Early Settler and Logging Operator

William Endicott

By Steve Lent, Crook County Historian

William A. Endicott came to Central Oregon in 1911 to settle and became one of the major logging operators in Prineville. William A. Endicott was born in Boaz, Wisconsin on May 8, 1878. He attended schools in Richland Center, Wisconsin. He was ordained as a minister in the Community Church at Boaz when he was 19 years old. He later came West and worked in the building trade in several Western states.

While working in Wyoming in 1907 he met Mollie Ukeneskey and soon they became inseparable. Mollie was born in Kendall, Wisconsin on January 4, 1885. They were married in Lander, Wyoming on December 19, 1908. In 1911 they headed to Oregon by horse drawn wagon looking for a suitable place to settle. With them was their young son, Fred, who had been born in Wyoming. The place they chose to homestead was near the confluence of Willow Creek and the Deschutes River at a site known as Pelton. A daughter, Gilma, was born at the homestead. The family moved into Madras a few years later so Bill could work in the building construction business. He later branched out into road construction building roads for the Oregon State Highway Department in Central Oregon.

Bill acquired an interest in the Blue Ridge Cinnabar Mine near Big Summit Prairie in 1932. He lived at the mine and his son came to work with him. The family moved to Prineville in 1935. Bill then logged for Pop Forsythe at the Pine Products Mill. Bill began his own logging company known as Endicott Logging Company. His son Fred was also active in the company. Bill continued to log for Pine Products Mill after establishing his own operation and was one of the primary logging contractors for the mill. The company had several logging trucks and construction equipment for building roads and skidding logs.

Bill sold his logging company to his son Fred in 1940 and he retired. He and Mollie lived in Prineville for the rest of their lives. Bill passed away on August 18, 1968. Mollie lived on for several years and died in Prineville on January 6, 1979. They had participated in the development of Central Oregon from a dry land farming center to a major timber producing country.