JC Oliver

J.C. Oliver III, recipient of the prestigious 1995 AgStar Award.

75 years ago

Kimberly soldier takes part in crucial operation in Philippine Campaign

With the 24th Infantry (Victory) Division in the Philippines – The company of Sergeant Jame H. Cimmiyotti, of Kimberly, Oregon stopped the Japanese suicidal sabotage mission cold.

In a crucial operation in the Philippines campaign the unit, Company “G” of the Victory Division’s fighting 34th Infantry Regiment, was sent deep behind enemy lines to block the route which offered the Japanese access to our flanks.

In 28 days of fighting in continuous rain they defeated a program to blow up our artillery, motor pools and supply dumps which had been outlined in secret orders of General Yamashita, that were found on a dead Japanese officer.

The company patrolled the area continuously. Fifteen times the small units flushed suicide squads and dispersed them. The majority carried 20 pound packages of TNT in which hand grenades had been inserted. Not one of the enemy missions materialized.

The Japanese attacked the company’s base of operations on a ridge five times, trying to force it to withdraw, but all were beaten. Three of the attacks were in pitch darkness. At times the Japanese were within seventeen feet of the perimeter positions. Once they attacked with bayonets tied to sticks.

One man in “G” Company was killed. Ten were wounded.

50 years ago

Cow-growers probing loss of cattle

Reflecting concern expressed by cattlemen elsewhere in Oregon, members of the Grant County Stockgrowers are taking a survey of their own members to better determine the extent of cattle theft.

Survey forms were issued recently by a group headed by Long Creek rancher Fred Livingston and the first returns are beginning to be received at the office of William K. Farrell, Grant County extension agent.

Grant stockmen want to determine how extensive cattle thefts are, Farrell said.

He noted that a group of north end ranchers attended a meeting of the Morrow County Stockgrowers Tuesday night in Heppner to learn more about the situation in the county to the north. Cattle thefts are growing nationwide, he added.

The stockmen decided to launch the survey at a board meeting held two weeks ago. Last week the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association said cattle thefts cost Oregon ranchers $450,000 last year.

25 years ago

J.C. Oliver III awarded prestigious AgStar Award

J.C. Oliver III, a fourth generation Grant County cattle rancher from Bear Valley, has been named as this year’s individual recipient of the AgStar Award. His selection was announced last week by the Agricultural Committee of the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with Oregon AgFest.

The AgStar Awards are presented annually to individuals and organizations noted for their support of, and contribution to Oregon Agriculture.

In an unusual move, both the individual and organization AgStar awards this year will be presented to eastern Oregonians.

The organization award will be presented to Ed Ziari and IRZ Consulting of Hermiston.

Recipients were selected based on the recommendations from their peers. Nominating Oliver for this year’s individual award were the Grant County Chamber of Commerce, the Grant County office of the Oregon State University Extension Service and Mt. Vernon area rancher Rick Page. Oliver’s Roots go back to the gold rush days when his great grandfather first came to the John Day Valley. He was able to save enough money to purchase the Crown Ranch east of john Day where he established a dairy farm. In later years, the Oliver brothers moved into sheep ranching.

“You’ve got to take care of what you have, you can’t abuse it,” he said of his ranching operations in Bear Valley, east of Seneca. “You treat it right and it will treat you right.”

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