All friends and relatives are invited to help celebrate the 90th birthday of Nellie Evick at an open house from 2 to 4 p.m., Saturday, March 22, at the Mud Springs Grange. No gifts please.
Nellie's parents were homesteaders who ranched, hauled freight by wagon and ran the Willow Creek Stage Station at Grizzly. Nellie Rufener was born in Grizzly and attended grade school there with her siblings. To attend high school, they boarded in the big town of Madras, which had a population of 280.
Nellie was quite an athlete, running races and jumping hurdles during county fair competitions, and playing tennis and basketball in high school. She graduated in 1933, and in 1935 married Floyd Evick, who did highway construction. Later they both worked at Hay Creek Ranch, where Nellie cooked and Floyd worked in the fields.
Known for her ability to dowse water with a forked stick, Nellie began at age 13 and eventually charged a $35 fee and said she found a lot of water in the area. She and her husband bought a farm on Agency Plains in 1938, built a home and farmed until their retirement.
In 1996, Nellie and her brother Louis Rufener were honored as the Jefferson County Pioneer Queen and Man at the annual Pioneer Picnic.