Irish Sheepherders Of Lake County Oregon
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  By Brendon Griffiths

William & Daniel Cashman
were the sons of James (b1871, d19931) & Ellie (circa b.1873 - circa d1931) Cashman. They were just two of 10 children; 7 daughters & 3 sons. Bill and Dan emigrated to America (Possibly Oregon) in the 1920's.

William Cashman b.1905
During a recent trip to New York Jo Sealey visited Ellis Island and found the details relating to William's passage to America. He travelled on the ship the 'SS Celtic', from Cobh, on the 30th November 1924. He arrived in New York on the 9th December 1924.

According to the ships manifest William was to stay in New York with his cousin James Murphy who was at the time living at 108 West 81st Street. Murphy was William's mothers maiden name.

Bill Cashman left home and emigrated at the young age of nineteen years. His former neighbour and schoolmate Con Dineen who was already in the State of Oregon wrote to Bill encouraging him to come out too.

Bill Cashman and Tade Cronin aged twenty eight, left home on the same day. First they travelled to Newmarket in a pony and trap and then by train to Cobh. From there they travelled on the great ships of the Cunard Line; the Mauretania, The Oceanic, The Lucania, across the Atlantic, a journey of seven to ten days, to New York. This must have seemed eternity for those who were cramped together on the lower third class section of the ship. It appears many of the emigrants arrived badly shaken from their voyage, and entered the States via the dreaded Ellis Island where they were herded through emigration requirements including physical a examination. However those who were bound for Lake County, Oregon had as yet only travelled only half of their 6,000 mile journey. Most travelled by railroad from New York to the West. In New York, Bill and Tade, stayed a few days with some friends where they had to stand in line for soup. By train they travelled on to San Francisco. Tade stayed there whilst Bill went on to Oregon where he worked on a ranch for O'Keeffs from Newmarket. He married a Miss Murphy from Glenreigh, Ballydesmond, who had gone out to an uncle in the area. They did not have any family. Bill was called up to join the army but did not have to go to the front in WW2. The new Mrs Cashman was not a good correspondent as Bill's sister Mary in Ireland wrote to her a few times but did not get any reply. Later in the 60's Bill's nephew Jim Kenneally met her in Oregon.

Oregon was still underdeveloped, roughly a quarter of the state is desert but not in the conventional sense of hot and sandy. It is high desert, and wide plateaus broken by earth faults with are due to successive volcanic flows. The nights can be very cold and there can be snow in winter. There is little rainfall and many of the lakes are alkaline.

The Homestead Act of 1909 offered (1 294 994,1 meters squared) of land free. The prospective settler only needed a ten dollar filling fee, and to live on his homestead for five years. After this the holding was his own. All who braved harshness of the desert with enthusiasm didn't succeed, as many had to abandon it and admit that they could not make a living on roughly a square of arid desert. In 1869 a Ml. Mc Shane from Armagh was the first Irishman in Lake County.

Dr. Bernard Daly who was born in mayo in 1858 was one of the early settlers and he set up a medical practice there in 1887, later getting involved in several diverse businesses. He even studied law and was admitted to the bar. When he died in 1920 he left his vast estate to provide scholarships and worthy students continue to benefit to this day.

The first immigrants from County Cork were the Sherlock brothers from Bandon who arrived in Oregon in 1872. The pattern of emigration from the Duhallow region of County Cork was begun by the Barry brothers from Rockhill, Rock chapel Parish in the early 1880's and continued intermittently to the early 1950's.

Dan Cashman 1907 - ?

Dan Cashman was born in October 1907. As a young man he went to Oregon and farmed there with his brother Bill. Paddy Cashman, an uncle of Dan's had sister there, married to a McCarthy, so Dan's father Tim had written to McCarthy in advance of Dan going out.

Going to Oregon was the tradition of many from the Newmarket area. Michael and Nora (Kane) Barry of Rockchapel who were married in 1840 and had eight sons all of whom were to emigrate to the United States. Four of them Mike, Barry and three of his brothers Phil, Bill and Jim are credited with introducing sheep farming Warner over a century ago. Like so many of the early sheep men in Oregon the 4 Barry's first spent some years in the sheep business in California before entering Oregon in the 1880's. A herder had the option of being paid in stock instead of money. He would often choose ewes so that in time he would also have lambs of his own which gave him a chance of having a reasonable band of his own in about five years. As each of the Barry's built up their own heards they began to send to the old county for young men to come and work for them.

Sheep farming was a precautious occupation. Fortunes were up one year and down the next. A sheep man could loose up to 1000 sheep in just one bad storm dieing of exposure and hunger.

One immigrant J. P. McAuliffe originally from Gooseberry Hill, Newmarket is reputed to have made and lost three fortunes. Going broke was no stigma it was merely an incident and rather expected.

In the period 1900 to 1930 two hundred and seventy applicants for holdings were from Duhallow. The number is now down to about 20 first generation emigrant families who with their extended families hold a party each St Patrick's Day with a local radio station in Lakeview linking them up with relatives in Newmarket. Marie (Kelleher) Lyons Mallow detailed the ordeals of the emigrants in a book, Duhallow to Oregon 1960. Some of those emigrants have returned and now live in Newmarket.

The men who left Duhallow in the early 1920's seem to have been more interested in a quick fortune than a new home. Many of the immigrants who entered Lake County remained single, probably because of the nomadic lifestyle of the herder. Some promised to return within a few years with money to stock the farm,. However they rarely returned so soon, if at all. Contrary to popular opinion in Duhallow it appears that a relatively few of those immigrants succeeded in returning home with a fortune.

Dan Cashman met in Oregon, a Mrs Nora O'Connor nee Barry whose husband was from Knocknacurra (see reference to O'Conner being with Jim Cashman when he fell of a horse). Nora was a daughter of small Mick Barry from Meelin and her husband had a brother Paddy "The Bush O'Connor who had a pub in Oregon. Later when Nora O'Connor became a widow she and Dan married. Nora and Dan had no family but Nora had three children of the first marriage. Nora's children, the O'Connors are still in Oregon.
Dan was a heavy smoker and suffered from emphysema. He was also a very hard worker. He was struck by a car whilst he was crossing the road and he broke a leg. Dan was aged about seventy when he died and like his brother Bill is laid to rest in San Francisco. He was survived by his wife Nora and by her three children.

Nora still lives in San Francisco. She is an excellent artist painter and is presently aged about ninety years. One of her daughters Denise met and married a David Lewis son of a Banker from Killarney, who had gone to Oregon following several years in seminary training for the priesthood. He comes home regularly to see his parents who now live in Trallee and he calls to see Mary (Cash) Kelleher, in Millstreet, his latest visit being in March 1996.

After war Dan was lucky in a lottery for war veterans and won a ranch, part of a dried lake or oasis at Tulle Lake, California where he lived for the rest of his life. The lake bad been drained to provide good fertile land in what was at the time predominantly sheep country. The evening before he died he was out fishing Bill is buried in San Francisco.

His widow sold the ranch and retired to San Francisco.

Mrs Marie Kelleher Lyons, Mallow originally from Newmarket prepared and presented a Thesis at U.C.C. Duhallow to Oregon which has also been prepared in limited book form, it traces the connection between Newmarket and Oregon and the early sheep farming of the Barry's. A copy is available in the county reference library.