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As It Was: Early 4-H Promoter Assures Good Cattle in Jackson County

Brownsboro, Ore., rancher Floyd Charley has been described as “the patriarch of 4-H, who like a pebble in the center of a pond, caused a huge ripple effect through Jackson County.”

Charley’s family had ranched in the area near Brownsboro since 1875.  Charley was born in 1892 and though he only finished the eighth grade, attended the Oregon Agricultural College at Corvallis, where he joined the Industrial Club.

After his father died, Charley returned to help run the family ranch. He got his younger brothers to compete in the state Industrial Club competition which won one of them a free trip to the Pan Pacific Exposition in San Francisco in 1915.

When Charley tried to interest his neighbors in starting a 4-H beef club, they didn’t want to get involved, so he did it alone. He was so dedicated that he once rode horseback five hours from the summer range in the mountains to his truck, then drove into Medford for a meeting of 4-H leaders. Then he reversed course and returned to the mountains.

Floyd Charley saw that children had good cattle to show at the county and state 4-H fairs.


Source: Edwards, Patsy C. Heritage Ranch Family--2017: The Charley Brothers; Floyd, Claus and Leland Charley. The Jackson County Stockmen's Association & The Jackson County Cattlewomen, 1917, pp. 47-51.

Alice Mullaly is a graduate of Oregon State and Stanford University, and taught mathematics for 42 years in high schools in Nyack, New York; Mill Valley, California; and Hedrick Junior High School in Medford. Alice has been an Southern Oregon Historical Society volunteer for nearly 30 years, the source of many of her “As It Was” stories.