Oral Histories

Jim & Nellie McPherson

The winter of 1935 and 1936: Mr. McPherson, with the help of a hired hand, Paul Haskett, and a friend, Charlie Childress, moved the cows from Crawford by railroad to Cisco. Jim unloaded his good horse, Pat, from the train. The horse fell and broke his leg and they had to put him away.

They got the cows to Dewey, where Lester Taylor had quarters for their “sheep outfit.” It was a bitter cold winter, 30 degrees below zero that night. The cows had to be corralled. They were thirsty and hungry. Jim and Paul had chopped the ice down on the river the length of the ax handles. It was solid, no water. Jim had night watch and the cattle milled all night long. Next morning they were covered white with frost. They moved them into Fisher Valley by way of the Dolores River, over Seven-mile Pass, up Cottonwood, and into the lower end of Fisher Valley. This country would be the winter range.

McPhersons, Jim, Bill, and Zelpha rented an apartment in Fruita, where Mrs. McPherson stayed winters. Bill soon went to work for the railroad as depot clerk, but was in Fruita between jobs, until he got established and got on full time as a dispatcher. Fern and Les went to Salt Lake City, Utah where Fern finished nurses training and Les went to barber school.

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