the
Juniper Berry

Who Shot Ya?
copyright Guy Swanson

 

 Agusta "Gussie" Fullerton
1883-1961

 

In 1904 Agusta “Gussie” Fullerton, at age 21, filed in her name for the Squaw Flat Ranch.  Gussie was remembered as a “Short woman in a man's hat and clothes, plaid shirt, jeans and high-top laced boots, pale features, and big bright eyes” who laughed a lot.

In 1911 she married William Henry McNarey of Prineville, who was described as a notoriously violent man.  On April 6, 1924, he came after her with a club, and Gussie went for her .38 Colt revolver and shot him.  After making arrangements with a neighbor to have the stock cared for she went to town for the sheriff.  Just before he died, he told the sheriff “I had it coming, mother wasn't to blame.”

At the ranch,the sheriff found a large still, along with 15 gallons of moonshine whiskey, 190 quarts of beer and 400 gallons of mash.  Prohibition was still the law of the land.  Gussie was not charged for the killing or the still.

In 1926 she took up with Winthrop “Doc” Foley and he moved in with Gussie at the Squaw Flat Ranch.  They married in 1930 and moved to Camp Polk.   Gussie was remembered as “quite a horsewoman” a “raw-boned head strong hard worker with a skin like leather,” and a “hellion who who could out-cuss any pirate”.   She broke all of her own saddle horses and kept friends in Grandview she refered to as "settled and happy homesteaders."

There were several stories that surround Doc's death in 1949.   One strong rumor was that of a romantic triangle between Doc and an other man's wife.  It was said that Gussie shot him for his womanizing and coming home drunk and out of control.  At times Gussie would let a person believe that she'd shot him dead for his transgressions.    His obituary said that Doc Foley died of a stroke in December of 1949.

Gussie returned to the Grandview area to be a housekeeper for an unnamed widower rancher.   She died of cancer in a Redmond nursing home in 1961.

source: Biography of a Place-Deschutes County Historical Society

 
 
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