News: Looking for females who are in the pure female lines (mother to daughter) from William and Sarah who are willing to do an mtDNA test. Such a person would be descended along an all female line from Mary DEVIN Biggers or Margaret DEVIN Reynolds. The hope is to identify the markers for Sarah SMITH Devin to help identify her parents. Contact the webmaster if interested.

Devin descendant, Stanley Wayne Devin, passed away at 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 4, 2014. He was the last living child of Ira & Oleta Devin.
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The Matt Devin Homestead

Matt and Eliza Devin homesteaded section ?? of range ?? township in Wallowa County Oregon.

Nathaniel “Matt” Madison Devin and Eliza Jane HOLMES Devin along with three children: Eugene, Bertha, and Odna left Bolivar, Missouri and traveled west by railroad box car to LaGrande, Oregon in 1890. There, they bought a team of horses and a wagon. They loaded their household goods and headed northeast to Wallowa County. It took them several days to reach the area near where the community of Flora, Oregon is now located. Two miles east of the present Flora, they staked a claim for a homestead on 160 acres. The picture below shows the south portion of that land as one would view if from Oregon State Highway #3 (the main highway from Enterprise Oregon to Lewistion Idaho). The highway dissects the eastern part of the homestead.

It was late October, and they quickly constructed a small 14x14 foot log cabin using logs from Tamarack trees. The cabin had a dirt floor and burlap for the door and window for a few weeks. At one end on the outside of the cabin was a small lean-to for storage and shelter for the horses. Later, they added such amenities as a bench, a wooden door (made from Tamarack boards), and a shelf in the kitchen area. They lived in this cabin for about three years.

In the summer of 1894 (the summer that Ira H. Devin was born), Matt with the help of several neighbors built a log barn and a new two-story log house (pictured below) that was 16x20 feet with an attached 12x14 foot lean-to kitchen on one end. The log house had hand-hewn wooden floors, and hand-split Tamarack shakes for the roof. The logs came from nearby trees and were used for several items such as chairs, fence boards, fence rails, and window frames. A corner of the first log cabin can be seen in the very left edge of the log house shown in the picture.

The log house provided shelter to the Devin family until 1911 when a two-story “lumber house” was completed just west of the log house.. Shortly afterward, the log house was dismantled and the logs were used to make other buildings for the farmstead. The first log cabin remained for a number of years. The rocks used for footing for both and log cabin and lthe lumber are still visible (2002 and 2007) even though they are somewhat scattered.

The Matt Devin homestead can be found by driving north one mile on Oregon Highway 3 from the present Flora junction. At this point, a small gravel road intersects the highway. Their homes were located in a small grove of evergreen trees about 300 yards west from the highway on the north side of the gravel road. on both sides of the highway. The homestead extends north of the gravel road for about one quarter of a mile on both sides of the highway. The gravel road is the southern edge of the original homestead, and the cabins were located in the southwest corner of the place. Matt and Eliza eventually bought the land south of the gravel road and built a shake mill on it. Their son, Ira, bought land adjoining the southeast corner of their land in 1917.

The homestead is on private land, so you must ask permission to visit the area. You can find an address for the current owner at the Assessor's Office in the Wallowa County Courthouse in Enterprise, Oregon.


Owner/SourceCarl D.
Date25 November 2006

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