JAMES WYLLIE - was born in Scotland in 1820. He married Margaret MacGregor who
was born in Scotland in 1827. Both passed away in Freestone, Calif.; Mr. Wyllie in 1893
and Mrs. Wyllie in 1915. Into this union were born the following children:
Jeanette, William James, John, Michael, Abraham, Ella, and Anna. All were born while
the family was living in West Reading, Pennsylvania. William James herded a band
of sheep from California to Eastern Oregon.
Florence Edith Porter was born to George and Caroline Porter on December 21, 1863 in
East Dixmont, Maine. In 1870 she came west with her parents to San Francisco by train,
and onto Portland and The Dalles by boat, and on to the John Day Valley by stage.
There were three other children in the family: Frankie, Leslie, and Mollie. The Porter
family lived on a ranch east of John Day and later on a ranch where the John Day Drive-In
is located, which belonged to Theodore and Lucinda Thompson, sister and brother-in-law to
Mrs. Porter. When Mrs. Thompson passed away, they left the ranch to Mrs. Porter.
Edith Porter was married to William James Wyllie in 1883, and they lived in
Drewsey on a reservation. Four of the Wyllie children were born while the family
was living in Drewsey. The oldest boy, Frank, was drowned at the age of 2 1/2, in the
Malheur River, a short distance from the family home. The winters of 1887 and 1888 were
a bad time, and they lost all their sheep and horses from cold weather, and
shortage of feed. Four years later, they left for the John Day Valley and Dayville.
Mrs. Wyllie was the mother of nine children: Frank, George, Margaret Ann, Gordon A.,
James A., William Walter, Edith Alma, Porter Giles, and Charles Prentiss. George passed away
at the age of 2 from Typhoid fever. Besides caring for her own family, the weather was never
too bad or the night too dark for Mrs. Wyllie to refuse to go to her neighbors if they were
ill. She brought many babies into the world, without the aid of a doctor. The
roads were bad and there was no doctor nearer than John Day. Many times she went
on horseback for miles in the dark. They lived at the Wyllie Creek homestead
which is now owned by MacKenzies.
When the city of Dayville was incorporated, Mrs. James Wyllie was the first recorder. Later
she was Postmaster for several years, the Post Office being in one room in her home.
Mr. Wyllie passed away March 02, 1928, and Mrs. Wyllie on October 22, 1934. At present
the entire Wyllie family is scattered throughout, the Pacific Northwest and there
are about 2500 Wyllie households in the United States.
©1998 Roxann Gess Smith
All Rights Reserved
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