Ghost town of Westfall Oregon (Bully)
Name: Westfall (Bully)
GPS: 43.991794, -117.708847
Directions: From Ontario Oregon, head west along Highway 20 towards (and past) Vale. At 35.4 miles turn right onto Harper road to the town of Harper. After crossing the river and entering Harper, take a right on Harper-Westfall Road. Follow this 11.6 miles to Westfall. Note the road makes a slight left, then a hard left before winding through the valley.
Description: Levi Westfall was crediting with discovering, and first claiming land at would become known as Bully Creek in 1870. In the early 1880’s his brothers Jackson and James Westfall settled in the area with their own families. Phillip A. Cammann opened a store on Westfall’s homestead in 1882, the first step towards becoming a city.
A post office was established on April 3 of that year with Nancy Kime as the first postmaster. It was located about one mile west of Westfall and only lasted a single year. It was discontinued on May 4, 1883. But the town kept on growing The Bully Post Office was reopened on June 8th, 1886.
By 1889 most of the settlers were closer to the present day townsite, so the Bully post office was closed on February 13th and the Westfall Post Office was opened one mile east on the same day. Cammann was it’s first postmaster. Westfall grew to three general stores, three saloons, two livery barns and two hotels. Services in town included a bank, a blacksmith, church, school house, candy store, and dance hall.
Westfall grew big enough to be incorporated in 1895 with J.C. Skelton as the mayor of the town. The town prospered until 1909 and had about 300 families at it’s height. That year the Malheur Valley Railroad started building a railroad depot at Harper, about twelve miles south. This signaled the end of the town and many people moved themselves and their businesses south to Harper so that they were on the railroad.
But there was one last piece of news before Westfall fell off the map totally. Jasper Westfall, nephew of Levi Westfall, was appointed Marshal by Mayor William West on May 7th, 1912 to replace Asa Carey. Carey was a known trouble maker and badgered his was into the job in the first place. After his removal, he started drinking heavily until May 10th, when he called Westfall out. Jasper Westfall first asked Carey to quiet down, but soon had to get his gun. Returning to the saloon to arrest Carey, Carey dodged and pulled his gun shooting three times. Two bullets hit Westfall and he died soon afterwards.
Carey was apprehended for murder by the previous Marshal, Ben Corbett, and Jack Fairman owner of the general store next door. He was sentenced to life in prison but was paroled at some point.