Motz Family History

By Donna Motz

Theodore (Ted) Motz was born Oct. 25,1989, in a small village in Romanici. In 1911 Ted's father carne to the U.S.A. to fmd work. By 1913, his father had found work at the Oregon Nursery Company, bought a piece of land, built a modest house, built a small barn, had a cow, orchard, berries and a garden planted when he sent for his family to come to the U.S.A. and join him. The family was doing well, and the children were in school for about one year when tragedy came to them. Ted's father died very suddenly.

Ted, being the oldest child, about 14 years old, had to assume the responsibility of providing for his mother and the other children in the family. Ted had worked some at the Oregon Nursery Company when he was on school vacation. But once his father died, he had to quit school and start working full time to support his family; so new to this country with no relatives here and unable to speak the language. But with determination and hard work they made a good life for themselves in Orenco.

This was quite a company town and most of the people worked for Oregon Nursery Company. The young people in town had a social hall above the store where they held dances most every Saturday night. Their mothers would cook and bake refreshments to be served there. Orenco had a community band in which Ted played an alto hom. They had baseball and basketball teams which all the young fellows played on.

In 1929, Ted and a friend came up on "the hill" (Skyline) for a dance and social. Here he met his future wife, Jewell Brooks. They were married Nov. 15, 1930, in Orenco.

Ted and his brother John had established a nursery of their own when Oregon Nursery Company went bankrupt. Ted and Jewell lived on Cornell Road, Ted had nursery stock and farmed about 100 acres right where Intel is now. Times were hard, and family responsibilities once again demanded Ted's attention. So Ted, Jewell and their two year old son, Don, moved to "the hill" to take care of Jewell's widowed mother and crippled brother in 1935. In about one more year, Ted's mother came to live with them too. Three generations, living and working harmoniously together under one roof. All the time, Ted worked six days a week raising trees, farm crops and a few animals. By the time his son, Don, was three years old, he was out with Ted all day long riding on the back of the work horse. It wasn't long before Don was big enough to be a good help to his father. Ted could see that Don was interested in nursery work and was a good worker. Ted and John dissolved their partnership and Ted established his own nursery. Years later, w hen Don had graduated from OSU and finished his military service, he joined his father in the nursery business.

Even after Ted retired, he stayed active working most every day in the nursery. Up until a few months ago, he could be found working at some project around the nursery. Today, Ted enjoys bringing the mail into the office and visiting with his granddaughter, Nancy Motz Richards, who is our office manager. He wants to know about the customers and how the orders are coming in. Around the dinner table every evening, Ted talks with Don about what happened in the nursery that day. Since he no longer drives, he loves to catch a ride with any truck going to the field, to look around and see how the trees are growing.

Ted was active in community service, too. For years he was on the school board, serving as chairman for a time. He was part of the group of residents who founded the fire department He was active in the Grange for many years. Most every Sunday, Ted can be found attending services at Brooks Hill Free Methodist Church. Ted's life has been centered on very basic values: hard work, family, church and community.
RR Fall 90