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Dr. Clint Vandevert

Clint with Gun and DogJohn Clinton Vandevert, known as Clint, was a beloved and respected doctor in Bend for fifty years.  He was the fourth child and second son of Bill and Sadie Vandevert, born in 1887 in Holbrook, Arizona.  His education began in a one room log schoolhouse near where the Sunriver Lodge is today.  He graduated from Willamette College and went on to the University of Oregon Medical School in Portland. 

Clint was an avid hunter and always had a bird dog close by. He was appointed to the Oregon State Game Commission and was State president of Oregon Trapshooters.   He was a top shooter in the skeets class and other gun trials.  He frequently won a annual "Turkey Shoot" in Bend and would bring the prize to the ranch for the Vandevert family Christmas dinner.

He opened his Bend practice on July 15, 1915 and became one of the first tenants of the O’Kane Building at Oregon Avenue and Bond Street when the building was completed in 1916.  He later moved his clinic to a brick building at the southeast corner of Franklin Avenue and Brooks Street where he practiced until 1965. 

In 1916 Dr. Vandevert helped found the first hospital in Bend.  This may have been the hospital on Brooks Street that later became his home or it may have been in another location.  Clint and his brother George both worked at the hospital on Brooks Street. He was particularly concerned about the dangers of childbirth when deliveries were performed under makeshift and unsanitary conditions. 

The hospital on Brooks Street closed sometime between 1922, when St. Charles Hospital was established in downtown Bend, and 1928, when Clint's wife, Harriet, bought the old hospital on Brooks Street and the couple made it their home.  The building was a little south of the Pine Tavern and overlooked Mirror Pond.  Dr. Vandevert only had to walk across Franklin Street to get to his clinic.  The City of Bend acquired the property in 1971 and converted it into parking lot. For a fuller description of the house, scroll down this page.

Dr. Vandevert also owned land near Vandevert Ranch and built a cabin on it where he and Harriet stayed when they made frequent weekend visits to the ranch. The land was southeast of the intersection of Vandevert Road with South Century. There is no trace of the cabin there today. He also owned land on Awbrey Butte which he donated to enable the building of Central Oregon Community College.

 

Clint and HarrietJack and ClintClint's wife, Harriet Dolsen, was raised in Illinois by the Markel family after Harriet's own mother died in the Iroquois theater fire of 1903. In 1910 she followed her friend Ann Markel to Bend where she met Clint. The couple had two children - -Joan Vandevert Orr and Jack Vandevert. Jack and Clint appear in the photo to the right. Joan and her daughter Lori appear in the photo below by the corner of the Brooks Street House. The Pine Tavern is behind the buildings in the background. Joan and Jack's babysitter when they were children was the famous Klondike Kate. Grace McNellis says of her, "She had a rather colorful past in the Klondike - but that didn't stop her from being a great lady. She had a big heart and always took care of anyone that was needy. My folks had a lot of respect for her. She was fun to be around. She wore all colors of clothing - large hats with feathers, carried a cane and wore long dresses - with maybe a fur stole around her neck! She had been, and maybe still was, wealthy." 

Joan Orr and Lori
 

Family at 50 Year CelebrationThree DoctorsIn the black and white photograph Clint appears on the left of his brothers - Dr. George V. Vandevert (standing) and Dr. Arthur Vandevert (on right). The photograph was taken on July 14, 1965, on the eve of the day "Dr. Clint" celebrated fifty years of medical practice in Bend. For more information about the three doctors and their families see the book Vandevert. The color photo at right was taken the next day on the porch of Clint and Harriet's house. Family members in the photo, from left to right, are Clint, Arthur, Thomas William ("Uncle Bill"), Mittye, Claude Senior, and George.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clint and Harriet Vandevert Home

The picture below shows the house on January 1, 1919 when it was still a hospital and long before Clint and Harriet bought it and turned it into a house. This view of the west face of the house is from the lawn that sloped down to Mirror Pond on the Deschutes River. The covered porch ran along along this side of the house and also the north side of the house (on the left in the photograph).

The photo at right shows the house after the Vandeverts bought it and moved in. Note how the trees on either side of the gated porch steps have grown. Also note that the right part of the covered porch in the older photo has been taken over by the expansion of interior room made into a library. Grace, who visited the house many times as a child, says the porch had a swing and loads of chairs to sit in. The opposite side of the house, the east side, faced onto Brooks Street as shown in the diagram below. The diagram comes from a floorplan sketched by Grace from memory.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

FloorplanThe entrance from Brooks Street led into a long hall that led all the way back to the living room. There were windows all along the hall that looked out into a courtyard and more that looked into the living room. The courtyard had a fishpond that held koi year-round. Grace says the fish were all about 6" to 8" long and were orange and gold in color. Someone, probably Jack, fed them everyday. The one car garage held Dr. Clint's Cadillac. He took to locking the garage after the car was stolen one night and found later in Crescent with an empty gas tank. When Clint died the car went to his brother Claude and Claude's wife, Jeannie, at Vandevert Ranch. They thought it was pretty grand to have a Cadillac on a ranch that had only a dirt driveway.

When Clint came back from seeing a patient at night he slept in the bedroom next to the dining room so he wouldn't wake his wife up. His children, Jack and Joan, slept in two more of the bedrooms that had once been hospital patient rooms. The other bedrooms were used for guests. Grace and her sister, Mary Jean, stayed in one of the rooms for three nights after their mother died and went back to the ranch after the funeral. They went to school the day of the funeral and Grace always wished her family had let her go to the service.

The dining room was large and the Vandeverts entertained often. Jack's playroom had a pool table and a card table where he often hosted his friends. Joan's playroom had a working electric stove. When Bill Vandevert, Grace's grandfather and the founder of Vandevert Ranch, was too old for the winters at the ranch, he lived in Joan's playroom and was well treated by Clint and Harriet.

Grace and her mother came to the house once a month in the winter to do laundry. They hung the clothes outside to dry on wires in the corner of the brick wall near the laundry room. The clothes dried quickly in the air and they were able to take them home later the same day.

After Aunt Harriet died, the house was broken up into apartments and Clint lived in the one overlooking the river. It had been the living room/library/master bedroom area. The hallway to the library became his kitchen. Someone came in to cook for him over the remaining years

 

 

 

 

 

Extortion!

The Bend Bulletin of August 11, 1933, reported in detail an attempt to extort substantial sums of money from Dr. Clint, who was by then a prominent and relatively well-to-do citizen. Clint received a note threatening to kill him and his son unless $3,000 were left in a specific gravel pit in Tumalo. The Sheriff left a dummy package at the gravel pit and watched until it seemed no one would pick it up. After the sheriff left, Dr. Vandevert received a second note, berating him for the dummy package and raising the demand to $5,000. The sheriff left another package and watched it patiently from a distance through field glasses. After seeing a boy collect the parcel they stopped him "at 4:45 PM" on the Tumalo Market Road. The boy was named Clarence Parsons and he had been directed to pick up a package at that location by Jack Duckworth.

According to the Bulletin, eighteen year-old Duckworth, "good-looking and well built, had been married less than a year to an attractive auburn haired wife." Clarence was the wife's fifteen year-old brother. The Bulletin did not report on whether Mrs. Duckworth was in on the plot.

When Duckworth appeared in the U.S. Commissioner's court, the commissioner asked him, "What do you have to say to these charges?"

Duckworth replied, according to the Bulletin, "They're true. I done it."

It is unknown what Duckworth's sentence was or what became of his wife, his marriage, or his young brother-in-law.

Page design copyright 2012-2014 The Vandevert Ranch Association. Content copyright 2004-2014 T. Haynes & G.V. McNellis. Neither the Association nor its members guarantees the accuracy or completeness of information or representations on this Web Site. Buyers should obtain definitive information from their real estate agent.