Transcribed from "History of North Washington, an illustrated history
of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan counties", published by Western
Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
HERBERT G. CHAMPNEYS is one of
the leading stockmen of Okanogan county. He raises cattle extensively,
and also has two fine farms, one on the bottoms along the Similkameen especially
adapted to hay, and one seven, miles north of Loomis, where he resides
at the present time.
Herbert G. Champneys was born in western Turville,
Buckinghamshire, England, on February 2, 1864 the son of John and Anna
(Walker) Champneys, natives of England. The father, whose fathers
were Church of England ministers, died at the age of sixty-five.
The mother is still living in Wolverhampton, England, aged fifty-eight.
Our subject received a good education from the public and special schools,
and in due time began life as a salesman and bookkeeper. He wrought
in various places, his last occupation being in London. He worked
for Baerlin & Company of Manchester, and also in the civil service
stores in London. It was in 1886, that he started from London to
Sprague, having a through ticket. His brother, Weldon V. met him, and they
came direct to Okanogan county, crossing the ferry where Wild Goose Bill
lives. That enterprising pioneer had just completed a row boat, and
our subject and his brother were the first passengers to cross. The
horses had to swim. Few stores were in the Okanogan country then.
Mr. Champneys located a pre-emption adjoining his present ranch.
He now has an estate of two hundred acres largely seeded to timothy and
clover. He made the pre-emption his home until 1900, when he took
his present place as a homestead.
On September 15, 1887, Mr. Champneys married
Miss Zora, daughter of Alfred C. and Mary S. Cowherd. To them has
been born one child, Julian Drake, his birthday being May 22, 1900.
Mr. and Mrs. Cowherd came from Jackson, Michigan, to the Ivanhoe mines
in Okanogan county in 1890, which Mr. Cowherd had located in 1886, and
which is said to be one of the largest in the county. The property
is located on Palmer mountain, and consists of four patented claims.
Before the concentrator was built on that property, they resided there,
but now dwell upon a homestead adjoining that of our subject. During
the panic, the mine was closed, and at Mrs. Champneys' suggestion, they
started the concentrator and ran through a number of tons of ore lying
on the dump. Mrs. Cowherd was equal to the emergency and handled
the engine while Mr. Cowherd attended to the rest of the mill, and the
result was that the job was completed in good shape, and the returns from
the ore tided them over the panic times.
On July 31, 1903, Mrs. Champneys' sister,
Miss Grace L. Cowherd, in company with Miss Tora Torguson, began the trip
from their place to the top of Mount Chapaca. They carried their
blankets, provisions, and a rifle, and wended their way up the rugged heights
until they finally planted the stars and stripes on the very summit of
this mountain. It is supposed that these ladies were the first white
ladies to step foot on the top of Mount Chapaca. They completed the
trip in safety, and no small credit is due them for their undertaking.
Mr. Champneys has manifested ability, and shown a real pioneer spirit.
He has assiduously labored here for the last eighteen years, and is deserving
of the esteem and respect which he receives in generous measure.