Her parents, Heman and Matilda Buckingham received 640 acres under Donation Land Claim Act of 1850. Precious lived in a large extended family in Bellfountain. Located next to her parents farm was the farm of her maternal grandparents John Starr and Elizabeth Lucas. Precious attended the Bellfountain School which was built in 1848.
The new county government, however, in 1852 divided the county into twelve school districts and levied a tax of two mills for school purposes (county court journal Vol. A. p. 43). This yielded $612.32 and was apportioned among 244 children of school age. County support of schools was continued in this manner and for twenty years the average was $1.50 per pupil. This is evidence that the cost of education was largely borne by the parents within each district. Because of the lack of support from the county, the churches became foremost in the educational field. The school houses were used for church meetings in many instances especially by the Methodists, Baptists, Evangelicals and the United Brethren.
The Buckinghams raised a large family on their farm in Bellfountain. Precious had eleven brothers and sisters. "It took hard work and courage to pioneer the new land. Only the energetic came; only the hardy lived...A sense of humor and a joy of life were as essential to these pioneers as the ability to accept hardship."
Beginning in 1851 when Precious was just an infant, all the families would gather once a year to share a holiday of rest, joy, and renewal of spirit and friendship. Between the last Sunday in June and the first Sunday in July everyone gathered on Orrin Belknap's claim. He had set aside 10 acres of land that became the "Bellfountain Campground". It was an important part of community life.
Precious was twenty-four years old when she married Dr. James Madison Pruett on November 7, 1875 at Simpson's Chapel in Benton Co., Oregon.
MARRIED. At Simpson's Chapel, near Monroe, in this county. Nov. 7, 1875, by Rev. Philbrook, Dr. James M. Pruett, of Pendleton, Umatilla county Oregon, and Miss Precious Buckingham, of this county. Compliments of the parties received. May Heaven's "choice blessings ever rest upon the happy pair, is the earnest prayer of "ye printers." who were so handsomely remembered. The liberal supply of elegant cake, accompanying the notice, was typical of the large-heartedness of the bride and bridegroom."
After they married Precious and James moved to Pendleton where James had established a medical practice. Pendleton was over three hundred miles east of Bellfountain where Precious was born.
Their first child, Della was born in December of 1876. Precious wrote a letter to her half-sister Lovina Buckingham Gragg on March 16, 1878 from Pendleton. She writes about her daughter Della to Lovina. Sadly, Della died of Diphtheria nine months after this letter was written.
I received your letter some time since and was very much surprised as well as pleased to hear from you.
& have thought many times that I should like to receive a letter from you but never have written because I have had more correspondents than I have done justice since I came here, I don't have as much time to write as I did before Della came to claim my care and attention. She has a great many little wants that have to be attended to. Although she is no near as much trouble now as she was. She puts in a greater part of her time soon dusting the floors for me. Which you know if quite a help to me. She is off (end page one)
in the bedroom now pulling everything out of a box that she has found under the bed and singing happy day. She has been real well all the time since I came home from below, and is fat as a china pig.
The Dr, started off on a thirty mile trip yesterday morning. Am looking for him back this evening. He has another call waiting him when he comes back to go to Happner which is about fifty miles & do not know whether he will go or not. It is a long ways for people to have to send for a Physician and a long time for the doctor. Pretty good for The Doctor financially if he can get anything for it but pretty hard if he can't.
Diphtheria has been raging here fearfully this winter and there are still a few cases of it nearly all the time. It has almost entirely been confined to the high land next to the mountains. There has been but very few cases in town, only one case has died in Pendleton since I came home and there wasn't any chance for it. As the Dr did not (end page two)
get to see it until it was dying. The doctors were all out of town when it was taken. Our county is settling up very rapidly. Land that has hitherto been considered worthless - except for grazing purposes is being taken up and water found at the depth of eighteen feet in some places while in others they have to go deeper. This is out here on the hills north of town. Pa can tell you what kind of country it is. I think he passed over some of it when he started home from here. Every house and shed in town is full and a family living in the upper part of the county jail. There are houses being built here nearly all the time still it fails to supply the demand.
My plants I brought up with me are doing nicely, that is all that lived. Some of my slips died. I have planted my fuchia seed and hope they will come up as there isn't a Passel-Fuchia in this part of the country. I have colored my mums a dark green with Aniline and made one a nice wreath (end page three)
of that and the lichens. I think I will make some wax work & have sent to Walla-Walla for paints and wire. We have also sent over there for an eight-day clock. So we will know when to get hungry and sleepy. We have been doing without a clock since Mr. Whitman moved their things home which was about a year after I came here. Is your sister-in-law in the valley yet or has she gone back to California? Have you named your baby yet? Has George's folks named their wonderful boy yet? How is Alice's health now? I must close for the present. Write me all the news I like to hear from every-body in the neighborhood.
I am as ever your affectionate Sister
P.S. I don't know whether you can read this or not it was written in quite a hurry P.P.
Send this over to the folks at home to read as I may not have an opportunity to write to them for several weeks yet. How is Dr. Starr.
Precious and James had children born in Pendleton.
Both of their daughters Della and Pauline died in early childhood.
James wrote about the death of their daughters in his journal and included the following bible verse: "Della died December 8, 1878 aged 1 year, 11 months, 16 days Pauline died May 30, 1880"
Malachi 3:17 “Angels whisper that our darlings Are in lands of love so fair, That their little feet are waiting, Close beside the golden stair.”
Sometime after 1887, Precious and James had a large home built outside Pendleton on 615 SW 13th Street.
Home of Dr. J.M. and Precious Pruett as it looks today.
It is listed in the "Historical Buildings of Pendleton" and described as "This large and well maintained home was built for Dr. J.M. and Precious Pruett sometime after 1887. The second story of the house was used by Doctor Pruett as his office. In 1898 the house was sold to Edgar and Mercy Smith and has remained in the Smith Vaughan family since that time. It now serves as a women's clothing shop as well as the family house. This house is the oldest Queen Anne style house still standing in Pendleton."
In 1898 the Pruett family moved to Oakland, California. The local newspaper recorded that "the Pruett family have been residents of Pendleton for over twenty years, but on account of the health of the doctor and the education of the three sons they have decided to make a change. They have disposed of most of their household goods and expect to sell their fine residence on the hill southwest of the city." 
In the early morning hours of April 18, 1906, the earth shuddered beneath San Francisco. The 7.7 to 7.9 magnitude earthquake remains one of the worst urban disasters in U.S. history. Though the quake lasted less than a minute, its immediate impact was disastrous. The earthquake also ignited several fires around the city that burned for three days and destroyed nearly 500 city blocks. Despite a quick response from San Francisco's large military population, the city was devastated. The earthquake and fires killed an estimated 3,000 people and left half of the city's 400,000 residents homeless. Aid poured in from around the country and the world, but those who survived faced weeks of difficulty and hardship.
Earthquake Relief Line in Oakland.
The biggest impact was the influx of refugees from San Francisco, many who stayed in Oakland even after San Francisco had rebuilt. In the three days following the earthquake, more than 150,000 people fled to Oakland, doubling its population in 72 hours.
In August following the disaster, Precious B. Pruett is listed in the Oakland Tribute for financial interests in converting a barn to a home at 1498 Eighth Ave. and mortgaging property to Max Levy on South 20th Street.
In 1910, Precious is listed again the the financial notes of the newspaper for an adjustment to a mortgage that she held. Precious was obviously the business "partner" in her husband's medical practice and conducted many business transactions for their family.
Precious and James were members of the 10th Avenue Baptist Church in Oakland and were active members of their community. The kept in close contact with their family back in Oregon and made several visits over the years to Pendleton and Bellfountain. 
Dr. J.M. and Precious Pruett in Oakland in 1920.
In July of 1917 they went to Corvalis to stay with their son Ralph and his wife Josie and their children. The local paper recorded the event:
Leave for California - Dr. and Mrs. J. M. Pruett, who had been visiting : their son and daughterinlaw, Mr, and Mrs. J. R. Pruett and family and other relatives and friends In Benton county during the past few weeks, left yes-terday for their home In Oakland, Cal."
Dr. James Pruett passed away on August 21, 1922 in Oakland.
Residence and Timeline
1851 - Bellfountain, Benton County, Oregon Territory: Born the first child of Heman Buckingham and his 3rd wife Matilda Starr on August 30
1851 - Bellfountain, Benton County, Oregon Territory: First community gathering at "Bellfountain Campground" in late June
1853 - Bellfountain, Benton County, Oregon Territory: Birth of brother Franklin Pierce on March 3
1854 - Bellfountain, Benton County, Oregon Territory: Birth of sister Pauline Gertrude on November 19
1857 - Bellfountain, Benton County, Oregon: Birth of brother Augustus Humphrey on July 22
1859 - Bellfountain, Benton County, Oregon: Birth of sister Eliza Deette on October 18
1861 - Bellfountain, Benton County, Oregon: Birth of sister Mary on September 17
1863 - Bellfountain, Benton County, Oregon: Birth of brother Heman Victor Robbie on August 14
1868 - Bellfountain, Benton County, Oregon: Birth of sister Nancy on March 13
1870 - Bellfountain, Benton County, Oregon: Birth of brother John Reuben on May 22
1873 - Bellfountain, Benton County, Oregon: Birth of sister Winifred on October 28
1874 - Bellfountain, Benton County, Oregon: Death of brother Franklin and sister Pauline from measles on March 20
1875 - Bellfountain, Oregon: Marriage to James Pruett at Simpsons Chapel on November 7
1876 - Pendleton, Oregon: Birth of daughter Della in Pendleton on December 23
1878 - Pendleton, Oregon: Birth of son James Ralph in Pendleton on May 14
1878 - Pendleton, Oregon: Death of daughter Della in Pendleton on December 8
1880 - Pendleton, Oregon: Birth and death of daughter Pauline in Pendleton on May 30
1881 - Bellfountain, Oregon: Death of father Heman Buckingham on April 30
1881 - Benton County, Oregon: Heir of father in will probated on May 18
1881 - Pendleton, Oregon: Birth of son William Clifford in Pendleton on May 29
1883 - Pendleton, Oregon: Birth of son George Buckingham in Pendleton on May 30
1886 - Benton County, Oregon: Mother Matilda Starr Buckingham marries R.D. Olds on July 11
1894 - Benton County, Oregon: Death of mother Matilda Starr Buckingham Olds on March 7
1894 - Benton County, Oregon: Heir to the estate of mother probated on March 19
1898 - Oakland, California: Precious and sons leave for new home in Oakland, California 
1898 - Oakland, California: James leaves for new home in Oakland, California in November
1899 - Pendleton, Oregon: James visits friends in Pendleton, Oregon in June
1900 - Oakland Ward 7, Alameda, California: US Census
1905 - Pendleton, Oregon: James and Precious visit Belfountain and Pendleton Oregon for several weeks in October 
1906 - Oakland, California: Resided in Oakland during the San Francisco Earthquake in April
1906 - Oakland, California: Precious B. Pruett is listed in the Oakland Tribute for financial interests in converting a barn to a home at 1498 Eighth Ave. and mortgaging property to Max Levy on South 20th Street in August
1908 - Oakland, California: First grandchild born, a daughter Caryl to son James Ralph and wife Josie Benham delivered by his son Dr. William Clifford Pruett in Oakland on August 19
1910 - Oakland Ward 7, Alameda, California: US Census
1913 - Pendleton, Oregon: James and Precious traveled to Oregon to visit family and friends in July
1917 - Bellfountain, Oregon: James and Precious traveled to Bellfountain to spend several weeks with son Ralph and family in July
1920 - Oakland, Alameda, California: US Census residing at #1948 8th Avenue
1922 - Oakland, California: James died on August 22 at home in Oakland, California
1924 - Oakland, California: Precious died on June 14 at home in Oakland, California
Death and Legacy
Precious died on 14 Jun 1924 in Oakland, California.
Her obituary was printed in the Corvallis newspaper: 
Mrs. Pruett Dies In Oakland. Mrs. Precious Pruett, a former resident of Corvallis and Bellfountain and well known throughout the county, died' recently at Oakland, Cal., where she had resided In recent years that she might be near her sons. Mrs. Pruett had been frail several years. She was the mother of Ralph Pruett, now located In northern California, Dr. Clifford Pruett of Oakland who cared for her through her declining years and there were other children in that vicinity. She was pioneer resident of Benton county.
↑ 1.01.11.21.3 "Oregon Secretary of State." Oregon Secretary of State: Early Oregonians Database Index Accessed November 18, 2017. Early Oregonian Online Database, citing birth for Precious Buckingham on 30 Aug 1851 in Benton, Oregon Territory
↑ "United States Census, 1870," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MF8T-ZJR : 12 April 2016), Precious Buckingham in household of Geo M Buckingham, Oregon, United States; citing p. 72, family 550, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,784.
↑ "United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MNCP-NR2 : 16 July 2017), Precious Pruett in household of James M Pruett, Pendleton, Umatilla, Oregon, United States; citing enumeration district ED 112, sheet 58A, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 1084; FHL microfilm 1,255,084.
↑ 12.012.112.212.312.4 "United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MNCP-NR2 : 16 July 2017), Precious Pruett in household of James M Pruett, Pendleton, Umatilla, Oregon, United States; citing enumeration district ED 112, sheet 58A, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 1084; FHL microfilm 1,255,084.
↑ 13.013.113.213.313.413.513.613.713.8 Pruett, James Madison. "Journal of James Madison Pruett, Camden County, MO, 1875." Typescript by James Ralph Pruett, ca. 1950. Copy privately held by Caryl Short Ruckert JMP Memoir, Chesapeake Beach, MD, 2017. Mr. Pruett is the son of the journal's author. Ms. Ruckert is the great granddaughter of Mr. Pruett the transcriber.
↑ 14.014.114.214.314.414.514.614.7 "United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M9P7-MZS : accessed 21 October 2017), James Pruitt, Oakland city Ward 7, Alameda, California, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 388, sheet 8A, family 170, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,083.
↑ Directory of Deceased American Physicians, 1804-1929 [database on-line].
Name: James M. Pruett
Birth Date: 1850
Death Date: 21 Aug 1922
Death Place: Oakland, CA
Type Practice: Allopath
Licenses: OR, 1891
Medical School: Medical College of Ohio, Cincinnati: Cincinnati Medical College, 1875, (G)
↑ 28.028.128.228.328.428.528.628.728.828.9 Oregon, Wills and Probate Records, 1849-1963. Citing the will of H. C. Buckingham proved 19 May 1881; (Online database: Ancestry.com. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com, Operations, Inc., 2015.) Original data: Oregon County, District and Probate Courts: Case File, No 370, Henderson, Wilson-Carter, Smiley. Images 1030 and 1031. citing Will of H. C. Buckingham names children Randolph, George W. Buckingham, Lovina, Precious, Augustus H., Eliza Deette, Mary W, Heman V., Nancy E., John R., Lillian W.. https://www.ancestry.com/sharing/16216197?h=b45ce
↑ "Oregon Secretary of State." Oregon Secretary of State: Early Oregonians Database Index Accessed November 18, 2017. citing Franklin Pierce Buckingham b. 03 Mar 1853 to Heman Buckingham and Matilda Starr d. 20 Mar 1874 Early Oregonian Franklin Pierce Buckingham
↑ "Oregon Secretary of State." Oregon Secretary of State: Early Oregonians Database Index Accessed November 18, 2017. citing for Pauline Gertrude Buckingham born to Heman Buckingham and Matilda Starr b. 19 Nov 1854 d. 20 Mar 1874.Early Oregonian Pauline Gertrude Buckingham
↑ "United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K6ZG-TJD : 13 March 2018), James Ralph Pruett, 1917-1918; citing birth on May 14, 1878. Benton County, Oregon, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,851,980.
↑ Fagan, David D., and Ed Stratton. History of Benton County, Oregon: including its geology, topography, soil and productions, together with the early history of the Pacific Coast, compiled from the most authentic sources: a full political history, comprising a tabular statement of officers of the county since its formation: incidents of pioneer life and biographical sketches of early and prominent citizens: also containing the history of the cities, towns, churches, schools, secret societies, etc. 1885 ed. Salem, MA: Higginson Book Company, 1997. pg. 349 for H. C. Buckingham. History of Benton County Oregon
↑ "California Birth Index, 1905-1995," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VGKC-372 : 27 November 2014), Carrol E Pruett (incorrectly indexed of Caryl E Pruett), 19 Aug 1908; citing Alameda, California, United States, Department of Health Services, Vital Statistics Department, Sacramento.
↑ "United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MV24-NKN : accessed 21 October 2017), James M Pruett, Oakland Ward 7, Alameda, California, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 141, sheet 2A, family 21, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 71; FHL microfilm 1,374,084.
↑ "United States Census, 1920," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MH3W-L45 : accessed 21 October 2017), James M Pruett, Oakland, Alameda, California, United States; citing ED 109, sheet 5A, line 5, family 135, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 90; FHL microfilm 1,820,090.
↑ "California Death Index, 1905-1939," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QKSM-4GVC : 5 June 2015), James M Pruett, 1922; citing 33522, Department of Health Services, Vital Statistics Department, Sacramento; FHL microfilm 1,686,046.
Paternal and Maternal relationship is confirmed by an AncestryDNA test match between the great granddaughter Showalter-465 and her maternal second cousin. Their most-recent common ancestors are their great great grandparents, Heman Buckingham and Matilda Jane Starr. Predicted relationship from AncestryDNA: 3rd Cousin, based on sharing 103 cM across 7 segments; Confidence: Extremely High.
Paternal and Maternal relationship is confirmed by an AncestryDNA test match between the great granddaughter Showalter-465 and her maternal second cousin. Their most-recent common ancestors are their great great grandparents, Heman Buckingham and Matilda Jane Starr. Predicted relationship from AncestryDNA: 3rd Cousin, based on sharing 98 cM across 5 segments; Confidence: Extremely High.
Is Precious your ancestor? Please don't go away! Login to collaborate or comment, or contact
the profile manager, or ask our community of genealogists a question.
Sponsored Search by Ancestry.com
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Precious by comparing test results with other carriers of her mitochondrial DNA.
However, there are no known mtDNA test-takers in her direct maternal line.
It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Precious: