Frank Floyd Keller – early Stehekin settler and first Sherriff of Chelan County

Oct. 27, 1892

Still More Of It

The following was received at this office last evening, from the original and only “Stehekin,” a valued contributor to our columns, and is printed at his request:

Stehekin, Oct. 23rd – Mr. Editor: I would like to make a few simple requests through the columns of the Leader to the gawk who wrote the article dedicated to the Leader man, dated Stehekin, Oct. 7, 1892, which was printed by the short-sided paper “At the Boat Landing,” Oct. 13, 1892, signed “Stehekin.”

I would like to ask him, when he writes again, to sign his own name, if he has one, and not deviate quite so much from the truth.

He would infer that the citizens of this place were poor, depraved, simple minded cusses with but little to eat and but a few torn blankets to cover themselves with and too stingy to divide those with a friend. Certainly the public will take no stocks in such stuff.

A special request, and one I wish to emphasize, is, that before starting in on another harangue he go off in some unknown region and ide.

I don’t’ believe he ever resided in Stehekin. His heart and brain are too rotten to keep, even in this pure atmosphere. I think any person that is mean enough to write such contemptable stuff and try to palm it off on someone else, is mean enough to steal acorns from a blind sow and start it on a wrong road home.

Yours truly,

F. F. K. (Keller)

March 16, 1893

“Mr. Terry, father-in-law of Frank F. Keller of Stehekin, and daughter; M.P. Wilson, M.E. Field and G.A. Olson were passengers for the head of the lake last Thursday on Capt. Darnell’s steamer Dragon.

August 31, 1894

From Stehekin

A valued correspondent sends up the following items:

Bayard Wilkeson of Bridge Creek is visiting his father at Hamilton for a few days.

George L. Rowse is making one trip a week with ten horses, packing ore from the Boston mine to the head of the lake.

The steamer Stehekin took the first consignment of ore from the Isoletta claim for the Pershall brothers Sunday.

Mrs. Frank Keller is visiting with Mrs. Wilkeson at Bridge Creek during the absence of Mr. Wilkeson.

Jack Durant and Dennis O’Brien are packing in their winter’s supplies from Bridge Creek, preparing for a winter’s work on Thunder Creek, cross-cutting their ledge, and will ship out ore next summer via Lake Chelan.

Alex Conrad was over from the Sound last week inspecting his claims on Thunder Creek, and thinks he will be able to send out some ore next year, if silver should remain even at the present price.

A.T. Green, of Waterville, with his family and a party of friends, were camping at the head of the lake last week.

Billy McGregor is camping at Mineral Park, on the summit of Cascade Pass and will spend the winter trapping in that country, while Pete Robichand and Geo. Young will trap at the head of the Agnes Creek this fall and winter.

Stehekin, Wash., August 25th

Dec 28, 1894

Mr. and Mrs. Frank Keller and Georgie Ohlhausen, of Stehekin, were among Chelan’s Christmas guests.

May 31, 1895

A note received from Frank F. Keller, esquire, at Stehekin details the finding and burial of the body of Hugh McKeever, which as we already had a statement of it from another source, is omitted. Our esteemed correspondent goes on to say: “I have just returned from Pershall’s camp at Horseshoe Basin. There is much less snow there now than one would naturally expect at this season of the year. I expect to go up there again next week to work in the tunnel on the Isoletta mine.”

July 5, 1895

Letter From Stehekin

Stehekin, Wash., July 1 – I have just returned from the Isoletta mine. There is now a 130-foot tunnel on the claim and it looks as well as ever. On our way up we saw a bear that I think would weight at least 800 pounds. The snow is about all gone in that vicinity, except the glaciers.

I was a party just from Slate Creek, who came down the Methow and up through the Twitsp Pass to Bridge Creek. Another party came over the summit from Seattle through the Cascade Pass. Both parties said the Cascade Pass was undoubtedly the best in the range for a wagon road. They said they had crossed the summit in various places and know of no other pass that was not at least 1,300 feet higher than the Cascade.

There is some assessment work being down on claims located on the north fork of Bridge Creek by Seattle parties.

The Stehekin River is now the highest it has been this season, and in consequence fish are not biting very well.

Mr. J. Ogle and wife and their son Clinton are taking in the sights – and a few fish. Mr. Ogle says he will endeavor to make Stehekin a visit annually. He is not alone in saying that Rainbow Falls are beautiful, and that is place is destined to become a great summer resort; and if the silver gets its just dues, will be one of the richest portions of the state.

F.F.K (Keller)

August 2, 1895

Stehekin July 29 – Your correspondent left R.N. Pershall’s camp (on the upper Stehekin) on the 27th, where Robert and his wife seemed to be enjoying themselves hugely. Coming down to Park Creek I met several prospectors and at the ford at Bridge Creek, Geo. L. Rowse and another gentleman on their way to do assessment work on the Boston and other claims. There were several miners and prospectors camped at Bridge Creek. Some of them were disappointed in not finding a store there, and had to make a trip to Chelan after supplies.

Bear tracks are numerous along the trail and they can occasionally be seen helping themselves to service berries, which are now getting ripe.

It was a happy surprise to meet at Stehekin C.A. Grannis, of Waterville. He has with him C.W. Ernst and family, Robert Beyers and wife, Mrs. Belle Wetzel and Cora Brown. To say they are having a big time does not half express it. The ladies supply the camp with fish. Mr. Ernst picks the barriers and attends to the baby. Mr. Beyers gets the wood and washes the dishes. Mr. Grannis does the cooking. I couldn’t swear to it, but I do think the ladies will deny having used some of his biscuits on their fish lines for sinkers.

There are many others camped here, and still others stopping at the hotel. All seem to be happy. Surly this is a great place for an outing.

F.F.K (Keller)

Nov 15, 1895

Letter from Stehekin

Twistp Horton and Charlie Cole are on the hunt.

Jim Scheuyeaulle is getting out timber for a new house.

M.E. Field and W.J. Jewell are in the shingle business.

Gus Anderson and M.A. Almendinger have gone over the summit to do assessment work on the Eldorado.

R.N. Pershall is building an addition to the north end of his residence. He returned from Meadow Creek a few days since, where he has been doing some assessment work. If there is much ore in the camp like the specimens he brought up with him, that camp will surely be one of the best in the state, situated as it is, right on the bank of the lake, and where the climate is such that there will be no difficulty in working all winter. Mr. Pershall has been in the mining business nearly all this season. He commenced work on the Isoletta group in May and worked in that vicinity nearly all the time until the middle of October. It is understood he has represented about seven claims in the Bridge Creek district also.

Doty and Young did considerable work on the North Fork of Bridge Creek. Dr. Gage and parties from Seattle also did work in that vicinity. But probably there has been more actual money expended in Horseshoe Basin than at any other place of the same area in the county. Capt. Chas. Johnson had men at work on the Homestake and Star for some time. A.M. Pershall had several men on the Davenport and Christie claims. Ed Christie, Lloyd Pershall and Frank Samson did work on the White Cap and Opal. Harry Adams of Portland represented the Ferguson group and employed eleven men, working three shifts of eight hours each daily. He paid $2 per day and board. Five men out of the eleven have ranches at Stehekin or Bridge Creek. Two more have claims just over the summit, and two others live at or near Chelan. So it will be seen that nine out of the eleven live in this locality and receive something over $600 in wages – which is sufficient in proof of the checks being good. As it was reported that we were half starved, our bill of fare is given herewith, as follows: Potatoes, beans, cabbage, onions, ham, bacon, beef, bread, butter, canned corn, canned tomatoes, condensed milk, Worcester sauce, vinegar, salt, pepper, tea and coffee. Even the last four or five days, when we ran short, we had plenty of bread, potatoes, tea and coffee, etc. Mr Adams took a great interest in the work and did all he could to make it pleasant and comfortable for his men, and paid cash for all he had done.

Frank F. Keller

Stehekin, Nov. 13, 1895

April 24, 1896

From Capt. Stewart Johnson it is learned that F.F. Keller is building a residence at Stehekin.

June 18, 1897


Louis Meier has a new cabin at the mouth of Camas Creek.

Moore’s Point is attracting not a little of the tourist and mining travel this season.

Frank Larson has an excellent farm just below Moore’s Point, and a sightly home on the lake shore.

It is altogether probable that a matting plant will be erected at Meadow Creek ere this time next year.

Mr. and Mrs. W.F. Purple and three children of Tacoma, lately from Montana, have settled at Stehekin, were Mr. P. will engage in mining.

Dr. W.C. Hunt, dentist, and Frank Bratton, photographer, both Spokanites, are “doing” the Lake Chelan, Horseshoe Basin and Twitsp sections for health and scenery.

William Buzzard pleasantly entertained ye quill pusher at his farm, under the spray of Rainbow Falls, one day last week. Mr. B. has a valuable and beautiful home that will be worth  a barrel of money one of these days, it is hoped.

Among the bales of fine furs, goat, bear and linx skins which Red Pearl is getting ready to ship from the head of the lake, is a monster mountain lion skin which measured eight feet in length.

The Stehekin Mining Co., of Spokane has organized to develop seven claims at Company Creek, and last week John Blackburn, an old Coeur d’Alene mining man, was sent out to run a 100-foot tunnel on the property.

The latest discovery in Meadow Creek camp, on Fish Creek, properly, is the Golden Eagle, located by Messers Thomas Wilson and G.A. Olsen. We have a piece of the ore which looks remarkably well.

Not least among the attractions at the Hotel Arganaut are two bear cubs, one black and one brown. They were captured by Bud White, who shot the mother and presented the orphans to Mrs. Field.

A blast in the working tunnel of the Blue Jay just after noon on Saturday before last broke into quite a fissure, out of which a five-inch stream of water flowed for several hours.

C.H. Cole is farming and gardening quite extensively this year. His place is just below Deer Point, opposite 25-Mile Creek. He is going to surprise the natives with his exhibit at the fair next fall. Mr. Cole is making a nice home for himself and family.

The scribe is informed that just above Navarre’s famous lime ledge, below Deer Point, there is a mineral outcrop which is claimed to have assayed as high as $17 in gold to the ton, but nothing has been done with it, so far. We give it as we got it.

Away near the Idaho mine, on Meadow Creek, during the thunder storms of two weeks ago, the lightning struck in the top of a fir tree about a hundred fee high, tearing out a strip seven inches wide around and around the tree to the roots, where it disappeared to the ground.

Dr. E.W. Wood, of New York, is visiting the great mining camps along and above Lake Chelan. The doctor, who has worldwide experience as a traveler, says three is noting in Switzerland that equals our mountain scenery. He is also greatly impressed with the magnitude and apparent wealth of our mineral ledges. Mr. Wood is looking for mines for New York capitalists and says he can bring more money here for investment than the steamer Stehekin can carry, if we can show that we have the mines – and in the light of recent developments and discoveries there should be no trouble in doing that. The doctor and M.E. Field are visiting Company Creek this week.

The working force at the Blue Jay camp consists of J.D. McDermott, manager; Vincent McDermott, drill sharpener and blacksmith; Arthur Smith, nephew of the manager, cook and ore hustler; and Messers F.F. Keller, Peter Robichaud, H.H. Hunt and Mr. Buckhorn, miners the latter being divided into day and night shifts.

A merry party made up of M.E. Field as guide and host, Mrs. Britt, the little Miss Emilie Peaslee and Gretchen Purple, Master Bert Purple, Dr. Hunt of Spokane, and a newspaper map, visited Rainbow Falls on Wednesday of last week. This fall is 300 feet high and its roar can be heard a long distance away. It is one of the rarest, most striking bits of scenery in the northwest and is visited annually by a great many people.

If there is pleasanter place on the footstool than the Hotel Arganaut at Stehekin, we have failed so far to find it. Mr. and Mrs. M.E. Field know just how to cater to the public comfort. It was the privilege of the editor of the Leader and his wife to enjoy the hospitality of that hostelry of several days last week, and it was with the greatest reluctance that they forced themselves to come away.

August 12, 1898

Mr. Frank F. Keller, on of Stehekin’s pioneer residents, came down on Tuesday’s boat on a hasty business trip, returning Monday.

Oct 28, 1898

(The county commissioners’ proceedings are printed and included in it is the list of election officers appointed for the November general election and for Stehekin it will be held at the Field’s Hotel with inspector F.F. Keller; the judges will be W.F. Purple and James W. Nicol.

Oct 28, 1898

(The county commissioners’ proceedings are printed and included in it is the list of election officers appointed for the November general election and for Stehekin it will be held at the Field’s Hotel with inspector F.F. Keller; the judges will be W.F. Purple and James W. Nicol)

Dec 23, 1898

Squire F.F. Keller, of Stehekin, came down on Saturday’s boat to get bondsmen and qualify for the office of Justice of the Peace of Stehekin precinct. The evil doers will get it in the neck now, all right enough.

March 3, 1899

Judge F.F. Keller, of Stehekin, spend Sunday at the foot of the lake, returning home Monday.

Nov 30, 1899

F.F. Keller and wife, of Stehekin, went out to Spokane last week, where it is understood Mrs. K. will visit until next April.

Dec 21, 1899

Frank F. Keller, of Stehekin, one of those prominently mentioned as a candidate for sheriff of the new county of Chelan, came up from Wenatchee on Monday.

Jan 18, 1900

Mrs. F.F. Keller, who has been visiting in Spokane, returned Monday and went up the lake Tuesday.

November 25, 1900

Not a direct quote: Election results show 23 voters for Stehekin precent, with 16 of them voting for the republican presidential electors (McKinley) and 7 for the democratic (Wm. Jennings Bryan). For sheriff, F.F. Keller, republican and former Stehekin resident, received 9 votes and Middleton, democrat received 14.

Dec 13, 1900

Good cedar posts or cord wood in exchange for a dressed hog. L.R. Keller, Stehekin, Wash.

May 3, 1907

Frank F. Keller, the veteran baseball magnet and one-time sheriff of Chelan of Chelan County, leaves Wenatchee this week for his ranch in the Stehekin country. Mr. Keller will spend the greater portion of the summer up there, camping and fishing. He has arranged to take a cow and a bee with him, and live in milk and honey all summer.

August 9, 1907

Frank F. Keller and Miss Emma Kelly were married at 9:30 Wednesday evening by Rev. A.J. Adams. The ceremony was performed at the residence of Rev. Adams, 309 King Street. The couple left for the boat Thursday for Stehekin where Mr. Keller has a ranch. After a short outing on the shores of Lake Chelan they will return to Wenatchee, their future home. – World

May 19, 1901

Z.A. Lanham and H.S. Simmons of Wenatchee came in Wednesday with 10,000 eastern brook trout from a private hatchery at Sultan. They intended to stock them at Stehekin on their property purchased from Frank Keller. They intended to go up to Stehekin Tuesday but got here on the wrong day for the boat so had to wait until Wednesday.

July 7, 1932

Floyd Keller, Stehekin, spent the weekend in Lakeside visiting friends.

August 15, 1935

Mr. and Mrs. B.F. Little went to Lucerne Monday in Mr. Little’s boat. Mrs. Keller stopped with them Wednesday and expects to be home today.