Residents of Takilma and Waldo;
The old Takilma store had an interesting history. The town of Takilma was platted in 1902 and there was great hopes that it would become a prosperous little city. The copper mines were busy. The freight wagons loaded with copper ore came through continually and passed the empty wagons going back to the mines. Tents of the mine workers were scattered,every where. But only one store was ever built—the grocery store known as the Takilma Store.
It has been a little hard to trace the ownership of the store. I have read that John Valen had a supply of groceries in his mother's boarding house. Florence Strong,, who used to live in Takilma, told me that Arthur Bagley had a small store in a house that has been gone for many years. And the first owner of the Takilma Store was a man who came from eastern Oregon, John Keil, stepfather of the four. Bagley boys.
I don't know how long Keil and his wife Olive had the store until they sold it to John Fife. Harry and Freda Messenger rented the store for -several years before they bought it from Myrtle Pfefferle and her sons Paul and Phayo.
I remember reading an old account telling that Frank Hogue owned the Takilma Store for a short time. I remember it because of the near tragedy he had. One night, after closing time, someone became ill and asked Frank to open the store to get some medicine for him. It was before the days of electricity. The medicine was on a top shelf. Frank climbed a ladder with a coal oil lamp in one hand, either slipped or missed a rung of the ladder and fell with the lamp, which started a fire. The fire did not destroy the building and Frank repaired it and sold out.
Harry and Freda, Messenger had the store until they sold it to Curly and Faye Baird in 1940. They ran the store until 1968. By the time Curly and Faye bought it, the gas pumps had been put in, but they were both hand pumps. Later they had one changed to an electric pump. The reason they left one a hand pump was because the electricity went off so often in the winter and they wanted to be able to still pump gas.
Andy and Hazel Anders bought the store from the Bairds July, 1968 and ran it until 1973. They closed it that year in October and sold it September 1974. It was totally destroyed by fire February, 1975.
One day while the Anders owned the store, a man came in and said he had built the store and the house just west of the store. He said he built them for his mother, Mrs. Keil, but Hazel Anders does not remember his name or when he said he built them. He told her he did not have a level when building. She asked him how he could get the floor level. He told her he used a pan full of water to tell if he had it level. Mrs. Anders started a guest book when she was storekeeper, but she did not have many people sign it just didn't think to ask them to sign when they came into the store. But the few names in the book are interesting. She evidently asked to write the years they lived in Takilma or Waldo. These are the names written in the little book:
Elma Reed (Eggers) 1900-1908;
Austin H. Phillips 1903;
John Valen, .1904 to Takilma;
Don Cameron 1914;
William J. Frainey, to 1915 Waldo;
George W. Strong, Jr. 1932-1936 and 1954-55;
Bo Tucker, Klamath Falls 1906-1935;
Mark Bagley 1907-1913;
Alvin Campbell (John A) born on Leonard Ranch
Holland came to Takilma 1906 Elder Ranch;
James W. Payne, Sept. 29, 1970;
Loren George, Klamath Falls;
Thos. A. Breazeal;
Kenneth McFarlin 1926-1941 Waldo and Takilma;
John Valen, Kerby;
Edwin Campbell, 1907;
David S. King, 1908 to 1920;
Keith Owen, Grants Pass;
Muriel Keith Little (niece of Keith; Owen);
Randall Bagley, Seattle; Wash, 23 years, grandson of Elsie Bagley
When Wilma Reed (Eggers) and Austin Phillips signed, they came to the store together. Elma was a cousin of Austin Phillips and a relative of Jack Eggers. Elma has had a florist shop in Grants Pass for many years. Austin was born in Takilma. He and John Valen came in the store together often and had long talks of the days that were gone.
Old Charlie Phillips was Mrs. John Keil's brother. He was the father-in-law of Rilda Spurgin Phillips and Frank Hogue. He lived in the house known as the Woodcock house which has recently been torn down.
for acompaning photos see: takilma gallery