Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

Oral Histories of the James Cant Ranch (John Day Valley, Oregon), 1982-1985

Cover image from a monograph held in the Cant Ranch oral history collection.

Information and Credits

OH 25

The Oral Histories of the James Cant Ranch are comprised of interviews with fifteen individuals that tell the story of James and Elizabeth Cant's successful agricultural operation - established in northeast Oregon on the John Day River in the early 1900s - and of rural agricultural life in the region where the Cant Ranch was located. The Cant family raised irrigated crops and livestock for over sixty years on a tract of land that came to encompass over 11,000 acres. In 1975 the Cant Ranch complex was purchased by the National Park Service for incorporation into the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.

Biographical Note 

Scope and Content Note


0.5 cubic feet, including 31 audiocassettes; 2 boxes


The materials described in this collection have been arranged into two series, one describing the collection's audiocassettes and a second the published transcripts that emanated from the project. An alphabetical view of the oral history interviewees whose recordings and transcripts are held in this collection is as follows:

  • Cant, Freda (Erikson)
    • Two interviews: June 22, 1983; June 23, 1983
  • Cant, James, Jr.
    • Two interviews: June 23, 1983; July 10, 1983
  • Humphreys, Dollina (Stewart)
    • Two interviews: May 25, 1983; June 7, 1983
  • Humphreys, Rhys
    • Two interviews: May 13, 1982; June 6, 1982
  • Jackson, Kathleen (Bales) (May 24, 1983)
  • MacArthur, Linda (May 24, 1983)
  • MacDonald, John (May 23, 1983)
  • Mascall, Lillian (Cant) (June 8, 1982)
  • Moore, Charles (May 25, 1983)
  • Munro, Robroy (June 23, 1983)
  • Munro, Stella M. (Pigg) (June 24, 1982)
  • Murray, Alexander (May 22, 1983)
  • Murray, Eva (Officer) (June 9, 1982)
  • Murray, John
    • Two interviews: June 5, 1982; May 23, 1983
  • Weatherford, Walter (June 9, 1982)

Related Papers

Copies of the monographs held in this collection are available in the OSU Libraries general book collection. The Royal G. Jackson Papers are likewise held by the Special Collections & Archives Research Center. The department is also home to numerous collections documenting or related to agriculture and ranching in Oregon, including the Century Farm and Ranch Program Records and the Edwin Russell Jackman Papers. Photographs of the John Day Valley are also available in several collections including the Extension Bulletin Illustrations Photograph Collection (P 020), the Experiment Station Publications Photographic Collection (P 132) and the Ralph I. Gifford Photographs (P 218 SG 2). Finally the Oregon Pioneers Oral History Collection (OH 01) and Oral History Interviews, Personal Histories, and Sound Recordings Collection on Agriculture, Forestry, and Oregon History (OH 05) are likely to be of interest to those using oral sources to research rural Oregon in the early twentieth century.

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