December 13, 1953
Cottonwood Creek spreads out in the Siskiyou Mountains and empties into the Klamath River a short distance south of Hornbrook. It drains a lot of country in the high mountains where the snow fall is heavy, and therefore has a lot of water in the winter and spring. It almost dried up in the summer when the snow has gone.
I was never around very much in the upper part of Cottonwood Creek, so I didn't know very much about the history of that area.
The early settlers told me that when the white man came there were a lot of Indians camped along Cottonwood Creek. They probably camped there because there was plenty of fish in the creek during the winter and spring.
It would be reasonable to believe that the stream got its name from the cottonwood trees growing along its banks.
THE MASSON RANCH
December 14, 1953
David Marshall Horn, Sr., was the first man as far as I know to settle at the mouth of Cottonwood Creek. He built up a stock ranch, and was among the first white settlers in the area.
About 1876 or later, Horn bought the Camp Creek Ranch now known as the DeSoza Ranch, from Charles F. Hammond, to be used mostly as a cattle-roundup place.
Horn operated his ranch at the mouth of Cottonwood Creek for many years, and it was probably the largest ranch for many miles.
One of his sons with the same name inherited the ranch from his father, and continued to build up and produce cattle for a long time. Young Horn adventured into new ideas for the improvement and enlargement of his cattle ranch. One of his ventures was the extension of the ditch from what is now known as the Paine Ranch to his ranch. This was done about 1908, and was a large job for those days. A few years later the ditch was abandoned.
To expand the cattle herd one hundred or more Texas long-horned steers were brought in around 1909 and put on the range.
In 1919 or about that time Horn started to buy the pasture at Buck Lake in Oregon. He gave up this venture after a couple of years. I remember very well the first herd of cattle he drove to Buck Lake because I helped drive them. There were five hundred and forty-five head in the drive.
For many years the ranch was known as the Horn Ranch, and sometimes it still goes by the old name when the old timers speak of it.
The next owner or operator to follow Horn was a Mr. Thornberry, who came from around the San Francisco Bay area. He had a foreman to operate the ranch, by the name of Dan Beers. After about 3 years John Cooley, Sr., obtained the ranch for a while, and then his son, Arthur J. Cooley, operated the ranch. Following him another son, John Cooley, Jr., operated the ranch. Not many years ago Elic Masson bought the ranch and was there a few years. It is still called the Masson Ranch, although Dick Richman bought it during the late nineteen forties. In about 1951 Pichman sold the ranch to Paul Visher, the present owner.