A Young Pioneer on Willow Creek

Anna Garrett Sumner pioneer queen 1945

Anna Garrett Sumner

By Steve Lent, Crook County Historian

Anna Loretta Garrett was born on Sept. 23, 1874. Her parents James and Mary Hash Garrett lived on a ranch near Grizzly at the time of her birth.. Her mother’s parents, John and Elizabeth Hash, had settled near Coon Creek. Hash Rock on the present Ochoco National Forest is named for Anna’s grandfather. The Garrett Ranch was first in Wasco County, then Crook County and finally in Jefferson County.

Anna and her three siblings grew up on the Garrett Ranch. She attended local one room schools. She loved horses and ranching. It was said by those that knew her that she tried to break every horse in the country. She was sent to The Dalles to attend Catholic school but it only lasted one year before she returned. She also attended one year of school in Prineville.

She met Thomas Y. Sumner who had a ranch and operated freight wagons between Shaniko and Lakeview. A romance soon blossomed and they were married on October 12, 1897. Thomas was born on April 17, 1869. After their marriage they ranched in Wasco County until 1923. During this period they operated a stage line between Shaniko and Lakeview. They also undertook operating the Shaniko Hotel. They had four daughters and one son.

Thomas passed away on March 14, 1938. After his death Anna moved into Prineville and lived with her daughter and son-in-law Madge and Tom Wyman. She became active in local organizations. She attended the Community Church, was a member of the Pythian Sisters, charter member of the Rebekah Lodge , a member of the Ladies Patriarch Militants (The highest branch of an independent order of the Oddfellows Lodge), and the Golden Age Club.

Anna was selected as the Crook County Pioneer Queen in 1945. She lived to be 100 years old and over 350 people helped her celebrate the milestone event. Anna passed away on May 23, 1975. Both Thomas and Anna are buried in Juniper Haven Cemetery in Prineville.