Transcribed from "History of North Washington, an illustrated history
of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan counties", published by Western
Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
PETER REILLY is a pioneer of
Okanogan county and resides about three miles north from Malott postoffice,
on the Okanogan river. He was born in county Cavan, Ireland, on June
22, 1850, where he remained for the first twenty-two years of his life.
He received there his educational training, and in 1872 came to the United
States, locating first at New York, where he was engaged in the tobacco
business for three years. In 1876 he came to California and took
up placer mining on Sutter creek, and also operated in other portions of
the state. In was in 1878 that Mr. Reilly landed in Portland, and
later made his way to Fort Vancouver, Washington, and in 1879 came to Yakima,
where he engaged in ranching and horse raising. He remained there
until 1887, then came and located his present place in the Okanogan valley.
The country was very wild at that time and but few settlers yere in the
entire county. All supplies had to be freighted in from the outside
and mail was carried from Waterville and other points. Mr. Reilly
secured a very valuable ranch of fertile level land, which is now one of
the choice ones of the county. He has it well irrigated and raises
alfalfa, cutting as high as three crops per year from the land. He
has improved the place steadily since locating and now has one of the beautiful
estates of the valley. Besides a good orchard and various other improvements,
which are in evidence, we may mention a very large number of shade trees,
which beautify and add value to the place very materially. The surroundings
are very pleasant and Mr. Reilly is to be congratulated upon the excellent
choice he made and the skillful manner in which he improved it.
Mr. Reilly states that in the earlier days
of the county's existence the Indians were at times very hostile.
On one occasion they took him and beat him over the head until he became
unconscious and would have killed him had not some other Indians interfered.
Once they surrounded his house and fired several shots into it and then
broke in and stole a suit of clothes and a watch. Mr. Reilly had
anticipated the attack and was secreted near by. The following day
these Indians attacked a freighter, named Cole, a man of family, while
in his camp and killed him and stole his goods. This was three miles
from Mr. Reilly's house. A posse was soon raised which pursued and
punished the Indians. This was known as the "Cole murder."
Game was plentiful in those days and Mr. Reilly states that whenever he
needed fresh meat he could secure a deer in a very short time. In
addition to his farm Mr. Reilly owns a large band of cattle as well as
horses. He lost heavily during the winter of 1889-90, on account
of the storms and excessive cold. Mr. Reilly is a good, substantial
man and still one of the jolly bachelors of the county.