Clyde Holliday
"Oldies but Goodies" by Joni Stewart"

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The old Sears & Roebuck's catalog was well-known for offering good, better and best buys: a marketing masterpiece. In the work world, however, a person with that kind of zeal for improvement can be termed a whorkaholic. Such is the case with Clyde Holliday. He lives to work. And to refine.

An entrepreneur by nature, Clyde had his first logging truck at age 16. He worked the mountains in northern Arizona, married, and was called to serve in the Navy. "I carried around a picture of my wife and baby while I was in the service," Clyde says adding, "It showed my buddies just what I had to go home to."

He was encouraged also by faith. "I have had every kind of accident imaginable and been able to walk away. I put in hard work, but it's the fella up above who's really lookin' out for me," says Clyde.

In June of 1947, knowing the logging prospects to be brighter in Oregon than Arizona, Clyde convinced a dozen families to follow him to Fox Valley. They left Show Low, Arizona with a caravan consisting of ten cars, eight loggin trucks, three pick-ups and a Quick-way loader. These vehicles carried the 12 families including his two young daughters, six work horses, a D-7 cat, a No. 12 road grader, all harnesses, tools and necessary logging equipment.

The group arrived in Fox Valley on July 7, with less than $20. "I got to thinking that this was the most worry I'd ever had," remembers Clyde. He is quick to thank Hobert Glover, a grocery store owner, who extended credit to the Hollidays. Clyde knows that Glover's trust and generosity was a catalyst in his success.

On the first day of work Clyde told the group when they brought in 100,000 b/f of logs, the men would get all the beer they wanted, and the women and children would get all the ice cream and pop they wanted. By the end of that first day they had hauled 50,000 b/f. Within a short time the 100,000 mark was reached, and ultimately they were to set a local record of 360,000 b/f in one day." All the men and women that worked for me were good. None of'em were afraid to work," says Clyde.

The families wintered in Mt. Vernon on a piece of river property which had been dredged. Clyde leveled all the land, reforming the old dredge piles into the cottonwood grove that it is today. He and wife Earlene would later donate the land to the Oregon Department of Parks saying, "We're proud to live in Grant County and feel it is one way to show our appreciation for how good the county has been to us." The logging operation went on for 11 years and in that time he delivered over 250 million b/f to various mills.

In 1957 two major events happened. First, he and Earlene had a very bad motorcycle accident and second, Herman Oliver approached him about the possibility of buying his ranch. Wanting more overall security, they bought the ranch replete with 750 cows and 12,000 acres. Today, the herd has doubled and the acreage trebled. "It was no picnic," laughs Clyde, "it's a lot harder work than logging."

His three sons factor in big with the running of Holliday Family Ranches, Inc. He recounts the way that "every one of'em is seeing who can work the hardest." The Holliday ranch is a reputed source of a highly refined breeding program which produces and sells bred heifers to other ranches. "It's like Grand Central Station here during calving season; we work around the clock as 1000 calves are born in 45 days, it's just go, go, go," says Clyde. Their 20 grandchildren are thriving on this work ethic too. The kids get paid for their work, from the littlest right on through to the oldest.

A dynasty in the making? "I'm happy passing the business on," says Clyde adding "It's like my dad always said, "you can sit down and sit or you can get up and get."

And for Clyde, nothing is really work unless you'd rather be doing something else.

1998 Roxann Gess Smith
All Rights Reserved

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