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Moro citizens seek funds to replace plaque with proper headstone

— A group of citizens in Moro, with help from the Sherman County Historical Society and the Moro Cemetery Board, is raising money for a proper headstone for former Moro resident Bill Raymond.

Raymond was born in Michigan in 1864. His family moved to the Willamette Valley and he ended up in Sherman County in 1898. He fit right in to a pioneer culture, being a master of many trades. He was a carpenter, cement worker, bricklayer, sheep shearer and, most famously, a photographer. He built homes, barns, schools, churches, bridges and sidewalks. He was a mentor to several young craftsmen in the area and popular in the community.

Raymond’s photography brought him the most fame. He had an eye for a good picture and could capture panoramic scenes with great detail. Some of his photos give a real feel of motion or action.

Raymond’s photos are in great demand. They are in both National and State archives and appeared in publications as varied as the “American Album” and “This Was Wheat Farming” and movies such as “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”

The tennis court beside the church in Moro was initially named for Raymond. Photographs he made for a World’s Fair were recently restored and now hang in the hallway of the Sherman County Courthouse.

He was buried in Moro and his plot is marked only with a small 4-by-8-inch metal plaque which rises 4 inches above the ground.

Some Sherman County residents want to give Raymond a proper headstone that would speak of his many accomplishments to newer generations.

They are asking for contributions toward this effort to be sent to City of Moro, earmarked Bill Raymond Headstone Fund, PO Box 231 Moro, OR 97039. Questions? Call Moro City Hall, 541-565-3535.

His story was told by Anita (Kenny) Drake in Sherman County: For the Record, vol. 2 #1, 1984.

Unfortunately Raymond fell on hard times. He had diabetes and lost a leg in the late 1930s. He got around quite well on crutches until another operation in 1943 which left him hospitalized in The Dalles.

Raymond died June 3, 1943. Those were tough times in America. The great depression ran into World War II. Raymond was a lifelong bachelor and died penniless.

A man from New York stole many of his photographs. He was buried in Moro and his plot is marked only with a small 4-by-8-inch metal plaque which rises 4 inches above the ground.

Some Sherman County residents want to give Raymond a proper headstone that would speak of his many accomplishments to newer generations.

They are asking for contributions toward this effort to be sent to City of Moro, earmarked Bill Raymond Headstone Fund, PO Box 231 Moro, OR 97039. Questions? Call Moro City Hall, 541-565-3535.

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