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Ephraim Badger
Pioneer Oregon Gospel Preacher
By Charles Dailey - Revised February of 2006

Ephraim Badger at a Glance:
Born: 1852 in Barry County, Missouri
Father's death: 1852 in Barry County, Missouri
before Ephraim was born.
Oregon: 1856 - 1858 wagon train with
his mother and step-father,
Andrew Jackson Rose
Settled: 1st in Polk County then
near Lebanon, Linn County
Married: 1877 to Nancy Octavia Lovelady
Family:See list
Drain, Oregon ?
Graton, CA
Gold Hill, Oregon
Grants Pass, Oregon
Falls City, Oregon 1925-1926
Died: 1936 near Grants Pass, OR
Buried: Missouri Flats Cemetery

Ephraim  Badger
The life-story of preacher Ephraim Badger is fascinating.

Ephraim's father was also named Ephraim and his mother was Elma Ruble Badger, sister of William and David Ruble. Elma's brothers are the subject of a separate pioneer profile. Ephraim's older brother was Thomas Ruble Badger.

There is a profile of the Ruble Family at this link.

Ephraim Sr. died in Missouri before Ephraim Jr. was born and Elma married Andrew Jackson Rose before they came overland to Oregon. A. J. and Elma are buried in the Lebanon Masonic Cemetery in Lebanon.

This link is the the "R's" in the Lebanon Masonic Cemetery. The Rose family is near the bottom of the list.

Ephraim's younger half-sister Charity Rose attended the Hamilton Creek School on Berlin Road east of Lebanon, so it is likely that the preacher-to-be did, too. The family may have lived near Waterloo.

As a youth growing up near Lebanon, Oregon, Ephraim acquired an acreage and built a small house. His vocation was raising sheep. He had time to read while watching them and decided to read the Bible. This led him to want to be baptized into Christ, but the church people around him did not believe this was necessary.

Ephraim finally made a trip to Portland and met with a Mr. Gilstrap of the Church of Christ. This may have been D. F. Gilstrap, but we do not have record of him living in Portland at that time. The young inquirer was duly immersed and returned to watching his sheep.

The young Christian soon met and married Nancy Octavia (Tavie) Lovelady, a great-granddaughter of Thomas Crawford McBride. She had been born at Independence, Oregon in 1861. They were married in 1877.

Ephraim and Tavie Badger - 24.7 K
Tavie, Daisy, Rose
and Ephraim Badger
Photo courtesy of Beverly Schubert

Because his brother, Thomas Ruble Badger, had settled near Moro in present-day Sherman County, Ephraim moved his family there about 1882. (One record says 1886.)

The family moved back to Mill City, at the north edge of the Linn County in 1888. A number of kin had settled here. Nancy's grandmother, Martha Ann Bounds, was here. Her first husband was Dr. Thomas C. McBride who had drowned in 1849. After living for a while with her father-in-law, Thomas Crawford McBride in Yamhill County, she had married John Bird Bounds. But he is not in the story now. Ephraim's brother, Thomas Ruble Badger had returned here from Central Oregon.
Ashley Johnson
Dr. Ashley Johnson

About this time, Ephraim took a correspondence course from the famous Dr. Ashley Johnson. Mr. Badger may have seen the tiny ads in the Christian Standard. We have simulated one here:

Full course by mail. Seventh year. Many pu-
pils. Pamphlet free. Ashley S. Johnson, L. L. D.
Pres. Kimberlin Height, Tenn.

School of Evangelists
Mr. Badger lessons came from
The School of Evangelists in Tennessee.
Johnson's courses were so popular that he established the School of the Evangelists, now known as Johnson Bible College in Knoxville, TN. Ephraim's education was at the hands of a genuine professional.

The family then moved to Monroe, Oregon where Nancy had been raised.

Sometime after this, he began the life of traveling and preaching. He belonged to that hardy band of preacher-farmers who evangelized Oregon and Washington before the turn of the century. Ephraim is listed in the 1880 census as a farmer, but by the time of the 1900 census, he lists himself as a minister.

Ephraim and Nancy (Tavie) had two children. One was Rose Arizona Badger Bailey and she died before her own children were raised, so Ephraim and Tavie raised them to adulthood. Their other daughter was Daisy Viola and she married Richard F. Lewman.

One family source locates Ephraim and Nancy in Drain, Oregon from 1894 - 1898. This allowed the girls to attend Normal School. Daisy attended the four years, but Rose was sick and attended only a year. Another record says that Daisy also attended Ashland Normal Teachers College.

An obituary on the passing of Samuel Nelson Beeks in Goldendale, Washington, says that he "united with the Church of Christ in October 1895 under the preaching of Rev. E. Badger." The town seems to be Goodnoe Hills, Washington. Either Mr. Badger was conducting a Fall meeting for the church or he was resident there.

By 1902 the family had moved to Ashland, Oregon where they lived until their daughters married. We have a large family photo taken at this time. The house, built by Ephriam, was located in what is now a city park.

One note in the Christian Standard mentions that he held a short gospel meeting in Falls City, near Dallas, Oregon.

It is probably at this point they moved to Graton, near Sebastapol, California. The purpose was to establish a church-related school, Pacific Christian Academy. The school is still in existance and has an extensive web site. Daisy wrote, "He was very instrumental in helping to start this school."

Link to the Pacific Christian Academy. Ephraim may have been called to Graton because of a Badger cousin living in Sonoma County. This is not at all certain.

In their later years, the Badgers were based in the Grant's Pass area. They may have moved to be near their daughter, Daisy Lewman, who lived in that vicinity at Provolt. They were living there in 1914. Tavie's mother, Lavina McBride, was living with or near them when she died in 1918.

Oral history has it that Ephraim used to walk over the hill from Provolt to Gold Hill to preach for the Church of Christ there. Once he layed down to rest on the way and woke to find some small crawling critter in his clothes. He also made the trip from Provolt to Coos Bay and back to preach.

The Badger's great-grandson Melvin A. Davis, has recalled some events of those years. He was born and raised in the home of Ephriam and Nancy Badger:

The other thing that I can remember about that same time is Grandpa Badger had a large barn with two horses in it and he would go out and spray the apples and cherries with the horses pulling the spray rig. He was always a gentleman and let me walk behind him so that the spray wouldn't get on me. When he was through, he put me on the horse and I rode back to the barn and he would talk to me. He would let me sit on his lap and he would either read the Bible to me or tell me a Bible story. I can also remember him preaching at times. He was a wonderful man in my sight.

One historical record says that "Rev. Badger was instrumental in establishing the first telephone line in the Provolt area."

The historical folder for the 91st Reunion of the Falls City Christian Church in 1985 lists Ephraim Badger as the minister from 1925 to 1926. He was followed by Earl Downing.

Kay Alsing met Tavie and her daughter Daisy in Medford about 1950. She described them as "Both neatly dressed, quiet, lovely ladies . . . . "

It was a little after this that Melvin Davis remembers:

. . . we went up from Sebastopol and visited Grandma Badger with my mother at a care home. When we went in, she was carrying food trays around to the elderly women. She was 92 at the time. I ask her what she was doing and she told me "I'm helping these old women." . . . She was a wonderful and caring person.

Ephraim and Tavie share the same headstone in the Missouri Flats Cemetery near their retirement home in Southern Oregon. Tavie's mother, Lavina Lovelady, is buried in the same row with them.

Headstone of Ephraim and Tavie Badger.

SEPT. 3, 1852 FEB. 7, 1861
JAN. 8, 1936 APR. 14, 1956

There are one or two problems with this headstone. Ephraim is the correct spelling and he may have been born August 3 in 1852.

Our thanks to Beverly J. Shubert of Vancouver, Washington for providing background, genealogical records and family photo.    Some facts have come from the personal papers of Daisy Badger Lewman.

Photo of the headstone is due to the combined efforts of Bev Shubert and Joanna Long, both of Vancouver, Washington.

Additional infomation came to light when Melvin A. Davis of Sebastopol contacted us.

- Charles Dailey
Northwest College of the Bible 2006

Ephraim Badger Sr. (1805-1852) & Elma Ruble (1824-1914) 
|     Thomas Ruble Badger (1845-1921) & Martha Ellen Bounds (-1923) 
|     Elizabeth Irons Badger (1847-1933) & John Grisham 
|     Ephraim Badger (1852-1936) & Nancy Octavia Lovelady (1861-1956) 
|     |     Daisy Viola Badger (1878-) & Richard (Dick) F. Lewman 
|     |     |     Orval Lewman (1916-1998) & Ada Yocum 
|     |     |     |     Richard Lewman  
|     |     |     |     Margaret Lewman  
|     |     |     |     Paula Lewman  
|     |     |     |     Teresa Lewman  
|     |     Rose Arizona Badger (1880-1910) & Leslie Bailey  
|     |     |     Theda Lovola Bailey & Jesse L. Davis
|     |     |     |     Living Informant 
|     |     |     Gerald Bailey
|     |     |     Alfred Yvon Bailey 
|     |     |     |     Tom Lee 
|     |     |     |     Gerald Bailey
|     |     |     |     Von Bailey 
|     |     |     |     Don Bailey 
|     |     |     |     John Bailey 
|     Margaret Badger & John V. Strong  

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