Talent's Honored Senior Citizen - Sept. 1981

Our honored senior citizen today is a 4th generation native of Talent. His greatgrandparents, John and Ann Beeson, traveled in a covered wagon from Illinois in 1853 and settled on one of the first donation land claims on Wagner Creek. His grandfather Welborn Beeson kept a diary of that trip as a young boy of 16 and continued to keep one until his death. His father Emmett Beeson was one of Welborn I's eight children - four boys and four girls. Emmett married into another longtime Talent family when he wed Elizabeth Briner. Emmett and Elizabeth became the parents of the four E boys - Earl, Everett, Elton, and Ellis. Their youngest boy. Ellis born on Mar. 11, 1903 is our honored citizen today.

According to what I hear Ellis was all boy and a mischievous one at that. When he started school he was supposed to go to Talent, but unbeknownst to his parents ended up at Wagner Creek school instead. Once he picked up a piece of chalk and threw it across the room at a young lady (Edna Trent), who promptly returned the chalk to him. The catch is that she - the good one in the room - got caught and was sent downstairs to a 1st grade room as punishment. However she failed to stop at the 1st grade room to which she was sent, but continued to the basement and ate cookies which the home ec class was making. Do you remember who this young lady was, Ellis?

Another story I heard concerned Ellis' brothers. Older brother Earl was at the family ranch called the Brick Pile on the Applegate. The mare Dolly, a track horse, had a colt and Earl phoned for help. His mother sent Elton to help Earl.. Poor Ellis wanted to go, but his mother would not allow him to. Oh! the pains of being the youngest! Ellis was jealous of Elton and made up a riddle that begins: "Elton Beeson was a merry old soul-" [begin page 2] the rest is censored. Ellis was overheard by mother and received a good scolding.

Here's another bit of info I overheard. Ellis' uncle Jim Briner was working at the Brick Pile Ranch. One time he took Ellis (about six or seven) with him and kept him for a week of two. While there he pretty much let Ellis run wild, although he did feed him and got him to bed. The story goes that when he brought Ellis back he was so disheveled that his own mother truly did not recognize him. Jim said he didn't pay any attention to the kid.

Ellis Beeson Senior Citizen Award 1981

Jackson County Oregon Library System #000325938, location Talent Branch.

[Apparently an original typed manuscript or transcription of a speech, possibly given by Edna Trent.]

Ellis was quite a sportsman in school and played on a championship basketball team in 1919. The school system has a picture of that team and I was able to obtain this one for Ellis, courtesy of Elton Petri, a former neighbor of Ellis, who now lives in Ashland. The team consisting of Harold Burnett, [Elvis Cochran crossed out, replaced with] Floyd Purvis, Glen Seymour, and Glascow Stratton, besides Ellis, played Applegate in the finals. The game was played in a vacant side of the old Wolter's store, which either the kids of the school or both had rented. Another time in a non-conference game Talent beat the Ashland Star team. When Talent was ahead someone in the crowd yelled "Ashland, where are your stars?" Elton Petri yelled back "they'll be seeing them in a minute." Andy McMahon, a barber, was a timekeeper, which he kept by a watch and blew a whistle as a time signal. Ellis was also a track star and once beat out a Phoenix boy by a whisker in a final race on field day. The two had been running neck and neck and the crowd was wild.

On the back of the photo is hand-printed: "Talent Hi Championship Basket Ball Team 1918
Left to right Floyd Purvis-deceased-Glen Seymour
whereabouts unknown-Ellis Beeson still around resides
in Talent Harold Burnette-deceased Glasgow Strotton
has business in Billings Montana"

"The gals in the corner Maxine Rose Lexie Samples
Edith Hazen Ethel Hazen Valeta Burnette Fern [or Fenn?] Bettinger."

In a different hand: "We played Applegate beat them 16-14
Harold Burnette made the winning basket Harold Burnette died a few years later"

Ellis' family was one of the first in the area to have an automobile, one of which was a Hudson. The family had horses of which Ellis was fond. One was a gray saddle horse called Murphy. Another was a black with white [begin page 3] spots called Old Babe who lived into the late 20's or early 30's. Old Babe was an excellent pack horse and very gentle. She would never rub off a pack. One horse Florie had a colt named Chuf. Dick was bought to match Chub.

Ellis married a local girl, Carmen Rose. The couple had no children. Ellis was in construction work and helped build bridges in this area, Los Angelos [sic], and the Bonneville project, so was away from Talent a lot.

Ellis' favorite activities include the Elks lodge and the very best is the Talent Club.

When his wife became very ill and required much care, Ellis hired Ruth Williams, who lives at patio village to help with her. Where did you get the nickname "Mother Hubbard" for her, Ellis? Anyway "Mother Hubbard" taught Carmen to crochet and she made many articles. The Beesons donated half of her crochet money to the building fund for Talent City Hall.

And now- Herrrrrr's Ellis. Congratulations!