Crook County

Crook County

Crook County 1882 *Named for Major General George Crook *2,991 square miles *County seat: Prineville

Alice Day Pratt (1872-1963)
by Cathy Alzner

Alice Day Pratt was forty years old in 1912 when she set out on her own to homestead on 160 acres in Crook County. After eighteen years of ranching and teaching in rugged central Oregon, she moved to New York and published her experiences in national magazines and in books. 

Bill Pearl (1930-)
by Jaime Vener

William Arnold Pearl was born in Prineville on October 31, 1930. While he was still a young boy, the family moved to Yakima, Washington, where his father opened a restaurant. From a young age, Bill Pearl identified with the skinny, weak character portrayed in Charles Atlas commercials, which boasted the benefits of weight lifting and bodybuilding. Inspired by sibling rivalry and the desire to become like Charles Atlas, Bill lifted gallon cans of vegetables and gunnysacks of potatoes while working in the restaurant.

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
by Jeff LaLande

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, in the Department of the Interior, has been an important force in Oregon since soon after the agency's founding with the 1902 Reclamation (Newlands) Act. Twenty-nine Reclamation dams, most of them in the arid parts of the state, have impounded reservoirs for irrigation purposes—some of them, like Lake Owyhee, quite large.


Les Schwab (1917-2007)
by Edwin Battistella

Founded in 1952 as a two-man tire store in Prineville, Les Schwab Tire Centers has become a Fortune 500 Company with well over a billion dollars in annual sales. Its stores—located in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, California, Nevada, Utah, and Alaska—are recognized by their red and yellow signs. In addition to selling tires, chains, and batteries and offering various services for automobiles, the company produces specialized tires for trucks, drag racers, and other vehicles and operates several tire-retreading plants. Individual stores average about $3.5 million in yearly sales, triple the industry average. Les Schwab Tire Centers is the second largest private company in Oregon and the third largest independent tire chain in the country.

Crooked River Project
by Scott Cohen

Crooked River

In 1956, with the help of Oregon senators Wayne Morse and Richard Neuberger, Crook County landowners and officials persuaded Congress to authorize and fund the Crooked River Project. The project's main component, Bowman Dam (named for A.R. Bowman, a Crook County commissioner and chief project booster), along with pumping stations and irrigation canals, provided water for 10,000 new acres of farmland and 10,000 acres already under cultivation.

Robert Sawyer (1880-1959)
by William Lang

Robert SawyerFrom 1914 to 1953, Robert Sawyer held sway from his desk as editor and publisher of the Bend Bulletin as the most important advocate for central Oregon. Sawyer wrote thousands of editorials that promoted general development of the High Desert region from Madras to Klamath Falls. Eric W. Allen, first dean of the School of Journalism at the University of Oregon, considered Sawyer the best small-town editor in the Pacific Northwest, in part because he trained first-rate journalists who made the Bulletin an early stop in their careers.




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