Some were determined to get out of the ordinary rut of their lives and make a new way for themselves. Others came west to leave the scars of the Civil War behind. They came for free land and a fresh start. They came to this new country, leaving behind the old rules and the old restrictions of ancestral lands. They Came for Opportunity tells the stories of these pioneers of the Cheney, Washington area.
There are common themes in these 63 stories about men and women working hard to make a better life for themselves and their families. Yet each one offers a unique peek back into our history and into their lives.
These are the stories of people whose capital investment paid off. They made a success of their business ventures, contributed to the development and prosperity of our region, and enriched our community through their activities and friendship.
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About the Author
In 1940 she and her husband moved to the Cheney, Washington area. During the 1960's, Ellen was a member of the Amber history committee where she helped to gather and research information on the families and history of that small community south of Cheney.
Beginning in 1985 she began publishing a series of biographical sketches of Cheney area pioneers in the Cheney Free Press as part of the Cheney Historical Museum's contribution to the Washington State Centennial celebration of 1989. The series continued after the state centennial, running through 1991. Due to her work on the pioneer biographies, Ellen was asked by the mayor to research and write a biographical sketch of each of Cheney's 27 former mayors. During the Washington State centennial year, Ellen Proctor was appointed Cheney Historian. She later co-authored a book with Barbara Barton McBride about the pioneers of her childhood home called Half Moon Prairie 1883-1995. Ellen Proctor passed away in Cheney in 2009 at the age of 96.