Ottley has seen Quincy change
Dean Ottley was born and raised in Elba, Idaho, the oldest of 11 children. His parents, Fred and Vivian Ottley, farmed hay and cattle in the small mountain community of 200. Ottley attended Raft River High School in Malta, Idaho. He graduated in 1942 in a class of 17.
Ottley farmed for a bit, then was drafted into World War II in late 1943. He served in the Navy Air Corps, flying in a patrol bomber as a bow gunner. He spent time in the Panama Canal, Cuba and the Galapagos Islands on submarine patrol.
“We didn’t see any action,” he said. “That is because they did their job so well- they kept the subs away!” joked his wife, Gloria.
He served for close to two and a half years, ending his service as an AI 3rd class.
After his military service, it was time for church service. In 1946, Ottley went on a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Great Britain. He served in the northern part of England, around Newcastle and Carlisle.
“It was pretty tough there. Everything was rationed— food, coal, fuel. Everything was scarce. There were still bomb craters everywhere,” said Ottley.
He came back home in December of 1948, arriving the day before Christmas.
“I went back home to farm, renting my father’s ground and another piece, for a few years,” said Ottley.
He married Margaret Gardiner in 1949. She had worked at the grocery store in town. The couple started a family, with the first of their four children coming along in 1951.
Ottley’s son, Gary, lives in Quincy and farms. His daughter, Janet Thayer, lives in Quincy and works at Quincy Valley Medical Center as a nurse. His son, Richard, works as a high school teacher and a coach in Panaca, Nev. The youngest, Curtis, is a CPA in Ramon, Calif.
Ottley’s brother was working for another farmer in Quincy when he talked Ottley into coming and seeing the area. In March of 1955, he was awarded 120 acres of land in a GI drawing, the same ground his son now farms.
“It was a lot different, a lot more sage and hardly any trees,” he said. “We started with peas, beans, alfalfa and wheat.”
Ottley said over the years, he farmed potatoes, sweet corn, field corn and onions. He raised sheep for a while, and raised cattle, ending up with a cow and calf operation and a registered herd of Herefords in 1978.
Just a few months short of their 30th wedding anniversary, Margaret passed away from cancer. A while later, Ottley married Gloria, Margaret’s sister, who had been a nurse. The couple has now been married just short of 30 years themselves.
Ottley retired from farming in 2000. They served two 18-month service missions at a church employment office in Moses Lake. The couple also enjoys doing genealogical work together.
In his spare time, Ottley enjoys working in the yard. The past four years, he has grown dahlias and has around 100 of them.
“You have to dig them up in the fall and plant them again in the spring, so they are a little bit of work,” he said.
He also enjoys reading biographies and history books. The couple is looking forward to a family reunion and a class reunion and visiting grandchildren this summer. They have 16 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Celebrate autumn during annual harvest festival
Coming up on its ninth year, Harriet Weber has made Quincy’s Harvest Festival somewhat of a tradition. This year, the festival has grown with more demonstrations and more activities than ever. Weber is joined by Harvest Festival Committee leader Lynne Snyder. Other members of this new committee include Karen Murray, Terri Wilson, Shirley Bergerud and Kaye Baumgartner. It has been wonderful to have found someone else who shares a passion for this,” said Weber. “It is a huge undertaking, but working for someone who has a vision is satisfying,” said Snyder.
There are a myriad of new activities featured to take place at the festival on Saturday. There will be a person spinning yarn, a treadle machine operator will be doing demonstrations, as well as quilting and crocheting activities.
“We will have Dean Ottley working a cream separator, and there will be farm games. The public is also invited to join in an old time hymn sing-along at the church. The singing will begin at 12:30 and last for one half hour. This year, the festival is also featuring an exhibit by the Pacific Science Center titled, “Harvesting Science.” The science center group will be discussing agriculture related science, and they will bring an old-fashioned water pump.
Quincy Harvest Festival will also recognize the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in Washington state. Bev Mayer will give a Suffragette talk at 2 p.m.
Weber said the festival was started because children need to feel pride in their community, as well to help them understand local history. “The very first year, there were about 50 people. Last year, at least 300 people came. We are expecting about 250 this year, depending on the weather and other factors,” said Weber.
“The public is welcome to come in costume wearing period clothing. The fashions didn’t change much between 1870 and 1910. Any style of clothing from that time works,” said Weber.
Festivities begin at 11 a.m and end at 3 p.m. Weber said that on the day of the event, elderly and disabled people are to park in the Reiman-Simmons parking lot. Everyone else is encouraged to park in the old Perez Trucking lot one block west of the Reiman-Simmons House.
2011 July 7, (1961 Quincy Valley Post Register):
1989 January 26 Quincy Valley Post Register:
1989 June 22 Quincy Valley Post Register: