Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The
Big Bend Country, embracing Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties,
State of Washington", published by Western Historical Publishing
BENJAMIN F. HURLEY is to be classed as one of the earliest pioneers in Lincoln county. Since those days of deprivation and hardship, he has continued steadily here manifesting an industry and wisdom commendable in a high degree. His labors have largely been turned to stock raising in which enterprise, he has achieved a good success. He resides about twelve miles west from Davenport, where he owns an estate of over two thousand acres devoted to hay and pasture.
Benjamin F. was born in Carroll county, Arkansas, on February 11, 1854, the son of Isaac and Sarah A. (Beck) Hurley. The mother was born in Wayne county, Kentucky, the daughter of Preston and Mary A. Beck, natives of Kentucky. The father was a native of Missouri. In the spring of 1868, he bought out an ox team conveyance and brought his family across the dreary plains to Humboldt county, Nevada, consuming five months in the journey. They remained there until the fall of 1869, when they pushed on to Plumas county, California, and there settled upon a ranch, which his father had acquired on a former visit to California. The family resided on this place until 1873, when the father was called hence by death. Our subject grew up in the western home, receiving good training from the common schools, supplemented by a course in Christian college at College City, California. In the spring of 1882, he went to work for Wells-Fargo & Company in San Francisco. In the course of the following year, he went to Lincoln county being one of the earliest settlers of the county. At first he bought railroad land, then in 1884, took a homestead and commenced breeding stock. He handled cattle and horses until the last few years when he has given entire attention to cattle alone. His large estate furnishes both pasture for the summer and hay for the winter for his stock and he turns off a large bunch each year. He also owns property in Davenport. Mr. Hurley's mother came to Lincoln county with them and was the keeper of his house until her death on October, 23, 1892.
On July 16, 1903, occurred the marriage of Mr. Hurley and Mrs. Ellen (Kals) Oligher, a native of Dodge county, Wisconsin. She came to California with her parents in 1870 and lived in Yolo county. The year 1884 marks the date of her settlement in Lincoln county. Mr. Hurley deserves to be commended on the excellent labors he has performed in this section as well as the interest he has taken in political and other affairs, being always a progressive and substantial man.
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