Irish Sheepherders of Lake County Oregon
O'Leary Ranch
Paisley Oregon
Currently there are 4 generations of Irish American families still raising cattle in Lake County. They are grazing the desert and the forest as the original sheepherders did; but the cattle has replaced the great bands of Sheep.
This web site will show the descendants of the original Irish sheepherders, as they work and ride on the same lands their ancestors trailed sheep and how they are indeed
"Gods Guardians of the Range"

Jerry and Mary O'leary

John O'Leary
Mike O'Leary
Mike O'Leary
Barry Brothers
Sherlock Brothers
1912 Irish News
Irish in the News
Irish Room
Contact Jim Deely
Irish Obituries

JERRRY O'LEARY, February 1980
Intiew by Lee Juillerat

Jeary never looked back when he left County Cork, Ireland in 1910.

We come out here with the intention of staying and that was it,² said O¹Leary.
Like many other Irishmen, O¹Leary was searching for a better way of life
and attracted by the idea of America, where the streets were paved with gold.
In 1910 the 17-year-old O¹Leary traveled 10 days by boat to New York , where he
stayed briefly until riding a train to Alturas and boarding a stage to Lake County. F
or several years he worked as a tramp sheepman, moving herds wherever feed
was available. He saw much of Lake, Klamath and Harney counties, but by 1922
settled in the Paisley area of Lake County.

During slow seasons he sometimes headed to New York to visit relatives.
³The groom was visiting his sister looking for a very good bride, and there
I was, said O¹Leary¹s spunky wife, the former Mary Singleton. The two were
married 1927 in New York. A year later, Jeremiah, the oldest of six children,
was born. In 1980, Jerry and Mary had 37 grandchildren, many living between
Paisley and Summer Lake.

In the busiest times the O¹Learys had between 2,500 to 3,000 sheep. Two or three
herders worked during the winter while another half dozen were hired during summer
months for lambing and haying. Crews traveling from California could handle
the shearing in two or three days, but maybe it would take two weeks because
it would rain and the wool wouldn¹t dry,

O¹Leary remembered. After prices were settled with wool buyers, the sheep were
trailed to Lakeview and fat lambs were shipped by rail. In later years trucks came
to the ranch. In 1924, disease in California prevented the sale of lambs there, so Jerry
and others combined their flocks and drove them up Bear Creek to Silver Lake
and on to Bend. It took three weeks. Herders and their sheep went to the mountains
in November and returned in April.

Supplies were left near sheep camps. Although the O¹Learys always ran some
cattle, sheep dominated their ranch until 1959. ³The help got old and died off
and that finished the sheep business, O'Leary said. Jerry and Jeremiah believed the
transition from sheep to cattle has cut down on work because, ³you have don¹t have
to work them (cattle) night and day.

Irish Ranchers Today
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Flynn, Jack
Flynn, Joe

Flynn, Dennis
Flynn and Son's
Fitzgerald Ranch
Lane Brothers
Keily Ranch

O'Leary's Ranch
O'Leary Ranch Silver Lake O'Sullivan, Mike
Murphys Ranch
Taylor Barry & John
Taylor, Neil

Shine, Ranch