883

(Transcriber only copied articles that may refer to the Kittitas Valley or names associated
with it. A poor microfilm was very hard to read, and so articles may have been missed.
?? indicates words that could not be read.)

LOCAL BREVITIES

Scott SCHAR? of Kittitas left here on Tuesday morning for the Sound country.

THE KITTITAS VALLEY

The Early Settlers - Profits of Stock-Raising and the low prices of Beef - Cattle wintering on White Sage This fertile valley is some 25 miles long by about 12 wide; its longest way runs east and west. It is situated between two high
parallel ranges of the Cascade mountains, running in an easterly direction. It might be reckoned as a ??st basin as it is surrounded by
high ranges of mountains on every side. Its altitude is believed to be almost 1000 feet above the sea level. The first settlements were made in it 14 or 15 years ago, when its vast prairies were covered with a large growth of rye and the famous
bunch grasses. These were tempting fields to look upon by the stock raiser and he was not long in making it a temporary home for his herds
of horses and cattle. Its babbling brooks flowing down from the mountains in all parts of the valley together with its pastoral advantages
rendered it an object of peculiar attraction to the Lower Yakima stock breeders, among whom we would mention Col. and Henry COOK,
Elisha ANDREW and John McDANIEL, SNIPES and Allen PHELPS & WADLEIGH, Pardy and Deacon FLINT, James FOSTER, H. D. MERWIN, J. P. MATTOON, and
Samuel CHAPPEL, all of whom used the Kittitas as a summer range. They would drive up in the spring and down to the lower Yakima in the fall,
except such as were fit to be turned off for beef were driven to the Sound which was the best market at the time for Yakima's beef cattle. The summer range was a source of great profit to the cattle kings already named who were loath to give it up. Many discouraging
stories were told persons who were traveling over the country in search of homes -- that Kittitas was a cold, snowy and inhospitable country
to live in during the winter, that some man had to be carried out one winter on account of the deep snow, and would certainly have starved
to death if the Indians had not taken him down where provisions were to be had. The stories, however, did not keep it from settling up. The
herds of SMITH Bros., C. P. COOK, Walter A. BULL, George PARRISH, F. M. THORP & Sons, Charles WALKER, Robert WALLACE, T. HAL??,
S. T. STERLING, SCHNEBLYs, A. MEADE, W. TAYLOR & Patrick LYNCH, multiplied so fast that the summer range in Kittitas was needed for the
stock to the manor born. Many of the original stock breeders have sold out and retired from the business, who were prominent from 1872 to
1878. The first settlers of Yakima made money notwithstanding beef was sold on the block for 3 and 6-1/2 cts a pound by the quarter, and
2 cents gross was considered a fair price. The prices ruled very low up to a few years ago. All this while the range was being eaten out
and the herds dwindling down in numbers, and now that top prices can be obtained, there are few cattle to sell. There is one consolation
left. The range is being reset with grass and the resident stock has a good chance to grow and become fat. The pioneer settlers had opportunities that will never come again. They could use the Kittitas pasturage during the summer and drive
their herds down to the white sage plains to winter them. This winter pasturage has been eaten out so that any dependence on it for winter
feed is no longer available. The whole face of the country, which a few years ago wore a barren aspect, from being closely cropped off by
large roaming bands of cattle, now exhibits a very changed appearance, with the grass growing in abundance unshorn as in the days of yore.
The supply of grass is abundant but the stock to eat it is limited.

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ęKittitas County Genealogical Society 2006