Physical Altercation in 1880's Results in Death

By Steve Lent, Museum Historian

Garrett Maupin, the son of early Central Oregon pioneer Howard Maupin, operated a large sheep partnership with his brother-in-law Philip Perkins in the early 1880's. His management duties involved camp tending for sheep herders that stayed with the bands of sheep belonging to the partnership. One of the bands of sheep was herded by a shepherd of Dutch-German origin. Maupin frequently visited camp sites and brought provisions.

He had brought some meat to the herder on a previous date and when he had come back with more supplies he discovered that flies had gotten into the meat and maggots were found eating the flesh. Maupin became angered at the herder and blamed him for the spoiled meat. The herder claimed that Maupin had tied the meat sack and had covered the meat wrong. An intense argument erupted between the two and the herder came at Maupin with a butcher knife. Maupin picked up a nearby Springfield rifle, which was unloaded, and managed to hit the angry herder on the head and he fell to the ground.

The herder got up and wanted to fight but Perkins kept him and Maupin apart. The herder acted normally that evening, but was unconscious in the morning. He died several hours later. It is reported that the herder was buried along the creek at which the camp was located. He was buried in an unmarked grave and his name unknown. The creek became known as Dutchman Creek and is on the northern slopes of the Ochoco Mountains north of Prineville.

Law enforcement officers were notified and there was an inquiry but Maupin was not charged with the death. Maupin and Perkins headquartered their operations on Trout Creek and Dutchman Creek is a tributary. A spring near the headwaters of the creek is known as Dutchman Spring.