Bill Tupper, 89, A Modoc Indian of the Klamath Tribes of Oregon, was born on February 9, 1929, at the Klamath Indian Agency, near Chiloquin Oregon. He was born to Edson Tupper and Josephine Jackson Tupper. He went home to be with his Lord and savior on May 30, 2018, with family at his side.
He was the direct descendant (Paternal side) to his Great Grandfather Dr. Duffy; his Great Uncle Bogus Charley (who was Dr. Duffy’s brother, and Captain Jack, who all fought in the Modoc War of 1872-1873), he was the Grandson of Watson Tupper Duffy and son of Edson Duffy- (All members of the Hot Creek Band of Modoc’s). On his Mother’s side he was a direct descendant and Great-Great-Great Grandson of Old Chief Schonchin (1864 Treaty Signer) and his wife Cumbutwas; he was the Great-Great-Great nephew of Schonchin John (brother to Old Chief Schonchin who was hung after the Modoc War by the Calvary along with his ancestors Captain Jack, Boston Charley and Black Jim). He was also a direct descendant of his Great-Great-Great Grandmother Winema and Great-Great Grandmother Anna Mae Copperfield.
He and his wife Rachel lived in Klamath Falls and the Sprague River/Beatty area all his life. He grew up and was raised by his Grandfather, Watson Tupper Duffy, at their Whiskey Creek Ranch near Beatty, Oregon. He was raised on the ranch and was always in the saddle from the time he could walk. He broke wild horses in the Sprague River Valley and was a life-long rodeo athlete.
As a young man he seen the love of his life at the Beatty store and he always said, “That day I seen the most beautiful Indian girl with long braids, her name was Rachel Tupper.” They soon married, and had six children of their own (Rayson, Stormy, Tana, Richard, Tori, and Berva), and together they also raised their grandson/son, Brandon, and their nephew’s Steve, Norman, and Darryl. They built their life around their children and grandchildren and lived in the Sprague River Valley working with his wife and children on their ranch- known as the Hi-Robbins Ranch. In 1958, he was the Collegiate Saddle Bronc Rodeo Champion for the Oregon Technical Institute (OTI). In 2011, he was inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame at the NIRA Event for Champions 1949-2010 Alumni Reunion in Casper, Wyoming. He was honored and recognized as the oldest living champion cowboy in attendance. He was also a strong supporter of his tribe and served for many years as the Klamath Tribes Water Allotees Committee Chairman.
Poppy Bill touched so many lives while doing the very thing he loved… Rodeo. He was known across the nation for his bronc riding, team roping, and horsemanship skills. Other favorite past times included visiting with his many many friends and family. He loved to tell rodeo stories and his laughter could be heard at any arena or event. Other interests that he naturally excelled in were hunting, bowling, basketball, calf roping, and team roping with his son’s and friends. He was well known for always having some of the best quarter horses in the Pacific Northwest.
He lived a life full of fellowship, family, and friends. His legacy is his children and family
we will see him again one day. He is now with the love of his life and our ancestor’s.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only
begotten son, and whosoever should believeth in him
should not perish, but have everlasting life – JOHN 3:16